I am so surprised at the Question you were pleased to ask me Yesterday, that I am still at a loss what to say to it. At least my Answer would be too long to trouble you with, as it would come from a Person, who, it seems, is so very indifferent to you. Instead of it, I shall only recommend to your Consideration the Opinion of one whose Sentiments on these matters I have often heard you say are extremely just. A generous and Constant Passion, says your favourite Author, in an agreeable Lover, where there is not too great a Disparity in their Circumstances, is the greatest Blessing that can befal a Person beloved; and if overlook’d in one, may perhaps never be found in another.
I do not, however, at all despair of being very shortly much better beloved by you than Antenor is at present; since whenever my Fortune shall exceed his, you were pleased to intimate your Passion would encrease accordingly.
The World has seen me shamefully lose that Time to please a fickle Woman, which might have been employed much more to my Credit and Advantage in other Pursuits. I shall therefore take the Liberty to acquaint you, however harsh it may sound in a Lady’s Ears, that tho your Love-Fit should happen to return, unless you could contrive a way to make your Recantation as well known to the Publick, as they are already apprised of the manner with which you have treated me, you shall never more see Philander.
Amoret to Philander.
Upon Reflection, I find the Injury I have done both to you and my self to be so great, that though the Part I now act may appear contrary to that Decorum usually observed by our Sex, yet I purposely break through all Rules, that my Repentance may in some measure equal my Crime. I assure you that in my present Hopes of recovering you, I look upon Antenor’s Estate with Contempt. The Fop was here Yesterday in a gilt Chariot and new Liveries, but I refused to see him. Tho’ I dread to meet your Eyes after what has pass’d, I flatter my self, that amidst all their Confusion you will discover such a Tenderness in mine, as none can imitate but those who Love. I shall be all this Month at Lady D—’s in the Country; but the Woods, the Fields and Gardens, without Philander, afford no Pleasures to the unhappy Amoret.
I must desire you, dear Mr. Spectator,
to publish this my Letter to
Philander as soon as possible, and to assure him that I know nothing
at all of the Death of his rich Uncle in Gloucestershire.
* * * * *
No. 402. Wednesday, June 11, 1712. Steele.
[—quae Spectator tradit sibi—
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.