John Kirk Semple
This book is DUE on the last date stamped b' '
LOS ANGELES. CALIF.
HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL,
A. CHALMERS, F.S.A.
HUNTED FOR NICHOLS, SON, AND BENTLEY ; F, C. AND J. RIVINGTON;
G. AND W. NICOLJ CLARKE AND SONS; A. STRAHAN ; G. Wir.KIE;
SCATCHERD AND LETTERMAN ; J. NUNN } J. CUTHELL ; LONGMAN,
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AND ALLEN ; J. ASPERNE ; J. OTRIDGE ; J. RICHARDSON ; J. M.
RICHARDSON ; R. SCHOLEY ; HIGHLEY AND SON; J. HATCHARD J
J. HARRIS; R. S. KIRBY ; R. PHENEY ; J. MAWMAN ; BALDWIN,
CRADOCK AND JOY ; J.BOOKER; N. HAILES ; SHERWOOD, NEELY
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AND CO.; OLIVER AMD BOYD; AND J. FAIRBAIRN, ED1NBURCH.
C. B.Uilwm, I'nr.tcr.
w Briitee-street. London.
REV. SIMON OLIVE-BRANCH, A. M.
51. Solemn synod of females State of the fe-
male world Miranda's praise Various
letters, petitions, &c. read Court of the
Bona Dea Rights of Woman Dialogue
between a mademoiselle and her mistress
Juvenal charged with a libel Decree of
the assembly Pleasant story of the three
52. Subject of analogy continued State of pro-
bation Doctrine of fatalism 12
53. Threatening letter to Simon Olive-Branch
on his intended visit to the metropolis
His head as unsafe as the pope's De-
nounced by a club of patriots A new Al-
legro Pleasures of the town 24
51. Story of the Athenian madman The mad
carpenter and the king of Bohemia Simon
Olive-Branch enters the metropolis His
surprises Universal pregnancy Letter
from madam Olive-Branch Naked bosoms
Swelled necks Advertisement thereon
Conjuring friend Modern improve-
ments Proclamation of the female synod 32
55. Simon still in the capital Catalogue of vul-
gar errors Character of a polished man
Two characters from Mons. La Bruyere
Vision of the Well of Truth 4-4
56. Sentiments on the spring A London spring
Epigram A city spring, the season
for salmon Passage from baron Von
57. Sermon to a clerical congregation Pulpit
eloquence Clerical fops 66
58. Hospitality Curious list of the moral be-
nefits wrought by good dinners Story
from Lonicerus, of the devil and a drunk-
ard Fable of gout and a flea 77
59. The philosophy of the comfortable Cha-
racter of Demades Greek and Roman
ideas of comfort English the only clas-
sics in the comfortable Introduction and
reception of Anacharsis 86
60. Translation Specimen of a modern trans-
lation of Virgil 97
61. Same subject Difficulty and dignity of
62. Modern sensibility Grown gentlemen and
ladies taught sensibility on mathematical
principles Anecdote of a king of France
Poem on sensibility Poem on a sick
63. Thoughts on love The hereditary com-
plexion of the Olive-Branch family A
mysterious pudding Mr. Isaac Olive-
Branch's poetical receipt Queen Eliza-
beth and lord Essex Simon's mother not
degenerate The manner in which love
operates on Simon himself Love's con-
cerns transacted on the Exchange Clari-
na's lamentations Story of Rence Cor-
64. The mock patho6 in composition exposed
Bombastical moralists A pensively-
elegant lecture on life, extracted from
the scene presented by Covent-Garden
65. The sweeping effects of time Melancholy
contemplations arising thereupon Signi-
ficancy of this fluctuating character, and
the great and consoling arguments it sup-
plies to thinking men Letter from Eu-
genio to Amelia 155
66. Scandal viewed in more lights than one
Short history of scandal A passage from
Lucian Story of the green ass Ana-
tomy of an old maid's ear 165
67. The practice of lying considered Extraor-
dinary letter on the subject, to Simon
Olive-Branch, read at the Club, containing
a strange account of a classical lie Its
various impressions on the Club Mr.
Allworth's speech on the subject of the
letter Sentiment from Cicero A fable
Viceroy of Naples and the galley slave
Mr. Blunt's story of the inquisitorial
68. God's government one great scheme The
ignorance and audacity which man carries
to the contemplation of it Passage from
the book of Job, admirable to this point 189
69. On the excellency of an early inculcation
of religious principles, in respect to every
object of education Story of Polemo's
conversion Eugenio's letter 199
70. Travelling considered Needs a proper pre-
paration of the mind Not adapted to all
men Absurd conduct of parents in this
respect Severe sentence pronounced by
a father on his own child Curious letter
from a son abroad to his father at home 211
71. Story of Urbain Grandier 223
72. Same story concluded 236
N51. SATURDAY, MAY 4.
Illam quidquid agit, quoque vesligia fleclit,
Componit furtim, mlsequiturque decor. Tibuil.
Whate'er she does, where'er her steps she bends,
Her every act a subtle grace attends; j-
We can't tell how but when she speaks, it talks ;
We can't tell where but when she moves, it walks.
J.T was last night considered as an especial favour,
that I was permitted to have a seat at the female
board where my mother sits as presidentess. It
had been determined on this evening to take into
consideration the state of the female nation a dis-
cussion to which they dedicate one sitting in every
six months. Miranda, who is my mother's principal
secretary, had the chief direction and management
in the business of the day ; and almost all the mo-
tions, petitions, remonstrances, advices, &c. either
originated with her, or passed through her hands. I
think I never saw her appear with such advantage
as upon this occasion. It is a most difficult task for
a woman tocome forth in the character of a director
and manager, and to mix in the more active duties of
VOL. XLIII. B
2 LOOKER-ON. No 51.
life, without losing something on the side of delicacy
and softness ; and it is on this ground, principally,
that the men are found to object to any masculine
undertakings in the women not because we regard
such undertakings with jealousy, as an invasion of
our provinces, but because we consider them as lead-
ing to the destruction of that amiable and captivating
gentleness which constitutes the great ornament of
the female mind.
Somehow or other, Miranda manages to steer with
the nicest precaution in these difficulties : a certain
magical grace of manner, a lubricous insinuating
softness slides into every action and gesture, and
often disappoints their natural effects ; so that, at-
tempt what she will, it is all becoming ; and say
what she please, we cannot find fault. Thus she can
do a thousand things which other women dare not,
and allow herself a thousand freedoms which would
be indecorous and even dangerous in others. Mi-
randa is a little too short, but you hardly know it;
and somewhat marked with the small-pox, which
you presently forget. She is little under forty, but
you would leave twenty-five to follow her ; her very
blemishes she converts into graces, and infirmities
bear a premium in Miranda, and go farther than per-
fections in another face. She possesses an uncom-
mon power of giving price to trifles, and of decorating
mere nothings with the playfulness of her wit, the
sprightliness of her allusions, or the importance of
her inferences. She will raise a Venus out of the
froth of the sea, or from an elephant's tooth produce
an ivory statue.
Last night she was busily employed in laying be-
fore the assembly the different reports, proposals,
and requisitions, which had been sent to her, as the
secretary, from all quarters. The first paper which
N 51. LOOKER-ON. 3
was read to us was of a singular nature, considering
the chaste assembly to which it was submitted. It
was a petition from an association of such of the sex
as profess loose love, the keepers of bagnios, &c.
praying to be heard against those usurpers of their
craft, who, in this great city, had of late years drawn
all the trade to themselves ; against those duchesses
and countesses who had engrossed, as the petition
set forth, all the fashionable custom of the town, by
underselling those whose bread depended upon the
profits of their business that the fair traders were
reduced to the saddest shifts imaginable, by these
smugglers of debauchery and that one of the most
numerous classes of female manufacturers was likely
soon to be reduced to throw up their calling, and beg
their bread, or to emigrate to other countries, and
carry the mysteries of the trade with them That
these interlopers had taken the most ungenerous and
illiberal means, and acted in a manner that was cal-
culated to bring scandal upon the profession, in order
to attract custom ; that they parted with their fa-
vours for nothing, only to pilfer in other ways with
greater success That they had sunk the price of in-
trigue, only to make it subservient to their gaming
plans, that thus the dupes of their caresses might
hug themselves in the excellence of their bargains,
and cheapness of their pleasures, while a collateral
drain was insensibly emptying their pockets. That
these petitioners and innocent sufferers entreated the
high court of females, assembled under the direction
of Madam Olive-Branch, that they would back with
all their credit another petition which they had in
contemplation to present to parliament, by the help
of such connections there as they still retained ;
praying to succeed to those honours and dignities
which ought in all reason to be laid down by the
4 LOOKER-ON. N 51.
said duchesses, countesses, &c. who had taken up a
traffic so entirely inconsistent with their quality.
In the mean time, if this injured part of the com-
munity should after every resource had failed, be
reduced to try that of honesty, they hoped that go-
vernment would think of some equitable compensa-
tion. They would stipulate freely on their parts to
give up their rights to the Magdalen and Lock Hos-
pitals, for the use of the disabled duchesses and con-
trite countesses ; but that in lieu of these advan-
tages they expected to succeed to their pews in the
churches, and precedency at court That they would
surrender up all their convenient resorts in the vici-
nity of the playhouses, in the Strand, and in Oxford-
road, on condition of being put into possession of the
genteelest squares in the west end of the town That
as the said duchesses and countesses were visibly
moulting very fast, and baring their necks and shoul-
ders, the petitioners thought it but just that they
should come in for those rejected parts of their dress,
especially as their own skins had long been battered
by the inclemency of the weather That if the out-
line of this proposal met with the approbation of
Madam Olive-Branch and her ladies, the petitioners
would have the honour of stating their plan more
in detail, and submitting it a second time to the
judgements of that honourable society. Signed by
the different associations of the Sisterhood, met to-
gether under the Rose.
I am forbid to divulge what was determined by
the board as to the merits of this extraordinary peti-
tion, as the matter was referred to a secret committee
that goes with them under the name of the Court of
the Bona Dea.
The next question which came before them was
on the subject of a proclamation issued by my mo-
N 51. LOOKER-OX. 5
ther last veek against a certain seditious volume,
published by a female incendiary, called the Rights
of Woman, tending most notoriously to inflame the
minds of the sex with opinions dangerous to the per-
manence of the female empire, calculated to destroy
all that power and ascendancy which they have hi-
therto owed to their gentleness of character, and to
embroil them in a contest with a superior force, that
must inevitably terminate in a most disgraceful de-
feat. An unanimous vote of thanks to my mother
was immediately concluded upon.
The paper that now was produced, was of a very
extraordinary kind ; and as it was the first they had
received from any of our sex, there was a debate of
some continuance, whether or not it ought to be ad-
mitted. At length, however, they decided in the
affirmative, after having entered a clause in their
journals against its becoming a precedent. It was a
petition from a gentleman who stated himself to have
turned the corner of thirty, without ever having had the
felicity to be really in love, though this had been the
leading object of his ambition since he had entered
into his fifteenth year. He represented himself to be
precisely in the predicament described in a sensible
maxim of La Bruyere: " Leshommes souvent veulent
aimer, & ne sauroient y reussir ; ils cherchent
leur defait.e, sans pouvoir la rencontrer ; & si
j'ose ainsi parler, ils sont contraints de demeurer
libres." He begged to be indulged with an oppor-
tunity of explaining himself more at large to the so-
ciety, that they might judge whether the fault was
in himself or in the sex, and furnish him accordingly
with their advice and assistance. He furthermore
stated, that for this last fortnight he had felt some
unusual pains about the diaphragm and praecordia :
but that he was somewhat in the case of the King in
6 LOOKER-ON. iN51.
Tom Thumb, who was unable to tell whether it was
love or the wind cholic that tormented him. That
he has had also many other little equivocal symp-
toms, which he is unable to pronounce upon until he
has taken the sense of this female synod. Some sen-
sations too, which he has sometimes felt in a morning
before breakfast, and in the afternoon after a pint
of wine, have looked so like what he conceives of this
passion, as to raise in him some hopes that he may
yet arrive at the accomplishment of his wishes. The
petitioner concluded with requesting to be informed
if the society had any apothecary belonging to them,
whom they could instruct to compose a philtre that
might remedy this radical deficiency in his mind
for in his mind alone he felt this deficiency to
The senate decreed that the case of this poor gen-
tleman was without remedy, as there was no possibi-
lity of imparting a tenderness of soul where nature
had denied it ; but that he was right in suspecting
that these paroxysms were no true symptoms of love,
however they might explain a part of our nature
that was common through all animated existence.
Some proposals were now brought forward, which
the press of weightier business made it necessary to
adjourn to a future day, and some notices were given
of intended motions. A vote of censure was passed
on a staymaker's widow, who advertised to carry on
her husband's business with the same workmen ; it
being judged inconsistent with female delicacy to
admit any but females to a privacy so close. A mo-
tion was made for a declaratory act respecting the
proclamation of Harry the Vllth, against female
A paper was next heard, exhibiting some severe
strictures on the practice among fashionable mothers,
N 51. LOOKER-ON. 7
of committing their children to the care of French
mesdemoiselles. The letter contained advices of se-
veral instances wherein the principles of a young fa-
mily had been poisoned under such tuition ; and
stated, in terms of great indignation, that they were
nothing but a kind of higglers, that brought over the
veriest trumpery, the merest shreds and rags of
a wretched Epicurean philosophy, which had long
ago found its way among all orders and degrees in
their native country. It ended with a passage out
of the play called the Provoked Wife, which paints
admirably well the lax opinions of this sect of fe-
Lady Fan. Rendezvous ? what, rendezvous with a
Madem. Eh, pourquoi non ?
Lady F. What ! and a man I never saw before in
my life ?
Madem. Tant mieux ; c'est done quelque chose de
Lady F. Oh, but my reputation, mademoiselle,
my dear reputation !
Madem. Madame, quand on l'a une fois perdue,
on n'en est plus embarrasse.
Lady F. Fie, mademoiselle ! reputation is a
Madem. Qui coute bien chere, madame.
Lady F. Why, sure you would not sacrifice your
honour to your pleasure ?
Madem. Je suis philosophe.
Lady F. Bless me, how you talk ! what, if honour
be a burden, must it not be borne ?
Madem. Chacun a sonfagon : quand quelque chose
m'incommode moi, je m'en defais vite.
Lady F, Get you gone, you naughty woman. I
8 LOOKER-ON. N 51.
vow and swear I must turn you out of doors if you
talk thus. .
Madem. Turn me out of doors ! turn yourself
out of doors, and go see what de gentleman have to
say to you. Tenez : voil;\ votre escarpe, voila votre
quoife, voila tout. Allons, madame, depechez-vous
done. Mon Dieu ! quelles scrupules !
Lady. F. Well, for once, mademoiselle, I'll follow
your advice, out of the intemperate desire I have to
see who this ill-bred fellow is ; but I have too much
delicatesse to make a practice of it.
Madem. Belle chose vraiment que la delicatesse,
lorsqu'il s'agit de se divertir ! ah, 9a vous voila
equippee partons Eh bien ! qu'avez-vous done?
Lady. F. J'ai peur.
Madem. Je n'en ai point, moi.
Lady F. I dare not go.
Madem. Demeurez done.
Lady. F. Je suis poltrone.
Madem. Tant pis pour vous.
Lady F. Curiosity is a wicked devil.
Madem. C'est une charmante sainte.
Lady F. It ruined our first parents.
Madem. II a bien diverti leurs enfans.
Lady F. L'honneur est contre.
Madem. Le plaisir est pour.
Lady F. Must I then go ?
Madem. Must you go ? must you eat ? must you
sleep ? must you live ? De nature bid you do one,
de nature bid you do toder ; vous me ferez enrager.
Lady F. But when reason corrects nature, made-
Martem. Elle est done bien insolente.
Lady F. Ah ! la mechante Franchise !
Madem. Ah ! la belle Angloise !
N51. LOOKER-ON. 9
A letter from a learned lady was read, praying
for the sentence of the synod against a passage in
the sixth Satire of Juvenal, which bore shamefully
hard upon that class of female doctors to which
she belonged. The lines complained of run as
Ilia tamcn gravior quae cum discumbcre cccpit,
Laudat Virgilium, periturae ignoscit Elisae :
Committit vates, et comparat inde Maronem,
Atque alia parte in trutina suspendit Homerum.
Cedunt grammatici, vincuntur rhctores, omnis
Turba tacet, nee Causidicus, nee praeco loquatur,
Altera nee mulier : verborum tanta cadit vis.
Tot pariter pelves, et tintinnabula dicas
Pulsari. Jam nemo tubas atque aera fatiget :
Una laboranti poterit succurrere lunae.
Imponit finem sapiens et rebus honestis :
Nam quae docta nimis cupit, et facunda videri,
Crure tenus medio tunicas succingere debet,
Caedere sylvano porcum, quadrante lavari.
Non habeat matrona, tibi qua? juncta recumbit,
Dicendi genus, aut curtum sermone rotato
Torqueat enthymema, nee historias sciat omnes ;
Sed quaedan ex libris et non intelligat ; odi
Hanc ego, quae repetit volvitque Palaemonis artem,
Servata semper lege, et ratione loquendi,
Ignotosque mihi tenet antiquaria versus,
Nee curanda viris opicae castigat amicae
Verba. Solaecismum liceat fecissemarito.
I was desired to read the translation of this pas-
sage which Dryden has given us : a request I did
not comply with without some compunction.
: But of all plagues, the greatest is untold ;
The book-learn'd wife, in Greek and Latin bold ;
The critic dame, who at her table sits,
Homer and Virgil quotes, and weighs their wits - f
And pities Dido's agonizing fits.
She has so far th' ascendant of the board,
The prating pedant puts not in a word.
10 LOOKER-ON. N 51.
The man of law is non-plus'd in his suit ;
Nay, every other female tongue is mute.
Hammers and beating anvils, you would swear,
And Vulcan with his whole militia there.
Tabors and trumpets cease ; for she alone
Is able to redeem the lab'ring moon.
Even wit's a burden, when it talks too long ;
But she who has no continence of tongue
Should walk in breeches, and should wear a beard,
And mix among the philosophic herd.
Oh! what a midnight curse has he, whoseside
Is pester'd with a mood and figure bride !
Let mine, ye gods ! (if such must be my fate)
No logic learn, or history translate ;
But rather be a quiet humble fool ;
I hate a wife to whom I go to school ;
Who climbs the grammar tree, distinctly knows
Where noun, and verb, and participle grows ;
Corrects her country neighbour ; and, abed,
For breaking Priscian's, breaks her husband's head.
The assembly decreed that the satire was not un-
just as it was directed, and that therefore there was
no reasonable ground of complaint : but that, if it be
the tendency of learning in the main to derogate
from female softness, so much the larger share of
glory awaits those paragons of the sex, who, haply
have found out the way of combining these vigorous
attainments with their more appropriate excellencies,
and of brightening, by severer attrition, the polish of
the mind, without wearing its enamel, or corroding
The last subject which came before them was oc-
casioned by a letter which the secretary had re-
ceived from one of those outrageously virtuous ladies
who repine at the necessity of breathing the same
atmosphere with their sinful sisters, that have drawn
such a quantity of common-place satire, and prover-
bial ridicule, upon the sex in general. There was
Nj1. LOOKER-ON. 11
so much in her style of expression, of disappoint-
ment and disgust, that I could not help suspecting
her to be one of those hidden treasures which are
only safe because nobody looks after them; and
begged to be permitted to express my sense of the
subject before the society, through the medium of a
pleasant story I had somewhere met with.
Pluto, perceiving that his Furies were beginning
to grow old and worn in the service, called Mercury
to him, and desired him to go to the upper world,
and search the globe over, to find him three maids,
such as were every way proper for the duty in which
they were to be engaged. Mercury set off on his
errand. It happened, at the same time, that Juno
was in want of three handmaids, being obliged to
turn away those she had, for their intrigues with Ju-
piter. Iris was accordingly dispatched to look in
every corner of the earth, till she could meet with
three virgins of such severe chastity, that they were
never known to smile upon a man. After a consi-
derable time spent in the search, Iris returned out of
breath and alone. " What!" cried her mistress,
" have you not succeeded then? Is it possible? O
chastity! O virtue!" " Goddess," returned Iris, " I
have indeed found three rigid maidens, that neither
Jove or Mars himself could ever have subdued ;
but, alas! I arrived too late." " Too late" " Yes,
too late; Mercury had already engaged them for
Pluto." "For Pluto! for what purpose?" " To
make three Furies of them." My story had such
an effect, that no attention was paid to the represen-
tation contained in the paper before them.
12 LOOKER-ON. N 52.
N 52. SATURDAY, M A Y 1 1 .
Good with bad
Expect to hear ; supernal grace contending
With sinfulness of men ; thereby to learn
True patience, and to temper joy with fear
And pious sorrow ; equally inur'd
By moderation either state to bear,
Prosperous or adverse ; so shalt thou lead
Safest thy life, and best prepar'd endure
Thy mortal passage when it comes.
Only five papers have yet been consecrated to the
subject which ought to be the nearest to every man's
heart. This is the greatest satire I have yet pro-
nounced upon my countrymen ; for my age, my
profession, and my predilection, would naturally
have bent my thoughts continually to this object,
had I judged that the religious frame of the public
mind was sufficiently solid to endure so much grave
deduction and inquiry. The more rational and think-
ing part of my readers will forgive me this ill com-
pliment to the many : sensible of the regard that