The Spectator, Volume 2.
Addison and Steele
Part 17 out of 19
Basket under my Arm, a Jew of considerable Note, as I am informed,
takes half a Dozen Oranges of me, and at the same time slides a Guinea
into my Hand; I made him a Curtsy, and went my Way: He follow'd me,
and finding I was going about my Business, he came up with me, and
told me plainly, that he gave me the Guinea with no other Intent but
to purchase my Person for an Hour. Did you so, Sir? says I: You gave
it me then to make me be wicked, I'll keep it to make me honest.
However, not to be in the least ungrateful, I promise you Ill lay it
out in a couple of Rings, and wear them for your Sake. I am so just,
Sir, besides, as to give every Body that asks how I came by my Rings
this Account of my Benefactor; but to save me the Trouble of telling
my Tale over and over again, I humbly beg the favour of you so to tell
it once for all, and you will extremely oblige,
Your humble Servant,
May 12, 1712.
St. Bride's, May 15, 1712.
'Tis a great deal of Pleasure to me, and I dare say will be no less
Satisfaction to you, that I have an Opportunity of informing you, that
the Gentlemen and others of the Parish of St. Bride's, have raised a
Charity-School of fifty Girls, as before of fifty Boys. You were so
kind to recommend the Boys to the charitable World, and the other Sex
hope you will do them the same Favour in Friday's Spectator for Sunday
next, when they are to appear with their humble Airs at the Parish
Church of St. Bride's. Sir, the Mention of this may possibly be
serviceable to the Children; and sure no one will omit a good Action
attended with no Expence.
I am, SIR, Your very humble Servant,
* * * * *
No. 381. Saturday, May 17, 1712. Addison.
'AEquam memento rebus in arduis,
Servare mentem, non secus in bonis
Ab insolenti temperatam
Laetitia, moriture Deli.'
I have always preferred Chearfulness to Mirth. The latter, I consider as
an Act, the former as an Habit of the Mind. Mirth is short and
transient. Chearfulness fixed and permanent. Those are often raised into
the greatest Transports of Mirth, who are subject to the greatest
Depressions of Melancholy: On the contrary, Chearfulness, tho' it does
not give the Mind such an exquisite Gladness, prevents us from falling
into any Depths of Sorrow. Mirth is like a Flash of Lightning, that
breaks thro a Gloom of Clouds, and glitters for a Moment; Chearfulness
keeps up a kind of Day-light in the Mind, and fills it with a steady and
Men of austere Principles look upon Mirth as too wanton and dissolute
for a State of Probation, and as filled with a certain Triumph and
Insolence of Heart, that is inconsistent with a Life which is every
Moment obnoxious to the greatest Dangers. Writers of this Complexion
have observed, that the sacred Person who was the great Pattern of
Perfection was never seen to Laugh.
Chearfulness of Mind is not liable to any of these Exceptions; it is of
a serious and composed Nature, it does not throw the Mind into a
Condition improper for the present State of Humanity, and is very
conspicuous in the Characters of those who are looked upon as the
greatest Philosophers among the Heathens, as well as among those who
have been deservedly esteemed as Saints and Holy Men among Christians.
If we consider Chearfulness in three Lights, with regard to our selves,
to those we converse with, and to the great Author of our Being, it will
not a little recommend it self on each of these Accounts. The Man who is
possessed of this excellent Frame of Mind, is not only easy in his
Thoughts, but a perfect Master of all the Powers and Faculties of his
Soul: His Imagination is always clear, and his Judgment undisturbed: His
Temper is even and unruffled, whether in Action or in Solitude. He comes
with a Relish to all those Goods which Nature has provided for him,
tastes all the Pleasures of the Creation which are poured about him, and
does not feel the full Weight of those accidental Evils which may befal
If we consider him in relation to the Persons whom he converses with, it
naturally produces Love and Good-will towards him. A chearful Mind is
not only disposed to be affable and obliging, but raises the same good
Humour in those who come within its Influence. A Man finds himself
pleased, he does not know why, with the Chearfulness of his Companion:
It is like a sudden Sun-shine that awakens a secret Delight in the Mind,
without her attending to it. The Heart rejoices of its own accord, and
naturally flows out into Friendship and Benevolence towards the Person
who has so kindly an Effect upon it.
When I consider this chearful State of Mind in its third Relation, I
cannot but look upon it as a constant habitual Gratitude to the great
Author of Nature. An inward Chearfulness is an implicit Praise and
Thanksgiving to Providence under all its Dispensations. It is a kind of
Acquiescence in the State wherein we are placed, and a secret
Approbation of the Divine Will in his Conduct towards Man.
There are but two things which, in my Opinion, can reasonably deprive us
of this Chearfulness of Heart. The first of these is the Sense of Guilt.
A Man who lives in a State of Vice and Impenitence, can have no Title to
that Evenness and Tranquillity of Mind which is the Health of the Soul,
and the natural Effect of Virtue and Innocence. Chearfulness in an ill
Man deserves a harder Name than Language can furnish us with, and is
many degrees beyond what we commonly call Folly or Madness.
Atheism, by which I mean a Disbelief of a Supreme Being, and
consequently of a future State, under whatsoever Titles it shelters it
self, may likewise very reasonably deprive a Man of this Chearfulness of
Temper. There is something so particularly gloomy and offensive to human
Nature in the Prospect of Non-Existence, that I cannot but wonder, with
many excellent Writers, how it is possible for a Man to out-live the
Expectation of it. For my own Part, I think the Being of a God is so
little to be doubted, that it is almost the only Truth we are sure of,
and such a Truth as we meet with in every Object, in every Occurrence,
and in every Thought. If we look into the Characters of this Tribe of
Infidels, we generally find they are made up of Pride, Spleen, and
Cavil: It is indeed no wonder, that Men, who are uneasy to themselves,
should be so to the rest of the World; and how is it possible for a Man
to be otherwise than uneasy in himself, who is in danger every Moment of
losing his entire Existence, and dropping into Nothing?
The vicious Man and Atheist have therefore no Pretence to Chearfulness,
and would act very unreasonably, should they endeavour after it. It is
impossible for any one to live in Good-Humour, and enjoy his present
Existence, who is apprehensive either of Torment or of Annihilation; of
being miserable, or of not being at all.
After having mention'd these two great Principles, which are destructive
of Chearfulness in their own Nature, as well as in right Reason, I
cannot think of any other that ought to banish this happy Temper from a
Virtuous Mind. Pain and Sickness, Shame and Reproach, Poverty and old
Age, nay Death it self, considering the Shortness of their Duration, and
the Advantage we may reap from them, do not deserve the Name of Evils. A
good Mind may bear up under them with Fortitude, with Indolence and with
Chearfulness of Heart. The tossing of a Tempest does not discompose him,
which he is sure will bring him to a Joyful Harbour.
A Man, who uses his best endeavours to live according to the Dictates of
Virtue and right Reason, has two perpetual Sources of Chearfulness; in
the Consideration of his own Nature, and of that Being on whom he has a
Dependance. If he looks into himself, he cannot but rejoice in that
Existence, which is so lately bestowed upon him, and which, after
Millions of Ages, will be still new, and still in its Beginning. How
many Self-Congratulations naturally arise in the Mind, when it reflects
on this its Entrance into Eternity, when it takes a View of those
improveable Faculties, which in a few Years, and even at its first
setting out, have made so considerable a Progress, and which will be
still receiving an Increase of Perfection, and consequently an Increase
of Happiness? The Consciousness of such a Being spreads a perpetual
Diffusion of Joy through the Soul of a virtuous Man, and makes him look
upon himself every Moment as more happy than he knows how to conceive.
The second Source of Chearfulness to a good Mind, is its Consideration
of that Being on whom we have our Dependance, and in whom, though we
behold him as yet but in the first faint Discoveries of his Perfections,
we see every thing that we can imagine as great, glorious, or amiable.
We find our selves every where upheld by his Goodness, and surrounded
with an Immensity of Love and Mercy. In short, we depend upon a Being,
whose Power qualifies him to make us happy by an Infinity of Means,
whose Goodness and Truth engage him to make those happy who desire it of
him, and whose Unchangeableness will secure us in this Happiness to all
Such Considerations, which every one should perpetually cherish in his
Thoughts, will banish, from us all that secret Heaviness of Heart which
unthinking Men are subject to when they lie under no real Affliction,
all that Anguish which we may feel from any Evil that actually oppresses
us, to which I may likewise add those little Cracklings of Mirth and
Folly that are apter to betray Virtue than support it; and establish in
us such an even and chearful Temper, as makes us pleasing to our selves,
to those with whom we converse, and to him whom we were made to please.
* * * * *
No. 382. Monday, May 19, 1712. Steele.
'Habes confitentem reum.'
I ought not to have neglected a Request of one of my Correspondents so
long as I have; but I dare say I have given him time to add Practice to
Profession. He sent me some time ago a Bottle or two of excellent Wine
to drink the Health of a Gentleman, who had by the Penny-Post advertised
him of an egregious Error in his Conduct. My Correspondent received the
Obligation from an unknown Hand with the Candour which is natural to an
ingenuous Mind; and promises a contrary Behaviour in that Point for the
future: He will offend his Monitor with no more Errors of that kind, but
thanks him for his Benevolence. This frank Carriage makes me reflect
upon the amiable Atonement a Man makes in an ingenuous Acknowledgment of
a Fault: All such Miscarriages as flow from Inadvertency are more than
repaid by it; for Reason, though not concerned in the Injury, employs
all its Force in the Atonement. He that says, he did not design to
disoblige you in such an Action, does as much as if he should tell you,
that tho' the Circumstance which displeased was never in his Thoughts,
he has that Respect for you, that he is unsatisfied till it is wholly
out of yours. It must be confessed, that when an Acknowledgment of
Offence is made out of Poorness of Spirit, and not Conviction of Heart,
the Circumstance is quite different: But in the Case of my
Correspondent, where both the Notice is taken and the Return made in
private, the Affair begins and ends with the highest Grace on each Side.
To make the Acknowledgment of a Fault in the highest manner graceful, it
is lucky when the Circumstances of the Offender place him above any ill
Consequences from the Resentment of the Person offended. A Dauphin of
France, upon a Review of the Army, and a Command of the King to alter
the Posture of it by a March of one of the Wings, gave an improper Order
to an Officer at the Head of a Brigade, who told his Highness, he
presumed he had not received the last Orders, which were to move a
contrary Way. The Prince, instead of taking the Admonition which was
delivered in a manner that accounted for his Error with Safety to his
Understanding, shaked a Cane at the Officer; and with the return of
opprobrious Language, persisted in his own Orders. The whole Matter came
necessarily before the King, who commanded his Son, on foot, to lay his
right Hand on the Gentleman's Stirrup as he sat on Horseback in sight of
the whole Army, and ask his Pardon. When the Prince touched his Stirrup,
and was going to speak, the Officer with an incredible Agility, threw
himself on the Earth, and kissed his Feet.
The Body is very little concerned in the Pleasures or Sufferings of
Souls truly great; and the Reparation, when an Honour was designed this
Soldier, appeared as much too great to be borne by his Gratitude, as the
Injury was intolerable to his Resentment.
When we turn our Thoughts from these extraordinary Occurrences in common
Life, we see an ingenuous kind of Behaviour not only make up for Faults
committed, but in a manner expiate them in the very Commission. Thus
many things wherein a Man has pressed too far, he implicitly excuses, by
owning, This is a Trespass; youll pardon my Confidence; I am sensible I
have no Pretension to this Favour, and the like. But commend me to those
gay Fellows about Town who are directly impudent, and make up for it no
otherwise than by calling themselves such, and exulting in it. But this
sort of Carriage, which prompts a Man against Rules to urge what he has
a Mind to, is pardonable only when you sue for another. When you are
confident in preference of your self to others of equal Merit, every Man
that loves Virtue and Modesty ought, in Defence of those Qualities, to
oppose you: But, without considering the Morality of the thing, let us
at this time behold only the natural Consequence of Candour when we
speak of ourselves.
The SPECTATOR writes often in an Elegant, often in an Argumentative, and
often in a Sublime Style, with equal Success; but how would it hurt the
reputed Author of that Paper to own, that of the most beautiful Pieces
under his Title, he is barely the Publisher? There is nothing but what a
Man really performs, can be an Honour to him; what he takes more than he
ought in the Eye of the World, he loses in the Conviction of his own
Heart; and a Man must lose his Consciousness, that is, his very Self,
before he can rejoice in any Falshood without inward Mortification.
Who has not seen a very Criminal at the Bar, when his Counsel and
Friends have done all that they could for him in vain, prevail upon the
whole Assembly to pity him, and his Judge to recommend his Case to the
Mercy of the Throne, without offering any thing new in his Defence, but
that he, whom before we wished convicted, became so out of his own
Mouth, and took upon himself all the Shame and Sorrow we were just
before preparing for him? The great Opposition to this kind of Candour,
arises from the unjust Idea People ordinarily have of what we call an
high Spirit. It is far from Greatness of Spirit to persist in the Wrong
in any thing, nor is it a Diminution of Greatness of Spirit to have been
in the Wrong: Perfection is not the Attribute of Man, therefore he is
not degraded by the Acknowledgment of an Imperfection: But it is the
Work of little Minds to imitate the Fortitude of great Spirits on worthy
Occasions, by Obstinacy in the Wrong. This Obstinacy prevails so far
upon them, that they make it extend to the Defence of Faults in their
very Servants. It would swell this Paper to too great a length, should I
insert all the Quarrels and Debates which are now on foot in this Town;
where one Party, and in some Cases both, is sensible of being on the
faulty Side, and have not Spirit enough to Acknowledge it. Among the
Ladies the Case is very common, for there are very few of them who know
that it is to maintain a true and high Spirit, to throw away from it all
which it self disapproves, and to scorn so pitiful a Shame, as that
which disables the Heart from acquiring a Liberality of Affections and
Sentiments. The candid Mind, by acknowledging and discarding its Faults,
has Reason and Truth for the Foundation of all its Passions and Desires,
and consequently is happy and simple; the disingenuous Spirit, by
Indulgence of one unacknowledged Error, is intangled with an After-Life
of Guilt, Sorrow, and Perplexity.
* * * * *
No. 383. Tuesday, May 20, 1712. Addison.
'Criminibus debent Hortos--'
As I was sitting in my Chamber, and thinking on a Subject for my next
Spectator, I heard two or three irregular Bounces at my Landlady's Door,
and upon the opening of it, a loud chearful Voice enquiring whether the
Philosopher was at Home. The Child who went to the Door answered very
Innocently, that he did not Lodge there. I immediately recollected that
it was my good Friend Sir ROGER'S Voice; and that I had promised to go
with him on the Water to Spring-Garden, in case it proved a good
Evening. The Knight put me in mind of my Promise from the Bottom of the
Stair-Case, but told me that if I was Speculating he would stay below
till I had done. Upon my coming down, I found all the Children of the
Family got about my old Friend, and my Landlady herself, who is a
notable prating Gossip, engaged in a Conference with him; being mightily
pleased with his stroaking her little Boy upon the Head, and bidding him
be a good Child and mind his Book.
We were no sooner come to the Temple Stairs, but we were surrounded with
a Crowd of Watermen, offering us their respective Services. Sir ROGER,
after having looked about him very attentively, spied one with a
Wooden-Leg, and immediately gave him Orders to get his Boat ready. As we
were walking towards it, You must know, says Sir ROGER, I never make use
of any body to row me, that has not either lost a Leg or an Arm. I would
rather bate him a few Strokes of his Oar, than not employ an honest Man
that has been wounded in the Queen's Service. If I was a Lord or a
Bishop, and kept a Barge, I would not put a Fellow in my Livery that had
not a Wooden-Leg.
My old Friend, after having seated himself, and trimmed the Boat with
his Coachman, who, being a very sober Man, always serves for Ballast on
these Occasions, we made the best of our way for Fox-Hall. Sir ROGER
obliged the Waterman to give us the History of his Right Leg, and
hearing that he had left it [at La Hogue ] with many Particulars
which passed in that glorious Action, the Knight in the Triumph of his
Heart made several Reflections on the Greatness of the British Nation;
as, that one Englishman could beat three Frenchmen; that we could never
be in danger of Popery so long as we took care of our Fleet; that the
Thames was the noblest River in Europe; that London Bridge was a greater
piece of Work, than any of the seven Wonders of the World; with many
other honest Prejudices which naturally cleave to the Heart of a true
After some short Pause, the old Knight turning about his Head twice or
thrice, to take a Survey of this great Metropolis, bid me observe how
thick the City was set with Churches, and that there was scarce a single
Steeple on this side Temple-Bar. A most Heathenish Sight! says Sir
ROGER: There is no Religion at this End of the Town. The fifty new
Churches will very much mend the Prospect; but Church-work is slow,
Church-work is slow!
I do not remember I have any where mentioned, in Sir ROGER'S Character,
his Custom of saluting every Body that passes by him with a Good-morrow
or a Good-night. This the old Man does out of the overflowings of his
Humanity, though at the same time it renders him so popular among all
his Country Neighbours, that it is thought to have gone a good way in
making him once or twice Knight of the Shire. He cannot forbear this
Exercise of Benevolence even in Town, when he meets with any one in his
Morning or Evening Walk. It broke from him to several Boats that passed
by us upon the Water; but to the Knight's great Surprize, as he gave the
Good-night to two or three young Fellows a little before our Landing,
one of them, instead of returning the Civility, asked us what queer old
Put we had in the Boat, and whether he was not ashamed to go a Wenching
at his Years? with a great deal of the like Thames-Ribaldry. Sir ROGER
seemd a little shocked at first, but at length assuming a Face of
Magistracy, told us, That if he were a Middlesex Justice, he would make
such Vagrants know that Her Majesty's Subjects were no more to be abused
by Water than by Land.
We were now arrived at Spring-Garden, which is exquisitely pleasant at
this time of Year. When I considered the Fragrancy of the Walks and
Bowers, with the Choirs of Birds that sung upon the Trees, and the loose
Tribe of People that walked under their Shades, I could not but look
upon the Place as a kind of Mahometan Paradise. Sir ROGER told me it put
him in mind of a little Coppice by his House in the Country, which his
Chaplain used to call an Aviary of Nightingales. You must understand,
says the Knight, there is nothing in the World that pleases a Man in
Love so much as your Nightingale. Ah, Mr. SPECTATOR! the many Moon-light
Nights that I have walked by my self, and thought on the Widow by the
Musek of the Nightingales! He here fetched a deep Sigh, and was falling
into a Fit of musing, when a Masque, who came behind him, gave him a
gentle Tap upon the Shoulder, and asked him if he would drink a Bottle
of Mead with her? But the Knight, being startled at so unexpected a
Familiarity, and displeased to be interrupted in his Thoughts of the
Widow, told her, She was a wanton Baggage, and bid her go about her
We concluded our Walk with a Glass of Burton-Ale, and a Slice of
Hung-Beef. When we had done eating our selves, the Knight called a
Waiter to him, and bid him carry the remainder to the Waterman that had
but one Leg. I perceived the Fellow stared upon him at the oddness of
the Message, and was going to be saucy; upon which I ratified the
Knight's Commands with a Peremptory Look.
As we were going out of the Garden, my old Friend, thinking himself
obliged, as a Member of the Quorum, to animadvert upon the Morals of the
Place, told the Mistress of the House, who sat at the Bar, That he
should be a better Customer to her Garden, if there were more
Nightingales, and fewer Strumpets.
[Footnote 1: [in Bantry Bay] In Bantry Bay, on May-day, 1689, a French
Fleet, bringing succour to the adherents of James II., attacked the
English, under Admiral Herbert, and obliged them to retire. The change
of name in the text was for one with a more flattering association. In
the Battle of La Hogue, May 19, 1692, the English burnt 13 of the
enemy's ships, destroyed 8, dispersed the rest, and prevented a
threatened descent of the French upon England.]
* * * * *
No. 384. Wednesday, May 21, 1712. Steele.
Hague, May 24. N. S.
The same Republican Hands, who have so often since the Chevalier de
St. George's Recovery killed him in our publick Prints, have now
reduced the young Dauphin of France to that desperate Condition of
Weakness, and Death it self, that it is hard to conjecture what Method
they will take to bring him to Life again. Mean time we are assured by
a very good Hand from Paris, That on the 2Oth Instant, this young
Prince was as well as ever he was known to be since the Day of his
Birth. As for the other, they are now sending his Ghost, we suppose,
(for they never had the Modesty to contradict their Assertions of his
Death) to Commerci in Lorrain, attended only by four Gentlemen, and a
few Domesticks of little Consideration. The Baron de Bothmar having
delivered in his Credentials to qualify him as an Ambassador to this
State, (an Office to which his greatest Enemies will acknowledge him
to be equal) is gone to Utrecht, whence he will proceed to Hanover,
but not stay long at that Court, for fear the Peace should be made
during his lamented Absence.
Post-Boy, May 20.
I should be thought not able to read, should I overlook some
excellent Pieces lately come out. My Lord Bishop of St.
Asaph has just now published some Sermons, the Preface to which
seems to me to determine a great Point. --He has, like a good
Man and a good Christian, in opposition to all the Flattery and
base Submission of false Friends to Princes, asserted, That
Christianity left us where it found us as to our Civil Rights.
The present Entertainment shall consist only of a Sentence out of
the Post-Boy, and the said Preface of the Lord of St. Asaph. I
should think it a little odd if the Author of the Post-Boy should
with Impunity call Men Republicans for a Gladness on Report of
the Death of the Pretender; and treat Baron Bothmar, the
Minister of Hanover, in such a manner as you see in my Motto.
I must own, I think every Man in England concerned to support
the Succession of that Family.
The publishing a few Sermons, whilst I live, the latest of which was
preached about eight Years since, and the first above seventeen, will
make it very natural for People to enquire into the Occasion of doing
so; And to such I do very willingly assign these following Reasons.
First, From the Observations I have been able to make, for these many
Years last past, upon our publick Affairs, and from the natural
Tendency of several Principles and Practices, that have of late been
studiously revived, and from what has followed thereupon, I could not
help both fearing and presaging, that these Nations would some time or
other, if ever we should have an enterprising Prince upon the Throne,
of more Ambition than Virtue, Justice, and true Honour, fall into the
way of all other Nations, and lose their Liberty.
Nor could I help foreseeing to whose Charge a great deal of this
dreadful Mischief, whenever it should happen, would be laid, whether
justly or unjustly, was not my Business to determine; but I resolved
for my own particular part, to deliver my self, as well as I could,
from the Reproaches and the Curses of Posterity, by publickly
declaring to all the World, That although in the constant Course of my
Ministry, I have never failed, on proper Occasions, to recommend,
urge, and insist upon the loving, honouring, and the reverencing the
Prince's Person, and holding it, according to the Laws, inviolable and
sacred; and paying all Obedience and Submission to the Laws, though
never so hard and inconvenient to private People: Yet did I never
think my self at liberty, or authorized to tell the People, that
either Christ, St. Peter, or St. Paul, or any other Holy Writer, had
by any Doctrine delivered by them, subverted the Laws and
Constitutions of the Country in which they lived, or put them in a
worse Condition, with respect to their Civil Liberties, than they
would have been had they not been Christians. I ever thought it a most
impious Blasphemy against that holy Religion, to father any thing upon
it that might encourage Tyranny, Oppression, or Injustice in a Prince,
or that easily tended to make a free and happy People Slaves and
Miserable. No: People may make themselves as wretched as they will,
but let not God be called into that wicked Party. When Force and
Violence, and hard Necessity have brought the Yoak of Servitude upon a
People's Neck, Religion will supply them with a patient and submissive
Spirit under it till they can innocently shake it off; but certainly
Religion never puts it on. This always was, and this at present is, my
Judgment of these Matters: And I would be transmitted to Posterity
(for the little Share of Time such Names as mine can live) under the
Character of one who lov'd his Country, and would be thought a good
Englishman, as well as a good Clergyman.
This Character I thought would be transmitted by the following
Sermons, which were made for, and preached in a private Audience, when
I could think of nothing else but doing my Duty on the Occasions that
were then offered by God's Providence, without any manner of design of
making them publick: And for that reason I give them now as they were
then delivered; by which I hope to satisfie those People who have
objected a Change of Principles to me, as if I were not now the same
Man I formerly was. I never had but one Opinion of these Matters; and
that I think is so reasonable and well-grounded, that I believe I
never can have any other. Another Reason of my publishing these
Sermons at this time, is, that I have a mind to do my self some
Honour, by doing what Honour I could to the Memory of two most
excellent Princes, and who have very highly deserved at the hands of
all the People of these Dominions, who have any true Value for the
Protestant Religion, and the Constitution of the English Government,
of which they were the great Deliverers and Defenders. I have lived to
see their illustrious Names very rudely handled, and the great
Benefits they did this Nation treated slightly and contemptuously. I
have lived to see our Deliverance from Arbitrary Power and Popery,
traduced and vilified by some who formerly thought it was their
greatest Merit, and made it part of their Boast and Glory, to have had
a little hand and share in bringing it about; and others who, without
it, must have liv'd in Exile, Poverty, and Misery, meanly disclaiming
it, and using ill the glorious Instruments thereof. Who could expect
such a Requital of such Merit? I have, I own it, an Ambition of
exempting my self from the Number of unthankful People: And as I loved
and honoured those great Princes living, and lamented over them when
dead, so I would gladly raise them up a Monument of Praise as lasting
as any thing of mine can be; and I chuse to do it at this time, when
it is so unfashionable a thing to speak honourably of them.
The Sermon that was preached upon the Duke of Gloucester's Death was
printed quickly after, and is now, because the Subject was so
suitable, join'd to the others. The Loss of that most promising and
hopeful Prince was, at that time, I saw, unspeakably great; and many
Accidents since have convinced us, that it could not have been
over-valued. That precious Life, had it pleased God to have prolonged
it the usual Space, had saved us many Fears and Jealousies, and dark
Distrusts, and prevented many Alarms, that have long kept us, and will
keep us still, waking and uneasy. Nothing remained to comfort and
support us under this heavy Stroke, but the Necessity it brought the
King and Nation under, of settling the Succession in the House of
HANNOVER, and giving it an Hereditary Right, by Act of Parliament, as
long as it continues Protestant. So much good did God, in his merciful
Providence, produce from a Misfortune, which we could never otherwise
have sufficiently deplored.
The fourth Sermon was preached upon the Queen's Accession to the
Throne, and the first Year in which that Day was solemnly observed,
(for, by some Accident or other, it had been overlook'd the Year
before;) and every one will see, without the date of it, that it was
preached very early in this Reign, since I was able only to promise
and presage its future Glories and Successes, from the good
Appearances of things, and the happy Turn our Affairs began to take;
and could not then count up the Victories and Triumphs that, for seven
Years after, made it, in the Prophet's Language, a Name and a Praise
among all the People of the Earth. Never did seven such Years together
pass over the head of any English Monarch, nor cover it with so much
Honour: The Crown and Sceptre seemed to be the Queen's least
Ornaments; those, other Princes wore in common with her, and her great
personal Virtues were the same before and since; but such was the Fame
of her Administration of Affairs at home, such was the Reputation of
her Wisdom and Felicity in chusing Ministers, and such was then
esteemed their Faithfulness and Zeal, their Diligence and great
Abilities in executing her Commands; to such a height of military
Glory did her great General and her Armies carry the British Name
abroad; such was the Harmony and Concord betwixt her and her Allies,
and such was the Blessing of God upon all her Counsels and
Undertakings, that I am as sure as History can make me, no Prince of
ours was ever yet so prosperous and successful, so beloved, esteemed,
and honoured by their Subjects and their Friends, nor near so
formidable to their Enemies. We were, as all the World imagined then,
just ent'ring on the ways that promised to lead to such a Peace, as
would have answered all the Prayers of our religious Queen, the Care
and Vigilance of a most able Ministry, the Payments of a willing and
obedient People, as well as all the glorious Toils and Hazards of the
Soldiery; when God, for our Sins, permitted the Spirit of Discord to
go forth, and, by troubling sore the Camp, the City, and the Country,
(and oh that it had altogether spared the Places sacred to his
Worship!) to spoil, for a time, this beautiful and pleasing Prospect,
and give us, in its stead, I know not what--Our Enemies will tell
the rest with Pleasure. It will become me better to pray to God to
restore us to the Power of obtaining such a Peace, as will be to his
Glory, the Safety, Honour, and the Welfare of the Queen and her
Dominions, and the general Satisfaction of all her High and Mighty
May 2, 1712.
[Footnote 1: Dr. William Fleetwood, Bishop of St. Asaph, had published
1. On the death of Queen Mary, 1694.
2. On the death of the Duke of Gloucester, 1700.
3. On the death of King William, 1701.
4. On the Queen's Accession to the Throne, in 1702, with a Preface.
8vo. London, 1712.
The Preface which, says Dr. Johnson, overflowed with Whiggish
principles, was ordered to be burnt by the House of Commons. This moved
Steele to diffuse it by inserting it in the Spectator, which, as its
author said in a letter to Burnet, conveyed about fourteen thousand
copies of the condemned preface into people's hands that would otherwise
have never seen or heard of it. Moreover, to ensure its delivery into
the Queen's hands the publication of this number is said to have been
deferred till twelve oclock, her Majesty's breakfast hour, that no time
might be allowed for a decision that it should not be laid, as usual,
upon her breakfast table.
Fleetwood was born in 1656; had been chaplain to King William, and in
1706 had been appointed to the Bishopric of St. Asaph without any
solicitation. He was translated to Ely in 1714, and died in 1723.]
* * * * *
No. 385. Thursday, May 22, 1712. Budgell.
'Thesea pectora juncta fide.'
I intend the Paper for this Day as a loose Essay upon Friendship, in
which I shall throw my Observations together without any set Form, that
I may avoid repeating what has been often said on this Subject.
Friendship is a strong and habitual Inclination in two Persons to
promote the Good and Happiness of one another. Tho' the Pleasures and
Advantages of Friendship have been largely celebrated by the best moral
Writers, and are considered by all as great Ingredients of human
Happiness, we very rarely meet with the Practice of this Virtue in the
Every Man is ready to give in a long Catalogue of those Virtues and good
Qualities he expects to find in the Person of a Friend, but very few of
us are careful to cultivate them in our selves.
Love and Esteem are the first Principles of Friendship, which always is
imperfect where either of these two is wanting.
As, on the one hand, we are soon ashamed of loving a Man whom we cannot
esteem: so, on the other, tho we are truly sensible of a Man's
Abilities, we can never raise ourselves to the Warmths of Friendship,
without an affectionate Good-will towards his Person.
Friendship immediately banishes Envy under all its Disguises. A Man who
can once doubt whether he should rejoice in his Friends being happier
than himself, may depend upon it that he is an utter Stranger to this
There is something in Friendship so very great and noble, that in those
fictitious Stories which are invented to the Honour of any particular
Person, the Authors have thought it as necessary to make their Hero a
Friend as a Lover. Achilles has his Patroclus, and AEneas his Achates. In
the first of these Instances we may observe, for the Reputation of the
Subject I am treating of, that Greece was almost ruin'd by the Hero's
Love, but was preserved by his Friendship.
The Character of Achates suggests to us an Observation we may often make
on the Intimacies of great Men, who frequently chuse their Companions
rather for the Qualities of the Heart than those of the Head, and prefer
Fidelity in an easy inoffensive complying Temper to those Endowments
which make a much greater Figure among Mankind. I do not remember that
Achates, who is represented as the first Favourite, either gives his
Advice, or strikes a Blow, thro' the whole AEneid.
A Friendship which makes the least noise, is very often most useful: for
which reason I should prefer a prudent Friend to a zealous one.
Atticus, one of the best Men of ancient Rome, was a very remarkable
Instance of what I am here speaking. This extraordinary Person, amidst
the Civil Wars of his Country, when he saw the Designs of all Parties
equally tended to the Subversion of Liberty, by constantly preserving
the Esteem and Affection of both the Competitors, found means to serve
his Friends on either side: and while he sent Money to young Marius,
whose Father was declared an Enemy of the Commonwealth, he was himself
one of Sylla's chief Favourites, and always near that General.
During the War between Caesar and Pompey, he still maintained the same
Conduct. After the Death of Caesar he sent Money to Brutus in his
Troubles, and did a thousand good Offices to Antony's Wife and Friends
when that Party seemed ruined. Lastly, even in that bloody War between
Antony and Augustus, Atticus still kept his place in both their
Friendships; insomuch that the first, says Cornelius Nepos, whenever he
was absent from Rome in any part of the Empire, writ punctually to him
what he was doing, what he read, and whither he intended to go; and the
latter gave him constantly an exact Account of all his Affairs.
A Likeness of Inclinations in every Particular is so far from being
requisite to form a Benevolence in two Minds towards each other, as it
is generally imagined, that I believe we shall find some of the firmest
Friendships to have been contracted between Persons of different
Humours; the Mind being often pleased with those Perfections which are
new to it, and which it does not find among its own Accomplishments.
Besides that a Man in some measure supplies his own Defects, and fancies
himself at second hand possessed of those good Qualities and Endowments,
which are in the possession of him who in the Eye of the World is looked
on as his other self.
The most difficult Province in Friendship is the letting a Man see his
Faults and Errors, which should, if possible, be so contrived, that he
may perceive our Advice is given him not so much to please ourselves as
for his own Advantage. The Reproaches therefore of a Friend should
always be strictly just, and not too frequent.
The violent Desire of pleasing in the Person reproved, may otherwise
change into a Despair of doing it, while he finds himself censur'd for
Faults he is not Conscious of. A Mind that is softened and humanized by
Friendship, cannot bear frequent Reproaches; either it must quite sink
under the Oppression, or abate considerably of the Value and Esteem it
had for him who bestows them.
The proper Business of Friendship is to inspire Life and Courage; and a
Soul thus supported, outdoes itself: whereas if it be unexpectedly
deprived of these Succours, it droops and languishes.
We are in some measure more inexcusable if we violate our Duties to a
Friend, than to a Relation: since the former arise from a voluntary
Choice, the latter from a Necessity to which we could not give our own
As it has been said on one side, that a Man ought not to break with a
faulty Friend, that he may not expose the Weakness of his Choice; it
will doubtless hold much stronger with respect to a worthy one, that he
may never be upbraided for having lost so valuable a Treasure which was
once in his Possession.
* * * * *
No. 386. Friday, May 23, 1712. Steele.
'Cum Tristibus severe, cum Remissis jucunde, cum Senibus graviter, cum
Juventute comiter vivere.'
The piece of Latin on the Head of this Paper is part of a Character
extremely vicious, but I have set down no more than may fall in with the
Rules of Justice and Honour. Cicero spoke it of Catiline, who, he said,
lived with the Sad severely, with the Chearful agreeably, with the Old
gravely, with the Young pleasantly; he added, with the Wicked boldly,
with the Wanton lasciviously. The two last Instances of his Complaisance
I forbear to consider, having it in my thoughts at present only to speak
of obsequious Behaviour as it sits upon a Companion in Pleasure, not a
Man of Design and Intrigue. To vary with every Humour in this Manner,
cannot be agreeable, except it comes from a Man's own Temper and natural
Complection; to do it out of an Ambition to excel that Way, is the most
fruitless and unbecoming Prostitution imaginable. To put on an artful
Part to obtain no other End but an unjust Praise from the Undiscerning,
is of all Endeavours the most despicable. A Man must be sincerely
pleased to become Pleasure, or not to interrupt that of others: For this
Reason it is a most calamitous Circumstance, that many People who want
to be alone or should be so, will come into Conversation. It is certain,
that all Men who are the least given to Reflection, are seized with an
Inclination that Way; when, perhaps, they had rather be inclined to
Company: but indeed they had better go home, and be tired with
themselves, than force themselves upon others to recover their good
Humour. In all this the Cases of communicating to a Friend a sad Thought
or Difficulty, in order to relieve [a ] heavy Heart, stands excepted;
but what is here meant, is, that a Man should always go with Inclination
to the Turn of the Company he is going into, or not pretend to be of the
Party. It is certainly a very happy Temper to be able to live with all
kinds of Dispositions, because it argues a Mind that lies open to
receive what is pleasing to others, and not obstinately bent on any
Particularity of its own.
This is that which makes me pleased with the Character of my good
Acquaintance Acasto. You meet him at the Tables and Conversations of the
Wise, the Impertinent, the Grave, the Frolick, and the Witty; and yet
his own Character has nothing in it that can make him particularly
agreeable to any one Sect of Men; but Acasto has natural good Sense,
good Nature and Discretion, so that every Man enjoys himself in his
company; and tho' Acasto contributes nothing to the Entertainment, he
never was at a Place where he was not welcome a second time. Without
these subordinate good Qualities of Acasto, a Man of Wit and Learning
would be painful to the Generality of Mankind, instead of being
pleasing. Witty Men are apt to imagine they are agreeable as such, and
by that means grow the worst Companions imaginable; they deride the
Absent or rally the Present in a wrong manner, not knowing that if you
pinch or tickle a Man till he is uneasy in his Seat, or ungracefully
distinguished from the rest of the Company, you equally hurt him.
I was going to say, the true Art of being agreeable in Company, (but
there can be no such thing as Art in it) is to appear well pleased with
those you are engaged with, and rather to seem well entertained, than to
bring Entertainment to others. A Man thus disposed is not indeed what we
ordinarily call a good Companion, but essentially is such, and in all
the Parts of his Conversation has something friendly in his Behaviour,
which conciliates Men's Minds more than the highest Sallies of Wit or
Starts of Humour can possibly do. The Feebleness of Age in a Man of this
Turn, has something which should be treated with respect even in a Man
no otherwise venerable. The Forwardness of Youth, when it proceeds from
Alacrity and not Insolence, has also its Allowances. The Companion who
is formed for such by Nature, gives to every Character of Life its due
Regards, and is ready to account for their Imperfections, and receive
their Accomplishments as if they were his own. It must appear that you
receive Law from, and not give it to your Company, to make you
I remember Tully, speaking, I think, of Anthony, says, That in eo
facetiae erant, quae nulla arte tradi possunt: He had a witty Mirth, which
could be acquired by no Art. This Quality must be of the Kind of which I
am now speaking; for all sorts of Behaviour which depend upon
Observation and Knowledge of Life, is to be acquired: but that which no
one can describe, and is apparently the Act of Nature, must be every
where prevalent, because every thing it meets is a fit Occasion to exert
it; for he who follows Nature, can never be improper or unseasonable.
How unaccountable then must their Behaviour be, who, without any manner
of Consideration of what the Company they have just now entered are
upon, give themselves the Air of a Messenger, and make as distinct
Relations of the Occurrences they last met with, as if they had been
dispatched from those they talk to, to be punctually exact in a Report
of those Circumstances: It is unpardonable to those who are met to enjoy
one another, that a fresh Man shall pop in, and give us only the last
part of his own Life, and put a stop to ours during the History. If such
a Man comes from Change, whether you will or not, you must hear how the
Stocks go; and tho' you are ever so intently employed on a graver
Subject, a young Fellow of the other end of the Town will take his
place, and tell you, Mrs. Such-a-one is charmingly handsome, because he
just now saw her. But I think I need not dwell on this Subject, since I
have acknowledged there can be no Rules made for excelling this Way; and
Precepts of this kind fare like Rules for writing Poetry, which, 'tis
said, may have prevented ill Poets, but never made good ones.
[Footnote 1: [an]]
* * * * *
No. 387.  Saturday, May 24, 1712. Addison.
'Quid pure tranquillet--'
In my last Saturday's Paper I spoke of Chearfulness as it is a Moral
Habit of the Mind, and accordingly mentioned such moral Motives as are
apt to cherish and keep alive this happy Temper in the Soul of Man: I
shall now consider Chearfulness in its natural State, and reflect on
those Motives to it, which are indifferent either as to Virtue or Vice.
Chearfulness is, in the first place, the best Promoter of Health.
Repinings and secret Murmurs of Heart, give imperceptible Strokes to
those delicate Fibres of which the vital parts are composed, and wear
out the Machine insensibly; not to mention those violent Ferments which
they stir up in the Blood, and those irregular disturbed Motions, which
they raise in the animal Spirits. I scarce remember, in my own
Observation, to have met with many old Men, or with such, who (to use
our English Phrase) wear well, that had not at least a certain Indolence
in their Humour, if not a more than ordinary Gaiety and Chearfulness of
Heart. The truth of it is, Health and Chearfulness mutually beget each
other; with this difference, that we seldom meet with a great degree of
Health which is not attended with a certain Chearfulness, but very often
see Chearfulness where there is no great degree of Health.
Chearfulness bears the same friendly regard to the Mind as to the Body:
It banishes all anxious Care and Discontent, sooths and composes the
Passions, and keeps the Soul in a Perpetual Calm. But having already
touched on this last Consideration, I shall here take notice, that the
World, in which we are placed, is filled with innumerable Objects that
are proper to raise and keep alive this happy Temper of Mind.
If we consider the World in its Subserviency to Man, one would think it
was made for our Use; but if we consider it in its natural Beauty and
Harmony, one would be apt to conclude it was made for our Pleasure. The
Sun, which is as the great Soul of the Universe, and produces all the
Necessaries of Life, has a particular Influence in chearing the Mind of
Man, and making the Heart glad.
Those several living Creatures which are made for our Service or
Sustenance, at the same time either fill the Woods with their Musick,
furnish us with Game, or raise pleasing Ideas in us by the
delightfulness of their Appearance, Fountains, Lakes, and Rivers, are as
refreshing to the Imagination, as to the Soil through which they pass.
There are Writers of great Distinction, who have made it an Argument for
Providence, that the whole Earth is covered with Green, rather than with
any other Colour, as being such a right Mixture of Light and Shade, that
it comforts and strengthens the Eye instead of weakning or grieving it.
For this reason several Painters have a green Cloth hanging near them,
to ease the Eye upon, after too great an Application to their Colouring.
A famous modern Philosopher  accounts for it in the following manner:
All Colours that are more luminous, overpower and dissipate the animal
Spirits which are employd in Sight; on the contrary, those that are more
obscure do not give the animal Spirits a sufficient Exercise; whereas
the Rays that produce in us the Idea of Green, fall upon the Eye in such
a due proportion, that they give the animal Spirits their proper Play,
and by keeping up the struggle in a just Ballance, excite a very
pleasing and agreeable Sensation. Let the Cause be what it will, the
Effect is certain, for which reason the Poets ascribe to this particular
Colour the Epithet of Chearful.
To consider further this double End in the Works of Nature, and how they
are at the same time both useful and entertaining, we find that the most
important Parts in the vegetable World are those which are the most
beautiful. These are the Seeds by which the several Races of Plants are
propagated and continued, and which are always lodged in Flowers or
Blossoms. Nature seems to hide her principal Design, and to be
industrious in making the Earth gay and delightful, while she is
carrying on her great Work, and intent upon her own Preservation. The
Husbandman after the same manner is employed in laying out the whole
Country into a kind of Garden or Landskip, and making every thing smile
about him, whilst in reality he thinks of nothing but of the Harvest,
and Encrease which is to arise from it.
We may further observe how Providence has taken care to keep up this
Chearfulness in the Mind of Man, by having formed it after such a
manner, as to make it capable of conceiving Delight from several Objects
which seem to have very little use in them; as from the Wildness of
Rocks and Desarts, and the like grotesque Parts of Nature. Those who are
versed in Philosophy may still carry this Consideration higher, by
observing that if Matter had appeared to us endowed only with those real
Qualities which it actually possesses, it would have made but a very
joyless and uncomfortable Figure; and why has Providence given it a
Power of producing in us such imaginary Qualities, as Tastes and
Colours, Sounds and Smells, Heat and Cold, but that Man, while he is
conversant in the lower Stations of Nature, might have his Mind cheared
and delighted with agreeable Sensations? In short, the whole Universe is
a kind of Theatre filled with Objects that either raise in us Pleasure,
Amusement, or Admiration.
The Reader's own Thoughts will suggest to him the Vicissitude of Day and
Night, the Change of Seasons, with all that Variety of Scenes which
diversify the Face of Nature, and fill the Mind with a perpetual
Succession of beautiful and pleasing Images.
I shall not here mention the several Entertainments of Art, with the
Pleasures of Friendship, Books, Conversation, and other accidental
Diversions of Life, because I would only take notice of such Incitements
to a Chearful Temper, as offer themselves to Persons of all Ranks and
Conditions, and which may sufficiently shew us that Providence did not
design this World should be filled with Murmurs and Repinings, or that
the Heart of Man should be involved in Gloom and Melancholy.
I the more inculcate this Chearfulness of Temper, as it is a Virtue in
which our Countrymen are observed to be more deficient than any other
Nation. Melancholy is a kind of Demon that haunts our Island, and often
conveys her self to us in an Easterly Wind. A celebrated French
Novelist, in opposition to those who begin their Romances with the
flow'ry Season of the Year, enters on his Story thus: In the gloomy
Month of November, when the People of England hang and drown themselves,
a disconsolate Lover walked out into the Fields, &c.
Every one ought to fence against the Temper of his Climate or
Constitution, and frequently to indulge in himself those Considerations
which may give him a Serenity of Mind, and enable him to bear up
chearfully against those little Evils and Misfortunes which are common
to humane Nature, and which by a right Improvement of them will produce
a Satiety of Joy, and an uninterrupted Happiness.
At the same time that I would engage my Reader to consider the World in
its most agreeable Lights, I must own there are many Evils which
naturally spring up amidst the Entertainments that are provided for us;
but these, if rightly consider'd, should be far from overcasting the
Mind with Sorrow, or destroying that Chearfulness of Temper which I have
been recommending. This Interspersion of Evil with Good, and Pain with
Pleasure, in the Works of Nature, is very truly ascribed by Mr. Locke,
in his Essay on Human Understanding, to a moral Reason, in the following
Beyond all this, we may find another Reason why God hath scattered up
and down several Degrees of Pleasure and Pain, in all the things that
environ and affect us, and blended them together, in almost all that
our Thoughts and Senses have to do with; that we finding Imperfection,
Dissatisfaction, and Want of compleat Happiness in all the Enjoyments
which the Creatures can afford us, might be led to seek it in the
Enjoyment of him, with whom there is Fulness of Joy, and at whose
Right Hand are Pleasures for evermore.
[Footnote 1: Numbered by mistake, in the daily issue 388, No. 388 is
then numbered 390; 389 is right, 390 is called 392, the next 391, which
is right, another 392 follows, and thus the error is corrected.]
[Footnote 2: Sir Isaac Newton.]
* * * * *
No. 388. Monday, May 26, 1712. Barr? 
'--Tibi res antiquae Laudis et Artis
Ingredior; sanctos ausus recludere Fontes.'
It is my Custom, when I read your Papers, to read over the Quotations
in the Authors from whence you take them: As you mentiond a Passage
lately out of the second Chapter of Solomon's Song, it occasion'd my
looking into it; and upon reading it I thought the Ideas so
exquisitely soft and tender, that I could not help making this
Paraphrase of it; which, now it is done, I can as little forbear
sending to you. Some Marks of your Approbation, which I have already
receiv'd, have given me so sensible a Taste of them, that I cannot
forbear endeavouring after them as often as I can with any Appearance
I am, SIR,
Your most [obedient ] humble Servant.
The Second Chapter of Solomon's Song.
I. As when in Sharon's Field the blushing Rose
Does its chaste Bosom to the Morn disclose,
Whilst all around the Zephyrs bear
The fragrant Odours thro' the Air:
Or as the Lilly in the shady Vale,
Does o'er each Flower with beauteous Pride prevail,
And stands with Dews and kindest Sun-shine blest,
In fair Pre-eminence, superior to the rest:
So if my Love, with happy Influence, shed
His Eyes bright Sun-shine on his Lover's Head,
Then shall the Rose of Sharon's Field,
And whitest Lillies to my Beauties yield.
Then fairest Flowers with studious Art combine,
The Roses with the Lillies join,
And their united [Charms are ] less than mine.
II. As much as fairest Lillies can surpass
A Thorn in Beauty, or in Height the Grass;
So does my Love among the Virgins shine,
Adorn'd with Graces more than half Divine;
Or as a Tree, that, glorious to behold,
Is hung with Apples all of ruddy Gold,
Hesperian Fruit! and beautifully high,
Extends its Branches to the Sky;
So does my Love the Virgin's Eyes invite:
'Tis he alone can fix their wand'ring Sight,
[Among ] ten thousand eminently bright.
III. Beneath this pleasing Shade
My weaned Limbs at Ease I laid,
And on his fragrant Boughs reclined my Head.
I pull'd the Golden Fruit with eager haste;
Sweet was the Fruit, and pleasing to the Taste:
With sparkling Wine he crown'd the Bowl,
With gentle Ecstacies he fill'd my Soul;
Joyous we sate beneath the shady Grove,
And o'er my Head he hung the Banners of his Love.
IV. I faint; I die! my labouring Breast
Is with the mighty Weight of Love opprest:
I feel the Fire possess my Heart,
And pain conveyed to every Part.
Thro' all my Veins the Passion flies,
My feeble Soul forsakes its Place,
A trembling Faintness seals my Eyes,
And Paleness dwells upon my Face;
Oh! let my Love with pow'rful Odours stay
My fainting lovesick Soul that dies away;
One Hand beneath me let him place,
With t'other press me in a chaste Embrace.
V. I charge you, Nymphs of Sion, as you go
Arm'd with the sounding Quiver and the Bow,
Whilst thro' the lonesome Woods you rove,
You ne'er disturb my sleeping Love,
Be only gentle Zephyrs there,
With downy Wings to fan the Air;
Let sacred Silence dwell around,
To keep off each intruding Sound:
And when the balmy Slumber leaves his Eyes,
May he to Joys, unknown till then, arise.
VI. But see! he comes! with what majestick Gate
He onward bears his lovely State!
Now thro' the Lattice he appears,
With softest Words dispels my Fears,
Arise, my Fair-One, and receive
All the Pleasures Love can give.
For now the sullen Winters past,
No more we fear the Northern Blast:
No Storms nor threatning Clouds appear,
No falling Rains deform the Year.
My Love admits of no delay,
Arise, my Fair, and come away.
VII. Already, see! the teeming Earth
Brings forth the Flow'rs, her beauteous Birth.
The Dews, and soft-descending Showers,
Nurse the new-born tender Flow'rs.
Hark! the Birds melodious sing,
And sweetly usher in the Spring.
Close by his Fellow sits the Dove,
And billing whispers her his Love.
The spreading Vines with Blossoms swell,
Diffusing round a grateful Smell,
Arise, my Fair-One, and receive
All the Blessings Love can give:
For Love admits of no delay,
Arise, my Fair, and come away.
VIII. As to its Mate the constant Dove
Flies thro' the Covert of the spicy Grove,
So let us hasten to some lonely Shade,
There let me safe in thy lov'd Arms be laid,
Where no intruding hateful Noise
Shall damp the Sound of thy melodious Voice;
Where I may gaze, and mark each beauteous Grace;
For sweet thy Voice, and lovely is thy Face.
IX. As all of me, my Love, is thine,
Let all of thee be ever mine.
Among the Lillies we will play,
Fairer, my Love, thou art than they,
Till the purple Morn arise,
And balmy Sleep forsake thine Eyes;
Till the gladsome Beams of Day
Remove the Shades of Night away;
Then when soft Sleep shall from thy Eyes depart,
Rise like the bounding Roe, or lusty Hart,
Glad to behold the Light again
From Bether's Mountains darting o'er the Plain.
[Footnote 1: Percy had heard that a poetical translation of a chapter in
the Proverbs, and another poetical translation from the Old Testament,
were by Mr. Barr, a dissenting minister at Morton Hampstead in
[Footnote 2: obliged]
[Footnote 3: [Beauties shall be]]
[Footnote 4: [And stands among]]
* * * * *
No. 389. Tuesday, May 27, 1712. Budgell.
'Meliora pii docuere parentes.'
Nothing has more surprized the Learned in England, than the Price which
a small Book, intitled Spaccio della Bestia triom fante,  bore in a
late Auction. This Book was sold for [thirty ] Pound. As it was
written by one Jordanus Brunus, a professed Atheist, with a design to
depreciate Religion, every one was apt to fancy, from the extravagant
Price it bore, that there must be something in it very formidable.
I must confess that happening to get a sight of one of them my self, I
could not forbear perusing it with this Apprehension; but found there
was so very little Danger in it, that I shall venture to give my Readers
a fair Account of the whole Plan upon which this wonderful Treatise is
The Author pretends that Jupiter once upon a Time resolved on a
Reformation of the Constellations: for which purpose having summoned the
Stars together, he complains to them of the great Decay of the Worship
of the Gods, which he thought so much the harder, having called several
of those Celestial Bodies by the Names of the Heathen Deities, and by
that means made the Heavens as it were a Book of the Pagan Theology.
Momus tells him, that this is not to be wondered at, since there were so
many scandalous Stories of the Deities; upon which the Author takes
occasion to cast Reflections upon all other Religions, concluding, that
Jupiter, after a full Hearing, discarded the Deities out of Heaven, and
called the Stars by the Names of the Moral Virtues.
This short Fable, which has no Pretence in it to Reason or Argument, and
but a very small Share of Wit, has however recommended it self wholly by
its Impiety to those weak Men, who would distinguish themselves by the
Singularity of their Opinions.
There are two Considerations which have been often urged against
Atheists, and which they never yet could get over. The first is, that
the greatest and most eminent Persons of all Ages have been against
them, and always complied with the publick Forms of Worship established
in their respective Countries, when there was nothing in them either
derogatory to the Honour of the Supreme Being, or prejudicial to the
Good of Mankind.
The Platos and Ciceros among the Ancients; the Bacons, the Boyles, and
the Lockes, among our own Countrymen, are all Instances of what I have
been saying; not to mention any of the Divines, however celebrated,
since our Adversaries challenge all those, as Men who have too much
Interest in this Case to be impartial Evidences.
But what has been often urged as a Consideration of much more Weight,
is, not only the Opinion of the Better Sort, but the general Consent of
Mankind to this great Truth; which I think could not possibly have come
to pass, but from one of the three following Reasons; either that the
Idea of a God is innate and co-existent with the Mind it self; or that
this Truth is so very obvious, that it is discoverd by the first
Exertion of Reason in Persons of the most ordinary Capacities; or,
lastly, that it has been delivered down to us thro' all Ages by a
Tradition from the first Man.
The Atheists are equally confounded, to which ever of these three Causes
we assign it; they have been so pressed by this last Argument from the
general Consent of Mankind, that after great search and pains they
pretend to have found out a Nation of Atheists, I mean that Polite
People the Hottentots.
I dare not shock my Readers with a Description of the Customs and
Manners of these Barbarians, who are in every respect scarce one degree
above Brutes, having no Language among them but a confused [Gabble ]
which is neither well understood by themselves or others.
It is not however to be imagin'd how much the Atheists have gloried in
these their good Friends and Allies.
If we boast of a Socrates, or a Seneca, they may now confront them with
these great Philosophers the Hottentots.
Tho even this Point has, not without Reason, been several times
controverted, I see no manner of harm it could do Religion, if we should
entirely give them up this elegant Part of Mankind.
Methinks nothing more shews the Weakness of their Cause, than that no
Division of their Fellow-Creatures join with them, but those among whom
they themselves own Reason is almost defaced, and who have little else
but their Shape, which can entitle them to any Place in the Species.
Besides these poor Creatures, there have now and then been Instances of
a few crazed People in several Nations, who have denied the Existence of
The Catalogue of these is however very short; even Vanini  the most
celebrated Champion for the Cause, professed before his Judges that he
believed the Existence of a God, and taking up a Straw which lay before
him on the Ground, assured them, that alone was sufficient to convince
him of it; alledging several Arguments to prove that 'twas impossible
Nature alone could create anything.
I was the other day reading an Account of Casimir Liszynski, a Gentleman
of Poland, who was convicted and executed for this Crime.  The manner
of his Punishment was very particular. As soon as his Body was burnt his
Ashes were put into a Cannon, and shot into the Air towards Tartary.
I am apt to believe, that if something like this Method of Punishment
should prevail in England, such is the natural good Sense of the British
Nation, that whether we rammed an Atheist [whole] into a great Gun, or
pulverized our Infidels, as they do in Poland, we should not have many
I should, however, propose, while our Ammunition lasted, that instead of
Tartary, we should always keep two or three Cannons ready pointed
towards the Cape of Good Hope, in order to shoot our Unbelievers into
the Country of the Hottentots.
In my Opinion, a solemn judicial Death is too great an Honour for an
Atheist, tho' I must allow the Method of exploding him, as it is
practised in this ludicrous kind of Martyrdom, has something in it
proper [enough] to the Nature of his Offence.
There is indeed a great Objection against this Manner of treating them.
Zeal for Religion is of so active a Nature, that it seldom knows where
to rest; for which reason I am afraid, after having discharged our
Atheists, we might possibly think of shooting off our Sectaries; and, as
one does not foresee the Vicissitude of human Affairs, it might one time
or other come to a Man's own turn to fly out of the Mouth of a
If any of my Readers imagine that I have treated these Gentlemen in too
Ludicrous a Manner, I must confess, for my own part, I think reasoning
against such Unbelievers upon a Point that shocks the Common Sense of
Mankind, is doing them too great an Honour, giving them a Figure in the
Eye of the World, and making People fancy that they have more in them
than they really have.
As for those Persons who have any Scheme of Religious Worship, I am for
treating such with the utmost Tenderness, and should endeavour to shew
them their Errors with the greatest Temper and Humanity: but as these
Miscreants are for throwing down Religion in general, for stripping
Mankind of what themselves own is of excellent use in all great
Societies, without once offering to establish any thing in the Room of
it; I think the best way of dealing with them, is to retort their own
Weapons upon them, which are those of Scorn and Mockery.
[Footnote 1: The book was bought in 1711 for L28 by Mr. Walter Clavel at
the sale of the library of Mr. Charles Barnard. It had been bought in
1706 at the sale of Mr. Bigot's library with five others for two
shillings and a penny. Although Giordano Bruno was burnt as a heretic,
he was a noble thinker, no professed atheist, but a man of the reformed
faith, who was in advance of Calvin, a friend of Sir Philip Sydney, and
as good a man as Mr. Budgell.]
[Footnote 2: Fifty]
[Footnote 3: Gabling]
[Footnote 4: Vanini, like Giordano Bruno, has his memory dishonoured
through the carelessness with which men take for granted the assertions
of his enemies. Whether burnt or not, every religious thinker of the
sixteenth century who opposed himself to the narrowest views of those
who claimed to be the guardians of orthodoxy was remorselessly maligned.
If he was the leader of a party, there were hundreds to maintain his
honour against calumny. If he was a solitary searcher after truth, there
was nothing but his single life and work to set against the host of his
defamers. Of Vanini's two books, one was written to prove the existence
of a God, yet here is Mr. Budgell calling him the most celebrated
champion for the cause of atheism.]
[Footnote 5: Casimir Lyszynski was a Polish Knight, executed at Warsaw
in 1689, in the barbarous manner which appears to tickle Mr. Budgell's
fancy. It does not appear that he had written anything.]
* * * * *
No. 390. Wednesday, May 28, 1712. Steele.
'Non pudendo sed non faciendo id quod non decet impudentiae nomen
Many are the Epistles I receive from Ladies extremely afflicted that
they lie under the Observation of scandalous People, who love to defame
their Neighbours, and make the unjustest Interpretation of innocent and
indifferent Actions. They describe their own Behaviour so unhappily,
that there indeed lies some Cause of Suspicion upon them. It is certain,
that there is no Authority for Persons who have nothing else to do, to
pass away Hours of Conversation upon the Miscarriages of other People;
but since they will do so, they who value their Reputation should be
cautious of Appearances to their Disadvantage. But very often our young
Women, as well as the middle-aged and the gay Part of those growing old,
without entering into a formal League for that purpose, to a Woman agree
upon a short Way to preserve their Characters, and go on in a Way that
at best is only not vicious. The Method is, when an ill-naturd or
talkative Girl has said any thing that bears hard upon some part of
another's Carriage, this Creature, if not in any of their little Cabals,
is run down for the most censorious dangerous Body in the World. Thus
they guard their Reputation rather than their Modesty; as if Guilt lay
in being under the Imputation of a Fault, and not in a Commission of it.
Orbicilla is the kindest poor thing in the Town, but the most blushing
Creature living: It is true she has not lost the Sense of Shame, but she
has lost the Sense of Innocence. If she had more Confidence, and never
did anything which ought to stain her Cheeks, would she not be much more
modest without that ambiguous Suffusion, which is the Livery both of
Guilt and Innocence? Modesty consists in being conscious of no Ill, and
not in being ashamed of having done it. When People go upon any other
Foundation than the Truth of their own Hearts for the Conduct of their
Actions, it lies in the power of scandalous Tongues to carry the World
before them, and make the rest of Mankind fall in with the Ill, for fear
of Reproach. On the other hand, to do what you ought, is the ready way
to make Calumny either silent or ineffectually malicious. Spencer, in
his Fairy Queen, says admirably to young Ladies under the Distress of
'The best, said he, that I can you advise,
Is to avoid th' Occasion of the Ill;
For when the Cause, whence Evil doth arise,
Removed is, th' Effect surceaseth still.
Abstain from Pleasure, and restrain your Will,
Subdue Desire, and bridle loose Delight:
Use scanted Diet, and forbear your Fill;
Shun Secrecy, and talk in open sight:
So shall you soon repair your present evil Plight. '
Instead of this Care over their Words and Actions, recommended by a Poet
in old Queen Bess's Days, the modern Way is to do and say what you
please, and yet be the prettiest sort of Woman in the World. If Fathers
and Brothers will defend a Lady's Honour, she is quite as safe as in her
own Innocence. Many of the Distressed, who suffer under the Malice of
evil Tongues, are so harmless that they are every Day they live asleep
till twelve at Noon; concern themselves with nothing but their own
Persons till two; take their necessary Food between that time and four;
visit, go to the Play, and sit up at Cards till towards the ensuing
Morn; and the malicious World shall draw Conclusions from innocent
Glances, short Whispers, or pretty familiar Railleries with fashionable
Men, that these Fair ones are not as rigid as Vestals. It is certain,
say these goodest Creatures very well, that Virtue does not consist in
constrain'd Behaviour and wry Faces, that must be allow'd; but there is
a Decency in the Aspect and Manner of Ladies contracted from an Habit of
Virtue, and from general Reflections that regard a modest Conduct, all
which may be understood, tho' they cannot be described. A young Woman of
this sort claims an Esteem mixed with Affection and Honour, and meets
with no Defamation; or if she does, the wild Malice is overcome with an
undisturbed Perseverance in her Innocence. To speak freely, there are
such Coveys of Coquets about this Town, that if the Peace were not kept
by some impertinent Tongues of their own Sex, which keep them under some
Restraint, we should have no manner of Engagement upon them to keep them
in any tolerable Order.
As I am a SPECTATOR, and behold how plainly one Part of Womankind
ballance the Behaviour of the other, whatever I may think of Talebearers
or Slanderers, I cannot wholly suppress them, no more than a General
would discourage Spies. The Enemy would easily surprize him whom they
knew had no Intelligence of their Motions. It is so far otherwise with
me, that I acknowledge I permit a She-Slanderer or two in every Quarter
of the Town, to live in the Characters of Coquets, and take all the
innocent Freedoms of the rest, in order to send me Information of the
Behaviour of their respective Sisterhoods.
But as the Matter of Respect to the World, which looks on, is carried
on, methinks it is so very easie to be what is in the general called
Virtuous, that it need not cost one Hour's Reflection in a Month to
preserve that Appellation. It is pleasant to hear the pretty Rogues talk
of Virtue and Vice among each other: She is the laziest Creature in the
World, but I must confess strictly Virtuous: The peevishest Hussy
breathing, but as to her Virtue she is without Blemish: She has not the
least Charity for any of her Acquaintance, but I must allow rigidly
Virtuous. As the unthinking Part of the Male World call every Man a Man
of Honour, who is not a Coward; so the Crowd of the other Sex terms
every Woman who will not be a Wench, Virtuous.
[Footnote 1: F. Q. Bk VI. canto vi. st. 14.]
* * * * *
No. 391. Thursday, May 29, 1712. Addison.
'--Non tu prece poscis emaci,
Qua nisi seductis nequeas committere Divis:
At bona pars procerum tacita libabit acerra.
Haud cuivis promptum est, murmurque humilesque susurros
Tollere de Templis; et aperto vivere voto.
Mens bona, fama, fides, haec clare, et ut audiat hospes.
Illa sibi introrsum, et sub lingua immurmurat: O si
Ebullit patrui praeclarum funus! Et O si
Sub rastro crepet argenti mihi seria dextro
Hercule! pupillumve utinam, quem proximus haeres
Where Homer  represents Phoenix, the Tutor of Achilles, as persuading
his Pupil to lay aside his Resentments, and give himself up to the
Entreaties of his Countrymen, the Poet, in order to make him speak in
Character, ascribes to him a Speech full of those Fables and Allegories
which old Men take Delight in relating, and which are very proper for
Instruction. The Gods, says he, suffer themselves to be prevailed upon
by Entreaties. When Mortals have offended them by their Transgressions,
they appease them by Vows and Sacrifices. You must know, Achilles, that
PRAYERS are the Daughters of Jupiter. They are crippled by frequent
Kneeling, have their Faces full of Cares and Wrinkles, and their Eyes
always cast towards Heaven. They are constant Attendants on the Goddess
ATE, and march behind her. This Goddess walks forward with a bold and
haughty Air, and being very light of foot, runs thro' the whole Earth,
grieving and afflicting the Sons of Men. She gets the start of PRAYERS,
who always follow her, in, order to heal those Persons whom she wounds.
He who honours these Daughters of Jupiter, when they draw near to him,
receives great Benefit from them; but as for him who rejects them, they
intreat their Father to give his Orders to the Goddess ATE to punish him
for his Hardness of Heart. This noble Allegory needs but little
Explanation; for whether the Goddess ATE signifies Injury, as some have
explained it; or Guilt in general, as others; or divine Justice, as I am
the more apt to think; the Interpretation is obvious enough.
I shall produce another Heathen Fable relating to Prayers, which is of a
more diverting kind. One would think by some Passages in it, that it was
composed by Lucian, or at least by some Author who has endeavourd to
imitate his Way of Writing; but as Dissertations of this Nature are more
curious than useful, I shall give my Reader the Fable, without any
further Enquiries after the Author.
Menippus  the Philosopher was a second time taken up into Heaven by
Jupiter, when for his Entertainment he lifted up a Trap-Door that was
placed by his Foot-stool. At its rising, there issued through it such
a Din of Cries as astonished the Philosopher. Upon his asking what
they meant, Jupiter told him they were the Prayers that were sent up
to him from the Earth. Menippus, amidst the Confusion of Voices, which
was so great, that nothing less than the Ear of Jove could distinguish
them, heard the Words, Riches, Honour, and Long Life repeated in
several different Tones and Languages. When the first Hubbub of Sounds
was over, the Trap-Door being left open, the Voices came up more
separate and distinct. The first Prayer was a very odd one, it came
from Athens, and desired Jupiter to increase the Wisdom and the Beard
of his humble Supplicant. Menippus knew it by the Voice to be the
Prayer of his Friend Licander the Philosopher. This was succeeded by
the Petition of one who had just laden a Ship, and promised Jupiter,
if he took care of it, and returned it home again full of Riches, he
would make him an Offering of a Silver Cup. Jupiter thanked him for
nothing; and bending down his Ear more attentively than ordinary,
heard a Voice complaining to him of the Cruelty of an Ephesian Widow,
and begging him to breed Compassion in her Heart: This, says Jupiter,
is a very honest Fellow. I have received a great deal of Incense from
him; I will not be so cruel to him as to hear his Prayers. He was
[then] interrupted with a whole Volly of Vows, which were made for the
Health of a tyrannical Prince by his Subjects who pray'd for him in
his Presence. Menippus was surprized, after having listned to Prayers
offered up with so much Ardour and Devotion, to hear low Whispers from
the same Assembly, expostulating with Jove for suffering such a Tyrant
to live, and asking him how his Thunder could lie idle? Jupiter was so
offended at these prevaricating Rascals, that he took down the first
Vows, and puffed away the last. The Philosopher seeing a great Cloud
mounting upwards, and making its way directly to the Trap-Door,
enquired of Jupiter what it meant. This, says Jupiter, is the Smoke of
a whole Hecatomb that is offered me by the General of an Army, who is
very importunate with me to let him cut off an hundred thousand Men
that are drawn up in Array against him: What does the impudent Wretch
think I see in him, to believe that I will make a Sacrifice of so many
Mortals as good as himself, and all this to his Glory, forsooth? But
hark, says Jupiter, there is a Voice I never heard but in time of
danger; tis a Rogue that is shipwreck'd in the Ionian Sea: I sav'd him
on a Plank but three Days ago, upon his Promise to mend his Manners,
the Scoundrel is not worth a Groat, and yet has the Impudence to offer
me a Temple if I will keep him from sinking--But yonder, says he, is a
special Youth for you, he desires me to take his Father, who keeps a
great Estate from him, out of the Miseries of human Life. The old
Fellow shall live till he makes his Heart ake, I can tell him that for
his pains. This was followed by the soft Voice of a Pious Lady,
desiring Jupiter that she might appear amiable and charming in the
Sight of her Emperor. As the Philosopher was reflecting on this
extraordinary Petition, there blew a gentle Wind thro the Trap-Door,
which he at first mistook for a Gale of Zephirs, but afterwards found
it to be a Breeze of Sighs: They smelt strong of Flowers and Incense,
and were succeeded by most passionate Complaints of Wounds and
Torments, Fires and Arrows, Cruelty, Despair and Death. Menippus
fancied that such lamentable Cries arose from some general Execution,
or from Wretches lying under the Torture; but Jupiter told him that
they came up to him from the Isle of Paphos, and that he every day
received Complaints of the same nature from that whimsical Tribe of
Mortals who are called Lovers. I am so trifled with, says he, by this
Generation of both Sexes, and find it so impossible to please them,
whether I grant or refuse their Petitions, that I shall order a
Western Wind for the future to intercept them in their Passage, and
blow them at random upon the Earth. The last Petition I heard was from
a very aged Man of near an hundred Years old, begging but for one Year
more of Life, and then promising to die contented. This is the rarest
old Fellow! says Jupiter. He has made this Prayer to me for above
twenty Years together. When he was but fifty Years old, he desired
only that he might live to see his Son settled in the World; I granted
it. He then begged the same Favour for his Daughter, and afterwards
that he might see the Education of a Grandson: When all this was
brought about, he puts up a Petition that he might live to finish a
House he was building. In short, he is an unreasonable old Cur, and
never wants an Excuse; I will hear no more of him. Upon which, he
flung down the Trap-Door in a Passion, and was resolved to give no
more Audiences that day.
Notwithstanding the Levity of this Fable, the Moral of it very well
deserves our Attention, and is the same with that which has been
inculcated by Socrates and Plato, not to mention Juvenal and Persius,
who have each of them made the finest Satire in their whole Works upon
this Subject. The Vanity of Mens Wishes, which are the natural Prayers
of the Mind, as well as many of those secret Devotions which they offer
to the Supreme Being, are sufficiently exposed by it. Among other
Reasons for set Forms of Prayer, I have often thought it a very good
one, that by this means the Folly and Extravagance of Mens Desires may
be kept within due Bounds, and not break out in absurd and ridiculous
Petitions on so great and solemn an Occasion.
[Footnote 1: Iliad, Bk ix.]
[Footnote 2: Menippus was a Cynic philosopher of Gadara, who made money
in Thebes by usury, lost it, and hanged himself. He wrote satirical
pieces, which are lost; some said that they were the joint work of two
friends, Dionysius and Zopyrus of Colophon, in whom it was one jest the
more to ascribe their jesting to Menippus. These pieces were imitated by
Terentius Varro in Satirae Menippeae.]
* * * * *
No. 392. Friday, May 30, 1712. Steele.
'Per Ambages et Ministeria Deorum
Praecipitandus est liber Spiritus.'
To the SPECTATOR.
The Transformation of Fidelio into a Looking-Glass.
I was lately at a Tea-Table, where some young Ladies entertained the
Company with a Relation of a Coquet in the Neighbourhood, who had been
discovered practising before her Glass. To turn the Discourse, which
from being witty grew to be malicious, the Matron of the Family took
occasion, from the Subject, to wish that there were to be found
amongst Men such faithful Monitors to dress the Mind by, as we consult
to adorn the Body. She added, that if a sincere Friend were
miraculously changed into a Looking-Glass, she should not be ashamed
to ask its Advice very often. This whimsical Thought worked so much
upon my Fancy the whole Evening, that it produced [a very odd Dream.
Methought, that as I stood before my Glass, the Image of a Youth, of
an open ingenuous Aspect, appeared in it; who with a small shrill
Voice spoke in the following manner.
The Looking-Glass, you see, was heretofore a Man, even I, the
unfortunate Fidelio. I had two Brothers, whose Deformity in Shape
was made out by the Clearness of their Understanding: It must be
owned however, that (as it generally happens) they had each a
Perverseness of Humour suitable to their Distortion of Body. The
eldest, whose Belly sunk in monstrously, was a great Coward; and
tho' his splenetick contracted Temper made him take fire
immediately, he made Objects that beset him appear greater than they
were. The second, whose Breast swelled into a bold Relievo, on the
contrary, took great pleasure in lessening every thing, and was
perfectly the Reverse of his Brother. These Oddnesses pleased
Company once or twice, but disgusted when often seen; for which
reason the young Gentlemen were sent from Court to study
Mathematicks at the University.
I need not acquaint you, that I was very well made, and reckoned a
bright polite Gentleman. I was the Confident and Darling of all the
Fair; and if the Old and Ugly spoke ill of me, all the World knew it
was because I scorned to flatter them. No Ball, no Assembly was
attended till I had been consulted. Flavia colour'd her Hair before
me, Celia shew'd me her Teeth, Panthea heaved her Bosom, Cleora
brandished her Diamonds; I have seen Cloe's Foot, and tied
artificially the Garters of Rhodope.
'Tis a general Maxim, that those who doat upon themselves, can have
no violent Affection for another: But on the contrary, I found that
the Women's Passion for me rose in proportion to the Love they bare
to themselves. This was verify'd in my Amour with Narcissa, who was
so constant to me, that it was pleasantly said, had I been little
enough, she would have hung me at her Girdle. The most dangerous
Rival I had, was a gay empty Fellow, who by the Strength of a long
Intercourse with Narcissa, joined to his natural Endowments, had
formed himself into a perfect Resemblance with her. I had been
discarded, had she not observed that he frequently asked my Opinion
about Matters of the last Consequence: This made me still more
considerable in her Eye.
Tho' I was eternally caressed by the Ladies, such was their Opinion
of my Honour, that I was never envy'd by the Men. A jealous Lover of
Narcissa one day thought he had caught her in an Amorous
Conversation; for tho' he was at such a Distance that he could hear
nothing, he imagined strange things from her Airs and Gestures.
Sometimes with a serene Look she stepped back in a listning Posture,
and brightened into an innocent Smile. Quickly after she swelled
into an Air of Majesty and Disdain, then kept her Eyes half shut
after a languishing Manner, then covered her Blushes with her Hand,
breathed a Sigh, and seemd ready to sink down. In rushed the furious
Lover; but how great was his Surprize to see no one there but the
innocent Fidelio, with his Back against the Wall betwixt two
It were endless to recount all my Adventures. Let me hasten to that
which cost me my Life, and Narcissa her Happiness.
She had the misfortune to have the Small-Pox, upon which I was
expressly forbid her Sight, it being apprehended that it would
increase her Distemper, and that I should infallibly catch it at the
first Look. As soon as she was suffered to leave her Bed, she stole
out of her Chamber, and found me all alone in an adjoining
Apartment. She ran with Transport to her Darling, and without
Mixture of Fear, lest I should dislike her. But, oh me! what was her
Fury when she heard me say, I was afraid and shockd at so loathsome
a Spectacle. She stepped back, swollen with Rage, to see if I had
the Insolence to repeat it. I did, with this Addition, that her
ill-timed Passion had increased her Ugliness. Enraged, inflamed,
distracted, she snatched a Bodkin, and with all her Force stabbed me
to the Heart. Dying, I preserv'd my Sincerity, and expressed the
Truth, tho' in broken Words; and by reproachful Grimaces to the last
I mimick'd the Deformity of my Murderess.
Cupid, who always attends the Fair, and pity'd the Fate of so useful
a Servant as I was, obtained of the Destinies, that my Body should
be made incorruptible, and retain the Qualities my Mind had
possessed. I immediately lost the Figure of a Man, and became
smooth, polished, and bright, and to this day am the first Favourite
of the Ladies.
[Footnote 1: [so odd a Dream, that no one but the SPECTATOR could
believe that the Brain, clogged in Sleep, could furnish out such a
regular Wildness of Imagination.]
* * * * *
No. 393. Saturday, May 31, 1712. Addison.
'Nescio qua praeter solitum dulcedine laeti.'
Looking over the Letters that have been sent me, I chanced to find the
following one, which I received about two years ago from an ingenious
Friend, who was then in Denmark.
Copenhagen, May 1, 1710.
The Spring with you has already taken Possession of the Fields and
Woods: Now is the Season of Solitude, and of moving Complaints upon
trivial Sufferings: Now the Griefs of Lovers begin to flow, and their
Wounds to bleed afresh. I too, at this Distance from the softer
Climates, am not without my Discontents at present. You perhaps may
laugh at me for a most Romantick Wretch, when I have disclosed to you
the Occasion of my Uneasiness; and yet I cannot help thinking my
Unhappiness real, in being confined to a Region, which is the very
Reverse of Paradise. The Seasons here are all of them unpleasant, and
the Country quite Destitute of Rural Charms. I have not heard a Bird
sing, nor a Brook murmur, nor a Breeze whisper, neither have I been
blest with the Sight of a flow'ry Meadow these two years. Every Wind
here is a Tempest, and every Water a turbulent Ocean. I hope, when you
reflect a little, you will not think the Grounds of my Complaint in
the least frivolous and unbecoming a Man of serious Thought; since the
Love of Woods, of Fields and Flowers, of Rivers and Fountains, seems
to be a Passion implanted in our Natures the most early of any, even
before the Fair Sex had a Being.
I am, Sir, &c.
Could I transport my self with a Wish from one Country to another, I
should chuse to pass my Winter in Spain, my Spring in Italy, my Summer
in England, and my Autumn in France. Of all these Seasons there is none
that can vie with the Spring for Beauty and Delightfulness. It bears the
same Figure among the Seasons of the Year, that the Morning does among
the Divisions of the Day, or Youth among the Stages of Life. The English
Summer is pleasanter than that of any other Country in Europe on no
other account but because it has a greater Mixture of Spring in it. The
Mildness of our Climate, with those frequent Refreshments of Dews and
Rains that fall among us, keep up a perpetual Chearfulness in our
Fields, and fill the hottest Months of the Year with a lively Verdure.
In the opening of the Spring, when all Nature begins to recover her
self, the same animal Pleasure which makes the Birds sing, and the whole
brute Creation rejoice, rises very sensibly in the Heart of Man. I know
none of the Poets who have observed so well as Milton those secret
Overflowings of Gladness which diffuse themselves thro' the Mind of the
Beholder, upon surveying the gay Scenes of Nature: he has touched upon
it twice or thrice in his Paradise Lost, and describes it very
beautifully under the Name of Vernal Delight, in that Passage where he
represents the Devil himself as almost sensible of it.
Blossoms and Fruits at once of golden hue
Appear'd, with gay enamel'd Colours mixt:
On which the Sun more glad impress'd his Beams
Than in fair evening Cloud, or humid Bow,
When God hath shower'd the Earth; so lovely seem'd
That Landskip: And of pure now purer Air
Meets his approach, and to the Heart inspires
Vernal Delight, and Joy able to drive
All Sadness but Despair, &c. 
Many Authors have written on the Vanity of the Creature, and represented
the Barrenness of every thing in this World, and its Incapacity of
producing any solid or substantial Happiness. As Discourses of this
Nature are very useful to the Sensual and Voluptuous; those Speculations
which shew the bright Side of Things, and lay forth those innocent
Entertainments which are to be met with among the several Objects that
encompass us, are no less beneficial to Men of dark and melancholy
Tempers. It was for this reason that I endeavoured to recommend a
Chearfulness of Mind in my two last Saturday's Papers, and which I would
still inculcate, not only from the Consideration of our selves, and of
that Being on whom we depend, nor from the general Survey of that
Universe in which we are placed at present, but from Reflections on the
particular Season in which this Paper is written. The Creation is a
perpetual Feast to the Mind of a good Man, every thing he sees chears
and delights him; Providence has imprinted so many Smiles on Nature,
that it is impossible for a Mind, which is not sunk in more gross and
sensual Delights, to take a Survey of them without several secret
Sensations of Pleasure. The Psalmist has in several of his Divine Poems
celebrated those beautiful and agreeable Scenes which make the Heart
glad, and produce in it that vernal Delight which I have before taken
Natural Philosophy quickens this Taste of the Creation, and renders it
not only pleasing to the Imagination, but to the Understanding. It does
not rest in the Murmur of Brooks, and the Melody of Birds, in the Shade
of Groves and Woods, or in the Embroidery of Fields and Meadows, but
considers the several Ends of Providence which are served by them, and
the Wonders of Divine Wisdom which appear in them. It heightens the
Pleasures of the Eye, and raises such a rational Admiration in the Soul
as is little inferior to Devotion.
It is not in the Power of every one to offer up this kind of Worship to
the great Author of Nature, and to indulge these more refined
Meditations of Heart, which are doubtless highly acceptable in his
Sight: I shall therefore conclude this short Essay on that Pleasure
which the Mind naturally conceives from the present Season of the Year,
by the recommending of a Practice for which every one has sufficient
I would have my Readers endeavour to moralize this natural Pleasure of
the Soul, and to improve this vernal Delight, as Milton calls it, into a
Christian Virtue. When we find our selves inspired with this pleasing
Instinct, this secret Satisfaction and Complacency arising from the
Beauties of the Creation, let us consider to whom we stand indebted for
all these Entertainments of Sense, and who it is that thus opens his
Hand and fills the World with Good. The Apostle instructs us to take
advantage of our present Temper of Mind, to graft upon it such a
religious Exercise as is particularly conformable to it, by that Precept
which advises those who are sad to pray, and those who are merry to sing
Psalms. The Chearfulness of Heart which springs up in us from the Survey
of Nature's Works, is an admirable Preparation for Gratitude. The Mind
has gone a great way towards Praise and Thanksgiving, that is filled
with such a secret Gladness: A grateful Reflection on the supreme Cause
who produces it, sanctifies it in the Soul, and gives it its proper
Value. Such an habitual Disposition of Mind consecrates every Field and
Wood, turns an ordinary Walk into a morning or evening Sacrifice, and
will improve those transient Gleams of Joy, which naturally brighten up
and refresh the Soul on such Occasions, into an inviolable and perpetual
State of Bliss and Happiness.
[Footnote 1: Paradise Lost, Bk iv. ll. 148-156.]
* * * * *
No. 394. Monday, June 2, 1712. Steele.
'Bene colligitur haec Pueris et Mulierculis et Servis et Servorum
simillimis Liberis esse grata. Gravi vero homini et ea quae fiunt
Judicio certo ponderanti probari posse nullo modo.'
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