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in leading-strings seven foot high, courtiers transformed into clowns, ladies of the night into saints, people of the first quality into beasts or birds, gods or goddesses. I fancied I had all Ovid's Metamorphoses before me. Among these were several monsters to which I did not know how to give a name;
Than fables yet have feigned or fear conceived,
In the middle of the first room I met with one drest in a shroud. This put me in mind of the old custom of serving up a Death's head at a feast. I was a little angry at the dress, and asked the gentleman whether he thought a dead man was fit company for such an assembly; but he told me, that he was one who loved his money, and that he considered this dress would serve him another time. This walking coarse * was followed by a gigantic woman with a high-crowned hat, that stood up like a steeple over the heads of the whole assembly. I then chanced to tread upon the foot of a female quaker, to all outward appearance; but was surprised to hear her cry out, "D-n you, you son of a!" upon which I immediately rebuked her, when all of a sudden resuming her character, " Verily," says she, 66 I was to blame; but thou hast bruised me sorely." few moments after this adventure, I had like to have been knocked down by a shepherdess for having run my elbow a little inadvertently into one of her sides. She swore like a trooper, and threatened me with a very masculine voice; but I
was timely taken off by a presbyterian parson, who told me in a very soft tone, that he believed I was a pretty fellow, and that he would meet me in Spring-gardens to-morrow night. The next object I saw was a chimney-sweeper made up of black crape and velvet, with a huge diamond in his mouth, making love to a butterfly. On a sudden I found myself among a flock of bats, owls, and lawyers. But what took up my attention most, was one drest in white feathers that represented a swan. He would fain have found out a Leda among the fair sex, and indeed was the most unlucky bird in the company. I was then engaged in a discourse with a running-footman; but as I treated him like what he appeared to be, a Turkish emperor whispered me in the ear, desiring me "to use him civilly, for that it was his master." I was here interrupted by the famous large figure of a woman hung with little looking-glasses. She had a great many that followed her as she passed by me, but I would not have her value herself upon that account, since it was plain they did not follow so much to look upon her as to see themselves. The next I observed was a nun making an assignation with a heathen god; for I heard them mention the Little Piazza in Covent-garden. I was by this time exceeding hot and thirsty; so that I made the best of my way to the place where wine was dealt about in great quantities. I had no sooner presented myself before the table, but a magician seeing me, made a circle over my head with his wand, and seemed to do me homage. I was at a loss to account for his behaviour, until I recollected who I was; this however drew the eyes of the servants upon me,
* By which the mask was kept on.
and immediately procured me a glass of excellent Champaign. The magician said I was a spirit of an adust and dry constitution; and desired that I might have another refreshing glass: adding withal, that it ought to be a brimmer. I took it in my hand and drank it off to the magician. This so enlivened me, that I led him by the hand into the next room, where we danced a rigadoon together. I was here a little offended at a jackanapes of a scaramouch, that cried out, " Avaunt Satan;" and gave me a little tap on my left shoulder with the end of his lath sword, As I was considering how I ought to resent this affront, a well-shaped person that stood at my left-hand, in the figure of a bellman, cried out with a suitable voice, "Past twelve o'clock." This put me in mind of bed-time. Accordingly I made my way towards the door, but was intercepted by an Indian king, a tall, slender youth, dressed up in a most beautiful party-coloured plumage. He regarded my habit very attentively, and after having turned me about once or twice, asked me "whom I had been tempting?" I could not tell what was the matter with me, but my heart leaped as soon as he touched me, and was still in greater disorder, upon hearing his voice. In short, I found after a little discourse with him, that his Indian majesty was my dear Leonora, who knowing the disguise I had put on, would not let me pass by her unobserved. Her aukward manliness made me guess at her sex, and her own confession quickly let me know the rest. This masquerade did more for me than a twelvemonth's courtship: for it inspired her with such tender sentiments, that I married her the next morning.
How happy I shall be in a wife taken out of a masquerade, I cannot yet tell; but I have reason
to hope the best, Leonora having assured me it was the first, and shall be the last time of her appearing at such an entertainment.
And now, sir, having given you the history of this strange evening, which looks rather like a dream than a reality, it is my request to you, that you will oblige the world with a dissertation on masquerades in general, that we may know how far they are useful to the public, and consequently how far they ought to be encouraged. I have heard of two or three very odd accidents that have happened upon this occasion, as in particular of a lawyer's being now big-bellied, who was present at the first of these entertainments; not to mention (what is still more strange) an old man with a long beard, who was got with child by a milk-maid. But in cases of this nature, where there is such a confusion of sex, age, and quality, men are apt to report rather what might have happened, than what really came to pass. Without giving credit therefore to any of these rumours, I shall only renew my petition to you, that you will tell us your opinion at large of these matters, and am, Sir, &c.
The date of this diversion is here ascertained pretty near. ly, and fixed at a few months antecedent to Sep. 7, 1713,
N° 155. TUESDAY, SEPT. 8, 1713.
Libelli Stoici inter sericos
Jacere pulvillos amant.
The books of stoics ever chose
HOR. Epod. viii. 15.
I HAVE often wondered that learning is not thought a proper ingredient in the education of a woman of quality or fortune. Since they have the same improveable minds as the male part of the species, why should they not be cultivated by the same method? Why should reason be left to itself in one of the sexes, and be disciplined with so much care in the other?
There are some reasons why learning seems more adapted to the female world, than to the male. As in the first place, because they have more spare time upon their hands, and lead a more sedentary life. Their employments are of a domestic nature, and not like those of the other sex, which are inconsistent with study and contemplation. The excellent lady, the lady Lizard, in the space of one summer furnished a gallery with chairs and couches of her own and her daughters working; and at the same time heard all doctor Tillotson's sermons twice over. It is always the custom for one of the young ladies to read, while the others are at work; so that the learning of the family is not at all prejudical to its manufactures. I was mightily pleased the other day to find them all busy in preserving