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

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

Part 36 out of 51

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

company; and tho' Acasto contributes nothing to the Entertainment, he
never was at a Place where he was not welcome a second time. Without
these subordinate good Qualities of Acasto, a Man of Wit and Learning
would be painful to the Generality of Mankind, instead of being
pleasing. Witty Men are apt to imagine they are agreeable as such, and
by that means grow the worst Companions imaginable; they deride the
Absent or rally the Present in a wrong manner, not knowing that if you
pinch or tickle a Man till he is uneasy in his Seat, or ungracefully
distinguished from the rest of the Company, you equally hurt him.

I was going to say, the true Art of being agreeable in Company, (but
there can be no such thing as Art in it) is to appear well pleased with
those you are engaged with, and rather to seem well entertained, than to
bring Entertainment to others. A Man thus disposed is not indeed what we
ordinarily call a good Companion, but essentially is such, and in all
the Parts of his Conversation has something friendly in his Behaviour,
which conciliates Men's Minds more than the highest Sallies of Wit or
Starts of Humour can possibly do. The Feebleness of Age in a Man of this
Turn, has something which should be treated with respect even in a Man
no otherwise venerable. The Forwardness of Youth, when it proceeds from
Alacrity and not Insolence, has also its Allowances. The Companion who
is formed for such by Nature, gives to every Character of Life its due
Regards, and is ready to account for their Imperfections, and receive
their Accomplishments as if they were his own. It must appear that you
receive Law from, and not give it to your Company, to make you
agreeable.

I remember Tully, speaking, I think, of Anthony, says, That in eo
facetiae erant, quae nulla arte tradi possunt: He had a witty Mirth, which
could be acquired by no Art. This Quality must be of the Kind of which I
am now speaking; for all sorts of Behaviour which depend upon
Observation and Knowledge of Life, is to be acquired: but that which no
one can describe, and is apparently the Act of Nature, must be every
where prevalent, because every thing it meets is a fit Occasion to exert
it; for he who follows Nature, can never be improper or unseasonable.

How unaccountable then must their Behaviour be, who, without any manner
of Consideration of what the Company they have just now entered are
upon, give themselves the Air of a Messenger, and make as distinct
Relations of the Occurrences they last met with, as if they had been
dispatched from those they talk to, to be punctually exact in a Report
of those Circumstances: It is unpardonable to those who are met to enjoy
one another, that a fresh Man shall pop in, and give us only the last
part of his own Life, and put a stop to ours during the History. If such
a Man comes from Change, whether you will or not, you must hear how the
Stocks go; and tho' you are ever so intently employed on a graver
Subject, a young Fellow of the other end of the Town will take his
place, and tell you, Mrs. Such-a-one is charmingly handsome, because he
just now saw her. But I think I need not dwell on this Subject, since I
have acknowledged there can be no Rules made for excelling this Way; and
Precepts of this kind fare like Rules for writing Poetry, which, 'tis
said, may have prevented ill Poets, but never made good ones.

T.

[Footnote 1: [an]]

* * * * *

No. 387. [1] Saturday, May 24, 1712. Addison.

'Quid pure tranquillet--'

Hor.

In my last Saturday's Paper I spoke of Chearfulness as it is a Moral
Habit of the Mind, and accordingly mentioned such moral Motives as are
apt to cherish and keep alive this happy Temper in the Soul of Man: I
shall now consider Chearfulness in its natural State, and reflect on
those Motives to it, which are indifferent either as to Virtue or Vice.

Chearfulness is, in the first place, the best Promoter of Health.
Repinings and secret Murmurs of Heart, give imperceptible Strokes to
those delicate Fibres of which the vital parts are composed, and wear
out the Machine insensibly; not to mention those violent Ferments which
they stir up in the Blood, and those irregular disturbed Motions, which
they raise in the animal Spirits. I scarce remember, in my own
Observation, to have met with many old Men, or with such, who (to use
our English Phrase) wear well, that had not at least a certain Indolence
in their Humour, if not a more than ordinary Gaiety and Chearfulness of
Heart. The truth of it is, Health and Chearfulness mutually beget each
other; with this difference, that we seldom meet with a great degree of
Health which is not attended with a certain Chearfulness, but very often
see Chearfulness where there is no great degree of Health.

Chearfulness bears the same friendly regard to the Mind as to the Body:
It banishes all anxious Care and Discontent, sooths and composes the
Passions, and keeps the Soul in a Perpetual Calm. But having already
touched on this last Consideration, I shall here take notice, that the
World, in which we are placed, is filled with innumerable Objects that
are proper to raise and keep alive this happy Temper of Mind.

If we consider the World in its Subserviency to Man, one would think it
was made for our Use; but if we consider it in its natural Beauty and
Harmony, one would be apt to conclude it was made for our Pleasure. The
Sun, which is as the great Soul of the Universe, and produces all the
Necessaries of Life, has a particular Influence in chearing the Mind of
Man, and making the Heart glad.

Those several living Creatures which are made for our Service or
Sustenance, at the same time either fill the Woods with their Musick,
furnish us with Game, or raise pleasing Ideas in us by the
delightfulness of their Appearance, Fountains, Lakes, and Rivers, are as
refreshing to the Imagination, as to the Soil through which they pass.

There are Writers of great Distinction, who have made it an Argument for
Providence, that the whole Earth is covered with Green, rather than with
any other Colour, as being such a right Mixture of Light and Shade, that
it comforts and strengthens the Eye instead of weakning or grieving it.
For this reason several Painters have a green Cloth hanging near them,
to ease the Eye upon, after too great an Application to their Colouring.
A famous modern Philosopher [2] accounts for it in the following manner:
All Colours that are more luminous, overpower and dissipate the animal
Spirits which are employd in Sight; on the contrary, those that are more
obscure do not give the animal Spirits a sufficient Exercise; whereas
the Rays that produce in us the Idea of Green, fall upon the Eye in such
a due proportion, that they give the animal Spirits their proper Play,
and by keeping up the struggle in a just Ballance, excite a very
pleasing and agreeable Sensation. Let the Cause be what it will, the
Effect is certain, for which reason the Poets ascribe to this particular
Colour the Epithet of Chearful.

To consider further this double End in the Works of Nature, and how they
are at the same time both useful and entertaining, we find that the most
important Parts in the vegetable World are those which are the most
beautiful. These are the Seeds by which the several Races of Plants are
propagated and continued, and which are always lodged in Flowers or
Blossoms. Nature seems to hide her principal Design, and to be
industrious in making the Earth gay and delightful, while she is
carrying on her great Work, and intent upon her own Preservation. The
Husbandman after the same manner is employed in laying out the whole
Country into a kind of Garden or Landskip, and making every thing smile
about him, whilst in reality he thinks of nothing but of the Harvest,
and Encrease which is to arise from it.

We may further observe how Providence has taken care to keep up this
Chearfulness in the Mind of Man, by having formed it after such a
manner, as to make it capable of conceiving Delight from several Objects
which seem to have very little use in them; as from the Wildness of
Rocks and Desarts, and the like grotesque Parts of Nature. Those who are
versed in Philosophy may still carry this Consideration higher, by
observing that if Matter had appeared to us endowed only with those real
Qualities which it actually possesses, it would have made but a very
joyless and uncomfortable Figure; and why has Providence given it a
Power of producing in us such imaginary Qualities, as Tastes and
Colours, Sounds and Smells, Heat and Cold, but that Man, while he is
conversant in the lower Stations of Nature, might have his Mind cheared
and delighted with agreeable Sensations? In short, the whole Universe is
a kind of Theatre filled with Objects that either raise in us Pleasure,
Amusement, or Admiration.

The Reader's own Thoughts will suggest to him the Vicissitude of Day and
Night, the Change of Seasons, with all that Variety of Scenes which
diversify the Face of Nature, and fill the Mind with a perpetual
Succession of beautiful and pleasing Images.

I shall not here mention the several Entertainments of Art, with the
Pleasures of Friendship, Books, Conversation, and other accidental
Diversions of Life, because I would only take notice of such Incitements
to a Chearful Temper, as offer themselves to Persons of all Ranks and
Conditions, and which may sufficiently shew us that Providence did not
design this World should be filled with Murmurs and Repinings, or that
the Heart of Man should be involved in Gloom and Melancholy.

I the more inculcate this Chearfulness of Temper, as it is a Virtue in
which our Countrymen are observed to be more deficient than any other
Nation. Melancholy is a kind of Demon that haunts our Island, and often
conveys her self to us in an Easterly Wind. A celebrated French
Novelist, in opposition to those who begin their Romances with the
flow'ry Season of the Year, enters on his Story thus: In the gloomy
Month of November, when the People of England hang and drown themselves,
a disconsolate Lover walked out into the Fields, &c.

Every one ought to fence against the Temper of his Climate or
Constitution, and frequently to indulge in himself those Considerations
which may give him a Serenity of Mind, and enable him to bear up
chearfully against those little Evils and Misfortunes which are common
to humane Nature, and which by a right Improvement of them will produce
a Satiety of Joy, and an uninterrupted Happiness.

At the same time that I would engage my Reader to consider the World in
its most agreeable Lights, I must own there are many Evils which
naturally spring up amidst the Entertainments that are provided for us;
but these, if rightly consider'd, should be far from overcasting the
Mind with Sorrow, or destroying that Chearfulness of Temper which I have
been recommending. This Interspersion of Evil with Good, and Pain with
Pleasure, in the Works of Nature, is very truly ascribed by Mr. Locke,
in his Essay on Human Understanding, to a moral Reason, in the following
Words:

Beyond all this, we may find another Reason why God hath scattered up
and down several Degrees of Pleasure and Pain, in all the things that
environ and affect us, and blended them together, in almost all that
our Thoughts and Senses have to do with; that we finding Imperfection,
Dissatisfaction, and Want of compleat Happiness in all the Enjoyments
which the Creatures can afford us, might be led to seek it in the
Enjoyment of him, with whom there is Fulness of Joy, and at whose
Right Hand are Pleasures for evermore.

L.

[Footnote 1: Numbered by mistake, in the daily issue 388, No. 388 is
then numbered 390; 389 is right, 390 is called 392, the next 391, which
is right, another 392 follows, and thus the error is corrected.]

[Footnote 2: Sir Isaac Newton.]

* * * * *

No. 388. Monday, May 26, 1712. Barr? [1]

'--Tibi res antiquae Laudis et Artis
Ingredior; sanctos ausus recludere Fontes.'

Virg.

Mr. SPECTATOR,

It is my Custom, when I read your Papers, to read over the Quotations
in the Authors from whence you take them: As you mentiond a Passage
lately out of the second Chapter of Solomon's Song, it occasion'd my
looking into it; and upon reading it I thought the Ideas so
exquisitely soft and tender, that I could not help making this
Paraphrase of it; which, now it is done, I can as little forbear
sending to you. Some Marks of your Approbation, which I have already
receiv'd, have given me so sensible a Taste of them, that I cannot
forbear endeavouring after them as often as I can with any Appearance
of Success.
I am, SIR,
Your most [obedient [2]] humble Servant.

The Second Chapter of Solomon's Song.

I. As when in Sharon's Field the blushing Rose
Does its chaste Bosom to the Morn disclose,
Whilst all around the Zephyrs bear
The fragrant Odours thro' the Air:
Or as the Lilly in the shady Vale,
Does o'er each Flower with beauteous Pride prevail,
And stands with Dews and kindest Sun-shine blest,
In fair Pre-eminence, superior to the rest:
So if my Love, with happy Influence, shed
His Eyes bright Sun-shine on his Lover's Head,
Then shall the Rose of Sharon's Field,
And whitest Lillies to my Beauties yield.
Then fairest Flowers with studious Art combine,
The Roses with the Lillies join,
And their united [Charms are [3]] less than mine.

II. As much as fairest Lillies can surpass
A Thorn in Beauty, or in Height the Grass;
So does my Love among the Virgins shine,
Adorn'd with Graces more than half Divine;
Or as a Tree, that, glorious to behold,
Is hung with Apples all of ruddy Gold,
Hesperian Fruit! and beautifully high,
Extends its Branches to the Sky;
So does my Love the Virgin's Eyes invite:
'Tis he alone can fix their wand'ring Sight,
[Among [4]] ten thousand eminently bright.

III. Beneath this pleasing Shade
My weaned Limbs at Ease I laid,
And on his fragrant Boughs reclined my Head.
I pull'd the Golden Fruit with eager haste;
Sweet was the Fruit, and pleasing to the Taste:
With sparkling Wine he crown'd the Bowl,
With gentle Ecstacies he fill'd my Soul;
Joyous we sate beneath the shady Grove,
And o'er my Head he hung the Banners of his Love.

IV. I faint; I die! my labouring Breast
Is with the mighty Weight of Love opprest:
I feel the Fire possess my Heart,
And pain conveyed to every Part.
Thro' all my Veins the Passion flies,
My feeble Soul forsakes its Place,
A trembling Faintness seals my Eyes,
And Paleness dwells upon my Face;
Oh! let my Love with pow'rful Odours stay
My fainting lovesick Soul that dies away;
One Hand beneath me let him place,
With t'other press me in a chaste Embrace.

V. I charge you, Nymphs of Sion, as you go
Arm'd with the sounding Quiver and the Bow,
Whilst thro' the lonesome Woods you rove,
You ne'er disturb my sleeping Love,
Be only gentle Zephyrs there,
With downy Wings to fan the Air;
Let sacred Silence dwell around,
To keep off each intruding Sound:
And when the balmy Slumber leaves his Eyes,
May he to Joys, unknown till then, arise.

VI. But see! he comes! with what majestick Gate
He onward bears his lovely State!
Now thro' the Lattice he appears,
With softest Words dispels my Fears,
Arise, my Fair-One, and receive
All the Pleasures Love can give.
For now the sullen Winters past,
No more we fear the Northern Blast:
No Storms nor threatning Clouds appear,
No falling Rains deform the Year.
My Love admits of no delay,
Arise, my Fair, and come away.

VII. Already, see! the teeming Earth
Brings forth the Flow'rs, her beauteous Birth.
The Dews, and soft-descending Showers,
Nurse the new-born tender Flow'rs.
Hark! the Birds melodious sing,
And sweetly usher in the Spring.
Close by his Fellow sits the Dove,
And billing whispers her his Love.
The spreading Vines with Blossoms swell,
Diffusing round a grateful Smell,
Arise, my Fair-One, and receive
All the Blessings Love can give:
For Love admits of no delay,
Arise, my Fair, and come away.

VIII. As to its Mate the constant Dove
Flies thro' the Covert of the spicy Grove,
So let us hasten to some lonely Shade,
There let me safe in thy lov'd Arms be laid,
Where no intruding hateful Noise
Shall damp the Sound of thy melodious Voice;
Where I may gaze, and mark each beauteous Grace;
For sweet thy Voice, and lovely is thy Face.

IX. As all of me, my Love, is thine,
Let all of thee be ever mine.
Among the Lillies we will play,
Fairer, my Love, thou art than they,
Till the purple Morn arise,
And balmy Sleep forsake thine Eyes;
Till the gladsome Beams of Day
Remove the Shades of Night away;
Then when soft Sleep shall from thy Eyes depart,
Rise like the bounding Roe, or lusty Hart,
Glad to behold the Light again
From Bether's Mountains darting o'er the Plain.

T.

[Footnote 1: Percy had heard that a poetical translation of a chapter in
the Proverbs, and another poetical translation from the Old Testament,
were by Mr. Barr, a dissenting minister at Morton Hampstead in
Devonshire.]

[Footnote 2: obliged]

[Footnote 3: [Beauties shall be]]

[Footnote 4: [And stands among]]

* * * * *

No. 389. Tuesday, May 27, 1712. Budgell.

'Meliora pii docuere parentes.'

Hor.

Nothing has more surprized the Learned in England, than the Price which
a small Book, intitled Spaccio della Bestia triom fante, [1] bore in a
late Auction. This Book was sold for [thirty [2]] Pound. As it was
written by one Jordanus Brunus, a professed Atheist, with a design to
depreciate Religion, every one was apt to fancy, from the extravagant
Price it bore, that there must be something in it very formidable.

I must confess that happening to get a sight of one of them my self, I
could not forbear perusing it with this Apprehension; but found there
was so very little Danger in it, that I shall venture to give my Readers
a fair Account of the whole Plan upon which this wonderful Treatise is
built.

The Author pretends that Jupiter once upon a Time resolved on a
Reformation of the Constellations: for which purpose having summoned the
Stars together, he complains to them of the great Decay of the Worship
of the Gods, which he thought so much the harder, having called several
of those Celestial Bodies by the Names of the Heathen Deities, and by
that means made the Heavens as it were a Book of the Pagan Theology.
Momus tells him, that this is not to be wondered at, since there were so
many scandalous Stories of the Deities; upon which the Author takes
occasion to cast Reflections upon all other Religions, concluding, that
Jupiter, after a full Hearing, discarded the Deities out of Heaven, and
called the Stars by the Names of the Moral Virtues.

This short Fable, which has no Pretence in it to Reason or Argument, and
but a very small Share of Wit, has however recommended it self wholly by
its Impiety to those weak Men, who would distinguish themselves by the
Singularity of their Opinions.

There are two Considerations which have been often urged against
Atheists, and which they never yet could get over. The first is, that
the greatest and most eminent Persons of all Ages have been against
them, and always complied with the publick Forms of Worship established
in their respective Countries, when there was nothing in them either
derogatory to the Honour of the Supreme Being, or prejudicial to the
Good of Mankind.

The Platos and Ciceros among the Ancients; the Bacons, the Boyles, and
the Lockes, among our own Countrymen, are all Instances of what I have
been saying; not to mention any of the Divines, however celebrated,
since our Adversaries challenge all those, as Men who have too much
Interest in this Case to be impartial Evidences.

But what has been often urged as a Consideration of much more Weight,
is, not only the Opinion of the Better Sort, but the general Consent of
Mankind to this great Truth; which I think could not possibly have come
to pass, but from one of the three following Reasons; either that the
Idea of a God is innate and co-existent with the Mind it self; or that
this Truth is so very obvious, that it is discoverd by the first
Exertion of Reason in Persons of the most ordinary Capacities; or,
lastly, that it has been delivered down to us thro' all Ages by a
Tradition from the first Man.

The Atheists are equally confounded, to which ever of these three Causes
we assign it; they have been so pressed by this last Argument from the
general Consent of Mankind, that after great search and pains they
pretend to have found out a Nation of Atheists, I mean that Polite
People the Hottentots.

I dare not shock my Readers with a Description of the Customs and
Manners of these Barbarians, who are in every respect scarce one degree
above Brutes, having no Language among them but a confused [Gabble [3]]
which is neither well understood by themselves or others.

It is not however to be imagin'd how much the Atheists have gloried in
these their good Friends and Allies.

If we boast of a Socrates, or a Seneca, they may now confront them with
these great Philosophers the Hottentots.

Tho even this Point has, not without Reason, been several times
controverted, I see no manner of harm it could do Religion, if we should
entirely give them up this elegant Part of Mankind.

Methinks nothing more shews the Weakness of their Cause, than that no
Division of their Fellow-Creatures join with them, but those among whom
they themselves own Reason is almost defaced, and who have little else
but their Shape, which can entitle them to any Place in the Species.

Besides these poor Creatures, there have now and then been Instances of
a few crazed People in several Nations, who have denied the Existence of
a Deity.

The Catalogue of these is however very short; even Vanini [4] the most
celebrated Champion for the Cause, professed before his Judges that he
believed the Existence of a God, and taking up a Straw which lay before
him on the Ground, assured them, that alone was sufficient to convince
him of it; alledging several Arguments to prove that 'twas impossible
Nature alone could create anything.

I was the other day reading an Account of Casimir Liszynski, a Gentleman
of Poland, who was convicted and executed for this Crime. [5] The manner
of his Punishment was very particular. As soon as his Body was burnt his
Ashes were put into a Cannon, and shot into the Air towards Tartary.

I am apt to believe, that if something like this Method of Punishment
should prevail in England, such is the natural good Sense of the British
Nation, that whether we rammed an Atheist [whole] into a great Gun, or
pulverized our Infidels, as they do in Poland, we should not have many
Charges.

I should, however, propose, while our Ammunition lasted, that instead of
Tartary, we should always keep two or three Cannons ready pointed
towards the Cape of Good Hope, in order to shoot our Unbelievers into
the Country of the Hottentots.

In my Opinion, a solemn judicial Death is too great an Honour for an
Atheist, tho' I must allow the Method of exploding him, as it is
practised in this ludicrous kind of Martyrdom, has something in it
proper [enough] to the Nature of his Offence.

There is indeed a great Objection against this Manner of treating them.
Zeal for Religion is of so active a Nature, that it seldom knows where
to rest; for which reason I am afraid, after having discharged our
Atheists, we might possibly think of shooting off our Sectaries; and, as
one does not foresee the Vicissitude of human Affairs, it might one time
or other come to a Man's own turn to fly out of the Mouth of a
Demi-culverin.

If any of my Readers imagine that I have treated these Gentlemen in too
Ludicrous a Manner, I must confess, for my own part, I think reasoning
against such Unbelievers upon a Point that shocks the Common Sense of
Mankind, is doing them too great an Honour, giving them a Figure in the
Eye of the World, and making People fancy that they have more in them
than they really have.

As for those Persons who have any Scheme of Religious Worship, I am for
treating such with the utmost Tenderness, and should endeavour to shew
them their Errors with the greatest Temper and Humanity: but as these
Miscreants are for throwing down Religion in general, for stripping
Mankind of what themselves own is of excellent use in all great
Societies, without once offering to establish any thing in the Room of
it; I think the best way of dealing with them, is to retort their own
Weapons upon them, which are those of Scorn and Mockery.

X.

[Footnote 1: The book was bought in 1711 for L28 by Mr. Walter Clavel at
the sale of the library of Mr. Charles Barnard. It had been bought in
1706 at the sale of Mr. Bigot's library with five others for two
shillings and a penny. Although Giordano Bruno was burnt as a heretic,
he was a noble thinker, no professed atheist, but a man of the reformed
faith, who was in advance of Calvin, a friend of Sir Philip Sydney, and
as good a man as Mr. Budgell.]

[Footnote 2: Fifty]

[Footnote 3: Gabling]

[Footnote 4: Vanini, like Giordano Bruno, has his memory dishonoured
through the carelessness with which men take for granted the assertions
of his enemies. Whether burnt or not, every religious thinker of the
sixteenth century who opposed himself to the narrowest views of those
who claimed to be the guardians of orthodoxy was remorselessly maligned.
If he was the leader of a party, there were hundreds to maintain his
honour against calumny. If he was a solitary searcher after truth, there
was nothing but his single life and work to set against the host of his
defamers. Of Vanini's two books, one was written to prove the existence
of a God, yet here is Mr. Budgell calling him the most celebrated
champion for the cause of atheism.]

[Footnote 5: Casimir Lyszynski was a Polish Knight, executed at Warsaw
in 1689, in the barbarous manner which appears to tickle Mr. Budgell's
fancy. It does not appear that he had written anything.]

* * * * *

No. 390. Wednesday, May 28, 1712. Steele.

'Non pudendo sed non faciendo id quod non decet impudentiae nomen
effugere debemus.'

Tull.

Many are the Epistles I receive from Ladies extremely afflicted that
they lie under the Observation of scandalous People, who love to defame
their Neighbours, and make the unjustest Interpretation of innocent and
indifferent Actions. They describe their own Behaviour so unhappily,
that there indeed lies some Cause of Suspicion upon them. It is certain,
that there is no Authority for Persons who have nothing else to do, to
pass away Hours of Conversation upon the Miscarriages of other People;
but since they will do so, they who value their Reputation should be
cautious of Appearances to their Disadvantage. But very often our young
Women, as well as the middle-aged and the gay Part of those growing old,
without entering into a formal League for that purpose, to a Woman agree
upon a short Way to preserve their Characters, and go on in a Way that
at best is only not vicious. The Method is, when an ill-naturd or
talkative Girl has said any thing that bears hard upon some part of
another's Carriage, this Creature, if not in any of their little Cabals,
is run down for the most censorious dangerous Body in the World. Thus
they guard their Reputation rather than their Modesty; as if Guilt lay
in being under the Imputation of a Fault, and not in a Commission of it.
Orbicilla is the kindest poor thing in the Town, but the most blushing
Creature living: It is true she has not lost the Sense of Shame, but she
has lost the Sense of Innocence. If she had more Confidence, and never
did anything which ought to stain her Cheeks, would she not be much more
modest without that ambiguous Suffusion, which is the Livery both of
Guilt and Innocence? Modesty consists in being conscious of no Ill, and
not in being ashamed of having done it. When People go upon any other
Foundation than the Truth of their own Hearts for the Conduct of their
Actions, it lies in the power of scandalous Tongues to carry the World
before them, and make the rest of Mankind fall in with the Ill, for fear
of Reproach. On the other hand, to do what you ought, is the ready way
to make Calumny either silent or ineffectually malicious. Spencer, in
his Fairy Queen, says admirably to young Ladies under the Distress of
being defamed;

'The best, said he, that I can you advise,
Is to avoid th' Occasion of the Ill;
For when the Cause, whence Evil doth arise,
Removed is, th' Effect surceaseth still.
Abstain from Pleasure, and restrain your Will,
Subdue Desire, and bridle loose Delight:
Use scanted Diet, and forbear your Fill;
Shun Secrecy, and talk in open sight:
So shall you soon repair your present evil Plight. [1]'

Instead of this Care over their Words and Actions, recommended by a Poet
in old Queen Bess's Days, the modern Way is to do and say what you
please, and yet be the prettiest sort of Woman in the World. If Fathers
and Brothers will defend a Lady's Honour, she is quite as safe as in her
own Innocence. Many of the Distressed, who suffer under the Malice of
evil Tongues, are so harmless that they are every Day they live asleep
till twelve at Noon; concern themselves with nothing but their own
Persons till two; take their necessary Food between that time and four;
visit, go to the Play, and sit up at Cards till towards the ensuing
Morn; and the malicious World shall draw Conclusions from innocent
Glances, short Whispers, or pretty familiar Railleries with fashionable
Men, that these Fair ones are not as rigid as Vestals. It is certain,
say these goodest Creatures very well, that Virtue does not consist in
constrain'd Behaviour and wry Faces, that must be allow'd; but there is
a Decency in the Aspect and Manner of Ladies contracted from an Habit of
Virtue, and from general Reflections that regard a modest Conduct, all
which may be understood, tho' they cannot be described. A young Woman of
this sort claims an Esteem mixed with Affection and Honour, and meets
with no Defamation; or if she does, the wild Malice is overcome with an
undisturbed Perseverance in her Innocence. To speak freely, there are
such Coveys of Coquets about this Town, that if the Peace were not kept
by some impertinent Tongues of their own Sex, which keep them under some
Restraint, we should have no manner of Engagement upon them to keep them
in any tolerable Order.

As I am a SPECTATOR, and behold how plainly one Part of Womankind
ballance the Behaviour of the other, whatever I may think of Talebearers
or Slanderers, I cannot wholly suppress them, no more than a General
would discourage Spies. The Enemy would easily surprize him whom they
knew had no Intelligence of their Motions. It is so far otherwise with
me, that I acknowledge I permit a She-Slanderer or two in every Quarter
of the Town, to live in the Characters of Coquets, and take all the
innocent Freedoms of the rest, in order to send me Information of the
Behaviour of their respective Sisterhoods.

But as the Matter of Respect to the World, which looks on, is carried
on, methinks it is so very easie to be what is in the general called
Virtuous, that it need not cost one Hour's Reflection in a Month to
preserve that Appellation. It is pleasant to hear the pretty Rogues talk
of Virtue and Vice among each other: She is the laziest Creature in the
World, but I must confess strictly Virtuous: The peevishest Hussy
breathing, but as to her Virtue she is without Blemish: She has not the
least Charity for any of her Acquaintance, but I must allow rigidly
Virtuous. As the unthinking Part of the Male World call every Man a Man
of Honour, who is not a Coward; so the Crowd of the other Sex terms
every Woman who will not be a Wench, Virtuous.

T.

[Footnote 1: F. Q. Bk VI. canto vi. st. 14.]

* * * * *

No. 391. Thursday, May 29, 1712. Addison.

'--Non tu prece poscis emaci,
Qua nisi seductis nequeas committere Divis:
At bona pars procerum tacita libabit acerra.
Haud cuivis promptum est, murmurque humilesque susurros
Tollere de Templis; et aperto vivere voto.
Mens bona, fama, fides, haec clare, et ut audiat hospes.
Illa sibi introrsum, et sub lingua immurmurat: O si
Ebullit patrui praeclarum funus! Et O si
Sub rastro crepet argenti mihi seria dextro
Hercule! pupillumve utinam, quem proximus haeres
Impello, expungam!--'

Pers.

Where Homer [1] represents Phoenix, the Tutor of Achilles, as persuading
his Pupil to lay aside his Resentments, and give himself up to the
Entreaties of his Countrymen, the Poet, in order to make him speak in
Character, ascribes to him a Speech full of those Fables and Allegories
which old Men take Delight in relating, and which are very proper for
Instruction. The Gods, says he, suffer themselves to be prevailed upon
by Entreaties. When Mortals have offended them by their Transgressions,
they appease them by Vows and Sacrifices. You must know, Achilles, that
PRAYERS are the Daughters of Jupiter. They are crippled by frequent
Kneeling, have their Faces full of Cares and Wrinkles, and their Eyes
always cast towards Heaven. They are constant Attendants on the Goddess
ATE, and march behind her. This Goddess walks forward with a bold and
haughty Air, and being very light of foot, runs thro' the whole Earth,
grieving and afflicting the Sons of Men. She gets the start of PRAYERS,
who always follow her, in, order to heal those Persons whom she wounds.
He who honours these Daughters of Jupiter, when they draw near to him,
receives great Benefit from them; but as for him who rejects them, they
intreat their Father to give his Orders to the Goddess ATE to punish him
for his Hardness of Heart. This noble Allegory needs but little
Explanation; for whether the Goddess ATE signifies Injury, as some have
explained it; or Guilt in general, as others; or divine Justice, as I am
the more apt to think; the Interpretation is obvious enough.

I shall produce another Heathen Fable relating to Prayers, which is of a
more diverting kind. One would think by some Passages in it, that it was
composed by Lucian, or at least by some Author who has endeavourd to
imitate his Way of Writing; but as Dissertations of this Nature are more
curious than useful, I shall give my Reader the Fable, without any
further Enquiries after the Author.

Menippus [2] the Philosopher was a second time taken up into Heaven by
Jupiter, when for his Entertainment he lifted up a Trap-Door that was
placed by his Foot-stool. At its rising, there issued through it such
a Din of Cries as astonished the Philosopher. Upon his asking what
they meant, Jupiter told him they were the Prayers that were sent up
to him from the Earth. Menippus, amidst the Confusion of Voices, which
was so great, that nothing less than the Ear of Jove could distinguish
them, heard the Words, Riches, Honour, and Long Life repeated in
several different Tones and Languages. When the first Hubbub of Sounds
was over, the Trap-Door being left open, the Voices came up more
separate and distinct. The first Prayer was a very odd one, it came
from Athens, and desired Jupiter to increase the Wisdom and the Beard
of his humble Supplicant. Menippus knew it by the Voice to be the
Prayer of his Friend Licander the Philosopher. This was succeeded by
the Petition of one who had just laden a Ship, and promised Jupiter,
if he took care of it, and returned it home again full of Riches, he
would make him an Offering of a Silver Cup. Jupiter thanked him for
nothing; and bending down his Ear more attentively than ordinary,
heard a Voice complaining to him of the Cruelty of an Ephesian Widow,
and begging him to breed Compassion in her Heart: This, says Jupiter,
is a very honest Fellow. I have received a great deal of Incense from
him; I will not be so cruel to him as to hear his Prayers. He was
[then] interrupted with a whole Volly of Vows, which were made for the
Health of a tyrannical Prince by his Subjects who pray'd for him in
his Presence. Menippus was surprized, after having listned to Prayers
offered up with so much Ardour and Devotion, to hear low Whispers from
the same Assembly, expostulating with Jove for suffering such a Tyrant
to live, and asking him how his Thunder could lie idle? Jupiter was so
offended at these prevaricating Rascals, that he took down the first
Vows, and puffed away the last. The Philosopher seeing a great Cloud
mounting upwards, and making its way directly to the Trap-Door,
enquired of Jupiter what it meant. This, says Jupiter, is the Smoke of
a whole Hecatomb that is offered me by the General of an Army, who is
very importunate with me to let him cut off an hundred thousand Men
that are drawn up in Array against him: What does the impudent Wretch
think I see in him, to believe that I will make a Sacrifice of so many
Mortals as good as himself, and all this to his Glory, forsooth? But
hark, says Jupiter, there is a Voice I never heard but in time of
danger; tis a Rogue that is shipwreck'd in the Ionian Sea: I sav'd him
on a Plank but three Days ago, upon his Promise to mend his Manners,
the Scoundrel is not worth a Groat, and yet has the Impudence to offer
me a Temple if I will keep him from sinking--But yonder, says he, is a
special Youth for you, he desires me to take his Father, who keeps a
great Estate from him, out of the Miseries of human Life. The old
Fellow shall live till he makes his Heart ake, I can tell him that for
his pains. This was followed by the soft Voice of a Pious Lady,
desiring Jupiter that she might appear amiable and charming in the
Sight of her Emperor. As the Philosopher was reflecting on this
extraordinary Petition, there blew a gentle Wind thro the Trap-Door,
which he at first mistook for a Gale of Zephirs, but afterwards found
it to be a Breeze of Sighs: They smelt strong of Flowers and Incense,
and were succeeded by most passionate Complaints of Wounds and
Torments, Fires and Arrows, Cruelty, Despair and Death. Menippus
fancied that such lamentable Cries arose from some general Execution,
or from Wretches lying under the Torture; but Jupiter told him that
they came up to him from the Isle of Paphos, and that he every day
received Complaints of the same nature from that whimsical Tribe of
Mortals who are called Lovers. I am so trifled with, says he, by this
Generation of both Sexes, and find it so impossible to please them,
whether I grant or refuse their Petitions, that I shall order a
Western Wind for the future to intercept them in their Passage, and
blow them at random upon the Earth. The last Petition I heard was from
a very aged Man of near an hundred Years old, begging but for one Year
more of Life, and then promising to die contented. This is the rarest
old Fellow! says Jupiter. He has made this Prayer to me for above
twenty Years together. When he was but fifty Years old, he desired
only that he might live to see his Son settled in the World; I granted
it. He then begged the same Favour for his Daughter, and afterwards
that he might see the Education of a Grandson: When all this was
brought about, he puts up a Petition that he might live to finish a
House he was building. In short, he is an unreasonable old Cur, and
never wants an Excuse; I will hear no more of him. Upon which, he
flung down the Trap-Door in a Passion, and was resolved to give no
more Audiences that day.

Notwithstanding the Levity of this Fable, the Moral of it very well
deserves our Attention, and is the same with that which has been
inculcated by Socrates and Plato, not to mention Juvenal and Persius,
who have each of them made the finest Satire in their whole Works upon
this Subject. The Vanity of Mens Wishes, which are the natural Prayers
of the Mind, as well as many of those secret Devotions which they offer
to the Supreme Being, are sufficiently exposed by it. Among other
Reasons for set Forms of Prayer, I have often thought it a very good
one, that by this means the Folly and Extravagance of Mens Desires may
be kept within due Bounds, and not break out in absurd and ridiculous
Petitions on so great and solemn an Occasion.

I.

[Footnote 1: Iliad, Bk ix.]

[Footnote 2: Menippus was a Cynic philosopher of Gadara, who made money
in Thebes by usury, lost it, and hanged himself. He wrote satirical
pieces, which are lost; some said that they were the joint work of two
friends, Dionysius and Zopyrus of Colophon, in whom it was one jest the
more to ascribe their jesting to Menippus. These pieces were imitated by
Terentius Varro in Satirae Menippeae.]

* * * * *

No. 392. Friday, May 30, 1712. Steele.

'Per Ambages et Ministeria Deorum
Praecipitandus est liber Spiritus.'

Pet.

To the SPECTATOR.

The Transformation of Fidelio into a Looking-Glass.

I was lately at a Tea-Table, where some young Ladies entertained the
Company with a Relation of a Coquet in the Neighbourhood, who had been
discovered practising before her Glass. To turn the Discourse, which
from being witty grew to be malicious, the Matron of the Family took
occasion, from the Subject, to wish that there were to be found
amongst Men such faithful Monitors to dress the Mind by, as we consult
to adorn the Body. She added, that if a sincere Friend were
miraculously changed into a Looking-Glass, she should not be ashamed
to ask its Advice very often. This whimsical Thought worked so much
upon my Fancy the whole Evening, that it produced [a very odd Dream.
[1]]

Methought, that as I stood before my Glass, the Image of a Youth, of
an open ingenuous Aspect, appeared in it; who with a small shrill
Voice spoke in the following manner.

The Looking-Glass, you see, was heretofore a Man, even I, the
unfortunate Fidelio. I had two Brothers, whose Deformity in Shape
was made out by the Clearness of their Understanding: It must be
owned however, that (as it generally happens) they had each a
Perverseness of Humour suitable to their Distortion of Body. The
eldest, whose Belly sunk in monstrously, was a great Coward; and
tho' his splenetick contracted Temper made him take fire
immediately, he made Objects that beset him appear greater than they
were. The second, whose Breast swelled into a bold Relievo, on the
contrary, took great pleasure in lessening every thing, and was
perfectly the Reverse of his Brother. These Oddnesses pleased
Company once or twice, but disgusted when often seen; for which
reason the young Gentlemen were sent from Court to study
Mathematicks at the University.

I need not acquaint you, that I was very well made, and reckoned a
bright polite Gentleman. I was the Confident and Darling of all the
Fair; and if the Old and Ugly spoke ill of me, all the World knew it
was because I scorned to flatter them. No Ball, no Assembly was
attended till I had been consulted. Flavia colour'd her Hair before
me, Celia shew'd me her Teeth, Panthea heaved her Bosom, Cleora
brandished her Diamonds; I have seen Cloe's Foot, and tied
artificially the Garters of Rhodope.

'Tis a general Maxim, that those who doat upon themselves, can have
no violent Affection for another: But on the contrary, I found that
the Women's Passion for me rose in proportion to the Love they bare
to themselves. This was verify'd in my Amour with Narcissa, who was
so constant to me, that it was pleasantly said, had I been little
enough, she would have hung me at her Girdle. The most dangerous
Rival I had, was a gay empty Fellow, who by the Strength of a long
Intercourse with Narcissa, joined to his natural Endowments, had
formed himself into a perfect Resemblance with her. I had been
discarded, had she not observed that he frequently asked my Opinion
about Matters of the last Consequence: This made me still more
considerable in her Eye.

Tho' I was eternally caressed by the Ladies, such was their Opinion
of my Honour, that I was never envy'd by the Men. A jealous Lover of
Narcissa one day thought he had caught her in an Amorous
Conversation; for tho' he was at such a Distance that he could hear
nothing, he imagined strange things from her Airs and Gestures.
Sometimes with a serene Look she stepped back in a listning Posture,
and brightened into an innocent Smile. Quickly after she swelled
into an Air of Majesty and Disdain, then kept her Eyes half shut
after a languishing Manner, then covered her Blushes with her Hand,
breathed a Sigh, and seemd ready to sink down. In rushed the furious
Lover; but how great was his Surprize to see no one there but the
innocent Fidelio, with his Back against the Wall betwixt two
Windows?

It were endless to recount all my Adventures. Let me hasten to that
which cost me my Life, and Narcissa her Happiness.

She had the misfortune to have the Small-Pox, upon which I was
expressly forbid her Sight, it being apprehended that it would
increase her Distemper, and that I should infallibly catch it at the
first Look. As soon as she was suffered to leave her Bed, she stole
out of her Chamber, and found me all alone in an adjoining
Apartment. She ran with Transport to her Darling, and without
Mixture of Fear, lest I should dislike her. But, oh me! what was her
Fury when she heard me say, I was afraid and shockd at so loathsome
a Spectacle. She stepped back, swollen with Rage, to see if I had
the Insolence to repeat it. I did, with this Addition, that her
ill-timed Passion had increased her Ugliness. Enraged, inflamed,
distracted, she snatched a Bodkin, and with all her Force stabbed me
to the Heart. Dying, I preserv'd my Sincerity, and expressed the
Truth, tho' in broken Words; and by reproachful Grimaces to the last
I mimick'd the Deformity of my Murderess.

Cupid, who always attends the Fair, and pity'd the Fate of so useful
a Servant as I was, obtained of the Destinies, that my Body should
be made incorruptible, and retain the Qualities my Mind had
possessed. I immediately lost the Figure of a Man, and became
smooth, polished, and bright, and to this day am the first Favourite
of the Ladies.

T.

[Footnote 1: [so odd a Dream, that no one but the SPECTATOR could
believe that the Brain, clogged in Sleep, could furnish out such a
regular Wildness of Imagination.]

* * * * *

No. 393. Saturday, May 31, 1712. Addison.

'Nescio qua praeter solitum dulcedine laeti.'

Virg.

Looking over the Letters that have been sent me, I chanced to find the
following one, which I received about two years ago from an ingenious
Friend, who was then in Denmark.

Copenhagen, May 1, 1710.

Dear Sir,

The Spring with you has already taken Possession of the Fields and
Woods: Now is the Season of Solitude, and of moving Complaints upon
trivial Sufferings: Now the Griefs of Lovers begin to flow, and their
Wounds to bleed afresh. I too, at this Distance from the softer
Climates, am not without my Discontents at present. You perhaps may
laugh at me for a most Romantick Wretch, when I have disclosed to you
the Occasion of my Uneasiness; and yet I cannot help thinking my
Unhappiness real, in being confined to a Region, which is the very
Reverse of Paradise. The Seasons here are all of them unpleasant, and
the Country quite Destitute of Rural Charms. I have not heard a Bird
sing, nor a Brook murmur, nor a Breeze whisper, neither have I been
blest with the Sight of a flow'ry Meadow these two years. Every Wind
here is a Tempest, and every Water a turbulent Ocean. I hope, when you
reflect a little, you will not think the Grounds of my Complaint in
the least frivolous and unbecoming a Man of serious Thought; since the
Love of Woods, of Fields and Flowers, of Rivers and Fountains, seems
to be a Passion implanted in our Natures the most early of any, even
before the Fair Sex had a Being.

I am, Sir, &c.

Could I transport my self with a Wish from one Country to another, I
should chuse to pass my Winter in Spain, my Spring in Italy, my Summer
in England, and my Autumn in France. Of all these Seasons there is none
that can vie with the Spring for Beauty and Delightfulness. It bears the
same Figure among the Seasons of the Year, that the Morning does among
the Divisions of the Day, or Youth among the Stages of Life. The English
Summer is pleasanter than that of any other Country in Europe on no
other account but because it has a greater Mixture of Spring in it. The
Mildness of our Climate, with those frequent Refreshments of Dews and
Rains that fall among us, keep up a perpetual Chearfulness in our
Fields, and fill the hottest Months of the Year with a lively Verdure.

In the opening of the Spring, when all Nature begins to recover her
self, the same animal Pleasure which makes the Birds sing, and the whole
brute Creation rejoice, rises very sensibly in the Heart of Man. I know
none of the Poets who have observed so well as Milton those secret
Overflowings of Gladness which diffuse themselves thro' the Mind of the
Beholder, upon surveying the gay Scenes of Nature: he has touched upon
it twice or thrice in his Paradise Lost, and describes it very
beautifully under the Name of Vernal Delight, in that Passage where he
represents the Devil himself as almost sensible of it.

Blossoms and Fruits at once of golden hue
Appear'd, with gay enamel'd Colours mixt:
On which the Sun more glad impress'd his Beams
Than in fair evening Cloud, or humid Bow,
When God hath shower'd the Earth; so lovely seem'd
That Landskip: And of pure now purer Air
Meets his approach, and to the Heart inspires
Vernal Delight, and Joy able to drive
All Sadness but Despair, &c. [1]

Many Authors have written on the Vanity of the Creature, and represented
the Barrenness of every thing in this World, and its Incapacity of
producing any solid or substantial Happiness. As Discourses of this
Nature are very useful to the Sensual and Voluptuous; those Speculations
which shew the bright Side of Things, and lay forth those innocent
Entertainments which are to be met with among the several Objects that
encompass us, are no less beneficial to Men of dark and melancholy
Tempers. It was for this reason that I endeavoured to recommend a
Chearfulness of Mind in my two last Saturday's Papers, and which I would
still inculcate, not only from the Consideration of our selves, and of
that Being on whom we depend, nor from the general Survey of that
Universe in which we are placed at present, but from Reflections on the
particular Season in which this Paper is written. The Creation is a
perpetual Feast to the Mind of a good Man, every thing he sees chears
and delights him; Providence has imprinted so many Smiles on Nature,
that it is impossible for a Mind, which is not sunk in more gross and
sensual Delights, to take a Survey of them without several secret
Sensations of Pleasure. The Psalmist has in several of his Divine Poems
celebrated those beautiful and agreeable Scenes which make the Heart
glad, and produce in it that vernal Delight which I have before taken
Notice of.

Natural Philosophy quickens this Taste of the Creation, and renders it
not only pleasing to the Imagination, but to the Understanding. It does
not rest in the Murmur of Brooks, and the Melody of Birds, in the Shade
of Groves and Woods, or in the Embroidery of Fields and Meadows, but
considers the several Ends of Providence which are served by them, and
the Wonders of Divine Wisdom which appear in them. It heightens the
Pleasures of the Eye, and raises such a rational Admiration in the Soul
as is little inferior to Devotion.

It is not in the Power of every one to offer up this kind of Worship to
the great Author of Nature, and to indulge these more refined
Meditations of Heart, which are doubtless highly acceptable in his
Sight: I shall therefore conclude this short Essay on that Pleasure
which the Mind naturally conceives from the present Season of the Year,
by the recommending of a Practice for which every one has sufficient
Abilities.

I would have my Readers endeavour to moralize this natural Pleasure of
the Soul, and to improve this vernal Delight, as Milton calls it, into a
Christian Virtue. When we find our selves inspired with this pleasing
Instinct, this secret Satisfaction and Complacency arising from the
Beauties of the Creation, let us consider to whom we stand indebted for
all these Entertainments of Sense, and who it is that thus opens his
Hand and fills the World with Good. The Apostle instructs us to take
advantage of our present Temper of Mind, to graft upon it such a
religious Exercise as is particularly conformable to it, by that Precept
which advises those who are sad to pray, and those who are merry to sing
Psalms. The Chearfulness of Heart which springs up in us from the Survey
of Nature's Works, is an admirable Preparation for Gratitude. The Mind
has gone a great way towards Praise and Thanksgiving, that is filled
with such a secret Gladness: A grateful Reflection on the supreme Cause
who produces it, sanctifies it in the Soul, and gives it its proper
Value. Such an habitual Disposition of Mind consecrates every Field and
Wood, turns an ordinary Walk into a morning or evening Sacrifice, and
will improve those transient Gleams of Joy, which naturally brighten up
and refresh the Soul on such Occasions, into an inviolable and perpetual
State of Bliss and Happiness.

I.

[Footnote 1: Paradise Lost, Bk iv. ll. 148-156.]

* * * * *

No. 394. Monday, June 2, 1712. Steele.

'Bene colligitur haec Pueris et Mulierculis et Servis et Servorum
simillimis Liberis esse grata. Gravi vero homini et ea quae fiunt
Judicio certo ponderanti probari posse nullo modo.'

Tull.

I have been considering the little and frivolous things which give Men
Accesses to one another, and Power with each other, not only in the
common and indifferent Accidents of Life, but also in Matters of greater
importance. You see in Elections for Members to sit in Parliament, how
far saluting Rows of old Women, drinking with Clowns, and being upon a
level with the lowest Part of Mankind in that wherein they themselves
are lowest, their Diversions, will carry a Candidate. A Capacity for
prostituting a Man's Self in his Behaviour, and descending to the
present Humour of the Vulgar, is perhaps as good an Ingredient as any
other for making a considerable Figure in the World; and if a Man has
nothing else, or better, to think of, he could not make his way to
Wealth and Distinction by properer Methods, than studying the particular
Bent or Inclination of People with whom he converses, and working from
the Observation of such their Biass in all Matters wherein he has any
Intercourse with them: For his Ease and Comfort he may assure himself,
he need not be at the Expence of any great Talent or Virtue to please
even those who are possessd of the highest Qualifications. Pride in some
particular Disguise or other, (often a Secret to the proud Man himself)
is the most ordinary Spring of Action among Men. You need no more than
to discover what a Man values himself for; then of all things admire
that Quality, but be sure to be failing in it your self in comparison of
the Man whom you court. I have heard, or read, of a Secretary of State
in Spain, who served a Prince who was happy in an elegant use of the
Latin Tongue, and often writ Dispatches in it with his own Hand. The
King shewed his Secretary a Letter he had written to a foreign Prince,
and under the Colour of asking his Advice, laid a Trap for his Applause.
The honest Man read it as a faithful Counsellor, and not only excepted
against his tying himself down too much by some Expressions, but mended
the Phrase in others. You may guess the Dispatches that Evening did not
take much longer Time. Mr. Secretary, as soon as he came to his own
House, sent for his eldest Son, and communicated to him that the Family
must retire out of Spain as soon as possible; for, said he, the King
knows I understand Latin better than he does.

This egregious Fault in a Man of the World, should be a Lesson to all
who would make their Fortunes: But a Regard must be carefully had to the
Person with whom you have to do; for it is not to be doubted but a great
Man of common Sense must look with secret Indignation or bridled
Laughter, on all the Slaves who stand round him with ready Faces to
approve and smile at all he says in the gross. It is good Comedy enough
to observe a Superior talking half Sentences, and playing an humble
Admirer's Countenance from one thing to another, with such Perplexity
that he knows not what to sneer in Approbation of. But this kind of
Complaisance is peculiarly the Manner of Courts; in all other Places you
must constantly go farther in Compliance with the Persons you have to do
with, than a mere Conformity of Looks and Gestures. If you are in a
Country Life, and would be a leading Man, a good Stomach, a loud Voice,
and a rustick Chearfulness will go a great way, provided you are able to
drink, and drink any thing. But I was just now going to draw the Manner
of Behaviour I would advise People to practise under some Maxim, and
intimated, that every one almost was governed by his Pride. There was an
old Fellow about forty Years ago so peevish and fretful, though a Man of
Business, that no one could come at him: But he frequented a particular
little Coffee-house, where he triumphed over every body at Trick-track
and Baggammon. The way to pass his Office well, was first to be insulted
by him at one of those Games in his leisure Hours; for his Vanity was to
shew, that he was a Man of Pleasure as well as Business. Next to this
sort of Insinuation, which is called in all Places (from its taking its
Birth in the Housholds of Princes) making one's Court, the most
prevailing way is, by what better-bred People call a Present, the Vulgar
a Bribe. I humbly conceive that such a thing is conveyed with more
Gallantry in a Billet-doux that should be understood at the Bank, than
in gross Money; But as to stubborn People, who are so surly as to accept
of neither Note or Cash, having formerly dabbled in Chymistry, I can
only say that one part of Matter asks one thing, and another another, to
make it fluent; but there is nothing but may be dissolved by a proper
Mean: Thus the Virtue which is too obdurate for Gold or Paper, shall
melt away very kindly in a Liquid. The Island of Barbadoes (a shrewd
People) manage all their Appeals to Great-Britain, by a skilful
Distribution of Citron-Water among the Whisperers about Men in Power.
Generous Wines do every Day prevail, and that in great Points, where ten
thousand times their Value would have been rejected with Indignation.

But to wave the Enumeration of the sundry Ways of applying by Presents,
Bribes, Management of People, Passions and Affections, in such a Manner
as it shall appear that the Virtue of the best Man is by one Method or
other corruptible; let us look out for some Expedient to turn those
Passions and Affections on the side of Truth and Honour. When a Man has
laid it down for a Position, that parting with his Integrity, in the
minutest Circumstance, is losing so much of his very Self, Self-love
will become a Virtue. By this means Good and Evil will be the only
Objects of Dislike and Approbation; and he that injures any Man, has
effectually wounded the Man of this Turn as much as if the Harm had been
to himself. This seems to be the only Expedient to arrive at an
Impartiality; and a Man who follows the Dictates of Truth and right
Reason, may by Artifice be led into Error, but never can into Guilt.

T.

* * * * *

TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE CHARLES EARL OF SUNDERLAND [1]

My Lord,

Very many Favours and Civilities (received from You in a private
Capacity) which I have no other Way to acknowledge, will, I hope, excuse
this Presumption; but the Justice I, as a Spectator, owe your Character,
places me above the want of an Excuse. Candor and Openness of Heart,
which shine in all your Words and Actions, exacts the highest Esteem
from all who have the Honour to know You, and a winning Condescention to
all subordinate to You, made Business a Pleasure to those who executed
it under You, at the same time that it heightened Her Majesty's Favour
to all who had the Happiness of having it convey'd through Your Hands: A
Secretary of State, in the Interests of Mankind, joined with that of his
Fellow-Subjects, accomplished with a great Facility and Elegance in all
the Modern as well as Ancient Languages, was a happy and proper Member
of a Ministry, by whose Services Your Sovereign and Country are in so
high and flourishing a Condition, as makes all other Princes and
Potentates powerful or inconsiderable in Europe, as they are Friends or
Enemies to Great-Britain. The Importance of those great Events which
happened during that Administration, in which Your Lordship bore so
important a Charge, will be acknowledgd as long as Time shall endure; I
shall not therefore attempt to rehearse those illustrious Passages, but
give this Application a more private and particular Turn, in desiring
Your Lordship would continue your Favour and Patronage to me, as You are
a Gentleman of the most polite Literature, and perfectly accomplished in
the Knowledge of Books and Men, which makes it necessary to beseech Your
Indulgence to the following Leaves, and the Author of them: Who is, with
the greatest Truth and Respect,

My Lord,
Your Lordship's Obliged,
Obedient, and Humble Servant,
THE SPECTATOR.

[Footnote 1: Charles Spencer, to whom the Sixth Volume of the Spectator
is here inscribed, represented Tiverton, in 1700, when he took the Lady
Anne Churchill, Marlborough's second daughter, for his second wife. On
the death of his father Robert, in 1702, he became Earl of Sunderland.
He was an accomplished man and founder of the library at Althorpe. In
1705 he was employed diplomatically at the courts of Prussia, Austria,
and Hanover. Early in 1706 he was one of the Commissioners for arranging
the Union with Scotland, and in September of that year he was forced by
the Whigs on Queen Anne, as successor to Sir Charles Hedges in the
office of Secretary of State. Steele held under him the office of
Gazetteer, to which he was appointed in the following May. In 1710
Sunderland shared in the political reverse suffered by Marlborough. In
the summer of that year Sunderland was dismissed from office, but with
an offer from the Queen of a pension of L3000 a year. He replied that he
was glad her Majesty was satisfied that he had done his duty; but if he
could not have the honour to serve his country, he would not plunder it.
The accession of George I. restored him to favour and influence. He
became Lord-lieutenant of Ireland; had, in 1715, a pension of L12,000 a
year settled on him; in April, 1717, was again Secretary of State; and
in the following March, Lord President of the Council. His political
influence was broken in 1721, the year before his death.]

* * * * *

No. 395. Tuesday, June 3, 1712. Budgell.

'Quod nunc ratio est, Impetus ante fuit.'

Ovid.

Beware of the Ides of March, said the Roman Augur to Julius Caesar:
Beware of the Month of May, says the British Spectator to his fair
Country-women. The Caution of the first was unhappily neglected, and
Caesar's Confidence cost him his Life. I am apt to flatter my self that
my pretty Readers had much more regard to the Advice I gave them, since
I have yet received very few Accounts of any notorious Trips made in the
last Month.

But tho' I hope for the best, I shall not pronounce too positively on
this point, till I have seen forty Weeks well over, at which Period of
Time, as my good Friend Sir ROGER has often told me, he has more
Business as a Justice of Peace, among the dissolute young People in the
Country, than at any other Season of the Year.

Neither must I forget a Letter which I received near a Fortnight since
from a Lady, who, it seems, could hold out no longer, telling me she
looked upon the Month as then out, for that she had all along reckoned
by the New Style.

On the other hand, I have great reason to believe, from several angry
Letters which have been sent to me by disappointed Lovers, that my
Advice has been of very signal Service to the fair Sex, who, according
to the old Proverb, were Forewarned forearm'd.

One of these Gentlemen tells me, that he would have given me an hundred
Pounds, rather than I should have publishd that Paper; for that his
Mistress, who had promised to explain herself to him about the Beginning
of May, upon reading that Discourse told him that she would give him her
Answer in June.

Thyrsis acquaints me, that when he desired Sylvia to take a Walk in the
Fields, she told him the Spectator had forbidden her.

Another of my Correspondents, who writes himself Mat Meager, complains,
that whereas he constantly used to Breakfast with his Mistress upon
Chocolate, going to wait upon her the first of May he found his usual
Treat very much changed for the worse, and has been forced to feed ever
since upon Green Tea.

As I begun this Critical Season with a Caveat to the Ladies, I shall
conclude it with a Congratulation, and do most heartily wish them Joy of
their happy Deliverance.

They may now reflect with Pleasure on the Dangers they have escaped, and
look back with as much Satisfaction on their Perils that threat'ned
them, as their Great-Grandmothers did formerly on the Burning
Plough-shares, after having passed through the Ordeal Tryal. The
Instigations of the Spring are now abated. The Nightingale gives over
her Love-labourd Song, as Milton phrases it, the Blossoms are fallen,
and the Beds of Flowers swept away by the Scythe of the Mower.

I shall now allow my Fair Readers to return to their Romances and
Chocolate, provided they make use of them with Moderation, till about
the middle of the Month, when the Sun shall have made some Progress in
the Crab. Nothing is more dangerous, than too much Confidence and
Security. The Trojans, who stood upon their Guard all the while the
Grecians lay before their City, when they fancied the Siege was raised,
and the Danger past, were the very next Night burnt in their Beds: I
must also observe, that as in some Climates there is a perpetual Spring,
so in some Female Constitutions there is a perpetual May: These are a
kind of Valetudinarians in Chastity, whom I would continue in a constant
Diet. I cannot think these wholly out of Danger, till they have looked
upon the other Sex at least Five Years through a Pair of Spectacles.
WILL. HONEYCOMB has often assured me, that its much easier to steal one
of this Species, when she has passed her grand Climacterick, than to
carry off an icy Girl on this side Five and Twenty; and that a Rake of
his Acquaintance, who had in vain endeavoured to gain the Affections of
a young Lady of Fifteen, had at last made his Fortune by running away
with her Grandmother.

But as I do not design this Speculation for the Evergreens of the Sex, I
shall again apply my self to those who would willingly listen to the
Dictates of Reason and Virtue, and can now hear me in cold Blood. If
there are any who have forfeited their Innocence, they must now consider
themselves under that Melancholy View, in which Chamont regards his
Sister, in those beautiful Lines.

--Long she flourish'd,
Grew sweet to Sense, and lovely to the Eye;
Till at the last a cruel Spoiler came,
Cropt this fair Rose, and rifled all its Sweetness;
Then cast it like a loathsome Weed away. [1]

On the contrary, she who has observed the timely Cautions I gave her,
and lived up to the Rules of Modesty, will now Flourish like a Rose in
June, with all her Virgin Blushes and Sweetness about her: I must,
however, desire these last to consider, how shameful it would be for a
General, who has made a Successful Campaign, to be surprized in his
Winter Quarters: It would be no less dishonourable for a Lady to lose in
any other Month of the Year, what she has been at the pains to preserve
in May.

There is no Charm in the Female Sex, that can supply the place of
Virtue. Without Innocence, Beauty is unlovely, and Quality contemptible,
Good-breeding degenerates into Wantonness, and Wit into Impudence. It is
observed, that all the Virtues are represented by both Painters and
Statuaries under Female Shapes, but if any one of them has a more
particular Title to that Sex, it is Modesty. I shall leave it to the
Divines to guard them against the opposite Vice, as they may be
overpowerd by Temptations; It is sufficient for me to have warned them
against it, as they may be led astray by Instinct.

I desire this Paper may be read with more than ordinary Attention, at
all Tea-Tables within the Cities of London and Westminster.

X.

[Footnote 1: Otway's Orphan, Act IV.]

* * * * *

No. 396. Wednesday, June 4, 1712. Henley.

'Barbara, Celarent, Darii, Ferio, Baralipton.'

To Mr. SPECTATOR. [1]

From St. John's College Cambridge, Feb. 3, 1712.

SIR,

The Monopoly of Punns in this University has been an immemorial
Privilege of the Johnians; and we can't help resenting the late
Invasion of our ancient Right as to that Particular, by a little
Pretender to Clenching in a neighbouring College, who in an
Application to you by way of Letter, a while ago, styled himself
Philobrune. Dear Sir, as you are by Character a profest Well-wisher to
Speculation, you will excuse a Remark which this Gentleman's Passion
for the Brunette has suggested to a Brother Theorist; 'tis an Offer
towards a mechanical Account of his Lapse to Punning, for he belongs
to a Set of Mortals who value themselves upon an uncommon Mastery in
the more humane and polite Part of Letters. A Conquest by one of this
Species of Females gives a very odd Turn to the Intellectuals of the
captivated Person, and very different from that way of thinking which
a Triumph from the Eyes of another more emphatically of the fair Sex,
does generally occasion. It fills the Imagination with an Assemblage
of such Ideas and Pictures as are hardly any thing but Shade, such as
Night, the Devil, &c. These Portraitures very near over-power the
Light of the Understanding, almost benight the Faculties, and give
that melancholy Tincture to the most sanguine Complexion, which this
Gentleman calls an Inclination to be in a Brown-study, and is usually
attended with worse Consequences in case of a Repulse. During this
Twilight of Intellects, the Patient is extremely apt, as Love is the
most witty Passion in Nature, to offer at some pert Sallies now and
then, by way of Flourish, upon the amiable Enchantress, and
unfortunately stumbles upon that Mongrel miscreated (to speak in
Miltonic) kind of Wit, vulgarly termed, the Punn. It would not be much
amiss to consult Dr. T--W--[2] (who is certainly a very able
Projector, and whose system of Divinity and spiritual Mechanicks
obtains very much among the better Part of our Under-Graduates)
whether a general Intermarriage, enjoyned by Parliament, between this
Sisterhood of the Olive Beauties, and the Fraternity of the People
call'd Quakers, would not be a very serviceable Expedient, and abate
that Overflow of Light which shines within them so powerfully, that it
dazzles their Eyes, and dances them into a thousand Vagaries of Error
and Enthusiasm. These Reflections may impart some Light towards a
Discovery of the Origin of Punning among us, and the Foundation of its
prevailing so long in this famous Body. Tis notorious from the
Instance under Consideration, that it must be owing chiefly to the use
of brown Juggs, muddy Belch, and the Fumes of a certain memorable
Place of Rendezvous with us at Meals, known by the Name of Staincoat
Hole: For the Atmosphere of the Kitchen, like the Tail of a Comet,
predominates least about the Fire, but resides behind and fills the
fragrant Receptacle above-mentioned. Besides, 'tis farther observable
that the delicate Spirits among us, who declare against these nauseous
proceedings, sip Tea, and put up for Critic and Amour, profess
likewise an equal Abhorrency for Punning, the ancient innocent
Diversion of this Society. After all, Sir, tho' it may appear
something absurd, that I seem to approach you with the Air of an
Advocate for Punning, (you who have justified your Censures of the
Practice in a set Dissertation upon that Subject;) yet, I'm confident,
you'll think it abundantly atoned for by observing, that this humbler
Exercise may be as instrumental in diverting us from any innovating
Schemes and Hypothesis in Wit. as dwelling upon honest Orthodox Logic
would be in securing us from Heresie in Religion. Had Mr. W--n's [3]
Researches been confined within the Bounds of Ramus or Crackanthorp,
that learned News-monger might have acquiesced in what the holy
Oracles pronounce upon the Deluge, like other Christians; and had the
surprising Mr. L--y[4] been content with the Employment of refining
upon Shakespear's Points and Quibbles, (for which he must be allowed
to have a superlative Genius) and now and then penning a Catch or a
Ditty, instead of inditing Odes, and Sonnets, the Gentlemen of the Bon
Goust in the Pit would never have been put to all that Grimace in
damning the Frippery of State, the Poverty and Languor of Thought, the
unnatural Wit, and inartificial Structure of his Dramas.
I am, SIR,
Your very humble Servant,
Peter de Quir.

[Footnote 1: This letter was by John Henley, commonly called Orator
Henley. The paper is without signature in first issue or reprint, but
the few introductory lines, doubtless, are by Steele. John Henley was at
this time but 20 years old. He was born at Melton Mowbray in 1692, and
entered St. John's College, Cambridge, in 1709. After obtaining his
degree he was invited to take charge of the Grammar School in his native
place, and raised it from decay. He published Esther, a poem; went to
London; introduced action into pulpit oratory; missing preferment, gave
lectures and orations, religious on Sundays, and political on
Wednesdays; was described by Pope in the Dunciad as the Zany of his age,
and represented by Hogarth upon a scaffold with a monkey by his side
saying Amen. He edited a paper of nonsense called the Hip Doctor, and
once attracted to his oratory an audience of shoemakers by announcing
that he would teach a new and short way of making shoes; his way being
to cut off the tops of boots. He died in 1756.]

[Footnote 2: Percy suggests very doubtfully that this may mean Thomas
Woolston, who was bom in 1669, educated at Sidney College, Cambridge,
published, in 1705, The Old Apology for the Truth against the Jews and
Gentiles revived, and afterwards was imprisoned and fined for levity in
discussing sacred subjects. The text points to a medical theory of
intermarriage. There was a Thomas Winston, of Clare Hall, Cambridge, who
travelled over the continent, took degrees at Basle and Padua, returned
to take his M.D. at Cambridge, and settled in London in 1607.]

[Footnote 3: William Whiston, born 1667, educated at Tamworth School and
Clare Hall, Cambridge, became a Fellow in 1693, and then Chaplain to
Bishop Moore. In 1696 he published his New Theory of the Earth, which
divided attention with Burnet's Sacred Theory of the Earth already
mentioned. In 1700 Whiston was invited to Cambridge, to act as deputy to
Sir Isaac Newton, whom he succeeded in 1703 as Lucasian Professor. For
holding some unorthodox opinions as to the doctrines of the early
Christians, he was, in 1710, deprived of his Professorship, and banished
from the University. He was a pious and learned man, who, although he
was denied the Sacrament, did not suffer himself to be driven out of the
Church of England till 1747. At last he established a small congregation
in his own house in accordance with his own notion of primitive
Christianity. He lived till 1752.]

[Footnote 4: No L--y of that time has written plays that are remembered.
The John Lacy whom Charles II. admired so much that he had his picture
painted in three of his characters, died in 1681, leaving four comedies
and an alteration of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew. He was a
handsome man: first dancing-master, then quarter-master, then an admired
comedian. Henley would hardly have used a blank in referring to a
well-known writer who died thirty years before. There was another John
Lacy advertising in the Post Boy, Aug. 3, 1714, The Steeleids, or the
Trial of Wits, a Poem in three cantos, with a motto:

Then will I say, swelled with poetic rage,
That I, John Lacy, have reformed the age.]

* * * * *

No. 397. Thursday, June 5, 1712. Addison.

'--Dolor ipse disertum
Fecerat--'

Ovid.

As the Stoick Philosophers discard all Passions in general, they will
not allow a Wise Man so much as to pity the Afflictions of another. If
thou seest thy Friend in Trouble, says Epictetus, thou mayst put on a
Look of Sorrow, and condole with him, but take care that thy Sorrow be
not real. [1] The more rigid of this Sect would not comply so far as to
shew even such an outward Appearance of Grief, but when one told them of
any Calamity that had befallen even the nearest of their Acquaintance,
would immediately reply, What is that to me? If you aggravated the
Circumstances of the Affliction, and shewed how one Misfortune was
followed by another, the Answer was still, All this may be true, but
what is it to me?

For my own part, I am of Opinion, Compassion does not only refine and
civilize Humane Nature, but has something in it more pleasing and
agreeable than what can be met with in such an indolent Happiness, such
an Indifference to Mankind as that in which the Stoicks placed their
Wisdom. As Love is the most delightful Passion, Pity is nothing else but
Love softned by a degree of Sorrow: In short, it is a kind of pleasing
Anguish, as well as generous Sympathy, that knits Mankind together, and
blends them in the same common Lot.

Those who have laid down Rules for Rhetorick or Poetry, advise the
Writer to work himself up, if possible, to the Pitch of Sorrow which he
endeavours to produce in others. There are none therefore who stir up
Pity so much as those who indite their own Sufferings. Grief has a
natural Eloquence belonging to it, and breaks out in more moving
Sentiments than be supplied by the finest Imagination. Nature on this
Occasion dictates a thousand passionate things which cannot be supplied
by Art.

It is for this Reason that the short Speeches, or Sentences which we
often meet with in Histories, make a deeper Impression on the Mind of
the Reader, than the most laboured Strokes in a well-written Tragedy.
Truth and Matter of Fact sets the Person actually before us in the one,
whom Fiction places at a greater Distance from us in the other. I do not
remember to have seen any Ancient or Modern Story more affecting than a
Letter of Ann of Bologne, Wife to King Henry the Eighth, and Mother to
Queen Elizabeth, which is still extant in the Cotton Library, as written
by her own Hand.

Shakespear himself could not have made her talk in a Strain so suitable
to her Condition and Character. One sees in it the Expostulations of a
slighted Lover, the Resentments of an injured Woman, and the Sorrows of
an imprisoned Queen. I need not acquaint my Reader that this Princess
was then under Prosecution for Disloyalty to the King's Bed, and that
she was afterwards publickly beheaded upon the same Account, though this
Prosecution was believed by many to proceed, as she her self intimates,
rather from the King's Love to Jane Seymour than from any actual Crime
in Ann of Bologne.

Queen Ann Boleyn's last Letter to King Henry.

[Cotton Libr. Otho C. 10.]

SIR,

Your Grace's Displeasure, and my Imprisonment, are Things so strange
unto me, as what to write, or what to excuse, I am altogether
ignorant. Whereas you send unto me (willing me to confess a Truth, and
so obtain your Favour) by such an one, whom you know to be mine
ancient professed Enemy, I no sooner received this Message by him,
than I rightly conceived your Meaning; and if, as you say, confessing
a Truth indeed may procure my Safety, I shall with all Willingness and
Duty perform your Command.

But let not your Grace ever imagine, that your poor Wife will ever be
brought to acknowledge a Fault, where not so much as a Thought thereof
preceded. And to speak a Truth, never Prince had Wife more Loyal in
all Duty, and in all true Affection, than you have ever found in Ann
Boleyn: with which Name and Place I could willingly have contented my
self, if God and your Grace's Pleasure had been so pleased. Neither
did I at any time so far forget my self in my Exaltation, or received
Queenship, but that I always looked for such an Alteration as now I
find; for the Ground of my Preferment being on no surer Foundation
than your Grace's Fancy, the least Alteration I knew was fit and
sufficient to draw that Fancy to some other [Object. [2]] You have
chosen me, from a low Estate, to be your Queen and Companion, far
beyond my Desert or Desire. If then you found me worthy of such
Honour, good your Grace let not any light Fancy, or bad Counsel of
mine Enemies, withdraw your Princely Favour from me; neither let that
Stain, that unworthy Stain, of a Disloyal Heart towards your good
Grace, ever cast so foul a Blot on your most Dutiful Wife, and the
Infant-Princess your Daughter. Try me, good King, but let me have a
lawful Tryal, and let not my sworn Enemies sit as my Accusers and
Judges; Yea let me receive an open Tryal, for my Truth shall fear no
open Shame; then shall you see either mine Innocence cleared, your
Suspicion and Conscience satisfied, the Ignominy and Slander of the
World stopped, or my Guilt openly declared. So that whatsoever God or
you may determine of me, your Grace may be freed from an open Censure,
and mine Offence being so lawfully proved, your Grace is at liberty,
both before God and Man, not only to Execute worthy Punishment on me
as an unlawful Wife, but to follow your Affection, already settled on
that Party, for whose sake I am now as I am, whose Name I could some
good while since have pointed unto, your Grace being not ignorant of
my Suspicion therein.

But if you have already determined of me, and that not only my Death,
but an Infamous Slander must bring you the enjoying of your desired
Happiness; then I desire of God, that he will pardon your great Sin
therein, and likewise mine Enemies, the Instruments thereof; and that
he will not call you to a strict Account for your unprincely and cruel
Usage of me, at his general Judgment Seat, where both you and my self
must shortly appear, and in whose Judgment I doubt not (whatsoever the
World may think of me) mine Innocence shall be openly known, and
sufficiently cleared.

My last and only Request shall be, that my self may only bear the
Burthen of your Grace's Displeasure, and that it may not touch the
innocent Souls of those poor Gentlemen, who (as I understand) are
likewise in strait Imprisonment for my sake. If ever I have found
Favour in your Sight, if ever the Name of Ann Boleyn hath been
pleasing in your Ears, then let me obtain this Request, and I will so
leave to trouble your Grace any further, with mine earnest Prayers to
the Trinity to have your Grace in his good Keeping, and to direct you
in all your Actions. From my doleful Prison in the Tower, this sixth
of May;

Your most Loyal,
And ever Faithful Wife,
Ann Boleyn.

[Footnote 1:

When you see a Neighbour in Tears, and hear him lament the Absence of
his Son, the Hazards of his Voyage into some remote Part of the World,
or the Loss of his Estate; keep upon your Guard, for fear lest some
false Ideas that may rise upon these Occasions, surprise you into a
Mistake, as if this Man were really miserable, upon the Account of
these outward Accidents. But be sure to distinguish wisely, and tell
your self immediately, that the Thing which really afflicts this
Person is not really the Accident it self, (for other People, under
his Circumstances, are not equally afflicted with it) but merely the
Opinion which he hath formed to himself concerning this Accident.
Notwithstanding all which, you may be allowed, as far as Expressions
and outward Behaviour go, to comply with him; and if Occasion require,
to bear a part in his Sighs, and Tears too; but then you must be sure
to take care, that this Compliance does not infect your Mind, nor
betray you to an inward and real Sorrow, upon any such
Account.

Epictetus his Morals, with Simplicius his Comment.

Made English from the Greek by George Stanhope (1694) chapter xxii.]

[Footnote 2: Subject.]

* * * * *

No. 398. Friday, June 6, 1712. Steele.

'Insanire pares certa ratione modoque.'

Hor.

Cynthio and Flavia are Persons of Distinction in this Town, who have
been Lovers these ten Months last past, and writ to each other for
Gallantry Sake, under those feigned Names; Mr. Such a one and Mrs. Such
a one not being capable of raising the Soul out of the ordinary Tracts
and Passages of Life, up to that Elevation which makes the Life of the
Enamoured so much superior to that of the rest of the World. But ever
since the beauteous Cecilia has made such a Figure as she now does in
the Circle of Charming Women, Cynthio has been secretly one of her
Adorers. Laetitia has been the finest Woman in Town these three Months,
and so long Cynthio has acted the Part of a Lover very awkwardly in the
Presence of Flavia. Flavia has been too blind towards him, and has too
sincere an Heart of her own to observe a thousand things which would
have discovered this Change of Mind to any one less engaged than she
was. Cynthio was musing Yesterday in the Piazza in Covent-Garden, and
was saying to himself that he was a very ill Man to go on in visiting
and professing Love to Flavia, when his Heart was enthralled to another.
It is an Infirmity that I am not constant to Flavia; but it would be
still a greater Crime, since I cannot continue to love her, to profess
that I do. To marry a Woman with the Coldness that usually indeed comes
on after Marriage, is ruining one's self with one's Eyes open; besides
it is really doing her an Injury. This last Consideration, forsooth, of
injuring her in persisting, made him resolve to break off upon the first
favourable Opportunity of making her angry. When he was in this Thought,
he saw Robin the Porter who waits at Will's Coffee-House, passing by.
Robin, you must know, is the best Man in Town for carrying a Billet; the
Fellow has a thin Body, swift Step, demure Looks, sufficient Sense, and
knows the Town. This Man carried Cynthio's first Letter to Flavia, and
by frequent Errands ever since, is well known to her. The Fellow covers
his Knowledge of the Nature of his Messages with the most exquisite low
Humour imaginable: The first he obliged Flavia to take, was, by
complaining to her that he had a Wife and three Children, and if she did
not take that Letter, which, he was sure, there was no Harm in, but
rather Love, his Family must go supperless to Bed, for the Gentleman
would pay him according as he did his Business. Robin therefore Cynthio
now thought fit to make use of, and gave him Orders to wait before
Flavia's Door, and if she called him to her, and asked whether it was
Cynthio who passed by, he should at first be loth to own it was, but
upon Importunity confess it. There needed not much Search into that Part
of the Town to find a well-dressed Hussey fit for the Purpose Cynthio
designed her. As soon as he believed Robin was posted, he drove by
Flavia's Lodgings in an Hackney-Coach and a Woman in it. Robin was at
the Door talking with Flavia's Maid, and Cynthio pulled up the Glass as
surprized, and hid his Associate. The Report of this Circumstance soon
flew up Stairs, and Robin could not deny but the Gentleman favoured his
Master; yet if it was he, he was sure the Lady was but his Cousin whom
he had seen ask for him; adding that he believed she was a poor
Relation, because they made her wait one Morning till he was awake.
Flavia immediately writ the following Epistle, which Robin brought to
Wills

June 4, 1712.

SIR,

It is in vain to deny it, basest, falsest of Mankind; my Maid, as well
as the Bearer, saw you.

The injur'd Flavia.

After Cynthio had read the Letter, he asked Robin how she looked, and
what she said at the Delivery of it. Robin said she spoke short to him,
and called him back again, and had nothing to say to him, and bid him
and all the Men in the World go out of her Sight; but the Maid followed,
and bid him bring an Answer.

Cynthio returned as follows.

June 4, Three Afternoon, 1712.

Madam,

That your Maid and the Bearer has seen me very often is very certain;
but I desire to know, being engaged at Picket, what your Letter means
by 'tis in vain to deny it. I shall stay here all the Evening.

Your amazed Cynthio.

As soon as Robin arrived with this, Flavia answered:

Dear Cynthio,

I have walked a Turn or two in my Anti-Chamber since I writ to you,
and have recovered my self from an impertinent Fit which you ought to
forgive me, and desire you would come to me immediately to laugh off a
Jealousy that you and a Creature of the Town went by in an
Hackney-Coach an Hour ago. I am Your most humble Servant,

FLAVIA.

I will not open the Letter which my Cynthio writ, upon the
Misapprehension you must have been under when you writ, for want of
hearing the whole Circumstance.

Robin came back in an Instant, and Cynthio answered:

Half Hour, six Minutes after Three,

June 4. Will's Coffee-house.

Madam, It is certain I went by your Lodgings with a Gentlewoman to
whom I have the Honour to be known, she is indeed my Relation, and a
pretty sort of Woman. But your starting Manner of Writing, and owning
you have not done me the Honour so much as to open my Letter, has in
it something very unaccountable, and alarms one that has had Thoughts
of passing his Days with you. But I am born to admire you with all
your little Imperfections.

CYNTHIO.

Robin run back, and brought for Answer;

Exact Sir, that are at Will's Coffee-house six Minutes after Three,
June 4; one that has had Thoughts and all my little Imperfections.
Sir, come to me immediately, or I shall determine what may perhaps not
be very pleasing to you.
FLAVIA.

Robin gave an Account that she looked excessive angry when she gave him
the Letter; and that he told her, for she asked, that Cynthio only
looked at the Clock, taking Snuff, and writ two or three Words on the
Top of the Letter when he gave him his.

Now the Plot thickened so well, as that Cynthio saw he had not much more
to do to accomplish being irreconciliably banished, he writ,

Madam,
I have that Prejudice in Favour of all you do, that it is not possible
for you to determine upon what will not be very pleasing to Your
Obedient Servant,
CYNTHIO.

This was delivered, and the Answer returned, in a little more than two
Seconds.

SIR,
Is it come to this? You never loved me; and the Creature you were with
is the properest Person for your Associate. I despise you, and hope I
shall soon hate you as a Villain to
The Credulous Flavia.

Robin ran back, with

Madam,
Your Credulity when you are to gain your Point, and Suspicion when you
fear to lose it make it a very hard Part to behave as becomes Your
humble Slave,
CYNTHIO.

Robin whipt away, and returned with,

Mr. Wellford,
Flavia and Cynthio are no more. I relieve you from the hard Part of
which you complain, and banish you from my Sight for ever.
Ann Heart.

Robin had a Crown for his Afternoon's Work; and this is published to
admonish Cecilia to avenge the Injury done to Flavia.

T.

* * * * *

No. 399. Saturday, June 7, 1712. Addison.

'Ut nemo in sese tentat descendere!'

Pers.

Hypocrisie, at the fashionable End of the Town, is very different from
Hypocrisie in the City. The modish Hypocrite endeavours to appear more
vicious than he really is, the other kind of Hypocrite more virtuous.
The former is afraid of every thing that has the Shew of Religion in it,
and would be thought engaged in many Criminal Gallantries and Amours,
which he is not guilty of. The latter assumes a Face of Sanctity, and
covers a Multitude of Vices under a seeming Religious Deportment.

But there is another kind of Hypocrisie, which differs from both these,
and which I intend to make the Subject of this Paper: I mean that
Hypocrisie, by which a Man does not only deceive the World, but very
often imposes on himself; That Hypocrisie, which conceals his own Heart
from him, and makes him believe he is more virtuous than he really is,
and either not attend to his Vices, or mistake even his Vices for
Virtues. It is this fatal Hypocrisie and Self-deceit, which is taken

Book of the day: