The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 3,418 pages of information about The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3.
never easie in any one Place, when she thinks there is more Company in another.  The missing of an Opera the first Night, would be more afflicting to her than the Death of a Child.  She pities all the valuable Part of her own Sex, and calls every Woman of a prudent modest retired Life, a poor-spirited, unpolished Creature.  What a Mortification would it be to Fulvia, if she knew that her setting her self to View, is but exposing her self, and that she grows Contemptible by being Conspicuous.

I cannot conclude my Paper, without observing that Virgil has very finely touched upon this Female Passion for Dress and Show, in the Character of Camilla; who, tho’ she seems to have shaken off all the other Weaknesses of her Sex, is still described as a Woman in this Particular.  The Poet tells us, that, after having made a great Slaughter of the Enemy, she unfortunately cast her Eye on a Trojan [who[1]] wore an embroidered Tunick, a beautiful Coat of Mail, with a Mantle of the finest Purple. A Golden Bow, says he, Hung upon his Shoulder; his Garment was buckled with a Golden Clasp, and his Head was covered with an Helmet of the same shining Mettle.  The Amazon immediately singled out this well-dressed Warrior, being seized with a Woman’s Longing for the pretty Trappings that he was adorned with: 

          ’...  Totumque incauta per agmen
  Faemineo praedae et spoliorum ardebat amore.’

This heedless Pursuit after these glittering Trifles, the Poet (by a nice concealed Moral) represents to have been the Destruction of his Female Hero.


[Footnote 1:  that]

* * * * *

No. 16 Monday, March 19.  Addison

      Quid verum atque decens curo et rogo, et omnis in hoc sum.


I have receiv’d a Letter, desiring me to be very satyrical upon the little Muff that is now in Fashion; another informs me of a Pair of silver Garters buckled below the Knee, that have been lately seen at the Rainbow Coffee-house in Fleet-street; [1] a third sends me an heavy Complaint against fringed Gloves.  To be brief, there is scarce an Ornament of either Sex which one or other of my Correspondents has not inveighed against with some Bitterness, and recommended to my Observation.  I must therefore, once for all inform my Readers, that it is not my Intention to sink the Dignity of this my Paper with Reflections upon Red-heels or Top-knots, but rather to enter into the Passions of Mankind, and to correct those depraved Sentiments that give Birth to all those little Extravagancies which appear in their outward Dress and Behaviour.  Foppish and fantastick Ornaments are only Indications of Vice, not criminal in themselves.  Extinguish Vanity in the Mind, and you naturally retrench the little Superfluities of Garniture and Equipage.  The Blossoms will fall of themselves, when the Root that nourishes them is destroyed.

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The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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