No. 268. Monday, January 7, 1712. Steele.

--Minus aptus acutis Naribus Horum Hominum.

It is not that I think I have been more witty than I ought of late, that at present I wholly forbear any Attempt towards it: I am of Opinion that I ought sometimes to lay before the World the plain Letters of my Correspondents in the artless Dress in which they hastily send them, that the Reader may see I am not Accuser and Judge my self, but that the Indictment is properly and fairly laid, before I proceed against the Criminal.


As you are Spectator-General, I apply myself to you in the following Case; viz. I do not wear a Sword, but I often divert my self at the Theatre, where I frequently see a Set of Fellows pull plain People, by way of Humour [and [2]] Frolick, by the Nose, upon frivolous or no Occasions. A Friend of mine the other Night applauding what a graceful Exit Mr. Wilks made, one of these Nose-wringers overhearing him, pinched him by the nose. I was in the Pit the other Night, (when it was very much crowded) a Gentleman leaning upon me, and very heavily, I very civilly requested him to remove his Hand; for which he pulled me by the Nose. I would not resent it in so publick a Place, because I was unwilling to create a Disturbance; but have since reflected upon it as a thing that is unmanly and disingenuous, renders the Nose-puller odious, and makes the Person pulled by the Nose look little and contemptible. This Grievance I humbly request you would endeavour to redress.

I am your Admirer, &c.

James Easy.


Your Discourse of the 29th of December on Love and Marriage is of so useful a Kind, that I cannot forbear adding my Thoughts to yours on that Subject. Methinks it is a Misfortune, that the Marriage State, which in its own Nature is adapted to give us the compleatest Happiness this Life is capable of, should be so uncomfortable a one to so many as it daily proves. But the Mischief generally proceeds from the unwise Choice People make for themselves, and Expectation of Happiness from Things not capable of giving it. Nothing but the good Qualities of the Person beloved can be a Foundation for a Love of Judgment and Discretion; and whoever expects Happiness from any Thing but Virtue, Wisdom, Good-humour, and a Similitude of Manners, will find themselves widely mistaken. But how few are there who seek after these things, and do not rather make Riches their chief if not their only Aim? How rare is it for a Man, when he engages himself in the Thoughts of Marriage, to place his Hopes of having in such a Woman a constant, agreeable Companion? One who will divide his Cares and double his Joys? Who will manage that Share of his Estate he intrusts to her Conduct with Prudence and Frugality, govern his House with Oeconomy and Discretion, and be an Ornament to himself and Family? Where shall we find the Man who looks out for one who places her chief Happiness in the Practice of Virtue, and makes her Duty her continual Pleasure? No: Men rather seek for Money as the Complement of all their Desires; and regardless of what kind of Wives they take, they think Riches will be a Minister to all kind of Pleasures, and enable them to keep Mistresses, Horses, Hounds, to drink, feast, and game with their Companions, pay their Debts contracted by former Extravagancies, or some such vile and unworthy End; and indulge themselves in Pleasures which are a Shame and Scandal to humane Nature. Now as for the Women; how few of them are there who place the Happiness of their Marriage in the having a wise and virtuous Friend? one who will be faithful and just to all, and constant and loving to them? who with Care and Diligence will look after and improve the Estate, and without grudging allow whatever is prudent and convenient? Rather, how few are there who do not place their Happiness in outshining others in Pomp and Show? and that do not think within themselves when they have married such a rich Person, that none of their Acquaintance shall appear so fine in their Equipage, so adorned in their Persons, or so magnificent in their Furniture as themselves? Thus their Heads are filled with vain Ideas; and I heartily wish I could say that Equipage and Show were not the Chief Good of so many Women as I fear it is.

After this Manner do both Sexes deceive themselves, and bring Reflections and Disgrace upon the most happy and most honourable State of Life; whereas if they would but correct their depraved Taste, moderate their Ambition, and place their Happiness upon proper Objects, we should not find Felicity in the Marriage State such a Wonder in the World as it now is.

Sir, if you think these Thoughts worth inserting [among [3]] your own, be pleased to give them a better Dress, and let them pass abroad; and you will oblige Your Admirer,

A. B.


As I was this Day walking in the Street, there happened to pass by on the other Side of the Way a Beauty, whose Charms were so attracting that it drew my Eyes wholly on that Side, insomuch that I neglected my own Way, and chanced to run my Nose directly against a Post; which the Lady no sooner perceived, but fell out into a Fit of Laughter, though at the same time she was sensible that her self was the Cause of my Misfortune, which in my Opinion was the greater Aggravation of her Crime. I being busy wiping off the Blood which trickled down my Face, had not Time to acquaint her with her Barbarity, as also with my Resolution, viz. never to look out of my Way for one of her Sex more: Therefore, that your humble Servant may be revenged, he desires you to insert this in one of your next Papers, which he hopes will be a Warning to all the rest of the Women Gazers, as well as to poor

Anthony Gape.


I desire to know in your next, if the merry Game of The Parson has lost his Cloak, is not mightily in Vogue amongst the fine Ladies this Christmas; because I see they wear Hoods of all Colours, which I suppose is for that Purpose: If it is, and you think it proper, I will carry some of those Hoods with me to our Ladies in Yorkshire; because they enjoyned me to bring them something from London that was very New. If you can tell any Thing in which I can obey their Commands more agreeably, be pleased to inform me, and you will extremely oblige

Your humble Servant

Oxford, Dec. 29.


Since you appear inclined to be a Friend to the Distressed, I beg you would assist me in an Affair under which I have suffered very much. The reigning Toast of this Place is Patetia; I have pursued her with the utmost Diligence this Twelve-month, and find nothing stands in my Way but one who flatters her more than I can. Pride is her Favourite Passion; therefore if you would be so far my Friend as to make a favourable Mention of her in one of your Papers, I believe I should not fail in my Addresses. The Scholars stand in Rows, as they did to be sure in your Time, at her Pew-door: and she has all the Devotion paid to her by a Crowd of Youth[s] who are unacquainted with the Sex, and have Inexperience added to their Passion: However, if it succeeds according to my Vows, you will make me the happiest Man in the World, and the most obliged amongst all

Your humble Servants.


I came [to [4]] my Mistresss Toilet this Morning, for I am admitted when her Face is stark naked: She frowned, and cryed Pish when I said a thing that I stole; and I will be judged by you whether it was not very pretty. Madam, said I, you [shall [5]] forbear that Part of your Dress; it may be well in others, but you cannot place a Patch where it does not hide a Beauty.


[Footnote 1: This Letter was written by Mr. James Heywood, many years wholesale linen-draper on Fish-street Hill, who died in 1776, at the age of 90. His Letters and Poems were (including this letter at p.100) in a second edition, in 12mo, in 1726.]

[Footnote 2: or]

[Footnote 3: amongst]

[Footnote 4: at]

[Footnote 5: should]

Translation of motto:
HOR. 1 Sat. iii. 29.
For lively sallies of corporeal wit.'