The Spectator, Volume 2 by Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

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No. 203. Tuesday, October 23, 1711. Addison.

Phoebe pater, si das hujus mihi nominis usum, Nec falsa Clymene culpam sub imagine celat; Pignora da, Genitor

Ov. Met.

There is a loose Tribe of Men whom I have not yet taken Notice of, that ramble into all the Corners of this great City, in order to seduce such unfortunate Females as fall into their Walks. These abandoned Profligates raise up Issue in every Quarter of the Town, and very often, for a valuable Consideration, father it upon the Church-warden. By this means there are several Married Men who have a little Family in most of the Parishes of London and Westminster, and several Batchelors who are undone by a Charge of Children.

When a Man once gives himself this Liberty of preying at large, and living upon the Common, he finds so much Game in a populous City, that it is surprising to consider the Numbers which he sometimes propagates. We see many a young Fellow who is scarce of Age, that could lay his Claim to the Jus trium Liberorum, or the Privileges which were granted by the Roman Laws to all such as were Fathers of three Children: Nay, I have heard a Rake [who [1]] was not quite five and twenty, declare himself the Father of a seventh Son, and very prudently determine to breed him up a Physician. In short, the Town is full of these young Patriarchs, not to mention several batter’d Beaus, who, like heedless Spendthrifts that squander away their Estates before they are Masters of them, have raised up their whole Stock of Children before Marriage.

I must not here omit the particular Whim of an Impudent Libertine, that had a little Smattering of Heraldry; and observing how the Genealogies of great Families were often drawn up in the Shape of Trees, had taken a Fancy to dispose of his own illegitimate Issue in a Figure of the same kind.

–Nec longum tempus et ingens
Exiit ad coelum ramis felicibus arbos, Miraturque novas frondes, et non sua poma.

Virg. [2]

The Trunk of the Tree was mark’d with his own Name, Will Maple. Out of the Side of it grew a large barren Branch, Inscribed Mary Maple, the Name of his unhappy Wife. The Head was adorned with five huge Boughs. On the Bottom of the first was written in Capital Characters Kate Cole, who branched out into three Sprigs, viz. William, Richard, and Rebecca. Sal Twiford gave Birth to another Bough, that shot up into Sarah, Tom, Will, and Frank. The third Arm of the Tree had only a single Infant in it, with a Space left for a second, the Parent from whom it sprung being near her Time when the Author took this Ingenious Device into his Head. The two other great Boughs were very plentifully loaden with Fruit of the same kind; besides which there were many Ornamental Branches that did not bear. In short, a more flourishing Tree never came out of the Heralds Office.

What makes this Generation of Vermin so very prolifick, is the indefatigable Diligence with which they apply themselves to their Business. A Man does not undergo more Watchings and Fatigues in a Campaign, than in the Course of a vicious Amour. As it is said of some Men, that they make their Business their Pleasure, these Sons of Darkness may be said to make their Pleasure their Business. They might conquer their corrupt Inclinations with half the Pains they are at in gratifying them.

Nor is the Invention of these Men less to be admired than their Industry or Vigilance. There is a Fragment of Apollodorus the Comick Poet (who was Contemporary with Menander) which is full of Humour as follows: Thou mayest shut up thy Doors, says he, with Bars and Bolts: It will be impossible for the Blacksmith to make them so fast, but a Cat and a Whoremaster will find a Way through them. In a word, there is no Head so full of Stratagems as that of a Libidinous Man.

Were I to propose a Punishment for this infamous Race of Propagators, it should be to send them, after the second or third Offence, into our American Colonies, in order to people those Parts of her Majesty’s Dominions where there is a want of Inhabitants, and in the Phrase of Diogenes, to Plant Men. Some Countries punish this Crime with Death; but I think such a Banishment would be sufficient, and might turn this generative Faculty to the Advantage of the Publick.

In the mean time, till these Gentlemen may be thus disposed of, I would earnestly exhort them to take Care of those unfortunate Creatures whom they have brought into the World by these indirect Methods, and to give their spurious Children such an Education as may render them more virtuous than their Parents. This is the best Atonement they can make for their own Crimes, and indeed the only Method that is left them to repair their past Mis-carriages.

I would likewise desire them to consider, whether they are not bound in common Humanity, as well as by all the Obligations of Religion and Nature, to make some Provision for those whom they have not only given Life to, but entail’d upon them, [tho very unreasonably, a Degree of] Shame and [Disgrace. [3]] And here I cannot but take notice of those depraved Notions which prevail among us, and which must have taken rise from our natural Inclination to favour a Vice to which we are so very prone, namely, that Bastardy and Cuckoldom should be look’d upon as Reproaches, and that the [Ignominy [4]] which is only due to Lewdness and Falsehood, should fall in so unreasonable a manner upon the Persons who [are [5]] innocent.

I have been insensibly drawn into this Discourse by the following Letter, which is drawn up with such a Spirit of Sincerity, that I question not but the Writer of it has represented his Case in a true and genuine Light.


I am one of those People who by the general Opinion of the World are counted both Infamous and Unhappy.

My Father is a very eminent Man in this Kingdom, and one who bears considerable Offices in it. I am his Son, but my Misfortune is, That I dare not call him Father, nor he without Shame own me as his Issue, I being illegitimate, and therefore deprived of that endearing Tenderness and unparallel’d Satisfaction which a good Man finds in the Love and Conversation of a Parent: Neither have I the Opportunities to render him the Duties of a Son, he having always carried himself at so vast a Distance, and with such Superiority towards me, that by long Use I have contracted a Timorousness when before him, which hinders me from declaring my own Necessities, and giving him to understand the Inconveniencies I undergo.

It is my Misfortune to have been neither bred a Scholar, [a Soldier,] nor to [any kind of] Business, which renders me Entirely uncapable of making Provision for my self without his Assistance; and this creates a continual Uneasiness in my Mind, fearing I shall in Time want Bread; my Father, if I may so call him, giving me but very faint Assurances of doing any thing for me.

I have hitherto lived somewhat like a Gentleman, and it would be very hard for me to labour for my Living. I am in continual Anxiety for my future Fortune, and under a great Unhappiness in losing the sweet Conversation and friendly Advice of my Parents; so that I cannot look upon my self otherwise than as a Monster, strangely sprung up in Nature, which every one is ashamed to own.

I am thought to be a Man of some natural Parts, and by the continual Reading what you have offered the World, become an Admirer thereof, which has drawn me to make this Confession; at the same time hoping, if any thing herein shall touch you with a Sense of Pity, you would then allow me the Favour of your Opinion thereupon; as also what Part I, being unlawfully born, may claim of the Man’s Affection who begot me, and how far in your Opinion I am to be thought his Son, or he acknowledged as my Father. Your Sentiments and Advice herein will be a great Consolation and Satisfaction to,
Your Admirer and Humble Servant,
W. B.

[Footnote 1: that]

[Footnote 2: Georg. II. v. 89.]

[Footnote 3: Infamy.]

[Footnote 4: Shame]

[Footnote 5: suffer and are]


* * * * *

No. 204. Wednesday, October 24, 1711. Steele.

Urit grata protervitas,
Et vultus nimium lubricus aspici.


I am not at all displeased that I am become the Courier of Love, and that the Distressed in that Passion convey their Complaints to each other by my Means. The following Letters have lately come to my hands, and shall have their Place with great Willingness. As to the Readers Entertainment, he will, I hope, forgive the inserting such Particulars as to him may perhaps seem frivolous, but are to the Persons who wrote them of the highest Consequence. I shall not trouble you with the Prefaces, Compliments, and Apologies made to me before each Epistle when it was desired to be inserted; but in general they tell me, that the Persons to whom they are addressed have Intimations, by Phrases and Allusions in them, from whence they came.

_To the_ Sothades [1].

“The Word, by which I address you, gives you, who understand _Portuguese_, a lively Image of the tender Regard I have for you. The SPECTATOR’S late Letter from _Statira_ gave me the Hint to use the same Method of explaining my self to you. I am not affronted at the Design your late Behaviour discovered you had in your Addresses to me; but I impute it to the Degeneracy of the Age, rather than your particular Fault. As I aim at nothing more than being yours, I am willing to be a Stranger to your Name, your Fortune, or any Figure which your Wife might expect to make in the World, provided my Commerce with you is not to be a guilty one. I resign gay Dress, the Pleasure of Visits, Equipage, Plays, Balls, and Operas, for that one Satisfaction of having you for ever mine. I am willing you shall industriously conceal the only Cause of Triumph which I can know in this Life. I wish only to have it my Duty, as well as my Inclination, to study your Happiness. If this has not the Effect this Letter seems to aim at, you are to understand that I had a mind to be rid of you, and took the readiest Way to pall you with an Offer of what you would never desist pursuing while you received ill Usage. Be a true Man; be my Slave while you doubt me, and neglect me when you think I love you. I defy you to find out what is your present Circumstance with me; but I know while I can keep this Suspence.

_I am your admired_ Belinda.”


“It is a strange State of Mind a Man is in, when the very Imperfections of a Woman he loves turn into Excellencies and Advantages. I do assure you, I am very much afraid of venturing upon you. I now like you in spite of my Reason, and think it an ill Circumstance to owe ones Happiness to nothing but Infatuation. I can see you ogle all the young Fellows who look at you, and observe your Eye wander after new Conquests every Moment you are in a publick Place; and yet there is such a Beauty in all your Looks and Gestures, that I cannot but admire you in the very Act of endeavouring to gain the Hearts of others. My Condition is the same with that of the Lover in the _Way of the World_, [2] I have studied your Faults so long, that they are become as familiar to me, and I like them as well as I do my own. Look to it, Madam, and consider whether you think this gay Behaviour will appear to me as amiable when an Husband, as it does now to me a Lover. Things are so far advanced, that we must proceed; and I hope you will lay it to Heart, that it will be becoming in me to appear still your Lover, but not in you to be still my Mistress. Gaiety in the Matrimonial Life is graceful in one Sex, but exceptionable in the other. As you improve these little Hints, you will ascertain the Happiness or Uneasiness of, _Madam,
Your most obedient,
Most humble Servant_,

When I sat at the Window, and you at the other End of the Room by my Cousin, I saw you catch me looking at you. Since you have the Secret at last, which I am sure you should never have known but by Inadvertency, what my Eyes said was true. But it is too soon to confirm it with my Hand, therefore shall not subscribe my Name.

There were other Gentlemen nearer, and I know no Necessity you were under to take up that flippant Creatures Fan last Night; but you shall never touch a Stick of mine more, that’s pos. _Phillis_.

To Colonel R—-s [3] in Spain.

Before this can reach the best of Husbands and the fondest Lover, those tender Names will be no more of Concern to me. The Indisposition in which you, to obey the Dictates of your Honour and Duty, left me, has increased upon me; and I am acquainted by my Physicians I cannot live a Week longer. At this time my Spirits fail me; and it is the ardent Love I have for you that carries me beyond my Strength, and enables me to tell you, the most painful Thing in the Prospect of Death, is, that I must part with you. But let it be a Comfort to you, that I have no Guilt hangs upon me, no unrepented Folly that retards me; but I pass away my last Hours in Reflection upon the Happiness we have lived in together, and in Sorrow that it is so soon to have an End. This is a Frailty which I hope is so far from criminal, that methinks there is a kind of Piety in being so unwilling to be separated from a State which is the Institution of Heaven, and in which we have lived according to its Laws. As we know no more of the next Life, but that it will be an happy one to the Good, and miserable to the Wicked, why may we not please ourselves at least, to alleviate the Difficulty of resigning this Being, in imagining that we shall have a Sense of what passes below, and may possibly be employed in guiding the Steps of those with whom we walked with Innocence when mortal? Why may not I hope to go on in my usual Work, and, tho unknown to you, be assistant in all the Conflicts of your Mind? Give me leave to say to you, O best of Men, that I cannot figure to myself a greater Happiness than in such an Employment: To be present at all the Adventures to which human Life is exposed, to administer Slumber to thy Eyelids in the Agonies of a Fever, to cover thy beloved Face in the Day of Battle, to go with thee a Guardian Angel incapable of Wound or Pain, where I have longed to attend thee when a weak, a fearful Woman: These, my Dear, are the Thoughts with which I warm my poor languid Heart; but indeed I am not capable under my present Weakness of bearing the strong Agonies of Mind I fall into, when I form to myself the Grief you will be in upon your first hearing of my Departure. I will not dwell upon this, because your kind and generous Heart will be but the more afflicted, the more the Person for whom you lament offers you Consolation. My last Breath will, if I am my self, expire in a Prayer for you. I shall never see thy Face again.

Farewell for ever. T.

[Footnote 1: Saudades. To have saudades of anything is to yearn with desire towards it. Saudades da Patria is home sickness. To say Tenho Saudades without naming an object would be taken to mean I am all yearning to call a certain gentleman or lady mine.]

[Footnote 2: In Act I. sc. 3, of Congreve’s Way of the World, Mirabell says of Millamant,

I like her with all her faults, nay, like her for her faults. Her follies are so natural, or so artful, that they become her; and those affectations which in another woman would be odious, serve but to make her more agreeable. Ill tell thee, Fainall, she once used me with that insolence, that in revenge I took her to pieces, sifted her, and separated her failings; I studied em and got em by rote. The Catalogue was so large, that I was not without hopes one day or other to hate her heartily: to which end I so used myself to think of em, that at length, contrary to my design and expectation, they gave me every hour less and less disturbance; till in a few days it became habitual to me to remember em without being displeased. They are now grown as familiar to me as my own frailties; and, in all probability, in a little time longer I shall like em as well.]

[Footnote 3: The name was commonly believed to be Rivers, when this Paper was published.]

* * * * *

No. 205. Thursday, October 25, 1711. Addison.

Decipimur specie recti


When I meet with any vicious Character that is not generally known, in order to prevent its doing Mischief, I draw it at length, and set it up as a Scarecrow; by which means I do not only make an Example of the Person to whom it belongs, but give Warning to all Her Majesty’s Subjects, that they may not suffer by it. Thus, to change the [Allusion,[1]] I have marked out several of the Shoals and Quicksands of Life, and am continually employed in discovering those [which [2]] are still concealed, in order to keep the Ignorant and Unwary from running upon them. It is with this Intention that I publish the following Letter, which brings to light some Secrets of this Nature.


There are none of your Speculations which I read over with greater Delight, than those which are designed for the Improvement of our Sex. You have endeavoured to correct our unreasonable Fears and Superstitions, in your Seventh and Twelfth Papers; our Fancy for Equipage, in your Fifteenth; our Love of Puppet-Shows, in your Thirty-First; our Notions of Beauty, in your Thirty-Third; our Inclination for Romances, in your Thirty-Seventh; our Passion for _French_ Fopperies, in your Forty-Fifth; our Manhood and Party-zeal, in your Fifty-Seventh; our Abuse of Dancing, in your Sixty-Sixth and Sixty-Seventh; our Levity, in your Hundred and Twenty-Eighth; our Love of Coxcombs, in your Hundred and Fifty-Fourth, and Hundred and Fifty-Seventh; our Tyranny over the Henpeckt, in your Hundred and Seventy-Sixth. You have described the _Pict_ in your Forty-first; the Idol, in your Seventy-Third; the Demurrer, in your Eighty-Ninth; the Salamander, in your Hundred and Ninety-Eighth. You have likewise taken to pieces our Dress, and represented to us the Extravagancies we are often guilty of in that Particular. You have fallen upon our Patches, in your Fiftieth and Eighty-First; our Commodes, in your Ninety-Eighth; our Fans in your Hundred and Second; our Riding Habits in your Hundred and Fourth; our Hoop-petticoats, in your Hundred and Twenty-Seventh; besides a great many little Blemishes which you have touched upon in your several other Papers, and in those many Letters that are scattered up and down your Works. At the same Time we must own, that the Compliments you pay our Sex are innumerable, and that those very Faults which you represent in us, are neither black in themselves nor, as you own, universal among us. But, Sir, it is plain that these your Discourses are calculated for none but the fashionable Part of Womankind, and for the Use of those who are rather indiscreet than vicious. But, Sir, there is a Sort of Prostitutes in the lower Part of our Sex, who are a Scandal to us, and very well deserve to fall under your Censure. I know it would debase your Paper too much to enter into the Behaviour of these Female Libertines; but as your Remarks on some Part of it would be a doing of Justice to several Women of Virtue and Honour, whose Reputations suffer by it, I hope you will not think it improper to give the Publick some Accounts of this Nature. You must know, Sir, I am provoked to write you this Letter by the Behaviour of an infamous Woman, who having passed her Youth in a most shameless State of Prostitution, is now one of those who gain their Livelihood by seducing others, that are younger than themselves, and by establishing a criminal Commerce between the two Sexes. Among several of her Artifices to get Money, she frequently perswades a vain young Fellow, that such a Woman of Quality, or such a celebrated Toast, entertains a secret Passion for him, and wants nothing but an Opportunity of revealing it: Nay, she has gone so far as to write Letters in the Name of a Woman of Figure, to borrow Money of one of these foolish _Roderigos_, [3] which she has afterwards appropriated to her own Use. In the mean time, the Person who has lent the Money, has thought a Lady under Obligations to him, who scarce knew his Name; and wondered at her Ingratitude when he has been with her, that she has not owned the Favour, though at the same time he was too much a Man of Honour to put her in mind of it.

When this abandoned Baggage meets with a Man who has Vanity enough to give Credit to Relations of this nature, she turns him to very good Account, by repeating Praises that were never uttered, and delivering Messages that were never sent. As the House of this shameless Creature is frequented by several Foreigners, I have heard of another Artifice, out of which she often raises Money. The Foreigner sighs after some _British_ Beauty, whom he only knows by Fame: Upon which she promises, if he can be secret, to procure him a Meeting. The Stranger, ravished at his good Fortune, gives her a Present, and in a little time is introduced to some imaginary Title; for you must know that this cunning Purveyor has her Representatives upon this Occasion, of some of the finest Ladies in the Kingdom. By this Means, as I am informed, it is usual enough to meet with a German Count in foreign Countries, that shall make his Boasts of Favours he has received from Women of the highest Ranks, and the most unblemished Characters. Now, Sir, what Safety is there for a Woman’s Reputation, when a Lady may be thus prostituted as it were by Proxy, and be reputed an unchaste Woman; as the Hero in the ninth Book of _Dryden’s_ Virgil is looked upon as a Coward, because the Phantom which appeared in his Likeness ran away from _Turnus?_ You may depend upon what I relate to you to be Matter of Fact, and the Practice of more than one of these female Pandars. If you print this Letter, I may give you some further Accounts of this vicious Race of Women.
_Your humble Servant,_

I shall add two other Letters on different Subjects to fill up my Paper.


I am a Country Clergyman, and hope you will lend me your Assistance in ridiculing some little Indecencies which cannot so properly be exposed from the Pulpit.

A Widow Lady, who straggled this Summer from _London_ into my Parish for the Benefit of the Air, as she says, appears every _Sunday_ at Church with many fashionable Extravagancies, to the great Astonishment of my Congregation.

But what gives us the most Offence is her theatrical Manner of Singing the Psalms. She introduces above fifty _Italian_ Airs into the hundredth Psalm, and whilst we begin _All People_ in the old solemn Tune of our Forefathers, she in a quite different Key runs Divisions on the Vowels, and adorns them with the Graces of _Nicolini_; if she meets with Eke or Aye, which are frequent in the Metre of _Hopkins_ and _Sternhold_,[4] we are certain to hear her quavering them half a Minute after us to some sprightly Airs of the Opera.

I am very far from being an Enemy to Church Musick; but fear this Abuse of it may make my _Parish_ ridiculous, who already look on the Singing Psalms as an Entertainment, and no Part of their Devotion: Besides, I am apprehensive that the Infection may spread, for Squire _Squeekum_, who by his Voice seems (if I may use the Expression) to be cut out for an _Italian_ Singer, was last _Sunday_ practising the same Airs.

I know the Lady’s Principles, and that she will plead the Toleration, which (as she fancies) allows her Non-Conformity in this Particular; but I beg you to acquaint her, That Singing the Psalms in a different Tune from the rest of the Congregation, is a Sort of Schism not tolerated by that Act.

_I am, SIR, Your very humble Servant,_ R. S.


In your Paper upon Temperance, you prescribe to us a Rule of drinking, out of Sir _William Temple_, in the following Words; _The first Glass for myself, the second for my Friends, the third for Good-humour, and the fourth for mine Enemies_. Now, Sir, you must know, that I have read this your _Spectator_, in a Club whereof I am a Member; when our President told us, there was certainly an Error in the Print, and that the Word _Glass_ should be _Bottle;_ and therefore has ordered me to inform you of this Mistake, and to desire you to publish the following _Errata:_ In the Paper of _Saturday, Octob._ 13, Col. 3. Line 11, for _Glass_ read _Bottle_.

_Yours_, Robin Good-fellow.


[Footnote 1: Metaphor,]

[Footnote 2: that]

[Footnote 3: As the Roderigo whose money Iago used.]

[Footnote 4: Thomas Sternhold who joined Hopkins, Norton, and others in translation of the Psalms, was groom of the robes to Henry VIII. and Edward VI.]


* * * * *

No. 206. Friday, October 26, 1711. Steele.

Quanto quisque sibi plura negaverit, A Diis plura feret–


There is a Call upon Mankind to value and esteem those who set a moderate Price upon their own Merit; and Self-denial is frequently attended with unexpected Blessings, which in the End abundantly recompense such Losses as the Modest seem to suffer in the ordinary Occurrences of Life. The Curious tell us, a Determination in our Favour or to our Disadvantage is made upon our first Appearance, even before they know any thing of our Characters, but from the Intimations Men gather from our Aspect. A Man, they say, wears the Picture of his Mind in his Countenance; and one Man’s Eyes are Spectacles to his who looks at him to read his Heart. But tho that Way of raising an Opinion of those we behold in Publick is very fallacious, certain it is, that those, who by their Words and Actions take as much upon themselves, as they can but barely demand in the strict Scrutiny of their Deserts, will find their Account lessen every Day. A modest Man preserves his Character, as a frugal Man does his Fortune; if either of them live to the Height of either, one will find Losses, the other Errors, which he has not Stock by him to make up. It were therefore a just Rule, to keep your Desires, your Words and Actions, within the Regard you observe your Friends have for you; and never, if it were in a Man’s Power, to take as much as he possibly might either in Preferment or Reputation. My Walks have lately been among the mercantile Part of the World; and one gets Phrases naturally from those with whom one converses: I say then, he that in his Air, his Treatment of others, or an habitual Arrogance to himself, gives himself Credit for the least Article of more Wit, Wisdom, Goodness, or Valour than he can possibly produce if he is called upon, will find the World break in upon him, and consider him as one who has cheated them of all the Esteem they had before allowed him. This brings a Commission of Bankruptcy upon him; and he that might have gone on to his Lifes End in a prosperous Way, by aiming at more than he should, is no longer Proprietor of what he really had before, but his Pretensions fare as all Things do which are torn instead of being divided.

There is no one living would deny _Cinna_ the Applause of an agreeable and facetious Wit; or could possibly pretend that there is not something inimitably unforced and diverting in his Manner of delivering all his Sentiments in Conversation, if he were able to conceal the strong Desire of Applause which he betrays in every Syllable he utters. But they who converse with him, see that all the Civilities they could do to him, or the kind Things they could say to him, would fall short of what he expects; and therefore instead of shewing him the Esteem they have for his Merit, their Reflections turn only upon that they observe he has of it himself.

If you go among the Women, and behold _Gloriana_ trip into a Room with that theatrical Ostentation of her Charms, _Mirtilla_ with that soft Regularity in her Motion, _Chloe_ with such an indifferent Familiarity, _Corinna_ with such a fond Approach, and _Roxana_ with such a Demand of Respect in the great Gravity of her Entrance; you find all the Sex, who understand themselves and act naturally, wait only for their Absence, to tell you that all these Ladies would impose themselves upon you; and each of them carry in their Behaviour a Consciousness of so much more than they should pretend to, that they lose what would otherwise be given them.

I remember the last time I saw _Macbeth_, I was wonderfully taken with the Skill of the Poet, in making the Murderer form Fears to himself from the Moderation of the Prince whose Life he was going to take away. He says of the King, _He bore his Faculties so meekly_; and justly inferred from thence, That all divine and human Power would join to avenge his Death, who had made such an abstinent Use of Dominion. All that is in a Man’s Power to do to advance his own Pomp and Glory, and forbears, is so much laid up against the Day of Distress; and Pity will always be his Portion in Adversity, who acted with Gentleness in Prosperity.

The great Officer who foregoes the Advantages he might take to himself, and renounces all prudential Regards to his own Person in Danger, has so far the Merit of a Volunteer; and all his Honours and Glories are unenvied, for sharing the common Fate with the same Frankness as they do who have no such endearing Circumstances to part with. But if there were no such Considerations as the good Effect which Self-denial has upon the Sense of other Men towards us, it is of all Qualities the most desirable for the agreeable Disposition in which it places our own Minds. I cannot tell what better to say of it, than that it is the very Contrary of Ambition; and that Modesty allays all those Passions and Inquietudes to which that Vice exposes us. He that is moderate in his Wishes from Reason and Choice, and not resigned from Sourness, Distaste, or Disappointment, doubles all the Pleasures of his Life. The Air, the Season, a [Sun-shiny [1]] Day, or a fair Prospect, are Instances of Happiness, and that which he enjoys in common with all the World, (by his Exemption from the Enchantments by which all the World are bewitched) are to him uncommon Benefits and new Acquisitions. Health is not eaten up with Care, nor Pleasure interrupted by Envy. It is not to him of any Consequence what this Man is famed for, or for what the other is preferred. He knows there is in such a Place an uninterrupted Walk; he can meet in such a Company an agreeable Conversation: He has no Emulation, he is no Man’s Rival, but every Man’s Well-wisher; can look at a prosperous Man, with a Pleasure in reflecting that he hopes he is as happy as himself; and has his Mind and his Fortune (as far as Prudence will allow) open to the Unhappy and to the Stranger.

_Lucceius_ has Learning, Wit, Humour, Eloquence, but no ambitious Prospects to pursue with these Advantages; therefore to the ordinary World he is perhaps thought to want Spirit, but known among his Friends to have a Mind of the most consummate Greatness. He wants no Man’s Admiration, is in no Need of Pomp. His Cloaths please him if they are fashionable and warm; his Companions are agreeable if they are civil and well-natured. There is with him no Occasion for Superfluity at Meals, for Jollity in Company, in a word, for any thing extraordinary to administer Delight to him. Want of Prejudice and Command of Appetite are the Companions which make his Journey of Life so easy, that he in all Places meets with more Wit, more good Cheer and more good Humour, than is necessary to make him enjoy himself with Pleasure and Satisfaction.

[Footnote 1: [Sun-shine], and in the first reprint.]


* * * * *

No. 207. Saturday, October 27, 1711. Addison.

Omnibus in terris, quoe sunt a Gadibus usque Auroram et Gangem, pauci dignoscere possunt Vera bona, atque illis multum diversa, remota Erroris nebula–


In my last _Saturdays_ Paper I laid down some Thoughts upon Devotion in general, and shall here shew what were the Notions of the most refined Heathens on this Subject, as they are represented in _Plato’s_ Dialogue upon Prayer, entitled, _Alcibiades the Second_, which doubtless gave Occasion to _Juvenal’s_ tenth Satire, and to the second Satire of _Persius_; as the last of these Authors has almost transcribed the preceding Dialogue, entitled _Alcibiades the First_, in his Fourth Satire.

The Speakers in this Dialogue upon Prayer, are _Socrates_ and _Alcibiades_; and the Substance of it (when drawn together out of the Intricacies and Digressions) as follows.

_Socrates_ meeting his Pupil _Alcibiades_, as he was going to his Devotions, and observing his Eyes to be fixed upon the Earth with great Seriousness and Attention, tells him, that he had reason to be thoughtful on that Occasion, since it was possible for a Man to bring down Evils upon himself by his own Prayers, and that those things, which the Gods send him in Answer to his Petitions, might turn to his Destruction: This, says he, may not only happen when a Man prays for what he knows is mischievous in its own Nature, as _OEdipus_ implored the Gods to sow Dissension between his Sons; but when he prays for what he believes would be for his Good, and against what he believes would be to his Detriment. This the Philosopher shews must necessarily happen among us, since most Men are blinded with Ignorance, Prejudice, or Passion, which hinder them from seeing such things as are really beneficial to them. For an Instance, he asks _Alcibiades_, Whether he would not be thoroughly pleased and satisfied if that God, to whom he was going to address himself, should promise to make him the Sovereign of the whole Earth? _Alcibiades_ answers, That he should doubtless look upon such a Promise as the greatest Favour that he could bestow upon him. _Socrates_ then asks him, If after [receiving [1]] this great Favour he would be content[ed] to lose his Life? or if he would receive it though he was sure he should make an ill Use of it? To both which Questions _Alcibiades_ answers in the Negative. Socrates then shews him, from the Examples of others, how these might very probably be the Effects of such a Blessing. He then adds, That other reputed Pieces of Good-fortune, as that of having a Son, or procuring the highest Post in a Government, are subject to the like fatal Consequences; which nevertheless, says he, Men ardently desire, and would not fail to pray for, if they thought their Prayers might be effectual for the obtaining of them. Having established this great Point, That all the most apparent Blessings in this Life are obnoxious to such dreadful Consequences, and that no Man knows what in its Events would prove to him a Blessing or a Curse, he teaches _Alcibiades_ after what manner he ought to pray.

In the first Place, he recommends to him, as the Model of his Devotions, a short Prayer, which a _Greek_ Poet composed for the Use of his Friends, in the following Words; _O_ Jupiter, _give us those Things which are good for us, whether they are such Things as we pray for, or such Things as we do not pray for: and remove from us those Things which are hurtful, though they are such Things as we pray for._

In the second Place, that his Disciple may ask such Things as are expedient for him, he shews him, that it is absolutely necessary to apply himself to the Study of true Wisdom, and to the Knowledge of that which is his chief Good, and the most suitable to the Excellency of his Nature.

In the third and last Place he informs him, that the best Method he could make use of to draw down Blessings upon himself, and to render his Prayers acceptable, would be to live in a constant Practice of his Duty towards the Gods, and towards Men. Under this Head he very much recommends a Form of Prayer the _Lacedemonians_ made use of, in which they petition the Gods, _to give them all good Things so long as they were virtuous_. Under this Head likewise he gives a very remarkable Account of an Oracle to the following Purpose.

When the _Athenians_ in the War with the _Lacedemonians_ received many Defeats both by Sea and Land, they sent a Message to the Oracle of _Jupiter Ammon_, to ask the Reason why they who erected so many Temples to the Gods, and adorned them with such costly Offerings; why they who had instituted so many Festivals, and accompanied them with such Pomps and Ceremonies; in short, why they who had slain so many Hecatombs at their Altars, should be less successful than the _Lacedemonians_, who fell so short of them in all these Particulars. To this, says he, the Oracle made the following Reply; _I am better pleased with the Prayer of the_ Lacedemonians, _than with all the Oblations of the_ Greeks. As this Prayer implied and encouraged Virtue in those who made it, the Philosopher proceeds to shew how the most vicious Man might be devout, so far as Victims could make him, but that his Offerings were regarded by the Gods as Bribes, and his Petitions as Blasphemies. He likewise quotes on this Occasion two Verses out of _Homer_, [2] in which the Poet says, That the Scent of the _Trojan_ Sacrifices was carried up to Heaven by the Winds; but that it was not acceptable to the Gods, who were displeased with _Priam_ and all his People.

The Conclusion of this Dialogue is very remarkable. _Socrates_ having deterred _Alcibiades_ from the Prayers and Sacrifice which he was going to offer, by setting forth the above-mentioned Difficulties of performing that Duty as he ought, adds these Words, _We must therefore wait till such Time as we may learn how we ought to behave ourselves towards the Gods, and towards Men_. But when will that Time come, says _Alcibiades_, and who is it that will instruct us? For I would fain see this Man, whoever he is. It is one, says _Socrates_, who takes care of you; but as _Homer_ tells us, [3] that _Minerva_ removed the Mist from _Diomedes_ his Eyes, that he might plainly discover both Gods and Men; so the Darkness that hangs upon your Mind must be removed before you are able to discern what is Good and what is Evil. Let him remove from my Mind, says _Alcibiades_, the Darkness, and what else he pleases, I am determined to refuse nothing he shall order me, whoever he is, so that I may become the better Man by it. The remaining Part of this Dialogue is very obscure: There is something in it that would make us think _Socrates_ hinted at himself, when he spoke of this Divine Teacher who was to come into the World, did not he own that he himself was in this respect as much at a Loss, and in as great Distress as the rest of Mankind.

Some learned Men look upon this Conclusion as a Prediction of our Saviour, or at least that Socrates, like the High-Priest, [4] prophesied unknowingly, and pointed at that Divine Teacher who was to come into the World some Ages after him. However that may be, we find that this great Philosopher saw, by the Light of Reason, that it was suitable to the Goodness of the Divine Nature, to send a Person into the World who should instruct Mankind in the Duties of Religion, and, in particular, teach them how to Pray.

Whoever reads this Abstract of _Plato’s_ Discourse on Prayer, will, I believe, naturally make this Reflection, That the great Founder of our Religion, as well by his own Example, as in the Form of Prayer which he taught his Disciples, did not only keep up to those Rules which the Light of Nature had suggested to this great Philosopher, but instructed his Disciples in the whole Extent of this Duty, as well as of all others. He directed them to the proper Object of Adoration, and taught them, according to the third Rule above-mentioned, to apply themselves to him in their Closets, without Show or Ostentation, and to worship him in Spirit and in Truth. As the _Lacedemonians_ in their Form of Prayer implored the Gods in general to give them all good things so long as they were virtuous, we ask in particular _that our Offences may be forgiven, as we forgive those of others_. If we look into the second Rule which _Socrates_ has prescribed, namely, That we should apply ourselves to the Knowledge of such Things as are best for us, this too is explain’d at large in the Doctrines of the Gospel, where we are taught in several Instances to regard those things as Curses, which appear as Blessings in the Eye of the World; and on the contrary, to esteem those things as Blessings, which to the Generality of Mankind appear as Curses. Thus in the Form which is prescribed to us we only pray for that Happiness which is our chief Good, and the great End of our Existence, when we petition the Supreme Being for _the coming of his Kingdom, being solicitous for no other temporal Blessings but our daily Sustenance_. On the other side, We pray against nothing but Sin, and against _Evil_ in general, leaving it with Omniscience to determine what is really such. If we look into the first of _Socrates_ his Rules of Prayer, in which he recommends the above-mentioned Form of the ancient Poet, we find that Form not only comprehended, but very much improved in the Petition, wherein we pray to the Supreme Being that _his Will may be done:_ which is of the same Force with that Form which our Saviour used, when he prayed against the most painful and most ignominious of Deaths, _Nevertheless not my Will, but thine be done_. This comprehensive Petition is the most humble, as well as the most prudent, that can be offered up from the Creature to his Creator, as it supposes the Supreme Being wills nothing but what is for our Good, and that he knows better than ourselves what is so.


[Footnote 1: [having received], and in first reprint.]

[Footnote 2: Iliad, viii. 548, 9.]

[Footnote 3: Iliad, v. 127.]

[Footnote 4: John xi. 49.]

* * * * *

No. 208. Monday, October 29, 1711. Steele.

–Veniunt spectentur ut ipsae.


I have several Letters of People of good Sense, who lament the Depravity or Poverty of Taste the Town is fallen into with relation to Plays and publick Spectacles. A Lady in particular observes, that there is such a Levity in the Minds of her own Sex, that they seldom attend any thing but Impertinences. It is indeed prodigious to observe how little Notice is taken of the most exalted Parts of the best Tragedies in _Shakespear_; nay, it is not only visible that Sensuality has devoured all Greatness of Soul, but the Under-Passion (as I may so call it) of a noble Spirit, Pity, seems to be a Stranger to the Generality of an Audience. The Minds of Men are indeed very differently disposed; and the Reliefs from Care and Attention are of one Sort in a great Spirit, and of another in an ordinary one. The Man of a great Heart and a serious Complexion, is more pleased with Instances of Generosity and Pity, than the light and ludicrous Spirit can possibly be with the highest Strains of Mirth and Laughter: It is therefore a melancholy Prospect when we see a numerous Assembly lost to all serious Entertainments, and such Incidents, as should move one sort of Concern, excite in them a quite contrary one. In the Tragedy of _Macbeth_, the other Night, [2] when the Lady who is conscious of the Crime of murdering the King, seems utterly astonished at the News, and makes an Exclamation at it, instead of the Indignation which is natural to the Occasion, that Expression is received with a loud Laugh: They were as merry when a Criminal was stabbed. It is certainly an Occasion of rejoycing when the Wicked are seized in their Designs; but I think it is not such a Triumph as is exerted by Laughter.

You may generally observe, that the Appetites are sooner moved than the Passions: A sly Expression which alludes to Bawdry, puts a whole Row into a pleasing Smirk; when a good Sentence that describes an inward Sentiment of the Soul, is received with the greatest Coldness and Indifference. A Correspondent of mine, upon this Subject, has divided the Female Part of the Audience, and accounts for their Prepossession against this reasonable Delight in the following Manner. The Prude, says he, as she acts always in Contradiction, so she is gravely sullen at a Comedy, and extravagantly gay at a Tragedy. The Coquette is so much taken up with throwing her Eyes around the Audience, and considering the Effect of them, that she cannot be expected to observe the Actors but as they are her Rivals, and take off the Observation of the Men from her self. Besides these Species of Women, there are the _Examples_, or the first of the Mode: These are to be supposed too well acquainted with what the Actor was going to say to be moved at it. After these one might mention a certain flippant Set of Females who are Mimicks, and are wonderfully diverted with the Conduct of all the People around them, and are Spectators only of the Audience. But what is of all the most to be lamented, is the Loss of a Party whom it would be worth preserving in their right Senses upon all Occasions, and these are those whom we may indifferently call the Innocent or the Unaffected. You may sometimes see one of these sensibly touched with a well-wrought Incident; but then she is immediately so impertinently observed by the Men, and frowned at by some insensible Superior of her own Sex, that she is ashamed, and loses the Enjoyment of the most laudable Concern, Pity. Thus the whole Audience is afraid of letting fall a Tear, and shun as a Weakness the best and worthiest Part of our Sense.

[Sidenote: Pray settle what is to be a proper Notification of a Persons being in Town, and how that differs according to Peoples Quality.]


As you are one that doth not only pretend to reform, but effects it amongst People of any Sense; makes me (who are one of the greatest of your Admirers) give you this Trouble to desire you will settle the Method of us Females knowing when one another is in Town: For they have now got a Trick of never sending to their Acquaintance when they first come; and if one does not visit them within the Week which they stay at home, it is a mortal Quarrel. Now, dear Mr. SPEC, either command them to put it in the Advertisement of your Paper, which is generally read by our Sex, or else order them to breathe their saucy Footmen (who are good for nothing else) by sending them to tell all their Acquaintance. If you think to print this, pray put it into a better Style as to the spelling Part. The Town is now filling every Day, and it cannot be deferred, because People take Advantage of one another by this Means and break off Acquaintance, and are rude: Therefore pray put this in your Paper as soon as you can possibly, to prevent any future Miscarriages of this Nature. I am, as I ever shall be,

Dear SPEC,
_Your most obedient
Humble Servant,_
Mary Meanwell.


October _the 20th_.

I have been out of Town, so did not meet with your Paper dated _September_ the 28th, wherein you, to my Hearts Desire, expose that cursed Vice of ensnaring poor young Girls, and drawing them from their Friends. I assure you without Flattery it has saved a Prentice of mine from Ruin; and in Token of Gratitude as well as for the Benefit of my Family, I have put it in a Frame and Glass, and hung it behind my Counter. I shall take Care to make my young ones read it every Morning, to fortify them against such pernicious Rascals. I know not whether what you writ was Matter of Fact, or your own Invention; but this I will take my Oath on, the first Part is so exactly like what happened to my Prentice, that had I read your Paper then, I should have taken your Method to have secured a Villain. Go on and prosper.

_Your most obliged Humble Servant,_


Without Raillery, I desire you to insert this Word for Word in your next, as you value a Lovers Prayers. You see it is an Hue and Cry after a stray Heart (with the Marks and Blemishes underwritten) which whoever shall bring to you, shall receive Satisfaction. Let me beg of you not to fail, as you remember the Passion you had for her to whom you lately ended a Paper.

Noble, Generous, Great, and Good,
But never to be understood;
Fickle as the Wind, still changing, After every Female ranging,
Panting, trembling, sighing, dying, But addicted much to Lying:
When the Siren Songs repeats,
Equal Measures still it beats;
Who-e’er shall wear it, it will smart her, And who-e’er takes it, takes a Tartar.


[Footnote 1: Spectaret Populum ludis attentius ipsis.-Hor.]

[Footnote 2: Acted Saturday, October 20.]

* * * * *

No. 209. Tuesday, October 30, 1711. Addison.

[Greek: Gynaikos oudi chraem anaer laeizetai Esthlaes ameinon, oude rhigion kakaes.]


There are no Authors I am more pleased with than those who shew human Nature in a Variety of Views, and describe the several Ages of the World in their different Manners. A Reader cannot be more rationally entertained, than by comparing the Virtues and Vices of his own Times with those which prevailed in the Times of his Forefathers; and drawing a Parallel in his Mind between his own private Character, and that of other Persons, whether of his own Age, or of the Ages that went before him. The Contemplation of Mankind under these changeable Colours, is apt to shame us out of any particular Vice, or animate us to any particular Virtue, to make us pleased or displeased with our selves in the most proper Points, to clear our Minds of Prejudice and Prepossession, and rectify that Narrowness of Temper which inclines us to think amiss of those who differ from our selves.

If we look into the Manners of the most remote Ages of the World, we discover human Nature in her Simplicity; and the more we come downwards towards our own Times, may observe her hiding herself in Artifices and Refinements, Polished insensibly out of her Original Plainness, and at length entirely lost under Form and Ceremony, and (what we call) good Breeding. Read the Accounts of Men and Women as they are given us by the most ancient Writers, both Sacred and Prophane, and you would think you were reading the History of another Species.

Among the Writers of Antiquity, there are none who instruct us more openly in the Manners of their respective Times in which they lived, than those who have employed themselves in Satyr, under what Dress soever it may appear; as there are no other Authors whose Province it is to enter so directly into the Ways of Men, and set their Miscarriages in so strong a Light.

_Simonides_,[1] a Poet famous in his Generation, is, I think, Author of the oldest Satyr that is now extant; and, as some say, of the first that was ever written. This Poet flourished about four hundred Years after the Siege of _Troy;_ and shews, by his way of Writing, the Simplicity, or rather Coarseness, of the Age in which he lived. I have taken notice, in my Hundred and sixty first Speculation, that the Rule of observing what the _French_ call the _bienseance_, in an Allusion, has been found out of later Years; and that the Ancients, provided there was a Likeness in their Similitudes, did not much trouble themselves about the Decency of the Comparison. The Satyr or Iambicks of _Simonides_, with which I shall entertain my Readers in the present Paper, are a remarkable Instance of what I formerly advanced. The Subject of this Satyr is Woman. He describes the Sex in their several Characters, which he derives to them from a fanciful Supposition raised upon the Doctrine of Praeexistence. He tells us, That the Gods formed the Souls of Women out of those Seeds and Principles which compose several Kinds of Animals and Elements; and that their Good or Bad Dispositions arise in them according as such and such Seeds and Principles predominate in their Constitutions. I have translated the Author very faithfully, and if not Word for Word (which our Language would not bear) at least so as to comprehend every one of his Sentiments, without adding any thing of my own. I have already apologized for this Authors Want of Delicacy, and must further premise, That the following Satyr affects only some of the lower part of the Sex, and not those who have been refined by a Polite Education, which was not so common in the Age of this Poet.

_In the Beginning God made the Souls of Womankind out of different Materials, and in a separate State from their Bodies_.

_The Souls of one Kind of Women were formed out of those Ingredients which compose a Swine. A Woman of this Make is a Slut in her House and a Glutton at her Table. She is uncleanly in her Person, a Slattern in her Dress, and her Family is no better than a Dunghill_.

_A Second Sort of Female Soul was formed out of the same Materials that enter into the Composition of a Fox. Such an one is what we call a notable discerning Woman, who has an Insight into every thing, whether it be good or bad. In this Species of Females there are some Virtuous and some Vicious_.

_A Third Kind of Women were made up of Canine Particles. These are what we commonly call_ Scolds, _who imitate the Animals of which they were taken, that are always busy and barking, that snarl at every one who comes in their Way, and live in perpetual Clamour_.

_The Fourth Kind of Women were made out of the Earth. These are your Sluggards, who pass away their Time in Indolence and Ignorance, hover over the Fire a whole Winter, and apply themselves with Alacrity to no kind of Business but Eating_.

_The Fifth Species of Females were made out of the Sea. These are Women of variable uneven Tempers, sometimes all Storm and Tempest, sometimes all Calm and Sunshine. The Stranger who sees one of these in her Smiles and Smoothness would cry her up for a Miracle of good Humour; but on a sudden her Looks and her Words are changed, she is nothing but Fury and Outrage, Noise and Hurricane_.

_The Sixth Species were made up of the Ingredients which compose an Ass, or a Beast of Burden. These are naturally exceeding slothful, but, upon the Husbands exerting his Authority, will live upon hard Fare, and do every thing to please him. They are however far from being averse to Venereal Pleasure, and seldom refuse a Male Companion_.

_The Cat furnished Materials for a Seventh Species of Women, who are of a melancholy, froward, unamiable Nature, and so repugnant to the Offers of Love, that they fly in the Face of their Husband when he approaches them with conjugal Endearments. This Species of Women are likewise subject to little Thefts, Cheats and Pilferings_.

_The Mare with a flowing Mane, which was never broke to any servile Toil and Labour, composed an Eighth Species of Women. These are they who have little Regard for their Husbands, who pass away their Time in Dressing, Bathing, and Perfuming; who throw their Hair into the nicest Curls, and trick it up with the fairest Flowers and Garlands. A Woman of this Species is a very pretty Thing for a Stranger to look upon, but very detrimental to the Owner, unless it be a King or Prince who takes a Fancy to such a Toy_.

_The Ninth Species of Females were taken out of the Ape. These are such as are both ugly and ill-natured, who have nothing beautiful in themselves, and endeavour to detract from or ridicule every thing which appears so in others_.

_The Tenth and last Species of Women were made out of the Bee; and happy is the Man who gets such an one for his Wife. She is altogether faultless and unblameable; her Family flourishes and improves by her good Management. She loves her Husband, and is beloved by him. She brings him a Race of beautiful and virtuous Children. She distinguishes her self among her Sex. She is surrounded with Graces. She never sits among the loose Tribe of Women, nor passes away her Time with them in wanton Discourses. She is full of Virtue and Prudence, and is the best Wife that_ Jupiter _can bestow on Man_.

I shall conclude these Iambicks with the Motto of this Paper, which is a Fragment of the same Author: _A Man cannot possess any Thing that is better than a good Woman, nor any thing that is worse than a bad one_.

As the Poet has shewn a great Penetration in this Diversity of Female Characters, he has avoided the Fault which _Juvenal_ and Monsieur _Boileau_ are guilty of, the former in his sixth, and the other in his last Satyr, where they have endeavoured to expose the Sex in general, without doing Justice to the valuable Part of it. Such levelling Satyrs are of no Use to the World, and for this Reason I have often wondered how the _French_ Author above-mentioned, who was a Man of exquisite Judgment, and a Lover of Virtue, could think human Nature a proper Subject for Satyr in another of his celebrated Pieces, which is called _The Satyr upon Man_. What Vice or Frailty can a Discourse correct, which censures the whole Species alike, and endeavours to shew by some Superficial Strokes of Wit, that Brutes are the more excellent Creatures of the two? A Satyr should expose nothing but what is corrigible, and make a due Discrimination between those who are, and those who are not the proper Objects of it.


[Footnote 1: Of the poems of Simonides, contemporary of AEschylus, only fragments remain. He died about 467 B.C.]

* * * * *

No. 210. Wednesday, Oct. 31, 1711. John Hughes.

Nescio quomodo inhaeret in mentibus quasi seculorum quoddam augurium futurorum; idque in maximis ingeniis altissimisque animis et existit maxime et apparet facillime.

Cic. Tusc. Quaest.



I am fully persuaded that one of the best Springs of generous and worthy Actions, is the having generous and worthy Thoughts of our selves. Whoever has a mean Opinion of the Dignity of his Nature, will act in no higher a Rank than he has allotted himself in his own Estimation. If he considers his Being as circumscribed by the uncertain Term of a few Years, his Designs will be contracted into the same narrow Span he imagines is to bound his Existence. How can he exalt his Thoughts to any thing great and noble, who only believes that, after a short Turn on the Stage of this World, he is to sink into Oblivion, and to lose his Consciousness for ever?

For this Reason I am of Opinion, that so useful and elevated a Contemplation as that of the _Souls Immortality_ cannot be resumed too often. There is not a more improving Exercise to the human Mind, than to be frequently reviewing its own great Privileges and Endowments; nor a more effectual Means to awaken in us an Ambition raised above low Objects and little Pursuits, than to value our selves as Heirs of Eternity.

It is a very great Satisfaction to consider the best and wisest of Mankind in all Nations and Ages, asserting, as with one Voice, this their Birthright, and to find it ratify’d by an express Revelation. At the same time if we turn our Thoughts inward upon our selves, we may meet with a kind of secret Sense concurring with the Proofs of our own Immortality.

You have, in my Opinion, raised a good presumptive Argument from the increasing Appetite the Mind has to Knowledge, and to the extending its own Faculties, which cannot be accomplished, as the more restrained Perfection of lower Creatures may, in the Limits of a short Life. I think another probable Conjecture may be raised from our Appetite to Duration it self, and from a Reflection on our Progress through the several Stages of it: _We are complaining_, as you observe in a former Speculation, _of the Shortness of Life, and yet are perpetually hurrying over the Parts of it, to arrive at certain little Settlements, or imaginary Points of Rest, which are dispersed up and down in it_.

Now let us consider what happens to us when we arrive at these _imaginary Points of Rest_: Do we stop our Motion, and sit down satisfied in the Settlement we have gain’d? or are we not removing the Boundary, and marking out new Points of Rest, to which we press forward with the like Eagerness, and which cease to be such as fast as we attain them? Our Case is like that of a Traveller upon the _Alps_, who should fancy that the Top of the next Hill must end his Journey, because it terminates his Prospect; but he no sooner arrives as it, than he sees new Ground and other Hills beyond it, and continues to travel on as before. [1]

This is so plainly every Man’s Condition in Life, that there is no one who has observed any thing, but may observe, that as fast as his Time wears away, his Appetite to something future remains. The Use therefore I would make of it is this, That since Nature (as some love to express it) does nothing in vain, or, to speak properly, since the Author of our Being has planted no wandering Passion in it, no Desire which has not its Object, Futurity is the proper Object of the Passion so constantly exercis’d about it; and this Restlessness in the present, this assigning our selves over to further Stages of Duration, this successive grasping at somewhat still to come, appears to me (whatever it may to others) as a kind of Instinct or natural Symptom which the Mind of Man has of its own Immortality.

I take it at the same time for granted, that the Immortality of the Soul is sufficiently established by other Arguments: And if so, this Appetite, which otherwise would be very unaccountable and absurd, seems very reasonable, and adds Strength to the Conclusion. But I am amazed when I consider there are Creatures capable of Thought, who, in spite of every Argument, can form to themselves a sullen Satisfaction in thinking otherwise. There is something so pitifully mean in the inverted Ambition of that Man who can hope for Annihilation, and please himself to think that his whole Fabrick shall one Day crumble into Dust, and mix with the Mass of inanimate Beings, that it equally deserves our Admiration and Pity. The Mystery of such Mens Unbelief is not hard to be penetrated; and indeed amounts to nothing more than a sordid Hope that they shall not be immortal, because they dare not be so.

This brings me back to my first Observation, and gives me Occasion to say further, That as worthy Actions spring from worthy Thoughts, so worthy Thoughts are likewise the Consequence of worthy Actions: But the Wretch who has degraded himself below the Character of Immortality, is very willing to resign his Pretensions to it, and to substitute in its Room a dark negative Happiness in the Extinction of his Being.

The admirable _Shakespear_ has given us a strong Image of the unsupported Condition of such a Person in his last Minutes, in the second Part of King _Henry_ the Sixth, where Cardinal _Beaufort_, who had been concerned in the Murder of the good Duke _Humphrey_, is represented on his Death-bed. After some short confused Speeches which shew an Imagination disturbed with Guilt, just as he is expiring, King _Henry_ standing by him full of Compassion, says,

_Lord Cardinal! if thou thinkst on Heavens Bliss, Hold up thy Hand, make Signal of that Hope! He dies, and makes no Sign_!–

The Despair which is here shewn, without a Word or Action on the Part of the dying Person, is beyond what could be painted by the most forcible Expressions whatever.

I shall not pursue this Thought further, but only add, That as Annihilation is not to be had with a Wish, so it is the most abject Thing in the World to wish it. What are Honour, Fame, Wealth, or Power when compared with the generous Expectation of a Being without End, and a Happiness adequate to that Being?

I shall trouble you no further; but with a certain Gravity which these Thoughts have given me, I reflect upon some Things People say of you, (as they will of Men who distinguish themselves) which I hope are not true; and wish you as good a Man as you are an Author.

_I am, SIR, Your most obedient humble Servant_, T. D.


[Footnote 1:

Hills peep o’er Hills, and Alps on Alps arise.

Popes Essay on Criticism, then newly published.]

* * * * *

No. 211 Thursday, November 1, 1711. Addison.

Fictis meminerit nos jocari Fabulis.


Having lately translated the Fragment of an old Poet which describes Womankind under several Characters, and supposes them to have drawn their different Manners and Dispositions from those Animals and Elements out of which he tells us they were compounded; I had some Thoughts of giving the Sex their Revenge, by laying together in another Paper the many vicious Characters which prevail in the Male World, and shewing the different Ingredients that go to the making up of such different Humours and Constitutions. _Horace_ has a Thought [1] which is something akin to this, when, in order to excuse himself to his Mistress, for an Invective which he had written against her, and to account for that unreasonable Fury with which the Heart of Man is often transported, he tells us that, when _Prometheus_ made his Man of Clay, in the kneading up of his Heart, he season’d it with some furious Particles of the Lion. But upon turning this Plan to and fro in my Thoughts, I observed so many unaccountable Humours in Man, that I did not know out of what Animals to fetch them. Male Souls are diversify’d with so many Characters, that the World has not Variety of Materials sufficient to furnish out their different Tempers and Inclinations. The Creation, with all its Animals and Elements, would not be large enough to supply their several Extravagancies.

Instead therefore of pursuing the Thought of _Simonides_, I shall observe, that as he has exposed the vicious Part of Women from the Doctrine of Praeexistence, some of the ancient Philosophers have, in a manner, satirized the vicious Part of the human Species in general, from a Notion of the Souls Postexistence, if I may so call it; and that as _Simonides_ describes Brutes entering into the Composition of Women, others have represented human Souls as entering into Brutes. This is commonly termed the Doctrine of Transmigration, which supposes that human Souls, upon their leaving the Body, become the Souls of such Kinds of Brutes as they most resemble in their Manners; or to give an Account of it as Mr. _Dryden_ has described it in his Translation of _Pythagoras_ his Speech in the fifteenth Book of _Ovid_, where that Philosopher dissuades his Hearers from eating Flesh:

Thus all things are but alter’d, nothing dies, And here and there th’ unbody’d Spirit flies: By Time, or Force, or Sickness dispossess’d, And lodges where it lights, in Bird or Beast, Or hunts without till ready Limbs it find, And actuates those according to their Kind: From Tenement to Tenement is toss’d:
The Soul is still the same, the Figure only lost. Then let not Piety be put to Flight,
To please the Taste of Glutton-Appetite; But suffer inmate Souls secure to dwell, Lest from their Seats your Parents you expel; With rabid Hunger feed upon your Kind,
Or from a Beast dislodge a Brothers Mind.

_Plato_ in the Vision of _Erus_ the _Armenian_, which I may possibly make the Subject of a future Speculation, records some beautiful Transmigrations; as that the Soul of _Orpheus_, who was musical, melancholy, and a Woman-hater, entered into a Swan; the Soul of _Ajax_, which was all Wrath and Fierceness, into a Lion; the Soul of _Agamemnon_, that was rapacious and imperial, into an Eagle; and the Soul of _Thersites_, who was a Mimick and a Buffoon, into a Monkey. [2]

Mr. _Congreve_, in a Prologue to one of his Comedies, [3] has touch’d upon this Doctrine with great Humour.

Thus_ Aristotle’s _Soul of old that was, May now be damn’d to animate an Ass;
Or in this very House, for ought we know, Is doing painful Penance in some Beau.

I shall fill up this Paper with some Letters which my last _Tuesdays_ Speculation has produced. My following Correspondents will shew, what I there observed, that the Speculation of that Day affects only the lower Part of the Sex.

_From my House in the_ Strand, October 30, 1711.


Upon reading your _Tuesdays_ Paper, I find by several Symptoms in my Constitution that I am a Bee. My Shop, or, if you please to call it so, my Cell, is in that great Hive of Females which goes by the Name of _The New Exchange_; where I am daily employed in gathering together a little Stock of Gain from the finest Flowers about the Town, I mean the Ladies and the Beaus. I have a numerous Swarm of Children, to whom I give the best Education I am able: But, Sir, it is my Misfortune to be married to a Drone, who lives upon what I get, without bringing any thing into the common Stock. Now, Sir, as on the one hand I take care not to behave myself towards him like a Wasp, so likewise I would not have him look upon me as an Humble-Bee; for which Reason I do all I can to put him upon laying up Provisions for a bad Day, and frequently represent to him the fatal Effects [his [4]] Sloth and Negligence may bring upon us in our old Age. I must beg that you will join with me in your good Advice upon this Occasion, and you will for ever oblige

_Your humble Servant_,


_Picadilly, October_ 31, 1711.


I am joined in Wedlock for my Sins to one of those Fillies who are described in the old Poet with that hard Name you gave us the other Day. She has a flowing Mane, and a Skin as soft as Silk: But, Sir, she passes half her Life at her Glass, and almost ruins me in Ribbons. For my own part, I am a plain handicraft Man, and in Danger of breaking by her Laziness and Expensiveness. Pray, Master, tell me in your next Paper, whether I may not expect of her so much Drudgery as to take care of her Family, and curry her Hide in case of Refusal.

_Your loving Friend_,

Barnaby Brittle.

_Cheapside, October_ 30.


I am mightily pleased with the Humour of the Cat, be so kind as to enlarge upon that Subject.

_Yours till Death_,

Josiah Henpeck.

P.S. You must know I am married to a _Grimalkin_.

_Wapping, October_ 31, 1711.


Ever since your _Spectator_ of _Tuesday_ last came into our Family, my Husband is pleased to call me his _Oceana_, because the foolish old Poet that you have translated says, That the Souls of some Women are made of Sea-Water. This, it seems, has encouraged my Sauce-Box to be witty upon me. When I am angry, he cries Prythee my Dear _be calm_; when I chide one of my Servants, Prythee Child _do not bluster_. He had the Impudence about an Hour ago to tell me, That he was a Sea-faring Man, and must expect to divide his Life between _Storm_ and _Sunshine_. When I bestir myself with any Spirit in my Family, it is _high Sea_ in his House; and when I sit still without doing any thing, his Affairs forsooth are _Wind-bound_. When I ask him whether it rains, he makes Answer, It is no Matter, so that it be _fair Weather_ within Doors. In short, Sir, I cannot speak my Mind freely to him, but I either _swell_ or _rage_, or do something that is not fit for a civil Woman to hear. Pray, _Mr_. SPECTATOR, since you are so sharp upon other Women, let us know what Materials your Wife is made of, if you have one. I suppose you would make us a Parcel of poor-spirited tame insipid Creatures; but, Sir, I would have you to know, we have as good Passions in us as your self, and that a Woman was never designed to be a Milk-Sop.



[Footnote 1: Odes, I. 16. ]

[Footnote 2: In the Timaeus Plato derives woman and all the animals from man, by successive degradations. Cowardly or unjust men are born again as women. Light, airy, and superficial men, who carried their minds aloft without the use of reason, are the materials for making birds, the hair being transmuted into feathers and wings. From men wholly without philosophy, who never looked heavenward, the more brutal land animals are derived, losing the round form of the cranium by the slackening and stopping of the rotations of the encephalic soul. Feet are given to these according to the degree of their stupidity, to multiply approximations to the earth; and the dullest become reptiles who drag the whole length of their bodies on the ground. Out of the very stupidest of men come those animals which are not judged worthy to live at all upon earth and breathe this air, these men become fishes, and the creatures who breathe nothing but turbid water, fixed at the lowest depths and almost motionless, among the mud. By such transitions, he says, the different races of animals passed originally and still pass into each other.]

[Footnote 3: In the Epilogue to Love for Love.]

[Footnote 4: that his]

* * * * *

No. 212. Friday, November 2, 1711. Steele.

–Eripe turpi
Colla jugo, liber, liber dic, sum age–



I Never look upon my dear Wife, but I think of the Happiness Sir ROGER DE COVERLEY enjoys, in having such a Friend as you to expose in proper Colours the Cruelty and Perverseness of his Mistress. I have very often wished you visited in our Family, and were acquainted with my Spouse; she would afford you for some Months at least Matter enough for one _Spectator_ a Week. Since we are not so happy as to be of your Acquaintance, give me leave to represent to you our present Circumstances as well as I can in Writing. You are to know then that I am not of a very different Constitution from _Nathaniel Henroost_, whom you have lately recorded in your Speculations; and have a Wife who makes a more tyrannical Use of the Knowledge of my easy Temper than that Lady ever pretended to. We had not been a Month married, when she found in me a certain Pain to give Offence, and an Indolence that made me bear little Inconveniences rather than dispute about them. From this Observation it soon came to that pass, that if I offered to go abroad, she would get between me and the Door, kiss me, and say she could not part with me; and then down again I sat. In a Day or two after this first pleasant Step towards confining me, she declared to me, that I was all the World to her, and she thought she ought to be all the World to me. If, she said, my Dear loves me as much as I love him, he will never be tired of my Company. This Declaration was followed by my being denied to all my Acquaintance; and it very soon came to that pass, that to give an Answer at the Door before my Face, the Servants would ask her whether I was within or not; and she would answer No with great Fondness, and tell me I was a good Dear. I will not enumerate more little Circumstances to give you a livelier Sense of my Condition; but tell you in general, that from such Steps as these at first, I now live the Life of a Prisoner of State; my Letters are opened, and I have not the Use of Pen, Ink and Paper, but in her Presence. I never go abroad, except she sometimes takes me with her in her Coach to take the Air, if it may be called so, when we drive, as we generally do, with the Glasses up. I have overheard my Servants lament my Condition, but they dare not bring me Messages without her Knowledge, because they doubt my Resolution to stand by em. In the midst of this insipid Way of Life, an old Acquaintance of mine, _Tom Meggot_, who is a Favourite with her, and allowed to visit me in her Company because he sings prettily, has roused me to rebel, and conveyed his Intelligence to me in the following Manner. My Wife is a great Pretender to Musick, and very ignorant of it; but far gone in the _Italian_ Taste. _Tom_ goes to _Armstrong_, the famous fine Writer of Musick, and desires him to put this Sentence of _Tully_ [1] in the Scale of an _Italian_ Air, and write it out for my Spouse from him. _An ille mihi liber cui mulier imperat? Cui leges imponit, praescribit, jubet, vetat quod videtur? Qui nihil imperanti negare, nihil recusare audet? Poscit? dandum est. Vocat? veniendum. Ejicit? abeundum. Minitatur? extimiscendum. Does he live like a Gentleman who is commanded by a Woman? He to whom she gives Law, grants and denies what she pleases? who can neither deny her any thing she asks, or refuse to do any thing she commands_?

To be short, my Wife was extremely pleased with it; said the _Italian_ was the only Language for Musick; and admired how wonderfully tender the Sentiment was, and how pretty the Accent is of that Language, with the rest that is said by Rote on that Occasion. Mr. _Meggot_ is sent for to sing this Air, which he performs with mighty Applause; and my Wife is in Ecstasy on the Occasion, and glad to find, by my being so much pleased, that I was at last come into the Notion of the _Italian_; for, said she, it grows upon one when one once comes to know a little of the Language; and pray, Mr. _Meggot_, sing again those Notes, _Nihil Imperanti negare, nihil recusare_. You may believe I was not a little delighted with my Friend _Toms_ Expedient to alarm me, and in Obedience to his Summons I give all this Story thus at large; and I am resolved, when this appears in the _Spectator_, to declare for my self. The manner of the Insurrection I contrive by your Means, which shall be no other than that _Tom Meggot_, who is at our Tea-table every Morning, shall read it to us; and if my Dear can take the Hint, and say not one Word, but let this be the Beginning of a new Life without farther Explanation, it is very well; for as soon as the _Spectator_ is read out, I shall, without more ado, call for the Coach, name the Hour when I shall be at home, if I come at all; if I do not, they may go to Dinner. If my Spouse only swells and says nothing, _Tom_ and I go out together, and all is well, as I said before; but if she begins to command or expostulate, you shall in my next to you receive a full Account of her Resistance and Submission, for submit the dear thing must to,


_Your most obedient humble Servant_,

Anthony Freeman.

_P. S._ I hope I need not tell you that I desire this may be in your very next.


[Footnote 1: Paradox V. on the Thesis that All who are wise are Free, and the fools Slaves.]

* * * * *

No. 213. Saturday, November 3, 1711. Addison.

–Mens sibi conscia recti.


It is the great Art and Secret of Christianity, if I may use that Phrase, to manage our Actions to the best Advantage, and direct them in such a manner, that every thing we do may turn to Account at that great Day, when every thing we have done will be set before us.

In order to give this Consideration its full Weight, we may cast all our Actions under the Division of such as are in themselves either Good, Evil, or Indifferent. If we divide our Intentions after the same Manner, and consider them with regard to our Actions, we may discover that great Art and Secret of Religion which I have here mentioned.

A good Intention joined to a good Action, gives it its proper Force and Efficacy; joined to an Evil Action, extenuates its Malignity, and in some Cases may take it wholly away; and joined to an indifferent Action turns it to a Virtue, and makes it meritorious as far as human Actions can be so.

In the next Place, to consider in the same manner the Influence of an Evil Intention upon our Actions. An Evil Intention perverts the best of Actions, and makes them in reality, what the Fathers with a witty kind of Zeal have termed the Virtues of the Heathen World, so many _shining Sins_. It destroys the Innocence of an indifferent Action, and gives an evil Action all possible Blackness and Horror, or in the emphatical Language of Sacred Writ, makes _Sin exceeding sinful_. [1]

If, in the last Place, we consider the Nature of an indifferent Intention, we shall find that it destroys the Merit of a good Action; abates, but never takes away, the Malignity of an evil Action; and leaves an indifferent Action in its natural State of Indifference.

It is therefore of unspeakable Advantage to possess our Minds with an habitual good Intention, and to aim all our Thoughts, Words, and Actions at some laudable End, whether it be the Glory of our Maker, the Good of Mankind, or the Benefit of our own Souls.

This is a sort of Thrift or Good-Husbandry in moral Life, which does not throw away any single Action, but makes every one go as far as it can. It multiplies the Means of Salvation, increases the Number of our Virtues, and diminishes that of our Vices.

There is something very devout, though not solid, in _Acosta’s_ Answer to _Limborch_, [2] who objects to him the Multiplicity of Ceremonies in the _Jewish_ Religion, as Washings, Dresses, Meats, Purgations, and the like. The Reply which the _Jew_ makes upon this Occasion, is, to the best of my Remembrance, as follows: There are not Duties enough (says he) in the essential Parts of the Law for a zealous and active Obedience. Time, Place, and Person are requisite, before you have an Opportunity of putting a Moral Virtue into Practice. We have, therefore, says he, enlarged the Sphere of our Duty, and made many Things, which are in themselves indifferent, a Part of our Religion, that we may have more Occasions of shewing our Love to God, and in all the Circumstances of Life be doing something to please him.

Monsieur _St. Evremond_ has endeavoured to palliate the Superstitions of the Roman Catholick Religion with the same kind of Apology, where he pretends to consider the differing Spirit of the Papists and the Calvinists, as to the great Points wherein they disagree. He tells us, that the former are actuated by Love, and the other by Fear; and that in their Expressions of Duty and Devotion towards the Supreme Being, the former seem particularly careful to do every thing which may possibly please him, and the other to abstain from every thing which may possibly displease him. [3]

But notwithstanding this plausible Reason with which both the Jew and the Roman Catholick would excuse their respective Superstitions, it is certain there is something in them very pernicious to Mankind, and destructive to Religion; because the Injunction of superfluous Ceremonies makes such Actions Duties, as were before indifferent, and by that means renders Religion more burdensome and difficult than it is in its own Nature, betrays many into Sins of Omission which they could not otherwise be guilty of, and fixes the Minds of the Vulgar to the shadowy unessential Points, instead of the more weighty and more important Matters of the Law.

This zealous and active Obedience however takes place in the great Point we are recommending; for, if, instead of prescribing to our selves indifferent Actions as Duties, we apply a good Intention to all our most indifferent Actions, we make our very Existence one continued Act of Obedience, we turn our Diversions and Amusements to our eternal Advantage, and are pleasing him (whom we are made to please) in all the Circumstances and Occurrences of Life.

It is this excellent Frame of Mind, this _holy Officiousness_ (if I may be allowed to call it such) which is recommended to us by the Apostle in that uncommon Precept, wherein he directs us to propose to ourselves the Glory of our Creator in all our most indifferent Actions, _whether we eat or drink, or whatsoever we do._ [4]

A Person therefore who is possessed with such an habitual good Intention, as that which I have been here speaking of, enters upon no single Circumstance of Life, without considering it as well-pleasing to the great Author of his Being, conformable to the Dictates of Reason, suitable to human Nature in general, or to that particular Station in which Providence has placed him. He lives in a perpetual Sense of the Divine Presence, regards himself as acting, in the whole Course of his Existence, under the Observation and Inspection of that Being, who is privy to all his Motions and all his Thoughts, who knows all his _Down-sitting and his Up-rising, who is about his Path, and about his Bed, and spieth out all his Ways._ [5] In a word, he remembers that the Eye of his Judge is always upon him, and in every Action he reflects that he is doing what is commanded or allowed by Him who will hereafter either reward or punish it. This was the Character of those holy Men of old, who in that beautiful Phrase of Scripture are said to have _walked with God?_. [6]

When I employ myself upon a Paper of Morality, I generally consider how I may recommend the particular Virtue which I treat of, by the Precepts or Examples of the ancient Heathens; by that Means, if possible, to shame those who have greater Advantages of knowing their Duty, and therefore greater Obligations to perform it, into a better Course of Life; Besides that many among us are unreasonably disposed to give a fairer hearing to a Pagan Philosopher, than to a Christian Writer.

I shall therefore produce an Instance of this excellent Frame of Mind in a Speech of _Socrates_, which is quoted by _Erasmus_.

This great Philosopher on the Day of his Execution, a little before the Draught of Poison was brought to him, entertaining his Friends with a Discourse on the Immortality of the Soul, has these Words: _Whether or no God will approve of my Actions, I know not; but this I am sure of, that I have at all Times made it my Endeavour to please him, and I have a good Hope that this my Endeavour will be accepted by him._ We find in these Words of that great Man the habitual good Intention which I would here inculcate, and with which that divine Philosopher always acted. I shall only add, that _Erasmus_, who was an unbigotted Roman Catholick, was so much transported with this Passage of _Socrates_, that he could scarce forbear looking upon him as a Saint, and desiring him to pray for him; or as that ingenious and learned Writer has expressed himself in a much more lively manner: _When I reflect on such a Speech pronounced by such a Person, I can scarce forbear crying out,_ Sancte Socrates, ora pro nobis: _O holy Socrates, pray for us_. [7]


[Footnote 1: Rom. vii. 16.]

[Footnote 2: Arnica Collatio de Veritate Relig. Christ. cum Erudito Judaeo, published in 1687, by Philippe de Limborch, who was eminent as a professor of Theology at Amsterdam from 1667 until his death, in 1712, at the age of 79. But the learned Jew was the Spanish Physician Isaac Orobio, who was tortured for three years in the prisons of the Inquisition on a charge of Judaism. He admitted nothing, was therefore set free, and left Spain for Toulouse, where he practised physic and passed as a Catholic until he settled at Amsterdam. There he made profession of the Jewish faith, and died in the year of the publication of Limborchs friendly discussion with him.

The Uriel Acosta, with whom Addison confounds Orobio, was a gentleman of Oporto who had embraced Judaism, and, leaving Portugal, had also gone to Amsterdam. There he was circumcised, but was persecuted by the Jews themselves, and eventually whipped in the synagogue for attempting reformation of the Jewish usages, in which, he said, tradition had departed from the law of Moses. He took his thirty-nine lashes, recanted, and lay across the threshold of the synagogue for all his brethren to walk over him. Afterwards he endeavoured to shoot his principal enemy, but his pistol missed fire. He had another about him, and with that he shot himself. This happened about the year 1640, when Limborch was but a child of six or seven.]

[Footnote 3: Sur la Religion. OEuvres (Ed. 1752), Vol. III. pp. 267, 268.]

[Footnote 4: I Cor. x. 31.]

[Footnote 5: Psalm cxxxix. 2, 3.]

[Footnote 6: Genesis v.22; vi. 9]

[Footnote 7: Erasm. Apophthegm. Bk. III.]

* * * * *

No. 214. Monday, November 5, 1711. Steele.

Perierunt tempora longi

Juv. [1]

I did some time ago lay before the World the unhappy Condition of the trading Part of Mankind, who suffer by want of Punctuality in the Dealings of Persons above them; but there is a Set of Men who are much more the Objects of Compassion than even those, and these are the Dependants on great Men, whom they are pleased to take under their Protection as such as are to share in their Friendship and Favour. These indeed, as well from the Homage that is accepted from them, as the hopes which are given to them, are become a Sort of Creditors; and these Debts, being Debts of Honour, ought, according to the accustomed Maxim, to be first discharged.

When I speak of Dependants, I would not be understood to mean those who are worthless in themselves, or who, without any Call, will press into the Company of their Betters. Nor, when I speak of Patrons, do I mean those who either have it not in their Power, or have no Obligation to assist their Friends; but I speak of such Leagues where there is Power and Obligation on the one Part, and Merit and Expectation on the other.

The Division of Patron and Client, may, I believe, include a Third of our Nation; the Want of Merit and real Worth in the Client, will strike out about Ninety-nine in a Hundred of these; and the Want of Ability in Patrons, as many of that Kind. But however, I must beg leave to say, that he who will take up anothers Time and Fortune in his Service, though he has no Prospect of rewarding his Merit towards him, is as unjust in his Dealings as he who takes up Goods of a Tradesman without Intention or Ability to pay him. Of the few of the Class which I think fit to consider, there are not two in ten who succeed, insomuch that I know a Man of good Sense who put his Son to a Blacksmith, tho an Offer was made him of his being received as a Page to a Man of Quality.[2] There are not more Cripples come out of the Wars than there are from those great Services; some through Discontent lose their Speech, some their Memories, others their Senses or their Lives; and I seldom see a Man thoroughly discontented, but I conclude he has had the Favour of some great Man. I have known of such as have been for twenty Years together within a Month of a good Employment, but never arrived at the Happiness of being possessed of any thing.

There is nothing more ordinary, than that a Man who is got into a considerable Station, shall immediately alter his manner of treating all his Friends, and from that Moment he is to deal with you as if he were your Fate. You are no longer to be consulted, even in Matters which concern your self, but your Patron is of a Species above you, and a free Communication with you is not to be expected. This perhaps may be your Condition all the while he bears Office, and when that is at an End, you are as intimate as ever you were, and he will take it very ill if you keep the Distance he prescribed you towards him in his Grandeur. One would think this should be a Behaviour a Man could fall into with the worst Grace imaginable; but they who know the World have seen it more than once. I have often, with secret Pity, heard the same Man who has professed his Abhorrence against all Kind of passive Behaviour, lose Minutes, Hours, Days, and Years in a fruitless Attendance on one who had no Inclination to befriend him. It is very much to be regarded, that the Great have one particular Privilege above the rest of the World, of being slow in receiving Impressions of Kindness, and quick in taking Offence. The Elevation above the rest of Mankind, except in very great Minds, makes Men so giddy, that they do not see after the same Manner