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

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thrown into the Scales; as Religion and Hypocrisie, Pedantry and
Learning, Wit and Vivacity, Superstition and Devotion, Gravity and
Wisdom, with many others.

I observed one particular Weight lettered on both sides, and upon
applying my self to the Reading of it, I found on one side written, _In
the Dialect of Men_, and underneath it, _CALAMITIES_; on the other side
was written, _In the Language of the Gods_, and underneath, _BLESSINGS_.
I found the Intrinsick value of this Weight to be much greater than I
imagined, for it overpowered Health, Wealth, Good Fortune, and many
other Weights, which were much more ponderous in my Hand than the other.

There is a Saying among the _Scotch_, that an Ounce of Mother is worth a
Pound of Clergy; I was sensible of the Truth of this Saying, when I saw
the Difference between the Weight of Natural Parts, and that of
Learning. The Observation which I made upon these two Weights opened to
me a new Field of Discoveries, for notwithstanding the Weight of Natural
Parts was much heavier than that of Learning; I observed that it weighed
an hundred times heavier than it did before, when I put Learning into
the same Scale with it. I made the same Observation upon Faith and
Morality, for notwithstanding the latter out-weighed the former
separately, it received a thousand times more additional Weight from its
Conjunction with the former, than what it had by it self. This odd
Phaenomenon shewed it self, in other Particulars, as in Wit and Judgment,
Philosophy and Religion, Justice and Humanity, Zeal and Charity, Depth
of Sense and Perspicuity of Style, with innumerable other Particulars
too long to be mentioned in this Paper.

As a Dream seldom fails of dashing Seriousness with Impertinence, Mirth
with Gravity, methought I made several other Experiments of a more
ludicrous Nature, by one of which I found that an _English_ Octavo was
very often heavier than a _French_ Folio; and by another, that an old
_Greek_ or _Latin_ Author weighed down a whole Library of Moderns.
Seeing one of my _Spectators_ lying by me, I laid it into one of the
Scales, and flung a two-penny Piece into the other. The Reader will not
enquire into the Event, if he remembers the first Tryal which I have
recorded in this Paper. I afterwards threw both the Sexes into the
Ballance; but as it is not for my Interest to disoblige either of them,
I shall desire to be excused from telling the Result of this Experiment.
Having an Opportunity of this Nature in my Hands, I could not forbear
throwing into one Scale the Principles of a Tory, and into the other
those of a Whig; but as I have all along declared this to be a Neutral
Paper, I shall likewise desire to be silent under this Head also, though
upon examining one of the Weights, I saw the Word _TEKEL_ Engraven on it
in Capital Letters.

I made many other Experiments, and though I have not Room for them all
in this Day's Speculation, I may perhaps reserve them for another. I
shall only add, that upon my awaking I was sorry to find my Golden
Scales vanished, but resolved for the future to learn this Lesson from
them, not to despise or value any Things for their Appearances, but to
regulate my Esteem and Passions towards them according to their real and
intrinsick Value.


[Footnote 1: Paradise Lost, end of Book IV.]

* * * * *

No. 464. Friday, August 22, 1712. Addison.

'Auream quisquis mediocritatem
Diligit, tutus caret obsoleti
Sordibus tecti, caret invidenda
Sobrius aula.'


I am wonderfully pleased when I meet with any Passage in an old _Greek_
or _Latin_ Author, that is not blown upon, and which I have never met
with in a Quotation. Of this kind is a beautiful Saying in _Theognis_;
_Vice is covered by Wealth, and Virtue by Poverty_; or to give it in the
Verbal Translation, _Among Men there are some who have their Vices
concealed by Wealth, and others who have their Virtues concealed by
Poverty._ Every Man's Observation will supply him with Instances of Rich
Men, who have several Faults and Defects that are overlooked, if not
entirely hidden, by means of their Riches; and, I think, we cannot find
a more Natural Description of a Poor Man, whose Merits are lost in his
Poverty, than that in the Words of the Wise Man. _There was a little
City, and a few Men within it; and there came a great King against it,
and besieged it, and built great Bulwarks against it: Now there was
found in it a poor Wise Man, and he, by his Wisdom, delivered the City;
yet no Man remembered that same poor Man. Then said I, Wisdom is better
than Strength; nevertheless, the poor Man's Wisdom is despised, and his
Words are not heard._[1]

The middle Condition seems to be the most advantageously situated for
the gaining of Wisdom. Poverty turns our Thoughts too much upon the
supplying of our Wants, and Riches upon enjoying our Superfluities; and,
as _Cowley_ has said in another Case, _It is hard for a Man to keep a
steady Eye upon Truth, who is always in a Battel or a Triumph._

If we regard Poverty and Wealth, as they are apt to produce Virtues or
Vices in the Mind of Man, one may observe, that there is a Set of each
of these growing out of Poverty, quite different from that which rises
out of Wealth. Humility and Patience, Industry and Temperance, are very
often the good Qualities of a poor Man. Humanity and Good-nature,
Magnanimity, and a Sense of Honour, are as often the Qualifications of
the Rich. On the contrary, Poverty is apt to betray a Man into Envy,
Riches into Arrogance. Poverty is too often attended with Fraud, vicious
Compliance, Repining, Murmur and Discontent; Riches expose a Man to
Pride and Luxury, a foolish Elation of Heart, and too great a Fondness
for the present World. In short, the middle Condition is most eligible
to the Man who would improve himself in Virtue; as I have before shewn,
it is the most advantageous for the gaining of Knowledge. It was upon
this Consideration that _Agur_ founded his Prayer, which for the Wisdom
of it is recorded in Holy Writ. _Two things have I required of thee,
deny me them not before I die. Remove far from me Vanity and Lies; give
me neither Poverty, nor Riches; feed me with Food convenient for me.
Lest I be full and deny thee, and say, who is the Lord? or lest I be
poor and steal, and take the name of my God in vain._ [2]

I shall fill the remaining Part of my Paper with a very pretty Allegory,
which is wrought into a Play [3] by _Aristophanes_ the _Greek_ Comedian.
It seems originally designed as a Satyr upon the Rich, though, in some
Parts of it, 'tis like the foregoing Discourse, a kind of Comparison
between Wealth and Poverty.

_Chremylus_, who was an old and a good Man, and withal exceeding Poor,
being desirous to leave some Riches to his Son, consults the Oracle of
_Apollo_ upon the Subject. The Oracle bids him follow the first Man he
should see upon his going out of the Temple. The Person he chanced to
see was to Appearance an old sordid blind Man, but upon his following
him from Place to Place, he at last found by his own Confession, that he
was _Plutus_ the God of Riches, and that he was just come out of the
House of a Miser. _Plutus_ further told him, that when he was a Boy, he
used to declare, that as soon as he came to Age he would distribute
Wealth to none but virtuous and just Men; upon which _Jupiter_,
considering the pernicious Consequences of such a Resolution, took his
Sight away from him, and left him to strole about the World in the Blind
Condition wherein _Chremylus_ beheld him. With much ado _Chremylus_
prevailed upon him to go to his House, where he met an old Woman in a
tattered Raiment, who had been his Guest for many Years, and whose Name
was _Poverty_. The old Woman refusing to turn out so easily as he would
have her, he threatned to banish her not only from his own House, but
out of all _Greece_, if she made any more Words upon the Matter.
_Poverty_ on this Occasion pleads her Cause very notably, and represents
to her old Landlord, that should she be driven out of the Country, all
their Trades, Arts and Sciences would be driven out with her; and that
if every one was Rich, they would never be supplied with those Pomps,
Ornaments and Conveniences of Life which made Riches desirable. She
likewise represented to him the several Advantages which she bestowed
upon her Votaries, in regard to their Shape, their Health, and their
Activity, by preserving them from Gouts, Dropsies, Unweildiness, and
Intemperance. But whatever she had to say for her self, she was at last
forced to troop off. _Chremylus_ immediately considered how he might
restore _Plutus_ to his Sight; and in order to it conveyed him to the
Temple of _AEsculapius_, who was famous for Cures and Miracles of this
Nature. By this means the Deity recovered his Eyes, and begun to make a
right use of them, by enriching every one that [was [4]] distinguished
by Piety towards the Gods, and Justice towards [Men [5]] and at the same
time by taking away his Gifts from the Impious and Undeserving. This
produces several merry Incidents, till in the last Act _Mercury_
descends with great Complaints from the Gods, that since the Good Men
were grown Rich they had received no Sacrifices, which is confirmed by a
Priest of _Jupiter_, who enters with a Remonstrance, that since this
late Innovation he was reduced to a starving Condition, and could not
live upon his Office. _Chremylus_, who in the beginning of the Play was
Religious in his Poverty, concludes it with a Proposal which was
relished by all the Good Men who were now grown rich as well as himself,
that they should carry _Plutus_ in a Solemn Procession to the Temple,
and Install him in the Place of _Jupiter_. This Allegory instructed the
_Athenians_ in two Points, first, as it vindicated the Conduct of
Providence in its ordinary Distributions of Wealth; and in the next
Place, as it shewed the great Tendency of Riches to corrupt the Morals
of those who possessed them.


[Footnote 1: Eccl. ix. 14-16.]

[Footnote 2: Proverbs xxx. 7-9.]

[Footnote 3: The Plutus.]

[Footnote 4: [were]]

[Footnote 5: [Man]]

* * * * *

No. 465. Saturday, August 23, 1712. Addison.

'Qua ratione queas traducere leniter aevum:
Ne te semper inops agitet vexetque cupido;
Ne pavor et rerum mediocriter utilium Spes.'


Having endeavoured in my last _Saturday's_ Paper to shew the great
Excellency of Faith, I here consider what are proper Means of
strengthning and confirming it in the Mind of Man. Those who delight in
reading Books of Controversie, which are written on both sides of the
Question in Points of Faith, do very seldom arrive at a fixed and
settled Habit of it. They are one Day entirely convinced of its
important Truths, and the next meet with something that shakes and
disturbs them. The Doubt [which [1]] was laid revives again, and shews
it self in new Difficulties, and that generally for this Reason, because
the Mind which is perpetually tost in Controversies and Disputes, is apt
to forget the Reasons which had once set it at rest, and to be
disquieted with any former Perplexity, when it appears in a new Shape,
or is started by a different Hand. As nothing is more laudable than an
Enquiry after Truth, so nothing is more irrational than to pass away our
whole Lives, without determining our selves one way or other in those
Points which are of the last Importance to us. There are indeed many
things from which we may with-hold our Assent; but in Cases by which we
are to regulate our Lives, it is the greatest Absurdity to be wavering
and unsettled, without closing with that Side which appears the most
safe and [the] most probable. The first Rule therefore which I shall lay
down is this, that when by Reading or Discourse we find our selves
thoroughly convinced of the Truth of any Article, and of the
Reasonableness of our Belief in it, we should never after suffer our
selves to call it into question. We may perhaps forget the Arguments
which occasioned our Conviction, but we ought to remember the Strength
they had with us, and therefore still to retain the Conviction which
they once produced. This is no more than what we do in every common Art
or Science, nor is it possible to act otherwise, considering the
Weakness and Limitation of our Intellectual Faculties. It was thus, that
_Latimer_, one of the glorious Army of Martyrs who introduced the
Reformation in _England_, behaved himself in that great Conference which
was managed between the most learned among the Protestants and Papists
in the Reign of Queen _Mary_. This venerable old Man knowing how his
Abilities were impaired by Age, and that it was impossible for him to
recollect all those Reasons which had directed him in the Choice of his
Religion, left his Companions who were in the full Possession of their
Parts and Learning, to baffle and confound their Antagonists by the
Force of Reason. As for himself he only repeated to his Adversaries the
Articles in which he firmly believed, and in the Profession of which he
was determined to die. It is in this manner that the Mathematician
proceeds upon the Propositions which he has once demonstrated; and
though the Demonstration may have slipt out of his Memory, he builds
upon the Truth, because he knows it was demonstrated. This Rule is
absolutely necessary for weaker Minds, and in some measure for Men of
the greatest Abilities; but to these last I would propose, in the second
place, that they should lay up in their Memories, and always keep by
them in a readiness, those Arguments which appear to them of the
greatest Strength, and which cannot be got over by all the Doubts and
Cavils of Infidelity.

But, in the third place, there is nothing which strengthens Faith more
than Morality. Faith and Morality naturally produce each other. A Man is
quickly convinced of the Truth of Religion, who finds it is not against
his Interest that it should be true. The Pleasure he receives at
Present, and the Happiness which he promises himself from it hereafter,
will both dispose him very powerfully to give Credit to it, according to
the ordinary Observation that _we are easie to believe what we wish_. It
is very certain, that a Man of sound Reason cannot forbear closing with
Religion upon an impartial Examination of it; but at the same time it is
as certain, that Faith is kept alive in us, and gathers Strength from
Practice more than from Speculation.

There is still another Method which is more Persuasive than any of the
former, and that is an habitual Adoration of the Supreme Being, as well
in constant Acts of mental Worship, as in outward Forms. The devout Man
does not only believe but feels there is a Deity. He has actual
Sensations of Him; his Experience concurs with his Reason; he sees him
more and more in all his Intercourses with him, and even in this Life
almost loses his Faith in Conviction.

The last Method which I shall mention for the giving Life to a Man's
Faith, is frequent Retirement from the World, accompanied with religious
Meditation. When a Man thinks of any thing in the Darkness of the Night,
whatever deep Impressions it may make in his Mind, they are apt to
vanish as soon as the Day breaks about him. The Light and Noise of the
Day, which are perpetually soliciting his Senses, and calling off his
Attention, wear out of his Mind the Thoughts that imprinted themselves
in it, with so much Strength, during the Silence and Darkness of the
Night. A Man finds the same Difference as to himself in a Crowd and in a
Solitude: the Mind is stunned and dazzled amidst that Variety of Objects
which press upon her in a great City: She cannot apply herself to the
Consideration of these Things which are of the utmost Concern to her.
The Cares or Pleasures of the World strike in with every Thought, and a
Multitude of vicious Examples [give [2]] a kind of Justification [to
[3]] our Folly. In our Retirements every thing disposes us to be
serious. In Courts and Cities we are entertained with the Works of Men;
in the Country with those of God. One is the Province of Art, the other
of Nature. Faith and Devotion naturally grow in the Mind of every
reasonable Man, who sees the Impressions of Divine Power and Wisdom in
every Object on which he casts his Eye. The Supream Being has made the
best Arguments for his own Existence, in the Formation of the Heavens
and the Earth, and these are Arguments which a Man of Sense cannot
forbear attending to, who is out of the Noise and Hurry of Human
Affairs. _Aristotle_ says, that should a Man live under Ground, and
there converse with Works of Art and Mechanism, and should afterwards be
brought up into the open Day, and see the several Glories of the Heaven
and Earth, he would immediately pronounce them the Works of such a Being
as we define God to be. The Psalmist has very beautiful Strokes of
Poetry to this Purpose, in that exalted Strain, _The Heavens declare the
Glory of God: And the Firmament showeth his handy-work. One Day telleth
another: And one Night certifieth another. There is neither Speech nor
Language: But their Voices are heard among them. Their Sound is gone out
into all Lands: And their Words into the Ends of the World._ [4] As such
a bold and sublime manner of Thinking furnishes very noble Matter for an
Ode, the Reader may see it wrought into the following one. [5]

I. The Spacious Firmament on high
With all the blue Etherial Sky,
And spangled Heav'ns, a Shining Frame,
Their great Original proclaim:
Th' unwearied Sun, from Day to Day,
Does his Creator's Pow'r display,
And publishes to every Land
The Work of an Almighty Hand.

II. Soon as the Evening Shades prevail,
The Moon takes up the wondrous Tale,
And nightly to the listning Earth
Repeats the Story of her Birth:
Whilst all the Stars that round her burn,
And all the Planets in their turn,
Confirm the Tidings as they rowl,
And spread the Truth from Pole to Pole.

III. What though, in solemn Silence, all
Move round the dark terrestrial Ball?
What tho' nor real Voice nor Sound
Amid their radiant Orbs be found?
In Reason's Ear they all rejoice,
And utter forth a glorious Voice,
For ever singing, as they shine,
'The Hand that made us is Divine?'


[Footnote 1: [that]]

[Footnote 2: [give us]]

[Footnote 3: [in]]

[Footnote 4: Psalm xix. 1-3.]

[Footnote 5: By Addison.]

* * * * *

No. 466. Monday, August 25, 1712. Steele.

'--Vera incessu patuit Dea.'


When _AEneas_, the Hero of _Virgil_, is lost in the Wood, and a perfect
Stranger in the Place on which he is landed, he is accosted by a Lady in
an Habit for the Chase. She enquires of him, Whether he has seen pass by
that Way any young Woman dressed as she was? Whether she were following
the Sport in the Wood, or any other Way employed, according to the
Custom of Huntresses? The Hero answers with the Respect due to the
beautiful Appearance she made, tells her, He saw no such Person as she
enquired for: but intimates, that he knows her to be of the Deities, and
desires she would conduct a Stranger. Her Form from her first Appearance
manifested she was more than mortal; but tho' she was certainly a
Goddess, the Poet does not make her known to be the Goddess of _Beauty_
till she moved: All the Charms of an agreeable Person are then in their
highest Exertion, every Limb and Feature appears with its respective
Grace. It is from this Observation, that I cannot help being so
passionate an Admirer as I am of good Dancing. [1] As all Art is an
Imitation of Nature, this is an Imitation of Nature in its highest
Excellence, and at a Time when she is most agreeable. The Business of
Dancing is to display Beauty, and for that Reason all Distortions and
Mimickries, as such, are what raise Aversion instead of Pleasure: But
Things that are in themselves excellent, are ever attended with
Imposture and false Imitation. Thus, as in Poetry there are laborious
Fools who write Anagrams and Acrosticks, there are Pretenders in
Dancing, who think meerly to do what others cannot, is to excel. Such
Creatures should be rewarded like him who had acquired a Knack of
throwing a Grain of Corn through the Eye of a Needle, with a Bushel to
keep his Hand in Use. The [Dancers [2]] on our Stages are very faulty in
this Kind; and what they mean by writhing themselves into such Postures,
as it would be a Pain for any of the Spectators to stand in, and yet
hope to please those Spectators, is unintelligible. Mr. _Prince_ has a
Genius, if he were encouraged, would prompt them to better things. In
all the Dances he invents, you see he keeps close to the Characters he
represents. He does not hope to please by making his Performers move in
a manner in which no one else ever did, but by Motions proper to the
Characters he represents. He gives to Clowns and Lubbards clumsie
Graces, that is, he makes them Practise what they would think Graces:
And I have seen Dances of his, which might give Hints that would be
useful to a Comick Writer. These Performances have pleas'd the Taste of
such as have not Reflection enough to know their Excellence, because
they are in Nature; and the distorted Motions of others have offended
those who could not form Reasons to themselves for their Displeasure,
from their being a Contradiction to Nature.

When one considers the inexpressible Advantage there is in arriving at
some Excellence in this Art, it is monstrous to behold it so much
neglected. The following Letter has in it something very natural on this


I am a Widower with but one Daughter; she was by Nature much inclined
to be a Romp, and I had no way of educating her, but commanding a
young Woman, whom I entertained to take Care of her, to be very
watchful in her Care and Attendance about her. I am a Man of Business,
and obliged to be much abroad. The Neighbours have told me, that in my
Absence our Maid has let in the Spruce Servants in the Neighbourhood
to Junketings, while my Girl play'd and romped even in the Street. To
tell you the plain Truth, I catched her once, at eleven Years old, at
Chuck-Farthing among the Boys. This put me upon new Thoughts about my
Child, and I determined to place her at a Boarding-School, and at the
same Time gave a very discreet young Gentlewoman her Maintenance at
the same Place and Rate, to be her Companion. I took little Notice of
my Girl from Time to Time, but saw her now and then in good Health,
out of Harm's way, and was satisfied. But by much Importunity I was
lately prevailed with to go to one of their Balls. I cannot express to
you the anxiety my silly Heart was in, when I saw my Romp, now
fifteen, taken out: I never felt the pangs of a Father upon me so
strongly in my whole Life before; and I could not have suffered more,
had my whole Fortune been at Stake. My Girl came on with the most
becoming Modesty I had ever seen, and casting a respectful Eye, as if
she feared me more than all the Audience, I gave a Nod, which, I
think, gave her all the Spirit she assumed upon it, but she rose
properly to that Dignity of Aspect. My Romp, now the most graceful
Person of her Sex, assumed a Majesty which commanded the highest
Respect; and when she turned to me, and saw my Face in Rapture, she
fell into the prettiest Smile, and I saw in all her Motion that she
exulted in her Father's Satisfaction. You, Mr. SPECTATOR, will, better
than I can tell you, imagine to yourself all the different Beauties
and Changes of Aspect in an accomplished young Woman, setting forth
all her Beauties with a Design to please no one so much as her Father.
My Girl's Lover can never know half the Satisfaction that I did in her
that Day. I could not possibly have imagined, that so great
Improvement could have been wrought by an Art that I always held in it
self ridiculous and contemptible. There is, I am convinced, no Method
like this, to give young Women a Sense of their own Value and Dignity;
and I am sure there can be none so expeditious to communicate that
Value to others. As for the flippant insipidly Gay and wantonly
Forward, whom you behold among Dancers, that Carriage is more to be
attributed to the perverse Genius of the Performers, than imputed to
the Art it self. For my Part, my Child has danced her self into my
Esteem, and I have as great an Honour for her as ever I had for her
Mother, from whom she derived those latent good Qualities which
appeared in her Countenance when she was dancing; for my Girl, tho' I
say it my self, shewed in one Quarter of an Hour the innate Principles
of a modest Virgin, a tender Wife, a generous Friend, a kind Mother,
and an indulgent Mistress. I'll strain hard but I will purchase for
her an Husband suitable to her Merit. I am your Convert in the
Admiration of what I thought you jested when you recommended; and if
you please to be at my House on _Thursday_ next, I make a Ball for my
Daughter, and you shall see her Dance, or, if you will do her that
Honour, dance with her. _I am, SIR,

Your most humble Servant_,


I have some time ago spoken of a Treatise written by Mr. _Weaver_ on
this Subject, which is now, I understand, ready to be published. This
Work sets this Matter in a very plain and advantageous Light; and I am
convinced from it, that if the Art was under proper Regulations, it
would be a mechanick way of implanting insensibly in Minds, not capable
of receiving it so well by any other Rules, a Sense of good Breeding and

Were any one to see _Mariamne_ Dance, let him be never so sensual a
Brute, I defie him to entertain any Thoughts but of the highest Respect
and Esteem towards her. I was shewed last Week a Picture in a Lady's
Closet, for which she had an hundred different Dresses, that she could
clap on round the Face, on purpose to demonstrate the force of Habits in
the diversity of the same Countenance. Motion, and change of Posture and
Aspect, has an Effect no less surprising on the Person of _Mariamne_
when she Dances.

_Chloe_ is extremely pretty, and as silly as she is pretty. This Ideot
has a very good Ear, and a most agreeable Shape; but the Folly of the
Thing is such, that it Smiles so impertinently, and affects to please so
sillily, that while she Dances you see the Simpleton from Head to Foot.
For you must know (as Trivial as this Art is thought to be) no one ever
was a good Dancer, that had not a good Understanding. If this be a
Truth, I shall leave the Reader to judge from that Maxim, what Esteem
they ought to have for such Impertinents as fly, hop, caper, tumble,
twirl, turn round, and jump over their Heads, and, in a Word, play a
thousand Pranks which many Animals can do better than a Man, instead of
performing to Perfection what the human Figure only is capable of

It may perhaps appear odd, that I, who set up for a mighty Lover, at
least, of Virtue, should take so much Pains to recommend what the
soberer Part of Mankind look upon to be a Trifle; but under Favour of
the soberer Part of Mankind, I think they have not enough considered
this Matter, and for that Reason only disesteem it. I must also, in my
own Justification, say that I attempt to bring into the Service of
Honour and Virtue every Thing in Nature that can pretend to give elegant
Delight. It may possibly be proved, that Vice is in it self destructive
of Pleasure, and Virtue in it self conducive to it. If the Delights of a
free Fortune were under proper Regulations, this Truth would not want
much Argument to support it; but it would be obvious to every Man, that
there is a strict Affinity between all Things that are truly laudable
and beautiful, from the highest Sentiment of the Soul, to the most
indifferent Gesture of the Body.


[Footnote 1: See Nos. 66, 67, 334, 370, 376.]

[Footnote 2: [Dancing]]

* * * * *

No. 467. Tuesday, August 26, 1712. John Hughes?

'Quodcunque meae poterunt Audere Camaenae
Seu Tibi par poterunt, seu, quod spes abnuit ultra;
Sive minus; certeque canent minus; omne vovemus
Hoc tibi; ne tanto careat mihi nomine Charta.'

Tibull. ad Messalam.

The Love of Praise is a Passion deeply fixed in the Mind of every
extraordinary Person, and those who are most affected with it, seem most
to partake of that Particle of the Divinity which distinguishes Mankind
from the Inferior Creation. The Supreme Being it self is most pleased
with Praise and Thanksgiving; the other Part of our Duty is but an
Acknowledgment of our Faults, whilst this is the immediate Adoration of
his Perfections. 'Twas an excellent Observation, That we then only
despise Commendation when we cease to deserve it: and we have still
extant two Orations of _Tully_ and _Pliny_, spoken to the greatest and
best Princes of all the _Roman_ Emperors, [1] who, no doubt, heard with
the greatest Satisfaction, what even the most disinterested Persons, and
at so large a Distance of Time, cannot read without Admiration. _Caesar_
thought his Life consisted in the Breath of Praise, when he professed he
had lived long enough for himself when he had for his Glory; others have
sacrificed themselves for a Name which was not to begin till they were
dead, giving away themselves to purchase a Sound which was not to
commence till they were out of hearing: But by Merit and superior
Excellencies not only to gain, but, whilst living, to enjoy a great and
universal Reputation, is the last Degree of Happiness which we can hope
for here. Bad Characters are dispersed abroad with Profusion, I hope for
example Sake, and (as Punishments are designed by the Civil Power) more
for the deterring the Innocent, than the chastising the Guilty. The Good
are less frequent, whether it be that there are indeed fewer Originals
of this Kind to copy after, or that, thro' the Malignity of our Nature,
we rather delight in the Ridicule than the Virtues we find in others.
However, it is but just, as well as pleasing, even for Variety,
sometimes to give the World a Representation of the bright Side of
humane Nature, as well as the dark and gloomy: The Desire of Imitation
may, perhaps, be a greater Incentive to the Practice of what is good,
than the Aversion we may conceive at what is blameable; the one
immediately directs you what you should do, whilst the other only shews
you what you should avoid: And I cannot at present do this with more
Satisfaction, than by endeavouring to do some Justice to the Character
of _Manilius_. [2]

It would far exceed my present Design, to give a particular Description
of _Manilius_ thro' all the Parts of his excellent Life: I shall now
only draw him in his Retirement, and pass over in Silence the various
Arts, the courtly Manners, and the undesigning Honesty by which he
attained the Honours he has enjoyed, and which now give a Dignity and
Veneration to the Ease he does enjoy. Tis here that he looks back with
Pleasure on the Waves and Billows thro' which he has steered to so fair
an Haven; he is now intent upon the Practice of every Virtue, which a
great Knowledge and Use of Mankind has discovered to be the most useful
to them. Thus in his private domestick Employments he is no less
glorious than in his publick; for 'tis in Reality a more difficult Task
to be conspicuous in a sedentary inactive Life, than in one that is
spent in Hurry and Business; Persons engaged in the latter, like Bodies
violently agitated, from the Swiftness of their Motion have a Brightness
added to them, which often vanishes when they are at Rest; but if it
then still remain, it must be the Seeds of intrinsick Worth that thus
shine out without any foreign Aid or Assistance.

His Liberality in another might almost bear the Name of Profusion; he
seems to think it laudable even in the Excess, like that River which
most enriches when it overflows: But _Manilius_ has too perfect a Taste
of the Pleasure of doing good, ever to let it be out of his Power; and
for that Reason he will have a just Oeconomy, and a splendid Frugality
at home, the Fountain from whence those Streams should flow which he
disperses abroad. He looks with Disdain on those who propose their Death
as the Time when they are to begin their Munificence; he will both see
and enjoy (which he then does in the highest Degree) what he bestows
himself; he will be the living Executor of his own Bounty, whilst they
who have the Happiness to be within his Care and Patronage at once, pray
for the Continuation of his Life, and their own good Fortune. No one is
out of the reach of his Obligations; he knows how, by proper and
becoming Methods, to raise himself to a Level with those of the highest
Rank; and his good Nature is a sufficient Warrant against the Want of
those who are so unhappy as to be in the very lowest. One may say of
him, as _Pindar_ bids his Muse say of _Theron_: [3]

'Swear, that _Theron_ sure has sworn,
No one near him should be Poor.
Swear, that none e'er had such a graceful Art,
Fortune's Free-Gifts as freely to impart,
With an unenvious Hand, and an unbounded Heart.'

Never did _Atticus_ succeed better in gaining the universal Love and
Esteem of all Men; nor steer with more Success betwixt the Extreams of
two contending Parties. 'Tis his peculiar Happiness, that while he
espouses neither with an intemperate Zeal, he is not only admired, but,
what is a more rare and unusual Felicity, he is beloved and caressed by
both and I never yet saw any Person of whatsoever Age or Sex, but was
immediately struck with the Merit of _Manilius_. There are many who are
acceptable to some particular Persons, whilst the rest of Mankind look
upon them with Coldness and Indifference but he is the first whose
entire good Fortune it is ever to please and to be pleased, where-ever
he comes to be admired, and where-ever he is absent to be lamented. His
Merit fares like the Pictures of _Raphael_, which are either seen with
Admiration by all, or at least no one dare own he has no Taste for a
Composition which has received so universal an Applause. Envy and Malice
find it against their Interest to indulge Slander and Obloquy. 'Tis as
hard for an Enemy to detract from as for a Friend to add to his Praise.
An Attempt upon his Reputation is a sure lessening of one's own; and
there is but one Way to injure him, which is to refuse him his just
Commendations, and be obstinately silent.

It is below him to catch the Sight with any Care of Dress; his outward
Garb is but the Emblem of his Mind, it is genteel, plain, and
unaffected; he knows that Gold and Embroidery can add nothing to the
Opinion which all have of his Merit, and that he gives a Lustre to the
plainest Dress, whilst 'tis impossible the richest should communicate
any to him. He is still the principal Figure in the Room: He first
engages your Eye, as if there were some Point of Light which shone
stronger upon him than on any other Person.

He puts me in mind of a Story of the famous _Bussy d'Amboise_, [4] who
at an Assembly at Court, where every one appeared with the utmost
Magnificence, relying upon his own superior Behaviour, instead of
adorning himself like the rest, put on that Day a plain Suit of Cloaths,
and dressed all his Servants in the most costly gay Habits he could
procure: The Event was, that the Eyes of the whole Court were fixed upon
him, all the rest looked like his Attendants, whilst he alone had the
Air of a Person of Quality and Distinction.

Like _Aristippus_, whatever Shape or Condition he appears in, it still
sits free and easie upon him; but in some Part of his Character, 'tis
true, he differs from him; for as he is altogether equal to the
Largeness of his present Circumstances, the Rectitude of his Judgment
has so far corrected the Inclinations of his Ambition, that he will not
trouble himself with either the Desires or Pursuits of any thing beyond
his present Enjoyments.

A thousand obliging Things flow from him upon every Occasion, and they
are always so just and natural, that it is impossible to think he was at
the least Pains to look for them. One would think it were the Daemon of
good Thoughts that discovered to him those Treasures, which he must have
blinded others from seeing, they lay so directly in their Way. Nothing
can equal the Pleasure is taken in hearing him speak, but the
Satisfaction one receives in the Civility and Attention he pays to the
Discourse of others. His Looks are a silent Commendation of what is good
and praise-worthy, and a secret Reproof to what is licentious and
extravagant. He knows how to appear free and open without Danger of
Intrusion, and to be cautious without seeming reserved. The Gravity of
his Conversation is always enlivened with his Wit and Humour, and the
Gaiety of it is tempered with something that is instructive, as well as
barely agreeable. Thus with him you are sure not to be merry at the
Expence of your Reason, nor serious with the Loss of your good Humour;
but, by a happy mixture in his Temper, they either go together, or
perpetually succeed each other. In fine, his whole Behaviour is equally
distant from Constraint and Negligence, and he commands your Respect,
whilst he gains your Heart.

There is in his whole Carriage such an engaging Softness, that one
cannot persuade one's self he is ever actuated by those rougher
Passions, which, where-ever they find Place, seldom fail of shewing
themselves in the outward Demeanour of the Persons they belong to: But
his Constitution is a just Temperature between Indolence on one hand and
Violence on the other. He is mild and gentle, where-ever his Affairs
will give him Leave to follow his own Inclinations; but yet never
failing to exert himself with Vigour and Resolution in the Service of
his Prince, his Country, or his Friend.


[Footnote 1: Julius Caesar and Trajan. Cicero most flattered Caesar in the
speech _pro Marcello_, but the memorable speech of his before Caesar was
that for Ligarius, who had borne arms against the new master of Rome in
the African campaign. Caesar had said,

'Why might we not as well once more hear a speech from Cicero? There
is no doubt that Ligarius is a bad man and an enemy.'

Yet the effect of the speech was that Caesar was stirred with emotion,
changed colour, and at reference to the battle of Pharsalia,

'he was,' says Plutarch, 'so affected that his body trembled, and some
of the papers he held dropped from his hands, and thus he was
overpowered, and acquitted Ligarius.'

Of Pliny the younger there remains a fulsome Panegyric upon Trajan.]

[Footnote 2: Lord Cowper?]

[Footnote 3: Second Olympic Ode.]

[Footnote 4: Bussy d'Amboise had become famous in England through a
tragedy by George Chapman, often presented in the time of James I., and
revived after the Restoration. In 1691 Chapman's play was produced with
some changes by Thomas D'Urfey. The man himself killed a relation in the
massacre of St. Bartholomew, to get a title, and was trapped and killed
by the Comte de Montsoreau, whose wife he went to seduce.]

* * * * *

No. 468. Wednesday, August 27, 1712. Steele.

'Erat Homo ingeniosus, acutus, acer, et qui plurimum et salis haberet
et fellis, nec candoris minus.'

Plin. Epist.

My Paper is in a kind a Letter of News, but it regards rather what
passes in the World of Conversation than that of Business. I am very
sorry that I have at present a Circumstance before me, which is of very
great Importance to all who have a Relish for Gayety, Wit, Mirth, or
Humour; I mean the Death of poor _Dick Eastcourt_. [1] I have been
oblig'd to him for so many Hours of Jollity, that it is but a small
Recompence, tho' all I can give him, to pass a Moment or two in Sadness
for the Loss of so agreeable a Man. Poor _Eastcourt!_ the last Time I
saw him we were plotting to shew the Town his great Capacity for acting
in its full Light, by introducing him as dictating to a Set of young
Players, in what manner to speak this Sentence, and utter t'other
Passion--He had so exquisite a Discerning of what was defective in any
Object before him, that in an Instant he could shew you the ridiculous
Side of what would pass for beautiful and just, even to Men of no ill
Judgment, before he had pointed at the Failure. He was no less skilful
in the Knowledge of Beauty; and, I dare say, there is no one who knew
him well, but can repeat more well-turned Compliments, as well as smart
Repartees, of Mr. _Eastcourt's_, than of any other Man in _England_.
This was easily to be observed in his inimitable Faculty of telling a
Story, in which he would throw in natural and unexpected Incidents to
make his Court to one Part, and rally the other Part of the Company:
Then he would vary the Usage he gave them, according as he saw them bear
kind or sharp Language. He had the Knack to raise up a pensive Temper,
and mortifie an impertinently gay one, with the most agreeable Skill
imaginable. There are a thousand things which crowd into my Memory,
which make me too much concerned to tell on about him. _Hamlet_ holding
up the Skull which the Grave-digger threw to him, with an Account that
it was the Head of the King's Jester, falls into very pleasing
Reflections, and cries out to his Companion,

'Alas, poor_ Yorick! _I knew him,_ Horatio, _a Fellow of infinite
Jest, of most excellent Fancy; he hath born me on his Back a thousand
times: And how abhorred my Imagination is now, my Gorge rises at it.
Here hung those Lips that I have kiss'd I know not how oft. Where be
your Gibes now, your Gambols, your Songs, your Flashes of Merriment,
that were wont to set the Table on a Roar: No one now to mock your own
Jeerings: quite Chop-fallen. Now get you to my Lady's Chamber, and
tell her, Let her paint an Inch thick, to this Favour she must come.
Make her laugh at that.'

It is an Insolence natural to the Wealthy, to affix, as much as in them
lies, the Character of a Man to his Circumstances. Thus it is ordinary
with them to praise faintly the good Qualities of those below them, and
say, It is very extraordinary in such a Man as he is, or the like, when
they are forced to acknowledge the Value of him whose Lowness upbraids
their Exaltation. It is to this Humour only, that it is to be ascribed,
that a quick Wit in Conversation, a nice Judgment upon any Emergency,
that could arise, and a most blameless inoffensive Behaviour, could not
raise this Man above being received only upon the Foot of contributing
to Mirth and Diversion. But he was as easy under that Condition, as a
Man of so excellent Talents was capable; and since they would have it,
that to divert was his Business, he did it with all the seeming Alacrity
imaginable, tho' it stung him to the Heart that it was his Business. Men
of Sense, who could taste his Excellencies, were well satisfied to let
him lead the Way in Conversation, and play after his own Manner; but
Fools who provoked him to Mimickry, found he had the Indignation to let
it be at their Expence who called for it, and he would shew the Form of
conceited heavy Fellows as Jests to the Company at their own Request, in
Revenge for interrupting him from being a Companion to put on the
Character of a Jester.

What was peculiarly excellent in this memorable Companion, was, that in
the Accounts he gave of Persons and Sentiments, he did not only hit the
Figure of their Faces, and Manner of their Gestures, but he would in his
Narration fall into their very Way of thinking, and this when he
recounted Passages, wherein Men of the best Wit were concerned, as well
as such wherein were represented Men of the lowest Rank of
Understanding. It is certainly as great an Instance of Self-love to a
Weakness, to be impatient of being mimick'd, as any can be imagined.
There were none but the Vain, the Formal, the Proud, or those who were
incapable of amending their Faults, that dreaded him; to others he was
in the highest Degree pleasing; and I do not know any Satisfaction of
any indifferent kind I ever tasted so much, as having got over an
Impatience of seeing my self in the Air he could put me when I have
displeased him. It is indeed to his exquisite Talent this way, more than
any Philosophy I could read on the Subject, that my Person is very
little of my Care; and it is indifferent to me what is said of my Shape,
my Air, my Manner, my Speech, or my Address. It is to poor _Eastcourt_ I
chiefly owe that I am arrived at the Happiness of thinking nothing a
Diminution to me, but what argues a Depravity of my Will.

It has as much surprized me as any thing in Nature, to have it
frequently said, That he was not a good Player: But that must be owing
to a Partiality for former Actors in the Parts in which he succeeded
them, and judging by Comparison of what was liked before, rather than by
the Nature of the Thing. When a Man of his Wit and Smartness could put
on an utter Absence of common Sense in his Face as he did in the
Character of _Bulfinch_ in the _Northern Lass_ [2] and an Air of insipid
Cunning and Vivacity in the Character of _Pounce_ in the _Tender
Husband_, [3] it is Folly to dispute his Capacity and Success, as he was
an Actor.

Poor _Eastcourt!_ let the Vain and Proud be at Rest; thou wilt no more
disturb their Admiration of their dear selves, and thou art no longer to
drudge in raising the Mirth of Stupids, who know nothing of thy Merit,
for thy Maintenance.

It is natural for the Generality of Mankind to run into Reflections upon
our Mortality, when Disturbers of the World are laid at Rest, but to
take no Notice when they who can please and divert are pulled from us:
But for my Part, I cannot but think the Loss of such Talents as the Man
of whom I am speaking was Master of, a more melancholy Instance of
Mortality, than the Dissolution of Persons of never so high Characters
in the World, whose Pretensions were that they were noisy and

But I must grow more succinct, and as a SPECTATOR, give an Account of
this extraordinary Man, who, in his Way, never had an Equal in any Age
before him, or in that wherein he lived. I speak of him as a Companion,
and a Man qualified for Conversation. His Fortune exposed him to an
Obsequiousness towards the worst Sort of Company, but his excellent
Qualities rendered him capable of making the best Figure in the most
refined. I have been present with him among Men of the most delicate
Taste a whole Night, and have known him (for he saw it was desired) keep
the Discourse to himself the most Part of it, and maintain his good
Humour with a Countenance in a Language so delightful, without Offence
to any Person or Thing upon Earth, still preserving the Distance his
Circumstances obliged him to; I say, I have seen him do all this in such
a charming manner, that I am sure none of those I hint at will read
this, without giving him some Sorrow for their abundant Mirth, and one
Gush of Tears for so many Bursts of Laughter. I wish it were any Honour
to the pleasant Creature's Memory, that my Eyes are too much suffused to
let me [go on--[4].]


[Footnote 1: See p. 204, vol. ii. [Footnote 1 of No. 264.]

[Footnote 2: By Richard Brome, first acted in 1632.]

[Footnote 3: By Steele.]

[Footnote 4:

[go on--

It is a felicity his Friends may rejoice in, that he had his Senses,
and used them as he ought to do, in his last Moments. It is remarkable
that his Judgment was in its calm Perfection to the utmost Article,
for when his Wife out of her fondness, desired she might send for a
certain illiterate Humourist (whom he had accompanied in a thousand
mirthful Moments, and whose Insolence makes Fools think he assumes
from conscious Merit) he answered, '_Do what you please, but he won't
come near me_.' Let poor Eastcourt's Negligence about this Message
convince the unwary of a triumphant Empiric's Ignorance and

This passage, omitted from the reprint, expresses Steele's anger at the
neglect of Estcourt in his last hours by Dr. John Radcliffe, one of the
chief physicians of the time, who as a rough-spoken humourist made many
enemies, and was condemned as an empiric by many of his professional
brethren. When called, in 1699, to attend King William, who asked his
opinion on his swollen ankles, he said, 'I would not have your Majesty's
two legs for your three kingdoms.' His maxim for making a fortune was to
use all men ill, but Mead, it has been observed, made more money by the
opposite method. Not very long after this better censure of Radcliffe
for neglect of Estcourt, attempts were made to censure him formally in
the House of Commons for refusal to attend in the last illness of Queen
Anne, although requested to do so by the Privy Council. He denied that
he had been asked to attend. He died himself three months after the
Queen (in 1714, aged 64), his last days embittered by the public odium
following the charge of disrespect to his dying sovereign. He died
unmarried, and left the greater part of his money to beneficent uses,
among them the erection of an infirmary and of the Radcliffe Library in

* * * * *

No. 469. Thursday, August 28, 1712. Addison.

'Detrahere aliquid altieri, et hominem hominis incommodo suum augere
commodum, magis est contra naturam, quam mors, quam paupertas, quam
dolor, quam caetera quae possunt aut corpori accidere, aut rebus


I am perswaded there are few Men of generous Principles, who would seek
after great Places, were it not rather to have an Opportunity in their
Hands of obliging their particular Friends, or those whom they look upon
as Men of Worth, than to procure Wealth and Honour for themselves. To an
honest Mind the best Perquisites of a Place are the Advantages it gives
a Man of doing Good.

Those who are under the great Officers of State, and are the Instruments
by which they act, have more frequent Opportunities for the Exercise of
Compassion, and Benevolence, than their Superiors themselves. These Men
know every little Case that is to come before the Great Man, and if they
are possessed with honest Minds, will consider Poverty as a
Recommendation in the Person who applies himself to them, and make the
Justice of his Cause the most powerful Solicitor in his Behalf. A Man of
this Temper, when he is in a Post of Business, becomes a Blessing to the
Publick: He patronizes the Orphan and the Widow, assists the Friendless,
and guides the Ignorant: He does not reject the Person's Pretensions,
who does not know how to explain them, or refuse doing a good Office for
a Man because he cannot pay the Fee of it. In short, tho' he regulates
himself in all his Proceedings by Justice and Equity, he finds a
thousand [Occasions for all the Good-natured Offices of [1]] Generosity
and Compassion.

A Man is unfit for such a Place of Trust, who is of a sower untractable
Nature, or has any other Passion that makes him uneasie to those who
approach him. Roughness of Temper is apt to discountenance the Timorous
or Modest. The proud Man discourages those from approaching him, who are
of a mean Condition, and who most want his Assistance. The impatient Man
will not give himself time to be informed of the Matter that lies before
him. An Officer with one or more of these unbecoming Qualities, is
sometimes looked upon as a proper Person to keep off Impertinence and
Solicitation from his Superior; but this is a kind of Merit, that can
never attone for the Injustice which may very often arise from it.

There are two other vicious Qualities which render a Man very unfit for
such a Place of Trust. The first of these is a Dilatory Temper, which
commits innumerable Cruelties without Design. The Maxim which several
have laid down for a Man's Conduct in ordinary Life should be inviolable
with a Man in Office, never to think of doing that To-morrow which may
be done To-day. A Man who defers doing what ought to be done, is guilty
of Injustice so long as he defers it. The Dispatch of a good Office is
very often as beneficial to the Solicitor as the good Office it self. In
short, if a Man compared the Inconveniences which another suffers by his
Delays, with the trifling Motives and Advantages which he himself may
reap by such a Delay, he would never be guilty of a Fault which very
often does an irreparable Prejudice to the Person who depends upon him,
and which might be remedied with little Trouble to himself.

But in the last Place, there is no Man so improper to be employed in
Business, as he who is in any degree capable of Corruption; and such an
one is the Man, who, upon any Pretence whatsoever, receives more than
what is the stated and unquestioned Fee of his Office. Gratifications,
Tokens of Thankfulness, Dispatch Money, and the like specious Terms, are
the Pretences under which Corruption very frequently shelters it self.
An honest Man will however look on all these Methods as unjustifiable,
and will enjoy himself better in a moderate Fortune that is gained with
honour and Reputation, than in an overgrown Estate that is cankered with
the Acquisitions of Rapine and Exaction. Were all our Offices discharged
with such an inflexible Integrity, we should not see Men in all Ages,
who grow up to exorbitant Wealth with the Abilities which are to be met
with in an ordinary Mechanick. I cannot but think that such a Corruption
proceeds chiefly from Mens employing the first that offer themselves, or
those who have the Character of shrewd worldly Men, instead of searching
out such as have had a liberal Education, and have been trained up in
the Studies of Knowledge and Virtue.

It has been observed, that Men of Learning who take to Business,
discharge it generally with greater Honesty than Men of the World. The
chief Reason for it I take to be as follows. A Man that has spent his
Youth in Reading, has been used to find Virtue extolled, and Vice
stigmatized. A Man that has past his Time in the World, has often seen
Vice triumphant, and Virtue discountenanced. Extortion, Rapine and
Injustice, which are branded with Infamy in Books, often give a Man a
Figure in the World; while several Qualities which are celebrated in
Authors, as Generosity, Ingenuity and Good-Nature, impoverish and ruin
him. This cannot but have a proportionable Effect on Men, whose Tempers
and Principles are equally Good and Vicious.

There would be at least this Advantage in employing Men of Learning and
Parts in Business, that their Prosperity would set more gracefully on
them, and that we should not see many worthless Persons shot up into the
greatest Figures of Life.


[Footnote 1: [Opportunities of exercising his]]

* * * * *

No. 470. Friday, August 29, 1712. Addison.

'Turpe est difficiles babere nugas,
Et stultus est labor ineptiarum.'


I have been very often disappointed of late Years, when upon examining
the new Edition of a Classick Author, I have found above half the Volume
taken up with various Readings. When I have expected to meet with a
learned Note upon a doubtful Passage in a _Latin_ Poet, I have only been
informed, that such or such Ancient Manuscripts for an _et_ write an
_ac_, or of some other notable Discovery of the like Importance. Indeed,
when a different Reading gives us a different Sense, or a new Elegance
in an Author, the Editor does very well in taking Notice of it; but when
he only entertains us with the several ways of spelling the same Word,
and gathers together the various Blunders and Mistakes of twenty or
thirty different Transcribers, they only take up the Time of the learned
Reader, and puzzle the Minds of the Ignorant. I have often fancied with
my self how enraged an old _Latin_ Author would be, should he see the
several Absurdities in Sense and Grammar, which are imputed to him by
some or other of these various Readings. In one he speaks Nonsense; in
another, makes use of a Word that was never heard of: And indeed there
is scarce a Solecism in Writing which the best Author is not guilty of,
if we may be at Liberty to read him in the Words of some Manuscript,
which the laborious Editor has thought fit to examine in the Prosecution
of his Work.

I question not but the Ladies and pretty Fellows will be very curious to
understand what it is that I have been hitherto talking of. I shall
therefore give them a Notion of this Practice, by endeavouring to write
after the manner of several Persons who make an eminent Figure in the
Republick of Letters. To this end we will suppose that the following
[Song [1]] is an old Ode which I present to the Publick in a new
Edition, with the several various Readings which I find of it in former
Editions, and in Ancient Manuscripts. Those who cannot relish the
various Readings, will perhaps find their Account in the Song, which
never before appeared in Print.

My Love was fickle once and changing,
Nor e'er would settle in my Heart;
From Beauty still to Beauty ranging,
In ev'ry Face I found a Dart.

'Twas first a charming Shape enslav'd me,
An Eye then gave the fatal Stroke;
'Till by her Wit_ Corinna _sav'd me,
And all my former Fetters broke.

But now a long and lasting Anguish
For_ Belvidera _I endure;
Hourly I Sigh and hourly Languish,
Nor hope to find the wonted Cure.

For here the false unconstant Lover,
After a thousand Beauties shown,
Does new surprizing Charms discover,
And finds Variety in One.

Various Readings.

Stanza the First, Verse the First. And changing.] The _and_ in some
Manuscripts is written thus, _&_, but that in the Cotton Library writes
it in three distinct Letters.

Verse the Second, Nor e'er would.] Aldus reads it _ever_ would; but as
this would hurt the Metre, we have restored it to its genuine Reading,
by observing that _Synaeresis_ which had been neglected by ignorant

Ibid. In my Heart.] Scaliger, and others, _on_ my Heart.

Verse the Fourth, I found a Dart.] The Vatican Manuscript for _I_ reads
_it_, but this must have been the Hallucination of the Transcriber, who
probably mistook the Dash of the I for a T.

Stanza the Second, Verse the Second. The fatal Stroke.] Scioppius,
Salmasius and many others, for _the_ read _a_, but I have stuck to the
usual Reading.

Verse the Third, Till by her Wit.] Some Manuscripts have it _his_ Wit,
others _your_, others _their_ Wit. But as I find Corinna to be the Name
of a Woman in other Authors, I cannot doubt but it should be _her_.

Stanza the third, Verse the First. A long and lasting Anguish.] The
German Manuscript reads a lasting _Passion_, but the Rhyme will not
admit it.

Verse the Second. For Belvidera I endure.] Did not all the Manuscripts
reclaim, I should change Belvidera into Pelvidera; Pelvis being used by
several of the Ancient Comick Writers for a Looking-glass, by which
means the Etymology of the Word is very visible, and Pelvidera will
signifie a Lady who often looks in her Glass; as indeed she had very
good reason, if she had all those Beauties which our Poet here ascribes
to her.

Verse the Third. Hourly I sigh and hourly languish.] Some for the Word
_hourly_ read _daily_, and others _nightly_; the last has great
Authorities of its side.

Verse the Fourth. The wonted Cure.] The Elder Stevens reads _wanted

Stanza the Fourth, Verse the Second. After a thousand Beauties] In
several Copies we meet with _a Hundred Beauties_ by the usual Errour of
the Transcribers, who probably omitted a Cypher, and had not Taste
enough to know that the Word _Thousand_ was ten Times a greater
Compliment to the Poet's Mistress than an _Hundred_.

Verse the Fourth. And finds Variety in one] Most of the Ancient
Manuscripts have it _in two_. Indeed so many of them concur in this last
reading, that I am very much in doubt whether it ought not to take
place. There are but two Reasons which incline me to the Reading as I
have published it; First, because the Rhime, and, Secondly, because the
Sense is preserved by it. It might likewise proceed from the Oscitancy
of Transcribers, who, to dispatch their Work the sooner, use to write
all Numbers in Cypher, and seeing the Figure 1 following by a little
Dash of the Pen, as is customary in old Manuscripts, they perhaps
mistook the Dash for a second Figure, and by casting up both together
composed out of them the Figure 2. But this I shall leave to the
Learned, without determining any thing in a Matter of so great


[Footnote 1: [Song, which by the way is a beautiful Descant upon a
single Thought, like the Compositions of the best Ancient Lyrick Poets,
I say we will suppose this Song]]

* * * * *

No. 471. Saturday, August 30, 1712. Addison.

[Greek: 'En elpisin chrae tous sophous echein bion.]--Euripid.

The _Time present_ seldom affords sufficient Employment to the Mind of
Man. Objects of Pain or Pleasure, Love or Admiration, do not lie thick
enough together in Life to keep the Soul in constant Action, and supply
an immediate Exercise to its Faculties. In order, therefore, to remedy
this Defect, that the Mind may not want Business, but always have
Materials for thinking, she is endowed with certain Powers, that can
recall what is passed, and anticipate what is to come.

That wonderful Faculty, which we call the Memory, is perpetually looking
back, when we have nothing present to entertain us. It is like those
Repositories in several Animals, that are filled with Stores of their
former Food, on which they may ruminate when their present Pasture

As the Memory relieves the Mind in her vacant Moments, and prevents any
Chasms of Thought by Ideas of what is _past_, we have other Faculties
that agitate and employ her upon what _is to come_. These are the
Passions of Hope and Fear.

By these two Passions we reach forward into Futurity, and bring up to
our present Thoughts Objects that lie hid in the remotest Depths of
Time. We suffer Misery, and enjoy Happiness, before they are in Being;
we can set the Sun and Stars forward, or lose sight of them by wandring
into those retired Parts of Eternity, when the Heavens and Earth shall
be no more.

By the way, who can imagine that the Existence of a Creature is to be
circumscribed by Time, whose Thoughts are not? But I shall, in this
Paper, confine my self to that particular Passion which goes by the Name
of Hope.

Our Actual Enjoyments are so few and transient, that Man would be a very
miserable Being, were he not endowed with this Passion, which gives him
a Taste of those good Things that may possibly come into his Possession.
_We should hope for every thing that is good_, says the old Poet
_Linus_, _because there is nothing which may not be hoped for, and
nothing but what the Gods are able to give us_. [1] Hope quickens all
the still Parts of Life, and keeps the Mind awake in her most Remiss and
Indolent Hours. It gives habitual Serenity and good Humour. It is a kind
of Vital Heat in the Soul, that cheers and gladdens her, when she does
not attend to it. It makes Pain easie, and Labour pleasant.

Beside these several Advantages which rise from _Hope_, there is another
which is none of the least, and that is, its great Efficacy in
preserving us from setting too high a value on present Enjoyments. The
saying of _Caesar_ is very well known. When he had given away all his
Estate in Gratuities among his Friends, one of them asked what he had
left for himself; to which that great Man replied, _Hope_. His Natural
Magnanimity hindered him from prizing what he was certainly possessed
of, and turned all his Thoughts upon something more valuable that be had
in View. I question not but every Reader will draw a Moral from this
Story, and apply it to himself without my Direction.

The old Story of _Pandora's_ Box (which many of the Learned believe was
formed among the Heathens upon the Tradition of the Fall of Man) shews
us how deplorable a State they thought the present Life, without Hope:
To set forth the utmost Condition of Misery they tell us, that our
Forefather, according to the Pagan Theology, had a great Vessel
presented him by _Pandora:_ Upon his lifting up the Lid of it, says the
Fable, there flew out all the Calamities and Distempers incident to Men,
from which, till that time, they had been altogether exempt. _Hope_, who
had been enclosed in the Cup with so much bad Company, instead of flying
off with the rest, stuck so close to the Lid of it, that it was shut
down upon her.

I shall make but two Reflections upon what I have hitherto said. First,
that no kind of Life is so happy as that which is full of Hope,
especially when the Hope is well grounded, and when the Object of it is
of an exalted kind, and in its Nature proper to make the Person happy
who enjoys it. This Proposition must be very evident to those who
consider how few are the present Enjoyments of the most happy Man, and
how insufficient to give him an entire Satisfaction and Acquiescence in

My next Observation is this, that a Religious Life is that which most
abounds in a well-grounded Hope, and such an one as is fixed on Objects
that are capable of making us entirely happy. This Hope in a Religious
Man, is much more sure and certain than the Hope of any Temporal
Blessing, as it is strengthened not only by Reason, but by Faith. It has
at the same time its Eye perpetually fixed on that State, which implies
in the very Notion of it the most full and the most compleat Happiness.

I have before shewn how the Influence of Hope in general sweetens Life,
and makes our present Condition supportable, if not pleasing; but a
Religious Hope has still greater Advantages. It does not only bear up
the Mind under her Sufferings, but makes her rejoice in them, as they
may be the Instruments of procuring her the great and ultimate End of
all her Hope.

Religious Hope has likewise this Advantage above any other kind of Hope,
that it is able to revive the _dying_ Man, and to fill his Mind not only
with secret Comfort and Refreshment, but sometimes with Rapture and
Transport. He triumphs in his Agonies, whilst the Soul springs forward
with Delight to the great Object which she has always had in view, and
leaves the Body with an Expectation of being re-united to her in a
glorious and joyful Resurrection.

I shall conclude this Essay with those emphatical Expressions of a
lively Hope, which the Psalmist made use of in the midst of those
Dangers and Adversities which surrounded him; for the following Passage
had its present and personal, as well as its future and prophetick

'I have set the Lord always before me: Because he is at my right Hand,
I shall not be moved. Therefore my Heart is glad, and my Glory
rejoiceth: my Flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave
my Soul in Hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see
Corruption. Thou wilt shew me the Path of Life: in thy Presence is
Fullness of Joy, at thy right Hand there are Pleasures for evermore'.


[Footnote 1: Translation of the fragment on Hope.]

[Footnote 2: Psal. xvi. 8--ii.]

* * * * *

No. 472. Monday, September 1, 1712. Steele.

Solamenque mali--'


I received some time ago a Proposal, which had a Preface to it, wherein
the Author discoursed at large of the innumerable Objects of Charity in
a Nation, and admonished the Rich, who were afflicted with any Distemper
of Body, particularly to regard the Poor in the same Species of
Affliction, and confine their Tenderness to them, since it is impossible
to assist all who are presented to them. The Proposer had been relieved
from a Malady in his Eyes by an Operation performed by Sir _William
Read_, and being a Man of Condition, had taken a Resolution to maintain
three poor blind Men during their Lives, in Gratitude for that great
Blessing. This Misfortune is so very great and unfrequent, that one
would think, an Establishment for all the Poor under it might be easily
accomplished, with the Addition of a very few others to those Wealthy
who are in the same Calamity. However, the Thought of the Proposer arose
from a very good Motive, and the parcelling of our selves out, as called
to particular Acts of Beneficence, would be a pretty Cement of Society
and Virtue. It is the ordinary Foundation for Mens holding a Commerce
with each other, and becoming familiar, that they agree in the same sort
of Pleasure; and sure it may also be some Reason for Amity, that they
are under one common Distress. If all the Rich who are lame in the Gout,
from a Life of Ease, Pleasure, and Luxury, would help those few who have
it without a previous Life of Pleasure, and add a few of such laborious
Men, who are become lame from unhappy Blows, Falls, or other Accidents
of Age or Sickness; I say, would such gouty Persons administer to the
Necessities of Men disabled like themselves, the Consciousness of such a
Behaviour would be the best Julep, Cordial, and Anodine in the feverish,
faint and tormenting Vicissitudes of that miserable Distemper. The same
may be said of all other, both bodily and intellectual Evils. These
Classes of Charity would certainly bring down Blessings upon an Age and
People; and if Men were not petrifyed with the Love of this World,
against all Sense of the Commerce which ought to be among them, it would
not be an unreasonable Bill for a poor Man in the Agony of Pain,
aggravated by Want and Poverty, to draw upon a sick Alderman after this

_Mr_. Basil Plenty,


_You have the Gout and Stone, with Sixty thousand Pound Sterling; I
have the Gout and Stone, not worth one Farthing; I shall pray for you,
and desire you would pay the Bearer Twenty Shillings for Value
received from_,

Your humble Servant,
_Lazarus Hopeful_.

Aug. 29, 1712.

The Reader's own Imagination will suggest to him the Reasonableness of
such Correspondence; and diversify them into a thousand Forms; but I
shall close this as I began upon the Subject of Blindness. The following
Letter seems to be written by a Man of Learning, who is returned to his
Study after a Suspence of an Ability to do so. The Benefit he reports
himself to have received, may well claim the handsomest Encomium he can
give the Operator.


'Ruminating lately on your admirable Discourses on the _Pleasures of
the Imagination_, I began to consider to which of our Senses we are
obliged for the greatest and most important Share of those Pleasures;
and I soon concluded that it was to the _Sight:_ That is the Sovereign
of the Senses, and Mother of all the Arts and Sciences, that have
refined the Rudeness of the uncultivated Mind to a Politeness that
distinguishes the fine Spirits from the barbarous _Gout_ of the
_great_ Vulgar and the _small_. The Sight is the obliging
Benefactress, that bestows on us the most transporting Sensations that
we have from the various and wonderful Products of Nature. To the
Sight we owe the amazing Discoveries of the Height, Magnitude, and
Motion of the Planets; their several Revolutions about their common
Centre of Light, Heat, and Motion, the _Sun_. The _Sight_ travels yet
farther to the fixed Stars, and furnishes the Understanding with solid
Reasons to prove, that each of them is a _Sun_ moving on its own Axis
in the Centre of its own Vortex or Turbillion, and performing the same
Offices to its dependant Planets, that our glorious Sun does to this.
But the Enquiries of the _Sight_ will not be stopped here, but make
their Progress through the immense Expanse to the _Milky Way_, and
there divide the blended Fires of the _Galaxy_ into infinite and
different Worlds, made up of distinct Suns, and their peculiar
Equipages of Planets, till unable to pursue this Track any farther, it
deputes the Imagination to go on to new Discoveries, till it fill the
unbounded Space with endless Worlds.

The _Sight_ informs the Statuary's Chizel with Power to give Breath to
lifeless Brass and Marble, and the Painter's Pencil to swell the flat
Canvas with moving Figures actuated by imaginary Souls. Musick indeed
may plead another Original, since _Jubal_, by the different Falls of
his Hammer on the Anvil, discovered by the Ear the first rude Musick
that pleasd the Antediluvian Fathers; but then the _Sight_ has not
only reduced those wilder Sounds into artful Order and Harmony, but
conveys that Harmony to the most distant Parts of the World without
the Help of Sound. To the _Sight_ we owe not only all the Discoveries
of Philosophy, but all the Divine Imagery of Poetry that transports
the intelligent Reader of _Homer_, _Milton_, and _Virgil_.

As the Sight has polished the World, so does it supply us with the
most grateful and lasting Pleasure. Let Love, let Friendship, paternal
Affection, filial Piety, and conjugal Duty, declare the Joys the
_Sight_ bestows on a Meeting after Absence. But it would be endless to
enumerate all the Pleasures and Advantages of _Sight;_ every one that
has it, every Hour he makes use of it, finds them, feels them, enjoys

Thus as our greatest Pleasures and Knowledge are derived from the
Sight, so has Providence been more curious in the Formation of its
Seat, the Eye, than of the Organs of the other Senses. That stupendous
Machine is compos'd in a wonderful Manner of Muscles, Membranes, and
Humours. Its Motions are admirably directed by the Muscles; the
Perspicuity of the Humours transmit the Rays of Light; the Rays are
regularly refracted by their Figure, the black Lining of the Sclerotes
effectually prevents their being confounded by Reflection. It is
wonderful indeed to consider how many Objects the Eye is fitted to
take in at once, and successively in an Instant, and at the same time
to make a Judgment of their Position, Figure, or Colour. It watches
against our Dangers, guides our Steps, and lets in all the visible
Objects, whose Beauty and Variety instruct and delight.

The Pleasures and Advantages of Sight being so great, the Loss must be
very grievous; of which _Milton_, from Experience, gives the most
sensible Idea, both in the third Book of his _Paradise Lost_, and in
his _Sampson Agonistes_.

To Light in the former.

--'Thee I revisit safe,
And feel thy sovereign vital Lamp; but thou
Revisit'st not these Eyes, that roul in vain
To find thy piercing Ray, but find no Dawn'.

And a little after,

'Seasons return, but not to me returns
Day, or the sweet Approach of Ev'n and Morn,
Or Sight of vernal Bloom, or Summer's Rose,
Or Flocks or Herds, or human Face divine;
But Cloud instead, and ever-during Dark
Surround me: From the chearful Ways of Men
Cut off, and for the Book of Knowledge fair,
Presented--with an universal Blank
Of Nature's Works, to me expung'd and raz'd,
And Wisdom at one Entrance quite shut out'.

Again, in 'Sampson Agonistes'.

--'But Chief of all,
O Loss of Sight! of thee I most complain;
Blind among Enemies! O worse than Chains,
Dungeon, or Beggary, or decrepid Age!
Light, the prime Work of God, to me extinct,
And all her various Objects of Delight

--'Still as a Fool,
In Power of others, never in my own,
Scarce half I seem to live, dead more than Half:
O dark! dark! dark! amid the Blaze of Noon:
Irrecoverably dark, total Eclipse,
Without all Hopes of Day!'

The Enjoyment of Sight then being so great a Blessing, and the Loss of
it so terrible an Evil, how excellent and valuable is the Skill of
that Artist which can restore the former, and redress the latter? My
frequent Perusal of the Advertisements in the publick News-Papers
(generally the most agreeable Entertainment they afford) has presented
me with many and various Benefits of this kind done to my Countrymen
by that skilful Artist Dr. _Grant_, Her Majesty's Oculist
Extraordinary, whose happy Hand has brought and restored to Sight
several Hundreds in less than Four Years. Many have received Sight by
his Means, who came blind from their Mother's Womb, as in the famous
Instance of _Jones_ of _Newington_ [1]. I my self have been cured by
him of a Weakness in my Eyes next to Blindness, and am ready to
believe any thing that is reported of his Ability this way; and know
that many, who could not purchase his Assistance with Money, have
enjoy'd it from his Charity. But a List of Particulars would swell my
Letter beyond its Bounds, what I have said being sufficient to comfort
those who are in the like Distress, since they may conceive Hopes of
being no longer miserable in this Kind, while there is yet alive so
able an Oculist as Dr. Grant.

I am the SPECTATOR'S humble Servant,


[Footnote 1: 'A Full and True Account of a Miraculous Cure of a young
Man in Newington, &c,' was a pamphlet of 15 pages, published in 1709.
William Jones was not born blind, and little benefited by the operation
of the Doctor Grant, who in this pamphlet puffed himself.]

* * * * *

No. 473. Tuesday, September 2, 1712. Steele.

'Quid? si quis vultu torvo ferus et pede nudo
Exiguaeque togae simulet textore Catonem;
Virtutemne repraesentet moresque Catonis?'




I am now in the Country, and employ most of my Time in reading, or
thinking upon what I have read. Your paper comes constantly down to
me, and it affects me so much, that I find my Thoughts run into your
Way; and I recommend to you a Subject upon which you have not yet
touched, and that is the Satisfaction some Men seem to take in their
Imperfections, I think one may call it glorying in their
Insufficiency; a certain great Author is of Opinion it is the contrary
to Envy, tho perhaps it may proceed from it. Nothing is so common, as
to hear Men of this Sort, speaking of themselves, add to their own
Merit (as they think) by impairing it, in praising themselves for
their Defects, freely allowing they commit some few frivolous Errors,
in order to be esteemed persons of uncommon Talents and great
Qualifications. They are generally professing an injudicious Neglect
of Dancing, Fencing and Riding, as also an unjust Contempt for
Travelling and the Modern Languages; as for their Part (say they) they
never valued or troubled their Head about them. This panegyrical Satyr
on themselves certainly is worthy of your Animadversion. I have known
one of these Gentlemen think himself obliged to forget the Day of an
Appointment, and sometimes even that you spoke to him; and when you
see em, they hope youll pardon 'em, for they have the worst Memory in
the World. One of em started up tother Day in some Confusion, and
said, Now I think on't, I'm to meet Mr. _Mortmain_ the Attorney about
some Business, but whether it is to Day or to Morrow, faith, I can't
tell. Now to my certain Knowledge he knew his Time to a Moment, and
was there accordingly. These forgetful Persons have, to heighten their
Crime, generally the best Memories of any People, as I have found out
by their remembring sometimes through Inadvertency. Two or three of em
that I know can say most of our modern Tragedies by Heart. I asked a
Gentleman the other Day that is famous for a Good Carver, (at which
Acquisition he is out of Countenance, imagining it may detract from
some of his more essential Qualifications) to help me to something
that was near him; but he excused himself, and blushing told me, Of
all things he could never carve in his Life; though it can be proved
upon him, that he cuts up, disjoints, and uncases with incomparable
Dexterity. I would not be understood as if I thought it laudable for a
Man of Quality and Fortune to rival the Aquisitions of Artificers, and
endeavour to excel in little handy Qualities; No, I argue only against
being ashamed at what is really Praiseworthy. As these Pretences to
Ingenuity shew themselves several Ways, you'll often see a Man of this
Temper ashamed to be clean, and setting up for Wit only from
Negligence in his Habit. Now I am upon this Head, I can't help
observing also upon a very different Folly proceeding from the same
Cause. As these above-mentioned arise from affecting an Equality with
Men of greater Talents from having the same Faults, there are others
who would come at a Parallel with those above them, by possessing
little Advantages which they want. I heard a young Man not long ago,
who has sense, comfort himself in his Ignorance of Greek, Hebrew, and
the Orientals: At the same Time that he published his Aversion to
those Languages, he said that the Knowledge of 'em was rather a
Diminution than an Advancement of a Man's Character: tho' at the same
Time I know he languishes and repines he is not Master of them
himself. Whenever I take any of these fine Persons, thus detracting
from what they don't understand, I tell them I will complain to you,
and say I am sure you will not allow it an Exception against a thing,
that he who contemns it is an Ignorant in it.

I am, SIR,
Your most humble Servant,
S. P.


I am a Man of a very good Estate, and am honourably in Love. I hope
you will allow, when the ultimate Purpose is honest, there may be,
without Trespass against Innocence, some Toying by the Way. People of
Condition are perhaps too distant and formal on those Occasions; but,
however that is, I am to confess to you, that I have writ some Verses
to atone for my Offence. You profess'd Authors are a little severe
upon us, who write like Gentlemen: But if you are a Friend to Love,
you will insert my Poem. You cannot imagine how much Service it will
do me with my Fair one, as well as Reputation with all my Friends, to
have something of mine in the _Spectator_. My Crime was, that I
snatch'd a Kiss, and my Poetical Excuse as follows:

I. _Belinda_, see from yonder Flowers
The Bee flies loaded to its Cell;
Can you perceive what it devours?
Are they impar'd in Show or Smell?

II. So, tho' I robb'd you of a Kiss,
Sweeter than their Ambrosial Dew;
Why are you angry at my Bliss?
Has it at all impoverish'd you?

III. 'Tis by this Cunning I contrive,
In spight of your unkind Reserve,
To keep my famish'd Love alive,
Which you inhumanly would starve.

I am, Sir,
Your humble Servant,
_Timothy Stanza_.

_Aug_. 23, 1712.


Having a little Time upon my Hands, I could not think of bestowing it
better, than in writing an Epistle to the SPECTATOR, which I now do,
and am,

_SIR_, _Your humble Servant_,

P. S. If you approve of my Style, I am likely enough to become your
Correspondent. I desire your Opinion of it. I design it for that Way
of Writing called by the Judicious the _Familiar_.

* * * * *



It is with very great Pleasure I take an Opportunity of publishing the
Gratitude I owe You, for the Place You allow me in your Friendship and
Familiarity. I will not acknowledge to You that I have often had You in
my Thoughts, when I have endeavoured to Draw, in some Parts of these
Discourses, the Character of a Good-natured, Honest, and Accomplished
Gentleman. But such Representations give my Reader an Idea of a Person
blameless only, or only laudable for such Perfections as extend no
farther than to his own private Advantage and Reputation.

But when I speak of You, I Celebrate One who has had the Happiness of
Possessing also those Qualities which make a Man useful to Society, and
of having had Opportunities of Exerting them in the most Conspicuous

The Great Part You had, as _British_ Embassador, in Procuring and
Cultivating the Advantageous Commerce between the Courts of _England_
and _Portugal_, has purchased you the lasting Esteem of all who
understand the Interest of either Nation.

Those Personal Excellencies which are overrated by the ordinary World,
and too much neglected by Wise Men, You have applied with the justest
Skill and Judgment. The most graceful Address in Horsemanship, in the
Use of the Sword, and in Dancing, has been employed by You as lower
Arts, and as they have occasionally served to recover, or introduce the
Talents of a skilful Minister.

But your Abilities have not appear'd only in one Nation. When it was
your Province to Act as Her Majesty's Minister at the Court of _Savoy_,
at that time encamped, You accompanied that Gallant Prince thro' all the
Vicissitudes of his Fortune, and shared, by His Side, the Dangers of
that Glorious Day in which He recovered His Capital. As far as it
regards Personal Qualities, You attained, in that one Hour, the highest
Military Reputation. The Behaviour of our Minister in the Action, and
the good Offices done the Vanquished in the Name of the Queen of
_England_, gave both the Conqueror and the Captive the most lively
Examples of the Courage and Generosity of the Nation He represented.

Your Friends and Companions in your Absence frequently talk these things
of You, and You cannot hide from us, (by the most discreet Silence in
any Thing which regards Your self) that the frank Entertainment we have
at your Table, your easie Condescension in little Incidents of Mirth and
Diversion, and general Complacency of Manners, are far from being the
greatest Obligations we have to You. I do assure You there is not one of
your Friends has a Greater Sense of your Merit in general, and of the
Favours You every Day do us, than,

Your most Obedient, and
most Humble Servant,

[Footnote 1: Paul Methuen, at the date of this Dedication M.P. for
Brackley, and forty-two years old, was a lawyer who had distinguished
himself as a diplomatist at the Court of Lisbon in 1703, and arranged
the very short commercial treaty between Great Britain and Portugal which
bears his name. Methuen then represented England at the Court of the
Duke of Savory, who deserted the French cause at the end of 1602, and
the ambassador proved his courage also as a combatant when he took part
in the defence and rescue of Turin from the French in 1706. After his
return to England Paul Methuen was made (in 1709) a Commissioner of the
Admirality. In the year 1713 he first sat in Parliament as member of
Brackley. He held afterwards various offices in the States, as those of
Commissioner of the Treasury, Comptroller of the Household, Treasurer of
the Household, Commissioner for inspecting the Law, was made Sir Paul
Methuen, Knight of the Bath, and attained his highest dignity as Lord
Chancellor of Ireland before his death in 1757, at the age of 86. The
seventh volume, to which this Dedication is prefixed, is the last of the
original Spectator. With the eighth volume, representing an unsuccessful
attempt made to revive it, some time after its demise, Steele had
nothing to do, and that volume is not inscribed to any living person.]

* * * * *

No. 474. Wednesday, September 3, 1712. Steele.

'Asperitas agrestis et inconcinna.'



Being of the Number of those that have lately retired from the Center
of Business and Pleasure, my Uneasiness in the Country where I am,
arises rather from the Society than the Solitude of it. To be obliged
to receive and return Visits from and to a Circle of Neighbours, who
through Diversity of Age or Inclinations, can neither be entertaining
or serviceable to us, is a vile Loss of Time, and a Slavery from which
a Man should deliver himself, if possible: For why must I lose the
remaining part of my Life, because they have thrown away the former
Part of theirs? It is to me an insupportable Affliction, to be
tormented with the Narrations of a Set of People, who are warm in
their Expressions of the quick Relish of that Pleasure which their
Dogs and Horses have a more delicate Taste of. I do also in my Heart
detest and abhor that damnable Doctrine and Position of the Necessity
of a Bumper, though to one's own Toast; for though 'tis pretended that
these deep Politicians are used only to inspire Gaiety, they certainly
drown that Chearfulness which would survive a moderate Circulation. If
at these Meetings it were left to every Stranger either to fill his
Glass according to his own Inclination, or to make his Retreat when he
finds he has been sufficiently obedient to that of others, these
Entertainments would be governed with more good Sense, and
consequently with more good Breeding, than at present they are. Indeed
where any of the Guests are known to measure their Fame or Pleasure by
their Glass, proper Exhortations might be used to these to push their
Fortunes in this sort of Reputation; but where 'tis unseasonably
insisted on to a modest Stranger, this Drench may be said to be
swallowed with the same Necessity, as if it had been tendered in the
Horn [1] for that purpose, with this aggravating Circumstance, that it
distresses the Entertainer's Guest in the same degree as it relieves
his Horses.

To attend without Impatience an Account of five-barr'd Gates, double
Ditches, and Precipices, and to survey the Orator with desiring Eyes,
is to me extremely difficult, but absolutely necessary, to be upon
tolerable Terms with him: but then the occasional Burstings out into
Laughter, is of all other Accomplishments the most requisite. I
confess at present I have not that command of these Convulsions, as is
necessary to be good Company; therefore I beg you would publish this
Letter, and let me be known all at once for a queer Fellow, and
avoided. It is monstrous to me, that we, who are given to Reading and
calm Conversation, should ever be visited by these Roarers: But they
think they themselves, as Neighbours, may come into our Rooms with the
same Right, that they and their Dogs hunt in our Grounds.

Your Institution of Clubs I have always admir'd, in which you
constantly endeavoured the Union of the metaphorically Defunct, that
is such as are neither serviceable to the Busy and Enterprizing part
of Mankind, nor entertaining to the Retir'd and Speculative. There
should certainly therefore in each County be established a Club of the
Persons whose Conversations I have described, who for their own
private, as also the publick Emolument, should exclude, and be
excluded all other Society. Their Attire should be the same with their
Huntsmen's, and none should be admitted into this green
Conversation-Piece, except he had broke his Collar-bone thrice. A
broken Rib or two might also admit a Man without the least Opposition.
The President must necessarily have broken his Neck, and have been
taken up dead once or twice: For the more Maims this Brotherhood shall
have met with, the easier will their Conversation flow and keep up;
and when any one of these vigorous Invalids had finished his Narration
of the Collar-bone, this naturally would introduce the History of the
Ribs. Besides, the different Circumstances of their Falls and
Fractures would help to prolong and diversify their Relations. There
should also be another Club of such Men, who have not succeeded so
well in maiming themselves, but are however in the constant Pursuit of
these Accomplishments. I would by no means be suspected by what I have
said to traduce in general the Body of Fox-hunters; for whilst I look
upon a reasonable Creature full-speed after a Pack of Dogs, by way of
Pleasure, and not of Business, I shall always make honourable mention
of it.

But the most irksome Conversation of all others I have met with in the
Neighbourhood, has been among two or three of your Travellers, who
have overlooked Men and Manners, and have passed through _France_ and
_Italy_ with the same Observation that the Carriers and Stage-Coachmen
do through _Great-Britain;_ that is, their Stops and Stages have been
regulated according to the Liquor they have met with in their Passage.
They indeed remember the Names of abundance of Places, with the
particular Fineries of certain Churches: But their distinguishing Mark
is certain Prettinesses of Foreign Languages, the Meaning of which
they could have better express'd in their own. The Entertainment of
these fine Observers, _Shakespear_ has described to consist

'In talking of the Alps and Appennines,
The Pyrenean, and the River Po.' [2]

and then concludes with a Sigh,

'Now this is worshipful Society!'

I would not be thought in all this to hate such honest Creatures as
Dogs; I am only unhappy that I cannot partake in their Diversions. But
I love them so well, as Dogs, that I often go with my Pockets stuffed
with Bread to dispense my Favours, or make my way through them at
Neighbours' Houses. There is in particular a young Hound of great
Expectation, Vivacity, and Enterprize, that attends my Flights
where-ever he spies me. This Creature observes my Countenance, and
behaves himself accordingly. His Mirth, his Frolick, and Joy upon the
Sight of me has been observed, and I have been gravely desired not to
encourage him so much, for it spoils his Parts; but I think he shews
them sufficiently in the several Boundings, Friskings, and Scourings,
when he makes his Court to me: But I foresee in a little time he and I
must keep Company with one another only, for we are fit for no other
in these Parts. Having informd you how I do pass my time in the
Country where I am, I must proceed to tell you how I would pass it,
had I such a Fortune as would put me above the Observance of Ceremony
and Custom.

My Scheme of a Country Life then should be as follows. As I am happy
in three or four very agreeable Friends, these I would constantly have
with me; and the Freedom we took with one another at School and the
University, we would maintain and exert upon all Occasions with great
Courage. There should be certain Hours of the Day to be employ'd in
Reading, during which time it should be impossible for any one of us
to enter the other's Chamber, unless by Storm. After this we would
communicate the Trash or Treasure we had met with, with our own
Reflections upon the Matter; the Justness of which we would controvert
with good-humour'd Warmth, and never spare one another out of the
complaisant Spirit of Conversation, which makes others affirm and deny
the same matter in a quarter of an Hour. If any of the Neighbouring
Gentlemen, not of our Turn, should take it in their heads to visit me,
I should look upon these Persons in the same degree Enemies to my
particular state of Happiness, as ever the French were to that of the
Publick, and I would be at an annual Expence in Spies to observe their
Motions. Whenever I should be surprized with a Visit, as I hate
Drinking. I would be brisk in swilling Bumpers, upon this Maxim, That
it is better to trouble others with my Impertinence, than to be
troubled my self with theirs. The Necessity of an Infirmary makes me
resolve to fall into that Project; and as we should be but Five, the
Terrors of an involuntary Separation, which our Number cannot so well
admit of, would make us exert our selves, in opposition to all the
particulars mentioned in your Institution of that equitable
Confinement. This my way of Life I know would subject me to the
Imputation of a morose, covetous and singular Fellow. These and all
other hard words, with all manner of insipid Jests, and all other
Reproach, would be matter of Mirth to me and my Friends: Besides, I
would destroy the Application of the Epithets Morose and Covetous, by
a yearly Relief of my undeservedly necessitous Neighbours, and by
treating my Friends and Domesticks with an Humanity that should
express the Obligation to lie rather on my side; and for the word
Singular, I was always of opinion every Man must be so, to be what one
would desire him.

Your very humble Servant,
J. R. [3]


About two Years ago I was called upon by the younger part of a Country
Family, by my Mother's side related to me, to visit Mr. _Campbell_,
the dumb Man; [4] for they told me that that was chiefly what brought
them to Town, having heard Wonders of him in _Essex_. I, who always
wanted Faith in Matters of that kind, was not easily prevailed on to
go; but lest they should take it ill, I went with them; when to my
surprize, Mr. _Campbell_ related all their past Life, (in short, had
he not been prevented, such a Discovery would have come out, as would
have ruined the next design of their coming to Town, _viz_. buying
Wedding-Cloaths.) Our Names--though he never heard of us before--and
we endeavoured to conceal--were as familiar to him as to our selves.
To be sure, _Mr_. SPECTATOR, he is a very learned and wise Man. Being
impatient to know my Fortune, having paid my respects in a
Family-_Jacobus_, he told me (after his manner) among several other
things, that in a Year and nine Months I should fall ill of a new
Fever, be given over by my Physicians, but should with much difficulty
recover: That the first time I took the Air afterwards, I should be
address'd to by a young Gentleman of a plentiful Fortune, good Sense,
and a generous Spirit. _Mr_. SPECTATOR, he is the purest Man in the
World, for all he said is come to pass, and I am the happiest She in
_Kent_. I have been in quest of Mr. _Campbell_ these three Months, and
cannot find him out. Now hearing you are a dumb Man too, I thought you
might correspond, and be able to tell me something; for I think my
self highly oblig'd to make his Fortune, as he has mine. 'Tis very
possible your Worship, who has Spies all over this Town, can inform me
how to send to him: If you can, I Beseech you be as speedy as
possible, and you will highly oblige

_Your constant Reader and Admirer_,
Dulcibella Thankley.

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