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The C-E NO R. 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 so I be- nent reputation so allaring; whether lieve no rober, considerate unpreju. "it be owing to a false timidity which diced person, will deny the charge. despairs of imitating to bright an exThe next thing then to be considered ample, or to fonie 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 pof-, Probably the same obstacles which disfile 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 lifhes-his--works in a volume;" days failed of producing this falutary effect, the Spectator, " has an infinite ad. either through the irregularity of the vantage over one who communicates lives of the clergy, or the levity and his writings to the world in loole 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. under the direction of discreet and vohume, till after fome heavy preamble, charte managerspatronized by vir- and several words of course, to pretuous and honest ftatelnien. In this pare the reader for what follows Situation of the THEATRE, the mo. Nay, authors have established it as a ral tendency of the tragic feene, kind of rule, that a man ought to be and the polite, decent, lively humour dull sometimes, as the most severe reaof the comic mute-kepe public virtue, der makes 'allowances for many rests integrity of manners, and good breed and nodding places in a voluininous ing in countenance. But an impartial writer-On the contrary, those who Tetrospect on the conduct of our ma. publish their thoughts in diftinct nagers, of late years, and a candid Meets, and as it were by pece meals inquiry into the present Itate of our have none of those advantages. We theatricat exhibitions will soon con. mutt 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 ro vitiated, that such entertainments close togetler 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 exInend the inanners of the people. pecter 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 dat, there is writers of morality prescribe to their nothing nerv under the fun. Revolu. readers, after the calenical 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 Ejiay-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 notwithitanding the diffi. their first progreffion towards perfec- culty of fornithing out feparate papers tion, or degeneracy. To the reigning of this nature he contestes his amazevices, foliies, and indecoruins of the ment, that the press in his time should four last years of Queen Anne, we are only lie made ute of in this way, by indebted for that incomparable work, news-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 firft pub- ous to mankind to be inttructed in ·lication the high reputation it has wifilom and virtue; than in polities, since acquired and still preserves thews, and to be inade good fothers, husband', vhit may be expected from writings and jons, than councellors and Haters cf this cast: yet though the motive is men. How exactly does this descrip10 laudable--being uo lets than that tion of the miscellaneous productions of
Maria's Letter to the Censor.
5. the press fuit the present times ! So ea. rogate to himfelf any claim to fimiger are men after the trifling politics, Jar 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 pleature to find that some month together) of ingenious sprightly, of his former papers have produced elays on interefting subjects, and the the reformations they were written to warın altercations of the leaders of etfect--they have likewise gained him a contending parties, in a certain assem- number of relpectable correspondents, bly, where nothing should pals, incon- of both sexes, whole letters will afford fiftent with the stricteft rules of mode. a fund of inprovement and enterration, politeness, and decorum, fill tainment to his readers, and keep his up ineft of our monthly, and other pe- design on foot, at lealt, 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 refal and entertaining papers on natu- formati in by means of the press, will ral philofophy, history and the belles- perhaps appear to my readers ftill more letters.
urgent on the perufal of the following To correct, in some degree, this letter, which I' thall give to the pube prevailing error, and in humble imita- lic in the drels I received it, without tion of the design of the SPECTATOR, further comment or remark, concludthe CENSOR, in the years 1769 and ing it cannot fail of being acceptable, 1770, took courage to attack some of as it delineates the portraits of living the glaring vices and follies which are characters, and relates to familiar occountenanced and practised in this currences, from which practical innkingdom, by perfons of every deno. Provement may be collected. mination. Far be it from him to ar.
Y a is
cere esteem for the ladies, and That to be hated, needs but to be a desire to contribute by your useful seen, papers, to their ease, happiness, and Yet leen too oft, familiar with her real advantage, in virtue of which de- face claration, I venture to address myself We firit endure, then pity, then ento you on my very critical and indeed brace. inconvenient situation in life, but be. fore I proceed to particulars, give me In no instance whatever does this fine leave to acquaint you that I have been description of the gradual steps from a great reader, the confequence of trivial errors to conħrmed vicious hawhich is, that I have acquired an bits so strongly appear, as in the air habit of placing at the head of all my luring, fashionable vice of gaming. I letters to ingenious persons, especially am aware, Sir, that this subject is itale, when they are on important subjects, that it has exbaufed tie sentiments some apt quotation from one of my and worn out the pens of writers of favourite authors, and of this number the first reputation long lince, yet the is the celebrated Mr. Pope, from practice of that odious vice not only whom I have borrowed the following continues, but daily gains ground. lines, as a suitable introduction to the But at the faine time, Mr. Cenius, my main bufiueís of my epistle.
memory furnithes 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 some 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 ther, 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 her young ladies to å in the most critical circumstance of a card assembly, before she had taught woman's life---the choice of an huf. them the first rudiments of useful know. band : nor had I any reason to repent ledge; 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 unito tell my own stury. Without fur- on completely happy---and now Sir, ther preface then Sir, I am to acquaint I must halten 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...alltionate parents, gave me an early re. submitted, within a short space of time lith for society, 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 afflicted, but tend the acquíring of this knowledge not a difconfolate widow--for I had by experience.--for though iny actions imbibed from a religious education, were not tied down by the severest fuch 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 fuch wholesome ad- ing the dread decrees of the deityvice and gentle admonitions were oc- and I had drawn so much philofophy casionally given me, and my fteps so out of my tudy into common life, as circumspectiy, yet so discreetly watched, furnished me with fortitude to resist 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 necesity 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 fense of my misconduct by maternal indigent and afflicted ; in whose hands persuasion on the one hand, or sound a trust was reposed, with whom was rational argument on the other. In a depofited 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 sorry to say it, is the ap- of adminiftring 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 lets moment, bad mic live, other. conduct of their sons and daughters, wise I might have followed some of from the time of their leaving school, the bright but deluding examples of to that of their setling in life- antiquity-for in the partner of my “ Cutring 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 furvives !---and only wishes not to venture the chance of drawing the sequel of her history could prelent a blank in the lottery of marriage, her as unblameable in her conduct, after having had the fortune to gain as the 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 consolation, next to my freely confess to you, that though I children, and indeed my only amule. was 'married to a gentleman whom I ment for some time, during the necef- esteemed the most accomplithed of his fary absences which their education fex, I experienced that there is no fixed required, was my library–for I kad principie 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, rect 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 I thould take a journey to Bath those 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 focial 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 çularity 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-o falutary when most popular villages to the North of moderately used--and fo pernicious London, equally well known for its when carried to excess contributed healthy ftuation, and for the infolent, 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 accomplihed, my fitua- 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 some few of Heaver- -Sut these gentry make you of those decent, rational proposals pay very dear for its puré falubrious which single 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 ipot the year round, I pounds per annum—is a penfion for concluded I thould be conlidered 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, fo. fhort fighted is human wisdomwhich foon determined me to quit the and so forlorn a defenceless wonan !
Maria's Letter to the Cenfor. . thrown upon the wide world without teazed into actions inconsistent with a faithfu: 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 sons of men -Though I did obliged in the present tines, cither to siot fall at once into a general circle ut ourselves up from society, or to of acquaintaince and fatigue myself for keep company with persons greatly the first two months with returning our inferiors in point of education and the visits I had received, yet having as rank. The real gentlewoman must de carefully 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 lowett class, 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 clases of commerce ' footing of an agreeable 'neighbour by of her equals, or her superiors--a few telect 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 Social plea. hier finances, or quit the field in diffure, and some compensation for the grace.--the subject of calumny and redenial put upon my natural turn for proach. To such a pass is arrived the converting more with the dead than dissipation 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 rown 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 clecent @cono fy and generally carried to church, as a marregularity as I thought would make ket where they are not to be fold, my expences 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 honest presbyterian gentleman in Esex, different dress every Sunçlay--and on who a few year's fince 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 inicery, so that his expences and lady, the wife of a West India merchant his incuine were to form an exact Lal- had publicly observed that the fupdüncehad he not unluckily forgot posed i bad very politely taken a trip the parlin'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 liu totuilly: Forgot the, Sundaybefore was tolerable, and itbit, in some situations in life, it is might pars in a croud at church ---bocoire indispensably necetary to fa- but hoped the should not be disgracritice, very often health, but almost ced with such a figure at her next alalways more than can be 'well (pared fembly. You may be sure, Mr. Cenof one's 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 lie 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 to 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 requires that no gerfors-mould be the love of dress is, perhaps, the most