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The Spectator, Volume 1 by Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

Part 12 out of 19

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Humour fills several Parts of _Europe_ with Pride and Beggary. It is the
Happiness of a Trading Nation, like ours, that the younger Sons, tho'
uncapabie of any liberal Art or Profession, may be placed in such a Way
of Life, as may perhaps enable them to vie with the best of their
Family: Accordingly we find several Citizens that were launched into the
World with narrow Fortunes, rising by an honest Industry to greater
Estates than those of their elder Brothers. It is not improbable but
_Will_, was formerly tried at Divinity, Law, or Physick; and that
finding his Genius did not lie that Way, his Parents gave him up at
length to his own Inventions. But certainly, however improper he might
have been for Studies of a higher Nature, he was perfectly well turned
for the Occupations of Trade and Commerce. As I think this is a Point
which cannot be too much inculcated, I shall desire my Reader to compare
what I have here written with what I have said in my Twenty first


[Footnote 1: Will Wimble has been identified with Mr. Thomas Morecraft,
younger son of a Yorkshire baronet. Mr. Morecraft in his early life
became known to Steele, by whom he was introduced to Addison. He
received help from Addison, and, after his death, went to Dublin, where
he died in 1741 at the house of his friend, the Bishop of Kildare. There
is no ground for this or any other attempt to find living persons in the
creations of the 'Spectator', although, because lifelike, they were, in
the usual way, attributed by readers to this or that individual, and so
gave occasion for the statement of Pudgell in the Preface to his
'Theophrastus' that

'most of the characters in the Spectator were conspicuously known.'

The only original of Will Wimble, as Mr. Wills has pointed out, is Mr.
Thomas Gules of No. 256 in the 'Tatler'.]

[Footnote 2: begun]

* * * * *

No. 109. Thursday, July 5, 1711. Steele.

'Abnormis sapiens ...'


I was this Morning walking in the Gallery, when Sir ROGER entered at the
End opposite to me, and advancing towards me, said, he was glad to meet
me among his Relations the DE COVERLEYS, and hoped I liked the
Conversation of so much good Company, who were as silent as myself. I
knew he alluded to the Pictures, and as he is a Gentleman who does not a
little value himself upon his ancient Descent, I expected he would give
me some Account of them. We were now arrived at the upper End of the
Gallery, when the Knight faced towards one of the Pictures, and as we
stood before it, he entered into the Matter, after his blunt way of
saying Things, as they occur to his Imagination, without regular
Introduction, or Care to preserve the Appearance of Chain of Thought.

'It is, said he, worth while to consider the Force of Dress; and how
the Persons of one Age differ from those of another, merely by that
only. One may observe also, that the general Fashion of one Age has
been followed by one particular Set of People in another, and by them
preserved from one Generation to another. Thus the vast jetting Coat
and small Bonnet, which was the Habit in _Harry_ the Seventh's Time,
is kept on in the Yeomen of the Guard; not without a good and politick
View, because they look a Foot taller, and a Foot and an half broader:
Besides that the Cap leaves the Face expanded, and consequently more
terrible, and fitter to stand at the Entrance of Palaces.

This Predecessor of ours, you see, is dressed after this manner, and
his Cheeks would be no larger than mine, were he in a Hat as I am. He
was the last Man that won a Prize in the Tilt-Yard (which is now a
Common Street before _Whitehall_. [1]) You see the broken Lance that
lies there by his right Foot; He shivered that Lance of his Adversary
all to Pieces; and bearing himself, look you, Sir, in this manner, at
the same time he came within the Target of the Gentleman who rode
against him, and taking him with incredible Force before him on the
Pommel of his Saddle, he in that manner rid the Turnament over, with
an Air that shewed he did it rather to perform the Rule of the Lists,
than expose his Enemy; however, it appeared he knew how to make use of
a Victory, and with a gentle Trot he marched up to a Gallery where
their Mistress sat (for they were Rivals) and let him down with
laudable Courtesy and pardonable Insolence. I don't know but it might
be exactly where the Coffee-house is now.

You are to know this my Ancestor was not only of a military Genius,
but fit also for the Arts of Peace, for he played on the Base-Viol as
well as any Gentlemen at Court; you see where his Viol hangs by his
Basket-hilt Sword. The Action at the Tilt-yard you may be sure won the
fair Lady, who was a Maid of Honour, and the greatest Beauty of her
Time; here she stands, the next Picture. You see, Sir, my Great Great
Great Grandmother has on the new-fashioned Petticoat, except that the
Modern is gather'd at the Waste; my Grandmother appears as if she
stood in a large Drum, whereas the Ladies now walk as if they were in
a Go-Cart. For all this Lady was bred at Court, she became an
Excellent Country-Wife, she brought ten Children, and when I shew you
the Library, you shall see in her own Hand (allowing for the
Difference of the Language) the best Receipt now in _England_ both for
an Hasty-pudding and a White-pot.[2]

If you please to fall back a little, because 'tis necessary to look at
the three next Pictures at one View; these are three Sisters. She on
the right Hand, who is so very beautiful, died a Maid; the next to
her, still handsomer, had the same Fate, against her Will; this homely
thing in the middle had both their Portions added to her own, and was
stolen by a neighbouring Gentleman, a Man of Stratagem and Resolution,
for he poisoned three Mastiffs to come at her, and knocked down two
Deer-stealers in carrying her off. Misfortunes happen in all Families:
The Theft of this Romp and so much Mony, was no great matter to our
Estate. But the next Heir that possessed it was this soft Gentleman,
whom you see there: Observe the small Buttons, the little Boots, the
Laces, the Slashes about his Cloaths, and above all the Posture he is
drawn in, (which to be sure was his own choosing;) you see he sits
with one Hand on a Desk writing, and looking as it were another way,
like an easy Writer, or a Sonneteer: He was one of those that had too
much Wit to know how to live in the World; he was a Man of no Justice,
but great good Manners; he ruined every Body that had any thing to do
with him, but never said a rude thing in his Life; the most indolent
Person in the World, he would sign a Deed that passed away half his
Estate with his Gloves on, but would not put on his Hat before a Lady
if it were to save his Country. He is said to be the first that made
Love by squeezing the Hand. He left the Estate with ten thousand
Pounds Debt upon it, but however by all Hands I have been informed
that he was every way the finest Gentleman in the World. That Debt lay
heavy on our House for one Generation, but it was retrieved by a Gift
from that honest Man you see there, a Citizen of our Name, but nothing
at all a-kin to us. I know Sir ANDREW FREEPORT has said behind my
Back, that this Man was descended from one of the ten Children of the
Maid of Honour I shewed you above; but it was never made out. We
winked at the thing indeed, because Mony was wanting at that time.'

Here I saw my Friend a little embarrassed, and turned my Face to the
next Portraiture.

Sir ROGER went on with his Account of the Gallery in the following

'This Man (pointing to him I looked at) I take to be the Honour of our
House. Sir HUMPHREY DE COVERLEY; he was in his Dealings as punctual as
a Tradesman, and as generous as a Gentleman. He would have thought
himself as much undone by breaking his Word, as if it were to be
followed by Bankruptcy. He served his Country as Knight of this Shire
to his dying Day. He found it no easy matter to maintain an Integrity
in his Words and Actions, even in things that regarded the Offices
which were incumbent upon him, in the Care of his own Affairs and
Relations of Life, and therefore dreaded (tho' he had great Talents)
to go into Employments of State, where he must be exposed to the
Snares of Ambition. Innocence of Life and great Ability were the
distinguishing Parts of his Character; the latter, he had often
observed, had led to the Destruction of the former, and used
frequently to lament that Great and Good had not the same
Signification. He was an excellent Husbandman, but had resolved not to
exceed such a Degree of Wealth; all above it he bestowed in secret
Bounties many Years after the Sum he aimed at for his own Use was
attained. Yet he did not slacken his Industry, but to a decent old Age
spent the Life and Fortune which was superfluous to himself, in the
Service of his Friends and Neighbours.'

Here we were called to Dinner, and Sir ROGER ended the Discourse of this
Gentleman, by telling me, as we followed the Servant, that this his
Ancestor was a brave Man, and narrowly escaped being killed in the Civil

'For,' said he, 'he was sent out of the Field upon a private Message,
the Day before the Battel of _Worcester_.'

The Whim of narrowly escaping by having been within a Day of Danger,
with other Matters above-mentioned, mixed with good Sense, left me at a
Loss whether I was more delighted with my Friend's Wisdom or Simplicity.


[Footnote 1: When Henry VIII drained the site of St. James's Park he
formed, close to the Palace of Whitehall, a large Tilt-yard for noblemen
and others to exercise themselves in jousting, tourneying, and fighting
at the barriers. Houses afterwards were built on its ground, and one of
them became Jenny Man's "Tilt Yard Coffee House." The Paymaster-
General's office now stands on the site of it.]

[Footnote 2: A kind of Custard.]

* * * * *

No. 110. Friday, July 6, 1711. Addison.

'Horror ubique animos, simul ipsa silentia terrent.'


At a little distance from Sir ROGER'S House, among the Ruins of an old
Abby, there is a long Walk of aged Elms; which are shot up so very high,
that when one passes under them, the Rooks and Crows that rest upon the
Tops of them seem to be cawing in another Region. I am very much
delighted with this sort of Noise, which I consider as a kind of natural
Prayer to that Being who supplies the Wants of his whole Creation, and
[who], in the beautiful Language of the _Psalms_, feedeth the young
Ravens that call upon him. I like this [Retirement [1]] the better,
because of an ill Report it lies under of being _haunted_; for which
Reason (as I have been told in the Family) no living Creature ever walks
in it besides the Chaplain. My good Friend the Butler desired me with a
very grave Face not to venture my self in it after Sun-set, for that one
of the Footmen had been almost frighted out of his Wits by a Spirit that
appear'd to him in the Shape of a black Horse without an Head; to which
he added, that about a Month ago one of the Maids coming home late that
way with a Pail of Milk upon her Head, heard such a Rustling among the
Bushes that she let it fall.

I was taking a Walk in this Place last Night between the Hours of Nine
and Ten, and could not but fancy it one of the most proper Scenes in the
World for a Ghost to appear in. The Ruins of the Abby are scattered up
and down on every Side, and half covered with Ivy and Elder-Bushes, the
Harbours of several solitary Birds which seldom make their Appearance
till the Dusk of the Evening. The Place was formerly a Churchyard, and
has still several Marks in it of Graves and Burying-Places. There is
such an Eccho among the old Ruins and Vaults, that if you stamp but a
little louder than ordinary, you hear the Sound repeated. At the same
time the Walk of Elms, with the Croaking of the Ravens which from time
to time are heard from the Tops of them, looks exceeding solemn and
venerable. These Objects naturally raise Seriousness and Attention; and
when Night heightens the Awfulness of the Place, and pours out her
supernumerary Horrors upon every thing in it, I do not at all wonder
that weak Minds fill it with Spectres and Apparitions.

Mr. Locke, in his Chapter of the Association of Ideas, has very curious
Remarks to shew how by the Prejudice of Education one Idea often
introduces into the Mind a whole Set that bear no Resemblance to one
another in the Nature of things. Among several Examples of this Kind, he
produces the following Instance. _The Ideas of Goblins and Sprights have
really no more to do with Darkness than Light: Yet let but a foolish
Maid inculcate these often on the Mind of a Child, and raise them there
together, possibly he shall never be able to separate them again so long
as he lives; but Darkness shall ever afterwards bring with it those
frightful Ideas, and they shall be so joined, that he can no more bear
the one than the other. [2]

As I was walking in this Solitude, where the Dusk of the Evening
conspired with so many other Occasions of Terrour, I observed a Cow
grazing not far from me, which an Imagination that is apt to _startle_,
might easily have construed into a black Horse without an Head: And I
dare say the poor Footman lost his Wits upon some such trivial Occasion.

My Friend Sir ROGER has often told me with a great deal of Mirth, that
at his first coming to his Estate he found three Parts of his House
altogether useless; that the best Room in it had the Reputation of being
haunted, and by that means was locked up; that Noises had been heard in
his long Gallery, so that he could not get a Servant to enter it after
eight a Clock at Night; that the Door of one of his Chambers was nailed
up, because there went a Story in the Family that a Butler had formerly
hang'd himself in it; and that his Mother, who lived to a great Age, had
shut up half the Rooms in the House, in which either her Husband, a Son,
or Daughter had died. The Knight seeing his Habitation reduced [to [3]]
so small a Compass, and himself in a manner shut out of his own House,
upon the Death of his Mother ordered [all the Apartments [4]] to be
flung open, and _exorcised_ by his Chaplain, who lay in every Room one
after another, and by that Means dissipated the Fears which had so long
reigned in the Family.

I should not have been thus particular upon these ridiculous Horrours,
did I not find them so very much prevail in all Parts of the Country. At
the same time I think a Person who is thus terrify'd with the
Imagination of Ghosts and Spectres much more reasonable than one who,
contrary to the Reports of all Historians sacred and prophane, ancient
and modern, and to the Traditions of all Nations, thinks the Appearance
of Spirits fabulous and groundless: Could not I give myself up to this
general Testimony of Mankind, I should to the Relations of particular
Persons who are now living, and whom I cannot distrust in other Matters
of Fact. I might here add, that not only the Historians, to whom we may
join the Poets, but likewise the Philosophers of Antiquity have favoured
this Opinion. _Lucretius_ himself, though by the Course of his
Philosophy he was obliged to maintain that the Soul did not exist
separate from the Body, makes no Doubt of the Reality of Apparitions,
and that Men have often appeared after their Death. This I think very
remarkable; he was so pressed with the Matter of Fact which he could not
have the Confidence to deny, that he was forced to account for it by one
of the most absurd unphilosophical Notions that was ever started. He
tells us, That the Surfaces of all Bodies are perpetually flying off
from their respective Bodies, one after another; and that these Surfaces
or thin Cases that included each other whilst they were joined in the
Body like the Coats of an Onion, are sometimes seen entire when they are
separated from it; by which means we often behold the Shapes and Shadows
of Persons who are either dead or absent. [5]

I shall dismiss this Paper with a Story out of _Josephus_, not so much
for the sake of the Story it self as for the moral Reflections with
which the Author concludes it, and which I shall here set down in his
own Words.

'_Glaphyra_ the Daughter of King _Archelaus_, after the Death of her
two first Husbands (being married to a third, who was Brother to her
first Husband, and so passionately in love with her that he turned off
his former Wife to make room for this Marriage) had a very odd kind of
Dream. She fancied that she saw her first Husband coming towards her,
and that she embraced him with great Tenderness; when in the midst of
the Pleasure which she expressed at the Sight of him, he reproached
her after the following manner: _Glaphyra_, says he, thou hast made
good the old Saying, That Women are not to be trusted. Was not I the
Husband of thy Virginity? Have I not Children by thee? How couldst
thou forget our Loves so far as to enter into a second Marriage, and
after that into a third, nay to take for thy Husband a Man who has so
shamelessly crept into the Bed of his Brother? However, for the sake
of our passed Loves, I shall free thee from thy present Reproach, and
make thee mine for ever. _Glaphyra_ told this Dream to several Women
of her Acquaintance, and died soon after. [6] I thought this Story
might not be impertinent in this Place, wherein I speak of those
Kings: Besides that, the Example deserves to be taken notice of as it
contains a most certain Proof of the Immortality of the Soul, and of
Divine Providence. If any Man thinks these Facts incredible, let him
enjoy his own Opinion to himself, but let him not endeavour to disturb
the Belief of others, who by Instances of this Nature are excited to
the Study of Virtue.'


[Footnote 1: Walk]

[Footnote 2: 'Essay on the Human Understanding', Bk. II., ch. 33.]

[Footnote 3: into]

[Footnote 4: the Rooms]

[Footnote 5: 'Lucret.' iv. 34, &c.]

[Footnote 6: Josephus, 'Antiq. Jud.' lib. xvii. cap. 15, 415.]

* * * * *

No. 111. Saturday, July 7, 1711. Addison.

'... Inter Silvas Academi quaerere Verum.'


The Course of my last Speculation led me insensibly into a Subject upon
which I always meditate with great Delight, I mean the Immortality of
the Soul. I was yesterday walking alone in one of my Friend's Woods, and
lost my self in it very agreeably, as I was running over in my Mind the
several Arguments that establish this great Point, which is the Basis of
Morality, and the Source of all the pleasing Hopes and secret Joys that
can arise in the Heart of a reasonable Creature. I considered those
several Proofs, drawn;

_First_, From the Nature of the Soul it self, and particularly its
Immateriality; which, tho' not absolutely necessary to the Eternity of
its Duration, has, I think, been evinced to almost a Demonstration.

_Secondly_, From its Passions and Sentiments, as particularly from its
Love of Existence, its Horrour of Annihilation, and its Hopes of
Immortality, with that secret Satisfaction which it finds in the
Practice of Virtue, and that Uneasiness which follows in it upon the
Commission of Vice.

_Thirdly_, From the Nature of the Supreme Being, whose Justice,
Goodness, Wisdom and Veracity are all concerned in this great Point.

But among these and other excellent Arguments for the Immortality of the
Soul, there is one drawn from the perpetual Progress of the Soul to its
Perfection, without a Possibility of ever arriving at it; which is a
Hint that I do not remember to have seen opened and improved by others
who have written on this Subject, tho' it seems to me to carry a great
Weight with it. How can it enter into the Thoughts of Man, that the
Soul, which is capable of such immense Perfections, and of receiving new
Improvements to all Eternity, shall fall away into nothing almost as
soon as it is created? Are such Abilities made for no Purpose? A Brute
arrives at a Point of Perfection that he can never pass: In a few Years
he has all the Endowments he is capable of; and were he to live ten
thousand more, would be the same thing he is at present. Were a human
Soul thus at a stand in her Accomplishments, were her Faculties to be
full blown, and incapable of further Enlargements, I could imagine it
might fall away insensibly, and drop at once into a State of
Annihilation. But can we believe a thinking Being that is in a perpetual
Progress of Improvements, and travelling on from Perfection to
Perfection, after having just looked abroad into the Works of its
Creator, and made a few Discoveries of his infinite Goodness, Wisdom and
Power, must perish at her first setting out, and in the very beginning
of her Enquiries?

A Man, considered in his present State, seems only sent into the World
to propagate his Kind[. He provides [1]] himself with a Successor, and
immediately quits his Post to make room for him.

... Hares
Haeredem alterius, velut unda, supervenit undam.

He does not seem born to enjoy Life, but to deliver it down to others.
This is not surprising to consider in Animals, which are formed for our
Use, and can finish their Business in a short Life. The Silk-worm, after
having spun her Task, lays her Eggs and dies. But a Man can never have
taken in his full measure of Knowledge, has not time to subdue his
Passions, establish his Soul in Virtue, and come up to the Perfection of
his Nature, before he is hurried off the Stage. Would an infinitely wise
Being make such glorious Creatures for so mean a Purpose? Can he delight
in the Production of such abortive Intelligences, such short-lived
reasonable Beings? Would he give us Talents that are not to be exerted?
Capacities that are never to be gratified? How can we find that Wisdom
which shines through all his Works, in the Formation of Man, without
looking on this World as only a Nursery for the next, and believing that
the several Generations of rational Creatures, which rise up and
disappear in such quick Successions, are only to receive their first
Rudiments of Existence here, and afterwards to be transplanted into a
more friendly Climate, where they may spread and flourish to all

There is not, in my Opinion, a more pleasing and triumphant
Consideration in Religion than this of the perpetual Progress which the
Soul makes towards the Perfection of its Nature, without ever arriving
at a Period in it. To look upon the Soul as going on from Strength to
Strength, to consider that she is to shine for ever with new Accessions
of Glory, and brighten to all Eternity; that she will be still adding
Virtue to Virtue, and Knowledge to Knowledge; carries in it something
wonderfully agreeable to that Ambition which is natural to the Mind of
Man. Nay, it must be a Prospect pleasing to God himself, to see his
Creation for ever beautifying in his Eyes, and drawing nearer to him, by
greater Degrees of Resemblance.

Methinks this single Consideration, of the Progress of a finite Spirit
to Perfection, will be sufficient to extinguish all Envy in inferior
Natures, and all Contempt in superior. That Cherubim which now appears
as a God to a human Soul, knows very well that the Period will come
about in Eternity, when the human Soul shall be as perfect as he himself
now is: Nay, when she shall look down upon that Degree of Perfection, as
much as she now falls short of it. It is true the higher Nature still
advances, and by that means preserves his Distance and Superiority in
the Scale of Being; but he knows how high soever the Station is of which
he stands possessed at present, the inferior Nature will at length mount
up to it, and shine forth in the same Degree of Glory.

With what Astonishment and Veneration may we look into our own Souls,
where there are such hidden Stores of Virtue and Knowledge, such
inexhausted Sources of Perfection? We know not yet what we shall be, nor
will it ever enter into the Heart of Man to conceive the Glory that will
be always in Reserve for him. The Soul considered with its Creator, is
like one of those Mathematical Lines that may draw nearer to another for
all Eternity without a Possibility of touching it: [2] And can there be
a Thought so transporting, as to consider ourselves in these perpetual
Approaches to him, who is not only the Standard of Perfection but of


[Footnote 1: ",and provide"]

[Footnote 2: The Asymptotes of the Hyperbola.]

* * * * *

No. 112. Monday, July 9, 1711. Addison.

[Greek (transliterated):

Athanatous men pr_ota theous, nom_o h_os diakeitai


I am always very well pleased with a Country _Sunday_; and think, if
keeping holy the Seventh Day [were [1]] only a human Institution, it
would be the best Method that could have been thought of for the
polishing and civilizing of Mankind. It is certain the Country-People
would soon degenerate into a kind of Savages and Barbarians, were there
not such frequent Returns of a stated Time, in which the whole Village
meet together with their best Faces, and in their cleanliest [Habits,
[2]] to converse with one another upon indifferent Subjects, hear their
Duties explained to them, and join together in Adoration of the Supreme
Being. _>Sunday_ clears away the Rust of the whole Week, not only as it
refreshes in their Minds the Notions of Religion, but as it puts both
the Sexes upon appearing in their most agreeable Forms, and exerting all
such Qualities as are apt to give them a Figure in the Eye of the
Village. A Country-Fellow distinguishes himself as much in the
_Church-yard_, as a Citizen does upon the _Change_, the whole
Parish-Politicks being generally discussed in that Place either after
Sermon or before the Bell rings.

My Friend Sir ROGER, being a good Churchman, has beautified the Inside
of his Church with several Texts of his own chusing: He has likewise
given a handsome Pulpit-Cloth, and railed in the Communion-Table at his
own Expence. He has often told me, that at his coming to his Estate he
found [his Parishioners [3]] very irregular; and that in order to make
them kneel and join in the Responses, he gave every one of them a
Hassock and a Common-prayer Book: and at the same time employed an
itinerant Singing-Master, who goes about the Country for that Purpose,
to instruct them rightly in the Tunes of the Psalms; upon which they now
very much value themselves, and indeed out-do most of the Country
Churches that I have ever heard.

As Sir ROGER is Landlord to the whole Congregation, he keeps them in
very good Order, and will suffer no Body to sleep in it besides himself;
for if by chance he has been surprized into a short Nap at Sermon, upon
recovering out of it he stands up and looks about him, and if he sees
any Body else nodding, either wakes them himself, or sends his Servant
to them. Several other of the old Knight's Particularities break out
upon these Occasions: Sometimes he will be lengthening out a Verse in
the Singing-Psalms, half a Minute after the rest of the Congregation
have done with it; sometimes, when he is pleased with the Matter of his
Devotion, he pronounces _Amen_ three or four times to the same Prayer;
and sometimes stands up when every Body else is upon their Knees, to
count the Congregation, or see if any of his Tenants are missing.

I was Yesterday very much surprised to hear my old Friend, in the Midst
of the Service, calling out to one _John Matthews_ to mind what he was
about, and not disturb the Congregation. This _John Matthews_ it seems
is remarkable for being an idle Fellow, and at that Time was kicking his
Heels for his Diversion. This Authority of the Knight, though exerted in
that odd Manner which accompanies him in all Circumstances of Life, has
a very good Effect upon the Parish, who are not polite enough to see any
thing ridiculous in his Behaviour; besides that the general good Sense
and Worthiness of his Character makes his Friends observe these little
Singularities as Foils that rather set off than blemish his good

As soon as the Sermon is finished, no Body presumes to stir till Sir
ROGER is gone out of the Church. The Knight walks down from his Seat in
the Chancel between a double Row of his Tenants, that stand bowing to
him on each Side; and every now and then enquires how such an one's
Wife, or Mother, or Son, or Father do, whom he does not see at Church;
which is understood as a secret Reprimand to the Person that is absent.

The Chaplain has often told me, that upon a Catechising-day, when Sir
ROGER has been pleased with a Boy that answers well, he has ordered a
Bible to be given him next Day for his Encouragement; and sometimes
accompanies it with a Flitch of Bacon to his Mother. Sir ROGER has
likewise added five Pounds a Year to the Clerk's Place; and that he may
encourage the young Fellows to make themselves perfect in the
Church-Service, has promised upon the Death of the present Incumbent,
who is very old, to bestow it according to Merit.

The fair Understanding between Sir ROGER and his Chaplain, and their
mutual Concurrence in doing Good, is the more remarkable, because the
very next Village is famous for the Differences and Contentions that
rise between the Parson and the 'Squire, who live in a perpetual State
of War. The Parson is always preaching at the 'Squire, and the 'Squire
to be revenged on the Parson never comes to Church. The 'Squire has made
all his Tenants Atheists and Tithe-Stealers; while the Parson instructs
them every _Sunday_ in the Dignity of his Order, and insinuates to them
in almost every Sermon, that he is a better Man than his Patron. In
short, Matters are come to such an Extremity, that the 'Squire has not
said his Prayers either in publick or private this half Year; and that
the Parson threatens him, if he does not mend his Manners, to pray for
him in the Face of the whole Congregation.

Feuds of this Nature, though too frequent in the Country, are very fatal
to the ordinary People; who are so used to be dazled with Riches, that
they pay as much Deference to the Understanding of a Man of an Estate,
as of a Man of Learning; and are very hardly brought to regard any
Truth, how important soever it may be, that is preached to them, when
they know there are several Men of five hundred a Year who do not
believe it.


[Footnote 1: had been]

[Footnote 2: Dress]

[Footnote 3: the Parish]

* * * * *

No. 113. Tuesday, July 10, 1711. Steele.

'... Harent infixi pectore vultus.'


In my first Description of the Company in which I pass most of my Time,
it may be remembered that I mentioned a great Affliction which my Friend
Sir ROGER had met with in his Youth; which was no less than a
Disappointment in Love. It happened this Evening, that we fell into a
very pleasing Walk at a Distance from his House: As soon as we came into

'It is, quoth the good Old Man, looking round him with a Smile, very
hard, that any Part of my Land should be settled upon one who has used
me so ill as the perverse Widow [1] did; and yet I am sure I could not
see a Sprig of any Bough of this whole Walk of Trees, but I should
reflect upon her and her Severity. She has certainly the finest Hand
of any Woman in the World. You are to know this was the Place wherein
I used to muse upon her; and by that Custom I can never come into it,
but the same tender Sentiments revive in my Mind, as if I had actually
walked with that Beautiful Creature under these Shades. I have been
Fool enough to carve her Name on the Bark of several of these Trees;
so unhappy is the Condition of Men in Love, to attempt the removing of
their Passion by the Methods which serve only to imprint it deeper.
She has certainly the finest Hand of any Woman in the World.'

Here followed a profound Silence; and I was not displeased to observe my
Friend falling so naturally into a Discourse, which I had ever before
taken Notice he industriously avoided. After a very long Pause he
entered upon an Account of this great Circumstance in his Life, with an
Air which I thought raised my Idea of him above what I had ever had
before; and gave me the Picture of that chearful Mind of his, before it
received that Stroke which has ever since affected his Words and
Actions. But he went on as follows.

'I came to my Estate in my Twenty Second Year, and resolved to follow
the Steps of the most Worthy of my Ancestors who have inhabited this
Spot of Earth before me, in all the Methods of Hospitality and good
Neighbourhood, for the sake of my Fame; and in Country Sports and
Recreations, for the sake of my Health. In my Twenty Third Year I was
obliged to serve as Sheriff of the County; and in my Servants,
Officers and whole Equipage, indulged the Pleasure of a young Man (who
did not think ill of his own Person) in taking that publick Occasion
of shewing my Figure and Behaviour to Advantage. You may easily
imagine to yourself what Appearance I made, who am pretty tall, [rid
[2]] well, and was very well dressed, at the Head of a whole County,
with Musick before me, a Feather in my Hat, and my Horse well Bitted.
I can assure you I was not a little pleased with the kind Looks and
Glances I had from all the Balconies and Windows as I rode to the Hall
where the Assizes were held. But when I came there, a Beautiful
Creature in a Widow's Habit sat in Court to hear the Event of a Cause
concerning her Dower. This commanding Creature (who was born for
Destruction of all who behold her) put on such a Resignation in her
Countenance, and bore the Whispers of all around the Court with such a
pretty Uneasiness, I warrant you, and then recovered her self from one
Eye to another, 'till she was perfectly confused by meeting something
so wistful in all she encountered, that at last, with a Murrain to
her, she cast her bewitching Eye upon me. I no sooner met it, but I
bowed like a great surprized Booby; and knowing her Cause to be the
first which came on, I cried, like a Captivated Calf as I was, Make
way for the Defendant's Witnesses. This sudden Partiality made all the
County immediately see the Sheriff also was become a Slave to the fine
Widow. During the Time her Cause was upon Tryal, she behaved herself,
I warrant you, with such a deep Attention to her Business, took
Opportunities to have little Billets handed to her Council, then would
be in such a pretty Confusion, occasioned, you must know, by acting
before so much Company, that not only I but the whole Court was
prejudiced in her Favour; and all that the next Heir to her Husband
had to urge, was thought so groundless and frivolous, that when it
came to her Council to reply, there was not half so much said as every
one besides in the Court thought he could have urged to her Advantage.
You must understand, Sir, this perverse Woman is one of those
unaccountable Creatures, that secretly rejoice in the Admiration of
Men, but indulge themselves in no further Consequences. Hence it is
that she has ever had a Train of Admirers, and she removes from her
Slaves in Town to those in the Country, according to the Seasons of
the Year. She is a reading Lady, and far gone in the Pleasures of
Friendship; She is always accompanied by a Confident, who is Witness
to her daily Protestations against our Sex, and consequently a Bar to
her first Steps towards Love, upon the Strength of her own Maxims and

However, I must needs say this accomplished Mistress of mine has
distinguished me above the rest, and has been known to declare Sir
ROGER DE COVERLEY was the Tamest and most Human of all the Brutes in
the Country. I was told she said so, by one who thought he rallied me;
but upon the Strength of this slender Encouragement, of being thought
least detestable, I made new Liveries, new paired my Coach-Horses,
sent them all to Town to be bitted, and taught to throw their Legs
well, and move all together, before I pretended to cross the Country
and wait upon her. As soon as I thought my Retinue suitable to the
Character of my Fortune and Youth, I set out from hence to make my
Addresses. The particular Skill of this Lady has ever been to inflame
your Wishes, and yet command Respect. To make her Mistress of this
Art, she has a greater Share of Knowledge, Wit, and good Sense, than
is usual even among Men of Merit. Then she is beautiful beyond the
Race of Women. If you won't let her go on with a certain Artifice with
her Eyes, and the Skill of Beauty, she will arm her self with her real
Charms, and strike you with Admiration instead of Desire. It is
certain that if you were to behold the whole Woman, there is that
Dignity in her Aspect, that Composure in her Motion, that Complacency
in her Manner, that if her Form makes you hope, her Merit makes you
fear. But then again, she is such a desperate Scholar, that no
Country-Gentleman can approach her without being a Jest. As I was
going to tell you, when I came to her House I was admitted to her
Presence with great Civility; at the same time she placed her self to
be first seen by me in such an Attitude, as I think you call the
Posture of a Picture, that she discovered new Charms, and I at last
came towards her with such an Awe as made me Speechless. This she no
sooner observed but she made her Advantage of it, and began a
Discourse to me concerning Love and Honour, as they both are followed
by Pretenders, and the real Votaries to them. When she [had] discussed
these Points in a Discourse, which I verily believe was as learned as
the best Philosopher in _Europe_ could possibly make, she asked me
whether she was so happy as to fall in with my Sentiments on these
important Particulars. Her Confident sat by her, and upon my being in
the last Confusion and Silence, this malicious Aid of hers, turning to
her, says, I am very glad to observe Sir ROGER pauses upon this
Subject, and seems resolved to deliver all his Sentiments upon the
Matter when he pleases to speak. They both kept their Countenances,
and after I had sat half an Hour meditating how to behave before such
profound Casuists, I rose up and took my Leave. Chance has since that
time thrown me very often in her Way, and she as often has directed a
Discourse to me which I do not understand. This Barbarity has kept me
ever at a Distance from the most beautiful Object my Eyes ever beheld.
It is thus also she deals with all Mankind, and you must make Love to
her, as you would conquer the Sphinx, by posing her. But were she like
other Women, and that there were any talking to her, how constant must
the Pleasure of that Man be, who could converse with a Creature--But,
after all, you may be sure her Heart is fixed on some one or other;
and yet I have been credibly inform'd; but who can believe half that
is said! After she had done speaking to me, she put her Hand to her
Bosom, and adjusted her Tucker. Then she cast her Eyes a little down,
upon my beholding her too earnestly. They say she sings excellently:
her Voice in her ordinary Speech has something in it inexpressibly
sweet. You must know I dined with her at a publick Table the Day after
I first saw her, and she helped me to some Tansy in the Eye of all the
Gentlemen in the Country: She has certainly the finest Hand of any
Woman in the World. I can assure you, Sir, were you to behold her, you
would be in the same Condition; for as her Speech is Musick, her Form
is Angelick. But I find I grow irregular while I am talking of her;
but indeed it would be Stupidity to be unconcerned at such
Perfection. Oh the excellent Creature, she is as inimitable to all
Women, as she is inaccessible to all Men.'

I found my Friend begin to rave, and insensibly led him towards the
House, that we might be joined by some other Company; and am convinced
that the Widow is the secret Cause of all that Inconsistency which
appears in some Parts of my Friend's Discourse; tho' he has so much
Command of himself as not directly to mention her, yet according to that
of _Martial_, which one knows not how to render in _English, Dum facet
hanc loquitur_. I shall end this Paper with that whole Epigram, [3]
which represents with much Humour my honest Friend's Condition.

_Quicquid agit Rufus nihil est nisi Naevia Rufo,
Si gaudet, si flet, si tacet, hanc loquitur:
Coenat, propinat, poscit, negat, annuit, una est
Naevia; Si non sit Naevia mutus erit.
Scriberet hesterna Patri cum Luce Salutem,
Naevia lux, inquit, Naevia lumen, ave._

Let _Rufus_ weep, rejoice, stand, sit, or walk,
Still he can nothing but of _Naevia_ talk;
Let him eat, drink, ask Questions, or dispute,
Still he must speak of _Naevia_, or be mute.
He writ to his Father, ending with this Line,
I am, my Lovely _Naevia_, ever thine.


[Footnote 1: Mrs Catherine Boevey, widow of William Boevey, Esq., who
was left a widow at the age of 22, and died in January, 1726, has one of
the three volumes of the Lady's Library dedicated to her by Steele in
terms that have been supposed to imply resemblance between her and the
'perverse widow;' as being both readers, &c. Mrs Boevey is said also to
have had a Confidant (Mary Pope) established in her household. But there
is time misspent in all these endeavours to reduce to tittle-tattle the
creations of a man of genius.]

[Footnote 2: ride]

[Footnote 3: Bk. I. Ep. 69.]

* * * * *

No. 114. Wednesday, July 11, 1711. Steele.

'... Paupertatis pudor et fuga ...'


Oeconomy in our Affairs has the same Effect upon our Fortunes which Good
Breeding has upon our Conversations. There is a pretending Behaviour in
both Cases, which, instead of making Men esteemed, renders them both
miserable and contemptible. We had Yesterday at SIR ROGER'S a Set of
Country Gentlemen who dined with him; and after Dinner the Glass was
taken, by those who pleased, pretty plentifully. Among others I observed
a Person of a tolerable good Aspect, who seemed to be more greedy of
Liquor than any of the Company, and yet, methought, he did not taste it
with Delight. As he grew warm, he was suspicious of every thing that was
said; and as he advanced towards being fudled, his Humour grew worse. At
the same time his Bitterness seem'd to be rather an inward
Dissatisfaction in his own Mind, than any Dislike he had taken at the
Company. Upon hearing his Name, I knew him to be a Gentle man of a
considerable Fortune in this County, but greatly in Debt. What gives the
unhappy Man this Peevishness of Spirit is, that his Estate is dipped,
and is eating out with Usury; and yet he has not the Heart to sell any
Part of it. His proud Stomach, at the Cost of restless Nights, constant
Inquietudes, Danger of Affronts, and a thousand nameless Inconveniences,
preserves this Canker in his Fortune, rather than it shall be said he is
a Man of fewer Hundreds a Year than he has been commonly reputed. Thus
he endures the Torment of Poverty, to avoid the Name of being less rich.
If you go to his House you see great Plenty; but served in a Manner that
shews it is all unnatural, and that the Master's Mind is not at home.
There is a certain Waste and Carelessness in the Air of every thing, and
the whole appears but a covered Indigence, a magnificent Poverty. That
Neatness and Chearfulness, which attends the Table of him who lives
within Compass, is wanting, and exchanged for a Libertine Way of Service
in all about him.

This Gentleman's Conduct, tho' a very common way of Management, is as
ridiculous as that Officer's would be, who had but few Men under his
Command, and should take the Charge of an Extent of Country rather than
of a small Pass. To pay for, personate, and keep in a Man's Hands, a
greater Estate than he really has, is of all others the most
unpardonable Vanity, and must in the End reduce the Man who is guilty of
it to Dishonour. Yet if we look round us in any County of _Great
Britain_, we shall see many in this fatal Error; if that may be called
by so soft a Name, which proceeds from a false Shame of appearing what
they really are, when the contrary Behaviour would in a short Time
advance them to the Condition which they pretend to.

_Laertes_ has fifteen hundred Pounds a Year; which is mortgaged for six
thousand Pounds; but it is impossible to convince him that if he sold as
much as would pay off that Debt, he would save four Shillings in the
Pound, [1] which he gives for the Vanity of being the reputed Master of
it. [Yet [2]] if _Laertes_ did this, he would, perhaps, be easier in his
own Fortune; but then _Irus_, a Fellow of Yesterday, who has but twelve
hundred a Year, would be his Equal. Rather than this shall be, _Laertes_
goes on to bring well-born Beggars into the World, and every Twelvemonth
charges, his Estate with at least one Year's Rent more by the Birth of a

_Laertes_ and _Irus_ are Neighbours, whose Way of living are an
Abomination to each other. _Irus_ is moved by the Fear of Poverty, and
_Laertes_ by the Shame of it. Though the Motive of Action is of so near
Affinity in both, and may be resolved into this, 'That to each of them
Poverty is the greatest of all Evils,' yet are their Manners very widely
different. Shame of Poverty makes _Laertes_> launch into unnecessary
Equipage, vain Expense, and lavish Entertainments; Fear of Poverty makes
_Irus_ allow himself only plain Necessaries, appear without a Servant,
sell his own Corn, attend his Labourers, and be himself a Labourer.
Shame of Poverty makes _Laertes_ go every Day a step nearer to it; and
Fear of Poverty stirs up _Irus_ to make every Day some further Progress
from it.

These different Motives produce the Excesses of which Men are guilty of
in the Negligence of and Provision for themselves. Usury, Stock-jobbing,
Extortion and Oppression, have their Seed in the Dread of Want; and
Vanity, Riot and Prodigality, from the Shame of it: But both these
Excesses are infinitely below the Pursuit of a reasonable Creature.
After we have taken Care to command so much as is necessary for
maintaining our selves in the Order of Men suitable to our Character,
the Care of Superfluities is a Vice no less extravagant, than the
Neglect of Necessaries would have been before.

Certain it is that they are both out of Nature when she is followed with
Reason and good Sense. It is from this Reflection that I always read Mr.
_Cowley_ with the greatest Pleasure: His Magnanimity is as much above
that of other considerable Men as his Understanding; and it is a true
distinguishing Spirit in the elegant Author who published his Works, [3]
to dwell so much upon the Temper of his Mind and the Moderation of his
Desires: By this means he has render'd his Friend as amiable as famous.
That State of Life which bears the Face of Poverty with Mr. _Cowley's
great Vulgar_, is admirably described; and it is no small Satisfaction
to those of the same Turn of Desire, that he produces the Authority of
the wisest Men of the best Age of the World, to strengthen his Opinion
of the ordinary Pursuits of Mankind.

It would methinks be no ill Maxim of Life, if according to that Ancestor
of Sir ROGER, whom I lately mentioned, every Man would point to himself
what Sum he would resolve not to exceed. He might by this means cheat
himself into a Tranquility on this Side of that Expectation, or convert
what he should get above it to nobler Uses than his own Pleasures or
Necessities. This Temper of Mind would exempt a Man from an ignorant
Envy of restless Men above him, and a more inexcusable Contempt of happy
Men below him. This would be sailing by some Compass, living with some
Design; but to be eternally bewildered in Prospects of Future Gain, and
putting on unnecessary Armour against improbable Blows of Fortune, is a
Mechanick Being which has not good Sense for its Direction, but is
carried on by a sort of acquired Instinct towards things below our
Consideration and unworthy our Esteem. It is possible that the
Tranquility I now enjoy at Sir ROGER'S may have created in me this Way
of Thinking, which is so abstracted from the common Relish of the World:
But as I am now in a pleasing Arbour surrounded with a beautiful
Landskip, I find no Inclination so strong as to continue in these
Mansions, so remote from the ostentatious Scenes of Life; and am at this
present Writing Philosopher enough to conclude with Mr. _Cowley_;

_If e'er Ambition did my Fancy cheat,
With any Wish so mean as to be Great;
Continue, Heav'n, still from me to remove
The humble Blessings of that Life I love._ [4]

[Footnote 1: The Land Tax.]

[Footnote 2: But]

[Footnote 3: Dr. Thomas Sprat, Bishop of Rochester, in his Life of
Cowley prefixed to an edition of the Poet's works. The temper of Cowley
here referred to is especially shown in his Essays, as in the opening
one 'Of Liberty,' and in that 'Of Greatness,' which is followed by the
paraphrase from Horace's Odes, Bk. III. Od. i, beginning with the
expression above quoted:

_Hence, ye profane; I hate ye all;
Both the Great Vulgar and the Small._]

[Footnote 4: From the Essay 'Of Greatness.']

* * * * *

No. 115. Thursday, July 12, 1711. Addison.

'... Ut sit Mens sana in Corpore sano.'


Bodily Labour is of two Kinds, either that which a Man submits to for
his Livelihood, or that which he undergoes for his Pleasure. The latter
of them generally changes the Name of Labour for that of Exercise, but
differs only from ordinary Labour as it rises from another Motive.

A Country Life abounds in both these kinds of Labour, and for that
Reason gives a Man a greater Stock of Health, and consequently a more
perfect Enjoyment of himself, than any other Way of Life. I consider the
Body as a System of Tubes and Glands, or to use a more Rustick Phrase, a
Bundle of Pipes and Strainers, fitted to one another after so wonderful
a Manner as to make a proper Engine for the Soul to work with. This
Description does not only comprehend the Bowels, Bones, Tendons, Veins,
Nerves and Arteries, but every Muscle and every Ligature, which is a
Composition of Fibres, that are so many imperceptible Tubes or Pipes
interwoven on all sides with invisible Glands or Strainers.

This general Idea of a Human Body, without considering it in its
Niceties of Anatomy, lets us see how absolutely necessary Labour is for
the right Preservation of it. There must be frequent Motions and
Agitations, to mix, digest, and separate the Juices contained in it, as
well as to clear and cleanse that Infinitude of Pipes and Strainers of
which it is composed, and to give their solid Parts a more firm and
lasting Tone. Labour or Exercise ferments the Humours, casts them into
their proper Channels, throws off Redundancies, and helps Nature in
those secret Distributions, without which the Body cannot subsist in its
Vigour, nor the Soul act with Chearfulness.

I might here mention the Effects which this has upon all the Faculties
of the Mind, by keeping the Understanding clear, the Imagination
untroubled, and refining those Spirits that are necessary for the proper
Exertion of our intellectual Faculties, during the present Laws of Union
between Soul and Body. It is to a Neglect in this Particular that we
must ascribe the Spleen, which is so frequent in Men of studious and
sedentary Tempers, as well as the Vapours to which those of the other
Sex are so often subject.

Had not Exercise been absolutely necessary for our Well-being, Nature
would not have made the Body so proper for it, by giving such an
Activity to the Limbs, and such a Pliancy to every Part as necessarily
produce those Compressions, Extentions, Contortions, Dilatations, and
all other kinds of [Motions [1]] that are necessary for the Preservation
of such a System of Tubes and Glands as has been before mentioned. And
that we might not want Inducements to engage us in such an Exercise of
the Body as is proper for its Welfare, it is so ordered that nothing
valuable can be procured without it. Not to mention Riches and Honour,
even Food and Raiment are not to be come at without the Toil of the
Hands and Sweat of the Brows. Providence furnishes Materials, but
expects that we should work them up our selves. The Earth must be
laboured before it gives its Encrease, and when it is forced into its
several Products, how many Hands must they pass through before they are
fit for Use? Manufactures, Trade, and Agriculture, naturally employ more
than nineteen Parts of the Species in twenty; and as for those who are
not obliged to Labour, by the Condition in which they are born, they are
more miserable than the rest of Mankind, unless they indulge themselves
in that voluntary Labour which goes by the Name of Exercise.

My Friend Sir ROGER has been an indefatigable Man in Business of this
kind, and has hung several Parts of his House with the Trophies of his
former Labours. The Walls of his great Hall are covered with the Horns
of several kinds of Deer that he has killed in the Chace, which he
thinks the most valuable Furniture of his House, as they afford him
frequent Topicks of Discourse, and shew that he has not been Idle. At
the lower End of the Hall, is a large Otter's Skin stuffed with Hay,
which his Mother ordered to be hung up in that manner, and the Knight
looks upon with great Satisfaction, because it seems he was but nine
Years old when his Dog killed him. A little Room adjoining to the Hall
is a kind of Arsenal filled with Guns of several Sizes and Inventions,
with which the Knight has made great Havock in the Woods, and destroyed
many thousands of Pheasants, Partridges and Wood-cocks. His Stable Doors
are patched with Noses that belonged to Foxes of the Knight's own
hunting down. Sir ROGER shewed me one of them that for Distinction sake
has a Brass Nail struck through it, which cost him about fifteen Hours
riding, carried him through half a dozen Counties, killed him a Brace of
Geldings, and lost above half his Dogs. This the Knight looks upon as
one of the greatest Exploits of his Life. The perverse Widow, whom I
have given some Account of, was the Death of several Foxes; for Sir
ROGER has told me that in the Course of his Amours he patched the
Western Door of his Stable. Whenever the Widow was cruel, the Foxes were
sure to pay for it. In proportion as his Passion for the Widow abated
and old Age came on, he left off Fox-hunting; but a Hare is not yet safe
that Sits within ten Miles of his House.

There is no kind of Exercise which I would so recommend to my Readers of
both Sexes as this of Riding, as there is none which so much conduces to
Health, and is every way accommodated to the Body, according to the
_Idea_ which I have given of it. Doctor _Sydenham_ is very lavish in its
Praises; and if the _English_ Reader will see the Mechanical Effects of
it describ'd at length, he may find them in a Book published not many
Years since, under the Title of _Medicina Gymnastica_ [2]. For my own
part, when I am in Town, for want of these Opportunities, I exercise
myself an Hour every Morning upon a dumb Bell that is placed in a Corner
of my Room, and pleases me the more because it does every thing I
require of it in the most profound Silence. My Landlady and her
Daughters are so well acquainted with my Hours of Exercise, that they
never come into my Room to disturb me whilst I am ringing.

When I was some Years younger than I am at present, I used to employ
myself in a more laborious Diversion, which I learned from a _Latin_
Treatise of Exercises that is written with great Erudition: [3] It is
there called the _skiomachia_, or the fighting with a Man's own Shadow,
and consists in the brandishing of two short Sticks grasped in each
Hand, and loaden with Plugs of Lead at either End. This opens the Chest,
exercises the Limbs, and gives a Man all the Pleasure of Boxing, without
the Blows. I could wish that several Learned Men would lay out that Time
which they employ in Controversies and Disputes about nothing, in this
Method of fighting with their own Shadows. It might conduce very much to
evaporate the Spleen, which makes them uneasy to the Publick as well as
to themselves.

To conclude, As I am a Compound of Soul and Body, I consider myself as
obliged to a double Scheme of Duties; and I think I have not fulfilled
the Business of the Day when I do not thus employ the one in Labour and
Exercise, as well as the other in Study and Contemplation.


[Footnote 1: Motion]

[Footnote 2: 'Medicina Gymnastica, or, a Treatise concerning the Power
of Exercise'. By Francis Fuller, M.A.]

[Footnote 3: 'Artis Gymnasticae apud Antiquos ...' Libri VI. (Venice,
1569). By Hieronymus Mercurialis, who died at Forli, in 1606. He speaks
of the shadow-fighting in Lib. iv. cap. 5, and Lib. v. cap. 2.]

* * * * *

No. 116. Friday, July 13, 1711. Budgell.

'... Vocat ingenti clamore Cithoeron,
Taygetique canes ...'


Those who have searched into human Nature observe that nothing so much
shews the Nobleness of the Soul, as that its Felicity consists in
Action. Every Man has such an active Principle in him, that he will find
out something to employ himself upon in whatever Place or State of Life
he is posted. I have heard of a Gentleman who was under close
Confinement in the _Bastile_ seven Years; during which Time he amused
himself in scattering a few small Pins about his Chamber, gathering them
up again, and placing them in different Figures on the Arm of a great
Chair. He often told his Friends afterwards, that unless he had found
out this Piece of Exercise, he verily believed he should have lost his

After what has been said, I need not inform my Readers, that Sir ROGER,
with whose Character I hope they are at present pretty well acquainted,
has in his Youth gone through the whole Course of those rural Diversions
which the Country abounds in; and which seem to be extreamly well suited
to that laborious Industry a Man may observe here in a far greater
Degree than in Towns and Cities. I have before hinted at some of my
Friend's Exploits: He has in his youthful Days taken forty Coveys of
Partridges in a Season; and tired many a Salmon with a Line consisting
but of a single Hair. The constant Thanks and good Wishes of the
Neighbourhood always attended him, on account of his remarkable Enmity
towards Foxes; having destroyed more of those Vermin in one Year, than
it was thought the whole Country could have produced. Indeed the Knight
does not scruple to own among his most intimate Friends that in order to
establish his Reputation this Way, he has secretly sent for great
Numbers of them out of other Counties, which he used to turn loose about
the Country by Night, that he might the better signalize himself in
their Destruction the next Day. His Hunting-Horses were the finest and
best managed in all these Parts: His Tenants are still full of the
Praises of a grey Stone-horse that unhappily staked himself several
Years since, and was buried with great Solemnity in the Orchard.

Sir _Roger_, being at present too old for Fox-hunting, to keep himself
in Action, has disposed of his Beagles and got a Pack of _Stop-Hounds_.
What these want in Speed, he endeavours to make amends for by the
Deepness of their Mouths and the Variety of their Notes, which are
suited in such manner to each other, that the whole Cry makes up a
compleat Consort. [1] He is so nice in this Particular that a Gentleman
having made him a Present of a very fine Hound the other Day, the Knight
returned it by the Servant with a great many Expressions of Civility;
but desired him to tell his Master, that the Dog he had sent was indeed
a most excellent _Base_, but that at present he only wanted a
_Counter-Tenor_. Could I believe my Friend had ever read _Shakespear_, I
should certainly conclude he had taken the Hint from _Theseus_ in the
_Midsummer Night's Dream_. [2]

_My Hounds are bred out of the_ Spartan _Kind,
So flu'd, so sanded; and their Heads are hung
With Ears that sweep away the Morning Dew.
Crook-knee'd and dew-lap'd like_ Thessalian _Bulls;
Slow in Pursuit, but match'd in Mouths like Bells,
Each under each: A Cry more tuneable
Was never hallowed to, nor chear'd with Horn._

Sir _Roger_ is so keen at this Sport, that he has been out almost every
Day since I came down; and upon the Chaplain's offering to lend me his
easy Pad, I was prevailed on Yesterday Morning to make one of the
Company. I was extremely pleased, as we rid along, to observe the
general Benevolence of all the Neighbourhood towards my Friend. The
Farmers Sons thought themselves happy if they could open a Gate for the
good old Knight as he passed by; which he generally requited with a Nod
or a Smile, and a kind Enquiry after their Fathers and Uncles.

After we had rid about a Mile from Home, we came upon a large Heath, and
the Sports-men began to beat. They had done so for some time, when, as I
was at a little Distance from the rest of the Company, I saw a Hare pop
out from a small Furze-brake almost under my Horse's Feet. I marked the
Way she took, which I endeavoured to make the Company sensible of by
extending my Arm; but to no purpose, 'till Sir ROGER, who knows that
none of my extraordinary Motions are insignificant, rode up to me, and
asked me _if Puss was gone that Way?_ Upon my answering _Yes_, he
immediately called in the Dogs, and put them upon the Scent. As they
were going off, I heard one of the Country-Fellows muttering to his
Companion, _That 'twas a Wonder they had not lost all their Sport, for
want of the silent Gentleman's crying STOLE AWAY._

This, with my Aversion to leaping Hedges, made me withdraw to a rising
Ground, from whence I could have the Picture of the whole Chace, without
the Fatigue of keeping in with the Hounds. The Hare immediately threw
them above a Mile behind her; but I was pleased to find, that instead of
running straight forwards, or in Hunter's Language, _Flying the
Country_, as I was afraid she might have done, she wheel'd about, and
described a sort of Circle round the Hill where I had taken my Station,
in such manner as gave me a very distinct View of the Sport. I could see
her first pass by, and the Dogs some time afterwards unravelling the
whole Track she had made, and following her thro' all her Doubles. I was
at the same time delighted in observing that Deference which the rest of
the Pack paid to each particular Hound, according to the Character he
had acquired amongst them: If they were at Fault, and an old Hound of
Reputation opened but once, he was immediately followed by the whole
Cry; while a raw Dog or one who was a noted _Liar_, might have yelped
his Heart out, without being taken Notice of.

The Hare now, after having squatted two or three Times, and been put up
again as often, came still nearer to the Place where she was at first
started. The Dogs pursued her, and these were followed by the jolly
Knight, who rode upon a white Gelding, encompassed by his Tenants and
Servants, and chearing his Hounds with all the Gaiety of Five and
Twenty. One of the Sportsmen rode up to me, and told me, that he was
sure the Chace was almost at an End, because the old Dogs, which had
hitherto lain behind, now headed the Pack. The Fellow was in the right.
Our Hare took a large Field just under us, followed by the full Cry _in
View_. I must confess the Brightness of the Weather, the Chearfulness of
everything around me, the _Chiding_ of the Hounds, which was returned
upon us in a double Eccho, from two neighbouring Hills, with the
Hallowing of the Sportsmen, and the Sounding of the Horn, lifted my
Spirits into a most lively Pleasure, which I freely indulged because I
was sure it was _innocent_. If I was under any Concern, it was on the
Account of the poor Hare, that was now quite spent, and almost within
the Reach of her Enemies; when the Huntsman getting forward threw down
his Pole before the Dogs. They were now within eight Yards of that Game
which they had been pursuing for almost as many Hours; yet on the Signal
before-mentioned they all made a sudden Stand, and tho' they continued
opening as much as before, durst not once attempt to pass beyond the
Pole. At the same time Sir ROGER rode forward, and alighting, took up
the Hare in his Arms; which he soon delivered up to one of his Servants
with an Order, if she could be kept alive, to let her go in his great
Orchard; where it seems he has several of these Prisoners of War, who
live together in a very comfortable Captivity. I was highly pleased to
see the Discipline of the Pack, and the Good-nature of the Knight, who
could not find in his heart to murther a Creature that had given him so
much Diversion.

As we were returning home, I remembred that Monsieur _Paschal_ in his
most excellent Discourse on _the Misery of Man_, tells us, That _all our
Endeavours after Greatness proceed from nothing but a Desire of being
surrounded by a Multitude of Persons and Affairs that may hinder us from
looking into our selves, which is a View we cannot bear_. He afterwards
goes on to shew that our Love of Sports comes from the same Reason, and
is particularly severe upon HUNTING, _What_, says he, _unless it be to
drown Thought, can make Men throw away so much Time and Pains upon a
silly Animal, which they might buy cheaper in the Market_? The foregoing
Reflection is certainly just, when a Man suffers his whole Mind to be
drawn into his Sports, and altogether loses himself in the Woods; but
does not affect those who propose a far more laudable End from this
Exercise, I mean, _The Preservation of Health, and keeping all the
Organs of the Soul in a Condition to execute her Orders_. Had that
incomparable Person, whom I last quoted, been a little more indulgent to
himself in this Point, the World might probably have enjoyed him much
longer; whereas thro' too great an Application to his Studies in his
Youth, he contracted that ill Habit of Body, which, after a tedious
Sickness, carried him oft in the fortieth Year of his Age; [3] and the
whole History we have of his Life till that Time, is but one continued
Account of the behaviour of a noble Soul struggling under innumerable
Pains and Distempers.

For my own part I intend to Hunt twice a Week during my Stay with Sir
ROGER; and shall prescribe the moderate use of this Exercise to all my
Country Friends, as the best kind of Physick for mending a bad
Constitution, and preserving a good one.

I cannot do this better, than in the following Lines out of Mr.
_Dryden_ [4].

_The first Physicians by Debauch were made;
Excess began, and Sloth sustains the Trade.
By Chace our long-liv'd Fathers earn'd their Food;
Toil strung the Nerves, and purify'd the Blood;
But we their Sons, a pamper'd Race of Men,
Are dwindled down to threescore Years and ten.
Better to hunt in Fields for Health unbought,
Than fee the Doctor for a nauseous Draught.
The Wise for Cure on Exercise depend:
God never made his Work for Man to mend._

[Footnote 1: As to dogs, the difference is great between a hunt now and
a hunt in the 'Spectator's' time. Since the early years of the last
century the modern foxhound has come into existence, while the beagle
and the deep-flewed southern hare-hound, nearly resembling the
bloodhound, with its sonorous note, has become almost extinct.
Absolutely extinct also is the old care to attune the voices of a pack.
Henry II, in his breeding of hounds, is said to have been careful not
only that they should be fleet, but also 'well-tongued and consonous;'
the same care in Elizabeth's time is, in the passage quoted by the
'Spectator', attributed by Shakespeare to Duke Theseus; and the paper
itself shows that care was taken to match the voices of a pack in the
reign also of Queen Anne. This has now been for some time absolutely
disregarded. In many important respects the pattern harrier of the
present day differs even from the harriers used at the beginning of the
present century.]

[Footnote 2: Act IV. sc. 1.]

[Footnote 3: Pascal, who wrote a treatise on Conic sections at the age
of 16, and had composed most of his mathematical works and made his
chief experiments in science by the age of 26, was in constant
suffering, by disease, from his 18th year until his death, in 1662, at
the age stated in the text. Expectation of an early death caused him to
pass from his scientific studies into the direct service of religion,
and gave, as the fruit of his later years, the Provincial Letters and
the 'Pensees'.]

[Footnote 4: Epistle to his kinsman, J. Driden, Esq., of Chesterton.]

* * * * *

No. 117. Saturday, July 14, 1711. Addison.

'... Ipsi sibi somnia fingunt.'


There are some Opinions in which a Man should stand Neuter, without
engaging his Assent to one side or the other. Such a hovering Faith as
this, which refuses to settle upon any Determination, is absolutely
necessary to a Mind that is careful to avoid Errors and Prepossessions.
When the Arguments press equally on both sides in Matters that are
indifferent to us, the safest Method is to give up our selves to

It is with this Temper of Mind that I consider the Subject of
Witchcraft. When I hear the Relations that are made from all Parts of
the World, not only from _Norway_ and _Lapland_, from the _East_ and
_West Indies_, but from every particular Nation in _Europe_, I cannot
forbear thinking that there is such an Intercourse and Commerce with
Evil Spirits, as that which we express by the Name of Witch-craft. But
when I consider that the ignorant and credulous Parts of the World
abound most in these Relations, and that the Persons among us, who are
supposed to engage in such an Infernal Commerce, are People of a weak
Understanding and a crazed Imagination, and at the same time reflect
upon the many Impostures and Delusions of this Nature that have been
detected in all Ages, I endeavour to suspend my Belief till I hear more
certain Accounts than any which have yet come to my Knowledge. In short,
when I consider the Question, whether there are such Persons in the
World as those we call Witches? my Mind is divided between the two
opposite Opinions; or rather (to speak my Thoughts freely) I believe in
general that there is, and has been such a thing as Witch-craft; but at
the same time can give no Credit to any particular Instance of it.

I am engaged in this Speculation, by some Occurrences that I met with
Yesterday, which I shall give my Reader an Account of at large. As I was
walking with my Friend Sir ROGER by the side of one of his Woods, an old
Woman applied herself to me for my Charity. Her Dress and Figure put me
in mind of the following Description in [_Otway_. [1]]

In a close Lane as I pursued my Journey,
I spy'd a wrinkled Hag, with Age grown double,
Picking dry Sticks, and mumbling to her self.
Her Eyes with scalding Rheum were gall'd and red,
Cold Palsy shook her Head; her Hands seem'd wither'd;
And on her crooked Shoulders had she wrap'd
The tatter'd Remnants of an old striped Hanging,
Which served to keep her Carcase from the Cold:
So there was nothing of a Piece about her.
Her lower Weeds were all o'er coarsly patch'd
With diff'rent-colour'd Rags, black, red, white, yellow,
And seem'd to speak Variety of Wretchedness. [2]

[As I was musing on this Description, and comparing it with the Object
before me, the Knight told me, [3]] that this very old Woman had the
Reputation of a Witch all over the Country, that her Lips were observed
to be always in Motion, and that there was not a Switch about her House
which her Neighbours did not believe had carried her several hundreds of
Miles. If she chanced to stumble, they always found Sticks or Straws
that lay in the Figure of a Cross before her. If she made any Mistake at
Church, and cryed _Amen_ in a wrong Place, they never failed to conclude
that she was saying her Prayers backwards. There was not a Maid in the
Parish that would take a Pin of her, though she would offer a Bag of
Mony with it. She goes by the Name of _Moll White_, and has made the
Country ring with several imaginary Exploits which are palmed upon her.
If the Dairy Maid does not make her Butter come so soon as she should
have it, _Moll White_ is at the Bottom of the Churn. If a Horse sweats
in the Stable, _Moll White_ has been upon his Back. If a Hare makes an
unexpected escape from the Hounds, the Huntsman curses _Moll White_.
Nay, (says Sir ROGER) I have known the Master of the Pack, upon such an
Occasion, send one of his Servants to see if _Moll White_ had been out
that Morning.

This Account raised my Curiosity so far, that I begged my Friend Sir
ROGER to go with me into her Hovel, which stood in a solitary Corner
under the side of the Wood. Upon our first entering Sir ROGER winked to
me, and pointed at something that stood behind the Door, which, upon
looking that Way, I found to be an old Broom-staff. At the same time he
whispered me in the Ear to take notice of a Tabby Cat that sat in the
Chimney-Corner, which, as the old Knight told me, lay under as bad a
Report as _Moll White_ her self; for besides that _Moll_ is said often
to accompany her in the same Shape, the Cat is reported to have spoken
twice or thrice in her Life, and to have played several Pranks above the
Capacity of an ordinary Cat.

I was secretly concerned to see Human Nature in so much Wretchedness and
Disgrace, but at the same time could not forbear smiling to hear Sir
ROGER, who is a little puzzled about the old Woman, advising her as a
Justice of Peace to avoid all Communication with the Devil, and never to
hurt any of her Neighbours' Cattle. We concluded our Visit with a
Bounty, which was very acceptable.

In our Return home, Sir ROGER told me, that old _Moll_ had been often
brought before him for making Children spit Pins, and giving Maids the
Night-Mare; and that the Country People would be tossing her into a Pond
and trying Experiments with her every Day, if it was not for him and his

I have since found upon Enquiry, that Sir ROGER was several times
staggered with the Reports that had been brought him concerning this old
Woman, and would frequently have bound her over to the County Sessions,
had not his Chaplain with much ado perswaded him to the contrary. [4]

I have been the more particular in this Account, because I hear there is
scarce a Village in _England_ that has not a _Moll White_ in it. When an
old Woman begins to doat, and grow chargeable to a Parish, she is
generally turned into a Witch, and fills the whole Country with
extravagant Fancies, imaginary Distempers and terrifying Dreams. In the
mean time, the poor Wretch that is the innocent Occasion of so many
Evils begins to be frighted at her self, and sometimes confesses secret
Commerce and Familiarities that her Imagination forms in a delirious old
Age. This frequently cuts off Charity from the greatest Objects of
Compassion, and inspires People with a Malevolence towards those poor
decrepid Parts of our Species, in whom Human Nature is defaced by
Infirmity and Dotage.


[Footnote 1: _Ottway_, which I could not forbear repeating on this

[Footnote 2: 'Orphan', Act II. Chamont to Monimia.]

[Footnote 3: The knight told me, upon hearing the Description,]

[Footnote 4: When this essay was written, charges were being laid
against one old woman, Jane Wenham, of Walkerne, a little village north
of Hertford, which led to her trial for witchcraft at assizes held in
the following year, 1712, when she was found guilty; and became
memorable as the last person who, in this country, was condemned to
capital punishment for that impossible offence. The judge got first a
reprieve and then a pardon. The lawyers had refused to draw up any
indictment against the poor old creature, except, in mockery, for
'conversing familiarly with the devil in form of a cat.' But of that
offence she was found guilty upon the testimony of sixteen witnesses,
three of whom were clergymen. One witness, Anne Thorne, testified that
every night the pins went from her pincushion into her mouth. Others
gave evidence that they had seen pins come jumping through the air into
Anne Thorne's mouth. Two swore that they had heard the prisoner, in the
shape of a cat, converse with the devil, he being also in form of a cat.
Anne Thorne swore that she was tormented exceedingly with cats, and that
all the cats had the face and voice of the witch. The vicar of Ardeley
had tested the poor ignorant creature with the Lord's Prayer, and
finding that she could not repeat it, had terrified her with his moral
tortures into some sort of confession. Such things, then, were said and
done, and such credulity was abetted even by educated men at the time
when this essay was written. Upon charges like those ridiculed in the
text, a woman actually was, a few months later, not only committed by
justices with a less judicious spiritual counsellor than Sir Roger's
chaplain, but actually found guilty at the assizes, and condemned to

* * * * *

No. 118. Monday, July 16, 1711. Steele.

'... Haret lateri lethalis arundo.'


This agreeable Seat is surrounded with so many pleasing Walks, which are
struck out of a Wood, in the midst of which the House stands, that one
can hardly ever be weary of rambling from one Labyrinth of Delight to
another. To one used to live in a City the Charms of the Country are so
exquisite, that the Mind is lost in a certain Transport which raises us
above ordinary Life, and is yet not strong enough to be inconsistent
with Tranquility. This State of Mind was I in, ravished with the Murmur
of Waters, the Whisper of Breezes, the Singing of Birds; and whether I
looked up to the Heavens, down on the Earth, or turned to the Prospects
around me, still struck with new Sense of Pleasure; when I found by the
Voice of my Friend, who walked by me, that we had insensibly stroled
into the Grove sacred to the Widow.

This Woman, says he, is of all others the most unintelligible: she
either designs to marry, or she does not. What is the most perplexing
of all, is, that she doth not either say to her Lovers she has any
Resolution against that Condition of Life in general, or that she
banishes them; but conscious of her own Merit, she permits their
Addresses, without Fear of any ill Consequence, or want of Respect,
from their Rage or Despair. She has that in her Aspect, against which
it is impossible to offend. A Man whose Thoughts are constantly bent
upon so agreeable an Object, must be excused if the ordinary
Occurrences in Conversation are below his Attention. I call her indeed
perverse, but, alas! why do I call her so? Because her superior Merit
is such, that I cannot approach her without Awe, that my Heart is
checked by too much Esteem: I am angry that her Charms are not more
accessible, that I am more inclined to worship than salute her: How
often have I wished her unhappy that I might have an Opportunity of
serving her? and how often troubled in that very Imagination, at
giving her the Pain of being obliged? Well, I have led a miserable
Life in secret upon her Account; but fancy she would have condescended
to have some regard for me, if it had not been for that watchful
Animal her Confident.

Of all Persons under the Sun (continued he, calling me by my Name) be
sure to set a Mark upon Confidents: they are of all People the most
impertinent. What is most pleasant to observe in them, is, that they
assume to themselves the Merit of the Persons whom they have in their
Custody. _Orestilla_ is a great Fortune, and in wonderful Danger of
Surprizes, therefore full of Suspicions of the least indifferent
thing, particularly careful of new Acquaintance, and of growing too
familiar with the old. _Themista_, her Favourite-Woman, is every whit
as careful of whom she speaks to, and what she says. Let the Ward be a
Beauty, her Confident shall treat you with an Air of Distance; let her
be a Fortune, and she assumes the suspicious Behaviour of her Friend
and Patroness. Thus it is that very many of our unmarried Women of
Distinction, are to all Intents and Purposes married, except the
Consideration of different Sexes. They are directly under the Conduct
of their Whisperer; and think they are in a State of Freedom, while
they can prate with one of these Attendants of all Men in general, and
still avoid the Man they most like. You do not see one Heiress in a
hundred whose Fate does not turn upon this Circumstance of choosing a
Confident. Thus it is that the Lady is addressed to, presented and
flattered, only by Proxy, in her Woman. In my Case, how is it possible
that ...

Sir RODGER was proceeding in his Harangue, when we heard the Voice of
one speaking very importunately, and repeating these Words, 'What, not
one Smile?' We followed the Sound till we came to a close Thicket, on
the other side of which we saw a young Woman sitting as it were in a
personated Sullenness just over a transparent Fountain. Opposite to her
stood Mr. _William_, Sir Roger's Master of the Game. The Knight
whispered me, 'Hist, these are Lovers.' The Huntsman looking earnestly
at the Shadow of the young Maiden in the Stream,

'Oh thou dear Picture, if thou couldst remain there in the Absence of
that fair Creature whom you represent in the Water, how willingly
could I stand here satisfied for ever, without troubling my dear
_Betty_ herself with any Mention of her unfortunate _William_, whom
she is angry with: But alas! when she pleases to be gone, thou wilt
also vanish--Yet let me talk to thee while thou dost stay. Tell my
dearest _Betty_ thou dost not more depend upon her, than does her
_William_? Her Absence will make away with me as well as thee. If she
offers to remove thee, I'll jump into these Waves to lay hold on thee;
her self, her own dear Person, I must never embrace again--Still do
you hear me without one Smile--It is too much to bear--'

He had no sooner spoke these Words, but he made an Offer of throwing
himself into the Water: At which his Mistress started up, and at the
next Instant he jumped across the Fountain and met her in an Embrace.
She half recovering from her Fright, said in the most charming Voice
imaginable, and with a Tone of Complaint,

'I thought how well you would drown yourself. No, no, you won't drown
yourself till you have taken your leave of _Susan Holliday_.'

The Huntsman, with a Tenderness that spoke the most passionate Love, and
with his Cheek close to hers, whispered the softest Vows of Fidelity in
her Ear, and cried,

'Don't, my Dear, believe a Word _Kate Willow_ says; she is spiteful
and makes Stories, because she loves to hear me talk to her self for
your sake.'

Look you there, quoth Sir Roger, do you see there, all Mischief comes
from Confidents! But let us not interrupt them; the Maid is honest,
and the Man dares not be otherwise, for he knows I loved her Father: I
will interpose in this matter, and hasten the Wedding. _Kate Willow_
is a witty mischievous Wench in the Neighbourhood, who was a Beauty;
and makes me hope I shall see the perverse Widow in her Condition. She
was so flippant with her Answers to all the honest Fellows that came
near her, and so very vain of her Beauty, that she has valued herself
upon her Charms till they are ceased. She therefore now makes it her
Business to prevent other young Women from being more Discreet than
she was herself: However, the saucy Thing said the other Day well
enough, 'Sir ROGER and I must make a Match, for we are 'both despised
by those we loved:' The Hussy has a great deal of Power wherever she
comes, and has her Share of Cunning.

However, when I reflect upon this Woman, I do not know whether in the
main I am the worse for having loved her: Whenever she is recalled to
my Imagination my Youth returns, and I feel a forgotten Warmth in my
Veins. This Affliction in my Life has streaked all my Conduct with a
Softness, of which I should otherwise have been incapable. It is,
perhaps, to this dear Image in my Heart owing, that I am apt to
relent, that I easily forgive, and that many desirable things are
grown into my Temper, which I should not have arrived at by better
Motives than the Thought of being one Day hers. I am pretty well
satisfied such a Passion as I have had is never well cured; and
between you and me, I am often apt to imagine it has had some
whimsical Effect upon my Brain: For I frequently find, that in my most
serious Discourse I let fall some comical Familiarity of Speech or odd
Phrase that makes the Company laugh; However, I cannot but allow she
is a most excellent Woman. When she is in the Country I warrant she
does not run into Dairies, but reads upon the Nature of Plants; but
has a Glass Hive, and comes into the Garden out of Books to see them
work, and observe the Policies of their Commonwealth. She understands
every thing. I'd give ten Pounds to hear her argue with my Friend Sir
ANDREW FREEPORT about Trade. No, no, for all she looks so innocent as
it were, take my Word for it she is no Fool.


* * * * *

No. 119. Tuesday, July 17, 1711. Addison.

'Urbem quam dicunt Romam, Melibaee, putavi
Stultus ego huic nostrae similem ...'


The first and most obvious Reflections which arise in a Man who changes
the City for the Country, are upon the different Manners of the People
whom he meets with in those two different Scenes of Life. By Manners I
do not mean Morals, but Behaviour and Good Breeding, as they shew
themselves in the Town and in the Country.

And here, in the first place, I must observe a very great Revolution
that has happen'd in this Article of Good Breeding. Several obliging
Deferences, Condescensions and Submissions, with many outward Forms and
Ceremonies that accompany them, were first of all brought up among the
politer Part of Mankind, who lived in Courts and Cities, and
distinguished themselves from the Rustick part of the Species (who on
all Occasions acted bluntly and naturally) by such a mutual Complaisance
and Intercourse of Civilities. These Forms of Conversation by degrees
multiplied and grew troublesome; the Modish World found too great a
Constraint in them, and have therefore thrown most of them aside.
Conversation, like the _Romish_ Religion, was so encumbered with Show
and Ceremony, that it stood in need of a Reformation to retrench its
Superfluities, and restore it to its natural good Sense and Beauty. At
present therefore an unconstrained Carriage, and a certain Openness of
Behaviour, are the Height of Good Breeding. The Fashionable World is
grown free and easie; our Manners sit more loose upon us: Nothing is so
modish as an agreeable Negligence. In a word, Good Breeding shews it
self most, where to an ordinary Eye it appears the least.

If after this we look on the People of Mode in the Country, we find in
them the Manners of the last Age. They have no sooner fetched themselves
up to the Fashion of the polite World, but the Town has dropped them,
and are nearer to the first State of Nature than to those Refinements
which formerly reign'd in the Court, and still prevail in the Country.
One may now know a Man that never conversed in the World, by his Excess
of Good Breeding. A polite Country 'Squire shall make you as many Bows
in half an Hour, as would serve a Courtier for a Week. There is
infinitely more to do about Place and Precedency in a Meeting of
Justices Wives, than in an Assembly of Dutchesses.

This Rural Politeness is very troublesome to a Man of my Temper, who
generally take the Chair that is next me, and walk first or last, in the
Front or in the Rear, as Chance directs. I have known my Friend Sir
Roger's Dinner almost cold before the Company could adjust the
Ceremonial, and be prevailed upon to sit down; and have heartily pitied
my old Friend, when I have seen him forced to pick and cull his Guests,
as they sat at the several Parts of his Table, that he might drink their
Healths according to their respective Ranks and Qualities. Honest _Will.
Wimble_, who I should have thought had been altogether uninfected with
Ceremony, gives me abundance of Trouble in this Particular. Though he
has been fishing all the Morning, he will not help himself at Dinner
'till I am served. When we are going out of the Hall, he runs behind me;
and last Night, as we were walking in the Fields, stopped short at a
Stile till I came up to it, and upon my making Signs to him to get over,
told me, with a serious Smile, that sure I believed they had no Manners
in the Country.

There has happened another Revolution in the Point of Good Breeding,
which relates to the Conversation among Men of Mode, and which I cannot
but look upon as very extraordinary. It was certainly one of the first
Distinctions of a well-bred Man, to express every thing that had the
most remote Appearance of being obscene, in modest Terms and distant
Phrases; whilst the Clown, who had no such Delicacy of Conception and
Expression, clothed his _Ideas_ in those plain homely Terms that are the
most obvious and natural. This kind of Good Manners was perhaps carried
to an Excess, so as to make Conversation too stiff, formal and precise:
for which Reason (as Hypocrisy in one Age is generally succeeded by
Atheism in another) Conversation is in a great measure relapsed into the
first Extream; so that at present several of our Men of the Town, and
particularly those who have been polished in _France_, make use of the
most coarse uncivilized Words in our Language, and utter themselves
often in such a manner as a Clown would blush to hear.

This infamous Piece of Good Breeding, which reigns among the Coxcombs of
the Town, has not yet made its way into the Country; and as it is
impossible for such an irrational way of Conversation to last long among
a People that make any Profession of Religion, or Show of Modesty, if
the Country Gentlemen get into it they will certainly be left in the
Lurch. Their Good-breeding will come too late to them, and they will be
thought a Parcel of lewd Clowns, while they fancy themselves talking
together like Men of Wit and Pleasure.

As the two Points of Good Breeding, which I have hitherto insisted upon,
regard Behaviour and Conversation, there is a third which turns upon
Dress. In this too the Country are very much behind-hand. The Rural
Beaus are not yet got out of the Fashion that took place at the time of
the Revolution, but ride about the Country in red Coats and laced Hats,
while the Women in many Parts are still trying to outvie one another in
the Height of their Head-dresses.

But a Friend of mine, who is now upon the Western Circuit, having
promised to give me an Account of the several Modes and Fashions that
prevail in the different Parts of the Nation through which he passes, I
shall defer the enlarging upon this last Topick till I have received a
Letter from him, which I expect every Post.


* * * * *

No. 120. Wednesday, July 18, 1711. Addison.

'... Equidem credo, quia sit Divinitus illis
Ingenium ...'


My Friend Sir Roger is very often merry with me upon my passing so much
of my Time among his Poultry: He has caught me twice or thrice looking
after a Bird's Nest, and several times sitting an Hour or two together
near an Hen and Chickens. He tells me he believes I am personally
acquainted with every Fowl about his House; calls such a particular Cock
my Favourite, and frequently complains that his Ducks and Geese have
more of my Company than himself.

I must confess I am infinitely delighted with those Speculations of
Nature which are to be made in a Country-Life; and as my Reading has
very much lain among Books of natural History, I cannot forbear
recollecting upon this Occasion the several Remarks which I have met
with in Authors, and comparing them with what falls under my own
Observation: The Arguments for Providence drawn from the natural History
of Animals being in my Opinion demonstrative.

The Make of every Kind of Animal is different from that of every other
Kind; and yet there is not the least Turn in the Muscles or Twist in the
Fibres of any one, which does not render them more proper for that
particular Animal's Way of Life than any other Cast or Texture of them
would have been.

The most violent Appetites in all Creatures are _Lust_ and _Hunger_: The
first is a perpetual Call upon them to propagate their Kind; the latter
to preserve themselves.

It is astonishing to consider the different Degrees of Care that descend
from the Parent to the Young, so far as is absolutely necessary for the
leaving a Posterity. Some Creatures cast their Eggs as Chance directs
them, and think of them no farther, as Insects and several Kinds of
Fish: Others, of a nicer Frame, find out proper Beds to [deposite [1]]
them in, and there leave them; as the Serpent, the Crocodile, and
Ostrich: Others hatch their Eggs and tend the Birth, 'till it is able to
shift for it self.

What can we call the Principle which directs every different Kind of
Bird to observe a particular Plan in the Structure of its Nest, and
directs all of the same Species to work after the same Model? It cannot
be Imitation; for though you hatch a Crow under a Hen, and never let it
see any of the Works of its own Kind, the Nest it makes shall be the
same, to the laying of a Stick, with all the other Nests of the same
Species. It cannot be _Reason_; for were Animals indued with it to as
great a Degree as Man, their Buildings would be as different as ours,
according to the different Conveniences that they would propose to

Is it not remarkable, that the same Temper of Weather, which raises this
genial Warmth in Animals, should cover the Trees with Leaves and the
Fields with Grass for their Security and Concealment, and produce such
infinite Swarms of Insects for the Support and Sustenance of their
respective Broods?

Is it not wonderful, that the Love of the Parent should be so violent
while it lasts; and that it should last no longer than is necessary for
the Preservation of the Young?

The Violence of this natural Love is exemplify'd by a very barbarous
Experiment; which I shall quote at Length, as I find it in an excellent
Author, and hope my Readers will pardon the mentioning such an Instance
of Cruelty, because there is nothing can so effectually shew the
Strength of that Principle in Animals of which I am here speaking. 'A
Person who was well skilled in Dissection opened a Bitch, and as she lay
in the most exquisite Tortures, offered her one of her young Puppies,
which she immediately fell a licking; and for the Time seemed insensible
of her own Pain: On the Removal, she kept her Eye fixt on it, and began
a wailing sort of Cry, which seemed rather to proceed from the Loss of
her young one, than the Sense of her own Torments.

But notwithstanding this natural Love in Brutes is much more violent and
intense than in rational Creatures, Providence has taken care that it
should be no longer troublesome to the Parent than it is useful to the
Young: for so soon as the Wants of the latter cease, the Mother
withdraws her Fondness, and leaves them to provide for themselves: and
what is a very remarkable Circumstance in this part of Instinct, we find
that the Love of the Parent may be lengthened out beyond its usual time,
if the Preservation of the Species requires it; as we may see in Birds
that drive away their Young as soon as they are able to get their
Livelihood, but continue to feed them if they are tied to the Nest, or
confined within a Cage, or by any other Means appear to be out of a
Condition of supplying their own Necessities.

This natural Love is not observed in animals to ascend from the Young to
the Parent, which is not at all necessary for the Continuance of the
Species: Nor indeed in reasonable Creatures does it rise in any
Proportion, as it spreads it self downwards; for in all Family
Affection, we find Protection granted and Favours bestowed, are greater
Motives to Love and Tenderness, than Safety, Benefits, or Life received.

One would wonder to hear Sceptical Men disputing for the Reason of
Animals, and telling us it is only our Pride and Prejudices that will
not allow them the Use of that Faculty.

Reason shews it self in all Occurrences of Life; whereas the Brute makes
no Discovery of such a Talent, but in what immediately regards his own
Preservation, or the Continuance of his Species. Animals in their
Generation are wiser than the Sons of Men; but their Wisdom is confined
to a few Particulars, and lies in a very narrow Compass. Take a Brute
out of his Instinct, and you find him wholly deprived of Understanding.
To use an Instance that comes often under Observation.

With what Caution does the Hen provide herself a Nest in Places
unfrequented, and free from Noise and Disturbance! When she has laid her
Eggs in such a Manner that she can cover them, what Care does she take
in turning them frequently, that all Parts may partake of the vital
Warmth? When she leaves them, to provide for her necessary Sustenance,
how punctually does she return before they have time to cool, and become
incapable of producing an Animal? In the Summer you see her giving her
self greater Freedoms, and quitting her Care for above two Hours
together; but in Winter, when the Rigour of the Season would chill the
Principles of Life, and destroy the young one, she grows more assiduous
in her Attendance, and stays away but half the Time. When the Birth
approaches, with how much Nicety and Attention does she help the Chick
to break its Prison? Not to take notice of her covering it from the
Injuries of the Weather, providing it proper Nourishment, and teaching
it to help it self; nor to mention her forsaking the Nest, if after the
usual Time of reckoning the young one does not make its Appearance. A
Chymical Operation could not be followed with greater Art or Diligence,
than is seen in the hatching of a Chick; tho' there are many other Birds
that shew an infinitely greater Sagacity in all the forementioned

But at the same time the Hen, that has all this seeming Ingenuity,
(which is indeed absolutely necessary for the Propagation of the
Species) considered in other respects, is without the least Glimmerings
of Thought or common Sense. She mistakes a Piece of Chalk for an Egg,
and sits upon it in the same manner: She is insensible of any Increase
or Diminution in the Number of those she lays: She does not distinguish
between her own and those of another Species; and when the Birth appears
of never so different a Bird, will cherish it for her own. In all these
Circumstances which do not carry an immediate Regard to the Subsistence
of her self or her Species, she is a very Ideot.

There is not, in my Opinion, any thing more mysterious in Nature than
this Instinct in Animals, which thus rises above Reason, and falls
infinitely short of it. It cannot be accounted for by any Properties in
Matter, and at the same time works after so odd a manner, that one
cannot think it the Faculty of an intellectual Being. For my own part, I
look upon it as upon the Principle of Gravitation in Bodies, which is
not to be explained by any known Qualities inherent in the Bodies
themselves, nor from any Laws of Mechanism, but, according to the best
Notions of the greatest Philosophers, is an immediate Impression from
the first Mover, and the Divine Energy acting in the Creatures.


[Footnote 1: depose]

* * * * *

No. 121. Thursday, July 19, 1711. Addison.

'... Jovis omnia plena.'


As I was walking this Morning in the great Yard that belongs to my
Friend's Country House, I was wonderfully pleased to see the different
Workings of Instinct in a Hen followed by a Brood of Ducks. The Young,
upon the sight of a Pond, immediately ran into it; while the Stepmother,
with all imaginable Anxiety, hovered about the Borders of it, to call
them out of an Element that appeared to her so dangerous and
destructive. As the different Principle which acted in these different
Animals cannot be termed Reason, so when we call it _Instinct_, we mean
something we have no Knowledge of. To me, as I hinted in my last Paper,
it seems the immediate Direction of Providence, and such an Operation of
the Supreme Being, as that which determines all the Portions of Matter
to their proper Centres. A modern Philosopher, quoted by Monsieur
_Bayle_ [1] in his learned Dissertation on the Souls of Brutes, delivers
the same Opinion, tho' in a bolder Form of Words, where he says, _Deus
est Anima Brutorum_, God himself is the Soul of Brutes. Who can tell
what to call that seeming Sagacity in Animals, which directs them to
such Food as is proper for them, and makes them naturally avoid whatever
is noxious or unwholesome? _Tully_ has observed that a Lamb no sooner
falls from its Mother, but immediately and of his own accord applies
itself to the Teat. _Dampier_, in his Travels, [2] tells us, that when
Seamen are thrown upon any of the unknown Coasts of _America_, they
never venture upon the Fruit of any Tree, how tempting soever it may
appear, unless they observe that it is marked with the Pecking of Birds;
but fall on without any Fear or Apprehension where the Birds have been
before them.

But notwithstanding Animals have nothing like the use of Reason, we find
in them all the lower Parts of our Nature, the Passions and Senses in
their greatest Strength and Perfection. And here it is worth our
Observation, that all Beasts and Birds of Prey are wonderfully subject
to Anger, Malice, Revenge, and all the other violent Passions that may
animate them in search of their proper Food; as those that are incapable
of defending themselves, or annoying others, or whose Safety lies
chiefly in their Flight, are suspicious, fearful and apprehensive of
every thing they see or hear; whilst others that are of Assistance and
Use to Man, have their Natures softened with something mild and
tractable, and by that means are qualified for a Domestick Life. In this

Book of the day: