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The Spectator, Volume 1 by Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

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No. 196. Monday, October 15, 1711. Steele.

Est Ulubris, animus si te non deficit oequus.



'There is a particular Fault which I have observed in most of the
Moralists in all Ages, and that is, that they are always professing
themselves, and teaching others to be happy. This State is not to be
arrived at in this Life, therefore I would recommend to you to talk in
an humbler Strain than your Predecessors have done, and instead of
presuming to be happy, instruct us only to be easy. The Thoughts of
him who would be discreet, and aim at practicable things, should turn
upon allaying our Pain rather than promoting our Joy. Great Inquietude
is to be avoided, but great Felicity is not to be attained. The great
Lesson is AEquanimity, a Regularity of Spirit, which is a little above
Chearfulness and below Mirth. Chearfulness is always to be supported
if a Man is out of Pain, but Mirth to a prudent Man should always be
accidental: It should naturally arise out of the Occasion, and the
Occasion seldom be laid for it; for those Tempers who want Mirth to be
pleased, are like the Constitutions which flag without the use of
Brandy. Therefore, I say, let your Precept be, Be easy. That Mind is
dissolute and ungoverned, which must be hurried out of it self by loud
Laughter or sensual Pleasure, or else [be [1]] wholly unactive.

There are a Couple of old Fellows of my Acquaintance who meet every
Day and smoak a Pipe, and by their mutual Love to each other, tho'
they have been Men of Business and Bustle in the World, enjoy a
greater Tranquility than either could have worked himself into by any
Chapter of Seneca. Indolence of Body and Mind, when we aim at no more,
is very frequently enjoyed; but the very Enquiry after Happiness has
something restless in it, which a Man who lives in a Series of
temperate Meals, friendly Conversations, and easy Slumbers, gives
himself no Trouble about. While Men of Refinement are talking of
Tranquility, he possesses it.

What I would by these broken Expressions recommend to you, Mr.
SPECTATOR, is, that you would speak of the Way of Life, which plain
Men may pursue, to fill up the Spaces of Time with Satisfaction. It is
a lamentable Circumstance, that Wisdom, or, as you call it,
Philosophy, should furnish Ideas only for the Learned; and that a Man
must be a Philosopher to know how to pass away his Time agreeably. It
would therefore be worth your Pains to place in an handsome Light the
Relations and Affinities among Men, which render their Conversation
with each other so grateful, that the highest Talents give but an
impotent Pleasure in Comparison with them. You may find Descriptions
and Discourses which will render the Fire-side of an honest Artificer
as entertaining as your own Club is to you. Good-nature has an endless
Source of Pleasure in it; and the Representation of domestick Life,
filled with its natural Gratifications, (instead of the necessary
Vexations which are generally insisted upon in the Writings of the
Witty) will be a very good Office to Society.

The Vicissitudes of Labour and Rest in the lower Part of Mankind, make
their Being pass away with that Sort of Relish which we express by the
Word Comfort; and should be treated of by you, who are a SPECTATOR, as
well as such Subjects which appear indeed more speculative, but are
less instructive. In a word, Sir, I would have you turn your Thoughts
to the Advantage of such as want you most; and shew that Simplicity,
Innocence, Industry and Temperance, are Arts which lead to
Tranquility, as much as Learning, Wisdom, Knowledge, and

I am, Sir,

Your most Humble Servant,

'T. B.'

Hackney, [October 12. [2]]


'I am the young Woman whom you did so much Justice to some time ago,
in acknowledging that I am perfect Mistress of the Fan, and use it
with the utmost Knowledge and Dexterity. Indeed the World, as
malicious as it is, will allow, that from an Hurry of Laughter I
recollect my self the most suddenly, make a Curtesie, and let fall my
Hands before me, closing my Fan at the same instant, the best of any
Woman in England. I am not a little delighted that I have had your
Notice and Approbation; and however other young Women may rally me out
of Envy, I triumph in it, and demand a Place in your Friendship. You
must therefore permit me to lay before you the present State of my
Mind. I was reading your Spectator of the 9th Instant, and thought the
Circumstance of the Ass divided between two Bundles of Hay which
equally affected his Senses, was a lively Representation of my present
Condition: For you are to now that I am extremely enamoured with two
young Gentlemen who at this time pretend to me. One must hide nothing
when one is asking Advice, therefore I will own to you, that I am very
amorous and very covetous. My Lover _Will_ is very rich, and my
Lover _Tom_ very handsome. I can have either of them when I
please; but when I debate the Question in my own Mind, I cannot take
_Tom_ for fear of losing _Will_'s Estate, nor enter upon
_Will's_ Estate, and bid adieu to _Tom_'s Person. I am very
young, and yet no one in the World, dear Sir, has the main Chance more
in her Head than myself. _Tom_ is the gayest, the blithest
Creature! He dances well, is very civil, and diverting at all Hours
and Seasons. Oh, he is the Joy of my Eyes! But then again _Will_
is so very rich and careful of the Main. How many pretty Dresses does
_Tom_ appear in to charm me! But then it immediately occurs to
me, that a Man of his Circumstances is so much the poorer. Upon the
whole I have at last examined both these Desires of Loves and Avarice,
and upon strictly weighing the Matter I begin to think I shall be
covetous longer than fond; therefore if you have nothing to say to the
contrary, I shall take _Will_. Alas, poor _Tom_!

_Your Humble Servant_,


[Footnote 1: is]

[Footnote 2: the 12th of October.]

* * * * *

No. 197. Saturday, October 16, 1711. Budgell

'Alter rixatur de lana saepe caprina,
Propugnat nugis armatus: scilicet, ut non
Sit mihi prima fides; et vere quod placet, ut non
Acriter elatrem, pretium aetas altera sordet.
Ambigitur quid enim? Castor sciat an Docilis plus,
Brundusium Numici melius via ducat an Appi.'


Every Age a Man passes through, and Way of Life he engages in, has some
particular Vice or Imperfection naturally cleaving to it, which it wil
require his nicest Care to avoid. The several Weaknesses, to which
Youth, Old Age and Manhood are exposed, have long since been set down by
many both of the Poets and Philosophers; but I do not remember to have
met with any Author who has treated of those ill Habits Men are subject
to, not so much by reason of their different Ages and Tempers, as the
particular Profession or Business in which they were educated and
brought up.

I am the more surprised to find this Subject so little touched on, since
what I am here speaking of is so apparent as not to escape the most
vulgar Observation. The Business Men are chiefly conversant in, does not
only give a certain Cast or Turn to their Minds, but is very often
apparent in their outward Behaviour, and some of the most indifferent
Actions of their Lives. It is this Air diffusing itself over the whole
Man, which helps us to find out a Person at his first Appearance; so
that the most careless Observer fancies he can scarce be mistaken in the
Carriage of a Seaman or the Gaite of a Taylor.

The liberal Arts, though they may possibly have less Effect on our
external Mein and Behaviour, make so deep an Impression on the Mind, as
is very apt to bend it wholly one Way.

The Mathematician will take little less than Demonstration in the most
common Discourse, and the Schoolman is as great a Friend to Definitions
and Syllogisms. The Physician and Divine are often heard to dictate in
private Companies with the same Authority which they exercise over their
Patients and Disciples; while the Lawyer is putting Cases and raising
Matter for Disputation out of every thing that occurs.

I may possibly some time or other animadvert more at large on the
particular Fault each Profession is most infected with; but shall at
present wholly apply my self to the Cure of what I last mentioned,
namely, That Spirit of Strife and Contention in the Conversations of
Gentlemen of the Long Robe.

This is the more ordinary, because these Gentlemen regarding Argument as
their own proper Province, and very often making ready Money of it,
think it unsafe to yield before Company. They are shewing in common Talk
how zealously they could defend a Cause in Court, and therefore
frequently forget to keep that Temper which is absolutely requisite to
render Conversation pleasant and instructive.

CAPTAIN SENTRY pushes this Matter so far, that I have heard him say, _He
has known but few Pleaders that were tolerable Company_.

The Captain, who is a Man of good Sense, but dry Conversation, was last
Night giving me an Account of a Discourse, in which he had lately been
engaged with a young Wrangler in the Law. I was giving my Opinion, says
the Captain, without apprehending any Debate that might arise from it,
of a General's Behaviour in a Battle that was fought some Years before
either the Templer or my self were born. The young Lawyer immediately
took me up, and by reasoning above a Quarter of an Hour upon a Subject
which I saw he understood nothing of, endeavoured to shew me that my
Opinions were ill grounded. Upon which, says the Captain, to avoid any
farther Contests, I told him, That truly I had not consider'd those
several Arguments which he had brought against me; and that there might
be a great deal in them. Ay, but says my Antagonist, who would not let
me escape so, there are several Things to be urged in favour of your
Opinion which you have omitted, and thereupon begun to shine on the
other Side of the Question. Upon this, says the Captain, I came over to
my first Sentiments, and entirely acquiesced in his Reasons for my so
doing. Upon which the Templer again recovered his former Posture, and
confuted both himself and me a third Time. In short, says my Friend, I
found he was resolved to keep me at Sword's Length, and never let me
close with him, so that I had nothing left but to hold my tongue, and
give my Antagonist free leave to smile at his Victory, who I found, like
_Hudibras, could still change Sides, and still confute_. [1]

For my own part, I have ever regarded our Inns of Courts as Nurseries of
Statesmen and Law-givers, which makes me often frequent that Part of the
Town with great Pleasure.

Upon my calling in lately at one of the most noted _Temple_
Coffee-houses, I found the whole Room, which was full of young Students,
divided into several Parties, each of which was deeply engaged in some
Controversie. The Management of the late Ministry was attacked and
defended with great Vigour; and several Preliminaries to the Peace were
proposed by some, and rejected by others; the demolishing of _Dunkirk_
was so eagerly insisted on, and so warmly controverted, as had like to
have produced a Challenge. In short, I observed that the Desire of
Victory, whetted with the little Prejudices of Party and Interest,
generally carried the Argument to such an Height, as made the Disputants
insensibly conceive an Aversion towards each other, and part with the
highest Dissatisfaction on both Sides.

The managing an Argument handsomely being so nice a Point, and what I
have seen so very few excel in, I shall here set down a few Rules on
that Head, which, among other things, I gave in writing to a young
Kinsman of mine who had made so great a Proficiency in the Law, that he
began to plead in Company upon every Subject that was started.

Having the entire Manuscript by me, I may, perhaps, from time to time,
publish such Parts of it as I shall think requisite for the Instruction
of the _British_ Youth. What regards my present Purpose is as follows:

Avoid Disputes as much as possible. In order to appear easie and
well-bred in Conversation, you may assure your self that it requires
more Wit, as well as more good Humour, to improve than to contradict the
Notions of another: But if you are at any time obliged to enter on an
Argument, give your Reasons with the utmost Coolness and Modesty, two
Things which scarce ever fail of making an Impression on the Hearers.
Besides, if you are neither Dogmatical, nor shew either by your Actions
or Words, that you are full of your self, all will the more heartily
rejoice at your Victory. Nay, should you be pinched in your Argument,
you may make your Retreat with a very good Grace: You were never
positive, and are now glad to be better informed. This has made some
approve the Socratical Way of Reasoning, where while you scarce affirm
any thing, you can hardly be caught in an Absurdity; and tho' possibly
you are endeavouring to bring over another to your Opinion, which is
firmly fix'd, you seem only to desire Information from him.

In order to keep that Temper, which [is [2]] so difficult, and yet so
necessary to preserve, you may please to consider, that nothing can be
more unjust or ridiculous, than to be angry with another because he is
not of your Opinion. The Interests, Education, and Means by which Men
attain their Knowledge, are so very different, that it is impossible
they should all think alike; and he has at least as much Reason to be
angry with you, as you with him. Sometimes to keep your self cool, it
may be of Service to ask your self fairly, What might have been your
Opinion, had you all the Biasses of Education and Interest your
Adversary may possibly have? but if you contend for the Honour of
Victory alone, you may lay down this as an Infallible Maxim. That you
cannot make a more false Step, or give your Antagonists a greater
Advantage over you, than by falling into a Passion.

When an Argument is over, how many weighty Reasons does a Man recollect,
which his Heat and Violence made him utterly forget?

It is yet more absurd to be angry with a Man because he does not
apprehend the Force of your Reasons, or gives weak ones of his own. If
you argue for Reputation, this makes your Victory the easier; he is
certainly in all respects an Object of your Pity, rather than Anger; and
if he cannot comprehend what you do, you ought to thank Nature for her
Favours, who has given you so much the clearer Understanding.

You may please to add this Consideration, That among your Equals no one
values your Anger, which only preys upon its Master; and perhaps you may
find it not very consistent either with Prudence or your Ease, to punish
your self whenever you meet with a Fool or a Knave.

Lastly, If you propose to your self the true End of Argument, which is
Information, it may be a seasonable Check to your Passion; for if you
search purely after Truth,'twill be almost indifferent to you where you
find it. I cannot in this Place omit an Observation which I have often
made, namely, That nothing procures a Man more Esteem and less Envy from
the whole Company, than if he chooses the Part of Moderator, without
engaging directly on either Side in a Dispute. This gives him the
Character of Impartial, furnishes him with an Opportunity of sifting
Things to the Bottom, shewing his Judgment, and of sometimes making
handsome Compliments to each of the contending Parties.

I shall close this Subject with giving you one Caution: When you have
gained a Victory, do not push it too far; 'tis sufficient to let the
Company and your Adversary see 'tis in your Power, but that you are too
generous to make use of it.


[Footnote 1: Part I., canto i., v. 69, 70.]

[Footnote 2: "it is", and in first reprint.]

* * * * *

No. 198. Wednesday, October 17, 1711. Addison.

'Cervae luporum praeda rapacium
Sectamur ultro, quos opimus
Fallere et effugere est triumphus.'


There is a Species of Women, whom I shall distinguish by the Name of
Salamanders. Now a Salamander is a kind of Heroine in Chastity, that
treads upon Fire, and lives in the Midst of Flames without being hurt. A
Salamander knows no Distinction of Sex in those she converses with,
grows familiar with a Stranger at first Sight, and is not so
narrow-spirited as to observe whether the Person she talks to be in
Breeches or Petticoats. She admits a Male Visitant to her Bed-side,
plays with him a whole Afternoon at Pickette, walks with him two or
three Hours by Moon-light; and is extreamly Scandalized at the
unreasonableness of an Husband, or the severity of a Parent, that would
debar the Sex from such innocent Liberties. Your Salamander is therefore
a perpetual Declaimer against Jealousie, and Admirer of the _French_
Good-breeding, and a great Stickler for Freedom in Conversation. In
short, the Salamander lives in an invincible State of Simplicity and
Innocence: Her Constitution is _preserv'd_ in a kind of natural Frost;
she wonders what People mean by Temptation; and defies Mankind to do
their worst. Her Chastity is engaged in a constant _Ordeal_, or fiery
Tryal: (Like good Queen _Emma_, [1]) the pretty Innocent walks blindfold
among burning Ploughshares, without being scorched or singed by them.

It is not therefore for the Use of the Salamander, whether in a married
or single State of Life, that I design the following Paper; but for such
Females only as are made of Flesh and Blood, and find themselves subject
to Human Frailties.

As for this Part of the fair Sex who are not of the Salamander Kind, I
would most earnestly advise them to observe a quite different Conduct in
their Behaviour; and to avoid as much as possible what Religion calls
_Temptations_, and the World _Opportunities_. Did they but know how many
Thousands of their Sex have been gradually betrayed from innocent
Freedoms to Ruin and Infamy; and how many Millions of ours have begun
with Flatteries, Protestations and Endearments, but ended with
Reproaches, Perjury, and Perfidiousness; they would shun like Death the
very first Approaches of one that might lead them into inextricable
Labyrinths of Guilt and Misery. I must so far give up the Cause of the
Male World, as to exhort the Female Sex in the Language of _Chamont_ in
the _Orphan_; [2]

'Trust not a Man, we are by Nature False,
Dissembling, Subtle, Cruel, and Unconstant:
When a Man talks of Love, with Caution trust him:
But if he Swears, he'll certainly deceive thee.'

I might very much enlarge upon this Subject, but shall conclude it with
a Story which I lately heard from one of our _Spanish_ Officers, [3] and
which may shew the Danger a Woman incurs by too great Familiarities with
a Male Companion.

An Inhabitant of the Kingdom of _Castile_, being a Man of more than
ordinary Prudence, and of a grave composed Behaviour, determined about
the fiftieth Year of his Age to enter upon Wedlock. In order to make
himself easy in it, he cast his Eye upon a young Woman who had nothing
to recommend her but her Beauty and her Education, her Parents having
been reduced to great Poverty by the Wars, [which [4]] for some Years
have laid that whole Country waste. The _Castilian_ having made his
Addresses to her and married her, they lived together in perfect
Happiness for some time; when at length the Husband's Affairs made it
necessary for him to take a Voyage to the Kingdom of _Naples_, where a
great Part of his Estate lay. The Wife loved him too tenderly to be left
behind him. They had not been a Shipboard above a Day, when they
unluckily fell into the Hands of an _Algerine_ Pirate, who carried the
whole Company on Shore, and made them Slaves. The _Castilian_ and his
Wife had the Comfort to be under the same Master; who seeing how dearly
they loved one another, and gasped after their Liberty, demanded a most
exorbitant Price for their Ransom. The _Castilian_, though he would
rather have died in Slavery himself, than have paid such a Sum as he
found would go near to ruin him, was so moved with Compassion towards
his Wife, that he sent repeated Orders to his Friend in _Spain_, (who
happened to be his next Relation) to sell his Estate, and transmit the
Money to him. His Friend hoping that the Terms of his Ransom might be
made more reasonable, and unwilling to sell an Estate which he himself
had some Prospect of inheriting, formed so many delays, that three whole
Years passed away without any thing being done for the setting of them
at Liberty.

There happened to live a _French_ Renegado in the same Place where the
_Castilian_ and his Wife were kept Prisoners. As this Fellow had in him
all the Vivacity of his Nation, he often entertained the Captives with
Accounts of his own Adventures; to which he sometimes added a Song or a
Dance, or some other Piece of Mirth, to divert them [during [5]] their
Confinement. His Acquaintance with the Manners of the _Algerines_,
enabled him likewise to do them several good Offices. The _Castilian_,
as he was one Day in Conversation with this Renegado, discovered to him
the Negligence and Treachery of his Correspondent in _Castile_, and at
the same time asked his Advice how he should behave himself in that
Exigency: He further told the Renegado, that he found it would be
impossible for him to raise the Money, unless he himself might go over
to dispose of his Estate. The Renegado, after having represented to him
that his _Algerine Master_ would never consent to his Release upon such
a Pretence, at length contrived a Method for the _Castlian_ to make his
Escape in the Habit of a Seaman. The _Castilian_ succeeded in his
Attempt; and having sold his Estate, being afraid lest the Money should
miscarry by the Way, and determining to perish with it rather than lose
one who was much dearer to him than his Life, he returned himself in a
little Vessel that was going to _Algiers_. It is impossible to describe
the Joy he felt on this Occasion, when he considered that he should soon
see the Wife whom he so much loved, and endear himself more to her by
this uncommon Piece of Generosity.

The Renegado, during the Husband's Absence, so insinuated himself into
the good Graces of his young Wife, and so turned her Head with Stories
of Gallantry, that she quickly thought him the finest Gentleman she had
ever conversed with. To be brief, her Mind was quite alienated from the
honest _Castilian_, whom she was taught to look upon as a formal old
Fellow unworthy the Possession of so charming a Creature. She had been
instructed by the Renegado how to manage herself upon his Arrival; so
that she received him with an Appearance of the utmost Love and
Gratitude, and at length perswaded him to trust their common Friend the
Renegado with the Money he had brought over for their Ransom; as not
questioning but he would beat down the Terms of it, and negotiate the
Affair more to their Advantage than they themselves could do. The good
Man admired her Prudence, and followed her Advice. I wish I could
conceal the Sequel of this Story, but since I cannot I shall dispatch it
in as few Words as possible. The _Castilian_ having slept longer than
ordinary the next Morning, upon his awaking found his Wife had left him:
He immediately arose and enquired after her, but was told that she was
seen with the Renegado about Break of Day. In a Word, her Lover having
got all things ready for their Departure, they soon made their Escape
out of the Territories of _Algiers_, carried away the Money, and left
the _Castilian_ in Captivity; who partly through the cruel Treatment of
the incensed _Algerine_ his Master, and partly through the unkind Usage
of his unfaithful Wife, died some few Months after.


[Footnote 1: The story of Queen Emma, mother of Edward the Confessor,
and her walking unhurt, blindfold and barefoot, over nine red-hot
ploughshares, is told in Bayle's Dictionary, a frequent suggester of
allusions in the _Spectator_. Tonson reported that he usually found
Bayle's Dictionary open on Addison's table whenever he called on him.]

[Footnote 2: Act 2.]

[Footnote 3: That is, English officers who had served in Spain.]

[Footnote 4: that]

[Footnote 5: in]

* * * * *

No. 199. Thursday, October 18, 1711. Steele.

'Scribere jussit amor.'


The following Letters are written with such an Air of Sincerity, that I
cannot deny the inserting of them.


'Tho' you are every where in your Writings a Friend to Women, I do not
remember that you have directly considered the mercenary Practice of
Men in the Choice of Wives. If you would please to employ your
Thoughts upon that Subject, you would easily conceive the miserable
Condition many of us are in, who not only from the Laws of Custom and
Modesty are restrained from making any Advances towards our Wishes,
but are also, from the Circumstance of Fortune, out of all Hope of
being addressed to by those whom we love. Under all these
Disadvantages I am obliged to apply my self to you, and hope I shall
prevail with you to Print in your very next Paper the following
Letter, which is a Declaration of Passion to one who has made some
feint Addresses to me for some time. I believe he ardently loves me,
but the Inequality of my Fortune makes him think he cannot answer it
to the World, if he pursues his Designs by way of Marriage; and I
believe, as he does not want Discerning, he discovered me looking at
him the other Day unawares in such a Manner as has raised his Hopes of
gaining me on Terms the Men call easier. But my Heart was very full on
this Occasion, and if you know what Love and Honour are, you will
pardon me that I use no further Arguments with you, but hasten to my
Letter to him, whom I call _Oroondates_, [1] because if I do not
succeed it shall look like Romance; and if I am regarded, you shall
receive a pair of Gloves at my Wedding, sent you under the Name of




'After very much Perplexity in my self, and revolving how to acquaint
you with my own Sentiments, and expostulate with you concerning yours,
I have chosen this Way, by which means I can be at once revealed to
you, or, if you please, lie concealed. If I do not within few Days
find the Effect which I hope from this, the whole Affair shall be
buried in Oblivion. But, alas! what am I going to do, when I am about
to tell you that I love you? But after I have done so, I am to assure
you, that with all the Passion which ever entered a tender Heart, I
know I can banish you from my Sight for ever, when I am convinced that
you have no Inclinations towards me but to my Dishonour. But, alas!
Sir, why should you sacrifice the real and essential Happiness of
Life, to the Opinion of a World, that moves upon no other Foundation
but profess'd Error and Prejudice? You all can observe that Riches
alone do not make you happy, and yet give up every Thing else when it
stands in Competition with Riches. Since the World is so bad, that
Religion is left to us silly Women, and you Men act generally upon
Principles of Profit and Pleasure, I will talk to you without arguing
from any Thing but what may be most to your Advantage, as a Man of the
World. And I will lay before you the State of the Case, supposing that
you had it in your Power to make me your Mistress, or your Wife, and
hope to convince you that the latter is more for your Interest, and
will contribute more to your Pleasure.

'We will suppose then the Scene was laid, and you were now in
Expectation of the approaching Evening wherein I was to meet you, and
be carried to what convenient Corner of the Town you thought fit, to
consummate all which your wanton Imagination has promised you in the
Possession of one who is in the Bloom of Youth, and in the Reputation
of Innocence: you would soon have enough of me, as I am Sprightly,
Young, Gay, and Airy. When Fancy is sated, and finds all the Promises
it [made [2]] it self false, where is now the Innocence which charmed
you? The first Hour you are alone you will find that the Pleasure of a
Debauchee is only that of a Destroyer; He blasts all the Fruit he
tastes, and where the Brute has been devouring, there is nothing left
worthy the Relish of the Man. Reason resumes her Place after
Imagination is cloyed; and I am, with the utmost Distress and
Confusion, to behold my self the Cause of uneasie Reflections to you,
to be visited by Stealth, and dwell for the future with the two
Companions (the most unfit for each other in the World) Solitude and
Guilt. I will not insist upon the shameful Obscurity we should pass
our Time in, nor run over the little short Snatches of fresh Air and
free Commerce which all People must be satisfied with, whose Actions
will not bear Examination, but leave them to your Reflections, who
have seen of that Life of which I have but a meer Idea.

On the other hand, If you can be so good and generous as to make me
your Wife, you may promise your self all the Obedience and Tenderness
with which Gratitude can inspire a virtuous Woman. Whatever
Gratifications you may promise your self from an agreeable Person,
whatever Compliances from an easie Temper, whatever Consolations from
a sincere Friendship, you may expect as the Due of your Generosity.
What at present in your ill View you promise your self from me, will
be followed by Distaste and Satiety; but the Transports of a virtuous
Love are the least Part of its Happiness. The Raptures of innocent
Passion are but like Lightning to the Day, they rather interrupt than
advance the Pleasure of it. How happy then is that Life to be, where
the highest Pleasures of Sense are but the lower Parts of its

Now am I to repeat to you the unnatural Request of taking me in direct
Terms. I know there stands between me and that Happiness, the haughty
Daughter of a Man who can give you suitably to your Fortune. But if
you weigh the Attendance and Behaviour of her who comes to you in
Partnership of your Fortune, and expects an Equivalent, with that of
her who enters your House as honoured and obliged by that Permission,
whom of the two will you chuse? You, perhaps, will think fit to spend
a Day abroad in the common Entertainments of Men of Sense and Fortune;
she will think herself ill-used in that Absence, and contrive at Home
an Expence proportioned to the Appearance which you make in the World.
She is in all things to have a Regard to the Fortune which she brought
you, I to the Fortune to which you introduced me. The Commerce between
you two will eternally have the Air of a Bargain, between us of a
Friendship: Joy will ever enter into the Room with you, and kind
Wishes attend my Benefactor when he leaves it. Ask your self, how
would you be pleased to enjoy for ever the Pleasure of having laid an
immediate Obligation on a grateful Mind? such will be your Case with
Me. In the other Marriage you will live in a constant Comparison of
Benefits, and never know the Happiness of conferring or receiving any.

It may be you will, after all, act rather in the prudential Way,
according to the Sense of the ordinary World. I know not what I think
or say, when that melancholy Reflection comes upon me; but shall only
add more, that it is in your Power to make me
your Grateful Wife,
but never your Abandoned Mistress.


[Footnote 1: A character in Madame Scuderi's 'Grand Cyrus.']

[Footnote 2: made to]

* * * * *

No. 200. Friday, October 19, 1711. Steele. [1]

'Vincit Amor Patriae.'


The Ambition of Princes is many times as hurtful to themselves as to
their People. This cannot be doubted of such as prove unfortunate in
their Wars, but it is often true too of those who are celebrated for
their Successes. If a severe View were to be taken of their Conduct, if
the Profit and Loss by their Wars could be justly ballanced, it would be
rarely found that the Conquest is sufficient to repay the Cost.

As I was the other Day looking over the Letters of my Correspondents, I
took this Hint from that of _Philarithmus_ [2]; which has turned my
present Thoughts upon Political Arithmetick, an Art of greater Use than
Entertainment. My Friend has offered an Essay towards proving that
_Lewis_ XIV. with all his Acquisitions is not Master of more People than
at the Beginning of his Wars, nay that for every Subject he had
acquired, he had lost Three that were his Inheritance: If _Philarithmus_
is not mistaken in his Calculations, _Lewis_ must have been impoverished
by his Ambition.

The Prince for the Publick Good has a Sovereign Property in every
Private Person's Estate, and consequently his Riches must encrease or
decrease in proportion to the Number and Riches of his Subjects. For
Example: If Sword or Pestilence should destroy all the People of this
Metropolis, (God forbid there should be Room for such a Supposition! but
if this should be the Case) the Queen must needs lose a great Part of
her Revenue, or, at least, what is charged upon the City must encrease
the Burden upon the rest of her Subjects. Perhaps the Inhabitants here
are not above a Tenth Part of the Whole; yet as they are better fed, and
cloth'd, and lodg'd, than her other Subjects, the Customs and Excises
upon their Consumption, the Imposts upon their Houses, and other Taxes,
do very probably make a fifth Part of the whole Revenue of the Crown.
But this is not all; the Consumption of the City takes off a great Part
of the Fruits of the whole Island; and as it pays such a Proportion of
the Rent or yearly Value of the Lands in the Country, so it is the Cause
of paying such a Proportion of Taxes upon those Lands. The Loss then of
such a People must needs be sensible to the Prince, and visible to the
whole Kingdom.

On the other hand, if it should please God to drop from Heaven a new
People equal in Number and Riches to the City, I should be ready to
think their Excises, Customs, and House-Rent would raise as great a
Revenue to the Crown as would be lost in the former Case. And as the
Consumption of this New Body would be a new Market for the Fruits of the
Country, all the Lands, especially those most adjacent, would rise in
their yearly Value, and pay greater yearly Taxes to the Publick. The
Gain in this Case would be as sensible as the former Loss.

Whatsoever is assess'd upon the General, is levied upon Individuals. It
were worth the while then to consider what is paid by, or by means of,
the meanest Subjects, in order to compute the Value of every Subject to
the Prince.

For my own part, I should believe that Seven Eighths of the People are
without Property in themselves or the Heads of their Families, and
forced to work for their daily Bread; and that of this Sort there are
Seven Millions in the whole Island of _Great Britain_: And yet one would
imagine that Seven Eighths of the whole People should consume at least
three Fourths of the whole Fruits of the Country. If this is the Case,
the Subjects without Property pay Three Fourths of the Rents, and
consequently enable the Landed Men to pay Three Fourths of their Taxes.
Now if so great a Part of the Land-Tax were to be divided by Seven
Millions, it would amount to more than three Shillings to every Head.
And thus as the Poor are the Cause, without which the Rich could not pay
this Tax, even the poorest Subject is upon this Account worth three
Shillings yearly to the Prince.

Again: One would imagine the Consumption of seven Eighths of the whole
People, should pay two Thirds of all the Customs and Excises. And if
this Sum too should be divided by seven Millions, _viz._ the Number of
poor People, it would amount to more than seven Shillings to every Head:
And therefore with this and the former Sum every poor Subject, without
Property, except of his Limbs or Labour, is worth at least ten Shillings
yearly to the Sovereign. So much then the Queen loses with every one of
her old, and gains with every one of her new Subjects.

When I was got into this Way of thinking, I presently grew conceited of
the Argument, and was just preparing to write a Letter of Advice to a
Member of Parliament, for opening the Freedom of our Towns and Trades,
for taking away all manner of Distinctions between the Natives and
Foreigners, for repealing our Laws of Parish Settlements, and removing
every other Obstacle to the Increase of the People. But as soon as I had
recollected with what inimitable Eloquence my Fellow-Labourers had
exaggerated the Mischiefs of selling the Birth-right of _Britons_ for a
Shilling, of spoiling the pure _British_ Blood with Foreign Mixtures, of
introducing a Confusion of Languages and Religions, and of letting in
Strangers to eat the Bread out of the Mouths of our own People, I became
so humble as to let my Project fall to the Ground, and leave my Country
to encrease by the ordinary Way of Generation.

As I have always at Heart the Publick Good, so I am ever contriving
Schemes to promote it; and I think I may without Vanity pretend to have
contrived some as wise as any of the Castle-builders. I had no sooner
given up my former Project, but my Head was presently full of draining
Fens and Marshes, banking out the Sea, and joining new Lands to my
Country; for since it is thought impracticable to encrease the People to
the Land, I fell immediately to consider how much would be gained to the
Prince by encreasing the Lands to the People.

If the same omnipotent Power, which made the World, should at this time
raise out of the Ocean and join to _Great Britain_ an equal Extent of
Land, with equal Buildings, Corn, Cattle and other Conveniences and
Necessaries of Life, but no Men, Women, nor Children, I should hardly
believe this would add either to the Riches of the People, or Revenue of
the Prince; for since the present Buildings are sufficient for all the
Inhabitants, if any of them should forsake the old to inhabit the new
Part of the Island, the Increase of House-Rent in this would be attended
with at least an equal Decrease of it in the other: Besides, we have
such a Sufficiency of Corn and Cattle, that we give Bounties to our
Neighbours to take what exceeds of the former off our Hands, and we will
not suffer any of the latter to be imported upon us by our
Fellow-Subjects; and for the remaining Product of the Country 'tis
already equal to all our Markets. But if all these Things should be
doubled to the same Buyers, the Owners must be glad with half their
present Prices, the Landlords with half their present Rents; and thus by
so great an Enlargement of the Country, the Rents in the whole would not
increase, nor the Taxes to the Publick.

On the contrary, I should believe they would be very much diminished;
for as the Land is only valuable for its Fruits, and these are all
perishable, and for the most part must either be used within the Year,
or perish without Use, the Owners will get rid of them at any rate,
rather than they should waste in their Possession: So that 'tis probable
the annual Production of those perishable things, even of one Tenth Part
of them, beyond all Possibility of Use, will reduce one Half of their
Value. It seems to be for this Reason that our Neighbour Merchants who
ingross all the Spices, and know how great a Quantity is equal to the
Demand, destroy all that exceeds it. It were natural then to think that
the Annual Production of twice as much as can be used, must reduce all
to an Eighth Part of their present Prices; and thus this extended Island
would not exceed one Fourth Part of its present Value, or pay more than
one Fourth Part of the present Tax.

It is generally observed, That in Countries of the greatest Plenty there
is the poorest Living; like the Schoolmen's Ass, in one of my
Speculations, the People almost starve between two Meals. The Truth is,
the Poor, which are the Bulk of the Nation, work only that they may
live; and if with two Days Labour they can get a wretched Subsistence
for a Week, they will hardly be brought to work the other four: But then
with the Wages of two Days they can neither pay such Prices for their
Provisions, nor such Excises to the Government.

That paradox therefore in old _Hesiod_ [[Greek: pleon hemisu pantos],
[3]] or Half is more than the Whole, is very applicable to the present
Case; since nothing is more true in political Arithmetick, than that the
same People with half a Country is more valuable than with the Whole. I
begin to think there was nothing absurd in Sir _W. Petty_, when he
fancied if all the Highlands of _Scotland_ and the whole Kingdom of
_Ireland_ were sunk in the Ocean, so that the People were all saved and
brought into the Lowlands of _Great Britain_; nay, though they were to
be reimburst the Value of their Estates by the Body of the People, yet
both the Sovereign and the Subjects in general would be enriched by the
very Loss. [4]

If the People only make the Riches, the Father of ten Children is a
greater Benefactor to his Country, than he who has added to it 10000
Acres of Land and no People. It is certain _Lewis_ has join'd vast
Tracts of Land to his Dominions: But if _Philarithmus_ says true, that
he is not now Master of so many Subjects as before; we may then account
for his not being able to bring such mighty Armies into the Field, and
for their being neither so well fed, nor cloathed, nor paid as formerly.
The Reason is plain, _Lewis_ must needs have been impoverished not only
by his Loss of Subjects, but by his Acquisition of Lands.


[Footnote 1: Or Henry Martyn.]

[Footnote 2: In No. 180.]

[Footnote 3: [Greek: pleon haemisi panta]]

[Footnote 4: A new edition of Sir W. Petty's 'Essays in Political
Arithmetic' had just appeared.]

* * * * *

No. 201. Saturday, October 20, 1711. Addison.

'Religentem esse oportet, Religiosum nefas.'

Incerti Autoris apud Aul. Gell.

It is of the last Importance to season the Passions of a Child with
Devotion, which seldom dies in a Mind that has received an early
Tincture of it. Though it may seem extinguished for a while by the Cares
of the World, the Heats of Youth, or the Allurements of Vice, it
generally breaks out and discovers it self again as soon as Discretion,
Consideration, Age, or Misfortunes have brought the Man to himself. The
Fire may be covered and overlaid, but cannot be entirely quenched and

A State of Temperance, Sobriety, and Justice, without Devotion, is a
cold, lifeless, insipid Condition of Virtue; and is rather to be styled
Philosophy than Religion. Devotion opens the Mind to great Conceptions,
and fills it with more sublime Ideas than any that are to be met with in
the most exalted Science; and at the same time warms and agitates the
Soul more than sensual Pleasure.

It has been observed by some Writers, that Man is more distinguished
from the Animal World by Devotion than by Reason, as several Brute
Creatures discover in their Actions something like a faint Glimmering of
Reason, though they betray in no single Circumstance of their Behaviour
any Thing that bears the least Affinity to Devotion. It is certain, the
Propensity of the Mind to Religious Worship; the natural Tendency of the
Soul to fly to some Superior Being for Succour in Dangers and
Distresses, the Gratitude to an invisible Superintendent [which [1]]
rises in us upon receiving any extraordinary and unexpected good
Fortune; the Acts of Love and Admiration with which the Thoughts of Men
are so wonderfully transported in meditating upon the Divine
Perfections, and the universal Concurrence of all the Nations under
Heaven in the great Article of Adoration, plainly shew that Devotion or
Religious Worship must be the Effect of Tradition from some first
Founder of Mankind, or that it is conformable to the Natural Light of
Reason, or that it proceeds from an Instinct implanted in the Soul it
self. For my part, I look upon all these to be the concurrent Causes,
but which ever of them shall be assigned as the Principle of Divine
Worship, it manifestly points to a Supreme Being as the first Author of

I may take some other Opportunity of considering those particular Forms
and Methods of Devotion which are taught us by Christianity, but shall
here observe into what Errors even this Divine Principle may sometimes
lead us, when it is not moderated by that right Reason which was given
us as the Guide of all our Actions.

The two great Errors into which a mistaken Devotion may betray us, are
Enthusiasm and Superstition.

There is not a more melancholy Object than a Man who has his Head turned
with Religious Enthusiasm. A Person that is crazed, tho' with Pride or
Malice, is a Sight very mortifying to Human Nature; but when the
Distemper arises from any indiscreet Fervours of Devotion, or too
intense an Application of the Mind to its mistaken Duties, it deserves
our Compassion in a more particular Manner. We may however learn this
Lesson from it, that since Devotion it self (which one would be apt to
think could not be too warm) may disorder the Mind, unless its Heats are
tempered with Caution and Prudence, we should be particularly careful to
keep our Reason as cool as possible, and to guard our selves in all
Parts of Life against the Influence of Passion, Imagination, and

Devotion, when it does not lie under the Check of Reason, is very apt to
degenerate into Enthusiasm. When the Mind finds herself very much
inflamed with her Devotions, she is too much inclined to think they are
not of her own kindling, but blown up by something Divine within her. If
she indulges this Thought too far, and humours the growing Passion, she
at last flings her self into imaginary Raptures and Extasies; and when
once she fancies her self under the Influence of a Divine Impulse, it is
no Wonder if she slights Human Ordinances, and refuses to comply with
any established Form of Religion, as thinking her self directed by a
much superior Guide.

As Enthusiasm is a kind of Excess in Devotion, Superstition is the
Excess not only of Devotion, but of Religion in general, according to an
old Heathen Saying, quoted by _Aulus Gellius_, _Religentem esse oportet,
Religiosum nefas_; A Man should be Religious, not Superstitious: For as
the Author tells us, _Nigidius_ observed upon this Passage, that the
_Latin_ Words which terminate in _osus_ generally imply vicious
Characters, and the having of any Quality to an Excess. [2]

An Enthusiast in Religion is like an obstinate Clown, a Superstitious
Man like an insipid Courtier. Enthusiasm has something in it of Madness,
Superstition of Folly. Most of the Sects that fall short of the Church
of _England_ have in them strong Tinctures of Enthusiasm, as the _Roman_
Catholick Religion is one huge overgrown Body of childish and idle

The _Roman_ Catholick Church seems indeed irrecoverably lost in this
Particular. If an absurd Dress or Behaviour be introduced in the World,
it will soon be found out and discarded: On the contrary, a Habit or
Ceremony, tho' never so ridiculous, [which [3]] has taken Sanctuary in
the Church, sticks in it for ever. A _Gothic_ Bishop perhaps, thought it
proper to repeat such a Form in such particular Shoes or Slippers;
another fancied it would be very decent if such a Part of publick
Devotions were performed with a Mitre on his Head, and a Crosier in his
Hand: To this a Brother _Vandal_, as wise as the others, adds an antick
Dress, which he conceived would allude very aptly to such and such
Mysteries, till by Degrees the whole Office [has] degenerated into an
empty Show.

Their Successors see the Vanity and Inconvenience of these Ceremonies;
but instead of reforming, perhaps add others, which they think more
significant, and which take Possession in the same manner, and are never
to be driven out after they have been once admitted. I have seen the
Pope officiate at St. _Peter's_ where, for two Hours together, he was
busied in putting on or off his different Accoutrements, according to
the different Parts he was to act in them.

Nothing is so glorious in the Eyes of Mankind, and ornamental to Human
Nature, setting aside the infinite Advantages [which [4]] arise from it,
as a strong, steady masculine Piety; but Enthusiasm and Superstition are
the Weaknesses of human Reason, that expose us to the Scorn and Derision
of Infidels, and sink us even below the Beasts that perish.

Idolatry may be looked upon as another Error arising from mistaken
Devotion; but because Reflections on that Subject would be of no use to
an _English_ Reader, I shall not enlarge upon it.

[Footnote 1: that]

[Footnote 2: Noct. Att., Bk. iv. ch. 9.]

[Footnote 3: that]

[Footnote 4: that]

* * * * *

No. 202. Monday, October 22, 1711. Steele.

'Saepe decem vitiis instructior odit et horret.'


The other Day as I passed along the Street, I saw a sturdy Prentice-Boy
Disputing with an Hackney-Coachman; and in an Instant, upon some Word of
Provocation, throw off his Hat and [Cut-Periwig, [1]] clench his Fist,
and strike the Fellow a Slap on the Face; at the same time calling him
Rascal, and telling him he was a Gentleman's Son. The young Gentleman
was, it seems, bound to a Blacksmith; and the Debate arose about Payment
for some Work done about a Coach, near which they Fought. His Master,
during the Combat, was full of his Boy's Praises; and as he called to
him to play with his Hand and Foot, and throw in his Head, he made all
us who stood round him of his Party, by declaring the Boy had very good
Friends, and he could trust him with untold Gold. As I am generally in
the Theory of Mankind, I could not but make my Reflections upon the
sudden Popularity which was raised about the Lad; and perhaps, with my
Friend _Tacitus_, fell into Observations upon it, which were too great
for the Occasion; or ascribed this general Favour to Causes which had
nothing to do towards it. But the young Blacksmith's being a Gentleman
was, methought, what created him good Will from his present Equality
with the Mob about him: Add to this, that he was not so much a
Gentleman, as not, at the same time that he called himself such, to use
as rough Methods for his Defence as his Antagonist. The Advantage of his
having good Friends, as his Master expressed it, was not lazily urged;
but he shewed himself superior to the Coachman in the personal Qualities
of Courage and Activity, to confirm that of his being well allied,
before his Birth was of any Service to him.

If one might Moralize from this silly Story, a Man would say, that
whatever Advantages of Fortune, Birth, or any other Good, People possess
above the rest of the World, they should shew collateral Eminences
besides those Distinctions; or those Distinctions will avail only to
keep up common Decencies and Ceremonies, and not to preserve a real
Place of Favour or Esteem in the Opinion and common Sense of their

The Folly of People's Procedure, in imagining that nothing more is
necessary than Property and superior Circumstances to support them in
Distinction, appears in no way so much as in the Domestick part of Life.
It is ordinary to feed their Humours into unnatural Excrescences, if I
may so speak, and make their whole Being a wayward and uneasy Condition,
for want of the obvious Reflection that all Parts of Human Life is a
Commerce. It is not only paying Wages, and giving Commands, that
constitutes a Master of a Family; but Prudence, equal Behaviour, with
Readiness to protect and cherish them, is what entitles a Man to that
Character in their very Hearts and Sentiments. It is pleasant enough to
Observe, that Men expect from their Dependants, from their sole Motive
of Fear, all the good Effects which a liberal Education, and affluent
Fortune, and every other Advantage, cannot produce in themselves. A Man
will have his Servant just, diligent, sober and chaste, for no other
Reasons but the Terrour of losing his Master's Favour; when all the Laws
Divine and Human cannot keep him whom he serves within Bounds, with
relation to any one of those Virtues. But both in great and ordinary
Affairs, all Superiority, which is not founded on Merit and Virtue, is
supported only by Artifice and Stratagem. Thus you see Flatterers are
the Agents in Families of Humourists, and those who govern themselves by
any thing but Reason. Make-Bates, distant Relations, poor Kinsmen, and
indigent Followers, are the Fry which support the Oeconomy of an
humoursome rich Man. He is eternally whispered with Intelligence of who
are true or false to him in Matters of no Consequence, and he maintains
twenty Friends to defend him against the Insinuations of one who would
perhaps cheat him of an old Coat.

I shall not enter into farther Speculation upon this Subject at present,
but think the following Letters and Petition are made up of proper
Sentiments on this Occasion.


I am a Servant to an old Lady who is governed by one she calls her
Friend; who is so familiar an one, that she takes upon her to advise
her without being called to it, and makes her uneasie with all about
her. Pray, Sir, be pleased to give us some Remarks upon voluntary
Counsellors; and let these People know that to give any Body Advice,
is to say to that Person, I am your Betters. Pray, Sir, as near as you
can, describe that eternal Flirt and Disturber of Families, Mrs.
_Taperty_, who is always visiting, and putting People in a Way, as
they call it. If you can make her stay at home one Evening, you will
be a general Benefactor to all the Ladies Women in Town, and
particularly to

_Your loving Friend_,

Susan Civil.


'I am a Footman, and live with one of those Men, each of whom is said
to be one of the best humoured Men in the World, but that he is
passionate. Pray be pleased to inform them, that he who is passionate,
and takes no Care to command his Hastiness, does more Injury to his
Friends and Servants in one half Hour, than whole Years can attone
for. This Master of mine, who is the best Man alive in common Fame,
disobliges Some body every Day he lives; and strikes me for the next
thing I do, because he is out of Humour at it. If these Gentlemen
[knew [2]] that they do all the Mischief that is ever done in
Conversation, they would reform; and I who have been a Spectator of
Gentlemen at Dinner for many Years, have seen that Indiscretion does
ten times more Mischief than Ill-nature. But you will represent this
better than _Your abused_

_Humble Servant_,

Thomas Smoaky.


The humble Petition of _John Steward_, _Robert Butler_, _Harry Cook_,
and _Abigail Chambers_, in Behalf of themselves and their Relations,
belonging to and dispersed in the several Services of most of the
great Families within the Cities of _London and Westminster_;


That in many of the Families in which your Petitioners live and are
employed, the several Heads of them are wholly unacquainted with what
is Business, and are very little Judges when they are well or ill used
by us your said Petitioners.

That for want of such Skill in their own Affairs, and by Indulgence
of their own Laziness and Pride, they continually keep about them
certain mischievous Animals called Spies.

That whenever a Spy is entertained, the Peace of that House is from
that Moment banished.

That Spies never give an Account of good Services, but represent our
Mirth and Freedom by the Words Wantonness and Disorder.

That in all Families where there are Spies, there is a general
Jealousy and Misunderstanding.

That the Masters and Mistresses of such Houses live in continual
Suspicion of their ingenuous and true Servants, and are given up to
the Management of those who are false and perfidious.

That such Masters and Mistresses who entertain Spies, are no longer
more than Cyphers in their own Families; and that we your Petitioners
are with great Disdain obliged to pay all our Respect, and expect all
our Maintenance from such Spies.

Your Petitioners therefore most humbly pray, that you would represent
the Premises to all Persons of Condition; and your Petitioners, as in
Duty bound, shall for ever Pray, &c.


[Footnote 1: Perriwig]

[Footnote 2: "know", and in first reprint.]


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