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I have here only considered the ill consequences of this invention in the influences it would have on love affairs : I have many more objections to make on other accounts; but these I shall defer publishing till I see my friend astride the dragon.
No. 113. TUESDAY JULY 21.
- Amphora cæpit
I last night received a letter from an honest citizen, who, it seems, is in his honey-moon. It is written by a plain man on a plain subject, but has an air of good sense and natural honesty in it, which may, perhaps, please the public as much as myself. I shall not, therefore, scruple the giving it a place in my paper, which is designed for common use, and for the benefit of the poor as well as rich
Cheapside, July 18. "Good MR. IRONSIDE, "I HAVE lately married a very pretty body, who, being something younger and richer than myself, I was advised to go a wooing to her in a finer suit of clothes than I ever wore in my life; for I love to dress plain, and suitable to a man of my rank, However, I gained her heart by it. Upon the wedding-day, I put myself, according to custom, in another suit, fire-new, with silver buttons to it. I am so out of countenance among my neighbours, upon being so fine, that I heartily wish my clothes well worn out. I fancy every body observes me as I walk the street, and long to be in my old plain geer again. Besides, for sooth, they have put me in a silk night-gown and a gaudy fool's
cap, and make me now and then stand in the window with it. I am ashamed to be dandled thus, and cannot look in the glass without blushing to see myself turned into such a pretty little master. They tell me I must appear in my wedding-suit for the first month at least; after which I am resolved to come again to my every day's clothes, for at present every day is Sunday with me. Now, in my mind, Mr. Ironside, this is the wrongest way of proceeding in the world. When a man's person is new and unaccustomed to a young body, he does not want any thing else to set him off. The novelty of the lover has more charms than a wedding-snit. I should think, therefore, that a man should keep his finery for the latter seasons of marriage, and not begin to dress till the honey-moon is over. I have observed, at a Iord-mayor's feast, that the sweetmeats do not make their appearance until people are cloyed with beef and mutton, and begin to lose their stomachs. But, instead of this, we serve up delicacies to our guests when their appetites are keen, and coarse diet when their bellies are full. As bad as I hate my silver-buttoned coat and silk night-gown, I am afraid of leaving them off, not knowing whether my wife won't repent of her marriage when she sees what a plain man she has to her husband. Pray, Mr. Ironside, write something to prepare her for it, and let me know whether you think she can ever love me in a hair button.
"I am, &c.
" P. S. I forgot to tell you of my white gloves, which they say, too, I must wear all the first month."
My correspondent's observations are very just, and may be useful in low life; but to turn them to the advantage of people in higher stations, I shall raise the moral, and observe something parallel to the wooing and wedding-suit, in the behaviour of per
sons of figure. After long experience in the world, and reflections upon mankind, I find one particular occasion of unhappy mar. riages, which, though very common, is not very much attended to. What I mean is this. Every man in the time of courtship, and in the first entrance of marriage, puts on a behaviour like my correspondent's holiday-suit, which is to last no longer than till he is settled in the possession of his mistress. He resigns his inclinations and understanding to her humour and opinion. He neither loves, nor hates, nor talks, nor thinks in contradiction to her. He is controlled by a nod, mortified by a frown, and transported by a smile. The poor young lady falls in love with this supple creature, and expects of him the same behaviour for life. In a little time she finds that he has a will of his own, that he pretends to dislike what she approves, and that instead of treating her like a goddess, he uses her like a woman. What still makes the misfortune worse, we find the most abject flatterers degenerate into the greatest tyrants. This naturally fills the spouse with sullenness and discontent, spleen and vapour, which, with a little discrect management, make a very comfortable marriage. I very much approve of my friend Tom Truelove in this particular. Tom made love to a woman of sense, and always treated her as such during the whole time of courtship. His natural temper and good breeding hindered him from doing any thing disagreeable, as his sincerity and frankness of behaviour made him converse with her, before marriage, in the same manner he intended to continue to do afterwards. Tom would often tell her, ' Madam, you see what a sort of man I am. If you will take me with all
faults about me, I promise to mend rather than grow worse.' I remember Tom was once hinting his dislike of some little trifle his mistress had said or done ; upon which she asked him how he would talk to her after marriage, if he talked at this rate before ? 'No,
* Better strike out-to continue,
madam, (says Tom) I mention this now, because you are at your own disposal, were you at mine, I should be too generous to do it.' In short, Tom succeeded, and has ever since been better. than his word. The lady has been disappointed on the right-side, and has found nothing more disagreeable in the husband than she discovered in the lover.
No. 114. WEDNESDAY, JULY 22.
Alveos accipite, ceris opus ipfundite.
I THINK myself obliged to acquaint the qublic, that the lion's head, of which I advertised them about a fortnight ago, is now erected at Button's coffee-house, in Russel-street, Covent-garden, where it opens its mouth at all hours for the reception of such in. telligence as shall be thrown into it. It is reckoned an excellent piece of workmanship, and was designed by a great hand in imitation of the antique Egyptian lion, the face of it being compounded out of that of a lion and a wizard. The features are strong and well furrowed. The whiskers are admired by all that have seen them. It is planted on the western side of the coffee-house, holding its paws under the chin upon a box, which contains every thing that he swallows. He is, indeed, a proper emblem of Knowledge and Action, being all head and paws.
I need not acquaint my readers, that my lion, like a moth or book-worm, feeds upon nothing but paper, and shall only beg of them to diet him with wholesome and substantial food. I must, therefore, desire, that they will not gorge him either with nonsense or obscenity; and must likewise insist, that his mouth be
not defiled with scandal, for I would not make use of him to revile the human species, and satirize those who are his betters. I shall not suffer him to worry any man's reputation, nor, indeed, fall on any person whatsoever, such only excepted as disgrace the name of this generous animal, and under the title of lions, contrive the ruin of their fellow-subjects. I must desire likewise, that intriguers will not make a pimp of my lion, and by his means convey their thoughts to one another. Those who are read in the history of the popes, observe that the Leos have been the best, and the Innocents the worst of that species, and I hope that I shall not be thought to derogate from my lion's character, by representing him as such a peaceable, good-natured, well-designing beast.
I intend to publish once every week, the Roarings of the Lion, and hope to make him roar so loud as to be heard over all the British nation.
If my correspondents will do their parts in prompting him, and supplying him with suitable provision, I question not but the lion's head will be reckoned the best head in England.
There is a notion generally received in the world, that a lion is a dangerous creature to all women who are not virgins, which may have given occasion to a foolish report, that my lion's jaws are so contrived as to snap the hands of any of the female sex, who are not thus qualified to approach it with safety. I shall not spend much time in exposing the falsity of this report, which, I believe, will not weigh any thing with women of sense : I shall only say, that there is not one of the sex in all the neighbourhood of Covent-garden, who may not put her hand in the mouth with the same security as if she were a vestal. However, that the ladies may not be deterred from corresponding with me by this method, I must acquaint them, that the coffee man has a little daughter of about four years old, who has been virtuously