Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

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

Part 39 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.

Riding near her highest Noon,
Like one that hath been led astray,
Thro' the Heavn's wide pathless Way,
And oft, as if her Head she bow'd,
Stooping thro' a fleecy Cloud.

Then let some strange mysterious Dream
Wave with his Wings in airy Stream,
Of lively Portraiture displaid,
Softly on my Eyelids laid;
And as I wake, sweet Musick breathe
Above, about, or underneath,
Sent by Spirits to Mortals Good,
Or th' unseen Genius of the Wood.'

I reflected then upon the sweet Vicissitudes of Night and Day, on the
charming Disposition of the Seasons, and their Return again in a
perpetual Circle; and oh! said I, that I could from these my declining
Years return again to my first Spring of Youth and Vigour; but that,
alas! is impossible: All that remains within my Power, is to soften
the Inconveniences I feel, with an easie contented Mind, and the
Enjoyment of such Delights as this Solitude affords me. In this
Thought I sate me down on a Bank of Flowers and dropt into a Slumber,
which whether it were the Effect of Fumes and Vapours, or my present
Thoughts, I know not; but methought the Genius of the Garden stood
before me, and introduced into the Walk where I lay this Drama and
different Scenes of the Revolution of the Year, which whilst I then
saw, even in my Dream, I resolved to write down, and send to the

The first Person whom I saw advancing towards me was a Youth of a most
beautiful Air and Shape, tho' he seemed not yet arrived at that exact
Proportion and Symmetry of Parts which a little more time would have
given him; but however, there was such a Bloom in his Countenance,
such Satisfaction and Joy, that I thought it the most desirable Form
that I had ever seen. He was cloathed in a flowing Mantle of green
Silk, interwoven with Flowers: He had a Chaplet of Roses on his Head,
and a _Narcissus_ in his Hand; Primroses and Violets sprang up under
his Feet, and all Nature was cheer'd at his Approach. _Flora_ was on
one Hand and _Vertumnus_ on the other in a Robe of changeable Silk.
After this I was surprized to see the Moon-beams reflected with a
sudden Glare from Armour, and to see a Man compleatly armed advancing
with his Sword drawn. I was soon informed by the Genius it was _Mars_,
who had long usurp'd a Place among the Attendants of the _Spring_. He
made Way for a softer Appearance, it was _Venus_, without any Ornament
but her own Beauties, not so much as her own Cestus, with which she
had incompass'd a Globe, which she held in her right Hand, and in her
left she had a Sceptre of Gold. After her followed the Graces with
their Arms intwined within one another, their Girdles were loosed, and
they moved to the Sound of soft Musick, striking the Ground
alternately with their Feet: Then came up the three Months which
belong to this Season. As _March_ advanced towards me, there was
methought in his Look a louring Roughness, which ill befitted a Month
which was ranked in so soft a Season; but as he came forwards his
Features became insensibly more mild and gentle: He smooth'd his Brow,
and looked with so sweet a Countenance that I could not but lament his
Departure, though he made way for _April_. He appeared in the greatest
Gaiety imaginable, and had a thousand Pleasures to attend him: His
Look was frequently clouded, but immediately return'd to its first
Composure, and remained fixed in a Smile. Then came _May_ attended by
_Cupid_, with his Bow strung, and in a Posture to let fly an Arrow: As
he passed by methought I heard a confused Noise of soft Complaints,
gentle Ecstacies, and tender Sighs of Lovers; Vows of Constancy, and
as many Complainings of Perfidiousness; all which the Winds wafted
away as soon as they had reached my Hearing. After these I saw a Man
advance in the full Prime and Vigour of his Age, his Complexion was
sanguine and ruddy, his Hair black, and fell down in beautiful
Ringlets not beneath his Shoulders, a Mantle of Hair-colour'd Silk
hung loosely upon him: He advanced with a hasty Step after the
_Spring_, and sought out the Shade and cool Fountains which plaid in
the Garden. He was particularly well pleased when a Troop of _Zephyrs_
fanned him with their Wings: He had two Companions who walked on each
Side that made him appear the most agreeable, the one was _Aurora_
with Fingers of Roses, and her Feet dewy, attired in grey: The other
was _Vesper_ in a Robe of Azure beset with Drops of Gold, whose Breath
he caught whilst it passed over a Bundle of Honey-Suckles and
Tuberoses which he held in his Hand. _Pan_ and _Ceres_ followed them
with four Reapers, who danced a Morrice to the Sound of Oaten Pipes
and Cymbals. Then came the Attendant Months. _June_ retained still
some small Likeness of the _Spring_; but the other two seemed to step
with a less vigorous Tread, especially _August_, who seem'd almost to
faint whilst for half the Steps he took the Dog-Star levelled his Rays
full at his Head: They passed on and made Way for a Person that seemed
to bend a little under the Weight of Years; his Beard and Hair, which
were full grown, were composed of an equal Number of black and grey;
he wore a Robe which he had girt round him of a yellowish Cast, not
unlike the Colour of fallen Leaves, which he walked upon. I thought he
hardly made Amends for expelling the foregoing Scene by the large
Quantity of Fruits which he bore in his Hands. _Plenty_ walked by his
Side with an healthy fresh Countenance, pouring out from an Horn all
the various Product of the Year. _Pomona_ followed with a Glass of
Cyder in her Hand, with _Bacchus_ in a Chariot drawn by Tygers,
accompanied by a whole Troop of Satyrs, Fauns, and Sylvans.
_September_, who came next, seem'd in his Looks to promise a new
_Spring_, and wore the Livery of those Months. The succeeding Month
was all soiled with the Juice of Grapes, as if he had just come from
the Wine-Press. _November_, though he was in this Division, yet, by
the many Stops he made seemed rather inclined to the _Winter_, which
followed close at his Heels. He advanced in the Shape of an old Man in
the Extremity of Age: The Hair he had was so very white it seem'd a
real Snow; his Eyes were red and piercing, and his Beard hung with a
great Quantity of Icicles: He was wrapt up in Furrs, but yet so
pinched with Excess of Cold that his Limbs were all contracted and his
Body bent to the Ground, so that he could not have supported himself
had it not been for _Comus_ the God of Revels, and _Necessity_ the
Mother of Fate, who sustained him on each side. The Shape and Mantle
of _Comus_ was one of the things that most surprized me; as he
advanced towards me, his Countenance seemed the most desirable I had
ever seen: On the fore Part of his Mantle was pictured Joy, Delight,
and Satisfaction, with a thousand Emblems of Merriment, and Jests with
Faces looking two Ways at once; but as he passed from me I was amazed
at a Shape so little correspondent to his Face: His Head was bald, and
all the rest of his Limbs appeared old and deformed. On the hinder
Part of his Mantle was represented Murder with dishevelled Hair and a
Dagger all bloody, Anger in a Robe of Scarlet, and Suspicion squinting
with both Eyes; but above all the most conspicuous was the Battel of
the _Lapithae_ and the _Centaurs_. I detested so hideous a Shape, and
turned my Eyes upon _Saturn_, who was stealing away behind him with a
Scythe in one Hand, and an Hour-glass in t'other unobserved. Behind
_Necessity_ was _Vesta_ the Goddess of Fire with a Lamp which was
perpetually supply'd with Oyl; and whose Flame was eternal. She
cheered the rugged Brow of _Necessity_, and warmed her so far as
almost to make her assume the Features and Likeness of _Choice.
December, January,_ and _February_, passed on after the rest all in
Furrs; there was little Distinction to be made amongst them, and they
were only more or less displeasing as they discovered more or less
Haste towards the grateful Return of _Spring._


* * * * *

No. 426. Wednesday, July 9, 1712. Steele.

'--Quid non mortalia Pectora cogis
Auri sacra fames'


A very agreeable Friend of mine, the other Day, carrying me in his Coach
into the Country to Dinner, fell into Discourse concerning the Care of
Parents due to their Children, and the Piety of Children towards their
Parents. He was reflecting upon the Succession of particular Virtues and
Qualities there might be preserved from one Generation to another, if
these Regards were reciprocally held in Veneration: But as he never
fails to mix an Air of Mirth and good Humour with his good Sense and
Reasoning, he entered into the following Relation.

I will not be confident in what Century, or under what Reign it
happened, that this Want of mutual Confidence and right Understanding
between Father and Son was fatal to the Family of the _Valentines_ in
_Germany_. _Basilius Valentinus_ was a Person who had arrived at the
utmost Perfection in the Hermetick Art, and initiated his Son
_Alexandrinus_ in the same Mysteries: But as you know they are not to be
attained but by the Painful, the Pious, the Chaste, and Pure of Heart,
_Basilius_ did not open to him, because of his Youth, and the Deviations
too natural to it, the greatest Secrets of which he was Master, as well
knowing that the Operation would fail in the Hands of a Man so liable to
Errors in Life as _Alexandrinus_. But believing, from a certain
Indisposition of Mind as well as Body, his Dissolution was drawing nigh,
he called _Alexandrinus_ to him, and as he lay on a Couch, over-against
which his Son was seated, and prepared by sending out Servants one after
another, and Admonition to examine that no one over-heard them, he
revealed the most important of his Secrets with the Solemnity and
Language of an Adept. My Son, said he, many have been the Watchings,
long the Lucubrations, constant the Labours of thy Father, not only to
gain a great and plentiful Estate to his Posterity, but also to take
Care that he should have no Posterity. Be not amazed, my Child; I do not
mean that thou shalt be taken from me, but that I will never leave thee,
and consequently cannot be said to have Posterity. Behold, my dearest
_Alexandrinus_, the Effect of what was propagated in nine Months: We are
not to contradict Nature but to follow and to help her; just as long as
an Infant is in the Womb of its Parent, so long are these Medicines of
Revification in preparing. Observe this small Phial and this little
Gallipot, in this an Unguent, in the other a Liquor. In these, my child,
are collected such Powers, as shall revive the Springs of Life when they
are yet but just ceased, and give new Strength, new Spirits, and, in a
Word, wholly restore all the Organs and Senses of the human Body to as
great a Duration, as it had before enjoyed from its Birth to the Day of
the Application of these my Medicines. But, my beloved Son, Care must be
taken to apply them within ten Hours after the Breath is out of the
Body, while yet the Clay is warm with its late Life, and yet capable of
Resuscitation. I find my Frame grown crasie with perpetual Toil and
Meditation; and I conjure you, as soon as I am dead, to anoint me with
this Unguent; and when you see me begin to move, pour into my Lips this
inestimable Liquor, else the Force of the Ointment will be ineffectual.
By this Means you will give me Life as I have you, and we will from that
Hour mutually lay aside the Authority of having bestowed Life on each
other, but live as Brethren, and prepare new Medicines against such
another Period of Time as will demand another Application of the same
Restoratives. In a few Days after these wonderful Ingredients were
delivered to _Alexandrinus_, _Basilius_ departed this Life. But such was
the pious Sorrow of the Son at the Loss of so excellent a Father, and
the first Transports of Grief had so wholly disabled him from all manner
of Business, that he never thought of the Medicines till the Time to
which his Father had limited their Efficacy was expired. To tell the
Truth, _Alexandrinus_ was a Man of Wit and Pleasure, and considered his
Father had lived out his natural Time, his Life was long and uniform,
suitable to the Regularity of it; but that he himself, poor Sinner,
wanted a new Life, to repent of a very bad one hitherto; and in the
Examination of his Heart, resolved to go on as he did with this natural
Being of his, but repent very faithfully and spend very piously the Life
to which he should be restored by Application of these Rarities, when
Time should come, to his own Person.

It has been observed, that Providence frequently punishes the Self-love
of Men who would do immoderately for their own Off-spring, with Children
very much below their Characters and Qualifications, insomuch that they
only transmit their Names to be born by those who give daily Proofs of
the Vanity of the Labour and Ambition of their Progenitors.

It happened thus in the Family of _Basilius_; for _Alexandrinus_ began
to enjoy his ample Fortune in all the Extremities of Houshold Expence,
Furniture, and insolent Equipage; and this he pursued till the Day of
his own Departure began, as he grew sensible, to approach. As _Basilius_
was punished with a Son very unlike him, _Alexandrinus_ was visited with
one of his own Disposition. It is natural that ill Men should be
suspicious, and _Alexandrinus_, besides that Jealousie, had Proofs of
the vitious Disposition of his Son _Renatus_, for that was his Name.

_Alexandrinus_, as I observed, having very good Reasons for thinking it
unsafe to trust the real Secret of his Phial and Gallypot to any Man
living, projected to make sure Work, and hope for his Success depending
from the Avarice, not the Bounty of his Benefactor.

With this Thought he called _Renatus_ to his Bed-side, and bespoke him
in the most pathetick Gesture and Accent. As much, my Son, as you have
been addicted to Vanity and Pleasure, as I also have been before you,
you nor I could escape the Fame, or the good Effects of the profound
Knowledge of our Progenitor, the Renowned _Basilius_. His Symbol is very
well known in the Philosophick World, and I shall never forget the
venerable Air of his Countenance, when he let me into the profound
Mysteries of _the Smaragdine Table of_ Hermes. _It is true_, said he,
_and far removed from all Colour of Deceit, That which is Inferior is
like that which is Superior, by which are acquired and perfected all the
Miracles of a certain Work. The Father is the Sun, the Mother the Moon:
the Wind is the Womb, the Earth is the Nurse of it, and Mother of all
Perfection. All this must be received with Modesty and Wisdom._ The
Chymical People carry in all their Jargon a whimsical sort of Piety,
which is ordinary with great Lovers of Money, and is no more but
deceiving themselves, that their Regularity and Strictness of Manners
for the Ends of this World, has some Affinity to the Innocence of Heart
which must recommend them to the next. _Renatus_ wondered to hear his
Father talk so like an Adept, and with such a Mixture of Piety, while
_Alexandrinus_ observing his Attention fixed, proceeded: This Phial,
Child, and this little Earthen-Pot will add to thy Estate so much, as to
make thee the richest Man in the _German_ Empire. I am going to my Long
Home, but shall not return to common Dust. Then he resumed a Countenance
of Alacrity, and told him, That if within an Hour after his Death he
anointed his whole Body, and poured down his Throat that Liquor which he
had from old _Basilius_, the Corps would be converted into pure Gold. I
will not pretend to express to you the unfeigned Tendernesses that
passed between these two extraordinary Persons; but if the Father
recommended the Care of his Remains with Vehemence and Affection, the
Son was not behind-hand in professing that he would not cut the least
Bit off him, but upon the utmost Extremity, or to provide for his
younger Brothers and Sisters.

Well, _Alexandrinus_ died, and the Heir of his Body (as our Term is)
could not forbear in the Wantonness of his Heart, to measure the Length
and Breadth of his beloved Father, and cast up the ensuing Value of him
before he proceeded to Operation. When he knew the immense Reward of his
Pains, he began the Work: But lo! when he had anointed the Corps all
over, and began to apply the Liquor, the Body stirred, and _Renatus_, in
a Fright, broke the Phial. [1]

[Footnote 1: This tale is from the Description of the memorable Sea and
Land Travels through Persia to the East Indies, by Johann Albrecht von
Mandelslo, translated from the German of Olearius, by J. B. B. Bk v. p.
189. Basil Valentine, whom it makes the hero of a story after the manner
of the romances of Virgil the Enchanter, was an able chemist (in those
days an alchemist) of the sixteenth century, who is believed to have
been a Benedictine monk of Erfurth, and is not known to have had any
children. He was the author of the Currus Triumphalis Antimonii,
mentioned in a former note. His name was familiar through several books
in French, especially 'L'Azoth des Philosophes, avec les 12 Clefs de
Philosophie' (Paris, 1660), and a 'Testament de Basile Valentine'
(London, 1671).]

* * * * *

No. 427. Thursday, July 10, 1712. Steele.

'Quartum a rerum turpitudine abes, tantum Te a verborum libertate


It is a certain Sign of an ill Heart to be inclined to Defamation. They
who are harmless and innocent, can have no Gratification that way; but
it ever arises from a Neglect of what is laudable in a Man's self, and
an Impatience of seeing it in another. Else why should Virtue provoke?
Why should Beauty displease in such a Degree, that a Man given to
Scandal never lets the Mention of either pass by him without offering
something to the Diminution of it? A Lady the other Day at a Visit being
attacked somewhat rudely by one, whose own Character has been very
roughly treated, answered a great deal of Heat and Intemperance very
calmly, 'Good Madam spare me, who am none of your Match; I speak Ill of
no Body, and it is a new Thing to me to be spoken ill of.' Little Minds
think Fame consists in the Number of Votes they have on their Side among
the Multitude, whereas it is really the inseparable Follower of good and
worthy Actions. Fame is as natural a Follower of Merit, as a Shadow is
of a Body. It is true, when Crowds press upon you, this Shadow cannot be
seen, but when they separate from around you, it will again appear. The
Lazy, the Idle, and the Froward, are the Persons who are most pleas'd
with the little Tales which pass about the Town to the Disadvantage of
the rest of the World. Were it not for the Pleasure of speaking Ill,
there are Numbers of People who are too lazy to go out of their own
Houses, and too ill-natur'd to open their Lips in Conversation. It was
not a little diverting the other Day to observe a Lady reading a
Post-Letter, and at these Words, 'After all her Airs, he has heard some
Story or other, and the Match is broke off', give Orders in the midst of
her Reading, 'Put to the Horses.' That a young Woman of Merit has missed
an advantagious Settlement, was News not to be delayed, lest some Body
else should have given her malicious Acquaintance that Satisfaction
before her. The Unwillingness to receive good Tidings is a Quality as
inseparable from a Scandal-Bearer, as the Readiness to divulge bad. But,
alas, how wretchedly low and contemptible is that State of Mind, that
cannot be pleased but by what is the Subject of Lamentation. This Temper
has ever been in the highest Degree odious to gallant Spirits. The
_Persian_ Soldier, who was heard reviling _Alexander_ the Great, was
well admonished by his Officer; _Sir, you are paid to fight against_
Alexander, _and not to rail at him_.

_Cicero_ in one of his Pleadings, [1] defending his Client from general
Scandal, says very handsomely, and with much Reason, _There are many who
have particular Engagements to the Prosecutor: There are many who are
known to have ill-will to him for whom I appear; there are many who are
naturally addicted to Defamation, and envious of any Good to any Man,
who may have contributed to spread Reports of this kind: For nothing is
so swift as Scandal, nothing is more easily sent abroad, nothing
received with more Welcome, nothing diffuses it self so universally. I
shall not desire, that if any Report to our Disadvantage has any Ground
for it, you would overlook or extenuate it: But if there be any thing
advanced without a Person who can say whence he had it, or which is
attested by one who forgot who told him it, or who had it from one of so
little Consideration that he did not then think it worth his Notice, all
such Testimonies as these, I know, you will think too slight to have any
Credit against the Innocence and Honour of your Fellow-Citizen_. When an
ill Report is traced, it very often vanishes among such as the Orator
has here recited. And how despicable a Creature must that be, who is in
Pain for what passes among so frivolous a People? There is a Town in
_Warwickshire_ of good Note, and formerly pretty famous for much
Animosity and Dissension, the chief Families of which have now turned
all their Whispers, Backbitings, Envies, and private Malices, into Mirth
and Entertainment, by means of a peevish old Gentlewoman, known by the
Title of the Lady _Bluemantle_. This Heroine had for many Years together
out-done the whole Sisterhood of Gossips in Invention, quick Utterance,
and unprovoked Malice. This good Body is of a lasting Constitution,
though extremely decayed in her Eyes, and decrepid in her Feet. The two
Circumstances of being always at Home from her Lameness, and very
attentive from her Blindness, make her Lodgings the Receptacle of all
that passes in Town, Good or Bad; but for the latter, she seems to have
the better Memory. There is another Thing to be noted of her, which is,
That as it is usual with old People, she has a livelier Memory of Things
which passed when she was very young, than of late Years. Add to all
this, that she does not only not love any Body, but she hates every
Body. The Statue in Rome does not serve to vent Malice half so well, as
this old Lady does to disappoint it. She does not know the Author of any
thing that is told her, but can readily repeat the Matter it self;
therefore, though she exposes all the whole Town, she offends no one
Body in it. She is so exquisitely restless and peevish, that she
quarrels with all about her, and sometimes in a Freak will instantly
change her Habitation. To indulge this Humour, she is led about the
Grounds belonging to the same House she is in, and the Persons to whom
she is to remove, being in the Plot, are ready to receive her at her own
Chamber again. At stated Times, the Gentlewoman at whose House she
supposes she is at the Time, is sent for to quarrel with, according to
her common Custom: When they have a Mind to drive the Jest, she is
immediately urged to that Degree, that she will board in a Family with
which she has never yet been; and away she will go this Instant, and
tell them all that the rest have been saying of them. By this means she
has been an Inhabitant of every House in the Place without stirring from
the same Habitation; and the many Stories which every body furnishes her
with to favour that Deceit, make her the general Intelligencer of the
Town of all that can be said by one Woman against another. Thus
groundless Stories die away, and sometimes Truths are smothered under
the general Word: When they have a Mind to discountenance a thing, Oh!
that is in my Lady _Bluemantle's_ Memoirs.

Whoever receives Impressions to the Disadvantage of others without
Examination, is to be had in no other Credit for Intelligence than this
good Lady _Bluemantle_, who is subjected to have her Ears imposed upon
for want of other Helps to better Information. Add to this, that other
Scandal-Bearers suspend the Use of these Faculties which she has lost,
rather than apply them to do Justice to their Neighbours; and I think,
for the Service of my fair Readers, to acquaint them, that there is a
voluntary Lady _Bluemantle_ at every Visit in Town.


[Footnote 1: Orat. pro Cu. Plancio. A little beyond the middle.]

* * * * *

No. 428. Friday, July 11, 1712. Steele.

'Occupet extremum Scabies--'


It is an impertinent and unreasonable Fault in Conversation, for one Man
to take up all the Discourse. It may possibly be objected to me my self,
that I am guilty in this kind, in entertaining the Town every Day, and
not giving so many able Persons who have it more in their Power, and as
much in their Inclination, an Opportunity to oblige Mankind with their
Thoughts. Besides, said one whom I overheard the other Day, why must
this Paper turn altogether upon Topicks of Learning and Morality? Why
should it pretend only to Wit, Humour, or the like? Things which are
useful only to amuse Men of Literature and superior Education. I would
have it consist also of all Things which may be necessary or useful to
any Part of Society, and the mechanick Arts should have their Place as
well as the Liberal. The Ways of Gain, Husbandry, and Thrift, will serve
a greater Number of People, than Discourses upon what was well said or
done by such a Philosopher, Heroe, General, or Poet. I no sooner heard
this Critick talk of my Works, but I minuted what he had said; and from
that Instant resolved to enlarge the Plan of my Speculations, by giving
Notice to all Persons of all Orders, and each Sex, that if they are
pleased to send me Discourses, with their Names and Places of Abode to
them, so that I can be satisfied the Writings are authentick, such their
Labours shall be faithfully inserted in this Paper. It will be of much
more Consequence to a Youth in his Apprenticeship, to know by what Rules
and Arts such a one became Sheriff of the City of _London_, than to see
the Sign of one of his own Quality with a Lion's Heart in each Hand. The
World indeed is enchanted with romantick and improbable Atchievements,
when the plain Path to respective Greatness and Success in the Way of
Life a Man is in, is wholly overlooked. Is it possible that a young Man
at present could pass his Time better, than in reading the History of
Stocks, and knowing by what secret Springs they have had such sudden
Ascents and Falls in the same Day? Could he be better conducted in his
Way to Wealth, which is the great Article of Life, than in a Treatise
dated from _Change-Alley_ by an able Proficient there? Nothing certainly
could be more useful, than to be well instructed in his Hopes and Fears;
to be diffident when others exult, and with a secret Joy buy when others
think it their Interest to sell. I invite all Persons who have any thing
to say for the Profitable Information of the Publick, to take their
Turns in my Paper: They are welcome, from the late noble Inventor of the
Longitude, [1] to the humble Author of Strops for Razors. If to carry
Ships in Safety, to give Help to People tost in a troubled Sea, without
knowing to what Shoar they bear, what Rocks to avoid, or what Coast to
pray for in their Extremity, be a worthy Labour, and an Invention that
deserves a Statue; at the same Time, he who has found a Means to let the
Instrument which is to make your Visage less [horrible [2]], and your
Person more smug, easie in the Operation, is worthy of some kind of good
Reception: If Things of high Moment meet with Renown, those of little
Consideration, since of any Consideration, are not to be despised. In
order that no Merit may lye hid and no Art unimproved, I repeat it, that
I call Artificers, as well as Philosophers, to my Assistance in the
Publick Service. It would be of great Use if we had an exact History of
the Successes of every great Shop within the City-Walls, what Tracts of
Land have been purchased by a constant Attendance within a Walk of
thirty Foot. If it could also be noted in the Equipage of those who are
ascended from the Successful Trade of their Ancestors into Figure and
Equipage, such Accounts would quicken Industry in the Pursuit of such
Acquisitions, and discountenance Luxury in the Enjoyment of them.

To diversifie these kinds of Informations, the Industry of the Female
World is not to be unobserved: She to whose Houshold Virtues it is
owing, that Men do Honour to her Husband, should be recorded with
Veneration; she who had wasted his Labours, with Infamy. When we are
come into Domestick Life in this manner, to awaken Caution and
Attendance to the main Point, it would not be amiss to give now and then
a Touch of Tragedy, and describe [the [3]] most dreadful of all human
Conditions, the Case of Bankruptcy; how Plenty, Credit, Chearfulness,
full Hopes, and easy Possessions, are in an Instant turned into Penury,
faint Aspects, Diffidence, Sorrow, and Misery; how the Man, who with an
open Hand the Day before could administer to the Extremities of others,
is shunned today by the Friend of his Bosom. It would be useful to shew
how just this is on the Negligent, how lamentable on the Industrious. A
Paper written by a Merchant, might give this Island a true Sense of the
Worth and Importance of his Character: It might be visible from what he
could say, That no Soldier entring a Breach adventures more for Honour,
than the Trader does for Wealth to his Country. In both Cases the
Adventurers have their own Advantage, but I know no Cases wherein every
Body else is a Sharer in the Success.

It is objected by Readers of History, That the Battels in those
Narrations are scarce ever to be understood. This Misfortune is to be
ascribed to the Ignorance of Historians in the Methods of drawing up,
changing the Forms of a Battalia, and the Enemy retreating from, as well
as approaching to, the Charge. But in the Discourses from the
Correspondents, whom I now invite, the Danger will be of another kind;
and it is necessary to caution them only against using Terms of Art, and
describing Things that are familiar to them in Words unknown to their
Readers. I promise my self a great Harvest of new Circumstances,
Persons, and Things from this Proposal; and a World, which many think
they are well acquainted with, discovered as wholly new. This Sort of
Intelligence will give a lively Image of the Chain and mutual Dependance
of humane Society, take off impertinent Prejudices, enlarge the Minds of
those, whose Views are confined to their own Circumstances; and, in
short, if the Knowing in several Arts, Professions, and Trades will
exert themselves, it cannot but produce a new Field of Diversion, an
Instruction more agreeable than has yet appeared.


[Footnote 1: If this means the Marquis of Worcester, the exact
ascertainment of the longitude was not one of his century of Inventions.
The sextant had its origin in the mind of Sir Isaac Newton, who was
knighted in 1705, and living at this time, but its practical inventor
was Thomas Godfrey, a glazier at Philadelphia. Godfrey's instrument is
said to have been seen by John Hadley, or that English philosopher,
after whom the instrument is named, invented it at the same time, about
1730. Honours of invention were assigned to both Godfrey and Hadley.
Means of exact observation of the heavenly bodies would not suffice for
exact determining of longitude until the sailor was provided with a
timepiece that could be relied upon in all climates for a true uniform
standard of time. The invention of such a time-piece, for which
Parliament offered a reward of L20,000, was the real solution of the
difficulty, and this we owe to the Yorkshireman John Harrison, a
carpenter and son of a carpenter, who had a genius for clockmaking, and
was stimulated to work at the construction of marine chronometers by
living in sight of the sea. He came to London in 1728, and after fifty
years of labour finished in 1759 a chronometer which, having stood the
test of two voyages, obtained for him the offered reward of L20,000.
Harrison died in 1776 at the age of 83.]

[Footnote 2: [horrid]]

[Footnote 3: [that]]

* * * * *

No. 429. Saturday, July 12, 1712. Steele.

'--Populumque falsis dedocet uti


Since I gave an Account of an agreeable Set of Company which were gone
down into the Country, I have received Advices from thence, that the
Institution of an Infirmary for those who should be out of Humour, has
had very good Effects. My Letters mention particular Circumstances of
two or three Persons, who had the good Sense to retire of their own
Accord, and notified that they were withdrawn, with the Reasons of it,
to the Company, in their respective Memorials.

_The Memorial of Mrs_. Mary Dainty, _Spinster_,

Humbly Sheweth,

That conscious of her own want of Merit, accompanied with a Vanity
of being admired, she had gone into Exile of her own accord.

She is sensible, that a vain Person is the most insufferable
Creature living in a well-bred Assembly.

That she desired, before she appeared in publick again, she might
have Assurances, that tho' she might be thought handsome, there
might not more Address or Compliment be paid to her, than to the
rest of the Company.

That she conceived it a kind of Superiority, that one Person should
take upon him to commend another.

Lastly, That she went into the Infirmary, to avoid a particular
Person who took upon him to profess an Admiration of her.

She therefore prayed, that to applaud out of due place, might be
declar'd an Offence, and punished in the same Manner with
Detraction, in that the latter did but report Persons defective, and
the former made them so.

All which is submitted, &c.

There appeared a Delicacy and Sincerity in this Memorial very
uncommon, but my Friend informs me, that the Allegations of it were
groundless, insomuch that this Declaration of an Aversion to being
praised, was understood to be no other than a secret Trap to purchase
it, for which Reason it lies still on the Table unanswered.

_The humble Memorial of the Lady_ Lydia Loller, Sheweth,

That the Lady _Lydia_ is a Woman of Quality; married to a private

That she finds her self neither well nor ill.

That her Husband is a Clown.

That Lady _Lydia_ cannot see Company. That she desires the Infirmary
may be her Apartment during her stay in the Country.

That they would please to make merry with their Equals.

That Mr. _Loller_ might stay with them if he thought fit.

It was immediately resolved, that Lady _Lydia_ was still at _London._

_The humble Memorial_ of Thomas Sudden, _Esq_., of the Inner-Temple,

That Mr. _Sudden_ is conscious that he is too much given to

That he talks loud.

That he is apt to think all things matter of Debate.

That he stayed behind in _Westminster-Hall_, when the late Shake of
the Roof happened, only because a Council of the other Side asserted
it was coming down.

That he cannot for his Life consent to any thing.

That he stays in the Infirmary to forget himself.

That as soon as he has forgot himself, he will wait on the Company.

His Indisposition was allowed to be sufficient to require a Cessation
from Company.

_The Memorial_ of Frank Jolly, Sheweth,

That he hath put himself into the Infirmary, in regard he is
sensible of a certain rustick Mirth which renders him unfit for
polite Conversation.

That he intends to prepare himself by Abstinence and thin Diet to be
one of the Company.

That at present he comes into a Room as if he were an Express from

That he has chosen an Apartment with a matted Anti-Chamber, to
practise Motion without being heard.

That he bows, talks, drinks, eats, and helps himself before a Glass,
to learn to act with Moderation.

That by reason of his luxuriant Health he is oppressive to Persons
of composed Behaviour.

That he is endeavouring to forget the Word _Pshaw, Pshaw_.

That he is also weaning himself from his Cane.

That when he has learnt to live without his said Cane, he will wait
on the Company, &c.


_The Memorial_ of John Rhubarb, _Esq_.,


That your Petitioner has retired to the Infirmary, but that he is
in perfect good Health, except that he has by long Use. and for want
of Discourse, contracted an Habit of Complaint that he is sick.

That he wants for nothing under the Sun, but what to say, and
therefore has fallen into this unhappy Malady of complaining that he
is sick.

That this Custom of his makes him, by his own Confession, fit only
for the Infirmary, and therefore he has not waited for being
sentenced to it.

That he is conscious there is nothing more improper than such a
Complaint in good Company, in that they must pity, whether they
think the Lamenter ill or not; and that the Complainant must make a
silly Figure, whether he is pitied or not.

Your Petitioner humbly prays, that he may have Time to know how he
does, and he will make his Appearance.

The Valetudinarian was likewise easily excused; and this Society being
resolved not only to make it their Business to pass their Time
agreeably for the present Season, but also to commence such Habits in
themselves as may be of Use in their future Conduct in general, are
very ready to give into a fancied or real Incapacity to join with
their Measures, in order to have no Humourist, proud Man, impertinent
or sufficient ellow, break in upon their Happiness. Great Evils seldom
happen to disturb Company; but Indulgence in Particularities of
Humour, is the Seed of making half our Time hang in Suspence, or waste
away under real Discomposures.

Among other Things it is carefully provided that there may not be
disagreeable Familiarities. No one is to appear in the publick Rooms
undressed, or enter abruptly into each other's Apartment without
intimation. Every one has hitherto been so careful in his Behaviour,
that there has but one Offender in ten Days Time been sent into the
Infirmary, and that was for throwing away his Cards at Whist.

He has offered his Submission in the following Terms.

_The humble Petition of_ Jeoffry Hotspur, _Esq._,


Though the Petitioner swore, stamped, and threw down his Cards, he
has all imaginable Respect for the Ladies, and the whole Company.

That he humbly desires it may be considered in the Case of Gaming,
there are many Motives which provoke to Disorder.

That the Desire of Gain, and the Desire of Victory, are both
thwarted in Losing.

That all Conversations in the World have indulged Human Infirmity in
this Case.

Your Petitioner therefore most humbly prays, that he may be restored
to the Company, and he hopes to bear ill Fortune with a good Grace
for the future, and to demean himself so as to be no more than
chearful when he wins, than grave when he loses.


* * * * *

No. 430. Monday, July 14, 1712. Steele.

'Quaere peregrinum vicinia rauca reclamat.'



As you are Spectator-General, you may with Authority censure
whatsoever looks ill, and is offensive to the Sight; the worst Nusance
of which kind, methinks, is the scandalous Appearance of Poor in all
Parts of this wealthy City. Such miserable Objects affect the
compassionate Beholder with dismal Ideas, discompose the Chearfulness
of his Mind, and deprive him of the Pleasure that he might otherwise
take in surveying the Grandeur of our Metropolis. Who can without
Remorse see a disabled Sailor, the Purveyor of our Luxury, destitute
of Necessaries? Who can behold an honest Soldier, that bravely
withstood the Enemy, prostrate and in Want amongst his Friends? It
were endless to mention all the Variety of Wretchedness, and the
numberless Poor, that not only singly, but in Companies, implore your
Charity. Spectacles of this Nature every where occur; and it is
unaccountable, that amongst the many lamentable Cries that infest this
Town, your Comptroller-General should not take notice of the most
shocking, _viz_. those of the Needy and Afflicted. I can't but think
he wav'd it meerly out of good Breeding, chusing rather to stifle his
Resentment, than upbraid his Countrymen with Inhumanity; however, let
not Charity be sacrificed to Popularity, and if his Ears were deaf to
their Complaints, let not your Eyes overlook their Persons. There are,
I know, many Impostors among them. Lameness and Blindness are
certainly very often acted; but can those that have their Sight and
Limbs, employ them better than in knowing whether they are
counterfeited or not? I know not which of the two misapplies his
Senses most, he who pretends himself blind to move Compassion, or he
who beholds a miserable Object without pitying it. But in order to
remove such Impediments, I wish, Mr. SPECTATOR, you would give us a
Discourse upon Beggars, that we may not pass by true Objects of
Charity, or give to Impostors. I looked out of my Window the other
Morning earlier than ordinary, and saw a blind Beggar, an Hour before
the Passage he stands in is frequented, with a Needle and Thread,
thriftily mending his Stockings: My Astonishment was still greater,
when I beheld a lame Fellow, whose Legs were too big to walk within an
Hour after, bring him a Pot of Ale. I will not mention the Shakings,
Distortions, and Convulsions which many of them practise to gain an
Alms; but sure I am, they ought to be taken Care of in this Condition,
either by the Beadle or the Magistrate. They, it seems, relieve their
Posts according to their Talents. There is the Voice of an old Woman
never begins to beg 'till nine in the Evening, and then she is
destitute of Lodging, turned out for want of Rent, and has the same
ill Fortune every Night in the Year. You should employ an Officer to
hear the Distress of each Beggar that is constant at a particular
Place, who is ever in the same Tone, and succeeds because his Audience
is continually changing, tho' he does not alter his Lamentation. If we
have nothing else for our Money, let us have more Invention to be
cheated with. All which is submitted to your Spectatorial Vigilance:
and I am,
Your most humble Servant.


I was last _Sunday_ highly transported at our Parish-Church; the
Gentleman in the Pulpit pleaded movingly in Behalf of the poor
Children, and they for themselves much more forcibly by singing an
Hymn; And I had the Happiness to be a Contributor to this little
religious Institution of Innocents, and am sure I never disposed of
Money more to my Satisfaction and Advantage. The inward Joy I find in
my self, and the Good-will I bear to Mankind, make me heartily wish
those pious Works may be encouraged, that the present Promoters may
reap the Delight, and Posterity the Benefit of them. But whilst we are
building this beautiful Edifice, let not the old Ruins remain in View
to sully the Prospect: Whilst we are cultivating and improving this
young hopeful Offspring, let not the ancient and helpless Creatures be
shamefully neglected. The Crowds of Poor, or pretended Poor, in every
Place, are a great Reproach to us, and eclipse the Glory of all other
Charity. It is the utmost Reproach to Society, that there should be a
poor Man unrelieved, or a poor Rogue unpunished. I hope you will think
no Part of Human Life out of your Consideration, but will, at your
Leisure, give us the History of Plenty and Want, and the natural
Gradations towards them, calculated for the Cities of _London_ and
_I am, SIR,
Your most Humble Servant_,
T. D.


I beg you would be pleased to take Notice of a very great Indecency,
which is extreamly common, though, I think, never yet under your
Censure. It is, Sir, the strange Freedoms some ill-bred married People
take in Company: The unseasonable Fondness of some Husbands, and the
ill-timed Tenderness of some Wives. They talk and act, as if Modesty
was only fit for Maids and Batchelors, and that too before both. I was
once, Mr. SPECTATOR, where the Fault I speak of was so very flagrant,
that (being, you must know, a very bashful Fellow, and several young
Ladies in the Room) I protest I was quite out of Countenance.
_Lucina_, it seems, was breeding, and she did nothing but entertain
the Company with a Discourse upon the Difficulty of Reckoning to a
Day, and said she knew those who were certain to an Hour; then fell a
laughing at a silly unexperienced Creature, who was a Month above her
Time. Upon her Husband's coming in, she put several Questions to him;
which he not caring to resolve, Well, cries _Lucina_, I shall have 'em
all at Night--But lest I should seem guilty of the very Fault I write
against, I shall only intreat _Mr_. SPECTATOR to correct such

'For higher of the Genial Bed by far,
And with mysterious Reverence, I deem.' [1]

_I am, SIR,

Your humble Servant_,

T. Meanwell.


[Footnote 1: Paradise Lost, Bk VIII. 11. 598-9.]

* * * * *

No. 431. Tuesday, July 15, 1712. Steele.

'Quid Dulcius hominum generi a Natura datum est quam sui cuique


I have lately been casting in my Thoughts the several Unhappinesses of
Life, and comparing the Infelicities of old Age to those of Infancy. The
Calamities of Children are due to the Negligence and Misconduct of
Parents, those of Age to the past Life which led to it. I have here the
History of a Boy and Girl to their Wedding-Day, and I think I cannot
give the Reader a livelier Image of the insipid way which Time
uncultivated passes, than by entertaining him with their authentick
Epistles, expressing all that was remarkable in their Lives, 'till the
Period of their Life above mentioned. The Sentence at the Head of this
Paper, which is only a warm Interrogation, _What is there in Nature so
dear as a Man's own Children to him_? is all the Reflection I shall at
present make on those who are negligent or cruel in the Education of


I am now entring into my One and Twentieth Year, and do not know that
I had one Day's thorough Satisfaction since I came to Years of any
Reflection, till the Time they say others lose their Liberty, the Day
of my Marriage. I am Son to a Gentleman of a very great Estate, who
resolv'd to keep me out of the Vices of the Age; and in order to it
never let me see any Thing that he thought could give me the least
Pleasure. At ten Years old I was put to a Grammar-School, where my
Master received Orders every Post to use me very severely, and have no
regard to my having a great Estate. At Fifteen I was removed to the
University, where I liv'd, out of my Father's great Discretion, in
scandalous Poverty and Want, till I was big enough to be married, and
I was sent for to see the Lady who sends you the Underwritten. When we
were put together, we both considered that we could not be worse than
we were in taking one another, out of a Desire of Liberty entered into
Wedlock. My Father says I am now a Man, and may speak to him like
another Gentleman.

_I am, SIR,

Your most humble Servant_,

Richard Rentfree.

_Mr_. SPEC.

I grew tall and wild at my Mother's, who is a gay Widow, and did not
care for shewing me 'till about two Years and a half ago; at which
time my Guardian Uncle sent me to a Boarding-School, with Orders to
contradict me in nothing, for I had been misused enough already. I had
not been there above a Month, when being in the Kitchin, I saw some
Oatmeal on the Dresser; I put two or three Corns in my Mouth, liked
it, stole a Handful, went into my Chamber, chewed it, and for two
Months after never failed taking Toll of every Pennyworth of Oatmeal
that came into the House: But one Day playing with a Tobacco-pipe
between my Teeth, it happened to break in my Mouth, and the spitting
out the Pieces left such a delicious Roughness on my Tongue, that I
could not be satisfied 'till I had champed up the remaining Part of
the Pipe. I forsook the Oatmeal, and stuck to the Pipes three Months,
in which Time I had dispensed with thirty seven foul Pipes, all to the
Boles; They belonged to an old Gentleman, Father to my Governess--He
lock'd up the clean ones. I left off eating of Pipes, and fell to
licking of Chalk. I was soon tired of this; I then nibbled all the red
Wax of our last Ball-Tickets, and three Weeks after the black Wax from
the Burying-Tickets of the old Gentleman. Two Months after this I
liv'd upon Thunder-bolts, a certain long, round bluish Stone, which I
found among the Gravel in our Garden. I was wonderfully delighted with
this; but Thunder-bolts growing scarce, I fasten'd Tooth and Nail upon
our Garden-Wall, which I stuck to almost a Twelvemonth, and had in
that time peeled and devoured half a Foot towards our Neighbour's
Yard. I now thought my self the happiest Creature in the World, and I
believe in my Conscience, I had eaten quite through, had I had it in
my Chamber; but now I became lazy, and unwilling to stir, and was
obliged to seek Food nearer Home. I then took a strange Hankering to
Coals; I fell to scranching 'em, and had already consumed, I am
certain, as much as would have dressed my Wedding Dinner, when my
Uncle came for me Home. He was in the Parlour with my Governess when I
was called down. I went in, fell on my Knees, for he made me call him
Father; and when I expected the Blessing I asked, the good Gentleman,
in a Surprize, turns himself to my Governess, and asks, Whether this
(pointing to me) was his Daughter? This (added he) is the very Picture
of Death. My Child was a plump-fac'd, hale, fresh-coloured Girl; but
this looks as if she was half-starved, a mere Skeleton. My Governess,
who is really a good Woman, assured my Father I had wanted for
nothing; and withal told him I was continually eating some Trash or
other, and that I was almost eaten up with the Green-sickness, her
Orders being never to cross me. But this magnified but little with my
Father, who presently, in a kind of Pett, paying for my Board, took me
home with him. I had not been long at home, but one _Sunday_ at Church
(I shall never forget it) I saw a young neighbouring Gentleman that
pleased me hugely; I liked him of all Men I ever saw in my Life, and
began to wish I could be as pleasing to him. The very next Day he
came, with his Father, a visiting to our House: We were left alone
together, with Directions on both Sides to be in Love with one
another, and in three Weeks time we were married. I regained my former
Health and Complexion, and am now as happy as the Day is long. Now,
_Mr_. SPEC., I desire you would find out some Name for these craving
Damsels, whether dignified or distinguished under some or all of the
following Denominations, (to wit) _Trash-eaters, Oatmeal-chewers,
Pipe-champers, Chalk-lickers, Wax-nibbles, Coal-Scranchers,
Wall-peelers_, or _Gravel-diggers_: And, good Sir, do your utmost
endeavour to prevent (by exposing) this unaccountable Folly, so
prevailing among the young ones of our Sex, who may not meet with such
sudden good Luck as,

Your constant Reader,
and very humble Servant_,
Sabina Green,
_Now_ Sabina Rentfree.


* * * * *

No. 432. Wednesday, July 16, 1712. Steele.

'Inter-strepit anser olores.'


Oxford, July 14.


According to a late Invitation in one of your Papers to every Man who
pleases to write, I have sent you the following short Dissertation
against the Vice of being prejudiced.

_Your most humble Servant_.

Man is a sociable Creature, and a Lover of Glory; whence it is that
when several Persons are united in the same Society, they are studious
to lessen the Reputation of others, in order to raise their own. The
Wise are content to guide the Springs in Silence, and rejoice in
Secret at their regular Progress: To prate and triumph is the Part
allotted to the Trifling and Superficial: The Geese were
providentially ordained to save the _Capitol_. Hence it is, that the
Invention of Marks and Devices to distinguish Parties, is owing to the
_Beaux_ and _Belles_ of this Island. Hats moulded into different Cocks
and Pinches, have long bid mutual Defiance; Patches have been set
against Patches in Battel-aray; Stocks have risen or fallen in
Proportion to Head-Dresses; and Peace or War been expected, as the
_White_ or the _Red_ Hood hath prevailed. These are the
Standard-Bearers in our contending Armies, the Dwarfs and Squires who
carry the Impresses of the Giants or Knights, not born to fight
themselves, but to prepare the Way for the ensuing Combat.

It is Matter of Wonder to reflect how far Men of weak Understanding
and strong Fancy are hurried by their Prejudices, even to the
believing that the whole Body of the adverse Party are a Band of
Villains and Daemons. Foreigners complain, that the _English_ are the
proudest Nation under Heaven. Perhaps they too have their Share; but
be that as it will, general Charges against Bodies of Men is the Fault
I am writing against. It must be own'd, to our Shame, that our common
People, and most who have not travelled, have an irrational Contempt
for the Language, Dress, Customs, and even the Shape and Minds of
other Nations. Some Men otherwise of Sense, have wondered that a great
Genius should spring out of _Ireland_; and think you mad in affirming,
that fine Odes have been written in _Lapland_.

This Spirit of Rivalship, which heretofore reigned in the Two
Universities, is extinct, and almost over betwixt College and College:
In Parishes and Schools the Thirst of Glory still obtains. At the
Seasons of Football and Cock-fighting, these little Republicks
reassume their national Hatred to each other. My Tenant in the Country
is verily perswaded, that the Parish of the Enemy hath not one honest
Man in it.

I always hated Satyrs against Woman, and Satyrs against Man; I am apt
to suspect a Stranger who laughs at the Religion of _The Faculty_; My
Spleen rises at a dull Rogue, who is severe upon Mayors and Aldermen;
and was never better pleased than with a Piece of Justice executed
upon the Body of a Templer, who was very arch upon Parsons.

The Necessities of Mankind require various Employments; and whoever
excels in his Province is worthy of Praise. All Men are not educated
after the same Manner, nor have all the same Talents. Those who are
deficient deserve our Compassion, and have a Title to our Assistance.
All cannot be bred in the same Place; but in all Places there arise,
at different Times, such Persons as do Honour to their Society, which
may raise Envy in little Souls, but are admired and cherished by
generous Spirits.

It is certainly a great Happiness to be educated in Societies of great
and eminent Men. Their Instructions and Examples are of extraordinary
Advantage. It is highly proper to instill such a Reverence of the
governing Persons, and Concern for the Honour of the Place, as may
spur the growing Members to worthy Pursuits and honest Emulation: But
to swell young Minds with vain Thoughts of the Dignity of their own
Brotherhood, by debasing and villifying all others, doth them a real
Injury. By this means I have found that their Efforts have become
languid, and their Prattle irksome, as thinking it sufficient Praise
that they are Children of so illustrious and ample a Family. I should
think it a surer as well as more generous Method, to set before the
Eyes of Youth such Persons as have made a noble Progress in
Fraternities less talk'd of; which seems tacitly to reproach their
Sloth, who loll so heavily in the Seats of mighty Improvement: Active
Spirits hereby would enlarge their Notions, whereas by a servile
Imitation of one, or perhaps two, admired Men in their own Body, they
can only gain a secondary and derivative kind of Fame. These Copiers
of Men, like those of Authors or Painters, run into Affectations of
some Oddness, which perhaps was not disagreeable in the Original, but
sits ungracefully on the narrow-soul'd Transcriber.

By such early Corrections of Vanity, while Boys are growing into Men,
they will gradually learn not to censure superficially; but imbibe
those Principles of general Kindness and Humanity, which alone can
make them easie to themselves, and beloved by others.

Reflections of this nature have expunged all Prejudices out of my
Heart, insomuch that, tho' I am a firm Protestant, I hope to see the
Pope and Cardinals without violent Emotions; and tho' I am naturally
grave, I expect to meet good Company at _Paris_.

_I am, SIR,
Your obedient Servant_.


I find you are a general Undertaker, and have by your Correspondents
or self an Insight into most things: which makes me apply my self to
you at present in the sorest Calamity that ever befel Man. My Wife has
taken something ill of me, and has not spoke one Word, good or bad, to
me, or any Body in the Family, since _Friday_ was Seven-night. What
must a Man do in that Case? Your Advice would be a great Obligation

_SIR, Your most humble Servant_,

Ralph Thimbleton.


When you want a Trifle to fill up a Paper, in inserting this you will
lay an Obligation on

_Your humble Servant_,

July 15th, 1712.

_Dear_ Olivia,

It is but this Moment I have had the Happiness of knowing to whom I
am obliged for the Present I received the second of _April_. I am
heartily sorry it did not come to Hand the Day before; for I can't
but think it very hard upon People to lose their Jest, that offer at
one but once a Year. I congratulate my self however upon the Earnest
given me of something further intended in my Favour, for I am told,
that the Man who is thought worthy by a Lady to make a Fool of,
stands fair enough in her Opinion to become one Day her Husband.
Till such time as I have the Honour of being sworn, I take Leave to
subscribe my self,

_Dear_ Olivia, _Your Fool Elect_,



* * * * *

No. 433. Thursday, July 17, 1712. Addison.

'Perlege Maeonio cantatas carmine Ranas,
Et frontem nugis solvere disce meis.'


The Moral World, as consisting of Males and Females, is of a mixt
Nature, and filled with several Customs, Fashions and Ceremonies, which
would have no place in it, were there but _One_ Sex. Had our Species no
Females in it, Men would be quite different Creatures from what they are
at present; their Endeavours to please the opposite Sex, polishes and
refines them out of those Manners which are most Natural to them, and
often sets them upon modelling themselves, not according to the Plans
which they approve in their own Opinions, but according to those Plans
which they think are most agreeable to the Female World. In a Word, Man
would not only be unhappy, but a rude unfinished Creature, were he
conversant with none but those of his own Make.

Women, on the other side, are apt to form themselves in every thing with
regard to that other half of reasonable Creatures, with whom they are
here blended and confused; their Thoughts are ever turned upon appearing
amiable to the other Sex; they talk, and move, and smile, with a Design
upon us; every Feature of their Faces, every part of their Dress is
filled with Snares and Allurements. There would be no such Animals as
Prudes or Coquets in the World, were there not such an Animal as Man. In
short, it is the Male that gives Charms to Womankind, that produces an
Air in their Faces, a Grace in their Motions, a Softness in their
Voices, and a Delicacy in their Complections.

As this mutual Regard between the two Sexes tends to the Improvement of
each of them, we may observe that Men are apt to degenerate into rough
and brutal Natures, who live as if there were no such things as Women in
the World; as on the contrary, Women, who have an Indifference or
Aversion for their Counter-parts in human Nature, are generally Sower
and Unamiable, Sluttish and Censorious.

I am led into this Train of Thoughts by a little Manuscript which is
lately fallen into my Hands, and which I shall communicate to the
Reader, as I have done some other curious Pieces of the same Nature,
without troubling him with any Enquiries about the Author of it. It
contains a summary Account of two different States which bordered upon
one another. The one was a Commonwealth of _Amazons_, or Women without
Men; the other was a Republick of Males that had not a Woman in their
whole Community. As these two States bordered upon one another, it was
their way, it seems, to meet upon their Frontiers at a certain Season of
the Year, where those among the Men who had not made their Choice in any
former Meeting, associated themselves with particular Women, whom they
were afterwards obliged to look upon as their Wives in every one of
these yearly Rencounters. The Children that sprung from this Alliance,
if Males, were sent to their respective Fathers, if Females, continued
with their Mothers. By means of this Anniversary Carnival, which lasted
about a Week, the Commonwealths were recruited from time to time, and
supplied with their respective Subjects.

These two States were engaged together in a perpetual League, Offensive
and Defensive, so that if any Foreign Potentate offered to attack either
of them, both the Sexes fell upon him at once, and quickly brought him
to Reason. It was remarkable that for many Ages this Agreement continued
inviolable between the two States, notwithstanding, as was said before,
they were Husbands and Wives; but this will not appear so wonderful, if
we consider that they did not live together above a Week in a Year.

In the Account which my Author gives of the Male Republick, there were
several Customs very remarkable. The Men never shaved their Beards, or
pared their Nails above once in a Twelvemonth, which was probably about
the time of the great annual Meeting upon their Frontiers. I find the
Name of a Minister of State in one Part of their History, who was fined
for appearing too frequently in clean Linnen; and of a certain great
General who was turned out of his Post for Effeminacy, it having been
proved upon him by several credible Witnesses that he washed his Face
every Morning. If any Member of the Commonwealth had a soft Voice, a
smooth Face, or a supple Behaviour, he was banished into the
Commonwealth of Females, where he was treated as a Slave, dressed in
Petticoats, and set a Spinning. They had no Titles of Honour among them,
but such as denoted some Bodily Strength or Perfection, as such an one
_the Tall_, such an one _the Stocky_, such an one _the Gruff_. Their
publick Debates were generally managed with Kicks and Cuffs, insomuch
that they often came from the Council Table with broken Shins, black
Eyes, and bloody Noses. When they would reproach a Man in the most
bitter Terms, they would tell him his Teeth were white, or that he had a
fair Skin, and a soft Hand. The greatest Man I meet with in their
History, was one who could lift Five hundred Weight, and wore such a
prodigious Pair of Whiskers as had never been seen in the Commonwealth
before his Time. These Accomplishments it seems had rendred him so
popular, that if he had not died very seasonably, it is thought he might
have enslaved the Republick. Having made this short Extract out of the
History of the Male Commonwealth, I shall look into the History of the
neighbouring State which consisted of Females, and if I find any thing
in it, will not fail to Communicate it to the Publick.


* * * * *

No. 434. Friday, July 18, 1712. Addison.

'Quales Threiciae cum flumina Thermodoontis
Pulsant, et pictis bellantur Amazones armis:
Seu circum Hippolyten, seu cum se Martia curru
Penthesilea refert, magnoque ululante tumultu
Faeminea exultant lunatis agmina peltis.'


Having carefully perused the Manuscript I mentioned in my Yesterday's
Paper, so far as it relates to the Republick of Women, I find in it
several Particulars which may very well deserve the Reader's Attention.

The Girls of Quality, from six to twelve Years old, were put to publick
Schools, where they learned to Box and play at Cudgels, with several
other Accomplishments of the same Nature; so that nothing was more usual
than to see a little Miss returning Home at Night with a broken Pate, or
two or three Teeth knocked out of her Head. They were afterwards taught
to ride the great Horse, to Shoot, Dart, or Sling, and listed into
several Companies, in order to perfect themselves in Military Exercises.
No Woman was to be married till she had killed her Man. The Ladies of
Fashion used to play with young Lions instead of Lap-dogs, and when they
made any Parties of Diversion, instead of entertaining themselves at
Ombre or Piquet, they would wrestle and pitch the Bar for a whole
Afternoon together. There was never any such thing as a Blush seen, or a
Sigh heard, in the Commonwealth. The Women never dressed but to look
terrible, to which end they would sometimes after a Battel paint their
Cheeks with the Blood of their Enemies. For this Reason likewise the
Face which had the most Scars was looked upon as the most beautiful. If
they found Lace, Jewels, Ribbons, or any Ornaments in Silver or Gold
among the Booty which they had taken, they used to dress their Horses
with it, but never entertained a Thought of wearing it themselves. There
were particular Rights and Privileges allowed to any Member of the
Commonwealth, who was a Mother of three Daughters. The Senate was made
up of old Women; for by the Laws of the Country none was to be a
Councellor of State that was not past Child-bearing. They used to boast
their Republick had continued Four thousand Years, which is altogether
improbable, unless we may suppose, what I am very apt to think, that
they measured their Time by _Lunar_ Years.

There was a great Revolution brought about in this Female Republick, by
means of a neighbouring King, who had made War upon them several Years
with various Success, and at length overthrew them in a very great
Battel. This Defeat they ascribe to several Causes; some say that the
Secretary of State having been troubled with the Vapours, had committed
some fatal Mistakes in several Dispatches about that Time. Others
pretend, that the first Minister being big with Child, could not attend
the Publick Affairs, as so great an Exigency of State required; but this
I can give no manner of Credit to, since it seems to contradict a
Fundamental Maxim in their Government which I have before mentioned. My
Author gives the most probable Reason of this great Disaster; for he
affirms, that the General was brought to Bed, or (as others say)
Miscarried the very Night before the Battel: However it was, this signal
Overthrow obliged them to call in the Male Republick to their
Assistance; but notwithstanding their Common Efforts to repulse the
Victorious Enemy, the War continued for many Years before they could
entirely bring it to a happy Conclusion.

The Campaigns which both Sexes passed together made them so well
acquainted with one another, that at the End of the War they did not
care for parting. In the Beginning of it they lodged in separate Camps,
but afterwards as they grew more familiar, they pitched their Tents

From this time the Armies being Chequered with both Sexes, they polished
apace. The Men used to invite their Fellow-Soldiers into their Quarters,
and would dress their Tents with Flowers and Boughs, for their
Reception. If they chanced to like one more than another, they would be
cutting her Name in the Table, or Chalking out her Figure upon a Wall,
or talking of her in a kind of rapturous Language, which by degrees
improved into Verse and Sonnet. These were as the first Rudiments of
Architecture, Painting, and Poetry among this Savage People. After any
Advantage over the Enemy, both Sexes used to Jump together and make a
Clattering with their Swords and Shields, for Joy, which in a few Years
produced several Regular Tunes and Sett Dances.

As the two Armies romped on these Occasions, the Women complained of the
thick bushy Beards and long Nails of their Confederates, who thereupon
took care to prune themselves into such Figures as were most pleasing to
their Female Friends and Allies.

When they had taken any Spoils from the Enemy, the Men would make a
Present of every thing that was Rich and Showy to the Women whom they
most admired, and would frequently dress the Necks, or Heads, or Arms of
their Mistresses, with any thing which they thought appeared Gay or
Pretty. The Women observing that the Men took delight in looking upon
them, when they were adorned with such Trappings and Gugaws, set their
Heads at Work to find out new Inventions, and to outshine one another in
all Councils of War or the like solemn Meetings. On the other hand, the
Men observing how the Women's Hearts were set upon Finery, begun to
Embellish themselves and look as agreeably as they could in the Eyes of
their Associates. In short, after a few Years conversing together, the
Women had learnt to Smile, and the Men to Ogle, the Women grew Soft, and
the Men Lively.

When they had thus insensibly formed one another, upon the finishing of
the War, which concluded with an entire Conquest of their common Enemy,
the Colonels in one Army Married the Colonels in the other; the Captains
in the same Manner took the Captains to their Wives: The whole Body of
common Soldiers were matched, after the Example of their Leaders. By
this means the two Republicks incorporated with one another, and became
the most Flourishing and Polite Government in the Part of the World
which they Inhabited.


* * * * *

No. 435. Saturday, July 19, 1712. Addison.

'Nec duo sunt at forma duplex, nec faemina dici
Nec puer ut possint, neutrumque et utrumque videntur.'


Most of the Papers I give the Publick are written on Subjects that never
vary, but are for ever fixt and immutable. Of this kind are all my more
serious Essays and Discourses; but there is another sort of
Speculations, which I consider as Occasional Papers, that take their
Rise from the Folly, Extravagance, and Caprice of the present Age. For I
look upon my self as one set to watch the Manners and Behaviour of my
Countrymen and Contemporaries, and to mark down every absurd Fashion,
ridiculous Custom, or affected Form of Speech that makes its Appearance
in the World, during the Course of these my Speculations. The Petticoat
no sooner begun to swell, but I observed its Motions. The Party-patches
had not time to muster themselves before I detected them. I had
Intelligence of the Coloured Hood the very first time it appeared in a
Publick Assembly. I might here mention several other the like Contingent
Subjects, upon which I have bestowed distinct Papers. By this Means I
have so effectually quashed those Irregularities which gave Occasion to
'em, that I am afraid Posterity will scarce have a sufficient Idea of
them, to relish those Discourses which were in no little Vogue at the
time when they were written. They will be apt to think that the Fashions
and Customs I attacked were some Fantastick Conceits of my own, and that
their Great-Grand-mothers could not be so whimsical as I have
represented them. For this Reason, when I think on the Figure my several
Volumes of Speculations will make about a Hundred Years hence, I
consider them as so many Pieces of old Plate, where the Weight will be
regarded, but the Fashion lost.

Among the several Female Extravagancies I have already taken Notice of,
there is one which still keeps its Ground. I mean that of the Ladies who
dress themselves in a Hat and Feather, a Riding-coat and a Perriwig, or
at least tie up their Hair in a Bag or Ribbond, in imitation of the
smart Part of the opposite Sex. As in my Yesterday's Paper I gave an
Account of the Mixture of two Sexes in one Commonwealth, I shall here
take notice of this Mixture of two Sexes in one Person. I have already
shewn my Dislike of this Immodest Custom more than once; but in Contempt
of every thing I have hitherto said, I am informed that the Highways
about this great City are still very much infested with these Female

I remember when I was at my Friend Sir ROGER DE COVERLY'S about this
time Twelve-month, an Equestrian Lady of this Order appeared upon the
Plains which lay at a distance from his House. I was at that time
walking in the Fields with my old Friend; and as his Tenants ran out on
every side to see so strange a Sight, Sir ROGER asked one of them who
came by us what it was? To which the Country Fellow reply'd, 'Tis a
Gentlewoman, saving your Worship's Presence, in a Coat and Hat. This
produced a great deal of Mirth at the Knight's House, where we had a
Story at the same time of another of his Tenants, who meeting this
Gentleman-like Lady on the High-way, was asked by her _whether that was_
Coverly-Hall, the Honest Man seeing only the Male Part of the Querist,
replied, _Yes, Sir_; but upon the second Question, _whether_ Sir ROGER
DE COVERLY _was a married Man_, having dropped his Eye upon the
Petticoat, he changed his Note into _No, Madam_.

Had one of these Hermaphrodites appeared in _Juvenal's_ Days, with what
an Indignation should we have seen her described by that excellent
Satyrist. He would have represented her in a Riding Habit, as a greater
Monster than the Centaur. He would have called for Sacrifices or
Purifying Waters, to expiate the Appearance of such a Prodigy. He would
have invoked the Shades of _Portia_ or _Lucretia_, to see into what the
_Roman_ Ladies had transformed themselves.

For my own part, I am for treating the Sex with greater Tenderness, and
have all along made use of the most gentle Methods to bring them off
from any little Extravagance into which they are sometimes unwarily
fallen: I think it however absolutely necessary to keep up the Partition
between the two Sexes, and to take Notice of the smallest Encroachments
which the one makes upon the other. I hope therefore that I shall not
hear any more Complaints on this Subject. I am sure my She-Disciples who
peruse these my daily Lectures, have profited but little by them, if
they are capable of giving into such an Amphibious Dress. This I should
not have mentioned, had not I lately met one of these my Female Readers
in _Hyde Park_, who looked upon me with a masculine Assurance, and
cocked her Hat full in my Face.

For my part, I have one general Key to the Behaviour of the Fair Sex.
When I see them singular in any Part of their Dress, I conclude it is
not without some Evil Intention; and therefore question not but the
Design of this strange Fashion is to smite more effectually their Male
Beholders. Now to set them right in this Particular, I would fain have
them consider with themselves whether we are not more likely to be
struck by a Figure entirely Female, than with such an one as we may see
every Day in our Glasses: Or, if they please, let them reflect upon
their own Hearts, and think how they would be affected should they meet
a Man on Horseback, in his Breeches and Jack-Boots, and at the same time
dressed up in a Commode and a Night-raile.

I must observe that this Fashion was first of all brought to us from
_France_, a Country which has Infected all the Nations of _Europe_ with
its Levity. I speak not this in derogation of a whole People, having
more than once found fault with those general Reflections which strike
at Kingdoms or Commonwealths in the Gross: A piece of Cruelty, which an
ingenious Writer of our own compares to that of _Caligula_, who wished
the _Roman_ People had all but one Neck, that he might behead them at a
Blow. I shall therefore only Remark, that as Liveliness and Assurance
are in a peculiar manner the Qualifications of the _French_ Nation, the
same Habits and Customs will not give the same Offence to that People,
which they produce among those of our own Country. Modesty is our
distinguishing Character, as Vivacity is theirs: And when this our
National Virtue appears in that Female Beauty, for which our _British_
Ladies are celebrated above all others in the Universe, it makes up the
most amiable Object that the Eye of Man can possibly behold.


* * * * *

No. 436. Monday, July 21, 1712. Steele

'Verso pollice vulgi
Quemlibet occidunt Populariter.'


Being a Person of insatiable Curiosity, I could not forbear going on
_Wednesday_ last to a Place of no small Renown for the Gallantry of the
lower Order of _Britons_, namely, to the Bear-Garden at _Hockley in the
Hole_; [1] where (as a whitish brown Paper, put into my Hands in the
Street, informed me) there was to be a Tryal of Skill to be exhibited
between two Masters of the Noble Science of Defence, at two of the Clock
precisely. I was not a little charm'd with the Solemnity of the
Challenge, which ran thus:

"_I_ James Miller, _Serjeant, (lately come from the Frontiers of_
Portugal_) Master of the noble Science of Defence, hearing in most
Places where I have been of the great Fame of_ Timothy Buck _of_
London, _Master of the said Science, do invite him to meet me, and
exercise at the several Weapons following_, viz.

Back-Sword, Single Falchon,
Sword and Dagger, Case of Falchons,
Sword and Buckler, Quarter Staff."

If the generous Ardour in _James Miller_ to dispute the Reputation of
_Timothy Buck_, had something resembling the old Heroes of Romance,
_Timothy Buck_ return'd Answer in the same Paper with the like Spirit,
adding a little Indignation at being challenged, and seeming to
condescend to fight _James Miller_, not in regard to _Miller_ himself,
but in that, as the Fame went out, he had fought _Parkes_ of _Coventry_.
[2] The Acceptance of the Combat ran in these Words:

"_I_ Timothy Buck _of_ Clare-Market, _Master of the Noble Science of
Defence, hearing he did fight Mr._ Parkes _of_ Coventry, _will not
fail (God Willing) to meet this fair Inviter at the Time and Place
appointed, desiring a clear Stage and no Favour._

Vivat Regina."

I shall not here look back on the Spectacles of the _Greeks_ and
_Romans_ of this kind, but must believe this Custom took its rise from
the Ages of Knight-Errantry; from those who lov'd one Woman so well,
that they hated all Men and Women else; from those who would fight you,
whether you were or were not of their Mind; from those who demanded the
Combat of their Contemporaries, both for admiring their Mistress or
discommending her. I cannot therefore but lament, that the terrible Part
of the ancient Fight is preserved, when the amorous Side of it is
forgotten. We have retained the Barbarity, but lost the Gallantry of the
old Combatants. I could wish, methinks, these Gentlemen had consulted me
in the Promulgation of the Conflict. I was obliged by a fair young Maid
whom I understood to be called _Elizabeth Preston_, Daughter of the
Keeper of the Garden, with a Glass of Water; whom I imagined might have
been, for Form's sake, the general Representative of the Lady sought
for, and from her Beauty the proper _Amarillis_ on these Occasions. It
would have ran better in the Challenge, _I_ James Miller, _Serjeant, who
have travelled Parts abroad, and came last from the Frontiers of_
Portugal, _for the Love of_ Elizabeth Preston, _do assert, That the
said_ Elizabeth is the Fairest of Women. Then the Answer; _I_ Timothy
Buck, _who have stay'd in_ Great Britain _during all the War in Foreign
Parts, for the Sake of_ Susanna Page, _do deny that_ Elizabeth Preston
_is so fair as the said_ Susanna Page. Let _Susanna Page_ look on, and I
desire of _James Miller_ no Favour.

This would give the Battel quite another Turn; and a proper Station for
the Ladies, whose Complexion was disputed by the Sword, would animate
the Disputants with a more gallant Incentive than the Expectation of
Money from the Spectators; tho' I would not have that neglected, but
thrown to that Fair One, whose Lover was approved by the Donor.

Yet, considering the Thing wants such Amendments, it was carried with
great Order. _James Miller_ came on first, preceded by two disabled
Drummers, to shew, I suppose, that the Prospect of maimed Bodies did not
in the least deter him. There ascended with the daring _Miller_ a
Gentleman, whose Name I could not learn, with a dogged Air, as
unsatisfied that he was not Principal. This Son of Anger lowred at the
whole Assembly, and weighing himself as he march'd around from Side to
Side, with a stiff Knee and Shoulder, he gave Intimations of the Purpose
he smothered till he saw the Issue of this Encounter. _Miller_ had a
blue Ribband tied round the Sword Arm; which Ornament I conceive to be
the Remain of that Custom of wearing a Mistress's Favour on such
Occasions of old.

_Miller_ is a Man of six Foot eight Inches Height, of a kind but bold
Aspect, well-fashioned, and ready of his Limbs: and such Readiness as
spoke his Ease in them, was obtained from a Habit of Motion in Military

The Expectation of the Spectators was now almost at its Height, and the
Crowd pressing in, several active Persons thought they were placed
rather according to their Fortune than their Merit, and took it in their
Heads to prefer themselves from the open Area, or Pitt, to the
Galleries. This Dispute between Desert and Property brought many to the
Ground, and raised others in proportion to the highest Seats by Turns
for the Space of ten Minutes, till _Timothy Buck_ came on, and the whole
Assembly giving up their Disputes, turned their Eyes upon the Champions.
Then it was that every Man's Affection turned to one or the other
irresistibly. A judicious Gentleman near me said, _I could methinks be_
Miller's _Second, but I had rather have_ Buck _for mine_. _Miller_ had
an Audacious Look, that took the Eye; _Buck_ a perfect Composure, that
engaged the Judgment. _Buck_ came on in a plain Coat, and kept all his
Air till the Instant of Engaging; at which time he undress'd to his
Shirt, his Arm adorned with a Bandage of red Ribband. No one can
describe the sudden Concern in the whole Assembly; the most tumultuous
Crowd in Nature was as still and as much engaged, as if all their Lives
depended on the first Blow. The Combatants met in the Middle of the
Stage, and shaking Hands as removing all Malice, they retired with much
Grace to the Extremities of it; from whence they immediately faced
about, and approached each other, _Miller_ with an Heart full of
Resolution, _Buck_ with a watchful untroubled Countenance; _Buck_
regarding principally his own Defence, _Miller_ chiefly thoughtful of
annoying his Opponent. It is not easie to describe the many Escapes and
imperceptible Defences between two Men of quick Eyes and ready Limbs,
but _Miller's_ Heat laid him open to the Rebuke of the calm _Buck_, by a
large Cut on the Forehead. Much Effusion of Blood covered his Eyes in a
Moment, and the Huzzas of the Crowd undoubtedly quickened the Anguish.
The Assembly was divided into Parties upon their different ways of
Fighting; while a poor Nymph in one of the Galleries apparently suffered
for _Miller_, and burst into a Flood of Tears. As soon as his Wound was
wrapped up, he came on again with a little Rage, which still disabled
him further. But what brave Man can be wounded into more Patience and
Caution? The next was a warm eager Onset, which ended in a decisive
Stroke on the Left Leg of _Miller_. The Lady in the Gallery, during this
second Strife, covered her Face; and for my Part, I could not keep my
Thoughts from being mostly employed on the Consideration of her unhappy
Circumstance that Moment, hearing the Clash of Swords, and apprehending
Life or Victory concerned her Lover in every Blow, but not daring to
satisfie her self on whom they fell. The Wound was exposed to the View
of all who could delight in it, and sowed up on the Stage. The surly
Second of _Miller_ declared at this Time, that he would that Day
Fortnight fight Mr. _Buck_ at the same Weapons, declaring himself the
Master of the renowned _Gorman_; but _Buck_ denied him the Honour of
that couragious Disciple, and asserting that he himself had taught that
Champion, accepted the Challenge.

There is something in Nature very unaccountable on such Occasions, when
we see the People take a certain painful Gratification in beholding
these Encounters. Is it Cruelty that administers this Sort of Delight?
Or is it a Pleasure which is taken in the Exercise of Pity? It was
methought pretty remarkable, that the Business of the Day being a Tryal
of Skill, the Popularity did not run so high as one would have expected
on the Side of _Buck_. Is it that People's Passions have their Rise in
Self-Love, and thought themselves (in spite of all the Courage they had)
liable to the Fate of _Miller_, but could not so easily think themselves
qualified like _Buck_?

_Tully_ speaks of this Custom with less Horrour than one would expect,
though he confesses it was much abused in his Time, and seems directly
to approve of it under its first Regulations, when Criminals only fought
before the People.

'Crudele Gladiatorum spectaculum et inhumanum nonnullis videri solet;
et haud scio annon ita sit ut nunc fit; cum vero sontes ferro
depugnabant, auribus fortasse multa, oculis quidem nulla, poterat esse
fortior contra dolorem et mortem disciplina.

The Shows of Gladiators may be thought barbarous and inhumane, and I
know not but it is so as it is now practised; but in those Times when
only Criminals were Combatants, the Ear perhaps might receive many
better Instructions, but it is impossible that any thing which affects
our Eyes, should fortifie us so well against Pain and Death.' [3]


[Footnote 1: See note on p. 118, vol. i. [Footnote 2 of No. 31.]]

[Footnote 2: John Sparkes of Coventry has this piece of biography upon
his tombstone:

'To the memory of Mr. John Sparkes, a native of this city; he was a
man of a mild disposition, a gladiator by profession, who, after
having fought 350 battles in the principal parts of Europe with honour
and applause, at length quitted the stage, sheathed his sword, and,
with Christian resignation, submitted to the grand victor in the 52nd
year of his age.

_Anno salutis humanae_, 1733.'

Serjeant James Miller afterwards became a captain, and fought in
Scotland, under the Duke of Cumberland in 1745.]

[Footnote 3: Tuscul. Quaest. lib. II., De Tolerando Dolore.]

* * * * *

No. 437. Tuesday, July 22, 1712.

'Tune impune haec facias? Tune hic homines adolescentulos
Imperitos rerum, eductos libere, in fraudem illicis?
Sollicitando, et pollicitando eorum animos lactas?
Ac meritricios amores nuptiis conglutinas?'

Ter. And.

The other Day passed by me in her Chariot a Lady with that pale and wan
Complexion, which we sometimes see in young People, who are fallen into
Sorrow and private Anxiety of Mind, which antedate Age and Sickness. It
is not three Years ago since she was gay, airy, and a little towards
Libertine in her Carriage; but, methought, I easily forgave her that
little Insolence, which she so severely pays for in her present
Condition. _Favilla_, of whom I am speaking, is married to a sullen Fool
with Wealth: Her Beauty and Merit are lost upon the Dolt, who is
insensible of Perfection in any thing. Their Hours together are either
painful or insipid: The Minutes she has to herself in his Absence, are
not sufficient to give Vent at her Eyes to the Grief and Torment of his
last Conversation. This poor Creature was sacrificed with a Temper
(which, under the Cultivation of a Man of Sense, would have made the
most agreeable Companion) into the Arms of this loathsome Yoak-fellow by
_Sempronia_. _Sempronia_ is a good Lady, who supports herself in an
affluent Condition, by contracting Friendship with rich young Widows and
Maids of plentiful Fortunes at their own Disposal, and bestowing her
Friends upon worthless indigent Fellows; on the other Side, she ensnares
inconsiderate and rash Youths of great Estates into the Arms of vitious
Women. For this Purpose, she is accomplished in all the Arts which can
make her acceptable at impertinent Visits; she knows all that passes in
every Quarter, and is well acquainted with all the favourite Servants,
Busiebodies, Dependants, and poor Relations of all Persons of Condition
in the whole Town. At the Price of a good Sum of Money, _Sempronia_, by
the Instigation of _Favilla's_ Mother, brought about the Match for the
Daughter, and the Reputation of this, which is apparently, in point of
Fortune, more than _Favilla_ could expect, has gained her the Visits and
frequent Attendance of the Crowd of Mothers, who had rather see their
Children miserable in great Wealth, than the happiest of the Race of
Mankind in a less conspicuous State of Life. When _Sempronia_ is so well
acquainted with a Woman's Temper and Circumstance, that she believes
Marriage would be acceptable to her, and advantageous to the Man who
shall get her; her next Step is to look out for some one, whose
Condition has some secret Wound in it, and wants a Sum, yet, in the Eye
of the World, not unsuitable to her. If such is not easily had, she
immediately adorns a worthless Fellow with what Estate she thinks
convenient, and adds as great a Share of good Humour and Sobriety as is
requisite: After this is settled, no Importunities, Arts, and Devices
are omitted to hasten the Lady to her Happiness. In the general indeed
she is a Person of so strict Justice, that she marries a poor Gallant to
a rich Wench, and a Moneyless Girl to a Man of Fortune. But then she has
no manner of Conscience in the Disparity, when she has a Mind to impose
a poor Rogue for one of an Estate, she has no Remorse in adding to it,
that he is illiterate, ignorant, and unfashioned; but makes those
Imperfections Arguments of the Truth of his Wealth, and will, on such an
Occasion, with a very grave Face, charge the People of Condition with
Negligence in the Education of their Children. Exception being made
t'other Day against an ignorant Booby of her own Cloathing, whom she was
putting off for a rich Heir, _Madam_, said she, _you know there is no
making Children who know they have Estates attend their Books._

_Sempronia,_ by these Arts, is loaded with Presents, importuned for her
Acquaintance, and admired by those who do not know the first Taste of
Life, as a Woman of exemplary good Breeding. But sure, to murder and to
rob are less Iniquities, than to raise Profit by Abuses, as irreparable
as taking away Life; but more grievous, as making it lastingly unhappy.
To rob a Lady at Play of Half her Fortune, is not so ill, as giving the
whole and her self to an unworthy Husband. But _Sempronia_ can
administer Consolation to an unhappy Fair at Home, by leading her to an
agreeable Gallant elsewhere. She can then preach the general Condition
of all the Married World, and tell an unexperienced young Woman the
Methods of softning her Affliction, and laugh at her Simplicity and Want
of Knowledge, with an _Oh! my Dear, you will know better._

The Wickedness of _Sempronia,_ one would think, should be superlative;
but I cannot but esteem that of some Parents equal to it; I mean such as
sacrifice the greatest Endowments and Qualifications to base Bargains. A
Parent who forces a Child of a liberal and ingenious Spirit into the
Arms of a Clown or a Blockhead, obliges her to a Crime too odious for a
Name. It is in a Degree the unnatural Conjunction of rational and brutal
Beings. Yet what is there so common, as the bestowing an accomplished
Woman with such a Disparity. And I could name Crowds who lead miserable
Lives, or want of Knowledge in their Parents, of this Maxim, that good
Sense and good Nature always go together. That which is attributed to
Fools, and called good Nature, is only an Inability of observing what is
faulty, which turns in Marriage, into a Suspicion of every thing as
such, from a Consciousness of that Inability.

Mr. Spectator,

'I am entirely of your Opinion with Relation to the Equestrian
Females, who affect both the Masculine and Feminine Air at the same
time; and cannot forbear making a Presentment against another Order of
them who grow very numerous and powerful; and since our Language is
not very capable of good compound Words, I must be contented to call
them only the _Naked Shouldered_. These Beauties are not contented to
make Lovers where-ever they appear, but they must make Rivals at the
same time. Were you to see _Gatty_ walk the _Park_ at high Mall, you
would expect those who followed her and those who met her could
immediately draw their Swords for her. I hope, Sir, you will provide
for the future, that Women may stick to their Faces for doing any
future Mischief and not allow any but direct Traders in Beauty to
expose more than the fore Part of the Neck, unless you please to allow
this After-Game to those who are very defective in the Charms of the
Countenance. I can say, to my Sorrow, the present Practice is very
unfair, when to look back is Death; and it may be said of our
Beauties, as a great Poet did of Bullets,

'They kill and wound like Parthians as they fly.'

I submit this to your Animadversion; and am, for the little while I
have left,

_Your humble Servant, the languishing_ Philanthus.

P. S. Suppose you mended my Letter, and made a Simile about the
Porcupine, but I submit that also.


* * * * *

No. 438. Wednesday, July 23, 1712. Steele.

'--Animum rege qui nisi paret


It is a very common Expression, That such a one is very good-natur'd,
but very passionate. The Expression indeed is very good-natur'd, to
allow passionate People so much Quarter: But I think a passionate Man
deserves the least Indulgence Imaginable. It is said, it is soon over;
that is, all the Mischief he does is quickly dispatch'd, which, I think,
is no great Recommendation to Favour. I have known one of these
good-natur'd passionate Men say in a mix'd Company even to his own Wife
or Child, such Things as the most inveterate Enemy of his Family would
not have spoke, even in Imagination. It is certain that quick
Sensibility is inseparable from a ready Understanding; but why should
not that good Understanding call to it self all its Force on such
Occasions, to master that sudden Inclination to Anger. One of the
greatest Souls now in the World [1] is the most subject by Nature to
Anger, and yet so famous from a Conquest of himself this Way, that he is
the known Example when you talk of Temper and Command of a Man's Self.
To contain the Spirit of Anger, is the worthiest Discipline we can put
our selves to. When a Man has made any Progress this way, a frivolous
Fellow in a Passion, is to him as contemptible as a froward Child. It
ought to be the Study of every Man, for his own Quiet and Peace. When he
stands combustible and ready to flame upon every thing that touches him,
Life is as uneasie to himself as it is to all about him. _Syncropius_
leads, of all Men living, the most ridiculous Life; he is ever
offending, and begging Pardon. If his Man enters the Room without what
he sent for, _That Blockhead_, begins he--_Gentlemen, I ask your Pardon,
but Servants now a-days_--The wrong Plates are laid, they are thrown
into the Middle of the Room; his Wife stands by in Pain for him, which
he sees in her Face, and answers as if he had heard all she was
thinking; _Why, what the Devil! Why don't you take Care to give Orders
in these things?_ His Friends sit down to a tasteless Plenty of every
thing, every Minute expecting new Insults from his impertinent Passions.
In a Word, to eat with, or visit _Syncropius_, is no other than going to
see him exercise his Family, exercise their Patience, and his own Anger.

It is monstrous that the Shame and Confusion in which this good-natured
angry Man must needs behold his Friends while he thus lays about him,
does not give him so much Reflection as to create an Amendment. This is
the most scandalous Disuse of Reason imaginable; all the harmless Part
of him is no more than that of a Bull-Dog, they are tame no longer than
they are not offended. One of these good-natured angry Men shall, in an
Instant, assemble together so many Allusions to secret Circumstances, as
are enough to dissolve the Peace of all the Families and Friends he is
acquainted with, in a Quarter of an Hour, and yet the next Moment be the
best-natured Man in the whole World. If you would see Passion in its
Purity, without Mixture of Reason, behold it represented in a mad Hero,
drawn by a mad Poet. _Nat Lee_ makes his _Alexander_ say thus:

'Away, begon, and give a Whirlwind Room,
Or I will blow you up like Dust! Avaunt;
Madness but meanly represents my Toil.
Eternal Discord!
Fury! Revenge! Disdain and Indignation!
Tear my swoln Breast, make way for Fire and Tempest.
My Brain is burst, Debate and Reason quench'd;
The Storm is up, and my hot bleeding Heart
Splits with the Rack, while Passions, like the Wind,
Rise up to Heav'n, and put out all the Stars.'

Every passionate Fellow in Town talks half the Day with as little
Consistency, and threatens Things as much out of his Power.

The next disagreeable Person to the outrageous Gentleman, is one of a
much lower Order of Anger, and he is what we commonly call a peevish
Fellow. A peevish Fellow is one who has some Reason in himself for being
out of Humour, or has a natural Incapacity for Delight, and therefore
disturbs all who are happier than himself with Pishes and Pshaws, or
other well-bred Interjections, at every thing that is said or done in
his Presence. There should be Physick mixed in the Food of all which
these Fellows eat in good Company. This Degree of Anger passes,
forsooth, for a Delicacy of Judgment, that won't admit of being easily
pleas'd: but none above the Character of wearing a peevish Man's Livery,
ought to bear with his ill Manners. All Things among Men of Sense and
Condition should pass the Censure, and have the Protection, of the Eye
of Reason.

No Man ought to be tolerated in an habitual Humour, Whim, or
Particularity of Behaviour, by any who do not wait upon him for Bread.
Next to the peevish Fellow is the Snarler. This Gentleman deals mightily
in what we call the Irony, and as those sort of People exert themselves
most against these below them, you see their Humour best, in their Talk
to their Servants. That is so like you, You are a fine Fellow, Thou art
the quickest Head-piece, and the like. One would think the Hectoring,
the Storming, the Sullen, and all the different Species and
Subordinations of the Angry should be cured, by knowing they live only
as pardoned Men; and how pityful is the Condition of being only
suffered? But I am interrupted by the pleasantest Scene of Anger and the
Disappointment of it that I have ever known, which happened while I was
yet Writing, and I overheard as I sat in the Backroom at a _French_
Bookseller's. There came into the Shop a very learned Man with an erect
Solemn Air, and tho' a Person of great Parts otherwise, slow in

Book of the day:
Facebook Google Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Pinterest