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built upon a sandy foundation, and brought your hogs to a fair market.
I am, SIR,
No. 596. MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 1714.
Molle meum levibus cor est violabile telis.
Ovid. Ep. xv. 79. Cupid's light darts my tender bosom move.
The case of my correspondent, who sends me th following letter, has somewhat in it so very whimsical, that I know not how to entertain my readers better than by laying it before them.
Middle Temple, Sept. 18. • I Am fully convinced that there is not upon earth a more impertinent creature than an importunate lover. We are daily complaining of the severity of our fate to people who are wholly unconcerned in it; and hourly improving a passion, which we would persuade the world is the torment of our lives. Notwithstanding this reflection, sir, I cannot forbear acquainting you with my own case. You must know then, sir, that, even from my childhood, the most prevailing inclination I could perceive in myself was a strong desire to be in favour with the fair sex. I am at present in the one-and-twentieth year of my age; and should have made choice of a she bed. fellow many years since, had not my father, who has a pretty good estate of his own getting, and passes in the world for å prudent man, been pleas.
ed to lay it down as a maxim, that nothing spoils a young fellow's fortune so much as marrying early; and that no man ought to think of wedlock until six-and-twenty. Knowing his sentiments upon this head, I thought it in vain to apply myself to women of condition, who expect
settlements; so that all my amours have hitherto been with ladies who had no fortunes; but I know not how to give you so good an idea of me, as by laying before you the history of my life.
I can very well remember, that at my schoolmistress's, whenever we broke up, I was always for joining myself with the miss who lay-in, and was constantly one of the first to make a party in the play of Husband and Wife. This passion for being well with the females still increased as I advanced in years. At the dancing-school I contracted so many quarrels by struggling with my fellow-scholars for the partner I liked best, that upon a ball-night, before our mothers made their appearance, I was usually up to the nose in blood. My father, like a discreet man, soon removed me from this stage of softness to a school of discipline, where I learnt Latin and Greek. I underwent several severities in this place, until it was thought convenient to send me to the university : though, to confess the truth, I should not have arrived so early at that seat of learning but from the discovery of an intrigue between me and my mas. ter's house-keeper; upon whom I had employed my rhetoric so effectually, that, though she was a very elderly lady, I had almost brought her to consent to marry me. Upon my arrival at Oxford, I found logic so dry, that, instead of giving attention to the dead, I soon fell to addressing the li. ving. My first amour was with a pretty girl whom I shall call Parthenope : her mother sold
ale by the town-wall. Being often caught there by the proctor, I was forced at last, that
my mistress's reputation might receive no blemish, to confess
my addresses were honourable. Upon this I was immediately sent home; but Parthenope soon after marrying a shoe-maker, I was again suffered to return. My next affair was with my tailor's daughter, who deserted me for the sake of a young barber. Upon my complaining to one of my particular friends of this misfortune, the cruel wag made a mere jest of my calamity, and asked me with a smile, where the needle should turn but to the pole ?* After this I was deeply in love with a milliner, and at last with my bed-maker; upon which I was sent away, or, in the university phrase, rusticated for ever.
Upon my coming home, I settled to my stu. dies so heartily, and contracted so great vedness by being kept from the company I most affected, that my father thought he might venture me at the Temple.
• Within a week after my arrival I began to shine again, and became enamoured with a mighty pretty creature, who had every thing but money to recommend her. Having frequent opportunities of uttering all the soft things which an heart formed for loye could inspire me with, I soon gained her consent to treat of marriage; but, unfortunately for us all, in the absence of my charmer I usually talked the same language to her eldest sister, who is also very pretty.
Now I assure you, Mr. Spectator, this did not proceed from
any real affection I had conceived for her: but, being a perfect stranger to the conversation of men, and strongly addicted to associate with
* The common sign of a barber's shop.
women, I knew no other language but that of love. I should however be very much obliged to you if you could free me from the perplexity I am at present in. I have sent word to my old gentleman in the country that I am desperately in love with the younger sister; and her father, who knew no better, poor man, acquainted him by the same post, that I had for some time made my addresses to the elder. Upon this old Testy sends me up word, that he has heard so much of my exploits, that he intends immediately to order me to the South-sea. Sir, I have occasionally talked so much of dying, that I begin to think there is not much in it; and if the old squire persists in his de sign, I do hereby give him notice that I am providing myself with proper instruments for the destruction of despairing lovers ; let him therefore look to it, and consider that by his obstinacy he inay himself lose the son of his strength, the world an hopeful lawyer, my mistress a passionate lover, and you, Mr. Spectator,
Your constant admirer,
No. 597. WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 22, 1714.
Mens sine pondere ludit.
The mind uncumber'd plays.
SINCE I received my friend Shadow's letter, several of my correspondents have been pleased to send me an account how they have been employed in sleep, and what notable adventures they have been engaged in during that moonshine in the
brain. I shall lay before my readers an abridgment of some few of their extravagancies, in hopes that they will in time accustom themselves to dream a little more to the purpose.
One, who styles himself Gladio, complains heavily that his fair ore charges him with inconstancy, and does not use him with half the kindness which the sincerity of his passion may demand; the said Gladio having by valour and stratagem put to death tyrants, enchanters, monsters,' knights, &c. without number, and exposed himself to all manner of dangers for her sake and safety. He desires in his postscript to know whether, from a constant success in them, he may not promise himself to succeed in her esteem at last.
Another, who is very prolix in his narrative, writes me word, that having sent a venture beyond sea, he took occasion one night to fancy himself gone along with it, and grown on a sudden the richest man in all the Indies. Having been there about a year or two, a gust of wind, that forced open his casement, blew him over to his native country again where awaking at six o'clock, and the change of the air not agreeing with him, he turned to his left side in order to a second voyage; but before he could get on shipboard was unfortunately apprehended for stealing a horse, tried and condemned for the fact, and in a fair way of being executed, if somebody stepping hastily into his chamber had not brought him a reprieve. This fellow too wants Mr. Shadow's advice; who, I dare say, would bid him be content to rise after his first nap, and learn to be satisfied as soon as nature is.
The next is a public-spirited gentleman, who tells me, that on the second of September at night