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

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"Thus _Cyrus_. But to proceed. No one shall persuade me, _Scipio_,
that your worthy Father, or your Grandfathers _Paulus_ and
_Africanus_, or _Africanus_ his Father, or Uncle, or many other
excellent Men whom I need not name, performed so many Actions to be
remembered by Posterity, without being sensible that Futurity was
their Right. And, if I may be allowed an old Man's Privilege, to
speak of my self, do you think I would have endured the Fatigue of
so many wearisome Days and Nights both at home and abroad, if I
imagined that the same Boundary which is set to my Life must
terminate my Glory? Were it not more desirable to have worn out my
days in Ease and Tranquility, free from Labour, and without
Emulation? But I know not how, my Soul has always raised it self,
and looked forward on Futurity, in this View and Expectation, that
when it shall depart out of Life, it shall then live for ever; and
if this were not true, that the Mind is immortal, the Souls of the
most worthy would not, above all others, have the strongest Impulse
to Glory.

"What besides this is the Cause that the wisest Men die with the
greatest AEquanimity, the ignorant with the greatest Concern? Does it
not seem that those Minds which have the most extensive Views,
foresee they are removing to a happier Condition, which those of a
narrower Sight do not perceive? I, for my part, am transported with
the Hope of seeing your Ancestors, whom I have honoured and loved,
and am earnestly desirous of meeting not only those excellent
Persons whom I have known, but those too of whom I have heard and
read, and of whom I myself have written: nor would I be detained
from so pleasing a Journey. O happy Day, when I shall escape from
this Croud, this Heap of Pollution, and be admitted to that Divine
Assembly of exalted Spirits! When I shall go not only to those great
Persons I have named, but to my _Cato_, my Son, than whom a better
Man was never born, and whose Funeral Rites I my self performed,
whereas he ought rather to have attended mine. Yet has not his Soul
deserted me, but, seeming to cast back a Look on me, is gone before
to those Habitations to which it was sensible I should follow him.
And though I might appear to have born my Loss with Courage, I was
not unaffected with it, but I comforted myself in the Assurance that
it would not be long before we should meet again, and be divorced no

_I am, SIR, &c._"'

_I question not but my Reader will be very much pleased to hear, that
the Gentleman who has obliged the World with the foregoing Letter, and
who was the Author of the 210th Speculation on the Immortality of the
Soul, [the 375th on Virtue in Distress,] the 525th on Conjugal Love, and
two or three other very fine ones among those which are not lettered at
the end, will soon publish a noble Poem, Intitled_ An Ode to the Creator
of the World, _occasioned by the Fragments of_ Orpheus.

[Footnote 1: _Pensees_. Part I. Art. iv. 7.]

[Footnote 2: Cyropaedia, Book viii.]

* * * * *

No. 538. Monday, November 17, 1712. Addison.

Finem tendere opus.'


Surprize is so much the Life of Stories, that every one aims at it, who
endeavours to please by telling them. Smooth Delivery, an elegant Choice
of Words, and a sweet Arrangement, are all beautifying _Graces_, but not
the particulars in this Point of Conversation which either long command
the Attention, or strike with the Violence of a sudden Passion, or
occasion the burst of Laughter which accompanies Humour. I have
sometimes fancied that the Mind is in this case like a Traveller who
sees a fine Seat in Haste; he acknowledges the Delightfulness of a Walk
set with Regularity, but would be uneasy if he were obliged to pass it
over, when the first View had let him into all its Beauties from one End
to the other.

However, a knowledge of the Success which Stories will have when they
are attended with a Turn of Surprize, as it has happily made the
Characters of some, so has it also been the Ruin of the Characters of
others. There is a Set of Men who outrage Truth, instead of affecting us
with a Manner in telling it; who over-leap the Line of Probability, that
they may be seen to move out of the common Road; and endeavour only to
make their Hearers stare, by imposing upon them with a kind of Nonsense
against the Philosophy of Nature, or such a Heap of Wonders told upon
their own Knowledge, as it is not likely one Man should ever have met

I have been led to this Observation by a Company into which I fell
accidentally. The Subject of _Antipathies_ was a proper Field wherein
such false Surprizes might expatiate, and there were those present who
appeared very fond to shew it in its full Extent of traditional History.
Some of them, in a learned manner, offered to our Consideration the
miraculous Powers which the Effluviums of Cheese have over Bodies whose
Pores are dispos'd to receive them in a noxious manner; others gave an
account of such who could indeed bear the sight of Cheese, but not the
Taste; for which they brought a Reason from the Milk of their Nurses.
Others again discours'd, without endeavouring at Reasons, concerning an
unconquerable Aversion which some Stomachs have against a Joint of Meat
when it is whole, and the eager Inclination they have for it, when, by
its being cut up, the Shape which had affected them is altered. From
hence they passed to Eels, then to Parsnips, and so from one Aversion to
another, till we had work'd up our selves to such a pitch of
Complaisance, that when the Dinner was to come in, we enquired the name
of every Dish, and hop'd it would be no Offence to any in Company,
before it was admitted. When we had sat down, this Civility amongst us
turned the Discourse from Eatables to other sorts of Aversions; and the
eternal Cat, which plagues every Conversation of this nature, began then
to engross the Subject. One had sweated at the Sight of it, another had
smelled it out as it lay concealed in a very distant Cupboard; and he
who crowned the whole set of these Stories, reckon'd up the Number of
Times in which it had occasion'd him to swoon away. At last, says he,
that you may all be satisfy'd of my invincible Aversion to a Cat, I
shall give an unanswerable Instance: As I was going through a Street of
_London_, where I had never been till then, I felt a general Damp and
Faintness all over me, which I could not tell how to account for, till I
chanced to cast my Eyes upwards, and found that I was passing under a
Sign-Post on which the Picture of a Cat was hung.

The Extravagance of this Turn in the way of Surprize, gave a stop to the
Talk we had been carrying on: Some were silent because they doubted, and
others because they were conquered in their own Way; so that the
Gentleman had Opportunity to press the Belief of it upon us, and let us
see that he was rather exposing himself than ridiculing others.

I must freely own that I did not all this while disbelieve every thing
that was said; but yet I thought some in the Company had been
endeavouring who should pitch the Bar farthest; that it had for some
time been a measuring Cast, and at last my Friend of the Cat and
Sign-post had thrown beyond them all.

I then consider'd the Manner in which this Story had been received, and
the Possibility that it might have pass'd for a Jest upon others, if he
had not labour'd against himself. From hence, thought I, there are two
Ways which the well-bred World generally takes to correct such a
Practice, when they do not think fit to contradict it flatly.

The first of these is a general Silence, which I would not advise any
one to interpret in his own behalf. It is often the Effect of Prudence
in avoiding a Quarrel, when they see another drive so fast, that there
is no stopping him without being run against; and but very seldom the
Effect of Weakness in believing suddenly. The generality of Mankind are
not so grossly ignorant, as some over-bearing Spirits would persuade
themselves; and if the Authority of a Character or a Caution against
Danger make us suppress our Opinions, yet neither of these are of force
enough to suppress our Thoughts of them. If a Man who has endeavoured to
amuse his Company with Improbabilities could but look into their Minds,
he would find that they imagine he lightly esteems of their Sense when
he thinks to impose upon them, and that he is less esteemed by them for
his Attempt in doing so. His endeavour to glory at their Expence becomes
a Ground of Quarrel, and the Scorn and Indifference with which they
entertain it begins the immediate Punishment: And indeed (if we should
even go no further) Silence, or a negligent Indifference has a deeper
way of wounding than Opposition; because Opposition proceeds from an
Anger that has a sort of generous Sentiment for the Adversary mingling
along with it, while it shews that there is some Esteem in your Mind for
him; in short, that you think him worth while to contest with: But
Silence, or a negligent Indifference, proceeds from Anger, mixed with a
Scorn that shews another he is thought by you too contemptible to be

The other Method which the World has taken for correcting this Practice
of false Surprize, is to over-shoot such Talkers in their own Bow, or to
raise the Story with further Degrees of Impossibility, and set up for a
Voucher to them in such a manner as must let them see they stand
detected. Thus I have heard a Discourse was once managed upon the
Effects of Fear. One of the Company had given an account how it had
turn'd his Friend's Hair grey in a Night, while the Terrors of a
Shipwrack encompassed him. Another taking the Hint from hence, began,
upon his own Knowledge, to enlarge his Instances of the like nature to
such a Number, that it was not probable he could ever have met with
them; and as he still grounded these upon different Causes, for the sake
of Variety, it might seem at last, from his Share of the Conversation,
almost impossible that any one who can feel the Passion of Fear should
all his Life escape so common an Effect of it. By this time some of the
Company grew negligent, or desirous to contradict him: But one rebuked
the rest with an appearance of Severity, and with the known old Story in
his Head, assured them they need not scruple to believe that the Fear of
any thing can make a Man's Hair grey, since he knew one whose Perriwig
had suffered so by it. Thus he stopped the Talk, and made them easy.
Thus is the same Method taken to bring us to Shame, which we fondly take
to increase our Character. It is indeed a kind of Mimickry, by which
another puts on our Air of Conversation to show us to our selves: He
seems to look ridiculous before you, that you may remember how near a
Resemblance you bear to him, or that you may know he will not lie under
the Imputation of believing you. Then it is that you are struck dumb
immediately with a conscientious Shame for what you have been saying,
Then it is that you are inwardly grieved at the Sentiments which you
cannot but perceive others entertain concerning you. In short, you are
against your self; the Laugh of the Company runs against you; the
censuring World is obliged to you for that Triumph which you have
allowed them at your own Expence; and Truth, which you have injured, has
a near way of being revenged on you, when by the bare Repetition of your
Story you become a frequent Diversion for the [Publick. [1]]


'The other Day, walking in _Pancras_ Churchyard, I thought of your
Paper wherein you mention Epitaphs, and am of opinion this has a
Thought in it worth being communicated to your Readers.

'Here Innocence and Beauty lies, whose Breath
Was snatch'd by early, not untimely Death.
Hence did she go, just as she did begin
Sorrow to know, before she knew to sin.
Death, that does Sin and Sorrow thus prevent,
Is the next Blessing to a Life well spent.'

[I am, SIR, Your Servant.]

[Footnote 1: [Publick. _I am, Sir, your Servant.]]

* * * * *

No. 539. Tuesday, November 18, 1712. Budgell.

'Heteroclyta sunto.--Quae Genus.'


'I am a young Widow of a good Fortune and Family, and just come to
Town; where I find I have Clusters of pretty Fellows come already to
visit me, some dying with Hopes, others with Fears, tho' they never
saw me. Now what I would beg of you, would be to know whether I may
venture to use these pert Fellows with the same Freedom as I did my
Country Acquaintance. I desire your Leave to use them as to me shall
seem meet, without Imputation of a Jilt; for since I make Declaration
that not one of them shall have me, I think I ought to be allowed the
Liberty of insulting those who have the Vanity to believe it is in
their power to make me break that Resolution. There are Schools for
learning to use Foils, frequented by those who never design to fight;
and this useless way of aiming at the Heart, without design to wound
it on either side, is the Play with which I am resolved to divert my
self: The Man who pretends to win, I shall use like him who comes into
a Fencing-School to pick a Quarrel. I hope, upon this Foundation, you
will give me the free use of the natural and artificial Force of my
Eyes, Looks, and Gestures. As for verbal Promises, I will make none,
but shall have no mercy on the conceited Interpreters of Glances and
Motions. I am particularly skill'd in the downcast Eye, and the
Recovery into a sudden full Aspect, and away again, as you may have
seen sometimes practised by us Country Beauties beyond all that you
have observed in Courts and Cities. Add to this, Sir, that I have a
ruddy heedless Look, which covers Artifice the best of any thing. Tho'
I can dance very well, I affect a tottering untaught way of walking,
by which I appear an easy Prey and never exert my instructed Charms
till I find I have engaged a Pursuer. Be pleased, Sir, to print this
Letter; which will certainly begin the Chace of a rich Widow: The many
Foldings, Escapes, Returns and Doublings which I make, I shall from
time to time communicate to you, for the better Instruction of all
Females who set up, like me, for reducing the present exorbitant Power
and Insolence of Man.'

_I am, SIR,

Your faithful Correspondent_,

Relicta Lovely.


'I depend upon your profess'd Respect for virtuous Love, for your
immediate answering the Design of this Letter; which is no other than
to lay before the World the Severity of certain Parents who desire to
suspend the Marriage of a discreet young Woman of eighteen, three
Years longer, for no other reason but that of her being too young to
enter into that State. As to the consideration of Riches, my
Circumstances are such, that I cannot be suspected to make my
Addresses to her on such low Motives as Avarice or Ambition. If ever
Innocence, Wit and Beauty, united their utmost Charms, they have in
her. I wish you would expatiate a little on this Subject, and admonish
her Parents that it may be from the very Imperfection of Human Nature
it self, and not any personal Frailty of her or me, that our
Inclinations baffled at present may alter; and while we are arguing
with our selves to put off the Enjoyment of our present Passions, our
Affections may change their Objects in the Operation. It is a very
delicate Subject to talk upon; but if it were but hinted, I am in
hopes it would give the Parties concern'd some Reflection that might
expedite our Happiness. There is a Possibility, and I hope I may say
it without Imputation of Immodesty to her I love with the highest
Honour; I say, there is a Possibility this Delay may be as painful to
her as it is to me. If it be as much, it must be more, by reason of
the severe Rules the Sex are under in being denied even the Relief of
Complaint. If you oblige me in this, and I succeed, I promise you a
Place at my Wedding, and a Treatment suitable to your Spectatorial

_Your most humble Servant_,



'I Yesterday heard a young Gentleman, that look'd as if he was just
come to the Town, and a Scarf, upon Evil-speaking; which Subject, you
know, Archbishop _Tillotson_ has so nobly handled in a Sermon in his
_Folio_. As soon as ever he had named his Text, and had opened a
little the Drift of his Discourse, I was in great hopes he had been
one of Sir ROGER'S Chaplains. I have conceived so great an Idea of the
charming Discourse above, that I should have thought one part of my
Sabbath very well spent in hearing a Repetition of it. But alas! Mr.
SPECTATOR, this Reverend Divine gave us his Grace's Sermon, and yet I
don't know how; even I, that I am sure have read it at least twenty
times, could not tell what to make of it, and was at a loss sometimes
to guess what the Man aim'd at. He was so just indeed, as to give us
all the Heads and the Sub-divisions of the Sermon; and farther I think
there was not one beautiful Thought in it but what we had. But then,
Sir, this Gentleman made so many pretty Additions; and he could never
give us a Paragraph of the Sermon, but he introduced it with something
which, methought, look'd more like a Design to shew his own Ingenuity,
than to instruct the People. In short, he added and curtailed in such
a manner that he vexed me; insomuch that I could not forbear thinking
(what, I confess, I ought not to have thought of in so holy a Place)
that this young Spark was as justly blameable as _Bullock_ or
_Penkethman_ when they mend a noble Play of _Shakespear_ or _Johnson_.
Pray, Sir, take this into your Consideration; and if we must be
entertained with the Works of any of those great Men, desire these
Gentlemen to give them us as they find them, that so, when we read
them to our Families at home, they may the better remember they have
heard them at Church.'


Your humble Servant_.

* * * * *

No. 540. Wednesday, November 19, 1712. Steele.

'--Non Deficit Alter--'



'There is no Part of your Writings which I have in more Esteem than
your Criticism upon _Milton_. It is an honourable and candid Endeavour
to set the Works of our Noble Writers in the graceful Light which they
deserve. You will lose much of my kind Inclination towards you, if you
do not attempt the Encomium of _Spencer_ also, or at least indulge my
Passion for that charming Author so far as to print the loose Hints I
now give you on that Subject.

'Spencer's general Plan is the Representation of six Virtues,
Holiness, Temperance, Chastity, Friendship, Justice and Courtesy, in
six Legends by six Persons. The six Personages are supposed under
proper Allegories suitable to their respective Characters, to do all
that is necessary for the full Manifestation of the respective Virtues
which they are to exert.

'These one might undertake to shew under the several Heads, are
admirably drawn; no Images improper, and most surprizingly beautiful.
The Red-cross Knight runs through the whole Steps of the Christian
Life; _Guyon_ does all that Temperance can possibly require;
_Britomartis_ (a Woman) observes the true Rules of unaffected
Chastity; _Arthegal_ is in every Respect of Life strictly and wisely
just; _Calidore_ is rightly courteous.

'In short, in _Fairy-Land_, where Knights Errant have a full Scope to
range, and to do even what _Ariosto's_ or _Orlando's_ could not do in
the World without breaking into Credibility, _Spencer's_ Knights have,
under those six Heads, given a full and a truly Poetical System of
Christian, Public, and Low Life.

'His Legend of Friendship is more diffuse, and yet even there the
Allegory is finely drawn, only the Heads various, one Knight could not
there support all the Parts.

'To do honour to his Country, Prince _Arthur_ is an Universal Hero; in
Holiness, Temperance, Chastity, and Justice super-excellent. For the
same Reason, and to compliment Queen _Elizabeth_, _Gloriana_, Queen of
Fairies, whose Court was the Asylum of the Oppressed, represents that
Glorious Queen. At her Commands all these Knights set forth, and only
at her's the Red-cross Knight destroys the Dragon. _Guyon_ overturns
the Bower of Bliss, _Arthegal_ (i. e. _Justice_) beats down _Geryoneo_
(i. e. _Phil._ II. King of _Spain_) to rescue _Belge_ (i. e.
_Holland_) and he beats the _Grantorto_ (the same _Philip_ in another
Light) to restore _Irena_ (i. e. _Peace_ to Europe.)

'Chastity being the first Female Virtue, _Britomartis_ is a _Britain_;
her Part is fine, though it requires Explication. His stile is very
Poetical; no Puns, Affectations of Wit, forced Antitheses, or any of
that low Tribe.

'His old Words are all true _English_, and numbers exquisite; and
since of Words there is the _Multa Renascentur_, since they are all
proper, such a Poem should not (any more than _Milton's_) subsist all
of it of common ordinary Words. See Instances of Descriptions.

'Causeless Jealousy in _Britomartis_, V. 6, 14, in its Restlessness.

'Like as a wayward Child whose sounder Sleep
Is broken with some fearful Dream's Affright,
With froward Will doth set himself to weep,
Ne can be stil'd for all his Nurse's Might,
But kicks, and squalls, and shrieks for fell Despight;
Now scratching her, and her loose Locks misusing,
Now seeking Darkness, and now seeking Light;
Then craving Suck, and then the Suck refusing:
Such was this Lady's Loves in her Love's fond accusing.'

Curiosity occasioned by Jealousy, upon occasion of her Lover's
Absence. _Ibid, Stan_. 8, 9.

'Then as she looked long, at last she spy'd
One coming towards her with hasty Speed,
Well ween'd she then, e'er him she plain descry'd,
That it was one sent from her Love indeed;
Whereat her Heart was fill'd with Hope and Dread,
Ne would she stay till he in Place could come,
But ran to weet him forth to know his Tidings somme;
Even in the Door him meeting, she begun,
And where is he, thy Lord, and how far hence?
Declare at once; and hath he lost or won?'

_Care_ and his _House_ are described thus, IV. 6, 33, 34, 35.

'Not far away, not meet for any Guest,
They spy'd a little Cottage, like some poor Man's Nest.'


'There entring in, they found the Good-Man's self,
Full busily unto his Work ybent,
Who was so weel a wretched wearish Elf,
With hollow Eyes and raw-bone Cheeks forspent,
As if he had in Prison long been pent.
Full black and griesly did his Face appear,
Besmear'd with Smoke that nigh his Eye-sight blent,
With rugged Beard and Hoary shaggy Heare,
The which he never wont to comb, or comely shear.'


'Rude was his Garment and to Rags all rent,
Ne better had he, ne for better cared;
His blistred Hands amongst the Cinders brent,
And Fingers filthy, with long Nails prepared,
Right fit to rend the Food on which he fared.
His Name was_ Care; _a Blacksmith by his Trade,
That neither Day nor Night from working spared,
But to small purpose Iron Wedges made:
These be unquiet Thoughts that careful Minds invade.'

'Homer's Epithets were much admired by Antiquity: See what great
Justness and Variety there is in these Epithets of the Trees in the
Forest where the Red-cross Knight lost _Truth_, B. I. Cant. i. St. 8,

'The sailing Pine, the Cedar proud and tall,
The Vine-prop Elm, the Poplar never dry,
The Builder Oak, sole King of Forests all.
The Aspine good for Staves, the Cypress Funeral.
The Laurel, Meed of mighty Conquerors,
And Poets sage; the Fir that weepeth still,
The Willow worn of forlorn Paramours,
The Yew obedient to the Bender's Will.
The Birch for Shafts, the Sallow for the Mill;
The Myrrhe sweet bleeding in the bitter Wound,
The warlike Beech, the Ash for nothing ill,
The fruitful Olive, and the Plantane round,
The Carver Helm, the Maple seldom inward sound.'

'I shall trouble you no more, but desire you to let me conclude with
these Verses, though I think they have already been quoted by you;
They are Directions to young Ladies opprest with Calumny. VI. 6, 14.

'The best_ (said he) _that I can you advise,
Is to avoid the Occasion of the Ill;
For when the Cause whence Evil doth arise
Removed is, the Effect surceaseth still.
Abstain from Pleasure, and restrain your Will,
Subdue Desire, and bridle loose Delight,
Use scanted Diet, and forbear your Fill,
Shun Secrecy, and talk in open Sight;
So shall you soon repair your present evil Plight.'


* * * * *

No. 541. Thursday, November 20, 1712. John Hughes.

'Format enim Natura prius nos intus ad omnem
Fortunarum habitum; juvat, aut impellit ad iram,
Aut ad humum maerore gravi deducit et angit;
Post effert animi motus interprete Lingua.'


My Friend the _Templar_, whom I have so often mentioned in these
Writings, having determined to lay aside his Poetical Studies, in order
to a closer Pursuit of the Law, has put together, as a Farewell Essay,
some Thoughts concerning [_Pronunciation_ and _Action_, [1]] which he
has given me leave to communicate to the Publick. They are chiefly
collected from his Favourite Author, _Cicero_, who is known to have been
an intimate Friend of _Rostius_ the Actor, and a good Judge of
[Dramatick [2]] Performances, as well as the most Eloquent Pleader of
the Time in which he lived.

Cicero concludes his celebrated Books _de Oratore_ with some Precepts
for Pronunciation and Action, without which Part he affirms that the
best Orator in the World can never succeed; and an indifferent one, who
is Master of this, shall gain much greater Applause. What could make a
stronger Impression, says he, than those Exclamations of _Gracchus_:

'Whither shall I turn? Wretch that I am! To what Place betake my self?
Shall I go to the_ Capitol?--_Alas! it is overflowed with my Brother's
Blood. Or shall I retire to my House? Yet there I behold my Mother
plung'd in Misery, weeping and despairing!'

These Breaks and Turns of Passion, it seems, were so enforced by the
Eyes, Voice, and Gesture of the Speaker, that his very Enemies could not
refrain from Tears. I insist, says _Tully_, upon this the rather,
because our Orators, who are as it were Actors of the Truth it self,
have quitted this manner of speaking; and the Players, who are but the
Imitators of Truth, have taken it up.

I shall therefore pursue the Hint he has here given me, and for the
Service of the _British Stage_ I shall copy some of the Rules which this
great _Roman_ Master has laid down; yet, without confining my self
wholly to his Thoughts or Words: and to adapt this Essay the more to the
Purpose for which I intend it, instead of the Examples he has inserted
in his Discourse, out of the ancient Tragedies, I shall make use of
parallel Passages out of the most celebrated of our own.

The Design of Art is to assist Action as much as possible in the
Representation of Nature; for the Appearance of Reality is that which
moves us in all Representations, and these have always the greater
Force, the nearer they approach to Nature, and the less they shew of

Nature herself has assigned to every Emotion of the Soul, its peculiar
Cast of the Countenance, Tone of Voice, and Manner of Gesture; and the
whole Person, all the Features of the Face and Tones of the Voice,
answer, like Strings upon musical Instruments, to the Impressions made
on them by the Mind. Thus the Sounds of the Voice, according to the
various Touches which raise them, form themselves into an Acute or
Grave, Quick or Slow, Loud or Soft Tone. These too may be subdivided
into various kinds of Tones, as the gentle, the rough, the contracted,
the diffuse, the continued, the intermitted, the broken, abrupt,
winding, softned, or elevated. Every one of these may be employed with
Art and Judgment; and all supply the Actor, as Colours do the Painter,
with an expressive Variety.

Anger exerts its peculiar Voice in an acute, raised, and hurrying sound.
The passionate Character of _King Lear_, as it is admirably drawn by
_Shakespear_, abounds with the strongest Instances of this kind.

'--Death! Confusion!
Fiery!--what Quality?--why_ Gloster! Gloster!
I'd speak with the Duke of_ Cornwall _and his Wife.
Are they informed of this? My Breath and Blood!
Fiery? the fiery Duke?--&c.'

Sorrow and Complaint demand a Voice quite different, flexible, slow,
interrupted, and modulated in a mournful Tone; as in that pathetical
Soliloquy of Cardinal _Wolsey_ on his Fall.

'Farewel!--a long Farewel to all my Greatness!
This is the State of Man!--to-day he puts forth
The tender Leaves of Hopes; to-morrow Blossoms,
And bears his blushing Honours thick upon him,
The third Day comes a Frost, a killing Frost,
And when he thinks, good easie Man, full surely
His Greatness is a ripening, nips his Root,
And then he falls as I do.'

We have likewise a fine Example of this in the whole Part of
_Andromache_ in the 'Distrest-Mother', particularly in these Lines.

'I'll go, and in the Anguish of my Heart
Weep o'er my Child--If he must die, my Life
Is wrapt in his, I shall not long survive.
'Tis for his sake that I have suffer'd Life,
Groan'd in Captivity, and out-liv'd Hector.
Yes, my_ Astyanax, _we'll go together!
Together to the Realms of Night we'll go; }
There to thy ravish'd Eyes thy Sire I'll show,}
And point him out among the Shades below.' }

Fear expresses it self in a low, hesitating and abject Sound. If the
Reader considers the following Speech of _Lady Macbeth_, while her
husband is about the Murder of _Duncan_ and his Grooms, he will imagine
her even affrighted with the Sound of her own Voice, while she is
speaking it.

'Alas! I am afraid they have awak'd,
And 'tis not done; th' Attempt, and not the Deed,
Confounds us--Hark!--I laid the Daggers ready,
He could not miss them. Had he not resembled
My Father as he slept, I had done it.'

Courage assumes a louder tone, as in that Speech of Don _Sebastian_. [3]

'Here satiate all your Fury:
Let Fortune empty her whole Quiver on me,
I have a Soul that like an ample Shield
Can take in all, and Verge enough for more.'

Pleasure dissolves into a luxurious, mild, tender, and joyous
Modulation; as in the following Lines in 'Caius Marius'. [4]

'_Lavinia! _O there's Musick in the Name,
That softning me to infant Tenderness,
Makes my Heart spring, like the first Leaps of Life.'

And Perplexity is different from all these; grave, but not bemoaning,
with an earnest uniform Sound of Voice; as in that celebrated Speech of

'To be, or not to be?--that is the Question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the Mind to suffer
The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of Troubles,
And by opposing end them. To die, to sleep;
No more; and by a Sleep to say we end
The Heart-ach, and the thousand natural Shocks
That Flesh is Heir to; 'tis a Consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep--
To sleep; perchance to dream! Ay, there's the Rub.
For in that sleep of Death what Dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this Mortal Coil,
Must give us pause--There's the Respect
That makes Calamity of so long Life;
For who would bear the Whips and Scorns of Time,
Th' Oppressor's Wrongs, the proud Man's contumely,
The Pangs of despis'd Love, the Law's Delay,
The Insolence of Office, and the Spurns
That patient Merit of th' unworthy takes,
When he himself might his Quietus make
With a bare Bodkin? Who would Fardles bear,
To groan and sweat under a weary Life?
But that the Dread of something after Death,
The undiscover'd Country, from whose Bourn
No Traveller returns, puzzles the Will,
And makes us rather chuse those Ills we have,
Than fly to others that--we know not of.'

As all these Varieties of Voice are to be directed by the Sense, so the
Action is to be directed by the Voice, and with a beautiful Propriety,
as it were to enforce it. The Arm, which by a strong Figure _Tully_
calls _The Orator's Weapon_, is to be sometimes raised and extended; and
the Hand, by its Motion, sometimes to lead, and sometimes to follow the
Words, as they are uttered. The Stamping of the Foot too has its proper
Expression in Contention, Anger, or absolute Command. But the Face is
the Epitome of the whole Man, and the Eyes are as it were the Epitome of
the Face; for which Reason, he says, the best Judges among the _Romans_
were not extremely pleased, even with _Roscius_ himself in his Masque.
No Part of the Body, besides the Face, is capable of as many Changes as
there are different Emotions in the Mind, and of expressing them all by
those Changes. Nor is this to be done without the Freedom of the Eyes;
therefore _Theophrastus_ call'd one, who barely rehearsed his Speech
with his Eyes fix'd, an _absent Actor_.

As the Countenance admits of so great Variety, it requires also great
Judgment to govern it. Not that the Form of the Face is to be shifted on
every Occasion, lest it turn to Farce and Buffoonery; but it is certain
that the Eyes have a wonderful Power of marking the Emotions of the
Mind, sometimes by a stedfast Look, sometimes by a careless one, now by
a sudden Regard, then by a joyful Sparkling, as the Sense of the Words
is diversified: for Action is, as it were, the Speech of the Features
and Limbs, and must therefore conform itself always to the Sentiments of
the Soul. And it may be observed, that in all which relates to the
Gesture, there is a wonderful Force implanted by Nature, since the
Vulgar, the Unskilful, and even the most Barbarous are chiefly affected
by this. None are moved by the Sound of Words, but those who understand
the Language; and the Sense of many things is lost upon Men of a dull
Apprehension: but Action is a kind of Universal Tongue; all Men are
subject to the same Passions, and consequently know the same Marks of
them in others, by which they themselves express them.

Perhaps some of my Readers may be of Opinion, that the Hints I have here
made use of, out of _Cicero_, are somewhat too refined for the Players
on our Theatre: In answer to which, I venture to lay it down as a Maxim,
that without Good Sense no one can be a good Player, and that he is very
unfit to personate the Dignity of a _Roman_ Hero, who cannot enter into
the Rules for Pronunciation and Gesture delivered by a _Roman_ Orator.

There is another thing which my Author does not think too minute to
insist on, though it is purely mechanical: and that is the right
_pitching_ of the Voice. On this occasion he tells the Story of
_Gracchus_, who employed a Servant with a little Ivory Pipe to stand
behind him, and give him the right Pitch, as often as he wandered too
far from the proper Modulation. Every Voice, says _Tully_, [5] has its
particular Medium and Compass, and the Sweetness of Speech consists in
leading it through all the Variety of Tones naturally, and without
touching any Extreme. Therefore, says he,

'Leave the Pipe at home, but carry the Sense of this Custom with you.'

[Footnote 1: Action_ and _Pronunciation.]

[Footnote 2: Dramatical, and in first reprint.]

[Footnote 3: Dryden's.]

[Footnote 4: Otway's.]

[Footnote 5: Near the end of the De Oratore.]

* * * * *

No. 542. Friday, November 21, 1712. Addison.

'Et sibi praeferri se gaudet.'


When I have been present in Assemblies where my Paper has been talked
of, I have been very well pleased to hear those who would detract from
the Author of it observe, that the Letters which are sent to the
_Spectator_ are as good, if not better than any of his Works. Upon this
Occasion many Letters of Mirth are usually mentioned, which some think
the _Spectator_ writ to himself, and which others commend because they
fancy he received them from his Correspondents: Such are those from the
_Valetudinarian;_ the Inspector of the Sign-Posts; the Master of the
Fan-Exercise: with that of the Hoop'd Petticoat; that of _Nicholas Hart_
the annual Sleeper; that from Sir _John Envill;_ that upon the _London_
Cries; with multitudes of the same nature. As I love nothing more than
to mortify the Ill-natured, that I may do it effectually, I must
acquaint them, they have very often praised me when they did not design
it, and that they have approved my Writings when they thought they had
derogated from them. I have heard several of these unhappy Gentlemen
proving, by undeniable Arguments, that I was not able to pen a Letter
which I had written the Day before. Nay, I have heard some of them
throwing out ambiguous Expressions, and giving the Company reason to
suspect that they themselves did me the Honour to send me such or such a
particular Epistle, which happened to be talked of with the Esteem or
Approbation of those who were present. These rigid Criticks are so
afraid of allowing me any thing which does not belong to me, that they
will not be positive whether the Lion, the wild Boar, and the
Flower-pots in the Play-house, did not actually write those Letters
which came to me in their Names. I must therefore inform these
Gentlemen, that I often chuse this way of casting my Thoughts into a
Letter, for the following Reasons; First, out of the Policy of those who
try their Jest upon another, before they own it themselves. Secondly,
because I would extort a little Praise from such who will never applaud
any thing whose Author is known and certain. Thirdly, because it gave me
an Opportunity of introducing a great variety of Characters into my
Work, which could not have been done, had I always written in the Person
of the _Spectator_. Fourthly, because the Dignity Spectatorial would
have suffered, had I published as from my self those several ludicrous
Compositions which I have ascribed to fictitious Names and Characters.
And lastly, because they often serve to bring in, more naturally, such
additional Reflections as have been placed at the End of them.

There are others who have likewise done me a very particular Honour,
though undesignedly. These are such who will needs have it, that I have
translated or borrowed many of my Thoughts out of Books which are
written in other Languages. I have heard of a Person, who is more famous
for his Library than his Learning, that has asserted this more than once
in his private Conversation. Were it true, I am sure he could not speak
it from his own Knowledge; but had he read the Books which he has
collected, he would find this Accusation to be wholly groundless. Those
who are truly learned will acquit me in this Point, in which I have been
so far from offending, that I have been scrupulous perhaps to a Fault in
quoting the Authors of several Passages which I might have made my own.
But as this Assertion is in reality an Encomium on what I have
published, I ought rather to glory in it, than endeavour to confute it.

Some are so very willing to alienate from me that small Reputation which
might accrue to me from any of these my Speculations, that they
attribute some of the best of them to those imaginary Manuscripts with
which I have introduced them. There are others, I must confess, whose
Objections have given me a greater Concern, as they seem to reflect,
under this Head, rather on my Morality than on my Invention. These are
they who say an Author is guilty of Falshood, when he talks to the
Publick of Manuscripts which he never saw, or describes Scenes of Action
or Discourse in which he was never engaged. But these Gentlemen would do
well to consider, there is not a Fable or Parable which ever was made
use of, that is not liable to this Exception; since nothing; according
to this Notion, can be related innocently, which was not once Matter of
Fact. Besides, I think the most ordinary Reader may be able to discover,
by my way of writing, what I deliver in these Occurrences as Truth, and
what as Fiction.

Since I am unawares engaged in answering the several Objections which
have been made against these my Works, I must take Notice that there are
some who affirm a Paper of this Nature should always turn upon diverting
Subjects, and others who find Fault with every one of them that hath not
an immediate Tendency to the Advancement of Religion or Learning. I
shall leave these Gentlemen to dispute it out among themselves; since I
see one half of my Conduct patronized by each side. Were I serious on an
improper Subject, or trifling in a serious one, I should deservedly draw
upon me the Censure of my Readers; or were I conscious of any thing in
my Writings that is not innocent at least, or that the greatest part of
them were not sincerely designed to discountenance Vice and Ignorance,
and support the Interest of true Wisdom and Virtue, I should be more
severe upon my self than the Publick is disposed to be. In the mean
while I desire my Reader to consider every particular Paper or Discourse
as a distinct Tract by itself, and independent of every thing that goes
before or after it.

I shall end this Paper with the following Letter, which was really sent
me, as some others have been which I have published, and for which I
must own my self indebted to their respective Writers.


I was this Morning in a Company of your Well-wishers, when we read
over, with great Satisfaction, _Tully's_ Observations on Action
adapted to the _British_ Theatre: Though, by the way, we were very
sorry to find that you have disposed of another Member of your Club.
Poor Sir _Roger_ is dead, and the worthy Clergyman dying. Captain
_Sentry_ has taken Possession of a fair Estate; _Will. Honeycomb_ has
married a Farmer's Daughter; and the _Templar_ withdraws himself into
the Business of his own Profession. What will all this end in? We are
afraid it portends no Good to the Publick. Unless you very speedily
fix a Day for the Election of new Members, we are under Apprehensions
of losing the _British Spectator_. I hear of a Party of Ladies who
intend to address you on this Subject, and question not, if you do not
give us the Slip very suddenly, that you will receive Addresses from
all Parts of the Kingdom to continue so useful a Work. Pray deliver us
out of this Perplexity, and among the Multitude of your Readers you
will particularly oblige

_Your most Sincere Friend and Servant,_



* * * * *

No. 543. Saturday, November 22, 1712. Addison.

'--Facies non omnibus una
Nec diversa tamen--'


Those who were skillful in Anatomy among the Ancients, concluded from
the outward and inward Make of an Human Body, that it was the Work of a
Being transcendently Wise and Powerful. As the World grew more
enlightened in this Art, their Discoveries gave them fresh Opportunities
of admiring the Conduct of Providence in the Formation of an Human Body.
_Galen_ was converted by his Dissections, and could not but own a
Supreme Being upon a Survey of this his Handy-work. There were, indeed,
many Parts of which the old Anatomists did not know the certain Use; but
as they saw that most of those which they examined were adapted with
admirable Art to their several Functions, they did not question but
those, whose Uses they could not determine, were contrived with the same
Wisdom for respective Ends and Purposes. Since the Circulation of the
Blood has been found out, and many other great Discoveries have been
made by our modern Anatomists, we see new Wonders in the Human Frame,
and discern several important Uses for those Parts, which Uses the
Ancients knew nothing of. In short, the Body of Man is such a Subject as
stands the utmost Test of Examination. Though it appears formed with the
nicest Wisdom, upon the most superficial Survey of it, it still mends
upon the Search, and produces our Surprize and Amazement in proportion
as we pry into it. What I have here said of an Human Body, may be
applied to the Body of every Animal which has been the Subject of
Anatomical Observations.

The Body of an Animal is an Object adequate to our Senses. It is a
particular System of Providence, that lies in a narrow Compass. The Eye
is able to command it, and by successive Enquiries can search into all
its Parts. Could the Body of the whole Earth, or indeed the whole
Universe, be thus submitted to the Examination of our Senses, were it
not too big and disproportioned for our Enquiries, too unwieldy for the
Management of the Eye and Hand, there is no question but it would appear
to us as curious and well-contrived a Frame as that of an Human Body. We
should see the same Concatenation and Subserviency, the same Necessity
and Usefulness, the same Beauty and Harmony in all and every of its
Parts, as what we discover in the Body of every single Animal.

The more extended our Reason is, and the more able to grapple with
immense Objects, the greater still are those Discoveries which it makes
of Wisdom and Providence in the Work of the Creation. A Sir _Isaac
Newton_, who stands up as the Miracle of the Present Age, can look
through a whole Planetary System; consider it in its Weight, Number, and
Measure; and draw from it as many Demonstrations of infinite Power and
Wisdom, as a more confined Understanding is able to deduce from the
System of an Human Body.

But to return to our Speculations on Anatomy. I shall here consider the
Fabrick and Texture of the Bodies of Animals in one particular View;
which, in my Opinion, shews the Hand of a thinking and all-wise Being in
their Formation, with the Evidence of a thousand Demonstrations. I think
we may lay this down as an incontested Principle, that Chance never acts
in a perpetual Uniformity and Consistence with it self. If one should
always fling the same number with ten thousand Dice, or see every Throw
just five times less, or five times more in Number than the Throw which
immediately preceded it, who would not imagine there is some invisible
Power which directs the Cast? This is the Proceeding which we find in
the Operations of Nature. Every kind of Animal is diversified by
different Magnitudes, each of which gives rise to a different Species.
Let a Man trace the Dog or Lion-Kind, and he will observe how many of
the Works of Nature are published, if I may use the Expression, in a
variety of Editions. If we look into the Reptile World, or into those
different Kinds of Animals that fill the Element of Water, we meet with
the same Repetitions among several Species, that differ very little from
one another, but in Size and Bulk. You find the same Creature that is
drawn at large, copied out in several Proportions, and ending in
Miniature. It would be tedious to produce Instances of this regular
Conduct in Providence, as it would be superfluous to those who are
versed in the natural History of Animals. The magnificent Harmony of the
Universe is such, that we may observe innumerable _Divisions_ running
upon the same _Ground_. I might also extend this Speculation to the dead
Parts of Nature, in which we may find Matter disposed into many
_similar_ Systems, as well in our Survey of Stars and Planets, as of
Stones, Vegetables, and other sublunary Parts of the Creation. In a
Word, Providence has shewn the Richness of its Goodness and Wisdom, not
only in the Production of many Original Species, but in the Multiplicity
of Descants which it has made on every Original Species in particular.

But to pursue this Thought still farther; Every living Creature,
considered in it self, has many very complicated Parts, that are exact
copies of some other Parts which it possesses, and which are complicated
in the same Manner. One _Eye_ would have been sufficient for the
Subsistence and Preservation of an Animal; but in order to better his
Condition, we see another placed with a Mathematical Exactness in the
same most advantageous Situation, and in every particular of the same
Size and Texture. Is it possible for Chance to be thus delicate and
uniform in her Operations? Should a Million of Dice turn up twice
together the same Number, the Wonder would be nothing in comparison with
this. But when we see this Similitude and Resemblance in the Arm, the
Hand, the Fingers; when we see one half of the Body entirely correspond
with the other in all those minute Strokes, without which a Man might
have very well subsisted; nay, when we often see a single Part repeated
an hundred times in the same Body, notwithstanding it consists of the
most intricate weaving of numberless Fibres, and these Parts differing
still in Magnitude, as the Convenience of their particular Situation
requires; sure a Man must have a strange Cast of Understanding, who does
not discover the Finger of God in so wonderful a Work. These Duplicates
in those Parts of the Body, without which a Man might have very well
subsisted, though not so well as with them, are a plain Demonstration of
an all-wise Contriver; as those more numerous Copyings, which are found
among the Vessels of the same Body, are evident Demonstrations that they
could not be the Work of Chance. This Argument receives additional
Strength, if we apply it to every Animal and Insect within our
Knowledge, as well as to those numberless living Creatures that are
Objects too minute for a Human Eye; and if we consider how the several
Species in this whole World of Life resemble one another in very many
Particulars, so far as is convenient for their respective States of
Existence; it is much more probable that an hundred Million of Dice
should be casually thrown a hundred Million of Times in the same number,
than that the Body of any single Animal should be produced by the
fortuitous Concourse of Matter. And that the like Chance should arise in
innumerable Instances, requires a degree of Credulity that is not under
the direction of Common Sense. [We may carry this Consideration yet
further, if we reflect on the two Sexes in every living Species, with
their Resemblances to each other, and those particular Distinctions that
were necessary for the keeping up of this great World of Life.]

There are many more Demonstrations of a Supreme Being, and of his
transcendent Wisdom, Power, and Goodness in the Formation of the Body of
a living Creature, for which I refer my Reader to other Writings,
particularly to the Sixth Book of the Poem, entitled Creation, [1] where
the Anatomy of the human Body is described with great Perspicuity and
Elegance. I have been particular on the Thought which runs through this
Speculation, because I have not seen it enlarged upon by others.


[Footnote 1: Blackmore's.]

* * * * *

No. 544. Monday, November 24, 1712. Steele.

'Nunquam ita quisquam bene subducta ratione ad vitam fuit
Quia res, AEtas usus semper aliquid apportet novi
Aliquid moneat, ut illa, quae te scire credas, nescias
Et, quae tibi putaris prima, in experiundo ut repudies.'


There are, I think, Sentiments in the following Letter from my Friend
Captain SENTRY, which discover a rational and equal Frame of Mind, as
well prepared for an advantageous as an unfortunate Change of Condition.

_Coverley-Hall, Nov._ 15, _Worcestershire._


'I am come to the Succession of the Estate of my honoured Kinsman Sir
ROGER DE COVERLEY; and I assure you I find it no easy Task to keep up
the Figure of Master of the Fortune which was so handsomely enjoyed by
that honest plain Man. I cannot (with respect to the great Obligations
I have, be it spoken) reflect upon his Character, but I am confirmed
in the Truth which I have, I think, heard spoken at the Club, to wit,
That a Man of a warm and well-disposed Heart with a very small
Capacity, is highly superior in human Society to him who with the
greatest Talents is cold and languid in his Affections. But, alas! why
do I make a difficulty in speaking of my worthy Ancestor's Failings?
His little Absurdities and Incapacity for the Conversation of the
politest Men are dead with him, and his greater Qualities are even now
useful to him. I know not whether by naming those Disabilities I do
not enhance his Merit, since he has left behind him a Reputation in
his Country which would be worth the Pains of the wisest Man's whole
Life to arrive at. By the way I must observe to you, that many of your
Readers have mistook that Passage in your Writings, wherein Sir ROGER
is reported to have enquired into the private Character of the young
Woman at the Tavern. I know you mentioned that Circumstance as an
Instance of the Simplicity and Innocence of his Mind, which made him
imagine it a very easy thing to reclaim one of those Criminals, and
not as an Inclination in him to be guilty with her. The less
discerning of your Readers cannot enter into that Delicacy of
Description in the Character: But indeed my chief Business at this
time is to represent to you my present State of Mind, and the
Satisfactions I promise to my self in the Possession of my new
Fortune. I have continued all Sir ROGER'S Servants, except such as it
was a Relief to dismiss into little Beings within my Manor: Those who
are in a List of the good Knight's own Hand to be taken care of by me,
I have quartered upon such as have taken new Leases of me, and added
so many Advantages during the Lives of the Persons so quartered, that
it is the Interest of those whom they are joined with, to cherish and
befriend them upon all Occasions. I find a considerable Sum of ready
Money, which I am laying out among my Dependants at the common
Interest, but with a Design to lend it according to their Merit,
rather than according to their Ability. I shall lay a Tax upon such as
I have highly obliged, to become Security to me for such of their own
poor Youth, whether Male or Female, as want Help towards getting into
some Being in the World. I hope I shall be able to manage my Affairs
so, as to improve my Fortune every Year, by doing Acts of Kindness. I
will lend my Money to the Use of none but indigent Men, secured by
such as have ceased to be indigent by the Favour of my Family or my
self. What makes this the more practicable, is, that if they will do
any one Good with my Money, they are welcome to it upon their own
Security: And I make no Exception against it, because the Persons who
enter into the Obligations, do it for their own Family. I have laid
out four thousand Pounds this way, and it is not to be imagined what a
Crowd of People are obliged by it. In Cases where Sir ROGER has
recommended, I have lent Money to put out Children, with a Clause
which makes void the Obligation, in case the Infant dies before he is
out of his Apprenticeship; by which means the Kindred and Masters are
extremely careful of breeding him to Industry, that he may repay it
himself by his Labour, in three Years Journeywork after his Time is
out, for the Use of his Securities. Opportunities of this kind are all
that have occurred since I came to my Estate; but I assure you I will
preserve a constant Disposition to catch at all the Occasions I can to
promote the Good and Happiness of my Neighbourhood.

'But give me leave to lay before you a little Establishment which has
grown out of my past Life, that I doubt not, will administer great
Satisfaction to me in that Part of it, whatever that is, which is to

'There is a Prejudice in favour of the Way of Life to which a Man has
been educated, which I know not whether it would not be faulty to
overcome: It is like a Partiality to the Interest of one's own Country
before that of any other Nation. It is from an Habit of Thinking,
grown upon me from my Youth spent in Arms, that I have ever held
Gentlemen, who have preserved Modesty, Good-nature, Justice, and
Humanity in a Soldier's Life, to be the most valuable and worthy
Persons of the human Race. To pass through imminent Dangers, suffer
painful Watchings, frightful Alarms, and laborious Marches for the
greater part of a Man's Time, and pass the rest in a Sobriety
conformable to the Rules of the most virtuous civil Life, is a Merit
too great to deserve the Treatment it usually meets with among the
other part of the World. But I assure you, Sir, were there not very
many who have this Worth, we could never have seen the glorious Events
which we have in our Days. I need not say more to illustrate the
Character of a Soldier, than to tell you he is the very contrary to
him you observe loud, sawcy, and over-bearing in a red Coat about
Town. But I was going to tell you, that in Honour of the Profession of
Arms, I have set apart a certain Sum of Money for a Table for such
Gentlemen as have served their Country in the Army, and will please
from Time to Time to sojourn all, or any Part of the Year, at
_Coverley_. Such of them as will do me that Honour, shall find Horses,
Servants, and all things necessary for their Accommodation and
Enjoyment of all the Conveniences of Life in a pleasant various
Country. If Colonel _Camperfelt_ be in Town, and his Abilities are not
employ'd another way in the Service, there is no Man would be more
welcome here. That Gentleman's thorough Knowledge in his Profession,
together with the Simplicity of his Manners, and Goodness of his
Heart, would induce others like him to honour my Abode; and I should
be glad my Acquaintance would take themselves to be invited or not, as
their Characters have an Affinity to his.

'I would have all my Friends know, that they need not fear (though I
am become a Country Gentleman) I will trespass against their
Temperance and Sobriety. No, Sir, I shall retain so much of the good
Sentiments for the Conduct of Life, which we cultivated in each other
at our Club, as to contemn all inordinate Pleasures: But particularly
remember, with our beloved _Tully_, that the Delight in Food consists
in Desire, not Satiety. They who most passionately pursue Pleasure,
seldomest arrive at it. Now I am writing to a Philosopher, I cannot
forbear mentioning the Satisfaction I took in the Passage I read
Yesterday in the same _Tully_. A Nobleman of _Athens_ made a
Compliment to _Plato_ the Morning after he had supped at his House,
_Your Entertainments do not only please when you give them, but also
the Day after_.

_I am, My worthy Friend,

Your most obedient humble Servant,_


* * * * *

No. 545. Tuesday, November 25, 1712. Steele.

'Quin potius Pacem AEternam pactosque Hymenaeos


I cannot but think the following Letter from the Emperor of _China_ to
the Pope of _Rome_, proposing a Coalition of the _Chinese_ and _Roman_
Churches, will be acceptable to the Curious. I must confess I my self
being of opinion that the Emperor has as much Authority to be
Interpreter to him he pretends to expound, as the Pope has to be Vicar
to the Sacred Person he takes upon him to represent, I was not a little
pleased with their Treaty of Alliance. What Progress the Negotiation
between his Majesty of _Rome_, and his Holiness of _China_ makes (as we
daily Writers say upon Subjects where we are at a Loss) Time will let us
know. In the mean time, since they agree in the Fundamentals of Power
and Authority, and differ only in Matters of Faith, we may expect the
Matter will go on without Difficulty.

Copia di Littera del Re della China al Papa, interpretata dal Padre
Segretario dell' India della Compagna di Giesu. [1]

_A Voi Benedetto sopra i benedetti PP, ed interpretatore grande de
Pontifici e Pastore Xmo dispensatore dell' oglio de i Re d' Europe
Clemente XI._

'Il Favorite amico di Dio Gionata 7 deg. Potentissimo sopra tutti i
potentissimi della terra, Altissmo sopra tutti gl' Altissmi sotto il
sole e la luna, che sede nella sede di smeraldo della China sopra
cento scalini d'oro, ad interpretare la lingua di Dio a tutti i
descendenti fedeli d'Abramo, che da la vita e la morte a cento
quindici regni, ed a cento settante Isole, scrive con la penna dello
Struzzo vergine, e manda salute ed accresimento di vecchiezza.

'Essendo arrivato il tempo in cui il fiore della reale nostro gioventu
deve maturare i Frutti della nostra vecchiezza, e confortare con quell
i desiderii dei populi nostri divoti, e propogare il seme di quella
pianta che deve proteggerli, habbiamo Stabilito d'accompagnarci con
una virgine eccelsa ed amorosa allattata alia mammella della leonessa
forte e dell' Agnella mansueta. Percio essendo ci stato figurato
sempre il vostro populo Europeo Romano par paese di donne invitte, i
forte, e caste; allongiamo la nostra mano potente, a stringere una di
loro, e questa sara una vostra nipote, o nipote di qualche altro gran
Sacerdote Latino, che sia guardata dall' occhio dritto di Dio. Sara
seminata in lei l'Autorita di Sarra, la Fedelta d'Esther, e la
Sapienza di Abba; la vogliamo con l'occhio della colomba che guarda il
cielo, e la terra e con la bocca dello Conchiglia che si pasce della
ruggiada del matino. La sua eta non passi ducento corsi della Luna, la
sua statura sia alta quanto la spicca dritta del grano verde, e la sua
grossezza quanto un manipolo di grano secco. Noi la mandaremmo a
vestire per li nostri mandatici Ambasciadori, e chi la conduranno a
noi, e noi incontraremmo alla riva del fiume grande facendola salire
su nostro cocchio. Ella potra adorare appresso di noi il suo Dio, con
venti quatro altre vergini a sua ellezzione, e potra cantare con loro
come la Tortora alla Primavera.

'Sodisfando O Padre e amico nostro questa nostro brama, sarete
caggione di unire in perpetua amicitia cotesti vostri Regni d'Europa
al nostro dominante Imperio, e si abbracciranno le vostri leggi come
l'edera abbraccia la pianta, e noi medesemi Spargeremo del nostro seme
reale in coteste Provinci, riscaldando i letti di vostri Principi con
il fuoco amoroso delle nostre Amazoni, d'alcune delle quali i nostri
mandatici Ambasciadori vi porteranno le Somiglianze depinte. Vi
Confirmiamo di tenere in pace le due buone religiose famiglie delli
Missionarii gli' Figlioli d'Ignazio, e li bianchi e neri figlioli di
Dominico; il cui consiglio degl' uni e degl' altri ci serve di scorta
nel nostro regimento e di lume ad interpretare le divine Legge come
appuncto fa lume l'oglio che si getta in Mare. In tanto Alzandoci dal
nostro Trono per Abbracciarvi, vi dichiariamo nostro congiunto e
Confederato; ed ordiniamo che questo foglio sia segnato col nostro
Segno Imperiale dalla nostra Citta, Capo del Mondo, il quinto giorno
della terza lunatione l'anno quarto del nostro Imperio.

'Sigillo e un sole nelle cui faccia e anche quella della Luna ed
intorno tra i Raggi vi sono traposte alcune Spade.

'Dico il Traduttore che secondo il Ceremonial di questo Lettere e
recedentissimo specialmente Fessere scritto con la penna della Struzzo
vergine con la quella non soglionsi scrivere quei Re che le pregiere a
Dio e scrivendo a qualche altro Principe del Mondo, la maggior Finezza
che usino, e scrivergli con la penna del Pavone.

A Letter from the Emperor of _China_ to the Pope, interpreted by a
Father Jesuit, Secretary to the _Indies_.

_To you blessed above the Blessed, great Emperor of Bishops, and
Pastor of Christians, Dispenser of the Oil of the Kings of Europe_,
Clement XI.

"The Favourite Friend of God _Gionnata_ the VIIth, most Powerful above
the most Powerful of the Earth, Highest above the Highest under the
Sun and Moon, who sits on a Throne of Emerald of _China_, above 100
Steps of Gold, to interpret the Language of God to the faithful, and
who gives Life and Death to 115 Kingdoms, and 170 Islands; he writes
with the Quill of a Virgin _Ostrich_, and sends Health and Increase of
old Age.

"Being arrived at the time of our Age, in which the Flower of our
Royal Youth ought to ripen into Fruit towards old Age, to comfort
therewith the Desire of our devoted People, and to propagate the Seed
of that Plant which must protect them; We have determined to accompany
our selves with an high Amorous Virgin, suckled at the Breast of a
wild Lioness, and a meek Lamb; and imagining with our selves that your
_European Roman_ People is the Father of many unconquerable and chaste
Ladies: We stretch out our powerful Arm to embrace one of them, and
she shall be one of your Neices, or the Neice of some other great
_Latin_ Priest, the Darling of God's Right Eye. Let the Authority of
_Sarah_ be sown in her, the Fidelity of _Esther_, and the Wisdom of
_Abba_. We would have her Eye like that of a _Dove_, which may look
upon Heaven and Earth, with the Mouth of a Shell-Fish to feed upon the
Dew of the Morning; Her Age must not exceed 200 Courses of the Moon;
let her Stature be equal to that of an Ear of green Corn, and her
Girth a Handful.

"We will send our _Mandarine's_ Embassadors to clothe her, and to
conduct her to us, and we will meet her on the Bank of the great
River, making her to leap up into our Chariot. She may with us worship
her own God; together with twenty four Virgins of her own chusing; and
she may sing with them, as the _Turtle_ in the Spring. You, O Father
and Friend, complying with this our Desire, maybe an occasion of
uniting in perpetual Friendship our high Empire with your _European_
Kingdoms, and we may embrace your Laws, as the _Ivy_ embraces the
Tree; and we our selves may scatter our Royal Blood into your
Provinces, warming the chief of your Princes with the amorous Fire of
our _Amazons_, the resembling Pictures of some of which our said
_Mandarine's_ Embassadors shall convey to you.

"We exhort you to keep in Peace two good Religious Families of
_Missionaries_, the black Sons of _Ignatius_, and the white and black
Sons of _Dominicus_; that the Counsel, both of the one and the other,
may serve as a Guide to us in our Government, and a Light to interpret
the Divine Law, as the Oil cast into the Sea produces Light.

"To conclude, we rising up in our Throne to embrace you, we declare
you our Ally and Confederate; and have ordered this Leaf to be sealed
with our Imperial Signet, in our Royal City the Head of the World, the
8th Day of the third Lunation, and the 4th Year of our Reign."

Letters from _Rome_ say, the whole Conversation both among Gentlemen and
Ladies has turned upon the Subject of this Epistle, ever since it
arrived. The Jesuit who translated it says, it loses much of the Majesty
of the Original in the _Italian_. It seems there was an Offer of the
same nature made by a Predecessor of the present Emperor to _Lewis_ the
XIIIth of France, but no Lady of that Court would take the Voyage, that
Sex not being at that time so much used in politick Negotiations. The
manner of treating the Pope is, according to the _Chinese_ Ceremonial,
very respectful: For the Emperor writes to him with the Quill of a
Virgin _Ostrich_, which was never used before but in Writing Prayers.
Instructions are preparing for the Lady who shall have so much Zeal as
to undertake this Pilgrimage, and be an Empress for the sake of her
Religion. The Principal of the _Indian_ Missionaries has given in a List
of the reigning Sins in _China_, in order to prepay the Indulgences
necessary to this Lady and her Retinue, in advancing the Interests of
the _Roman Catholic Religion_ in those Kingdoms.


_May it please your Honour_,

'I have of late seen _French_ Hats, of a prodigious Magnitude, pass by
my Observatory.

_John Sly._


[Footnote 1: No suggestion has been made as to the authorship of this
squib on the Jesuits in China.]

* * * * *

No. 546. Wednesday, November 26, 1712. Steele.

'Omnia patefacienda ut ne quid omnino quod venditor norit, emptor


It gives me very great Scandal to observe, where-ever I go, how much
Skill, in buying all manner of Goods, there is necessary to defend
yourself from being cheated in whatever you see exposed to Sale. My
Reading makes such a strong impression upon me, that I should think my
self a Cheat in my Way, if I should translate any thing from another
Tongue, and not acknowledge it to my Readers. I understood from common
Report, that Mr. _Cibber_ was introducing a _French_ Play upon our
Stage, and thought my self concerned to let the Town know what was his,
and what foreign. [1] When I came to the Rehearsal, I found the House so
partial to one of their own Fraternity, that they gave every thing which
was said such Grace, Emphasis, and Force in their Action, that it was no
easy matter to make any Judgment of the Performance. Mrs. _Oldfield_,
who, it seems, is the Heroick Daughter, had so just a Conception of her
Part, that her Action made what she spoke appear decent, just, and
noble. The Passions of Terrour and Compassion, they made me believe were
very artfully raised, and the whole Conduct of the Play artful and
surprizing. We Authors do not much relish the Endeavours of Players in
this kind; but have the same Disdain as Physicians and Lawyers have when
Attorneys and Apothecaries give Advice. _Cibber_ himself took the
liberty to tell me, that he expected I would do him Justice, and allow
the Play well-prepared for his Spectators, whatever it was for his
Readers. He added very many Particulars not uncurious concerning the
manner of taking an Audience, and laying wait not only for their
superficial Applause, but also for insinuating into their Affections and
Passions, by the artful Management of the Look, Voice, and Gesture of
the Speaker. I could not but consent that the Heroick Daughter appeared
in the Rehearsal a moving Entertainment wrought out of a great and
exemplary Virtue.

The Advantages of Action, Show, and Dress on these Occasions are
allowable, because the Merit consists in being capable of imposing upon
us to our Advantage and Entertainment. All that I was going to say about
the Honesty of an Author in the Sale of his Ware, was that he ought to
own all that he had borrowed from others, and lay in a clear light all
that he gives his Spectators for their Money, with an Account of the
first Manufacturers. But I intended to give the Lecture of this Day upon
the common and prostituted Behaviour of Traders in ordinary Commerce.
The Philosopher made it a Rule of Trade, that your Profit ought to be
the common Profit; and it is unjust to make any Step towards Gain,
wherein the Gain of even those to whom you sell is not also consulted. A
Man may deceive himself if he thinks fit, but he is no better than a
Cheat who sells any thing without telling the Exceptions against it, as
well as what is to be said to its Advantage. The scandalous abuse of
Language and hardening of Conscience, which may be observed every Day in
going from one Place to another, is what makes a whole City to an
unprejudiced Eye a Den of Thieves. It was no small pleasure to me for
this reason to remark, as I passed by _Cornhill_, that the Shop of that
worthy, honest, tho' lately unfortunate, Citizen, Mr. _John Moreton_,
[2] so well known in the Linnen Trade, is fitting up a-new. Since a Man
has been in a distressed Condition, it ought to be a great Satisfaction
to have passed thro' it in such a Manner as not to have lost the
Friendship of those who suffered with him, but to receive an honourable
Acknowledgment of his Honesty from those very Persons to whom the Law
had consigned his Estate.

The Misfortune of this Citizen is like to prove of a very general
Advantage to those who shall deal with him hereafter: For the Stock with
which he now sets up being the Loan of his Friends, he cannot expose
that to the Hazard of giving Credit, but enters into a Ready-Money
Trade, by which Means he will both buy and sell the best and cheapest.
He imposes upon himself a Rule of affixing the Value of each Piece he
sells to the Piece it self; so that the most ignorant Servant or Child
will be as good a Buyer at his Shop as the most skilful in the Trade.
For all which, you have all his Hopes and Fortune for your Security. To
encourage Dealing after this Way, there is not only the avoiding the
most infamous Guilt in ordinary Bartering; but this Observation, That he
who buys with ready Money saves as much to his Family, as the State
exacts out of his Land for the Security and Service of his Country; that
is to say, in plain _English_, Sixteen will do as much as Twenty


'My Heart is so swelled with grateful Sentiments on account of some
Favours which I have lately received, that I must beg leave to give
them Utterance amongst the Croud of other anonymous Correspondents;
and writing, I hope, will be as great a Relief to my forced Silence,
as it is to your natural Taciturnity--My generous Benefactor will not
suffer me to speak to him in any Terms of Acknowledgment, but ever
treats me as if he had the greatest Obligations, and uses me with a
Distinction that is not to be expected from one so much my Superiour
in Fortune, Years, and Understanding. He insinuates, as if I had a
certain Right to his Favours from some Merit, which his particular
Indulgence to me has discovered but that is only a beautiful Artifice
to lessen the Pain an honest Mind feels in receiving Obligations, when
there is no probability of returning them.

'A gift is doubled when accompanied with such a Delicacy of Address;
but what to me gives it an inexpressible Value, is its coming from the
Man I most esteem in the World. It pleases me indeed, as it is an
Advantage and Addition to my Fortune; but when I consider it is an
Instance of that good Man's Friendship, it overjoys, it transports me;
I look on it with a Lover's Eye, and no longer regard the Gift, but
the Hand that gave it. For my Friendship is so entirely void of any
gainful Views, that it often gives me Pain to think it should have
been chargeable to him; and I cannot at some melancholy Hours help
doing his Generosity the Injury of fearing it should cool on this
account, and that the last Favour might be a sort of Legacy of a
departing Friendship.

'I Confess these Fears seem very groundless and unjust, but you must
forgive them to the Apprehension of one possessed of a great Treasure,
who is frighted at the most distant Shadow of Danger.

'Since I have thus far open'd my Heart to you, I will not conceal the
secret Satisfaction I feel there of knowing the Goodness of my Friend
will not be unrewarded. I am pleased with thinking the Providence of
the Almighty hath sufficient Blessings in store for him, and will
certainly discharge the Debt, though I am not made the happy
Instrument of doing it.

'However, nothing in my power shall be wanting to shew my Gratitude; I
will make it the Business of my Life to thank him, and shall esteem
(next to him) those my best Friends, who give me greatest Assistance
in this good Work. Printing this Letter would be some little Instance
of my Gratitude; and your Favour herein will very much oblige

_Your most humble Servant, &c._

W. C.

Nov. 24th.


[Footnote 1: _Ximena_, or the _Heroic Daughter_, a Tragedy taken from
the _Cid_ of Corneille, by Colley Gibber. The play was not published
until after Steele's pamphlet, 'The Crisis,' had exposed him to
political and (as it necessarily followed in those days) personal
detraction. Cibber then dedicated his play to Steele, referring to the
custom of his calumniators, since they could not deny his literary
services, to transfer all the merit of them to Addison, upon whom he had
so generously heaped more than the half of his own fame, and said:

"Your Enemies therefore, thus knowing that your own consent had partly
justified their insinuations, saved a great deal of their malice from
being ridiculous, and fairly left you to apply to such your singular
conduct what Mark Antony says of Octavius in the play:

'Fool that I was! upon my Eagle's wings
I bore this Wren, 'till I was tired with soaring,
And now, he mounts above me.'"

True-hearted Steele never read his relation to his friend in this
fashion. With how fine a disregard of conventional dignity is the latter
part of this paper given by Steele to the kind effort to help in setting
a fallen man upon his legs again!]

[Footnote 2: See No. 248. To this Mr. Moreton was addressed the letter
signed W. S., from Sir William Scawen.]

* * * * *

No. 547. Thursday, November 27, 1712. Addison.

'Si vulnus tibi monstrata radice vel herba
Non fieret levius, fugeres radice vel herba
Proficiente nihil curarier--'


It is very difficult to praise a Man without putting him out of
Countenance. My following Correspondent has found out this uncommon Art,
and, together with his Friends, has celebrated some of my Speculations
after such a concealed but diverting manner, that if any of my Readers
think I am to blame in Publishing my own Commendations, they will allow
I should have deserved their Censure as much, had I suppressed the
Humour in which they are convey'd to me.


'I am often in a private Assembly of Wits of both Sexes, where we
generally descant upon your Speculations, or upon the Subjects on
which you have treated. We were last _Tuesday_ talking of those two
Volumes which you have lately published. Some were commending one of
your Papers, and some another; and there was scarce a single Person in
the Company that had not a favourite Speculation. Upon this a Man of
Wit and Learning told us, he thought it would not be amiss if we paid
the _Spectator_ the same Compliment that is often made in our publick
Prints to Sir _William Read_, Dr. _Grant_, Mr. _Moor_ the Apothecary;
[1] and other eminent Physicians, where it is usual for the Patients
to publish the Cures which have been made upon them, and the several
Distempers under which they laboured. The Proposal took, and the Lady
where we visited having the two last Volumes in large Paper
interleav'd for her own private use, ordered them to be brought down,
and laid in the Window, whither every one in the Company retired, and
writ down a particular Advertisement in the Style and Phrase of the
like ingenious Compositions which we frequently meet with at the end
of our News-Papers. When we had finish'd our Work, we read them with a
great deal of Mirth at the Fire-side, and agreed, _Nemine
contradicente_, to get them transcrib'd, and sent to the _Spectator_.
The Gentleman who made the Proposal enter'd the following
Advertisement before the Title-Page, after which the rest succeeded in

_Remedium efficax et universum_; or, An effectual Remedy adapted to
all Capacities; shewing how any Person may Cure himself of
Ill-Nature, Pride, Party-Spleen, or any other Distemper incident to
the human System, with an easie way to know when the Infection is
upon him. This Panacea is as innocent as Bread, agreeable to the
Taste, and requires no Confinement. It has not its Equal in the
Universe, as Abundance of the Nobility and Gentry throughout the
Kingdom have experienced.

N. B. 'No Family ought to be without it.

_Over the two_ Spectators _on Jealousy, being the two first in the
third Volume._

I _William Crazy_, aged Threescore and seven, having been for
several Years afflicted with uneasie Doubts, Fears and Vapours,
occasion'd by the Youth and Beauty of _Mary_ my Wife, aged twenty
five, do hereby for the Benefit of the Publick give Notice, that I
have found great Relief from the two following Doses, having taken
them two Mornings together with a Dish of Chocolate. Witness my
Hand, &c.

_For the Benefit of the Poor._

'In charity to such as are troubled with the Disease of Levee-
Haunting, and are forced to seek their Bread every Morning at the
Chamber Doors of great Men, I _A. B._ do testifie, that for many
Years past I laboured under this fashionable Distemper, but was
cured of it by a Remedy which I bought of Mrs. _Baldwin_, contain'd
in an Half-Sheet of Paper, marked No. 193. where any one may be
provided with the same Remedy at the price of a single Penny.

An infallible Cure for _Hypocondriack Melancholys_.

No. 173. 184. 191. 203. 209. 221. 233. 235. 239. 245. 247. 251.

Probatum est. _Charles Easy_.

'I _Christopher Query_ having been troubled with a certain Distemper
in my Tongue, which shewed it self in impertinent and superfluous
Interrogatories, have not asked one unnecessary Question since my
Perusal of the Prescription marked No. 228.

'The _Britannick Beautifyer_, being an Essay on Modesty, No. 231.
which gives such a delightful Blushing Colour to the Cheeks of those
that are White or Pale, that it is not to be distinguished from a
natural fine Complection, nor perceived to be artificial by the
nearest Friend: Is nothing of Paint, or in the least hurtful. It
renders the Face delightfully handsome; is not subject to be rubbed
off, and cannot be parallelled by either Wash, Powder, Cosmetick,
&c. It is certainly the best Beautifier in the World.

_Martha Gloworm._

'I _Samuel Self_, of the Parish of _St. James's_, having a
Constitution which naturally abounds with Acids, made use of a Paper
of Directions marked No. 177. recommending a healthful Exercise
called _Good-Nature_, and have found it a most excellent Sweetner of
the Blood.

'Whereas I, _Elizabeth Rainbow_, was troubled with that Distemper in
my Head, which about a Year ago was pretty Epidemical among the
Ladies, and discover'd it self in the Colour of their Hoods, having
made use of the Doctor's Cephalick Tincture, which he exhibited to
the Publick in one of his last Year's Papers, I recover'd in a very
few Days.

'I _George Gloom_ have for a long time been troubled with the
Spleen, and being advis'd by my Friends to put my self into a Course
of Steele, did for that end make use of Remedies convey'd to me
several Mornings, in short Letters, from the Hands of the invisible
Doctor. They were marked at the bottom _Nathaniel Henroost, Alice
Threadneedle, Rebecca Nettletop, Tom. Loveless, Mary Meanwell,
Thomas Smoaky, Anthony Freeman, Tom Meggot, Rustick Sprightly,_ &c.
which have had so good an Effect upon me, that I now find my self
chearful, lightsome and easie; and therefore do recommend them to
all such as labour under the same Distemper.

Not having room to insert all the Advertisements which were sent me, I
have only picked out some few from the Third Volume, reserving the
Fourth for another Opportunity.


[Footnote 1: Sir William Read, a doctor who could hardly read, was one
of the most pertinacious advertisers of his time. He advertised in the
_Tatler_ that he had been 35 years in the practice of

'couching cataracts, taking off all sorts of wens, curing wry necks
and _hair_ lips without blemish, though never so deformed.'

His wife assisted him, and after his death carried on his business,
advertising that,

'The Lady Read, in Durham Yard, in the Strand, having obtained a
peculiar method of couching cataracts and curing all diseases of the
eyes, by Sir William Read's method and medicines, and having had above
15 years' experience ... Note. Sir William Read has left only with his
lady the true receipt of his Styptich Water,' &c., &c.

Dr. Grant was another advertising oculist, illiterate and celebrated,
originally a tinker or cobbler, afterwards a Baptist preacher in

Mr. Moore sold a powder which, according to his advertisements, brought
off worms of incredible length.]

* * * * *

No. 548. Friday, November 28, 1712. [1]

'--Vitiis nemo sine nascitur, optimus illo
Qui minimis urgetur--'


_Nov._ 27, 1712.


'I have read this Day's Paper with a great deal of Pleasure, and could
send you an Account of several Elixirs and Antidotes in your third
Volume, which your Correspondents have not taken Notice of in their
Advertisements; and at the same time must own to you, that I have
seldom seen a Shop furnished with such a Variety of Medicaments, and
in which there are fewer Soporifics. The several Vehicles you have
invented for conveying your unacceptable Truths to us, are what I most
particularly admire, as I am afraid they are Secrets which will die
with you. I do not find that any of your Critical Essays are taken
Notice of in this Paper, notwithstanding I look upon them to be
excellent Cleansers of the Brain, and could venture to superscribe
them with an Advertisement which I have lately seen in one of our
News-Papers, wherein there is an Account given of a Sovereign Remedy
for restoring the Taste of all such Persons whose Palates have been
vitiated by Distempers, unwholesome Food, or any the like Occasions.
But to let fall the Allusion, notwithstanding your Criticisms, and
particularly the Candour which you have discovered in them, are not
the least taking Part of your Works, I find your Opinion concerning
_Poetical Justice_, as it is expressed in the first Part of your
Fortieth _Spectator_, is controverted by some eminent Criticks; and as
you now seem, to our great Grief of Heart, to be winding up your
Bottoms, I hoped you would have enlarged a little upon that Subject.
It is indeed but a single Paragraph in your Works, and I believe those
who have read it with the same Attention I have done, will think there
is nothing to be objected against it. I have however drawn up some
additional Arguments to strengthen the Opinion which you have there
delivered, having endeavoured to go to the Bottom of that Matter,
which you may either publish or suppress as you think fit.

'_Horace_ in my Motto says, that all Men are vicious, and that they
differ from one another, only as they are more or less so. _Boileau_
has given the same Account of our Wisdom, as _Horace_ has of our

'Tous les homines sont fous, et, malgre tous leurs soins,
Ne different entre eux, que du plus et du moins.'

All Men, says he, are Fools, and, in spite of their Endeavours to the
contrary, differ from one another only as they are more or less so.

'Two or three of the old _Greek_ Poets have given the same turn to a
Sentence which describes the Happiness of Man in this Life;

[Greek: To zaen alypos, andros esti eutuchous]

'That Man is most happy who is the least miserable.

'It will not perhaps be unentertaining to the Polite Reader to observe
how these three beautiful Sentences are formed upon different Subjects
by the same way of thinking; but I shall return to the first of them.

'Our Goodness being of a comparative, and not an absolute nature,
there is none who in strictness can be called a Virtuous Man. Every
one has in him a natural Alloy, tho' one may be fuller of Dross than
another: For this reason I cannot think it right to introduce a
perfect or a faultless Man upon the Stage; not only because such a
Character is improper to move Compassion, but because there is no such
a thing in Nature. This might probably be one Reason why the SPECTATOR
in one of his Papers took notice of that late invented Term called
_Poetical Justice_, and the wrong Notions into which it has led some
Tragick Writers. The most perfect Man has Vices enough to draw down
Punishments upon his Head, and to justify Providence in regard to any
Miseries that may befal him. For this reason I cannot think, but that
the Instruction and Moral are much finer, where a Man who is virtuous
in the main of his Character falls into Distress, and sinks under the
Blows of Fortune at the End of a Tragedy, than when he is represented
as Happy and Triumphant. Such an Example corrects the Insolence of
Human Nature, softens the Mind of the Beholder with Sentiments of Pity
and Compassion, comforts him under his own private Affliction, and
teaches him not to judge Mens Virtues by their Successes. I cannot
think of one real Hero in all Antiquity so far raised above Human
Infirmities, that he might not be very naturally represented in a
Tragedy as plunged in Misfortunes and Calamities. The Poet may still
find out some prevailing Passion or Indiscretion in his Character, and
shew it in such a Manner, as will sufficiently acquit the Gods of any
Injustice in his Sufferings. For as _Horace_ observes in my Text, the
best Man is faulty, tho' not in so great a degree as those whom we
generally call vicious Men.

'If such a strict Poetical Justice, as some Gentlemen insist upon, was
to be observed in this Art, there is no manner of Reason why it should
not extend to Heroick Poetry, as well as Tragedy. But we find it so
little observed in _Homer_, that his _Achilles_ is placed in the
greatest point of Glory and Success, though his Character is Morally
Vicious, and only Poetically Good, if I may use the Phrase of our
modern Criticks. The _AEneid_ is filled with Innocent, unhappy Persons.
_Nisus_ and _Eurialus, Lausus_ and _Pallas_ come all to unfortunate
Ends. The Poet takes Notice in particular, that in the Sacking of
_Troy, Ripheus_ fell, who was the most just Man among the _Trojans_.

'--Cadit et Ripheus justissimus unus,
Qui fuit in Teucris et servantissimus AEqui:
Dijs aliter visum est--'

'And that _Pantheus_ could neither be preserved by his transcendent
Piety, nor by the holy Fillets of _Apollo_, whose Priest he was.

'--nec Te tua plurima Pantheu
Labentem pietas, nec Apollinis infula texit.'

(AEn. 1. 2.)

'I might here mention the Practice of ancient Tragick Poets, both
_Greek_ and _Latin_; but as this Particular is touched upon in the
Paper above-mentioned, I shall pass it over in Silence. I could
produce Passages out of _Aristotle_ in favour of my Opinion, and if in
one Place he says that an absolutely Virtuous Man should not be
represented as unhappy, this does not justifie any one who shall think
fit to bring in an absolutely virtuous Man upon the Stage. Those who
are acquainted with that Author's Way of Writing, know very well, that
to take the whole extent of his Subject into his Divisions of it, he
often makes use of such Cases as are imaginary, and not reducible to
Practice: He himself declares that such Tragedies as ended unhappily
bore away the Prize in Theatrical Contentions, from those which ended
happily; and for the Fortieth Speculation, which I am now considering,
as it has given Reasons why these are more apt to please an Audience,
so it only proves that these are generally preferable to the other,
tho' at the same time it affirms that many excellent Tragedies have
and may be written in both kinds.

['I shall conclude with observing, that though the _Spectator_
above-mentioned is so far against the Rule of Poetical Justice, as to
affirm, that good Men may meet with an unhappy Catastrophe in Tragedy,
it does not say that ill Men may go off unpunished. The Reason for
this Distinction is very plain, namely, because the best of Men are
vicious enough to justify Providence for any Misfortunes and
Afflictions which may befal them, but there are many Men so criminal
that they can have no Claim or Pretence to Happiness. The best of Men
may deserve Punishment, but the worst of Men cannot deserve

[Footnote 1: Unacknowledged, but doubtless by Addison, who took this
indirect way of answering Dennis. Addison's hand is further shown by the
addition made to the reprint.]

* * * * *

No. 549. Saturday, November 29, 1712. Addison.

'Quamvis digressu veteris confusus amici,
Laudo tamen--'


I believe most People begin the World with a Resolution to withdraw from
it into a serious kind of Solitude or Retirement, when they have made
themselves easie in it. Our Unhappiness is, that we find out some Excuse
or other for deferring such our good Resolutions till our intended
Retreat is cut off by Death. But among all kinds of People there are
none who are so hard to part with the World, as those who are grown old
in the heaping up of Riches. Their Minds are so warped with their
constant Attention to Gain, that it is very difficult for them to give
their Souls another Bent, and convert them towards those Objects, which,
though they are proper for every Stage of Life, are so more especially
for the last. _Horace_ describes an old Usurer as so charmed with the
Pleasures of a Country Life, that in order to make a Purchase he called
in all his Mony; but what was the Event of it? Why in a very few Days
after he put it out again. I am engaged in this Series of Thought by a
Discourse which I had last Week with my worthy Friend Sir ANDREW
FREEPORT, a Man of so much natural Eloquence, good Sense, and Probity of
Mind, that I always hear him with a particular Pleasure. As we were
sitting together, being the sole remaining Members of our Club, Sir
ANDREW gave me an Account of the many busie Scenes of Life in which he
had been engaged, and at the same time reckoned up to me abundance of
those lucky Hits, which at another time he would have called pieces of
good Fortune; but in the Temper of Mind he was then, he termed them
Mercies, Favours of Providence, and Blessings upon an honest Industry.
Now, says he, you must know my good Friend, I am so used to consider my
self as Creditor and Debtor, that I often state my Accounts after the
same manner with regard to Heaven and my own Soul. In this case, when I
look upon the Debtor-side, I find such innumerable Articles, that I want
Arithmetick to cast them up; but when I look upon the Creditor-side, I
find little more than blank Paper. Now though I am very well satisfied
that it is not in my power to ballance Accounts with my Maker, I am
resolved however to turn all my future Endeavours that way. You must not
therefore be surprized, my Friend, if you hear that I am betaking my
self to a more thoughtful kind of Life, and if I meet you no more in
this Place.

I could not but approve so good a Resolution, notwithstanding the Loss I
shall suffer by it. Sir ANDREW has since explained himself to me more at
large in the following Letter, which is just come to my hands.


'Notwithstanding my Friends at the Club have always rallied me, when I
have talked of retiring from Business, and repeated to me one of my
own Sayings, _That a Merchant has never enough till he has got a
little more_; I can now inform you, that there is one in the World who
thinks he has enough, and is determined to pass the Remainder of his
Life in the Enjoyment of what he has. You know me so well, that I need
not tell you, I mean, by the Enjoyment of my Possessions, the making
of them useful to the Publick. As the greatest part of my Estate has
been hitherto of an unsteady and volatile nature, either tost upon
Seas or fluctuating in Funds; it is now fixed and settled in
Substantial Acres and Tenements. I have removed it from the
Uncertainty of Stocks, Winds and Waves, and disposed of it in a
considerable Purchase. This will give me great Opportunity of being
charitable in my way, that is, in setting my poor Neighbours to Work,
and giving them a comfortable Subsistence out of their own Industry.
My Gardens, my Fish-ponds, my Arable and Pasture Grounds shall be my
several Hospitals, or rather Work-houses, in which I propose to
maintain a great many indigent Persons, who are now starving in my
Neighbourhood. I have got a fine Spread of improveable Lands, and in
my own Thoughts am already plowing up some of them, fencing others;
planting Woods, and draining Marshes. In fine, as I have my share in
the Surface of this Island, I am resolved to make it as beautiful a
Spot as any in her Majesty's Dominions; at least there is not an Inch
of it which shall not be cultivated to the best Advantage, and do its
utmost for its Owner. As in my Mercantile Employment I so disposed of
my Affairs, that from whatever Corner of the Compass the Wind blew, it
was bringing home one or other of my Ships; I hope, as a Husbandman,
to contrive it so, that not a Shower of Rain, or a Glimpse of
Sunshine, shall fall upon my Estate without bettering some part of it,
and contributing to the Products of the Season. You know it has been
hitherto my Opinion of Life, that it is thrown away when it is not
some way useful to others. But when I am riding out by my self, in the
fresh Air on the open Heath that lies by my House, I find several
other Thoughts growing up in me. I am now of opinion that a Man [of my
Age] may find Business enough on himself, by setting his Mind in

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