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The Spectator, Volume 1 by Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

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No. 83. Tuesday, June 5, 1711. Addison.

'... Animum pictura pascit inani.'


When the Weather hinders me from taking my Diversions without Doors, I
frequently make a little Party with two or three select Friends, to
visit any thing curious that may be seen under Covert. My principal
Entertainments of this Nature are Pictures, insomuch that when I have
found the Weather set in to be very bad, I have taken a whole Day's
Journey to see a Gallery that is furnished by the Hands of great
Masters. By this means, when the Heavens are filled with Clouds, when
the Earth swims in Rain, and all Nature wears a lowering Countenance, I
withdraw myself from these uncomfortable Scenes into the visionary
Worlds of Art; where I meet with shining Landskips, gilded Triumphs,
beautiful Faces, and all those other Objects that fill the mind with gay
Ideas, and disperse that Gloominess which is apt to hang upon it in
those dark disconsolate Seasons.

I was some Weeks ago in a Course of these Diversions; which had taken
such an entire Possession of my Imagination, that they formed in it a
short Morning's Dream, which I shall communicate to my Reader, rather as
the first Sketch and Outlines of a Vision, than as a finished Piece.

I dreamt that I was admitted into a long spacious Gallery, which had one
Side covered with Pieces of all the Famous Painters who are now living,
and the other with the Works of the greatest Masters that are dead.

On the side of the _Living_, I saw several Persons busy in Drawing,
Colouring, and Designing; on the side of the _Dead_ Painters, I could
not discover more than one Person at Work, who was exceeding slow in his
Motions, and wonderfully nice in his Touches.

I was resolved to examine the several Artists that stood before me, and
accordingly applied my self to the side of the _Living_. The first I
observed at Work in this Part of the Gallery was VANITY, with his Hair
tied behind him in a Ribbon, and dressed like a _Frenchman_. All the
Faces he drew were very remarkable for their Smiles, and a certain
smirking Air which he bestowed indifferently on every Age and Degree of
either Sex. The _Toujours Gai_ appeared even in his Judges, Bishops, and
Privy-Counsellors: In a word all his Men were _Petits Maitres_, and all
his Women _Coquets_. The Drapery of his Figures was extreamly
well-suited to his Faces, and was made up of all the glaring Colours
that could be mixt together; every Part of the Dress was in a Flutter,
and endeavoured to distinguish itself above the rest.

On the left Hand of VANITY stood a laborious Workman, who I found was
his humble Admirer, and copied after him. He was dressed like a
_German_, and had a very hard Name, that sounded something like

The third Artist that I looked over was FANTASQUE, dressed like a
Venetian Scaramouch. He had an excellent Hand at a _Chimera_, and dealt
very much in Distortions and Grimaces: He would sometimes affright
himself with the Phantoms that flowed from his Pencil. In short, the
most elaborate of his Pieces was at best but a terrifying Dream; and one
could say nothing more of his finest Figures, than that they were
agreeable Monsters.

The fourth Person I examined was very remarkable for his hasty Hand,
which left his Pictures so unfinished, that the Beauty in the Picture
(which was designed to continue as a monument of it to Posterity) faded
sooner than in the Person after whom it was drawn. He made so much haste
to dispatch his Business, that he neither gave himself time to clean his
Pencils, [nor [1]] mix his Colours. The Name of this expeditious Workman

Not far from this Artist I saw another of a quite different Nature, who
was dressed in the Habit of a _Dutchman_, and known by the Name of
INDUSTRY. His Figures were wonderfully laboured; If he drew the
Portraiture of a man, he did not omit a single Hair in his Face; if the
Figure of a Ship, there was not a Rope among the Tackle that escaped
him. He had likewise hung a great Part of the Wall with Night-pieces,
that seemed to shew themselves by the Candles which were lighted up in
several Parts of them; and were so inflamed by the Sun-shine which
accidentally fell upon them, that at first sight I could scarce forbear
crying out, _Fire_.

The five foregoing Artists were the most considerable on this Side the
Gallery; there were indeed several others whom I had not time to look
into. One of them, however, I could not forbear observing, who was very
busie in retouching the finest Pieces, tho' he produced no Originals of
his own. His Pencil aggravated every Feature that was before
over-charged, loaded every Defect, and poisoned every Colour it touched.
Though this workman did so much Mischief on the Side of the Living, he
never turned his Eye towards that of the Dead. His Name was ENVY.

Having taken a cursory View of one Side of the Gallery, I turned my self
to that which was filled by the Works of those great Masters that were
dead; when immediately I fancied my self standing before a Multitude of
Spectators, and thousands of Eyes looking upon me at once; for all
before me appeared so like Men and Women, that I almost forgot they were
Pictures. _Raphael's_ Figures stood in one Row, _Titian's_ in another,
_Guido Rheni's_ in a third. One Part of the Wall was peopled by
_Hannibal Carrache_, another by _Correggio_, and another by _Rubens_. To
be short, there was not a great Master among the Dead who had not
contributed to the Embellishment of this Side of the Gallery. The
Persons that owed their Being to these several Masters, appeared all of
them to be real and alive, and differed among one another only in the
Variety of their Shapes, Complexions, and Cloaths; so that they looked
like different Nations of the same Species.

Observing an old Man (who was the same Person I before mentioned, as the
only Artist that was at work on this Side of the Gallery) creeping up
and down from one Picture to another, and retouching all the fine Pieces
that stood before me, I could not but be very attentive to all his
Motions. I found his Pencil was so very light, that it worked
imperceptibly, and after a thousand Touches, scarce produced any visible
Effect in the Picture on which he was employed. However, as he busied
himself incessantly, and repeated Touch after Touch without Rest or
Intermission, he wore off insensibly every little disagreeable Gloss
that hung upon a Figure. He also added such a beautiful Brown to the
Shades, and Mellowness to the Colours, that he made every Picture appear
more perfect than when it came fresh from [the [2]] Master's Pencil. I
could not forbear looking upon the Face of this ancient Workman, and
immediately, by the long Lock of Hair upon his Forehead, discovered him
to be TIME.

Whether it were because the Thread of my Dream was at an End I cannot
tell, but upon my taking a Survey of this imaginary old Man, my Sleep
left me.


[Footnote 1: or]

[Footnote 2: its]

* * * * *

No. 84. Wednesday, June 6, 1711. Steele.

'... Quis talia fando
Myrmidonum Dolopumve aut duri miles Ulyssei
Temperet a Lachrymis?'


Looking over the old Manuscript wherein the private Actions of
_Pharamond_ [1] are set down by way of Table-Book. I found many things
which gave me great Delight; and as human Life turns upon the same
Principles and Passions in all Ages, I thought it very proper to take
Minutes of what passed in that Age, for the Instruction of this. The
Antiquary, who lent me these Papers, gave me a Character of _Eucrate_,
the Favourite of _Pharamond_, extracted from an Author who lived in that
Court. The Account he gives both of the Prince and this his faithful
Friend, will not be improper to insert here, because I may have Occasion
to mention many of their Conversations, into which these Memorials of
them may give Light.

'_Pharamond_, when he had a Mind to retire for an Hour or two from the
Hurry of Business and Fatigue of Ceremony, made a Signal to _Eucrate_,
by putting his Hand to his Face, placing his Arm negligently on a
Window, or some such Action as appeared indifferent to all the rest of
the Company. Upon such Notice, unobserved by others, (for their entire
Intimacy was always a Secret) _Eucrate_ repaired to his own Apartment
to receive the King. There was a secret Access to this Part of the
Court, at which _Eucrate_ used to admit many whose mean Appearance in
the Eyes of the ordinary Waiters and Door-keepers made them be
repulsed from other Parts of the Palace. Such as these were let in
here by Order of _Eucrate_, and had Audiences of _Pharamond_. This
Entrance _Pharamond_ called _The Gate of the Unhappy_, and the Tears
of the Afflicted who came before him, he would say were Bribes
received by _Eucrate_; for _Eucrate_ had the most compassionate Spirit
of all Men living, except his generous Master, who was always kindled
at the least Affliction which was communicated to him. In the Regard
for the Miserable, _Eucrate_ took particular Care, that the common
Forms of Distress, and the idle Pretenders to Sorrow, about Courts,
who wanted only Supplies to Luxury, should never obtain Favour by his
Means: But the Distresses which arise from the many inexplicable
Occurrences that happen among Men, the unaccountable Alienation of
Parents from their Children, Cruelty of Husbands to Wives, Poverty
occasioned from Shipwreck or Fire, the falling out of Friends, or such
other terrible Disasters, to which the Life of Man is exposed; In
Cases of this Nature, _Eucrate_ was the Patron; and enjoyed this Part
of the Royal Favour so much without being envied, that it was never
inquired into by whose Means, what no one else cared for doing, was
brought about.

'One Evening when _Pharamond_ came into the Apartment of _Eucrate_, he
found him extremely dejected; upon which he asked (with a Smile which
was natural to him)

"What, is there any one too miserable to be relieved by _Pharamond_,
that _Eucrate_ is melancholy?

I fear there is, answered the Favourite; a Person without, of a good
Air, well Dressed, and tho' a Man in the Strength of his Life, seems
to faint under some inconsolable Calamity: All his Features seem
suffused with Agony of Mind; but I can observe in him, that it is
more inclined to break away in Tears than Rage. I asked him what he
would have; he said he would speak to _Pharamond_. I desired his
Business; he could hardly say to me, _Eucrate_, carry me to the
King, my Story is not to be told twice, I fear I shall not be able
to speak it at all."

_Pharamond_ commanded _Eucrate_ to let him enter; he did so, and the
Gentleman approached the King with an Air which spoke [him under the
greatest Concern in what Manner to demean himself. [2]] The King, who
had a quick Discerning, relieved him from the Oppression he was under;
and with the most beautiful Complacency said to him,

"Sir, do not add to that Load of Sorrow I see in your Countenance,
the Awe of my Presence: Think you are speaking to your Friend; if
the Circumstances of your Distress will admit of it, you shall find
me so."

To whom the Stranger:

"Oh excellent _Pharamond_, name not a Friend to the unfortunate
_Spinamont_. I had one, but he is dead by my own Hand; [3] but, oh
_Pharamond_, tho' it was by the Hand of _Spinamont_, it was by the
Guilt of _Pharamond_. I come not, oh excellent Prince, to implore
your Pardon; I come to relate my Sorrow, a Sorrow too great for
human Life to support: From henceforth shall all Occurrences appear
Dreams or short Intervals of Amusement, from this one Affliction
which has seiz'd my very Being: Pardon me, oh _Pharamond_, if my
Griefs give me Leave, that I lay before you, in the Anguish of a
wounded Mind, that you, good as you are, are guilty of the generous
Blood spilt this Day by this unhappy Hand: Oh that it had perished
before that Instant!"

Here the Stranger paused, and recollecting his Mind, after some little
Meditation, he went on in a calmer Tone and Gesture as follows.

"There is an Authority due to Distress; and as none of human Race is
above the Reach of Sorrow, none should be above the Hearing the
Voice of it: I am sure _Pharamond_ is not. Know then, that I have
this Morning unfortunately killed in a Duel, the Man whom of all Men
living I most loved. I command my self too much in your royal
Presence, to say, _Pharamond_, give me my Friend! _Pharamond_ has
taken him from me! I will not say, shall the merciful _Pharamond_
destroy his own Subjects? Will the Father of his Country murder his
People? But, the merciful _Pharamond_ does destroy his Subjects, the
Father of his Country does murder his People. Fortune is so much the
Pursuit of Mankind, that all Glory and Honour is in the Power of a
Prince, because he has the Distribution of their Fortunes. It is
therefore the Inadvertency, Negligence, or Guilt of Princes, to let
any thing grow into Custom which is against their Laws. A Court can
make Fashion and Duty walk together; it can never, without the Guilt
of a Court, happen, that it shall not be unfashionable to do what is
unlawful. But alas! in the Dominions of _Pharamond_, by the Force of
a Tyrant Custom, which is mis-named a Point of Honour, the Duellist
kills his Friend whom he loves; and the Judge condemns the Duellist,
while he approves his Behaviour. Shame is the greatest of all Evils;
what avail Laws, when Death only attends the Breach of them, and
Shame Obedience to them? As for me, oh _Pharamond_, were it possible
to describe the nameless Kinds of Compunctions and Tendernesses I
feel, when I reflect upon the little Accidents in our former
Familiarity, my Mind swells into Sorrow which cannot be resisted
enough to be silent in the Presence of _Pharamond_."

With that he fell into a Flood of Tears, and wept aloud.

"Why should not _Pharamond_ hear the Anguish he only can relieve
others from in Time to come? Let him hear from me, what they feel
who have given Death by the false Mercy of his Administration, and
form to himself the Vengeance call'd for by those who have perished
by his Negligence.'


[Footnote 1: See No. 76. Steele uses the suggestion of the Romance of
'Pharamond' whose

'whole Person,' says the romancer, 'was of so excellent a composition,
and his words so Great and so Noble that it was very difficult to deny
him reverence,'

to connect with a remote king his ideas of the duty of a Court.
Pharamond's friend Eucrate, whose name means Power well used, is an
invention of the Essayist, as well as the incident and dialogue here
given, for an immediate good purpose of his own, which he pleasantly
contrives in imitation of the style of the romance. In the original,
Pharamond is said to be

'truly and wholly charming, as well for the vivacity and delicateness
of his spirit, accompanied with a perfect knowledge of all Sciences,
as for a sweetness which is wholly particular to him, and a
complacence which &c ... All his inclinations are in such manner fixed
upon virtue, that no consideration nor passion can disturb him; and in
those extremities into which his ill fortune hath cast him, he hath
never let pass any occasion to do good.'

That is why Steele chose Pharamond for his king in this and a preceding

[Footnote 2: the utmost sense of his Majesty without the ability to
express it.]

[Footnote 3: Spinamont is Mr. Thornhill, who, on the 9th of May, 1711,
killed in a duel Sir Cholmomleley Dering, Baronet, of Kent. Mr.
Thornhill was tried and acquitted; but two months afterwards,
assassinated by two men, who, as they stabbed him, bade him remember Sir
Cholmondeley Dering. Steele wrote often and well against duelling,
condemning it in the 'Tatler' several times, in the 'Spectator' several
times, in the 'Guardian' several times, and even in one of his plays.]

* * * * *

No. 85. Thursday, June 7, 1711. Addison.

'Interdum speciosa locis, morataque recte
Fabula nullius Veneris, sine pondere et Arte,
Valdius oblectat populum, meliusque moratur,
Quam versus inopes rerum, nugaeque canorae.'


It is the Custom of the _Mahometans_, if they see any printed or written
Paper upon the Ground, to take it up and lay it aside carefully, as not
knowing but it may contain some Piece of their _Alcoran_. I must confess
I have so much of the _Mussulman_ in me, That I cannot forbear looking
into every printed Paper which comes in my Way, under whatsoever
despicable Circumstances it may appear; for as no mortal Author, in the
ordinary Fate and Vicissitude of Things, knows to what Use his Works
may, some time or other, be applied, a Man may often meet with very
celebrated Names in a Paper of Tobacco. I have lighted my Pipe more than
once with the Writings of a Prelate; and know a Friend of mine, who, for
these several Years, has converted the Essays of a Man of Quality into a
kind of Fringe for his Candlesticks. I remember in particular, after
having read over a Poem of an Eminent Author on a Victory, I met with
several Fragments of it upon the next rejoicing Day, which had been
employ'd in Squibs and Crackers, and by that means celebrated its
Subject in a double Capacity. I once met with a Page of Mr. _Baxter_
under a _Christmas_ Pye. Whether or no the Pastry-Cook had made use of
it through Chance or Waggery, for the Defence of that superstitious
_Viande_, I know not; but upon the Perusal of it, I conceived so good an
Idea of the Author's Piety, that I bought the whole Book. I have often
profited by these accidental Readings, and have sometimes found very
Curious Pieces, that are either out of Print, or not to be met with in
the Shops of our _London Booksellers_. For this Reason, when my Friends
take a Survey of my Library, they are very much surprised to find, upon
the Shelf of Folios, two long Band-Boxes standing upright among my
Books, till I let them see that they are both of them lined with deep
Erudition and abstruse Literature. I might likewise mention a
Paper-Kite, from which I have received great Improvement; and a
Hat-Case, which I would not exchange for all the Beavers in
_Great-Britain_. This my inquisitive Temper, or rather impertinent
Humour of prying into all Sorts of Writing, with my natural Aversion to
Loquacity, give me a good deal of Employment when I enter any House in
the Country; for I cannot for my Heart leave a Room, before I have
thoroughly studied the Walls of it, and examined the several printed
Papers which are usually pasted upon them. The last Piece that I met
with upon this Occasion gave me a most exquisite Pleasure. My Reader
will think I am not serious, when I acquaint him that the Piece I am
going to speak of was the old Ballad of the _Two Children in the Wood_,
which is one of the darling Songs of the common People, and has been the
Delight of most _Englishmen_ in some Part of their Age.

This Song is a plain simple Copy of Nature, destitute of the Helps and
Ornaments of Art. The Tale of it is a pretty Tragical Story, and pleases
for no other Reason but because it is a Copy of Nature. There is even a
despicable Simplicity in the Verse; and yet because the Sentiments
appear genuine and unaffected, they are able to move the Mind of the
most polite Reader with Inward Meltings of Humanity and Compassion. The
Incidents grow out of the Subject, and are such as [are the most proper
to excite Pity; for [1]] which Reason the whole Narration has something
in it very moving, notwithstanding the Author of it (whoever he was) has
deliver'd it in such an abject Phrase and Poorness of Expression, that
the quoting any part of it would look like a Design of turning it into
Ridicule. But though the Language is mean, the Thoughts [, as I have
before said,] from one end to the other are [natural, [2]] and therefore
cannot fail to please those who are not Judges of Language, or those
who, notwithstanding they are Judges of Language, have a [true [3]] and
unprejudiced Taste of Nature. The Condition, Speech, and Behaviour of
the dying Parents, with the Age, Innocence, and Distress of the
Children, are set forth in such tender Circumstances, that it is
impossible for a [Reader of common Humanity [4]] not to be affected with
them. As for the Circumstance of the _Robin-red-breast_, it is indeed a
little Poetical Ornament; and to shew [the Genius of the Author [5]]
amidst all his Simplicity, it is just the same kind of Fiction which one
of the greatest of the _Latin_ Poets has made use of upon a parallel
Occasion; I mean that Passage in _Horace_, where he describes himself
when he was a Child, fallen asleep in a desart Wood, and covered with
Leaves by the Turtles that took pity on him.

Me fabulosa Vulture in Apulo,
Altricis extra limen Apuliae,
Ludo fatigatumque somno
Fronde nova puerum palumbes
Texere ...

I have heard that the late Lord _Dorset_, who had the greatest Wit
temper'd with the greatest [Candour, [6]] and was one of the finest
Criticks as well as the best Poets of his Age, had a numerous collection
of old _English_ Ballads, and took a particular Pleasure in the Reading
of them. I can affirm the same of Mr. _Dryden_, and know several of the
most refined Writers of our present Age who are of the same Humour.

I might likewise refer my Reader to _Moliere's_ Thoughts on this
Subject, as he has expressed them in the Character of the _Misanthrope_;
but those only who are endowed with a true Greatness of Soul and Genius
can divest themselves of the little Images of Ridicule, and admire
Nature in her Simplicity and Nakedness. As for the little conceited Wits
of the Age, who can only shew their Judgment by finding Fault, they
cannot be supposed to admire these Productions [which [7]] have nothing
to recommend them but the Beauties of Nature, when they do not know how
to relish even those Compositions that, with all the Beauties of Nature,
have also the additional Advantages of Art. [8]

[Footnote 1: _Virgil_ himself would have touched upon, had the like
Story been told by that Divine Poet. For]

[Footnote 2: wonderfully natural]

[Footnote 3: genuine]

[Footnote 4: goodnatured Reader]

[Footnote 5: what a Genius the Author was Master of]

[Footnote 6: Humanity]

[Footnote 7: that]

[Footnote 8: Addison had incurred much ridicule from the bad taste of
the time by his papers upon Chevy Chase, though he had gone some way to
meet it by endeavouring to satisfy the Dennises of 'that polite age,'
with authorities from Virgil. Among the jests was a burlesque criticism
of Tom Thumb. What Addison thought of the 'little images of Ridicule'
set up against him, the last paragraph of this Essay shows, but the
collation of texts shows that he did flinch a little. We now see how he
modified many expressions in the reprint of this Essay upon the 'Babes
in the Wood'.]

* * * * *

No. 86. Friday, June 8, 1711. Addison.

'Heu quam difficile est crimen non prodere vultu!'


There are several Arts which [all Men are [1]] in some measure [Masters
[2]] of, without having been at the Pains of learning them. Every one
that speaks or reasons is a Grammarian and a Logician, tho' he may be
wholly unacquainted with the Rules of Grammar or Logick, as they are
delivered in Books and Systems. In the same Manner, every one is in some
Degree a Master of that Art which is generally distinguished by the Name
of Physiognomy; and naturally forms to himself the Character or Fortune
of a Stranger, from the Features and Lineaments of his Face. We are no
sooner presented to any one we never saw before, but we are immediately
struck with the Idea of a proud, a reserved, an affable, or a
good-natured Man; and upon our first going into a Company of [Strangers,
[3]] our Benevolence or Aversion, Awe or Contempt, rises naturally
towards several particular Persons before we have heard them speak a
single Word, or so much as know who they are.

Every Passion gives a particular Cast to the Countenance, and is apt to
discover itself in some Feature or other. I have seen an Eye curse for
half an Hour together, and an Eye-brow call a Man Scoundrel. Nothing is
more common than for Lovers to complain, resent, languish, despair, and
die in dumb Show. For my own part, I am so apt to frame a Notion of
every Man's Humour or Circumstances by his Looks, that I have sometimes
employed my self from _Charing-Cross_ to the _Royal-Exchange_ in drawing
the Characters of those who have passed by me. When I see a Man with a
sour rivell'd Face, I cannot forbear pitying his Wife; and when I meet
with an open ingenuous Countenance, think on the Happiness of his
Friends, his Family, and Relations.

I cannot recollect the Author of a famous Saying to a Stranger who stood
silent in his Company, _Speak that I may_ see thee:_ [4] But, with
Submission, I think we may be better known by our Looks than by our
Words; and that a Man's Speech is much more easily disguised than his
Countenance. In this Case, however, I think the Air of the whole Face is
much more expressive than the Lines of it: The Truth of it is, the Air
is generally nothing else but the inward Disposition of the Mind made

Those who have established Physiognomy into an Art, and laid down Rules
of judging Mens Tempers by their Faces, have regarded the Features much
more than the Air. _Martial_ has a pretty Epigram on this Subject:

Crine ruber, niger ore, brevis pede, lumine loesus:
Rem magnam proestas, Zoile, si bonus es.

(Epig. 54, 1. 12)

Thy Beard and Head are of a diff'rent Dye;
Short of one Foot, distorted in an Eye:
With all these Tokens of a Knave compleat,
Should'st thou be honest, thou'rt a dev'lish Cheat.

I have seen a very ingenious Author on this Subject, [who [5]] founds
his Speculations on the Supposition, That as a Man hath in the Mould of
his Face a remote Likeness to that of an Ox, a Sheep, a Lion, an Hog, or
any other Creature; he hath the same Resemblance in the Frame of his
Mind, and is subject to those Passions which are predominant in the
Creature that appears in his Countenance. [6] Accordingly he gives the
Prints of several Faces that are of a different Mould, and by [a little]
overcharging the Likeness, discovers the Figures of these several Kinds
of brutal Faces in human Features. I remember, in the Life of the famous
Prince of _Conde_ [7] the Writer observes, [the [8]] Face of that Prince
was like the Face of an Eagle, and that the Prince was very well pleased
to be told so. In this Case therefore we may be sure, that he had in his
Mind some general implicit Notion of this Art of Physiognomy which I
have just now mentioned; and that when his Courtiers told him his Face
was made like an Eagle's, he understood them in the same manner as if
they had told him, there was something in his Looks which shewed him to
be strong, active, piercing, and of a royal Descent. Whether or no the
different Motions of the Animal Spirits, in different Passions, may have
any Effect on the Mould of the Face when the Lineaments are pliable and
tender, or whether the same kind of Souls require the same kind of
Habitations, I shall leave to the Consideration of the Curious. In the
mean Time I think nothing can be more glorious than for a Man to give
the Lie to his Face, and to be an honest, just, good-natured Man, in
spite of all those Marks and Signatures which Nature seems to have set
upon him for the Contrary. This very often happens among those, who,
instead of being exasperated by their own Looks, or envying the Looks of
others, apply themselves entirely to the cultivating of their Minds, and
getting those Beauties which are more lasting and more ornamental. I
have seen many an amiable Piece of Deformity; and have observed a
certain Chearfulness in as bad a System of Features as ever was clapped
together, which hath appeared more lovely than all the blooming Charms
of an insolent Beauty. There is a double Praise due to Virtue, when it
is lodged in a Body that seems to have been prepared for the Reception
of Vice; in many such Cases the Soul and the Body do not seem to be

_Socrates_ was an extraordinary Instance of this Nature. There chanced
to be a great Physiognomist in his Time at _Athens_, [9] who had made
strange Discoveries of Mens Tempers and Inclinations by their outward
Appearances. _Socrates's_ Disciples, that they might put this Artist to
the Trial, carried him to their Master, whom he had never seen before,
and did not know [he was then in company with him. [10]] After a short
Examination of his Face, the Physiognomist pronounced him the most lewd,
libidinous, drunken old Fellow that he had ever [met with [11]] in his
[whole] Life. Upon which the Disciples all burst out a laughing, as
thinking they had detected the Falshood and Vanity of his Art. But
_Socrates_ told them, that the Principles of his Art might be very true,
notwithstanding his present Mistake; for that he himself was naturally
inclined to those particular Vices which the Physiognomist had
discovered in his Countenance, but that he had conquered the strong
Dispositions he was born with by the Dictates of Philosophy.

We are indeed told by an ancient Author, that _Socrates_ very much
resembled _Silenus_ in his Face; [12] which we find to have been very
rightly observed from the Statues and Busts of both, [that [13]] are
still extant; as well as on several antique Seals and precious Stones,
which are frequently enough to be met with in the Cabinets of the
Curious. But however Observations of this Nature may sometimes hold, a
wise Man should be particularly cautious how he gives credit to a Man's
outward Appearance. It is an irreparable Injustice [we [14]] are guilty
of towards one another, when we are prejudiced by the Looks and Features
of those whom we do not know. How often do we conceive Hatred against a
Person of Worth, or fancy a Man to be proud and ill-natured by his
Aspect, whom we think we cannot esteem too much when we are acquainted
with his real Character? Dr. _Moore_, [15] in his admirable System of
Ethicks, reckons this particular Inclination to take a Prejudice against
a Man for his Looks, among the smaller Vices in Morality, and, if I
remember, gives it the Name of a _Prosopolepsia_.

[Footnote 1: every Man is]

[Footnote 2: Master]

[Footnote 3: unknown Persons]

[Footnote 4: Socrates. In Apul. 'Flor'.]

[Footnote 5: that]

[Footnote 6: The idea is as old as Aristotle who, in treating of arguing
from signs in general, speaks under the head of Physiognomy of
conclusions drawn from natural signs, such as indications of the temper
proper to each class of animals in forms resembling them. The book
Addison refers to is Baptista della Porta 'De Human, Physiognomia']

[Footnote 7: 'Histoire du Louis de Bourbon II. du Nom Prince de Conde,'
Englished by Nahum Tate in 1693.]

[Footnote 8: that the]

[Footnote 9: Cicero, 'Tusc. Quaest.' Bk. IV. near the close. Again
'de Fato', c. 5, he says that the physiognomist Zopyrus pronounced
Socrates stupid and dull, because the outline of his throat was not
concave, but full and obtuse.]

[Footnote 10: who he was.]

[Footnote 11: seen]

[Footnote 12: Plato in the 'Symposium'; where Alcibiades is made to
draw the parallel under the influence of wine and revelry. He compares
the person of Socrates to the sculptured figures of the Sileni and the
Mercuries in the streets of Athens, but owns the spell by which he was
held, in presence of Socrates, as by the flute of the Satyr Marsyas.]

[Footnote 13: which]

[Footnote 14: that we]

[Footnote 15: Dr Henry More.]

* * * * *

No. 87. Saturday, June 9, 1711. Steel.

'... Nimium ne crede colori.'


It has been the Purpose of several of my Speculations to bring People to
an unconcerned Behaviour, with relation to their Persons, whether
beautiful or defective. As the Secrets of the _Ugly Club_ were exposed
to the Publick, that Men might see there were some noble Spirits in the
Age, who are not at all displeased with themselves upon Considerations
which they had no Choice in: so the Discourse concerning _Idols_ tended
to lessen the Value People put upon themselves from personal Advantages,
and Gifts of Nature. As to the latter Species of Mankind, the Beauties,
whether Male or Female, they are generally the most untractable People
of all others. You are so excessively perplexed with the Particularities
in their Behaviour, that, to be at Ease, one would be apt to wish there
were no such Creatures. They expect so great Allowances, and give so
little to others, that they who have to do with them find in the main, a
Man with a better Person than ordinary, and a beautiful Woman, might be
very happily changed for such to whom Nature has been less liberal. The
Handsome Fellow is usually so much a Gentleman, and the Fine Woman has
something so becoming, that there is no enduring either of them. It has
therefore been generally my Choice to mix with chearful Ugly Creatures,
rather than Gentlemen who are Graceful enough to omit or do what they
please; or Beauties who have Charms enough to do and say what would be
disobliging in any but themselves.

Diffidence and Presumption, upon account of our Persons, are equally
Faults; and both arise from the Want of knowing, or rather endeavouring
to know, our selves, and for what we ought to be valued or neglected.
But indeed, I did not imagine these little Considerations and Coquetries
could have the ill Consequences as I find they have by the following
Letters of my Correspondents, where it seems Beauty is thrown into the
Account, in Matters of Sale, to those who receive no Favour from the

_June 4.


After I have assured you I am in every respect one of the Handsomest
young Girls about Town--I need be particular in nothing but the make
of my Face, which has the Misfortune to be exactly Oval. This I take
to proceed from a Temper that naturally inclines me both to speak and

With this Account you may wonder how I can have the Vanity to offer my
self as a Candidate, which I now do, to a Society, where the SPECTATOR
and _Hecatissa_ have been admitted with so much Applause. I don't want
to be put in mind how very Defective I am in every thing that is Ugly:
I am too sensible of my own Unworthiness in this Particular, and
therefore I only propose my self as a Foil to the Club.

You see how honest I have been to confess all my Imperfections, which
is a great deal to come from a Woman, and what I hope you will
encourage with the Favour of your Interest.

There can be no Objection made on the Side of the matchless
_Hecatissa_, since it is certain I shall be in no Danger of giving her
the least occasion of Jealousy: And then a Joint-Stool in the very
lowest Place at the Table, is all the Honour that is coveted by

_Your most Humble and Obedient Servant_,


P.S. I have sacrificed my Necklace to put into the Publick Lottery
against the Common Enemy. And last _Saturday_, about Three a Clock in
the Afternoon, I began to patch indifferently on both Sides of my

_London, June 7, 1711._


'Upon reading your late Dissertation concerning _Idols_, I cannot but
complain to you that there are, in six or seven Places of this City,
Coffee-houses kept by Persons of that Sisterhood. These _Idols_ sit
and receive all Day long the adoration of the Youth within such and
such Districts: I know, in particular, Goods are not entered as they
ought to be at the Custom-house, nor Law-Reports perused at the
Temple; by reason of one Beauty who detains the young Merchants too
long near _Change_, and another Fair One who keeps the Students at her
House when they should be at Study. It would be worth your while to
see how the Idolaters alternately offer Incense to their _Idols_, and
what Heart-burnings arise in those who wait for their Turn to receive
kind Aspects from those little Thrones, which all the Company, but
these Lovers, call the Bars. I saw a Gentleman turn as pale as Ashes,
because an _Idol_ turned the Sugar in a Tea-Dish for his Rival, and
carelessly called the Boy to serve him, with a _Sirrah! Why don't you
give the Gentleman the Box to please himself?_ Certain it is, that a
very hopeful young Man was taken with Leads in his Pockets below
Bridge, where he intended to drown himself, because his _Idol_ would
wash the Dish in which she had [but just [1]] drank Tea, before she
would let him use it.

I am, Sir, a Person past being Amorous, and do not give this
Information out of Envy or Jealousy, but I am a real Sufferer by it.
These Lovers take any thing for Tea and Coffee; I saw one Yesterday
surfeit to make his Court; and all his Rivals, at the same time, loud
in the Commendation of Liquors that went against every body in the
Room that was not in Love. While these young Fellows resign their
Stomachs with their Hearts, and drink at the _Idol_ in this manner, we
who come to do Business, or talk Politicks, are utterly poisoned: They
have also Drams for those who are more enamoured than ordinary; and it
is very common for such as are too low in Constitution to ogle the
_Idol_ upon the Strength of Tea, to fluster themselves with warmer
Liquors: Thus all Pretenders advance, as fast as they can, to a Feaver
or a Diabetes. I must repeat to you, that I do not look with an evil
Eye upon the Profit of the _Idols_, or the Diversion of the Lovers;
what I hope from this Remonstrance, is only that we plain People may
not be served as if we were Idolaters; but that from the time of
publishing this in your Paper, the _Idols_ would mix Ratsbane only for
their Admirers, and take more care of us who don't love them.
I am,
T.T. [2]


[Footnote 1: just before]

[Footnote 2: This letter is ascribed to Laurence Eusden.]

* * * * *


_This to give Notice,
That the three Criticks
who last_ Sunday _settled the Characters
of my Lord_ Rochester _and_ Boileau,
_in the Yard of a Coffee House in_ Fuller's Rents,
_will meet this next_ Sunday _at the same Time and Place,
to finish the Merits of several Dramatick Writers:
And will also make an End of_ the Nature of True Sublime.

* * * * *

No. 88. Monday, June 11, 1711. Steele.

'Quid Domini facient, audent cum tulia Fures?'


May 30, 1711.


I have no small Value for your Endeavours to lay before the World what
may escape their Observation, and yet highly conduces to their
Service. You have, I think, succeeded very well on many Subjects; and
seem to have been conversant in very different Scenes of Life. But in
the Considerations of Mankind, as a SPECTATOR, you should not omit
Circumstances which relate to the inferior Part of the World, any more
than those which concern the greater. There is one thing in particular
which I wonder you have not touched upon, and that is the general
Corruption of Manners in the Servants of _Great Britain_. I am a Man
that have travelled and seen many Nations, but have for seven Years
last past resided constantly in _London_, or within twenty Miles of
it: In this Time I have contracted a numerous Acquaintance among the
best Sort of People, and have hardly found one of them happy in their
Servants. This is matter of great Astonishment to Foreigners, and all
such as have visited Foreign Countries; especially since we cannot but
observe, That there is no Part of the World where Servants have those
Privileges and Advantages as in _England:_ They have no where else
such plentiful Diet, large Wages, or indulgent Liberty: There is no
Place wherein they labour less, and yet where they are so little
respectful, more wasteful, more negligent, or where they so frequently
change their Masters. To this I attribute, in a great measure, the
frequent Robberies and Losses which we suffer on the high Road and in
our own Houses. That indeed which gives me the present Thought of this
kind, is, that a careless Groom of mine has spoiled me the prettiest
Pad in the World with only riding him ten Miles, and I assure you, if
I were to make a Register of all the Horses I have known thus abused
by Negligence of Servants, the Number would mount a Regiment. I wish
you would give us your Observations, that we may know how to treat
these Rogues, or that we Masters may enter into Measures to reform
them. Pray give us a Speculation in general about Servants, and you
make me

Pray do not omit the Mention
of Grooms in particular.



This honest Gentleman, who is so desirous that I should write a Satyr
upon Grooms, has a great deal of Reason for his Resentment; and I know
no Evil which touches all Mankind so much as this of the Misbehaviour of

The Complaint of this Letter runs wholly upon Men-Servants; and I can
attribute the Licentiousness which has at present prevailed among them,
to nothing but what an hundred before me have ascribed it to, The Custom
of giving Board-Wages: This one Instance of false Oeconomy is sufficient
to debauch the whole Nation of Servants, and makes them as it were but
for some part of their Time in that Quality. They are either attending
in Places where they meet and run into Clubs, or else, if they wait at
Taverns, they eat after their Masters, and reserve their Wages for other
Occasions. From hence it arises, that they are but in a lower Degree
what their Masters themselves are; and usually affect an Imitation of
their Manners: And you have in Liveries, Beaux, Fops, and Coxcombs, in
as high Perfection as among People that keep Equipages. It is a common
Humour among the Retinue of People of Quality, when they are in their
Revels, that is when they are out of their Masters Sight, to assume in a
humourous Way the Names and Titles of those whose Liveries they wear. By
which means Characters and Distinctions become so familiar to them, that
it is to this, among other Causes, one may impute a certain Insolence
among our Servants, that they take no Notice of any Gentleman though
they know him ever so well, except he is an Acquaintance of their

My Obscurity and Taciturnity leave me at Liberty, without Scandal, to
dine, if I think fit, at a common Ordinary, in the meanest as well as
the most sumptuous House of Entertainment. Falling in the other Day at a
Victualling-House near the House of Peers, I heard the Maid come down
and tell the Landlady at the Bar, That my Lord Bishop swore he would
throw her out [at [1]] Window, if she did not bring up more Mild Beer,
and that my Lord Duke would have a double Mug of Purle. My Surprize was
encreased, in hearing loud and rustick Voices speak and answer to each
other upon the publick Affairs, by the Names of the most Illustrious of
our Nobility; till of a sudden one came running in, and cry'd the House
was rising. Down came all the Company together, and away! The Alehouse
was immediately filled with Clamour, and scoring one Mug to the Marquis
of such a Place, Oyl and Vinegar to such an Earl, three Quarts to my new
Lord for wetting his Title, and so forth. It is a Thing too notorious to
mention the Crowds of Servants, and their Insolence, near the Courts of
Justice, and the Stairs towards the Supreme Assembly, where there is an
universal Mockery of all Order, such riotous Clamour and licentious
Confusion, that one would think the whole Nation lived in Jest, and
there were no such thing as Rule and Distinction among us.

The next Place of Resort, wherein the servile World are let loose, is at
the Entrance of _Hide-Park_, while the Gentry are at the Ring. Hither
People bring their Lacqueys out of State, and here it is that all they
say at their Tables, and act in their Houses, is communicated to the
whole Town. There are Men of Wit in all Conditions of Life; and mixing
with these People at their Diversions, I have heard Coquets and Prudes
as well rallied, and Insolence and Pride exposed, (allowing for their
want of Education) with as much Humour and good Sense, as in the
politest Companies. It is a general Observation, That all Dependants run
in some measure into the Manners and Behaviour of those whom they serve:
You shall frequently meet with Lovers and Men of Intrigue among the
Lacqueys, as well as at _White's_ [2] or in the Side-Boxes. I remember
some Years ago an Instance of this Kind. A Footman to a Captain of the
Guard used frequently, when his Master was out of the Way, to carry on
Amours and make Assignations in his Master's Cloaths. The Fellow had a
very good Person, and there are very many Women that think no further
than the Outside of a Gentleman: besides which, he was almost as learned
a Man as the Colonel himself: I say, thus qualified, the Fellow could
scrawl _Billets-doux_ so well, and furnish a Conversation on the common
Topicks, that he had, as they call it, a great deal of good Business on
his Hands. It happened one Day, that coming down a Tavern-Stairs in his
Master's fine Guard-Coat, with a well-dress'd Woman masked, he met the
Colonel coming up with other Company; but with a ready Assurance he
quitted his Lady, came up to him, and said, _Sir, I know you have too
much Respect for yourself to cane me in this honourable Habit: But you
see there is a Lady in the Case, and I hope on that Score also you will
put off your Anger till I have told you all another time._ After a
little Pause the Colonel cleared up his Countenance, and with an Air of
Familiarity whispered his Man apart, _Sirrah, bring the Lady with you to
ask Pardon for you;_ then aloud, _Look to it_, Will, _I'll never forgive
you else._ The Fellow went back to his Mistress, and telling her with a
loud Voice and an Oath, That was the honestest Fellow in the World,
convey'd her to an Hackney-Coach.

But the many Irregularities committed by Servants in the Places
above-mentioned, as well as in the Theatres, of which Masters are
generally the Occasions, are too various not to need being resumed on
another Occasion.


[Footnote 1: of the]

[Footnote 2: 'White's', established as a chocolate-house in 1698, had a
polite character for gambling, and was a haunt of sharpers and gay
noblemen before it became a Club.]

* * * * *

No. 89. Tuesday, June 12, 1711. Addison.

'... Petite hinc juvenesque senesque
Finem animo certum, miserisque viatica canis.
Cras hoc fiet. Idem eras fiet. Quid? quasi magnum
Nempe diem donas? sed cum lux altera venit,
Jam cras hesternum consumpsimus; ecce aliud cras
Egerit hos annos, et semper paulum erit ultra.
Nam quamvis prope te, quamvis temone sub uno
Vertentem sese frustra sectabere canthum.'


As my Correspondents upon the Subject of Love are very numerous, it is
my Design, if possible, to range them under several Heads, and address
my self to them at different Times. The first Branch of them, to whose
Service I shall Dedicate these Papers, are those that have to do with
Women of dilatory Tempers, who are for spinning out the Time of
Courtship to an immoderate Length, without being able either to close
with their Lovers, or to dismiss them. I have many Letters by me filled
with Complaints against, this sort of Women. In one of them no less a
Man than a Brother of the Coif tells me, that he began his Suit
_Vicesimo nono Caroli secundi_, before he had been a Twelvemonth at the
_Temple;_ that he prosecuted it for many Years after he was called to
the Bar; that at present he is a Sergeant at Law; and notwithstanding he
hoped that Matters would have been long since brought to an Issue, the
Fair One still _demurrs_. I am so well pleased with this Gentleman's
Phrase, that I shall distinguish this Sect of Women by the Title of
_Demurrers_. I find by another Letter from one that calls himself
_Thirsis_, that his Mistress has been Demurring above these seven Years.
But among all my Plaintiffs of this Nature, I most pity the unfortunate
_Philander_, a Man of a constant Passion and plentiful Fortune, who sets
forth that the timorous and irresolute _Silvia_ has demurred till she is
past Child-bearing. _Strephon_ appears by his Letter to be a very
cholerick Lover, and irrevocably smitten with one that demurrs out of
Self-interest. He tells me with great Passion that she has bubbled him
out of his Youth; that she drilled him on to Five and Fifty, and that he
verily believes she will drop him in his old Age, if she can find her
Account in another. I shall conclude this Narrative with a Letter from
honest Sam Hopewell, a very pleasant Fellow, who it seems has at last
married a _Demurrer:_ I must only premise, that Sam, who is a very good
Bottle-Companion, has been the Diversion of his Friends, upon account of
his Passion, ever since the Year One thousand Six hundred and Eighty one.

_Dear SIR_,

'You know very well my Passion for Mrs. _Martha_, and what a Dance she
has led me: She took me at the Age of Two and Twenty, and dodged with
me above Thirty Years. I have loved her till she is grown as Grey as a
Cat, and am with much ado become the Master of her Person, such as it
is at present. She is however in my Eye a very charming old Woman. We
often lament that we did not marry sooner, but she has no Body to
blame for it but her self: You know very well that she would never
think of me whilst she had a Tooth in her Head. I have put the Date of
my Passion (_Anno Amoris Trigesimo primo_) instead of a Posy, on my
Wedding-Ring. I expect you should send me a Congratulatory Letter, or,
if you please, an _Epithalamium_, upon this Occasion.

_Mrs_. Martha's and
_Yours Eternally_,

In order to banish an Evil out of the World, that does not only produce
great Uneasiness to private Persons, but has also a very bad Influence
on the Publick, I shall endeavour to shew the Folly of _Demurrage_ from
two or three Reflections which I earnestly recommend to the Thoughts of
my fair Readers.

First of all I would have them seriously think on the Shortness of their
Time. Life is not long enough for a Coquet to play all her Tricks in. A
timorous Woman drops into her Grave before she has done deliberating.
Were the Age of Man the same that it was before the Flood, a Lady might
sacrifice half a Century to a Scruple, and be two or three Ages in
demurring. Had she Nine Hundred Years good, she might hold out to the
Conversion of the _Jews_ before she thought fit to be prevailed upon.
But, alas! she ought to play her Part in haste, when she considers that
she is suddenly to quit the Stage, and make Room for others.

In the second Place, I would desire my Female Readers to consider, that
as the Term of Life is short, that of Beauty is much shorter. The finest
Skin wrinkles in a few Years, and loses the Strength of its Colourings
so soon, that we have scarce Time to admire it. I might embellish this
Subject with Roses and Rain-bows, and several other ingenious Conceits,
which I may possibly reserve for another Opportunity.

There is a third Consideration which I would likewise recommend to a
Demurrer, and that is the great Danger of her falling in Love when she
is about Threescore, if she cannot satisfie her Doubts and Scruples
before that Time. There is a kind of _latter Spring_, that sometimes
gets into the Blood of an old Woman and turns her into a very odd sort
of an Animal. I would therefore have the Demurrer consider what a
strange Figure she will make, if she chances to get over all
Difficulties, and comes to a final Resolution, in that unseasonable Part
of her Life.

I would not however be understood, by any thing I have here said, to
discourage that natural Modesty in the Sex, which renders a Retreat from
the first Approaches of a Lover both fashionable and graceful: All that
I intend, is, to advise them, when they are prompted by Reason and
Inclination, to demurr only out of Form, and so far as Decency requires.
A virtuous Woman should reject the first Offer of Marriage, as a good
Man does that of a Bishoprick; but I would advise neither the one nor
the other to persist in refusing what they secretly approve. I would in
this Particular propose the Example of _Eve_ to all her Daughters, as
_Milton_ has represented her in the following Passage, which I cannot
forbear transcribing intire, tho' only the twelve last Lines are to my
present Purpose.

_The Rib he form'd and fashion'd with his Hands;
Under his forming Hands a Creature grew,
Man-like, but diff'rent Sex; so lovely fair!
That what seem'd fair in all the World, seem'd now
Mean, or in her summ'd up, in her contain'd
And in her Looks; which from that time infus'd
Sweetness into my Heart, unfelt before:
And into all things from her Air inspir'd
The Spirit of Love and amorous Delight.

She disappear'd, and left me dark! I wak'd
To find her, or for ever to deplore
Her Loss, and other Pleasures [all [1]] abjure;
When out of Hope, behold her, not far off,
Such as I saw her in my Dream, adorn'd
With what all Earth or Heaven could bestow
To make her amiable: On she came,
Led by her heav'nly Maker, though unseen,
And guided by his Voice, nor uninform'd
Of nuptial Sanctity and Marriage Rites:
Grace was in all her Steps, Heav'n in her Eye,
In every Gesture Dignity and Love.
I overjoyed, could not forbear aloud.

This Turn hath made Amends; thou hast fulfill'd
Thy Words, Creator bounteous and benign!
Giver of all things fair! but fairest this
Of all thy Gifts, nor enviest. I now see
Bone of my Bone, Flesh of my Flesh, my Self....

She heard me thus, and tho' divinely brought,
Yet Innocence and Virgin Modesty,
Her Virtue, and the Conscience of her Worth,
That would be woo'd, and not unsought be won,
Not obvious, not obtrusive, but retir'd
The more desirable; or, to say all,
Nature her self, tho' pure of sinful Thought,
Wrought in her so, that seeing me, she [turn'd [2]]
I followed her: she what was Honour knew,
And with obsequious Majesty approved
My pleaded Reason. To the Nuptial Bower
I led her blushing like the Morn [3]----

[Footnote 1: to]

[Footnote 2: fled;]

[Footnote 3: P. L. Bk. VIII.]

* * * * *

No. 90. Wednesday, June 13, 1711. Addison.

'... Magnus sine viribus Ignis
Incassum furit'


There is not, in my Opinion, a Consideration more effectual to
extinguish inordinate Desires in the Soul of Man, than the Notions of
_Plato_ and his Followers [1] upon that Subject. They tell us, that
every Passion which has been contracted by the Soul during her Residence
in the Body, remains with her in a separate State; and that the Soul in
the Body or out of the Body, differs no more than the Man does from
himself when he is in his House, or in open Air. When therefore the
obscene Passions in particular have once taken Root and spread
themselves in the Soul, they cleave to her inseparably, and remain in
her for ever, after the Body is cast off and thrown aside. As an
Argument to confirm this their Doctrine they observe, that a lewd Youth
who goes on in a continued Course of Voluptuousness, advances by Degrees
into a libidinous old Man; and that the Passion survives in the Mind
when it is altogether dead in the Body; nay, that the Desire grows more
violent, and (like all other Habits) gathers Strength by Age, at the
same time that it has no Power of executing its own Purposes. If, say
they, the Soul is the most subject to these Passions at a time when it
has the least Instigations from the Body, we may well suppose she will
still retain them when she is entirely divested of it. The very
Substance of the Soul is festered with them, the Gangrene is gone too
far to be ever cured; the Inflammation will rage to all Eternity.

In this therefore (say the _Platonists_) consists the Punishment of a
voluptuous Man after Death: He is tormented with Desires which it is
impossible for him to gratify, solicited by a Passion that has neither
Objects nor Organs adapted to it: He lives in a State of invincible
Desire and Impotence, and always burns in the Pursuit of what he always
despairs to possess. It is for this Reason (says _Plato_) that the Souls
of the Dead appear frequently in Coemiteries, and hover about the Places
where their Bodies are buried, as still hankering after their old brutal
Pleasures, and desiring again to enter the Body that gave them an
Opportunity of fulfilling them.

Some of our most eminent Divines have made use of this _Platonick_
Notion, so far as it regards the Subsistence of our Passions after
Death, with great Beauty and Strength of Reason. _Plato_ indeed carries
the Thought very far, when he grafts upon it his Opinion of Ghosts
appearing in Places of Burial. Though, I must confess, if one did
believe that the departed Souls of Men and Women wandered up and down
these lower Regions, and entertained themselves with the Sight of their
Species, one could not devise a more Proper Hell for an impure Spirit
than that which _Plato_ has touched upon.

The Ancients seem to have drawn such a State of Torments in the
Description of _Tantalus_, who was punished with the Rage of an eternal
Thirst, and set up to the Chin in Water that fled from his Lips whenever
he attempted to drink it.

_Virgil_, who has cast the whole System of _Platonick_ Philosophy, so
far as it relates to the Soul of Man, in beautiful Allegories, in the
sixth Book of his _AEneid_ gives us the Punishment of a Voluptuary after
Death, not unlike that which we are here speaking of.

... _Lucent genialibus altis
Aurea fulcra toris, epulaeque ante ora paratae
Regifico luxu: Furiarum maxima juxta
Accubat, et manibus prohibet contingere mensas;
Exurgitque facem attollens, atque intonat ore.

They lie below on Golden Beds display'd,
And genial Feasts with regal Pomp are made:
The Queen of Furies by their Side is set,
And snatches from their Mouths th' untasted Meat;
Which if they touch, her hissing Snakes she rears,
Tossing her Torch, and thund'ring in their Ears_.


That I may a little alleviate the Severity of this my Speculation (which
otherwise may lose me several of my polite Readers) I shall translate a
Story [that [2]] has been quoted upon another Occasion by one of the
most learned Men of the present Age, as I find it in the Original. The
Reader will see it is not foreign to my present Subject, and I dare say
will think it a lively Representation of a Person lying under the
Torments of such a kind of Tantalism, or _Platonick_ Hell, as that which
we have now under Consideration. Monsieur _Pontignan_ speaking of a
Love-Adventure that happened to him in the Country, gives the following
Account of it. [3]

'When I was in the Country last Summer, I was often in Company with a
Couple of charming Women, who had all the Wit and Beauty one could
desire in Female Companions, with a Dash of Coquetry, that from time
to time gave me a great many agreeable Torments. I was, after my Way,
in Love with both of them, and had such frequent opportunities of
pleading my Passion to them when they were asunder, that I had Reason
to hope for particular Favours from each of them. As I was walking one
Evening in my Chamber with nothing about me but my Night gown, they
both came into my Room and told me, They had a very pleasant Trick to
put upon a Gentleman that was in the same House, provided I would bear
a Part in it. Upon this they told me such a plausible Story, that I
laughed at their Contrivance, and agreed to do whatever they should
require of me: They immediately began to swaddle me up in my
Night-Gown with long Pieces of Linnen, which they folded about me till
they had wrapt me in above an hundred Yards of Swathe: My Arms were
pressed to my Sides, and my Legs closed together by so many Wrappers
one over another, that I looked like an _AEgyptian_ Mummy. As I stood
bolt upright upon one End in this antique Figure, one of the Ladies
burst out a laughing, And now, _Pontignan_, says she, we intend to
perform the Promise that we find you have extorted from each of us.
You have often asked the Favour of us, and I dare say you are a better
bred Cavalier than to refuse to go to Bed to two Ladies, that desire
it of you. After having stood a Fit of Laughter, I begged them to
uncase me, and do with me what they pleased. No, no, said they, we
like you very well as you are; and upon that ordered me to be carried
to one of their Houses, and put to Bed in all my Swaddles. The Room
was lighted up on all Sides: and I was laid very decently between a
[Pair [4]] of Sheets, with my Head (which was indeed the only Part I
could move) upon a very high Pillow: This was no sooner done, but my
two Female Friends came into Bed to me in their finest Night-Clothes.
You may easily guess at the Condition of a Man that saw a Couple of
the most beautiful Women in the World undrest and abed with him,
without being able to stir Hand or Foot. I begged them to release me,
and struggled all I could to get loose, which I did with so much
Violence, that about Midnight they both leaped out of the Bed, crying
out they were undone. But seeing me safe, they took their Posts again,
and renewed their Raillery. Finding all my Prayers and Endeavours were
lost, I composed my self as well as I could, and told them, that if
they would not unbind me, I would fall asleep between them, and by
that means disgrace them for ever: But alas! this was impossible;
could I have been disposed to it, they would have prevented me by
several little ill-natured Caresses and Endearments which they
bestowed upon me. As much devoted as I am to Womankind, I would not
pass such another Night to be Master of the whole Sex. My Reader will
doubtless be curious to know what became of me the next Morning: Why
truly my Bed-fellows left me about an Hour before Day, and told me, if
I would be good and lie still, they would send somebody to take me up
as soon as it was time for me to rise: Accordingly about Nine a Clock
in the Morning an old Woman came to un-swathe me. I bore all this very
patiently, being resolved to take my Revenge of my Tormentors, and to
keep no Measures with them as soon as I was at Liberty; but upon
asking my old Woman what was become of the two Ladies, she told me she
believed they were by that Time within Sight of _Paris_, for that they
went away in a Coach and six before five a clock in the Morning.


[Footnote 1: Plato's doctrine of the soul and of its destiny is to be
found at the close of his 'Republic'; also near the close of the
'Phaedon', in a passage of the 'Philebus', and in another of the
'Gorgias'. In Sec. 131 of the 'Phaedon' is the passage here especially
referred to; which was the basis also of lines 461-475 of Milton's
'Comus'. The last of our own Platonists was Henry More, one of whose
books Addison quoted four essays back (in No. 86), and who died only
four and twenty years before these essays were written, after a long
contest in prose and verse, against besotting or obnubilating the soul
with 'the foul steam of earthly life.']

[Footnote 2: which]

[Footnote 3: Paraphrased from the 'Academe Galante' (Ed. 1708, p.

[Footnote 4: couple]

* * * * *

No. 91. Thursday, June 14, 1711. Steele.

'In furias ignemque ruunt, Amor omnibus Idem.'


Tho' the Subject I am now going upon would be much more properly the
Foundation of a Comedy, I cannot forbear inserting the Circumstances
which pleased me in the Account a young Lady gave me of the Loves of a
Family in Town, which shall be nameless; or rather for the better Sound
and Elevation of the History, instead of Mr. and Mrs. such-a-one, I
shall call them by feigned Names. Without further Preface, you are to
know, that within the Liberties of the City of _Westminster_ lives the
Lady _Honoria_, a Widow about the Age of Forty, of a healthy
Constitution, gay Temper, and elegant Person. She dresses a little too
much like a Girl, affects a childish Fondness in the Tone of her Voice,
sometimes a pretty Sullenness in the leaning of her Head, and now and
then a Down-cast of her Eyes on her Fan: Neither her Imagination nor her
Health would ever give her to know that she is turned of Twenty; but
that in the midst of these pretty Softnesses, and Airs of Delicacy and
Attraction, she has a tall Daughter within a Fortnight of Fifteen, who
impertinently comes into the Room, and towers so much towards Woman,
that her Mother is always checked by her Presence, and every Charm of
_Honoria_ droops at the Entrance of _Flavia_. The agreeable _Flavia_
would be what she is not, as well as her Mother _Honoria_; but all their
Beholders are more partial to an Affectation of what a Person is growing
up to, than of what has been already enjoyed, and is gone for ever. It
is therefore allowed to _Flavia_ to look forward, but not to _Honoria_
to look back. _Flavia_ is no way dependent on her Mother with relation
to her Fortune, for which Reason they live almost upon an Equality in
Conversation; and as _Honoria_ has given _Flavia_ to understand, that it
is ill-bred to be always calling Mother, _Flavia_ is as well pleased
never to be called Child. It happens by this means, that these Ladies
are generally Rivals in all Places where they appear; and the Words
Mother and Daughter never pass between them but out of Spite. _Flavia_
one Night at a Play observing _Honoria_ draw the Eyes of several in the
Pit, called to a Lady who sat by her, and bid her ask her Mother to lend
her her Snuff-Box for one Moment. Another Time, when a Lover of
_Honoria_ was on his Knees beseeching the Favour to kiss her Hand,
_Flavia_ rushing into the Room, kneeled down by him and asked Blessing.
Several of these contradictory Acts of Duty have raised between them
such a Coldness that they generally converse when they are in mixed
Company by way of talking at one another, and not to one another.
_Honoria_ is ever complaining of a certain Sufficiency in the young
Women of this Age, who assume to themselves an Authority of carrying all
things before them, as if they were Possessors of the Esteem of Mankind,
and all, who were but a Year before them in the World, were neglected or
deceased. _Flavia_, upon such a Provocation, is sure to observe, that
there are People who can resign nothing, and know not how to give up
what they know they cannot hold; that there are those who will not allow
Youth their Follies, not because they are themselves past them, but
because they love to continue in them. These Beauties Rival each other
on all Occasions, not that they have always had the same Lovers but each
has kept up a Vanity to shew the other the Charms of her Lover. _Dick
Crastin_ and _Tom Tulip_, among many others, have of late been
Pretenders in this Family: _Dick_ to _Honoria_, _Tom_ to _Flavia_.
_Dick_ is the only surviving Beau of the last Age, and _Tom_ almost the
only one that keeps up that Order of Men in this.

I wish I could repeat the little Circumstances of a Conversation of the
four Lovers with the Spirit in which the young Lady, I had my Account
from, represented it at a Visit where I had the Honour to be present;
but it seems _Dick Crastin_, the admirer of _Honoria_, and _Tom Tulip_,
the Pretender to _Flavia_, were purposely admitted together by the
Ladies, that each might shew the other that her Lover had the
Superiority in the Accomplishments of that sort of Creature whom the
sillier Part of Women call a fine Gentleman. As this Age has a much more
gross Taste in Courtship, as well as in every thing else, than the last
had, these Gentlemen are Instances of it in their different Manner of
Application. _Tulip_ is ever making Allusions to the Vigour of his
Person, the sinewy Force of his Make; while _Crastin_ professes a wary
Observation of the Turns of his Mistress's Mind. _Tulip_ gives himself
the Air of a restless Ravisher, _Crastin_ practises that of a skilful
Lover. Poetry is the inseparable Property of every Man in Love; and as
Men of Wit write Verses on those Occasions, the rest of the World repeat
the Verses of others. These Servants of the Ladies were used to imitate
their Manner of Conversation, and allude to one another, rather than
interchange Discourse in what they said when they met. _Tulip_ the other
Day seized his Mistress's Hand, and repeated out of _Ovid's Art of

_'Tis I can in soft Battles pass the Night, }
Yet rise next Morning vigorous for the Fight, }
Fresh as the Day, and active as the Light._ }

Upon hearing this, _Crastin_, with an Air of Deference, played
_Honoria_'s Fan, and repeated,

Sedley _has that prevailing gentle Art, }
That can with a resistless Charm impart }
The loosest Wishes to the chastest Heart: }
Raise such a Conflict, kindle such a Fire,
Between declining Virtue and Desire,
Till the poor vanquish'd Maid dissolves away
In Dreams all Night, in Sighs and Tears all Day._ [1]

When _Crastin_ had uttered these Verses with a Tenderness which at once
spoke Passion and Respect, _Honoria_ cast a triumphant Glance at
_Flavia_, as exulting in the Elegance of _Crastin's_ Courtship, and
upbraiding her with the Homeliness of _Tulip's_. _Tulip_ understood the
Reproach, and in Return began to applaud the Wisdom of old amorous
Gentlemen, who turned their Mistress's Imagination as far as possible
from what they had long themselves forgot, and ended his Discourse with
a sly Commendation of the Doctrine of _Platonick_ Love; at the same time
he ran over, with a laughing Eye, _Crastin's_ thin Legs, meagre Looks,
and spare Body. The old Gentleman immediately left the Room with some
Disorder, and the Conversation fell upon untimely Passion, After-Love,
and unseasonable Youth. _Tulip_ sung, danced, moved before the Glass,
led his Mistress half a Minuet, hummed

Celia _the Fair, in the bloom of Fifteen_;

when there came a Servant with a Letter to him, which was as follows.


'I understand very well what you meant by your Mention of _Platonick_
Love. I shall be glad to meet you immediately in _Hide-Park_, or
behind _Montague-House_, or attend you to Barn-Elms, [2] or any other
fashionable Place that's fit for a Gentleman to die in, that you shall
appoint for,

_Sir, Your most Humble Servant_,
Richard Crastin.

_Tulip's_ Colour changed at the reading of this Epistle; for which
Reason his Mistress snatched it to read the Contents. While she was
doing so _Tulip_ went away, and the Ladies now agreeing in a Common
Calamity, bewailed together the Danger of their Lovers. They immediately
undressed to go out, and took Hackneys to prevent Mischief: but, after
alarming all Parts of the Town, _Crastin_ was found by his Widow in his
Pumps at _Hide-Park_, which Appointment _Tulip_ never kept, but made his
Escape into the Country. _Flavia_ tears her Hair for his inglorious
Safety, curses and despises her Charmer, is fallen in Love with
_Crastin_: Which is the first Part of the History of the _Rival Mother_.


[Footnote 1: Rochester's 'Imitations of Horace', Sat. I. 10.]

[Footnote 2: A famous duelling place under elm trees, in a meadow half
surrounded by the Thames.]

* * * * *

No. 92. Friday, June 15, 1711. Addison.

'... Convivae prope dissentire videntur,
Poscentes vario multum diversa palato;
Quid dem? Quid non dem?'


Looking over the late Packets of Letters which have been sent to me, I
found the following one. [1]


'Your Paper is a Part of my Tea-Equipage; and my Servant knows my
Humour so well, that calling for my Breakfast this Morning (it being
past my usual Hour) she answer'd, the SPECTATOR was not yet come in;
but that the Tea-Kettle boiled, and she expected it every Moment.
Having thus in part signified to you the Esteem and Veneration which I
have for you, I must put you in mind of the Catalogue of Books which
you have promised to recommend to our Sex; for I have deferred
furnishing my Closet with Authors, 'till I receive your Advice in this
Particular, being your daily Disciple and humble Servant,


In Answer to my fair Disciple, whom I am very proud of, I must acquaint
her and the rest of my Readers, that since I have called out for Help in
my Catalogue of a Lady's Library, I have received many Letters upon that
Head, some of which I shall give an Account of.

In the first Class I shall take notice of those which come to me from
eminent Booksellers, who every one of them mention with Respect the
Authors they have printed, and consequently have an Eye to their own
Advantage more than to that of the Ladies. One tells me, that he thinks
it absolutely necessary for Women to have true Notions of Right and
Equity, and that therefore they cannot peruse a better Book than
_Dalton's Country Justice_: Another thinks they cannot be without _The
Compleat Jockey_. A third observing the Curiosity and Desire of prying
into Secrets, which he tells me is natural to the fair Sex, is of
Opinion this female Inclination, if well directed, might turn very much
to their Advantage, and therefore recommends to me _Mr_. Mede _upon the
Revelations_. A fourth lays it down as an unquestioned Truth, that a
Lady cannot be thoroughly accomplished who has not read _The Secret
Treaties and Negotiations of Marshal_ D'Estrades. Mr. _Jacob Tonson
Jun._ is of Opinion, that _Bayle's Dictionary_ might be of very great
use to the Ladies, in order to make them general Scholars. Another whose
Name I have forgotten, thinks it highly proper that every Woman with
Child should read _Mr._ Wall's _History of Infant Baptism_: As another
is very importunate with me to recommend to all my female Readers _The
finishing Stroke: Being a Vindication of the Patriarchal Scheme_, &c.

In the second Class I shall mention Books which are recommended by
Husbands, if I may believe the Writers of them. Whether or no they are
real Husbands or personated ones I cannot tell, but the Books they
recommend are as follow. _A Paraphrase on the History of_ Susanna.
_Rules to keep_ Lent. _The Christian's Overthrow prevented. A Dissuasive
from the Play-house. The Virtues of Camphire, with Directions to make
Camphire Tea. The Pleasures of a Country Life. The Government of the
Tongue_. A Letter dated from _Cheapside_ desires me that I would advise
all young Wives to make themselves Mistresses of _Wingate's
Arithmetick_, and concludes with a Postscript, that he hopes I will not
forget _The Countess of_ Kent's _Receipts_.

I may reckon the Ladies themselves as a third Class among these my
Correspondents and Privy-Counsellors. In a Letter from one of them, I am
advised to place _Pharamond_ at the Head of my Catalogue, and, if I
think proper, to give the second place to _Cassandra_. _Coquetilla_ begs
me not to think of nailing Women upon their Knees with Manuals of
Devotion, nor of scorching their Faces with Books of Housewifry.
_Florella_ desires to know if there are any Books written against
Prudes, and intreats me, if there are, to give them a Place in my
Library. Plays of all Sorts have their several Advocates: _All for Love_
is mentioned in above fifteen Letters; _Sophonisba_, or _Hannibal's
Overthrow_, in a Dozen; _The Innocent Adultery_ is likewise highly
approved of; _Mithridates King of Pontus_ has many Friends; _Alexander
the Great_ and _Aurengzebe_ have the same Number of Voices; but
_Theodosius_, or _The Force of Love_. carries it from all the rest. [2]

I should, in the last Place, mention such Books as have been proposed by
Men of Learning, and those who appear competent Judges of this Matter;
and must here take Occasion to thank _A. B_. whoever it is that conceals
himself under those two Letters, for his Advice upon this Subject: But
as I find the Work I have undertaken to be very difficult, I shall defer
the executing of it till I am further acquainted with the Thoughts of my
judicious Contemporaries, and have time to examine the several Books
they offer to me; being resolved, in an Affair of this Moment, to
proceed with the greatest Caution.

In the mean while, as I have taken the Ladies under my particular Care,
I shall make it my Business to find out in the best Authors ancient and
modern such Passages as may be for their use, and endeavour to
accommodate them as well as I can to their Taste; not questioning but
the valuable Part of the Sex will easily pardon me, if from Time to Time
I laugh at those little Vanities and Follies which appear in the
Behaviour of some of them, and which are more proper for Ridicule than a
serious Censure. Most Books being calculated for Male Readers, and
generally written with an Eye to Men of Learning, makes a Work of this
Nature the more necessary; besides, I am the more encouraged, because I
flatter myself that I see the Sex daily improving by these my
Speculations. My fair Readers are already deeper Scholars than the
Beaus. I could name some of them who could talk much better than several
Gentlemen that make a Figure at _Will's_; and as I frequently receive
Letters from the _fine Ladies_ and _pretty Fellows_, I cannot but
observe that the former are superior to the others not only in the Sense
but in the Spelling. This cannot but have a good Effect upon the Female
World, and keep them from being charmed by those empty Coxcombs that
have hitherto been admired among the Women, tho' laugh'd at among the

I am credibly informed that _Tom Tattle_ passes for an impertinent
Fellow, that _Will Trippet_ begins to be smoaked, and that _Frank
Smoothly_ himself is within a Month of a Coxcomb, in case I think fit to
continue this Paper. For my part, as it is my Business in some measure
to detect such as would lead astray weak Minds by their false Pretences
to Wit and Judgment, Humour and Gallantry, I shall not fail to lend the
best Lights I am able to the fair Sex for the Continuation of these
their Discoveries.

[Footnote 1: By Mrs. Perry, whose sister, Miss Shepheard, has letters in
two later numbers, 140 and 163. These ladies were descended from Sir
Fleetwood Shepheard.]

[Footnote 2: Michael Dalton's 'Country Justice' was first published in
1618. Joseph Mede's 'Clavis Apocalyptica,' published in 1627, and
translated by Richard More in 1643, was as popular in the Pulpit as 'The
Country Justice' on the Bench. The negotiations of Count d'Estrades were
from 1637 to 1662. The translation of Bayle's Dictionary had been
published by Tonson in 1610. Dr. William Wall's 'History of Infant
Baptism,' published in 1705, was in its third edition. 'Aurungzebe' was
by Dryden. 'Mithridates' and 'Theodosius' were by Lee.]

* * * * *

No. 93. Saturday, June 16, 1711. Addison.

'... Spatio brevi
Spem longam reseces: dum loquimur, fugerit Invida
AEtas: carpe Diem, quam minimum credula postero.'


We all of us complain of the Shortness of Time, saith _Seneca_ [1] and
yet have much more than we know what to do with. Our Lives, says he, are
spent either in doing nothing at all, or in doing nothing to the
Purpose, or in doing nothing that we ought to do: We are always
complaining our Days are few, and acting as though there would be no End
of them. That noble Philosopher has described our Inconsistency with our
selves in this Particular, by all those various Turns of Expression and
Thought which are peculiar to his Writings.

I often consider Mankind as wholly inconsistent with itself in a Point
that bears some Affinity to the former. Though we seem grieved at the
Shortness of Life in general, we are wishing every Period of it at an
end. The Minor longs to be at Age, then to be a Man of Business, then to
make up an Estate, then to arrive at Honours, then to retire. Thus
although the whole of Life is allowed by every one to be short, the
several Divisions of it appear long and tedious. We are for lengthening
our Span in general, but would fain contract the Parts of which it is
composed. The Usurer would be very well satisfied to have all the Time
annihilated that lies between the present Moment and next Quarter-day.
The Politician would be contented to lose three Years in his Life, could
he place things in the Posture which he fancies they will stand in after
such a Revolution of Time. The Lover would be glad to strike out of his
Existence all the Moments that are to pass away before the happy
Meeting. Thus, as fast as our Time runs, we should be very glad in most
Parts of our Lives that it ran much faster than it does. Several Hours
of the Day hang upon our Hands, nay we wish away whole Years: and travel
through Time as through a Country filled with many wild and empty
Wastes, which we would fain hurry over, that we may arrive at those
several little Settlements or imaginary Points of Rest which are
dispersed up and down in it.

If we divide the Life of most Men into twenty Parts, we shall find that
at least nineteen of them are meer Gaps and Chasms, which are neither
filled with Pleasure nor Business. I do not however include in this
Calculation the Life of those Men who are in a perpetual Hurry of
Affairs, but of those only who are not always engaged in Scenes of
Action; and I hope I shall not do an unacceptable Piece of Service to
these Persons, if I point out to them certain Methods for the filling up
their empty Spaces of Life. The Methods I shall propose to them are as

The first is the Exercise of Virtue, in the most general Acceptation of
the Word. That particular Scheme which comprehends the Social Virtues,
may give Employment to the most industrious Temper, and find a Man in
Business more than the most active Station of Life. To advise the
Ignorant, relieve the Needy, comfort the Afflicted, are Duties that fall
in our way almost every Day of our Lives. A Man has frequent
Opportunities of mitigating the Fierceness of a Party; of doing Justice
to the Character of a deserving Man; of softning the Envious, quieting
the Angry, and rectifying the Prejudiced; which are all of them
Employments suited to a reasonable Nature, and bring great Satisfaction
to the Person who can busy himself in them with Discretion.

There is another kind of Virtue that may find Employment for those
Retired Hours in which we are altogether left to our selves, and
destitute of Company and Conversation; I mean that Intercourse and
Communication which every reasonable Creature ought to maintain with the
great Author of his Being. The Man who lives under an habitual Sense of
the Divine Presence keeps up a perpetual Chearfulness of Temper, and
enjoys every Moment the Satisfaction of thinking himself in Company with
his dearest and best of Friends. The Time never lies heavy upon him: It
is impossible for him to be alone. His Thoughts and Passions are the
most busied at such Hours when those of other Men are the most unactive:
He no sooner steps out of the World but his Heart burns with Devotion,
swells with Hope, and triumphs in the Consciousness of that Presence
which every where surrounds him; or, on the contrary, pours out its
Fears, its Sorrows, its Apprehensions, to the great Supporter of its

I have here only considered the Necessity of a Man's being Virtuous,
that he may have something to do; but if we consider further, that the
Exercise of Virtue is not only an Amusement for the time it lasts, but
that its Influence extends to those Parts of our Existence which lie
beyond the Grave, and that our whole Eternity is to take its Colour from
those Hours which we here employ in Virtue or in Vice, the Argument
redoubles upon us, for putting in Practice this Method of passing away
our Time.

When a Man has but a little Stock to improve, and has opportunities of
turning it all to good Account, what shall we think of him if he suffers
nineteen Parts of it to lie dead, and perhaps employs even the twentieth
to his Ruin or Disadvantage? But because the Mind cannot be always in
its Fervours, nor strained up to a Pitch of Virtue, it is necessary to
find out proper Employments for it in its Relaxations.

The next Method therefore that I would propose to fill up our Time,
should be useful and innocent Diversions. I must confess I think it is
below reasonable Creatures to be altogether conversant in such
Diversions as are meerly innocent, and have nothing else to recommend
them, but that there is no Hurt in them. Whether any kind of Gaming has
even thus much to say for it self, I shall not determine; but I think it
is very wonderful to see Persons of the best Sense passing away a dozen
Hours together in shuffling and dividing a Pack of Cards, with no other
Conversation but what is made up of a few Game Phrases, and no other
Ideas but those of black or red Spots ranged together in different
Figures. Would not a man laugh to hear any one of this Species
complaining that Life is short.

The _Stage_ might be made a perpetual Source of the most noble and
useful Entertainments, were it under proper Regulations.

But the Mind never unbends itself so agreeably as in the Conversation of
a well chosen Friend. There is indeed no Blessing of Life that is any
way comparable to the Enjoyment of a discreet and virtuous Friend. It
eases and unloads the Mind, clears and improves the Understanding,
engenders Thoughts and Knowledge, animates Virtue and good Resolution,
sooths and allays the Passions, and finds Employment for most of the
vacant Hours of Life.

Next to such an Intimacy with a particular Person, one would endeavour
after a more general Conversation with such as are able to entertain and
improve those with whom they converse, which are Qualifications that
seldom go asunder.

There are many other useful Amusements of Life, which one would
endeavour to multiply, that one might on all Occasions have Recourse to
something rather than suffer the mind to lie idle, or run adrift with
any Passion that chances to rise in it.

A Man that has a Taste of Musick, Painting, or Architecture, is like one
that has another Sense when compared with such as have no Relish of
those Arts. The Florist, the Planter, the Gardiner, the Husbandman, when
they are only as Accomplishments to the Man of Fortune, are great
Reliefs to a Country Life, and many ways useful to those who are
possessed of them.

But of all the Diversions of Life, there is none so proper to fill up
its empty Spaces as the reading of useful and entertaining Authors. But
this I shall only touch upon, because it in some Measure interferes with
the third Method, which I shall propose in another Paper, for the
Employment of our dead unactive Hours, and which I shall only mention in
general to be the Pursuit of Knowledge.

[Footnote 1: Epist. 49, and in his De Brevitate Vita.]

* * * * *

No. 94 Monday, June 18, 1711 Addison.

'... Hoc est
Vivere bis, vita posse priore frui.'


The last Method which I proposed in my _Saturday's Paper_, for filling
up those empty Spaces of Life which are so tedious and burdensome to
idle People, is the employing ourselves in the Pursuit of Knowledge. I
remember _Mr. Boyle_ [1] speaking of a certain Mineral, tells us, That
a Man may consume his whole Life in the Study of it, without arriving at
the Knowledge of all its Qualities. The Truth of it is, there is not a
single Science, or any Branch of it, that might not furnish a Man with
Business for Life, though it were much longer than it is.

I shall not here engage on those beaten Subjects of the Usefulness of
Knowledge, nor of the Pleasure and Perfection it gives the Mind, nor on
the Methods of attaining it, nor recommend any particular Branch of it,
all which have been the Topicks of many other Writers; but shall indulge
my self in a Speculation that is more uncommon, and may therefore
perhaps be more entertaining.

I have before shewn how the unemployed Parts of Life appear long and
tedious, and shall here endeavour to shew how those Parts of Life which
are exercised in Study, Reading, and the Pursuits of Knowledge, are long
but not tedious, and by that means discover a Method of lengthening our
Lives, and at the same time of turning all the Parts of them to our

Mr. _Lock_ observes, [2]

'That we get the Idea of Time, or Duration, by reflecting on that
Train of Ideas which succeed one another in our Minds: That for this
Reason, when we sleep soundly without dreaming, we have no Perception
of Time, or the Length of it whilst we sleep; and that the Moment
wherein we leave off to think, till the Moment we begin to think
again, seems to have no distance.'

To which the Author adds,

'And so I doubt not but it would be to a waking Man, if it were
possible for him to keep only one _Idea_ in his Mind, without
Variation, and the Succession of others: And we see, that one who
fixes his Thoughts very intently on one thing, so as to take but
little notice of the Succession of _Ideas_ that pass in his Mind
whilst he is taken up with that earnest Contemplation, lets slip out
of his Account a good Part of that Duration, and thinks that Time
shorter than it is.'

We might carry this Thought further, and consider a Man as, on one Side,
shortening his Time by thinking on nothing, or but a few things; so, on
the other, as lengthening it, by employing his Thoughts on many
Subjects, or by entertaining a quick and constant Succession of Ideas.
Accordingly Monsieur _Mallebranche_, in his _Enquiry after Truth_, [3]
(which was published several Years before Mr. _Lock's Essay on Human
Understanding_) tells us, That it is possible some Creatures may think
Half an Hour as long as we do a thousand Years; or look upon that Space
of Duration which we call a Minute, as an Hour, a Week, a Month, or an
whole Age.

This Notion of Monsieur _Mallebranche_ is capable of some little
Explanation from what I have quoted out of Mr. _Lock_; for if our Notion
of Time is produced by our reflecting on the Succession of Ideas in our
Mind, and this Succession may be infinitely accelerated or retarded, it
will follow, that different Beings may have different Notions of the
same Parts of Duration, according as their Ideas, which we suppose are
equally distinct in each of them, follow one another in a greater or
less Degree of Rapidity.

There is a famous Passage in the _Alcoran_, which looks as if _Mahomet_
had been possessed of the Notion we are now speaking of. It is there
said, [4] That the Angel _Gabriel_ took _Mahomet_ Out of his Bed one
Morning to give him a Sight of all things in the Seven Heavens, in
Paradise, and in Hell, which the Prophet took a distinct View of; and
after having held ninety thousand Conferences with God, was brought back
again to his Bed. All this, says the _Alcoran_, was transacted in so
small a space of Time, that _Mahomet_ at his Return found his Bed still
warm, and took up an Earthen Pitcher, (which was thrown down at the very
Instant that the Angel _Gabriel_ carried him away) before the Water was
all spilt.

There is a very pretty Story in the _Turkish_ Tales which relates to
this Passage of that famous Impostor, and bears some Affinity to the
Subject we are now upon. A Sultan of _Egypt_, who was an Infidel, used
to laugh at this Circumstance in _Mahomet's_ Life, as what was
altogether impossible and absurd: But conversing one Day with a great
Doctor in the Law, who had the Gift of working Miracles, the Doctor told
him he would quickly convince him of the Truth of this Passage in the
History of Mahomet, if he would consent to do what he should desire of
him. Upon this the Sultan was directed to place himself by an huge Tub
of Water, which he did accordingly; and as he stood by the Tub amidst a
Circle of his great Men, the holy Man bid him plunge his Head into the
Water, and draw it up again: The King accordingly thrust his Head into
the Water, and at the same time found himself at the Foot of a Mountain
on a Sea-shore. The King immediately began to rage against his Doctor
for this Piece of Treachery and Witchcraft; but at length, knowing it
was in vain to be angry, he set himself to think on proper Methods for
getting a Livelihood in this strange Country: Accordingly he applied
himself to some People whom he saw at work in a Neighbouring Wood: these
People conducted him to a Town that stood at a little Distance from the
Wood, where, after some Adventures, he married a Woman of great Beauty
and Fortune. He lived with this Woman so long till he had by her seven
Sons and seven Daughters: He was afterwards reduced to great Want, and
forced to think of plying in the Streets as a Porter for his Livelihood.
One Day as he was walking alone by the Sea-side, being seized with many
melancholy Reflections upon his former and his present State of Life,
which had raised a Fit of Devotion in him, he threw off his Clothes with
a Design to wash himself, according to the Custom of the _Mahometans_,
before he said his Prayers.

After his first Plunge into the Sea, he no sooner raised his Head above
the Water but he found himself standing by the Side of the Tub, with the
great Men of his Court about him, and the holy Man at his Side. He
immediately upbraided his Teacher for having sent him on such a Course
of Adventures, and betrayed him into so long a State of Misery and
Servitude; but was wonderfully surprised when he heard that the State he
talked of was only a Dream and Delusion; that he had not stirred from
the Place where he then stood; and that he had only dipped his Head into
the Water, and immediately taken it out again.

The _Mahometan_ Doctor took this Occasion of instructing the Sultan,
that nothing was impossible with God; and that _He_, with whom a
Thousand Years are but as one Day, can, if he pleases, make a single
Day, nay a single Moment, appear to any of his Creatures as a Thousand

I shall leave my Reader to compare these Eastern Fables with the Notions
of those two great Philosophers whom I have quoted in this Paper; and
shall only, by way of Application, desire him to consider how we may
extend Life beyond its natural Dimensions, by applying our selves
diligently to the Pursuits of Knowledge.

The Hours of a wise Man are lengthened by his Ideas, as those of a Fool
are by his Passions: The Time of the one is long, because he does not
know what to do with it; so is that of the other, because he
distinguishes every Moment of it with useful or amusing Thought; or in
other Words, because the one is always wishing it away, and the other
always enjoying it.

How different is the View of past Life, in the Man who is grown old in
Knowledge and Wisdom, from that of him who is grown old in Ignorance and
Folly? The latter is like the Owner of a barren Country that fills his
Eye with the Prospect of naked Hills and Plains, which produce nothing
either profitable or ornamental; the other beholds a beautiful and
spacious Landskip divided into delightful Gardens, green Meadows,
fruitful Fields, and can scarce cast his Eye on a single Spot of his
Possessions, that is not covered with some beautiful Plant or Flower.


[Footnote 1: Not of himself, but in 'The Usefulness of Natural
Philosophy' ('Works', ed. 1772, vol. ii. p. 11), Boyle quotes from the
old Alchemist, Basil Valentine, who said in his 'Currus Trimnphalis

'That the shortness of life makes it impossible for one man thoroughly
to learn Antimony, in which every day something of new is

[Footnote 2: 'Essay on the Human Understanding', Bk II. ch. 14.]

[Footnote 3: Two English Translations of Malebranche's 'Search after
Truth' were published in 1694, one by T. Taylor of Magdalen College,
Oxford. Malebranche sets out with the argument that man has no innate
perception of Duration.]

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