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The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 by Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

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so the Darkness that hangs upon your Mind must be removed before you are
able to discern what is Good and what is Evil. Let him remove from my
Mind, says _Alcibiades_, the Darkness, and what else he pleases, I am
determined to refuse nothing he shall order me, whoever he is, so that I
may become the better Man by it. The remaining Part of this Dialogue is
very obscure: There is something in it that would make us think
_Socrates_ hinted at himself, when he spoke of this Divine Teacher who
was to come into the World, did not he own that he himself was in this
respect as much at a Loss, and in as great Distress as the rest of

Some learned Men look upon this Conclusion as a Prediction of our
Saviour, or at least that Socrates, like the High-Priest, [4] prophesied
unknowingly, and pointed at that Divine Teacher who was to come into the
World some Ages after him. However that may be, we find that this great
Philosopher saw, by the Light of Reason, that it was suitable to the
Goodness of the Divine Nature, to send a Person into the World who
should instruct Mankind in the Duties of Religion, and, in particular,
teach them how to Pray.

Whoever reads this Abstract of _Plato's_ Discourse on Prayer, will, I
believe, naturally make this Reflection, That the great Founder of our
Religion, as well by his own Example, as in the Form of Prayer which he
taught his Disciples, did not only keep up to those Rules which the
Light of Nature had suggested to this great Philosopher, but instructed
his Disciples in the whole Extent of this Duty, as well as of all
others. He directed them to the proper Object of Adoration, and taught
them, according to the third Rule above-mentioned, to apply themselves
to him in their Closets, without Show or Ostentation, and to worship him
in Spirit and in Truth. As the _Lacedemonians_ in their Form of Prayer
implored the Gods in general to give them all good things so long as
they were virtuous, we ask in particular _that our Offences may be
forgiven, as we forgive those of others_. If we look into the second
Rule which _Socrates_ has prescribed, namely, That we should apply
ourselves to the Knowledge of such Things as are best for us, this too
is explain'd at large in the Doctrines of the Gospel, where we are
taught in several Instances to regard those things as Curses, which
appear as Blessings in the Eye of the World; and on the contrary, to
esteem those things as Blessings, which to the Generality of Mankind
appear as Curses. Thus in the Form which is prescribed to us we only
pray for that Happiness which is our chief Good, and the great End of
our Existence, when we petition the Supreme Being for _the coming of his
Kingdom, being solicitous for no other temporal Blessings but our daily
Sustenance_. On the other side, We pray against nothing but Sin, and
against _Evil_ in general, leaving it with Omniscience to determine what
is really such. If we look into the first of _Socrates_ his Rules of
Prayer, in which he recommends the above-mentioned Form of the ancient
Poet, we find that Form not only comprehended, but very much improved in
the Petition, wherein we pray to the Supreme Being that _his Will may be
done:_ which is of the same Force with that Form which our Saviour used,
when he prayed against the most painful and most ignominious of Deaths,
_Nevertheless not my Will, but thine be done_. This comprehensive
Petition is the most humble, as well as the most prudent, that can be
offered up from the Creature to his Creator, as it supposes the Supreme
Being wills nothing but what is for our Good, and that he knows better
than ourselves what is so.


[Footnote 1: [having received], and in first reprint.]

[Footnote 2: Iliad, viii. 548, 9.]

[Footnote 3: Iliad, v. 127.]

[Footnote 4: John xi. 49.]

* * * * *

No. 208. Monday, October 29, 1711. Steele.

--Veniunt spectentur ut ipsae.


I have several Letters of People of good Sense, who lament the Depravity
or Poverty of Taste the Town is fallen into with relation to Plays and
publick Spectacles. A Lady in particular observes, that there is such a
Levity in the Minds of her own Sex, that they seldom attend any thing
but Impertinences. It is indeed prodigious to observe how little Notice
is taken of the most exalted Parts of the best Tragedies in
_Shakespear_; nay, it is not only visible that Sensuality has devoured
all Greatness of Soul, but the Under-Passion (as I may so call it) of a
noble Spirit, Pity, seems to be a Stranger to the Generality of an
Audience. The Minds of Men are indeed very differently disposed; and the
Reliefs from Care and Attention are of one Sort in a great Spirit, and
of another in an ordinary one. The Man of a great Heart and a serious
Complexion, is more pleased with Instances of Generosity and Pity, than
the light and ludicrous Spirit can possibly be with the highest Strains
of Mirth and Laughter: It is therefore a melancholy Prospect when we see
a numerous Assembly lost to all serious Entertainments, and such
Incidents, as should move one sort of Concern, excite in them a quite
contrary one. In the Tragedy of _Macbeth_, the other Night, [2] when the
Lady who is conscious of the Crime of murdering the King, seems utterly
astonished at the News, and makes an Exclamation at it, instead of the
Indignation which is natural to the Occasion, that Expression is
received with a loud Laugh: They were as merry when a Criminal was
stabbed. It is certainly an Occasion of rejoycing when the Wicked are
seized in their Designs; but I think it is not such a Triumph as is
exerted by Laughter.

You may generally observe, that the Appetites are sooner moved than the
Passions: A sly Expression which alludes to Bawdry, puts a whole Row
into a pleasing Smirk; when a good Sentence that describes an inward
Sentiment of the Soul, is received with the greatest Coldness and
Indifference. A Correspondent of mine, upon this Subject, has divided
the Female Part of the Audience, and accounts for their Prepossession
against this reasonable Delight in the following Manner. The Prude, says
he, as she acts always in Contradiction, so she is gravely sullen at a
Comedy, and extravagantly gay at a Tragedy. The Coquette is so much
taken up with throwing her Eyes around the Audience, and considering the
Effect of them, that she cannot be expected to observe the Actors but as
they are her Rivals, and take off the Observation of the Men from her
self. Besides these Species of Women, there are the _Examples_, or the
first of the Mode: These are to be supposed too well acquainted with
what the Actor was going to say to be moved at it. After these one might
mention a certain flippant Set of Females who are Mimicks, and are
wonderfully diverted with the Conduct of all the People around them, and
are Spectators only of the Audience. But what is of all the most to be
lamented, is the Loss of a Party whom it would be worth preserving in
their right Senses upon all Occasions, and these are those whom we may
indifferently call the Innocent or the Unaffected. You may sometimes see
one of these sensibly touched with a well-wrought Incident; but then she
is immediately so impertinently observed by the Men, and frowned at by
some insensible Superior of her own Sex, that she is ashamed, and loses
the Enjoyment of the most laudable Concern, Pity. Thus the whole
Audience is afraid of letting fall a Tear, and shun as a Weakness the
best and worthiest Part of our Sense.

[Sidenote: Pray settle what is to be a proper Notification of a
Persons being in Town, and how that differs according to Peoples


As you are one that doth not only pretend to reform, but effects it
amongst People of any Sense; makes me (who are one of the greatest of
your Admirers) give you this Trouble to desire you will settle the
Method of us Females knowing when one another is in Town: For they
have now got a Trick of never sending to their Acquaintance when they
first come; and if one does not visit them within the Week which they
stay at home, it is a mortal Quarrel. Now, dear Mr. SPEC, either
command them to put it in the Advertisement of your Paper, which is
generally read by our Sex, or else order them to breathe their saucy
Footmen (who are good for nothing else) by sending them to tell all
their Acquaintance. If you think to print this, pray put it into a
better Style as to the spelling Part. The Town is now filling every
Day, and it cannot be deferred, because People take Advantage of one
another by this Means and break off Acquaintance, and are rude:
Therefore pray put this in your Paper as soon as you can possibly, to
prevent any future Miscarriages of this Nature. I am, as I ever shall

Dear SPEC,
_Your most obedient
Humble Servant,_
Mary Meanwell.


October _the 20th_.

I have been out of Town, so did not meet with your Paper dated
_September_ the 28th, wherein you, to my Hearts Desire, expose that
cursed Vice of ensnaring poor young Girls, and drawing them from their
Friends. I assure you without Flattery it has saved a Prentice of mine
from Ruin; and in Token of Gratitude as well as for the Benefit of my
Family, I have put it in a Frame and Glass, and hung it behind my
Counter. I shall take Care to make my young ones read it every
Morning, to fortify them against such pernicious Rascals. I know not
whether what you writ was Matter of Fact, or your own Invention; but
this I will take my Oath on, the first Part is so exactly like what
happened to my Prentice, that had I read your Paper then, I should
have taken your Method to have secured a Villain. Go on and prosper.

_Your most obliged Humble Servant,_


Without Raillery, I desire you to insert this Word for Word in your
next, as you value a Lovers Prayers. You see it is an Hue and Cry
after a stray Heart (with the Marks and Blemishes underwritten) which
whoever shall bring to you, shall receive Satisfaction. Let me beg of
you not to fail, as you remember the Passion you had for her to whom
you lately ended a Paper.

Noble, Generous, Great, and Good,
But never to be understood;
Fickle as the Wind, still changing,
After every Female ranging,
Panting, trembling, sighing, dying,
But addicted much to Lying:
When the Siren Songs repeats,
Equal Measures still it beats;
Who-e'er shall wear it, it will smart her,
And who-e'er takes it, takes a Tartar.


[Footnote 1: Spectaret Populum ludis attentius ipsis.-Hor.]

[Footnote 2: Acted Saturday, October 20.]

* * * * *

No. 209. Tuesday, October 30, 1711. Addison.

[Greek: Gynaikos oudi chraem anaer laeizetai
Esthlaes ameinon, oude rhigion kakaes.]


There are no Authors I am more pleased with than those who shew human
Nature in a Variety of Views, and describe the several Ages of the World
in their different Manners. A Reader cannot be more rationally
entertained, than by comparing the Virtues and Vices of his own Times
with those which prevailed in the Times of his Forefathers; and drawing
a Parallel in his Mind between his own private Character, and that of
other Persons, whether of his own Age, or of the Ages that went before
him. The Contemplation of Mankind under these changeable Colours, is apt
to shame us out of any particular Vice, or animate us to any particular
Virtue, to make us pleased or displeased with our selves in the most
proper Points, to clear our Minds of Prejudice and Prepossession, and
rectify that Narrowness of Temper which inclines us to think amiss of
those who differ from our selves.

If we look into the Manners of the most remote Ages of the World, we
discover human Nature in her Simplicity; and the more we come downwards
towards our own Times, may observe her hiding herself in Artifices and
Refinements, Polished insensibly out of her Original Plainness, and at
length entirely lost under Form and Ceremony, and (what we call) good
Breeding. Read the Accounts of Men and Women as they are given us by the
most ancient Writers, both Sacred and Prophane, and you would think you
were reading the History of another Species.

Among the Writers of Antiquity, there are none who instruct us more
openly in the Manners of their respective Times in which they lived,
than those who have employed themselves in Satyr, under what Dress
soever it may appear; as there are no other Authors whose Province it is
to enter so directly into the Ways of Men, and set their Miscarriages in
so strong a Light.

_Simonides_,[1] a Poet famous in his Generation, is, I think, Author of
the oldest Satyr that is now extant; and, as some say, of the first that
was ever written. This Poet flourished about four hundred Years after
the Siege of _Troy;_ and shews, by his way of Writing, the Simplicity,
or rather Coarseness, of the Age in which he lived. I have taken notice,
in my Hundred and sixty first Speculation, that the Rule of observing
what the _French_ call the _bienseance_, in an Allusion, has been found
out of later Years; and that the Ancients, provided there was a Likeness
in their Similitudes, did not much trouble themselves about the Decency
of the Comparison. The Satyr or Iambicks of _Simonides_, with which I
shall entertain my Readers in the present Paper, are a remarkable
Instance of what I formerly advanced. The Subject of this Satyr is
Woman. He describes the Sex in their several Characters, which he
derives to them from a fanciful Supposition raised upon the Doctrine of
Praeexistence. He tells us, That the Gods formed the Souls of Women out
of those Seeds and Principles which compose several Kinds of Animals and
Elements; and that their Good or Bad Dispositions arise in them
according as such and such Seeds and Principles predominate in their
Constitutions. I have translated the Author very faithfully, and if not
Word for Word (which our Language would not bear) at least so as to
comprehend every one of his Sentiments, without adding any thing of my
own. I have already apologized for this Authors Want of Delicacy, and
must further premise, That the following Satyr affects only some of the
lower part of the Sex, and not those who have been refined by a Polite
Education, which was not so common in the Age of this Poet.

_In the Beginning God made the Souls of Womankind out of different
Materials, and in a separate State from their Bodies_.

_The Souls of one Kind of Women were formed out of those Ingredients
which compose a Swine. A Woman of this Make is a Slut in her House and
a Glutton at her Table. She is uncleanly in her Person, a Slattern in
her Dress, and her Family is no better than a Dunghill_.

_A Second Sort of Female Soul was formed out of the same Materials
that enter into the Composition of a Fox. Such an one is what we call
a notable discerning Woman, who has an Insight into every thing,
whether it be good or bad. In this Species of Females there are some
Virtuous and some Vicious_.

_A Third Kind of Women were made up of Canine Particles. These are
what we commonly call_ Scolds, _who imitate the Animals of which they
were taken, that are always busy and barking, that snarl at every one
who comes in their Way, and live in perpetual Clamour_.

_The Fourth Kind of Women were made out of the Earth. These are your
Sluggards, who pass away their Time in Indolence and Ignorance, hover
over the Fire a whole Winter, and apply themselves with Alacrity to no
kind of Business but Eating_.

_The Fifth Species of Females were made out of the Sea. These are
Women of variable uneven Tempers, sometimes all Storm and Tempest,
sometimes all Calm and Sunshine. The Stranger who sees one of these in
her Smiles and Smoothness would cry her up for a Miracle of good
Humour; but on a sudden her Looks and her Words are changed, she is
nothing but Fury and Outrage, Noise and Hurricane_.

_The Sixth Species were made up of the Ingredients which compose an
Ass, or a Beast of Burden. These are naturally exceeding slothful,
but, upon the Husbands exerting his Authority, will live upon hard
Fare, and do every thing to please him. They are however far from
being averse to Venereal Pleasure, and seldom refuse a Male

_The Cat furnished Materials for a Seventh Species of Women, who are
of a melancholy, froward, unamiable Nature, and so repugnant to the
Offers of Love, that they fly in the Face of their Husband when he
approaches them with conjugal Endearments. This Species of Women are
likewise subject to little Thefts, Cheats and Pilferings_.

_The Mare with a flowing Mane, which was never broke to any servile
Toil and Labour, composed an Eighth Species of Women. These are they
who have little Regard for their Husbands, who pass away their Time in
Dressing, Bathing, and Perfuming; who throw their Hair into the nicest
Curls, and trick it up with the fairest Flowers and Garlands. A Woman
of this Species is a very pretty Thing for a Stranger to look upon,
but very detrimental to the Owner, unless it be a King or Prince who
takes a Fancy to such a Toy_.

_The Ninth Species of Females were taken out of the Ape. These are
such as are both ugly and ill-natured, who have nothing beautiful in
themselves, and endeavour to detract from or ridicule every thing
which appears so in others_.

_The Tenth and last Species of Women were made out of the Bee; and
happy is the Man who gets such an one for his Wife. She is altogether
faultless and unblameable; her Family flourishes and improves by her
good Management. She loves her Husband, and is beloved by him. She
brings him a Race of beautiful and virtuous Children. She
distinguishes her self among her Sex. She is surrounded with Graces.
She never sits among the loose Tribe of Women, nor passes away her
Time with them in wanton Discourses. She is full of Virtue and
Prudence, and is the best Wife that_ Jupiter _can bestow on Man_.

I shall conclude these Iambicks with the Motto of this Paper, which is a
Fragment of the same Author: _A Man cannot possess any Thing that is
better than a good Woman, nor any thing that is worse than a bad one_.

As the Poet has shewn a great Penetration in this Diversity of Female
Characters, he has avoided the Fault which _Juvenal_ and Monsieur
_Boileau_ are guilty of, the former in his sixth, and the other in his
last Satyr, where they have endeavoured to expose the Sex in general,
without doing Justice to the valuable Part of it. Such levelling Satyrs
are of no Use to the World, and for this Reason I have often wondered
how the _French_ Author above-mentioned, who was a Man of exquisite
Judgment, and a Lover of Virtue, could think human Nature a proper
Subject for Satyr in another of his celebrated Pieces, which is called
_The Satyr upon Man_. What Vice or Frailty can a Discourse correct,
which censures the whole Species alike, and endeavours to shew by some
Superficial Strokes of Wit, that Brutes are the more excellent Creatures
of the two? A Satyr should expose nothing but what is corrigible, and
make a due Discrimination between those who are, and those who are not
the proper Objects of it.


[Footnote 1: Of the poems of Simonides, contemporary of AEschylus, only
fragments remain. He died about 467 B.C.]

* * * * *

No. 210. Wednesday, Oct. 31, 1711. John Hughes.

Nescio quomodo inhaeret in mentibus quasi seculorum quoddam augurium
futurorum; idque in maximis ingeniis altissimisque animis et existit
maxime et apparet facillime.

Cic. Tusc. Quaest.



I am fully persuaded that one of the best Springs of generous and
worthy Actions, is the having generous and worthy Thoughts of our
selves. Whoever has a mean Opinion of the Dignity of his Nature, will
act in no higher a Rank than he has allotted himself in his own
Estimation. If he considers his Being as circumscribed by the
uncertain Term of a few Years, his Designs will be contracted into the
same narrow Span he imagines is to bound his Existence. How can he
exalt his Thoughts to any thing great and noble, who only believes
that, after a short Turn on the Stage of this World, he is to sink
into Oblivion, and to lose his Consciousness for ever?

For this Reason I am of Opinion, that so useful and elevated a
Contemplation as that of the _Souls Immortality_ cannot be resumed
too often. There is not a more improving Exercise to the human Mind,
than to be frequently reviewing its own great Privileges and
Endowments; nor a more effectual Means to awaken in us an Ambition
raised above low Objects and little Pursuits, than to value our selves
as Heirs of Eternity.

It is a very great Satisfaction to consider the best and wisest of
Mankind in all Nations and Ages, asserting, as with one Voice, this
their Birthright, and to find it ratify'd by an express Revelation. At
the same time if we turn our Thoughts inward upon our selves, we may
meet with a kind of secret Sense concurring with the Proofs of our own

You have, in my Opinion, raised a good presumptive Argument from the
increasing Appetite the Mind has to Knowledge, and to the extending
its own Faculties, which cannot be accomplished, as the more
restrained Perfection of lower Creatures may, in the Limits of a short
Life. I think another probable Conjecture may be raised from our
Appetite to Duration it self, and from a Reflection on our Progress
through the several Stages of it: _We are complaining_, as you observe
in a former Speculation, _of the Shortness of Life, and yet are
perpetually hurrying over the Parts of it, to arrive at certain little
Settlements, or imaginary Points of Rest, which are dispersed up and
down in it_.

Now let us consider what happens to us when we arrive at these
_imaginary Points of Rest_: Do we stop our Motion, and sit down
satisfied in the Settlement we have gain'd? or are we not removing the
Boundary, and marking out new Points of Rest, to which we press
forward with the like Eagerness, and which cease to be such as fast as
we attain them? Our Case is like that of a Traveller upon the _Alps_,
who should fancy that the Top of the next Hill must end his Journey,
because it terminates his Prospect; but he no sooner arrives as it,
than he sees new Ground and other Hills beyond it, and continues to
travel on as before. [1]

This is so plainly every Man's Condition in Life, that there is no
one who has observed any thing, but may observe, that as fast as his
Time wears away, his Appetite to something future remains. The Use
therefore I would make of it is this, That since Nature (as some love
to express it) does nothing in vain, or, to speak properly, since the
Author of our Being has planted no wandering Passion in it, no Desire
which has not its Object, Futurity is the proper Object of the Passion
so constantly exercis'd about it; and this Restlessness in the
present, this assigning our selves over to further Stages of Duration,
this successive grasping at somewhat still to come, appears to me
(whatever it may to others) as a kind of Instinct or natural Symptom
which the Mind of Man has of its own Immortality.

I take it at the same time for granted, that the Immortality of the
Soul is sufficiently established by other Arguments: And if so, this
Appetite, which otherwise would be very unaccountable and absurd,
seems very reasonable, and adds Strength to the Conclusion. But I am
amazed when I consider there are Creatures capable of Thought, who, in
spite of every Argument, can form to themselves a sullen Satisfaction
in thinking otherwise. There is something so pitifully mean in the
inverted Ambition of that Man who can hope for Annihilation, and
please himself to think that his whole Fabrick shall one Day crumble
into Dust, and mix with the Mass of inanimate Beings, that it equally
deserves our Admiration and Pity. The Mystery of such Mens Unbelief is
not hard to be penetrated; and indeed amounts to nothing more than a
sordid Hope that they shall not be immortal, because they dare not be

This brings me back to my first Observation, and gives me Occasion to
say further, That as worthy Actions spring from worthy Thoughts, so
worthy Thoughts are likewise the Consequence of worthy Actions: But
the Wretch who has degraded himself below the Character of
Immortality, is very willing to resign his Pretensions to it, and to
substitute in its Room a dark negative Happiness in the Extinction of
his Being.

The admirable _Shakespear_ has given us a strong Image of the
unsupported Condition of such a Person in his last Minutes, in the
second Part of King _Henry_ the Sixth, where Cardinal _Beaufort_, who
had been concerned in the Murder of the good Duke _Humphrey_, is
represented on his Death-bed. After some short confused Speeches which
shew an Imagination disturbed with Guilt, just as he is expiring, King
_Henry_ standing by him full of Compassion, says,

_Lord Cardinal! if thou thinkst on Heavens Bliss,
Hold up thy Hand, make Signal of that Hope!
He dies, and makes no Sign_!--

The Despair which is here shewn, without a Word or Action on the Part
of the dying Person, is beyond what could be painted by the most
forcible Expressions whatever.

I shall not pursue this Thought further, but only add, That as
Annihilation is not to be had with a Wish, so it is the most abject
Thing in the World to wish it. What are Honour, Fame, Wealth, or Power
when compared with the generous Expectation of a Being without End,
and a Happiness adequate to that Being?

I shall trouble you no further; but with a certain Gravity which
these Thoughts have given me, I reflect upon some Things People say of
you, (as they will of Men who distinguish themselves) which I hope are
not true; and wish you as good a Man as you are an Author.

_I am, SIR, Your most obedient humble Servant_, T. D.


[Footnote 1:

Hills peep o'er Hills, and Alps on Alps arise.

Popes Essay on Criticism, then newly published.]

* * * * *

No. 211 Thursday, November 1, 1711. Addison.

Fictis meminerit nos jocari Fabulis.


Having lately translated the Fragment of an old Poet which describes
Womankind under several Characters, and supposes them to have drawn
their different Manners and Dispositions from those Animals and Elements
out of which he tells us they were compounded; I had some Thoughts of
giving the Sex their Revenge, by laying together in another Paper the
many vicious Characters which prevail in the Male World, and shewing the
different Ingredients that go to the making up of such different Humours
and Constitutions. _Horace_ has a Thought [1] which is something akin to
this, when, in order to excuse himself to his Mistress, for an Invective
which he had written against her, and to account for that unreasonable
Fury with which the Heart of Man is often transported, he tells us that,
when _Prometheus_ made his Man of Clay, in the kneading up of his Heart,
he season'd it with some furious Particles of the Lion. But upon turning
this Plan to and fro in my Thoughts, I observed so many unaccountable
Humours in Man, that I did not know out of what Animals to fetch them.
Male Souls are diversify'd with so many Characters, that the World has
not Variety of Materials sufficient to furnish out their different
Tempers and Inclinations. The Creation, with all its Animals and
Elements, would not be large enough to supply their several

Instead therefore of pursuing the Thought of _Simonides_, I shall
observe, that as he has exposed the vicious Part of Women from the
Doctrine of Praeexistence, some of the ancient Philosophers have, in a
manner, satirized the vicious Part of the human Species in general, from
a Notion of the Souls Postexistence, if I may so call it; and that as
_Simonides_ describes Brutes entering into the Composition of Women,
others have represented human Souls as entering into Brutes. This is
commonly termed the Doctrine of Transmigration, which supposes that
human Souls, upon their leaving the Body, become the Souls of such Kinds
of Brutes as they most resemble in their Manners; or to give an Account
of it as Mr. _Dryden_ has described it in his Translation of
_Pythagoras_ his Speech in the fifteenth Book of _Ovid_, where that
Philosopher dissuades his Hearers from eating Flesh:

Thus all things are but alter'd, nothing dies,
And here and there th' unbody'd Spirit flies:
By Time, or Force, or Sickness dispossess'd,
And lodges where it lights, in Bird or Beast,
Or hunts without till ready Limbs it find,
And actuates those according to their Kind:
From Tenement to Tenement is toss'd:
The Soul is still the same, the Figure only lost.
Then let not Piety be put to Flight,
To please the Taste of Glutton-Appetite;
But suffer inmate Souls secure to dwell,
Lest from their Seats your Parents you expel;
With rabid Hunger feed upon your Kind,
Or from a Beast dislodge a Brothers Mind.

_Plato_ in the Vision of _Erus_ the _Armenian_, which I may possibly
make the Subject of a future Speculation, records some beautiful
Transmigrations; as that the Soul of _Orpheus_, who was musical,
melancholy, and a Woman-hater, entered into a Swan; the Soul of _Ajax_,
which was all Wrath and Fierceness, into a Lion; the Soul of
_Agamemnon_, that was rapacious and imperial, into an Eagle; and the
Soul of _Thersites_, who was a Mimick and a Buffoon, into a Monkey. [2]

Mr. _Congreve_, in a Prologue to one of his Comedies, [3] has touch'd
upon this Doctrine with great Humour.

Thus_ Aristotle's _Soul of old that was,
May now be damn'd to animate an Ass;
Or in this very House, for ought we know,
Is doing painful Penance in some Beau.

I shall fill up this Paper with some Letters which my last _Tuesdays_
Speculation has produced. My following Correspondents will shew, what I
there observed, that the Speculation of that Day affects only the lower
Part of the Sex.

_From my House in the_ Strand, October 30, 1711.


Upon reading your _Tuesdays_ Paper, I find by several Symptoms in my
Constitution that I am a Bee. My Shop, or, if you please to call it
so, my Cell, is in that great Hive of Females which goes by the Name
of _The New Exchange_; where I am daily employed in gathering together
a little Stock of Gain from the finest Flowers about the Town, I mean
the Ladies and the Beaus. I have a numerous Swarm of Children, to whom
I give the best Education I am able: But, Sir, it is my Misfortune to
be married to a Drone, who lives upon what I get, without bringing any
thing into the common Stock. Now, Sir, as on the one hand I take care
not to behave myself towards him like a Wasp, so likewise I would not
have him look upon me as an Humble-Bee; for which Reason I do all I
can to put him upon laying up Provisions for a bad Day, and frequently
represent to him the fatal Effects [his [4]] Sloth and Negligence may
bring upon us in our old Age. I must beg that you will join with me in
your good Advice upon this Occasion, and you will for ever oblige

_Your humble Servant_,


_Picadilly, October_ 31, 1711.


I am joined in Wedlock for my Sins to one of those Fillies who are
described in the old Poet with that hard Name you gave us the other
Day. She has a flowing Mane, and a Skin as soft as Silk: But, Sir, she
passes half her Life at her Glass, and almost ruins me in Ribbons. For
my own part, I am a plain handicraft Man, and in Danger of breaking by
her Laziness and Expensiveness. Pray, Master, tell me in your next
Paper, whether I may not expect of her so much Drudgery as to take
care of her Family, and curry her Hide in case of Refusal.

_Your loving Friend_,

Barnaby Brittle.

_Cheapside, October_ 30.


I am mightily pleased with the Humour of the Cat, be so kind as to
enlarge upon that Subject.

_Yours till Death_,

Josiah Henpeck.

P.S. You must know I am married to a _Grimalkin_.

_Wapping, October_ 31, 1711.


Ever since your _Spectator_ of _Tuesday_ last came into our Family,
my Husband is pleased to call me his _Oceana_, because the foolish old
Poet that you have translated says, That the Souls of some Women are
made of Sea-Water. This, it seems, has encouraged my Sauce-Box to be
witty upon me. When I am angry, he cries Prythee my Dear _be calm_;
when I chide one of my Servants, Prythee Child _do not bluster_. He
had the Impudence about an Hour ago to tell me, That he was a
Sea-faring Man, and must expect to divide his Life between _Storm_ and
_Sunshine_. When I bestir myself with any Spirit in my Family, it is
_high Sea_ in his House; and when I sit still without doing any thing,
his Affairs forsooth are _Wind-bound_. When I ask him whether it
rains, he makes Answer, It is no Matter, so that it be _fair Weather_
within Doors. In short, Sir, I cannot speak my Mind freely to him, but
I either _swell_ or _rage_, or do something that is not fit for a
civil Woman to hear. Pray, _Mr_. SPECTATOR, since you are so sharp
upon other Women, let us know what Materials your Wife is made of, if
you have one. I suppose you would make us a Parcel of poor-spirited
tame insipid Creatures; but, Sir, I would have you to know, we have as
good Passions in us as your self, and that a Woman was never designed
to be a Milk-Sop.



[Footnote 1: Odes, I. 16. ]

[Footnote 2: In the Timaeus Plato derives woman and all the animals
from man, by successive degradations. Cowardly or unjust men are born
again as women. Light, airy, and superficial men, who carried their
minds aloft without the use of reason, are the materials for making
birds, the hair being transmuted into feathers and wings. From men
wholly without philosophy, who never looked heavenward, the more brutal
land animals are derived, losing the round form of the cranium by the
slackening and stopping of the rotations of the encephalic soul. Feet
are given to these according to the degree of their stupidity, to
multiply approximations to the earth; and the dullest become reptiles
who drag the whole length of their bodies on the ground. Out of the very
stupidest of men come those animals which are not judged worthy to live
at all upon earth and breathe this air, these men become fishes, and the
creatures who breathe nothing but turbid water, fixed at the lowest
depths and almost motionless, among the mud. By such transitions, he
says, the different races of animals passed originally and still pass
into each other.]

[Footnote 3: In the Epilogue to Love for Love.]

[Footnote 4: that his]

* * * * *

No. 212. Friday, November 2, 1711. Steele.

--Eripe turpi
Colla jugo, liber, liber dic, sum age--



I Never look upon my dear Wife, but I think of the Happiness Sir
ROGER DE COVERLEY enjoys, in having such a Friend as you to expose in
proper Colours the Cruelty and Perverseness of his Mistress. I have
very often wished you visited in our Family, and were acquainted with
my Spouse; she would afford you for some Months at least Matter enough
for one _Spectator_ a Week. Since we are not so happy as to be of your
Acquaintance, give me leave to represent to you our present
Circumstances as well as I can in Writing. You are to know then that I
am not of a very different Constitution from _Nathaniel Henroost_,
whom you have lately recorded in your Speculations; and have a Wife
who makes a more tyrannical Use of the Knowledge of my easy Temper
than that Lady ever pretended to. We had not been a Month married,
when she found in me a certain Pain to give Offence, and an Indolence
that made me bear little Inconveniences rather than dispute about
them. From this Observation it soon came to that pass, that if I
offered to go abroad, she would get between me and the Door, kiss me,
and say she could not part with me; and then down again I sat. In a
Day or two after this first pleasant Step towards confining me, she
declared to me, that I was all the World to her, and she thought she
ought to be all the World to me. If, she said, my Dear loves me as
much as I love him, he will never be tired of my Company. This
Declaration was followed by my being denied to all my Acquaintance;
and it very soon came to that pass, that to give an Answer at the Door
before my Face, the Servants would ask her whether I was within or
not; and she would answer No with great Fondness, and tell me I was a
good Dear. I will not enumerate more little Circumstances to give you
a livelier Sense of my Condition; but tell you in general, that from
such Steps as these at first, I now live the Life of a Prisoner of
State; my Letters are opened, and I have not the Use of Pen, Ink and
Paper, but in her Presence. I never go abroad, except she sometimes
takes me with her in her Coach to take the Air, if it may be called
so, when we drive, as we generally do, with the Glasses up. I have
overheard my Servants lament my Condition, but they dare not bring me
Messages without her Knowledge, because they doubt my Resolution to
stand by em. In the midst of this insipid Way of Life, an old
Acquaintance of mine, _Tom Meggot_, who is a Favourite with her, and
allowed to visit me in her Company because he sings prettily, has
roused me to rebel, and conveyed his Intelligence to me in the
following Manner. My Wife is a great Pretender to Musick, and very
ignorant of it; but far gone in the _Italian_ Taste. _Tom_ goes to
_Armstrong_, the famous fine Writer of Musick, and desires him to put
this Sentence of _Tully_ [1] in the Scale of an _Italian_ Air, and
write it out for my Spouse from him. _An ille mihi liber cui mulier
imperat? Cui leges imponit, praescribit, jubet, vetat quod videtur?
Qui nihil imperanti negare, nihil recusare audet? Poscit? dandum est.
Vocat? veniendum. Ejicit? abeundum. Minitatur? extimiscendum. Does he
live like a Gentleman who is commanded by a Woman? He to whom she
gives Law, grants and denies what she pleases? who can neither deny
her any thing she asks, or refuse to do any thing she commands_?

To be short, my Wife was extremely pleased with it; said the
_Italian_ was the only Language for Musick; and admired how
wonderfully tender the Sentiment was, and how pretty the Accent is of
that Language, with the rest that is said by Rote on that Occasion.
Mr. _Meggot_ is sent for to sing this Air, which he performs with
mighty Applause; and my Wife is in Ecstasy on the Occasion, and glad
to find, by my being so much pleased, that I was at last come into the
Notion of the _Italian_; for, said she, it grows upon one when one
once comes to know a little of the Language; and pray, Mr. _Meggot_,
sing again those Notes, _Nihil Imperanti negare, nihil recusare_. You
may believe I was not a little delighted with my Friend _Toms_
Expedient to alarm me, and in Obedience to his Summons I give all this
Story thus at large; and I am resolved, when this appears in the
_Spectator_, to declare for my self. The manner of the Insurrection I
contrive by your Means, which shall be no other than that _Tom
Meggot_, who is at our Tea-table every Morning, shall read it to us;
and if my Dear can take the Hint, and say not one Word, but let this
be the Beginning of a new Life without farther Explanation, it is very
well; for as soon as the _Spectator_ is read out, I shall, without
more ado, call for the Coach, name the Hour when I shall be at home,
if I come at all; if I do not, they may go to Dinner. If my Spouse
only swells and says nothing, _Tom_ and I go out together, and all is
well, as I said before; but if she begins to command or expostulate,
you shall in my next to you receive a full Account of her Resistance
and Submission, for submit the dear thing must to,


_Your most obedient humble Servant_,

Anthony Freeman.

_P. S._ I hope I need not tell you that I desire this may be in your
very next.


[Footnote 1: Paradox V. on the Thesis that All who are wise are Free,
and the fools Slaves.]

* * * * *

No. 213. Saturday, November 3, 1711. Addison.

--Mens sibi conscia recti.


It is the great Art and Secret of Christianity, if I may use that
Phrase, to manage our Actions to the best Advantage, and direct them in
such a manner, that every thing we do may turn to Account at that great
Day, when every thing we have done will be set before us.

In order to give this Consideration its full Weight, we may cast all our
Actions under the Division of such as are in themselves either Good,
Evil, or Indifferent. If we divide our Intentions after the same Manner,
and consider them with regard to our Actions, we may discover that great
Art and Secret of Religion which I have here mentioned.

A good Intention joined to a good Action, gives it its proper Force and
Efficacy; joined to an Evil Action, extenuates its Malignity, and in
some Cases may take it wholly away; and joined to an indifferent Action
turns it to a Virtue, and makes it meritorious as far as human Actions
can be so.

In the next Place, to consider in the same manner the Influence of an
Evil Intention upon our Actions. An Evil Intention perverts the best of
Actions, and makes them in reality, what the Fathers with a witty kind
of Zeal have termed the Virtues of the Heathen World, so many _shining
Sins_. It destroys the Innocence of an indifferent Action, and gives an
evil Action all possible Blackness and Horror, or in the emphatical
Language of Sacred Writ, makes _Sin exceeding sinful_. [1]

If, in the last Place, we consider the Nature of an indifferent
Intention, we shall find that it destroys the Merit of a good Action;
abates, but never takes away, the Malignity of an evil Action; and
leaves an indifferent Action in its natural State of Indifference.

It is therefore of unspeakable Advantage to possess our Minds with an
habitual good Intention, and to aim all our Thoughts, Words, and Actions
at some laudable End, whether it be the Glory of our Maker, the Good of
Mankind, or the Benefit of our own Souls.

This is a sort of Thrift or Good-Husbandry in moral Life, which does not
throw away any single Action, but makes every one go as far as it can.
It multiplies the Means of Salvation, increases the Number of our
Virtues, and diminishes that of our Vices.

There is something very devout, though not solid, in _Acosta's_ Answer
to _Limborch_, [2] who objects to him the Multiplicity of Ceremonies in
the _Jewish_ Religion, as Washings, Dresses, Meats, Purgations, and the
like. The Reply which the _Jew_ makes upon this Occasion, is, to the
best of my Remembrance, as follows: There are not Duties enough (says
he) in the essential Parts of the Law for a zealous and active
Obedience. Time, Place, and Person are requisite, before you have an
Opportunity of putting a Moral Virtue into Practice. We have, therefore,
says he, enlarged the Sphere of our Duty, and made many Things, which
are in themselves indifferent, a Part of our Religion, that we may have
more Occasions of shewing our Love to God, and in all the Circumstances
of Life be doing something to please him.

Monsieur _St. Evremond_ has endeavoured to palliate the Superstitions of
the Roman Catholick Religion with the same kind of Apology, where he
pretends to consider the differing Spirit of the Papists and the
Calvinists, as to the great Points wherein they disagree. He tells us,
that the former are actuated by Love, and the other by Fear; and that in
their Expressions of Duty and Devotion towards the Supreme Being, the
former seem particularly careful to do every thing which may possibly
please him, and the other to abstain from every thing which may possibly
displease him. [3]

But notwithstanding this plausible Reason with which both the Jew and
the Roman Catholick would excuse their respective Superstitions, it is
certain there is something in them very pernicious to Mankind, and
destructive to Religion; because the Injunction of superfluous
Ceremonies makes such Actions Duties, as were before indifferent, and by
that means renders Religion more burdensome and difficult than it is in
its own Nature, betrays many into Sins of Omission which they could not
otherwise be guilty of, and fixes the Minds of the Vulgar to the shadowy
unessential Points, instead of the more weighty and more important
Matters of the Law.

This zealous and active Obedience however takes place in the great Point
we are recommending; for, if, instead of prescribing to our selves
indifferent Actions as Duties, we apply a good Intention to all our most
indifferent Actions, we make our very Existence one continued Act of
Obedience, we turn our Diversions and Amusements to our eternal
Advantage, and are pleasing him (whom we are made to please) in all the
Circumstances and Occurrences of Life.

It is this excellent Frame of Mind, this _holy Officiousness_ (if I may
be allowed to call it such) which is recommended to us by the Apostle in
that uncommon Precept, wherein he directs us to propose to ourselves the
Glory of our Creator in all our most indifferent Actions, _whether we
eat or drink, or whatsoever we do._ [4]

A Person therefore who is possessed with such an habitual good
Intention, as that which I have been here speaking of, enters upon no
single Circumstance of Life, without considering it as well-pleasing to
the great Author of his Being, conformable to the Dictates of Reason,
suitable to human Nature in general, or to that particular Station in
which Providence has placed him. He lives in a perpetual Sense of the
Divine Presence, regards himself as acting, in the whole Course of his
Existence, under the Observation and Inspection of that Being, who is
privy to all his Motions and all his Thoughts, who knows all his
_Down-sitting and his Up-rising, who is about his Path, and about his
Bed, and spieth out all his Ways._ [5] In a word, he remembers that the
Eye of his Judge is always upon him, and in every Action he reflects
that he is doing what is commanded or allowed by Him who will hereafter
either reward or punish it. This was the Character of those holy Men of
old, who in that beautiful Phrase of Scripture are said to have _walked
with God?_. [6]

When I employ myself upon a Paper of Morality, I generally consider how
I may recommend the particular Virtue which I treat of, by the Precepts
or Examples of the ancient Heathens; by that Means, if possible, to
shame those who have greater Advantages of knowing their Duty, and
therefore greater Obligations to perform it, into a better Course of
Life; Besides that many among us are unreasonably disposed to give a
fairer hearing to a Pagan Philosopher, than to a Christian Writer.

I shall therefore produce an Instance of this excellent Frame of Mind in
a Speech of _Socrates_, which is quoted by _Erasmus_.

This great Philosopher on the Day of his Execution, a little before the
Draught of Poison was brought to him, entertaining his Friends with a
Discourse on the Immortality of the Soul, has these Words: _Whether or
no God will approve of my Actions, I know not; but this I am sure of,
that I have at all Times made it my Endeavour to please him, and I have
a good Hope that this my Endeavour will be accepted by him._ We find in
these Words of that great Man the habitual good Intention which I would
here inculcate, and with which that divine Philosopher always acted. I
shall only add, that _Erasmus_, who was an unbigotted Roman Catholick,
was so much transported with this Passage of _Socrates_, that he could
scarce forbear looking upon him as a Saint, and desiring him to pray for
him; or as that ingenious and learned Writer has expressed himself in a
much more lively manner: _When I reflect on such a Speech pronounced by
such a Person, I can scarce forbear crying out,_ Sancte Socrates, ora
pro nobis: _O holy Socrates, pray for us_. [7]


[Footnote 1: Rom. vii. 16.]

[Footnote 2: Arnica Collatio de Veritate Relig. Christ. cum Erudito
Judaeo, published in 1687, by Philippe de Limborch, who was eminent as
a professor of Theology at Amsterdam from 1667 until his death, in 1712,
at the age of 79. But the learned Jew was the Spanish Physician Isaac
Orobio, who was tortured for three years in the prisons of the
Inquisition on a charge of Judaism. He admitted nothing, was therefore
set free, and left Spain for Toulouse, where he practised physic and
passed as a Catholic until he settled at Amsterdam. There he made
profession of the Jewish faith, and died in the year of the publication
of Limborchs friendly discussion with him.

The Uriel Acosta, with whom Addison confounds Orobio, was a gentleman of
Oporto who had embraced Judaism, and, leaving Portugal, had also gone to
Amsterdam. There he was circumcised, but was persecuted by the Jews
themselves, and eventually whipped in the synagogue for attempting
reformation of the Jewish usages, in which, he said, tradition had
departed from the law of Moses. He took his thirty-nine lashes,
recanted, and lay across the threshold of the synagogue for all his
brethren to walk over him. Afterwards he endeavoured to shoot his
principal enemy, but his pistol missed fire. He had another about him,
and with that he shot himself. This happened about the year 1640, when
Limborch was but a child of six or seven.]

[Footnote 3: Sur la Religion. OEuvres (Ed. 1752), Vol. III. pp. 267,

[Footnote 4: I Cor. x. 31.]

[Footnote 5: Psalm cxxxix. 2, 3.]

[Footnote 6: Genesis v.22; vi. 9]

[Footnote 7: Erasm. Apophthegm. Bk. III.]

* * * * *

No. 214. Monday, November 5, 1711. Steele.

Perierunt tempora longi

Juv. [1]

I did some time ago lay before the World the unhappy Condition of the
trading Part of Mankind, who suffer by want of Punctuality in the
Dealings of Persons above them; but there is a Set of Men who are much
more the Objects of Compassion than even those, and these are the
Dependants on great Men, whom they are pleased to take under their
Protection as such as are to share in their Friendship and Favour. These
indeed, as well from the Homage that is accepted from them, as the hopes
which are given to them, are become a Sort of Creditors; and these
Debts, being Debts of Honour, ought, according to the accustomed Maxim,
to be first discharged.

When I speak of Dependants, I would not be understood to mean those who
are worthless in themselves, or who, without any Call, will press into
the Company of their Betters. Nor, when I speak of Patrons, do I mean
those who either have it not in their Power, or have no Obligation to
assist their Friends; but I speak of such Leagues where there is Power
and Obligation on the one Part, and Merit and Expectation on the other.

The Division of Patron and Client, may, I believe, include a Third of
our Nation; the Want of Merit and real Worth in the Client, will strike
out about Ninety-nine in a Hundred of these; and the Want of Ability in
Patrons, as many of that Kind. But however, I must beg leave to say,
that he who will take up anothers Time and Fortune in his Service,
though he has no Prospect of rewarding his Merit towards him, is as
unjust in his Dealings as he who takes up Goods of a Tradesman without
Intention or Ability to pay him. Of the few of the Class which I think
fit to consider, there are not two in ten who succeed, insomuch that I
know a Man of good Sense who put his Son to a Blacksmith, tho an Offer
was made him of his being received as a Page to a Man of Quality.[2]
There are not more Cripples come out of the Wars than there are from
those great Services; some through Discontent lose their Speech, some
their Memories, others their Senses or their Lives; and I seldom see a
Man thoroughly discontented, but I conclude he has had the Favour of
some great Man. I have known of such as have been for twenty Years
together within a Month of a good Employment, but never arrived at the
Happiness of being possessed of any thing.

There is nothing more ordinary, than that a Man who is got into a
considerable Station, shall immediately alter his manner of treating all
his Friends, and from that Moment he is to deal with you as if he were
your Fate. You are no longer to be consulted, even in Matters which
concern your self, but your Patron is of a Species above you, and a free
Communication with you is not to be expected. This perhaps may be your
Condition all the while he bears Office, and when that is at an End, you
are as intimate as ever you were, and he will take it very ill if you
keep the Distance he prescribed you towards him in his Grandeur. One
would think this should be a Behaviour a Man could fall into with the
worst Grace imaginable; but they who know the World have seen it more
than once. I have often, with secret Pity, heard the same Man who has
professed his Abhorrence against all Kind of passive Behaviour, lose
Minutes, Hours, Days, and Years in a fruitless Attendance on one who had
no Inclination to befriend him. It is very much to be regarded, that the
Great have one particular Privilege above the rest of the World, of
being slow in receiving Impressions of Kindness, and quick in taking
Offence. The Elevation above the rest of Mankind, except in very great
Minds, makes Men so giddy, that they do not see after the same Manner
they did before: Thus they despise their old Friends, and strive to
extend their Interests to new Pretenders. By this means it often
happens, that when you come to know how you lost such an Employment, you
will find the Man who got it never dreamed of it; but, forsooth, he was
to be surprized into it, or perhaps sollicited to receive it. Upon such
Occasions as these a Man may perhaps grow out of Humour; and if you are
so, all Mankind will fall in with the Patron, and you are an Humourist
and untractable if you are capable of being sour at a Disappointment:
But it is the same thing, whether you do or do not resent ill Usage, you
will be used after the same Manner; as some good Mothers will be sure to
whip their Children till they cry, and then whip them for crying.

There are but two Ways of doing any thing with great People, and those
are by making your self either considerable or agreeable: The former is
not to be attained but by finding a Way to live without them, or
concealing that you want them; the latter is only by falling into their
Taste and Pleasures: This is of all the Employments in the World the
most servile, except it happens to be of your own natural Humour. For to
be agreeable to another, especially if he be above you, is not to be
possessed of such Qualities and Accomplishments as should render you
agreeable in your self, but such as make you agreeable in respect to
him. An Imitation of his Faults, or a Compliance, if not Subservience,
to his Vices, must be the Measures of your Conduct. When it comes to
that, the unnatural State a Man lives in, when his Patron pleases, is
ended; and his Guilt and Complaisance are objected to him, tho the Man
who rejects him for his Vices was not only his Partner but Seducer. Thus
the Client (like a young Woman who has given up the Innocence which made
her charming) has not only lost his Time, but also the Virtue which
could render him capable of resenting the Injury which is done him.

It would be endless to recount the [Tricks[3]] of turning you off from
themselves to Persons who have less Power to serve you, the Art of being
sorry for such an unaccountable Accident in your Behaviour, that such a
one (who, perhaps, has never heard of you) opposes your Advancement; and
if you have any thing more than ordinary in you, you are flattered with
a Whisper, that tis no Wonder People are so slow in doing for a Man of
your Talents, and the like.

After all this Treatment, I must still add the pleasantest Insolence of
all, which I have once or twice seen; to wit, That when a silly Rogue
has thrown away one Part in three of his Life in unprofitable
Attendance, it is taken wonderfully ill that he withdraws, and is
resolved to employ the rest for himself.

When we consider these things, and reflect upon so many honest Natures
(which one who makes Observation of what passes, may have seen) that
have miscarried by such sort of Applications, it is too melancholy a
Scene to dwell upon; therefore I shall take another Opportunity to
discourse of good Patrons, and distinguish such as have done their Duty
to those who have depended upon them, and were not able to act without
their Favour. Worthy Patrons are like _Plato's_ Guardian Angels, who are
always doing good to their Wards; but negligent Patrons are like
_Epicurus's_ Gods, that lie lolling on the Clouds, and instead of
Blessings pour down Storms and Tempests on the Heads of those that are
offering Incense to them. [4]

[Footnote 1:

Dulcis inexperta cultura potentis amici,
Expertus metuit


[Footnote 2: A son of one of the inferior gentry received as page by a
nobleman wore his lords livery, but had it of more costly materials
than were used for the footmen, and was the immediate attendant of his
patron, who was expected to give him a reputable start in life when he
came of age. Percy notes that a lady who described to him the custom not
very long after it had become obsolete, remembered her own husbands
giving L500 to set up such a page in business.

[Footnote 3: [Trick]]

[Footnote 4: The Daemon or Angel which, in the doctrine of Immortality
according to Socrates or Plato, had the care of each man while alive,
and after death conveyed him to the general place of judgment (Phaedon,
p. 130), is more properly described as a Guardian Angel than the gods of
Epicurus can be said to pour storms on the heads of their worshippers.
Epicurus only represented them as inactive and unconcerned with human

* * * * *

No. 215. Tuesday, November 6, 1711. Addison.

--Ingenuas didicisse fideliter artes
Emollit mores, nec sinit esse feros.


I consider an Human Soul without Education like Marble in the Quarry,
which shews none of its inherent Beauties, till the Skill of the
Polisher fetches out the Colours, makes the Surface shine, and discovers
every ornamental Cloud, Spot, and Vein that runs through the Body of it.
Education, after the same manner, when it works upon a noble Mind, draws
out to View every latent Virtue and Perfection, which without such Helps
are never able to make their Appearance.

If my Reader will give me leave to change the Allusion so soon upon him,
I shall make use of the same Instance to illustrate the Force of
Education, which _Aristotle_ has brought to explain his Doctrine of
Substantial Forms, when he tells us that a Statue lies hid in a Block of
Marble; and that the Art of the statuary only clears away the
superfluous Matter, and removes the Rubbish. The Figure is in the Stone,
the Sculptor only finds it. What Sculpture is to a Block of Marble,
Education is to a Human Soul. The Philosopher, the Saint, or the Hero,
the Wise, the Good, or the Great Man, very often lie hid and concealed
in a Plebeian, which a proper Education might have disinterred, and have
brought to Light. I am therefore much delighted with Reading the
Accounts of Savage Nations, and with contemplating those Virtues which
are wild and uncultivated; to see Courage exerting it self in
Fierceness, Resolution in Obstinacy, Wisdom in Cunning, Patience in
Sullenness and Despair.

Mens Passions operate variously, and appear in different kinds of
Actions, according as they are more or less rectified and swayed by
Reason. When one hears of Negroes, who upon the Death of their Masters,
or upon changing their Service, hang themselves upon the next Tree, as
it frequently happens in our _American_ Plantations, who can forbear
admiring their Fidelity, though it expresses it self in so dreadful a
manner? What might not that Savage Greatness of Soul which appears in
these poor Wretches on many Occasions, be raised to, were it rightly
cultivated? And what Colour of Excuse can there be for the Contempt with
which we treat this Part of our Species; That we should not put them
upon the common foot of Humanity, that we should only set an
insignificant Fine upon the Man who murders them; nay, that we should,
as much as in us lies, cut them off from the Prospects of Happiness in
another World as well as in this, and deny them that which we look upon
as the proper Means for attaining it?

Since I am engaged on this Subject, I cannot forbear mentioning a Story
which I have lately heard, and which is so well attested, that I have no
manner of Reason to suspect the Truth of it. I may call it a kind of
wild Tragedy that passed about twelve Years ago at St. _Christopher's_,
one of our _British_ Leeward Islands. The Negroes who were the persons
concerned in it, were all of them the Slaves of a Gentleman who is now
in _England_.

This Gentleman among his Negroes had a young Woman, who was look'd upon
as a most extraordinary Beauty by those of her own Complexion. He had at
the same time two young Fellows who were likewise Negroes and Slaves,
remarkable for the Comeliness of their Persons, and for the Friendship
which they bore to one another. It unfortunately happened that both of
them fell in love with the Female Negro above mentioned, who would have
been very glad to have taken either of them for her Husband, provided
they could agree between themselves which should be the Man. But they
were both so passionately in Love with her, that neither of them could
think of giving her up to his Rival; and at the same time were so true
to one another, that neither of them would think of gaining her without
his Friends Consent. The Torments of these two Lovers were the
Discourse of the Family to which they belonged, who could not forbear
observing the strange Complication of Passions which perplexed the
Hearts of the poor Negroes, that often dropped Expressions of the
Uneasiness they underwent, and how impossible it was for either of them
ever to be happy.

After a long Struggle between Love and Friendship, Truth and Jealousy,
they one Day took a Walk together into a Wood, carrying their Mistress
along with them: Where, after abundance of Lamentations, they stabbed
her to the Heart, of which she immediately died. A Slave who was at his
Work not far from the Place where this astonishing Piece of Cruelty was
committed, hearing the Shrieks of the dying Person, ran to see what was
the Occasion of them. He there discovered the Woman lying dead upon the
Ground, with the two Negroes on each side of her, kissing the dead
Corps, weeping over it, and beating their Breasts in the utmost Agonies
of Grief and Despair. He immediately ran to the _English_ Family with
the News of what he had seen; who upon coming to the Place saw the Woman
dead, and the two Negroes expiring by her with Wounds they had given

We see in this amazing Instance of Barbarity, what strange Disorders are
bred in the minds of those Men whose Passions are not regulated by
Virtue, and disciplined by Reason. Though the Action which I have
recited is in it self full of Guilt and Horror, it proceeded from a
Temper of Mind which might have produced very noble Fruits, had it been
informed and guided by a suitable Education.

It is therefore an unspeakable Blessing to be born in those Parts of the
World where Wisdom and Knowledge flourish; tho it must be confest,
there are, even in these Parts, several poor uninstructed Persons, who
are but little above the Inhabitants of those Nations of which I have
been here speaking; as those who have had the Advantages of a more
liberal Education, rise above one another by several different Degrees
of Perfection. For to return to our Statue in the Block of Marble, we
see it sometimes only begun to be chipped, sometimes rough-hewn and but
just sketched into an human Figure; sometimes we see the Man appearing
distinctly in all his Limbs and Features, sometimes we find the Figure
wrought up to a great Elegancy, but seldom meet with any to which the
Hand of a _Phidias_ or _Praxiteles_ could not give several nice Touches
and Finishings.

Discourses of Morality, and Reflections upon human Nature, are the best
Means we can make use of to improve our Minds, and gain a true Knowledge
of our selves, and consequently to recover our Souls out of the Vice,
Ignorance, and Prejudice, which naturally cleave to them. I have all
along profest myself in this Paper a Promoter of these great Ends; and I
flatter my self that I do from Day to Day contribute something to the
polishing of Mens Minds: at least my Design is laudable, whatever the
Execution may be. I must confess I am not a little encouraged in it by
many Letters, which I receive from unknown Hands, in Approbation of my
Endeavours; and must take this Opportunity of returning my Thanks to
those who write them, and excusing my self for not inserting several of
them in my Papers, which I am sensible would be a very great Ornament to
them. Should I publish the Praises which are so well penned, they would
do Honour to the Persons who write them; but my publishing of them would
I fear be a sufficient Instance to the World that I did not deserve them.


* * * * *

No. 216. Wednesday, November 7, 1711. Steele.

Siquidem hercle possis, nil prius, neque fortius:
Verum si incipies, neque perficies naviter,
Atque ubi pati non poteris, cum nemo expetet,
Infecta pace ultro ad eam venies indicans
Te amare, et ferre non posse: Actum est, ilicet,
Peristi: eludet ubi te victum senserit.




This is to inform you, that Mr. Freeman [1] had no sooner taken Coach,
but his Lady was taken with a terrible Fit of the Vapours, which, 'tis
feared will make her miscarry, if not endanger her Life; therefore,
dear Sir, if you know of any Receipt that is good against this
fashionable reigning Distemper, be pleased to communicate it for the
Good of the Publick, and you will oblige




The Uproar was so great as soon as I had read the _Spectator_
concerning Mrs. _Freeman_, that after many Revolutions in her Temper,
of raging, swooning, railing, fainting, pitying herself, and reviling
her Husband, upon an accidental coming in of a neighbouring Lady (who
says she has writ to you also) she had nothing left for it but to fall
in a Fit. I had the Honour to read the Paper to her, and have a pretty
good Command of my Countenance and Temper on such Occasions; and soon
found my historical Name to be _Tom Meggot_ in your Writings, but
concealed my self till I saw how it affected Mrs. Freeman. She looked
frequently at her Husband, as often at me; and she did not tremble as
she filled Tea, till she came to the Circumstance of _Armstrong's_
writing out a Piece of _Tully_ for an Opera Tune: Then she burst out,
She was exposed, she was deceiv's, she was wronged and abused. The
Tea-cup was thrown in the Fire; and without taking Vengeance on her
Spouse, she said of me, That I was a pretending Coxcomb, a Medler that
knew not what it was to interpose in so nice an Affair as between a
Man and his Wife. To which Mr. _Freeman_; Madam, were I less fond of
you than I am, I should not have taken this Way of writing to the
SPECTATOR, to inform a Woman whom God and Nature has placed under my
Direction with what I request of her; but since you are so indiscreet
as not to take the Hint which I gave you in that Paper, I must tell
you, Madam, in so many Words, that you have for a long and tedious
Space of Time acted a Part unsuitable to the Sense you ought to have
of the Subordination in which you are placed. And I must acquaint you
once for all, that the Fellow without, ha _Tom!_ (here the Footman
entered and answered Madam) Sirrah don't you know my Voice; look upon
me when I speak to you: I say, Madam, this Fellow here is to know of
me my self, whether I am at Leisure to see Company or not. I am from
this Hour Master of this House; and my Business in it, and every where
else, is to behave my self in such a Manner, as it shall be hereafter
an Honour to you to bear my Name; and your Pride, that you are the
Delight, the Darling, and Ornament of a Man of Honour, useful and
esteemed by his Friends; and I no longer one that has buried some
Merit in the World, in Compliance to a froward Humour which has grown
upon an agreeable Woman by his Indulgence. Mr. _Freeman_ ended this
with a Tenderness in his Aspect and a downcast Eye, which shewed he
was extremely moved at the Anguish he saw her in; for she sat swelling
with Passion, and her Eyes firmly fixed on the Fire; when I, fearing
he would lose all again, took upon me to provoke her out of that
amiable Sorrow she was in, to fall upon me; upon which I said very
seasonably for my Friend, That indeed Mr. _Freeman_ was become the
common Talk of the Town; and that nothing was so much a Jest, as when
it was said in Company Mr. _Freeman_ had promised to come to such a
Place. Upon which the good Lady turned her Softness into downright
Rage, and threw the scalding Tea-Kettle upon your humble Servant; flew
into the Middle of the Room, and cried out she was the unfortunatest
of all Women: Others kept Family Dissatisfactions for Hours of Privacy
and Retirement: No Apology was to be made to her, no Expedient to be
found, no previous Manner of breaking what was amiss in her; but all
the World was to be acquainted with her Errors, without the least
Admonition. Mr. _Freeman_ was going to make a softning Speech, but I
interposed; Look you, Madam, I have nothing to say to this Matter, but
you ought to consider you are now past a Chicken; this Humour, which
was well enough in a Girl, is insufferable in one of your Motherly
Character. With that she lost all Patience, and flew directly at her
Husbands Periwig. I got her in my Arms, and defended my Friend: He
making Signs at the same time that it was too much; I beckoning,
nodding, and frowning over her Shoulder, that [he] was lost if he did
not persist. In this manner [we] flew round and round the Room in a
Moment, till the Lady I spoke of above and Servants entered; upon
which she fell on a Couch as breathless. I still kept up my Friend;
but he, with a very silly Air, bid them bring the Coach to the Door,
and we went off, I forced to bid the Coachman drive on. We were no
sooner come to my Lodgings, but all his Wife's Relations came to
enquire after him; and Mrs. _Freeman's_ Mother writ a Note, wherein
she thought never to have seen this Day, and so forth.

In a word, Sir, I am afraid we are upon a thing we have no Talents
for; and I can observe already, my Friend looks upon me rather as a
Man that knows a Weakness of him that he is ashamed of, than one who
has rescu'd him from Slavery. Mr. SPECTATOR, I am but a young Fellow,
and if Mr. _Freeman_ submits, I shall be looked upon as an Incendiary,
and never get a Wife as long as I breathe. He has indeed sent Word
home he shall lie at _Hampstead_ to-night; but I believe Fear of the
first Onset after this Rupture has too great a Place in this
Resolution. Mrs. _Freeman_ has a very pretty Sister; suppose I
delivered him up, and articled with the Mother for her for bringing
him home. If he has not Courage to stand it, (you are a great Casuist)
is it such an ill thing to bring my self off, as well as I can? What
makes me doubt my Man, is, that I find he thinks it reasonable to
expostulate at least with her; and Capt. SENTREY will tell you, if you
let your Orders be disputed, you are no longer a Commander. I wish you
could advise me how to get clear of this Business handsomely.


Tom Meggot.


[Footnote 1: See No. 212]

[Footnote 2: we]

[Footnote 3: he]

* * * * *

No. 217. Thursday, Nov. 8, 1711. Budgell.

--Tunc foemina simplex,
Et pariter toto repetitur clamor ab antro.

Juv. Sat. 6.

I shall entertain my Reader to-day with some Letters from my
Correspondents. The first of them is the Description of a Club, whether
real or imaginary I cannot determine; but am apt to fancy, that the
Writer of it, whoever she is, has formed a kind of Nocturnal Orgie out
of her own Fancy: Whether this be so or not, her Letter may conduce to
the Amendment of that kind of Persons who are represented in it, and
whose Characters are frequent enough in the World.


In some of your first Papers you were pleased to give the Publick a
very diverting Account of several Clubs and nocturnal Assemblies; but
I am a Member of a Society which has wholly escaped your Notice, I
mean a Club of She-Romps. We take each a Hackney-Coach, and meet once
a Week in a large upper Chamber, which we hire by the Year for that
Purpose; our Landlord and his Family, who are quiet People, constantly
contriving to be abroad on our Club-Night. We are no sooner come
together than we throw off all that Modesty and Reservedness with
which our Sex are obliged to disguise themselves in publick Places. I
am not able to express the Pleasure we enjoy from Ten at Night till
four in the Morning, in being as rude as you Men can be, for your
Lives. As our Play runs high the Room is immediately filled with
broken Fans, torn Petticoats, Lappets of Head-dresses, Flounces,
Furbelows, Garters, and Working-Aprons. I had forgot to tell you at
first, that besides the Coaches we come in our selves, there is one
which stands always empty to carry off our _dead Men_, for so we call
all those Fragments and Tatters with which the Room is strewed, and
which we pack up together in Bundles and put into the aforesaid Coach.
It is no small Diversion for us to meet the next Night at some
Members Chamber, where every one is to pick out what belonged to her
from this confused Bundle of Silks, Stuffs, Laces, and Ribbons. I have
hitherto given you an Account of our Diversion on ordinary
Club-Nights; but must acquaint you farther, that once a Month we
_demolish a Prude_, that is, we get some queer formal Creature in
among us, and unrig her in an Instant. Our last Months Prude was so
armed and fortified in Whalebone and Buckram that we had much ado to
come at her; but you would have died with laughing to have seen how
the sober awkward Thing looked when she was forced out of her
Intrenchments. In short, Sir, 'tis impossible to give you a true Notion
of our Sports, unless you would come one Night amongst us; and tho it
be directly against the Rules of our Society to admit a Male Visitant,
we repose so much Confidence in your Silence and Taciturnity,
that was agreed by the whole Club, at our last Meeting, to give you
Entrance for one Night as a Spectator.

_I am, Your Humble Servant,_

Kitty Termagant.

P. S. _We shall demolish a Prude next Thursday._

Tho I thank _Kitty_ for her kind Offer, I do not at present find in my
self any Inclination, to venture my Person with her and her romping
Companions. I should regard my self as a second _Clodius_ intruding on
the Mysterious Rites of the _Bona Dea_, and should apprehend being
_Demolished_ as much as the _Prude_.

The following Letter comes from a Gentleman, whose Taste I find is much
too delicate to endure the least Advance towards Romping. I may perhaps
hereafter improve upon the Hint he has given me, and make it the Subject
of a whole _Spectator;_ in the mean time take it as it follows in his
own Words.


It is my Misfortune to be in Love with a young Creature who is daily
committing Faults, which though they give me the utmost Uneasiness, I
know not how to reprove her for, or even acquaint her with. She is
pretty, dresses well, is rich, and good-humour'd; but either wholly
neglects, or has no Notion of that which Polite People have agreed to
distinguish by the Name of _Delicacy_. After our Return from a Walk
the other Day she threw her self into an Elbow-Chair, and professed
before a large Company, that _she was all over in a Sweat_. She told
me this Afternoon that her _Stomach aked;_ and was complaining
Yesterday at Dinner of something that _stuck in her Teeth_. I treated
her with a Basket of Fruit last Summer, which she eat so very
greedily, as almost made me resolve never to see her more. In short,
Sir, I begin to tremble whenever I see her about to speak or move. As
she does not want Sense, if she takes these Hints I am happy; if not,
I am more than afraid, that these Things which shock me even in the
Behaviour of a Mistress, will appear insupportable in that of a Wife.

_I am, SIR, Yours, &c_.

My next Letter comes from a Correspondent whom I cannot but very much
value, upon the Account which she gives of her self.


I am happily arrived at a State of Tranquillity, which few People
envy, I mean that of an old Maid; therefore being wholly unconcerned
in all that Medley of Follies which our Sex is apt to contract from
their silly Fondness of yours, I read your Railleries on us without
Provocation. I can say with _Hamlet,_

--Man delights not me,
Nor Woman neither--

Therefore, dear Sir, as you never spare your own Sex, do not be afraid
of reproving what is ridiculous in ours, and you will oblige at least
one Woman, who is

_Your humble Servant_, Susannah Frost.


I am Wife to a Clergyman, and cannot help thinking that in your Tenth
or Tithe-Character of Womankind [1] you meant my self, therefore I
have no Quarrel against you for the other Nine Characters.

_Your humble Servant,_ A.B.


[Footnote 1: See No. 209.]

* * * * *

No. 218. Friday, November 9, 1711. Steele.

Quid de quoque viro et cui dicas saepe caveto.


I happened the other Day, as my Way is, to strole into a little
Coffee-house beyond Aldgate; and as I sat there, two or three very plain
sensible Men were talking of the SPECTATOR. One said, he had that
Morning drawn the great Benefit Ticket; another wished he had; but a
third shaked his Head and said, It was pity that the Writer of that
Paper was such a sort of Man, that it was no great Matter whether he had
it or no. He is, it seems, said the good Man, the most extravagant
Creature in the World; has run through vast Sums, and yet been in
continual Want; a Man, for all he talks so well of Oeconomy, unfit for
any of the Offices of Life, by reason of his Profuseness. It would be an
unhappy thing to be his Wife, his Child, or his Friend; and yet he talks
as well of those Duties of Life as any one. Much Reflection has brought
me to so easy a Contempt for every thing which is false, that this heavy
Accusation gave me no manner of Uneasiness; but at the same Time it
threw me into deep Thought upon the Subject of Fame in general; and I
could not but pity such as were so weak, as to value what the common
People say out of their own talkative Temper to the Advantage or
Diminution of those whom they mention, without being moved either by
Malice or Good-will. It will be too long to expatiate upon the Sense all
Mankind have of Fame, and the inexpressible Pleasure which there is in
the Approbation of worthy Men, to all who are capable of worthy Actions;
but methinks one may divide the general Word Fame into three different
Species, as it regards the different Orders of Mankind who have any
Thing to do with it. Fame therefore may be divided into Glory, which
respects the Hero; Reputation, which is preserved by every Gentleman;
and Credit, which must be supported by every Tradesman. These
Possessions in Fame are dearer than Life to these Characters of Men, or
rather are the Life of those Characters. Glory, while the Hero pursues
great and noble Enterprizes, is impregnable; and all the Assailants of
his Renown do but shew their Pain and Impatience of its Brightness,
without throwing the least Shade upon it. If the Foundation of an high
Name be Virtue and Service, all that is offered against it is but
Rumour, which is too short-liv'd to stand up in Competition with Glory,
which is everlasting.

Reputation, which is the Portion of every Man who would live with the
elegant and knowing Part of Mankind, is as stable as Glory, if it be as
well founded; and the common Cause of human Society is thought concerned
when we hear a Man of good Behaviour calumniated: Besides which,
according to a prevailing Custom amongst us, every Man has his Defence
in his own Arm; and Reproach is soon checked, put out of Countenance,
and overtaken by Disgrace.

The most unhappy of all Men, and the most exposed to the Malignity or
Wantonness of the common Voice, is the Trader. Credit is undone in
Whispers. The Tradesman's Wound is received from one who is more private
and more cruel than the Ruffian with the Lanthorn and Dagger. The Manner
of repeating a Man's Name, As; _Mr_. Cash, _Oh! do you leave your Money
at his Shop? Why, do you know Mr_. Searoom? _He is indeed a general
Merchant_. I say, I have seen, from the Iteration of a Man's Name,
hiding one Thought of him, and explaining what you hide by saying
something to his Advantage when you speak, a Merchant hurt in his
Credit; and him who, every Day he lived, literally added to the Value of
his Native Country, undone by one who was only a Burthen and a Blemish
to it. Since every Body who knows the World is sensible of this great
Evil, how careful ought a Man to be in his Language of a Merchant? It
may possibly be in the Power of a very shallow Creature to lay the Ruin
of the best Family in the most opulent City; and the more so, the more
highly he deserves of his Country; that is to say, the farther he places
his Wealth out of his Hands, to draw home that of another Climate.

In this Case an ill Word may change Plenty into Want, and by a rash
Sentence a free and generous Fortune may in a few Days be reduced to
Beggary. How little does a giddy Prater imagine, that an idle Phrase to
the Disfavour of a Merchant may be as pernicious in the Consequence, as
the Forgery of a Deed to bar an Inheritance would be to a Gentleman?
Land stands where it did before a Gentleman was calumniated, and the
State of a great Action is just as it was before Calumny was offered to
diminish it, and there is Time, Place and Occasion expected to unravel
all that is contrived against those Characters; but the Trader who is
ready only for probable Demands upon him, can have no Armour against the
Inquisitive, the Malicious, and the Envious, who are prepared to fill
the Cry to his Dishonour. Fire and Sword are slow Engines of
Destruction, in Comparison of the Babbler in the Case of the Merchant.

For this Reason I thought it an imitable Piece of Humanity of a
Gentleman of my Acquaintance, who had great Variety of Affairs, and used
to talk with Warmth enough against Gentlemen by whom he thought himself
ill dealt with; but he would never let any thing be urged against a
Merchant (with whom he had any Difference) except in a Court of Justice.
He used to say, that to speak ill of a Merchant, was to begin his Suit
with Judgment and Execution. One cannot, I think, say more on this
Occasion, than to repeat, That the Merit of the Merchant is above that
of all other Subjects; for while he is untouched in his Credit, his
Hand-writing is a more portable Coin for the Service of his
Fellow-Citizens, and his Word the Gold of Ophir to the Country wherein
he resides.


* * * * *

No. 219. Saturday, Nov. 10, 1711. Addison.

Vix ea nostra voco--


There are but few Men, who are not ambitious of distinguishing
themselves in the Nation or Country where they live, and of growing
considerable among those with whom they converse. There is a kind of
Grandeur and Respect, which the meanest and most insignificant Part of
Mankind endeavour to procure in the little Circle of their Friends and
Acquaintance. The poorest Mechanick, nay the Man who lives upon common
Alms, gets him his Set of Admirers, and delights in that Superiority
which he enjoys over those who are in some Respects beneath him. This
Ambition, which is natural to the Soul of Man, might methinks receive a
very happy turn; and, if it were rightly directed, contribute as much to
a Persons Advantage, as it generally does to his Uneasiness and

I shall therefore put together some Thoughts on this Subject, which I
have not met with in other Writers: and shall set them down as they have
occurred to me, without being at the Pains to Connect or Methodise them.

All Superiority and Preeminence that one Man can have over another, may
be reduced to the Notion of Quality, which, considered at large, is
either that of Fortune, Body, or Mind. The first is that which consists
in Birth, Title, or Riches, and is the most foreign to our Natures, and
what we can the least call our own of any of the three Kinds of Quality.
In relation to the Body, Quality arises from Health, Strength, or
Beauty, which are nearer to us, and more a Part of our selves than the
former. Quality, as it regards the Mind, has its Rise from Knowledge or
Virtue; and is that which is more essential to us, and more intimately
united with us than either of the other two.

The Quality of Fortune, tho a Man has less Reason to value himself upon
it than on that of the Body or Mind, is however the kind of Quality
which makes the most shining Figure in the Eye of the World.

As Virtue is the most reasonable and genuine Source of Honour, we
generally find in Titles an Imitation of some particular Merit that
should recommend Men to the high Stations which they possess. Holiness
is ascribed to the Pope; Majesty to Kings; Serenity or Mildness of
Temper to Princes; Excellence or Perfection to Ambassadors; Grace to
Archbishops; Honour to Peers; Worship or Venerable Behaviour to
Magistrates; and Reverence, which is of the same Import as the former,
to the inferior Clergy.

In the Founders of great Families, such Attributes of Honour are
generally correspondent with the Virtues of the Person to whom they are
applied; but in the Descendants they are too often the Marks rather of
Grandeur than of Merit. The Stamp and Denomination still continues, but
the Intrinsick Value is frequently lost.

The Death-Bed shews the Emptiness of Titles in a true Light. A poor
dispirited Sinner lies trembling under the Apprehensions of the State he
is entring on; and is asked by a grave Attendant how his Holiness does?
Another hears himself addressed to under the Title of Highness or
Excellency, who lies under such mean Circumstances of Mortality as are
the Disgrace of Human Nature. Titles at such a time look rather like
Insults and Mockery than Respect.

The truth of it is, Honours are in this World under no Regulation; true
Quality is neglected, Virtue is oppressed, and Vice triumphant. The last
Day will rectify this Disorder, and assign to every one a Station
suitable to the Dignity of his Character; Ranks will be then adjusted,
and Precedency set right.

Methinks we should have an Ambition, if not to advance our selves in
another World, at least to preserve our Post in it, and outshine our
Inferiors in Virtue here, that they may not be put above us in a State
which is to Settle the Distinction for Eternity.

Men in Scripture are called _Strangers_ and _Sojourners_ upon _Earth_,
and Life a _Pilgrimage_. Several Heathen, as well as Christian Authors,
under the same kind of Metaphor, have represented the World as an Inn,
which was only designed to furnish us with Accommodations in this our
Passage. It is therefore very absurd to think of setting up our Rest
before we come to our Journeys End, and not rather to take care of the
Reception we shall there meet, than to fix our Thoughts on the little
Conveniences and Advantages which we enjoy one above another in the Way
to it.

_Epictetus_ makes use of another kind of Allusion, which is very
beautiful, and wonderfully proper to incline us to be satisfied with the
Post in which Providence has placed us. We are here, says he, as in a
Theatre, where every one has a Part allotted to him. The great Duty
which lies upon a Man is to act his Part in Perfection. We may indeed
say, that our Part does not suit us, and that we could act another
better. But this (says the Philosopher) is not our Business. All that we
are concerned in is to excel in the Part which is given us. If it be an
improper one, the Fault is not in us, but in him who has _cast_ our
several Parts, and is the great Disposer of the Drama. [1]

The Part that was acted by this Philosopher himself was but a very
indifferent one, for he lived and died a Slave. His Motive to
Contentment in this Particular, receives a very great Inforcement from
the above-mentioned Consideration, if we remember that our Parts in the
other World will be new cast, and that Mankind will be there ranged in
different Stations of Superiority and Praeeminence, in Proportion as they
have here excelled one another in Virtue, and performed in their several
Posts of Life the Duties which belong to them.

There are many beautiful Passages in the little Apocryphal Book,
entitled, _The Wisdom of_ Solomon, to set forth the Vanity of Honour,
and the like temporal Blessings which are in so great Repute among Men,
and to comfort those who have not the Possession of them. It represents
in very warm and noble Terms this Advancement of a good Man in the other
World, and the great Surprize which it will produce among those who are
his Superiors in this. Then shall the righteous Man stand in great
Boldness before the Face of such as have afflicted him, and made no
Account of his Labours. When they see it, they shall be troubled with
terrible Fear, and shall be amazed at the Strangeness of his Salvation,
so far beyond all that they looked for. And they repenting and groaning
for Anguish of Spirit, shall say within themselves; This was he whom we
had sometime in Derision, and a Proverb of Reproach. We Fools accounted
his Life Madness, and his End to be without Honour. How is he numbered
among the Children of God, and his Lot is among the Saints! [2]

If the Reader would see the Description of a Life that is passed away in
Vanity and among the Shadows of Pomp and Greatness, he may see it very
finely drawn in the same Place. [3] In the mean time, since it is
necessary in the present Constitution of things, that Order and
Distinction should be kept in the World, we should be happy, if those
who enjoy the upper Stations in it, would endeavour to surpass others in
Virtue, as much as in Rank, and by their Humanity and Condescension make
their Superiority easy and acceptable to those who are beneath them: and
if, on the contrary, those who are in meaner Posts of Life, would
consider how they may better their Condition hereafter, and by a just
Deference and Submission to their Superiors, make them happy in those
Blessings with which Providence has thought fit to distinguish them.


[Footnote 1: Epict. Enchirid. ch. 23.]

[Footnote 2: Wisd., ch. v. 1-5.]

[Footnote 3: Ch. v. 8-14.]

* * * * *

No. 220. Monday, November 12, 1711. Steele.

Rumoresque serit varios

Virg. [1]


Why will you apply to my Father for my Love? I cannot help it if he
will give you my Person; but I assure you it is not in his Power, nor
even in my own, to give you my Heart. Dear Sir, do but consider the
ill Consequence of such a Match; you are Fifty-five, I Twenty-one. You
are a Man of Business, and mightily conversant in Arithmetick and
making Calculations; be pleased therefore to consider what Proportion
your Spirits bear to mine; and when you have made a just Estimate of
the necessary Decay on one Side, and the Redundance on the other, you
will act accordingly. This perhaps is such Language as you may not
expect from a young Lady; but my Happiness is at Stake, and I must
talk plainly. I mortally hate you; and so, as you and my Father agree,
you may take me or leave me: But if you will be so good as never to
see me more, you will for ever oblige,

Your most humble Servant,_

_Mr._ SPECTATOR, [2]

There are so many Artifices and Modes of false Wit, and such a
Variety of Humour discovers it self among its Votaries, that it would
be impossible to exhaust so fertile a Subject, if you would think fit
to resume it. The following Instances may, if you think fit, be added
by Way of Appendix to your Discourses on that Subject.

That Feat of Poetical Activity mentioned by _Horace_, of an Author
who could compose two hundred Verses while he stood upon one Leg, [3]
has been imitated (as I have heard) by a modern Writer; who priding
himself on the Hurry of his Invention, thought it no small Addition to
his Fame to have each Piece minuted with the exact Number of Hours or
Days it cost him in the Composition. He could taste no Praise till he
had acquainted you in how short Space of Time he had deserved it; and
was not so much led to an Ostentation of his Art, as of his Dispatch.

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