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Have lately been very much teized with the thought
of Mrs. Ann Puge, and the memory of those many eruelties which I suffered from that obdurate fair one. Mrs. Anne was in a particular inanner very fond of Chinaware, 'against which I had unfortunately declared my aversion. I do not know but this was the first occasion "of her coldness towards me, which makes me fick at the very sight of a China-dish ever since. This is the belt introduction I can make for my present discourse, which may serve to fill up a gap
until I am more at leisure to resume the thread of my amours. ci There are no inclinations in women which more furprize me than their patsions for chalk and china. The Árft of these maladies wears out in a littletiine ; but when a woman is vifited with the second, it generally takes poffession of her for life.
China-veifels are play-things for wonen of all
An old Lady of fourfcore shall be as busy in cleaning an Indian Mandarine, as her great grand daughter is in drefling her baby.
The common way of purchasing such triffes, if I may believe my female informers, is by exchanging old suits of cleaths for this brittle ware. The potters of china have it seems, their factors at this distance, who retail out their leveral manufaétures for caft cloaths and superannuated garments. I have known an old petticoat metamorphosed into a punch-bowl, and a pair of breeches into a tea-pot. For this reason my friend Tradewell in this city calls his great room, that is nobly furpished out with china, his wife's wardrobe. In yonder corner, says he, are above twenty suits of cloaths, and on that scrutore above a hundred yards, of furbelowed filk. You cannot inagine how many night-gowns stays and manteaus, went to the raising of that pyramid. The worst of it is, fays he, a suit of cloaths is not suffered to last half its time, that it may be the more vendible ; lo that in reality this is but a more dextrous way of picking the husband's pocket, who is often purchafing a great vase of china, when he fancies that he is buying a fine head, or a filk gown for his wife. There is likewife another inconvenience in this female passion for china, namely, that it adminifters to them gļeat matter for 'wrath and sorrow. How much anger and affliction are produced daily in the hearts of my dear country women, by the breach of this frail furniture. Some of them pay half their servants wages in china fraginents, which their carelesness has produced. • If thou hast a piece of ear• then-ware, consider, says Epictetus, that it is a piece • of earthen-ware, and by consequence very easy. and • obnoxious to be broken : Be not therefore fo void of • reason as to be angry or grieved when this comes to
pass. In order, therefore, to exempt my fair readers from such additional and supernumerary calamities of life, I would advise them to forbear dealing in these perishable commodities until such time as they are philoTophers enough to keep their temper at the fall of a teapot or china-cup. I Thall further recommend to their ferious consideration these three particulars : First, that all china-ware is of a weak and transitory nature. Sécondly, that the fashion of it is changeable: And thirdly, that it is of no use. And first of the first: The fragility of china is such as a reasonable Being ought by no means
to set its heart upon, though at the same time I am afraid I may complain with Seneca on the like occafion, that this very consideration recommends them to our choice; our luxury being grown fo wanton, that this kind of treasure becomes the more valuable, the more easily we'may be deprived of it, and that it receives a price from its brittleness. There is a kind of oftentation in wealth, which sets the poffeffors of it upon diftinguishing themselves in those things where it is hard for the poor to follow them. For
this reason I have often wondered that our Ladies have not taken pleasure in egg-shells, especially in those which are curiouly ftained and streaked, and which are so very tender, that they require the nicest hand to hold without breaking them. But as if the brittleness of this ware were not fufficient to make it coftly, the very fafhion of it is changeable, which brings me to my fecond particular.
It may chance that a piece of china may survive all those accidents to which it is by nature liable, and last for some years, if rightly situated and taken care of. To remedy therefore this inconvenience, it is so ordered that the shape of it shall grow unfashionable, which makes new supplies always neceffary, and furnishes einployment for life to women of great and generous souls, who cannot live out of the mode. I myself remember when there were few china-vessels to be seen that held more than a dish of coffee ; but their fize is so gradually enlarged, that there are many at present, which are capable of holding hialfa hogshead. The fashion of the teacup is also greatly altered, and has run through a wonderful variety of colour, shape and size.
But, in the last place, china-ware is of no ufe. Who would not laugh to see a sinith's shop furnished with anvils and hammers of china ? the furniture of a Lady's favourite room is altogether as absurd: You see jars of a prodigious capacity that are to hold nothing. I have seen horses and herds of cattle in this fine sort of porcelain, not to mention the several Chinese Ladies who, perhaps, are naturally enough represented in these frail materials.
Did our women take delight in heaping up piles of carthen platters, brown jugs, and the like useful products of our British patteries, there would be some fense in it. They might be ranged in as fine figures, and disposed of in as beautiful pieces of architecture; but there is an objection to these which cannot be overcome, namely, that they would be of some use, and might be taken down on all occasions to be employed in services of the family , besides that they are intolerably cheap, and inost shamefully durable and lasting.
N: 39. Tuesday, May 25.
Nec verbum verbo curabis reddere fidus
Ince I have given public notice of iný abodë, I have
had many visits from unfortunate fellow-sufferers who have been crossed in love as well as inyself.
Will Wormwood, who is related to me by my mother's fide, is one of those who often repair to me for my advice. Will is a fellow of good fenfe, but puts it to little other use than to torment himself. He is a man of so refined an underfanding, that he can set a conItruction upon every thing to his own.disadvantage, and turn even a civility into an affront. He groans under iniaginary injuries, finds himself abused by his friends, and fancies the whole world in a kind of combination against him. In short, poor Wormwood is devoured with the spleen : You may be sure a man of this humour makes a very whimsical lover. Be that as it will, he is now over head and ears in that passion, and by a very curious interpretation af his mistress's behaviour, has in - less than three months reduced himself to a perfect skeleton. As her fortune is inferior to his, slie gives him all
As I was
the encouragement another man could wish, but has the mortification to find that her lover still sowers upon her hands. Will is dissatisfied with her, whether the siniles. or frowns
upon him ; and always thinks her either too reserved, or too coming. A kind word, that would nake another lover's heart dance for jay, pangs poor Will
, and makes him lie awake all nightgoing on with Will Wormwood's amour, I received a prefent from my bookseller, which I found to be The
moral characters of Theophrastus,'translated from the Greek into English by Mr. Budgell *.
It was with me, as I believe it will be with all who look into this translation; when I had begun to peruse it, I could not lay it by, until I had gone through the whole book; and was agreeably surprised to meet with a chapter in it, entitled, "A discontented temper,' which gives a livelier picture of my cousin Wormwood, than that which I was drawing for him myself. It is as follows.
Printed for J. Tonson ia 1714.
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