[Footnote 2: Georg. II. v. 89.]
[Footnote 3: Infamy.]
[Footnote 4: Shame]
[Footnote 5: suffer and are]
* * * * *
No. 204. Wednesday, October 24, 1711. Steele.
Urit grata protervitas,
Et vultus nimium lubricus aspici.
I am not at all displeased that I am become the Courier of Love, and that the Distressed in that Passion convey their Complaints to each other by my Means. The following Letters have lately come to my hands, and shall have their Place with great Willingness. As to the Readers Entertainment, he will, I hope, forgive the inserting such Particulars as to him may perhaps seem frivolous, but are to the Persons who wrote them of the highest Consequence. I shall not trouble you with the Prefaces, Compliments, and Apologies made to me before each Epistle when it was desired to be inserted; but in general they tell me, that the Persons to whom they are addressed have Intimations, by Phrases and Allusions in them, from whence they came.
To the Sothades .
“The Word, by which I address you, gives you, who understand Portuguese, a lively Image of the tender Regard I have for you. The SPECTATOR’S late Letter from Statira gave me the Hint to use the same Method of explaining my self to you. I am not affronted at the Design your late Behaviour discovered you had in your Addresses to me; but I impute it to the Degeneracy of the Age, rather than your particular Fault. As I aim at nothing more than being yours, I am willing to be a Stranger to your Name, your Fortune, or any Figure which your Wife might expect to make in the World, provided my Commerce with you is not to be a guilty one. I resign gay Dress, the Pleasure of Visits, Equipage, Plays, Balls, and Operas, for that one Satisfaction of having you for ever mine. I am willing you shall industriously conceal the only Cause of Triumph which I can know in this Life. I wish only to have it my Duty, as well as my Inclination, to study your Happiness. If this has not the Effect this Letter seems to aim at, you are to understand that I had a mind to be rid of you, and took the readiest Way to pall you with an Offer of what you would never desist pursuing while you received ill Usage. Be a true Man; be my Slave while you doubt me, and neglect me when you think I love you. I defy you to find out what is your present Circumstance with me; but I know while I can keep this Suspence.
I am your admired Belinda.”