The Spectator, Volume 2.
Addison and Steele

Part 14 out of 19

Benefit of Mr. Edward Keen, the Father of twenty Children; and that this
Day the haughty George Powell hopes all the good-natur'd part of the
Town will favour him, whom they Applauded in Alexander, Timon, Lear, and
Orestes, with their Company this Night, when he hazards all his heroick
Glory for their Approbation in the humbler Condition of honest Jack


* * * * *

No. 347. Tuesday, April 8, 1711. Budgell.

Quis furor o Cives! quae tanta licentia ferri!


I do not question but my Country Readers have been very much surprized
at the several Accounts they have met with in our publick Papers of that
Species of Men among us, lately known by the Name of Mohocks. I find the
Opinions of the Learned, as to their Origin and Designs, are altogether
various, insomuch that very many begin to doubt whether indeed there
were ever any such Society of Men. The Terror which spread it self over
the whole Nation some Years since, on account of the Irish, is still
fresh in most Peoples Memories, tho it afterwards appeared there was
not the least Ground for that general Consternation.

The late Panick Fear was, in the Opinion of many deep and penetrating
Persons, of the same nature. These will have it, that the Mohocks are
like those Spectres and Apparitions which frighten several Towns and
Villages in her Majesty's Dominions, tho they were never seen by any of
the Inhabitants. Others are apt to think that these Mohocks are a kind
of Bull-Beggars, first invented by prudent married Men, and Masters of
Families, in order to deter their Wives and Daughters from taking the
Air at unseasonable Hours; and that when they tell them the Mohocks will
catch them, it is a Caution of the same nature with that of our
Fore-fathers, when they bid their Children have a care of Raw-head and

For my own part, I am afraid there was too much Reason for that great
Alarm the whole City has been in upon this Occasion; tho at the same
time I must own that I am in some doubt whether the following Pieces are
Genuine and Authentick; and the more so, because I am not fully
satisfied that the Name by which the Emperor subscribes himself, is
altogether conformable to the Indian Orthography.

I shall only further inform my Readers, that it was some time since I
receiv'd the following Letter and Manifesto, tho for particular Reasons
I did not think fit to publish them till now.



"Finding that our earnest Endeavours for the Good of Mankind have been
basely and maliciously represented to the World, we send you enclosed
our Imperial Manifesto, which it is our Will and Pleasure that you
forthwith communicate to the Publick, by inserting it in your next
daily Paper. We do not doubt of your ready Compliance in this
Particular, and therefore bid you heartily Farewell."

Taw Waw Eben Zan Kaladar,
Emperor of the Mohocks.

The Manifesto of Taw Waw Eben Zan Kaladar, Emperor of the Mohocks.

"Whereas we have received Information from sundry Quarters of this
great and populous City, of several Outrages committed on the Legs,
Arms, Noses, and other Parts of the good People of England, by such
as have styled themselves our Subjects; in order to vindicate our
Imperial Dignity from those false Aspersions which have been cast on
it, as if we our selves might have encouraged or abetted any such
Practices; we have, by these Presents, thought fit to signify our
utmost Abhorrence and Detestation of all such tumultuous and
irregular Proceedings: and do hereby further give notice, that if
any Person or Persons has or have suffered any Wound, Hurt, Damage
or Detriment in his or their Limb or Limbs, otherwise than shall be
hereafter specified, the said Person or Persons, upon applying
themselves to such as we shall appoint for the Inspection and
Redress of the Grievances aforesaid, shall be forthwith committed to
the Care of our principal Surgeon, and be cured at our own Expence,
in some one or other of those Hospitals which we are now erecting
for that purpose.

"And to the end that no one may, either through Ignorance or
Inadvertency, incur those Penalties which we have thought fit to
inflict on Persons of loose and dissolute Lives, we do hereby
notifie to the Publick, that if any Man be knocked down or assaulted
while he is employed in his lawful Business, at proper Hours, that
it is not done by our Order; and we do hereby permit and allow any
such person so knocked down or assaulted, to rise again, and defend
himself in the best manner that he is able.

"We do also command all and every our good Subjects, that they do
not presume, upon any Pretext whatsoever, to issue and sally forth
from their respective Quarters till between the Hours of Eleven and
Twelve. That they never Tip the Lion upon Man, Woman or Child, till
the Clock at St. Dunstan's shall have struck One.

"That the Sweat be never given but between the Hours of One and Two;
always provided, that our Hunters may begin to Hunt a little after
the Close of the Evening, any thing to the contrary herein
notwithstanding. Provided also, that if ever they are reduced to the
Necessity of Pinking, it shall always be in the most fleshy Parts,
and such as are least exposed to view.

"It is also our Imperial Will and Pleasure, that our good Subjects
the Sweaters do establish their Hummums[1] in such close Places,
Alleys, Nooks, and Corners, that the Patient or Patients may not be
in danger of catching Cold.

"That the Tumblers, to whose Care we chiefly commit the Female Sex,
confine themselves to Drury-Lane and the Purlieus of the Temple; and
that every other Party and Division of our Subjects do each of them
keep within the respective Quarters we have allotted to them.
Provided nevertheless, that nothing herein contained shall in any
wise be construed to extend to the Hunters, who have our full
Licence and Permission to enter into any Part of the Town where-ever
their Game shall lead them.

"And whereas we have nothing more at our Imperial Heart than the
Reformation of the Cities of London and Westminster, which to our
unspeakable Satisfaction we have in some measure already effected,
we do hereby earnestly pray and exhort all Husbands, Fathers,
Housekeepers and Masters of Families, in either of the aforesaid
Cities, not only to repair themselves to their respective
Habitations at early and seasonable Hours; but also to keep their
Wives and Daughters, Sons, Servants, and Apprentices, from appearing
in the Streets at those Times and Seasons which may expose them to a
military Discipline, as it is practised by our good Subjects the
Mohocks: and we do further promise, on our Imperial Word, that as
soon as the Reformation aforesaid shall be brought about, we will
forthwith cause all Hostilities to cease.

"Given from our Court at the Devil-Tavern,
March 15, 1712."


[Footnote 1: Turkish Sweating Baths. The Hummums "in Covent Garden was
one of the first of these baths (bagnios) set up in England."]

* * * * *

No. 348. Wednesday, April 9, 1712. Steele.

Invidiam placare paras virtute relicta?



I have not seen you lately at any of the Places where I visit, so
that I am afraid you are wholly unacquainted with what passes among my
part of the World, who are, tho I say it, without Controversy, the
most accomplished and best bred of the Town. Give me leave to tell
you, that I am extremely discomposed when I hear Scandal, and am an
utter Enemy to all manner of Detraction, and think it the greatest
Meanness that People of Distinction can be guilty of: However, it is
hardly possible to come into Company, where you do not find them
pulling one another to pieces, and that from no other Provocation but
that of hearing any one commended. Merit, both as to Wit and Beauty,
is become no other than the Possession of a few trifling Peoples
Favour, which you cannot possibly arrive at, if you have really any
thing in you that is deserving. What they would bring to pass, is, to
make all Good and Evil consist in Report, and with Whispers, Calumnies
and Impertinencies, to have the Conduct of those Reports. By this
means Innocents are blasted upon their first Appearance in Town; and
there is nothing more required to make a young Woman the object of
Envy and Hatred, than to deserve Love and Admiration. This abominable
Endeavour to suppress or lessen every thing that is praise-worthy, is
as frequent among the Men as the Women. If I can remember what passed
at a Visit last Night, it will serve as an Instance that the Sexes are
equally inclined to Defamation, with equal Malice, with equal
Impotence. Jack Triplett came into my Lady Airy's about Eight of [the]
Clock. You know the manner we sit at a Visit, and I need not describe
the Circle; but Mr. Triplett came in, introduced by two Tapers
supported by a spruce Servant, whose Hair is under a Cap till my
Lady's Candles are all lighted up, and the Hour of Ceremony begins: I
say, Jack Triplett came in, and singing (for he is really good
Company) Every Feature, Charming Creature,--he went on, It is a most
unreasonable thing that People cannot go peaceably to see their
Friends, but these Murderers are let loose. Such a Shape! such an Air!
what a Glance was that as her Chariot pass'd by mine--My Lady herself
interrupted him; Pray who is this fine Thing--I warrant, says another,
tis the Creature I was telling your Ladyship of just now. You were
telling of? says Jack; I wish I had been so happy as to have come in
and heard you, for I have not Words to say what she is: But if an
agreeable Height, a modest Air, a Virgin Shame, and Impatience of
being beheld, amidst a Blaze of ten thousand Charms--The whole Room
flew out--Oh Mr. Triplett!--When Mrs. Lofty, a known Prude, said she
believed she knew whom the Gentleman meant; but she was indeed, as he
civilly represented her, impatient of being beheld--Then turning to
the Lady next to her--The most unbred Creature you ever saw. Another
pursued the Discourse: As unbred, Madam, as you may think her, she is
extremely bely'd if she is the Novice she appears; she was last Week
at a Ball till two in the Morning; Mr. Triplett knows whether he was
the happy Man that took Care of her home; but--This was followed by
some particular Exception that each Woman in the Room made to some
peculiar Grace or Advantage so that Mr. Triplett was beaten from one
Limb and Feature to another, till he was forced to resign the whole
Woman. In the end I took notice Triplett recorded all this Malice in
his Heart; and saw in his Countenance, and a certain waggish Shrug,
that he design'd to repeat the Conversation: I therefore let the
Discourse die, and soon after took an Occasion to commend a certain
Gentleman of my Acquaintance for a Person of singular Modesty,
Courage, Integrity, and withal as a Man of an entertaining
Conversation, to which Advantages he had a Shape and Manner peculiarly
graceful. Mr. Triplett, who is a Woman's Man, seem'd to hear me with
Patience enough commend the Qualities of his Mind: He never heard
indeed but that he was a very honest Man, and no Fool; but for a fine
Gentleman, he must ask Pardon. Upon no other Foundation than this, Mr.
Triplett took occasion to give the Gentleman's Pedigree, by what
Methods some part of the Estate was acquired, how much it was beholden
to a Marriage for the present Circumstances of it: After all, he could
see nothing but a common Man in his Person, his Breeding or

Thus, Mr. SPECTATOR, this impertinent Humour of diminishing every one
who is produced in Conversation to their Advantage, runs thro the
World; and I am, I confess, so fearful of the Force of ill Tongues,
that I have begged of all those who are my Well-wishers never to
commend me, for it will but bring my Frailties into Examination, and I
had rather be unobserved, than conspicuous for disputed Perfections. I
am confident a thousand young People, who would have been Ornaments to
Society, have, from Fear of Scandal, never dared to exert themselves
in the polite Arts of Life. Their Lives have passed away in an odious
Rusticity, in spite of great Advantages of Person, Genius and Fortune.
There is a vicious Terror of being blamed in some well-inclin'd
People, and a wicked Pleasure in suppressing them in others; both
which I recommend to your Spectatorial Wisdom to animadvert upon; and
if you can be successful in it, I need not say how much you will
deserve of the Town; but new Toasts will owe to you their Beauty, and
new Wits their Fame. I am,
Your most Obedient
Humble Servant,


* * * * *

No. 349. Thursday, April 10, 1712. Addison.

Quos ille timorum
Maximus haud urget lethi metus: inde ruendi
In ferrum mens prona viris, animaeque capaces


I am very much pleased with a Consolatory Letter of Phalaris, to one who
had lost a Son that was a young Man of great Merit. The Thought with
which he comforts the afflicted Father, is, to the best of my Memory, as
follows; That he should consider Death had set a kind of Seal upon his
Sons Character, and placed him out of the Reach of Vice and Infamy:
That while he liv'd he was still within the Possibility of falling away
from Virtue, and losing the Fame of which he was possessed. Death only
closes a Man's Reputation, and determines it as good or bad.

This, among other Motives, may be one Reason why we are naturally averse
to the launching out into a Man's Praise till his Head is laid in the
Dust. Whilst he is capable of changing, we may be forced to retract our
Opinions. He may forfeit the Esteem we have conceived of him, and some
time or other appear to us under a different Light from what he does at
present. In short, as the Life of any Man cannot be call'd happy or
unhappy, so neither can it be pronounced vicious or virtuous, before the
Conclusion of it.

It was upon this consideration that Epaminondas, being asked whether
Chabrias, Iphicrates, or he himself, deserved most to be esteemed? You
must first see us die, said he, before that Question can be answered.

As there is not a more melancholy Consideration to a good Man than his
being obnoxious to such a Change, so there is nothing more glorious than
to keep up an Uniformity in his Actions, and preserve the Beauty of his
Character to the last.

The End of a Man's Life is often compared to the winding up of a
well-written Play, where the principal Persons still act in Character,
whatever the Fate is which they undergo. There is scarce a great Person
in the Grecian or Roman History, whose Death has not been remarked upon
by some Writer or other, and censured or applauded according to the
Genius or Principles of the Person who has descanted on it. Monsieur de
St. Evremont is very particular in setting forth the Constancy and
Courage of Petronius Arbiter during his last Moments, and thinks he
discovers in them a greater Firmness of Mind and Resolution than in the
Death of Seneca, Cato, or Socrates. There is no question but this polite
Authors Affectation of appearing singular in his Remarks, and making
Discoveries which had escaped the Observation of others, threw him into
this course of Reflection. It was Petronius's Merit, that he died in the
same Gaiety of Temper in which he lived; but as his Life was altogether
loose and dissolute, the Indifference which he showed at the Close of it
is to be looked upon as a piece of natural Carelessness and Levity,
rather than Fortitude. The Resolution of Socrates proceeded from very
different Motives, the Consciousness of a well-spent Life, and the
prospect of a happy Eternity. If the ingenious Author above mentioned
was so pleased with Gaiety of Humour in a dying Man, he might have found
a much nobler Instance of it in our Countryman Sir Thomas More.

This great and learned Man was famous for enlivening his ordinary
Discourses with Wit and Pleasantry; and, as Erasmus tells him in an
Epistle Dedicatory, acted in all parts of Life like a second Democritus.

He died upon a Point of Religion, and is respected as a Martyr by that
Side for which he suffer'd. The innocent Mirth which had been so
conspicuous in his Life, did not forsake him to the last: He maintain'd
the same Chearfulness of Heart upon the Scaffold, which he used to shew
at his Table; and upon laying his Head on the Block, gave Instances of
that Good-Humour with which he had always entertained his Friends in the
most ordinary Occurrences. His Death was of a piece with his Life. There
was nothing in it new, forced, or affected. He did not look upon the
severing of his Head from his Body as a Circumstance that ought to
produce any Change in the Disposition of his Mind; and as he died under
a fixed and settled Hope of Immortality, he thought any unusual degree
of Sorrow and Concern improper on such an Occasion, as had nothing in it
which could deject or terrify him.

There is no great danger of Imitation from this Example. Mens natural
Fears will be a sufficient Guard against it. I shall only observe, that
what was Philosophy in this extraordinary Man, would be Frenzy in one
who does not resemble him as well in the Chearfulness of his Temper, as
in the Sanctity of his Life and Manners.

I shall conclude this Paper with the Instance of a Person who seems to
me to have shewn more Intrepidity and Greatness of Soul in his dying
Moments, than what we meet with among any of the most celebrated Greeks
and Romans. I met with this Instance in the History of the Revolutions
in Portugal, written by the Abbot de Vertot. [2]

When Don Sebastian, King of Portugal, had invaded the Territories of
Muly Moluc, Emperor of Morocco, in order to dethrone him, and set his
Crown upon the Head of his Nephew, Moluc was wearing away with a
Distemper which he himself knew was incurable. However, he prepared for
the Reception of so formidable an Enemy. He was indeed so far spent with
his Sickness, that he did not expect to live out the whole Day, when the
last decisive Battel was given; but knowing the fatal Consequences that
would happen to his Children and People, in case he should die before he
put an end to that War, he commanded his principal Officers that if he
died during the Engagement, they should conceal his Death from the Army,
and that they should ride up to the Litter in which his Corpse was
carried, under Pretence of receiving Orders from him as usual. Before
the Battel begun, he was carried through all the Ranks of his Army in an
open Litter, as they stood drawn up in Array, encouraging them to fight
valiantly in defence of their Religion and Country. Finding afterwards
the Battel to go against him, tho he was very near his last Agonies, he
threw himself out of his Litter, rallied his Army, and led them on to
the Charge; which afterwards ended in a compleat Victory on the side of
the Moors. He had no sooner brought his Men to the Engagement, but
finding himself utterly spent, he was again replaced in his Litter,
where laying his Finger on his Mouth, to enjoin Secrecy to his Officers,
who stood about him, he died a few Moments after in that Posture.


[Footnote 1: Plutarch's Life of Epaminondas.]

[Footnote 2: The Abbe Vertot--Renatus Aubert de Vertot d'Auboeuf--was
born in 1655, and living in the Spectators time. He died in 1735, aged
80. He had exchanged out of the severe order of the Capuchins into that
of the Praemonstratenses when, at the age of 34, he produced, in 1689,
his first work, the History of the Revolutions of Portugal, here quoted.
Continuing to write history, in 1701 he was made a member, and in 1705 a
paid member, of the Academie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres.]

* * * * *

No. 350. Friday, April 11, 1712. Steele.

Ea animi elatio quae cernitur in periculis, si Justitia vacat
pugnatque pro suis commodis, in vitio est.


CAPTAIN SENTREY was last Night at the Club, and produced a Letter from
Ipswich, which his Correspondent desired him to communicate to his
Friend the SPECTATOR. It contained an Account of an Engagement between a
French Privateer, commanded by one Dominick Pottiere, and a little
Vessel of that Place laden with Corn, the Master whereof, as I remember,
was one Goodwin. The Englishman defended himself with incredible
Bravery, and beat off the French, after having been boarded three or
four times. The Enemy still came on with greater Fury, and hoped by his
Number of Men to carry the Prize, till at last the Englishman finding
himself sink apace, and ready to perish, struck: But the Effect which
this singular Gallantry had upon the Captain of the Privateer, was no
other than an unmanly Desire of Vengeance for the Loss he had sustained
in his several Attacks. He told the Ipswich Man in a speaking-Trumpet,
that he would not take him aboard, and that he stayed to see him sink.
The Englishman at the same time observed a Disorder in the Vessel, which
he rightly judged to proceed from the Disdain which the Ships Crew had
of their Captains Inhumanity: With this Hope he went into his Boat, and
approached the Enemy. He was taken in by the Sailors in spite of their
Commander; but though they received him against his Command, they
treated him when he was in the Ship in the manner he directed. Pottiere
caused his Men to hold Goodwin, while he beat him with a Stick till he
fainted with Loss of Blood, and Rage of Heart: after which he ordered
him into Irons without allowing him any Food, but such as one or two of
the Men stole to him under peril of the like Usage: After having kept
him several Days overwhelmed with the Misery of Stench, Hunger, and
Soreness, he brought him into Calais. The Governour of the Place was
soon acquainted with all that had passed, dismissed Pottiere from his
Charge with Ignominy, and gave Goodwin all the Relief which a Man of
Honour would bestow upon an Enemy barbarously treated, to recover the
Imputation of Cruelty upon his Prince and Country.

When Mr. SENTREY had read his Letter, full of many other circumstances
which aggravate the Barbarity, he fell into a sort of Criticism upon
Magnanimity and Courage, and argued that they were inseparable; and that
Courage, without regard to Justice and Humanity, was no other than the
Fierceness of a wild Beast. A good and truly bold Spirit, continued he,
is ever actuated by Reason and a Sense of Honour and Duty: The
Affectation of such a Spirit exerts it self in an Impudent Aspect, an
over-bearing Confidence, and a certain Negligence of giving Offence.
This is visible in all the cocking Youths you see about this Town, who
are noisy in Assemblies, unawed by the Presence of wise and virtuous
Men; in a word, insensible of all the Honours and Decencies of human
Life. A shameless Fellow takes advantage of Merit clothed with Modesty
and Magnanimity, and in the Eyes of little People appears sprightly and
agreeable; while the Man of Resolution and true Gallantry is overlooked
and disregarded, if not despised. There is a Propriety in all things;
and I believe what you Scholars call just and sublime, in opposition to
turgid and bombast Expression, may give you an Idea of what I mean, when
I say Modesty is the certain Indication of a great Spirit, and Impudence
the Affectation of it. He that writes with Judgment, and never rises
into improper Warmths, manifests the true Force of Genius; in like
manner, he who is quiet and equal in all his Behaviour, is supported in
that Deportment by what we may call true Courage. Alas, it is not so
easy a thing to be a brave Man as the unthinking part of Mankind
imagine: To dare, is not all that there is in it. The Privateer we were
just now talking of, had boldness enough to attack his Enemy, but not
Greatness of Mind enough to admire the same Quality exerted by that
Enemy in defending himself. Thus his base and little Mind was wholly
taken up in the sordid regard to the Prize, of which he failed, and the
damage done to his own Vessel; and therefore he used an honest Man, who
defended his own from him, in the Manner as he would a Thief that should
rob him.

He was equally disappointed, and had not Spirit enough to consider that
one Case would be Laudable and the other Criminal. Malice, Rancour,
Hatred, Vengeance, are what tear the Breasts of mean Men in Fight; but
Fame, Glory, Conquests, Desires of Opportunities to pardon and oblige
their Opposers, are what glow in the Minds of the Gallant. The Captain
ended his Discourse with a Specimen of his Book-Learning; and gave us to
understand that he had read a French Author on the Subject of Justness
in point of Gallantry. I love, said Mr. SENTREY, a Critick who mixes the
Rules of Life with Annotations upon Writers. My Author, added he, in his
Discourse upon Epick Poem, takes occasion to speak of the same Quality
of Courage drawn in the two different Characters of Turnus and AEneas: He
makes Courage the chief and greatest Ornament of Turnus; but in AEneas
there are many others which out-shine it, amongst the rest that of
Piety. Turnus is therefore all along painted by the Poet full of
Ostentation, his Language haughty and vain glorious, as placing his
Honour in the Manifestation of his Valour; AEneas speaks little, is slow
to Action; and shows only a sort of defensive Courage. If Equipage and
Address make Turnus appear more couragious than AEneas, Conduct and
Success prove AEneas more valiant than Turnus.


* * * * *

No. 351. Saturday, April 12, 1712. Addison.

In te omnis domus inclinata recumbit.


If we look into the three great Heroick Poems which have appeared in the
World, we may observe that they are built upon very slight Foundations.
Homer lived near 300 Years after the Trojan War; and, as the writing of
History was not then in use among the Greeks, we may very well suppose,
that the Tradition of Achilles and Ulysses had brought down but very few
particulars to his Knowledge; though there is no question but he has
wrought into his two Poems such of their remarkable Adventures, as were
still talked of among his Contemporaries.

The Story of AEneas, on which Virgil founded his Poem, was likewise very
bare of Circumstances, and by that means afforded him an Opportunity of
embellishing it with Fiction, and giving a full range to his own
Invention. We find, however, that he has interwoven, in the course of
his Fable, the principal Particulars, which were generally believed
among the Romans, of AEneas his Voyage and Settlement in Italy. The
Reader may find an Abridgment of the whole Story as collected out of the
ancient Historians, and as it was received among the Romans, in
Dionysius Halicarnasseus [1].

Since none of the Criticks have consider'd Virgil's Fable, with relation
to this History of AEneas, it may not, perhaps, be amiss to examine it
in this Light, so far as regards my present Purpose. Whoever looks into
the Abridgment above mentioned, will find that the Character of AEneas is
filled with Piety to the Gods, and a superstitious Observation of
Prodigies, Oracles, and Predictions. Virgil has not only preserved this
Character in the Person of AEneas, but has given a place in his Poem to
those particular Prophecies which he found recorded of him in History
and Tradition. The Poet took the matters of Fact as they came down to
him, and circumstanced them after his own manner, to make them appear
the more natural, agreeable, or surprizing. I believe very many Readers
have been shocked at that ludicrous Prophecy, which one of the Harpyes
pronounces to the Trojans in the third Book, namely, that before they
had built their intended City, they should be reduced by Hunger to eat
their very Tables. But, when they hear that this was one of the
Circumstances that had been transmitted to the Romans in the History of
AEneas, they will think the Poet did very well in taking notice of it.
The Historian above mentioned acquaints us, a Prophetess had foretold
AEneas, that he should take his Voyage Westward, till his Companions
should eat their Tables; and that accordingly, upon his landing in
Italy, as they were eating their Flesh upon Cakes of Bread, for want of
other Conveniences, they afterwards fed on the Cakes themselves; upon
which one of the Company said merrily, We are eating our Tables. They
immediately took the Hint, says the Historian, and concluded the
Prophecy to be fulfilled. As Virgil did not think it proper to omit so
material a particular in the History of AEneas, it may be worth while to
consider with how much Judgment he has qualified it, and taken off every
thing that might have appeared improper for a Passage in an Heroick
Poem. The Prophetess who foretells it, is an Hungry Harpy, as the Person
who discovers it is young Ascanius. [2]

Heus etiam mensas consumimus, inquit Inlus!

Such an observation, which is beautiful in the Mouth of a Boy, would
have been ridiculous from any other of the Company. I am apt to think
that the changing of the Trojan Fleet into Water-Nymphs which is the
most violent Machine in the whole AEneid, and has given offence to
several Criticks, may be accounted for the same way. Virgil himself,
before he begins that Relation, premises, that what he was going to tell
appeared incredible, but that it was justified by Tradition. What
further confirms me that this Change of the Fleet was a celebrated
Circumstance in the History of AEneas, is, that Ovid has given place to
the same Metamorphosis in his Account of the heathen Mythology.

None of the Criticks I have met with having considered the Fable of the
AEneid in this Light, and taken notice how the Tradition, on which it was
founded, authorizes those Parts in it which appear the most
exceptionable; I hope the length of this Reflection will not make it
unacceptable to the curious Part of my Readers.

The History, which was the Basis of Milton's Poem, is still shorter than
either that of the Iliad or AEneid. The Poet has likewise taken care to
insert every Circumstance of it in the Body of his Fable. The ninth
Book, which we are here to consider, is raised upon that brief Account
in Scripture, wherein we are told that the Serpent was more subtle than
any Beast of the Field, that he tempted the Woman to eat of the
forbidden Fruit, that she was overcome by this Temptation, and that Adam
followed her Example. From these few Particulars, Milton has formed one
of the most Entertaining Fables that Invention ever produced. He has
disposed of these several Circumstances among so many beautiful and
natural Fictions of his own, that his whole Story looks only like a
Comment upon sacred Writ, or rather seems to be a full and compleat
Relation of what the other is only an Epitome. I have insisted the
longer on this Consideration, as I look upon the Disposition and
Contrivance of the Fable to be the principal Beauty of the ninth Book,
which has more Story in it, and is fuller of Incidents, than any other
in the whole Poem. Satan's traversing the Globe, and still keeping
within the Shadow of the Night, as fearing to be discovered by the Angel
of the Sun, who had before detected him, is one of those beautiful
Imaginations with which he introduces this his second Series of
Adventures. Having examined the Nature of every Creature, and found out
one which was the most proper for his Purpose, he again returns to
Paradise; and, to avoid Discovery, sinks by Night with a River that ran
under the Garden, and rises up again through a Fountain that [issued
[3]] from it by the Tree of Life. The Poet, who, as we have before taken
notice, speaks as little as possible in his own Person, and, after the
Example of Homer, fills every Part of his Work with Manners and
Characters, introduces a Soliloquy of this infernal Agent, who was thus
restless in the Destruction of Man. He is then describ'd as gliding
through the Garden, under the resemblance of a Mist, in order to find
out that Creature in which he design'd to tempt our first Parents. This
Description has something in it very Poetical and Surprizing.

So saying, through each Thicket Dank or Dry,
Like a black Mist, low creeping, he held on
His Midnight Search, where soonest he might find
The Serpent: him fast sleeping soon he found
In Labyrinth of many a Round self-roll'd,
His Head the midst, well stor'd with subtle Wiles.

The Author afterwards gives us a Description of the Morning, which is
wonderfully suitable to a Divine Poem, and peculiar to that first Season
of Nature: He represents the Earth, before it was curst, as a great
Altar, breathing out its Incense from all Parts, and sending up a
pleasant Savour to the Nostrils of its Creator; to which he adds a noble
Idea of Adam and Eve, as offering their Morning Worship, and filling up
the Universal Consort of Praise and Adoration.

Now when as sacred Light began to dawn
In Eden on the humid Flowers, that breathed
Their Morning Incense, when all things that breathe
From th' Earth's great Altar send up silent Praise
To the Creator, and his Nostrils fill
With grateful Smell; forth came the human Pair,
And join'd their vocal Worship to the Choir
Of Creatures wanting Voice--

The Dispute which follows between our two first Parents, is represented
with great Art: It [proceeds [4]] from a Difference of Judgment, not of
Passion, and is managed with Reason, not with Heat: It is such a Dispute
as we may suppose might have happened in Paradise, had Man continued
Happy and Innocent. There is a great Delicacy in the Moralities which
are interspersed in Adams Discourse, and which the most ordinary Reader
cannot but take notice of. That Force of Love which the Father of
Mankind so finely describes in the eighth Book, and which is inserted in
my last Saturdays Paper, shews it self here in many fine Instances: As
in those fond Regards he cast towards Eve at her parting from him.

Her long with ardent Look his Eye pursued
Delighted, but desiring more her stay:
Oft he to her his Charge of quick return
Repeated; she to him as oft engaged
To be return'd by noon amid the Bower.

In his Impatience and Amusement during her Absence

--Adam the while,
Waiting desirous her return, had wove
Of choicest Flowers a Garland, to adorn
Her Tresses, and her rural Labours crown:
As Reapers oft are wont their Harvest Queen.
Great Joy he promised to his thoughts, and new
Solace in her return, so long delay'd.

But particularly in that passionate Speech, where seeing her
irrecoverably lost, he resolves to perish with her rather than to live
without her.

--Some cursed Fraud
Or Enemy hath beguil'd thee, yet unknown,
And me with thee hath ruin'd; for with thee
Certain my Resolution is to die!
How can I live without thee; how forego
Thy sweet Converse and Love so dearly join'd,
To live again in these wild Woods forlorn?
Should God create another Eve, and I
Another Rib afford, yet loss of thee
Would never from my Heart! no, no! I feel
The Link of Nature draw me: Flesh of Flesh,
Bone of my Bone thou art, and from thy State
Mine never shall be parted, Bliss or Woe!

The Beginning of this Speech, and the Preparation to it, are animated
with the same Spirit as the Conclusion, which I have here quoted.

The several Wiles which are put in practice by the Tempter, when he
found Eve separated from her Husband, the many pleasing Images of Nature
which are intermix'd in this part of the Story, with its gradual and
regular Progress to the fatal Catastrophe, are so very remarkable that
it would be superfluous to point out their respective Beauties.

I have avoided mentioning any particular Similitudes in my Remarks on
this great Work, because I have given a general Account of them in my
Paper on the first Book. There is one, however, in this part of the
Poem, which I shall here quote as it is not only very beautiful, but the
closest of any in the whole Poem. I mean that where the Serpent is
describ as rolling forward in all his Pride, animated by the evil
Spirit, and conducting Eve to her Destruction, while Adam was at too
great a distance from her to give her his Assistance. These several
Particulars are all of them wrought into the following Similitude.

--Hope elevates, and Joy
Brightens his Crest; as when a wandering Fire,
Compact of unctuous Vapour, which the Night
Condenses, and the Cold invirons round,
Kindled through Agitation to a Flame,
(Which oft, they say, some evil Spirit attends)
Hovering and blazing with delusive Light,
Misleads th' amaz'd Night-wanderer from his Way
To Bogs and Mires, and oft through Pond or Pool,
There swallowed up and lost, from succour far.

That secret Intoxication of Pleasure, with all those transient flushings
of Guilt and Joy, which the Poet represents in our first Parents upon
their eating the forbidden Fruit, to [those [5]] flaggings of Spirits,
damps of Sorrow, and mutual Accusations which succeed it, are conceiv'd
with a wonderful Imagination, and described in very natural Sentiments.

When Dido in the fourth AEneid yielded to that fatal Temptation which
ruined her, Virgil tells us the Earth trembled, the Heavens were filled
with Flashes of Lightning, and the Nymphs howled upon the Mountain-Tops.
Milton, in the same poetical Spirit, has described all Nature as
disturbed upon Eves eating the forbidden Fruit.

So saying, her rash Hand in evil hour
Forth reaching to the Fruit, she pluckt, she eat:
Earth felt the wound, and Nature from her Seat
Sighing, through all her Works gave signs of Woe
That all was lost--

Upon Adams falling into the same Guilt, the whole Creation appears a
second time in Convulsions.

--He scrupled not to eat
Against his better knowledge; not deceiv's,
But fondly overcome with female Charm.
Earth trembled from her Entrails, as again
In Pangs, and Nature gave a second Groan,
Sky lowred, and muttering Thunder, some sad Drops
Wept at compleating of the mortal Sin--

As all Nature suffer'd by the Guilt of our first Parents, these Symptoms
of Trouble and Consternation are wonderfully imagined, not only as
Prodigies, but as Marks of her Sympathizing in the Fall of Man.

Adams Converse with Eve, after having eaten the forbidden Fruit, is an
exact Copy of that between Jupiter and Juno in the fourteenth Iliad.
Juno there approaches Jupiter with the Girdle which she had received
from Venus; upon which he tells her, that she appeared more charming and
desirable than she [6] done before, even when their Loves were at the
highest. The Poet afterwards describes them as reposing on a Summet of
Mount Ida, which produced under them a Bed of Flowers, the Lotos, the
Crocus, and the Hyacinth; and concludes his Description with their
falling asleep.

Let the Reader compare this with the following Passage in Milton, which
begins with Adams Speech to Eve.

For never did thy Beauty, since the Day
I saw thee first and wedded thee, adorn'd
With all Perfections, so enflame my Sense
With ardor to enjoy thee, fairer now
Than ever, Bounty of this virtuous Tree.
So said he, and forbore not Glance or Toy
Of amorous Intent, well understood
Of Eve, whose Eye darted contagious Fire.
Her hand he seiz'd, and to a shady Bank
Thick over-head with verdant Roof embower'd,
He led her nothing loth: Flowrs were the Couch,
Pansies, and Violets, and Asphodel,
And Hyacinth, Earths freshest softest Lap.
There they their fill of Love, and Loves disport,
Took largely, of their mutual Guilt the Seal,
The Solace of their Sin, till dewy Sleep
Oppress'd them--

As no Poet seems ever to have studied Homer more, or to have more
resembled him in the Greatness of Genius than Milton, I think I should
have given but a very imperfect Account of his Beauties, if I had not
observed the most remarkable Passages which look like Parallels in these
two great Authors. I might, in the course of these criticisms, have
taken notice of many particular Lines and Expressions which are
translated from the Greek Poet; but as I thought this would have
appeared too minute and over-curious, I have purposely omitted them. The
greater Incidents, however, are not only set off by being shewn in the
same Light with several of the same nature in Homer, but by that means
may be also guarded against the Cavils of the Tasteless or Ignorant.

[Footnote 1: In the first book of his Roman Antiquities.]

[Footnote 2: Dionysius says that the prophecy was either, as some write,
given at Dodous, or, as others say, by a Sybil, and the exclamation was
by one of the sons of AEneas, as it is related; or he was some other of
his comrades.]

[Footnote 3: [run]]

[Footnote 4: [arises]]

[Footnote 5: [that]]

[Footnote 6: [ever had]]

* * * * *

No. 352. Monday, April 14, 1712. Steele.

Si ad honestatem nati sumus, ea aut sola expetenda est, aut certe
omni pondere gravior est habenda quam reliqua omnia.


Will. Honeycomb was complaining to me yesterday, that the Conversation
of the Town is so altered of late Years, that a fine Gentleman is at a
loss for Matter to start Discourse, as well as unable to fall in with
the Talk he generally meets with. WILL. takes notice, that there is now
an Evil under the Sun which he supposes to be entirely new, because not
mentioned by any Satyrist or Moralist in any Age: Men, said he, grow
Knaves sooner than they ever did since the Creation of the World before.
If you read the Tragedies of the last Age, you find the artful Men and
Persons of Intrigue, are advanced very far in Years, and beyond the
Pleasures and Sallies of Youth; but now WILL. observes, that the Young
have taken in the Vices of the Aged, and you shall have a Man of Five
and Twenty crafty, false, and intriguing, not ashamed to over-reach,
cozen, and beguile. My Friend adds, that till about the latter end of
King Charles's Reign, there was not a Rascal of any Eminence under
Forty: In the Places of Resort for Conversation, you now hear nothing
but what relates to the improving Mens Fortunes, without regard to the
Methods toward it. This is so fashionable, that young Men form
themselves upon a certain Neglect of every thing that is candid, simple,
and worthy of true Esteem; and affect being yet worse than they are, by
acknowledging in their general turn of Mind and Discourse, that they
have not any remaining Value for true Honour and Honesty; preferring the
Capacity of being Artful to gain their Ends, to the Merit of despising
those Ends when they come in competition with their Honesty. All this is
due to the very silly Pride that generally prevails, of being valued for
the Ability of carrying their Point; in a word, from the Opinion that
shallow and inexperienced People entertain of the short-liv'd Force of
Cunning. But I shall, before I enter upon the various Faces which Folly
cover'd with Artifice puts on to impose upon the Unthinking, produce a
great Authority [1] for asserting, that nothing but Truth and Ingenuity
has any lasting good Effect, even upon a Man's Fortune and Interest.

Truth and Reality have all the Advantages of Appearance, and many more.
If the Shew of any thing be good for any thing, I am sure Sincerity is
better: For why does any Man dissemble, or seem to be that which he is
not, but because he thinks it good to have such a Quality as he pretends
to? for to counterfeit and dissemble, is to put on the Appearance of
some real Excellency. Now the best way in the World for a Man to seem to
be any thing, is really to be what he would seem to be. Besides that it
is many times as troublesome to make good the Pretence of a good
Quality, as to have it; and if a Man have it not, it is ten to one but
he is discover'd to want it, and then all his Pains and Labour to seem
to have it is lost. There is something unnatural in Painting, which a
skillful Eye will easily discern from native Beauty and Complexion.

It is hard to personate and act a Part long; for where Truth is not at
the bottom, Nature will always be endeavouring to return, and will peep
out and betray her self one time or other. Therefore if any Man think it
convenient to seem good, let him be so indeed, and then his Goodness
will appear to every body's Satisfaction; so that upon all accounts
Sincerity is true Wisdom. Particularly as to the Affairs of this World,
Integrity hath many Advantages over all the fine and artificial ways of
Dissimulation and Deceit; it is much the plainer and easier, much the
safer and more secure way of dealing in the World; it has less of
Trouble and Difficulty, of Entanglement and Perplexity, of Danger and
Hazard in it; it is the shortest and nearest way to our End, carrying us
thither in a straight line, and will hold out and last longest. The Arts
of Deceit and Cunning do continually grow weaker and less effectual and
serviceable to them that use them; whereas Integrity gains Strength by
use, and the more and longer any Man practiseth it, the greater Service
it does him, by confirming his Reputation and encouraging those with
whom he hath to do, to repose the greatest Trust and Confidence in him,
which is an unspeakable Advantage in the Business and Affairs of Life.

Truth is always consistent with it self, and needs nothing to help it
out; it is always near at hand, and sits upon our Lips, and is ready to
drop out before we are aware: whereas a Lye is troublesome, and sets a
Man's Invention upon the rack, and one Trick needs a great many more to
make it good. It is like building upon a false Foundation, which
continually stands in need of Props to shoar it up, and proves at last
more chargeable, than to have raised a substantial Building at first
upon a true and solid Foundation; for Sincerity is firm and substantial,
and there is nothing hollow and unsound in it, and because it is plain
and open, fears no Discovery; of which the Crafty Man is always in
danger, and when he thinks he walks in the dark, all his Pretences are
so transparent, that he that runs may read them; he is the last Man that
finds himself to be found out, and whilst he takes it for granted that
he makes Fools of others, he renders himself ridiculous.

Add to all this, that Sincerity is the most compendious Wisdom, and an
excellent Instrument for the speedy dispatch of Business; it creates
Confidence in those we have to deal with, saves the Labour of many
Enquiries, and brings things to an issue in few Words: It is like
travelling in a plain beaten Road, which commonly brings a Man sooner to
his Journeys End than By-ways, in which Men often lose themselves. In a
word, whatsoever Convenience may be thought to be in Falshood and
Dissimulation, it is soon over; but the Inconvenience of it is
perpetual, because it brings a Man under an everlasting Jealousie and
Suspicion, so that he is not believed when he speaks Truth, nor trusted
when perhaps he means honestly. When a Man hath once forfeited the
Reputation of his Integrity, he is set fast, and nothing will then serve
his turn, neither Truth nor Falshood.

And I have often thought, that God hath in his great Wisdom hid from
Men of false and dishonest Minds the wonderful Advantages of Truth and
Integrity to the Prosperity even of our worldly Affairs; these Men are
so blinded by their Covetousness and Ambition, that they cannot look
beyond a present Advantage, nor forbear to seize upon it, tho by Ways
never so indirect; they cannot see so far as to the remote Consequences
of a steady Integrity, and the vast Benefit and Advantages which it will
bring a Man at last. Were but this sort of Men wise and clear-sighted
enough to discern this, they would be honest out of very Knavery, not
out of any Love to Honesty and Virtue, but with a crafty Design to
promote and advance more effectually their own Interests; and therefore
the Justice of the Divine Providence hath hid this truest Point of
Wisdom from their Eyes, that bad Men might not be upon equal Terms with
the Just and Upright, and serve their own wicked Designs by honest and
lawful Means.

Indeed, if a Man were only to deal in the World for a Day, and should
never have occasion to converse more with Mankind, never more need their
good Opinion or good Word, it were then no great Matter (speaking as to
the Concernments of this World) if a Man spent his Reputation all at
once, and ventured it at one throw: But if he be to continue in the
World, and would have the Advantage of Conversation whilst he is in it,
let him make use of Truth and Sincerity in all his Words and Actions;
for nothing but this will last and hold out to the end; all other Arts
will fail, but Truth and Integrity will carry a Man through, and bear
him out to the last.


[Footnote 1: Archbishop Tilotson's Sermons, Vol. II., Sermon I (folio
edition). Italics in first issue.]

* * * * *

No. 353. Tuesday, April 15, 1712. Budgell.

--In tenui labor--


The Gentleman who obliges the World in general, and me in particular,
with his Thoughts upon Education, has just sent me the following Letter.


I take the Liberty to send you a fourth Letter upon the Education of
Youth: In my last I gave you my Thoughts about some particular Tasks
which I conceiv'd it might not be amiss to use with their usual
Exercises, in order to give them an early Seasoning of Virtue; I shall
in this propose some others, which I fancy might contribute to give
them a right turn for the World, and enable them to make their way in

The Design of Learning is, as I take it, either to render a Man an
agreeable Companion to himself, and teach him to support Solitude with
Pleasure, or if he is not born to an Estate, to supply that Defect,
and furnish him with the means of acquiring one. A Person who applies
himself to Learning with the first of these Views may be said to study
for Ornament, as he who proposes to himself the second, properly
studies for Use. The one does it to raise himself a Fortune, the other
to set off that which he is already possessed of. But as far the
greater part of Mankind are included in the latter Class, I shall only
propose some Methods at present for the Service of such who expect to
advance themselves in the World by their Learning: In order to which,
I shall premise, that many more Estates have been acquir'd by little
Accomplishments than by extraordinary ones; those Qualities which make
the greatest Figure in the Eye of the World, not being always the most
useful in themselves, or the most advantageous to their Owners.

The Posts which require Men of shining and uncommon Parts to discharge
them, are so very few, that many a great Genius goes out of the World
without ever having had an opportunity to exert it self; whereas
Persons of ordinary Endowments meet with Occasions fitted to their
Parts and Capacities every day in the common Occurrences of Life.

I am acquainted with two Persons who were formerly School-fellows,[1]
and have been good Friends ever since. One of them was not only
thought an impenetrable Block-head at School, but still maintain'd his
Reputation at the University; the other was the Pride of his Master,
and the most celebrated Person in the College of which he was a
Member. The Man of Genius is at present buried in a Country Parsonage
of eightscore Pounds a year; while the other, with the bare Abilities
of a common Scrivener, has got an Estate of above an hundred thousand

I fancy from what I have said it will almost appear a doubtful Case
to many a wealthy Citizen, whether or no he ought to wish his Son
should be a great Genius; but this I am sure of, that nothing is more
absurd than to give a Lad the Education of one, whom Nature has not
favour'd with any particular Marks of Distinction.

The fault therefore of our Grammar-Schools is, that every Boy is
pushed on to Works of Genius; whereas it would be far more
advantageous for the greatest part of them to be taught such little
practical Arts and Sciences as do not require any great share of Parts
to be Master of them, and yet may come often into play during the
course of a Man's Life.

Such are all the Parts of Practical Geometry. I have known a Man
contract a Friendship with a Minister of State, upon cutting a Dial in
his Window; and remember a Clergyman who got one of the best Benefices
in the West of England, by setting a Country Gentleman's Affairs in
some Method, and giving him an exact Survey of his Estate.

While I am upon this Subject, I cannot forbear mentioning a
Particular which is of use in every Station of Life, and which
methinks every Master should teach his Scholars. I mean the writing of
English Letters. To this End, instead of perplexing them with Latin
Epistles, Themes and Verses, there might be a punctual Correspondence
established between two Boys, who might act in any imaginary Parts of
Business, or be allow'd sometimes to give a range to their own Fancies,
and communicate to each other whatever Trifles they thought fit,
provided neither of them ever fail'd at the appointed time to answer
his Correspondents Letter.

I believe I may venture to affirm, that the generality of Boys would
find themselves more advantaged by this Custom, when they come to be
Men, than by all the Greek and Latin their Masters can teach them in
seven or eight Years.

The want of it is very visible in many learned Persons, who, while
they are admiring the Styles of Demosthenes or Cicero, want Phrases to
express themselves on the most common Occasions. I have seen a Letter
from one of these Latin Orators, which would have been deservedly
laugh'd at by a common Attorney.

Under this Head of Writing I cannot omit Accounts and Short-hand,
which are learned with little pains, and very properly come into the
number of such Arts as I have been here recommending.

You must doubtless, Sir, observe that I have hitherto chiefly insisted
upon these things for such Boys as do not appear to have any thing
extraordinary in their natural Talents, and consequently are not
qualified for the finer Parts of Learning; yet I believe I might carry
this Matter still further, and venture to assert that a Lad of Genius
has sometimes occasion for these little Acquirements, to be as it were
the forerunners of his Parts, and to introduce [him [2]] into the

History is full of Examples of Persons, who tho they have had the
largest Abilities, have been obliged to insinuate themselves into the
Favour of great Men by these trivial Accomplishments; as the compleat
Gentleman, in some of our modern Comedies, makes his first Advances to
his Mistress under the disguise of a Painter or a Dancing-Master.

The Difference is, that in a Lad of Genius these are only so many
Accomplishments, which in another are Essentials; the one diverts
himself with them, the other works at them. In short, I look upon a
great Genius, with these little Additions, in the same Light as I
regard the Grand Signior, who is obliged, by an express Command in the
Alcoran, to learn and practise some Handycraft Trade. Tho I need not
have gone for my Instance farther than Germany, where several Emperors
have voluntarily done the same thing. Leopold the last [3], worked in
Wood; and I have heard there are several handycraft Works of his
making to be seen at Vienna so neatly turned, that the best Joiner in
Europe might safely own them, without any disgrace to his Profession.

I would not be thought, by any thing I have said, to be against
improving a Boys Genius to the utmost pitch it can be carried. What I
would endeavour to shew in this Essay is, that there may be Methods
taken, to make Learning advantageous even to the meanest Capacities.

I am, SIR, Yours, &c.


[Footnote 1: Perhaps Swift and his old schoolfellow, Mr. Stratford, the
Hamburgh merchant.

Stratford is worth a plumb, and is now lending the Government
L40,000; yet we were educated together at the same school and

Journal to Stella, Sept. 14, 1710.]

[Footnote 2:[them]]

[Footnote 3: Leopold the last was also Leopold the First. He died May 6,
1705, and was succeeded by his eldest son, Joseph, who died while the
Spectator was being issued, and had now been followed by his brother,
the Archduke Charles, whose claim to the crown of Spain England had been
supporting, when his accession to the German throne had not seemed
probable. His coronation as Charles VI. was, therefore, one cause of the
peace. Leopold, born in 1640, and educated by the Jesuits, became
Emperor in 1658, and reigned 49 years. He was an adept in metaphysics
and theology, as well as in wood-turning, but a feeble and oppressive
ruler, whose empire was twice saved for him; by Sobiesld from the Turks,
and from the French by Marlborough.]

* * * * *

No. 354. Wednesday, April 16, 1712. Steele.

--Cum magnis virtutibus affers
Grande supercilium--



You have in some of your Discourses describ'd most sorts of Women in
their distinct and proper Classes, as the Ape, the Coquet, and many
others; but I think you have never yet said anything of a Devotee. A
Devotee is one of those who disparage Religion by their indiscreet and
unseasonable introduction of the Mention of Virtue on all Occasion[s]:
She professes she is what nobody ought to doubt she is; and betrays
the Labour she is put to, to be what she ought to be with Chearfulness
and Alacrity. She lives in the World, and denies her self none of the
Diversions of it, with a constant Declaration how insipid all things
in it are to her. She is never her self but at Church; there she
displays her Virtue, and is so fervent in her Devotions, that I have
frequently seen her Pray her self out of Breath. While other young
Ladies in the House are dancing, or playing at Questions and Commands,
she reads aloud in her Closet. She says all Love is ridiculous, except
it be Celestial; but she speaks of the Passion of one Mortal to
another with too much Bitterness, for one that had no Jealousy mixed
with her Contempt of it. If at any time she sees a Man warm in his
Addresses to his Mistress, she will lift up her Eyes to Heaven, and
cry, What Nonsense is that Fool talking? Will the Bell never ring for
Prayers? We have an eminent Lady of this Stamp in our Country, who
pretends to Amusements very much above the rest of her Sex. She never
carries a white Shock-dog with Bells under her Arm, nor a Squirrel or
Dormouse in her Pocket, but always an abridg'd Piece of Morality to
steal out when she is sure of being observ'd. When she went to the
famous Ass-Race (which I must confess was but an odd Diversion to be
encouraged by People of Rank and Figure) it was not, like other
Ladies, to hear those poor Animals bray, nor to see Fellows run naked,
or to hear Country Squires in bob Wigs and white Girdles make love at
the side of a Coach, and cry, Madam, this is dainty Weather. Thus she
described the Diversion; for she went only to pray heartily that no
body might be hurt in the Crowd, and to see if the poor Fellows Face,
which was distorted with grinning, might any way be brought to it self
again. She never chats over her Tea, but covers her Face, and is
supposed in an Ejaculation before she taste[s] a Sup. This
ostentatious Behaviour is such an Offence to true Sanctity, that it
disparages it, and makes Virtue not only unamiable, but also
ridiculous. The Sacred Writings are full of Reflections which abhor
this kind of Conduct; and a Devotee is so far from promoting Goodness,
that she deters others by her Example. Folly and Vanity in one of
these Ladies, is like Vice in a Clergyman; it does not only debase
him, but makes the inconsiderate Part of the World think the worse of

I am, SIR,

Your Humble Servant,



Xenophon, in his short Account of the Spartan Commonwealth, [1]
speaking of the Behavior of their young Men in the Streets, says,
There was so much Modesty in their Looks, that you might as soon have
turned the eyes of a Marble Statue upon you as theirs; and that in all
their Behaviour they were more modest than a Bride when put to bed
upon her Wedding-Night: This Virtue, which is always join'd to
Magnanimity, had such an influence upon their Courage, that in Battel
an Enemy could not look them in the Face, and they durst not but Die
for their Country.

Whenever I walk into the Streets of London and Westminster, the
Countenances of all the young Fellows that pass by me, make me wish my
self in Sparta; I meet with such blustering Airs, big Looks, and bold
Fronts, that to a superficial Observer would bespeak a Courage above
those Grecians. I am arrived to that Perfection in Speculation, that I
understand the Language of the Eyes, which would be a great misfortune
to me, had I not corrected the Testiness of old Age by Philosophy.
There is scarce a Man in a red Coat who does not tell me, with a full
Stare, he's a bold Man: I see several swear inwardly at me, without
any Offence of mine, but the Oddness of my Person: I meet Contempt in
every Street, express'd in different Manners, by the scornful Look,
the elevated Eye-brow, and the swelling Nostrils of the Proud and
Prosperous. The Prentice speaks his Disrespect by an extended Finger,
and the Porter by stealing out his Tongue. If a Country Gentleman
appears a little curious in observing the Edifices, Signs, Clocks,
Coaches, and Dials, it is not to be imagined how the Polite Rabble of
this Town, who are acquainted with these Objects, ridicule his
Rusticity. I have known a Fellow with a Burden on his Head steal a
Hand down from his Load, and slily twirle the Cock of a Squires Hat
behind him; while the Offended Person is swearing, or out of
Countenance, all the Wagg-Wits in the High-way are grinning in
applause of the ingenious Rogue that gave him the Tip, and the Folly
of him who had not Eyes all round his Head to prevent receiving it.
These things arise from a general Affectation of Smartness, Wit, and
Courage. Wycherly somewhere [2] rallies the Pretensions this Way, by
making a Fellow say, Red Breeches are a certain Sign of Valour; and
Otway makes a Man, to boast his Agility, trip up a Beggar on Crutches
[3]. From such Hints I beg a Speculation on this Subject; in the mean
time I shall do all in the Power of a weak old Fellow in my own
Defence: for as Diogenes, being in quest of an honest Man, sought for
him when it was broad Day-light with a Lanthorn and Candle, so I
intend for the future to walk the Streets with a dark Lanthorn, which
has a convex Chrystal in it; and if any Man stares at me, I give fair
Warning that Ill direct the Light full into his Eyes. Thus despairing
to find Men Modest, I hope by this Means to evade their Impudence,
I am, SIR,
Your most humble Servant,


[Footnote 1: The Polity of Lacedaemon and the Polity of Athens were
two of Xenophons short treatises. In the Polity of Lacedaemon the
Spartan code of law and social discipline is, as Mr. Mure says in his
Critical History of the Language and Literature of Ancient Greece,

indiscriminately held up to admiration as superior in all respects to
all others. Some of its more offensive features, such as the Cryptia,
child murder, and more glaring atrocities of the Helot system, are
suppressed; while the legalized thieving, adultery, and other
unnatural practices, are placed in the most favourable or least odious

[Footnote 2: In the Plain Dealer, Act II. sc. I.

Novel (a pert railing coxcomb). These sea captains make nothing of
dressing. But let me tell you, sir, a man by his dress, as much
as by anything, shows his wit and judgment; nay, and his
courage too.

Freeman. How, his courage, Mr. Novel?

Novel. Why, for example, by red breeches, tucked-up hair, or peruke, a
greasy broad belt, and now-a-days a short sword.]

[Footnote 3: In his Friendship in Fashion, Act III. sc. i

Malagene. I tell you what I did tother Day: Faith't is as good a Jest
as ever you heard.

Valentine. Pray, sir, do.

Mal. Why, walking alone, a lame Fellow follow'd me and ask'd my
Charity (which by the way was a pretty Proposition to me).
Being in one of my witty, merry Fits, I ask'd him how long he
had been in that Condition? The poor Fellow shook his Head,
and told me he was born so. But how dye think I served him?

Val. Nay, the Devil knows.

Mal. I show'd my Parts, I think; for I tripp'd up both his Wooden
Legs, and walk'd off gravely about my Business.

Truman. And this you say is your way of Wit?

Mal. Ay, altogether, this and Mimickry. I'm a very good Mimick; I
can act Punchinello, Scaramoucho, Harlequin, Prince
Prettyman, or anything. I can act the rumbling of a

Val. The rumbling of a Wheelbarrow!

Mal. Ay, the rumbling of a Wheelbarrow, so I say. Nay, more than
that, I can act a Sow and Pigs, Sausages a broiling, a
Shoulder of Mutton a roasting: I can act a Fly in a

Trum. That indeed must be the effect of very curious Observation.

Mal. No, hang it, I never make it my Business to observe anything,
that is Mechanick.]

* * * * *

No. 355. Thursday, April 17, 1712. Addison.

Non ego mordaci distrinxi carmine [quenquam.

Ovid. [1]]

I have been very often tempted to write Invectives upon those who have
detracted from my Works, or spoken in derogation of my Person; but I
look upon it as a particular Happiness, that I have always hindred my
Resentments from proceeding to this extremity. I once had gone thro
half a Satyr, but found so many Motions of Humanity rising in me towards
the Persons whom I had severely treated, that I threw it into the Fire
without ever finishing it. I have been angry enough to make several
little Epigrams and Lampoons; and after having admired them a Day or
two, have likewise committed them to the Flames. These I look upon as so
many Sacrifices to Humanity, and have receiv'd much greater Satisfaction
from the suppressing such Performances, than I could have done from any
Reputation they might have procur'd me, or from any Mortification they
might have given my Enemies, in case I had made them publick. If a Man
has any Talent in Writing, it shews a good Mind to forbear answering
Calumnies and Reproaches in the same Spirit of Bitterness with which
they are offered: But when a Man has been at some Pains in making
suitable Returns to an Enemy, and has the Instruments of Revenge in his
Hands, to let drop his Wrath, and stifle his Resentments, seems to have
something in it Great and Heroical. There is a particular Merit in such
a way of forgiving an Enemy; and the more violent and unprovoke'd the
Offence has been, the greater still is the Merit of him who thus
forgives it.

I never met with a Consideration that is more finely spun, and what has
better pleased me, than one in Epictetus [2], which places an Enemy in a
new Light, and gives us a View of him altogether different from that in
which we are used to regard him. The Sense of it is as follows: Does a
Man reproach thee for being Proud or Ill-natured, Envious or Conceited,
Ignorant or Detracting? Consider with thy self whether his Reproaches
are true; if they are not, consider that thou art not the Person whom he
reproaches, but that he reviles an Imaginary Being, and perhaps loves
what thou really art, tho he hates what thou appearest to be. If his
Reproaches are true, if thou art the envious ill-natur'd Man he takes
thee for, give thy self another Turn, become mild, affable and obliging,
and his Reproaches of thee naturally cease: His Reproaches may indeed
continue, but thou art no longer the Person whom he reproaches.

I often apply this Rule to my self; and when I hear of a Satyrical
Speech or Writing that is aimed at me, I examine my own Heart, whether I
deserve it or not. If I bring in a Verdict against my self, I endeavour
to rectify my Conduct for the future in those particulars which have
drawn the Censure upon me; but if the whole Invective be grounded upon a
Falsehood, I trouble my self no further about it, and look upon my Name
at the Head of it to signify no more than one of those fictitious Names
made use of by an Author to introduce an imaginary Character. Why should
a Man be sensible of the Sting of a Reproach, who is a Stranger to the
Guilt that is implied in it? or subject himself to the Penalty, when he
knows he has never committed the Crime? This is a Piece of Fortitude,
which every one owes to his own Innocence, and without which it is
impossible for a Man of any Merit or Figure to live at Peace with
himself in a Country that abounds with Wit and Liberty.

The famous Monsieur Balzac, in a Letter to the Chancellor of France, [3]
who had prevented the Publication of a Book against him, has the
following Words, which are a likely Picture of the Greatness of Mind so
visible in the Works of that Author. If it was a new thing, it may be I
should not be displeased with the Suppression of the first Libel that
should abuse me; but since there are enough of em to make a small
Library, I am secretly pleased to see the number increased, and take
delight in raising a heap of Stones that Envy has cast at me without
doing me any harm.

The Author here alludes to those Monuments of the Eastern Nations, which
were Mountains of Stones raised upon the dead Body by Travellers, that
used to cast every one his Stone upon it as they passed by. It is
certain that no Monument is so glorious as one which is thus raised by
the Hands of Envy. For my Part, I admire an Author for such a Temper of
Mind as enables him to bear an undeserved Reproach without Resentment,
more than for all the Wit of any the finest Satirical Reply.

Thus far I thought necessary to explain my self in relation to those who
have animadverted on this Paper, and to shew the Reasons why I have not
thought fit to return them any formal Answer. I must further add, that
the Work would have been of very little use to the Publick, had it been
filled with personal Reflections and Debates; for which Reason I have
never once turned out of my way to observe those little Cavils which
have been made against it by Envy or Ignorance. The common Fry of
Scriblers, who have no other way of being taken Notice of but by
attacking what has gain'd some Reputation in the World, would have
furnished me with Business enough, had they found me dispos'd to enter
the Lists with them.

I shall conclude with the Fable of Boccalini's Traveller, who was so
pester'd with the Noise of Grasshoppers in his Ears, that he alighted
from his Horse in great Wrath to kill them all. This, says the Author,
was troubling himself to no manner of purpose: Had he pursued his
Journey without taking notice of them, the troublesome Insects would
have died of themselves in a very few Weeks, and he would have suffered
nothing from them.


[Footnote 1:

[quenquam, Nulla venenata littera mista joco est.


[Footnote 2: Enchiridion, Cap. 48 and 64.]

[Footnote 3: Letters and Remains. Trans. by Sir. R. Baker (1655-8).]

* * * * *

No. 356. Friday, [1] April 18, 1712. Steele.

Aptissima quaeque dabunt Dii,
Charior est illis homo quam sibi.


It is owing to Pride, and a secret Affectation of a certain
Self-Existence, that the noblest Motive for Action that ever was
proposed to Man, is not acknowledged the Glory and Happiness of their
Being. The Heart is treacherous to it self, and we do not let our
Reflections go deep enough to receive Religion as the most honourable
Incentive to good and worthy Actions. It is our natural Weakness, to
flatter our selves into a Belief, that if we search into our inmost
thoughts, we find our selves wholly disinterested, and divested of any
Views arising from Self-Love and Vain-Glory. But however Spirits of
superficial Greatness may disdain at first sight to do any thing, but
from a noble Impulse in themselves, without any future Regards in this
or another Being; upon stricter Enquiry they will find, to act worthily
and expect to be rewarded only in another World, is as heroick a Pitch
of Virtue as human Nature can arrive at. If the Tenour of our Actions
have any other Motive than the Desire to be pleasing in the Eye of the
Deity, it will necessarily follow that we must be more than Men, if we
are not too much exalted in Prosperity and depressed in Adversity: But
the Christian World has a Leader, the Contemplation of whose Life and
Sufferings must administer Comfort in Affliction, while the Sense of his
Power and Omnipotence must give them Humiliation in Prosperity.

It is owing to the forbidding and unlovely Constraint with which Men of
low Conceptions act when they think they conform themselves to Religion,
as well as to the more odious Conduct of Hypocrites, that the Word
Christian does not carry with it at first View all that is Great,
Worthy, Friendly, Generous, and Heroick. The Man who suspends his Hopes
of the Reward of worthy Actions till after Death, who can bestow unseen,
who can overlook Hatred, do Good to his Slanderer, who can never be
angry at his Friend, never revengeful to his Enemy, is certainly formed
for the Benefit of Society: Yet these are so far from Heroick Virtues,
that they are but the ordinary Duties of a Christian.

When a Man with a steddy Faith looks back on the great Catastrophe of
this Day, with what bleeding Emotions of Heart must he contemplate the
Life and Sufferings of his Deliverer? When his Agonies occur to him, how
will he weep to reflect that he has often forgot them for the Glance of
a Wanton, for the Applause of a vain World, for an Heap of fleeting past
Pleasures, which are at present asking Sorrows?

How pleasing is the Contemplation of the lowly Steps our Almighty Leader
took in conducting us to his heavenly Mansions! In plain and apt
Parable, [2] Similitude, and Allegory, our great Master enforced the
Doctrine of our Salvation; but they of his Acquaintance, instead of
receiving what they could not oppose, were offended at the Presumption
of being wiser than they: [3] They could not raise their little Ideas
above the Consideration of him, in those Circumstances familiar to them,
or conceive that he who appear'd not more Terrible or Pompous, should
have any thing more Exalted than themselves; he in that Place therefore
would not longer ineffectually exert a Power which was incapable of
conquering the Prepossession of their narrow and mean Conceptions.

Multitudes follow'd him, and brought him the Dumb, the Blind, the Sick,
and Maim'd; whom when their Creator had Touch'd, with a second Life they
Saw, Spoke, Leap'd, and Ran. In Affection to him, and admiration of his
Actions, the Crowd could not leave him, but waited near him till they
were almost as faint and helpless as others they brought for Succour. He
had Compassion on them, and by a Miracle supplied their Necessities. [4]
Oh, the Ecstatic Entertainment, when they could behold their Food
immediately increase to the Distributer's Hand, and see their God in
Person Feeding and Refreshing his Creatures! Oh Envied Happiness! But
why do I say Envied? as if our [God [5]] did not still preside over our
temperate Meals, chearful Hours, and innocent Conversations.

But tho the sacred Story is every where full of Miracles not inferior
to this, and tho in the midst of those Acts of Divinity he never gave
the least Hint of a Design to become a Secular Prince, yet had not
hitherto the Apostles themselves any other than Hopes of worldly Power,
Preferment, Riches and Pomp; for Peter, upon an Accident of Ambition
among the Apostles, hearing his Master explain that his Kingdom was not
of this World, was so scandaliz'd [6] that he whom he had so long
follow'd should suffer the Ignominy, Shame, and Death which he foretold,
that he took him aside and said, Be it far from thee, Lord, this shall
not be unto thee: For which he suffered a severe Reprehension from his
Master, as having in his View the Glory of Man rather than that of God.

The great Change of things began to draw near, when the Lord of Nature
thought fit as a Saviour and Deliverer to make his publick Entry into
Jerusalem with more than the Power and Joy, but none of the Ostentation
and Pomp of a Triumph; he came Humble, Meek, and Lowly: with an unfelt
new Ecstasy, Multitudes strewed his Way with Garments and
Olive-Branches, Crying with loud Gladness and Acclamation, Hosannah to
the Son of David, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord! At
this great Kings Accession to his Throne, Men were not Ennobled, but
Sav'd; Crimes were not Remitted, but Sins Forgiven; he did not bestow
Medals, Honours, Favours, but Health, Joy, Sight, Speech. The first
Object the Blind ever saw, was the Author of Sight; while the Lame Ran
before, and the Dumb repeated the Hosannah. Thus attended, he Entered
into his own House, the sacred Temple, and by his Divine Authority
expell'd Traders and Worldlings that profaned it; and thus did he, for a
time, use a great and despotic Power, to let Unbelievers understand,
that twas not Want of, but Superiority to all Worldly Dominion, that
made him not exert it. But is this then the Saviour? is this the
Deliverer? Shall this Obscure Nazarene command Israel, and sit on the
Throne of David? [7] Their proud and disdainful Hearts, which were
petrified [8] with the Love and Pride of this World, were impregnable to
the Reception of so mean a Benefactor, and were now enough exasperated
with Benefits to conspire his Death. Our Lord was sensible of their
Design, and prepared his Disciples for it, by recounting to em now more
distinctly what should befal him; but Peter with an ungrounded
Resolution, and in a Flush of Temper, made a sanguine Protestation, that
tho all Men were offended in him, yet would not he be offended. It was
a great Article of our Saviours Business in the World, to bring us to a
Sense of our Inability, without Gods Assistance, to do any thing great
or good; he therefore told Peter, who thought so well of his Courage and
Fidelity, that they would both fail him, and even he should deny him
Thrice that very Night.

But what Heart can conceive, what Tongue utter the Sequel? Who is that
yonder buffeted, mock'd, and spurn'd? Whom do they drag like a Felon?
Whither do they carry my Lord, my King, my Saviour, and my God? And will
he die to Expiate those very Injuries? See where they have nailed the
Lord and Giver of Life! How his Wounds blacken, his Body writhes, and
Heart heaves with Pity and with Agony! Oh Almighty Sufferer, look down,
look down from thy triumphant Infamy: Lo he inclines his Head to his
sacred Bosom! Hark, he Groans! see, he Expires! The Earth trembles, the
Temple rends, the Rocks burst, the Dead Arise: Which are the Quick?
Which are the Dead? Sure Nature, all Nature is departing with her


[Footnote 1: Good Friday.]

[Footnote 2: From the words In plain and apt parable to the end, this
paper is a reprint of the close of the second chapter of Steele's
Christian Hero, with the variations cited in the next six notes. The C.
H. is quoted from the text appended to the first reprint of the Tatler,
in 1711.]

[Footnote 3:

--wiser than they: Is not this the Carpenters Son, is not his Mother
called Mary, his Brethren, James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? They could

Christian Hero.]

[Footnote 4:

He had compassion on em, commanded em to be seated, and with Seven
Loaves, and a few little Fishes, Fed four thousand Men, besides Women
and Children: Oh, the Ecstatic--

Christian Hero.]

[Footnote 5: [Good God] in first Issue and in Christian Hero.]

[Footnote 6: In the Christian Hero this passage was:

become a Secular Prince, or in a Forcible or Miraculous Manner to
cast off the Roman Yoke they were under, and restore again those
Disgraced Favourites of Heavn, to its former Indulgence, yet had not
hitherto the Apostles themselves (so deep set is our Natural Pride)
any other than hopes of worldly Power, Preferment, Riches and Pomp:
For Peter, who it seems ever since he left his Net and his Skiff,
Dreamt of nothing but being a great Man, was utterly undone to hear
our Saviour explain to em that his Kingdom was not of this World; and
was so scandalized--]

[Footnote 7:

Throne of David? Such were the unpleasant Forms that ran in the
Thoughts of the then Powerful in Jerusalem, upon the most Truly
Glorious Entry that ever Prince made; for there was not one that
followed him who was not in his Interest; their Proud--

Christian Hero.]

[Footnote 8:

Putrified with the--

Christian Hero.]

* * * * *

No. 357. Saturday, April 19, 1712. Addison.

[Quis talia fando
Temperet a lachrymis?

Virg.] [1]

The Tenth Book of Paradise Lost has a greater variety of Persons in it
than any other in the whole Poem. The Author upon the winding up of his
Action introduces all those who had any Concern in it, and shews with
great Beauty the Influence which it had upon each of them. It is like
the last Act of a well-written Tragedy, in which all who had a part in
it are generally drawn up before the Audience, and represented under
those Circumstances in which the Determination of the Action places

I shall therefore consider this Book under four Heads, in relation to
the Celestial, the Infernal, the Human, and the Imaginary Persons, who
have their respective Parts allotted in it.

To begin with the Celestial Persons: The Guardian Angels of Paradise are
described as returning to Heaven upon the Fall of Man, in order to
approve their Vigilance; their Arrival, their Manner of Reception, with
the Sorrow which appear'd in themselves, and in those Spirits who are
said to Rejoice at the Conversion of a Sinner, are very finely laid
together in the following Lines.

Up into Heaven from Paradise in haste
Th' Angelick Guards ascended, mute and sad
For Man; for of his State by this they knew:
Much wondering how the subtle Fiend had stoln
Entrance unseen. Soon as th' unwelcome News
From Earth arriv'd at Heaven-Gate, displeased
All were who heard: dim Sadness did not spare
That time Celestial Visages; yet mixt
With Pity, violated not their Bliss.
About the new-arriv'd, in multitudes
Th' Ethereal People ran, to hear and know
How all befel: They tow'rds the Throne supreme
Accountable made haste to make appear
With righteous Plea, their utmost vigilance,
And easily approved; when the Most High
Eternal Father, from his secret cloud,
Amidst in thunder utter'd thus his voice.

The same Divine Person, who in the foregoing Parts of this Poem
interceded for our first Parents before their Fall, overthrew the Rebel
Angels, and created the World, is now represented as descending to
Paradise, and pronouncing Sentence upon the three Offenders. The Cool of
the Evening, being a Circumstance with which Holy Writ introduces this
great Scene, it is poetically described by our Author, who has also kept
religiously to the Form of Words, in which the three several Sentences
were passed upon Adam, Eve, and the Serpent. He has rather chosen to
neglect the Numerousness of his Verse, than to deviate from those
Speeches which are recorded on this great occasion. The Guilt and
Confusion of our first Parents standing naked before their Judge, is
touched with great Beauty. Upon the Arrival of Sin and Death into the
Works of the Creation, the Almighty is again introduced as speaking to
his Angels that surrounded him.

See! with what heat these Dogs of Hell advance,
To waste and havock yonder World, which I
So fair and good created; &c.

The following Passage is formed upon that glorious Image in Holy Writ,
which compares the Voice of an innumerable Host of Angels, uttering
Hallelujahs, to the Voice of mighty Thunderings, or of many Waters.

He ended, and the Heavenly Audience loud
Sung Hallelujah, as the sound of Seas,
Through Multitude that sung: Just are thy Ways,
Righteous are thy Decrees in all thy Works,
Who can extenuate thee?--

Tho the Author in the whole Course of his Poem, and particularly in the
Book we are now examining, has infinite Allusions to Places of
Scripture, I have only taken notice in my Remarks of such as are of a
Poetical Nature, and which are woven with great Beauty into the Body of
this Fable. Of this kind is that Passage in the present Book, where
describing Sin and Death as marching thro the Works of Nature he adds,

--Behind her Death
Close following pace for pace, not mounted yet
On his pale Horse--

Which alludes to that Passage in Scripture, so wonderfully poetical, and
terrifying to the Imagination. And I look'd, and behold a pale Horse,
and his Name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him: and
Power was given unto them over the fourth Part of the Earth, to kill
with Sword, and with Hunger, and with Sickness, and with the Beasts of
the Earth. [1] Under this first Head of Celestial Persons we must
likewise take notice of the Command which the Angels receiv'd, to
produce the several Changes in Nature, and sully the Beauty of the
Creation. Accordingly they are represented as infecting the Stars and
Planets with malignant Influences, weakning the Light of the Sun,
bringing down the Winter into the milder Regions of Nature, planting
Winds and Storms in several Quarters of the Sky, storing the Clouds with
Thunder, and in short, perverting the Whole Frame of the Universe to the
Condition of its criminal Inhabitants. As this is a noble Incident in
the Poem, the following Lines, in which we see the Angels heaving up the
Earth, and placing it in a different Posture to the Sun from what it had
before the Fall of Man, is conceived with that sublime Imagination which
was so peculiar to this great Author.

Some say he bid his Angels turn ascanse
The Poles of Earth twice ten Degrees and more
From the Suns Axle; they with Labour push'd
Oblique the Centrick Globe--

We are in the second place to consider the Infernal Agents under the
view which Milton has given us of them in this Book. It is observed by
those who would set forth the Greatness of Virgil's Plan, that he
conducts his Reader thro all the Parts of the Earth which were
discover'd in his time. Asia, Africk, and Europe are the several Scenes
of his Fable. The Plan of Milton's Poem is of an infinitely greater
Extent, and fills the Mind with many more astonishing Circumstances.
Satan, having surrounded the Earth seven times, departs at length from
Paradise. We then see him steering his Course among the Constellations,
and after having traversed the whole Creation, pursuing his Voyage thro
the Chaos, and entring into his own Infernal Dominions.

His first appearance in the Assembly of fallen Angels, is work'd up with
Circumstances which give a delightful Surprize to the Reader; but there
is no Incident in the whole Poem which does this more than the
Transformation of the whole Audience, that follows the Account their
Leader gives them of his Expedition. The gradual Change of Satan himself
is describ'd after Ovid's manner, and may vie with any of those
celebrated Transformations which are look'd upon as the most beautiful
Parts in that Poets Works. Milton never fails of improving his own
Hints, and bestowing the last finishing Touches to every Incident which
is admitted into his Poem. The unexpected Hiss which rises in this
Episode, the Dimensions and Bulk of Satan so much superior to those of
the Infernal Spirits who lay under the same Transformation, with the
annual Change which they are supposed to suffer, are Instances of this
kind. The Beauty of the Diction is very remarkable in this whole
Episode, as I have observed in the sixth Paper of these Remarks the
great Judgment with which it was contrived.

The Parts of Adam and Eve, or the human Persons, come next under our
Consideration. Milton's Art is no where more shewn than in his
conducting the Parts of these our first Parents. The Representation he
gives of them, without falsifying the Story, is wonderfully contriv'd to
influence the Reader with Pity and Compassion towards them. Tho Adam
involves the whole Species in Misery, his Crime proceeds from a Weakness
which every Man is inclined to pardon and commiserate, as it seems
rather the Frailty of Human Nature, than of the Person who offended.
Every one is apt to excuse a Fault which he himself might have fallen
into. It was the Excess of Love for Eve, that ruin'd Adam, and his
Posterity. I need not add, that the Author is justify'd in this
Particular by many of the Fathers, and the most orthodox Writers. Milton
has by this means filled a great part of his Poem with that kind of
Writing which the French Criticks call the Tender, and which is in a
particular manner engaging to all sorts of Readers.

Adam and Eve, in the Book we are now considering, are likewise drawn
with such Sentiments as do not only interest the Reader in their
Afflictions, but raise in him the most melting Passions of Humanity and
Commiseration. When Adam sees the several Changes in Nature produced
about him, he appears in a Disorder of Mind suitable to one who had
forfeited both his Innocence and his Happiness; he is filled with
Horrour, Remorse, Despair; in the Anguish of his Heart he expostulates
with his Creator for having given him an unasked Existence.

Did I request thee, Maker, from my Clay
To mould me Man? did I sollicite thee
From Darkness to promote me? or here place
In this delicious Garden? As my Will
Concurr'd not to my Being, twere but right
And equal to reduce me to my Dust,
Desirous to resign, and render back
All I received--

He immediately after recovers from his Presumption, owns his Doom to be
just, and begs that the Death which is threatned him may be inflicted on

--Why delays
His Hand to execute, what his Decree
Fix'd on this day? Why do I overlive?
Why am I mock'd with Death, and lengthened out
To deathless Pain? how gladly would I meet
Mortality my Sentence, and be Earth
Insensible! how glad would lay me down,
As in my Mothers Lap? there should I rest
And sleep secure; his dreadful Voice no more
Would thunder in my Ears: no fear of worse
To me and to my Offspring, would torment me
With cruel Expectation--

This whole Speech is full of the like Emotion, and varied with all those
Sentiments which we may suppose natural to a Mind so broken and
disturb'd. I must not omit that generous Concern which our first Father
shews in it for his Posterity, and which is so proper to affect the

--Hide me from the Face
Of God, whom to behold was then my heighth
Of Happiness! yet well, if here would end
The Misery, I deserved it, and would bear
My own Deservings: but this will not serve;
All that I eat, or drink, or shall beget
Is propagated Curse. O Voice once heard
Delightfully, Increase and Multiply;
Now Death to hear!--

--In me all
Posterity stands curst! Fair Patrimony,
That I must leave ye, Sons! O were I able
To waste it all my self, and leave you none!
So disinherited, how would you bless
Me, now your Curse! Ah, why should all Mankind,
For one Man's Fault, thus guiltless be condemn'd,
If guiltless? But from me what can proceed
But all corrupt--

Who can afterwards behold the Father of Mankind extended upon the Earth,
uttering his midnight Complaints, bewailing his Existence, and wishing
for Death, without sympathizing with him in his Distress?

Thus Adam to himself lamented loud,
Thro the still Night; not now, (as ere Man fell)
Wholesome, and cool, and mild, but with black Air
Accompanied, with Damps and dreadful Gloom;
Which to his evil Conscience represented
All things with double Terror. On the Ground
Outstretched he lay; on the cold Ground! and oft
Curs'd his Creation; Death as oft accusd
Of tardy Execution--

The Part of Eve in this Book is no less passionate, and apt to sway the
Reader in her Favour. She is represented with great Tenderness as
approaching Adam, but is spurn d from him with a Spirit of Upbraiding
and Indignation, conformable to the Nature of Man, whose Passions had
now gained the Dominion over him. The following Passage, wherein she is
described as renewing her Addresses to him, with the whole Speech that
follows it, have something in them exquisitely moving and pathetick.

He added not, and from her turned: But Eve
Not so repulst, with Tears that ceas'd not flowing,
And Tresses all disorderd, at his feet
Fell humble; and embracing them, besought
His Peace, and thus proceeding in her Plaint.
Forsake me not thus, Adam! Witness Heav'n
What Love sincere, and Reverence in my Heart
I bear thee, and unweeting have offended,
Unhappily deceived! Thy Suppliant
I beg, and clasp thy Knees; bereave me not
(Whereon I live!) thy gentle Looks, thy Aid,
Thy Counsel, in this uttermost Distress,
My only Strength, and Stay! Forlorn of thee,
Whither shall I betake me, where subsist?
While yet we live, (scarce one short Hour perhaps)
Between us two let there be Peace, &c.

Adams Reconcilement to her is workd up in the same Spirit of
Tenderness. Eve afterwards proposes to her Husband, in the Blindness of
her Despair, that to prevent their Guilt from descending upon Posterity
they should resolve to live Childless; or, if that could not be done,
they should seek their own Deaths by violent Methods. As those
Sentiments naturally engage the Reader to regard the Mother of Mankind
with more than ordinary Commiseration, they likewise contain a very fine
Moral. The Resolution of dying to end our Miseries, does not shew such a
degree of Magnanimity as a Resolution to bear them, and submit to the
Dispensations of Providence. Our Author has therefore, with great
Delicacy, represented Eve as entertaining this Thought, and Adam as
disapproving it.

We are, in the last place, to consider the Imaginary Persons, or [Death
and Sin [3]] who act a large Part in this Book. Such beautiful extended
Allegories are certainly some of the finest Compositions of Genius: but,
as, I have before observed, are not agreeable to the Nature of an
Heroick Poem. This of Sin and Death is very exquisite in its Kind, if
not considered as a Part of such a Work. The Truths contained in it are
so clear and open, that I shall not lose time in explaining them; but
shall only observe, that a Reader who knows the Strength of the English
Tongue, will be amazed to think how the Poet could find such apt Words
and Phrases to describe the Action[s] of those two imaginary Persons,
and particularly in that Part where Death is exhibited as forming a
Bridge over the Chaos; a Work suitable to the Genius of Milton.

Since the Subject I am upon, gives me an Opportunity of speaking more at
large of such Shadowy and Imaginary Persons as may be introduced into
Heroick Poems, I shall beg leave to explain my self in a Matter which is
curious in its Kind, and which none of the Criticks have treated of. It
is certain Homer and Virgil are full of imaginary Persons, who are very
beautiful in Poetry when they are just shewn, without being engaged in
any Series of Action. Homer indeed represents Sleep as a Person, and
ascribes a short Part to him in his Iliad, [4] but we must consider that
tho we now regard such a Person as entirely shadowy and unsubstantial,
the Heathens made Statues of him, placed him in their Temples, and
looked upon him as a real Deity. When Homer makes use of other such
Allegorical Persons, it is only in short Expressions, which convey an
ordinary Thought to the Mind in the most pleasing manner, and may rather
be looked upon as Poetical Phrases than Allegorical Descriptions.
Instead of telling us, that Men naturally fly when they are terrified,
he introduces the Persons of Flight and Fear, who, he tells us, are
inseparable Companions. Instead of saying that the time was come when
Apollo ought to have received his Recompence, he tells us, that the
Hours brought him his Reward. Instead of describing the Effects which
Minervas AEgis produced in Battel, he tells us, that the Brims of it
were encompassed by Terror, Rout, Discord, Fury, Pursuit, Massacre, and
Death. In the same Figure of speaking, he represents Victory as
following Diomedes; Discord as the Mother of Funerals and Mourning;
Venus as dressed by the Graces; Bellona as wearing Terror and


Back to Full Books