No. 296. Friday, February 8, 1712. Steele.

Nugis addere pondus.

Dear SPEC.

Having lately conversed much with the Fair Sex on the Subject of your Speculations, (which since their Appearance in Publick, have been the chief Exercise of the Female loquacious Faculty) I found the fair Ones possess'd with a Dissatisfaction at your prefixing Greek Mottos to the Frontispiece of your late Papers; and, as a Man of Gallantry, I thought it a Duty incumbent on me to impart it to you, in Hopes of a Reformation, which is only to be effected by a Restoration of the Latin to the usual Dignity in your Papers, which of late, the Greek, to the great Displeasure of your Female Readers, has usurp'd; for tho the Latin has the Recommendation of being as unintelligible to them as the Greek, yet being written of the same Character with their Mother-Tongue, by the Assistance of a Spelling-Book its legible; which Quality the Greek wants: And since the Introduction of Operas into this Nation, the Ladies are so charmed with Sounds abstracted from their Ideas, that they adore and honour the Sound of Latin as it is old Italian. I am a Sollicitor for the Fair Sex, and therefore think my self in that Character more likely to be prevalent in this Request, than if I should subscribe myself by my proper Name. J.M.

I desire you may insert this in one of your Speculations, to shew my Zeal for removing the Dissatisfaction of the Fair Sex, and restoring you to their Favour.


I was some time since in Company with a young Officer, who entertained us with the Conquest he had made over a Female Neighbour of his; when a Gentleman who stood by, as I suppose, envying the Captains good Fortune, asked him what Reason he had to believe the Lady admired him? Why, says he, my Lodgings are opposite to hers, and she is continually at her Window either at Work, Reading, taking Snuff, or putting her self in some toying Posture on purpose to draw my Eyes that Way. The Confession of this vain Soldier made me reflect on some of my own Actions; for you must know, Sir, I am often at a Window which fronts the Apartments of several Gentlemen, who I doubt not have the same Opinion of me. I must own I love to look at them all, one for being well dressed, a second for his fine Eye, and one particular one, because he is the least Man I ever saw; but there is something so easie and pleasant in the Manner of my little Man, that I observe he is a Favourite of all his Acquaintance. I could go on to tell you of many others that I believe think I have encouraged them from my Window: But pray let me have your Opinion of the Use of the Window in a beautiful Lady: and how often she may look out at the same Man, without being supposed to have a Mind to jump out to him. Yours, Aurelia Careless.



I have for some Time made Love to a Lady, who received it with all the kind Returns I ought to expect. But without any Provocation, that I know of, she has of late shunned me with the utmost Abhorrence, insomuch that she went out of Church last Sunday in the midst of Divine Service, upon my coming into the same Pew. Pray, Sir, what must I do in this Business? Your Servant, Euphues.

Let her alone Ten Days.

York, Jan. 20, 1711-12.


We have in this Town a sort of People who pretend to Wit and write Lampoons: I have lately been the Subject of one of them. The Scribler had not Genius enough in Verse to turn my Age, as indeed I am an old Maid, into Raillery, for affecting a youthier Turn than is consistent with my Time of Day; and therefore he makes the Title to his Madrigal, The Character of Mrs. Judith Lovebane, born in the Year [1680. [1]] What I desire of you is, That you disallow that a Coxcomb who pretends to write Verse, should put the most malicious Thing he can say in Prose. This I humbly conceive will disable our Country Wits, who indeed take a great deal of Pains to say any thing in Rhyme, tho they say it very ill. I am, SIR, Your Humble Servant, Susanna Lovebane.

Mr. SPECTATOR, We are several of us, Gentlemen and Ladies, who Board in the same House, and after Dinner one of our Company (an agreeable Man enough otherwise) stands up and reads your Paper to us all. We are the civillest People in the World to one another, and therefore I am forced to this way of desiring our Reader, when he is doing this Office, not to stand afore the Fire. This will be a general Good to our Family this cold Weather. He will, I know, take it to be our common Request when he comes to these Words, Pray, Sir, sit down; which I desire you to insert, and you will particularly oblige Your Daily Reader, Charity Frost.


I am a great Lover of Dancing, but cannot perform so well as some others; however, by my Out-of-the-Way Capers, and some original Grimaces, I don't fail to divert the Company, particularly the Ladies, who laugh immoderately all the Time. Some, who pretend to be my Friends, tell me they do it in Derision, and would advise me to leave it off, withal that I make my self ridiculous. I don't know what to do in this Affair, but I am resolved not to give over upon any Account, till I have the Opinion of the SPECTATOR. Your humble Servant, John Trott.

If Mr. Trott is not awkward out of Time, he has a Right to Dance let who will Laugh: But if he has no Ear he will interrupt others; and I am of Opinion he should sit still.

Given under my Hand this Fifth of February, 1711-12.



[Footnote 1: 1750]

Translation of motto:
HOR. 1 Ep. xix. 42.
'Add weight to trifles.'