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from an expression of a sweet, though lively temper, which marked her countenance-which, when admitted to a more intimate acquaintance, he found to be justified by her conversation and manners.
Emilia's father was addicted to pleasure and expense, and her mother, though more accomplished, of a similar disposition. In their family, she had been accustomed to a life of more than ordinary gaiety.
Though Horatio felt, in all its extent, that passion which is nowise favourable to a just estimation of character, these circumstances had not escaped his notice, and he failed not to observe that Emilia had acquired a stronger attachment to the pleasures of a town life, than was either right in itself, or agreeable to that preference for domestic society, and the quiet of a country life, which he had always felt, and which he still wished to gratify.
In place, however, of acquainting Emilia with his taste in these particulars, he judged it better to let her enjoy that style of life to which she had been accustomed, not doubting, from the natural good sense and sweetness of her disposition, that her own taste might gradually be corrected; and that as his should from time to time fall under her observation, it might contribute to the change.
He took up his residence, therefore, in town; and, though Emilia went into company, and frequented public places more than he could have wished, he complied with her inclination in these particulars, partook of her amusements when he was not necessarily engaged, and, when he did so, carefully avoided betraying that indifference or disgust which he often felt.
While Horatio, however, gave way to the taste of Emilia, he never lost the inclination, nor neglected the means, of reforming it.
Amidst the gaiety to which she had been accustomed, Emilia had early formed a taste for the elegant writers both of this country and of France ; and the same sensibility and delicacy of mind, which led her to admire them, made her no less sensible of the beauties of a polished and refined conversation. It was this which had first gained the affections of Horatio ; it was to this he trusted for effecting the reformation he desired.
He was at pains, therefore, to cultivate and encourage this literary taste in Emilia. He frequently took occasion to turn the conversation to subjects of literature, and to dwell on the beauties, or mention the striking passages, of this or that author ; and would often engage Emilia in a fine poem, an affecting tragedy, or an interesting novel, when, but for that circumstance, she would have been exhaust. ing her spirits at a ball, or wasting the night at cards.
Nor was he less studious in forming her taste for company than for books. Though he had never aimed at an extensive acquaintance, Horatio enjoyed the friendship of several persons of both sexes endowed with those elegant manners, and that delicate and cultivated understanding, which render conversation at once agreeable and instructive.
Of these friends he frequently formed parties at his house. Emilia, who had the same disposition to oblige, which she, on all occasions, experienced from him, was happy to indulge his inclinations in this particular ; and, as she was well qualified to bear a part in their conversation, and of a mind highly sensible of its charms, these parties gradually became more and more agreeable to her.
In this manner, her books, the conversation of select companies, and the care of her children, which soon became a most endearing office to the tender ness of men, which makes it generally much more difficult for them to acquire this complacency of temper, which it always requires much discipline, and often the rod of adversity and disappointment, to subdue.
If men truly possess that superiority of understanding over women, which some of them seem to suppose, surely this use of it is equally ungenerous and imprudent. They would, I imagine, show that superiority much more effectually, in endeavouring to imitate the amiable gentleness of the female character, and to acquire, from a sense of its propriety, a virtue, for which, it must be allowed, that the other sex is more indebted to their original constitution.
If women, as we sometimes allege, are too apt to connect the idea of pride, and hardness of manners, with that of knowledge and ability, and, on that account, often show a preference to more superficial accomplishments; the men, who value themselves for knowledge and abilities, ought to look into their own conduct for the cause, and, imitating the behaviour of Horatio, endeavour to show that a man's feelings need not be the less delicate for being under the direction of a sound judgement; and that he who best knows the female character, and will put the highest value on its excellence, is also the most likely to make allowance for a difference of taste, and to bear with those little weaknesses with which he knows all human excellence to be often accompanied.
No. 59. TUESDAY, AUGUST 17, 1779.
Er otio plus negotü quàm ex negotio habemus.
VET. SCHOL. AD ENNIUM IN IPHIGEN.
TO THE AUTHOR OF THE MIRROR.
SIR, “ I AM one of that numerous tribe of men, whom your predecessor, the Spectator, has distinguished by the appellation of Loungers, an innocent, harmless, race, who are remarkable for no one offensive quality, except a mortal antipathy at Time ; which, as that author says, and we are willing to allow, we study all possible means of killing and destroying. This confession, Sir, of one particular species of malevolence we are not at all ashamed to make, since the persecution of our adversary is so avowed and notorious, as fully to justify every kind of revenge which we can meditate. We consider Time, Sir, as a sort of incubus, or day night-mare, a malignant being, who, like the old man of the sea, in the Arabian Tales, fastens himself upon our shoulders, presses with intolerable weight, and sticks so close, that oftentimes an unhappy victim of his malice is fain to rid himself of his oppressor at the expense of his life. It is not then surprising that it should be the constant study of us, who are infested by this monster, to try every probable scheme for his destruction.
“ Now, Sir, as in a long-continued war, the military genius is sharpened by exercise, destructive inventions are multiplied, and a variety of artful dispositions, manæuvres, and stratagems, are found out, which the great masters of the science, Folard, Puy-Segur, and Saxe, are careful to record for the benefit of belligerent posterity; so I, in like manner, who for many years have maintained an obstinate warfare with my mortal enemy, have not only put in practice all the common and most approved modes of attack and defence, so as precisely to ascertain the respective merit of each, but I flatter myself with having discovered several artful devices and ingenious plans, which sufficiently prove my own masterly skill in the science, and which I can recommend to the practice of my brother-loungers, from repeated experience of their efficacy.
“I have made so great a proficiency in this useful art, that it was for several years a darling project of mine to digest my knowledge into a regular system; but when, in the prosecution of this great design, I had got the length of forming a complete title-page, and had entered upon the consideration of the plan and arrangement of the work, I found a necessity of abandoning my project, from the immense variety of matter which presented itself to my view, as well as from an unhappy infirmity under which I have laboured from my youth, a sort of lethargic disorder, which totally unfits me for reading or writing more than half an hour at a time.
But, Sir, that the world may not be entirely deprived of the fruits of my talents and experience, I have determined to send you some of my detached notes, and a few observations occasionally set down as materials, while the work I have mentioned was in contemplation. These, Sir, as you seem to have a pretty turn for writing, you may, in your own way of periodical speculations, enlarge and improve upon; or, if you should think proper to follow out