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

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understanding anything which makes against himself. The Composure of the
faulty Man, and the whimsical Perplexity of him that was justly angry,
is perfectly New: After turning over many Volumes, said the Seller to
the Buyer, _Sir, you know I have long asked you to send me back the
first Volume of French Sermons I formerly lent you;_ Sir, said the
Chapman, I have often looked for it but cannot find it; It is certainly
lost, and I know not to whom I lent it, it is so many Years ago; _then,
Sir, here is the other Volume, I'll send you home that, and please to
pay for both_. My Friend, reply'd he, canst thou be so Senseless as not
to know that one Volume is as imperfect in my Library as in your Shop?
_Yes, Sir, but it is you have lost the first Volume, and to be short I
will be Paid._ Sir, answered the Chapman, you are a young Man, your Book
is lost, and learn by this little Loss to bear much greater Adversities,
which you must expect to meet with. _Yes, Sir, I'll bear when I must,
but I have not lost now, for I say you have it and shall pay me._
Friend, you grow Warm, I tell you the Book is lost, and I foresee in the
Course even of a prosperous Life, that you will meet Afflictions to make
you Mad, if you cannot bear this Trifle. _Sir, there is in this Case no
need of bearing, for you have the Book._ I say, Sir, I have not the
Book. But your Passion will not let you hear enough to be informed that
I have it not. Learn Resignation of your self to the Distresses of this
Life: Nay do not fret and fume, it is my Duty to tell you that you are
of an impatient Spirit, and an impatient Spirit is never without Woe.
_Was ever any thing like this?_ Yes, Sir, there have been many things
like this. The Loss is but a Trifle, but your Temper is Wanton, and
incapable of the least Pain; therefore let me advise you, be patient,
the Book is lost, but do not you for that Reason lose your self.


[Footnote 1: Lord Somers.]

* * * * *

No. 439. Thursday, July 24, 1712. Addison.

'Hi narrata ferunt alio: mensuraque ficti
Crescit; et auditis aliquid novus adjicit auctor.'


Ovid describes the Palace of Fame [1] as situated in the very Center of
the Universe, and perforated with so many Windows and Avenues as gave
her the Sight of every thing that was done in the Heavens, in the Earth,
and in the Sea. The Structure of it was contrived in so admirable a
manner, that it Eccho'd every Word which was spoken in the whole Compass
of Nature; so that the Palace, says the Poet, was always filled with a
confused Hubbub of low dying Sounds, the Voices being almost spent and
worn out before they arrived at this General Rendezvous of Speeches and

I consider Courts with the same Regard to the Governments which they
superintend, as _Ovid's_ Palace of Fame with regard to the Universe. The
Eyes of a watchful Minister run through the whole People. There is
scarce a Murmur or Complaint that does not reach his Ears. They have
News-gatherers and Intelligencers distributed into their several Walks
and Quarters, who bring in their respective Quotas, and make them
acquainted with the Discourse and Conversation of the whole Kingdom or
Common-wealth where they are employed. The wisest of Kings, alluding to
these invisible and unsuspected Spies, who are planted by Kings and
Rulers over their Fellow-Citizens, as well as to those Voluntary
Informers that are buzzing about the Ears of a great Man, and making
their Court by such secret Methods of Intelligence, has given us a very
prudent Caution: _Curse not the King, no not in thy Thought, and Curse
not the Rich in thy Bedchamber: For a Bird of the Air shall carry the
Voice, and that which hath Wings shall tell the matter._ [2]

As it is absolutely necessary for Rulers to make use of other People's
Eyes and Ears, they should take particular Care to do it in such a
manner, that it may not bear too hard on the Person whose Life and
Conversation are enquired into. A Man who is capable of so infamous a
Calling as that of a Spy, is not very much to be relied upon. He can
have no great Ties of Honour, or Checks of Conscience, to restrain him
in those covert Evidences, where the Person accused has no Opportunity
of vindicating himself. He will be more industrious to carry that which
is grateful, than that which is true.

There will be no Occasion for him, if he does not hear and see things
worth Discovery; so that he naturally inflames every Word and
Circumstance, aggravates what is faulty, perverts what is good, and
misrepresents what is indifferent. Nor is it to be doubted but that such
ignominious Wretches let their private Passions into these their
clandestine Informations, and often wreck their particular Spite or
Malice against the Person whom they are set to watch. It is a pleasant
Scene enough, which an _Italian_ Author describes between a Spy, and a
Cardinal who employed him. The Cardinal is represented as minuting down
every thing that is told him. The Spy begins with a low Voice, Such an
one, the Advocate, whispered to one of his Friends, within my Hearing,
that your Eminence was a very great Poultron; and after having given his
Patron time to take it down, adds that another called him a Mercenary
Rascal in a publick Conversation. The Cardinal replies, Very well, and
bids him go on. The Spy proceeds, and loads him with Reports of the same
Nature, till the Cardinal rises in great Wrath, calls him an impudent
Scoundrel, and kicks him out of the Room.

It is observed of great and heroick Minds, that they have not only shewn
a particular Disregard to those unmerited Reproaches which have been
cast upon 'em, but have been altogether free from that Impertinent
Curiosity of enquiring after them, or the poor Revenge of resenting
them. The Histories of _Alexander_ and _Caesar_ are full of this kind of
Instances. Vulgar Souls are of a quite contrary Character. _Dionysius_,
the Tyrant of _Sicily_, had a Dungeon which was a very curious Piece of
Architecture; and of which, as I am informed, there are still to be seen
some Remains in that Island. It was called _Dionysius's_ Ear, and built
with several little Windings and Labyrinths in the form of a real Ear.
The Structure of it made it a kind of whispering Place, but such a one
as gathered the Voice of him who spoke into a Funnel, which was placed
at the very Top of it. The Tyrant used to lodge all his State-Criminals,
or those whom he supposed to be engaged together in any Evil Designs
upon him, in this Dungeon. He had at the same time an Apartment over it,
where he used to apply himself to the Funnel, and by that Means
over-hear every thing that was whispered in [the [3]] Dungeon. I believe
one may venture to affirm, that a _Caesar_ or an _Alexander_ would rather
have died by the Treason, than have used such disingenuous Means for the
detecting of it. A Man, who in ordinary Life is very Inquisitive after
every thing which is spoken ill of him, passes his Time but very
indifferently. He is wounded by every Arrow that is shot at him, and
puts it in the Power of every insignificant Enemy to disquiet him. Nay,
he will suffer from what has been said of him, when it is forgotten by
those who said or heard it. For this Reason I could never bear one of
those officious Friends, that would be telling every malicious Report,
every idle Censure that [passed [4]] upon me. The Tongue of Man is so
petulant, and his Thoughts so variable, that one should not lay too
great a Stress upon any present Speeches and Opinions. Praise and
Obloquy proceed very frequently out of the same Mouth upon the same
Person, and upon the same Occasion. A generous Enemy will sometimes
bestow Commendations, as the dearest Friend cannot sometimes refrain
from speaking Ill. The Man who is indifferent in either of these
Respects, gives his Opinion at random, and praises or disapproves as he
finds himself in Humour.

I shall conclude this Essay with Part of a Character, which
is finely drawn by the Earl of _Clarendon_, in the first Book of
his History, and which gives us the lively Picture of a great
Man teizing himself with an absurd Curiosity.

'He had not that Application and Submission, and Reverence for the
Queen, as might have been expected from his Wisdom and Breeding; and
often crossed her Pretences and Desires with more Rudeness than was
natural to him. Yet he was impertinently sollicitous to know what her
Majesty said of him in private, and what Resentments she had towards
him. And when by some Confidents, who had their Ends upon him from
those Offices, he was informed of some bitter Expressions fallen from
her Majesty, he was so exceedingly afflicted and tormented with the
Sense of it, that sometimes by passionate Complaints and
Representations to the King; sometimes by more dutiful Addresses and
Expostulations with the Queen, in bewailing his Misfortune; he
frequently exposed himself, and left his Condition worse than it was
before, and the Eclaircisment commonly ended in the Discovery of the
Persons from whom he had received his most secret Intelligence.' [5]


[Footnote 1: Metamorphoses, Bk xii.]

[Footnote 2: Eccl. x. 20.]

[Footnote 3: [this]]

[Footnote 4: [passes]]

[Footnote 5: Written of Lord Treasurer Western, Earl of Portland.]

* * * * *

No. 440. Friday, July 25, 1712. Addison

'Vivere si recte nescis, discede peritis.'


I have already given my Reader an Account of a Sett of merry Fellows,
who are passing their Summer together in the Country, being provided of
a great House, where there is not only a convenient Apartment for every
particular Person, but a large Infirmary for the Reception of such of
them as are any way indisposed, or out of Humour. Having lately received
a Letter from the Secretary of this Society, by Order of the whole
Fraternity, which acquaints me with their Behaviour during the last
Week, I shall here make a Present of it to the Publick.


'We are glad to find that you approve the Establishment which we have
here made for the retrieving of good Manners and agreeable
Conversation, and shall use our best Endeavours so to improve our
selves in this our Summer Retirement, that we may next Winter serve as
Patterns to the Town. But to the end that this our Institution may be
no less Advantageous to the Publick than to our selves, we shall
communicate to you one Week of our Proceedings, desiring you at the
same time, if you see any thing faulty in them, to favour us with your
Admonitions. For you must know, Sir, that it has been proposed among
us to chuse you for our Visitor, to which I must further add, that one
of the College having declared last Week, he did not like the
_Spectator_ of the Day, and not being able to assign any just Reasons
for such his Dislike, he was sent to the Infirmary _Nemine

'On _Monday_ the Assembly was in very good Humour, having received
some Recruits of _French_ Claret that Morning: when unluckily, towards
the middle of the Dinner, one of the Company swore at his Servant in a
very rough manner, for having put too much Water in his Wine. Upon
which the President of the Day, who is always the Mouth of the
Company, after having convinced him of the Impertinence of his
Passion, and the Insult it had made upon the Company, ordered his Man
to take him from the Table and convey him to the Infirmary. There was
but one more sent away that Day; this was a Gentleman who is reckoned
by some Persons one of the greatest Wits, and by others one of the
greatest Boobies about Town. This you will say is a strange Character,
but what makes it stranger yet, it is a very true one, for he is
perpetually the Reverse of himself, being always merry or dull to
Excess. We brought him hither to divert us, which he did very well
upon the Road, having lavished away as much Wit and Laughter upon the
Hackney Coachman as might have served him during his whole Stay here,
had it been duly managed. He had been lumpish for two or three Days,
but was so far connived at, in hopes of Recovery, that we dispatched
one of the briskest Fellows among the Brotherhood into the Infirmary,
for having told him at Table he was not merry. But our President
observing that he indulged himself in this long Fit of Stupidity, and
construing it as a Contempt of the College, ordered him to retire into
the Place prepared for such Companions. He was no sooner got into it,
but his Wit and Mirth returned upon him in so violent a manner, that
he shook the whole Infirmary with the Noise of it, and had so good an
Effect upon the rest of the Patients, that he brought them all out to
Dinner with him the next Day.

'On _Tuesday_ we were no sooner sat down, but one of the Company
complained that his Head aked; upon which another asked him, in an
insolent manner, what he did there then; this insensibly grew into
some warm Words; so that the President, in order to keep the Peace,
gave directions to take them both from the Table, and lodge them in
the Infirmary. Not long after, another of the Company telling us, he
knew by a Pain in his Shoulder that we should have some Rain, the
President ordered him to be removed, and placed as a Weather-glass in
the Apartment above mentioned.

'On _Wednesday_ a Gentleman having received a Letter written in a
Woman's Hand, and changing Colour twice or thrice as he read it,
desired leave to retire into the Infirmary. The President consented,
but denied him the Use of Pen, Ink and Paper, till such time as he had
slept upon it. One of the Company being seated at the lower end of the
Table, and discovering his secret Discontent by finding fault with
every Dish that was served up, and refusing to Laugh at any thing that
was said, the President told him, that he found he was in an uneasie
Seat, and desired him to accommodate himself better in the Infirmary.
After Dinner a very honest Fellow chancing to let a Punn fall from
him, his Neighbour cryed out, _to the Infirmary_; at the same time
pretending to be Sick at it, as having the same Natural Antipathy to a
Punn, which some have to a Cat. This produced a long Debate. Upon the
whole, the Punnster was Acquitted and his Neighbour sent off.

'On _Thursday_ there was but one Delinquent. This was a Gentleman of
strong Voice, but weak Understanding. He had unluckily engaged himself
in a Dispute with a Man of excellent Sense, but of a modest Elocution.
The Man of Heat replied to every Answer of his Antagonist with a
louder Note than ordinary, and only raised his Voice when he should
have enforced his Argument. Finding himself at length driven to an
Absurdity, he still reasoned in a more clamorous and confused manner,
and to make the greater Impression upon his Hearers, concluded with a
loud Thump upon the Table. The President immediately ordered him to be
carried off, and dieted with Water-gruel, till such time as he should
be sufficiently weakened for Conversation.

'On _Friday_ there passed very little remarkable, saving only, that
several Petitions were read of the Persons in Custody, desiring to be
released from their Confinement, and vouching for one another's good
Behaviour for the future.

'On _Saturday_ we received many Excuses from Persons who had found
themselves in an unsociable Temper, and had voluntarily shut
themselves up. The Infirmary was indeed never so full as on this Day,
which I was at some loss to account for, till upon my going Abroad I
observed that it was an Easterly Wind. The Retirement of most of my
Friends has given me Opportunity and Leisure of writing you this
Letter, which I must not conclude without assuring you, that all the
Members of our College, as well those who are under Confinement, as
those who are at Liberty, are your very humble Servants, tho' none
more than, _&c._'


* * * * *

No. 441. Saturday, July 26, 1712. Addison.

'Si fractus illabatur orbis
Impavidum ferient ruinae.'


Man, considered in himself, is a very helpless and a very wretched
Being. He is subject every Moment to the greatest Calamities and
Misfortunes. He is beset with Dangers on all sides, and may become
unhappy by numberless Casualties, which he could not foresee, nor have
prevented, had he foreseen them.

It is our Comfort, while we are obnoxious to so many Accidents, that we
are under the Care of one who directs Contingencies, and has in his
Hands the Management of every Thing that is capable of annoying or
offending us; who knows the Assistance we stand in need of, and is
always ready to bestow it on those who ask it of him.

The natural Homage, which such a Creature bears to so infinitely Wise
and Good a Being, is a firm Reliance on him for the Blessings and
Conveniences of Life, and an habitual Trust in him for Deliverance out
of all such Dangers and Difficulties as may befall us.

The Man, who always lives in this Disposition of Mind, has not the same
dark and melancholy Views of Human Nature, as he who considers himself
abstractedly from this Relation to the Supreme Being. At the same time
that he reflects upon his own Weakness and Imperfection, he comforts
himself with the Contemplation of those Divine Attributes, which are
employed for his Safety and his Welfare. He finds his Want of Foresight
made up by the Omniscience of him who is his Support. He is not sensible
of his own want of Strength, when he knows that his Helper is Almighty.
In short, the Person who has a firm trust on the Supreme Being is
Powerful in _his_ Power, Wise by _his_ Wisdom, Happy by _his_ Happiness.
He reaps the Benefit of every Divine Attribute, and loses his own
Insufficiency in the Fullness of Infinite Perfection.

To make our Lives more easie to us, we are commanded to put our Trust in
him, who is thus able to relieve and succour us; the Divine Goodness
having made such a Reliance a Duty, notwithstanding we should have been
miserable had it been forbidden us.

Among several Motives, which might be made use of to recommend this Duty
to us, I shall only take notice of those that follow.

The first and strongest is, that we are promised, He will not fail those
who put their Trust in him.

But without considering the Supernatural Blessing which accompanies this
Duty, we may observe that it has a natural Tendency to its own Reward,
or in other Words, that this firm Trust and Confidence in the great
Disposer of all Things, contributes very much to the getting clear of
any Affliction, or to the bearing it manfully. A Person who believes he
has his Succour at hand, and that he acts in the sight of his Friend,
often excites himself beyond his Abilities, and does Wonders that are
not to be matched by one who is not animated with such a Confidence of
Success. I could produce Instances from History, of Generals, who out of
a Belief that they were under the Protection of some invisible
Assistant, did not only encourage their Soldiers to do their utmost, but
have acted themselves beyond what they would have done, had they not
been inspired by such a Belief. I might in the same manner show how such
a Trust in the Assistance of an Almighty Being, naturally produces
Patience, Hope, Cheerfulness, and all other Dispositions of Mind that
alleviate those Calamities which we are not able to remove.

The Practice of this Virtue administers great Comfort to the Mind of Man
in Times of Poverty and Affliction, but most of all in the Hour of
Death. When the Soul is hovering in the last Moments of its [Separation,
[1]] when it is just entring on another State of Existence, to converse
with Scenes, and Objects, and Companions that are altogether new, what
can support her under such Tremblings of Thought, such Fear, such
Anxiety, such Apprehensions, but the casting of all her Cares upon him
who first gave her Being, who has conducted her through one Stage of it,
and will be always with her to Guide and Comfort her in her [Progress
[2]] through Eternity?

_David_ has very beautifully represented this steady Reliance on God
Almighty in his twenty third Psalm, which is a kind of _Pastoral_ Hymn,
and filled with those Allusions which are usual in that kind of Writing.
As the Poetry is very exquisite, I shall present my Reader with the
following Translation of it. [3]

I. The Lord my Pasture shall prepare,
And feed me with a Shepherd's Care;
His Presence shall my Wants supply,
And guard me with a watchful Eye;
My Noon-day Walks he shall attend,
And all my Mid-night Hours defend.

II. When in the sultry Glebe I faint,
Or on the thirsty Mountain pant;
To fertile Vales, and dewy Meads
My weary wand'ring Steps he leads;
Where peaceful Rivers, soft and slow,
Amid the verdant Landskip flow.

III. Tho' in the Paths of Death I tread,
With gloomy Horrors overspread,
My steadfast Heart shall fear no Ill,
For thou, O Lord, art with me still;
Thy friendly Crook shall give me Aid,
And guide me through the dreadful Shade.

IV. Tho' in a bare and rugged Way,
Through devious lonely Wilds I stray,
Thy Bounty shall my Pains beguile;
The barren Wilderness shall smile,
With sudden Greens and Herbage crown'd,
And Streams shall murmur all around.


[Footnote 1: Dissolution]

[Footnote 2: Passage]

[Footnote 3: By Addison]

* * * * *

No. 442. Monday, July 28, 1712. Steele.

'--Scribimus Indocti Doctique--'


I do not know whether I enough explained my self to the World, when I
invited all Men to be assistant to me in this my Work of Speculation;
for I have not yet acquainted my Readers, that besides the Letters and
valuable Hints I have from Time to Time received from my Correspondents,
I have by me several curious and extraordinary Papers sent with a Design
(as no one will doubt when they are published) that they might be
printed entire, and without any Alteration, by way of 'Spectator'. I
must acknowledge also, that I my self being the first Projector of the
Paper, thought I had a Right to make them my own, by dressing them in my
own Style, by leaving out what would not appear like mine, and by adding
whatever might be proper to adapt them to the Character and Genius of my
Paper, with which it was almost impossible these could exactly
correspond, it being certain that hardly two Men think alike, and
therefore so many Men so many 'Spectators'. Besides, I must own my
Weakness for Glory is such, that if I consulted that only, I might be so
far sway'd by it, as almost to wish that no one could write a
'Spectator' besides myself; nor can I deny, but upon the first Perusal
of those Papers, I felt some secret Inclinations of Ill-will towards the
Persons who wrote them. This was the Impression I had upon the first
reading them; but upon a late Review (more for the Sake of Entertainment
than Use) regarding them with another Eye than I had done at first, (for
by converting them as well as I could to my own Use, I thought I had
utterly disabled them from ever offending me again as 'Spectators') I
found my self moved by a Passion very different from that of Envy;
sensibly touched with Pity, the softest and most generous of all
Passions, when I reflected what a cruel Disapointment the Neglect of
those Papers must needs have been to the Writers who impatiently longed
to see them appear in Print, and who, no doubt, triumphed to themselves
in the Hopes of having a Share with me in the Applause of the Publick; a
Pleasure so great, that none but those who have experienced it can have
a Sense of it. In this Manner of viewing these Papers, I really found I
had not done them Justice, there being something so extremely natural
and peculiarly good in some of them, that I will appeal to the World
whether it was possible to alter a Word in them without doing them a
manifest Hurt and Violence; and whether they can ever appear rightly,
and, as they ought, but in their own native Dress and Colours: And
therefore I think I should not only wrong them, but deprive the World of
a considerable Satisfaction, should I any longer delay the making them

After I have published a few of these 'Spectators', I doubt not but I
shall find the Success of them to equal, if not surpass, that of the
best of my own. An Author should take all Methods to humble himself in
the Opinion he has of his own Performances. When these Papers appear to
the World, I doubt not but they will be followed by many others; and I
shall not repine, though I my self shall have left me but very few Days
to appear in Publick: But preferring the general Weal and Advantage to
any Consideration of my self, I am resolved for the Future to publish
any 'Spectator' that deserves it, entire, and without any Alteration;
assuring the World (if there can be Need of it) that it is none of mine
and if the Authors think fit to subscribe their Names, I will add them.

I think the best way of promoting this generous and useful Design, will
be by giving out Subjects or Themes of all Kinds whatsoever, on which
(with a Preamble of the extraordinary Benefit and Advantage that may
accrue thereby to the Publick) I will invite all manner of Persons,
whether Scholars, Citizens, Courtiers, Gentlemen of the Town or Country,
and all Beaux, Rakes, Smarts, Prudes, Coquets, Housewives, and all Sorts
of Wits, whether Male or Female, and however distinguished, whether they
be True-Wits, Whole, or Half-Wits, or whether Arch, Dry, Natural,
Acquired, Genuine, or Deprav'd Wits; and Persons of all sorts of Tempers
and Complexions, whether the Severe, the Delightful, the Impertinent,
the Agreeable, the Thoughtful, Busie, or Careless; the Serene or Cloudy,
Jovial or Melancholy, Untowardly or Easie; the Cold, Temperate, or
Sanguine; and of what Manners or Dispositions soever, whether the
Ambitious or Humble-minded, the Proud or Pitiful, Ingenious or
Base-minded, Good or Ill-natur'd, Publick-spirited or Selfish; and under
what Fortune or Circumstance soever, whether the Contented or Miserable,
Happy or Unfortunate, High or Low, Rich or Poor (whether so through Want
of Money, or Desire of more) Healthy or Sickly, Married or Single; nay,
whether Tall or Short, Fat or Lean; and of what Trade, Occupation,
Profession, Station, Country, Faction, Party, Persuasion, Quality, Age
or Condition soever, who have ever made Thinking a Part of their
Business or Diversion, and have any thing worthy to impart on these
Subjects to the World, according to their several and respective Talents
or Genius's, and as the Subject given out hits their Tempers, Humours,
or Circumstances, or may be made profitable to the Publick by their
particular Knowledge or Experience in the Matter proposed, to do their
utmost on them by such a Time; to the End they may receive the
inexpressible and irresistible Pleasure of seeing their Essay allowed of
and relished by the rest of Mankind.

I will not prepossess the Reader with too great Expectation of the
extraordinary Advantages which must redound to the Publick by these
Essays, when the different Thoughts and Observations of all Sorts of
Persons, according to their Quality, Age, Sex, Education, Professions,
Humours, Manners and Conditions, &c. shall be set out by themselves in
the clearest and most genuine Light, and as they themselves would wish
to have them appear to the World.

_The_ Thesis _propos'd for the present Exercise of the Adventurers to
write_ Spectators, _is_ MONEY, _on which Subject all Persons are desired
to send their Thoughts within Ten Days after the Date hereof_.


* * * * *

No. 443. Tuesday, July 29, 1712. Steele

'Sublatam ex oculis Quaerimus invidi.'


Camilla _to the_ SPECTATOR.

_Venice, July 10_, N. S.


'I Take it extreamly ill, that you do not reckon conspicuous Persons
of your Nation are within your Cognizance, tho' out of the Dominions
of Great Britain. I little thought in the green Years of my Life, that
I should ever call it an Happiness to be out of dear _England_; but as
I grew to Woman, I found my self less acceptable in Proportion to the
Encrease of my Merit. Their Ears in _Italy_ are so differently formed
from the Make of yours in _England_, that I never come upon the Stage,
but a general Satisfaction appears in every Countenance of the whole
People. When I dwell upon a Note, I behold all the Men accompanying me
with Heads enclining and falling of their Persons on one Side, as
dying away with me. The Women too do Justice to my Merit, and no
ill-natur'd worthless Creature cries, _The vain Thing_, when I am rapt
up in the Performance of my Part, and sensibly touched with the Effect
my Voice has upon all who hear me. I live here distinguished as one
whom Nature has been liberal to in a graceful Person, an exalted Mein,
and Heavenly Voice. These Particularities in this strange Country, are
Arguments for Respect and Generosity to her who is possessed of them.
The _Italians_ see a thousand Beauties I am sensible I have no
Pretence to, and abundantly make up to me the Injustice I received in
my own Country, of disallowing me what I really had. The Humour of
Hissing, which you have among you, I do not know any thing of; and
their Applauses are uttered in Sighs, and bearing a Part at the
Cadences of Voice with the Persons who are performing. I am often put
in Mind of those complaisant Lines of my own Countryman, [1] when he
is calling all his Faculties together to hear _Arabella_;

'Let all be hush'd, each softest Motion cease,
Be ev'ry loud tumultuous Thought at Peace;
And ev'ry ruder Gasp of Breath
Be calm, as in the Arms of Death:
And thou, most fickle, most uneasie Part,
Thou restless Wanderer, my Heart,
Be still; gently, ah! gently leave,
Thou busie, idle Thing, to heave.
Stir not a Pulse: and let my Blood,
That turbulent, unruly Flood,
Be softly staid;
Let me be all but my Attention dead.'

'The whole City of _Venice_ is as still when I am singing, as this
Polite Hearer was to Mrs. _Hunt_. But when they break that Silence,
did you know the Pleasure I am in, when every Man utters his Applause,
by calling me aloud the _Dear Creature_, the _Angel_, the _Venus; What
Attitude she moves with!--Hush, she sings again!_ We have no boistrous
Wits who dare disturb an Audience, and break the publick Peace meerly
to shew they dare. Mr. SPECTATOR, I write this to you thus in Haste,
to tell you I am so very much at ease here, that I know nothing but
Joy; and I will not return, but leave you in _England_ to hiss all
Merit of your own Growth off the Stage. I know, Sir, you were always
my Admirer, and therefore I am yours,
_CAMILLA_. [2]

P. S. I am ten times better dressed than ever I was in _England_.


'The Project in yours of the 11th Instant, of furthering the
Correspondence and Knowledge of that considerable Part of Mankind, the
Trading World, cannot but be highly commendable. Good Lectures to
young Traders may have very good Effects on their Conduct: but beware
you propagate no false Notions of Trade; let none of your
Correspondents impose on the World, by putting forth base Methods in a
good Light, and glazing them over with improper Terms. I would have no
Means of Profit set for Copies to others, but such as are laudable in
themselves. Let not Noise be called Industry, nor Impudence Courage.
Let not good Fortune be imposed on the World for good Management, nor
Poverty be called Folly; impute not always Bankruptcy to Extravagance,
nor an Estate to Foresight; Niggardliness is not good Husbandry, nor
Generosity Profusion.

'_Honestus_ is a well-meaning and judicious Trader, hath substantial
Goods, and trades with his own Stock; husbands his Money to the best
Advantage, without taking all Advantages of the Necessities of his
Workmen, or grinding the Face of the Poor. _Fortunatus_ is stocked
with Ignorance, and consequently with Self-Opinion; the Quality of his
Goods cannot but be suitable to that of his Judgment. _Honestus_
pleases discerning People, and keeps their Custom by good Usage; makes
modest Profit by modest Means, to the decent Support of his Family:
Whilst _Fortunatus_ blustering always, pushes on, promising much, and
performing little, with Obsequiousness offensive to People of Sense;
strikes at all, catches much the greater Part; raises a considerable
Fortune by Imposition on others, to the Disencouragement and Ruin of
those who trade in the same Way.

'I give here but loose Hints, and beg you to be very circumspect in
the Province you have now undertaken: If you perform it successfully,
it will be a very great Good; for nothing is more wanting, than that
Mechanick Industry were set forth with the Freedom and Greatness of
Mind which ought always to accompany a Man of a liberal Education.

_Your humble Servant,_

R. C.

_From my Shop under the_ Royal-Exchange, July 14.

_July_ 24, 1712.


'Notwithstanding the repeated Censures that your Spectatorial Wisdom
has passed upon People more remarkable for Impudence than Wit, there
are yet some remaining, who pass with the giddy Part of Mankind for
sufficient Sharers of the latter, who have nothing but the former
Qualification to recommend them. Another timely Animadversion is
absolutely necessary; be pleased therefore once for all to let these
Gentlemen know, that there is neither Mirth nor Good Humour in hooting
a young Fellow out of Countenance; nor that it will ever constitute a
Wit, to conclude a tart Piece of Buffoonry with a _what makes you
blush?_ Pray please to inform them again, That to speak what they know
is shocking, proceeds from ill Nature, and a Sterility of Brain;
especially when the Subject will not admit of Raillery, and their
Discourse has no Pretension to Satyr but what is in their Design to
disoblige. I should be very glad too if you would take Notice, that a
daily Repetition of the same over-bearing Insolence is yet more
insupportable, and a Confirmation of very extraordinary Dulness. The
sudden Publication of this, may have an Effect upon a notorious
Offender of this Kind, whose Reformation would redound very much to the
Satisfaction and Quiet of

_Your most humble Servant_,

F.B. [3]

[Footnote 1: William Congreve upon Arabella Hunt.]

[Footnote 2: Mrs. Tofts, see note on p. 85, vol, i. [Footnote 3 of No.

[Footnote 3: Said to be the initials of Francis Beasniffe.]

* * * * *

No. 444. Wednesday, July 30, 1712. Steele.

['Parturiunt montes.'

Hor. [1]]

It gives me much Despair in the Design of reforming the World by my
Speculations, when I find there always arise, from one Generation to
another, successive Cheats and Bubbles, as naturally as Beasts of Prey,
and those which are to be their Food. There is hardly a Man in the
World, one would think, so ignorant, as not to know that the ordinary
Quack Doctors, who publish their great Abilities in little brown
Billets, distributed to all who pass by, are to a Man Impostors and
Murderers; yet such is the Credulity of the Vulgar, and the Impudence of
these Professors, that the Affair still goes on, and new Promises of
what was never done before are made every Day. What aggravates the Just
is, that even this Promise has been made as long as the Memory of Man
can trace it, and yet nothing performed, and yet still prevails. As I
was passing along to-day, a Paper given into my Hand by a Fellow without
a Nose tells us as follows what good News is come to Town, to wit, that
there is now a certain Cure for the _French_ Disease, by a Gentleman
just come from his Travels.

"In Russel-Court, over-against the Cannon-Ball, at the Surgeon's Arms
in Drury-Lane, is lately come from his Travels a Surgeon who has
practised Surgery and Physick both by Sea and Land these twenty four
Years. He (by the Blessing) cures the Yellow Jaundice, Green Sickness,
Scurvy, Dropsy, Surfeits, long Sea Voyages, Campains, and Womens
Miscarriages, Lying-Inn, &c. as some People that has been lame these
thirty Years can testifie; in short, he cureth all Diseases incident
to Men, Women, or Children [2]."

If a Man could be so indolent as to look upon this Havock of the human
Species which is made by Vice and Ignorance, it would be a good
ridiculous Work to comment upon the Declaration of this accomplished
Traveller. There is something unaccountably taking among the Vulgar in
those who come from a great Way off. Ignorant People of Quality, as many
there are of such, doat excessively this Way; many Instances of which
every Man will suggest to himself without my Enumeration of them. The
Ignorants of lower Order, who cannot, like the upper Ones, be profuse of
their Money to those recommended by coming from a Distance, are no less
complaisant than the others, for they venture their Lives from the same

_The Doctor is lately come from his Travels_, and has _practised_ both
by Sea and Land, and therefore Cures the _Green Sickness, long Sea
Voyages, Campains, and Lying-Inn_. Both by Sea and Land!--I will not
answer for the Distempers called _Sea Voyages and Campains_; But I dare
say, those of Green Sickness and Lying-Inn might be as well taken Care
of if the Doctor staid a-shoar. But the Art of managing Mankind, is only
to make them stare a little, to keep up their Astonishment, to let
nothing be familiar to them, but ever to have something in your Sleeve,
in which they must think you are deeper than they are. There is an
ingenious Fellow, a Barber, of my Acquaintance, who, besides his broken
Fiddle and a dryed Sea-Monster, has a Twine-Cord, strained with two
Nails at each End, over his Window, and the Words _Rainy, Dry, Wet_, and
so forth, written, to denote the Weather according to the Rising or
Falling of the Cord. We very great Scholars are not apt to wonder at
this: But I observed a very honest Fellow, a chance Customer, who sate
in the Chair before me to be shaved, fix his Eye upon this Miraculous
Performance during the Operation upon his Chin and Face. When those and
his Head also were cleared of all Incumbrances and Excrescences, he
looked at the Fish, then at the Fiddle, still grubling in his Pockets,
and casting his Eye again at the Twine, and the Words writ on each Side;
then altered his mind as to Farthings, and gave my Friend a Silver
Six-pence. The Business, as I said, is to keep up the Amazement; and if
my Friend had had only the Skeleton and Kitt, he must have been
contented with a less Payment. But the Doctor we were talking of, adds
to his long Voyages the Testimony of some People _that has been thirty
Years lame._ When I received my Paper, a sagacious Fellow took one at
the same time, and read till he came to the Thirty Years Confinement of
his Friends, and went off very well convinced of the Doctor's
Sufficiency. You have many of these prodigious Persons, who have had
some extraordinary Accident at their Birth, or a great Disaster in some
Part of their Lives. Any thing, however foreign from the Business the
People want of you, will convince them of your Ability in that you
profess. There is a Doctor in _Mouse-Alley_ near _Wapping,_ who sets up
for curing Cataracts upon the Credit of having, as his Bill sets forth,
lost an Eye in the Emperor's Service. His Patients come in upon this,
and he shews the Muster-Roll, which confirms that he was in his Imperial
Majesty's Troops; and he puts out their Eyes with great Success. Who
would believe that a Man should be a Doctor for the Cure of bursten
Children, by declaring that his Father and Grandfather were [born [3]]
bursten? But _Charles Ingoltson,_ next Door to the _Harp_ in _Barbican,_
has made a pretty Penny by that Asseveration. The Generality go upon
their first Conception, and think no further; all the rest is granted.
They take it, that there is something uncommon in you, and give you
Credit for the rest. You may be sure it is upon that I go, when
sometimes, let it be to the Purpose or not, I keep a _Latin_ Sentence in
my Front; and I was not a little pleased when I observed one of my
Readers say, casting his Eye on my twentieth Paper, _More_ Latin _still?
What a prodigious Scholar is this Man!_ But as I have here taken much
Liberty with this learned Doctor, I must make up all I have said by
repeating what he seems to be in Earnest in, and honestly promise to
those who will not receive him as a great Man; to wit, That from _Eight
to Twelve, and from Two till Six, he attends for the good of the Publick
to bleed for Three Pence._


[Footnote 1: [--_Dignum tanto feret hic promissor hiatu_.--Hor.]]

[Footnote 2: In the first issue the whole bill was published.
Two-thirds of it, including its more infamous part, was omitted from the
reprint, and the reader will, I hope, excuse me the citation of it in
this place.

[Footnote 3: both]

* * * * *

No. 445. Thursday, July 31, 1712. Addison.

'Tanti non es ais. Sapis, Luperce.'


This is the Day on which many eminent Authors will probably Publish
their Last Words. I am afraid that few of our Weekly Historians, who are
Men that above all others delight in War, will be able to subsist under
the Weight of a Stamp, and an approaching Peace. A Sheet of Blank Paper
that must have this new Imprimatur clapt upon it, before it is qualified
to Communicate any thing to the Publick, will make its way in the World
but very heavily. In short, the Necessity of carrying a Stamp [1], and
the Improbability of notifying a Bloody Battel, will, I am afraid, both
concur to the sinking of those thin Folios, which have every other Day
retailed to us the History of _Europe_ for several Years last past. A
Facetious Friend of mine, who loves a Punn, calls this present Mortality
among Authors, _The Fall of the Leaf._

I remember, upon Mr. _Baxter's_ Death, there was Published a Sheet of
very good Sayings, inscribed, _The last Words of Mr._ Baxter. The Title
sold so great a Number of these Papers, that about a Week after there
came out a second Sheet, inscrib'd, _More last Words of Mr._ Baxter. In
the same manner, I have Reason to think, that several Ingenious Writers,
who have taken their Leave of the Publick, in farewell Papers, will not
give over so, but intend to appear again, tho' perhaps under another
Form, and with a different Title. Be that as it will, it is my Business,
in this place, to give an Account of my own Intentions, and to acquaint
my Reader with the Motives by which I Act, in this great Crisis of the
Republick of Letters.

I have been long debating in my own Heart, whether I should throw up my
Pen, as an Author that is cashiered by the Act of Parliament, which is
to Operate within these Four and Twenty Hours, or whether I should still
persist in laying my Speculations, from Day to Day, before the Publick.
The Argument which prevails with me most on the first side of the
Question is, that I am informed by my Bookseller he must raise the Price
of every single Paper to Two-Pence, or that he shall not be able to pay
the Duty of it. Now as I am very desirous my Readers should have their
Learning as cheap as possible, it is with great Difficulty that I comply
with him in this Particular.

However, upon laying my Reasons together in the Balance, I find that
those which plead for the Continuance of this Work, have much the
greater Weight. For, in the first Place, in Recompence for the Expence
to which this will put my Readers, it is to be hoped they may receive
from every Paper so much Instruction, as will be a very good Equivalent.
And, in order to this, I would not advise any one to take it in, who
after the Perusal of it, does not find himself Two-pence the wiser, or
the better Man for it; or who upon Examination, does not believe that he
has had Two-pennyworth of Mirth or Instruction for his Money.

But I must confess there is another Motive which prevails with me more
than the former. I consider that the Tax on Paper was given for the
Support of the Government; and as I have Enemies, who are apt to pervert
every thing I do or say, I fear they would ascribe the laying down my
Paper, on such an Occasion, to a Spirit of Malecontentedness, which I am
resolved none shall ever justly upbraid me with. No, I shall glory in
contributing my utmost to the Weal Publick; and if my Country receives
Five or Six Pounds a-day by my Labours, I shall be very well pleased to
find my self so useful a Member. It is a received Maxim, that no honest
Man should enrich himself by Methods that are prejudicial to the
Community in which he lives; and by the same Rule I think we may
pronounce the Person to deserve very well of his Countrymen, whose
Labours bring more into the publick Coffers, than into his own Pocket.

Since I have mentioned the Word Enemies, I must explain my self so far
as to acquaint my Reader, that I mean only the insignificant Party
Zealots on both sides; Men of such poor narrow Souls, that they are not
capable of thinking on any thing but with an Eye to Whig or Tory. During
the Course of this Paper, I have been accused by these despicable
Wretches of Trimming, Time-serving, Personal Reflection, secret Satire,
and the like. Now, tho' in these my Compositions, it is visible to any
Reader of Common Sense, that I consider nothing but my Subject, which is
always of an indifferent Nature; how is it possible for me to write so
clear of Party, as not to lie open to the Censures of those who will be
applying every Sentence, and finding out Persons and Things in it, which
it has no regard to?

Several Paltry Scriblers and Declaimers have done me the Honour to be
dull upon me in Reflections of this Nature; but notwithstanding my Name
has been sometimes traduced by this contemptible Tribe of Men, I have
hitherto avoided all Animadversions upon 'em. The Truth of it is, I am
afraid of making them appear considerable by taking Notice of them, for
they are like those imperceptible Insects which are discover'd by the
Microscope, and cannot be made the Subject of Observation without being

Having mentioned those few who have shewn themselves the Enemies of this
Paper, I should be very ungrateful to the Publick, did not I at the same
time testifie my Gratitude to those who are its Friends, in which Number
I may reckon many of the most distinguished Persons of all Conditions,
Parties and Professions in the Isle of _Great-Britain_. I am not so vain
as to think this Approbation is so much due to the Performance as to the
Design. There is, and ever will be, Justice enough in the World, to
afford Patronage and Protection for those who endeavour to advance Truth
and Virtue, without regard to the Passions and Prejudices of any
particular Cause or Faction. If I have any other Merit in me, it is that
I have new-pointed all the Batteries of Ridicule. They have been
generally planted against Persons who have appeared Serious rather than
Absurd; or at best, have aimed rather at what is Unfashionable than what
is Vicious. For my own part, I have endeavoured to make nothing
Ridiculous that is not in some measure Criminal. I have set up the
Immoral Man as the Object of Derision: In short, if I have not formed a
new Weapon against Vice and Irreligion, I have at least shewn how that
Weapon may be put to a right Use, which has so often fought the Battels
of Impiety and Profaneness.


[Footnote 1: The Stamp Act was to take effect from the first of August.
Censorship of the press began in the Church soon after the invention of
printing. The ecclesiastical superintendence introduced in 1479 and 1496
was more completely established by a bull of Leo X. in 1515, which
required Bishops and Inquisitors to examine all books before printing,
and suppress heretical opinions. The Church of Rome still adheres to the
'Index Librorum Prohibitorum' begun by the Council of Trent in 1546; and
there is an Index Expurgatorius for works partly prohibited, or to be
read after expurgation. In accordance with this principle, the licensing
of English books had been in the power of the Archbishop of Canterbury
and his delegates before the decree of the Star Chamber in 1637, which
ordered that all books of Divinity, Physic, Philosophy, and Poetry
should be licensed either by the Archbishop of Canterbury or by the
Bishop of London personally or through their appointed substitutes. The
object of this decree was to limit the reprint of old books of divinity,
&c. Thus Foxe's Book of Martyrs was denied a license. In 1640 Sir Edward
Dering complained to Parliament that 'the most learned labours of our
ancient and best divines must now be corrected and defaced with a
'deleatur' by the supercilious pen of my Lord's young chaplain, fit,
perhaps, for the technical arts, but unfit to hold the chair of
Divinity.' (Rushworth's Hist. Coll. iv. 55.) Historical works seem to
have been submitted to the Secretary of State for his sanction. To May's
poem of the 'Victorious Reign of King Edward the Third' is prefixed, 'I
have perused this Book, and conceive it very worthy to be published. Io.
Coke, Knight, Principal Secretary of State, Whitehall, 17 of November,
1634.' But Aleyn's metrical 'History of Henry VII.' (1638) is licensed
by the Bishop of London's domestic chaplain, who writes: 'Perlegi
historicum hoc poema, dignumque judico quod Typis mandetur. Tho. Wykes
R. P. Episc. Lond. Chapell. Domest.' The first newspaper had been 'the
Weekly Newes', first published May 23, 1622, at a time when, says Sir
Erskine May (in his 'Constitutional History of England', 1760-1860),
'political discussion was silenced by the licenser, the Star Chamber,
the dungeon, the pillory, mutilation, and branding.' The contest between
King and Commons afterwards developed the free controversial use of
tracts and newspapers, but the Parliament was not more tolerant than the
king, and against the narrow spirit of his time Milton rose to his
utmost height, fashioning after the masterpiece of an old Greek orator
who sought to stir the blood of the Athenians, his Areopagitica, or
Defence of the Liberty of Unlicensed Printing. In the reign of Charles
II. the Licensing Act (13 and 14 Charles II. cap. 33) placed the control
of printing in the Government, confined exercise of the printer's art to
London, York, and the Universities, and limited the number of the master
printers to twenty. Government established a monopoly of news in the
London Gazette. 'Authors and printers of obnoxious works,' says Sir E.
May, citing cases in notes, were hung, 'quartered, and mutilated,
exposed in the pillory and flogged, or fined and imprisoned, according
to the temper of their judges: their productions were burned by the
common hangman. Freedom of opinion was under interdict: even news could
not be published without license... James II. and his infamous judges
carried the Licensing Act into effect with barbarous severity. But the
Revolution brought indulgence even to the Jacobite Press; and when the
Commons, in 1695, refused to renew the Licensing Act, a censorship of
the press was for ever renounced by the law of England.' There remained,
however, a rigorous interpretation of the libel laws; Westminster Hall
accepting the traditions of the Star Chamber. Still there was enough
removal of restriction to ensure the multiplication of newspapers and
the blending of intelligence with free political discussion. In Queen
Anne's reign the virulence of party spirit produced bitter personal
attacks and willingness on either side to bring an antagonist under the
libel laws. At the date of this 'Spectator' paper Henry St. John, who
had been made Secretary of State at the age of 32, was 34 years old, and
the greatest commoner in England, as Swift said, turning the whole
Parliament, who can do nothing without him. This great position and the
future it might bring him he was throwing away for a title, and becoming
Viscount Bolingbroke. His last political act as a commoner was to impose
the halfpenny stamp upon newspapers and sheets like those of the
'Spectator.' Intolerant of criticism, he had in the preceding session
brought to the bar of the House of Commons, under his warrant as
Secretary of State, fourteen printers and publishers. In the beginning
of 1712, the Queen's message had complained that by seditious papers and
factious rumours designing men had been able to sink credit, and the
innocent had suffered. On the 12th of February a committee of the whole
house was appointed to consider how to stop the abuse of the liberty of
the press. Some were for a renewal of the Licensing Act, some for
requiring writers' names after their articles. The Government carried
its own design of a half-penny stamp by an Act (10 Anne, cap. 19) passed
on the 10th of June, which was to come in force on the 1st of August,
1712, and be in force for 32 years.

'Do you know,' wrote Swift to Stella five days after the date of this
'Spectator' paper, 'Do you know that all Grub street is dead and gone
last week? No more ghosts or murders now for love or money... Every
single half sheet pays a halfpenny to the Queen. The 'Observator' is
fallen; the 'Medleys' are jumbled together with the 'Flying Post;' the
'Examiner' is deadly sick; the 'Spectator' keeps up and doubles its
price; I know not how long it will last.'

It so happened that the mortality was greatest among Government papers.
The Act presently fell into abeyance, was revived in 1725, and
thenceforth maintained the taxation of newspapers until the abolition of
the Stamp in 1859. One of its immediate effects was a fall in the
circulation of the 'Spectator.' The paper remained unchanged, and some
of its subscribers seem to have resented the doubling of the tax upon
them, by charging readers an extra penny for each halfpenny with which
it had been taxed. (See No. 488.)]

* * * * *

No. 446. Friday, August 1, 1712. Addison.

'Quid deceat, quid non; quo Virtus, quo ferat Error.'


Since two or three Writers of Comedy who are now living have taken their
Farewell of the Stage, those who succeed them finding themselves
incapable of rising up to their Wit, Humour and good Sense, have only
imitated them in some of those loose unguarded Strokes, in which they
complied with the corrupt Taste of the more Vicious Part of their
Audience. When Persons of a low Genius attempt this kind of Writing,
they know no difference between being Merry and being Lewd. It is with
an Eye to some of these degenerate Compositions that I have written the
following Discourse.

Were our _English_ Stage but half so virtuous as that of the _Greeks_ or
_Romans_, we should quickly see the Influence of it in the Behaviour of
all the Politer Part of Mankind. It would not be fashionable to ridicule
Religion, or its Professors; the Man of Pleasure would not be the
compleat Gentleman; Vanity would be out of Countenance, and every
Quality which is Ornamental to Human Nature, would meet with that Esteem
which is due to it.

If the _English_ Stage were under the same Regulations the _Athenian_
was formerly, it would have the same Effect that had, in recommending
the Religion, the Government, and Publick Worship of its Country. Were
our Plays subject to proper Inspections and Limitations, we might not
only pass away several of our vacant Hours in the highest
Entertainments; but should always rise from them wiser and better than
we sat down to them.

It is one of the most unaccountable things in our Age, that the Lewdness
of our Theatre should be so much complained of, so well exposed, and so
little redressed. It is to be hoped, that some time or other we may be
at leisure to restrain the Licentiousness of the Theatre, and make it
contribute its Assistance to the Advancement of Morality, and to the
Reformation of the Age. As Matters stand at present, Multitudes are shut
out from this noble Diversion, by reason of those Abuses and Corruptions
that accompany it. A Father is often afraid that his Daughter should be
ruin'd by those Entertainments, which were invented for the
Accomplishment and Refining of Human Nature. The _Athenian_ and _Roman_
Plays were written with such a Regard to Morality, that _Socrates_ used
to frequent the one, and _Cicero_ the other.

It happened once indeed, that Cato dropped into the _Roman_ Theatre,
when the _Floralia_ were to be represented; and as in that Performance,
which was a kind of Religious Ceremony, there were several indecent
Parts to be acted, the People refused to see them whilst _Cato_ was
present. _Martial_ on this Hint made the following Epigram, which we
must suppose was applied to some grave Friend of his, that had been
accidentally present at some such Entertainment.

'Nosces jocosae dulce cum sacrum Florae,
Festosque lusus, et licentiam vulgi,
Cur in Theatrum Cato severe venisti?
An ideo tantum veneras, ut exires?

Why dost thou come, great Censor of the Age,
To see the loose Diversions of the Stage?
With awful Countenance and Brow severe,
What in the Name of Goodness dost thou here?
See the mixt Crowd! how Giddy, Lewd and Vain!
Didst thou come in but to go out again?'

An Accident of this Nature might happen once in an Age among the
_Greeks_ or _Romans_; but they were too wise and good to let the
constant Nightly Entertainment be of such a Nature, that People of the
most Sense and Virtue could not be at it. Whatever Vices are represented
upon the Stage, they ought to be so marked and branded by the Poet, as
not to appear either laudable or amiable in the Person who is tainted
with them. But if we look into the _English_ Comedies above mentioned,
we would think they were formed upon a quite contrary Maxim, and that
this Rule, tho' it held good upon the Heathen Stage, was not be regarded
in Christian Theatres. There is another Rule likewise, which was
observed by Authors of Antiquity, and which these modern Genius's have
no regard to, and that was never to chuse an improper Subject for
Ridicule. Now a Subject is improper for Ridicule, if it is apt to stir
up Horrour and Commiseration rather than Laughter. For this Reason, we
do not find any Comedy in so polite an Author as _Terence_, raised upon
the Violations of the Marriage-Bed. The Falshood of the Wife or Husband
has given Occasion to noble Tragedies, but a _Scipio_ or a _Lelius_
would have look'd upon Incest or Murder to have been as proper Subjects
for Comedy. On the contrary, Cuckoldom is the Basis of most of our
Modern Plays. If an Alderman appears upon the Stage, you may be sure it
is in order to be Cuckolded. An Husband that is a little grave or
elderly, generally meets with the same Fate. Knights and Baronets,
Country Squires, and Justices of the _Quorum_, come up to Town for no
other Purpose. I have seen poor _Dogget_ Cuckolded in all these
Capacities. In short, our _English_ Writers are as frequently severe
upon this innocent unhappy Creature, commonly known by the Name of a
Cuckold, as the Ancient Comick Writers were upon an eating Parasite or a
vain-glorious Soldier.

At the same time the Poet so contrives Matters, that the two Criminals
are the Favourites of the Audience. We sit still, and wish well to them
through the whole Play, are pleased when they meet with proper
Opportunities, and out of humour when they are disappointed. The Truth
of it is, the accomplished Gentleman upon the _English Stage_, is the
Person that is familiar with other Men's Wives, and indifferent to his
own; as the fine Woman is generally a Composition of Sprightliness and
Falshood. I do not know whether it proceeds from Barrenness of
Invention, Depravation of Manners, or Ignorance of Mankind, but I have
often wondered that our ordinary Poets cannot frame to themselves the
Idea of a Fine Man who is not a Whore-master, or of a Fine Woman that is
not a Jilt.

I have sometimes thought of compiling a System of Ethics out of the
Writings of these corrupt Poets, under the Title of _Stage Morality_.
But I have been diverted from this Thought, by a Project which has been
executed by an ingenious Gentleman of my Acquaintance. He has compos'd,
it seems, the History of a young Fellow, who has taken all his Notions
of the World from the Stage, and who has directed himself in every
Circumstance of his Life and Conversation, by the Maxims and Examples of
the Fine Gentlemen in _English_ Comedies. If I can prevail upon him to
give me a Copy of this new-fashioned Novel, I will bestow on it a Place
in my Works, and question not but it may have as good an Effect upon the
Drama, as _Don Quixote_ had upon Romance.


* * * * *

No. 447. Saturday, August 2, 1712. Addison.

Phaemi polychroniaen meletaen emmenai, phile kai dae
Tautaen anthropoisi teleutosan physin einai.]

There is not a Common Saying which has a better turn of Sense in it,
than what we often hear in the Mouths of the Vulgar, that Custom is a
second Nature. It is indeed able to form the Man anew, and to give him
Inclinations and Capacities altogether different from those he was born
with. Dr._ Plot_, in his History of _Staffordshire_, [1] tells us of an
Ideot that chancing to live within the Sound of a Clock, and always
amusing himself with counting the Hour of the Day whenever the Clock
struck, the Clock being spoiled by some Accident, the Ideot continued to
strike and count the Hour without the help of it, in the same manner as
he had done when it was entire. Though I dare not vouch for the Truth of
this Story, it is very certain that Custom has a Mechanical Effect upon
the Body, at the same time that it has a very extraordinary Influence
upon the Mind.

I shall in this Paper consider one very remarkable Effect which Custom
has upon Human Nature; and which, if rightly observed, may lead us into
very useful Rules of Life. What I shall here take notice of in Custom,
is its wonderful Efficacy in making every thing pleasant to us. A Person
who is addicted to Play or Gaming, though he took but little delight in
it at first, by degrees contracts so strong an Inclination towards it,
and gives himself up so entirely to it, that it seems the only End of
his Being. The Love of a retired or busie Life will grow upon a Man
insensibly, as he is conversant in the one or the other, till he is
utterly unqualified for relishing that to which he has been for some
time disused. Nay, a Man may Smoak, or Drink, or take Snuff, till he is
unable to pass away his Time without it; not to mention our Delight in
any particular Study, Art, or Science, rises and improves in Proportion
to the Application which we bestow upon it. Thus what was at first an
Exercise, becomes at length an Entertainment. Our Employments are
changed into our Diversions. The Mind grows fond of those Actions she is
accustomed to, and is drawn with Reluctancy from those Paths in which
she has been used to walk.

Not only such Actions as were at first Indifferent to us, but even such
as were Painful, will by Custom and Practice become pleasant. Sir
_Francis Bacon_ observes in his Natural Philosophy, that our Taste is
never pleased better, than with those things which at first created a
Disgust in it. He gives particular Instances of Claret, Coffee, and
other Liquors, which the palate seldom approves upon the first Taste;
but when it has once got a Relish of them, generally retains it for
Life. The Mind is constituted after the same manner, and after having
habituated her self to any particular Exercise or Employment, not only
loses her first Aversion towards it, but conceives a certain Fondness
and Affection for it. I have heard one of the greatest Genius's this Age
has produced, [2] who had been trained up in all the Polite Studies of
Antiquity assure me, upon his being obliged to search into several Rolls
and Records, that notwithstanding such an Employment was at first very
dry and irksome to him, he at last took an incredible Pleasure in it,
and preferred it even to the reading of _Virgil_ or _Cicero_. The Reader
will observe, that I have not here considered Custom as it makes things
easie, but as it renders them delightful; and though others have often
made the same Reflections, it is possible they may not have drawn those
Uses from it, with which I intend to fill the remaining Part of this

If we consider attentively this Property of Human Nature, it may
instruct us in very fine Moralities. In the first place, I would have no
Man discouraged with that kind of Life or Series of Action, in which the
Choice of others, or his own Necessities, may have engaged him. It may
perhaps be very disagreeable to him at first; but Use and Application
will certainly render it not only less painful, but pleasing and

In the second place I would recommend to every one that admirable
Precept which _Pythagoras_ [3] is said to have given to his Disciples,
and which that Philosopher must have drawn from the Observation I have
enlarged upon. _Optimum vitae genus eligito, nam consuetudo faciet
jucundissimum_, Pitch upon that Course of Life which is the most
Excellent, and Custom will render it the most Delightful. Men, whose
Circumstances will permit them to chuse their own Way of Life, are
inexcusable if they do not pursue that which their Judgment tells them
is the most laudable. The Voice of Reason is more to be regarded than
the Bent of any present Inclination, since by the Rule above mentioned,
Inclination will at length come over to Reason, though we can never
force Reason to comply with Inclination.

In the third place, this Observation may teach the most sensual and
irreligious Man, to overlook those Hardships and Difficulties which are
apt to discourage him from the Prosecution of a Virtuous Life. _The
Gods_, said _Hesiod_, [4] _have placed Labour before Virtue, the Way to
her is at first rough and difficult, but grows more smooth and easier
the further you advance in it_. The Man who proceeds in it, with
Steadiness and Resolution, will in a little time find that _her Ways are
Ways of Pleasantness, and that all her Paths are Peace_.

To enforce this Consideration, we may further observe that the Practice
of Religion will not only be attended with that Pleasure, which
naturally accompanies those Actions to which we are habituated, but with
those Supernumerary Joys of Heart, that rise from the Consciousness of
such a Pleasure, from the Satisfaction of acting up to the Dictates of
Reason, and from the Prospect of an happy Immortality.

In the fourth place, we may learn from this Observation which we have
made on the Mind of Man, to take particular Care, when we are once
settled in a regular Course of Life, how we too frequently indulge our
selves in any of the most innocent Diversions and Entertainments, since
the Mind may insensibly fall off from the Relish of virtuous Actions,
and, by degrees, exchange that Pleasure which it takes in the
Performance of its Duty, for Delights of a much more inferior and
unprofitable Nature.

The last Use which I shall make of this remarkable Property in Human
Nature, of being delighted with those Actions to which it is accustomed,
is to shew how absolutely necessary it is for us to gain Habits of
Virtue in this Life, if we would enjoy the Pleasures of the next. The
State of Bliss we call Heaven will not be capable of affecting those
Minds, which are not thus qualified for it; we must, in this World, gain
a Relish of Truth and Virtue, if we would be able to taste that
Knowledge and Perfection, which are to make us happy in the next. The
Seeds of those spiritual Joys and Raptures, which are to rise up and
Flourish in the Soul to all Eternity, must be planted in her, during
this her present State of Probation. In short, Heaven is not to be
looked upon only as the Reward, but as the natural Effect of a religious

On the other hand, those evil Spirits, who, by long Custom, have
contracted in the Body Habits of Lust and Sensuality, Malice and
Revenge, an Aversion to every thing that is good, just or laudable, are
naturally seasoned and prepared for Pain and Misery. Their Torments have
already taken root in them, they cannot be happy when divested of the
Body, unless we may suppose, that Providence will, in a manner, create
them anew, and work a Miracle in the Rectification of their Faculties.
They may, indeed, taste a kind of malignant Pleasure in those Actions to
which they are accustomed, whilst in this Life; but when they are
removed from all those Objects which are here apt to gratifie them, they
will naturally become their own Tormentors, and cherish in themselves
those painful Habits of Mind, which are called, [in [5]] Scripture
Phrase, the Worm which never dies. This Notion of Heaven and Hell is so
very conformable to the Light of Nature, that it was discovered by
several of the most exalted Heathens. It has been finely improved by
many Eminent Divines of the last Age, as in particular by Arch-Bishop
_Tillotson_ and Dr. _Sherlock_, but there is none who has raised such
noble Speculations upon it as Dr. _Scott_ [6] in the First Book of his
Christian Life, which is one of the finest and most rational Schemes of
Divinity, that is written in our Tongue, or in any other. That Excellent
Author has shewn how every particular Custom and Habit of Virtue will,
in its own Nature, produce the Heaven, or a State of Happiness, in him
who shall hereafter practise it: As on the contrary, how every Custom or
Habit of Vice will be the natural Hell of him in whom it subsists.


[Footnote 1: Natural History of Staffordshire, by Robert Plot, L.L.D.,
fol. 1686. Dr. Plot wrote also a Natural History of Oxfordshire, and was
a naturalist of mark, one of the Secretaries of the Royal Society, First
Keeper of the Ashmolean Museum, Historiographer Royal, and Archivist of
the Herald's Office. He died in 1696, aged 55.]

[Footnote 2: Dr. Atterbury]

[Footnote 3: Diogenes Laertius, Bk. viii.]

[Footnote 4:

The paths of Virtue must be reached by toil,
Arduous and long, and on a rugged soil,
Thorny the gate, but when the top you gain,
Fair is the future and the prospect plain.

_Works and Days_, Bk. i. (_Cooke's Translation_).]

[Footnote 5: [in the]]

[Footnote 6: John Scott, a young tradesman of Chippenham, Wilts.,
prevailed on his friends to send him to Oxford, and became D. D. in
1685. He was minister of St. Thomas's, Southwark, Rector of St. Giles in
the Fields, Prebendary of St. Paul's, Canon of Windsor, and refused a
Bishopric. He was a strong opponent of the Catholics, and his 'Christian
Life,' in folio, and 5 vols. 8vo, became very popular. He died in 1694.]

* * * * *

No. 448. Monday, August 4, 1712. Steele.

'Foedius hoc aliquid quandoque audebis.'


The first Steps towards Ill are very carefully to be avoided, for Men
insensibly go on when they are once entered, and do not keep up a lively
Abhorrence of the least Unworthiness. There is a certain frivolous
Falshood that People indulge themselves in, which ought to be had in
greater Detestation than it commonly meets with: What I mean is a
Neglect of Promises made on small and indifferent Occasions, such as
Parties of Pleasure, Entertainments, and sometimes Meetings out of
Curiosity in Men of like Faculties to be in each other's Company. There
are many Causes to which one may assign this light Infidelity. _Jack
Sippet_ never keeps the Hour he has appointed to come to a Friend's to
Dinner; but he is an insignificant Fellow who does it out of Vanity. He
could never, he knows, make any Figure in Company, but by giving a
little Disturbance at his Entry, and therefore takes Care to drop in
when he thinks you are just seated. He takes his Place after having
discomposed every Body, and desires there may be no Ceremony; then does
he begin to call himself the saddest Fellow, in disappointing so many
Places as he was invited to elsewhere. It is the Fop's Vanity to name
Houses of better Chear, and to acquaint you that he chose yours out of
ten Dinners which he was obliged to be at that Day. The last Time I had
the Fortune to eat with him, he was imagining how very fat he should
have been had he eaten all he had ever been invited to. But it is
impertinent to dwell upon the Manners of such a Wretch as obliges all
whom he disappoints, though his Circumstances constrain them to be civil
to him. But there are those that every one would be glad to see, who
fall into the same detestable Habit. It is a merciless thing that any
one can be at Ease, and suppose a Set of People who have a Kindness for
him, at that Moment waiting out of Respect to him, and refusing to taste
their Food or Conversation with the utmost Impatience. One of these
Promisers sometimes shall make his Excuses for not coming at all, so
late that half the Company have only to lament, that they have neglected
Matters of Moment to meet him whom they find a Trifler. They immediately
repent of the Value they had for him; and such Treatment repeated, makes
Company never depend upon his Promise any more; so that he often comes
at the Middle of a Meal, where he is secretly slighted by the Persons
with whom he eats, and cursed by the Servants, whose Dinner is delayed
by his prolonging their Master's Entertainment. It is wonderful, that
Men guilty this Way, could never have observed, that the whiling Time,
the gathering together, and waiting a little before Dinner, is the most
awkwardly passed away of any Part in the four and twenty Hours. If they
did think at all, they would reflect upon their Guilt, in lengthning
such a Suspension of agreeable Life. The constant offending this Way,
has, in a Degree, an Effect upon the Honesty of his Mind who is guilty
of it, as common Swearing is a kind of habitual Perjury: It makes the
Soul unattentive to what an Oath is, even while it utters it at the
Lips. _Phocion_ beholding a wordy Orator while he was making a
magnificent Speech to the People full of vain Promises, _Methinks_, said
he, _I am now fixing my Eyes upon a Cypress Tree, it has all the Pomp
and Beauty imaginable in its Branches, Leaves, and Height, but alas it
bears no Fruit_.

Though the Expectation which is raised by impertinent Promisers is thus
barren, their Confidence, even after Failures, is so great, that they
subsist by still promising on. I have heretofore discoursed of the
insignificant Liar, the Boaster, and the Castle-Builder, and treated
them as no ill-designing Men, (tho' they are to be placed among the
frivolously false ones) but Persons who fall into that Way purely to
recommend themselves by their Vivacities; but indeed I cannot let
heedless Promisers, though in the most minute Circumstances, pass with
so slight a Censure. If a Man should take a Resolution to pay only Sums
above an hundred Pounds, and yet contract with different People Debts of
five and ten, how long can we suppose he will keep his Credit? This Man
will as long support his good Name in Business, as he will in
Conversation, who without Difficulty makes Assignations which he is
indifferent whether he keeps or not.

I am the more severe upon this Vice, because I have been so unfortunate
as to be a very great Criminal my self. Sir ANDREW FREEPORT, and all
other my Friends who are scrupulous to Promises of the meanest
Consideration imaginable from an Habit of Virtue that way, have often
upbraided me with it. I take Shame upon my self for this Crime, and more
particularly for the greatest I ever committed of the Sort, that when as
agreeable a Company of Gentlemen and Ladies as ever were got together,
and I forsooth, Mr. SPECTATOR, to be of the Party with Women of Merit,
like a Booby as I was, mistook the time of Meeting, and came the Night
following. I wish every Fool who is negligent in this Kind, may have as
great a Loss as I had in this; for the same Company will never meet
more, but are dispersed into various Parts of the World, and I am left
under the Compunction that I deserve, in so many different Places to be
called a Trifler.

This Fault is sometimes to be accounted for, when desirable People are
fearful of appearing precious and reserved by Denials; but they will
find the Apprehension of that Imputation will betray them into a
childish Impotence of Mind, and make them promise all who are so kind to
ask it of them. This leads such soft Creatures into the Misfortune of
seeming to return Overtures of Good-will with Ingratitude. The first
Steps in the Breach of a Man's Integrity are much more important than
Men are aware of. The Man who scruples breaking his Word in little
Things would not suffer in his own Conscience so great Pain for Failures
of Consequence, as he who thinks every little Offence against Truth and
Justice a Disparagement. We should not make any thing we our selves
disapprove habitual to us, if we would be sure of our Integrity.

I remember a Falshood of the trivial Sort, tho' not in relation to
Assignations, that exposed a Man to a very uneasie Adventure. _Will.
Trap_ and _Jack Stint_ were Chamber-fellows in the _Inner-Temple_ about
25 Years ago. They one Night sate in the Pit together at a Comedy, where
they both observed and liked the same young Woman in the Boxes. Their
Kindness for her entered both Hearts deeper than they imagined. _Stint_
had a good Faculty at writing Letters of Love, and made his Address
privately that way; while _Trap_ proceeded in the ordinary Course, by
Money and her Waiting-Maid. The Lady gave them both Encouragement,
receiving _Trap_ into the utmost Favour, and answering at the same time
_Stint's_ Letters, and giving him appointments at third Places. _Trap_
began to suspect the Epistolary Correspondence of his Friend, and
discovered also that _Stint_ opened all his Letters which came to their
common Lodgings, in order to form his own Assignations. After much
Anxiety and Restlessness, _Trap_ came to a Resolution, which he thought
would break off their Commerce with one another without any hazardous
Explanation. He therefore writ a Letter in a feigned Hand to Mr. _Trap_
at his Chambers in the _Temple_. _Stint_, according to Custom, seized
and opened it, and was not a little surpriz'd to find the Inside
directed to himself, when, with great Perturbation of Spirit, he read as

Mr. _Stint_,

You have gained a slight Satisfaction at the Expence of doing a very
heinous Crime. At the Price of a faithful Friend you have obtained an
inconstant Mistress. I rejoice in this Expedient I have thought of to
break my Mind to you, and tell you, You are a base Fellow, by a Means
which does not expose you to the Affront except you deserve it. I
know, Sir, as criminal as you are, you have still Shame enough to
avenge yourself against the Hardiness of any one that should publickly
tell you of it. I therefore, who have received so many secret Hurts
from you, shall take Satisfaction with Safety to my self. I call you
Base, and you must bear it, or acknowledge it; I triumph over you that
you cannot come at me; nor do I think it dishonourable to come in
Armour to assault him, who was in Ambuscade when he wounded me.

What need more be said to convince you of being guilty of the basest
Practice imaginable, than that it is such as has made you liable to be
treated after this Manner, while you your self cannot in your own
Conscience but allow the Justice of the Upbraidings of _Your Injured

Ralph Trap.


* * * * *

No. 449. Tuesday, August 5, 1712. Steele

'--Tibi scriptus, Matrona, libellus--'


When I reflect upon my Labours for the Publick, I cannot but observe,
that Part of the Species, of which I profess my self a Friend and
Guardian, is sometimes treated with Severity; that is, there are in my
Writings many Descriptions given of ill Persons, and not yet any direct
Encomium made of those who are good. When I was convinced of this Error,
I could not but immediately call to Mind several of the Fair Sex of my
Acquaintance, whose Characters deserve to be transmitted to Posterity in
Writings which will long outlive mine. But I do not think that a Reason
why I should not give them their Place in my Diurnal as long as it will
last. For the Service therefore of my Female Readers, I shall single out
some Characters of Maids, Wives and Widows, which deserve the Imitation
of the Sex. She who shall lead this small illustrious Number of Heroines
shall be the amiable _Fidelia_.

Before I enter upon the particular Parts of her Character, it is
necessary to Preface, that she is the only Child of a decrepid Father,
whose Life is bound up in hers. This Gentleman has used _Fidelia_ from
her Cradle with all the Tenderness imaginable, and has view'd her
growing Perfections with the Partiality of a Parent, that soon thought
her accomplished above the Children of all other Men, but never thought
she was come to the utmost Improvement of which she her self was
capable. This Fondness has had very happy Effects upon his own
Happiness, for she reads, she dances, she sings, uses her Spinet and
Lute to the utmost Perfection: And the Lady's Use of all these
Excellencies, is to divert the old Man in his easie Chair, when he is
out of the Pangs of a Chronical Distemper. _Fidelia_ is now in the
twenty third Year of her Age; but the Application of many Lovers, her
vigorous time of Life, her quick Sense of all that is truly gallant and
elegant in the Enjoyment of a plentiful Fortune, are not able to draw
her from the Side of her good old Father. Certain it is, that there is
no kind of Affection so pure and angelick as that of a Father to a
Daughter. He beholds her both with, and without Regard to her Sex. In
Love to our Wives there is Desire, to our Sons there is Ambition; but in
that to our Daughters, there is something which there are no Words to
express. Her Life is designed wholly Domestick, and she is so ready a
Friend and Companion, that every thing that passes about a Man, is
accompanied with the Idea of her Presence. Her Sex also is naturally so
much exposed to Hazard, both as to Fortune and Innocence, that there is,
perhaps, a new Cause of Fondness arising from that Consideration also.
None but Fathers can have a true Sense of these sort of Pleasures and
Sensations; but my Familiarity with the Father of _Fidelia_, makes me
let drop the Words which I have heard him speak, and observe upon his
Tenderness towards her.

_Fidelia_ on her Part, as I was going to say, as accomplished as she is,
with all her Beauty, Wit, Air, and Mien, employs her whole Time in Care
and Attendance upon her Father. How have I been charmed to see one of
the most beauteous Women the Age has produced on her Knees helping on an
old Man's Slipper! Her filial Regard to him is what she makes her
Diversion, her Business, and her Glory. When she was asked by a Friend
of her deceased Mother to admit of the Courtship of her Son, she
answer'd, That she had a great Respect and Gratitude to her for the
Overture in Behalf of one so near to her, but that during her Father's
Life, she would admit into her Heart no Value for any thing that should
interfere with her Endeavour to make his Remains of Life as happy and
easie as could be expected in his Circumstances. The Lady admonished her
of the Prime of Life with a Smile; which _Fidelia_ answered with a
Frankness that always attends unfeigned Virtue. _It is true, Madam,
there is to be sure very great Satisfactions to be expected in the
Commerce of a Man of Honour, whom one tenderly loves; but I find so much
Satisfaction in the Reflection, how much I mitigate a good Man's Pains,
whose Welfare depends upon my Assiduity about him, that I wittingly
exclude the loose Gratifications of Passion for the solid Reflections of
Duty. I know not whether any Man's Wife would be allow'd, and (what I
still more fear) I know not whether I, a Wife, should be willing to be
as officious as I am at present about my Parent_. The happy Father has
her Declaration that she will not marry during his Life, and the
Pleasure of seeing that Resolution not uneasie to her. Were one to paint
filial Affection in its utmost Beauty, he could not have a more lively
Idea of it than in beholding _Fidelia_ serving her Father at his Hours
of Rising, Meals, and Rest.

When the general Crowd of Female Youth are consulting their Glasses,
preparing for Balls, Assemblies, or Plays; for a young Lady, who could
be regarded among the foremost in those Places, either for her Person,
Wit, Fortune, or Conversation, and yet contemn all these Entertainments,
to sweeten the heavy Hours of a decrepid Parent, is a Resignation truly
heroick. _Fidelia_ performs the Duty of a Nurse with all the Beauty of a
Bride; nor does she neglect her Person, because of her Attendance on
him, when he is too ill to receive Company, to whom she may make an

_Fidelia_, who gives him up her Youth, does not think it any great
Sacrifice to add to it the Spoiling of her Dress. Her Care and Exactness
in her Habit, convince her Father of the Alacrity of her Mind; and she
has of all Women the best Foundation for affecting the Praise of a
seeming Negligence. What adds to the Entertainment of the good old Man
is, that _Fidelia_, where Merit and Fortune cannot be overlook'd by
Epistolary Lovers, reads over the Accounts of her Conquests, plays on
her Spinet the gayest Airs, (and while she is doing so, you would think
her formed only for Gallantry) to intimate to him the Pleasures she
despises for his Sake.

Those who think themselves the Patterns of good Breeding and Gallantry,
would be astonished to hear that in those Intervals when the old
Gentleman is at Ease, and can bear Company, there are at his House in
the most regular Order, Assemblies of People of the highest Merit; where
there is Conversation without Mention of the Faults of the Absent,
Benevolence between Men and Women without Passion, and the highest
Subjects of Morality treated of as natural and accidental Discourse; All
which is owing to the Genius of _Fidelia_, who at once makes her
Father's Way to another World easie, and her self capable of being an
Honour to his Name in this.


'I was the other Day at the _Bear-Garden_, in hopes to have seen your
short Face; but not being so fortunate, I must tell you by way of
Letter, That there is a Mystery among the Gladiators which has escaped
your Spectatorial Penetration. For being in a Box at an Ale-house,
near that renowned Seat of Honour above-mentioned, I over-heard two
Masters of the Science agreeing to quarrel on the next Opportunity.
This was to happen in the Company of a Set of the Fraternity of
Basket-Hilts, who were to meet that Evening. When this was settled,
one asked the other, Will you give Cuts or receive? the other
answered, Receive. It was replied, Are you a passionate Man? No,
provided you cut no more nor no deeper than we agree. I thought it my
Duty to acquaint you with this, that the People may not pay their
Money for Fighting, and be cheated.

_Your Humble Servant_,

Scabbard Rusty.


* * * * *

No. 450. Wednesday, August 6, 1712. Steele.

'--Quaerenda pecunia primum
Virtus post nummos.'


All Men, through different Paths, make at the same common thing,
_Money;_ and it is to her we owe the Politician, the Merchant, and the
Lawyer; nay, to be free with you, I believe to that also we are
beholden for our _Spectator_. I am apt to think, that could we look
into our own Hearts, we should see Money ingraved in them in more
lively and moving Characters than Self-Preservation; for who can
reflect upon the Merchant hoisting Sail in a doubtful Pursuit of her,
and all Mankind sacrificing their Quiet to her, but must perceive that
the Characters of Self-Preservation (which were doubtless originally
the brightest) are sullied, if not wholly defaced; and that those of
Money (which at first was only valuable as a Mean to Security) are of
late so brightened, that the Characters of Self-Preservation, like a
less Light set by a greater, are become almost imperceptible? Thus has
Money got the upper Hand of what all Mankind formerly thought most
dear, _viz_. Security; and I wish I could say she had here put a Stop
to her Victories; but, alas! common Honesty fell a Sacrifice to her.
This is the Way Scholastick Men talk of the greatest Good in the
World; but I, a Tradesman, shall give you another Account of this
Matter in the plain Narrative of my own Life. I think it proper, in
the first Place, to acquaint my Readers, that since my setting out in
the World, which was in the Year 1660, I never wanted Money; having
begun with an indifferent good Stock in the Tobacco-Trade, to which I
was bred; and by the continual Successes, it has pleased Providence to
bless my Endeavours with, am at last arrived at what they call a
_Plumb_ [1]. To uphold my Discourse in the Manner of your Wits or
Philosophers, by speaking fine things, or drawing Inferences, as they
pretend, from the Nature of the Subject, I account it vain; having
never found any thing in the Writings of such Men, that did not favour
more of the Invention of the Brain, or what is styled Speculation,
than of sound Judgment or profitable Observation. I will readily grant
indeed, that there is what the Wits call Natural in their Talk; which
is the utmost those curious Authors can assume to themselves, and is
indeed all they endeavour at, for they are but lamentable Teachers.
And, what, I pray, is Natural? That which is pleasing and easie: And
what are Pleasing and Easie? Forsooth, a new Thought or Conceit
dressed up in smooth quaint Language, to make you smile and wag your
Head, as being what you never imagined before, and yet wonder why you
had not; meer frothy Amusements! fit only for Boys or silly Women to
be caught with.

'It is not my present Intention to instruct my Readers in the Methods
of acquiring Riches; that may be the Work of another Essay; but to
exhibit the real and solid Advantages I have found by them in my long
and manifold Experience; nor yet all the Advantages of so worthy and
valuable a Blessing, (for who does not know or imagine the Comforts of
being warm or living at Ease? And that Power and Preheminence are
their inseperable Attendants?) But only to instance the great Supports
they afford us under the severest Calamities and Misfortunes; to shew
that the Love of them is a special Antidote against Immorality and
Vice, and that the same does likewise naturally dispose Men to Actions
of Piety and Devotion: All which I can make out by my own Experience,
who think my self no ways particular from the rest of Mankind, nor
better nor worse by Nature than generally other Men are.

'In the Year 1665, when the Sickness was, I lost by it my Wife and two
Children, which were all my Stock. Probably I might have had more,
considering I was married between 4 and 5 Years; but finding her to be
a teeming Woman, I was careful, as having then little above a Brace of
thousand Pounds, to carry on my Trade and maintain a Family with. I
loved them as usually Men do their Wives and Children, and therefore
could not resist the first Impulses of Nature on so wounding a Loss;
but I quickly roused my self, and found Means to alleviate, and at
last conquer my Affliction, by reflecting how that she and her
Children having been no great Expence to me, the best Part of her
Fortune was still left; that my Charge being reduced to my self, a
Journeyman, and a Maid, I might live far cheaper than before; and that
being now a childless Widower, I might perhaps marry a no less
deserving Woman, and with a much better Fortune than she brought,
which was but L800. And to convince my Readers that such
Considerations as these were proper and apt to produce such an Effect,
I remember it was the constant Observation at that deplorable Time,
when so many Hundreds were swept away daily, that the Rich ever bore
the Loss of their Families and Relations far better than the Poor; the
latter having little or nothing before-hand, and living from Hand to
Mouth, placed the whole Comfort and Satisfaction of their Lives in
their Wives and Children, and were therefore inconsolable.

'The following Year happened the Fire; at which Time, by good
Providence, it was my Fortune to have converted the greatest Part of
my Effects into ready Money, on the Prospect of an extraordinary
Advantage which I was preparing to lay Hold on. This Calamity was very
terrible and astonishing, the Fury of the Flames being such, that
whole Streets, at several distant Places, were destroyed at one and
the same Time, so that (as it is well known) almost all our Citizens
were burnt out of what they had. But what did I then do? I did not
stand gazing on the Ruins of our noble Metropolis; I did not shake my
Head, wring my Hands, sigh, and shed Tears; I consider'd with my self
what could this avail; I fell a plodding what Advantages might be made
of the ready Cash I had, and immediately bethought my self what
wonderful Pennyworths might be bought of the Goods, that were saved
out of the Fire. In short, with about L2000 and a little Credit, I
bought as much Tobacco as rais'd my Estate to the Value of L10000 I
then _looked on the Ashes of our City, and, the Misery of its late
Inhabitants, as an Effect of the just Wrath and Indignation of Heaven
towards a sinful and perverse People_.

'After this I married again, and that Wife dying, I took another; but
both proved to be idle Baggages: the first gave me a great deal of
Plague and Vexation by her Extravagancies, and I became one of the
Bywords of the City. I knew it would be to no manner of Purpose to go
about to curb the Fancies and Inclinations of Women, which fly out the
more for being restrained; but what I could I did. I watched her
narrowly, and by good Luck found her in the Embraces (for which I had
two Witnesses with me) of a wealthy Spark of the Court-end of the
Town; of whom I recovered 15000 Pounds, which made me Amends for what
she had idly squanderd, and put a Silence to all my Neighbours, taking
off my Reproach by the Gain they saw I had by it. The last died about
two Years after I married her, in Labour of three Children. I
conjecture they were begotten by a Country Kinsman of hers, whom, at
her Recommendation, I took into my Family, and gave Wages to as a
Journeyman. What this Creature expended in Delicacies and high Diet
with her Kinsman (as well as I could compute by the Poulterers,
Fishmongers, and Grocers Bills) amounted in the said two Years to one
hundred eighty six Pounds, four Shillings, and five Pence Half-penny.
The fine Apparel, Bracelets, Lockets, and Treats, &c. of the other,
according to the best Calculation, came in three Years and about three
Quarters to Seven hundred forty four Pounds, seven Shillings and nine
Pence. After this I resolv'd never to marry more, and found I had been
a Gainer by my Marriages, and the Damages granted me for the Abuses of
my Bed, (all Charges deducted) eight thousand three hundred Pounds
within a Trifle.

'I come now to shew the good Effects of the Love of Money on the Lives
of Men towards rendring them honest, sober, and religious. When I was
a young Man, I had a Mind to make the best of my Wits, and
over-reached a Country Chap in a Parcel of unsound Goods; to whom,
upon his upbraiding, and threatning to expose me for it, I returned
the Equivalent of his Loss; and upon his good Advice, wherein he
clearly demonstrated the Folly of such Artifices, which can never end
but in Shame, and the Ruin of all Correspondence, I never after
transgressed. Can your Courtiers, who take Bribes, or your Lawyers or
Physicians in their Practice, or even the Divines who intermeddle in
worldly Affairs, boast of making but one Slip in their Lives, and of
such a thorough and lasting Reformation? Since my coming into the
World I do not remember I was ever overtaken in Drink, save nine
times, one at the Christening of my first Child, thrice at our City
Feasts, and five times at driving of Bargains. My Reformation I can
attribute to nothing so much as the Love and Esteem of Money, for I
found my self to be extravagant in my Drink, and apt to turn
Projector, and make rash Bargains. As for Women, I never knew any,
except my Wives: For my Reader must know, and it is what he may
confide in as an excellent Recipe, That the Love of Business and Money
is the greatest Mortifier of inordinate Desires imaginable, as
employing the Mind continually in the careful Oversight of what one
has, in the eager Quest after more, in looking after the Negligences
and Deceits of Servants, in the due Entring and Stating of Accounts,
in hunting after Chaps, and in the exact Knowledge of the State of
Markets; which Things whoever thoroughly attends, will find enough and
enough to employ his Thoughts on every Moment of the Day; So that I
cannot call to Mind, that in all the Time I was a Husband, which, off
and on, was about twelve Years, I ever once thought of my Wives but in
Bed. And, lastly, for Religion, I have ever been a constant Churchman,
both Forenoons and Afternoons on Sundays, never forgetting to be
thankful for any Gain or Advantage I had had that Day; and on
_Saturday_ Nights, upon casting up my Accounts, I always was grateful
for the Sum of my Week's Profits, and at _Christmas_ for that of the
whole Year. It is true, perhaps, that my Devotion has not been the
most fervent; which, I think, ought to be imputed to the Evenness and
Sedateness of my Temper, which never would admit of any Impetuosities
of any Sort: And I can remember that in my Youth and Prime of Manhood,
when my Blood ran brisker, I took greater Pleasure in Religious
Exercises than at present, or many Years past, and that my Devotion
sensibly declined as Age, which is dull and unwieldly, came upon me.

'I have, I hope, here proved, that the Love of Money prevents all
Immorality and Vice; which if you will not allow, you must, that the
Pursuit of it obliges Men to the same Kind of Life as they would
follow if they were really virtuous: Which is all I have to say at
present, only recommending to you, that you would think of it, and
turn ready Wit into ready Money as fast as you can. I conclude,

_Your Servant_,
Ephraim Weed.'


[Footnote 1: L100,000.]

* * * * *

No. 451. Thursday, August 7, 1712. Addison.

'--Jam saevus apertam
In rabiem caepit verti jocus, et per honestas
Ire minax impune domos--'

There is nothing so scandalous to a Government, and detestable in the
Eyes of all good Men, as defamatory Papers and Pamphlets; but at the
same time there is nothing so difficult to tame, as a Satyrical Author.
An angry Writer, who cannot appear in Print, naturally vents his Spleen
in Libels and Lampoons. A gay old Woman, says the Fable, seeing all her
Wrinkles represented in a large Looking-glass, threw it upon the Ground
in a Passion, and broke it into a thousand Pieces, but as she was
afterwards surveying the Fragments with a spiteful kind of Pleasure, she
could not forbear uttering her self in the following Soliloquy. What
have I got by this revengeful Blow of mine, I have only multiplied my
Deformity, and see an hundred ugly Faces, where before I saw but one.

It has been proposed, _to oblige every Person that writes a Book, or a
Paper, to swear himself the Author of it, and enter down in a publick
Register his Name and Place of Abode_.

This, indeed, would have effectually suppressed all printed Scandal,
which generally appears under borrowed Names, or under none at all. But
it is to be feared, that such an Expedient would not only destroy
Scandal, but Learning. It would operate promiscuously, and root up the
Corn and Tares together. Not to mention some of the most celebrated
Works of Piety, which have proceeded from Anonymous Authors, who have
made it their Merit to convey to us so great a Charity in secret: There
are few Works of Genius that come out at first with the Author's Name.
The Writer generally makes a Tryal of them in the World before he owns
them; and, I believe, very few, who are capable of Writing, would set
Pen to Paper, if they knew, before-hand, that they must not publish
their Productions but on such Conditions. For my own part, I must
declare, the Papers I present the Publick are like Fairy Favours, which
shall last no longer than while the Author is concealed.

That which makes it particularly difficult to restrain these Sons of
Calumny and Defamation is, that all Sides are equally guilty of it, and
that every dirty Scribler is countenanced by great Names, whose
Interests he propagates by such vile and infamous Methods. I have never
yet heard of a Ministry, who have inflicted an exemplary Punishment on
an Author that has supported their Cause with Falsehood and Scandal, and
treated, in a most cruel manner, the names of those who have been looked
upon as their Rivals and Antagonists. Would a Government set an
everlasting Mark of their Displeasure upon one of those infamous
Writers, who makes his Court to them by tearing to Pieces the Reputation
of a Competitor, we should quickly see an End put to this Race of
Vermin, that are a Scandal to Government, and a Reproach to Human
Nature. Such a Proceeding would make a Minister of State shine in
History, and would fill all Mankind with a just Abhorrence of Persons
who should treat him unworthily, and employ against him those Arms which
he scorned to make use of against his Enemies.

I cannot think that any one will be so unjust as to imagine, what I have
here said is spoken with a Respect to any Party or Faction. Every one
who has in him the Sentiments either of a Christian or a Gentleman,
cannot but be highly offended at this wicked and ungenerous Practice,
which is so much in use among us at present, that it is become a kind of
National Crime, and distinguishes us from all the Governments that lie

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