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whole Extent of this Duty, as well as of all others. He directed them to the proper Object of Adoration, and taught them, according to the third Rule abovementioned, to apply themselves to him in their Closets, without Show or Ostentation, and to worship him in Spirit and in Truth. As the Lacedemonians in their Form of Prayer implored the Gods in general to give them all good things so long as they were virtuous, we ask in particular that our Offences may be forgiven, as we forgrvt those of others. If we look ipto the second Rule which Socrates has prescribed, namely, That we should apply our selves to the Knowledge of such things as are best for us, this too is explained at large in the Doctrines of the Gospel, where we are taught in several Instances to regard those things as Curses, which appear as Blessings in the Eye of the World; and on the contrary, to esteem those things as Blessings, which to the Generality of Mankind appear as Curses. Thus in the Form which is prescribed to us we only pray for that Happiness which is our chief Good, and the great End of our Existence, when we petition the supreme Being for the coming of his Kingdom, being sollicitous for no other temporal Blessing but our daily Sustenance. On the other side, We pray against nothing but Sin, and against Evil in general, leaving it with Omniscience to determine what is really such. If we look into the sirst of Socrates his Rules of Prayer, in which he recommends the above-mentioned Form of the antient Poet, we sind that Form not only comprehended, but very much improved in the Petition, wherein we pray to the Supreme Being that his Will may be done : which is of the fame Force with that Form which our Saviour used, when he pray'd against the most painful and most ignominious of Deaths, Nevertheless not my Will, but thine be done. This comprehensive Petition is the most humble, as well as the most prudent, that can he offered up from the Creature to his Creator, as it supposes the Supreme Being wills nothing but what is for our Good, and that he knows better than our selves what is so. L
IH»ye several Letters from People of good Sense, who lament the Depravity or Poverty of Taste the Town is fallen into with relation to Plays and publick Spectacles. A Lady in particular observes, that there is such a Levity in the Minds of her own Sex, that they seldom attend any thing but Imptrtinences. It is indeed prodigious to observe how little Notice is taken. of the most exalted Parts of the best Tragedies in Shakespear; nay, it is not only visible that Sensuality has devoured all Greatness of Soul, but the under Passion (as I may so call it) of a noble Spirit, Pity, seems to be a Stranger to the Generality of an Audience. The Minds of Men are indeedvery differently disposed; and the Reliefs from Care and Attention are of one Sort in a great Spirit, and of another in an ordinary one. The Man of a great Heart and a serious Complexion, is more pleased with Instances of Generosity and Pity, than the light and ludicrous Spirit can possibly be with the highest Strains of Mirthr and Laughter: It is therefore a melancholy Prospect when we see a numerous Assembly lost to all serious Entertainments, and such Incidents as should mover orie Sort of Concern, excite in them a quite contrary one. In the Tragedy of Macbeth the other Night,' when the Lady who is conscious of the Crime of murdering the King, seems utterly astonished at the News,' and makes an Exclamation at it; instead of the- Indignation which is natural to the Occasion, that Expression isreceived with a loud Laugh: They were as merry when a Criminal was stabbed. It is certainly an Occasion, of rejoycing when the Wicked are feiied in H; tbjar. their Designs;but, I think, it is not such a Triumph as is exerted by Laughter.
YOU may generally observe, that the Appetites are sooner moved than the Passions: A fly Expression which alludes to Bawdry, puts a whole Row into a pleasing Smirk; when a good Sentence that describes an inward Sentiment of the Soul, is received with the greatest Coldness and Indifserence. A Correspondent of mine, upon this Subject, has divided the Female Part of the Audience, and accounts for their Prepossession against this reasonable Delight in the following Manner. The Prude, fays he, as she acts always in Contradiction, so she is gravely sullen at a Comedy, and extravagantly gay at a Tragedy. The Coquet is so much taken up with throwing her Eyes around the Audience, and considering the Efsect of them, that she cannot be expected to observe the Actors but as they are her Rivals, and take off the Observation of the Men from her self. Besides these Species of Women, there are the Examples, or the sirst of the Mode: These are to be supposed too well acquainted with what the Actor is going to fay to be moved at it. After these one might mention a certain flippant Set of Females who are Mimicks, and are wonderfully diverted with the Conduct of all the People around them, and are Spectators only of the Audience. But what is of all the most to be lamented, is, the Loss of a Party whom it would be worth preserving in their right Senses upon all Occasions, and these are those whom we may indifferently call the Innocent or the Unaffected. You may sometimes see tne of these sensibly touched with a well wrought Incident; but then she is immediately so impertinently observed by the Men, and frowned at by some sensible Superior of her own Sex, that she is ashamed, and loses the Enjoyment of the most laudable Concern, Pity. Thus the whole Audience r» afraid of letting fall a Tear, and shun as a Weakness the best and worthiest Part of our Sense.
SIR, 'AS you are one that doth not only pretend to reform,'
* JLX but efsects it amongst People of any Sense; makes
* me (who are one of the greatest of your Admirers) 'give you this Trouble to desire you will settle the Me
* thod of us Females knowing when one another is ia
* Town: For they have now got a Trick of never scnd
* ing to their Acquaintance when they sirst come; and if 'one does not visit them within the Week which they
* stay at home, it is a mortal Quarrel, Now, dear Mr.
* Spec, either command them to put it in the Adver
* tifement of your Paper, which is generally read by our 'Sex, or else order them to breathe their faucy Footmen,
* (who are good for nothing else) by sending them to 'tell all their Acquaintance. If you think to print thisj 'pray put it in a better Style as to the spelling Part. The
* Town is now silling every Day, and it cannot be deser'red, because People take Advantage of one another by 'this Means, and break off Acquaintance, and are rude:
* Therefore pray put this in your Paper as soon as you can
* possibly, to prevent any future Miscarriages of this Na'ture. I am, as 1 ever shall be,
Tour most obedient bumble Servant,
* P R. A Y settle what is to be a proper Notisication of a
* Person's being in Town, and how that difsers accor
* ding to People's Quality.
Mr. Spectator, October the roth.
'T Have been out of Town, so did not meet with your
* A Paper dated September the 28th, wherein you, to my 'Heart's Desire, expose that cursed Vice of insnaring poor
* young Girls, and drawing them from their Friends. I 'assure you without Flattery ic has faved a Prentice of 'mine from Ruin; and in Token of Gratitude, as well 'as for the Benesit of my Family, I have put it in a Frame 'and Glass, and hung it behind my Counter. I shal J take Care to make my young ones read it every Mora'ing, to fortisie them against such pernicious Rascals. I 'know not whether what you writ was Matter of Fact, 'or your own Invention; but this I will take my Oath 'on, the sirst Part is so exactly like what happened to 'my Prentice, that had I read your Paper then, I should 'have taken your Method to have secured a Villain. Go J on and prosper.
Tour most Obidient, Humble Servant.
YJU ITHOUT Rallery I desire you to insert this *' Word for Word in your next, as you value a Lover's Prayers. You see it is an Hue and Cry after' a stray Heart (with the Marks and Blemishes underwritten) which whoever shall bring to you, stall receive Satisfaction. Let me beg of you not to fail, as you remember the Passion you had for her to whom you latefr ended a Paper.
Noble, Generous, Great and Good,
But never to be understood;
Tickle as the Wind, still changing,
After every -Female ranging,
ranting, trembling, sighing, dying,
Sut addicted much to Lying:
When the Siren Songs repents,
Iqual Measures still it hats;
Who e'er shall near it, it will smart her,
And who e er takes it, takes a Tartar. T