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The Spectator, Volume 1 by Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

Part 16 out of 19

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Wings of an Eagle, that I might fly away to those happy Seats; but the
Genius told me there was no Passage to them, except through the Gates
of Death that I saw opening every Moment upon the Bridge. The Islands,
said he, that lie so fresh and green before thee, and with which the
whole Face of the Ocean appears spotted as far as thou canst see, are
more in Number than the Sands on the Sea-shore; there are Myriads of
Islands behind those which thou here discoverest, reaching further
than thine Eye, or even thine Imagination can extend it self. These
are the Mansions of good Men after Death, who according to the Degree
and Kinds of Virtue in which they excelled, are distributed among
these several Islands, which abound with Pleasures of different Kinds
and Degrees, suitable to the Relishes and Perfections of those who are
settled in them; every Island is a Paradise accommodated to its
respective Inhabitants. Are not these, O _Mirzah_, Habitations worth
contending for? Does Life appear miserable, that gives thee
Opportunities of earning such a Reward? Is Death to be feared, that
will convey thee to so happy an Existence? Think not Man was made in
vain, who has such an Eternity reserved for him. I gazed with
inexpressible Pleasure on these happy Islands. At length, said I, shew
me now, I beseech thee, the Secrets that lie hid under those dark
Clouds which cover the Ocean on the other side of the Rock of Adamant.
The Genius making me no Answer, I turned about to address myself to
him a second time, but I found that he had left me; I then turned
again to the Vision which I had been so long contemplating; but
Instead of the rolling Tide, the arched Bridge, and the happy Islands,
I saw nothing but the long hollow Valley of _Bagdat_, with Oxen,
Sheep, and Camels grazing upon the Sides of it.

_The End of the first Vision of Mirzah_.


[Footnote 1: "have been laid for them", corrected by an erratum in No.

* * * * *

No. 160. Monday, September 3, 1711. Addison.

'... Cui mens divinior, atque os
Magna sonaturum, des nominis hujus honorem.'


There is no Character more frequently given to a Writer, than that of
being a Genius. I have heard many a little Sonneteer called a _fine
Genius_. There is not an Heroick Scribler in the Nation, that has not
his Admirers who think him a _great Genius_; and as for your Smatterers
in Tragedy, there is scarce a Man among them who is not cried up by one
or other for a _prodigious Genius_.

My design in this Paper is to consider what is properly a great Genius,
and to throw some Thoughts together on so uncommon a Subject.

Among great Genius's those few draw the Admiration of all the World upon
them, and stand up as the Prodigies of Mankind, who by the meer Strength
of natural Parts, and without any Assistance of Arts or Learning, have
produced Works that were the Delight of their own Times, and the Wonder
of Posterity. There appears something nobly wild and extravagant in
these great natural Genius's, that is infinitely more beautiful than all
the Turn and Polishing of what the _French_ call a _Bel Esprit_, by
which they would express a Genius refined by Conversation, Reflection,
and the Reading of the most polite Authors. The greatest Genius [which
[1]] runs through the Arts and Sciences, takes a kind of Tincture from
them, and falls unavoidably into Imitation.

Many of these great natural Genius's that were never disciplined and
broken by Rules of Art, are to be found among the Ancients, and in
particular among those of the more Eastern Parts of the World. _Homer_
has innumerable Flights that _Virgil_ was not able to reach, and in the
Old Testament we find several Passages more elevated and sublime than
any in _Homer_. At the same time that we allow a greater and more daring
Genius to the Ancients, we must own that the greatest of them very much
failed in, or, if you will, that they were very much above the Nicety
and Correctness of the Moderns. In their Similitudes and Allusions,
provided there was a Likeness, they did not much trouble themselves
about the Decency of the Comparison: Thus _Solomon_ resembles the Nose
of his Beloved to the Tower of _Libanon_ which looketh toward
_Damascus_; as the Coming of a Thief in the Night, is a Similitude of
the same kind in the New Testament. It would be endless to make
Collections of this Nature; _Homer_ illustrates one of his Heroes
encompassed with the Enemy by an Ass in a Field of Corn that has his
Sides belaboured by all the Boys of the Village without stirring a Foot
for it: and another of them tossing to and fro in his Bed and burning
with Resentment, to a Piece of Flesh broiled on the Coals. This
particular Failure in the Ancients, opens a large Field of Raillery to
the little Wits, who can laugh at an Indecency but not relish the
Sublime in these Sorts of Writings. The present Emperor of _Persia_,
conformable to this Eastern way of Thinking, amidst a great many pompous
Titles, denominates himself The Sun of Glory and the Nutmeg of Delight.
In short, to cut off all Cavilling against the Ancients and particularly
those of the warmer Climates who had most Heat and Life in their
Imaginations, we are to consider that the Rule of observing what the
_French_ call the _Bienseance_ in an Allusion, has been found out of
latter Years, and in the colder Regions of the World; where we would
make some Amends for our want of Force and Spirit, by a scrupulous
Nicety and Exactness in our Compositions.

Our Countryman _Shakespear_ was a remarkable Instance of this first kind
of great Genius's.

I cannot quit this Head without observing that _Pindar_ was a great
Genius of the first Class, who was hurried on by a natural Fire and
Impetuosity to vast Conceptions of things and noble Sallies of
Imagination. At the same time, can any thing be more ridiculous than for
Men of a sober and moderate Fancy to imitate this Poet's Way of Writing
in those monstrous Compositions which go among us under the Name of
Pindaricks? When I see People copying Works which, as _Horace_ has
represented them, are singular in their Kind, and inimitable; when I see
Men following Irregularities by Rule, and by the little Tricks of Art
straining after the most unbounded Flights of Nature, I cannot but apply
to them that Passage in _Terence_:

_... Incerta haec si tu postules
Ratione certa facere, nihilo plus agas,
Quam si des operam, ut cum ratione insanias_.

In short a modern Pindarick Writer, compared with _Pindar_, is like a
Sister among the Camisars [2] compared with _Virgil_'s Sibyl: There is
the Distortion, Grimace, and outward Figure, but nothing of that divine
Impulse which raises the Mind above its self, and makes the Sounds more
than human.

[There is another kind of great Genius's which I shall place in a second
Class, not as I think them inferior to the first, but only for
Distinction's sake, as they are of a different kind. This [3]] second
Class of great Genius's are those that have formed themselves by Rules,
and submitted the Greatness of their natural Talents to the Corrections
and Restraints of Art. Such among the _Greeks_ were _Plato_ and
_Aristotle_; among the _Romans_, _Virgil_ and _Tully_; among the
_English_, _Milton_ and Sir _Francis Bacon_.

[4] The Genius in both these Classes of Authors may be equally great,
but shews itself [after [5]] a different Manner. In the first it is like
a rich Soil in a happy Climate, that produces a whole Wilderness of
noble Plants rising in a thousand beautiful Landskips, without any
certain Order or Regularity. In the other it is the same rich Soil under
the same happy Climate, that has been laid out in Walks and Parterres,
and cut into Shape and Beauty by the Skill of the Gardener.

The great Danger in these latter kind of Genius's, is, lest they cramp
their own Abilities too much by Imitation, and form themselves
altogether upon Models, without giving the full Play to their own
natural Parts. An Imitation of the best Authors is not to compare with a
good Original; and I believe we may observe that very few Writers make
an extraordinary Figure in the World, who have not something in their
Way of thinking or expressing themselves that is peculiar to them, and
entirely their own.

[6] It is odd to consider what great Genius's are sometimes thrown away
upon Trifles.

I once saw a Shepherd, says a famous _Italian_ Author, [who [7]] used to
divert himself in his Solitudes with tossing up Eggs and catching them
again without breaking them: In which he had arrived to so great a
degree of Perfection, that he would keep up four at a time for several
Minutes together playing in the Air, and falling into his Hand by Turns.
I think, says the Author, I never saw a greater Severity than in this
Man's Face; for by his wonderful Perseverance and Application, he had
contracted the Seriousness and Gravity of a Privy-Councillor; and I
could not but reflect with my self, that the same Assiduity and
Attention, had they been rightly applied, might have made him a greater
Mathematician than _Archimedes_.


[Footnote 1: that]

[Footnote 2: The Camisars, or French Prophets, originally from the
Cevennes, came into England in 1707. With violent agitations and
distortions of body they prophesied and claimed also the power to work
miracles; even venturing to prophesy that Dr Ernes, a convert of theirs,
should rise from the dead five months after burial.]

[Footnote 3: The]

[Footnote 4: Not a new paragraph in the first issue.]

[Footnote 5: in]

[Footnote 7: Not a new paragraph in the first issue.]

[Footnote 8: that]

* * * * *

No. 161. Tuesday, Sept. 4, 1711. Budgell.

'Ipse dies agitat festos: Fususque per herbam,
Ignis ubi in medio et Socii cratera coronant,
Te libans, Lenaee, vocat: pecorisque magistris
Velocis Jaculi certamina ponit in ulmo,
Corporaque agresti nudat praedura Palaestra.
Hanc olim veteres vitam coluere Sabini,
Hanc Remus et Frater: Sic fortis Etruria crevit,
Scilicet et rerum facta est pulcherrima Roma.'

Virg. 'G.' 2.

I am glad that my late going into the Country has encreased the Number
of my Correspondents, one of whom sends me the following Letter.


'Though you are pleased to retire from us so soon into the City, I
hope you will not think the Affairs of the Country altogether unworthy
of your Inspection for the future. I had the Honour of seeing your
short Face at Sir ROGER DE COVERLEY'S, and have ever since thought
your Person and Writings both extraordinary. Had you stayed there a
few Days longer you would have seen a Country _Wake_, which you know
in most Parts of _England_ is the _Eve-Feast of the Dedication of our
Churches_. I was last Week at one of these Assemblies which was held
in a neighbouring Parish; where I found their _Green_ covered with a
promiscuous Multitude of all Ages and both Sexes, who esteem one
another more or less the following Part of the Year according as they
distinguish themselves at this Time. The whole Company were in their
Holiday Cloaths, and divided into several Parties, all of them
endeavouring to shew themselves in those Exercises wherein they
excelled, and to gain the Approbation of the Lookers on.

I found a Ring of Cudgel-Players, who were breaking one another's
Heads in order to make some Impression on their Mistresses Hearts. I
observed a lusty young Fellow, who had the Misfortune of a broken
Pate; but what considerably added to the Anguish of the Wound, was his
over-hearing an old Man, who shook his Head and said, _That he
questioned now if black Kate would marry him these three Years_. I was
diverted from a farther Observation of these Combatants, by a
Foot-ball Match, which was on the other side of the _Green_; where
_Tom Short_ behaved himself so well, that most People seemed to agree
_it was impossible that he should remain a Batchelor till the next
Wake_. Having played many a Match my self, I could have looked longer
on this Sport, had I not observed a Country Girl, who was posted on an
Eminence at some Distance from me, and was making so many odd
Grimaces, and writhing and distorting her whole Body in so strange a
Manner, as made me very desirous to know the Meaning of it. Upon my
coming up to her, I found that she was overlooking a Ring of
Wrestlers, and that her Sweetheart, a Person of small Stature, was
contending with an huge brawny Fellow, who twirled him about, and
shook the little Man so violently, that by a secret Sympathy of Hearts
it produced all those Agitations in the Person of his Mistress, who I
dare say, like _Caelia_ in _Shakespear_ on the same Occasion, could
have _wished herself invisible to catch the strong Fellow by the Leg_.
The Squire of the Parish treats the whole Company every Year with a
Hogshead of Ale; and proposes a _Beaver-Hat_ as a Recompense to him
who gives most _Falls_. This has raised such a Spirit of Emulation in
the Youth of the Place, that some of them have rendered themselves
very expert at this Exercise; and I was often surmised to see a
Fellow's Heels fly up, by a Trip which was given him so smartly that I
could scarce discern it. I found that the old Wrestlers seldom entered
the Ring, till some one was grown formidable by having thrown two or
three of his Opponents; but kept themselves as it were in a reserved
Body to defend the Hat, which is always hung up by the Person who gets
it in one of the most Conspicuous Parts of the House, and looked upon
by the whole Family as something redounding much more to their Honour
than a Coat of Arms. There was a Fellow who was so busy in regulating
all the Ceremonies, and seemed to carry such an Air of Importance in
his Looks, that I could not help inquiring who he was, and was
immediately answered, _That he did not value himself upon nothing, for
that he and his Ancestors had won so many Hats, that his Parlour
looked like a Haberdashers Shop:_ However this Thirst of Glory in them
all, was the Reason that no one Man stood _Lord of the Ring_ for above
three _Falls_ while I was amongst them.

The young Maids, who were not Lookers on at these Exercises, were
themselves engaged in some Diversion; and upon my asking a Farmer's
Son of my own Parish what he was gazing at with so much Attention, he
told me, _That he was seeing_ Betty Welch, whom I knew to be his
Sweet-Heart, _pitch a Bar_.

In short, I found the men endeavoured to shew the Women they were no
Cowards, and that the whole Company strived to recommend themselves to
each other, by making it appear that they were all in a perfect State
of Health, and fit to undergo any Fatigues of bodily Labour.

Your Judgment upon this Method of _Love_ and _Gallantry_, as it is at
present practised amongst us in the Country, will very much oblige,

_SIR, Yours_, &c.'

If I would here put on the Scholar and Politician, I might inform my
Readers how these bodily Exercises or Games were formerly encouraged in
all the Commonwealths of _Greece_; from whence the _Romans_ afterwards
borrowed their _Pentathlum_, which was composed of _Running, Wrestling,
Leaping, Throwing_, and _Boxing_, tho' the Prizes were generally nothing
but a Crown of Cypress or Parsley, Hats not being in fashion in those
Days: That there is an old Statute, which obliges every Man in
_England_, having such an Estate, to keep and exercise the long Bow; by
which Means our Ancestors excelled all other Nations in the Use of that
Weapon, and we had all the real Advantages, without the Inconvenience of
a standing Army: And that I once met with a Book of Projects, in which
the Author considering to what noble Ends that Spirit of Emulation,
which so remarkably shews it self among our common People in these
Wakes, might be directed, proposes that for the Improvement of all our
handicraft Trades there should be annual Prizes set up for such Persons
as were most excellent in their several Arts. But laying aside all these
political Considerations, which might tempt me to pass the Limits of my
Paper, I confess the greatest Benefit and Convenience that I can observe
in these Country Festivals, is the bringing young People together, and
giving them an Opportunity of shewing themselves in the most
advantageous Light. A Country Fellow that throws his Rival upon his
Back, has generally as good Success with their common Mistress; as
nothing is more usual than for a nimble-footed Wench to get a Husband at
the same time she wins a Smock. Love and Marriages are the natural
Effects of these anniversary Assemblies. I must therefore very much
approve the Method by which my Correspondent tells me each Sex
endeavours to recommend it self to the other, since nothing seems more
likely to promise a healthy Offspring or a happy Cohabitation. And I
believe I may assure my Country Friend, that there has been many a Court
Lady who would be contented to exchange her crazy young Husband for _Tom
Short_, and several Men of Quality who would have parted with a tender
Yoke-fellow for _Black Kate_.

I am the more pleased with having _Love_ made the principal End and
Design of these Meetings, as it seems to be most agreeable to the Intent
for which they were at first instituted, as we are informed by the
learned Dr. _Kennet_, [1] with whose Words I shall conclude my present

_These Wakes_, says he, _were in Imitation of the ancient [Greek:
agapai], or Love-Feasts; and were first established in_ England _by
Pope_ Gregory _the Great, who in an Epistle to_ Melitus _the Abbot
gave Order that they should be kept in Sheds or Arbories made up with
Branches and Boughs of Trees round the Church_.

He adds,

_That this laudable Custom of Wakes prevailed for many Ages, till the
nice Puritans began to exclaim against it as a Remnant of Popery; and
by degrees the precise Humour grew so popular, that at an_ Exeter
_Assizes the Lord Chief Baron_ Walter _made an Order for the
Suppression of all Wakes; but on Bishop_ Laud's _complaining of this
innovating Humour, the King commanded the Order to be reversed_.


[Footnote 1: 'Parochial Antiquities' (1795), pp. 610, 614.]

* * * * *

No. 162 Wednesday, September 5, 1711 Addison

'... Servetur ad imum,
Qualis ab incoepto processerit, et sibi constet.'


Nothing that is not a real Crime makes a Man appear so contemptible and
little in the Eyes of the World as Inconstancy, especially when it
regards Religion or Party. In either of these Cases, tho' a Man perhaps
does but his Duty in changing his Side, he not only makes himself hated
by those he left, but is seldom heartily esteemed by those he comes over

In these great Articles of Life, therefore, a Man's Conviction ought to
be very strong, and if possible so well timed that worldly Advantages
may seem to have no Share in it, or Mankind will be ill natured enough
to think he does not change Sides out of Principle, but either out of
Levity of Temper or Prospects of Interest. Converts and Renegadoes of
all Kinds should take particular care to let the World see they act upon
honourable Motives; or whatever Approbations they may receive from
themselves, and Applauses from those they converse with, they may be
very well assured that they are the Scorn of all good Men, and the
publick Marks of Infamy and Derision.

Irresolution on the Schemes of Life [which [1]] offer themselves to our
Choice, and Inconstancy in pursuing them, are the greatest and most
universal Causes of all our Disquiet and Unhappiness. When [Ambition
[2]] pulls one Way, Interest another, Inclination a third, and perhaps
Reason contrary to all, a Man is likely to pass his Time but ill who has
so many different Parties to please. When the Mind hovers among such a
Variety of Allurements, one had better settle on a Way of Life that is
not the very best we might have chosen, than grow old without
determining our Choice, and go out of the World as the greatest Part of
Mankind do, before we have resolved how to live in it. There is but one
Method of setting our selves at Rest in this Particular, and that is by
adhering stedfastly to one great End as the chief and ultimate Aim of
all our Pursuits. If we are firmly resolved to live up to the Dictates
of Reason, without any Regard to Wealth, Reputation, or the like
Considerations, any more than as they fall in with our principal Design,
we may go through Life with Steadiness and Pleasure; but if we act by
several broken Views, and will not only be virtuous, but wealthy,
popular, and every thing that has a Value set upon it by the World, we
shall live and die in Misery and Repentance.

One would take more than ordinary Care to guard ones self against this
particular Imperfection, because it is that which our Nature very
strongly inclines us to; for if we examine ourselves throughly, we shall
find that we are the most changeable Beings in the Universe. In respect
of our Understanding, we often embrace and reject the very same
Opinions; whereas Beings above and beneath us have probably no Opinions
at all, or at least no Wavering and Uncertainties in those they have.
Our Superiors are guided by Intuition, and our Inferiors by Instinct. In
respect of our Wills, we fall into Crimes and recover out of them, are
amiable or odious in the Eyes of our great Judge, and pass our whole
Life in offending and asking Pardon. On the contrary, the Beings
underneath us are not capable of sinning, nor those above us of
repenting. The one is out of the Possibilities of Duty, and the other
fixed in an eternal Course of Sin, or an eternal Course of Virtue.

There is scarce a State of Life, or Stage in it which does not produce
Changes and Revolutions in the Mind of Man. Our Schemes of Thought in
Infancy are lost in those of Youth; these too take a different Turn in
Manhood, till old Age often leads us back into our former Infancy. A new
Title or an unexpected Success throws us out of ourselves, and in a
manner destroys our Identity. A cloudy Day, or a little Sunshine, have
as great an Influence on many Constitutions, as the most real Blessings
or Misfortunes. A Dream varies our Being, and changes our Condition
while it lasts; and every Passion, not to mention Health and Sickness,
and the greater Alterations in Body and Mind, makes us appear almost
different Creatures. If a Man is so distinguished among other Beings by
this Infirmity, what can we think of such as make themselves remarkable
for it even among their own Species? It is a very trifling Character to
be one of the most variable Beings of the most variable Kind, especially
if we consider that He who is the great Standard of Perfection has in
him no Shadow of Change, but is the same Yesterday, To-day, and for

As this Mutability of Temper and Inconsistency with our selves is the
greatest Weakness of human Nature, so it makes the Person who is
remarkable for it in a very particular Manner more ridiculous than any
other Infirmity whatsoever, as it sets him in a greater Variety of
foolish Lights, and distinguishes him from himself by an Opposition of
party-coloured Characters. The most humourous Character in _Horace_ is
founded upon this Unevenness of Temper and Irregularity of Conduct.

'... Sardus habebat
Ille Tigellius hoc: Caesar qui cogere posset
Si peteret per amicitiam patris, atque suam, non
Quidquam proficeret: Si collibuisset, ab ovo
Usque ad mala citaret, Io Bacche, modo summa
Voce, modo hac, resonat quae; chordis quatuor ima.
Nil aequale homini fuit illi: Saepe velut qui
Currebat fugiens hostem: Persaepe velut qui
Junonis sacra ferret: Habebat saepe ducentos,
Saepe decem servos: Modo reges atque tetrarchas,
Omnia magna loquens: Modo sit mihi mensa tripes, et
Concha salis puri, et toga, quae defendere frigus,
Quamvis crassa, queat. Decies centena dedisses
Huic parco paucis contento, quinque diebus
Nil erat in loculis. Noctes vigilabat ad ipsum
Mane: Diem totam stertebat. Nil fuit unquam
Sic impar sibi ...'

Hor. 'Sat. 3', Lib. 1.

Instead of translating this Passage in _Horace_, I shall entertain my
_English_ Reader with the Description of a Parallel Character, that is
wonderfully well finished by Mr. _Dryden_ [3], and raised upon the same

'In the first Rank of these did_ Zimri _stand:
A Man so various, that he seem'd to be
Not one, but all Mankind's Epitome.
Stiff in Opinions, always in the wrong;
Was ev'ry thing by Starts, and nothing long;
But, in the Course of one revolving Moon,
Was Chemist, Fidler, Statesman, and Buffoon:
Then all for Women, Painting, Rhiming, Drinking:
Besides ten thousand Freaks that dy'd in thinking.
Blest Madman, who cou'd ev'ry flour employ,
With something New to wish, or to enjoy!'


[Footnote 1: that]

[Footnote 2: Honour]

[Footnote 3: In his 'Absalom and Achitophel.' The character of Villiers,
Duke of Buckingham.]

* * * * *

No. 163 Thursday, Sept. 6, 1711 Addison

'... Si quid ego adjuero, curamve levasso,
Quae nunc te coquit, et versat sub pectore fixa,
Ecquid erit pretii?'

Enn. ap. Tullium.

Enquiries after Happiness, and Rules for attaining it, are not so
necessary and useful to Mankind as the Arts of Consolation, and
supporting [ones [1]] self under Affliction. The utmost we can hope for
in this World is Contentment; if we aim at any thing higher, we shall
meet with nothing but Grief and Disappointments. A Man should direct all
his Studies and Endeavours at making himself easie now, and happy

The Truth of it is, if all the Happiness that is dispersed through the
whole Race of Mankind in this World were drawn together, and put into
the Possession of any single Man, it would not make a very happy Being.
Though on the contrary, if the Miseries of the whole Species were fixed
in a single Person, they would make a very miserable one.

I am engaged in this Subject by the following Letter, which, though
subscribed by a fictitious Name, I have reason to believe is not

_Mr_. SPECTATOR, [2]

'I am one of your Disciples, and endeavour to live up to your Rules,
which I hope will incline you to pity my Condition: I shall open it to
you in a very few Words. About three Years since a Gentleman, whom, I
am sure, you yourself would have approved, made his Addresses to me.
He had every thing to recommend him but an Estate, so that my Friends,
who all of them applauded his Person, would not for the sake of both
of us favour his Passion. For my own part, I resigned my self up
entirely to the Direction of those who knew the World much better than
my self, but still lived in hopes that some Juncture or other would
make me happy in the Man, whom, in my Heart, I preferred to all the
World; being determined if I could not have him, to have no Body else.
About three Months ago I received a Letter from him, acquainting me,
that by the Death of an Uncle he had a considerable Estate left him,
which he said was welcome to him upon no other Account, but as he
hoped it would remove all Difficulties that lay in the Way to our
mutual Happiness. You may well suppose, Sir, with how much Joy I
received this Letter, which was followed by several others filled with
those Expressions of Love and Joy, which I verily believe no Body felt
more sincerely, nor knew better how to describe than the Gentleman I
am speaking of. But Sir, how shall I be able to tell it you! by the
last Week's Post I received a letter from an intimate Friend of this
unhappy Gentleman, acquainting me, that as he had just settled his
Affairs, and was preparing for his Journey, he fell sick of a Fever
and died. It is impossible to express to you the Distress I am in upon
this Occasion. I can only have Recourse to my Devotions; and to the
reading of good Books for my Consolation; and as I always take a
particular Delight in those frequent Advices and Admonitions which you
give to the Publick, it would be a very great piece of Charity in you
to lend me your Assistance in this Conjuncture. If after the reading
of this Letter you find your self in a Humour, rather to Rally and
Ridicule, than to Comfort me, I desire you would throw it into the
Fire, and think no more of it; but if you are touched with my
Misfortune, which is greater than I know how to bear, your Counsels
may very much Support, and will infinitely Oblige the afflicted

A Disappointment in Love is more hard to get over than any other; the
Passion itself so softens and subdues the Heart, that it disables it
from struggling or bearing up against the Woes and Distresses which
befal it. The Mind meets with other Misfortunes in her whole Strength;
she stands collected within her self, and sustains the Shock with all
the Force [which [3]] is natural to her; but a Heart in Love has its
Foundations sapped, and immediately sinks under the Weight of Accidents
that are disagreeable to its Favourite Passion.

In Afflictions Men generally draw their Consolations out of Books of
Morality, which indeed are of great use to fortifie and strengthen the
Mind against the Impressions of Sorrow. Monsieur St. _Evremont_, who
does not approve of this Method, recommends Authors [who [4]] are apt to
stir up Mirth in the Mind of the Readers, and fancies _Don Quixote_ can
give more Relief to an heavy Heart than _Plutarch_ or _Seneca_, as it is
much easier to divert Grief than to conquer it. This doubtless may have
its Effects on some Tempers. I should rather have recourse to Authors of
a quite contrary kind, that give us Instances of Calamities and
Misfortunes, and shew Human Nature in its greatest Distresses.

If the Affliction we groan under be very heavy, we shall find some
Consolation in the Society of as great Sufferers as our selves,
especially when we find our Companions Men of Virtue and Merit. If our
Afflictions are light, we shall be comforted by the Comparison we make
between our selves and our Fellow Sufferers. A Loss at Sea, a Fit of
Sickness, or the Death of a Friend, are such Trifles when we consider
whole Kingdoms laid in Ashes, Families put to the Sword, Wretches shut
up in Dungeons, and the like Calamities of Mankind, that we are out of
Countenance for our own Weakness, if we sink under such little Stroaks
of Fortune.

Let the Disconsolate _Leonora_ consider, that at the very time in which
she languishes for the Loss of her deceased Lover, there are Persons in
several Parts of the World just perishing in a Shipwreck; others crying
out for Mercy in the Terrors of a Death-bed Repentance; others lying
under the Tortures of an Infamous Execution, or the like dreadful
Calamities; and she will find her Sorrows vanish at the Appearance of
those which are so much greater and more astonishing.

I would further propose to the Consideration of my afflicted Disciple,
that possibly what she now looks upon as the greatest Misfortune, is not
really such in it self. For my own part, I question not but our Souls in
a separate State will look back on their Lives in quite another View,
than what they had of them in the Body; and that what they now consider
as Misfortunes and Disappointments, will very often appear to have been
Escapes and Blessings.

The Mind that hath any Cast towards Devotion, naturally flies to it in
its Afflictions.

Whon I was in _France_ I heard a very remarkable Story of two Lovers,
which I shall relate at length in my to-Morrow's Paper, not only because
the Circumstances of it are extraordinary, but because it may serve as
an Illustration to all that can be said on this last Head, and shew the
Power of Religion in abating that particular Anguish which seems to lie
so heavy on _Leonora_. The Story was told me by a Priest, as I travelled
with him in a Stage-Coach. I shall give it my Reader as well as I can
remember, in his own Words, after having premised, that if Consolations
may be drawn from a wrong Religion and a misguided Devotion, they cannot
but flow much more naturally from those which are founded upon Reason,
and established in good Sense.


[Footnote 1: one]

[Footnote 2: This letter is by Miss Shepheard, the 'Parthenia' of No.

[Footnote 3: that]

[Footnote 4: that]

* * * *

No. 164. Friday, September 7, 1711. Addison.

'Illa; Quis et me, inquit, miseram, et te perdidit, Orpheu? Jamque
vale: feror ingenti circumdata nocte, Invalidasque tibi tendens,
heu! non tua, palmas.'


CONSTANTIA was a Woman of extraordinary Wit and Beauty, but very unhappy
in a Father, who having arrived at great Riches by his own Industry,
took delight in nothing but his Money. _Theodosius_ was the younger Son
of a decayed Family of great Parts and Learning, improved by a genteel
and vertuous Education. When he was in the twentieth year of his Age he
became acquainted with _Constantia_, who had not then passed her
fifteenth. As he lived but a few Miles Distance from her Father's House,
he had frequent opportunities of seeing her; and by the Advantages of a
good Person and a pleasing Conversation, made such an Impression in her
Heart as it was impossible for time to [efface [1]]: He was himself no
less smitten with _Constantia_. A long Acquaintance made them still
discover new Beauties in each other, and by Degrees raised in them that
mutual Passion which had an Influence on their following Lives. It
unfortunately happened, that in the midst of this intercourse of Love
and Friendship between _Theodosius_ and _Constantia_, there broke out an
irreparable Quarrel between their Parents, the one valuing himself too
much upon his Birth, and the other upon his Possessions. The Father of
_Constantia_ was so incensed at the Father of _Theodosius_, that he
contracted an unreasonable Aversion towards his Son, insomuch that he
forbad him his House, and charged his Daughter upon her Duty never to
see him more. In the mean time to break off all Communication between
the two Lovers, who he knew entertained secret Hopes of some favourable
Opportunity that should bring them together, he found out a young
Gentleman of a good Fortune and an agreeable Person, whom he pitched
upon as a Husband for his Daughter. He soon concerted this Affair so
well, that he told _Constantia_ it was his Design to marry her to such a
Gentleman, and that her Wedding should be celebrated on such a Day.
_Constantia_, who was over-awed with the Authority of her Father, and
unable to object anything against so advantageous a Match, received the
Proposal with a profound Silence, which her Father commended in her, as
the most decent manner of a Virgin's giving her Consent to an Overture
of that Kind: The Noise of this intended Marriage soon reached
_Theodosius_, who, after a long Tumult of Passions which naturally rise
in a Lover's Heart on such an Occasion, writ the following letter to

'The Thought of my _Constantia_, which for some years has been my only
Happiness, is now become a greater Torment to me than I am able to
bear. Must I then live to see you another's? The Streams, the Fields
and Meadows, where we have so often talked together, grow painful to
me; Life it self is become a Burden. May you long be happy in the
World, but forget that there was ever such a Man in it as

This Letter was conveyed to _Constantia_ that very Evening, who fainted
at the Reading of it; and the next Morning she was much more alarmed by
two or three Messengers, that came to her Father's House one after
another to inquire if they had heard any thing of _Theodosius_, who it
seems had left his Chamber about Midnight, and could nowhere be found.
The deep Melancholy, which had hung upon his Mind some Time before, made
them apprehend the worst that could befall him. _Constantia_, who knew
that nothing but the Report of her Marriage could have driven him to
such Extremities, was not to be comforted: She now accused her self for
having so tamely given an Ear to the Proposal of a Husband, and looked
upon the new Lover as the Murderer of _Theodosius:_ In short, she
resolved to suffer the utmost Effects of her Father's Displeasure,
rather than comply with a Marriage which appeared to her so full of
Guilt and Horror. The Father seeing himself entirely rid of
_Theodosius,_ and likely to keep a considerable Portion in his Family,
was not very much concerned at the obstinate Refusal of his Daughter;
and did not find it very difficult to excuse himself upon that Account
to his intended Son-in-law, who had all along regarded this Alliance
rather as a Marriage of Convenience than of Love. _Constantia_ had now
no Relief but in her Devotions and Exercises of Religion, to which her
Afflictions had so entirely subjected her Mind, that after some Years
had abated the Violence of her Sorrows, and settled her Thoughts in a
kind of Tranquillity, she resolved to pass the Remainder of her Days in
a Convent. Her Father was not displeased with [a [2]] Resolution, [which
[3]] would save Money in his Family, and readily complied with his
Daughter's Intentions. Accordingly in the Twenty-fifth Year of her Age,
while her Beauty was yet in all its Height and Bloom, he carried her to
a neighbouring City, in order to look out a Sisterhood of Nuns among
whom to place his Daughter. There was in this Place a Father of a
Convent who was very much renowned for his Piety and exemplary Life; and
as it is usual in the Romish Church for those who are under any great
Affliction, or Trouble of Mind, to apply themselves to the most eminent
Confessors for Pardon and Consolation, our beautiful Votary took the
Opportunity of confessing herself to this celebrated Father.

We must now return to Theodosius, who, the very Morning that the
above-mentioned Inquiries had been made after him, arrived at a
religious House in the City, where now Constantia resided; and desiring
that Secresy and Concealment of the Fathers of the Convent, which is
very usual upon any extraordinary Occasion, he made himself one of the
Order, with a private Vow never to enquire after _Constantia_; whom he
looked upon as given away to his Rival upon the Day on which, according
to common Fame, their Marriage was to have been solemnized. Having in
his Youth made a good Progress in Learning, that he might dedicate
[himself [4]] more entirely to Religion, he entered into holy Orders,
and in a few Years became renowned for his Sanctity of Life, and those
pious Sentiments which he inspired into all [who [5]] conversed with
him. It was this holy Man to whom _Constantia_ had determined to apply
her self in Confession, tho' neither she nor any other besides the Prior
of the Convent, knew any thing of his Name or Family. The gay, the
amiable _Theodosius_ had now taken upon him the Name of Father
_Francis_, and was so far concealed in a long Beard, a [shaven [3]]
Head, and a religious Habit, that it was impossible to discover the Man
of the World in the venerable Conventual.

As he was one Morning shut up in his Confessional, _Constantia_ kneeling
by him opened the State of her Soul to him; and after having given him
the History of a Life full of Innocence, she burst out in Tears, and
entred upon that Part of her Story in which he himself had so great a
Share. My Behaviour, says she, has I fear been the Death of a Man who
had no other Fault but that of loving me too much. Heaven only knows how
dear he was to me whilst he liv'd, and how bitter the Remembrance of him
has been to me since his Death. She here paused, and lifted up her Eyes
that streamed with Tears towards the Father; who was so moved with the
Sense of her Sorrows, that he could only command his Voice, which was
broke with Sighs and Sobbings, so far as to bid her proceed. She
followed his Directions, and in a Flood of Tears poured out her Heart
before him. The Father could not forbear weeping aloud, insomuch that in
the Agonies of his Grief the Seat shook under him. _Constantia_, who
thought the good Man was thus moved by his Compassion towards her, and
by the Horror of her Guilt, proceeded with the utmost Contrition to
acquaint him with that Vow of Virginity in which she was going to engage
herself, as the proper Atonement for her Sins, and the only Sacrifice
she could make to the Memory of _Theodosius_. The Father, who by this
time had pretty well composed himself, burst out again in Tears upon
hearing that Name to which he had been so long disused, and upon
receiving this Instance of an unparallel'd Fidelity from one who he
thought had several Years since given herself up to the Possession of
another. Amidst the Interruptions of his Sorrow, seeing his Penitent
overwhelmed with Grief, he was only able to bid her from time to time be
comforted--To tell her that her Sins were forgiven her--That her Guilt
was not so great as she apprehended--That she should not suffer her self
to be afflicted above Measure. After which he recovered himself enough
to give her the Absolution in Form; directing her at the same time to
repair to him again the next Day, that he might encourage her in the
pious Resolution[s] she had taken, and give her suitable Exhortations
for her Behaviour in it. _Constantia_ retired, and the next Morning
renewed her Applications. _Theodosius_ having manned his Soul with
proper Thoughts and Reflections exerted himself on this Occasion in the
best Manner he could to animate his Penitent in the Course of Life she
was entering upon, and wear out of her Mind those groundless Fears and
Apprehensions which had taken Possession of it; concluding with a
Promise to her, that he would from time to time continue his Admonitions
when she should have taken upon her the holy Veil. The Rules of our
respective Orders, says he, will not permit that I should see you, but
you may assure your self not only of having a Place in my Prayers, but
of receiving such frequent Instructions as I can convey to you by
Letters. Go on chearfully in the glorious Course you have undertaken,
and you will quickly find such a Peace and Satisfaction in your Mind,
which it is not in the Power of the World to give.

_Constantia's_ Heart was so elevated with the Discourse of Father
_Francis_, that the very next Day she entered upon her Vow. As soon as
the Solemnities of her Reception were over, she retired, as it is usual,
with the Abbess into her own Apartment.

The Abbess had been informed the Night before of all that had passed
between her Noviciate and Father _Francis:_ From whom she now delivered
to her the following Letter.

'As the First-fruits of those Joys and Consolations which you may
expect from the Life you are now engaged in, I must acquaint you that
_Theodosius_, whose Death sits so heavy upon your Thoughts, is still
alive; and that the Father, to whom you have confessed your self, was
once that _Theodosius_ whom you so much lament. The love which we have
had for one another will make us more happy in its Disappointment than
it could have done in its Success. Providence has disposed of us for
our Advantage, tho' not according to our Wishes. Consider your
_Theodosius_ still as dead, but assure your self of one who will not
cease to pray for you in Father.'


_Constantia_ saw that the Hand-writing agreed with the Contents of the
Letter: and upon reflecting on the Voice of the Person, the Behaviour,
and above all the extreme Sorrow of the Father during her Confession,
she discovered _Theodosius_ in every Particular. After having wept with
Tears of Joy, It is enough, says she, _Theodosius_ is still in Being: I
shall live with Comfort and die in Peace.

The Letters which the Father sent her afterwards are yet extant in the
Nunnery where she resided; and are often read to the young Religious, in
order to inspire them with good Resolutions and Sentiments of Virtue. It
so happened, that after _Constantia_ had lived about ten Years in the
Cloyster, a violent Feaver broke out in the Place, which swept away
great Multitudes, and among others _Theodosius._ Upon his Deathbed he
sent his Benediction in a very moving Manner to _Constantia,_ who at
that time was herself so far gone in the same fatal Distemper, that she
lay delirious. Upon the Interval which generally precedes Death in
Sicknesses of this Nature, the Abbess, finding that the Physicians had
given her over, told her that _Theodosius_ was just gone before her, and
that he had sent her his Benediction in his last Moments. _Constantia_
received it with Pleasure: And now, says she, If I do not ask anything
improper, let me be buried by _Theodosius._ My Vow reaches no farther
than the Grave. What I ask is, I hope, no Violation of it.--She died
soon after, and was interred according to her Request.

Their Tombs are still to be seen, with a short Latin Inscription over
them to the following Purpose.

Here lie the Bodies of Father _Francis_ and Sister _Constance. They were
lovely in their Lives, and in their Deaths they were not divided._


[Footnote 1: deface]

[Footnote 2: her]

[Footnote 3: that]

[Footnote 4: himself up]

[Footnote 5: that]

[Footnote 6: shaved]

* * * * *

No. 165. Saturday, September 8, 1711. Addison.

'... Si forte necesse est,
Fingere cinctutis non exaudita Cethegis
Continget: dabiturque licentia sumpta pudenter.' [1]


I have often wished, that as in our Constitution there are several
Persons whose Business it is to watch over our Laws, our Liberties and
Commerce, certain Men might be set apart as Superintendants of our
Language, to hinder any Words of a Foreign Coin from passing among us;
and in particular to prohibit any _French_ Phrases from becoming Current
in this Kingdom, when those of our own Stamp are altogether as valuable.
The present War has so Adulterated our Tongue with strange Words that it
would be impossible for one of our Great Grandfathers to know what his
Posterity have been doing, were he to read their Exploits in a Modern
News Paper. Our Warriors are very industrious in propagating the
_French_ Language, at the same time that they are so gloriously
successful in beating down their Power. Our Soldiers are Men of strong
Heads for Action, and perform such Feats as they are not able to
express. They want Words in their own Tongue to tell us what it is they
Atchieve, and therefore send us over Accounts of their Performances in a
Jargon of Phrases, which they learn among their Conquered Enemies. They
ought however to be provided with Secretaries, and assisted by our
Foreign Ministers, to tell their Story for them in plain _English_, and
to let us know in our Mother-Tongue what it is our brave Country-Men are
about. The _French_ would indeed be in the right to publish the News of
the present War in _English_ Phrases, and make their Campaigns
unintelligible. Their People might flatter themselves that Things are
not so bad as they really are, were they thus palliated with Foreign
Terms, and thrown into Shades and Obscurity: but the _English_ cannot be
too clear in their Narrative of those Actions, which have raised their
Country to a higher Pitch of Glory than it ever yet arrived at, and
which will be still the more admired the better they are explained.

For my part, by that time a Siege is carried on two or three Days, I am
altogether lost and bewildered in it, and meet with so many inexplicable
Difficulties, that I scarce know what Side has the better of it, till I
am informed by the Tower Guns that the Place is surrendered. I do indeed
make some Allowances for this Part of the War, Fortifications having
been foreign Inventions, and upon that Account abounding in foreign
Terms. But when we have won Battels [which [2]] may be described in our
own Language, why are our Papers filled with so many unintelligible
Exploits, and the _French_ obliged to lend us a Part of their Tongue
before we can know how they are Conquered? They must be made accessory
to their own Disgrace, as the _Britons_ were formerly so artificially
wrought in the Curtain of the _Roman_ Theatre, that they seemed to draw
it up in order to give the Spectators an Opportunity of seeing their own
Defeat celebrated upon the Stage: For so Mr. _Dryden_ has translated
that Verse in _Virgil_.

[_Purpurea intexti_ [3]] _tollunt auloea Britanni_.

(Georg. 3, v. 25.)

_Which interwoven_ Britains _seem to raise_,
_And shew the Triumph that their Shame displays_.

The Histories of all our former Wars are transmitted to us in our
Vernacular Idiom, to use the Phrase of a great Modern Critick. [4] I do
not find in any of our Chronicles, that _Edward_ the Third ever
reconnoitred the Enemy, tho' he often discovered the Posture of the
_French_, and as often vanquished them in Battel. The _Black Prince_
passed many a River without the help of Pontoons, and filled a Ditch
with Faggots as successfully as the Generals of our Times do it with
Fascines. Our Commanders lose half their Praise, and our People half
their Joy, by means of those hard Words and dark Expressions in which
our News Papers do so much abound. I have seen many a prudent Citizen,
after having read every Article, inquire of his next Neighbour what News
the Mail had brought.

I remember in that remarkable Year when our Country was delivered from
the greatest Fears and Apprehensions, and raised to the greatest Height
of Gladness it had ever felt since it was a Nation, I mean the Year of
_Blenheim_, I had the Copy of a Letter sent me out of the Country, which
was written from a young Gentleman in the Army to his Father, a Man of a
good Estate and plain Sense: As the Letter was very modishly chequered
with this Modern Military Eloquence, I shall present my Reader with a
Copy of it.


Upon the Junction of the _French_ and _Bavarian_ Armies they took Post
behind a great Morass which they thought impracticable. Our General
the next Day sent a Party of Horse to reconnoitre them from a little
Hauteur, at about a [Quarter of an Hour's [5]] distance from the Army,
who returned again to the Camp unobserved through several Defiles, in
one of which they met with a Party of _French_ that had been
Marauding, and made them all Prisoners at Discretion. The Day after a
Drum arrived at our Camp, with a Message which he would communicate to
none but the General; he was followed by a Trumpet, who they say
behaved himself very saucily, with a Message from the Duke of
_Bavaria_. The next Morning our Army being divided into two Corps,
made a Movement towards the Enemy: You will hear in the Publick Prints
how we treated them, with the other Circumstances of that glorious
Day. I had the good Fortune to be in that Regiment that pushed the
_Gens d'Arms_. Several _French_ Battalions, who some say were a Corps
de Reserve, made a Show of Resistance; but it only proved a Gasconade,
for upon our preparing to fill up a little Fosse, in order to attack
them, they beat the Chamade, and sent us _Charte Blanche_. Their
Commandant, with a great many other General Officers, and Troops
without number, are made Prisoners of War, and will I believe give you
a Visit in _England_, the Cartel not being yet settled. Not
questioning but these Particulars will be very welcome to you, I
congratulate you upon them, and am your most dutiful Son, &c.'

The Father of the young Gentleman upon the Perusal of the Letter found
it contained great News, but could not guess what it was. He immediately
communicated it to the Curate of the Parish, who upon the reading of it,
being vexed to see any thing he could not understand, fell into a kind
of a Passion, and told him that his Son had sent him a Letter that was
neither Fish, nor Flesh, nor good Red-Herring. I wish, says he, the
Captain may be _Compos Mentis_, he talks of a saucy Trumpet, and a Drum
that carries Messages; then who is this _Charte Blanche_? He must either
banter us or he is out of his Senses. The Father, who always looked upon
the Curate as a learned Man, began to fret inwardly at his Son's Usage,
and producing a Letter which he had written to him about three Posts
afore, You see here, says he, when he writes for Mony he knows how to
speak intelligibly enough; there is no Man in England can express
himself clearer, when he wants a new Furniture for his Horse. In short,
the old Man was so puzzled upon the Point, that it might have fared ill
with his Son, had he not seen all the Prints about three Days after
filled with the same Terms of Art, and that _Charles_ only writ like
other Men.


[Footnote 1: The motto in the original edition was

'Semivirumque bovem Semibovemque virum.'


[Footnote 2: that]

[Footnote 3: _Atique_]

[Footnote 4: Dr Richard Bentley]

[Footnote 5: Mile]

* * * * *

No. 166. Monday, September 10, 1711. Addison.

'... Quod nec Jovis ira, nec ignis,
Nec poterit ferrum, nec edax abolere vetustas.'


Aristotle tells us that the World is a Copy or Transcript of those Ideas
which are in the Mind of the first Being, and that those Ideas, which
are in the Mind of Man, are a Transcript of the World: To this we may
add, that Words are the Transcript of those Ideas which are in the Mind
of Man, and that Writing or Printing are the Transcript of words.

As the Supreme Being has expressed, and as it were printed his Ideas in
the Creation, Men express their Ideas in Books, which by this great
Invention of these latter Ages may last as long as the Sun and Moon, and
perish only in the general Wreck of Nature. Thus _Cowley_ in his Poem on
the Resurrection, mentioning the Destruction of the Universe, has those
admirable Lines.

'_Now all the wide extended Sky,
And all th' harmonious Worlds on high,
And_ Virgil's _sacred Work shall die_.'

There is no other Method of fixing those Thoughts which arise and
disappear in the Mind of Man, and transmitting them to the last Periods
of Time; no other Method of giving a Permanency to our Ideas, and
preserving the Knowledge of any particular Person, when his Body is
mixed with the common Mass of Matter, and his Soul retired into the
World of Spirits. Books are the Legacies that a great Genius leaves to
Mankind, which are delivered down from Generation to Generation, as
Presents to the Posterity of those who are yet unborn.

All other Arts of perpetuating our Ideas continue but a short Time:
Statues can last but a few Thousands of Years, Edifices fewer, and
Colours still fewer than Edifices. _Michael Angelo_, _Fontana_, and
_Raphael_, will hereafter be what _Phidias_, _Vitruvius_, and _Apelles_
are at present; the Names of great Statuaries, Architects and Painters,
whose Works are lost. The several Arts are expressed in mouldring
Materials: Nature sinks under them, and is not able to support the Ideas
which are imprest upon it.

The Circumstance which gives Authors an Advantage above all these great
Masters, is this, that they can multiply their Originals; or rather can
make Copies of their Works, to what Number they please, which shall be
as valuable as the Originals themselves. This gives a great Author
something like a Prospect of Eternity, but at the same time deprives him
of those other Advantages which Artists meet with. The Artist finds
greater Returns in Profit, as the Author in Fame. What an Inestimable
Price would a _Virgil_ or a _Homer_, a _Cicero_ or an _Aristotle_ bear,
were their Works like a Statue, a Building, or a Picture, to be confined
only in one Place and made the Property of a single Person?

If Writings are thus durable, and may pass from Age to Age throughout
the whole Course of Time, how careful should an Author be of committing
any thing to Print that may corrupt Posterity, and poison the Minds of
Men with Vice and Error? Writers of great Talents, who employ their
Parts in propagating Immorality, and seasoning vicious Sentiments with
Wit and Humour, are to be looked upon as the Pests of Society, and the
Enemies of Mankind: They leave Books behind them (as it is said of those
who die in Distempers which breed an Ill-will towards their own Species)
to scatter Infection and destroy their Posterity. They act the
Counterparts of a _Confucius_ or a _Socrates_; and seem to have been
sent into the World to deprave human Nature, and sink it into the
Condition of Brutality.

I have seen some Roman-Catholick Authors, who tell us that vicious
Writers continue in Purgatory so long as the Influence of their Writings
continues upon Posterity: For Purgatory, say they, is nothing else but a
cleansing us of our Sins, which cannot be said to be done away, so long
as they continue to operate and corrupt Mankind. The vicious Author, say
they, sins after Death, and so long as he continues to sin, so long must
he expect to be punished. Tho' the Roman Catholick Notion of Purgatory
be indeed very ridiculous, one cannot but think that if the Soul after
Death has any Knowledge of what passes in this World, that of an immoral
Writer would receive much more Regret from the Sense of corrupting, than
Satisfaction from the Thought of pleasing his surviving Admirers.

To take off from the Severity of this Speculation, I shall conclude this
Paper with a Story of an Atheistical Author, who at a time when he lay
dangerously sick, and desired the Assistance of a neighbouring Curate,
confessed to him with great Contrition, that nothing sat more heavy at
his Heart than the Sense of his having seduced the Age by his Writings,
and that their evil Influence was likely to continue even after his
Death. The Curate upon further Examination finding the Penitent in the
utmost Agonies of Despair, and being himself a Man of Learning, told
him, that he hoped his Case was not so desperate as he apprehended,
since he found that he was so very sensible of his Fault, and so
sincerely repented of it. The Penitent still urged the evil Tendency of
his Book to subvert all Religion, and the little Ground of Hope there
could be for one whose Writings would continue to do Mischief when his
Body was laid in Ashes. The Curate, finding no other Way to comfort him,
told him, that he did well in being afflicted for the evil Design with
which he published his Book; but that he ought to be very thankful that
there was no danger of its doing any Hurt: That his Cause was so very
bad, and his Arguments so weak, that he did not apprehend any ill
Effects of it: In short, that he might rest satisfied his Book could do
no more Mischief after his Death, than it had done whilst he was living.
To which he added, for his farther Satisfaction, that he did not believe
any besides his particular Friends and Acquaintance had ever been at the
pains of reading it, or that any Body after his Death would ever enquire
after it. The dying Man had still so much the Frailty of an Author in
him, as to be cut to the Heart with these Consolations; and without
answering the good Man, asked his Friends about him (with a Peevishness
that is natural to a sick Person) where they had picked up such a
Blockhead? And whether they thought him a proper Person to attend one in
his Condition? The Curate finding that the Author did not expect to be
dealt with as a real and sincere Penitent, but as a Penitent of
Importance, after a short Admonition withdrew; not questioning but he
should be again sent for if the Sickness grew desperate. The Author
however recovered, and has since written two or three other Tracts with
the same Spirit, and very luckily for his poor Soul with the same


* * * * *

No. 167. Tuesday, September 11, 1711 Steele

'_Fuit haud ignobilis Argis,
Qui se credebat miros audire tragoedos,
In vacuo laetus sessor plausorque theatro;
Caetera qui vitae servaret munia recto
More; bonus sane vicinus, amabilis hospes,
Comis in uxorem; posset qui ignoscere servis,
Et signo laeso non insanire lagenae;
Posset qui rupem et puteum vitare patentem.
Hic ubi cognatorum opibus curisque refectus
Expulit elleboro morbum bilemque meraco,
Et redit ad sese: Pol me occidistis, amici,
Non servastis, ait; cui sic extorta valuptas,
Et demptus per vim mentis gratissimus Error._'


The unhappy Force of an Imagination, unguided by the Check of Reason and
Judgment, was the Subject of a former Speculation. My Reader may
remember that he has seen in one of my Papers a Complaint of an
Unfortunate Gentleman, who was unable to contain himself, (when any
ordinary matter was laid before him) from adding a few Circumstances to
enliven plain Narrative. That Correspondent was a Person of too warm a
Complexion to be satisfied with things merely as they stood in Nature,
and therefore formed Incidents which should have happened to have
pleased him in the Story. The same ungoverned Fancy which pushed that
Correspondent on, in spite of himself, to relate publick and notorious
Falsehoods, makes the Author of the following Letter do the same in
Private; one is a Prating, the other a Silent Liar.

There is little pursued in the Errors of either of these Worthies, but
mere present Amusement: But the Folly of him who lets his Fancy place
him in distant Scenes untroubled and uninterrupted, is very much
preferable to that of him who is ever forcing a Belief, and defending
his Untruths with new Inventions. But I shall hasten to let this Liar in
Soliloquy, who calls himself a CASTLE-BUILDER, describe himself with the
same Unreservedness as formerly appeared in my Correspondent
above-mentioned. If a Man were to be serious on this Subject, he might
give very grave Admonitions to those who are following any thing in this
Life, on which they think to place their Hearts, and tell them that they
are really CASTLE-BUILDERS. Fame, Glory, Wealth, Honour, have in the
Prospect pleasing Illusions; but they who come to possess any of them
will find they are Ingredients towards Happiness, to be regarded only in
the second Place; and that when they are valued in the first Degree,
they are as dis-appointing as any of the Phantoms in the following

_Sept._ 6, 1711.


'I am a Fellow of a very odd Frame of Mind, as you will find by the
Sequel; and think myself Fool enough to deserve a Place in your Paper.
I am unhappily far gone in Building, and am one of that Species of Men
who are properly denominated Castle-Builders, who scorn to be beholden
to the Earth for a Foundation, or dig in the Bowels of it for
Materials; but erect their Structures in the most unstable of
Elements, the Air, Fancy alone laying the Line, marking the Extent,
and shaping the Model. It would be difficult to enumerate what august
Palaces and stately Porticoes have grown under my forming Imagination,
or what verdant Meadows and shady Groves have started into Being, by
the powerful Feat of a warm Fancy. A Castle-builder is even just what
he pleases, and as such I have grasped imaginary Scepters, and
delivered uncontroulable Edicts, from a Throne to which conquered
Nations yielded Obeysance. I have made I know not how many Inroads
into _France_, and ravaged the very Heart of that Kingdom; I have
dined in the _Louvre_, and drank Champaign at _Versailles;_ and I
would have you take Notice, I am not only able to vanquish a People
already cowed and accustomed to Flight, but I could, _Almanzor_-like,
[1] drive the _British_ General from the Field, were I less a
Protestant, or had ever been affronted by the Confederates. There is
no Art or Profession, whose most celebrated Masters I have not
eclipsed. Where-ever I have afforded my Salutary Preference, Fevers
have ceased to burn, and Agues to shake the Human Fabrick. When an
Eloquent Fit has been upon me, an apt Gesture and proper Cadence has
animated each Sentence, and gazing Crowds have found their Passions
work'd up into Rage, or soothed into a Calm. I am short, and not very
well made; yet upon Sight of a fine Woman, I have stretched into
proper Stature, and killed with a good Air and Mein. These are the gay
Phantoms that dance before my waking Eyes and compose my Day-Dreams. I
should be the most contented happy Man alive, were the Chimerical
Happiness which springs from the Paintings of the Fancy less fleeting
and transitory. But alas! it is with Grief of Mind I tell you, the
least Breath of Wind has often demolished my magnificent Edifices,
swept away my Groves, and left no more Trace of them than if they had
never been. My Exchequer has sunk and vanished by a Rap on my Door,
the Salutation of a Friend has cost me a whole Continent, and in the
same Moment I have been pulled by the Sleeve, my Crown has fallen from
my Head. The ill Consequence of these Reveries is inconceivably great,
seeing the loss of imaginary Possessions makes Impressions of real
Woe. Besides, bad Oeconomy is visible and apparent in Builders of
invisible Mansions. My Tenant's Advertisements of Ruins and
Dilapidations often cast a Damp on my Spirits, even in the Instant
when the Sun, in all his Splendor, gilds my Eastern Palaces. Add to
this the pensive Drudgery in Building, and constant grasping Aerial
Trowels, distracts and shatters the Mind, and the fond Builder of
_Babells_ is often cursed with an incoherent Diversity and Confusion
of Thoughts. I do not know to whom I can more properly apply my self
for Relief from this Fantastical Evil, than to your self; whom I
earnestly implore to accommodate me with a Method how to settle my
Head and cool my Brain-pan. A Dissertation on Castle-Building may not
only be serviceable to my self, but all Architects, who display their
Skill in the thin Element. Such a Favour would oblige me to make my
next Soliloquy not contain the Praises of my dear Self but of the
SPECTATOR, who shall, by complying with this, make me.'

_His Obliged, Humble Servant._

[Footnote 1: "(unreadable on original page) in Dryden's 'Conquest of

* * * * *

No. 168. Wednesday, September 12, 1711. Steele.

'... _Pectus Praeceptis format amicis_.'


It would be Arrogance to neglect the Application of my Correspondents so
far as not sometimes to insert their Animadversions upon my Paper; that
of this Day shall be therefore wholly composed of the Hints which they
have sent me.


I Send you this to congratulate your late Choice of a Subject, for
treating on which you deserve publick Thanks; I mean that on those
licensed Tyrants the Schoolmasters. If you can disarm them of their
Rods, you will certainly have your old Age reverenced by all the young
Gentlemen of _Great-Britain_ who are now between seven and seventeen
Years. You may boast that the incomparably wise _Quintilian_ and you
are of one Mind in this Particular.

'_Si cui est_ (says he) _mens tam illiberalis ut objurgatione non
corrigatur, is etiam ad plagas, ut pessimo quaeque mancipia,
durabitur. [1]

If any Child be of so disingenuous a Nature, as not to stand
corrected by Reproof, he, like the very worst of Slaves, will be
hardned even against Blows themselves.'

And afterwards,

'Pudet dicere in quae probra nefandi homines isto caedendi jure

i. e. _I blush to say how shamefully those wicked Men abuse the
Power of Correction_.'

I was bred myself, Sir, in a very great School, of which the Master
was a _Welchman_, but certainly descended from a _Spanish_ Family, as
plainly appeared from his Temper as well as his Name. [2] I leave you
to judge what sort of a Schoolmaster a _Welchman_ ingrafted on a
_Spaniard_ would make. So very dreadful had he made himself to me,
that altho' it is above twenty Years since I felt his heavy Hand, yet
still once a Month at least I dream of him, so strong an Impression
did he make on my Mind. 'Tis a Sign he has fully terrified me waking,
who still continues to haunt me sleeping.

And yet I may say without Vanity, that the Business of the School was
what I did without great Difficulty; and I was not remarkably unlucky;
and yet such was the Master's Severity that once a Month, or oftner, I
suffered as much as would have satisfied the Law of the Land for a
_Petty Larceny_.

Many a white and tender Hand, which the fond Mother has passionately
kissed a thousand and a thousand times, have I seen whipped till it
was covered with Blood: perhaps for smiling, or for going a Yard and
half out of a Gate, or for writing an O for an A, or an A for an O:
These were our great Faults! Many a brave and noble Spirit has been
there broken; others have run from thence and were never heard of

It is a worthy Attempt to undertake the Cause of distrest Youth; and
it is a noble Piece of _Knight-Errantry_ to enter the Lists against so
many armed Pedagogues. 'Tis pity but we had a Set of Men, polite in
their Behaviour and Method of Teaching, who should be put into a
Condition of being above flattering or fearing the Parents of those
they instruct. We might then possibly see Learning become a Pleasure,
and Children delighting themselves in that which now they abhor for
coming upon such hard Terms to them: What would be a still greater
Happiness arising from the Care of such Instructors, would be, that we
should have no more Pedants, nor any bred to Learning who had not
Genius for it. I am, with the utmost Sincerity, _SIR, Your most
affectionate humble Servant_.

_Richmond, Sept._ 5_th_, 1711.


I am a Boy of fourteen Years of Age, and have for this last Year been
under the Tuition of a Doctor of Divinity, who has taken the School of
this Place under his Care. [3] From the Gentleman's great Tenderness
to me and Friendship to my Father, I am very happy in learning my Book
with Pleasure. We never leave off our Diversions any farther than to
salute him at Hours of Play when he pleases to look on. It is
impossible for any of us to love our own Parents better than we do
him. He never gives any of us an harsh Word, and we think it the
greatest Punishment in the World when he will not speak to any of us.
My Brother and I are both together inditing this Letter: He is a Year
older than I am, but is now ready to break his Heart that the Doctor
has not taken any Notice of him these three Days. If you please to
print this he will see it, and, we hope, taking it for my Brother's
earnest Desire to be restored to his Favour, he will again smile upon
_Your most obedient Servant_,
T. S.


You have represented several sorts of _Impertinents_ singly, I wish
you would now proceed, and describe some of them in Sets. It often
happens in publick Assemblies, that a Party who came thither together,
or whose Impertinencies are of an equal Pitch, act in Concert, and are
so full of themselves as to give Disturbance to all that are about
them. Sometimes you have a Set of Whisperers, who lay their Heads
together in order to sacrifice every Body within their Observation;
sometimes a Set of Laughers, that keep up an insipid Mirth in their
own Corner, and by their Noise and Gestures shew they have no Respect
for the rest of the Company. You frequently meet with these Sets at
the Opera, the Play, the Water-works, [4] and other publick Meetings,
where their whole Business is to draw off the Attention of the
Spectators from the Entertainment, and to fix it upon themselves; and
it is to be observed that the Impertinence is ever loudest, when the
Set happens to be made up of three or four Females who have got what
you call a Woman's Man among them.

I am at a loss to know from whom People of Fortune should learn this
Behaviour, unless it be from the Footmen who keep their Places at a
new Play, and are often seen passing away their Time in Sets at
_All-fours_ in the Face of a full House, and with a perfect Disregard
to People of Quality sitting on each Side of them.

For preserving therefore the Decency of publick Assemblies, methinks
it would be but reasonable that those who Disturb others should pay at
least a double Price for their Places; or rather Women of Birth and
Distinction should be informed that a Levity of Behaviour in the Eyes
of People of Understanding degrades them below their meanest
Attendants; and Gentlemen should know that a fine Coat is a Livery,
when the Person who wears it discovers no higher Sense than that of a
I am _SIR_,
_Your most humble Servant._

_Bedfordshire, Sept.._ 1, 1711


I am one of those whom every Body calls a Pocher, and sometimes go out
to course with a Brace of Greyhounds, a Mastiff, and a Spaniel or two;
and when I am weary with Coursing, and have killed Hares enough, go to
an Ale-house to refresh my self. I beg the Favour of you (as you set
up for a Reformer) to send us Word how many Dogs you will allow us to
go with, how many Full-Pots of Ale to drink, and how many Hares to
kill in a Day, and you will do a great Piece of Service to all the
Sportsmen: Be quick then, for the Time of Coursing is come on.

_Yours in Haste_,
T. Isaac Hedgeditch.

[Footnote 1: 'Instit. Orat.' Bk. I. ch. 3.]

[Footnote 2: Dr. Charles Roderick, Head Master of Eton.]

[Footnote 3: Dr. Nicholas Brady, Tate's colleague in versification of
the Psalms. He was Rector of Clapham and Minister of Richmond, where he
had the school. He died in 1726, aged 67.]

[Footnote 4: The Water Theatre, invented by Mr. Winstanley, and
exhibited by his widow at the lower end of Piccadilly.]

* * * * *

No. 169. Thursday, Sept. 13, 1711. Addison

'_Sic vita erat: facile omnes perferre ac pati:
Cum quibus erat cunque una, his sese dedere,
Eorum obsequi studiis: advorsus nemini;
Nunquam praeponens se aliis: Ita facillime
Sine invidia invenias laudem._'

Ter. And.

Man is subject to innumerable Pains and Sorrows by the very Condition of
Humanity, and yet, as if Nature had not sown Evils enough in Life, we
are continually adding Grief to Grief, and aggravating the common
Calamity by our cruel Treatment of one another. Every Man's natural
Weight of Afflictions is still made more heavy by the Envy, Malice,
Treachery, or Injustice of his Neighbour. At the same time that the
Storm beats upon the whole Species, we are falling foul upon one

Half the Misery of Human Life might be extinguished, would Men alleviate
the general Curse they lie under, by mutual Offices of Compassion,
Benevolence, and Humanity. There is nothing therefore which we ought
more to encourage in our selves and others, than that Disposition of
Mind which in our Language goes under the Title of Good-nature, and
which I shall chuse for the Subject of this Day's Speculation.

Good-nature is more agreeable in Conversation than Wit, and gives a
certain Air to the Countenance which is more amiable than Beauty. It
shows Virtue in the fairest Light, takes off in some measure from the
Deformity of Vice, and makes even Folly and Impertinence supportable.

There is no Society or Conversation to be kept up in the World without
Good-nature, or something which must bear its Appearance, and supply its
Place. For this Reason Mankind have been forced to invent a kind of
Artificial Humanity, which is what we express by the Word
_Good-Breeding_. For if we examine thoroughly the Idea of what we call
so, we shall find it to be nothing else but an Imitation and Mimickry of
Good-nature, or in other Terms, Affability, Complaisance and Easiness of
Temper reduced into an Art.

These exterior Shows and Appearances of Humanity render a Man
wonderfully popular and beloved when they are founded upon a real
Good-nature; but without it are like Hypocrisy in Religion, or a bare
Form of Holiness, which, when it is discovered, makes a Man more
detestable than professed Impiety.

Good-nature is generally born with us: Health, Prosperity and kind
Treatment from the World are great Cherishers of it where they find it;
but nothing is capable of forcing it up, where it does not grow of it
self. It is one of the Blessings of a happy Constitution, which
Education may improve but not produce.

Xenophon [1] in the Life of his Imaginary Prince, whom he describes as a
Pattern for Real ones, is always celebrating the _Philanthropy_ or
Good-nature of his Hero, which he tells us he brought into the World
with him, and gives many remarkable Instances of it in his Childhood, as
well as in all the several Parts of his Life. Nay, on his Death-bed, he
describes him as being pleased, that while his Soul returned to him [who
[2]] made it, his Body should incorporate with the great Mother of all
things, and by that means become beneficial to Mankind. For which
Reason, he gives his Sons a positive Order not to enshrine it in Gold or
Silver, but to lay it in the Earth as soon as the Life was gone out of

An Instance of such an Overflowing of Humanity, such an exuberant Love
to Mankind, could not have entered into the Imagination of a Writer, who
had not a Soul filled with great Ideas, and a general Benevolence to

In that celebrated Passage of _Salust_, [3] where _Caesar_ and _Cato_ are
placed in such beautiful, but opposite Lights; _Caesar's_ Character is
chiefly made up of Good-nature, as it shewed itself in all its Forms
towards his Friends or his Enemies, his Servants or Dependants, the
Guilty or the Distressed. As for _Cato's_ Character, it is rather awful
than amiable. Justice seems most agreeable to the Nature of God, and
Mercy to that of Man. A Being who has nothing to Pardon in himself, may
reward every Man according to his Works; but he whose very best Actions
must be seen with Grains of Allowance, cannot be too mild, moderate, and
forgiving. For this reason, among all the monstrous Characters in Human
Nature, there is none so odious, nor indeed so exquisitely Ridiculous,
as that of a rigid severe Temper in a Worthless Man.

This Part of Good-nature, however, which consists in the pardoning and
overlooking of Faults, is to be exercised only in doing our selves
Justice, and that too in the ordinary Commerce and Occurrences of Life;
for in the publick Administrations of Justice, Mercy to one may be
Cruelty to others.

It is grown almost into a Maxim, that Good-natured Men are not always
Men of the most Wit. This Observation, in my Opinion, has no Foundation
in Nature. The greatest Wits I have conversed with are Men eminent for
their Humanity. I take therefore this Remark to have been occasioned by
two Reasons. First, Because Ill-nature among ordinary Observers passes
for Wit. A spiteful Saying gratifies so many little Passions in those
who hear it, that it generally meets with a good Reception. The Laugh
rises upon it, and the Man who utters it is looked upon as a shrewd
Satyrist. This may be one Reason, why a great many pleasant Companions
appear so surprisingly dull, when they have endeavoured to be Merry in
Print; the Publick being more just than Private Clubs or Assemblies, in
distinguishing between what is Wit and what is Ill-nature.

Another Reason why the Good-natured Man may sometimes bring his Wit in
Question, is, perhaps, because he is apt to be moved with Compassion for
those Misfortunes or Infirmities, which another would turn into
Ridicule, and by that means gain the Reputation of a Wit. The
Ill-natured Man, though but of equal Parts, gives himself a larger Field
to expatiate in; he exposes those Failings in Human Nature which the
other would cast a Veil over, laughs at Vices which the other either
excuses or conceals, gives utterance to Reflections which the other
stifles, falls indifferently upon Friends or Enemies, exposes the Person
[who [4]] has obliged him, and, in short, sticks at nothing that may
establish his Character of a Wit. It is no Wonder therefore he succeeds
in it better than the Man of Humanity, as a Person who makes use of
indirect Methods, is more likely to grow Rich than the Fair Trader.


[Footnote 1: 'Cyropaedia', Bk. viii. ch. 6.]

[Footnote 2: that]

[Footnote 3: 'Catiline', c. 54.]

[Footnote 4: that]

* * * * *




As the profest Design of this Work is to entertain its Readers in
general, without giving Offence to any particular Person, it would be
difficult to find out so proper a Patron for it as Your Self, there
being none whose Merit is more universally acknowledged by all Parties,
and who has made himself more Friends and fewer Enemies. Your great
Abilities, and unquestioned Integrity, in those high Employments which
You have passed through, would not have been able to have raised You
this general Approbation, had they not been accompanied with that
Moderation in an high Fortune, and that Affability of Manners, which are
so conspicuous through all Parts of your Life. Your Aversion to any
Ostentatious Arts of setting to Show those great Services which you have
done the Publick, has not likewise a little contributed to that
Universal Acknowledgment which is paid You by your Country.

The Consideration of this Part of Your Character, is that which hinders
me from enlarging on those Extraordinary Talents, which have given You
so great a Figure in the _British_ Senate, as well as on that Elegance
and Politeness which appear in Your more retired Conversation. I should
be unpardonable, if, after what I have said, I should longer detain You
with an Address of this Nature: I cannot, however, conclude it without
owning those great Obligations which You have laid upon,


Your most obedient,

humble Servant_,


[Footnote 1: Henry Boyle, to whom the third volume of the Spectator is
dedicated, was the youngest son of Charles, Lord Clifford; one of the
family founded by the Richard, Earl of Cork, who bought Raleigh's
property in Ireland.

From March, 1701, to February, 1707-8, Henry Boyle was King William's
Chancellor of the Exchequer. He was then, till September, 1710, one of
the principal Secretaries of State. He had materially helped Addison by
negotiating between him and Lord Godolphin respecting the celebration of
the Battle of Blenheim. On the accession of George I. Henry Boyle became
Lord Carleton and President of the Council. He died in 1724, and had his
Life written by Addison's cousin Budgell.]

* * * * *

No. 170. Friday, September 14, 1711. Addison.

'In amore haec omnia insunt vitia: injuriae,
Suspiciones, inimicitiae, induciae,
Bellum, pax rursum ...'

Ter. Eun.

Upon looking over the Letters of my female Correspondents, I find
several from Women complaining of jealous Husbands, and at the same time
protesting their own Innocence; and desiring my Advice on this Occasion.
I shall therefore take this Subject into my Consideration, and the more
willingly, because I find that the Marquis of _Hallifax_, who in his
_Advice to a Daughter_ [1] has instructed a Wife how to behave her self
towards a false, an intemperate, a cholerick, a sullen, a covetous, or a
silly Husband, has not spoken one Word of a Jealous Husband.

_Jealousy is that Pain which a Man feels from the Apprehension that he
is not equally beloved by the Person whom he entirely loves._ Now,
because our inward Passions and Inclinations can never make themselves
visible, it is impossible for a jealous Man to be thoroughly cured of
his Suspicions. His Thoughts hang at best in a State of Doubtfulness and
Uncertainty; and are never capable of receiving any Satisfaction on the
advantageous Side; so that his Enquiries are most successful when they
discover nothing: His Pleasure arises from his Disappointments, and his
Life is spent in Pursuit of a Secret that destroys his Happiness if he
chance to find it.

An ardent Love is always a strong Ingredient in this Passion; for the
same Affection which stirs up the jealous Man's Desires, and gives the
Party beloved so beautiful a Figure in his Imagination, makes him
believe she kindles the same Passion in others, and appears as amiable
to all Beholders. And as Jealousy thus arises from an extraordinary
Love, it is of so delicate a Nature, that it scorns to take up with any
thing less than an equal Return of Love. Not the warmest Expressions of
Affection, the softest and most tender Hypocrisy, are able to give any
Satisfaction, where we are not persuaded that the Affection is real and
the Satisfaction mutual. For the jealous Man wishes himself a kind of
Deity to the Person he loves: He would be the only Pleasure of her
Senses, the Employment of her Thoughts; and is angry at every thing she
admires, or takes Delight in, besides himself.

Phaedria's Request to his Mistress, upon his leaving her for three Days,
is inimitably beautiful and natural.

Cum milite isto praesens, absens ut sies:
Dies, noctesque me ames: me desideres:
Me somnies: me exspectes: de me cogites:
Me speres: me te oblectes: mecum tola sis:
Meus fac sis postremo animus, quando ego sum tuus.

Ter. Eun. [2]

The Jealous Man's Disease is of so malignant a Nature, that it converts
all he takes into its own Nourishment. A cool Behaviour sets him on the
Rack, and is interpreted as an instance of Aversion or Indifference; a
fond one raises his Suspicions, and looks too much like Dissimulation
and Artifice. If the Person he loves be cheerful, her Thoughts must be
employed on another; and if sad, she is certainly thinking on himself.
In short, there is no Word or Gesture so insignificant, but it gives him
new Hints, feeds his Suspicions, and furnishes him with fresh Matters of
Discovery: So that if we consider the effects of this Passion, one would
rather think it proceeded from an inveterate Hatred than an excessive
Love; for certainly none can meet with more Disquietude and Uneasiness
than a suspected Wife, if we except the jealous Husband.

But the great Unhappiness of this Passion is, that it naturally tends to
alienate the Affection which it is so solicitous to engross; and that
for these two Reasons, because it lays too great a Constraint on the
Words and Actions of the suspected Person, and at the same time shews
you have no honourable Opinion of her; both of which are strong Motives
to Aversion.

Nor is this the worst Effect of Jealousy; for it often draws after it a
more fatal Train of Consequences, and makes the Person you suspect
guilty of the very Crimes you are so much afraid of. It is very natural
for such who are treated ill and upbraided falsely, to find out an
intimate Friend that will hear their Complaints, condole their
Sufferings, and endeavour to sooth and asswage their secret Resentments.
Besides, Jealousy puts a Woman often in Mind of an ill Thing that she
would not otherwise perhaps have thought of, and fills her Imagination
with such an unlucky Idea, as in Time grows familiar, excites Desire,
and loses all the Shame and Horror which might at first attend it. Nor
is it a Wonder if she who suffers wrongfully in a Man's Opinion of her,
and has therefore nothing to forfeit in his Esteem, resolves to give him
reason for his Suspicions, and to enjoy the Pleasure of the Crime, since
she must undergo the Ignominy. Such probably were the Considerations
that directed the wise Man in his Advice to Husbands; _Be not jealous
over the Wife of thy Bosom, and teach her not an evil Lesson against thy
self._ Ecclus. [3]

And here, among the other Torments which this Passion produces, we may
usually observe that none are greater Mourners than jealous Men, when
the Person [who [4]] provoked their Jealousy is taken from them. Then it
is that their Love breaks out furiously, and throws off all the Mixtures
of Suspicion [which [5]] choaked and smothered it before. The beautiful
Parts of the Character rise uppermost in the jealous Husband's Memory,
and upbraid him with the ill Usage of so divine a Creature as was once
in his Possession; whilst all the little Imperfections, that were
[before [6]] so uneasie to him, wear off from his Remembrance, and shew
themselves no more.

We may see by what has been said, that Jealousy takes the deepest Root
in Men of amorous Dispositions; and of these we may find three Kinds who
are most over-run with it.

The First are those who are conscious to themselves of an Infirmity,
whether it be Weakness, Old Age, Deformity, Ignorance, or the like.
These Men are so well acquainted with the unamiable Part of themselves,
that they have not the Confidence to think they are really beloved; and
are so distrustful of their own Merits, that all Fondness towards them
puts them out of Countenance, and looks like a Jest upon their Persons.
They grow suspicious on their first looking in a Glass, and are stung
with Jealousy at the sight of a Wrinkle. A handsome Fellow immediately
alarms them, and every thing that looks young or gay turns their
thoughts upon their Wives.

A Second Sort of Men, who are most liable to this Passion, are those of
cunning, wary, and distrustful Tempers. It is a Fault very justly found
in Histories composed by Politicians, that they leave nothing to Chance
or Humour, but are still for deriving every Action from some Plot and
Contrivance, for drawing up a perpetual Scheme of Causes and Events, and
preserving a constant Correspondence between the Camp and the
Council-Table. And thus it happens in the Affairs of Love with Men of
too refined a Thought. They put a Construction on a Look, and find out a
Design in a Smile; they give new Senses and Significations to Words and
Actions; and are ever tormenting themselves with Fancies of their own
raising: They generally act in a Disguise themselves, and therefore
mistake all outward Shows and Appearances for Hypocrisy in others; so
that I believe no Men see less of the Truth and Reality of Things, than
these great Refiners upon Incidents, [who [7]] are so wonderfully subtle
and overwise in their Conceptions.

Now what these Men fancy they know of Women by Reflection, your lewd and
vicious Men believe they have learned by Experience. They have seen the
poor Husband so misled by Tricks and Artifices, and in the midst of his
Enquiries so lost and bewilder'd in a crooked Intreague, that they still
suspect an Under-Plot in every female Action; and especially where they
see any Resemblance in the Behaviour of two Persons, are apt to fancy it
proceeds from the same Design in both. These Men therefore bear hard
upon the suspected Party, pursue her close through all her Turnings and
Windings, and are too well acquainted with the Chace, to be slung off by
any false Steps or Doubles: Besides, their Acquaintance and Conversation
has lain wholly among the vicious Part of Womankind, and therefore it is
no Wonder they censure all alike, and look upon the whole Sex as a
Species of Impostors. But if, notwithstanding their private Experience,
they can get over these Prejudices, and entertain a favourable Opinion
of some _Women_; yet their own loose Desires will stir up new Suspicions
from another Side, and make them believe all _Men_ subject to the same
Inclinations with themselves.

Whether these or other Motives are most predominant, we learn from the
modern Histories of _America_, as well as from our own Experience in
this Part of the World, that Jealousy is no Northern Passion, but rages
most in those Nations that lie nearest the Influence of the Sun. It is a
Misfortune for a Woman to be born between the Tropicks; for there lie
the hottest Regions of Jealousy, which as you come Northward cools all
along with the Climate, till you scarce meet with any thing like it in
the Polar Circle. Our own Nation is very temperately situated in this
respect; and if we meet with some few disordered with the Violence of
this Passion, they are not the proper Growth of our Country, but are
many Degrees nearer the Sun in their Constitutions than in their

After this frightful Account of Jealousy, and the Persons [who [8]] are
most subject to it, it will be but fair to shew by what means the
Passion may be best allay'd, and those who are possessed with it set at
Ease. Other Faults indeed are not under the Wife's Jurisdiction, and
should, if possible, escape her Observation; but Jealousy calls upon her
particularly for its Cure, and deserves all her Art and Application in
the Attempt: Besides, she has this for her Encouragement, that her
Endeavours will be always pleasing, and that she will still find the
Affection of her Husband rising towards her in proportion as his Doubts
and Suspicions vanish; for, as we have seen all along, there is so great
a Mixture of Love in Jealousy as is well worth separating. But this
shall be the Subject of another Paper.


[Footnote 1: 'Miscellanies' by the late lord Marquis of Halifax (George
Saville, who died in 1695), 1704, pp. 18-31.]

[Footnote 2:

'When you are in company with that Soldier, behave as if you were
absent: but continue to love me by Day and by Night: want me; dream of
me; expect me; think of me; wish for me; delight in me: be wholly with
me: in short, be my very Soul, as I am yours.']

[Footnote 3: 'Ecclus'. ix. I.]

[Footnote 4: that]

[Footnote 5: that]

[Footnote 6: formerly]

[Footnote 7: that]

[Footnote 8: that]

* * * * *

No. 171. Saturday, Sept. 15, 1711. Addison.

'Credula res amor est ...'

Ovid. Met.

Having in my Yesterday's Paper discovered the Nature of Jealousie, and
pointed out the Persons who are most subject to it, I must here apply my
self to my fair Correspondents, who desire to live well with a Jealous
Husband, and to ease his Mind of its unjust Suspicions.

The first Rule I shall propose to be observed is, that you never seem to
dislike in another what the Jealous Man is himself guilty of, or to
admire any thing in which he himself does not excel. A Jealous Man is
very quick in his Applications, he knows how to find a double Edge in an
Invective, and to draw a Satyr on himself out of a Panegyrick on
another. He does not trouble himself to consider the Person, but to
direct the Character; and is secretly pleased or confounded as he finds
more or less of himself in it. The Commendation of any thing in another,
stirs up his Jealousy, as it shews you have a Value for others, besides
himself; but the Commendation of that which he himself wants, inflames
him more, as it shews that in some Respects you prefer others before
him. Jealousie is admirably described in this View by _Horace_ in his
Ode to _Lydia_ [; [1]]

_Quum tu, Lydia, Telephi
Cervicem roseam, et cerea Telephi
Laudas brachia, vae meum
Fervens difficili bile tumet jecur:
Tunc nec mens mihi, nec color
Certa sede manet; humor et in genas
Furtim labitur, arguens
Quam lentis penitus macerer ignibus.

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