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'I can very well remember, that at my school-mistress's, whenever we broke up, I was always for joining myself with the Miss who lay-in, and was constantly one of the first to make a party in the play of husband and wife. This passion for being well with the females still increased as I advanced in years. At the dancing-school 1 contracted so many quarrels by struggling with my fellow-scholars for the partner I liked best, that upon a ball night before our mothers made their appearance, I was usually up to the nose in blood. My father, like a discreet man, soon removed me from this stage of softness to a school of discipline, where I learned Latin and Greek. I underwent several severities in this place, until it was thought convenient to send me to the university; though, to confess the truth, I should not have arrived so early at that seat of learning, but from the discovery of an intrigue between me and my master's house-keeper: upon whom I had employed my rhetoric so effectually, that, though she was a very elderly lady, I had almost brought her to consent to marry me. Upon my arrival at Oxford, I found logic so dry, that, instead of giving attention to the dead, I soon fell to addressing the living. My first amour was with a pretty girl whom I shall call Parthenope: her mother sold ale by the town wall. Being often caught there by the Proctor, I was forced at last, that my mistress's reputation might receive no blemish, to confess my addresses were honourable. Upon this I was immediately sent home; but Parthenope soon after marrying a shoe-maker, I was again suffered to return. My next affair was with my taylor's daughter, who deserted me for the sake of a young barber. Upon my complaining to one of my particular friends of this misfortune, the cruel wag made a mere jest of my calamity, and asked me with a smile, where the needle should turn but to the pole? After this I was deeply in love with a milliner, and at last with my bed-maker, upon which I was sent away, or, in the university phrase, rusticated for ever.
'Upon my coming home, I settled to my studies so heartily, and contracted so great a reservedness, by being kept from the company I most affected, that my father thought he might venture me at the Temple.
'Within a week after my arrival I began to shine again, and became enamoured with a mighty pretty creature, who had every thing but money to recommend her. Having frequent opportunities of uttering all the soft things which an heart formed for love could inspire me with, I soon gained her consent to treat of marriage; but unfortunately for us all, in the absence of my charmer I usually talked the same language to her elder sister, who is also very pretty. Now, I assure you, Mr. Spectator, this did not proceed from any real affection I had conceived for her; but being a perfect stranger to the conversation of men, and strongly addicted to associate with the women, I knew no other language but that of love. I should however be very much obliged to you, if you could free me from the perplexity I am at present in. I have sent word to my old gentleman in the country, that I am desperately in love with the younger sister; and her father, who knew no better, poor man, acquainted him by the same post, that I had for some time .made my addresses to the elder. Upon this old Testy sends me up word, that lie has heard so much of my exploits, that he intends immediately to order me to the South-Sea. Sir, I have occasionally talked so much of dying, that I begin to think there is not much in it; if the old squire persists in his design, I do hereby give him notice that I am providing myself with proper instruments for the destruction of despairing lovers; let him therefore look to it, and consider that by his obstinacy he may himself lose the
son of his strength, the world an hopeful lawyer, my mistress a passionate lover, and you Mr. Spectator,
'Your constant admirer,
< Jeremy Lovemore."
Middle Temple, Sept. 18.
No. DXCVII. WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 22.
Mens sine pondere ludit. Petr.
The mind uncumber'd plays.
SINCE I received my friend Shadow's letter, several of my correspondents have been pleased to send me an account how they have been employed in sleep, and what notable adventures they have been engaged in during that moonshine in the brain. I shall lay before my readers an abridgment of some few of their extravagances, in hopes that they will in time accustom themselves to dream a little more to the purpose.
One, who styles himself Gladio complains heavily that his fair one charges him with inconstancy, and does not use him with half the kindness which the sincerity of his passion may demand; the said Gladio having by valour and stratagem put to death tyrants, enchanters, monsters, knights, &c. without number, and exposed himself to all manner of dangers for her sake and safety. He desires in his postscript to know, whether, from a constant success in them, he may not promise himself to succeed in her esteem at last. •
Another who is very prolix in his narrative writes me word, that having sent a venture beyond sea, hetook occasion one night to fancy himself gone with it, and grown on a sudden the richest man in all the Indies. Having been there about a year or two, a gust of wind that forced open his casement, blew him over to his native country again, where awaking at six o'clock, and the change of the air not agreeing with him, he turned to his left side in order to a second voyage; but ere he could get on ship-board, was unfortunately apprehended for stealing a horse, tried and condemned for the fact, and in a fair way of being executed, if some body stepping hastily into his chamber had not brought him a reprieve. This fellow too wants Mr. Shadow's advice, who, I dare say, would bid him be content to rise after his first nap, and learn to be satisfied as soon, as nature is.
The next is a public spirited gentleman, who tells me that on the second of September at night the whole city was on fire, and would certainly have been reduced to ashes again by this time, if he had not flown over it with the new river on his back, and happily extinguished the flames before they had prevailed too far. He would be informed whether he has not a right to petition the Lord Mayor and Aldermen for a reward.
A letter, dated September the ninth, acquaints me, that the writer being resolved to try his fortune, had fasted all that day ; and that he might be sure of dreaming upon something at night, procured a handsome slice of bride-cake, which he placed very conveniently under his pillow. In the morning his memory happened to fail him, and he could recollect nothing but an odd fancy that he had eaten his cake; which being found upon search reduced to a few crumbs, he is resolved to remember more of his dreams another time, believing from this that there may possibly be somewhat of truth in them.
I have received numerous complaints from several delicious dreamers, desiring me to invent some method of silencing those noisy slaves, whose occupations lead them to take their early rounds about the city in a morning, doing a deal of mischief, and working strange confusion in the affairs of its inhabitants. Sever::! monarchs have done me the honour to acquaint me, how often they have been shook from their respective thrones by the rattling of a coach or the rumbling of a wheelbarrow. And many private gentlemen, I find, have been bawled out of vast estates by fellows not worth three-pence. A fair lady was just upon the point of being married to a young, handsome, rich, ingenious nobleman, when an impertinent tinker passing by, forbid the banns; and an hopeful youth, who had been newly advanced to great honour and preferment, was forced by a neighbouring cobler to resign all for an old song. It has been represented to me, that those inconsiderable rascals do nothing but go about dissolving of marriages, and spoiling of fortunes, impoverishing rich and ruining great people, interrupting beauties in the midst of their conquests, and generals in the course of their victories. A boisterous peripatetic hardly goes through a street without waking half a dozen kings and princes to open their shops or clean shoes, frequently transforming sceptres into paring shovels, and proclamations into hills. I have by me a letter from a young statesman, who in five or six hours came to be emperor of Europe, after which he made war upon the great Turk, routed him, horse and foot, and was crowned lord of the universe in Constantinople: the conclusion of all his successes is, that on the 12th instant, about seven in the morning, his imperial majesty was deposed by a chimney-sweeper.
On the other hand, I have epistolary testimonies of gratitude from many miserable people, who owe to this clamorous tribe frequent deliverances from great
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