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No. 156 [from The Spectator]
by [?]

To make a Woman’s Man, he must not be a Man of Sense, or a Fool; the Business is to entertain, and it is much better to have a Faculty of arguing, than a Capacity of judging right. But the pleasantest of all the Womens Equipage are your regular Visitants; these are Volunteers in their Service, without Hopes of Pay or Preferment; It is enough that they can lead out from a publick Place, that they are admitted on a publick Day, and can be allowed to pass away part of that heavy Load, their Time, in the Company of the Fair. But commend me above all others to those who are known for your Ruiners of Ladies; these are the choicest Spirits which our Age produces. We have several of these irresistible Gentlemen among us when the Company is in Town. These Fellows are accomplished with the Knowledge of the ordinary Occurrences about Court and Town, have that sort of good Breeding which is exclusive of all Morality, and consists only in being publickly decent, privately dissolute.

It is wonderful how far a fond Opinion of herself can carry a Woman, to make her have the least Regard to a professed known Woman’s Man: But as scarce one of all the Women who are in the Tour of Gallantries ever hears any thing of what is the common Sense of sober Minds, but are entertained with a continual Round of Flatteries, they cannot be Mistresses of themselves enough to make Arguments for their own Conduct from the Behaviour of these Men to others. It is so far otherwise, that a general Fame for Falshood in this kind, is a Recommendation: and the Coxcomb, loaded with the Favours of many others, is received like a Victor that disdains his Trophies, to be a Victim to the present Charmer.

If you see a Man more full of Gesture than ordinary in a publick Assembly, if loud upon no Occasion, if negligent of the Company round him, and yet laying wait for destroying by that Negligence, you may take it for granted that he has ruined many a Fair One. The Woman’s Man expresses himself wholly in that Motion which we call Strutting: An elevated Chest, a pinched Hat, a measurable Step, and a sly surveying Eye, are the Marks of him. Now and then you see a Gentleman with all these Accomplishments; but alas, any one of them is enough to undo Thousands: When a Gentleman with such Perfections adds to it suitable Learning, there should be publick Warning of his Residence in Town, that we may remove our Wives and Daughters. It happens sometimes that such a fine Man has read all the Miscellany Poems, a few of our Comedies, and has the Translation of Ovid’s Epistles by Heart. Oh if it were possible that such a one could be as true as he is charming! but that is too much, the Women will share such a dear false Man:

‘A little Gallantry to hear him Talk one would indulge one’s self in, let him reckon the Sticks of one’s Fan, say something of the Cupids in it, and then call one so many soft Names which a Man of his Learning has at his Fingers Ends. There sure is some Excuse for Frailty, when attacked by such a Force against a weak Woman.’

Such is the Soliloquy of many a Lady one might name, at the sight of one of these who makes it no Iniquity to go on from Day to Day in the Sin of Woman-Slaughter.

It is certain that People are got into a Way of Affectation, with a manner of overlooking the most solid Virtues, and admiring the most trivial Excellencies. The Woman is so far from expecting to be contemned for being a very injudicious silly Animal, that while she can preserve her Features and her Mein, she knows she is still the Object of Desire; and there is a sort of secret Ambition, from reading frivolous Books, and keeping as frivolous Company, each side to be amiable in Imperfection, and arrive at the Characters of the Dear Deceiver and the Perjured Fair. [1]


[Footnote 1: To this number is appended the following


Mr. SPECTATOR gives his most humble Service
to Mr. R. M. of Chippenham in Wilts,
and hath received the Patridges.]