I am, Madam,
Your most Obedient Servant.
Strephon makes great Progress in this Lady’s good Graces, for most Women being actuated by some little Spirit of Pride and Contradiction, he has the good effects of both those Motives by this Covert-Way of Courtship. He received a Message Yesterday from Damon in the following Words, superscribed With Speed.
’All goes well; she is very angry
at me, and I dare say hates me in
earnest. It is a good time to Visit.
The Comparison of Strephon’s Gayety to Damon’s Languishment, strikes her Imagination with a Prospect of very agreeable Hours with such a Man as the former, and Abhorrence of the insipid Prospect with one like the latter. To know when a Lady is displeased with another, is to know the best time of advancing your self. This method of two Persons playing into each other’s Hand is so dangerous, that I cannot tell how a Woman could be able to withstand such a Siege. The Condition of Gloriana, I am afraid, is irretrievable, for Strephon has had so many Opportunities of pleasing without suspicion, that all which is left for her to do is to bring him, now she is advised, to an Explanation of his Passion, and beginning again, if she can conquer the kind Sentiments she has already conceived for him. When one shews himself a Creature to be avoided, the other proper to be fled to for Succour, they have the whole Woman between them, and can occasionally rebound her Love and Hatred from one to the other, in such a manner as to keep her at a distance from all the rest of the World, and cast Lots for the Conquest.
N. B. I have many other Secrets which concern the Empire of Love, but I consider that while I alarm my Women, I instruct my Men.
* * * * *
No. 424. Monday, July 7, 1712. Steele
‘Est Ulubris, animus si te non deficit—’
London, June 24.