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Is it some mighty gen'ral that has done
"So, gracious God, if it may lawful be
No 611. MONDAY, OCTOBER 25, 1714.
Perfide! sed duris genuit te cautibus horrens
VIRG, Æn. vi. 366.
Perfidious man! thy parent was a rock,
I am willing to postpone every thing, to do any the least service for the deserving and unfortunate. Accordingly I have caused thefollowing letter to be inserted in my paper the moment that it came to my hands, without altering one title in an account which the lady relates so handsomely herself.
• Mr. SPECTATOR,
pity, but, if possible, redress a misfortune myself and several others of my sex lie under. I hope you will not be offended, nor think I mean by this to justify my own imprudent conduct, or expect you should. No: I am sensible how severely, in some of your former papers, you have reproved persons guilty of the like mismanagement. I was scarce sixteen, and, I may say without vanity, handsome, when courted by a false perjured man; who, upon promise of marriage, rendered me the most unhappy of women. After he had deluded me from my parents, who were people of very good fashion, in less than three months he left me. My parents would not see nor hear from me; and, had it not been for a servant who had lived in our family, I must certainly have perished for want of bread. However, it pleased Providence, in a very short time, to alter my miserable condition. A gentleman saw me, liked me, and married me. My parents were reconciled ; and I might be as happy in the change of my condition, as
i before miserable, but for some things, that you shall know, which are insupportable to me, and I am sure you have so much honour and compassion as to let those persons know, in some of your papers, how much they are in the wrong
I have been married near five years, and do not know that in all that time I ever went abroad without my husband's leave and approbation. I am obliged, through the importunities of several of my relations, to go abroad oftener than suits my temper. T'hen it is I labour under insupportable agonies. That man, or rather monster, haunts every place I go to. Base villain! by reason I will not admit his nauseous wicked visits and ap
pointments, he strives all the ways he can to ruin
He left me destitute of friend or money, nor ever thought me worth inquiring after, until he unfortunately happened to see me in a front-box sparkling with jewels. Then his passion returned. Then the hypocrite pretended to be a penitent. Then he practised all those arts that helped before to undo me. I am not to be deceived a second time by him. I hate and abhor his odious passion; and as he plainly perceives it, either out of spite or diversion he makes it his business to expose me. I never fail seeing him in all public company, where he is always most industriously spiteful. He hath, in short, told all his acquaintance of our unhappy affair; they tell theirs; so that it is no secret among his companions, which are numerous. They to whom he tells it, think they have a title to be very familiar. If they bow to me, and I out of good manners return it, then I am pestered with freedoms that are no way agreeable to myself or company. If I turn mine
eyes from them, or seem displeased, they sour upon it, and whisper the next person; he his next ; until I have at last the eyes of the whole company upon me. Nay, they report abominable falsehoods, under that mistaken notion, “ She that will grant favours to one man will to a hundred.” I beg you will let those who are guilty know how ungenerous this
way of proceeding is. I am sure he will know himself the person aimed at, and perhaps put a stop to the insolence of others. Cursed is the fate of unhappy women! that men may boast and glory in those things that we must think of with shame and horror! You have the art of making such odious customs appear detestable. For my sake, and, I am sure, for the sake of several others who dare not own it, but, like me, lie under the same
misfortunes, make it as infamous for a man to boast of favours, or expose our sex, as it is to take the lie or a box on the ear, and not resent it. Your constant reader and admirer,
• P..S. I am the more impatient under this misfortune, having received fresh provocation, last Wednesday, in the Abbey.'
I entirely agree with the amiable and unfortu. nate Lesbia, that an insult upon a woman in her circumstances is as infamous in a man, as a tame beha. viour when the lie or buffet is given: which truth I shall beg leave of her to illustrate by the following observation.
It is a mark of cowardice passively to forbear resenting an affront, the resenting of which would lead a man into danger: it is no less a sign of cowardice to affront a creature that hath not power to avenge itself. Whatever name therefore this ungenerous man may bestow on the helpless lady he hath injured, I shall not scruple to give him, in return for it, the appellation of coward.
A man that can so far descend from his dignity as to strike a lady, can never recover his reputa. tion with either sex, because no provocation is thought strong enough to justify such treatment from the powerful towards the weak. In the cir. cumstances in which poor Lesbia is situated, she can appeal to no man whatsoever to avenge an in. šult more grievous than a blow. If she could open her mouth, the base man knows that a husband, a brother, a generous friend, would die to see her righted.
A generous mind, however enraged against an énemy, feels its resentments sink and vanish away
when the object of its wrath falls into its power. An estranged friend, filled with jealousy and discontent towards a bosom acquaintance, is apt to overflow with tenderness and remorse, when a crea. ture that was once dear to him undergoes any misfortune. What name then shall we give to his ingratitude, who (forgetting the favours he solicited with eagerness, and received with rapture) can in. sult the miseries that he himself caused, and make sport with the pain to which he owes his greatest pleasure? There is but one being in the creation whose province it is to practise upon the imbecilities of frail creatures, and triumph in the woes which his own artifices brought about; and we well know those who follow his example will receive his reward.
Leaving myfair correspondent to the direction of her own wisdom and modesty; and her enemy, and his mean accomplices, to the compunction of their own hearts; I shall conclude this paper with a me. morable instance of revenge, taken by a Spanish lady upon a guilty lover, which may serve to show what violent effects are wrought by the most tender passion, when sowered into hatred; and may deter the young
from unlawful love. The story, however romantic it may appear, I have heard affirmed for truth.
Not many years ago an English gentleman, who, in a rencounter by night in the streets of Madrid, had the misfortune to kill his man, fled into a church-porch for sanctuary. Leaning against the door he was surprised to find it open, and a glim. mering light in the church. He had the courage to advance towards the light; but was terribly startled at the sight of a woman in white, who as cended from a grave with a bloody knife in her hand. The phantom marched up to him, and