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

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about us. I cannot but look upon the finest Strokes of Satyr which are
aimed at particular Persons, and which are supported even with the
Appearances of Truth, to be the Marks of an evil Mind, and highly
Criminal in themselves. Infamy, like other Punishments, is under the
Direction and Distribution of the Magistrate, and not of any private
Person. Accordingly we learn from a Fragment of _Cicero_, that tho'
there were very few Capital Punishments in the twelve Tables, a Libel or
Lampoon which took away the good Name of another, was to be punished by
Death. But this is far from being our Case. Our Satyr is nothing but
Ribaldry, and _Billingsgate_. Scurrility passes for Wit; and he who can
call Names in the greatest Variety of Phrases, is looked upon to have
the shrewdest Pen. By this Means the Honour of Families is ruined, the
highest Posts and greatest Titles are render'd cheap and vile in the
Sight of the People; the noblest Virtues, and most exalted Parts,
exposed to the Contempt of the Vicious and the Ignorant. Should a
Foreigner, who knows nothing of our private Factions, or one who is to
act his Part in the World when our present Heats and Animosities are
forgot, should, I say, such an one form to himself a Notion of the
greatest Men of all Sides in the _British_ Nation, who are now living,
from the Characters which are given them in some or other of those
abominable Writings which are daily Published among us, what a Nation of
Monsters must we appear!

As this cruel Practice tends to the utter Subversion of all Truth and
Humanity among us, it deserves the utmost Detestation and Discouragement
of all who have either the Love of their Country, or the Honour of their
Religion at Heart. I would therefore earnestly recommend it to the
Consideration of those who deal in these pernicious Arts of Writing; and
of those who take Pleasure in the Reading of them. As for the first, I
have spoken of them in former Papers, and have not stuck to rank them
with the Murderer and Assassin. Every honest Man sets as high a Value
upon a good Name, as upon Life it self; and I cannot but think that
those who privily assault the one, would destroy the other, might they
do it with the same Secrecy and Impunity.

As for Persons who take Pleasure in the reading and dispersing of such
detestable Libels, I am afraid they fall very little short of the Guilt
of the first Composers. By a Law of the Emperors _Valentinian_ and
_Valens_, it was made Death for any Person not only to write a Libel,
but if he met with one by chance, not to tear or burn it. But because I
would not be thought singular in my Opinion of this Matter, I shall
conclude my Paper with the Words of Monsieur _Bayle_, who was a Man of
great Freedom of Thought, as well as of exquisite Learning and Judgment.

I cannot imagine, that a Man who disperses a Libel is less desirous of
doing Mischief than the Author himself. But what shall we say of the
Pleasure which a Man takes in the reading of a Defamatory Libel? Is it
not an heinous Sin in the Sight of God? We must distinguish in this
Point. This Pleasure is either an agreeable Sensation we are afflicted
with, when we meet with a witty Thought which is well expressed, or it
is a Joy which we conceive from the Dishonour of the Person who is
defamed. I will say nothing to the first of these Cases; for perhaps
some would think that my Morality is not severe enough, if I should
affirm that a Man is not Master of those agreeable Sensations, any
more than of those occasioned by Sugar or Honey, when they touch his
Tongue; but as to the second, every one will own that Pleasure to be a
heinous Sin. The Pleasure in the first Case is of no Continuance; it
prevents our Reason and Reflection, and may be immediately followed by
a secret Grief, to see our Neighbour's Honour blasted. If it does not
cease immediately, it is a Sign that we are not displeased with the
Ill-nature of the Satyrist, but are glad to see him defame his Enemy
by all kinds of Stories; and then we deserve the Punishment to which
the Writer of the Libel is subject. I shall here add the Words of a
Modern Author. _St._ Gregory _upon excommunicating those Writers who
had dishonoured Castorius, does not except those who read their Works;
because_, says he, _if Calumnies have always been the delight of the
Hearers, and a gratification of those Persons who have no other
Advantage over honest Men, is not he who takes Pleasure in reading
them as guilty as he who composed them?_ It is an uncontested Maxim,
that they who approve an Action would certainly do it if they could;
that is, if some Reason of Self-love did not hinder them. There is no
difference, says _Cicero_, between advising a Crime, and approving it
when committed. The _Roman_ Law confirmed this Maxim, having subjected
the Approvers and Authors of this Evil to the same Penalty. We may
therefore conclude, that those who are pleased with reading Defamatory
Libels, so far as to approve the Authors and Dispersers of them, are
as guilty as if they had composed them: for if they do not write such
Libels themselves, it is because they have not the Talent of Writing,
or because they will run no hazard [1].

The Author produces other Authorities to confirm his Judgment in this


[Footnote 1: Dissertation upon Defamatory Libels. Sec.17.]

* * * * *

No. 452. Friday, August 8, 1712. Addison.

'Est natura Hominum Novitatis avida.'

Plin. apud Lill.

There is no Humour in my Countrymen, which I am more enclined to wonder
at, than their general Thirst after News. There are about half a Dozen
Ingenious Men, who live very plentifully upon this Curiosity of their
Fellow-Subjects. They all of them receive the same Advices from abroad,
and very often in the same Words; but their Way of Cooking it is so
different, that there is no Citizen, who has an Eye to the publick Good,
that can leave the Coffee-house with Peace of Mind before he has given
every one of them a Reading. These several Dishes of News are so very
agreeable to the Palate of my Countrymen, that they are not only pleased
with them when they are served up hot, but when they are again set cold
before them, by those penetrating Politicians, who oblige the Publick
with their Reflections and Observations upon every piece of Intelligence
that is sent us from abroad. The Text is given us by one set of Writers,
and the Comment by another.

But notwithstanding we have the same Tale told us in so many different
papers, and if occasion requires in so many Articles of the same Paper;
notwithstanding a Scarcity of Foreign Posts we hear the same Story
repeated, by different Advices from _Paris_, _Brussels_, the _Hague_,
and from every great Town in _Europe;_ notwithstanding the Multitude of
Annotations, Explanations, Reflections, and various Readings which it
passes through, our Time lies heavy on our Hands till the Arrival of a
fresh Mail: We long to receive further particulars, to hear what will be
the next Step, or what will be the Consequences of that which has been
already taken. A Westerly Wind keeps the whole Town in Suspence, and
puts a Stop to Conversation.

This general Curiosity has been raised and inflamed by our late Wars,
and, if rightly directed, might be of good Use to a Person who has such
a Thirst awakened in him. Why should not a Man, who takes Delight in
reading every thing that is new, apply himself to History, Travels, and
other Writings of the same kind, where he will find perpetual Fuel for
his Curiosity, and meet with much more Pleasure and Improvement, than in
these Papers of the Week? An honest Tradesman, who languishes a whole
Summer in Expectation of a Battel, and perhaps is balked at last, may
here meet with half a dozen in a Day. He may read the News of a whole
Campaign, in less time than he now bestows upon the Products of any
single Post. Fights, Conquests and Revolutions lye thick together. The
Reader's Curiosity is raised and satisfied every Moment, and his
Passions disappointed or gratified, without being detained in a State of
uncertainty from Day to Day, or lying at the Mercy of Sea [and [1]]
Wind. In short, the Mind is not here kept in a perpetual Gape after
Knowledge, nor punished with that Eternal Thirst, which is the Portion
of all our modern News-mongers and Coffee-house Politicians.

All Matters of Fact, which a Man did not know before, are News to him;
and I do not see how any Haberdasher in _Cheapside_ is more concerned in
the present Quarrel of the Cantons, than he was in that of the League.
At least, I believe every one will allow me, it is of more Importance to
an _Englishman_ to know the History of his Ancestors, than that of his
Contemporaries who live upon the Banks of the _Danube_ or the
_Borysthenes_. As for those who are of another Mind, I shall recommend
to them the following Letter, from a Projector, who is willing to turn a
Penny by this remarkable Curiosity of his Countrymen.


'You must have observed, that Men who frequent Coffee-houses, and
delight in News, are pleased with every thing that is Matter of Fact,
so it be what they have not heard before. A Victory, or a Defeat, are
equally agreeable to them. The shutting of a Cardinal's Mouth pleases
them one Post, and the opening of it another. They are glad to hear
the _French_ Court is removed to _Marli_, and are afterwards as much
delighted with its Return to _Versailles_. They read the
Advertisements with the same Curiosity as the Articles of publick
News; and are as pleased to hear of a Pye-bald Horse that is stray'd
out of a Field near _Islington_, as of a whole Troop that has been
engaged in any Foreign Adventure. In short, they have a Relish for
every thing that is News, let the matter of it be what it will; or to
speak more properly, they are Men of a Voracious Appetite, but no
Taste. Now, Sir, since the great Fountain of News, I mean the War, is
very near being dried up; and since these Gentlemen have contracted
such an inextinguishable Thirst after it; I have taken their Case and
my own into Consideration, and have thought of a Project which may
turn to the Advantage of us both. I have Thoughts of publishing a
daily Paper, which shall comprehend in it all the most remarkable
Occurences in every little Town, Village and Hamlet, that lye within
ten Miles of _London_, or in other Words, within the Verge of the
Penny-Post. I have pitched upon this Scene of Intelligence for two
Reasons; first, because the Carriage of Letters will be very cheap;
and secondly, because I may receive them every Day. By this means my
Readers will have their News fresh and fresh, and many worthy Citizens
who cannot Sleep with any Satisfaction at present, for want of being
informed how the World goes, may go to Bed contentedly, it being my
Design to put out my Paper every Night at nine-a-Clock precisely. I
have already established Correspondences in these several Places, and
received very good Intelligence.

By my last Advices from _Knights-bridge_ I hear that a Horse was
clapped into the Pound on the third Instant, and that he was not
released when the Letters came away.

We are informed from _Pankridge_ [1] that a dozen Weddings were lately
celebrated in the Mother Church of that Place, but are referred to
their next Letters for the Names of the Parties concerned.

Letters from _Brompton_ advise. That the Widow _Bligh_ had received
several Visits from _John Milldew_, which affords great matter of
Speculation in those Parts.

By a Fisherman which lately touched at _Hammersmith_, there is Advice
from _Putney_, that a certain Person well known in that Place, is like
to lose his Election for Church-warden; but this being Boat-news, we
cannot give entire Credit to it.

Letters from _Paddington_ bring little more, than that _William
Squeak_, the Sow-gelder, passed through that Place the 5th Instant.

They advise from _Fulham_, that things remained there in the same
State they were. They had Intelligence, just as the Letters came away,
of a Tub of excellent Ale just set abroach at _Parson's Green_; but
this wanted Confirmation.

I have here, Sir, given you a Specimen of the News with which I intend
to entertain the Town, and which, when drawn up regularly in the Form
of a News Paper, will, I doubt not, be very acceptable to many of
those Publick-spirited Readers, who take more delight in acquainting
themselves with other People's Business than their own. I hope a Paper
of this kind, which lets us know what is done near home, may be more
useful to us, than those which are filled with Advices from _Zug_ and
_Bender_, and make some amends for that Dearth of Intelligence, which
we may justly apprehend from times of Peace. If I find that you
receive this Project favourably, I will shortly trouble you with one
or two more; and in the mean time am, most worthy Sir, with all due

_Your most Obedient,
and most Humble Servant._

[Footnote 1: [or]]

[Footnote 2: Pancras.]

* * * * *

No. 453. Saturday, August 9, 1712. Addison.

'Non usitata nec tenui ferar


There is not a more pleasing Exercise of the Mind than Gratitude. It is
accompanied with such an inward Satisfaction, that the Duty is
sufficiently rewarded by the Performance. It is not like the Practice of
many other Virtues, difficult and painful, but attended with so much
Pleasure, that were there no positive Command which enjoin'd it, nor any
Recompence laid up for it hereafter, a generous Mind would indulge in
it, for the natural Gratification that accompanies it.

If Gratitude is due from Man to Man, how much more from Man to his
Maker? The Supream Being does not only confer upon us those Bounties
which proceed more immediately from his Hand, but even those Benefits
which are conveyed to us by others. Every Blessing we enjoy, by what
Means soever it may be derived upon us, is the Gift of him who is the
great Author of Good, and Father of Mercies.

If Gratitude, when exerted towards one another, naturally produces a
very pleasing Sensation in the Mind of a Grateful Man; it exalts the
Soul into Rapture, when it is employed on this great Object of
Gratitude; on this Beneficent Being who has given us every thing we
already possess, and from whom we expect every thing we yet hope for.

Most of the Works of the Pagan Poets were either direct Hymns to their
Deities, or tended indirectly to the Celebration of their respective
Attributes and Perfections. Those who are acquainted with the Works of
the Greek and Latin Poets which are still extant, will upon Reflection
find this Observation so true, that I shall not enlarge upon it. One
would wonder that more of our Christian Poets have not turned their
Thoughts this way, especially if we consider, that our Idea of the
Supream Being is not only infinitely more Great and Noble than what
could possibly enter into the Heart of an Heathen, but filled with every
thing that can raise the Imagination, and give an Opportunity for the
sublimest Thoughts and Conceptions.

_Plutarch_ tells of a Heathen who was singing an Hymn to _Diana_, in
which he celebrated her for her Delight in Human Sacrifices, and other
Instances of Cruelty and Revenge; upon which a Poet who was present at
this piece of Devotion, and seems to have had a truer Idea of the Divine
Nature, told the Votary, by way of Reproof, that in recompence for his
Hymn, he heartily wished he might have a Daughter of the same Temper
with the Goddess he celebrated. It was indeed impossible to write the
Praises of one of those false Deities, according to the Pagan Creed,
without a mixture of Impertinence and Absurdity.

The _Jews_, who before the Times of Christianity were the only People
that had the Knowledge of the True God, have set the Christian World an
Example how they ought to employ this Divine Talent of which I am
speaking. As that Nation produced Men of great Genius, without
considering them as inspired Writers, they have transmitted to us many
Hymns and Divine Odes, which excel those that are delivered down to us
by the Ancient _Greeks_ and _Romans_, in the Poetry, as much as in the
Subject to which it was consecrated. This I think might easily be shewn,
if there were occasion for it.

I have already communicated to the Publick some Pieces of Divine Poetry,
and as they have met with a very favourable Reception, I shall from time
to time publish any Work of the same nature which has not yet appeared
in Print, [1] and may be acceptable to my Readers.

I. When all thy Mercies, O my God,
My rising Soul surveys;
Transported with the View, I'm lost
In Wonder, Love, and Praise:

II. O how shall Words with equal Warmth
The Gratitude declare
That glows within my ravish'd Heart?
But thou canst read it there.

III. Thy Providence my Life sustain'd,
And all my Wants redrest,
When in the silent Womb I lay,
And hung upon the Breast.

IV. To all my weak Complaints and Cries,
Thy Mercy lent an Ear,
Ere yet my feeble Thoughts had learnt
To form themselves in Pray'r.

V. Unnumbered Comforts to my Soul
Thy tender Care bestow'd,
Before my infant Heart conceiv'd
From whom those Comforts flow'd.

VI. When in the slippery Paths of Youth
With heedless Steps I ran,
Thine Arm unseen convey'd me safe
And led me up to Man.

VII. Through hidden Dangers, Toils, and Deaths,
It gently clear'd my Way,
And through the pleasing Snares of Vice,
More to be fear'd than they.

VIII. When worn with Sickness oft hast thou
With Health renew'd my Face,
And when in Sins and Sorrows sunk
Revived my Soul with Grace.

IX. Thy bounteous Hand with worldly Bliss
Has made my Cup run o'er,
And in a kind and faithful Friend
Has doubled all my Store.

X. Ten thousand thousand precious Gifts
My Daily Thanks employ,
Nor is the least a chearful Heart,
That tastes those Gifts with Joy.

XI. Through every Period of my Life
Thy Goodness I'll pursue;
And after Death in distant Worlds
The Glorious Theme renew.

XII. When Nature fails, and Day and Night
Divide thy Works no more,
My Ever-grateful Heart, O Lord,
Thy Mercy shall adore.

XIII. Through all Eternity to Thee
A joyful Song I'll raise,
For oh! Eternity's too short
To utter all thy Praise.


[Footnote 1: By himself.]

* * * * *

No. 454. Monday, August 11, 1712. Steele.

'Sine me, Vacivum tempus ne quod dem mihi Laboris.'

Ter. Heau.

It is an inexpressible Pleasure to know a little of the World, and be of
no Character or Significancy in it. To be ever unconcerned, and ever
looking on new Objects with an endless Curiosity, is a Delight known
only to those who are turned for Speculation: Nay, they who enjoy it,
must value Things only as they are the Objects of Speculation, without
drawing any worldly Advantage to themselves from them, but just as they
are what contribute to their Amusement, or the Improvement of the Mind.
I lay one Night last Week at _Richmond_; and being restless, not out of
Dissatisfaction, but a certain busie Inclination one sometimes has, I
rose at Four in the Morning, and took Boat for _London_, with a
Resolution to rove by Boat and Coach for the next Four and twenty Hours,
till the many different Objects I must needs meet with should tire my
Imagination, and give me an Inclination to a Repose more profound than I
was at that Time capable of. I beg People's Pardon for an odd Humour I
am guilty of, and was often that Day, which is saluting any Person whom
I like, whether I know him or not. This is a Particularity would be
tolerated in me, if they considered that the greatest Pleasure I know I
receive at my Eyes, and that I am obliged to an agreeable Person for
coming abroad into my View, as another is for a Visit of Conversation at
their own Houses.

The Hours of the Day and Night are taken up in the Cities of _London_
and _Westminster_ by People as different from each other as those who
are born in different Centuries. Men of Six a Clock give way to those of
Nine, they of Nine to the Generation of Twelve, and they of Twelve
disappear, and make Room for the fashionable World, who have made Two a
Clock the Noon of the Day.

When we first put off from Shore, we soon fell in with a Fleet of
Gardeners bound for the several Market-Ports of _London_; and it was the
most pleasing Scene imaginable to see the Chearfulness with which those
industrious People ply'd their Way to a certain Sale of their Goods. The
Banks on each Side are as well peopled, and beautified with as agreeable
Plantations, as any Spot on the Earth; but the _Thames_ it self, loaded
with the Product of each Shore, added very much to the Landskip. It was
very easie to observe by their Sailing, and the Countenances of the
ruddy Virgins, who were Super-Cargoes, the Parts of the Town to which
they were bound. There was an Air in the Purveyors for _Covent-Garden_,
who frequently converse with Morning Rakes, very unlike the seemly
Sobriety of those bound for _Stocks Market_.

Nothing remarkable happened in our Voyage; but I landed with Ten Sail of
Apricock Boats at _Strand-Bridge_, after having put in at _Nine-Elms_,
and taken in Melons, consigned by Mr. _Cuffe_ of that Place, to _Sarah
Sewell_ and Company, at their Stall in _Covent-Garden_. We arrived at
_Strand-Bridge_ at Six of the Clock, and were unloading: when the
Hackney Coachmen of the foregoing Night took their leave of each other
at the _Dark-House_, to go to Bed before the Day was too far spent,
Chimney-Sweepers pass'd by us as we made up to the Market, and some
Raillery happened between one of the Fruit Wenches and those black Men,
about the Devil and _Eve_, with Allusion to their several Professions. I
could not believe any Place more entertaining than _Covent-Garden_;
where I strolled from one Fruit-Shop to another, with Crowds of
agreeable young Women around me, who were purchasing Fruit for their
respective Families. It was almost eight of the Clock before I could
leave that Variety of Objects. I took Coach and followed a Young Lady,
who tripped into another just before me, attended by her Maid. I saw
immediately she was of the Family of the _Vainloves_. There are a set of
these who of all Things affect the Play of _Blindman's-Buff_, and
leading Men into Love for they know not whom, who are fled they know not
where. This sort of Woman is usually a janty Slattern; she hangs on her
Cloaths, plays her Head, varies her Posture, and changes Place
incessantly, and all with an Appearance of striving at the same time to
hide her self, and yet give you to understand she is in Humour to laugh
at you. You must have often seen the Coachmen make Signs with their
Fingers as they drive by each other, to intimate how much they have got
that Day. They can carry on that Language to give Intelligence where
they are driving. In an Instant my Coachman took the Wink to pursue, and
the Lady's Driver gave the Hint that he was going through _Long-Acre_
towards St. _James's_: While he whipped up _James-Street_, we drove for
_King-Street_, to save the Pass at St. _Martin's-Lane_. The Coachmen
took care to meet, jostle, and threaten each other for Way, and be
entangled at the End of _Newport-Street_ and _Long-Acre_. The Fright,
you must believe, brought down the Lady's Coach Door, and obliged her,
with her Mask off, to enquire into the Bustle, when she sees the Man she
would avoid. The Tackle of the Coach-Window is so bad she cannot draw it
up again, and she drives on sometimes wholly discovered, and sometimes
half escaped, according to the Accident of Carriages in her Way. One of
these Ladies keeps her Seat in a Hackney-Coach, as well as the best
Rider does on a managed Horse. The laced Shooe of her left Foot, with a
careless Gesture, just appearing on the opposite Cushion, held her both
firm, and in a proper Attitude to receive the next Jolt.

As she was an excellent Coach Woman, many were the Glances at each other
which we had for an Hour and an Half in all Parts of the Town by the
Skill of our Drivers; till at last my Lady was conveniently lost with
Notice from her Coachman to ours to make off, and he should hear where
she went. This Chase was now at an End, and the Fellow who drove her
came to us, and discovered that he was ordered to come again in an Hour,
for that she was a Silk-Worm. I was surprized with this Phrase, but
found it was a Cant among the Hackney Fraternity for their best
Customers, Women who ramble twice or thrice a Week from Shop to Shop, to
turn over all the Goods in Town without buying any thing. The Silk-worms
are, it seems, indulged by the Tradesmen; for tho' they never buy, they
are ever talking of new Silks, Laces and Ribbands, and serve the Owners
in getting them Customers as their common Dunners do in making them pay.

The Day of People of Fashion began now to Break, and Carts and Hacks
were mingled with Equipages of Show and Vanity; when I resolved to walk
it out of Cheapness; but my unhappy Curiosity is such, that I find it
always my Interest to take Coach, for some odd Adventure among Beggars,
Ballad-Singers, or the like, detains and throws me into Expence. It
happened so immediately; for at the Corner of _Warwick Street_, as I was
listening to a new Ballad, a ragged Rascal, a Beggar who knew me, came
up to me, and began to turn the Eyes of the good Company upon me, by
telling me he was extream Poor, and should die in the Street for want of
Drink, except I immediately would have the Charity to give him Six-pence
to go into the next Ale-house and save his Life. He urged, with a
melancholy Face, that all his Family had died of Thirst. All the Mob
have Humour, and two or three began to take the Jest; by which Mr.
_Sturdy_ carried his Point, and let me sneak off to a Coach. As I drove
along, it was a pleasing Reflection to see the World so prettily
chequered since I left _Richmond_, and the Scene still filling with
Children of a new Hour. This Satisfaction encreased as I moved towards
the City; and gay Signs, well disposed Streets, magnificent publick
Structures, and wealthy Shops, adorned with contented Faces, made the
Joy still rising till we came into the Centre of the City, and Centre of
the World of Trade, the _Exchange_ of _London_. As other men in the
Crowds about me were pleased with their Hopes and Bargains, I found my
Account in observing them, in Attention to their several Interests. I,
indeed, looked upon my self as the richest Man that walked the
_Exchange_ that Day; for my Benevolence made me share the Gains of every
Bargain that was made. It was not the least of my Satisfactions in my
Survey, to go up Stairs, and pass the Shops of agreeable Females; to
observe so many pretty Hands busie in the Foldings of Ribbands, and the
utmost Eagerness of agreeable Faces in the sale of Patches, Pins, and
Wires, on each Side the Counters, was an Amusement, in which I should
longer have indulged my self, had not the dear Creatures called to me to
ask what I wanted, when I could not answer, only _To look at you_. I
went to one of the Windows which opened to the Area below, where all the
several Voices lost their Distinction, and rose up in a confused
Humming; which created in me a Reflection that could not come into the
Mind of any but of one a little too studious; for I said to my self,
with a kind of Pun in Thought, _What Nonsense is all the Hurry of this
World to those who are above it?_ In these, or not much wiser Thoughts,
I had like to have lost my Place at the Chop-House, where every Man
according to the natural Bashfulness or Sullenness of our Nation, eats
in a publick Room a Mess of Broth, or Chop of Meat, in dumb Silence, as
if they had no pretence to speak to each other on the Foot of being Men,
except they were of each other's Acquaintance.

I went afterwards to _Robin's_, and saw People who had dined with me at
the Five-penny Ordinary just before, give Bills for the Value of large
Estates; and could not but behold with great Pleasure, Property lodged
in, and transferred in a Moment from such as would never be Masters of
half as much as is seemingly in them, and given from them every Day they
live. But before Five in the Afternoon I left the City, came to my
common Scene of _Covent-Garden_, and passed the Evening at _Will's_ in
attending the Discourses of several Sets of People, who relieved each
other within my Hearing on the Subjects of Cards, Dice, Love, Learning,
and Politicks. The last Subject kept me till I heard the Streets in the
Possession of the Bellman, who had now the World to himself, and cry'd,
_Past Two of Clock_. This rous'd me from my Seat, and I went to my
Lodging, led by a Light, whom I put into the Discourse of his private
Oeconomy, and made him give me an Account of the Charge, Hazard, Profit
and Loss of a Family that depended upon a Link, with a Design to end my
trivial Day with the Generosity of Six-pence, instead of a third Part of
that Sum. When I came to my Chambers I writ down these Minutes; but was
at a Loss what Instruction I should propose to my Reader from the
Enumeration of so many Insignificant Matters and Occurrences; and I
thought it of great Use, if they could learn with me to keep their Minds
open to Gratification, and ready to receive it from any thing it meets
with. This one Circumstance will make every Face you see give you the
Satisfaction you now take in beholding that of a Friend; will make every
Object a pleasing one; will make all the Good which arrives to any Man,
an Encrease of Happiness to your self.


* * * * *

No. 455. Tuesday, August 12, 1712. Steele.

'--Ergo Apis Matinae
More modoque
Grata Carpentis thyma per laborem

The following Letters have in them Reflections which will seem of
Importance both to the Learned World and to Domestick Life. There is in
the first an Allegory so well carry'd on, that it cannot but be very
pleasing to those who have a Taste of good Writing; and the other
Billets may have their Use in common Life.


As I walked t'other Day in a fine Garden, and observed the great
Variety of Improvements in Plants and Flowers beyond what they
otherwise would have been, I was naturally led into a Reflection upon
the Advantages of Education, or Moral Culture; how many good Qualities
in the Mind are lost, for want of the like due Care in nursing and
skilfully managing them, how many Virtues are choaked, by the
Multitude of Weeds which are suffered to grow among them; how
excellent Parts are often starved and useless, by being planted in a
wrong Soil; and how very seldom do these Moral Seeds produce the noble
Fruits which might be expected from them, by a Neglect of proper
Manuring, necessary Pruning, and an artful Management of our tender
Inclinations and first Spring of Life: These obvious Speculations made
me at length conclude, that there is a sort of vegetable Principle in
the Mind of every Man when he comes into the World. In Infants the
Seeds lie buried and undiscovered, till after a while they sprout
forth in a kind of rational _Leaves_, which are _Words_; and in due
Season the _Flowers_ begin to appear in Variety of beautiful Colours,
and all the gay Pictures of youthful Fancy and Imagination; at last
the Fruit knits and is formed, which is green, perhaps, first, and
soure, unpleasant to the Taste, and not fit to be gathered; till
ripened by due Care and Application, it discovers itself in all the
noble Productions of Philosophy, Mathematicks, close Reasoning, and
handsome Argumentation: And these Fruits, when they arrive at a just
Maturity, and are of a good Kind, afford the most vigorous Nourishment
to the Minds of Men. I reflected further on the intellectual Leaves
beforementioned, and found almost as great a Variety among them as in
the vegetable World. I could easily observe the smooth shining
_Italian_ Leaves; the nimble _French_ Aspen always in Motion; the
_Greek_ and _Latin_ Evergreens, the _Spanish_ Myrtle, the _English_
Oak, the _Scotch_ Thistle, the _Irish_ Shambrogue, the prickly
_German_ and _Dutch_ Holly, the _Polish_ and _Russian_ Nettle, besides
a vast Number of Exoticks imported from _Asia_, _Africk_, and
_America_. I saw several barren Plants, which bore only Leaves,
without any Hopes of Flower or Fruit: The Leaves of some were fragrant
and well-shaped, of others ill-scented and irregular. I wonder'd at a
Set of old whimsical Botanists, who spent their whole Lives in the
Contemplation of some withered _AEgyptian_, _Coptick_, _Armenian_, or
_Chinese_ Leaves, while others made it their Business to collect in
voluminous Herbals all the several Leaves of some one Tree. The
Flowers afforded a most diverting Entertainment, in a wonderful
Variety of Figures, Colours and Scents; however, most of them withered
soon, or at best are but _Annuals_. Some professed Florists make them
their constant Study and Employment, and despise all Fruit; and now
and then a few fanciful People spend all their Time in the Cultivation
of a single Tulip, or a Carnation: But the most agreeable Amusement
seems to be the well chusing, mixing, and binding together these
Flowers, in pleasing Nosegays to present to Ladies. The Scent of
_Italian_ Flowers is observed, like their other Perfume, to be too
strong, and to hurt the Brain; that of the _French_ with glaring,
gaudy Colours, yet faint and languid; _German_ and _Northern_ Flowers
have little or no Smell, or sometimes an unpleasant one. The Antients
had a Secret to give a lasting Beauty, Colour, and Sweetness to some
of their choice Flowers, which flourish to this Day, and which few of
the Moderns can effect. These are becoming enough and agreeable in
their Season, and do often handsomely adorn an Entertainment, but an
Over-fondness of them seems to be a Disease. It rarely happens to find
a Plant vigorous enough, to have (like an Orange-Tree) at once
beautiful shining Leaves, fragrant Flowers, and delicious nourishing

_SIR, Yours_, &c.

_August 6_, 1712.

_Dear_ SPEC,

You have given us in your _Spectator_ of _Saturday_ last, a very
excellent Discourse upon the Force of Custom, and its wonderful
Efficacy in making every thing pleasant to us. I cannot deny but that
I received above Two penny-worth of Instruction from your Paper, and
in the general was very well pleased with it; but I am, without a
Compliment, sincerely troubled that I cannot exactly be of your
Opinion, That it makes every thing pleasing to us. In short, I have
the Honour to be yoked to a young Lady, who is, in plain English, for
her Standing, a very eminent Scold. She began to break her Mind very
freely both to me and to her Servants about two Months after our
Nuptials; and tho' I have been accustomed to this Humour of hers this
three Years, yet, I do not know what's the Matter with me, but I am no
more delighted with it than I was at the very first. I have advised
with her Relations about her, and they all tell me that her Mother and
her Grandmother before her were both taken much after the same Manner;
so that since it runs in the Blood, I have but small Hopes of her
Recovery. I should be glad to have a little of your Advice in this
Matter: I would not willingly trouble you to contrive how it may be a
Pleasure to me; if you will but put me in a Way that I may bear it
with Indifference, I shall rest satisfied.

_Dear_ SPEC,

_Your very humble Servant_.

P. S. I must do the poor Girl the Justice to let you know, that this
Match was none of her own chusing, (or indeed of mine either;) in
Consideration of which I avoid giving her the least Provocation; and
indeed we live better together than usually Folks do who hated one
another when they were first joined: To evade the Sin against Parents,
or at least to extenuate it, my Dear rails at my Father and Mother,
and I curse hers for making the Match.


I like the Theme you lately gave out extremely, and should be as glad
to handle it as any Man living: But I find myself no better qualified
to write about Money, than about my Wife; for, to tell you a Secret
which I desire may go no further, I am Master of neither of those


Pill Garlick.

_Aug_. 8, 1712.


I desire you would print this in _Italick_, so as it may be generally
taken Notice of. It is designed only to admonish all Persons, who
speak either at the Bar, Pulpit, or any publick Assembly whatsoever,
how they discover their Ignorance in the Use of Similes. There are in
the Pulpit it self, as well as other Places, such gross Abuses in this
Kind, that I give this Warning to all I know, I shall bring them for
the Future before your Spectatorial Authority. On _Sunday_ last, one,
who shall be nameless, reproving several of his Congregation for
standing at Prayers, was pleased to say, _One would think_, like the
Elephant, _you had no Knees_. Now I my self saw an Elephant in
_Bartholomew-Fair_ kneel down to take on his Back the ingenious Mr.
_William Penkethman_.

_Your most humble Servant_.


* * * * *

No. 456. Wednesday, August 13, 1712. Steele.

'De quo libelli in celeberrimis locis proponuntur
Huic ne perire quidem tacite conceditur.'


OTWAY, in his Tragedy of _Venice Preserv'd_, has described the Misery of
a Man, whose Effects are in the Hands of the Law, with great Spirit. The
Bitterness of being the Scorn and Laughter of base Minds, the Anguish of
being insulted by Men hardened beyond the Sense of Shame or Pity, and
the Injury of a Man's Fortune being wasted, under Pretence of Justice,
are excellently aggravated in the following Speech of _Pierre_ to
_Faffeir:_ [1]

'I pass'd this very Moment by thy Doors,
And found them guarded by a Troop of Villains:
The Sons of publick Rapine were destroying.
They told me, by the Sentence of the Law,
They had Commission to seize all thy Fortune:
Nay more, _Priuli's_ cruel Hand had sign'd it.
Here stood a Ruffian with a horrid Face,
Lording it o'er a Pile of massy Plate,
Tumbled into a Heap for publick Sale.
There was another making villanous Jests
At thy Undoing: He had ta'en Possession
Of all thy ancient most domestick Ornaments:
Rich Hangings intermix'd and wrought with Gold;
The very Bed, which on thy Wedding Night
Received thee to the Arms of _Belvedira_,
The Scene of all thy Joys, was violated
By the coarse Hands of filthy Dungeon Villains,
And thrown amongst the common Lumber.'

Nothing indeed can be more unhappy than the Condition of Bankrupcy. The
Calamity which happens to us by ill Fortune, or by the Injury of others,
has in it some Consolation; but what arises from our own Misbehaviour or
Error, is the State of the most exquisite Sorrow. When a Man considers
not only an ample Fortune, but even the very Necessaries of Life, his
Pretence to Food it self at the Mercy of his Creditors, he cannot but
look upon himself in the State of the Dead, with his Case thus much
worse, that the last Office is performed by his Adversaries, instead of
his Friends. From this Hour the cruel World does not only take
Possession of his whole Fortune, but even of every thing else, which had
no Relation to it. All his indifferent Actions have new Interpretations
put upon them; and those whom he has favoured in his former Life,
discharge themselves of their Obligations to him, by joining in the
Reproaches of his Enemies. It is almost incredible that it should be so;
but it is too often seen that there is a Pride mixed with the Impatience
of the Creditor, and there are who would rather recover their own by the
Downfal of a prosperous Man, than be discharged to the common
Satisfaction of themselves and their Creditors. The wretched Man, who
was lately Master of Abundance, is now under the Direction of others;
and the Wisdom, Oeconomy, good Sense and Skill in human Life before, by
reason of his present Misfortune, are of no Use to him in the
Disposition of any thing. The Incapacity of an Infant or a Lunatick, is
designed for his Provision and Accommodation; but that of a Bankrupt,
without any Mitigation in respect of the Accidents by which it arrived,
is calculated for his utter Ruin, except there be a Remainder ample
enough after the Discharge of his Creditors to bear also the Expence of
rewarding those by whose Means the Effect of all his Labours was
transferred from him. This Man is to look on and see others giving
Directions upon what Terms and Conditions his Goods are to be purchased,
and all this usually done not with an Air of Trustees to dispose of his
Effects, but Destroyers to divide and tear them to Pieces.

There is something sacred in Misery to great and good Minds; for this
Reason all wise Lawgivers have been extremely tender how they let loose
even the Man who has Right on his Side, to act with any Mixture of
Resentment against the Defendant. Virtuous and modest Men, though they
be used with some Artifice, and have it in their Power to avenge
themselves, are slow in the Application of that Power, and are ever
constrained to go into rigorous Measures. They are careful to
demonstrate themselves not only Persons injured, but also that to bear
it longer, would be a Means to make the Offender injure others, before
they proceed. Such Men clap their Hands upon their Hearts, and consider
what it is to have at their Mercy the Life of a Citizen. Such would have
it to say to their own Souls, if possible, That they were merciful when
they could have destroyed, rather than when it was in their Power to
have spared a Man, they destroyed. This is a Due to the common Calamity
of Human Life, due in some measure to our very Enemies. They who scruple
doing the least Injury, are cautious of exacting the utmost Justice.

Let any one who is conversant in the Variety of Human Life reflect upon
it, and he will find the Man who wants Mercy has a Taste of no Enjoyment
of any Kind. There is a natural Disrelish of every thing which is good
in his very Nature, and he is born an Enemy to the World. He is ever
extremely partial to himself in all his Actions, and has no Sense of
Iniquity but from the Punishment which shall attend it. The Law of the
Land is his Gospel, and all his Cases of Conscience are determined by
his Attorney. Such Men know not what it is to gladden the Heart of a
miserable Man, that Riches are the Instruments of serving the Purposes
of Heaven or Hell, according to the Disposition of the Possessor. The
wealthy can torment or gratifie all who are in their Power, and chuse to
do one or other as they are affected with Love or Hatred to Mankind. As
for such who are insensible of the Concerns of others, but merely as
they affect themselves, these Men are to be valued only for their
Mortality, and as we hope better Things from their Heirs. I could not
but read with great Delight a Letter from an eminent Citizen, who has
failed, to one who was intimate with him in his better Fortune, and able
by his Countenance to retrieve his lost Condition.


It is in vain to multiply Words and make Apologies for what is never
to be defended by the best Advocate in the World, the Guilt of being
Unfortunate. All that a Man in my Condition can do or say, will be
received with Prejudice by the Generality of Mankind, but I hope not
with you: You have been a great Instrument in helping me to get what I
have lost, and I know (for that Reason, as well as Kindness to me) you
cannot but be in pain to see me undone. To shew you I am not a Man
incapable of bearing Calamity, I will, though a poor Man, lay aside
the Distinction between us, and talk with the Frankness we did when we
were nearer to an Equality: As all I do will be received with
Prejudice, all you do will be looked upon with Partiality. What I
desire of you, is, that you, who are courted by all, would smile upon
me who am shunned by all. Let that Grace and Favour which your Fortune
throws upon you, be turned to make up the Coldness and Indifference
that is used towards me. All good and generous Men will have an Eye of
Kindness for me for my own Sake, and the rest of the World will regard
me for yours. There is an happy Contagion in Riches, as well as a
destructive one in Poverty; the Rich can make rich without parting
with any of their Store, and the Conversation of the Poor makes Men
poor, though they borrow nothing of them. How this is to be accounted
for I know not? but Men's Estimation follows us according to the
Company we keep. If you are what you were to me, you can go a great
Way towards my Recovery; if you are not, my good Fortune, if ever it
returns, will return by slower Approaches.

I am SIR,
Your Affectionate Friend,
and Humble Servant.

This was answered with a Condescension that did not, by long impertinent
Professions of Kindness, insult his Distress, but was as follows.

_Dear Tom_,

I am very glad to hear that you have Heart enough to begin the World a
second Time. I assure you, I do not think your numerous Family at all
diminished (in the Gifts of Nature for which I have ever so much
admired them) by what has so lately happened to you. I shall not only
countenance your Affairs with my Appearance for you, but shall
accommodate you with a considerable Sum at common Interest for three
Years. You know I could make more of it; but I have so great a Love
for you that I can wave Opportunities of Gain to help you: For I do
not care whether they say of me after I am dead, that I had an hundred
or fifty thousand Pounds more than I wanted when I was living.

_Your obliged humble Servant_.


[Footnote 1: Act I., sc. 2.]

* * * * *

No. 457. Thursday, August 14, 1712. Addison.

'--Multa et praeclara minantis.'


I shall this Day lay before my Reader a Letter, written by the same Hand
with that of last Friday, which contained Proposals for a Printed
News-paper, that should take in the whole Circle of the Penny-Post.


The kind Reception you gave my last Friday's Letter, in which I
broached my Project of a News-Paper, encourages me to lay before you
two or three more; for, you must know, Sir, that we look upon you to
be the _Lowndes_ of the learned World, and cannot think any Scheme
practicable or rational before you have approved of it, tho' all the
Money we raise by it is on our own Funds, and for our private Use.

I have often thought that a _News-Letter of Whispers_, written every
Post, and sent about the Kingdom, after the same Manner as that of Mr.
_Dyer_, Mr. _Dawkes_, or any other Epistolary Historian, might be
highly gratifying to the Publick, as well as beneficial to the Author.
By Whispers I mean those Pieces of News which are communicated as
Secrets, and which bring a double Pleasure to the Hearer; first, as
they are private History, and in the next place as they have always in
them a Dash of Scandal. These are the two chief Qualifications in an
Article of News, [which [1]] recommend it, in a more than ordinary
Manner, to the Ears of the Curious. Sickness of Persons in high Posts,
Twilight Visits paid and received by Ministers of State, Clandestine
Courtships and Marriages, Secret Amours, Losses at Play, Applications
for Places, with their respective Successes or Repulses, are the
Materials in which I chiefly intend to deal. I have two Persons, that
are each of them the Representative of a Species, who are to furnish
me with those Whispers which I intend to convey to my Correspondents.
The first of these is _Peter Hush_, descended from the ancient Family
of the _Hushes_. The other is the old Lady _Blast_, who has a very
numerous Tribe of Daughters in the two great Cities of _London_ and
_Westminster_. _Peter Hush_ has a whispering Hole in most of the great
Coffee-houses about Town. If you are alone with him in a wide Room, he
carries you up into a Corner of it, and speaks in your Ear. I have
seen _Peter_ seat himself in a Company of seven or eight Persons, whom
he never saw before in his Life; and after having looked about to see
there was no one that overheard him, has communicated to them in a low
Voice, and under the Seal of Secrecy, the Death of a great Man in the
Country, who was perhaps a Fox-hunting the very Moment this Account
was [given [2]] of him. If upon your entring into a Coffee-house you
see a Circle of Heads bending over the Table, and lying close by one
another, it is ten to one but my Friend _Peter_ is among them. I have
known _Peter_ publishing the Whisper of the Day by eight a-Clock in
the Morning at _Garraway's_, by twelve at _Will's_, and before two at
the _Smyrna_. When _Peter_ has thus effectually launched a Secret, I
have been very well pleased to hear People whispering it to one
another at second Hand, and spreading it about as their own; for you
must know, Sir, the great Incentive to Whispering is the Ambition
which every one has of being thought in the Secret, and being look'd
upon as a Man who has Access to greater People than one would imagine.
After having given you this Account of _Peter Hush_, I proceed to that
virtuous Lady, the old Lady _Blast_, who is to communicate to me the
private Transactions of the Crimp Table, with all the _Arcana_ of the
Fair Sex. The Lady _Blast_, you must understand, has such a particular
Malignity in her Whisper, that it blights like an Easterly Wind, and
withers every Reputation that it breathes upon. She has a particular
Knack at making private Weddings, and last Winter married above five
Women of Quality to their Footmen. Her Whisper can make an innocent
young Woman big with Child, or fill an healthful young Fellow with
Distempers that are not to be named. She can turn a Visit into an
Intrigue, and a distant Salute into an Assignation. She can beggar the
Wealthy, and degrade the Noble. In short, she can whisper Men Base or
Foolish, Jealous or Ill-natured, or, if Occasion requires, can tell
you the Slips of their Great Grandmothers, and traduce the Memory of
honest Coachmen that have been in their Graves above these hundred
Years. By these and the like Helps, I question not but I shall furnish
out a very handsome News-Letter. If you approve my Project, I shall
begin to whisper by the very next Post, and question not but every one
of my Customers will be very well pleased with me, when he considers
that every Piece of News I send him is a Word in his Ear, and lets him
into a Secret.

Having given you a Sketch of this Project, I shall, in the next Place,
suggest to you another for a Monthly Pamphlet, which I shall likewise
submit to your Spectatorial Wisdom. I need not tell you, Sir, that
there are several Authors in _France_, _Germany_, and _Holland_, as
well as in our own Country, who publish every Month, what they call
_An Account of the Works of the Learned_, in which they give us an
Abstract of all such Books as are printed in any Part of _Europe_.
Now, Sir, it is my Design to publish every Month, _An Account of the
Works of the Unlearned_. Several late Productions of my own
Countrymen, who many of them make a very eminent Figure in the
Illiterate World, Encourage me in this Undertaking. I may, in this
Work, possibly make a Review of several Pieces which have appeared in
the Foreign _Accounts_ above-mentioned, tho' they ought not to have
been taken Notice of in Works which bear such a Title. I may,
likewise, take into Consideration, such Pieces as appear, from time to
time, under the Names of those Gentlemen who Compliment one another,
in Publick Assemblies, by the Title of the _Learned Gentlemen_. Our
Party-Authors will also afford me a great Variety of Subjects, not to
mention Editors, Commentators, and others, who are often Men of no
Learning, or, what is as bad, of no Knowledge. I shall not enlarge
upon this Hint; but if you think any thing can be made of it, I shall
set about it with all the Pains and Application that so useful a Work

_I am ever_,

_Most Worthy SIR_, &c.


[Footnote 1: [that]]

[Footnote 2: [giving]]

* * * * *

No. 458. Friday, August 15, 1712. Addison.

[Greek: 'Lidos ouk agathae--Hes.]

--Pudor malus--


I could not Smile at the Account that was Yesterday given me of a modest
young Gentleman, who being invited to an Entertainment, though he was
not used to drink, had not the Confidence to refuse his Glass in his
Turn, when on a sudden he grew so flustered that he took all the Talk of
the Table into his own Hands, abused every one of the Company, and flung
a Bottle at the Gentleman's Head who treated him. This has given me
Occasion to reflect upon the ill Effects of a vicious Modesty, and to
remember the Saying of _Brutus_, as it is quoted by _Plutarch_, that
_the Person has had but an ill Education, who has not been taught to
deny any thing_. This false kind of Modesty has, perhaps, betrayed both
Sexes into as many Vices as the most abandoned Impudence, and is the
more inexcusable to Reason, because it acts to gratify others rather
than it self, and is punished with a kind of Remorse, not only like
other vicious Habits when the Crime is over, but even at the very time
that it is committed.

Nothing is more amiable than true Modesty, and nothing is more
contemptible than the false. The one guards Virtue, the other betrays
it. True Modesty is ashamed to do any thing that is repugnant to the
Rules of right Reason: False Modesty is ashamed to do any thing that is
opposite to the Humour of the Company. True Modesty avoids every thing
that is criminal, false Modesty every thing that is unfashionable. The
latter is only a general undetermined Instinct; the former is that
Instinct, limited and circumscribed by the Rules of Prudence and

We may conclude that Modesty to be false and vicious, which engages a
Man to do any thing that is ill or indiscreet, or which restrains him
from doing any thing that is of a contrary Nature. How many Men, in the
common Concerns of Life, lend Sums of Money which they are not able to
spare, are bound for Persons whom they have but little Friendship for,
give Recommendatory Characters of Men whom they are not acquainted with,
bestow Places on those whom they do not esteem, live in such a Manner as
they themselves do not approve, and all this meerly because they have
not the Confidence to resist Solicitation, Importunity or Example?

Nor does this false Modesty expose us only to such Actions as are
indiscreet, but very often to such as are highly criminal. When
_Xenophanes_ [1] was called timorous, because he would not venture his
Money in a Game at Dice: _I confess_, said he, _that I am exceeding
timorous, for I dare not do any ill thing_. On the contrary, a Man of
vicious Modesty complies with every thing, and is only fearful of doing
what may look singular in the Company where he is engaged. He falls in
with the Torrent, and lets himself go to every Action or Discourse,
however unjustifiable in it self, so it be in Vogue among the present
Party. This, tho' one of the most common, is one of the most ridiculous
Dispositions in Human Nature, that Men should not be ashamed of speaking
or acting in a dissolute or irrational Manner, but that one who is in
their Company should be ashamed of governing himself by the Principles
of Reason and Virtue.

This little Appearance of a Religious Deportment in our Nation, may
proceed in some measure from that Modesty which is natural to us, but
the great occasion of it is certainly this. Those Swarms of Sectaries
that overran the Nation in the time of the great Rebellion, carried
their Hypocrisie so high, that they had converted our whole Language
into a Jargon of Enthusiasm; insomuch that upon the Restoration Men
thought they could not recede too far from the Behaviour and Practice of
those Persons, who had made Religion a Cloak to so many Villanies. This
led them into the other Extream, every Appearance of Devotion was looked
upon as Puritannical, and falling into the Hands of the Ridiculers who
flourished in that Reign, and attacked every thing that was Serious, it
has ever since been out of Countenance among us. By this means we are
gradually fallen into that Vicious Modesty which has in some measure
worn out from among us the Appearance of Christianity in Ordinary Life
and Conversation, and which distinguishes us from all [our Neighbours.

Hypocrisie cannot indeed be too much detested, but at the same time is
to be preferred to open Impiety. They are both equally destructive to
the Person who is possessed with them; but in regard to others,
Hypocrisie is not so pernicious as bare-faced Irreligion. The due Mean
to be observed is to be sincerely Virtuous, and at the same time to let
the World see we are so. I do not know a more dreadful Menace in the
Holy Writings, than that which is pronounced against those who have this
perverted Modesty, to be ashamed before Men in a Particular of such
unspeakable Importance.

C. [3]

[Footnote 1: Xenophon]

[Footnote 2: the Nations that lie about us.]

[Footnote 3: No letter affixed in the first issue.]

* * * * *

No. 459. Saturday, August 16, 1712. Addison.

'--quicquid dignum sapiente bonoque est.'


Religion may be considered under two General Heads. The first
comprehends what we are to believe, the other what we are to practise.
By those things which we are to believe, I mean whatever is revealed to
us in the Holy Writings, and which we could not have obtained the
Knowledge of by the Light of Nature; by the things which we are to
practise, I mean all those Duties to which we are directed by Reason or
Natural Religion. The first of these I shall distinguish by the Name of
Faith, the Second by that of Morality.

If we look into the more Serious Part of Mankind, we find many who lay
so great a Stress upon Faith, that they neglect Morality; and many who
build so much upon Morality, that they do not pay a due Regard to Faith.
The perfect Man should be defective in neither of these Particulars, as
will be very evident to those who consider the Benefits which arise from
each of them, and which I shall make the Subject of this Day's Paper.

Notwithstanding this general Division of Christian Duty into Morality
and Faith, and that they have both their peculiar Excellencies, the
first has the Pre-eminence in several Respects.

_First_, Because the greatest Part of Morality (as I have stated
the Notion of it,) is of a fixt Eternal Nature, and will
endure when Faith shall fail, and be lost in Conviction.

_Secondly_, Because a Person may be qualified to do greater Good to
Mankind, and become more beneficial to the World, by
Morality, without Faith, than by Faith without Morality.

_Thirdly_, Because Morality gives a greater Perfection to human
Nature, by quieting the Mind, moderating the Passions, and
advancing the Happiness of every Man in his private

_Fourthly_, Because the Rule of Morality is much more certain than
that of Faith, all the Civilized Nations of the World
agreeing in the great Points of Morality, as much as they
differ in those of Faith.

_Fifthly_, Because Infidelity is not of so malignant a Nature as
Immorality; or to put the same Reason in another Light,
because it is generally owned, there may be Salvation for
a virtuous Infidel, (particularly in the Case of
Invincible Ignorance) but none for a vicious Believer.

_Sixthly_, Because Faith seems to draw its principal, if not all its
Excellency, from the Influence it has upon Morality; as we
shall see more at large, if we consider wherein consists
the Excellency of Faith, or the Belief of Revealed
Religion; and this I think is,

_First_, In explaining and carrying to greater Heights, several
Points of Morality.

_Secondly_, In furnishing new and stronger Motives to enforce the
Practice of Morality.

_Thirdly_, In giving us more amiable Ideas of the Supreme Being,
more endearing Notions of one another, and a truer State
of our selves, both in regard to the Grandeur and
Vileness of our Natures.

_Fourthly_, By shewing us the Blackness and Deformity of Vice, which
in the Christian System is so very great, that he who is
possessed of all Perfection and the Sovereign Judge of
it, is represented by several of our Divines as hating
Sin to the same Degree that he loves the Sacred Person
who was made the Propitiation of it.

_Fifthly_, In being the ordinary and prescribed Method of making
Morality effectual to Salvation.

I have only touched on these several Heads, which every one who is
conversant in Discourses of this Nature will easily enlarge upon in his
own Thoughts, and draw Conclusions from them which may be useful to him
in the Conduct of his Life. One I am sure is so obvious, that he cannot
miss it, namely that a Man cannot be perfect in his Scheme of Morality,
who does not strengthen and support it with that of the Christian Faith.

Besides this, I shall lay down two or three other Maxims which I think
we may deduce from what has been said.

_First_, That we should be particularly cautious of making any
thing an Article of Faith, which does not contribute to
the Confirmation or Improvement of Morality.

_Secondly_, That no Article of Faith can be true and authentick, which
weakens or subverts the practical part of Religion, or
what I have hitherto called Morality.

_Thirdly,_ That the greatest Friend of Morality, or Natural Religion,
cannot possibly apprehend any Danger from embracing Christianity, as
it is preserved pure and uncorrupt in the Doctrines of our National

There is likewise another Maxim which I think may be drawn from the
foregoing Considerations, which is this, that we should, in all dubious
Points, consider any ill Consequences that may arise from them,
supposing they should be Erroneous, before we give up our Assent to

For example, In that disputable Point of Prosecuting Men for Conscience
Sake, besides the imbittering their Minds with Hatred, Indignation, and
all the Vehemence of Resentment, and ensnaring them to profess what they
do not believe; we cut them off from the Pleasures and Advantages of
Society, afflict their Bodies, distress their Fortunes, hurt their
Reputations, ruin their Families, make their Lives painful, or put an
End to them. Sure when I see such dreadful Consequences rising from a
Principle, I would be as fully convinced of the Truth of it, as of a
Mathematical Demonstration, before I would venture to act upon it, or
make it a part of my Religion.

In this Case the Injury done our Neighbour is plain and evident, the
Principle that puts us upon doing it, of a dubious and disputable
Nature. Morality seems highly violated by the one, and whether or no a
Zeal for what a Man thinks the true System of Faith may justifie it, is
very uncertain. I cannot but think, if our Religion produce Charity as
well as Zeal, it will not be for shewing it self by such cruel
Instances. But, to conclude with the Words of an excellent Author, [1]
_We have just enough Religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us
love, one another._


[Footnote 1: Probably Tillotson. The thought is expanded in part of his
sermon on the Example of Jesus in doing good. It appears in another form
in his sermon for the 5th of November, 1678, where he applies to our
religious hatreds the saying that 'the richest and noblest wines make
the sharpest vinegar;' again in another form in his sermon at the
Yorkshire Feast.]

* * * * *

No. 460. Monday, August 18, 1712. [Parnell [1]]

'--Decipimur Specie Recti--'


Our defects and Follies are too often unknown to us; nay, they are so
far from being known to us, that they pass for Demonstrations of our
Worth. This makes us easy in the midst of them, fond to shew them, fond
to improve in them, and to be esteemed for them. Then it is that a
thousand unaccountable Conceits, gay Inventions, and extravagant Actions
must afford us Pleasures, and display us to others in the Colours which
we ourselves take a Fancy to glory in: And indeed there is something so
amusing for the time in this State of Vanity and ill-grounded
Satisfaction, that even the wiser World has chosen an exalted Word to
describe its Enchantments, and called it the _Paradise of Fools_.

Perhaps the latter part of this Reflection may seem a false Thought to
some, and bear another Turn than what I have given: but it is at present
none of my Business to look after it, who am going to confess that I
have been lately amongst them in a Vision.

Methought I was transported to a Hill, green, flowery, and of an easie
Ascent. Upon the broad Top of it resided squinteyed _Error_, and popular
_Opinion_ with many Heads; two that dealt in Sorcery, and were famous
for bewitching People with the Love of themselves. To these repaired a
Multitude from every Side, by two different Paths which lead towards
each of them. Some who had the most assuming Air, went directly of
themselves to _Errour_, without expecting a Conductor; others of a
softer Nature went first to popular _Opinion_, from whence as she
influenced and engaged them with their own Praises, she delivered them
over to his Government.

When we had ascended to an open Part of the Summit where _Opinion_
abode, we found her entertaining several who had arrived before us. Her
Voice was pleasing; she breathed Odours as she spoke: She seemed to have
a Tongue for every one; every one thought he heard of something that was
valuable in himself, and expected a Paradise, which she promised as the
Reward of his Merit. Thus were we drawn to follow her, till she should
bring us where it was to be bestowed: And it was observable, that all
the Way we went, the Company was either praising themselves for their
Qualifications, or one another for those Qualifications which they took
to be conspicuous in their own Characters, or dispraising others for
wanting theirs, or vying in the Degrees of them.

At last we approached a Bower, at the Entrance of which _Errour_ was
seated. The Trees were thick-woven, and the Place where he sat artfully
contrived to darken him a little. He was disguised in a whitish Robe,
which he had put on, that he might appear to us with a nearer
Resemblance to _Truth:_ And as she has a Light whereby she manifests the
Beauties of Nature to the Eyes of her Adorers, so he had provided
himself with a magical Wand, that he might do something in Imitation of
it, and please with Delusions. This he lifted solemnly, and muttering to
himself, bid the Glories which he kept under Enchantment to appear
before us. Immediately we cast our Eyes on that part of the Sky to which
he pointed, and observed a thin blue Prospect, which cleared as
Mountains in a Summer Morning when the Mists go off, and the Palace of
_Vanity_ appeared to Sight.

The Foundation hardly seemed a Foundation, but a Set of curling Clouds,
which it stood upon by magical Contrivance. The Way by which we ascended
was painted like a Rainbow; and as we went the Breeze that played about
us bewitched the Senses. The Walls were gilded all for Show; the lowest
Set of Pillars were of the slight fine _Corinthian_ Order, and the Top
of the Building being rounded, bore so far the Resemblance of a Bubble.

At the Gate the Travellers neither met with a Porter, nor waited till
one should appear; every one thought his Merits a sufficient Passport,
and pressed forward. In the Hall we met with several Phantoms, that
rov'd amongst us, and rang'd the Company according to their Sentiments.
There was decreasing _Honour_, that had nothing to shew in but an old
Coat of his Ancestors Atchievements: There was _Ostentation_, that made
himself his own constant Subject, and _Gallantry_ strutting upon his
Tiptoes. At the upper End of the Hall stood a Throne, whose Canopy
glitter'd with all the Riches that Gayety could contrive to lavish on
it; and between the gilded Arms sat _Vanity_, deck'd in the Peacock's
Feathers, and acknowledged for another _Venus_ by her Votaries. The Boy
who stood beside her for a _Cupid_, and who made the World to bow before
her, was called _Self-Conceit_. His Eyes had every now and then a Cast
inwards to the Neglect of all Objects about him; and the Arms which he
made use of for Conquest, were borrowed from those against whom he had a
Design. The Arrow which he shot at the Soldier, was fledged from his own
Plume of Feathers; the Dart he directed against the Man of Wit, was
winged from the Quills he writ with; and that which he sent against
those who presumed upon their Riches, was headed with Gold out of their
Treasuries: He made Nets for Statesmen from their own Contrivances; he
took Fire from the Eyes of Ladies, with which he melted their Hearts;
and Lightning from the Tongues of the Eloquent, to enflame them with
their own Glories. At the Foot of the Throne sat three false Graces.
_Flattery_ with a Shell of Paint, _Affectation_ with a Mirrour to
practise at, and _Fashion_ ever changing the Posture of her Cloaths.
These applied themselves to secure the Conquests which _Self-Conceit_
had gotten, and had each of them their particular Polities. _Flattery_
gave new Colours and Complections to all Things. _Affectation_ new Airs
and Appearances, which, as she said, were not vulgar, and _Fashion_ both
concealed some home Defects, and added some foreign external Beauties.

As I was reflecting upon what I saw, I heard a Voice in the Crowd,
bemoaning the Condition of Mankind, which is thus managed by the Breath
of _Opinion_, deluded by _Errour_, fired by _Self-Conceit_, and given up
to be trained in all the Courses of _Vanity_, till _Scorn_ or _Poverty_
come upon us. These Expressions were no sooner handed about, but I
immediately saw a general Disorder, till at last there was a Parting in
one Place, and a grave old Man, decent and resolute, was led forward to
be punished for the Words he had uttered. He appeared inclined to have
spoken in his own Defence, but I could not observe that any one was
willing to hear him. _Vanity_ cast a scornful Smile at him;
_Self-Conceit_ was angry; _Flattery_, who knew him for _Plain-dealing_,
put on a Vizard, and turned away; _Affectation_ tossed her Fan, made
Mouths, and called him _Envy_ or _Slander_; and _Fashion_ would have it,
that at least he must be _Ill-Manners_. Thus slighted and despised by
all, he was driven out for abusing People of Merit and Figure; and I
heard it firmly resolved, that he should be used no better wherever they
met with him hereafter.

I had already seen the Meaning of most part of that Warning which he had
given, and was considering how the latter Words should be fulfilled,
when a mighty Noise was heard without, and the Door was blackned by a
numerous Train of Harpies crowding in upon us. _Folly_ and _Broken
Credit_ were seen in the House before they entered. _Trouble, Shame,
Infamy, Scorn_ and _Poverty_ brought up the Rear. _Vanity_, with her
_Cupid_ and _Graces_, disappeared; her Subjects ran into Holes and
Corners; but many of them were found and carried off (as I was told by
one who stood near me) either to Prisons or Cellars, Solitude, or little
Company, the meaner Arts or the viler Crafts of Life. But these, added
he with a disdainful Air, are such who would fondly live here, when
their Merits neither matched the Lustre of the Place, nor their Riches
its Expences. We have seen such Scenes as these before now; the Glory
you saw will all return when the Hurry is over. I thanked him for his
Information, and believing him so incorrigible as that he would stay
till it was his Turn to be taken, I made off to the Door, and overtook
some few, who, though they would not hearken to _Plain-dealing_, were
now terrified to good purpose by the Example of others: But when they
had touched the Threshold, it was a strange Shock to them to find that
the Delusion of _Errour_ was gone, and they plainly discerned the
Building to hang a little up in the Air without any real Foundation. At
first we saw nothing but a desperate Leap remained for us, and I a
thousand times blamed my unmeaning Curiosity that had brought me into so
much Danger. But as they began to sink lower in their own Minds,
methought the Palace sunk along with us, till they were arrived at the
due Point of _Esteem_ which they ought to have for themselves; then the
Part of the Building in which they stood touched the Earth, and we
departing out, it retired from our Eyes. Now, whether they who stayed in
the Palace were sensible of this Descent, I cannot tell; it was then my
Opinion that they were not. However it be, my Dream broke up at it, and
has given me Occasion all my Life to reflect upon the fatal Consequences
of following the Suggestions of _Vanity_.


'I write to you to desire, that you would again touch upon a certain
Enormity, which is chiefly in Use among the Politer and better-bred
Part of Mankind; I mean the Ceremonies, Bows, Courtsies, Whisperings,
Smiles, Winks, Nods, with other familiar Arts of Salutation, which
take up in our Churches so much Time, that might be better employed,
and which seem so utterly inconsistent with the Duty and true Intent
of our entering into those Religious Assemblies. The Resemblance which
this bears to our indeed proper Behaviour in Theatres, may be some
Instance of its Incongruity in the above-mentioned Places. In _Roman_
Catholick Churches and Chappels abroad, I my self have observed, more
than once, Persons of the first Quality, of the nearest Relation, and
intimatest Acquaintance passing by one another unknowing as it were
and unknown, and with so little Notices of each other, that it looked
like having their Minds more suitably and more solemnly engaged; at
least it was an Acknowledgment that they ought to have been so. I have
been told the same even of the _Mahometans_, with relation to the
Propriety of their Demeanour in the Conventions of their erroneous
Worship: And I cannot but think either of them sufficient and laudable
Patterns for our Imitation in this Particular.

'I cannot help upon this Occasion remarking on the excellent Memories
of those Devotionists, who upon returning from Church shall give a
particular Account how two or three hundred People were dressed; a
Thing, by reason of its Variety, so difficult to be digested and fixed
in the Head, that 'tis a Miracle to me how two poor Hours of Divine
Service can be Time sufficient for so elaborate an undertaking, the
Duty of the Place too being jointly and, no doubt, oft pathetically
performed along with it. Where it is said in Sacred Wit, that _the
Woman ought to have a Covering on her Head, because of the Angels_ [2]
that last Word is by some thought to be metaphorically used, and to
signify young Men. Allowing this Interpretation to be right, the Text
may not appear to be wholly foreign to our present Purpose.

'When you are in a Disposition proper for writing on such a Subject, I
earnestly recommend this to you, and am,


_Your very humble Servant._


[Footnote 1: Thomas Parnell, the writer of this allegory, was the son of
a commonwealthsman, who at the Restoration ceased to live on his
hereditary lands at Congleton, in Cheshire, and bought an estate in
Ireland. Born in 1679, at Dublin, where he became M.A. of Trinity
College, in 1700 he was ordained after taking his degree, and in 1705
became Archdeacon of Clogher. At the same time he took a wife, who died
in 1711. Parnell had been an associate of the chief Whig writers, had
taste as a poet, and found pleasure in writing for the papers of the
time. When the Whigs went out of power in Queen Anne's reign, Parnell
connected himself with the Tories. On the warm recommendation of Swift,
he obtained a prebend in 1713, and in May, 1716, a vicarage in the
diocese of Dublin, worth L400 a year. He died in July, 1717, aged 38.
Inheriting his father's estates in Cheshire and Ireland, Pamell was not
in need. Wanting vigour and passion, he was neither formidable nor
bitter as a political opponent, and in 1712 his old friends, Steele and
Addison, were glad of a paper from him; though, with Swift, he had gone
over to the other side in politics.]

[Footnote 2: I Corinthians xi. 10.]

* * * * *

No. 461. Tuesday, August 19, 1712. Steele

'--Non Ego credulus illis--'


For want of Time to substitute something else in the Room of them, I am
at present obliged to publish Compliments above my Desert in the
following Letters. It is no small Satisfaction, to have given Occasion
to ingenious Men to employ their Thoughts upon sacred Subjects, from the
Approbation of such Pieces of Poetry as they have seen in my
_Saturday's_ Papers. I shall never publish Verse on that Day but what is
written by the same Hand; yet shall I not accompany those Writings with
_Eulogiums,_ but leave them to speak for themselves.

_For the_ SPECTATOR.


'You very much promote the Interests of Virtue, while you reform the
Taste of a Prophane Age, and persuade us to be entertained with Divine
Poems, while we are distinguished by so many thousand Humours, and
split into so many different Sects and Parties; yet Persons of every
Party, Sect, and Humour are fond of conforming their Taste to yours.
You can transfuse your own Relish of a Poem into all your Readers,
according to their Capacity to receive; and when you recommend the
pious Passion that reigns in the Verse, we seem to feel the Devotion,
and grow proud and pleas'd inwardly, that we have Souls capable of
relishing what the SPECTATOR approves.

'Upon reading the Hymns that you have published in some late Papers, I
had a Mind to try Yesterday whether I could write one. The 114th
_Psalm_ appears to me an admirable Ode, and I began to turn it into
our Language. As I was describing the Journey of _Israel_ from
_Egypt_, and added the Divine Presence amongst them, I perceived a
Beauty in the _Psalm_ which was entirely new to me, and which I was
going to lose; and that is, that the Poet utterly conceals the
Presence of God in the Beginning of it, and rather lets a Possessive
Pronoun go without a Substantive, than he will so much as mention any
thing of Divinity there. _Judah was his Sanctuary, and_ Israel _his
Dominion or Kingdom_. The Reason now seems evident, and this Conduct
necessary: For if God had appeared before, there could be no wonder
why the Mountains should leap and the Sea retire; therefore that this
Convulsion of Nature may be brought in with due Surprise, his Name is
not mentioned till afterward, and then with a very agreeable Turn of
Thought God is introduced at once in all his Majesty. This is what I
have attempted to imitate in a Translation without Paraphrase, and to
preserve what I could of the Spirit of the sacred Author.

'If the following Essay be not too incorrigible, bestow upon it a few
Brightnings from your Genius, that I may learn how to write better, or
to write no more.

_Your daily Admirer, and humble Servant_, [1] &c.


I. When Israel, freed from Pharaoh's Hand,
Left the proud Tyrant and his Land,
The Tribes with chearful Homage own
Their King, and Judah was his Throne.

II. Across the Deep their Journey lay,
The Deep divides to make them Way;
The Streams of Jordan saw, and fed
With backward Current to their Head.

III. The Mountains shook like frighted Sheep,
Like Lambs the little Hillocks leap;
Not Sinai on her Base could stand,
Conscious of Sovereign Power at hand.

IV. What Power could make the Deep divide?
Make Jordan backward roll his Tide?
Why did ye leap, ye little Hills?
And whence the Fright that Sinai feels?

V. Let every Mountain, every Flood
Retire, and know th' approaching God,
The King of Israel: See him here;
Tremble thou Earth, adore and fear.

VI. He thunders, and all Nature mourns:
The Rock to standing Pools he turns;
Flints spring with Fountains at his Word,
And Fires and Seas confess their Lord.


There are those who take the Advantage of your putting an Half-penny
Value upon your self above the rest of our daily Writers, to defame
you in publick Conversation, and strive to make you unpopular upon the
Account of this said Half-penny. But if I were you, I would insist
upon that small Acknowledgment for the superior Merit of yours, as
being a Work of Invention. Give me Leave therefore to do you Justice,
and say in your Behalf what you cannot your self, which is, That your
Writings have made Learning a more necessary Part of good Breeding
than it was before you appeared: That Modesty is become fashionable,
and Impudence stands in need of some Wit, since you have put them both
in their proper Lights. Prophaneness, Lewdness, and Debauchery are not
now Qualifications, and a Man may be a very fine Gentleman, tho' he is
neither a Keeper nor an Infidel.

I would have you tell the Town the Story of the _Sybills_, if they
deny giving you Two-Pence. Let them know, that those sacred Papers
were valued at the same Rate after two Thirds of them were destroyed,
as when there was the whole Set. There are so many of us who will give
you your own Price, that you may acquaint your Non-Conformist Readers,
That they shall not have it, except they come in within such a Day,
under Three-pence. I don't know, but you might bring in the _Date
Obolum Belisario_ with a good Grace. The Witlings come in Clusters to
two or three Coffee-houses which have left you off, and I hope you
will make us, who fine to your Wit, merry with their Characters who
stand out against it.

_I am your most humble Servant._

_P. S._ I have lately got the ingenious Authors of Blacking for Shoes,
Powder for colouring the Hair, Pomatum for the Hands, Cosmetick for
the Face, to be your constant Customers; so that your Advertisements
will as much adorn the outward Man, as your Paper does the inward. [2]


[Footnote 1: This letter and the version of the 114th Psalm are by Dr
Isaac Watts, who was at this time 38 years old, broken down by an attack
of illness, and taking rest and change with his friend Sir Thomas Abney,
at Theobalds. Isaac Watts, the son of a Nonconformist schoolmaster at
Southampton, had injured his health by excessive study. After acting for
a time as tutor to the son of Sir John Hartupp, he preached his first
sermon in 1698, and three years later became pastor of the Nonconformist
congregation in Mark Lane. By this office he abided, and with Sir Thomas
Abney also he abided; his visit to Theobalds, in 1712, being, on all
sides, so agreeable that he stayed there for the remaining 36 years of
his life. There he wrote his Divine and Moral Songs for children, his
Hymns, and his metrical version of the Psalms. But his _Horae Lyricae_,
published in 1709, had already attracted much attention when he
contributed this Psalm to the _Spectator_. In the Preface to that
collection of 'Poems chiefly of the Lyric kind, in Three Books, sacred,
I. to Devotion and Piety. II. To Virtue, Honour, and Friendship. III. To
the Memory of the Dead,' he had argued that Poesy, whose original is
divine, had been desecrated to the vilest purpose, enticed unthinking
youth to sin, and fallen into discredit among some weaker Christians.
'They submit indeed to use it in divine psalmody, but they love the
driest translation of the Psalms best.' Watts bade them look into their
Bibles and observe the boldness of its poetic imagery, rejected the
dictum of Boileau, that

De la foy d'un Chretien les mysteres terribles
D'ornemens egayez ne sont point susceptibles;

and pointed to the way he had chosen for himself as a Biblical rhymer.
Poesy, he reminds his readers, is, as his title indicates, not the
business of his life.

'And if I seized those hours of leisure, wherein my soul was in a more
sprightly frame, to entertain them or myself with a divine or moral
song, I hope I shall find an easy pardon.'

Watts died in 1748, aged 74.]

[Footnote 2: Written in jest, but 'The Famous Spanish Blacking for
Gentlemen's Shoes,' and 'The famous Bavarian Red Liquor which gives such
a delightful blushing colour to the cheeks,' had long been advertised in
the _Spectator_.]

* * * * *

No 462. Wednesday, August 20, 1712. Steele.

'Nil ego praetulerem Jucundo sanus amico.'


People are not aware of the very great Force which Pleasantry in Company
has upon all those with whom a Man of that Talent converses. His Faults
are generally overlooked by all his Acquaintance, and a certain
Carelessness that constantly attends all his Actions, carries him on
with greater Success, than Diligence and Assiduity does others who have
no Share of this Endowment. _Dacinthus_ breaks his Word upon all
Occasions both trivial and important; and when he is sufficiently railed
at for that abominable Quality, they who talk of him end with, _After
all he is a very pleasant Fellow. Dacinthus_ is an ill-natured Husband,
and yet the very Women end their Freedom of Discourse upon this Subject,
_But after all he is very pleasant Company._ _Dacinthus_ is neither in
point of Honour, Civility, good Breeding, or good Nature
unexceptionable, and yet all is answered, _For he is a very pleasant
Fellow._ When this Quality is conspicuous in a Man who has, to accompany
it, manly and virtuous Sentiments, there cannot certainly be any thing
which can give so pleasing Gratification as the Gaiety of such a Person;
but when it is alone, and serves only to gild a Crowd of ill Qualities,
there is no Man so much to be avoided as your pleasant Fellow. A very
pleasant Fellow shall turn your good Name to a Jest, make your Character
contemptible, debauch your Wife or Daughter, and yet be received by the
rest of the World with Welcome where-ever he appears. It is very
ordinary with those of this Character to be attentive only to their own
Satisfactions, and have very little Bowels for the Concerns or Sorrows
of other Men; nay, they are capable of purchasing their own Pleasures at
the Expence of giving Pain to others. But they who do not consider this
sort of Men thus carefully, are irresistibly exposed to his
Insinuations. The Author of the following Letter carries the Matter so
high, as to intimate that the Liberties of _England_ have been at the
Mercy of a Prince merely as he was of this pleasant Character.

_Mr._ Spectator,

'There is no one Passion which all Mankind so naturally give into as
Pride, nor any other Passion which appears in such different
Disguises: It is to be found in all Habits and all Complexions. Is it
not a Question, whether it does more Harm or Good in the World? And if
there be not such a Thing as what we may call a virtuous and laudable

'It is this Passion alone, when misapplyed, that lays us so open to
Flatterers; and he who can agreeably condescend to sooth our Humour or
Temper, finds always an open Avenue to our Soul; especially if the
Flatterer happen to be our Superior.

'One might give many Instances of this in a late _English_ Monarch,
under the Title of, _The Gayeties of King_ Charles II. This Prince was
by Nature extreamly familiar, of very easie Access, and much delighted
to see and be seen; and this happy Temper, which in the highest Degree
gratified his Peoples Vanity, did him more Service with his loving
Subjects than all his other Virtues, tho' it must be confessed he had
many. He delighted, tho' a mighty King, to give and take a Jest, as
they say; and a Prince of this fortunate Disposition, who were
inclined to make an ill Use of his Power, may have any thing of his
People, be it never so much to their Prejudice. But this good King
made generally a very innocent Use, as to the Publick, of this
ensnaring Temper; for, 'tis well known, he pursued Pleasure more than
Ambition: He seemed to glory in being the first Man at Cock-matches,
Horse-races, Balls, and Plays; he appeared highly delighted on those
Occasions, and never failed to warm and gladden the Heart of every
Spectator. He more than once dined with his good Citizens of _London_
on their Lord-Mayor's Day, and did so the Year that Sir _Robert Viner_
was Mayor. Sir _Robert_ was a very loyal Man, and, if you will allow
the Expression, very fond of his Sovereign; but what with the Joy he
felt at Heart for the Honour done him by his Prince, and thro' the
Warmth he was in with continual toasting Healths to the Royal Family,
his Lordship grew a little fond of his Majesty, and entered into a
Familiarity not altogether so graceful in so publick a Place. The King
understood very well how to extricate himself on all kinds of
Difficulties, and with an Hint to the Company to avoid Ceremony, stole
off and made towards his Coach, which stood ready for him in
_Guild-Hall_ Yard: But the Mayor liked his Company so well, and was
grown so intimate, that he pursued him hastily, and catching him fast
by the Hand, cryed out with a vehement Oath and Accent, _Sir, You
shall stay and take t'other Bottle_. The airy Monarch looked kindly at
him over his Shoulder, and with a Smile and graceful Air, (for I saw
him at the Time, and do now) repeated this Line of the old Song;

'He that's drunk is as great as a King.'

and immediately [turned [1]] back and complied with his Landlord.

I give you this Story, Mr. SPECTATOR, because, as I said, I saw the
Passage; and I assure you it's very true, and yet no common one; and
when I tell you the Sequel, you will say I have yet a better Reason
for't. This very Mayor afterwards erected a Statue of his merry
Monarch in _Stocks-Market_, [2] and did the Crown many and great
Services; and it was owing to this Humour of the King, that his Family
had so great a Fortune shut up in the Exchequer of their pleasant
Sovereign. The many good-natured Condescensions of this Prince are
vulgarly known: and it is excellently said of him by a great Hand
which writ his Character, _That he was not a King a Quarter of an Hour
together in his whole Reign_. [3] He would receive Visits even from
Fools and half Mad-men, and at Times I have met with People who have
Boxed, fought at Back-sword, and taken Poison before King _Charles_
II. In a Word, he was so pleasant a Man, that no one could be
sorrowful under his Government. This made him capable of baffling,
with the greatest Ease imaginable, all Suggestions of Jealousie, and
the People could not entertain Notions of any thing terrible in him,
whom they saw every way agreeable. This Scrap of the familiar Part of
that Prince's History I thought fit to send you, in compliance to the
Request you lately made to your Correspondents.

I am, SIR,
Your most humble Servant.


[Footnote 1: return'd]

[Footnote 2: Stocks-market, upon the site of which the Mansion House was
built in 1738, received its name from a pair of stocks erected near it
as early as the year 1281. Sir Robert Viner here erected, in 1675, his
white marble statue of Charles II., that he bought a bargain at Leghorn.
It was a statue of John Sobieski trampling on a Turk, which had been
left on the sculptor's hands, but his worship the Mayor caused a few
alterations to be made for the conversion of Sobieski into Charles, and
the Turk (still with a turban on his head) into Oliver Cromwell. After
the building of the Mansion House this statue lay as lumber in an inn
yard till, in 1779, the Corporation gave it to a descendant of the
Mayor, who had the reason above given for reverencing Charles II.]

[Footnote 3: Sheffield, Duke of Buckingham.]

* * * * *

No. 463. Thursday, August 21, 1712. Addison.

'Omnia quae sensu volvuntur vota diurno
Pectore sopito reddit amica quies.
Venator defessa toro cum membra reponit
Mens tamen ad sylvas et sua lustra redit.
Judicibus lites, aurigis somnia currus,
Vanaque nocturnis meta cavetur equis.
Me quoque Musarum studium sub nocte silenti
Artibus assuetis sollicitare solet.'


I was lately entertaining my self with comparing _Homer's_ Ballance, in
which _Jupiter_ is represented as weighing the Fates of _Hector_ and
_Achilles_, with a Passage of _Virgil_, wherein that Deity is introduced
as weighing the Fates of _Turnus_ and _AEneas_. I then considered how the
same way of thinking prevailed in the Eastern Parts of the World, as in
those noble Passages of Scripture, wherein we are told, that the great
King of _Babylon_ the Day before his Death, had been weighed in the
Ballance, and been found wanting. In other Places of the Holy Writings,
the Almighty is described as weighing the Mountains in Scales, making
the Weight for the Winds, knowing the Ballancings of the Clouds, and in
others, as weighing the Actions of Men, and laying their Calamities
together in a Ballance. _Milton_, as I have observed in a former Paper,
had an Eye to several of these foregoing Instances, in that beautiful
Description [1] wherein he represents the Arch-Angel and the Evil Spirit
as addressing themselves for the Combat, but parted by the Ballance
which appeared in the Heavens and weighed the Consequences of such a

'Th' Eternal to prevent such horrid fray
Hung forth in Heav'n his golden Scales, yet seen
Betwixt Astrea and the Scorpion Sign,
Wherein all things created first he weigh'd,
The pendulous round Earth with ballanc'd Air
In counterpoise, now ponders all events,
Battels and Realms; in these he puts two weights
The sequel each of parting and of fight,
The latter quick up flew, and kickt the Beam:
Which _Gabriel_ spying, thus bespake the _Fiend_.

_Satan_, I know thy Strength, and thou know'st mine,
Neither our own, but giv'n; what folly then
To boast what Arms can do, since thine no more
Than Heav'n permits; nor mine, though doubled now
To trample thee as mire: For proof look up,
And read thy Lot in yon celestial Sign
Where thou art weigh'd, and shewn how light, how weak,
If thou resist. The Fiend look'd up, and knew
His mounted Scale aloft; nor more, but fled
Murm'ring, and with him fled the Shades of Night.'

These several amusing Thoughts having taken Possession of my Mind some
time before I went to sleep, and mingling themselves with my ordinary
Ideas, raised in my Imagination a very odd kind of Vision. I was,
methought, replaced in my Study, and seated in my Elbow Chair, where I
had indulged the foregoing Speculations, with my Lamp burning by me, as
usual. Whilst I was here meditating on several Subjects of Morality, and
considering the Nature of many Virtues and Vices, as Materials for those
Discourses with which I daily entertain the Publick; I saw, methought, a
Pair of Golden Scales hanging by a Chain of the same Metal over the
Table that stood before me; when on a sudden, there were great Heaps of
Weights thrown down on each side of them. I found upon examining these
Weights, they shewed the Value of every thing that is in Esteem among
Men. I made an Essay of them, by putting the Weight of Wisdom in one
Scale, and that of Riches in another, upon which the latter, to shew its
comparative Lightness, immediately _flew up and kickt the Beam_.

But, before I proceed, I must inform my Reader, that these Weights did
not exert their Natural Gravity, 'till they were laid in the Golden
Ballance, insomuch that I could not guess which was light or heavy,
whilst I held them in my Hand. This I found by several Instances; for
upon my laying a Weight in one of the Scales, which was inscribed by the
Word _Eternity_; tho' I threw in that of Time, Prosperity, Affliction,
Wealth, Poverty, Interest, Success, with many other Weights, which in my
Hand seemed very ponderous, they were not able to stir the opposite
Ballance, nor could they have prevailed, though assisted with the Weight
of the Sun, the Stars, and the Earth.

Upon emptying the Scales, I laid several Titles and Honours, with Pomps,
Triumphs, and many Weights of the like Nature, in one of them, and
seeing a little glittering Weight lie by me, I threw it accidentally
into the other Scale, when, to my great Surprize, it proved so exact a
Counterpoise, that it kept the Ballance in an Equilibrium. This little
glittering Weight was inscribed upon the Edges of it with the Word
_Vanity_. I found there were several other Weights which were equally
Heavy, and exact Counterpoises to one another; a few of them I tried, as
Avarice and Poverty, Riches and Content, with some others.

There were likewise several Weights that were of the same Figure, and
seemed to Correspond with each other, but were entirely different when

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