No. 402. Wednesday, June 11, 1712. Steele.

[--quæ Spectator tradit sibi--
Hor. [1]]

Were I to publish all the Advertisements I receive from different Hands, and Persons of different Circumstances and Quality, the very Mention of them, without Reflections on the several Subjects, would raise all the Passions which can be felt by human Mind[s], As Instances of this, I shall give you two or three Letters; the Writers of which can have no Recourse to any legal Power for Redress, and seem to have written rather to vent their Sorrow than to receive Consolation.


I am a young Woman of Beauty and Quality, and suitably married to a Gentleman who doats on me. But this Person of mine is the Object of an unjust Passion in a Nobleman who is very intimate with my Husband. This Friendship gives him very easie Access, and frequent Opportunities of entertaining me apart. My Heart is in the utmost Anguish, and my Face is covered over with Confusion, when I impart to you another Circumstance, which is, that my Mother, the most mercenary of all Women, is gained by this false Friend of my Husband to sollicit me for him. I am frequently chid by the poor believing Man my Husband, for shewing an Impatience of his Friend's Company; and I am never alone with my Mother, but she tells me Stories of the discretionary Part of the World, and such a one, and such a one who are guilty of as much as she advises me to. She laughs at my Astonishment; and seems to hint to me, that as virtuous as she has always appeared, I am not the Daughter of her Husband. It is possible that printing this Letter may relieve me from the unnatural Importunity of my Mother, and the perfidious Courtship of my Husband's Friend. I have an unfeigned Love of Virtue, and am resolved to preserve my Innocence. The only Way I can think of to avoid the fatal Consequences of the Discovery of this Matter, is to fly away for ever; which I must do to avoid my Husband's fatal Resentment against the Man who attempts to abuse him, and the Shame of exposing the Parent to Infamy. The Persons concerned will know these Circumstances relate to 'em; and though the Regard to Virtue is dead in them, I have some Hopes from their Fear of Shame upon reading this in your Paper; which I conjure you to do, if you have any Compassion for Injured Virtue.



I am the Husband of a Woman of Merit, but am fallen in Love, as they call it, with a Lady of her Acquaintance, who is going to be married to a Gentleman who deserves her. I am in a Trust relating to this Lady's Fortune, which makes my Concurrence in this Matter necessary; but I have so irresistible a Rage and Envy rise in me when I consider his future Happiness, that against all Reason, Equity, and common Justice, I am ever playing mean Tricks to suspend the Nuptials. I have no manner of Hopes for my self; Emilia, for so I'll call her, is a Woman of the most strict Virtue; her Lover is a Gentleman who of all others I could wish my Friend; but Envy and Jealousie, though placed so unjustly, waste my very Being, and with the Torment and Sense of a Daemon, I am ever cursing what I cannot but approve. I wish it were the Beginning of Repentance, that I sit down and describe my present Disposition with so hellish an Aspect; but at present the Destruction of these two excellent Persons would be more welcome to me than their Happiness. Mr. SPECTATOR, pray let me have a Paper on these terrible groundless Sufferings, and do all you can to exorcise Crowds who are in some Degree possessed as I am.



I have no other Means but this to express my Thanks to one Man, and my Resentment against another. My Circumstances are as follows. I have been for five Years last past courted by a Gentleman of greater Fortune than I ought to expect, as the Market for Women goes. You must to be sure have observed People who live in that sort of Way, as all their Friends reckon it will be a Match, and are marked out by all the World for each other. In this View we have been regarded for some Time, and I have above these three Years loved him tenderly. As he is very careful of his Fortune, I always thought he lived in a near Manner to lay up what he thought was wanting in my Fortune to make up what he might expect in another. Within few Months I have observed his Carriage very much altered, and he has affected a certain Air of getting me alone, and talking with a mighty Profusion of passionate Words, How I am not to be resisted longer, how irresistible his Wishes are, and the like. As long as I have been acquainted with him, I could not on such Occasions say down-right to him, You know you may make me yours when you please. But the other Night he with great Frankness and Impudence explained to me, that he thought of me only as a Mistress. I answered this Declaration as it deserv'd; upon which he only doubled the Terms on which he proposed my yielding. When my Anger heightned upon him, he told me he was sorry he had made so little Use of the unguarded Hours we had been together so remote from Company, as indeed, continued he, so we are at present. I flew from him to a neighbouring Gentlewoman's House, and tho' her Husband was in the Room, threw my self on a Couch, and burst into a Passion of Tears. My Friend desired her Husband to leave the Room. But, said he, there is something so extraordinary in this, that I will partake in the Affliction; and be it what it will, she is so much your Friend, that she knows she may command what Services I can do her. The Man sate down by me, and spoke so like a Brother, that I told him my whole Affliction. He spoke of the Injury done me with so much Indignation, and animated me against the Love he said he saw I had for the Wretch who would have betrayed me, with so much Reason and Humanity to my Weakness, that I doubt not of my Perseverance. His Wife and he are my Comforters, and I am under no more Restraint in their Company than if I were alone; and I doubt not but in a small time Contempt and Hatred will take Place of the Remains of Affection to a Rascal.

I am


Your affectionate Reader,



I had the Misfortune to be an Uncle before I knew my Nephews from my Nieces, and now we are grown up to better Acquaintance they deny me the Respect they owe. One upbraids me with being their Familiar, another will hardly be perswaded that I am an Uncle, a third calls me Little Uncle, and a fourth tells me there is no Duty at all due to an Uncle. I have a Brother-in-law whose Son will win all my Affection, unless you shall think this worthy of your Cognizance, and will be pleased to prescribe some Rules for our future reciprocal Behaviour. It will be worthy the Particularity of your Genius to lay down Rules for his Conduct who was as it were born an old Man, in which you will much oblige,


Your most obedient Servant,

Cornelius Nepos.


[Footnote 1: No motto in the first issue.]

Translation of motto:
HOR. Ars Poet. 181.
'Sent by the Spectator to himself.'