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and vigour. His commands were irresistable. In a moment, a thousand hands all acted with collected force, and formed one great machine. Nothing could withstand their might. We were altonished at our own ftrength. Every obftacle gave way before us, and a wide and pleafing path was quickly, opened. The impediments became fewer as we advanced, and each individual found ample scope to move in, without confinement to himself, or embarrafinent to his neighbour. Every good Genius affifted our progrefs. On the one hand, HoNES... TY and CANDOR, FRUGALITY and PRUDENCE; on the other, PATIENCE, CONCORD, TEMPERANCE and HEALTH. We now gained the palace. Before it lay a verdant area, of great extent, where all the amiable PASSIONS fported at large, and every DECENT GRACE, and ELEGANT PLEASURE, danced in perpetual round, under the matron-eye of RATIONAL ENJOYMENT. Within were heaped every fpecies of coftly merchandize, piles of gold and every article of genuine wealth. Here COMMERCE kept his Court, attended by INDEPENDENCE, EASE, TRANQUILITY, CREDIT, and FAIR FAME; while PLENTY poured unceasingly, from her copious horn, a profufion of nature's various bounties. I now looked for the town; but perceived in its ftead a new built city of an ample circuit, with ftately fpires rifing to the clouds, and sumptuous edifices which glittered in the fun. Her fpacious ftreets were crouded with bufy thousands, and the
aits of every trading nation thronged her river and her port. My heart dilated at the glorious profpect; the emotion became too ftrong for fleep, and the whole scene vanished from before my eye.
Thursday, April 5, 1770.
Pars minima eft ipfa puella fui.
YESTERDAY evening a Lady, very genteelly dreffed, came into my fhop, and afked for a Baily's Dictionary. She was of a good fize, and perfectly well made, but for a prodigious ftoop, which, at first fight made me imagine that he was bending under the weight of years. Her voice however foon removed that opinion, and affured me fhe was young; while the sweetness of her accents, as ftrongly inclined me to think fhe was handsome. Being a paffionate admirer of beauty, I had no fooner reached her the book, than I turned my eye upon her, in order to regale it with a full profpect of her charms. But, to my great aftonishment, tho' we stood close to each other, the counter only being between us, I could not find her face, nor trace the leaft appearance of a fingle feature. I looked round and round with the utmoft curiofity, but all to no purpose; for, as I foon perceived, her head was put into a muflin bag, of a prodigious capacity, which inclofed her before and behind, and was fo loaded with frills and puffs of the fame materials, that the whole volume was fwelled into the fize of, at least, three reasonable heads. I confefs I was a good deal ftartled at this appearance, and began to form many different conjectures about the nature of it. Alas! thought I, this is foine young creature, on whom
na ure has unkindly fixed a blemish, which will not bear to be feen, or who has contracted fome unhappy malady in her head, which has condemned her, perhaps for li e, to this mortifying difguife. The ruin of that fine form too is probably produced by the fame caufe; fhe is become old before her time, and is finking under the load of repining and despair. A confirmed Ophthalmia, is probably her complaint, which makes it neceffary to exclude the light. For this her head has been blistered; and this great integument of muflin is to conceal the plaifters and bandages which are neceffary on the occafion. I concluded thefe reflections with a deep figh, which drew her attention; and as fhe raised her head, by way of looking at me, I could perceive a fmall fit or opening in the bag, juft fufficient for the purpose of breathing, and, through this, at a distance, the tip of a very white nofe. She paid me with a very good grace for the Dictionary, half a quire of ruled letter paper, and the fongs of the Padlock, and took her leave. I began to very anxious how he would find her way home; and indeed not without reafon; for going out of the shop, fhe ftruck the fide of her head violentlty against the door-cafe. I ran to her relief. The blow had driven back one of her winkers, and discovered an eye fo bewitching, that it was humanity to hide it, tho' it were her only one. She took the accident patiently, as a neceffary concomitant of her drefs, and shutting up her face again, tripped away with great alertness.
I called immediately for my wife, and told her this ftrange occurrence. She burst into laughing at my ignorance, and informed me, that the phenome
non which I had feen, was no other than a French night-cap, a favourite article of drefs among the Ladies. It cost her, however, fome very folemn affurances to convince me of the fact." You confine "yourself, faid he, fo much at home that you do 66 not know what is worn. This fashion is univerfal " from the highest to the lowest. About three "days ago, a maid fervant came to hire with me. "She had a vey ragged gown on her, and a half "length apron of coarse kenting; but on raising my eye, I perceived fhe had got the other half on her "head in the shape of a French night-cap."
I am fo much interested in every thing relative to the fair fex, that this narrative affected me extremely, and I went to bed in great perturbation of spirits. My fleep was very confused, and I dreamed of nothing all night, but death's heads, and Egyptian muinmies.
Yet let me diflike this fashion as I may, I have fo implicit an opinion, that the Ladies never adopt any meafure, without very good reason, that I have endeavoured to view the fubject in a favourable light; and must confefs that it discovers a fingular degree of modesty and delicacy, not to be equalled in any other age or country.
I am apt to think that the hint came to us from the Eaft, where, under the tyranny of man, the poor women are compelled to mufle up their faces whenever they appear abroad. In fome places the lover never fees his miftreffes's countenance until they are married. But our Ladies go far beyond the original. In a country where female power prevails, they voluntarily withdraw their beauties from the light, and forego the pride of conquest, and the delight of
being admired, rather than expofe the nakedness of their faces to the prying fenfual eye of man. The aufterity of their referve is fupported within doors and without, by night and by day, without any indulgence to relations, parents, or husbands. A gentleman affured me this morning, at he has not feen a fingle feature of his wife thefe two years, but once when he happened to catch her at her toilet, nor has he in all that time ever touched her lips, but through the medium of muffin or gauze.
This is a train of purity beyond parallel. Indeed no devotees abroad can be more feverely felf-denying than our ladies. In the prime of life, they renounce the chearful ways of men, and immure themfelves in a kind of moveable convent, where there are not even bars or lattices to give us a peep at them. We are become a nation of nuns, and every woman among us has taken the veil.
The roguish Spartan legiflator, in order to get husbands for the girls, indulged them in having their garments conveniently flit and opened, fo as to give the men a glimpse of their beauties as they moved. How different is the conduct of our fpinfers! conscious of intrinfic merit, they fcorn to captivate by any other means; and knowing our weak partiality for pretty features, will not allow us a fingle inch that may influence our choice. One univerfal blank, except in the understanding is prefented to the lover; and inftead of paffing compliments on the lips, the dimples, or the eyes of the f ir reclufe, he is under a necellity of directing them to the more valuable charms of her mind.
Nor is the invention without its policy. It will effectually conceal the depredations of time, and the approaches