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Middle-Temple, OEtober 26, 1714. THOU 'Hough you have formerly made Eloquence
the subject of one or more of your papers, . I do not remember that you ever considered it as
poffefied by a set of people, who are fo far from making Quintilian's rules their practice, that I
dare say for them, they never heard of such an 5. author, and yet are no less masters of it than
Tully or Demofthenes among the ancients, or - whom you please among the moderns. The per
' fons I am speaking of are our common beggars - about this town; and that what I say is true, I
appeal to any man who has a heart one degree fofter than a ftone. As for my part, who do not pretend to more humanity than my neighbours,
I have oftentimes gone from my chambers with ! money in my pocket, and returned to them not . only pennyless, but deftitute of a farthing, without • bestowing of it any other way than on these feem*ing objects of pity. In short, I have seen more . eloquence in a Look from one of those despicable
creatures, than in the Eye of the fairest She I ever
saw, yet no one a greater admirer of that sex • than myself.
What I have to desire of you is to lay down fome directions in order to guard against
these powerful orators, or elfe I know nothing to 5 the contrary, but I must myself be forced to leave • the profession of the law; and endeavour to get the qualifications neceffary to that more profit.
able one of begging. But in which foever of these two capacities I shine, I shall always desire your constant reader, and ever will be • Your most bumble servant
i: 1. J. B.'
SIR, in listy UPox reading a spectator last week, where Mis.
Fanny Fickle submitted the choice of a lover for life to your decisive determination, and ima
gining. I might claim the favour of your advice in an affair of the like, but much more difficult • nature, I called for pen and ink, in order to draw
the characters of feven humble servants, whom • I have equally encouraged for some time. But, * alas! while I was reflecting on the agreeable fub.
ject, and contriving an advantageous description • of the dear person I was most inclined to favour,
I happened to look into my glass. The fight of -* the small-pox, out of which I am just recovered, s tormented me at once with the loss of my capti• vating arts and my captives.1: The confusion I ( '
was in on this unhappy, unseasonable discovery, is inexpreffible. Believe me, Sir, I was fo taken up with the thoughts of your fair correspondent's
case, and fo intent upon my own design, that I • fancied myself as triumphant in my conquests as
Now, Sir, finding I was incapacitated to a* muse myself on that pleasing subject, I resolved to • apply myself to you, or your casuistical agent, for
advice in my present circumstances. I am fenfible the tincture of my ikin, and the regularity of my features, which the malice of my, late illness has altered, are irrecoverable; yet do not difpair, but
that loss, by your assistance, may in some measure * be reparable, if you will pleafe to propose a way 3r for the recovery of one only of my fugitives.
One of them is in a more particular manner « beholden to me than the rest; he for fome pri#vate reason's being desirous to be a lover incogni* to, always addrefled me with Billet-doux, which
I was so careful of in my fickness, that I secured • the key of iny love-magazine under my head, and
hearing a noise of opening a lock in my chamber, endangered my life by getting out of bed, to pre* vent, ii it had been attempted, the discovery of + that amour. * I have formerly made use of all those artifices,
which our fex daily practises over yours, to draw as it were undesignedly, the eyes of a whole con
gregation to my pew; I have taken a pride in the * number of admirers at my afternoon levée; but
am'now quite another creature. I think, could * I regain the attractive influence I once had, if I • had a legion of suitors, I should never be ambi• tious of entertaining more than one. I have al• most contracted an antipathy to the trifling dif
courses, of impertinent lovers, though I must needs • own, I have thought it very odd of late, to hear gen
tlemen, instead of their usual complacencies, fall • into disputes before me of politicks, or else weary
me with the tedious repetiton of how thankful
I ought to be, and satisfied with my recovery out • of so dangerous a distemper: This, though I am
very fenfible of the blefling, yet I cannot but dislike,
because such advice from then rather seems to * insult than comfort me, and reminds me too ' much of what I was; which melancholy consi• deration I cannot yet perfectly furmount, but * hope your sentiments on this head will make it supportable, • To show you what a value I have for
dic• tates, these are to certify the perfons concerned, * that unless one of them returns to his colours, (if I
may so call them now) before the winter is over, I
will voluntarily confine myself to a retirement, • where I will punish them all with my needle. I will
be revenged on them by deciphering them on a carpet, humbly begging admittance, myself fcornful. ly refusing it. If you disapprove of this, as fa
vouring too much of malice, be pleafed to • acquaint me with a draught you like better, and • it shall be faithfully performed by
• The unfortunate
NO 614. MONDAY, NOVEMBER 1.
Si mihi non animo fixum, immotumque sederet,
VIRG. Æn. iv. ver. 15.
Dryden. THE following account hath been transmitted to
me by the Love-casuist. • Mr. SPECTATOR, : Høving in some former papers taken care of
the two states of virginity and marriage, ' and being willing that all people should be serve red in their turn, I this day drew out my • drawer of widows, where I met with several 6 cases, to each whereof I have returned fatis
factory answers by the post. The cases are as « follow.
"Q. Whether Amoret be bound by a promise of marriage to Philander, made during her husband's life? • Q. Whether Sempronia, having faithfully given a promise to two several perfons during the
last fickness of her husband, is not thereby • left at liberty to chufe which of them she pleafes,
or to reject them both for the sake of a new « lover?
• Cleora asks me, whether she be obliged to con'tinue single, according to a vow made to her husband at the time of his presenting her with a dia.
• mond necklace ; she being informed by a very
pretty young fellow of a good conscience, that such vows are in their nature sinful ?
Another enquires, whether the hath not the right of widowhood, to dispose of herself to a • Gentleman of great merit, who presses very hard ;
her husband being irrecoverably gone in a confumption ?
• An unreasonable creature hath the confi. dence to ask, whether it be proper for her to marry a man who is younger than her eldest • A fcrupulous well-spoken matron, who gives me a great many good words, only doubts whe
ther she is not obliged in conscience to shut up • her two marriageable daughters, until such
time as the hath comfortably difpofed of herself?
Sophronia, who seems by her phrase and spelling to be a person of condition, sets forth, that ' whereas fhe hath a great estate, and is but a wo
man, she desires to be informed, whether the
would not do prudently to marry Camillus, a very . idle tall young fellow, who hath no fortune of • his own, and consequently hath nothing else to • do but to manage hers.'
Before I speak of widows, I cannot but ohferve one thing, which I do not know how to account for ; a widow is always more sought after, than an old maid of the same age. It is common enough among ordinary people, for a stale virgin to set up a shop in a place where she is not known; where the large thumb-ring, supposed to be given her by her husband, quickly recommends her to fome wealthy neighbour, who takes a liking to the jolly widow, that would have overlooked the venerable spinster.
The truth of it is, if we look into this set of women, we find, according to the different charac