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

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good a Cock-loft as any Gentleman in the Square; to which the
Honourable Oddly Enville, Esq., always adds, like a Jack-a-napes as he
is, that he hopes twill be as near the Court as possible.

In short, Mr. SPECTATOR, I am so much out of my natural Element, that
to recover my old Way of Life I would be content to begin the World
again, and be plain Jack Anvil; but alas! I am in for Life, and am
bound to subscribe my self, with great Sorrow of Heart,

Your humble Servant,

John Enville, Knt.


[Footnote 1: This has been said to refer to a Sir Ambrose Crowley, who
changed his name to Crawley.]

[Footnote 2: [considerable] corrected by an erratum in No. 301.]

[Footnote 3: [an]]

* * * * *

No. 300. Wednesday, February 13, 1712. Steele.

Diversum vitio vitium prope majus.



When you talk of the Subject of Love, and the Relations arising from
it, methinks you should take Care to leave no Fault unobserved which
concerns the State of Marriage. The great Vexation that I have
observed in it, is, that the wedded Couple seem to want Opportunities
of being often enough alone together, and are forced to quarrel and be
fond before Company. Mr. Hotspur and his Lady, in a Room full of their
Friends, are ever saying something so smart to each other, and that
but just within Rules, that the whole Company stand in the utmost
Anxiety and Suspence for fear of their falling into Extremities which
they could not be present at. On the other Side, Tom Faddle and his
pretty Spouse where-ever they come are billing at such a Rate, as they
think must do our Hearts good who behold em. Cannot you possibly
propose a Mean between being Wasps and Doves in Publick? I should
think if you advised to hate or love sincerely it would be better: For
if they would be so discreet as to hate from the very Bottom of their
Hearts, their Aversion would be too strong for little Gibes every
Moment; and if they loved with that calm and noble Value which dwells
in the Heart, with a Warmth like that of Life-Blood, they would not be
so impatient of their Passion as to fall into observable Fondness.
This Method, in each Case, would save Appearances; but as those who
offend on the fond Side are by much the fewer, I would have you begin
with them, and go on to take Notice of a most impertinent Licence
married Women take, not only to be very loving to their Spouses in
Publick, but also make nauseous Allusions to private Familiarities,
and the like. Lucina is a Lady of the greatest Discretion, you must
know, in the World; and withal very much a Physician: Upon the
Strength of these two Qualities there is nothing she will not speak of
before us Virgins; and she every Day talks with a very grave Air in
such a Manner, as is very improper so much as to be hinted at but to
obviate the greatest Extremity. Those whom they call good Bodies,
notable People, hearty Neighbours, and the purest goodest Company in
the World, are the great Offenders in this Kind. Here I think I have
laid before you an open Field for Pleasantry; and hope you will shew
these People that at least they are not witty: In which you will save
from many a Blush a daily Sufferer, who is very much

Your most humble Servant,
Susanna Loveworth.


In yours of Wednesday the 30th past, you and your Correspondent are
very severe on a sort of Men, whom you call Male Coquets; but without
any other Reason, in my Apprehension, than that of paying a shallow
Compliment to the fair Sex, by accusing some Men of imaginary Faults,
that the Women may not seem to be the more faulty Sex; though at the
same time you suppose there are some so weak as to be imposed upon by
fine Things and false Addresses. I cant persuade my self that your
Design is to debar the Sexes the Benefit of each others Conversation
within the Rules of Honour; nor will you, I dare say, recommend to
em, or encourage the common Tea-Table Talk, much less that of
Politicks and Matters of State: And if these are forbidden Subjects of
Discourse, then, as long as there are any Women in the World who take
a Pleasure in hearing themselves praised, and can bear the Sight of a
Man prostrate at their Feet, so long I shall make no Wonder that there
are those of the other Sex who will pay them those impertinent
Humiliations. We should have few People such Fools as to practise
Flattery, if all were so wise as to despise it. I don't deny but you
would do a meritorious Act, if you could prevent all Impositions on
the Simplicity of young Women; but I must confess I don't apprehend
you have laid the Fault on the proper Person, and if I trouble you
with my Thoughts upon it I promise my self your Pardon. Such of the
Sex as are raw and innocent, and most exposed to these Attacks, have,
or their Parents are much to blame if they have not, one to advise and
guard em, and are obliged themselves to take Care of em: but if
these, who ought to hinder Men from all Opportunities of this sort of
Conversation, instead of that encourage and promote it, the Suspicion
is very just that there are some private Reasons for it; and Ill
leave it to you to determine on which Side a Part is then acted. Some
Women there are who are arrived at Years of Discretion, I mean are got
out of the Hands of their Parents and Governours, and are set up for
themselves, who yet are liable to these Attempts; but if these are
prevailed upon, you must excuse me if I lay the Fault upon them, that
their Wisdom is not grown with their Years. My Client, Mr. Strephon,
whom you summoned to declare himself, gives you Thanks however for
your Warning, and begs the Favour only to inlarge his Time for a Week,
or to the last Day of the Term, and then hell appear gratis, and pray
no Day over.


I was last Night to visit a Lady who I much esteem, and always took
for my Friend; but met with so very different a Reception from what I
expected, that I cannot help applying my self to you on this Occasion.
In the room of that Civility and Familiarity I used to be treated with
by her, an affected Strangeness in her Looks, and Coldness in her
Behaviour, plainly told me I was not the welcome Guest which the
Regard and Tenderness she has often expressed for me gave me Reason to
flatter my self to think I was. Sir, this is certainly a great Fault,
and I assure you a very common one; therefore I hope you will think it
a fit Subject for some Part of a Spectator. Be pleased to acquaint us
how we must behave our selves towards this valetudinary Friendship,
subject to so many Heats and Colds, and you will oblige,
SIR, Your humble Servant,


I cannot forbear acknowledging the Delight your late Spectators on
Saturdays have given me; for it is writ in the honest Spirit of
Criticism, and called to my Mind the following four Lines I had read
long since in a Prologue to a Play called Julius Caesar [1] which has
deserved a better Fate. The Verses are addressed to the little

Shew your small Talent, and let that suffice ye;
But grow not vain upon it, I advise ye.
For every Fop can find out Faults in Plays:
You'll ne'er arrive at Knowing when to praise.

Yours, D. G.


[Footnote 1: By William Alexander, Earl of Stirling (who died in 1640);
one of his four Monarchicke Tragedies. He received a grant of Nova
Scotia to colonize, and was secretary of state for Scotland.]

* * * * *

No. 301. Thursday, February 14, 1712. Budgell.

Possint ut Juvenes visere fervidi
Multo non sine risu,
Dilapsam in cineres facem.


We are generally so much pleased with any little Accomplishments, either
of Body or Mind, which have once made us remarkable in the World, that
we endeavour to perswade our selves it is not in the Power of Time to
rob us of them. We are eternally pursuing the same Methods which first
procured us the Applauses of Mankind. It is from this Notion that an
Author writes on, tho he is come to Dotage; without ever considering
that his Memory is impaired, and that he has lost that Life, and those
Spirits, which formerly raised his Fancy, and fired his Imagination. The
same Folly hinders a Man from submitting his Behaviour to his Age, and
makes Clodius, who was a celebrated Dancer at five and twenty, still
love to hobble in a Minuet, tho he is past Threescore. It is this, in a
Word, which fills the Town with elderly Fops, and superannuated Coquets.

Canidia, a Lady of this latter Species, passed by me Yesterday in her
Coach. Canidia was an haughty Beauty of the last Age, and was followed
by Crowds of Adorers, whose Passions only pleased her, as they gave her
Opportunities of playing the Tyrant. She then contracted that awful Cast
of the Eye and forbidding Frown, which she has not yet laid aside, and
has still all the Insolence of Beauty without its Charms. If she now
attracts the Eyes of any Beholders, it is only by being remarkably
ridiculous; even her own Sex laugh at her Affectation; and the Men, who
always enjoy an ill-natured Pleasure in seeing an imperious Beauty
humbled and neglected, regard her with the same Satisfaction that a free
Nation sees a Tyrant in Disgrace.

WILL. HONEYCOMB, who is a great Admirer of the Gallantries in King
Charles the Seconds Reign, lately communicated to me a Letter written
by a Wit of that Age to his Mistress, who it seems was a Lady of
Canidia's Humour; and tho I do not always approve of my Friend WILLS
Taste, I liked this Letter so well, that I took a Copy of it, with which
I shall here present my Reader.


Since my waking Thoughts have never been able to influence you in my
Favour, I am resolved to try whether my Dreams can make any Impression
on you. To this end I shall give you an Account of a very odd one
which my Fancy presented to me last Night, within a few Hours after I
left you.

Methought I was unaccountably conveyed into the most delicious Place
mine Eyes ever beheld, it was a large Valley divided by a River of the
purest Water I had ever seen. The Ground on each Side of it rose by an
easie Ascent, and was covered with Flowers of an infinite Variety,
which as they were reflected in the Water doubled the Beauties of the
Place, or rather formed an Imaginary Scene more beautiful than the
real. On each Side of the River was a Range of lofty Trees, whose
Boughs were loaden with almost as many Birds as Leaves. Every Tree was
full of Harmony.

I had not gone far in this pleasant Valley, when I perceived that it
was terminated by a most magnificent Temple. The Structure was
ancient, and regular. On the Top of it was figured the God Saturn, in
the same Shape and Dress that the Poets usually represent Time.

As I was advancing to satisfie my Curiosity by a nearer View, I was
stopped by an Object far more beautiful than any I had before
discovered in the whole Place. I fancy, Madam, you will easily guess
that this could hardly be any thing but your self; in reality it was
so; you lay extended on the Flowers by the side of the River, so that
your Hands which were thrown in a negligent Posture, almost touched
the Water. Your Eyes were closed; but if your Sleep deprived me of the
Satisfaction of seeing them, it left me at leisure to contemplate
several other Charms, which disappear when your Eyes are open. I could
not but admire the Tranquility you slept in, especially when I
considered the Uneasiness you produce in so many others.

While I was wholly taken up in these Reflections, the Doors of the
Temple flew open, with a very great Noise; and lifting up my Eyes, I
saw two Figures, in human Shape, coming into the Valley. Upon a nearer
Survey, I found them to be YOUTH and LOVE. The first was encircled
with a kind of Purple Light, that spread a Glory over all the Place;
the other held a flaming Torch in his Hand. I could observe, that all
the way as they came towards us, the Colours of the Flowers appeared
more lively, the Trees shot out in Blossoms, the Birds threw
themselves into Pairs, and Serenaded them as they passed: The whole
Face of Nature glowed with new Beauties. They were no sooner arrived
at the Place where you lay, when they seated themselves on each Side
of you. On their Approach, methought I saw a new Bloom arise in your
Face, and new Charms diffuse themselves over your whole Person. You
appeared more than Mortal; but, to my great Surprise, continued fast
asleep, tho the two Deities made several gentle Efforts to awaken

After a short Time, YOUTH (displaying a Pair of Wings, which I had
not before taken notice of) flew off. LOVE still remained, and holding
the Torch which he had in his Hand before your Face, you still
appeared as beautiful as ever. The glaring of the Light in your Eyes
at length awakened you; when, to my great Surprise, instead of
acknowledging the Favour of the Deity, you frowned upon him, and
struck the Torch out of his Hand into the River. The God after having
regarded you with a Look that spoke at [once [1]] his Pity and
Displeasure, flew away. Immediately a kind of Gloom overspread the
whole Place. At the same time I saw an hideous Spectre enter at one
end of the Valley. His Eyes were sunk into his Head, his Face was pale
and withered, and his Skin puckered up in Wrinkles. As he walked on
the sides of the Bank the River froze, the Flowers faded, the Trees
shed their Blossoms, the Birds dropped from off the Boughs, and fell
dead at his Feet. By these Marks I knew him to be OLD-AGE. You were
seized with the utmost Horror and Amazement at his Approach. You
endeavoured to have fled, but the Phantome caught you in his Arms. You
may easily guess at the Change you suffered in this Embrace. For my
own Part, though I am still too full of the [frightful [2]] Idea, I
will not shock you with a Description of it. I was so startled at the
Sight that my Sleep immediately left me, and I found my self awake, at
leisure to consider of a Dream which seems too extraordinary to be
without a Meaning. I am, Madam, with the greatest Passion,
Your most Obedient,
most Humble Servant, &c.


[Footnote 1: [the same time]]

[Footnote 2: [dreadful]]

* * * * *

No. 302. Friday, February 15, 1712. Steele.

Lachrymaeque decorae,
Gratior et pulchro veniens in corpore Virtus.

Vir. AEn. 5.

I read what I give for the Entertainment of this Day with a great deal
of Pleasure, and publish it just as it came to my Hands. I shall be very
glad to find there are many guessed at for Emilia.


If this Paper has the good Fortune to be honoured with a Place in your
Writings, I shall be the more pleased, because the Character of Emilia
is not an imaginary but a real one. I have industriously obscured the
whole by the Addition of one or two Circumstances of no Consequence,
that the Person it is drawn from might still be concealed; and that
the Writer of it might not be in the least suspected, and for [other
[2]] Reasons, I chuse not to give it the Form of a Letter: But if,
besides the Faults of the Composition, there be any thing in it more
proper for a Correspondent than the SPECTATOR himself to write, I
submit it to your better Judgment, to receive any other Model you
think fit.
I am, SIR,
Your very humble Servant.

There is nothing which gives one so pleasing a Prospect of human
Nature, as the Contemplation of Wisdom and Beauty: The latter is the
peculiar Portion of that Sex which is therefore called Fair; but the
happy Concurrence of both these Excellencies in the same Person, is
a Character too celestial to be frequently met with. Beauty is an
over-weaning self-sufficient thing, careless of providing it self
any more substantial Ornaments; nay so little does it consult its
own Interests, that it too often defeats it self by betraying that
Innocence which renders it lovely and desirable. As therefore Virtue
makes a beautiful Woman appear more beautiful, so Beauty makes a
virtuous Woman really more virtuous. Whilst I am considering these
two Perfections gloriously united in one Person, I cannot help
representing to my Mind the Image of Emilia.

Who ever beheld the charming Emilia, without feeling in his Breast
at once the Glow of Love and the Tenderness of virtuous Friendship?
The unstudied Graces of her Behaviour, and the pleasing Accents of
her Tongue, insensibly draw you on to wish for a nearer Enjoyment of
them; but even her Smiles carry in them a silent Reproof to the
Impulses of licentious Love. Thus, tho the Attractives of her
Beauty play almost irresistibly upon you and create Desire, you
immediately stand corrected not by the Severity but the Decency of
her Virtue. That Sweetness and Good-humour which is so visible in
her Face, naturally diffuses it self into every Word and Action: A
Man must be a Savage, who at the Sight of Emilia, is not more
inclined to do her Good than gratifie himself. Her Person, as it is
thus studiously embellished by Nature, thus adorned with
unpremeditated Graces, is a fit Lodging for a Mind so fair and
lovely; there dwell rational Piety, modest Hope, and chearful

Many of the prevailing Passions of Mankind do undeservedly pass
under the Name of Religion; which is thus made to express itself in
Action, according to the Nature of the Constitution in which it
resides: So that were we to make a Judgment from Appearances, one
would imagine Religion in some is little better than Sullenness and
Reserve, in many Fear, in others the Despondings of a melancholly
Complexion, in others the Formality of insignificant unaffecting
Observances, in others Severity, in others Ostentation. In Emilia it
is a Principle founded in Reason and enlivened with Hope; it does
not break forth into irregular Fits and Sallies of Devotion, but is
an uniform and consistent Tenour of Action; It is strict without
Severity, compassionate without Weakness; it is the Perfection of
that good Humour which proceeds from the Understanding, not the
Effect of an easy Constitution.

By a generous Sympathy in Nature, we feel our selves disposed to
mourn when any of our Fellow-Creatures are afflicted; but injured
Innocence and Beauty in Distresses an Object that carries in it
something inexpressibly moving: It softens the most manly Heart with
the tenderest Sensations of Love and Compassion, till at length it
confesses its Humanity, and flows out into Tears.

Were I to relate that part of Emilia's Life which has given her an
Opportunity of exerting the Heroism of Christianity, it would make
too sad, too tender a Story: But when I consider her alone in the
midst of her Distresses, looking beyond this gloomy Vale of
Affliction and Sorrow into the Joys of Heaven and Immortality, and
when I see her in Conversation thoughtless and easie as if she were
the most happy Creature in the World, I am transported with
Admiration. Surely never did such a Philosophic Soul inhabit such a
beauteous Form! For Beauty is often made a Privilege against Thought
and Reflection; it laughs at Wisdom, and will not abide the Gravity
of its Instructions.

Were I able to represent Emilia's Virtues in their proper Colours
and their due Proportions, Love or Flattery might perhaps be thought
to have drawn the Picture larger than Life; but as this is but an
imperfect Draught of so excellent a Character, and as I cannot, will
not hope to have any Interest in her Person, all that I can say of
her is but impartial Praise extorted from me by the prevailing
Brightness of her Virtues. So rare a Pattern of Female Excellence
ought not to be concealed, but should be set out to the View and
Imitation of the World; for how amiable does Virtue appear thus as
it were made visible to us in so fair an Example!

Honoria's Disposition is of a very different Turn: Her Thoughts are
wholly bent upon Conquest and arbitrary Power. That she has some Wit
and Beauty no Body denies, and therefore has the Esteem of all her
Acquaintance as a Woman of an agreeable Person and Conversation; but
(whatever her Husband may think of it) that is not sufficient for
Honoria: She waves that Title to Respect as a mean Acquisition, and
demands Veneration in the Right of an Idol; for this Reason her
natural Desire of Life is continually checked with an inconsistent
Fear of Wrinkles and old Age.

Emilia cannot be supposed ignorant of her personal Charms, tho she
seems to be so; but she will not hold her Happiness upon so
precarious a Tenure, whilst her Mind is adorned with Beauties of a
more exalted and lasting Nature. When in the full Bloom of Youth and
Beauty we saw her surrounded with a Crowd of Adorers, she took no
Pleasure in Slaughter and Destruction, gave no false deluding Hopes
which might encrease the Torments of her disappointed Lovers; but
having for some Time given to the Decency of a Virgin Coyness, and
examined the Merit of their several Pretensions, she at length
gratified her own, by resigning herself to the ardent Passion of
Bromius. Bromius was then Master of many good Qualities and a
moderate Fortune, which was soon after unexpectedly encreased to a
plentiful Estate. This for a good while proved his Misfortune, as it
furnished his unexperienced Age with the Opportunities of Evil
Company and a sensual Life. He might have longer wandered in the
Labyrinths of Vice and Folly, had not Emilia's prudent Conduct won
him over to the Government of his Reason. Her Ingenuity has been
constantly employed in humanizing his Passions and refining his
Pleasures. She shewed him by her own Example, that Virtue is
consistent with decent Freedoms and good Humour, or rather, that it
cannot subsist without em. Her good Sense readily instructed her,
that a silent Example and an easie unrepining Behaviour, will always
be more perswasive than the Severity of Lectures and Admonitions;
and that there is so much Pride interwoven into the Make of human
Nature, that an obstinate Man must only take the Hint from another,
and then be left to advise and correct himself. Thus by an artful
Train of Management and unseen Perswasions, having at first brought
him not to dislike, and at length to be pleased with that which
otherwise he would not have bore to hear of, she then knew how to
press and secure this Advantage, by approving it as his Thoughts,
and seconding it as his Proposal. By this Means she has gained an
Interest in some of his leading Passions, and made them accessary to
his Reformation.

There is another Particular of Emilia's Conduct which I cant
forbear mentioning: To some perhaps it may at first Sight appear but
a trifling inconsiderable Circumstance but for my Part, I think it
highly worthy of Observation, and to be recommended to the
Consideration of the fair Sex. I have often thought wrapping Gowns
and dirty Linnen, with all that huddled Oeconomy of Dress which
passes under the general Name of a Mob, the Bane of conjugal Love,
and one of the readiest Means imaginable to alienate the Affection
of an Husband, especially a fond one. I have heard some Ladies, who
have been surprized by Company in such a Deshabille, apologize for
it after this Manner; Truly I am ashamed to be caught in this
Pickle; but my Husband and I were sitting all alone by our selves,
and I did not expect to see such good Company--This by the way is a
fine Compliment to the good Man, which tis ten to one but he
returns in dogged Answers and a churlish Behaviour, without knowing
what it is that puts him out of Humour.

Emilia's Observation teaches her, that as little Inadvertencies and
Neglects cast a Blemish upon a great Character; so the Neglect of
Apparel, even among the most intimate Friends, does insensibly
lessen their Regards to each other, by creating a Familiarity too
low and contemptible. She understands the Importance of those Things
which the Generality account Trifles; and considers every thing as a
Matter of Consequence, that has the least Tendency towards keeping
up or abating the Affection of her Husband; him she esteems as a fit
Object to employ her Ingenuity in pleasing, because he is to be
pleased for Life.

By the Help of these, and a thousand other nameless Arts, which tis
easier for her to practise than for another to express, by the
Obstinacy of her Goodness and unprovoked Submission, in spight of
all her Afflictions and ill Usage, Bromius is become a Man of Sense
and a kind Husband, and Emilia a happy Wife.

Ye guardian Angels to whose Care Heaven has entrusted its dear
Emilia, guide her still forward in the Paths of Virtue, defend her
from the Insolence and Wrongs of this undiscerning World; at length
when we must no more converse with such Purity on Earth, lead her
gently hence innocent and unreprovable to a better Place, where by
an easie Transition from what she now is, she may shine forth an
Angel of Light.


[Footnote 1: The character of Emilia in this paper was by Dr. Bromer, a
clergyman. The lady is said to have been the mother of Mr. Ascham, of
Conington, in Cambridgeshire, and grandmother of Lady Hatton. The
letter has been claimed also for John Hughes (Letters of John Hughes,
&c., vol. iii. p. 8), and Emilia identified with Anne, Countess of

[Footnote 2: [some other]]

* * * * *

No. 303. Saturday, February 16, 1712. Addison.

--volet haec sub luce videri,
Judicis argulum quae non formidat acumen.


I have seen in the Works of a Modern Philosopher, a Map of the Spots in
the Sun. My last Paper of the Faults and Blemishes in Milton's Paradise
Lost, may be considered as a Piece of the same Nature. To pursue the
Allusion: As it is observed, that among the bright Parts of the Luminous
Body above mentioned, there are some which glow more intensely, and dart
a stronger Light than others; so, notwithstanding I have already shewn
Milton's Poem to be very beautiful in general, I shall now proceed to
take Notice of such Beauties as appear to me more exquisite than the
rest. Milton has proposed the Subject of his Poem in the following

Of Man's first disobedience, and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste
Brought Death into the World and all our woe,
With loss of Eden, till one greater Man
Restore us, and regain the blisful Seat,
Sing Heavenly Muse--

These Lines are perhaps as plain, simple and unadorned as any of the
whole Poem, in which Particular the Author has conformed himself to the
Example of Homer and the Precept of Horace.

His Invocation to a Work which turns in a great measure upon the
Creation of the World, is very properly made to the Muse who inspired
Moses in those Books from whence our Author drew his Subject, and to the
Holy Spirit who is therein represented as operating after a particular
manner in the first Production of Nature. This whole Exordium rises very
happily into noble Language and Sentiment, as I think the Transition to
the Fable is exquisitely beautiful and natural.

The Nine Days Astonishment, in which the Angels lay entranced after
their dreadful Overthrow and Fall from Heaven, before they could recover
either the use of Thought or Speech, is a noble Circumstance, and very
finely imagined. The Division of Hell into Seas of Fire, and into firm
Ground impregnated with the same furious Element, with that particular
Circumstance of the Exclusion of Hope from those Infernal Regions, are
Instances of the same great and fruitful Invention.

The Thoughts in the first Speech and Description of Satan, who is one of
the Principal Actors in this Poem, are wonderfully proper to give us a
full Idea of him. His Pride, Envy and Revenge, Obstinacy, Despair and
Impenitence, are all of them very artfully interwoven. In short, his
first Speech is a Complication of all those Passions which discover
themselves separately in several other of his Speeches in the Poem. The
whole part of this great Enemy of Mankind is filled with such Incidents
as are very apt to raise and terrifie the Readers Imagination. Of this
nature, in the Book now before us, is his being the first that awakens
out of the general Trance, with his Posture on the burning Lake, his
rising from it, and the Description of his Shield and Spear.

Thus Satan talking to his nearest Mate,
With head up-lift above the wave, and eyes
That sparkling blazed, his other parts beside
Prone on the Flood, extended long and large,
Lay floating many a rood--

Forthwith upright he rears from off the pool
His mighty Stature; on each hand the flames
Drivn backward slope their pointing Spires, and roared
In Billows, leave i'th midst a horrid vale.
Then with expanded wings he steers his flight
Aloft, incumbent on the dusky Air
That felt unusual weight--

--His pondrous Shield
Ethereal temper, massie, large and round,
Behind him cast; the broad circumference
Hung on his Shoulders like the Moon, whose orb
Thro Optick Glass the Tuscan Artist views
At Evning, from the top of Fesole,
Or in Valdarno, to descry new Lands,
Rivers, or Mountains, on her spotted Globe.
His Spear (to equal which the tallest pine
Hewn on Norwegian Hills to be the Mast
Of some great Admiral, were but a wand)
He walk'd with, to support uneasie Steps
Over the burning Marl--

To which we may add his Call to the fallen Angels that lay plunged and
stupified in the Sea of Fire.

He call'd so loud, that all the hollow deep
Of Hell resounded--

But there is no single Passage in the whole Poem worked up to a greater
Sublimity, than that wherein his Person is described in those celebrated

--He, above the rest
In shape and gesture proudly eminent
Stood like a Tower, &c.

His Sentiments are every way answerable to his Character, and suitable
to a created Being of the most exalted and most depraved Nature. Such is
that in which he takes Possession of his Place of Torments.

--Hail Horrors! hail
Infernal World! and thou profoundest Hell
Receive thy new Possessor, one who brings
A mind not to be changed by place or time.

And Afterwards,

--Here at least
We shall be free; th'Almighty hath not built
Here for his envy, will not drive us hence:
Here we may reign secure; and in my choice
To reign is worth Ambition, tho in Hell:
Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heavn.

Amidst those Impieties which this Enraged Spirit utters in other places
of the Poem, the Author has taken care to introduce none that is not big
with absurdity, and incapable of shocking a Religious Reader; his Words,
as the Poet himself describes them, bearing only a Semblance of Worth,
not Substance. He is likewise with great Art described as owning his
Adversary to be Almighty. Whatever perverse Interpretation he puts on
the Justice, Mercy, and other Attributes of the Supreme Being, he
frequently confesses his Omnipotence, that being the Perfection he was
forced to allow him, and the only Consideration which could support his
Pride under the Shame of his Defeat.

Nor must I here omit that beautiful Circumstance of his bursting out in
Tears, upon his Survey of those innumerable Spirits whom he had involved
in the same Guilt and Ruin with himself.

--He now prepared
To speak; whereat their doubled ranks they bend
From wing to wing, and half enclose him round
With all his Peers: Attention held them mute.
Thrice he assayed, and thrice in spite of Scorn
Tears such as Angels weep, burst forth--

The Catalogue of Evil Spirits has abundance of Learning in it, and a
very agreeable turn of Poetry, which rises in a great measure from [its
[1]] describing the Places where they were worshipped, by those
beautiful Marks of Rivers so frequent among the Ancient Poets. The
Author had doubtless in this place Homers Catalogue of Ships, and
Virgil's List of Warriors, in his View. The Characters of Moloch and
Belial prepare the Readers Mind for their respective Speeches and
Behaviour in the second and sixth Book. The Account of Thammuz is finely
Romantick, and suitable to what we read among the Ancients of the
Worship which was paid to that Idol.

--Thammuz came next behind.
Whose annual Wound in Lebanon allured
The Syrian Damsels to lament his fate,
In amorous Ditties all a Summers day,
While smooth Adonis from his native Rock
Ran purple to the Sea, supposed with Blood
Of Thammuz yearly wounded: the Love tale
Infected Zion's Daughters with like Heat,
Whose wanton Passions in the sacred Porch
Ezekiel saw, when by the Vision led
His Eye survey'd the dark Idolatries
Of alienated Judah.--

The Reader will pardon me if I insert as a Note on this beautiful
Passage, the Account given us by the late ingenious Mr. Maundrell [2] of
this Ancient Piece of Worship, and probably the first Occasion of such a

We came to a fair large River--doubtless the Ancient River Adonis, so
famous for the Idolatrous Rites performed here in Lamentation of
Adonis. We had the Fortune to see what may be supposed to be the
Occasion of that Opinion which Lucian relates, concerning this River,
viz. That this Stream, at certain Seasons of the Year, especially
about the Feast of Adonis, is of a bloody Colour; which the Heathens
looked upon as proceeding from a kind of Sympathy in the River for the
Death of Adonis, who was killed by a wild Boar in the Mountains, out
of which this Stream rises. Something like this we saw actually come
to pass; for the Water was stain'd to a surprizing Redness; and, as we
observ'd in Travelling, had discolour'd the Sea a great way into a
reddish Hue, occasion'd doubtless by a sort of Minium, or red Earth,
washed into the River by the Violence of the Rain, and not by any
Stain from Adonis's Blood.

The Passage in the Catalogue, explaining the manner how Spirits
transform themselves by Contractions or Enlargement of their Dimensions,
is introduced with great Judgment, to make way for several surprizing
Accidents in the Sequel of the Poem. There follows one, at the very End
of the first Book, which is what the French Criticks call Marvellous,
but at the same time probable by reason of the Passage last mentioned.
As soon as the Infernal Palace is finished, we are told the Multitude
and Rabble of Spirits immediately shrunk themselves into a small
Compass, that there might be Room for such a numberless Assembly in this
capacious Hall. But it is the Poets Refinement upon this Thought which
I most admire, and which is indeed very noble in its self. For he tells
us, that notwithstanding the vulgar, among the fallen Spirits,
contracted their Forms, those of the first Rank and Dignity still
preserved their natural Dimensions.

Thus incorporeal Spirits to smallest Forms
Reduced their Shapes immense, and were at large,
Though without Number, still amidst the Hall
Of that Infernal Court. But far within,
And in their own Dimensions like themselves,
The great Seraphick Lords and Cherubim,
In close recess and secret conclave sate,
A thousand Demy-Gods on Golden Seats,
Frequent and full--

The Character of Mammon and the Description of the Pandaemonium, are full
of Beauties.

There are several other Strokes in the first Book wonderfully poetical,
and Instances of that Sublime Genius so peculiar to the Author. Such is
the Description of Azazel's Stature, and of the Infernal Standard, which
he unfurls; as also of that ghastly Light, by which the Fiends appear to
one another in their Place of Torments.

The Seat of Desolation, void of Light,
Save what the glimmring of those livid Flames
Casts pale and dreadful--

The Shout of the whole Host of fallen Angels when drawn up in Battel

--The universal Host up sent
A Shout that tore Hells Concave, and beyond
Frighted the reign of Chaos and old Night.

The Review, which the Leader makes of his Infernal Army:

--He thro the armed files
Darts his experienc'd eye, and soon traverse
The whole Battalion mews, their Order due,
Their Visages and Stature as of Gods.
Their Number last he sums; and now his Heart
Distends with Pride, and hardning in his strength

The Flash of Light which appear'd upon the drawing of their Swords:

He spake: and to confirm his words outflew
Millions of flaming Swords, drawn from the thighs
Of mighty Cherubim; the sudden Blaze
Far round illumin'd Hell--

The sudden Production of the Pandaemonium;

Anon out of the Earth a Fabrick huge
Rose like an Exhalation, with the Sound
Of dulcet Symphonies and Voices sweet.

The Artificial Illuminations made in it:

--From the arched Roof
Pendent by subtle Magick, many a Row
Of Starry Lamps and blazing Crescets, fed
With Naphtha and Asphaltus, yielded Light
As from a Sky--

There are also several noble Similes and Allusions in the First Book of
Paradise Lost. And here I must observe, that when Milton alludes either
to Things or Persons, he never quits his Simile till it rises to some
very great Idea, which is often foreign to the Occasion that gave Birth
to it. The Resemblance does not, perhaps, last above a Line or two, but
the Poet runs on with the Hint till he has raised out of it some
glorious Image or Sentiment, proper to inflame the Mind of the Reader,
and to give it that sublime kind of Entertainment, which is suitable to
the Nature of an Heroick Poem. Those who are acquainted with Homers and
Virgil's way of Writing, cannot but be pleased with this kind of
Structure in Milton's Similitudes. I am the more particular on this
Head, because ignorant Readers, who have formed their Taste upon the
quaint Similes, and little Turns of Wit, which are so much in Vogue
among Modern Poets, cannot relish these Beauties which are of a much
higher Nature, and are therefore apt to censure Milton's Comparisons in
which they do not see any surprizing Points of Likeness. Monsieur
Perrault was a Man of this viciated Relish, and for that very Reason has
endeavoured to turn into Ridicule several of Homers Similitudes, which
he calls Comparisons a longue queue, Long-tail's Comparisons. [3] I
shall conclude this Paper on the First Book of Milton with the Answer
which Monsieur Boileau makes to Perrault on this Occasion;

Comparisons, says he, in Odes and Epic Poems, are not introduced only
to illustrate and embellish the Discourse, but to amuse and relax the
Mind of the Reader, by frequently disengaging him from too painful an
Attention to the Principal Subject, and by leading him into other
agreeable Images. Homer, says he, excelled in this Particular, whose
Comparisons abound with such Images of Nature as are proper to relieve
and diversifie his Subjects. He continually instructs the Reader, and
makes him take notice, even in Objects which are every Day before our
Eyes, of such Circumstances as we should not otherwise have observed.

To this he adds, as a Maxim universally acknowledged,

That it is not necessary in Poetry for the Points of the Comparison
to correspond with one another exactly, but that a general Resemblance
is sufficient, and that too much Nicety in this Particular favours of
the Rhetorician and Epigrammatist.

In short, if we look into the Conduct of Homer, Virgil and Milton, as
the great Fable is the Soul of each Poem, so to give their Works an
agreeable Variety, their Episodes are so many short Fables, and their
Similes so many short Episodes; to which you may add, if you please,
that their Metaphors are so many short Similes. If the Reader considers
the Comparisons in the first Book of Milton, of the Sun in an Eclipse,
of the Sleeping Leviathan, of the Bees swarming about their Hive, of the
Fairy Dance, in the view wherein I have here placed them, he will easily
discover the great Beauties that are in each of those Passages.


[Footnote 1: [his]]

[Footnote 2: A journey from Aleppo to Jerusalem at Easter, A.D. 1697. By
Henry Maundrell, M.A. It was published at Oxford in 1703, and was in a
new edition in 1707. It reached a seventh edition in 1749. Maundrell was
a Fellow of Exter College, which he left to take the appointment of
chaplain to the English factory at Aleppo. The brief account of his
journey is in the form of a diary, and the passage quoted is under the
date, March 15, when they were two days journey from Tripoli. The
stream he identifies with the Adonis was called, he says, by Turks
Ibrahim Pasha. It is near Gibyle, called by the Greeks Byblus, a place
once famous for the birth and temple of Adonis. The extract from
Paradise Lost and the passage from Maundrell were interpolated in the
first reprint of the Spectator.]

[Footnote 3: See note to No. 279. Charles Perrault made himself a
lasting name by his Fairy Tales, a charming embodiment of French nursery
traditions. The four volumes of his Paraliele des Anciens et des
Modernes 1692-6, included the good general idea of human progress, but
worked it out badly, dealing irreverently with Plato as well as Homer
and Pindar, and exalting among the moderns not only Moliere and
Corneille, but also Chapelain, Scuderi, and Quinault, whom he called
the greatest lyrical and dramatic poet that France ever had. The
battle had begun with a debate in the Academy: Racine having ironically
complimented Perrault on the ingenuity with which he had elevated little
men above the ancients in his poem (published 1687), le Siecle de Louis
le Grand. Fontenelle touched the matter lightly, as Perraults ally, in
his Digression sur les Anciens et les Modernes but afterwards drew back,
saying, I do not belong to the party which claims me for its chief.
The leaders on the respective sides, unequally matched, were Perrault
and Boileau.]

* * * * *

No. 304. Monday, February 18, 1712. Steele.

Vulnus alit venis et caeco carpitur igni.


The Circumstances of my Correspondent, whose Letter I now insert, are so
frequent, that I cannot want Compassion so much as to forbear laying it
before the Town. There is something so mean and inhuman in a direct
Smithfield Bargain for Children, that if this Lover carries his Point,
and observes the Rules he pretends to follow, I do not only wish him
Success, but also that it may animate others to follow his Example. I
know not one Motive relating to this Life which would produce so many
honourable and worthy Actions, as the Hopes of obtaining a Woman of
Merit: There would ten thousand Ways of Industry and honest Ambition be
pursued by young Men, who believed that the Persons admired had Value
enough for their Passion to attend the Event of their good Fortune in
all their Applications, in order to make their Circumstances fall in
with the Duties they owe to themselves, their Families, and their
Country; All these Relations a Man should think of who intends to go
into the State of Marriage, and expects to make it a State of Pleasure
and Satisfaction.


I have for some Years indulged a Passion for a young Lady of Age and
Quality suitable to my own, but very much superior in Fortune. It is
the Fashion with Parents (how justly I leave you to judge) to make all
Regards give way to the Article of Wealth. From this one Consideration
it is that I have concealed the ardent Love I have for her; but I am
beholden to the Force of my Love for many Advantages which I reaped
from it towards the better Conduct of my Life. A certain Complacency
to all the World, a strong Desire to oblige where-ever it lay in my
Power, and a circumspect Behaviour in all my Words and Actions, have
rendered me more particularly acceptable to all my Friends and
Acquaintance. Love has had the same good Effect upon my Fortune; and I
have encreased in Riches in proportion to my Advancement in those Arts
which make a man agreeable and amiable. There is a certain Sympathy
which will tell my Mistress from these Circumstances, that it is I who
writ this for her Reading, if you will please to insert it. There is
not a downright Enmity, but a great Coldness between our Parents; so
that if either of us declared any kind Sentiment for each other, her
Friends would be very backward to lay an Obligation upon our Family,
and mine to receive it from hers. Under these delicate Circumstances
it is no easie Matter to act with Safety. I have no Reason to fancy my
Mistress has any Regard for me, but from a very disinterested Value
which I have for her. If from any Hint in any future Paper of yours
she gives me the least Encouragement, I doubt not but I shall surmount
all other Difficulties; and inspired by so noble a Motive for the Care
of my Fortune, as the Belief she is to be concerned in it, I will not
despair of receiving her one Day from her Fathers own Hand.

I am, SIR,
Your most obedient humble Servant,

To his Worship the SPECTATOR,

The humble Petition of Anthony Title-Page, Stationer, in the Centre of

That your Petitioner and his Fore-Fathers have been Sellers of Books
for Time immemorial; That your Petitioners Ancestor, Crouchback
Title-Page, was the first of that Vocation in Britain; who keeping his
Station (in fair Weather) at the Corner of Lothbury, was by way of
Eminency called the Stationer, a Name which from him all succeeding
Booksellers have affected to bear: That the Station of your Petitioner
and his Father has been in the Place of his present Settlement ever
since that Square has been built: That your Petitioner has formerly
had the Honour of your Worships Custom, and hopes you never had
Reason to complain of your Penny-worths; that particularly he sold you
your first Lilly's Grammar, and at the same Time a Wits Commonwealth
almost as good as new: Moreover, that your first rudimental Essays in
Spectatorship were made in your Petitioners Shop, where you often
practised for Hours together, sometimes on his Books upon the Rails,
sometimes on the little Hieroglyphicks either gilt, silvered, or
plain, which the Egyptian Woman on the other Side of the Shop had
wrought in Gingerbread, and sometimes on the English Youth, who in
sundry Places there were exercising themselves in the traditional
Sports of the Field.

From these Considerations it is, that your Petitioner is encouraged to
apply himself to you, and to proceed humbly to acquaint your Worship,
That he has certain Intelligence that you receive great Numbers of
defamatory Letters designed by their Authors to be published, which
you throw aside and totally neglect: Your Petitioner therefore prays,
that you will please to bestow on him those Refuse Letters, and he
hopes by printing them to get a more plentiful Provision for his
Family; or at the worst, he may be allowed to sell them by the Pound
Weight to his good Customers the Pastry-Cooks of London and
Westminster. And your Petitioner shall ever pray, &c.


The humble Petition of Bartholomew Ladylove, of Round-Court in the
Parish of St. Martins in the Fields, in Behalf of himself and


That your Petitioners have with great Industry and Application arrived
at the most exact Art of Invitation or Entreaty: That by a beseeching
Air and perswasive Address, they have for many Years last past
peaceably drawn in every tenth Passenger, whether they intended or not
to call at their Shops, to come in and buy; and from that Softness of
Behaviour, have arrived among Tradesmen at the gentle Appellation of
the Fawners.

That there have of late set up amongst us certain Persons of
Monmouth-street and Long-lane, who by the Strength of their Arms, and
Loudness of their Throats, draw off the Regard of all Passengers from
your said Petitioners; from which Violence they are distinguished by
the Name of the Worriers.

That while your Petitioners stand ready to receive Passengers with a
submissive Bow, and repeat with a gentle Voice, Ladies, what do you
want? pray look in here; the Worriers reach out their Hands at
Pistol-shot, and seize the Customers at Arms Length.

That while the Fawners strain and relax the Muscles of their Faces in
making Distinction between a Spinster in a coloured Scarf and an
Handmaid in a Straw-Hat, the Worriers use the same Roughness to both,
and prevail upon the Easiness of the Passengers, to the Impoverishment
of your Petitioners.

Your Petitioners therefore most humbly pray, that the Worriers may not
be permitted to inhabit the politer Parts of the Town; and that
Round-Court may remain a Receptacle for Buyers of a more soft

And your Petitioners, &c.

The Petition of the New-Exchange, concerning the Arts of Buying and
Selling, and particularly valuing Goods by the Complexion of the Seller,
will be considered on another Occasion.


* * * * *

No. 305. Tuesday, February 19, 1712. Addison.

Non tali auxilio, nec defensoribus istis
Tempus eget.


Our late News-Papers being full of the Project now on foot in the Court
of France, for Establishing a Political Academy, and I my self having
received Letters from several Virtuosos among my Foreign
Correspondents, which give some Light into that Affair, I intend to make
it the Subject of this Days Speculation. A general Account of this
Project may be met with in the Daily Courant of last Friday in the
following Words, translated from the Gazette of Amsterdam.

Paris, February 12.
Tis confirmed that the King has resolved to establish a new Academy
for Politicks, of which the Marquis de Torcy, Minister and Secretary
of State, is to be Protector. Six Academicians are to be chosen,
endowed with proper Talents, for beginning to form this Academy, into
which no Person is to be admitted under Twenty-five Years of Age: They
must likewise each have an Estate of Two thousand Livres a Year,
either in Possession, or to come to em by Inheritance. The King will
allow to each a Pension of a Thousand Livres. They are likewise to
have able Masters to teach em the necessary Sciences, and to instruct
them in all the Treaties of Peace, Alliance, and others, which have
been made in several Ages past. These Members are to meet twice a Week
at the Louvre. From this Seminary are to be chosen Secretaries to
Ambassies, who by degrees may advance to higher Employments.

Cardinal Richelieus Politicks made France the Terror of Europe. The
Statesmen who have appeared in the Nation of late Years, have on the
contrary rendered it either the Pity or Contempt of its Neighbours. The
Cardinal erected that famous Academy which has carried all the Parts of
Polite Learning to the greatest Height. His chief Design in that
Institution was to divert the Men of Genius from meddling with
Politicks, a Province in which he did not care to have any one else
interfere with him. On the contrary, the Marquis de Torcy seems resolved
to make several young Men in France as Wise as himself, and is therefore
taken up at present in establishing a Nursery of Statesmen.

Some private Letters add, that there will also be erected a Seminary of
Petticoat Politicians, who are to be brought up at the Feet of Madam de
Maintenon, and to be dispatched into Foreign Courts upon any Emergencies
of State; but as the News of this last Project has not been yet
confirmed, I shall take no farther Notice of it.

Several of my Readers may doubtless remember that upon the Conclusion of
the last War, which had been carried on so successfully by the Enemy,
their Generals were many of them transformed into Ambassadors; but the
Conduct of those who have commanded in the present War, has, it seems,
brought so little Honour and Advantage to their great Monarch, that he
is resolved to trust his Affairs no longer in the Hands of those
Military Gentlemen.

The Regulations of this new Academy very much deserve our Attention. The
Students are to have in Possession, or Reversion, an Estate of two
thousand French Livres per Annum, which, as the present Exchange runs,
will amount to at least one hundred and twenty six Pounds English. This,
with the Royal Allowance of a Thousand Livres, will enable them to find
themselves in Coffee and Snuff; not to mention News-Papers, Pen and Ink,
Wax and Wafers, with the like Necessaries for Politicians.

A Man must be at least Five and Twenty before he can be initiated into
the Mysteries of this Academy, tho there is no Question but many grave
Persons of a much more advanced Age, who have been constant Readers of
the Paris Gazette, will be glad to begin the World a-new, and enter
themselves upon this List of Politicians.

The Society of these hopeful young Gentlemen is to be under the
Direction of six Professors, who, it seems, are to be Speculative
Statesmen, and drawn out of the Body of the Royal Academy. These six
wise Masters, according to my private Letters, are to have the following
Parts allotted them.

The first is to instruct the Students in State Legerdemain, as how to
take off the Impression of a Seal, to split a Wafer, to open a Letter,
to fold it up again, with other the like ingenious Feats of Dexterity
and Art. When the Students have accomplished themselves in this Part of
their Profession, they are to be delivered into the Hands of their
second Instructor, who is a kind of Posture-Master.

This Artist is to teach them how to nod judiciously, to shrug up their
Shoulders in a dubious Case, to connive with either Eye, and in a Word,
the whole Practice of Political Grimace.

The Third is a sort of Language-Master, who is to instruct them in the
Style proper for a Foreign Minister in his ordinary Discourse. And to
the End that this College of Statesmen may be thoroughly practised in
the Political Style, they are to make use of it in their common
Conversations, before they are employed either in Foreign or Domestick
Affairs. If one of them asks another, what a-clock it is, the other is
to answer him indirectly, and, if possible, to turn off the Question. If
he is desired to change a Louis d'or, he must beg Time to consider of
it. If it be enquired of him, whether the King is at Versailles or
Marly, he must answer in a Whisper. If he be asked the News of the late
Gazette, or the Subject of a Proclamation, he is to reply, that he has
not yet read it: Or if he does not care for explaining himself so far,
he needs only draw his Brow up in Wrinkles, or elevate the Left

The Fourth Professor is to teach the whole Art of Political Characters
and Hieroglyphics; and to the End that they may be perfect also in this
Practice, they are not to send a Note to one another (tho it be but to
borrow a Tacitus or a Machiavil) which is not written in Cypher.

Their Fifth Professor, it is thought, will be chosen out of the Society
of Jesuits, and is to be well read in the Controversies of probable
Doctrines, mental Reservation, and the Rights of Princes. This Learned
Man is to instruct them in the Grammar, Syntax, and construing Part of
Treaty-Latin; how to distinguish between the Spirit and the Letter, and
likewise demonstrate how the same Form of Words may lay an Obligation
upon any Prince in Europe, different from that which it lays upon his
Most Christian Majesty. He is likewise to teach them the Art of finding
Flaws, Loop-holes, and Evasions, in the most solemn Compacts, and
particularly a great Rabbinical Secret, revived of late Years by the
Fraternity of Jesuits, namely, that contradictory Interpretations, of
the same Article may both of them be true and valid.

When our Statesmen are sufficiently improved by these several
Instructors, they are to receive their last Polishing from one who is to
act among them as Master of the Ceremonies. This Gentleman is to give
them Lectures upon those important Points of the Elbow Chair, and the
Stair Head, to instruct them in the different Situations of the
Right-Hand, and to furnish them with Bows and Inclinations of all Sizes,
Measures and Proportions. In short, this Professor is to give the
Society their Stiffening, and infuse into their Manners that beautiful
Political Starch, which may qualifie them for Levees, Conferences,
Visits, and make them shine in what vulgar Minds are apt to look upon as
Trifles. I have not yet heard any further Particulars, which are to be
observed in this Society of unfledged Statesmen; but I must confess, had
I a Son of five and twenty, that should take it into his Head at that
Age to set up for a Politician, I think I should go near to disinherit
him for a Block-head. Besides, I should be apprehensive lest the same
Arts which are to enable him to negotiate between Potentates might a
little infect his ordinary behaviour between Man and Man. There is no
Question but these young Machiavil's will, in a little time, turn their
College upside-down with Plots and Stratagems, and lay as many Schemes
to Circumvent one another in a Frog or a Sallad, as they may hereafter
put in Practice to over-reach a Neighbouring Prince or State.

We are told, that the Spartans, tho they punished Theft in their young
Men when it was discovered, looked upon it as Honourable if it
succeeded. Provided the Conveyance was clean and unsuspected, a Youth
might afterwards boast of it. This, say the Historians, was to keep them
sharp, and to hinder them from being imposed upon, either in their
publick or private Negotiations. Whether any such Relaxations of
Morality, such little jeux desprit, ought not to be allowed in this
intended Seminary of Politicians, I shall leave to the Wisdom of their

In the mean time we have fair Warning given us by this doughty Body of
Statesmen: and as Sylla saw many Marius's in Caesar, so I think we may
discover many Torcys in this College of Academicians. Whatever we think
of our selves, I am afraid neither our Smyrna or St. James's will be a
Match for it. Our Coffee-houses are, indeed, very good Institutions, but
whether or no these our British Schools of Politicks may furnish out as
able Envoys and Secretaries as an Academy that is set apart for that
Purpose, will deserve our serious Consideration, especially if we
remember that our Country is more famous for producing Men of Integrity
than Statesmen; and that on the contrary, French Truth and British
Policy make a Conspicuous Figure in NOTHING, as the Earl of Rochester
has very well observed in his admirable Poem upon that Barren Subject.


* * * * *

No. 306. Wednesday, February 20, 1712. Steele.

Quae forma, ut se tibi semper



I write this to communicate to you a Misfortune which frequently
happens, and therefore deserves a consolatory Discourse on the
Subject. I was within this Half-Year in the Possession of as much
Beauty and as many Lovers as any young Lady in England. But my
Admirers have left me, and I cannot complain of their Behaviour. I
have within that Time had the Small-Pox; and this Face, which
(according to many amorous Epistles which I have by me) was the Seat
of all that is beautiful in Woman, is now disfigured with Scars. It
goes to the very Soul of me to speak what I really think of my Face;
and tho I think I did not over-rate my Beauty while I had it, it has
extremely advanc'd in its value with me now it is lost. There is one
Circumstance which makes my Case very particular; the ugliest Fellow
that ever pretended to me, was and is most in my Favour, and he treats
me at present the most unreasonably. If you could make him return an
Obligation which he owes me, in liking a Person that is not
amiable;--But there is, I fear, no Possibility of making Passion move
by the Rules of Reason and Gratitude. But say what you can to one who
has survived her self, and knows not how to act in a new Being. My
Lovers are at the Feet of my Rivals, my Rivals are every Day bewailing
me, and I cannot enjoy what I am, by reason of the distracting
Reflection upon what I was. Consider the Woman I was did not die of
old Age, but I was taken off in the Prime of my Youth, and according
to the Course of Nature may have Forty Years After-Life to come. I
have nothing of my self left which I like, but that
I am, SIR,
Your most humble Servant,

When Lewis of France had lost the Battle of Ramelies, the Addresses to
him at that time were full of his Fortitude, and they turned his
Misfortune to his Glory; in that, during his Prosperity, he could never
have manifested his heroick Constancy under Distresses, and so the World
had lost the most eminent Part of his Character. Parthenissa's Condition
gives her the same Opportunity; and to resign Conquests is a Task as
difficult in a Beauty as an Hero. In the very Entrance upon this Work
she must burn all her Love-Letters; or since she is so candid as not to
call her Lovers who follow her no longer Unfaithful, it would be a very
good beginning of a new Life from that of a Beauty, to send them back to
those who writ them, with this honest Inscription, Articles of a
Marriage Treaty broken off by the Small-Pox. I have known but one
Instance, where a Matter of this Kind went on after a like Misfortune,
where the Lady, who was a Woman of Spirit, writ this Billet to her

If you flattered me before I had this terrible Malady, pray come and
see me now: But if you sincerely liked me, stay away; for I am not the

The Lover thought there was something so sprightly in her Behaviour,
that he answered,

I am not obliged, since you are not the same Woman, to let you know
whether I flattered you or not; but I assure you, I do not, when I
tell you I now like you above all your Sex, and hope you will bear
what may befall me when we are both one, as well as you do what
happens to your self now you are single; therefore I am ready to take
such a Spirit for my Companion as soon as you please.

If Parthenissa can now possess her own Mind, and think as little of her
Beauty as she ought to have done when she had it, there will be no great
Diminution of her Charms; and if she was formerly affected too much with
them, an easie Behaviour will more than make up for the Loss of them.
Take the whole Sex together, and you find those who have the strongest
Possession of Mens Hearts are not eminent for their Beauty: You see it
often happen that those who engage Men to the greatest Violence, are
such as those who are Strangers to them would take to be remarkably
defective for that End. The fondest Lover I know, said to me one Day in
a Crowd of Women at an Entertainment of Musick, You have often heard me
talk of my Beloved: That Woman there, continued he, smiling when he had
fixed my Eye, is her very Picture. The Lady he shewed me was by much the
least remarkable for Beauty of any in the whole Assembly; but having my
Curiosity extremely raised, I could not keep my Eyes off of her. Her
Eyes at last met mine, and with a sudden Surprize she looked round her
to see who near her was remarkably handsome that I was gazing at. This
little Act explain'd the Secret: She did not understand herself for the
Object of Love, and therefore she was so. The Lover is a very honest
plain Man; and what charmed him was a Person that goes along with him in
the Cares and Joys of Life, not taken up with her self, but sincerely
attentive with a ready and chearful Mind, to accompany him in either.

I can tell Parthenissa for her Comfort, That the Beauties, generally
speaking, are the most impertinent and disagreeable of Women. An
apparent Desire of Admiration, a Reflection upon their own Merit, and a
precious Behaviour in their general Conduct, are almost inseparable
Accidents in Beauties. All you obtain of them is granted to Importunity
and Sollicitation for what did not deserve so much of your Time, and you
recover from the Possession of it, as out of a Dream.

You are ashamed of the Vagaries of Fancy which so strangely mis-led you,
and your Admiration of a Beauty, merely as such, is inconsistent with a
tolerable Reflection upon your self: The chearful good-humoured
Creatures, into whose Heads it never entred that they could make any Man
unhappy, are the Persons formed for making Men happy. There's Miss Liddy
can dance a Jigg, raise Paste, write a good Hand, keep an Account, give
a reasonable Answer, and do as she is bid; while her elder Sister Madam
Martha is out of Humour, has the Spleen, learns by Reports of People of
higher Quality new Ways of being uneasie and displeased. And this
happens for no Reason in the World, but that poor Liddy knows she has no
such thing as a certain Negligence that is so becoming, that there is
not I know not what in her Air: And that if she talks like a Fool, there
is no one will say, Well! I know not what it is, but every Thing pleases
when she speaks it.

Ask any of the Husbands of your great Beauties, and they'll tell you
that they hate their Wives Nine Hours of every Day they pass together.
There is such a Particularity for ever affected by them, that they are
incumbered with their Charms in all they say or do. They pray at publick
Devotions as they are Beauties. They converse on ordinary Occasions as
they are Beauties. Ask Belinda what it is a Clock, and she is at a stand
whether so great a Beauty should answer you. In a Word, I think, instead
of offering to administer Consolation to Parthenissa, I should
congratulate her Metamorphosis; and however she thinks she was not in
the least insolent in the Prosperity of her Charms, she was enough so to
find she may make her self a much more agreeable Creature in her present
Adversity. The Endeavour to please is highly promoted by a Consciousness
that the Approbation of the Person you would be agreeable to, is a
Favour you do not deserve; for in this Case Assurance of Success is the
most certain way to Disappointment. Good-Nature will always supply the
Absence of Beauty, but Beauty cannot long supply the Absence of

P. S.

Madam, February 18.
I have yours of this Day, wherein you twice bid me not to disoblige
you, but you must explain yourself further before I know what to do.
Your most obedient Servant,


[Footnote 1: Mr. John Duncombe ascribed this letter to his relative,
John Hughes, and said that by Parthenissa was meant a Miss Rotherham,
afterwards married to the Rev. Mr. Wyatt, master of Felsted School, in
Essex. The name of Parthenissa is from the heroine of a romance by Roger
Boyle, Earl of Orrery.]

* * * * *

No. 307. Thursday, February 21, 1712. Budgell.

--Versate diu quid ferre recusent
Quid valeant humeri--


I am so well pleased with the following Letter, that I am in hopes it
will not be a disagreeable Present to the Publick.

Though I believe none of your Readers more admire your agreeable
manner of working up Trifles than my self, yet as your Speculations
are now swelling into Volumes, and will in all Probability pass down
to future Ages, methinks I would have no single Subject in them,
wherein the general Good of Mankind is concern'd, left unfinished.

I have a long time expected with great Impatience that you would
enlarge upon the ordinary Mistakes which are committed in the
Education of our Children. I the more easily flattered my self that
you would one time or other resume this Consideration, because you
tell us that your 168th Paper was only composed of a few broken Hints;
but finding myself hitherto disappointed, I have ventur'd to send you
my own Thoughts on this Subject.

I remember Pericles in his famous Oration at the Funeral of those
Athenian young Men who perished in the Samian Expedition, has a
Thought very much celebrated by several Ancient Criticks, namely, That
the Loss which the Commonwealth suffered by the Destruction of its
Youth, was like the Loss which the Year would suffer by the
Destruction of the Spring. The Prejudice which the Publick sustains
from a wrong Education of Children, is an Evil of the same Nature, as
it in a manner starves Posterity, and defrauds our Country of those
Persons who, with due Care, might make an eminent Figure in their
respective Posts of Life.

I have seen a Book written by Juan Huartes,[1] a Spanish Physician,
entitled Examen de Ingenios, wherein he lays it down as one of his
first Positions, that Nothing but Nature can qualifie a Man for
Learning; and that without a proper Temperament for the particular Art
or Science which he studies, his utmost Pains and Application,
assisted by the ablest Masters, will be to no purpose.

He illustrates this by the Example of Tully's Son Marcus.

Cicero, in order to accomplish his Son in that sort of Learning which
he designed him for, sent him to Athens, the most celebrated Academy
at that time in the World, and where a vast Concourse, out of the most
Polite Nations, could not but furnish a young Gentleman with a
Multitude of great Examples, and Accidents that might insensibly have
instructed him in his designed Studies: He placed him under the Care
of Cratippus, who was one of the greatest Philosophers of the Age,
and, as if all the Books which were at that time written had not been
sufficient for his Use, he composed others on purpose for him:
Notwithstanding all this, History informs us, that Marcus proved a
meer Blockhead, and that Nature, (who it seems was even with the Son
for her Prodigality to the Father) rendered him incapable of improving
by all the Rules of Eloquence, the Precepts of Philosophy, his own
Endeavours, and the most refined Conversation in Athens. This Author
therefore proposes, that there should be certain Tryers or Examiners
appointed by the State to inspect the Genius of every particular Boy,
and to allot him the Part that is most suitable to his natural

Plato in one of his Dialogues tells us, that Socrates, who was the
Son of a Midwife, used to say, that as his Mother, tho she was very
skilful in her Profession, could not deliver a Woman, unless she was
first with Child; so neither could he himself raise Knowledge out of a
Mind, where Nature had not planted it.

Accordingly the Method this Philosopher took, of instructing his
Scholars by several Interrogatories or Questions, was only helping the
Birth, and bringing their own Thoughts to Light.

The Spanish Doctor above mentioned, as his Speculations grow more
refined, asserts that every kind of Wit has a particular Science
corresponding to it, and in which alone it can be truly Excellent. As
to those Genius's, which may seem to have an equal Aptitude for
several things, he regards them as so many unfinished Pieces of Nature
wrought off in haste.

There are, indeed, but very few to whom Nature has been so unkind,
that they are not capable of shining in some Science or other. There
is a certain Byass towards Knowledge in every Mind, which may be
strengthened and improved by proper Applications.

The Story of Clavius [2] is very well known; he was entered in a
College of Jesuits, and after having been tryed at several Parts of
Learning, was upon the Point of being dismissed as an hopeless
Blockhead, till one of the Fathers took it into his Head to make an
assay of his Parts in Geometry, which it seems hit his Genius so
luckily that he afterwards became one of the greatest Mathematicians
of the Age. It is commonly thought that the Sagacity of these Fathers,
in discovering the Talent of a young Student, has not a little
contributed to the Figure which their Order has made in the World.

How different from this manner of Education is that which prevails in
our own Country? Where nothing is more usual than to see forty or
fifty Boys of several Ages, Tempers and Inclinations, ranged together
in the same Class, employed upon the same Authors, and enjoyned the
same Tasks? Whatever their natural Genius may be, they are all to be
made Poets, Historians, and Orators alike. They are all obliged to
have the same Capacity, to bring in the same Tale of Verse, and to
furnish out the same Portion of Prose. Every Boy is bound to have as
good a Memory as the Captain of the Form. To be brief, instead of
adapting Studies to the particular Genius of a Youth, we expect from
the young Man, that he should adapt his Genius to his Studies. This, I
must confess, is not so much to be imputed to the Instructor, as to
the Parent, who will never be brought to believe, that his Son is not
capable of performing as much as his Neighbours, and that he may not
make him whatever he has a Mind to.

If the present Age is more laudable than those which have gone before
it in any single Particular, it is in that generous Care which several
well-disposed Persons have taken in the Education of poor Children;
and as in these Charity-Schools there is no Place left for the
over-weening Fondness of a Parent, the Directors of them would make
them beneficial to the Publick, if they considered the Precept which I
have been thus long inculcating. They might easily, by well examining
the Parts of those under their Inspection, make a just Distribution of
them into proper Classes and Divisions, and allot to them this or that
particular Study, as their Genius qualifies them for Professions,
Trades, Handicrafts, or Service by Sea or Land.

How is this kind of Regulation wanting in the three great

Dr. South complaining of Persons who took upon them Holy Orders, tho
altogether unqualified for the Sacred Function, says somewhere, that
many a Man runs his Head against a Pulpit, who might have done his
Country excellent Service at a Plough-tail.

In like manner many a Lawyer, who makes but an indifferent Figure at
the Bar, might have made a very elegant Waterman, and have shined at
the Temple Stairs, tho he can get no Business in the House.

I have known a Corn-cutter, who with a right Education would have
been an excellent Physician.

To descend lower, are not our Streets filled with sagacious Draymen,
and Politicians in Liveries? We have several Taylors of six Foot high,
and meet with many a broad pair of Shoulders that are thrown away upon
a Barber, when perhaps at the same time we see a pigmy Porter reeling
under a Burthen, who might have managed a Needle with much Dexterity,
or have snapped his Fingers with great Ease to himself, and Advantage
to the Publick.

The Spartans, tho they acted with the Spirit which I am here
speaking of, carried it much farther than what I propose: Among them
it was not lawful for the Father himself to bring up his Children
after his own Fancy. As soon as they were seven Years old they were
all listed in several Companies, and disciplined by the Publick. The
old Men were Spectators of their Performances, who often raised
Quarrels among them, and set them at Strife with one another, that by
those early Discoveries they might see how their several Talents lay,
and without any regard to their Quality, dispose of them accordingly
for the Service of the Commonwealth. By this Means Sparta soon became
the Mistress of Greece, and famous through the whole World for her
Civil and Military Discipline.

If you think this Letter deserves a place among your Speculations, I
may perhaps trouble you with some other Thoughts on the same Subject.
I am, &c.


[Footnote 1: Juan Huarte was born in French Navarre, and obtained much
credit in the sixteenth century for the book here cited. It was
translated into Latin and French. The best edition is of Cologne, 1610.]

[Footnote 2: Christopher Clavius, a native of Bamberg, died in 1612,
aged 75, at Rome, whither he had been sent by the Jesuits, and where he
was regarded as the Euclid of his age. It was Clavius whom Pope Gregory
XIII. employed in 1581 to effect the reform in the Roman Calendar
promulgated in 1582, when the 5th of October became throughout Catholic
countries the 15th of the New Style, an improvement that was not
admitted into Protestant England until 1752. Clavius wrote an Arithmetic
and Commentaries on Euclid, and justified his reform of the Calendar
against the criticism of Scaliger.]

* * * * *

No. 308. Friday, February 22, 1712. Steele.

Jam proterva
Fronte petet Lalage maritum.



I give you this Trouble in order to propose my self to you as an
Assistant in the weighty Cares which you have thought fit to undergo
for the publick Good. I am a very great Lover of Women, that is to say
honestly, and as it is natural to study what one likes, I have
industriously applied my self to understand them. The present
Circumstance relating to them, is, that I think there wants under you,
as SPECTATOR, a Person to be distinguished and vested in the Power and
Quality of a Censor on Marriages. I lodge at the Temple, and know, by
seeing Women come hither, and afterwards observing them conducted by
their Council to Judges Chambers, that there is a Custom in Case of
making Conveyance of a Wife's Estate, that she is carried to a Judges
Apartment and left alone with him, to be examined in private whether
she has not been frightened or sweetned by her Spouse into the Act she
is going to do, or whether it is of her own free Will. Now if this be
a Method founded upon Reason and Equity, why should there not be also
a proper Officer for examining such as are entring into the State of
Matrimony, whether they are forced by Parents on one Side, or moved by
Interest only on the other, to come together, and bring forth such
awkward Heirs as are the Product of half Love and constrained
Compliances? There is no Body, though I say it my self, would be
fitter for this Office than I am: For I am an ugly Fellow of great Wit
and Sagacity. My Father was an hail Country-Squire, my Mother a witty
Beauty of no Fortune: The Match was made by Consent of my Mothers
Parents against her own: and I am the Child of a Rape on the
Wedding-Night; so that I am as healthy and as homely as my Father, but
as sprightly and agreeable as my Mother. It would be of great Ease to
you if you would use me under you, that Matches might be better
regulated for the future, and we might have no more Children of
Squabbles. I shall not reveal all my Pretensions till I receive your
Answer; and am, Sir,
Your most humble Servant,
Mules Palfrey.

Mr. Spectator,

I am one of those unfortunate Men within the City-Walls, who am
married to a Woman of Quality, but her Temper is something different
from that of Lady Anvil. My Lady's whole Time and Thoughts are spent
in keeping up to the Mode both in Apparel and Furniture. All the Goods
in my House have been changed three times in seven Years. I have had
seven Children by her; and by our Marriage Articles she was to have
her Apartment new furnished as often as she lay in. Nothing in our
House is useful but that which is fashionable; my Pewter holds out
generally half a Year, my Plate a full Twelvemonth; Chairs are not fit
to sit in that were made two Years since, nor Beds fit for any thing
but to sleep in that have stood up above that Time. My Dear is of
Opinion that an old-fashioned Grate consumes Coals, but gives no Heat:
If she drinks out of Glasses of last Year, she cannot distinguish Wine
from Small-Beer. Oh dear Sir you may guess all the rest. Yours.

P. S. I could bear even all this, if I were not obliged also to eat
fashionably. I have a plain Stomach, and have a constant Loathing of
whatever comes to my own Table; for which Reason I dine at the
Chop-House three Days a Week: Where the good Company wonders they
never see you of late. I am sure by your unprejudiced Discourses you
love Broth better than Soup.

Wills, Feb. 19.

Mr. Spectator,
You may believe you are a Person as much talked of as any Man in Town.
I am one of your best Friends in this House, and have laid a Wager you
are so candid a Man and so honest a Fellow, that you will print this
Letter, tho it is in Recommendation of a new Paper called The
Historian. [1] I have read it carefully, and find it written with
Skill, good Sense, Modesty, and Fire. You must allow the Town is
kinder to you than you deserve; and I doubt not but you have so much
Sense of the World, Change of Humour, and instability of all humane
Things, as to understand, that the only Way to preserve Favour, is to
communicate it to others with Good-Nature and Judgment. You are so
generally read, that what you speak of will be read. This with Men of
Sense and Taste is all that is wanting to recommend The Historian.
I am, Sir,
Your daily Advocate,
Reader Gentle.

I was very much surprised this Morning, that any one should find out my
Lodging, and know it so well, as to come directly to my Closet-Door, and
knock at it, to give me the following Letter. When I came out I opened
it, and saw by a very strong Pair of Shoes and a warm Coat the Bearer
had on, that he walked all the Way to bring it me, tho dated from York.
My Misfortune is that I cannot talk, and I found the Messenger had so
much of me, that he could think better than speak. He had, I observed, a
polite Discerning hid under a shrewd Rusticity: He delivered the Paper
with a Yorkshire Tone and a Town Leer.

Mr. Spectator,
The Privilege you have indulged John Trot has proved of very bad
Consequence to our illustrious Assembly, which, besides the many
excellent Maxims it is founded upon, is remarkable for the
extraordinary Decorum always observed in it. One Instance of which is
that the Carders, (who are always of the first Quality) never begin to
play till the French-Dances are finished, and the Country-Dances
begin: But John Trot having now got your Commission in his Pocket,
(which every one here has a profound Respect for) has the Assurance to
set up for a Minuit-Dancer. Not only so, but he has brought down upon
us the whole Body of the Trots, which are very numerous, with their
Auxiliaries the Hobblers and the Skippers, by which Means the Time is
so much wasted, that unless we break all Rules of Government, it must
redound to the utter Subversion of the Brag-Table, the discreet
Members of which value Time as Fribble's Wife does her Pin-Money. We
are pretty well assured that your Indulgence to Trot was only in
relation to Country-Dances; however we have deferred the issuing an
Order of Council upon the Premisses, hoping to get you to join with
us, that Trot, nor any of his Clan, presume for the future to dance
any but Country-Dances, unless a Horn-Pipe upon a Festival-Day. If you
will do this you will oblige a great many Ladies, and particularly
Your most humble Servant,
Eliz. Sweepstakes.
York, Feb. 16.

I never meant any other than that Mr. Trott should confine himself to
Country-Dances. And I further direct, that he shall take out none but
his own Relations according to their Nearness of Blood, but any
Gentlewoman may take out him.

London, Feb. 21.

The Spectator.


[Footnote 1: Steele's papers had many imitations, as the Historian, here
named; the Rhapsody, Observator, Moderator, Growler, Censor, Hermit,
Surprize, Silent Monitor, Inquisitor, Pilgrim, Restorer, Instructor,
Grumbler, &c. There was also in 1712 a Rambler, anticipating the name of
Dr. Johnsons Rambler of 1750-2.]

* * * * *

No. 309. Saturday, February 23, 1712. Addison.

Di, quibus imperium est animarum, umbraeque silentes,
Et Chaos, et Phlegethon, loca nocte silentia late;
Sit mihi fas audita loqui! sit numine vestro
Pandere res alta terra et caligine mersas.


I have before observed in general, that the Persons whom Milton
introduces into his Poem always discover such Sentiments and Behaviour,
as are in a peculiar manner conformable to their respective Characters.
Every Circumstance in their Speeches and Actions is with great Justness
and Delicacy adapted to the Persons who speak and act. As the Poet very
much excels in this Consistency of his Characters, I shall beg Leave to
consider several Passages of the Second Book in this Light. That
superior Greatness and Mock-Majesty, which is ascribed to the Prince of
the fallen Angels, is admirably preserved in the Beginning of this Book.
His opening and closing the Debate; his taking on himself that great
Enterprize at the Thought of which the whole Infernal Assembly trembled;
his encountering the hideous Phantom who guarded the Gates of Hell, and
appeared to him in all his Terrors, are Instances of that proud and
daring Mind which could not brook Submission even to Omnipotence.

Satan was now at hand, and from his Seat
The Monster moving onward came as fast
With horrid strides, Hell trembled as he strode,
Th' undaunted Fiend what this might be admir'd,
Admired, not fear'd--

The same Boldness and Intrepidity of Behaviour discovers it self in the
several Adventures which he meets with during his Passage through the
Regions of unformed Matter, and particularly in his Address to those
tremendous Powers who are described as presiding over it.

The Part of Moloch is likewise in all its Circumstances full of that
Fire and Fury which distinguish this Spirit from the rest of the fallen
Angels. He is described in the first Book as besmeared with the Blood of
Human Sacrifices, and delighted with the Tears of Parents and the Cries
of Children. In the Second Book he is marked out as the fiercest Spirit
that fought in Heaven: and if we consider the Figure which he makes in
the Sixth Book, where the Battle of the Angels is described, we find it
every way answerable to the same furious enraged Character.

--Where the might of Gabriel fought,
And with fierce Ensigns pierc'd the deep array
Of Moloc, furious King, who him defy'd,
And at his chariot wheels to drag him bound
Threatened, nor from the Holy one of Heavn
Refrain'd his tongue blasphemous; but anon
Down cloven to the waste, with shatter'd arms
And uncouth pain fled bellowing.--

It may be worth while to observe, that Milton has represented this
violent impetuous Spirit, who is hurried only by such precipitate
Passions, as the first that rises in that Assembly, to give his Opinion
upon their present Posture of Affairs. Accordingly he declares himself
abruptly for War, and appears incensed at his Companions, for losing so
much Time as even to deliberate upon it. All his Sentiments are Rash,
Audacious and Desperate. Such is that of arming themselves with their
Tortures, and turning their Punishments upon him who inflicted them.

--No, let us rather chuse,
Arm'd with Hell flames and fury, all at once
O'er Heavens high tow'rs to force resistless way,
Turning our tortures into horrid arms
Against the Torturer; when to meet the Noise
Of his almighty Engine he shall hear
Infernal Thunder, and for Lightning see
Black fire and horror shot with equal rage
Among his Angels; and his throne it self
Mixt with Tartarean Sulphur, and strange Fire,
His own invented Torments--

His preferring Annihilation to Shame or Misery, is also highly suitable
to his Character; as the Comfort he draws from their disturbing the
Peace of Heaven, that if it be not Victory it is Revenge, is a Sentiment
truly Diabolical, and becoming the Bitterness of this implacable Spirit.

Belial is described in the first Book, as the Idol of the Lewd and
Luxurious. He is in the Second Book, pursuant to that Description,
characterised as timorous and slothful; and if we look in the Sixth
Book, we find him celebrated in the Battel of Angels for nothing but
that scoffing Speech which he makes to Satan, on their supposed
Advantage over the Enemy. As his Appearance is uniform, and of a Piece,
in these three several Views, we find his Sentiments in the Infernal
Assembly every way conformable to his Character. Such are his
Apprehensions of a second Battel, his Horrors of Annihilation, his
preferring to be miserable rather than not to be. I need not observe,
that the Contrast of Thought in this Speech, and that which precedes it,
gives an agreeable Variety to the Debate.

Mammon's Character is so fully drawn in the First Book, that the Poet
adds nothing to it in the Second. We were before told, that he was the
first who taught Mankind to ransack the Earth for Gold and Silver, and
that he was the Architect of Pandaemonium, or the Infernal Place, where
the Evil Spirits were to meet in Council. His Speech in this Book is
every way suitable to so depraved a Character. How proper is that
Reflection, of their being unable to taste the Happiness of Heaven were
they actually there, in the Mouth of one, who while he was in Heaven, is
said to have had his Mind dazled with the outward Pomps and Glories of
the Place, and to have been more intent on the Riches of the Pavement,
than on the Beatifick Vision. I shall also leave the Reader to judge how
agreeable the following Sentiments are to the same Character.

--This deep World
Of Darkness do we dread? How oft amidst
Thick cloud and dark doth Heavns all-ruling Sire
Chuse to reside, his Glory umobscured,
And with the Majesty of Darkness round
Covers his Throne; from whence deep Thunders roar
Mustering their Rage, and Heavn resembles Hell?
As he our Darkness, cannot we his Light
Imitate when we please? This desart Soil
Wants not her hidden Lustre, Gems and Gold;
Nor want we Skill or Art, from whence to raise
Magnificence; and what can Heavn shew more?

Beelzebub, who is reckoned the second in Dignity that fell, and is, in
the First Book, the second that awakens out of the Trance, and confers
with Satan upon the Situation of their Affairs, maintains his Rank in
the Book now before us. There is a wonderful Majesty described in his
rising up to speak. He acts as a kind of Moderator between the two
opposite Parties, and proposes a third Undertaking, which the whole
Assembly gives into. The Motion he makes of detaching one of their Body
in search of a new World is grounded upon a Project devised by Satan,
and cursorily proposed by him in the following Lines of the first Book.

Space may produce new Worlds, whereof so rife
There went a Fame in Heavn, that he erelong
Intended to create, and therein plant
A Generation, whom his choice Regard
Should favour equal to the Sons of Heaven:
Thither, if but to pry, shall be perhaps
Our first Eruption, thither or elsewhere:
For this Infernal Pit shall never hold
Celestial Spirits in Bondage, nor th' Abyss
Long under Darkness cover. But these Thoughts
Full Counsel must mature:--

It is on this Project that Beelzebub grounds his Proposal.

--What if we find
Some easier Enterprise? There is a Place
(If ancient and prophetick Fame in Heavn
Err not) another World, the happy Seat
Of some new Race call'd MAN, about this Time
To be created like to us, though less
In Power and Excellence, but favoured more
Of him who rules above; so was his Will
Pronounc'd among the Gods, and by an Oath,
That shook Heavns whole Circumference, confirm'd.

The Reader may observe how just it was not to omit in the First Book the
Project upon which the whole Poem turns: As also that the Prince of the
fallen Angels was the only proper Person to give it Birth, and that the
next to him in Dignity was the fittest to second and support it.

There is besides, I think, something wonderfully Beautiful, and very apt
to affect the Readers Imagination in this ancient Prophecy or Report in
Heaven, concerning the Creation of Man. Nothing could shew more the
Dignity of the Species, than this Tradition which ran of them before
their Existence. They are represented to have been the Talk of Heaven,
before they were created. Virgil, in compliment to the Roman
Commonwealth, makes the Heroes of it appear in their State of
Pre-existence; but Milton does a far greater Honour to Man-kind in
general, as he gives us a Glimpse of them even before they are in Being.

The rising of this great Assembly is described in a very Sublime and
Poetical Manner.

Their rising all at once was as the Sound
Of Thunder heard remote--

The Diversions of the fallen Angels, with the particular Account of
their Place of Habitation, are described with great Pregnancy of
Thought, and Copiousness of Invention. The Diversions are every way
suitable to Beings who had nothing left them but Strength and Knowledge
misapplied. Such are their Contentions at the Race, and in Feats of
Arms, with their Entertainment in the following Lines.

Others with vast Typhaean rage more fell
Rend up both Rocks and Hills, and ride the Air
In Whirlwind; Hell scarce holds the wild Uproar.

Their Musick is employed in celebrating their own criminal Exploits, and
their Discourse in sounding the unfathomable Depths of Fate, Free-will
and Fore-knowledge.

The several Circumstances in the Description of Hell are finely
imagined; as the four Rivers which disgorge themselves into the Sea of
Fire, the Extreams of Cold and Heat, and the River of Oblivion. The
monstrous Animals produced in that Infernal World are represented by a
single Line, which gives us a more horrid Idea of them, than a much
longer Description would have done.

--Nature breeds,
Perverse, all monstrous, all prodigious Things,
Abominable, inutterable, and worse
Than Fables yet have feign'd, or Fear conceiv'd,
Gorgons, and Hydras, and Chimeras dire.

This Episode of the fallen Spirits, and their Place of Habitation, comes
in very happily to unbend the Mind of the Reader from its Attention to
the Debate. An ordinary Poet would indeed have spun out so many
Circumstances to a great Length, and by that means have weakned, instead
of illustrated, the principal Fable.

The Flight of Satan to the Gates of Hell is finely imaged. I have
already declared my Opinion of the Allegory concerning Sin and Death,
which is however a very finished Piece in its kind, when it is not
considered as a Part of an Epic Poem. The Genealogy of the several
Persons is contrived with great Delicacy. Sin is the Daughter of Satan,
and Death the Offspring of Sin. The incestuous Mixture between Sin and
Death produces those Monsters and Hell-hounds which from time to time
enter into their Mother, and tear the Bowels of her who gave them Birth.
These are the Terrors of an evil Conscience, and the proper Fruits of
Sin, which naturally rise from the Apprehensions of Death. This last
beautiful Moral is, I think, clearly intimated in the Speech of Sin,
where complaining of this her dreadful Issue, she adds,

Before mine Eyes in Opposition sits
Grim Death my Son and Foe, who sets them on,
And me his Parent would full soon devour
For want of other Prey, but that he knows
His End with mine involv'd--

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