I beg you would be pleased to take Notice of a very great Indecency, which is extreamly common, though, I think, never yet under your Censure. It is, Sir, the strange Freedoms some ill-bred married People take in Company: The unseasonable Fondness of some Husbands, and the ill-timed Tenderness of some Wives. They talk and act, as if Modesty was only fit for Maids and Batchelors, and that too before both. I was once, Mr. SPECTATOR, where the Fault I speak of was so very flagrant, that (being, you must know, a very bashful Fellow, and several young Ladies in the Room) I protest I was quite out of Countenance. Lucina, it seems, was breeding, and she did nothing but entertain the Company with a Discourse upon the Difficulty of Reckoning to a Day, and said she knew those who were certain to an Hour; then fell a laughing at a silly unexperienced Creature, who was a Month above her Time. Upon her Husband’s coming in, she put several Questions to him; which he not caring to resolve, Well, cries Lucina, I shall have ’em all at Night—But lest I should seem guilty of the very Fault I write against, I shall only intreat Mr. SPECTATOR to correct such Misdemeanors;
’For higher of the Genial
Bed by far,
And with mysterious Reverence, I deem.’ 
I am, SIR,
Your humble Servant_,
[Footnote 1: Paradise Lost, Bk VIII. 11. 598-9.]
* * * * *
No. 431. Tuesday, July 15, 1712. Steele.
’Quid Dulcius hominum generi a Natura datum est quam sui cuique liberi?’
I have lately been casting in my Thoughts the several Unhappinesses of Life, and comparing the Infelicities of old Age to those of Infancy. The Calamities of Children are due to the Negligence and Misconduct of Parents, those of Age to the past Life which led to it. I have here the History of a Boy and Girl to their Wedding-Day, and I think I cannot give the Reader a livelier Image of the insipid way which Time uncultivated passes, than by entertaining him with their authentick Epistles, expressing all that was remarkable in their Lives, ’till the Period of their Life above mentioned. The Sentence at the Head of this Paper, which is only a warm Interrogation, What is there in Nature so dear as a Man’s own Children to him? is all the Reflection I shall at present make on those who are negligent or cruel in the Education of them.