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ADULTERERS in the first ages of the church
were excommunicated forever, and unqualified all their lives from bearing a part in Chriftian affemblies; notwithstanding they might feek it with tears, and all appearance of the moft unfeigned repentance. SPECTATOR, Vol. VIII. No. 579.
Late converfation which I fell into, gave me an opportunity of observing a great deal of beauty in a very handfome women, and as much wit in an ingenious man, turned into deformity in the one and abfurdity in the other, by the mere force of affectation. The fair one had something in her person, upon which her thoughts were fixed, that fhe attempted to fhew to advantage in every look, word, and gefture. The gentleman was as diligent to do juftice to his fine parts, as the lady to her beauteous form. You might fee his imagination on the ftrength to find out fomething uncommon, and what they call bright, to entertain her, while the writhed herself into as many different poftures to engage him. When the laughed, her lips were to fever at a greater diftance than ordinary, to fhew her teeth; her fan was to point at fomewhat at a distance, that in the reach fhe may difcover the roundness of her arm; then she is utterly mistaken in what fhe faw, falls back, fmiles at her own folly, and is fo wholly difcompofed, that her tucker is to be adjufted, her bofom expofed, and the whole woman put into new airs and graces. While fhe was doing all this, the gallant had time to think of fomething very pleasant to fay next to her, or make fome unkind obfervation on fome other lady, to feed her vanity. These unhappy effects of affectation naturally lead to that strange state of mind, which fo
generally difcolours the behaviour of moft people we meet with.
But this apparent affectation, arifing from illgoverned confcioufnefs, is not fo much to be wondered at in fuch loose and trivial minds as these; but when you fee it in characters of worth and diftinction, it is what you cannot but lament; it creeps into the heart of the wife man as well as that of the coxcomb. The best way to get clear of fuch a light fondness for applaufe, is to take all poffible care to throw off the love of it upon occafions that are not in themfelves laudable; of this nature are all graces in men's perfons, dress and bodily deportment, which will be naturally winning and attractive, if we think not of them, but lofe their force in proportion to our endeavour to make them fuch.
It is only from a thorough difregard to himself in' fuch particulars, that a man can act with a laudable fufficiency; his heart is fixed upon one point in view, and he commits no errors, because he thinks nothing an error but what deviates from that intention.
The wild havock affetation makes in that part of the world which fhould be moft polite, is vifible: It pushes men not only into impertinences in converfation, but alfo in their premeditated fpeeches; at the bar it torments the bench, and often afcends the pulpit itfelf; and the declaimer is frequently fo impertinently witty, fpeaks of the laft day with fo many quaint phrafes, that there is no man who understands raillery, but muft refolve to fin no more; nay, you may behold him fometimes in prayer, for a proper delivery of the great truths he his to utter, humble himself with fo well-turned a phrafe, and mention his own unworthinefs in a way fo very becoming, that the air of the pretty gentleman is preferved under the lowliness of the preacher. I fhall end this with a fhort letter I wrote the other day to a very witty man, over-run with the fault I am speaking of.
I spent fome time with you the other day, and muft
take the liberty of a friend to tell you of the unfufferable affectation you are guilty of in all you fay and do. When I gave you a hint of it, you asked me whether a man is to be cold to what his friends think of him? No; but praise is not to be the entertainment of every moment: he that hopes for it must be able to fufpend the poffeffion of it, till proper periods of life, or death itself; if you fhould not rather be commended than be praife-worthy, contemn little merits, and allow no man to be fo free with you as to praise you to your face. Your Vanity by this means will want its food. At the fame time your paffion for efteem will be more fully gratified, men will praise you in their actions; where you now receive one compliment, you will then receive twenty civilities; till then you will never have of either farther than, Sir, your humble Servant.
SPECTATOR, Vol. I. No. 38. R.
The great misfortune of affectation is, that men not only lofe a good quality, but also contract a bad one. They not only are unfit for what they were defigned, but they affign themselves to what they are unfit for; and, instead of making a very good figure one way, make a very ridiculous one another. If Semanthe would have been satisfied with her natural complexion, the might ftill have been celebrated by the name of the olive-beauty; but Semantha has taken up an affectation to white and red, and is now diftinguished by the character of the lady that paints well. In a word, could the world be reformed to the famed dictate, follow nature, which the oracle of Delphos pronounced to Cicero, when he confulted what courfe of ftudies he should purfue, we fhould fee almost every man as eminent in his proper fphere, as Tully was in his; and fhould in a very fhort time find impertinence and affectation banished
from among the women, and coxcombs and falfe characters from among the men. For my part I could never confider this prepofterous repugnancy to nature any otherwife, than not only as the greateft folly, but also one of the most henious crimes, fince it is a direct oppofition to the difpofition of Providence, and (as Tully expreffes it) like the fin of the giants, an actual rebellion against Heaven.
SPECTATOR, Vol. VI. No. 404.
WHEN labour was pronounced to be the portion
of men, that doom reached the affection of his mind as well as his person; the matter on which he was to feed, and all the animal and vegetable world about. him. There is therefore an affiduous care and cultivation to be bestowed upon our paffions and affec tions; for they are the excrefcences of our fouls, like our hair and beards, look horrid or becoming, as we cut or let them grow. This may be accounted for in the behaviour of Duumvir, the hufband and keepTen thousand follies had this unhappy man ef caped, had he made a compact with himself to be upon his guard, and not permitted his vagrant eye to let in fo many different inclinations upon him, as all his days he has been perplexed with; but indeed, at present, he has brought himself to be confined only to one prevailing mistress, between whom and his wife, Duumvir paffes his hours in all the viciffitudes which attend paffion and affection, without the intervention of reafon,-Laura his wife and Phillis his mistrefs, are all with whom he has had, for fome months, the leaft amorous commerce. Duumvir has paffed the noon of life, but cannot withdraw from those entertainments which are pardonable only before the ftage of our be ing, and which after that feafon are rather punishments than fatisfactions; for a palled appetite is hu-. mourous, and must be gratified with fauces rather than food. For which end Duumvir is provided with
a haughty, imperious, expensive, and fantastic miftrefs; to whom he retires from the converfation of an affable, humble, difcreet and affectionate wife. Laura receives him, after abfence, with an eafy and unaffected complacency; but that he calls infipid; Phillis rates him for his abfence, and bids him return from whence he came : this he calls fpirit and fire. Laura's gentlenefs is thought mean, Phellis's infolence fprightly. Were you to fee him at his own home, and his miftrefs's lodgings; to Phillis he appears an obfequious lover, to Laura an imperious maf
Nay, fo unjust is the taste of Duumvir, that he owns Laura has no ill quality, but that she is his wife ; Phillis no good one, but that fhe is his miftrefs; and he himself has often faid, were he married to any one elfe, he would rather keep Laura than any woman living; yet allow at the fame time, that Phillis, were the a woman of honour, would have been the most infipid animal breathing. In a word the affectionate part of his heart being corrupted, and his true tafte that way wholly loft, he has contracted a prejudice to all the behaviour of Laura, and a general partiality in favour of Phillis. There is fomething too melancholy in this circumftance to be the fubject of raillery. TATLER, Vol. II. No. 54.
TRUE affliction labours to be invisible; it is a
ftranger to ceremony, and bears in its own nature a dignity much above the little circumftances which are affected under the notion of decency.
SFECTATOR, Vol. II. No. 95. L.
It would be endlefs to enumerate the fantastical afflictions that disturb mankind; but as a mifery is not to be measured from the nature of an evil, but from the temper of the fufferer, I fhall prefent my readers, who are unhappy either in reality or imagin