'I am a young Widow of a good Fortune and Family, and just come to Town; where I find I have Clusters of pretty Fellows come already to visit me, some dying with Hopes, others with Fears, tho' they never saw me. Now what I would beg of you, would be to know whether I may venture to use these pert Fellows with the same Freedom as I did my Country Acquaintance. I desire your Leave to use them as to me shall seem meet, without Imputation of a Jilt; for since I make Declaration that not one of them shall have me, I think I ought to be allowed the Liberty of insulting those who have the Vanity to believe it is in their power to make me break that Resolution. There are Schools for learning to use Foils, frequented by those who never design to fight; and this useless way of aiming at the Heart, without design to wound it on either side, is the Play with which I am resolved to divert my self: The Man who pretends to win, I shall use like him who comes into a Fencing-School to pick a Quarrel. I hope, upon this Foundation, you will give me the free use of the natural and artificial Force of my Eyes, Looks, and Gestures. As for verbal Promises, I will make none, but shall have no mercy on the conceited Interpreters of Glances and Motions. I am particularly skill'd in the downcast Eye, and the Recovery into a sudden full Aspect, and away again, as you may have seen sometimes practised by us Country Beauties beyond all that you have observed in Courts and Cities. Add to this, Sir, that I have a ruddy heedless Look, which covers Artifice the best of any thing. Tho' I can dance very well, I affect a tottering untaught way of walking, by which I appear an easy Prey and never exert my instructed Charms till I find I have engaged a Pursuer. Be pleased, Sir, to print this Letter; which will certainly begin the Chace of a rich Widow: The many Foldings, Escapes, Returns and Doublings which I make, I shall from time to time communicate to you, for the better Instruction of all Females who set up, like me, for reducing the present exorbitant Power and Insolence of Man.'
_I am, SIR,
Your faithful Correspondent_,
Dear Mr. SPECTATOR,
'I depend upon your profess'd Respect for virtuous Love, for your immediate answering the Design of this Letter; which is no other than to lay before the World the Severity of certain Parents who desire to suspend the Marriage of a discreet young Woman of eighteen, three Years longer, for no other reason but that of her being too young to enter into that State. As to the consideration of Riches, my Circumstances are such, that I cannot be suspected to make my Addresses to her on such low Motives as Avarice or Ambition. If ever Innocence, Wit and Beauty, united their utmost Charms, they have in her. I wish you would expatiate a little on this Subject, and admonish her Parents that it may be from the very Imperfection of Human Nature it self, and not any personal Frailty of her or me, that our Inclinations baffled at present may alter; and while we are arguing with our selves to put off the Enjoyment of our present Passions, our Affections may change their Objects in the Operation. It is a very delicate Subject to talk upon; but if it were but hinted, I am in hopes it would give the Parties concern'd some Reflection that might expedite our Happiness. There is a Possibility, and I hope I may say it without Imputation of Immodesty to her I love with the highest Honour; I say, there is a Possibility this Delay may be as painful to her as it is to me. If it be as much, it must be more, by reason of the severe Rules the Sex are under in being denied even the Relief of Complaint. If you oblige me in this, and I succeed, I promise you a Place at my Wedding, and a Treatment suitable to your Spectatorial Dignity.'
Your most humble Servant,
'I Yesterday heard a young Gentleman, that look'd as if he was just come to the Town, and a Scarf, upon Evil-speaking; which Subject, you know, Archbishop Tillotson has so nobly handled in a Sermon in his Folio. As soon as ever he had named his Text, and had opened a little the Drift of his Discourse, I was in great hopes he had been one of Sir ROGER'S Chaplains. I have conceived so great an Idea of the charming Discourse above, that I should have thought one part of my Sabbath very well spent in hearing a Repetition of it. But alas! Mr. SPECTATOR, this Reverend Divine gave us his Grace's Sermon, and yet I don't know how; even I, that I am sure have read it at least twenty times, could not tell what to make of it, and was at a loss sometimes to guess what the Man aim'd at. He was so just indeed, as to give us all the Heads and the Sub-divisions of the Sermon; and farther I think there was not one beautiful Thought in it but what we had. But then, Sir, this Gentleman made so many pretty Additions; and he could never give us a Paragraph of the Sermon, but he introduced it with something which, methought, look'd more like a Design to shew his own Ingenuity, than to instruct the People. In short, he added and curtailed in such a manner that he vexed me; insomuch that I could not forbear thinking (what, I confess, I ought not to have thought of in so holy a Place) that this young Spark was as justly blameable as Bullock or Penkethman when they mend a noble Play of Shakespear or Johnson. Pray, Sir, take this into your Consideration; and if we must be entertained with the Works of any of those great Men, desire these Gentlemen to give them us as they find them, that so, when we read them to our Families at home, they may the better remember they have heard them at Church.'
Your humble Servant_.Translation of motto: