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The CENSOR. city of manners of their forefathers, of correcting the public manners of out of doors.
the age ; and the prospect of perma. And are these things fo I be- nent reputation to alloring; whether lieve no wober, comiderate unpreju- 'it be owing to a false timidity which diced person, will deny the charge. despairs of imitating, fo bright an exThe next thing then to be considered ample, or to some other cause, few or is, what remedies may be adminiftered no attempts have been lately made to to prevent the spreading of the epide restore the lost credit of Essay writing. mical diseases of the times, and if por-, Probably the same obstacles which diffile to eradicate the very flamina of our couraged ingenious men in his time vices and follies.
may now prevail..“ A man who pubSometimes, when the pulpit-has - Jithes -his-works in a volume;" faya failed of producing this falutary effect, the Spectator, “ has an infinite adeither through the irregularity of the vantage-over one who communicates lives of the clergy, or the levity and his writings to the world in Ipole tracts infidelity of the people the STAGE- and fingle pieces. We do not expect has proved. an excellent fuccedaneum to meet with any thing in a bulky undei. the direction of discreet and volumé, till after some heavy preamble, cliaste managersama patronized by vir and several words of course, to prea tuous and honest Aätelmen. In this pare the reader for what followga situation of the THEATRE, the mo. Nay, authors have established it as a ral tendency of the tragic scene, kind of rule, that a man ought to be and the polite, decent, lively humour dull fometimes, as the most severe reaof the comic mute-kept public virtue, der makes 'allowances for many rests integrity of manners, and good breed and nodding places in a voluminous ing in countenance. But an impartial writer-On the contrary, those who Tetrospect on the conduct of our ma. publish their thoughts' in diftinét nagers, of late years, and a candid Meets, and as it were by pece mea!, inquiry into the present itate of our have none of those advantages. We theatricat exhibitions will soon con- muft immediately fall into our subvince us, that the idol they worship iš ject, and treat every part of it in a gold; and that the taste of the town lively manner-Our matter must lie is fo vitiated, that such entertainments close togetier and be either new, in only give satisfaction, as can neither in- itself, or in the turn it receives from form the mind, correct the heart, or our expression ! It is often exmend the manners of the people. pected that every sheet should be a kind
The history of most countries, affords of treatise, and make out in thought, innumerable proofs of the truth of what it wants in bulk-The ordinary Solomon's' observation that, there is writers of morality prescribe to their nothing neru' under the sun. Revolu- readers, after the salenical way; their tions of manners, as of fashions are medicines are mude up in large quancommon to all, and it is no unusual tities. An Essay-writer muit praething, to find nations, in the course of tice in the chymical method, and give half a century, returning to the same the virtues of a full draught in a few point from which they began to make drops." Yet not withitanding tlie diffi
their first progression towards perfec- culty of furnishing out feparate papers tion, or degeneracy. To the reigning of this nature he confesses his annazevices, foolliesand' indecoruins of the ment, that the press in his time should four last years of Queen Anne, we are only be made use of in this way, by indebted for that incomparable work, neits-writers, and the zealots of para the SPECTATOR ; and the fuccess that ties ; as if it were not more advantageattended it at the time of its first pub- ous to mankind to be initructed in ·lication the high reputation it has wifilom and virtue, than in politics, fince acquired and still preferves shews, and to be inade good fathers, husband', V hat may be expected from writings and jons, then councellors and laufof this cast: yet though the motive is men. How exactly does this descripfo laudable being so lets than that tion of the miscellaneous productions of
Maria's Letter to the Cenfor.
5 the press fuit the present times ! So ea- rogate to himfeff any claim to simiger are men after the trifting politics, lar excellence few ages or countries the idle disputes of the day, and the have produced a fociety of Literati of current amusements of the week, that equal eminence with those gentlemen they engage all their attention who conducted and supported the And a quarrel between a brace of Spectator-the CENSOR stands alone, wounded petty patriots, shall supply the and therefore appears but feldom, yet place in a public news-paper (for a he has the pleasure to find that some month together) of ingenious sprightly, of his former papers have produced elays on interefing subjects, and the the reformations they were written to warin altercations of the leaders of effect--they have likewise gained him a contending parties, in a certain assem- number of respectable correspondents, b!y, where nothing .hould pass, incon- of both sexes, whole letters will afford listent with the fricteit rules of mode-, a fund of iinprovement and enterration, politeness, and decorum, fill tainment to his readers, and keep his up most of our monthly, and other pe- design on foot, at least, through the riodical publications, which used to be course of the present year. provided with a great variety of use. The neceflity of attempting a reful and entertaining papers on natu- formati in by means of the preis, will ral philofophy, history and the belles- perhaps appear to my readers still more letters.
urgent on the perural of the following To correct, in some degree, this letter, which I thall give to the pubprevailing error, and in humble imita- lic in the drels I received it, without tion of the design of the SPECTATOR, further comment cr remark, conclud. the CENSOR, in the years 1769 and ing. it cannot fail of being acceptable, 1770, took courage to attack foine of as it delineates the portraits of living the glaring vices and follies which are characters, and relates to familiar eccountenanced and practised in this currences, from which practical innkingdom, by persons of every deno- provement may be collected. mination. Far be it froin hiin to ar.
cere esteem for the ladies, and That to be hated, needs but to be
memory furnishes me with remarks
Maria's Letter to the Cenfor. from other writers, whose maxims I Turning out of doors---Disowning for have retained, and though I cannot din ever---and other such hard sentences, rectly cite their names, as their opini- often accompanied with brutal impreons are orthodox, they must juftify cations, are the modern means made me for reviving the subject. It is fome- use of to reclaim young people from where written---that great and weighty wrong courses, into which, frequently, truths cannot be too often repeated, the bad education given then, or the that they may be duly impreffed on improper example set them by their pamen's minds and as you have partly rents, have been the cause of leading taken charge of the rising generation, them. for whose benefit you wrote your first
But as the venerable guardians of my and second papers, and Nightly touched youthful days, were of quite a diffeupon my present topic, by giving an rent cast of mind, you will not woninfance of a governess of a boarding der that they influenced my sentiments school carrying ber young ladjes to a in the most critical circumstance of a card assembly, befure she had taught woman's life---the choice of an hur. them the first rudiments of useful know. band : nor had I any reason to repent Jedge; I think you cannot be displea- of having given my inclinations in this sed with my correspondence. Besides, point, a bass in favour of their prediI have another claim upon you, as old fiction, for I found in the object of as the creation-am a woman, have our concurrent choice, every qualificaa right to be heard.--and what is more, tions that could render that social uni. to tell my own story. Without fur- on completely happy---and now Sir, ther preface then Sir, I am to acquaint I must haiten to the catastrophe of my you,' that a lively turn of mind, a Mory. The directors of my youth genteel education, competent fortune, -the faithful councellor, friend and and the virtuous indulgences of affec- companion of my maturer days-- all tionate parents, gave me an early re- fubmitted, within a short space of time lish for fociety, and an opportnnity of to the inevitable fate of huinan nature knowing the world, without any of .--and I was left to deplore their loss those inconveniences which usually at- -a lamenting orphan-an amicted, but tend the acqu’ring of this knowledge not a discontolate widow-for I had by experience.--for though iny actions imbibed from a religious education, were not tied down by the severest such a sense of my duty as a dependent rules of parental rigour, yet I was not being, as restrained me from arraign. left to myself, but such wholesome ad- ing the dread decrees of the deity vice and gentle admonitions were oc- and I had drawn so much philofophy casionally given me, and my fteps fo out of my study into common life, as circumspectiy, yet so discreetly watched, furnished me with fortitude to relift that whenever head-strong youth and the torrent of immoderate grief, and vanity led me to the verge of some to teach me the virtuous necessity of remarkable absurdity --- the prudence considering my relation to society, and generosity of my venerable parents which had made me a subject-a mointerposed, and I was brought to a ther--and a common friend to the fenfe of my misconduct by maternal indigent and afflicted ; in whose hands persuafion on the one hand, or found a trust was reposed, with whom was rational argument on the other. In a deposited the means of educating and word, Sir, my parents, like yourself, forming the manners of two infants, were candid Cenfors but not Tyrants, the sacred pledges of chaste love and which, I am forry to say it, is the ap- of administring to the relief of those pellation many of those fathers and who were the proper objects of my mothers deserve at present, who conde. charity-These and other considerations fcend to take any notice at all of the of leds moment, bad me live, otherconduct of their sons and daughters, wife I might have followed some of from the time of their leaving ichool, the bright but deluding examples of to that of their setling in life- antiquity-for in the partner of my “ Cutting off with a thilling heart and bed I lot more than an.
Maria's Letter to the Confor.
7 Anthony Yet Cleopatra died ! place, having taken a fixed resolve but Maria survives !---and only wishes not to venture the chance of drawing the sequel of her history could present a blank in the lottery of marriage, her as unblameable in her conduct, after having had the fortune to gain as she muft hitherto have appeared to a prize, which falls not to the lot of the CENSOR.
one woman in fifty. Besides, I will My chief confolation, next to my freely confess to you, that though I children, and indeed my only amuse- was married to a gentleman whom I ment for some time, during the necef- esteemed the most accomplished of his fary absences which their education fex, I experienced that there is no fixed required, was my library-for I had principle in man, with respect to then loft all relish for society, and had their conduct to women. The most no idea of returning to the frequented virtuous, the moft endearing must exhaunts of pleasure-seeking mortals, peet occasionally to submit to the efbut uufortunately for my future re- fects of caprice, and that unconquerpose! The fedantary life I gave way to, able passion for novelty, which nature, preyed upon my conftitution and no doubt for wife purposes, has imwrought such a change in me, that it planted in the soul of man- -Perwas judged necessary for my health ceiving, therefore, within my breast that í should take a journey to Bath thofe sparks of female jealousy, which and reside there for some time. In however prudently, they may be conthis fituation it was almost impossible to cealed and not suffered to break into a avoid keeping some company. I how. fame, fail not to prey inwardly on the ever avoided it for some time, but as vitals of love, I determined never to my health recovered, and an absolute put it in the power of a second husband, injunction was laid on my darling for whole errors I might not have the amusement, reading the social turn fame affectionate blindness, to difturb of the place gave me fresh fpirits and my peace of mind by the fallies of a and the fear of being charged with fin- roving disposition. As books were gularity and affectation, at length in- ftill prohibited for fear of a relapse, duced me to enlarge the circle of my and the air of London was reckoned acquaintance and to appear in public. too gross for the delicacy of my con
The first public amusement 1 indul- ftitution, I complied with the request ged myself in was dancing, the fa- of a female friend, who desired me to vourite diversion of my early youth, settle near her in one of the largest and and this exercise-fo falutary when most popular villages to the North of moderately used-and so pernicious London, equally well known for its when carried to excess-contributed healthy ftuation, and for the insolent, not a little to the perfect re-establish- imposing disposition of its fixed inhabiment of my health-but, before this tants, who, in the articles of lodging, was completely accomplished, my situa- provisions, and every necessary of life tion, which was now generally known, for strangers, go one step further than had exposed me to all the imperti- government, which only taxes the light nences of your sex, and to fome few of Heaver.- Sut these gentry make you of those decent, rational propofals pay very dear for its puré falubrious which fingle gentlemen think they air. To avoid these impositions, as have a right to make with more confi- much as possible, I returned to housedence of success to widows than to keeping, for determining to reside on maidens. An income of five hundred this delightful spot the year round, I pounds per annum-is a penfion for concluded I thould be confidered as an life which cannot fail, in these days inmate, and be rated differently from of brilliant poverty, to bring as many the mere birds of passage. But alas, pernicious danglers to a lady's toilette, Mr. Cenfor! I could not have pitched as to a minister's levee ; I was there- my tent in any part of England more fore daily perfecuted, by admirers of detrimental to my health and fortune, different ranks, characters and ages, lo fhort fighted is human wisdomwhich foon determined me to quit the and so forlorn a defenceless woman!
Maria's Letter to the Cenfor. thrown upon the wide world without teazed into actions inconsistent with a faithfui councellor, and froin an ex- their circumstances and rank in life. perience of the deceits practised in it, Yet were we to, insist on walking by afraid to place a confidence in any this rule, I am afraid we muit be of the fons of men - Though I did obliged in the present times, cither to siot fall at once into a general circle shut ourselves up from fociety, or to of acquaintaince and fatiglie myself for keep. company with persons greatly the first two montlis with returning our inferiors in point of education and the visits I had received, yet having as rank. The real gentlewoman must decarefully avoided the other extreme, scend a few degrees, and associate only of living the life of a recluse--from with the wives and daughters of tradel: the intimation I had given to my men and mechanics of the lowest clafs, friend, who had lived many years in for if the fees company consisting of the place, I was soon treated on the any of the higher clanes of commerce 'footing of an agreeable 'neighbour by of her equals, or her superiors---a few select families, who professed to her whole system of æconomy and visit and receive each other, as the prudence falls to the ground, and the French say, Sans façon-with these, must change her condition to recruit I proposed to myself inuch focial plea. her finances, or quit the field in difJure, and some compensation for the grace.--the subject of caluinny and redenial put upon my natural turn for proach. To such a pass is arrived the converting, more with the dead than disipation and luxury of this king: with the living my income, as you dom. may 'well imagine, was fushi ient to I had been but four times at the 'enable me to discharge the civilities I church of this famous village (commight receive under the head of hof- monly dignified with the name of pitality, from people who neither gave a town because of the great number nor expected' fumptucus entertain of buildings) before I was convinced, ments. In fine, I had chalked out by the display of fashions (which are fuch a plan of decent econoy and generally carried to church, as a marregularity as I thought would make kęt where they are not to be sold, my expentes partly tally with my an- but only to be exposed to view, to nual income-making the proper al. excite laudable emulation, vulgarly lowances for accidental demands, and called envy) that I had nothing fit to the calls of humanity. But like the appear in---though I had put on a honelt presbyterian gentleman in Efex, different dress every Sunday --and, on who a few years lince had carried a my absenting myself the fifth, I was calculation of this kind to a much told in the course of the week, that a greater nicety, so that his expences and lady, the wife of a West India merchant his incuine were to form an exact bal- had publicly observed ---that the fup, sancehad he not urluckily forgot posed i bad very politely taken a trip the parfsn's tythes.----I loon found to 'to London, to pay my friends, the my coit, I had been guilty of a more milliner, mercer and mantua-maker a egregious blunder. Would you believe visit:--that what the creature had on, it Mr. Cenfor, I \ird totally forgot the, Sunday before was tolerable, and 'bat, in fome situations in life, it is might pass in a croud at church---bocorre indispensably neceflary to fa- but hoped the should not be disgraritice, very often healtli, but almost ced with such a figure at her next asalways more than can be well spared sembly. You may be sure, Mr. Cenof one': fortune, to what is called good lor, I was not a little piqued to find breeding and decorum; though the truth that a wardrobe which had brought of the matter is, that those who exact me off with flying colours not many this tribute to the fashions or follies 'months before at Bath, should be 10 of the age, know nothing of either out of taste at Hd, however, as for true politeness, and decent deport- 'I do not pretend to be free from the ment in Society, which I call decency, common foibles of our sex, of which reguires that most ofons-hould be the love of dress is, perhaps, the most