The Case of my Correspondent who sends me the following Letter has somewhat in it so very whimsical, that I know not how to entertain my Readers better than by laying it before them.
'I am fully convinced that there is not upon Earth a more impertinent Creature than an importunate Lover: We are daily complaining of the Severity of our Fate, to People who are wholly unconcerned in it; and hourly improving a Passion, which we would persuade the World is the Torment of our Lives. Notwithstanding this Reflection, Sir, I cannot forbear acquainting you with my own Case. You must know then, Sir, that even from my Childhood, the most prevailing Inclination I could perceive in my self, was a strong Desire to be in Favour with the Fair Sex. I am at present in the one and twentieth Year of my Age, and should have made Choice of a She Bed-fellow many Years since, had not my Father, who has a pretty good Estate of his own getting, and passes in the World for a prudent Man, being pleased to lay it down as a Maxim, That nothing spoils a young Fellow's Fortune so much as marrying early; and that no Man ought to think of Wedlock 'till six and twenty. Knowing his Sentiments upon this Head, I thought it in vain to apply my self to Women of Condition, who expect Settlements; so that all my Amours have hitherto been with Ladies who had no Fortunes: But I know not how to give you so good an Idea of me, as by laying before you the History of my Life.
'I can very well remember, that at my School-mistresses, whenever we broke up, I was always for joining my self with the Miss who Lay in, and was constantly one of the first to make a Party in the Play of Husband and Wife. This Passion for being well with the Females still increased as I advanced in Years. At the Dancing-School I contracted so many Quarrels by struggling with my Fellow-Scholars for the Partner I liked best, that upon a Ball Night, before our Mothers made their Appearance, I was usually up to the Nose in Blood. My Father, like a discreet Man, soon removed me from this Stage of Softness to a School of Discipline, where I learnt Latin and Greek. I underwent several Severities in this Place, 'till it was thought convenient to send me to the University; though, to confess the Truth, I should not have arrived so early at that Seat of Learning, but from the Discovery of an Intrigue between me and my Master's House-Keeper; upon whom I had employed my Rhetorick so effectually, that, though she was a very elderly Lady, I had almost brought her to consent to marry me. Upon my Arrival at Oxford, I found Logick so dry, that, instead of giving Attention to the Dead, I soon fell to addressing the Living. My first Amour was with a pretty Girl whom I shall call Parthenope: Her Mother sold Ale by the Town-Wall. Being often caught there by the Proctor, I was forced at last, that my Mistress's Reputation might receive no Blemish, to confess my Addresses were honourable. Upon this I was immediately sent Home; but Parthenope soon after marrying a Shoe-maker, I was again suffered to return. My next Affair was with my Taylor's Daughter, who deserted me for the sake of a young Barber. Upon my complaining to one of my particular Friends of this Misfortune, the cruel Wagg made a meer Jest of my Calamity, and asked me with a Smile, Where the Needle should turn but to the Pole?  After this I was deeply in Love with a Milliner, and at last with my Bed-maker, upon which I was sent away, or in the University Phrase, Rusticated for ever.
'Upon my coming home, I settled to my Studies so heartily, and contracted so great a Reservedness by being kept from the Company I most affected, that my Father thought he might venture me at the Temple.
'Within a Week after my Arrival I began to shine again, and became enamour'd with a mighty pretty Creature, who had every thing but Mony to recommend her. Having frequent Opportunities of uttering all the soft things which an Heart formed for Love could inspire me with, I soon gained her Consent to treat of Marriage; but unfortunately for us all, in the Absence of my Charmer I usually talked the same Language to her elder Sister, who is also very pretty. Now I assure you, Mr. SPECTATOR, this did not proceed from any real Affection I had conceived for her; but being a perfect Stranger to the Conversation of Men, and strongly addicted to associate with the Women, I knew no other Language but that of Love. I should however be very much obliged to you, if you could free me from the Perplexity I am at present in. I have sent Word to my old Gentleman in the Country, that I am desperately in Love with the younger Sister! and her Father, who knew no better, poor Man! acquainted him by the same Post, that I had for some time made my Addresses to the Elder. Upon this old Testy sends me up Word, that he has heard so much of my Exploits, that he intends immediately to order me to the South-Sea. Sir, I have occasionally talked so much of dying, that I begin to think there is not much in it; and if the old Squire persists in his Design, I do hereby give him Notice that I am providing my self with proper Instruments for the Destruction of despairing Lovers; let him therefore look to it, and consider that by his Obstinacy he may himself lose the Son of his Strength, the World an hopeful Lawyer, my Mistress a passionate Lover, and you, Mr. SPECTATOR,
Your constant Admirer,
[Footnote 1: Sign of a Barber's shop.]Translation of motto: