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of a choleric Gentleman ..
Characters of Mankind
N° 515. TUESDAY, OCT. 21, 1712.
Pudet me et miseret, qui harum mores cantabat mihi,
TER. Heaut. Act ii. Sc. 3. I am ashamed and grieved, that I neglected his advice, who
gave me the character of these creatures.
I AM obliged to you for printing the account
lately sent you of a coquette who disturbed a sober congregation in the city of London. That intelligence ended at her taking a coach, and bidding the driver go where he knew. I could not leave her so, but dogged her, as hard as she drove, to Paul's church-yard, where there was a stop of coaches attending company coming out of the cathedral. This gave me an opportunity to hold up a crown to her coachman, who gave me the signal, that he would hurry on, and make no haste, as you know the way is when they favour a chase. By his many
kind blunders, driving against other coaches, and slipping off some of his tackle, I could keep up with him, and lodged my fine lady in the parish of St. James's. As I guessed, when I first saw her at church, her busi
ness is to win hearts, and throw them away, regarding nothing but the triumph. I have had the happiness, by tracing her through all with whom I heard she was acquainted, to find one who was intimate with a friend of mine, and to be introduced to her notice. I have made so good a use of my time, as to procure from that intimate of hers one of her letters, which she writ to her when in the country. This epistle of her own may serve to alarm the world against her in ordinary life, as mine, I hope, did those who shall behold her at church. The letter was written last winter to the lady who gave it me; and I doubt not but you will find it the soul of an happy self-loving dame, that takes all the admiration she can meet with, and returns none of it in love to her admirers.
“ I am glad to find you are likely to be disposed of in marriage so much to your approbation, as you tell me. You say you are afraid only of me,
for I shall laugh at your spouse's airs. I beg of you not to fear it, for I am too nice a discerner to laugh at any, but whom most other peeple think fine fellows; that
your dear may bring you hither as soon as his horses are in case enough to appear in town, and you be very safe against any raillery you may apprehend from me; for I am surrounded with coxcombs of my own making, who are all ridiculous in a manner wherein your good man, I
presume, cannot exert himself. As men who cannot raise their fortunes, and are uneasy under the incapacity of shining in courts, rail at ambition; so do awkward and insipid women, who cannot. warm the hearts, and charm the
eyes of men, rail at affectation; but she that has the joy of seeing a man's heart leap into his eyes at beholding her, is in no pain for want of
esteem among the crew of that part of her own sex, who have no spirit but that of envy, and no language but that of malice. I do not in this, I hope, express myself insensible of the merit of Leodacia, who lowers her beauty to all but her husband, and never spreads her charms but to gladden him who has a right to
I do honour to those who can be coquettes, and are not such; but I despise all who would be so, and, in despair of arriving at it themselves, hate and vilify all those who can. But be that as it will, in answer to your desire of knowing my history: one of my chief present pleasures is in country-dances; and in obedience to me, as well as the pleasure of coming up to me with a good grace, showing themselves in their address to others in my presence, and the like opportunities, they are al proficients that way; and I had the happiness of being the other night where we made six couple, and every woman's partner a professed lover of mine. The wildest imagination cannot form to itself, on any occasion, higher delight than I acknowledge myself to have been in all that evening. I chose out of my admirers a set of men who must love and
gave them partners of such of my own sex who most en,
“ My way is, when any man who is my admirer pretends to give himself airs of merit, as at this time a certain gentleman you know did, to mortify him by favouring in his presence the most insignificant crea ture I can find. At this ball I was led into the company by pretty Mr. Fanfly, who, you know, is the most obsequious, well shaped, well bred woman's man in the town. I at first entrance declared him my partner if I danced at all; which put the whole assembly into a grin, as forming no terrors from such a rival. But we had not been long in the room before I overheard the meritorious gentleman above