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world that I am no pretender; but before I set out, I shall desire to have a patent for making of wings, and that none shall presume to fly, under pain of death, with wings of any other man's making. I intend to work for the court myself, and will have journeymen under me to furnish the rest of the nation. I likewise desire that I may have the sole teaching of quality, in which I shall spare neither time nor pains, till I have made them as expert as myself. I will fly with the women upon my back for the first fortnight. I shall appear at the next masquerade, dressed up in my feathers and plumage like an Indian prince, that the quality may see how pretty they will look in their travelling habits. You know, Sir, there is an unaccountable prejudice to projectors of all kinds; for which reason, when I talk of practising to fly, silly people think me an owl for my pains; but, Sir, you know better ́things. I need not enumerate to you the benefits which will accrue to the public from this invention; as how the roads of England will be saved when we travel through these new highways, and how all family accounts will be lessened in the article of coaches and horses, I need not mention posts and packet-boats, with many other conveniences of life, which will be supplied this way. In short, Sir, when mankind are in possession of this art, they will be able to do more business in three score and ten years, than they could do in a thousand by the methods now in
I therefore recommend myself and art to your patronage, and am,
“ Your most humble servant,
I have fully considered the project of these our modern Dædalists, and am resolved so far to discourage it , as to prevent any person from flying in my time. It would fill the world with innumerable immoralities, and give such occasions for intrigues, as people cannot meet with who have nothing but legs to carry them. You should have a couple of lovers make a VOL. IV.
midnight assignation upon the top of the monument, and see the cupola of St. Paul's covered with both sexes, like the outside of a pigeon-house. Nothing would be more frequent than to see a beau flying in at a garret window, or a gallant giving chase to his mistress, like a hawk after a lark. There would be no walking in a shady wood without springing a covey of toasts. The poor husband could not dream what was doing over his head: if he were jealous, indeed, he might clip his wife's wings; but what would this avail, when there were flocks of whore-masters perpetually hovering over his house? what concern would the father of a family be in all the time his daughter was upon the wing? Every heiress must have an old woman flying at her heels. In short, the whole air would be full of this kind of Gibier, as the French call it. I do allow, with my correspondent, that there would be much more business done than there is at present. However, should he apply for such a patent as he speaks of, I question not but there would be more petitions out of the city against it, than ever yet appeared against any other monopoly whatsoever. Every tradesman that cannot keep his wife a coach, could keep her a pair of wings; and there is no doubt but she would be every morning and evening taking the air with them.
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.
- Amphora cæpit Institui, currente rotá, cur urceus exit? 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.
GOOD MR. IRONSIDE, Cheapside, July 18. “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, forsooth, 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 weddingsuit 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-suit. 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 lordmayor's feast, that the sweet-meats 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
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 niy 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 persons of figure. After long experience in the world, and reflections upon mankind, I find one particular occasion of unhappy marriages, which, though very common, is not 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 holidaysuit, 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 controled 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
What still makes this 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 discreet 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 sort of man I am. If
you will take me with all my 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, 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,