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

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Sir ROGER, in the next Place, laid his Hand upon Edward the Thirds
Sword, and leaning upon the Pummel of it, gave us the whole History of
the Black Prince; concluding, that in Sir Richard Bakers Opinion,
Edward the Third was one of the greatest Princes that ever sate upon the
English Throne.

We were then shewn Edward the Confessors Tomb; upon which Sir ROGER
acquainted us, that he was the first who touched for the Evil; and
afterwards Henry the Fourths, upon which he shook his Head, and told us
there was fine Reading in the Casualties in that Reign.

Our Conductor then pointed to that Monument where there is the Figure of
one of our English Kings without an Head; and upon giving us to know,
that the Head, which was of beaten Silver, had been stolen away several
Years since: Some Whig, Ill warrant you, says Sir ROGER; you ought to
lock up your Kings better; they will carry off the Body too, if you
don't take care.

THE glorious Names of Henry the Fifth and Queen Elizabeth gave the
Knight great Opportunities of shining, and of doing Justice to Sir
Richard Baker, who, as our Knight observed with some Surprize, had a
great many Kings in him, whose Monuments he had not seen in the Abby.

For my own part, I could not but be pleased to see the Knight shew such
an honest Passion for the Glory of his Country, and such a respectful
Gratitude to the Memory of its Princes.

I must not omit, that the Benevolence of my good old Friend, which flows
out towards every one he converses with, made him very kind to our
Interpreter, whom he looked upon as an extraordinary Man; for which
reason he shook him by the Hand at parting, telling him, that he should
be very glad to see him at his Lodgings in Norfolk-Buildings, and talk
over these Matters with him more at leisure.

L.

[Footnote 1:[an]]

* * * * *

No. 330. Wednesday, March 19, 1712. Steele.

Maxima debetur pueris reverentia.

Juv.

The following Letters, written by two very considerate Correspondents,
both under twenty Years of Age, are very good Arguments of the Necessity
of taking into Consideration the many Incidents which affect the
Education of Youth.

SIR,
I have long expected, that in the Course of your Observations upon
the several Parts of human Life, you would one time or other fall upon
a Subject, which, since you have not, I take the liberty to recommend
to you. What I mean, is the Patronage of young modest Men to such as
are able to countenance and introduce them into the World. For want of
such Assistances, a Youth of Merit languishes in Obscurity or Poverty,
when his Circumstances are low, and runs into Riot and Excess when his
Fortunes are plentiful. I cannot make my self better understood, than
by sending you an History of my self, which I shall desire you to
insert in your Paper, it being the only Way I have of expressing my
Gratitude for the highest Obligations imaginable.

I am the Son of a Merchant of the City of London, who, by many Losses,
was reduced from a very luxuriant Trade and Credit to very narrow
Circumstances, in Comparison to that his former Abundance. This took
away the Vigour of his Mind, and all manner of Attention to a Fortune,
which he now thought desperate; insomuch that he died without a Will,
having before buried my Mother in the midst of his other Misfortunes.
I was sixteen Years of Age when I lost my Father; and an Estate of
L200 a Year came into my Possession, without Friend or Guardian to
instruct me in the Management or Enjoyment of it. The natural
Consequence of this was, (though I wanted no Director, and soon had
Fellows who found me out for a smart young Gentleman, and led me into
all the Debaucheries of which I was capable) that my Companions and I
could not well be supplied without my running in Debt, which I did
very frankly, till I was arrested, and conveyed with a Guard strong
enough for the most desperate Assassine, to a Bayliff's House, where I
lay four Days, surrounded with very merry, but not very agreeable
Company. As soon as I had extricated my self from this shameful
Confinement, I reflected upon it with so much Horror, that I deserted
all my old Acquaintance, and took Chambers in an Inn of Court, with a
Resolution to study the Law with all possible Application. But I
trifled away a whole Year in looking over a thousand Intricacies,
without Friend to apply to in any Case of Doubt; so that I only lived
there among Men, as little Children are sent to School before they are
capable of Improvement, only to be out of harms way. In the midst of
this State of Suspence, not knowing how to dispose of my self, I was
sought for by a Relation of mine, who, upon observing a good
Inclination in me, used me with great Familiarity, and carried me to
his Seat in the Country. When I came there, he introduced me to all
the good Company in the County; and the great Obligation I have to him
for this kind Notice and Residence with him ever since, has made so
strong an Impression upon me, that he has an Authority of a Father
over me, founded upon the Love of a Brother. I have a good Study of
Books, a good Stable of Horses always at my command; and tho I am not
now quite eighteen Years of Age, familiar Converse on his Part, and a
strong Inclination to exert my self on mine, have had an effect upon
me that makes me acceptable wherever I go. Thus, Mr. SPECTATOR, by
this Gentleman's Favour and Patronage, it is my own fault if I am not
wiser and richer every day I live. I speak this as well by subscribing
the initial Letters of my Name to thank him, as to incite others to an
Imitation of his Virtue. It would be a worthy Work to shew what great
Charities are to be done without Expence, and how many noble Actions
are lost, out of Inadvertency in Persons capable of performing them,
if they were put in mind of it. If a Gentleman of Figure in a County
would make his Family a Pattern of Sobriety, good Sense, and Breeding,
and would kindly endeavour to influence the Education and growing
Prospects of the younger Gentry about him, I am apt to believe it
would save him a great deal of stale Beer on a publick Occasion, and
render him the Leader of his Country from their Gratitude to him,
instead of being a Slave to their Riots and Tumults in order to be
made their Representative. The same thing might be recommended to all
who have made any Progress in any Parts of Knowledge, or arrived at
any Degree in a Profession; others may gain Preferments and Fortunes
from their Patrons, but I have, I hope, receiv'd from mine good Habits
and Virtues. I repeat to you, Sir, my Request to print this, in return
for all the Evil an helpless Orphan shall ever escape, and all the
Good he shall receive in this Life; both which are wholly owing to
this Gentleman's Favour to,

SIR,
Your most obedient humble Servant,
S. P.

Mr. SPECTATOR,
I am a Lad of about fourteen. I find a mighty Pleasure in Learning. I
have been at the Latin School four Years. I don't know I ever play'd
[truant, [1]] or neglected any Task my Master set me in my Life. I
think on what I read in School as I go home at noon and night, and so
intently, that I have often gone half a mile out of my way, not
minding whither I went. Our Maid tells me, she often hears me talk
Latin in my sleep. And I dream two or three Nights in the Week I am
reading Juvenal and Homer. My Master seems as well pleased with my
Performances as any Boys in the same Class. I think, if I know my own
Mind, I would chuse rather to be a Scholar, than a Prince without
Learning. I have a very [good [2]] affectionate Father; but tho very
rich, yet so mighty near, that he thinks much of the Charges of my
Education. He often tells me, he believes my Schooling will ruin him;
that I cost him God-knows what in Books. I tremble to tell him I want
one. I am forced to keep my Pocket-Mony, and lay it out for a Book,
now and then, that he don't know of. He has order'd my Master to buy
no more Books for me, but says he will buy them himself. I asked him
for Horace tother Day, and he told me in a Passion, he did not
believe I was fit for it, but only my Master had a Mind to make him
think I had got a great way in my Learning. I am sometimes a Month
behind other Boys in getting the Books my Master gives Orders for. All
the Boys in the School, but I, have the Classick Authors in usum
Delphini, gilt and letter'd on the Back. My Father is often reckoning
up how long I have been at School, and tells me he fears I do little
good. My Fathers Carriage so discourages me, that he makes me grow
dull and melancholy. My Master wonders what is the matter with me; I
am afraid to tell him; for he is a Man that loves to encourage
Learning, and would be apt to chide my Father, and, not knowing my
Fathers Temper, may make him worse. Sir, if you have any Love for
Learning, I beg you would give me some Instructions in this case, and
persuade Parents to encourage their Children when they find them
diligent and desirous of Learning. I have heard some Parents say, they
would do any thing for their Children, if they would but mind their
Learning: I would be glad to be in their place. Dear Sir, pardon my
Boldness. If you will but consider and pity my case, I will pray for
your Prosperity as long as I live.
London, March 2,1711.
Your humble Servant,

James Discipulus.

March the 18th.

Mr. SPECTATOR,

The ostentation you showed yesterday would have been pardonable had
you provided better for the two Extremities of your Paper, and placed
in one the letter R., in the other Nescio quid meditans nugarum, et
lotus in illis. A Word to the wise.

I am your most humble Servant,
T. Trash.

According to the Emendation of the above Correspondent, the Reader is
desired in the Paper of the 17th to read R. for T. [3]

T.

[Footnote 1: at truant]

[Footnote 2: loving]

* * * * *

No. 331. Thursday, March 20, 1712. Budgell.

Stolidam praebet tibi vellere barbam.

Pers.

When I was last with my Friend Sir ROGER in Westminster-Abby, I
observed that he stood longer than ordinary before the Bust of a
venerable old Man. I was at a loss to guess the Reason of it, when after
some time he pointed to the Figure, and asked me if I did not think that
our Fore-fathers looked much wiser in their Beards than we do without
them? For my part, says he, when I am walking in my Gallery in the
Country, and see my Ancestors, who many of them died before they were of
my Age, I cannot forbear regarding them as so many old Patriarchs, and
at the same time looking upon myself as an idle Smock-fac'd young
Fellow. I love to see your Abrahams, your Isaacs, and your Jacob's, as we
have them in old Pieces of Tapestry, with Beards below their Girdles,
that cover half the Hangings. The Knight added, if I would recommend
Beards in one of my Papers, and endeavour to restore human Faces to
their Ancient Dignity, that upon a Months warning he would undertake to
lead up the Fashion himself in a pair of Whiskers.

I smiled at my Friends Fancy; but after we parted, could not forbear
reflecting on the Metamorphoses our Faces have undergone in this
Particular.

The Beard, conformable to the Notion of my Friend Sir ROGER, was for
many Ages look'd upon as the Type of Wisdom. Lucian more than once
rallies the Philosophers of his Time, who endeavour'd to rival one
another in Beard; and represents a learned Man who stood for a
Professorship in Philosophy, as unqualify'd for it by the Shortness of
his Beard.

AElian, in his Account of Zoilus, the pretended Critick, who wrote
against Homer and Plato, and thought himself wiser than all who had gone
before him, tells us that this Zoilus had a very long Beard that hung
down upon his Breast, but no Hair upon his Head, which he always kept
close shaved, regarding, it seems, the Hairs of his Head as so many
Suckers, which if they had been suffer'd to grow, might have drawn away
the Nourishment from his Chin, and by that means have starved his Beard.

I have read somewhere that one of the Popes refus'd to accept an Edition
of a Saints Works, which were presented to him, because the Saint in
his Effigies before the Book, was drawn without a Beard.

We see by these Instances what Homage the World has formerly paid to
Beards; and that a Barber was not then allow'd to make those
Depredations on the Faces of the Learned, which have been permitted him
of later Years.

Accordingly several wise Nations have been so extremely Jealous of the
least Ruffle offer'd to their Beard, that they seem to have fixed the
Point of Honour principally in that Part. The Spaniards were wonderfully
tender in this Particular.

Don Quevedo, in his third Vision on the Last Judgment, has carry'd the
Humour very far, when he tells us that one of his vain-glorious
Countrymen, after having receiv'd Sentence, was taken into custody by a
couple of evil Spirits; but that his Guides happening to disorder his
Mustachoes, they were forced to recompose them with a Pair of
Curling-irons before they could get him to file off.

If we look into the History of our own Nation, we shall find that the
Beard flourish'd in the Saxon Heptarchy, but was very much discourag'd
under the Norman Line. It shot out, however, from time to time, in
several Reigns under different Shapes. The last Effort it made seems to
have been in Queen Marys Days, as the curious Reader may find, if he
pleases to peruse the Figures of Cardinal Poole, and Bishop Gardiner;
tho at the same time, I think it may be question'd, if Zeal against
Popery has not induced our Protestant Painters to extend the Beards of
these two Persecutors beyond their natural Dimensions, in order to make
them appear the more terrible.

I find but few Beards worth taking notice of in the Reign of King James
the First.

During the Civil Wars there appeared one, which makes too great a Figure
in Story to be passed over in Silence; I mean that of the redoubted
Hudibras, an Account of which Butler has transmitted to Posterity in the
following Lines:

His tawny Beard was th' equal Grace
Both of his Wisdom, and his Face;
In Cut and Dye so like a Tyle,
A sudden View it would beguile:
The upper Part thereof was Whey,
The nether Orange mixt with Grey.

The Whisker continu'd for some time among us after the Expiration of
Beards; but this is a Subject which I shall not here enter upon, having
discussed it at large in a distinct Treatise, which I keep by me in
Manuscript, upon the Mustachoe.

If my Friend Sir ROGERS Project, of introducing Beards, should take
effect, I fear the Luxury of the present Age would make it a very
expensive Fashion. There is no question but the Beaux would soon provide
themselves with false ones of the lightest Colours, and the most
immoderate Lengths. A fair Beard, of the Tapestry-Size Sir ROGER seems
to approve, could not come under twenty Guineas. The famous Golden Beard
of AEsculapius would hardly be more valuable than one made in the
Extravagance of the Fashion.

Besides, we are not certain that the Ladies would not come into the
Mode, when they take the Air on Horse-back. They already appear in Hats
and Feathers, Coats and Perriwigs; and I see no reason why we should not
suppose that they would have their Riding-Beards on the same Occasion.

I may give the Moral of this Discourse, in another Paper,

X.

* * * * *

No. 332. Friday, March 21, 1712. Steele.

Minus aptus acutis
Naribus horum hominum.

Hor.

Dear Short-Face,

In your Speculation of Wednesday last, you have given us some Account
of that worthy Society of Brutes the Mohocks; wherein you have
particularly specify'd the ingenious Performance of the Lion-Tippers,
the Dancing-Masters, and the Tumblers: But as you acknowledge you had
not then a perfect History of the whole Club, you might very easily
omit one of the most notable Species of it, the Sweaters, which may be
reckon'd a sort of Dancing-Masters too. It is it seems the Custom for
half a dozen, or more, of these well-dispos'd Savages, as soon as
they have inclos'd the Person upon whom they design the Favour of a
Sweat, to whip out their Swords, and holding them parallel to the
Horizon, they describe a sort of Magick Circle round about him with
the Points. As soon as this Piece of Conjuration is perform'd, and the
Patient without doubt already beginning to wax warm, to forward the
Operation, that Member of the Circle towards whom he is so rude as to
turn his Back first, runs his Sword directly into that Part of the
Patient wherein School-boys are punished; and, as it is very natural
to imagine this will soon make him tack about to some other Point,
every Gentleman does himself the same Justice as often as he receives
the Affront. After this Jig has gone two or three times round, and the
Patient is thought to have sweat sufficiently, he is very handsomly
rubb'd down by some Attendants, who carry with them Instruments for
that purpose, and so discharged. This Relation I had from a Friend of
mine, who has lately been under this Discipline. He tells me he had
the Honour to dance before the Emperor himself, not without the
Applause and Acclamations both of his Imperial Majesty, and the whole
Ring; tho I dare say, neither I or any of his Acquaintance ever
dreamt he would have merited any Reputation by his Activity.

I can assure you, Mr. SPEC, I was very near being qualify'd to have
given you a faithful and painful Account of this walking Bagnio, if I
may so call it, my self: For going the other night along Fleet-street,
and having, out of curiosity, just enter'd into Discourse with a
wandring Female who was travelling the same Way, a couple of Fellows
advanced towards us, drew their Swords, and cry out to each other, A
Sweat! a Sweat! Whereupon suspecting they were some of the Ringleaders
of the Bagnio, I also drew my Sword, and demanded a Parly; but finding
none would be granted me, and perceiving others behind them filing off
with great diligence to take me in Flank, I began to sweat for fear of
being forced to it: but very luckily betaking my self to a Pair of
Heels, which I had good Reason to believe would do me justice, I
instantly got possession of a very snug Corner in a neighbouring Alley
that lay in my Rear; which Post I maintain'd for above half an hour
with great Firmness and Resolution, tho not letting this Success so
far overcome me, as to make me unmindful of the Circumspection that
was necessary to be observ'd upon my advancing again towards the
Street; by which Prudence and good Management I made a handsome and
orderly Retreat, having suffer'd no other Damage in this Action than
the Loss of my Baggage, and the Dislocation of one of my Shoe-heels,
which last I am just now inform'd is in a fair way of Recovery. These
Sweaters, by what I can learn from my Friend, and by as near a View as
I was able to take of them my self, seem to me to have at present but
a rude kind of Discipline amongst them. It is probable, if you would
take a little Pains with them, they might be brought into better
order. But Ill leave this to your own Discretion; and will only add,
that if you think it worth while to insert this by way of Caution to
those who have a mind to preserve their Skins whole from this sort of
Cupping, and tell them at the same time the Hazard of treating with
Night-Walkers, you will perhaps oblige others, as well as

Your very humble Servant,

Jack Lightfoot.

P.S. My Friend will have me acquaint you, That though he would not
willingly detract from the Merit of that extra-ordinary Strokes-Man
Mr. Sprightly, yet it is his real Opinion, that some of those Fellows,
who are employ'd as Rubbers to this new-fashioned Bagnio, have struck
as bold Strokes as ever he did in his Life.

I had sent this four and twenty Hours sooner, if I had not had the
Misfortune of being in a great doubt about the Orthography of the word
Bagnio. I consulted several Dictionaries, but found no relief; at last
having recourse both to the Bagnio in Newgate-street, and to that in
Chancery lane, and finding the original Manuscripts upon the
Sign-posts of each to agree literally with my own Spelling, I returned
home, full of Satisfaction, in order to dispatch this Epistle.

Mr. SPECTATOR,
As you have taken most of the Circumstances of human Life into your
Consideration, we, the under-written, thought it not improper for us
also to represent to you our Condition. We are three Ladies who live
in the Country, and the greatest Improvements we make is by reading.
We have taken a small Journal of our Lives, and find it extremely
opposite to your last Tuesdays Speculation. We rise by seven, and
pass the beginning of each Day in Devotion, and looking into those
Affairs that fall within the Occurrences of a retired Life; in the
Afternoon we sometimes enjoy the Company of some Friend or Neighbour,
or else work or read; at Night we retire to our Chambers, and take
Leave of each other for the whole Night at Ten of Clock. We take
particular Care never to be sick of a Sunday. Mr. SPECTATOR, We are
all very good Maids, but are ambitious of Characters which we think
more laudable, that of being very good Wives. If any of your
Correspondents enquire for a Spouse for an honest Country Gentleman,
whose Estate is not dipped, and wants a Wife that can save half his
Revenue, and yet make a better Figure than any of his Neighbours of
the same Estate, with finer bred Women, you shall have further notice
from,
SIR,
Your courteous Readers,
Martha Busie.
Deborah Thrifty.
Alice Early. [1]

[Footnote 1: To this number there is added after a repeated
advertisement of the Lucubrations of Isaac Bickerstaff in 4 vols. 8vo, a
repetition in Italic type of the advertisement of the Boarding School on
Mile-end Green (ending at the words render them accomplish'd) to which
a conspicuous place was given, with original additions by Steele, in No.
314.]

* * * * *

No. 333. Saturday, March 22, 1712. Addison.

--vocat in Certamina Divos.

Virg.

We are now entering upon the Sixth Book of Paradise Lost, in which the
Poet describes the Battel of Angels; having raised his Readers
Expectation, and prepared him for it by several Passages in the
preceding Books. I omitted quoting these Passages in my Observations on
the former Books, having purposely reserved them for the opening of
this, the Subject of which gave occasion to them. The Authors
Imagination was so inflam'd with this great Scene of Action, that
wherever he speaks of it, he rises, if possible, above himself. Thus
where he mentions Satan in the Beginning of his Poem:

--Him the Almighty Power
Hurl'd headlong flaming from th' Ethereal Sky,
With hideous ruin and combustion, down
To bottomless Perdition, there to dwell
In Adamantine Chains and penal Fire,
Who durst defy th' Omnipotent to Arms.

We have likewise several noble Hints of it in the Infernal Conference.

O Prince! O Chief of many throned Powers,
That led th' imbattel'd Seraphim to War,
Too well I see and rue the dire Event,
That with sad Overthrow and foul Defeat
Hath lost us Heavn, and all this mighty Host
In horrible Destruction laid thus low.
But see I the angry Victor has recalled
His Ministers of Vengeance and Pursuit,
Back to the Gates of Heavn: The sulphurous Hail
Shot after us in Storm, overblown, hath laid
The fiery Surge, that from the Precipice
Of Heaven receiv'd us falling: and the Thunder,
Winged with red Lightning and impetuous Rage,
Perhaps hath spent his Shafts, and ceases now
To bellow through the vast and boundless Deep.

There are several other very sublime Images on the same Subject in the
First Book, as also in the Second.

What when we fled amain, pursued and strook
With Heavns afflicting Thunder, and besought
The Deep to shelter us; this Hell then seem'd
A Refuge from those Wounds--

In short, the Poet never mentions anything of this Battel but in such
Images of Greatness and Terror as are suitable to the Subject. Among
several others I cannot forbear quoting that Passage, where the Power,
who is described as presiding over the Chaos, speaks in the Third Book.

Thus Satan; and him thus the Anarch old
With faultring Speech, and Visage incompos'd,
Answer'd, I know thee, Stranger, who thou art,
That mighty leading Angel, who of late
Made Head against Heavens King, tho overthrown.
I saw and heard, for such a numerous Host
Fled not in silence through the frighted Deep
With Ruin upon Ruin, Rout on Rout,
Confusion worse confounded; and Heavns Gates
Pour'd out by Millions her victorious Bands
Pursuing--

It requir'd great Pregnancy of Invention, and Strength of Imagination,
to fill this Battel with such Circumstances as should raise and astonish
the Mind of the Reader; and at the same time an Exactness of Judgment,
to avoid every thing that might appear light or trivial. Those who look
into Homer, are surprized to find his Battels still rising one above
another, and improving in Horrour, to the Conclusion of the Iliad.
Milton's Fight of Angels is wrought up with the same Beauty. It is
usher'd in with such Signs of Wrath as are suitable to Omnipotence
incensed. The first Engagement is carry'd on under a Cope of Fire,
occasion'd by the Flights of innumerable burning Darts and Arrows, which
are discharged from either Host. The second Onset is still more
terrible, as it is filled with those artificial Thunders, which seem to
make the Victory doubtful, and produce a kind of Consternation even in
the good Angels. This is follow'd by the tearing up of Mountains and
Promontories; till, in the last place, the Messiah comes forth in the
Fulness of Majesty and Terror, The Pomp of his Appearance amidst the
Roarings of his Thunders, the Flashes of his Lightnings, and the Noise
of his Chariot-Wheels, is described with the utmost Flights of Human
Imagination.

There is nothing in the first and last Days Engagement which does not
appear natural, and agreeable enough to the Ideas most Readers would
conceive of a Fight between two Armies of Angels.

The second Days Engagement is apt to startle an Imagination, which has
not been raised and qualify'd for such a Description, by the reading of
the ancient Poets, and of Homer in particular. It was certainly a very
bold Thought in our Author, to ascribe the first Use of Artillery to the
Rebel Angels. But as such a pernicious Invention may be well supposed to
have proceeded from such Authors, so it entered very properly into the
Thoughts of that Being, who is all along describ'd as aspiring to the
Majesty of his Maker. Such Engines were the only Instruments he could
have made use of to imitate those Thunders, that in all Poetry, both
sacred and profane, are represented as the Arms of the Almighty. The
tearing up the Hills, was not altogether so daring a Thought as the
former. We are, in some measure, prepared for such an Incident by the
Description of the Giants War, which we meet with among the Ancient
Poets. What still made this Circumstance the more proper for the Poets
Use, is the Opinion of many learned Men, that the Fable of the Giants
War, which makes so great a noise in Antiquity, [and gave birth to the
sublimest Description in Hesiod's Works was [l]] an Allegory founded
upon this very Tradition of a Fight between the good and bad Angels.

It may, perhaps, be worth while to consider with what Judgment Milton,
in this Narration, has avoided every thing that is mean and trivial in
the Descriptions of the Latin and Greek Poets; and at the same time
improved every great Hint which he met with in their Works upon this
Subject. Homer in that Passage, which Longinus has celebrated for its
Sublimeness, and which Virgil and Ovid have copy'd after him, tells us,
that the Giants threw Ossa upon Olympus, and Pelion upon Ossa. He adds
an Epithet to Pelion ([Greek: einosiphullon]) which very much swells the
Idea, by bringing up to the Readers Imagination all the Woods that grew
upon it. There is further a great Beauty in his singling out by Name
these three remarkable Mountains, so well known to the Greeks. This last
is such a Beauty as the Scene of Milton's War could not possibly furnish
him with. Claudian, in his Fragment upon the Giants War, has given full
scope to that Wildness of Imagination which was natural to him. He tells
us, that the Giants tore up whole Islands by the Roots, and threw them
at the Gods. He describes one of them in particular taking up Lemnos in
his Arms, and whirling it to the Skies, with all Vulcan's Shop in the
midst of it. Another tears up Mount Ida, with the River Enipeus, which
ran down the Sides of it; but the Poet, not content to describe him with
this Mountain upon his Shoulders, tells us that the River flow'd down
his Back, as he held it up in that Posture. It is visible to every
judicious Reader, that such Ideas savour more of Burlesque, than of the
Sublime. They proceed from a Wantonness of Imagination, and rather
divert the Mind than astonish it. Milton has taken every thing that is
sublime in these several Passages, and composes out of them the
following great Image.

From their Foundations loosning to and fro,
They pluck'd the seated Hills, with all their Land,
Rocks, Waters, Woods; and by the shaggy Tops
Up-lifting bore them in their Hands--

We have the full Majesty of Homer in this short Description, improv'd by
the Imagination of Claudian, without its Puerilities. I need not point
out the Description of the fallen Angels seeing the Promontories hanging
over their Heads in such a dreadful manner, with the other numberless
Beauties in this Book, which are so conspicuous, that they cannot escape
the Notice of the most ordinary Reader.

There are indeed so many wonderful Strokes of Poetry in this Book, and
such a variety of Sublime Ideas, that it would have been impossible to
have given them a place within the bounds of this Paper. Besides that, I
find it in a great measure done to my hand at the End of my Lord
Roscommon's Essay on Translated Poetry. I shall refer my Reader thither
for some of the Master Strokes in the Sixth Book of Paradise Lost, tho
at the same time there are many others which that noble Author has not
taken notice of.

Milton, notwithstanding the sublime Genius he was Master of, has in this
Book drawn to his Assistance all the Helps he could meet with among the
Ancient Poets. The Sword of Michael, which makes so great [a [2]] havock
among the bad Angels, was given him, we are told, out of the Armory of
God.

--But the Sword
Of Michael from the Armory of God
Was given him tempered so, that neither keen
Nor solid might resist that Edge: It met
The Sword of Satan, with steep Force to smite
Descending, and in half cut sheer--

This Passage is a Copy of that in Virgil, wherein the Poet tells us,
that the Sword of AEneas, which was given him by a Deity, broke into
Pieces the Sword of Turnus, which came from a mortal Forge. As the Moral
in this Place is divine, so by the way we may observe, that the
bestowing on a Man who is favoured by Heaven such an allegorical Weapon,
is very conformable to the old Eastern way of Thinking. Not only Homer
has made use of it, but we find the Jewish Hero in the Book of
Maccabees, who had fought the Battels of the chosen People with so much
Glory and Success, receiving in his Dream a Sword from the Hand of the
Prophet Jeremiah. The following Passage, wherein Satan is described as
wounded by the Sword of Michael, is in imitation of Homer.

The griding Sword with discontinuous Wound
Passed through him; butt the Ethereal Substance closed
Not long divisible; and from the Gash
A Stream of Nectarous Humour issuing flowed
Sanguine, (such as celestial Spirits may bleed)
And all his Armour stained--

Homer tells us in the same manner, that upon Diomedes wounding the Gods,
there flow'd from the Wound an Ichor, or pure kind of Blood, which was
not bred from mortal Viands; and that tho the Pain was exquisitely
great, the Wound soon closed up and healed in those Beings who are
vested with Immortality.

I question not but Milton in his Description of his furious Moloch
flying from the Battel, and bellowing with the Wound he had received,
had his Eye on Mars in the Iliad; who, upon his being wounded, is
represented as retiring out of the Fight, and making an Outcry louder
than that of a whole Army when it begins the Charge. Homer adds, that
the Greeks and Trojans, who were engaged in a general Battel, were
terrify'd on each side with the bellowing of this wounded Deity. The
Reader will easily observe how Milton has kept all the Horrour of this
Image, without running into the Ridicule of it.

--Where the Might of Gabriel fought,
And with fierce Ensigns pierc'd the deep Array
Of Moloch, furious King! who him defy'd,
And at his Chariot-wheels to drag him bound
Threaten'd, nor from the Holy One of Heavn
Refrained his Tongue blasphemous: but anon
Down cloven to the Waste, with shattered Arms
And uncouth Pain fled bellowing.--

Milton has likewise raised his Description in this Book with many Images
taken out of the poetical Parts of Scripture. The Messiahs Chariot, as
I have before taken notice, is formed upon a Vision of Ezekiel, who, as
Grotius observes, has very much in him of Homers Spirit in the Poetical
Parts of his Prophecy.

The following Lines in that glorious Commission which is given the
Messiah to extirpate the Host of Rebel Angels, is drawn from a Sublime
Passage in the Psalms.

Go then thou Mightiest in thy Fathers Might!
Ascend my Chariot, guide the rapid Wheels
That shake Heavns Basis; bring forth all my War,
My Bow, my Thunder, my Almighty Arms,
Gird on thy Sword on thy puissant Thigh.

The Reader will easily discover many other Strokes of the same nature.

There is no question but Milton had heated his Imagination with the
Fight of the Gods in Homer, before he enter'd upon this Engagement of
the Angels. Homer there gives us a Scene of Men, Heroes, and Gods, mix'd
together in Battel. Mars animates the contending Armies, and lifts up
his Voice in such a manner, that it is heard distinctly amidst all the
Shouts and Confusion of the Fight. Jupiter at the same time Thunders
over their Heads; while Neptune raises such a Tempest, that the whole
Field of Battel and all the Tops of the Mountains shake about them. The
Poet tells us, that Pluto himself, whose Habitation was in the very
Center of the Earth, was so affrighted at the Shock, that he leapt from
his Throne. Homer afterwards describes Vulcan as pouring down a Storm of
Fire upon the River Xanthus, and Minerva as throwing a Rock at Mars;
who, he tells us, cover'd seven Acres in his Fall.

As Homer has introduced into his Battel of the Gods every thing that is
great and terrible in Nature, Milton has filled his Fight of good and
bad Angels with all the like Circumstances of Horrour. The Shout of
Armies, the Rattling of Brazen Chariots, the Hurling of Rocks and
Mountains, the Earthquake, the Fire, the Thunder, are all of them
employ'd to lift up the Readers Imagination, and give him a suitable
Idea of so great an Action. With what Art has the Poet represented the
whole Body of the Earth trembling, even before it was created.

All Heaven resounded, and had Earth been then,
All Earth had to its Center shook--

In how sublime and just a manner does he afterwards describe the whole
Heaven shaking under the Wheels of the Messiahs Chariot, with that
Exception to the Throne of God?

--Under his burning Wheels
The stedfast Empyrean shook throughout,
All but the Throne it self of God--

Notwithstanding the Messiah appears clothed with so much Terrour and
Majesty, the Poet has still found means to make his Readers conceive an
Idea of him, beyond what he himself was able to describe.

Yet half his Strength he put not forth, but checkt
His Thunder in mid Volley; for he meant
Not to destroy, but root them out of Heaven.

In a Word, Milton's Genius, which was so great in it self, and so
strengthened by all the helps of Learning, appears in this Book every
way equal to his Subject, which was the most Sublime that could enter
into the Thoughts of a Poet. As he knew all the Arts of affecting the
Mind, [he knew it was necessary to give [3]] it certain Resting-places
and Opportunities of recovering it self from time to time: He has
[therefore] with great Address interspersed several Speeches,
Reflections, Similitudes, and the like Reliefs to diversify his
Narration, and ease the Attention of [the [4]] Reader, that he might
come fresh to his great Action, and by such a Contrast of Ideas, have a
more lively taste of the nobler Parts of his Description.

L.

[Footnote 1: [is]]

[Footnote 2: [an]]

[Footnote 3: had he not given]

[Footnote 4: his]

* * * * *

No. 334. Monday, March 24, 1712. Steele

Voluisti in suo Genere, unumquemque nostrum quasi quendam esse
Roscium, dixistique non tam ea quae recta essent probari, quam quae
prava sunt fastidiis adhaerescere.

Cicero de Gestu.

It is very natural to take for our whole Lives a light Impression of a
thing which at first fell into Contempt with us for want of
Consideration. The real Use of a certain Qualification (which the wiser
Part of Mankind look upon as at best an indifferent thing, and generally
a frivolous Circumstance) shews the ill Consequence of such
Prepossessions. What I mean, is the Art, Skill, Accomplishment, or
whatever you will call it, of Dancing. I knew a Gentleman of great
Abilities, who bewail'd the Want of this Part of his Education to the
End of a very honourable Life. He observ'd that there was not occasion
for the common Use of great Talents; that they are but seldom in Demand;
and that these very great Talents were often render'd useless to a Man
for want of small Attainments. A good Mein (a becoming Motion, Gesture
and Aspect) is natural to some Men; but even these would be highly more
graceful in their Carriage, if what they do from the Force of Nature
were confirm'd and heightned from the Force of Reason. To one who has
not at all considered it, to mention the Force of Reason on such a
Subject, will appear fantastical; but when you have a little attended to
it, an Assembly of Men will have quite another View: and they will tell
you, it is evident from plain and infallible Rules, why this Man with
those beautiful Features, and well fashion'd Person, is not so agreeable
as he who sits by him without any of those Advantages. When we read, we
do it without any exerted Act of Memory that presents the Shape of the
Letters; but Habit makes us do it mechanically, without staying, like
Children, to recollect and join those Letters. A Man who has not had the
Regard of his Gesture in any part of his Education, will find himself
unable to act with Freedom before new Company, as a Child that is but
now learning would be to read without Hesitation. It is for the
Advancement of the Pleasure we receive in being agreeable to each other
in ordinary Life, that one would wish Dancing were generally understood
as conducive as it really is to a proper Deportment in Matters that
appear the most remote from it. A Man of Learning and Sense is
distinguished from others as he is such, tho he never runs upon Points
too difficult for the rest of the World; in like Manner the reaching out
of the Arm, and the most ordinary Motion, discovers whether a Man ever
learnt to know what is the true Harmony and Composure of his Limbs and
Countenance. Whoever has seen Booth in the Character of Pyrrhus, march
to his Throne to receive Orestes, is convinced that majestick and great
Conceptions are expressed in the very Step; but perhaps, tho no other
Man could perform that Incident as well as he does, he himself would do
it with a yet greater Elevation were he a Dancer. This is so dangerous a
Subject to treat with Gravity, that I shall not at present enter into it
any further; but the Author of the following Letter [1] has treated it
in the Essay he speaks of in such a Manner, that I am beholden to him
for a Resolution, that I will never hereafter think meanly of any thing,
till I have heard what they who have another Opinion of it have to say
in its Defence.

Mr. SPECTATOR,
Since there are scarce any of the Arts or Sciences that have not been
recommended to the World by the Pens of some of the Professors,
Masters, or Lovers of them, whereby the Usefulness, Excellence, and
Benefit arising from them, both as to the Speculative and practical
Part, have been made publick, to the great Advantage and Improvement
of such Arts and Sciences; why should Dancing, an Art celebrated by
the Ancients in so extraordinary a Manner, be totally neglected by the
Moderns, and left destitute of any Pen to recommend its various
Excellencies and substantial Merit to Mankind?

The low Ebb to which Dancing is now fallen, is altogether owing to
this Silence. The Art is esteem'd only as an amusing Trifle; it lies
altogether uncultivated, and is unhappily fallen under the Imputation
of Illiterate and Mechanick: And as Terence in one of his Prologues,
complains of the Rope-dancers drawing all the Spectators from his
Play, so may we well say, that Capering and Tumbling is now preferred
to, and supplies the Place of just and regular Dancing on our
Theatres. It is therefore, in my opinion, high time that some one
should come in to its Assistance, and relieve it from the many gross
and growing Errors that have crept into it, and over-cast its real
Beauties; and to set Dancing in its true light, would shew the
Usefulness and Elegancy of it, with the Pleasure and Instruction
produc'd from it; and also lay down some fundamental Rules, that might
so tend to the Improvement of its Professors, and Information of the
Spectators, that the first might be the better enabled to perform, and
the latter render'd more capable of judging, what is (if there be any
thing) valuable in this Art.

To encourage therefore some ingenious Pen capable of so generous an
Undertaking, and in some measure to relieve Dancing from the
Disadvantages it at present lies under, I, who teach to dance, have
attempted a small Treatise as an Essay towards an History of Dancing;
in which I have enquired into its Antiquity, Original, and Use, and
shewn what Esteem the Ancients had for it: I have likewise considered
the Nature and Perfection of all its several Parts, and how beneficial
and delightful it is, both as a Qualification and an Exercise; and
endeavoured to answer all Objections that have been maliciously rais'd
against it. I have proceeded to give an Account of the particular
Dances of the Greeks and Romans, whether religious, warlike, or civil;
and taken particular notice of that Part of Dancing relating to the
ancient Stage, and in which the Pantomimes had so great a share: Nor
have I been wanting in giving an historical Account of some particular
Masters excellent in that surprising Art. After which, I have advanced
some Observations on the modern Dancing, both as to the Stage, and
that Part of it so absolutely necessary for the Qualification of
Gentlemen and Ladies; and have concluded with some short Remarks on
the Origin and Progress of the Character by which Dances are writ
down, and communicated to one Master from another. If some great
Genius after this would arise, and advance this Art to that Perfection
it seems capable of receiving, what might not be expected from it? For
if we consider the Origin of Arts and Sciences, we shall find that
some of them took rise from Beginnings so mean and unpromising, that
it is very wonderful to think that ever such surprizing Structures
should have been raised upon such ordinary Foundations. But what
cannot a great Genius effect? Who would have thought that the
clangorous Noise of a Smiths Hammers should have given the first rise
to Musick? Yet Macrobius in his second Book relates, that Pythagoras,
in passing by a Smiths Shop, found that the Sounds proceeding from
the Hammers were either more grave or acute, according to the
different Weights of the Hammers. The Philosopher, to improve this
Hint, suspends different Weights by Strings of the same Bigness, and
found in like manner that the Sounds answered to the Weights. This
being discover'd, he finds out those Numbers which produc'd Sounds
that were Consonants: As, that two Strings of the same Substance and
Tension, the one being double the Length, of the other, give that
Interval which is called Diapason, or an Eighth; the same was also
effected from two Strings of the same Length and Size, the one having
four times the Tension of the other. By these Steps, from so mean a
Beginning, did this great Man reduce, what was only before Noise, to
one of the most delightful Sciences, by marrying it to the
Mathematicks; and by that means caused it to be one of the most
abstract and demonstrative of Sciences. Who knows therefore but
Motion, whether Decorous or Representative, may not (as it seems
highly probable it may) be taken into consideration by some Person
capable of reducing it into a regular Science, tho not so
demonstrative as that proceeding from Sounds, yet sufficient to
entitle it to a Place among the magnify'd Arts.

Now, Mr. SPECTATOR, as you have declared your self Visitor of
Dancing-Schools, and this being an Undertaking which more immediately
respects them, I think my self indispensably obliged, before I proceed
to the Publication of this my Essay, to ask your Advice, and hold it
absolutely necessary to have your Approbation; and in order to
recommend my Treatise to the Perusal of the Parents of such as learn
to dance, as well as to the young Ladies, to whom, as Visitor, you
ought to be Guardian.

I am, SIR,

Your most humble Servant.

Salop, March 19, 1711-12.

T.

[Footnote 1: John Weaver.]

* * * * *

No. 335. Tuesday, March 25, 1712. Addison.

Respicere exemplar vitae morumque jubebo
Doctum imitatorem, et veras hinc ducere voces.

Hor.

My Friend Sir ROGER DE COVERLEY, when we last met together at the Club,
told me, that he had a great mind to see the new Tragedy [1] with me,
assuring me at the same time, that he had not been at a Play these
twenty Years. The last I saw, said Sir ROGER, was the Committee, which I
should not have gone to neither, had not I been told before-hand that it
was a good Church-of-England Comedy. [2] He then proceeded to enquire of
me who this Distrest Mother was; and upon hearing that she was Hectors
Widow, he told me that her Husband was a brave Man, and that when he was
a Schoolboy he had read his Life at the end of the Dictionary. My Friend
asked me, in the next place, if there would not be some danger in coming
home late, in case the Mohocks should be Abroad. I assure you, says he,
I thought I had fallen into their Hands last Night; for I observed two
or three lusty black Men that follow'd me half way up Fleet-street, and
mended their pace behind me, in proportion as I put on to get away from
them. You must know, continu'd the Knight with a Smile, I fancied they
had a mind to hunt me; for I remember an honest Gentleman in my
Neighbourhood, who was served such a trick in King Charles the Seconds
time; for which reason he has not ventured himself in Town ever since. I
might have shown them very good Sport, had this been their Design; for
as I am an old Fox-hunter, I should have turned and dodg'd, and have
play'd them a thousand tricks they had never seen in their Lives before.
Sir ROGER added, that if these Gentlemen had any such Intention, they
did not succeed very well in it: for I threw them out, says he, at the
End of Norfolk street, where I doubled the Corner, and got shelter in my
Lodgings before they could imagine what was become of me. However, says
the Knight, if Captain SENTRY will make one with us to-morrow night, and
if you will both of you call upon me about four a-Clock, that we may be
at the House before it is full, I will have my own Coach in readiness to
attend you, for John tells me he has got the Fore-Wheels mended.

The Captain, who did not fail to meet me there at the appointed Hour,
bid Sir ROGER fear nothing, for that he had put on the same Sword which
he made use of at the Battel of Steenkirk. Sir ROGERS Servants, and
among the rest my old Friend the Butler, had, I found, provided
themselves with good Oaken Plants, to attend their Master upon this
occasion. When he had placed him in his Coach, with my self at his
Left-Hand, the Captain before him, and his Butler at the Head of his
Footmen in the Rear, we convoy'd him in safety to the Play-house, where,
after having marched up the Entry in good order, the Captain and I went
in with him, and seated him betwixt us in the Pit. As soon as the House
was full, and the Candles lighted, my old Friend stood up and looked
about him with that Pleasure, which a Mind seasoned with Humanity
naturally feels in its self, at the sight of a Multitude of People who
seem pleased with one another, and partake of the same common
Entertainment. I could not but fancy to myself, as the old Man stood up
in the middle of the Pit, that he made a very proper Center to a Tragick
Audience. Upon the entring of Pyrrhus, the Knight told me, that he did
not believe the King of France himself had a better Strut. I was indeed
very attentive to my old Friends Remarks, because I looked upon them as
a Piece of natural Criticism, and was well pleased to hear him at the
Conclusion of almost every Scene, telling me that he could not imagine
how the Play would end. One while he appeared much concerned for
Andromache; and a little while after as much for Hermione: and was
extremely puzzled to think what would become of Pyrrhus.

When Sir ROGER saw Andromache's obstinate Refusal to her Lovers
Importunities, he whisper'd me in the Ear, that he was sure she would
never have him; to which he added, with a more than ordinary Vehemence,
you cant imagine, Sir, what tis to have to do with a Widow. Upon
Pyrrhus his threatning afterwards to leave her, the Knight shook his
Head, and muttered to himself, Ay, do if you can. This Part dwelt so
much upon my Friends Imagination, that at the close of the Third Act,
as I was thinking of something else, he whispered in my Ear, These
Widows, Sir, are the most perverse Creatures in the World. But pray,
says he, you that are a Critick, is this Play according to your
Dramatick Rules, as you call them? Should your People in Tragedy always
talk to be understood? Why, there is not a single Sentence in this Play
that I do not know the Meaning of.

The Fourth Act very luckily begun before I had time to give the old
Gentleman an Answer: Well, says the Knight, sitting down with great
Satisfaction, I suppose we are now to see Hectors Ghost. He then
renewed his Attention, and, from time to time, fell a praising the
Widow. He made, indeed, a little Mistake as to one of her Pages, whom at
his first entering, he took for Astyanax; but he quickly set himself
right in that Particular, though, at the same time, he owned he should
have been very glad to have seen the little Boy, who, says he, must
needs be a very fine Child by the Account that is given of him. Upon
Hermione's going off with a Menace to Pyrrhus, the Audience gave a loud
Clap; to which Sir ROGER added, On my Word, a notable young Baggage!

As there was a very remarkable Silence and Stillness in the Audience
during the whole Action, it was natural for them to take the Opportunity
of these Intervals between the Acts, to express their Opinion of the
Players, and of their respective Parts. Sir ROGER hearing a Cluster of
them praise Orestes, struck in with them, and told them, that he thought
his Friend Pylades was a very sensible Man; as they were afterwards
applauding Pyrrhus, Sir ROGER put in a second time; And let me tell you,
says he, though he speaks but little, I like the old Fellow in Whiskers
as well as any of them. Captain SENTRY seeing two or three Waggs who sat
near us, lean with an attentive Ear towards Sir ROGER, and fearing lest
they should Smoke the Knight, pluck'd him by the Elbow, and whisper'd
something in his Ear. that lasted till the Opening of the Fifth Act. The
Knight was wonderfully attentive to the Account which Orestes gives of
Pyrrhus his Death, and at the Conclusion of it, told me it was such a
bloody Piece of Work, that he was glad it was not done upon the Stage.
Seeing afterwards Orestes in his raving Fit, he grew more than ordinary
serious, and took occasion to moralize (in his way) upon an Evil
Conscience, adding, that Orestes, in his Madness, looked as if he saw
something.

As we were the first that came into the House, so we were the last that
went out of it; being resolved to have a clear Passage for our old
Friend, whom we did not care to venture among the justling of the Crowd.
Sir ROGER went out fully satisfied with his Entertainment, and we
guarded him to his Lodgings in the same manner that we brought him to
the Playhouse; being highly pleased, for my own part, not only with the
Performance of the excellent Piece which had been presented, but with
the Satisfaction which it had given to the good old Man.

L.

[Footnote 1: This is a fourth puff (see Nos. 223, 229, 290) of Addison's
friend Ambrose Philips. The art of packing a house to secure applause
was also practised on the first night of the acting of this version of
Andromaque.]

[Footnote 2: The Committee, or the Faithful Irishman, was written by Sir
Robert Howard soon after the Restoration, with for its heroes two
Cavalier colonels, whose estates are sequestered, and their man Teg
(Teague), an honest blundering Irishman. The Cavaliers defy the
Roundhead Committee, and the day may come says one of them, when
those that suffer for their consciences and honour may be rewarded.
Nobody who heard this from the stage in the days of Charles II. could
feel that the day had come. Its comic Irishman kept the Committee on the
stage, and in Queen Anne's time the thorough Tory still relished the
stage caricature of the maintainers of the Commonwealth in Mr. Day with
his greed, hypocrisy, and private incontinence; his wife, who had been
cookmaid to a gentleman, but takes all the State matters on herself; and
their empty son Abel, who knows Parliament-men and Sequestrators, and
whose profound contemplations are caused by the constervation of his
spirits for the nations good.]

* * * * *

No. 336. Wednesday, March 26, 1712. Steele.

--Clament periisse pudorem
Cuncti pene patres, ea cum reprehendere coner,
Quae gravis AEsopus, quae doctus Roscius egit:
Vel quia nil rectum, nisi quod placuit sibi, ducunt;
Vel quia turpe putant parere minoribus, et, quae
Imberbes didicere, senes perdenda fateri.

Hor.

Mr. SPECTATOR,

As you are the daily Endeavourer to promote Learning and good Sense,
I think myself obliged to suggest to your Consideration whatever may
promote or prejudice them.. There is an Evil which has prevailed from
Generation to Generation, which grey Hairs and tyrannical Custom
continue to support; I hope your Spectatorial Authority will give a
seasonable Check to the Spread of the Infection; I mean old Mens
overbearing the strongest Sense of their Juniors by the mere Force of
Seniority; so that for a young Man in the Bloom of Life and Vigour of
Age to give a reasonable Contradiction to his Elders, is esteemed an
unpardonable Insolence, and regarded as a reversing the Decrees of
Nature. I am a young Man, I confess, yet I honour the grey Head as
much as any one; however, when in Company with old Men, I hear them
speak obscurely, or reason preposterously (into which Absurdities,
Prejudice, Pride, or Interest, will sometimes throw the wisest) I
count it no Crime to rectifie their Reasoning, unless Conscience must
truckle to Ceremony, and Truth fall a Sacrifice to Complaisance. The
strongest Arguments are enervated, and the brightest Evidence
disappears, before those tremendous Reasonings and dazling Discoveries
of venerable old Age: You are young giddy-headed Fellows, you have not
yet had Experience of the World. Thus we young Folks find our Ambition
cramp'd, and our Laziness indulged, since, while young, we have little
room to display our selves; and, when old, the Weakness of Nature must
pass for Strength of Sense, and we hope that hoary Heads will raise us
above the Attacks of Contradiction. Now, Sir, as you would enliven our
Activity in the pursuit of Learning, take our Case into Consideration;
and, with a Gloss on brave Elihus Sentiments, assert the Rights of
Youth, and prevent the pernicious Incroachments of Age. The generous
Reasonings of that gallant Youth would adorn your Paper; and I beg you
would insert them, not doubting but that they will give good
Entertainment to the most intelligent of your Readers.

So these three Men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous
in his own Eyes. Then was kindled the Wrath of Elihu the Son of
Barachel the Buzite, of the Kindred of Ram: Against Job was his
Wrath kindled, because he justified himself rather than God. Also
against his three Friends was his Wrath kindled, because they had
found no Answer, and yet had condemned Job. Now Elihu had waited
till Job had spoken, because they were elder than he. When Elihu saw
there was no Answer in the Mouth of these three Men, then his Wrath
was kindled. And Elihu the Son of Barachel the Buzite answered and
said, I am young, and ye are very old, wherefore I was afraid, and
durst not shew you mine Opinion. I said, Days should speak, and
Multitude of Years should teach Wisdom. But there is a Spirit in
Man; and the Inspiration of the Almighty giveth them Understanding.
Great Men are not always wise: Neither do the Aged understand
Judgment. Therefore I said, hearken to me, I also will shew mine
Opinion. Behold, I waited for your Words; I gave ear to your
Reasons, whilst you searched out what to say. Yea, I attended unto
you: And behold there was none of you that convinced Job, or that
answered his Words; lest ye should say, we have found out Wisdom:
God thrusteth him down, not Man. Now he hath not directed his Words
against me: Neither will I answer him with your Speeches. They were
amazed, they answered no more: They left off speaking. When I had
waited (for they spake not, but stood still and answered no more) I
said, I will answer also my Part, I also will shew mine Opinion. For
I am full of Matter, the Spirit within me constraineth me. Behold my
Belly is as Wine which hath no vent, it is ready to burst like new
Bottles. I will speak that I may be refreshed: I will open my Lips,
and answer. Let me not, I pray you, accept any Man's Person, neither
let me give flattering Titles unto Man. For I know not to give
flattering Titles; in so doing my Maker would soon take me away. [1]

Mr. SPECTATOR,

I have formerly read with great Satisfaction your Papers about Idols,
and the Behaviour of Gentlemen in those Coffee-houses where Women
officiate, and impatiently waited to see you take India and China
Shops into Consideration: But since you have pass'd us over in
silence, either that you have not as yet thought us worth your Notice,
or that the Grievances we lie under have escaped your discerning Eye,
I must make my Complaints to you, and am encouraged to do it because
you seem a little at leisure at this present Writing. I am, dear Sir,
one of the top China-Women about Town; and though I say it, keep as
good Things, and receive as fine Company as any o this End of the
Town, let the other be who she will: In short, I am in a fair Way to
be easy, were it not for a Club of Female Rakes, who under pretence of
taking their innocent Rambles, forsooth, and diverting the Spleen,
seldom fail to plague me twice or thrice a-day to cheapen Tea, or buy
a Skreen; What else should they mean? as they often repeat it. These
Rakes are your idle Ladies of Fashion, who having nothing to do,
employ themselves in tumbling over my Ware. One of these No-Customers
(for by the way they seldom or never buy any thing) calls for a Set of
Tea-Dishes, another for a Bason, a third for my best Green-Tea, and
even to the Punch Bowl, there's scarce a piece in my Shop but must be
displaced, and the whole agreeable Architecture disordered; so that I
can compare em to nothing but to the Night-Goblins that take a
Pleasure to over-turn the Disposition of Plates and Dishes in the
Kitchens of your housewifely Maids. Well, after all this Racket and
Clutter, this is too dear, that is their Aversion; another thing is
charming, but not wanted: The Ladies are cured of the Spleen, but I am
not a Shilling the better for it. Lord! what signifies one poor Pot of
Tea, considering the Trouble they put me to? Vapours, Mr. SPECTATOR,
are terrible Things; for though I am not possess'd by them my self, I
suffer more from em than if I were. Now I must beg you to admonish
all such Day-Goblins to make fewer Visits, or to be less troublesome
when they come to ones Shop; and to convince em, that we honest
Shop-keepers have something better to do, than to cure Folks of the
Vapours gratis. A young Son of mine, a School-Boy, is my Secretary, so
I hope you'll make Allowances.
I am, SIR,
Your constant Reader, and very humble Servant,
Rebecca the Distress'd.

March the 22nd.

T.

[Footnote 1: Job, ch. xii.]

* * * * *

No. 337. Thursday, March 27, 1712. Budgell.

Fingit equum tenera docilem cervice Magister,
Ire viam quam monstrat eques--

Hor.

I have lately received a third Letter from the Gentleman, who has
already given the Publick two Essays upon Education. As his Thoughts
seem to be very just and new upon this Subject, I shall communicate them
to the Reader.

SIR,

If I had not been hindered by some extraordinary Business, I should
have sent you sooner my further Thoughts upon Education. You may
please to remember, that in my last Letter I endeavoured to give the
best Reasons that could be urged in favour of a private or publick
Education. Upon the whole it may perhaps be thought that I seemed
rather enclined to the latter, though at the same time I confessed
that Virtue, which ought to be our first and principal Care, was more
usually acquired in the former.

I intend therefore, in this Letter, to offer at Methods, by which I
conceive Boys might be made to improve in Virtue, as they advance in
Letters.

I know that in most of our public Schools Vice is punished and
discouraged whenever it is found out; but this is far from being
sufficient, unless our Youth are at the same time taught to form a
right Judgment of Things, and to know what is properly Virtue.

To this end, whenever they read the Lives and Actions of such Men as
have been famous in their Generation, it should not be thought enough
to make them barely understand so many Greek or Latin Sentences, but
they should be asked their Opinion of such an Action or Saying, and
obliged to give their Reasons why they take it to be good or bad. By
this means they would insensibly arrive at proper Notions of Courage,
Temperance, Honour and Justice.

There must be great Care taken how the Example of any particular
Person is recommended to them in gross; instead of which, they ought
to be taught wherein such a Man, though great in some respects, was
weak and faulty in others. For want of this Caution, a Boy is often so
dazzled with the Lustre of a great Character, that he confounds its
Beauties with its Blemishes, and looks even upon the faulty Parts of
it with an Eye of Admiration.

I have often wondered how Alexander, who was naturally of a generous
and merciful Disposition, came to be guilty of so barbarous an Action
as that of dragging the Governour of a Town after his Chariot. I know
this is generally ascribed to his Passion for Homer; but I lately met
with a Passage in Plutarch, which, if I am not very much mistaken,
still gives us a clearer Light into the Motives of this Action.
Plutarch tells us, that Alexander in his Youth had a Master named
Lysimachus, who, tho he was a Man destitute of all Politeness,
ingratiated himself both with Philip and his Pupil, and became the
second Man at Court, by calling the King Peleus, the Prince Achilles,
and himself Phoenix. It is no wonder if Alexander having been thus
used not only to admire, but to personate Achilles, should think it
glorious to imitate him in this piece of Cruelty and Extravagance.

To carry this Thought yet further, I shall submit it to your
Consideration, whether instead of a Theme or Copy of Verses, which are
the usual Exercises, as they are called in the School-phrase, it
would not be more proper that a Boy should be tasked once or twice a
Week to write down his Opinion of such Persons and Things as occur to
him in his Reading; that he should descant upon the Actions of Turnus
and AEneas, shew wherein they excelled or were defective, censure or
approve any particular Action, observe how it might have been carried
to a greater Degree of Perfection, and how it exceeded or fell short
of another. He might at the same time mark what was moral in any
Speech, and how far it agreed with the Character of the Person
speaking. This Exercise would soon strengthen his Judgment in what is
blameable or praiseworthy, and give him an early Seasoning of
Morality.

Next to those Examples which may be met with in Books, I very much
approve Horace's Way of setting before Youth the infamous or
honourable Characters of their Contemporaries: That Poet tells us,
this was the Method his Father made use of to incline him to any
particular Virtue, or give him an Aversion to any particular Vice. If,
says Horace, my Father advised me to live within Bounds, and be
contented with the Fortune he should leave me; Do not you see (says
he) the miserable Condition of Burr, and the Son of Albus? Let the
Misfortunes of those two Wretches teach you to avoid Luxury and
Extravagance. If he would inspire me with an Abhorrence to Debauchery,
do not (says he) make your self like Sectanus, when you may be happy
in the Enjoyment of lawful Pleasures. How scandalous (says he) is the
Character of Trebonius, who was lately caught in Bed with another
Man's Wife? To illustrate the Force of this Method, the Poet adds,
That as a headstrong Patient, who will not at first follow his
Physicians Prescriptions, grows orderly when he hears that his
Neighbours die all about him; so Youth is often frighted from Vice, by
hearing the ill Report it brings upon others.

Xenophon's Schools of Equity, in his Life of Cyrus the Great, are
sufficiently famous: He tells us, that the Persian Children went to
School, and employed their Time as diligently in learning the
Principles of Justice and Sobriety, as the Youth in other Countries
did to acquire the most difficult Arts and Sciences: their Governors
spent most part of the Day in hearing their mutual Accusations one
against the other, whether for Violence, Cheating, Slander, or
Ingratitude; and taught them how to give Judgment against those who
were found to be any ways guilty of these Crimes. I omit the Story of
the long and short Coat, for which Cyrus himself was punished, as a
Case equally known with any in Littleton.

The Method, which Apuleius tells us the Indian Gymnosophists took to
educate their Disciples, is still more curious and remarkable. His
Words are as follow: When their Dinner is ready, before it is served
up, the Masters enquire of every particular Scholar how he has
employed his Time since Sun-rising; some of them answer, that having
been chosen as Arbiters between two Persons they have composed their
Differences, and made them Friends; some, that they have been
executing the Orders of their Parents; and others, that they have
either found out something new by their own Application, or learnt it
from the Instruction of their Fellows: But if there happens to be any
one among them, who cannot make it appear that he has employed the
Morning to advantage, he is immediately excluded from the Company, and
obliged to work, while the rest are at Dinner.

It is not impossible, that from these several Ways of producing
Virtue in the Minds of Boys, some general Method might be invented.
What I would endeavour to inculcate, is, that our Youth cannot be too
soon taught the Principles of Virtue, seeing the first Impressions
which are made on the Mind are always the strongest.

The Archbishop of Cambray makes Telemachus say, that though he was
young in Years, he was old in the Art of knowing how to keep both his
own and his Friends Secrets. When my Father, says the Prince, went to
the Siege of Troy, he took me on his Knees, and after having embraced
and blessed me, as he was surrounded by the Nobles of Ithaca, O my
Friends, says he, into your Hands I commit the Education of my Son; if
ever you lov'd his Father, shew it in your Care towards him; but above
all, do not omit to form him just, sincere, and faithful in keeping a
Secret. These Words of my Father, says Telemachus, were continually
repeated to me by his Friends in his Absence; who made no scruple of
communicating to me in their Uneasiness to see my Mother surrounded
with Lovers, and the Measures they designed to take on that Occasion.
He adds, that he was so ravished at being thus treated like a Man, and
at the Confidence reposed in him, that he never once abused it; nor
could all the Insinuations of his Fathers Rivals ever get him to
betray what was committed to him under the Seal of Secrecy.

There is hardly any Virtue which a Lad might not thus learn by
Practice and Example.

I have heard of a good Man, who used at certain times to give his
Scholars Six Pence apiece, that they might tell him the next day how
they had employ'd it. The third part was always to be laid out in
Charity, and every Boy was blamed or commended as he could make it
appear that he had chosen a fit Object.

In short, nothing is more wanting to our publick Schools, than that
the Masters of them should use the same care in fashioning the Manners
of their Scholars, as in forming their Tongues to the learned
Languages. Where-ever the former is omitted, I cannot help agreeing
with Mr. Locke, That a Man must have a very strange Value for Words,
when preferring the Languages of the Greeks and Romans to that which
made them such brave Men, he can think it worth while to hazard the
Innocence and Virtue of his Son for a little Greek and Latin.

As the Subject of this Essay is of the highest Importance, and what I
do not remember to have yet seen treated by any Author, I have sent
you what occurr'd to me on it from my own Observation or Reading, and
which you may either suppress or publish as you think fit.

I am, SIR, Yours, &c.

X.

* * * * *

No. 338. Friday, March 28, 1712.

[--Nil fuit unquam
Tam dispar sibi.

Hor. [1]]

I find the Tragedy of the Distrest Mother is publish'd today: The Author
of the Prologue, I suppose, pleads an old Excuse I have read somewhere,
of being dull with Design; and the Gentleman who writ the Epilogue [2]
has, to my knowledge, so much of greater moment to value himself upon,
that he will easily forgive me for publishing the Exceptions made
against Gayety at the end of serious Entertainments, in the following
Letter: I should be more unwilling to pardon him than any body, a
Practice which cannot have any ill Consequence, but from the Abilities
of the Person who is guilty of it.

Mr. SPECTATOR,

I had the Happiness the other Night of sitting very near you, and your
worthy Friend Sir ROGER, at the acting of the new Tragedy, which you
have in a late Paper or two so justly recommended. I was highly
pleased with the advantageous Situation Fortune had given me in
placing me so near two Gentlemen, from one of which I was sure to hear
such Reflections on the several Incidents of the Play, as pure Nature
suggested, and from the other such as flowed from the exactest Art and
Judgment: Tho I must confess that my Curiosity led me so much to
observe the Knights Reflections, that I was not so well at leisure to
improve my self by yours. Nature, I found, play'd her Part in the
Knight pretty well, till at the last concluding Lines she entirely
forsook him. You must know, Sir, that it is always my Custom, when I
have been well entertained at a new Tragedy, to make my Retreat before
the facetious Epilogue enters; not but that those Pieces are often
very well writ, but having paid down my Half Crown, and made a fair
Purchase of as much of the pleasing Melancholy as the Poets Art can
afford me, or my own Nature admit of, I am willing to carry some of it
home with me; and cant endure to be at once trick'd out of all, tho
by the wittiest Dexterity in the World. However, I kept my Seat
tother Night, in hopes of finding my own Sentiments of this Matter
favour'd by your Friends; when, to my great Surprize, I found the
Knight entering with equal Pleasure into both Parts, and as much
satisfied with Mrs. Oldfield's Gaiety, as he had been before with
Andromache's Greatness. Whether this were no other than an Effect of
the Knights peculiar Humanity, pleas'd to find at last, that after
all the tragical Doings every thing was safe and well, I don't know.
But for my own part, I must confess, I was so dissatisfied, that I was
sorry the Poet had saved Andromache, and could heartily have wished
that he had left her stone-dead upon the Stage. For you cannot
imagine, Mr. SPECTATOR, the Mischief she was reserv'd to do me. I
found my Soul, during the Action, gradually work'd up to the highest
Pitch; and felt the exalted Passion which all generous Minds conceive
at the Sight of Virtue in Distress. The Impression, believe me, Sir,
was so strong upon me, that I am persuaded, if I had been let alone in
it, I could at an Extremity have ventured to defend your self and Sir
ROGER against half a Score of the fiercest Mohocks: But the ludicrous
Epilogue in the Close extinguish'd all my Ardour, and made me look
upon all such noble Atchievements, as downright silly and romantick.
What the rest of the Audience felt, I cant so well tell: For my self,
I must declare, that at the end of the Play I found my Soul uniform,
and all of a Piece; but at the End of the Epilogue it was so jumbled
together, and divided between Jest and Earnest, that if you will
forgive me an extravagant Fancy, I will here set it down. I could not
but fancy, if my Soul had at that Moment quitted my Body, and
descended to the poetical Shades in the Posture it was then in, what a
strange Figure it would have made among them. They would not have
known what to have made of my motley Spectre, half Comick and half
Tragick, all over resembling a ridiculous Face, that at the same time
laughs on one side and cries o tother. The only Defence, I think, I
have ever heard made for this, as it seems to me, most unnatural Tack
of the Comick Tail to the Tragick Head, is this, that the Minds of the
Audience must be refreshed, and Gentlemen and Ladies not sent away to
their own Homes with too dismal and melancholy Thoughts about them:
For who knows the Consequence of this? We are much obliged indeed to
the Poets for the great Tenderness they express for the Safety of our
Persons, and heartily thank them for it. But if that be all, pray,
good Sir, assure them, that we are none of us like to come to any
great Harm; and that, let them do their best, we shall in all
probability live out the Length of our Days, and frequent the Theatres
more than ever. What makes me more desirous to have some Reformation
of this matter, is because of an ill Consequence or two attending it:
For a great many of our Church-Musicians being related to the Theatre,
they have, in Imitation of these Epilogues, introduced in their
farewell Voluntaries a sort of Musick quite foreign to the design of
Church-Services, to the great Prejudice of well-disposed People. Those
fingering Gentlemen should be informed, that they ought to suit their
Airs to the Place and Business; and that the Musician is obliged to
keep to the Text as much as the Preacher. For want of this, I have
found by Experience a great deal of Mischief: For when the Preacher
has often, with great Piety and Art enough, handled his Subject, and
the judicious Clark has with utmost Diligence culled out two Staves
proper to the Discourse, and I have found in my self and in the rest
of the Pew good Thoughts and Dispositions, they have been all in a
moment dissipated by a merry Jigg from the Organ-Loft. One knows not
what further ill Effects the Epilogues I have been speaking of may in
time produce: But this I am credibly informed of, that Paul Lorrain
[3]--has resolv'd upon a very sudden Reformation in his tragical
Dramas; and that at the next monthly Performance, he designs, instead
of a Penitential Psalm, to dismiss his Audience with an excellent new
Ballad of his own composing. Pray, Sir, do what you can to put a stop
to those growing Evils, and you will very much oblige

Your Humble Servant,
Physibulus.

[Footnote 1:

[--Servetur ad imum
Qualis ab incepto processerit, et sibi constet.

Hor. ]

[Footnote 2: The Prologue was by Steele. Of the Epilogue Dr. Johnson
said (in his Lives of the Poets, when telling of Ambrose Philips),

It was known in Tonson's family and told to Garrick, that Addison was
himself the author of it, and that when it had been at first printed
with his name, he came early in the morning, before the copies were
distributed, and ordered it to be given to Budgell, that it might add
weight to the solicitation which he was then making for a place.

Johnson calls it

the most successful Epilogue that was ever yet spoken on the English
theatre.

The three first nights it was recited twice, and whenever afterwards the
play was acted the Epilogue was still expected and was spoken. This is a
fifth paper for the benefit of Ambrose Philips, inserted, perhaps, to
make occasion for a sixth (No. 341) in the form of a reply to
Physibulus.]

[Footnote 3: Paul Lorrain was the Ordinary of Newgate. He died in 1719. He
always represented his convicts as dying Penitents, wherefore in No. 63 of
the Tatler they had been called Paul Lorrains Saints. ]

* * * * *

No. 339 Saturday, March 29, 1712. Addison

[--Ut his exordia primis
Omnia, et ipse tener Mundi concreverit orbis.
Tum durare solum et discludere Nerea ponto
Coeperit, et rerum pauliatim sumere formas.

Virg. [1]]

Longinus has observed, [2] that there may be a Loftiness in Sentiments,
where there is no Passion, and brings Instances out of ancient Authors
to support this his Opinion. The Pathetick, as that great Critick
observes, may animate and inflame the Sublime, but is not essential to
it. Accordingly, as he further remarks, we very often find that those
who excel most in stirring up the Passions, very often want the Talent
of writing in the great and sublime manner, and so on the contrary.
Milton has shewn himself a Master in both these ways of Writing. The
Seventh Book, which we are now entring upon, is an Instance of that
Sublime which is not mixed and worked up with Passion. The Author
appears in a kind of composed and sedate Majesty; and tho the
Sentiments do not give so great an Emotion as those in the former Book,
they abound with as magnificent Ideas. The Sixth Book, like a troubled
Ocean, represents Greatness in Confusion; the seventh Affects the
Imagination like the Ocean in a Calm, and fills the Mind of the Reader,
without producing in it any thing like Tumult or Agitation.

The Critick above mentioned, among the Rules which he lays down for
succeeding in the sublime way of writing, proposes to his Reader, that
he should imitate the most celebrated Authors who have gone before him,
and been engaged in Works of the same nature; [3] as in particular, that
if he writes on a poetical Subject, he should consider how Homer would
have spoken on such an Occasion. By this means one great Genius often
catches the Flame from another, and writes in his Spirit, without
copying servilely after him. There are a thousand shining Passages in
Virgil, which have been lighted up by Homer.

Milton, tho his own natural Strength of Genius was capable of
furnishing out a perfect Work, has doubtless very much raised and
ennobled his Conceptions, by such an Imitation as that which Longinus
has recommended.

In this Book, which gives us an Account of the six Days Works, the Poet
received but very few Assistances from Heathen Writers, who were
Strangers to the Wonders of Creation. But as there are many glorious
strokes of Poetry upon this Subject in Holy Writ, the Author has
numberless Allusions to them through the whole course of this Book. The
great Critick I have before mentioned, though an Heathen, has taken
notice of the sublime Manner in which the Lawgiver of the Jews has
describ'd the Creation in the first Chapter of Genesis; [4] and there
are many other Passages in Scripture, which rise up to the same Majesty,
where this Subject is touched upon. Milton has shewn his Judgment very
remarkably, in making use of such of these as were proper for his Poem,
and in duly qualifying those high Strains of Eastern Poetry, which were
suited to Readers whose Imaginations were set to an higher pitch than
those of colder Climates.

Adams Speech to the Angel, wherein he desires an Account of what had
passed within the Regions of Nature before the Creation, is very great
and solemn. The following Lines, in which he tells him, that the Day is
not too far spent for him to enter upon such a subject, are exquisite in
their kind.

And the great Light of Day yet wants to run
Much of his Race, though steep, suspense in Heavn
Held by thy Voice; thy potent Voice he hears,
And longer will delay, to hear thee tell
His Generation, &c.

The Angels encouraging our first Parent[s] in a modest pursuit after
Knowledge, with the Causes which he assigns for the Creation of the
World, are very just and beautiful. The Messiah, by whom, as we are told
in Scripture, the Worlds were made, comes forth in the Power of his
Father, surrounded with an Host of Angels, and cloathed with such a
Majesty as becomes his entring upon a Work, which, according to our
Conceptions, [appears [5]] the utmost Exertion of Omnipotence. What a
beautiful Description has our Author raised upon that Hint in one of the
Prophets. And behold there came four Chariots out from between two
Mountains, and the Mountains were Mountains of Brass. [6]

About his Chariot numberless were pour
Cherub and Seraph, Potentates and Thrones,
And Virtues, winged Spirits, and Chariots wing'd,
From th' Armoury of Gold, where stand of old
Myriads between two brazen Mountains lodg'd
Against a solemn Day, harness'd at hand;
Celestial Equipage! and now came forth
Spontaneous, for within them Spirit liv'd,
Attendant on their Lord: Heavn open'd wide
Her ever-during Gates, Harmonious Sound!
On golden Hinges moving--

I have before taken notice of these Chariots of God, and of these Gates
of Heaven; and shall here only add, that Homer gives us the same Idea of
the latter, as opening of themselves; tho he afterwards takes off from
it, by telling us, that the Hours first of all removed those prodigious
Heaps of Clouds which lay as a Barrier before them.

I do not know any thing in the whole Poem more sublime than the
Description which follows, where the Messiah is represented at the head
of his Angels, as looking down into the Chaos, calming its Confusion,
riding into the midst of it, and drawing the first Out-Line of the
Creation.

On Heavenly Ground they stood, and from the Shore
They view'd the vast immeasurable Abyss,
Outrageous as a Sea, dark, wasteful, wild;
Up from the bottom turned by furious Winds
And surging Waves, as Mountains to assault
Heavens height, and with the Center mix the Pole.

Silence, ye troubled Waves, and thou Deep, Peace!
Said then th' Omnific Word, your Discord end:

Nor staid; but, on the Wings of Cherubim
Up-lifted, in Paternal Glory rode
Far into Chaos, and the World unborn;
For Chaos heard his Voice. Him all His Train
Follow'd in bright Procession, to behold
Creation, and the Wonders, of his Might.
Then staid the fervid Wheels, and in his Hand
He took the Golden Compasses, prepar'd
In Gods eternal Store, to circumscribe
This Universe, and all created Things:
One Foot he center'd, and the other turn'd
Round, through the vast Profundity obscure;
And said, Thus far extend, thus far thy bounds,
This be thy just Circumference, O World!

The Thought of the Golden Compasses is conceived altogether in Homers
Spirit, and is a very noble Incident in this wonderful Description.
Homer, when he speaks of the Gods, ascribes to them several Arms and
Instruments with the same greatness of Imagination. Let the Reader only
peruse the Description of Minerva's AEgis, or Buckler, in the Fifth Book,
with her Spear, which would overturn whole Squadrons, and her Helmet,
that was sufficient to cover an Army drawn out of an hundred Cities: The
Golden Compasses in the above-mentioned Passage appear a very natural
Instrument in the Hand of him, whom Plato somewhere calls the Divine
Geometrician. As Poetry delights in cloathing abstracted Ideas in
Allegories and sensible Images, we find a magnificent Description of the
Creation form'd after the same manner in one of the Prophets, wherein he
describes the Almighty Architect as measuring the Waters in the Hollow
of his Hand, meting out the Heavens with his Span, comprehending the
Dust of the Earth in a Measure, weighing the Mountains in Scales, and
the Hills in a Balance. Another of them describing the Supreme Being in
this great Work of Creation, represents him as laying the Foundations of
the Earth, and stretching a Line upon it: And in another place as
garnishing the Heavens, stretching out the North over the empty Place,
and hanging the Earth upon nothing. This last noble Thought Milton has
express'd in the following Verse:

And Earth self-ballanc'd on her Center hung.

The Beauties of Description in this Book lie so very thick, that it is
impossible to enumerate them in this Paper. The Poet has employ'd on
them the whole Energy of our Tongue. The several great Scenes of the
Creation rise up to view one after another, in such a manner, that the
Reader seems present at this wonderful Work, and to assist among the
Choirs of Angels, who are the Spectators of it. How glorious is the
Conclusion of the first Day.

--Thus was the first Day Ev'n and Morn
Nor past uncelebrated nor unsung
By the Celestial Quires, when Orient Light
Exhaling first from Darkness they beheld;
Birth-day of Heavn and Earth! with Joy and Shout
The hollow universal Orb they fill'd.

We have the same elevation of Thought in the third Day, when the
Mountains were brought forth, and the Deep was made.

Immediately the Mountains huge appear
Emergent, and their broad bare Backs up-heave
Into the Clouds, their Tops ascend the Sky:
So high as heav'd the tumid Hills, so low
Down sunk a hollow Bottom, broad and deep,
Capacious Bed of Waters--

We have also the rising of the whole vegetable World described in this
Days Work, which is filled with all the Graces that other Poets have
lavish'd on their Descriptions of the Spring, and leads the Readers
Imagination into a Theatre equally surprising and beautiful.

The several Glories of the Heavns make their Appearance on the Fourth
Day.

First in his East the glorious Lamp was seen,
Regent of Day; and all th' Horizon round
Invested with bright Rays, jocund to round
His Longitude through Heavns high Road: the gray
Dawn, and the Pleiades before him danced,
Shedding sweet Influence. Less bright the Moon,
But opposite in level'd West was set,
His Mirror, with full face borrowing her Light
From him, for other Lights she needed none
In that aspect, and still that distance keeps
Till Night; then in the East her turn she shines,
Revolv'd on Heavns great Axle, and her Reign
With thousand lesser Lights dividual holds,
With thousand thousand Stars! that then appear'd
Spangling the Hemisphere--

One would wonder how the Poet could be so concise in his Description of
the six Days Works, as to comprehend them within the bounds of an
Episode, and at the same time so particular, as to give us a lively Idea
of them. This is still more remarkable in his Account of the Fifth and
Sixth Days, in which he has drawn out to our View the whole Animal
Creation, from the Reptil to the Behemoth. As the Lion and the Leviathan
are two of the noblest Productions in [the [7]] World of living
Creatures, the Reader will find a most exquisite Spirit of Poetry in the
Account which our Author gives us of them. The Sixth Day concludes with
the Formation of Man, upon which the Angel takes occasion, as he did
after the Battel in Heaven, to remind Adam of his Obedience, which was
the principal Design of this his Visit.

The Poet afterwards represents the Messiah returning into Heaven, and
taking a Survey of his great Work. There is something inexpressibly
Sublime in this part of the Poem, where the Author describes that great
Period of Time, filled with so many Glorious Circumstances; when the
Heavens and Earth were finished; when the Messiah ascended up in triumph
thro the Everlasting Gates; when he looked down with pleasure upon his
new Creation; when every Part of Nature seem'd to rejoice in its
Existence; when the Morning-Stars sang together, and all the Sons of God
shouted for joy.

So Ev'n and Morn accomplished the sixth Day:
Yet not till the Creator from his Work
Desisting, tho unwearied, up return'd,
Up to the Heavn of Heavns, his high Abode;
Thence to behold this new created World,
Th' Addition of his Empire, how it shewed
In prospect from his Throne, how good, how fair,
Answering his great Idea: Up he rode,
Follow'd with Acclamation, and the Sound
Symphonious of ten thousand Harps, that tuned
Angelick Harmonies; the Earth, the Air
Resounding (thou rememberst, for thou heardst)
The Heavens and all the Constellations rung;
The Planets in their Station listning stood,
While the bright Pomp ascended jubilant.
Open, ye everlasting Gates, they sung,
Open, ye Heavens, your living Doors; let in
The great Creator from his Work return'd
Magnificent, his six Days Work, a World!

I cannot conclude this Book upon the Creation, without mentioning a Poem
which has lately appeared under that Title. [8] The Work was undertaken
with so good an Intention, and is executed with so great a Mastery, that
it deserves to be looked upon as one of the most useful and noble
Productions in our English Verse. The Reader cannot but be pleased to
find the Depths of Philosophy enlivened with all the Charms of Poetry,
and to see so great a Strength of Reason, amidst so beautiful a
Redundancy of the Imagination. The Author has shewn us that Design in
all the Works of Nature, which necessarily leads us to the Knowledge of
its first Cause. In short, he has illustrated, by numberless and
incontestable Instances, that Divine Wisdom, which the Son of Sirach has
so nobly ascribed to the Supreme Being in his Formation of the World,
when he tells us, that He created her, and saw her, and numbered her,
and poured her out upon all his Works.

L.

[Footnote 1: [Ovid.]]

[Footnote 2: On the Sublime, Sec. 8.]

[Footnote 3: Sec.14.]

[Footnote 4: Longinus, Sec. 9:

"So likewise the Jewish legislator, no ordinary person, having
conceived a just idea of the power of God, has nobly expressed it in
the beginning of his law. And God said,--What? Let there be Light,
and there was Light. Let the Earth be, and the Earth was." ]

[Footnote 5: [looks like]:--]

[Footnote 6: Zechariah vi. i. ]

[Footnote 7: this]

[Footnote 8: Sir Richard Blackmore's Creation appeared in 1712. Besides
this praise of it from Addison, its religious character caused Dr.
Johnson to say that if Blackmore

had written nothing else it would have transmitted him to posterity
among the first favourites of the English muse.

But even with the help of all his epics it has failed to secure him any
such place in the estimation of posterity. This work is not an epic, but
described on its title page as a Philosophical Poem, Demonstrating the
Existence and Providence of a God. It argues in blank verse, in the
first two of its seven books, the existence of a Deity from evidences of
design in the structure and qualities of earth and sea, in the celestial
bodies and the air; in the next three books it argues against objections
raised by Atheists, Atomists, and Fatalists; in the sixth book proceeds
with evidences of design, taking the structure of man's body for its
theme; and in the next, which is the last book, treats in the same way
of the Instincts of Animals and of the Faculties and Operations of the
Soul. This is the manner of the Poem:

The Sea does next demand our View; and there
No less the Marks of perfect skill appear.
When first the Atoms to the Congress came,
And by their Concourse form'd the mighty Frame,
What did the Liquid to th' Assembly call
To give their Aid to form the ponderous Ball?
First, tell us, why did any come? next, why
In such a disproportion to the Dry!
Why were the Moist in Number so outdone,
That to a Thousand Dry, they are but one,

It is hardly a mark of perfect skill that there are five or six
thousand of such dry lines in Blackmore's poem, and not even one that
should lead a critic to speak in the same breath of Blackmore and
Milton.]

* * * * *

No. 340 Monday, March 31, 1712. Steele.

Quis novus hic nostris successit sedibus Hospes?
Quem sese Ore ferens! quam forti Pectore et Armis!

Virg.

I take it to be the highest Instance of a noble Mind, to bear great
Qualities without discovering in a Man's Behaviour any Consciousness
that he is superior to the rest of the World. Or, to say it otherwise,
it is the Duty of a great Person so to demean himself, as that whatever
Endowments he may have, he may appear to value himself upon no Qualities
but such as any Man may arrive at: He ought to think no Man valuable but
for his publick Spirit, Justice and Integrity; and all other Endowments
to be esteemed only as they contribute to the exerting those Virtues.
Such a Man, if he is Wise or Valiant, knows it is of no Consideration to
other Men that he is so, but as he employs those high Talents for their
Use and Service. He who affects the Applauses and Addresses of a
Multitude, or assumes to himself a Pre-eminence upon any other
Consideration, must soon turn Admiration into Contempt. It is certain,
that there can be no Merit in any Man who is not conscious of it; but
the Sense that it is valuable only according to the Application of it,
makes that Superiority amiable, which would otherwise be invidious. In
this Light it is considered as a Thing in which every Man bears a Share:
It annexes the Ideas of Dignity, Power, and Fame, in an agreeable and
familiar manner, to him who is Possessor of it; and all Men who are
Strangers to him are naturally incited to indulge a Curiosity in
beholding the Person, Behaviour, Feature, and Shape of him, in whose
Character, perhaps, each Man had formed something in common with
himself. Whether such, or any other, are the Causes, all Men have [a
yearning [1]] Curiosity to behold a Man of heroick Worth; and I have had
many Letters from all Parts of this Kingdom, that request I would give
them an exact Account of the Stature, the Mein, the Aspect of the Prince
[2] who lately visited England, and has done such Wonders for the
Liberty of Europe. It would puzzle the most Curious to form to himself
the sort of Man my several Correspondents expect to hear of, by the
Action mentioned when they desire a Description of him: There is always
something that concerns themselves, and growing out of their own
Circumstances, in all their Enquiries. A Friend of mine in Wales
beseeches me to be very exact in my Account of that wonderful Man, who

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