No. 515. Tuesday, October 21, 1712. Steele.

Pudet me et miseret qui harum mores contabat mihi Monuisse frustra--'


'I am obliged to you for printing the Account I lately sent you of a Coquet who disturbed a sober Congregation in the City of London. That Intelligence ended at her taking Coach, and bidding the Driver go where he knew. I could not leave her so, but dogged her, as hard as she drove, to Paul's Church-Yard, where there was a Stop of Coaches attending Company coming out of the Cathedral. This gave me opportunity to hold up a Crown to her Coachman, who gave me the Signal, that he would hurry on, and make no Haste, as you know the Way is when they favour a Chase. By his many kind Blunders, driving against other Coaches, and slipping off some of his Tackle, I could keep up with him, and lodged my fine Lady in the Parish of St. James's. As I guessed when I first saw her at Church, her Business is to win Hearts and throw 'em away, regarding nothing but the Triumph. I have had the Happiness, by tracing her through all with whom I heard she was acquainted, to find one who was intimate with a Friend of mine, and to be introduced to her Notice. I have made so good use of my Time, as to procure from that Intimate of hers one of her Letters, which she writ to her when in the Country. This Epistle of her own may serve to alarm the World against her in ordinary Life, as mine, I hope, did those, who shall behold her at Church. The Letter was written last Winter to the Lady who gave it me; and I doubt not but you will find it the Soul of an happy self-loving Dame, that takes all the Admiration she can meet with, and returns none of it in Love to her Admirers.'

_Dear Jenny_,
"I am glad to find you are likely to be dispos'd of in Marriage so
much to your Approbation as you tell me. You say you are afraid only
of me, for I shall laugh at your Spouse's Airs. I beg of you not to
fear it, for I am too nice a Discerner to laugh at any, but whom
most other People think fine Fellows; so that your Dear may bring
you hither as soon as his Horses are in Case enough to appear in
Town, and you be very safe against any Raillery you may apprehend
from me; for I am surrounded with Coxcombs of my own making, who are
all ridiculous in a manner: your Good-man, I presume, can't exert
himself. As Men who cannot raise their Fortunes, and are uneasy
under the Incapacity of shining in Courts, rail at Ambition; so do
[awkard [1]] and insipid Women, who cannot warm the Hearts and charm
the Eyes of Men, rail at Affectation: But she that has the Joy of
seeing a Man's Heart leap into his Eyes at beholding her, is in no
Pain for want of Esteem among a Crew of that Part of her own Sex,
who have no Spirit but that of Envy, and no Language but that of
Malice. I do not in this, I hope, express my self insensible of the
Merit of _Leodacia_, who lowers her Beauty to all but her Husband,
and never spreads her Charms but to gladden him who has a Right in
them: I say, I do Honour to those who can be Coquets, and are not
such; but I despise all who would be so, and in Despair of arriving
at it themselves, hate and vilify all those who can. But, be that as
it will, in Answer to your Desire of knowing my History: One of my
chief present Pleasures is in Country-Dances: and, in Obedience to
me, as well as the Pleasure of coming up to me with a good Grace,
shewing themselves in their Address to others in my Presence, and
the like Opportunities, they are all Proficients that Way: And I had
the Happiness of being the other Night where we made six Couple, and
every Woman's Partner a profess'd Lover of mine. The wildest
Imagination cannot form to it self on any Occasion, higher Delight
than I acknowledge my self to have been in all that Evening. I chose
out of my Admirers a Set of Men who most love me, and gave them
Partners of such of my own Sex who most envy'd me.
"My way is, when any Man who is my Admirer pretends to give himself
Airs of Merit, as at this Time a certain Gentleman you know did, to
mortify him by favouring in his Presence the most insignificant
Creature I can find. At this Ball I was led into the Company by
pretty Mr. _Fanfly_, who, you know, is the most obsequious,
well-shaped, well-bred Woman's Man in Town. I at first Entrance
declared him my Partner if I danced at all; which put the whole
Assembly into a Grin, as forming no Terrours from such a Rival. But
we had not been long in the Room, before I overheard the meritorious
Gentleman above-mention'd say with an Oath, There is no Raillery in
the Thing, she certainly loves the Puppy. My Gentleman, when we were
dancing, took an Occasion to be very soft in his Oglings upon a Lady
he danced with, and whom he knew of all Women I love most to
outshine. The Contest began who should plague the other most. I, who
do not care a Farthing for him, had no hard Task to out-vex him. I
made _Fanfly_, with a very little Encouragement, cut Capers
_Coupee_, and then sink with all the Air and Tenderness imaginable.
When he perform'd this, I observed the Gentleman you know of fall
into the same way, and imitate as well as he could the despised
_Fanfly_. I cannot well give you, who are so grave a Country Lady,
the Idea of the Joy we have when we see a stubborn Heart breaking,
or a Man of Sense turning Fool for our sakes; but this happened to
our Friend, and I expect his Attendance whenever I go to Church, to
Court, to the Play, or the Park. This is a Sacrifice due to us Women
of Genius, who have the Eloquence of Beauty, an easie Mein. I mean
by an easie Mein, one which can be on Occasion easily affected: For
I must tell you, dear _Jenny_, I hold one Maxim, which is an
uncommon one, to wit, That our greatest Charms are owing to
Affectation. 'Tis to That that our Arms can lodge so quietly just
over our Hips, and the Fan can play without any Force or Motion but
just of the Wrist. 'Tis to Affectation we owe the pensive Attention
of _Deidamia_ at a Tragedy, the scornful Approbation of _Dulciamara_
at a Comedy, and the lowly Aspect of _Lanquicelsa_ at a Sermon.
"To tell you the plain Truth, I know no Pleasure but in being
admir'd, and have yet never failed of attaining the Approbation of
the Man whose Regard I had a Mind to. You see all the Men who make a
Figure in the World (as wise a Look as they are pleased to put upon
the Matter) are moved by the same Vanity as I am. What is there in
Ambition, but to make other People's Wills depend upon yours? This
indeed is not to be aim'd at by one who has a Genius no higher than
to think of being a very good Housewife in a Country Gentleman's
Family. The Care of Poultrey and Piggs are great Enemies to the
Countenance: The vacant Look of a fine Lady is not to be preserved,
if she admits any thing to take up her Thoughts but her own dear
Person. But I interrupt you too long from your Cares, and my self
from my Conquests."
_I am, Madam, Your most humble Servant_.

'Give me leave, Mr. SPECTATOR, to add her Friend's Answer to this Epistle, who is a very discreet ingenious Woman.'

_Dear Gatty_,
"I take your Raillery in very good Part, and am obliged to you for
the free Air with which you speak of your own Gayeties. But this is
but a barren superficial Pleasure; [indeed, [2]] _Gatty_, we are
made for Man, and in serious Sadness I must tell you, whether you
yourself know it or no, all these Gallantries tend to no other End
but to be a Wife and Mother as fast as you can."
_I am, Madam, Your most [humble [3]] Servant_.


[Footnote 1: Spelt generally in the first issue awkard, in the first reprint aukward.]

[Footnote 2: [for indeed,]]

[Footnote 3: obedient]

Translation of motto:
TER. Heaut. Act ii. Sc. 3.
'I am ashamed and grieved, that I neglected his advice, who gave me
the character of these creatures.'