I found my Friend begin to rave, and insensibly led him towards the House, that we might be joined by some other Company; and am convinced that the Widow is the secret Cause of all that Inconsistency which appears in some Parts of my Friend’s Discourse; tho’ he has so much Command of himself as not directly to mention her, yet according to that of Martial, which one knows not how to render in English, Dum facet hanc loquitur. I shall end this Paper with that whole Epigram,  which represents with much Humour my honest Friend’s Condition.
Quicquid agit Rufus nihil est nisi
Si gaudet, si flet, si tacet, hanc loquitur:
Coenat, propinat, poscit, negat, annuit, una est
Naevia; Si non sit Naevia mutus erit.
Scriberet hesterna Patri cum Luce Salutem,
Naevia lux, inquit, Naevia lumen, ave.
Let Rufus weep, rejoice, stand,
sit, or walk,
Still he can nothing but of Naevia talk;
Let him eat, drink, ask Questions, or dispute,
Still he must speak of Naevia, or be mute.
He writ to his Father, ending with this Line,
I am, my Lovely Naevia, ever thine.
[Footnote 1: Mrs Catherine Boevey, widow of William Boevey, Esq., who was left a widow at the age of 22, and died in January, 1726, has one of the three volumes of the Lady’s Library dedicated to her by Steele in terms that have been supposed to imply resemblance between her and the ‘perverse widow;’ as being both readers, &c. Mrs Boevey is said also to have had a Confidant (Mary Pope) established in her household. But there is time misspent in all these endeavours to reduce to tittle-tattle the creations of a man of genius.]
[Footnote 2: ride]
[Footnote 3: Bk. I. Ep. 69.]
* * * * *
No. 114. Wednesday, July 11, 1711. Steele.
‘... Paupertatis pudor et fuga ...’
Oeconomy in our Affairs has the same Effect upon our Fortunes which Good Breeding has upon our Conversations. There is a pretending Behaviour in both Cases, which, instead of making Men esteemed, renders them both miserable and contemptible. We had Yesterday at SIR ROGER’S a Set of Country Gentlemen who dined with him; and after Dinner the Glass was taken, by those who pleased, pretty plentifully. Among others