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

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_Ordered_, That the Inspector I employ about Wonders, enquire at the
_Golden-Lion_, opposite to the _Half-Moon_ Tavern in _Drury-Lane_, into
the Merit of this Silent Sage, and report accordingly.


[Footnote 1: Used for giving a drench to horses.]

[Footnote 2: Falconbridge in King John Act. I sc. i.]

[Footnote 3: This letter was by Steele's old college friend, Richard
Parker, who took his degree of M.A. in 1697, became fellow of Merton,
and died Vicar of Embleton, in Northumberland. This is the friend whose
condemnation of the comedy written by him in student days Steele had
accepted without question.]

[Footnote 4: See note p. 421, vol. ii. [Footnote 4 of No. 323.]]

* * * * *

No. 475. Thursday, September 4, 1712. Addison.

'--Quae res in se neque Consilium neque modum
Habet ullum, eam consilio regere non potes.'


It is an old Observation, which has been made of Politicians who would
rather ingratiate themselves with their Sovereign, than promote his real
Service, that they accommodate their Counsels to his Inclinations, and
advise him to such Actions only as his Heart is naturally set upon. The
Privy-Counsellor of one in Love must observe the same Conduct, unless he
would forfeit the Friendship of the Person who desires his Advice. I
have known several odd Cases of this Nature. _Hipparchus_ was going to
marry a common Woman, but being resolved to do nothing without the
Advice of his Friend _Philander_, he consulted him upon the Occasion.
_Philander_ told him his Mind freely, and represented his Mistress to
him in such strong Colours, that the next Morning he received a
Challenge for his Pains, and before Twelve a Clock was run through the
Body by the Man who had asked his Advice. _Celia_ was more prudent on
the like occasion; she desired _Leonilla_ to give her Opinion freely
upon a young Fellow who made his Addresses to her. _Leonilla_, to oblige
her, told her with great Frankness, that, she looked upon him as one of
the most worthless--_Celia_, foreseeing what a Character she was to
expect, begged her not to go on, for that she had been privately married
to him above a Fortnight. The truth of it is, a Woman seldom asks Advice
before she has bought her Wedding-Cloaths. When she has made her own
Choice, for Form's sake she sends a _Conge d'elire_ to her Friends.

If we look into the secret Springs and Motives that set People at work
in these Occasions, and put them upon asking Advice, which they never
intend to take; I look upon it to be none of the least, that they are
incapable of keeping a Secret which is so very pleasing to them. A Girl
longs to tell her Confident, that she hopes to be married in a little
time, and, in order to talk of the pretty Fellow that dwells so much in
her Thoughts, asks her very gravely, what she would advise her to do in
a case of so much Difficulty. Why else should _Melissa_, who had not a
Thousand Pound in the World, go into every Quarter of the Town to ask
her Acquaintance whether they would advise her to take _Tom Townly_,
that made his Addresses to her with an Estate of Five Thousand a Year?
'Tis very pleasant on this occasion, to hear the Lady propose her
Doubts, and to see the Pains she is at to get over them.

I must not here omit a Practice that is in use among the vainer Part of
our own Sex, who will often ask a Friend's Advice, in relation to a
Fortune whom they are never likely to come at. WILL. HONEYCOMB, who is
now on the Verge of Threescore, took me aside not long since, and asked
me in his most serious Look, whether I would advise him to marry my Lady
_Betty Single_, who, by the way, is one of the greatest Fortunes about
Town. I star'd him full in the Face upon so strange a Question; upon
which he immediately gave me an Inventory of her Jewels and Estate,
adding, that he was resolved to do nothing in a matter of such
Consequence without my Approbation. Finding he would have an Answer, I
told him, if he could get the Lady's Consent, he had mine. This is about
the Tenth Match which, to my knowledge, WILL, has consulted his Friends
upon, without ever opening his Mind to the Party herself.

I have been engaged in this Subject by the following Letter, which comes
to me from some notable young Female Scribe, who, by the Contents of it,
seems to have carried Matters so far, that she is ripe for asking
Advice; but as I would not lose her Good-Will, nor forfeit the
Reputation which I have with her for Wisdom, I shall only communicate
the Letter to the Publick, without returning any Answer to it.


Now, Sir, the thing is this: Mr. _Shapely_ is the prettiest Gentleman
about Town. He is very tall, but not too tall neither. He dances like
a Angel. His Mouth is made I don't know how, but 'tis the prettiest
that I ever saw in my Life. He is always laughing, for he has an
infinite deal of Wit. If you did but see how he rolls his Stockins! He
has a thousand pretty Fancies, and I am sure, if you saw him, you
would like him. He is a very good Scholar, and can talk _Latin_ as
fast as _English_. I wish you could but see him dance. Now you must
understand poor Mr. _Shapely_ has no Estate; but how can he help that,
you know? And yet my Friends are so unreasonable as to be always
teazing me about him, because he has no Estate: but I am sure he has
that that is better than an Estate; for he is a Good-natured,
Ingenious, Modest, Civil, Tall, Well-bred, Handsome Man, and I am
obliged to him for his Civilities ever since I saw him. I forgot to
tell you that he has black Eyes, and looks upon me now and then as if
he had tears in them. And yet my Friends are so unreasonable, that
they would have me be uncivil to him. I have a good Portion which they
cannot hinder me of, and I shall be fourteen on the 29th Day of
_August_ next, and am therefore willing to settle in the World as soon
as I can, and so is Mr. _Shapely_. But every body I advise with here
is poor Mr. _Shapely's_ Enemy. I desire therefore you will give me
your Advice, for I know you are a wise Man; and if you advise me well,
I am resolved to follow it. I heartily wish you could see him dance,
and am,

Your most humble Servant,
B. D.

He loves your _Spectators_ mightily.


* * * * *

No. 476. Friday, September 5, 1712. Addison.

'--lucidus Ordo--'


Among my Daily-Papers which I bestow on the Publick, there are some
which are written with Regularity and Method, and others that run out
into the Wildness of those Compositions which go by the Names of
_Essays_. As for the first, I have the whole Scheme of the Discourse in
my Mind before I set Pen to Paper. In the other kind of Writing, it is
sufficient that I have several Thoughts on a Subject, without troubling
my self to range them in such order, that they may seem to grow out of
one another, and be disposed under the proper Heads. _Seneca_ and
_Montaigne_ are Patterns for Writing in this last kind, as _Tully_ and
_Aristotle_ excel in the other. When I read an Author of Genius who
writes without Method, I fancy myself in a Wood that abounds with a
great many noble Objects, rising among one another in the greatest
Confusion and Disorder. When I read a methodical Discourse, I am in a
regular Plantation, and can place my self in its several Centres, so as
to take a view of all the Lines and Walks that are struck from them. You
may ramble in the one a whole Day together, and every Moment discover
something or other that is new to you; but when you have done, you will
have but a confused imperfect Notion of the Place: In the other, your
Eye commands the whole Prospect, and gives you such an Idea of it, as is
not easily worn out of the Memory.

Irregularity and want of Method are only supportable in Men of great
Learning or Genius, who are often too full to be exact, and therefore
chuse to throw down their Pearls in Heaps before the Reader, rather than
be at the Pains of stringing them.

Method is of advantage to a Work, both in respect to the Writer and the
Reader. In regard to the first, it is a great help to his Invention.
When a Man has plann'd his Discourse, he finds a great many Thoughts
rising out of every Head, that do not offer themselves upon the general
Survey of a Subject. His Thoughts are at the same time more
intelligible, and better discover their Drift and Meaning, when they are
placed in their proper Lights, and follow one another in a regular
Series, than when they are thrown together without Order and Connexion.
There is always an Obscurity in Confusion, and the same Sentence that
would have enlightened the Reader in one part of a Discourse, perplexes
him in another. For the same reason likewise every Thought in a
methodical Discourse shews [it [1]] self in its greatest Beauty, as the
several Figures in a piece of Painting receive new Grace from their
Disposition in the Picture. The Advantages of a Reader from a methodical
Discourse, are correspondent with those of the Writer. He comprehends
every thing easily, takes it in with Pleasure, and retains it long.

Method is not less requisite in ordinary Conversation than in Writing,
provided a Man would talk to make himself understood. I, who hear a
thousand Coffee-house Debates every Day, am very sensible of this want
of Method in the Thoughts of my honest Countrymen. There is not one
Dispute in ten which is managed in those Schools of Politicks, where,
after the three first Sentences, the Question is not entirely lost. Our
Disputants put me in mind of the Cuttle-Fish, that when he is unable to
extricate himself, blackens all the Water about him till he becomes
invisible. The Man who does not know how to methodize his Thoughts, has
always, to borrow a Phrase from the Dispensary, _a barren Superfluity of
Words;_ [2] the Fruit is lost amidst the Exuberance of Leaves.

_Tom Puzzle_ is one of the most Eminent Immethodical Disputants of any
that has fallen under my Observation. _Tom_ has read enough to make him
very Impertinent; his Knowledge is sufficient to raise Doubts, but not
to clear them. It is pity that he has so much Learning, or that he has
not a great deal more. With these Qualifications _Tom_ sets up for a
Free-thinker, finds a great many things to blame in the Constitution of
his Country, and gives shrewd Intimations that he does not believe
another World. In short, _Puzzle_ is an Atheist as much as his Parts
will give him leave. He has got about half a dozen common-place Topicks,
into which he never fails to turn the Conversation, whatever was the
Occasion of it: Tho' the matter in debate be about _Doway_ or _Denain_,
it is ten to one but half his Discourse runs upon the Unreasonableness
of Bigottry and Priest-craft. This makes Mr. _Puzzle_ the Admiration of
all those who have less Sense than himself, and the Contempt of those
who have more. There is none in Town whom _Tom_ dreads so much as my
Friend _Will Dry_. _Will_, who is acquainted with _Tom's_ Logick, when
he finds him running off the Question, cuts him short with a _What then?
We allow all this to be true, but what is it to our present Purpose?_ I
have known _Tom_ eloquent half an hour together, and triumphing, as he
thought, in the Superiority of the Argument, when he has been non-plus'd
on a sudden by Mr. _Dry's_ desiring him to tell the Company what it was
that he endeavoured to prove. In short, _Dry_ is a Man of a clear
methodical Head, but few Words, and gains the same Advantage over
_Puzzle_, that a small Body of regular Troops would gain over a
numberless undisciplined Militia.


[Footnote 1: [its]]

[Footnote 2: It is said of Colon in the second Canto,

'Hourly his learn'd Impertinence affords
A barren Superfinity of Words.']

* * * * *

No. 477. Saturday, September 6, 1712. Addison.

'--An me ludit amabilis
Insania? audire et videor pios
Errare per lucos, amoenae
Quos et aquae subeunt et aurae.'



Having lately read your Essay on the Pleasures of the Imagination, I
was so taken with your Thoughts upon some of our _English_ Gardens,
that I cannot forbear troubling you with a Letter upon that Subject. I
am one, you must know, who am looked upon as an Humorist in Gardening.
I have several Acres about my House, which I call my Garden, and which
a skilful Gardener would not know what to call. It is a Confusion of
Kitchin and Parterre, Orchard and Flower-Garden, which lie so mixt and
interwoven with one another, that if a Foreigner who had seen nothing
of our Country should be convey'd into my Garden at his first landing,
he would look upon it as a natural Wilderness, and one of the
uncultivated Parts of our Country. My Flowers grow up in several Parts
of the Garden in the greatest Luxuriancy and Profusion. I am so far
from being fond of any particular one, by reason of its Rarity, that
if I meet with any one in a Field which pleases me, I give it a place
in my Garden. By this means, when a Stranger walks with me, he is
surprized to see several large Spots of Ground cover'd with ten
thousand different Colours, and has often singled out Flowers that he
might have met with under a common Hedge, in a Field, or in a Meadow,
as some of the greatest Beauties of the Place. The only Method I
observe in this Particular, is to range in the same Quarter the
Products of the same Season, that they may make their Appearance
together, and compose a Picture of the greatest Variety. There is the
same Irregularity in my Plantations, which run into as great a
Wildness as their Natures will permit. I take in none that do not
naturally rejoice in the Soil, and am pleased when I am walking in a
Labyrinth of my own raising, not to know whether the next Tree I shall
meet with is an Apple or an Oak, an Elm or a Pear-Tree. My Kitchin has
likewise its particular Quarters assigned it; for besides the
wholesome Luxury which that Place abounds with, I have always thought
a Kitchin-Garden a more pleasant Sight than the finest Orangery, or
artificial Greenhouse. I love to see everything in its Perfection, and
am more pleased to survey my Rows of Coleworts and Cabbages, with a
thousand nameless Pot-herbs, springing up in their full Fragrancy and
Verdure, than to see the tender Plants of Foreign Countries kept alive
by artificial Heats, or withering in an Air and Soil that are not
adapted to them. I must not omit, that there is a Fountain rising in
the upper part of my Garden, which forms a little wandring Rill, and
administers to the Pleasure as well as the Plenty of the Place. I have
so conducted it, that it visits most of my Plantations; and have taken
particular Care to let it run in the same manner as it would do in an
open Field, so that it generally passes through Banks of Violets and
Primroses, Plats of Willow, or other Plants, that seem to be of its
own producing. There is another Circumstance in which I am very
particular, or, as my Neighbours call me, very whimsical: As my Garden
invites into it all the Birds of the Country, by offering them the
Conveniency of Springs and Shades, Solitude and Shelter, I do not
suffer any one to destroy their Nests in the Spring, or drive them
from their usual Haunts in Fruit-time. I value my Garden more for
being full of Blackbirds than Cherries, and very frankly give them
Fruit for their Songs. By this means I have always the Musick of the
Season in its Perfection, and am highly delighted to see the Jay or
the Thrush hopping about my Walks, and shooting before my Eye across
the several little Glades and Alleys that I pass thro'. I think there
are as many kinds of Gardening as of Poetry: Your Makers of Parterres
and Flower-Gardens, are Epigrammatists and Sonneteers in this Art:
Contrivers of Bowers and Grotto's, Treillages and Cascades, are
Romance Writers. _Wise_ and _London_ are our heroick Poets; and if, as
a Critick, I may single out any Passage of their Works to commend, I
shall take notice of that Part in the upper Garden at _Kensington_,
which was at first nothing but a Gravel-Pit. It must have been a fine
Genius for Gardening, that could have thought of forming such an
unsightly Hollow into so beautiful an Area, and to have hit the Eye
with so uncommon and agreeable a Scene as that which it is now wrought
into. To give this particular Spot of Ground the greater Effect, they
have made a very pleasing Contrast; for as on one side of the Walk you
see this hollow Basin, with its several little Plantations lying so
conveniently under the Eye of the Beholder; on the other side of it
there appears a seeming Mount, made up of Trees rising one higher than
another in proportion as they approach the Center. A Spectator, who
has not heard this Account of it, would think this Circular Mount was
not only a real one, but that it had been actually scooped out of that
hollow Space which I have before mention'd. I never yet met with any
one who had walked in this Garden, who was not struck with that Part
of it which I have here mention'd. As for my self, you will find, by
the Account which I have already given you, that my Compositions in
Gardening are altogether after the _Pindarick_ Manner, and run into
the beautiful Wildness of Nature, without affecting the nicer
Elegancies of Art. What I am now going to mention, will, perhaps,
deserve your Attention more than any thing I have yet said. I find
that in the Discourse which I spoke of at the Beginning of my Letter,
you are against filling an _English_ Garden with Ever-Greens; and
indeed I am so far of your Opinion, that I can by no means think the
Verdure of an Ever-Green comparable to that which shoots out annually,
and clothes our Trees in the Summer-Season. But I have often wonder'd
that those who are like my self, and love to live in Gardens, have
never thought of contriving a _Winter Garden_, which would consist of
such Trees only as never cast their Leaves. We have very often little
Snatches of Sunshine and fair Weather in the most uncomfortable Parts
of the Year; and have frequently several Days in _November_ and
_January_ that are as agreeable as any in the finest Months. At such
times, therefore, I think there could not be a greater Pleasure, than
to walk in such a _Winter-Garden_ as I have proposed. In the
Summer-Season the whole Country blooms, and is a kind of Garden, for
which reason we are not so sensible of those Beauties that at this
time may be every where met with; but when Nature is in her
Desolation, and presents us with nothing but bleak and barren
Prospects, there is something unspeakably chearful in a Spot of Ground
which is covered with Trees that smile amidst all the Rigours of
Winter, and give us a View of the most gay Season in the midst of that
which is the most dead and melancholy. I have so far indulged my self
in this Thought, that I have set apart a whole Acre of Ground for the
executing of it. The Walls are covered with Ivy instead of Vines. The
Laurel, the Hornbeam, and the Holly, with many other Trees and Plants
of the same nature, grow so thick in it, that you cannot imagine a
more lively Scene. The glowing Redness of the Berries, with which they
are hung at this time, vies with the Verdure of their Leaves, and are
apt to inspire the Heart of the Beholder with that vernal Delight
which you have somewhere taken notice of in your former papers. [1] It
is very pleasant, at the same time, to see the several kinds of Birds
retiring into this little Green Spot, and enjoying themselves among
the Branches and Foliage, when my great Garden, which I have before
mention'd to you, does not afford a single Leaf for their Shelter.

You must know, Sir, that I look upon the Pleasure which we take in a
Garden, as one of the most innocent Delights in Human Life. A Garden
was the Habitation of our first Parents before the Fall. It is
naturally apt to fill the Mind with Calmness and Tranquillity, and to
lay all its turbulent Passions at rest. It gives us a great insight
into the Contrivance and Wisdom of Providence, and suggests
innumerable Subjects for Meditation. I cannot but think the very
Complacency and Satisfaction which a Man takes in these Works of
Nature, to be a laudable, if not a virtuous Habit of Mind. For all
which Reasons I hope you will pardon the Length of my present Letter.
_I am,_
_SIR, &c._


[Footnote 1: In No. 393.]

* * * * *

No. 478. Monday, September 8, 1712. Steele.

Quem penes Arbitrium est, et Jus et Norma--'


It happened lately, that a Friend of mine, who had many things to buy
for his Family, would oblige me to walk with him to the Shops. He was
very nice in his way, and fond of having every thing shewn, which at
first made me very uneasy; but as his Humour still continu'd, the
things which I had been staring at along with him, began to fill my
Head, and led me into a Set of amusing Thoughts concerning them.

I fancied it must be very surprizing to any one who enters into a
detail of Fashions, to consider how far the Vanity of Mankind has laid
it self out in Dress, what a prodigious number of People it maintains,
and what a Circulation of Money it occasions. Providence in this Case
makes use of the Folly which we will not give up, and it becomes
instrumental to the Support of those who are willing to labour. Hence
it is that Fringe-Makers, Lace-Men, Tire-Women, and a number of other
Trades, which would be useless in a simple State of Nature, draw their
Subsistence; tho' it is seldom seen that such as these are extremely
rich, because their original Fault of being founded upon Vanity, keeps
them poor by the light Inconstancy of its Nature. The Variableness of
Fashion turns the Stream of Business which flows from it now into one
Channel, and anon into another; so that different Sets of People sink
or flourish in their turns by it.

From the Shops we retir'd to the Tavern, where I found my Friend
express so much satisfaction for the Bargains he had made, that my
moral Reflections, (if I had told them) might have pass'd for a
Reproof; so I chose rather to fall in with him, and let the Discourse
run upon the use of Fashions.

Here we remembred how much Man is govern'd by his Senses, how lively
he is struck by the Objects which appear to him in an agreeable
manner, how much Clothes contribute to make us agreeable Objects, and
how much we owe it to our selves that we should appear so.

We considered Man as belonging to Societies; Societies as form'd of
different Ranks; and different Ranks distinguished by Habits, that all
proper Duty or Respect might attend their Appearance.

We took notice of several Advantages which are met with in the
Occurrences of Conversation. How the bashful Man has been sometimes so
rais'd, as to express himself with an Air of Freedom, when he imagines
that his Habit introduces him to Company with a becoming Manner: And
again, how a Fool in fine Clothes shall be suddenly heard with
Attention, till he has betray'd himself; whereas a Man of Sense
appearing with a Dress of Negligence, shall be but coldly received,
till he be proved by Time, and established in a Character. Such things
as these we cou'd recollect to have happen'd to our knowledge so very
often, that we concluded the Author had his Reasons, who advises his
Son to go in Dress rather above his Fortune than under it.

At last the Subject seem'd so considerable, that it was proposed to
have a Repository built for Fashions, as there are Chambers for Medals
and other Rarities. The Building may be shap'd as that which stands
among the Pyramids, in the Form of a Woman's Head. This may be rais'd
upon Pillars, whose Ornaments shall bear a just relation to the
Design. Thus there may be an Imitation of Fringe carv'd in the Base, a
sort of Appearance of Lace in the Frieze, and a Representation of
curling Locks, with Bows of Ribband sloping over them, may fill up the
Work of the Cornish. The Inside may be divided into two Apartments
appropriated to each Sex. The Apartments may be fill'd with Shelves,
on which Boxes are to stand as regularly as Books in a Library. These
are to have Folding-Doors, which being open'd, you are to behold a
Baby dressed out in some Fashion which has flourish'd, and standing
upon a Pedestal, where the time of its Reign is mark'd down. For its
further Regulation, let it be order'd, that every one who invents a
Fashion shall bring in his Box, whose Front he may at pleasure have
either work'd or painted with some amorous or gay Device, that, like
Books with gilded Leaves and Covers, it may the sooner draw the Eyes
of the Beholders. And to the end that these may be preserv'd with all
due Care, let there be a Keeper appointed, who shall be a Gentleman
qualify'd with a competent Knowledge in Clothes; so that by this means
the Place, will be a comfortable Support for some Beau who has spent
his Estate in dressing.

The Reasons offer'd by which we expected to gain the Approbation of
the Publick, were as follows.

First, That every one who is considerable enough to be a Mode, and has
any Imperfection of Nature or Chance, which it is possible to hide by
the Advantage of Clothes, may, by coming to this Repository, be
furnish'd her self, and furnish all who are under the same Misfortune,
with the most agreeable Manner of concealing it; and that on the other
side, every one who has any Beauty in Face or Shape, may also be
furnished with the most agreeable Manner of shewing it.

Secondly, That whereas some of our young Gentlemen who travel, give us
great reason to suspect that they only go abroad to make or improve a
Fancy for Dress, a Project of this nature may be a means to keep them
at home, which is in effect the keeping of so much Money in the
Kingdom. And perhaps the Balance of Fashion in _Europe_, which now
leans upon the side of _France_, may be so alter'd for the future,
that it may become as common with _Frenchmen_ to come to _England_ for
their finishing Stroke of Breeding, as it has been for _Englishmen_ to
go to _France_ for it.

Thirdly, Whereas several great Scholars, who might have been otherwise
useful to the World, have spent their time in studying to describe the
Dresses of the Ancients from dark Hints, which they are fain to
interpret and support with much Learning, it will from henceforth
happen, that they shall be freed from the Trouble, and the World from
useless Volumes. This Project will be a Registry, to which Posterity
may have recourse, for the clearing such obscure Passages as tend that
way in Authors; and therefore we shall not for the future submit our
selves to the Learning of Etymology, which might persuade the Age to
come, that the Farthingal was worn for Cheapness, or the Furbeloe for

Fourthly, Whereas they who are old themselves, have often a way of
railing at the Extravagance of Youth, and the whole Age in which their
Children live; it is hoped that this ill Humour will be much
suppress'd, when we can have recourse to the Fashions of their Times,
produce them in our Vindication, and be able to shew that it might
have been as expensive in Queen _Elizabeth's_ time only to wash and
quill a Ruff, as it is now to buy Cravats or Neck-Handkerchiefs.

We desire also to have it taken Notice of, That because we would shew
a particular respect to Foreigners, which may induce them to perfect
their Breeding here in a Knowledge which is very proper for pretty
Gentlemen, we have conceived the Motto for the House in the Learned
Language. There is to be a Picture over the Door, with a Looking-Glass
and a Dressing-Chair in the Middle of it: Then on one side are to be
seen, above one another, Patch-Boxes, Pin-Cushions, and little
Bottles; on the other, Powder Baggs, Puffs, Combs and Brushes; beyond
these, Swords with fine Knots, whose Points are hidden, and Fans
almost closed, with the Handles downward, are to stand out
interchangeably from the Sides till they meet at the Top, and form a
Semicircle over the rest of the Figures: Beneath all, the Writing is
to run in this pretty sounding Manner:

'Adeste, O quotquot sunt, Veneres, Gratiae, Cupidines, [1]
En vobis adsunt in promptu
Faces, Vincula, Spicula,
Hinc eligite, sumite, regite.'

I am, Sir,
Your most humble Servant,
_A. B_.

The Proposal of my Correspondent I cannot but look upon as an ingenious
Method of placing Persons (whose Parts make them ambitious to exert
themselves in frivolous things) in a Rank by themselves. In order to
this, I would propose, That there be a Board of Directors of the
fashionable Society; and because it is a Matter of too much Weight for a
private Man to determine alone, I should be highly obliged to my
Correspondents if they would give in Lists of Persons qualify'd for this
Trust. If the chief Coffee-houses, the Conversations of which Places are
carry'd on by Persons, each of whom has his little number of Followers
and Admirers, would name from among themselves two or three to be
inserted, they should be put up with great Faithfulness. Old Beaus are
to be presented in the first place; but as that Sect, with relation to
Dress, is almost extinct, it will, I fear, be absolutely necessary to
take in all Time-Servers, properly so deem'd; that is, such as, without
any Conviction of Conscience or View of Interest, change with the World,
and that merely from a Terror of being out of Fashion. Such also, who
from Facility of Temper, and too much Obsequiousness, are vicious
against their Will, and follow Leaders whom they do not approve, for
Want of Courage to go their own Way, are capable Persons for this
Superintendency. Those who are both to grow old, or would do any thing
contrary to the Course and Order of things, out of Fondness to be in
Fashion, are proper Candidates. To conclude, those who are in Fashion
without apparent Merit, must be supposed to have latent Qualities, which
would appear in a Post of Direction; and therefore are to be regarded in
forming these Lists. Any who shall be pleased, according to these, or
what further Qualifications may occur to himself, to send a List, is
desired to do it within fourteen days after this Date.

N. B. _The Place of the Physician to this Society, according to the last
mentioned Qualification, is already engag'd._


[Footnote 1:

'All ye Venuses, Graces, and Cupids, attend:
See prepared to your hands
Darts, torches, and bands:
Your weapons here choose, and your empire extend.']

* * * * *

No. 479. Tuesday, September 9, 1712. Steele.

'--Dare Jure maritis.'


Many are the Epistles I every day receive from Husbands, who complain of
Vanity, Pride, but above all Ill-nature, in their Wives. I cannot tell
how it is, but I think I see in all their Letters that the Cause of
their Uneasiness is in themselves; and indeed I have hardly ever
observed the married Condition unhappy, but from want of Judgment or
Temper in the Man. The truth is, we generally make Love in a Style, and
with Sentiments very unfit for ordinary Life: They are half Theatrical,
half Romantick. By this Means we raise our Imaginations to what is not
to be expected in human Life; and because we did not beforehand think of
the Creature we were enamoured of as subject to Dishumour, Age,
Sickness, Impatience or Sullenness, but altogether considered her as the
Object of Joy, human Nature it self is often imputed to her as her
particular Imperfection or Defect.

I take it to be a Rule proper to be observed in all Occurrences of Life,
but more especially in the domestick or matrimonial Part of it, to
preserve always a Disposition to be pleased. This cannot be supported
but by considering things in their right light, and as Nature has form'd
them, and not as our own Fancies or Appetites would have them. He then
who took a young Lady to his Bed, with no other Consideration than the
Expectation of Scenes of Dalliance, and thought of her (as I said
before) only as she was to administer to the Gratification of Desire; as
that Desire flags, will, without her Fault, think her Charms and her
Merit abated: From hence must follow Indifference, Dislike, Peevishness,
and Rage. But the Man who brings his Reason to support his Passion, and
beholds what he loves as liable to all the Calamities of human Life both
in Body and Mind, and even at the best what must bring upon him new
Cares and new Relations; such a Lover, I say, will form himself
accordingly, and adapt his Mind to the Nature of his Circumstances. This
latter Person will be prepared to be a Father, a Friend, an Advocate, a
Steward for People yet unborn, and has proper Affections ready for every
Incident in the Marriage State. Such a Man can hear the Cries of
Children with Pity instead of Anger; and when they run over his Head, he
is not disturb'd at their Noise, but is glad of their Mirth and Health.
_Tom Trusty_ has told me, that he thinks it doubles his Attention to the
most intricate Affair he is about, to hear his Children, for whom all
his Cares are applied, make a Noise in the next Room: On the other side
_Will Sparkish_ cannot put on his Perriwig, or adjust his Cravat at the
Glass, for the Noise of those damned Nurses and [squaling [1] Brats; and
then ends with a gallant Reflection upon the Comforts of Matrimony, runs
out of the Hearing, and drives to the Chocolate-house.

According as the Husband is dispos'd in himself, every Circumstance of
his Life is to give him Torment or Pleasure. When the Affection is
well-placed, and supported by the Considerations of Duty, Honour, and
Friendship, which are in the highest Degree engaged in this Alliance,
there can nothing rise in the common Course of Life, or from the Blows
or Favours of Fortune, in which a Man will not find Matters of some
Delight unknown to a single Condition.

He who sincerely loves his Wife and Family, and studies to improve that
Affection in himself, conceives Pleasure from the most indifferent
things; while the married Man, who has not bid adieu to the Fashions and
false Gallantries of the Town, is perplexed with every thing around him.
In both these Cases Men cannot, indeed, make a sillier Figure, than in
repeating such Pleasures and Pains to the rest of the World; but I speak
of them only, as they sit upon those who are involved in them. As I
visit all sorts of People, I cannot indeed but smile, when the good Lady
tells her Husband what extraordinary things the Child spoke since he
went out. No longer than yesterday I was prevail'd with to go home with
a fond Husband: and his Wife told him, that his Son, of his own head,
when the Clock in the Parlour struck two, said, Pappa would come home to
Dinner presently. While the Father has him in a rapture in his Arms, and
is drowning him with Kisses, the Wife tells me he is but just four Years
old. Then they both struggle for him, and bring him up to me, and repeat
his Observation of two a-Clock. I was called upon, by Looks upon the
Child, and then at me, to say something; and I told the Father, that
this Remark of the Infant of his coming home, and joining the Time with
it, was a certain Indication that he would be a great Historian and
Chronologer. They are neither of them Fools, yet received my Compliment
with great Acknowledgment of my Prescience. I fared very well at Dinner,
and heard many other notable Sayings of their Heir, which would have
given very little Entertainment to one less turned to Reflection than I
was; but it was a pleasing Speculation to remark on the Happiness of a
Life, in which things of no Moment give Occasion of Hope,
Self-Satisfaction, and Triumph. On the other Hand, I have known an
ill-natur'd Coxcomb, who was hardly improved in any thing but Bulk, for
want of this Disposition, silence the whole Family, as a Set of silly
Women and Children, for recounting things which were really above his
own Capacity.

When I say all this, I cannot deny but there are perverse Jades that
fall to Mens Lots, with whom it requires more than common Proficiency in
Philosophy to be able to live. When these are joined to Men of warm
Spirits, without Temper or Learning, they are frequently corrected with
Stripes; but one of our famous Lawyers is of Opinion, That this ought to
be used sparingly. As I remember, those are his very Words; [1] but as
it is proper to draw some spiritual Use out of all Afflictions, I should
rather recommend to those who are visited with Women of Spirit, to form
themselves for the World by Patience at home. _Socrates_, who is by all
Accounts the undoubted Head of the Sect of the Hen-peck'd, own'd and
acknowledged that he ow'd great part of his Virtue to the Exercise which
his useful Wife constantly gave it. There are several good Instructions
may be drawn from his wise Answers to People of less Fortitude than
himself on her Subject. A Friend, with Indignation, asked how so good a
Man could live with so violent a Creature? He observ'd to him, _That
they who learn to keep a good Seat on horseback, mount the least
managable they can get, and when they have master'd them, they are sure
never to be discomposed on the Backs of Steeds less restive._ [2] At
several times, to different Persons, on the same Subject, he has said,
_My dear Friend, you are beholden to_ Xantippe, _that I bear so well
your flying out in a Dispute._ To another, _My Hen clacks very much, but
she brings me Chickens. They that live in a trading Street, are not
disturbed at the Passage of Carts._ I would have, if possible, a wise
Man be contented with his Lot, even with a Shrew; for tho' he cannot
make her better, he may, you see, make himself better by her means.

But instead of pursuing my Design of Displaying Conjugal Love in its
natural Beauties and Attractions, I am got into Tales to the
disadvantage of that State of Life. I must say, therefore, that I am
verily persuaded that whatever is delightful in human Life, is to be
enjoy'd in greater Perfection in the marry'd, than in the single
Condition. He that has this Passion in Perfection, in Occasions of Joy
can say to himself, besides his own Satisfaction, _How happy will this
make my Wife and Children?_ Upon Occurrences of Distress or Danger can
comfort himself, _But, all this while my Wife and Children are safe_.
There is something in it that doubles Satisfactions, because others
participate them; and dispels Afflictions, because others are exempt
from them. All who are marry'd without this Relish of their
Circumstance, are in either a tasteless Indolence and Negligence, which
is hardly to be attain'd, or else live in the hourly Repetition of sharp
Answers, eager Upbraidings, and distracting Reproaches. In a word the
married State, with and without the Affection suitable to it, is the
compleatest Image of Heaven and Hell we are capable of receiving in this


[Footnote 1: [squalwing]]

[Footnote 2: Henry de Bracton in his treatise of live books 'de Legibus
et Dounsuetudinibus Anglia', written about the middle of the thirteen
centry, says (Bk. I. ch. x.)

'quaedam sunt sub virga, ut uxores, &c.'

but qualifies private right with the secondary claim of the community.]

[Footnote 3: Xenophon's Symposium, Bk. II.]

* * * * *

No, 480. Wednesday, September 10, 1712. Steele.

'Responsare cupidinibus, contemnere honores,
Fortis, et in seipso totus teres, atque rotundus.'


The other Day looking over those old Manuscripts, of which I have
formerly given some Account, and which relate to the Character of the
mighty _Pharamond_ of _France_, and the close Friendship between him and
his Friend _Eucrate;_ [1] I found, among the Letters which had been in
the custody of the latter, an Epistle from a Country Gentleman to
_Pharamond_, wherein he excuses himself from coming to Court. The
Gentleman, it seems, was contented with his Condition, had formerly been
in the King's Service, but at the writing the following Letter, had,
from Leisure and Reflection, quite another Sense of things than that
which he had in the more active Part of his Life.

_Monsieur_ Chezluy _to_ Pharamond.

_Dread Sir_,

'I have from your own Hand (enclosed under the Cover of Mr. _Eucrate_
of your Majesty's Bed-Chamber) a Letter which invites me to Court. I
understand this great Honour to be done me out of Respect and
Inclination to me, rather than Regard to your own Service: For which
Reason I beg leave to lay before your Majesty my Reasons for declining
to depart from Home; and will not doubt but, as your Motive in
desiring my Attendance was to make me an happier Man, when you think
that will not be effected by my Remove, you will permit me to stay
where I am. Those who have an Ambition to appear in Courts, have ever
an Opinion that their Persons or their Talents are particularly formed
for the Service or Ornament of that Place; or else are hurried by
downright Desire of Gain, or what they call Honour, or take upon
themselves whatever the Generosity of their Master can give them
Opportunities to grasp at. But your Goodness shall not be thus imposed
upon by me: I will therefore confess to you, that frequent Solitude,
and long Conversation with such who know no Arts which polish Life,
have made me the plainest Creature in your Dominions. Those less
Capacities of moving with a good Grace, bearing a ready Affability to
all around me, and acting with ease before many, have quite left me. I
am come to that, with regard to my Person, that I consider it only as
a Machine I am obliged to take Care of, in order to enjoy my Soul in
its Faculties with Alacrity; well remembering, that this Habitation of
Clay will in a few years be a meaner Piece of Earth than any Utensil
about my House. When this is, as it really is, the most frequent
Reflection I have, you will easily imagine how well I should become a
Drawing-Room: Add to this, What shall a Man without Desires do about
the generous _Pharamond?_ Monsieur _Eucrate_ has hinted to me, that
you have thoughts of distinguishing me with Titles. As for my self, in
the Temper of my present Mind, Appellations of Honour would but
embarrass Discourse, and new Behaviour towards me perplex me in every
Habitude of Life. I am also to acknowledge to you, that my Children,
of whom your Majesty condescended to enquire, are all of them mean,
both in their Persons and Genius. The Estate my eldest Son is Heir to,
is more than he can enjoy with a good Grace. My Self-love will not
carry me so far, as to impose upon Mankind the Advancement of Persons
(merely for their being related to me) into high Distinctions, who
ought for their own Sakes, as well as that of the Publick, to affect
Obscurity. I wish, my generous Prince, as it is in your power to give
Honours and Offices, it were also to give Talents suitable to them:
Were it so, the noble _Pharamond_ would reward the Zeal of my Youth
with Abilities to do him Service in my Age.

'Those who accept of Favour without Merit, support themselves in it at
the Expence of your Majesty. Give me Leave to tell you, Sir, this is
the Reason that we in the Country hear so often repeated the Word
_Prerogative_. That Part of your Law which is reserved in your self
for the readier Service and Good of the Publick, slight Men are
eternally buzzing in our Ears to cover their own Follies and
Miscarriages. It would be an Addition to the high Favour you have done
me, if you would let _Eucrate_ send me word how often, and in what
Cases you allow a Constable to insist upon the Prerogative. From the
highest to the lowest Officer in your Dominions, something of their
own Carriage they would exempt from Examination under the Shelter of
the Word _Prerogative_. I would fain, most noble _Pharamond_, see one
of your Officers assert your Prerogative by good and gracious Actions.
When is it used to help the Afflicted, to rescue the Innocent, to
comfort the Stranger? Uncommon Methods, apparently undertaken to
attain worthy Ends, would never make Power invidious. You see, Sir, I
talk to you with the Freedom your noble Nature approves, in all whom
you admit to your Conversation.

'But, to return to your Majesty's Letter, I humbly conceive, that all
Distinctions are useful to Men, only as they are to act in Publick;
and it would be a romantick Madness, for a Man to be a Lord in his
Closet. Nothing can be honourable to a Man apart from the World, but
the Reflection upon worthy Actions; and he that places Honour in a
Consciousness of Well-doing, will have but little Relish for any
outward Homage that is paid him, since what gives him distinction to
himself, cannot come within the Observation of his Beholders. Thus all
the Words of Lordship, Honour, and Grace, are only Repetitions to a
Man that the King has order'd him to be called so; but no Evidences
that there is any thing in himself that would give the Man who applies
to him those Ideas, without the Creation of his Master.

'I have, most noble _Pharamond_, all Honours and all Titles in your
own Approbation; I triumph in them as they are your Gift, I refuse
them as they are to give me the Observation of others. Indulge me, my
Noble Master, in this Chastity of Renown; let me know my self in the
Favour of _Pharamond;_ and look down upon the Applause of the People.

I am,
in all Duty and Loyally,
Your Majesty's most obedient
Subject and Servant,
Jean Chezluy.


'I need not tell you with what Disadvantages Men of low Fortunes and
great Modesty come into the World; what wrong Measures their
Diffidence of themselves, and Fear of offending, often obliges them to
take; and what a Pity it is that their greatest Virtues and Qualities,
that should soonest recommend them, are the main Obstacle in the way
of their Preferment.

'This, Sir, is my Case; I was bred at a Country-School, where I
learned _Latin_ and _Greek_. The Misfortunes of my Family forced me up
to Town, where a Profession of the politer sort has protected me
against Infamy and Want. I am now Clerk to a Lawyer, and, in times of
Vacancy and Recess from Business, have made my self Master of
_Italian_ and _French;_ and tho' the Progress I have made in my
Business has gain'd me Reputation enough for one of my standing, yet
my Mind suggests to me every day, that it is not upon that Foundation
I am to build my Fortune.

'The Person I have my present Dependance upon, has it in his Nature,
as well as in his Power, to advance me, by recommending me to a
Gentleman that is going beyond Sea in a publick Employment. I know the
printing this Letter would point me out to those I want Confidence to
speak to, and I hope it is not in your Power to refuse making any Body

_September_ 9, 1712.
_Yours_, &c.

M. D. [2]


[Footnote 1: See Nos. 76, 84, 97.]

[Footnote 2: Mr. Robert Harper, who died an eminent conveyancer of
Lincoln's Inn. He sent his letter on the 9th of August, and it appeared
September the 10th with omissions and alterations by Steele.]

* * * * *

No. 481. Thursday, September 11, 1712. Addison.

'--Uti non
Compositus melius cum Bitho Bacchius, in jus
Acres procurrunt--'


It is [something [1]] pleasant enough to consider the different Notions,
which different Persons have of the same thing. If Men of low Condition
very often set a Value on Things, which are not prized by those who are
in an higher Station of Life, there are many things these esteem which
are in no Value among Persons of an inferior Rank. Common People are, in
particular, very much astonished, when they hear of those solemn
Contests and Debates, which are made among the Great upon the
Punctilio's of a publick Ceremony, and wonder to hear that any Business
of Consequence should be retarded by those little Circumstances, which
they represent to themselves as trifling and insignificant. I am
mightily pleased with a Porter's Decision in one of Mr. _Southern's_
Plays, [2] which is founded upon that fine Distress of a Virtuous
Woman's marrying a second Husband, while her first was yet living. The
first Husband, who was suppos'd to have been dead, returning to his
House after a long Absence, raises a noble Perplexity for the Tragick
Part of the Play. In the mean while, the Nurse and the Porter conferring
upon the Difficulties that would ensue in such a Case, honest _Sampson_
thinks the matter may be easily decided, and solves it very judiciously,
by the old Proverb, that if his first Master be still living, _The Man
must have his Mare again_. There is nothing in my time which has so much
surprized and confounded the greatest part of my honest Countrymen, as
the present Controversy between Count _Rechteren_ and Monsieur
_Mesnager_, which employs the wise Heads of so many Nations, and holds
all the Affairs of _Europe_ in suspence. [3]

Upon my going into a Coffee-house yesterday, and lending an ear to the
next Table, which was encompassed with a Circle of inferior Politicians,
one of them, after having read over the News very attentively, broke out
into the following Remarks. I am afraid, says he, this unhappy Rupture
between the Footmen at _Utrecht_ will retard the Peace of Christendom. I
wish the Pope may not be at the Bottom of it. His Holiness has a very
good hand at fomenting a Division, as the poor _Suisse Cantons_ have
lately experienced to their Cost. If Mo[u]nsieur [4]
_What-d'ye-call-him's_ Domesticks will not come to an Accommodation, I
do not know how the Quarrel can be ended, but by a Religious War.

Why truly, says a _Wiseacre_ that sat by him, were I as the King of
_France_, I would scorn to take part with the Footmen of either side:
Here's all the Business of _Europe_ stands still, because Mo[u]nsieur
_Mesnager's_ Man has had his Head broke. If Count _Rectrum_ had given
them a Pot of Ale after it, all would have been well, without any of
this Bustle; but they say he's a warm Man, and does not care to be made
Mouths at.

Upon this, one, that had held his Tongue hitherto, [began [5]] to exert
himself; declaring, that he was very well pleased the Plenipotentiaries
of our Christian Princes took this matter into their serious
Consideration; for that Lacqueys were never so saucy and pragmatical, as
they are now-a-days, and that he should be glad to see them taken down
in the Treaty of Peace, if it might be done without prejudice to [the]
Publick Affairs.

One who sat at the other End of the Table, and seemed to be in the
Interests of the _French_ King, told them, that they did not take the
matter right, for that his most Christian Majesty did not resent this
matter because it was an Injury done to Monsieur _Mesnager's_ Footmen;
for, says he, what are Monsieur _Mesnager's_ Footmen to him? but because
it was done to his Subjects. Now, says he, let me tell you, it would
look very odd for a Subject of _France_ to have a bloody Nose, and his
Sovereign not to take Notice of it. He is obliged in Honour to defend
his People against Hostilities; and if the _Dutch_ will be so insolent
to a Crowned Head, as, in any wise, to cuff or kick those who are under
_His_ Protection, I think he is in the right to call them to an Account
for it.

This Distinction set the Controversy upon a new Foot, and seemed to be
very well approved by most that heard it, till a little warm Fellow, who
declared himself a Friend to the House of _Austria_, fell most
unmercifully upon his _Gallick_ Majesty, as encouraging his Subjects to
make Mouths at their Betters, and afterwards screening them from the
Punishment that was due to their Insolence. To which he added that the
_French_ Nation was so addicted to Grimace, that if there was not a Stop
put to it at the General Congress, there would be no walking the Streets
for them in a time of Peace, especially if they continued Masters of the
_West-Indies_. The little Man proceeded with a great deal of warmth,
declaring that if the Allies were of his Mind, he would oblige the
_French_ King to burn his Gallies, and tolerate the Protestant Religion
in his Dominions, before he would Sheath his Sword. He concluded with
calling Mo[u]nsieur _Mesnager_ an Insignificant Prig.

The Dispute was now growing very Warm, and one does not know where it
would have ended, had not a young Man of about One and Twenty, who seems
to have been brought up with an Eye to the Law, taken the Debate into
his Hand, and given it as his Opinion, that neither Count _Rechteren_
nor Mo[u]nsieur _Mesnager_ had behaved themselves right in this Affair.
Count _Rechteren_, says he, should have made Affidavit that his Servants
had been affronted, and then Mo[u]nsieur _Mesnager_ would have done him
Justice, by taking away their Liveries from 'em, or some other way that
he might have thought the most proper; for let me tell you, if a Man
makes a Mouth at me, I am not to knock the Teeth out of it for his
Pains. Then again, as for Mo[u]nsieur _Mesnager_, upon his Servants
being beaten, why! he might have had his Action of Assault and Battery.
But as the case now stands, if you will have my Opinion, I think they
ought to bring it to Referees.

I heard a great deal more of this Conference, but I must confess with
little Edification; for all I could learn at last from these honest
Gentlemen, was, that the matter in Debate was of too high a Nature for
such Heads as theirs, or mine, to Comprehend.


[Footnote 1: [sometimes]]

[Footnote 2: The Fatal Marriage, or the Innocent Adultery.]

[Footnote 3: The negotiations for Peace which were going on at Utrecht
had been checked by the complaint of Count Rechteren, deputy for the
Province of Overyssel. On the 24th of July the French, under Marshal
Villars, had obtained a great victory at Denain, capturing the Earl of
Albemarle, the Princes of Anhalt, of Holstein, Nassau Seeken, and 2500
men, under the eyes of Prince Eugene, who was stopped at the bridge of
Prouy on his way to rescue and entreated by the deputies of the
States-general to retire. The allies lost a thousand killed and fifteen
hundred drowned; the French only five hundred, and sixty flags were sent
as trophies to Versailles. The insecure position taken by the Earl of
Albemarle had been forced on Prince Eugene by the Dutch deputies, who
found the arrangement cheapest. 'Tell me,' he said, 'of the conquests of
Alexander. He had no Dutch deputies in his army.' Count Rechteren,
deputy for Overyssel, complained that, a few days after this battle,
when he was riding in his carriage by the gate of M. Menager, the French
Plenipotentiary, that gentleman's lackeys insulted his lackeys with
grimaces and indecent gestures. He sent his secretary to complain to M.
Menager, demand satisfaction, and say that if it were not given, he
should take it. Menager replied, in writing, that although this was but
an affair between lackeys, he was far from approving ill behaviour in
his servants towards other servants, particularly towards servants of
Count Rechteren, and he was ready to send to the Count those lackeys
whom he had seen misbehaving, or even those whom his other servants
should point out as guilty of the offensive conduct. Rechteren, when the
answer arrived, was gone to the Hague, and it was forwarded to his
colleague, M. Moerman. Upon his return to Utrecht, Rechteren sent his
secretary again to Menager, with the complaint as before, and received
the answer as before. He admitted that he had not himself seen the
grimaces and insulting gestures, but he ought, he said, to be at liberty
to send his servants into Menager's house for the detection of the
offenders. A few days afterwards Menager and Rechteren were on the chief
promenade of Utrecht, with others who were Plenipotentiaries of the
United Provinces, and after exchange of civilities, Rechteren said that
he was still awaiting satisfaction. Menager replied as before, and said
that his lackeys all denied the charge against them. Menager refused
also to allow the accusers of his servants to come into his house and be
their judges. Rechteren said he would have justice yet upon master and
men. He was invested with a sovereign power as well as Menager. He was
not a man to take insults. He spoke some words in Dutch to his
attendants, and presently Menager's lackeys came with complaint that the
lackeys of Rechteren tripped them up behind, threw them upon their
faces, and threatened them with knives. Rechteren told the French
Plenipotentiary that he would pay them for doing that, and discharge
them if they did not do it. Rechteren's colleagues did what they could
to cover or excuse his folly, and begged that the matter might not
appear in a despatch to France or be represented to the States-general,
but be left to the arbitration of the English Plenipotentiaries. This
the French assented to, but they now demanded satisfaction against
Rechteren, and refused to accept the excuse made for him, that he was
drunk. He might, under other circumstances, says M. Torcy, the French
minister of the time, in his account of the Peace Negociations, have
dismissed the petty quarrel of servants by accepting such an excuse but,
says M. de Torcy, 'it was desirable to retard the Conferences, and this
dispute gave a plausible reason.' Therefore until the King of France and
Bolingbroke had come to a complete understanding, the King of France
ordered his three Plenipotentiaries to keep the States-general busy,
with the task of making it clear to his French Majesty whether
Rechteren's violence was sanctioned by them, or whether he had acted
under private passion, excited by the Ministers of the House of Austria.
Then they must further assent to a prescribed form of disavowal, and
deprive Rechteren of his place as a deputy. This was the high policy of
the affair of the lackeys, which, as Addison says, held all the affairs
of Europe in suspense, a policy avowed with all complacency by the high
politician who was puller of the strings. (Memoires de Torcy, Vol. iii.
pp. 411-13.)

[Footnote 4: It is Monsieur in the first issue and also in the first

[Footnote 5: [begun]]

* * * * *

No. 482. Friday, September 12, 1712. Addison.

'Floriferis ut apes in saltibus omnia libant.'


When I have published any single Paper that falls in with the Popular
Taste, and pleases more than ordinary, it always brings me in a great
return of Letters. My _Tuesday's_ Discourse, wherein I gave several
Admonitions to the Fraternity of the _Henpeck'd_, has already produced
me very many Correspondents; the Reason I cannot guess at, unless it be
that such a Discourse is of general Use, and every married Man's Money.
An honest Tradesman, who dates his Letter from _Cheapside_, sends me
Thanks in the name of a Club, who, he tells me, meet as often as their
Wives will give them leave, and stay together till they are sent for
home. He informs me, that my Paper has administered great Consolation to
their whole Club, and desires me to give some further Account of
_Socrates_, and to acquaint them in whose Reign he lived, whether he was
a Citizen or a Courtier, whether he buried _Xantippe_, with many other
particulars: For that by his Sayings he appears to have been a very Wise
Man and a good Christian. Another, who writes himself _Benjamin Bamboo_,
tells me, that being coupled with a Shrew, he had endeavoured to tame
her by such lawful means as those which I mentioned in my last
_Tuesday's_ Paper, and that in his Wrath he had often gone further than
_Bracton_ allows in those cases; but that for the future he was resolved
to bear it like a Man of Temper and Learning, and consider her only as
one who lives in his House to teach him Philosophy. _Tom Dapperwit_
says, that he agrees with me in that whole Discourse, excepting only the
last Sentence, where I affirm the married State to be either an Heaven
or an Hell. _Tom_ has been at the charge of a Penny upon this occasion,
to tell me, that by his Experience it is neither one nor the other, but
rather that middle kind of State, commonly known by the Name of

The Fair Sex have likewise obliged me with their Reflections upon the
same Discourse. A Lady, who calls herself _Euterpe_, and seems a Woman
of Letters, asks me whether I am for establishing the _Salick_ Law in
every Family, and why it is not fit that a Woman who has Discretion and
Learning should sit at the Helm, when the Husband is weak and
illiterate? Another, of a quite contrary Character, subscribes herself
_Xantippe_, and tells me, that she follows the Example of her Name-sake;
for being married to a Bookish Man, who has no Knowledge of the World,
she is forced to take their Affairs into her own Hands, and to spirit
him up now and then, that he may not grow musty, and unfit for

After this Abridgment of some Letters which are come to my hands upon
this Occasion, I shall publish one of them at large.


You have given us a lively Picture of that kind of Husband who comes
under the Denomination of the Hen-peck'd; but I do not remember that
you have ever touched upon one that is of the quite different
Character, and who, in several Places of _England_, goes by the Name
of a Cot-Quean. I have the Misfortune to be joined for Life with one
of this Character, who in reality is more a Woman than [I am. [1]] He
was bred up under the Tuition of a tender Mother, till she had made
him as good a House-wife as her self. He could preserve Apricots, and
make Gellies, before he had been two Years out of the Nursery. He was
never suffered to go abroad, for fear of catching Cold: when he should
have been hunting down a Buck, he was by his Mother's Side learning
how to Season it, or put it in Crust; and was making Paper-Boats with
his Sisters, at an Age when other young Gentlemen are crossing the
Seas, or travelling into Foreign Countries. He has the whitest Hand
that you ever saw in your Life, and raises Paste better than any Woman
in _England_. These Qualifications make him a sad Husband: He is
perpetually in the Kitchin, and has a thousand Squabbles with the
Cook-maid. He is better acquainted with the Milk-Score, than his
Steward's Accounts. I fret to Death when I hear him find fault with a
Dish that is not dressed to his liking, and instructing his Friends
that dine with him in the best Pickle for a Walnut, or Sauce for an
Haunch of Venison. With all this, he is a very good-natured Husband,
and never fell out with me in his Life but once, upon the
over-roasting of a Dish of Wild-Fowl: At the same time I must own I
would rather he was a Man of a rough Temper, that would treat me
harshly sometimes, than of such an effeminate busy Nature in a
Province that does not belong to him. Since you have given us the
Character of a Wife who wears the Breeches, pray say something of a
Husband that wears the Petticoat. Why should not a Female Character be
as ridiculous in a Man, as a Male Character in one of our Sex?

_I am_, &c.


[Footnote 1: [my self.]]

* * * * *

No. 483. Saturday, September 13, 1712. Addison.

'Nec Deus intersit nisi dignus vindice nodus


We cannot be guilty of a greater Act of Uncharitableness, than to
interpret the Afflictions which befal our Neighbours, as _Punishments_
and _Judgments_. It aggravates the Evil to him who suffers, when he
looks upon himself as the Mark of Divine Vengeance, and abates the
Compassion of those towards him, who regard him in so dreadful a Light.
This Humour of turning every Misfortune into a Judgment, proceeds from
wrong Notions of Religion, which, in its own nature, produces Goodwill
towards Men, and puts the mildest Construction upon every Accident that
befalls them. In this case, therefore, it is not Religion that sours a
Man's Temper, but it is his Temper that sours his Religion: People of
gloomy unchearful Imaginations, or of envious malignant Tempers,
whatever kind of Life they are engaged in, will discover their natural
Tincture of Mind in all their Thoughts, Words, and Actions. As the
finest Wines have often the Taste of the Soil, so even the most
religious Thoughts often draw something that is particular from the
Constitution of the Mind in which they arise. When Folly or Superstition
strike in with this natural Depravity of Temper, it is not in the power,
even of Religion it self, to preserve the Character of the Person who is
possessed with it, from appearing highly absurd and ridiculous.

An old Maiden Gentlewoman, whom I shall conceal under the Name of
_Nemesis_, is the greatest Discoverer of Judgments that I have met with.
She can tell you what Sin it was that set such a Man's House on fire, or
blew down his Barns. Talk to her of an unfortunate young Lady that lost
her Beauty by the Small-Pox, she fetches a deep Sigh, and tells you,
that when she had a fine Face she was always looking on it in her Glass.
Tell her of a Piece of good Fortune that has befallen one of her
Acquaintance; and she wishes it may prosper with her, but her Mother
used one of her Nieces very barbarously. Her usual Remarks turn upon
People who had great Estates, but never enjoyed them, by reason of some
Flaw in their own, or their Father's Behaviour. She can give you the
Reason why such a one died Childless: Why such an one was cut off in the
Flower of his Youth: Why such an one was Unhappy in her Marriage: Why
one broke his Leg on such a particular Spot of Ground, and why another
was killed with a Back-Sword, rather than with any other kind of Weapon.
She has a Crime for every Misfortune that can befal any of her
Acquaintance, and when she hears of a Robbery that has been made, or a
Murder that has been committed, enlarges more on the Guilt of the
suffering Person, than on that of the Thief, or the Assassin. In short,
she is so good a Christian, that whatever happens to her self is a
Tryal, and whatever happens to her Neighbours is a Judgment.

The very Description of this Folly, in ordinary Life, is sufficient to
expose it; but when it appears in a Pomp and Dignity of Style, it is
very apt to amuse and terrify the Mind of the Reader. _Herodotus_ and
_Plutarch_ very often apply their Judgments as impertinently as the old
Woman I have before mentioned, though their manner of relating them,
makes the Folly it self appear venerable. Indeed, most Historians, as
well Christian as Pagan, have fallen into this idle Superstition, and
spoken of ill [Success, [1]] unforeseen Disasters, and terrible Events,
as if they had been let into the Secrets of Providence, and made
acquainted with that private Conduct by which the World is governed. One
would think several of our own Historians in particular had many
Revelations of this kind made to them. Our old _English_ Monks seldom
let any of their Kings depart in Peace, who had endeavoured to diminish
the Power or Wealth of which the Ecclesiasticks were in those times
possessed. _William the Conqueror's_ Race generally found their
Judgments in the _New Forest_, where their Father had pulled down
Churches and Monasteries. In short, read one of the Chronicles written
by an Author of this frame of Mind, and you would think you were reading
an History of the Kings of _Israel_ or _Judah_, where the Historians
were actually inspired, and where, by a particular Scheme of Providence,
the Kings were distinguished by Judgments or Blessings, according as
they promoted Idolatry or the Worship of the true God.

I cannot but look upon this manner of judging upon Misfortunes, not only
to be very uncharitable, in regard to the Person whom they befall, but
very presumptuous in regard to him who is supposed to inflict them. It
is a strong Argument for a State of Retribution hereafter, that in this
World virtuous Persons are very often unfortunate, and vicious Persons
prosperous; which is wholly repugnant to the Nature of a Being who
appears infinitely wise and good in all his Works, unless we may suppose
that such a promiscuous and undistinguishing Distribution of Good and
Evil, which was necessary for carrying on the Designs of Providence in
this Life, will be rectified and made amends for in another. We are not
therefore to expect that Fire should fall from Heaven in the ordinary
Course of Providence; nor when we see triumphant Guilt or depressed
Virtue in particular Persons, that Omnipotence will make bare its holy
Arm in the Defence of the one, or Punishment of the other. It is
sufficient that there is a Day set apart for the hearing and requiting
of both according to their respective Merits.

The Folly of ascribing Temporal Judgments to any particular Crimes, may
appear from several Considerations. I shall only mention two: First,
That, generally speaking, there is no Calamity or Affliction, which is
supposed to have happened as a Judgment to a vicious Man, which does not
sometimes happen to Men of approved Religion and Virtue. When _Diagoras_
the Atheist [2] was on board one of the _Athenian_ Ships, there arose a
very violent Tempest; upon which the Mariners told him, that it was a
just Judgment upon them for having taken so impious a Man on board.
_Diagoras_ begged them to look upon the rest of the Ships that were in
the same Distress, and ask'd them whether or no _Diagoras_ was on board
every Vessel in the Fleet. We are all involved in the same Calamities,
and subject to the same Accidents: and when we see any one of the
Species under any particular Oppression, we should look upon it as
arising from the common Lot of human Nature, rather than from the Guilt
of the Person who suffers.

Another Consideration, that may check our Presumption in putting such a
Construction upon a Misfortune, is this, That it is impossible for us to
know what are Calamities, and what are Blessings. How many Accidents
have pass'd for Misfortunes, which have turned to the Welfare and
Prosperity of the Persons in whose Lot they have fallen? How many
Disappointments have, in their Consequences, saved a man from Ruin? If
we could look into the Effects of every thing, we might be allowed to
pronounce boldly upon Blessings and Judgments; but for a Man to give his
Opinion of what he sees but in part, and in its Beginnings, is an
unjustifiable Piece of Rashness and Folly. The Story of _Biton_ and
_Clitobus_, which was in great Reputation among the Heathens, (for we
see it quoted by all the ancient Authors, both _Greek_ and _Latin_, who
have written upon the Immortality of the Soul,) may teach us a Caution
in this Matter. These two Brothers, being the Sons of a Lady who was
Priestess to _Juno_, drew their Mother's Chariot to the Temple at the
time of a great Solemnity, the Persons being absent who by their Office
were to have drawn her Chariot on that Occasion. The Mother was so
transported with this Instance of filial Duty, that she petition'd her
Goddess to bestow upon them the greatest Gift that could be given to
Men; upon which they were both cast into a deep Sleep, and the next
Morning found dead in the Temple. This was such an Event, as would have
been construed into a Judgment, had it happen'd to the two Brothers
after an Act of Disobedience, and would doubtless have been represented
as such by any Ancient Historian who had given us an Account of it.


[Footnote 1: [Successes,]]

[Footnote 2: Diagoras the Melian, having attacked the popular religion
and the Eleusinian mysteries, had a price set on his head, and left
Athens B.C. 411. The Athenians called him Atheist, and destroyed his
writings. The story in the text is from the third book of Cicero 'de
Natura Deorum.']

* * * * *

No. 484. Monday, September 15, 1712. Steele.

'Neque cuiquam tam statim clarum ingenium est, ut possit emergere;
nisi illi materia, occasio, fautor etiam, commendatorque contingat.'

Plin. Epist.


Of all the young Fellows who are in their Progress thro' any
Profession, none seem to have so good a Title to the Protection of the
Men of Eminence in it as the modest Man; not so much because his
Modesty is a certain Indication of his Merit, as because 'tis a
certain Obstacle to the producing of it. Now, as of all Professions
this Virtue is thought to be more particularly unnecessary in that of
the Law than in any other, I shall only apply my self to the Relief of
such who follow this Profession with this Disadvantage. What
aggravates the matter is, that those Persons who, the better to
prepare themselves for this Study, have made some Progress in others,
have, by addicting themselves to Letters, encreased their natural
Modesty, and consequently heighten'd the Obstruction to this sort of
Preferment; so that every one of these may emphatically be said to be
such a one as _laboureth and taketh pains, and is still the more
behind_. It may be a Matter worth discussing then, Why that which made
a Youth so amiable to the Ancients, should make him appear so
ridiculous to the Moderns? and, Why in our days there should be
Neglect, and even Oppression of young Beginners, instead of that
Protection which was the Pride of theirs? In the Profession spoken of,
'tis obvious to every one whose Attendance is required at
_Westminster-Hall_, with what Difficulty a Youth of any Modesty has
been permitted to make an Observation, that could in no wise detract
from the Merit of his Elders, and is absolutely necessary for the
advancing his own. I have often seen one of these not only molested in
his Utterance of something very pertinent, but even plunder'd of his
Question, and by a strong Serjeant shoulder'd out of his Rank, which
he has recover'd with much Difficulty and Confusion. Now as great part
of the Business of this Profession might be dispatched by one that

'--Abest virtute diserti
Messalae, nec scit quantum Causellius Aulus--'


so I can't conceive the Injustice done to the Publick, if the Men of
Reputation in this Calling would introduce such of the young ones into
Business, whose Application to this Study will let them into the
Secrets of it, as much as their Modesty will hinder them from the
Practice: I say, it would be laying an everlasting Obligation upon a
young Man, to be introduc'd at first only as a Mute, till by this
Countenance, and a Resolution to support the good Opinion conceiv'd of
him in his Betters, his Complexion shall be so well settled, that the
Litigious of this Island may be secure of his obstreperous Aid. If I
might be indulged to speak in the Style of a Lawyer, I would say, That
any one about thirty years of Age, might make a common Motion to the
Court with as much Elegance and Propriety as the most aged Advocates
in the Hall.

I can't advance the Merit of Modesty by any Argument of my own so
powerfully, as by enquiring into the Sentiments the greatest among the
Ancients of different Ages entertain'd upon this Virtue. If we go back
to the Days of _Solomon_, we shall find Favour a necessary Consequence
to a shame-fac'd Man. _Pliny_, the greatest Lawyer and most Elegant
Writer of the Age he lived in, in several of his Epistles is very
sollicitous in recommending to the Publick some young Men of his own
Profession, and very often undertakes to become an Advocate, upon
condition that some one of these his Favourites might be joined with
him, in order to produce the Merit of such, whose Modesty otherwise
would have suppressed it. It may seem very marvellous to a saucy
Modern, that _Multum sanguinis, multum verecundiae, multum
sollicitudinis in ore; to have the Face first full of Blood, then the
Countenance dashed with Modesty, and then the whole Aspect as of one
dying with Fear, when a Man begins to speak;_ should be esteem'd by
_Pliny_ the necessary Qualifications of a fine Speaker [1].
_Shakespear_ has also express'd himself in the same favourable Strain
of Modesty, when he says,

'--In the Modesty of fearful Duty
I read as much as from the rattling Tongue
Of saucy and audacious Eloquence--' [2]

Now since these Authors have profess'd themselves for the Modest Man,
even in the utmost Confusions of Speech and Countenance, why should an
intrepid Utterance and a resolute Vociferation thunder so successfully
in our Courts of Justice? And why should that Confidence of Speech and
Behaviour, which seems to acknowledge no Superior, and to defy all
Contradiction, prevail over that Deference and Resignation with which
the Modest Man implores that favourable Opinion which the other seems
to command?

As the Case at present stands, the best Consolation that I can
administer to those who cannot get into that Stroke of Business (as
the Phrase is) which they deserve, is to reckon every particular
Acquisition of Knowledge in this Study as a real Increase of their
Fortune; and fully to believe, that one day this imaginary Gain will
certainly be made out by one more substantial. I wish you would talk
to us a little on this Head, you would oblige,


_Your most humble Servant_.

The Author of this Letter is certainly a Man of good Sense; but I am
perhaps particular in my Opinion on this Occasion; for I have observed,
that under the Notion of Modesty, Men have indulged themselves in a
Spiritless Sheepishness, and been for ever lost to themselves, their
Families, their Friends, and their Country. When a Man has taken care to
pretend to nothing but what he may justly aim at, and can execute as
well as any other, without Injustice to any other; it is ever want of
Breeding or Courage to be brow-beaten or elbow'd out of his honest
Ambition. I have said often, Modesty must be an Act of the Will, and yet
it always implies Self-Denial: For if a Man has an ardent Desire to do
what is laudable for him to perform, and, from an unmanly Bashfulness,
shrinks away, and lets his Merit languish in Silence, he ought not to be
angry at the World that a more unskilful Actor succeeds in his Part,
because he has not Confidence to come upon the Stage himself. The
Generosity my Correspondent mentions of _Pliny_, cannot be enough
applauded. To cherish the Dawn of Merit, and hasten its Maturity, was a
Work worthy a noble _Roman_ and a liberal Scholar. That Concern which is
described in the Letter, is to all the World the greatest Charm
imaginable: but then the modest Man must proceed, and shew a latent
Resolution in himself; for the Admiration of his Modesty arises from the
Manifestation of his Merit. I must confess we live in an Age wherein a
few empty Blusterers carry away the Praise of Speaking, while a Crowd of
Fellows over-stock'd with Knowledge are run down by them. I say
Over-stock'd, because they certainly are so as to their Service of
Mankind, if from their very Store they raise to themselves Ideas of
Respect, and Greatness of the Occasion, and I know not what, to disable
themselves from explaining their Thoughts. I must confess, when I have
seen _Charles Frankair_ rise up with a commanding Mien, and Torrent of
handsome Words, talk a Mile off the Purpose, and drive down twenty
bashful Boobies of ten times his Sense, who at the same time were
envying his Impudence and despising his Understanding, it has been
matter of great Mirth to me; but it soon ended in a secret Lamentation,
that the Fountains of every thing praiseworthy in these Realms, the
Universities, should be so muddied with a false Sense of this Virtue, as
to produce Men capable of being so abused. I will be bold to say, that
it is a ridiculous Education which does not qualify a Man to make his
best Appearance before the greatest Man and the finest Woman to whom he
can address himself. Were this judiciously corrected in the Nurseries of
Learning, pert Coxcombs would know their Distance: But we must bear with
this false Modesty in our young Nobility and Gentry, till they cease at
_Oxford_ and _Cambridge_ to grow dumb in the Study of Eloquence.


[Footnote 1: The citation is from a charming letter in which Pliny (Bk.
v. letter 17) tells Spurinna the pleasure he had just received from a
recitation by a noble youth in the house of Calpurnius Piso, and how,
when it was over, he gave the youth many kisses and praises,
congratulated his mother and his brother, in whom, as the reciter tried
his powers, first fear for him and then delight in him was manifest. To
the sentences quoted above the next is

'Etenim, nescio quo pacto, magis in studiis homines timor quam fiducia

'I don't know how it is, but in brain-work mistrust better becomes men
than self-confidence.']

[Footnote 2: Midsummer Night's Dream, Act v. sc. 1.]

* * * * *

No. 485. Tuesday, September 16, 1712. Steele.

'Nihil tam firmum est, cui periculum non sit, etiam ab Invalido.'

Quint. Curt.


'My Lord _Clarendon_ has observed, _That few Men have done more harm
than those who have been thought to be able to do least; and there
cannot be a greater Error, than to believe a Man whom we see qualified
with too mean Parts to do good, to be therefore incapable of doing
hurt. There is a Supply of Malice, of Pride, of Industry, and even of
Folly, in the Weakest, when he sets his heart upon it, that makes a
strange progress in Mischief_. [1] What may seem to the Reader the
greatest Paradox in the Reflection of the Historian, is, I suppose,
that Folly, which is generally thought incapable of contriving or
executing any Design, should be so formidable to those whom it exerts
it self to molest. But this will appear very plain, if we remember
that _Solomon_ says, _It is as Sport to a Fool to do mischief_; and
that he might the more emphatically express the calamitous
Circumstances of him who falls under the displeasure of this wanton
Person, the same Author adds further, _That a Stone is heavy, and the
Sand weighty, but a Fool's Wrath is heavier than them both_. It is
impossible to suppress my own Illustration upon this Matter, which is,
That as the Man of Sagacity bestirs himself to distress his Enemy by
Methods probable and reducible to Reason, so the same Reason will
fortify his Enemy to elude these his regular Efforts; but your Fool
projects, acts, and concludes with such notable Inconsistence, that no
regular Course of Thought can evade or counterplot his prodigious
Machinations. My Frontispiece, I believe, may be extended to imply,
That several of our Misfortunes arise from Things, as well as Persons,
that seem of very little consequence. Into what tragical
Extravagancies does _Shakespear_ hurry _Othello_ upon the loss of an
Handkerchief only? and what Barbarities does _Desdemona_ suffer from a
slight Inadvertency in regard to this fatal Trifle? If the Schemes of
all enterprizing Spirits were to be carefully examined, some
intervening Accident, not considerable enough to occasion any Debate
upon, or give 'em any apprehension of ill Consequence from it, will be
found to be the occasion of their ill Success, rather than any Error
in Points of Moment and Difficulty, which naturally engag'd their
maturest Deliberations. If you go to the Levee of any great Man, you
will observe him exceeding gracious to several very insignificant
Fellows; and this upon this Maxim, That the Neglect of any Person must
arise from the mean Opinion you have of his Capacity to do you any
Service or Prejudice; and that this calling his Sufficiency in
question, must give him Inclination, and where this is, there never
wants Strength or Opportunity to annoy you. There is no body so weak
of Invention, that can't aggravate or make some little Stories to
vilify his Enemy; and there are very few but have good Inclinations to
hear 'em, and 'tis infinite Pleasure to the Majority of Mankind to
level a Person superior to his Neighbours. Besides, in all matter of
Controversy, that Party which has the greatest Abilities labours under
this Prejudice, that he will certainly be supposed, upon Account of
his Abilities, to have done an Injury, when perhaps he has received
one. It would be tedious to enumerate the Strokes that Nations and
particular Friends have suffer'd from Persons very contemptible.

I Think _Henry_ IV. of _France_, so formidable to his Neighbours,
could no more be secur'd against the resolute Villany of _Ravillac_,
than _Villiers_, Duke of _Buckingham_, could be against that of
_Felton_. And there is no incens'd Person so destitute, but can
provide himself with a Knife or a Pistol, if he finds stomach to apply
them. That Things and Persons of no moment should give such powerful
Revolutions to the progress of those of the greatest, seems a
providential Disposition to baffle and abate the Pride of human
Sufficiency; as also to engage the Humanity and Benevolence of
Superiors to all below 'em, by letting them into this Secret, that the
Stronger depends upon the Weaker.

_I am, SIR,
Your very humble Servant._

_Temple, Paper-Buildings._

_Dear Sir_,

'I received a Letter from you some time ago, which I should have
answered sooner, had you informed me in yours to what part of this
Island I might have directed my Impertinence; but having been let into
the Knowledge of that Matter, this handsome Excuse is no longer
serviceable. My Neighbour _Prettyman_ shall be the Subject of this
Letter; who falling in with the SPECTATOR'S Doctrine concerning the
Month of _May_, began from that Season to dedicate himself to the
Service of the Fair in the following Manner. I observed at the
Beginning of the Month he bought him a new Night-gown, either side to
be worn outwards, both equally gorgeous and attractive; but till the
End of the Month I did not enter so fully into the knowledge of his
Contrivance, as the Use of that Garment has since suggested to me. Now
you must know that all new Clothes raise and warm the Bearer's
Imagination into a Conceit of his being a much finer Gentleman than he
was before, banishing all Sobriety and Reflection, and giving him up
to Gallantry and Amour. Inflam'd therefore with this way of thinking,
and full of the Spirit of the Month of _May_, did this merciless Youth
resolve upon the Business of Captivating. At first he confin'd himself
to his Room only, now and then appearing at his Window in his
Night-gown, and practising that easy Posture which expresses the very
Top and Dignity of Languishment. It was pleasant to see him diversify
his Loveliness, sometimes obliging the Passengers only with a
Side-Face, with a Book in his Hand; sometimes being so generous as to
expose the whole in the fulness of its Beauty; at the other times, by
a judicious throwing back of his Perriwig, he would throw in his Ears.
You know he is that Sort of Person which the Mob call a handsome jolly
Man; which Appearance can't miss of Captives in this part of the Town.
Being emboldened by daily Success, he leaves his Room with a
Resolution to extend his Conquests; and I have apprehended him in his
Night-gown smiting in all Parts of this Neighbourhood.

This I, being of an amorous Complection, saw with Indignation, and had
Thoughts of purchasing a Wig in these Parts; into which, being at a
greater Distance from the Earth, I might have thrown a very liberal
Mixture of white Horse-hair, which would make a fairer, and
consequently a handsomer Appearance, while my Situation would secure
me against any Discoveries. But the Passion to the handsome Gentleman
seems to be so fixed to that part of the Building, that it will be
extremely difficult to divert it to mine; so that I am resolved to
stand boldly to the Complection of my own Eye-brow, and prepare me an
immense Black Wig of the same sort of Structure with that of my Rival.
Now, tho' by this I shall not, perhaps, lessen the number of the
Admirers of his Complection, I shall have a fair Chance to divide the
Passengers by the irresistible Force of mine.

I expect sudden Dispatches from you, with Advice of the Family you are
in now, how to deport my self upon this so delicate a Conjuncture;
with some comfortable Resolutions in favour of the handsome black Man
against the handsome fair one.

_I am, SIR,

Your most humble Servant_,


N. B. _He who writ this, is a black Man two Pair of Stairs; the
Gentleman of whom he writes, is fair, and one Pair of Stairs_.


'I only say, that it is impossible for me to say how much I am


Robin Shorter.

_P. S._ 'I shall think it a little hard, if you do not take as much
notice of this Epistle, as you have of the ingenious Mr. _Short's_. I
am not afraid to let the World see which is the Deeper Man of the two.


[Footnote 1: When this was quoted Clarendon had been dead only 38 years,
and his History of the Rebellion, first published in Queen Anne's reign,
was almost a new Book. It was published at Oxford in three folio
volumes, which appeared in the successive years 1702, 3,4, and in this
year, 1712, there had appeared a new edition of it (the sixth).]

* * * * *


London, September 15.

Whereas a young Woman on horseback,
in an Equestrian Habit on the 13th Instant in the Evening,
met the SPECTATOR within a Mile and an half of this Town,
and flying in the Face of Justice,
pull'd off her Hat, in which there was a Feather,
with the Mein and Air of a young Officer,
saying at the same time,
Your Servant Mr. SPEC. or Words to that Purpose;
This is to give Notice,
that if any Person can discover the Name,
and Place of Abode of the said Offender,
so as she can be brought to Justice,
the Informant shall have all fitting Encouragement.

* * * * *

No. 486. Wednesday, September 17, 1712. Steele.

'--Audire est operae pretium procedere recte
Qui mechis non vultis--'



'There are very many of my Acquaintance Followers of _Socrates_, with
more particular regard to that part of his Philosophy which we, among,
our selves, call his _Domesticks;_ under which Denomination, or Title,
we include all the Conjugal Joys and Sufferings. We have indeed, with
very great Pleasure, observed the Honour you do the whole Fraternity
of the Hen-peck'd, in placing that illustrious Man at our Head, and it
does in a very great measure baffle the Raillery of pert Rogues, who
have no advantage above us, but in that they are single. But when you
look about into the Crowd of Mankind, you will find the Fair Sex
reigns with greater Tyranny over Lovers than Husbands. You shall
hardly meet one in a thousand who is wholly exempt from their
Dominion, and those that are so, are capable of no Taste of Life, and
breathe and walk about the Earth as Insignificants. But I am going to
desire your further Favour in behalf of our harmless Brotherhood, and
hope you will shew in a true light the un-married Hen-peck'd, as well
as you have done Justice to us, who submit to the Conduct of our
Wives. I am very particularly acquainted with one who is under entire
Submission to a kind Girl, as he calls her; and tho' he knows I have
been Witness both to the ill Usage he has received from her, and his
Inability to resist her Tyranny, he still pretends to make a Jest of
me for a little more than ordinary Obsequiousness to my Spouse. No
longer than _Tuesday_ last he took me with him to visit his Mistress;
and he having, it seems, been a little in Disgrace before, thought by
bringing me with him she would constrain herself, and insensibly fall
into general Discourse with him; and so he might break the Ice, and
save himself all the ordinary Compunctions and Mortifications she used
to make him suffer before she would be reconciled after any Act of
Rebellion on his Part. When we came into the Room, we were received
with the utmost Coldness; and when he presented me as Mr. Such-a-one,
his very good Friend, she just had Patience to suffer my Salutation;
but when he himself, with a very gay Air, offered to follow me, she
gave him a thundering Box on the Ear, called him pitiful poor-spirited
Wretch, how durst he see her Face? His Wig and Hat fell on different
Parts of the Floor. She seized the Wig too soon for him to recover it,
and kicking it down Stairs, threw herself into an opposite Room,
pulling the Door after her with a Force, that you would have thought
the Hinges would have given Way. We went down, you must think, with no
very good Countenances; and as we sneaked off, and were driving home
together, he confessed to me, that her Anger was thus highly raised,
because he did not think fit to fight a Gentleman who had said she was
what she was; but, says he, a kind Letter or two, or fifty pieces,
will put her in Humour again. I asked him why he did not part with
her; he answered, he loved her with all the Tenderness imaginable, and
she had too many Charms to be abandoned for a little Quickness of
Spirit. Thus does this illegitimate Hen-pecked over-look the Hussy's
having no Regard to his very Life and Fame, in putting him upon an
infamous Dispute about her Reputation; yet has he the Confidence to
laugh at me, because I obey my poor Dear in keeping out of Harm's Way,
and not staying too late from my own Family, to pass through the
Hazards of a Town full of Ranters and Debauchees. You that are a
Philosopher should urge in our behalf, that when we bear with a
froward Woman, our Patience is preserved, in consideration that a
breach with her might be a Dishonour to Children who are descended
from us, and whose Concern makes us tolerate a thousand Frailties, for
fear they should redound Dishonour upon the Innocent. This and the
like Circumstances, which carry with them the most valuable Regards of
human Life, may be mentioned for our long Suffering; but in the case
of Gallants, they swallow ill Usage from one to whom they have no
Obligation, but from a base Passion, which it is mean to indulge, and
which it would be glorious to overcome.

'These Sort of Fellows are very numerous, and some have been
conspicuously such, without Shame; nay they have carried on the Jest
in the very Article of Death, and, to the Diminution of the Wealth and
Happiness of their Families, in bar of those honourably near to them,
have left immense Wealth to their Paramours. What is this but being a
Cully in the Grave! Sure this is being Hen-peck'd with a Vengeance!
But without dwelling upon these less frequent Instances of eminent
Cullyism, what is there so common as to hear a Fellow curse his Fate
that he cannot get rid of a Passion to a Jilt, and quote an Half-Line
out of a Miscellany Poem to prove his Weakness is natural? If they
will go on thus, I have nothing to say to it: But then let them not
pretend to be free all this while, and laugh at us poor married

'I have known one Wench in this Town carry an haughty Dominion over
her Lovers so well, that she has at the same time been kept by a
Sea-Captain in the _Straits_, a Merchant in the City, a Country
Gentleman in _Hampshire_, and had all her Correspondences managed by
one she kept for her own Uses. This happy Man (as the Phrase is) used
to write very punctually every Post, Letters for the Mistress to
transcribe. He would sit in his Night-Gown and Slippers, and be as
grave giving an Account, only changing Names, that there was nothing
in those idle Reports they had heard of such a Scoundrel as one of the
other Lovers was; and how could he think she could condescend so low,
after such a fine Gentleman as each of them? For the same Epistle said
the same thing to and of every one of them. And so Mr. Secretary and
his Lady went to Bed with great Order.

'To be short, _Mr_. SPECTATOR, we Husbands shall never make the Figure
we ought in the Imaginations of young Men growing up in the World,
except you can bring it about that a Man of the Town shall be as
infamous a Character as a Woman of the Town. But of all that I have
met in my time, commend me to _Betty Duall_: She is the Wife of a
Sailor, and the kept Mistress of a Man of Quality; she dwells with the
latter during the Sea-faring of the former. The Husband asks no
Questions, sees his Apartments furnished with Riches not his, when he
comes into Port, and the Lover is as joyful as a Man arrived at his
Haven when the other puts to Sea. _Betty_ is the most eminently
victorious of any of her Sex, and ought to stand recorded the only
Woman of the Age in which she lives, who has possessed at the same
time two Abused, and two Contented...


* * * * *

No. 487. Thursday, September 18, 1712. Addison.

'--Cum prostrata sopore
Urget membra quies, et mem sine pondere ludit--'


Tho' there are many Authors, who have written on Dreams, they have
generally considered them only as Revelations of what has already
happened in distant parts of the World, or as Presages of what is to
happen in future Periods of time.

I shall consider this Subject in another Light, as Dreams may give us
some Idea of the great Excellency of an Human Soul, and some Intimation
of its Independency on Matter. In the first Place, our Dreams are great
Instances of that Activity which is natural to the human Soul, and which
it is not in the power of Sleep to deaden or abate. When the Man appears
tired and worn out with the Labours of the Day, this active part in his
Composition is still busied and unwearied. When the Organs of Sense want
their due Repose and necessary Reparations, and the Body is no longer
able to keep pace with that spiritual Substance to which it is united,
the Soul exerts her self in her several Faculties, and continues in
Action till her Partner is again qualified to bear her Company. In this
case Dreams look like the Relaxations and Amusements of the Soul, when
she is disincumbred of her Machine, her Sports and Recreations, when she
has laid her Charge asleep.

In the Second Place, Dreams are an Instance of that Agility and
Perfection which is natural to the Faculties of the Mind, when they are
disengaged from the Body. The Soul is clogged and retarded in her
Operations, when she acts in Conjunction with a Companion that is so
heavy and unwieldy in its Motions. But in Dreams it is wonderful to
observe with what a Sprightliness and Alacrity she exerts her self. The
slow of Speech make unpremeditated Harangues, or converse readily in
Languages that they are but little acquainted with. The Grave abound in
Pleasantries, the Dull in Repartees and Points of Wit. There is not a
more painful Action of the Mind, than Invention; yet in Dreams it works
with that Ease and Activity, that we are not sensible when the Faculty
is employed. For instance, I believe every one, some time or other,
dreams that he is reading Papers, Books, or Letters; in which case the
Invention prompts so readily, that the Mind is imposed upon, and
mistakes its own Suggestions for the Compositions of another.

I shall, under this Head, quote a Passage out of the _Religio Medici_,
[1] in which the ingenious Author gives an account of himself in his
dreaming and his waking Thoughts.

'We are somewhat more than our selves in our Sleeps, and the Slumber
of the Body seems to be but the Waking of the Soul. It is the
Litigation of Sense, but the Liberty of Reason; and our waking
Conceptions do not match the Fancies of our Sleeps. At my Nativity my
Ascendant was the watery Sign of_ Scorpius: I _was born in the
Planetary Hour of_ Saturn, _and I think I have a piece of that leaden
Planet in me. I am no way facetious, nor disposed for the Mirth and
Galliardize of Company; yet in one Dream I can compose a whole Comedy,
behold the Action, apprehend the Jests, and laugh my self awake at the
Conceits thereof. Were my Memory as faithful as my Reason is then
fruitful, I would never study but in my Dreams; and this time also
would I chuse for my Devotions: but our grosser Memories have then so
little hold of our abstracted Understandings, that they forget the
Story, and can only relate to our awaked Souls a confused and broken
Tale of that that has passed--Thus it is observed that Men sometimes,
upon the Hour of their Departure, do speak and reason above
themselves; for then the Soul beginning to be freed from the Ligaments

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