Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

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

Part 25 out of 51

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 5.7 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

Reader to know what had happened to him in the taking of _Troy_, and in
the preceding Parts of his Voyage, _Virgil_ makes his Hero relate it by
way of Episode in the second and third Books of the _AEneid_. The
Contents of both which Books come before those of the first Book in the
Thread of the Story, tho for preserving of this Unity of Action they
follow them in the Disposition of the Poem. _Milton_, in imitation of
these two great Poets, opens his _Paradise Lost_ with an Infernal
Council plotting the Fall of Man, which is the Action he proposed to
celebrate; and as for those great Actions, which preceded, in point of
Time, the Battle of the Angels, and the Creation of the World, (which
would have entirely destroyed the Unity of his principal Action, had he
related them in the same Order that they happened) he cast them into the
fifth, sixth, and seventh Books, by way of Episode to this noble Poem.

_Aristotle_ himself allows, that _Homer_ has nothing to boast of as to
the Unity of his Fable, [9] tho at the same time that great Critick and
Philosopher endeavours to palliate this Imperfection in the _Greek_
Poet, by imputing it in some measure to the very Nature of an Epic Poem.
Some have been of opinion, that the _AEneid_ [also labours [10]] in this
Particular, and has Episodes which may be looked upon as Excrescencies
rather than as Parts of the Action. On the contrary, the Poem, which we
have now under our Consideration, hath no other Episodes than such as
naturally arise from the Subject, and yet is filled with such a
Multitude of astonishing [Incidents,[11]] that it gives us at the same
time a Pleasure of the greatest Variety, and of the greatest
[Simplicity; uniform in its Nature, tho diversified in the Execution

I must observe also, that as _Virgil_, in the Poem which was designed to
celebrate the Original of the _Roman_ Empire, has described the Birth of
its great Rival, the _Carthaginian_ Commonwealth: _Milton_, with the
like Art, in his Poem on the _Fall of Man_, has related the Fall of
those Angels who are his professed Enemies. Besides the many other
Beauties in such an Episode, its running parallel with the great Action
of the Poem hinders it from breaking the Unity so much as another
Episode would have done, that had not so great an Affinity with the
principal Subject. In short, this is the same kind of Beauty which the
Criticks admire in _The Spanish Frier_, or _The Double Discovery_ [13]
where the two different Plots look like Counter-parts and Copies of one

The second Qualification required in the Action of an Epic Poem, is,
that it should be an _entire_ Action: An Action is entire when it is
complete in all its Parts; or, as _Aristotle_ describes it, when it
consists of a Beginning, a Middle, and an End. Nothing should go before
it, be intermixed with it, or follow after it, that is not related to
it. As on the contrary, no single Step should be omitted in that just
and regular Progress which it must be supposed to take from its Original
to its Consummation. Thus we see the Anger of _Achilles_ in its Birth,
its Continuance and Effects; and _AEneas's_ Settlement in _Italy_,
carried on thro all the Oppositions in his Way to it both by Sea and
Land. The Action in _Milton_ excels (I think) both the former in this
Particular; we see it contrived in Hell, executed upon Earth, and
punished by Heaven. The Parts of it are told in the most distinct
Manner, and grow out of one another in the most natural [Order [14]].

The third Qualification of an Epic Poem is its _Greatness_. The Anger of
_Achilles_ was of such Consequence, that it embroiled the Kings of
_Greece_, destroyed the Heroes of _Troy_, and engaged all the Gods in
Factions. _AEneas's_ Settlement in _Italy_ produced the _Caesars_, and
gave Birth to the _Roman_ Empire. _Milton's_ Subject was still greater
than either of the former; it does not determine the Fate of single
Persons or Nations, but of a whole Species. The united Powers of Hell
are joined together for the Destruction of Mankind, which they affected
in part, and would have completed, had not Omnipotence it self
interposed. The principal Actors are Man in his greatest Perfection, and
Woman in her highest Beauty. Their Enemies are the fallen Angels: The
Messiah their Friend, and the Almighty their Protector. In short, every
thing that is great in the whole Circle of Being, whether within the
Verge of Nature, or out of it, has a proper Part assigned it in this
noble Poem.

In Poetry, as in Architecture, not only the Whole, but the principal
Members, and every Part of them, should be Great. I will not presume to
say, that the Book of Games in the _AEneid_, or that in the _Iliad_, are
not of this Nature, nor to reprehend _Virgil's_ Simile of the Top [15],
and many other of the same [kind [16]] in the _Iliad_, as liable to any
Censure in this Particular; but I think we may say, without [derogating
from [17]] those wonderful Performances, that there is an unquestionable
Magnificence in every Part of _Paradise Lost_, and indeed a much greater
than could have been formed upon any Pagan System.

But _Aristotle_, by the Greatness of the Action, does not only mean that
it should be great in its Nature, but also in its Duration, or in other
Words that it should have a due Length in it, as well as what we
properly call Greatness. The just Measure of this kind of Magnitude, he
explains by the following Similitude. [18] An Animal, no bigger than a
Mite, cannot appear perfect to the Eye, because the Sight takes it in at
once, and has only a confused Idea of the Whole, and not a distinct Idea
of all its Parts; if on the contrary you should suppose an Animal of ten
thousand Furlongs in length, the Eye would be so filled with a single
Part of it, that it could not give the Mind an Idea of the Whole. What
these Animals are to the Eye, a very short or a very long Action would
be to the Memory. The first would be, as it were, lost and swallowed up
by it, and the other difficult to be contained in it. _Homer_ and
_Virgil_ have shewn their principal Art in this Particular; the Action
of the _Iliad_, and that of the _AEneid_, were in themselves exceeding
short, but are so beautifully extended and diversified by the [Invention
[19]] of _Episodes_, and the Machinery of Gods, with the like poetical
Ornaments, that they make up an agreeable Story, sufficient to employ
the Memory without overcharging it. _Milton's_ Action is enriched with
such a Variety of Circumstances, that I have taken as much Pleasure in
reading the Contents of his Books, as in the best invented Story I ever
met with. It is possible, that the Traditions, on which the _Iliad_ and
_AEneid_ were built, had more Circumstances in them than the History of
the _Fall of Man_, as it is related in Scripture. Besides, it was easier
for _Homer_ and _Virgil_ to dash the Truth with Fiction, as they were in
no danger of offending the Religion of their Country by it. But as for
_Milton_, he had not only a very few Circumstances upon which to raise
his Poem, but was also obliged to proceed with the greatest Caution in
every thing that he added out of his own Invention. And, indeed,
notwithstanding all the Restraints he was under, he has filled his Story
with so many surprising Incidents, which bear so close an Analogy with
what is delivered in Holy Writ, that it is capable of pleasing the most
delicate Reader, without giving Offence to the most scrupulous.

The modern Criticks have collected from several Hints in the _Iliad_ and
_AEneid_ the Space of Time, which is taken up by the Action of each of
those Poems; but as a great Part of _Milton's_ Story was transacted in
Regions that lie out of the Reach of the Sun and the Sphere of Day, it
is impossible to gratify the Reader with such a Calculation, which
indeed would be more curious than instructive; none of the Criticks,
either Ancient or Modern, having laid down Rules to circumscribe the
Action of an Epic Poem with any determin'd Number of Years, Days or

_This Piece of Criticism on_ Milton's Paradise Lost _shall be carried on
in [the] following_ [Saturdays] _Papers_.


[Footnote 1: Give place to him, Writers of Rome and Greece. This
application to Milton of a line from the last elegy (25th) in the second
book of Propertius is not only an example of Addison's felicity in
choice of motto for a paper, but was so bold and well-timed that it must
have given a wholesome shock to the minds of many of the _Spectators_
readers. Addison was not before Steele in appreciation of Milton and
diffusion of a true sense of his genius. Milton was the subject of the
first piece of poetical criticism in the _Tatler_; where, in his sixth
number, Steele, having said that all Milton's thoughts are wonderfully
just and natural, dwelt on the passage in which Adam tells his thoughts
upon first falling asleep, soon after his creation. This passage he
contrasts with the same apprehension of Annihilation ascribed to Eve
in a much lower sense by Dryden in his operatic version of _Paradise
Lost_. In _Tatlers_ and _Spectators_ Steele and Addison had been equal
contributors to the diffusion of a sense of Milton's genius. In Addison
it had been strong, even when, at Oxford, in April, 1694, a young man
trained in the taste of the day, he omitted Shakespeare from a rhymed
Account of the chief English Poets, but of Milton said:

_Whate'er his pen describes I more than see,
Whilst evry verse, array'd in majesty,
Bold and sublime, my whole attention draws,
And seems above the critics nicer laws_.

Eighteen years older than he was when he wrote that, Addison now
prepares by a series of Saturday Essays,--the Saturday Paper which
reached many subscribers only in time for Sunday reading, being always
set apart in the _Spectator_ for moral or religious topics, to show
that, judged also by Aristotle and the "critics nicer laws," Milton was
even technically a greater epic poet than either Homer or Virgil. This
nobody had conceded. Dryden, the best critic of the outgoing generation,
had said in the Dedication of the Translations of _Juvenal_ and
_Persius_, published in 1692,

"As for Mr. Milton, whom we all admire with so much Justice, his
Subject, is not that of an Heroick Poem, properly so call'd: His
Design is the Losing of our Happiness; his Event is not prosperous,
like that of all other _Epique_ Works" (Dryden's French spelling of
the word Epic is suggestive. For this new critical Mode was one of the
fashions that had been imported from Paris); "His Heavenly Machines
are many, and his Human Persons are but two. But I will not take Mr.
_Rymer's_ work out of his Hands: He has promised the World a Critique
on that Author; wherein, tho he will not allow his Poem for Heroick,
I hope he will grant us, that his Thoughts are elevated, his Words
sounding, and that no Man has so happily copy'd the manner of Homer;
or so copiously translated his Grecisms and the Latin Elegancies of
Virgil. Tis true he runs into a Flat of Thought, sometimes for a
Hundred Lines together, but tis when he is got into a Track of
Scripture ... Neither will I justify _Milton_ for his Blank Verse,
tho I may excuse him, by the Example of _Hanabal Caro_ and other
_Italians_ who have used it: For whatever Causes he alledges for the
abolishing of Rhime (which I have not now the leisure to examine), his
own particular Reason is plainly this, that Rhime was not his Talent;
he had neither the Ease of doing it, nor the Graces of it."

So Dryden, who appreciated Milton better than most of his critical
neighbours, wrote of him in 1692. The promise of Rymer to discuss Milton
was made in 1678, when, on the last page of his little book, _The
Tragedies of the Last Age consider'd and examined by the Practice of the
Ancients and by the Common Sense of all Ages, in a letter to Fleetwold
Shepheard, Esq_. (father of two ladies who contribute an occasional
letter to the _Spectator_), he said: "With the remaining Tragedies I
shall also send you some reflections on that _Paradise Lost_ of
Milton's, which some are pleased to call a Poem, and assert Rhime
against the slender Sophistry wherewith he attaques it." But two years
after the appearance of Dryden's _Juvenal_ and _Persius_ Rymer prefixed
to his translation of Rene Rapin's _Reflections on Aristotle's Poesie_
some Reflections of his own on Epic Poets. Herein he speaks under the
head Epic Poetry of Chaucer, in whose time language was not capable of
heroic character; or Spenser, who "wanted a true Idea, and lost himself
by following an unfaithful guide, besides using a stanza which is in no
wise proper for our language;" of Sir William Davenant, who, in
_Gondibert_, "has some strokes of an extraordinary judgment," but "is
for unbeaten tracks and new ways of thinking;" "his heroes are
foreigners;" of Cowley, in whose _Davideis_ "David is the least part of
the Poem," and there is want of the "one illustrious and perfect action
which properly is the subject of an Epick Poem": all failing through
ignorance or negligence of the Fundamental Rules or Laws of Aristotle.
But he contemptuously passes over Milton without mention. Rene Rapin,
that great French oracle of whom Dryden said, in the Preface to his own
conversion of _Paradise Lost_ into an opera, that he was alone
sufficient, were all other critics lost, to teach anew the Art of
Writing, Rene Rapin in the work translated and introduced by Rymer,
worshipped in Aristotle the one God of all orthodox critics. Of his Laws
he said,

There is no arriving at Perfection but by these Rules, and they
certainly go astray that take a different course.... And if a Poem
made by these Rules fails of success, the fault lies not in the Art,
but in the Artist; all who have writ of this Art, have followed no
other Idea but that of Aristotle.

Again as to Style,

to say the truth, what is good on this subject is all taken from
Aristotle, who is the only source whence good sense is to be drawn,
when one goes about to write.

This was the critical temper Addison resolved to meet on its own ground
and do battle with for the honour of that greatest of all Epic Poets to
whom he fearlessly said that all the Greeks and Latins must give place.
In so doing he might suggest here and there cautiously, and without
bringing upon himself the discredit of much heresy,--indeed, without
being much of a heretic,--that even the Divine Aristotle sometimes fell
short of perfection. The conventional critics who believed they kept the
gates of Fame would neither understand nor credit him. Nine years after
these papers appeared, Charles Gildon, who passed for a critic of
considerable mark, edited with copious annotation as _the Laws of
Poetry_ (1721), the Duke of Buckingham's Essay on Poetry, Roscommon's
Essay on Translated Verse, and Lord Lansdowne on Unnatural Flights in
Poetry, and in the course of comment Gildon said that

Mr. Addison in the _Spectators_, in his criticisms upon Milton, seems
to have mistaken the matter, in endeavouring to bring that poem to the
rules of the epopoeia, which cannot be done ... It is not an Heroic
Poem, but a Divine one, and indeed of a new species. It is plain that
the proposition of all the heroic poems of the ancients mentions some
one person as the subject of their poem... But Milton begins his poem
of things, and not of men.

The Gildon are all gone; and when, in the next generation after theirs,
national life began, in many parts of Europe, strongly to assert itself
in literature against the pedantry of the French critical lawgivers, in
Germany Milton's name was inscribed on the foremost standard of the men
who represented the new spirit of the age. Gottsched, who dealt French
critical law from Leipzig, by passing sentence against Milton in his
Art of Poetry in 1737, raised in Bodmer an opponent who led the revolt
of all that was most vigorous in German thought, and put an end to
French supremacy. Bodmer, in a book published in 1740 _Vom Wunderbaren
in der Poesie_, justified and exalted Milton, and brought Addison to his
aid by appending to his own work a translation of these Milton papers
out of the _Spectator_. Gottsched replied; Bodmer retorted. Bodmer
translated Paradise Lost; and what was called the English or Milton
party (but was, in that form, really a German national party) were at
last left masters of the field. It was right that these papers of
Addison should be brought in as aids during the contest. Careful as he
was to conciliate opposing prejudices, he was yet first in the field,
and this motto to the first of his series of Milton papers, Yield place
to him, Writers of Greece and Rome, is as the first trumpet note of the
one herald on a field from which only a quick ear can yet distinguish
among stir of all that is near, the distant tramp of an advancing host.

[Footnote 2: [so irksom as]]

[Footnote 3: say]

[Footnote 4: Aristotle, _Poetics_, III. Sec. I, after a full discussion of
Tragedy, begins by saying,

with respect to that species of Poetry which imitates by _Narration_
... it is obvious, that the Fable ought to be dramatically
constructed, like that of Tragedy, and that it should have for its
Subject one entire and perfect action, having a beginning, a middle,
and an end;

forming a complete whole, like an animal, and therein differing,
Aristotle says, from History, which treats not of one Action, but of one
Time, and of all the events, casually connected, which happened to one
person or to many during that time.]

[Footnote 5: _Poetics_, I. Sec. 9.

Epic Poetry agrees so far with Tragic as it is an imitation of great
characters and actions.

Aristotle (from whose opinion, in this matter alone, his worshippers
departed, right though he was) ranked a perfect tragedy above a perfect
epic; for, he said,

all the parts of the Epic poem are to be found in Tragedy, not all
those of Tragedy in the Epic poem.]

[Footnote 6:

Nec reditum Diomedis ab interitu Meleagri,
Nec gemino bellum Trojanum orditur ab ovo,
Semper ad eventum festinat, et in medias res,
Non secus ac notas, auditorem rapit--

De Arte Poet. II. 146-9.]

[Footnote 7: with great Art]

[Footnote 8: the Story]

[Footnote 9: _Poetics_, V. Sec. 3. In arguing the superiority of Tragic to
Epic Poetry, Aristotle says,

there is less Unity in all Epic imitation; as appears from this--that
any Epic Poem will furnish matter for several Tragedies ... The
_Iliad_, for example, and the _Odyssey_, contain many such subordinate
parts, each of which has a certain Magnitude and Unity of its own; yet
is the construction of those Poems as perfect, and as nearly
approaching to the imitation of a single action, as possible.]

[Footnote 10: labours also]

[Footnote 11: Circumstances]

[Footnote 12: Simplicity.]

[Footnote 13: Dryden's _Spanish Friar_ has been praised also by Johnson
for the happy coincidence and coalition of the tragic and comic plots,
and Sir Walter Scott said of it, in his edition of Dryden's Works, that

the felicity does not consist in the ingenuity of his original
conception, but in the minutely artificial strokes by which the reader
is perpetually reminded of the dependence of the one part of the Play
on the other. These are so frequent, and appear so very natural, that
the comic plot, instead of diverting our attention from the tragic
business, recalls it to our mind by constant and unaffected allusion.
No great event happens in the higher region of the camp or court that
has not some indirect influence upon the intrigues of Lorenzo and
Elvira; and the part which the gallant is called upon to act in the
revolution that winds up the tragic interest, while it is highly in
character, serves to bring the catastrophe of both parts of the play
under the eye of the spectator, at one and the same time.]

[Footnote 14: Method]

[Footnote 15: _AEneid_, Bk. VII. 11. 378-384, thus translated by Dryden:

_And as young striplings whip the top for sport,
On the smooth pavement of an empty court,
The wooden engine files and whirls about,
Admir'd, with clamours, of the beardless rout;
They lash aloud, each other they provoke,
And lend their little souls at every stroke:
Thus fares the Queen, and thus her fury blows
Amidst the crowds, and trundles as she goes._]

[Footnote 16: [nature]]

[Footnote 17: [offence to]]

[Footnote 18: _Poetics_, II. section 4, where it is said of the
magnitude of Tragedy.]

[Footnote 19: Intervention]

* * * * *

No. 268. Monday, January 7, 1712. Steele.

--Minus aptus acutis
Naribus Horum Hominum.


It is not that I think I have been more witty than I ought of
late, that at present I wholly forbear any Attempt towards
it: I am of Opinion that I ought sometimes to lay before the
World the plain Letters of my Correspondents in the artless
Dress in which they hastily send them, that the Reader may
see I am not Accuser and Judge my self, but that the Indictment
is properly and fairly laid, before I proceed against the

_Mr_. SPECTATOR, [1]

As you are _Spectator-General_, I apply myself to you in the
following Case; viz. I do not wear a Sword, but I often divert my self
at the Theatre, where I frequently see a Set of Fellows pull plain
People, by way of Humour [and [2]] Frolick, by the Nose, upon
frivolous or no Occasions. A Friend of mine the other Night applauding
what a graceful Exit Mr. _Wilks_ made, one of these Nose-wringers
overhearing him, pinched him by the nose. I was in the Pit the other
Night, (when it was very much crowded) a Gentleman leaning upon me,
and very heavily, I very civilly requested him to remove his Hand; for
which he pulled me by the Nose. I would not resent it in so publick a
Place, because I was unwilling to create a Disturbance; but have since
reflected upon it as a thing that is unmanly and disingenuous, renders
the Nose-puller odious, and makes the Person pulled by the Nose look
little and contemptible. This Grievance I humbly request you would
endeavour to redress.

_I am your Admirer_, &c.

James Easy.


Your Discourse of the 29th of _December_ on Love and Marriage is of so
useful a Kind, that I cannot forbear adding my Thoughts to yours on
that Subject. Methinks it is a Misfortune, that the Marriage State,
which in its own Nature is adapted to give us the compleatest
Happiness this Life is capable of, should be so uncomfortable a one to
so many as it daily proves. But the Mischief generally proceeds from
the unwise Choice People make for themselves, and Expectation of
Happiness from Things not capable of giving it. Nothing but the good
Qualities of the Person beloved can be a Foundation for a Love of
Judgment and Discretion; and whoever expects Happiness from any Thing
but Virtue, Wisdom, Good-humour, and a Similitude of Manners, will
find themselves widely mistaken. But how few are there who seek after
these things, and do not rather make Riches their chief if not their
only Aim? How rare is it for a Man, when he engages himself in the
Thoughts of Marriage, to place his Hopes of having in such a Woman a
constant, agreeable Companion? One who will divide his Cares and
double his Joys? Who will manage that Share of his Estate he intrusts
to her Conduct with Prudence and Frugality, govern his House with
Oeconomy and Discretion, and be an Ornament to himself and Family?
Where shall we find the Man who looks out for one who places her chief
Happiness in the Practice of Virtue, and makes her Duty her continual
Pleasure? No: Men rather seek for Money as the Complement of all their
Desires; and regardless of what kind of Wives they take, they think
Riches will be a Minister to all kind of Pleasures, and enable them to
keep Mistresses, Horses, Hounds, to drink, feast, and game with their
Companions, pay their Debts contracted by former Extravagancies, or
some such vile and unworthy End; and indulge themselves in Pleasures
which are a Shame and Scandal to humane Nature. Now as for the Women;
how few of them are there who place the Happiness of their Marriage in
the having a wise and virtuous Friend? one who will be faithful and
just to all, and constant and loving to them? who with Care and
Diligence will look after and improve the Estate, and without grudging
allow whatever is prudent and convenient? Rather, how few are there
who do not place their Happiness in outshining others in Pomp and
Show? and that do not think within themselves when they have married
such a rich Person, that none of their Acquaintance shall appear so
fine in their Equipage, so adorned in their Persons, or so magnificent
in their Furniture as themselves? Thus their Heads are filled with
vain Ideas; and I heartily wish I could say that Equipage and Show
were not the Chief Good of so many Women as I fear it is.

After this Manner do both Sexes deceive themselves, and bring
Reflections and Disgrace upon the most happy and most honourable State
of Life; whereas if they would but correct their depraved Taste,
moderate their Ambition, and place their Happiness upon proper
Objects, we should not find Felicity in the Marriage State such a
Wonder in the World as it now is.

Sir, if you think these Thoughts worth inserting [among [3]] your own,
be pleased to give them a better Dress, and let them pass abroad; and
you will oblige _Your Admirer_,

A. B.


As I was this Day walking in the Street, there happened to pass by on
the other Side of the Way a Beauty, whose Charms were so attracting
that it drew my Eyes wholly on that Side, insomuch that I neglected my
own Way, and chanced to run my Nose directly against a Post; which the
Lady no sooner perceived, but fell out into a Fit of Laughter, though
at the same time she was sensible that her self was the Cause of my
Misfortune, which in my Opinion was the greater Aggravation of her
Crime. I being busy wiping off the Blood which trickled down my Face,
had not Time to acquaint her with her Barbarity, as also with my
Resolution, _viz_. never to look out of my Way for one of her Sex
more: Therefore, that your humble Servant may be revenged, he desires
you to insert this in one of your next Papers, which he hopes will be
a Warning to all the rest of the Women Gazers, as well as to poor

_Anthony Gape_.


I desire to know in your next, if the merry Game of _The Parson has
lost his Cloak_, is not mightily in Vogue amongst the fine Ladies this
_Christmas_; because I see they wear Hoods of all Colours, which I
suppose is for that Purpose: If it is, and you think it proper, I will
carry some of those Hoods with me to our Ladies in _Yorkshire_;
because they enjoyned me to bring them something from _London_ that
was very New. If you can tell any Thing in which I can obey their
Commands more agreeably, be pleased to inform me, and you will
extremely oblige

_Your humble Servant_

_Oxford, Dec_. 29.


Since you appear inclined to be a Friend to the Distressed, I beg you
would assist me in an Affair under which I have suffered very much.
The reigning Toast of this Place is _Patetia_; I have pursued her with
the utmost Diligence this Twelve-month, and find nothing stands in my
Way but one who flatters her more than I can. Pride is her Favourite
Passion; therefore if you would be so far my Friend as to make a
favourable Mention of her in one of your Papers, I believe I should
not fail in my Addresses. The Scholars stand in Rows, as they did to
be sure in your Time, at her Pew-door: and she has all the Devotion
paid to her by a Crowd of Youth[s] who are unacquainted with the Sex,
and have Inexperience added to their Passion: However, if it succeeds
according to my Vows, you will make me the happiest Man in the World,
and the most obliged amongst all

_Your humble Servants_.


I came [to [4]] my Mistresss Toilet this Morning, for I am admitted
when her Face is stark naked: She frowned, and cryed Pish when I said
a thing that I stole; and I will be judged by you whether it was not
very pretty. Madam, said I, you [shall [5]] forbear that Part of your
Dress; it may be well in others, but you cannot place a Patch where it
does not hide a Beauty.


[Footnote 1: This Letter was written by Mr. James Heywood, many years
wholesale linen-draper on Fish-street Hill, who died in 1776, at the age
of 90. His Letters and Poems were (including this letter at p.100) in
a second edition, in 12mo, in 1726.]

[Footnote 2: or]

[Footnote 3: amongst]

[Footnote 4: at]

[Footnote 5: should]

* * * * *

No. 269. Tuesday, January 8, 1712. Addison.

--AEvo rarissima nostro


I was this Morning surprised with a great knocking at the Door, when my
Landlady's Daughter came up to me, and told me, that there was a Man
below desired to speak with me. Upon my asking her who it was, she told
me it was a very grave elderly Person, but that she did not know his
Name. I immediately went down to him, and found him to be the Coachman
of my worthy Friend Sir ROGER DE COVERLEY. He told me that his Master
came to Town last Night, and would be glad to take a Turn with me in
_Grays-Inn_ Walks. As I was wondring in my self what had brought Sir
ROGER to Town, not having lately received any Letter from him, he told
me that his Master was come up to get a Sight of Prince _Eugene_ [1] and
that he desired I would immediately meet him.

I was not a little pleased with the Curiosity of the old Knight, though
I did not much wonder at it, having heard him say more than once in
private Discourse, that he looked upon Prince _Eugenio_ (for so the
Knight always calls him) to be a greater Man than _Scanderbeg_.

I was no sooner come into _Grays-Inn Walks_, but I heard my Friend upon
the Terrace hemming twice or thrice to himself with great Vigour, for he
loves to clear his Pipes in good Air (to make use of his own Phrase) and
is not a little pleased with any one who takes notice of the Strength
which he still exerts in his Morning Hems.

I was touched with a secret Joy at the Sight of the good old Man, who
before he saw me was engaged in Conversation with a Beggar-Man that had
asked an Alms of him. I could hear my Friend chide him for not finding
out some Work; but at the same time saw him put his Hand in his Pocket
and give him Six-pence.

Our Salutations were very hearty on both Sides, consisting of many kind
Shakes of the Hand, and several affectionate Looks which we cast upon
one another. After which the Knight told me my good Friend his Chaplain
was very well, and much at my Service, and that the _Sunday_ before he
had made a most incomparable Sermon out of Dr. _Barrow_. I have left,
says he, all my Affairs in his Hands, and being willing to lay an
Obligation upon him, have deposited with him thirty Marks, to be
distributed among his poor Parishioners.

He then proceeded to acquaint me with the Welfare of _Will Wimble_. Upon
which he put his Hand into his Fob and presented me in his Name with a
Tobacco-Stopper, telling me that _Will_ had been busy all the Beginning
of the Winter in turning great Quantities of them; and that he [made
[2]] a Present of one to every Gentleman in the Country who has good
Principles, and smoaks. He added, that poor _Will_ was at present under
great Tribulation, for that _Tom Touchy_ had taken the Law of him for
cutting some Hazel Sticks out of one of his Hedges.

Among other Pieces of News which the Knight brought from his
Country-Seat, he informed me that _Moll White_ was dead; and that about
a Month after her Death the Wind was so very high, that it blew down the
End of one of his Barns. But for my own part, says Sir ROGER, I do not
think that the old Woman had any hand in it.

He afterwards fell into an Account of the Diversions which had passed in
his House during the Holidays; for Sir ROGER, after the laudable Custom
of his Ancestors, always keeps open House at _Christmas_. I learned
from him that he had killed eight fat Hogs for the Season, that he had
dealt about his Chines very liberally amongst his Neighbours, and that
in particular he had sent a string of Hogs-puddings with a pack of Cards
to every poor Family in the Parish. I have often thought, says Sir
ROGER, it happens very well that _Christmas_ should fall out in the
Middle of the Winter. It is the most dead uncomfortable Time of the
Year, when the poor People would suffer very much from their [Poverty
and Cold, [3]] if they had not good Cheer, warm Fires, and _Christmas_
Gambols to support them. I love to rejoice their poor Hearts at this
season, and to see the whole Village merry in my great Hall. I allow a
double Quantity of Malt to my small Beer, and set it a running for
twelve Days to every one that calls for it. I have always a Piece of
cold Beef and a Mince-Pye upon the Table, and am wonderfully pleased to
see my Tenants pass away a whole Evening in playing their innocent
Tricks, and smutting one another. Our Friend _Will Wimble_ is as merry
as any of them, and shews a thousand roguish Tricks upon these

I was very much delighted with the Reflection of my old Friend, which
carried so much Goodness in it. He then launched out into the Praise of
the late Act of Parliament [4] for securing the Church of _England_, and
told me, with great Satisfaction, that he believed it already began to
take Effect, for that a rigid Dissenter, who chanced to dine at his
House on _Christmas_ Day, had been observed to eat very plentifully of
his Plumb-porridge.

After having dispatched all our Country Matters, Sir ROGER made several
Inquiries concerning the Club, and particularly of his old Antagonist
Sir ANDREW FREEPORT. He asked me with a kind of Smile, whether Sir
ANDREW had not taken Advantage of his Absence, to vent among them some
of his Republican Doctrines; but soon after gathering up his Countenance
into a more than ordinary Seriousness, Tell me truly, says he, don't you
think Sir ANDREW had a Hand in the Popes Procession---but without
giving me time to answer him, Well, well, says he, I know you are a wary
Man, and do not care to talk of publick Matters.

The Knight then asked me, if I had seen Prince _Eugenio_, and made me
promise to get him a Stand in some convenient Place where he might have
a full Sight of that extraordinary Man, whose Presence does so much
Honour to the _British_ Nation. He dwelt very long on the Praises of
this Great General, and I found that, since I was with him in the
Country, he had drawn many Observations together out of his reading in
_Bakers_ Chronicle, and other Authors, [who [5]] always lie in his Hall
Window, which very much redound to the Honour of this Prince.

Having passed away the greatest Part of the Morning in hearing the
Knights Reflections, which were partly private, and partly political,
he asked me if I would smoak a Pipe with him over a Dish of Coffee at
_Squires_. As I love the old Man, I take Delight in complying with
every thing that is agreeable to him, and accordingly waited on him to
the Coffee-house, where his venerable Figure drew upon us the Eyes of
the whole Room. He had no sooner seated himself at the upper End of the
high Table, but he called for a clean Pipe, a Paper of Tobacco, a Dish
of Coffee, a Wax-Candle, and the _Supplement_ with such an Air of
Cheerfulness and Good-humour, that all the Boys in the Coffee-room (who
seemed to take pleasure in serving him) were at once employed on his
several Errands, insomuch that no Body else could come at a Dish of Tea,
till the Knight had got all his Conveniences about him.


[Footnote 1: Prince Eugene was at this in London, and caressed by
courtiers who had wished to prevent his coming, for he was careful to
mark his friendship for the Duke of Marlborough, who was the subject of
hostile party intrigues. During his visit he stood godfather to Steels
second son, who was named, after, Eugene.]

[Footnote 2: had made]

[Footnote 3: Cold and Poverty]

[Footnote 4: The Act against Occasional Conformity, 10 Ann. cap. 2.]

[Footnote 5: [that]]

* * * * *

No. 270. Wednesday, January 9, 1712. Steele.

Discit enim citius, meminitque libentius illud,
Quod quis deridet, quam quod probat.


I do not know that I have been in greater Delight for these many Years,
than in beholding the Boxes at the Play the last Time _The Scornful
Lady_ [1] was acted. So great an Assembly of Ladies placed in gradual
Rows in all the Ornaments of Jewels, Silk and Colours, gave so lively
and gay an Impression to the Heart, that methought the Season of the
Year was vanished; and I did not think it an ill Expression of a young
Fellow who stood near me, that called the Boxes Those Beds of Tulips. It
was a pretty Variation of the Prospect, when any one of these fine
Ladies rose up and did Honour to herself and Friend at a Distance, by
curtisying; and gave Opportunity to that Friend to shew her Charms to
the same Advantage in returning the Salutation. Here that Action is as
proper and graceful, as it is at Church unbecoming and impertinent. By
the way, I must take the Liberty to observe that I did not see any one
who is usually so full of Civilities at Church, offer at any such
Indecorum during any Part of the Action of the Play.

Such beautiful Prospects gladden our Minds, and when considered in
general, give innocent and pleasing Ideas. He that dwells upon any one
Object of Beauty, may fix his Imagination to his Disquiet; but the
Contemplation of a whole Assembly together, is a Defence against the
Encroachment of Desire: At least to me, who have taken pains to look at
Beauty abstracted from the Consideration of its being the Object of
Desire; at Power, only as it sits upon another, without any Hopes of
partaking any Share of it; at Wisdom and Capacity, without any
Pretensions to rival or envy its Acquisitions: I say to me, who am
really free from forming any Hopes by beholding the Persons of beautiful
Women, or warming my self into Ambition from the Successes of other Men,
this World is not only a meer Scene, but a very pleasant one. Did
Mankind but know the Freedom which there is in keeping thus aloof from
the World, I should have more Imitators, than the powerfullest Man in
the Nation has Followers. To be no Man's Rival in Love, or Competitor in
Business, is a Character which if it does not recommend you as it ought
to Benevolence among those whom you live with, yet has it certainly this
Effect, that you do not stand so much in need of their Approbation, as
you would if you aimed at it more, in setting your Heart on the same
things which the Generality doat on. By this means, and with this easy
Philosophy, I am never less at a Play than when I am at the Theatre; but
indeed I am seldom so well pleased with the Action as in that Place, for
most Men follow Nature no longer than while they are in their
Night-Gowns, and all the busy Part of the Day are in Characters which
they neither become or act in with Pleasure to themselves or their
Beholders. But to return to my Ladies: I was very well pleased to see so
great a Crowd of them assembled at a Play, wherein the Heroine, as the
Phrase is, is so just a Picture of the Vanity of the Sex in tormenting
their Admirers. The Lady who pines for the Man whom she treats with so
much Impertinence and Inconstancy, is drawn with much Art and Humour.
Her Resolutions to be extremely civil, but her Vanity arising just at
the Instant that she resolved to express her self kindly, are described
as by one who had studied the Sex. But when my Admiration is fixed upon
this excellent Character, and two or three others in the Play, I must
confess I was moved with the utmost Indignation at the trivial,
senseless, and unnatural Representation of the Chaplain. It is possible
there may be a Pedant in Holy Orders, and we have seen one or two of
them in the World; but such a Driveler as Sir _Roger_, so bereft of all
manner of Pride, which is the Characteristick of a Pedant, is what one
would not believe could come into the Head of the same Man who drew the
rest of the Play. The Meeting between _Welford_ and him shews a Wretch
without any Notion of the Dignity of his Function; and it is out of all
common Sense that he should give an Account of himself _as one sent four
or five Miles in a Morning on Foot for Eggs._ It is not to be denied,
but his Part and that of the Maid whom he makes Love to, are excellently
well performed; but a Thing which is blameable in it self, grows still
more so by the Success in the Execution of it. It is so mean a Thing to
gratify a loose Age with a scandalous Representation of what is
reputable among Men, not to say what is sacred, that no Beauty, no
Excellence in an Author ought to attone for it; nay, such Excellence is
an Aggravation of his Guilt, and an Argument that he errs against the
Conviction of his own Understanding and Conscience. Wit should be tried
by this Rule, and an Audience should rise against such a Scene, as
throws down the Reputation of any thing which the Consideration of
Religion or Decency should preserve from Contempt. But all this Evil
arises from this one Corruption of Mind, that makes Men resent Offences
against their Virtue, less than those against their Understanding. An
Author shall write as if he thought there was not one Man of Honour or
Woman of Chastity in the House, and come off with Applause: For an
Insult upon all the Ten Commandments, with the little Criticks, is not
so bad as the Breach of an Unity of Time or Place. Half Wits do not
apprehend the Miseries that must necessarily flow from Degeneracy of
Manners; nor do they know that Order is the Support of Society. Sir
_Roger_ and his Mistress are Monsters of the Poets own forming; the
Sentiments in both of them are such as do not arise in Fools of their
Education. We all know that a silly Scholar, instead of being below
every one he meets with, is apt to be exalted above the Rank of such as
are really his Superiors: His Arrogance is always founded upon
particular Notions of Distinction in his own Head, accompanied with a
pedantick Scorn of all Fortune and Preheminence, when compared with his
Knowledge and Learning. This very one Character of Sir _Roger_, as silly
as it really is, has done more towards the Disparagement of Holy Orders,
and consequently of Virtue it self, than all the Wit that Author or any
other could make up for in the Conduct of the longest Life after it. I
do not pretend, in saying this, to give myself Airs of more Virtue than
my Neighbours, but assert it from the Principles by which Mankind must
always be governed. Sallies of Imagination are to be overlooked, when
they are committed out of Warmth in the Recommendation of what is Praise
worthy; but a deliberate advancing of Vice, with all the Wit in the
World, is as ill an Action as any that comes before the Magistrate, and
ought to be received as such by the People.


[Footnote 1: Beaumont and Fletchers. Vol. II.]

* * * * *

No. 271. Thursday, January 10, 1712. Addison.

Mille trahens varios adverso sole colores.


I receive a double Advantage from the Letters of my Correspondents,
first as they shew me which of my Papers are most acceptable to them;
and in the next place as they furnish me with Materials for new
Speculations. Sometimes indeed I do not make use of the Letter it self,
but form the Hints of it into Plans of my own Invention; sometimes I
take the Liberty to change the Language or Thought into my own Way of
Speaking and Thinking, and always (if it can be done without Prejudice
to the Sense) omit the many Compliments and Applauses which are usually
bestowed upon me.

Besides the two Advantages above-mentioned which I receive from the
Letters that are sent me, they give me an Opportunity of lengthning out
my Paper by the skilful Management of the subscribing Part at the End of
them, which perhaps does not a little conduce to the Ease, both of my
self and Reader.

Some will have it, that I often write to my self, and am the only
punctual Correspondent I have. This Objection would indeed be material,
were the Letters I communicate to the Publick stuffed with my own
Commendations: and if, instead of endeavouring to divert or instruct my
Readers, I admired in them the Beauty of my own Performances. But I
shall leave these wise Conjecturers to their own Imaginations, and
produce the three following Letters for the Entertainment of the Day.


I was last _Thursday_ in an Assembly of Ladies, where there were
Thirteen different coloured Hoods. Your _Spectator_ of that Day lying
upon the Table, they ordered me to read it to them, which I did with a
very clear Voice, till I came to the _Greek_ Verse at the End of it.
I must confess I was a little startled at its popping upon me so
unexpectedly. However, I covered my Confusion as well as I could, and
after having mutter'd two or three hard Words to my self, laugh'd
heartily, and cried, _A very good Jest, Faith_. The Ladies desired me
to explain it to them; but I begged their pardon for that, and told
them, that if it had been proper for them to hear, they may be sure
the Author would not have wrapp'd it up in _Greek_. I then let drop
several Expressions, as if there was something in it that was not fit
to be spoken before a Company of Ladies. Upon which the Matron of the
Assembly, who was dressed in a Cherry-coloured Hood, commended the
Discretion of the Writer for having thrown his filthy Thoughts into
_Greek_, which was likely to corrupt but few of his Readers. At the
same time she declared herself very well pleased, that he had not
given a decisive Opinion upon the new-fashioned Hoods; for to tell you
truly, says she, I was afraid he would have made us ashamed to shew
our Heads. Now, Sir, you must know, since this unlucky Accident
happened to me in a Company of Ladies, among whom I passed for a most
ingenious Man, I have consulted one who is well versed in the _Greek_
Language, and he assures me upon his Word, that your late Quotation
means no more, than that _Manners and not Dress are the Ornaments of a
Woman_. If this comes to the Knowledge of my Female Admirers, I shall
be very hard put to it to bring my self off handsomely. In the mean
while I give you this Account, that you may take care hereafter not to
betray any of your Well-wishers into the like Inconveniencies. It is
in the Number of these that I beg leave to subscribe my self,

_Tom Trippit._


Your Readers are so well pleased with your Character of Sir ROGER DE
COVERLEY, that there appeared a sensible Joy in every Coffee-house,
upon hearing the old Knight was come to Town. I am now with a Knot of
his Admirers, who make it their joint Request to you, that you would
give us publick Notice of the Window or Balcony where the Knight
intends to make his Appearance. He has already given great
Satisfaction to several who have seen him at _Squires_ Coffee-house.
If you think fit to place your short Face at Sir ROGERS Left Elbow,
we shall take the Hint, and gratefully acknowledge so great a Favour.

_I am, Sir,
Your most Devoted
Humble Servant,_
C. D.


Knowing that you are very Inquisitive after every thing that is
Curious in Nature, I will wait on you if you please in the Dusk of the
Evening, with my _Show_ upon my Back, which I carry about with me in a
Box, as only consisting of a Man, a Woman, and an Horse. The two first
are married, in which State the little Cavalier has so well acquitted
himself, that his Lady is with Child. The big-bellied Woman, and her
Husband, with their whimsical Palfry, are so very light, that when
they are put together into a Scale, an ordinary Man may weigh down the
whole Family. The little Man is a Bully in his Nature; but when he
grows cholerick I confine him to his Box till his Wrath is over, by
which Means I have hitherto prevented him from doing Mischief. His
Horse is likewise very vicious, for which Reason I am forced to tie
him close to his Manger with a Pack-thread. The Woman is a Coquet. She
struts as much as it is possible for a Lady of two Foot high, and
would ruin me in Silks, were not the Quantity that goes to a large
Pin-Cushion sufficient to make her a Gown and Petticoat. She told me
the other Day, that she heard the Ladies wore coloured Hoods, and
ordered me to get her one of the finest Blue. I am forced to comply
with her Demands while she is in her present Condition, being very
willing to have more of the same Breed. I do not know what she may
produce me, but provided it be a _Show_ I shall be very well
satisfied. Such Novelties should not, I think, be concealed from the
_British Spectator_; for which Reason I hope you will excuse this
Presumption in

_Your most Dutiful,
most Obedient,
and most Humble Servant_,
S. T.


* * * * *

No. 272. Friday, January 11, 1712. Steele.

[--Longa est injuria, longae



The Occasion of this Letter is of so great Importance, and the
Circumstances of it such, that I know you will but think it just to
insert it, in Preference of all other Matters that can present
themselves to your Consideration. I need not, after I have said this,
tell you that I am in Love. The Circumstances of my Passion I shall
let you understand as well as a disordered Mind will admit. That
cursed Pickthank Mrs. _Jane!_ Alas, I am railing at one to you by her
Name as familiarly as if you were acquainted with her as well as my
self: But I will tell you all, as fast as the alternate Interruptions
of Love and Anger will give me Leave. There is a most agreeable young
Woman in the World whom I am passionately in Love with, and from whom
I have for some space of Time received as great Marks of Favour as
were fit for her to give, or me to desire. The successful Progress of
the Affair of all others the most essential towards a Man's Happiness,
gave a new Life and Spirit not only to my Behaviour and Discourse, but
also a certain Grace to all my Actions in the Commerce of Life in all
Things tho never so remote from Love. You know the predominant
Passion spreads its self thro all a Man's Transactions, and exalts or
depresses [him [2]] according to the Nature of such Passion. But alas,
I have not yet begun my Story, and what is making Sentences and
Observations when a Man is pleading for his Life? To begin then: This
Lady has corresponded with me under the Names of Love, she my
_Belinda_, I her _Cleanthes_. Tho I am thus well got into the Account
of my Affair, I cannot keep in the Thread of it so much as to give you
the Character of Mrs. _Jane_, whom I will not hide under a borrowed
Name; but let you know that this Creature has been since I knew her
very handsome, (tho I will not allow her even she _has been_ for the
future) and during the Time of her Bloom and Beauty was so great a
Tyrant to her Lovers, so over-valued her self and under-rated all her
Pretenders, that they have deserted her to a Man; and she knows no
Comfort but that common one to all in her Condition, the Pleasure of
interrupting the Amours of others. It is impossible but you must have
seen several of these Volunteers in Malice, who pass their whole Time
in the most labourous Way of Life in getting Intelligence, running
from Place to Place with new Whispers, without reaping any other
Benefit but the Hopes of making others as unhappy as themselves. Mrs.
_Jane_ happened to be at a Place where I, with many others well
acquainted with my Passion for _Belinda_, passed a _Christmas_
Evening. There was among the rest a young Lady so free in Mirth, so
amiable in a just Reserve that accompanied it; I wrong her to call it
a Reserve, but there appeared in her a Mirth or Chearfulness which was
not a Forbearance of more immoderate Joy, but the natural Appearance
of all which could flow from a Mind possessed of an Habit of Innocence
and Purity. I must have utterly forgot _Belinda_ to have taken no
Notice of one who was growing up to the same womanly Virtues which
shine to Perfection in her, had I not distinguished one who seemed to
promise to the World the same Life and Conduct with my faithful and
lovely _Belinda_. When the Company broke up, the fine young Thing
permitted me to take Care of her Home. Mrs. _Jane_ saw my particular
Regard to her, and was informed of my attending her to her Fathers
House. She came early to _Belinda_ the next Morning, and asked her if
Mrs. _Such-a-one_ had been with her? No. If Mr. _Such-a-ones_ Lady?
No. Nor your Cousin _Such-a-one_? No. Lord, says Mrs. _Jane_, what is
the Friendship of Woman?--Nay, they may laugh at it. And did no one
tell you any thing of the Behaviour of your Lover Mr. _What dye call_
last Night? But perhaps it is nothing to you that he is to be married
to young Mrs.--on _Tuesday_ next? _Belinda_ was here ready to die with
Rage and Jealousy. Then Mrs. _Jane_ goes on: I have a young Kinsman
who is Clerk to a Great Conveyancer, who shall shew you the rough
Draught of the Marriage Settlement. The World says her Father gives
him Two Thousand Pounds more than he could have with you. I went
innocently to wait on _Belinda_ as usual, but was not admitted; I writ
to her, and my Letter was sent back unopened. Poor _Betty_ her Maid,
who is on my Side, has been here just now blubbering, and told me the
whole Matter. She says she did not think I could be so base; and that
she is now odious to her Mistress for having so often spoke well of
me, that she dare not mention me more. All our Hopes are placed in
having these Circumstances fairly represented in the SPECTATOR, which
_Betty_ says she dare not but bring up as soon as it is brought in;
and has promised when you have broke the Ice to own this was laid
between us: And when I can come to an Hearing, the young Lady will
support what we say by her Testimony, that I never saw her but that
once in my whole Life. Dear Sir, do not omit this true Relation, nor
think it too particular; for there are Crowds of forlorn Coquets who
intermingle themselves with other Ladies, and contract Familiarities
out of Malice, and with no other Design but to blast the Hopes of
Lovers, the Expectation of Parents, and the Benevolence of Kindred. I
doubt not but I shall be,
Your most obliged
humble Servant_,

_Wills_ Coffee-house, _Jan_. 10.

The other Day entering a Room adorned with the Fair Sex, I offered,
after the usual Manner, to each of them a Kiss; but one, more scornful
than the rest, turned her Cheek. I did not think it proper to take any
Notice of it till I had asked your Advice.
_Your humble Servant_,
E. S.

The Correspondent is desir'd to say which Cheek the Offender turned to

[Footnote 1:

Ubi visus eris nostra medicabilis arte
Fac monitis fugias otia prima meis.

Ovid. Rem. Am.]

[Footnote 2: [it]]

* * * * *


From the Parish-Vestry, _January_ 9.

_All Ladies who come to Church in the New-fashioned Hoods,
are desired to be there before Divine Service begins,
lest they divert the Attention of the Congregation._


* * * * *

No. 273. Saturday, January 12, 1712. Addison.

Notandi sunt tibi Mores.


Having examined the Action of _Paradise Lost_, let us in the next place
consider the Actors. [This is _Aristotle's_ Method of considering, first
the Fable, and secondly [1]] the Manners; or, as we generally call them
in _English_, the Fable and the Characters.

_Homer_ has excelled all the Heroic Poets that ever wrote, in the
Multitude and Variety of his Characters. Every God that is admitted into
this Poem, acts a Part which would have been suitable to no other Deity.
His Princes are as much distinguished by their Manners, as by their
Dominions; and even those among them, whose Characters seem wholly made
up of Courage, differ from one another as to the particular kinds of
Courage in which they excel. In short, there is scarce a Speech or
Action in the _Iliad_, which the Reader may not ascribe to the Person
that speaks or acts, without seeing his Name at the Head of it.

_Homer_ does not only outshine all other Poets in the Variety, but also
in the Novelty of his Characters. He has introduced among his _Grecian_
Princes a Person who had lived thrice the Age of Man, and conversed with
_Theseus, Hercules, Polyphemus_, and the first Race of Heroes. His
principal Actor is the [Son [2]] of a Goddess, not to mention the
[Offspring of other Deities, who have [3]] likewise a Place in his Poem,
and the venerable _Trojan_ Prince, who was the Father of so many Kings
and Heroes. There is in these several Characters of _Homer_, a certain
Dignity as well as Novelty, which adapts them in a more peculiar manner
to the Nature of an Heroic Poem. Tho at the same time, to give them the
greater Variety, he has described a _Vulcan_, that is a Buffoon among
his Gods, and a _Thersites_ among his Mortals.

_Virgil_ falls infinitely short of _Homer_ in the Characters of his
Poem, both as to their Variety and Novelty. _AEneas_ is indeed a perfect
Character, but as for _Achates_, tho he is stiled the Heros Friend, he
does nothing in the whole Poem which may deserve that Title. _Gyas_,
_Mnesteus_, _Sergestus_ and _Cloanthus_, are all of them Men of the same
Stamp and Character.

--_Fortemque Gyan, fortemque Cloanthum._

There are indeed several very Natural Incidents on the Part of
_Ascanius_; as that of _Dido_ cannot be sufficiently admired. I do not
see any thing new or particular in _Turnus_. _Pallas_ and _Evander_ are
[remote] Copies of _Hector_ and _Priam_, as _Lausus_ and _Mezentius_ are
almost Parallels to _Pallas_ and _Evander_. The Characters of _Nisus_
and _Eurialus_ are beautiful, but common. [We must not forget the Parts
of _Sinon_, _Camilla_, and some few others, which are fine Improvements
on the _Greek_ Poet.] In short, there is neither that Variety nor
Novelty in the Persons of the _AEneid_, which we meet with in those of
the _Iliad_.

If we look into the Characters of _Milton_, we shall find that he has
introduced all the Variety [his Fable [4]] was capable of receiving. The
whole Species of Mankind was in two Persons at the Time to which the
Subject of his Poem is confined. We have, however, four distinct
Characters in these two Persons. We see Man and Woman in the highest
Innocence and Perfection, and in the most abject State of Guilt and
Infirmity. The two last Characters are, indeed, very common and obvious,
but the two first are not only more magnificent, but more new [5] than
any Characters either in _Virgil_ or _Homer_, or indeed in the whole
Circle of Nature.

_Milton_ was so sensible of this Defect in the Subject of his Poem, and
of the few Characters it would afford him, that he has brought into it
two Actors of a Shadowy and Fictitious Nature, in the Persons of _Sin_
and _Death_, [6] by which means he has [wrought into [7]] the Body of
his Fable a very beautiful and well-invented Allegory. But
notwithstanding the Fineness of this Allegory may attone for it in some
measure; I cannot think that Persons of such a Chymerical Existence are
proper Actors in an Epic Poem; because there is not that measure of
Probability annexed to them, which is requisite in Writings of this
kind, [as I shall shew more at large hereafter].

_Virgil_ has, indeed, admitted Fame as an Actress in the _AEneid_, but
the Part she acts is very short, and none of the most admired
Circumstances in that Divine Work. We find in Mock-Heroic Poems,
particularly in the _Dispensary_ and the _Lutrin_ [8] several
Allegorical Persons of this Nature which are very beautiful in those
Compositions, and may, perhaps, be used as an Argument, that the Authors
of them were of Opinion, [such [9]] Characters might have a Place in an
Epic Work. For my own part, I should be glad the Reader would think so,
for the sake of the Poem I am now examining, and must further add, that
if such empty unsubstantial Beings may be ever made use of on this
Occasion, never were any more nicely imagined, and employed in more
proper Actions, than those of which I am now speaking.

Another Principal Actor in this Poem is the great Enemy of Mankind. The
Part of _Ulysses_ in _Homers Odyssey_ is very much admired by
_Aristotle_, [10] as perplexing that Fable with very agreeable Plots and
Intricacies, not only by the many Adventures in his Voyage, and the
Subtility of his Behaviour, but by the various Concealments and
Discoveries of his Person in several Parts of that Poem. But the Crafty
Being I have now mentioned, makes a much longer Voyage than _Ulysses_,
puts in practice many more Wiles and Stratagems, and hides himself under
a greater Variety of Shapes and Appearances, all of which are severally
detected, to the great Delight and Surprize of the Reader.

We may likewise observe with how much Art the Poet has varied several
Characters of the Persons that speak to his infernal Assembly. On the
contrary, how has he represented the whole Godhead exerting it self
towards Man in its full Benevolence under the Three-fold Distinction of
a Creator, a Redeemer and a Comforter!

Nor must we omit the Person of _Raphael_, who amidst his Tenderness and
Friendship for Man, shews such a Dignity and Condescension in all his
Speech and Behaviour, as are suitable to a Superior Nature. [The Angels
are indeed as much diversified in _Milton_, and distinguished by their
proper Parts, as the Gods are in _Homer_ or _Virgil_. The Reader will
find nothing ascribed to _Uriel, Gabriel, Michael,_ or _Raphael_, which
is not in a particular manner suitable to their respective Characters.]

There is another Circumstance in the principal Actors of the _Iliad_ and
_AEneid_, which gives a [peculiar [11]] Beauty to those two Poems, and
was therefore contrived with very great Judgment. I mean the Authors
having chosen for their Heroes, Persons who were so nearly related to
the People for whom they wrote. _Achilles_ was a Greek, and _AEneas_ the
remote Founder of _Rome_. By this means their Countrymen (whom they
principally proposed to themselves for their Readers) were particularly
attentive to all the Parts of their Story, and sympathized with their
Heroes in all their Adventures. A _Roman_ could not but rejoice in the
Escapes, Successes and Victories of _AEneas_, and be grieved at any
Defeats, Misfortunes or Disappointments that befel him; as a Greek_ must
have had the same Regard for Achilles_. And it is plain, that each of
those Poems have lost this great Advantage, among those Readers to whom
their Heroes are as Strangers, or indifferent Persons.

_Milton's_ Poem is admirable in this respect, since it is impossible for
any of its Readers, whatever Nation, Country or People he may belong to,
not to be related to the Persons who are the principal Actors in it; but
what is still infinitely more to its Advantage, the principal Actors in
this Poem are not only our Progenitors, but our Representatives. We have
an actual Interest in every thing they do, and no less than our utmost
Happiness is concerned, and lies at Stake in all their Behaviour.

I shall subjoin as a Corollary to the foregoing Remark, an admirable
Observation out of _Aristotle_, which hath been very much misrepresented
in the Quotations of some Modern Criticks.

If a Man of perfect and consummate Virtue falls into a Misfortune, it
raises our Pity, but not our Terror, because we do not fear that it
may be our own Case, who do not resemble the Suffering Person. But as
that great Philosopher adds, If we see a Man of Virtue mixt with
Infirmities, fall into any Misfortune, it does not only raise our Pity
but our Terror; because we are afraid that the like Misfortunes may
happen to our selves, who resemble the Character of the Suffering

I shall take another Opportunity to observe, that a Person of an
absolute and consummate Virtue should never be introduced in Tragedy,
and shall only remark in this Place, that the foregoing Observation of
_Aristotle_ [12] tho it may be true in other Occasions, does not hold
in this; because in the present Case, though the Persons who fall into
Misfortune are of the most perfect and consummate Virtue, it is not to
be considered as what may possibly be, but what actually is our own
Case; since we are embarked with them on the same Bottom, and must be
Partakers of their Happiness or Misery.

In this, and some other very few Instances, _Aristotle's_ Rules for Epic
Poetry (which he had drawn from his Reflections upon _Homer_) cannot be
supposed to quadrate exactly with the Heroic Poems which have been made
since his Time; since it is plain his Rules would [still have been [13]]
more perfect, could he have perused the _AEneid_ which was made some
hundred Years after his Death.

_In my next, I shall go through other Parts of_ Milton's _Poem; and hope
that what I shall there advance, as well as what I have already written,
will not only serve as a Comment upon_ Milton, _but upon_ Aristotle.


[Footnote 1: [These are what Aristotle means by the Fable and &c.]]

[Footnote 2: [Offspring]]

[Footnote 3: [Son of Aurora who has]]

[Footnote 4: [that his Poem]]

[Footnote 5: It was especially for the novelty of _Paradise Lost_, that
John Dennis had in 1704 exalted Milton above the ancients. In putting
forward a prospectus of a large projected work upon the Grounds of
Criticism in Poetry, he gave as a specimen of the character of his
work, the substance of what would be said in the beginning of the
Criticism upon Milton. Here he gave Milton supremacy on ground precisely
opposite to that chosen by Addison. He described him as

one of the greatest and most daring Genius's that has appear'd in the
World, and who has made his country a glorious present of the most
lofty, but most irregular Poem, that has been produc'd by the Mind of
Man. That great Man had a desire to give the World something like an
Epick Poem; but he resolv'd at the same time to break thro the Rules
of Aristotle. Not that he was ignorant of them, or contemned them....
Milton was the first who in the space of almost 4000 years resolv'd
for his Country's Honour and his own, to present the World with an
Original Poem; that is to say, a Poem that should have his own
thoughts, his own images, and his own spirit. In order to this he was
resolved to write a Poem, that, by virtue of its extraordinary
Subject, cannot so properly be said to be against the Rules as it may
be affirmed to be above them all ... We shall now shew for what
Reasons the choice of Milton's Subject, as it set him free from the
obligation which he lay under to the Poetical Laws, so it necessarily
threw him upon new Thoughts, new Images, and an Original Spirit. In
the next place we shall shew that his Thoughts, his Images, and by
consequence too, his Spirit are actually new, and different from those
of Homer and Virgil. Thirdly, we shall shew, that besides their
Newness, they have vastly the Advantage of _Homer and Virgil_.]

[Footnote 6: Paradise Lost, Book II.]

[Footnote 7: interwoven in]

[Footnote 8: Sir Samuel Garth in his _Dispensary_, a mock-heroic poem
upon a dispute, in 1696, among doctors over the setting up of a
Dispensary in a room of the College of Physicians for relief of the sick
poor, houses the God of Sloth within the College, and outside, among
other allegories, personifies Disease as a Fury to whom the enemies of
the Dispensary offer libation. Boileau in his _Lutrin_ a mock-heroic
poem written in 1673 on a dispute between two chief personages of the
chapter of a church in Paris, la Sainte Chapelle, as to the position of
a pulpit, had with some minor allegory, chiefly personified Discord, and
made her enter into the form of an old precentor, very much as in
Garths poem the Fury Disease

Shrill Colons person took,
In morals loose, but most precise in look.]

[Footnote 9: [that such]]

[Footnote 10: Poetics II. Sec. 17; III. Sec.6.]

[Footnote 11: [particular]]

[Footnote 12: 1 Poetics II. Sec. ii. But Addison misquotes the first
clause. Aristotle says that when a wholly virtuous man falls from
prosperity into adversity, this is neither terrible _nor piteous_, but
([Greek: miaron]) shocking. Then he adds that our pity is _excited_ by
undeserved misfortune, and our terror by some resemblance between the
sufferer and ourselves.]

[Footnote 13: [have been still]]

* * * * *

No. 274. Monday, January 14, 1712. Steele.

Audire est operae pretium, procedere recte
Qui moechis non vultis.


I have upon several Occasions (that have occurred since I first took
into my Thoughts the present State of Fornication) weighed with my self,
in behalf of guilty Females, the Impulses of Flesh and Blood, together
with the Arts and Gallantries of crafty Men; and reflect with some Scorn
that most Part of what we in our Youth think gay and polite, is nothing
else but an Habit of indulging a Pruriency that Way. It will cost some
Labour to bring People to so lively a Sense of this, as to recover the
manly Modesty in the Behaviour of my Men Readers, and the bashful Grace
in the Faces of my Women; but in all Cases which come into Debate, there
are certain things previously to be done before we can have a true Light
into the Subject Matter; therefore it will, in the first Place, be
necessary to consider the impotent Wenchers and industrious Haggs, who
are supplied with, and are constantly supplying new Sacrifices to the
Devil of Lust. You are to know then, if you are so happy as not to know
it already, that the great Havock which is made in the Habitations of
Beauty and Innocence, is committed by such as can only lay waste and not
enjoy the Soil. When you observe the present State of Vice and Virtue,
the Offenders are such as one would think should have no Impulse to what
they are pursuing; as in Business, you see sometimes Fools pretend to be
Knaves, so in Pleasure, you will find old Men set up for Wenchers. This
latter sort of Men are the great Basis and Fund of Iniquity in the Kind
we are speaking of: You shall have an old rich Man often receive Scrawls
from the several Quarters of the Town, with Descriptions of the new
Wares in their Hands, if he will please to send Word when he will be
waited on. This Interview is contrived, and the Innocent is brought to
such Indecencies as from Time to Time banish Shame and raise Desire.
With these Preparatives the Haggs break their Wards by little and
little, till they are brought to lose all Apprehensions of what shall
befall them in the Possession of younger Men. It is a common Postscript
of an Hagg to a young Fellow whom she invites to a new Woman, _She has,
I assure you, seen none but old Mr. Such-a-one_. It pleases the old
Fellow that the Nymph is brought to him unadorned, and from his Bounty
she is accommodated with enough to dress her for other Lovers. This is
the most ordinary Method of bringing Beauty and Poverty into the
Possession of the Town: But the particular Cases of kind Keepers,
skilful Pimps, and all others who drive a separate Trade, and are not in
the general Society or Commerce of Sin, will require distinct
Consideration. At the same time that we are thus severe on the
Abandoned, we are apt to represent the Case of others with that
Mitigation as the Circumstances demand. Calling Names does no Good; to
speak worse of any thing than it deserves, does only take off from the
Credit of the Accuser, and has implicitly the Force of an Apology in the
Behalf of the Person accused. We shall therefore, according as the
Circumstances differ, vary our Appellations of these Criminals: Those
who offend only against themselves, and are not Scandals to Society, but
out of Deference to the sober Part of the World, have so much Good left
in them as to be ashamed, must not be huddled in the common Word due to
the worst of Women; but Regard is to be had to their Circumstances when
they fell, to the uneasy Perplexity under which they lived under
senseless and severe Parents, to the Importunity of Poverty, to the
Violence of a Passion in its Beginning well grounded, and all other
Alleviations which make unhappy Women resign the Characteristick of
their Sex, Modesty. To do otherwise than thus, would be to act like a
Pedantick Stoick, who thinks all Crimes alike, and not like an impartial
SPECTATOR, who looks upon them with all the Circumstances that diminish
or enhance the Guilt. I am in Hopes, if this Subject be well pursued,
Women will hereafter from their Infancy be treated with an Eye to their
future State in the World; and not have their Tempers made too
untractable from an improper Sourness or Pride, or too complying from
Familiarity or Forwardness contracted at their own Houses. After these
Hints on this Subject, I shall end this Paper with the following genuine
Letter; and desire all who think they may be concerned in future
Speculations on this Subject, to send in what they have to say for
themselves for some Incidents in their Lives, in order to have proper
Allowances made for their Conduct.

_Mr_. SPECTATOR, _January_ 5, 1711.

The Subject of your Yesterdays Paper is of so great Importance, and
the thorough handling of it may be so very useful to the Preservation
of many an innocent young Creature, that I think every one is obliged
to furnish you with what Lights he can, to expose the pernicious Arts
and Practices of those unnatural Women called Bawds. In order to this
the enclosed is sent you, which is _verbatim_ the Copy of a Letter
written by a Bawd of Figure in this Town to a noble Lord. I have
concealed the Names of both, my Intention being not to expose the
Persons but the Thing.
_I am,
Your humble Servant_.

_My Lord_,
I having a great Esteem for your Honour, and a better Opinion of
you than of any of the Quality, makes me acquaint you of an Affair
that I hope will oblige you to know. I have a Niece that came to
Town about a Fortnight ago. Her Parents being lately dead she came
to me, expecting to a found me in so good a Condition as to a set
her up in a Milliners Shop. Her Father gave Fourscore Pounds with
her for five Years: Her Time is out, and she is not Sixteen; as
pretty a black Gentlewoman as ever you saw, a little Woman, which I
know your Lordship likes: well shaped, and as fine a Complection for
Red and White as ever I saw; I doubt not but your Lordship will be
of the same Opinion. She designs to go down about a Month hence
except I can provide for her, which I cannot at present. Her Father
was one with whom all he had died with him, so there is four
Children left destitute; so if your Lordship thinks fit to make an
Appointment where I shall wait on you with my Niece, by a Line or
two, I stay for your Answer; for I have no Place fitted up since I
left my House, fit to entertain your Honour. I told her she should
go with me to see a Gentleman a very good Friend of mine; so I
desire you to take no Notice of my Letter by reason she is ignorant
of the Ways of the Town. My Lord, I desire if you meet us to come
alone; for upon my Word and Honour you are the first that ever I
mentioned her to. So I remain,

_Your Lordships
Most humble Servant to Command._

I beg of you to burn it when you've read it.


* * * * *

No. 275. Tuesday, January 15, 1712. Addison.

--tribus Anticyris caput insanabile--


I was Yesterday engaged in an Assembly of Virtuosos, where one of them
produced many curious Observations which he had lately made in the
Anatomy of an Human Body. Another of the Company communicated to us
several wonderful Discoveries, which he had also made on the same
Subject, by the Help of very fine Glasses. This gave Birth to a great
Variety of uncommon Remarks, and furnished Discourse for the remaining
Part of the Day.

The different Opinions which were started on this Occasion, presented to
my Imagination so many new Ideas, that by mixing with those which were
already there, they employed my Fancy all the last Night, and composed a
very wild Extravagant Dream.

I was invited, methoughts, to the Dissection of a _Beaus Head_ and of a
_Coquets Heart_, which were both of them laid on a Table before us. An
imaginary Operator opened the first with a great deal of Nicety, which,
upon a cursory and superficial View, appeared like the Head of another
Man; but upon applying our Glasses to it, we made a very odd Discovery,
namely, that what we looked upon as Brains, were not such in reality,
but an Heap of strange Materials wound up in that Shape and Texture, and
packed together with wonderful Art in the several Cavities of the Skull.
For, as _Homer_ tells us, that the Blood of the Gods is not real Blood,
but only something like it; so we found that the Brain of a Beau is not
real Brain, but only something like it.

The _Pineal Gland_, which many of our Modern Philosophers suppose to be
the Seat of the Soul, smelt very strong of Essence and Orange-flower
Water, and was encompassed with a kind of Horny Substance, cut into a
thousand little Faces or Mirrours, which were imperceptible to the naked
Eye, insomuch that the Soul, if there had been any here, must have been
always taken up in contemplating her own Beauties.

We observed a long _Antrum_ or Cavity in the _Sinciput_, that was filled
with Ribbons, Lace and Embroidery, wrought together in a most curious
Piece of Network, the Parts of which were likewise imperceptible to the
naked Eye. Another of these _Antrums_ or Cavities was stuffed with
invisible Billetdoux, Love-Letters, pricked Dances, and other Trumpery
of the same Nature. In another we found a kind of Powder, which set the
whole Company a Sneezing, and by the Scent discovered it self to be
right _Spanish_. The several other Cells were stored with Commodities of
the same kind, of which it would be tedious to give the Reader an exact

There was a large Cavity on each side of the Head, which I must not
omit. That on the right Side was filled with Fictions, Flatteries, and
Falshoods, Vows, Promises, and Protestations; that on the left with
Oaths and Imprecations. There issued out a _Duct_ from each of these
Cells, which ran into the Root of the Tongue, where both joined
together, and passed forward in one common _Duct_ to the Tip of it. We
discovered several little Roads or Canals running from the Ear into the
Brain, and took particular care to trace them out through their several
Passages. One of them extended itself to a Bundle of Sonnets and little
musical Instruments. Others ended in several Bladders which were filled
either with Wind or Froth. But the latter Canal entered into a great
Cavity of the Skull, from whence there went another Canal into the
Tongue. This great Cavity was filled with a kind of Spongy Substance,
which the _French_ Anatomists call _Galimatias_, and the _English_,

The Skins of the Forehead were extremely tough and thick, and, what very
much surprized us, had not in them any single Blood-Vessel that we were
able to discover, either with or without our Glasses; from whence we
concluded, that the Party when alive must have been entirely deprived of
the Faculty of Blushing.

The _Os Cribriforme_ was exceedingly stuffed, and in some Places damaged
with Snuff. We could not but take notice in particular of that small
Muscle which is not often discovered in Dissections, and draws the Nose
upwards, when it expresses the Contempt which the Owner of it has, upon
seeing any thing he does not like, or hearing any thing he does not
understand. I need not tell my learned Reader, this is that Muscle which
performs the Motion so often mentioned by the _Latin_ Poets, when they
talk of a Man's cocking his Nose, or playing the Rhinoceros.

We did not find any thing very remarkable in the Eye, saving only, that
the _Musculi Amatorii_, or, as we may translate it into _English_, the
_Ogling Muscles_, were very much worn and decayed with use; whereas on
the contrary, the _Elevator_, or the Muscle which turns the Eye towards
Heaven, did not appear to have been used at all.

I have only mentioned in this Dissection such new Discoveries as we were
able to make, and have not taken any notice of those Parts which are to
be met with in common Heads. As for the Skull, the Face, and indeed the
whole outward Shape and Figure of the Head, we could not discover any
Difference from what we observe in the Heads of other Men. We were
informed, that the Person to whom this Head belonged, had passed for _a
Man_ above five and thirty Years; during which time he Eat and Drank
like other People, dressed well, talked loud, laught frequently, and on
particular Occasions had acquitted himself tolerably at a Ball or an
Assembly; to which one of the Company added, that a certain Knot of
Ladies took him for a Wit. He was cut off in the Flower of his Age by
the Blow of a Paring-Shovel, having been surprized by an eminent
Citizen, as he was tendring some Civilities to his Wife.

When we had thoroughly examined this Head with all its Apartments, and
its several kinds of Furniture, we put up the Brain, such as it was,
into its proper Place, and laid it aside under a broad Piece of Scarlet
Cloth, in order to be _prepared_, and kept in a great Repository of
Dissections; our Operator telling us that the Preparation would not be
so difficult as that of another Brain, for that he had observed several
of the little Pipes and Tubes which ran through the Brain were already
filled with a kind of Mercurial Substance, which he looked upon to be
true Quick-Silver.

He applied himself in the next Place to the _Coquets Heart_, which he
likewise laid open with great Dexterity. There occurred to us many
Particularities in this Dissection; but being unwilling to burden my
Readers Memory too much, I shall reserve this Subject for the
Speculation of another Day.


* * * * *

No. 276. Wednesday, January 16, 1712. Steele.

Errori nomen virtus posuisset honestum.



I hope you have Philosophy enough to be capable of bearing the Mention
of your Faults. Your Papers which regard the fallen Part of the Fair
Sex, are, I think, written with an Indelicacy, which makes them
unworthy to be inserted in the Writings of a Moralist who knows the
World. I cannot allow that you are at Liberty to observe upon the
Actions of Mankind with the Freedom which you seem to resolve upon; at
least if you do, you should take along with you the Distinction of
Manners of the World, according to the Quality and Way of Life of the
Persons concerned. A Man of Breeding speaks of even Misfortune among
Ladies without giving it the most terrible Aspect it can bear: And
this Tenderness towards them, is much more to be preserved when you
speak of Vices. All Mankind are so far related, that Care is to be
taken, in things to which all are liable, you do not mention what
concerns one in Terms which shall disgust another. Thus to tell a rich
Man of the Indigence of a Kinsman of his, or abruptly inform a
virtuous Woman of the Lapse of one who till then was in the same
degree of Esteem with her self, is in a kind involving each of them in
some Participation of those Disadvantages. It is therefore expected
from every Writer, to treat his Argument in such a Manner, as is most
proper to entertain the sort of Readers to whom his Discourse is
directed. It is not necessary when you write to the Tea-table, that
you should draw Vices which carry all the Horror of Shame and
Contempt: If you paint an impertinent Self-love, an artful Glance, an
assumed Complection, you say all which you ought to suppose they can
possibly be guilty of. When you talk with this Limitation, you behave
your self so as that you may expect others in Conversation may second
your Raillery; but when you do it in a Stile which every body else
forbears in Respect to their Quality, they have an easy Remedy in
forbearing to read you, and hearing no more of their Faults. A Man
that is now and then guilty of an Intemperance is not to be called a
Drunkard; but the Rule of polite Raillery, is to speak of a Man's
Faults as if you loved him. Of this Nature is what was said by
_Caesar_: When one was railing with an uncourtly Vehemence, and broke
out, What must we call him who was taken in an Intrigue with another
Man's Wife? Caesar answered very gravely, _A careless Fellow_. This was
at once a Reprimand for speaking of a Crime which in those Days had
not the Abhorrence attending it as it ought, as well as an Intimation
that all intemperate Behaviour before Superiors loses its Aim, by
accusing in a Method unfit for the Audience. A Word to the Wise. All I
mean here to say to you is, That the most free Person of Quality can
go no further than being [a kind [1]] Woman; and you should never say
of a Man of Figure worse, than that he knows the World.

I am, SIR,
Your most humble Servant,
Francis Courtly.

I am a Woman of an unspotted Reputation, and know nothing I have ever
done which should encourage such Insolence; but here was one the other
Day, and he was dressed like a Gentleman too, who took the Liberty to
name the Words Lusty Fellow in my Presence. I doubt not but you will
resent it in Behalf of,

Your Humble Servant,

You lately put out a dreadful Paper, wherein you promise a full
Account of the State of criminal Love; and call all the Fair who have
transgressed in that Kind by one very rude Name which I do not care to
repeat: But 1 desire to know of you whether I am or I am not of those?
My Case is as follows. I am kept by an old Batchelour, who took me so
young, that I knew not how he came by me: He is a Bencher of one of
the Inns of Court, a very gay healthy old Man; which is a lucky thing
for him, who has been, he tells me, a Scowrer, a Scamperer, a Breaker
of Windows, an Invader of Constables, in the Days of Yore when all
Dominion ended with the Day, and Males and Females met helter skelter,
and the Scowrers drove before them all who pretended to keep up Order
or Rule to the Interruption of Love and Honour. This is his way of
Talk, for he is very gay when he visits me; but as his former
Knowledge of the Town has alarmed him into an invincible Jealousy, he
keeps me in a pair of Slippers, neat Bodice, warm Petticoats, and my
own Hair woven in Ringlets, after a Manner, he says, he remembers. I
am not Mistress of one Farthing of Money, but have all Necessaries
provided for me, under the Guard of one who procured for him while he
had any Desires to gratify. I know nothing of a Wench's Life, but the
Reputation of it: I have a natural Voice, and a pretty untaught Step
in Dancing. His Manner is to bring an old Fellow who has been his
Servant from his Youth, and is gray-headed: This Man makes on the
Violin a certain Jiggish Noise to which I dance, and when that is over
I sing to him some loose Air, that has more Wantonness than Musick in
it. You must have seen a strange window'd House near _Hide-Park,_
which is so built that no one can look out of any of the Apartments;
my Rooms are after that manner, and I never see Man, Woman, or Child,
but in Company with the two Persons above-mentioned. He sends me in
all the Books, Pamphlets, Plays, Operas and Songs that come out; and
his utmost Delight in me as a Woman, is to talk over old Amours in my
Presence, to play with my Neck, say _the Time was_, give me a Kiss,
and bid me be sure to follow the Directions of my Guardian (the
above-mentioned Lady) and I shall never want. The Truth of my Case is,
I suppose, that I was educated for a Purpose he did not know he should
be unfit for when I came to Years. Now, Sir, what I ask of you, as a
Casuist, is to tell me how far in these Circumstances I am innocent,
though submissive; he guilty, though impotent?
_I am,
Your constant Reader,_

_To the Man called the_ SPECTATOR.

Forasmuch as at the Birth of thy Labour, thou didst promise upon thy
Word, that letting alone the Vanities that do abound, thou wouldst
only endeavour to strengthen the crooked Morals of this our _Babylon_,
I gave Credit to thy fair Speeches, and admitted one of thy Papers,
every Day save _Sunday_, into my House; for the Edification of my
Daughter _Tabitha_, and to the end that Susannah the Wife of my Bosom
might profit thereby. But alas, my Friend, I find that thou art a
Liar, and that the Truth is not in thee; else why didst thou in a
Paper which thou didst lately put forth, make mention of those vain
Coverings for the Heads of our Females, which thou lovest to liken
unto Tulips, and which are lately sprung up amongst us? Nay why didst
thou make mention of them in such a seeming, as if thou didst approve
the Invention, insomuch that my Daughter _Tabitha_ beginneth to wax
wanton, and to lust after these foolish Vanities? Surely thou dost see
with the Eyes of the Flesh. Verily therefore, unless thou dost
speedily amend and leave off following thine own Imaginations, I will
leave off thee.

_Thy Friend as hereafter thou dost demean thyself,_
Hezekiah Broadbrim.


[Footnote 1: [an unkind]]

* * * * *

No. 277. Thursday, January 17, 1712. Budgell.

--fas est et ab hoste doceri.


I presume I need not inform the Polite Part of my Readers,
that before our Correspondence with _France_ was unhappily
interrupted by the War, our Ladies had all their Fashions from
thence; which the Milliners took care to furnish them with by
means of a Jointed Baby, that came regularly over, once a
Month, habited after the manner of the most Eminent Toasts
in _Paris_.

I am credibly informed, that even in the hottest time of the
War, the Sex made several Efforts, and raised large Contributions
towards the Importation of this Wooden _Madamoiselle._

Whether the Vessel they set out was lost or taken, or whether
its Cargo was seized on by the Officers of the Custom-house, as
a piece of Contraband Goods, I have not yet been able to
learn; it is, however, certain their first Attempts were without
Success, to the no small Disappointment of our whole Female
World; but as their Constancy and Application, in a matter of
so great Importance, can never be sufficiently commended, I
am glad to find that in Spight of all Opposition, they have at
length carried their Point, of which I received Advice by the
two following Letters.

I am so great a Lover of whatever is _French_, that I lately
discarded an humble Admirer, because he neither spoke that Tongue, nor
drank Claret. I have long bewailed, in secret, the Calamities of my
Sex during the War, in all which time we have laboured under the
insupportable Inventions of _English_ Tire-Women, who, tho they
sometimes copy indifferently well, can never compose with that _Gout_
they do in _France_.

I was almost in Despair of ever more seeing a Model from that dear
Country, when last Sunday I over-heard a Lady, in the next Pew to me,
whisper another, that at the _Seven Stars_ in _King-street
Covent-garden_, there was a _Madamoiselle_ compleatly dressed just
come from _Paris_.

I was in the utmost Impatience during the remaining part of the
Service, and as soon as ever it was over, having learnt the Millener's
_Addresse_, I went directly to her House in _King-street_, but was
told that the _French_ Lady was at a Person of Quality's in
_Pall-mall_, and would not be back again till very late that Night. I
was therefore obliged to renew my Visit very early this Morning, and
had then a full View of the dear Moppet from Head to Foot.

You cannot imagine, worthy Sir, how ridiculously I find we have all
been trussed up during the War, and how infinitely the _French_ Dress
excels ours.

The Mantua has no Leads in the Sleeves, and I hope we are not lighter
than the _French_ Ladies, so as to want that kind of Ballast; the
Petticoat has no Whale-bone; but fits with an Air altogether galant
and _degage_: the _Coiffeure_ is inexpressibly pretty, and in short,
the whole Dress has a thousand Beauties in it, which I would not have
as yet made too publick.

I thought fit, however, to give this Notice, that you may not be
surprized at my appearing _a la mode de Paris_ on the next
Birth-Night. _I am, SIR,
Your humble Servant,_

Within an Hour after I had read this Letter, I received another from the
Owner of the Puppet.

On Saturday last, being the 12th Instant, there arrived at my House
in _King-street, Covent-Garden_, a _French_ Baby for the Year 1712. I
have taken the utmost Care to have her dressed by the most celebrated
Tyre-women and Mantua-makers in _Paris_, and do not find that I have
any Reason to be sorry for the Expence I have been at in her Cloaths
and Importation: However, as I know no Person who is so good a Judge
of Dress as your self, if you please to call at my House in your Way
to the City, and take a View of her, I promise to amend whatever you
shall disapprove in your next Paper, before I exhibit her as a Pattern
to the Publick.
_I am, SIR,
Your most humble Admirer,
and most obedient Servant,_
Betty Cross-stitch.

As I am willing to do any thing in reason for the Service of my
Country-women, and had much rather prevent Faults than find them, I went
last Night to the House of the above-mentioned Mrs. _Cross-stitch_. As
soon as I enter'd, the Maid of the Shop, who, I suppose, was prepared
for my coming, without asking me any Questions, introduced me to the
little Damsel, and ran away to call her Mistress.

The Puppet was dressed in a Cherry-coloured Gown and Petticoat, with a
short working Apron over it, which discovered her Shape to the most
Advantage. Her Hair was cut and divided very prettily, with several
Ribbons stuck up and down in it. The Millener assured me, that her
Complexion was such as was worn by all the Ladies of the best Fashion in
_Paris_. Her Head was extreamly high, on which Subject having long since
declared my Sentiments, I shall say nothing more to it at present. I was
also offended at a small Patch she wore on her Breast, which I cannot
suppose is placed there with any good Design.

Her Necklace was of an immoderate Length, being tied before in such a
manner that the two Ends hung down to her Girdle; but whether these
supply the Place of Kissing-Strings in our Enemy's Country, and whether
our _British_ Ladies have any occasion for them, I shall leave to their
serious Consideration.

After having observed the Particulars of her Dress, as I was taking a
view of it altogether, the Shop-maid, who is a pert Wench, told me that
_Mademoiselle_ had something very Curious in the tying of her Garters;
but as I pay a due Respect even to a pair of Sticks when they are in
Petticoats, I did not examine into that Particular.

Upon the whole I was well enough pleased with the Appearance of this gay
Lady, and the more so because she was not Talkative, a Quality very
rarely to be met with in the rest of her Countrywomen.

As I was taking my leave, the Millener farther informed me, that with
the Assistance of a Watchmaker, who was her Neighbour, and the ingenious
Mr. _Powell_, she had also contrived another Puppet, which by the help
of several little Springs to be wound up within it, could move all its

Book of the day:
Facebook Google Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Pinterest