In the next Place I must apply my self to my Party-Correspondents, who are continually teazing me to take Notice of one anothers Proceedings. How often am I asked by both Sides, if it is possible for me to be an unconcerned Spectator of the Rogueries that are committed by the Party which is opposite to him that writes the Letter. About two Days since I was reproached with an old Grecian Law, that forbids any Man to stand as a Neuter or a Looker-on in the Divisions of his Country. However, as I am very sensible [my ] Paper would lose its whole Effect, should it run into the Outrages of a Party, I shall take Care to keep clear of every thing [which ] looks that Way. If I can any way asswage private Inflammations, or allay publick Ferments, I shall apply my self to it with my utmost Endeavours; but will never let my Heart reproach me with having done any thing towards [encreasing ] those Feuds and Animosities that extinguish Religion, deface Government, and make a Nation miserable.
What I have said under the three foregoing Heads, will, I am afraid, very much retrench the Number of my Correspondents: I shall therefore acquaint my Reader, that if he has started any Hint which he is not able to pursue, if he has met with any surprizing Story which he does not know how to tell, if he has discovered any epidemical Vice which has escaped my Observation, or has heard of any uncommon Virtue which he would desire to publish; in short, if he has any Materials that can furnish out an innocent Diversion, I shall promise him my best Assistance in the working of them up for a publick Entertainment.
This Paper my Reader will find was intended for an answer to a Multitude of Correspondents; but I hope he will pardon me if I single out one of them in particular, who has made me so very humble a Request, that I cannot forbear complying with it.
To the SPECTATOR.
March 15, 1710-11.
’I Am at present so unfortunate, as to have nothing to do but to mind my own Business; and therefore beg of you that you will be pleased to put me into some small Post under you. I observe that you have appointed your Printer and Publisher to receive Letters and Advertisements for the City of London, and shall think my self very much honoured by you, if you will appoint me to take in Letters and Advertisements for the City of Westminster and the Dutchy of Lancaster. Tho’ I cannot promise to fill such an Employment with sufficient Abilities, I will endeavour to make up with Industry and Fidelity what I want in Parts and Genius. I am,
Your most obedient servant,