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you, I can not recollect the goodness and confusion of the good man when he spoke to this purpose to me without melting into tears: but in a word, sir, I must hasten to tell

you

that my heart burns with gratitude towards him, and he is so happy a man, that it can never be in my power to return him his favours in kind, but I am sure I have made him the most agreeable satisfaction I could possibly, in being ready to serve others to my utmost ability, as far as is consistent with the prudence he prescribes to me. Dear Mr. Spectator, I do not owe to him only the good-will and esteem of my own relations, who are people of distinction, the present ease and plenty of my circumstances, but also the government of my passions and regulation of my desires. I doubt not, sir, but in your imagination such virtues as these of my worthy friend bear as great a figure as actions which are more glittering in the common estimation. What I would ask of you is, to give us a whole Spectator upon heroic virtue in common life, which may incite men to the same generous inclinations as have by this admirable person been shown to, and raised in, sir,

Your most humble servant.'

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MR. SPECTATOR,

· I am a country gentleman of a good plentiful estate, and live, as the rest of my neighbours, with great hospitality. I have been ever reckoned among the ladies the best company in the world, and have access as a sort of favourite. I never came in public but I saluted them, though in great assemblies, all around, where it was seen how genteelly I avoided hampering my spurs in

their petticoats whilst I moved amongst them: and on the other side how prettily they curtsied and received me, standing in proper rows, and advancing as fast as they saw their elders or their betters despatched by me. But so it is, Mr. Spectator, that all our good-breeding is of late lost by the unhappy arrival of a courtier, or towngentleman, who came lately among us: this person, whenever he came into a room, made a profound bow and fell back, then recovered with a soft air, and made a bow to the next, and so to one or two more, and then took the

gross

of the room, by passing by them in a continued bow, till he arrived at the person he thought proper particularly to entertain. This he did with so good a grace and assurance, that it is taken for the present fashion; and there is no young gentlewoman within several miles of this place has been kissed ever since his first appearance among

We country gentlemen can not begin again and learn these fine and reserved airs; and our conversation is at a stand till we have your judgment for or against kissing by way of civility or salutation: which is impatiently expected by your friends of both sexes, but by none so much as, - Your humble servant,

RUSTIC SPRIGHTLY.' MR. SPECTATOR,

December 3,

1711 • I was the other night at Philaster, where I expected to hear your famous trunk-maker, (No. 235) but was unhappily disappointed of his company, and saw another person who had the like ambition to distinguish himself in a noisy manner, partly by vociferation, or talking loud, and part

us.

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ly by his bodily agility. This was a very lusty fellow, but withal a sort of beau, who, getting into one of the side-boxes on the stage before the curtain drew, was disposed to show the whole audience his activity by leaping over the spikes; he passed from thence to one of the entering doors, where he took snuff with a tolerable gooil grace, displayed his fine clothes, made two or three feint passes at the curtain with his cane, then faced about and appeared at the other door: here he affected to survey the whole house, bowed and smiled at random, and then showed his teeth, which were some of them indeed very white; after this he retired behind the curtain, and obliged us with several views of his person from every opening.

• During the time of acting he appeared frequently in the prince's apartment, made one at the hunting match, and was very forward in the rebellion. * If there were no injunctions to the contrary, yet this practice must be confessed to diminish the pleasure of the audience, and for that reason presumptuous and unwarrantable: but since her majesty's late command has made it criminal,t you have authority to take notice of it. Šir, your humble servant,

CHARLES EASY.'

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STEELE.

T. I

* Different scenes in the play of Pliilaster.

In the play-bills about this time, there was this clause, * By her majesty's command no person to be admitted be hind the scenes.' #Coinmunicated from the letter-box. VOL. 7.-9

No. 241. THURSDAY, DECEMBER 6.

--Semperque relinqui
Sola sibi, semper longam incomitata videtur
Ire viam-

VIRG.
She seems alone
To wander in her sleep through ways unknown,
Guideless and dark.

DRYDEN.

MR. SPECTATOR,

• Though you have considered virtuous love in most of its distresses, I do not remember that you have given us any dissertation upon the absence of lovers, or laid down any method how they should support themselves under those long separations which they are sometimes forced to undergo. I am at present in this unhappy circumstance, having parted with the best of husbands, who is abroad in the service of his country, and may not possibly return for some years. His warm and generous

affection while we were together, with the tenderness which he expressed to me at parting, make his absence almost insupportable. I think of him every moment of the day, and meet him every night in my dreams. Every thing I see puts me in mind of him. I apply myself with more than ordinary diligence to the care of his family and his estate: but this, instead of relieving me, gives me but so many occasions of wishing for his return. I frequent the rooms where I used to converse with him; and not meeting him there, sit down in his chair

I love to read the books he delighted in, and to converse with the persons

and fall a weeping.

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whom he esteemed. I visit his picture a hundred times a day, and place myself over against it whole hours together. I pass a great part of my time in the walks where I used to lean upon his arm, and recollect in my mind the discourses which have there passed between us. I look over the several prospects, and points of view which we used to survey together, fix my eye upon the objects which he has made me take notice of, and call to mind a thousand agreeable remarks which he has made on those occasions. I write to him by every conveyance, and, contrary to other people, am always in good humour when an east wind blows, because it seldom fails of bringing me a letter from him. Let me entreat you, sir, to give me your advice

upon

this occasion, and to let me know how I may relieve myself in this my widowhood. I am, sir, Your very humbly servant,

ASTERIA.'

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Absence is what the poets call death in love, and has given occasion to abundance of beautiful complaints in those authors who have treated of this passion in verse. Ovid's epistles are full of thein. Oiway's Monimia talks very tenderly upon this subject:

- It was not kind
To leave me, like a turtle, here alone,
To droop and mourn the absence of my mate.
When thou art from me, every place is desert,
And I, methinks, am savage and forlorn;
Thy presence only 'tis can make me blest,
Heal my unquiet mind, and tune my soul.”

ORPHAN, Act II.

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