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No. 359 [from The Spectator]
by [?]

I then courted a second Widow, and am at a Loss to this day how I came to miss her, for she had often commended my Person and Behaviour. Her Maid indeed told me one Day, that her Mistress had said she never saw a Gentleman with such a Spindle Pair of Legs as Mr. HONEYCOMB.

After this I laid Siege to four Heiresses successively, and being a handsome young Dog in those Days, quickly made a Breach in their Hearts; but I don’t know how it came to pass, tho I seldom failed of getting the Daughter’s Consent, I could never in my Life get the old People on my side.

I could give you an Account of a thousand other unsuccessful Attempts, particularly of one which I made some Years since upon an old Woman, whom I had certainly borne away with flying Colours, if her Relations had not come pouring in to her Assistance from all Parts of England; nay, I believe I should have got her at last, had not she been carried off by an hard Frost.

As WILL’S Transitions are extremely quick, he turnd from Sir ROGER, and applying himself to me, told me there was a Passage in the Book I had considered last Saturday, which deserved to be writ in Letters of Gold; and taking out a Pocket-Milton read the following Lines, which are Part of one of Adam’s Speeches to Eve after the Fall.

–O! why did our
Creator wise! that peopled highest Heav’n
With Spirits masculine, create at last
This Novelty on Earth, this fair Defect
Of Nature? and not fill the World at once
With Men, as Angels, without Feminine?
Or find some other way to generate
Mankind? This Mischief had not then befall’n,
And more that shall befall; innumerable
Disturbances on Earth through Female Snares,
And strait Conjunction with this Sex: for either
He never shall find out fit Mate, but such
As some misfortune brings him, or mistake;
Or, whom he wishes most, shall seldom gain
Through her perverseness; but shall see her gain’d
By a far worse; or if she love, with-held
By Parents; or his happiest Choice too late
Shall meet already link’d, and Wedlock bound
To a fell Adversary, his Hate or Shame;
Which infinite Calamity shall cause
To human Life, and Household Peace confound. [1]

Sir ROGER listened to this Passage with great Attention, and desiring Mr. HONEYCOMB to fold down a Leaf at the Place, and lend him his Book, the Knight put it up in his Pocket, and told us that he would read over those Verses again before he went to Bed.


[Footnote 1: Paradise Lost, Bk x., ll 898-908.]