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approaches of old age. The wives will look as well at lait as at firit in their husband's eyes; and the maidens will never be old ones, until they are quite old women. Indeed no change can poffibly be perceived, until they begin to mump for want of teeth, or the head to noddle under its venerable burden.
As a man, however, I beg leave to become an advocate for my own fex. And I will be bold enough, in the first place, to affert and rely on it, that the face is a decent part, and has been ever so reputed and considered in thefe dominions. That the word face has always been in ufe amongst the ftricteft prudes, and ablet divines, which could not have been the cafe, had the idea been either indecent or indelicate; and that the face is therefore, by prefcription, privileged from concealment, confinement and fuffocation.
I will go ftill farther and affirm that every fubject of this realm has by common law a constitutional claim to the profpect of female faces. They are a kind of commonage on which every eye has a right to feed ; nor is there an article in Magna Charta or the BILL of RIGHTS for which we would fooner contend. But there feems indeed to be a general scheme against our liberties, e vidently fet on foot by foreign, arbitrary powers. A Spanish habit, the other day, was near depriving us of the arms, and the face is now ufurped by a French night-cap. The civil power is however, ftijl fufficient to redress us; and I have seen an eminent opinion, that the writ de Homine replegiando will abfolutely lie, and the fheriffs be thereby empowered to take the woman's perfon out of this illegal duresse, and deliver it puris natura'ibus, to her husband, parents, or guardians.
But as we defire no fuits with the fair fex, but those of love, we would rather apply to their clemency than conteft their power. We therefore request them to confider, that nothing under capital offence can deferve a punishment like this. To take from us the human face divine, is to take all that makes existence here defirable. It is the extinction of the fun, and the return of chaos. We throw ourfelves therefore at their feet, and join unanimoufly in the prayer of the Grecian hero, "that this cloud may be withdrawn, "and if we are to fall, let us meet our fate in the "fair light of day."
We know not of any object in the universe so rich in various beauty as a fine female face. It is the Imost perfect production of fymmetry and colouring, animated by expreflion, and touched with graces, which elude the power of words. It is, at the fame time, fo adjusted, that every part of it fets off the others, nor can we give up the smallest point without injuring the whole. How then can we think of parting with the principal features, or even the fine contour of the forehead, cheek, and temples, or the lovely back ground of hair which fhades and finishes the piece! Thefe difguifes may fuit the lank fwarthy jaws of the French, but among my fair countrywo men they are a fin against nature.
A reasonable compliance with the fashion, is a complimnet due to fociety; but women fhould also think of what is due to themfeives. There cannot be a greater weakness than an eagerness to embrace every ugly and abfurd invention. The rational use of drets is to improve the charms of nature. This contrivance, in all its forts and fizes, disfigures or deftroys them. The Ladies fhould in juftice to their
good fenfe, unite with a proper fpirit, and fhew that they will not be made the dupes of fantastical milliners, nor tamely give up their natural beauties on every new importation of fluctuating follies,
ETURNING, in a very fevere day lately, from the Cuftom House, where I had Ya been to make an entry of fome books, I was overtaken by a piercing fhower of fleet and rain, which, as I had been foolish enough to leave my cloke at home, compleatly wetted me to the fkin, before I got to the end of Paul-ftreet. I was quite benumbed with cold, and had no fmall apprehenfions of getting a bad fever. The ftorm was fo violent, that I did not meet a single creature in the streets, until turning the corner near my own house, I ftumbled against a wretched human being, almost naked, with two little infants in her arms, who were entirely fo. My own condition gave me time to bestow no more than a paffing look on them, as they lay under the drip of the pent-houfe, to which they had crawled for shelter. I could however perceive, that the little wretches feemed fhrunk up, and almost infenfible, and the mother had hardly Strength enough to implore relief by an inarticulate found, to which I did not find myself at that time much difpofed to attend.
1 got home wet, comfortless, and out of temper; however, after getting on dry clothes, and warming myself, I fat down with my family to a good dinner, and eat pretty heartily; after which, to prevent accidents, I indulged myself with a bowl of generous warm punch. The powers of nature now began to return; my apprehenfions gradually fubfided; my mind came to rights, and I felt myself happy. Then, and not before, the image of what I had feen, recurred. I started up; Good God, cried I, where is the? My wife was frightened, Who? what? what do you mean? The wretch, cried I, the beggar, my fellow creature, that lies perishing under the penthoufe. Without faying more I ran out, and found her on the fame fpot. One of the infants feemed to be dead, but we contrived to recover it, and fupplied the mother, to the best of our ability, with the means of prolonging her miferable existence.
After this I fat down in my fhop, and began to ruminate, with a kind of painful fatisfaction, on what had paffed, when an elderly gentleman came in, who, after taking his afternoon's coffee above stairs, generally comes to read with me for an hour or two. He seems to be a man of good sense, and an amiable difpofition. I related to him what had paffed; at which he was a good deal affected. But furely, Sir, faid I, there was great inconfitency, as well as illnature, in my not pitying the wretch at the inftant when I fo fenfibly felt a fhare of the fame calamity. Adverfity is faid to foften and humanize the heart; yet I cannot fay that I felt any humane fenfations, until the uneafy ones were worn off, and fucceeded by a chearful flow of fpirits. He looked me full in the face. I do not know, Mr. FLYN, faid he,
where you may have learned your philofophy; but, if there be truth in nature, reft affured, that the first ftep to focial virtue is inward happiness. Benevolence will never thrive under a lowring fky. I am well aware that the pain which we have felt, has a tendency to quicken our compaflion for others. Haud ignara mali, miferis fuccurrere difco, fays the Roman. The much great er poet before your door, chimes with him, Sweet are the ufes of adverfity. They both knew nature, and both were right; for in the cafes which they defcribe, the pain had been first removed, and had given place to eafe; than which I know of no greater felicity. Believe it as a fact, Mr. FLYN, that every fpecies and degree of unhappiness, deducts in proportion from our philanthropy. And how can it be otherwise? Put absolute pain out of the cafe, the gloomy, the fplenetic, the morofe, the envious, the difcontented, do not even love themselves; and while there is a civil war, or even murmurs at home, nature will never take a part in diftreffes abroad.
There is, continued he, a very sensible writer on this fhelf, who, in his Effay on Fafting, obferves, that it is a practice by no means naturally productive of a benevolent turn of mind: and that a rational and moderate enjoyment of the bleffings of life, has a wonderful tendency to create and improve a good and beneficent difpofition. I own, fays he, I am always beft pleafed after a full meal; and therefore beft difpofed to love God and my neighbour, which is the fum of both tables. He goes on to lay down a very pleasing system of morality, and recommends it to be happy within ourselves, in or