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PAGE 2

No. 342 [from The Spectator]
by [?]

Now, Mr. SPECTATOR, would it not be a Work becoming your Office to treat this Criminal as she deserve[s]? You should give it the severest Reflections you can: You should tell Women, that they are more accountable for Behaviour in Absence than after Death. The Dead are not dishonour’d by their Levities; the Living may return, and be laugh’d at by empty Fops, who will not fail to turn into Ridicule the good Man who is so unseasonable as to be still alive, and come and spoil good Company.
I am, SIR,
your most Obedient Humble Servant.

All Strictness of Behaviour is so unmercifully laugh’d at in our Age, that the other much worse Extreme is the more common Folly. But let any Woman consider which of the two Offences an Husband would the more easily forgive, that of being less entertaining than she could to please Company, or raising the Desires of the whole Room to his disadvantage; and she will easily be able to form her Conduct. We have indeed carry’d Womens Characters too much into publick Life, and you shall see them now-a-days affect a sort of Fame: but I cannot help venturing to disoblige them for their Service, by telling them, that the utmost of a Woman’s Character is contained in Domestick Life; she is blameable or praiseworthy according as her Carriage affects the House of her Father or her Husband. All she has to do in this World, is contain’d within the Duties of a Daughter, a Sister, a Wife, and a Mother: All these may be well performed, tho a Lady should not be the very finest Woman at an Opera or an Assembly. They are likewise consistent with a moderate share of Wit, a plain Dress, and a modest Air. But when the very Brains of the Sex are turned, and they place their Ambition on Circumstances, wherein to excel is no addition to what is truly commendable, where can this end, but, as it frequently does, in their placing all their Industry, Pleasure and Ambition on things, which will naturally make the Gratifications of Life last, at best, no longer than Youth and good Fortune? And when we consider the least ill Consequence, it can be no less than looking on their own Condition as Years advance, with a disrelish of Life, and falling into Contempt of their own Persons, or being the Derision of others. But when they consider themselves as they ought, no other than an additional Part of the Species, (for their own Happiness and Comfort, as well as that of those for whom they were born) their Ambition to excel will be directed accordingly; and they will in no part of their Lives want Opportunities of being shining Ornaments to their Fathers, Husbands, Brothers, or Children.

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