Part 35 out of 51
Multitudes are upon him.
I do not remember to have met with any Instance of Modesty with which I
am so well pleased, as that celebrated one of the young Prince, whose
Father being a tributary King to the Romans, had several Complaints laid
against him before the Senate, as a Tyrant and Oppressor of his
Subjects. The Prince went to Rome to defend his Father; but coming into
the Senate, and hearing a Multitude of Crimes proved upon him, was so
oppressed when it came to his turn to speak, that he was unable to utter
a Word. The Story tells us, that the Fathers were more moved at this
Instance of Modesty and Ingenuity, than they could have been by the most
Pathetick Oration; and, in short, pardoned the guilty Father for this
early Promise of Virtue in the Son.
I take Assurance to be the Faculty of possessing a Man's self, or of
saying and doing indifferent things without any Uneasiness or Emotion in
the Mind. That which generally gives a Man Assurance is a moderate
Knowledge of the World, but above all a Mind fixed and determined in it
self to do nothing against the Rules of Honour and Decency. An open and
assured Behaviour is the natural Consequence of such a Resolution. A Man
thus armed, if his Words or Actions are at any time misinterpreted,
retires within himself, and from the Consciousness of his own Integrity,
assumes Force enough to despise the little Censures of Ignorance or
Every one ought to cherish and encourage in himself the Modesty and
Assurance I have here mentioned.
A Man without Assurance is liable to be made uneasy by the Folly or
Ill-nature of every one he converses with. A Man without Modesty is lost
to all Sense of Honour and Virtue.
It is more than probable, that the Prince above-mentioned possessed both
these Qualifications in a very eminent degree. Without Assurance he
would never have undertaken to speak before the most august Assembly in
the World; without Modesty he would have pleaded the Cause he had taken
upon him, tho it had appeared ever so Scandalous.
From what has been said, it is plain, that Modesty and Assurance are
both amiable, and may very well meet in the same Person. When they are
thus mixed and blended together, they compose what we endeavour to
express when we say a modest Assurance; by which we understand the just
Mean between Bashfulness and Impudence.
I shall conclude with observing, that as the same Man may be both Modest
and Assured, so it is also possible for the same Person to be both
Impudent and Bashful.
We have frequent Instances of this odd kind of Mixture in People of
depraved Minds and mean Education; who tho' they are not able to meet a
Man's Eyes, or pronounce a Sentence without Confusion, can Voluntarily
commit the greatest Villanies, or most indecent Actions.
Such a Person seems to have made a Resolution to do Ill even in spite of
himself, and in defiance of all those Checks and Restraints his Temper
and Complection seem to have laid in his way.
Upon the whole, I would endeavour to establish this Maxim, That the
Practice of Virtue is the most proper Method to give a Man a becoming
Assurance in his Words and Actions. Guilt always seeks to shelter it
self in one of the Extreams, and is sometimes attended with both.
Appellat paetumm pater; et pullum, male parvus
Si cui filius est; ut abortivus fuit olim
Sisyphus: hunc varum, distortis cruribus; illum
Balbutit scaurum, pravis fullum male talis.
[Footnote 2: Book III., Chapters 10, 11. Words are the subject of this
book; ch. 10 is on the Abuse of Words; ch. 11 of the Remedies of the
foregoing imperfections and abuses.]
* * * * *
No. 374. Friday, May 9, 1712. Steele.
'Nil actum reputans si quid superesset agendum.'
There is a Fault, which, tho' common, wants a Name. It is the very
contrary to Procrastination: As we lose the present Hour by delaying
from Day to Day to execute what we ought to do immediately; so most of
us take Occasion to sit still and throw away the Time in our Possession,
by Retrospect on what is past, imagining we have already acquitted our
selves, and established our Characters in the sight of Mankind. But when
we thus put a Value upon our selves for what we have already done, any
further than to explain our selves in order to assist our future
Conduct, that will give us an over-weening opinion of our Merit to the
prejudice of our present Industry. The great Rule, methinks, should be
to manage the Instant in which we stand, with Fortitude, Equanimity, and
Moderation, according to Men's respective Circumstances. If our past
Actions reproach us, they cannot be attoned for by our own severe
Reflections so effectually as by a contrary Behaviour. If they are
praiseworthy, the Memory of them is of no use but to act suitably to
them. Thus a good present Behaviour is an implicit Repentance for any
Miscarriage in what is past; but present Slackness will not make up for
past Activity. Time has swallowed up all that we Contemporaries did
Yesterday, as irrevocably as it has the Actions of the Antediluvians:
But we are again awake, and what shall we do to-Day, to-Day which passes
while we are yet speaking? Shall we remember the Folly of last Night, or
resolve upon the Exercise of Virtue tomorrow? Last Night is certainly
gone, and To-morrow may never arrive: This Instant make use of. Can you
oblige any Man of Honour and Virtue? Do it immediately. Can you visit a
sick Friend? Will it revive him to see you enter, and suspend your own
Ease and Pleasure to comfort his Weakness, and hear the Impertinencies
of a Wretch in Pain? Don't stay to take Coach, but be gone. Your
Mistress will bring Sorrow, and your Bottle Madness: Go to
neither.--Such Virtues and Diversions as these are mentioned because
they occur to all Men. But every Man is sufficiently convinced, that to
suspend the use of the present Moment, and resolve better for the future
only, is an unpardonable Folly: What I attempted to consider, was the
Mischief of setting such a Value upon what is past, as to think we have
done enough. Let a Man have filled all the Offices of Life with the
highest Dignity till Yesterday, and begin to live only to himself
to-Day, he must expect he will in the Effects upon his Reputation be
considered as the Man who died Yesterday. The Man who distinguishes
himself from the rest, stands in a Press of People; those before him
intercept his Progress, and those behind him, if he does not urge on,
will tread him down. Caesar, of whom it was said, that he thought nothing
done while there was anything left for him to do, went on in performing
the greatest Exploits, without assuming to himself a Privilege of taking
Rest upon the Foundation of the Merit of his former Actions. It was the
manner of that glorious Captain to write down what Scenes he passed
through, but it was rather to keep his Affairs in Method, and capable of
a clear Review in case they should be examined by others, than that he
built a Renown upon any thing which was past. I shall produce two
Fragments of his to demonstrate, that it was his Rule of Life to support
himself rather by what he should perform than what he had done already.
In the Tablet which he wore about him the same Year, in which he
obtained the Battel of Pharsalia, there were found these loose Notes for
his own Conduct: It is supposed, by the Circumstances they alluded to,
that they might be set down the Evening of the same Night.
My Part is now but begun, and my Glory must be sustained by the Use I
make of this Victory; otherwise my Loss will be greater than that of
Pompey. Our personal Reputation will rise or fall as we bear our
respective Fortunes. All my private Enemies among the Prisoners shall
be spared. I will forget this, in order to obtain such another Day.
Trebutius is ashamed to see me: I will go to his Tent, and be
reconciled in private. Give all the Men of Honour, who take part with
me, the Terms I offered before the Battel. Let them owe this to their
Friends who have been long in my Interests. Power is weakened by the
full Use of it, but extended by Moderation. Galbinius is proud, and
will be servile in his present Fortune; let him wait. Send for
Stertinius: He is modest, and his Virtue is worth gaining. I have
cooled my Heart with Reflection; and am fit to rejoice with the Army
to-morrow. He is a popular General who can expose himself like a
private Man during a Battel; but he is more popular who can rejoice
but like a private Man after a Victory.
What is particularly proper for the Example of all who pretend to
Industry in the Pursuit of Honour and Virtue, is, That this Hero was
more than ordinarily sollicitous about his Reputation, when a common
Mind would have thought it self in Security, and given it self a Loose
to Joy and Triumph. But though this is a very great Instance of his
Temper, I must confess I am more taken with his Reflections when he
retired to his Closet in some Disturbance upon the repeated ill Omens of
Calphurnia's Dream the Night before his Death. The literal Translation
of that Fragment shall conclude this Paper.
Be it so [then. ] If I am to die to-Morrow, that is what I am to do
to-Morrow: It will not be then, because I am willing it should be
then; nor shall I escape it, because I am unwilling. It is in the Gods
when, but in my self how I shall die. If Calphurnia's Dreams are Fumes
of Indigestion, how shall I behold the Day after to-morrow? If they
are from the Gods, their Admonition is not to prepare me to escape
from their Decree, but to meet it. I have lived to a Fulness of Days
and of Glory; what is there that Caesar has not done with as much
Honour as antient Heroes? Caesar has not yet died; Caesar is prepared to
[Footnote 1: [than]]
* * * * *
No. 375. Saturday, May 10, 1712. Hughes.
'Non possidentem multa vocaveris
Recte beatum: rectius occupat
Nomen beati, qui Deorum
Muneribus sapienter uti,
Duramque callet Pauperiem pati,
Pejusque Letho flagitium timet.'
I have more than once had occasion to mention a noble Saying of Seneca
the Philosopher, That a virtuous Person struggling with Misfortunes, and
rising above them, is an Object on which the Gods themselves may look
down with Delight.  I shall therefore set before my Reader a Scene of
this kind of Distress in private Life, for the Speculation of this Day.
An eminent Citizen, who had lived in good Fashion and Credit, was by a
Train of Accidents, and by an unavoidable Perplexity in his Affairs,
reduced to a low Condition. There is a Modesty usually attending
faultless Poverty, which made him rather chuse to reduce his Manner of
Living to his present Circumstances, than sollicit his Friends in order
to support the Shew of an Estate when the Substance was gone. His Wife,
who was a Woman of Sense and Virtue, behaved her self on this Occasion
with uncommon Decency, and never appear'd so amiable in his Eyes as now.
Instead of upbraiding him with the ample Fortune she had brought, or the
many great Offers she had refused for his sake, she redoubled all the
Instances of her Affection, while her Husband was continually pouring
out his Heart to her in Complaints that he had ruined the best Woman in
the World. He sometimes came home at a time when she did not expect him,
and surpriz'd her in Tears, which she endeavour'd to conceal, and always
put on an Air of Chearfulness to receive him. To lessen their Expence,
their eldest Daughter (whom I shall call Amanda) was sent into the
Country, to the House of an honest Farmer, who had married a Servant of
the Family. This young Woman was apprehensive of the Ruin which was
approaching, and had privately engaged a Friend in the Neighbourhood to
give her an account of what passed from time to time in her Father's
Affairs. Amanda was in the Bloom of her Youth and Beauty, when the Lord
of the Manor, who often called in at the Farmer's House as he followd
his Country Sports, fell passionately in love with her. He was a Man of
great Generosity, but from a loose Education had contracted a hearty
Aversion to Marriage. He therefore entertained a Design upon Amanda's
Virtue, which at present he thought fit to keep private. The innocent
Creature, who never suspected his Intentions, was pleased with his
Person; and having observed his growing Passion for her, hoped by so
advantageous a Match she might quickly be in a capacity of supporting
her impoverish'd Relations. One day as he called to see her, he found
her in Tears over a Letter she had just receiv'd from her Friend, which
gave an Account that her Father had lately been stripped of every thing
by an Execution. The Lover, who with some Difficulty found out the Cause
of her Grief, took this occasion to make her a Proposal. It is
impossible to express Amanda's Confusion when she found his Pretensions
were not honourable. She was now deserted of all her Hopes, and had no
Power to speak; but rushing from him in the utmost Disturbance, locked
her self up in her Chamber. He immediately dispatched a Messenger to her
Father with the following Letter.
I have heard of your Misfortune, and have offer'd your Daughter, if
she will live with me, to settle on her Four hundred Pounds a year,
and to lay down the Sum for which you are now distressed. I will be
so ingenuous as to tell you that I do not intend Marriage: But if you
are wise, you will use your Authority with her not to be too nice,
when she has an opportunity of saving you and your Family, and of
making her self happy.
I am, &c.
This Letter came to the Hands of Amanda's Mother; she opend and read it
with great Surprize and Concern. She did not think it proper to explain
her self to the Messenger, but desiring him to call again the next
Morning, she wrote to her Daughter as follows.
Your Father and I have just now receiv'd a Letter from a Gentleman who
pretends Love to you, with a Proposal that insults our Misfortunes,
and would throw us to a lower Degree of Misery than any thing which is
come upon us. How could this barbarous Man think, that the tenderest
of Parents would be tempted to supply their Wants by giving up the
best of Children to Infamy and Ruin? It is a mean and cruel Artifice
to make this Proposal at a time when he thinks our Necessities must
compel us to any thing; but we will not eat the Bread of Shame; and
therefore we charge thee not to think of us, but to avoid the Snare
which is laid for thy Virtue. Beware of pitying us: It is not so bad
as you have perhaps been told. All things will yet be well, and I
shall write my Child better News.
I have been interrupted. I know not how I was moved to say things
would mend. As I was going on I was startled by a Noise of one that
knocked at the Door, and hath brought us an unexpected Supply of a
Debt which had long been owing. Oh! I will now tell thee all. It is
some days I have lived almost without Support, having conveyd what
little Money I could raise to your poor Father--Thou wilt weep to
think where he is, yet be assured he will be soon at Liberty. That
cruel Letter would have broke his Heart, but I have concealed it from
him. I have no Companion at present besides little Fanny, who stands
watching my Looks as I write, and is crying for her Sister. She says
she is sure you are not well, having discover'd that my present
Trouble is about you. But do not think I would thus repeat my Sorrows,
to grieve thee: No, it is to intreat thee not to make them
insupportable, by adding what would be worse than all. Let us bear
chearfully an Affliction, which we have not brought on our selves, and
remember there is a Power who can better deliver us out of it than by
the Loss of thy Innocence. Heaven preserve my dear Child.
The Messenger, notwithstanding he promised to deliver this Letter to
Amanda, carry'd it first to his Master, who he imagined would be glad to
have an Opportunity of giving it into her Hands himself. His Master was
impatient to know the Success of his Proposal, and therefore broke open
the Letter privately to see the Contents. He was not a little moved at
so true a Picture of Virtue in Distress: But at the same time was
infinitely surprized to find his Offers rejected. However, he resolved
not to suppress the Letter, but carefully sealed it up again, and
carried it to Amanda. All his Endeavours to see her were in vain, till
she was assured he brought a Letter from her Mother. He would not part
with it, but upon Condition that she should read it without leaving the
Room. While she was perusing it, he fixed his Eyes on her Face with the
deepest Attention: Her Concern gave a new Softness to her Beauty, and
when she burst into Tears, he could no longer refrain from bearing a
Part of her Sorrow, and telling her, that he too had read the Letter and
was resolvd to make Reparation for having been the Occasion of it. My
Reader will not be displeased to see this Second Epistle which he now
wrote to Amanda's Mother.
I am full of Shame, and will never forgive my self, if I have not your
Pardon for what I lately wrote. It was far from my Intention to add
Trouble to the Afflicted; nor could any thing, but my being a Stranger
to you, have betray'd me into a Fault, for which, if I live, I shall
endeavour to make you amends, as a Son. You cannot be unhappy while
Amanda is your Daughter: nor shall be, if any thing can prevent it,
which is in the power of, MADAM,
Your most obedient
This Letter he sent by his Steward, and soon after went up to Town
himself, to compleat the generous Act he had now resolved on. By his
Friendship and Assistance Amanda's Father was quickly in a condition of
retrieving his perplex'd Affairs. To conclude, he Marry'd Amanda, and
enjoyd the double Satisfaction of having restored a worthy Family to
their former Prosperity, and of making himself happy by an Alliance to
[Footnote 1: See note on p. 148 [Footnote 1 of No. 39], vol. i.]
* * * * *
No. 376. Monday, May 12, 1712. Steele.
'--Pavone ex Pythagoreo--'
I have observed that the Officer you some time ago appointed as
Inspector of Signs, has not done his Duty so well as to give you an
Account of very many strange Occurrences in the publick Streets, which
are worthy of, but have escaped your Notice. Among all the Oddnesses
which I have ever met with, that which I am now telling you of gave me
most Delight. You must have observed that all the Criers in the Street
attract the Attention of the Passengers, and of the Inhabitants in the
several Parts, by something very particular in their Tone it self, in
the dwelling upon a Note, or else making themselves wholly
unintelligible by a Scream. The Person I am so delighted with has
nothing to sell, but very gravely receives the Bounty of the People,
for no other Merit but the Homage they pay to his Manner of signifying
to them that he wants a Subsidy. You must, sure, have heard speak of
an old Man, who walks about the City, and that part of the Suburbs
which lies beyond the Tower, performing the Office of a Day-Watchman,
followed by a Goose, which bears the Bob of his Ditty, and confirms
what he says with a Quack, Quack. I gave little heed to the mention of
this known Circumstance, till, being the other day in those Quarters,
I passed by a decrepit old Fellow with a Pole in his Hand, who just
then was bawling out, Half an Hour after one a-Clock, and immediately
a dirty Goose behind him made her Response, Quack, Quack. I could not
forbear attending this grave Procession for the length of half a
Street, with no small amazement to find the whole Place so familiarly
acquainted with a melancholy Mid-night Voice at Noon-day, giving them
the Hour, and exhorting them of the Departure of Time, with a Bounce
at their Doors. While I was full of this Novelty, I went into a
Friend's House, and told him how I was diverted with their whimsical
Monitor and his Equipage. My Friend gave me the History; and
interrupted my Commendation of the Man, by telling me the Livelihood
of these two Animals is purchased rather by the good Parts of the
Goose, than of the Leader: For it seems the Peripatetick who walked
before her was a Watchman in that Neighbourhood; and the Goose of her
self by frequent hearing his Tone, out of her natural Vigilance, not
only observed, but answer'd it very regularly from Time to Time. The
Watchman was so affected with it, that he bought her, and has taken
her in Partner, only altering their Hours of Duty from Night to Day.
The Town has come into it, and they live very comfortably. This is the
Matter of Fact: Now I desire you, who are a profound Philosopher, to
consider this Alliance of Instinct and Reason; your Speculation may
turn very naturally upon the Force the superior Part of Mankind may
have upon the Spirits of such as, like this Watchman, may be very near
the Standard of Geese. And you may add to this practical Observation,
how in all Ages and Times the World has been carry'd away by odd
unaccountable things, which one would think would pass upon no
Creature which had Reason; and, under the Symbol of this Goose, you
may enter into the Manner and Method of leading Creatures, with their
Eyes open, thro' thick and thin, for they know not what, they know not
All which is humbly submitted to your Spectatorial Wisdom by,
Your most humble Servant,
I have for several Years had under my Care the Government and
Education of young Ladies, which Trust I have endeavour'd to discharge
with due regard to their several Capacities and Fortunes: I have left
nothing undone to imprint in every one of them an humble courteous
Mind, accompanied with a graceful becoming Mein, and have made them
pretty much acquainted with the Houshold Part of Family-Affairs; but
still I find there is something very much wanting in the Air of my
Ladies, different from what I observe in those that are esteemed your
fine bred Women. Now, Sir, I must own to you, I never suffered my
Girls to learn to Dance; but since I have read your Discourse of
Dancing, where you have described the Beauty and Spirit there is in
regular Motion, I own my self your Convert, and resolve for the future
to give my young Ladies that Accomplishment. But upon imparting my
Design to their Parents, I have been made very uneasy, for some Time,
because several of them have declared, that if I did not make use of
the Master they recommended, they would take away their Children.
There was Colonel Jumper's Lady, a Colonel of the Train-Bands, that
has a great Interest in her Parish; she recommends Mr. Trott for the
prettiest Master in Town, that no Man teaches a Jigg like him, that
she has seen him rise six or seven Capers together with the greatest
Ease imaginable, and that his Scholars twist themselves more ways than
the Scholars of any Master in Town: besides there is Madam Prim, an
Alderman's Lady, recommends a Master of her own Name, but she declares
he is not of their Family, yet a very extraordinary Man in his way;
for besides a very soft Air he has in Dancing, he gives them a
particular Behaviour at a Tea-Table, and in presenting their
Snuff-Box, to twirl, flip, or flirt a Fan, and how to place Patches to
the best advantage, either for Fat or Lean, Long or Oval Faces: for my
Lady says there is more in these Things than the World Imagines. But I
must confess the major Part of those I am concern'd with leave it to
me. I desire therefore, according to the inclosed Direction, you would
send your Correspondent who has writ to you on that Subject to my
House. If proper Application this way can give Innocence new Charms,
and make Virtue legible in the Countenance, I shall spare no Charge to
make my Scholars in their very Features and Limbs bear witness how
careful I have been in the other Parts of their Education.
I am, SIR,
Your most humble Servant,
* * * * *
No. 377. Tuesday, May 13, 1712. Addison.
'Quid quisque vitet, nunquam homini satis
Cautum est in horas--'
Love was the Mother of Poetry, and still produces, among the most
ignorant and barbarous, a thousand imaginary Distresses and Poetical
Complaints. It makes a Footman talk like Oroondates, and converts a
brutal Rustick into a gentle Swain. The most ordinary Plebeian or
Mechanick in Love, bleeds and pines away with a certain Elegance and
Tenderness of Sentiments which this Passion naturally inspires.
These inward Languishings of a Mind infected with this Softness, have
given birth to a Phrase which is made use of by all the melting Tribe,
from the highest to the lowest, I mean that of dying for Love.
Romances, which owe their very Being to this Passion, are full of these
metaphorical Deaths. Heroes and Heroines, Knights, Squires, and Damsels,
are all of them in a dying Condition. There is the same kind of
Mortality in our Modern Tragedies, where every one gasps, faints, bleeds
and dies. Many of the Poets, to describe the Execution which is done by
this Passion, represent the Fair Sex as Basilisks that destroy with
their Eyes; but I think Mr. Cowley has with greater Justness of Thought
compared a beautiful Woman to a Porcupine, that sends an Arrow from
every Part. 
I have often thought, that there is no way so effectual for the Cure of
this general Infirmity, as a Man's reflecting upon the Motives that
produce it. When the Passion proceeds from the Sense of any Virtue or
Perfection in the Person beloved, I would by no means discourage it; but
if a Man considers that all his heavy Complaints of Wounds and Deaths
rise from some little Affectations of Coquetry, which are improved into
Charms by his own fond Imagination, the very laying before himself the
Cause of his Distemper, may be sufficient to effect the Cure of it.
It is in this view that I have looked over the several Bundles of
Letters which I have received from Dying People, and composed out of
them the following Bill of Mortality, which I shall lay before my Reader
without any further Preface, as hoping that it may be useful to him in
discovering those several Places where there is most Danger, and those
fatal Arts which are made use of to destroy the Heedless and Unwary.
Lysander, slain at a Puppet-show on the third of September.
Thirsis, shot from a Casement in Pickadilly.
T. S., wounded by Zehinda's Scarlet Stocking, as she was
stepping out of a Coach.
Will. Simple, smitten at the Opera by the Glance of an Eye that was
aimed at one who stood by him.
Tho. Vainlove, lost his Life at a Ball.
Tim. Tattle, kill'd by the Tap of a Fan on his left Shoulder by
Coquetilla, as he was talking carelessly with her in a
Sir Simon Softly, murder'd at the Play-house in Drury-lane by a Frown.
Philander, mortally wounded by Cleora, as she was adjusting her
Ralph Gapely, Esq., hit by a random Shot at the Ring.
F. R., caught his Death upon the Water, April the 31st.
W. W., killed by an unknown Hand, that was playing with the
Glove off upon the Side of the Front-Box in Drury-Lane.
Sir Christopher Crazy, Bart.,
hurt by the Brush of a Whalebone Petticoat.
Sylvius, shot through the Sticks of a Fan at St. James's Church.
Damon, struck thro' the Heart by a Diamond Necklace.
Edward Callow, Esqrs.,
standing in a Row, fell all four at the same time, by an
Ogle of the Widow Trapland.
Tom. Rattle, chancing to tread upon a Lady's Tail as he came out of
the Play-house, she turned full upon him, and laid him
dead upon the Spot.
Dick Tastewell, slain by a Blush from the Queen's Box in the third Act
of the Trip to the Jubilee.
Samuel Felt, Haberdasher,
wounded in his Walk to Islington by Mrs. Susannah
Crossstich, as she was clambering over a Stile.
M. P., &c., put to Death in the last Birth-Day Massacre.
Roger Blinko, cut off in the Twenty-first Year of his Age by a
Musidorus, slain by an Arrow that flew out of a Dimple in Belinda's
Ned Courtly presenting Flavia with her Glove (which she had dropped
on purpose) she receivd it, and took away his Life with a
John Gosselin having received a slight Hurt from a Pair of blue Eyes,
as he was making his Escape was dispatch'd by a Smile.
Strephon, killed by Clarinda as she looked down into the Pit.
shot flying by a Girl of Fifteen, who unexpectedly popped
her Head upon him out of a Coach.
Josiah Wither, aged threescore and three, sent to his long home by
Elizabeth Jet-well, Spinster.
Jack Freelove, murderd by Melissa in her Hair.
William Wiseaker, Gent.,
drown'd in a Flood of Tears by Moll Common.
John Pleadwell, Esq., of the Middle Temple, Barrister at Law,
assassinated in his Chambers the sixth Instant by Kitty Sly, who
pretended to come to him for his Advice.
They are all weapon, and they dart
Like Porcupines from every Part.
* * * * *
No. 378. Wednesday, May 14, 1712. Pope.
'Aggredere, O magnos, aderit jam tempus, honores.'
I will make no Apology for entertaining the Reader with the following
Poem, which is written by a great Genius, a Friend of mine, in the
Country, who is not ashamd to employ his Wit in the Praise of his Maker.
A sacred Eclogue, compos'd of several Passages of Isaiah the Prophet.
Written in Imitation of Virgil's POLLIO.
Ye Nymphs of Solyma! begin the Song:
To heav'nly Themes sublimer Strains belong.
The Mossy Fountains, and the Sylvan Shades,
The Dreams of Pindus and th' Aonian Maids,
Delight no more--O Thou my Voice inspire,
Who touch'd Isaiah's [hallow'd ] Lips with Fire!
Rapt into future Times, the Bard begun;
A Virgin shall conceive, a Virgin bear a Son!
[Isaiah, From Jesse's Root behold a Branch arise,
Cap. II. Whose sacred Flow'r with Fragrance fills the Skies.
v. 1.] Th' AEthereal Spirit o'er its Leaves shall move,
And on its Top descends the Mystick Dove.
[Cap. 45. Ye Heav'ns! from high the dewy Nectar pour,
v. 8.] And in soft Silence shed the kindly Show'r!
[Cap. 25. The Sick and Weak, the healing Plant shall aid,
v. 4.] From Storms a Shelter, and from Heat a Shade.
All Crimes shall cease, and ancient Fraud shall fail;
[Cap. 9. Returning Justice lift aloft her Scale;
v. 7.] Peace o'er the World her Olive Wand extend,
And white-rob'd Innocence from Heav'n descend.
Swift fly the Years, and rise th' expected Morn!
Oh spring to Light, Auspicious Babe, be born!
See Nature hastes her earliest Wreaths to bring,
With all the Incense of the breathing Spring:
[Cap. 35. See lofty Lebanon his Head advance,
v. 2.] See nodding Forests on the Mountains dance,
See spicy Clouds from lowly Sharon rise,
And Carmels flow'ry Top perfumes the Skies!
[Cap. 40. Hark! a glad Voice the lonely Desart chears;
v. 3, 4.] Prepare the Way! a God, a God appears:
A God! a God! the vocal Hills reply,
The Rocks proclaim th' approaching Deity.
Lo Earth receives him from the bending Skies!
Sink down ye Mountains, and ye Vallies rise!
With Heads declin'd, ye Cedars, Homage pay!
Be smooth ye Rocks, ye rapid Floods give way!
The SAVIOUR comes! by ancient Bards foretold;
v. 18.] Hear him, ye Deaf, and all ye Blind behold!
[Cap. 35. He from thick Films shall purge the visual Ray,
v. 5, 6.] And on the sightless Eye-ball pour the Day.
'Tis he th' obstructed Paths of Sound shall clear,
And bid new Musick charm th' unfolding Ear,
The Dumb shall sing, the Lame his Crutch forego,
And leap exulting like the bounding Roe;
[No Sigh, no Murmur the wide World shall hear,
From ev'ry Face he wipes off ev'ry Tear.
[Cap. 25. In Adamantine Chains shall Death be bound,
v. 8.] And Hell's grim Tyrant feel th' eternal Wound. ]
[Cap. 30. As the good Shepherd tends his fleecy Care,
v. xx.] Seeks freshest Pastures and the purest Air,
Explores the lost, the wand'ring Sheep directs,
By day o'ersees them, and by night protects;
The tender Lambs he raises in his Arms,
Feeds from his Hand, and in his Bosom warms:
Mankind shall thus his Guardian Care engage,
The promis'd Father of the future Age. 
No more shall Nation against Nation rise, 
No ardent Warriors meet with hateful Eyes,
Nor Fields with gleaming Steel be coverd o'er,
The Brazen Trumpets kindle Rage no more;
But useless Lances into Scythes shall bend,
And the broad Falchion in a Plow-share end.
Then Palaces shall rise; the joyful Son 
Shall finish what his short-liv'd Sire begun;
Their Vines a Shadow to their Race shall yield,
And the same Hand that sow'd shall reap the Field.
The Swain in barren Desarts with Surprize 
Sees Lillies spring, and sudden Verdure rise;
And Starts, amidst the thirsty Wilds, to hear,
New Falls of Water murmuring in his Ear:
On rifted Rocks, the Dragon's late Abodes,
The green Reed trembles, and the Bulrush nods.
Waste sandy Vallies, once perplexd with Thorn, 
The spiry Fir and shapely Box adorn:
To leafless Shrubs the flow'ring Palms succeed,
And od'rous Myrtle to the noisome Weed.
The Lambs with Wolves shall graze the verdant Mead 
And Boys in flow'ry Bands the Tyger lead;
The Steer and Lion at one Crib shall meet,
And harmless Serpents Lick the Pilgrim's Feet.
The smiling Infant in his Hand shall take
The crested Basilisk and speckled Snake;
Pleas'd, the green Lustre of the Scales survey,
And with their forky Tongue and pointless Sting shall
Rise, crown'd with Light, imperial Salem rise! 
Exalt thy tow'ry Head, and lift thy Eyes!
See, a long Race thy spacious Courts adorn; 
See future Sons and Daughters yet unborn
In crowding Ranks on ev'ry side arise,
Demanding Life, impatient for the Skies!
See barb'rous Nations at thy Gates attend, 
Walk in thy Light, and in thy Temple bend.
See thy bright Altars throng'd with prostrate Kings,
And heap'd with Products of Sabaean Springs! 
For thee Idume's spicy Forests blow;
And seeds of Gold in Ophir's Mountains glow.
See Heav'n its sparkling Portals wide display,
And break upon thee in a Flood of Day!
No more the rising Sun shall gild the Morn, 
Nor Evening Cynthia fill her silver Horn,
But lost, dissolv'd in thy superior Rays;
One Tide of Glory, one unclouded Blaze
O'erflow thy Courts: The LIGHT HIMSELF shall shine
Reveal'd; and God's eternal Day be thine!
The Seas shall waste, the Skies in Smoke decay; 
Rocks fall to Dust, and Mountains melt away;
But fix'd His Word, His saving Pow'r remains:
Thy Realm for ever lasts! thy own Messiah reigns.
[Footnote 1: Thus far Steele.]
[Footnote 2: [hollow'd]]
[Before him Death, the grisly Tyrant, flies;
He wipes the Tears for ever from our Eyes.]
This was an alteration which Steele had suggested, and in which young
Pope had acquiesced. Steele wrote:
I have turned to every verse and chapter, and think you have preserved
the sublime, heavenly spirit throughout the whole, especially at "Hark
a glad voice," and "The lamb with wolves shall graze." There is but
one line which I think is below the original:
He wipes the tears for ever from our eyes.
You have expressed it with a good and pious but not so exalted and
poetical a spirit as the prophet: The Lord God shall wipe away tears
from off all faces. If you agree with me in this, alter it by way of
paraphrase or otherwise, that when it comes into a volume it may be
[Footnote 4: Cap. 9. v. 6.]
[Footnote 5: Cap. 2. v. 4.]
[Footnote 6: Cap. 65. v. 21, 22.]
[Footnote 7: Cap 35. v. 1, 7.]
[Footnote 8: Cap. 41. v. 19. and Cap. 55. v. 13.]
[Footnote 9: Cap. 11. v. 6, 7, 8.]
[Footnote 10: Cap. 60. v. 1.]
[Footnote 11: Cap. 60. v. 4.]
[Footnote 12: Cap. 60. v. 3.]
[Footnote 13: Cap. 60. v. 6.]
[Footnote 14: Cap. 60. v. 19, 20.]
[Footnote 15: Cap. 51. v. 6. and Cap. 64. v. 10.]
* * * * *
No. 379. Thursday, May 15, 1712. Budgell.
'Scire tuum nihil est nisi te scire hoc sciat alter.'
I have often wondered at that ill-natur'd Position which has been
sometimes maintained in the Schools, and is comprizd in an old Latin
Verse, namely, that A Man's Knowledge is worth nothing, if he
communicates what he knows to any one besides.  There is certainly no
more sensible Pleasure to a good-natur'd Man, than if he can by any
means gratify or inform the Mind of another. I might add, that this
Virtue naturally carries its own reward along with it, since it is
almost impossible it should be exercised without the Improvement of the
Person who practices it. The reading of Books, and the daily Occurrences
of Life, are continually furnishing us with Matter for Thought and
Reflection. It is extremely natural for us to desire to see such our
Thoughts put into the Dress of Words, without which indeed we can scarce
have a clear and distinct Idea of them our selves: When they are thus
clothed in Expressions, nothing so truly shews us whether they are just
or false, as those Effects which they produce in the Minds of others.
I am apt to flatter my self, that in the Course of these my
Speculations, I have treated of several Subjects, and laid down many
such Rules for the Conduct of a Man's Life, which my Readers were either
wholly ignorant of before, or which at least those few who were
acquainted with them, looked upon as so many Secrets they have found out
for the Conduct of themselves, but were resolved never to have made
I am the more confirmed in this Opinion from my having received several
Letters, wherein I am censur'd for having prostituted Learning to the
Embraces of the Vulgar, and made her, as one of my Correspondents
phrases it, a common Strumpet: I am charged by another with laying open
the Arcana, or Secrets of Prudence, to the Eyes of every Reader.
The narrow Spirit which appears in the Letters of these my
Correspondents is the less surprizing, as it has shewn itself in all
Ages: There is still extant an Epistle written by Alexander the Great to
his Tutor Aristotle, upon that Philosopher's publishing some part of his
Writings; in which the Prince complains of his having made known to all
the World, those Secrets in Learning which he had before communicated to
him in private Lectures; concluding, That he had rather excel the rest
of Mankind in Knowledge than in Power. 
Luisa de Padilla, a Lady of great Learning, and Countess of Aranda, was
in like manner angry with the famous Gratian,  upon his publishing
his Treatise of the Discrete; wherein she fancied that he had laid open
those Maxims to common Readers, which ought only to have been reserved
for the Knowledge of the Great.
These Objections are thought by many of so much weight, that they often
defend the above-mentiond Authors, by affirming they have affected such
an Obscurity in their Style and Manner of Writing, that tho every one
may read their Works, there will be but very few who can comprehend
Persius, the Latin Satirist, affected Obscurity for another Reason; with
which however Mr. Cowley is so offended, that writing to one of his
Friends, You, says he, tell me, that you do not know whether Persius be
a good Poet or no, because you cannot understand him; for which very
Reason I affirm that he is not so.
However, this Art of writing unintelligibly has been very much improved,
and follow'd by several of the Moderns, who observing the general
Inclination of Mankind to dive into a Secret, and the Reputation many
have acquired by concealing their Meaning under obscure Terms and
Phrases, resolve, that they may be still more abstruse, to write without
any Meaning at all. This Art, as it is at present practised by many
eminent Authors, consists in throwing so many Words at a venture into
different Periods, and leaving the curious Reader to find out the
Meaning of them.
The Egyptians, who made use of Hieroglyphicks to signify several things,
expressed a Man who confined his Knowledge and Discoveries altogether
within himself, by the Figure of a Dark-Lanthorn closed on all sides,
which, tho' it was illuminated within, afforded no manner of Light or
Advantage to such as stood by it. For my own part, as I shall from time
to time communicate to the Publick whatever Discoveries I happen to
make, I should much rather be compared to an ordinary Lamp, which
consumes and wastes it self for the benefit of every Passenger.
I shall conclude this Paper with the Story of Rosicrucius's Sepulchre. I
suppose I need not inform my Readers that this Man was the Founder of
the Rosicrusian Sect, and that his Disciples still pretend to new
Discoveries, which they are never to communicate to the rest of Mankind.
A certain Person having occasion to dig somewhat deep in the Ground
where this Philosopher lay inter'd, met with a small Door having a Wall
on each side of it. His Curiosity, and the Hopes of finding some hidden
Treasure, soon prompted him to force open the Door. He was immediately
surpriz'd by a sudden Blaze of Light, and discover'd a very fair Vault:
At the upper end of it was a Statue of a Man in Armour sitting by a
Table, and leaning on his Left Arm. He held a Truncheon in his right
Hand, and had a Lamp burning before him. The Man had no sooner set one
Foot within the Vault, than the Statue erecting it self from its leaning
Posture, stood bolt upright; and upon the Fellow's advancing another
Step, lifted up the Truncheon in his Right Hand. The Man still ventur'd
a third Step, when the Statue with a furious Blow broke the Lamp into a
thousand Pieces, and left his Guest in a sudden Darkness.
Upon the Report of this Adventure, the Country People soon came with
Lights to the Sepulchre, and discovered that the Statue, which was made
of Brass, was nothing more than a Piece of Clock-work; that the Floor of
the Vault was all loose, and underlaid with several Springs, which, upon
any Man's entering, naturally produced that which had happend.
Rosicrucius, says his Disciples, made use of this Method, to shew the
World that he had re-invented the ever-burning Lamps of the Ancients,
tho' he was resolvd no one should reap any Advantage from the Discovery.
[Footnote 1: Nil proprium ducas quod mutarier potest.]
[Footnote 2: Aulus Gellius. Noct. Att., Bk xx., ch. 5.]
[Footnote 3: Baltazar Grecian's Discreto has been mentioned before in
the Spectator, being well-known in England through a French translation.
See note on p. 303, ante [Footnote 1 of No. 293]. Gracian, in Spain,
became especially popular as a foremost representative of his time in
transferring the humour for conceits--cultismo, as it was called--from
verse to prose. He began in 1630 with a prose tract, the Hero, laboured
in short ingenious sentences, which went through six editions. He wrote
also an Art of Poetry after the new style. His chief work was the
Criticon, an allegory of the Spring, Autumn, and Winter of life. The
Discreto was one of his minor works. All that he wrote was published,
not by himself, but by a friend, and in the name of his brother Lorenzo,
who was not an ecclesiastic.]
[Footnote 4: Rosicrucius had been made fashionable by the Abbe de
Villars who was assassinated in 1675. His Comte de Gabalis was a popular
little book in the Spectators time. I suppose I need not inform my
readers that there never was a Rosicrucius or a Rosicrucian sect. The
Rosicrucian pamphlets which appeared in Germany at the beginning of the
17th century, dating from the Discovery of the Brotherhood of the
Honourable Order of the Rosy Cross, a pamphlet published in 1610, by a
Lutheran clergyman, Valentine Andreae, were part of a hoax designed
perhaps originally as means of establishing a sort of charitable masonic
society of social reformers. Missing that aim, the Rosicrucian story
lived to be adorned by superstitious fancy, with ideas of mystery and
magic, which in the Comte de Gabalis were methodized into a consistent
romance. It was from this romance that Pope got what he called the
Rosicrucian machinery of his Rape of the Lock. The Abbe de Villars,
professing to give very full particulars, had told how the Rosicrucians
assigned sylphs to the air, gnomes to the earth, nymphs to the water,
salamanders to the fire.]
* * * * *
No. 380. Friday, May 16, 1712. Steele
'Rivalem patienter habe--'
Thursday, May 8, 1712.
The Character you have in the World of being the Lady's Philosopher,
and the pretty Advice I have seen you give to others in your Papers,
make me address my self to you in this abrupt Manner, and to desire
your Opinion what in this Age a Woman may call a Lover. I have lately
had a Gentleman that I thought made Pretensions to me, insomuch that
most of my Friends took Notice of it and thought we were really
married; which I did not take much Pains to undeceive them, and
especially a young Gentlewoman of my particular Acquaintance which was
then in the Country. She coming to Town, and seeing our Intimacy so
great, she gave her self the Liberty of taking me to task concerning
it: I ingenuously told her we were not married, but I did not know
what might the Event. She soon got acquainted with the Gentleman, and
was pleased to take upon her to examine him about it. Now whether a
new Face had made a greater Conquest than the old, I'll leave you to
judge: But I am informd that he utterly deny'd all Pretensions to
Courtship, but withal profess'd a sincere Friendship for me; but
whether Marriages are propos'd by way of Friendship or not, is what I
desire to know, and what I may really call a Lover. There are so many
who talk in a Language fit only for that Character, and yet guard
themselves against speaking in direct Terms to the Point, that it is
impossible to distinguish between Courtship and Conversation. I hope
you will do me Justice both upon my Lover and my Friend, if they
provoke me further: In the mean time I carry it with so equal a
Behaviour, that the Nymph and the Swain too are mighty at a loss; each
believes I, who know them both well, think my self revenged in their
Love to one another, which creates an irreconcileable Jealousy. If all
comes right again, you shall hear further from,
Your most obedient Servant,
April 28, 1712.
Your Observations on Persons that have behaved themselves irreverently
at Church, I doubt not have had a good Effect on some that have read
them: But there is another Fault which has hitherto escaped your
Notice, I mean of such Persons as are very zealous and punctual to
perform an Ejaculation that is only preparatory to the Service of the
Church, and yet neglect to join in the Service it self. There is an
Instance of this in a Friend of WILL. HONEYCOMB'S, who sits opposite
to me: He seldom comes in till the Prayers are about half over, and
when he has enter'd his Seat (instead of joining with the
Congregation) he devoutly holds his Hat before his Face for three or
four Moments, then bows to all his Acquaintance, sits down, takes a
Pinch of Snuff, (if it be Evening Service perhaps a Nap) and spends
the remaining Time in surveying the Congregation. Now, Sir, what I
would desire, is, that you will animadvert a little on this
Gentleman's Practice. In my Opinion, this Gentleman's Devotion,
Cap-in-Hand, is only a Compliance to the Custom of the Place, and goes
no further than a little ecclesiastical Good-Breeding. If you will not
pretend to tell us the Motives that bring such Triflers to solemn
Assemblies, yet let me desire that you will give this Letter a Place
in your Paper, and I shall remain,
Your obliged humble Servant,
May the 5th.
The Conversation at a Club, of which I am a Member, last Night falling
upon Vanity and the Desire of being admired, put me in mind of
relating how agreeably I was entertained at my own Door last Thursday
by a clean fresh-colour'd Girl, under the most elegant and the best
furnished Milk-Pail I had ever observed. I was glad of such an
Opportunity of seeing the Behaviour of a Coquet in low Life, and how
she received the extraordinary Notice that was taken of her; which I
found had affected every Muscle of her Face in the same manner as it
does the Feature of a first-rate Toast at a Play, or in an Assembly.
This Hint of mine made the Discourse turn upon the Sense of Pleasure;
which ended in a general Resolution, that the Milk-Maid enjoys her
Vanity as exquisitely as the Woman of Quality. I think it would not be
an improper Subject for you to examine this Frailty, and trace it to
all Conditions of Life; which is recommended to you as an Occasion of
obliging many of your Readers, among the rest,
Your most humble Servant,
Coming last Week into a Coffee-house not far from the Exchange with my
Basket under my Arm, a Jew of considerable Note, as I am informed,
takes half a Dozen Oranges of me, and at the same time slides a Guinea
into my Hand; I made him a Curtsy, and went my Way: He follow'd me,
and finding I was going about my Business, he came up with me, and
told me plainly, that he gave me the Guinea with no other Intent but
to purchase my Person for an Hour. Did you so, Sir? says I: You gave
it me then to make me be wicked, I'll keep it to make me honest.
However, not to be in the least ungrateful, I promise you Ill lay it
out in a couple of Rings, and wear them for your Sake. I am so just,
Sir, besides, as to give every Body that asks how I came by my Rings
this Account of my Benefactor; but to save me the Trouble of telling
my Tale over and over again, I humbly beg the favour of you so to tell
it once for all, and you will extremely oblige,
Your humble Servant,
May 12, 1712.
St. Bride's, May 15, 1712.
'Tis a great deal of Pleasure to me, and I dare say will be no less
Satisfaction to you, that I have an Opportunity of informing you, that
the Gentlemen and others of the Parish of St. Bride's, have raised a
Charity-School of fifty Girls, as before of fifty Boys. You were so
kind to recommend the Boys to the charitable World, and the other Sex
hope you will do them the same Favour in Friday's Spectator for Sunday
next, when they are to appear with their humble Airs at the Parish
Church of St. Bride's. Sir, the Mention of this may possibly be
serviceable to the Children; and sure no one will omit a good Action
attended with no Expence.
I am, SIR, Your very humble Servant,
* * * * *
No. 381. Saturday, May 17, 1712. Addison.
'AEquam memento rebus in arduis,
Servare mentem, non secus in bonis
Ab insolenti temperatam
Laetitia, moriture Deli.'
I have always preferred Chearfulness to Mirth. The latter, I consider as
an Act, the former as an Habit of the Mind. Mirth is short and
transient. Chearfulness fixed and permanent. Those are often raised into
the greatest Transports of Mirth, who are subject to the greatest
Depressions of Melancholy: On the contrary, Chearfulness, tho' it does
not give the Mind such an exquisite Gladness, prevents us from falling
into any Depths of Sorrow. Mirth is like a Flash of Lightning, that
breaks thro a Gloom of Clouds, and glitters for a Moment; Chearfulness
keeps up a kind of Day-light in the Mind, and fills it with a steady and
Men of austere Principles look upon Mirth as too wanton and dissolute
for a State of Probation, and as filled with a certain Triumph and
Insolence of Heart, that is inconsistent with a Life which is every
Moment obnoxious to the greatest Dangers. Writers of this Complexion
have observed, that the sacred Person who was the great Pattern of
Perfection was never seen to Laugh.
Chearfulness of Mind is not liable to any of these Exceptions; it is of
a serious and composed Nature, it does not throw the Mind into a
Condition improper for the present State of Humanity, and is very
conspicuous in the Characters of those who are looked upon as the
greatest Philosophers among the Heathens, as well as among those who
have been deservedly esteemed as Saints and Holy Men among Christians.
If we consider Chearfulness in three Lights, with regard to our selves,
to those we converse with, and to the great Author of our Being, it will
not a little recommend it self on each of these Accounts. The Man who is
possessed of this excellent Frame of Mind, is not only easy in his
Thoughts, but a perfect Master of all the Powers and Faculties of his
Soul: His Imagination is always clear, and his Judgment undisturbed: His
Temper is even and unruffled, whether in Action or in Solitude. He comes
with a Relish to all those Goods which Nature has provided for him,
tastes all the Pleasures of the Creation which are poured about him, and
does not feel the full Weight of those accidental Evils which may befal
If we consider him in relation to the Persons whom he converses with, it
naturally produces Love and Good-will towards him. A chearful Mind is
not only disposed to be affable and obliging, but raises the same good
Humour in those who come within its Influence. A Man finds himself
pleased, he does not know why, with the Chearfulness of his Companion:
It is like a sudden Sun-shine that awakens a secret Delight in the Mind,
without her attending to it. The Heart rejoices of its own accord, and
naturally flows out into Friendship and Benevolence towards the Person
who has so kindly an Effect upon it.
When I consider this chearful State of Mind in its third Relation, I
cannot but look upon it as a constant habitual Gratitude to the great
Author of Nature. An inward Chearfulness is an implicit Praise and
Thanksgiving to Providence under all its Dispensations. It is a kind of
Acquiescence in the State wherein we are placed, and a secret
Approbation of the Divine Will in his Conduct towards Man.
There are but two things which, in my Opinion, can reasonably deprive us
of this Chearfulness of Heart. The first of these is the Sense of Guilt.
A Man who lives in a State of Vice and Impenitence, can have no Title to
that Evenness and Tranquillity of Mind which is the Health of the Soul,
and the natural Effect of Virtue and Innocence. Chearfulness in an ill
Man deserves a harder Name than Language can furnish us with, and is
many degrees beyond what we commonly call Folly or Madness.
Atheism, by which I mean a Disbelief of a Supreme Being, and
consequently of a future State, under whatsoever Titles it shelters it
self, may likewise very reasonably deprive a Man of this Chearfulness of
Temper. There is something so particularly gloomy and offensive to human
Nature in the Prospect of Non-Existence, that I cannot but wonder, with
many excellent Writers, how it is possible for a Man to out-live the
Expectation of it. For my own Part, I think the Being of a God is so
little to be doubted, that it is almost the only Truth we are sure of,
and such a Truth as we meet with in every Object, in every Occurrence,
and in every Thought. If we look into the Characters of this Tribe of
Infidels, we generally find they are made up of Pride, Spleen, and
Cavil: It is indeed no wonder, that Men, who are uneasy to themselves,
should be so to the rest of the World; and how is it possible for a Man
to be otherwise than uneasy in himself, who is in danger every Moment of
losing his entire Existence, and dropping into Nothing?
The vicious Man and Atheist have therefore no Pretence to Chearfulness,
and would act very unreasonably, should they endeavour after it. It is
impossible for any one to live in Good-Humour, and enjoy his present
Existence, who is apprehensive either of Torment or of Annihilation; of
being miserable, or of not being at all.
After having mention'd these two great Principles, which are destructive
of Chearfulness in their own Nature, as well as in right Reason, I
cannot think of any other that ought to banish this happy Temper from a
Virtuous Mind. Pain and Sickness, Shame and Reproach, Poverty and old
Age, nay Death it self, considering the Shortness of their Duration, and
the Advantage we may reap from them, do not deserve the Name of Evils. A
good Mind may bear up under them with Fortitude, with Indolence and with
Chearfulness of Heart. The tossing of a Tempest does not discompose him,
which he is sure will bring him to a Joyful Harbour.
A Man, who uses his best endeavours to live according to the Dictates of
Virtue and right Reason, has two perpetual Sources of Chearfulness; in
the Consideration of his own Nature, and of that Being on whom he has a
Dependance. If he looks into himself, he cannot but rejoice in that
Existence, which is so lately bestowed upon him, and which, after
Millions of Ages, will be still new, and still in its Beginning. How
many Self-Congratulations naturally arise in the Mind, when it reflects
on this its Entrance into Eternity, when it takes a View of those
improveable Faculties, which in a few Years, and even at its first
setting out, have made so considerable a Progress, and which will be
still receiving an Increase of Perfection, and consequently an Increase
of Happiness? The Consciousness of such a Being spreads a perpetual
Diffusion of Joy through the Soul of a virtuous Man, and makes him look
upon himself every Moment as more happy than he knows how to conceive.
The second Source of Chearfulness to a good Mind, is its Consideration
of that Being on whom we have our Dependance, and in whom, though we
behold him as yet but in the first faint Discoveries of his Perfections,
we see every thing that we can imagine as great, glorious, or amiable.
We find our selves every where upheld by his Goodness, and surrounded
with an Immensity of Love and Mercy. In short, we depend upon a Being,
whose Power qualifies him to make us happy by an Infinity of Means,
whose Goodness and Truth engage him to make those happy who desire it of
him, and whose Unchangeableness will secure us in this Happiness to all
Such Considerations, which every one should perpetually cherish in his
Thoughts, will banish, from us all that secret Heaviness of Heart which
unthinking Men are subject to when they lie under no real Affliction,
all that Anguish which we may feel from any Evil that actually oppresses
us, to which I may likewise add those little Cracklings of Mirth and
Folly that are apter to betray Virtue than support it; and establish in
us such an even and chearful Temper, as makes us pleasing to our selves,
to those with whom we converse, and to him whom we were made to please.
* * * * *
No. 382. Monday, May 19, 1712. Steele.
'Habes confitentem reum.'
I ought not to have neglected a Request of one of my Correspondents so
long as I have; but I dare say I have given him time to add Practice to
Profession. He sent me some time ago a Bottle or two of excellent Wine
to drink the Health of a Gentleman, who had by the Penny-Post advertised
him of an egregious Error in his Conduct. My Correspondent received the
Obligation from an unknown Hand with the Candour which is natural to an
ingenuous Mind; and promises a contrary Behaviour in that Point for the
future: He will offend his Monitor with no more Errors of that kind, but
thanks him for his Benevolence. This frank Carriage makes me reflect
upon the amiable Atonement a Man makes in an ingenuous Acknowledgment of
a Fault: All such Miscarriages as flow from Inadvertency are more than
repaid by it; for Reason, though not concerned in the Injury, employs
all its Force in the Atonement. He that says, he did not design to
disoblige you in such an Action, does as much as if he should tell you,
that tho' the Circumstance which displeased was never in his Thoughts,
he has that Respect for you, that he is unsatisfied till it is wholly
out of yours. It must be confessed, that when an Acknowledgment of
Offence is made out of Poorness of Spirit, and not Conviction of Heart,
the Circumstance is quite different: But in the Case of my
Correspondent, where both the Notice is taken and the Return made in
private, the Affair begins and ends with the highest Grace on each Side.
To make the Acknowledgment of a Fault in the highest manner graceful, it
is lucky when the Circumstances of the Offender place him above any ill
Consequences from the Resentment of the Person offended. A Dauphin of
France, upon a Review of the Army, and a Command of the King to alter
the Posture of it by a March of one of the Wings, gave an improper Order
to an Officer at the Head of a Brigade, who told his Highness, he
presumed he had not received the last Orders, which were to move a
contrary Way. The Prince, instead of taking the Admonition which was
delivered in a manner that accounted for his Error with Safety to his
Understanding, shaked a Cane at the Officer; and with the return of
opprobrious Language, persisted in his own Orders. The whole Matter came
necessarily before the King, who commanded his Son, on foot, to lay his
right Hand on the Gentleman's Stirrup as he sat on Horseback in sight of
the whole Army, and ask his Pardon. When the Prince touched his Stirrup,
and was going to speak, the Officer with an incredible Agility, threw
himself on the Earth, and kissed his Feet.
The Body is very little concerned in the Pleasures or Sufferings of
Souls truly great; and the Reparation, when an Honour was designed this
Soldier, appeared as much too great to be borne by his Gratitude, as the
Injury was intolerable to his Resentment.
When we turn our Thoughts from these extraordinary Occurrences in common
Life, we see an ingenuous kind of Behaviour not only make up for Faults
committed, but in a manner expiate them in the very Commission. Thus
many things wherein a Man has pressed too far, he implicitly excuses, by
owning, This is a Trespass; youll pardon my Confidence; I am sensible I
have no Pretension to this Favour, and the like. But commend me to those
gay Fellows about Town who are directly impudent, and make up for it no
otherwise than by calling themselves such, and exulting in it. But this
sort of Carriage, which prompts a Man against Rules to urge what he has
a Mind to, is pardonable only when you sue for another. When you are
confident in preference of your self to others of equal Merit, every Man
that loves Virtue and Modesty ought, in Defence of those Qualities, to
oppose you: But, without considering the Morality of the thing, let us
at this time behold only the natural Consequence of Candour when we
speak of ourselves.
The SPECTATOR writes often in an Elegant, often in an Argumentative, and
often in a Sublime Style, with equal Success; but how would it hurt the
reputed Author of that Paper to own, that of the most beautiful Pieces
under his Title, he is barely the Publisher? There is nothing but what a
Man really performs, can be an Honour to him; what he takes more than he
ought in the Eye of the World, he loses in the Conviction of his own
Heart; and a Man must lose his Consciousness, that is, his very Self,
before he can rejoice in any Falshood without inward Mortification.
Who has not seen a very Criminal at the Bar, when his Counsel and
Friends have done all that they could for him in vain, prevail upon the
whole Assembly to pity him, and his Judge to recommend his Case to the
Mercy of the Throne, without offering any thing new in his Defence, but
that he, whom before we wished convicted, became so out of his own
Mouth, and took upon himself all the Shame and Sorrow we were just
before preparing for him? The great Opposition to this kind of Candour,
arises from the unjust Idea People ordinarily have of what we call an
high Spirit. It is far from Greatness of Spirit to persist in the Wrong
in any thing, nor is it a Diminution of Greatness of Spirit to have been
in the Wrong: Perfection is not the Attribute of Man, therefore he is
not degraded by the Acknowledgment of an Imperfection: But it is the
Work of little Minds to imitate the Fortitude of great Spirits on worthy
Occasions, by Obstinacy in the Wrong. This Obstinacy prevails so far
upon them, that they make it extend to the Defence of Faults in their
very Servants. It would swell this Paper to too great a length, should I
insert all the Quarrels and Debates which are now on foot in this Town;
where one Party, and in some Cases both, is sensible of being on the
faulty Side, and have not Spirit enough to Acknowledge it. Among the
Ladies the Case is very common, for there are very few of them who know
that it is to maintain a true and high Spirit, to throw away from it all
which it self disapproves, and to scorn so pitiful a Shame, as that
which disables the Heart from acquiring a Liberality of Affections and
Sentiments. The candid Mind, by acknowledging and discarding its Faults,
has Reason and Truth for the Foundation of all its Passions and Desires,
and consequently is happy and simple; the disingenuous Spirit, by
Indulgence of one unacknowledged Error, is intangled with an After-Life
of Guilt, Sorrow, and Perplexity.
* * * * *
No. 383. Tuesday, May 20, 1712. Addison.
'Criminibus debent Hortos--'
As I was sitting in my Chamber, and thinking on a Subject for my next
Spectator, I heard two or three irregular Bounces at my Landlady's Door,
and upon the opening of it, a loud chearful Voice enquiring whether the
Philosopher was at Home. The Child who went to the Door answered very
Innocently, that he did not Lodge there. I immediately recollected that
it was my good Friend Sir ROGER'S Voice; and that I had promised to go
with him on the Water to Spring-Garden, in case it proved a good
Evening. The Knight put me in mind of my Promise from the Bottom of the
Stair-Case, but told me that if I was Speculating he would stay below
till I had done. Upon my coming down, I found all the Children of the
Family got about my old Friend, and my Landlady herself, who is a
notable prating Gossip, engaged in a Conference with him; being mightily
pleased with his stroaking her little Boy upon the Head, and bidding him
be a good Child and mind his Book.
We were no sooner come to the Temple Stairs, but we were surrounded with
a Crowd of Watermen, offering us their respective Services. Sir ROGER,
after having looked about him very attentively, spied one with a
Wooden-Leg, and immediately gave him Orders to get his Boat ready. As we
were walking towards it, You must know, says Sir ROGER, I never make use
of any body to row me, that has not either lost a Leg or an Arm. I would
rather bate him a few Strokes of his Oar, than not employ an honest Man
that has been wounded in the Queen's Service. If I was a Lord or a
Bishop, and kept a Barge, I would not put a Fellow in my Livery that had
not a Wooden-Leg.
My old Friend, after having seated himself, and trimmed the Boat with
his Coachman, who, being a very sober Man, always serves for Ballast on
these Occasions, we made the best of our way for Fox-Hall. Sir ROGER
obliged the Waterman to give us the History of his Right Leg, and
hearing that he had left it [at La Hogue ] with many Particulars
which passed in that glorious Action, the Knight in the Triumph of his
Heart made several Reflections on the Greatness of the British Nation;
as, that one Englishman could beat three Frenchmen; that we could never
be in danger of Popery so long as we took care of our Fleet; that the
Thames was the noblest River in Europe; that London Bridge was a greater
piece of Work, than any of the seven Wonders of the World; with many
other honest Prejudices which naturally cleave to the Heart of a true
After some short Pause, the old Knight turning about his Head twice or
thrice, to take a Survey of this great Metropolis, bid me observe how
thick the City was set with Churches, and that there was scarce a single
Steeple on this side Temple-Bar. A most Heathenish Sight! says Sir
ROGER: There is no Religion at this End of the Town. The fifty new
Churches will very much mend the Prospect; but Church-work is slow,
Church-work is slow!
I do not remember I have any where mentioned, in Sir ROGER'S Character,
his Custom of saluting every Body that passes by him with a Good-morrow
or a Good-night. This the old Man does out of the overflowings of his
Humanity, though at the same time it renders him so popular among all
his Country Neighbours, that it is thought to have gone a good way in
making him once or twice Knight of the Shire. He cannot forbear this
Exercise of Benevolence even in Town, when he meets with any one in his
Morning or Evening Walk. It broke from him to several Boats that passed
by us upon the Water; but to the Knight's great Surprize, as he gave the
Good-night to two or three young Fellows a little before our Landing,
one of them, instead of returning the Civility, asked us what queer old
Put we had in the Boat, and whether he was not ashamed to go a Wenching
at his Years? with a great deal of the like Thames-Ribaldry. Sir ROGER
seemd a little shocked at first, but at length assuming a Face of
Magistracy, told us, That if he were a Middlesex Justice, he would make
such Vagrants know that Her Majesty's Subjects were no more to be abused
by Water than by Land.
We were now arrived at Spring-Garden, which is exquisitely pleasant at
this time of Year. When I considered the Fragrancy of the Walks and
Bowers, with the Choirs of Birds that sung upon the Trees, and the loose
Tribe of People that walked under their Shades, I could not but look
upon the Place as a kind of Mahometan Paradise. Sir ROGER told me it put
him in mind of a little Coppice by his House in the Country, which his
Chaplain used to call an Aviary of Nightingales. You must understand,
says the Knight, there is nothing in the World that pleases a Man in
Love so much as your Nightingale. Ah, Mr. SPECTATOR! the many Moon-light
Nights that I have walked by my self, and thought on the Widow by the
Musek of the Nightingales! He here fetched a deep Sigh, and was falling
into a Fit of musing, when a Masque, who came behind him, gave him a
gentle Tap upon the Shoulder, and asked him if he would drink a Bottle
of Mead with her? But the Knight, being startled at so unexpected a
Familiarity, and displeased to be interrupted in his Thoughts of the
Widow, told her, She was a wanton Baggage, and bid her go about her
We concluded our Walk with a Glass of Burton-Ale, and a Slice of
Hung-Beef. When we had done eating our selves, the Knight called a
Waiter to him, and bid him carry the remainder to the Waterman that had
but one Leg. I perceived the Fellow stared upon him at the oddness of
the Message, and was going to be saucy; upon which I ratified the
Knight's Commands with a Peremptory Look.
As we were going out of the Garden, my old Friend, thinking himself
obliged, as a Member of the Quorum, to animadvert upon the Morals of the
Place, told the Mistress of the House, who sat at the Bar, That he
should be a better Customer to her Garden, if there were more
Nightingales, and fewer Strumpets.
[Footnote 1: [in Bantry Bay] In Bantry Bay, on May-day, 1689, a French
Fleet, bringing succour to the adherents of James II., attacked the
English, under Admiral Herbert, and obliged them to retire. The change
of name in the text was for one with a more flattering association. In
the Battle of La Hogue, May 19, 1692, the English burnt 13 of the
enemy's ships, destroyed 8, dispersed the rest, and prevented a
threatened descent of the French upon England.]
* * * * *
No. 384. Wednesday, May 21, 1712. Steele.
Hague, May 24. N. S.
The same Republican Hands, who have so often since the Chevalier de
St. George's Recovery killed him in our publick Prints, have now
reduced the young Dauphin of France to that desperate Condition of
Weakness, and Death it self, that it is hard to conjecture what Method
they will take to bring him to Life again. Mean time we are assured by
a very good Hand from Paris, That on the 2Oth Instant, this young
Prince was as well as ever he was known to be since the Day of his
Birth. As for the other, they are now sending his Ghost, we suppose,
(for they never had the Modesty to contradict their Assertions of his
Death) to Commerci in Lorrain, attended only by four Gentlemen, and a
few Domesticks of little Consideration. The Baron de Bothmar having
delivered in his Credentials to qualify him as an Ambassador to this
State, (an Office to which his greatest Enemies will acknowledge him
to be equal) is gone to Utrecht, whence he will proceed to Hanover,
but not stay long at that Court, for fear the Peace should be made
during his lamented Absence.
Post-Boy, May 20.
I should be thought not able to read, should I overlook some
excellent Pieces lately come out. My Lord Bishop of St.
Asaph has just now published some Sermons, the Preface to which
seems to me to determine a great Point. --He has, like a good
Man and a good Christian, in opposition to all the Flattery and
base Submission of false Friends to Princes, asserted, That
Christianity left us where it found us as to our Civil Rights.
The present Entertainment shall consist only of a Sentence out of
the Post-Boy, and the said Preface of the Lord of St. Asaph. I
should think it a little odd if the Author of the Post-Boy should
with Impunity call Men Republicans for a Gladness on Report of
the Death of the Pretender; and treat Baron Bothmar, the
Minister of Hanover, in such a manner as you see in my Motto.
I must own, I think every Man in England concerned to support
the Succession of that Family.
The publishing a few Sermons, whilst I live, the latest of which was
preached about eight Years since, and the first above seventeen, will
make it very natural for People to enquire into the Occasion of doing
so; And to such I do very willingly assign these following Reasons.
First, From the Observations I have been able to make, for these many
Years last past, upon our publick Affairs, and from the natural
Tendency of several Principles and Practices, that have of late been
studiously revived, and from what has followed thereupon, I could not
help both fearing and presaging, that these Nations would some time or
other, if ever we should have an enterprising Prince upon the Throne,
of more Ambition than Virtue, Justice, and true Honour, fall into the
way of all other Nations, and lose their Liberty.
Nor could I help foreseeing to whose Charge a great deal of this
dreadful Mischief, whenever it should happen, would be laid, whether
justly or unjustly, was not my Business to determine; but I resolved
for my own particular part, to deliver my self, as well as I could,
from the Reproaches and the Curses of Posterity, by publickly
declaring to all the World, That although in the constant Course of my
Ministry, I have never failed, on proper Occasions, to recommend,
urge, and insist upon the loving, honouring, and the reverencing the
Prince's Person, and holding it, according to the Laws, inviolable and
sacred; and paying all Obedience and Submission to the Laws, though
never so hard and inconvenient to private People: Yet did I never
think my self at liberty, or authorized to tell the People, that
either Christ, St. Peter, or St. Paul, or any other Holy Writer, had
by any Doctrine delivered by them, subverted the Laws and
Constitutions of the Country in which they lived, or put them in a
worse Condition, with respect to their Civil Liberties, than they
would have been had they not been Christians. I ever thought it a most
impious Blasphemy against that holy Religion, to father any thing upon
it that might encourage Tyranny, Oppression, or Injustice in a Prince,
or that easily tended to make a free and happy People Slaves and
Miserable. No: People may make themselves as wretched as they will,
but let not God be called into that wicked Party. When Force and
Violence, and hard Necessity have brought the Yoak of Servitude upon a
People's Neck, Religion will supply them with a patient and submissive
Spirit under it till they can innocently shake it off; but certainly
Religion never puts it on. This always was, and this at present is, my
Judgment of these Matters: And I would be transmitted to Posterity
(for the little Share of Time such Names as mine can live) under the
Character of one who lov'd his Country, and would be thought a good
Englishman, as well as a good Clergyman.
This Character I thought would be transmitted by the following
Sermons, which were made for, and preached in a private Audience, when
I could think of nothing else but doing my Duty on the Occasions that
were then offered by God's Providence, without any manner of design of
making them publick: And for that reason I give them now as they were
then delivered; by which I hope to satisfie those People who have
objected a Change of Principles to me, as if I were not now the same
Man I formerly was. I never had but one Opinion of these Matters; and
that I think is so reasonable and well-grounded, that I believe I
never can have any other. Another Reason of my publishing these
Sermons at this time, is, that I have a mind to do my self some
Honour, by doing what Honour I could to the Memory of two most
excellent Princes, and who have very highly deserved at the hands of
all the People of these Dominions, who have any true Value for the
Protestant Religion, and the Constitution of the English Government,
of which they were the great Deliverers and Defenders. I have lived to
see their illustrious Names very rudely handled, and the great
Benefits they did this Nation treated slightly and contemptuously. I
have lived to see our Deliverance from Arbitrary Power and Popery,
traduced and vilified by some who formerly thought it was their
greatest Merit, and made it part of their Boast and Glory, to have had
a little hand and share in bringing it about; and others who, without
it, must have liv'd in Exile, Poverty, and Misery, meanly disclaiming
it, and using ill the glorious Instruments thereof. Who could expect
such a Requital of such Merit? I have, I own it, an Ambition of
exempting my self from the Number of unthankful People: And as I loved
and honoured those great Princes living, and lamented over them when
dead, so I would gladly raise them up a Monument of Praise as lasting
as any thing of mine can be; and I chuse to do it at this time, when
it is so unfashionable a thing to speak honourably of them.
The Sermon that was preached upon the Duke of Gloucester's Death was
printed quickly after, and is now, because the Subject was so
suitable, join'd to the others. The Loss of that most promising and
hopeful Prince was, at that time, I saw, unspeakably great; and many
Accidents since have convinced us, that it could not have been
over-valued. That precious Life, had it pleased God to have prolonged
it the usual Space, had saved us many Fears and Jealousies, and dark
Distrusts, and prevented many Alarms, that have long kept us, and will
keep us still, waking and uneasy. Nothing remained to comfort and
support us under this heavy Stroke, but the Necessity it brought the
King and Nation under, of settling the Succession in the House of
HANNOVER, and giving it an Hereditary Right, by Act of Parliament, as
long as it continues Protestant. So much good did God, in his merciful
Providence, produce from a Misfortune, which we could never otherwise
have sufficiently deplored.
The fourth Sermon was preached upon the Queen's Accession to the
Throne, and the first Year in which that Day was solemnly observed,
(for, by some Accident or other, it had been overlook'd the Year
before;) and every one will see, without the date of it, that it was
preached very early in this Reign, since I was able only to promise
and presage its future Glories and Successes, from the good
Appearances of things, and the happy Turn our Affairs began to take;
and could not then count up the Victories and Triumphs that, for seven
Years after, made it, in the Prophet's Language, a Name and a Praise
among all the People of the Earth. Never did seven such Years together
pass over the head of any English Monarch, nor cover it with so much
Honour: The Crown and Sceptre seemed to be the Queen's least
Ornaments; those, other Princes wore in common with her, and her great
personal Virtues were the same before and since; but such was the Fame
of her Administration of Affairs at home, such was the Reputation of
her Wisdom and Felicity in chusing Ministers, and such was then
esteemed their Faithfulness and Zeal, their Diligence and great
Abilities in executing her Commands; to such a height of military
Glory did her great General and her Armies carry the British Name
abroad; such was the Harmony and Concord betwixt her and her Allies,
and such was the Blessing of God upon all her Counsels and
Undertakings, that I am as sure as History can make me, no Prince of
ours was ever yet so prosperous and successful, so beloved, esteemed,
and honoured by their Subjects and their Friends, nor near so
formidable to their Enemies. We were, as all the World imagined then,
just ent'ring on the ways that promised to lead to such a Peace, as
would have answered all the Prayers of our religious Queen, the Care
and Vigilance of a most able Ministry, the Payments of a willing and
obedient People, as well as all the glorious Toils and Hazards of the
Soldiery; when God, for our Sins, permitted the Spirit of Discord to
go forth, and, by troubling sore the Camp, the City, and the Country,
(and oh that it had altogether spared the Places sacred to his
Worship!) to spoil, for a time, this beautiful and pleasing Prospect,
and give us, in its stead, I know not what--Our Enemies will tell
the rest with Pleasure. It will become me better to pray to God to
restore us to the Power of obtaining such a Peace, as will be to his
Glory, the Safety, Honour, and the Welfare of the Queen and her
Dominions, and the general Satisfaction of all her High and Mighty
May 2, 1712.
[Footnote 1: Dr. William Fleetwood, Bishop of St. Asaph, had published
1. On the death of Queen Mary, 1694.
2. On the death of the Duke of Gloucester, 1700.
3. On the death of King William, 1701.
4. On the Queen's Accession to the Throne, in 1702, with a Preface.
8vo. London, 1712.
The Preface which, says Dr. Johnson, overflowed with Whiggish
principles, was ordered to be burnt by the House of Commons. This moved
Steele to diffuse it by inserting it in the Spectator, which, as its
author said in a letter to Burnet, conveyed about fourteen thousand
copies of the condemned preface into people's hands that would otherwise
have never seen or heard of it. Moreover, to ensure its delivery into
the Queen's hands the publication of this number is said to have been
deferred till twelve oclock, her Majesty's breakfast hour, that no time
might be allowed for a decision that it should not be laid, as usual,
upon her breakfast table.
Fleetwood was born in 1656; had been chaplain to King William, and in
1706 had been appointed to the Bishopric of St. Asaph without any
solicitation. He was translated to Ely in 1714, and died in 1723.]
* * * * *
No. 385. Thursday, May 22, 1712. Budgell.
'Thesea pectora juncta fide.'
I intend the Paper for this Day as a loose Essay upon Friendship, in
which I shall throw my Observations together without any set Form, that
I may avoid repeating what has been often said on this Subject.
Friendship is a strong and habitual Inclination in two Persons to
promote the Good and Happiness of one another. Tho' the Pleasures and
Advantages of Friendship have been largely celebrated by the best moral
Writers, and are considered by all as great Ingredients of human
Happiness, we very rarely meet with the Practice of this Virtue in the
Every Man is ready to give in a long Catalogue of those Virtues and good
Qualities he expects to find in the Person of a Friend, but very few of
us are careful to cultivate them in our selves.
Love and Esteem are the first Principles of Friendship, which always is
imperfect where either of these two is wanting.
As, on the one hand, we are soon ashamed of loving a Man whom we cannot
esteem: so, on the other, tho we are truly sensible of a Man's
Abilities, we can never raise ourselves to the Warmths of Friendship,
without an affectionate Good-will towards his Person.
Friendship immediately banishes Envy under all its Disguises. A Man who
can once doubt whether he should rejoice in his Friends being happier
than himself, may depend upon it that he is an utter Stranger to this
There is something in Friendship so very great and noble, that in those
fictitious Stories which are invented to the Honour of any particular
Person, the Authors have thought it as necessary to make their Hero a
Friend as a Lover. Achilles has his Patroclus, and AEneas his Achates. In
the first of these Instances we may observe, for the Reputation of the
Subject I am treating of, that Greece was almost ruin'd by the Hero's
Love, but was preserved by his Friendship.
The Character of Achates suggests to us an Observation we may often make
on the Intimacies of great Men, who frequently chuse their Companions
rather for the Qualities of the Heart than those of the Head, and prefer
Fidelity in an easy inoffensive complying Temper to those Endowments
which make a much greater Figure among Mankind. I do not remember that
Achates, who is represented as the first Favourite, either gives his
Advice, or strikes a Blow, thro' the whole AEneid.
A Friendship which makes the least noise, is very often most useful: for
which reason I should prefer a prudent Friend to a zealous one.
Atticus, one of the best Men of ancient Rome, was a very remarkable
Instance of what I am here speaking. This extraordinary Person, amidst
the Civil Wars of his Country, when he saw the Designs of all Parties
equally tended to the Subversion of Liberty, by constantly preserving
the Esteem and Affection of both the Competitors, found means to serve
his Friends on either side: and while he sent Money to young Marius,
whose Father was declared an Enemy of the Commonwealth, he was himself
one of Sylla's chief Favourites, and always near that General.
During the War between Caesar and Pompey, he still maintained the same
Conduct. After the Death of Caesar he sent Money to Brutus in his
Troubles, and did a thousand good Offices to Antony's Wife and Friends
when that Party seemed ruined. Lastly, even in that bloody War between
Antony and Augustus, Atticus still kept his place in both their
Friendships; insomuch that the first, says Cornelius Nepos, whenever he
was absent from Rome in any part of the Empire, writ punctually to him
what he was doing, what he read, and whither he intended to go; and the
latter gave him constantly an exact Account of all his Affairs.
A Likeness of Inclinations in every Particular is so far from being
requisite to form a Benevolence in two Minds towards each other, as it
is generally imagined, that I believe we shall find some of the firmest
Friendships to have been contracted between Persons of different
Humours; the Mind being often pleased with those Perfections which are
new to it, and which it does not find among its own Accomplishments.
Besides that a Man in some measure supplies his own Defects, and fancies
himself at second hand possessed of those good Qualities and Endowments,
which are in the possession of him who in the Eye of the World is looked
on as his other self.
The most difficult Province in Friendship is the letting a Man see his
Faults and Errors, which should, if possible, be so contrived, that he
may perceive our Advice is given him not so much to please ourselves as
for his own Advantage. The Reproaches therefore of a Friend should
always be strictly just, and not too frequent.
The violent Desire of pleasing in the Person reproved, may otherwise
change into a Despair of doing it, while he finds himself censur'd for
Faults he is not Conscious of. A Mind that is softened and humanized by
Friendship, cannot bear frequent Reproaches; either it must quite sink
under the Oppression, or abate considerably of the Value and Esteem it
had for him who bestows them.
The proper Business of Friendship is to inspire Life and Courage; and a
Soul thus supported, outdoes itself: whereas if it be unexpectedly
deprived of these Succours, it droops and languishes.
We are in some measure more inexcusable if we violate our Duties to a
Friend, than to a Relation: since the former arise from a voluntary
Choice, the latter from a Necessity to which we could not give our own
As it has been said on one side, that a Man ought not to break with a
faulty Friend, that he may not expose the Weakness of his Choice; it
will doubtless hold much stronger with respect to a worthy one, that he
may never be upbraided for having lost so valuable a Treasure which was
once in his Possession.
* * * * *
No. 386. Friday, May 23, 1712. Steele.
'Cum Tristibus severe, cum Remissis jucunde, cum Senibus graviter, cum
Juventute comiter vivere.'
The piece of Latin on the Head of this Paper is part of a Character
extremely vicious, but I have set down no more than may fall in with the
Rules of Justice and Honour. Cicero spoke it of Catiline, who, he said,
lived with the Sad severely, with the Chearful agreeably, with the Old
gravely, with the Young pleasantly; he added, with the Wicked boldly,
with the Wanton lasciviously. The two last Instances of his Complaisance
I forbear to consider, having it in my thoughts at present only to speak
of obsequious Behaviour as it sits upon a Companion in Pleasure, not a
Man of Design and Intrigue. To vary with every Humour in this Manner,
cannot be agreeable, except it comes from a Man's own Temper and natural
Complection; to do it out of an Ambition to excel that Way, is the most
fruitless and unbecoming Prostitution imaginable. To put on an artful
Part to obtain no other End but an unjust Praise from the Undiscerning,
is of all Endeavours the most despicable. A Man must be sincerely
pleased to become Pleasure, or not to interrupt that of others: For this
Reason it is a most calamitous Circumstance, that many People who want
to be alone or should be so, will come into Conversation. It is certain,
that all Men who are the least given to Reflection, are seized with an
Inclination that Way; when, perhaps, they had rather be inclined to
Company: but indeed they had better go home, and be tired with
themselves, than force themselves upon others to recover their good
Humour. In all this the Cases of communicating to a Friend a sad Thought
or Difficulty, in order to relieve [a ] heavy Heart, stands excepted;
but what is here meant, is, that a Man should always go with Inclination
to the Turn of the Company he is going into, or not pretend to be of the
Party. It is certainly a very happy Temper to be able to live with all
kinds of Dispositions, because it argues a Mind that lies open to
receive what is pleasing to others, and not obstinately bent on any
Particularity of its own.
This is that which makes me pleased with the Character of my good
Acquaintance Acasto. You meet him at the Tables and Conversations of the
Wise, the Impertinent, the Grave, the Frolick, and the Witty; and yet
his own Character has nothing in it that can make him particularly
agreeable to any one Sect of Men; but Acasto has natural good Sense,
good Nature and Discretion, so that every Man enjoys himself in his