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which, he says, has so shrunk up this winter, that there is more of the--ankle seen, than he can find countenance to look at.
To the first of these correspondents I must answer, that I think the ladies (whose number I am inclined to believe is small) who choose to dress their faces in rouge or carmine, are exempted from all censure; they certainly do it to please themselves, as they know how much it is detested by the men. Or, perhaps, they are of that icy order of females, who have made vows of perpetual celibacy, and thus varnish over their beauty, as virtuosi do certain delicate natural productions, which are meant to be looked at, but never to be touched. As to the complaint of Modestus, I can only account for the present shortness of the petticoat, from the attention of the ladies being so much engrossed about their heads, as to leave them no leisure to take care of the other
extremity; as generals, who are anxious to cover one part of their works, are apt to leave an opposite quarter defenceless.
But the most serious complaint I have received, is a letter subscribed Censor, arraigning, with true Juvenalian severity, the conduct of a certain club, which, in the words of my correspondent, “ continues, in defiance of decency and good manners, to insult the public in large characters, in the front of every newspaper in town. This" he adds, “ moves my indignation the more, when I consider that several of its principal members are arrived at a period of life which should teach decorum, at least, if it does not extinguish vice.”
In answer to this angry correspondent, I will tell him the following story : Some years ago, I happened to be in York at the time of the assizes. Dining one day in a tavern with some gentlemen of that city and its neighbourhood, we were vio
lently disturbed by the noise of somebody below, who hooted and halloo’d, smacked his whip, and made his servants sound their French horns; in short, rehearsed, during the whole time of our dinner, all “the glorious tumult of the chace.” Some of the company, after several ineffectual messages by the waiter, began to be angry, and to think of a very serious remonstrance with the sportsman below. But an elderly person, who sat opposite to me, pacified their resentment: “ I know the gentleman who disturbs you,” said he; “ his head-piece was never one of the best; but now, poor man! I believe we must let him alone-Since he is past running down the fox in the field, he must e'en be allowed to hunt him in the parlour.”
No. 85. TUESDAY, February 29, 1780.
Possum oblivisci qui fuerim ? Non sentire qui sim ? Quo
caream honore ? Quâ gloriâ ? Quibus liberis ? Quibus fortunis ?
Cic. ad Art.
* A PERIODICAL publication, such as the Mirror, is, from its nature, confined chiefly to prose compositions. My illustrious predecessor, the Spectator, has, however, sometimes inserted a little poem among his other essays; and his example has been imitated by most of his successors. Perhaps it may be from this cause, that, among the variety of communications I have lately received, many of them consist of poetical compositions. I must observe in general to these correspondents, that, though the insertion of a poem, now and then, may not be altogether improper for a work of this kind, yet it is not every poetical composition that is fit for it. A poem may be possessed of very considerable merit, and may be entitled to applause, when published in a poetical collection, though, from its subject, its length, or the manner in which it is written, it may not be suited to the Mirror. I hope my poetical correspondents, therefore, will receive this as an apology for their poems not being inserted, and will
* This preamble to the poem was written by Lord Craig.
, by no means consider their exclusion as proceeding from their being thought des, titute of merit.
Among the poetical presents I have received, there is, however, one, which seems very well suited to a work of this kind. The gentleman from whom I received it says, he has been informed that it was founded on the following inscrip