I shall conclude this Paper with a Billet which has fallen into my Hands, and was written to a Lady from a Gentleman whom she had highly commended. The Author of it had formerly been her Lover. When all Possibility of Commerce between them on the Subject of Love was cut off, she spoke so handsomely of him, as to give Occasion for this Letter.
“I should be insensible to a Stupidity, if I could forbear making you my Acknowledgments for your late mention of me with so much Applause. It is, I think, your Fate to give me new Sentiments; as you formerly inspired me with the true Sense of Love, so do you now with the true Sense of Glory. As Desire had the least Part in the Passion I heretofore professed towards you, so has Vanity no Share in the Glory to which you have now raised me. Innocence, Knowledge, Beauty, Virtue, Sincerity, and Discretion, are the constant Ornaments of her who has said this of me. Fame is a Babbler, but I have arrived at the highest Glory in this World, the Commendation of the most deserving Person in it.”
[Footnote 1: Persius. ‘Sat. IV.’ sec. 51.]
[Footnote 2: Plutarch in ’Life of Lycurgus’.]
[Footnote 3: Plutarch in ’Life of Phocion’.]
* * * * *
No. 189. Saturday, October 6, 1711. Addison.
‘... Patriae pietatis imago.’
The following Letter being written to my Bookseller, upon a Subject of which I treated some time since, I shall publish it in this Paper, together with the Letter that was inclosed in it.
“Mr. SPECTATOR having of late descanted upon the Cruelty of Parents to their Children, I have been induced (at the Request of several of Mr. SPECTATOR’S Admirers) to inclose this Letter, which I assure you is the Original from a Father to his own Son, notwithstanding the latter gave but little or no Provocation. It would be wonderfully obliging to the World, if Mr. SPECTATOR would give his Opinion of it, in some of his Speculations, and particularly to”
Your Humble Servant.
“You are a sawcy audacious Rascal, and both Fool and Mad, and I care not a Farthing whether you comply or no; that does not raze out my Impressions of your Insolence, going about Railing at me, and the next Day to sollicit my Favour: These are Inconsistencies, such as discover thy Reason depraved. To be brief, I never desire to see your Face; and, Sirrah, if you go to the Work-house, it is no Disgrace to me for you to be supported there; and if you Starve in the Streets, I’ll never give any thing underhand in your Behalf. If I have any more of your scribling Nonsense I’ll break your Head the first Time I set Sight on you. You are a stubborn Beast; is this your Gratitude for