Friday, February 29, 1712. Steele.
Tandem desine Matrem
Tempestiva sequi viro.
Hor. Od. 23.
Feb. 7, 1711-12.
I am a young Man about eighteen Years of Age, and have been in Love with a young Woman of the same Age about this half Year. I go to see her six Days in the Week, but never could have the Happiness of being with her alone. If any of her Friends are at home, she will see me in their Company; but if they be not in the Way, she flies to her Chamber. I can discover no Signs of her Aversion; but either a Fear of falling into the Toils of Matrimony, or a childish Timidity, deprives us of an Interview apart, and drives us upon the Difficulty of languishing out our Lives in fruitless Expectation. Now, Mr. SPECTATOR, if you think us ripe for Oeconomy, perswade the dear Creature, that to pine away into Barrenness and Deformity under a Mothers Shade, is not so honourable, nor does she appear so amiable, as she would in full Bloom. [There is a great deal left out before he concludes] Mr. SPECTATOR,
Your humble Servant,
If this Gentleman be really no more than Eighteen, I must do him the Justice to say he is the most knowing Infant I have yet met with. He does not, I fear, yet understand, that all he thinks of is another Woman; therefore, till he has given a further Account of himself, the young Lady is hereby directed to keep close to her Mother. The SPECTATOR.
I cannot comply with the Request in Mr. Trott’s Letter; but let it go just as it came to my Hands, for being so familiar with the old Gentleman, as rough as he is to him. Since Mr. Trott has an Ambition to make him his Father-in-Law, he ought to treat him with more Respect; besides, his Style to me might have been more distant than he has thought fit to afford me: Moreover, his Mistress shall continue in her Confinement, till he has found out which Word in his Letter is not wrightly spelt.
I shall ever own my self your obliged humble Servant for the Advice you gave me concerning my Dancing; which unluckily came too late: For, as I said, I would not leave off Capering till I had your Opinion of the Matter; was at our famous Assembly the Day before I received your Papers, and there was observed by an old Gentleman, who was informed I had a Respect for his Daughter; told me I was an insignificant little Fellow, and said that for the future he would take Care of his Child; so that he did not doubt but to crosse my amorous Inclinations. The Lady is confined to her Chamber, and for my Part, am ready to hang my self with the Thoughts that I have danced my self out of Favour with her Father. I hope you will pardon the Trouble I give; but shall take it for a mighty Favour, if you will give me a little more of your Advice to put me in a write Way to cheat the old Dragon and obtain my Mistress. I am once more,
Your obliged humble Servant, John Trott.
York, Feb. 23, 1711-12.
Let me desire you to make what Alterations you please, and insert this as soon as possible. Pardon Mistake by Haste
I never do pardon Mistakes by Haste. The SPECTATOR.
Feb. 27, 1711-12.
Pray be so kind as to let me know what you esteem to be the chief Qualification of a good Poet, especially of one who writes Plays; and you will very much oblige,
SIR, Your very humble Servant, N. B.