Вот несколько хороших цитат, обнаруженных сегодня утром:
Первое письмо особенно замечательно, конечно, своим постскриптумом:
Mr.SPECTATOR, Tunbridge, Sept. 26, 1712.
We have just now read your Paper, containing Mrs. Mohair's Letter. It is an invention of her own from one end to the other ; and I desire you would print the enclosed Letter by it self, and shorten it so as to come within the Compass of the Half-Sheet. She is the most malicious Minx in the world, for all she looks so innocent. Don't leave out that part about her being in love with her Father's Butler, which makes her shun Men ; for that is the truest of all.
Your humble Servant,
P.S. She has crooked Legs.
Увы, "the enclosed Letter" осталось неопубликованным. Письмо Mrs. Mohair я обнаружил в одном из предыдущих номеров; оно слишком длинно, чтобы полностью его здесь приводить, но процитирую несколько отрывков. Кстати, как ясно из письма (напр. она называет себя "maid", т.е. девица, и упоминает, что она unasked), она не замужем; "Mrs." (тогда воспринимавшееся ещё в качестве сокращения от mistress) использовалось в то время не только перед именем замужней женщины. Ещё одно пояснение: "familiar" и "familiarity" используются в этом письме в значении "фамильярный, бесцеремонный".
Dear Mr. SPECTATOR, Tunbridge Sept. 18.
I am a young Woman of Eighteen Years of Age, and, I do assure you, a Maid of unspotted Reputation, founded upon a very careful Carriage in all my Looks, Words and Actions. At the same time I must own to you, that it is with much constraint to Flesh and Blood that my Behavior is so strictly irreproachable ; for I am natutally addicted to Mirth, to Gaiety, to a Free Air, to Motion and to Gadding. Now what gives me a great deal of Anxiety, and some Discouragement in the Pursuit of Virtue, is, that the young Women who run into greater Freedoms with the Men are more taken Notice of than I am. The Men are such unthinking Sots, that they do not prefer her who restrains all her Passions and Affections and keeps much within the Bounds of what is lawful, to her who goes to the utmost Verge of Innocence, and parlies at the very Brink of Vice, whether she shall be a Wife or a Mistress.
Every one of These affect gaining the Hearts of your Sex : This is generally attempted by a particular manner of carrying themselves with Familiarity. Glycera has a dancing Walk, and keeps Time in her ordinary Gate. Chloe, her Sister, who is unwilling to interrupt her Conquests, comes into the Room before her with a familiar Run. Dulcissa takes Advantage of the Approach of the Winter, and has introduc'd a very pretty Shiver; closing up her Shoulders, and shrinking as she moves. [...]
Well, Mr. SPECTATOR, except you can note these Wantonnesses in their Beginnings, and bring us sober Girls into Observation, there is no help for it, we must swim with the Tide ; the Coquets are too powerful a Party for us. To look into the Merit of a regular and well-behav'd Woman, is a slow thing. A loose trivial Song gains the affections, when a wise Homily is not attended to. There is no other way but to make war upon them, or we must go over to them. As for my Part, I will shew all the World it is not for want of Charms that I stand so long unasked ; and if you do not take measures for the immediate Redress of us Rigids, as the Fellows call us, I can move with a speaking Mien, can look significantly, can lisp, can loll, can start, can blush, can rage, can weep, if I must do it, and can be frighted as agreeably as any She in England. All which is humbly submitted to your Spectatorial Consideration with all Humility, by
Your most humble Servant,
И наконец, отрывок из ещё одного письма, совсем по другому поводу и в другое время опубликованному. Подозреваю, что это уж точно было сочинено самим редактором, но может быть и нет. Всё равно хорошо. Это письмо было опубликовано в номере за 26-е ноября 1714-го года:
I was Thirteen the Ninth of November last, and must now begin to think of settling my self in the World, and so I would humbly beg your Advice, what I must do with Mr. Fondle, who makes his Addresses to me. He is a very pretty Man, and hath the blackest Eyes and whitest Teeth you ever saw. Though he is but a younger Brother, he dresses like a Man of Quality, and no Body comes into a Room like him. I know he hath refused great Offers, and if he cannot Marry me, he will never have any Body else. But my Father hath forbid him the House, because he sent me a Copy of Verses ; for he is one of the greatest Wits in Town. My eldest sister, who, with her good will, would call me Miss as long as I live, must be married before me, they say. She tells them, that Mr. Fondle makes a Fool of me, and will spoil the Child, as she calls me, like a confident thing as she is. In short, I am resolved to marry Mr. Fondle if it be but to spite her. [...]