Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Books, poems, drama…

The Spectator, Volume 1 by Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

Part 15 out of 19

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 2.1 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

clearest, traced the Steps of Omnipotence: He has, with a Celestial
Ambition, as far as it is consistent with Humility and Devotion,
examined the Ways of Providence, from the Creation to the Dissolution of
the visible World. How pleasing must have been the Speculation, to
observe Nature and Providence move together, the Physical and Moral
World march the same Pace: To observe Paradise and eternal Spring the
Seat of Innocence, troubled Seasons and angry Skies the Portion of
Wickedness and Vice. When this admirable Author has reviewed all that
has past, or is to come, which relates to the habitable World, and run
through the whole Fate of it, how could a Guardian Angel, that had
attended it through all its Courses or Changes, speak more emphatically
at the End of his Charge, than does our Author when he makes, as it
were, a Funeral Oration over this Globe, looking to the Point where it
once stood? [2]

Let us only, if you please, to take leave of this Subject, reflect
upon this Occasion on the Vanity and transient Glory of this habitable
World. How by the Force of one Element breaking loose upon the rest,
all the Vanities of Nature, all the Works of Art, all the Labours of
Men, are reduced to Nothing. All that we admired and adored before as
great and magnificent, is obliterated or vanished; and another Form
and Face of things, plain, simple, and every where the same,
overspreads the whole Earth. Where are now the great Empires of the
World, and their great Imperial Cities? Their Pillars, Trophies, and
Monuments of Glory? Shew me where they stood, read the Inscription,
tell me the Victors Name. What Remains, what Impressions, what
Difference or Distinction, do you see in this Mass of Fire? _Rome_ it
self, eternal _Rome_, the great City, the Empress of the World, whose
Domination and Superstition, ancient and modern, make a great Part of
the History of the Earth, what is become of her now? She laid her
Foundations deep, and her Palaces were strong and sumptuous; _She
glorified her self, and lived deliciously, and said in her Heart, I
sit a Queen, and shall see no Sorrow_: But her Hour is come, she is
wiped away from the Face of the Earth, and buried in everlasting
Oblivion. But it is not Cities only, and Works of Mens Hands, but the
everlasting Hills, the Mountains and Rocks of the Earth are melted as
Wax before the Sun, and _their Place is no where found_. Here stood
the _Alps_, the Load of the Earth, that covered many Countries, and
reached their Arms from the Ocean to the _Black Sea_; this huge Mass
of Stone is softned and dissolved as a tender Cloud into Rain. Here
stood the _African_ Mountains, and _Atlas_ with his Top above the
Clouds; there was frozen _Caucasus_, and _Taurus_, and _Imaus_, and
the Mountains of _Asia_; and yonder towards the North, stood the
_Riphaean_ Hills, cloathd in Ice and Snow. All these are Vanished,
dropt away as the Snow upon their Heads. _Great and Marvellous are thy
Works, Just and True are thy Ways, thou King of Saints! Hallelujah_.

[Footnote 1: 'Tusculan Questions', Bk. I.]

[Footnote 2: 'Theory of the Earth', Book III., ch. xii.]

* * * * *

No. 147. Saturday, August 18, 1711. Steele.

'Pronuntiatio est Vocis et Vultus et Gestus moderatio cum



The well Reading of the Common Prayer is of so great Importance, and
so much neglected, that I take the Liberty to offer to your
Consideration some Particulars on that Subject: And what more worthy
your Observation than this? A thing so Publick, and of so high
Consequence. It is indeed wonderful, that the frequent Exercise of it
should not make the Performers of that Duty more expert in it. This
Inability, as I conceive, proceeds from the little Care that is taken
of their Reading, while Boys and at School, where when they are got
into _Latin_, they are looked upon as above _English_, the Reading of
which is wholly neglected, or at least read to very little purpose,
without any due Observations made to them of the proper Accent and
Manner of Reading; by this means they have acquired such ill Habits as
won't easily be removed. The only way that I know of to remedy this,
is to propose some Person of great Ability that way as a Pattern for
them; Example being most effectual to convince the Learned, as well as
instruct the Ignorant.

You must know, Sir, I've been a constant Frequenter of the Service of
the Church of _England_ for above these four Years last past, and
'till _Sunday_ was Seven-night never discovered, to so great a Degree,
the Excellency of the Common-Prayer. When being at St. _James's
Garlick-Hill_ Church, I heard the Service read so distinctly, so
emphatically, and so fervently, that it was next to an Impossibility
to be unattentive. My Eyes and my Thoughts could not wander as usual,
but were confin'd to my Prayers: I then considered I addressed my self
to the Almighty, and not to a beautiful Face. And when I reflected on
my former Performances of that Duty, I found I had run it over as a
matter of Form, in comparison to the Manner in which I then discharged
it. My Mind was really affected, and fervent Wishes accompanied my
Words. The Confession was read with such a resigned Humility, the
Absolution with such a comfortable Authority, the Thanksgivings with
such a Religious Joy, as made me feel those Affections of the Mind in
a Manner I never did before. To remedy therefore the Grievance above
complained of, I humbly propose, that this excellent Reader, [1] upon
the next and every Annual Assembly of the Clergy of _Sion-College_,
and all other Conventions, should read Prayers before them. For then
those that are afraid of stretching their Mouths, and spoiling their
soft Voice, will learn to Read with Clearness, Loudness, and Strength.
Others that affect a rakish negligent Air by folding their Arms, and
lolling on their Book, will be taught a decent Behaviour, and comely
Erection of Body. Those that Read so fast as if impatient of their
Work, may learn to speak deliberately. There is another sort of
Persons whom I call Pindarick Readers, as being confined to no set
measure; these pronounce five or six Words with great Deliberation,
and the five or six subsequent ones with as great Celerity: The first
part of a Sentence with a very exalted Voice, and the latter part with
a submissive one: Sometimes again with one sort of a Tone, and
immediately after with a very different one. These Gentlemen will
learn of my admired Reader an Evenness of Voice and Delivery, and all
who are innocent of these Affectations, but read with such an
Indifferency as if they did not understand the Language, may then be
informed of the Art of Reading movingly and fervently, how to place
the Emphasis, and give the proper Accent to each Word, and how to vary
the Voice according to the Nature of the Sentence. There is certainly
a very great Difference between the Reading a Prayer and a Gazette,
which I beg of you to inform a Set of Readers, who affect, forsooth, a
certain Gentleman-like Familiarity of Tone, and mend the Language as
they go on, crying instead of Pardoneth and Absolveth, Pardons and
Absolves. These are often pretty Classical Scholars, and would think
it an unpardonable Sin to read _Virgil_ or _Martial_ with so little
Taste as they do Divine Service.

This Indifferency seems to me to arise from the Endeavour of avoiding
the Imputation of Cant, and the false Notion of it. It will be proper
therefore to trace the Original and Signification of this Word. Cant
is, by some People, derived from one _Andrew Cant_, who, they say, was
a Presbyterian Minister in some illiterate Part of _Scotland_, who by
Exercise and Use had obtained the Faculty, _alias_ Gift, of Talking in
the Pulpit in such a Dialect, that it's said he was understood by none
but his own Congregation, and not by all of them. Since _Mas. Cant's_
time, it has been understood in a larger Sense, and signifies all
sudden Exclamations, Whinings, unusual Tones, and in fine all Praying
and Preaching, like the unlearned of the Presbyterians. But I hope a
proper Elevation of Voice, a due Emphasis and Accent, are not to come
within this Description. So that our Readers may still be as unlike
the Presbyterians as they please. The Dissenters (I mean such as I
have heard) do indeed elevate their Voices, but it is with sudden
jumps from the lower to the higher part of them; and that with so
little Sense or Skill, that their Elevation and Cadence is Bawling and
Muttering. They make use of an Emphasis, but so improperly, that it is
often placed on some very insignificant Particle, as upon _if_, or
_and_. Now if these Improprieties have so great an Effect on the
People, as we see they have, how great an Influence would the Service
of our Church, containing the best Prayers that ever were composed,
and that in Terms most affecting, most humble, and most expressive of
our Wants, and Dependance on the Object of our Worship, dispos'd in
most proper Order, and void of all Confusion; what Influence, I say,
would these Prayers have, were they delivered with a due Emphasis, and
apposite Rising and Variation of Voice, the Sentence concluded with a
gentle Cadence, and, in a word, with such an Accent and Turn of Speech
as is peculiar to Prayer?

As the matter of Worship is now managed, in Dissenting Congregations,
you find insignificant Words and Phrases raised by a lively Vehemence;
in our own Churches, the most exalted Sense depreciated, by a
dispassionate Indolence. I remember to have heard Dr. _S_--_e_ [2] say
in his Pulpit, of the Common-prayer, that, at least, it was as perfect
as any thing of Human Institution: If the Gentlemen who err in this
kind would please to recollect the many Pleasantries they have read
upon those who recite good Things with an ill Grace, they would go on
to think that what in that Case is only Ridiculous, in themselves is
Impious. But leaving this to their own Reflections, I shall conclude
this Trouble with what _Caesar_ said upon the Irregularity of Tone in
one who read before him, _Do you read or sing? If you sing, you sing
very ill_. [3]

[Footnote 1: The Rec. Philip Stubbs, afterwards Archdeacon of St. Alban's.]

[Footnote 2: Smalridge?]

[Footnote 3:

Si legis cantas; si cantas, male cantas.

The word Cant is rather from 'cantare', as a chanting whine, than from
the Andrew Cants, father and son, of Charles the Second's time.]

* * * * *

No. 148 Monday, August 20, 1711 Steele

'Exempta juvat spinis e pluribus una.'


My Correspondents assure me that the Enormities which they lately
complained of, and I published an Account of, are so far from being
amended, that new Evils arise every Day to interrupt their Conversation,
in Contempt of my Reproofs. My Friend who writes from the Coffee-house
near the _Temple_, informs me that the Gentleman who constantly sings a
Voluntary in spite of the whole Company, was more musical than ordinary
after reading my Paper; and has not been contented with that, but has
danced up to the Glass in the Middle of the Room, and practised
Minuet-steps to his own Humming. The incorrigible Creature has gone
still further, and in the open Coffee-house, with one Hand extended as
leading a Lady in it, he has danced both _French_ and Country-Dances,
and admonished his supposed Partner by Smiles and Nods to hold up her
Head, and fall back, according to the respective Facings and Evolutions
of the Dance. Before this Gentleman began this his Exercise, he was
pleased to clear his Throat by coughing and spitting a full half Hour;
and as soon as he struck up, he appealed to an Attorney's Clerk in the
Room, whether he hit as he ought _Since you from Death have saved me?_
and then asked the young Fellow (pointing to a Chancery-Bill under his
Arm) whether that was an Opera-Score he carried or not? Without staying
for an Answer he fell into the Exercise Above-mentioned, and practised
his Airs to the full House who were turned upon him, without the least
Shame or Repentance for his former Transgressions.

I am to the last Degree at a Loss what to do with this young Fellow,
except I declare him an Outlaw, and pronounce it penal for any one to
speak to him in the said House which he frequents, and direct that he be
obliged to drink his Tea and Coffee without Sugar, and not receive from
any Person whatsoever any thing above mere Necessaries.

As we in _England_ are a sober People, and generally inclined rather to
a certain Bashfulness of Behaviour in Publick, it is amazing whence some
Fellows come whom one meets with in this Town; they do not at all seem
to be the Growth of our Island; the Pert, the Talkative, all such as
have no Sense of the Observations of others, are certainly of foreign
Extraction. As for my Part, I am as much surprised when I see a
talkative _Englishman_, as I should be to see the _Indian_ Pine growing
on one of our quick-set Hedges. Where these Creatures get Sun enough, to
make them such lively Animals and dull Men, is above my Philosophy.

There are another Kind of Impertinents which a Man is perplexed with in
mixed Company, and those are your loud Speakers: These treat Mankind as
if we were all deaf; they do not express but declare themselves. Many of
these are guilty of this Outrage out of Vanity, because they think all
they say is well; or that they have their own Persons in such
Veneration, that they believe nothing which concerns them can be
insignificant to any Body else. For these Peoples sake, I have often
lamented that we cannot close our Ears with as much ease as we can our
Eyes: It is very uneasy that we must necessarily be under Persecution.
Next to these Bawlers, is a troublesome Creature who comes with the Air
of your Friend and your Intimate, and that is your Whisperer. There is
one of them at a Coffee-house which I my self frequent, who observing me
to be a Man pretty well made for Secrets, gets by me, and with a Whisper
tells me things which all the Town knows. It is no very hard matter to
guess at the Source of this Impertinence, which is nothing else but a
Method or Mechanick Art of being wise. You never see any frequent in it,
whom you can suppose to have anything in the World to do. These Persons
are worse than Bawlers, as much as a secret Enemy is more dangerous than
a declared one. I wish this my Coffee-house Friend would take this for
an Intimation, that I have not heard one Word he has told me for these
several Years; whereas he now thinks me the most trusty Repository of
his Secrets. The Whisperers have a pleasant way of ending the close
Conversation, with saying aloud, _Do not you think so?_ Then whisper
again, and then aloud, _but you know that Person;_ then whisper again.
The thing would be well enough, if they whisper'd to keep the Folly of
what they say among Friends; but alas, they do it to preserve the
Importance of their Thoughts. I am sure I could name you more than one
Person whom no Man living ever heard talk upon any Subject in Nature, or
ever saw in his whole Life with a Book in his Hand, that I know not how
can whisper something like Knowledge of what has and does pass in the
World; which you would think he learned from some familiar Spirit that
did not think him worthy to receive the whole Story. But in truth
Whisperers deal only in half Accounts of what they entertain you with. A
great Help to their Discourse is, 'That the Town says, and People begin
to talk very freely, and they had it from Persons too considerable to be
named, what they will tell you when things are riper.' My Friend has
winked upon me any Day since I came to Town last, and has communicated
to me as a Secret, that he designed in a very short Time to tell me a
Secret; but I shall know what he means, he now assures me, in less than
a Fortnight's Time.

But I must not omit the dearer Part of Mankind, I mean the Ladies, to
take up a whole Paper upon Grievances which concern the Men only; but
shall humbly propose, that we change Fools for an Experiment only. A
certain Set of Ladies complain they are frequently perplexed with a
Visitant who affects to be wiser than they are; which Character he hopes
to preserve by an obstinate Gravity, and great Guard against discovering
his Opinion upon any Occasion whatsoever. A painful Silence has hitherto
gained him no further Advantage, than that as he might, if he had
behaved himself with Freedom, been excepted against but as to this and
that Particular, he now offends in the whole. To relieve these Ladies,
my good Friends and Correspondents, I shall exchange my dancing Outlaw
for their dumb Visitant, and assign the silent Gentleman all the Haunts
of the Dancer; in order to which, I have sent them by the Penny-post the
following Letters for their Conduct in their new Conversations.


I have, you may be sure, heard of your Irregularities without regard
to my Observations upon you; but shall not treat you with so much
Rigour as you deserve. If you will give yourself the Trouble to repair
to the Place mentioned in the Postscript to this Letter at Seven this
Evening, you will be conducted into a spacious Room well-lighted,
where there are Ladies and Musick. You will see a young Lady laughing
next the Window to the Street; you may take her out, for she loves you
as well as she does any Man, tho' she never saw you before. She never
thought in her Life, any more than your self. She will not be
surprised when you accost her, nor concerned when you leave her.
Hasten from a Place where you are laughed at, to one where you will be
admired. You are of no Consequence, therefore go where you will be
welcome for being so.

_Your most Humble Servant_.'


'The Ladies whom you visit, think a wise Man the most impertinent
Creature living, therefore you cannot be offended that they are
displeased with you. Why will you take pains to appear wise, where you
would not be the more esteemed for being really so? Come to us; forget
the Gigglers; and let your Inclination go along with you whether you
speak or are silent; and let all such Women as are in a Clan or
Sisterhood, go their own way; there is no Room for you in that Company
who are of the common Taste of the Sex.'

_For Women born to be controll'd
Stoop to the forward and the bold;
Affect the haughty, and the proud,
The gay, the frolick, and the loud._ [1]


[Footnote 1: Waller 'Of Love.']

* * * * *

No. 149. Tuesday, August 21, 1711. Steele.

'Cui in manu sit quem esse dementem velit,
Quem sapere, quem sanari, quem in morbum injici,
Quem contra amari, quem accersiri, quem expeti.'

Caecil. apud Tull.

The following Letter and my Answer shall take up the present Speculation.


'I am the young Widow of a Country Gentleman who has left me Entire
Mistress of a large Fortune, which he agreed to as an Equivalent for
the Difference in our Years. In these Circumstances it is not
extraordinary to have a Crowd of Admirers; which I have abridged in my
own Thoughts, and reduced to a couple of Candidates only, both young,
and neither of them disagreeable in their Persons; according to the
common way of computing, in one the Estate more than deserves my
Fortune, and in the other my Fortune more than deserves the Estate.
When I consider the first, I own I am so far a Woman I cannot avoid
being delighted with the Thoughts of living great; but then he seems
to receive such a Degree of Courage from the Knowledge of what he has,
he looks as if he was going to confer an Obligation on me; and the
Readiness he accosts me with, makes me jealous I am only hearing a
Repetition of the same things he has said to a hundred Women before.
When I consider the other, I see myself approached with so much
Modesty and Respect, and such a Doubt of himself, as betrays methinks
an Affection within, and a Belief at the same time that he himself
would be the only Gainer by my Consent. What an unexceptionable
Husband could I make out of both! but since that's impossible, I beg
to be concluded by your Opinion; it is absolutely in your Power to
dispose of

_Your most Obedient Servant_,


You do me great Honour in your Application to me on this important
Occasion; I shall therefore talk to you with the Tenderness of a
Father, in Gratitude for your giving me the Authority of one. You do
not seem to make any great Distinction between these Gentlemen as to
their Persons; the whole Question lies upon their Circumstances and
Behaviour; If the one is less respectful because he is rich, and the
other more obsequious because he is not so, they are in that Point
moved by the same Principle, the Consideration of Fortune, and you
must place them in each others Circumstances before you can judge of
their Inclination. To avoid Confusion in discussing this Point, I will
call the richer Man _Strephon_, and the other _Florio_. If you believe
_Florio_ with _Strephon's_ Estate would behave himself as he does now,
_Florio_ is certainly your Man; but if you think _Strephon_, were he
in _Florio's_ Condition, would be as obsequious as _Florio_ is now,
you ought for your own sake to choose _Strephon_; for where the Men
are equal, there is no doubt Riches ought to be a Reason for
Preference. After this manner, my dear Child, I would have you
abstract them from their Circumstances; for you are to take it for
granted, that he who is very humble only because he is poor, is the
very same Man in Nature with him who is haughty because he is rich.

When you have gone thus far, as to consider the Figure they make
towards you; you will please, my Dear, next to consider the Appearance
you make towards them. If they are Men of Discerning, they can observe
the Motives of your Heart; and _Florio_ can see when he is disregarded
only upon your Account of Fortune, which makes you to him a mercenary
Creature: and you are still the same thing to _Strephon_, in taking
him for his Wealth only: You are therefore to consider whether you had
rather oblige, than receive an Obligation.

The Marriage-Life is always an insipid, a vexatious, or an happy
Condition. The first is, when two People of no Genius or Taste for
themselves meet together, upon such a Settlement as has been thought
reasonable by Parents and Conveyancers from an exact Valuation of the
Land and Cash of both Parties: In this Case the young Lady's Person is
no more regarded, than the House and Improvements in Purchase of an
Estate: but she goes with her Fortune, rather than her Fortune with
her. These make up the Crowd or Vulgar of the Rich, and fill up the
Lumber of human Race, without Beneficence towards those below them, or
Respect towards those above them; and lead a despicable, independent
and useless Life, without Sense of the Laws of Kindness, Good-nature,
mutual Offices, and the elegant Satisfactions which flow from Reason
and Virtue.

The vexatious Life arises from a Conjunction of two People of quick
Taste and Resentment, put together for Reasons well known to their
Friends, in which especial Care is taken to avoid (what they think the
chief of Evils) Poverty, and insure to them Riches, with every Evil
besides. These good People live in a constant Constraint before
Company, and too great Familiarity alone; when they are within
Observation they fret at each other's Carriage and Behaviour; when
alone they revile each other's Person and Conduct: In Company they are
in a Purgatory, when only together in an Hell.

The happy Marriage is, where two Persons meet and voluntarily make
Choice of each other, without principally regarding or neglecting the
Circumstances of Fortune or Beauty. These may still love in spite of
Adversity or Sickness: The former we may in some measure defend our
selves from, the other is the Portion of our very Make. When you have
a true Notion of this sort of Passion, your Humour of living great
will vanish out of your Imagination, and you will find Love has
nothing to do with State. Solitude, with the Person beloved, has a
Pleasure, even in a Woman's Mind, beyond Show or Pomp. You are
therefore to consider which of your Lovers will like you best
undressed, which will bear with you most when out of Humour? and your
way to this is to ask your self, which of them you value most for his
own sake? and by that judge which gives the greater Instances of his
valuing you for your self only.

After you have expressed some Sense of the humble Approach of
_Florio_, and a little Disdain at _Strephon's_ Assurance in his
Address, you cry out, _What an unexceptionable Husband could I make
out of both?_ It would therefore methinks be a good way to determine
your self: Take him in whom what you like is not transferable to
another; for if you choose otherwise, there is no Hopes your Husband
will ever have what you liked in his Rival; but intrinsick Qualities
in one Man may very probably purchase every thing that is adventitious
in [another.[1]] In plainer Terms: he whom you take for his personal
Perfections will sooner arrive at the Gifts of Fortune, than he whom
you take for the sake of his Fortune attain to Personal Perfections.
If _Strephon_ is not as accomplished and agreeable as _Florio_,
Marriage to you will never make him so; but Marriage to you may make
_Florio_ as rich as _Strephon?_ Therefore to make a sure Purchase,
employ Fortune upon Certainties, but do not sacrifice Certainties to

_I am, Your most Obedient, Humble Servant_.


[Footnote 1: any other.]

* * * * *

No. 150. Wednesday, August 22, 1711. Budgell.

'Nil habet infelix paupertas durius in se,
Quam quod ridiculos homines facit ...'


As I was walking in my Chamber the Morning before I went last into the
Country, I heard the Hawkers with great Vehemence crying about a Paper,
entitled, _The ninety nine Plagues of an empty Purse_. I had indeed some
Time before observed, that the Orators of _Grub-street_ had dealt very
much in _Plagues_. They have already published in the same Month, _The
Plagues of Matrimony, The Plagues of a single Life, The nineteen Plagues
of a Chambermaid, The Plagues of a Coachman, The Plagues of a Footman_,
and _The Plague of Plagues_. The success these several _Plagues_ met
with, probably gave Occasion to the above-mentioned Poem on an _empty
Purse_. However that be, the same Noise so frequently repeated under my
Window, drew me insensibly to think on some of those Inconveniences and
Mortifications which usually attend on Poverty, and in short, gave Birth
to the present Speculation: For after my Fancy had run over the most
obvious and common Calamities which Men of mean Fortunes are liable to,
it descended to those little Insults and Contempts, which though they
may seem to dwindle into nothing when a Man offers to describe them, are
perhaps in themselves more cutting and insupportable than the former.
_Juvenal_ with a great deal of Humour and Reason tells us, that nothing
bore harder upon a poor Man in his Time, than the continual Ridicule
which his Habit and Dress afforded to the Beaus of _Rome_.

_Quid, quod materiam praebet causasque jocorum
Omnibus hic idem? si foeda et scissa lacerna,
Si toga sordidula est, et rupta calceus alter
Pelle patet, vel si consuto vulnere crassum
Atque recens linam ostendit non una Cicatrix_.

(Juv. Sat. 3.)

_Add, that the Rich have still a Gibe in Store,
And will be monstrous witty on the Poor;
For the torn Surtout and the tatter'd Vest,
The Wretch and all his Wardrobe are a Jest:
The greasie Gown sully'd with often turning,
Gives a good Hint to say the Man's in Mourning;
Or if the Shoe be ript, or Patch is put,
He's wounded I see the Plaister on his Foot_.


'Tis on this Occasion that he afterwards adds the Reflection which I
have chosen for my Motto.

_Want is the Scorn of every wealthy Fool,
And Wit in Rags is turn'd to Ridicule_.


It must be confess'd that few things make a Man appear more despicable
or more prejudice his Hearers against what he is going to offer, than an
awkward or pitiful Dress; insomuch that I fancy, had _Tully_ himself
pronounced one of his Orations with a Blanket about his Shoulders, more
People would have laughed at his Dress than have admired his Eloquence.
This last Reflection made me wonder at a Set of Men, who, without being
subjected to it by the Unkindness of their Fortunes, are contented to
draw upon themselves the Ridicule of the World in this Particular; I
mean such as take it into their Heads, that the first regular Step to be
a Wit is to commence a Sloven. It is certain nothing has so much debased
that, which must have been otherwise so great a Character; and I know
not how to account for it, unless it may possibly be in Complaisance to
those narrow Minds who can have no Notion of the same Person's
possessing different Accomplishments; or that it is a sort of Sacrifice
which some Men are contented to make to Calumny, by allowing it to
fasten on one Part of their Character, while they are endeavouring to
establish another. Yet however unaccountable this foolish Custom is, I
am afraid it could plead a long Prescription; and probably gave too much
Occasion for the Vulgar Definition still remaining among us of an
_Heathen Philosopher_.

I have seen the Speech of a _Terrae-filius_, spoken in King Charles II's
Reign; in which he describes two very eminent Men, who were perhaps the
greatest Scholars of their Age; and after having mentioned the entire
Friendship between them, concludes, That _they had but one Mind, one
Purse, one Chamber, and one Hat_. The Men of Business were also infected
with a Sort of Singularity little better than this. I have heard my
Father say, that a broad-brimm'd Hat, short Hair, and unfolded
Hankerchief, were in his time absolutely necessary to denote a _notable
Man;_ and that he had known two or three, who aspired to the Character
of _very notable_, wear Shoestrings with great Success.

To the Honour of our present Age it must be allowed, that some of our
greatest Genius's for Wit and Business have almost entirely broke the
Neck of these Absurdities.

_Victor_, after having dispatched the most important Affairs of the
Commonwealth, has appeared at an Assembly, where all the Ladies have
declared him the genteelest Man in the Company; and in _Atticus_, though
every way one of the greatest Genius's the Age has produced, one sees
nothing particular in his Dress or Carriage to denote his Pretensions to
Wit and Learning: so that at present a Man may venture to cock up his
Hat, and wear a fashionable Wig, without being taken for a Rake or a

The Medium between a Fop and a Sloven is what a Man of Sense would
endeavour to keep; yet I remember Mr. _Osbourn_ advises his Son [1] to
appear in his Habit rather above than below his Fortune; and tells him,
that he will find an handsom Suit of Cloathes always procures some
additional Respect. I have indeed myself observed that my Banker bows
lowest to me when I wear my full-bottom'd Wig; and writes me _Mr._ or
_Esq._, accordingly as he sees me dressed.

I shall conclude this Paper with an Adventure which I was myself an
Eye-witness of very lately.

I happened the other Day to call in at a celebrated Coffee-house near
the _Temple_. I had not been there long when there came in an elderly
Man very meanly dressed, and sat down by me; he had a thread-bare loose
Coat on, which it was plain he wore to keep himself warm, and not to
favour his under Suit, which seemed to have been at least its
Contemporary: His short Wig and Hat were both answerable to the rest of
his Apparel. He was no sooner seated than he called for a Dish of Tea;
but as several Gentlemen in the Room wanted other things, the Boys of
the House did not think themselves at leisure to mind him. I could
observe the old Fellow was very uneasy at the Affront, and at his being
obliged to repeat his Commands several times to no purpose; 'till at
last one of the [Lads [2]] presented him with some stale Tea in a broken
Dish, accompanied with a Plate of brown Sugar; which so raised his
Indignation, that after several obliging Appellations of Dog and Rascal,
he asked him aloud before the whole Company, _Why he must be used with
less Respect than that Fop there?_ pointing to a well-dressed young
Gentleman who was drinking Tea at the opposite Table. The Boy of the
House replied with a [great [3]] deal of Pertness, That his Master had
two sorts of Customers, and that the Gentleman at the other Table had
given him many a Sixpence for wiping his Shoes. By this time the young
_Templar_, who found his Honour concerned in the Dispute, and that the
Eyes of the whole Coffee-house were upon him, had thrown aside a Paper
he had in his Hand, and was coming towards us, while we at the Table
made what haste we could to get away from the impending Quarrel, but
were all of us surprised to see him as he approached nearer put on an
Air of Deference and Respect. To whom the old Man said, _Hark you,
Sirrah, I'll pay off your extravagant Bills once more; but will take
effectual Care for the future, that your Prodigality shall not spirit up
a Parcel of Rascals to insult your Father_.

Tho' I by no means approve either the Impudence of the Servants or the
Extravagance of the Son, I cannot but think the old Gentleman was in
some measure justly served for walking in Masquerade, I mean appearing
in a Dress so much beneath his Quality and Estate.


[Footnote 1: 'Advice to a Son', by Francis Osborn, Esq., Part I. sect.

[Footnote 2: Rascals]

[Footnote 3: good]

* * * * *

No. 151. Thursday, August 23, 1711. Steele.

'Maximas Virtutes jacere omnes necesse est Voluptate dominante.'

Tull. 'de Fin.'

I Know no one Character that gives Reason a greater Shock, at the same
Time that it presents a good ridiculous Image to the Imagination, than
that of a Man of Wit and Pleasure about the Town. This Description of a
Man of Fashion, spoken by some with a Mixture of Scorn and Ridicule, by
others with great Gravity as a laudable Distinction, is in every Body's
Mouth that spends any Time in Conversation. My Friend WILL. HONEYCOMB
has this Expression very frequently; and I never could understand by the
Story which follows, upon his Mention of such a one, but that his Man of
Wit and Pleasure was either a Drunkard too old for Wenching, or a young
lewd Fellow with some Liveliness, who would converse with you, receive
kind Offices of you, and at the same time debauch your Sister, or lie
with your Wife. According to his Description, a Man of Wit, when he
could have Wenches for Crowns apiece which he liked quite as well, would
be so extravagant as to bribe Servants, make false Friendships, fight
Relations: I say, according to him, plain and simple Vice was too little
for a Man of Wit and Pleasure; but he would leave an easy and accessible
Wickedness, to come at the same thing with only the Addition of certain
Falshood and possible Murder. WILL, thinks the Town grown very dull, in
that we do not hear so much as we used to do of these Coxcombs, whom
(without observing it) he describes as the most infamous Rogues in
Nature, with relation to Friendship, Love, or Conversation.

When Pleasure is made the chief Pursuit of Life, it will necessarily
follow that such Monsters as these will arise from a constant
Application to such Blandishments as naturally root out the Force of
Reason and Reflection, and substitute in their Place a general
Impatience of Thought, and a constant Pruiriency of inordinate Desire.

Pleasure, when it is a Man's chief Purpose, disappoints it self; and the
constant Application to it palls the Faculty of enjoying it, tho' it
leaves the Sense of our Inability for that we wish, with a Disrelish of
every thing else. Thus the intermediate Seasons of the Man of Pleasure
are more heavy than one would impose upon the vilest Criminal. Take him
when he is awaked too soon after a Debauch, or disappointed in following
a worthless Woman without Truth, and there is no Man living whose Being
is such a Weight or Vexation as his is. He is an utter Stranger to the
pleasing Reflections in the Evening of a well-spent Day, or the Gladness
of Heart or Quickness of Spirit in the Morning after profound Sleep or
indolent Slumbers. He is not to be at Ease any longer than he can keep
Reason and good Sense without his Curtains; otherwise he will be haunted
with the Reflection, that he could not believe such a one the Woman that
upon Trial he found her. What has he got by his Conquest, but to think
meanly of her for whom a Day or two before he had the highest Honour?
and of himself for, perhaps, wronging the Man whom of all Men living he
himself would least willingly have injured?

Pleasure seizes the whole Man who addicts himself to it, and will not
give him Leisure for any good Office in Life which contradicts the
Gaiety of the present Hour. You may indeed observe in People of Pleasure
a certain Complacency and Absence of all Severity, which the Habit of a
loose unconcerned Life gives them; but tell the Man of Pleasure your
secret Wants, Cares, or Sorrows, and you will find he has given up the
Delicacy of his Passions to the Cravings of his Appetites. He little
knows the perfect Joy he loses, for the disappointing Gratifications
which he pursues. He looks at Pleasure as she approaches, and comes to
him with the Recommendation of warm Wishes, gay Looks, and graceful
Motion; but he does not observe how she leaves his Presence with
Disorder, Impotence, down-cast Shame, and conscious Imperfection. She
makes our Youth inglorious, our Age shameful.

WILL. HONEYCOMB gives us twenty Intimations in an Evening of several
Hags whose Bloom was given up to his Arms; and would raise a Value to
himself for having had, as the Phrase is, very good Women. WILL.'S good
Women are the Comfort of his Heart, and support him, I warrant, by the
Memory of past Interviews with Persons of their Condition. No, there is
not in the World an Occasion wherein Vice makes so phantastical a
Figure, as at the Meeting of two old People who have been Partners in
unwarrantable Pleasure. To tell a toothless old Lady that she once had a
good Set, or a defunct Wencher that he once was the admired Thing of the
Town, are Satires instead of Applauses; but on the other Side, consider
the old Age of those who have passed their Days in Labour, Industry, and
Virtue, their Decays make them but appear the more venerable, and the
Imperfections of their Bodies are beheld as a Misfortune to humane
Society that their Make is so little durable.

But to return more directly to my Man of Wit and Pleasure. In all Orders
of Men, wherever this is the chief Character, the Person who wears it is
a negligent Friend, Father, and Husband, and entails Poverty on his
unhappy Descendants. Mortgages Diseases, and Settlements are the
Legacies a Man of Wit and Pleasure leaves to his Family. All the poor
Rogues that make such lamentable Speeches after every Sessions at
_Tyburn_, were, in their Way, Men of Wit and Pleasure, before they fell
into the Adventures which brought them thither.

Irresolution and Procrastination in all a Man's Affairs, are the natural
Effects of being addicted to Pleasure: Dishonour to the Gentleman and
Bankruptcy to the Trader, are the Portion of either whose chief Purpose
of Life is Delight. The chief Cause that this Pursuit has been in all
Ages received with so much Quarter from the soberer Part of Mankind, has
been that some Men of great Talents have sacrificed themselves to it:
The shining Qualities of such People have given a Beauty to whatever
they were engaged in, and a Mixture of Wit has recommended Madness. For
let any Man who knows what it is to have passed much Time in a Series of
Jollity, Mirth, Wit, or humourous Entertainments, look back at what he
was all that while a doing, and he will find that he has been at one
Instant sharp to some Man he is sorry to have offended, impertinent to
some one it was Cruelty to treat with such Freedom, ungracefully noisy
at such a Time, unskilfully open at such a Time, unmercifully calumnious
at such a Time; and from the whole Course of his applauded
Satisfactions, unable in the end to recollect any Circumstance which can
add to the Enjoyment of his own Mind alone, or which he would put his
Character upon with other Men. Thus it is with those who are best made
for becoming Pleasures; but how monstrous is it in the generality of
Mankind who pretend this Way, without Genius or Inclination towards it?
The Scene then is wild to an Extravagance: this is as if Fools should
mimick Madmen. Pleasure of this Kind is the intemperate Meals and loud
Jollities of the common Rate of Country Gentlemen, whose Practice and
Way of Enjoyment is to put an End as fast as they can to that little
Particle of Reason they have when they are sober: These Men of Wit and
Pleasure dispatch their Senses as fast as possible by drinking till they
cannot taste, smoaking till they cannot see, and roaring till they
cannot hear.


* * * * *

No. 152. Friday, August 24, 1711. Steele.

[Greek (transliterated):

Ohiae per phyll_on geneae toiaede kai andr_on].

Hom. 'Il.' 6, v. 146.

There is no sort of People whose Conversation is so pleasant as that of
military Men, who derive their Courage and Magnanimity from Thought and
Reflection. The many Adventures which attend their Way of Life makes
their Conversation so full of Incidents, and gives them so frank an Air
in speaking of what they have been Witnesses of, that no Company can be
more amiable than that of Men of Sense who are Soldiers. There is a
certain irregular Way in their Narrations or Discourse, which has
something more warm and pleasing than we meet with among Men who are
used to adjust and methodize their Thoughts.

I was this Evening walking in the Fields with my Friend Captain SENTRY,
and I could not, from the many Relations which I drew him into of what
passed when he was in the Service, forbear expressing my Wonder, that
the Fear of Death, which we, the rest of Mankind, arm ourselves against
with so much Contemplation, Reason and Philosophy, should appear so
little in Camps, that common Men march into open Breaches, meet opposite
Battalions, not only without Reluctance but with Alacrity. My Friend
answered what I said in the following manner:

'What you wonder at may very naturally be the Subject of Admiration to
all who are not conversant in Camps; but when a Man has spent some
time in that way of Life, he observes a certain Mechanick Courage
which the ordinary Race of Men become Masters of from acting always in
a Crowd: They see indeed many drop, but then they see many more alive;
they observe themselves escape very narrowly, and they do not know why
they should not again. Besides which general way of loose thinking,
they usually spend the other Part of their Time in Pleasures upon
which their Minds are so entirely bent, that short Labours or Dangers
are but a cheap purchase of Jollity, Triumph, Victory, fresh Quarters,
new Scenes, and uncommon Adventures.'

Such are the Thoughts of the Executive Part of an Army, and indeed of
the Gross of Mankind in general; but none of these Men of Mechanical
Courage have ever made any great Figure in the Profession of Arms. Those
who are formed for Command, are such as have reasoned themselves, out of
a Consideration of greater Good than Length of Days, into such a
Negligence of their Being, as to make it their first Position, That it
is one Day to be resigned; and since it is, in the Prosecution of worthy
Actions and Service of Mankind they can put it to habitual Hazard. The
Event of our Designs, say they, as it relates to others, is uncertain;
but as it relates to ourselves it must be prosperous, while we are in
the Pursuit of our Duty, and within the Terms upon which Providence has
ensured our Happiness, whether we die or live. All [that [1]] Nature has
prescribed must be good; and as Death is natural to us, it is Absurdity
to fear it. Fear loses its Purpose when we are sure it cannot preserve
us, and we should draw Resolution to meet it from the Impossibility to
escape it. Without a Resignation to the Necessity of dying, there can be
no Capacity in Man to attempt any thing that is glorious: but when they
have once attained to that Perfection, the Pleasures of a Life spent in
Martial Adventures, are as great as any of which the human Mind is
capable. The Force of Reason gives a certain Beauty, mixed with the
Conscience of well-doing and Thirst of Glory, to all which before was
terrible and ghastly to the Imagination. Add to this, that the
Fellowship of Danger, the common good of Mankind, the general Cause, and
the manifest Virtue you may observe in so many Men, who made no Figure
till that Day, are so many Incentives to destroy the little
Consideration of their own Persons. Such are the Heroick Part of
Soldiers who are qualified for Leaders: As to the rest whom I before
spoke of, I know not how it is, but they arrive at a certain Habit of
being void of Thought, insomuch that on occasion of the most imminent
Danger they are still in the same Indifference. Nay I remember an
Instance of a gay _French-man_, who was led on in Battle by a superior
Officer, (whose Conduct it was his Custom to speak of always with
Contempt and Raillery) and in the Beginning of the Action received a
Wound he was sensible was mortal; his Reflection on this Occasion was,
_I wish I could live another Hour, to see how this blundering Coxcomb
will get clear of this Business._ [2]

I remember two young Fellows who rid in the same Squadron of a Troop of
Horse, who were ever together; they eat, they drank, they intreagued; in
a word, all their Passions and Affections seemed to tend the same Way,
and they appeared serviceable to each other in them. We were in the Dusk
of the Evening to march over a River, and the Troop these Gentlemen
belonged to were to be transported in a Ferry-boat, as fast as they
could. One of the Friends was now in the Boat, while the other was drawn
up with others by the Waterside waiting the Return of the Boat. A
Disorder happened in the Passage by an unruly Horse; and a Gentleman who
had the Rein of his Horse negligently under his Arm, was forced into the
Water by his Horse's Jumping over. The Friend on the Shore cry'd out,
Who's that is drowned trow? He was immediately answer'd, Your Friend,
_Harry Thompson_. He very gravely reply'd, _Ay, he had a mad Horse_.
This short Epitaph from such a Familiar, without more Words, gave me, at
that Time under Twenty, a very moderate Opinion of the Friendship of
Companions. Thus is Affection and every other Motive of Life in the
Generality rooted out by the present busie Scene about them: they lament
no Man whose Capacity can be supplied by another; and where Men converse
without Delicacy, the next Man you meet will serve as well as he whom
you have lived with half your Life. To such the Devastation of
Countries, the Misery of Inhabitants, the Cries of the Pillaged, and the
silent Sorrow of the great Unfortunate, are ordinary Objects; their
Minds are bent upon the little Gratifications of their own Senses and
Appetites, forgetful of Compassion, insensible of Glory, avoiding only
Shame; their whole Hearts taken up with the trivial Hope of meeting and
being merry. These are the People who make up the Gross of the Soldiery:
But the fine Gentleman in that Band of Men is such a One as I have now
in my Eye, who is foremost in all Danger to which he is ordered. His
Officers are his Friends and Companions, as they are Men of Honour and
Gentlemen; the private Men his Brethren, as they are of his Species. He
is beloved of all that behold him: They wish him in Danger as he views
their Ranks, that they may have Occasions to save him at their own
Hazard. Mutual Love is the Order of the Files where he commands; every
Man afraid for himself and his Neighbour, not lest their Commander
should punish them, but lest he should be offended. Such is his Regiment
who knows Mankind, and feels their Distresses so far as to prevent them.
Just in distributing what is their Due, he would think himself below
their Tailor to wear a Snip of their Cloaths in

Lace upon his own; and below the most rapacious Agent, should he enjoy
a Farthing above his own Pay. Go on, brave Man, immortal Glory is thy
Fortune, and immortal Happiness thy Reward.


[Footnote 1: which]

[Footnote 2: This is told in the 'Memoirs of Conde' of the Chevalier de
Flourilles, a lieutenant-general of his killed in 1674, at the Battle of

* * * * *

No. 153. Saturday, August 25, 1711. Steele.

'Habet natura ut aliarum omnium rerum sic vivendi modum; senectus
autem peractio AEtatis est tanquam Fabulae. Cujus defatigationem
fugere debemus, praesertim adjuncta Satietate.'

Tull. 'de Senec.'

Of all the impertinent Wishes which we hear expressed in Conversation,
there is not one more unworthy a Gentleman or a Man of liberal
Education, than that of wishing one's self Younger. I have observed this
Wish is usually made upon Sight of some Object which gives the Idea of a
past Action, that it is no Dishonour to us that we cannot now repeat, or
else on what was in it self shameful when we performed it. It is a
certain Sign of a foolish or a dissolute Mind if we want our Youth again
only for the Strength of Bones and Sinews which we once were Masters of.
It is (as my Author has it) as absurd in an old Man to wish for the
Strength of a Youth, as it would be in a young Man to wish for the
Strength of a Bull or a Horse. These Wishes are both equally out of
Nature, which should direct in all things that are not contradictory to
Justice, Law, and Reason. But tho' every old Man has been [Young [1]],
and every young one hopes to be old, there seems to be a most unnatural
Misunderstanding between those two Stages of Life. The unhappy Want of
Commerce arises from the insolent Arrogance or Exultation in Youth, and
the irrational Despondence or Self-pity in Age. A young Man whose
Passion and Ambition is to be good and wise, and an old one who has no
Inclination to be lewd or debauched, are quite unconcerned in this
Speculation; but the Cocking young Fellow who treads upon the Toes of
his Elders, and the old Fool who envies the sawcy Pride he sees in him,
are the Objects of our present Contempt and Derision. Contempt and
Derision are harsh Words; but in what manner can one give Advice to a
Youth in the Pursuit and Possession of sensual Pleasures, or afford Pity
to an old Man in the Impotence and Desire of Enjoying them? When young
Men in publick Places betray in their Deportment an abandoned
Resignation to their Appetites, they give to sober Minds a Prospect of a
despicable Age, which, if not interrupted by Death in the midst of their
Follies, must certainly come. When an old Man bewails the Loss of such
Gratifications which are passed, he discovers a monstrous Inclination to
that which it is not in the Course of Providence to recal. The State of
an old Man, who is dissatisfy'd merely for his being such, is the most
out of all Measures of Reason and good Sense of any Being we have any
Account of from the highest Angel to the lowest Worm. How miserable is
the Contemplation to consider a libidinous old Man (while all Created
things, besides himself and Devils, are following the Order of
Providence) fretting at the Course of things, and being almost the sole
Malecontent in the Creation. But let us a little reflect upon what he
has lost by the number of Years: The Passions which he had in Youth are
not to be obeyed as they were then, but Reason is more powerful now
without the Disturbance of them. An old Gentleman t'other Day in
Discourse with a Friend of his (reflecting upon some Adventures they had
in Youth together) cry'd out, _Oh Jack, those were happy Days! That is
true_, reply'd his Friend, _but methinks we go about our Business more
quietly than we did then_. One would think it should be no small
Satisfaction to have gone so far in our Journey that the Heat of the Day
is over with us. When Life itself is a Feaver, as it is in licentious
Youth, the Pleasures of it are no other than the Dreams of a Man in that
Distemper, and it is as absurd to wish the Return of that Season of
Life, as for a Man in Health to be sorry for the Loss of gilded Palaces,
fairy Walks, and flowery Pastures, with which he remembers he was
entertained in the troubled Slumbers of a Fit of Sickness.

As to all the rational and worthy Pleasures of our Being, the Conscience
of a good Fame, the Contemplation of another Life, the Respect and
Commerce of honest Men, our Capacities for such Enjoyments are enlarged
by Years. While Health endures, the latter Part of Life, in the Eye of
Reason, is certainly the more eligible. The Memory of a well-spent Youth
gives a peaceable, unmixed, and elegant Pleasure to the Mind; and to
such who are so unfortunate as not to be able to look back on Youth with
Satisfaction, they may give themselves no little Consolation that they
are under no Temptation to repeat their Follies, and that they at
present despise them. It was prettily said,

'He that would be long an old Man, must begin early to be one:'

It is too late to resign a thing after a Man is robbed of it; therefore
it is necessary that before the Arrival of Age we bid adieu to the
Pursuits of Youth, otherwise sensual Habits will live in our
Imaginations when our Limbs cannot be subservient to them. The poor
Fellow who lost his Arm last Siege, will tell you, he feels the Fingers
that were buried in _Flanders_ ake every cold Morning at _Chelsea_.

The fond Humour of appearing in the gay and fashionable World, and being
applauded for trivial Excellencies, is what makes Youth have Age in
Contempt, and makes Age resign with so ill a Grace the Qualifications of
Youth: But this in both Sexes is inverting all things, and turning the
natural Course of our Minds, which should build their Approbations and
Dislikes upon what Nature and Reason dictate, into Chimera and

Age in a virtuous Person, of either Sex, carries in it an Authority
which makes it preferable to all the Pleasures of Youth. If to be
saluted, attended, and consulted with Deference, are Instances of
Pleasure, they are such as never fail a virtuous old Age. In the
Enumeration of the Imperfections and Advantages of the younger and later
Years of Man, they are so near in their Condition, that, methinks, it
should be incredible we see so little Commerce of Kindness between them.
If we consider Youth and Age with _Tully_, regarding the Affinity to
Death, Youth has many more Chances to be near it than Age; what Youth
can say more than an old Man, 'He shall live 'till Night?' Youth catches
Distempers more easily, its Sickness is more violent, and its Recovery
more doubtful. The Youth indeed hopes for many more Days, so cannot the
old Man. The Youth's Hopes are ill-grounded; for what is more foolish
than to place any Confidence upon an Uncertainty? But the old Man has
not Room so much as for Hope; he is still happier than the Youth, he has
already enjoyed what the other does but hope for: One wishes to live
long, the other has lived long. But alas, is there any thing in human
Life, the Duration of which can be called long? There is nothing which
must end to be valued for its Continuance. If Hours, Days, Months, and
Years pass away, it is no matter what Hour, what Day, what Month, or
what Year we die. The Applause of a good Actor is due to him at whatever
Scene of the Play he makes his Exit. It is thus in the Life of a Man of
Sense, a short Life is sufficient to manifest himself a Man of Honour
and Virtue; when he ceases to be such he has lived too long, and while
he is such, it is of no Consequence to him how long he shall be so,
provided he is so to his Life's End.


[Footnote 1: a Young]

* * * * *

No. 154. Monday, August 27, 1711. Steele.

'Nemo repente fuit turpissimus ...'



'You are frequent in the mention of Matters which concern the feminine
World, and take upon you to be very severe against Men upon all those
Occasions: But all this while I am afraid you have been very little
conversant with Women, or you would know the generality of them are
not so angry as you imagine at the general Vices [among [1]] us. I am
apt to believe (begging your Pardon) that you are still what I my self
was once, a queer modest Fellow; and therefore, for your Information,
shall give you a short Account of my self, and the Reasons why I was
forced to wench, drink, play, and do every thing which are necessary
to the Character of a Man of Wit and Pleasure, to be well with the

You are to know then that I was bred a Gentleman, and had the
finishing Part of my Education under a Man of great Probity, Wit, and
Learning, in one of our Universities. I will not deny but this made my
Behaviour and Mein bear in it a Figure of Thought rather than Action;
and a Man of a quite contrary Character, who never thought in his
Life, rallied me one Day upon it, and said, He believed I was still a
Virgin. There was a young Lady of Virtue present, and I was not
displeased to favour the Insinuation; but it had a quite contrary
Effect from what I expected. I was ever after treated with great
Coldness both by that Lady and all the rest of my Acquaintance. In a
very little time I never came into a Room but I could hear a Whisper,
Here comes the Maid: A Girl of Humour would on some [Occasion [2]]
say, Why, how do you know more than any of us? An Expression of that
kind was generally followed by a loud Laugh: In a word, for no other
Fault in the World than that they really thought me as innocent as
themselves, I became of no Consequence among them, and was received
always upon the Foot of a Jest. This made so strong an Impression upon
me, that I resolved to be as agreeable as the best of the Men who
laugh'd at me; but I observed it was Nonsense for me to be Impudent at
first among those who knew me: My Character for Modesty was so
notorious wherever I had hitherto appeared, that I resolved to shew my
new Face in new Quarters of the World. My first Step I chose with
Judgment; for I went to _Astrop_, [3] and came down among a Crowd of
Academicks, at one Dash, the impudentest Fellow they had ever seen in
their Lives. Flushed with this Success, I made Love and was happy.
Upon this Conquest I thought it would be unlike a Gentleman to stay
longer with my Mistress, and crossed the Country to _Bury:_ I could
give you a very good Account of my self at that Place also. At these
two ended my first Summer of Gallantry. The Winter following, you
would wonder at it, but I relapsed into Modesty upon coming among
People of Figure in _London_, yet not so much but that the Ladies who
had formerly laughed at me, said, Bless us! how wonderfully that
Gentleman is improved? Some Familiarities about the Play-houses
towards the End of the ensuing Winter, made me conceive new Hopes of
Adventures; and instead of returning the next Summer to _Astrop_ or
_Bury_, [4] I thought my self qualified to go to _Epsom_, and followed
a young Woman, whose Relations were jealous of my Place in her Favour,
to _Scarborough_. I carried my Point, and in my third Year aspired to
go to _Tunbridge_, and in the Autumn of the same Year made my
Appearance at _Bath_. I was now got into the Way of Talk proper for
Ladies, and was run into a vast Acquaintance among them, which I
always improved to the _best Advantage_. In all this Course of Time,
and some Years following, I found a sober modest Man was always looked
upon by both Sexes as a precise unfashioned Fellow of no Life or
Spirit. It was ordinary for a Man who had been drunk in good Company,
or passed a Night with a Wench, to speak of it next Day before Women
for whom he had the greatest Respect. He was reproved, perhaps, with a
Blow of the Fan, or an Oh Fie, but the angry Lady still preserved an
apparent Approbation in her Countenance: He was called a strange
wicked Fellow, a sad Wretch; he shrugs his Shoulders, swears, receives
another Blow, swears again he did not know he swore, and all was well.
You might often see Men game in the Presence of Women, and throw at
once for more than they were worth, to recommend themselves as Men of
Spirit. I found by long Experience that the loosest Principles and
most abandoned Behaviour, carried all before them in Pretensions to
Women of Fortune. The Encouragement given to People of this Stamp,
made me soon throw off the remaining Impressions of a sober Education.
In the above-mentioned Places, as well as in Town, I always kept
Company with those who lived most at large; and in due Process of Time
I was a pretty Rake among the Men, and a very pretty Fellow among the
Women. I must confess, I had some melancholy Hours upon the Account of
the Narrowness of my Fortune, but my Conscience at the same time gave
me the Comfort that I had qualified my self for marrying a Fortune.

When I had lived in this manner for some time, and became thus
accomplished, I was now in the twenty seventh Year of my Age, and
about the Forty seventh of my Constitution, my Health and Estate
wasting very fast; when I happened to fall into the Company of a very
pretty young Lady in her own Disposal. I entertained the Company, as
we Men of Gallantry generally do, with the many Haps and Disasters,
Watchings under Windows, Escapes from jealous Husbands, and several
other Perils. The young Thing was wonderfully charmed with one that
knew the World so well, and talked so fine; with _Desdemona_, all her
Lover said affected her; _it was strange,'twas wondrous strange_. In a
word, I saw the Impression I had made upon her, and with a very little
Application the pretty Thing has married me. There is so much Charm in
her Innocence and Beauty, that I do now as much detest the Course I
have been in for many Years, as I ever did before I entred into it.

What I intend, Mr. SPECTATOR, by writing all this to you, is that you
would, before you go any further with your Panegyricks on the Fair
Sex, give them some Lectures upon their silly Approbations. It is that
I am weary of Vice, and that it was not my natural Way, that I am now
so far recovered as not to bring this believing dear Creature to
Contempt and Poverty for her Generosity to me. At the same time tell
the Youth of good Education of our Sex, that they take too little Care
of improving themselves in little things: A good Air at entring into a
Room, a proper Audacity in expressing himself with Gaiety and
Gracefulness, would make a young Gentleman of Virtue and Sense capable
of discountenancing the shallow impudent Rogues that shine among the

Mr. SPECTATOR, I don't doubt but you are a very sagacious Person, but
you are so great with _Tully_ of late, that I fear you will contemn
these Things as Matters of no Consequence: But believe me, Sir, they
are of the highest Importance to Human Life; and if you can do any
thing towards opening fair Eyes, you will lay an Obligation upon all
your Contemporaries who are Fathers, Husbands, or Brothers to Females.

_Your most affectionate humble Servant,_
Simon Honeycomb.


[Footnote 1: amongst]

[Footnote 2: Occasions]

[Footnote 3: A small Spa, in Northamptonshire, upon the Oxford border.
From Astrop to Bath the scale of fashion rises.]

[Footnote 4: Bury Fair and Epsom Wells gave titles to two of Shadwell's

* * * * *

No. I55. [1] Tuesday, August 28, 1711. Steele.

'... Hae nugae seria ducunt
In mala ...'


I have more than once taken Notice of an indecent Licence taken in
Discourse, wherein the Conversation on one Part is involuntary, and the
Effect of some necessary Circumstance. This happens in travelling
together in the same hired Coach, sitting near each other in any publick
Assembly, or the like. I have, upon making Observations of this sort,
received innumerable Messages from that Part of the Fair Sex whose Lot
in Life is to be of any Trade or publick Way of Life. They are all to a
Woman urgent with me to lay before the World the unhappy Circumstances
they are under, from the unreasonable Liberty which is taken in their
Presence, to talk on what Subject it is thought fit by every Coxcomb who
wants Understanding or Breeding. One or two of these Complaints I shall
set down.


'I Keep a Coffee-house, and am one of those whom you have thought fit
to mention as an Idol some time ago. I suffered a good deal of
Raillery upon that Occasion; but shall heartily forgive you, who are
the Cause of it, if you will do me Justice in another Point. What I
ask of you, is, to acquaint my Customers (who are otherwise very good
ones) that I am unavoidably hasped in my Bar, and cannot help hearing
the improper Discourses they are pleased to entertain me with. They
strive who shall say the most immodest Things in my Hearing: At the
same time half a dozen of them loll at the Bar staring just in my
Face, ready to interpret my Looks and Gestures according to their own
Imaginations. In this passive Condition I know not where to cast my
Eyes, place my Hands, or what to employ my self in: But this Confusion
is to be a Jest, and I hear them say in the End, with an Air of Mirth
and Subtlety, Let her alone, she knows as well as we, for all she
looks so. Good Mr. SPECTATOR, persuade Gentlemen that it is out of all
Decency: Say it is possible a Woman may be modest and yet keep a
Publick-house. Be pleased to argue, that in truth the Affront is the
more unpardonable because I am oblig'd to suffer it, and cannot fly
from it. I do assure you, Sir, the Chearfulness of Life which would
arise from the honest Gain I have, is utterly lost to me, from the
endless, flat, impertinent Pleasantries which I hear from Morning to
Night. In a Word, it is too much for me to bear, and I desire you to
acquaint them, that I will keep Pen and Ink at the Bar, and write down
all they say to me, and send it to you for the Press. It is possible
when they see how empty what they speak, without the Advantage of an
impudent Countenance and Gesture, will appear, they may come to some
Sense of themselves, and the Insults they are guilty of towards me. I
am, _SIR_,

_Your most humble Servant_,

_The_ Idol.

This Representation is so just, that it is hard to speak of it without
an Indignation which perhaps would appear too elevated to such as can be
guilty of this inhuman Treatment, where they see they affront a modest,
plain, and ingenuous Behaviour. This Correspondent is not the only
Sufferer in this kind, for I have long Letters both from the _Royal_ and
_New Exchange_ on the same Subject. They tell me that a young Fop cannot
buy a Pair of Gloves, but he is at the same time straining for some
Ingenious Ribaldry to say to the young Woman who helps them on. It is no
small Addition to the Calamity, that the Rogues buy as hard as the
plainest and modestest Customers they have; besides which, they loll
upon their Counters half an Hour longer than they need, to drive away
other Customers, who are to share their Impertinencies with the
Milliner, or go to another Shop. Letters from _'Change-Alley_ are full
of the same Evil, and the Girls tell me except I can chase some eminent
Merchants from their Shops they shall in a short time fail. It is very
unaccountable, that Men can have so little Deference to all Mankind who
pass by them, as to bear being seen toying by two's and three's at a
time, with no other Purpose but to appear gay enough to keep up a light
Conversation of Common-place Jests, to the Injury of her whose Credit is
certainly hurt by it, tho' their own may be strong enough to bear it.
When we come to have exact Accounts of these Conversations, it is not to
be doubted but that their Discourses will raise the usual Stile of
buying and selling: Instead of the plain downright lying, and asking and
bidding so unequally to what they will really give and take, we may hope
to have from these fine Folks an Exchange of Compliments. There must
certainly be a great deal of pleasant Difference between the Commerce of
Lovers, and that of all other Dealers, who are, in a kind, Adversaries.
A sealed Bond, or a Bank-Note, would be a pretty Gallantry to convey
unseen into the Hands of one whom a Director is charmed with; otherwise
the City-Loiterers are still more unreasonable than those at the other
End of the Town: At the _New Exchange_ they are eloquent for want
of Cash, but in the City they ought with Cash to supply their want of

If one might be serious on this prevailing Folly, one might observe,
that it is a melancholy thing, when the World is mercenary even to the
buying and selling our very Persons, that young Women, tho' they have
never so great Attractions from Nature, are never the nearer being
happily disposed of in Marriage; I say, it is very hard under this
Necessity, it shall not be possible for them to go into a way of Trade
for their Maintenance, but their very Excellencies and personal
Perfections shall be a Disadvantage to them, and subject them to be
treated as if they stood there to sell their Persons to Prostitution.
There cannot be a more melancholy Circumstance to one who has made any
Observation in the World, than one of those erring Creatures exposed to
Bankruptcy. When that happens, none of these toying Fools will do any
more than any other Man they meet to preserve her from Infamy, Insult,
and Distemper. A Woman is naturally more helpless than the other Sex;
and a Man of Honour and Sense should have this in his View in all Manner
of Commerce with her. Were this well weighed, Inconsideration, Ribaldry,
and Nonsense, would not be more natural to entertain Women with than
Men; and it would be as much Impertinence to go into a Shop of one of
these young Women without buying, as into that of any other Trader. I
shall end this Speculation with a Letter I have received from a pretty
Milliner in the City.


'I have read your Account of Beauties, and was not a little surprized
to find no Character of my self in it. I do assure you I have little
else to do but to give Audience as I am such. Here are Merchants of no
small Consideration, who call in as certainly as they go to _'Change_,
to say something of my roguish Eye: And here is one who makes me once
or twice a Week tumble over all my Goods, and then owns it was only a
Gallantry to see me act with these pretty Hands; then lays out three
Pence in a little Ribbon for his Wrist-bands, and thinks he is a Man
of great Vivacity. There is an ugly Thing not far off me, whose Shop
is frequented only by People of Business, that is all Day long as busy
as possible. Must I that am a Beauty be treated with for nothing but
my Beauty? Be pleased to assign Rates to my kind Glances, or make all
pay who come to see me, or I shall be undone by my Admirers for want
of Customers. _Albacinda_, _Eudosia_, and all the rest would be used
just as we are, if they were in our Condition; therefore pray consider
the Distress of us the lower Order of Beauties, and I shall be

_Your obliged humble Servant._


[Footnote 1: In the first issue this is numbered by mistake 156. The
wrong numbering is continued to No. 163, when two successive papers are
numbered 163; there is no 164, and then two papers are numbered 165.
After this, at 166 the numbering falls right.]

* * * * *

No. 156. Wednesday, August 29, 1711. Steele.

'... Sed tu simul obligasti
Perfidum votis caput, enitescis
Pulchrior multo ...'


I do not think any thing could make a pleasanter Entertainment, than the
History of the reigning Favourites among the Women from Time to Time
about this Town: In such an Account we ought to have a faithful
Confession of each Lady for what she liked such and such a Man, and he
ought to tell us by what particular Action or Dress he believed he
should be most successful. As for my part, I have always made as easy a
Judgment when a Man dresses for the Ladies, as when he is equipped for
Hunting or Coursing. The Woman's Man is a Person in his Air and
Behaviour quite different from the rest of our Species: His Garb is more
loose and negligent, his Manner more soft and indolent; that is to say,
in both these Cases there is an apparent Endeavour to appear unconcerned
and careless. In catching Birds the Fowlers have a Method of imitating
their Voices to bring them to the Snare; and your Women's Men have
always a Similitude of the Creature they hope to betray, in their own
Conversation. A Woman's Man is very knowing in all that passes from one
Family to another, has little pretty Officiousnesses, is not at a loss
what is good for a Cold, and it is not amiss if he has a Bottle of
Spirits in his Pocket in case of any sudden Indisposition.

Curiosity having been my prevailing Passion, and indeed the sole
Entertainment of my Life, I have sometimes made it my business to
examine the Course of Intreagues as well as the Manners and
Accomplishments of such as have been most successful that Way. In all my
Observation, I never knew a Man of good Understanding a general
Favourite; some Singularity in his Behaviour, some Whim in his Way of
Life, and what would have made him ridiculous among the Men, has
recommended him to the other Sex. I should be very sorry to offend a
People so fortunate as these of whom I am speaking; but let any one look
over the old Beaux, and he will find the Man of Success was remarkable
for quarrelling impertinently for their Sakes, for dressing unlike the
rest of the World, or passing his Days in an insipid Assiduity about the
Fair Sex, to gain the Figure he made amongst them. Add to this that he
must have the Reputation of being well with other Women, to please any
one Woman of Gallantry; for you are to know, that there is a mighty
Ambition among the light Part of the Sex to gain Slaves from the
Dominion of others. My Friend WILL. HONEYCOMB says it was a common Bite
with him to lay Suspicions that he was favoured by a Lady's Enemy, that
is some rival Beauty, to be well with herself. A little Spite is natural
to a great Beauty: and it is ordinary to snap up a disagreeable Fellow
lest another should have him. That impudent Toad _Bareface_ fares well
among all the Ladies he converses with, for no other Reason in the World
but that he has the Skill to keep them from Explanation one with
another. Did they know there is not one who likes him in her Heart, each
would declare her Scorn of him the next Moment; but he is well received
by them because it is the Fashion, and Opposition to each other brings
them insensibly into an Imitation of each other. What adds to him the
greatest Grace is, the pleasant Thief, as they call him, is the most
inconstant Creature living, has a wonderful deal of Wit and Humour, and
never wants something to say; besides all which, he has a most spiteful
dangerous Tongue if you should provoke him.

To make a Woman's Man, he must not be a Man of Sense, or a Fool; the
Business is to entertain, and it is much better to have a Faculty of
arguing, than a Capacity of judging right. But the pleasantest of all
the Womens Equipage are your regular Visitants; these are Volunteers in
their Service, without Hopes of Pay or Preferment; It is enough that
they can lead out from a publick Place, that they are admitted on a
publick Day, and can be allowed to pass away part of that heavy Load,
their Time, in the Company of the Fair. But commend me above all others
to those who are known for your Ruiners of Ladies; these are the
choicest Spirits which our Age produces. We have several of these
irresistible Gentlemen among us when the Company is in Town. These
Fellows are accomplished with the Knowledge of the ordinary Occurrences
about Court and Town, have that sort of good Breeding which is exclusive
of all Morality, and consists only in being publickly decent, privately

It is wonderful how far a fond Opinion of herself can carry a Woman, to
make her have the least Regard to a professed known Woman's Man: But as
scarce one of all the Women who are in the Tour of Gallantries ever
hears any thing of what is the common Sense of sober Minds, but are
entertained with a continual Round of Flatteries, they cannot be
Mistresses of themselves enough to make Arguments for their own Conduct
from the Behaviour of these Men to others. It is so far otherwise, that
a general Fame for Falshood in this kind, is a Recommendation: and the
Coxcomb, loaded with the Favours of many others, is received like a
Victor that disdains his Trophies, to be a Victim to the present

If you see a Man more full of Gesture than ordinary in a publick
Assembly, if loud upon no Occasion, if negligent of the Company round
him, and yet laying wait for destroying by that Negligence, you may take
it for granted that he has ruined many a Fair One. The Woman's Man
expresses himself wholly in that Motion which we call Strutting: An
elevated Chest, a pinched Hat, a measurable Step, and a sly surveying
Eye, are the Marks of him. Now and then you see a Gentleman with all
these Accomplishments; but alas, any one of them is enough to undo
Thousands: When a Gentleman with such Perfections adds to it suitable
Learning, there should be publick Warning of his Residence in Town, that
we may remove our Wives and Daughters. It happens sometimes that such a
fine Man has read all the Miscellany Poems, a few of our Comedies, and
has the Translation of _Ovid's_ Epistles by Heart. Oh if it were
possible that such a one could be as true as he is charming! but that is
too much, the Women will share such a dear false Man:

'A little Gallantry to hear him Talk one would indulge one's self in,
let him reckon the Sticks of one's Fan, say something of the _Cupids_
in it, and then call one so many soft Names which a Man of his
Learning has at his Fingers Ends. There sure is some Excuse for
Frailty, when attacked by such a Force against a weak Woman.'

Such is the Soliloquy of many a Lady one might name, at the sight of one
of these who makes it no Iniquity to go on from Day to Day in the Sin of

It is certain that People are got into a Way of Affectation, with a
manner of overlooking the most solid Virtues, and admiring the most
trivial Excellencies. The Woman is so far from expecting to be contemned
for being a very injudicious silly Animal, that while she can preserve
her Features and her Mein, she knows she is still the Object of Desire;
and there is a sort of secret Ambition, from reading frivolous Books,
and keeping as frivolous Company, each side to be amiable in
Imperfection, and arrive at the Characters of the Dear Deceiver and the
Perjured Fair. [1]


[Footnote 1: To this number is appended the following


Mr. SPECTATOR gives his most humble Service
to _Mr. R. M._ of Chippenham in _Wilts_,
and hath received the Patridges.]

* * * * *

No. 157. Thursday, August 30, 1711. Steele.

'... Genius natale comes qui temperat astrum
Naturae Deus humanae Mortalis in unum
Quodque Caput ...'


I am very much at a loss to express by any Word that occurs to me in our
Language that which is understood by _Indoles_ in _Latin_. The natural
Disposition to any Particular Art, Science, Profession, or Trade, is
very much to be consulted in the Care of Youth, and studied by Men for
their own Conduct when they form to themselves any Scheme of Life. It is
wonderfully hard indeed for a Man to judge of his own Capacity
impartially; that may look great to me which may appear little to
another, and I may be carried by Fondness towards my self so far, as to
attempt Things too high for my Talents and Accomplishments: But it is
not methinks so very difficult a Matter to make a Judgment of the
Abilities of others, especially of those who are in their Infancy. My
Commonplace Book directs me on this Occasion to mention the Dawning of
Greatness in _Alexander_, who being asked in his Youth to contend for a
Prize in the Olympick Games, answered he would, if he had Kings to run
against him. _Cassius_, who was one of the Conspirators against _Caesar_,
gave as great a Proof of his Temper, when in his Childhood he struck a
Play-fellow, the Son of _Sylla_, for saying his Father was Master of the
_Roman_ People. _Scipio_ is reported to have answered, (when some
Flatterers at Supper were asking him what the _Romans_ should do for a
General after his Death) Take _Marius_. _Marius_ was then a very Boy,
and had given no Instances of his Valour; but it was visible to _Scipio_
from the Manners of the Youth, that he had a Soul formed for the Attempt
and Execution of great Undertakings. I must confess I have very often
with much Sorrow bewailed the Misfortune of the Children of _Great
Britain_, when I consider the Ignorance and Undiscerning of the
Generality of Schoolmasters. The boasted Liberty we talk of is but a
mean Reward for the long Servitude, the many Heart-aches and Terrors, to
which our Childhood is exposed in going through a Grammar-School: Many
of these stupid Tyrants exercise their Cruelty without any manner of
Distinction of the Capacities of Children, or the Intention of Parents
in their Behalf. There are many excellent Tempers which are worthy to be
nourished and cultivated with all possible Diligence and Care, that were
never designed to be acquainted with _Aristotle, Tully_, or _Virgil_;
and there are as many who have Capacities for understanding every Word
those great Persons have writ, and yet were not born to have any Relish
of their Writings. For want of this common and obvious discerning in
those who have the Care of Youth, we have so many hundred unaccountable
Creatures every Age whipped up into great Scholars, that are for ever
near a right Understanding, and will never arrive at it. These are the
Scandal of Letters, and these are generally the Men who are to teach
others. The Sense of Shame and Honour is enough to keep the World itself
in Order without Corporal Punishment, much more to train the Minds of
uncorrupted and innocent Children. It happens, I doubt not, more than
once in a Year, that a Lad is chastised for a Blockhead, when it is good
Apprehension that makes him incapable of knowing what his Teacher means:
A brisk Imagination very often may suggest an Error, which a Lad could
not have fallen into, if he had been as heavy in conjecturing as his
Master in explaining: But there is no Mercy even towards a wrong
Interpretation of his Meaning, the Sufferings of the Scholar's Body are
to rectify the Mistakes of his Mind.

I am confident that no Boy who will not be allured to Letters without
Blows, will ever be brought to any thing with them. A great or good Mind
must necessarily be the worse for such Indignities; and it is a sad
Change to lose of its Virtue for the Improvement of its Knowledge. No
one who has gone through what they call a great School, but must
remember to have seen Children of excellent and ingenuous Natures, (as
has afterwards appeared in their Manhood) I say no Man has passed
through this way of Education, but must have seen an ingenuous Creature
expiring with Shame, with pale Looks, beseeching Sorrow, and silent
Tears, throw up its honest Eyes, and kneel on its tender Knees to an
inexorable Blockhead, to be forgiven the false Quantity of a Word in
making a Latin Verse; The Child is punished, and the next Day he commits
a like Crime, and so a third with the same Consequence. I would fain ask
any reasonable Man whether this Lad, in the Simplicity of his native
Innocence, full of Shame, and capable of any Impression from that Grace
of Soul, was not fitter for any Purpose in this Life, than after that
Spark of Virtue is extinguished in him, tho' he is able to write twenty
Verses in an Evening?

Seneca says, after his exalted way of Talking, _As the immortal Gods
never learnt any Virtue, tho they are endowed with all that is good; so
there are some Men who have so natural a Propensity to what they should
follow, that they learn it almost as soon as they hear it._ [1] Plants
and Vegetables are cultivated into the Production of finer Fruit than
they would yield without that Care; and yet we cannot entertain Hopes of
producing a tender conscious Spirit into Acts of Virtue, without the
same Methods as is used to cut Timber, or give new Shape to a Piece of

It is wholly to this dreadful Practice that we may attribute a certain
Hardiness and Ferocity which some Men, tho' liberally educated, carry
about them in all their Behaviour. To be bred like a Gentleman, and
punished like a Malefactor, must, as we see it does, produce that
illiberal Sauciness which we see sometimes in Men of Letters.

The _Spartan_ Boy who suffered the Fox (which he had stolen and hid
under his Coat) to eat into his Bowels, I dare say had not half the Wit
or Petulance which we learn at great Schools among us: But the glorious
Sense of Honour, or rather Fear of Shame, which he demonstrated in that
Action, was worth all the Learning in the World without it.

It is methinks a very melancholy Consideration, that a little Negligence
can spoil us, but great Industry is necessary to improve us; the most
excellent Natures are soon depreciated, but evil Tempers are long before
they are exalted into good Habits. To help this by Punishments, is the
same thing as killing a Man to cure him of a Distemper; when he comes to
suffer Punishment in that one Circumstance, he is brought below the
Existence of a rational Creature, and is in the State of a Brute that
moves only by the Admonition of Stripes. But since this Custom of
educating by the Lash is suffered by the Gentry of _Great Britain _, I
would prevail only that honest heavy Lads may be dismissed from Slavery
sooner than they are at present, and not whipped on to their fourteenth
or fifteenth Year, whether they expect any Progress from them or not.
Let the Child's Capacity be forthwith examined and [he] sent to some
Mechanick Way of Life, without respect to his Birth, if Nature designed
him for nothing higher: let him go before he has innocently suffered,
and is debased into a Dereliction of Mind for being what it is no Guilt
to be, a plain Man. I would not here be supposed to have said, that our
learned Men of either Robe who have been whipped at School, are not
still Men of noble and liberal Minds; but I am sure they had been much
more so than they are, had they never suffered that Infamy.

But tho' there is so little Care, as I have observed, taken, or
Observation made of the natural Strain of Men, it is no small Comfort to
me, as a SPECTATOR, that there is any right Value set upon the _bona
Indoles_ of other Animals; as appears by the following Advertisement
handed about the County of _Lincoln _, and subscribed by _Enos Thomas_,
a Person whom I have not the Honour to know, but suppose to be
profoundly learned in Horse-flesh.

_A Chesnut Horse called_ Caesar, _bred_ by James Darcy, _Esq., at_
Sedbury, _near_ Richmond _in the County of_ York; _his Grandam
was his old royal Mare, and got by_ Blunderbuss, _which was got by_
Hemsly Turk, _and he got Mr._ Courand's Arabian, _which got Mr._
Minshul's Jews-trump. _Mr._ Caesar _sold him to a Nobleman
(coming five Years old, when he had but one Sweat) for three hundred
Guineas. A Guinea a Leap and Trial, and a Shilling the Man_.

T. Enos Thomas.

[Footnote 1: Epist. 95.]

* * * * *

No. 158. Friday, August 31, 1711. Steele.

'Nos hoec novimus esse nihil.'


Out of a firm Regard to Impartiality, I print these Letters, let them
make for me or not.


I have observed through the whole Course of your Rhapsodies, (as you
once very well called them) you are very industrious to overthrow all
that many your Superiors who have gone before you have made their Rule
of writing. I am now between fifty and sixty, and had the Honour to be
well with the first Men of Taste and Gallantry in the joyous Reign of
_Charles_ the Second: We then had, I humbly presume, as good
Understandings among us as any now can pretend to. As for yourself,
_Mr_. SPECTATOR, you seem with the utmost Arrogance to undermine the
very Fundamentals upon which we conducted our selves. It is monstrous
to set up for a Man of Wit, and yet deny that Honour in a Woman is any
thing else but Peevishness, that Inclination [is [1]] the best Rule of
Life, or Virtue and Vice any thing else but Health and Disease. We had
no more to do but to put a Lady into good Humour, and all we could
wish followed of Course. Then again, your _Tully_, and your Discourses
of another Life, are the very Bane of Mirth and good Humour. Pr'ythee
don't value thyself on thy Reason at that exorbitant Rate, and the
Dignity of human Nature; take my Word for it, a Setting-dog has as
good Reason as any Man in _England_. Had you (as by your Diurnals one
would think you do) set up for being in vogue in Town, you should have
fallen in with the Bent of Passion and Appetite; your Songs had then
been in every pretty Mouth in _England_, and your little Distichs had
been the Maxims of the Fair and the Witty to walk by: But alas, Sir,
what can you hope for from entertaining People with what must needs
make them like themselves worse than they did before they read you?
Had you made it your Business to describe _Corinna_ charming, though
inconstant, to find something in human Nature itself to make _Zoilus_
excuse himself for being fond of her; and to make every Man in good
Commerce with his own Reflections, you had done something worthy our
Applause; but indeed, Sir, we shall not commend you for disapproving
us. I have a great deal more to say to you, but I shall sum it up all
in this one Remark, In short, Sir, you do not write like a Gentleman.

'I am, SIR,
Your most humble Servant.'


'The other Day we were several of us at a Tea-Table, and according to
Custom and your own Advice had the _Spectator_ read among us: It was
that Paper wherein you are pleased to treat with great Freedom that
Character which you call a Woman's Man. We gave up all the Kinds you
have mentioned, except those who, you say, are our constant Visitants.
I was upon the Occasion commissioned by the Company to write to you
and tell you, That we shall not part with the Men we have at present,
'till the Men of Sense think fit to relieve them, and give us their
Company in their Stead. You cannot imagine but that we love to hear
Reason and good Sense better than the Ribaldry we are at present
entertained with, but we must have Company, and among us very
inconsiderable is better than none at all. We are made for the Cements
of Society, and came into the World to create Relations among Mankind;
and Solitude is an unnatural Being to us. If the Men of good
Understanding would forget a little of their Severity, they would find
their Account in it; and their Wisdom would have a Pleasure in it, to
which they are now Strangers. It is natural among us when Men have a
true Relish of our Company and our Value, to say every thing with a
better Grace; and there is without designing it something ornamental
in what Men utter before Women, which is lost or neglected in
Conversations of Men only. Give me leave to tell you, Sir, it would do
you no great Harm if you yourself came a little more into our Company;
it would certainly cure you of a certain positive and determining
Manner in which you talk sometimes. In hopes of your Amendment,

'I am, SIR,

'Your gentle Reader_.'


'Your professed Regard to the Fair Sex, may perhaps make them value
your Admonitions when they will not those of other Men. I desire you,
Sir, to repeat some Lectures upon Subjects which you have now and then
in a cursory manner only just touched. I would have a _Spectator_
wholly writ upon good Breeding: and after you have asserted that Time
and Place are to be very much considered in all our Actions, it will
be proper to dwell upon Behaviour at Church. On Sunday last a grave
and reverend Man preached at our Church: There was something
particular in his Accent, but without any manner of Affectation. This
Particularity a Set of Gigglers thought the most necessary Thing to be
taken notice of in his whole Discourse, and made it an Occasion of
Mirth during the whole time of Sermon: You should see one of them
ready to burst behind a Fan, another pointing to a Companion in
another Seat, and a fourth with an arch Composure, as if she would if
possible stifle her Laughter. There were many Gentlemen who looked at
them stedfastly, but this they took for ogling and admiring them:
There was one of the merry ones in particular, that found out but just
then that she had but five Fingers, for she fell a reckoning the
pretty Pieces of Ivory over and over again, to find her self
Employment and not laugh out. Would it not be expedient, Mr.
SPECTATOR, that the Church-warden should hold up his Wand on these
Occasions, and keep the Decency of the Place as a Magistrate does the
Peace in a Tumult elsewhere?


I am a Woman's Man, and read with a very fine Lady your Paper, wherein
you fall upon us whom you envy: What do you think I did? you must know
she was dressing, I read the _Spectator_ to her, and she laughed at
the Places where she thought I was touched; I threw away your Moral,
and taking up her Girdle cried out,

_Give me but what this Ribbon bound,
Take all the rest the [Sun [2]] goes round_. [3]

She smiled, Sir, and said you were a Pedant; so say of me what you
please, read _Seneca_ and quote him against me if you think fit.
_I am_,
Your humble Servant_.

[Footnote 1: is not]

[Footnote 2: _World_]

[Footnote 3: Waller, _On a Girdle_.]

* * * * *

No. 159. Saturday, September 1, 1711. Addison.

... Omnem quae nunc obducta tuenti
Mortales hebetat visus tibi, et humida circum
Caligat, nubem eripiam ...


When I was at _Grand Cairo_, I picked up several Oriental Manuscripts,
which I have still by me. Among others I met with one entitled, _The
Visions of Mirzah_, which I have read over with great Pleasure. I intend
to give it to the Publick when I have noother Entertainment for them;
and shall begin with the first Vision, which I have translated Word for
Word as follows.

'On the fifth Day of the Moon, which according to the Custom of my
Forefathers I always keep holy, after having washed my self, and
offered up my Morning Devotions, I ascended the high Hills of
_Bagdat_, in order to pass the rest of the Day in Meditation and
Prayer. As I was here airing my self on the Tops of the Mountains, I
fell into a profound Contemplation on the Vanity of human Life; and
passing from one Thought to another, Surely, said I, Man is but a
Shadow and Life a Dream. Whilst I was thus musing, I cast my Eyes
towards the Summit of a Rock that was not far from me, where I
discovered one in the Habit of a Shepherd, with a little Musical
Instrument in his Hand. As I looked upon him he applied it to his
Lips, and began to play upon it. The Sound of it was exceeding sweet,
and wrought into a Variety of Tunes that were inexpressibly
melodious, and altogether different from any thing I had ever heard:
They put me in mind of those heavenly Airs that are played to the
departed Souls of good Men upon their first Arrival in Paradise, to
wear out the Impressions of the last Agonies, and qualify them for the
Pleasures of that happy Place. My Heart melted away in secret

I had been often told that the Rock before me was the Haunt of a
Genius; and that several had been entertained with Musick who had
passed by it, but never heard that the Musician had before made
himself visible. When he had raised my Thoughts by those transporting
Airs which he played, to taste the Pleasures of his Conversation, as I
looked upon him like one astonished, he beckoned to me, and by the
waving of his Hand directed me to approach the Place where he sat. I
drew near with that Reverence which is due to a superior Nature; and
as my Heart was entirely subdued by the captivating Strains I had
heard, I fell down at his Feet and wept. The Genius smiled upon me
with a Look of Compassion and Affability that familiarized him to my
Imagination, and at once dispelled all the Fears and Apprehensions
with which I approached him. He lifted me from the Ground, and taking
me by the hand, _Mirzah_, said he, I have heard thee in thy
Soliloquies; follow me.

He then led me to the highest Pinnacle of the Rock, and placing me on
the Top of it, Cast thy Eyes Eastward, said he, and tell me what thou
seest. I see, said I, a huge Valley, and a prodigious Tide of Water
rolling through it. The Valley that thou seest, said he, is the Vale
of Misery, and the Tide of Water that thou seest is part of the great
Tide of Eternity. What is the Reason, said I, that the Tide I see
rises out of a thick Mist at one End, and again loses itself in a
thick Mist at the other? What thou seest, said he, is that Portion of
Eternity which is called Time, measured out by the Sun, and reaching
from the Beginning of the World to its Consummation. Examine now, said
he, this Sea that is bounded with Darkness at both Ends, and tell me
what thou discoverest in it. I see a Bridge, said I, standing in the
Midst of the Tide. The Bridge thou seest, said he, is human Life,
consider it attentively. Upon a more leisurely Survey of it, I found
that it consisted of threescore and ten entire Arches, with several
broken Arches, which added to those that were entire, made up the
Number about an hundred. As I was counting the Arches, the Genius told
me that this Bridge consisted at first of a thousand Arches; but that
a great Flood swept away the rest, and left the Bridge in the ruinous
Condition I now beheld it: But tell me further, said he, what thou
discoverest on it. I see Multitudes of People passing over it, said I,
and a black Cloud hanging on each End of it. As I looked more
attentively, I saw several of the Passengers dropping thro' the
Bridge, into the great Tide that flowed underneath it; and upon
farther Examination, perceived there were innumerable Trap-doors that
lay concealed in the Bridge, which the Passengers no sooner trod upon,
but they fell thro' them into the Tide and immediately disappeared.
These hidden Pit-falls were set very thick at the Entrance of the
Bridge, so that the Throngs of People no sooner broke through the
Cloud, but many of them fell into them. They grew thinner towards the
Middle, but multiplied and lay closer together towards the End of the
Arches that were entire.

There were indeed some Persons, but their Number was very small, that
continued a kind of hobbling March on the broken Arches, but fell
through one after another, being quite tired and spent with so long a

I passed some Time in the Contemplation of this wonderful Structure,
and the great Variety of Objects which it presented. My Heart was
filled with a deep Melancholy to see several dropping unexpectedly in
the midst of Mirth and Jollity, and catching at every thing that stood
by them to save themselves. Some were looking up towards the Heavens
in a thoughtful Posture, and in the midst of a Speculation stumbled
and fell out of Sight. Multitudes were very busy in the Pursuit of
Bubbles that glittered in their Eyes and danced before them; but often
when they thought themselves within the reach of them their Footing
failed and down they sunk. In this Confusion of Objects, I observed
some with Scymetars in their Hands, and others with Urinals, who ran
to and fro upon the Bridge, thrusting several Persons on Trap-doors
which did not seem to [lie in their Way,[1]] and which they might have
escaped had they not been forced upon them.

The Genius seeing me indulge my self in this melancholy Prospect,
told me I had dwelt long enough upon it: Take thine Eyes off the
Bridge, said he, and tell me if thou yet seest any thing thou dost not
comprehend. Upon looking up, What mean, said I, those great Flights of
Birds that are perpetually hovering about the Bridge, and settling
upon it from time to time? I see Vultures, Harpyes, Ravens,
Cormorants, and among many other feather'd Creatures several little
winged Boys, that perch in great Numbers upon the middle Arches.
These, said the Genius, are Envy, Avarice, Superstition, Despair,
Love, with the like Cares and Passions that infest human Life.

I here fetched a deep Sigh, Alas, said I, Man was made in vain! How
is he given away to Misery and Mortality! tortured in Life, and
swallowed up in Death! The Genius being moved with Compassion towards
me, bid me quit so uncomfortable a Prospect: Look no more, said he, on
Man in the first Stage of his Existence, in his setting out for
Eternity; but cast thine Eye on that thick Mist into which the Tide
bears the several Generations of Mortals that fall into it. I directed
my Sight as I was ordered, and (whether or no the good Genius
strengthened it with any supernatural Force, or dissipated Part of the
Mist that was before too thick for the Eye to penetrate) I saw the
Valley opening at the farther End, and spreading forth into an immense
Ocean, that had a huge Rock of Adamant running through the Midst of
it, and dividing it into two equal Parts. The Clouds still rested on
one Half of it, insomuch that I could discover nothing in it: But the
other appeared to me a vast Ocean planted with innumerable Islands,
that were covered with Fruits and Flowers, and interwoven with a
thousand little shining Seas that ran among them. I could see Persons
dressed in glorious Habits with Garlands upon their Heads, passing
among the Trees, lying down by the Side of Fountains, or resting on
Beds of Flowers; and could hear a confused Harmony of singing Birds,
falling Waters, human Voices, and musical Instruments. Gladness grew
in me upon the Discovery of so delightful a Scene. I wished for the

Book of the day: