Your most Humble Servant,
Hackney, [October 12. ]
’I am the young Woman whom you did so much Justice to some time ago, in acknowledging that I am perfect Mistress of the Fan, and use it with the utmost Knowledge and Dexterity. Indeed the World, as malicious as it is, will allow, that from an Hurry of Laughter I recollect my self the most suddenly, make a Curtesie, and let fall my Hands before me, closing my Fan at the same instant, the best of any Woman in England. I am not a little delighted that I have had your Notice and Approbation; and however other young Women may rally me out of Envy, I triumph in it, and demand a Place in your Friendship. You must therefore permit me to lay before you the present State of my Mind. I was reading your Spectator of the 9th Instant, and thought the Circumstance of the Ass divided between two Bundles of Hay which equally affected his Senses, was a lively Representation of my present Condition: For you are to now that I am extremely enamoured with two young Gentlemen who at this time pretend to me. One must hide nothing when one is asking Advice, therefore I will own to you, that I am very amorous and very covetous. My Lover Will is very rich, and my Lover Tom very handsome. I can have either of them when I please; but when I debate the Question in my own Mind, I cannot take Tom for fear of losing Will’s Estate, nor enter upon Will’s Estate, and bid adieu to Tom’s Person. I am very young, and yet no one in the World, dear Sir, has the main Chance more in her Head than myself. Tom is the gayest, the blithest Creature! He dances well, is very civil, and diverting at all Hours and Seasons. Oh, he is the Joy of my Eyes! But then again Will is so very rich and careful of the Main. How many pretty Dresses does Tom appear in to charm me! But then it immediately occurs to me, that a Man of his Circumstances is so much the poorer. Upon the whole I have at last examined both these Desires of Loves and Avarice, and upon strictly weighing the Matter I begin to think I shall be covetous longer than fond; therefore if you have nothing to say to the contrary, I shall take Will. Alas, poor Tom!
Your Humble Servant,
[Footnote 1: is]
[Footnote 2: the 12th of October.]
* * * * *
No. 197. Saturday, October 16, 1711. Budgell
de lana saepe caprina,
Propugnat nugis armatus: scilicet, ut non
Sit mihi prima fides; et vere quod placet, ut non
Acriter elatrem, pretium aetas altera sordet.
Ambigitur quid enim? Castor sciat an Docilis plus,
Brundusium Numici melius via ducat an Appi.’