Out of my Side to thee, nearest my Heart,
Substantial Life, to have thee by my side
Henceforth an individual Solace dear.
Part of my Soul I seek thee, and thee claim
My other half!—–With that thy gentle hand
Seized mine, I yielded, and from that time see
How Beauty is excell’d by manly Grace,
And Wisdom, which alone is truly fair.
So spake our general Mother,—
* * * * *
No. 326. Friday, March 14, 1712. Steele.
Inclusam Danaen turris ahenea
Robustaeque fores, et vigilum canum
Tristes exubiae, munierant satis
Nocturnis ab adulteris;
Your Correspondents Letter relating to Fortune-Hunters, and your subsequent Discourse upon it, have given me Encouragement to send you a State of my Case, by which you will see, that the Matter complained of is a common Grievance both to City and Country.
I am a Country Gentleman of between five and six thousand a Year. It is my Misfortune to have a very fine Park and an only Daughter; upon which account I have been so plagu’d with Deer-Stealers and Fops, that for these four Years past I have scarce enjoy’d a Moments Rest. I look upon my self to be in a State of War, and am forc’d to keep as constant watch in my Seat, as a Governour would do that commanded a Town on the Frontier of an Enemy’s Country. I have indeed pretty well secur’d my Park, having for this purpose provided my self of four Keepers, who are Left-handed, and handle a Quarter-Staff beyond any other Fellow in the Country. And for the Guard of my House, besides a Band of Pensioner-Matrons and an old Maiden Relation, whom I keep on constant Duty, I have Blunderbusses always charged, and Fox-Gins planted in private Places about my Garden, of which I have given frequent Notice in the Neighbourhood; yet so it is, that in spite of all my Care, I shall every now and then have a saucy Rascal ride by reconnoitring (as I think you call it) under my Windows, as sprucely drest as if he were going to a Ball. I am aware of this way of attacking a Mistress on Horseback, having heard that it is a common Practice in Spain; and have therefore taken care to remove my Daughter from the Road-side of the House, and to lodge her next the Garden. But to cut short my Story; what can a Man do after all? I durst not stand for Member of Parliament last Election, for fear of some ill Consequence from my being off of my Post. What I would therefore desire of you, is, to promote a Project I have set on foot; and upon which I have writ to some of my Friends; and that is, that care may be taken to secure our Daughters by Law, as well as our Deer; and that some honest Gentleman of a publick Spirit, would move for Leave to bring in a Bill For the better preserving of the Female Game. I am, SIR, Your humble Servant.
Mile-End-Green, March 6, 1711-12.