No. 591. Wednesday, September 8, 1714. Budgell.

--Tenerorum lusor amorum--'

I have just receiv'd a Letter from a Gentleman, who tells me he has observed, with no small Concern, that my Papers have of late been very barren in relation to Love [1]; a Subject which when agreeably handled, can scarce fail of being well receiv'd by both Sexes.

If my Invention therefore should be almost exhausted on this Head, he offers to serve under me in the Quality of a Love Casuist; for which Place he conceives himself to be throughly qualified, having made this Passion his Principal Study, and observed it in all its different Shapes and Appearances, from the Fifteenth to the Forty Fifth Year of his Age.

He assures me with an Air of Confidence, which I hope proceeds from his real Abilities, that he does not doubt of giving Judgment to the Satisfaction of the Parties concerned, on the most nice and intricate Cases which can happen in an Amour; as,

How great the Contraction of the Fingers must be before it amounts to a Squeeze by the Hand.

What can be properly termed an absolute Denial from a Maid, and what from a Widow.

What Advances a Lover may presume to make, after having received a Patt upon his Shoulder from his Mistress's Fan.

Whether a Lady, at the first Interview, may allow an Humble Servant to kiss her Hand.

How far it may be permitted to caress the Maid in order to succeed with the Mistress.

What Constructions a Man may put upon a Smile, and in what Cases a Frown goes for nothing.

On what Occasions a sheepish Look may do Service, &c.

As a farther Proof of his Skill, he has also sent me several Maxims in Love, which he assures me are the Result of a long and profound Reflection, some of which I think my self obliged to communicate to the Publick, not remembering to have seen them before in any Author.

'There are more Calamities in the World arising from Love than from Hatred.

'Love is the Daughter of Idleness, but the Mother of Disquietude.

'Men of grave Natures (says Sir Francis Bacon) are the most constant; for the same Reason Men should be more constant than Women.

'The Gay Part of Mankind is most amorous, the Serious most loving.

'A Coquet often loses her Reputation, whilst she preserves her Virtue.

'A Prude often preserves her Reputation when she has lost her Virtue.

'Love refines a Man's Behaviour, but makes a Woman's ridiculous.

'Love is generally accompanied with Good-will in the Young, Interest in the Middle-aged, and a Passion too gross to Name in the Old.

'The Endeavours to revive a decaying Passion generally extinguish the Remains of it.

'A Woman who from being a Slattern becomes over-neat, or from being over-neat becomes a Slattern, is most certainly in Love.

I shall make use of this Gentleman's Skill as I see Occasion; and since I am got upon the Subject of Love, shall conclude this Paper with a Copy of Verses which were lately sent me by an unknown Hand, as I look upon them to be above the ordinary Run of Sonneteers.

The Author tells me they were written in one of his despairing Fits; and I find entertains some Hope that his Mistress may pity such a Passion as he has described, before she knows that she is herself Corinna.

'Conceal, fond Man, conceal the mighty Smart, Nor tell_ Corinna _she has fir'd thy Heart. In vain would'st thou complain, in vain pretend To ask a Pity which she must not lend. She's too much thy Superior to comply, And too too fair to let thy Passion dye. Languish in Secret, and with dumb Surprize Drink the resistless Glances of her Eyes. At awful Distance entertain thy Grief, Be still in Pain, but never ask Relief. Ne'er tempt her Scorn of thy consuming State; Be any way undone, but fly her Hate. Thou must submit to see thy Charmer bless Some happier Youth that shall admire her less; Who in that lovely Form, that Heavenly Mind, Shall miss ten thousand Beauties thou could'st find; Who with low Fancy shall approach her Charms, While half enjoy'd she sinks into his Arms. She knows not, must not know, thy nobler Fire, Whom she, and whom the Muses do inspire; Her Image only shall thy Breast employ, And fill thy captiv'd Soul with Shades of joy; Direct thy Dreams by Night, thy Thoughts by Day; And never, never, from thy Bosom stray.' [2]

[Footnote 1: See Nos. 602, 605, 614, 623, and 625.]

[Footnote 2: These verses were by Gilbert Budgell, second brother of Eustace.]

Translation of motto:
OVID, Trist. 3 El. li. 73.
'Love the soft subject of his sportive Muse.'