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

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had marched an Army and all its Baggage over the Alps; and, if possible,
to learn whether the Peasant who shew'd him the Way, and is drawn in the
Map, be yet living. A Gentleman from the University, who is deeply
intent on the Study of Humanity, desires me to be as particular, if I
had Opportunity, in observing the whole Interview between his Highness
and our late General. Thus do Mens Fancies work according to their
several Educations and Circumstances; but all pay a Respect, mixed with
Admiration, to this illustrious Character. I have waited for his Arrival
in Holland, before I would let my Correspondents know, that I have not
been so uncurious a Spectator, as not to have seen Prince Eugene. It
would be very difficult, as I said just now, to answer every Expectation
of those who have writ to me on that Head; nor is it possible for me to
find Words to let one know what an artful Glance there is in his
Countenance who surprized Cremona; how daring he appears who forced the
Trenches of Turin; But in general I can say, that he who beholds him,
will easily expect from him any thing that is to be imagined or executed
by the Wit or Force of Man. The Prince is of that Stature which makes a
Man most easily become all Parts of Exercise, has Height to be graceful
on Occasions of State and Ceremony, and no less adapted for Agility and
Dispatch: his Aspect is erect and compos'd; his Eye lively and
thoughtful, yet rather vigilant than sparkling; his Action and Address
the most easy imaginable, and his Behaviour in an Assembly peculiarly
graceful in a certain Art of mixing insensibly with the rest, and
becoming one of the Company, instead of receiving the Courtship of it.
The Shape of his Person, and Composure of his Limbs, are remarkably
exact and beautiful. There is in his Look something sublime, which does
not seem to arise from his Quality or Character, but the innate
Disposition of his Mind. It is apparent that he suffers the Presence of
much Company, instead of taking Delight in it; and he appeared in
Publick while with us, rather to return Good-will, or satisfy Curiosity,
than to gratify any Taste he himself had of being popular. As his
Thoughts are never tumultuous in Danger, they are as little discomposed
on Occasions of Pomp and Magnificence: A great Soul is affected in
either Case, no further than in considering the properest Methods to
extricate it self from them. If this Hero has the strong Incentives to
uncommon Enterprizes that were remarkable in Alexander, he prosecutes
and enjoys the Fame of them with the Justness, Propriety, and good Sense
of Caesar. It is easy to observe in him a Mind as capable of being
entertained with Contemplation as Enterprize; a Mind ready for great
Exploits, but not impatient for Occasions to exert itself. The Prince
has Wisdom and Valour in as high Perfection as Man can enjoy it; which
noble Faculties in conjunction, banish all Vain-Glory, Ostentation,
Ambition, and all other Vices which might intrude upon his Mind to make
it unequal. These Habits and Qualities of Soul and Body render this
Personage so extraordinary, that he appears to have nothing in him but
what every Man should have in him, the Exertion of his very self,
abstracted from the Circumstances in which Fortune has placed him. Thus
were you to see Prince Eugene, and were told he was a private Gentleman,
you would say he is a Man of Modesty and Merit: Should you be told That
was Prince Eugene, he would be diminished no otherwise, than that part
of your distant Admiration would turn into familiar Good-will. This I
thought fit to entertain my Reader with, concerning an Hero who never
was equalled but by one Man; [3] over whom also he has this Advantage,
that he has had an Opportunity to manifest an Esteem for him in his


[Footnote 1: [an earning]]

[Footnote 2: Prince Eugene of Savoy, grandson of a duke of Savoy, and
son of Eugene Maurice, general of the Swiss, and Olympia Mancini, a
niece of Mazarin, was born at Paris in 1663, and intended for the
church, but had so strong a bent towards a military life, that when
refused a regiment in the French army he served the Emperor as volunteer
against the Turks. He stopped the march of the French into Italy when
Louis XIV. declared war with Austria, and refused afterwards from Louis
a Marshals staff, a pension, and the Government of Champagne.
Afterwards in Italy, by the surprise of Cremona he made Marshal Villeroi
his prisoner, and he was Marlborough's companion in arms at Blenheim and
in other victories. It was he who saved Turin, and expelled the French
from Italy. He was 49 years old in 1712, and had come in that year to
England to induce the court to continue the war, but found Marlborough
in disgrace and the war very unpopular. He had been feasted by the city,
and received from Queen Anne a sword worth L5000, which he wore at her
birthday reception. He had also stood as godfather to Steele's third
son, who was named after him.]

[Footnote 3: Marlborough.]

* * * * *

No. 341. Tuesday, April 1, 1712. Budgell. [1]

--Revocate animos moestumque timorem Mittite--


Having, to oblige my Correspondent Physibulus, printed his Letter last
Friday, in relation to the new Epilogue, he cannot take it amiss, if I
now publish another, which I have just received from a Gentleman who
does not agree with him in his Sentiments upon that Matter.


I am amazed to find an Epilogue attacked in your last Fridays Paper,
which has been so generally applauded by the Town, and receiv'd such
Honours as were never before given to any in an English Theatre.

The Audience would not permit Mrs. Oldfield to go off the Stage the
first Night, till she had repeated it twice; the second Night the
Noise of Ancoras was as loud as before, and she was again obliged to
speak it twice: the third Night it was still called for a second time;
and, in short, contrary to all other Epilogues, which are dropt after
the third Representation of the Play, this has already been repeated
nine times.

I must own I am the more surprized to find this Censure in Opposition
to the whole Town, in a Paper which has hitherto been famous for the
Candour of its Criticisms.

I can by no means allow your melancholy Correspondent, that the new
Epilogue is unnatural because it is gay. If I had a mind to be
learned, I could tell him that the Prologue and Epilogue were real
Parts of the ancient Tragedy; but every one knows that on the British
Stage they are distinct Performances by themselves, Pieces entirely
detached from the Play, and no way essential to it.

The moment the Play ends, Mrs. Oldfield is no more Andromache, but
Mrs. Oldfield; and tho the Poet had left Andromache stone-dead upon
the Stage, as your ingenious Correspondent phrases it, Mrs. Oldfield
might still have spoke a merry Epilogue. We have an Instance of this
in a Tragedy [2] where there is not only a Death but a Martyrdom. St.
Catherine was there personated by Nell Gwin; she lies stone dead upon
the Stage, but upon those Gentlemen's offering to remove her Body,
whose Business it is to carry off the Slain in our English Tragedies,
she breaks out into that abrupt Beginning of what was a very
ludicrous, but at the same time thought a very good Epilogue.

Hold, are you mad? you damn'd confounded Dog,
I am to rise and speak the Epilogue.

This diverting Manner was always practised by Mr. Dryden, who if he
was not the best Writer of Tragedies in his time, was allowed by every
one to have the happiest Turn for a Prologue or an Epilogue. The
Epilogues to Cleomenes, Don Sebastian, The Duke of Guise, Aurengzebe,
and Love Triumphant, are all Precedents of this Nature.

I might further justify this Practice by that excellent Epilogue which
was spoken a few Years since, after the Tragedy of Phaedra and
Hippolitus; with a great many others, in which the Authors have
endeavour'd to make the Audience merry. If they have not all succeeded
so well as the Writer of this, they have however shewn that it was not
for want of Good-will.

I must further observe, that the Gaiety of it may be still the more
proper, as it is at the end of a French Play; since every one knows
that Nation, who are generally esteem'd to have as polite a Taste as
any in Europe, always close their Tragick Entertainments with what
they call a Petite Piece, which is purposely design'd to raise Mirth,
and send away the Audience well pleased. The same Person who has
supported the chief Character in the Tragedy, very often plays the
principal Part in the Petite Piece; so that I have my self seen at
Paris, Orestes and Lubin acted the same Night by the same Man.

Tragi-Comedy, indeed, you have your self in a former Speculation found
fault with very justly, because it breaks the Tide of the Passions
while they are yet flowing; but this is nothing at all to the present
Case, where they have already had their full Course.

As the new Epilogue is written conformable to the Practice of our best
Poets, so it is not such an one which, as the Duke of Buckingham says
in his Rehearsal, might serve for any other Play; but wholly rises out
of the Occurrences of the Piece it was composed for.

The only Reason your mournful Correspondent gives against this
Facetious Epilogue, as he calls it, is, that he has mind to go home
melancholy. I wish the Gentleman may not be more Grave than Wise. For
my own part, I must confess I think it very sufficient to have the
Anguish of a fictitious Piece remain upon me while it is representing,
but I love to be sent home to bed in a good humour. If Physibulus is
however resolv'd to be inconsolable, and not to have his Tears dried
up, he need only continue his old Custom, and when he has had his half
Crowns worth of Sorrow, slink out before the Epilogue begins.

It is pleasant enough to hear this Tragical Genius complaining of the
great Mischief Andromache had done him: What was that? Why, she made
him laugh. The poor Gentleman's Sufferings put me in mind of
Harlequins Case, who was tickled to Death. He tells us soon after,
thro a small Mistake of Sorrow for Rage, that during the whole Action
he was so very sorry, that he thinks he could have attack'd half a
score of the fiercest Mohocks in the Excess of his Grief. I cannot but
look upon it as an happy Accident, that a Man who is so bloody-minded
in his Affliction, was diverted from this Fit of outragious
Melancholy. The Valour of this Gentleman in his Distress, brings to
ones memory the Knight of the sorrowful Countenance, who lays about
him at such an unmerciful rate in an old Romance. I shall readily
grant him that his Soul, as he himself says, would have made a very
ridiculous Figure, had it quitted the Body, and descended to the
Poetical Shades, in such an Encounter.

As to his Conceit of tacking a Tragic Head with a Comic Tail, in order
to refresh the Audience, it is such a piece of Jargon, that I don't
know what to make of it.

The elegant Writer makes a very sudden Transition from the Play-house
to the Church, and from thence, to the Gallows.

As for what relates to the Church, he is of Opinion, that these
Epilogues have given occasion to those merry Jiggs from the Organ-Loft
which have dissipated those good Thoughts, and Dispositions he has
found in himself, and the rest of the Pew, upon the singing of two
Staves cull'd out by the judicious and diligent Clark.

He fetches his next Thought from Tyburn; and seems very apprehensive
lest there should happen any Innovations in the Tragedies of his
Friend Paul Lorrain.

In the mean time, Sir, this gloomy Writer, who is so mightily
scandaliz'd at a gay Epilogue after a serious Play, speaking of the
Fate of those unhappy Wretches who are condemned to suffer an
ignominious Death by the Justice of our Laws, endeavours to make the
Reader merry on so improper an occasion, by those poor Burlesque
Expressions of Tragical Dramas, and Monthly Performances.

I am, Sir, with great Respect,
Your most obedient, most humble Servant,



[Footnote 1: Budgell here defends with bad temper the Epilogue which
Addison ascribed to him. Probably it was of his writing, but transformed
by Addison's corrections.]

[Footnote 2: Dryden's Maximin.]

* * * * *

No. 342. Wednesday, April 2, 1712. Steele.

Justitiae partes sunt non violare homines: Verecundiae non offendere.


As Regard to Decency is a great Rule of Life in general, but more
especially to be consulted by the Female World, I cannot overlook the
following Letter which describes an egregious Offender.


I was this Day looking over your Papers, and reading in that of
December the 6th with great delight, the amiable Grief of Asteria for
the Absence of her Husband, it threw me into a great deal of
Reflection. I cannot say but this arose very much from the
Circumstances of my own Life, who am a Soldier, and expect every Day
to receive Orders; which will oblige me to leave behind me a Wife that
is very dear to me, and that very deservedly. She is, at present, I am
sure, no way below your Asteria for Conjugal Affection: But I see the
Behaviour of some Women so little suited to the Circumstances wherein
my Wife and I shall soon be, that it is with a Reluctance I never knew
before, I am going to my Duty. What puts me to present Pain, is the
Example of a young Lady, whose Story you shall have as well as I can
give it you. Hortensius, an Officer of good Rank in her Majesty's
Service, happen'd in a certain Part of England to be brought to a
Country-Gentleman's House, where he was receiv'd with that more than
ordinary Welcome, with which Men of domestick Lives entertain such few
Soldiers whom a military Life, from the variety of Adventures, has not
render'd over-bearing, but humane, easy, and agreeable: Hortensius
stay'd here some time, and had easy Access at all hours, as well as
unavoidable Conversation at some parts of the Day with the beautiful
Sylvana, the Gentleman's Daughter. People who live in Cities are
wonderfully struck with every little Country Abode they see when they
take the Air; and tis natural to fancy they could live in every neat
Cottage (by which they pass) much happier than in their present
Circumstances. The turbulent way of Life which Hortensius was used to,
made him reflect with much Satisfaction on all the Advantages of a
sweet Retreat one day; and among the rest, you'll think it not
improbable, it might enter into his Thought, that such a Woman as
Sylvana would consummate the Happiness. The World is so debauched with
mean Considerations, that Hortensius knew it would be receiv'd as an
Act of Generosity, if he asked for a Woman of the Highest Merit,
without further Questions, of a Parent who had nothing to add to her
personal Qualifications. The Wedding was celebrated at her Fathers
House: When that was over, the generous Husband did not proportion his
Provision for her to the Circumstances of her Fortune, but considered
his Wife as his Darling, his Pride, and his Vanity, or rather that it
was in the Woman he had chosen that a Man of Sense could shew Pride or
Vanity with an Excuse, and therefore adorned her with rich Habits and
valuable Jewels. He did not however omit to admonish her that he did
his very utmost in this; that it was an Ostentation he could not but
be guilty of to a Woman he had so much Pleasure in, desiring her to
consider it as such; and begged of her also to take these Matters
rightly, and believe the Gems, the Gowns, the Laces would still become
her better, if her Air and Behaviour was such, that it might appear
she dressed thus rather in Compliance to his Humour that Way, than out
of any Value she her self had for the Trifles. To this Lesson, too
hard for Woman, Hortensius added, that she must be sure to stay with
her Friends in the Country till his Return. As soon as Hortensius
departed, Sylvana saw in her Looking-glass that the Love he conceiv'd
for her was wholly owing to the Accident of seeing her: and she is
convinced it was only her Misfortune the rest of Mankind had not
beheld her, or Men of much greater Quality and Merit had contended for
one so genteel, tho bred in Obscurity; so very witty, tho never
acquainted with Court or Town. She therefore resolved not to hide so
much Excellence from the World, but without any Regard to the Absence
of the most generous Man alive, she is now the gayest Lady about this
Town, and has shut out the Thoughts of her Husband by a constant
Retinue of the vainest young Fellows this Age has produced: to
entertain whom, she squanders away all Hortensius is able to supply
her with, tho that Supply is purchased with no less Difficulty than
the Hazard of his Life.

Now, Mr. SPECTATOR, would it not be a Work becoming your Office to
treat this Criminal as she deserve[s]? You should give it the severest
Reflections you can: You should tell Women, that they are more
accountable for Behaviour in Absence than after Death. The Dead are
not dishonour'd by their Levities; the Living may return, and be
laugh'd at by empty Fops, who will not fail to turn into Ridicule the
good Man who is so unseasonable as to be still alive, and come and
spoil good Company.

I am, SIR,
your most Obedient Humble Servant.

All Strictness of Behaviour is so unmercifully laugh'd at in our Age,
that the other much worse Extreme is the more common Folly. But let any
Woman consider which of the two Offences an Husband would the more
easily forgive, that of being less entertaining than she could to please
Company, or raising the Desires of the whole Room to his disadvantage;
and she will easily be able to form her Conduct. We have indeed carry'd
Womens Characters too much into publick Life, and you shall see them
now-a-days affect a sort of Fame: but I cannot help venturing to
disoblige them for their Service, by telling them, that the utmost of a
Woman's Character is contained in Domestick Life; she is blameable or
praiseworthy according as her Carriage affects the House of her Father
or her Husband. All she has to do in this World, is contain'd within the
Duties of a Daughter, a Sister, a Wife, and a Mother: All these may be
well performed, tho a Lady should not be the very finest Woman at an
Opera or an Assembly. They are likewise consistent with a moderate share
of Wit, a plain Dress, and a modest Air. But when the very Brains of the
Sex are turned, and they place their Ambition on Circumstances, wherein
to excel is no addition to what is truly commendable, where can this
end, but, as it frequently does, in their placing all their Industry,
Pleasure and Ambition on things, which will naturally make the
Gratifications of Life last, at best, no longer than Youth and good
Fortune? And when we consider the least ill Consequence, it can be no
less than looking on their own Condition as Years advance, with a
disrelish of Life, and falling into Contempt of their own Persons, or
being the Derision of others. But when they consider themselves as they
ought, no other than an additional Part of the Species, (for their own
Happiness and Comfort, as well as that of those for whom they were born)
their Ambition to excel will be directed accordingly; and they will in
no part of their Lives want Opportunities of being shining Ornaments to
their Fathers, Husbands, Brothers, or Children.


* * * * *

No. 343. Thursday, April 3, 1712. Addison.

--Errat et illinc
Huc venit, hinc illuc, et quoslibet occupat artus
Spiritus: eque feris humana in corpora transit,
Inque feras noster--

Pythag. ap. Ov.

Will. Honeycomb, who loves to shew upon occasion all the little Learning
he has picked up, told us yesterday at the Club, that he thought there
might be a great deal said for the Transmigration of Souls, and that the
Eastern Parts of the World believed in that Doctrine to this day. Sir
Paul Rycaut, [1] says he, gives us an Account of several well-disposed
Mahometans that purchase the Freedom of any little Bird they see
confined to a Cage, and think they merit as much by it, as we should do
here by ransoming any of our Countrymen from their Captivity at Algiers.
You must know, says WILL., the Reason is, because they consider every
Animal as a Brother or Sister in disguise, and therefore think
themselves obliged to extend their Charity to them, tho under such mean
Circumstances. They'll tell you, says WILL., that the Soul of a Man,
when he dies, immediately passes into the Body of another Man, or of
some Brute, which he resembled in his Humour, or his Fortune, when he
was one of us.

As I was wondring what this profusion of Learning would end in, WILL.
told us that Jack Freelove, who was a Fellow of Whim, made Love to one
of those Ladies who throw away all their Fondness [on [2]] Parrots,
Monkeys, and Lap-dogs. Upon going to pay her a Visit one Morning, he
writ a very pretty Epistle upon this Hint. Jack, says he, was conducted
into the Parlour, where he diverted himself for some time with her
favourite Monkey, which was chained in one of the Windows; till at
length observing a Pen and Ink lie by him, he writ the following Letter
to his Mistress, in the Person of the Monkey; and upon her not coming
down so soon as he expected, left it in the Window, and went about his

The Lady soon after coming into the Parlour, and seeing her Monkey look
upon a Paper with great Earnestness, took it up, and to this day is in
some doubt, says WILL., whether it was written by Jack or the Monkey.

Not having the Gift of Speech, I have a long time waited in vain for
an Opportunity of making myself known to you; and having at present
the Conveniences of Pen, Ink, and Paper by me, I gladly take the
occasion of giving you my History in Writing, which I could not do by
word of Mouth. You must know, Madam, that about a thousand Years ago I
was an Indian Brachman, and versed in all those mysterious Secrets
which your European Philosopher, called Pythagoras, is said to have
learned from our Fraternity. I had so ingratiated my self by my great
Skill in the occult Sciences with a Daemon whom I used to converse
with, that he promised to grant me whatever I should ask of him. I
desired that my Soul might never pass into the Body of a brute
Creature; but this he told me was not in his Power to grant me. I then
begg'd that into whatever Creature I should chance to Transmigrate, I
might still retain my Memory, and be conscious that I was the same
Person who lived in different Animals. This he told me was within his
Power, and accordingly promised on the word of a Daemon that he would
grant me what I desired. From that time forth I lived so very
unblameably, that I was made President of a College of Brachmans, an
Office which I discharged with great Integrity till the day of my
Death. I was then shuffled into another Human Body, and acted my Part
so very well in it, that I became first Minister to a Prince who
reigned upon the Banks of the Ganges. I here lived in great Honour for
several Years, but by degrees lost all the Innocence of the Brachman,
being obliged to rifle and oppress the People to enrich my Sovereign;
till at length I became so odious that my Master, to recover his
Credit with his Subjects, shot me thro the Heart with an Arrow, as I
was one day addressing my self to him at the Head of his Army.

Upon my next remove I found my self in the Woods, under the shape of a
Jack-call, and soon listed my self in the Service of a Lion. I used to
yelp near his Den about midnight, which was his time of rouzing and
seeking after his Prey. He always followed me in the Rear, and when I
had run down a fat Buck, a wild Goat, or an Hare, after he had feasted
very plentifully upon it himself, would now and then throw me a Bone
that was but half picked for my Encouragement; but upon my Being
unsuccessful in two or three Chaces, he gave me such a confounded
Gripe in his Anger, that I died of it.

In my next Transmigration I was again set upon two Legs, and became an
Indian Tax-gatherer; but having been guilty of great Extravagances,
and being marry'd to an expensive Jade of a Wife, I ran so cursedly in
debt, that I durst not shew my Head. I could no sooner step out of my
House, but I was arrested by some body or other that lay in wait for
me. As I ventur'd abroad one Night in the Dusk of the Evening, I was
taken up and hurry'd into a Dungeon, where I died a few Months after.

My Soul then enter'd into a Flying-Fish, and in that State led a most
melancholy Life for the space of six Years. Several Fishes of Prey
pursued me when I was in the Water, and if I betook my self to my
Wings, it was ten to one but I had a flock of Birds aiming at me. As I
was one day flying amidst a fleet of English Ships, I observed a huge
Sea-Gull whetting his Bill and hovering just over my Head: Upon my
dipping into the Water to avoid him, I fell into the Mouth of a
monstrous Shark that swallow'd me down in an instant.

I was some Years afterwards, to my great surprize, an eminent Banker
in Lombard-street; and remembring how I had formerly suffered for want
of Money, became so very sordid and avaritious, that the whole Town
cried shame of me. I was a miserable little old Fellow to look upon,
for I had in a manner starved my self, and was nothing but Skin and
Bone when I died.

I was afterwards very much troubled and amazed to find my self
dwindled into an Emmet. I was heartily concerned to make so
insignificant a Figure, and did not know but some time or other I
might be reduced to a Mite if I did not mend my Manners. I therefore
applied my self with great diligence to the Offices that were allotted
me, and was generally look'd upon as the notablest Ant in the whole
Molehill. I was at last picked up, as I was groaning under a Burden,
by an unlucky Cock-Sparrow that lived in the Neighbourhood, and had
before made great depredations upon our Commonwealth.

I then better'd my Condition a little, and lived a whole Summer in the
Shape of a Bee; but being tired with the painful and penurious Life I
had undergone in my two last Transmigrations, I fell into the other
Extream, and turned Drone. As I one day headed a Party to plunder an
Hive, we were received so warmly by the Swarm which defended it, that
we were most of us left dead upon the Spot.

I might tell you of many other Transmigrations which I went thro: how
I was a Town-Rake, and afterwards did Penance in a Bay Gelding for ten
Years; as also how I was a Taylor, a Shrimp, and a Tom-tit. In the
last of these my Shapes I was shot in the Christmas Holidays by a
young Jack-a-napes, who would needs try his new Gun upon me.

But I shall pass over these and other several Stages of Life, to
remind you of the young Beau who made love to you about Six Years
since. You may remember, Madam, how he masked, and danced, and sung,
and play'd a thousand Tricks to gain you; and how he was at last
carry'd off by a Cold that he got under your Window one Night in a
Serenade. I was that unfortunate young Fellow, whom you were then so
cruel to. Not long after my shifting that unlucky Body, I found myself
upon a Hill in AEthiopia, where I lived in my present Grotesque Shape,
till I was caught by a Servant of the English Factory, and sent over
into Great Britain: I need not inform you how I came into your Hands.
You see, Madam, this is not the first time that you have had me in a
Chain: I am, however, very happy in this my Captivity, as you often
bestow on me those Kisses and Caresses which I would have given the
World for, when I was a Man. I hope this Discovery of my Person will
not tend to my Disadvantage, but that you will still continue your
accustomed Favours to
Your most Devoted
Humble Servant,

P.S. I would advise your little Shock-dog to keep out of my way; for
as I look upon him to be the most formidable of my Rivals, I may
chance one time or other to give him such a Snap as he wont like.


[Footnote 1: Sir Paul Rycaut, the son of a London merchant, after an
education at Trinity College, Cambridge, went in 1661 to Constantinople
as Secretary to the Embassy. He published in 1668 his Present State of
the Ottoman Empire, in three Books, and in 1670 the work here quoted,
A Particular Description of the Mahometan Religion, the Seraglio, the
Maritime and Land Forces of Turkey, abridged in 1701 in Savages
History of the Turks, and translated into French by Bespier in 1707.
Consul afterwards at Smyrna, he wrote by command of Charles II. a book
on The Present State of the Greek and American Churches, published
1679. After his return from the East he was made Privy Councillor and
Judge of the High Court of Admiralty. He was knighted by James II., and
one of the first Fellows of the Royal Society. He published between 1687
and 1700, the year of his death, Knolless History of the Turks, with a
continuation of his own, and also translated Platinas Lives of the
Popes and Garcilaso de la Vegas History of Peru.]

[Footnote 2: [upon]]

* * * * *

No. 344. Friday, April 4, 1712. Steele.

In solo vivendi causa palato est.



I think it has not yet fallen into your Way to discourse on little
Ambition, or the many whimsical Ways Men fall into, to distinguish
themselves among their Acquaintance: Such Observations, well pursued,
would make a pretty History of low Life. I my self am got into a great
Reputation, which arose (as most extraordinary Occurrences in a Man's
Life seem to do) from a mere Accident. I was some Days ago
unfortunately engaged among a Set of Gentlemen, who esteem a Man
according to the Quantity of Food he throws down at a Meal. Now I, who
am ever for distinguishing my self according to the Notions of
Superiority which the rest of the Company entertain, ate so
immoderately for their Applause, as had like to have cost me my Life.
What added to my Misfortune was, that having naturally a good Stomach,
and having lived soberly for some time, my Body was as well prepared
for this Contention as if it had been by Appointment. I had quickly
vanquished every Glutton in Company but one, who was such a Prodigy in
his Way, and withal so very merry during the whole Entertainment, that
he insensibly betrayed me to continue his Competitor, which in a
little time concluded in a compleat Victory over my Rival; after
which, by Way of Insult, I ate a considerable Proportion beyond what
the Spectators thought me obliged in Honour to do. The Effect however
of this Engagement, has made me resolve never to eat more for Renown;
and I have, pursuant to this Resolution, compounded three Wagers I had
depending on the Strength of my Stomach; which happened very luckily,
because it was stipulated in our Articles either to play or pay. How a
Man of common Sense could be thus engaged, is hard to determine; but
the Occasion of this, is to desire you to inform several Gluttons of
my Acquaintance, who look on me with Envy, that they had best moderate
their Ambition in time, lest Infamy or Death attend their Success. I
forgot to tell you, Sir, with what unspeakable Pleasure I received the
Acclamations and Applause of the whole Board, when I had almost eat my
Antagonist into Convulsions: It was then that I returned his Mirth
upon him with such success as he was hardly able to swallow, though
prompted by a Desire of Fame, and a passionate Fondness for
Distinction: I had not endeavoured to excel so far, had not the
Company been so loud in their Approbation of my Victory. I don't
question but the same Thirst after Glory has often caused a Man to
drink Quarts without taking Breath, and prompted Men to many other
difficult Enterprizes; which if otherwise pursued, might turn very
much to a Man's Advantage. This Ambition of mine was indeed
extravagantly pursued; however I cant help observing, that you hardly
ever see a Man commended for a good Stomach, but he immediately falls
to eating more (tho he had before dined) as well to confirm the
Person that commended him in his good Opinion of him, as to convince
any other at the Table, who may have been unattentive enough not to
have done Justice to his Character.
I am, Sir,
Your most humble Servant,
Epicure Mammon.


I have writ to you three or four times, to desire you would take
notice of an impertinent Custom the Women, the fine Women, have lately
fallen into, of taking Snuff. [1] This silly Trick is attended with
such a Coquet Air in some Ladies, and such a sedate masculine one in
others, that I cannot tell which most to complain of; but they are to
me equally disagreeable. Mrs. Saunter is so impatient of being without
it, that she takes it as often as she does Salt at Meals; and as she
affects a wonderful Ease and Negligence in all her manner, an upper
Lip mixed with Snuff and the Sauce, is what is presented to the
Observation of all who have the honour to eat with her. The pretty
Creature her Neice does all she can to be as disagreeable as her Aunt;
and if she is not as offensive to the Eye, she is quite as much to the
Ear, and makes up all she wants in a confident Air, by a nauseous
Rattle of the Nose, when the Snuff is delivered, and the Fingers make
the Stops and Closes on the Nostrils. This, perhaps, is not a very
courtly Image in speaking of Ladies; that is very true: but where
arises the Offence? Is it in those who commit, or those who observe
it? As for my part, I have been so extremely disgusted with this
filthy Physick hanging on the Lip, that the most agreeable
Conversation, or Person, has not been able to make up for it. As to
those who take it for no other end but to give themselves Occasion for
pretty Action, or to fill up little Intervals of Discourse, I can bear
with them; but then they must not use it when another is speaking, who
ought to be heard with too much respect, to admit of offering at that
time from Hand to Hand the Snuff-Box. But Flavilla is so far taken
with her Behaviour in this kind, that she pulls out her Box (which is
indeed full of good Brazile) in the middle of the Sermon; and to shew
she has the Audacity of a well-bred Woman, she offers it the Men as
well as the Women who sit near her: But since by this Time all the
World knows she has a fine Hand, I am in hopes she may give her self
no further Trouble in this matter. On Sunday was sennight, when they
came about for the Offering, she gave her Charity with a very good
Air, but at the same Time asked the Churchwarden if he would take a
Pinch. Pray, Sir, think of these things in time, and you will oblige,


Your most humble servant.


[Footnote 1: Charles Lillie, the perfumer, from whose shop at the corner
of Beaufort Buildings the original Spectators were distributed, left
behind him a book of receipts and observations, The British Perfumer,
Snuff Manufacturer, and Colourmans Guide, of which the MS. was sold
with his business, but which remained unpublished until 1822. He opens
his Part III. on Snuffs with an account of the Origin of Snuff-taking
in England, the practice being one that had become fashionable in his
day, and only about eight years before the appearance of the Spectator.
It dates from Sir George Rooke's expedition against Cadiz in 1702.
Before that time snuff-taking in England was confined to a few luxurious
foreigners and English who had travelled abroad. They took their snuff
with pipes of the size of quills out of small spring boxes. The pipes
let out a very small quantity upon the back of the hand, and this was
snuffed up the nostrils with the intention of producing a sneeze which,
says Lillie, I need not say forms now no part of the design or rather
fashion of snuff-taking; least of all in the ladies who took part in
this method of snuffing defiance at the public enemy. When the fleet,
after the failure of its enterprize against Cadiz, proceeded to cut off
the French ships in Vigobay, on the way it plundered Port St. Mary and
adjacent places, where, among other merchandize, seizure was made of
several thousand barrels and casks, each containing four tin canisters
of snuffs of the best growth and finest Spanish manufacture. At Vigo,
among the merchandize taken from the shipping there destroyed, were
prodigious quantities of gross snuff, from the Havannah, in bales,
bags, and scrows (untanned buffalo hides, used with the hairy-side
inwards, for making packages), which were designed for manufacture in
different parts of Spain. Altogether fifty tons of snuff were brought
home as part of the prize of the officers and sailors of the fleet. Of
the coarse snuff, called Vigo snuff, the sailors, among whom it was
shared, sold waggon-loads at Portsmouth, Plymouth, and Chatham, for not
more than three-pence or four-pence a pound. The greater part of it was
bought up by Spanish Jews, to their own very considerable profit. The
fine snuffs taken at Port St. Mary, and divided among the officers, were
sold by some of them at once for a small price, while others held their
stocks and, as the snuff so taken became popular and gave a patriotic
impulse to the introduction of a fashion which had hitherto been almost
confined to foreigners, they got very high prices for it. This accounts
for the fact that the ladies too had added the use of the perfumed
snuff-box to their other fashionable accomplishments.]

* * * * *

No. 345. Saturday, April 5, 1712. Addison.

Sanctius his animal, mentisque capacius altae
Deerat adhuc, et quod dominari in coetera posset,
Natus homo est.

Ov. Met.

The Accounts which Raphael gives of the Battel of Angels, and the
Creation of the World, have in them those Qualifications which the
Criticks judge requisite to an Episode. They are nearly related to the
principal Action, and have a just Connexion with the Fable.

The eighth Book opens with a beautiful Description of the Impression
which this Discourse of the Archangel made on our first Parent[s]. Adam
afterwards, by a very natural Curiosity, enquires concerning the Motions
of those Celestial Bodies which make the most glorious Appearance among
the six days Works. The Poet here, with a great deal of Art, represents
Eve as withdrawing from this part of their Conversation, to Amusements
more suitable to her Sex. He well knew, that the Episode in this Book,
which is filled with Adams Account of his Passion and Esteem for Eve,
would have been improper for her hearing, and has therefore devised very
just and beautiful Reasons for her Retiring.

So spake our Sire, and by his Countenance seem'd
Entring on studious Thoughts abstruse: which Eve
Perceiving, where she sat retired in sight,
With lowliness majestick, from her Seat,
And Grace, that won who saw to wish her Stay,
Rose; and went forth among her Fruits and Flowers
To visit how they prosper'd, Bud and Bloom,
Her Nursery: they at her coming sprung,
And touch'd by her fair Tendance gladlier grew.
Yet went she not, as not with such Discourse
Delighted, or not capable her Ear
Of what was high: Such Pleasure she reserved,
Adam relating, she sole Auditress;
Her Husband the Relater she preferr'd
Before the Angel, and of him to ask
Chose rather: he, she knew, would intermix
Grateful Digressions, and solve high Dispute
With conjugal Caresses; from his Lip
Not Words alone pleas'd her. O when meet now
Such Pairs, in Love and mutual Honour join'd!

The Angels returning a doubtful Answer to Adams Enquiries, was not
only proper for the Moral Reason which the Poet assigns, but because it
would have been highly absurd to have given the Sanction of an Archangel
to any particular System of Philosophy. The chief Points in the
Ptolemaick and Copernican Hypothesis are described with great
Conciseness and Perspicuity, and at the same time dressed in very
pleasing and poetical Images.

Adam, to detain the Angel, enters afterwards upon his own History, and
relates to him the Circumstances in which he found himself upon his
Creation; as also his Conversation with his Maker, and his first meeting
with Eve. There is no part of the Poem more apt to raise the Attention
of the Reader, than this Discourse of our great Ancestor; as nothing can
be more surprizing and delightful to us, than to hear the Sentiments
that arose in the first Man while he was yet new and fresh from the
Hands of his Creator. The Poet has interwoven every thing which is
delivered upon this Subject in Holy Writ with so many beautiful
Imaginations of his own, that nothing can be conceived more just and
natural than this whole Episode. As our Author knew this Subject could
not but be agreeable to his Reader, he would not throw it into the
Relation of the six days Works, but reserved it for a distinct Episode,
that he might have an opportunity of expatiating upon it more at large.
Before I enter on this part of the Poem, I cannot but take notice of two
shining Passages in the Dialogue between Adam and the Angel. The first
is that wherein our Ancestor gives an Account of the pleasure he took in
conversing with him, which contains a very noble Moral.

For while I sit with thee, I seem in Heavn,
And sweeter thy Discourse is to my Ear
Than Fruits of Palm-tree (pleasantest to Thirst
And Hunger both from Labour) at the hour
Of sweet Repast: they satiate, and soon fill,
Tho pleasant; but thy Words with Grace divine
Imbu'd, bring to their Sweetness no Satiety.

The other I shall mention, is that in which the Angel gives a Reason why
he should be glad to hear the Story Adam was about to relate.

For I that day was absent, as befel,
Bound on a Voyage uncouth and obscure;
Far on Excursion towards the Gates of Hell,
Squar'd in full Legion [such Command we had]
To see that none thence issued forth a Spy,
Or Enemy; while God was in his Work,
Lest he, incens'd at such Eruption bold,
Destruction with Creation might have mix'd.

There is no question but our Poet drew the Image in what follows from
that in Virgil's sixth Book, where AEneas and the Sibyl stand before the
Adamantine Gates, which are there described as shut upon the Place of
Torments, and listen to the Groans, the Clank of Chains, and the Noise
of Iron Whips, that were heard in those Regions of Pain and Sorrow.

--Fast we found, fast shut
The dismal Gates, and barricado'd strong;
But long ere our Approaching heard within
Noise, other than the Sound of Dance or Song,
Torment, and loud Lament, and furious Rage.

Adam then proceeds to give an account of his Condition and Sentiments
immediately after his Creation. How agreeably does he represent the
Posture in which he found himself, the beautiful Landskip that
surrounded him, and the Gladness of Heart which grew up in him on that

--As new waked from soundest Sleep,
Soft on the flowry Herb I found me laid
In balmy Sweat, which with his Beams the Sun
Soon dried, and on the reaking Moisture fed.
Streight towards Heavn my wondring Eyes I turn'd,
And gazed awhile the ample Sky, till rais'd
By quick instinctive Motion, up I sprung,
As thitherward endeavouring, and upright
Stood on my Feet: About me round I saw
Hill, Dale, and shady Woods, and sunny Plains,
And liquid lapse of murmuring Streams; by these
Creatures that liv'd, and mov'd, and walked, or flew,
Birds on the Branches warbling; all things smil'd:
With Fragrance, and with Joy my Heart o'erflow'd.

Adam is afterwards describ'd as surprized at his own Existence, and
taking a Survey of himself, and of all the Works of Nature. He likewise
is represented as discovering by the Light of Reason, that he and every
thing about him must have been the Effect of some Being infinitely good
and powerful, and that this Being had a right to his Worship and
Adoration. His first Address to the Sun, and to those Parts of the
Creation which made the most distinguished Figure, is very natural and
amusing to the Imagination.

--Thou Sun, said I, fair Light,
And thou enlighten'd Earth, so fresh and gay,
Ye Hills and Dales, ye Rivers, Woods and Plains,
And ye that live and move, fair Creatures tell,
Tell if you saw, how came I thus, how here?

His next Sentiment, when upon his first going to sleep he fancies
himself losing his Existence, and falling away into nothing, can never
be sufficiently admired. His Dream, in which he still preserves the
Consciousness of his Existence, together with his removal into the
Garden which was prepared for his Reception, are also Circumstances
finely imagined, and grounded upon what is delivered in Sacred Story.

These and the like wonderful Incidents in this Part of the Work, have in
them all the Beauties of Novelty, at the same time that they have all
the Graces of Nature. They are such as none but a great Genius could
have thought of, tho, upon the perusal of them, they seem to rise of
themselves from the Subject of which he treats. In a word, tho they are
natural, they are not obvious, which is the true Character of all fine

The Impression which the Interdiction of the Tree of Life left in the
Mind of our first Parent, is describ'd with great Strength and Judgment;
as the Image of the several Beasts and Birds passing in review before
him is very beautiful and lively.

--Each Bird and Beast behold
Approaching two and two, these cowring low
With Blandishment; each Bird stoop'd on his Wing:
I nam'd them as they pass'd--

Adam, in the next place, describes a Conference which he held with his
Maker upon the Subject of Solitude. The Poet here represents the supreme
Being, as making an Essay of his own Work, and putting to the tryal that
reasoning Faculty, with which he had endued his Creature. Adam urges, in
this Divine Colloquy, the Impossibility of his being happy, tho he was
the Inhabitant of Paradise, and Lord of the whole Creation, without the
Conversation and Society of some rational Creature, who should partake
those Blessings with him. This Dialogue, which is supported chiefly by
the Beauty of the Thoughts, without other poetical Ornaments, is as fine
a Part as any in the whole Poem: The more the Reader examines the
Justness and Delicacy of its Sentiments, the more he will find himself
pleased with it. The Poet has wonderfully preserved the Character of
Majesty and Condescension in the Creator, and at the same time that of
Humility and Adoration in the Creature, as particularly in the following

Thus I presumptuous; and the Vision bright,
As with a Smile more bright-tied, thus reply'd, &c.

--I, with leave of Speech implor'd
And humble Deprecation, thus reply d:
Let not my Words offend thee, Heavnly Power,
My Maker, be propitious while I speak, &c.

Adam then proceeds to give an account of his second Sleep, and of the
Dream in which he beheld the Formation of Eve. The new Passion that was
awaken'd in him at the sight of her, is touch'd very finely.

Under his forming Hands a Creature grew,
Manlike, but different Sex: so lovely fair,
That what seem'd fair in all the World, seemed now
Mean, or in her summ'd up, in her contained,
And in her Looks; which from that time infused
Sweetness info my Heart, unfelt before:
And into all things from her Air inspired
The Spirit of Love and amorous Delight.

Adams Distress upon losing sight of this beautiful Phantom, with his
Exclamations of Joy and Gratitude at the discovery of a real Creature,
who resembled the Apparition which had been presented to him in his
Dream; the Approaches he makes to her, and his Manner of Courtship; are
all laid together in a most exquisite Propriety of Sentiments.

Tho this Part of the Poem is work'd up with great Warmth and Spirit,
the Love which is described in it is every way suitable to a State of
Innocence. If the Reader compares the Description which Adam here gives
of his leading Eve to the Nuptial Bower, with that which Mr. Dryden has
made on the same occasion in a Scene of his Fall of Man, he will be
sensible of the great care which Milton took to avoid all Thoughts on so
delicate a Subject, that might be offensive to Religion or Good-Manners.
The Sentiments are chaste, but not cold; and convey to the Mind Ideas of
the most transporting Passion, and of the greatest Purity. What a noble
Mixture of Rapture and Innocence has the Author join'd together, in the
Reflection which Adam makes on the Pleasures of Love, compared to those
of Sense.

Thus have I told thee all my State, and brought
My Story to the sum of earthly Bliss,
Which I enjoy; and must confess to find
In all things else Delight indeed, but such
As us'd or not, works in the Mind no Change
Nor vehement Desire; these Delicacies
I mean of Taste, Sight, Smell, Herbs, Fruits, and Flowers,
Walks, and the Melody of Birds: but here
Far otherwise, transported I behold,
Transported touch; here Passion first I felt,
Commotion strange! in all Enjoyments else
Superiour and unmov'd, here only weak
Against the Charms of Beauty's powerful Glance.
Or Nature fail'd in me, and left some Part
Not Proof enough such Object to sustain;
Or from my Side subducting, took perhaps
More than enough; at least on her bestowed
Too much of Ornament in outward shew
Elaborate, of inward less exact.

--When I approach
Her Loveliness, so absolute she seems
And in herself compleat, so well to know
Her own, that what she wills to do or say
Seems wisest, vertuousest, discreetest, best:
All higher Knowledge in her Presence falls
Degraded: Wisdom in discourse with her
Loses discountenanced, and like Folly shews;
Authority and Reason on her wait,
As one intended first, not after made
Occasionally: and to consummate all,
Greatness of Mind, and Nobleness their Seat
Build in her loveliest, and create an Awe
About her, as a Guard angelick plac'd.

These Sentiments of Love, in our first Parent, gave the Angel such an
Insight into Humane Nature, that he seems apprehensive of the Evils
which might befall the Species in general, as well as Adam in
particular, from the Excess of this Passion. He therefore fortifies him
against it by timely Admonitions; which very artfully prepare the Mind
of the Reader for the Occurrences of the next Book, where the Weakness
of which Adam here gives such distant Discoveries, brings about that
fatal Event which is the Subject of the Poem. His Discourse, which
follows the gentle Rebuke he received from the Angel, shews that his
Love, however violent it might appear, was still founded in Reason, and
consequently not improper for Paradise.

Neither her outside Form so fair, nor aught
In Procreation common to all kinds,
(Tho higher of the genial Bed by far,
And with mysterious Reverence I deem)
So much delights me, as those graceful Acts,
Those thousand Decencies that daily flow
From all her Words and Actions, mixt with Love
And sweet Compliance, which declare unfeign'd
Union of Mind, or in us both one Soul;
Harmony to behold in--wedded Pair!

Adams Speech, at parting with the Angel, has in it a Deference and
Gratitude agreeable to an inferior Nature, and at the same time a
certain Dignity and Greatness suitable to the Father of Mankind in his
State of Innocence.


* * * * *

No. 346. Monday, April 7, 1712. Steele.

Consuetudinem benignitatis largitioni Munerum longe antepono. Haec est
Gravium hominum atque Magnorum; Illa quasi assentatorum populi,
multitudinis levitatem voluptate quasi titillantium.


When we consider the Offices of humane Life, there is, methinks,
something in what we ordinarily call Generosity, which when carefully
examined, seems to flow rather from a loose and unguarded Temper, than
an honest and liberal Mind. For this reason it is absolutely necessary
that all Liberality should have for its Basis and Support Frugality. By
this means the beneficent Spirit works in a Man from the Convictions of
Reason, not from the Impulses of Passion. The generous Man, in the
ordinary acceptation, without respect to the Demands of his own Family,
will soon find, upon the Foot of his Account, that he has sacrificed to
Fools, Knaves, Flatterers, or the deservedly Unhappy, all the
Opportunities of affording any future Assistance where it ought to be.
Let him therefore reflect, that if to bestow be in it self laudable,
should not a Man take care to secure Ability to do things praiseworthy
as long as he lives? Or could there be a more cruel Piece of Raillery
upon a Man who should have reduc'd his Fortune below the Capacity of
acting according to his natural Temper, than to say of him, That
Gentleman was generous? My beloved Author therefore has, in the Sentence
on the Top of my Paper, turned his Eye with a certain Satiety from
beholding the Addresses to the People by Largesses and publick
Entertainments, which he asserts to be in general vicious, and are
always to be regulated according to the Circumstances of Time and a
Man's own Fortune. A constant Benignity in Commerce with the rest of the
World, which ought to run through all a Man's Actions, has Effects more
useful to those whom you oblige, and less ostentatious in your self. He
turns his Recommendation of this Virtue in commercial Life: and
according to him a Citizen who is frank in his Kindnesses, and abhors
Severity in his Demands; he who in buying, selling, lending, doing acts
of good Neighbourhood, is just and easy; he who appears naturally averse
to Disputes, and above the Sense of little Sufferings; bears a nobler
Character, and does much more good to Mankind, than any other Man's
Fortune without Commerce can possibly support. For the Citizen above all
other Men has Opportunities of arriving at that highest Fruit of Wealth,
to be liberal without the least Expence of a Man's own Fortune. It is
not to be denied but such a Practice is liable to hazard; but this
therefore adds to the Obligation, that, among Traders, he who obliges is
as much concerned to keep the Favour a Secret, as he who receives it.
The unhappy Distinctions among us in England are so great, that to
celebrate the Intercourse of commercial Friendship, (with which I am
daily made acquainted) would be to raise the virtuous Man so many
Enemies of the contrary Party. I am obliged to conceal all I know of Tom
the Bounteous, who lends at the ordinary Interest, to give Men of less
Fortune Opportunities of making greater Advantages. He conceals, under a
rough Air and distant Behaviour, a bleeding Compassion and womanish
Tenderness. This is governed by the most exact Circumspection, that
there is no Industry wanting in the Person whom he is to serve, and that
he is guilty of no improper Expences. This I know of Tom, but who dare
say it of so known a Tory? The same Care I was forced to use some time
ago in the Report of anothers Virtue, and said fifty instead of a
hundred, because the Man I pointed at was a Whig. Actions of this kind
are popular without being invidious: for every Man of ordinary
Circumstances looks upon a Man who has this known Benignity in his
Nature, as a Person ready to be his Friend upon such Terms as he ought
to expect it; and the Wealthy, who may envy such a Character, can do no
Injury to its Interests but by the Imitation of it, in which the good
Citizens will rejoice to be rivalled. I know not how to form to myself a
greater Idea of Humane Life, than in what is the Practice of some
wealthy Men whom I could name, that make no step to the Improvement of
their own Fortunes, wherein they do not also advance those of other Men,
who would languish in Poverty without that Munificence. In a Nation
where there are so many publick Funds to be supported, I know not
whether he can be called a good Subject, who does not imbark some part
of his Fortune with the State, to whose Vigilance he owes the Security
of the whole. This certainly is an immediate way of laying an Obligation
upon many, and extending his Benignity the furthest a Man can possibly,
who is not engaged in Commerce. But he who trades, besides giving the
State some part of this sort of Credit he gives his Banker, may in all
the Occurrences of his Life have his Eye upon removing Want from the
Door of the Industrious, and defending the unhappy upright Man from
Bankruptcy. Without this Benignity, Pride or Vengeance will precipitate
a Man to chuse the Receipt of half his Demands from one whom he has
undone, rather than the whole from one to whom he has shewn Mercy. This
Benignity is essential to the Character of a fair Trader, and any Man
who designs to enjoy his Wealth with Honour and Self-Satisfaction: Nay,
it would not be hard to maintain, that the Practice of supporting good
and industrious Men, would carry a Man further even to his Profit, than
indulging the Propensity of serving and obliging the Fortunate. My
Author argues on this Subject, in order to incline Mens Minds to those
who want them most, after this manner; We must always consider the
Nature of things, and govern our selves accordingly. The wealthy Man,
when he has repaid you, is upon a Ballance with you; but the Person whom
you favour'd with a Loan, if he be a good Man, will think himself in
your Debt after he has paid you. The Wealthy and the Conspicuous are not
obliged by the Benefit you do them, they think they conferred a Benefit
when they receive one. Your good Offices are always suspected, and it is
with them the same thing to expect their Favour as to receive it. But
the Man below you, who knows in the Good you have done him, you
respected himself more than his Circumstances, does not act like an
obliged Man only to him from whom he has received a Benefit, but also to
all who are capable of doing him one. And whatever little Offices he can
do for you, he is so far from magnifying it, that he will labour to
extenuate it in all his Actions and Expressions. Moreover, the Regard to
what you do to a great Man, at best is taken notice of no further than
by himself or his Family; but what you do to a Man of an humble Fortune,
(provided always that he is a good and a modest Man) raises the
Affections towards you of all Men of that Character (of which there are
many) in the whole City.

There is nothing gains a Reputation to a Preacher so much as his own
Practice; I am therefore casting about what Act of Benignity is in the
Power of a SPECTATOR. Alas, that lies but in a very narrow compass, and
I think the most immediate under my Patronage, are either Players, or
such whose Circumstances bear an Affinity with theirs: All therefore I
am able to do at this time of this Kind, is to tell the Town that on
Friday the 11th of this Instant April, there will be perform'd in
York-Buildings a Consort of Vocal and Instrumental Musick, for the
Benefit of Mr. Edward Keen, the Father of twenty Children; and that this
Day the haughty George Powell hopes all the good-natur'd part of the
Town will favour him, whom they Applauded in Alexander, Timon, Lear, and
Orestes, with their Company this Night, when he hazards all his heroick
Glory for their Approbation in the humbler Condition of honest Jack


* * * * *

No. 347. Tuesday, April 8, 1711. Budgell.

Quis furor o Cives! quae tanta licentia ferri!


I do not question but my Country Readers have been very much surprized
at the several Accounts they have met with in our publick Papers of that
Species of Men among us, lately known by the Name of Mohocks. I find the
Opinions of the Learned, as to their Origin and Designs, are altogether
various, insomuch that very many begin to doubt whether indeed there
were ever any such Society of Men. The Terror which spread it self over
the whole Nation some Years since, on account of the Irish, is still
fresh in most Peoples Memories, tho it afterwards appeared there was
not the least Ground for that general Consternation.

The late Panick Fear was, in the Opinion of many deep and penetrating
Persons, of the same nature. These will have it, that the Mohocks are
like those Spectres and Apparitions which frighten several Towns and
Villages in her Majesty's Dominions, tho they were never seen by any of
the Inhabitants. Others are apt to think that these Mohocks are a kind
of Bull-Beggars, first invented by prudent married Men, and Masters of
Families, in order to deter their Wives and Daughters from taking the
Air at unseasonable Hours; and that when they tell them the Mohocks will
catch them, it is a Caution of the same nature with that of our
Fore-fathers, when they bid their Children have a care of Raw-head and

For my own part, I am afraid there was too much Reason for that great
Alarm the whole City has been in upon this Occasion; tho at the same
time I must own that I am in some doubt whether the following Pieces are
Genuine and Authentick; and the more so, because I am not fully
satisfied that the Name by which the Emperor subscribes himself, is
altogether conformable to the Indian Orthography.

I shall only further inform my Readers, that it was some time since I
receiv'd the following Letter and Manifesto, tho for particular Reasons
I did not think fit to publish them till now.



"Finding that our earnest Endeavours for the Good of Mankind have been
basely and maliciously represented to the World, we send you enclosed
our Imperial Manifesto, which it is our Will and Pleasure that you
forthwith communicate to the Publick, by inserting it in your next
daily Paper. We do not doubt of your ready Compliance in this
Particular, and therefore bid you heartily Farewell."

Taw Waw Eben Zan Kaladar,
Emperor of the Mohocks.

The Manifesto of Taw Waw Eben Zan Kaladar, Emperor of the Mohocks.

"Whereas we have received Information from sundry Quarters of this
great and populous City, of several Outrages committed on the Legs,
Arms, Noses, and other Parts of the good People of England, by such
as have styled themselves our Subjects; in order to vindicate our
Imperial Dignity from those false Aspersions which have been cast on
it, as if we our selves might have encouraged or abetted any such
Practices; we have, by these Presents, thought fit to signify our
utmost Abhorrence and Detestation of all such tumultuous and
irregular Proceedings: and do hereby further give notice, that if
any Person or Persons has or have suffered any Wound, Hurt, Damage
or Detriment in his or their Limb or Limbs, otherwise than shall be
hereafter specified, the said Person or Persons, upon applying
themselves to such as we shall appoint for the Inspection and
Redress of the Grievances aforesaid, shall be forthwith committed to
the Care of our principal Surgeon, and be cured at our own Expence,
in some one or other of those Hospitals which we are now erecting
for that purpose.

"And to the end that no one may, either through Ignorance or
Inadvertency, incur those Penalties which we have thought fit to
inflict on Persons of loose and dissolute Lives, we do hereby
notifie to the Publick, that if any Man be knocked down or assaulted
while he is employed in his lawful Business, at proper Hours, that
it is not done by our Order; and we do hereby permit and allow any
such person so knocked down or assaulted, to rise again, and defend
himself in the best manner that he is able.

"We do also command all and every our good Subjects, that they do
not presume, upon any Pretext whatsoever, to issue and sally forth
from their respective Quarters till between the Hours of Eleven and
Twelve. That they never Tip the Lion upon Man, Woman or Child, till
the Clock at St. Dunstan's shall have struck One.

"That the Sweat be never given but between the Hours of One and Two;
always provided, that our Hunters may begin to Hunt a little after
the Close of the Evening, any thing to the contrary herein
notwithstanding. Provided also, that if ever they are reduced to the
Necessity of Pinking, it shall always be in the most fleshy Parts,
and such as are least exposed to view.

"It is also our Imperial Will and Pleasure, that our good Subjects
the Sweaters do establish their Hummums[1] in such close Places,
Alleys, Nooks, and Corners, that the Patient or Patients may not be
in danger of catching Cold.

"That the Tumblers, to whose Care we chiefly commit the Female Sex,
confine themselves to Drury-Lane and the Purlieus of the Temple; and
that every other Party and Division of our Subjects do each of them
keep within the respective Quarters we have allotted to them.
Provided nevertheless, that nothing herein contained shall in any
wise be construed to extend to the Hunters, who have our full
Licence and Permission to enter into any Part of the Town where-ever
their Game shall lead them.

"And whereas we have nothing more at our Imperial Heart than the
Reformation of the Cities of London and Westminster, which to our
unspeakable Satisfaction we have in some measure already effected,
we do hereby earnestly pray and exhort all Husbands, Fathers,
Housekeepers and Masters of Families, in either of the aforesaid
Cities, not only to repair themselves to their respective
Habitations at early and seasonable Hours; but also to keep their
Wives and Daughters, Sons, Servants, and Apprentices, from appearing
in the Streets at those Times and Seasons which may expose them to a
military Discipline, as it is practised by our good Subjects the
Mohocks: and we do further promise, on our Imperial Word, that as
soon as the Reformation aforesaid shall be brought about, we will
forthwith cause all Hostilities to cease.

"Given from our Court at the Devil-Tavern,
March 15, 1712."


[Footnote 1: Turkish Sweating Baths. The Hummums "in Covent Garden was
one of the first of these baths (bagnios) set up in England."]

* * * * *

No. 348. Wednesday, April 9, 1712. Steele.

Invidiam placare paras virtute relicta?



I have not seen you lately at any of the Places where I visit, so
that I am afraid you are wholly unacquainted with what passes among my
part of the World, who are, tho I say it, without Controversy, the
most accomplished and best bred of the Town. Give me leave to tell
you, that I am extremely discomposed when I hear Scandal, and am an
utter Enemy to all manner of Detraction, and think it the greatest
Meanness that People of Distinction can be guilty of: However, it is
hardly possible to come into Company, where you do not find them
pulling one another to pieces, and that from no other Provocation but
that of hearing any one commended. Merit, both as to Wit and Beauty,
is become no other than the Possession of a few trifling Peoples
Favour, which you cannot possibly arrive at, if you have really any
thing in you that is deserving. What they would bring to pass, is, to
make all Good and Evil consist in Report, and with Whispers, Calumnies
and Impertinencies, to have the Conduct of those Reports. By this
means Innocents are blasted upon their first Appearance in Town; and
there is nothing more required to make a young Woman the object of
Envy and Hatred, than to deserve Love and Admiration. This abominable
Endeavour to suppress or lessen every thing that is praise-worthy, is
as frequent among the Men as the Women. If I can remember what passed
at a Visit last Night, it will serve as an Instance that the Sexes are
equally inclined to Defamation, with equal Malice, with equal
Impotence. Jack Triplett came into my Lady Airy's about Eight of [the]
Clock. You know the manner we sit at a Visit, and I need not describe
the Circle; but Mr. Triplett came in, introduced by two Tapers
supported by a spruce Servant, whose Hair is under a Cap till my
Lady's Candles are all lighted up, and the Hour of Ceremony begins: I
say, Jack Triplett came in, and singing (for he is really good
Company) Every Feature, Charming Creature,--he went on, It is a most
unreasonable thing that People cannot go peaceably to see their
Friends, but these Murderers are let loose. Such a Shape! such an Air!
what a Glance was that as her Chariot pass'd by mine--My Lady herself
interrupted him; Pray who is this fine Thing--I warrant, says another,
tis the Creature I was telling your Ladyship of just now. You were
telling of? says Jack; I wish I had been so happy as to have come in
and heard you, for I have not Words to say what she is: But if an
agreeable Height, a modest Air, a Virgin Shame, and Impatience of
being beheld, amidst a Blaze of ten thousand Charms--The whole Room
flew out--Oh Mr. Triplett!--When Mrs. Lofty, a known Prude, said she
believed she knew whom the Gentleman meant; but she was indeed, as he
civilly represented her, impatient of being beheld--Then turning to
the Lady next to her--The most unbred Creature you ever saw. Another
pursued the Discourse: As unbred, Madam, as you may think her, she is
extremely bely'd if she is the Novice she appears; she was last Week
at a Ball till two in the Morning; Mr. Triplett knows whether he was
the happy Man that took Care of her home; but--This was followed by
some particular Exception that each Woman in the Room made to some
peculiar Grace or Advantage so that Mr. Triplett was beaten from one
Limb and Feature to another, till he was forced to resign the whole
Woman. In the end I took notice Triplett recorded all this Malice in
his Heart; and saw in his Countenance, and a certain waggish Shrug,
that he design'd to repeat the Conversation: I therefore let the
Discourse die, and soon after took an Occasion to commend a certain
Gentleman of my Acquaintance for a Person of singular Modesty,
Courage, Integrity, and withal as a Man of an entertaining
Conversation, to which Advantages he had a Shape and Manner peculiarly
graceful. Mr. Triplett, who is a Woman's Man, seem'd to hear me with
Patience enough commend the Qualities of his Mind: He never heard
indeed but that he was a very honest Man, and no Fool; but for a fine
Gentleman, he must ask Pardon. Upon no other Foundation than this, Mr.
Triplett took occasion to give the Gentleman's Pedigree, by what
Methods some part of the Estate was acquired, how much it was beholden
to a Marriage for the present Circumstances of it: After all, he could
see nothing but a common Man in his Person, his Breeding or

Thus, Mr. SPECTATOR, this impertinent Humour of diminishing every one
who is produced in Conversation to their Advantage, runs thro the
World; and I am, I confess, so fearful of the Force of ill Tongues,
that I have begged of all those who are my Well-wishers never to
commend me, for it will but bring my Frailties into Examination, and I
had rather be unobserved, than conspicuous for disputed Perfections. I
am confident a thousand young People, who would have been Ornaments to
Society, have, from Fear of Scandal, never dared to exert themselves
in the polite Arts of Life. Their Lives have passed away in an odious
Rusticity, in spite of great Advantages of Person, Genius and Fortune.
There is a vicious Terror of being blamed in some well-inclin'd
People, and a wicked Pleasure in suppressing them in others; both
which I recommend to your Spectatorial Wisdom to animadvert upon; and
if you can be successful in it, I need not say how much you will
deserve of the Town; but new Toasts will owe to you their Beauty, and
new Wits their Fame. I am,
Your most Obedient
Humble Servant,


* * * * *

No. 349. Thursday, April 10, 1712. Addison.

Quos ille timorum
Maximus haud urget lethi metus: inde ruendi
In ferrum mens prona viris, animaeque capaces


I am very much pleased with a Consolatory Letter of Phalaris, to one who
had lost a Son that was a young Man of great Merit. The Thought with
which he comforts the afflicted Father, is, to the best of my Memory, as
follows; That he should consider Death had set a kind of Seal upon his
Sons Character, and placed him out of the Reach of Vice and Infamy:
That while he liv'd he was still within the Possibility of falling away
from Virtue, and losing the Fame of which he was possessed. Death only
closes a Man's Reputation, and determines it as good or bad.

This, among other Motives, may be one Reason why we are naturally averse
to the launching out into a Man's Praise till his Head is laid in the
Dust. Whilst he is capable of changing, we may be forced to retract our
Opinions. He may forfeit the Esteem we have conceived of him, and some
time or other appear to us under a different Light from what he does at
present. In short, as the Life of any Man cannot be call'd happy or
unhappy, so neither can it be pronounced vicious or virtuous, before the
Conclusion of it.

It was upon this consideration that Epaminondas, being asked whether
Chabrias, Iphicrates, or he himself, deserved most to be esteemed? You
must first see us die, said he, before that Question can be answered.

As there is not a more melancholy Consideration to a good Man than his
being obnoxious to such a Change, so there is nothing more glorious than
to keep up an Uniformity in his Actions, and preserve the Beauty of his
Character to the last.

The End of a Man's Life is often compared to the winding up of a
well-written Play, where the principal Persons still act in Character,
whatever the Fate is which they undergo. There is scarce a great Person
in the Grecian or Roman History, whose Death has not been remarked upon
by some Writer or other, and censured or applauded according to the
Genius or Principles of the Person who has descanted on it. Monsieur de
St. Evremont is very particular in setting forth the Constancy and
Courage of Petronius Arbiter during his last Moments, and thinks he
discovers in them a greater Firmness of Mind and Resolution than in the
Death of Seneca, Cato, or Socrates. There is no question but this polite
Authors Affectation of appearing singular in his Remarks, and making
Discoveries which had escaped the Observation of others, threw him into
this course of Reflection. It was Petronius's Merit, that he died in the
same Gaiety of Temper in which he lived; but as his Life was altogether
loose and dissolute, the Indifference which he showed at the Close of it
is to be looked upon as a piece of natural Carelessness and Levity,
rather than Fortitude. The Resolution of Socrates proceeded from very
different Motives, the Consciousness of a well-spent Life, and the
prospect of a happy Eternity. If the ingenious Author above mentioned
was so pleased with Gaiety of Humour in a dying Man, he might have found
a much nobler Instance of it in our Countryman Sir Thomas More.

This great and learned Man was famous for enlivening his ordinary
Discourses with Wit and Pleasantry; and, as Erasmus tells him in an
Epistle Dedicatory, acted in all parts of Life like a second Democritus.

He died upon a Point of Religion, and is respected as a Martyr by that
Side for which he suffer'd. The innocent Mirth which had been so
conspicuous in his Life, did not forsake him to the last: He maintain'd
the same Chearfulness of Heart upon the Scaffold, which he used to shew
at his Table; and upon laying his Head on the Block, gave Instances of
that Good-Humour with which he had always entertained his Friends in the
most ordinary Occurrences. His Death was of a piece with his Life. There
was nothing in it new, forced, or affected. He did not look upon the
severing of his Head from his Body as a Circumstance that ought to
produce any Change in the Disposition of his Mind; and as he died under
a fixed and settled Hope of Immortality, he thought any unusual degree
of Sorrow and Concern improper on such an Occasion, as had nothing in it
which could deject or terrify him.

There is no great danger of Imitation from this Example. Mens natural
Fears will be a sufficient Guard against it. I shall only observe, that
what was Philosophy in this extraordinary Man, would be Frenzy in one
who does not resemble him as well in the Chearfulness of his Temper, as
in the Sanctity of his Life and Manners.

I shall conclude this Paper with the Instance of a Person who seems to
me to have shewn more Intrepidity and Greatness of Soul in his dying
Moments, than what we meet with among any of the most celebrated Greeks
and Romans. I met with this Instance in the History of the Revolutions
in Portugal, written by the Abbot de Vertot. [2]

When Don Sebastian, King of Portugal, had invaded the Territories of
Muly Moluc, Emperor of Morocco, in order to dethrone him, and set his
Crown upon the Head of his Nephew, Moluc was wearing away with a
Distemper which he himself knew was incurable. However, he prepared for
the Reception of so formidable an Enemy. He was indeed so far spent with
his Sickness, that he did not expect to live out the whole Day, when the
last decisive Battel was given; but knowing the fatal Consequences that
would happen to his Children and People, in case he should die before he
put an end to that War, he commanded his principal Officers that if he
died during the Engagement, they should conceal his Death from the Army,
and that they should ride up to the Litter in which his Corpse was
carried, under Pretence of receiving Orders from him as usual. Before
the Battel begun, he was carried through all the Ranks of his Army in an
open Litter, as they stood drawn up in Array, encouraging them to fight
valiantly in defence of their Religion and Country. Finding afterwards
the Battel to go against him, tho he was very near his last Agonies, he
threw himself out of his Litter, rallied his Army, and led them on to
the Charge; which afterwards ended in a compleat Victory on the side of
the Moors. He had no sooner brought his Men to the Engagement, but
finding himself utterly spent, he was again replaced in his Litter,
where laying his Finger on his Mouth, to enjoin Secrecy to his Officers,
who stood about him, he died a few Moments after in that Posture.


[Footnote 1: Plutarch's Life of Epaminondas.]

[Footnote 2: The Abbe Vertot--Renatus Aubert de Vertot d'Auboeuf--was
born in 1655, and living in the Spectators time. He died in 1735, aged
80. He had exchanged out of the severe order of the Capuchins into that
of the Praemonstratenses when, at the age of 34, he produced, in 1689,
his first work, the History of the Revolutions of Portugal, here quoted.
Continuing to write history, in 1701 he was made a member, and in 1705 a
paid member, of the Academie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres.]

* * * * *

No. 350. Friday, April 11, 1712. Steele.

Ea animi elatio quae cernitur in periculis, si Justitia vacat
pugnatque pro suis commodis, in vitio est.


CAPTAIN SENTREY was last Night at the Club, and produced a Letter from
Ipswich, which his Correspondent desired him to communicate to his
Friend the SPECTATOR. It contained an Account of an Engagement between a
French Privateer, commanded by one Dominick Pottiere, and a little
Vessel of that Place laden with Corn, the Master whereof, as I remember,
was one Goodwin. The Englishman defended himself with incredible
Bravery, and beat off the French, after having been boarded three or
four times. The Enemy still came on with greater Fury, and hoped by his
Number of Men to carry the Prize, till at last the Englishman finding
himself sink apace, and ready to perish, struck: But the Effect which
this singular Gallantry had upon the Captain of the Privateer, was no
other than an unmanly Desire of Vengeance for the Loss he had sustained
in his several Attacks. He told the Ipswich Man in a speaking-Trumpet,
that he would not take him aboard, and that he stayed to see him sink.
The Englishman at the same time observed a Disorder in the Vessel, which
he rightly judged to proceed from the Disdain which the Ships Crew had
of their Captains Inhumanity: With this Hope he went into his Boat, and
approached the Enemy. He was taken in by the Sailors in spite of their
Commander; but though they received him against his Command, they
treated him when he was in the Ship in the manner he directed. Pottiere
caused his Men to hold Goodwin, while he beat him with a Stick till he
fainted with Loss of Blood, and Rage of Heart: after which he ordered
him into Irons without allowing him any Food, but such as one or two of
the Men stole to him under peril of the like Usage: After having kept
him several Days overwhelmed with the Misery of Stench, Hunger, and
Soreness, he brought him into Calais. The Governour of the Place was
soon acquainted with all that had passed, dismissed Pottiere from his
Charge with Ignominy, and gave Goodwin all the Relief which a Man of
Honour would bestow upon an Enemy barbarously treated, to recover the
Imputation of Cruelty upon his Prince and Country.

When Mr. SENTREY had read his Letter, full of many other circumstances
which aggravate the Barbarity, he fell into a sort of Criticism upon
Magnanimity and Courage, and argued that they were inseparable; and that
Courage, without regard to Justice and Humanity, was no other than the
Fierceness of a wild Beast. A good and truly bold Spirit, continued he,
is ever actuated by Reason and a Sense of Honour and Duty: The
Affectation of such a Spirit exerts it self in an Impudent Aspect, an
over-bearing Confidence, and a certain Negligence of giving Offence.
This is visible in all the cocking Youths you see about this Town, who
are noisy in Assemblies, unawed by the Presence of wise and virtuous
Men; in a word, insensible of all the Honours and Decencies of human
Life. A shameless Fellow takes advantage of Merit clothed with Modesty
and Magnanimity, and in the Eyes of little People appears sprightly and
agreeable; while the Man of Resolution and true Gallantry is overlooked
and disregarded, if not despised. There is a Propriety in all things;
and I believe what you Scholars call just and sublime, in opposition to
turgid and bombast Expression, may give you an Idea of what I mean, when
I say Modesty is the certain Indication of a great Spirit, and Impudence
the Affectation of it. He that writes with Judgment, and never rises
into improper Warmths, manifests the true Force of Genius; in like
manner, he who is quiet and equal in all his Behaviour, is supported in
that Deportment by what we may call true Courage. Alas, it is not so
easy a thing to be a brave Man as the unthinking part of Mankind
imagine: To dare, is not all that there is in it. The Privateer we were
just now talking of, had boldness enough to attack his Enemy, but not
Greatness of Mind enough to admire the same Quality exerted by that
Enemy in defending himself. Thus his base and little Mind was wholly
taken up in the sordid regard to the Prize, of which he failed, and the
damage done to his own Vessel; and therefore he used an honest Man, who
defended his own from him, in the Manner as he would a Thief that should
rob him.

He was equally disappointed, and had not Spirit enough to consider that
one Case would be Laudable and the other Criminal. Malice, Rancour,
Hatred, Vengeance, are what tear the Breasts of mean Men in Fight; but
Fame, Glory, Conquests, Desires of Opportunities to pardon and oblige
their Opposers, are what glow in the Minds of the Gallant. The Captain
ended his Discourse with a Specimen of his Book-Learning; and gave us to
understand that he had read a French Author on the Subject of Justness
in point of Gallantry. I love, said Mr. SENTREY, a Critick who mixes the
Rules of Life with Annotations upon Writers. My Author, added he, in his
Discourse upon Epick Poem, takes occasion to speak of the same Quality
of Courage drawn in the two different Characters of Turnus and AEneas: He
makes Courage the chief and greatest Ornament of Turnus; but in AEneas
there are many others which out-shine it, amongst the rest that of
Piety. Turnus is therefore all along painted by the Poet full of
Ostentation, his Language haughty and vain glorious, as placing his
Honour in the Manifestation of his Valour; AEneas speaks little, is slow
to Action; and shows only a sort of defensive Courage. If Equipage and
Address make Turnus appear more couragious than AEneas, Conduct and
Success prove AEneas more valiant than Turnus.


* * * * *

No. 351. Saturday, April 12, 1712. Addison.

In te omnis domus inclinata recumbit.


If we look into the three great Heroick Poems which have appeared in the
World, we may observe that they are built upon very slight Foundations.
Homer lived near 300 Years after the Trojan War; and, as the writing of
History was not then in use among the Greeks, we may very well suppose,
that the Tradition of Achilles and Ulysses had brought down but very few
particulars to his Knowledge; though there is no question but he has
wrought into his two Poems such of their remarkable Adventures, as were
still talked of among his Contemporaries.

The Story of AEneas, on which Virgil founded his Poem, was likewise very
bare of Circumstances, and by that means afforded him an Opportunity of
embellishing it with Fiction, and giving a full range to his own
Invention. We find, however, that he has interwoven, in the course of
his Fable, the principal Particulars, which were generally believed
among the Romans, of AEneas his Voyage and Settlement in Italy. The
Reader may find an Abridgment of the whole Story as collected out of the
ancient Historians, and as it was received among the Romans, in
Dionysius Halicarnasseus [1].

Since none of the Criticks have consider'd Virgil's Fable, with relation
to this History of AEneas, it may not, perhaps, be amiss to examine it
in this Light, so far as regards my present Purpose. Whoever looks into
the Abridgment above mentioned, will find that the Character of AEneas is
filled with Piety to the Gods, and a superstitious Observation of
Prodigies, Oracles, and Predictions. Virgil has not only preserved this
Character in the Person of AEneas, but has given a place in his Poem to
those particular Prophecies which he found recorded of him in History
and Tradition. The Poet took the matters of Fact as they came down to
him, and circumstanced them after his own manner, to make them appear
the more natural, agreeable, or surprizing. I believe very many Readers
have been shocked at that ludicrous Prophecy, which one of the Harpyes
pronounces to the Trojans in the third Book, namely, that before they
had built their intended City, they should be reduced by Hunger to eat
their very Tables. But, when they hear that this was one of the
Circumstances that had been transmitted to the Romans in the History of
AEneas, they will think the Poet did very well in taking notice of it.
The Historian above mentioned acquaints us, a Prophetess had foretold
AEneas, that he should take his Voyage Westward, till his Companions
should eat their Tables; and that accordingly, upon his landing in
Italy, as they were eating their Flesh upon Cakes of Bread, for want of
other Conveniences, they afterwards fed on the Cakes themselves; upon
which one of the Company said merrily, We are eating our Tables. They
immediately took the Hint, says the Historian, and concluded the
Prophecy to be fulfilled. As Virgil did not think it proper to omit so
material a particular in the History of AEneas, it may be worth while to
consider with how much Judgment he has qualified it, and taken off every
thing that might have appeared improper for a Passage in an Heroick
Poem. The Prophetess who foretells it, is an Hungry Harpy, as the Person
who discovers it is young Ascanius. [2]

Heus etiam mensas consumimus, inquit Inlus!

Such an observation, which is beautiful in the Mouth of a Boy, would
have been ridiculous from any other of the Company. I am apt to think
that the changing of the Trojan Fleet into Water-Nymphs which is the
most violent Machine in the whole AEneid, and has given offence to
several Criticks, may be accounted for the same way. Virgil himself,
before he begins that Relation, premises, that what he was going to tell
appeared incredible, but that it was justified by Tradition. What
further confirms me that this Change of the Fleet was a celebrated
Circumstance in the History of AEneas, is, that Ovid has given place to
the same Metamorphosis in his Account of the heathen Mythology.

None of the Criticks I have met with having considered the Fable of the
AEneid in this Light, and taken notice how the Tradition, on which it was
founded, authorizes those Parts in it which appear the most
exceptionable; I hope the length of this Reflection will not make it
unacceptable to the curious Part of my Readers.

The History, which was the Basis of Milton's Poem, is still shorter than
either that of the Iliad or AEneid. The Poet has likewise taken care to
insert every Circumstance of it in the Body of his Fable. The ninth
Book, which we are here to consider, is raised upon that brief Account
in Scripture, wherein we are told that the Serpent was more subtle than
any Beast of the Field, that he tempted the Woman to eat of the
forbidden Fruit, that she was overcome by this Temptation, and that Adam
followed her Example. From these few Particulars, Milton has formed one
of the most Entertaining Fables that Invention ever produced. He has
disposed of these several Circumstances among so many beautiful and
natural Fictions of his own, that his whole Story looks only like a
Comment upon sacred Writ, or rather seems to be a full and compleat
Relation of what the other is only an Epitome. I have insisted the
longer on this Consideration, as I look upon the Disposition and
Contrivance of the Fable to be the principal Beauty of the ninth Book,
which has more Story in it, and is fuller of Incidents, than any other
in the whole Poem. Satan's traversing the Globe, and still keeping
within the Shadow of the Night, as fearing to be discovered by the Angel
of the Sun, who had before detected him, is one of those beautiful
Imaginations with which he introduces this his second Series of
Adventures. Having examined the Nature of every Creature, and found out
one which was the most proper for his Purpose, he again returns to
Paradise; and, to avoid Discovery, sinks by Night with a River that ran
under the Garden, and rises up again through a Fountain that [issued
[3]] from it by the Tree of Life. The Poet, who, as we have before taken
notice, speaks as little as possible in his own Person, and, after the
Example of Homer, fills every Part of his Work with Manners and
Characters, introduces a Soliloquy of this infernal Agent, who was thus
restless in the Destruction of Man. He is then describ'd as gliding
through the Garden, under the resemblance of a Mist, in order to find
out that Creature in which he design'd to tempt our first Parents. This
Description has something in it very Poetical and Surprizing.

So saying, through each Thicket Dank or Dry,
Like a black Mist, low creeping, he held on
His Midnight Search, where soonest he might find
The Serpent: him fast sleeping soon he found
In Labyrinth of many a Round self-roll'd,
His Head the midst, well stor'd with subtle Wiles.

The Author afterwards gives us a Description of the Morning, which is
wonderfully suitable to a Divine Poem, and peculiar to that first Season
of Nature: He represents the Earth, before it was curst, as a great
Altar, breathing out its Incense from all Parts, and sending up a
pleasant Savour to the Nostrils of its Creator; to which he adds a noble
Idea of Adam and Eve, as offering their Morning Worship, and filling up
the Universal Consort of Praise and Adoration.

Now when as sacred Light began to dawn
In Eden on the humid Flowers, that breathed
Their Morning Incense, when all things that breathe
From th' Earth's great Altar send up silent Praise
To the Creator, and his Nostrils fill
With grateful Smell; forth came the human Pair,
And join'd their vocal Worship to the Choir
Of Creatures wanting Voice--

The Dispute which follows between our two first Parents, is represented
with great Art: It [proceeds [4]] from a Difference of Judgment, not of
Passion, and is managed with Reason, not with Heat: It is such a Dispute
as we may suppose might have happened in Paradise, had Man continued
Happy and Innocent. There is a great Delicacy in the Moralities which
are interspersed in Adams Discourse, and which the most ordinary Reader
cannot but take notice of. That Force of Love which the Father of
Mankind so finely describes in the eighth Book, and which is inserted in
my last Saturdays Paper, shews it self here in many fine Instances: As
in those fond Regards he cast towards Eve at her parting from him.

Her long with ardent Look his Eye pursued
Delighted, but desiring more her stay:
Oft he to her his Charge of quick return
Repeated; she to him as oft engaged
To be return'd by noon amid the Bower.

In his Impatience and Amusement during her Absence

--Adam the while,
Waiting desirous her return, had wove
Of choicest Flowers a Garland, to adorn
Her Tresses, and her rural Labours crown:
As Reapers oft are wont their Harvest Queen.
Great Joy he promised to his thoughts, and new
Solace in her return, so long delay'd.

But particularly in that passionate Speech, where seeing her
irrecoverably lost, he resolves to perish with her rather than to live
without her.

--Some cursed Fraud
Or Enemy hath beguil'd thee, yet unknown,
And me with thee hath ruin'd; for with thee
Certain my Resolution is to die!
How can I live without thee; how forego
Thy sweet Converse and Love so dearly join'd,
To live again in these wild Woods forlorn?
Should God create another Eve, and I
Another Rib afford, yet loss of thee
Would never from my Heart! no, no! I feel
The Link of Nature draw me: Flesh of Flesh,
Bone of my Bone thou art, and from thy State
Mine never shall be parted, Bliss or Woe!

The Beginning of this Speech, and the Preparation to it, are animated
with the same Spirit as the Conclusion, which I have here quoted.

The several Wiles which are put in practice by the Tempter, when he
found Eve separated from her Husband, the many pleasing Images of Nature
which are intermix'd in this part of the Story, with its gradual and
regular Progress to the fatal Catastrophe, are so very remarkable that
it would be superfluous to point out their respective Beauties.

I have avoided mentioning any particular Similitudes in my Remarks on
this great Work, because I have given a general Account of them in my
Paper on the first Book. There is one, however, in this part of the
Poem, which I shall here quote as it is not only very beautiful, but the
closest of any in the whole Poem. I mean that where the Serpent is
describ as rolling forward in all his Pride, animated by the evil
Spirit, and conducting Eve to her Destruction, while Adam was at too
great a distance from her to give her his Assistance. These several
Particulars are all of them wrought into the following Similitude.

--Hope elevates, and Joy
Brightens his Crest; as when a wandering Fire,
Compact of unctuous Vapour, which the Night
Condenses, and the Cold invirons round,
Kindled through Agitation to a Flame,
(Which oft, they say, some evil Spirit attends)
Hovering and blazing with delusive Light,
Misleads th' amaz'd Night-wanderer from his Way
To Bogs and Mires, and oft through Pond or Pool,
There swallowed up and lost, from succour far.

That secret Intoxication of Pleasure, with all those transient flushings
of Guilt and Joy, which the Poet represents in our first Parents upon
their eating the forbidden Fruit, to [those [5]] flaggings of Spirits,
damps of Sorrow, and mutual Accusations which succeed it, are conceiv'd
with a wonderful Imagination, and described in very natural Sentiments.

When Dido in the fourth AEneid yielded to that fatal Temptation which
ruined her, Virgil tells us the Earth trembled, the Heavens were filled
with Flashes of Lightning, and the Nymphs howled upon the Mountain-Tops.
Milton, in the same poetical Spirit, has described all Nature as
disturbed upon Eves eating the forbidden Fruit.

So saying, her rash Hand in evil hour
Forth reaching to the Fruit, she pluckt, she eat:
Earth felt the wound, and Nature from her Seat
Sighing, through all her Works gave signs of Woe
That all was lost--

Upon Adams falling into the same Guilt, the whole Creation appears a
second time in Convulsions.

--He scrupled not to eat
Against his better knowledge; not deceiv's,
But fondly overcome with female Charm.
Earth trembled from her Entrails, as again
In Pangs, and Nature gave a second Groan,
Sky lowred, and muttering Thunder, some sad Drops
Wept at compleating of the mortal Sin--

As all Nature suffer'd by the Guilt of our first Parents, these Symptoms
of Trouble and Consternation are wonderfully imagined, not only as
Prodigies, but as Marks of her Sympathizing in the Fall of Man.

Adams Converse with Eve, after having eaten the forbidden Fruit, is an
exact Copy of that between Jupiter and Juno in the fourteenth Iliad.
Juno there approaches Jupiter with the Girdle which she had received
from Venus; upon which he tells her, that she appeared more charming and
desirable than she [6] done before, even when their Loves were at the
highest. The Poet afterwards describes them as reposing on a Summet of
Mount Ida, which produced under them a Bed of Flowers, the Lotos, the
Crocus, and the Hyacinth; and concludes his Description with their
falling asleep.

Let the Reader compare this with the following Passage in Milton, which
begins with Adams Speech to Eve.

For never did thy Beauty, since the Day
I saw thee first and wedded thee, adorn'd
With all Perfections, so enflame my Sense
With ardor to enjoy thee, fairer now
Than ever, Bounty of this virtuous Tree.
So said he, and forbore not Glance or Toy
Of amorous Intent, well understood
Of Eve, whose Eye darted contagious Fire.
Her hand he seiz'd, and to a shady Bank
Thick over-head with verdant Roof embower'd,
He led her nothing loth: Flowrs were the Couch,
Pansies, and Violets, and Asphodel,
And Hyacinth, Earths freshest softest Lap.
There they their fill of Love, and Loves disport,
Took largely, of their mutual Guilt the Seal,
The Solace of their Sin, till dewy Sleep
Oppress'd them--

As no Poet seems ever to have studied Homer more, or to have more
resembled him in the Greatness of Genius than Milton, I think I should
have given but a very imperfect Account of his Beauties, if I had not
observed the most remarkable Passages which look like Parallels in these
two great Authors. I might, in the course of these criticisms, have
taken notice of many particular Lines and Expressions which are
translated from the Greek Poet; but as I thought this would have
appeared too minute and over-curious, I have purposely omitted them. The
greater Incidents, however, are not only set off by being shewn in the
same Light with several of the same nature in Homer, but by that means
may be also guarded against the Cavils of the Tasteless or Ignorant.

[Footnote 1: In the first book of his Roman Antiquities.]

[Footnote 2: Dionysius says that the prophecy was either, as some write,
given at Dodous, or, as others say, by a Sybil, and the exclamation was
by one of the sons of AEneas, as it is related; or he was some other of
his comrades.]

[Footnote 3: [run]]

[Footnote 4: [arises]]

[Footnote 5: [that]]

[Footnote 6: [ever had]]

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