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The Spectator, Volume 2. by Addison and Steele

Part 15 out of 19

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Consternation like a Garment. I might give several other Instances out
of Homer, as well as a great many out of Virgil. Milton has likewise
very often made use of the same way of Speaking, as where he tells us,
that Victory sat on the right Hand of the Messiah when he marched forth
against the Rebel Angels; that at the rising of the Sun the Hours
unbarrd the Gates of Light; that Discord was the Daughter of Sin. Of
the same nature are those Expressions, where describing the singing of
the Nightingale, he adds, Silence was pleased; and upon the Messiahs
bidding Peace to the Chaos, Confusion heard his Voice. I might add
innumerable Instances of our Poets writing in this beautiful Figure. It
is plain that these I have mentioned, in which Persons of an imaginary
Nature are introduced, are such short Allegories as are not designed to
be taken in the literal Sense, but only to convey particular
Circumstances to the Reader after an unusual and entertaining Manner.
But when such Persons are introduced as principal Actors, and engaged in
a Series of Adventures, they take too much upon them, and are by no
means proper for an Heroick Poem, which ought to appear credible in its
principal Parts. I cannot forbear therefore thinking that Sin and Death
are as improper Agents in a Work of this nature, as Strength and
Necessity in one of the Tragedies of Eschylus, who represented those two
Persons nailing down Prometheus to a Rock, [5] for which he has been
justly censured by the greatest Criticks. I do not know any imaginary
Person made use of in a more sublime manner of thinking than that in one
of the Prophets, who describing God as descending from Heaven, and
visiting the Sins of Mankind, adds that dreadful Circumstance, Before
him went the Pestilence. [6] It is certain this imaginary Person might
have been described in all her purple Spots. The Fever might have
marched before her, Pain might have stood at her right Hand, Phrenzy on
her Left, and Death in her Rear. She might have been introduced as
gliding down from the Tail of a Comet, or darted upon the Earth in a
Flash of Lightning: She might have tainted the Atmosphere with her
Breath; the very glaring of her Eyes might have scattered Infection. But
I believe every Reader will think, that in such sublime Writings the
mentioning of her as it is done in Scripture, has something in it more
just, as well as great, than all that the most fanciful Poet could have
bestowed upon her in the Richness of his Imagination.


[Footnote 1:

Reddere personae scit convenientia cuique.


[Footnote 2: Revelation vi. 8.]

[Footnote 3: [Sin and Death]]

[Footnote 4: In the fourteenth Book, where Here visits the home of
Sleep, the brother of Death, and offers him the bribe of a gold chain if
he will shut the eyes of Zeus, Sleep does not think it can be done. Here
then doubles her bribe, and offers Sleep a wife, the youngest of the
Graces. Sleep makes her swear by Styx that she will hold to her word,
and when she has done so flies off in her company, sits in the shape of
a night-hawk in a pine tree upon the peak of Ida, whence when Zeus was
subdued by love and sleep, Sleep went down to the ships to tell Poseidon
that now was his time to help the Greeks.]

[Footnote 5: In the Prometheus Bound of AEschylus, the binding of
Prometheus by pitiless Strength, who mocks at compassion in the god
Hephaistos, charged to serve him in this office, opens the sublimest of
the ancient dramas. Addison is wrong in saying that there is a
personification here of Strength and Necessity; Hephaistos does indeed
say that he obeys Necessity, but his personified companions are Strength
and Force, and of these Force appears only as the dumb attendant of
Strength. Addisons greatest critics had something to learn when they
were blind to the significance of the contrast between Visible Strength
at the opening of this poem, and the close with sublime prophecy of an
unseen Power of the Future that disturbs Zeus on his throne, and gathers
his thunders about the undaunted Prometheus.

Now let the shrivelling flame at me be driven,
Let him, with flaky snowstorms and the crash
Of subterraneous thunders, into ruins
And wild confusion hurl and mingle all:
For nought of these will bend me that I speak
Who is foredoomed to cast him from his throne.

(Mrs. Websters translation.)]

[Footnote 6: Habakkuk iii. 5.]

* * * * *

No. 358. Monday, April 21, 1702. Steele.

Desipere in loco.


Charles Lillie attended me the other day, and made me a Present of a
large Sheet of Paper, on which is delineated a Pavement of Mosaick Work,
lately discovered at Stunsfield near Woodstock. [1] A Person who has so
much the Gift of Speech as Mr. Lillie, and can carry on a Discourse
without Reply, had great Opportunity on that Occasion to expatiate upon
so fine a Piece of Antiquity. Among other things, I remember, he gave me
his Opinion, which he drew from the Ornaments of the Work, That this was
the Floor of a Room dedicated to Mirth and Concord. Viewing this Work,
made my Fancy run over the many gay Expressions I had read in ancient
Authors, which contained Invitations to lay aside Care and Anxiety, and
give a Loose to that pleasing Forgetfulness wherein Men put off their
Characters of Business, and enjoy their very Selves. These Hours were
usually passed in Rooms adorned for that purpose, and set out in such a
manner, as the Objects all around the Company gladdened their Hearts;
which, joined to the cheerful Looks of well-chosen and agreeable
Friends, gave new Vigour to the Airy, produced the latent Fire of the
Modest, and gave Grace to the slow Humour of the Reserved. A judicious
Mixture of such Company, crowned with Chaplets of Flowers, and the whole
Apartment glittering with gay Lights, cheared with a Profusion of Roses,
artificial Falls of Water, and Intervals of soft Notes to Songs of Love
and Wine, suspended the Cares of human Life, and made a Festival of
mutual Kindness. Such Parties of Pleasure as these, and the Reports of
the agreeable Passages in their Jollities, have in all Ages awakened the
dull Part of Mankind to pretend to Mirth and Good-Humour, without
Capacity for such Entertainments; for if I may be allowed to say so,
there are an hundred Men fit for any Employment, to one who is capable
of passing a Night in the Company of the first Taste, without shocking
any Member of the Society, over-rating his own Part of the Conversation,
but equally receiving and contributing to the Pleasure of the whole
Company. When one considers such Collections of Companions in past
Times, and such as one might name in the present Age, with how much
Spleen must a Man needs reflect upon the aukward Gayety of those who
affect the Frolick with an ill Grace? I have a Letter from a
Correspondent of mine, who desires me to admonish all loud, mischievous,
airy, dull Companions, that they are mistaken in what they call a
Frolick. Irregularity in its self is not what creates Pleasure and
Mirth; but to see a Man who knows what Rule and Decency are, descend
from them agreeably in our Company, is what denominates him a pleasant
Companion. Instead of that, you find many whose Mirth consists only in
doing Things which do not become them, with a secret Consciousness that
all the World know they know better: To this is always added something
mischievous to themselves or others. I have heard of some very merry
Fellows, among whom the Frolick was started, and passed by a great
Majority, that every Man should immediately draw a Tooth; after which
they have gone in a Body and smoaked a Cobler. The same Company, at
another Night, has each Man burned his Cravat; and one perhaps, whose
Estate would bear it, has thrown a long Wigg and laced Hat into the same
Fire. [2] Thus they have jested themselves stark naked, and ran into the
Streets, and frighted Women very successfully. There is no Inhabitant of
any standing in Covent-Garden, but can tell you a hundred good Humours,
where People have come off with little Blood-shed, and yet scowered all
the witty Hours of the Night. I know a Gentleman that has several Wounds
in the Head by Watch Poles, and has been thrice run through the Body to
carry on a good Jest: He is very old for a Man of so much Good-Humour;
but to this day he is seldom merry, but he has occasion to be valiant at
the same time. But by the Favour of these Gentlemen, I am humbly of
Opinion, that a Man may be a very witty Man, and never offend one
Statute of this Kingdom, not excepting even that of Stabbing.

The Writers of Plays have what they call Unity of Time and Place to give
a Justness to their Representation; and it would not be amiss if all who
pretend to be Companions, would confine their Action to the Place of
Meeting: For a Frolick carried farther may be better performed by other
Animals than Men. It is not to rid much Ground, or do much Mischief,
that should denominate a pleasant Fellow; but that is truly Frolick
which is the Play of the Mind, and consists of various and unforced
Sallies of Imagination. Festivity of Spirit is a very uncommon Talent,
and must proceed from an Assemblage of agreeable Qualities in the same
Person: There are some few whom I think peculiarly happy in it; but it
is a Talent one cannot name in a Man, especially when one considers that
it is never very graceful but where it is regarded by him who possesses
it in the second Place. The best Man that I know of for heightening the
Revel-Gayety of a Company, is Estcourt, [3]--whose Jovial Humour
diffuses itself from the highest Person at an Entertainment to the
meanest Waiter. Merry Tales, accompanied with apt Gestures and lively
Representations of Circumstances and Persons, beguile the gravest Mind
into a Consent to be as humourous as himself. Add to this, that when a
Man is in his good Grace, he has a Mimickry that does not debase the
Person he represents; but which, taking from the Gravity of the
Character, adds to the Agreeableness of it. This pleasant Fellow gives
one some Idea of the ancient Pantomime, who is said to have given the
Audience, in Dumb-show, an exact Idea of any Character or Passion, or an
intelligible Relation of any publick Occurrence, with no other
Expression than that of his Looks and Gestures. If all who have been
obliged to these Talents in Estcourt, will be at Love for Love to-morrow
Night, they will but pay him what they owe him, at so easy a Rate as
being present at a Play which no body would omit seeing, that had, or
had not ever seen it before.

[Footnote 1: In No. 353 and some following numbers of the Spectator
appeared an advertisement of this plate, which was engraved by Vertue.

Whereas about nine weeks since there was accidentally discovered by
an Husbandman, at Stunsfield, near Woodstock, in Oxfordshire, (a large
Pavement of rich Mosaick Work of the Ancient Romans, which is adornd
with several Figures alluding to Mirth and Concord, in particular that
of Bacchus seated on a Panther.) This is to give Notice the Exact
Delineation of the same is Engraven and Imprinted on a large Elephant
sheet of Paper, which are to be sold at Mr. Charles Lillies,
Perfumer, at the corner of Beauford Buildings, in the Strand, at 1s.
N.B. There are to be had, at the same Place, at one Guinea each, on
superfine Atlas Paper, some painted with the same variety of Colours
that the said Pavement is beautified with; this piece of Antiquity is
esteemed by the Learned to be the most considerable ever found in

The fine pavement discovered at Stonesfield in 1711 measures 35 feet by
60, and although by this time groundworks of more than a hundred Roman
villas have been laid open in this country, the Stonesfield mosaic is
still one of the most considerable of its kind.]

[Footnote 2: Said to have been one of the frolics of Sir Charles Sedley.]

[Footnote 3: See note on p. 204, ante [Footnote 1 of No. 264].
Congreves Love for Love was to be acted at Drury Lane on Tuesday night
At the desire of several Ladies of Quality. For the Benefit of Mr.

* * * * *

No. 359. Tuesday, April 22, 1712. Budgell.

Torva leaena lupum sequitur, lupus ipse capellam;
Florentem cytisum sequitur lusciva capella.


As we were at the Club last Night, I observd that my Friend Sir ROGER,
contrary to his usual Custom, sat very silent, and instead of minding
what was said by the Company, was whistling to himself in a very
thoughtful Mood, and playing with a Cork. I joggd Sir ANDREW FREEPORT
who sat between us; and as we were both observing him, we saw the Knight
shake his Head, and heard him say to himself, A foolish Woman! I cant
believe it. Sir ANDREW gave him a gentle Pat upon the Shoulder, and
offered to lay him a Bottle of Wine that he was thinking of the Widow.
My old Friend started, and recovering out of his brown Study, told Sir
ANDREW that once in his Life he had been in the right. In short, after
some little Hesitation, Sir ROGER told us in the fulness of his Heart
that he had just received a Letter from his Steward, which acquainted
him that his old Rival and Antagonist in the County, Sir David Dundrum,
had been making a Visit to the Widow. However, says Sir ROGER, I can
never think that shell have a Man thats half a Year older than I am,
and a noted Republican into the Bargain.

WILL. HONEYCOMB, who looks upon Love as his particular Province,
interrupting our Friend with a janty Laugh; I thought, Knight, says he,
thou hadst lived long enough in the World, not to pin thy Happiness upon
one that is a Woman and a Widow. I think that without Vanity I may
pretend to know as much of the Female World as any Man in Great-Britain,
tho' the chief of my Knowledge consists in this, that they are not to be
known. WILL, immediately, with his usual Fluency, rambled into an
Account of his own Amours. I am now, says he, upon the Verge of Fifty,
(tho' by the way we all knew he was turned of Threescore.) You may
easily guess, continued WILL., that I have not lived so long in the
World without having had some thoughts of settling in it, as the Phrase
is. To tell you truly, I have several times tried my Fortune that way,
though I can't much boast of my Success.

I made my first Addresses to a young Lady in the Country; but when I
thought things were pretty well drawing to a Conclusion, her Father
happening to hear that I had formerly boarded with a Surgeon, the old
Put forbid me his House, and within a Fortnight after married his
Daughter to a Fox-hunter in the Neighbourhood.

I made my next Applications to a Widow, and attacked her so briskly,
that I thought myself within a Fortnight of her. As I waited upon her
one Morning, she told me that she intended to keep her Ready-Money and
Jointure in her own Hand, and desired me to call upon her Attorney in
Lyons-Inn, who would adjust with me what it was proper for me to add to
it. I was so rebuffed by this Overture, that I never enquired either for
her or her Attorney afterwards.

A few Months after I addressed my self to a young Lady, who was an only
Daughter, and of a good Family. I danced with her at several Balls,
squeez'd her by the Hand, said soft things to her, and, in short, made
no doubt of her Heart; and though my Fortune was not equal to hers, I
was in hopes that her fond Father would not deny her the Man she had
fixed her Affections upon. But as I went one day to the House in order
to break the matter to him, I found the whole Family in Confusion, and
heard to my unspeakable Surprize, that Miss Jenny was that very Morning
run away with the Butler.

I then courted a second Widow, and am at a Loss to this day how I came
to miss her, for she had often commended my Person and Behaviour. Her
Maid indeed told me one Day, that her Mistress had said she never saw a
Gentleman with such a Spindle Pair of Legs as Mr. HONEYCOMB.

After this I laid Siege to four Heiresses successively, and being a
handsome young Dog in those Days, quickly made a Breach in their Hearts;
but I don't know how it came to pass, tho I seldom failed of getting the
Daughter's Consent, I could never in my Life get the old People on my

I could give you an Account of a thousand other unsuccessful Attempts,
particularly of one which I made some Years since upon an old Woman,
whom I had certainly borne away with flying Colours, if her Relations
had not come pouring in to her Assistance from all Parts of England;
nay, I believe I should have got her at last, had not she been carried
off by an hard Frost.

As WILL'S Transitions are extremely quick, he turnd from Sir ROGER, and
applying himself to me, told me there was a Passage in the Book I had
considered last Saturday, which deserved to be writ in Letters of Gold;
and taking out a Pocket-Milton read the following Lines, which are Part
of one of Adam's Speeches to Eve after the Fall.

--O! why did our
Creator wise! that peopled highest Heav'n
With Spirits masculine, create at last
This Novelty on Earth, this fair Defect
Of Nature? and not fill the World at once
With Men, as Angels, without Feminine?
Or find some other way to generate
Mankind? This Mischief had not then befall'n,
And more that shall befall; innumerable
Disturbances on Earth through Female Snares,
And strait Conjunction with this Sex: for either
He never shall find out fit Mate, but such
As some misfortune brings him, or mistake;
Or, whom he wishes most, shall seldom gain
Through her perverseness; but shall see her gain'd
By a far worse; or if she love, with-held
By Parents; or his happiest Choice too late
Shall meet already link'd, and Wedlock bound
To a fell Adversary, his Hate or Shame;
Which infinite Calamity shall cause
To human Life, and Household Peace confound. [1]

Sir ROGER listened to this Passage with great Attention, and desiring
Mr. HONEYCOMB to fold down a Leaf at the Place, and lend him his Book,
the Knight put it up in his Pocket, and told us that he would read over
those Verses again before he went to Bed.


[Footnote 1: Paradise Lost, Bk x., ll 898-908.]

* * * * *

No. 360. Wednesday, April 23, 1712. Steele.

--De paupertate tacentes
Plus poscente ferent.


I have nothing to do with the Business of this Day, any further than
affixing the piece of Latin on the Head of my Paper; which I think a
Motto not unsuitable, since if Silence of our Poverty is a
Recommendation, still more commendable is his Modesty who conceals it by
a decent Dress.


There is an Evil under the Sun which has not yet come within your
Speculation; and is, the Censure, Disesteem, and Contempt which some
young Fellows meet with from particular Persons, for the reasonable
Methods they take to avoid them in general. This is by appearing in a
better Dress, than may seem to a Relation regularly consistent with a
small Fortune; and therefore may occasion a Judgment of a suitable
Extravagance in other Particulars: But the Disadvantage with which the
Man of narrow Circumstances acts and speaks, is so feelingly set forth
in a little Book called the Christian Hero, [1] that the appearing to
be otherwise is not only pardonable but necessary. Every one knows the
hurry of Conclusions that are made in contempt of a Person that
appears to be calamitous, which makes it very excusable to prepare
ones self for the Company of those that are of a superior Quality and
Fortune, by appearing to be in a better Condition than one is, so far
as such Appearance shall not make us really of worse.

It is a Justice due to the Character of one who suffers hard
Reflections from any particular Person upon this Account, that such
Persons would enquire into his manner of spending his Time; of which,
tho no further Information can be had than that he remains so many
Hours in his Chamber, yet if this is cleared, to imagine that a
reasonable Creature wrung with a narrow Fortune does not make the best
use of this Retirement, would be a Conclusion extremely uncharitable.
From what has, or will be said, I hope no Consequence can be extorted,
implying, that I would have any young Fellow spend more Time than the
common Leisure which his Studies require, or more Money than his
Fortune or Allowance may admit of, in the pursuit of an Acquaintance
with his Betters: For as to his Time, the gross of that ought to be
sacred to more substantial Acquisitions; for each irrevocable Moment
of which he ought to believe he stands religiously Accountable. And as
to his Dress, I shall engage myself no further than in the modest
Defence of two plain Suits a Year: For being perfectly satisfied in
Eutrapeluss Contrivance of making a Mohock of a Man, by presenting
him with lacd and embroiderd Suits, I would by no means be thought
to controvert that Conceit, by insinuating the Advantages of Foppery.
It is an Assertion which admits of much Proof, that a Stranger of
tolerable Sense dressd like a Gentleman, will be better received by
those of Quality above him, than one of much better Parts, whose Dress
is regulated by the rigid Notions of Frugality. A Man's Appearance
falls within the Censure of every one that sees him; his Parts and
Learning very few are Judges of; and even upon these few, they cant
at first be well intruded; for Policy and good Breeding will counsel
him to be reservd among Strangers, and to support himself only by the
common Spirit of Conversation. Indeed among the Injudicious, the Words
Delicacy, Idiom, fine Images, Structure of Periods, Genius, Fire, and
the rest, made use of with a frugal and comely Gravity, will maintain
the Figure of immense Reading, and Depth of Criticism.

All Gentlemen of Fortune, at least the young and middle-aged, are apt
to pride themselves a little too much upon their Dress, and
consequently to value others in some measure upon the same
Consideration. With what Confusion is a Man of Figure obliged to
return the Civilities of the Hat to a Person whose Air and Attire
hardly entitle him to it? For whom nevertheless the other has a
particular Esteem, tho he is ashamed to have it challenged in so
publick a Manner. It must be allowed, that any young Fellow that
affects to dress and appear genteelly, might with artificial
Management save ten Pound a Year; as instead of fine Holland he might
mourn in Sackcloth, and in other Particulars be proportionably shabby:
But of what great Service would this Sum be to avert any Misfortune,
whilst it would leave him deserted by the little good Acquaintance he
has, and prevent his gaining any other? As the Appearance of an easy
Fortune is necessary towards making one, I dont know but it might be
of advantage sometimes to throw into ones Discourse certain
Exclamations about Bank-Stock, and to shew a marvellous Surprize upon
its Fall, as well as the most affected Triumph upon its Rise. The
Veneration and Respect which the Practice of all Ages has preserved to
Appearances, without doubt suggested to our Tradesmen that wise and
Politick Custom, to apply and recommend themselves to the publick by
all those Decorations upon their Sign-posts and Houses, which the most
eminent Hands in the Neighbourhood can furnish them with. What can be
more attractive to a Man of Letters, than that immense Erudition of
all Ages and Languages which a skilful Bookseller, in conjunction with
a Painter, shall image upon his Column and the Extremities of his
Shop? The same Spirit of maintaining a handsome Appearance reigns
among the grave and solid Apprentices of the Law (here I could be
particularly dull in [proving [2]] the Word Apprentice to be
significant of a Barrister) and you may easily distinguish who has
most lately made his Pretensions to Business, by the whitest and most
ornamental Frame of his Window: If indeed the Chamber is a
Ground-Room, and has Rails before it, the Finery is of Necessity more
extended, and the Pomp of Business better maintaind. And what can be
a greater Indication of the Dignity of Dress, than that burdensome
Finery which is the regular Habit of our Judges, Nobles, and Bishops,
with which upon certain Days we see them incumbered? And though it may
be said this is awful, and necessary for the Dignity of the State, yet
the wisest of them have been remarkable, before they arrived at their
present Stations, for being very well dressed Persons. As to my own
Part, I am near Thirty; and since I left School have not been idle,
which is a modern Phrase for having studied hard. I brought off a
clean System of Moral Philosophy, and a tolerable Jargon of
Metaphysicks from the University; since that, I have been engaged in
the clearing Part of the perplexd Style and Matter of the Law, which
so hereditarily descends to all its Professors: To all which severe
Studies I have thrown in, at proper Interims, the pretty Learning of
the Classicks. Notwithstanding which, I am what Shakespear calls A
Fellow of no Mark or Likelihood; [3] which makes me understand the
more fully, that since the regular Methods of making Friends and a
Fortune by the mere Force of a Profession is so very slow and
uncertain, a Man should take all reasonable Opportunities, by
enlarging a good Acquaintance, to court that Time and Chance which is
said to happen to every Man.


[Footnote 1: The passage is nearly at the beginning of Steeles third

It is in every bodys observation with what disadvantage a Poor Man
enters upon the most ordinary affairs, &c.]

[Footnote 2: [clearing]]

[Footnote 3: Henry IV. Pt. I. Act iii. sc. 2.]

* * * * *

No. 361. Thursday, April 24, 1712. Addison.

Tartaream intendit vocem, qua protinus omnis
Contremuit domus--


I have lately received the following Letter from a Country Gentleman.


The Night before I left London I went to see a Play, called The
Humorous Lieutenant. [1] Upon the Rising of the Curtain I was very
much surprized with the great Consort of Cat-calls which was exhibited
that Evening, and began to think with myself that I had made a
Mistake, and gone to a Musick-Meeting, instead of the Play-house. It
appeared indeed a little odd to me to see so many Persons of Quality
of both Sexes assembled together at a kind of Catterwawling; for I
cannot look upon that Performance to have been any thing better,
whatever the Musicians themselves might think of it. As I had no
Acquaintance in the House to ask Questions of, and was forced to go
out of Town early the next Morning, I could not learn the Secret of
this Matter. What I would therefore desire of you, is, to give some
account of this strange Instrument, which I found the Company called a
Cat-call; and particularly to let me know whether it be a piece of
Musick lately come from Italy. For my own part, to be free with you, I
would rather hear an English Fiddle; though I durst not shew my
Dislike whilst I was in the Play-House, it being my Chance to sit the
very next Man to one of the Performers. I am, SIR,

Your most affectionate Friend
and Servant,
John Shallow, Esq.

In compliance with Esquire Shallows Request, I design this Paper as a
Dissertation upon the Cat-call. In order to make myself a Master of the
Subject, I purchased one the Beginning of last Week, though not without
great difficulty, being informd at two or three Toyshops that the
Players had lately bought them all up. I have since consulted many
learned Antiquaries in relation to its Original, and find them very much
divided among themselves upon that Particular. A Fellow of the Royal
Society, who is my good Friend, and a great Proficient in the
Mathematical Part of Musick, concludes from the Simplicity of its Make,
and the Uniformity of its Sound, that the Cat-call is older than any of
the Inventions of Jubal. He observes very well, that Musical Instruments
took their first Rise from the Notes of Birds, and other melodious
Animals; and what, says he, was more natural than for the first Ages of
Mankind to imitate the Voice of a Cat that lived under the same Roof
with them? He added, that the Cat had contributed more to Harmony than
any other Animal; as we are not only beholden to her for this
Wind-Instrument, but for our String Musick in general.

Another Virtuoso of my Acquaintance will not allow the Cat-call to be
older than Thespis, and is apt to think it appeared in the World soon
after the antient Comedy; for which reason it has still a place in our
Dramatick Entertainments: Nor must I here omit what a very curious
Gentleman, who is lately returned from his Travels, has more than once
assured me, namely that there was lately dug up at Rome the Statue of
Momus, who holds an Instrument in his Right-Hand very much resembling
our Modern Cat-call.

There are others who ascribe this Invention to Orpheus, and look upon
the Cat-call to be one of those Instruments which that famous Musician
made use of to draw the Beasts about him. It is certain, that the
Roasting of a Cat does not call together a greater Audience of that
Species than this Instrument, if dexterously played upon in proper Time
and Place.

But notwithstanding these various and learned Conjectures, I cannot
forbear thinking that the Cat-call is originally a Piece of English
Musick. Its Resemblance to the Voice of some of our British Songsters,
as well as the Use of it, which is peculiar to our Nation, confirms me
in this Opinion. It has at least received great Improvements among us,
whether we consider the Instrument it self, or those several Quavers and
Graces which are thrown into the playing of it. Every one might be
sensible of this, who heard that remarkable overgrown Cat-call which was
placed in the Center of the Pit, and presided over all the rest at [the
[2]] celebrated Performance lately exhibited in Drury-Lane.

Having said thus much concerning the Original of the Cat-call, we are in
the next place to consider the Use of it. The Cat-call exerts it self to
most advantage in the British Theatre: It very much Improves the Sound
of Nonsense, and often goes along with the Voice of the Actor who
pronounces it, as the Violin or Harpsichord accompanies the Italian

It has often supplied the Place of the antient Chorus, in the Works of
Mr.----In short, a bad Poet has as great an Antipathy to a Cat-call, as
many People have to a real Cat.

Mr. Collier, in his ingenious Essay upon Musick [3] has the following

I believe tis possible to invent an Instrument that shall have a
quite contrary Effect to those Martial ones now in use: An Instrument
that shall sink the Spirits, and shake the Nerves, and curdle the
Blood, and inspire Despair, and Cowardice and Consternation, at a
surprizing rate. Tis probable the Roaring of Lions, the Warbling of
Cats and Scritch-Owls, together with a Mixture of the Howling of Dogs,
judiciously imitated and compounded, might go a great way in this
Invention. Whether such Anti-Musick as this might not be of Service in
a Camp, I shall leave to the Military Men to consider.

What this learned Gentleman supposes in Speculation, I have known
actually verified in Practice. The Cat-call has struck a Damp into
Generals, and frighted Heroes off the Stage. At the first sound of it I
have seen a Crowned Head tremble, and a Princess fall into Fits. The
Humorous Lieutenant himself could not stand it; nay, I am told that even
Almanzor looked like a Mouse, and trembled at the Voice of this
terrifying Instrument.

As it is of a Dramatick Nature, and peculiarly appropriated to the
Stage, I can by no means approve the Thought of that angry Lover, who,
after an unsuccessful Pursuit of some Years, took leave of his Mistress
in a Serenade of Cat-calls.

I must conclude this Paper with the Account I have lately received of an
ingenious Artist, who has long studied this Instrument, and is very well
versed in all the Rules of the Drama. He teaches to play on it by Book,
and to express by it the whole Art of Criticism. He has his Base and his
Treble Cat-call; the former for Tragedy, the latter for Comedy; only in
Tragy-Comedies they may both play together in Consort. He has a
particular Squeak to denote the Violation of each of the Unities, and
has different Sounds to shew whether he aims at the Poet or the Player.
In short he teaches the Smut-note, the Fustian-note, the Stupid-note,
and has composed a kind of Air that may serve as an Act-tune to an
incorrigible Play, and which takes in the whole Compass of the Cat-call.

[L. [4]]

[Footnote 1: By Beaumont and Fletcher.]

[Footnote 2: [that]]

[Footnote 3: Essays upon several Moral Subjects, by Jeremy Collier, Part
II. p. 30 (ed. 1732). Jeremy Collier published the first volume of these
Essays in 1697, after he was safe from the danger brought on himself by
attending Sir John Friend and Sir William Perkins when they were
executed for the assassination plot. The other two volumes appeared
successively in 1705 and 1709. It was in 1698 that Collier published his
famous Short View of the Immorality and Profaneness of the English

[Footnote 4: [Not being yet determined with whose Name to fill up the
Gap in this Dissertation which is marked with----, I shall defer it
till this Paper appears with others in a Volume. L.]]

* * * * *

No. 362. Friday, April 25, 1712. Steele.

Laudibus arguitur Vini vinosus--


Temple, Apr. 24.


Several of my Friends were this Morning got together over a Dish of
Tea in very good Health, though we had celebrated Yesterday with more
Glasses than we could have dispensed with, had we not been beholden to
Brooke and Hillier. In Gratitude therefore to those good Citizens, I
am, in the Name of the Company, to accuse you of great Negligence in
overlooking their Merit, who have imported true and generous Wine, and
taken care that it should not be adulterated by the Retailers before
it comes to the Tables of private Families, or the Clubs of honest
Fellows. I cannot imagine how a SPECTATOR can be supposed to do his
Duty, without frequent Resumption of such Subjects as concern our
Health, the first thing to be regarded, if we have a mind to relish
anything else. It would therefore very well become your Spectatorial
Vigilance, to give it in Orders to your Officer for inspecting Signs,
that in his March he would look into the Itinerants who deal in
Provisions, and enquire where they buy their several Wares. Ever since
the Decease of [Cully [1]]- Mully-Puff [2] of agreeable and noisy
Memory, I cannot say I have observed any thing sold in Carts, or
carried by Horse or Ass, or in fine, in any moving Market, which is
not perished or putrified; witness the Wheel-barrows of rotten
Raisins, Almonds, Figs, and Currants, which you see vended by a
Merchant dressed in a second-hand Suit of a Foot Soldier. You should
consider that a Child may be poisoned for the Worth of a Farthing; but
except his poor Parents send to one certain Doctor in Town, [3] they
can have no advice for him under a Guinea. When Poisons are thus
cheap, and Medicines thus dear, how can you be negligent in inspecting
what we eat and drink, or take no Notice of such as the
above-mentioned Citizens, who have been so serviceable to us of late
in that particular? It was a Custom among the old Romans, to do him
particular Honours who had saved the Life of a Citizen, how much more
does the World owe to those who prevent the Death of Multitudes? As
these Men deserve well of your Office, so such as act to the Detriment
of our Health, you ought to represent to themselves and their
Fellow-Subjects in the Colours which they deserve to wear. I think it
would be for the publick Good, that all who vend Wines should be under
oaths in that behalf. The Chairman at a Quarter Sessions should inform
the Country, that the Vintner who mixes Wine to his Customers, shall
(upon proof that the Drinker thereof died within a Year and a Day
after taking it) be deemed guilty of Wilful Murder: and the Jury shall
be instructed to enquire and present such Delinquents accordingly. It
is no Mitigation of the Crime, nor will it be conceived that it can be
brought in Chance-Medley or Man-Slaughter, upon Proof that it shall
appear Wine joined to Wine, or right Herefordshire poured into Port O
Port; but his selling it for one thing, knowing it to be another, must
justly bear the foresaid Guilt of wilful Murder: For that he, the said
Vintner, did an unlawful Act willingly in the false Mixture; and is
therefore with Equity liable to all the Pains to which a Man would be,
if it were proved he designed only to run a Man through the Arm, whom
he whipped through the Lungs. This is my third Year at the Temple, and
this is or should be Law. An ill Intention well proved should meet
with no Alleviation, because it [out-ran [4]] it self. There cannot be
too great Severity used against the Injustice as well as Cruelty of
those who play with Mens Lives, by preparing Liquors, whose Nature,
for ought they know, may be noxious when mixed, tho innocent when
apart: And Brooke and Hillier, [5] who have ensured our Safety at our
Meals, and driven Jealousy from our Cups in Conversation, deserve the
Custom and Thanks of the whole Town; and it is your Duty to remind
them of the Obligation. I am, SIR,
Your Humble Servant,
Tom. Pottle.


I am a Person who was long immured in a College, read much, saw
little; so that I knew no more of the World than what a Lecture or a
View of the Map taught me. By this means I improved in my Study, but
became unpleasant in Conversation. By conversing generally with the
Dead, I grew almost unfit for the Society of the Living; so by a long
Confinement I contracted an ungainly Aversion to Conversation, and
ever discoursed with Pain to my self, and little Entertainment to
others. At last I was in some measure made sensible of my failing, and
the Mortification of never being spoke to, or speaking, unless the
Discourse ran upon Books, put me upon forcing my self amongst Men. I
immediately affected the politest Company, by the frequent use of
which I hoped to wear off the Rust I had contracted; but by an uncouth
Imitation of Men used to act in publick, I got no further than to
discover I had a Mind to appear a finer thing than I really was.

Such I was, and such was my Condition, when I became an ardent Lover,
and passionate Admirer of the beauteous Belinda: Then it was that I
really began to improve. This Passion changed all my Fears and
Diffidences in my general Behaviour, to the sole Concern of pleasing
her. I had not now to study the Action of a Gentleman, but Love
possessing all my Thoughts, made me truly be the thing I had a Mind to
appear. My Thoughts grew free and generous, and the Ambition to be
agreeable to her I admired, produced in my Carriage a faint Similitude
of that disengaged Manner of my Belinda. The way we are in at present
is, that she sees my Passion, and sees I at present forbear speaking
of it through prudential Regards. This Respect to her she returns with
much Civility, and makes my Value for her as little a Misfortune to
me, as is consistent with Discretion. She sings very charmingly, and
is readier to do so at my Request, because she knows I love her: She
will dance with me rather than another, for the same Reason. My
Fortune must alter from what it is, before I can speak my Heart to
her; and her Circumstances are not considerable enough to make up for
the Narrowness of mine. But I write to you now, only to give you the
Character of Belinda, as a Woman that has Address enough to
demonstrate a Gratitude to her Lover, without giving him Hopes of
Success in his Passion. Belinda has from a great Wit, governed by as
great Prudence, and both adorned with Innocence, the Happiness of
always being ready to discover her real Thoughts. She has many of us,
who now are her Admirers; but her Treatment of us is so just and
proportioned to our Merit towards her, and what we are in our selves,
that I protest to you I have neither Jealousy nor Hatred toward my
Rivals. Such is her Goodness, and the Acknowledgment of every Man who
admires her, that he thinks he ought to believe she will take him who
best deserves her. I will not say that this Peace among us is not
owing to Self-love, which prompts each to think himself the best
Deserver: I think there is something uncommon and worthy of Imitation
in this Ladys Character. If you will please to Print my Letter, you
will oblige the little Fraternity of happy Rivals, and in a more
particular Manner,

Your most humble Servant,
Will. Cymon.


[Footnote 1: [Mully]

[Footnote 2: See No. 251. He was a little man just able to bear on his
head his basket of pastry, and who was named from his cry. There is a
half-sheet print of him in the set of London Cries in Granger's
Biographical History of England.]

[Footnote 3: Who advertised that he attended patients at charges ranging
from a shilling to half-a-crown, according to their distance from his

[Footnote 4: [out-run]]

[Footnote 5: Estcourt, it may be remembered, connected the advertisement
of his Bumper tavern with the recommendation of himself as one ignorant
of the wine trade who relied on Brooke and Hellier, and so ensured his
Customers good wine. Among the advertisers in the Spectator Brooke and
Hellier often appeared. One of their advertisements is preceded by the
following, evidently a contrivance of their own, which shows that the
art of puffing was not then in its infancy:

'This is to give Notice, That Brooke and Hellier have not all the New
Port Wines this Year, nor above one half, the Vintners having bought
130 Pipes of Mr. Thomas Barlow and others, which are all natural, and
shall remain Genuine, on which all Gentlemen and others may depend.
Note.--Altho' Brooke and Hellier have asserted in several Papers that
they had 140 Pipes of New Oporto Wines coming from Bristol, it now
appears, since their landing, that they have only 133 Pipes, I Hhd. of
the said Wines, which shews plainly how little what they say is to be

Then follows their long advertisement, which ends with a note that Their
New Ports, just landed, being the only New Ports in Merchants Hands, and
above One Half of all that is in London, will begin to be sold at the
old prices the I2th inst. (April) at all their Taverns and Cellars.]

* * * * *

No. 363. Saturday, April 26, 1712. Addison.

'--Crudelis ubique
Luctus, ubique pavor, et plurima Mortis


Milton has shewn a wonderful Art in describing that variety of Passions
which arise in our first Parents upon the Breach of the Commandment that
had been given them. We see them gradually passing from the Triumph of
their Guilt thro Remorse, Shame, Despair, Contrition, Prayer, and Hope,
to a perfect and compleat Repentance. At the end of the tenth Book they
are represented as prostrating themselves upon the Ground, and watering
the Earth with their Tears: To which the Poet joins this beautiful
Circumstance, that they offerd up their penitential Prayers, on the very
Place where their Judge appeared to them when he pronounced their

--They forthwith to the place
Repairing where he judg'd them, prostrate fell
Before him Reverent, and both confess'd
Humbly their Faults, and Pardon begg'd, with Tears
Watering the Ground--

[There is a Beauty of the same kind in a Tragedy of Sophocles, where
OEdipus, after having put out his own Eyes, instead of breaking his Neck
from the Palace-Battlements (which furnishes so elegant an Entertainment
for our English Audience) desires that he may be conducted to Mount
Cithoeron, in order to end his Life in that very Place where he was
exposed in his Infancy, and where he should then have died, had the Will
of his Parents been executed.]

As the Author never fails to give a poetical Turn to his Sentiments, he
describes in the Beginning of this Book the Acceptance which these their
Prayers met with, in a short Allegory, formd upon that beautiful Passage
in holy Writ: And another Angel came and stood at the Altar, having a
golden Censer; and there was given unto him much Incense, that he should
offer it with the Prayers of all Saints upon the Golden Altar, which was
before the Throne: And the Smoak of the Incense which came with the
Prayers of the Saints, ascended up before God.

--To Heavn their Prayers
Flew up, nor miss'd the Way, by envious Winds
Blown vagabond or frustrate: in they passd
Dimensionless through heavnly Doors, then clad
With Incense, where the Golden Altar fumed,
By their great Intercessor, came in sight
Before the Father's Throne--

We have the same Thought expressed a second time in the Intercession of
the Messiah, which is conceived in very Emphatick Sentiments and

Among the Poetical Parts of Scripture, which Milton has so finely
wrought into this Part of his Narration, I must not omit that wherein
Ezekiel speaking of the Angels who appeared to him in a Vision, adds,
that every one had four Faces, and that their whole Bodies, and their
Backs, and their Hands, and their Wings, were full of Eyes round about.

--The Cohort bright
Of watchful Cherubims, four Faces each
Had like a double Janus, all their Shape
Spangled with Eyes--

The Assembling of all the Angels of Heaven to hear the solemn Decree
passed upon Man, is represented in very lively Ideas. The Almighty is
here describd as remembring Mercy in the midst of Judgment, and
commanding Michael to deliver his Message in the mildest Terms, lest the
Spirit of Man, which was already broken with the Sense of his Guilt and
Misery, should fail before him.

--Yet lest they faint
At the sad Sentence rigorously urg'd,
For I behold them softned, and with Tears
Bewailing their Excess, all Terror hide,

The Conference of Adam and Eve is full of moving Sentiments. Upon their
going abroad after the melancholy Night which they had passed together,
they discover the Lion and the Eagle pursuing each of them their Prey
towards the Eastern Gates of Paradise. There is a double Beauty in this
Incident, not only as it presents great and just Omens, which are always
agreeable in Poetry, but as it expresses that Enmity which was now
produced in the Animal Creation. The Poet to shew the like Changes in
Nature, as well as to grace his Fable with a noble Prodigy, represents
the Sun in an Eclipse. This particular Incident has likewise a fine
Effect upon the Imagination of the Reader, in regard to what follows;
for at the same time that the Sun is under an Eclipse, a bright Cloud
descends in the Western Quarter of the Heavens, filled with an Host of
Angels, and more luminous than the Sun it self. The whole Theatre of
Nature is darkned, that this glorious Machine may appear in all its
Lustre and Magnificence.

--Why in the East
Darkness ere Days mid-course, and morning Light
More orient in that Western Cloud that draws
O'er the blue Firmament a radiant White,
And slow descends, with something Heavnly fraught?
He err'd not, for by this the heavenly Bands
Down from a Sky of Jasper lighted now
In Paradise, and on a Hill made halt;
A glorious Apparition--

I need not observe how properly this Author, who always suits his Parts
to the Actors whom he introduces, has employed Michael in the Expulsion
of our first Parents from Paradise. The Archangel on this Occasion
neither appears in his proper Shape, nor in that familiar Manner with
which Raphael the sociable Spirit entertained the Father of Mankind
before the Fall. His Person, his Port, and Behaviour, are suitable to a
Spirit of the highest Rank, and exquisitely describd in the following

--Th' Archangel soon drew nigh,
Not in his Shape Celestial; but as Man
Clad to meet Man: over his lucid Arms
A Military Vest of Purple flow'd,
Livelier than Meliboean, or the Grain
Of Sarra, worn by Kings and Heroes old,
In time of Truce: Iris had dipt the Wooff:
His starry Helm, unbuckled, shew'd him prime
In Manhood where Youth ended; by his side,
As in a glistring Zodiack, hung the Sword,
Satan's dire dread, and in his Hand the Spear.
Adam bow'd low, he Kingly from his State
Inclined not, but his coming thus declared.

Eve's Complaint upon hearing that she was to be removed from the Garden
of Paradise, is wonderfully beautiful: The Sentiments are not only
proper to the Subject, but have something in them particularly soft and

Must I then leave thee, Paradise? Thus leave
Thee, native Soil, these happy Walks and Shades,
Fit haunt of Gods? Where I had hope to spend
Quiet, though sad, the respite of that Day
That must be mortal to us both. O Flowrs,
That never will in other Climate grow,
My early Visitation, and my last
At Even, which I bred up with tender Hand
From the first opening Bud, and gave you Names;
Who now shall rear you to the Sun, or rank
Your Tribes, and water from th' ambrosial Fount?
Thee, lastly, nuptial Bower, by me adorn'd
With what to Sight or Smell was sweet; from thee
How shall I part, and whither wander down
Into a lower World, to this obscure
And wild? how shall we breathe in other Air
Less pure, accustomd to immortal Fruits?

Adam's Speech abounds with Thoughts which are equally moving, but of a
more masculine and elevated Turn. Nothing can be conceived more Sublime
and Poetical than the following Passage in it.

This most afflicts me, that departing hence
As from his Face I shall be hid, deprived
His blessed Countnance: here I could frequent,
With Worship, place by place where he vouchsaf'd
Presence Divine; and to my Sons relate,
On this Mount he appear'd, under this Tree
Stood visible, among these Pines his Voice
I heard, here with him at this Fountain talk'd;
So many grateful Altars I would rear
Of grassy Turf, and pile up every Stone
Of lustre from the Brook, in memory
Or monument to Ages, and thereon
Offer sweet-smelling Gums and Fruits and Flowers.
In yonder nether World--where shall I seek
His bright Appearances, or Footsteps trace?
For though I fled him angry, yet recalled
To Life prolonged and promised Race, I now
Gladly behold though but his utmost Skirts
Of Glory, and far off his Steps adore.

The Angel afterwards leads Adam to the highest Mount of Paradise, and
lays before him a whole Hemisphere, as a proper Stage for those Visions
which were to be represented on it. I have before observed how the Plan
of Milton's Poem is in many Particulars greater than that of the Iliad
or AEneid. Virgil's Hero, in the last of these Poems, is entertained with
a Sight of all those who are to descend from him; but though that
Episode is justly admired as one of the noblest Designs in the whole
AEneid, every one-must allow that this of Milton is of a much higher
Nature. Adam's Vision is not confined to any particular Tribe of
Mankind, but extends to the whole Species.

In this great Review which Adam takes of all his Sons and Daughters, the
first Objects he is presented with exhibit to him the Story of Cain and
Abel, which is drawn together with much Closeness and Propriety of
Expression. That Curiosity and natural Horror which arises in Adam at
the Sight of the first dying Man, is touched with great Beauty.

But have I now seen Death? is this the way
I must return to native Dust? O Sight
Of Terror foul, and ugly to behold,
Horrid to think, how horrible to feel!

The second Vision sets before him the Image of Death in a great Variety
of Appearances. The Angel, to give him a general Idea of those Effects
which his Guilt had brought upon his Posterity, places before him a
large Hospital or Lazar-House, filled with Persons lying under all kinds
of mortal Diseases. How finely has the Poet told us that the sick
Persons languished under lingering and incurable Distempers, by an apt
and judicious use of such Imaginary Beings as those I mentioned in my
last Saturday's Paper.

Dire was the tossing, deep the Groans. Despair
Tended the Sick, busy from Couch to Couch;
And over them triumphant Death his Dart
Shook, but delayed to strike, though oft invoked
With Vows, as their chief Good and final Hope.

The Passion which likewise rises in Adam on this Occasion, is very

Sight so deform, what Heart of Rock could long
Dry-eyed behold? Adam could not, but wept,
Tho' not of Woman born; Compassion quell'd
His best of Man, and gave him up to Tears.

The Discourse between the Angel and Adam, which follows, abounds with
noble Morals.

As there is nothing more delightful in Poetry than a Contrast and
Opposition of Incidents, the Author, after this melancholy Prospect of
Death and Sickness, raises up a Scene of Mirth, Love, and Jollity. The
secret Pleasure that steals into Adams Heart as he is intent upon this
Vision, is imagined with great Delicacy. I must not omit the Description
of the loose female Troop, who seduced the Sons of God, as they are
called in Scripture.

For that fair female Troop thou sawst, that seemed
Of Goddesses, so Blithe, so Smooth, so Gay,
Yet empty of all Good wherein consists
Woman's domestick Honour and chief Praise;
Bred only and compleated to the taste
Of lustful Appetence, to sing, to dance,
To dress, and troule the Tongue, and roll the Eye:
To these that sober Race of Men, whose Lives
Religious titled them the Sons of God,
Shall yield up all their Virtue, all their Fame
Ignobly, to the Trains and to the Smiles
Of those fair Atheists--

The next Vision is of a quite contrary Nature, and filled with the
Horrors of War. Adam at the Sight of it melts into Tears, and breaks out
in that passionate Speech,

--O what are these!
Death's Ministers, not Men, who thus deal Death
Inhumanly to Men, and multiply
Ten Thousandfold the Sin of him who slew
His Brother: for of whom such Massacre
Make they but of their Brethren, Men of Men?

Milton, to keep up an agreeable Variety in his Visions, after having
raised in the Mind of his Reader the several Ideas of Terror which are
conformable to the Description of War, passes on to those softer Images
of Triumphs and Festivals, in that Vision of Lewdness and Luxury which
ushers in the Flood.

As it is visible that the Poet had his Eye upon Ovid's Account of the
universal Deluge, the Reader may observe with how much Judgment he has
avoided every thing that is redundant or puerile in the Latin Poet. We
do not here see the Wolf swimming among the Sheep, nor any of those
wanton Imaginations, which Seneca found fault with, [1] as unbecoming
[the [2]] great Catastrophe of Nature. If our Poet has imitated that
Verse in which Ovid tells us that there was nothing but Sea, and that
this Sea had no Shore to it, he has not set the Thought in such a Light
as to incur the Censure which Criticks have passed upon it. The latter
part of that Verse in Ovid is idle and superfluous, but just and
beautiful in Milton.

'Jamque mare et tellus nullum discrimen habebant,
Nil nisi pontus erat, deerant quoque littora ponto.'


'--Sea cover'd Sea,
Sea without Shore--'


In Milton the former Part of the Description does not forestall the
latter. How much more great and solemn on this Occasion is that which
follows in our English Poet,

--And in their Palaces
Where Luxury late reign'd, Sea-Monsters whelp'd
And stabled--

than that in Ovid, where we are told that the Sea-Calfs lay in those
Places where the Goats were used to browze? The Reader may find several
other parallel Passages in the Latin and English Description of the
Deluge, wherein our Poet has visibly the Advantage. The Skys being
overcharged with Clouds, the descending of the Rains, the rising of the
Seas, and the Appearance of the Rainbow, are such Descriptions as every
one must take notice of. The Circumstance relating to Paradise is so
finely imagined, and suitable to the Opinions of many learned Authors,
that I cannot forbear giving it a Place in this Paper.

--Then shall this Mount
Of Paradise by might of Waves be mov'd
Out of his Place, pushed by the horned Flood
With all his Verdure spoil'd, and Trees adrift
Down the great River to the opning Gulf,
And there take root, an Island salt and bare,
The haunt of Seals and Orcs and Sea-Mews clang.

The Transition which the Poet makes from the Vision of the Deluge, to
the Concern it occasioned in Adam, is exquisitely graceful, and copied
after Virgil, though the first Thought it introduces is rather in the
Spirit of Ovid.

How didst thou grieve then, Adam, to behold
The End of all thy Offspring, End so sad,
Depopulation! thee another Flood
Of Tears and Sorrow, a Flood thee also drowned,
And sunk thee as thy Sons; till gently rear'd
By th' Angel, on thy Feet thou stoodst at last,
Tho' comfortless, as when a Father mourns
His Children, all in view destroyed at once.

I have been the more particular in my Quotations out of the eleventh
Book of Paradise Lost, because it is not generally reckoned among the
most shining Books of this Poem; for which Reason the Reader might be
apt to overlook those many Passages in it which deserve our Admiration.
The eleventh and twelfth are indeed built upon that single Circumstance
of the Removal of our first Parents from Paradise; but tho' this is not
in itself so great a Subject as that in most of the foregoing Books, it
is extended and diversified with so many surprising Incidents and
pleasing Episodes, that these two last Books can by no means be looked
upon as unequal Parts of this Divine Poem. I must further add, that had
not Milton represented our first Parents as driven out of Paradise, his
Fall of Man would not have been compleat, and consequently his Action
would have been imperfect.


[Footnote 1: Nat. Quaest. Bk. III. Sec.27.]

[Footnote 2: [this]]

* * * * *

No. 364. Monday, April 28, 1712. Steele.

'[--Navibus [1]] atque
Quadrigis petimus bene vivere.'



A Lady of my Acquaintance, for whom I have too much Respect to be easy
while she is doing an indiscreet Action, has given occasion to this
Trouble: She is a Widow, to whom the Indulgence of a tender Husband
has entrusted the Management of a very great Fortune, and a Son about
sixteen, both which she is extremely fond of. The Boy has Parts of the
middle Size, neither shining nor despicable, and has passed the common
Exercises of his Years with tolerable Advantage; but is withal what
you would call a forward Youth: By the Help of this last
Qualification, which serves as a Varnish to all the rest, he is
enabled to make the best Use of his Learning, and display it at full
length upon all Occasions. Last Summer he distinguished himself two or
three times very remarkably, by puzzling the Vicar before an Assembly
of most of the Ladies in the Neighbourhood; and from such weighty
Considerations as these, as it too often unfortunately falls out, the
Mother is become invincibly persuaded that her Son is a great Scholar;
and that to chain him down to the ordinary Methods of Education with
others of his Age, would be to cramp his Faculties, and do an
irreparable Injury to his wonderful Capacity.

I happened to visit at the House last Week, and missing the young
Gentleman at the Tea-Table, where he seldom fails to officiate, could
not upon so extraordinary a Circumstance avoid inquiring after him. My
Lady told me, he was gone out with her Woman, in order to make some
Preparations for their Equipage; for that she intended very speedily
to carry him to travel. The Oddness of the Expression shock'd me a
little; however, I soon recovered my self enough to let her know, that
all I was willing to understand by it was, that she designed this
Summer to shew her Son his Estate in a distant County, in which he has
never yet been: But she soon took care to rob me of that agreeable
Mistake, and let me into the whole Affair. She enlarged upon young
Master's prodigious Improvements, and his comprehensive Knowledge of
all Book-Learning; concluding, that it was now high time he should be
made acquainted with Men and Things; that she had resolved he should
make the Tour of France and Italy, but could not bear to have him out
of her Sight, and therefore intended to go along with him.

I was going to rally her for so extravagant a Resolution, but found my
self not in fit Humour to meddle with a Subject that demanded the most
soft and delicate Touch imaginable. I was afraid of dropping something
that might seem to bear hard either upon the Son's Abilities, or the
Mother's Discretion; being sensible that in both these Cases, tho'
supported with all the Powers of Reason, I should, instead of gaining
her Ladyship over to my Opinion, only expose my self to her Disesteem:
I therefore immediately determined to refer the whole Matter to the

When I came to reflect at Night, as my Custom is, upon the Occurrences
of the Day, I could not but believe that this Humour of carrying a Boy
to travel in his Mother's Lap, and that upon pretence of learning Men
and Things, is a Case of an extraordinary Nature, and carries on it a
particular Stamp of Folly. I did not remember to have met with its
Parallel within the Compass of my Observation, tho' I could call to
mind some not extremely unlike it. From hence my Thoughts took
Occasion to ramble into the general Notion of Travelling, as it is now
made a Part of Education. Nothing is more frequent than to take a Lad
from Grammar and Taw, and under the Tuition of some poor Scholar, who
is willing to be banished for thirty Pounds a Year, and a little
Victuals, send him crying and snivelling into foreign Countries. Thus
he spends his time as Children do at Puppet-Shows, and with much the
same Advantage, in staring and gaping at an amazing Variety of strange
things: strange indeed to one who is not prepared to comprehend the
Reasons and Meaning of them; whilst he should be laying the solid
Foundations of Knowledge in his Mind, and furnishing it with just
Rules to direct his future Progress in Life under some skilful Master
of the Art of Instruction.

Can there be a more astonishing Thought in Nature, than to consider
how Men should fall into so palpable a Mistake? It is a large Field,
and may very well exercise a sprightly Genius; but I don't remember
you have yet taken a Turn in it. I wish, Sir, you would make People
understand, that Travel is really the last Step to be taken in the
Institution of Youth; and to set out with it, is to begin where they
should end.

Certainly the true End of visiting Foreign Parts, is to look into
their Customs and Policies, and observe in what Particulars they excel
or come short of our own; to unlearn some odd Peculiarities in our
Manners, and wear off such awkward Stiffnesses and Affectations in our
Behaviour, as may possibly have been contracted from constantly
associating with one Nation of Men, by a more free, general, and mixed
Conversation. But how can any of these Advantages be attained by one
who is a mere Stranger to the Custom sand Policies of his native
Country, and has not yet fixed in his Mind the first Principles of
Manners and Behaviour? To endeavour it, is to build a gawdy Structure
without any Foundation; or, if I may be allow'd the Expression, to
work a rich Embroidery upon a Cobweb.

Another End of travelling which deserves to be considerd, is the
Improving our Taste of the best Authors of Antiquity, by seeing the
Places where they lived, and of which they wrote; to compare the
natural Face of the Country with the Descriptions they have given us,
and observe how well the Picture agrees with the Original. This must
certainly be a most charming Exercise to the Mind that is rightly
turned for it; besides that it may in a good measure be made
subservient to Morality, if the Person is capable of drawing just
Conclusions concerning the Uncertainty of human things, from the
ruinous Alterations Time and Barbarity have brought upon so many
Palaces, Cities and whole Countries, which make the most illustrious
Figures in History. And this Hint may be not a little improved by
examining every Spot of Ground that we find celebrated as the Scene of
some famous Action, or retaining any Footsteps of a Cato, Cicero or
Brutus, or some such great virtuous Man. A nearer View of any such
Particular, tho really little and trifling in it self, may serve the
more powerfully to warm a generous Mind to an Emulation of their
Virtues, and a greater Ardency of Ambition to imitate their bright
Examples, if it comes duly temper'd and prepar'd for the Impression.
But this I believe you'll hardly think those to be, who are so far
from ent'ring into the Sense and Spirit of the Ancients, that they
don't yet understand their Language with any [Exactness. [3]]

But I have wander'd from my Purpose, which was only to desire you to
save, if possible, a fond English Mother, and Mother's own Son, from
being shewn a ridiculous Spectacle thro' the most polite Part of
Europe, Pray tell them, that though to be Sea-sick, or jumbled in an
outlandish Stage-Coach, may perhaps be healthful for the Constitution
of the Body, yet it is apt to cause such a Dizziness in young empty
Heads, as too often lasts their Life-time.
I am, SIR,
Your most Humble Servant,
Philip Homebred.



I was marry'd on Sunday last, and went peaceably to bed; but, to my
Surprize, was awakend the next Morning by the Thunder of a Set of
Drums. These warlike Sounds (methinks) are very improper in a
Marriage-Consort, and give great Offence; they seem to insinuate, that
the Joys of this State are short, and that Jars and Discord soon
ensue. I fear they have been ominous to many Matches, and sometimes
proved a Prelude to a Battel in the Honey-Moon. A Nod from you may
hush them; therefore pray, Sir, let them be silenced, that for the
future none but soft Airs may usher in the Morning of a Bridal Night,
which will be a Favour not only to those who come after, but to me,
who can still subscribe my self,

Your most humble
and most obedient Servant,
Robin Bridegroom.


I am one of that sort of Women whom the gayer Part of our Sex are apt
to call a Prude. But to shew them that I have very little Regard to
their Raillery, I shall be glad to see them all at The Amorous Widow,
or the Wanton Wife, which is to be acted, for the Benefit of Mrs.
Porter, on Monday the 28th Instant. I assure you I can laugh at an
Amorous Widow, or Wanton Wife, with as little Temptation to imitate
them, as I could at any other vicious Character. Mrs. Porter obliged
me so very much in the exquisite Sense she seemed to have of the
honourable Sentiments and noble Passions in the Character of Hermione,
that I shall appear in her behalf at a Comedy, tho I have not great
Relish for any Entertainments where the Mirth is not seasond with a
certain Severity, which ought to recommend it to People who pretend to
keep Reason and Authority over all their Actions.

I am, SIR,
Your frequent Reader,


[Footnote 1: [Strenua nos exercet inertia: Navibus.]]

[Footnote 2: Dr. Thomas Birch, in a letter dated June 15, 1764, says
that this letter was by Mr. Philip Yorke, afterwards Earl of Hardwicke,
who was author also of another piece in the Spectator, but his son could
not remember what that was.]

[Footnote 3:


I cant quit this head without paying my Acknowledgments to one of the
most entertaining Pieces this Age has produc'd, for the Pleasure it gave
me. You will easily guess, that the Book I have in my head is Mr. A----s
Remarks upon Italy. That Ingenious gentleman has with so much Art and
Judgment applied his exact Knowledge of all the Parts of Classical
Learning to illustrate the several occurrences of his Travels, that his
Work alone is a pregnant Proof of what I have said. No Body that has a
Taste this way, can read him going from Rome to Naples, and making
Horace and Silius Italicus his Chart, but he must feel some Uneasiness
in himself to Reflect that he was not in his Retinue. I am sure I wish'd
it Ten Times in every Page, and that not without a secret Vanity to
think in what State I should have Travelled the Appian Road with Horace
for a Guide, and in company with a Countryman of my own, who of all Men
living knows best how to follow his Steps.]

* * * * *

No. 365. Tuesday, April 29, 1712. Budgell.

'Vere magis, quia vere calor redit ossibus--'


The author of the Menagiana acquaints us, that discoursing one Day with
several Ladies of Quality about the Effects of the Month of May, which
infuses a kindly Warmth into the Earth, and all its Inhabitants; the
Marchioness of S----, who was one of the Company, told him, That though
she would promise to be chaste in every Month besides, she could not
engage for her self in May. As the beginning therefore of this Month is
now very near, I design this Paper for a Caveat to the Fair Sex, and
publish it before April is quite out, that if any of them should be
caught tripping, they may not pretend they had not timely Notice.

I am induced to this, being persuaded the above-mentioned Observation is
as well calculated for our Climate as for that of France, and that some
of our British Ladies are of the same Constitution with the French

I shall leave it among Physicians to determine what may be the Cause of
such an Anniversary Inclination; whether or no it is that the Spirits
after having been as it were frozen and congealed by Winter, are now
turned loose, and set a rambling; or that the gay Prospects of Fields
and Meadows, with the Courtship of the Birds in every Bush, naturally
unbend the Mind, and soften it to Pleasure; or that, as some have
imagined, a Woman is prompted by a kind of Instinct to throw herself on
a Bed of Flowers, and not to let those beautiful Couches which Nature
has provided lie useless. However it be, the Effects of this Month on
the lower part of the Sex, who act without Disguise, [are [1]] very
visible. It is at this time that we see the young Wenches in a Country
Parish dancing round a May-Pole, which one of our learned Antiquaries
supposes to be a Relique of a certain Pagan Worship that I do not think
fit to mention.

It is likewise on the first Day of this Month that we see the ruddy
Milk-Maid exerting her self in a most sprightly manner under a Pyramid
of Silver-Tankards, and, like the Virgin Tarpeia, oppress'd by the
costly Ornaments which her Benefactors lay upon her.

I need not mention the Ceremony of the Green Gown, which is also
peculiar to this gay Season.

The same periodical Love-Fit spreads through the whole Sex, as Mr.
Dryden well observes in his Description of this merry Month:

For thee, sweet Month, the Groves green Livries wear,
If not the first, the fairest of the Year;
For thee the Graces lead the dancing Hours,
And Nature's ready Pencil paints the Flow'rs.
The sprightly May commands our Youth to keep
The Vigils of her Night, and breaks their Sleep;
Each gentle Breast with kindly Warmth she moves,
Inspires new Flames, revives extinguish'd Loves. [2]

Accordingly among the Works of the great Masters in Painting, who have
drawn this genial Season of the Year, we often observe Cupids confused
with Zephirs flying up and down promiscuously in several Parts of the
Picture. I cannot but add from my own Experience, that about this Time
of the Year Love-Letters come up to me in great Numbers from all
Quarters of the Nation.

I receiv'd an Epistle in particular by the last Post from a Yorkshire
Gentleman, who makes heavy Complaints of one Zelinda, whom it seems he
has courted unsuccessfully these three Years past. He tells me that he
designs to try her this May, and if he does not carry his Point, he will
never think of her more.

Having thus fairly admonished the female Sex, and laid before them the
Dangers they are exposed to in this critical Month, I shall in the next
place lay down some Rules and Directions for their better avoiding those
Calentures which are so very frequent in this Season.

In the first place, I would advise them never to venture abroad in the
Fields, but in the Company of a Parent, a Guardian, or some other sober
discreet Person. I have before shewn how apt they are to trip in a
flowry Meadow, and shall further observe to them, that Proserpine was
out a Maying, when she met with that fatal Adventure to which Milton
alludes when he mentions

--That fair Field
Of Enna, where Proserpine gathering Flowers,
Herself a fairer Flower, by gloomy Dis
Was gathered--[3]

Since I am got into Quotations, I shall conclude this Head with Virgil's
Advice to young People, while they are gathering wild Strawberries and
Nosegays, that they should have a care of the Snake in the Grass.

In the second place, I cannot but approve those Prescriptions, which our
Astrological Physicians give in their Almanacks for this Month; such as
are a spare and simple Diet, with the moderate Use of Phlebotomy.

Under this Head of Abstinence I shall also advise my fair Readers to be
in a particular manner careful how they meddle with Romances, Chocolate,
Novels, and the like Inflamers, which I look upon as very dangerous to
be made use of during this great Carnival of Nature.

As I have often declared, that I have nothing more at heart than the
Honour of my dear Country-Women, I would beg them to consider, whenever
their Resolutions begin to fail them, that there are but one and thirty
Days of this soft Season, and that if they can but weather out this one
Month, the rest of the Year will be easy to them. As for that Part of
the Fair-Sex who stay in Town, I would advise them to be particularly
cautious how they give themselves up to their most innocent
Entertainments. If they cannot forbear the Play-house, I would recommend
Tragedy to them, rather than Comedy; and should think the Puppet-show
much safer for them than the Opera, all the while the Sun is in Gemini.

The Reader will observe, that this Paper is written for the use of those
Ladies who think it worth while to war against Nature in the Cause of
Honour. As for that abandon'd Crew, who do not think Virtue worth
contending for, but give up their Reputation at the first Summons, such
Warnings and Premonitions are thrown away upon them. A Prostitute is the
same easy Creature in all Months of the Year, and makes no difference
between May and December.


[Footnote 1: [is] and in first Reprint.]

[Footnote 2: This quotation is made up of two passages in Dryden's
version of Chaucer's Knights Tale, Palamon and Arcite. The first four
lines are from Bk. ii. 11. 663-666, the other four lines are from Bk. i.
11. 176-179.]

[Footnote 3: Paradise Lost, Bk. iv. 11. 268-271.]

* * * * *

No. 366. Wednesday, April 30, 1712. Steele.

'Pone me pigris ubi nulla campis
Arbor aestiva recreatur aura,
Dulce ridentem Lalagen amabo,
Dulce loquentem.'


There are such wild Inconsistencies in the Thoughts of a Man in love,
that I have often reflected there can be no reason for allowing him more
Liberty than others possessed with Frenzy, but that his Distemper has no
Malevolence in it to any Mortal. That Devotion to his Mistress kindles
in his Mind a general Tenderness, which exerts it self towards every
Object as well as his Fair-one. When this Passion is represented by
Writers, it is common with them to endeavour at certain Quaintnesses and
Turns of Imagination, which are apparently the Work of a Mind at ease;
but the Men of true Taste can easily distinguish the Exertion of a Mind
which overflows with tender Sentiments, and the Labour of one which is
only describing Distress. In Performances of this kind, the most absurd
of all things is to be witty; every Sentiment must grow out of the
Occasion, and be suitable to the Circumstances of the Character. Where
this Rule is transgressed, the humble Servant, in all the fine things he
says, is but shewing his Mistress how well he can dress, instead of
saying how well he loves. Lace and Drapery is as much a Man, as Wit and
Turn is Passion.


The following Verses are a Translation of a Lapland Love-Song, which I
met with in Scheffer's History of that Country. [1] I was agreeably
surprized to find a Spirit of Tenderness and Poetry in a Region which
I never suspected for Delicacy. In hotter Climates, tho' altogether
uncivilized, I had not wonder'd if I had found some sweet wild Notes
among the Natives, where they live in Groves of Oranges, and hear the
Melody of Birds about them: But a Lapland Lyric, breathing Sentiments
of Love and Poetry, not unworthy old Greece or Rome; a regular Ode
from a Climate pinched with Frost, and cursed with Darkness so great a
Part of the Year; where 'tis amazing that the poor Natives should get
Food, or be tempted to propagate their Species: this, I confess,
seemed a greater Miracle to me, than the famous Stories of their
Drums, their Winds and Inchantments.

I am the bolder in commending this Northern Song, because I have
faithfully kept to the Sentiments, without adding or diminishing; and
pretend to no greater Praise from my Translation, than they who smooth
and clean the Furs of that Country which have suffered by Carriage.
The Numbers in the Original are as loose and unequal, as those in
which the British Ladies sport their Pindaricks; and perhaps the
fairest of them might not think it a disagreeable Present from a
Lover: But I have ventured to bind it in stricter Measures, as being
more proper for our Tongue, tho perhaps wilder Graces may better suit
the Genius of the Laponian Language.

It will be necessary to imagine, that the Author of this Song, not
having the Liberty of visiting his Mistress at her Father's House, was
in hopes of spying her at a Distance in the Fields.

I. Thou rising Sun, whose gladsome Ray
Invites my Fair to Rural Play,
Dispel the Mist, and clear the Skies,
And bring my Orra to my Eyes.

II. Oh! were I sure my Dear to view,
I'd climb that Pine-Trees topmost Bough,
Aloft in Air that quivering plays,
And round and round for ever gaze.

III. My Orra Moor, where art thou laid?
What Wood conceals my sleeping Maid?
Fast by the Roots enrag'd I'll tear
The Trees that hide my promised Fair.

IV. Oh! I cou'd ride the Clouds and Skies,
Or on the Raven's Pinions rise:
Ye Storks, ye Swans, a moment stay,
And waft a Lover on his Way.

V. My Bliss too long my Bride denies,
Apace the wasting Summer flies:
Nor yet the wintry Blasts I fear,
Not Storms or Night shall keep me here.

VI. What may for Strength with Steel compare?
Oh! Love has Fetters stronger far:
By Bolts of Steel are Limbs confin'd,
But cruel Love enchains the Mind.

VII. No longer then perplex thy Breast,
When Thoughts torment, the first are best;
'Tis mad to go, 'tis Death to stay,
Away to Orra, haste away.

April the 10th.


I am one of those despicable Creatures called a Chamber-Maid, and have
lived with a Mistress for some time, whom I love as my Life, which has
made my Duty and Pleasure inseparable. My greatest Delight has been in
being imploy'd about her Person; and indeed she is very seldom out of
Humour for a Woman of her Quality: But here lies my Complaint, Sir; To
bear with me is all the Encouragement she is pleased to bestow upon
me; for she gives her cast-off Cloaths from me to others: some she is
pleased to bestow in the House to those that neither wants nor wears
them, and some to Hangers-on, that frequents the House daily, who
comes dressed out in them. This, Sir, is a very mortifying Sight to
me, who am a little necessitous for Cloaths, and loves to appear what
I am, and causes an Uneasiness, so that I can't serve with that
Chearfulness as formerly; which my Mistress takes notice of, and calls
Envy and Ill-Temper at seeing others preferred before me. My Mistress
has a younger Sister lives in the House with her, that is some
Thousands below her in Estate, who is continually heaping her Favours
on her Maid; so that she can appear every Sunday, for the first
Quarter, in a fresh Suit of Cloaths of her Mistress's giving, with all
other things suitable: All this I see without envying, but not without
wishing my Mistress would a little consider what a Discouragement it
is to me to have my Perquisites divided between Fawners and Jobbers,
which others enjoy intire to themselves. I have spoke to my Mistress,
but to little Purpose; I have desired to be discharged (for indeed I
fret my self to nothing) but that she answers with Silence. I beg,
Sir, your Direction what to do, for I am fully resolved to follow your
Counsel; who am
Your Admirer and humble Servant,
Constantia Comb-brush.

I beg that you would put it in a better Dress, and let it come abroad;
that my Mistress, who is an Admirer of your Speculations, may see it.


[Footnote 1: John Scheffer, born in 1621, at Strasburg, was at the age
of 27 so well-known for his learning, that he was invited to Sweden,
where he received a liberal pension from Queen Christina as her
librarian, and was also a Professor of Law and Rhetoric in the
University of Upsala. He died in 1679. He was the author of 27 works,
among which is his Lapponia, a Latin description of Lapland, published
in 1673, of which an English version appeared at Oxford in folio, in
1674. The song is there given in the original Lapp, and in a rendering
of Scheffers Latin less conventionally polished than that published by
the Spectator, which is Ambrose Philipss translation of a translation.
In the Oxford translation there were six stanzas of this kind:

With brightest beams let the Sun shine
On Orra Moor.
Could I be sure
That from the top o' th' lofty Pine
I Orra Moor might see,
I to his highest Bough would climb,
And with industrious Labour try
Thence to descry
My Mistress if that there she be.
Could I but know amidst what Flowers
Or in what Shade she stays,
The gaudy Bowers,
With all their verdant Pride,
Their Blossoms and their Sprays,
Which make my Mistress disappear;
And her in envious Darkness hide,
I from the Roots and Beds of Earth would tear.

In the same chapter another song is given of which there is a version in
No. 406 of the Spectator.]

* * * * *

No. 367. Thursday, May 1, 1712. Addison.

'--Periturae parcite chartae.'


I have often pleased my self with considering the two kinds of Benefits
which accrue to the Publick from these my Speculations, and which, were
I to speak after the manner of Logicians, I would distinguish into the
Material and the Formal. By the latter I understand those Advantages
which my Readers receive, as their Minds are either improv'd or
delighted by these my daily Labours; but having already several times
descanted on my Endeavours in this Light, I shall at present wholly
confine my self to the Consideration of the former. By the Word Material
I mean those Benefits which arise to the Publick from these my
Speculations, as they consume a considerable quantity of our Paper
Manufacture, employ our Artisans in Printing, and find Business for
great Numbers of Indigent Persons.

Our Paper-Manufacture takes into it several mean Materials which could
be put to no other use, and affords Work for several Hands in the
collecting of them, which are incapable of any other Employment. Those
poor Retailers, whom we see so busy in every Street, deliver in their
respective Gleanings to the Merchant. The Merchant carries them in Loads
to the Paper-Mill, where they pass thro' a fresh Set of Hands, and give
life to another Trade. Those who have Mills on their Estates, by this
means considerably raise their Rents, and the whole Nation is in a great
measure supply'd with a Manufacture, for which formerly she was obliged
to her Neighbours.

The Materials are no sooner wrought into Paper, but they are distributed
among the Presses, where they again set innumerable Artists at Work, and
furnish Business to another Mystery. From hence, accordingly as they are
stain'd with News or Politicks, they fly thro' the Town in Post-Men,
Post-Boys, Daily-Courants, Reviews, Medleys, and Examiners. Men, Women,
and Children contend who shall be the first Bearers of them, and get
their daily Sustenance by spreading them. In short, when I trace in my
Mind a Bundle of Rags to a Quire of Spectators, I find so many Hands
employ'd in every Step they take thro their whole Progress, that while I
am writing a Spectator, I fancy my self providing Bread for a Multitude.

If I do not take care to obviate some of my witty Readers, they will be
apt to tell me, that my Paper, after it is thus printed and published,
is still beneficial to the Publick on several Occasions. I must confess
I have lighted my Pipe with my own Works for this Twelve-month past: My
Landlady often sends up her little Daughter to desire some of my old
Spectators, and has frequently told me, that the Paper they are printed
on is the best in the World to wrap Spice in. They likewise make a good
Foundation for a Mutton pye, as I have more than once experienced, and
were very much sought for, last Christmas, by the whole Neighbourhood.

It is pleasant enough to consider the Changes that a Linnen Fragment
undergoes, by passing thro' the several Hands above mentioned. The
finest pieces of Holland, when worn to Tatters, assume a new Whiteness
more beautiful than their first, and often return in the shape of
Letters to their Native Country. A Lady's Shift may be metamorphosed
into Billet[s]-doux, and come into her Possession a second time. A Beau
may peruse his Cravat after it is worn out, with greater Pleasure and
Advantage than ever he did in a Glass. In a word, a Piece of Cloth,
after having officiated for some Years as a Towel or a Napkin, may by
this means be raised from a Dung-hill, and become the most valuable
Piece of Furniture in a Prince's Cabinet.

The politest Nations of Europe have endeavoured to vie with one another
for the Reputation of the finest Printing: Absolute Governments, as well
as Republicks, have encouraged an Art which seems to be the noblest and
most beneficial that was ever invented among the Sons of Men. The
present King of France, in his Pursuits after Glory, has particularly
distinguished himself by the promoting of this useful Art, insomuch that
several Books have been printed in the Louvre at his own Expence, upon
which he sets so great a value, that he considers them as the noblest
Presents he can make to foreign Princes and Ambassadors. If we look into
the Commonwealths of Holland and Venice, we shall find that in this
Particular they have made themselves the Envy of the greatest
Monarchies. Elziver and Aldus are more frequently mentioned than any
Pensioner of the one or Doge of the other.

The several Presses which are now in England, and the great
Encouragement which has been given to Learning for some Years last past,
has made our own Nation as glorious upon this Account, as for its late
Triumphs and Conquests. The new Edition which is given us of Caesar's
Commentaries, has already been taken notice of in foreign Gazettes, and
is a Work that does honour to the English Press. [1] It is no wonder
that an Edition should be very correct, which has passed thro' the Hands
of one of the most accurate, learned and judicious Writers this Age has
produced. The Beauty of the Paper, of the Character, and of the several
Cuts with which this noble Work is illustrated, makes it the finest Book
that I have ever seen; and is a true Instance of the English Genius,
which, tho' it does not come the first into any Art, generally carries
it to greater Heights than any other Country in the World. I am
particularly glad that this Author comes from a British Printing-house
in so great a Magnificence, as he is the first who has given us any
tolerable Account of our Country.

My Illiterate Readers, if any such there are, will be surprized to hear
me talk of Learning as the Glory of a Nation, and of Printing as an Art
that gains a Reputation to a People among whom it flourishes. When Men's
Thoughts are taken up with Avarice and Ambition, they cannot look upon
any thing as great or valuable, which does not bring with it an
extraordinary Power or Interest to the Person who is concerned in it.
But as I shall never sink this Paper so far as to engage with Goths and
Vandals, I shall only regard such kind of Reasoners with that Pity which
is due to so Deplorable a Degree of Stupidity and Ignorance.


[Footnote 1: Just published, 1712, by Dr. Samuel Clarke, then 37 years
old. He had been for 12 years chaplain to the Bishop of Norwich, and
Boyle Lecturer in 1704-5, when he took for his subject the Being and
Attributes of God and the Evidences of Natural and Revealed Religion. He
had also translated Newton's Optics, and was become chaplain to the
Queen, Rector of St. Jamess, Westminster, and D. D. of Cambridge. The
accusations of heterodoxy that followed him through his after life date
from this year, 1712, in which, besides the edition of Caesar, he
published a book on the Scripture Doctrine of the Trinity.]

* * * * *

No. 368. Friday, May 2, 1712. Steele.

'Nos decebat
Lugere ubi esset aliquis in lucem editus
Humanae vitae varia reputantes mala;
At qui labores morte finisset graves
Omnes amices laude et laetitia exequi.'

Eurip. apud Tull.

As the Spectator is in a Kind a Paper of News from the natural World, as
others are from the busy and politick Part of Mankind, I shall translate
the following Letter written to an eminent French Gentleman in this Town
from Paris, which gives us the Exit of an Heroine who is a Pattern of
Patience and Generosity.

Paris, April 18, 1712.


It is so many Years since you left your native Country, that I am to
tell you the Characters of your nearest Relations as much as if you
were an utter Stranger to them. The Occasion of this is to give you an
account of the Death of Madam de Villacerfe, whose Departure out of
this Life I know not whether a Man of your Philosophy will call
unfortunate or not, since it was attended with some Circumstances as
much to be desired as to be lamented. She was her whole Life happy in
an uninterrupted Health, and was always honoured for an Evenness of
Temper and Greatness of Mind. On the 10th instant that Lady was taken
with an Indisposition which confined her to her Chamber, but was such
as was too slight to make her take a sick Bed, and yet too grievous to
admit of any Satisfaction in being out of it. It is notoriously known,
that some Years ago Monsieur Festeau, one of the most considerable
Surgeons in Paris, was desperately in love with this Lady: Her Quality
placed her above any Application to her on the account of his Passion;
but as a Woman always has some regard to the Person whom she believes
to be her real Admirer, she now took it in her head (upon Advice of
her Physicians to lose some of her Blood) to send for Monsieur Festeau
on that occasion. I happened to be there at that time, and my near
Relation gave me the Privilege to be present. As soon as her Arm was
stripped bare, and he began to press it in order to raise the Vein,
his Colour changed, and I observed him seized with a sudden Tremor,
which made me take the liberty to speak of it to my Cousin with some
Apprehension: She smiled, and said she knew Mr. Festeau had no
Inclination to do her Injury. He seemed to recover himself, and
smiling also proceeded in his Work. Immediately after the Operation he
cried out, that he was the most unfortunate of all Men, for that he
had open'd an Artery instead of a Vein. It is as impossible to express
the Artist's Distraction as the Patient's Composure. I will not dwell
on little Circumstances, but go on to inform you, that within three
days time it was thought necessary to take off her Arm. She was so far
from using Festeau as it would be natural to one of a lower Spirit to
treat him, that she would not let him be absent from any Consultation
about her present Condition, and on every occasion asked whether he
was satisfy'd in the Measures [that] were taken about her. Before this
last Operation she ordered her Will to be drawn, and after having been
about a quarter of an hour alone, she bid the Surgeons, of whom poor
Festeau was one, go on in their Work. I know not how to give you the
Terms of Art, but there appeared such Symptoms after the Amputation of
her Arm, that it was visible she could not live four and twenty hours.
Her Behaviour was so magnanimous throughout this whole Affair, that I
was particularly curious in taking Notice of what passed as her Fate
approached nearer and nearer, and took Notes of what she said to all
about her, particularly Word for Word what she spoke to Mr. Festeau,

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