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

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Nihil largiundo gloriam adeptus est.


My wise and good Friend, Sir _Andrew Freeport_, divides himself almost
equally between the Town and the Country: His Time in Town is given up
to the Publick, and the Management of his private Fortune; and after
every three or four Days spent in this Manner, he retires for as many to
his Seat within a few Miles of the Town, to the Enjoyment of himself,
his Family, and his Friend. Thus Business and Pleasure, or rather, in
Sir _Andrew_, Labour and Rest, recommend each other. They take their
Turns with so quick a Vicissitude, that neither becomes a Habit, or
takes Possession of the whole Man; nor is it possible he should be
surfeited with either. I often see him at our Club in good Humour, and
yet sometimes too with an Air of Care in his Looks: But in his Country
Retreat he is always unbent, and such a Companion as I could desire; and
therefore I seldom fail to make one with him when he is pleased to
invite me.

The other Day, as soon as we were got into his Chariot, two or three
Beggars on each Side hung upon the Doors, and solicited our Charity with
the usual Rhetorick of a sick Wife or Husband at home, three or four
helpless little Children all starving with Cold and Hunger. We were
forced to part with some Money to get rid of their Importunity; and then
we proceeded on our Journey with the Blessings and Acclamations of these

Well then, says _Sir Andrew_, we go off with the Prayers and good
Wishes of the Beggars, and perhaps too our Healths will be drunk at
the next Ale-house: So all we shall be able to value ourselves upon,
is, that we have promoted the Trade of the Victualler and the Excises
of the Government. But how few Ounces of Wooll do we see upon the
Backs of those poor Creatures? And when they shall next fall in our
Way, they will hardly be better dress'd; they must always live in Rags
to look like Objects of Compassion. If their Families too are such as
they are represented, tis certain they cannot be better clothed, and
must be a great deal worse fed: One would think Potatoes should be all
their Bread, and their Drink the pure Element; and then what goodly
Customers are the Farmers like to have for their Wooll, Corn and
Cattle? Such Customers, and such a Consumption, cannot choose but
advance the landed Interest, and hold up the Rents of the Gentlemen.

But of all Men living, we Merchants, who live by Buying and Selling,
ought never to encourage Beggars. The Goods which we export are indeed
the Product of the lands, but much the greatest Part of their Value is
the Labour of the People: but how much of these Peoples Labour shall
we export whilst we hire them to sit still? The very Alms they receive
from us, are the Wages of Idleness. I have often thought that no Man
should be permitted to take Relief from the Parish, or to ask it in
the Street, till he has first purchased as much as possible of his own
Livelihood by the Labour of his own Hands; and then the Publick ought
only to be taxed to make good the Deficiency. If this Rule was
strictly observed, we should see every where such a Multitude of new
Labourers, as would in all probability reduce the Prices of all our
Manufactures. It is the very Life of Merchandise to buy cheap and sell
dear. The Merchant ought to make his Outset as cheap as possible, that
he may find the greater Profit upon his Returns; and nothing will
enable him to do this like the Reduction of the Price of Labour upon
all our Manufactures. This too would be the ready Way to increase the
Number of our Foreign Markets: The Abatement of the Price of the
Manufacture would pay for the Carriage of it to more distant
Countries; and this Consequence would be equally beneficial both to
the Landed and Trading Interests. As so great an Addition of labouring
Hands would produce this happy Consequence both to the Merchant and
the Gentle man; our Liberality to common Beggars, and every other
Obstruction to the Increase of Labourers, must be equally pernicious
to both.

Sir _Andrew_ then went on to affirm, That the Reduction of the Prices of
our Manufactures by the Addition of so many new Hands, would be no
Inconvenience to any Man: But observing I was something startled at the
Assertion, he made a short Pause, and then resumed the Discourse.

It may seem, says he, a Paradox, that the Price of Labour should be
reduced without an Abatement of Wages, or that Wages can be abated
without any Inconvenience to the Labourer, and yet nothing is more
certain than that both those Things may happen. The Wages of the
Labourers make the greatest Part of the Price of every Thing that is
useful; and if in Proportion with the Wages the Prices of all other
Things should be abated, every Labourer with less Wages would be still
able to purchase as many Necessaries of Life; where then would be the
Inconvenience? But the Price of Labour may be reduced by the Addition
of more Hands to a Manufacture, and yet the Wages of Persons remain as
high as ever. The admirable Sir William Petty [2] has given Examples
of this in some of his Writings: One of them, as I remember, is that
of a Watch, which I shall endeavour to explain so as shall suit my
present Purpose. It is certain that a single Watch could not be made
so cheap in Proportion by one only Man, as a hundred Watches by a
hundred; for as there is vast Variety in the Work, no one Person could
equally suit himself to all the Parts of it; the Manufacture would be
tedious, and at last but clumsily performed: But if an hundred Watches
were to be made by a hundred Men, the Cases may be assigned to one,
the Dials to another, the Wheels to another, the Springs to another,
and every other Part to a proper Artist; as there would be no need of
perplexing any one Person with too much Variety, every one would be
able to perform his single Part with greater Skill and Expedition; and
the hundred Watches would be finished in one fourth Part of the Time
of the first one, and every one of them at one fourth Part of the
Cost, tho the Wages of every Man were equal. The Reduction of the
Price of the Manufacture would increase the Demand of it, all the same
Hands would be still employed and as well paid. The same Rule will
hold in the Clothing, the Shipping, and all the other Trades
whatsoever. And thus an Addition of Hands to our Manufactures will
only reduce the Price of them; the Labourer will still have as much
Wages, and will consequently be enabled to purchase more Conveniencies
of Life; so that every Interest in the Nation would receive a Benefit
from the Increase of our Working People.

Besides, I see no Occasion for this Charity to common Beggars, since
every Beggar is an Inhabitant of a Parish, and every Parish is taxed
to the Maintenance of their own Poor. [3]

For my own part, I cannot be mightily pleased with the Laws which have
done this, which have provided better to feed than employ the Poor. We
have a Tradition from our Forefathers, that after the first of those
Laws was made, they were insulted with that famous Song;

Hang Sorrow, and cast away Care,
The Parish is bound to find us, &c.

And if we will be so good-natured as to maintain them without Work,
they can do no less in Return than sing us _The Merry Beggars_.

What then? Am I against all Acts of Charity? God forbid! I know of no
Virtue in the Gospel that is in more pathetical Expressions
recommended to our Practice. _I was hungry and [ye] [4] gave me no
Meat, thirsty and ye gave me no Drink, naked and ye clothed me not, a
Stranger and ye took me not in, sick and in prison and ye visited me
not_. Our Blessed Saviour treats the Exercise or Neglect of Charity
towards a poor Man, as the Performance or Breach of this Duty towards
himself. I shall endeavour to obey the Will of my Lord and Master: And
therefore if an industrious Man shall submit to the hardest Labour and
coarsest Fare, rather than endure the Shame of taking Relief from the
Parish, or asking it in the Street, this is the Hungry, the Thirsty,
the Naked; and I ought to believe, if any Man is come hither for
Shelter against Persecution or Oppression, this is the Stranger, and I
ought to take him in. If any Countryman of our own is fallen into the
Hands of Infidels, and lives in a State of miserable Captivity, this
is the Man in Prison, and I should contribute to his Ransom. I ought
to give to an Hospital of Invalids, to recover as many useful Subjects
as I can; but I shall bestow none of my Bounties upon an Alms-house of
idle People; and for the same Reason I should not think it a Reproach
to me if I had withheld my Charity from those common Beggars. But we
prescribe better Rules than we are able to practise; we are ashamed
not to give into the mistaken Customs of our Country: But at the same
time, I cannot but think it a Reproach worse than that of common
Swearing, that the Idle and the Abandoned are suffered in the Name of
Heaven and all that is sacred, to extort from Christian and tender
Minds a Supply to a profligate Way of Life, that is always to be
supported, but never relieved.

[Z.] [5]

[Footnote 1: Or Henry Martyn?]

[Footnote 2: Surveyor-general of Ireland to Charles II. See his
Discourse of Taxes (1689).]

[Footnote 3: Our idle poor till the time of Henry VIII. lived upon alms.
After the dissolution of the monasteries experiments were made for their
care, and by a statute 43 Eliz. overseers were appointed and Parishes
charged to maintain their helpless poor and find work for the sturdy. In
Queen Annes time the Poor Law had been made more intricate and
troublesome by the legislation on the subject that had been attempted
after the Restoration.]

[Footnote 4: [_you_] throughout, and in first reprint.]

[Footnote 5: X.]

* * * * *

No. 233. Tuesday, Nov. 27, 1711. Addison.

--Tanquam hec sint nostri medicina furoris,
Aut Deus ille malis hominum mitescere discat.


I shall, in this Paper, discharge myself of the Promise I have made to
the Publick, by obliging them with a Translation of the little _Greek_
Manuscript, which is said to have been a Piece of those Records that
were preserved in the Temple of _Apollo_, upon the Promontory of
_Leucate_: It is a short History of the Lovers Leap, and is inscribed,
_An Account of Persons Male and Female, who offered up their Vows in the
Temple of the_ Pythian Apollo, _in the Forty sixth Olympiad, and leaped
from the Promontory of_ Leucate _into the_ Ionian Sea, _in order to cure
themselves of the Passion of Love_.

This Account is very dry in many Parts, as only mentioning the Name of
the Lover who leaped, the Person he leaped for, and relating, in short,
that he was either cured, or killed, or maimed by the Fall. It indeed
gives the Names of so many who died by it, that it would have looked
like a Bill of Mortality, had I translated it at full length; I have
therefore made an Abridgment of it, and only extracted such particular
Passages as have something extraordinary, either in the Case, or in the
Cure, or in the Fate of the Person who is mentioned in it. After this
short Preface take the Account as follows.

_Battus_, the Son of _Menalcas_ the _Sicilian_, leaped for _Bombyca_
the Musician: Got rid of his Passion with the Loss of his Right Leg
and Arm, which were broken in the Fall.

_Melissa_, in Love with _Daphnis_, very much bruised, but escaped with

_Cynisca_, the Wife of _AEschines_, being in Love with _Lycus_; and
_AEschines_ her Husband being in Love with _Eurilla_; (which had made
this married Couple very uneasy to one another for several Years) both
the Husband and the Wife took the Leap by Consent; they both of them
escaped, and have lived very happily together ever since.

_Larissa_, a Virgin of _Thessaly_, deserted by _Plexippus_, after a
Courtship of three Years; she stood upon the Brow of the Promontory
for some time, and after having thrown down a Ring, a Bracelet, and a
little Picture, with other Presents which she had received from
_Plexippus_, she threw her self into the Sea, and was taken up alive.

_N. B. Larissa_, before she leaped, made an Offering of a Silver
_Cupid_ in the Temple of _Apollo_.

_Simaetha_, in Love with _Daphnis_ the _Myndian_, perished in the

_Charixus_, the Brother of _Sappho_, in Love with _Rhodope_ the
Courtesan, having spent his whole Estate upon her, was advised by his
Sister to leap in the Beginning of his Amour, but would not hearken to
her till he was reduced to his last Talent; being forsaken by
_Rhodope_, at length resolved to take the Leap. Perished in it.

_Aridaeus_, a beautiful Youth of _Epirus_, in Love with _Praxinoe_,
the Wife of _Thespis_, escaped without Damage, saving only that two of
his Fore-Teeth were struck out and his Nose a little flatted.

_Cleora_, a Widow of _Ephesus_, being inconsolable for the Death of
her Husband, was resolved to take this Leap in order to get rid of her
Passion for his Memory; but being arrived at the Promontory, she there
met with _Dimmachus_ the _Miletian_, and after a short Conversation
with him, laid aside the Thoughts of her Leap, and married him in the
Temple of _Apollo_.

_N. B._ Her Widows Weeds are still to be seen hanging up in the
Western Corner of the Temple.

_Olphis_, the Fisherman, having received a Box on the Ear from
_Thestylis_ the Day before, and being determined to have no more to do
with her, leaped, and escaped with Life.

_Atalanta_, an old Maid, whose Cruelty had several Years before driven
two or three despairing Lovers to this Leap; being now in the fifty
fifth Year of her Age, and in Love with an Officer of _Sparta_, broke
her Neck in the Fall.

_Hipparchus_ being passionately fond of his own Wife who was enamoured
of _Bathyllus_, leaped, and died of his Fall; upon which his Wife
married her Gallant.

_Tettyx_, the Dancing-Master, in Love with _Olympia_ an Athenian
Matron, threw himself from the Rock with great Agility, but was
crippled in the Fall.

_Diagoras_, the Usurer, in Love with his Cook-Maid; he peeped several
times over the Precipice, but his Heart misgiving him, he went back,
and married her that Evening.

_Cinaedus_, after having entered his own Name in the Pythian Records,
being asked the Name of the Person whom he leaped for, and being
ashamed to discover it, he was set aside, and not suffered to leap.

_Eunica_, a Maid of _Paphos_, aged Nineteen, in Love with _Eurybates_.
Hurt in the Fall, but recovered.

_N. B._ This was her second Time of Leaping.

_Hesperus_, a young Man of _Tarentum_, in Love with his Masters
Daughter. Drowned, the Boats not coming in soon enough to his Relief.

_Sappho_, the _Lesbian_, in Love with _Phaon_, arrived at the Temple
of _Apollo_, habited like a Bride in Garments as white as Snow. She
wore a Garland of Myrtle on her Head, and carried in her Hand the
little Musical Instrument of her own Invention. After having sung an
Hymn to _Apollo_, she hung up her Garland on one Side of his Altar,
and her Harp on the other. She then tuck'd up her Vestments, like a
_Spartan_ Virgin, and amidst thousands of Spectators, who were anxious
for her Safety, and offered up Vows for her Deliverance, [marched[1]]
directly forwards to the utmost Summit of the Promontory, where after
having repeated a Stanza of her own Verses, which we could not hear,
she threw herself off the Rock with such an Intrepidity as was never
before observed in any who had attempted that dangerous Leap. Many who
were present related, that they saw her fall into the Sea, from whence
she never rose again; tho there were others who affirmed, that she
never came to the Bottom of her Leap, but that she was changed into a
Swan as she fell, and that they saw her hovering in the Air under that
Shape. But whether or no the Whiteness and Fluttering of her Garments
might not deceive those who looked upon her, or whether she might not
really be metamorphosed into that musical and melancholy Bird, is
still a Doubt among the _Lesbians_.

_Alcaeus_, the famous _Lyrick_ Poet, who had for some time been
passionately in Love with _Sappho_, arrived at the Promontory of
_Leucate_ that very Evening, in order to take the Leap upon her
Account; but hearing that _Sappho_ had been there before him, and that
her Body could be no where found, he very generously lamented her
Fall, and is said to have written his hundred and twenty fifth Ode
upon that Occasion.

_Leaped in this Olympiad_ [250 [2]]

Males 124
Females 126

_Cured_ [120[3]]

Males 51
Females 69


[Footnote 1: [she marched]]

[Footnote 2: [350], and in first reprint.]

[Footnote 3: [150], corrected by an Erratum.]

* * * * *

No. 234. Wednesday, Nov. 28, 1711. Steele.

[_Vellum in amicitia erraremus_.

Hor.] [1]

You very often hear People, after a Story has been told with some
entertaining Circumstances, tell it over again with Particulars that
destroy the Jest, but give Light into the Truth of the Narration. This
sort of Veracity, though it is impertinent, has something amiable in it,
because it proceeds from the Love of Truth, even in frivolous Occasions.
If such honest Amendments do not promise an agreeable Companion, they do
a sincere Friend; for which Reason one should allow them so much of our
Time, if we fall into their Company, as to set us right in Matters that
can do us no manner of Harm, whether the Facts be one Way or the other.
Lies which are told out of Arrogance and Ostentation a Man should detect
in his own Defence, because he should not be triumphed over; Lies which
are told out of Malice he should expose, both for his own sake and that
of the rest of Mankind, because every Man should rise against a common
Enemy: But the officious Liar many have argued is to be excused, because
it does some Man good, and no Man hurt. The Man who made more than
ordinary speed from a Fight in which the _Athenians_ were beaten, and
told them they had obtained a complete Victory, and put the whole City
into the utmost Joy and Exultation, was check'd by the Magistrates for
his Falshood; but excused himself by saying, _O Athenians!_ am I your
Enemy because I gave you two happy Days? This Fellow did to a whole
People what an Acquaintance of mine does every Day he lives in some
eminent Degree to particular Persons. He is ever lying People into good
Humour, and, as _Plato_ said, it was allowable in Physicians to lie to
their Patients to keep up their Spirits, I am half doubtful whether my
Friends Behaviour is not as excusable. His Manner is to express himself
surprised at the Chearful Countenance of a Man whom he observes
diffident of himself; and generally by that means makes his Lie a Truth.
He will, as if he did not know any [thing] [2] of the Circumstance, ask
one whom he knows at Variance with another, what is the meaning that Mr.
such a one, naming his Adversary, does not applaud him with that
Heartiness which formerly he has heard him? He said indeed, (continues
he) I would rather have that Man for my Friend than any Man in
_England_; but for an Enemy--This melts the Person he talks to, who
expected nothing but downright Raillery from that Side. According as he
sees his Practices succeeded, he goes to the opposite Party, and tells
him, he cannot imagine how it happens that some People know one another
so little; you spoke with so much Coldness of a Gentleman who said more
Good of you, than, let me tell you, any Man living deserves. The Success
of one of these Incidents was, that the next time that one of the
Adversaries spied the other, he hems after him in the publick Street,
and they must crack a Bottle at the next Tavern, that used to turn out
of the others Way to avoid one anothers Eyeshot. He will tell one
Beauty she was commended by another, nay, he will say she gave the Woman
he speaks to, the Preference in a Particular for which she her self is
admired. The pleasantest Confusion imaginable is made through the whole
Town by my Friends indirect Offices; you shall have a Visit returned
after half a Years Absence, and mutual Railing at each other every Day
of that Time. They meet with a thousand Lamentations for so long a
Separation, each Party naming herself for the greater Delinquent, if the
other can possibly be so good as to forgive her, which she has no Reason
in the World, but from the Knowledge of her Goodness, to hope for. Very
often a whole Train of Railers of each Side tire their Horses in setting
Matters right which they have said during the War between the Parties;
and a whole Circle of Acquaintance are put into a thousand pleasing
Passions and Sentiments, instead of the Pangs of Anger, Envy,
Detraction, and Malice.

The worst Evil I ever observed this Man's Falsehood occasion,
has been that he turned Detraction into Flattery. He is well
skilled in the Manners of the World, and by over-looking what
Men really are, he grounds his Artifices upon what they have a
Mind to be. Upon this Foundation, if two distant Friends are
brought together, and the Cement seems to be weak, he never
rests till he finds new Appearances to take off all Remains of
Ill-will, and that by new Misunderstandings they are thoroughly


_Devonshire, Nov._ 14, 1711.


There arrived in this Neighbourhood two Days ago one of your gay
Gentlemen of the Town, who being attended at his Entry with a Servant
of his own, besides a Countryman he had taken up for a Guide, excited
the Curiosity of the Village to learn whence and what he might be. The
Countryman (to whom they applied as most easy of Access) knew little
more than that the Gentleman came from _London_ to travel and see
Fashions, and was, as he heard say, a Free-thinker: What Religion that
might be, he could not tell; and for his own Part, if they had not
told him the Man was a Free-thinker, he should have guessed, by his
way of talking, he was little better than a Heathen; excepting only
that he had been a good Gentleman to him, and made him drunk twice in
one Day, over and above what they had bargained for.

I do not look upon the Simplicity of this, and several odd Inquiries
with which I shall not trouble you to be wondered at, much less can I
think that our Youths of fine Wit, and enlarged Understandings, have
any Reason to laugh. There is no Necessity that every Squire in _Great
Britain_ should know what the Word Free-thinker stands for; but it
were much to be wished, that they who value themselves upon that
conceited Title were a little better instructed in what it ought to
stand for; and that they would not perswade themselves a Man is really
and truly a Free-thinker in any tolerable Sense, meerly by virtue of
his being an Atheist, or an Infidel of any other Distinction. It may
be doubted, with good Reason, whether there ever was in Nature a more
abject, slavish, and bigotted Generation than the Tribe of _Beaux
Esprits_, at present so prevailing in this Island. Their Pretension to
be Free-thinkers, is no other than Rakes have to be Free-livers, and
Savages to be Free-men, that is, they can think whatever they have a
Mind to, and give themselves up to whatever Conceit the Extravagancy
of their Inclination, or their Fancy, shall suggest; they can think as
wildly as they talk and act, and will not endure that their Wit should
be controuled by such formal Things as Decency and common Sense:
Deduction, Coherence, Consistency, and all the Rules of Reason they
accordingly disdain, as too precise and mechanical for Men of a
liberal Education.

This, as far as I could ever learn from their Writings, or my own
Observation, is a true Account of the _British_ Free-thinker. Our
Visitant here, who gave occasion to this Paper, has brought with him a
new System of common Sense, the Particulars of which I am not yet
acquainted with, but will lose no Opportunity of informing my self
whether it contain any [thing] [3] worth Mr. SPECTATORS Notice. In
the mean time, Sir, I cannot but think it would be for the good of
Mankind, if you would take this Subject into your own Consideration,
and convince the hopeful Youth of our Nation, that Licentiousness is
not Freedom; or, if such a Paradox will not be understood, that a
Prejudice towards Atheism is not Impartiality.

_I am, SIR, Your most humble Servant,_


[Footnote 1:

Splendide mendax.


[Footnote 2: think]

[Footnote 3: think]

* * * * *

No. 235. Thursday, November 29, 1711. Addison.

Vincentum strepitus


There is nothing which lies more within the Province of a Spectator than
publick Shows and Diversions; and as among these there are none which
can pretend to vie with those elegant Entertainments that are exhibited
in our Theatres, I think it particularly incumbent on me to take Notice
of every thing that is remarkable in such numerous and refined

It is observed, that of late Years there has been a certain Person in
the upper Gallery of the Playhouse, who when he is pleased with any
Thing that is acted upon the Stage, expresses his Approbation by a loud
Knock upon the Benches or the Wainscot, which may be heard over the
whole Theatre. This Person is commonly known by the Name of the
_Trunk-maker in the upper Gallery_. Whether it be, that the Blow he
gives on these Occasions resembles that which is often heard in the
Shops of such Artizans, or that he was supposed to have been a real
Trunk-maker, who after the finishing of his Days Work used to unbend
his Mind at these publick Diversions with his Hammer in his Hand, I
cannot certainly tell. There are some, I know, who have been foolish
enough to imagine it is a Spirit which haunts the upper Gallery, and
from Time to Time makes those strange Noises; and the rather, because he
is observed to be louder than ordinary every Time the Ghost of _Hamlet_
appears. Others have reported, that it is a dumb Man, who has chosen
this Way of uttering himself when he is transported with any Thing he
sees or hears. Others will have it to be the Playhouse Thunderer, that
exerts himself after this Manner in the upper Gallery, when he has
nothing to do upon the Roof.

But having made it my Business to get the best Information I could in a
Matter of this Moment, I find that the Trunk-maker, as he is commonly
called, is a large black Man, whom no body knows. He generally leans
forward on a huge Oaken Plant with great Attention to every thing that
passes upon the Stage. He is never seen to smile; but upon hearing any
thing that pleases him, he takes up his Staff with both Hands, and lays
it upon the next Piece of Timber that stands in his Way with exceeding
Vehemence: After which, he composes himself in his former Posture, till
such Time as something new sets him again at Work.

It has been observed, his Blow is so well timed, that the most judicious
Critick could never except against it. As soon as any shining Thought is
expressed in the Poet, or any uncommon Grace appears in the Actor, he
smites the Bench or Wainscot. If the Audience does not concur with him,
he smites a second Time, and if the Audience is not yet awaked, looks
round him with great Wrath, and repeats the Blow a third Time, which
never fails to produce the Clap. He sometimes lets the Audience begin
the Clap of themselves, and at the Conclusion of their Applause ratifies
it with a single Thwack.

He is of so great Use to the Play-house, that it is said a former
Director of it, upon his not being able to pay his Attendance by reason
of Sickness, kept one in Pay to officiate for him till such time as he
recovered; but the Person so employed, tho he laid about him with
incredible Violence, did it in such wrong Places, that the Audience soon
found out that it was not their old Friend the Trunk-maker.

It has been remarked, that he has not yet exerted himself with Vigour
this Season. He sometimes plies at the Opera; and upon _Nicolini's_
first Appearance, was said to have demolished three Benches in the Fury
of his Applause. He has broken half a dozen Oaken Plants upon _Dogget_
[1] and seldom goes away from a Tragedy of _Shakespear_, without leaving
the Wainscot extremely shattered.

The Players do not only connive at his obstreperous Approbation, but
very cheerfully repair at their own Cost whatever Damages he makes. They
had once a Thought of erecting a kind of Wooden Anvil for his Use that
should be made of a very sounding Plank, in order to render his Stroaks
more deep and mellow; but as this might not have been distinguished from
the Musick of a Kettle-Drum, the Project was laid aside.

In the mean while, I cannot but take notice of the great Use it is to an
Audience, that a Person should thus preside over their Heads like the
Director of a Consort, in order to awaken their Attention, and beat time
to their Applauses; or, to raise my Simile, I have sometimes fancied the
Trunk-maker in the upper Gallery to be like _Virgil's_ Ruler of the
Wind, seated upon the Top of a Mountain, who, when he struck his Sceptre
upon the Side of it, roused an Hurricane, and set the whole Cavern in an
Uproar. [2]

It is certain, the Trunk-maker has saved many a good Play, and brought
many a graceful Actor into Reputation, who would not otherwise have been
taken notice of. It is very visible, as the Audience is not a little
abashed, if they find themselves betrayed into a Clap, when their Friend
in the upper Gallery does not come into it; so the Actors do not value
themselves upon the Clap, but regard it as a meer _Brutum fulmen_, or
empty Noise, when it has not the Sound of the Oaken Plant in it. I know
it has been given out by those who are Enemies to the Trunk-maker, that
he has sometimes been bribed to be in the Interest of a bad Poet, or a
vicious Player; but this is a Surmise which has no Foundation: his
Stroaks are always just, and his Admonitions seasonable; he does not
deal about his Blows at Random, but always hits the right Nail upon the
Head. [The [3]] inexpressible Force wherewith he lays them on,
sufficiently shows the Evidence and Strength of his Conviction. His Zeal
for a good Author is indeed outrageous, and breaks down every Fence and
Partition, every Board and Plank, that stands within the Expression of
his Applause.

As I do not care for terminating my Thoughts in barren Speculations, or
in Reports of pure Matter of Fact, without drawing something from them
for the Advantage of my Countrymen, I shall take the Liberty to make an
humble Proposal, that whenever the Trunk-maker shall depart this Life,
or whenever he shall have lost the Spring of his Arm by Sickness, old
Age, Infirmity, or the like, some able-bodied Critick should be advanced
to this Post, and have a competent Salary settled on him for Life, to be
furnished with Bamboos for Operas, Crabtree-Cudgels for Comedies, and
Oaken Plants for Tragedy, at the publick Expence. And to the End that
this Place should be always disposed of according to Merit, I would have
none preferred to it, who has not given convincing Proofs both of a
sound Judgment and a strong Arm, and who could not, upon Occasion,
either knock down an Ox, or write a Comment upon _Horace's_ Art of
Poetry. In short, I would have him a due Composition of _Hercules_ and
_Apollo_, and so rightly qualified for this important Office, that the
Trunk-maker may not be missed by our Posterity.


[Footnote 1: Thomas Doggett, an excellent comic actor, who was for many
years joint-manager with Wilkes and Cibber, died in 1721, and bequeathed
the Coat and Badge that are rowed for by Thames Watermen every first of
August, from London Bridge to Chelsea.]

[Footnote 2: AEneid I. 85.]

[Footnote 3: That.]

* * * * *

No. 236. Friday, November 30, 1711. Steele

--Dare Jura maritis.



You have not spoken in so direct a manner upon the Subject of
Marriage as that important Case deserves. It would not be improper to
observe upon the Peculiarity in the Youth of _Great Britain_, of
railing and laughing at that Institution; and when they fall into it,
from a profligate Habit of Mind, being insensible of the [Satisfaction
[1]] in that Way of Life, and treating their Wives with the most
barbarous Disrespect.

Particular Circumstances and Cast of Temper, must teach a Man the
Probability of mighty Uneasinesses in that State, (for unquestionably
some there are whose very Dispositions are strangely averse to
conjugal Friendship;) but no one, I believe, is by his own natural
Complexion prompted to teaze and torment another for no Reason but
being nearly allied to him: And can there be any thing more base, or
serve to sink a Man so much below his own distinguishing
Characteristick, (I mean Reason) than returning Evil for Good in so
open a Manner, as that of treating an helpless Creature with
Unkindness, who has had so good an Opinion of him as to believe what
he said relating to one of the greatest Concerns of Life, by
delivering her Happiness in this World to his Care and Protection?
Must not that Man be abandoned even to all manner of Humanity, who can
deceive a Woman with Appearances of Affection and Kindness, for no
other End but to torment her with more Ease and Authority? Is any
Thing more unlike a Gentleman, than when his Honour is engaged for the
performing his Promises, because nothing but that can oblige him to
it, to become afterwards false to his Word, and be alone the Occasion
of Misery to one whose Happiness he but lately pretended was dearer to
him than his own? Ought such a one to be trusted in his common
Affairs? or treated but as one whose Honesty consisted only in his
Incapacity of being otherwise?

There is one Cause of this Usage no less absurd than common, which
takes place among the more unthinking Men: and that is the Desire to
appear to their Friends free and at Liberty, and without those
Trammels they have so much ridiculed. [To avoid [2]] this they fly
into the other Extream, and grow Tyrants that they may seem Masters.
Because an uncontroulable Command of their own Actions is a certain
Sign of entire Dominion, they wont so much as recede from the
Government even in one Muscle, of their Faces. A kind Look they
believe would be fawning, and a civil Answer yielding the Superiority.
To this must we attribute an Austerity they betray in every Action:
What but this can put a Man out of Humour in his Wife's Company, tho
he is so distinguishingly pleasant every where else? The Bitterness of
his Replies, and the Severity of his Frowns to the tenderest of Wives,
clearly demonstrate, that an ill-grounded Fear of being thought too
submissive, is at the Bottom of this, as I am willing to call it,
affected Moroseness; but if it be such only, put on to convince his
Acquaintance of his entire Dominion, let him take Care of the
Consequence, which will be certain, and worse than the present Evil;
his seeming Indifference will by Degrees grow into real Contempt, and
if it doth not wholly alienate the Affections of his Wife for ever
from him, make both him and her more miserable than if it really did

However inconsistent it may appear, to be thought a well-bred Person
has no small Share in this clownish Behaviour: A Discourse therefore
relating to good Breeding towards a loving and a tender Wife, would be
of great Use to this Sort of Gentlemen. Could you but once convince
them, that to be civil at least is not beneath the Character of a
Gentleman, nor even tender Affection towards one who would make it
reciprocal, betrays any Softness or Effeminacy that the most masculine
Disposition need be ashamed of; could you satisfy them of the
Generosity of voluntary Civility, and the Greatness of Soul that is
conspicuous in Benevolence without immediate Obligations; could you
recommend to Peoples Practice the Saying of the Gentleman quoted in
one of your Speculations, _That he thought it incumbent upon him to
make the Inclinations of a Woman of Merit go along with her Duty_:
Could you, I say, perswade these Men of the Beauty and Reasonableness
of this Sort of Behaviour, I have so much Charity for some of them at
least, to believe you would convince them of a Thing they are only
ashamed to allow: Besides, you would recommend that State in its
truest, and consequently its most agreeable Colours; and the Gentlemen
who have for any Time been such professed Enemies to it, when Occasion
should serve, would return you their Thanks for assisting their
Interest in prevailing over their Prejudices. Marriage in general
would by this Means be a more easy and comfortable Condition; the
Husband would be no where so well satisfied as in his own Parlour, nor
the Wife so pleasant as in the Company of her Husband: A Desire of
being agreeable in the Lover would be increased in the Husband, and
the Mistress be more amiable by becoming the Wife. Besides all which,
I am apt to believe we should find the Race of Men grow wiser as their
Progenitors grew kinder, and the Affection of the Parents would be
conspicuous in the Wisdom of their Children; in short, Men would in
general be much better humoured than they are, did not they so
frequently exercise the worst Turns of their Temper where they ought
to exert the best.


I am a Woman who left the Admiration of this whole Town, to throw
myself ([for [3]] Love of Wealth) into the Arms of a Fool. When I
married him, I could have had any one of several Men of Sense who
languished for me; but my Case is just. I believed my superior
Understanding would form him into a tractable Creature. But, alas, my
Spouse has Cunning and Suspicion, the inseparable Companions of little
Minds; and every Attempt I make to divert, by putting on an agreeable
Air, a sudden Chearfulness, or kind Behaviour, he looks upon as the
first Act towards an Insurrection against his undeserved Dominion over
me. Let every one who is still to chuse, and hopes to govern a Fool,


_St. Martins, November_ 25.


This is to complain of an evil Practice which I think very well
deserves a Redress, though you have not as yet taken any Notice of it:
If you mention it in your Paper, it may perhaps have a very good
Effect. What I mean is the Disturbance some People give to others at
Church, by their Repetition of the Prayers after the Minister, and
that not only in the Prayers, but also the Absolution and the
Commandments fare no better, winch are in a particular Manner the
Priests Office: This I have known done in so audible a manner, that
sometimes their Voices have been as loud as his. As little as you
would think it, this is frequently done by People seemingly devout.
This irreligious Inadvertency is a Thing extremely offensive: But I do
not recommend it as a Thing I give you Liberty to ridicule, but hope
it may be amended by the bare Mention.

Your very humble Servant,


[Footnote 1: Satisfactions]

[Footnote 2: [For this Reason should they appear the least like what
they were so much used to laugh at, they would become the Jest of
themselves, and the Object of that Raillery they formerly bestowed on
others. To avoid &c.]

[Footnote 3: [by], and in first reprint.]

* * * * *

No. 237. Saturday, December 1, 1711. Addison.

Visu carentem magna pars veri latet.

Senec. in OEdip.

It is very reasonable to believe, that Part of the Pleasure which happy
Minds shall enjoy in a future State, will arise from an enlarged
Contemplation of the Divine Wisdom in the Government of the World, and a
Discovery of the secret and amazing Steps of Providence, from the
Beginning to the End of Time. Nothing seems to be an Entertainment more
adapted to the Nature of Man, if we consider that Curiosity is one of
the strongest and most lasting Appetites implanted in us, and that
Admiration is one of our most pleasing Passions; and what a perpetual
Succession of Enjoyments will be afforded to both these, in a Scene so
large and various as shall then be laid open to our View in the Society
of superior Spirits, who perhaps will join with us in so delightful a

It is not impossible, on the contrary, that Part of the Punishment of
such as are excluded from Bliss, may consist not only in their being
denied this Privilege, but in having their Appetites at the same time
vastly encreased, without any Satisfaction afforded to them. In these,
the vain Pursuit of Knowledge shall, perhaps, add to their Infelicity,
and bewilder them into Labyrinths of Error, Darkness, Distraction and
Uncertainty of every thing but their own evil State. _Milton_ has thus
represented the fallen Angels reasoning together in a kind of Respite
from their Torments, and creating to themselves a new Disquiet amidst
their very Amusements; he could not properly have described the Sports
of condemned Spirits, without that Cast of Horror and Melancholy he has
so judiciously mingled with them.

Others apart sate on a Hill retired,
In Thoughts more elevate, and reason'd high
Of Providence, Foreknowledge, Will, and Fate,
First Fate, Freewill, Foreknowledge absolute,
And found no End in wandring Mazes lost. [1]

In our present Condition, which is a middle State, our Minds are, as it
were, chequered with Truth and Falshood; and as our Faculties are
narrow, and our Views imperfect, it is impossible but our Curiosity must
meet with many Repulses. The Business of Mankind in this Life being
rather to act than to know, their Portion of Knowledge is dealt to them

From hence it is, that the Reason of the Inquisitive has so long been
exercised with Difficulties, in accounting for the promiscuous
Distribution of Good and Evil to the Virtuous and the Wicked in this
World. From hence come all those pathetical Complaints of so many
tragical Events, which happen to the Wise and the Good; and of such
surprising Prosperity, which is often the Lot[2] of the Guilty and the
Foolish; that Reason is sometimes puzzled, and at a loss what to
pronounce upon so mysterious a Dispensation.

_Plato_ expresses his Abhorrence of some Fables of the Poets, which seem
to reflect on the Gods as the Authors of Injustice; and lays it down as
a Principle, That whatever is permitted to befal a just Man, whether
Poverty, Sickness, or any of those Things which seem to be Evils, shall
either in Life or Death conduce to his Good. My Reader will observe how
agreeable this Maxim is to what we find delivered by a greater
Authority. _Seneca_ has written a Discourse purposely on this
Subject[3], in which he takes Pains, after the Doctrine of the
_Stoicks_, to shew that Adversity is not in itself an Evil; and mentions
a noble Saying of _Demetrius_, That _nothing would be more unhappy than
a Man who had never known Affliction_. He compares Prosperity to the
Indulgence of a fond Mother to a Child, which often proves his Ruin; but
the Affection of the Divine Being to that of a wise Father who would
have his Sons exercised with Labour, Disappointment, and Pain, that they
may gather Strength, and improve their Fortitude. On this Occasion the
Philosopher rises into the celebrated Sentiment, That there is not on
Earth a Spectator more worthy the Regard of a Creator intent on his
Works than a brave Man superior to his Sufferings; to which he adds,
That it must be a Pleasure to _Jupiter_ himself to look down from
Heaven, and see _Cato_ amidst the Ruins of his Country preserving his

This Thought will appear yet more reasonable, if we consider human Life
as a State of Probation, and Adversity as the Post of Honour in it,
assigned often to the best and most select Spirits.

But what I would chiefly insist on here, is, that we are not at present
in a proper Situation to judge of the Counsels by which Providence acts,
since but little arrives at our Knowledge, and even that little we
discern imperfectly; or according to the elegant Figure in Holy Writ,
_We see but in part, and as in a Glass darkly_. [It is to be considered,
that Providence[4]] in its Oeconomy regards the whole System of Time and
Things together, [so that] we cannot discover the beautiful Connection
between Incidents which lie widely separated in Time, and by losing so
many Links of the Chain, our Reasonings become broken and imperfect.
Thus those Parts in the moral World which have not an absolute, may yet
have a relative Beauty, in respect of some other Parts concealed from
us, but open to his Eye before whom _Past, Present_, and _To come_, are
set together in one Point of View: and those Events, the Permission of
which seems now to accuse his Goodness, may in the Consummation of
Things both magnify his Goodness, and exalt his Wisdom. And this is
enough to check our Presumption, since it is in vain to apply our
Measures of Regularity to Matters of which we know neither the
Antecedents nor the Consequents, the Beginning nor the End.

I shall relieve my Reader from this abstracted Thought, by relating here
a _Jewish_ Tradition concerning _Moses_ [5] which seems to be a kind of
Parable, illustrating what I have last mentioned. That great Prophet, it
is said, was called up by a Voice from Heaven to the top of a Mountain;
where, in a Conference with the Supreme Being, he was permitted to
propose to him some Questions concerning his Administration of the
Universe. In the midst of this Divine [Colloquy [6]] he was commanded to
look down on the Plain below. At the Foot of the Mountain there issued
out a clear Spring of Water, at which a Soldier alighted from his Horse
to drink. He was no sooner gone than a little Boy came to the same
Place, and finding a Purse of Gold which the Soldier had dropped, took
it up and went away with it. Immediately after this came an infirm old
Man, weary with Age and Travelling, and having quenched his Thirst, sat
down to rest himself by the Side of the Spring. The Soldier missing his
Purse returns to search for it, and demands it of the old Man, who
affirms he had not seen it, and appeals to Heaven in witness of his
Innocence. The Soldier not believing his Protestations, kills him.
_Moses_ fell on his Face with Horror and Amazement, when the Divine
Voice thus prevented his Expostulation: Be not surprised, _Moses_, nor
ask why the Judge of the whole Earth has suffer'd this Thing to come to
pass: The Child is the Occasion that the Blood of the old Man is spilt;
but know, that the old Man whom thou sawst, was the Murderer of that
Child's Father [7].

[Footnote 1: Paradise Lost, B. II. v. 557-561.]

[Footnote 2: In Saturdays Spectator, _for_ reward _read_ lot.
Erratum in No. 238.]

[Footnote 3: De Constantia Sapientis.]

[Footnote 4: [Since Providence, therefore], and in 1st rep.]

[Footnote 5: Henry Mores Divine Dialogues.]

[Footnote 6: [Conference]]

[Footnote 7: No letter appended to original issue or reissue. Printed in
Addison's Works, 1720. The paper has been claimed for John Hughes in the
Preface to his Poems (1735).]

* * * * *

No. 238. Monday, December 3, 1711. Steele.

Nequicquam populo bibulas donaveris Aures;
Respue quod non es.

Persius, Sat. 4.

Among all the Diseases of the Mind, there is not one more epidemical or
more pernicious than the Love of Flattery. For as where the Juices of
the Body are prepared to receive a malignant Influence, there the
Disease rages with most Violence; so in this Distemper of the Mind,
where there is ever a Propensity and Inclination to suck in the Poison,
it cannot be but that the whole Order of reasonable Action must be
overturn'd, for, like Musick, it

--So softens and disarms the Mind,
That not one Arrow can Resistance find.

First we flatter ourselves, and then the Flattery of others is sure of
Success. It awakens our Self-Love within, a Party which is ever ready to
revolt from our better Judgment, and join the Enemy without. Hence it
is, that the Profusion of Favours we so often see poured upon the
Parasite, are represented to us, by our Self-Love, as Justice done to
Man, who so agreeably reconciles us to our selves. When we are overcome
by such soft Insinuations and ensnaring Compliances, we gladly
recompense the Artifices that are made use of to blind our Reason, and
which triumph over the Weaknesses of our Temper and Inclinations.

But were every Man perswaded from how mean and low a Principle this
Passion is derived, there can be no doubt but the Person who should
attempt to gratify it, would then be as contemptible as he is now
successful. Tis the Desire of some Quality we are not possessed of, or
Inclination to be something we are not, which are the Causes of our
giving ourselves up to that Man, who bestows upon us the Characters and
Qualities of others; which perhaps suit us as ill and were as little
design'd for our wearing, as their Cloaths. Instead of going out of our
own complectional Nature into that of others, twere a better and more
laudable Industry to improve our own, and instead of a miserable Copy
become a good Original; for there is no Temper, no Disposition so rude
and untractable, but may in its own peculiar Cast and Turn be brought to
some agreeable Use in Conversation, or in the Affairs of Life. A Person
of a rougher Deportment, and less tied up to the usual Ceremonies of
Behaviour, will, like _Manly_ in the Play,[1] please by the Grace which
Nature gives to every Action wherein she is complied with; the Brisk and
Lively will not want their Admirers, and even a more reserved and
melancholy Temper may at some times be agreeable.

When there is not Vanity enough awake in a Man to undo him, the
Flatterer stirs up that dormant Weakness, and inspires him with Merit
enough to be a Coxcomb. But if Flattery be the most sordid Act that can
be complied with, the Art of Praising justly is as commendable: For tis
laudable to praise well; as Poets at one and the same time give
Immortality, and receive it themselves for a Reward: Both are pleased,
the one whilst he receives the Recompence of Merit, the other whilst he
shews he knows now to discern it; but above all, that Man is happy in
this Art, who, like a skilful Painter, retains the Features and
Complection, but still softens the Picture into the most agreeable

There can hardly, I believe, be imagin'd a more desirable Pleasure, than
that of Praise unmix'd with any Possibility of Flattery. Such was that
which _Germanicus_ enjoyed, when, the Night before a Battle, desirous of
some sincere Mark of the Esteem of his Legions for him, he is described
by _Tacitus_ listening in a Disguise to the Discourse of a Soldier, and
wrapt up in the Fruition of his Glory, whilst with an undesigned
Sincerity they praised his noble and majestick Mien, his Affability, his
Valour, Conduct, and Success in War. How must a Man have his Heart
full-blown with Joy in such an Article of Glory as this? What a Spur and
Encouragement still to proceed in those Steps which had already brought
him to so pure a Taste of the greatest of mortal Enjoyments?

It sometimes happens, that even Enemies and envious Persons bestow the
sincerest Marks of Esteem when they least design it. Such afford a
greater Pleasure, as extorted by Merit, and freed from all Suspicion of
Favour or Flattery. Thus it is with _Malvolio_; he has Wit, Learning,
and Discernment, but temper'd with an Allay of Envy, Self-Love and
Detraction: _Malvolio_ turns pale at the Mirth and good Humour of the
Company, if it center not in his Person; he grows jealous and displeased
when he ceases to be the only Person admired, and looks upon the
Commendations paid to another as a Detraction from his Merit, and an
Attempt to lessen the Superiority he affects; but by this very Method,
he bestows such Praise as can never be suspected of Flattery. His
Uneasiness and Distastes are so many sure and certain Signs of anothers
Title to that Glory he desires, and has the Mortification to find
himself not possessed of.

A good Name is fitly compared to a precious Ointment,[2] and when we are
praised with Skill and Decency, tis indeed the most agreeable Perfume,
but if too strongly admitted into a Brain of a less vigorous and happy
Texture, twill, like too strong an Odour, overcome the Senses, and
prove pernicious to those Nerves twas intended to refresh. A generous
Mind is of all others the most sensible of Praise and Dispraise; and a
noble Spirit is as much invigorated with its due Proportion of Honour
and Applause, as tis depressed by Neglect and Contempt: But tis only
Persons far above the common Level who are thus affected with either of
these Extreams; as in a Thermometer, tis only the purest and most
sublimated Spirit that is either contracted or dilated by the Benignity
or Inclemency of the Season.


The Translations which you have lately given us from the _Greek_, in
some of your last Papers, have been the Occasion of my looking into
some of those Authors; among whom I chanced on a Collection of Letters
which pass under the Name of _Aristaenetus_. Of all the Remains of
Antiquity, I believe there can be Nothing produc'd of an Air so
gallant and polite; each Letter contains a little Novel or Adventure,
which is told with all the Beauties of Language and heightened with a
Luxuriance of Wit. There are several of them translated,[3] but with
such wide Deviations from the Original, and in a Style so far
differing from the Authors, that the Translator seems rather to have
taken Hints for the expressing his own Sense and Thoughts, than to
have endeavoured to render those of _Aristaenetus_. In the following
Translation, I have kept as near the Meaning of the _Greek_ as I
could, and have only added a few Words to make the Sentences in
_English_ fit together a little better than they would otherwise have
done. The Story seems to be taken from that of _Pygmalion_ and the
Statue in _Ovid_: Some of the Thoughts are of the same Turn, and the
whole is written in a kind of Poetical Prose.

Philopinax to Chromation.

"Never was Man more overcome with so fantastical a Passion as mine.
I have painted a beautiful Woman, and am despairing, dying for the
Picture. My own Skill has undone me; tis not the Dart of _Venus_,
but my own Pencil has thus wounded me. Ah me! with what Anxiety am I
necessitated to adore my own Idol? How miserable am I, whilst every
one must as much pity the Painter as he praises the Picture, and own
my Torment more than equal to my Art. But why do I thus complain?
Have there not been more unhappy and unnatural Passions than mine?
Yes, I have seen the Representations of _Phaedra, Narcissus,_ and
_Pasiphae_. _Phaedra_ was unhappy in her Love; that of _Pasiphae_ was
monstrous; and whilst the other caught at his beloved Likeness, he
destroyed the watery Image, which ever eluded his Embraces. The
Fountain represented _Narcissus_ to himself, and the Picture both
that and him, thirsting after his adored Image. But I am yet less
unhappy, I enjoy her Presence continually, and if I touch her, I
destroy not the beauteous Form, but she looks pleased, and a sweet
Smile sits in the charming Space which divides her Lips. One would
swear that Voice and Speech were issuing out, and that ones Ears
felt the melodious Sound. How often have I, deceived by a Lovers
Credulity, hearkned if she had not something to whisper me? and when
frustrated of my Hopes, how often have I taken my Revenge in Kisses
from her Cheeks and Eyes, and softly wooed her to my Embrace, whilst
she (as to me it seem'd) only withheld her Tongue the more to
inflame me. But, Madman that I am, shall I be thus taken with the
Representation only of a beauteous Face, and flowing Hair, and thus
waste myself and melt to Tears for a Shadow? Ah, sure tis something
more, tis a Reality! for see her Beauties shine out with new
Lustre, and she seems to upbraid me with such unkind Reproaches. Oh
may I have a living Mistress of this Form, that when I shall compare
the Work of Nature with that of Art, I may be still at a loss which
to choose, and be long perplex'd with the pleasing Uncertainty.


[Footnote 1: Wycherley's Plain Dealer.]

[Footnote 2: Eccles, vii. I.]

[Footnote 3: In a volume of translated Letters on Wit, Politicks, and
Morality, edited by Abel Boyer, in 1701. The letters ascribed to
Aristaenetus of Nicer in Bithynis, who died A.D. 358, but which were
written after the fifth century, were afterwards translated as Letters
of Love and Gallantry, written in Greek by Aristaenetus. This volume,
12mo (1715), was dedicated to Eustace Budgell, who is named in the
Preface as the author of the Spectator papers signed X.]

* * * * *

No. 239. Tuesday, December 4, 1711. Addison.

Bella, horrida bella!


I have sometimes amused myself with considering the several Methods of
managing a Debate which have obtained m the World.

The first Races of Mankind used to dispute, as our ordinary People do
now-a-days, in a kind of wild Logick, uncultivated by Rules of Art.

_Socrates_ introduced a catechetical Method of Arguing. He would ask his
Adversary Question upon Question, till he had convinced him out of his
own Mouth that his Opinions were wrong. This Way of Debating drives an
Enemy up into a Corner, seizes all the Passes through which he can make
an Escape, and forces him to surrender at Discretion.

_Aristotle_ changed this Method of Attack, and invented a great Variety
of little Weapons, call'd Syllogisms. As in the _Socratick_ Way of
Dispute you agree to every thing which your Opponent advances, in the
_Aristotelick_ you are still denying and contradicting some Part or
other of what he says. _Socrates_ conquers you by Stratagem, _Aristotle_
by Force: The one takes the Town by Sap, the other Sword in Hand.

The Universities of _Europe_, for many Years, carried on their Debates
by Syllogism, insomuch that we see the Knowledge of several Centuries
laid out into Objections and Answers, and all the good Sense of the Age
cut and minced into almost an Infinitude of Distinctions.

When our Universities found that there was no End of Wrangling this Way,
they invented a kind of Argument, which is not reducible to any Mood or
Figure in _Aristotle_. It was called the _Argumentum Basilinum_ (others
write it _Bacilinum_ or _Baculinum_) which is pretty well express'd in
our _English_ Word _Club-Law_. When they were not able to confute their
Antagonist, they knock'd him down. It was their Method in these
polemical Debates, first to discharge their Syllogisms, and afterwards
to betake themselves to their Clubs, till such Time as they had one Way
or other confounded their Gainsayers. There is in _Oxford_ a narrow
[Defile, [1] (to make use of a military Term) where the Partizans used
to encounter, for which Reason it still retains the Name of
_Logic-Lane_. I have heard an old Gentleman, a Physician, make his
Boasts, that when he was a young Fellow he marched several Times at the
Head of a Troop of _Scotists,_ [2] and cudgel'd a Body of _Smiglesians_
[3] half the length of _High-street_, till they had dispersed
themselves for Shelter into their respective Garrisons.

This Humour, I find, went very far in _Erasmus's_ Time. For that Author
tells us [4], That upon the Revival of _Greek_ Letters, most of the
Universities in _Europe_ were divided into _Greeks_ and _Trojans_. The
latter were those who bore a mortal Enmity to the Language of the
_Grecians_, insomuch that if they met with any who understood it, they
did not fail to treat him as a Foe. _Erasmus_ himself had, it seems, the
Misfortune to fall into the Hands of a Party of _Trojans_, who laid him
on with so many Blows and Buffets that he never forgot their Hostilities
to his dying Day.

There is a way of managing an Argument not much unlike the former, which
is made use of by States and Communities, when they draw up a hundred
thousand Disputants on each Side, and convince one another by Dint of
Sword. A certain Grand Monarch [5] was so sensible of his Strength in
this way of Reasoning, that he writ upon his Great Guns--_Ratio ultima
Regum, The Logick of Kings_; but, God be thanked, he is now pretty well
baffled at his own Weapons. When one was to do with a Philosopher of
this kind, one should remember the old Gentleman's Saying, who had been
engaged in an Argument with one of the _Roman_ Emperors. [6] Upon his
Friends telling him, That he wonder'd he would give up the Question,
when he had visibly the Better of the Dispute; _I am never asham'd_,
says he, _to be confuted by one who is Master of fifty Legions_.

I shall but just mention another kind of Reasoning, which may be called
arguing by Poll; and another which is of equal Force, in which Wagers
are made use of as Arguments, according to the celebrated Line in
_Hudibras_ [7]

But the most notable way of managing a Controversy, is that which we may
call _Arguing by Torture_. This is a Method of Reasoning which has been
made use of with the poor Refugees, and which was so fashionable in our
Country during the Reign of Queen _Mary_, that in a Passage of an Author
quoted by Monsieur _Bayle_ [8] it is said the Price of Wood was raised
in _England_, by reason of the Executions that were made in
_Smithfield_. These Disputants convince their Adversaries with a
_Sorites_, [9] commonly called a Pile of Faggots. The Rack is also a
kind of Syllogism which has been used with good Effect, and has made
Multitudes of Converts. Men were formerly disputed out of their Doubts,
reconciled to Truth by Force of Reason, and won over to Opinions by the
Candour, Sense and Ingenuity of those who had the Right on their Side;
but this Method of Conviction operated too slowly. Pain was found to be
much more enlightning than Reason. Every Scruple was looked upon as
Obstinacy, and not to be removed but by several Engines invented for
that Purpose. In a Word, the Application of Whips, Racks, Gibbets,
Gallies, Dungeons, Fire and Faggot, in a Dispute, may be look'd upon as
Popish Refinements upon the old Heathen Logick.

There is another way of Reasoning which seldom fails, tho it be of a
quite different Nature to that I have last mentioned. I mean, convincing
a Man by ready Money, or as it is ordinarily called, bribing a Man to an
Opinion. This Method has often proved successful, when all the others
have been made use of to no purpose. A Man who is furnished with
Arguments from the Mint, will convince his Antagonist much sooner than
one who draws them from Reason and Philosophy. Gold is a wonderful
Clearer of the Understanding; it dissipates every Doubt and Scruple in
an Instant; accommodates itself to the meanest Capacities; silences the
Loud and Clamorous, and brings over the most Obstinate and Inflexible.
_Philip of Macedon_ was a Man of most invincible Reason this Way. He
refuted by it all the Wisdom of _Athens_, confounded their Statesmen,
struck their Orators dumb, and at length argued them out of all their

Having here touched upon the several Methods of Disputing, as they have
prevailed in different Ages of the World, I shall very suddenly give my
Reader an Account of the whole Art of Cavilling; which shall be a full
and satisfactory Answer to all such Papers and Pamphlets as have yet
appeared against the SPECTATOR.


[Footnote 1: Defile]

[Footnote 2: The followers of the famous scholastic philosopher, Duns
Scotus (who taught at Oxford and died in 1308), were Realists, and the
Scotists were as Realists opposed to the Nominalists, who, as followers
of Thomas Aquinas, were called Thomists. Abuse, in later time, of the
followers of Duns gave its present sense to the word Dunce.]

[Footnote 3: The followers of Martin Simglecius a Polish Jesuit, who
taught Philosophy for four years and Theology for ten years at Vilna, in
Lithuania, and died at Kalisch in 1618. Besides theological works he
published a book of Disputations upon Logic.]

[Footnote 4: Erasm. Epist.]

[Footnote 5: Louis XIV.]

[Footnote 6: Adrian, cited in Bacons Apophthegms.]

[Footnote 7: Hudibras, Pt. II. c. i, v. 297. See note to No. 145.]

[Footnote 8: And. Ammonius in Bayle's Life of him, but the saying was of
the reign of Henry VIII.]

[Footnote 9: A Sorites, in Logic,--from [Greek: soros], a heap--is a
pile of syllogisms so compacted that the conclusion of one serves as a
premiss to the next.]

* * * * *

No. 240. Wednesday, December 5, 1711. Steele.

--Aliter not fit, Avite, liber.



I am of one of the most genteel Trades in the City, and understand
thus much of liberal Education, as to have an ardent Ambition of being
useful to Mankind, and to think That the chief End of Being as to this
Life. I had these good Impressions given me from the handsome
Behaviour of a learned, generous, and wealthy Man towards me when I
first began the World. Some Dissatisfaction between me and my Parents
made me enter into it with less Relish of Business than I ought; and
to turn off this Uneasiness I gave my self to criminal Pleasures, some
Excesses, and a general loose Conduct. I know not what the excellent
Man above-mentioned saw in me, but he descended from the Superiority
of his Wisdom and Merit, to throw himself frequently into my Company.
This made me soon hope that I had something in me worth cultivating,
and his Conversation made me sensible of Satisfactions in a regular
Way, which I had never before imagined. When he was grown familiar
with me, he opened himself like a good Angel, and told me, he had long
laboured to ripen me into a Preparation to receive his Friendship and
Advice, both which I should daily command, and the Use of any Part of
his Fortune, to apply the Measures he should propose to me, for the
Improvement of my own. I assure you, I cannot recollect the Goodness
and Confusion of the good Man when he spoke to this Purpose to me,
without melting into Tears; but in a word, Sir, I must hasten to tell
you, that my Heart burns with Gratitude towards him, and he is so
happy a Man, that it can never be in my Power to return him his
Favours in Kind, but I am sure I have made him the most agreeable
Satisfaction I could possibly, [in being ready to serve others to my
utmost Ability,] as far as is consistent with the Prudence he
prescribes to me. Dear Mr. SPECTATOR, I do not owe to him only the
good Will and Esteem of my own Relations, (who are People of
Distinction) the present Ease and Plenty of my Circumstances, but also
the Government of my Passions, and Regulation of my Desires. I doubt
not, Sir, but in your Imagination such Virtues as these of my worthy
Friend, bear as great a Figure as Actions which are more glittering in
the common Estimation. What I would ask of you, is to give us a whole
_Spectator_ upon Heroick Virtue in common Life, which may incite Men
to the same generous Inclinations, as have by this admirable Person
been shewn to, and rais'd in,

_SIR, Your most humble Servant_.


I am a Country Gentleman, of a good plentiful Estate, and live as the
rest of my Neighbours with great Hospitality. I have been ever
reckoned among the Ladies the best Company in the World, and have
Access as a sort of Favourite. I never came in Publick but I saluted
them, tho in great Assemblies, all round, where it was seen how
genteelly I avoided hampering my Spurs in their Petticoats, while I
moved amongst them; and on the other side how prettily they curtsied
and received me, standing in proper Rows, and advancing as fast as
they saw their Elders, or their Betters, dispatch'd by me. But so it
is, Mr. SPECTATOR, that all our good Breeding is of late lost by the
unhappy Arrival of a Courtier, or Town Gentleman, who came lately
among us: This Person where-ever he came into a Room made a profound
Bow, and fell back, then recovered with a soft Air, and made a Bow to
the next, and so to one or two more, and then took the Gross of the
Room, by passing by them in a continued Bow till he arrived at the
Person he thought proper particularly to entertain. This he did with
so good a Grace and Assurance, that it is taken for the present
Fashion; and there is no young Gentlewoman within several Miles of
this Place has been kissed ever since his first Appearance among us.
We Country Gentlemen cannot begin again and learn these fine and
reserved Airs; and our Conversation is at a Stand, till we have your
Judgment for or against Kissing, by way of Civility or Salutation;
which is impatiently expected by your Friends of both Sexes, but by
none so much as

_Your humble Servant_,

Rustick Sprightly.

_December_ 3, 1711.


I was the other Night at _Philaster_,[1] where I expected to hear your
famous Trunk-maker, but was happily disappointed of his Company, and
saw another Person who had the like Ambition to distinguish himself in
a noisy manner, partly by Vociferation or talking loud, and partly by
his bodily Agility. This was a very lusty Fellow, but withal a sort of
Beau, who getting into one of the Side-boxes on the Stage before the
Curtain drew, was disposed to shew the whole Audience his Activity by
leaping over the Spikes; he pass'd from thence to one of the entering
Doors, where he took Snuff with a tolerable good Grace, display'd his
fine Cloaths, made two or three feint Passes at the Curtain with his
Cane, then faced about and appear'd at tother Door: Here he affected
to survey the whole House, bow'd and smil'd at random, and then shew'd
his Teeth, which were some of them indeed very white: After this he
retired behind the Curtain, and obliged us with several Views of his
Person from every Opening.

During the Time of Acting, he appear'd frequently in the Princes
Apartment, made one at the Hunting-match, and was very forward in the
Rebellion. If there were no Injunctions to the contrary, yet this
Practice must be confess'd to diminish the Pleasure of the Audience,
and for that Reason presumptuous and unwarrantable: But since her
Majesty's late Command has made it criminal,[2] you have Authority to
take Notice of it.

SIR, _Your humble Servant_,

Charles Easy.


[Footnote 1: Beaumont and Fletchers Philaster had been acted on the
preceding Friday, Nov. 30. The Hunt is in the Fourth Act, the Rebellion
in the Fifth.]

[Footnote 2: At this time there had been added to the playbills the line

By her Majesty's Command no Person is to be admitted behind the

* * * * *

No. 241. Thursday, December 6, 1711. Addison.

--Semperque relinqui
Sola sibi, semper longam incomitata videtur
Ire viam--



Though you have considered virtuous Love inmost of its Distresses, I
do not remember that you have given us any Dissertation upon the
Absence of Lovers, or laid down any Methods how they should support
themselves under those long Separations which they are sometimes
forced to undergo. I am at present in this unhappy Circumstance,
having parted with the best of Husbands, who is abroad in the Service
of his Country, and may not possibly return for some Years. His warm
and generous Affection while we were together, with the Tenderness
which he expressed to me at parting, make his Absence almost
insupportable. I think of him every Moment of the Day, and meet him
every Night in my Dreams. Every thing I see puts me in mind of him. I
apply myself with more than ordinary Diligence to the Care of his
Family and his Estate; but this, instead of relieving me, gives me but
so many Occasions of wishing for his Return. I frequent the Rooms
where I used to converse with him, and not meeting him there, sit down
in his Chair, and fall a weeping. I love to read the Books he
delighted in, and to converse with the Persons whom he esteemed. I
visit his Picture a hundred times a Day, and place myself over-against
it whole Hours together. I pass a great part of my Time in the Walks
where I used to lean upon his Arm, and recollect in my Mind the
Discourses which have there passed between us: I look over the several
Prospects and Points of View which we used to survey together, fix my
Eye upon the Objects which he has made me take notice of, and call to
mind a thousand [agreeable] Remarks which he has made on those
Occasions. I write to him by every Conveyance, and contrary to other
People, am always in good Humour when an East-Wind blows, because it
seldom fails of bringing me a Letter from him. Let me entreat you,
Sir, to give me your Advice upon this Occasion, and to let me know how
I may relieve my self in this my Widowhood.

_I am, SIR, Your most humble Servant_,


Absence is what the Poets call Death in Love, and has given Occasion to
abundance of beautiful Complaints in those Authors who have treated of
this Passion in Verse. _Ovid's_ Epistles are full of them. _Otway's
Monimia_ talks very tenderly upon this Subject. [1]

--It was not kind
To leave me like a Turtle, here alone,
To droop and mourn the Absence of my Mate._
_When thou art from me, every Place is desert:
And I, methinks, am savage and forlorn.
Thy Presence only tis can make me blest,
Heal my unquiet Mind, and tune my Soul.

The Consolations of Lovers on these Occasions are very extraordinary.
Besides those mentioned by _Asteria_, there are many other Motives of
Comfort, which are made use of by absent Lovers.

I remember in one of _Scudery's_ Romances, a Couple of honourable Lovers
agreed at their parting to set aside one half Hour in the Day to think
of each other during a tedious Absence. The Romance tells us, that they
both of them punctually observed the Time thus agreed upon; and that
whatever Company or Business they were engaged in, they left it abruptly
as soon as the Clock warned them to retire. The Romance further adds,
That the Lovers expected the Return of this stated Hour with as much
Impatience, as if it had been a real Assignation, and enjoyed an
imaginary Happiness that was almost as pleasing to them as what they
would have found from a real Meeting. It was an inexpressible
Satisfaction to these divided Lovers, to be assured that each was at the
same time employ'd in the same kind of Contemplation, and making equal
Returns of Tenderness and Affection.

If I may be allowed to mention a more serious Expedient for the
alleviating of Absence, I shall take notice of one which I have known
two Persons practise, who joined Religion to that Elegance of Sentiments
with which the Passion of Love generally inspires its Votaries. This
was, at the Return of such an Hour, to offer up a certain Prayer for
each other, which they had agreed upon before their Parting. The
Husband, who is a Man that makes a Figure in the polite World, as well
as in his own Family, has often told me, that he could not have
supported an Absence of three Years without this Expedient.

[_Strada_, in one of his Prolusions, [2]] gives an Account of a
chimerical Correspondence between two Friends by the Help of a certain
Loadstone, which had such Virtue in it, that if it touched two several
Needles, when one of the Needles so touched [began [3]], to move, the
other, tho at never so great a Distance, moved at the same Time, and in
the same Manner. He tells us, that the two Friends, being each of them
possessed of one of these Needles, made a kind of a Dial-plate,
inscribing it with the four and twenty Letters, in the same manner as
the Hours of the Day are marked upon the ordinary Dial-plate. They then
fixed one of the Needles on each of these Plates in such a manner, that
it could move round without Impediment, so as to touch any of the four
and twenty Letters. Upon their Separating from one another into distant
Countries, they agreed to withdraw themselves punctually into their
Closets at a certain Hour of the Day, and to converse with one another
by means of this their Invention. Accordingly when they were some
hundred Miles asunder, each of them shut himself up in his Closet at the
Time appointed, and immediately cast his Eye upon his Dial-plate. If he
had a mind to write any thing to his Friend, he directed his Needle to
every Letter that formed the Words which he had occasion for, making a
little Pause at the end of every Word or Sentence, to avoid Confusion.
The Friend, in the mean while, saw his own sympathetick Needle moving of
itself to every Letter which that of his Correspondent pointed at. By
this means they talked together across a whole Continent, and conveyed
their Thoughts to one another in an Instant over Cities or Mountains,
Seas or Desarts.

If Monsieur _Scudery_, or any other Writer of Romance, had introduced a
Necromancer, who is generally in the Train of a Knight-Errant, making a
Present to two Lovers of a Couple of those above-mentioned Needles, the
Reader would not have been a little pleased to have seen them
corresponding with one another when they were guarded by Spies and
Watches, or separated by Castles and Adventures.

In the mean while, if ever this Invention should be revived or put in
practice, I would propose, that upon the Lovers Dial-plate there should
be written not only the four and twenty Letters, but several entire
Words which have always a Place in passionate Epistles, as _Flames,
Darts, Die, Language, Absence, Cupid, Heart, Eyes, Hang, Drown_, and the
like. This would very much abridge the Lovers Pains in this way of
writing a Letter, as it would enable him to express the most useful and
significant Words with a single Touch of the Needle.


[Footnote 1: Orphan, Act II.]

[Footnote 2: [In one of Strada's Prolusions he] Lib. II. Prol. 6.]

[Footnote 3: [begun], and in first reprint.]

* * * * *

No. 242. Friday, December 7, 1711. Steele.

Creditur, ex medio quia res arcessit, habere
Sudoris minimum--



Your Speculations do not so generally prevail over Mens Manners as I
could wish. A former Paper of yours [1] concerning the Misbehaviour of
People, who are necessarily in each others Company in travelling,
ought to have been a lasting Admonition against Transgressions of that
Kind: But I had the Fate of your Quaker, in meeting with a rude Fellow
in a Stage-Coach, who entertained two or three Women of us (for there
was no Man besides himself) with Language as indecent as was ever
heard upon the Water. The impertinent Observations which the Coxcomb
made upon our Shame and Confusion were such, that it is an unspeakable
Grief to reflect upon them. As much as you have declaimed against
Duelling, I hope you will do us the Justice to declare, that if the
Brute has Courage enough to send to the Place where he saw us all
alight together to get rid of him, there is not one of us but has a
Lover who shall avenge the Insult. It would certainly be worth your
Consideration, to look into the frequent Misfortunes of this kind, to
which the Modest and Innocent are exposed, by the licentious Behaviour
of such as are as much Strangers to good Breeding as to Virtue. Could
we avoid hearing what we do not approve, as easily as we can seeing
what is disagreeable, there were some Consolation; but since [in a Box
at a Play,][2] in an Assembly of Ladies, or even in a Pew at Church,
it is in the Power of a gross Coxcomb to utter what a Woman cannot
avoid hearing, how miserable is her Condition who comes within the
Power of such Impertinents? And how necessary is it to repeat
Invectives against such a Behaviour? If the Licentious had not utterly
forgot what it is to be modest, they would know that offended Modesty
labours under one of the greatest Sufferings to which human Life can
be exposed. If one of these Brutes could reflect thus much, tho they
want Shame, they would be moved, by their Pity, to abhor an impudent
Behaviour in the Presence of the Chaste and Innocent. If you will
oblige us with a _Spectator_ on this Subject, and procure it to be
pasted against every Stage-Coach in _Great-Britain_, as the Law of the
Journey, you will highly oblige the whole Sex, for which you have
professed so great an Esteem; and in particular, the two Ladies my
late Fellow-Sufferers, and,

SIR, _Your most humble Servant_,

Rebecca Ridinghood.


The Matter which I am now going to send you, is an unhappy Story in
low Life, and will recommend it self, so that you must excuse the
Manner of expressing it. A poor idle drunken Weaver in
_Spittle-Fields_ has a faithful laborious Wife, who by her Frugality
and Industry had laid by her as much Money as purchased her a Ticket
in the present Lottery. She had hid this very privately in the Bottom
of a Trunk, and had given her Number to a Friend and Confident, who
had promised to keep the Secret, and bring her News of the Success.
The poor Adventurer was one Day gone abroad, when her careless
Husband, suspecting she had saved some Money, searches every Corner,
till at length he finds this same Ticket; which he immediately carries
abroad, sells, and squanders away the Money without the Wife's
suspecting any thing of the Matter. A Day or two after this, this
Friend, who was a Woman, comes and brings the Wife word, that she had
a Benefit of Five Hundred Pounds. The poor Creature over-joyed, flies
up Stairs to her Husband, who was then at Work, and desires him to
leave his Loom for that Evening, and come and drink with a Friend of
his and hers below. The Man received this chearful Invitation as bad
Husbands sometimes do, and after a cross Word or two told her he
woudn't come. His Wife with Tenderness renewed her Importunity, and
at length said to him, My Love! I have within these few Months,
unknown to you, scraped together as much Money as has bought us a
Ticket in the Lottery, and now here is Mrs. Quick [come] [3] to tell
me, that tis come up this Morning a Five hundred Pound Prize. The
Husband replies immediately, You lye, you Slut, you have no Ticket,
for I have sold it. The poor Woman upon this Faints away in a Fit,
recovers, and is now run distracted. As she had no Design to defraud
her Husband, but was willing only to participate in his good Fortune,
every one pities her, but thinks her Husbands Punishment but just.
This, Sir, is Matter of Fact, and would, if the Persons and
Circumstances were greater, in a well-wrought Play be called
_Beautiful Distress_. I have only sketched it out with Chalk, and know
a good Hand can make a moving Picture with worse Materials.

SIR, &c.


I am what the World calls a warm Fellow, and by good Success in Trade
I have raised myself to a Capacity of making some Figure in the World;
but no matter for that. I have now under my Guardianship a couple of
Nieces, who will certainly make me run mad; which you will not wonder
at, when I tell you they are Female Virtuosos, and during the three
Years and a half that I have had them under my Care, they never in the
least inclined their Thoughts towards any one single Part of the
Character of a notable Woman. Whilst they should have been considering
the proper Ingredients for a Sack-posset, you should hear a Dispute
concerning the [magnetick] [4], and in first reprint.] Virtue of the
Loadstone, or perhaps the Pressure of the Atmosphere: Their Language
is peculiar to themselves, and they scorn to express themselves on the
meanest Trifle with Words that are not of a _Latin_ Derivation. But
this were supportable still, would they suffer me to enjoy an
uninterrupted Ignorance; but, unless I fall in with their abstracted
Idea of Things (as they call them) I must not expect to smoak one Pipe
in Quiet. In a late Fit of the Gout I complained of the Pain of that
Distemper when my Niece _Kitty_ begged Leave to assure me, that
whatever I might think, several great Philosophers, both ancient and
modern, were of Opinion, that both Pleasure and Pain were imaginary
[Distinctions [5]], and that there was no such thing as either _in
rerum Natura_. I have often heard them affirm that the Fire was not
hot; and one Day when I, with the Authority of an old Fellow, desired
one of them to put my blue Cloak on my Knees; she answered, Sir, I
will reach the Cloak; but take notice, I do not do it as allowing your
Description; for it might as well be called Yellow as Blue; for Colour
is nothing but the various Infractions of the Rays of the Sun. Miss
_Molly_ told me one Day; That to say Snow was white, is allowing a
vulgar Error; for as it contains a great Quantity of nitrous
Particles, it [might more reasonably][6] be supposed to be black. In
short, the young Husseys would persuade me, that to believe ones Eyes
is a sure way to be deceived; and have often advised me, by no means,
to trust any thing so fallible as my Senses. What I have to beg of you
now is, to turn one Speculation to the due Regulation of Female
Literature, so far at least, as to make it consistent with the Quiet
of such whose Fate it is to be liable to its Insults; and to tell us
the Difference between a Gentleman that should make Cheesecakes and
raise Paste, and a Lady that reads _Locke_, and understands the
Mathematicks. In which you will extreamly oblige

_Your hearty Friend and humble Servant_,

Abraham Thrifty.


[Footnote 1: No. 132.]

[Footnote 2: at a Box in a Play, and in first reprint.]

[Footnote 3: [comes], and in first reprint.]

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

[Footnote 5: [Distractions], and in first reprint.]

[Footnote 6: [may more seasonably], and in first reprint.]

* * * * *

No. 243. Saturday, December 8, 1711. Addison.

Formam quidem ipsam, Marce fili, et tanquam faciem Honesti vides: quae
si oculis cerneretur, mirabiles amores (ut ait Plato) excitaret

Tull. Offic.

I do not remember to have read any Discourse written expressly upon the
Beauty and Loveliness of Virtue, without considering it as a Duty, and
as the Means of making us happy both now and hereafter. I design
therefore this Speculation as an Essay upon that Subject, in which I
shall consider Virtue no further than as it is in it self of an amiable
Nature, after having premised, that I understand by the Word Virtue such
a general Notion as is affixed to it by the Writers of Morality, and
which by devout Men generally goes under the Name of Religion, and by
Men of the World under the Name of Honour.

Hypocrisy it self does great Honour, or rather Justice, to Religion, and
tacitly acknowledges it to be an Ornament to human Nature. The Hypocrite
would not be at so much Pains to put on the Appearance of Virtue, if he
did not know it was the most proper and effectual means to gain the Love
and Esteem of Mankind.

We learn from _Hierodes_, it was a common Saying among the Heathens,
that the Wise Man hates no body, but only loves the Virtuous.

_Tully_ has a very beautiful Gradation of Thoughts to shew how amiable
Virtue is. We love a virtuous Man, says he, who lives in the remotest
Parts of the Earth, though we are altogether out of the Reach of his
Virtue, and can receive from it no Manner of Benefit; nay, one who died
several Ages ago, raises a secret Fondness and Benevolence for him in
our Minds, when we read his Story: Nay, what is still more, one who has
been the Enemy of our Country, provided his Wars were regulated by
Justice and Humanity, as in the Instance of _Pyrrhus_ whom _Tully_
mentions on this Occasion in Opposition to _Hannibal_. Such is the
natural Beauty and Loveliness of Virtue.

Stoicism, which was the Pedantry of Virtue, ascribes all good
Qualifications, of what kind soever, to the virtuous Man. Accordingly
[Cato][1] in the Character _Tully_ has left of him, carried Matters so
far, that he would not allow any one but a virtuous Man to be handsome.
This indeed looks more like a Philosophical Rant than the real Opinion
of a Wise Man; yet this was what _Cato_ very seriously maintained. In
short, the Stoics thought they could not sufficiently represent the
Excellence of Virtue, if they did not comprehend in the Notion of it all
possible Perfection[s]; and therefore did not only suppose, that it was
transcendently beautiful in it self, but that it made the very Body
amiable, and banished every kind of Deformity from the Person in whom it

It is a common Observation, that the most abandoned to all Sense of
Goodness, are apt to wish those who are related to them of a different
Character; and it is very observable, that none are more struck with the
Charms of Virtue in the fair Sex, than those who by their very
Admiration of it are carried to a Desire of ruining it.

A virtuous Mind in a fair Body is indeed a fine Picture in a good Light,
and therefore it is no Wonder that it makes the beautiful Sex all over

As Virtue in general is of an amiable and lovely Nature, there are some
particular kinds of it which are more so than others, and these are such
as dispose us to do Good to Mankind. Temperance and Abstinence, Faith
and Devotion, are in themselves perhaps as laudable as any other
Virtues; but those which make a Man popular and beloved, are Justice,
Charity, Munificence, and, in short, all the good Qualities that render
us beneficial to each other. For which Reason even an extravagant Man,
who has nothing else to recommend him but a false Generosity, is often
more beloved and esteemed than a Person of a much more finished
Character, who is defective in this Particular.

The two great Ornaments of Virtue, which shew her in the most
advantageous Views, and make her altogether lovely, are Chearfulness and
Good-Nature. These generally go together, as a Man cannot be agreeable
to others who is not easy within himself. They are both very requisite
in a virtuous Mind, to keep out Melancholy from the many serious
Thoughts it is engaged in, and to hinder its natural Hatred of Vice from
souring into Severity and Censoriousness.

If Virtue is of this amiable Nature, what can we think of those who can
look upon it with an Eye of Hatred and Ill-will, or can suffer their
Aversion for a Party to blot out all the Merit of the Person who is
engaged in it. A Man must be excessively stupid, as well as
uncharitable, who believes that there is no Virtue but on his own Side,
and that there are not Men as honest as himself who may differ from him
in Political Principles. Men may oppose one another in some Particulars,
but ought not to carry their Hatred to those Qualities which are of so
amiable a Nature in themselves, and have nothing to do with the Points
in Dispute. Men of Virtue, though of different Interests, ought to
consider themselves as more nearly united with one another, than with
the vicious Part of Mankind, who embark with them in the same civil
Concerns. We should bear the same Love towards a Man of Honour, who is a
living Antagonist, which _Tully_ tells us in the forementioned Passage
every one naturally does to an Enemy that is dead. In short, we should
esteem Virtue though in a Foe, and abhor Vice though in a Friend.

I speak this with an Eye to those cruel Treatments which Men of all
Sides are apt to give the Characters of those who do not agree with
them. How many Persons of undoubted Probity, and exemplary Virtue, on
either Side, are blackned and defamed? How many Men of Honour exposed to
publick Obloquy and Reproach? Those therefore who are either the
Instruments or Abettors in such Infernal Dealings, ought to be looked
upon as Persons who make use of Religion to promote their Cause, not of
their Cause to promote Religion.


[Footnote 1: [we find that _Cato_,]]

* * * * *

No. 244. Monday, December 10, 1711. Steele.

--Judex et callidus audis.


_Covent-Garden, Dec. 7._


I cannot, without a double Injustice, forbear expressing to you the
Satisfaction which a whole Clan of Virtuosos have received from those
Hints which you have lately given the Town on the Cartons of the
inimitable _Raphael_. It [1] should be methinks the Business of a
SPECTATOR to improve the Pleasures of Sight, and there cannot be a
more immediate Way to it than recommending the Study and Observation
of excellent Drawings and Pictures. When I first went to view those of
_Raphael_ which you have celebrated, I must confess 1 was but barely
pleased; the next time I liked them better, but at last as I grew
better acquainted with them, I fell deeply in love with them, like
wise Speeches they sunk deep into my Heart; for you know, _Mr_.
SPECTATOR, that a Man of Wit may extreamly affect one for the Present,
but if he has not Discretion, his Merit soon vanishes away, while a
Wise Man that has not so great a Stock of Wit, shall nevertheless give
you a far greater and more lasting Satisfaction: Just so it is in a
Picture that is smartly touched but not well studied; one may call it
a witty Picture, tho the Painter in the mean time may be in Danger of
being called a Fool. On the other hand, a Picture that is thoroughly
understood in the Whole, and well performed in the Particulars, that
is begun on the Foundation of Geometry, carried on by the Rules of
Perspective, Architecture, and Anatomy, and perfected by a good
Harmony, a just and natural Colouring, and such Passions and
Expressions of the Mind as are almost peculiar to _Raphael_; this is
what you may justly style a wise Picture, and which seldom fails to
strike us Dumb, till we can assemble all our Faculties to make but a
tolerable Judgment upon it. Other Pictures are made for the Eyes only,
as Rattles are made for Children's Ears; and certainly that Picture
that only pleases the Eye, without representing some well-chosen Part
of Nature or other, does but shew what fine Colours are to be sold at
the Colour-shop, and mocks the Works of the Creator. If the best
Imitator of Nature is not to be esteemed the best Painter, but he that
makes the greatest Show and Glare of Colours; it will necessarily
follow, that he who can array himself in the most gaudy Draperies is
best drest, and he that can speak loudest the best Orator. Every Man
when he looks on a Picture should examine it according to that share
of Reason he is Master of, or he will be in Danger of making a wrong
Judgment. If Men as they walk abroad would make more frequent
Observations on those Beauties of Nature which every Moment present
themselves to their View, they would be better Judges when they saw
her well imitated at home: This would help to correct those Errors
which most Pretenders fall into, who are over hasty in their

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