The Spectator, Volume 2.
Addison and Steele
Part 11 out of 19
have seen such an Angel in the Sun. In the Answer which this Angel
returns to the disguised evil Spirit, there is such a becoming Majesty
as is altogether suitable to a Superior Being. The Part of it in which
he represents himself as present at the Creation, is very noble in it
self, and not only proper where it is introduced, but requisite to
prepare the Reader for what follows in the Seventh Book.
I saw when at his Word the formless Mass,
This Worlds material Mould, came to a Heap:
Confusion heard his Voice, and wild Uproar
Stood rul'd, stood vast Infinitude confin'd.
Till at his second Bidding Darkness fled,
Light shon, &c.
In the following Part of the Speech he points out the Earth with such
Circumstances, that the Reader can scarce forbear fancying himself
employed on the same distant View of it.
Look downward on the Globe whose hither Side
With Light from hence, tho but reflected, shines;
That place is Earth, the Seat of Man, that Light
His Day, &c.
I must not conclude my Reflections upon this Third Book of Paradise
Lost, without taking Notice of that celebrated Complaint of Milton with
which it opens, and which certainly deserves all the Praises that have
been given it; tho as I have before hinted, it may rather be looked
upon as an Excrescence, than as an essential Part of the Poem. The same
Observation might be applied to that beautiful Digression upon
Hypocrisie, in the same Book.
[Footnote 1: De Arte Poetica. II. 38-40.]
[Footnote 2: Poetics, iii. 4.
The surprising is necessary in tragedy; but the Epic Poem goes
farther, and admits even the improbable and incredible, from which the
highest degree of the surprising results, because there the action is
* * * * *
No. 316. Monday, March 3, 1712. John Hughes.
Libertas; quae sera tamen respexit Inertem.
Virg. Ecl. I.
If you ever read a Letter which is sent with the more Pleasure for
the Reality of its Complaints, this may have Reason to hope for a
favourable Acceptance; and if Time be the most irretrievable Loss, the
Regrets which follow will be thought, I hope, the most justifiable.
The regaining of my Liberty from a long State of Indolence and
Inactivity, and the Desire of resisting the further Encroachments of
Idleness, make me apply to you; and the Uneasiness with which I I
recollect the past Years, and the Apprehensions with which I expect
the Future, soon determined me to it.
Idleness is so general a Distemper that I cannot but imagine a
Speculation on this Subject will be of universal Use. There is hardly
any one Person without some Allay of it; and thousands besides my self
spend more Time in an idle Uncertainty which to begin first of two
Affairs, that would have been sufficient to have ended them both. The
Occasion of this seems to be the Want of some necessary Employment, to
put the Spirits in Motion, and awaken them out of their Lethargy. If I
had less Leisure, I should have more; for I should then find my Time
distinguished into Portions, some for Business, and others for the
indulging of Pleasures: But now one Face of Indolence overspreads the
whole, and I have no Land-mark to direct my self by. Were ones Time a
little straitned by Business, like Water inclosed in its Banks, it
would have some determined Course; but unless it be put into some
Channel it has no Current, but becomes a Deluge without either Use or
When Scanderbeg Prince of Epirus was dead, the Turks, who had but too
often felt the Force of his Arm in the Battels he had won from them,
imagined that by wearing a piece of his Bones near their Heart, they
should be animated with a Vigour and Force like to that which inspired
him when living. As I am like to be but of little use whilst I live, I
am resolved to do what Good I can after my Decease; and have
accordingly ordered my Bones to be disposed of in this Manner for the
Good of my Countrymen, who are troubled with too exorbitant a Degree
of Fire. All Fox-hunters upon wearing me, would in a short Time be
brought to endure their Beds in a Morning, and perhaps even quit them
with Regret at Ten: Instead of hurrying away to teaze a poor Animal,
and run away from their own Thoughts, a Chair or a Chariot would be
thought the most desirable Means of performing a Remove from one Place
to another. I should be a Cure for the unnatural Desire of John Trott
for Dancing, and a Specifick to lessen the Inclination Mrs. Fidget has
to Motion, and cause her always to give her Approbation to the present
Place she is in. In fine, no Egyptian Mummy was ever half so useful in
Physick, as I should be to these feaverish Constitutions, to repress
the violent Sallies of Youth, and give each Action its proper Weight
I can stifle any violent Inclination, and oppose a Torrent of Anger,
or the Sollicitations of Revenge, with Success. But Indolence is a
Stream which flows slowly on, but yet undermines the Foundation of
every Virtue. A Vice of a more lively Nature were a more desirable
Tyrant than this Rust of the Mind, which gives a Tincture of its
Nature to every Action of ones Life. It were as little Hazard to be
lost in a Storm, as to lye thus perpetually becalmed: And it is to no
Purpose to have within one the Seeds of a thousand good Qualities, if
we want the Vigour and Resolution necessary for the exerting them.
Death brings all Persons back to an Equality; and this Image of it,
this Slumber of the Mind, leaves no Difference between the greatest
Genius and the meanest Understanding: A Faculty of doing things
remarkably praise-worthy thus concealed, is of no more use to the
Owner, than a Heap of Gold to the Man who dares not use it.
To-Morrow is still the fatal Time when all is to be rectified:
To-Morrow comes, it goes, and still I please my self with the Shadow,
whilst I lose the Reality; unmindful that the present Time alone is
ours, the future is yet unborn, and the past is dead, and can only
live (as Parents in their Children) in the Actions it has produced.
The Time we live ought not to be computed by the Numbers of Years,
but by the Use has been made of it; thus tis not the Extent of
Ground, but the yearly Rent which gives the Value to the Estate.
Wretched and thoughtless Creatures, in the only Place where
Covetousness were a Virtue we turn Prodigals! Nothing lies upon our
Hands with such Uneasiness, nor has there been so many Devices for any
one Thing, as to make it slide away imperceptibly and to no purpose. A
Shilling shall be hoarded up with Care, whilst that which is above the
Price of an Estate, is flung away with Disregard and Contempt. There
is nothing now-a-days so much avoided, as a sollicitous Improvement of
every part of Time; tis a Report must be shunned as one tenders the
Name of a Wit and a fine Genius, and as one fears the Dreadful
Character of a laborious Plodder: But notwithstanding this, the
greatest Wits any Age has produced thought far otherwise; for who can
think either Socrates or Demosthenes lost any Reputation, by their
continual Pains both in overcoming the Defects and improving the Gifts
of Nature. All are acquainted with the Labour and Assiduity with which
Tully acquired his Eloquence.
Seneca in his Letters to Lucelius assures him, there was not a Day
in which he did not either write something, or read and epitomize some
good Author; and I remember Pliny in one of his Letters, where he
gives an Account of the various Methods he used to fill up every
Vacancy of Time, after several Imployments which he enumerates;
sometimes, says he, I hunt; but even then I carry with me a
Pocket-Book, that whilst my Servants are busied in disposing of the
Nets and other Matters I may be employed in something that may be
useful to me in my Studies; and that if I miss of my Game, I may at
the least bring home some of my own Thoughts with me, and not have the
Mortification of having caught nothing all Day.
Thus, Sir, you see how many Examples I recall to Mind, and what
Arguments I use with my self, to regain my Liberty: But as I am afraid
tis no Ordinary Perswasion that will be of Service, I shall expect
your Thoughts on this Subject, with the greatest Impatience,
especially since the Good will not be confined to me alone, but will
be of Universal Use. For there is no Hopes of Amendment where Men are
pleased with their Ruin, and whilst they think Laziness is a desirable
Character: Whether it be that they like the State it self, or that
they think it gives them a new Lustre when they do exert themselves,
seemingly to be able to do that without Labour and Application, which
others attain to but with the greatest Diligence.
I am, SIR,
Your most obliged humble Servant,
Clytander to Cleone.
Permission to love you is all I desire, to conquer all the
Difficulties those about you place in my Way, to surmount and acquire
all those Qualifications you expect in him who pretends to the Honour
Your most humble Servant,
[Footnote 1: Ep. 2.]
[Footnote 2: Ep. I. 6.]
* * * * *
No. 317. Tuesday, March 4, 1712 Addison.
--fruges consumere nati.
Augustus, a few Moments before his Death, asked his Friends who stood
about him, if they thought he had acted his Part well; and upon
receiving such an Answer as was due to his extraordinary Merit, _Let me
then, says he, go off the Stage with your Applause_; using the
Expression with which the Roman Actors made their _Exit_ at the
Conclusion of a Dramatick Piece. I could wish that Men, while they are
in Health, would consider well the Nature of the Part they are engaged
in, and what Figure it will make in the Minds of those they leave behind
them: Whether it was worth coming into the World for; whether it be
suitable to a reasonable Being; in short, whether it appears Graceful in
this Life, or will turn to an Advantage in the next. Let the Sycophant,
or Buffoon, the Satyrist, or the Good Companion, consider with himself,
when his Body shall be laid in the Grave, and his Soul pass into another
State of Existence, how much it will redound to his Praise to have it
said of him, that no Man in England eat better, that he had an admirable
Talent at turning his Friends into Ridicule, that no Body out-did him at
an Ill-natured Jest, or that he never went to Bed before he had
dispatched his third Bottle. These are, however, very common Funeral
Orations, and Elogiums on deceased Persons who have acted among Mankind
with some Figure and Reputation.
But if we look into the Bulk of our Species, they are such as are not
likely to be remembred a Moment after their Disappearance. They leave
behind them no Traces of their Existence, but are forgotten as tho they
had never been. They are neither wanted by the Poor, regretted by the
Rich, [n]or celebrated by the Learned. They are neither missed in the
Commonwealth, nor lamented by private Persons. Their Actions are of no
Significancy to Mankind, and might have been performed by Creatures of
much less Dignity, than those who are distinguished by the Faculty of
Reason. An eminent French Author speaks somewhere to the following
Purpose: I have often seen from my Chamber-window two noble Creatures,
both of them of an erect Countenance and endowed with Reason. These two
intellectual Beings are employed from Morning to Night, in rubbing two
smooth Stones one upon another; that is, as the Vulgar phrase it, in
My Friend, Sir ANDREW FREEPORT, as we were sitting in the Club last
Night, gave us an Account of a sober Citizen, who died a few Days since.
This honest Man being of greater Consequence in his own Thoughts, than
in the Eye of the World, had for some Years past kept a Journal of his
Life. Sir ANDREW shewed us one Week of it. [Since ] the Occurrences
set down in it mark out such a Road of Action as that I have been
speaking of, I shall present my Reader with a faithful Copy of it; after
having first inform'd him, that the Deceased Person had in his Youth
been bred to Trade, but finding himself not so well turned for Business,
he had for several Years last past lived altogether upon a moderate
MONDAY, Eight-a-Clock. I put on my Cloaths and walked into the
Nine a-Clock, ditto. Tied my Knee-strings, and washed my Hands.
Hours Ten, Eleven and Twelve. Smoaked three Pipes of Virginia. Read
the Supplement and Daily Courant. Things go ill in the North. Mr.
Nisby's Opinion thereupon.
One a-Clock in the Afternoon. Chid Ralph for mislaying my Tobacco-Box.
Two a-Clock. Sate down to Dinner. Mem. Too many Plumbs, and no Sewet.
From Three to Four. Took my Afternoons Nap.
From Four to Six. Walked into the Fields. Wind, S. S. E.
From Six to Ten. At the Club. Mr. Nisby's Opinion about the Peace.
Ten a-Clock. Went to Bed, slept sound.
TUESDAY, BEING HOLIDAY, Eight a-Clock. Rose as usual.
Nine a-Clock. Washed Hands and Face, shaved, put on my double-soaled
Ten, Eleven, Twelve. Took a Walk to Islington.
One. Took a Pot of Mother Cobs Mild.
Between Two and Three. Return'd, dined on a Knuckle of Veal and Bacon.
Mem. Sprouts wanting.
Three. Nap as usual.
From Four to Six. Coffee-house. Read the News. A Dish of Twist. Grand
From Six to Ten. At the Club. Mr. Nisby's Account of the Great Turk.
Ten. Dream of the Grand Vizier. Broken Sleep.
WEDNESDAY, Eight a-Clock. Tongue of my Shooe-Buckle broke. Hands but
Nine. Paid off the Butchers Bill. Mem. To be allowed for the last Leg
Ten, Eleven. At the Coffee-house. More Work in the North. Stranger in
a black Wigg asked me how Stocks went.
From Twelve to One. Walked in the Fields. Wind to the South.
From One to Two. Smoaked a Pipe and an half.
Two. Dined as usual. Stomach good.
Three. Nap broke by the falling of a Pewter Dish. Mem. Cook-maid in
Love, and grown careless.
From Four to Six. At the Coffee-house. Advice from Smyrna, that the
Grand Vizier was first of all strangled, and afterwards beheaded.
Six a-Clock in the Evening. Was half an Hour in the Club before any
Body else came. Mr. Nisby of Opinion that the Grand Vizier was not
strangled the Sixth Instant.
Ten at Night. Went to Bed. Slept without waking till Nine next
THURSDAY, Nine a-Clock. Staid within till Two a-Clock for Sir Timothy;
who did not bring me my Annuity according to his Promise.
Two in the Afternoon. Sate down to Dinner. Loss of Appetite. Small
Beer sour. Beef over-corned.
Three. Could not take my Nap.
Four and Five. Gave Ralph a box on the Ear. Turned off my Cookmaid.
Sent a Message to Sir Timothy. Mem. I did not go to the Club to-night.
Went to Bed at Nine a-Clock.
FRIDAY, Passed the Morning in Meditation upon Sir Timothy, who was
with me a Quarter before Twelve.
Twelve a-Clock. Bought a new Head to my Cane, and a Tongue to my
Buckle. Drank a Glass of Purl to recover Appetite.
Two and Three. Dined, and Slept well.
From Four to Six. Went to the Coffee-house. Met Mr. Nisby there.
Smoaked several Pipes. Mr. Nisby of opinion that laced Coffee is bad
for the Head.
Six a-Clock. At the Club as Steward. Sate late.
Twelve a-Clock. Went to Bed, dreamt that I drank Small Beer with the
SATURDAY. Waked at Eleven, walked in the Fields. Wind N. E.
Twelve. Caught in a Shower.
One in the Afternoon. Returned home, and dryed my self.
Two. Mr. Nisby dined with me. First Course Marrow-bones, Second
Ox-Cheek, with a Bottle of Brooks and Hellier.
Three a-Clock. Overslept my self.
Six. Went to the Club. Like to have fal'n into a Gutter. Grand Vizier
certainly Dead. etc.
I question not but the Reader will be surprized to find the
above-mentioned Journalist taking so much care of a Life that was filled
with such inconsiderable Actions, and received so very small
Improvements; and yet, if we look into the Behaviour of many whom we
daily converse with, we shall find that most of their Hours are taken up
in those three Important Articles of Eating, Drinking and Sleeping. I do
not suppose that a Man loses his Time, who is not engaged in publick
Affairs, or in an Illustrious Course of Action. On the Contrary, I
believe our Hours may very often be more profitably laid out in such
Transactions as make no Figure in the World, than in such as are apt to
draw upon them the Attention of Mankind. One may become wiser and better
by several Methods of Employing ones Self in Secrecy and Silence, and
do what is laudable without Noise, or Ostentation. I would, however,
recommend to every one of my Readers, the keeping a Journal of their
Lives for one Week, and setting down punctually their whole Series of
Employments during that Space of Time. This Kind of Self-Examination
would give them a true State of themselves, and incline them to consider
seriously what they are about. One Day would rectifie the Omissions of
another, and make a Man weigh all those indifferent Actions, which,
though they are easily forgotten, must certainly be accounted for.
[Footnote 1: [As]]
* * * * *
No. 318. Wednesday, March 5, 1712. Steele.
[--non omnia possumus omnes.
A certain Vice which you have lately attacked, has not yet been
considered by you as growing so deep in the Heart of Man, that the
Affectation outlives the Practice of it. You must have observed that
Men who have been bred in Arms preserve to the most extreme and feeble
old Age a certain Daring in their Aspect: In like manner, they who
have pass'd their Time in Gallantry and Adventure, keep up, as well as
they can, the Appearance of it, and carry a petulant Inclination to
their last Moments. Let this serve for a Preface to a Relation I am
going to give you of an old Beau in Town, that has not only been
amorous, and a Follower of Women in general, but also, in Spite of the
Admonition of grey Hairs, been from his sixty-third Year to his
present seventieth, in an actual Pursuit of a young Lady, the Wife of
his Friend, and a Man of Merit. The gay old Escalus has Wit, good
Health, and is perfectly well bred; but from the Fashion and Manners
of the Court when he was in his Bloom, has such a natural Tendency to
amorous Adventure, that he thought it would be an endless Reproach to
him to make no use of a Familiarity he was allowed at a Gentleman's
House, whose good Humour and Confidence exposed his Wife to the
Addresses of any who should take it in their Head to do him the good
Office. It is not impossible that Escalus might also resent that the
Husband was particularly negligent of him; and tho he gave many
Intimations of a Passion towards the Wife, the Husband either did not
see them, or put him to the Contempt of over-looking them. In the mean
time Isabella, for so we shall call our Heroine, saw his Passion, and
rejoiced in it as a Foundation for much Diversion, and an Opportunity
of indulging her self in the dear Delight of being admired, addressed
to, and flattered, with no ill Consequence to her Reputation. This
Lady is of a free and disengaged Behaviour, ever in good Humour, such
as is the Image of Innocence with those who are innocent, and an
Encouragement to Vice with those who are abandoned. From this Kind of
Carriage, and an apparent Approbation of his Gallantry, Escalus had
frequent Opportunities of laying amorous Epistles in her Way, of
fixing his Eyes attentively upon her Action, of performing a thousand
little Offices which are neglected by the Unconcerned, but are so many
Approaches towards Happiness with the Enamoured. It was now, as is
above hinted, almost the End of the seventh Year of his Passion, when
Escalus from general Terms, and the ambiguous Respect which criminal
Lovers retain in their Addresses, began to bewail that his Passion
grew too violent for him to answer any longer for his Behaviour
towards her; and that he hoped she would have Consideration for his
long and patient Respect, to excuse the Motions of a Heart now no
longer under the Direction of the unhappy Owner of it. Such for some
Months had been the Language of Escalus both in his Talk and his
Letters to Isabella; who returned all the Profusion of kind Things
which had been the Collection of fifty Years with I must not hear you;
you will make me forget that you are a Gentleman, I would not
willingly lose you as a Friend; and the like Expressions, which the
Skilful interpret to their own Advantage, as well knowing that a
feeble Denial is a modest Assent. I should have told you, that
Isabella, during the whole Progress of this Amour, communicated it to
her Husband; and that an Account of Escalus's Love was their usual
Entertainment after half a Days Absence: Isabella therefore, upon her
Lovers late more open Assaults, with a Smile told her Husband she
could hold out no longer, but that his Fate was now come to a Crisis.
After she had explained her self a little farther, with her Husbands
Approbation she proceeded in the following Manner. The next Time that
Escalus was alone with her, and repeated his Importunity, the crafty
Isabella looked on her Fan with an Air of great Attention, as
considering of what Importance such a Secret was to her; and upon the
Repetition of a warm Expression, she looked at him with an Eye of
Fondness, and told him he was past that Time of Life which could make
her fear he would boast of a Lady's Favour; then turned away her Head
with a very well-acted Confusion, which favoured the Escape of the
aged Escalus. This Adventure was Matter of great Pleasantry to
Isabella and her Spouse; and they had enjoyed it two Days before
Escalus could recollect himself enough to form the following Letter.
"What happened the other Day, gives me a lively Image of the
Inconsistency of human Passions and Inclinations. We pursue what we
are denied, and place our Affections on what is absent, tho we
neglected it when present. As long as you refused my Love, your
Refusal did so strongly excite my Passion, that I had not once the
Leisure to think of recalling my Reason to aid me against the Design
upon your Virtue. But when that Virtue began to comply in my Favour,
my Reason made an Effort over my Love, and let me see the Baseness
of my Behaviour in attempting a Woman of Honour. I own to you, it
was not without the most violent Struggle that I gained this Victory
over my self; nay, I will confess my Shame, and acknowledge I could
not have prevailed but by Flight. However, Madam, I beg that you
will believe a Moments Weakness has not destroyed the Esteem I had
for you, which was confirmed by so many Years of Obstinate Virtue.
You have Reason to rejoice that this did not happen within the
Observation of one of the young Fellows, who would have exposed your
Weakness, and gloried in his own Brutish Inclinations.
I am, Madam,
Your most devoted Humble Servant."
Isabella, with the Help of her Husband, returned the following Answer.
"I cannot but account my self a very happy Woman, in having a Man
for a Lover that can write so well, and give so good a Turn to a
Disappointment. Another Excellence you have above all other
Pretenders I ever heard of; on Occasions where the most reasonable
Men lose all their Reason, you have yours most powerful. We are each
of us to thank our Genius, that the Passion of one abated in
Proportion as that of the other grew violent. Does it not yet come
into your Head, to imagine that I knew my Compliance was the
greatest Cruelty I could be guilty of towards you? In Return for
your long and faithful Passion, I must let you know that you are old
enough to become a little more Gravity; but if you will leave me and
coquet it any where else, may your Mistress yield.
Rideat et pulset Lasciva decentius AEtas.
* * * * *
No. 319. Thursday, March 6, 1712. Budgell.
Quo teneam vultus mutantem Protea nodo?
I have endeavoured, in the Course of my Papers, to do Justice to the
Age, and have taken care as much as possible to keep my self a Neuter
between both Sexes. I have neither spared the Ladies out of
Complaisance, nor the Men out of Partiality; but notwithstanding the
great Integrity with which I have acted in this Particular, I find my
self taxed with an Inclination to favour my own half of the Species.
Whether it be that the Women afford a more fruitful Field for
Speculation, or whether they run more in my Head than the Men, I cannot
tell, but I shall set down the Charge as it is laid against me in the
I always make one among a Company of young Females, who peruse your
Speculations every Morning. I am at present Commissioned, by our whole
Assembly, to let you know, that we fear you are a little enclined to
be partial towards your own Sex. We must however acknowledge, with all
due Gratitude, that in some Cases you have given us our Revenge on the
Men, and done us Justice. We could not easily have forgiven you
several Strokes in the Dissection of the Coquets Heart, if you had
not, much about the same time, made a Sacrifice to us of a Beaus
You may, however, Sir, please to remember, that long since you
attacked our Hoods and Commodes in such manner, as, to use your own
Expression, made very many of us ashamed to shew our Heads. We must,
therefore, beg leave to represent to you, that we are in Hopes, if you
would please to make a due Enquiry, the Men in all Ages would be found
to have been little less whimsical in adorning that Part, than our
selves. The different Forms of their Wiggs, together with the various
Cocks of their Hats, all flatter us in this Opinion.
I had an humble Servant last Summer, who the first time he declared
himself, was in a Full-Bottom'd Wigg; but the Day after, to my no
small Surprize, he accosted me in a thin Natural one. I received him,
at this our second Interview, as a perfect Stranger, but was extreamly
confounded, when his Speech discovered who he was. I resolved,
therefore, to fix his Face in my Memory for the future; but as I was
walking in the Park the same Evening, he appeared to me in one of
those Wiggs that I think you call a Night-cap, which had altered him
more effectually than before. He afterwards played a Couple of Black
Riding Wiggs upon me, with the same Success; and, in short, assumed a
new Face almost every Day in the first Month of his Courtship.
I observed afterwards, that the Variety of Cocks into which he
moulded his Hat, had not a little contributed to his Impositions upon
Yet, as if all these ways were not sufficient to distinguish their
Heads, you must, doubtless, Sir, have observed, that great Numbers of
young Fellows have, for several Months last past, taken upon them to
We hope, therefore, that these may, with as much Justice, be called
Indian Princes, as you have styled a Woman in a coloured Hood an
Indian Queen; and that you will, in due time, take these airy
Gentlemen into Consideration.
We the more earnestly beg that you would put a Stop to this Practice,
since it has already lost us one of the most agreeable Members of our
Society, who after having refused several good Estates, and two
Titles, was lured from us last Week by a mixed Feather.
I am ordered to present you the Respects of our whole Company, and
Your very humble Servant,
Note, The Person wearing the Feather, tho our Friend took him for an
Officer in the Guards, has proved to be [an arrant Linnen-Draper. ]
I am not now at leisure to give my Opinion upon the Hat and Feather;
however to wipe off the present Imputation, and gratifie my Female
Correspondent, I shall here print a Letter which I lately received from
a Man of Mode, who seems to have a very extraordinary Genius in his way.
I presume I need not inform you, that among Men of Dress it is a
common Phrase to say Mr. Such an one has struck a bold Stroke; by
which we understand, that he is the first Man who has had Courage
enough to lead up a Fashion. Accordingly, when our Taylors take
Measure of us, they always demand whether we will have a plain Suit,
or strike a bold Stroke. 1 think I may without Vanity say, that I have
struck some of the boldest and most successful Strokes of any Man in
Great Britain. I was the first that struck the Long Pocket about two
Years since: I was likewise the Author of the Frosted Button, which
when I saw the Town came readily into, being resolved to strike while
the Iron was hot, I produced much about the same time the Scallop
Flap, the knotted Cravat, and made a fair Push for the Silver-clocked
A few Months after I brought up the modish Jacket, or the Coat with
close Sleeves. I struck this at first in a plain Doily; but that
failing, I struck it a second time in blue Camlet; and repeated the
Stroke in several kinds of Cloth, till at last it took effect. There
are two or three young Fellows at the other End of the Town, who have
always their Eye upon me, and answer me Stroke for Stroke. I was once
so unwary as to mention my Fancy in relation to the new-fashioned
Surtout before one of these Gentlemen, who was disingenuous enough to
steal my Thought, and by that means prevented my intended Stroke.
I have a Design this Spring to make very considerable Innovations in
the Wastcoat, and have already begun with a Coup dessai upon the
Sleeves, which has succeeded very well.
I must further inform you, if you will promise to encourage or at
least to connive at me, that it is my Design to strike such a Stroke
the Beginning of the next Month, as shall surprise the whole Town.
I do not think it prudent to acquaint you with all the Particulars of
my intended Dress; but will only tell you, as a Sample of it, that I
shall very speedily appear at Whites in a Cherry-coloured Hat. I took
this Hint from the Ladies Hoods, which I look upon as the boldest
Stroke that Sex has struck for these hundred Years last past.
I am, SIR,
Your most Obedient, most Humble Servant,
[I have not Time at present to make any Reflections on this Letter, but
must not however omit that having shewn it to WILL. HONEYCOMB, he
desires to be acquainted with the Gentleman who writ it.]
[Footnote 1: only an Ensign in the Train Bands.]
* * * * *
No. 320. Friday, March 7, 1712. Steele.
[--non pronuba Juno,
Non Hymenaeus adest, non illi Gratia lecto,
Eumenides stravere torum.
You have given many Hints in your Papers to the Disadvantage of
Persons of your own Sex, who lay Plots upon Women. Among other hard
Words you have published the Term Male-Coquets, and been very severe
upon such as give themselves the Liberty of a little Dalliance of
Heart, and playing fast and loose, between Love and Indifference, till
perhaps an easie young Girl is reduced to Sighs, Dreams and Tears; and
languishes away her Life for a careless Coxcomb, who looks astonished,
and wonders at such an Effect from what in him was all but common
Civility. Thus you have treated the Men who are irresolute in
Marriage; but if you design to be impartial, pray be so honest as to
print the Information I now give you, of a certain Set of Women who
never Coquet for the Matter, but with an high Hand marry whom they
please to whom they please. As for my Part, I should not have
concerned my self with them, but that I understand I am pitched upon
by them, to be married, against my Will, to one I never saw in my
Life. It has been my Misfortune, Sir, very innocently, to rejoice in a
plentiful Fortune, of which I am Master, to bespeak a fine Chariot, to
give Direction for two or three handsome Snuff-Boxes, and as many
Suits of fine Cloaths; but before any of these were ready, I heard
Reports of my being to be married to two or three different young
Women. Upon my taking Notice of it to a young Gentleman who is often
in my Company he told me smiling, I was in the Inquisition. You may
believe I was not a little startled at what he meant, and more so when
he asked me if I had bespoke any thing of late that was fine. I told
him several; upon which he produced a Description of my Person from
the Tradesmen whom I had employed, and told me that they had certainly
informed against me. Mr. SPECTATOR, Whatever the World may think of
me, I am more Coxcomb than Fool, and I grew very inquisitive upon this
Head, not a little pleased with the Novelty. My Friend told me there
were a certain Set of Women of Fashion whereof the Number of Six made
a Committee, who sat thrice a Week, under the Title of the Inquisition
on Maids and Batchelors. It seems, whenever there comes such an
unthinking gay Thing as my self to Town, he must want all Manner of
Necessaries, or be put into the Inquisition by the first Tradesman he
employs. They have constant Intelligence with Cane-Shops, Perfumers,
Toymen, Coach-makers, and China-houses. From these several Places,
these Undertakers for Marriages have as constant and regular
Correspondence, as the Funeral-men have with Vintners and
Apothecaries. All Batchelors are under their immediate Inspection, and
my Friend produced to me a Report given into their Board, wherein an
old Unkle of mine, who came to Town with me, and my self, were
inserted, and we stood thus; the Unkle smoaky, rotten, poor; the
Nephew raw, but no Fool, sound at present, very rich. My Information
did not end here, but my Friends Advices are so good, that he could
shew me a Copy of the Letter sent to the young Lady who is to have me
which I enclose to you.
This is to let you know, that you are to be Married to a Beau that
comes out on Thursday Six in the Evening. Be at the Park. You cannot
but know a Virgin Fop; they have a Mind to look saucy, but are out
of Countenance. The Board has denied him to several good Families. I
wish you Joy.
What makes my Correspondents Case the more deplorable, is, that as I
find by the Report from my Censor of Marriages, the Friend he speaks of
is employed by the Inquisition to take him in, as the Phrase is. After
all that is told him, he has Information only of one Woman that is laid
for him, and that the wrong one; for the Lady-Commissioners have devoted
him to another than the Person against whom they have employed their
Agent his Friend to alarm him. The Plot is laid so well about this young
Gentleman, that he has no Friend to retire to, no Place to appear in, or
Part of the Kingdom to fly into, but he must fall into the Notice, and
be subject to the Power of the Inquisition. They have their Emissaries
and Substitutes in all Parts of this united Kingdom. The first Step they
usually take, is to find from a Correspondence, by their Messengers and
Whisperers with some Domestick of the Batchelor (who is to be hunted
into the Toils they have laid for him) what are his Manners, his
Familiarities, his good Qualities or Vices; not as the Good in him is a
Recommendation, or the ill a Diminution, but as they affect or
contribute to the main Enquiry, What Estate he has in him? When this
Point is well reported to the Board, they can take in a wild roaring
Fox-hunter, as easily as a soft, gentle young Fop of the Town. The Way
is to make all Places uneasie to him, but the Scenes in which they have
allotted him to act. His Brother Huntsmen, Bottle Companions, his
Fraternity of Fops, shall be brought into the Conspiracy against him.
Then this Matter is not laid in so bare-faced a Manner before him, as to
have it intimated Mrs. Such-a-one would make him a very proper Wife; but
by the Force of their Correspondence they shall make it (as Mr. Waller
said of the Marriage of the Dwarfs) as impracticable to have any Woman
besides her they design him, as it would have been in Adam to have
refused Eve. The Man named by the Commission for Mrs. Such-a-one, shall
neither be in Fashion, nor dare ever to appear in Company, should he
attempt to evade their Determination.
The Female Sex wholly govern domestick Life; and by this Means, when
they think fit, they can sow Dissentions between the dearest Friends,
nay make Father and Son irreconcilable Enemies, in spite of all the Ties
of Gratitude on one Part, and the Duty of Protection to be paid on the
other. The Ladies of the Inquisition understand this perfectly well; and
where Love is not a Motive to a Man's chusing one whom they allot, they
can, with very much Art, insinuate Stories to the Disadvantage of his
Honesty or Courage, till the Creature is too much dispirited to bear up
against a general ill Reception, which he every where meets with, and in
due time falls into their appointed Wedlock for Shelter. I have a long
Letter bearing Date the fourth Instant, which gives me a large Account
of the Policies of this Court; and find there is now before them a very
refractory Person who has escaped all their Machinations for two Years
last past: But they have prevented two successive Matches which were of
his own Inclination, the one, by a Report that his Mistress was to be
married, and the very Day appointed, Wedding-Clothes bought, and all
things ready for her being given to another; the second time, by
insinuating to all his Mistresss Friends and Acquaintance, that he had
been false to several other Women, and the like. The poor Man is now
reduced to profess he designs to lead a single Life; but the Inquisition
gives out to all his Acquaintance, that nothing is intended but the
Gentleman's own Welfare and Happiness. When this is urged, he talks
still more humbly, and protests he aims only at a Life without Pain or
Reproach; Pleasure, Honour or Riches, are things for which he has no
taste. But notwithstanding all this and what else he may defend himself
with, as that the Lady is too old or too young, of a suitable Humour, or
the quite contrary, and that it is impossible they can ever do other
than wrangle from June to January, Every Body tells him all this is
Spleen, and he must have a Wife; while all the Members of the
Inquisition are unanimous in a certain Woman for him, and they think
they all together are better able to judge, than he or any other private
Temple, March 3, 1711.
Your Speculation this Day on the Subject of Idleness, has employed me,
ever since I read it, in sorrowful Reflections on my having loitered
away the Term (or rather the Vacation) of ten Years in this Place, and
unhappily suffered a good Chamber and Study to lie idle as long. My
Books (except those I have taken to sleep upon) have been totally
neglected, and my Lord Coke and other venerable Authors were never so
slighted in their Lives. I spent most of the Day at a Neighbouring
Coffee-House, where we have what I may call a lazy Club. We generally
come in Night-Gowns, with our Stockings about our Heels, and sometimes
but one on. Our Salutation at Entrance is a Yawn and a Stretch, and
then without more Ceremony we take our Place at the Lolling Table;
where our Discourse is, what I fear you would not read out, therefore
shall not insert. But I assure you, Sir, I heartily lament this Loss
of Time, and am now resolved (if possible, with double Diligence) to
retrieve it, being effectually awakened by the Arguments of Mr. Slack
out of the Senseless Stupidity that has so long possessed me. And to
demonstrate that Penitence accompanies my Confession, and Constancy my
Resolutions, I have locked my Door for a Year, and desire you would
let my Companions know I am not within. I am with great Respect,
SIR, Your most obedient Servant,
Hae sunt qui tenui sudant in Cyclade.
* * * * *
No. 321. Saturday, March 8, 1712. Addison.
Nec satis est pulchra esse poemata, dulcia sunto.
Those, who know how many Volumes have been written on the Poems of Homer
and Virgil, will easily pardon the Length of my Discourse upon Milton.
The Paradise Lost is looked upon, by the best Judges, as the greatest
Production, or at least the noblest Work of Genius in our Language, and
therefore deserves to be set before an English Reader in its full
Beauty. For this Reason, tho I have endeavoured to give a general Idea
of its Graces and Imperfections in my Six First Papers, I thought my
self obliged to bestow one upon every Book in particular. The Three
first Books I have already dispatched, and am now entering upon the
Fourth. I need not acquaint my Reader that there are Multitudes of
Beauties in this great Author, especially in the Descriptive Parts of
his Poem, which I have not touched upon, it being my Intention to point
out those only, which appear to me the most exquisite, or those which
are not so obvious to ordinary Readers. Every one that has read the
Criticks who have written upon the Odyssey, the Iliad and the Aeneid,
knows very well, that though they agree in their Opinions of the great
Beauties in those Poems, they have nevertheless each of them discovered
several Master-Strokes, which have escaped the Observation of the rest.
In the same manner, I question not, but any Writer who shall treat of
this Subject after me, may find several Beauties in Milton, which I have
not taken notice of. I must likewise observe, that as the greatest
Masters of Critical Learning differ among one another, as to some
particular Points in an Epic Poem, I have not bound my self scrupulously
to the Rules which any one of them has laid down upon that Art, but have
taken the Liberty sometimes to join with one, and sometimes with
another, and sometimes to differ from all of them, when I have thought
that the Reason of the thing was on my side.
We may consider the Beauties of the Fourth Book under three Heads. In
the first are those Pictures of Still-Life, which we meet with in the
Description of Eden, Paradise, Adams Bower, &c. In the next are the
Machines, which comprehend the Speeches and Behaviour of the good and
bad Angels. In the last is the Conduct of Adam and Eve, who are the
Principal Actors in the Poem.
In the Description of Paradise, the Poet has observed Aristotle's Rule
of lavishing all the Ornaments of Diction on the weak unactive Parts of
the Fable, which are not supported by the Beauty of Sentiments and
Characters.  Accordingly the Reader may observe, that the Expressions
are more florid and elaborate in these Descriptions, than in most other
Parts of the Poem. I must further add, that tho the Drawings of
Gardens, Rivers, Rainbows, and the like dead Pieces of Nature, are
justly censured in an Heroic Poem, when they run out into an unnecessary
length; the Description of Paradise would have been faulty, had not the
Poet been very particular in it, not only as it is the Scene of the
Principal Action, but as it is requisite to give us an Idea of that
Happiness from which our first Parents fell. The Plan of it is
wonderfully Beautiful, and formed upon the short Sketch which we have of
it in Holy Writ. Milton's Exuberance of Imagination has poured forth
such a Redundancy of Ornaments on this Seat of Happiness and Innocence,
that it would be endless to point out each Particular.
I must not quit this Head, without further observing, that there is
scarce a Speech of Adam or Eve in the whole Poem, wherein the Sentiments
and Allusions are not taken from this their delightful Habitation. The
Reader, during their whole Course of Action, always finds himself in the
Walks of Paradise. In short, as the Criticks have remarked, that in
those Poems, wherein Shepherds are Actors, the Thoughts ought always to
take a Tincture from the Woods, Fields and Rivers, so we may observe,
that our first Parents seldom lose Sight of their happy Station in any
thing they speak or do; and, if the Reader will give me leave to use the
Expression, that their Thoughts are always Paradisiacal.
We are in the next place to consider the Machines of the Fourth Book.
Satan being now within Prospect of Eden, and looking round upon the
Glories of the Creation, is filled with Sentiments different from those
which he discovered whilst he was in Hell. The Place inspires him with
Thoughts more adapted to it: He reflects upon the happy Condition from
which he fell, and breaks forth into a Speech that is softned with
several transient Touches of Remorse and Self-accusation: But at length
he confirms himself in Impenitence, and in his Design of drawing Man
into his own State of Guilt and Misery. This Conflict of Passions is
raised with a great deal of Art, as the opening of his Speech to the Sun
is very bold and noble.
O thou that with surpassing Glory crown'd,
Look'st from thy sole Dominion like the God
Of this new World; at whose Sight all the Stars
Hide their diminish'd Heads; to thee I call,
But with no friendly Voice, and add thy name,
O Sun! to tell thee how I hate thy beams,
That bring to my Remembrance from what State
I fell, how glorious once above thy Sphere.
This Speech is, I think, the finest that is ascribed to Satan in the
whole Poem. The Evil Spirit afterwards proceeds to make his Discoveries
concerning our first Parents, and to learn after what manner they may be
best attacked. His bounding over the Walls of Paradise; his sitting in
the Shape of a Cormorant upon the Tree of Life, which stood in the
Center of it, and overtopped all the other Trees of the Garden, his
alighting among the Herd of Animals, which are so beautifully
represented as playing about Adam and Eve, together with his
transforming himself into different Shapes, in order to hear their
Conversation, are Circumstances that give an agreeable Surprize to the
Reader, and are devised with great Art, to connect that Series of
Adventures in which the Poet has engaged [this ] Artificer of Fraud.
The Thought of Satan's Transformation into a Cormorant, and placing
himself on the Tree of Life, seems raised upon that Passage in the
Iliad, where two Deities are described, as perching on the Top of an Oak
in the shape of Vulturs.
His planting himself at the Ear of Eve under the [form ] of a Toad,
in order to produce vain Dreams and Imaginations, is a Circumstance of
the same Nature; as his starting up in his own Form is wonderfully fine,
both in the Literal Description, and in the Moral which is concealed
under it. His Answer upon his being discovered, and demanded to give an
Account of himself, [is ] conformable to the Pride and Intrepidity of
Know ye not then, said Satan, fill'd with Scorn,
Know ye not Me? ye knew me once no mate
For you, there sitting where you durst not soar;
Not to know Me argues your selves unknown,
The lowest of your throng;--
Zephon's Rebuke, with the Influence it had on Satan, is exquisitely
Graceful and Moral. Satan is afterwards led away to Gabriel, the chief
of the Guardian Angels, who kept watch in Paradise. His disdainful
Behaviour on this Occasion is so remarkable a Beauty, that the most
ordinary Reader cannot but take Notice of it. Gabriel's discovering his
Approach at a Distance, is drawn with great strength and liveliness of
O Friends, I hear the tread of nimble Feet
Hasting this Way, and now by glimps discern
Ithuriel and Zephon through the shade;
And with them comes a third of Regal Port,
But faded splendor wan; who by his gait
And fierce demeanor seems the Prince of Hell;
Not likely to part hence without contest:
Stand firm, for in his look defiance lours.
The Conference between Gabriel and Satan abounds with Sentiments proper
for the Occasion, and suitable to the Persons of the two Speakers. Satan
cloathing himself with Terror when he prepares for the Combat is truly
sublime, and at least equal to Homers Description of Discord celebrated
by Longinus, or to that of Fame in Virgil, who are both represented with
their Feet standing upon the Earth, and their Heads reaching above the
While thus he spake, th' Angelic Squadron bright
Turn'd fiery red, sharpning in mooned Horns
Their Phalanx, and began to hem him round
With ported Spears, &c.
--On the other side Satan alarm'd,
Collecting all his might dilated stood
Like Teneriff, or Atlas, unremov'd.
His Stature reached the Sky, and on his Crest
Sat horror plum'd;--
I must here take [notice, ] that Milton is every where full of Hints
and sometimes literal Translations, taken from the greatest of the Greek
and Latin Poets. But this I may reserve for a Discourse by it self,
because I would not break the Thread of these Speculations, that are
designed for English Readers, with such Reflections as would be of no
use but to the Learned.
I must however observe in this Place, that the breaking off the Combat
between Gabriel and Satan, by the hanging out of the Golden Scales in
Heaven, is a Refinement upon Homers Thought, who tells us, that before
the Battle between Hector and Achilles, Jupiter weighed the Event of it
in a pair of Scales. The Reader may see the whole Passage in the 22nd
Virgil, before the last decisive Combat, describes Jupiter in the same
manner, as weighing the Fates of Turnus and AEneas. Milton, though he
fetched this beautiful Circumstance from the Iliad and AEneid, does not
only insert it as a Poetical Embellishment, like the Authors
above-mentioned; but makes an artful use of it for the proper carrying
on of his Fable, and for the breaking off the Combat between the two
Warriors, who were upon the point of engaging. [To this we may further
add, that Milton is the more justified in this Passage, as we find the
same noble Allegory in Holy Writ, where a wicked Prince, some few Hours
before he was assaulted and slain, is said to have been weighed in the
Scales, and to have been found wanting.]
I must here take Notice under the Head of the Machines, that Uriel's
gliding down to the Earth upon a Sunbeam, with the Poets Device to make
him descend, as well in his return to the Sun, as in his coming from it,
is a Prettiness that might have been admired in a little fanciful Poet,
but seems below the Genius of Milton. The Description of the Host of
armed Angels walking their nightly Round in Paradise, is of another
So saying, on he led his radiant files,
Dazling the Moon;--
as that Account of the Hymns which our first Parents used to hear them
sing in these their Midnight Walks, is altogether Divine, and
inexpressibly amusing to the Imagination.
We are, in the last place, to consider the Parts which Adam and Eve act
in the Fourth Book. The Description of them as they first appeared to
Satan, is exquisitely drawn, and sufficient to make the fallen Angel
gaze upon them with all that Astonishment, and those Emotions of Envy,
in which he is represented.
Two of far nobler Shape erect and tall,
God-like erect! with native honour clad
In naked Majesty, seem'd lords of all;
And worthy seem'd: for in their looks divine
The image of their glorious Maker shon,
Truth, Wisdom, Sanctitude severe and pure;
Severe, but in true filial freedom plac'd:
For contemplation he and valour form'd,
For softness she and sweet attractive grace;
He for God only, she for God in him.
His fair large front, and eye sublime, declar'd
Absolute rule; and Hyacinthin Locks
Round from his parted forelock manly hung
Clustring, but not beneath his Shoulders broad.
She, as a Veil, down to her slender waste
Her unadorned golden tresses wore
Dis-shevel'd, but in wanton ringlets wav'd.
So pass'd they naked on, nor shun'd the Sight
Of God or Angel, for they thought no ill:
So hand in hand they passed, the loveliest pair
That ever since in loves embraces met.
There is a fine Spirit of Poetry in the Lines which follow, wherein they
are described as sitting on a Bed of Flowers by the side of a Fountain,
amidst a mixed Assembly of Animals.
The Speeches of these two first Lovers flow equally from Passion and
Sincerity. The Professions they make to one another are full of Warmth:
but at the same time founded on Truth. In a Word, they are the
Gallantries of Paradise:
--When Adam first of Men--
Sole partner and sole part of all these joys,
Dearer thy self than all;--
But let us ever praise him, and extol
His bounty, following our delightful Task,
To prune these growing plants, and tend these flowrs;
Which were it toilsome, yet with thee were sweet.
To whom thus Eve reply'd. O thou for whom,
And from whom I was form'd, flesh of thy flesh,
And without whom am to no end, my Guide
And Head, what thou hast said is just and right.
For we to him indeed all praises owe.
And daily thanks; I chiefly, who enjoy
So far the happier Lot, enjoying thee
Preeminent by so much odds, while thou
Like consort to thy self canst no where find, &c.
The remaining part of Eves Speech, in which she gives an Account of her
self upon her first Creation, and the manner in which she was brought to
Adam, is I think as beautiful a Passage as any in Milton, or perhaps in
any other Poet whatsoever. These Passages are all worked off with so
much Art, that they are capable of pleasing the most delicate Reader,
without offending the most severe.
That Day I oft remember, when from Sleep, &c.
A Poet of less Judgment and Invention than this great Author, would have
found it very difficult to have filled [these ] tender Parts of the
Poem with Sentiments proper for a State of Innocence; to have described
the Warmth of Love, and the Professions of it, without Artifice or
Hyperbole: to have made the Man speak the most endearing things, without
descending from his natural Dignity, and the Woman receiving them
without departing from the Modesty of her Character; in a Word, to
adjust the Prerogatives of Wisdom and Beauty, and make each appear to
the other in its proper Force and Loveliness. This mutual Subordination
of the two Sexes is wonderfully kept up in the whole Poem, as
particularly in the Speech of Eve I have before mentioned, and upon the
Conclusion of it in the following Lines.
So spake our general Mother, and with eyes
Of Conjugal attraction unreproved,
And meek surrender, half embracing lean'd
On our first father; half her swelling breast
Naked met his under the flowing Gold
Of her loose tresses hid: he in delight
Both of her beauty and submissive charms
Smil'd with superior Love.--
The Poet adds, that the Devil turned away with Envy at the sight of so
We have another View of our first Parents in their Evening Discourses,
which is full of pleasing Images and Sentiments suitable to their
Condition and Characters. The Speech of Eve, in particular, is dressed
up in such a soft and natural Turn of Words and Sentiments, as cannot be
I shall close my Reflections upon this Book, with observing the Masterly
Transition which the Poet makes to their Evening Worship in the
Thus at their shady Lodge arriv'd, both stood,
Both turn'd, and under open Sky, ador'd
The God that made both [Sky,] Air, Earth and Heaven,
Which they beheld, the Moons resplendent Globe,
And Starry Pole: Thou also madst the Night,
Maker Omnipotent, and thou the Day, &c.
Most of the Modern Heroick Poets have imitated the Ancients, in
beginning a Speech without premising, that the Person said thus or thus;
but as it is easie to imitate the Ancients in the Omission of two or
three Words, it requires Judgment to do it in such a manner as they
shall not be missed, and that the Speech may begin naturally without
them. There is a fine Instance of this Kind out of Homer, in the Twenty
Third Chapter of Longinus.
[Footnote 1: From this date to the end of the series the Saturday papers
upon Milton exceed the usual length of a Spectator essay. That they may
not occupy more than the single leaf of the original issue, they are
printed in smaller type; the columns also, when necessary, encroach on
the bottom margin of the paper, and there are few advertisements
[Footnote 2: At the end of the third Book of the Poetics.
The diction should be most laboured in the idle parts of the poem;
those in which neither manners nor sentiments prevail; for the manners
and the sentiments are only obscured by too splendid a diction.]
[Footnote 3: [this great]]
[Footnote 4: [shape]]
[Footnote 5: [are]]
[Footnote 6: notice by the way]
[Footnote 7: [those]]
* * * * *
TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE THOMAS EARL OF WHARTON.
The Author of the Spectator having prefixed before each of his Volumes
the Name of some great Person to whom he has particular Obligations,
lays his Claim to your Lordships Patronage upon the same Account. I
must confess, my Lord, had not I already received great Instances of
your Favour, I should have been afraid of submitting a Work of this
Nature to your Perusal. You are so thoroughly acquainted with the
Characters of Men, and all the Parts of human Life, that it is
impossible for the least Misrepresentation of them to escape your
Notice. It is Your Lordships particular Distinction that you are Master
of the whole Compass of Business, and have signalized Your Self in all
the different Scenes of it. We admire some for the Dignity, others for
the Popularity of their Behaviour; some for their Clearness of Judgment,
others for their Happiness of Expression; some for the laying of
Schemes, and others for the putting of them in Execution: It is Your
Lordship only who enjoys these several Talents united, and that too in
as great Perfection as others possess them singly. Your Enemies
acknowledge this great Extent in your Lordships Character, at the same
time that they use their utmost Industry and Invention to derogate from
it. But it is for Your Honour that those who are now Your Enemies were
always so. You have acted in so much Consistency with Your Self, and
promoted the Interests of your Country in so uniform a Manner, that even
those who would misrepresent your Generous Designs for the Publick Good,
cannot but approve the Steadiness and Intrepidity with which You pursue
them. It is a most sensible Pleasure to me that I have this Opportunity
of professing my self one of your great Admirers, and, in a very
And most Obedient,
[Footnote 1: This is the Thomas, Earl of Wharton, who in 1708 became
Lord-lieutenant of Ireland, and took Addison for his Chief Secretary. He
was the son of Philip, Baron Wharton, a firm Presbyterian, sometimes
called the good Lord Wharton, to distinguish him from his son and
grandson. Philip Wharton had been an opponent of Stuart encroachments, a
friend of Algernon Sidney, and one of the first men to welcome William
III. to England. He died, very old, in 1694. His son Thomas did not
inherit the religious temper of his father, and even a dedication could
hardly have ventured to compliment him on his private morals. But he was
an active politician, was with his father in the secret of the landing
of the Prince of Orange, and was made by William Comptroller of the
Household. Thwarted in his desire to become a Secretary of State, he
made himself formidable as a bold, sarcastic speaker and by the strength
of his parliamentary interest. He is said to have returned at one time
thirty members, and to have spent eighty thousand pounds upon the
maintenance of his political position. He was apt, by his manners, to
make friends of the young men of influence. He spent money freely also
on the turf, and upon his seat of Winchenden, in Wilts. Queen Anne, on
her accession, struck his name with her own hand from the list of Privy
Councillors, but he won his way not only to restoration of that rank,
but also in December, 1706, at the age of 67, to his title of Viscount
Winchendon and Earl of Wharton. In November, 1708, he became
Lord-lieutenant of Ireland, with Addison for secretary. He took over
with him also Clayton the musician, and kept a gay court, easily
accessible, except to Roman Catholics, whom he would not admit to his
presence, and against whom he enforced the utmost rigour of the penal
code. He had himself conformed to the Church of England. Swift accused
him, as Lord-lieutenant, of shameless depravity of manners, of
injustice, greed, and gross venality. This Lord Wharton died in 1715,
and was succeeded by his son Philip, whom George I., in 1718, made Duke
of Wharton for his fathers vigorous support of the Hanoverian
succession. His character was much worse than that of his father, the
energetic politician and the man of cultivated taste and ready wit to
whom Steele and Addison here dedicated the Fifth Volume of the
* * * * *
No. 322. Monday, March 10, 1712. Steele.
Ad humum maerore gravi deducit et angit.
It is often said, after a Man has heard a Story with extraordinary
Circumstances, It is a very good one if it be true: But as for the
following Relation, I should be glad were I sure it were false. It is
told with such Simplicity, and there are so many artless Touches of
Distress in it, that I fear it comes too much from the Heart.
Mr. SPECTATOR, Some Years ago it happened that I lived in the same
House with a young Gentleman of Merit; with whose good Qualities I was
so much taken, as to make it my Endeavour to shew as many as I was
able in my self. Familiar Converse improved general Civilities into an
unfeigned Passion on both Sides. He watched an Opportunity to declare
himself to me; and I, who could not expect a Man of so great an Estate
as his, received his Addresses in such Terms, as gave him no reason to
believe I was displeased by them, tho I did nothing to make him think
me more easy than was decent. His Father was a very hard worldly Man,
and proud; so that there was no reason to believe he would easily be
brought to think there was any thing in any Woman's Person or
Character that could ballance the Disadvantage of an unequal Fortune.
In the mean time the Son continued his Application to me, and omitted
no Occasion of demonstrating the most disinterested Passion imaginable
to me; and in plain direct Terms offer'd to marry me privately, and
keep it so till he should be so happy as to gain his Fathers
Approbation, or become possessed of his Estate. I passionately loved
him, and you will believe I did not deny such a one what was my
Interest also to grant. However I was not so young, as not to take the
Precaution of carrying with me a faithful Servant, who had been also
my Mothers Maid, to be present at the Ceremony. When that was over I
demanded a Certificate, signed by the Minister, my Husband, and the
Servant I just now spoke of. After our Nuptials, we conversed together
very familiarly in the same House; but the Restraints we were
generally under, and the Interviews we had, being stolen and
interrupted, made our Behaviour to each other have rather the
impatient Fondness which is visible in Lovers, than the regular and
gratified Affection which is to be observed in Man and Wife. This
Observation made the Father very anxious for his Son, and press him to
a Match he had in his Eye for him. To relieve my Husband from this
Importunity, and conceal the Secret of our Marriage, which I had
reason to know would not be long in my power in Town, it was resolved
that I should retire into a remote Place in the Country, and converse
under feigned Names by Letter. We long continued this Way of Commerce;
and I with my Needle, a few Books, and reading over and over my
Husbands Letters, passed my Time in a resigned Expectation of better
Days. Be pleased to take notice, that within four Months after I left
my Husband I was delivered of a Daughter, who died within few Hours
after her Birth. This Accident, and the retired Manner of Life I led,
gave criminal Hopes to a neighbouring Brute of a Country Gentle-man,
whose Folly was the Source of all my Affliction. This Rustick is one
of those rich Clowns, who supply the Want of all manner of Breeding by
the Neglect of it, and with noisy Mirth, half Understanding, and ample
Fortune, force themselves upon Persons and Things, without any Sense
of Time and Place. The poor ignorant People where I lay conceal'd, and
now passed for a Widow, wondered I could be so shy and strange, as
they called it, to the Squire; and were bribed by him to admit him
whenever he thought fit. I happened to be sitting in a little Parlour
which belonged to my own Part of the House, and musing over one of the
fondest of my Husbands Letters, in which I always kept the
Certificate of my Marriage, when this rude Fellow came in, and with
the nauseous Familiarity of such unbred Brutes, snatched the Papers
out of my Hand. I was immediately under so great a Concern, that I
threw my self at his Feet, and begged of him to return them. He with
the same odious Pretence to Freedom and Gaiety, swore he would read
them. I grew more importunate, he more curious, till at last, with an
Indignation arising from a Passion I then first discovered in him, he
threw the Papers into the Fire, swearing that since he was not to read
them, the Man who writ them should never be so happy as to have me
read them over again. It is insignificant to tell you my Tears and
Reproaches made the boisterous Calf leave the Room ashamed and out of
Countenance, when I had leisure to ruminate on this Accident with more
than ordinary Sorrow: However, such was then my Confidence in my
Husband, that I writ to him the Misfortune, and desired another Paper
of the same kind. He deferred writing two or three Posts, and at last
answered me in general, That he could not then send me what I asked
for, but when he could find a proper Conveyance, I should be sure to
have it. From this time his Letters were more cold every Day than the
other, and as he grew indifferent I grew jealous. This has at last
brought me to Town, where I find both the Witnesses of my Marriage
dead, and that my Husband, after three Months Cohabitation, has buried
a young Lady whom he married in Obedience to his Father. In a word, he
shuns and disowns me. Should I come to the House and confront him, the
Father would join in supporting him against me, though he believed my
Story; should I talk it to the World, what Reparation can I expect for
an Injury I cannot make out? I believe he means to bring me, through
Necessity, to resign my Pretentions to him for some Provision for my
Life; but I will die first. Pray bid him remember what he said, and
how he was charmed when he laughed at the heedless Discovery I often
made of my self; let him remember how awkward he was in my dissembled
Indifference towards him before Company; ask him how I, who could
never conceal my Love for him, at his own Request, can part with him
for ever? Oh, Mr. SPECTATOR, sensible Spirits know no Indifference in
Marriage; what then do you think is my piercing Affliction?---I leave
you to represent my Distress your own way, in which I desire you to be
speedy, if you have Compassion for Innocence exposed to Infamy.
* * * * *
No. 323. Tuesday, March 11, 1712. Addison.
Modo Vir, modo Foemina. 
The journal with which I presented my Reader on Tuesday last, has
brought me in several Letters, with Accounts of many private Lives cast
into that Form. I have the Rakes Journal, the Sots Journal, the
Whoremasters Journal, and among several others a very curious Piece,
entituled, The Journal of a Mohock. By these Instances I find that the
Intention of my last Tuesdays Paper has been mistaken by many of my
Readers. I did not design so much to expose Vice as Idleness, and aimed
at those Persons who pass away their Time rather in Trifle and
Impertinence, than in Crimes and Immoralities. Offences of this latter
kind are not to be dallied with, or treated in so ludicrous a manner. In
short, my Journal only holds up Folly to the Light, and shews the
Disagreeableness of such Actions as are indifferent in themselves, and
blameable only as they proceed from Creatures endow'd with Reason.
My following Correspondent, who calls her self Clarinda, is such a
Journalist as I require: She seems by her Letter to be placed in a
modish State of Indifference between Vice and Virtue, and to be
susceptible of either, were there proper Pains taken with her. Had her
Journal been filled with Gallantries, or such Occurrences as had shewn
her wholly divested of her natural Innocence, notwithstanding it might
have been more pleasing to the Generality of Readers, I should not have
published it; but as it is only the Picture of a Life filled with a
fashionable kind of Gaiety and Laziness, I shall set down five Days of
it, as I have received it from the Hand of my fair Correspondent.
Dear Mr. SPECTATOR,
You having set your Readers an Exercise in one of your last Weeks
Papers, I have perform'd mine according to your Orders, and herewith
send it you enclosed. You must know, Mr. SPECTATOR, that I am a Maiden
Lady of a good Fortune, who have had several Matches offered me for
these ten Years last past, and have at present warm Applications made
to me by a very pretty Fellow. As I am at my own Disposal, I come up
to Town every Winter, and pass my Time in it after the manner you will
find in the following Journal, which I begun to write upon the very
Day after your Spectator upon that Subject.
TUESDAY Night. Could not go to sleep till one in the Morning for
thinking of my Journal.
WEDNESDAY. From Eight till Ten, Drank two Dishes of Chocolate in
Bed, and fell asleep after em.
From Ten to Eleven. Eat a Slice of Bread and Butter, drank a Dish of
Bohea, read the Spectator.
From Eleven to One. At my Toilet, try'd a new Head. Gave Orders for
Veny to be combed and washed. Mem. I look best in Blue.
From One till Half an Hour after Two. Drove to the Change. Cheapned
a Couple of Fans.
Till Four. At Dinner. Mem. Mr. Froth passed by in his new Liveries.
From Four to Six. Dressed, paid a Visit to old Lady Blithe and her
Sister, having before heard they were gone out of Town that Day.
From Six to Eleven. At Basset. Mem. Never set again upon the Ace of
THURSDAY. From Eleven at Night to Eight in the Morning. Dream'd that
I punted to Mr. Froth.
From Eight to Ten. Chocolate. Read two Acts in Aurenzebe  abed.
From Ten to Eleven. Tea-Table. Sent to borrow Lady Faddles Cupid
for Veny. Read the Play-Bills. Received a Letter from Mr. Froth.
Mem. locked it up in my strong Box.
Rest of the Morning. Fontange, the Tire-woman, her Account of my
Lady Blithe's Wash. Broke a Tooth in my little Tortoise-shell Comb.
Sent Frank to know how my Lady Hectick rested after her Monky's
leaping out at Window. Looked pale. Fontange tells me my Glass is
not true. Dressed by Three.
From Three to Four. Dinner cold before I sat down.
From Four to Eleven. Saw Company. Mr. Froths Opinion of Milton. His
Account of the Mohocks. His Fancy for a Pin-cushion. Picture in the
Lid of his Snuff-box. Old Lady Faddle promises me her Woman to cut
my Hair. Lost five Guineas at Crimp.
Twelve a-Clock at Night. Went to Bed.
FRIDAY. Eight in the Morning. Abed. Read over all Mr. Froths
Letters. Cupid and Veny.
Ten a-Clock. Stay'd within all day, not at home.
From Ten to Twelve. In Conference with my Mantua-Maker. Sorted a
Suit of Ribbands. Broke my Blue China Cup.
From Twelve to One. Shut my self up in my Chamber, practised Lady
Betty Modely's Skuttle.
One in the Afternoon. Called for my flowered Handkerchief. Worked
half a Violet-Leaf in it. Eyes aked and Head out of Order. Threw by
my Work, and read over the remaining Part of Aurenzebe.
From Three to Four. Dined.
From Four to Twelve. Changed my Mind, dressed, went abroad, and
play'd at Crimp till Midnight. Found Mrs. Spitely at home.
Conversation: Mrs. Brilliants Necklace false Stones. Old Lady
Loveday going to be married to a young Fellow that is not worth a
Groat. Miss Prue gone into the Country. Tom Townley has red Hair.
Mem. Mrs. Spitely whispered in my Ear that she had something to tell
me about Mr. Froth, I am sure it is not true.
Between Twelve and One. Dreamed that Mr. Froth lay at my Feet, and
called me Indamora. 
SATURDAY. Rose at Eight a-Clock in the Morning. Sate down to my
From Eight to Nine. Shifted a Patch for Half an Hour before I could
determine it. Fixed it above my left Eye-brow.
From Nine to Twelve. Drank my Tea, and dressed.
From Twelve to Two. At Chappel. A great deal of good Company. Mem.
The third Air in the new Opera. Lady Blithe dressed frightfully.
From Three to Four. Dined. Miss Kitty called upon me to go to the
Opera before I was risen from Table.
From Dinner to Six. Drank Tea. Turned off a Footman for being rude
Six a-Clock. Went to the Opera. I did not see Mr. Froth till the
beginning of the second Act. Mr. Froth talked to a Gentleman in a
black Wig. Bowed to a Lady in the front Box. Mr. Froth and his
Friend clapp'd Nicolini in the third Act. Mr. Froth cried out
Ancora. Mr. Froth led me to my Chair. I think he squeezed my Hand.
Eleven at Night. Went to Bed. Melancholy Dreams. Methought Nicolini
said he was Mr. Froth.
MONDAY. Eight a-Clock. Waked by Miss Kitty. Aurenzebe lay upon the
Chair by me. Kitty repeated without Book the Eight best Lines in the
Play. Went in our Mobbs to the dumb Man , according to
Appointment. Told me that my Lovers Name began with a G. Mem. The
Conjurer was within a Letter of Mr. Froths Name, &c.
Upon looking back into this my Journal, I find that I am at a loss to
know whether I pass my Time well or ill; and indeed never thought of
considering how I did it before I perused your Speculation upon that
Subject. I scarce find a single Action in these five Days that I can
thoroughly approve of, except the working upon the Violet-Leaf, which
I am resolved to finish the first Day I am at leisure. As for Mr.
Froth and Veny I did not think they took up so much of my Time and
Thoughts, as I find they do upon my Journal. The latter of them I will
turn off, if you insist upon it; and if Mr. Froth does not bring
Matters to a Conclusion very suddenly, I will not let my Life run away
in a Dream.
Your humble Servant,
To resume one of the Morals of my first Paper, and to confirm Clarinda
in her good Inclinations, I would have her consider what a pretty Figure
she would make among Posterity, were the History of her whole Life
published like these five Days of it. I shall conclude my Paper with an
Epitaph written by an uncertain Author  on Sir Philip Sidney's
Sister, a Lady who seems to have been of a Temper very much different
from that of Clarinda. The last Thought of it is so very noble, that I
dare say my Reader will pardon me the Quotation.
On the Countess Dowager of Pembroke.
Underneath this Marble Hearse
Lies the Subject of all Verse,
Sidney's Sister, Pembroke's Mother:
Death, ere thou hast kill'd another,
Fair, and learn'd, and good as she,
Time shall throw a Dart at thee.
[Footnote 1: A quotation from memory of Virgil's Et juvenis quondam
nunc foemina. AEn. vi. 448.]
[Footnote 2: Dryden's.]
[Footnote 3: The heroine of Aurengzebe.]
[Footnote 4: Duncan Campbell, said to be deaf and dumb, and to tell
fortunes by second sight. In 1732 there appeared Secret Memoirs of the
late Mr. D. Campbell.... written by himself... with an Appendix by way
of vindicating Mr. C. against the groundless aspersion cast upon him,
that he but pretended to be deaf and dumb.]
[Footnote 5: Ben Jonson.]
* * * * *
No. 324. Wednesday, March 12, 1712. Steele.
[O curvae in terris animae, et coelestium inanes.
The Materials you have collected together towards a general History
of Clubs, make so bright a Part of your Speculations, that I think it
is but a Justice we all owe the learned World to furnish you with such
Assistances as may promote that useful Work. For this Reason I could
not forbear communicating to you some imperfect Informations of a Set
of Men (if you will allow them a place in that Species of Being) who
have lately erected themselves into a Nocturnal Fraternity, under the
Title of the Mohock Club, a Name borrowed it seems from a sort of
Cannibals in India, who subsist by plundering and devouring all the
Nations about them. The President is styled Emperor of the Mohocks;
and his Arms are a Turkish Crescent, which his Imperial Majesty bears
at present in a very extraordinary manner engraven upon his Forehead.
Agreeable to their Name, the avowed design of their Institution is
Mischief; and upon this Foundation all their Rules and Orders are
framed. An outrageous Ambition of doing all possible hurt to their
Fellow-Creatures, is the great Cement of their Assembly, and the only
Qualification required in the Members. In order to exert this
Principle in its full Strength and Perfection, they take care to drink
themselves to a pitch, that is, beyond the Possibility of attending to
any Motions of Reason and Humanity; then make a general Sally, and
attack all that are so unfortunate as to walk the Streets through
which they patrole. Some are knock'd down, others stabb'd, others cut
and carbonado'd. To put the Watch to a total Rout, and mortify some of
those inoffensive Militia, is reckon'd a Coup d'eclat. The particular
Talents by which these Misanthropes are distinguished from one
another, consist in the various kinds of Barbarities which they
execute upon their Prisoners. Some are celebrated for a happy
Dexterity in tipping the Lion upon them; which is performed by
squeezing the Nose flat to the Face, and boring out the Eyes with
their Fingers: Others are called the Dancing-Masters, and teach their
Scholars to cut Capers by running Swords thro their Legs; a new
Invention, whether originally French I cannot tell: A third sort are
the Tumblers, whose office it is to set Women on their Heads, and
commit certain Indecencies, or rather Barbarities, on the Limbs which
they expose. But these I forbear to mention, because they cant but be
very shocking to the Reader as well as the SPECTATOR. In this manner
they carry on a War against Mankind; and by the standing Maxims of
their Policy, are to enter into no Alliances but one, and that is
Offensive and Defensive with all Bawdy-Houses in general, of which
they have declared themselves Protectors and Guarantees. 
I must own, Sir, these are only broken incoherent Memoirs of this
wonderful Society, but they are the best I have been yet able to
procure; for being but of late Establishment, it is not ripe for a
just History; And to be serious, the chief Design of this Trouble is
to hinder it from ever being so. You have been pleas'd, out of a
concern for the good of your Countrymen, to act under the Character of
SPECTATOR, not only the Part of a Looker-on, but an Overseer of their
Actions; and whenever such Enormities as this infest the Town, we
immediately fly to you for Redress. I have reason to believe, that
some thoughtless Youngsters, out of a false Notion of Bravery, and an
immoderate Fondness to be distinguished for Fellows of Fire, are
insensibly hurry'd into this senseless scandalous Project: Such will
probably stand corrected by your Reproofs, especially if you inform
them, that it is not Courage for half a score Fellows, mad with Wine
and Lust, to set upon two or three soberer than themselves; and that
the Manners of Indian Savages are no becoming Accomplishments to an
English fine Gentleman. Such of them as have been Bullies and Scowrers
of a long standing, and are grown Veterans in this kind of Service,
are, I fear, too hardned to receive any Impressions from your
Admonitions. But I beg you would recommend to their Perusal your ninth
Speculation: They may there be taught to take warning from the Club of
Duellists; and be put in mind, that the common Fate of those Men of
Honour was to be hang'd.
I am, SIR,
Your most humble Servant,
March the 10th, 1711-12.
The following Letter is of a quite contrary nature; but I add it here,
that the Reader may observe at the same View, how amiable Ignorance may
be when it is shewn in its Simplicities, and how detestable in
Barbarities. It is written by an honest Countryman to his Mistress, and
came to the Hands of a Lady of good Sense wrapped about a Thread-Paper,
who has long kept it by her as an Image of artless Love.
To her I very much respect, Mrs. Margaret Clark.
Lovely, and oh that I could write loving Mrs. Margaret Clark, I pray
you let Affection excuse Presumption. Having been so happy as to enjoy
the Sight of your sweet Countenance and comely Body, sometimes when I
had occasion to buy Treacle or Liquorish Powder at the Apothecary's
Shop, I am so enamoured with you, that I can no more keep close my
flaming Desire to become your Servant. And I am the more bold now to
write to your sweet self, because I am now my own Man, and may match
where I please; for my Father is taken away, and now I am come to my
Living, which is Ten Yard Land, and a House; and there is never a Yard
of Land in our Field but it is as well worth ten Pound a Year, as a
Thief is worth a Halter; and all my Brothers and Sisters are provided
for: Besides I have good Houshold-stuff, though I say it, both Brass
and Pewter, Linnens and Woollens; and though my House be thatched,
yet, if you and I match, it shall go hard but I will have one half of
it slated. If you think well of this Motion, I will wait upon you as
soon as my new Cloaths is made and Hay Harvest is in. I could, though
I say it, have good--
The rest is torn off;  and Posterity must be contented to know, that
Mrs. Margaret Clark was very pretty, but are left in the dark as to the
Name of her Lover.
[Saevis inter se convenit Ursis.
[Footnote 2: Gay tells also in his Trivia that the Mohocks rolled women
in hogs-heads down Snow hill. Swift wrote of the Mohocks, at this time,
in his Journal to Stella,
Grub-street papers about them fly like lightning, and a list printed
of near eighty put into several prisons, and all a lie, and I begin to
think there is no truth, or very little, in the whole story.
On the 18th of March an attempt was made to put the Mohocks down by
[Footnote 3: This letter is said to have been really sent to one who
married Mr. Cole, a Northampton attorney, by a neighbouring freeholder
named Gabriel Bullock, and shown to Steele by his friend the antiquary,
Browne Willis. See also No. 328.]
* * * * *
No. 325. Thursday, March 13, 1712. Budgell
Quid frustra Simulacra fugacia captas?
Quod petis, est nusquam: quod amas avertere, perdes.
Ista repercussae quam cernis imaginis umbra est,
Nil habet ista sui; tecum venitque, manetque,
Tecum discedet si tu discedere possis.
WILL. HONEYCOMB diverted us last Night with an Account of a young
Fellows first discovering his Passion to his Mistress. The young Lady
was one, it seems, who had long before conceived a favourable Opinion of
him, and was still in hopes that he would some time or other make his
Advances. As he was one day talking with her in Company of her two
Sisters, the Conversation happening to turn upon Love, each of the young
Ladies was by way of Raillery, recommending a Wife to him; when, to the
no small Surprize of her who languished for him in secret, he told them
with a more than ordinary Seriousness, that his Heart had been long
engaged to one whose Name he thought himself obliged in Honour to
conceal; but that he could shew her Picture in the Lid of his Snuff-box.
The young Lady, who found herself the most sensibly touched by this
Confession, took the first Opportunity that offered of snatching his Box
out of his Hand. He seemed desirous of recovering it, but finding her
resolved to look into the Lid, begged her, that if she should happen to
know the Person, she would not reveal her Name. Upon carrying it to the
Window, she was very agreeably surprized to find there was nothing
within the Lid but a little Looking-Glass, in which, after she had
view'd her own Face with more Pleasure than she had ever done before,
she returned the Box with a Smile, telling him, she could not but admire
at his Choice.
WILL. fancying that his Story took, immediately fell into a Dissertation
on the Usefulness of Looking-Glasses, and applying himself to me, asked,
if there were any Looking Glasses in the Times of the Greeks and Romans;
for that he had often observed in the Translations of Poems out of those
Languages, that People generally talked of seeing themselves in Wells,
Fountains, Lakes, and Rivers: Nay, says he, I remember Mr. Dryden in his
Ovid tells us of a swingeing Fellow, called Polypheme, that made use of
the Sea for his Looking-Glass, and could never dress himself to
Advantage but in a Calm.
My Friend WILL, to shew us the whole Compass of his Learning upon this
Subject, further informed us, that there were still several Nations in
the World so very barbarous as not to have any Looking-Glasses among
them; and that he had lately read a Voyage to the South-Sea, in which it
is said, that the Ladies of Chili always dress their Heads over a Bason
I am the more particular in my Account of WILL'S last Night's Lecture
on these natural Mirrors, as it seems to bear some Relation to the
following Letter, which I received the Day before.
I have read your last Saturdays Observations on the Fourth Book of
Milton with great Satisfaction, and am particularly pleased with the
hidden Moral, which you have taken notice of in several Parts of the
Poem. The Design of this Letter is to desire your Thoughts, whether
there may not also be some Moral couched under that Place in the same
Book where the Poet lets us know, that the first Woman immediately
after her Creation ran to a Looking-Glass, and became so enamoured of
her own Face, that she had never removed to view any of the other
Works of Nature, had not she been led off to a Man. If you think fit
to set down the whole Passage from Milton, your Readers will be able
to judge for themselves, and the Quotation will not a little
contribute to the filling up of your Paper.
Your humble Servant,
The last Consideration urged by my Querist is so strong, that I cannot
forbear closing with it. The Passage he alludes to, is part of Eves
Speech to Adam, and one of the most beautiful Passages in the whole Poem.
That Day I oft remember, when from sleep
I first awaked, and found my self repos d
Under a shade of flowrs, much wondering where
And what I was, whence thither brought, and how.
Not distant far from thence a murmuring Sound
Of Waters issu'd from a Cave, and spread
Into a liquid Plain, then stood unmoved
Pure as th' Expanse of Heavn: I thither went
With unexperienced Thought, and laid me down
On the green Bank, to look into the clear
Smooth Lake, that to me seemed another Sky.
As I bent down to look, just opposite,
A Shape within the watry Gleam appeared
Bending to look on me; I started back,
It started back; but pleas'd I soon returned,
Pleas'd it return'd as soon with answering Looks
Of Sympathy and Love; there I had fix d
Mine Eyes till now, and pined with vain Desire,
Had not a Voice thus warn'd me, What thou seest,
What there thou seest, fair Creature, is thy self,
With thee it came and goes: but follow me,
And I will bring thee where no Shadow stays
Thy coming, and thy soft Embraces, he
Whose Image thou art, him thou shalt enjoy
Inseparably thine, to him shalt bear
Multitudes like thy self, and thence be call'd
Mother of Human Race. What could I do,
But follow streight, invisibly thus led?
Till I espy'd thee, fair indeed and tall,
Under a Platan, yet methought less fair,
Less winning soft, less amiably mild,
Than that smooth watry Image: back I turn'd,
Thou following crydst aloud, Return fair Eve,
Whom flyst thou? whom thou flyst, of him thou art,
His Flesh, his Bone; to give thee Being, I lent
Out of my Side to thee, nearest my Heart,
Substantial Life, to have thee by my side
Henceforth an individual Solace dear.
Part of my Soul I seek thee, and thee claim
My other half!---With that thy gentle hand
Seized mine, I yielded, and from that time see
How Beauty is excell'd by manly Grace,
And Wisdom, which alone is truly fair.
So spake our general Mother,--
* * * * *
No. 326. Friday, March 14, 1712. Steele.
Inclusam Danaen turris ahenea
Robustaeque fores, et vigilum canum
Tristes exubiae, munierant satis
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