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

Part 34 out of 51

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[Footnote 4: [out-run]]

[Footnote 5: Estcourt, it may be remembered, connected the advertisement
of his Bumper tavern with the recommendation of himself as one ignorant
of the wine trade who relied on Brooke and Hellier, and so ensured his
Customers good wine. Among the advertisers in the Spectator Brooke and
Hellier often appeared. One of their advertisements is preceded by the
following, evidently a contrivance of their own, which shows that the
art of puffing was not then in its infancy:

'This is to give Notice, That Brooke and Hellier have not all the New
Port Wines this Year, nor above one half, the Vintners having bought
130 Pipes of Mr. Thomas Barlow and others, which are all natural, and
shall remain Genuine, on which all Gentlemen and others may depend.
Note.--Altho' Brooke and Hellier have asserted in several Papers that
they had 140 Pipes of New Oporto Wines coming from Bristol, it now
appears, since their landing, that they have only 133 Pipes, I Hhd. of
the said Wines, which shews plainly how little what they say is to be
credited.'

Then follows their long advertisement, which ends with a note that Their
New Ports, just landed, being the only New Ports in Merchants Hands, and
above One Half of all that is in London, will begin to be sold at the
old prices the I2th inst. (April) at all their Taverns and Cellars.]

* * * * *

No. 363. Saturday, April 26, 1712. Addison.

'--Crudelis ubique
Luctus, ubique pavor, et plurima Mortis
Imago.'

Virg.

Milton has shewn a wonderful Art in describing that variety of Passions
which arise in our first Parents upon the Breach of the Commandment that
had been given them. We see them gradually passing from the Triumph of
their Guilt thro Remorse, Shame, Despair, Contrition, Prayer, and Hope,
to a perfect and compleat Repentance. At the end of the tenth Book they
are represented as prostrating themselves upon the Ground, and watering
the Earth with their Tears: To which the Poet joins this beautiful
Circumstance, that they offerd up their penitential Prayers, on the very
Place where their Judge appeared to them when he pronounced their
Sentence.

--They forthwith to the place
Repairing where he judg'd them, prostrate fell
Before him Reverent, and both confess'd
Humbly their Faults, and Pardon begg'd, with Tears
Watering the Ground--

[There is a Beauty of the same kind in a Tragedy of Sophocles, where
OEdipus, after having put out his own Eyes, instead of breaking his Neck
from the Palace-Battlements (which furnishes so elegant an Entertainment
for our English Audience) desires that he may be conducted to Mount
Cithoeron, in order to end his Life in that very Place where he was
exposed in his Infancy, and where he should then have died, had the Will
of his Parents been executed.]

As the Author never fails to give a poetical Turn to his Sentiments, he
describes in the Beginning of this Book the Acceptance which these their
Prayers met with, in a short Allegory, formd upon that beautiful Passage
in holy Writ: And another Angel came and stood at the Altar, having a
golden Censer; and there was given unto him much Incense, that he should
offer it with the Prayers of all Saints upon the Golden Altar, which was
before the Throne: And the Smoak of the Incense which came with the
Prayers of the Saints, ascended up before God.

--To Heavn their Prayers
Flew up, nor miss'd the Way, by envious Winds
Blown vagabond or frustrate: in they passd
Dimensionless through heavnly Doors, then clad
With Incense, where the Golden Altar fumed,
By their great Intercessor, came in sight
Before the Father's Throne--

We have the same Thought expressed a second time in the Intercession of
the Messiah, which is conceived in very Emphatick Sentiments and
Expressions.

Among the Poetical Parts of Scripture, which Milton has so finely
wrought into this Part of his Narration, I must not omit that wherein
Ezekiel speaking of the Angels who appeared to him in a Vision, adds,
that every one had four Faces, and that their whole Bodies, and their
Backs, and their Hands, and their Wings, were full of Eyes round about.

--The Cohort bright
Of watchful Cherubims, four Faces each
Had like a double Janus, all their Shape
Spangled with Eyes--

The Assembling of all the Angels of Heaven to hear the solemn Decree
passed upon Man, is represented in very lively Ideas. The Almighty is
here describd as remembring Mercy in the midst of Judgment, and
commanding Michael to deliver his Message in the mildest Terms, lest the
Spirit of Man, which was already broken with the Sense of his Guilt and
Misery, should fail before him.

--Yet lest they faint
At the sad Sentence rigorously urg'd,
For I behold them softned, and with Tears
Bewailing their Excess, all Terror hide,

The Conference of Adam and Eve is full of moving Sentiments. Upon their
going abroad after the melancholy Night which they had passed together,
they discover the Lion and the Eagle pursuing each of them their Prey
towards the Eastern Gates of Paradise. There is a double Beauty in this
Incident, not only as it presents great and just Omens, which are always
agreeable in Poetry, but as it expresses that Enmity which was now
produced in the Animal Creation. The Poet to shew the like Changes in
Nature, as well as to grace his Fable with a noble Prodigy, represents
the Sun in an Eclipse. This particular Incident has likewise a fine
Effect upon the Imagination of the Reader, in regard to what follows;
for at the same time that the Sun is under an Eclipse, a bright Cloud
descends in the Western Quarter of the Heavens, filled with an Host of
Angels, and more luminous than the Sun it self. The whole Theatre of
Nature is darkned, that this glorious Machine may appear in all its
Lustre and Magnificence.

--Why in the East
Darkness ere Days mid-course, and morning Light
More orient in that Western Cloud that draws
O'er the blue Firmament a radiant White,
And slow descends, with something Heavnly fraught?
He err'd not, for by this the heavenly Bands
Down from a Sky of Jasper lighted now
In Paradise, and on a Hill made halt;
A glorious Apparition--

I need not observe how properly this Author, who always suits his Parts
to the Actors whom he introduces, has employed Michael in the Expulsion
of our first Parents from Paradise. The Archangel on this Occasion
neither appears in his proper Shape, nor in that familiar Manner with
which Raphael the sociable Spirit entertained the Father of Mankind
before the Fall. His Person, his Port, and Behaviour, are suitable to a
Spirit of the highest Rank, and exquisitely describd in the following
Passage.

--Th' Archangel soon drew nigh,
Not in his Shape Celestial; but as Man
Clad to meet Man: over his lucid Arms
A Military Vest of Purple flow'd,
Livelier than Meliboean, or the Grain
Of Sarra, worn by Kings and Heroes old,
In time of Truce: Iris had dipt the Wooff:
His starry Helm, unbuckled, shew'd him prime
In Manhood where Youth ended; by his side,
As in a glistring Zodiack, hung the Sword,
Satan's dire dread, and in his Hand the Spear.
Adam bow'd low, he Kingly from his State
Inclined not, but his coming thus declared.

Eve's Complaint upon hearing that she was to be removed from the Garden
of Paradise, is wonderfully beautiful: The Sentiments are not only
proper to the Subject, but have something in them particularly soft and
womanish.

Must I then leave thee, Paradise? Thus leave
Thee, native Soil, these happy Walks and Shades,
Fit haunt of Gods? Where I had hope to spend
Quiet, though sad, the respite of that Day
That must be mortal to us both. O Flowrs,
That never will in other Climate grow,
My early Visitation, and my last
At Even, which I bred up with tender Hand
From the first opening Bud, and gave you Names;
Who now shall rear you to the Sun, or rank
Your Tribes, and water from th' ambrosial Fount?
Thee, lastly, nuptial Bower, by me adorn'd
With what to Sight or Smell was sweet; from thee
How shall I part, and whither wander down
Into a lower World, to this obscure
And wild? how shall we breathe in other Air
Less pure, accustomd to immortal Fruits?

Adam's Speech abounds with Thoughts which are equally moving, but of a
more masculine and elevated Turn. Nothing can be conceived more Sublime
and Poetical than the following Passage in it.

This most afflicts me, that departing hence
As from his Face I shall be hid, deprived
His blessed Countnance: here I could frequent,
With Worship, place by place where he vouchsaf'd
Presence Divine; and to my Sons relate,
On this Mount he appear'd, under this Tree
Stood visible, among these Pines his Voice
I heard, here with him at this Fountain talk'd;
So many grateful Altars I would rear
Of grassy Turf, and pile up every Stone
Of lustre from the Brook, in memory
Or monument to Ages, and thereon
Offer sweet-smelling Gums and Fruits and Flowers.
In yonder nether World--where shall I seek
His bright Appearances, or Footsteps trace?
For though I fled him angry, yet recalled
To Life prolonged and promised Race, I now
Gladly behold though but his utmost Skirts
Of Glory, and far off his Steps adore.

The Angel afterwards leads Adam to the highest Mount of Paradise, and
lays before him a whole Hemisphere, as a proper Stage for those Visions
which were to be represented on it. I have before observed how the Plan
of Milton's Poem is in many Particulars greater than that of the Iliad
or AEneid. Virgil's Hero, in the last of these Poems, is entertained with
a Sight of all those who are to descend from him; but though that
Episode is justly admired as one of the noblest Designs in the whole
AEneid, every one-must allow that this of Milton is of a much higher
Nature. Adam's Vision is not confined to any particular Tribe of
Mankind, but extends to the whole Species.

In this great Review which Adam takes of all his Sons and Daughters, the
first Objects he is presented with exhibit to him the Story of Cain and
Abel, which is drawn together with much Closeness and Propriety of
Expression. That Curiosity and natural Horror which arises in Adam at
the Sight of the first dying Man, is touched with great Beauty.

But have I now seen Death? is this the way
I must return to native Dust? O Sight
Of Terror foul, and ugly to behold,
Horrid to think, how horrible to feel!

The second Vision sets before him the Image of Death in a great Variety
of Appearances. The Angel, to give him a general Idea of those Effects
which his Guilt had brought upon his Posterity, places before him a
large Hospital or Lazar-House, filled with Persons lying under all kinds
of mortal Diseases. How finely has the Poet told us that the sick
Persons languished under lingering and incurable Distempers, by an apt
and judicious use of such Imaginary Beings as those I mentioned in my
last Saturday's Paper.

Dire was the tossing, deep the Groans. Despair
Tended the Sick, busy from Couch to Couch;
And over them triumphant Death his Dart
Shook, but delayed to strike, though oft invoked
With Vows, as their chief Good and final Hope.

The Passion which likewise rises in Adam on this Occasion, is very
natural.

Sight so deform, what Heart of Rock could long
Dry-eyed behold? Adam could not, but wept,
Tho' not of Woman born; Compassion quell'd
His best of Man, and gave him up to Tears.

The Discourse between the Angel and Adam, which follows, abounds with
noble Morals.

As there is nothing more delightful in Poetry than a Contrast and
Opposition of Incidents, the Author, after this melancholy Prospect of
Death and Sickness, raises up a Scene of Mirth, Love, and Jollity. The
secret Pleasure that steals into Adams Heart as he is intent upon this
Vision, is imagined with great Delicacy. I must not omit the Description
of the loose female Troop, who seduced the Sons of God, as they are
called in Scripture.

For that fair female Troop thou sawst, that seemed
Of Goddesses, so Blithe, so Smooth, so Gay,
Yet empty of all Good wherein consists
Woman's domestick Honour and chief Praise;
Bred only and compleated to the taste
Of lustful Appetence, to sing, to dance,
To dress, and troule the Tongue, and roll the Eye:
To these that sober Race of Men, whose Lives
Religious titled them the Sons of God,
Shall yield up all their Virtue, all their Fame
Ignobly, to the Trains and to the Smiles
Of those fair Atheists--

The next Vision is of a quite contrary Nature, and filled with the
Horrors of War. Adam at the Sight of it melts into Tears, and breaks out
in that passionate Speech,

--O what are these!
Death's Ministers, not Men, who thus deal Death
Inhumanly to Men, and multiply
Ten Thousandfold the Sin of him who slew
His Brother: for of whom such Massacre
Make they but of their Brethren, Men of Men?

Milton, to keep up an agreeable Variety in his Visions, after having
raised in the Mind of his Reader the several Ideas of Terror which are
conformable to the Description of War, passes on to those softer Images
of Triumphs and Festivals, in that Vision of Lewdness and Luxury which
ushers in the Flood.

As it is visible that the Poet had his Eye upon Ovid's Account of the
universal Deluge, the Reader may observe with how much Judgment he has
avoided every thing that is redundant or puerile in the Latin Poet. We
do not here see the Wolf swimming among the Sheep, nor any of those
wanton Imaginations, which Seneca found fault with, [1] as unbecoming
[the [2]] great Catastrophe of Nature. If our Poet has imitated that
Verse in which Ovid tells us that there was nothing but Sea, and that
this Sea had no Shore to it, he has not set the Thought in such a Light
as to incur the Censure which Criticks have passed upon it. The latter
part of that Verse in Ovid is idle and superfluous, but just and
beautiful in Milton.

'Jamque mare et tellus nullum discrimen habebant,
Nil nisi pontus erat, deerant quoque littora ponto.'

(Ovid.)

'--Sea cover'd Sea,
Sea without Shore--'

(Milton.)

In Milton the former Part of the Description does not forestall the
latter. How much more great and solemn on this Occasion is that which
follows in our English Poet,

--And in their Palaces
Where Luxury late reign'd, Sea-Monsters whelp'd
And stabled--

than that in Ovid, where we are told that the Sea-Calfs lay in those
Places where the Goats were used to browze? The Reader may find several
other parallel Passages in the Latin and English Description of the
Deluge, wherein our Poet has visibly the Advantage. The Skys being
overcharged with Clouds, the descending of the Rains, the rising of the
Seas, and the Appearance of the Rainbow, are such Descriptions as every
one must take notice of. The Circumstance relating to Paradise is so
finely imagined, and suitable to the Opinions of many learned Authors,
that I cannot forbear giving it a Place in this Paper.

--Then shall this Mount
Of Paradise by might of Waves be mov'd
Out of his Place, pushed by the horned Flood
With all his Verdure spoil'd, and Trees adrift
Down the great River to the opning Gulf,
And there take root, an Island salt and bare,
The haunt of Seals and Orcs and Sea-Mews clang.

The Transition which the Poet makes from the Vision of the Deluge, to
the Concern it occasioned in Adam, is exquisitely graceful, and copied
after Virgil, though the first Thought it introduces is rather in the
Spirit of Ovid.

How didst thou grieve then, Adam, to behold
The End of all thy Offspring, End so sad,
Depopulation! thee another Flood
Of Tears and Sorrow, a Flood thee also drowned,
And sunk thee as thy Sons; till gently rear'd
By th' Angel, on thy Feet thou stoodst at last,
Tho' comfortless, as when a Father mourns
His Children, all in view destroyed at once.

I have been the more particular in my Quotations out of the eleventh
Book of Paradise Lost, because it is not generally reckoned among the
most shining Books of this Poem; for which Reason the Reader might be
apt to overlook those many Passages in it which deserve our Admiration.
The eleventh and twelfth are indeed built upon that single Circumstance
of the Removal of our first Parents from Paradise; but tho' this is not
in itself so great a Subject as that in most of the foregoing Books, it
is extended and diversified with so many surprising Incidents and
pleasing Episodes, that these two last Books can by no means be looked
upon as unequal Parts of this Divine Poem. I must further add, that had
not Milton represented our first Parents as driven out of Paradise, his
Fall of Man would not have been compleat, and consequently his Action
would have been imperfect.

L.

[Footnote 1: Nat. Quaest. Bk. III. Sec.27.]

[Footnote 2: [this]]

* * * * *

No. 364. Monday, April 28, 1712. Steele.

'[--Navibus [1]] atque
Quadrigis petimus bene vivere.'

Hor.

Mr. SPECTATOR, [2]

A Lady of my Acquaintance, for whom I have too much Respect to be easy
while she is doing an indiscreet Action, has given occasion to this
Trouble: She is a Widow, to whom the Indulgence of a tender Husband
has entrusted the Management of a very great Fortune, and a Son about
sixteen, both which she is extremely fond of. The Boy has Parts of the
middle Size, neither shining nor despicable, and has passed the common
Exercises of his Years with tolerable Advantage; but is withal what
you would call a forward Youth: By the Help of this last
Qualification, which serves as a Varnish to all the rest, he is
enabled to make the best Use of his Learning, and display it at full
length upon all Occasions. Last Summer he distinguished himself two or
three times very remarkably, by puzzling the Vicar before an Assembly
of most of the Ladies in the Neighbourhood; and from such weighty
Considerations as these, as it too often unfortunately falls out, the
Mother is become invincibly persuaded that her Son is a great Scholar;
and that to chain him down to the ordinary Methods of Education with
others of his Age, would be to cramp his Faculties, and do an
irreparable Injury to his wonderful Capacity.

I happened to visit at the House last Week, and missing the young
Gentleman at the Tea-Table, where he seldom fails to officiate, could
not upon so extraordinary a Circumstance avoid inquiring after him. My
Lady told me, he was gone out with her Woman, in order to make some
Preparations for their Equipage; for that she intended very speedily
to carry him to travel. The Oddness of the Expression shock'd me a
little; however, I soon recovered my self enough to let her know, that
all I was willing to understand by it was, that she designed this
Summer to shew her Son his Estate in a distant County, in which he has
never yet been: But she soon took care to rob me of that agreeable
Mistake, and let me into the whole Affair. She enlarged upon young
Master's prodigious Improvements, and his comprehensive Knowledge of
all Book-Learning; concluding, that it was now high time he should be
made acquainted with Men and Things; that she had resolved he should
make the Tour of France and Italy, but could not bear to have him out
of her Sight, and therefore intended to go along with him.

I was going to rally her for so extravagant a Resolution, but found my
self not in fit Humour to meddle with a Subject that demanded the most
soft and delicate Touch imaginable. I was afraid of dropping something
that might seem to bear hard either upon the Son's Abilities, or the
Mother's Discretion; being sensible that in both these Cases, tho'
supported with all the Powers of Reason, I should, instead of gaining
her Ladyship over to my Opinion, only expose my self to her Disesteem:
I therefore immediately determined to refer the whole Matter to the
SPECTATOR.

When I came to reflect at Night, as my Custom is, upon the Occurrences
of the Day, I could not but believe that this Humour of carrying a Boy
to travel in his Mother's Lap, and that upon pretence of learning Men
and Things, is a Case of an extraordinary Nature, and carries on it a
particular Stamp of Folly. I did not remember to have met with its
Parallel within the Compass of my Observation, tho' I could call to
mind some not extremely unlike it. From hence my Thoughts took
Occasion to ramble into the general Notion of Travelling, as it is now
made a Part of Education. Nothing is more frequent than to take a Lad
from Grammar and Taw, and under the Tuition of some poor Scholar, who
is willing to be banished for thirty Pounds a Year, and a little
Victuals, send him crying and snivelling into foreign Countries. Thus
he spends his time as Children do at Puppet-Shows, and with much the
same Advantage, in staring and gaping at an amazing Variety of strange
things: strange indeed to one who is not prepared to comprehend the
Reasons and Meaning of them; whilst he should be laying the solid
Foundations of Knowledge in his Mind, and furnishing it with just
Rules to direct his future Progress in Life under some skilful Master
of the Art of Instruction.

Can there be a more astonishing Thought in Nature, than to consider
how Men should fall into so palpable a Mistake? It is a large Field,
and may very well exercise a sprightly Genius; but I don't remember
you have yet taken a Turn in it. I wish, Sir, you would make People
understand, that Travel is really the last Step to be taken in the
Institution of Youth; and to set out with it, is to begin where they
should end.

Certainly the true End of visiting Foreign Parts, is to look into
their Customs and Policies, and observe in what Particulars they excel
or come short of our own; to unlearn some odd Peculiarities in our
Manners, and wear off such awkward Stiffnesses and Affectations in our
Behaviour, as may possibly have been contracted from constantly
associating with one Nation of Men, by a more free, general, and mixed
Conversation. But how can any of these Advantages be attained by one
who is a mere Stranger to the Custom sand Policies of his native
Country, and has not yet fixed in his Mind the first Principles of
Manners and Behaviour? To endeavour it, is to build a gawdy Structure
without any Foundation; or, if I may be allow'd the Expression, to
work a rich Embroidery upon a Cobweb.

Another End of travelling which deserves to be considerd, is the
Improving our Taste of the best Authors of Antiquity, by seeing the
Places where they lived, and of which they wrote; to compare the
natural Face of the Country with the Descriptions they have given us,
and observe how well the Picture agrees with the Original. This must
certainly be a most charming Exercise to the Mind that is rightly
turned for it; besides that it may in a good measure be made
subservient to Morality, if the Person is capable of drawing just
Conclusions concerning the Uncertainty of human things, from the
ruinous Alterations Time and Barbarity have brought upon so many
Palaces, Cities and whole Countries, which make the most illustrious
Figures in History. And this Hint may be not a little improved by
examining every Spot of Ground that we find celebrated as the Scene of
some famous Action, or retaining any Footsteps of a Cato, Cicero or
Brutus, or some such great virtuous Man. A nearer View of any such
Particular, tho really little and trifling in it self, may serve the
more powerfully to warm a generous Mind to an Emulation of their
Virtues, and a greater Ardency of Ambition to imitate their bright
Examples, if it comes duly temper'd and prepar'd for the Impression.
But this I believe you'll hardly think those to be, who are so far
from ent'ring into the Sense and Spirit of the Ancients, that they
don't yet understand their Language with any [Exactness. [3]]

But I have wander'd from my Purpose, which was only to desire you to
save, if possible, a fond English Mother, and Mother's own Son, from
being shewn a ridiculous Spectacle thro' the most polite Part of
Europe, Pray tell them, that though to be Sea-sick, or jumbled in an
outlandish Stage-Coach, may perhaps be healthful for the Constitution
of the Body, yet it is apt to cause such a Dizziness in young empty
Heads, as too often lasts their Life-time.
I am, SIR,
Your most Humble Servant,
Philip Homebred.

Birchan-Lane.

SIR,

I was marry'd on Sunday last, and went peaceably to bed; but, to my
Surprize, was awakend the next Morning by the Thunder of a Set of
Drums. These warlike Sounds (methinks) are very improper in a
Marriage-Consort, and give great Offence; they seem to insinuate, that
the Joys of this State are short, and that Jars and Discord soon
ensue. I fear they have been ominous to many Matches, and sometimes
proved a Prelude to a Battel in the Honey-Moon. A Nod from you may
hush them; therefore pray, Sir, let them be silenced, that for the
future none but soft Airs may usher in the Morning of a Bridal Night,
which will be a Favour not only to those who come after, but to me,
who can still subscribe my self,

Your most humble
and most obedient Servant,
Robin Bridegroom.

Mr. SPECTATOR,

I am one of that sort of Women whom the gayer Part of our Sex are apt
to call a Prude. But to shew them that I have very little Regard to
their Raillery, I shall be glad to see them all at The Amorous Widow,
or the Wanton Wife, which is to be acted, for the Benefit of Mrs.
Porter, on Monday the 28th Instant. I assure you I can laugh at an
Amorous Widow, or Wanton Wife, with as little Temptation to imitate
them, as I could at any other vicious Character. Mrs. Porter obliged
me so very much in the exquisite Sense she seemed to have of the
honourable Sentiments and noble Passions in the Character of Hermione,
that I shall appear in her behalf at a Comedy, tho I have not great
Relish for any Entertainments where the Mirth is not seasond with a
certain Severity, which ought to recommend it to People who pretend to
keep Reason and Authority over all their Actions.

I am, SIR,
Your frequent Reader,
Altamira.

T.

[Footnote 1: [Strenua nos exercet inertia: Navibus.]]

[Footnote 2: Dr. Thomas Birch, in a letter dated June 15, 1764, says
that this letter was by Mr. Philip Yorke, afterwards Earl of Hardwicke,
who was author also of another piece in the Spectator, but his son could
not remember what that was.]

[Footnote 3:

[Exactness.

I cant quit this head without paying my Acknowledgments to one of the
most entertaining Pieces this Age has produc'd, for the Pleasure it gave
me. You will easily guess, that the Book I have in my head is Mr. A----s
Remarks upon Italy. That Ingenious gentleman has with so much Art and
Judgment applied his exact Knowledge of all the Parts of Classical
Learning to illustrate the several occurrences of his Travels, that his
Work alone is a pregnant Proof of what I have said. No Body that has a
Taste this way, can read him going from Rome to Naples, and making
Horace and Silius Italicus his Chart, but he must feel some Uneasiness
in himself to Reflect that he was not in his Retinue. I am sure I wish'd
it Ten Times in every Page, and that not without a secret Vanity to
think in what State I should have Travelled the Appian Road with Horace
for a Guide, and in company with a Countryman of my own, who of all Men
living knows best how to follow his Steps.]

* * * * *

No. 365. Tuesday, April 29, 1712. Budgell.

'Vere magis, quia vere calor redit ossibus--'

Virg.

The author of the Menagiana acquaints us, that discoursing one Day with
several Ladies of Quality about the Effects of the Month of May, which
infuses a kindly Warmth into the Earth, and all its Inhabitants; the
Marchioness of S----, who was one of the Company, told him, That though
she would promise to be chaste in every Month besides, she could not
engage for her self in May. As the beginning therefore of this Month is
now very near, I design this Paper for a Caveat to the Fair Sex, and
publish it before April is quite out, that if any of them should be
caught tripping, they may not pretend they had not timely Notice.

I am induced to this, being persuaded the above-mentioned Observation is
as well calculated for our Climate as for that of France, and that some
of our British Ladies are of the same Constitution with the French
Marchioness.

I shall leave it among Physicians to determine what may be the Cause of
such an Anniversary Inclination; whether or no it is that the Spirits
after having been as it were frozen and congealed by Winter, are now
turned loose, and set a rambling; or that the gay Prospects of Fields
and Meadows, with the Courtship of the Birds in every Bush, naturally
unbend the Mind, and soften it to Pleasure; or that, as some have
imagined, a Woman is prompted by a kind of Instinct to throw herself on
a Bed of Flowers, and not to let those beautiful Couches which Nature
has provided lie useless. However it be, the Effects of this Month on
the lower part of the Sex, who act without Disguise, [are [1]] very
visible. It is at this time that we see the young Wenches in a Country
Parish dancing round a May-Pole, which one of our learned Antiquaries
supposes to be a Relique of a certain Pagan Worship that I do not think
fit to mention.

It is likewise on the first Day of this Month that we see the ruddy
Milk-Maid exerting her self in a most sprightly manner under a Pyramid
of Silver-Tankards, and, like the Virgin Tarpeia, oppress'd by the
costly Ornaments which her Benefactors lay upon her.

I need not mention the Ceremony of the Green Gown, which is also
peculiar to this gay Season.

The same periodical Love-Fit spreads through the whole Sex, as Mr.
Dryden well observes in his Description of this merry Month:

For thee, sweet Month, the Groves green Livries wear,
If not the first, the fairest of the Year;
For thee the Graces lead the dancing Hours,
And Nature's ready Pencil paints the Flow'rs.
The sprightly May commands our Youth to keep
The Vigils of her Night, and breaks their Sleep;
Each gentle Breast with kindly Warmth she moves,
Inspires new Flames, revives extinguish'd Loves. [2]

Accordingly among the Works of the great Masters in Painting, who have
drawn this genial Season of the Year, we often observe Cupids confused
with Zephirs flying up and down promiscuously in several Parts of the
Picture. I cannot but add from my own Experience, that about this Time
of the Year Love-Letters come up to me in great Numbers from all
Quarters of the Nation.

I receiv'd an Epistle in particular by the last Post from a Yorkshire
Gentleman, who makes heavy Complaints of one Zelinda, whom it seems he
has courted unsuccessfully these three Years past. He tells me that he
designs to try her this May, and if he does not carry his Point, he will
never think of her more.

Having thus fairly admonished the female Sex, and laid before them the
Dangers they are exposed to in this critical Month, I shall in the next
place lay down some Rules and Directions for their better avoiding those
Calentures which are so very frequent in this Season.

In the first place, I would advise them never to venture abroad in the
Fields, but in the Company of a Parent, a Guardian, or some other sober
discreet Person. I have before shewn how apt they are to trip in a
flowry Meadow, and shall further observe to them, that Proserpine was
out a Maying, when she met with that fatal Adventure to which Milton
alludes when he mentions

--That fair Field
Of Enna, where Proserpine gathering Flowers,
Herself a fairer Flower, by gloomy Dis
Was gathered--[3]

Since I am got into Quotations, I shall conclude this Head with Virgil's
Advice to young People, while they are gathering wild Strawberries and
Nosegays, that they should have a care of the Snake in the Grass.

In the second place, I cannot but approve those Prescriptions, which our
Astrological Physicians give in their Almanacks for this Month; such as
are a spare and simple Diet, with the moderate Use of Phlebotomy.

Under this Head of Abstinence I shall also advise my fair Readers to be
in a particular manner careful how they meddle with Romances, Chocolate,
Novels, and the like Inflamers, which I look upon as very dangerous to
be made use of during this great Carnival of Nature.

As I have often declared, that I have nothing more at heart than the
Honour of my dear Country-Women, I would beg them to consider, whenever
their Resolutions begin to fail them, that there are but one and thirty
Days of this soft Season, and that if they can but weather out this one
Month, the rest of the Year will be easy to them. As for that Part of
the Fair-Sex who stay in Town, I would advise them to be particularly
cautious how they give themselves up to their most innocent
Entertainments. If they cannot forbear the Play-house, I would recommend
Tragedy to them, rather than Comedy; and should think the Puppet-show
much safer for them than the Opera, all the while the Sun is in Gemini.

The Reader will observe, that this Paper is written for the use of those
Ladies who think it worth while to war against Nature in the Cause of
Honour. As for that abandon'd Crew, who do not think Virtue worth
contending for, but give up their Reputation at the first Summons, such
Warnings and Premonitions are thrown away upon them. A Prostitute is the
same easy Creature in all Months of the Year, and makes no difference
between May and December.

X.

[Footnote 1: [is] and in first Reprint.]

[Footnote 2: This quotation is made up of two passages in Dryden's
version of Chaucer's Knights Tale, Palamon and Arcite. The first four
lines are from Bk. ii. 11. 663-666, the other four lines are from Bk. i.
11. 176-179.]

[Footnote 3: Paradise Lost, Bk. iv. 11. 268-271.]

* * * * *

No. 366. Wednesday, April 30, 1712. Steele.

'Pone me pigris ubi nulla campis
Arbor aestiva recreatur aura,
Dulce ridentem Lalagen amabo,
Dulce loquentem.'

Hor.

There are such wild Inconsistencies in the Thoughts of a Man in love,
that I have often reflected there can be no reason for allowing him more
Liberty than others possessed with Frenzy, but that his Distemper has no
Malevolence in it to any Mortal. That Devotion to his Mistress kindles
in his Mind a general Tenderness, which exerts it self towards every
Object as well as his Fair-one. When this Passion is represented by
Writers, it is common with them to endeavour at certain Quaintnesses and
Turns of Imagination, which are apparently the Work of a Mind at ease;
but the Men of true Taste can easily distinguish the Exertion of a Mind
which overflows with tender Sentiments, and the Labour of one which is
only describing Distress. In Performances of this kind, the most absurd
of all things is to be witty; every Sentiment must grow out of the
Occasion, and be suitable to the Circumstances of the Character. Where
this Rule is transgressed, the humble Servant, in all the fine things he
says, is but shewing his Mistress how well he can dress, instead of
saying how well he loves. Lace and Drapery is as much a Man, as Wit and
Turn is Passion.

Mr. SPECTATOR,

The following Verses are a Translation of a Lapland Love-Song, which I
met with in Scheffer's History of that Country. [1] I was agreeably
surprized to find a Spirit of Tenderness and Poetry in a Region which
I never suspected for Delicacy. In hotter Climates, tho' altogether
uncivilized, I had not wonder'd if I had found some sweet wild Notes
among the Natives, where they live in Groves of Oranges, and hear the
Melody of Birds about them: But a Lapland Lyric, breathing Sentiments
of Love and Poetry, not unworthy old Greece or Rome; a regular Ode
from a Climate pinched with Frost, and cursed with Darkness so great a
Part of the Year; where 'tis amazing that the poor Natives should get
Food, or be tempted to propagate their Species: this, I confess,
seemed a greater Miracle to me, than the famous Stories of their
Drums, their Winds and Inchantments.

I am the bolder in commending this Northern Song, because I have
faithfully kept to the Sentiments, without adding or diminishing; and
pretend to no greater Praise from my Translation, than they who smooth
and clean the Furs of that Country which have suffered by Carriage.
The Numbers in the Original are as loose and unequal, as those in
which the British Ladies sport their Pindaricks; and perhaps the
fairest of them might not think it a disagreeable Present from a
Lover: But I have ventured to bind it in stricter Measures, as being
more proper for our Tongue, tho perhaps wilder Graces may better suit
the Genius of the Laponian Language.

It will be necessary to imagine, that the Author of this Song, not
having the Liberty of visiting his Mistress at her Father's House, was
in hopes of spying her at a Distance in the Fields.

I. Thou rising Sun, whose gladsome Ray
Invites my Fair to Rural Play,
Dispel the Mist, and clear the Skies,
And bring my Orra to my Eyes.

II. Oh! were I sure my Dear to view,
I'd climb that Pine-Trees topmost Bough,
Aloft in Air that quivering plays,
And round and round for ever gaze.

III. My Orra Moor, where art thou laid?
What Wood conceals my sleeping Maid?
Fast by the Roots enrag'd I'll tear
The Trees that hide my promised Fair.

IV. Oh! I cou'd ride the Clouds and Skies,
Or on the Raven's Pinions rise:
Ye Storks, ye Swans, a moment stay,
And waft a Lover on his Way.

V. My Bliss too long my Bride denies,
Apace the wasting Summer flies:
Nor yet the wintry Blasts I fear,
Not Storms or Night shall keep me here.

VI. What may for Strength with Steel compare?
Oh! Love has Fetters stronger far:
By Bolts of Steel are Limbs confin'd,
But cruel Love enchains the Mind.

VII. No longer then perplex thy Breast,
When Thoughts torment, the first are best;
'Tis mad to go, 'tis Death to stay,
Away to Orra, haste away.

April the 10th.

Mr. SPECTATOR,

I am one of those despicable Creatures called a Chamber-Maid, and have
lived with a Mistress for some time, whom I love as my Life, which has
made my Duty and Pleasure inseparable. My greatest Delight has been in
being imploy'd about her Person; and indeed she is very seldom out of
Humour for a Woman of her Quality: But here lies my Complaint, Sir; To
bear with me is all the Encouragement she is pleased to bestow upon
me; for she gives her cast-off Cloaths from me to others: some she is
pleased to bestow in the House to those that neither wants nor wears
them, and some to Hangers-on, that frequents the House daily, who
comes dressed out in them. This, Sir, is a very mortifying Sight to
me, who am a little necessitous for Cloaths, and loves to appear what
I am, and causes an Uneasiness, so that I can't serve with that
Chearfulness as formerly; which my Mistress takes notice of, and calls
Envy and Ill-Temper at seeing others preferred before me. My Mistress
has a younger Sister lives in the House with her, that is some
Thousands below her in Estate, who is continually heaping her Favours
on her Maid; so that she can appear every Sunday, for the first
Quarter, in a fresh Suit of Cloaths of her Mistress's giving, with all
other things suitable: All this I see without envying, but not without
wishing my Mistress would a little consider what a Discouragement it
is to me to have my Perquisites divided between Fawners and Jobbers,
which others enjoy intire to themselves. I have spoke to my Mistress,
but to little Purpose; I have desired to be discharged (for indeed I
fret my self to nothing) but that she answers with Silence. I beg,
Sir, your Direction what to do, for I am fully resolved to follow your
Counsel; who am
Your Admirer and humble Servant,
Constantia Comb-brush.

I beg that you would put it in a better Dress, and let it come abroad;
that my Mistress, who is an Admirer of your Speculations, may see it.

T.

[Footnote 1: John Scheffer, born in 1621, at Strasburg, was at the age
of 27 so well-known for his learning, that he was invited to Sweden,
where he received a liberal pension from Queen Christina as her
librarian, and was also a Professor of Law and Rhetoric in the
University of Upsala. He died in 1679. He was the author of 27 works,
among which is his Lapponia, a Latin description of Lapland, published
in 1673, of which an English version appeared at Oxford in folio, in
1674. The song is there given in the original Lapp, and in a rendering
of Scheffers Latin less conventionally polished than that published by
the Spectator, which is Ambrose Philipss translation of a translation.
In the Oxford translation there were six stanzas of this kind:

With brightest beams let the Sun shine
On Orra Moor.
Could I be sure
That from the top o' th' lofty Pine
I Orra Moor might see,
I to his highest Bough would climb,
And with industrious Labour try
Thence to descry
My Mistress if that there she be.
Could I but know amidst what Flowers
Or in what Shade she stays,
The gaudy Bowers,
With all their verdant Pride,
Their Blossoms and their Sprays,
Which make my Mistress disappear;
And her in envious Darkness hide,
I from the Roots and Beds of Earth would tear.

In the same chapter another song is given of which there is a version in
No. 406 of the Spectator.]

* * * * *

No. 367. Thursday, May 1, 1712. Addison.

'--Periturae parcite chartae.'

Juv.

I have often pleased my self with considering the two kinds of Benefits
which accrue to the Publick from these my Speculations, and which, were
I to speak after the manner of Logicians, I would distinguish into the
Material and the Formal. By the latter I understand those Advantages
which my Readers receive, as their Minds are either improv'd or
delighted by these my daily Labours; but having already several times
descanted on my Endeavours in this Light, I shall at present wholly
confine my self to the Consideration of the former. By the Word Material
I mean those Benefits which arise to the Publick from these my
Speculations, as they consume a considerable quantity of our Paper
Manufacture, employ our Artisans in Printing, and find Business for
great Numbers of Indigent Persons.

Our Paper-Manufacture takes into it several mean Materials which could
be put to no other use, and affords Work for several Hands in the
collecting of them, which are incapable of any other Employment. Those
poor Retailers, whom we see so busy in every Street, deliver in their
respective Gleanings to the Merchant. The Merchant carries them in Loads
to the Paper-Mill, where they pass thro' a fresh Set of Hands, and give
life to another Trade. Those who have Mills on their Estates, by this
means considerably raise their Rents, and the whole Nation is in a great
measure supply'd with a Manufacture, for which formerly she was obliged
to her Neighbours.

The Materials are no sooner wrought into Paper, but they are distributed
among the Presses, where they again set innumerable Artists at Work, and
furnish Business to another Mystery. From hence, accordingly as they are
stain'd with News or Politicks, they fly thro' the Town in Post-Men,
Post-Boys, Daily-Courants, Reviews, Medleys, and Examiners. Men, Women,
and Children contend who shall be the first Bearers of them, and get
their daily Sustenance by spreading them. In short, when I trace in my
Mind a Bundle of Rags to a Quire of Spectators, I find so many Hands
employ'd in every Step they take thro their whole Progress, that while I
am writing a Spectator, I fancy my self providing Bread for a Multitude.

If I do not take care to obviate some of my witty Readers, they will be
apt to tell me, that my Paper, after it is thus printed and published,
is still beneficial to the Publick on several Occasions. I must confess
I have lighted my Pipe with my own Works for this Twelve-month past: My
Landlady often sends up her little Daughter to desire some of my old
Spectators, and has frequently told me, that the Paper they are printed
on is the best in the World to wrap Spice in. They likewise make a good
Foundation for a Mutton pye, as I have more than once experienced, and
were very much sought for, last Christmas, by the whole Neighbourhood.

It is pleasant enough to consider the Changes that a Linnen Fragment
undergoes, by passing thro' the several Hands above mentioned. The
finest pieces of Holland, when worn to Tatters, assume a new Whiteness
more beautiful than their first, and often return in the shape of
Letters to their Native Country. A Lady's Shift may be metamorphosed
into Billet[s]-doux, and come into her Possession a second time. A Beau
may peruse his Cravat after it is worn out, with greater Pleasure and
Advantage than ever he did in a Glass. In a word, a Piece of Cloth,
after having officiated for some Years as a Towel or a Napkin, may by
this means be raised from a Dung-hill, and become the most valuable
Piece of Furniture in a Prince's Cabinet.

The politest Nations of Europe have endeavoured to vie with one another
for the Reputation of the finest Printing: Absolute Governments, as well
as Republicks, have encouraged an Art which seems to be the noblest and
most beneficial that was ever invented among the Sons of Men. The
present King of France, in his Pursuits after Glory, has particularly
distinguished himself by the promoting of this useful Art, insomuch that
several Books have been printed in the Louvre at his own Expence, upon
which he sets so great a value, that he considers them as the noblest
Presents he can make to foreign Princes and Ambassadors. If we look into
the Commonwealths of Holland and Venice, we shall find that in this
Particular they have made themselves the Envy of the greatest
Monarchies. Elziver and Aldus are more frequently mentioned than any
Pensioner of the one or Doge of the other.

The several Presses which are now in England, and the great
Encouragement which has been given to Learning for some Years last past,
has made our own Nation as glorious upon this Account, as for its late
Triumphs and Conquests. The new Edition which is given us of Caesar's
Commentaries, has already been taken notice of in foreign Gazettes, and
is a Work that does honour to the English Press. [1] It is no wonder
that an Edition should be very correct, which has passed thro' the Hands
of one of the most accurate, learned and judicious Writers this Age has
produced. The Beauty of the Paper, of the Character, and of the several
Cuts with which this noble Work is illustrated, makes it the finest Book
that I have ever seen; and is a true Instance of the English Genius,
which, tho' it does not come the first into any Art, generally carries
it to greater Heights than any other Country in the World. I am
particularly glad that this Author comes from a British Printing-house
in so great a Magnificence, as he is the first who has given us any
tolerable Account of our Country.

My Illiterate Readers, if any such there are, will be surprized to hear
me talk of Learning as the Glory of a Nation, and of Printing as an Art
that gains a Reputation to a People among whom it flourishes. When Men's
Thoughts are taken up with Avarice and Ambition, they cannot look upon
any thing as great or valuable, which does not bring with it an
extraordinary Power or Interest to the Person who is concerned in it.
But as I shall never sink this Paper so far as to engage with Goths and
Vandals, I shall only regard such kind of Reasoners with that Pity which
is due to so Deplorable a Degree of Stupidity and Ignorance.

L.

[Footnote 1: Just published, 1712, by Dr. Samuel Clarke, then 37 years
old. He had been for 12 years chaplain to the Bishop of Norwich, and
Boyle Lecturer in 1704-5, when he took for his subject the Being and
Attributes of God and the Evidences of Natural and Revealed Religion. He
had also translated Newton's Optics, and was become chaplain to the
Queen, Rector of St. Jamess, Westminster, and D. D. of Cambridge. The
accusations of heterodoxy that followed him through his after life date
from this year, 1712, in which, besides the edition of Caesar, he
published a book on the Scripture Doctrine of the Trinity.]

* * * * *

No. 368. Friday, May 2, 1712. Steele.

'Nos decebat
Lugere ubi esset aliquis in lucem editus
Humanae vitae varia reputantes mala;
At qui labores morte finisset graves
Omnes amices laude et laetitia exequi.'

Eurip. apud Tull.

As the Spectator is in a Kind a Paper of News from the natural World, as
others are from the busy and politick Part of Mankind, I shall translate
the following Letter written to an eminent French Gentleman in this Town
from Paris, which gives us the Exit of an Heroine who is a Pattern of
Patience and Generosity.

Paris, April 18, 1712.

SIR,

It is so many Years since you left your native Country, that I am to
tell you the Characters of your nearest Relations as much as if you
were an utter Stranger to them. The Occasion of this is to give you an
account of the Death of Madam de Villacerfe, whose Departure out of
this Life I know not whether a Man of your Philosophy will call
unfortunate or not, since it was attended with some Circumstances as
much to be desired as to be lamented. She was her whole Life happy in
an uninterrupted Health, and was always honoured for an Evenness of
Temper and Greatness of Mind. On the 10th instant that Lady was taken
with an Indisposition which confined her to her Chamber, but was such
as was too slight to make her take a sick Bed, and yet too grievous to
admit of any Satisfaction in being out of it. It is notoriously known,
that some Years ago Monsieur Festeau, one of the most considerable
Surgeons in Paris, was desperately in love with this Lady: Her Quality
placed her above any Application to her on the account of his Passion;
but as a Woman always has some regard to the Person whom she believes
to be her real Admirer, she now took it in her head (upon Advice of
her Physicians to lose some of her Blood) to send for Monsieur Festeau
on that occasion. I happened to be there at that time, and my near
Relation gave me the Privilege to be present. As soon as her Arm was
stripped bare, and he began to press it in order to raise the Vein,
his Colour changed, and I observed him seized with a sudden Tremor,
which made me take the liberty to speak of it to my Cousin with some
Apprehension: She smiled, and said she knew Mr. Festeau had no
Inclination to do her Injury. He seemed to recover himself, and
smiling also proceeded in his Work. Immediately after the Operation he
cried out, that he was the most unfortunate of all Men, for that he
had open'd an Artery instead of a Vein. It is as impossible to express
the Artist's Distraction as the Patient's Composure. I will not dwell
on little Circumstances, but go on to inform you, that within three
days time it was thought necessary to take off her Arm. She was so far
from using Festeau as it would be natural to one of a lower Spirit to
treat him, that she would not let him be absent from any Consultation
about her present Condition, and on every occasion asked whether he
was satisfy'd in the Measures [that] were taken about her. Before this
last Operation she ordered her Will to be drawn, and after having been
about a quarter of an hour alone, she bid the Surgeons, of whom poor
Festeau was one, go on in their Work. I know not how to give you the
Terms of Art, but there appeared such Symptoms after the Amputation of
her Arm, that it was visible she could not live four and twenty hours.
Her Behaviour was so magnanimous throughout this whole Affair, that I
was particularly curious in taking Notice of what passed as her Fate
approached nearer and nearer, and took Notes of what she said to all
about her, particularly Word for Word what she spoke to Mr. Festeau,
which was as follows.

"Sir, you give me inexpressible Sorrow for the Anguish with which I
see you overwhelmed. I am removed to all Intents and Purposes from
the Interests of human Life, therefore I am to begin to think like
one wholly unconcerned in it. I do not consider you as one by whose
Error I have lost my Life; no, you are my Benefactor, as you have
hasten'd my Entrance into a happy Immortality. This is my Sense of
this Accident; but the World in which you live may have Thoughts of
it to your Disadvantage, I have therefore taken Care to provide for
you in my Will, and have placed you above what you have to fear from
their Ill-Nature."

While this excellent Woman spoke these Words, Festeau looked as if he
received a Condemnation to die, instead of a Pension for his Life.
Madam de Villacerfe lived till Eight of [the] Clock the next Night;
and tho she must have laboured under the most exquisite Torments, she
possessed her Mind with so wonderful a Patience, that one may rather
say she ceased to breathe than she died at that hour. You who had not
the happiness to be personally known to this Lady, have nothing but to
rejoyce in the Honour you had of being related to so great Merit; but
we who have lost her Conversation, cannot so easily resign our own
Happiness by Reflection upon hers.
I am, SIR,
Your affectionate Kinsman,
and most obedient humble Servant,
Paul Regnaud.

There hardly can be a greater Instance of an Heroick Mind, than the
unprejudiced Manner in which this Lady weighed this Misfortune. The
regard of Life itself could not make her overlook the Contrition of the
unhappy Man, whose more than Ordinary Concern for her was all his Guilt.
It would certainly be of singular Use to human Society to have an exact
Account of this Lady's ordinary Conduct, which was Crowned by so
uncommon Magnanimity. Such Greatness was not to be acquired in her last
Article, nor is it to be doubted but it was a constant Practice of all
that is praise-worthy, which made her capable of beholding Death, not as
the Dissolution, but Consummation of her Life.

T.

* * * * *

No. 369. Saturday, May 3, 1712. Addison.

'Segnius irritant animos demissa per aures
Quam quae sunt oculis subjecta fidelibus--'

Hor.

Milton, after having represented in Vision the History of Mankind to the
first great Period of Nature, dispatches the remaining part of it in
Narration. He has devised a very handsome Reason for the Angels
proceeding with Adam after this manner; though doubtless the true Reason
was the Difficulty which the Poet would have found to have shadowed out
so mixed and complicated a Story in visible Objects. I could wish,
however, that the Author had done it, whatever Pains it might have cost
him. To give my Opinion freely, I think that the exhibiting part of the
History of Mankind in Vision, and part in Narrative, is as if an
History-Painter should put in Colours one half of his Subject, and write
down the remaining part of it. If Milton's Poem flags any where, it is
in this Narration, where in some places the Author has been so attentive
to his Divinity, that he has neglected his Poetry. The Narration,
however, rises very happily on several Occasions, where the Subject is
capable of Poetical Ornaments, as particularly in the Confusion which he
describes among the Builders of Babel, and in his short Sketch of the
Plagues of Egypt. The Storm of Hail and Fire, with the Darkness that
overspread the Land for three Days, are described with great Strength.
The beautiful Passage which follows, is raised upon noble Hints in
Scripture:

--Thus with ten Wounds
The River-Dragon tamed at length submits
To let his Sojourners depart, and oft
Humbles his stubborn Heart; but still as Ice
More harden'd after Thaw, till in his Rage
Pursuing whom he late dismissed, the Sea
Swallows him with his Host, but them lets pass
As on dry Land between two Chrystal Walls,
Aw'd by the Rod of Moses so to stand
Divided--

The River-Dragon is an Allusion to the Crocodile, which inhabits the
Nile, from whence Egypt derives her Plenty. This Allusion is taken from
that Sublime Passage in Ezekiel, Thus saith the Lord God, behold I am
against thee, Pharaoh King of Egypt, the great Dragon that lieth in the
midst of his Rivers, which hath said, my River is mine own, and I have
made it for my self. Milton has given us another very noble and poetical
Image in the same Description, which is copied almost Word for Word out
of the History of Moses.

All Night he will pursue, but his Approach
Darkness defends between till morning Watch;
Then through the fiery Pillar and the Cloud
God looking forth, will trouble all his Host,
And craze their Chariot Wheels: when by command
Moses once more his potent Rod extends
Over the Sea: the Sea his Rod obeys:
On their embattell'd Ranks the Waves return
And overwhelm their War--

As the principal Design of this Episode was to give Adam an Idea of the
Holy Person, who was to reinstate human Nature in that Happiness and
Perfection from which it had fallen, the Poet confines himself to the
Line of Abraham, from whence the Messiah was to Descend. The Angel is
described as seeing the Patriarch actually travelling towards the Land
of Promise, which gives a particular Liveliness to this part of the
Narration.

I see him, but thou canst not, with what Faith
He leaves his Gods, his Friends, his Native Soil,
Ur of Chaldaea, passing now the Ford
To Haran, after him a cumbrous Train
Of Herds and Flocks, and numerous Servitude,
Not wand'ring poor, but trusting all his Wealth
With God, who call'd him, in a Land unknown.
Canaan he now attains, I see his Tents
Pitch'd about Sechem, and the neighbouring Plain
Of Moreh, there by Promise he receives
Gifts to his Progeny of all that Land,
From Hamath Northward to the Desart South.
(Things by their Names I call, though yet unnamed.)

As Virgil's Vision in the sixth AEneid probably gave Milton the Hint of
this whole Episode, the last Line is a Translation of that Verse, where
Anchises mentions the Names of Places, which they were to bear
hereafter.

Haec tum nomina erunt, nunc sunt sine nomine terrae.

The Poet has very finely represented the Joy and Gladness of Heart which
rises in Adam upon his discovery of the Messiah. As he sees his Day at a
distance through Types and Shadows, he rejoices in it: but when he finds
the Redemption of Man compleated, and Paradise again renewed, he breaks
forth in Rapture and Transport;

O Goodness infinite, Goodness immense!
That all this Good of Evil shall produce, &c.

I have hinted in my sixth Paper on Milton, that an Heroick Poem,
according to the Opinion of the best Criticks, ought to end happily, and
leave the Mind of the Reader, after having conducted it through many
Doubts and Fears, Sorrows and Disquietudes, in a State of Tranquility
and Satisfaction. Milton's Fable, which had so many other Qualifications
to recommend it, was deficient in this Particular. It is here therefore,
that the Poet has shewn a most exquisite Judgment, as well as the finest
Invention, by finding out a Method to supply this natural Defect in his
Subject. Accordingly he leaves the Adversary of Mankind, in the last
View which he gives us of him, under the lowest State of Mortification
and Disappointment. We see him chewing Ashes, grovelling in the Dust,
and loaden with supernumerary Pains and Torments. On the contrary, our
two first Parents are comforted by Dreams and Visions, cheared with
Promises of Salvation, and, in a manner, raised to a greater Happiness
than that which they had forfeited: In short, Satan is represented
miserable in the height of his Triumphs, and Adam triumphant in the
height of Misery.

Milton's Poem ends very nobly. The last Speeches of Adam and the
Arch-Angel are full of Moral and Instructive Sentiments. The Sleep that
fell upon Eve, and the Effects it had in quieting the Disorders of her
Mind, produces the same kind of Consolation in the Reader, who cannot
peruse the last beautiful Speech which is ascribed to the Mother of
Mankind, without a secret Pleasure and Satisfaction.

Whence thou return'st, and whither went'st, I know;
For God is also in Sleep, and Dreams advise,
Which he hath sent propitious, some great Good
Presaging, since with Sorrow and Heart's Distress
Wearied I fell asleep: but now lead on;
In me is no delay: with thee to go,
Is to stay here; without thee here to stay,
Is to go hence unwilling: thou to me
Art all things under Heav'n, all Places thou,
Who for my wilful Crime art banish'd hence.
This farther Consolation yet secure
I carry hence; though all by me is lost,
Such Favour, I unworthy, am vouchsafed,
By me the promised Seed shall all restore.

The following Lines, which conclude the Poem, rise in a most glorious
Blaze of Poetical Images and Expressions.

Heliodorus in his AEthiopicks acquaints us, that the Motion of the Gods
differs from that of Mortals, as the former do not stir their Feet, nor
proceed Step by Step, but slide o'er the Surface of the Earth by an
uniform Swimming of the whole Body. The Reader may observe with how
Poetical a Description Milton has attributed the same kind of Motion to
the Angels who were to take Possession of Paradise.

So spake our Mother Eve, and Adam heard
Well pleas'd, but answered not; for now too nigh
Th' Archangel stood, and from the other Hill
To their fix'd Station, all in bright Array
The Cherubim descended; on the Ground
Gliding meteorous, as evening Mist
Ris'n from a River, o'er the Marish glides,
And gathers ground fast at the Lab'rer's Heel
Homeward returning. High in Front advanced,
The brandishd Sword of God before them blaz'd
Fierce as a Comet--

The Author helped his Invention in the following Passage, by reflecting
on the Behaviour of the Angel, who, in Holy Writ, has the Conduct of Lot
and his Family. The Circumstances drawn from that Relation are very
gracefully made use of on this Occasion.

In either Hand the hast'ning Angel caught
Our ling'ring Parents, and to th' Eastern Gate
Led them direct; and down the Cliff as fast
To the subjected Plain; then disappear'd.
They looking back, &c.

The Scene [1] which our first Parents are surprized with, upon their
looking back on Paradise, wonderfully strikes the Reader's Imagination,
as nothing can be more natural than the Tears they shed on that
Occasion.

They looking back, all th' Eastern side beheld
Of Paradise, so late their happy Seat,
Wav'd over by that flaming Brand, the Gate
With dreadful Faces throng'd and fiery Arms:
Some natural Tears they dropped, but wiped them soon;
The World was all before them, where to chuse
Their Place of Rest, and Providence their Guide.

If I might presume to offer at the smallest Alteration in this divine
Work, I should think the Poem would end better with the Passage here
quoted, than with the two Verses which follow:

They hand in hand, with wandering Steps and slow,
Through Eden took their solitary Way.

These two Verses, though they have their Beauty, fall very much below
the foregoing Passage, and renew in the Mind of the Reader that Anguish
which was pretty well laid by that Consideration,

The world was all before them, where to chuse
Their Place of Rest, and Providence their Guide.

The Number of Books in Paradise Lost is equal to those of the AEneid.
Our Author in his first Edition had divided his Poem into ten Books, but
afterwards broke the seventh and the eleventh each of them into two
different Books, by the help of some small Additions. This second
Division was made with great Judgment, as any one may see who will be at
the pains of examining it. It was not done for the sake of such a
Chimerical Beauty as that of resembling Virgil in this particular, but
for the more just and regular Disposition of this great Work.

Those who have read Bossu, and many of the Criticks who have written
since his Time, will not pardon me if I do not find out the particular
Moral which is inculcated in Paradise Lost. Though I can by no means
think, with the last mentioned French Author, that an Epick Writer first
of all pitches upon a certain Moral, as the Ground-Work and Foundation
of his Poem, and afterwards finds out a Story to it: I am, however, of
opinion, that no just Heroick Poem ever was or can be made, from whence
one great Moral may not be deduced. That which reigns in Milton, is the
most universal and most useful that can be imagined; it is in short
this, That Obedience to the Will of God makes Men happy, and that
Disobedience makes them miserable. This is visibly the Moral of the
principal Fable, which turns upon Adam and Eve, who continued in
Paradise, while they kept the command that was given them, and were
driven out of it as soon as they had transgressed. This is likewise the
Moral of the principal Episode, which shews us how an innumerable
Multitude of Angels fell from their State of Bliss, and were cast into
Hell upon their Disobedience. Besides this great Moral, which may be
looked upon as the Soul of the Fable, there are an Infinity of
Under-Morals which are to be drawn from the several parts of the Poem,
and which makes this Work more useful and Instructive than any other
Poem in any Language.

Those who have criticized on the Odyssey, the Iliad, and AEneid, have
taken a great deal of Pains to fix the Number of Months and Days
contained in the Action of each of those Poems. If any one thinks it
worth his while to examine this Particular in Milton, he will find that
from Adam's first Appearance in the fourth Book, to his Expulsion from
Paradise in the twelfth, the Author reckons ten Days. As for that part
of the Action which is described in the three first Books, as it does
not pass within the Regions of Nature, I have before observed that it is
not subject to any Calculations of Time.

I have now finished my Observations on a Work which does an Honour to
the English Nation. I have taken a general View of it under these four
Heads, the Fable, the Characters, the Sentiments, and the Language, and
made each of them the Subject of a particular Paper. I have in the next
Place spoken of the Censures which our Author may incur under each of
these Heads, which I have confined to two Papers, though I might have
enlarged the Number, if I had been disposed to dwell on so ungrateful a
Subject. I believe, however, that the severest Reader will not find any
little Fault in Heroick Poetry, which this Author has fallen into, that
does not come under one of those Heads among which I have distributed
his several Blemishes. After having thus treated at large of Paradise
Lost, I could not think it sufficient to have celebrated this Poem in
the whole, without descending to Particulars. I have therefore bestowed
a Paper upon each Book, and endeavoured not only to [prove [2]] that the
Poem is beautiful in general, but to point out its Particular Beauties,
and to determine wherein they consist. I have endeavoured to shew how
some Passages are beautiful by being Sublime, others by being Soft,
others by being Natural; which of them are recommended by the Passion,
which by the Moral, which by the Sentiment, and which by the Expression.
I have likewise endeavoured to shew how the Genius of the Poet shines by
a happy Invention, a distant Allusion, or a judicious Imitation; how he
has copied or improved Homer or Virgil, and raised his own Imaginations
by the Use which he has made of several Poetical Passages in Scripture.
I might have inserted also several Passages of Tasso, which our Author
[has [3]] imitated; but as I do not look upon Tasso to be a sufficient
Voucher, I would not perplex my Reader with such Quotations, as might do
more Honour to the Italian than the English Poet. In short, I have
endeavoured to particularize those innumerable kinds of Beauty, which it
would be tedious to recapitulate, but which are essential to Poetry, and
which may be met with in the Works of this great Author. Had I thought,
at my first engaging in this design, that it would have led me to so
great a length, I believe I should never have entered upon it; but the
kind Reception which it has met with among those whose Judgments I have
a value for, as well as the uncommon Demands which my Bookseller tells
me have been made for these particular Discourses, give me no reason to
repent of the Pains I have been at in composing them.

L.

[Footnote 1: Prospect]

[Footnote 2: shew]

[Footnote 3: has likewise]

* * * * *

No. 370. Monday, May 5, 1712. Steele.

'Totus Mundus agit Histrionem.'

Many of my fair Readers, as well as very gay and well-received Persons
of the other Sex, are extremely perplexed at the Latin Sentences at the
Head of my Speculations; I do not know whether I ought not to indulge
them with Translations of each of them: However, I have to-day taken
down from the Top of the Stage in Drury-Lane a bit of Latin which often
stands in their View, and signifies that the whole World acts the
Player. It is certain that if we look all round us, and behold the
different Employments of Mankind, you hardly see one who is not, as the
Player is, in an assumed Character. The Lawyer, who is vehement and loud
in a Cause wherein he knows he has not the Truth of the Question on his
Side, is a Player as to the personated Part, but incomparably meaner
than he as to the Prostitution of himself for Hire; because the
Pleader's Falshood introduces Injustice, the Player feigns for no other
end but to divert or instruct you. The Divine, whose Passions transport
him to say any thing with any View but promoting the Interests of true
Piety and Religion, is a Player with a still greater Imputation of
Guilt, in proportion to his depreciating a Character more sacred.
Consider all the different Pursuits and Employments of Men, and you will
find half their Actions tend to nothing else but Disguise and Imposture;
and all that is done which proceeds not from a Man's very self, is the
Action of a Player. For this Reason it is that I make so frequent
mention of the Stage: It is, with me, a Matter of the highest
Consideration what Parts are well or ill performed, what Passions or
Sentiments are indulged or cultivated, and consequently what Manners and
Customs are transfused from the Stage to the World, which reciprocally
imitate each other. As the Writers of Epick Poems introduce shadowy
Persons, and represent Vices and Virtues under the Characters of Men and
Women; so I, who am a SPECTATOR in the World, may perhaps sometimes make
use of the Names of the Actors on the Stage, to represent or admonish
those who transact Affairs in the World. When I am commending Wilks for
representing the Tenderness of a Husband and a Father in Mackbeth, the
Contrition of a reformed Prodigal in Harry the Fourth, the winning
Emptiness of a young Man of Good-nature and Wealth in the Trip to the
Jubilee, [1]--the Officiousness of an artful Servant in the Fox: [2]
when thus I celebrate Wilks, I talk to all the World who are engaged in
any of those Circumstances. If I were to speak of Merit neglected,
mis-applied, or misunderstood, might not I say Estcourt has a great
Capacity? But it is not the Interest of others who bear a Figure on the
Stage that his Talents were understood; it is their Business to impose
upon him what cannot become him, or keep out of his hands any thing in
which he would Shine. Were one to raise a Suspicion of himself in a Man
who passes upon the World for a fine Thing, in order to alarm him, one
might say, if Lord Foppington [3] were not on the Stage, (Cibber acts
the false Pretensions to a genteel Behaviour so very justly), he would
have in the generality of Mankind more that would admire than deride
him. When we come to Characters directly Comical, it is not to be
imagin'd what Effect a well-regulated Stage would have upon Men's
Manners. The Craft of an Usurer, the Absurdity of a rich Fool, the
awkward Roughness of a Fellow of half Courage, the ungraceful Mirth of a
Creature of half Wit, might be for ever put out of Countenance by proper
Parts for Dogget. Johnson by acting Corbacchio [4] the other Night, must
have given all who saw him a thorough Detestation of aged Avarice. The
Petulancy of a peevish old Fellow, who loves and hates he knows not why,
is very excellently performed by the Ingenious Mr. William Penkethman in
the Fop's Fortune;[5] where, in the Character of Don Cholerick Snap
Shorto de Testy, he answers no Questions but to those whom he likes, and
wants no account of any thing from those he approves. Mr. Penkethman is
also Master of as many Faces in the Dumb-Scene as can be expected from a
Man in the Circumstances of being ready to perish out of Fear and
Hunger: He wonders throughout the whole Scene very masterly, without
neglecting his Victuals. If it be, as I have heard it sometimes
mentioned, a great Qualification for the World to follow Business and
Pleasure too, what is it in the Ingenious Mr. Penkethman to represent a
Sense of Pleasure and Pain at the same time; as you may see him do this
Evening? [6]

As it is certain that a Stage ought to be wholly suppressed, or
judiciously encouraged, while there is one in the Nation, Men turned for
regular Pleasure cannot employ their Thoughts more usefully, for the
Diversion of Mankind, than by convincing them that it is in themselves
to raise this Entertainment to the greatest Height. It would be a great
Improvement, as well as Embellishment to the Theatre, if Dancing were
more regarded, and taught to all the Actors. One who has the Advantage
of such an agreeable girlish Person as Mrs. Bicknell, joined with her
Capacity of Imitation, could in proper Gesture and Motion represent all
the decent Characters of Female Life. An amiable Modesty in one Aspect
of a Dancer, an assumed Confidence in another, a sudden Joy in another,
a falling off with an Impatience of being beheld, a Return towards the
Audience with an unsteady Resolution to approach them, and a well-acted
Sollicitude to please, would revive in the Company all the fine Touches
of Mind raised in observing all the Objects of Affection or Passion they
had before beheld. Such elegant Entertainments as these, would polish
the Town into Judgment in their Gratifications; and Delicacy in Pleasure
is the first step People of Condition take in Reformation from Vice.
Mrs. Bicknell has the only Capacity for this sort of Dancing of any on
the Stage; and I dare say all who see her Performance tomorrow Night,
when sure the Romp will do her best for her own Benefit, will be of my
Mind.

T.

[Footnote 1: Farquhar's Constant Couple, or A Trip to the Jubilee.]

[Footnote 2: Ben Jonson's Volpone.]

[Footnote 3: In Colley Cibber's Careless Husband.]

[Footnote 4: In Ben Jonson's Volpone.]

[Footnote 5: Cibber's Love makes a Man, or The Fop's Fortune.]

[Footnote 6:

For the Benefit of Mr. Penkethman. At the Desire of Several Ladies of
Quality. By Her Majesty's Company of Comedians. At the Theatre Royal
in Drury Lane, this present Monday, being the 5th of May, will be
presented a Comedy called Love makes a Man, or The Fop's Fortune. The
Part of Don Lewis, alias Don Choleric Snap Shorto de Testy, by Mr.
Penkethman; Carlos, Mr. Wilks; Clodio, alias Don Dismallo Thick-Scullo
de Half Witto, Mr. Cibber; and all the other Parts to the best
Advantage. With a new Epilogue, spoken by Mr. Penkethman, riding on an
Ass. By her Majesty's Command no Persons are to be admitted behind the
Scenes. And To-Morrow, being Tuesday, will be presented, A Comedy
call'd The Constant Couple, or A Trip to the Jubilee. For the Benefit
of Mrs. Bicknell.

To do as kind a service to Mrs. Bicknell as to Mr. Penkethman on the
occasion of their benefits is the purpose of the next paragraph of
Steele's Essay.]

* * * * *

No. 371. Tuesday, May 6, 1712. Addison.

'Jamne igitur laudas quod se sapientibus unus
Ridebat?'

Juv.

I shall communicate to my Reader the following Letter for the
Entertainment of this Day.

Sir,

You know very well that our Nation is more famous for that sort of Men
who are called Whims and Humourists, than any other Country in the
World; for which reason it is observed that our English Comedy excells
that of all other Nations in the Novelty and Variety of its
Characters.

Among those innumerable Setts of Whims which our Country produces,
there are none whom I have regarded with more Curiosity than those who
have invented any particular kind of Diversion for the Entertainment
of themselves or their Friends. My Letter shall single out those who
take delight in sorting a Company that has something of Burlesque and
Ridicule in its Appearance. I shall make my self understood by the
following Example. One of the Wits of the last Age, who was a Man of a
good Estate [1], thought he never laid out his Money better than in a
Jest. As he was one Year at the Bath, observing that in the great
Confluence of fine People, there were several among them with long
Chins, a part of the Visage by which he himself was very much
distinguished, he invited to dinner half a Score of these remarkable
Persons who had their Mouths in the Middle of their Faces. They had no
sooner placed themselves about the Table, but they began to stare upon
one another, not being able to imagine what had brought them together.
Our English Proverb says,

Tis merry in the Hall,
When Beards wag all.

It proved so in the Assembly I am now speaking of, who seeing so many
Peaks of Faces agitated with Eating, Drinking, and Discourse, and
observing all the Chins that were present meeting together very often
over the Center of the Table, every one grew sensible of the Jest, and
came into it with so much Good-Humour, that they lived in strict
Friendship and Alliance from that Day forward.

The same Gentleman some time after packed together a Set of Oglers, as
he called them, consisting of such as had an unlucky Cast in their
Eyes. His Diversion on this Occasion was to see the cross Bows,
mistaken Signs, and wrong Connivances that passed amidst so many
broken and refracted Rays of Sight.

The third Feast which this merry Gentleman exhibited was to the
Stammerers, whom he got together in a sufficient Body to fill his
Table. He had ordered one of his Servants, who was placed behind a
Skreen, to write down their Table-Talk, which was very easie to be
done without the help of Short-hand. It appears by the Notes which
were taken, that tho' their Conversation never fell, there were not
above twenty Words spoken during the first Course; that upon serving
up the second, one of the Company was a quarter of an Hour in telling
them, that the Ducklins and [Asparagus [2]] were very good; and that
another took up the same time in declaring himself of the same
Opinion. This Jest did not, however, go off so well as the former; for
one of the Guests being a brave Man, and fuller of Resentment than he
knew how to express, went out of the Room, and sent the facetious
Inviter a Challenge in Writing, which though it was afterwards dropp'd
by the Interposition of Friends, put a Stop to these ludicrous
Entertainments.

Now, Sir, I dare say you will agree with me, that as there is no Moral
in these Jests, they ought to be discouraged, and looked upon rather
as pieces of Unluckiness than Wit. However, as it is natural for one
Man to refine upon the Thought of another, and impossible for any
single Person, how great soever his Parts may be, to invent an Art,
and bring it to its utmost Perfection; I shall here give you an
account of an honest Gentleman of my Acquaintance who upon hearing the
Character of the Wit above mentioned, has himself assumed it, and
endeavoured to convert it to the Benefit of Mankind. He invited half a
dozen of his Friends one day to Dinner, who were each of them famous
for inserting several redundant Phrases in their Discourse, as d'y
hear me, d'ye see, that is, and so Sir. Each of the Guests making
frequent use of his particular Elegance, appeared so ridiculous to his
Neighbour, that he could not but reflect upon himself as appearing
equally ridiculous to the rest of the Company: By this means, before
they had sat long together, every one talking with the greatest
Circumspection, and carefully avoiding his favourite Expletive, the
Conversation was cleared of its Redundancies, and had a greater
Quantity of Sense, tho' less of Sound in it.

The same well-meaning Gentleman took occasion, at another time, to
bring together such of his Friends as were addicted to a foolish
habitual Custom of Swearing. In order to shew the Absurdity of the
Practice, he had recourse to the Invention above mentioned, having
placed an Amanuensis in a private part of the Room. After the second
Bottle, when Men open their Minds without Reserve, my honest Friend
began to take notice of the many sonorous but unnecessary Words that
had passed in his House since their sitting down at Table, and how
much good Conversation they had lost by giving way to such superfluous
Phrases. What a Tax, says he, would they have raised for the Poor, had
we put the Laws in Execution upon one another? Every one of them took
this gentle Reproof in good part: Upon which he told them, that
knowing their Conversation would have no Secrets in it, he had ordered
it to be taken down in Writing, and for the humour sake would read it
to them, if they pleased. There were ten Sheets of it, which might
have been reduced to two, had there not been those abominable
Interpolations I have before mentioned. Upon the reading of it in cold
Blood, it looked rather like a Conference of Fiends than of Men. In
short, every one trembled at himself upon hearing calmly what he had
pronounced amidst the Heat and Inadvertency of Discourse.

I shall only mention another Occasion wherein he made use of the same
Invention to cure a different kind of Men, who are the Pests of all
polite Conversation, and murder Time as much as either of the two
former, though they do it more innocently; I mean that dull Generation
of Story-tellers. My Friend got together about half a dozen of his
Acquaintance, who were infected with this strange Malady. The first
Day one of them sitting down, entered upon the Siege of Namur, which
lasted till four a-clock, their time of parting. The second Day a
North-Britain took possession of the Discourse, which it was
impossible to get out of his Hands so long as the Company staid
together. The third Day was engrossed after the same manner by a Story
of the same length. They at last began to reflect upon this barbarous
way of treating one another, and by this means awakened out of that
Lethargy with which each of them had been seized for several Years.

As you have somewhere declared, that extraordinary and uncommon
Characters of Mankind are the Game which you delight in, and as I look
upon you to be the greatest Sportsman, or, if you please, the Nimrod
among this Species of Writers, I thought this Discovery would not be
unacceptable to you.

I am,

SIR, &c.

I.

[Footnote 1: George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, Drydens Zimri, and the
author of the Rehearsal.]

[Footnote 2: [Sparrow-grass] and in first Reprint.]

* * * * *

372. Wednesday, May 7, 1712. Steele.

'Pudet haec opprobria nobis
[Et dici potuisse et non potuisse refelli.]'

Ovid.

May 6, 1712.

Mr. SPECTATOR,

I am Sexton of the Parish of Covent-Garden, and complained to you some
time ago, that as I was tolling in to Prayers at Eleven in the
Morning, Crowds of People of Quality hastened to assemble at a
Puppet-Show on the other Side of the Garden. I had at the same time a
very great Disesteem for Mr. Powell and his little thoughtless
Commonwealth, as if they had enticed the Gentry into those Wandrings:
But let that be as it will, I now am convinced of the honest
Intentions of the said Mr. Powell and Company; and send this to
acquaint you, that he has given all the Profits which shall arise
to-morrow Night by his Play to the use of the poor Charity-Children of
this Parish. I have been informed, Sir, that in Holland all Persons
who set up any Show, or act any Stage-Play, be the Actors either of
Wood and Wire, or Flesh and Blood, are obliged to pay out of their
Gain such a Proportion to the honest and industrious Poor in the
Neighbourhood: By this means they make Diversion and Pleasure pay a
Tax to Labour and Industry. I have been told also, that all the time
of Lent, in Roman Catholick Countries, the Persons of Condition
administred to the Necessities of the Poor, and attended the Beds of
Lazars and diseased Persons. Our Protestant Ladies and Gentlemen are
so much to seek for proper ways of passing Time, that they are obliged
to Punchinello for knowing what to do with themselves. Since the Case
is so, I desire only you would intreat our People of Quality, who are
not to be interrupted in their Pleasure to think of the Practice of
any moral Duty, that they would at least fine for their Sins, and give
something to these poor Children; a little out of their Luxury and
Superfluity, would attone, in some measure, for the wanton Use of the
rest of their Fortunes. It would not, methinks, be amiss, if the
Ladies who haunt the Cloysters and Passages of the Play-house, were
upon every Offence obliged to pay to this excellent Institution of
Schools of Charity: This Method would make Offenders themselves do
Service to the Publick. But in the mean time I desire you would
publish this voluntary Reparation which Mr. Powell does our Parish,
for the Noise he has made in it by the constant rattling of Coaches,
Drums, Trumpets, Triumphs, and Battels. The Destruction of Troy
adorned with Highland Dances, are to make up the Entertainment of all
who are so well disposed as not to forbear a light Entertainment, for
no other Reason but that it is to do a good Action.
I am, SIR,
Your most humble Servant,
Ralph Bellfry.

I am credibly informed, that all the Insinuations which a certain
Writer made against Mr. Powell at the Bath, are false and groundless.

Mr. SPECTATOR,

My Employment, which is that of a Broker, leading me often into
Taverns about the Exchange, has given me occasion to observe a certain
Enormity, which I shall here submit to your Animadversion. In three or
four of these Taverns, I have, at different times, taken notice of a
precise Set of People with grave Countenances, short Wiggs, black
Cloaths, or dark Camlet trimmd with Black, and mourning Gloves and
Hatbands, who meet on certain Days at each Tavern successively, and
keep a sort of moving Club. Having often met with their Faces, and
observed a certain slinking Way in their dropping in one after
another, I had the Curiosity to enquire into their Characters, being
the rather moved to it by their agreeing in the Singularity of their
Dress; and I find upon due Examination they are a Knot of
Parish-Clarks, who have taken a fancy to one another, and perhaps
settle the Bills of Mortality over their Half-pints. I have so great a
Value and Veneration for any who have but even an assenting Amen in
the Service of Religion, that I am afraid lest these Persons should
incur some Scandal by this Practice; and would therefore have them,
without Raillery, advised to send the Florence and Pullets home to
their own Houses, and not pretend to live as well as the Overseers of
the Poor.
I am, SIR,
Your most humble Servant,
Humphry Transfer.

May 6.

Mr. SPECTATOR,

I was last Wednesday Night at a Tavern in the City, among a Set of Men
who call themselves the Lawyer's Club. You must know, Sir, this Club
consists only of Attorneys; and at this Meeting every one proposes the
Cause he has then in hand to the Board, upon which each Member gives
his Judgment according to the Experience he has met with. If it
happens that any one puts a Case of which they have had no Precedent,
it is noted down by their Clerk Will. Goosequill, (who registers all
their Proceedings) that one of them may go the next Day with it to a
Counsel. This indeed is commendable, and ought to be the principal End
of their Meeting; but had you been there to have heard them relate
their Methods of managing a Cause, their Manner of drawing out their
Bills, and, in short, their Arguments upon the several ways of abusing
their Clients, with the Applause that is given to him who has done it
most artfully, you would before now have given your Remarks on them.
They are so conscious that their Discourses ought to be kept secret,
that they are very cautious of admitting any Person who is not of
their Profession. When any who are not of the Law are let in, the
Person who introduces him, says, he is a very honest Gentleman, and he
is taken in, as their Cant is, to pay Costs. I am admitted upon the
Recommendation of one of their Principals, as a very honest
good-natured Fellow that will never be in a Plot, and only desires to
drink his Bottle and smoke his Pipe. You have formerly remarked upon
several Sorts of Clubs; and as the Tendency of this is only to
increase Fraud and Deceit, I hope you will please to take Notice of it.
I am (with Respect)
Your humble Servant,
H. R.

T.

* * * * *

No. 373. Thursday, May 8, 1712. Budgell.

'[Fallit enim Vitium specie virtutis et umbra.'

Juv. [1]]

Mr. Locke, in his Treatise of Human Understanding, has spent two
Chapters upon the Abuse of Words. [2] The first and most palpable Abuse
of Words, he says, is, when they are used without clear and distinct
Ideas: The second, when we are so inconstant and unsteady in the
Application of them, that we sometimes use them to signify one Idea,
sometimes another. He adds, that the Result of our Contemplations and
Reasonings, while we have no precise Ideas fixed to our Words, must
needs be very confused and absurd. To avoid this Inconvenience, more
especially in moral Discourses, where the same Word should constantly be
used in the same Sense, he earnestly recommends the use of Definitions.
A Definition, says he, is the only way whereby the precise Meaning of
Moral Words can be known. He therefore accuses those of great
Negligence, who Discourse of Moral things with the least Obscurity in
the Terms they make use of, since upon the forementioned ground he does
not scruple to say, that he thinks Morality is capable of Demonstration
as well as the Mathematicks.

I know no two Words that have been more abused by the different and
wrong Interpretations which are put upon them, than those two, Modesty
and Assurance. To say such an one is a modest Man, sometimes indeed
passes for a good Character; but at present is very often used to
signify a sheepish awkard Fellow, who has neither Good-breeding,
Politeness, nor any Knowledge of the World.

Again, A Man of Assurance, tho at first it only denoted a Person of a
free and open Carriage, is now very usually applied to a profligate
Wretch, who can break through all the Rules of Decency and Morality
without a Blush.

I shall endeavour therefore in this Essay to restore these Words to
their true Meaning, to prevent the Idea of Modesty from being confounded
with that of Sheepishness, and to hinder Impudence from passing for
Assurance.

If I was put to define Modesty, I would call it The Reflection of an
Ingenuous Mind, either when a Man has committed an Action for which he
censures himself, or fancies that he is exposed to the Censure of
others.

For this Reason a Man truly Modest is as much so when he is alone as in
Company, and as subject to a Blush in his Closet, as when the Eyes of

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