Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

The Spectator, Volume 1 by Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

Part 3 out of 19

Adobe PDF icon
Download The Spectator, Volume 1 pdf
File size: 2.1 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

Use of the Club, unless in case of Sickness or Imprisonment.

IV. If any Member swears or curses, his Neighbour may give him a Kick
upon the Shins.

V. If any Member tells Stories in the Club that are not true, he
shall forfeit for every third Lie an Half-Penny.

VI. If any Member strikes another wrongfully, he shall pay his Club
for him.

VII. If any Member brings his Wife into the Club, he shall pay for
whatever she drinks or smoaks.

VIII If any Member's Wife comes to fetch him Home from the Club, she
shall speak to him without the Door.

IX. If any Member calls another Cuckold, he shall be turned out of
the Club.

X. None shall be admitted into the Club that is of the same Trade
with any Member of it.

XI. None of the Club shall have his Cloaths or Shoes made or mended,
but by a Brother Member.

XII. No Non-juror shall be capable of being a Member.

The Morality of this little Club is guarded by such wholesome Laws and
Penalties, that I question not but my Reader will be as well pleased
with them, as he would have been with the 'Leges Convivales' of _Ben.
Johnson_, [4] the Regulations of an old _Roman_ Club cited by _Lipsius_,
or the rules of a _Symposium_ in an ancient _Greek_ author.


[Footnote 1: The 'Kit-Cat' Club met at a famous Mutton-Pie house in
Shire Lane, by Temple Bar. The house was kept by Christopher Cat, after
whom his pies were called Kit-Cats. The club originated in the
hospitality of Jacob Tonson, the bookseller, who, once a week, was host
at the house in Shire Lane to a gathering of writers. In an occasional
poem on the Kit-Cat Club, attributed to Sir Richard Blackmore, Jacob is
read backwards into Bocaj, and we are told

One Night in Seven at this convenient Seat
Indulgent Bocaj did the Muses treat;
Their Drink was gen'rous Wine and Kit-Cat's Pyes their Meat.
Hence did th' Assembly's Title first arise,
And Kit-Cat Wits spring first from Kit-Cat's Pyes.

About the year 1700 this gathering of wits produced a club in which the
great Whig chiefs were associated with foremost Whig writers, Tonson
being Secretary. It was as much literary as political, and its 'toasting
glasses,' each inscribed with lines to a reigning beauty, caused
Arbuthnot to derive its name from 'its pell mell pack of toasts'

'Of old Cats and young Kits.'

Tonson built a room for the Club at Barn Elms to which each member gave
his portrait by Sir Godfrey Kneller, who was himself a member. The
pictures were on a new-sized canvas adapted to the height of the walls,
whence the name 'kit-cat' came to be applied generally to three-quarter
length portraits.]

[Footnote 2: The 'Beef-Steak' Club, founded in Queen Anne's time, first
of its name, took a gridiron for badge, and had cheery Dick Estcourt the
actor for its providore. It met at a tavern in the Old Jewry that had
old repute for broiled steaks and 'the true British quintessence of malt
and hops.']

[Footnote 3: The 'October' Club was of a hundred and fifty Tory squires,
Parliament men, who met at the Bell Tavern, in King Street, Westminster,
and there nourished patriotism with October ale. The portrait of Queen
Anne that used to hang in its Club room is now in the Town
Council-chamber at Salisbury.]

[Footnote 4: In Four and Twenty Latin sentences engraven in marble over
the chimney, in the Apollo or Old Devil Tavern at Temple Bar; that being
his club room.]

* * * * *

No. 10. Monday, March 12, 1711. Addison.

'Non aliter quam qui adverso vix flumine lembum
Remigiis subigit: si brachia forte remisit,
Atque illum in praeceps prono rapit alveus amni.'


It is with much Satisfaction that I hear this great City inquiring Day
by Day after these my Papers, and receiving my Morning Lectures with a
becoming Seriousness and Attention. My Publisher tells me, that there
are already Three Thousand of them distributed every Day: So that if I
allow Twenty Readers to every Paper, which I look upon as a modest
Computation, I may reckon about Threescore thousand Disciples in
_London_ and _Westminster_, who I hope will take care to distinguish
themselves from the thoughtless Herd of their ignorant and unattentive
Brethren. Since I have raised to myself so great an Audience, I shall
spare no Pains to make their Instruction agreeable, and their Diversion
useful. For which Reasons I shall endeavour to enliven Morality with
Wit, and to temper Wit with Morality, that my Readers may, if possible,
both Ways find their account in the Speculation of the Day. And to the
End that their Virtue and Discretion may not be short transient
intermitting Starts of Thought, I have resolved to refresh their
Memories from Day to Day, till I have recovered them out of that
desperate State of Vice and Folly, into which the Age is fallen. The
Mind that lies fallow but a single Day, sprouts up in Follies that are
only to be killed by a constant and assiduous Culture. It was said of
_Socrates_, that he brought Philosophy down from Heaven, to inhabit
among Men; and I shall be ambitious to have it said of me, that I have
brought Philosophy out of Closets and Libraries, Schools and Colleges,
to dwell in Clubs and Assemblies, at Tea-tables, and in Coffee-houses.

I would therefore in a very particular Manner recommend these my
Speculations to all well-regulated Families, that set apart an Hour in
every Morning for Tea and Bread and Butter; and would earnestly advise
them for their Good to order this Paper to be punctually served up, and
to be looked upon as a Part of the Tea Equipage.

Sir _Francis Bacon_ observes, that a well-written Book, compared with
its Rivals and Antagonists, is like _Moses's_ Serpent, that immediately
swallow'd up and devoured those of the _AEgyptians_. I shall not be so
vain as to think, that where the SPECTATOR appears, the other publick
Prints will vanish; but shall leave it to my Readers Consideration,
whether, Is it not much better to be let into the Knowledge of
ones-self, than to hear what passes in _Muscovy_ or _Poland_; and to
amuse our selves with such Writings as tend to the wearing out of
Ignorance, Passion, and Prejudice, than such as naturally conduce to
inflame Hatreds, and make Enmities irreconcileable.

In the next Place, I would recommend this Paper to the daily Perusal of
those Gentlemen whom I cannot but consider as my good Brothers and
Allies, I mean the Fraternity of Spectators who live in the World
without having any thing to do in it; and either by the Affluence of
their Fortunes, or Laziness of their Dispositions, have no other
Business with the rest of Mankind but to look upon them. Under this
Class of Men are comprehended all contemplative Tradesmen, titular
Physicians, Fellows of the Royal Society, Templers that are not given to
be contentious, and Statesmen that are out of business. In short, every
one that considers the World as a Theatre, and desires to form a right
Judgment of those who are the Actors on it.

There is another Set of Men that I must likewise lay a Claim to, whom I
have lately called the Blanks of Society, as being altogether
unfurnish'd with Ideas, till the Business and Conversation of the Day
has supplied them. I have often considered these poor Souls with an Eye
of great Commiseration, when I have heard them asking the first Man they
have met with, whether there was any News stirring? and by that Means
gathering together Materials for thinking. These needy Persons do not
know what to talk of, till about twelve a Clock in the Morning; for by
that Time they are pretty good Judges of the Weather, know which Way the
Wind sits, and whether the Dutch Mail be come in. As they lie at the
Mercy of the first Man they meet, and are grave or impertinent all the
Day long, according to the Notions which they have imbibed in the
Morning, I would earnestly entreat them not to stir out of their
Chambers till they have read this Paper, and do promise them that I will
daily instil into them such sound and wholesome Sentiments, as shall
have a good Effect on their Conversation for the ensuing twelve Hours.

But there are none to whom this Paper will be more useful than to the
female World. I have often thought there has not been sufficient Pains
taken in finding out proper Employments and Diversions for the Fair
ones. Their Amusements seem contrived for them rather as they are Women,
than as they are reasonable Creatures; and are more adapted to the Sex,
than to the Species. The Toilet is their great Scene of Business, and
the right adjusting of their Hair the principal Employment of their
Lives. The sorting of a Suit of Ribbons is reckoned a very good
Morning's Work; and if they make an Excursion to a Mercer's or a
Toy-shop, so great a Fatigue makes them unfit for any thing else all the
Day after. Their more serious Occupations are Sowing and Embroidery, and
their greatest Drudgery the Preparation of Jellies and Sweetmeats. This,
I say, is the State of ordinary Women; tho' I know there are Multitudes
of those of a more elevated Life and Conversation, that move in an
exalted Sphere of Knowledge and Virtue, that join all the Beauties of
the Mind to the Ornaments of Dress, and inspire a kind of Awe and
Respect, as well as Love, into their Male-Beholders. I hope to encrease
the Number of these by publishing this daily Paper, which I shall always
endeavour to make an innocent if not an improving Entertainment, and by
that Means at least divert the Minds of my female Readers from greater
Trifles. At the same Time, as I would fain give some finishing Touches
to those which are already the most beautiful Pieces in humane Nature, I
shall endeavour to point out all those Imperfections that are the
Blemishes, as well as those Virtues which are the Embellishments, of the
Sex. In the mean while I hope these my gentle Readers, who have so much
Time on their Hands, will not grudge throwing away a Quarter of an Hour
in a Day on this Paper, since they may do it without any Hindrance to

I know several of my Friends and Well-wishers are in great Pain for me,
lest I should not be able to keep up the Spirit of a Paper which I
oblige myself to furnish every Day: But to make them easy in this
Particular, I will promise them faithfully to give it over as soon as I
grow dull. This I know will be Matter of great Raillery to the small
Wits; who will frequently put me in mind of my Promise, desire me to
keep my Word, assure me that it is high Time to give over, with many
other little Pleasantries of the like Nature, which men of a little
smart Genius cannot forbear throwing out against their best Friends,
when they have such a Handle given them of being witty. But let them
remember, that I do hereby enter my Caveat against this Piece of


* * * * *

No. 11. Tuesday, March 13, 1711. Steele.

'Dat veniam corvis, vexat censura columbas.'


Arietta is visited by all Persons of both Sexes, who may have any
Pretence to Wit and Gallantry. She is in that time of Life which is
neither affected with the Follies of Youth or Infirmities of Age; and
her Conversation is so mixed with Gaiety and Prudence, that she is
agreeable both to the Young and the Old. Her Behaviour is very frank,
without being in the least blameable; and as she is out of the Tract of
any amorous or ambitious Pursuits of her own, her Visitants entertain
her with Accounts of themselves very freely, whether they concern their
Passions or their Interests. I made her a Visit this Afternoon, having
been formerly introduced to the Honour of her Acquaintance, by my friend
_Will. Honeycomb_, who has prevailed upon her to admit me sometimes into
her Assembly, as a civil, inoffensive Man. I found her accompanied with
one Person only, a Common-Place Talker, who, upon my Entrance, rose, and
after a very slight Civility sat down again; then turning to _Arietta_,
pursued his Discourse, which I found was upon the old Topick, of
Constancy in Love. He went on with great Facility in repeating what he
talks every Day of his Life; and, with the Ornaments of insignificant
Laughs and Gestures, enforced his Arguments by Quotations out of Plays
and Songs, which allude to the Perjuries of the Fair, and the general
Levity of Women. Methought he strove to shine more than ordinarily in
his Talkative Way, that he might insult my Silence, and distinguish
himself before a Woman of _Arietta's_ Taste and Understanding. She had
often an Inclination to interrupt him, but could find no Opportunity,
'till the Larum ceased of its self; which it did not 'till he had
repeated and murdered the celebrated Story of the _Ephesian_ Matron. [1]

_Arietta_ seemed to regard this Piece of Raillery as an Outrage done to
her Sex; as indeed I have always observed that Women, whether out of a
nicer Regard to their Honour, or what other Reason I cannot tell, are
more sensibly touched with those general Aspersions, which are cast upon
their Sex, than Men are by what is said of theirs.

When she had a little recovered her self from the serious Anger she was
in, she replied in the following manner.

Sir, when I consider, how perfectly new all you have said on this
Subject is, and that the Story you have given us is not quite two
thousand Years Old, I cannot but think it a Piece of Presumption to
dispute with you: But your Quotations put me in Mind of the Fable of
the Lion and the Man. The Man walking with that noble Animal, showed
him, in the Ostentation of Human Superiority, a Sign of a Man killing
a Lion. Upon which the Lion said very justly, _We Lions are none of us
Painters, else we could show a hundred Men killed by Lions, for one
Lion killed by a Man_. You Men are Writers, and can represent us Women
as Unbecoming as you please in your Works, while we are unable to
return the Injury. You have twice or thrice observed in your
Discourse, that Hypocrisy is the very Foundation of our Education; and
that an Ability to dissemble our affections, is a professed Part of
our Breeding. These, and such other Reflections, are sprinkled up and
down the Writings of all Ages, by Authors, who leave behind them
Memorials of their Resentment against the Scorn of particular Women,
in Invectives against the whole Sex. Such a Writer, I doubt not, was
the celebrated _Petronius_, who invented the pleasant Aggravations of
the Frailty of the _Ephesian_ Lady; but when we consider this Question
between the Sexes, which has been either a Point of Dispute or
Raillery ever since there were Men and Women, let us take Facts from
plain People, and from such as have not either Ambition or Capacity to
embellish their Narrations with any Beauties of Imagination. I was the
other Day amusing myself with _Ligon's_ Account of _Barbadoes_; and,
in Answer to your well-wrought Tale, I will give you (as it dwells
upon my Memory) out of that honest Traveller, in his fifty fifth page,
the History of _Inkle_ and _Yarico_. [2]

Mr. _Thomas Inkle_ of _London_, aged twenty Years, embarked in the
_Downs_, on the good Ship called the 'Achilles', bound for the _West
Indies_, on the 16th of June 1647, in order to improve his Fortune by
Trade and Merchandize. Our Adventurer was the third Son of an eminent
Citizen, who had taken particular Care to instill into his Mind an
early Love of Gain, by making him a perfect Master of Numbers, and
consequently giving him a quick View of Loss and Advantage, and
preventing the natural Impulses of his Passions, by Prepossession
towards his Interests. With a Mind thus turned, young _Inkle_ had a
Person every way agreeable, a ruddy Vigour in his Countenance,
Strength in his Limbs, with Ringlets of fair Hair loosely flowing on
his Shoulders. It happened, in the Course of the Voyage, that the
_Achilles_, in some Distress, put into a Creek on the Main of
_America_, in search of Provisions. The Youth, who is the Hero of my
Story, among others, went ashore on this Occasion. From their first
Landing they were observed by a Party of _Indians_, who hid themselves
in the Woods for that Purpose. The _English_ unadvisedly marched a
great distance from the Shore into the Country, and were intercepted
by the Natives, who slew the greatest Number of them. Our Adventurer
escaped among others, by flying into a Forest. Upon his coming into a
remote and pathless Part of the Wood, he threw himself [tired and]
breathless on a little Hillock, when an _Indian_ Maid rushed from
a Thicket behind him: After the first Surprize, they appeared mutually
agreeable to each other. If the _European_ was highly charmed
with the Limbs, Features, and wild Graces of the Naked
_American_; the _American_ was no less taken with the Dress,
Complexion, and Shape of an _European_, covered from Head to
Foot. The _Indian_ grew immediately enamoured of him, and
consequently sollicitous for his Preservation: She therefore conveyed
him to a Cave, where she gave him a Delicious Repast of Fruits, and
led him to a Stream to slake his Thirst. In the midst of these good
Offices, she would sometimes play with his Hair, and delight in the
Opposition of its Colour to that of her Fingers: Then open his Bosome,
then laugh at him for covering it. She was, it seems, a Person of
Distinction, for she every day came to him in a different Dress, of
the most beautiful Shells, Bugles, and Bredes. She likewise brought
him a great many Spoils, which her other Lovers had presented to her;
so that his Cave was richly adorned with all the spotted Skins of
Beasts, and most Party-coloured Feathers of Fowls, which that World
afforded. To make his Confinement more tolerable, she would carry him
in the Dusk of the Evening, or by the favour of Moon-light, to
unfrequented Groves, and Solitudes, and show him where to lye down in
Safety, and sleep amidst the Falls of Waters, and Melody of
Nightingales. Her Part was to watch and hold him in her Arms, for fear
of her Country-men, and wake on Occasions to consult his Safety. In
this manner did the Lovers pass away their Time, till they had learn'd
a Language of their own, in which the Voyager communicated to his
Mistress, how happy he should be to have her in his Country, where she
should be Cloathed in such Silks as his Wastecoat was made of, and be
carried in Houses drawn by Horses, without being exposed to Wind or
Weather. All this he promised her the Enjoyment of, without such Fears
and Alarms as they were there tormented with. In this tender
Correspondence these Lovers lived for several Months, when
_Yarico_, instructed by her Lover, discovered a Vessel on the
Coast, to which she made Signals, and in the Night, with the utmost
Joy and Satisfaction accompanied him to a Ships-Crew of his
Country-Men, bound for _Barbadoes_. When a Vessel from the Main
arrives in that Island, it seems the Planters come down to the Shoar,
where there is an immediate Market of the _Indians_ and other Slaves,
as with us of Horses and Oxen.

To be short, Mr. _Thomas Inkle_, now coming into _English_
Territories, began seriously to reflect upon his loss of Time, and to
weigh with himself how many Days Interest of his Mony he had lost
during his Stay with _Yarico_. This Thought made the Young Man very
pensive, and careful what Account he should be able to give his
Friends of his Voyage. Upon which Considerations, the prudent and
frugal young Man sold _Yarico_ to a _Barbadian_ Merchant;
notwithstanding that the poor Girl, to incline him to commiserate her
Condition, told him that she was with Child by him: But he only made
use of that Information, to rise in his Demands upon the Purchaser.

I was so touch'd with this Story, (which I think should be always a
Counterpart to the _Ephesian_ Matron) that I left the Room with Tears in
my Eyes; which a Woman of _Arietta's_ good Sense, did, I am sure, take
for greater Applause, than any Compliments I could make her.


[Footnote 1: Told in the prose 'Satyricon' ascribed to Petronius, whom
Nero called his Arbiter of Elegance. The tale was known in the Middle
Ages from the stories of the 'Seven Wise Masters.' She went down into
the vault with her husband's corpse, resolved to weep to death or die of
famine; but was tempted to share the supper of a soldier who was
watching seven bodies hanging upon trees, and that very night, in the
grave of her husband and in her funeral garments, married her new and
stranger guest.]

[Footnote 2: 'A True and Exact History of the Island of Barbadoes. By
Richard Ligon, Gent.,' fol. 1673. The first edition had appeared in
1657. Steele's beautiful story is elaborated from the following short
passage in the page he cites. After telling that he had an Indian slave
woman 'of excellent shape and colour,' who would not be wooed by any
means to wear clothes, Mr. Ligon says:

'This _Indian_ dwelling near the Sea Coast, upon the Main, an
_English_ ship put in to a Bay, and sent some of her Men a shoar, to
try what victuals or water they could find, for in some distress they
were: But the _Indians_ perceiving them to go up so far into the
Country, as they were sure they could not make a safe retreat,
intercepted them in their return, and fell upon them, chasing them
into a Wood, and being dispersed there, some were taken, and some
kill'd: But a young man amongst them straggling from the rest, was met
by this _Indian_ maid, who upon the first sight fell in love with him,
and hid him close from her Countrymen (the _Indians_) in a Cave, and
there fed him, till they could safely go down to the shoar, where the
ship lay at anchor, expecting the return of their friends. But at
last, seeing them upon the shoar, sent the long-Boat for them, took
them aboard, and brought them away. But the youth, when he came ashoar
in the _Barbadoes_, forgot the kindness of the poor maid, that had
ventured her life for his safety, and sold her for a slave, who was as
free born as he: And so poor _Yarico_ for her love, lost her liberty.']

* * * * *

No. 12. Wednesday, March 14, 1711. Addison.

... Veteres avias tibi de pulmone revello.


At my coming to _London_, it was some time before I could settle my self
in a House to my likeing. I was forced to quit my first Lodgings, by
reason of an officious Land-lady, that would be asking every Morning how
I had slept. I then fell into an honest Family, and lived very happily
for above a Week; when my Land-lord, who was a jolly good-natur'd Man,
took it into his head that I wanted Company, and therefore would
frequently come into my Chamber to keep me from being alone. This I bore
for Two or Three Days; but telling me one Day that he was afraid I was
melancholy, I thought it was high time for me to be gone, and
accordingly took new Lodgings that very Night. About a Week after, I
found my jolly Land-lord, who, as I said before was an honest hearty
Man, had put me into an Advertisement of the 'Daily Courant', in the
following Words.

'_Whereas a melancholy Man left his Lodgings on Thursday last in the
Afternoon, and was afterwards seen going towards Islington; If any one
can give Notice of him to_ R. B., Fishmonger in the_ Strand, _he shall
be very well rewarded for his Pains._'

As I am the best Man in the World to keep my own Counsel, and my
Land-lord the Fishmonger not knowing my Name, this Accident of my Life
was never discovered to this very Day.

I am now settled with a Widow-woman, who has a great many Children, and
complies with my Humour in everything. I do not remember that we have
exchang'd a Word together these Five Years; my Coffee comes into my
Chamber every Morning without asking for it; if I want Fire I point to
my Chimney, if Water, to my Bason: Upon which my Land-lady nods, as much
as to say she takes my Meaning, and immediately obeys my Signals. She
has likewise model'd her Family so well, that when her little Boy offers
to pull me by the Coat or prattle in my Face, his eldest Sister
immediately calls him off and bids him not disturb the Gentleman. At my
first entering into the Family, I was troubled with the Civility of
their rising up to me every time I came into the Room; but my Land-lady
observing, that upon these Occasions I always cried Pish and went out
again, has forbidden any such Ceremony to be used in the House; so that
at present I walk into the Kitchin or Parlour without being taken notice
of, or giving any Interruption to the Business or Discourse of the
Family. The Maid will ask her Mistress (tho' I am by) whether the
Gentleman is ready to go to Dinner, as the Mistress (who is indeed an
excellent Housewife) scolds at the Servants as heartily before my Face
as behind my Back. In short, I move up and down the House and enter into
all Companies, with the same Liberty as a Cat or any other domestick
Animal, and am as little suspected of telling anything that I hear or

I remember last Winter there were several young Girls of the
Neighbourhood sitting about the Fire with my Land-lady's Daughters, and
telling Stories of Spirits and Apparitions. Upon my opening the Door the
young Women broke off their Discourse, but my Land-lady's Daughters
telling them that it was no Body but the Gentleman (for that is the Name
which I go by in the Neighbourhood as well as in the Family), they went
on without minding me. I seated myself by the Candle that stood on a
Table at one End of the Room; and pretending to read a Book that I took
out of my Pocket, heard several dreadful Stories of Ghosts as pale as
Ashes that had stood at the Feet of a Bed, or walked over a Churchyard
by Moonlight: And of others that had been conjured into the _Red-Sea_,
for disturbing People's Rest, and drawing their Curtains at Midnight;
with many other old Women's Fables of the like Nature. As one Spirit
raised another, I observed that at the End of every Story the whole
Company closed their Ranks and crouded about the Fire: I took Notice in
particular of a little Boy, who was so attentive to every Story, that I
am mistaken if he ventures to go to bed by himself this Twelvemonth.
Indeed they talked so long, that the Imaginations of the whole Assembly
were manifestly crazed, and I am sure will be the worse for it as long
as they live. I heard one of the Girls, that had looked upon me over her
Shoulder, asking the Company how long I had been in the Room, and
whether I did not look paler than I used to do. This put me under some
Apprehensions that I should be forced to explain my self if I did not
retire; for which Reason I took the Candle in my Hand, and went up into
my Chamber, not without wondering at this unaccountable Weakness in
reasonable Creatures, [that they should [1]] love to astonish and
terrify one another.

Were I a Father, I should take a particular Care to preserve my Children
from these little Horrours of Imagination, which they are apt to
contract when they are young, and are not able to shake off when they
are in Years. I have known a Soldier that has enter'd a Breach,
affrighted at his own Shadow; and look pale upon a little scratching at
his Door, who the Day before had march'd up against a Battery of Cannon.
There are Instances of Persons, who have been terrify'd, even to
Distraction, at the Figure of a Tree or the shaking of a Bull-rush. The
Truth of it is, I look upon a sound Imagination as the greatest Blessing
of Life, next to a clear Judgment and a good Conscience. In the mean
Time, since there are very few whose Minds are not more or less subject
to these dreadful Thoughts and Apprehensions, we ought to arm our selves
against them by the Dictates of Reason and Religion, _to pull the old
Woman out of our Hearts_ (as _Persius_ expresses it in the Motto of my
Paper), and extinguish those impertinent Notions which we imbibed at a
Time that we were not able to judge of their Absurdity. Or if we
believe, as many wise and good Men have done, that there are such
Phantoms and Apparitions as those I have been speaking of, let us
endeavour to establish to our selves an Interest in him who holds the
Reins of the whole Creation in his Hand, and moderates them after such a
Manner, that it is impossible for one Being to break loose upon another
without his Knowledge and Permission.

For my own Part, I am apt to join in Opinion with those who believe that
all the Regions of Nature swarm with Spirits; and that we have
Multitudes of Spectators on all our Actions, when we think our selves
most alone: But instead of terrifying my self with such a Notion, I am
wonderfully pleased to think that I am always engaged with such an
innumerable Society in searching out the Wonders of the Creation, and
joining in the same Consort of Praise and Adoration.

Milton [2] has finely described this mixed Communion of Men and Spirits
in Paradise; and had doubtless his Eye upon a Verse in old _Hesiod_, [3]
which is almost Word for Word the same with his third Line in the
following Passage.

'Nor think, though Men were none,
That Heav'n would want Spectators, God want praise:
Millions of spiritual Creatures walk the Earth
Unseen, both when we wake and when we sleep;
All these with ceaseless Praise his Works behold
Both Day and Night. How often from the Steep
Of echoing Hill or Thicket, have we heard
Celestial Voices to the midnight Air,
Sole, or responsive each to others Note,
Singing their great Creator: Oft in bands,
While they keep Watch, or nightly Rounding walk,
With heav'nly Touch of instrumental Sounds,
In full harmonick Number join'd, their Songs
Divide the Night, and lift our Thoughts to Heav'n.'


[Footnote 1: who]

[Footnote 2: 'Paradise Lost', B. IV., lines 675-688.]

[Footnote 3: In Bk. I. of the 'Works and Days,' description of the
Golden Age, when the good after death

Yet still held state on earth, and guardians were
Of all best mortals still surviving there,
Observ'd works just and unjust, clad in air,
And gliding undiscovered everywhere.

'Chapman's Translation'.]

* * * * *

No. 13. Thursday, March 15, 1711. Addison.

'Dic mi hi si fueris tu leo qualis eris?'


There is nothing that of late Years has afforded Matter of greater
Amusement to the Town than Signior _Nicolini's_ Combat with a Lion in
the _Hay-Market_ [1] which has been very often exhibited to the general
Satisfaction of most of the Nobility and Gentry in the Kingdom of _Great
Britain_. Upon the first Rumour of this intended Combat, it was
confidently affirmed, and is still believed by many in both Galleries,
that there would be a tame Lion sent from the Tower every Opera Night,
in order to be killed by _Hydaspes_; this Report, tho' altogether
groundless, so universally prevailed in the upper Regions of the
Play-House, that some of the most refined Politicians in those Parts of
the Audience, gave it out in Whisper, that the Lion was a Cousin-German
of the Tyger who made his Appearance in King _William's_ days, and that
the Stage would be supplied with Lions at the public Expence, during the
whole Session. Many likewise were the Conjectures of the Treatment which
this Lion was to meet with from the hands of Signior _Nicolini_; some
supposed that he was to Subdue him in _Recitativo_, as _Orpheus_ used to
serve the wild Beasts in his time, and afterwards to knock him on the
head; some fancied that the Lion would not pretend to lay his Paws upon
the Hero, by Reason of the received Opinion, that a Lion will not hurt a
Virgin. Several, who pretended to have seen the Opera in _Italy_, had
informed their Friends, that the Lion was to act a part in _High Dutch_,
and roar twice or thrice to a thorough Base, before he fell at the Feet
of _Hydaspes_. To clear up a Matter that was so variously reported, I
have made it my Business to examine whether this pretended Lion is
really the Savage he appears to be, or only a Counterfeit.

But before I communicate my Discoveries, I must acquaint the Reader,
that upon my walking behind the Scenes last Winter, as I was thinking on
something else, I accidentally jostled against a monstrous Animal that
extreamly startled me, and, upon my nearer Survey of it, appeared to be
a Lion-Rampant. The Lion, seeing me very much surprized, told me, in a
gentle Voice, that I might come by him if I pleased: 'For' (says he) 'I
do not intend to hurt anybody'. I thanked him very kindly, and passed by
him. And in a little time after saw him leap upon the Stage, and act his
Part with very great Applause. It has been observed by several, that the
Lion has changed his manner of Acting twice or thrice since his first
Appearance; which will not seem strange, when I acquaint my Reader that
the Lion has been changed upon the Audience three several times. The
first Lion was a Candle-snuffer, who being a Fellow of a testy,
cholerick Temper over-did his Part, and would not suffer himself to be
killed so easily as he ought to have done; besides, it was observ'd of
him, that he grew more surly every time he came out of the Lion; and
having dropt some Words in ordinary Conversation, as if he had not
fought his best, and that he suffered himself to be thrown upon his Back
in the Scuffle, and that he would wrestle with Mr 'Nicolini' for what he
pleased, out of his Lion's Skin, it was thought proper to discard him:
And it is verily believed to this Day, that had he been brought upon the
Stage another time, he would certainly have done Mischief. Besides, it
was objected against the first Lion, that he reared himself so high upon
his hinder Paws, and walked in so erect a Posture, that he looked more
like an old Man than a Lion. The second Lion was a Taylor by Trade, who
belonged to the Play-House, and had the Character of a mild and
peaceable Man in his Profession. If the former was too furious, this was
too sheepish, for his Part; insomuch that after a short modest Walk upon
the Stage, he would fall at the first Touch of 'Hydaspes', without
grappling with him, and giving him an Opportunity of showing his Variety
of 'Italian' Tripps: It is said, indeed, that he once gave him a Ripp in
his flesh-colour Doublet, but this was only to make work for himself, in
his private Character of a Taylor. I must not omit that it was this
second Lion [who [2]] treated me with so much Humanity behind the
Scenes. The Acting Lion at present is, as I am informed, a Country
Gentleman, who does it for his Diversion, but desires his Name may be
concealed. He says very handsomely in his own Excuse, that he does not
Act for Gain, that he indulges an innocent Pleasure in it, and that it
is better to pass away an Evening in this manner, than in Gaming and
Drinking: But at the same time says, with a very agreeable Raillery upon
himself, that if his name should be known, the ill-natured World might
call him, _The Ass in the Lion's skin_. This Gentleman's Temper is made
out of such a happy Mixture of the Mild and the Cholerick, that he
out-does both his predecessors, and has drawn together greater Audiences
than have been known in the Memory of Man.

I must not conclude my Narrative, without taking Notice of a groundless
Report that has been raised, to a Gentleman's Disadvantage, of whom I
must declare my self an Admirer; namely, that Signior _Nicolini_ and the
Lion have been seen sitting peaceably by one another, and smoking a Pipe
together, behind the Scenes; by which their common Enemies would
insinuate, it is but a sham Combat which they represent upon the Stage:
But upon Enquiry I find, that if any such Correspondence has passed
between them, it was not till the Combat was over, when the Lion was to
be looked upon as dead, according to the received Rules of the _Drama_.
Besides, this is what is practised every day in _Westminster-Hall_,
where nothing is more usual than to see a Couple of Lawyers, who have
been rearing each other to pieces in the Court, embracing one another as
soon as they are out of it.

I would not be thought, in any part of this Relation, to reflect upon
Signior _Nicolini_, who, in Acting this Part only complies with the
wretched Taste of his Audience; he knows very well, that the Lion has
many more Admirers than himself; as they say of the famous _Equestrian_
Statue on the _Pont-Neuf_ at _Paris_, that more People go to see the
Horse, than the King who sits upon it. On the contrary, it gives me a
just Indignation, to see a Person whose Action gives new Majesty to
Kings, Resolution to Heroes, and Softness to Lovers, thus sinking from
the Greatness of his Behaviour, and degraded into the Character of the
_London_ Prentice. I have often wished that our Tragoedians would copy
after this great Master in Action. Could they make the same use of their
Arms and Legs, and inform their Faces with as significant Looks and
Passions, how glorious would an _English_ Tragedy appear with that
Action which is capable of giving a Dignity to the forced Thoughts, cold
Conceits, and unnatural Expressions of an _Italian_ Opera. In the mean
time, I have related this Combat of the Lion, to show what are at
present the reigning Entertainments of the Politer Part of _Great

Audiences have often been reproached by Writers for the Coarseness of
their Taste, but our present Grievance does not seem to be the Want of a
good Taste, but of Common Sense.


[Footnote 1: The famous Neapolitan actor and singer, Cavalier Nicolino
Grimaldi, commonly called Nicolini, had made his first appearance in an
opera called 'Pyrrhus and Demetrius,' which was the last attempt to
combine English with Italian. His voice was a soprano, but afterwards
descended into a fine contralto, and he seems to have been the finest
actor of his day. Prices of seats at the opera were raised on his coming
from 7s. 6d. to 10s. for pit and boxes, and from 10s. 6d. to 15s. for
boxes on the stage. When this paper was written he had appeared also in
a new opera on 'Almahide,' and proceeded to those encounters with the
lion in the opera of _Hydaspes_, by a Roman composer, Francesco Mancini,
first produced May 23, 1710, which the _Spectator_ has made memorable.
It had been performed 21 times in 1710, and was now reproduced and
repeated four times. Nicolini, as Hydaspes in this opera, thrown naked
into an amphitheatre to be devoured by a lion, is so inspired with
courage by the presence of his mistress among the spectators that (says
Mr Sutherland Edwards in his 'History of the Opera')

'after appealing to the monster in a minor key, and telling him that
he may tear his bosom, but cannot touch his heart, he attacks him in
the relative major, and strangles him.']

[Footnote 2: that]

* * * * *

No. 14. Friday, March 16, 1711. Steele.

... Teque his, Infelix, exue monstris.


I was reflecting this Morning upon the Spirit and Humour of the publick
Diversions Five and twenty Years ago, and those of the present Time; and
lamented to my self, that though in those Days they neglected their
Morality, they kept up their Good Sense; but that the _beau Monde_, at
present, is only grown more childish, not more innocent, than the
former. While I was in this Train of Thought, an odd Fellow, whose Face
I have often seen at the Play-house, gave me the following Letter with
these words, Sir, _The Lyon presents his humble Service to you, and
desired me to give this into your own Hands._

From my Den in the Hay-market, March 15.


'I have read all your Papers, and have stifled my Resentment against
your Reflections upon Operas, till that of this Day, wherein you
plainly insinuate, that Signior _Grimaldi_ and my self have a
Correspondence more friendly than is consistent with the Valour of his
Character, or the Fierceness of mine. I desire you would, for your own
Sake, forbear such Intimations for the future; and must say it is a
great Piece of Ill-nature in you, to show so great an Esteem for a
Foreigner, and to discourage a _Lyon_ that is your own Country-man.

I take notice of your Fable of the Lyon and Man, but am so equally
concerned in that Matter, that I shall not be offended to which soever
of the Animals the Superiority is given. You have misrepresented me,
in saying that I am a Country-Gentleman, who act only for my
Diversion; whereas, had I still the same Woods to range in which I
once had when I was a Fox-hunter, I should not resign my Manhood for a
Maintenance; and assure you, as low as my Circumstances are at
present, I am so much a Man of Honour, that I would scorn to be any
Beast for Bread but a Lyon.

Yours, &c.

I had no sooner ended this, than one of my Land-lady's Children brought
me in several others, with some of which I shall make up my present
Paper, they all having a Tendency to the same Subject, _viz_. the
Elegance of our present Diversions.

Covent Garden, March 13.


'I Have been for twenty Years Under-Sexton of this Parish of _St.
Paul's, Covent-Garden_, and have not missed tolling in to Prayers six
times in all those Years; which Office I have performed to my great
Satisfaction, till this Fortnight last past, during which Time I find
my Congregation take the Warning of my Bell, Morning and Evening, to
go to a Puppett-show set forth by one _Powell_, under the _Piazzas_.
By this Means, I have not only lost my two Customers, whom I used to
place for six Pence a Piece over against Mrs _Rachel Eyebright_, but
Mrs _Rachel_ herself is gone thither also. There now appear among us
none but a few ordinary People, who come to Church only to say their
Prayers, so that I have no Work worth speaking of but on _Sundays_. I
have placed my Son at the _Piazzas_, to acquaint the Ladies that the
Bell rings for Church, and that it stands on the other side of the
_Garden_; but they only laugh at the Child.

I desire you would lay this before all the World, that I may not be
made such a Tool for the Future, and that Punchinello may chuse Hours
less canonical. As things are now, Mr _Powell_ has a full
Congregation, while we have a very thin House; which if you can
Remedy, you will very much oblige,

Sir, Yours, &c.'

The following Epistle I find is from the Undertaker of the Masquerade. [1]


'I Have observed the Rules of my Masque so carefully (in not enquiring
into Persons), that I cannot tell whether you were one of the Company
or not last _Tuesday_; but if you were not and still design to come, I
desire you would, for your own Entertainment, please to admonish the
Town, that all Persons indifferently are not fit for this Sort of
Diversion. I could wish, Sir, you could make them understand, that it
is a kind of acting to go in Masquerade, and a Man should be able to
say or do things proper for the Dress in which he appears. We have now
and then Rakes in the Habit of Roman Senators, and grave Politicians
in the Dress of Rakes. The Misfortune of the thing is, that People
dress themselves in what they have a Mind to be, and not what they are
fit for. There is not a Girl in the Town, but let her have her Will in
going to a Masque, and she shall dress as a Shepherdess. But let me
beg of them to read the Arcadia, or some other good Romance, before
they appear in any such Character at my House. The last Day we
presented, every Body was so rashly habited, that when they came to
speak to each other, a Nymph with a Crook had not a Word to say but in
the pert Stile of the Pit Bawdry; and a Man in the Habit of a
Philosopher was speechless, till an occasion offered of expressing
himself in the Refuse of the Tyring-Rooms. We had a Judge that danced
a Minuet, with a Quaker for his Partner, while half a dozen Harlequins
stood by as Spectators: A _Turk_ drank me off two Bottles of Wine, and
a _Jew_ eat me up half a Ham of Bacon. If I can bring my Design to
bear, and make the Maskers preserve their Characters in my Assemblies,
I hope you will allow there is a Foundation laid for more elegant and
improving Gallantries than any the Town at present affords; and
consequently that you will give your Approbation to the Endeavours of,

Sir, Your most obedient humble servant.'

I am very glad the following Epistle obliges me to mention Mr _Powell_ a
second Time in the same Paper; for indeed there cannot be too great
Encouragement given to his Skill in Motions, provided he is under proper


'The Opera at the _Hay-Market_, and that under the little _Piazza_ in
_Covent-Garden_, being at present the Two leading Diversions of the
Town; and Mr _Powell_ professing in his Advertisements to set up
_Whittington and his Cat_ against _Rinaldo and Armida_, my Curiosity
led me the Beginning of last Week to view both these Performances, and
make my Observations upon them.

First therefore, I cannot but observe that Mr _Powell_ wisely
forbearing to give his Company a Bill of Fare before-hand, every Scene
is new and unexpected; whereas it is certain, that the Undertakers of
the _Hay-Market_, having raised too great an Expectation in their
printed Opera, very much disappointed their Audience on the Stage.

The King of _Jerusalem_ is obliged to come from the City on foot,
instead of being drawn in a triumphant Chariot by white Horses, as my
Opera-Book had promised me; and thus, while I expected _Armida's_
Dragons should rush forward towards _Argantes_, I found the Hero was
obliged to go to _Armida_, and hand her out of her Coach. We had also
but a very short Allowance of Thunder and Lightning; tho' I cannot in
this Place omit doing Justice to the Boy who had the Direction of the
Two painted Dragons, and made them spit Fire and Smoke: He flash'd out
his Rosin in such just Proportions, and in such due Time, that I could
not forbear conceiving Hopes of his being one Day a most excellent
Player. I saw, indeed, but Two things wanting to render his whole
Action compleat, I mean the keeping his Head a little lower, and
hiding his Candle.

I observe that Mr _Powell_ and the Undertakers had both the same
Thought, and I think, much about the same time, of introducing Animals
on their several Stages, though indeed with very different Success.
The Sparrows and Chaffinches at the _Hay-Market_ fly as yet very
irregularly over the Stage; and instead of perching on the Trees and
performing their Parts, these young Actors either get into the
Galleries or put out the Candles; whereas Mr _Powell_ has so well
disciplined his Pig, that in the first Scene he and Punch dance a
Minuet together. I am informed however, that Mr _Powell_ resolves to
excell his Adversaries in their own Way; and introduce Larks in his
next Opera of _Susanna_, or _Innocence betrayed_, which will be
exhibited next Week with a Pair of new Elders.' [2]

The Moral of Mr _Powell's_ Drama is violated I confess by Punch's
national Reflections on the _French_, and King _Harry's_ laying his
Leg upon his Queen's Lap in too ludicrous a manner before so great an

As to the Mechanism and Scenary, every thing, indeed, was uniform,
and of a Piece, and the Scenes were managed very dexterously; which
calls on me to take Notice, that at the _Hay-Market_ the Undertakers
forgetting to change their Side-Scenes, we were presented with a
Prospect of the Ocean in the midst of a delightful Grove; and tho' the
Gentlemen on the Stage had very much contributed to the Beauty of the
Grove, by walking up and down between the Trees, I must own I was not
a little astonished to see a well-dressed young Fellow in a
full-bottomed Wigg, appear in the Midst of the Sea, and without any
visible Concern taking Snuff.

I shall only observe one thing further, in which both Dramas agree;
which is, that by the Squeak of their Voices the Heroes of each are
Eunuchs; and as the Wit in both Pieces are equal, I must prefer the
Performance of Mr _Powell_, because it is in our own Language.

I am, &c.'

[Footnote 1: Masquerades took rank as a leading pleasure of the town
under the management of John James Heidegger, son of a Zurich clergyman,
who came to England in 1708, at the age of 50, as a Swiss negotiator. He
entered as a private in the Guards, and attached himself to the service
of the fashionable world, which called him 'the Swiss Count,' and
readily accepted him as leader. In 1709 he made five hundred guineas by
furnishing the spectacle for Motteux's opera of 'Tomyris, Queen of
Scythia'. When these papers were written he was thriving upon the
Masquerades, which he brought into fashion and made so much a rage of
the town that moralists and satirists protested, and the clergy preached
against them. A sermon preached against them by the Bishop of London,
January 6th, 1724, led to an order that no more should take place than
the six subscribed for at the beginning of the month. Nevertheless they
held their ground afterwards by connivance of the government. In 1728,
Heidegger was called in to nurse the Opera, which throve by his bold
puffing. He died, in 1749, at the age of 90, claiming chief honour to
the Swiss for ingenuity.

'I was born,' he said, 'a Swiss, and came to England without a
farthing, where I have found means to gain, L5000 a-year,--and to
spend it. Now I defy the ablest Englishman to go to Switzerland and
either gain that income or spend it there.']

[Footnote 2: The 'History of Susanna' had been an established puppet
play for more than two generations. An old copy of verses on Bartholomew
Fair in the year 1665, describing the penny and twopenny puppet plays,
or, as they had been called in and since Queen Elizabeth's time,
'motions,' says

"Their Sights are so rich, is able to bewitch
The heart of a very fine man-a;
Here's 'Patient Grisel' here, and 'Fair Rosamond' there,
And 'the History of Susanna.'"

Pepys tells of the crowd waiting, in 1667, to see Lady Castlemaine come
out from the puppet play of 'Patient Grisel.'

The Powell mentioned in this essay was a deformed cripple whose
Puppet-Show, called Punch's Theatre, owed its pre-eminence to his own
power of satire. This he delivered chiefly through Punch, the clown of
the puppets, who appeared in all plays with so little respect to
dramatic rule that Steele in the Tatler (for May 17, 1709) represents a
correspondent at Bath, telling how, of two ladies, Prudentia and
Florimel, who would lead the fashion, Prudentia caused Eve in the
Puppet-Show of 'the Creation of the World' to be

'made the most like Florimel that ever was seen,'


'when we came to Noah's Flood in the show, Punch and his wife were
introduced dancing in the ark.'

Of the fanatics called French Prophets, who used to assemble in
Moorfields in Queen Anne's reign, Lord Chesterfield remembered that

'the then Ministry, who loved a little persecution well enough, was,
however, so wise as not to disturb their madness, and only ordered one
Powell, the master of a famous Puppet-Show, to make Punch turn
Prophet; which he did so well, that it soon put an end to the prophets
and their prophecies. The obscure Dr Sacheverell's fortune was made by
a parliamentary prosecution' (from Feb. 27 to March 23, 1709-10) 'much
about the same time the French Prophets were totally extinguished by a

(Misc. Works, ed. Maty., Vol. II, p. 523, 555).

This was the Powell who played in Covent Garden during the time of
week-day evening service, and who, taking up Addison's joke against the
opera from No. 5 of the 'Spectator', produced 'Whittington and his Cat'
as a rival to 'Rinaldo and Armida'. [See also a note to No. 31.]]

* * * * *


On the first of April will be performed at the Play-house in the
Hay-market, an Opera call'd 'The Cruelty of Atreus'.

N.B. The Scene wherein Thyestes eats his own Children, is to be
performed by the famous Mr Psalmanazar, [1] lately
arrived from Formosa; The whole Supper
being set to Kettle-drums.


[Footnote 1: George Psalmanazar, who never told his real name and
precise birthplace, was an impostor from Languedoc, and 31 years old in
1711. He had been educated in a Jesuit college, where he heard stories
of the Jesuit missions in Japan and Formosa, which suggested to him how
he might thrive abroad as an interesting native. He enlisted as a
soldier, and had in his character of Japanese only a small notoriety
until, at Sluys, a dishonest young chaplain of Brigadier Lauder's Scotch
regiment, saw through the trick and favoured it, that he might recommend
himself to the Bishop of London for promotion. He professed to have
converted Psalmanazar, baptized him, with the Brigadier for godfather,
got his discharge from the regiment, and launched him upon London under
the patronage of Bishop Compton. Here Psalmanazar, who on his arrival
was between nineteen and twenty years old, became famous in the
religious world. He supported his fraud by invention of a language and
letters, and of a Formosan religion. To oblige the Bishop he translated
the church catechism into 'Formosan,' and he published in 1704 'an
historical and geographical Description of Formosa,' of which a second
edition appeared in the following year. It contained numerous plates of
imaginary scenes and persons. His gross and puerile absurdities in print
and conversation--such as his statements that the Formosans sacrificed
eighteen thousand male infants every year, and that the Japanese studied
Greek as a learned tongue,--excited a distrust that would have been
fatal to the success of his fraud, even with the credulous, if he had
not forced himself to give colour to his story by acting the savage in
men's eyes. But he must really, it was thought, be a savage who fed upon
roots, herbs, and raw flesh. He made, however, so little by the
imposture, that he at last confessed himself a cheat, and got his living
as a well-conducted bookseller's hack for many years before his death,
in 1763, aged 84. In 1711, when this jest was penned, he had not yet
publicly eaten his own children, i.e. swallowed his words and declared
his writings forgeries. In 1716 there was a subscription of L20 or L30 a
year raised for him as a Formosan convert. It was in 1728 that he began
to write that formal confession of his fraud, which he left for
publication after his death, and whereby he made his great public
appearance as Thyestes.

This jest against Psalmanazar was expunged from the first reprint of the
_Spectator_ in 1712, and did not reappear in the lifetime of Steele
or Addison, or until long after it had been amply justified.]

* * * * *

No. 15. Saturday, March 17, 1711. Addison.

'Parva leves capiunt animos ...'


When I was in _France_, I used to gaze with great Astonishment at the
Splendid Equipages and Party-coloured Habits, of that Fantastick Nation.
I was one Day in particular contemplating a Lady that sate in a Coach
adorned with gilded _Cupids_, and finely painted with the Loves of
_Venus_ and _Adonis_. The Coach was drawn by six milk-white Horses, and
loaden behind with the same Number of powder'd Foot-men. Just before the
Lady were a Couple of beautiful Pages, that were stuck among the
Harness, and by their gay Dresses, and smiling Features, looked like the
elder Brothers of the little Boys that were carved and painted in every
Corner of the Coach.

The Lady was the unfortunate _Cleanthe_, who afterwards gave an Occasion
to a pretty melancholy Novel. She had, for several Years, received the
Addresses of a Gentleman, whom, after a long and intimate Acquaintance,
she forsook, upon the Account of this shining Equipage which had been
offered to her by one of great Riches, but a Crazy Constitution. The
Circumstances in which I saw her, were, it seems, the Disguises only of
a broken Heart, and a kind of Pageantry to cover Distress; for in two
Months after, she was carried to her Grave with the same Pomp and
Magnificence: being sent thither partly by the Loss of one Lover, and
partly by the Possession of another.

I have often reflected with my self on this unaccountable Humour in
Woman-kind, of being smitten with every thing that is showy and
superficial; and on the numberless Evils that befall the Sex, from this
light, fantastical Disposition. I my self remember a young Lady that was
very warmly sollicited by a Couple of importunate Rivals, who, for
several Months together, did all they could to recommend themselves, by
Complacency of Behaviour, and Agreeableness of Conversation. At length,
when the Competition was doubtful, and the Lady undetermined in her
Choice, one of the young Lovers very luckily bethought himself of adding
a supernumerary Lace to his Liveries, which had so good an Effect that
he married her the very Week after.

The usual Conversation of ordinary Women, very much cherishes this
Natural Weakness of being taken with Outside and Appearance. Talk of a
new-married Couple, and you immediately hear whether they keep their
Coach and six, or eat in Plate: Mention the Name of an absent Lady, and
it is ten to one but you learn something of her Gown and Petticoat. A
Ball is a great Help to Discourse, and a Birth-Day furnishes
Conversation for a Twelve-month after. A Furbelow of precious Stones, an
Hat buttoned with a Diamond, a Brocade Waistcoat or Petticoat, are
standing Topicks. In short, they consider only the Drapery of the
Species, and never cast away a Thought on those Ornaments of the Mind,
that make Persons Illustrious in themselves, and Useful to others. When
Women are thus perpetually dazling one anothers Imaginations, and
filling their Heads with nothing but Colours, it is no Wonder that they
are more attentive to the superficial Parts of Life, than the solid and
substantial Blessings of it. A Girl, who has been trained up in this
kind of Conversation, is in danger of every Embroidered Coat that comes
in her Way. A Pair of fringed Gloves may be her Ruin. In a word, Lace
and Ribbons, Silver and Gold Galloons, with the like glittering
Gew-Gaws, are so many Lures to Women of weak Minds or low Educations,
and, when artificially displayed, are able to fetch down the most airy
Coquet from the wildest of her Flights and Rambles.

True Happiness is of a retired Nature, and an Enemy to Pomp and Noise;
it arises, in the first place, from the Enjoyment of ones self; and, in
the next, from the Friendship and Conversation of a few select
Companions. It loves Shade and Solitude, and naturally haunts Groves and
Fountains, Fields and Meadows: In short, it feels every thing it wants
within itself, and receives no Addition from Multitudes of Witnesses and
Spectators. On the contrary, false Happiness loves to be in a Crowd, and
to draw the Eyes of the World upon her. She does not receive any
Satisfaction from the Applauses which she gives her self, but from the
Admiration which she raises in others. She flourishes in Courts and
Palaces, Theatres and Assemblies, and has no Existence but when she is
looked upon.

_Aurelia_, tho' a Woman of Great Quality, delights in the Privacy of a
Country Life, and passes away a great part of her Time in her own Walks
and Gardens. Her Husband, who is her Bosom Friend and Companion in her
Solitudes, has been in Love with her ever since he knew her. They both
abound with good Sense, consummate Virtue, and a mutual Esteem; and are
a perpetual Entertainment to one another. Their Family is under so
regular an Oeconomy, in its Hours of Devotion and Repast, Employment and
Diversion, that it looks like a little Common-Wealth within it self.
They often go into Company, that they may return with the greater
Delight to one another; and sometimes live in Town not to enjoy it so
properly as to grow weary of it, that they may renew in themselves the
Relish of a Country Life. By this means they are Happy in each other,
beloved by their Children, adored by their Servants, and are become the
Envy, or rather the Delight, of all that know them.

How different to this is the Life of _Fulvia_! she considers her Husband
as her Steward, and looks upon Discretion and good House-Wifery, as
little domestick Virtues, unbecoming a Woman of Quality. She thinks Life
lost in her own Family, and fancies herself out of the World, when she
is not in the Ring, the Play-House, or the Drawing-Room: She lives in a
perpetual Motion of Body and Restlessness of Thought, and is never easie
in any one Place, when she thinks there is more Company in another. The
missing of an Opera the first Night, would be more afflicting to her
than the Death of a Child. She pities all the valuable Part of her own
Sex, and calls every Woman of a prudent modest retired Life, a
poor-spirited, unpolished Creature. What a Mortification would it be to
_Fulvia_, if she knew that her setting her self to View, is but exposing
her self, and that she grows Contemptible by being Conspicuous.

I cannot conclude my Paper, without observing that _Virgil_ has very
finely touched upon this Female Passion for Dress and Show, in the
Character of _Camilla_; who, tho' she seems to have shaken off all the
other Weaknesses of her Sex, is still described as a Woman in this
Particular. The Poet tells us, that, after having made a great Slaughter
of the Enemy, she unfortunately cast her Eye on a _Trojan_ [who[1]] wore
an embroidered Tunick, a beautiful Coat of Mail, with a Mantle of the
finest Purple. _A Golden Bow_, says he, _Hung upon his Shoulder; his
Garment was buckled with a Golden Clasp, and his Head was covered with
an Helmet of the same shining Mettle_. The _Amazon_ immediately singled
out this well-dressed Warrior, being seized with a Woman's Longing for
the pretty Trappings that he was adorned with:

'... Totumque incauta per agmen
Faemineo praedae et spoliorum ardebat amore.'

This heedless Pursuit after these glittering Trifles, the Poet (by a
nice concealed Moral) represents to have been the Destruction of his
Female Hero.


[Footnote 1: that]

* * * * *

No. 16 Monday, March 19. Addison

Quid verum atque decens curo et rogo, et omnis in hoc sum.


I have receiv'd a Letter, desiring me to be very satyrical upon the
little Muff that is now in Fashion; another informs me of a Pair of
silver Garters buckled below the Knee, that have been lately seen at the
Rainbow Coffee-house in _Fleet-street_; [1] a third sends me an heavy
Complaint against fringed Gloves. To be brief, there is scarce an
Ornament of either Sex which one or other of my Correspondents has not
inveighed against with some Bitterness, and recommended to my
Observation. I must therefore, once for all inform my Readers, that it
is not my Intention to sink the Dignity of this my Paper with
Reflections upon Red-heels or Top-knots, but rather to enter into the
Passions of Mankind, and to correct those depraved Sentiments that give
Birth to all those little Extravagancies which appear in their outward
Dress and Behaviour. Foppish and fantastick Ornaments are only
Indications of Vice, not criminal in themselves. Extinguish Vanity in
the Mind, and you naturally retrench the little Superfluities of
Garniture and Equipage. The Blossoms will fall of themselves, when the
Root that nourishes them is destroyed.

I shall therefore, as I have said, apply my Remedies to the first Seeds
and Principles of an affected Dress, without descending to the Dress it
self; though at the same time I must own, that I have Thoughts of
creating an Officer under me to be entituled, _The Censor of small
Wares_, and of allotting him one Day in a Week for the Execution of such
his Office. An Operator of this Nature might act under me with the same
Regard as a Surgeon to a Physician; the one might be employ'd in healing
those Blotches and Tumours which break out in the Body, while the other
is sweetning the Blood and rectifying the Constitution. To speak truly,
the young People of both Sexes are so wonderfully apt to shoot out into
long Swords or sweeping Trains, bushy Head-dresses or full-bottom'd
Perriwigs, with several other Incumbrances of Dress, that they stand in
need of being pruned very frequently [lest they should [2]] be oppressed
with Ornaments, and over-run with the Luxuriency of their Habits. I am
much in doubt, whether I should give the Preference to a Quaker that is
trimmed close and almost cut to the Quick, or to a Beau that is loaden
with such a Redundance of Excrescencies. I must therefore desire my
Correspondents to let me know how they approve my Project, and whether
they think the erecting of such a petty Censorship may not turn to the
Emolument of the Publick; for I would not do any thing of this Nature
rashly and without Advice.

There is another Set of Correspondents to whom I must address my self,
in the second Place; I mean such as fill their Letters with private
Scandal, and black Accounts of particular Persons and Families. The
world is so full of Ill-nature, that I have Lampoons sent me by People
[who [3]] cannot spell, and Satyrs compos'd by those who scarce know how
to write. By the last Post in particular I receiv'd a Packet of Scandal
that is not legible; and have a whole Bundle of Letters in Womens Hands
that are full of Blots and Calumnies, insomuch that when I see the Name
_Caelia, Phillis, Pastora_, or the like, at the Bottom of a Scrawl, I
conclude on course that it brings me some Account of a fallen Virgin, a
faithless Wife, or an amorous Widow. I must therefore inform these my
Correspondents, that it is not my Design to be a Publisher of Intreagues
and Cuckoldoms, or to bring little infamous Stories out of their present
lurking Holes into broad Day light. If I attack the Vicious, I shall
only set upon them in a Body: and will not be provoked by the worst
Usage that I can receive from others, to make an Example of any
particular Criminal. In short, I have so much of a Drawcansir[4] in me,
that I shall pass over a single Foe to charge whole Armies. It is not
_Lais_ or _Silenus_, but the Harlot and the Drunkard, whom I shall
endeavour to expose; and shall consider the Crime as it appears in a
Species, not as it is circumstanced in an Individual. I think it was
_Caligula_ who wished the whole City of _Rome_ had but one Neck, that he
might behead them at a Blow. I shall do out of Humanity what that
Emperor would have done in the Cruelty of his Temper, and aim every
Stroak at a collective Body of Offenders. At the same Time I am very
sensible, that nothing spreads a Paper like private Calumny and
Defamation; but as my Speculations are not under this Necessity, they
are not exposed to this Temptation.

In the next Place I must apply my self to my Party-Correspondents, who
are continually teazing me to take Notice of one anothers Proceedings.
How often am I asked by both Sides, if it is possible for me to be an
unconcerned Spectator of the Rogueries that are committed by the Party
which is opposite to him that writes the Letter. About two Days since I
was reproached with an old Grecian Law, that forbids any Man to stand as
a Neuter or a Looker-on in the Divisions of his Country. However, as I
am very sensible [my [5]] Paper would lose its whole Effect, should it
run into the Outrages of a Party, I shall take Care to keep clear of
every thing [which [6]] looks that Way. If I can any way asswage private
Inflammations, or allay publick Ferments, I shall apply my self to it
with my utmost Endeavours; but will never let my Heart reproach me with
having done any thing towards [encreasing [7]] those Feuds and
Animosities that extinguish Religion, deface Government, and make a
Nation miserable.

What I have said under the three foregoing Heads, will, I am afraid,
very much retrench the Number of my Correspondents: I shall therefore
acquaint my Reader, that if he has started any Hint which he is not able
to pursue, if he has met with any surprizing Story which he does not
know how to tell, if he has discovered any epidemical Vice which has
escaped my Observation, or has heard of any uncommon Virtue which he
would desire to publish; in short, if he has any Materials that can
furnish out an innocent Diversion, I shall promise him my best
Assistance in the working of them up for a publick Entertainment.

This Paper my Reader will find was intended for an answer to a Multitude
of Correspondents; but I hope he will pardon me if I single out one of
them in particular, who has made me so very humble a Request, that I
cannot forbear complying with it.


March 15, 1710-11.


'I Am at present so unfortunate, as to have nothing to do but to mind
my own Business; and therefore beg of you that you will be pleased to
put me into some small Post under you. I observe that you have
appointed your Printer and Publisher to receive Letters and
Advertisements for the City of _London_, and shall think my self very
much honoured by you, if you will appoint me to take in Letters and
Advertisements for the City of _Westminster_ and the Dutchy of
_Lancaster_. Tho' I cannot promise to fill such an Employment with
sufficient Abilities, I will endeavour to make up with Industry and
Fidelity what I want in Parts and Genius. I am,


Your most obedient servant,

Charles Lillie.'


[Footnote 1: The _Rainbow_, near the Inner Temple Gate, in Fleet Street,
was the second Coffee-house opened in London. It was opened about 1656,
by a barber named James Farr, part of the house still being occupied by
the bookseller's shop which had been there for at least twenty years
before. Farr also, at first, combined his coffee trade with the business
of barber, which he had been carrying on under the same roof. Farr was
made rich by his Coffee-house, which soon monopolized the _Rainbow_. Its
repute was high in the _Spectator's_ time; and afterwards, when
coffee-houses became taverns, it lived on as a reputable tavern till the
present day.]

[Footnote 2: that they may not]

[Footnote 3: that]

[Footnote 4: _Drawcansir_ in the Duke of Buckingham's _Rehearsal_
parodies the heroic drama of the Restoration, as by turning the lines in
Dryden's 'Tyrannic Love,'

Spite of myself, I'll stay, fight, love, despair;
And all this I can do, because I dare,


I drink, I huff, I strut, look big and stare;
And all this I can do, because I dare.

When, in the last act, a Battle is fought between Foot and great

'At last, Drawcansir comes in and Kills them all on both Sides,'
explaining himself in lines that begin,

Others may boast a single man to kill;
But I the blood of thousands daily spill.]

[Footnote 5: that my]

[Footnote 6: that]

[Footnote 7: the encreasing]

* * * * *

No. 17. Tuesday, March 20, 1711. Steele.

'... Tetrum ante Omnia vultum.'


Since our Persons are not of our own Making, when they are such as
appear Defective or Uncomely, it is, methinks, an honest and laudable
Fortitude to dare to be Ugly; at least to keep our selves from being
abashed with a Consciousness of Imperfections which we cannot help, and
in which there is no Guilt. I would not defend an haggard Beau, for
passing away much time at a Glass, and giving Softnesses and Languishing
Graces to Deformity. All I intend is, that we ought to be contented with
our Countenance and Shape, so far, as never to give our selves an
uneasie Reflection on that Subject. It is to the ordinary People, who
are not accustomed to make very proper Remarks on any Occasion, matter
of great Jest, if a Man enters with a prominent Pair of Shoulders into
an Assembly, or is distinguished by an Expansion of Mouth, or Obliquity
of Aspect. It is happy for a Man, that has any of these Oddnesses about
him, if he can be as merry upon himself, as others are apt to be upon
that Occasion: When he can possess himself with such a Chearfulness,
Women and Children, who were at first frighted at him, will afterwards
be as much pleased with him. As it is barbarous in others to railly him
for natural Defects, it is extreamly agreeable when he can Jest upon
himself for them.

Madam _Maintenon's_ first Husband was an Hero in this Kind, and has
drawn many Pleasantries from the Irregularity of his Shape, which he
describes as very much resembling the Letter Z. [1] He diverts himself
likewise by representing to his Reader the Make of an Engine and Pully,
with which he used to take off his Hat. When there happens to be any
thing ridiculous in a Visage, and the Owner of it thinks it an Aspect of
Dignity, he must be of very great Quality to be exempt from Raillery:
The best Expedient therefore is to be pleasant upon himself. Prince
_Harry_ and _Falstaffe_, in _Shakespear_, have carried the Ridicule upon
Fat and Lean as far as it will go. _Falstaffe_ is Humourously called
_Woolsack_, _Bed-presser_, and _Hill of Flesh_; Harry a _Starveling_, an
_Elves-Skin_, a _Sheath_, a _Bowcase_, and a _Tuck_. There is, in
several incidents of the Conversation between them, the Jest still kept
up upon the Person. Great Tenderness and Sensibility in this Point is
one of the greatest Weaknesses of Self-love; for my own part, I am a
little unhappy in the Mold of my Face, which is not quite so long as it
is broad: Whether this might not partly arise from my opening my Mouth
much seldomer than other People, and by Consequence not so much
lengthning the Fibres of my Visage, I am not at leisure to determine.
However it be, I have been often put out of Countenance by the Shortness
of my Face, and was formerly at great Pains in concealing it by wearing
a Periwigg with an high Foretop, and letting my Beard grow. But now I
have thoroughly got over this Delicacy, and could be contented it were
much shorter, provided it might qualify me for a Member of the Merry
Club, which the following Letter gives me an Account of. I have received
it from _Oxford_, and as it abounds with the Spirit of Mirth and good
Humour, which is natural to that Place, I shall set it down Word for
Word as it came to me.

'Most Profound Sir,

Having been very well entertained, in the last of your Speculations
that I have yet seen, by your Specimen upon Clubs, which I therefore
hope you will continue, I shall take the Liberty to furnish you with a
brief Account of such a one as perhaps you have not seen in all your
Travels, unless it was your Fortune to touch upon some of the woody
Parts of the _African_ Continent, in your Voyage to or from _Grand
Cairo_. There have arose in this University (long since you left us
without saying any thing) several of these inferior Hebdomadal
Societies, as _the Punning Club_, _the Witty Club_, and amongst the
rest, the _Handsom Club_; as a Burlesque upon which, a certain merry
Species, that seem to have come into the World in Masquerade, for some
Years last past have associated themselves together, and assumed the
name of the _Ugly Club_: This ill-favoured Fraternity consists of a
President and twelve Fellows; the Choice of which is not confin'd by
Patent to any particular Foundation (as _St. John's_ Men would have
the World believe, and have therefore erected a separate Society
within themselves) but Liberty is left to elect from any School in
_Great Britain_, provided the Candidates be within the Rules of the
Club, as set forth in a Table entituled _The Act of Deformity_. A
Clause or two of which I shall transmit to you.

I. That no Person whatsoever shall be admitted without a visible
Quearity in his Aspect, or peculiar Cast of Countenance; of which the
President and Officers for the time being are to determine, and the
President to have the casting Voice.

II. That a singular Regard be had, upon Examination, to the Gibbosity
of the Gentlemen that offer themselves, as Founders Kinsmen, or to the
Obliquity of their Figure, in what sort soever.

III. That if the Quantity of any Man's Nose be eminently
miscalculated, whether as to Length or Breadth, he shall have a just
Pretence to be elected.

_Lastly_, That if there shall be two or more Competitors for the same
Vacancy, _caeteris paribus_, he that has the thickest Skin to have the

Every fresh Member, upon his first Night, is to entertain the Company
with a Dish of Codfish, and a Speech in praise of _AEsop_; [2] whose
portraiture they have in full Proportion, or rather Disproportion,
over the Chimney; and their Design is, as soon as their Funds are
sufficient, to purchase the Heads of _Thersites, Duns Scotus, Scarron,
Hudibras_, and the old Gentleman in _Oldham_, [3] with all the
celebrated ill Faces of Antiquity, as Furniture for the Club Room.

As they have always been profess'd Admirers of the other Sex, so they
unanimously declare that they will give all possible Encouragement to
such as will take the Benefit of the Statute, tho' none yet have
appeared to do it.

The worthy President, who is their most devoted Champion, has lately
shown me two Copies of Verses composed by a Gentleman of his Society;
the first, a Congratulatory Ode inscrib'd to Mrs. _Touchwood_, upon
the loss of her two Fore-teeth; the other, a Panegyrick upon Mrs.
_Andirons_ left Shoulder. Mrs. _Vizard_ (he says) since the Small Pox,
is grown tolerably ugly, and a top Toast in the Club; but I never hear
him so lavish of his fine things, as upon old _Nell Trot_, who
constantly officiates at their Table; her he even adores, and extolls
as the very Counterpart of Mother _Shipton_; in short, _Nell_ (says
he) is one of the Extraordinary Works of Nature; but as for
Complexion, Shape, and Features, so valued by others, they are all
meer Outside and Symmetry, which is his Aversion. Give me leave to
add, that the President is a facetious, pleasant Gentleman, and never
more so, than when he has got (as he calls 'em) his dear Mummers about
him; and he often protests it does him good to meet a Fellow with a
right genuine Grimmace in his Air, (which is so agreeable in the
generality of the _French_ Nation;) and as an Instance of his
Sincerity in this particular, he gave me a sight of a List in his
Pocket-book of all of this Class, who for these five Years have fallen
under his Observation, with himself at the Head of 'em, and in the
Rear (as one of a promising and improving Aspect),

Sir, Your Obliged and Humble Servant,

Alexander Carbuncle.' [Sidenote: Oxford, March 12, 1710.]


[Footnote 1: Abbe Paul Scarron, the burlesque writer, high in court
favour, was deformed from birth, and at the age of 27 lost the use of
all his limbs. In 1651, when 41 years old, Scarron married Frances
d'Aubigne, afterwards Madame de Maintenon; her age was then 16, and she
lived with Scarron until his death, which occurred when she was 25 years
old and left her very poor. Scarron's comparison of himself to the
letter Z is in his address 'To the Reader who has Never seen Me,'
prefixed to his 'Relation Veritable de tout ce qui s'est passe en
l'autre Monde, au combat des Parques et des Poetes, sur la Mort de
Voiture.' This was illustrated with a burlesque plate representing
himself as seen from the back of his chair, and surrounded by a
wondering and mocking world. His back, he said, was turned to the
public, because the convex of his back is more convenient than the
concave of his stomach for receiving the inscription of his name and

[Footnote 2: The Life of AEsop, ascribed to Planudes Maximus, a monk of
Constantinople in the fourteenth century, and usually prefixed to the
Fables, says that he was 'the most deformed of all men of his age, for
he had a pointed head, flat nostrils, a short neck, thick lips, was
black, pot-bellied, bow-legged, and hump-backed; perhaps even uglier
than Homer's Thersites.']

[Footnote 3: The description of Thersites in the second book of the
Iliad is thus translated by Professor Blackie:

'The most
Ill-favoured wight was he, I ween, of all the Grecian host.
With hideous squint the railer leered: on one foot he was lame;
Forward before his narrow chest his hunching shoulders came;
Slanting and sharp his forehead rose, with shreds of meagre hair.'

Controversies between the Scotists and Thomists, followers of the
teaching of Duns Scotus and Thomas Aquinas, caused Thomist perversion of
the name of Duns into its use as Dunce and tradition of the subtle
Doctor's extreme personal ugliness. Doctor Subtilis was translated The
Lath Doctor.

Scarron we have just spoken of. Hudibras's outward gifts are described
in Part I., Canto i., lines 240-296 of the poem.

'His beard
In cut and dye so like a tile
A sudden view it would beguile:
The upper part thereof was whey;
The nether, orange mix'd with grey.
This hairy meteor, &c.'

The 'old Gentleman in _Oldham_' is Loyola, as described in Oldham's
third satire on the Jesuits, when

'Summon'd together, all th' officious band
The orders of their bedrid, chief attend.'

Raised on his pillow he greets them, and, says Oldham,

'Like Delphic Hag of old, by Fiend possest,
He swells, wild Frenzy heaves his panting breast,
His bristling hairs stick up, his eyeballs glow,
And from his mouth long strakes of drivel flow.']

* * * * *

No. 18. Wednesday, March 21, 1711. Addison.

Equitis quoque jam migravit ab aure voluptas
Omnis ad incertos oculos et gaudia vana.


It is my Design in this Paper to deliver down to Posterity a faithful
Account of the Italian Opera, and of the gradual Progress which it has
made upon the English Stage: For there is no Question but our great
Grand-children will be very curious to know the Reason why their
Fore-fathers used to sit together like an Audience of Foreigners in
their own Country, and to hear whole Plays acted before them in a Tongue
which they did not understand.

'Arsinoe' [1] was the first Opera that gave us a Taste of Italian
Musick. The great Success this Opera met with, produced some Attempts of
forming Pieces upon Italian Plans, [which [2]] should give a more
natural and reasonable Entertainment than what can be met with in the
elaborate Trifles of that Nation. This alarm'd the Poetasters and
Fidlers of the Town, who were used to deal in a more ordinary Kind of
Ware; and therefore laid down an establish'd Rule, which is receiv'd as
such to this [Day, [3]] 'That nothing is capable of being well set to
Musick, that is not Nonsense.'

This Maxim was no sooner receiv'd, but we immediately fell to
translating the Italian Operas; and as there was no great Danger of
hurting the Sense of those extraordinary Pieces, our Authors would often
make Words of their own [which[ 4]] were entirely foreign to the Meaning
of the Passages [they [5]] pretended to translate; their chief Care
being to make the Numbers of the English Verse answer to those of the
Italian, that both of them might go to the same Tune. Thus the famous
Song in 'Camilla',

'Barbara si t' intendo, &c.'

Barbarous Woman, yes, I know your Meaning,

which expresses the Resentments of an angry Lover, was translated into
that English lamentation:

'Frail are a Lovers Hopes, &c.'

And it was pleasant enough to see the most refined Persons of the
British Nation dying away and languishing to Notes that were filled with
a Spirit of Rage and Indignation. It happen'd also very frequently,
where the Sense was rightly translated, the necessary Transposition of
Words [which [6]] were drawn out of the Phrase of one Tongue into that
of another, made the Musick appear very absurd in one Tongue that was
very natural in the other. I remember an Italian verse that ran thus
Word for Word,

'And turned my Rage, into Pity;'

which the English for Rhime sake translated,

'And into Pity turn'd my Rage.'

By this Means the soft Notes that were adapted to Pity in the Italian,
fell upon the word Rage in the English; and the angry Sounds that were
turn'd to Rage in the Original, were made to express Pity in the
Translation. It oftentimes happen'd likewise, that the finest Notes in
the Air fell upon the most insignificant Words in the Sentence. I have
known the Word 'And' pursu'd through the whole Gamut, have been
entertained with many a melodious 'The', and have heard the most
beautiful Graces Quavers and Divisions bestowed upon 'Then, For,' and
'From;' to the eternal Honour of our English Particles. [7]

The next Step to our Refinement, was the introducing of Italian Actors
into our Opera; who sung their Parts in their own Language, at the same
Time that our Countrymen perform'd theirs in our native Tongue. The King
or Hero of the Play generally spoke in Italian, and his Slaves answered
him in English: The Lover frequently made his Court, and gained the
Heart of his Princess in a Language which she did not understand. One
would have thought it very difficult to have carry'd on Dialogues after
this Manner, without an Interpreter between the Persons that convers'd
together; but this was the State of the English Stage for about three

At length the Audience grew tir'd of understanding Half the Opera, and
therefore to ease themselves Entirely of the Fatigue of Thinking, have
so order'd it at Present that the whole Opera is performed in an unknown
Tongue. We no longer understand the Language of our own Stage; insomuch
that I have often been afraid, when I have seen our Italian Performers
chattering in the Vehemence of Action, that they have been calling us
Names, and abusing us among themselves; but I hope, since we do put such
an entire Confidence in them, they will not talk against us before our
Faces, though they may do it with the same Safety as if it [were [8]]
behind our Backs. In the mean Time I cannot forbear thinking how
naturally an Historian, who writes Two or Three hundred Years hence, and
does not know the Taste of his wise Fore-fathers, will make the
following Reflection, 'In the Beginning of the Eighteenth Century, the
Italian Tongue was so well understood in _England_, that Operas were
acted on the publick Stage in that Language.'

One scarce knows how to be serious in the Confutation of an Absurdity
that shews itself at the first Sight. It does not want any great Measure
of Sense to see the Ridicule of this monstrous Practice; but what makes
it the more astonishing, it is not the Taste of the Rabble, but of
Persons of the greatest Politeness, which has establish'd it.

If the Italians have a Genius for Musick above the English, the English
have a Genius for other Performances of a much higher Nature, and
capable of giving the Mind a much nobler Entertainment. Would one think
it was possible (at a Time when an Author lived that was able to write
the 'Phaedra' and 'Hippolitus') [9] for a People to be so stupidly fond
of the Italian Opera, as scarce to give a Third Days Hearing to that
admirable Tragedy? Musick is certainly a very agreeable Entertainment,
but if it would take the entire Possession of our Ears, if it would make
us incapable of hearing Sense, if it would exclude Arts that have a much
greater Tendency to the Refinement of humane Nature: I must confess I
would allow it no better Quarter than 'Plato' has done, who banishes it
out of his Common-wealth.

At present, our Notions of Musick are so very uncertain, that we do not
know what it is we like, only, in general, we are transported with any
thing that is not English: so if it be of a foreign Growth, let it be
Italian, French, or High-Dutch, it is the same thing. In short, our
English Musick is quite rooted out, and nothing yet planted in its

When a Royal Palace is burnt to the Ground, every Man is at Liberty to
present his Plan for a new one; and tho' it be but indifferently put
together, it may furnish several Hints that may be of Use to a good
Architect. I shall take the same Liberty in a following Paper, of giving
my Opinion upon the Subject of Musick, which I shall lay down only in a
problematical Manner to be considered by those who are Masters in the


[Footnote 1: 'Arsinoe' was produced at Drury Lane in 1705, with Mrs.
Tofts in the chief character, and her Italian rival, Margarita de
l'Epine, singing Italian songs before and after the Opera. The drama was
an Italian opera translated into English, and set to new music by Thomas
Clayton, formerly band master to William III. No. 20 of the Spectator
and other numbers from time to time advertised 'The Passion of Sappho,
and Feast of Alexander: Set to Musick by Mr. Thomas Clayton, as it is
performed at his house in 'York Buildings.' It was the same Clayton who
set to music Addison's unsuccessful opera of 'Rosamond', written as an
experiment in substituting homegrown literature for the fashionable
nonsense illustrated by Italian music. Thomas Clayton's music to
'Rosamond' was described as 'a jargon of sounds.' 'Camilla', composed by
Marco Antonio Buononcini, and said to contain beautiful music, was
produced at Sir John Vanbrugh's Haymarket opera in 1705, and sung half
in English, half in Italian; Mrs. Tofts singing the part of the
Amazonian heroine in English, and Valentini that of the hero in Italian.]

[Footnote 2: that]

[Footnote 3: very day]

[Footnote 4: that]

[Footnote 5: which they]

[Footnote 6: that]

[Footnote 7: It was fifty years after this that Churchill wrote of
Mossop in the 'Rosciad,'

'In monosyllables his thunders roll,
He, she, it, and, we, ye, they, fright the soul.']

[Footnote 8: was]

[Footnote 9: The Tragedy of 'Phaedra and Hippolitus', acted without
success in 1707, was the one play written by Mr. Edmund Smith, a
merchant's son who had been educated at Westminster School and Christ
Church, Oxford, and who had ended a dissolute life at the age of 42 (in
1710), very shortly before this paper was written. Addison's regard for
the play is warmed by friendship for the unhappy writer. He had, indeed,
written the Prologue to it, and struck therein also his note of war
against the follies of Italian Opera.

'Had Valentini, musically coy,
Shunned Phaedra's Arms, and scorn'd the puffer'd Joy,
It had not momed your Wonder to have seen
An Eunich fly from an enamour'd Queen;
How would it please, should she in English speak,
And could Hippolitus reply in Greek!'

The Epilogue to this play was by Prior. Edmund Smith's relation to
Addison is shown by the fact that, in dedicating the printed edition of
his Phaedra and Hippolitus to Lord Halifax, he speaks of Addison's lines
on the Peace of Ryswick as 'the best Latin Poem since the AEneid.']

* * * * *

No. 19. Thursday, March 22, 1711. Steele.

'Dii benefecerunt, inopis me quodque pusilli
Finxerunt animi, rari et perpauca loquentis.'


Observing one Person behold another, who was an utter Stranger to him,
with a Cast of his Eye which, methought, expressed an Emotion of Heart
very different from what could be raised by an Object so agreeable as
the Gentleman he looked at, I began to consider, not without some secret
Sorrow, the Condition of an Envious Man. Some have fancied that Envy has
a certain Magical Force in it, and that the Eyes of the Envious have by
their Fascination blasted the Enjoyments of the Happy. Sir _Francis
Bacon_ says, [1] Some have been so curious as to remark the Times and
Seasons when the Stroke of an Envious Eye is most effectually
pernicious, and have observed that it has been when the Person envied
has been in any Circumstance of Glory and Triumph. At such a time the
Mind of the Prosperous Man goes, as it were, abroad, among things
without him, and is more exposed to the Malignity. But I shall not dwell
upon Speculations so abstracted as this, or repeat the many excellent
Things which one might collect out of Authors upon this miserable
Affection; but keeping in the road of common Life, consider the Envious
Man with relation to these three Heads, His Pains, His Reliefs, and His

The Envious Man is in Pain upon all Occasions which ought to give him
Pleasure. The Relish of his Life is inverted, and the Objects which
administer the highest Satisfaction to those who are exempt from this
Passion, give the quickest Pangs to Persons who are subject to it. All
the Perfections of their Fellow-Creatures are odious: Youth, Beauty,
Valour and Wisdom are Provocations of their Displeasure. What a Wretched
and Apostate State is this! To be offended with Excellence, and to hate
a Man because we Approve him! The Condition of the Envious Man is the
most Emphatically miserable; he is not only incapable of rejoicing in
another's Merit or Success, but lives in a World wherein all Mankind are
in a Plot against his Quiet, by studying their own Happiness and
Advantage. _Will. Prosper_ is an honest Tale-bearer, he makes it his
business to join in Conversation with Envious Men. He points to such an
handsom Young Fellow, and whispers that he is secretly married to a
Great Fortune: When they doubt, he adds Circumstances to prove it; and
never fails to aggravate their Distress, by assuring 'em that to his
knowledge he has an Uncle will leave him some Thousands. _Will._ has
many Arts of this kind to torture this sort of Temper, and delights in
it. When he finds them change colour, and say faintly They wish such a
Piece of News is true, he has the Malice to speak some good or other of
every Man of their Acquaintance.

The Reliefs of the Envious Man are those little Blemishes and
Imperfections, that discover themselves in an Illustrious Character. It
is matter of great Consolation to an Envious Person, when a Man of Known
Honour does a thing Unworthy himself: Or when any Action which was well
executed, upon better Information appears so alter'd in its
Circumstances, that the Fame of it is divided among many, instead of
being attributed to One. This is a secret Satisfaction to these
Malignants; for the Person whom they before could not but admire, they
fancy is nearer their own Condition as soon as his Merit is shared among
others. I remember some Years ago there came out an Excellent Poem,
without the Name of the Author. The little Wits, who were incapable of
Writing it, began to pull in Pieces the supposed Writer. When that would
not do, they took great Pains to suppress the Opinion that it was his.
That again failed. The next Refuge was to say it was overlook'd by one
Man, and many Pages wholly written by another. An honest Fellow, who
sate among a Cluster of them in debate on this Subject, cryed out,

'Gentlemen, if you are sure none of you yourselves had an hand in it,
you are but where you were, whoever writ it.'

But the most usual Succour to the Envious, in cases of nameless Merit in
this kind, is to keep the Property, if possible, unfixed, and by that
means to hinder the Reputation of it from falling upon any particular
Person. You see an Envious Man clear up his Countenance, if in the
Relation of any Man's Great Happiness in one Point, you mention his
Uneasiness in another. When he hears such a one is very rich he turns
Pale, but recovers when you add that he has many Children. In a Word,
the only sure Way to an Envious Man's Favour, is not to deserve it.

But if we consider the Envious Man in Delight, it is like reading the
Seat of a Giant in a Romance; the Magnificence of his House consists in
the many Limbs of Men whom he has slain. If any who promised themselves
Success in any Uncommon Undertaking miscarry in the Attempt, or he that
aimed at what would have been Useful and Laudable, meets with Contempt
and Derision, the Envious Man, under the Colour of hating Vainglory, can
smile with an inward Wantonness of Heart at the ill Effect it may have
upon an honest Ambition for the future.

Having throughly considered the Nature of this Passion, I have made it
my Study how to avoid the Envy that may acrue to me from these my
Speculations; and if I am not mistaken in my self, I think I have a
Genius to escape it. Upon hearing in a Coffee-house one of my Papers
commended, I immediately apprehended the Envy that would spring from
that Applause; and therefore gave a Description of my Face the next Day;
[2] being resolved as I grow in Reputation for Wit, to resign my
Pretensions to Beauty. This, I hope, may give some Ease to those unhappy
Gentlemen, who do me the Honour to torment themselves upon the Account
of this my Paper. As their Case is very deplorable, and deserves
Compassion, I shall sometimes be dull, in Pity to them, and will from
time to time administer Consolations to them by further Discoveries of
my Person. In the meanwhile, if any one says the _Spectator_ has Wit, it
may be some Relief to them, to think that he does not show it in
Company. And if any one praises his Morality they may comfort themselves
by considering that his Face is none of the longest.


[Footnote 1:

We see likewise, the Scripture calleth Envy an Evil Eye: And the
Astrologers call the evil influences of the stars, Evil Aspects; so
that still there seemeth to be acknowledged, in the act of envy, an
ejaculation or irradiation of the eye. Nay some have been so curious
as to note that the times when the stroke or percussion of an envious
eye doth most hurt, are, when the party envied is beheld in glory or
triumph; for that sets an edge upon Envy; And besides, at such times,
the spirits of the persons envied do come forth most into the outward
parts, and so meet the blow.

'Bacon's Essays: IX. Of Envy'.]

[Footnote 2: In No. 17.]

* * * * *

No. 20.] Friday, March 23, 1711. [Steele.

[Greek: Kynos ommat' ech_on ...]


Among the other hardy Undertakings which I have proposed to my self,
that of the Correction of Impudence is what I have very much at Heart.
This in a particular Manner is my Province as SPECTATOR; for it is
generally an Offence committed by the Eyes, and that against such as the
Offenders would perhaps never have an Opportunity of injuring any other
Way. The following Letter is a Complaint of a Young Lady, who sets forth
a Trespass of this Kind with that Command of herself as befits Beauty
and Innocence, and yet with so much Spirit as sufficiently expresses her
Indignation. The whole Transaction is performed with the Eyes; and the

Facebook Google Reddit Twitter Pinterest