Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Story.

Enjoy this? Share it!


No. 140 [from The Spectator]
by [?]

I am, Sir
Your very Humble Servant,

Betty Saunter.

Pray, Sir, direct thus, To the kind Querist, and leave it at Mr. Lillie’s, for I don’t care to be known in the thing at all. I am, Sir, again Your Humble Servant.’


‘I must needs tell you there are several of your Papers I do not much like. You are often so Nice there is no enduring you, and so Learned there is no understanding you. What have you to do with our Petticoats?’

Your Humble Servant,


‘Last Night as I was walking in the Park, I met a couple of Friends; Prithee Jack, says one of them, let us go drink a Glass of Wine, for I am fit for nothing else. This put me upon reflecting on the many Miscarriages which happen in Conversations over Wine, when Men go to the Bottle to remove such Humours as it only stirs up and awakens. This I could not attribute more to any thing than to the Humour of putting Company upon others which Men do not like themselves. Pray, Sir, declare in your Papers, that he who is a troublesome Companion to himself, will not be an agreeable one to others. Let People reason themselves into good-Humour, before they impose themselves upon their Friends. Pray, Sir, be as Eloquent as you can upon this Subject, and do Human Life so much Good, as to argue powerfully, that it is not every one that can swallow who is fit to drink a Glass of Wine.’

Your most Humble Servant.


‘I this Morning cast my Eye upon your Paper concerning the Expence of Time. You are very obliging to the Women, especially those who are not Young and past Gallantry, by touching so gently upon Gaming: Therefore I hope you do not think it wrong to employ a little leisure Time in that Diversion; but I should be glad to hear you say something upon the Behaviour of some of the Female Gamesters.

I have observed Ladies, who in all other respects are Gentle, Good-humoured, and the very Pinks of good Breeding; who as soon as the Ombre Table is called for, and set down to their Business, are immediately Transmigrated into the veriest Wasps in Nature.

You must know I keep my Temper, and win their Mony; but am out of Countenance to take it, it makes them so very uneasie. Be pleased, dear Sir, to instruct them to lose with a better Grace, and you will oblige’


Rachel Basto.


‘Your Kindness to Eleonora, in one of your Papers, has given me Encouragement to do my self the Honour of writing to you. The great Regard you have so often expressed for the Instruction and Improvement of our Sex, will, I hope, in your own Opinion, sufficiently excuse me from making any Apology for the Impertinence of this Letter. The great Desire I have to embellish my Mind with some of those Graces which you say are so becoming, and which you assert Reading helps us to, has made me uneasie ’till I am put in a Capacity of attaining them: This, Sir, I shall never think my self in, ’till you shall be pleased to recommend some Author or Authors to my Perusal.

I thought indeed, when I first cast my Eye on Eleonora’s Letter, that I should have had no occasion for requesting it of you; but to my very great Concern, I found, on the Perusal of that Spectator, I was entirely disappointed, and am as much at a loss how to make use of my Time for that end as ever. Pray, Sir, oblige me at least with one Scene, as you were pleased to entertain Eleonora with your Prologue. I write to you not only my own Sentiments, but also those of several others of my Acquaintance, who are as little pleased with the ordinary manner of spending one’s Time as my self: And if a fervent Desire after Knowledge, and a great Sense of our present Ignorance, may be thought a good Presage and Earnest of Improvement, you may look upon your Time you shall bestow in answering this Request not thrown away to no purpose. And I can’t but add, that unless you have a particular and more than ordinary Regard for Eleonora, I have a better Title to your Favour than she; since I do not content myself with Tea-table Reading of your Papers, but it is my Entertainment very often when alone in my Closet. To shew you I am capable of Improvement, and hate Flattery, I acknowledge I do not like some of your Papers; but even there I am readier to call in question my own shallow Understanding than Mr. SPECTOR’S profound Judgment.

I am, Sir, your already (and in hopes of being more)
your obliged Servant,


This last Letter is written with so urgent and serious an Air, that I cannot but think it incumbent upon me to comply with her Commands, which I shall do very suddenly.


[Footnote 1: This letter, signed Parthenia, was by Miss Shepheard, sister of Mrs. Perry, who wrote the Letter in No, 92, signed ‘Leonora.’]