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to attack her Ladyship in a more sensible part, and represent to her the great inconveniencies (not which her Soul, but) her Body received from this inordinate Sorrow.
Madam, saies I to her, next to my Concern for your worthy Husbands untimely Death, I am griev'd to see what an Alteration the Be. moaning of his Loss has occasion d in you: These Words raising her Curiosity to know what this alteration was, I thus continu'd my Discourse; In endeavouring, Madam, to.extinguish, or at least to alleviate your Grief, than which nothing can be more prejudicial to a beautiful Woman, I intend a publick Benefit ; for if the Publick is interested, as most certain ly it is, in the preserving of a beautiful Face, that Man does the Publick no little Service who contributes most to its Preservation.
This odd Beginning operated so wonderfully upon her, that she desired me to leave this general road of Complements, and explain my self more particularly to her. Upon this (delivering my self with an unusual Air of Gravity, which your Grace knows I seldom carry about me in the Company of Ladies) I told ber, that Grief rụines the finest Faces sooner than any thing whatever; and that as envy it self could not deny her Face to be the most charming in the Universe, so if she did not suffer her self to be comforted, she must loon exped to take her Farewel of it. I confirm'd this Affertion, by telling her of one of the finest Women we ever had in England who did her
self more injury in a Fornight's time by lamenting her only Brother's Death, than ten Years could pofGbly have done; that I had beard an eminent Physician at Leyden say, That Tears, (having abundance of saline Particles in them) not only spoil'd the Complexion, but haftned Wrinkles: But Madam, concluded I, why should I give my self the trouble to confirm this by foreign instances, and by the Teftimonies of our most knowing Doctors, when alas! your own Face so fully justifies the Truth of what I have said to you.
How! reply'd our disconsolate Widow, with a Sigh that came from the Bottom of her Heart, And is it poffible that my just concern for my dear Husband, has wrought so cruel an Effect upon
me in a short Time! With that she order'd berGentlewoman to bring the Looking.glass to her, and having survey'd her self a few Minutes in it, she told me she was perfectly convinced that my Notions were true; but, cries she, what would you have us poor Women to do in thefe Cases ? For something, continues she, we owę to the Memory of the Deceased, and something too to the World, wbich expe&s at least the common Appearance of Grief from us.
By your leave, Madam, faies 1, all this is a Mistake, and no better ; you owe nothing to your Husband, since he is dead, and knows nothing of your Lamentation; besides, could you shed an Ocean of Tears upon his Hearse, it would not do him the least Service ; much less do you lie under any such Obligations to
the the World, as to spoil a good Face only to comply with its Tyrannick Customs: No, Madam, take care to preserve your Beauty, and then let the World say what it pleases, your Ladyship may be revenged upon the World whene'er you see fit. I am resolved, answers The, to be intirely govern'd by you, therefore tell me frankly what sort of a Course you'd have me steer; Why, Madam, faies I, in the first place forget the Defunct; and in order to bring that about, relieve Nature, to which you have been so long unmerciful, with the inost exquisite Meats and the most generous Wines. Upon Condition you'll sup with me, cries our afflicted Lady, I will submit to your prescription. But why should I trouble your Grace with a Narration of every Particular! In short, we had a noble Regale that Evening in ber Bed chamber, and our good Widow push'd the Glass so strenuously about, that her Comforter (meaning my self) could hardly find the way to his Coach. To conclude this Farce, (which I am afraid begins now to be too tedious to your Grace) this Phænix of her Sex, this Pattern of Conjugal Fidelity, two Mornings ago was marry'd to a smooth-chin'dEnsign of Count Trautmandorf's Regiment, that had not a farthing in the World but bis Pay to depend upon: I assisted at the Ceremony, tho't little imagind the Lady would take the Matrimonial Receit lo soon.
I was the easier perswaded to give your Grace a large Account of this Tragi-comedy, not only
because I wanted better Matter to entertain you with at this Lažy Conjuncture, but also to fhow your Grace, that not only Ephesus in ancient, and England in later Times have afforded such fantastical Widows, but even Germany it self; where, if the Ladies have not inore Virtue than those of their Sex in other Countries, yet they pretend at least a greater Management of the butside of it. I
By my last Pacquet from England among a heap of nauseous Trash, I received the Three Dukes of Duntable, which is really fo monstrous and insipid that I am sorry Lapland or Livonia had not the Honour of producing it; but if I did Penance in reading it, I rejoyced to hear that it was so soleinnly interrd to the Tune of Catcalls. The 'Squire of Alsatia however, which came by the following Poft, made me fome amends for the cursed impertinence of the Three Dukes ; and my witty Friend Sir C-S-y's Bellamira gave me that intire Satisfaction that I cannot read it over too often.
They tell me my old Acquaintance Mr. Dryden has left off the Theatre, and wholly applies himself to the Study of the Controversies between the two Churches. Pray Heaven! this strange alteration in him portends nothing disastrous to the State ; but I have all along observed, That Poets do Religion as little Service by drawing their Pens for it, as the Divines do Poetry by pretending to Versification.
But I forget how troublesome I have been to your Grace, I shall therefore conclude with assuring you that I am, and to the last Moment of my Life ihall be, ambitious of being,