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played two or three games, and drank tea. I should have told you that this was my second time of seeing her since marriage; but before, she lived at the same town where I went to school ; so that the plea of a relation, added to the innocence of my youth, prevailed
upon her good humour to indulge me in a freedom of conversation, as often, and oftener, than the strict discipline of the school would allow of. You may easily imagine, after such an acquaintance, we might be exceeding merry without any offence; as in calling to mind how many inventions I have been put to in deluding the master, how many hands forged for excuses, how many times been sick in perfect health; for I was then never şick but at school, and only then because out of her company. We had whiled away three hours after this manner, when I found it past five ; and, not expecting her husband would return until late, rose up, and told her I should go early next morning for the country. She kindly answered she was afraid it would be long before she saw me again ; so, I took my leave, and parted. Now, Sir, I had not been got home a fortnight, when I received a letter from a neighbour of theirs, that ever since that fatal afternoon the lady had been most inhumanly treated, and the husband publicly stormed that he was made a member of too numerous a society. He had, it seems, listened most of the time my cousin and I were together. As jealous ears always hear double, so he heard enough to make him mad; and as jealous eyes always see through magnifying glasses, so he was certain it could not be I whom he had seen, a beardless stripling, but fancied he saw a gay gentleman of the Temple, ten years older than myself; and for that reason,
I presume, durst not come in, nor take any notice when I went out. He is perpetually asking his wife if she does not think the time long (as she
said she should) until she see her cousin again. Pray, Sir, what can be done in this case ? I have writ to him to assure him I was at his house all that afternoon expecting to see him. His answer is, it it is only a trick of hers, and that he neither can nor will believe me. The parting kiss I find mightily nettles him; and confirms him in all his errors. Ben Jonson, as I remember, makes a foreigner, in one of his comedies, “ admire the desperate valour of the bold English, who let out their wives to all encounters." The general custom of salutation should excuse the favour done me, or you should lay down rules when such distinctions are to be given or omitted. You cannot imagine, Sir, how troubled I am for this unhappy lady's misfortune, and beg you would insert this letter, that the husband reflect upon this accident coolly. It is no small matter, the ease of a virtuous woman for her whole life. I know she will conform to any regularities (though more strict than the common rules of our country require) to which his particular temper shall incline him to oblige her. This accident puts me in mind how generously Pisistratus, the Athenian tyrant, behaved himself on a like occasion, when he was instigated by his wife to put to death a young gentleman, because, being passionately fond of his daughter, he had kissed her in public, as he met her in the street. What,” said he, “ shall we do to those who are our enemies, if we do thus to those who are our friends ?” I will not trouble you much longer, but am exceedingly concerned lest this accident may cause a virtuous lady to lead a miserable life with a husband who has no grounds for his jealousy but what I have faithfully related, and ought to be reckoned none. It is to be feared too, if at last he sees his mistake, yet people will be as slow and unwilling in disbelieving scandal, as they are quick and
forward in believing it. I shall endeavour to enliven
*Parent of gods, began the weeping fair,
he cried out,“ Aura veni !” “Oh! charming air, approach!"
· The unfortunate wife, taking the word air to be the name of a woman, began to move among the bushes ; and the husband, believing it a deer, threw his javelin and killed her. This history painted on a fan, which I presented to a lady, gave occasion to my growing poetical.
Come, gentle air !' the Æolian shepherd said,
N° 528. WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 1712.
Dum potuit, solita gemitum virtute repressit.
Ovid. Met. ix. 165.
And not a groan confess'd her burning heart.-Gay. · MR. SPECTATOR, I who now write to you am a woman loaded with injuries ; and the aggravation of my misfortune is, that they are such which are overlooked by the generality of mankind; and, though the most afflicting imaginable, not regarded as such in the general sense
of the world. I have hid my vexation from all mankind; but having now taken pen, ink, and resolved to unbosom myself to you, and lay before you what grieves me and all the sex. You have very often mentioned particular hardships done to this or that lady; but methinks you have not, in any one speculation, directly pointed at the partial freedom men take, the unreasonable confinement women are obliged to, in the only circumstance in which we are necessarily to have a commerce with them, that of love. The case of celibacy is the great evil of our nation; and the indulgence of the vicious conduct of men in that state, with the ridicule to which women are exposed, though never so virtuous, if long unmarried, is the root of the greatest irregularities of this nation. To shew you, Sir, that (though you never have given us the catalogue of a lady's library, as you promised) we read good books of our own choosing, I shall insert on this occasion a paragraph or two out of Echard's Roman History. In the 44th page
of the second volume, the author observes that Augustus, upon his return to Rome at the end of a war, received complaints that too great a number of the young men of quality were unmarried. The
emperor thereupon assembled the whole equestrian order ; and, having separated the married from the single, did particular honours to the former ; but he told the latter, that is to say, Mr. Spectator, he told the bachelors, that their lives and actions had been so peculiar, that he knew not by what name to call them; not by that of men, for they performed nothing that was manly; not by that of citizens, for the city might perish notwithstanding their care; nor by that of Romans, for they designed to extirpate the Roman name. Then, proceeding to shew his tender care and hearty affection for his people, he farther told them, that their course of life was of such pernicious