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N 212. THURSDAY, AUGUST 17, 1710.

From my own Apartment, August 16. I HAVE had much importunity to answer the following letter:

- MR. BICKERSTAFF,

Reading over a volume of yours, I find the words Simpler Munditiis mentioned as a description of a very well-dressed woman.

I beg of you, for the sake of the sex, to explain these terms. I cannot comprehend what my brother means, when he tells me, they signify my own name, which is, Sir, Your humble servant,

PLAIN ENGLISH." I think the lady's brother has given us a very good idea of that elegant expression; it being the greatest beauty of speech to be close and intelligible. To this end, nothing is to be more carefully consulted than plainness. In a lady's attire this is the single excellence; for to be, what some people call, fine, is the same vice in that case, as to be florid, is in writing or speaking I have studied and writ on this important subject, until I almost despair of making a reformation in the females of this island; where we have more beauty than in any spot in the universe, if we did not disguise it by false garniture, and detract from it by impertinent improvements. I have by me a treatise concerning pinners, which, I have some hopes, will contribute to the amendment of the present head-dresses, to which I have solid and unanswerable objections. But most of the errors in that, and other particulars of adorning the head, are crept into the world from the ignorance of modern tirewomen ; for it is come to that pass, that an aukward creature in the first year of her apprenticeship, that can hardly stick a pin, shall take upon her to dress a woman of the first quality. However, it is certain, that there requires in a good tirewoman a perfect skill in optics; for all the force of ornament is to contribute to the intention of the eyes. Thus she, who has a mind to look killing, must arm her face accordingly, and not leave her eyes and cheeks undressed. There is Araminta, who is so sensible of this, that she never will see even her own husband, without a hood on. Can any one living bear to see Miss Gruel, lean as she is, with her hair tied back after the modern way? But such is the folly of our ladies, that because one who is a beauty, out of ostentation of her being such, takes care to wear something that she knows cannot be of

any consequence to her complexion ; I say, our women run on so heedlessly in the fashion, that though it is the interest of some to hide as much of their faces as possible, yet because a leading Toast appeared with a backward head-dress, the rest shall follow the mode, without observing that the author of the fashion assumed it because it could become no one but herself.

Flavia * is ever well-dressed, and always the genteelest woman you meet: but the nake of her mind very much contributes to the ornament of her body. She has the greatest simplicity of manners, of any of her sex. This makes every thing look

Mrs. Aan Oldfield, the actress.

native about ' her, and her cloaths are só exactly fitted, that they appear, as it were, part of her person. Every one that sees her knows her to be of quality ; but her distinction is owing to her manner, and not to her habit. Her beauty is full of attraction, but not of allurement. There is such a composure in her looks, and propriety in her dress, that you would think it impossible she should change the garb, you one day see her in, for any thing so becoming, until you next day see her in another. There is no other mystery in this, but that however she is apparelled, she is herself the same : for there is so immediate a relation between our thoughts and gestures, that a woman must think well to look well.

But this weighty subject I must put off for some other matters, in which my correspondents are urgent for answers ; which I shall do where I can, and appeal to the judgment of others where I cannot.

- MR. BECKERSTAFF, August 15, 1750.

Taking the air the other day on horseback in the

green lane that leads to Southgate, I discovered coming towards me a person well mounted in a mask: and I accordingly expected, as any one would, to have been robbed. But when we came up with each other, the spark, to iny greater surprize, very peaceably gave me the way; which made me take courage enough to ask hiin, if he masqueraded, or how ? He made me no answer, but still continued incognito. This was certainly an ass, in a lion's skin; a harınless bull-beggar, who delights to fright innocent people, and set them a galloping. I bethought myself of putting as good a jest upon him, and had turned my horse, with a VOL. V.

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design to pursue him to London, and get him apprehended, on suspicion of being a highwayman: but when I reflected, that it was the proper office of the magistrate to punish only knaves, and that we had a Censor of Great-Britain for people of another denomination, I immediately determined to prosecute him in your court only. This unjustifiable frolic I take to be neither wit nor humour, therefore hope you will do me, and as many others as were that day frighted, justice. I am, Sir, Your friend and servant,

J. L

« SIR,

“ The gentleman begs your pardon, and frighted you out of fear of frighting you; for he is just come out of the small-pox."

“ MR. BICKERSTAFF, Your distinction concerning the time of commencing virgins is allowed to be just. I write you my thanks for it, in the twenty-eighth year of my life, and twelfth of my virginity. But I am to ask you another question : may a woman be said to live any more years a maid, than she continues to be courted ?

&c." * Sir,

August 15, 1710. “ I observe that the Postman of Saturday last, giving an account of the action in Spain, has this elegant turn of expression ; general Stanhope, who in the whole action expressed as much bravery as conduct, received a contusion in his right shoulder. I should be glad to know, whether this cautious politician means to commend or to rally

I am,

him, by saying, He expressed as much bravery as conduct? If you can explain this dubious phrase, it will inform the public, and oblige, Sir,

Your humble servant, &c."

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N° 213. SATURDAY, AUGUST 19, 1710.

Sheer-lane, August 18. THERE has of late crept in among the downright English a mighty spirit of dissimulation. But, before we discourse of this vice, it will be necessary to observe, that the learned make a difference between simulation and dissimulation. Simulation is a pretence of what is not, and dissimulation is a concealment of what is. The latter is our present affair. When you look round you in public places in this island, you see the generality of mankind carry in their countenance an air of challenge or defiance; and there is no such man to be found among us, who naturally strives to do greater honours and civilities than he receives. This innate sullenness or stubbornness of complexion is hardly to be conquered by any of our is anders. For which reason, however they may pretend to chouse one another, they make but very aukward rogues; and their dislike to each other is seldom so well dissembled, but it is suspected. When once it is so, it had as good be professed. A man who dissembles well must have none of what we call stomach, otherwise he will be cold in his professions of good-will where he hates; an imperfection of the last ill consequence

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