The Spectator, Volume 2.
Addison and Steele

Part 1 out of 19

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

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

Ov. Met.

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

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

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

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

Virg. [2]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

[Footnote 1: that]

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

[Footnote 3: Infamy.]

[Footnote 4: Shame]

[Footnote 5: suffer and are]


* * * * *

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

Urit grata protervitas,
Et vultus nimium lubricus aspici.


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

_To the_ Sothades [1].

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

_I am your admired_ Belinda."


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

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

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

To Colonel R----s [3] in Spain.

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

Farewell for ever. T.

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

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

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

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

* * * * *

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

Decipimur specie recti


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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

_Yours_, Robin Good-fellow.


[Footnote 1: Metaphor,]

[Footnote 2: that]

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

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


* * * * *

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

Quanto quisque sibi plura negaverit,
A Diis plura feret--


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


* * * * *

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

[Footnote 3: Iliad, v. 127.]

[Footnote 4: John xi. 49.]

* * * * *

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

--Veniunt spectentur ut ipsae.


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

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

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


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

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


October _the 20th_.

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

_Your most obliged Humble Servant,_


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

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


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

[Footnote 2: Acted Saturday, October 20.]

* * * * *

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

* * * * *

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

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

Cic. Tusc. Quaest.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


[Footnote 1:

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

Popes Essay on Criticism, then newly published.]

* * * * *

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

Fictis meminerit nos jocari Fabulis.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

_Your humble Servant_,


_Picadilly, October_ 31, 1711.


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

_Your loving Friend_,

Barnaby Brittle.

_Cheapside, October_ 30.


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

_Yours till Death_,

Josiah Henpeck.

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

_Wapping, October_ 31, 1711.


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



[Footnote 1: Odes, I. 16. ]

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

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

[Footnote 4: that his]

* * * * *

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

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



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

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


_Your most obedient humble Servant_,

Anthony Freeman.

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


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

* * * * *

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

--Mens sibi conscia recti.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


[Footnote 1: Rom. vii. 16.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * * * *

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

Perierunt tempora longi

Juv. [1]

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

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

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

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


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