Richard Steele.

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Honour to publish in a former Paper. I must confess I do not naturally
affect critical Learning; but finding my self not so much regarded as I
am apt to flatter my self I may deserve from some professed Patrons of
Learning, I could not but do my self the Justice to shew I am not a
Stranger to such Erudition as they smile upon, if I were duly
encouraged. However this only to let the World see what I could do; and
shall not give my Reader any more of this kind, if he will forgive the
Ostentation I shew at present.

March 13, 1712.

Upon reading your Paper of yesterday, [2] I took the Pains to look
out a Copy I had formerly taken, and remembered to be very like your
last Letter: Comparing them, I found they were the very same, and
have, underwritten, sent you that Part of it which you say was torn
off. I hope you will insert it, that Posterity may know twas Gabriel
Bullock that made Love in that natural Stile of which you seem to be
fond. But, to let you see I have other Manuscripts in the same Way, I
have sent you Enclosed three Copies, faithfully taken by my own Hand
from the Originals, which were writ by a Yorkshire gentleman of a good
estate to Madam Mary, and an Uncle of hers, a Knight very well known
by the most ancient Gentry in that and several other Counties of Great
Britain. I have exactly followed the Form and Spelling. I have been
credibly informed that Mr. William Bullock, the famous Comedian, is
the descendant of this Gabriel, who begot Mr. William Bullocks great
grandfather on the Body of the above-mentioned Mrs. Margaret Clark.
But neither Speed, nor Baker, nor Selden, taking notice of it, I will
not pretend to be positive; but desire that the letter may be
reprinted, and what is here recovered may be in Italic.
I am, SIR,
Your daily Reader.

_To her I very much respect, Mrs. Margaret Clark._

Lovely, and oh that I could write loving Mrs. Margaret Clark, I pray
you let Affection excuse Presumption. Having been so happy as to
enjoy the Sight of your sweet Countenance and comely Body, sometimes
when I had occasion to buy Treacle or Liquorish Power at the
apothecary's shop, I am so enamoured with you, that I can no more
keep close my flaming Desire to become your Servant. And I am the
more bold now to write to your sweet self, because I am now my own
Man, and may match where I please; for my Father is taken away; and
now I am come to my Living, which is ten yard Land, and a House; and
there is never a Yard Land [3] in our Field but is as well worth ten
Pound a Year, as a Thief's worth a Halter; and all my Brothers and
Sisters are provided for: besides I have good Household Stuff,
though I say it, both Brass and Pewter, Linnens and Woollens; and
though my House be thatched, yet if you and I match, it shall go
hard but I will have one half of it slated. If you shall think well
of this Motion, I will wait upon you as soon as my new Cloaths is
made, and Hay-Harvest is in. I could, though I say it, have good
_Matches in our Town; but my Mother (Gods Peace be with her)
charged me upon her Death-Bed to marry a Gentlewoman, one who had
been well trained up in Sowing and Cookery. I do not think but that
if you and I can agree to marry, and lay our Means together, I shall
be made grand Jury-man e'er two or three Years come about, and that
will be a great Credit to us. If I could have got a Messenger for
Sixpence, I would have sent one on Purpose, and some Trifle or other
for a Token of my Love; but I hope there is nothing lost for that
neither. So hoping you will take this Letter in good Part, and
answer it with what Care and Speed you can, I rest and remain,_
Yours, if my own, MR. GABRIEL BULLOCK, now my father is dead.

Swepston, Leicestershire.

When the Coal Carts come, I shall send oftener; and may come in one
of them my self.

For sir William to go to london at westminster, remember a

Sir William, i hope that you are well. i write to let you know that
i am in troubel abbut a lady you nease; and I do desire that you
will be my frend; for when i did com to see her at your hall, i was
mighty Abuesed. i would fain a see you at topecliff, and thay would
not let me go to you; but i desire that you will be our frends, for
it is no dishonor neither for you nor she, for God did make us all.
i wish that i might see you, for thay say that you are a good man:
and many doth wounder at it, but madam norton is abuesed and ceated
two i beleive. i might a had many a lady, but i con have none but
her with a good consons, for there is a God that know our harts, if
you and madam norton will come to York, there i shill meet you if
God be willing and if you pleased, so be not angterie till you know
the trutes of things.

George Nelon I give my to me lady, and to Mr. Aysenby, and to
madam norton March, the 19th; 1706.

This is for madam mary norton disforth Lady she went to York.

Madam Mary. Deare loving sweet lady, i hope you are well. Do not go
to london, for they will put you in the nunnery; and heed not Mrs.
Lucy what she saith to you, for she will ly and ceat you. go from to
another Place, and we will gate wed so with speed, mind what i write
to you, for if they gate you to london they will keep you there; and
so let us gate wed, and we will both go. so if you go to london, you
rueing your self, so heed not what none of them saith to you. let us
gate wed, and we shall lie to gader any time. i will do any thing
for you to my poore. i hope the devill will faile them all, for a
hellish Company there be. from there cursed trick and mischiefus
ways good lord bless and deliver both you and me.

I think to be at york the 24 day.

This is for madam mary norton to go to london for a lady that
belongs to dishforth.

Madam Mary, i hope you are well, i am soary that you went away from
York, deare loving sweet lady, i writt to let you know that i do
remain faithful; and if can let me know where i can meet you, i will
wed you, and I will do any thing to my poor; for you are a good
woman, and will be a loving Misteris. i am in troubel for you, so if
you will come to york i will wed you. so with speed come, and i will
have none but you. so, sweet love, heed not what to say to me, and
with speed come: heed not what none of them say to you; your Maid
makes you believe ought.

So deare love think of Mr. george Nillson with speed; i sent you 2
or 3 letters before.

I gave misteris elcock some nots, and thay put me in pruson all the
night for me pains, and non new whear i was, and i did gat cold.

But it is for mrs. Lucy to go a good way from home, for in york and
round about she is known; to writ any more her deeds, the same will
tell hor soul is black within, hor corkis stinks of hell.
March 19th, 1706.


[Footnote 1: This paper is No. 328 in the original issue, but Steele
omitted it from the reprint and gave in its place the paper by Addison
which here stands next to it marked with the same number, 328. The paper
of Addison's had formed no part of the original issue. Of the original
No. 328 Steele inserted a censure at the end of No. 330.]

[Footnote 2: See No. 324.]

[Footnote 3: In some counties 20, in some 24, and in others 30 acres of

* * * * *

No. 328. Monday, March 17, 1712. Addison.

Nullum me a labore reclinat otium.



As I believe this is the first Complaint that ever was made to you of
this nature, so you are the first Person I ever could prevail upon my
self to lay it before. When I tell you I have a healthy vigorous
Constitution, a plentiful Estate, no inordinate Desires, and am
married to a virtuous lovely Woman, who neither wants Wit nor
Good-Nature, and by whom I have a numerous Offspring to perpetuate my
Family, you will naturally conclude me a happy Man. But,
notwithstanding these promising Appearances, I am so far from it, that
the prospect of being ruin'd and undone, by a sort of Extravagance
which of late Years is in a less degree crept into every fashionable
Family, deprives me of all the Comforts of my Life, and renders me the
most anxious miserable Man on Earth. My Wife, who was the only Child
and darling Care of an indulgent Mother, employ'd her early Years in
learning all those Accomplishments we generally understand by good
Breeding and polite Education. She sings, dances, plays on the Lute
and Harpsicord, paints prettily, is a perfect Mistress of the French
Tongue, and has made a considerable Progress in Italian. She is
besides excellently skill'd in all domestick Sciences, as Preserving,
Pickling, Pastry, making Wines of Fruits of our own Growth,
Embroydering, and Needleworks of every Kind. Hitherto you will be apt
to think there is very little Cause of Complaint; but suspend your
Opinion till I have further explain'd my self, and then I make no
question you will come over to mine. You are not to imagine I find
fault that she either possesses or takes delight in the Exercise of
those Qualifications I just now mention'd; tis the immoderate
Fondness she has to them that I lament, and that what is only design'd
for the innocent Amusement and Recreation of Life, is become the whole
Business and Study of hers. The six Months we are in Town (for the
Year is equally divided between that and the Country) from almost
Break of Day till Noon, the whole Morning is laid out in practising
with her several Masters; and to make up the Losses occasion'd by her
Absence in Summer, every Day in the Week their Attendance is requir'd;
and as they all are People eminent in their Professions, their Skill
and Time must be recompensed accordingly: So how far these Articles
extend, I leave you to judge. Limning, one would think, is no
expensive Diversion, but as she manages the Matter, tis a very
considerable Addition to her Disbursements; Which you will easily
believe, when you know she paints Fans for all her Female
Acquaintance, and draws all her Relations Pictures in Miniature; the
first must be mounted by no body but Colmar, and the other set by no
body but Charles Mather. What follows, is still much worse than the
former; for, as I told you, she is a great Artist at her Needle, tis
incredible what Sums she expends in Embroidery; For besides what is
appropriated to her personal Use, as Mantuas, Petticoats, Stomachers,
Handkerchiefs, Purses, Pin-cushions, and Working Aprons, she keeps
four French Protestants continually employ'd in making divers Pieces
of superfluous Furniture, as Quilts, Toilets, Hangings for Closets,
Beds, Window-Curtains, easy Chairs, and Tabourets: Nor have I any
hopes of ever reclaiming her from this Extravagance, while she
obstinately persists in thinking it a notable piece of good
Housewifry, because they are made at home, and she has had some share
in the Performance. There would be no end of relating to you the
Particulars of the annual Charge, in furnishing her Store-Room with a
Profusion of Pickles and Preserves; for she is not contented with
having every thing, unless it be done every way, in which she consults
an Hereditary Book of Receipts; for her female Ancestors have been
always fam'd for good Housewifry, one of whom is made immortal, by
giving her Name to an Eye-Water and two sorts of Puddings. I cannot
undertake to recite all her medicinal Preparations, as Salves,
Cerecloths, Powders, Confects, Cordials, Ratafia, Persico,
Orange-flower, and Cherry-Brandy, together with innumerable sorts of
Simple Waters. But there is nothing I lay so much to Heart, as that
detestable Catalogue of counterfeit Wines, which derive their Names
from the Fruits, Herbs, or Trees of whose Juices they are chiefly
compounded: They are loathsome to the Taste, and pernicious to the
Health; and as they seldom survive the Year, and then are thrown away,
under a false Pretence of Frugality, I may affirm they stand me in
more than if I entertain'd all our Visiters with the best Burgundy and
Champaign. Coffee, Chocolate, Green, Imperial, Peco, and Bohea-Tea
seem to be Trifles; but when the proper Appurtenances of the Tea-Table
are added, they swell the Account higher than one would imagine. I
cannot conclude without doing her Justice in one Article; where her
Frugality is so remarkable, I must not deny her the Merit of it, and
that is in relation to her Children, who are all confin'd, both Boys
and Girls, to one large Room in the remotest Part of the House, with
Bolts on the Doors and Bars to the Windows, under the Care and Tuition
of an old Woman, who had been dry Nurse to her Grandmother. This is
their Residence all the Year round; and as they are never allow'd to
appear, she prudently thinks it needless to be at any Expence in
Apparel or Learning. Her eldest Daughter to this day would have
neither read nor writ, if it had not been for the Butler, who being
the Son of a Country Attorney, has taught her such a Hand as is
generally used for engrossing Bills in Chancery. By this time I have
sufficiently tired your Patience with my domestick Grievances; which I
hope you will agree could not well be contain'd in a narrower Compass,
when you consider what a Paradox I undertook to maintain in the
Beginning of my Epistle, and which manifestly appears to be but too
melancholy a Truth. And now I heartily wish the Relation I have given
of my Misfortunes may be of Use and Benefit to the Publick. By the
Example I have set before them, the truly virtuous Wives may learn to
avoid those Errors which have so unhappily mis-led mine, and which are
visibly these three. First, in mistaking the proper Objects of her
Esteem, and fixing her Affections upon such things as are only the
Trappings and Decorations of her Sex. Secondly, In not distinguishing
what becomes the different Stages of Life. And, Lastly, The Abuse and
Corruption of some excellent Qualities, which, if circumscrib'd within
just Bounds, would have been the Blessing and Prosperity of her
Family, but by a vicious Extreme are like to be the Bane and
Destruction of it.


* * * * *

No. 329. Tuesday, March 18, 1712. Addison.

Ire tamen restat, Numa quo devenit et Ancus.


My friend Sir ROGER DE COVERLEY told me tother Night, that he had been
reading my Paper upon Westminster Abby, in which, says he, there are a
great many ingenious Fancies. He told me at the same time, that he
observed I had promised another Paper upon the Tombs, and that he should
be glad to go and see them with me, not having visited them since he had
read History. I could not at first imagine how this came into the
Knights Head, till I recollected that he had been very busy all last
Summer upon Bakers Chronicle, which he has quoted several times in his
Disputes with Sir ANDREW FREEPORT since his last coming to Town.
Accordingly I promised to call upon him the next Morning, that we might
go together to the Abby.

I found the Knight under his Butlers Hands, who always shaves him. He
was no sooner Dressed, than he called for a Glass of the Widow Trueby's
Water, which he told me he always drank before he went abroad. He
recommended me to a Dram of it at the same time, with so much
Heartiness, that I could not forbear drinking it. As soon as I had got
it down, I found it very unpalatable; upon which the Knight observing
that I [had] made several wry Faces, told me that he knew I should not
like it at first, but that it was the best thing in the World against
the Stone or Gravel.

I could have wished indeed that he had acquainted me with the Virtues of
it sooner; but it was too late to complain, and I knew what he had done
was out of Good-will. Sir ROGER told me further, that he looked upon it
to be very good for a Man whilst he staid in Town, to keep off
Infection, and that he got together a Quantity of it upon the first News
of the Sickness being at Dautzick: When of a sudden turning short to one
of his Servants, who stood behind him, he bid him call [a [1]] Hackney
Coach, and take care it was an elderly Man that drove it.

He then resumed his Discourse upon Mrs. Trueby's Water, telling me that
the Widow Trueby was one who did more good than all the Doctors and
Apothecaries in the County: That she distilled every Poppy that grew
within five Miles of her; that she distributed her Water gratis among
all Sorts of People; to which the Knight added, that she had a very
great Jointure, and that the whole Country would fain have it a Match
between him and her; and truly, says Sir ROGER, if I had not been
engaged, perhaps I could not have done better.

His Discourse was broken off by his Man's telling him he had called a
Coach. Upon our going to it, after having cast his Eye upon the Wheels,
he asked the Coachman if his Axeltree was good; upon the Fellows
telling him he would warrant it, the Knight turned to me, told me he
looked like an honest Man, and went in without further Ceremony.

We had not gone far, when Sir ROGER popping out his Head, called the
Coach-man down from his Box, and upon his presenting himself at the
Window, asked him if he smoaked; as I was considering what this would
end in, he bid him stop by the way at any good Tobacconists, and take
in a Roll of their best Virginia. Nothing material happened in the
remaining part of our Journey, till we were set down at the Westend of
the Abby.

As we went up the Body of the Church, the Knight pointed at the Trophies
upon one of the new Monuments, and cry'd out, A brave Man, I warrant
him! Passing afterwards by Sir Cloudsly Shovel, he flung his Hand that
way, and cry'd Sir Cloudsly Shovel! a very gallant Man! As we stood
before Busby's Tomb, the Knight utter'd himself again after the same
Manner, Dr. Busby, a great Man! he whipp'd my Grandfather; a very great
Man! I should have gone to him myself, if I had not been a Blockhead; a
very great Man!

We were immediately conducted into the little Chappel on the right hand.
Sir ROGER planting himself at our Historians Elbow, was very attentive
to every thing he said, particularly to the Account he gave us of the
Lord who had cut off the King of Moroccos Head. Among several other
Figures, he was very well pleased to see the Statesman Cecil upon his
Knees; and, concluding them all to be great Men, was conducted to the
Figure which represents that Martyr to good Housewifry, who died by the
prick of a Needle. Upon our Interpreters telling us, that she was a
Maid of Honour to Queen Elizabeth, the Knight was very inquisitive into
her Name and Family; and after having regarded her Finger for some time,
I wonder, says he, that Sir Richard Baker has said nothing of her in his

We were then convey'd to the two Coronation-Chairs, where my old Friend,
after having heard that the Stone underneath the most ancient of them,
which was brought from Scotland, was called Jacob's Pillar, sat himself
down in the Chair; and looking like the Figure of an old Gothick King,
asked our Interpreter, What Authority they had to say, that Jacob had
ever been in Scotland? The Fellow, instead of returning him an Answer,
told him, that he hoped his Honour would pay his Forfeit. I could
observe Sir ROGER a little ruffled upon being thus trepanned; but our
Guide not insisting upon his Demand, the Knight soon recovered his good
Humour, and whispered in my Ear, that if WILL. WIMBLE were with us, and
saw those two Chairs, it would go hard but he would get a
Tobacco-Stopper out of one or tother of them.

Sir ROGER, in the next Place, laid his Hand upon Edward the Thirds
Sword, and leaning upon the Pummel of it, gave us the whole History of
the Black Prince; concluding, that in Sir Richard Bakers Opinion,
Edward the Third was one of the greatest Princes that ever sate upon the
English Throne.

We were then shewn Edward the Confessors Tomb; upon which Sir ROGER
acquainted us, that he was the first who touched for the Evil; and
afterwards Henry the Fourths, upon which he shook his Head, and told us
there was fine Reading in the Casualties in that Reign.

Our Conductor then pointed to that Monument where there is the Figure of
one of our English Kings without an Head; and upon giving us to know,
that the Head, which was of beaten Silver, had been stolen away several
Years since: Some Whig, Ill warrant you, says Sir ROGER; you ought to
lock up your Kings better; they will carry off the Body too, if you
don't take care.

THE glorious Names of Henry the Fifth and Queen Elizabeth gave the
Knight great Opportunities of shining, and of doing Justice to Sir
Richard Baker, who, as our Knight observed with some Surprize, had a
great many Kings in him, whose Monuments he had not seen in the Abby.

For my own part, I could not but be pleased to see the Knight shew such
an honest Passion for the Glory of his Country, and such a respectful
Gratitude to the Memory of its Princes.

I must not omit, that the Benevolence of my good old Friend, which flows
out towards every one he converses with, made him very kind to our
Interpreter, whom he looked upon as an extraordinary Man; for which
reason he shook him by the Hand at parting, telling him, that he should
be very glad to see him at his Lodgings in Norfolk-Buildings, and talk
over these Matters with him more at leisure.


[Footnote 1:[an]]

* * * * *

No. 330. Wednesday, March 19, 1712. Steele.

Maxima debetur pueris reverentia.


The following Letters, written by two very considerate Correspondents,
both under twenty Years of Age, are very good Arguments of the Necessity
of taking into Consideration the many Incidents which affect the
Education of Youth.

I have long expected, that in the Course of your Observations upon
the several Parts of human Life, you would one time or other fall upon
a Subject, which, since you have not, I take the liberty to recommend
to you. What I mean, is the Patronage of young modest Men to such as
are able to countenance and introduce them into the World. For want of
such Assistances, a Youth of Merit languishes in Obscurity or Poverty,
when his Circumstances are low, and runs into Riot and Excess when his
Fortunes are plentiful. I cannot make my self better understood, than
by sending you an History of my self, which I shall desire you to
insert in your Paper, it being the only Way I have of expressing my
Gratitude for the highest Obligations imaginable.

I am the Son of a Merchant of the City of London, who, by many Losses,
was reduced from a very luxuriant Trade and Credit to very narrow
Circumstances, in Comparison to that his former Abundance. This took
away the Vigour of his Mind, and all manner of Attention to a Fortune,
which he now thought desperate; insomuch that he died without a Will,
having before buried my Mother in the midst of his other Misfortunes.
I was sixteen Years of Age when I lost my Father; and an Estate of
£200 a Year came into my Possession, without Friend or Guardian to
instruct me in the Management or Enjoyment of it. The natural
Consequence of this was, (though I wanted no Director, and soon had
Fellows who found me out for a smart young Gentleman, and led me into
all the Debaucheries of which I was capable) that my Companions and I
could not well be supplied without my running in Debt, which I did
very frankly, till I was arrested, and conveyed with a Guard strong
enough for the most desperate Assassine, to a Bayliff's House, where I
lay four Days, surrounded with very merry, but not very agreeable
Company. As soon as I had extricated my self from this shameful
Confinement, I reflected upon it with so much Horror, that I deserted
all my old Acquaintance, and took Chambers in an Inn of Court, with a
Resolution to study the Law with all possible Application. But I
trifled away a whole Year in looking over a thousand Intricacies,
without Friend to apply to in any Case of Doubt; so that I only lived

Online LibraryRichard SteeleThe Spectator, Volume 2 → online text (page 45 of 74)