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self in proportion with the neck.
But I may possibly take another occasion of handling this extremity, it being my design to keep a watchful eye over every part of the female sex, and to regulate them from head to foot. In the mean time I shall fill up my paper with a letter which comes to me from another of my obliged correspondents.
DEAR GUARDEE, “This comes to you from one of those untuckered ladies whom you were so sharp upon on Monday was se'nnight. I think myself mightily beholden to you for the reprehension you then gave us. You must know I am a famous olive beauty. But though this complexion makes a very good face, when there are a couple of black, sparkling eyes set in it, it makes but a very indifferent neck. Your fair women therefore thought of this fashion to insult the olives and the brunetts. They know very well that a neck of ivory does not make so fine a show as one of alabaster. It is for this reason, Mr. Ironside, that they are so liberal in their discoveries. We know very well, that a woman, of the whitest neck in the world, is to you no more than a woman of snow; but Ovid, in Mr. Duke's translation of him, seems to look upon it with another eye, when he talks of Corinna, and mentions
Her heaving breast, Courting the hand, and suing to be prest. “Women of my complexion ought to be more modest, especially since our faces debar us from all artificial whitenings. Could you examine many of these ladies who present you with such beautiful snowy chests, you would find that they are not all of a piece Good Father Nestor, do not let us alone till you have shortened our necks, and reduced them to their ancient standard. “I am your most obliged humble servant,
I shall have a just regard to Olivia's remonstrance, though at the same time I cannot but observe that her modesty seems to be entirely the result of her complexion.
No. 110. FRIDAY, JULY 17,
Non ego paucis
Нов. . Tue candour which Horace shows in the motto of my paper, is that which distinguishes a critic from a caviller. He declares that he is not offended with those little faults in a poetical composition, which may be imputed to inadvertency, or to the imperfection of human nature. The truth of it is, there can be no more a perfect work in the world than a perfect man. To say of a celebrated piece that there are faults in it, is in effect to say no more, than that the author of it was a man, For this reason, I consider every critic that attacks an author in high reputation as the slave in the Roman triumph, who was to call out to the conqueror, “ Remember, Sir, that you are a man. I speak this in relation to the following letter, which criticises the works of a great poet, whose very faults have more beauty in them than the most elaborate compositions of many more correct writers. The remarks are yery curious and just, and introduced by a compliment to the work of an author, who I am sure would not care for being praised at the expence of angther's reputation. I must therefore desire my correspondent to excuse me, if I do not publish either the preface or conclusion of his letter, but only the critical part of it.
“Our tragedy writers have been notoriously defective in giving proper sentiments to the persons they introduce. Nothing is more common than to hear a heathen talking of angels and devils, the joys of heaven and the pains of hell, according to the Christian system. Lee's Alexander discovers himself to be a Cartesian in the first page of Oedipus.
The sun's sick too,
Shortly he'll be an earth “ As Dryden's Cleomenes is acquainted with the Copernican hypothesis two thousand years before its invention.
I am pleas'd with my own work; Jove was not more
Along the vast abyss“ I have now Mr. Dryden's Don Sebastian before me, in which I find frequent allusions to ancient history, and the old mythology of the heathen. It is not very natural to suppose a king of Portugal would be borrowing thoughts out of Ovid's Metamorphoses when he talked even to those of his own court, but to allude to these Roman fables when he talks to an emperor of Barbary, seems very extraordinary. But observe him how he defies him out of the classics in the following lines :
Why didst thou not engage me man to man,
To stare me into statue ? Almeyda at the same time is more book-learned than Don Sebastian. She plays a Hydra upon the emperor that is full as good as the Gorgon.
O that I had the fruitful heads of Hydra,
Still would I give thee work, still, still, thou tyrant,
And hiss thee with the lastShe afterwards, in allusion to Hercules, bids him "lay down the lion's skin, and take the distaff;' and in the following speech utters her passion still more learnedly.
No, were we join'd, ev'n though it were in death,
And my divided fame should break from thine. “The Emperor of Barbary shows himself acquainted with the Roman poets as well as either of his prisoners, and answers the foregoing speech in the same classic strain.
Serpent, I will engender poison with thee.
Shall issue arm’d, and fight themselves to death. “Ovid seems to have been Muley Molock’s favourite author, witness the lines that follow:
She's still inexorable, still imperious
And loud, as if, like Bacchus, born in thunder. “I shall conclude my remarks on his part, with that poetical complaint of his being in love, and leave my reader to consider how prettily it would sound in the mouth of an emperor of Morocco.
The god of Love once more has shot his fires
my whole heart receives him. “Muley Zeydan is as ingenious a man as his brother Muley Molock; as where he hints at the story of Castor and Pollux.
-May we ne'er meet!
He gallops down the skies “As for the Mufti, we will suppose that he was bred up a scholar, and not only versed in the law of Mahomet, but acquainted with all kinds of polite learning. For this reason he is not at all surprised when Dorax calls him a Phaeton in one place, and in another tells him he is like Archimedes.
“The Mufti afterwards mentions Ximenes, Albornoz, and Cardinal Wolsey, by name. The poet seems to think he may make every person, in his play, know as much as himself, and talk as well as he could have done on the same occasion. At least I believe every reader will agree with me, that the above-mentioned sentiments, to which I might have added several others, would have been better suited to the court of Augustus than that of Muley Molock. I grant they are beautiful in themselves, and much more so in that noble language which was peculiar to this great poet. I only observe that they are improper for the persons who make use of them. Dryden is, indeed, generally wrong in his sentiments. Let any one read the dialogue between Octavia and Cleopatra, and he will be amazed to hear a Roman lady's mouth filled with such obscene raillery. If the virtuous Octavia departs from her character, the loose Dolabella is no less inconsistent with himself, when, all of a sudden, he drops the Pagan, and talks in the sentiments of revealed religion.
Heav'n has but
"I might show several faults of the same nature in the celebrated Aurenge-Zebe. The impropriety of thoughts in the speeches of the great Mogul and his empress has been generally censured. Take the sentiments out of the shining dress of words, and they would be too coarse for a scene in Billingsgate.
"I am, &c."