No. 304. Monday, February 18, 1712. Steele.

Vulnus alit venis et cæco carpitur igni.

The Circumstances of my Correspondent, whose Letter I now insert, are so frequent, that I cannot want Compassion so much as to forbear laying it before the Town. There is something so mean and inhuman in a direct Smithfield Bargain for Children, that if this Lover carries his Point, and observes the Rules he pretends to follow, I do not only wish him Success, but also that it may animate others to follow his Example. I know not one Motive relating to this Life which would produce so many honourable and worthy Actions, as the Hopes of obtaining a Woman of Merit: There would ten thousand Ways of Industry and honest Ambition be pursued by young Men, who believed that the Persons admired had Value enough for their Passion to attend the Event of their good Fortune in all their Applications, in order to make their Circumstances fall in with the Duties they owe to themselves, their Families, and their Country; All these Relations a Man should think of who intends to go into the State of Marriage, and expects to make it a State of Pleasure and Satisfaction.


I have for some Years indulged a Passion for a young Lady of Age and Quality suitable to my own, but very much superior in Fortune. It is the Fashion with Parents (how justly I leave you to judge) to make all Regards give way to the Article of Wealth. From this one Consideration it is that I have concealed the ardent Love I have for her; but I am beholden to the Force of my Love for many Advantages which I reaped from it towards the better Conduct of my Life. A certain Complacency to all the World, a strong Desire to oblige where-ever it lay in my Power, and a circumspect Behaviour in all my Words and Actions, have rendered me more particularly acceptable to all my Friends and Acquaintance. Love has had the same good Effect upon my Fortune; and I have encreased in Riches in proportion to my Advancement in those Arts which make a man agreeable and amiable. There is a certain Sympathy which will tell my Mistress from these Circumstances, that it is I who writ this for her Reading, if you will please to insert it. There is not a downright Enmity, but a great Coldness between our Parents; so that if either of us declared any kind Sentiment for each other, her Friends would be very backward to lay an Obligation upon our Family, and mine to receive it from hers. Under these delicate Circumstances it is no easie Matter to act with Safety. I have no Reason to fancy my Mistress has any Regard for me, but from a very disinterested Value which I have for her. If from any Hint in any future Paper of yours she gives me the least Encouragement, I doubt not but I shall surmount all other Difficulties; and inspired by so noble a Motive for the Care of my Fortune, as the Belief she is to be concerned in it, I will not despair of receiving her one Day from her Fathers own Hand.

I am, SIR, Your most obedient humble Servant, Clytander.

To his Worship the SPECTATOR,

The humble Petition of Anthony Title-Page, Stationer, in the Centre of Lincoln's-Inn-Fields,

Sheweth, That your Petitioner and his Fore-Fathers have been Sellers of Books for Time immemorial; That your Petitioners Ancestor, Crouchback Title-Page, was the first of that Vocation in Britain; who keeping his Station (in fair Weather) at the Corner of Lothbury, was by way of Eminency called the Stationer, a Name which from him all succeeding Booksellers have affected to bear: That the Station of your Petitioner and his Father has been in the Place of his present Settlement ever since that Square has been built: That your Petitioner has formerly had the Honour of your Worships Custom, and hopes you never had Reason to complain of your Penny-worths; that particularly he sold you your first Lilly's Grammar, and at the same Time a Wits Commonwealth almost as good as new: Moreover, that your first rudimental Essays in Spectatorship were made in your Petitioners Shop, where you often practised for Hours together, sometimes on his Books upon the Rails, sometimes on the little Hieroglyphicks either gilt, silvered, or plain, which the Egyptian Woman on the other Side of the Shop had wrought in Gingerbread, and sometimes on the English Youth, who in sundry Places there were exercising themselves in the traditional Sports of the Field.

From these Considerations it is, that your Petitioner is encouraged to apply himself to you, and to proceed humbly to acquaint your Worship, That he has certain Intelligence that you receive great Numbers of defamatory Letters designed by their Authors to be published, which you throw aside and totally neglect: Your Petitioner therefore prays, that you will please to bestow on him those Refuse Letters, and he hopes by printing them to get a more plentiful Provision for his Family; or at the worst, he may be allowed to sell them by the Pound Weight to his good Customers the Pastry-Cooks of London and Westminster. And your Petitioner shall ever pray, &c.


The humble Petition of Bartholomew Ladylove, of Round-Court in the Parish of St. Martins in the Fields, in Behalf of himself and Neighbours,


That your Petitioners have with great Industry and Application arrived at the most exact Art of Invitation or Entreaty: That by a beseeching Air and perswasive Address, they have for many Years last past peaceably drawn in every tenth Passenger, whether they intended or not to call at their Shops, to come in and buy; and from that Softness of Behaviour, have arrived among Tradesmen at the gentle Appellation of the Fawners.

That there have of late set up amongst us certain Persons of Monmouth-street and Long-lane, who by the Strength of their Arms, and Loudness of their Throats, draw off the Regard of all Passengers from your said Petitioners; from which Violence they are distinguished by the Name of the Worriers.

That while your Petitioners stand ready to receive Passengers with a submissive Bow, and repeat with a gentle Voice, Ladies, what do you want? pray look in here; the Worriers reach out their Hands at Pistol-shot, and seize the Customers at Arms Length.

That while the Fawners strain and relax the Muscles of their Faces in making Distinction between a Spinster in a coloured Scarf and an Handmaid in a Straw-Hat, the Worriers use the same Roughness to both, and prevail upon the Easiness of the Passengers, to the Impoverishment of your Petitioners.

Your Petitioners therefore most humbly pray, that the Worriers may not be permitted to inhabit the politer Parts of the Town; and that Round-Court may remain a Receptacle for Buyers of a more soft Education.

And your Petitioners, &c.

The Petition of the New-Exchange, concerning the Arts of Buying and Selling, and particularly valuing Goods by the Complexion of the Seller, will be considered on another Occasion.


Translation of motto:
VIRG. AEn. iv. 2.
'A latent fire preys on his feverish veins.'