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A M fully convinced that there is not upon earth a
more impertinent creature than an importunate lover: we are daily complaining of the severity of our
fate, to people who are wholly unconcerned in it; and 5 hourly improving a passion, which we would persuade « the world is the torment of our lives. Notwithstand• ing this reflection, Sir, I cannot forbear acquainting
you with my own case. You must know then, Sir, • that even from my childhood, the most prevailing incli• nation I could perceive in myself, was a strong desire to • be in favour with the fair sex. I am at present in the
one and twentieth year of my age, and should have • made choice of a the bedfellow many years since, had
not my fither, who has a pretty good estate of his own getting, and passes in the world for a prudent man, • been pleased to lay it down as a maxim, That nothing spoils a young fellow's fortune so much as marrying
eacly; and that no man ought to think of wedlock till • fix and twenty. Knowing his sentiments upon this "head, I thought it in vain to apply myself to women
of condition, who expect settlements; so that all my « amours have hitherto been with ladies who had no for
tunes: but I know not how to give you so good an • idea of me, as by laying before you the history of my life.
'I can very well remember, that at my school-mi• stress's, whenever we broke up, I was always for join• ing myself with the miss who lury in, and was constant
ly one of the first to make a party in the play of huf• band and wife. This passion for being well with the • females still increased as I advanced in years. At the
dancing-school I contracted fo many quarrels by fruggling with my fellow-scholars for the partner I liketi • best, that upon a ball-night, before our mothers made ' their appearance, I was usually up to the nose in blood.
My father, like a discreet man, foon removed me from
this stage of softness to a school of discipline, where I • learnt Latin and Greek. I underwerit several favcrities * in this place, till it was thought convenient to send me to the university; though, to confess the truth, I thouli
. not have arrived so early at that seat of learning, but from * the discovery of an intrigue between me and my master's
housekeeper; upon whom I had employed my rhetoric • so effectually, that, though she was a very elderly lady, I had almost brought her to consent to marry me. Upon
arrival at Oxford, I found logic so dry, that, instead • of giving attention to the dead, i foon fell to addressing
the living. My first amour was with a pretty girl, whom • I fall call Parthenope : her mother fold ale by the "town-wall. Being often caught there by the proctor, I
was forced at last, that my mistress's reputation might re• ceire no blemish,
my addresses were honoursable. Upon this I was immediately sent hone; but • Parthenope foon after marrying a fhoemaker, I was a'gain suffered to return. My next affair was with my • tailor's daughter, who deserted me for the sake of a
young barber. Upon my complaining to one of my particular friends on this misfortune, the cruel wag
made iz mere jest of my calamity, and asked me with a smile, " Where the needle should turn but to the pole ? After * this I was deeply in lore with a millener, and at laft
with my bed-maker, upon which I was sent away, or in the university-phrase, rusticated for ever.
• Upon my.coming home, I fettled to my studies fa ''heartily, and contracted fo great a reservedness by be
ing kept from the company 1 most affected, that my fam ther thought he might venture me at the temple.
“Within a week after my arrival I began to shine again, and became enamoxired with a mighty pretty creature, • who had every thing but money to recommend her. * Having frequent opportunities of uttering all the soft
things which an heart formed for love could inspire me
with, I soon gained her consent to treat of marriage ; .but, unfortunately for us all, in the absence of my charm
er, I usually talked the same language to her elder fi
ster, who is also very pretty. Now, I assure you, Mr * Spectator, this did noi proceed from any real affection I « had conceived for her; but being a perfet stranger to “the conversation of men, and ilrongly addicted to asso..ciate with the women, I knew no other language buite o that of love. I should however be very much obliged to you, if you could free me from the perplexity I am at VOL. VIII,
present in. I have sent word to my old gentleman in the • country, that I am desperately in love with the younger • sister; and her father, who knew no better, poor man,
acquainted him by the same post, that I had for some s time made my addresses to the elder. Upon this old
Testy sends me up word, that he has heard so much of
my exploits, that he intends immediately to order me to " the South Sea. Sir, I have occasionally talked so much
of dying, that I begin to think there is not much in it; • and if the old squire persists in his design, I do hereby
give him notice that I am providing myself with proper • instruments for the destruction of despairing lorers; let « him therefore look to it, and consider that by his obsti
nacy may himself lose the son of his strength, the ' world an hopeful lawyer, my mistress a passionate lover, and you, Mr Spectator,
Your constant admirer,
Wednesday, September 22.
Mens fine pondere ludit,
The mind uncumber'd plays.
VINCE I received my friend Shadow's letter, several
of my correspondents have been plcased to send me an account how they have been employed in sleep, and what notable adventures they have been engaged in during that moonshine in the brain. I shall lay before my readers an abridgment of some few of their extravagancies, in hopes that they will in time accustom themselves to dream a little more to the purpose.
Onc, who stiles himself Gladio, complains hcavily that his fair one charges him with inconstancy, and does not use him with half the kindness which the sincerity of his pasfion may demand; the said Gladio having by valour and stratagem put to death tyrants, enchanters, monsters, knights, &c. without number, and exposed himself to all
manner of dangers for her fake and safety. He desires in his poftfcript to know, whether, from a constant success in them, he may not promise himself to succeed in her esteem at last.
ANOTHER who is very prolix in his narrative writes me word, that having sent a venture beyond fea, he took occasion one night to fancy himself gone along with it, and grown on a sudden the richest man in all the Indies. Having been there about a year or two, a gust of wind that forced open his casement, blew him over to his native country again, where awaking at fix o'clock, and the change of the air not agreeing with him, he turned to his left side in order to a second voyage ; but ere hc could get on shipboard, was unfortunately apprehended for stealing a horse, tried and condemned for the fact, and in a fair way of being executed, if some body stepping hastily into his chamber had not brought him a reprieve. This fellow too wants Mr Shadow's advice, who, I dare say, would bid him be content to rise after his first nap, and learn to be satisfied as soon as nature is.
The next is a public-spirited geritleman, who tells me, that on the second of September at night the whole city was on fire, and would certainly have been reduced to ashes again by this time, if he had not flown over it with the new river on his back, and happily extinguished the flames before they had prerailed too far. He would be informed whether he has not a right to petition the lord mayor and aldermen for a reward.
A LETTER dated September the ninth acquaints me, that the writer being resolved to try his fortune, had fasted all that day; and that he might be sure of dreaming upon something at night, procured an handsome slice of bride-cake, which he placed very conveniently under his pillow. In the morning his memory happened to fail him, and he could recollect nothing but an odd fancy that he had eaten his cake; which being found upon search reduced to a few crumbs, he is resolved to remember more . of his dreams another time, believing from this that there. may possibly be somewhat of truth in them.
I HAVE received numerous complaints from several dee. licious dreamers, desiring me to invent some method of fie lencing those noisy flaves, whose occupations lead them to N 2
take their early rounds about the city in a morning, doing a deal of mischief; and working strange confusion in the affairs of its inhabitants. Several monarchs have done me the honour to acquaint me, how often they have been Thook from their respective thrones by the rattling of a coach, or the rumbling of a wheel-barrow. And many private gentlemen, I find, have been bawled out of valt estates by fellows not worth three-pence. A fair lady was just upon the point of being married to a young, handfome, rich, ingenious nobleman, when an impertinent tinker passing by forbid the banns; and an hopeful youth, who had been newly advanced to great honour and preferment, was forced by a neighbouring cobler to resign all for an old song. It has been represented to me, that those inconsiderable rascals do nothing but go about disfolving of marriages, and spoiling of fortunes, impoverishing rich, and ruining great people, interrupting beauties in the midst of their conquests, and generals in the course of their victories. A boisterous peripatetic hardly goes through a street without waking half a dozen kings and princes to open their shops or clean shoes, frequently transforming sceptres into paring shovels, and proclamations into bills. I have by me a letter from a young
staterman, who in five or fix hours came to be emperor of Europe, after which he made war upon the great Turk, routed him horse and foot, and was crowned lord of the universe in Constantinople : the conclusion of all his successes is, that on the 12th instant, about seven in the morning, his imperial majesty was deposed by a chimney-sweeper.
On the other hand, I have epistolary testimonies of gratitude from many miserable people, who owe to this clamorous tribe frequent deliverances from great misfortunes. A small coal-man, by waking of one of these distressed gentlemen, saved him from ten years imprisonment. An honest watchman bidding a loud good-morrow to another, freed him from the malice of many potent enemies, and brought all their designs against him to nothing. A certain valetudinarian confesses he has often been cured of a sore throat by the hoarseness of a carman, and relieved from a fit of the gout by the sound of old shoes. A noisy puppy, that plagued a sober gentleman all night long with