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

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Foot in Breadth from the Tip of one Shoulder to the other. He had
married three Wives, who all of them died in Child-bed. This terrified
the whole Sex, who none of them durst venture on Sir _Sampson_. At
length Mrs. _Deborah_ undertook him, and gave so good an Account of
him, that in three Years time she very fairly laid him out, and
measured his Length upon the Ground. This Exploit has gained her so
great a Reputation in the Club, that they have added Sir _Sampson's_
three Victories to hers, and give her the Merit of a fourth Widowhood;
and she takes her Place accordingly.

'VIII. The Widow _Wildfire_, Relict of Mr. _John Wildfire_,
Fox-hunter, who broke his Neck over a six Bar Gate. She took his Death
so much to Heart, that it was thought it would have put an End to her
Life, had she not diverted her Sorrows by receiving the Addresses of a
Gentleman in the Neighbourhood, who made Love to her in the second
Month of her Widowhood. This Gentleman was discarded in a Fortnight
for the sake of a young _Templar_, who had the Possession of her for
six Weeks after, till he was beaten out by a broken Officer, who
likewise gave up his Place to a Gentleman at Court. The Courtier was
as short-liv'd a Favourite as his Predecessors, but had the Pleasure
to see himself succeeded by a long Series of Lovers, who followed the
Widow _Wildfire_ to the 37th Year of her Age, at which time there
ensued a Cessation of ten Years, when _John Felt_, Haberdasher, took
it in his Head to be in love with her, and it is thought will very
suddenly carry her off.

'IX. The last is pretty Mrs. _Runnet_, who broke her first Husband's
Heart before she was Sixteen, at which Time she was entred of the
Club, but soon after left it, upon Account of a Second, whom she made
so quick a Dispatch of, that she returned to her Seat in less than a
Twelvemonth. This young Matron is looked upon as the most rising
Member of the Society, and will probably be in the President's Chair
before she dies.

'These Ladies, upon their first Institution, resolved to give the
Pictures of their deceased Husbands to the Club-Room, but two of them
bringing in their Dead at full Length, they cover'd all the Walls;
Upon which they came to a second Resolution, that every Matron should
give her own Picture, and set it round with her Husbands in Miniature.

As they have most of them the Misfortune to be troubled with the
Cholick, they have a noble Celler of Cordials and strong Waters. When
they grow Maudlin, they are very apt to commemorate their former
Partners with a Tear. But ask them which of their Husbands they
Condole, they are not able to tell you, and discover plainly that they
do not Weep so much for the Loss of a Husband, as for the want of One.

'The principal Rule, by which the whole Society are to govern
themselves is this, To cry up the Pleasures of a single Life upon all
Occasions, in order to deter the rest of their Sex from Marriage, and
engross the whole Male World to themselves.

'They are obliged, when any one makes Love to a Member of the Society,
to communicate his Name, at which Time the whole Assembly sit upon his
Reputation, Person, Fortune, and good Humour; and if they find him
qualified for a Sister of the Club, they lay their Heads together how
to make him sure. By this Means they are acquainted with all the
Widow-hunters about Town, who often afford them great Diversion. There
is an honest _Irish_ Gentleman, it seems, who knows nothing of this
Society, but at different times has made Love to the whole Club.

Their Conversation often turns upon their former Husbands, and it is
very diverting to hear them relate their several Arts and Stratagems,
with which they amused the Jealous, pacified the Chokrick, or wheedled
the Good-natured Man, till at last, to use the Club Phrase, _They sent
him out of the House with his Heels foremost_.

The Politicks, which are most cultivated by this Society of
She-_Machiavils_, relate chiefly to these two Points: How to treat a
Lover, and How to manage a Husband. As for the first Set of Artifices,
they are too numerous to come within the Compass of your Paper, and
shall therefore be reserved for a Second Letter.

The Management of a Husband is built upon the following Doctrines,
which are Universally assented to by the whole Club. Not to give him
his Head at first. Not to allow him too great Freedoms and
Familiarities. Not to be treated by him like a raw Girl, but as a
Woman that knows the World. Not to Lessen anything of her former
Figure. To celebrate the Generosity, or any other Vertue, of a
deceased Husband, which she would recommend to his Successor. To turn
away all his old Friends and Servants, that she may have the Dear Man
to her self. To make him disinherit the undutiful Children of any
former Wife. Never to be thoroughly convinced of his Affection, till
he has made over to her all his Goods and Chattels.

'After so long a Letter, I am, without more Ceremony,
_Your Humble Servant, &c._

* * * * *

No. 562. Friday, July 2, 1714. Addison.

'--Praesens, absens ut sies.'

Ter.

_It is a hard and nice Subject for a Man to speak of himself, says
Cowley; [1] it grates his own Heart to say anything of Disparagement,
and the Reader's Ears to hear any thing of Praise from him._ Let the
Tenour of his Discourse be what it will upon this Subject, it generally
proceeds from _Vanity_. An ostentatious Man will rather relate a Blunder
or an Absurdity he has committed, than be debarred from talking of his
own dear Person.

Some very great Writers have been guilty of this Fault. It is observed
of _Tully_ in particular, that his Works run very much in the First
Person, and that he takes all Occasions of doing himself Justice.

'Does he think, says _Brutus_, that his Consulship deserves more
Applause than my putting _Caesar_ to Death, because I am not
perpetually talking of the Ides of _March_, as he is of the Nones of
_December_?'

I need not acquaint my learned Reader, that in the Ides of _March,
Brutus_ destroyed _Caesar_, and that _Cicero_ quashed the Conspiracy of
_Cataline_ in the Calends of _December_. How shocking soever this great
Man's talking of himself might have been to his Contemporaries, I must
confess I am never better pleased than when he is on this Subject. Such
Openings of the Heart give a Man a thorough Insight into his Personal
Character, and illustrate several Passages in the History of his Life:
Besides that, there is some little Pleasure in discovering the Infirmity
of a great Man, and seeing how the Opinion he has of himself agrees with
what the World entertains of him.

The Gentlemen of _Port-Royal_, who were more eminent for their Learning
and their Humility than any other in _France_, banish'd the way of
speaking in the First Person out of all their Works, as arising from
Vain-Glory and Self-Conceit. To shew their particular Aversion to it,
they branded this Form of Writing with the Name of an _Egotism_; a
Figure not to be found among the ancient Rhetoricians.

The most violent Egotism which I have met with in the Course of my
Reading, is that of Cardinal _Wolsey, Ego et Rex meus, I and my King_;
as perhaps the most eminent Egotist that ever appeared in the World, was
_Montagne_ the Author of the celebrated Essays. This lively old _Gascon_
has woven all his bodily Infirmities into his Works, and after having
spoken of the Faults or Virtues of any other Man, immediately publishes
to the World how it stands with himself in that Particular. Had he kept
his own Counsel he might have passed for a much better Man, though
perhaps he would not have been so diverting an Author. The Title of an
Essay promises perhaps a Discourse upon _Virgil_ or _Julius Caesar_; but
when you look into it, you are sure to meet with more upon Monsieur
_Montagne_, than of either of them. The younger _Scaliger_, who seems to
have been no great Friend to this Author, after having acquainted the
World that his Father sold Herrings, adds these Words; _La grande
fadaise de Montague, qui a escrit, qu'il aimoit mieux le vin blanc--que
diable a-t-on a faire de scavoir ce qu'il aime? For my Part, says
Montague, I am a great Lover of your White Wines--What the Devil
signifies it to the Publick, says Scaliger, whether he is a Lover of
White Wines or of Red Wines?_

I cannot here forbear mentioning a Tribe of Egotists for whom I have
always had a mortal Aversion, I mean the Authors of Memoirs, who are
never mentioned in any Works but their own, and who raise all their
Productions out of this single Figure of Speech.

Most of our modern Prefaces savour very strongly of the Egotism. Every
insignificant Author fancies it of Importance to the World, to know that
he writ his Book in the Country, that he did it to pass away some of his
idle Hours, that it was published at the Importunity of Friends, or that
his natural Temper, Studies or Conversations, directed him to the Choice
of his Subject.

'--Id populus curat scilicet.'

Such Informations cannot but be highly improving to the Reader.

In Works of Humour, especially when a Man writes under a fictitious
Personage, the talking of one's self may give some Diversion to the
Publick; but I would advise every other Writer never to speak of
himself, unless there be something very considerable in his Character:
Tho' I am sensible this Rule will be of little Use in the World, because
there is no Man who fancies his Thoughts worth publishing, that does not
look upon himself as a considerable Person.

I shall close this Paper with a Remark upon such as are Egotists in
Conversation: These are generally the vain or shallow part of Mankind,
People being naturally full of themselves when they have nothing else in
them. There is one kind of Egotists which is very common in the World,
tho' I do not remember that any Writer has taken Notice of them; I mean
those empty conceited Fellows, who repeat as Sayings of their own, or
some of their particular Friends, several Jests which were made before
they were born, and which every one who has conversed in the World has
heard a hundred times over. A forward young Fellow of my Acquaintance
was very guilty of this Absurdity: He would be always laying a new Scene
for some old Piece of Wit, and telling us, That as he and _Jack_
such-a-one were together, one or t'other of them had such a Conceit on
such an Occasion; upon which he would laugh very heartily, and wonder
the Company did not join with him. When his Mirth was over, I have often
reprehended him out of _Terence, Tuumne, obsecro te, hoc dictum erat?
vetus credidi_. But finding him still incorrigible, and having a
Kindness for the young Coxcomb, who was otherwise a good-natured Fellow,
I recommended to his Perusal the _Oxford_ and _Cambridge_ Jests, with
several little Pieces of Pleasantry of the same Nature. Upon the reading
of them, he was under no small Confusion to find that all his Jokes had
passed through several Editions, and that what he thought was a new
Conceit, and had appropriated to his own Use, had appeared in Print
before he or his ingenious Friends were ever heard of. This had so good
an Effect upon him, that he is content at present to pass for a Man of
plain Sense in his ordinary Conversation, and is never facetious but
when he knows his Company.

[Footnote 1: Essay 2.]

* * * * *

No. 563. Monday, July 5, 1714.

'--Magni nominis Umbra--'

Lucan.

I shall entertain my Reader with two very curious Letters. The first of
them comes from a chimerical Person, who I believe never writ to any
Body before.

SIR,

'I am descended from the Ancient Family of the _Blanks_, a Name well
known among all Men of Business. It is always read in those little
white Spaces of Writing which want to be filled up, and which for that
Reason are called _blank_ Spaces, as of right appertaining to our
Family: For I consider my self as the Lord of a Mannor, who lays his
Claim to all Wastes or Spots of Ground that are unappropriated. I am a
near Kinsman to _John a Styles_ and _John a Nokes_; and they, I am
told, came in with the Conquerour. I am mentioned oftner in both
Houses of Parliament than any other Person in Great Britain. My Name
is written, or more properly speaking, not written, thus, .
I am one that can turn my Hand to every thing, and appear under any
Shape whatsoever. I can make my self Man, Woman, or Child. I am
sometimes metamorphosed into a Year of our Lord, a Day of the Month,
or an Hour of the Day. I very often represent a Sum of Mony, and am
generally the first Subsidy that is granted to the Crown. I have now
and then supplied the Place of several Thousands of Land Soldiers, and
have as frequently been employed in the Sea Service.

'Now, Sir, my Complaint is this, that I am only made use of to serve a
Turn, being always discarded as soon as a proper Person is found out
to fill up my Place.

'If you have ever been in the Play-house before the Curtain rises, you
see most of the Front Boxes filled with Men of my Family, who
forthwith turn out and resign their Stations upon the Appearance of
those for whom they are retained.

'But the most illustrious Branch of the _Blanks_ are those who are
planted in high Posts, till such time as Persons of greater
Consequence can be found out to supply them. One of these _Blanks_ is
equally qualified for all Offices; he can serve in time of Need for a
Soldier, a Politician, a Lawyer, or what you please. I have known in
my Time many a Brother _Blank_ that has been born under a lucky
Planet, heap up great Riches, and swell into a Man of Figure and
Importance, before the Grandees of his Party could agree among
themselves which of them should step into his Place. Nay, I have known
a _Blank_ continue so long in one of these vacant Posts, (for such it
is to be reckoned all the Time a _Blank_ is in it) that he has grown
too formidable and dangerous to be removed.

'But to return to my self, since I am so very commodious a Person, and
so very necessary in all well-regulated Governments, I desire you will
take my Case into Consideration, that I may be no longer made a Tool
of, and only employed to stop a Gap. Such Usage, without a Pun, makes
me look very blank. For all which Reasons I humbly recommend my self
to your Protection, and am _Your most obedient Servant_,

'Blank.

'P.S. I herewith send you a Paper, drawn up by a Country Attorney
employed by two Gentlemen, whose Names he was not acquainted with, and
who did not think fit to let him into the Secret which they were
transacting. I heard him call it a Blank Instrument, and read it after
the following Manner. You may see by this single Instance of what Use
I am to the busy World.

'_I_ T. Blank, _Esq., of_ Blank _Town, in the County of_ Blank, _do
own my self indebted in the Sum of_ Blank, _to Goodman_ Blank, _for
the Service he did me in procuring for me the Goods following,_
Blank: _And I do hereby promise the said_ Blank _to pay unto him the
said Sum of_ Blank, _on the_ Blank _Day of the Month of_ Blank _next
ensuing, under the Penalty and Forfeiture of_ Blank.

I shall take Time to consider the Case of this my imaginary
Correspondent, and in the mean while shall present my Reader with a
Letter which seems to come from a Person that is made up of Flesh and
Blood.

_Good Mr._ SPECTATOR,

'I am married to a very honest Gentleman that is exceedingly
good-natured, and at the same time very cholerick. There is no
standing before him when he is in a Passion; but as soon as it is over
he is the best-humour'd Creature in the World. When he is angry, he
breaks all my China-Ware that chances to lie in his Way, and the next
Morning sends me in twice as much as he broke the Day before. I may
positively say, that he has broke me a Child's Fortune since we were
first marry'd together.

'As soon as he begins to fret, down goes every thing that is within
Reach of his Cane. I once prevailed upon him never to carry a Stick in
his Hand, but this saved me nothing; for upon seeing me do something
that did not please him, he kicked down a great Jarr, that cost him
above Ten Pound but the Week before. I then laid the Fragments
together in a Heap, and gave him his Cane again, desiring him that if
he chanced to be in Anger, he would spend his Passion upon the China
that was broke to his Hand: But the very next Day upon my giving a
wrong Message to one of the Servants, he flew into such a Rage, that
he swept down a Dozen Tea-Dishes, which, to my Misfortune, stood very
convenient for a Side-Blow.

I then removed all my China into a Room which he never frequents; but
I got nothing by this neither, for my Looking-Glasses immediately went
to Rack.

'In short, Sir, whenever he is in a Passion he is angry at every thing
that is brittle; and if on such Occasions he had nothing to vent his
Rage upon, I do not know whether my Bones would be in Safety. Let me
beg of you, Sir, to let me know whether there be any Cure for this
unaccountable Distemper; or if not, that you will be pleased to
publish this Letter: For my Husband having a great Veneration for your
Writings, will by that means know you do not approve of his Conduct. I
am,

Your most humble Servant, &c.

* * * * *

No. 564. Wednesday, July 7, 1714.

'--Adsit
Regula, peccatis quae poenas irroget aequas:
Ne Scutica dignum horribili sectere flagello.'

Hor.

It is the Work of a Philosopher to be every Day subduing his Passions,
and laying aside his Prejudices. I endeavour at least to look upon Men
and their Actions only as an impartial Spectator, without any regard to
them as they happen to advance or cross my own private Interest. But
while I am thus employed my self, I cannot help observing, how those
about me suffer themselves to be blinded by Prejudice and Inclination,
how readily they pronounce on every Man's Character, which they can give
in two Words, and make him either good for nothing, or qualified for
every thing. On the contrary, those who search thoroughly into humane
Nature, will find it much more difficult to determine the Value of their
Fellow-Creatures, and that Mens Characters are not thus to be given in
general Words. There is indeed no such thing as a Person entirely good
or bad; Virtue and Vice are blended and mixed together, in a greater or
less Proportion, in every one; and if you would search for some
particular good Quality in its most eminent Degree of Perfection, you
will often find it in a Mind, where it is darkned and eclipsed by an
hundred other irregular Passions.

Men have either no Character at all, says a celebrated Author, or it is
that of being inconsistent with themselves. They find it easier to join
Extremities, than to be uniform and of a Piece. This is finely
illustrated in _Xenophon's_ Life of _Cyrus_ the Great. That Author tells
us, that _Cyrus_ having taken a most beautiful Lady named _Panthea_, the
Wife of _Abradatas_, committed her to the Custody of _Araspas_, a young
_Persian_ Nobleman, who had a little before maintain'd in Discourse,
that a Mind truly virtuous was incapable of entertaining an unlawful
Passion. The young Gentleman had not long been in Possession of his fair
Captive, when a Complaint was made to _Cyrus_, that he not only
sollicited the Lady _Panthea_ to receive him in the Room of her absent
Husband, but that finding his Entreaties had no Effect, he was preparing
to make use of Force. _Cyrus_, who loved the young Man, immediately sent
for him, and in a gentle Manner representing to him his Fault, and
putting him in Mind of his former Assertion, the unhappy Youth,
confounded with a quick Sense of his Guilt and Shame, burst out into a
Flood of Tears, and spoke as follows.

_Oh_ Cyrus, _I am convinced that I hare two Souls. Love has taught me
this Piece of Philosophy. If I had but one Soul, it could not at the
same time pant after Virtue and Vice, wish and abhor the same thing. It
is certain therefore we have two Souls: When the good Soul rules, I
undertake noble and virtuous Actions; but when the bad Soul
predominates, I am forced to do Evil. All I can say at present is, that
I find my good Soul, encouraged by your Presence, has got the Better of
my bad_.

I know not whether my Readers will allow of this Piece of Philosophy;
but if they will not, they must confess we meet with as different
Passions in one and the same Soul, as can be supposed in two. We can
hardly read the Life of a great Man who lived in former Ages, or
converse with any who is eminent among our Contemporaries, that is not
an Instance of what I am saying.

But as I have hitherto only argued against the Partiality and Injustice
of giving our Judgment upon Men in gross, who are such a Composition of
Virtues and Vices, of Good and Evil; I might carry this Reflection still
farther, and make it extend to most of their Actions. If on the one
Hand, we fairly weighed every Circumstance, we should frequently find
them obliged to do that Action we at first sight condemn, in order to
avoid another we should have been much more displeased with. If on the
other Hand we nicely examined such Actions as appear most dazzling to
the Eye, we should find most of them either deficient and lame in
several Parts, produced by a bad Ambition, or directed to an ill End.
The very same Action may sometimes be so oddly circumstanced, that it is
difficult to determine whether it ought to be rewarded or punish'd.
Those who compiled the Laws of _England_ were so sensible of this, that
they have laid it down as one of their first Maxims, _It is better
suffering a Mischief than an Inconvenience_; which is as much as to say
in other Words, That since no Law can take in or provide for all Cases,
it is better private Men should have some Injustice done them, than that
a public Grievance should not be redressed. This is usually pleaded in
Defence of all those Hardships which fall on particular Persons in
particular Occasions, which could not be foreseen when a Law was made.
To remedy this however as much as possible, the Court of Chancery was
erected, which frequently mitigates and breaks the Teeth of the Common
Law, in Cases of Men's Properties, while in Criminal Cases there is a
Power of pardoning still lodged in the Crown.

Notwithstanding this, it is perhaps impossible in a large Government to
distribute Rewards and Punishments strictly proportioned to the Merits
of every Action. The _Spartan_ Commonwealth was indeed wonderfully exact
in this Particular; and I do not remember in all my Reading to have met
with so nice an Example of Justice as that recorded by _Plutarch_, with
which I shall close my Paper for this Day.

The City of _Sparta_ being unexpectedly attacked by a powerful Army of
_Thebans_, was in very great Danger of falling into the Hands of their
Enemies. The Citizens suddenly gathering themselves into a Body, fought
with a Resolution equal to the Necessity of their Affairs, yet no one so
remarkably distinguished himself on this Occasion, to the Amazement of
both Armies, as _Isadas_ the Son of _Phoebidas_, who was at that time in
the Bloom of his Youth, and very remarkable for the Comeliness of his
Person. He was coming out of the Bath when the Alarm was given, so that
he had not time to put on his Cloaths, much less his Armour; however
transported with a Desire to serve his Country in so great an Exigency,
snatching up a Spear in one Hand, and a Sword in the other, he flung
himself into the thickest Ranks of his Enemies. Nothing could withstand
his Fury: in what Part soever he fought he put the Enemies to Flight
without receiving a single Wound. Whether, says _Plutarch_, he was the
particular Care of some God, who rewarded his Valour that Day with an
extraordinary Protection, or, that his Enemies, struck with the
Unusualness of his Dress, and Beauty of his Shape, supposed him
something more than Man, I shall not determine.

The Gallantry of this Action was judged so great by the _Spartans_, that
the _Ephori_, or chief Magistrates, decreed he should be presented with
a Garland; but as soon as they had done so, fined him a thousand
Drachmas for going out to the Battle unarmed.

* * * * *

No. 565. Friday, July 9, 1714. Addison.

'--Deum namque ire per omnes
Terrasque, tractusque maris, coelumque profundum.'

Virg.

I was Yesterday about Sun-set walking in the open Fields, 'till the
Night insensibly fell upon me. I at first amused my self with all the
Richness and Variety of Colours, which appeared in the Western Parts of
Heaven: In Proportion as they faded away and went out, several Stars and
Planets appeared one after another 'till the whole Firmament was in a
Glow. The Blewness of the _AEther_ was exceedingly heightened and
enlivened by the Season of the Year, and by the Rays of all those
Luminaries that passed through it. The _Galaxy_ appeared in its most
beautiful White. To compleat the Scene, the full Moon rose at length in
that clouded Majesty, which _Milton_ takes Notice of, and opened to the
Eye a new Picture of Nature, which was more finely shaded, and disposed
among softer Lights than that which the Sun had before discovered to us.

As I was surveying the Moon walking in her Brightness and taking her
Progress among the Constellations, a Thought rose in me which I believe
very often perplexes and disturbs Men of serious and contemplative
Natures. _David_ himself fell into it in that Reflection,

_When I consider the Heavens the Work of thy Fingers, the Moon and the
Stars which thou hast ordained; what is man that thou art mindful of
him, and the son of man that thou regardest him!_

In the same manner when I considered that infinite Host of Stars, or, to
speak more Philosophically, of Suns, which were then shining upon me,
with those innumerable Sets of Planets or Worlds, which were moving
round their respective Suns; When I still enlarged the Idea, and
supposed another Heaven of Suns and Worlds rising still above this which
we discovered, and these still enlightened by a superior Firmament of
Luminaries, which are planted at so great a Distance, that they may
appear to the Inhabitants of the former as the Stars do to us; In short,
whilst I pursued this Thought, I could not but reflect on that little
insignificant Figure which I my self bore amidst the Immensity of God's
Works.

Were the Sun, which enlightens this Part of the Creation, with all the
Host of Planetary Worlds, that move about him, utterly extinguished and
annihilated, they would not be missed more than a grain of Sand upon the
Sea-shore. The Space they possess is so exceedingly little, in
Comparison of the whole, that it would scarce make a _Blank_ in the
Creation. The Chasm would be imperceptible to an Eye, that could take in
the whole Compass of Nature, and pass from one end of the Creation to
the other, as it is possible there may be such a Sense in our selves
hereafter, or in Creatures which are at present more exalted than our
selves. We see many Stars by the help of Glasses, which we do not
discover with our naked Eyes; and the finer our Telescopes are, the more
still are our Discoveries. _Huygenius_ carries this Thought so far, that
he does not think it impossible there may be Stars whose Light is not
yet travelled down to us, since their first Creation. There is no
Question but the Universe has certain Bounds set to it; but when we
consider that it is the Work of infinite Power, prompted by infinite
Goodness, with an infinite Space to exert it self in, how can our
Imagination set any Bounds to it?

To return therefore to my first Thought, I could not but look upon
myself with secret Horrour, as a Being that was not worth the smallest
Regard of one who had so great a Work under his Care and
Superintendency. I was afraid of being overlooked amidst the Immensity
of Nature, and lost among that infinite Variety of Creatures, which in
all Probability swarm through all these immeasurable Regions of Matter.

In order to recover my self from this mortifying Thought, I considered
that it took its Rise from those narrow Conceptions, which we are apt to
entertain of the Divine Nature. We our selves cannot attend to many
different Objects at the same Time. If we are careful to inspect some
Things, we must of Course neglect others. This Imperfection which we
observe in our selves, is an Imperfection that cleaves in some Degree to
Creatures of the highest Capacities, as they are Creatures, that is,
Beings of finite and limited Natures. The Presence of every created
Being is confined to a certain Measure of Space, and consequently his
Observation is stinted to a certain number of Objects. The Sphere in
which we move, and act, and understand, is of a wider Circumference to
one Creature than another, according as we rise one above another in the
Scale of Existence. But the widest of these our Spheres has its
Circumference. When therefore we reflect on the Divine Nature, we are so
used and accustomed to this Imperfection in our selves, that we cannot
forbear in some measure ascribing it to him in whom there is no shadow
of Imperfection. Our Reason indeed assures us that his Attributes are
Infinite, but the Poorness of our Conceptions is such, that it cannot
forbear setting Bounds to every Thing it contemplates, till our Reason
comes again to our Succour, and throws down all those little Prejudices
which rise in us unawares, and are natural to the Mind of Man.

We shall therefore utterly extinguish this melancholy Thought, of our
being overlooked by our Maker in the Multiplicity of his Works, and the
Infinity of those Objects among which he seems to be incessantly
employed, if we consider, in the first Place, that he is Omnipresent;
and, in the second, that he is Omniscient.

If we consider him in his Omnipresence: His Being passes through,
actuates, and supports the whole Frame of Nature. His Creation, and
every Part of it, is full of him. There is nothing he has made, that is
either so distant, so little, or so inconsiderable, which he does not
essentially inhabit. His Substance is within the Substance of every
Being, whether material, or immaterial, and as intimately present to it
as that Being is to it self. It would be an Imperfection in him, were he
able to remove out of one Place into another, or to withdraw himself
from any Thing he has created, or from any Part of that Space which is
diffused and spread abroad to Infinity. In short, to speak of him in the
Language of the old Philosopher, he is a Being whose Centre is every
where, and his Circumference no where.

In the second Place, he is Omniscient as well as Omnipresent. His
Omniscience indeed necessarily and naturally flows from his
Omnipresence; he cannot but be conscious of every Motion that arises in
the whole material World, which he thus essentially pervades, and of
every Thought that is stirring in the intellectual World, to every Part
of which he is thus intimately united. Several Moralists have considered
the Creation as the Temple of God, which he has built with his own
Hands, and which is filled with his Presence. Others have considered
infinite Space as the Receptacle, or rather the Habitation of the
Almighty: But the noblest and most exalted Way of considering this
infinite Space is that of Sir _Isaac Newton_, who calls it the
_Sensorium_ of the Godhead. Brutes and Men have their _Sensoriola_, or
little _Sensoriums_, by which they apprehend the Presence and perceive
the Actions of a few Objects, that lie contiguous to them. Their
Knowledge and Observation turns within a very narrow Circle. But as God
Almighty cannot but perceive and know every Thing in which he resides,
Infinite Space gives Room to Infinite Knowledge, and is, as it were, an
Organ to Omniscience.

Were the Soul separate from the Body, and with one Glance of Thought
should start beyond the Bounds of the Creation, should it for Millions
of Years continue its Progress through Infinite Space with the same
Activity, it would still find it self within the Embrace of its Creator,
and encompassed round with the Immensity of the Godhead. Whilst we are
in the Body he is not less present with us, because he is concealed from
us.

_O that I knew where I might find him!_ says _Job. Behold I go
forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him.
On the left hand, where he does work, but I cannot behold him: he
hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him._

In short, Reason as well as Revelation assures us, that he cannot be
absent from us, notwithstanding he is undiscovered by us.

In this Consideration of God Almighty's Omnipresence and Omniscience
every uncomfortable Thought vanishes. He cannot but regard every Thing
that has Being, especially such of his Creatures who fear they are not
regarded by him. He is privy to all their Thoughts, and to that Anxiety
of Heart in particular, which is apt to trouble them on this Occasion:
For, as it is impossible he should overlook any of his Creatures, so we
may be confident that he regards, with an Eye of Mercy, those who
endeavour to recommend themselves to his Notice, and in an unfeigned
Humility of Heart think themselves unworthy that he should be mindful of
them.

* * * * *

No. 566. Monday, July 12, 1714.

'Militia Species Amor est.'

Ovid.

As my Correspondents begin to grow pretty numerous, I think my self
obliged to take some Notice of them, and shall therefore make this Paper
a Miscellany of Letters. I have, since my reassuming the Office of
SPECTATOR, received abundance of Epistles from Gentlemen of the Blade,
who, I find, have been so used to Action that they know not how to lie
still: They seem generally to be of Opinion, that the Fair at home ought
to reward them for their Services abroad, and that, till the Cause of
their Country calls them again into the Field, they have a sort of Right
to Quarter themselves upon the Ladies. In Order to favour their
Approaches, I am desired by some to enlarge upon the Accomplishments of
their Profession, and by others to give them my Advice in the carrying
on of their Attacks. But let us hear what the Gentlemen say for
themselves.

Mr. SPECTATOR,

'Tho' it may look somewhat perverse amidst the Arts of Peace, to talk
too much of War, it is but Gratitude to pay the last Office to its
_Manes_, since even Peace it self is, in some Measure, obliged to it
for its Being.

'You have, in your former Papers, always recommended the Accomplished
to the Favour of the Fair; and, I hope, you will allow me to represent
some Part of a Military Life not altogether unnecessary to the forming
a Gentleman. I need not tell you that in _France_, whose Fashions we
have been formerly so fond of, almost every one derives his Pretences
to Merit from the Sword; and that a Man has scarce the Face to make
his Court to a Lady, without some Credentials from the Service to
recommend him. As the Profession is very ancient, we have Reason to
think some of the greatest Men, among the old _Romans_, derived many
of their Virtues from it, their Commanders being frequently, in other
Respects, some of the most shining Characters of the Age.

'The Army not only gives a Man Opportunities of exercising those two
great Virtues _Patience_ and _Courage_, but often produces them in
Minds where they had scarce any Footing before. I must add, that it is
one of the best Schools in the World to receive a general Notion of
Mankind in, and a certain Freedom of Behaviour, which is not so easily
acquired in any other Place. At the same Time I must own, that some
Military Airs are pretty extraordinary, and that a Man who goes into
the Army a Coxcomb will come out of it a Sort of Publick Nuisance: But
a Man of Sense, or one who before had not been sufficiently used to a
mixed Conversation, generally takes the true Turn. The Court has in
all Ages been allowed to be the Standard of Good-breeding; and I
believe there is not a juster Observation in Monsieur _Rochefoucault_,
than that

'A Man who has been bred up wholly to Business, can never get the
Air of a Courtier at Court, but will immediately catch it in the
Camp.'

The Reason of this most certainly is, that the very Essence of
Good-Breeding and Politeness consists in several Niceties, which are
so minute that they escape his Observation, and he falls short of the
Original he would copy after; but when he sees the same Things charged
and aggravated to a Fault, he no sooner endeavours to come up to the
Pattern which is set before him, than, though he stops somewhat short
of that, he naturally rests where in reality he ought. I was two or
three Days ago, mightily pleased with the Observation of an humourous
Gentleman upon one of his Friends, who was in other Respects every way
an accomplished Person, That _he wanted nothing but a Dash of the
Coxcomb in him;_ by which he understood a little of that Alertness and
Unconcern in the common Actions of Life, which is usually so visible
among Gentlemen of the Army, and which a Campaign or two would
infallibly have given him.

'You will easily guess, Sir, by this my Panegyrick upon a Military
Education, that I am my self a Soldier, and indeed I am so; I
remember, within three Years after I had been in the Army, I was
ordered into the Country a Recruiting. I had very particular Success
in this Part of the Service, and was over and above assured, at my
going away, that I might have taken a young Lady, who was the most
considerable Fortune in the County, along with me. I preferred the
Pursuit of Fame at that time to all other Considerations, and tho' I
was not absolutely bent on a Wooden Leg, resolved at least to get a
Scar or two for the good of _Europe_. I have at present as much as I
desire of this Sort of Honour, and if you could recommend me
effectually, should be well enough contented to pass the Remainder of
my Days in the Arms of some dear kind Creature, and upon a pretty
Estate in the Country: This, as I take it, would be following the
Example of _Lucius Cincinnatus_, the old _Roman_ Dictator, who at the
End of a War left the Camp to follow the Plow. I am, Sir, with all
imaginable Respect,

_Your most Obedient,
Humble Servant_,

Will. Warly.

_Mr_. SPECTATOR,

'I am an Half-pay Officer, and am at present with a Friend in the
Country. Here is a rich Widow in the Neighbourhood, who has made Fools
of all the Fox-hunters within fifty Miles of her. She declares she
intends to marry, but has not yet been asked by the Man she could
like. She usually admits her humble Admirers to an Audience or two,
but, after she has once given them Denial will never see them more. I
am assured by a Female Relation, that I shall have fair Play at her;
but as my whole Success Depends on my first Approaches, I desire your
Advice, whether I had best _Storm_ or proceed by way of _Sap_.

_I am, SIR, Yours, &c._

'P. S. I had forgot to tell you, that I have already carried one of
her Outworks, that is, secured her Maid.

_Mr_. SPECTATOR,

'I have assisted in several Sieges in the _Low-Countries_, and being
still willing to employ my Talents, as a Soldier and Engineer, lay
down this Morning at Seven a Clock before the Door of an obstinate
Female, who had for some time refused me Admittance. I made a Lodgment
in an outer Parlour about Twelve: The Enemy retired to her
Bed-Chamber, yet I still pursued, and about two a-Clock this Afternoon
she thought fit to Capitulate. Her Demands are indeed somewhat high,
in Relation to the Settlement of her Fortune. But being in Possession
of the House, I intend to insist upon _Carte-Blanche_, and am in
hopes, by keeping off all other Pretenders for the Space of twenty
four Hours, to starve her into a Compliance. I beg your speedy Advice,
and am,

_SIR, Yours_, Peter Push.

From my Camp in _Red-Lion_ Square, Saturday_ 4, in the Afternoon.

* * * * *

No. 567. Wednesday, July 14, 1714. Addison.

'--Inceptus clamor frustratur hiantes.'

Virg.

I have received private Advice from some of my Correspondents, that if I
would give my Paper a general Run, I should take care to season it with
Scandal. I have indeed observed of late, that few Writings sell which
are not filled with great Names and illustrious Titles. The Reader
generally casts his Eye upon a new Book, and if he finds several Letters
separated from one another by a Dash, he buys it up, and peruses it with
great Satisfaction. An _M_ and an _h_, a _T_ and an _r_ [1], with a
short Line between them, has sold many an Insipid Pamphlet. Nay I have
known a whole Edition go off by vertue of two or three well written
&c--'s.

A sprinkling of the Words _Faction, Frenchman, Papist, Plunderer,_ and
the like significant Terms, in an Italick Character, have also a very
good Effect upon the Eye of the [Purchaser; [2]] not to mention
_Scribler, Lier, Rogue, Rascal, Knave,_ and _Villain_, without which it
is impossible to carry on a Modern Controversie.

Our Party-writers are so sensible of the secret Vertue of an Innuendo to
recommend their Productions, that of late they never mention the Q--n or
P--l at length, though they speak of them with Honour, and with that
Deference which is due to them from every private Person. It gives a
secret Satisfaction to a Peruser of these mysterious Works, that he is
able to decipher them without help, and, by the Strength of his own
natural Parts, to fill up a Blank-Space, or make out a Word that has
only the first or last Letter to it.

Some of our Authors indeed, when they would be more Satyrical than
ordinary, omit only the Vowels of a great Man's Name, and fall most
unmercifully upon all the Consonants. This way of Writing was first of
all introduced by _T-m Br-wn_, of facetious Memory, who, after having
gutted a proper Name of all its intermediate Vowels, used to plant it in
his Works, and make as free with it as he pleased, without any Danger of
the Statute.

That I may imitate these celebrated Authors, and publish a Paper which
shall be more taking than ordinary, I have here drawn up a very curious
Libel, in which a Reader of Penetration will find a great deal of
concealed Satyr, and if he be acquainted with the present Posture of
Affairs, will easily discover the Meaning of it.

'If there are _four_ Persons in the Nation who endeavour to bring all
things into Confusion, and ruin their native Country, I think every
honest _Engl-shm-n_ ought to be upon his Guard. That there are such,
every one will agree with me, who hears me name *** with his first
Friend and Favourite ***, not to mention *** nor ***. These People may
cry Ch-rch, Ch-rch, as long as they please, but, to make use of a homely
Proverb, The Proof of the P-dd-ng is in the eating. This I am sure of,
that if a _certain Prince_ should concur with a _certain Prelate_, (and
we have Monsieur Z--n's Word for it) our Posterity would be in a sweet
P-ckle. Must the _British_ Nation suffer forsooth, because my Lady
_Q-p-t-s_ has been disobliged? Or is it reasonable that our _English_
Fleet, which used to be the Terror of the Ocean, should lie Windbound
for the sake of a--. I love to speak out and declare my Mind clearly,
when I am talking for the Good of my Country. I will not make my Court
to an ill Man, tho' he were a B--y or a T--t. Nay, I would not stick to
call so wretched a Politician, a Traitor, an Enemy to his Country, and a
Bl-nd-rb-ss, &c., &c.

The remaining Part of this Political Treatise, which is written after
the manner of the most celebrated Authors in _Great Britain_, I may
communicate to the Publick at a more convenient Season. In the mean
while I shall leave this with my curious Reader, as some ingenious
Writers do their Enigmas, and if any sagacious Person can fairly
unriddle it, I will print his Explanation, and, if he pleases, acquaint
the World with his Name.

I hope this short Essay will convince my Readers, it is not for want of
Abilities that I avoid State-tracts, and that if I would apply my Mind
to it, I might in a little time be as great a Master of the Political
Scratch as any the most eminent Writer of the Age. I shall only add,
that in order to outshine all this Modern Race of _Syncopists_, and
thoroughly content my _English_ Readers, I intend shortly to publish a
SPECTATOR, that shall not have a single Vowel in it.

[Footnote 1: For 'Marlborough' and 'Treasurer.']

[Footnote 2: [Reader.]]

* * * * *

No. 568. Friday, July 16, 1714. Addison.

'--Dum recitas, incipit esse Tuus--'

Mart.

I was Yesterday in a Coffee-House not far from the _Royal Exchange_,
where I observed three Persons in close Conference over a Pipe of
Tobacco; upon which, having filled one for my own use, I lighted it at
the little Wax Candle that stood before them; and after having thrown in
two or three Whiffs amongst them, sat down and made one of the Company.
I need not tell my Reader, that lighting a Man's Pipe at the same
Candle, is looked upon among Brother-smokers as an Overture to
Conversation and Friendship. As we here lay our Heads together in a very
amicable Manner, being intrenched under a Cloud of our own raising, I
took up the last SPECTATOR, and casting my Eye over it, _The_ SPECTATOR,
says I, _is very witty to-Day;_ upon which a lusty lethargick old
Gentleman, who sat at the Upper-end of the Table, having gradually blown
out of his Mouth a great deal of Smoke, which he had been collecting for
some Time before, _Ay,_ says he, _more witty than wise I am afraid._ His
Neighbour who sat at his right Hand immediately coloured, and being an
angry Politician, laid down his Pipe with so much Wrath that he broke it
in the Middle, and by that Means furnished me with a Tobacco-stopper. I
took it up very sedately, and looking him full in the Face, made use of
it from Time to Time all the while he was speaking: _This fellow,_ says
he, _can't for his Life keep out of Politicks. Do you see how he abuses_
four _great Men here?_ I fix'd my Eye very attentively on the Paper, and
asked him if he meant those who were represented by Asterisks.
_Asterisks,_ says he, _do you call them? they are all of them Stars. He
might as well have put Garters to 'em. Then pray do but mind the two or
three next Lines? Ch-rch and P-dd-ing in the same Sentence! Our Clergy
are very much beholden to him._ Upon this the third Gentleman, who was
of a mild Disposition, and, as I found, a Whig in his Heart, desired him
not to be too severe upon the SPECTATOR neither; For, says he, _you find
he is very cautious of giving Offence, and has therefore put two Dashes
into his Pudding. A Fig for his Dash,_ says the angry Politician. _In
his next Sentence he gives a plain Innuendo, that our Posterity will be
in a sweet P-ckle. What does the Fool mean by his Pickle? Why does not
he write it at length, if he means honestly? I have read over the whole
Sentence,_ says I; _but I look upon the Parenthesis in the Belly of it
to be the most dangerous Part, and as full of Insinuations as it can
hold. But who,_ says I, _is my Lady Q-p-t-s? Ay, Answer that if you can,
Sir,_ says the furious Statesman to the poor Whig that sate over-against
him. But without giving him Time to reply, _I do assure you,_ says he,
_were I my Lady_ Q-p-t-s, _I would sue him for_ Scandalum Magnatum.
_What is the World come to? Must every Body be allowed to--?_ He had by
this time filled a new Pipe and applying it to his Lips, when we
expected the last Word of his Sentence, put us off with a Whiff of
Tobacco; which he redoubled with so much Rage and Trepidation, that he
almost stifled the whole Company. After a short Pause, I owned that I
thought the SPECTATOR had gone too far in writing so many Letters of my
Lady _Q-p-t-s'_s Name; _but however_, says I, _he has made a little
Amends for it in his next Sentence, where he leaves a blank Space
without so much as a Consonant to direct us? I mean_, says I, _after
those Words_, The Fleet, that used to be the Terrour of the Ocean,
should be Wind-bound for the sake of a--; _after which ensues a Chasm,
that in my Opinion looks modest enough. Sir_, says my Antagonist, _you
may easily know his Meaning by his Gaping; I suppose he designs his
Chasm, as you call it, for an Hole to creep out at, but I believe it
will hardly serve his Turn. Who can endure to see the great Officers of
State, the_ B--y's _and_ T--t's _treated after so scurrilous a Manner? I
can't for my Life_, says I, _imagine who they are the_ SPECTATOR _means?
No!_ says he,--_Your humble Servant, Sir!_ Upon which he flung himself
back in his Chair after a contemptuous Manner, and smiled upon the old
lethargick Gentleman on his left Hand, who I found was his great
Admirer. The Whig however had begun to conceive a Good-will towards me,
and seeing my Pipe out, very generously offered me the Use of his Box;
but I declined it with great Civility, being obliged to meet a Friend
about that Time in another Quarter of the City.

At my leaving the Coffee-house, I could not forbear reflecting with my
self upon that gross Tribe of Fools who may be termed the _Overwise_,
and upon the Difficulty of writing any thing in this censorious Age,
which a weak Head may not construe into private Satyr and personal
Reflection.

A Man who has a good Nose at an Innuendo, smells Treason and Sedition in
the most innocent Words that can be put together, and never sees a Vice
or Folly stigmatized, but finds out one or other of his Acquaintance
pointed at by the Writer. I remember an empty pragmatical Fellow in the
Country, who upon reading over _the whole Duty of Man_, had written the
Names of several Persons in the Village at the Side of every Sin which
is mentioned by that excellent Author; so that he had converted one of
the best Books in the World into a Libel against the 'Squire,
Church-wardens, Overseers of the Poor, and all other the most
considerable Persons in the Parish. This Book with these extraordinary
marginal Notes fell accidentally into the Hands of one who had never
seen it before; upon which there arose a current Report that Somebody
had written a Book against the 'Squire and the whole Parish. The
Minister of the Place having at that Time a Controversy with some of his
Congregation upon the Account of his Tythes, was under some Suspicion of
being the Author, 'till the good Man set his People right by shewing
them that the satyrical Passages might be applied to several others of
two or three neighbouring Villages, and that the Book was writ against
all the Sinners in England.

* * * * *

No. 569. Monday, July 19, 1714. Addison.

'Reges dicuntur multis urgere culullis
Et torquere mero, quem perspexisse laborent,
An sit amicitia dignus--'

Hor.

No Vices are so incurable as those which Men are apt to glory in. One
would wonder how Drunkenness should have the good Luck to be of this
Number. _Anacharsis_, being invited to a Match of Drinking at _Corinth_,
demanded the Prize very humorously, because he was drunk before any of
the rest of the Company: for, says he, when we run a Race, he who
arrives at the Goal first is entitled to the Reward. On the contrary, in
this thirsty Generation, the Honour falls upon him who carries off the
greatest Quantity of Liquor, and knocks down the rest of the Company. I
was the other Day with honest _Will. Funnell_ the _West Saxon_, who was
reckoning up how much Liquor had past through him in the last twenty
Years of his Life, which, according to his Computation, amounted to
twenty three Hogsheads of October, four Ton of Port, half a Kilderkin of
small Beer, nineteen Barrels of Cider, and three Glasses of Champaign;
besides which, he had assisted at four hundred Bowls of Punch, not to
mention Sips, Drams, and Whets without Number. I question not but every
Reader's Memory will suggest to him several ambitious young Men, who are
as vain in this Particular as _Will. Funnell_, and can boast of as
glorious Exploits.

Our modern Philosophers observe, that there is a general Decay of
Moisture in the Globe of the Earth. This they chiefly ascribe to the
Growth of Vegetables, which incorporate into their own Substance many
fluid Bodies that never return again to their former Nature: But, with
Submission, they ought to throw into their Account those innumerable
rational Beings which fetch their Nourishment chiefly out of Liquids;
especially when we consider that Men, compared with their
Fellow-Creatures, drink much more than comes to their Share.

But however highly this Tribe of People may think of themselves, a
drunken Man is a greater Monster than any that is to be found among all
the Creatures which God has made; as indeed there is no Character which
appears more despicable and deformed, in the Eyes of all reasonable
Persons, than that of a Drunkard. _Bonosus_, one of our own Countrymen,
who was addicted to this Vice, having set up for a Share in the Roman
Empire, and being defeated in a great Battle, hang'd himself. When he
was seen by the Army in this melancholy Situation, notwithstanding he
had behaved himself very bravely, the common Jest was, That the Thing
they saw hanging upon the Tree before them, was not a Man but a Bottle.
This Vice has very fatal Efects on the Mind, the Body, and Fortune of
the Person who is devoted to it.

In regard to the Mind, it first of all discovers every Flaw in it. The
sober Man, by the Strength of Reason, may keep under and subdue every
Vice or Folly to which he is most inclined; but Wine makes every latent
Seed sprout up in the Soul, and shew it self. It gives Fury to the
Passions, and Force to those Objects which are apt to produce them.
When a young Fellow complained to an old Philosopher that his Wife was
not handsome, _Put less Water in your Wine, says the Philosopher, and
you'll quickly make her so_. Wine heightens Indifference into Love, Love
into Jealousy, and Jealousy into Madness. It often turns the
Good-natured Man into an Ideot, and the Cholerick into an Assassin. It
gives Bitterness to Resentment, it makes Vanity insupportable, and
displays every little Spot of the Soul in its utmost Deformity. Nor does
this Vice only betray the hidden Faults of a Man, and shew them in the
most odious Colours, but often occasions Faults to which he is not
naturally subject. There is more of Turn than of Truth in a Saying of
Seneca, That Drunkenness does not produce but discover Faults. Common
Experience teaches us the contrary. Wine throws a Man out of himself,
and infuses Qualities into the Mind, which she is a Stranger to in her
sober Moments. The Person you converse with, after the third Bottle, is
not the same Man who at first sat down at Table with you. Upon this
Maxim is founded one of the prettiest Sayings I ever met with, which is
ascribed to Publius Syrus, _Qui ebrium ludificat ladit absentem; He who
jests upon a Man that is Drunk, injures the Absent_.

Thus does Drunkenness act in direct Contradiction to Reason, whose
Business it is to clear the Mind of every Vice which is crept into it,
and to guard it against all the Approaches of any that endeavours to
make its Entrance. But besides these ill Effects which this Vice
produces in the Person who is actually under its Dominion, it has also a
bad Influence on the Mind even in its sober Moments, as it insensibly
weakens the Understanding, impairs the Memory, and makes those Faults
habitual which are produced by frequent Excesses.

I should now proceed to shew the ill Effects which this Vice has on the
Bodies and Fortunes of Men; but these I shall reserve for the Subject of
some future Paper.

* * * * *

No. 570. Wednesday, July 21, 1714.

'--Nugaque canora--'

Hor.

There is scarce a Man living who is not actuated by Ambition. When this
Principle meets with an honest Mind and great Abilities, it does
infinite Service to the World; on the contrary, when a Man only thinks
of distinguishing himself, without being thus qualified for it, he
becomes a very pernicious or a very ridiculous Creature. I shall here
confine my self to that petty kind of Ambition, by which some Men grow
eminent for odd Accomplishments and trivial Performances. How many are
there whose whole Reputation depends upon a Punn or a Quibble? You may
often see an Artist in the Streets gain a Circle of Admirers, by
carrying a long Pole upon his Chin or Forehead in a perpendicular
Posture. Ambition has taught some to write with their Feet, and others
to walk upon their Hands. Some tumble into Fame, others grow immortal by
throwing themselves through a Hoop.

'Caetera de genere hoc adeo sunt multa, loquacem
Delassare valent Fabium--'

I am led into this Train of Thought by an Adventure I lately met with.

I was the other Day at a Tavern, where the Master of the House [1]
accommodating us himself with every thing we wanted, I accidentally fell
into a Discourse with him; and talking of a certain great Man, who shall
be nameless, he told me, That he had sometimes the Honour _to treat him
with a Whistle_; (adding by the way of Parenthesis) _For you must know,
Gentlemen, that I whistle the best of any Man in_ Europe. This naturally
put me upon desiring him to give us a Sample of his Art; upon which he
called for a Case-Knife, and applying the Edge of it to his Mouth,
converted it into a musical Instrument, and entertained me with an
_Italian_ Solo. Upon laying down the Knife, he took up a Pair of clean
Tobacco Pipes; and after having slid the small End of them over the
Table in a most melodious Trill, he fetched a Tune out of them,
whistling to them at the same time in Consort. In short, the
Tobacco-Pipes became _Musical Pipes_ in the Hands of our Virtuoso; who
confessed to me ingenuously, he had broke such Quantities of them, that
he had almost broke himself, before he had brought this Piece of Musick
to any tolerable Perfection. I then told him I would bring a Company of
Friends to dine with him the next Week, as an Encouragement to his
Ingenuity; upon which he thanked me, saying, That he would provide
himself with a new Frying-Pan against that Day. I replied, That it was
no matter; Roast and Boiled would serve our Turn. He smiled at my
Simplicity, and told me, That it was his Design to give us a Tune upon
it. As I was surprised at such a Promise, he sent for an old Frying-Pan,
and grating it upon the Board, whistled to it in such a melodious
Manner, that you could scarce distinguish it from a Base-Viol. He then
took his Seat with us at the Table, and hearing my Friend that was with
me humm over a Tune to himself, he told him if he would sing out he
would accompany his Voice with a Tobacco-Pipe. As my Friend has an
agreeable Base, he chose rather to sing to the Frying-Pan; and indeed
between them they made up a most extraordinary Consort. Finding our
Landlord so great a Proficient in Kitchen-Musick, I asked him if he was
Master of the Tongs and Key. He told Me that he had laid it down some
Years since, as a little unfashionable: but that if I pleased he would
give me a Lesson upon the Gridiron. He then informed me that he had
added two Bars to the Gridiron, in order to give it a greater Compass of
Sound; and I perceived was as well pleased with the Invention, as
_Sappho_ could have been upon adding two Strings to the Lute. To be
short, I found that his whole Kitchen was furnished with musical
Instruments; and could not but look upon this Artist as a kind of
Burlesque Musician.

He afterwards of his own Accord fell into the Imitation of several
Singing-Birds. My Friend and I toasted our Mistresses to the
Nightingale, when all of a sudden we were surpriz'd with the musick of
the Thrush. He next proceeded to the Sky-Lark, mounting up by a proper
Scale of Notes, and afterwards falling to the Ground with a very easy
and regular Descent. He then contracted his Whistle to the Voice of
several Birds of the smallest Size. As he is a Man of a larger Bulk and
higher Stature than ordinary, you would fancy him a Giant when you
look'd upon him, and a Tom Tit when you shut your Eyes. I must not omit
acquainting my Reader, that this accomplished Person was formerly the
Master of a Toy-shop near _Temple-Bar_; and that the famous _Charles
Mathers_ was bred up under him. I am told that the Misfortunes which he
has met with in the World, are chiefly owing to his great Application to
his Musick; and therefore cannot but recommend him to my Readers as one
who deserves their Favour, and may afford them great Diversion over a
Bottle of Wine, which he sells at the Queen's Arms, near the End of the
little Piazza in _Covent-Garden_.

[Footnote 1: Named Daintry. He was of the trained bands, and commonly
known as Captain Daintry.]

* * * * *

No. 571. Friday, July 23, 1714. Addison.

'--Coelum quid querimus ultra?'

Luc.

As the Work I have engaged in, will not only consist of Papers of Humour
and Learning, but of several Essays Moral and Divine, I shall publish
the following one, which is founded on a former SPECTATOR [1], and sent
me by a particular Friend, not questioning but it will please such of my
Readers, as think it no Disparagement to their Understandings to give
way sometimes to a serious Thought.

SIR,

In your Paper of _Friday_ the 9th Instant, you had Occasion to
consider the Ubiquity of the Godhead, and at the same time, to shew,
that as he is present to every thing, he cannot but be attentive to
every thing, and privy to all the Modes and Parts of its Existence;
or, in other Words, that his Omniscience and Omnipresence are
coexistent, and run together through the whole Infinitude of Space.
This Consideration might furnish us with many Incentives to Devotion
and Motives to Morality, but as this Subject has been handled by
several excellent Writers, I shall consider it in a Light wherein I
have not seen it placed by others.

_First_, How disconsolate is the Condition of an intellectual Being
who is thus present with his Maker, but at the same time receives no
extraordinary Benefit or Advantage from this his Presence!

_Secondly_, How deplorable is the Condition of an intellectual Being,
who feels no other Effects from this his Presence but such as proceed
from Divine Wrath and Indignation!

_Thirdly_, How happy is the Condition of that intellectual Being, who
is sensible of his Maker's Presence from the secret Effects of his
Mercy and Loving-kindness!

_First_, How disconsolate is the Condition of an intellectual Being,
who is thus present with his Maker, but at the same time receives no
extraordinary Benefit or Advantage from this his Presence! Every
Particle of Matter is actuated by this Almighty Being which passes
through it. The Heavens and the Earth, the Stars and Planets, move and
gravitate by Vertue of this great Principle within them. All the dead
Parts of Nature are invigorated by the Presence of their Creator, and
made capable of exerting their respective Qualities. The several
Instincts, in the brute Creation, do likewise operate and work towards
the several Ends which are agreeable to them, by this Divine Energy.
Man only, who does not co-operate with this holy Spirit, and is
unattentive to his Presence, receives none of those Advantages from
it, which are perfective of his Nature, and necessary to his
Well-being. The Divinity is with him, and in him, and everywhere about
him, but of no Advantage to him. It is the same thing to a Man without
Religion, as if there were no God in the World. It is indeed
impossible for an infinite Being to remove himself from any of his
Creatures, but tho' he cannot withdraw his Essence from us, which
would argue an Imperfection in him, he can withdraw from us all the
Joys and Consolations of it. His Presence may perhaps be necessary to
support us in our Existence; but he may leave this our Existence to it
self, with regard to its Happiness or Misery. For, in this Sense, he
may cast us away from his Presence, and take his holy Spirit from us.
This single Consideration one would think sufficient to make us open
our Hearts to all those Infusions of Joy and Gladness which are so
near at Hand, and ready to be poured in upon us; especially when we
consider,

_Secondly_, The deplorable Condition of an intellectual Being who
feels no other Effects from his Maker's Presence, but such as proceed
from Divine Wrath and Indignation!

We may assure our selves, that the great Author of Nature will not
always be as one who is indifferent to any of his Creatures. Those who
will not feel him in his Love, will be sure at length to feel him in
his Displeasure. And how dreadful is the Condition of that Creature,
who is only sensible of the Being of his Creator by what he suffers
from him! He is as essentially present in Hell as in Heaven, but the
Inhabitants of those accursed Places behold him only in his Wrath, and
shrink within the Flames to conceal themselves from him. It is not in
the Power of Imagination to conceive the fearful Effects of
Omnipotence incensed.

But I shall only consider the Wretchedness of an intellectual Being,
who, in this Life, lies under the Displeasure of him, that at all
Times and in all Places is intimately united with him. He is able to
disquiet the Soul, and vex it in all its Faculties. He can hinder any
of the greatest Comforts of Life from refreshing us, and give an Edge
to every one of its slightest Calamities. Who then can bear the
Thought of being an Out-cast from his Presence, that is, from the
Comforts of it, or of feeling it only in its Terrors? How pathetick is
that Expostulation of _Job_, when, for the Tryal of his Patience, he
was made to look upon himself in this deplorable Condition!

_Why hast thou set me as a Mark against thee, so that I am become a
Burthen to my self_?

But, _Thirdly_, how happy is the Condition of that intellectual Being,
who is sensible of his Maker's Presence from the secret Effects of his
Mercy and Loving-kindness.

The Blessed in Heaven behold him Face to Face; that is, are as
sensible of his Presence as we are of the Presence of any Person whom
we look upon with our Eyes. There is doubtless a Faculty in Spirits,
by which they apprehend one another, as our Senses do material
Objects; and there is no Question but our Souls, when they are
disembodied, or placed in glorified Bodies, will by this Faculty, in
whatever Part of Space they reside, be always sensible of the Divine
Presence. We, who have this Veil of Flesh standing between us and the
World of Spirits, must be Content to know that the Spirit of God is
present with us, by the Effects which he produces in us. Our outward
Senses are too gross to apprehend him; we may however taste and see
how gracious he is, by his Influence upon our Minds, by those Virtuous
Thoughts which he awakens in us, by those secret Comforts and
Refreshments which he conveys into our Souls, and by those ravishing
Joys and inward Satisfactions, which are perpetually springing up, and
diffusing themselves among all the Thoughts of good Men. He is lodged
in our very Essence, and is as a Soul within the Soul, to irradiate
its Understanding, rectifie its Will, purifie its Passions, and
enliven all the Powers of Man. How happy therefore is an intellectual
Being, who, by Prayer and Meditation, by Virtue and good Works, opens
this Communication between God and his own Soul! Tho' the whole
Creation frowns upon him, and all Nature looks black about him, he has
his Light and Support within him, that are able to cheer his Mind, and
bear him up in the Midst of all those Horrors which encompass him. He
knows that his Helper is at Hand, and is always nearer to him than any
thing else can be, which is capable of annoying or terrifying him. In
the Midst of Calumny or Contempt, he attends to that Being who
whispers better things within his Soul, and whom he looks upon as his
Defender, his Glory, and the Lifter up of his Head. In his deepest
Solitude and Retirement, he knows that he is in Company with the
greatest of Beings; and perceives within himself such real Sensations
of his Presence, as are more delightful than any thing that can be met
with in the Conversation of his Creatures. Even in the Hour of Death,
he considers the Pains of his Dissolution to be nothing else but the
breaking down of that Partition, which stands betwixt his Soul, and
the Sight of that Being, who is always present with him, and is about
to manifest it self to him in Fullness of Joy.

If we would be thus Happy, and thus Sensible of our Maker's Presence,
from the secret Effects of his Mercy and Goodness, we must keep such a
Watch over all our Thoughts, that, in the Language of the Scripture, his
Soul may have Pleasure in us. We must take care not to grieve his Holy
Spirit, and endeavour to make the Meditations of our Hearts always
acceptable in his Sight, that he may delight thus to reside and dwell in
us. The Light of Nature could direct _Seneca_ to this Doctrine, in a
very remarkable Passage among his Epistles:

_Sacer inest in nobis spiritus bonorum malorumque custos, et
Observator, et quemadmodum nos illum tractamus, ita et ille nos_
[2].

There is a Holy Spirit residing in us, who watches and observes both
Good and Evil Men, and will treat us after the same Manner that we
treat him. But I shall conclude this Discourse with those more
emphatical Words in Divine Revelation,

_If a Man love me, he will keep my Word, and my Father will love
him, and we will come unto him, and make our Abode with him_ [3].

[Footnote 1: No. 565, and see Nos. 580, 590, and 628.]

[Footnote 2: Ep. 41. To Lucilius. 'Deum in viro bono sedere.']

[Footnote 3: John xiv. 23.]

* * * * *

No. 572. Monday, July 26, 1714. Z. Pearce [3].

'--Quod medicorum est
Promittant medici--'

Hor.

I am the more pleased with these my Papers, since I find they have
encouraged several Men of Learning and Wit to become my Correspondents:
I Yesterday received the following Essay against Quacks, which I shall
here communicate to my Readers for the Good of the Publick, begging the
Writer's Pardon for those Additions and Retrenchments which I have made
in it.

The Desire of Life is so natural and strong a Passion, that I have long
since ceased to wonder at the great Encouragement which the Practice of
Physick finds among us. Well-constituted Governments have always made
the Profession of a Physician both honourable and advantageous. _Homer's
Machaon_ and _Virgil's Japis_ were Men of Renown, Heroes in War, and
made at least as much Havock among their Enemies as among their Friends.
Those who have little or no Faith in the Abilities of a Quack will apply
themselves to him, either because he is willing to sell Health at a
reasonable Profit, or because the Patient, like a drowning Man, catches
at every Twig, and hopes for Relief from the most Ignorant, when the
most able Physicians give him none. Though Impudence and many Words are
as necessary to these Itinerary _Galens_ as a laced Hat or a Merry
_Andrew_, yet they would turn very little to the Advantage of the Owner,
if there were not some inward Disposition in the sick Man to favour the
Pretensions of the Mountebank. Love of Life in the one, and of Mony in
the other, creates a good Correspondence between them.

There is scarce a City in _Great-Britain_ but has one of this Tribe, who
takes it into his Protection, and on the Market-Day harangues the good
People of the Place with Aphorisms and Receipts. You may depend upon it,
he comes not there for his own private Interest, but out of a particular
Affection to the Town. I remember one of those Public-spirited Artists
at _Hammersmith_, who told his Audience 'that he had been born and bred
there, and that having a special Regard for the Place of his Nativity,
he was determined to make a Present of five Shillings to as many as
would accept of it.' The whole Crowd stood agape, and ready to take the
Doctor at his Word; when putting his Hand into a long Bag, as every one
was expecting his Crown-Piece, he drew out an handful of little Packets,
each of which he informed the Spectators was constantly sold at five
Shillings and six pence, but that he would bate the odd five Shillings
to every Inhabitant of that Place: The whole Assembly immediately closed
with this generous Offer, and took off all his Physick, after the Doctor
had made them vouch for one another, that there were no Foreigners among
them, but that they were all _Hammersmith_-Men.

There is another Branch of Pretenders to this Art, who, without either
Horse or Pickle-Herring, lie snug in a Garret, and send down Notice to
the World of their extraordinary Parts and Abilities by printed Bills
and Advertisements. These seem to have derived their Custom from an
_Eastern_ Nation which _Herodotus_ speaks of, among whom it was a Law,
that whenever any Cure was performed, both the Method of the Cure, and
an Account of the Distemper, should be fixed in some Publick Place; but
as Customs will corrupt, these our Moderns provide themselves of Persons
to attest the Cure, before they publish or make an Experiment of the
Prescription. I have heard of a Porter, who serves as a Knight of the
Post under one of these Operators, and tho' he was never sick in his
Life, has been cured of all the Diseases in the Dispensary. These are
the Men whose Sagacity has invented Elixirs of all sorts, Pills and
Lozenges, and take it as an Affront if you come to them before you are
given over by every Body else. Their Medicines _are infallible, and
never fail of Success_, that is of enriching the Doctor, and setting the
Patient effectually at Rest.

I lately dropt into a Coffee-house at _Westminster_, where I found the
Room hung round with Ornaments of this Nature. There were Elixirs,
Tinctures, the _Anodine Fotus_, _English_ Pills, Electuaries, and, in
short, more Remedies than I believe there are Diseases. At the Sight of
so many Inventions, I could not but imagine my self in a kind of Arsenal
or Magazine, where store of Arms were reposited against any sudden
Invasion. Should you be attack'd by the Enemy Side-ways, here was an
infallible Piece of defensive Armour to cure the Pleurisie: Should a
Distemper beat up your Head Quarters, here you might purchase an
impenetrable Helmet, or, in the Language of the Artist, a Cephalic
Tincture: If your main Body be assaulted, here are various Kinds of
Armour in Case of various Onsets. I began to congratulate the present
Age upon the Happiness Men might reasonably hope for in Life, when Death
was thus in a manner Defeated; and when Pain it self would be of so
short a Duration, that it would but just serve to enhance the Value of
Pleasure: While I was in these Thoughts, I unluckily called to mind a
Story of an Ingenious Gentleman of the last Age, who lying violently
afflicted with the Gout, a Person came and offered his Service to Cure
him by a Method, which he assured him was Infallible; the Servant who
received the Message carried it up to his Master, who enquiring whether
the Person came on Foot or in a Chariot; and being informed that he was
on Foot: _Go, says he, send the Knave about his Business: Was his Method
as infallible as he pretends, he would long before now have been in his
Coach and Six._ In like manner I concluded, that had all these
Advertisers arrived to that Skill they pretend to, they would have had
no Need for so many Years successively to publish to the World the Place
of their Abode, and the Virtues of their Medicines. One of these
Gentlemen indeed pretends to an effectual Cure for Leanness: What
Effects it may have had upon those who have try'd it I cannot tell; but
I am credibly informed, that the Call for it has been so great, that it
has effectually cured the Doctor himself of that Distemper. Could each
of them produce so good an Instance of the Success of his Medicines,
they might soon persuade the World into an Opinion of them.

I observe that most of the Bills agree in one Expression, _viz._ that
(_with God's Blessing_) they perform such and such Cures: This
Expression is certainly very proper and emphatical, for that is all they
have for it. And if ever a Cure is performed on a Patient where they are
concerned, they can claim no greater Share in it than _Virgil's Japis_
in the curing of _AEneas;_ he tried his Skill, was very assiduous about
the Wound, and indeed was the only visible Means that relieved the Hero;
but the Poet assures us it was the particular Assistance of a Deity that
speeded the Operation. An _English_ Reader may see the whole Story in
Mr. _Dryden's_ Translation.

_Prop'd on his Lance the pensive Heroe stood,
And heard, and saw unmov'd, the Mourning Crowd.
The fam'd Physician tucks his Robes around,
With ready Hands, and hastens to the Wound.
With gentle Touches he performs his Part,
This Way and that, solliciting the Dart,
And exercises all his Heavenly Art.
All softning Simples, known of Sov'reign Use,
He presses out, and pours their noble Juice;
These first infus'd, to lenifie the Pain,
He tugs with Pincers, but he tugs in vain.
Then to the Patron of his Art he pray'd;
The Patron of his Art refus'd his Aid.
But now the Goddess Mother, mov'd with Grief,
And pierc'd with Pity, hastens her Relief.
A Branch of Healing_ Dittany _she brought,
Which in the_ Cretan _Fields with Care she sought;
Rough is the Stem, which woolly Leaves surround;
The Leafs with Flow'rs, the Flow'rs with Purple crown'd:
Well known to-wounded Goats; a sure Relief
To draw the pointed Steel, and ease the Grief.
This_ Venus _brings, in Clouds involv'd; and brews
Th' extracted Liquor with_ Ambrosian _Dews,
And od'rous_ Panacee: _Unseen she stands,
Temp'ring the Mixture with her heav'nly Hands:
And pours it in a Bowl, already crown'd
With Juice of medc'nal Herbs, prepared to bathe the Wound.
The Leech, unknowing of superior Art,
Which aids the Cure, with this foments the Part;
And in a Moment ceas'd the raging Smart.
Stanched is the Blood, and in the bottom stands:
The Steel, but scarcely touched with tender Hands,
Moves up, and follows of its own Accord;
And Health and Vigour are at once restor'd_.
Japis _first perceiv'd the closing Wound;
And first the Footsteps of a God he found.
Arms, Arms! he cries, the Sword and Shield prepare,
And send the willing Chief, renew'd to War.
This is no mortal Work, no cure of mine,
Nor Art's effect, but done by Hands Divine_.

[Footnote 1: Dr. Zachary Pearce, Bishop of Rochester, with alterations
by Addison.]

* * * * *

No. 573. Wednesday, July 28, 1714.

'--Castigata remordent--'

Juv.

My Paper on the Club of Widows has brought me in several Letters; and,
among the rest, a long one from Mrs. President, as follows.

_Smart SIR_,

'You are pleased to be very merry, as you imagine, with us Widows: And
you seem to ground your Satyr on our receiving Consolation so soon
after the Death of our Dears, and the Number we are pleased to admit
for our Companions; but you never reflect what Husbands we have
buried, and how short a Sorrow the Loss of them was capable of
occasioning. For my own Part, Mrs. President as you call me, my First
Husband I was marry'd to at Fourteen, by my Uncle and Guardian (as I
afterwards discovered) by way of Sale, for the Third part of my
Fortune. This Fellow looked upon me as a meer Child, he might breed up
after his own Fancy; if he kissed my Chamber-Maid before my Face, I
was supposed so ignorant, how could I think there was any Hurt in it?
When he came home Roaring Drunk at five in the Morning, 'twas the
Custom of all Men that live in the World. I was not to see a Penny of
Money, for, poor Thing, how could I manage it? He took a handsome
Cousin of his into the House, (as he said) to be my Housekeeper, and
to govern my Servants; for how should I know how to rule a Family? and
while she had what Money she pleased, which was but reasonable for the
Trouble she was at for my Good, I was not to be so censorious as to
dislike Familiarity and Kindness between near Relations. I was too
great a Coward to contend, but not so ignorant a Child to be thus
imposed upon. I resented his Contempt as I ought to do, and as most
poor passive blinded Wives do, 'till it pleased Heaven to take away my
Tyrant, who left me free Possession of my own Land, and a large
Jointure. My Youth and Money brought me many Lovers, and several
endeavoured to establish an Interest in my Heart while my Husband was
in his last Sickness; the Honourable _Edward Waitfort_ was one of the
first who addressed to me, advised to it by a Cousin of his that was
my intimate Friend, and knew to a Penny what I was worth. Mr.
_Waitfort_ is a very agreeable Man, and every Body would like him as
well as he does himself, if they did not plainly see that his Esteem
and Love is all taken up, and by such an Object, as 'tis impossible to
get the better of. I mean himself. He made no doubt of marrying me
within Four or Five Months, and begun to proceed with such an assured
easie Air, that piqued my Pride not to banish him; quite contrary, out
of pure Malice, I heard his first Declaration with so much innocent
Surprize, and blushed so prettily, I perceived it touched his very
Heart, and he thought me the best-natured Silly poor thing on Earth.
When a Man has such a Notion of a Woman, he loves her better than he
thinks he does. I was overjoy'd to be thus revenged on him, for
designing on my Fortune; and finding it was in my Power to make his
Heart ake, I resolved to compleat my Conquest, and entertain'd several
other Pretenders. The first Impression of my undesigning Innocence was
so strong in his Head, he attributed all my Followers to the
inevitable Force of my Charms, and from several Blushes and side
Glances, concluded himself the Favourite; and when I used him like a
Dog for my Diversion, he thought it was all Prudence and Fear, and
pitied the Violence I did my own Inclinations to comply with my
Friends, when I marry'd Sir _Nicholas Fribble_ of Sixty Years of Age.
You know, Sir, the Case of Mrs. _Medlar_, I hope you would not have
had me cry out my Eyes for such a Husband. I shed Tears enough for my
Widowhood a Week after my Marriage, and when he was put in his Grave,
reckoning he had been two Years dead, and my self a Widow of that
Standing, I married three Weeks afterwards _John Sturdy_, Esq., his
next Heir. I had indeed some Thoughts of taking Mr. _Waitfort_, but I
found he could stay, and besides he thought it indecent to ask me to
marry again 'till my Year was out, so privately resolving him for my
Fourth, I took Mr. _Sturdy_ for the present. Would you believe it,
Sir, Mr. _Sturdy_ was just Five and Twenty, about Six Foot high, and
the stoutest Fox-hunter in the Country, and I believe I wished ten
thousand times for my old _Fribble_ again; he was following his Dogs
all the Day, and all the Night keeping them up at Table with him and
his Companions: however I think my self obliged to them for leading
him a Chase in which he broke his Neck. Mr. _Waitfort_ began his
Addresses anew, and I verily believe I had married him now, but there
was a young Officer in the Guards, that had debauched two or three of
my Acquaintance, and I could not forbear being a little vain of his
Courtship. Mr. _Waitfort_ heard of it, and read me such an insolent
Lecture upon the Conduct of Women, I married the Officer that very
Day, out of pure Spight to him. Half an Hour after I was married I
received a Penitential Letter from the Honourable Mr. _Edward
Waitfort_, in which he begged Pardon for his Passion, as proceeding
from the Violence of his Love: I triumphed when I read it, and could
not help, out of the Pride of my Heart, shewing it to my new Spouse:
and we were very merry together upon it. Alas! my Mirth lasted a short
time; my young Husband was very much in Debt when I marry'd him, and
his first Action afterwards was to set up a gilt Chariot and Six, in
fine Trappings before and behind. I had married so hastily, I had not
the Prudence to reserve my Estate in my own Hands; my ready Money was
lost in two Nights at the Groom Porter's; and my Diamond Necklace,
which was stole I did not know how, I met in the Street upon _Jenny
Wheadle's_ Neck. My Plate vanished Piece by Piece, and I had been
reduced to downright Pewter, if my Officer had not been deliciously
killed in a Duel, by a Fellow that had cheated him of Five Hundred
Pounds, and afterwards, at his own Request, satisfy'd him and me too,
by running him through the Body. Mr. _Waitfort_ was still in Love, and
told me so again; and to prevent all Fears of ill Usage, he desir'd me
to reserve every thing in my own Hands: But now my Acquaintance begun
to wish me Joy of his Constancy, my Charms were declining, and I could
not resist the Delight I took in shewing the young Flirts about Town,
it was yet in my Power to give Pain to a Man of Sense: This, and some
private Hopes he would hang himself, and what a Glory would it be for
me, and how I should be envy'd, made me accept of being third Wife to
my Lord _Friday_. I proposed from my Rank and his Estate, to live in
all the Joys of Pride, but how was I mistaken? he was neither
extravagant, nor ill-natured, nor debauched? I suffered however more
with him than with all my others. He was splenatick. I was forced to
sit whole Days hearkening to his imaginary Ails; it was impossible to
tell what would please him; what he liked when the Sun shined, made
him sick when it rained; he had no Distemper, but lived in constant
Fear of them all: my good Genius dictated to me to bring him
acquainted with Doctor _Gruel_; from that Day he was always contented,
because he had Names for all his Complaints; the good Doctor furnished
him with Reasons for all his Pains, and Prescriptions for every Fancy
that troubled him; in hot Weather he lived upon Juleps, and let Blood
to prevent Fevers; when it grew cloudy he generally apprehended a
Consumption; to shorten the History of this wretched Part of my Life,
he ruined a good Constitution by endeavouring to mend it, and took
several Medicines, which ended in taking the grand Remedy, which cured
both him and me of all our Uneasinesses. After his Death, I did not
expect to hear any more of Mr. _Waitfort_, I knew he had renounced me
to all his Friends, and been very witty upon my Choice, which he
affected to talk of with great Indifferency; I gave over thinking of
him, being told that he was engaged with a pretty Woman and a great
Fortune; it vexed me a little, but not enough to make me neglect the
Advice of my Cousin _Wishwell_, that came to see me the Day my Lord
went into the Country with _Russel_; she told me experimentally,
nothing put an unfaithful Lover and a dear Husband so soon out of ones
Head, as a new one; and, at the same time, propos'd to me a Kinsman of
hers; You understand enough of the World (said she) to know Money is
the most valuable Consideration; he is very rich, and I am sure cannot
live long; he has a Cough that must carry him off soon. I knew
afterwards she had given the self-same Character of me to him; but
however I was so much persuaded by her, I hastned on the Match, for
fear he should die before the time came; he had the same Fears, and
was so pressing, I married him in a Fortnight, resolving to keep it
private a Fortnight longer. During this Fortnight Mr. _Waitfort_ came
to make me a Visit; he told me he had waited on me sooner, but had
that Respect for me, he would not interrupt me in the first Day of my
Affliction for my dead Lord; that as soon as he heard I was at Liberty
to make another Choice, he had broke off a Match very advantageous for
his Fortune, just upon the Point of Conclusion, and was forty times
more in Love with me than ever. I never received more Pleasure in my
Life than from this Declaration, but I composed my Face to a grave
Air, and said the News of his Engagement had touched me to the Heart,
that in a rash jealous Fit, I had married a Man I could never have
thought on if I had not lost all hopes of him. Good-natured Mr.
_Waitfort_ had like to have dropped down dead at hearing this, but
went from me with such an Air as plainly shewed me he laid all the
Blame upon himself, and hated those Friends that had advised him to
the Fatal Application; he seemed as much touched by my Misfortune as
his own, for he had not the least Doubt I was still passionately in
Love with him. The Truth of the Story is, my new Husband gave me
Reason to repent I had not staid for him; he had married me for my
Money, and I soon found he loved Money to Distraction; there was
nothing he would not do to get it, nothing he would not suffer to
preserve it; the smallest Expence keep him awake whole Nights, and
when he paid a Bill, 'twas with as many Sighs, and after as many
Delays, as a Man that endures the Loss of a Limb. I heard nothing but
Reproofs for Extravagancy whatever I did. I saw very well that he
would have starved me, but for losing my Jointures; and he suffered
Agonies between the Grief of seeing me have so good a Stomach, and the
Fear that if he made me fast, it might prejudice my Health. I did not
doubt he would have broke my Heart, if I did not break his, which was
allowed by the Law of Self-defence. The Way was very easy. I resolved
to spend as much Money as I could, and before he was aware of the
Stroke, appeared before him in a two thousand Pound Diamond Necklace;
he said nothing, but went quietly to his Chamber, and, as it is
thought, composed himself with a Dose of Opium. I behaved my self so
well upon the Occasion, that to this Day I believe he died of an
Apoplexy. Mr. _Waitfort_ was resolved not to be too late this time,
and I heard from him in two Days. I am almost out of my Weed at this
present Writing, and am very doubtful whether I'll marry him or no. I
do not think of a Seventh, for the ridiculous Reason you mention, but
out of pure Morality that I think so much Constancy should be
rewarded, tho' I may not do it after all perhaps. I do not believe all
the unreasonable Malice of Mankind can give a Pretence why I should
have been constant to the Memory of any of the Deceased, or have spent
much time in grieving for so insolent, insignificant, negligent,
extravagant, splenatick, or covetous Husband; my first insulted me, my
second was nothing to me, my third disgusted me, the fourth would have
ruined me, the fifth tormented me, and the sixth would have starved
me. If the other Ladies you name would thus give in their Husbands
Pictures at length, you would see they have had as little Reason as my
self to lose their Hours in weeping and wailing.

* * * * *

574. Friday, July 30, 1714. Addison.

'Non possidentem multa vocaveris
Recte Beatum, reclius occupat
Nomen Beati, qui Deorum
Muneribus sapienter uti
Duramque callet pauperiem pati.'

Hor.

I was once engaged in Discourse with a _Rosicrusian_ about _the great
Secret_. As this kind of Men (I mean those of them who are not professed
Cheats) are over-run with Enthusiasm and Philosophy, it was very amusing
to hear this religious Adept descanting on his pretended Discovery. He
talked of the Secret as of a Spirit which lived within an Emerald, and
converted every thing that was near it to the highest Perfection it is
capable of. It gives a Lustre, says he, to the Sun, and Water to the
Diamond. It irradiates every Metal, and enriches Lead with all the
Properties of Gold. It heightens Smoak into Flame, Flame into Light, and
Light into Glory. He further added, that a single Ray of it dissipates
Pain, and Care, and Melancholy from the Person on whom it falls. In
short, says he, its Presence naturally changes every Place into a kind
of Heaven. After he had gone on for some Time in this unintelligible
Cant, I found that he jumbled natural and moral Ideas together into the
same Discourse, and that his great Secret was nothing else but
_Content_.

This Virtue does indeed produce, in some measure, all those Effects
which the Alchymist usually ascribes to what he calls the Philosopher's
Stone; and if it does not bring Riches, it does the same thing, by
banishing the Desire of them. If it cannot remove the Disquietudes
arising out of a Man's Mind, Body, or Fortune, it makes him easie under
them. It has indeed a kindly Influence on the Soul of Man, in respect of
every Being to whom he stands related. It extinguishes all Murmur,
Repining, and Ingratitude towards that Being who has allotted him his
Part to act in this World. It destroys all inordinate Ambition, and
every Tendency to Corruption, with regard to the Community wherein he is
placed. It gives Sweetness to his Conversation, and a perpetual Serenity
to all his Thoughts.

Among the many Methods which might be made use of for the acquiring of
this Virtue, I shall only mention the two following. First of all, A Man
should always consider how much he has more than he wants; and Secondly,
How much more unhappy he might be than he really is.

First of all, A Man should always consider how much he has more than he
wants. I am wonderfully pleased with the Reply which _Aristippus_ made
to one who condoled him upon the Loss of a Farm, _Why_, said he, _I have
three Farms still, and you have but one; so that I ought rather to be
afflicted for you, than you for me_. On the contrary, foolish Men are
more apt to consider what they have lost than what they possess; and to
fix their Eyes upon those who are richer than themselves, rather than on
those who are under greater Difficulties. All the real Pleasures and
Conveniences of Life lie in a narrow Compass; but it is the Humour of
Mankind to be always looking forward, and straining after one who has
got the Start of them in Wealth and Honour. For this Reason, as there
are none can be properly called rich, who have not more than they want;
there are few rich Men in any of the politer Nations but among the
middle Sort of People, who keep their Wishes within their Fortunes, and
have more Wealth than they know how to enjoy. Persons of a higher Rank
live in a kind of splendid Poverty, and are perpetually wanting, because
instead of acquiescing in the solid Pleasures of Life, they endeavour to
outvy one another in Shadows and Appearances. Men of Sense have at all
times beheld with a great deal of Mirth this silly Game that is playing
over their Heads, and by contracting their Desires, enjoy all that
secret Satisfaction which others are always in quest of. The Truth is,
this ridiculous Chace after imaginary Pleasures cannot be sufficiently
exposed, as it is the great Source of those Evils which generally undo a
Nation. Let a Man's Estate be what it will, he is a poor Man if he does
not live within it, and naturally sets himself to Sale to any one that
can give him his Price. When _Pittacus_, after the Death of his Brother,
who had left him a good Estate, was offered a great Sum of Money by the
King of _Lydia_, he thanked him for his Kindness, but told him he had
already more by Half than he knew what to do with. In short, Content is
equivalent to Wealth, and Luxury to Poverty; or, to give the Thought a
more agreeable Turn, _Content is natural Wealth_, says _Socrates_; to
which I shall add, _Luxury is artificial Poverty_. I shall therefore
recommend to the Consideration of those who are always aiming after
superfluous and imaginary Enjoyments, and will not be at the Trouble of
contracting their Desires, an excellent Saying of _Bion_ the
Philosopher; namely, _That no Man has so much Care, as he who endeavours
after the most Happiness_.

In the second Place, every one ought to reflect how much more unhappy he
might be than he really is. The former Consideration took in all those
who are sufficiently provided with the Means to make themselves easie;
this regards such as actually lie under some Pressure or Misfortune.
These may receive great Alleviation from such a Comparison as the
unhappy Person may make between himself and others, or between the
Misfortune which he suffers, and greater Misfortunes which might have
befallen him.

I like the Story of the honest _Dutchman_, who, upon breaking his _Leg_
by a Fall from the Mainmast, told the Standers-by, It was a great Mercy
that 'twas not his _Neck_. To which, since I am got into Quotations,
give me leave to add the Saying of an old Philosopher, who, after having
invited some of his Friends to dine with him, was ruffled by his Wife
that came into the Room in a Passion, and threw down the Table that
stood before them; _Every one_, says he, _has his Calamity, and he is a
happy Man that has no greater than this_. We find an Instance to the
same Purpose in the Life of Doctor _Hammond_, written by Bishop _Fell_.
As this good Man was troubled with a Complication of Distempers, when he
had the Gout upon him, he used to thank God that it was not the Stone;
and when he had the Stone, that he had not both these Distempers on him
at the same time.

I cannot conclude this Essay without observing that there was never any
System besides that of Christianity, which could effectually produce in
the Mind of Man the Virtue I have been hitherto speaking of. In order to
make us content with our present Condition, many of the ancient
Philosophers tell us that our Discontent only hurts our selves, without
being able to make any Alteration in our Circumstances; others, that
whatever Evil befalls us is derived to us by a fatal Necessity, to which
the Gods themselves are subject; whilst others very gravely tell the Man
who is miserable, that it is necessary he should be so to keep up the
Harmony of the Universe, and that the _Scheme_ of Providence would be
troubled and perverted were he otherwise. These, and the like
Considerations, rather silence than satisfy a Man. They may shew him
that his Discontent is unreasonable, but are by no means sufficient to
relieve it. They rather give Despair than Consolation. In a Word, a Man
might reply to one of these Comforters, as _Augustus_ did to his Friend
who advised him not to grieve for the Death of a Person whom he loved,
because his Grief could not fetch him again: _It is for that very
Reason_, said the Emperor, _that I grieve_.

On the contrary, Religion bears a more tender Regard to humane Nature.
It prescribes to every miserable Man the Means of bettering his
Condition; nay, it shews him, that the bearing of his Afflictions as he
ought to do will naturally end in the Removal of them: It makes him
easie here, because it can make him happy hereafter.

Upon the whole, a contented Mind is the greatest Blessing a Man can
enjoy in this World; and if in the present Life his Happiness arises
from the subduing of his Desires, it will arise in the next from the
Gratification of them.

* * * * *

No. 575. Monday, August 2, 1714. Addison.

'--Nec merti esse locum--'

Virg.

A lewd young Fellow seeing an aged Hermit go by him barefoot, _Father_,
says he, _you are in a very miserable Condition if there is not another
World. True, Son_, said the Hermit; _but what is thy Condition if there
is_? Man is a Creature designed for two different States of Being, or
rather, for two different Lives. His first Life is short and transient;
his second permanent and lasting. The Question we are all concerned in
is this, In which of these two Lives it is our chief Interest to make
our selves happy? Or, in other Words, Whether we should endeavour to
secure to our selves the Pleasures and Gratifications of a Life which is
uncertain and precarious, and at its utmost Length of a very
inconsiderable Duration; or to secure to our selves the Pleasures of a
Life which is fixed and settled, and will never end? Every Man, upon the
first hearing of this Question, knows very well which Side of it he
ought to close with. But however right we are in Theory, it is plain
that in Practice we adhere to the wrong Side of the Question. We make
Provisions for this Life as tho' it were never to have an End, and for
the other Life as tho' it were never to have a Beginning.

Should a Spirit of superior Rank who is a Stranger to human Nature,
accidentally alight upon the Earth, and take a Survey of its
Inhabitants; what would his Notions of us be? Would not he think that we
are a Species of Beings made for quite different Ends and Purposes than
what we really are? Must not he imagine that we were placed in this
World to get Riches and Honours? Would not he think that it was our Duty
to toil after Wealth, and Station, and Title? Nay, would not he believe
we were forbidden Poverty by Threats of eternal Punishment, and enjoined
to pursue our Pleasures under Pain of Damnation? He would certainly
imagine that we were influenced by a Scheme of Duties quite opposite to
those which are indeed prescribed to us. And truly, according to such an
Imagination, he must conclude that we are a Species of the most obedient
Creatures in the Universe; that we are constant to our Duty; and that we
keep a steddy Eye on the End for which we were sent hither.

But how great would be his Astonishment, when he learnt that we were
Beings not designed to exist in this World above threescore and ten
Years? and that the greatest Part of this busy Species fall short even
of that Age? How would he be lost in Horrour and Admiration, when he
should know that this Sett of Creatures, who lay out all their
Endeavours for this Life, which scarce deserves the Name of Existence,
when, I say, he should know that this Sett of Creatures are to exist to
all Eternity in another Life, for which they make no Preparations?
Nothing can be a greater Disgrace to Reason, than that Men, who are
perswaded of these two different States of Being, should be perpetually
employed in providing for a Life of three-score and ten Years, and
neglecting to make Provision for that, which after many Myriads of Years
will be still new, and still beginning; especially when we consider that
our endeavours for making ourselves great, or rich, or honourable, or
whatever else we place our Happiness in, may after all prove
unsuccessful; whereas if we constantly and sincerely endeavour to make
our selves happy in the other Life, we are sure that our Endeavours will
succeed, and that we shall not be disappointed of our Hope.

The following Question is started by one of the Schoolmen. Supposing the
whole Body of the Earth were a great Ball or Mass of the finest Sand,
and that a single Grain or Particle of this Sand should be annihilated
every thousand Years. Supposing then that you had it in your Choice to
be happy all the while this prodigious Mass of Sand was consuming by

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