Obrázky stránek

been fishing in troubled waters, and that an ignus fatuus hath bewildered you, and that indeed you have built upon a fandy foundation, and brought your dogs to a fair market.

· I am,


* Yours, &c.'


Molle meum levibus cor eft violabile telis:

Ovid. Ep. xv. ver. 79. Cupid's light darts my tender bosom move.

Pope. THE cafe of my correspondent, who fends me

the following letter, has somewhat in it fo very whimsical, that I know not how to entertain my readers better than by laying it before them.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

I Am fully convinced that there is not upon

earth a more impertinent creature than an importunate lover. We are daily complaining of the leverity of our fate, to people who are wholly unconcerned in it ; and hourly improving à palfion, which we would persuade the world is the

torment of our lives. Notwithstanding this re· Aection, 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

bedfellow many years since, had not my father, ' who has a pretty good estate of his own getting, VOL. VIII.


. and

[ocr errors]



- and passes in the world for a prudent man, been

pleased to lay it down as a maxim, That nothing spoils a young fellow's fortune so much as marry

ing early ; and that no man ought to think of (wedlock until fix and twenty. Knowing his sens timents upon this head, I thought it in vain to

apply myself to women of condition, who expect is 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 school16. mistress'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 paflion

for being well with the females still increased as

I advanced in years. At the dancing-school I * contracted fo many quarrels by struggling with

my fellow-scholars for the partner I liked beft,

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, foon ' moved 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 univer

sity ; though, to confess the truth, I should not • have arrived so early at that feat of learning, but

from the discovery of an intrigue between me and my master's house-keeper; upon whom I had employed my rhethoric fo effectually, that, though • The was a very elderly Lady, I had almost brought • her to consent to marry me. Upon my arrival

at Oxford, I found logic fo dry, that, instead of giving attention to the

dead, I foon fell to addres• fing the living. 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


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


6. by the proctor, I was forced at last, that my mif. • tress's reputation might receive no blemish, to • confess my addresses were honourable. Upon “this I was immediately fent home ; but Partla

nope foon after marrying a shoe-maker, I was again suffered to return. My next affair was with. my taylor's daughter, who deferted me for the

fake 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, 6.and asked me with a smile, Where the needle. Should turn but to the pole ? After this I was

deeply in love with a millener, and at last "- with my bed-maker, upon which I was fent a-,

way, or in the university-phrase, Rusticated forever.

• Upon my coming home, I settled to my studies • fo heartily, and contracted fo great a reservedness.

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 fhine again, and become enamoured with a mighty pretty creature, who had every thing but money to recommend her. Having frequent oppor

tunities of uttering all the soft things which an • heart formed. for love could inspire me with, I *foon gained her consent to treat of marriage ; but 6 unfortunately, for us all, in the absence of my · charmer I usually talked the same language to -- her eldest difter, who is also very pretty. Now,6-I assure you, Mr. SPECTATOR, this did not pro6-ceed from any real affection I had conceived for · her; but being a perfect ftranger to the conver

sation of men, and strongly addicted to associate

with the women, I knew no other language but s 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

6 to

P 2

to my

old Gentlemen in the country, that I am desparately in love with the younger fifter; and • her father, who knew no better, poor man, ac

quainted him by the fame poft, that I had for • some time made my addresses to the elder. Up

on this old Testy fends 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 perfifts in his defign, I do hereby give • him notice that I am providing myself with pro

per instruments for the destruction of despairing

lovers; let him therefore look to it, and consider • that by his obstinacy he may himself lose the fon • of his strength, the world an hopeful lawyer,

my mistress a passionate lover, and you, Mr. • SPECTATOR,

“Your conftant admirer, Middle-Temple, Sept. 18.


[ocr errors]


Mens fine pondere ludit.

PETR. The mind uncumber'd plays. Since I received my friend Shadow's better, fe.

veral of my correspondents have been pleased to send me an account how they have been employed in sleep, and what notable adventures they bave been engaged in during that moonshine in the brain, I shall lay before my readers an abridgement of some few of their extravagances, in hopes that they will in time accuftom themselves to dream a little more to the purpofe.


[ocr errors]

One, who stiles himself Gladio, complains héavily that his fair one charges him with inconstancy, and does not use him with half the kindness which the fincerity of his passion inay demand ; the said Gladio having by valour and stratagem puť to death tyrants, enchanters, monsters, knights, &c. witliout number, and exposed himself to all manner of dangers for her fake and safety. He desires in his postscript to know whether, from a constant success in them,- he may not promise himself to fucceed 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 fix o'clock, and the change of the air not agreeing with him, he turned to his left fide in order to a second voyage ; but ere 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 some body 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 ture is.

The next is a publick-fpirited Gentleman, who tells me, That on the second of September at night the whole city was on fire, and would certainly have been reduced to ashes again by this time, if he had not flown over it with the New River on his back, and happily extinguished the flames before they had prevailed too far. He would be informed whether he has not a right to



[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« PředchozíPokračovat »