That useful Part of Learning which consists in Emendation, Knowledge of different Readings, and the like, is what in all Ages Persons extremely wise and learned have had in great Veneration. For this reason I cannot but rejoyce at the following Epistle, which lets us into the true Author of the Letter to Mrs. Margaret Clark, part of which I did myself the Honour to publish in a former Paper. I must confess I do not naturally affect critical Learning; but finding my self not so much regarded as I am apt to flatter my self I may deserve from some professed Patrons of Learning, I could not but do my self the Justice to shew I am not a Stranger to such Erudition as they smile upon, if I were duly encouraged. However this only to let the World see what I could do; and shall not give my Reader any more of this kind, if he will forgive the Ostentation I shew at present.
March 13, 1712.
SIR, Upon reading your Paper of yesterday,  I took the Pains to look out a Copy I had formerly taken, and remembered to be very like your last Letter: Comparing them, I found they were the very same, and have, underwritten, sent you that Part of it which you say was torn off. I hope you will insert it, that Posterity may know twas Gabriel Bullock that made Love in that natural Stile of which you seem to be fond. But, to let you see I have other Manuscripts in the same Way, I have sent you Enclosed three Copies, faithfully taken by my own Hand from the Originals, which were writ by a Yorkshire gentleman of a good estate to Madam Mary, and an Uncle of hers, a Knight very well known by the most ancient Gentry in that and several other Counties of Great Britain. I have exactly followed the Form and Spelling. I have been credibly informed that Mr. William Bullock, the famous Comedian, is the descendant of this Gabriel, who begot Mr. William Bullocks great grandfather on the Body of the above-mentioned Mrs. Margaret Clark. But neither Speed, nor Baker, nor Selden, taking notice of it, I will not pretend to be positive; but desire that the letter may be reprinted, and what is here recovered may be in Italic. I am, SIR, Your daily Reader.
_To her I very much respect, Mrs. Margaret Clark._
Lovely, and oh that I could write loving Mrs. Margaret Clark, I pray
you let Affection excuse Presumption. Having been so happy as to
enjoy the Sight of your sweet Countenance and comely Body, sometimes
when I had occasion to buy Treacle or Liquorish Power at the
apothecary's shop, I am so enamoured with you, that I can no more
keep close my flaming Desire to become your Servant. And I am the
more bold now to write to your sweet self, because I am now my own
Man, and may match where I please; for my Father is taken away; and
now I am come to my Living, which is ten yard Land, and a House; and
there is never a Yard Land  in our Field but is as well worth ten
Pound a Year, as a Thief's worth a Halter; and all my Brothers and
Sisters are provided for: besides I have good Household Stuff,
though I say it, both Brass and Pewter, Linnens and Woollens; and
though my House be thatched, yet if you and I match, it shall go
hard but I will have one half of it slated. If you shall think well
of this Motion, I will wait upon you as soon as my new Cloaths is
made, and Hay-Harvest is in. I could, though I say it, have good
_Matches in our Town; but my Mother (Gods Peace be with her)
charged me upon her Death-Bed to marry a Gentlewoman, one who had
been well trained up in Sowing and Cookery. I do not think but that
if you and I can agree to marry, and lay our Means together, I shall
be made grand Jury-man e'er two or three Years come about, and that
will be a great Credit to us. If I could have got a Messenger for
Sixpence, I would have sent one on Purpose, and some Trifle or other
for a Token of my Love; but I hope there is nothing lost for that
neither. So hoping you will take this Letter in good Part, and
answer it with what Care and Speed you can, I rest and remain,_
Yours, if my own, MR. GABRIEL BULLOCK, now my father is dead.
When the Coal Carts come, I shall send oftener; and may come in one
of them my self.
For sir William to go to london at westminster, remember a
Sir William, i hope that you are well. i write to let you know that
i am in troubel abbut a lady you nease; and I do desire that you
will be my frend; for when i did com to see her at your hall, i was
mighty Abuesed. i would fain a see you at topecliff, and thay would
not let me go to you; but i desire that you will be our frends, for
it is no dishonor neither for you nor she, for God did make us all.
i wish that i might see you, for thay say that you are a good man:
and many doth wounder at it, but madam norton is abuesed and ceated
two i beleive. i might a had many a lady, but i con have none but
her with a good consons, for there is a God that know our harts, if
you and madam norton will come to York, there i shill meet you if
God be willing and if you pleased, so be not angterie till you know
the trutes of things.
I give my to me lady, and to Mr. Aysenby, and to
madam norton March, the 19th; 1706.
This is for madam mary norton disforth Lady she went to York.
Madam Mary. Deare loving sweet lady, i hope you are well. Do not go
to london, for they will put you in the nunnery; and heed not Mrs.
Lucy what she saith to you, for she will ly and ceat you. go from to
another Place, and we will gate wed so with speed, mind what i write
to you, for if they gate you to london they will keep you there; and
so let us gate wed, and we will both go. so if you go to london, you
rueing your self, so heed not what none of them saith to you. let us
gate wed, and we shall lie to gader any time. i will do any thing
for you to my poore. i hope the devill will faile them all, for a
hellish Company there be. from there cursed trick and mischiefus
ways good lord bless and deliver both you and me.
I think to be at york the 24 day.
This is for madam mary norton to go to london for a lady that
belongs to dishforth.
Madam Mary, i hope you are well, i am soary that you went away from
York, deare loving sweet lady, i writt to let you know that i do
remain faithful; and if can let me know where i can meet you, i will
wed you, and I will do any thing to my poor; for you are a good
woman, and will be a loving Misteris. i am in troubel for you, so if
you will come to york i will wed you. so with speed come, and i will
have none but you. so, sweet love, heed not what to say to me, and
with speed come: heed not what none of them say to you; your Maid
makes you believe ought.
So deare love think of Mr. george Nillson with speed; i sent you 2
or 3 letters before.
I gave misteris elcock some nots, and thay put me in pruson all the
night for me pains, and non new whear i was, and i did gat cold.
But it is for mrs. Lucy to go a good way from home, for in york and
round about she is known; to writ any more her deeds, the same will
tell hor soul is black within, hor corkis stinks of hell.
March 19th, 1706.
[Footnote 1: This paper is No. 328 in the original issue, but Steele omitted it from the reprint and gave in its place the paper by Addison which here stands next to it marked with the same number, 328. The paper of Addison's had formed no part of the original issue. Of the original No. 328 Steele inserted a censure at the end of No. 330.]
[Footnote 2: See No. 324.]
[Footnote 3: In some counties 20, in some 24, and in others 30 acres of Land.]
As I believe this is the first Complaint that ever was made to you of this nature, so you are the first Person I ever could prevail upon my self to lay it before. When I tell you I have a healthy vigorous Constitution, a plentiful Estate, no inordinate Desires, and am married to a virtuous lovely Woman, who neither wants Wit nor Good-Nature, and by whom I have a numerous Offspring to perpetuate my Family, you will naturally conclude me a happy Man. But, notwithstanding these promising Appearances, I am so far from it, that the prospect of being ruin'd and undone, by a sort of Extravagance which of late Years is in a less degree crept into every fashionable Family, deprives me of all the Comforts of my Life, and renders me the most anxious miserable Man on Earth. My Wife, who was the only Child and darling Care of an indulgent Mother, employ'd her early Years in learning all those Accomplishments we generally understand by good Breeding and polite Education. She sings, dances, plays on the Lute and Harpsicord, paints prettily, is a perfect Mistress of the French Tongue, and has made a considerable Progress in Italian. She is besides excellently skill'd in all domestick Sciences, as Preserving, Pickling, Pastry, making Wines of Fruits of our own Growth, Embroydering, and Needleworks of every Kind. Hitherto you will be apt to think there is very little Cause of Complaint; but suspend your Opinion till I have further explain'd my self, and then I make no question you will come over to mine. You are not to imagine I find fault that she either possesses or takes delight in the Exercise of those Qualifications I just now mention'd; tis the immoderate Fondness she has to them that I lament, and that what is only design'd for the innocent Amusement and Recreation of Life, is become the whole Business and Study of hers. The six Months we are in Town (for the Year is equally divided between that and the Country) from almost Break of Day till Noon, the whole Morning is laid out in practising with her several Masters; and to make up the Losses occasion'd by her Absence in Summer, every Day in the Week their Attendance is requir'd; and as they all are People eminent in their Professions, their Skill and Time must be recompensed accordingly: So how far these Articles extend, I leave you to judge. Limning, one would think, is no expensive Diversion, but as she manages the Matter, tis a very considerable Addition to her Disbursements; Which you will easily believe, when you know she paints Fans for all her Female Acquaintance, and draws all her Relations Pictures in Miniature; the first must be mounted by no body but Colmar, and the other set by no body but Charles Mather. What follows, is still much worse than the former; for, as I told you, she is a great Artist at her Needle, tis incredible what Sums she expends in Embroidery; For besides what is appropriated to her personal Use, as Mantuas, Petticoats, Stomachers, Handkerchiefs, Purses, Pin-cushions, and Working Aprons, she keeps four French Protestants continually employ'd in making divers Pieces of superfluous Furniture, as Quilts, Toilets, Hangings for Closets, Beds, Window-Curtains, easy Chairs, and Tabourets: Nor have I any hopes of ever reclaiming her from this Extravagance, while she obstinately persists in thinking it a notable piece of good Housewifry, because they are made at home, and she has had some share in the Performance. There would be no end of relating to you the Particulars of the annual Charge, in furnishing her Store-Room with a Profusion of Pickles and Preserves; for she is not contented with having every thing, unless it be done every way, in which she consults an Hereditary Book of Receipts; for her female Ancestors have been always fam'd for good Housewifry, one of whom is made immortal, by giving her Name to an Eye-Water and two sorts of Puddings. I cannot undertake to recite all her medicinal Preparations, as Salves, Cerecloths, Powders, Confects, Cordials, Ratafia, Persico, Orange-flower, and Cherry-Brandy, together with innumerable sorts of Simple Waters. But there is nothing I lay so much to Heart, as that detestable Catalogue of counterfeit Wines, which derive their Names from the Fruits, Herbs, or Trees of whose Juices they are chiefly compounded: They are loathsome to the Taste, and pernicious to the Health; and as they seldom survive the Year, and then are thrown away, under a false Pretence of Frugality, I may affirm they stand me in more than if I entertain'd all our Visiters with the best Burgundy and Champaign. Coffee, Chocolate, Green, Imperial, Peco, and Bohea-Tea seem to be Trifles; but when the proper Appurtenances of the Tea-Table are added, they swell the Account higher than one would imagine. I cannot conclude without doing her Justice in one Article; where her Frugality is so remarkable, I must not deny her the Merit of it, and that is in relation to her Children, who are all confin'd, both Boys and Girls, to one large Room in the remotest Part of the House, with Bolts on the Doors and Bars to the Windows, under the Care and Tuition of an old Woman, who had been dry Nurse to her Grandmother. This is their Residence all the Year round; and as they are never allow'd to appear, she prudently thinks it needless to be at any Expence in Apparel or Learning. Her eldest Daughter to this day would have neither read nor writ, if it had not been for the Butler, who being the Son of a Country Attorney, has taught her such a Hand as is generally used for engrossing Bills in Chancery. By this time I have sufficiently tired your Patience with my domestick Grievances; which I hope you will agree could not well be contain'd in a narrower Compass, when you consider what a Paradox I undertook to maintain in the Beginning of my Epistle, and which manifestly appears to be but too melancholy a Truth. And now I heartily wish the Relation I have given of my Misfortunes may be of Use and Benefit to the Publick. By the Example I have set before them, the truly virtuous Wives may learn to avoid those Errors which have so unhappily mis-led mine, and which are visibly these three. First, in mistaking the proper Objects of her Esteem, and fixing her Affections upon such things as are only the Trappings and Decorations of her Sex. Secondly, In not distinguishing what becomes the different Stages of Life. And, Lastly, The Abuse and Corruption of some excellent Qualities, which, if circumscrib'd within just Bounds, would have been the Blessing and Prosperity of her Family, but by a vicious Extreme are like to be the Bane and Destruction of it.
L.Translation of motto: