**** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE ****

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. 089 [from The Spectator]
by [?]

No. 89
Tuesday, June 12, 1711.
‘… Petite hinc juvenesque senesque

Finem animo certum, miserisque viatica canis.

Cras hoc fiet. Idem eras fiet. Quid? quasi magnum

Nempe diem donas? sed cum lux altera venit,

Jam cras hesternum consumpsimus; ecce aliud cras

Egerit hos annos, et semper paulum erit ultra.

Nam quamvis prope te, quamvis temone sub uno

Vertentem sese frustra sectabere canthum.’


As my Correspondents upon the Subject of Love are very numerous, it is my Design, if possible, to range them under several Heads, and address my self to them at different Times. The first Branch of them, to whose Service I shall Dedicate these Papers, are those that have to do with Women of dilatory Tempers, who are for spinning out the Time of Courtship to an immoderate Length, without being able either to close with their Lovers, or to dismiss them. I have many Letters by me filled with Complaints against, this sort of Women. In one of them no less a Man than a Brother of the Coif tells me, that he began his Suit Vicesimo nono Caroli secundi, before he had been a Twelvemonth at the Temple; that he prosecuted it for many Years after he was called to the Bar; that at present he is a Sergeant at Law; and notwithstanding he hoped that Matters would have been long since brought to an Issue, the Fair One still demurrs. I am so well pleased with this Gentleman’s Phrase, that I shall distinguish this Sect of Women by the Title of Demurrers. I find by another Letter from one that calls himself Thirsis, that his Mistress has been Demurring above these seven Years. But among all my Plaintiffs of this Nature, I most pity the unfortunate Philander, a Man of a constant Passion and plentiful Fortune, who sets forth that the timorous and irresolute Silvia has demurred till she is past Child-bearing. Strephon appears by his Letter to be a very cholerick Lover, and irrevocably smitten with one that demurrs out of Self-interest. He tells me with great Passion that she has bubbled him out of his Youth; that she drilled him on to Five and Fifty, and that he verily believes she will drop him in his old Age, if she can find her Account in another. I shall conclude this Narrative with a Letter from honest Sam Hopewell, a very pleasant Fellow, who it seems has at last married a Demurrer: I must only premise, that Sam, who is a very good Bottle-Companion, has been the Diversion of his Friends, upon account of his Passion, ever since the Year One thousand Six hundred and Eighty one.

Dear SIR,

‘You know very well my Passion for Mrs. Martha, and what a Dance she has led me: She took me at the Age of Two and Twenty, and dodged with me above Thirty Years. I have loved her till she is grown as Grey as a Cat, and am with much ado become the Master of her Person, such as it is at present. She is however in my Eye a very charming old Woman. We often lament that we did not marry sooner, but she has no Body to blame for it but her self: You know very well that she would never think of me whilst she had a Tooth in her Head. I have put the Date of my Passion (Anno Amoris Trigesimo primo) instead of a Posy, on my Wedding-Ring. I expect you should send me a Congratulatory Letter, or, if you please, an Epithalamium, upon this Occasion.

Mrs. Martha’s and
Yours Eternally,