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No. 015 [from The Spectator]
by [?]

Aurelia, tho’ a Woman of Great Quality, delights in the Privacy of a Country Life, and passes away a great part of her Time in her own Walks and Gardens. Her Husband, who is her Bosom Friend and Companion in her Solitudes, has been in Love with her ever since he knew her. They both abound with good Sense, consummate Virtue, and a mutual Esteem; and are a perpetual Entertainment to one another. Their Family is under so regular an Oeconomy, in its Hours of Devotion and Repast, Employment and Diversion, that it looks like a little Common-Wealth within it self. They often go into Company, that they may return with the greater Delight to one another; and sometimes live in Town not to enjoy it so properly as to grow weary of it, that they may renew in themselves the Relish of a Country Life. By this means they are Happy in each other, beloved by their Children, adored by their Servants, and are become the Envy, or rather the Delight, of all that know them.

How different to this is the Life of Fulvia! she considers her Husband as her Steward, and looks upon Discretion and good House-Wifery, as little domestick Virtues, unbecoming a Woman of Quality. She thinks Life lost in her own Family, and fancies herself out of the World, when she is not in the Ring, the Play-House, or the Drawing-Room: She lives in a perpetual Motion of Body and Restlessness of Thought, and is never easie in any one Place, when she thinks there is more Company in another. The missing of an Opera the first Night, would be more afflicting to her than the Death of a Child. She pities all the valuable Part of her own Sex, and calls every Woman of a prudent modest retired Life, a poor-spirited, unpolished Creature. What a Mortification would it be to Fulvia, if she knew that her setting her self to View, is but exposing her self, and that she grows Contemptible by being Conspicuous.

I cannot conclude my Paper, without observing that Virgil has very finely touched upon this Female Passion for Dress and Show, in the Character of Camilla; who, tho’ she seems to have shaken off all the other Weaknesses of her Sex, is still described as a Woman in this Particular. The Poet tells us, that, after having made a great Slaughter of the Enemy, she unfortunately cast her Eye on a Trojan [who[1]] wore an embroidered Tunick, a beautiful Coat of Mail, with a Mantle of the finest Purple. A Golden Bow, says he, Hung upon his Shoulder; his Garment was buckled with a Golden Clasp, and his Head was covered with an Helmet of the same shining Mettle. The Amazon immediately singled out this well-dressed Warrior, being seized with a Woman’s Longing for the pretty Trappings that he was adorned with:

‘… Totumque incauta per agmen
Faemineo praedae et spoliorum ardebat amore.’

This heedless Pursuit after these glittering Trifles, the Poet (by a nice concealed Moral) represents to have been the Destruction of his Female Hero.


[Footnote 1: that]