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

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As therefore I shall in the Speculations which regard Love be as severe
as I ought on Jilts and Libertine Women, so will I be as little merciful
to insignificant and mischievous Men. In order to this, all Visitants
who frequent Families wherein there are young Females, are forthwith
required to declare themselves, or absent from Places where their
Presence banishes such as would pass their Time more to the Advantage of
those whom they visit. It is a Matter of too great Moment to be dallied
with; and I shall expect from all my young People a satisfactory Account
of Appearances. Strephon has from the Publication hereof seven Days to
explain the Riddle he presented to Eudamia; and Chloris an Hour after
this comes to her Hand, to declare whether she will have Philotas, whom
a Woman of no less Merit than her self, and of superior Fortune,
languishes to call her own.


SIR, [1]
Since so many Dealers turn Authors, and write quaint Advertisements
in praise of their Wares, one who from an Author turn'd Dealer may be
allowed for the Advancement of Trade to turn Author again. I will not
however set up like some of em, for selling cheaper than the most
able honest Tradesman can; nor do I send this to be better known for
Choice and Cheapness of China and Japan Wares, Tea, Fans, Muslins,
Pictures, Arrack, and other Indian Goods. Placed as I am in
Leadenhall-street, near the India-Company, and the Centre of that
Trade, Thanks to my fair Customers, my Warehouse is graced as well as
the Benefit Days of my Plays and Operas; and the foreign Goods I sell
seem no less acceptable than the foreign Books I translated, Rabelais
and Don Quixote: This the Criticks allow me, and while they like my
Wares they may dispraise my Writing. But as tis not so well known yet
that I frequently cross the Seas of late, and speaking Dutch and
French, besides other Languages, I have the Conveniency of buying and
importing rich Brocades, Dutch Atlasses, with Gold and Silver, or
without, and other foreign Silks of the newest Modes and best
Fabricks, fine Flanders Lace, Linnens, and Pictures, at the best Hand:
This my new way of Trade I have fallen into I cannot better publish
than by an Application to you. My Wares are fit only for such as your
Readers; and I would beg of you to print this Address in your Paper,
that those whose Minds you adorn may take the Ornaments for their
Persons and Houses from me. This, Sir, if I may presume to beg it,
will be the greater Favour, as I have lately received rich Silks and
fine Lace to a considerable Value, which will be sold cheap for a
quick Return, and as I have also a large Stock of other Goods. Indian
Silks were formerly a great Branch of our Trade; and since we must not
sell em, we must seek Amends by dealing in others. This I hope will
plead for one who would lessen the Number of Teazers of the Muses, and
who, suiting his Spirit to his Circumstances, humbles the Poet to
exalt the Citizen. Like a true Tradesman, I hardly ever look into any
Books but those of Accompts. To say the Truth, I cannot, I think, give
you a better Idea of my being a downright Man of Traffick, than by
acknowledging I oftener read the Advertisements, than the Matter of
even your Paper. I am under a great Temptation to take this
Opportunity of admonishing other Writers to follow my Example, and
trouble the Town no more; but as it is my present Business to increase
the Number of Buyers rather than Sellers, I hasten to tell you that I
SIR, Your most humble,
and most obedient Servant,
Peter Motteux.


[Footnote 1: Peter Anthony Motteux, the writer of this letter, was born
in Normandy, and came as a refugee to England at the Revocation of the
Edict of Nantes. Here he wrote about 14 plays, translated Bayle's
Dictionary, Montaigne's Essays, and Don Quixote, and established himself
also as a trader in Leadenhall Street. He had a wife and a fine young
family when (at the age of 56, and six years after the date of this
letter) he was found dead in a house of ill fame near Temple Bar under
circumstances that caused a reward of fifty pounds to be offered for the
discovery of his murderer.]

* * * * *

No. 289. Thursday, January 31, 1712. Addison.

Vitae summa brevis spem nos vetat inchoare longam.


Upon taking my Seat in a Coffee-house I often draw the Eyes of the whole
Room upon me, when in the hottest Seasons of News, and at a time that
perhaps the Dutch Mail is just come in, they hear me ask the Coffee-man
for his last Weeks Bill of Mortality: I find that I have been sometimes
taken on this occasion for a Parish Sexton, sometimes for an Undertaker,
and sometimes for a Doctor of Physick. In this, however, I am guided by
the Spirit of a Philosopher, as I take occasion from hence to reflect
upon the regular Encrease and Diminution of Mankind, and consider the
several various Ways through which we pass from Life to Eternity. I am
very well pleased with these Weekly Admonitions, that bring into my Mind
such Thoughts as ought to be the daily Entertainment of every reasonable
Creature; and can consider, with Pleasure to my self, by which of those
Deliverances, or, as we commonly call them, Distempers, I may possibly
make my Escape out of this World of Sorrows, into that Condition of
Existence, wherein I hope to be Happier than it is possible for me at
present to conceive.

But this is not all the Use I make of the above-mentioned Weekly Paper.
A Bill of Mortality [1] is in my Opinion an unanswerable Argument for a
Providence. How can we, without supposing our selves under the constant
Care of a Supreme Being, give any possible Account for that nice
Proportion, which we find in every great City, between the Deaths and
Births of its Inhabitants, and between the Number of Males and that of
Females, who are brought into the World? What else could adjust in so
exact a manner the Recruits of every Nation to its Losses, and divide
these new Supplies of People into such equal Bodies of both Sexes?
Chance could never hold the Balance with so steady a Hand. Were we not
counted out by an intelligent Supervisor, we should sometimes be
over-charged with Multitudes, and at others waste away into a Desart: We
should be sometimes a populus virorum, as Florus elegantly expresses it,
a Generation of Males, and at others a Species of Women. We may extend
this Consideration to every Species of living Creatures, and consider
the whole animal World as an huge Army made up of innumerable Corps, if
I may use that Term, whose Quotas have been kept entire near five
thousand Years, in so wonderful a manner, that there is not probably a
single Species lost during this long Tract of Time. Could we have
general Bills of Mortality of every kind of Animal, or particular ones
of every Species in each Continent and Island, I could almost say in
every Wood, Marsh or Mountain, what astonishing Instances would they be
of that Providence which watches over all its Works?

I have heard of a great Man in the Romish Church, who upon reading those
Words in the Vth Chapter of Genesis, And all the Days that Adam lived
were nine hundred and thirty Years, and he died; and all the Days of
Seth were nine hundred and twelve Years, and he died; and all the Days
of Methuselah were nine hundred and sixty nine Years, and he died;
immediately shut himself up in a Convent, and retired from the World, as
not thinking any thing in this Life worth pursuing, which had not regard
to another.

The Truth of it is, there is nothing in History which is so improving to
the Reader, as those Accounts which we meet with of the Deaths of
eminent Persons, and of their Behaviour in that dreadful Season. I may
also add, that there are no Parts in History which affect and please the
Reader in so sensible a manner. The Reason I take to be this, because
there is no other single Circumstance in the Story of any Person, which
can possibly be the Case of every one who reads it. A Battle or a
Triumph are Conjunctures in which not one Man in a Million is likely to
be engaged; but when we see a Person at the Point of Death, we cannot
forbear being attentive to every thing he says or does, because we are
sure that some time or other we shall our selves be in the same
melancholy Circumstances. The General, the Statesman, or the
Philosopher, are perhaps Characters which we may never act in; but the
dying Man is one whom, sooner or later, we shall certainly resemble.

It is, perhaps, for the same kind of Reason that few Books, [written
[2]] in English, have been so much perused as Dr. Sherlock's Discourse
upon Death; though at the same time I must own, that he who has not
perused this Excellent Piece, has not perhaps read one of the strongest
Persuasives to a Religious Life that ever was written in any Language.

The Consideration, with which I shall close this Essay upon Death, is
one of the most ancient and most beaten Morals that has been recommended
to Mankind. But its being so very common, and so universally received,
though it takes away from it the Grace of Novelty, adds very much to the
Weight of it, as it shews that it falls in with the general Sense of
Mankind. In short, I would have every one consider, that he is in this
Life nothing more than a Passenger, and that he is not to set up his
Rest here, but to keep an attentive Eye upon that State of Being to
which he approaches every Moment, and which will be for ever fixed and
permanent. This single Consideration would be sufficient to extinguish
the Bitterness of Hatred, the Thirst of Avarice, and the Cruelty of

I am very much pleased with the Passage of Antiphanes a very ancient
Poet, who lived near an hundred Years before Socrates, which represents
the Life of Man under this View, as I have here translated it Word for
Word. Be not grieved, says he, above measure for thy deceased Friends[.
They [3]] are not dead, but have only finished that Journey which it is
necessary for every one of us to take: We ourselves must go to that
great Place of Reception in which they are all of them assembled, and in
this general Rendezvous of Mankind, live together in another State of

I think I have, in a former Paper, taken notice of those beautiful
Metaphors in Scripture, where Life is termed a Pilgrimage, and those who
pass through it are called Strangers and Sojourners upon Earth. I shall
conclude this with a Story, which I have somewhere read in the Travels
of Sir John Chardin; [4] that Gentleman after having told us, that the
Inns which receive the Caravans in Persia, and the Eastern Countries,
are called by the Name of Caravansaries, gives us a Relation to the
following Purpose.

A Dervise, travelling through Tartary, being arrived at the Town of
Balk, went into the King's Palace by Mistake, as thinking it to be a
publick Inn or Caravansary. Having looked about him for some time, he
enter'd into a long Gallery, where he laid down his Wallet, and spread
his Carpet, in order to repose himself upon it after the Manner of the
Eastern Nations. He had not been long in this Posture before he was
discovered by some of the Guards, who asked him what was his Business in
that Place? The Dervise told them he intended to take up his Night's
Lodging in that Caravansary. The Guards let him know, in a very angry
manner, that the House he was in was not a Caravansary, but the King's
Palace. It happened that the King himself passed through the Gallery
during this Debate, and smiling at the Mistake of the Dervise, asked him
how he could possibly be so dull as not to distinguish a Palace from a
Caravansary? Sir, says the Dervise, give me leave to ask your Majesty a
Question or two. Who were the Persons that lodged in this House when it
was first built? The King replied, His Ancestors. And who, says the
Dervise, was the last Person that lodged here? The King replied, His
Father. And who is it, says the Dervise, that lodges here at present?
The King told him, that it was he himself. And who, says the Dervise,
will be here after you? The King answered, The young Prince his Son. Ah
Sir, said the Dervise, a House that changes its Inhabitants so often,
and receives such a perpetual Succession of Guests, is not a Palace but
a Caravansary.


[Footnote 1: Bills of Mortality, containing the weekly number of
Christenings and Deaths, with the cause of Death, were first compiled by
the London Company of Parish Clerks (for 109 parishes) after the Plague
in 1592. They did not give the age at death till 1728.]

[Footnote 2: which have been written]

[Footnote 3: [; for they]]

[Footnote 4: Sir John Chardin was a jewellers son, born at Paris, who
came to England and was knighted by Charles II. He travelled into Persia
and the East Indies, and his account of his voyages was translated into
English, German, and Flemish. He was living when this paper appeared,
but died in the following year, at the age of 70.]

* * * * *

No. 290. Friday, February 1, 1712. Steele.

[Projicit ampullas et sesquipedalia verba.

Hor. [1]]

The Players, who know I am very much their Friend, take all
Opportunities to express a Gratitude to me for being so. They could not
have a better Occasion of Obliging me, than one which they lately took
hold of. They desired my Friend WILL. HONEYCOMB to bring me to the
Reading of a new Tragedy; it is called The distressed Mother. [2] I must
confess, tho some Days are passed since I enjoyed that Entertainment,
the Passions of the several Characters dwell strongly upon my
Imagination; and I congratulate to the Age, that they are at last to see
Truth and humane Life represented in the Incidents which concern Heroes
and Heroines. The Stile of the Play is such as becomes those of the
first Education, and the Sentiments worthy those of the highest Figure.
It was a most exquisite Pleasure to me, to observe real Tears drop from
the Eyes of those who had long made it their Profession to dissemble
Affliction; and the Player, who read, frequently throw down the Book,
till he had given vent to the Humanity which rose in him at some
irresistible Touches of the imagined Sorrow. We have seldom had any
Female Distress on the Stage, which did not, upon cool Examination,
appear to flow from the Weakness rather than the Misfortune of the
Person represented: But in this Tragedy you are not entertained with the
ungoverned Passions of such as are enamoured of each other merely as
they are Men and Women, but their Regards are founded upon high
Conceptions of each others Virtue and Merit; and the Character which
gives Name to the Play, is one who has behaved her self with heroic
Virtue in the most important Circumstances of a Female Life, those of a
Wife, a Widow, and a Mother. If there be those whose Minds have been too
attentive upon the Affairs of Life, to have any Notion of the Passion of
Love in such Extremes as are known only to particular Tempers, yet, in
the above-mentioned Considerations, the Sorrow of the Heroine will move
even the Generality of Mankind. Domestick Virtues concern all the World,
and there is no one living who is not interested that Andromache should
be an imitable Character. The generous Affection to the Memory of her
deceased Husband, that tender Care for her Son, which is ever heightned
with the Consideration of his Father, and these Regards preserved in
spite of being tempted with the Possession of the highest Greatness, are
what cannot but be venerable even to such an Audience as at present
frequents the English Theatre. My Friend WILL HONEYCOMB commended
several tender things that were said, and told me they were very
genteel; but whisper'd me, that he feared the Piece was not busy enough
for the present Taste. To supply this, he recommended to the Players to
be very careful in their Scenes, and above all Things, that every Part
should be perfectly new dressed. I was very glad to find that they did
not neglect my Friends Admonition, because there are a great many in
his Class of Criticism who may be gained by it; but indeed the Truth is,
that as to the Work it self, it is every where Nature. The Persons are
of the highest Quality in Life, even that of Princes; but their Quality
is not represented by the Poet with Direction that Guards and Waiters
should follow them in every Scene, but their Grandeur appears in
Greatness of Sentiment[s], flowing from Minds worthy their Condition.
To make a Character truly Great, this Author understands that it should
have its Foundation in superior Thoughts and Maxims of Conduct. It is
very certain, that many an honest Woman would make no Difficulty, tho
she had been the Wife of Hector, for the sake of a Kingdom, to marry the
Enemy of her Husbands Family and Country; and indeed who can deny but
she might be still an honest Woman, but no Heroine? That may be
defensible, nay laudable in one Character, which would be in the highest
Degree exceptionable in another. When Cato Uticensis killed himself,
Cottius a Roman of ordinary Quality and Character did the same thing;
upon which one said, smiling, Cottius might have lived, tho Caesar has
seized the Roman Liberty. Cottius's Condition might have been the
same, let things at the upper End of the World pass as they would. What
is further very extraordinary in this Work, is, that the Persons are all
of them laudable, and their Misfortunes arise rather from unguarded
Virtue than Propensity to Vice. The Town has an Opportunity of doing
itself Justice in supporting the Representation of Passion, Sorrow,
Indignation, even Despair itself, within the Rules of Decency, Honour
and Good-breeding; and since there is no one can flatter himself his
Life will be always fortunate, they may here see Sorrow as they would
wish to bear it whenever it arrives.


I am appointed to act a Part in the new Tragedy called The Distressed
Mother: It is the celebrated Grief of Orestes which I am to personate;
but I shall not act it as I ought, for I shall feel it too intimately
to be able to utter it. I was last Night repeating a Paragraph to my
self, which I took to be an Expression of Rage, and in the middle of
the Sentence there was a Stroke of Self-pity which quite unmanned me.
Be pleased, Sir, to print this Letter, that when I am oppressed in
this manner at such an Interval, a certain Part of the Audience may
not think I am out; and I hope with this Allowance to do it to
Satisfaction. I am, SIR,
Your most humble Servant,
George Powell.


As I was walking tother Day in the Park, I saw a Gentleman with a
very short Face; I desire to know whether it was you. Pray inform me
as soon as you can, lest I become the most heroick Hecatissa's Rival.

Your humble Servant to command,


Dear Madam,

It is not me you are in love with, for I was very ill and kept my
Chamber all that Day.

Your most humble Servant,



[Footnote 1:

[Spirat Tragicum satis, et foeliciter Audet.


[Footnote 2: This is a third blast of the Trumpet on behalf of Ambrose
Philips, who had now been adapting Racine's Andromaque.]

* * * * *

No. 291. Saturday, February 2, 1712. Addison.

Ubi plura nitent in carmine, non ego paucis
Offendor maculis, quas aut Incuria fudit,
Aut Humana parum cavit Natura.


I have now considered Milton's Paradise Lost under those four great
Heads of the Fable, the Characters, the Sentiments, and the Language;
and have shewn that he excels, in general, under each of these Heads. I
hope that I have made several Discoveries which may appear new, even to
those who are versed in Critical Learning. Were I indeed to chuse my
Readers, by whose Judgment I would stand or fall, they should not be
such as are acquainted only with the French and Italian Criticks, but
also with the Ancient and Moderns who have written in either of the
learned Languages. Above all, I would have them well versed in the Greek
and Latin Poets, without which a Man very often fancies that he
understands a Critick, when in Reality he does not comprehend his

It is in Criticism, as in all other Sciences and Speculations; one who
brings with him any implicit Notions and Observations which he has made
in his reading of the Poets, will find his own Reflections methodized
and explained, and perhaps several little Hints that had passed in his
Mind, perfected and improved in the Works of a good Critick; whereas one
who has not these previous Lights is very often an utter Stranger to
what he reads, and apt to put a wrong Interpretation upon it.

Nor is it sufficient, that a Man who sets up for a Judge in Criticism,
should have perused the Authors above mentioned, unless he has also a
clear and Logical Head. Without this Talent he is perpetually puzzled
and perplexed amidst his own Blunders, mistakes the Sense of those he
would confute, or if he chances to think right, does not know how to
convey his Thoughts to another with Clearness and Perspicuity.
Aristotle, who was the best Critick, was also one of the best Logicians
that ever appeared in the World.

Mr. Locks Essay on Human Understanding [1] would be thought a very odd
Book for a Man to make himself Master of, who would get a Reputation by
Critical Writings; though at the same time it is very certain, that an
Author who has not learned the Art of distinguishing between Words and
Things, and of ranging his Thoughts, and setting them in proper Lights,
whatever Notions he may have, will lose himself in Confusion and
Obscurity. I might further observe, that there is not a Greek or Latin
Critick who has not shewn, even in the Style of his Criticisms, that he
was a Master of all the Elegance and Delicacy of his Native Tongue.

The Truth of it is, there is nothing more absurd, than for a Man to set
up for a Critick, without a good Insight into all the Parts of Learning;
whereas many of those who have endeavoured to signalize themselves by
Works of this Nature among our English Writers, are not only defective
in the above-mentioned Particulars, but plainly discover, by the Phrases
which they make use of, and by their confused way of thinking, that they
are not acquainted with the most common and ordinary Systems of Arts and
Sciences. A few general Rules extracted out of the French Authors, [2]
with a certain Cant of Words, has sometimes set up an Illiterate heavy
Writer for a most judicious and formidable Critick.

One great Mark, by which you may discover a Critick who has neither
Taste nor Learning, is this, that he seldom ventures to praise any
Passage in an Author which has not been before received and applauded by
the Publick, and that his Criticism turns wholly upon little Faults and
Errors. This part of a Critick is so very easie to succeed in, that we
find every ordinary Reader, upon the publishing of a new Poem, has Wit
and Ill-nature enough to turn several Passages of it into Ridicule, and
very often in the right Place. This Mr. Dryden has very agreeably
remarked in those two celebrated Lines,

Errors, like Straws, upon the Surface flow;
He who would search for Pearls must dive below. [3]

A true Critick ought to dwell rather upon Excellencies than
Imperfections, to discover the concealed Beauties of a Writer, and
communicate to the World such things as are worth their Observation. The
most exquisite Words and finest Strokes of an Author are those which
very often appear the most doubtful and exceptionable to a Man who wants
a Relish for polite Learning; and they are these, which a sower
undistinguishing Critick generally attacks with the greatest Violence.
Tully observes, that it is very easie to brand or fix a Mark upon what
he calls Verbum ardens, [4] or, as it may be rendered into English, a
glowing bold Expression, and to turn it into Ridicule by a cold
ill-natured Criticism. A little Wit is equally capable of exposing a
Beauty, and of aggravating a Fault; and though such a Treatment of an
Author naturally produces Indignation in the Mind of an understanding
Reader, it has however its Effect among the Generality of those whose
Hands it falls into, the Rabble of Mankind being very apt to think that
every thing which is laughed at with any Mixture of Wit, is ridiculous
in it self.

Such a Mirth as this is always unseasonable in a Critick, as it rather
prejudices the Reader than convinces him, and is capable of making a
Beauty, as well as a Blemish, the Subject of Derision. A Man, who cannot
write with Wit on a proper Subject, is dull and stupid, but one who
shews it in an improper Place, is as impertinent and absurd. Besides, a
Man who has the Gift of Ridicule is apt to find Fault with any thing
that gives him an Opportunity of exerting his beloved Talent, and very
often censures a Passage, not because there is any Fault in it, but
because he can be merry upon it. Such kinds of Pleasantry are very
unfair and disingenuous in Works of Criticism, in which the greatest
Masters, both Ancient and Modern, have always appeared with a serious
and instructive Air.

As I intend in my next Paper to shew the Defects in Milton's Paradise
Lost, I thought fit to premise these few Particulars, to the End that
the Reader may know I enter upon it, as on a very ungrateful Work, and
that I shall just point at the Imperfections, without endeavouring to
enflame them with Ridicule. I must also observe with Longinus, [5] that
the Productions of a great Genius, with many Lapses and Inadvertencies,
are infinitely preferable to the Works of an inferior kind of Author,
which are scrupulously exact and conformable to all the Rules of correct

I shall conclude my Paper with a Story out of Boccalini [6] which
sufficiently shews us the Opinion that judicious Author entertained of
the sort of Criticks I have been here mentioning. A famous Critick, says
he, having gathered together all the Faults of an eminent Poet, made a
Present of them to Apollo, who received them very graciously, and
resolved to make the Author a suitable Return for the Trouble he had
been at in collecting them. In order to this, he set before him a Sack
of Wheat, as it had been just threshed out of the Sheaf. He then bid him
pick out the Chaff from among the Corn, and lay it aside by it self. The
Critick applied himself to the Task with great Industry and Pleasure,
and after having made the due Separation, was presented by Apollo with
the Chaff for his Pains. [7]


[Footnote 1: First published in 1690.]

[Footnote 2: Dryden accounted among critics the greatest of his age to
be Boilean and Rapin. Boileau was the great master of French criticism.
Rene Rapin, born at Tours in 1621, taught Belles Lettres with
extraordinary success among his own order of Jesuits, wrote famous
critical works, was one of the best Latin poets of his time, and died at
Paris in 1687. His Whole Critical Works were translated by Dr. Basil
Kennett in two volumes, which appeared in 1705. The preface of their
publisher said of Rapin that

he has long dictated in this part of letters. He is acknowledged as
the great arbitrator between the merits of the best writers; and
during the course of almost thirty years there have been few appeals
from his sentence.

(See also a note on p. 168, vol. i. [Footnote 3 of No. 44.]) Rene le
Bossu, the great French authority on Epic Poetry, born in 1631, was a
regular canon of St. Genevieve, and taught the Humanities in several
religious houses of his order. He died, subprior of the Abbey of St.
Jean de Cartres, in 1680. He wrote, besides his Treatise upon Epic
Poetry, a parallel between the philosophies of Aristotle and Descartes,
which appeared a few months earlier (in 1674) with less success. Another
authority was Father Bouhours, of whom see note on p. 236, vol. i.
[Footnote 4 of No. 62.] Another was Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle.
called by Voltaire the most universal genius of his age. He was born at
Rouen in 1657, looking so delicate that he was baptized in a hurry, and
at 16 was unequal to the exertion of a game at billiards, being caused
by any unusual exercise to spit blood, though he lived to the age of a
hundred, less one month and two days. He was taught by the Jesuits, went
to the bar to please his father, pleaded a cause, lost it, and gave up
the profession to devote his time wholly to literature and philosophy.
He went to Paris, wrote plays and the Dialogues of the Dead, living
then with his uncle, Thomas Corneille. A discourse on the Eclogue
prefixed to his pastoral poems made him an authority in this manner of
composition. It was translated by Motteux for addition to the English
translation of Bossu on the Epic, which had also appended to it an Essay
on Satire by another of these French critics, Andre Dacier. Dacier, born
at Castres in 1651, was educated at Saumur under Taneguy le Fevre, who
was at the same time making a scholar of his own daughter Anne. Dacier
and the young lady became warmly attached to one another, married,
united in abjuring Protestantism, and were for forty years, in the
happiest concord, man and wife and fellow-scholars. Dacier and his wife,
as well as Fontenelle, were alive when the Spectator was appearing; his
wife dying, aged 69, in 1720, the husband, aged 71, in 1722. Andre
Dacier translated and annotated the Poetics of Aristotle in 1692, and
that critical work was regarded as his best performance.]

[Footnote 3: Annus Mirabilis, st. 39.]

[Footnote 4: Ad Brutum. Orator. Towards the beginning:

Facile est enim verbum aliquod ardens (ut ita dicam) notare, idque
restinctis jam animorum incendiis, irridere.]

[Footnote 5: On the Sublime, Sec. 36.]

[Footnote 6: Trajan Boccalini, born at Rome in 1554, was a satirical
writer famous in Italy for his fine criticism and bold satire. Cardinals
Borghese and Cajetan were his patrons. His Ragguagli di Parnasso and
la Secretaria di Parnasso, in which Apollo heard the complaints of the
world, and dispensed justice in his court on Parnassus, were received
with delight. Afterwards, in his Pietra di Parangone, he satirized the
Court of Spain, and, fearing consequences, retired to Venice, where in
1613 he was attacked in his bed by four ruffians, who beat him to death
with sand-bags. Boccalini's Ragguagli di Parnasso has been translated
into English, in 1622, as News from Parnassus. Also, in 1656, as
Advertisements from Parnassus, by H. Carey, Earl of Monmouth. This
translation was reprinted in 1669 and 1674, and again in 1706 by John
Hughes, one of the contributors to the Spectator.]

[Footnote 7: To this number of the Spectator, and to several numbers
since that for January 8, in which it first appeared, is added an
advertisement that, The First and Second Volumes of the SPECTATOR in 8vo
are now ready to be delivered to the subscribers by J. Tonson, at
Shakespeare's Head, over-against Catherine Street in the Strand.]

* * * * *

No. 292. Monday, February 4, 1712.

Illam, quicquid agit, quoquo Vestigia flectit,
Componit furlim, subsequiturque decor.

Tibull. L. 4.

As no one can be said to enjoy Health, who is only not sick, without he
feel within himself a lightsome and invigorating Principle, which will
not suffer him to remain idle, but still spurs him on to Action: so in
the Practice of every Virtue, there is some additional Grace required,
to give a Claim of excelling in this or that particular Action. A
Diamond may want polishing, though the Value be still intrinsically the
same; and the same Good may be done with different Degrees of Lustre. No
man should be contented with himself that he barely does well, but he
should perform every thing in the best and most becoming Manner that he
is able.

Tully tells us he wrote his Book of Offices, because there was no Time
of Life in which some correspondent Duty might not be practised; nor is
there a Duty without a certain Decency accompanying it, by which every
Virtue tis join'd to will seem to be doubled. Another may do the same
thing, and yet the Action want that Air and Beauty which distinguish it
from others; like that inimitable Sun-shine Titian is said to have
diffused over his Landschapes; which denotes them his, and has been
always unequalled by any other Person.

There is no one Action in which this Quality I am speaking of will be
more sensibly perceived, than in granting a Request or doing an Office
of Kindness. Mummius, by his Way of consenting to a Benefaction, shall
make it lose its Name; while Carus doubles the Kindness and the
Obligation: From the first the desired Request drops indeed at last, but
from so doubtful a Brow, that the Obliged has almost as much Reason to
resent the Manner of bestowing it, as to be thankful for the Favour it
self. Carus invites with a pleasing Air, to give him an Opportunity of
doing an Act of Humanity, meets the Petition half Way, and consents to a
Request with a Countenance which proclaims the Satisfaction of his Mind
in assisting the Distressed.

The Decency then that is to be observed in Liberality, seems to consist
in its being performed with such Cheerfulness, as may express the
God-like Pleasure is to be met with in obliging ones Fellow-Creatures;
that may shew Good-nature and Benevolence overflowed, and do not, as in
some Men, run upon the Tilt, and taste of the Sediments of a grutching
uncommunicative Disposition.

Since I have intimated that the greatest Decorum is to be preserved in
the bestowing our good Offices, I will illustrate it a little by an
Example drawn from private Life, which carries with it such a Profusion
of Liberality, that it can be exceeded by nothing but the Humanity and
Good-nature which accompanies it. It is a Letter of Pliny's[1] which I
shall here translate, because the Action will best appear in its first
Dress of Thought, without any foreign or ambitious Ornaments.


Tho I am fully acquainted with the Contentment and just Moderation of
your Mind, and the Conformity the Education you have given your
Daughter bears to your own Character; yet since she is suddenly to be
married to a Person of Distinction, whose Figure in the World makes it
necessary for her to be at a more than ordinary Expence in Cloaths and
Equipage suitable to her Husbands Quality; by which, tho her
intrinsick Worth be not augmented, yet will it receive both Ornament
and Lustre: And knowing your Estate to be as moderate as the Riches of
your Mind are abundant, I must challenge to my self some part of the
Burthen; and as a Parent of your Child. I present her with Twelve
hundred and fifty Crowns towards these Expences; which Sum had been
much larger, had I not feared the Smallness of it would be the
greatest Inducement with you to accept of it. Farewell.

Thus should a Benefaction be done with a good Grace, and shine in the
strongest Point of Light; it should not only answer all the Hopes and
Exigencies of the Receiver, but even out-run his Wishes: Tis this happy
manner of Behaviour which adds new Charms to it, and softens those Gifts
of Art and Nature, which otherwise would be rather distasteful than
agreeable. Without it, Valour would degenerate into Brutality, Learning
into Pedantry, and the genteelest Demeanour into Affectation. Even
Religion its self, unless Decency be the Handmaid which waits upon her,
is apt to make People appear guilty of Sourness and ill Humour: But this
shews Virtue in her first original Form, adds a Comeliness to Religion,
and gives its Professors the justest Title to the Beauty of Holiness. A
Man fully instructed in this Art, may assume a thousand Shapes, and
please in all: He may do a thousand Actions shall become none other but
himself; not that the Things themselves are different, but the Manner of
doing them.

If you examine each Feature by its self, Aglaura and Callidea are
equally handsome; but take them in the Whole, and you cannot suffer the
Comparison: Tho one is full of numberless nameless Graces, the other of
as many nameless Faults.

The Comeliness of Person, and Decency of Behaviour, add infinite Weight
to what is pronounced by any one. Tis the want of this that often makes
the Rebukes and Advice of old rigid Persons of no Effect, and leave a
Displeasure in the Minds of those they are directed to: But Youth and
Beauty, if accompanied with a graceful and becoming Severity, is of
mighty Force to raise, even in the most Profligate, a Sense of Shame. In
Milton, the Devil is never described ashamed but once, and that at the
Rebuke of a beauteous Angel.

So spake the Cherub, and his grave Rebuke,
Severe in youthful Beauty, added Grace
Invincible: Abash'd the Devil stood,
And felt how awful Goodness is, and saw
Virtue in her own Shape how lovely I saw, and pin'd
His Loss. [2]

The Care of doing nothing unbecoming has accompanied the greatest Minds
to their last Moments. They avoided even an indecent Posture in the very
Article of Death. Thus Caesar gathered his Robe about him, that he might
not fall in a manner unbecoming of himself: and the greatest Concern
that appeared in the Behaviour of Lucretia, when she stabbed her self,
was, that her Body should lie in an Attitude worthy the Mind which had
inhabited it.

Ne non procumbat honeste
Extrema haec etiam cura, cadentis erat. [3]

Twas her last Thought, How decently to fall.

I am a young Woman without a Fortune; but of a very high Mind: That
is, Good Sir, I am to the last degree Proud and Vain. I am ever
railing at the Rich, for doing Things, which, upon Search into my
Heart, I find I am only angry because I cannot do the same my self. I
wear the hooped Petticoat, and am all in Callicoes when the finest are
in Silks. It is a dreadful thing to be poor and proud; therefore if
you please, a Lecture on that Subject for the Satisfaction of
Your Uneasy Humble Servant,


[Footnote 1: Bk. vi. ep. 32.]

[Footnote 2: Par. L., Bk. iv. 11. 844-9.]

[Footnote 3: Ovid. Fast., iii. 833.]

* * * * *

No. 293.] Tuesday, February 5, 1712. [Addison.

[Greek: Pasin gar euphronousi summachei tuchae.]

The famous Gratian [1] in his little Book wherein he lays down Maxims
for a Man's advancing himself at Court, advises his Reader to associate
himself with the Fortunate, and to shun the Company of the Unfortunate;
which, notwithstanding the Baseness of the Precept to an honest Mind,
may have something useful in it for those who push their Interest in the
World. It is certain a great Part of what we call good or ill Fortune,
rises out of right or wrong Measures, and Schemes of Life. When I hear a
Man complain of his being unfortunate in all his Undertakings, I
shrewdly suspect him for a very weak Man in his Affairs. In Conformity
with this way of thinking, Cardinal Richelieu used to say, that
Unfortunate and Imprudent were but two Words for the same Thing. As the
Cardinal himself had a great Share both of Prudence and Good-Fortune,
his famous Antagonist, the Count d'Olivarez, was disgraced at the Court
of Madrid, because it was alledged against him that he had never any
Success in his Undertakings. This, says an Eminent Author, was
indirectly accusing him of Imprudence.

Cicero recommended Pompey to the Romans for their General upon three
Accounts, as he was a Man of Courage, Conduct, and Good-Fortune. It was
perhaps, for the Reason above-mentioned, namely, that a Series of
Good-Fortune supposes a prudent Management in the Person whom it
befalls, that not only Sylla the Dictator, but several of the Roman
Emperors, as is still to be seen upon their Medals, among their other
Titles, gave themselves that of Felix or Fortunate. The Heathens,
indeed, seem to have valued a Man more for his Good-Fortune than for any
other Quality, which I think is very natural for those who have not a
strong Belief of another World. For how can I conceive a Man crowned
with many distinguishing Blessings, that has not some extraordinary Fund
of Merit and Perfection in him, which lies open to the Supreme Eye, tho
perhaps it is not discovered by my Observation? What is the Reason
Homers and Virgil's Heroes do not form a Resolution, or strike a Blow,
without the Conduct and Direction of some Deity? Doubtless, because the
Poets esteemed it the greatest Honour to be favoured by the Gods, and
thought the best Way of praising a Man was to recount those Favours
which naturally implied an extraordinary Merit in the Person on whom
they descended.

Those who believe a future State of Rewards and Punishments act very
absurdly, if they form their Opinions of a Man's Merit from his
Successes. But certainly, if I thought the whole Circle of our Being was
concluded between our Births and Deaths, I should think a Man's
Good-Fortune the Measure and Standard of his real Merit, since
Providence would have no Opportunity of rewarding his Virtue and
Perfections, but in the present Life. A Virtuous Unbeliever, who lies
under the Pressure of Misfortunes, has reason to cry out, as they say
Brutus did a little before his Death, O Virtue, I have worshipped thee
as a Substantial Good, but I find thou art an empty Name.

But to return to our first Point. Tho Prudence does undoubtedly in a
great measure produce our good or ill Fortune in the World, it is
certain there are many unforeseen Accidents and Occurrences, which very
often pervert the finest Schemes that can be laid by Human Wisdom. The
Race is not always to the Swift, nor the Battle to the Strong. Nothing
less than infinite Wisdom can have an absolute Command over Fortune; the
highest Degree of it which Man can possess, is by no means equal to
fortuitous Events, and to such Contingencies as may rise in the
Prosecution of our Affairs. Nay, it very often happens, that Prudence,
which has always in it a great Mixture of Caution, hinders a Man from
being so fortunate as he might possibly have been without it. A Person
who only aims at what is likely to succeed, and follows closely the
Dictates of Human Prudence, never meets with those great and unforeseen
Successes, which are often the effect of a Sanguine Temper, or a more
happy Rashness; and this perhaps may be the Reason, that according to
the common Observation, Fortune, like other Females, delights rather in
favouring the young than the old.

Upon the whole, since Man is so short-sighted a Creature, and the
Accidents which may happen to him so various, I cannot but be of Dr.
Tillotson's Opinion in another Case, that were there any Doubt of a
Providence, yet it certainly would be very desirable there should be
such a Being of infinite Wisdom and Goodness, on whose Direction we
might rely in the Conduct of Human Life.

It is a great Presumption to ascribe our Successes to our own
Management, and not to esteem our selves upon any Blessing, rather as it
is the Bounty of Heaven, than the Acquisition of our own Prudence. I am
very well pleased with a Medal which was struck by Queen Elizabeth, a
little after the Defeat of the Invincible Armada, to perpetuate the
Memory of that extraordinary Event. It is well known how the King of
Spain, and others, who were the Enemies of that great Princess, to
derogate from her Glory, ascribed the Ruin of their Fleet rather to the
Violence of Storms and Tempests, than to the Bravery of the English.
Queen Elizabeth, instead of looking upon this as a Diminution of her
Honour, valued herself upon such a signal Favour of Providence, and
accordingly in [2] the Reverse of the Medal above mentioned, [has
represented] a Fleet beaten by a Tempest, and falling foul upon one
another, with that Religious Inscription, Afflavit Deus et dissipantur.
He blew with his Wind, and they were scattered.

It is remarked of a famous Grecian General, whose Name I cannot at
present recollect [3], and who had been a particular Favourite of
Fortune, that upon recounting his Victories among his Friends, he added
at the End of several great Actions, And in this Fortune had no Share.
After which it is observed in History, that he never prospered in any
thing he undertook.

As Arrogance, and a Conceitedness of our own Abilities, are very
shocking and offensive to Men of Sense and Virtue, we may be sure they
are highly displeasing to that Being who delights in an humble Mind, and
by several of his Dispensations seems purposely to shew us, that our own
Schemes or Prudence have no Share in our Advancement[s].

Since on this Subject I have already admitted several Quotations which
have occurred to my Memory upon writing this Paper, I will conclude it
with a little Persian Fable. A Drop of Water fell out of a Cloud into
the Sea, and finding it self lost in such an Immensity of fluid Matter,
broke out into the following Reflection: Alas! What an [insignificant
[4]] Creature am I in this prodigious Ocean of Waters; my Existence is
of no [Concern [5]] to the Universe, I am reduced to a Kind of
Nothing, and am less then the least of the Works of God. It so
happened, that an Oyster, which lay in the Neighbourhood of this Drop,
chanced to gape and swallow it up in the midst of this [its [6]] humble
Soliloquy. The Drop, says the Fable, lay a great while hardning in the
Shell, till by Degrees it was ripen'd into a Pearl, which falling into
the Hands of a Diver, after a long Series of Adventures, is at present
that famous Pearl which is fixed on the Top of the Persian Diadem.


[Footnote 1: Balthasar Gracian, a Spanish Jesuit, who died in 1658,
rector of the Jesuits College of Tarragona, wrote many books in Spanish
on Politics and Society, among others the one here referred to on the
Courtier; which was known to Addison, doubtless, through the French
translation by Amelot de la Houssaye.]

[Footnote 2: Corrected by an erratum to [you see in], but in reprint
altered by the addition of [has represented].

[Footnote 3: Timotheus the Athenian.]

[Footnote 4: Altered by an erratum to [inconsiderable] to avoid the
repetition insignificant, and insignificancy; but in the reprint the
second word was changed.]

[Footnote 5: [significancy]]

[Footnote 6: [his]]

* * * * *

No. 294. Wednesday, February 6, 1712. Steele.

Difficile est plurimum virtutem revereri qui semper secunda fortuna
sit usus.

Tull. ad Herennium.

Insolence is the Crime of all others which every Man is most apt to rail
at; and yet is there one Respect in which almost all Men living are
guilty of it, and that is in the Case of laying a greater Value upon the
Gifts of Fortune than we ought. It is here in England come into our very
Language, as a Propriety of Distinction, to say, when we would speak of
Persons to their Advantage, they are People of Condition. There is no
doubt but the proper Use of Riches implies that a Man should exert all
the good Qualities imaginable; and if we mean by a Man of Condition or
Quality, one who, according to the Wealth he is Master of, shews himself
just, beneficent, and charitable, that Term ought very deservedly to be
had in the highest Veneration; but when Wealth is used only as it is the
Support of Pomp and Luxury, to be rich is very far from being a
Recommendation to Honour and Respect. It is indeed the greatest
Insolence imaginable, in a Creature who would feel the Extreams of
Thirst and Hunger, if he did not prevent his Appetites before they call
upon him, to be so forgetful of the common Necessity of Human Nature, as
never to cast an Eye upon the Poor and Needy. The Fellow who escaped
from a Ship which struck upon a Rock in the West, and join'd with the
Country People to destroy his Brother Sailors and make her a Wreck, was
thought a most execrable Creature; but does not every Man who enjoys the
Possession of what he naturally wants, and is unmindful of the
unsupplied Distress of other Men, betray the same Temper of Mind? When a
Man looks about him, and with regard to Riches and Poverty beholds some
drawn in Pomp and Equipage, and they and their very Servants with an Air
of Scorn and Triumph overlooking the Multitude that pass by them; and,
in the same Street, a Creature of the same Make crying out in the Name
of all that is Good and Sacred to behold his Misery, and give him some
Supply against Hunger and Nakedness, who would believe these two Beings
were of the same Species? But so it is, that the Consideration of
Fortune has taken up all our Minds, and, as I have often complained,
Poverty and Riches stand in our Imaginations in the Places of Guilt and
Innocence. But in all Seasons there will be some Instances of Persons
who have Souls too large to be taken with popular Prejudices, and while
the rest of Mankind are contending for Superiority in Power and Wealth,
have their Thoughts bent upon the Necessities of those below them. The
Charity-Schools which have been erected of late Years, are the greatest
Instances of publick Spirit the Age has produced: But indeed when we
consider how long this Sort of Beneficence has been on Foot, it is
rather from the good Management of those Institutions, than from the
Number or Value of the Benefactions to them, that they make so great a
Figure. One would think it impossible, that in the Space of fourteen
Years there should not have been five thousand Pounds bestowed in Gifts
this Way, nor sixteen hundred Children, including Males and Females, put
out to Methods of Industry. It is not allowed me to speak of Luxury and
Folly with the severe Spirit they deserve; I shall only therefore say, I
shall very readily compound with any Lady in a Hoop-Petticoat, if she
gives the Price of one half Yard of the Silk towards Cloathing, Feeding
and Instructing an Innocent helpless Creature of her own Sex in one of
these Schools. The Consciousness of such an Action will give her
Features a nobler Life on this illustrious Day, [1] than all the Jewels
that can hang in her Hair, or can be clustered at her Bosom. It would be
uncourtly to speak in harsher Words to the Fair, but to Men one may take
a little more Freedom. It is monstrous how a Man can live with so little
Reflection, as to fancy he is not in a Condition very unjust and
disproportioned to the rest of Mankind, while he enjoys Wealth, and
exerts no Benevolence or Bounty to others. As for this particular
Occasion of these Schools, there cannot any offer more worthy a generous
Mind. Would you do an handsome thing without Return? do it for an Infant
that is not sensible of the Obligation: Would you do it for publick
Good? do it for one who will be an honest Artificer: Would you do it for
the Sake of Heaven? give it to one who shall be instructed in the
Worship of him for whose Sake you gave it. It is methinks a most
laudable Institution this, if it were of no other Expectation than that
of producing a Race of good and useful Servants, who will have more than
a liberal, a religious Education. What would not a Man do, in common
Prudence, to lay out in Purchase of one about him, who would add to all
his Orders he gave the Weight of the Commandments to inforce an
Obedience to them? for one who would consider his Master as his Father,
his Friend, and Benefactor, upon the easy Terms, and in Expectation of
no other Return but moderate Wages and gentle Usage? It is the common
Vice of Children to run too much among the Servants; from such as are
educated in these Places they would see nothing but Lowliness in the
Servant, which would not be disingenuous in the Child. All the ill
Offices and defamatory Whispers which take their Birth from Domesticks,
would be prevented, if this Charity could be made universal; and a good
Man might have a Knowledge of the whole Life of the Persons he designs
to take into his House for his own Service, or that of his Family or
Children, long before they were admitted. This would create endearing
Dependencies: and the Obligation would have a paternal Air in the
Master, who would be relieved from much Care and Anxiety from the
Gratitude and Diligence of an humble Friend attending him as his
Servant. I fall into this Discourse from a Letter sent to me, to give me
Notice that Fifty Boys would be Cloathed, and take their Seats (at the
Charge of some generous Benefactors) in St. Brides Church on Sunday
next. I wish I could promise to my self any thing which my Correspondent
seems to expect from a Publication of it in this Paper; for there can be
nothing added to what so many excellent and learned Men have said on
this Occasion: But that there may be something here which would move a
generous Mind, like that of him who writ to me, I shall transcribe an
handsome Paragraph of Dr. Snape's Sermon on these Charities, which my
Correspondent enclosed with this Letter.

The wise Providence has amply compensated the Disadvantages of the
Poor and Indigent, in wanting many of the Conveniencies of this Life,
by a more abundant Provision for their Happiness in the next. Had they
been higher born, or more richly endowed, they would have wanted this
Manner of Education, of which those only enjoy the Benefit, who are
low enough to submit to it; where they have such Advantages without
Money, and without Price, as the Rich cannot purchase with it. The
Learning which is given, is generally more edifying to them, than that
which is sold to others: Thus do they become more exalted in Goodness,
by being depressed in Fortune, and their Poverty is, in Reality, their
Preferment. [2]


[Footnote 1: Queen Anne's birthday. She was born Feb. 6, 1665, and died
Aug. 1, 1714, aged 49.]

[Footnote 2: From January 24 there occasionally appears the

Just Published.

A very neat Pocket Edition of the SPECTATOR, in two volumes 12mo.
Printed for S. Buckley, at the Dolphin, in Little Britain, and J.
Tonson, at Shakespear's Head, over-against Catherine-Street in the

* * * * *

No. 295. Thursday, February 7, 1712. Addison.

Prodiga non sentit pereuntem faemina censum:
At velut exhausta redivivus pullulet arca
Nummus, et e pleno semper tollatur acervo,
Non unquam reputat quanti sibi gandia constent.



I am turned of my great Climacteric, and am naturally a Man of a meek
Temper. About a dozen Years ago I was married, for my Sins, to a young
Woman of a good Family, and of an high Spirit; but could not bring her
to close with me, before I had entered into a Treaty with her longer
than that of the Grand Alliance. Among other Articles, it was therein
stipulated, that she should have L400 a Year for Pin-money, which I
obliged my self to pay Quarterly into the hands of one who had acted
as her Plenipotentiary in that Affair. I have ever since religiously
observed my part in this solemn Agreement. Now, Sir, so it is, that
the Lady has had several Children since I married her; to which, if I
should credit our malicious Neighbours, her Pin-money has not a little
contributed. The Education of these my Children, who, contrary to my
Expectation, are born to me every Year, streightens me so much, that I
have begged their Mother to free me from the Obligation of the
above-mentioned Pin-money, that it may go towards making a Provision
for her Family. This Proposal makes her noble Blood swell in her
Veins, insomuch that finding me a little tardy in her last Quarters
Payment, she threatens me every Day to arrest me; and proceeds so far
as to tell me, that if I do not do her Justice, I shall die in a Jayl.
To this she adds, when her Passion will let her argue calmly, that she
has several Play-Debts on her Hand, which must be discharged very
suddenly, and that she cannot lose her Money as becomes a Woman of her
Fashion, if she makes me any Abatements in this Article. I hope, Sir,
you will take an Occasion from hence to give your Opinion upon a
Subject which you have not yet touched, and inform us if there are any
Precedents for this Usage among our Ancestors; or whether you find any
mention of Pin-money in Grotius, Puffendorf, or any other of the

I am ever
the humblest of your Admirers,
Josiah Fribble, Esq.

As there is no Man living who is a more professed Advocate for the Fair
Sex than my self, so there is none that would be more unwilling to
invade any of their ancient Rights and Privileges; but as the Doctrine
of Pin-money is of a very late Date, unknown to our Great Grandmothers,
and not yet received by many of our Modern Ladies, I think it is for the
Interest of both Sexes to keep it from spreading.

Mr. Fribble may not, perhaps, be much mistaken where he intimates, that
the supplying a Man's Wife with Pin-money, is furnishing her with Arms
against himself, and in a manner becoming accessary to his own
Dishonour. We may indeed, generally observe, that in proportion as a
Woman is more or less Beautiful, and her Husband advanced in Years, she
stands in need of a greater or less number of Pins, and upon a Treaty of
Marriage, rises or falls in her Demands accordingly. It must likewise be
owned, that high Quality in a Mistress does very much inflame this
Article in the Marriage Reckoning.

But where the Age and Circumstances of both Parties are pretty much upon
a level, I cannot but think the insisting upon Pin-money is very
extraordinary; and yet we find several Matches broken off upon this very
Head. What would a Foreigner, or one who is a Stranger to this Practice,
think of a Lover that forsakes his Mistress, because he is not willing
to keep her in Pins; but what would he think of the Mistress, should he
be informed that she asks five or six hundred Pounds a Year for this
use? Should a Man unacquainted with our Customs be told the Sums which
are allowed in Great Britain, under the Title of Pin-money, what a
prodigious Consumption of Pins would he think there was in this Island?
A Pin a Day, says our frugal Proverb, is a Groat a Year, so that
according to this Calculation, my Friend Fribbles Wife must every Year
make use of Eight Millions six hundred and forty thousand new Pins.

I am not ignorant that our British Ladies allege they comprehend under
this general Term several other Conveniencies of Life; I could therefore
wish, for the Honour of my Countrywomen, that they had rather called it
Needle-Money, which might have implied something of Good-housewifry, and
not have given the malicious World occasion to think, that Dress and
Trifles have always the uppermost Place in a Woman's Thoughts.

I know several of my fair Reasoners urge, in defence of this Practice,
that it is but a necessary Provision they make for themselves, in case
their Husband proves a Churl or a Miser; so that they consider this
Allowance as a kind of Alimony, which they may lay their Claim to,
without actually separating from their Husbands. But with Submission, I
think a Woman who will give up her self to a Man in Marriage, where
there is the least Room for such an Apprehension, and trust her Person
to one whom she will not rely on for the common Necessaries of Life, may
very properly be accused (in the Phrase of an homely Proverb) of being
Penny wise and Pound foolish.

It is observed of over-cautious Generals, that they never engage in a
Battel without securing a Retreat, in case the Event should not answer
their Expectations; on the other hand, the greatest Conquerors have
burnt their Ships, or broke down the Bridges behind them, as being
determined either to succeed or die in the Engagement. In the same
manner I should very much suspect a Woman who takes such Precautions for
her Retreat, and contrives Methods how she may live happily, without the
Affection of one to whom she joins herself for Life. Separate Purses
between Man and Wife are, in my Opinion, as unnatural as separate Beds.
A Marriage cannot be happy, where the Pleasures, Inclinations, and
Interests of both Parties are not the same. There is no greater
Incitement to Love in the Mind of Man, than the Sense of a Persons
depending upon him for her Ease and Happiness; as a Woman uses all her
Endeavours to please the Person whom she looks upon as her Honour, her
Comfort, and her Support.

For this Reason I am not very much surprized at the Behaviour of a rough
Country Squire, who, being not a little shocked at the Proceeding of a
young Widow that would not recede from her Demands of Pin-money, was so
enraged at her mercenary Temper, that he told her in great Wrath, As
much as she thought him her Slave, he would shew all the World he did
not care a Pin for her. Upon which he flew out of the Room, and never
saw her more.

Socrates, in Plato's Altibiades, says, he was informed by one, who had
travelled through Persia, that as he passed over a great Tract of Lands,
and enquired what the Name of the Place was, they told him it was the
Queens Girdle; to which he adds, that another wide Field which lay by
it, was called the Queens Veil; and that in the same Manner there was a
large Portion of Ground set aside for every part of Her Majesty's
Dress. These Lands might not be improperly called the Queen of Persia's

I remember my Friend Sir ROGER, who I dare say never read this Passage
in Plato, told me some time since, that upon his courting the Perverse
Widow (of whom I have given an Account in former Papers) he had disposed
of an hundred Acres in a Diamond-Ring, which he would have presented her
with, had she thought fit to accept it; and that upon her Wedding-Day
she should have carried on her Head fifty of the tallest Oaks upon his
Estate. He further informed me that he would have given her a Cole-pit
to keep her in clean Linnen, that he would have allowed her the Profits
of a Windmill for her Fans, and have presented her once in three Years
with the Sheering of his Sheep [for her [1]] Under-Petticoats. To which
the Knight always adds, that though he did not care for fine Cloaths
himself, there should not have been a Woman in the Country better
dressed than my Lady Coverley. Sir ROGER perhaps, may in this, as well
as in many other of his Devices, appear something odd and singular, but
if the Humour of Pin-money prevails, I think it would be very proper for
every Gentleman of an Estate to mark out so many Acres of it under the
Title of The Pins.


[Footnote 1: [to keep her in]]

* * * * *

No. 296. Friday, February 8, 1712. Steele.

Nugis addere pondus.


Dear SPEC.

Having lately conversed much with the Fair Sex on the Subject of your
Speculations, (which since their Appearance in Publick, have been the
chief Exercise of the Female loquacious Faculty) I found the fair Ones
possess'd with a Dissatisfaction at your prefixing Greek Mottos to
the Frontispiece of your late Papers; and, as a Man of Gallantry, I
thought it a Duty incumbent on me to impart it to you, in Hopes of a
Reformation, which is only to be effected by a Restoration of the
Latin to the usual Dignity in your Papers, which of late, the Greek,
to the great Displeasure of your Female Readers, has usurp'd; for tho
the Latin has the Recommendation of being as unintelligible to them as
the Greek, yet being written of the same Character with their
Mother-Tongue, by the Assistance of a Spelling-Book its legible;
which Quality the Greek wants: And since the Introduction of Operas
into this Nation, the Ladies are so charmed with Sounds abstracted
from their Ideas, that they adore and honour the Sound of Latin as it
is old Italian. I am a Sollicitor for the Fair Sex, and therefore
think my self in that Character more likely to be prevalent in this
Request, than if I should subscribe myself by my proper Name.

I desire you may insert this in one of your Speculations, to shew my
Zeal for removing the Dissatisfaction of the Fair Sex, and restoring
you to their Favour.


I was some time since in Company with a young Officer, who entertained
us with the Conquest he had made over a Female Neighbour of his; when
a Gentleman who stood by, as I suppose, envying the Captains good
Fortune, asked him what Reason he had to believe the Lady admired him?
Why, says he, my Lodgings are opposite to hers, and she is continually
at her Window either at Work, Reading, taking Snuff, or putting her
self in some toying Posture on purpose to draw my Eyes that Way. The
Confession of this vain Soldier made me reflect on some of my own
Actions; for you must know, Sir, I am often at a Window which fronts
the Apartments of several Gentlemen, who I doubt not have the same
Opinion of me. I must own I love to look at them all, one for being
well dressed, a second for his fine Eye, and one particular one,
because he is the least Man I ever saw; but there is something so
easie and pleasant in the Manner of my little Man, that I observe he
is a Favourite of all his Acquaintance. I could go on to tell you of
many others that I believe think I have encouraged them from my
Window: But pray let me have your Opinion of the Use of the Window in
a beautiful Lady: and how often she may look out at the same Man,
without being supposed to have a Mind to jump out to him. Yours,
Aurelia Careless.



I have for some Time made Love to a Lady, who received it with all
the kind Returns I ought to expect. But without any Provocation, that
I know of, she has of late shunned me with the utmost Abhorrence,
insomuch that she went out of Church last Sunday in the midst of
Divine Service, upon my coming into the same Pew. Pray, Sir, what must
I do in this Business?
Your Servant,

Let her alone Ten Days.

York, Jan. 20, 1711-12.


We have in this Town a sort of People who pretend to Wit and write
Lampoons: I have lately been the Subject of one of them. The Scribler
had not Genius enough in Verse to turn my Age, as indeed I am an old
Maid, into Raillery, for affecting a youthier Turn than is consistent
with my Time of Day; and therefore he makes the Title to his Madrigal,
The Character of Mrs. Judith Lovebane, born in the Year [1680. [1]]
What I desire of you is, That you disallow that a Coxcomb who pretends
to write Verse, should put the most malicious Thing he can say in
Prose. This I humbly conceive will disable our Country Wits, who
indeed take a great deal of Pains to say any thing in Rhyme, tho they
say it very ill.
I am, SIR,
Your Humble Servant,
Susanna Lovebane.

We are several of us, Gentlemen and Ladies, who Board in the same
House, and after Dinner one of our Company (an agreeable Man enough
otherwise) stands up and reads your Paper to us all. We are the
civillest People in the World to one another, and therefore I am
forced to this way of desiring our Reader, when he is doing this
Office, not to stand afore the Fire. This will be a general Good to
our Family this cold Weather. He will, I know, take it to be our
common Request when he comes to these Words, Pray, Sir, sit down;
which I desire you to insert, and you will particularly oblige
Your Daily Reader,
Charity Frost.


I am a great Lover of Dancing, but cannot perform so well as some
others; however, by my Out-of-the-Way Capers, and some original
Grimaces, I don't fail to divert the Company, particularly the Ladies,
who laugh immoderately all the Time. Some, who pretend to be my
Friends, tell me they do it in Derision, and would advise me to leave
it off, withal that I make my self ridiculous. I don't know what to do
in this Affair, but I am resolved not to give over upon any
Account, till I have the Opinion of the SPECTATOR.
Your humble Servant,
John Trott.

If Mr. Trott is not awkward out of Time, he has a Right to Dance let who
will Laugh: But if he has no Ear he will interrupt others; and I am of
Opinion he should sit still.

Given under my Hand this Fifth of February, 1711-12.



[Footnote 1: 1750]

* * * * *

No. 297. Saturday, February 9, 1712. Addison

--velut si
Egregio inspersos reprendas corpore naevos.


After what I have said in my last Saturdays Paper, I shall enter on the
Subject of this without further Preface, and remark the several Defects
which appear in the Fable, the Characters, the Sentiments, and the
Language of Milton's Paradise Lost; not doubting but the Reader will
pardon me, if I alledge at the same time whatever may be said for the
Extenuation of such Defects. The first Imperfection which I shall
observe in the Fable is that the Event of it is unhappy.

The Fable of every Poem is, according to Aristotle's Division, either
Simple or Implex [1]. It is called Simple when there is no change of
Fortune in it: Implex, when the Fortune of the chief Actor changes from
Bad to Good, or from Good to Bad. The Implex Fable is thought the most
perfect; I suppose, because it is more proper to stir up the Passions of
the Reader, and to surprize him with a greater Variety of Accidents.

The Implex Fable is therefore of two kinds: In the first the chief Actor
makes his Way through a long Series of Dangers and Difficulties, till he
arrives at Honour and Prosperity, as we see in the [Story of Ulysses.
[2]] In the second, the chief Actor in the Poem falls from some eminent
Pitch of Honour and Prosperity, into Misery and Disgrace. Thus we see
Adam and Eve sinking from a State of Innocence and Happiness, into the
most abject Condition of Sin and Sorrow.

The most taking Tragedies among the Ancients were built on this last
sort of Implex Fable, particularly the Tragedy of Oedipus, which
proceeds upon a Story, if we may believe Aristotle, the most proper for
Tragedy that could be invented by the Wit of Man. [3] I have taken some
Pains in a former Paper to shew, that this kind of Implex Fable, wherein
the Event is unhappy, is more apt to affect an Audience than that of the
first kind; notwithstanding many excellent Pieces among the Ancients, as
well as most of those which have been written of late Years in our own
Country, are raised upon contrary Plans. I must however own, that I
think this kind of Fable, which is the most perfect in Tragedy, is not
so proper for an Heroic Poem.

Milton seems to have been sensible of this Imperfection in his Fable,
and has therefore endeavoured to cure it by several Expedients;
particularly by the Mortification which the great Adversary of Mankind
meets with upon his Return to the Assembly of Infernal Spirits, as it is
described in [a, [4]] beautiful Passage of the Tenth Book; and likewise
by the Vision wherein Adam at the close of the Poem sees his Off-spring
triumphing over his great Enemy, and himself restored to a happier
Paradise than that from which he fell.

There is another Objection against Milton's Fable, which is indeed
almost the same with the former, tho placed in a different Light,
namely, That the Hero in the Paradise Lost is unsuccessful, and by no
means a Match for his Enemies. This gave Occasion to Mr. Dryden's
Reflection, that the Devil was in reality Milton's Hero. [5]

I think I have obviated this Objection in my first Paper. The Paradise
Lost is an Epic [or a] Narrative Poem, [and] he that looks for an Hero
in it, searches for that which Milton never intended; [but [6]] if he
will needs fix the Name of an Hero upon any Person in it, tis certainly
the Messiah who is the Hero, both in the Principal Action, and in the
[chief Episodes.] [7] Paganism could not furnish out a real Action for a
Fable greater than that of the Iliad or AEneid, and therefore an Heathen
could not form a higher Notion of a Poem than one of that kind, which
they call an Heroic. Whether Milton's is not of a [sublimer [8]] Nature
I will not presume to determine: It is sufficient that I shew there is
in the Paradise Lost all the Greatness of Plan, Regularity of Design,
and masterly Beauties which we discover in Homer and Virgil.

I must in the next Place observe, that Milton has interwoven in the
Texture of his Fable some Particulars which do not seem to have
Probability enough for an Epic Poem, particularly in the Actions which
he ascribes to Sin and Death, and the Picture which he draws of the
Limbo of Vanity, with other Passages in the second Book. Such Allegories
rather savour of the Spirit of Spenser and Ariosto, than of Homer and

In the Structure of his Poem he has likewise admitted of too many
Digressions. It is finely observed by Aristotle, that the Author of an
Heroic Poem should seldom speak himself, but throw as much of his Work
as he can into the Mouths of those who are his Principal Actors. [9]

Aristotle has given no reason for this Precept; but I presume it is
because the Mind of the Reader is more awed and elevated when he hears
AEneas or Achilles speak, than when Virgil or Homer talk in their own
Persons. Besides that assuming the Character of an eminent Man is apt to
fire the Imagination, and raise the Ideas of the Author. Tully tells us
[10], mentioning his Dialogue of Old Age, in which Cato is the chief
Speaker, that upon a Review of it he was agreeably imposed upon, and
fancied that it was Cato, and not he himself, who uttered his Thoughts
on that Subject.

If the Reader would be at the Pains to see how the Story of the Iliad
and the AEneid is delivered by those Persons who act in it, he will be
surprized to find how little in either of these Poems proceeds from the
Authors. Milton has, in the general disposition of his Fable, very
finely observed this great Rule; insomuch that there is scarce a third
Part of it which comes from the Poet; the rest is spoken either by Adam
and Eve, or by some Good or Evil Spirit who is engaged either in their
Destruction or Defence.

From what has been here observed it appears, that Digressions are by no
means to be allowed of in an Epic Poem. If the Poet, even in the
ordinary course of his Narration, should speak as little as possible, he
should certainly never let his Narration sleep for the sake of any
Reflections of his own. I have often observed, with a secret Admiration,
that the longest Reflection in the AEneid is in that Passage of the
Tenth Book, where Turnus is represented as dressing himself in the
Spoils of Pallas, whom he had slain. Virgil here lets his Fable stand
still for the-sake of the following Remark. How is the Mind of Man
ignorant of Futurity, and unable to bear prosperous Fortune with
Moderation? The Time will come when Turnus shall wish that he had left
the Body of Pallas untouched, and curse the Day on which he dressed
himself in these Spoils. As the great Event of the AEneid, and the Death
of Turnus, whom AEneas slew because he saw him adorned with the Spoils of
Pallas, turns upon this Incident, Virgil went out of his way to make
this Reflection upon it, without which so small a Circumstance might
possibly have slipped out of his Readers Memory. Lucan, who was an
Injudicious Poet, lets drop his Story very frequently for the sake of
his unnecessary Digressions, or his Diverticula, as Scaliger calls them.
[11] If he gives us an Account of the Prodigies which preceded the Civil
War, he declaims upon the Occasion, and shews how much happier it would
be for Man, if he did not feel his Evil Fortune before it comes to pass;
and suffer not only by its real Weight, but by the Apprehension of it.
Milton's Complaint [for [12]] his Blindness, his Panegyrick on Marriage,
his Reflections on Adam and Eves going naked, of the Angels eating, and
several other Passages in his Poem, are liable to the same Exception,
tho I must confess there is so great a Beauty in these very
Digressions, that I would not wish them out of his Poem.

I have, in a former Paper, spoken of the Characters of Milton's Paradise
Lost, and declared my Opinion, as to the Allegorical Persons who are
introduced in it.

If we look into the Sentiments, I think they are sometimes defective
under the following Heads: First, as there are several of them too much
pointed, and some that degenerate even into Punns. Of this last kind I
am afraid is that in the First Book, where speaking of the Pigmies, he
calls them,

--The small Infantry
Warrdon by Cranes--

Another Blemish [that [13]] appears in some of his Thoughts, is his
frequent Allusion to Heathen Fables, which are not certainly of a Piece
with the Divine Subject, of which he treats. I do not find fault with
these Allusions, where the Poet himself represents them as fabulous, as
he does in some Places, but where he mentions them as Truths and Matters
of Fact. The Limits of my Paper will not give me leave to be particular
in Instances of this kind; the Reader will easily remark them in his
Perusal of the Poem.

A third fault in his Sentiments, is an unnecessary Ostentation of
Learning, which likewise occurs very frequently. It is certain that both
Homer and Virgil were Masters of all the Learning of their Times, but it
shews it self in their Works after an indirect and concealed manner.
Milton seems ambitious of letting us know, by his Excursions on
Free-Will and Predestination, and his many Glances upon History,
Astronomy, Geography, and the like, as well as by the Terms and Phrases
he sometimes makes use of, that he was acquainted with the whole Circle
of Arts and Sciences.

If, in the last place, we consider the Language of this great Poet, we
must allow what I have hinted in a former Paper, that it is often too
much laboured, and sometimes obscured by old Words, Transpositions, and
Foreign Idioms. Senecas Objection to the Style of a great Author, Riget
ejus oratio, nihil in ea placidum nihil lene, is what many Criticks make
to Milton: As I cannot wholly refuse it, so I have already apologized
for it in another Paper; to which I may further add, that Milton's
Sentiments and Ideas were so wonderfully Sublime, that it would have
been impossible for him to have represented them in their full Strength
and Beauty, without having recourse to these Foreign Assistances. Our
Language sunk under him, and was unequal to that Greatness of Soul,
which furnished him with such glorious Conceptions.

A second Fault in his Language is, that he often affects a kind of
Jingle in his Words, as in the following Passages, and many others:

And brought into the World a World of Woe.

--Begirt th' Almighty throne
Beseeching or besieging--

This tempted our attempt--

At one slight bound high overleapt all bound.

I know there are Figures for this kind of Speech, that some of the
greatest Ancients have been guilty of it, and that Aristotle himself has
given it a place in his Rhetorick among the Beauties of that Art. [14]
But as it is in its self poor and trifling, it is I think at present
universally exploded by all the Masters of Polite Writing.

The last Fault which I shall take notice of in Milton's Style, is the
frequent use of what the Learned call Technical Words, or Terms of Art.
It is one of the great Beauties of Poetry, to make hard things
intelligible, and to deliver what is abstruse [of [15]] it self in such
easy Language as may be understood by ordinary Readers: Besides, that
the Knowledge of a Poet should rather seem born with him, or inspired,
than drawn from Books and Systems. I have often wondered how Mr. Dryden
could translate a Passage out of Virgil after the following manner.

Tack to the Larboard, and stand off to Sea.
Veer Star-board Sea and Land.

Milton makes use of Larboard in the same manner. When he is upon
Building he mentions Doric Pillars, Pilasters, Cornice, Freeze,
Architrave. When he talks of Heavenly Bodies, you meet with Eccliptic
and Eccentric, the trepidation, Stars dropping from the Zenith, Rays
culminating from the Equator. To which might be added many Instances of
the like kind in several other Arts and Sciences.

I shall in my next [Papers [16]] give an Account of the many particular
Beauties in Milton, which would have been too long to insert under those
general Heads I have already treated of, and with which I intend to
conclude this Piece of Criticism.


[Footnote 1: Poetics, cap. x. Addison got his affected word implex by
reading Aristotle through the translation and notes of Andre Dacier.
Implex was the word used by the French, but the natural English
translation of Aristotle's [Greek: haploi] and [Greek: peplegmenoi] is
into simple and complicated.]

[Footnote 2: [Stories of Achilles, Ulysses, and AEneas.]]

[Footnote 3: Poetics, cap. xi.]

[Footnote 4: that]

[Footnote 5: Dediction of the AEneid; where, after speaking of small
claimants of the honours of the Epic, he says,

Spencer has a better for his "Fairy Queen" had his action been
finished, or been one; and Milton if the Devil had not been his hero,
instead of Adam; if the giant had not foiled the knight, and driven
him out of his stronghold, to wander through the world with his
lady-errant; and if there had not been more machining persons that
human in his poem.]

[Footnote 6: [or]]

[Footnote 7: [Episode]]

[Footnote 8: [greater]]

[Footnote 9: Poetics, cap. xxv. The reason he gives is that when the
Poet speaks in his own person he is not then the Imitator. Other Poets
than Homer, Aristotle adds,

ambitious to figure throughout themselves, imitate but little and
seldom. Homer, after a few preparatory lines, immediately introduces a
man or woman or some other character, for all have their character.

Of Lucan, as an example of the contrary practice, Hobbes said in his
Discourse concerning the Virtues of an Heroic Poem:

No Heroic Poem raises such admiration of the Poet, as his hath done,
though not so great admiration of the persons he introduceth.]

[Footnote 10: Letters to Atticus, Bk. xiii., Ep. 44.]

[Footnote 11: Poetices, Lib. iii. cap. 25.]

[Footnote 12: [of]]

[Footnote 13: [which]]

[Footnote 14: Rhetoric, iii. ch. II, where he cites such verbal jokes
as, You wish him [Greek: persai] (i.e. to side with Persia--to ruin
him), and the saying of Isocrates concerning Athens, that its
sovereignty [Greek: archae] was to the city a beginning [Greek: archae]
of evils. As this closes Addison's comparison of Milton's practice with
Aristotle's doctrine (the following papers being expressions of his
personal appreciation of the several books of Paradise Lost), we may
note here that Milton would have been quite ready to have his work tried
by the test Addison has been applying. In his letter to Samuel Hartlib,
sketching his ideal of a good Education, he assigns to advanced pupils
logic and then

rhetoric taught out of the rules of Plato, Aristotle, Phalereus,
Cicero, Hermogenes, Longinus. To which poetry would be made
subsequent, or, indeed, rather precedent, as being less subtile and
fine, but more simple, sensuous, and passionate. I mean not here the
prosody of a verse, which they could not but have hit on before among
the rudiments of grammar; but that sublime art which in Aristotle's
Poetics, in Horace, and the Italian commentaries of Castelvetro,
Tasso, Mazzoni, and others, teaches what the laws are of a true epic
poem, what of a dramatic, what of a lyric, what decorum is, which is
the grand masterpiece to observe. This would make them soon perceive
what despicable creatures our common rhymers and play-writers be; and
show them what religious, what glorious and magnificent use might be
made of poetry, both in divine and human things.]

[Footnote 15: [in]]

[Footnote 16: [Saturdays Paper]]

* * * * *

No. 298. Monday, February 11, 1712. Steele.

Nusquam Tuta fides.


London, Feb. 9, 1711-12.


I am a Virgin, and in no Case despicable; but yet such as I am I must
remain, or else become, tis to be feared, less happy: for I find not
the least good Effect from the just Correction you some time since
gave, that too free, that looser Part of our Sex which spoils the Men;
the same Connivance at the Vices, the same easie Admittance of
Addresses, the same vitiated Relish of the Conversation of the
greatest of Rakes (or in a more fashionable Way of expressing ones
self, of such as have seen the World most) still abounds, increases,

The humble Petition therefore of many of the most strictly virtuous,
and of my self, is, That you'll once more exert your Authority, and
that according to your late Promise, your full, your impartial
Authority, on this sillier Branch of our Kind: For why should they be
the uncontroulable Mistresses of our Fate? Why should they with
Impunity indulge the Males in Licentiousness whilst single, and we
have the dismal Hazard and Plague of reforming them when married?
Strike home, Sir, then, and spare not, or all our maiden Hopes, our
gilded Hopes of nuptial Felicity are frustrated, are vanished, and you
your self, as well as Mr. Courtly, will, by smoothing over immodest
Practices with the Gloss of soft and harmless Names, for ever forfeit
our Esteem. Nor think that I'm herein more severe than need be: If I
have not reason more than enough, do you and the World judge from this
ensuing Account, which, I think, will prove the Evil to be universal.

You must know then, that since your Reprehension of this Female
Degeneracy came out, I've had a Tender of Respects from no less than
five Persons, of tolerable Figure too as Times go: But the Misfortune
is, that four of the five are professed Followers of the Mode. They
would face me down, that all Women of good Sense ever were, and ever
will be, Latitudinarians in Wedlock; and always did, and will, give
and take what they profanely term Conjugal Liberty of Conscience.

The two first of them, a Captain and a Merchant, to strengthen their
Argument, pretend to repeat after a Couple, a Brace of Ladies of
Quality and Wit, That Venus was always kind to Mars; and what Soul
that has the least spark of Generosity, can deny a Man of Bravery any
thing? And how pitiful a Trader that, whom no Woman but his own Wife
will have Correspondence and Dealings with? Thus these; whilst the
third, the Country Squire, confessed, That indeed he was surprized
into good Breeding, and entered into the Knowledge of the World
unawares. That dining tother Day at a Gentleman's House, the Person
who entertained was obliged to leave him with his Wife and Nieces;
where they spoke with so much Contempt of an absent Gentleman for
being slow at a Hint, that he had resolved never to be drowsy,
unmannerly, or stupid for the future at a Friends House; and on a
hunting Morning, not to pursue the Game either with the Husband
abroad, or with the Wife at home.

The next that came was a Tradesman, [no [1]] less full of the Age
than the former; for he had the Gallantry to tell me, that at a late
Junket which he was invited to, the Motion being made, and the
Question being put, twas by Maid, Wife and Widow resolved nemine
contradicente, That a young sprightly Journeyman is absolutely
necessary in their Way of Business: To which they had the Assent and
Concurrence of the Husbands present. I dropped him a Curtsy, and gave
him to understand that was his Audience of Leave.

I am reckoned pretty, and have had very many Advances besides these;
but have been very averse to hear any of them, from my Observation on
these above-mentioned, till I hoped some Good from the Character of
my present Admirer, a Clergyman. But I find even amongst them there
are indirect Practices in relation to Love, and our Treaty is at
present a little in Suspence, till some Circumstances are cleared.
There is a Charge against him among the Women, and the Case is this:
It is alledged, That a certain endowed Female would have appropriated
her self to and consolidated her self with a Church, which my Divine
now enjoys; (or, which is the same thing, did prostitute her self to
her Friends doing this for her): That my Ecclesiastick, to obtain the
one, did engage himself to take off the other that lay on Hand; but
that on his Success in the Spiritual, he again renounced the Carnal.

I put this closely to him, and taxed him with Disingenuity. He to
clear himself made the subsequent Defence, and that in the most solemn
Manner possible: That he was applied to and instigated to accept of a
Benefice: That a conditional Offer thereof was indeed made him at
first, but with Disdain by him rejected: That when nothing (as they
easily perceived) of this Nature could bring him to their Purpose,
Assurance of his being entirely unengaged before-hand, and safe from
all their After-Expectations (the only Stratagem left to draw him in)
was given him: That pursuant to this the Donation it self was without
Delay, before several reputable Witnesses, tendered to him gratis,
with the open Profession of not the least Reserve, or most minute
Condition; but that yet immediately after Induction, his insidious
Introducer (or her crafty Procurer, which you will) industriously
spread the Report, which had reached my Ears, not only in the
Neighbourhood of that said Church, but in London, in the University,
in mine and his own County, and where-ever else it might probably
obviate his Application to any other Woman, and so confine him to this
alone: And, in a Word, That as he never did make any previous Offer of
his Service, or the least Step to her Affection; so on his Discovery
of these Designs thus laid to trick him, he could not but afterwards,
in Justice to himself, vindicate both his Innocence and Freedom by
keeping his proper Distance.

This is his Apology, and I think I shall be satisfied with it. But I
cannot conclude my tedious Epistle, without recommending to you not
only to resume your former Chastisement, but to add to your Criminals
the Simoniacal Ladies, who seduce the sacred Order into the Difficulty
of either breaking a mercenary Troth made to them whom they ought not
to deceive, or by breaking or keeping it offending against him whom
they cannot deceive. Your Assistance and Labours of this sort would be
of great Benefit, and your speedy Thoughts on this Subject would be
very seasonable to,

SIR, Your most obedient Servant,
Chastity Loveworth.


[Footnote 1: [nor]]

* * * * *

No. 299. Tuesday, February 12, 1712. Addison.

Malo Venusinam, quam te, Cornelia, Mater
Gracchorum, si cum magnis virtutibus affers
Grande supercilium, et numeras in dote triumphos.
Tolle tuum precor Annibalem victumque Syphacem
In castris, et cum tota Carthagine migra.


It is observed, that a Man improves more by reading the Story of a
Person eminent for Prudence and Virtue, than by the finest Rules and
Precepts of Morality. In the same manner a Representation of those
Calamities and Misfortunes which a weak Man suffers from wrong Measures,
and ill-concerted Schemes of Life, is apt to make a deeper Impression
upon our Minds, than the wisest Maxims and Instructions that can be
given us, for avoiding the like Follies and Indiscretions on our own
private Conduct. It is for this Reason that I lay before my Reader the
following Letter, and leave it with him to make his own use of it,
without adding any Reflections of my own upon the Subject Matter.


Having carefully perused a Letter sent you by Josiah Fribble, Esq.,
with your subsequent Discourse upon Pin-Money, I do presume to trouble
you with an Account of my own Case, which I look upon to be no less
deplorable than that of Squire Fribble. I am a Person of no
Extraction, having begun the World with a small parcel of Rusty Iron,
and was for some Years commonly known by the Name of Jack Anvil. [1] I
have naturally a very happy Genius for getting Money, insomuch that by
the Age of Five and twenty I had scraped together Four thousand two
hundred Pounds Five Shillings, and a few odd Pence. I then launched
out into considerable Business, and became a bold Trader both by Sea
and Land, which in a few Years raised me a very [great [2]] Fortune.
For these my Good Services I was Knighted in the thirty fifth Year of
my Age, and lived with great Dignity among my City-Neighbours by the
Name of Sir John Anvil. Being in my Temper very Ambitious, I was now
bent upon making a Family, and accordingly resolved that my
Descendants should have a Dash of Good Blood in their Veins. In order
to this, I made Love to the Lady Mary Oddly, an Indigent young Woman
of Quality. To cut short the Marriage Treaty, I threw her a Charte
Blanche, as our News Papers call it, desiring her to write upon it her
own Terms. She was very concise in her Demands, insisting only that
the Disposal of my Fortune, and the Regulation of my Family, should be
entirely in her Hands. Her Father and Brothers appeared exceedingly
averse to this Match, and would not see me for some time; but at
present are so well reconciled, that they Dine with me almost every
Day, and have borrowed considerable Sums of me; which my Lady Mary
very often twits me with, when she would shew me how kind her
Relations are to me. She had no Portion, as I told you before, but
what she wanted in Fortune, she makes up in Spirit. She at first
changed my Name to Sir John Envil, and at present writes her self Mary
Enville. I have had some Children by her, whom she has Christened with
the Sirnames of her Family, in order, as she tells me, to wear out the
Homeliness of their Parentage by the Fathers Side. Our eldest Son is
the Honourable Oddly Enville, Esq., and our eldest Daughter Harriot
Enville. Upon her first coming into my Family, she turned off a parcel
of very careful Servants, who had been long with me, and introduced in
their stead a couple of Black-a-moors, and three or four very genteel
Fellows in Laced Liveries, besides her French woman, who is
perpetually making a Noise in the House in a Language which no body
understands, except my Lady Mary. She next set her self to reform
every Room of my House, having glazed all my Chimney-pieces with
Looking-glass, and planted every Corner with such heaps of China, that
I am obliged to move about my own House with the greatest Caution and
Circumspection, for fear of hurting some of our Brittle Furniture. She
makes an Illumination once a Week with Wax-Candles in one of the
largest Rooms, in order, as she phrases it, to see Company. At which
time she always desires me to be Abroad, or to confine my self to the
Cock-loft, that I may not disgrace her among her Visitants of Quality.
Her Footmen, as I told you before, are such Beaus that I do not much
care for asking them Questions; when I do, they answer me with a sawcy
Frown, and say that every thing, which I find Fault with, was done by
my Lady Marys Order. She tells me that she intends they shall wear
Swords with their next Liveries, having lately observed the Footmen of
two or three Persons of Quality hanging behind the Coach with Swords
by their Sides. As soon as the first Honey-Moon was over, I
represented to her the Unreasonableness of those daily Innovations
which she made in my Family, but she told me I was no longer to
consider my self as Sir John Anvil, but as her Husband; and added,
with a Frown, that I did not seem to know who she was. I was surprized
to be treated thus, after such Familiarities as had passed between us.
But she has since given me to know, that whatever Freedoms she may
sometimes indulge me in, she expects in general to be treated with the
Respect that is due to her Birth and Quality. Our Children have been
trained up from their Infancy with so many Accounts of their Mothers
Family, that they know the Stories of all the great Men and Women it
has produced. Their Mother tells them, that such an one commanded in
such a Sea Engagement, that their Great Grandfather had a Horse shot
under him at Edge-hill, that their Uncle was at the Siege of Buda, and
that her Mother danced in a Ball at Court with the Duke of Monmouth;
with abundance of Fiddle-faddle of the same Nature. I was, the other
Day, a little out of Countenance at a Question of my little Daughter
Harriot, who asked me, with a great deal of Innocence, why I never
told them of the Generals and Admirals that had been in my Family. As
for my Eldest Son Oddly, he has been so spirited up by his Mother,
that if he does not mend his Manners I shall go near to disinherit
him. He drew his Sword upon me before he was nine years old, and told
me, that he expected to be used like a Gentleman; upon my offering to
correct him for his Insolence, my Lady Mary stept in between us, and
told me, that I ought to consider there was some Difference between
his Mother and mine. She is perpetually finding out the Features of
her own Relations in every one of my Children, tho, by the way, I
have a little Chubfaced Boy as like me as he can stare, if I durst say
so; but what most angers me, when she sees me playing with any of them
upon my Knee, she has begged me more than once to converse with the
Children as little as possibly, that they may not learn any of my
awkward Tricks.

You must farther know, since I am opening my Heart to you, that she
thinks her self my Superior in Sense, as much as she is in Quality,
and therefore treats me like a plain well-meaning Man, who does not
know the World. She dictates to me in my own Business, sets me right
in Point of Trade, and if I disagree with her about any of my Ships at
Sea, wonders that I will dispute with her, when I know very well that
her Great Grandfather was a Flag Officer.

To compleat my Sufferings, she has teazed me for this Quarter of [a
[3]] Year last past, to remove into one of the Squares at the other
End of the Town, promising for my Encouragement, that I shall have as

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