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No. 330 [from The Spectator]
by [?]


I am a Lad of about fourteen. I find a mighty Pleasure in Learning. I have been at the Latin School four Years. I don’t know I ever play’d [truant, [1]] or neglected any Task my Master set me in my Life. I think on what I read in School as I go home at noon and night, and so intently, that I have often gone half a mile out of my way, not minding whither I went. Our Maid tells me, she often hears me talk Latin in my sleep. And I dream two or three Nights in the Week I am reading Juvenal and Homer. My Master seems as well pleased with my Performances as any Boys in the same Class. I think, if I know my own Mind, I would chuse rather to be a Scholar, than a Prince without Learning. I have a very [good [2]] affectionate Father; but tho very rich, yet so mighty near, that he thinks much of the Charges of my Education. He often tells me, he believes my Schooling will ruin him; that I cost him God-knows what in Books. I tremble to tell him I want one. I am forced to keep my Pocket-Mony, and lay it out for a Book, now and then, that he don’t know of. He has order’d my Master to buy no more Books for me, but says he will buy them himself. I asked him for Horace tother Day, and he told me in a Passion, he did not believe I was fit for it, but only my Master had a Mind to make him think I had got a great way in my Learning. I am sometimes a Month behind other Boys in getting the Books my Master gives Orders for. All the Boys in the School, but I, have the Classick Authors in usum Delphini, gilt and letter’d on the Back. My Father is often reckoning up how long I have been at School, and tells me he fears I do little good. My Fathers Carriage so discourages me, that he makes me grow dull and melancholy. My Master wonders what is the matter with me; I am afraid to tell him; for he is a Man that loves to encourage Learning, and would be apt to chide my Father, and, not knowing my Fathers Temper, may make him worse. Sir, if you have any Love for Learning, I beg you would give me some Instructions in this case, and persuade Parents to encourage their Children when they find them diligent and desirous of Learning. I have heard some Parents say, they would do any thing for their Children, if they would but mind their Learning: I would be glad to be in their place. Dear Sir, pardon my Boldness. If you will but consider and pity my case, I will pray for your Prosperity as long as I live.

London, March 2,1711.
Your humble Servant,

James Discipulus.

March the 18th.


The ostentation you showed yesterday would have been pardonable had you provided better for the two Extremities of your Paper, and placed in one the letter R., in the other Nescio quid meditans nugarum, et lotus in illis. A Word to the wise.
I am your most humble Servant,
T. Trash.

According to the Emendation of the above Correspondent, the Reader is desired in the Paper of the 17th to read R. for T. [3]


[Footnote 1: at truant]

[Footnote 2: loving]