The Love Casuist hath referred to me the following Letter of Queries, with his Answers to each Question, for my Approbation. I have accordingly consider'd the several Matters therein contained, and hereby confirm and ratifie his Answers, and require the gentle Querist to conform her self thereunto.
'I was Thirteen the Ninth of November last, and must now begin to think of settling my self in the World, and so I would humbly beg your Advice, what I must do with Mr. Fondle, who makes his Addresses to me. He is a very pretty Man, and hath the blackest Eyes and whitest Teeth you ever saw. Though he is but a younger Brother, he dresses like a Man of Quality, and no Body comes into a Room like him. I know he hath refused great Offers, and if he cannot Marry me, he will never have any Body else. But my Father hath forbid him the House, because he sent me a Copy of Verses; for he is one of the greatest Wits in Town. My eldest Sister, who, with her good Will, would call me Miss as long as I live, must be married before me, they say. She tells them, that Mr. Fondle makes a Fool of me, and will spoil the Child, as she calls me, like a confident thing as she is. In short, I am resolved to marry Mr. Fondle, if it be but to spite her. But because I would do nothing that is imprudent, I beg of you to give me your Answers to some Questions I will write down, and desire you to get them printed in the SPECTATOR, and I do not doubt but you will give such Advice, as, I am sure, I shall follow.
'When Mr. Fondle looks upon me for half an Hour together, and calls me Angel, is he not in Love?
'May not I be certain he will be a kind Husband, that has promised me half my Portion in Pin-money, and to keep me a Coach and Six in the Bargain.
'Whether I, who have been acquainted with him this whole Year almost, am not a better Judge of his Merit, than my Father and Mother, who never heard him talk, but at Table?
'Whether I am not old enough to chuse for my self?
'Whether it would not have been rude in me to refuse a Lock of his Hair?
'Shou'd not I be a very barbarous Creature, if I did not pity a Man that is always Sighing for my Sake?
'Whether you would not advise me to run away with the poor Man?
'Whether you do not think, that if I won't have him, he won't drown himself?
What shall I say to him the next time he asks me if I will marry him?
The following Letter requires neither Introduction, nor Answer.
I wonder that in the present Situation of Affairs, you can take Pleasure in writing any thing but News; for, in a Word, who minds any thing else? The Pleasure of increasing in Knowledge, and learning something new every Hour of Life, is the noblest Entertainment of a Rational Creature. I have a very good Ear for a Secret, and am naturally of a communicative Temper; by which Means I am capable of doing you great Services in this way. In order to make my self useful, I am early in the Antichamber, where I thrust my Head into the thick of the Press, and catch the News, at the opening of the Door, while it is warm. Sometimes I stand by the Beef-Eaters, and take the Buz as it passes by me. At other times I lay my Ear close to the Wall, and suck in many a valuable Whisper, as it runs in a streight Line from Corner to Corner. When I am weary with standing, I repair to one of the neighbouring Coffee-houses, where I sit sometimes for a whole Day, and have the News as it comes from Court fresh and fresh. In short, Sir, I spare no Pains to know how the World goes. A Piece of News loses its Flavour when it hath been an Hour in the Air. I love, if I may so speak, to have it fresh from the Tree; and to convey it to my Friends before it is faded. Accordingly my Expences in Coach-hire make no small Article; which you may believe, when I assure you, that I post away from Coffee-house to Coffee-house, and forestall the Evening-Post by two Hours. There is a certain Gentleman who hath given me the slip twice or thrice, and hath been beforehand with me at Child's. But I have play'd him a Trick. I have purchas'd a pair of the best Coach-horses I could buy for Money, and now let him out-strip me if he can. Once more, Mr. SPECTATOR, let me advise you to deal in News. You may depend upon my Assistance. But I must break off abruptly, for I have twenty Letters to write.
Yours in haste, Tho. Quid-nunc.Translation of motto: