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"P. S. Sir, if I marry this lady by the assist
of your opinion, you may expect a favour for it.'
• I have the misfortune to be one of those unhappy men who are distinguished by the name of discarded lovers; but I am the less mortified at my disgrace, because the young lady is one of those creatures who set up for negligence of men, are forsooth the most rigidly virtuous in the world, and yet their nicety will permit them at the command of parents, to go to bed to the most utter stranger that can be proposed to them. As to me myself, I was introduced by the father of my mistress; but I find lowe my being at first received to a comparison of my estate with that of a forner lover, and that I am now in like manner urned off, to give way to an humble servant still icher than I am. What makes this treatment he more extravagant is, that the young lady is n the management of this way of fraud, and beys her father's orders on these occasions with. ut any manner of reluctance, but does it with he same air that one of your men of the world vould signify the necessity of affairs for turning nother out of office. When I came home last ight, I found this letter from my mistress.
• I hope you will not think it is any manner of isrespect to your person or merit, that the innded nuptials between us are interrupted. My ther says he has a much better offer for me than ou can make, and has ordered me to break off
the treaty between us. If it had proceeded, I should have behaved myself with all suitable regard to you; but, as it is, I beg we may be strangers for the future. Adieu.
• This great indifference on this subject, and the mercenary motives for making alliances, is what I think lies naturally before you; and I beg
you to give me your thoughts upon it. My answer to Lydia was as follows, which I hope you will approve; for you are to know the woman's family affect a wonderful ease on these occasions, though they expect it should be painfully received on the man's side.
* I have received yours, and knew the prudence of your house so well, that I always took care to be ready to obey your commands, though they should be to see you no more. Pray give my service to all the good family. Adieu.
CLITOPHON.' 'The opera subscription is full.'
Memorandum. The censor of marriage to consider this letter, and report the common usages on such treaties, with how many pounds or acres are generally esteemed sufficient reason for preferring a new to an old pretender;with his opinion what is proper to be determined in such cases for the future.
• There is an elderly person lately left off business, and settled in our town, in order, as he thinks, to retire from the world; but he has brought with him such an inclination to talebearing, that he disturbs both himself and all our neighbourhood. Notwithstanding this frailty, the honest gentleman is so happy as to have no enemy; at the same time he has not one friend who will venture to acquaint him with his weakness. It is not to be doubted but if this failing were set in a proper light, he would quickly perceive the indecency and evil consequences of it Now, sir, this being an infirmity which I hope may
be corrected; and knowing that he pays much deference to you, 1 beg that when you are at leisure to give us a speculation on gossiping, you would think of my neighbour: you will thereby oblige several who will be glad to find a reformation in their gray-haired friend; and how becoming will it be for him, instead of pouring forth words at all adventures, to set a watch before the door of his mouth, to refrain his tongue, to check its impetuosity, and guard against the sallies of that little pert, forward, busy person; which, under a sober conduct, might prove a useful member of society? In compliance with those intimations, I have taken the liberty to make this address to you. I am, sir, Your most obscure servant,
Feb. 16, 1712. This is to petition you in behalf of myselt and many more of your gentle readers, that at any time when you may have private reasons against letting us know what you think yourself, you would be pleased to pardon us such letters
of your correspondents as seem to pe of no use but to the printer.
• It is further our humble request that you would substitute advertisements in the place of such epistles; and that in order hereunto, Mr. Buckley may be authorized to take up of your zealous friend Mr. Charles Lillie any quantity of words he shall from time to time have occasion for.
• The many useful parts of knowledge which may be communicated to the public this way, will, we hope, be a consideration in favour of your petitioners.
. And your petitioners, &c.' Note. That particular regard be had to this petition, and the papers marked letter R may be carefully examined for the future.
No. 311. TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 26.
Nec Veneris pharetris maeer est, aut lampade fervet:
6 MR. SPECTATOR,
"I am amazed that among all the variety of characters with which you have enriched your speculations, you have never given us a picture of those audacious young fellows among us, who commonly go by the name of fortune-stealers.
You must krow, sir, I am one who live in a continual apprehension of this sort of people that lie in wait, day and night, for our children, and may be considered as a kind of kidnappers within the law. I am the father of a young heiress, whom I begin to look upon as marriageable, and who has looked upon herself as such for above these six years.
She is now in the eighteenth year of
The fortune-hunters have already cast their eyes upon her, and take care to plant ihemselves in her view whenever she appears public assembly. I have myself caught a young jack-a-napes with a pair of silver fringed gloves in the very fact. You must know, sir, I have kept her as a prisoner of state ever since she was in her teens. Her chamber windows are crossbarred; she is not permitted to go out of the house but with her keeper, who is a staid relation of my own;
I have likewise forbid her the use of pen and ink for this twelvemonth last past, and do not suffer a band-box to be carried into her room before it has been searched. Notwithstanding these precautions, I am at my wits end for fear of any sudden
surprise. There were, two or three nights ago, some fiddles heard in the street, which I am afraid portend me no good; not to mention a tall Irishman, that has been seen walking before my house, more than once this winter. My kinswoman likewise informs me, that the girl has talked to her twice or thrice of a gentleman in a fair wig, and that she loves to go to church more than ever she did in her life. She gave me the slip about a week ago; upon which my whole house was in alarm. I immediately despatched a hue and cry after her to the 'Change, to her