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The Spectator, Volume 1 by Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

Part 18 out of 19

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of the poor Man and his Lamb [2] is likewise more ancient than any that
is extant, besides the above-mentioned, and had so good an Effect, as to
convey Instruction to the Ear of a King without offending it, and to
bring the Man after God's own Heart to a right Sense of his Guilt and
his Duty. We find _AEsop_ in the most distant Ages of _Greece_; and if we
look into the very Beginnings of the Commonwealth of _Rome_, we see a
Mutiny among the Common People appeased by a Fable of the Belly and the
Limbs, [3] which was indeed very proper to gain the Attention of an
incensed Rabble, at a Time when perhaps they would have torn to Pieces
any Man who had preached the same Doctrine to them in an open and direct
Manner. As Fables took their Birth in the very Infancy of Learning, they
never flourished more than when Learning was at its greatest Height. To
justify this Assertion, I shall put my Reader in mind of _Horace_, the
greatest Wit and Critick in the _Augustan_ Age; and of _Boileau_, the
most correct Poet among the Moderns: Not to mention _La Fontaine_, who
by this Way of Writing is come more into Vogue than any other Author of
our Times.

The Fables I have here mentioned are raised altogether upon Brutes and
Vegetables, with some of our own Species mixt among them, when the Moral
hath so required. But besides this kind of Fable, there is another in
which the Actors are Passions, Virtues, Vices, and other imaginary
Persons of the like Nature. Some of the ancient Criticks will have it,
that the Iliad and Odyssey of Homer are Fables of this Nature: and that
the several Names of Gods and Heroes are nothing else but the Affections
of the Mind in a visible Shape and Character. Thus they tell us, that
Achilles, in the first Iliad, represents Anger, or the Irascible Part of
Human Nature; That upon drawing his Sword against his Superior in a full
Assembly, _Pallas_ is only another Name for Reason, which checks and
advises him upon that Occasion; and at her first Appearance touches him
upon the Head, that Part of the Man being looked upon as the Seat of
Reason. And thus of the rest of the Poem. As for the Odyssey, I think it
is plain that _Horace_ considered it as one of these Allegorical Fables,
by the Moral which he has given us of several Parts of it. The greatest
_Italian_ Wits have applied themselves to the Writing of this latter
kind of Fables: As _Spencer's Fairy-Queen_ is one continued Series of
them from the Beginning to the End of that admirable Work. If we look
into the finest Prose Authors of Antiquity, such as _Cicero_, _Plato_,
_Xenophon_, and many others, we shall find that this was likewise their
Favourite Kind of Fable. I shall only further observe upon it, that the
first of this Sort that made any considerable Figure in the World, was
that of _Hercules_ meeting with Pleasure and Virtue; which was invented
by _Prodicus_, who lived before _Socrates_, and in the first Dawnings of
Philosophy. He used to travel through _Greece_ by vertue of this Fable,
which procured him a kind Reception in all the Market-towns, where he
never failed telling it as soon as he had gathered an Audience about
him. [4]

After this short Preface, which I have made up of such Materials as my
Memory does at present suggest to me, before I present my Reader with a
Fable of this Kind, which I design as the Entertainment of the present
Paper, I must in a few Words open the Occasion of it.

In the Account which _Plato_ gives us of the Conversation and Behaviour
of _Socrates_, the Morning he was to die, he tells the following

When Socrates his Fetters were knocked off (as was usual to be done on
the Day that the condemned Person was to be executed) being seated in
the midst of his Disciples, and laying one of his Legs over the other,
in a very unconcerned Posture, he began to rub it where it had been
galled by the Iron; and whether it was to shew the Indifference with
which he entertained \the Thoughts of his approaching Death, or (after
his usual Manner) to take every Occasion of Philosophizing upon some
useful Subject, he observed the Pleasure of that Sensation which now
arose in those very Parts of his Leg, that just before had been so much
pained by the Fetter. Upon this he reflected on the Nature of Pleasure
and Pain in general, and how constantly they succeeded one another. To
this he added, That if a Man of a good Genius for a Fable were to
represent the Nature of Pleasure and Pain in that Way of Writing, he
would probably join them together after such a manner, that it would be
impossible for the one to come into any Place without being followed by
the other. [5]

It is possible, that if Plato had thought it proper at such a Time to
describe Socrates launching out into a Discourse [which [6]] was not of
a piece with the Business of the Day, he would have enlarged upon this
Hint, and have drawn it out into some beautiful Allegory or Fable. But
since he has not done it, I shall attempt to write one myself in the
Spirit of that Divine Author.

_There were two Families which from the Beginning of the World were as
opposite to each other as Light and Darkness. The one of them lived in
Heaven, and the other in Hell. The youngest Descendant of the first
Family was Pleasure, who was the Daughter of Happiness, who was the
Child of Virtue, who was the Offspring of the Gods. These, as I said
before, had their Habitation in Heaven. The youngest of the opposite
Family was Pain, who was the Son of Misery, who was the Child of Vice,
who was the Offspring of the Furies. The Habitation of this Race of
Beings was in Hell.

The middle Station of Nature between these two opposite Extremes was the
Earth, which was inhabited by Creatures of a middle Kind, neither so
Virtuous as the one, nor so Vicious as the other, but partaking of the
good and bad Qualities of these two opposite Families._ Jupiter
_considering that this Species commonly called Man, was too virtuous to
be miserable, and too vicious to be happy; that he might make a
Distinction between the Good and the Bad, ordered the two youngest of
the above-mentioned Families, Pleasure who was the Daughter of
Happiness, and Pain who was the Son of Misery, to meet one another upon
this Part of Nature which lay in the half-Way between them, having
promised to settle it upon them both, provided they could agree upon the
Division of it, so as to share Mankind between them.

Pleasure and Pain were no sooner met in their new Habitation, but they
immediately agreed upon this Point, that Pleasure should take Possession
of the Virtuous, and Pain of the Vicious Part of that Species which was
given up to them. But upon examining to which of them any Individual
they met with belonged, they found each of them had a Right to him; for
that, contrary to what they had seen in their old Places of Residence,
there was no Person so Vicious who had not some Good in him, nor any
Person so Virtuous who had not in him some Evil. The Truth of it is,
they generally found upon Search, that in the most vicious Man Pleasure
might lay a Claim to an hundredth Part, and that in the most virtuous
Man Pain might come in for at least two Thirds. This they saw would
occasion endless Disputes between them, unless they could come to some
Accommodation. To this end there was a Marriage proposed between them,
and at length concluded: By this means it is that we find Pleasure and
Pain are such constant Yoke-fellows, and that they either make their
Visits together, or are never far asunder. If Pain comes into an Heart,
he is quickly followed by Pleasure; and if Pleasure enters, you may be
sure Pain is not far off.

But notwithstanding this Marriage was very convenient for the two
Parties, it did not seem to answer the Intention of_ Jupiter _in sending
them among Mankind. To remedy therefore this Inconvenience, it was
stipulated between them by Article, and confirmed by the Consent of each
Family, that notwithstanding they here possessed the Species
indifferently; upon the Death of every single Person, if he was found to
have in him a certain Proportion of Evil, he should be dispatched into
the infernal Regions by a Passport from Pain, there to dwell with
Misery, Vice and the Furies. Or on the contrary, if he had in him a
certain Proportion of Good, he should be dispatched into Heaven by a
Passport from Pleasure, there to dwell with Happiness, Virtue and the


[Footnote 1: 'Judges' ix. 8--15.]

[Footnote 2: '2 Sam.' xii. 1--4.]

[Footnote 3: 'Livy,' Bk. II. sec. 32.]

[Footnote 4: Xenophon's 'Memorabilia Socratis, Bk. II.]

[Footnote 5: 'Phaedon', Sec. 10.]

[Footnote 6: that]

* * * * *

No. 184. Monday, October 1, 1711. Addison.

'... Opere in longo fas est obrepere somnum ...'


When a Man has discovered a new Vein of Humour, it often carries him
much further than he expected from it. My Correspondents take the Hint I
give them, and pursue it into Speculations which I never thought of at
my first starting it. This has been the Fate of my Paper on the Match of
Grinning, which has already produced a second Paper on parallel
Subjects, and brought me the following Letter by the last Post. I shall
not premise any thing to it further than that it is built on Matter of
Fact, and is as follows.


'You have already obliged the World with a Discourse upon Grinning,
and have since proceeded to Whistling, from whence you [at length came
[1]] to Yawning; from this, I think, you may make a very natural
Transition to Sleeping. I therefore recommend to you for the Subject
of a Paper the following Advertisement, which about two Months ago was
given into every Body's Hands, and may be seen with some Additions in
the Daily Courant of August the Ninth.

'Nicholas Hart, [2] who slept last Year in St. Bartholomew's
Hospital, intends to sleep this Year at the Cock and Bottle in

Having since inquired into the Matter of Fact, I find that the
above-mentioned Nicholas Hart is every Year seized with a periodical
Fit of Sleeping, which begins upon the Fifth of August, and ends on
the Eleventh of the same Month: That

On the First of that Month he grew dull;
On the Second, appeared drowsy;
On the Third, fell a yawning;
On the Fourth, began to nod;
On the Fifth, dropped asleep;
On the Sixth, was heard to snore;
On the Seventh, turned himself in his Bed;
On the Eighth, recovered his former Posture;
On the Ninth fell a stretching;
On the Tenth about Midnight, awaked;
On the Eleventh in the Morning called for a little Small-Beer.

This Account I have extracted out of the Journal of this sleeping
Worthy, as it has been faithfully kept by a Gentleman of
_Lincoln's-Inn_, who has undertaken to be his Historiographer. I have
sent it to you, not only as it represents the Actions of _Nicholas
Hart_, but as it seems a very natural Picture of the Life of many an
honest _English_ Gentleman, whose whole History very often consists of
Yawning, Nodding, Stretching, Turning, Sleeping, Drinking, and the
like extraordinary Particulars. I do not question, Sir, that, if you
pleased, you could put out an Advertisement not unlike [the [3]]
above-mentioned, of several Men of Figure; that Mr. _John_ such-a-one,
Gentleman, or _Thomas_ such-a-one, Esquire, who slept in the Country
last Summer, intends to sleep in Town this Winter. The worst of it is,
that the drowsy Part of our Species is chiefly made up of very honest
Gentlemen, who live quietly among their Neighbours, without ever
disturbing the publick Peace: They are Drones without Stings. I could
heartily wish, that several turbulent, restless, ambitious Spirits,
would for a while change Places with these good Men, and enter
themselves into _Nicholas Hart's_ Fraternity. Could one but lay asleep
a few busy Heads which I could name, from the First of _November_ next
to the First of _May_ ensuing, [4] I question not but it would very
much redound to the Quiet of particular Persons, as well as to the
Benefit of the Publick.

But to return to _Nicholas Hart_: I believe, Sir, you will think it a
very extraordinary Circumstance for a Man to gain his Livelihood by
Sleeping, and that Rest should procure a Man Sustenance as well as
Industry; yet so it is that Nicholas got last Year enough to support
himself for a Twelvemonth. I am likewise informed that he has this
Year had a very comfortable Nap. The Poets value themselves very much
for sleeping on Parnassus, but I never heard they got a Groat by it:
On the contrary, our Friend Nicholas gets more by Sleeping than he
could by Working, and may be more properly said, than ever Homer was,
to have had Golden Dreams. Fuvenal indeed mentions a drowsy Husband
who raised an Estate by Snoring, but then he is represented to have
slept what the common People call a Dog's Sleep; or if his Sleep was
real, his Wife was awake, and about her Business. Your Pen, [which
[5]] loves to moralize upon all Subjects, may raise something,
methinks, on this Circumstance also, and point out to us those Sets of
Men, who instead of growing rich by an honest Industry, recommend
themselves to the Favours of the Great, by making themselves agreeable
Companions in the Participations of Luxury and Pleasure.

I must further acquaint you, Sir, that one of the most eminent Pens in
Grub-street is now employed in Writing the Dream of this miraculous
Sleeper, which I hear will be of a more than ordinary Length, as it
must contain all the Particulars that are supposed to have passed in
his Imagination during so long a Sleep. He is said to have gone
already through three Days and [three] Nights of it, and to have
comprised in them the most remarkable Passages of the four first
Empires of the World. If he can keep free from Party-Strokes, his Work
may be of Use; but this I much doubt, having been informed by one of
his Friends and Confidents, that he has spoken some things of Nimrod
with too great Freedom.

I am ever, Sir, &c.


[Footnote 1: are at length come]

[Footnote 2: Nicholas Hart, born at Leyden, was at this time 22 years
old, one of ten children of a learned mathematician who for two years
had been a tutor to King William. Nicholas was a sailor from the age of
twelve, and no scholar, although he spoke French, Dutch, and English. He
was a patient at St. Bartholomew's for stone and gravel some weeks
before, and on the 3rd of August, 1711, set his mark to an account of
himself, when he expected to fall asleep on the fifth of August, two
days later. His account was also signed by 'William Hill, Sen. No. I.
Lincoln's Inn,' the 'Gentleman of 'Lincoln's Inn,' presently alluded to.]

[Footnote 3: that]

[Footnote 4: That is, when Parliament is sitting.]

[Footnote 5: that]

* * * * *

No. 185. Tuesday, October 2, 1711. Addison.

'... Tantaene Animis coelestibus Irae?'


There is nothing in which Men more deceive themselves than in what the
World calls Zeal. There are so many Passions which hide themselves under
it, and so many Mischiefs arising from it, that some have gone so far as
to say it would have been for the Benefit of Mankind if it had never
been reckoned in the Catalogue of Virtues. It is certain, where it is
once Laudable and Prudential, it is an hundred times Criminal and
Erroneous; nor can it be otherwise, if we consider that it operates with
equal Violence in all Religions, however opposite they may be to one
another, and in all the Subdivisions of each Religion in particular.

We are told by some of the Jewish Rabbins, that the first Murder was
occasioned by a religious Controversy; and if we had the whole History
of Zeal from the Days of Cain to our own Times, we should see it filled
with so many Scenes of Slaughter and Bloodshed, as would make a wise Man
very careful how he suffers himself to be actuated by such a Principle,
when it only regards Matters of Opinion and Speculation.

I would have every Zealous Man examine his Heart thoroughly, and, I
believe, he will often find, that what he calls a Zeal for his Religion,
is either Pride, Interest, or Ill-nature. [A Man who [1]] differs from
another in Opinion, sets himself above him in his own Judgment, and in
several Particulars pretends to be the wiser Person. This is a great
Provocation to the proud Man, and gives a very keen Edge to what he
calls his Zeal. And that this is the Case very often, we may observe
from the Behaviour of some of the most zealous for Orthodoxy, who have
often great Friendships and Intimacies with vicious immoral Men,
provided they do but agree with them in the same Scheme of Belief. The
Reason is, Because the vicious Believer gives the Precedency to the
virtuous Man, and allows the good Christian to be the worthier Person,
at the same time that he cannot come up to his Perfections. This we find
exemplified in that trite Passage which we see quoted in almost every
System of Ethicks, tho' upon another Occasion.

'... Video meliora proboque,
Deteriora sequor ...'


On the contrary, it is certain, if our Zeal were true and genuine, we
should be much more angry with a Sinner than a Heretick; since there are
several Cases [which [2]] may excuse the latter before his great Judge,
but none [which [3]] can excuse the former.

Interest is likewise a great Inflamer, and sets a Man on Persecution
under the colour of Zeal. For this Reason we find none are so forward to
promote the true Worship by Fire and Sword, as those who find their
present Account in it. But I shall extend the Word Interest to a larger
Meaning than what is generally given it, as it relates to our Spiritual
Safety and Welfare, as well as to our Temporal. A Man is glad to gain
Numbers on his Side, as they serve to strengthen him in his private
Opinions. Every Proselyte is like a new Argument for the Establishment
of his Faith. It makes him believe that his Principles carry Conviction
with them, and are the more likely to be true, when he finds they are
conformable to the Reason of others, as well as to his own. And that
this Temper of Mind deludes a Man very often into an Opinion of his
Zeal, may appear from the common Behaviour of the Atheist, who maintains
and spreads his Opinions with as much Heat as those who believe they do
it only out of Passion for God's Glory.

Ill-nature is another dreadful Imitator of Zeal. Many a good Man may
have a natural Rancour and Malice in his Heart, [which [4]] has been in
some measure quelled and subdued by Religion; but if it finds any
Pretence of breaking out, which does not seem to him inconsistent with
the Duties of a Christian, it throws off all Restraint, and rages in its
full Fury. Zeal is therefore a great Ease to a malicious Man, by making
him believe he does God Service, whilst he is gratifying the Bent of a
perverse revengeful Temper. For this Reason we find, that most of the
Massacres and Devastations, [which [5]] have been in the World, have
taken their Rise from a furious pretended Zeal.

I love to see a Man zealous in a good Matter, and especially when his
Zeal shews it self for advancing Morality, and promoting the Happiness
of Mankind: But when I find the Instruments he works with are Racks and
Gibbets, Gallies and Dungeons; when he imprisons Mens Persons,
confiscates their Estates, ruins their Families, and burns the Body to
save the Soul, I cannot stick to pronounce of such a one, that (whatever
he may think of his Faith and Religion) his Faith is vain, and his
Religion unprofitable.

After having treated of these false Zealots in Religion, I cannot
forbear mentioning a monstrous Species of Men, who one would not think
had any Existence in Nature, were they not to be met with in ordinary
Conversation, I mean the Zealots in Atheism. One would fancy that these
Men, tho' they fall short, in every other Respect, of those who make a
Profession of Religion, would at least outshine them in this Particular,
and be exempt from that single Fault which seems to grow out of the
imprudent Fervours of Religion: But so it is, that Infidelity is
propagated with as much Fierceness and Contention, Wrath and
Indignation, as if the Safety of Mankind depended upon it. There is
something so ridiculous and perverse in this kind of Zealots, that one
does not know how to set them out in their proper Colours. They are a
Sort of Gamesters [who [6]] are eternally upon the Fret, though they
play for nothing. They are perpetually teizing their Friends to come
over to them, though at the same time they allow that neither of them
shall get any thing by the Bargain. In short, the Zeal of spreading
Atheism is, if possible, more absurd than Atheism it self.

Since I have mentioned this unaccountable Zeal which appears in Atheists
and Infidels, I must further observe that they are likewise in a most
particular manner possessed with the Spirit of Bigotry. They are wedded
to Opinions full of Contradiction and Impossibility, and at the same
time look upon the smallest Difficulty in an Article of Faith as a
sufficient Reason for rejecting it. Notions that fall in with the common
Reason of Mankind, that are conformable to the Sense of all Ages and all
Nations, not to mention their Tendency for promoting the Happiness of
Societies, or of particular Persons, are exploded as Errors and
Prejudices; and Schemes erected in their stead that are altogether
monstrous and irrational, and require the most extravagant Credulity to
embrace them. I would fain ask one of these bigotted Infidels, supposing
all the great Points of Atheism, as the casual or eternal Formation of
the World, the Materiality of a thinking Substance, the Mortality of the
Soul, the fortuitous Organization of the Body, the Motions and
Gravitation of Matter, with the like Particulars, were laid together and
formed [into [7]] a kind of Creed, according to the Opinions of the most
celebrated Atheists; I say, supposing such a Creed as this were formed,
and imposed upon any one People in the World, whether it would not
require an infinitely greater Measure of Faith, than any Set of Articles
which they so violently oppose. Let me therefore advise this Generation
of Wranglers, for their own and for the publick Good, to act at least so
consistently with themselves, as not to burn with Zeal for Irreligion,
and with Bigotry for Nonsense.


[Footnote 1: The Man that]

[Footnote 2: that]

[Footnote 3: that]

[Footnote 4: that]

[Footnote 5: that]

[Footnote 6: that]

[Footnote 7: in]

* * * * *

No. 186. Wednesday, October 3, 1711. Addison.

'Coelum ipsum petimus stultitia.'


Upon my Return to my Lodgings last Night I found a Letter from my worthy
Friend the Clergyman, whom I have given some Account of in my former
Papers. He tells me in it that he was particularly pleased with the
latter Part of my Yesterday's Speculation; and at the same time enclosed
the following Essay, which he desires me to publish as the Sequel of
that Discourse. It consists partly of uncommon Reflections, and partly
of such as have been already used, but now set in a stronger Light.

'A Believer may be excused by the most hardened Atheist for
endeavouring to make him a Convert, because he does it with an Eye to
both their Interests. The Atheist is inexcusable who tries to gain
over a Believer, because he does not propose the doing himself or the
Believer any Good by such a Conversion.

The Prospect of a future State is the secret Comfort and Refreshment
of my Soul; it is that which makes Nature look gay about me; it
doubles all my Pleasures, and supports me under all my Afflictions. I
can look at Disappointments and Misfortunes, Pain and Sickness, Death
itself, and, what is worse than Death, the Loss of those who are
dearest to me, with Indifference, so long as I keep in view the
Pleasures of Eternity, and the State of Being in which there will be
no Fears nor Apprehensions, Pains nor Sorrows, Sickness nor
Separation. Why will any Man be so impertinently Officious as to tell
me all this is only Fancy and Delusion? Is there any Merit in being
the Messenger of ill News? If it is a Dream, let me enjoy it, since it
makes me both the happier and better Man.

I must confess I do not know how to trust a Man [who [1]] believes
neither Heaven nor Hell, or, in other Words, a future State of Rewards
and Punishments. Not only natural Self-love, but Reason directs us to
promote our own Interest above all Things. It can never be for the
Interest of a Believer to do me a Mischief, because he is sure upon
the Balance of Accompts to find himself a Loser by it. On the
contrary, if he considers his own Welfare in his Behaviour towards me,
it will lead him to do me all the Good he can, and at the same Time
restrain him from doing me any Injury. An Unbeliever does not act like
a reasonable Creature, if he favours me contrary to his present
Interest, or does not distress me when it turns to his present
Advantage. Honour and Good-nature may indeed tie up his Hands; but as
these would be very much strengthened by Reason and Principle, so
without them they are only Instincts, or wavering unsettled Notions,
[which [2]] rest on no Foundation.

Infidelity has been attack'd with so good Success of late Years, that
it is driven out of all its Out-works. The Atheist has not found his
Post tenable, and is therefore retired into Deism, and a Disbelief of
revealed Religion only. But the Truth of it is, the greatest Number of
this Set of Men, are those who, for want of a virtuous Education, or
examining the Grounds of Religion, know so very little of the Matter
in Question, that their Infidelity is but another Term for their

As Folly and Inconsiderateness are the Foundations of Infidelity, the
great Pillars and Supports of it are either a Vanity of appearing
wiser than the rest of Mankind, or an Ostentation of Courage in
despising the Terrors of another World, which have so great an
Influence on what they call weaker Minds; or an Aversion to a Belief
that must cut them off from many of those Pleasures they propose to
themselves, and fill them with Remorse for many of those they have
already tasted.

The great received Articles of the Christian Religion have been so
clearly proved, from the Authority of that Divine Revelation in which
they are delivered, that it is impossible for those who have Ears to
hear, and Eyes to see, not to be convinced of them. But were it
possible for any thing in the Christian Faith to be erroneous, I can
find no ill Consequences in adhering to it. The great Points of the
Incarnation and Sufferings of our Saviour produce naturally such
Habits of Virtue in the Mind of Man, that I say, supposing it were
possible for us to be mistaken in them, the Infidel himself must at
least allow that no other System of Religion could so effectually
contribute to the heightning of Morality. They give us great Ideas of
the Dignity of human Nature, and of the Love which the Supreme Being
bears to his Creatures, and consequently engage us in the highest Acts
of Duty towards our Creator, our Neighbour, and our selves. How many
noble Arguments has Saint Paul raised from the chief Articles of our
Religion, for the advancing of Morality in its three great Branches?
To give a single Example in each Kind: What can be a stronger Motive
to a firm Trust and Reliance on the Mercies of our Maker, than the
giving us his Son to suffer for us? What can make us love and esteem
even the most inconsiderable of Mankind more than the Thought that
Christ died for him? Or what dispose us to set a stricter Guard upon
the Purity of our own Hearts, than our being Members of Christ, and a
Part of the Society of which that immaculate Person is the Head? But
these are only a Specimen of those admirable Enforcements of Morality,
which the Apostle has drawn from the History of our blessed Saviour.

If our modern Infidels considered these Matters with that Candour and
Seriousness which they deserve, we should not see them act with such a
Spirit of Bitterness, Arrogance, and Malice: They would not be raising
such insignificant Cavils, Doubts, and Scruples, as may be started
against every thing that is not capable of mathematical Demonstration;
in order to unsettle the Minds of the Ignorant, disturb the publick
Peace, subvert Morality, and throw all things into Confusion and
Disorder. If none of these Reflections can have any Influence on them,
there is one that perhaps may, because it is adapted to their Vanity,
by which they seem to be guided much more than their Reason. I would
therefore have them consider, that the wisest and best of Men, in all
Ages of the World, have been those who lived up to the Religion of
their Country, when they saw nothing in it opposite to Morality, and
[to] the best Lights they had of the Divine Nature. Pythagoras's first
Rule directs us to worship the Gods as it is ordained by Law, for that
is the most natural Interpretation of the Precept. [3] Socrates, who
was the most renowned among the Heathens both for Wisdom and Virtue,
in his last Moments desires his Friends to offer a Cock to
AEsculapius; [4] doubtless out of a submissive Deference to the
established Worship of his Country. Xenophon tells us, that his Prince
(whom he sets forth as a Pattern of Perfection), when he found his
Death approaching, offered Sacrifices on the Mountains to the Persian
Jupiter, and the Sun, according to the Custom of the Persians; for
those are the Words of the Historian. [5] Nay, the Epicureans and
Atomical Philosophers shewed a very remarkable Modesty in this
Particular; for though the Being of a God was entirely repugnant to
their Schemes of natural Philosophy, they contented themselves with
the Denial of a Providence, asserting at the same Time the Existence
of Gods in general; because they would not shock the common Belief of
Mankind, and the Religion of their Country.'


[Footnote 1: that]

[Footnote 2: that]

[Footnote 3: Which is motto to No. 112.]

[Footnote 4: Phaedon.]

[Footnote 5: Cyropaedia, Bk. viii.]

* * * * *

No. 187. Thursday, October 4, 1711. Steele.

'... Miseri quibus
Intentata nites ...'


The Intelligence given by this Correspondent is so important and useful,
in order to avoid the Persons he speaks of, that I shall insert his
Letter at length.


'I do not know that you have ever touched upon a certain species of
Women, whom we ordinarily call Jilts. You cannot possibly go upon a
more useful Work, than the Consideration of these dangerous Animals.
The Coquet is indeed one Degree towards the Jilt; but the Heart of the
former is bent upon admiring her self, and giving false Hopes to her
Lovers; but the latter is not contented to be extreamly amiable, but
she must add to that Advantage a certain Delight in being a Torment to
others. Thus when her Lover is in the full Expectation of Success, the
Jilt shall meet him with a sudden Indifference, and Admiration in her
Face at his being surprised that he is received like a Stranger, and a
Cast of her Head another Way with a pleasant Scorn of the Fellow's
Insolence. It is very probable the Lover goes home utterly astonished
and dejected, sits down to his Scrutore, sends her word in the most
abject Terms, That he knows not what he has done; that all which was
desirable in this Life is so suddenly vanished from him, that the
Charmer of his Soul should withdraw the vital Heat from the Heart
which pants for her. He continues a mournful Absence for some time,
pining in Secret, and out of Humour with all things which he meets
with. At length he takes a Resolution to try his Fate, and explain
with her resolutely upon her unaccountable Carriage. He walks up to
her Apartment, with a thousand Inquietudes and Doubts in what Manner
he shall meet the first Cast of her Eye; when upon his first
Appearance she flies towards him, wonders where he has been, accuses
him of his Absence, and treats him with a Familiarity as surprising as
her former Coldness. This good Correspondence continues till the Lady
observes the Lover grows happy in it, and then she interrupts it with
some new Inconsistency of Behaviour. For (as I just now said) the
Happiness of a Jilt consists only in the Power of making others
uneasy. But such is the Folly of this Sect of Women, that they carry
on this pretty skittish Behaviour, till they have no charms left to
render it supportable. Corinna, that used to torment all who conversed
with her with false Glances, and little heedless unguarded Motions,
that were to betray some Inclination towards the Man she would
ensnare, finds at present all she attempts that way unregarded; and is
obliged to indulge the Jilt in her Constitution, by laying Artificial
Plots, writing perplexing Letters from unknown Hands, and making all
the young Fellows in Love with her, till they find out who she is.
Thus as before she gave Torment by disguising her Inclination, she is
now obliged to do it by hiding her Person.

As for my own Part, Mr, SPECTATOR, it has been my unhappy Fate to be
jilted from my Youth upward; and as my Taste has been very much
towards Intreague, and having Intelligence with Women of Wit, my whole
Life has passed away in a Series of Impositions. I shall, for the
Benefit of the present Race of young Men, give some Account of my
Loves. I know not whether you have ever heard of the famous Girl about
Town called Kitty: This Creature (for I must take Shame upon my self)
was my Mistress in the Days when Keeping was in Fashion. Kitty, under
the Appearance of being Wild, Thoughtless, and Irregular in all her
Words and Actions, concealed the most accomplished Jilt of her Time.
Her Negligence had to me a Charm in it like that of Chastity, and Want
of Desires seemed as great a Merit as the Conquest of them. The Air
she gave herself was that of a Romping Girl, and whenever I talked to
her with any Turn of Fondness, she would immediately snatch off my
Perriwig, try it upon herself in the Glass, clap her Arms a Kimbow,
draw my Sword, and make Passes on the Wall, take off my Cravat, and
seize it to make some other Use of the Lace, or run into some other
unaccountable Rompishness, till the Time I had appointed to pass away
with her was over. I went from her full of Pleasure at the Reflection
that I had the keeping of so much Beauty in a Woman, who, as she was
too heedless to please me, was also too inattentive to form a Design
to wrong me. Long did I divert every Hour that hung heavy upon me in
the Company of this Creature, whom I looked upon as neither Guilty or
Innocent, but could laugh at my self for my unaccountable Pleasure in
an Expence upon her, till in the End it appeared my pretty Insensible
was with Child by my Footman.

This Accident roused me into a Disdain against all Libertine Women,
under what Appearance soever they hid their Insincerity, and I
resolved after that Time to converse with none but those who lived
within the Rules of Decency and Honour. To this End I formed my self
into a more regular Turn of Behaviour, and began to make Visits,
frequent Assemblies, and lead out Ladies from the Theatres, with all
the other insignificant Duties which the professed Servants of the
Fair place themselves in constant Readiness to perform. In a very
little time, (having a plentiful Fortune) Fathers and Mothers began to
regard me as a good Match, and I found easie Admittance into the best
Families in Town to observe their daughters; but I, who was born to
follow the Fair to no Purpose, have by the Force of my ill Stars made
my Application to three Jilts successively.

Hyaena is one of those who form themselves into a melancholy and
indolent Air, and endeavour to gain Admirers from their Inattention to
all around them. Hyaena can loll in her Coach, with something so fixed
in her Countenance, that it is impossible to conceive her Meditation
is employed only on her Dress and her Charms in that Posture. If it
were not too coarse a Simile, I should say, Hyaena, in the Figure she
affects to appear in, is a Spider in the midst of a Cobweb, that is
sure to destroy every Fly that approaches it. The Net Hyaena throws is
so fine, that you are taken in it before you can observe any Part of
her Work. I attempted her for a long and weary Season, but I found her
Passion went no farther than to be admired; and she is of that
unreasonable Temper, as not to value the Inconstancy of her Lovers
provided she can boast she once had their Addresses.

Biblis was the second I aimed at, and her Vanity lay in purchasing the
Adorers of others, and not in rejoicing in their Love it self. Biblis
is no Man's Mistress, but every Woman's Rival. As soon as I found
this, I fell in Love with Chloe, who is my present Pleasure and
Torment. I have writ to her, danced with her, and fought for her, and
have been her Man in the Sight and Expectation of the whole Town
[these [1]] three Years, and thought my self near the End of my
Wishes; when the other Day she called me into her Closet, and told me,
with a very grave Face, that she was a Woman of Honour, and scorned to
deceive a Man who loved her with so much Sincerity as she saw I did,
and therefore she must inform me that she was by Nature the most
inconstant Creature breathing, and begg'd of me not to marry her; If I
insisted upon it, I should; but that she was lately fallen in Love
with another. What to do or say I know not, but desire you to inform
me, and you will infinitely oblige,

SIR, Your most humble Servant,

Charles Yellow.

[Footnote 1: "this", and in first reprint.]

* * * * *


Mr. Sly, Haberdasher of Hats,
at the Corner of Devereux-Court in the Strand,
gives notice,
That he has prepared very neat Hats, Rubbers, and Brushes
for the Use of young Tradesmen in their last Year of Apprenticeship,
at reasonable Rates. [1]

[Footnote 1:

"Last night died of a mortification in his leg, after a long time
enduring the same, John Sly, the late famous haberdasher, so often
mentioned in the 'Spectator'."

'Evening Post', April 15, 1729.]

* * * * *

No. 188. Friday, October 5, 1711. Steele.

'Loetus sum Laudari a te Laudato viro.'


He is a very unhappy Man who sets his Heart upon being admired by the
Multitude, or affects a general and undistinguishing Applause among Men.
What pious Men call the Testimony of a good Conscience, should be the
Measure of our Ambition in this Kind; that is to say, a Man of Spirit
should contemn the Praise of the Ignorant, and like being applauded for
nothing but what he knows in his own Heart he deserves. Besides which
the Character of the Person who commends you is to be considered, before
you set a Value upon his Esteem. The Praise of an ignorant Man is only
Good-will, and you should receive his Kindness as he is a good Neighbour
in Society, and not as a good Judge of your Actions in Point of Fame and
Reputation. The Satyrist said very well of popular Praise and
Acclamations, Give the Tinkers and Coblers their Presents again, and
learn to live of your self. [1] It is an Argument of a loose and
ungoverned Mind to be affected with the promiscuous Approbation of the
Generality of Mankind; and a Man of Virtue should be too delicate for so
coarse an Appetite of Fame. Men of Honour should endeavour only to
please the Worthy, and the Man of Merit should desire to be tried only
by his Peers. I thought it a noble Sentiment which I heard Yesterday
uttered in Conversation; I know, said a Gentleman, a Way to be greater
than any Man: If he has Worth in him, I can rejoice in his Superiority
to me; and that Satisfaction is a greater Act of the Soul in me, than
any in him which can possibly appear to me. This Thought could not
proceed but from a candid and generous Spirit; and the Approbation of
such Minds is what may be esteemed true Praise. For with the common Rate
of Men there is nothing commendable but what they themselves may hope to
be Partakers of, or arrive at; but the Motive truly glorious is, when
the Mind is set rather to do Things laudable, than to purchase
Reputation. Where there is that Sincerity as the Foundation of a good
Name, the kind Opinion of virtuous Men will be an unsought but a
necessary Consequence. The Lacedemonians, tho' a plain People, and no
Pretenders to Politeness, had a certain Delicacy in their Sense of
Glory, and sacrificed to the Muses when they entered upon any great
Enterprise. [2] They would have the Commemoration of their Actions be
transmitted by the purest and most untainted Memorialists. The Din which
attends Victories and publick Triumphs is by far less eligible, than the
Recital of the Actions of great Men by honest and wise Historians. It is
a frivolous Pleasure to be the Admiration of gaping Crowds; but to have
the Approbation of a good Man in the cool Reflections of his Closet, is
a Gratification worthy an heroick Spirit. The Applause of the Crowd
makes the Head giddy, but the Attestation of a reasonable Man makes the
Heart glad.

What makes the Love of popular or general Praise still more ridiculous,
is, that it is usually given for Circumstances which are foreign to the
Persons admired. Thus they are the ordinary Attendants on Power and
Riches, which may be taken out of one Man's Hands, and put into
another's: The Application only, and not the Possession, makes those
outward things honourable. The Vulgar and Men of Sense agree in admiring
Men for having what they themselves would rather be possessed of; the
wise Man applauds him whom he thinks most virtuous; the rest of the
World, him who is most wealthy.

When a Man is in this way of Thinking, I do not know what can occur to
one more monstrous, than to see Persons of Ingenuity address their
Services and Performances to Men no way addicted to Liberal Arts: In
these Cases, the Praise on one hand, and the Patronage on the other, are
equally the Objects of Ridicule. Dedications to ignorant Men are as
absurd as any of the Speeches of Bulfinch in the Droll: Such an Address
one is apt to translate into other Words; and when the Different Parties
are thoroughly considered, the Panegyrick generally implies no more than
if the Author should say to the Patron; My very good Lord, You and I can
never understand one another, therefore I humbly desire we may be
intimate Friends for the future.

The Rich may as well ask to borrow of the Poor, as the Man of Virtue or
Merit hope for Addition to his Character from any but such as himself.
He that commends another engages so much of his own Reputation as he
gives to that Person commended; and he that has nothing laudable in
himself is not of Ability to be such a Surety. The wise Phocion was so
sensible how dangerous it was to be touched with what the Multitude
approved, that upon a general Acclamation made when he was making an
Oration, he turned to an intelligent Friend who stood near him, and
asked, in a surprized Manner, What Slip have I made? [3]

I shall conclude this Paper with a Billet which has fallen into my
Hands, and was written to a Lady from a Gentleman whom she had highly
commended. The Author of it had formerly been her Lover. When all
Possibility of Commerce between them on the Subject of Love was cut off,
she spoke so handsomely of him, as to give Occasion for this Letter.


"I should be insensible to a Stupidity, if I could forbear making you
my Acknowledgments for your late mention of me with so much Applause.
It is, I think, your Fate to give me new Sentiments; as you formerly
inspired me with the true Sense of Love, so do you now with the true
Sense of Glory. As Desire had the least Part in the Passion I
heretofore professed towards you, so has Vanity no Share in the Glory
to which you have now raised me. Innocence, Knowledge, Beauty, Virtue,
Sincerity, and Discretion, are the constant Ornaments of her who has
said this of me. Fame is a Babbler, but I have arrived at the highest
Glory in this World, the Commendation of the most deserving Person in


[Footnote 1: Persius. 'Sat. IV.' sec. 51.]

[Footnote 2: Plutarch in 'Life of Lycurgus'.]

[Footnote 3: Plutarch in 'Life of Phocion'.]

* * * * *

No. 189. Saturday, October 6, 1711. Addison.

'... Patriae pietatis imago.'


The following Letter being written to my Bookseller, upon a Subject of
which I treated some time since, I shall publish it in this Paper,
together with the Letter that was inclosed in it.

Mr. Buckley,

"Mr. SPECTATOR having of late descanted upon the Cruelty of Parents to
their Children, I have been induced (at the Request of several of Mr.
SPECTATOR'S Admirers) to inclose this Letter, which I assure you is
the Original from a Father to his own Son, notwithstanding the latter
gave but little or no Provocation. It would be wonderfully obliging to
the World, if Mr. SPECTATOR would give his Opinion of it, in some of
his Speculations, and particularly to"

(Mr. Buckley)

Your Humble Servant.


"You are a sawcy audacious Rascal, and both Fool and Mad, and I care
not a Farthing whether you comply or no; that does not raze out my
Impressions of your Insolence, going about Railing at me, and the next
Day to sollicit my Favour: These are Inconsistencies, such as discover
thy Reason depraved. To be brief, I never desire to see your Face;
and, Sirrah, if you go to the Work-house, it is no Disgrace to me for
you to be supported there; and if you Starve in the Streets, I'll
never give any thing underhand in your Behalf. If I have any more of
your scribling Nonsense I'll break your Head the first Time I set
Sight on you. You are a stubborn Beast; is this your Gratitude for my
giving you Mony? You Rogue, I'll better your Judgment, and give you a
greater Sense of your Duty to (I regret to say)
your Father, &c."

"P.S. It's Prudence for you to keep out of my Sight; for to reproach
me, that Might overcomes Right, on the Outside of your Letter, I shall
give you a great Knock on the Skull for it."

Was there ever such an Image of Paternal Tenderness! It was usual among
some of the Greeks to make their Slaves drink to Excess, and then expose
them to their Children, who by that means conceived an early Aversion to
a Vice which makes Men appear so monstrous and irrational. I have
exposed this Picture of an unnatural Father with the same Intention,
that its Deformity may deter others from its Resemblance. If the Reader
has a mind to see a Father of the same Stamp represented in the most
exquisite Stroaks of Humour, he may meet with it in one of the finest
Comedies that ever appeared upon the _English_ Stage: I mean the Part of
Sir _Sampson_ [1] in 'Love for Love'.

I must not however engage my self blindly on the Side of the Son, to
whom the fond Letter above-written was directed. His Father calls him a
_sawcy and audacious Rascal_ in the first Line, and I am afraid upon
Examination he will prove but an ungracious Youth. _To go about railing_
at his Father, and to find no other Place but _the Outside of his
Letter_ to tell him _that Might overcomes Right_, if it does not
discover _his Reason to be depraved_, and _that he is either Fool or
Mad_, as the cholerick old Gentleman tells him, we may at least allow
that the Father will do very well in endeavouring to _better his
Judgment, and give him a greater Sense of his Duty_. But whether this
may be brought about by _breaking his Head_, or _giving him a great
Knock on the Skull_, ought, I think, to be well considered. Upon the
whole, I wish the Father has not met with his Match, and that he may not
be as equally paired with a Son, as the Mother in _Virgil_.

... Crudelis tu quoque mater:
Crudelis mater magis an puer Improbus ille?
Improbus ille puer, crudelis tu quoque mater. [2]

Or like the Crow and her Egg, in the _Greek_ Proverb,

[Greek (transliterated): Kakou korakos kakhon oon. [3]]

I must here take Notice of a Letter which I have received from an
unknown Correspondent, upon the Subject of my Paper, upon which the
foregoing Letter is likewise founded. The Writer of it seems very much
concerned lest that Paper should seem to give Encouragement to the
Disobedience of Children towards their Parents; but if the Writer of it
will take the Pains to read it over again attentively, I dare say his
Apprehensions will vanish. Pardon and Reconciliation are all the
Penitent Daughter requests, and all that I contend for in her Behalf;
and in this Case I may use the Saying of an eminent Wit, who, upon some
great Men pressing him to forgive his Daughter who had married against
his Consent, told them he could refuse nothing to their Instances, but
that he would have them remember there was Difference between Giving and

I must confess, in all Controversies between Parents and their Children,
I am naturally prejudiced in favour of the former. The Obligations on
that Side can never be acquitted, and I think it is one of the greatest
Reflections upon Human Nature that Parental Instinct should be a
stronger Motive to Love than Filial Gratitude; that the receiving of
Favours should be a less Inducement to Good-will, Tenderness and
Commiseration, than the conferring of them; and that the taking care of
any Person should endear the Child or Dependant more to the Parent or
Benefactor, than the Parent or Benefactor to the Child or Dependant; yet
so it happens, that for one cruel Parent we meet with a thousand
undutiful Children. This is indeed wonderfully contrived (as I have
formerly observed) for the Support of every living Species; but at the
same time that it shews the Wisdom of the Creator, it discovers the
Imperfection and Degeneracy of the Creature.

The Obedience of Children to their Parents is the Basis of all
Government, and set forth as the Measure of that Obedience which we owe
to those whom Providence hath placed over us.

It is Father Le Conte, [4] if I am not mistaken, who tells us how Want
of Duty in this Particular is punished among the Chinese, insomuch that
if a Son should be known to kill, or so much as to strike his Father,
not only the Criminal but his whole Family would be rooted out, nay the
Inhabitants of the Place where he lived would be put to the Sword, nay
the Place itself would be razed to the Ground, and its Foundations sown
with Salt; For, say they, there must have been an utter Depravation of
Manners in that Clan or Society of People who could have bred up among
them so horrible an Offender. To this I shall add a Passage out of the
first Book of Herodotus. That Historian in his Account of the Persian
Customs and Religion tells us, It is their Opinion that no Man ever
killed his Father, or that it is possible such a Crime should be in
Nature; but that if any thing like it should ever happen, they conclude
that the reputed Son must have been Illegitimate, Supposititious, or
begotten in Adultery. Their Opinion in this Particular shews
sufficiently what a Notion they must have had of Undutifulness in


[Footnote 1: Sir Sampson Legend in Congreve's play, which ends with the
heroine's 'punishing an inhuman father and rewarding a faithful lover.']

[Footnote 2: Ecl. 8.]

[Footnote 3: Of bad Crow bad Egg.]

[Footnote 4: 'Present State of China,' Part 2. Letter to the Cardinal

* * * * *

No. 190. Monday, October 8, 1711. Steele.

'Servitus crescit nova ...'


Since I made some Reflections upon the general Negligence used in the
Case of Regard towards Women, or, in other Words, since I talked of
Wenching, I have had Epistles upon that Subject, which I shall, for the
present Entertainment, insert as they lye before me.


'As your Speculations are not confined to any Part of Humane Life, but
concern the Wicked as well as the Good, I must desire your favourable
Acceptance of what I, a poor stroling Girl about Town, have to say to
you. I was told by a Roman Catholic Gentleman who picked me up last
Week, and who, I hope, is absolved for what passed between us; I say I
was told by such a Person, who endeavoured to convert me to his own
Religion, that in Countries where Popery prevails, besides the
Advantage of licensed Stews, there are large Endowments given for the
Incurabili, I think he called them, such as are past all Remedy, and
are allowed such Maintenance and Support as to keep them without
further Care till they expire. This manner of treating poor Sinners
has, methinks, great Humanity in it; and as you are a Person who
pretend to carry your Reflections upon all Subjects, whatever occur to
you, with Candour, and act above the Sense of what Misinterpretation
you may meet with, I beg the Favour of you to lay before all the World
the unhappy Condition of us poor Vagrants, who are really in a Way of
Labour instead of Idleness. There are Crowds of us whose Manner of
Livelihood has long ceased to be pleasing to us; and who would
willingly lead a new Life, if the Rigour of the Virtuous did not for
ever expel us from coming into the World again. As it now happens, to
the eternal Infamy of the Male Sex, Falshood among you is not
reproachful, but Credulity in Women is infamous.

Give me Leave, Sir, to give you my History. You are to know that I am
a Daughter of a Man of a good Reputation, Tenant to a Man of Quality.
The Heir of this great House took it in his Head to cast a favourable
Eye upon me, and succeeded. I do not pretend to say he promised me
Marriage: I was not a Creature silly enough to be taken by so foolish
a Story: But he ran away with me up to this Town; and introduced me to
a grave Matron, with whom I boarded for a Day or two with great
Gravity, and was not a little pleased with the Change of my Condition,
from that of a Country Life to the finest Company, as I believed, in
the whole World. My humble Servant made me to understand that I should
be always kept in the plentiful Condition I then enjoyed; when after a
very great Fondness towards me, he one Day took his Leave of me for
four or five Days. In the Evening of the same Day my good Landlady
came to me, and observing me very pensive began to comfort me, and
with a Smile told me I must see the World. When I was deaf to all she
could say to divert me, she began to tell me with a very frank Air
that I must be treated as I ought, and not take these squeamish
Humours upon me, for my Friend had left me to the Town; and, as their
Phrase is, she expected I would see Company, or I must be treated like
what I had brought my self to. This put me into a Fit of Crying: And I
immediately, in a true Sense of my Condition, threw myself on the
Floor, deploring my Fate, calling upon all that was good and sacred to
succour me. While I was in all my Agony, I observed a decrepid old
Fellow come into the Room, and looking with a Sense of Pleasure in his
Face at all my Vehemence and Transport. In a Pause of my Distress I
heard him say to the shameless old Woman who stood by me, She is
certainly a new Face, or else she acts it rarely. With that the
Gentlewoman, who was making her Market of me, in all the Turn of my
Person, the Heaves of my Passion, and the suitable Changes of my
Posture, took Occasion to commend my Neck, my Shape, my Eyes, my
Limbs. All this was accompanied with such Speeches as you may have
heard Horse-coursers make in the Sale of Nags, when they are warranted
for their Soundness. You understand by this Time that I was left in a
Brothel, and exposed to the next Bidder that could purchase me of my
Patroness. This is so much the Work of Hell; the Pleasure in the
Possession of us Wenches, abates in proportion to the Degrees we go
beyond the Bounds of Innocence; and no Man is gratified, if there is
nothing left for him to debauch. Well, Sir, my first Man, when I came
upon the Town, was Sir _Jeoffry Foible,_ who was extremely lavish
to me of his Money, and took such a Fancy to me that he would have
carried me off, if my Patroness would have taken any reasonable Terms
for me: But as he was old, his Covetousness was his strongest Passion,
and poor I was soon left exposed to be the common Refuse of all the
Rakes and Debauchees in Town. I cannot tell whether you will do me
Justice or no, till I see whether you print this or not; otherwise, as
I now live with Sal, I could give you a very just Account of who and
who is together in this Town. You perhaps won't believe it; but I know
of one who pretends to be a very good Protestant who lies with a
Roman-Catholick: But more of this hereafter, as you please me. There
do come to our House the greatest Politicians of the Age; and Sal is
more shrewd than any Body thinks: No Body can believe that such wise
Men could go to Bawdy-houses out of idle Purposes; I have heard them
often talk of Augustus Caesar, who had Intrigues with the Wives of
Senators, not out of Wantonness but Stratagem.

it is a thousand Pities you should be so severely virtuous as I fear
you are; otherwise, after a Visit or two, you would soon understand
that we Women of the Town are not such useless Correspondents as you
may imagine: You have undoubtedly heard that it was a Courtesan who
discovered Cataline's Conspiracy. If you print this I'll tell you
more; and am in the mean time, SIR.

Your most humble Servant, REBECCA NETTLETOP.


'I am an idle young Woman that would work for my Livelihood, but that
I am kept in such a Manner as I cannot stir out. My Tyrant is an old
jealous Fellow, who allows me nothing to appear in. I have but one
Shooe and one Slipper; no Head-dress, and no upper Petticoat. As you
set up for a Reformer, I desire you would take me out of this wicked
Way, and keep me your self.



'I am to complain to you of a Set of impertinent Coxcombs, who visit
the Apartments of us Women of the Town, only, as they call it, to see
the World. I must confess to you, this to Men of Delicacy might have
an Effect to cure them; but as they are stupid, noisy and drunken
Fellows, it tends only to make Vice in themselves, as they think,
pleasant and humourous, and at the same Time nauseous in us. I shall,
Sir, hereafter from Time to Time give you the Names of these Wretches
who pretend to enter our Houses meerly as Spectators. These Men think
it Wit to use us ill: Pray tell them, however worthy we are of such
Treatment, it is unworthy them to be guilty of it towards us. Pray,
Sir, take Notice of this, and pity the Oppressed: I wish we could add
to it, the Innocent.


* * * * *

No. 191. Tuesday, October 9, 1711. Addison.

[Greek: ... oulon oneiron.]

Some ludicrous Schoolmen have put the Case, that if an Ass were placed
between two Bundles of Hay, which affected his Senses equally on each
Side, and tempted him in the very same Degree, whether it would be
possible for him to Eat of either. They generally determine this
Question to the Disadvantage of the Ass, who they say would starve in
the Midst of Plenty, as not having a single Grain of Freewill to
determine him more to the one than to the other. The Bundle of Hay on
either Side striking his Sight and Smell in the same Proportion, would
keep him in a perpetual Suspence, like the two Magnets which, Travellers
have told us, are placed one of them in the Roof, and the other in the
Floor of Mahomet's Burying-place at Mecca, and by that means, say they,
pull the Impostor's Iron Coffin with such an equal Attraction, that it
hangs in the Air between both of them. As for the Ass's Behaviour in
such nice Circumstances, whether he would Starve sooner than violate his
Neutrality to the two Bundles of Hay, I shall not presume to determine;
but only take Notice of the Conduct of our own Species in the same
Perplexity. When a Man has a mind to venture his Money in a Lottery,
every Figure of it appears equally alluring, and as likely to succeed as
any of its Fellows. They all of them have the same Pretensions to good
Luck, stand upon the same foot of Competition, and no manner of Reason
can be given why a Man should prefer one to the other before the Lottery
is drawn. In this Case therefore Caprice very often acts in the Place of
Reason, and forms to it self some Groundless Imaginary Motive, where
real and substantial ones are wanting. I know a well-meaning Man that is
very well pleased to risque his good Fortune upon the Number 1711,
because it is the Year of our Lord. I am acquainted with a Tacker that
would give a good deal for the Number 134. [1] On the contrary I have
been told of a certain Zealous Dissenter, who being a great Enemy to
Popery, and believing that bad Men are the most fortunate in this World,
will lay two to one on the Number [666 [2]] against any other Number,
because, says he, it is the Number of the Beast. Several would prefer
the Number 12000 before any other, as it is the Number of the Pounds in
the great Prize. In short, some are pleased to find their own Age in
their Number; some that they have got a number which makes a pretty
Appearance in the Cyphers, and others, because it is the same Number
that succeeded in the last Lottery. Each of these, upon no other
Grounds, thinks he stands fairest for the great Lot, and that he is
possessed of what may not be improperly called the Golden Number.

These Principles of Election are the Pastimes and Extravagancies of
Human Reason, which is of so busie a Nature, that it will be exerting it
self in the meanest Trifles and working even when it wants Materials.
The wisest of Men are sometimes acted by such unaccountable Motives, as
the Life of the Fool and the Superstitious is guided by nothing else.

I am surprized that none of the Fortune-tellers, or, as the French call
them, the Diseurs de bonne Avanture, who Publish their Bills in every
Quarter of the Town, have not turned our Lotteries to their Advantage;
did any of them set up for a Caster of fortunate Figures, what might he
not get by his pretended Discoveries and Predictions?

I remember among the Advertisements in the Post-Boy of September the
27th, I was surprized to see the following one:

This is to give notice, That Ten Shillings over and above the
Market-Price, will be given for the Ticket in the L1 500 000 Lottery,
No. 132, by Nath. Cliff at the Bible and Three Crowns in Cheapside.

This Advertisement has given great Matter of Speculation to Coffee-house
Theorists. Mr. Cliff's Principles and Conversation have been canvassed
upon this Occasion, and various Conjectures made why he should thus set
his Heart upon Number 132. I have examined all the Powers in those
Numbers, broken them into Fractions, extracted the Square and Cube Root,
divided and multiplied them all Ways, but could not arrive at the Secret
till about three Days ago, when I received the following Letter from an
unknown Hand, by which I find that Mr. Nathaniel Cliff is only the
Agent, and not the Principal, in this Advertisement.


'I am the Person that lately advertised I would give ten Shillings
more than the current Price for the Ticket No. 132 in the Lottery now
drawing; which is a Secret I have communicated to some Friends, who
rally me incessantly upon that Account. You must know I have but one
Ticket, for which Reason, and a certain Dream I have lately had more
than once, I was resolved it should be the Number I most approved. I
am so positive I have pitched upon the great Lot, that I could almost
lay all I am worth of it. My Visions are so frequent and strong upon
this Occasion, that I have not only possessed the Lot, but disposed of
the Money which in all probability it will sell for. This Morning, in
particular, I set up an Equipage which I look upon to be the gayest in
the Town. The Liveries are very Rich, but not Gaudy. I should be very
glad to see a Speculation or two upon lottery Subjects, in which you
would oblige all People concerned, and in particular

'Your most humble Servant,

'George Gossling.

'P.S. Dear SPEC, if I get the 12 000 Pound, I'll make thee a handsome

After having wished my Correspondent good Luck, and thanked him for his
intended Kindness, I shall for this time dismiss the Subject of the
Lottery, and only observe that the greatest Part of Mankind are in some
degree guilty of my Friend Gossling's Extravagance. We are apt to rely
upon future Prospects, and become really expensive while we are only
rich in Possibility. We live up to our Expectations, not to our
Possessions, and make a Figure proportionable to what we may be, not
what we are. We out-run our present Income, as not doubting to disburse
our selves out of the Profits of some future Place, Project, or
Reversion, that we have in view. It is through this Temper of Mind,
which is so common among us, that we see Tradesmen break, who have met
with no Misfortunes in their Business; and Men of Estates reduced to
Poverty, who have never suffered from Losses or Repairs, Tenants, Taxes,
or Law-suits. In short, it is this foolish sanguine Temper, this
depending upon Contingent Futurities, that occasions Romantick
Generosity, Chymerical Grandeur, Senseless Ostentation, and generally
ends in Beggary and Ruin. The Man, who will live above his present
Circumstances, is in great Danger of living in a little time much
beneath them, or, as the Italian Proverb runs, The Man who lives by Hope
will die by Hunger.

It should be an indispensable Rule in Life, to contract our Desires to
our present Condition, and whatever may be our Expectations, to live
within the compass of what we actually possess. It will be Time enough
to enjoy an Estate when it comes into our Hands; but if we anticipate
our good Fortune, we shall lose the Pleasure of it when it arrives, and
may possibly never possess what we have so foolishly counted upon.


[Footnote 1: The number of the minority who were in 1704 for Tacking a
Bill against Occasional Conformity to a Money Bill.]

[Footnote 2: "1666", and in first reprint.]

* * * * *

No. 192. Wednesday, October 10, 1711. Steele.

'... Uni ore omnes omnia
Bona dicere, et Laudare fortunas meas,
Qui Gnatum haberem tali ingenio proeditum.'


I Stood the other Day, and beheld a Father sitting in the Middle of a
Room with a large Family of Children about him; and methought I could
observe in his Countenance different Motions of Delight, as he turned
his Eye towards the one and the other of them. The Man is a Person
moderate in his Designs for their Preferment and Welfare; and as he has
an easy Fortune, he is not sollicitous to make a great one. His eldest
Son is a Child of a very towardly Disposition, and as much as the Father
loves him, I dare say he will never be a Knave to improve his Fortune. I
do not know any Man who has a juster Relish of Life than the Person I am
speaking of, or keeps a better Guard against the Terrors of Want or the
Hopes of Gain. It is usual in a Crowd of Children, for the Parent to
name out of his own Flock all the great Officers of the Kingdom. There
is something so very surprizing in the Parts of a Child of a Man's own,
that there is nothing too great to be expected from his Endowments. I
know a good Woman who has but three Sons, and there is, she says,
nothing she expects with more Certainty, than that she shall see one of
them a Bishop, the other a Judge, and the third a Court Physician. The
Humour is, that any thing which can happen to any Man's Child, is
expected by every Man for his own. But my Friend whom I was going to
speak of, does not flatter himself with such vain Expectations, but has
his Eye more upon the Virtue and Disposition of his Children, than their
Advancement or Wealth. Good Habits are what will certainly improve a
Man's Fortune and Reputation; but on the other side, Affluence of
Fortune will not as probably produce good Affections of the Mind.

It is very natural for a Man of a kind Disposition to amuse himself with
the Promises his Imagination makes to him of the future Condition of his
Children, and to represent to himself the Figure they shall bear in the
World after he has left it. When his Prospects of this Kind are
agreeable, his Fondness gives as it were a longer Date to his own Life;
and the Survivorship of a worthy Man [in [1]] his Son is a Pleasure
scarce inferior to the Hopes of the Continuance of his own Life. That
Man is happy who can believe of his Son, that he will escape the Follies
and Indiscretions of which he himself was guilty, and pursue and improve
every thing that was valuable in him. The Continuance of his Virtue is
much more to be regarded than that of his Life; but it is the most
lamentable of all Reflections, to think that the Heir of a Man's Fortune
is such a one as will be a Stranger to his Friends, alienated from the
same Interests, and a Promoter of every thing which he himself
disapproved. An Estate in Possession of such a Successor to a good Man,
is worse than laid waste; and the Family of which he is the Head, is in
a more deplorable Condition than that of being extinct.

When I visit the agreeable Seat of my honoured Friend Ruricola, and walk
from Room to Room revolving many pleasing Occurrences, and the
Expressions of many just Sentiments I have heard him utter, and see the
Booby his Heir in Pain while he is doing the Honours of his House to the
Friend of his Father, the Heaviness it gives one is not to be expressed.
Want of Genius is not to be imputed to any Man, but Want of Humanity is
a Man's own Fault. The Son of Ruricola, (whose Life was one continued
Series of worthy Actions and Gentleman-like Inclinations) is the
Companion of drunken Clowns, and knows no Sense of Praise but in the
Flattery he receives from his own Servants; his Pleasures are mean and
inordinate, his Language base and filthy, [his [2]] Behaviour rough and
absurd. Is this Creature to be accounted the Successor of a Man of
Virtue, Wit and Breeding? At the same time that I have this melancholy
Prospect at the House where I miss my old Friend, I can go to a
Gentleman's not far off it, where he has a Daughter who is the Picture
both of his Body and Mind, but both improved with the Beauty and Modesty
peculiar to her Sex. It is she who supplies the Loss of her Father to
the World; she, without his Name or Fortune, is a truer Memorial of him,
than her Brother who succeeds him in both. Such an Offspring as the
eldest Son of my Friend, perpetuates his Father in the same manner as
the Appearance of his Ghost would: It is indeed Ruricola, but it is
Ruricola grown frightful.

I know not to what to attribute the brutal Turn which this young Man has
taken, except it may be to a certain Severity and Distance which his
Father used towards him, and might, perhaps, have occasioned a Dislike
to those Modes of Life which were not made amiable to him by Freedom and

We may promise our selves that no such Excrescence will appear in the
Family of the Cornelii, where the Father lives with his Sons like their
eldest Brother, and the Sons converse with him as if they did it for no
other Reason but that he is the wisest Man of their Acquaintance. As the
Cornelii are eminent Traders, their good Correspondence with each other
is useful to all that know them, as well as to themselves: And their
Friendship, Good-will and kind Offices, are disposed of jointly as well
as their Fortune, so that no one ever obliged one of them, who had not
the Obligation multiplied in Returns from them all.

It is the most beautiful Object the Eyes of Man can behold, to see a Man
of Worth and his Son live in an entire unreserved Correspondence. The
mutual Kindness and Affection between them give an inexpressible
Satisfaction to all who know them. It is a sublime Pleasure which
encreases by the Participation. It is as sacred as Friendship, as
pleasurable as Love, and as joyful as Religion. This State of Mind does
not only dissipate Sorrow, which would be extream without it, but
enlarges Pleasures which would otherwise be contemptible. The most
indifferent thing has its Force and Beauty when it is spoke by a kind
Father, and an insignificant Trifle has it's Weight when offered by a
dutiful Child. I know not how to express it, but I think I may call it a
transplanted Self-love. All the Enjoyments and Sufferings which a Man
meets with are regarded only as they concern him in the Relation he has
to another. A Man's very Honour receives a new Value to him, when he
thinks that, when he is in his Grave, it will be had in Remembrance that
such an Action was done by such a one's Father. Such Considerations
sweeten the old Man's Evening, and his Soliloquy delights him when he
can say to himself, No Man can tell my Child his Father was either
unmerciful or unjust: My Son shall meet many a Man who shall say to him,
I was obliged to thy Father, and be my Child a Friend to his Child for

It is not in the Power of all Men to leave illustrious Names or great
Fortunes to their Posterity, but they can very much conduce to their
having Industry, Probity, Valour and Justice: It is in every Man's Power
to leave his Son the Honour of descending from a virtuous Man, and add
the Blessings of Heaven to whatever he leaves him. I shall end this
Rhapsody with a Letter to an excellent young Man of my Acquaintance, who
has lately lost a worthy Father.

Dear Sir,

'I know no Part of Life more impertinent than the Office of
administring Consolation: I will not enter into it, for I cannot but
applaud your Grief. The virtuous Principles you had from that
excellent Man whom you have lost, have wrought in you as they ought,
to make a Youth of Three and Twenty incapable of Comfort upon coming
into Possession of a great Fortune. I doubt not but that you will
honour his Memory by a modest Enjoyment of his Estate; and scorn to
triumph over his Grave, by employing in Riot, Excess, and Debauchery,
what he purchased with so much Industry, Prudence, and Wisdom. This is
the true Way to shew the Sense you have of your Loss, and to take away
the Distress of others upon the Occasion. You cannot recal your Father
by your Grief, but you may revive him to his Friends by your Conduct.'


[Footnote 1: "to", and in the first reprint.]

[Footnote 2: and his]

* * * * *

No. 193. Thursday, October 11, 1711. Steele.

'... Ingentem foribus domus alta superbis
Mane salutantum totis vomit oedibus undam.'


When we look round us, and behold the strange Variety of Faces and
Persons which fill the Streets with Business and Hurry, it is no
unpleasant Amusement to make Guesses at their different Pursuits, and
judge by their Countenances what it is that so anxiously engages their
present Attention. Of all this busie Crowd, there are none who would
give a Man inclined to such Enquiries better Diversion for his Thoughts,
than those whom we call good Courtiers, and such as are assiduous at the
Levees of Great Men. These Worthies are got into an Habit of being
servile with an Air, and enjoy a certain Vanity in being known for
understanding how the World passes. In the Pleasure of this they can
rise early, go abroad sleek and well-dressed, with no other Hope or
Purpose, but to make a Bow to a Man in Court-Favour, and be thought, by
some insignificant Smile of his, not a little engaged in his Interests
and Fortunes. It is wondrous, that a Man can get over the natural
Existence and Possession of his own Mind so far, as to take Delight
either in paying or receiving such cold and repeated Civilities. But
what maintains the Humour is, that outward Show is what most Men pursue,
rather than real Happiness. Thus both the Idol and Idolater equally
impose upon themselves in pleasing their Imaginations this way. But as
there are very many of her Majesty's good Subjects, who are extreamly
uneasie at their own Seats in the Country, where all from the Skies to
the Centre of the Earth is their own, and have a mighty longing to shine
in Courts, or be Partners in the Power of the World; I say, for the
Benefit of these, and others who hanker after being in the Whisper with
great Men, and vexing their Neighbours with the Changes they would be
capable of making in the Appearance at a Country Sessions, it would not
methinks be amiss to give an Account of that Market for Preferment, a
great Man's Levee.

For ought I know, this Commerce between the Mighty and their Slaves,
very justly represented, might do so much good as to incline the Great
to regard Business rather than Ostentation; and make the Little know the
Use of their Time too well, to spend it in vain Applications and

The famous Doctor in _Moorfields_, who gained so much Reputation for his
Horary Predictions, is said to have had in his Parlour different Ropes
to little Bells which hung in the Room above Stairs, where the Doctor
thought fit to be oraculous. If a Girl had been deceived by her Lover,
one Bell was pulled; and if a Peasant had lost a Cow, the [Servant [1]]
rung another. This Method was kept in respect to all other Passions and
Concerns, and [the skillful Waiter below [2]] sifted the Enquirer, and
gave the Doctor Notice accordingly. The Levee of a great Man is laid
after the same manner, and twenty Whispers, false Alarms, and private
Intimations, pass backward and forward from the Porter, the Valet, and
the Patron himself, before the gaping Crew who are to pay their Court
are gathered together: When the Scene is ready, the Doors fly open and
discover his Lordship.

There are several Ways of making this first Appearance: you may be
either half dressed, and washing your self, which is indeed the most
stately; but this Way of Opening is peculiar to Military Men, in whom
there is something graceful in exposing themselves naked; but the
Politicians, or Civil Officers, have usually affected to be more
reserved, and preserve a certain Chastity of Deportment. Whether it be
Hieroglyphical or not, this Difference in the Military and Civil List,
[I will not say;] but [have [3]] ever understood the Fact to be, that
the close Minister is buttoned up, and the brave Officer open-breasted
on these Occasions.

However that is, I humbly conceive the Business of a Levee is to receive
the Acknowledgments of a Multitude, that a Man is Wise, [Bounteous, [4]]
Valiant and Powerful. When the first Shot of Eyes [is [5]] made, it is
wonderful to observe how much Submission the Patron's Modesty can bear,
and how much Servitude the Client's Spirit can descend to. In the vast
Multiplicity of Business, and the Crowd about him, my Lord's Parts are
usually so great, that, to the Astonishment of the whole Assembly, he
has something to say to every Man there, and that so suitable to his
Capacity, as any Man may judge that it is not without Talents that Men
can arrive at great Employments. I have known a great Man ask a
Flag-Officer, which way was the Wind, a Commander of Horse the present
Price of Oats, and a Stock-jobber at what Discount such a Fund was, with
as much Ease as if he had been bred to each of those several Ways of
Life. Now this is extreamly obliging; for at the same time that the
Patron informs himself of Matters, he gives the Person of whom he
enquires an Opportunity to exert himself. What adds to the Pomp of those
Interviews is, that it is performed with the greatest Silence and Order
Imaginable. The Patron is usually in the midst of the Room, and some
humble Person gives him a Whisper, which his Lordship answers aloud, It
is well. Yes, I am of your Opinion. Pray inform yourself further, you
may be sure of my Part in it. This happy Man is dismissed, and my Lord
can turn himself to a Business of a quite different Nature, and offhand
give as good an Answer as any great Man is obliged to. For the chief
Point is to keep in Generals, and if there be any thing offered that's
Particular, to be in haste.

But we are now in the Height of the Affair, and my Lord's Creatures have
all had their Whispers round to keep up the Farce of the thing, and the
Dumb Show is become more general. He casts his Eye to that Corner, and
there to Mr. such-a-one; to the other, and when did you come to Town?
And perhaps just before he nods to another, and enters with him, but,
Sir, I am glad to see you, now I think of it. Each of those are happy
for the next four and twenty Hours; and those who bow in Ranks
undistinguished, and by Dozens at a Time, think they have very good
Prospects if they hope to arrive at such Notices half a Year hence.

The Satyrist says, [6] there is seldom common Sense in high Fortune; and
one would think, to behold a Levee, that the Great were not only
infatuated with their Station, but also that they believed all below
were seized too; else how is it possible that they could think of
imposing upon themselves and others in such a degree, as to set up a
Levee for any thing but a direct Farce? But such is the Weakness of our
Nature, that when Men are a little exalted in their Condition, they
immediately conceive they have additional Senses, and their Capacities
enlarged not only above other Men, but above human Comprehension it
self. Thus it is ordinary to see a great Man attend one listning, bow to
one at a distance, and call to a third at the same instant. A Girl in
new Ribbands is not more taken with her self, nor does she betray more
apparent Coquetries, than even a wise Man in such a Circumstance of
Courtship. I do not know any thing that I ever thought so very
distasteful as the Affectation which is recorded of Caesar, to wit, that
he would dictate to three several Writers at the same time. This was an
Ambition below the Greatness and Candour of his Mind. He indeed (if any
Man had Pretensions to greater Faculties than any other Mortal) was the
Person; but such a Way of acting is Childish, and inconsistent with the
Manner of our Being. And it appears from the very Nature of Things, that
there cannot be any thing effectually dispatched in the Distraction of a
Publick Levee: but the whole seems to be a Conspiracy of a Set of
Servile Slaves, to give up their own Liberty to take away their Patron's


[Footnote 1: Rope]

[Footnote 2: a skilful servant]

[Footnote 3: I have]

[Footnote 4: Beauteous, and in first reprint.]

[Footnote 5: are]

[Footnote 6: Juvenal, viii, 73.]

* * * * *

No. 194. Friday, October 12, 1711. Steele.

'... Difficili Bile Tumet Jecur.'


The present Paper shall consist of two Letters, which observe upon
Faults that are easily cured both in Love and Friendship. In the latter,
as far as it meerly regards Conversation, the Person who neglects
visiting an agreeable Friend is punished in the very Transgression; for
a good Companion is not found in every Room we go into. But the Case of
Love is of a more delicate Nature, and the Anxiety is inexpressible if
every little Instance of Kindness is not reciprocal. There are Things in
this Sort of Commerce which there are not Words to express, and a Man
may not possibly know how to represent, what yet may tear his Heart into
ten thousand Tortures. To be grave to a Man's Mirth, unattentive to his
Discourse, or to interrupt either with something that argues a
Disinclination to be entertained by him, has in it something so
disagreeable, that the utmost Steps which may be made in further Enmity
cannot give greater Torment. The gay _Corinna_, who sets up for an
Indifference and becoming Heedlessness, gives her Husband all the
Torment imaginable out of meer Insolence, with this peculiar Vanity,
that she is to look as gay as a Maid in the Character of a Wife. It is
no Matter what is the Reason of a Man's Grief, if it be heavy as it is.
Her unhappy Man is convinced that she means him no Dishonour, but pines
to Death because she will not have so much Deference to him as to avoid
the Appearances of it. The Author of the following Letter is perplexed
with an Injury that is in a Degree yet less criminal, and yet the Source
of the utmost Unhappiness.


I have read your Papers which relate to Jealousy, and desire your
Advice in my Case, which you will say is not common. I have a Wife, of
whose Virtue I am not in the least doubtful; yet I cannot be satisfied
she loves me, which gives me as great Uneasiness as being faulty the
other Way would do. I know not whether I am not yet more miserable
than in that Case, for she keeps Possession of my Heart, without the
Return of hers. I would desire your Observations upon that Temper in
some Women, who will not condescend to convince their Husbands of
their Innocence or their Love, but are wholly negligent of what
Reflections the poor Men make upon their Conduct (so they cannot call
it Criminal,) when at the same time a little Tenderness of Behaviour,
or Regard to shew an Inclination to please them, would make them
Entirely at Ease. Do not such Women deserve all the Misinterpretation
which they neglect to avoid? Or are they not in the actual Practice of
Guilt, who care not whether they are thought guilty or not? If my Wife
does the most ordinary thing, as visiting her Sister, or taking the
Air with her Mother, it is always carried with the Air of a Secret:
Then she will sometimes tell a thing of no Consequence, as if it was
only Want of Memory made her conceal it before; and this only to dally
with my Anxiety. I have complained to her of this Behaviour in the
gentlest Terms imaginable, and beseeched her not to use him, who
desired only to live with her like an indulgent Friend, as the most
morose and unsociable Husband in the World. It is no easy Matter to
describe our Circumstance, but it is miserable with this Aggravation,
That it might be easily mended, and yet no Remedy endeavoured. She
reads you, and there is a Phrase or two in this Letter which she will
know came from me. If we enter into an Explanation which may tend to
our future Quiet by your Means, you shall have our joint Thanks: In
the mean time I am (as much as I can in this ambiguous Condition be
any thing) _SIR_,

_Your humble Servant_.


'Give me Leave to make you a Present of a Character not yet described
in your Papers, which is that of a Man who treats his Friend with the
same odd Variety which a Fantastical Female Tyrant practises towards
her Lover. I have for some time had a Friendship with one of these
Mercurial Persons: The Rogue I know loves me, yet takes Advantage of
my Fondness for him to use me as he pleases. We are by Turns the best
Friends and the greatest Strangers imaginable; Sometimes you would
think us inseparable; at other Times he avoids me for a long Time, yet
neither he nor I know why. When we meet next by Chance, he is amazed
he has not seen me, is impatient for an Appointment the same Evening:
and when I expect he should have kept it, I have known him slip away
to another Place; where he has sat reading the News, when there is no
Post; smoaking his Pipe, which he seldom cares for; and staring about
him in Company with whom he has had nothing to do, as if he wondered
how he came there.

That I may state my Case to you the more fully, I shall transcribe
some short Minutes I have taken of him in my Almanack since last
Spring; for you must know there are certain Seasons of the Year,
according to which, I will not say our Friendship, but the Enjoyment
of it rises or falls. In _March_ and _April_ he was as various as the
Weather; In _May_ and part of _June_ I found him the sprightliest
best-humoured Fellow in the World; In the Dog-Days he was much upon
the Indolent; In _September_ very agreeable but very busy; and since
the Glass fell last to changeable, he has made three Appointments with
me, and broke them every one. However I have good Hopes of him this
Winter, especially if you will lend me your Assistance to reform him,
which will be a great Ease and Pleasure to,

_Your most humble Servant_.
_October_ 9, 1711.


* * * * *

No. 195. Saturday, October 13, 1711. Addison.

[Greek: Naepioi oud' isasin hos_o pleon haemisu pantos,
Oud' hoson en malachaete de asphodel_o meg honeiar.].--Hes.

There is a Story in the 'Arabian Nights Tales' [1] of a King who had
long languished under an ill Habit of Body, and had taken abundance of
Remedies to no purpose. At length, says the Fable, a Physician cured him
by the following Method: He took an hollow Ball of Wood, and filled it
with several Drugs; after which he clos'd it up so artificially that
nothing appeared. He likewise took a Mall, and after having hollowed the
Handle, and that part which strikes the Ball, he enclosed in them
several Drugs after the same Manner as in the Ball it self. He then
ordered the Sultan, who was his Patient, to exercise himself early in
the Morning with these _rightly prepared_ Instruments, till such time as
he should Sweat: When, as the Story goes, the Vertue of the Medicaments
perspiring through the Wood, had so good an Influence on the Sultan's
Constitution, that they cured him of an Indisposition which all the
Compositions he had taken inwardly had not been able to remove. This
Eastern Allegory is finely contrived to shew us how beneficial bodily
Labour is to Health, and that Exercise is the most effectual Physick. I
have described in my Hundred and Fifteenth Paper, from the general
Structure and Mechanism of an Human Body, how absolutely necessary
Exercise is for its Preservation. I shall in this Place recommend
another great Preservative of Health, which in many Cases produces the
same Effects as Exercise, and may, in some measure, supply its Place,
where Opportunities of Exercise are wanting. The Preservative I am
speaking of is Temperance, which has those particular Advantages above
all other Means of Health, that it may be practised by all Ranks and
Conditions, at any Season or in any Place. It is a kind of Regimen into
which every Man may put himself, without Interruption to Business,
Expence of Mony, or Loss of Time. If Exercise throws off all
Superfluities, Temperance prevents them; if Exercise clears the Vessels,
Temperance neither satiates nor overstrains them; if Exercise raises
proper Ferments in the Humours, and promotes the Circulation of the
Blood, Temperance gives Nature her full Play, and enables her to exert
her self in all her Force and Vigour; if Exercise dissipates a growing
Distemper, Temperance starves it.

Physick, for the most part, is nothing else but the Substitute of
Exercise or Temperance. Medicines are indeed absolutely necessary in
acute Distempers, that cannot wait the slow Operations of these two
great Instruments of Health; but did Men live in an habitual Course of
Exercise and Temperance, there would be but little Occasion for them.
Accordingly we find that those Parts of the World are the most healthy,
where they subsist by the Chace; and that Men lived longest when their
Lives were employed in hunting, and when they had little Food besides
what they caught. Blistering, Cupping, Bleeding, are seldom of use but
to the Idle and Intemperate; as all those inward Applications which are
so much in practice among us, are for the most part nothing else but
Expedients to make Luxury consistent with Health. The Apothecary is
perpetually employed in countermining the Cook and the Vintner. It is
said of Diogenes, [2] that meeting a young Man who was going to a Feast,
he took him up in the Street and carried him home to his Friends, as one
who was running into imminent Danger, had not he prevented him. What
would that Philosopher have said, had he been present at the Gluttony of
a modern Meal? Would not he have thought the Master of a Family mad, and
have begged his Servants to tie down his Hands, had he seen him devour
Fowl, Fish, and Flesh; swallow Oyl and Vinegar, Wines and Spices; throw
down Sallads of twenty different Herbs, Sauces of an hundred
Ingredients, Confections and Fruits of numberless Sweets and Flavours?
What unnatural Motions and Counterferments must such a Medley of
Intemperance produce in the Body? For my Part, when I behold a
fashionable Table set out in all its Magnificence, I fancy that I see
Gouts and Dropsies, Feavers and Lethargies, with other innumerable
Distempers lying in Ambuscade among the Dishes.

Nature delights in the most plain and simple Diet. Every Animal, but
Man, keeps to one Dish. Herbs are the Food of this Species, Fish of
that, and Flesh of a Third. Man falls upon every thing that comes in his
Way, not the smallest Fruit or Excrescence of the Earth, scarce a Berry
or a Mushroom, can escape him.

It is impossible to lay down any determinate Rule for Temperance,
because what is Luxury in one may be Temperance in another; but there
are few that have lived any time in the World, who are not Judges of
their own Constitutions, so far as to know what Kinds and what
Proportions of Food do best agree with them. Were I to consider my
Readers as my Patients, and to prescribe such a Kind of Temperance as is
accommodated to all Persons, and such as is particularly suitable to our
Climate and Way of Living, I would copy the following Rules of a very
eminent Physician. Make your whole Repast out of one Dish. If you
indulge in a second, avoid drinking any thing Strong, till you have
finished your Meal; [at [3]] the same time abstain from all Sauces, or
at least such as are not the most plain and simple. A Man could not be
well guilty of Gluttony, if he stuck to these few obvious and easy
Rules. In the first Case there would be no Variety of Tastes to sollicit
his Palate, and occasion Excess; nor in the second any artificial
Provocatives to relieve Satiety, and create a false Appetite. Were I to
prescribe a Rule for Drinking, it should be form'd upon a Saying quoted
by Sir William Temple; [4] The first Glass for my self, the second for
my Friends, the third for good Humour, and the fourth for mine Enemies.
But because it is impossible for one who lives in the World to diet
himself always in so Philosophical a manner, I think every Man should
have his Days of Abstinence, according as his Constitution will permit.
These are great Reliefs to Nature, as they qualifie her for struggling
with Hunger and Thirst, whenever any Distemper or Duty of Life may put
her upon such Difficulties; and at the same time give her an Opportunity
of extricating her self from her Oppressions, and recovering the several
Tones and Springs of her distended Vessels. Besides that Abstinence well
timed often kills a Sickness in Embryo, and destroys the first Seeds of
an Indisposition. It is observed by two or three Ancient Authors, [5]
that Socrates, notwithstanding he lived in Athens during that great
Plague, which has made so much Noise through all Ages, and has been
celebrated at different Times by such eminent Hands; I say,
notwithstanding that he lived in the time of this devouring Pestilence,
he never caught the least Infection, which those Writers unanimously
ascribe to that uninterrupted Temperance which he always observed.

And here I cannot but mention an Observation which I have often made,
upon reading the Lives of the Philosophers, and comparing them with any
Series of Kings or great Men of the same number. If we consider these
Ancient Sages, a great Part of whose Philosophy consisted in a temperate
and abstemious Course of Life, one would think the Life of a Philosopher
and the Life of a Man were of two different Dates. For we find that the
Generality of these wise Men were nearer an hundred than sixty Years of
Age at the Time of their respective Deaths. But the most remarkable
Instance of the Efficacy of Temperance towards the procuring of long
Life, is what we meet with in a little Book published by Lewis Cornare
the Venetian; which I the rather mention, because it is of undoubted
Credit, as the late Venetian Ambassador, who was of the same Family,
attested more than once in Conversation, when he resided in England.
Cornaro, who was the Author of the little Treatise I am mentioning, was
of an Infirm Constitution, till about forty, when by obstinately
persisting in an exact Course of Temperance, he recovered a perfect
State of Health; insomuch that at fourscore he published his Book, which
has been translated into English upon the Title of [Sure and certain
Methods [6]] of attaining a long and healthy Life. He lived to give a
3rd or 4th Edition of it, and after having passed his hundredth Year,
died without Pain or Agony, and like one who falls asleep. The Treatise
I mention has been taken notice of by several Eminent Authors, and is
written with such a Spirit of Chearfulness, Religion, and good Sense, as
are the natural Concomitants of Temperance and Sobriety. The Mixture of
the old Man in it is rather a Recommendation than a Discredit to it.

Having designed this Paper as the Sequel to that upon Exercise, I have
not here considered Temperance as it is a Moral Virtue, which I shall
make the Subject of a future Speculation, but only as it is the Means of


[Footnote 1: 'The History of the Greek King and Douban the Physician'
told by the Fisherman to the Genie in the story of 'the Fisherman.']

[Footnote 2: Diog. Laert., 'Lives of the Philosophers', Bk. vi. ch. 2.]

[Footnote 3: and at]

[Footnote 4: Sir William Temple does not quote as a saying, but says
himself, near the end of his 'Essay upon Health and Long Life of
Government of Diet and Exercise',

'In both which, all excess is to be avoided, especially in the common
use of wine: Whereof the first Glass may pass for Health, the second
for good Humour, the third for our Friends; but the fourth is for our

[Footnote 5: Diogenes Laertius in 'Life of Socrates'; AElian in 'Var.
Hist.' Bk. xiii.]

[Footnote 6: The Sure Way]

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