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No. 176 [from The Spectator]
by [?]

These are the Toils in which I am taken, and I carry off my Servitude as well as most Men; but my Application to you is in Behalf of the Hen-peckt in general, and I desire a Dissertation from you in Defence of us. You have, as I am informed, very good Authorities in our Favour, and hope you will not omit the mention of the Renowned Socrates, and his Philosophick Resignation to his Wife Xantippe. This would be a very good Office to the World in general, for the Hen-peckt are powerful in their Quality and Numbers, not only in Cities but in Courts; in the latter they are ever the most obsequious, in the former the most wealthy of all Men. When you have considered Wedlock throughly, you ought to enter into the Suburbs of Matrimony, and give us an Account of the Thraldom of kind Keepers and irresolute Lovers; the Keepers who cannot quit their Fair Ones tho’ they see their approaching Ruin; the Lovers who dare not marry, tho’ they know they never shall be happy without the Mistresses whom they cannot purchase on other Terms.

What will be a great Embellishment to your Discourse, will be, that you may find Instances of the Haughty, the Proud, the Frolick, the Stubborn, who are each of them in secret downright Slaves to their Wives or Mistresses. I must beg of you in the last Place to dwell upon this, That the Wise and Valiant in all Ages have been Hen-peckt: and that the sturdy Tempers who are not Slaves to Affection, owe that Exemption to their being enthralled by Ambition, Avarice, or some meaner Passion. I have ten thousand thousand Things more to say, but my Wife sees me Writing, and will, according to Custom, be consulted, if I do not seal this immediately.

T. Nathaniel Henroost.’

[Footnote 1: The ‘Oceana’ is an ideal of an English Commonwealth, written by James Harrington, after the execution of Charles I. It was published in 1656, having for a time been stopped at press by Cromwell’s government. After the Restoration, Harrington was sent to the Tower by Charles II. on a false accusation of conspiracy. Removed to Plymouth, he there lost his health and some part of his reason, which he did not regain before his death, in 1677, at the age of 66. His book argues that Empire follows the balance of property, which, since Henry VII.’s time, had been daily falling into the scale of the Commons from that of the King and Lords. In the ‘Oceana’ other theories of government are discussed before Harrington elaborates his own, and English history appears under disguise of names, William the Conqueror being called Turbo; King John, Adoxus; Richard II., Dicotome; Henry VII., Panurgus; Henry VIII., Coraunus; Queen Elizabeth, Parthenia; James I., Morpheus; and Oliver Cromwell, Olphaus Megaletor. Scotland is Marpesia, and Ireland, Panopaea. A careful edition of Harrington’s ‘Oceana’ and other of his works, edited by John Toland, had been produced in 1700.]