Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Books, poems, drama…

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

Part 33 out of 51

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

* * * * *

No. 352. Monday, April 14, 1712. Steele.

Si ad honestatem nati sumus, ea aut sola expetenda est, aut certe
omni pondere gravior est habenda quam reliqua omnia.

Tull.

Will. Honeycomb was complaining to me yesterday, that the Conversation
of the Town is so altered of late Years, that a fine Gentleman is at a
loss for Matter to start Discourse, as well as unable to fall in with
the Talk he generally meets with. WILL. takes notice, that there is now
an Evil under the Sun which he supposes to be entirely new, because not
mentioned by any Satyrist or Moralist in any Age: Men, said he, grow
Knaves sooner than they ever did since the Creation of the World before.
If you read the Tragedies of the last Age, you find the artful Men and
Persons of Intrigue, are advanced very far in Years, and beyond the
Pleasures and Sallies of Youth; but now WILL. observes, that the Young
have taken in the Vices of the Aged, and you shall have a Man of Five
and Twenty crafty, false, and intriguing, not ashamed to over-reach,
cozen, and beguile. My Friend adds, that till about the latter end of
King Charles's Reign, there was not a Rascal of any Eminence under
Forty: In the Places of Resort for Conversation, you now hear nothing
but what relates to the improving Mens Fortunes, without regard to the
Methods toward it. This is so fashionable, that young Men form
themselves upon a certain Neglect of every thing that is candid, simple,
and worthy of true Esteem; and affect being yet worse than they are, by
acknowledging in their general turn of Mind and Discourse, that they
have not any remaining Value for true Honour and Honesty; preferring the
Capacity of being Artful to gain their Ends, to the Merit of despising
those Ends when they come in competition with their Honesty. All this is
due to the very silly Pride that generally prevails, of being valued for
the Ability of carrying their Point; in a word, from the Opinion that
shallow and inexperienced People entertain of the short-liv'd Force of
Cunning. But I shall, before I enter upon the various Faces which Folly
cover'd with Artifice puts on to impose upon the Unthinking, produce a
great Authority [1] for asserting, that nothing but Truth and Ingenuity
has any lasting good Effect, even upon a Man's Fortune and Interest.

Truth and Reality have all the Advantages of Appearance, and many more.
If the Shew of any thing be good for any thing, I am sure Sincerity is
better: For why does any Man dissemble, or seem to be that which he is
not, but because he thinks it good to have such a Quality as he pretends
to? for to counterfeit and dissemble, is to put on the Appearance of
some real Excellency. Now the best way in the World for a Man to seem to
be any thing, is really to be what he would seem to be. Besides that it
is many times as troublesome to make good the Pretence of a good
Quality, as to have it; and if a Man have it not, it is ten to one but
he is discover'd to want it, and then all his Pains and Labour to seem
to have it is lost. There is something unnatural in Painting, which a
skillful Eye will easily discern from native Beauty and Complexion.

It is hard to personate and act a Part long; for where Truth is not at
the bottom, Nature will always be endeavouring to return, and will peep
out and betray her self one time or other. Therefore if any Man think it
convenient to seem good, let him be so indeed, and then his Goodness
will appear to every body's Satisfaction; so that upon all accounts
Sincerity is true Wisdom. Particularly as to the Affairs of this World,
Integrity hath many Advantages over all the fine and artificial ways of
Dissimulation and Deceit; it is much the plainer and easier, much the
safer and more secure way of dealing in the World; it has less of
Trouble and Difficulty, of Entanglement and Perplexity, of Danger and
Hazard in it; it is the shortest and nearest way to our End, carrying us
thither in a straight line, and will hold out and last longest. The Arts
of Deceit and Cunning do continually grow weaker and less effectual and
serviceable to them that use them; whereas Integrity gains Strength by
use, and the more and longer any Man practiseth it, the greater Service
it does him, by confirming his Reputation and encouraging those with
whom he hath to do, to repose the greatest Trust and Confidence in him,
which is an unspeakable Advantage in the Business and Affairs of Life.

Truth is always consistent with it self, and needs nothing to help it
out; it is always near at hand, and sits upon our Lips, and is ready to
drop out before we are aware: whereas a Lye is troublesome, and sets a
Man's Invention upon the rack, and one Trick needs a great many more to
make it good. It is like building upon a false Foundation, which
continually stands in need of Props to shoar it up, and proves at last
more chargeable, than to have raised a substantial Building at first
upon a true and solid Foundation; for Sincerity is firm and substantial,
and there is nothing hollow and unsound in it, and because it is plain
and open, fears no Discovery; of which the Crafty Man is always in
danger, and when he thinks he walks in the dark, all his Pretences are
so transparent, that he that runs may read them; he is the last Man that
finds himself to be found out, and whilst he takes it for granted that
he makes Fools of others, he renders himself ridiculous.

Add to all this, that Sincerity is the most compendious Wisdom, and an
excellent Instrument for the speedy dispatch of Business; it creates
Confidence in those we have to deal with, saves the Labour of many
Enquiries, and brings things to an issue in few Words: It is like
travelling in a plain beaten Road, which commonly brings a Man sooner to
his Journeys End than By-ways, in which Men often lose themselves. In a
word, whatsoever Convenience may be thought to be in Falshood and
Dissimulation, it is soon over; but the Inconvenience of it is
perpetual, because it brings a Man under an everlasting Jealousie and
Suspicion, so that he is not believed when he speaks Truth, nor trusted
when perhaps he means honestly. When a Man hath once forfeited the
Reputation of his Integrity, he is set fast, and nothing will then serve
his turn, neither Truth nor Falshood.

And I have often thought, that God hath in his great Wisdom hid from
Men of false and dishonest Minds the wonderful Advantages of Truth and
Integrity to the Prosperity even of our worldly Affairs; these Men are
so blinded by their Covetousness and Ambition, that they cannot look
beyond a present Advantage, nor forbear to seize upon it, tho by Ways
never so indirect; they cannot see so far as to the remote Consequences
of a steady Integrity, and the vast Benefit and Advantages which it will
bring a Man at last. Were but this sort of Men wise and clear-sighted
enough to discern this, they would be honest out of very Knavery, not
out of any Love to Honesty and Virtue, but with a crafty Design to
promote and advance more effectually their own Interests; and therefore
the Justice of the Divine Providence hath hid this truest Point of
Wisdom from their Eyes, that bad Men might not be upon equal Terms with
the Just and Upright, and serve their own wicked Designs by honest and
lawful Means.

Indeed, if a Man were only to deal in the World for a Day, and should
never have occasion to converse more with Mankind, never more need their
good Opinion or good Word, it were then no great Matter (speaking as to
the Concernments of this World) if a Man spent his Reputation all at
once, and ventured it at one throw: But if he be to continue in the
World, and would have the Advantage of Conversation whilst he is in it,
let him make use of Truth and Sincerity in all his Words and Actions;
for nothing but this will last and hold out to the end; all other Arts
will fail, but Truth and Integrity will carry a Man through, and bear
him out to the last.

T.

[Footnote 1: Archbishop Tilotson's Sermons, Vol. II., Sermon I (folio
edition). Italics in first issue.]

* * * * *

No. 353. Tuesday, April 15, 1712. Budgell.

--In tenui labor--

Virg.

The Gentleman who obliges the World in general, and me in particular,
with his Thoughts upon Education, has just sent me the following Letter.

SIR,

I take the Liberty to send you a fourth Letter upon the Education of
Youth: In my last I gave you my Thoughts about some particular Tasks
which I conceiv'd it might not be amiss to use with their usual
Exercises, in order to give them an early Seasoning of Virtue; I shall
in this propose some others, which I fancy might contribute to give
them a right turn for the World, and enable them to make their way in
it.

The Design of Learning is, as I take it, either to render a Man an
agreeable Companion to himself, and teach him to support Solitude with
Pleasure, or if he is not born to an Estate, to supply that Defect,
and furnish him with the means of acquiring one. A Person who applies
himself to Learning with the first of these Views may be said to study
for Ornament, as he who proposes to himself the second, properly
studies for Use. The one does it to raise himself a Fortune, the other
to set off that which he is already possessed of. But as far the
greater part of Mankind are included in the latter Class, I shall only
propose some Methods at present for the Service of such who expect to
advance themselves in the World by their Learning: In order to which,
I shall premise, that many more Estates have been acquir'd by little
Accomplishments than by extraordinary ones; those Qualities which make
the greatest Figure in the Eye of the World, not being always the most
useful in themselves, or the most advantageous to their Owners.

The Posts which require Men of shining and uncommon Parts to discharge
them, are so very few, that many a great Genius goes out of the World
without ever having had an opportunity to exert it self; whereas
Persons of ordinary Endowments meet with Occasions fitted to their
Parts and Capacities every day in the common Occurrences of Life.

I am acquainted with two Persons who were formerly School-fellows,[1]
and have been good Friends ever since. One of them was not only
thought an impenetrable Block-head at School, but still maintain'd his
Reputation at the University; the other was the Pride of his Master,
and the most celebrated Person in the College of which he was a
Member. The Man of Genius is at present buried in a Country Parsonage
of eightscore Pounds a year; while the other, with the bare Abilities
of a common Scrivener, has got an Estate of above an hundred thousand
Pounds.

I fancy from what I have said it will almost appear a doubtful Case
to many a wealthy Citizen, whether or no he ought to wish his Son
should be a great Genius; but this I am sure of, that nothing is more
absurd than to give a Lad the Education of one, whom Nature has not
favour'd with any particular Marks of Distinction.

The fault therefore of our Grammar-Schools is, that every Boy is
pushed on to Works of Genius; whereas it would be far more
advantageous for the greatest part of them to be taught such little
practical Arts and Sciences as do not require any great share of Parts
to be Master of them, and yet may come often into play during the
course of a Man's Life.

Such are all the Parts of Practical Geometry. I have known a Man
contract a Friendship with a Minister of State, upon cutting a Dial in
his Window; and remember a Clergyman who got one of the best Benefices
in the West of England, by setting a Country Gentleman's Affairs in
some Method, and giving him an exact Survey of his Estate.

While I am upon this Subject, I cannot forbear mentioning a
Particular which is of use in every Station of Life, and which
methinks every Master should teach his Scholars. I mean the writing of
English Letters. To this End, instead of perplexing them with Latin
Epistles, Themes and Verses, there might be a punctual Correspondence
established between two Boys, who might act in any imaginary Parts of
Business, or be allow'd sometimes to give a range to their own Fancies,
and communicate to each other whatever Trifles they thought fit,
provided neither of them ever fail'd at the appointed time to answer
his Correspondents Letter.

I believe I may venture to affirm, that the generality of Boys would
find themselves more advantaged by this Custom, when they come to be
Men, than by all the Greek and Latin their Masters can teach them in
seven or eight Years.

The want of it is very visible in many learned Persons, who, while
they are admiring the Styles of Demosthenes or Cicero, want Phrases to
express themselves on the most common Occasions. I have seen a Letter
from one of these Latin Orators, which would have been deservedly
laugh'd at by a common Attorney.

Under this Head of Writing I cannot omit Accounts and Short-hand,
which are learned with little pains, and very properly come into the
number of such Arts as I have been here recommending.

You must doubtless, Sir, observe that I have hitherto chiefly insisted
upon these things for such Boys as do not appear to have any thing
extraordinary in their natural Talents, and consequently are not
qualified for the finer Parts of Learning; yet I believe I might carry
this Matter still further, and venture to assert that a Lad of Genius
has sometimes occasion for these little Acquirements, to be as it were
the forerunners of his Parts, and to introduce [him [2]] into the
World.

History is full of Examples of Persons, who tho they have had the
largest Abilities, have been obliged to insinuate themselves into the
Favour of great Men by these trivial Accomplishments; as the compleat
Gentleman, in some of our modern Comedies, makes his first Advances to
his Mistress under the disguise of a Painter or a Dancing-Master.

The Difference is, that in a Lad of Genius these are only so many
Accomplishments, which in another are Essentials; the one diverts
himself with them, the other works at them. In short, I look upon a
great Genius, with these little Additions, in the same Light as I
regard the Grand Signior, who is obliged, by an express Command in the
Alcoran, to learn and practise some Handycraft Trade. Tho I need not
have gone for my Instance farther than Germany, where several Emperors
have voluntarily done the same thing. Leopold the last [3], worked in
Wood; and I have heard there are several handycraft Works of his
making to be seen at Vienna so neatly turned, that the best Joiner in
Europe might safely own them, without any disgrace to his Profession.

I would not be thought, by any thing I have said, to be against
improving a Boys Genius to the utmost pitch it can be carried. What I
would endeavour to shew in this Essay is, that there may be Methods
taken, to make Learning advantageous even to the meanest Capacities.

I am, SIR, Yours, &c.

X.

[Footnote 1: Perhaps Swift and his old schoolfellow, Mr. Stratford, the
Hamburgh merchant.

Stratford is worth a plumb, and is now lending the Government
L40,000; yet we were educated together at the same school and
university.

Journal to Stella, Sept. 14, 1710.]

[Footnote 2:[them]]

[Footnote 3: Leopold the last was also Leopold the First. He died May 6,
1705, and was succeeded by his eldest son, Joseph, who died while the
Spectator was being issued, and had now been followed by his brother,
the Archduke Charles, whose claim to the crown of Spain England had been
supporting, when his accession to the German throne had not seemed
probable. His coronation as Charles VI. was, therefore, one cause of the
peace. Leopold, born in 1640, and educated by the Jesuits, became
Emperor in 1658, and reigned 49 years. He was an adept in metaphysics
and theology, as well as in wood-turning, but a feeble and oppressive
ruler, whose empire was twice saved for him; by Sobiesld from the Turks,
and from the French by Marlborough.]

* * * * *

No. 354. Wednesday, April 16, 1712. Steele.

--Cum magnis virtutibus affers
Grande supercilium--

Juv.

Mr. SPECTATOR,

You have in some of your Discourses describ'd most sorts of Women in
their distinct and proper Classes, as the Ape, the Coquet, and many
others; but I think you have never yet said anything of a Devotee. A
Devotee is one of those who disparage Religion by their indiscreet and
unseasonable introduction of the Mention of Virtue on all Occasion[s]:
She professes she is what nobody ought to doubt she is; and betrays
the Labour she is put to, to be what she ought to be with Chearfulness
and Alacrity. She lives in the World, and denies her self none of the
Diversions of it, with a constant Declaration how insipid all things
in it are to her. She is never her self but at Church; there she
displays her Virtue, and is so fervent in her Devotions, that I have
frequently seen her Pray her self out of Breath. While other young
Ladies in the House are dancing, or playing at Questions and Commands,
she reads aloud in her Closet. She says all Love is ridiculous, except
it be Celestial; but she speaks of the Passion of one Mortal to
another with too much Bitterness, for one that had no Jealousy mixed
with her Contempt of it. If at any time she sees a Man warm in his
Addresses to his Mistress, she will lift up her Eyes to Heaven, and
cry, What Nonsense is that Fool talking? Will the Bell never ring for
Prayers? We have an eminent Lady of this Stamp in our Country, who
pretends to Amusements very much above the rest of her Sex. She never
carries a white Shock-dog with Bells under her Arm, nor a Squirrel or
Dormouse in her Pocket, but always an abridg'd Piece of Morality to
steal out when she is sure of being observ'd. When she went to the
famous Ass-Race (which I must confess was but an odd Diversion to be
encouraged by People of Rank and Figure) it was not, like other
Ladies, to hear those poor Animals bray, nor to see Fellows run naked,
or to hear Country Squires in bob Wigs and white Girdles make love at
the side of a Coach, and cry, Madam, this is dainty Weather. Thus she
described the Diversion; for she went only to pray heartily that no
body might be hurt in the Crowd, and to see if the poor Fellows Face,
which was distorted with grinning, might any way be brought to it self
again. She never chats over her Tea, but covers her Face, and is
supposed in an Ejaculation before she taste[s] a Sup. This
ostentatious Behaviour is such an Offence to true Sanctity, that it
disparages it, and makes Virtue not only unamiable, but also
ridiculous. The Sacred Writings are full of Reflections which abhor
this kind of Conduct; and a Devotee is so far from promoting Goodness,
that she deters others by her Example. Folly and Vanity in one of
these Ladies, is like Vice in a Clergyman; it does not only debase
him, but makes the inconsiderate Part of the World think the worse of
Religion.

I am, SIR,

Your Humble Servant,

Hotspur.

Mr. SPECTATOR,

Xenophon, in his short Account of the Spartan Commonwealth, [1]
speaking of the Behavior of their young Men in the Streets, says,
There was so much Modesty in their Looks, that you might as soon have
turned the eyes of a Marble Statue upon you as theirs; and that in all
their Behaviour they were more modest than a Bride when put to bed
upon her Wedding-Night: This Virtue, which is always join'd to
Magnanimity, had such an influence upon their Courage, that in Battel
an Enemy could not look them in the Face, and they durst not but Die
for their Country.

Whenever I walk into the Streets of London and Westminster, the
Countenances of all the young Fellows that pass by me, make me wish my
self in Sparta; I meet with such blustering Airs, big Looks, and bold
Fronts, that to a superficial Observer would bespeak a Courage above
those Grecians. I am arrived to that Perfection in Speculation, that I
understand the Language of the Eyes, which would be a great misfortune
to me, had I not corrected the Testiness of old Age by Philosophy.
There is scarce a Man in a red Coat who does not tell me, with a full
Stare, he's a bold Man: I see several swear inwardly at me, without
any Offence of mine, but the Oddness of my Person: I meet Contempt in
every Street, express'd in different Manners, by the scornful Look,
the elevated Eye-brow, and the swelling Nostrils of the Proud and
Prosperous. The Prentice speaks his Disrespect by an extended Finger,
and the Porter by stealing out his Tongue. If a Country Gentleman
appears a little curious in observing the Edifices, Signs, Clocks,
Coaches, and Dials, it is not to be imagined how the Polite Rabble of
this Town, who are acquainted with these Objects, ridicule his
Rusticity. I have known a Fellow with a Burden on his Head steal a
Hand down from his Load, and slily twirle the Cock of a Squires Hat
behind him; while the Offended Person is swearing, or out of
Countenance, all the Wagg-Wits in the High-way are grinning in
applause of the ingenious Rogue that gave him the Tip, and the Folly
of him who had not Eyes all round his Head to prevent receiving it.
These things arise from a general Affectation of Smartness, Wit, and
Courage. Wycherly somewhere [2] rallies the Pretensions this Way, by
making a Fellow say, Red Breeches are a certain Sign of Valour; and
Otway makes a Man, to boast his Agility, trip up a Beggar on Crutches
[3]. From such Hints I beg a Speculation on this Subject; in the mean
time I shall do all in the Power of a weak old Fellow in my own
Defence: for as Diogenes, being in quest of an honest Man, sought for
him when it was broad Day-light with a Lanthorn and Candle, so I
intend for the future to walk the Streets with a dark Lanthorn, which
has a convex Chrystal in it; and if any Man stares at me, I give fair
Warning that Ill direct the Light full into his Eyes. Thus despairing
to find Men Modest, I hope by this Means to evade their Impudence,
I am, SIR,
Your most humble Servant,
Sophrosunius.

T.

[Footnote 1: The Polity of Lacedaemon and the Polity of Athens were
two of Xenophons short treatises. In the Polity of Lacedaemon the
Spartan code of law and social discipline is, as Mr. Mure says in his
Critical History of the Language and Literature of Ancient Greece,

indiscriminately held up to admiration as superior in all respects to
all others. Some of its more offensive features, such as the Cryptia,
child murder, and more glaring atrocities of the Helot system, are
suppressed; while the legalized thieving, adultery, and other
unnatural practices, are placed in the most favourable or least odious
light.]

[Footnote 2: In the Plain Dealer, Act II. sc. I.

Novel (a pert railing coxcomb). These sea captains make nothing of
dressing. But let me tell you, sir, a man by his dress, as much
as by anything, shows his wit and judgment; nay, and his
courage too.

Freeman. How, his courage, Mr. Novel?

Novel. Why, for example, by red breeches, tucked-up hair, or peruke, a
greasy broad belt, and now-a-days a short sword.]

[Footnote 3: In his Friendship in Fashion, Act III. sc. i

Malagene. I tell you what I did tother Day: Faith't is as good a Jest
as ever you heard.

Valentine. Pray, sir, do.

Mal. Why, walking alone, a lame Fellow follow'd me and ask'd my
Charity (which by the way was a pretty Proposition to me).
Being in one of my witty, merry Fits, I ask'd him how long he
had been in that Condition? The poor Fellow shook his Head,
and told me he was born so. But how dye think I served him?

Val. Nay, the Devil knows.

Mal. I show'd my Parts, I think; for I tripp'd up both his Wooden
Legs, and walk'd off gravely about my Business.

Truman. And this you say is your way of Wit?

Mal. Ay, altogether, this and Mimickry. I'm a very good Mimick; I
can act Punchinello, Scaramoucho, Harlequin, Prince
Prettyman, or anything. I can act the rumbling of a
Wheel-barrow.

Val. The rumbling of a Wheelbarrow!

Mal. Ay, the rumbling of a Wheelbarrow, so I say. Nay, more than
that, I can act a Sow and Pigs, Sausages a broiling, a
Shoulder of Mutton a roasting: I can act a Fly in a
Honey-pot.

Trum. That indeed must be the effect of very curious Observation.

Mal. No, hang it, I never make it my Business to observe anything,
that is Mechanick.]

* * * * *

No. 355. Thursday, April 17, 1712. Addison.

Non ego mordaci distrinxi carmine [quenquam.

Ovid. [1]]

I have been very often tempted to write Invectives upon those who have
detracted from my Works, or spoken in derogation of my Person; but I
look upon it as a particular Happiness, that I have always hindred my
Resentments from proceeding to this extremity. I once had gone thro
half a Satyr, but found so many Motions of Humanity rising in me towards
the Persons whom I had severely treated, that I threw it into the Fire
without ever finishing it. I have been angry enough to make several
little Epigrams and Lampoons; and after having admired them a Day or
two, have likewise committed them to the Flames. These I look upon as so
many Sacrifices to Humanity, and have receiv'd much greater Satisfaction
from the suppressing such Performances, than I could have done from any
Reputation they might have procur'd me, or from any Mortification they
might have given my Enemies, in case I had made them publick. If a Man
has any Talent in Writing, it shews a good Mind to forbear answering
Calumnies and Reproaches in the same Spirit of Bitterness with which
they are offered: But when a Man has been at some Pains in making
suitable Returns to an Enemy, and has the Instruments of Revenge in his
Hands, to let drop his Wrath, and stifle his Resentments, seems to have
something in it Great and Heroical. There is a particular Merit in such
a way of forgiving an Enemy; and the more violent and unprovoke'd the
Offence has been, the greater still is the Merit of him who thus
forgives it.

I never met with a Consideration that is more finely spun, and what has
better pleased me, than one in Epictetus [2], which places an Enemy in a
new Light, and gives us a View of him altogether different from that in
which we are used to regard him. The Sense of it is as follows: Does a
Man reproach thee for being Proud or Ill-natured, Envious or Conceited,
Ignorant or Detracting? Consider with thy self whether his Reproaches
are true; if they are not, consider that thou art not the Person whom he
reproaches, but that he reviles an Imaginary Being, and perhaps loves
what thou really art, tho he hates what thou appearest to be. If his
Reproaches are true, if thou art the envious ill-natur'd Man he takes
thee for, give thy self another Turn, become mild, affable and obliging,
and his Reproaches of thee naturally cease: His Reproaches may indeed
continue, but thou art no longer the Person whom he reproaches.

I often apply this Rule to my self; and when I hear of a Satyrical
Speech or Writing that is aimed at me, I examine my own Heart, whether I
deserve it or not. If I bring in a Verdict against my self, I endeavour
to rectify my Conduct for the future in those particulars which have
drawn the Censure upon me; but if the whole Invective be grounded upon a
Falsehood, I trouble my self no further about it, and look upon my Name
at the Head of it to signify no more than one of those fictitious Names
made use of by an Author to introduce an imaginary Character. Why should
a Man be sensible of the Sting of a Reproach, who is a Stranger to the
Guilt that is implied in it? or subject himself to the Penalty, when he
knows he has never committed the Crime? This is a Piece of Fortitude,
which every one owes to his own Innocence, and without which it is
impossible for a Man of any Merit or Figure to live at Peace with
himself in a Country that abounds with Wit and Liberty.

The famous Monsieur Balzac, in a Letter to the Chancellor of France, [3]
who had prevented the Publication of a Book against him, has the
following Words, which are a likely Picture of the Greatness of Mind so
visible in the Works of that Author. If it was a new thing, it may be I
should not be displeased with the Suppression of the first Libel that
should abuse me; but since there are enough of em to make a small
Library, I am secretly pleased to see the number increased, and take
delight in raising a heap of Stones that Envy has cast at me without
doing me any harm.

The Author here alludes to those Monuments of the Eastern Nations, which
were Mountains of Stones raised upon the dead Body by Travellers, that
used to cast every one his Stone upon it as they passed by. It is
certain that no Monument is so glorious as one which is thus raised by
the Hands of Envy. For my Part, I admire an Author for such a Temper of
Mind as enables him to bear an undeserved Reproach without Resentment,
more than for all the Wit of any the finest Satirical Reply.

Thus far I thought necessary to explain my self in relation to those who
have animadverted on this Paper, and to shew the Reasons why I have not
thought fit to return them any formal Answer. I must further add, that
the Work would have been of very little use to the Publick, had it been
filled with personal Reflections and Debates; for which Reason I have
never once turned out of my way to observe those little Cavils which
have been made against it by Envy or Ignorance. The common Fry of
Scriblers, who have no other way of being taken Notice of but by
attacking what has gain'd some Reputation in the World, would have
furnished me with Business enough, had they found me dispos'd to enter
the Lists with them.

I shall conclude with the Fable of Boccalini's Traveller, who was so
pester'd with the Noise of Grasshoppers in his Ears, that he alighted
from his Horse in great Wrath to kill them all. This, says the Author,
was troubling himself to no manner of purpose: Had he pursued his
Journey without taking notice of them, the troublesome Insects would
have died of themselves in a very few Weeks, and he would have suffered
nothing from them.

L.

[Footnote 1:

[quenquam, Nulla venenata littera mista joco est.

Ovid.]

[Footnote 2: Enchiridion, Cap. 48 and 64.]

[Footnote 3: Letters and Remains. Trans. by Sir. R. Baker (1655-8).]

* * * * *

No. 356. Friday, [1] April 18, 1712. Steele.

Aptissima quaeque dabunt Dii,
Charior est illis homo quam sibi.

Juv.

It is owing to Pride, and a secret Affectation of a certain
Self-Existence, that the noblest Motive for Action that ever was
proposed to Man, is not acknowledged the Glory and Happiness of their
Being. The Heart is treacherous to it self, and we do not let our
Reflections go deep enough to receive Religion as the most honourable
Incentive to good and worthy Actions. It is our natural Weakness, to
flatter our selves into a Belief, that if we search into our inmost
thoughts, we find our selves wholly disinterested, and divested of any
Views arising from Self-Love and Vain-Glory. But however Spirits of
superficial Greatness may disdain at first sight to do any thing, but
from a noble Impulse in themselves, without any future Regards in this
or another Being; upon stricter Enquiry they will find, to act worthily
and expect to be rewarded only in another World, is as heroick a Pitch
of Virtue as human Nature can arrive at. If the Tenour of our Actions
have any other Motive than the Desire to be pleasing in the Eye of the
Deity, it will necessarily follow that we must be more than Men, if we
are not too much exalted in Prosperity and depressed in Adversity: But
the Christian World has a Leader, the Contemplation of whose Life and
Sufferings must administer Comfort in Affliction, while the Sense of his
Power and Omnipotence must give them Humiliation in Prosperity.

It is owing to the forbidding and unlovely Constraint with which Men of
low Conceptions act when they think they conform themselves to Religion,
as well as to the more odious Conduct of Hypocrites, that the Word
Christian does not carry with it at first View all that is Great,
Worthy, Friendly, Generous, and Heroick. The Man who suspends his Hopes
of the Reward of worthy Actions till after Death, who can bestow unseen,
who can overlook Hatred, do Good to his Slanderer, who can never be
angry at his Friend, never revengeful to his Enemy, is certainly formed
for the Benefit of Society: Yet these are so far from Heroick Virtues,
that they are but the ordinary Duties of a Christian.

When a Man with a steddy Faith looks back on the great Catastrophe of
this Day, with what bleeding Emotions of Heart must he contemplate the
Life and Sufferings of his Deliverer? When his Agonies occur to him, how
will he weep to reflect that he has often forgot them for the Glance of
a Wanton, for the Applause of a vain World, for an Heap of fleeting past
Pleasures, which are at present asking Sorrows?

How pleasing is the Contemplation of the lowly Steps our Almighty Leader
took in conducting us to his heavenly Mansions! In plain and apt
Parable, [2] Similitude, and Allegory, our great Master enforced the
Doctrine of our Salvation; but they of his Acquaintance, instead of
receiving what they could not oppose, were offended at the Presumption
of being wiser than they: [3] They could not raise their little Ideas
above the Consideration of him, in those Circumstances familiar to them,
or conceive that he who appear'd not more Terrible or Pompous, should
have any thing more Exalted than themselves; he in that Place therefore
would not longer ineffectually exert a Power which was incapable of
conquering the Prepossession of their narrow and mean Conceptions.

Multitudes follow'd him, and brought him the Dumb, the Blind, the Sick,
and Maim'd; whom when their Creator had Touch'd, with a second Life they
Saw, Spoke, Leap'd, and Ran. In Affection to him, and admiration of his
Actions, the Crowd could not leave him, but waited near him till they
were almost as faint and helpless as others they brought for Succour. He
had Compassion on them, and by a Miracle supplied their Necessities. [4]
Oh, the Ecstatic Entertainment, when they could behold their Food
immediately increase to the Distributer's Hand, and see their God in
Person Feeding and Refreshing his Creatures! Oh Envied Happiness! But
why do I say Envied? as if our [God [5]] did not still preside over our
temperate Meals, chearful Hours, and innocent Conversations.

But tho the sacred Story is every where full of Miracles not inferior
to this, and tho in the midst of those Acts of Divinity he never gave
the least Hint of a Design to become a Secular Prince, yet had not
hitherto the Apostles themselves any other than Hopes of worldly Power,
Preferment, Riches and Pomp; for Peter, upon an Accident of Ambition
among the Apostles, hearing his Master explain that his Kingdom was not
of this World, was so scandaliz'd [6] that he whom he had so long
follow'd should suffer the Ignominy, Shame, and Death which he foretold,
that he took him aside and said, Be it far from thee, Lord, this shall
not be unto thee: For which he suffered a severe Reprehension from his
Master, as having in his View the Glory of Man rather than that of God.

The great Change of things began to draw near, when the Lord of Nature
thought fit as a Saviour and Deliverer to make his publick Entry into
Jerusalem with more than the Power and Joy, but none of the Ostentation
and Pomp of a Triumph; he came Humble, Meek, and Lowly: with an unfelt
new Ecstasy, Multitudes strewed his Way with Garments and
Olive-Branches, Crying with loud Gladness and Acclamation, Hosannah to
the Son of David, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord! At
this great Kings Accession to his Throne, Men were not Ennobled, but
Sav'd; Crimes were not Remitted, but Sins Forgiven; he did not bestow
Medals, Honours, Favours, but Health, Joy, Sight, Speech. The first
Object the Blind ever saw, was the Author of Sight; while the Lame Ran
before, and the Dumb repeated the Hosannah. Thus attended, he Entered
into his own House, the sacred Temple, and by his Divine Authority
expell'd Traders and Worldlings that profaned it; and thus did he, for a
time, use a great and despotic Power, to let Unbelievers understand,
that twas not Want of, but Superiority to all Worldly Dominion, that
made him not exert it. But is this then the Saviour? is this the
Deliverer? Shall this Obscure Nazarene command Israel, and sit on the
Throne of David? [7] Their proud and disdainful Hearts, which were
petrified [8] with the Love and Pride of this World, were impregnable to
the Reception of so mean a Benefactor, and were now enough exasperated
with Benefits to conspire his Death. Our Lord was sensible of their
Design, and prepared his Disciples for it, by recounting to em now more
distinctly what should befal him; but Peter with an ungrounded
Resolution, and in a Flush of Temper, made a sanguine Protestation, that
tho all Men were offended in him, yet would not he be offended. It was
a great Article of our Saviours Business in the World, to bring us to a
Sense of our Inability, without Gods Assistance, to do any thing great
or good; he therefore told Peter, who thought so well of his Courage and
Fidelity, that they would both fail him, and even he should deny him
Thrice that very Night.

But what Heart can conceive, what Tongue utter the Sequel? Who is that
yonder buffeted, mock'd, and spurn'd? Whom do they drag like a Felon?
Whither do they carry my Lord, my King, my Saviour, and my God? And will
he die to Expiate those very Injuries? See where they have nailed the
Lord and Giver of Life! How his Wounds blacken, his Body writhes, and
Heart heaves with Pity and with Agony! Oh Almighty Sufferer, look down,
look down from thy triumphant Infamy: Lo he inclines his Head to his
sacred Bosom! Hark, he Groans! see, he Expires! The Earth trembles, the
Temple rends, the Rocks burst, the Dead Arise: Which are the Quick?
Which are the Dead? Sure Nature, all Nature is departing with her
Creator.

T.

[Footnote 1: Good Friday.]

[Footnote 2: From the words In plain and apt parable to the end, this
paper is a reprint of the close of the second chapter of Steele's
Christian Hero, with the variations cited in the next six notes. The C.
H. is quoted from the text appended to the first reprint of the Tatler,
in 1711.]

[Footnote 3:

--wiser than they: Is not this the Carpenters Son, is not his Mother
called Mary, his Brethren, James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? They could
not--

Christian Hero.]

[Footnote 4:

He had compassion on em, commanded em to be seated, and with Seven
Loaves, and a few little Fishes, Fed four thousand Men, besides Women
and Children: Oh, the Ecstatic--

Christian Hero.]

[Footnote 5: [Good God] in first Issue and in Christian Hero.]

[Footnote 6: In the Christian Hero this passage was:

become a Secular Prince, or in a Forcible or Miraculous Manner to
cast off the Roman Yoke they were under, and restore again those
Disgraced Favourites of Heavn, to its former Indulgence, yet had not
hitherto the Apostles themselves (so deep set is our Natural Pride)
any other than hopes of worldly Power, Preferment, Riches and Pomp:
For Peter, who it seems ever since he left his Net and his Skiff,
Dreamt of nothing but being a great Man, was utterly undone to hear
our Saviour explain to em that his Kingdom was not of this World; and
was so scandalized--]

[Footnote 7:

Throne of David? Such were the unpleasant Forms that ran in the
Thoughts of the then Powerful in Jerusalem, upon the most Truly
Glorious Entry that ever Prince made; for there was not one that
followed him who was not in his Interest; their Proud--

Christian Hero.]

[Footnote 8:

Putrified with the--

Christian Hero.]

* * * * *

No. 357. Saturday, April 19, 1712. Addison.

[Quis talia fando
Temperet a lachrymis?

Virg.] [1]

The Tenth Book of Paradise Lost has a greater variety of Persons in it
than any other in the whole Poem. The Author upon the winding up of his
Action introduces all those who had any Concern in it, and shews with
great Beauty the Influence which it had upon each of them. It is like
the last Act of a well-written Tragedy, in which all who had a part in
it are generally drawn up before the Audience, and represented under
those Circumstances in which the Determination of the Action places
them.

I shall therefore consider this Book under four Heads, in relation to
the Celestial, the Infernal, the Human, and the Imaginary Persons, who
have their respective Parts allotted in it.

To begin with the Celestial Persons: The Guardian Angels of Paradise are
described as returning to Heaven upon the Fall of Man, in order to
approve their Vigilance; their Arrival, their Manner of Reception, with
the Sorrow which appear'd in themselves, and in those Spirits who are
said to Rejoice at the Conversion of a Sinner, are very finely laid
together in the following Lines.

Up into Heaven from Paradise in haste
Th' Angelick Guards ascended, mute and sad
For Man; for of his State by this they knew:
Much wondering how the subtle Fiend had stoln
Entrance unseen. Soon as th' unwelcome News
From Earth arriv'd at Heaven-Gate, displeased
All were who heard: dim Sadness did not spare
That time Celestial Visages; yet mixt
With Pity, violated not their Bliss.
About the new-arriv'd, in multitudes
Th' Ethereal People ran, to hear and know
How all befel: They tow'rds the Throne supreme
Accountable made haste to make appear
With righteous Plea, their utmost vigilance,
And easily approved; when the Most High
Eternal Father, from his secret cloud,
Amidst in thunder utter'd thus his voice.

The same Divine Person, who in the foregoing Parts of this Poem
interceded for our first Parents before their Fall, overthrew the Rebel
Angels, and created the World, is now represented as descending to
Paradise, and pronouncing Sentence upon the three Offenders. The Cool of
the Evening, being a Circumstance with which Holy Writ introduces this
great Scene, it is poetically described by our Author, who has also kept
religiously to the Form of Words, in which the three several Sentences
were passed upon Adam, Eve, and the Serpent. He has rather chosen to
neglect the Numerousness of his Verse, than to deviate from those
Speeches which are recorded on this great occasion. The Guilt and
Confusion of our first Parents standing naked before their Judge, is
touched with great Beauty. Upon the Arrival of Sin and Death into the
Works of the Creation, the Almighty is again introduced as speaking to
his Angels that surrounded him.

See! with what heat these Dogs of Hell advance,
To waste and havock yonder World, which I
So fair and good created; &c.

The following Passage is formed upon that glorious Image in Holy Writ,
which compares the Voice of an innumerable Host of Angels, uttering
Hallelujahs, to the Voice of mighty Thunderings, or of many Waters.

He ended, and the Heavenly Audience loud
Sung Hallelujah, as the sound of Seas,
Through Multitude that sung: Just are thy Ways,
Righteous are thy Decrees in all thy Works,
Who can extenuate thee?--

Tho the Author in the whole Course of his Poem, and particularly in the
Book we are now examining, has infinite Allusions to Places of
Scripture, I have only taken notice in my Remarks of such as are of a
Poetical Nature, and which are woven with great Beauty into the Body of
this Fable. Of this kind is that Passage in the present Book, where
describing Sin and Death as marching thro the Works of Nature he adds,

--Behind her Death
Close following pace for pace, not mounted yet
On his pale Horse--

Which alludes to that Passage in Scripture, so wonderfully poetical, and
terrifying to the Imagination. And I look'd, and behold a pale Horse,
and his Name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him: and
Power was given unto them over the fourth Part of the Earth, to kill
with Sword, and with Hunger, and with Sickness, and with the Beasts of
the Earth. [1] Under this first Head of Celestial Persons we must
likewise take notice of the Command which the Angels receiv'd, to
produce the several Changes in Nature, and sully the Beauty of the
Creation. Accordingly they are represented as infecting the Stars and
Planets with malignant Influences, weakning the Light of the Sun,
bringing down the Winter into the milder Regions of Nature, planting
Winds and Storms in several Quarters of the Sky, storing the Clouds with
Thunder, and in short, perverting the Whole Frame of the Universe to the
Condition of its criminal Inhabitants. As this is a noble Incident in
the Poem, the following Lines, in which we see the Angels heaving up the
Earth, and placing it in a different Posture to the Sun from what it had
before the Fall of Man, is conceived with that sublime Imagination which
was so peculiar to this great Author.

Some say he bid his Angels turn ascanse
The Poles of Earth twice ten Degrees and more
From the Suns Axle; they with Labour push'd
Oblique the Centrick Globe--

We are in the second place to consider the Infernal Agents under the
view which Milton has given us of them in this Book. It is observed by
those who would set forth the Greatness of Virgil's Plan, that he
conducts his Reader thro all the Parts of the Earth which were
discover'd in his time. Asia, Africk, and Europe are the several Scenes
of his Fable. The Plan of Milton's Poem is of an infinitely greater
Extent, and fills the Mind with many more astonishing Circumstances.
Satan, having surrounded the Earth seven times, departs at length from
Paradise. We then see him steering his Course among the Constellations,
and after having traversed the whole Creation, pursuing his Voyage thro
the Chaos, and entring into his own Infernal Dominions.

His first appearance in the Assembly of fallen Angels, is work'd up with
Circumstances which give a delightful Surprize to the Reader; but there
is no Incident in the whole Poem which does this more than the
Transformation of the whole Audience, that follows the Account their
Leader gives them of his Expedition. The gradual Change of Satan himself
is describ'd after Ovid's manner, and may vie with any of those
celebrated Transformations which are look'd upon as the most beautiful
Parts in that Poets Works. Milton never fails of improving his own
Hints, and bestowing the last finishing Touches to every Incident which
is admitted into his Poem. The unexpected Hiss which rises in this
Episode, the Dimensions and Bulk of Satan so much superior to those of
the Infernal Spirits who lay under the same Transformation, with the
annual Change which they are supposed to suffer, are Instances of this
kind. The Beauty of the Diction is very remarkable in this whole
Episode, as I have observed in the sixth Paper of these Remarks the
great Judgment with which it was contrived.

The Parts of Adam and Eve, or the human Persons, come next under our
Consideration. Milton's Art is no where more shewn than in his
conducting the Parts of these our first Parents. The Representation he
gives of them, without falsifying the Story, is wonderfully contriv'd to
influence the Reader with Pity and Compassion towards them. Tho Adam
involves the whole Species in Misery, his Crime proceeds from a Weakness
which every Man is inclined to pardon and commiserate, as it seems
rather the Frailty of Human Nature, than of the Person who offended.
Every one is apt to excuse a Fault which he himself might have fallen
into. It was the Excess of Love for Eve, that ruin'd Adam, and his
Posterity. I need not add, that the Author is justify'd in this
Particular by many of the Fathers, and the most orthodox Writers. Milton
has by this means filled a great part of his Poem with that kind of
Writing which the French Criticks call the Tender, and which is in a
particular manner engaging to all sorts of Readers.

Adam and Eve, in the Book we are now considering, are likewise drawn
with such Sentiments as do not only interest the Reader in their
Afflictions, but raise in him the most melting Passions of Humanity and
Commiseration. When Adam sees the several Changes in Nature produced
about him, he appears in a Disorder of Mind suitable to one who had
forfeited both his Innocence and his Happiness; he is filled with
Horrour, Remorse, Despair; in the Anguish of his Heart he expostulates
with his Creator for having given him an unasked Existence.

Did I request thee, Maker, from my Clay
To mould me Man? did I sollicite thee
From Darkness to promote me? or here place
In this delicious Garden? As my Will
Concurr'd not to my Being, twere but right
And equal to reduce me to my Dust,
Desirous to resign, and render back
All I received--

He immediately after recovers from his Presumption, owns his Doom to be
just, and begs that the Death which is threatned him may be inflicted on
him.

--Why delays
His Hand to execute, what his Decree
Fix'd on this day? Why do I overlive?
Why am I mock'd with Death, and lengthened out
To deathless Pain? how gladly would I meet
Mortality my Sentence, and be Earth
Insensible! how glad would lay me down,
As in my Mothers Lap? there should I rest
And sleep secure; his dreadful Voice no more
Would thunder in my Ears: no fear of worse
To me and to my Offspring, would torment me
With cruel Expectation--

This whole Speech is full of the like Emotion, and varied with all those
Sentiments which we may suppose natural to a Mind so broken and
disturb'd. I must not omit that generous Concern which our first Father
shews in it for his Posterity, and which is so proper to affect the
Reader.

--Hide me from the Face
Of God, whom to behold was then my heighth
Of Happiness! yet well, if here would end
The Misery, I deserved it, and would bear
My own Deservings: but this will not serve;
All that I eat, or drink, or shall beget
Is propagated Curse. O Voice once heard
Delightfully, Increase and Multiply;
Now Death to hear!--

--In me all
Posterity stands curst! Fair Patrimony,
That I must leave ye, Sons! O were I able
To waste it all my self, and leave you none!
So disinherited, how would you bless
Me, now your Curse! Ah, why should all Mankind,
For one Man's Fault, thus guiltless be condemn'd,
If guiltless? But from me what can proceed
But all corrupt--

Who can afterwards behold the Father of Mankind extended upon the Earth,
uttering his midnight Complaints, bewailing his Existence, and wishing
for Death, without sympathizing with him in his Distress?

Thus Adam to himself lamented loud,
Thro the still Night; not now, (as ere Man fell)
Wholesome, and cool, and mild, but with black Air
Accompanied, with Damps and dreadful Gloom;
Which to his evil Conscience represented
All things with double Terror. On the Ground
Outstretched he lay; on the cold Ground! and oft
Curs'd his Creation; Death as oft accusd
Of tardy Execution--

The Part of Eve in this Book is no less passionate, and apt to sway the
Reader in her Favour. She is represented with great Tenderness as
approaching Adam, but is spurn d from him with a Spirit of Upbraiding
and Indignation, conformable to the Nature of Man, whose Passions had
now gained the Dominion over him. The following Passage, wherein she is
described as renewing her Addresses to him, with the whole Speech that
follows it, have something in them exquisitely moving and pathetick.

He added not, and from her turned: But Eve
Not so repulst, with Tears that ceas'd not flowing,
And Tresses all disorderd, at his feet
Fell humble; and embracing them, besought
His Peace, and thus proceeding in her Plaint.
Forsake me not thus, Adam! Witness Heav'n
What Love sincere, and Reverence in my Heart
I bear thee, and unweeting have offended,
Unhappily deceived! Thy Suppliant
I beg, and clasp thy Knees; bereave me not
(Whereon I live!) thy gentle Looks, thy Aid,
Thy Counsel, in this uttermost Distress,
My only Strength, and Stay! Forlorn of thee,
Whither shall I betake me, where subsist?
While yet we live, (scarce one short Hour perhaps)
Between us two let there be Peace, &c.

Adams Reconcilement to her is workd up in the same Spirit of
Tenderness. Eve afterwards proposes to her Husband, in the Blindness of
her Despair, that to prevent their Guilt from descending upon Posterity
they should resolve to live Childless; or, if that could not be done,
they should seek their own Deaths by violent Methods. As those
Sentiments naturally engage the Reader to regard the Mother of Mankind
with more than ordinary Commiseration, they likewise contain a very fine
Moral. The Resolution of dying to end our Miseries, does not shew such a
degree of Magnanimity as a Resolution to bear them, and submit to the
Dispensations of Providence. Our Author has therefore, with great
Delicacy, represented Eve as entertaining this Thought, and Adam as
disapproving it.

We are, in the last place, to consider the Imaginary Persons, or [Death
and Sin [3]] who act a large Part in this Book. Such beautiful extended
Allegories are certainly some of the finest Compositions of Genius: but,
as, I have before observed, are not agreeable to the Nature of an
Heroick Poem. This of Sin and Death is very exquisite in its Kind, if
not considered as a Part of such a Work. The Truths contained in it are
so clear and open, that I shall not lose time in explaining them; but
shall only observe, that a Reader who knows the Strength of the English
Tongue, will be amazed to think how the Poet could find such apt Words
and Phrases to describe the Action[s] of those two imaginary Persons,
and particularly in that Part where Death is exhibited as forming a
Bridge over the Chaos; a Work suitable to the Genius of Milton.

Since the Subject I am upon, gives me an Opportunity of speaking more at
large of such Shadowy and Imaginary Persons as may be introduced into
Heroick Poems, I shall beg leave to explain my self in a Matter which is
curious in its Kind, and which none of the Criticks have treated of. It
is certain Homer and Virgil are full of imaginary Persons, who are very
beautiful in Poetry when they are just shewn, without being engaged in
any Series of Action. Homer indeed represents Sleep as a Person, and
ascribes a short Part to him in his Iliad, [4] but we must consider that
tho we now regard such a Person as entirely shadowy and unsubstantial,
the Heathens made Statues of him, placed him in their Temples, and
looked upon him as a real Deity. When Homer makes use of other such
Allegorical Persons, it is only in short Expressions, which convey an
ordinary Thought to the Mind in the most pleasing manner, and may rather
be looked upon as Poetical Phrases than Allegorical Descriptions.
Instead of telling us, that Men naturally fly when they are terrified,
he introduces the Persons of Flight and Fear, who, he tells us, are
inseparable Companions. Instead of saying that the time was come when
Apollo ought to have received his Recompence, he tells us, that the
Hours brought him his Reward. Instead of describing the Effects which
Minervas AEgis produced in Battel, he tells us, that the Brims of it
were encompassed by Terror, Rout, Discord, Fury, Pursuit, Massacre, and
Death. In the same Figure of speaking, he represents Victory as
following Diomedes; Discord as the Mother of Funerals and Mourning;
Venus as dressed by the Graces; Bellona as wearing Terror and
Consternation like a Garment. I might give several other Instances out
of Homer, as well as a great many out of Virgil. Milton has likewise
very often made use of the same way of Speaking, as where he tells us,
that Victory sat on the right Hand of the Messiah when he marched forth
against the Rebel Angels; that at the rising of the Sun the Hours
unbarrd the Gates of Light; that Discord was the Daughter of Sin. Of
the same nature are those Expressions, where describing the singing of
the Nightingale, he adds, Silence was pleased; and upon the Messiahs
bidding Peace to the Chaos, Confusion heard his Voice. I might add
innumerable Instances of our Poets writing in this beautiful Figure. It
is plain that these I have mentioned, in which Persons of an imaginary
Nature are introduced, are such short Allegories as are not designed to
be taken in the literal Sense, but only to convey particular
Circumstances to the Reader after an unusual and entertaining Manner.
But when such Persons are introduced as principal Actors, and engaged in
a Series of Adventures, they take too much upon them, and are by no
means proper for an Heroick Poem, which ought to appear credible in its
principal Parts. I cannot forbear therefore thinking that Sin and Death
are as improper Agents in a Work of this nature, as Strength and
Necessity in one of the Tragedies of Eschylus, who represented those two
Persons nailing down Prometheus to a Rock, [5] for which he has been
justly censured by the greatest Criticks. I do not know any imaginary
Person made use of in a more sublime manner of thinking than that in one
of the Prophets, who describing God as descending from Heaven, and
visiting the Sins of Mankind, adds that dreadful Circumstance, Before
him went the Pestilence. [6] It is certain this imaginary Person might
have been described in all her purple Spots. The Fever might have
marched before her, Pain might have stood at her right Hand, Phrenzy on
her Left, and Death in her Rear. She might have been introduced as
gliding down from the Tail of a Comet, or darted upon the Earth in a
Flash of Lightning: She might have tainted the Atmosphere with her
Breath; the very glaring of her Eyes might have scattered Infection. But
I believe every Reader will think, that in such sublime Writings the
mentioning of her as it is done in Scripture, has something in it more
just, as well as great, than all that the most fanciful Poet could have
bestowed upon her in the Richness of his Imagination.

L.

[Footnote 1:

Reddere personae scit convenientia cuique.

Hor.]

[Footnote 2: Revelation vi. 8.]

[Footnote 3: [Sin and Death]]

[Footnote 4: In the fourteenth Book, where Here visits the home of
Sleep, the brother of Death, and offers him the bribe of a gold chain if
he will shut the eyes of Zeus, Sleep does not think it can be done. Here
then doubles her bribe, and offers Sleep a wife, the youngest of the
Graces. Sleep makes her swear by Styx that she will hold to her word,
and when she has done so flies off in her company, sits in the shape of
a night-hawk in a pine tree upon the peak of Ida, whence when Zeus was
subdued by love and sleep, Sleep went down to the ships to tell Poseidon
that now was his time to help the Greeks.]

[Footnote 5: In the Prometheus Bound of AEschylus, the binding of
Prometheus by pitiless Strength, who mocks at compassion in the god
Hephaistos, charged to serve him in this office, opens the sublimest of
the ancient dramas. Addison is wrong in saying that there is a
personification here of Strength and Necessity; Hephaistos does indeed
say that he obeys Necessity, but his personified companions are Strength
and Force, and of these Force appears only as the dumb attendant of
Strength. Addisons greatest critics had something to learn when they
were blind to the significance of the contrast between Visible Strength
at the opening of this poem, and the close with sublime prophecy of an
unseen Power of the Future that disturbs Zeus on his throne, and gathers
his thunders about the undaunted Prometheus.

Now let the shrivelling flame at me be driven,
Let him, with flaky snowstorms and the crash
Of subterraneous thunders, into ruins
And wild confusion hurl and mingle all:
For nought of these will bend me that I speak
Who is foredoomed to cast him from his throne.

(Mrs. Websters translation.)]

[Footnote 6: Habakkuk iii. 5.]

* * * * *

No. 358. Monday, April 21, 1702. Steele.

Desipere in loco.

Hor.

Charles Lillie attended me the other day, and made me a Present of a
large Sheet of Paper, on which is delineated a Pavement of Mosaick Work,
lately discovered at Stunsfield near Woodstock. [1] A Person who has so
much the Gift of Speech as Mr. Lillie, and can carry on a Discourse
without Reply, had great Opportunity on that Occasion to expatiate upon
so fine a Piece of Antiquity. Among other things, I remember, he gave me
his Opinion, which he drew from the Ornaments of the Work, That this was
the Floor of a Room dedicated to Mirth and Concord. Viewing this Work,
made my Fancy run over the many gay Expressions I had read in ancient
Authors, which contained Invitations to lay aside Care and Anxiety, and
give a Loose to that pleasing Forgetfulness wherein Men put off their
Characters of Business, and enjoy their very Selves. These Hours were
usually passed in Rooms adorned for that purpose, and set out in such a
manner, as the Objects all around the Company gladdened their Hearts;
which, joined to the cheerful Looks of well-chosen and agreeable
Friends, gave new Vigour to the Airy, produced the latent Fire of the
Modest, and gave Grace to the slow Humour of the Reserved. A judicious
Mixture of such Company, crowned with Chaplets of Flowers, and the whole
Apartment glittering with gay Lights, cheared with a Profusion of Roses,
artificial Falls of Water, and Intervals of soft Notes to Songs of Love
and Wine, suspended the Cares of human Life, and made a Festival of
mutual Kindness. Such Parties of Pleasure as these, and the Reports of
the agreeable Passages in their Jollities, have in all Ages awakened the
dull Part of Mankind to pretend to Mirth and Good-Humour, without
Capacity for such Entertainments; for if I may be allowed to say so,
there are an hundred Men fit for any Employment, to one who is capable
of passing a Night in the Company of the first Taste, without shocking
any Member of the Society, over-rating his own Part of the Conversation,
but equally receiving and contributing to the Pleasure of the whole
Company. When one considers such Collections of Companions in past
Times, and such as one might name in the present Age, with how much
Spleen must a Man needs reflect upon the aukward Gayety of those who
affect the Frolick with an ill Grace? I have a Letter from a
Correspondent of mine, who desires me to admonish all loud, mischievous,
airy, dull Companions, that they are mistaken in what they call a
Frolick. Irregularity in its self is not what creates Pleasure and
Mirth; but to see a Man who knows what Rule and Decency are, descend
from them agreeably in our Company, is what denominates him a pleasant
Companion. Instead of that, you find many whose Mirth consists only in
doing Things which do not become them, with a secret Consciousness that
all the World know they know better: To this is always added something
mischievous to themselves or others. I have heard of some very merry
Fellows, among whom the Frolick was started, and passed by a great
Majority, that every Man should immediately draw a Tooth; after which
they have gone in a Body and smoaked a Cobler. The same Company, at
another Night, has each Man burned his Cravat; and one perhaps, whose
Estate would bear it, has thrown a long Wigg and laced Hat into the same
Fire. [2] Thus they have jested themselves stark naked, and ran into the
Streets, and frighted Women very successfully. There is no Inhabitant of
any standing in Covent-Garden, but can tell you a hundred good Humours,
where People have come off with little Blood-shed, and yet scowered all
the witty Hours of the Night. I know a Gentleman that has several Wounds
in the Head by Watch Poles, and has been thrice run through the Body to
carry on a good Jest: He is very old for a Man of so much Good-Humour;
but to this day he is seldom merry, but he has occasion to be valiant at
the same time. But by the Favour of these Gentlemen, I am humbly of
Opinion, that a Man may be a very witty Man, and never offend one
Statute of this Kingdom, not excepting even that of Stabbing.

The Writers of Plays have what they call Unity of Time and Place to give
a Justness to their Representation; and it would not be amiss if all who
pretend to be Companions, would confine their Action to the Place of
Meeting: For a Frolick carried farther may be better performed by other
Animals than Men. It is not to rid much Ground, or do much Mischief,
that should denominate a pleasant Fellow; but that is truly Frolick
which is the Play of the Mind, and consists of various and unforced
Sallies of Imagination. Festivity of Spirit is a very uncommon Talent,
and must proceed from an Assemblage of agreeable Qualities in the same
Person: There are some few whom I think peculiarly happy in it; but it
is a Talent one cannot name in a Man, especially when one considers that
it is never very graceful but where it is regarded by him who possesses
it in the second Place. The best Man that I know of for heightening the
Revel-Gayety of a Company, is Estcourt, [3]--whose Jovial Humour
diffuses itself from the highest Person at an Entertainment to the
meanest Waiter. Merry Tales, accompanied with apt Gestures and lively
Representations of Circumstances and Persons, beguile the gravest Mind
into a Consent to be as humourous as himself. Add to this, that when a
Man is in his good Grace, he has a Mimickry that does not debase the
Person he represents; but which, taking from the Gravity of the
Character, adds to the Agreeableness of it. This pleasant Fellow gives
one some Idea of the ancient Pantomime, who is said to have given the
Audience, in Dumb-show, an exact Idea of any Character or Passion, or an
intelligible Relation of any publick Occurrence, with no other
Expression than that of his Looks and Gestures. If all who have been
obliged to these Talents in Estcourt, will be at Love for Love to-morrow
Night, they will but pay him what they owe him, at so easy a Rate as
being present at a Play which no body would omit seeing, that had, or
had not ever seen it before.

[Footnote 1: In No. 353 and some following numbers of the Spectator
appeared an advertisement of this plate, which was engraved by Vertue.

Whereas about nine weeks since there was accidentally discovered by
an Husbandman, at Stunsfield, near Woodstock, in Oxfordshire, (a large
Pavement of rich Mosaick Work of the Ancient Romans, which is adornd
with several Figures alluding to Mirth and Concord, in particular that
of Bacchus seated on a Panther.) This is to give Notice the Exact
Delineation of the same is Engraven and Imprinted on a large Elephant
sheet of Paper, which are to be sold at Mr. Charles Lillies,
Perfumer, at the corner of Beauford Buildings, in the Strand, at 1s.
N.B. There are to be had, at the same Place, at one Guinea each, on
superfine Atlas Paper, some painted with the same variety of Colours
that the said Pavement is beautified with; this piece of Antiquity is
esteemed by the Learned to be the most considerable ever found in
Britain.

The fine pavement discovered at Stonesfield in 1711 measures 35 feet by
60, and although by this time groundworks of more than a hundred Roman
villas have been laid open in this country, the Stonesfield mosaic is
still one of the most considerable of its kind.]

[Footnote 2: Said to have been one of the frolics of Sir Charles Sedley.]

[Footnote 3: See note on p. 204, ante [Footnote 1 of No. 264].
Congreves Love for Love was to be acted at Drury Lane on Tuesday night
At the desire of several Ladies of Quality. For the Benefit of Mr.
Estcourt.]

* * * * *

No. 359. Tuesday, April 22, 1712. Budgell.

Torva leaena lupum sequitur, lupus ipse capellam;
Florentem cytisum sequitur lusciva capella.

Virg.

As we were at the Club last Night, I observd that my Friend Sir ROGER,
contrary to his usual Custom, sat very silent, and instead of minding
what was said by the Company, was whistling to himself in a very
thoughtful Mood, and playing with a Cork. I joggd Sir ANDREW FREEPORT
who sat between us; and as we were both observing him, we saw the Knight
shake his Head, and heard him say to himself, A foolish Woman! I cant
believe it. Sir ANDREW gave him a gentle Pat upon the Shoulder, and
offered to lay him a Bottle of Wine that he was thinking of the Widow.
My old Friend started, and recovering out of his brown Study, told Sir
ANDREW that once in his Life he had been in the right. In short, after
some little Hesitation, Sir ROGER told us in the fulness of his Heart
that he had just received a Letter from his Steward, which acquainted
him that his old Rival and Antagonist in the County, Sir David Dundrum,
had been making a Visit to the Widow. However, says Sir ROGER, I can
never think that shell have a Man thats half a Year older than I am,
and a noted Republican into the Bargain.

WILL. HONEYCOMB, who looks upon Love as his particular Province,
interrupting our Friend with a janty Laugh; I thought, Knight, says he,
thou hadst lived long enough in the World, not to pin thy Happiness upon
one that is a Woman and a Widow. I think that without Vanity I may
pretend to know as much of the Female World as any Man in Great-Britain,
tho' the chief of my Knowledge consists in this, that they are not to be
known. WILL, immediately, with his usual Fluency, rambled into an
Account of his own Amours. I am now, says he, upon the Verge of Fifty,
(tho' by the way we all knew he was turned of Threescore.) You may
easily guess, continued WILL., that I have not lived so long in the
World without having had some thoughts of settling in it, as the Phrase
is. To tell you truly, I have several times tried my Fortune that way,
though I can't much boast of my Success.

I made my first Addresses to a young Lady in the Country; but when I
thought things were pretty well drawing to a Conclusion, her Father
happening to hear that I had formerly boarded with a Surgeon, the old
Put forbid me his House, and within a Fortnight after married his
Daughter to a Fox-hunter in the Neighbourhood.

I made my next Applications to a Widow, and attacked her so briskly,
that I thought myself within a Fortnight of her. As I waited upon her
one Morning, she told me that she intended to keep her Ready-Money and
Jointure in her own Hand, and desired me to call upon her Attorney in
Lyons-Inn, who would adjust with me what it was proper for me to add to
it. I was so rebuffed by this Overture, that I never enquired either for
her or her Attorney afterwards.

A few Months after I addressed my self to a young Lady, who was an only
Daughter, and of a good Family. I danced with her at several Balls,
squeez'd her by the Hand, said soft things to her, and, in short, made
no doubt of her Heart; and though my Fortune was not equal to hers, I
was in hopes that her fond Father would not deny her the Man she had
fixed her Affections upon. But as I went one day to the House in order
to break the matter to him, I found the whole Family in Confusion, and
heard to my unspeakable Surprize, that Miss Jenny was that very Morning
run away with the Butler.

I then courted a second Widow, and am at a Loss to this day how I came
to miss her, for she had often commended my Person and Behaviour. Her
Maid indeed told me one Day, that her Mistress had said she never saw a
Gentleman with such a Spindle Pair of Legs as Mr. HONEYCOMB.

After this I laid Siege to four Heiresses successively, and being a
handsome young Dog in those Days, quickly made a Breach in their Hearts;
but I don't know how it came to pass, tho I seldom failed of getting the
Daughter's Consent, I could never in my Life get the old People on my
side.

I could give you an Account of a thousand other unsuccessful Attempts,
particularly of one which I made some Years since upon an old Woman,
whom I had certainly borne away with flying Colours, if her Relations
had not come pouring in to her Assistance from all Parts of England;
nay, I believe I should have got her at last, had not she been carried
off by an hard Frost.

As WILL'S Transitions are extremely quick, he turnd from Sir ROGER, and
applying himself to me, told me there was a Passage in the Book I had
considered last Saturday, which deserved to be writ in Letters of Gold;
and taking out a Pocket-Milton read the following Lines, which are Part
of one of Adam's Speeches to Eve after the Fall.

--O! why did our
Creator wise! that peopled highest Heav'n
With Spirits masculine, create at last
This Novelty on Earth, this fair Defect
Of Nature? and not fill the World at once
With Men, as Angels, without Feminine?
Or find some other way to generate
Mankind? This Mischief had not then befall'n,
And more that shall befall; innumerable
Disturbances on Earth through Female Snares,
And strait Conjunction with this Sex: for either
He never shall find out fit Mate, but such
As some misfortune brings him, or mistake;
Or, whom he wishes most, shall seldom gain
Through her perverseness; but shall see her gain'd
By a far worse; or if she love, with-held
By Parents; or his happiest Choice too late
Shall meet already link'd, and Wedlock bound
To a fell Adversary, his Hate or Shame;
Which infinite Calamity shall cause
To human Life, and Household Peace confound. [1]

Sir ROGER listened to this Passage with great Attention, and desiring
Mr. HONEYCOMB to fold down a Leaf at the Place, and lend him his Book,
the Knight put it up in his Pocket, and told us that he would read over
those Verses again before he went to Bed.

X.

[Footnote 1: Paradise Lost, Bk x., ll 898-908.]

* * * * *

No. 360. Wednesday, April 23, 1712. Steele.

--De paupertate tacentes
Plus poscente ferent.

Hor.

I have nothing to do with the Business of this Day, any further than
affixing the piece of Latin on the Head of my Paper; which I think a
Motto not unsuitable, since if Silence of our Poverty is a
Recommendation, still more commendable is his Modesty who conceals it by
a decent Dress.

Mr. SPECTATOR,

There is an Evil under the Sun which has not yet come within your
Speculation; and is, the Censure, Disesteem, and Contempt which some
young Fellows meet with from particular Persons, for the reasonable
Methods they take to avoid them in general. This is by appearing in a
better Dress, than may seem to a Relation regularly consistent with a
small Fortune; and therefore may occasion a Judgment of a suitable
Extravagance in other Particulars: But the Disadvantage with which the
Man of narrow Circumstances acts and speaks, is so feelingly set forth
in a little Book called the Christian Hero, [1] that the appearing to
be otherwise is not only pardonable but necessary. Every one knows the
hurry of Conclusions that are made in contempt of a Person that
appears to be calamitous, which makes it very excusable to prepare
ones self for the Company of those that are of a superior Quality and
Fortune, by appearing to be in a better Condition than one is, so far
as such Appearance shall not make us really of worse.

It is a Justice due to the Character of one who suffers hard
Reflections from any particular Person upon this Account, that such
Persons would enquire into his manner of spending his Time; of which,
tho no further Information can be had than that he remains so many
Hours in his Chamber, yet if this is cleared, to imagine that a
reasonable Creature wrung with a narrow Fortune does not make the best
use of this Retirement, would be a Conclusion extremely uncharitable.
From what has, or will be said, I hope no Consequence can be extorted,
implying, that I would have any young Fellow spend more Time than the
common Leisure which his Studies require, or more Money than his
Fortune or Allowance may admit of, in the pursuit of an Acquaintance
with his Betters: For as to his Time, the gross of that ought to be
sacred to more substantial Acquisitions; for each irrevocable Moment
of which he ought to believe he stands religiously Accountable. And as
to his Dress, I shall engage myself no further than in the modest
Defence of two plain Suits a Year: For being perfectly satisfied in
Eutrapeluss Contrivance of making a Mohock of a Man, by presenting
him with lacd and embroiderd Suits, I would by no means be thought
to controvert that Conceit, by insinuating the Advantages of Foppery.
It is an Assertion which admits of much Proof, that a Stranger of
tolerable Sense dressd like a Gentleman, will be better received by
those of Quality above him, than one of much better Parts, whose Dress
is regulated by the rigid Notions of Frugality. A Man's Appearance
falls within the Censure of every one that sees him; his Parts and
Learning very few are Judges of; and even upon these few, they cant
at first be well intruded; for Policy and good Breeding will counsel
him to be reservd among Strangers, and to support himself only by the
common Spirit of Conversation. Indeed among the Injudicious, the Words
Delicacy, Idiom, fine Images, Structure of Periods, Genius, Fire, and
the rest, made use of with a frugal and comely Gravity, will maintain
the Figure of immense Reading, and Depth of Criticism.

All Gentlemen of Fortune, at least the young and middle-aged, are apt
to pride themselves a little too much upon their Dress, and
consequently to value others in some measure upon the same
Consideration. With what Confusion is a Man of Figure obliged to
return the Civilities of the Hat to a Person whose Air and Attire
hardly entitle him to it? For whom nevertheless the other has a
particular Esteem, tho he is ashamed to have it challenged in so
publick a Manner. It must be allowed, that any young Fellow that
affects to dress and appear genteelly, might with artificial
Management save ten Pound a Year; as instead of fine Holland he might
mourn in Sackcloth, and in other Particulars be proportionably shabby:
But of what great Service would this Sum be to avert any Misfortune,
whilst it would leave him deserted by the little good Acquaintance he
has, and prevent his gaining any other? As the Appearance of an easy
Fortune is necessary towards making one, I dont know but it might be
of advantage sometimes to throw into ones Discourse certain
Exclamations about Bank-Stock, and to shew a marvellous Surprize upon
its Fall, as well as the most affected Triumph upon its Rise. The
Veneration and Respect which the Practice of all Ages has preserved to
Appearances, without doubt suggested to our Tradesmen that wise and
Politick Custom, to apply and recommend themselves to the publick by
all those Decorations upon their Sign-posts and Houses, which the most
eminent Hands in the Neighbourhood can furnish them with. What can be
more attractive to a Man of Letters, than that immense Erudition of
all Ages and Languages which a skilful Bookseller, in conjunction with
a Painter, shall image upon his Column and the Extremities of his
Shop? The same Spirit of maintaining a handsome Appearance reigns
among the grave and solid Apprentices of the Law (here I could be
particularly dull in [proving [2]] the Word Apprentice to be
significant of a Barrister) and you may easily distinguish who has
most lately made his Pretensions to Business, by the whitest and most
ornamental Frame of his Window: If indeed the Chamber is a
Ground-Room, and has Rails before it, the Finery is of Necessity more
extended, and the Pomp of Business better maintaind. And what can be
a greater Indication of the Dignity of Dress, than that burdensome
Finery which is the regular Habit of our Judges, Nobles, and Bishops,
with which upon certain Days we see them incumbered? And though it may
be said this is awful, and necessary for the Dignity of the State, yet
the wisest of them have been remarkable, before they arrived at their
present Stations, for being very well dressed Persons. As to my own
Part, I am near Thirty; and since I left School have not been idle,
which is a modern Phrase for having studied hard. I brought off a
clean System of Moral Philosophy, and a tolerable Jargon of
Metaphysicks from the University; since that, I have been engaged in
the clearing Part of the perplexd Style and Matter of the Law, which
so hereditarily descends to all its Professors: To all which severe
Studies I have thrown in, at proper Interims, the pretty Learning of
the Classicks. Notwithstanding which, I am what Shakespear calls A
Fellow of no Mark or Likelihood; [3] which makes me understand the
more fully, that since the regular Methods of making Friends and a
Fortune by the mere Force of a Profession is so very slow and
uncertain, a Man should take all reasonable Opportunities, by
enlarging a good Acquaintance, to court that Time and Chance which is
said to happen to every Man.

T.

[Footnote 1: The passage is nearly at the beginning of Steeles third
chapter,

It is in every bodys observation with what disadvantage a Poor Man
enters upon the most ordinary affairs, &c.]

[Footnote 2: [clearing]]

[Footnote 3: Henry IV. Pt. I. Act iii. sc. 2.]

* * * * *

No. 361. Thursday, April 24, 1712. Addison.

Tartaream intendit vocem, qua protinus omnis
Contremuit domus--

Virg.

I have lately received the following Letter from a Country Gentleman.

Mr. SPECTATOR,

The Night before I left London I went to see a Play, called The
Humorous Lieutenant. [1] Upon the Rising of the Curtain I was very
much surprized with the great Consort of Cat-calls which was exhibited
that Evening, and began to think with myself that I had made a
Mistake, and gone to a Musick-Meeting, instead of the Play-house. It
appeared indeed a little odd to me to see so many Persons of Quality
of both Sexes assembled together at a kind of Catterwawling; for I
cannot look upon that Performance to have been any thing better,
whatever the Musicians themselves might think of it. As I had no
Acquaintance in the House to ask Questions of, and was forced to go
out of Town early the next Morning, I could not learn the Secret of
this Matter. What I would therefore desire of you, is, to give some
account of this strange Instrument, which I found the Company called a
Cat-call; and particularly to let me know whether it be a piece of
Musick lately come from Italy. For my own part, to be free with you, I
would rather hear an English Fiddle; though I durst not shew my
Dislike whilst I was in the Play-House, it being my Chance to sit the
very next Man to one of the Performers. I am, SIR,

Your most affectionate Friend
and Servant,
John Shallow, Esq.

In compliance with Esquire Shallows Request, I design this Paper as a
Dissertation upon the Cat-call. In order to make myself a Master of the
Subject, I purchased one the Beginning of last Week, though not without
great difficulty, being informd at two or three Toyshops that the
Players had lately bought them all up. I have since consulted many
learned Antiquaries in relation to its Original, and find them very much
divided among themselves upon that Particular. A Fellow of the Royal
Society, who is my good Friend, and a great Proficient in the
Mathematical Part of Musick, concludes from the Simplicity of its Make,
and the Uniformity of its Sound, that the Cat-call is older than any of
the Inventions of Jubal. He observes very well, that Musical Instruments
took their first Rise from the Notes of Birds, and other melodious
Animals; and what, says he, was more natural than for the first Ages of
Mankind to imitate the Voice of a Cat that lived under the same Roof
with them? He added, that the Cat had contributed more to Harmony than
any other Animal; as we are not only beholden to her for this
Wind-Instrument, but for our String Musick in general.

Another Virtuoso of my Acquaintance will not allow the Cat-call to be
older than Thespis, and is apt to think it appeared in the World soon
after the antient Comedy; for which reason it has still a place in our
Dramatick Entertainments: Nor must I here omit what a very curious
Gentleman, who is lately returned from his Travels, has more than once
assured me, namely that there was lately dug up at Rome the Statue of
Momus, who holds an Instrument in his Right-Hand very much resembling
our Modern Cat-call.

There are others who ascribe this Invention to Orpheus, and look upon
the Cat-call to be one of those Instruments which that famous Musician
made use of to draw the Beasts about him. It is certain, that the
Roasting of a Cat does not call together a greater Audience of that
Species than this Instrument, if dexterously played upon in proper Time
and Place.

But notwithstanding these various and learned Conjectures, I cannot
forbear thinking that the Cat-call is originally a Piece of English
Musick. Its Resemblance to the Voice of some of our British Songsters,
as well as the Use of it, which is peculiar to our Nation, confirms me
in this Opinion. It has at least received great Improvements among us,
whether we consider the Instrument it self, or those several Quavers and
Graces which are thrown into the playing of it. Every one might be
sensible of this, who heard that remarkable overgrown Cat-call which was
placed in the Center of the Pit, and presided over all the rest at [the
[2]] celebrated Performance lately exhibited in Drury-Lane.

Having said thus much concerning the Original of the Cat-call, we are in
the next place to consider the Use of it. The Cat-call exerts it self to
most advantage in the British Theatre: It very much Improves the Sound
of Nonsense, and often goes along with the Voice of the Actor who
pronounces it, as the Violin or Harpsichord accompanies the Italian
Recitativo.

It has often supplied the Place of the antient Chorus, in the Works of
Mr.----In short, a bad Poet has as great an Antipathy to a Cat-call, as
many People have to a real Cat.

Mr. Collier, in his ingenious Essay upon Musick [3] has the following
Passage:

I believe tis possible to invent an Instrument that shall have a
quite contrary Effect to those Martial ones now in use: An Instrument
that shall sink the Spirits, and shake the Nerves, and curdle the
Blood, and inspire Despair, and Cowardice and Consternation, at a
surprizing rate. Tis probable the Roaring of Lions, the Warbling of
Cats and Scritch-Owls, together with a Mixture of the Howling of Dogs,
judiciously imitated and compounded, might go a great way in this
Invention. Whether such Anti-Musick as this might not be of Service in
a Camp, I shall leave to the Military Men to consider.

What this learned Gentleman supposes in Speculation, I have known
actually verified in Practice. The Cat-call has struck a Damp into
Generals, and frighted Heroes off the Stage. At the first sound of it I
have seen a Crowned Head tremble, and a Princess fall into Fits. The
Humorous Lieutenant himself could not stand it; nay, I am told that even
Almanzor looked like a Mouse, and trembled at the Voice of this
terrifying Instrument.

As it is of a Dramatick Nature, and peculiarly appropriated to the
Stage, I can by no means approve the Thought of that angry Lover, who,
after an unsuccessful Pursuit of some Years, took leave of his Mistress
in a Serenade of Cat-calls.

I must conclude this Paper with the Account I have lately received of an
ingenious Artist, who has long studied this Instrument, and is very well
versed in all the Rules of the Drama. He teaches to play on it by Book,
and to express by it the whole Art of Criticism. He has his Base and his
Treble Cat-call; the former for Tragedy, the latter for Comedy; only in
Tragy-Comedies they may both play together in Consort. He has a
particular Squeak to denote the Violation of each of the Unities, and
has different Sounds to shew whether he aims at the Poet or the Player.
In short he teaches the Smut-note, the Fustian-note, the Stupid-note,
and has composed a kind of Air that may serve as an Act-tune to an
incorrigible Play, and which takes in the whole Compass of the Cat-call.

[L. [4]]

[Footnote 1: By Beaumont and Fletcher.]

[Footnote 2: [that]]

[Footnote 3: Essays upon several Moral Subjects, by Jeremy Collier, Part
II. p. 30 (ed. 1732). Jeremy Collier published the first volume of these
Essays in 1697, after he was safe from the danger brought on himself by
attending Sir John Friend and Sir William Perkins when they were
executed for the assassination plot. The other two volumes appeared
successively in 1705 and 1709. It was in 1698 that Collier published his
famous Short View of the Immorality and Profaneness of the English
Stage.]

[Footnote 4: [Not being yet determined with whose Name to fill up the
Gap in this Dissertation which is marked with----, I shall defer it
till this Paper appears with others in a Volume. L.]]

* * * * *

No. 362. Friday, April 25, 1712. Steele.

Laudibus arguitur Vini vinosus--

Hor.

Temple, Apr. 24.

Mr. SPECTATOR,

Several of my Friends were this Morning got together over a Dish of
Tea in very good Health, though we had celebrated Yesterday with more
Glasses than we could have dispensed with, had we not been beholden to
Brooke and Hillier. In Gratitude therefore to those good Citizens, I
am, in the Name of the Company, to accuse you of great Negligence in
overlooking their Merit, who have imported true and generous Wine, and
taken care that it should not be adulterated by the Retailers before
it comes to the Tables of private Families, or the Clubs of honest
Fellows. I cannot imagine how a SPECTATOR can be supposed to do his
Duty, without frequent Resumption of such Subjects as concern our
Health, the first thing to be regarded, if we have a mind to relish
anything else. It would therefore very well become your Spectatorial
Vigilance, to give it in Orders to your Officer for inspecting Signs,
that in his March he would look into the Itinerants who deal in
Provisions, and enquire where they buy their several Wares. Ever since
the Decease of [Cully [1]]- Mully-Puff [2] of agreeable and noisy
Memory, I cannot say I have observed any thing sold in Carts, or
carried by Horse or Ass, or in fine, in any moving Market, which is
not perished or putrified; witness the Wheel-barrows of rotten
Raisins, Almonds, Figs, and Currants, which you see vended by a
Merchant dressed in a second-hand Suit of a Foot Soldier. You should
consider that a Child may be poisoned for the Worth of a Farthing; but
except his poor Parents send to one certain Doctor in Town, [3] they
can have no advice for him under a Guinea. When Poisons are thus
cheap, and Medicines thus dear, how can you be negligent in inspecting
what we eat and drink, or take no Notice of such as the
above-mentioned Citizens, who have been so serviceable to us of late
in that particular? It was a Custom among the old Romans, to do him
particular Honours who had saved the Life of a Citizen, how much more
does the World owe to those who prevent the Death of Multitudes? As
these Men deserve well of your Office, so such as act to the Detriment
of our Health, you ought to represent to themselves and their
Fellow-Subjects in the Colours which they deserve to wear. I think it
would be for the publick Good, that all who vend Wines should be under
oaths in that behalf. The Chairman at a Quarter Sessions should inform
the Country, that the Vintner who mixes Wine to his Customers, shall
(upon proof that the Drinker thereof died within a Year and a Day
after taking it) be deemed guilty of Wilful Murder: and the Jury shall
be instructed to enquire and present such Delinquents accordingly. It
is no Mitigation of the Crime, nor will it be conceived that it can be
brought in Chance-Medley or Man-Slaughter, upon Proof that it shall
appear Wine joined to Wine, or right Herefordshire poured into Port O
Port; but his selling it for one thing, knowing it to be another, must
justly bear the foresaid Guilt of wilful Murder: For that he, the said
Vintner, did an unlawful Act willingly in the false Mixture; and is
therefore with Equity liable to all the Pains to which a Man would be,
if it were proved he designed only to run a Man through the Arm, whom
he whipped through the Lungs. This is my third Year at the Temple, and
this is or should be Law. An ill Intention well proved should meet
with no Alleviation, because it [out-ran [4]] it self. There cannot be
too great Severity used against the Injustice as well as Cruelty of
those who play with Mens Lives, by preparing Liquors, whose Nature,
for ought they know, may be noxious when mixed, tho innocent when
apart: And Brooke and Hillier, [5] who have ensured our Safety at our
Meals, and driven Jealousy from our Cups in Conversation, deserve the
Custom and Thanks of the whole Town; and it is your Duty to remind
them of the Obligation. I am, SIR,
Your Humble Servant,
Tom. Pottle.

Mr. SPECTATOR,

I am a Person who was long immured in a College, read much, saw
little; so that I knew no more of the World than what a Lecture or a
View of the Map taught me. By this means I improved in my Study, but
became unpleasant in Conversation. By conversing generally with the
Dead, I grew almost unfit for the Society of the Living; so by a long
Confinement I contracted an ungainly Aversion to Conversation, and
ever discoursed with Pain to my self, and little Entertainment to
others. At last I was in some measure made sensible of my failing, and
the Mortification of never being spoke to, or speaking, unless the
Discourse ran upon Books, put me upon forcing my self amongst Men. I
immediately affected the politest Company, by the frequent use of
which I hoped to wear off the Rust I had contracted; but by an uncouth
Imitation of Men used to act in publick, I got no further than to
discover I had a Mind to appear a finer thing than I really was.

Such I was, and such was my Condition, when I became an ardent Lover,
and passionate Admirer of the beauteous Belinda: Then it was that I
really began to improve. This Passion changed all my Fears and
Diffidences in my general Behaviour, to the sole Concern of pleasing
her. I had not now to study the Action of a Gentleman, but Love
possessing all my Thoughts, made me truly be the thing I had a Mind to
appear. My Thoughts grew free and generous, and the Ambition to be
agreeable to her I admired, produced in my Carriage a faint Similitude
of that disengaged Manner of my Belinda. The way we are in at present
is, that she sees my Passion, and sees I at present forbear speaking
of it through prudential Regards. This Respect to her she returns with
much Civility, and makes my Value for her as little a Misfortune to
me, as is consistent with Discretion. She sings very charmingly, and
is readier to do so at my Request, because she knows I love her: She
will dance with me rather than another, for the same Reason. My
Fortune must alter from what it is, before I can speak my Heart to
her; and her Circumstances are not considerable enough to make up for
the Narrowness of mine. But I write to you now, only to give you the
Character of Belinda, as a Woman that has Address enough to
demonstrate a Gratitude to her Lover, without giving him Hopes of
Success in his Passion. Belinda has from a great Wit, governed by as
great Prudence, and both adorned with Innocence, the Happiness of
always being ready to discover her real Thoughts. She has many of us,
who now are her Admirers; but her Treatment of us is so just and
proportioned to our Merit towards her, and what we are in our selves,
that I protest to you I have neither Jealousy nor Hatred toward my
Rivals. Such is her Goodness, and the Acknowledgment of every Man who
admires her, that he thinks he ought to believe she will take him who
best deserves her. I will not say that this Peace among us is not
owing to Self-love, which prompts each to think himself the best
Deserver: I think there is something uncommon and worthy of Imitation
in this Ladys Character. If you will please to Print my Letter, you
will oblige the little Fraternity of happy Rivals, and in a more
particular Manner,

SIR,
Your most humble Servant,
Will. Cymon.

T.

[Footnote 1: [Mully]

[Footnote 2: See No. 251. He was a little man just able to bear on his
head his basket of pastry, and who was named from his cry. There is a
half-sheet print of him in the set of London Cries in Granger's
Biographical History of England.]

[Footnote 3: Who advertised that he attended patients at charges ranging
from a shilling to half-a-crown, according to their distance from his
house.]

Book of the day: