« PreviousContinue »
towards him with a fit of the gripes, he beg'd him to take his son again, and give bacli his colic; but they were incapable either of them to recede from the choice they had, made. A poor galley - slave, who had thrown down his chains, took up the gout in their stead, but made such wry faces, that one might' easily perceive he was no great gatner by the bargain. It was pleasant enough to see the several exchanges that were made, for sickness against poverty, hunger against want of appetitë, and case against pain.
The female world were very busý among themselves in bartering for features; one was trucking a lock of gray hairs for a carbuncle, another was making over a short waist for a pair of round shoulders, and a third cheaping a bad face for a lost reputation; but on all these occasions, there was not one of them who did not think the net blemish, as soon as she had' gnt it into her possession, much more disagreeable than the old one. I made the same observation on every other misfortune or calamity, which every one in the assembly brought upon himself, in lieu of what he had parted with; whether it be that all the evils which befall us are in more measure suited and proportioned to our strength, or that every evil becomes more supportable by our being accustomed to it, I shall not determine.
I could not for my heart forbear pitying the poor humpback'd gentleman mentioned in the former paper, who went off 'a very well-shaped person with a stone in his bladder; nor the fine gentleman who had struck up this bargain with him, that limped through a whole assembly of ladies, who used to admire him, with a pair of shoulders peeping over his head.
I must not otit my own particular adventure. My friend with the long visage had no sponer taken upon him my short face, but he made such a grotesque figure in it, that as I looked upon him I could not forbear laughing at myself, insomuch that I put my own face out of countenance. The poor gentleman was so sensible of the ridicule, that I found he was ashamed of what he had done: on the other side I found that I myself had no great reason to triumph; for as I went to touch my forehead I missed the place, and clapped my finger upon my upper lip." Besides, as my nose was exo ceeding prominent, I gave it 'tito or three unlucky knocks as I was playing my hand about my face, and aiming at some
other part of it. I saw two other gentlemen by me, who were in the same ridiculous circumstances. These had made a foolish swop between a couple of thick bandy legs, and two long trapsticks that had no calfs to them. One of these looked like a man walking upon stilts,, and was so lifted up into the air, above his ordinary height, that his head turned round with it, while the other made such aukward circles, as he attempted to walk, that he scarce knew how to move forward upon his new supporters : observing him to be a pleasant kind of fellow I stuck my cane in the ground, and told him I would lay him a bottle of wine, that he did not march up to it on a line, that I drew for him, in a quarter of an hour.
The heap was at last distributed among the two sexes, who made a most piteous sight, as they wandered up and down under the pressure of their several burdens. The whole plain was filled with murmurs and complaints, groans and lamentations. Jupiter at length, taking compassion on the poor mortals, ordered them a second time to lay down their loads, with a design to give every one his own again. They discharged themselves with a great deal of pleasure; after which,' the phantom, who had led them into such gross delusions, was commanded to dissappear. There was sent in her stead a goddess of a quite different figure: her motions were steady and composed, and her aspect serious but chearful. She every now and then cast her eyes towards heaven, and fixed them upon Jupiter: her name was Patience. She had no sooner placed herself by the mount of sorrows, what I thought very, remarkable, the whole heap sunk to such a degree, that it did not appear a third part so big as it was before. She afterwards returned every man his own proper calamity, and teaching him how to bear it in the most commodious manner, he marched off with it contentedly, being. very well pleased that he had not been left to his own choice, as to the kind of evils which fell to his lot.
Besides the several pieces of morality to be drawn out of this vision, I learnt from it, never to repine at my own misfortunes, or to envy the hapiness of another, since it is impossible for any man to form a right judgment of his neighbour's sufferings; for which reason also I have determined never to think too lightly of another's complaints, but to regard the sorrows of
fellowcreatures with sentiments of humanity and compassion.
3) LEARNING, PROPER'FOR WOMEN *).
libelli Stoici inter sericos Jacere pulvillos amant **),
Hor. Epod. 8. 15. I have often wondered that learning is not thought a proper ingredient in the education of a woman of quality or fortune. Since they have the same improveable minds as the male part of the species, why should they not be cultivated by the same method ? why should reason be left to itself in one of the sexes, and be disciplined 'with so much care in • the other?
There are some reasons why learning seems more adapted to the female world, than to the male. As in the first place, because they have more spare time upon their hands, and lead a more sedentary life. Their employments are of a domestic nature, and not like those of the other sex, which are often inconsistent with study and contemplation. The excellent lady, the lady Lizard, in the space of one summer, furnished a gallery with chairs and couches of her own and ber daughters' working; and at the same time heard all doctor Tillotson's ***) sermons twice over. It is always the custom for one of the young ladies to read, while the others are at work; so that the learning of the family is not at all prejudicial to its manufa
res. I was mightily pleased the other day, to find them all.busy in preserving several fruits of the season, with the Sparkler t) in the midst of them, reading over the Plurality of worlds tt). It was very entertaining to me to see them dividing their speculations between jellies and stars, and making a sudden transition from the sun to an apricot, or from the Copernican system to the figure of a cheese-cake.
A second reason why women should apply themselves to useful knowledge rather than men, is because they have that
*) Guardian, Vol. II. no. 155. Tuesday, September 8, 1713. **). — Und pflegen nicht die Schriften der Stoischen Weiser auf den seidenen Kissen zu liegen ? ***) $. Seite 15. *) Name, welchen Steele (im 5jen Stück des Guardian) der jüngsten Tochter der Lady Lizard giebt; sie hiess eigentlich Mrs. Mury. Eine Schilderung dieser Familie ertheilt das zweite Stück jener
**) Fontenelle's Schrift sur la pluralité des mondes; vermuthlich in der Englischen Uebersetzung.
natural gift of speech in greater perfection, Since they have 30 excellent 4 talent, such a copia verborum, or plenty of words, 'tis pity they should not put it to some use. If the female tongue will be in motion, why should it not be set to go right? Could they discourse about the spots in the sun, it might divert them from publishing the faults of their neighbours; could they talk of the different aspects and conjunctions *) of the planets, they need not be at the pains to comment upon oglings and clandestine marriages, In short, were they furnished with matters of fact, out of arts and sciences, it would now and then be of great ease to their invention,
There is another reason why those especially who are women of quality, should apply themselves to letters, namely, because their husbands are generally strangers to them.
It is great pity there should be no knowledge in a family, For my own part, I'am concerned when I go into a great house, where perhaps there is not a single person that can spell, unless it be by chance the butler, or one of the footmen. What a figure is the young heir likely to make, who is a dunce both by father and mother's side,
If we look into the histories of famous women, we find many eminent philosophers of this sex. Nay, we find that several females have distinguished themselves in those sects of philosophy which seem almost repugnant to their natures. There have been famous female Pythagoreans, notwithstanding most of that philosophy consisted in keeping a secret, and that the disciple was
to hold her tongue five years together. I need not mention Portia, **) who was a Stoic in petticoats: nor Hipparchia ***), the famous She-Cynic
Learning and knowledge are perfections in us, notļas we are men, but as we are reasonable creatures, in which
*) Aspeçien nennt man die gegenseitigen Stellungen der Planeten; besonders spricht man von der Conjunktion oder Zusammenkunft, Opposition oder Gegenschein , Quadratur oder geviertem Schein u.'s. w., und bezeichnet damit das Zusammenseyn der Planeten an einem Ort des Himmels,' eine Entfernung von 180, eine Entfernung von 90 Grad i S. w. **) Die Tochter des Cato von Unipa und Gattinn des Junius Brutus, Porcia,'legte, ganz ihres Vaters und Mannes würdig, eine so heroische Charakterstärke an den Tag, dass sie zu den Stoikern-gezählt wird: ***) Hipparchiæ, die Gemahlinn des Cynikeris Crates.
order of belngs the female world is upon the same level with the male. We ought to consider in this particular, not what is the sex, but what is the species to which they belong. At least, , I believe every one will allow me, that a female philosopher is not so absurd a character and so opposite to the sex, as a female gamester; and that it is more irrational for a woman to pass away half a dozen hours at cards or dice, than in getting up stores of useful learning. This therefore is another reason why I would recommend the studies of knowledge to the female world, that they may not be at a loss how to employ those hours that lie upon their hands.
I might also add this motive to my fair readers, that several of their sex, who have improved their minds by books and litterature, have raised themselves to the highest post of honour and fortune. A neighbouring nation may at this time furnish us with a very remarkable instance of this kind *), but I shall conclude this head with the history of Athenais, which is a very sigoal example to my present purpose,
The emperor Theodosius being about the age and twenty, and designing to take a wife, desired his sister Pulcheria and his friend Paulinus to search his whole ens pire
woman of the most exquisite beauty and highest accomplishments. In the midst of this search, Athenais, a Grecian virgin, accidentally offered herself. Her father, who was an eminent philosopher of Athens, and had bred her up in all the learning of that place, at his death left her but a very small portion, in which also she suffered great hardships from the injustice of her two brothers. This forced her upon a journey to. Constantinople, where she had a relation who represented her case to Pulcheria in order to obtain some redress from the emperor, By this means that religious princess became acquainted with Athenais, whom she found the most beautiful woman of her age, and edu
*) Wahrscheinlich meint Addison die Frau von M a inlenon (geb 1635, gest. 17:19), welche erst an den berühmten Französischen Schriftsteller Scarron verheirathet war, nachmals aber, vorzüglich durch die Annehmlichkeiten ihres Geistes, den König Ludwig XIV so.fesselte, dass er sie zu seiner Nebengattinn erhob. (Ein Mehreres von ihr findet man unter andern im ersten Theile des Handbuchs der Französischen Sprachc.)