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N? 395 Tuesday, June 3, 1712.
~—^uod mate ratii est, impetus ante suit. Ovidi Tis reason now, 'twas appetite before.
yC^igfm^EWARE of the Ides of March, said the jg Roman Augur to Julius Cæsar: Beware t B V of the month of May says the Britijh 4k & Spetiator to his fair countrywomen. The
5» «ft»»SS» J? caution of the sirst wa3 unhappily negaLef^^StsJs lected, and Cæfar's considence coil him his life. I am apt to flatter myself that my pretty readers had much more regard to the advice 1 gave them, since I have yet received very few accounts of any notorious trips made in the last month.
But tho' I. hope for the best, 1 shall not pronounce-: too positively on this point, 'till I have seen forty weeks well over, at which period of time, as my good friend. Sir Roger, has often told me, he has more business as a justice of peace, among the dissolute young people in the, country, than at any other season of the year.
A 4 Neither
Neither must I forget a letter which I received near a fortnight since from a lady, who, it seems, could hold out no longer, telling me me looked upon the month as then out, for that me had all along reckoned by the new stile.
On the other hand, I have great reason to believe, from several angry letters which have been sent to me by disapointed lovers, that my advice has been of very signal service to the fair sex, who, according to the old proverb, were Forewarn'dforearm*'d.
One of these gentlemen tells me, that he would have given me an hundred pounds, rather than I should have publisiYd that paper, for that his mistress, who had promised to explain herself to him about the beginning of May, upon reading that discourse told him that jhe would give him her answer in June.
Thyrfis acquaints me, that when he desired Sylvia to take a walk in the sields, fee told him The Spectator hadforbidden her.
Another of my correspondents, who writes himself Mat Meager, complains, that whereas he constantly used to breakfast with his mistress upon chocolate, going to wait upon her the sirst of May he found his usual treat very much changed for the worse, and has been forced to feed ever since upon green tea.
As I begun this critical season with a caveat to the ladies, I shall conclude it with a congratulation, and do most heartily wish them joy of their happy deliverance.
They may now reflect with pleasure on the dangers they have escaped, and look back with as much satisfaction on the perils that threatened them, as their great-grandmothers did formerly on the burning ploughshares, after having passed through the ordeal trial. The instigations of the spring are now abated. The nightingale gives over her love-lahour dsong, as Milton phrases it, the blossoms are fallen, and the beds of Bowers swept away by the scythe of the mower.
I shall now allow my fair readers to return to their romances and chocolate, provided they make use os them with moderation, 'till about the middle of the month, when the sun shall have made some progress in
the the Crab. Nothing is more dangerous, than too much, considence and security. The Trojans, who stood upon their guard all the while the Grecians lay before their city, when they fancied the siege was raised, and the danger past, were the very next night burnt in their beds. I must also observe, that as in some climates there is perpetual Spring, so in some female constitutions there is a perpetual Maj : These are a kind of Valetudinarians in chastity, whom I would ontinue in a constant diet. I cannot think these wholly out of danger, 'till they have looked upon the other sex at least sive years through a pair of Spectacles. Will Honeycomb has often assured me, that 'tis much easier to steal one of this species, when she had palled her grand climateric, than to carry off an icy girl on this side sive and twenty; and that a rake of his acquaintance, who had in vain endeavoured to gain the affections of a young lady of sifteen, had at last made his fortune by running away with her grandmother.
But as 1 do not design this speculation for the Evergreens of the sex, I shall again apply myself to those who would willingly listen to the dictates of reason and virtue, and can now hear me in cold blood. If there are any who have forfeited their innocence, they must now consider themselves imder that melancholy view, in which Chamont regards his sister, in those beautiful lines.
————Long jhe jlourijh''d,
Gre-w fweet to sense, and lovely to the eye:
'Till at the last a cruel spoiler came,
Cropt this fait rose, and rijled all its sweetness,
Then cast it like a loathsom weed away.
On the contrary, she who has observed the timely cautions I gave her, and lived up to the rules of modesty, will now flourish like a rose in June, with all her virgin blushes and sweetness about her: I must, however desire these last to consider, how shameful it would be for a general, who has made a successful campaign, to be surpriz'd in his winter quarters : It would be no less dishonourable for a lady to lose, in any other month of the year, what she has been at the pains to preserve in May.
A 5 There