The Spectator, Volume 2.
Addison and Steele

Part 4 out of 19

[Footnote 2: Eccles, vii. I.]

[Footnote 3: In a volume of translated Letters on Wit, Politicks, and
Morality, edited by Abel Boyer, in 1701. The letters ascribed to
Aristaenetus of Nicer in Bithynis, who died A.D. 358, but which were
written after the fifth century, were afterwards translated as Letters
of Love and Gallantry, written in Greek by Aristaenetus. This volume,
12mo (1715), was dedicated to Eustace Budgell, who is named in the
Preface as the author of the Spectator papers signed X.]

* * * * *

No. 239. Tuesday, December 4, 1711. Addison.

Bella, horrida bella!


I have sometimes amused myself with considering the several Methods of
managing a Debate which have obtained m the World.

The first Races of Mankind used to dispute, as our ordinary People do
now-a-days, in a kind of wild Logick, uncultivated by Rules of Art.

_Socrates_ introduced a catechetical Method of Arguing. He would ask his
Adversary Question upon Question, till he had convinced him out of his
own Mouth that his Opinions were wrong. This Way of Debating drives an
Enemy up into a Corner, seizes all the Passes through which he can make
an Escape, and forces him to surrender at Discretion.

_Aristotle_ changed this Method of Attack, and invented a great Variety
of little Weapons, call'd Syllogisms. As in the _Socratick_ Way of
Dispute you agree to every thing which your Opponent advances, in the
_Aristotelick_ you are still denying and contradicting some Part or
other of what he says. _Socrates_ conquers you by Stratagem, _Aristotle_
by Force: The one takes the Town by Sap, the other Sword in Hand.

The Universities of _Europe_, for many Years, carried on their Debates
by Syllogism, insomuch that we see the Knowledge of several Centuries
laid out into Objections and Answers, and all the good Sense of the Age
cut and minced into almost an Infinitude of Distinctions.

When our Universities found that there was no End of Wrangling this Way,
they invented a kind of Argument, which is not reducible to any Mood or
Figure in _Aristotle_. It was called the _Argumentum Basilinum_ (others
write it _Bacilinum_ or _Baculinum_) which is pretty well express'd in
our _English_ Word _Club-Law_. When they were not able to confute their
Antagonist, they knock'd him down. It was their Method in these
polemical Debates, first to discharge their Syllogisms, and afterwards
to betake themselves to their Clubs, till such Time as they had one Way
or other confounded their Gainsayers. There is in _Oxford_ a narrow
[Defile, [1] (to make use of a military Term) where the Partizans used
to encounter, for which Reason it still retains the Name of
_Logic-Lane_. I have heard an old Gentleman, a Physician, make his
Boasts, that when he was a young Fellow he marched several Times at the
Head of a Troop of _Scotists,_ [2] and cudgel'd a Body of _Smiglesians_
[3] half the length of _High-street_, till they had dispersed
themselves for Shelter into their respective Garrisons.

This Humour, I find, went very far in _Erasmus's_ Time. For that Author
tells us [4], That upon the Revival of _Greek_ Letters, most of the
Universities in _Europe_ were divided into _Greeks_ and _Trojans_. The
latter were those who bore a mortal Enmity to the Language of the
_Grecians_, insomuch that if they met with any who understood it, they
did not fail to treat him as a Foe. _Erasmus_ himself had, it seems, the
Misfortune to fall into the Hands of a Party of _Trojans_, who laid him
on with so many Blows and Buffets that he never forgot their Hostilities
to his dying Day.

There is a way of managing an Argument not much unlike the former, which
is made use of by States and Communities, when they draw up a hundred
thousand Disputants on each Side, and convince one another by Dint of
Sword. A certain Grand Monarch [5] was so sensible of his Strength in
this way of Reasoning, that he writ upon his Great Guns--_Ratio ultima
Regum, The Logick of Kings_; but, God be thanked, he is now pretty well
baffled at his own Weapons. When one was to do with a Philosopher of
this kind, one should remember the old Gentleman's Saying, who had been
engaged in an Argument with one of the _Roman_ Emperors. [6] Upon his
Friends telling him, That he wonder'd he would give up the Question,
when he had visibly the Better of the Dispute; _I am never asham'd_,
says he, _to be confuted by one who is Master of fifty Legions_.

I shall but just mention another kind of Reasoning, which may be called
arguing by Poll; and another which is of equal Force, in which Wagers
are made use of as Arguments, according to the celebrated Line in
_Hudibras_ [7]

But the most notable way of managing a Controversy, is that which we may
call _Arguing by Torture_. This is a Method of Reasoning which has been
made use of with the poor Refugees, and which was so fashionable in our
Country during the Reign of Queen _Mary_, that in a Passage of an Author
quoted by Monsieur _Bayle_ [8] it is said the Price of Wood was raised
in _England_, by reason of the Executions that were made in
_Smithfield_. These Disputants convince their Adversaries with a
_Sorites_, [9] commonly called a Pile of Faggots. The Rack is also a
kind of Syllogism which has been used with good Effect, and has made
Multitudes of Converts. Men were formerly disputed out of their Doubts,
reconciled to Truth by Force of Reason, and won over to Opinions by the
Candour, Sense and Ingenuity of those who had the Right on their Side;
but this Method of Conviction operated too slowly. Pain was found to be
much more enlightning than Reason. Every Scruple was looked upon as
Obstinacy, and not to be removed but by several Engines invented for
that Purpose. In a Word, the Application of Whips, Racks, Gibbets,
Gallies, Dungeons, Fire and Faggot, in a Dispute, may be look'd upon as
Popish Refinements upon the old Heathen Logick.

There is another way of Reasoning which seldom fails, tho it be of a
quite different Nature to that I have last mentioned. I mean, convincing
a Man by ready Money, or as it is ordinarily called, bribing a Man to an
Opinion. This Method has often proved successful, when all the others
have been made use of to no purpose. A Man who is furnished with
Arguments from the Mint, will convince his Antagonist much sooner than
one who draws them from Reason and Philosophy. Gold is a wonderful
Clearer of the Understanding; it dissipates every Doubt and Scruple in
an Instant; accommodates itself to the meanest Capacities; silences the
Loud and Clamorous, and brings over the most Obstinate and Inflexible.
_Philip of Macedon_ was a Man of most invincible Reason this Way. He
refuted by it all the Wisdom of _Athens_, confounded their Statesmen,
struck their Orators dumb, and at length argued them out of all their

Having here touched upon the several Methods of Disputing, as they have
prevailed in different Ages of the World, I shall very suddenly give my
Reader an Account of the whole Art of Cavilling; which shall be a full
and satisfactory Answer to all such Papers and Pamphlets as have yet
appeared against the SPECTATOR.


[Footnote 1: Defile]

[Footnote 2: The followers of the famous scholastic philosopher, Duns
Scotus (who taught at Oxford and died in 1308), were Realists, and the
Scotists were as Realists opposed to the Nominalists, who, as followers
of Thomas Aquinas, were called Thomists. Abuse, in later time, of the
followers of Duns gave its present sense to the word Dunce.]

[Footnote 3: The followers of Martin Simglecius a Polish Jesuit, who
taught Philosophy for four years and Theology for ten years at Vilna, in
Lithuania, and died at Kalisch in 1618. Besides theological works he
published a book of Disputations upon Logic.]

[Footnote 4: Erasm. Epist.]

[Footnote 5: Louis XIV.]

[Footnote 6: Adrian, cited in Bacons Apophthegms.]

[Footnote 7: Hudibras, Pt. II. c. i, v. 297. See note to No. 145.]

[Footnote 8: And. Ammonius in Bayle's Life of him, but the saying was of
the reign of Henry VIII.]

[Footnote 9: A Sorites, in Logic,--from [Greek: soros], a heap--is a
pile of syllogisms so compacted that the conclusion of one serves as a
premiss to the next.]

* * * * *

No. 240. Wednesday, December 5, 1711. Steele.

--Aliter not fit, Avite, liber.



I am of one of the most genteel Trades in the City, and understand
thus much of liberal Education, as to have an ardent Ambition of being
useful to Mankind, and to think That the chief End of Being as to this
Life. I had these good Impressions given me from the handsome
Behaviour of a learned, generous, and wealthy Man towards me when I
first began the World. Some Dissatisfaction between me and my Parents
made me enter into it with less Relish of Business than I ought; and
to turn off this Uneasiness I gave my self to criminal Pleasures, some
Excesses, and a general loose Conduct. I know not what the excellent
Man above-mentioned saw in me, but he descended from the Superiority
of his Wisdom and Merit, to throw himself frequently into my Company.
This made me soon hope that I had something in me worth cultivating,
and his Conversation made me sensible of Satisfactions in a regular
Way, which I had never before imagined. When he was grown familiar
with me, he opened himself like a good Angel, and told me, he had long
laboured to ripen me into a Preparation to receive his Friendship and
Advice, both which I should daily command, and the Use of any Part of
his Fortune, to apply the Measures he should propose to me, for the
Improvement of my own. I assure you, I cannot recollect the Goodness
and Confusion of the good Man when he spoke to this Purpose to me,
without melting into Tears; but in a word, Sir, I must hasten to tell
you, that my Heart burns with Gratitude towards him, and he is so
happy a Man, that it can never be in my Power to return him his
Favours in Kind, but I am sure I have made him the most agreeable
Satisfaction I could possibly, [in being ready to serve others to my
utmost Ability,] as far as is consistent with the Prudence he
prescribes to me. Dear Mr. SPECTATOR, I do not owe to him only the
good Will and Esteem of my own Relations, (who are People of
Distinction) the present Ease and Plenty of my Circumstances, but also
the Government of my Passions, and Regulation of my Desires. I doubt
not, Sir, but in your Imagination such Virtues as these of my worthy
Friend, bear as great a Figure as Actions which are more glittering in
the common Estimation. What I would ask of you, is to give us a whole
_Spectator_ upon Heroick Virtue in common Life, which may incite Men
to the same generous Inclinations, as have by this admirable Person
been shewn to, and rais'd in,

_SIR, Your most humble Servant_.


I am a Country Gentleman, of a good plentiful Estate, and live as the
rest of my Neighbours with great Hospitality. I have been ever
reckoned among the Ladies the best Company in the World, and have
Access as a sort of Favourite. I never came in Publick but I saluted
them, tho in great Assemblies, all round, where it was seen how
genteelly I avoided hampering my Spurs in their Petticoats, while I
moved amongst them; and on the other side how prettily they curtsied
and received me, standing in proper Rows, and advancing as fast as
they saw their Elders, or their Betters, dispatch'd by me. But so it
is, Mr. SPECTATOR, that all our good Breeding is of late lost by the
unhappy Arrival of a Courtier, or Town Gentleman, who came lately
among us: This Person where-ever he came into a Room made a profound
Bow, and fell back, then recovered with a soft Air, and made a Bow to
the next, and so to one or two more, and then took the Gross of the
Room, by passing by them in a continued Bow till he arrived at the
Person he thought proper particularly to entertain. This he did with
so good a Grace and Assurance, that it is taken for the present
Fashion; and there is no young Gentlewoman within several Miles of
this Place has been kissed ever since his first Appearance among us.
We Country Gentlemen cannot begin again and learn these fine and
reserved Airs; and our Conversation is at a Stand, till we have your
Judgment for or against Kissing, by way of Civility or Salutation;
which is impatiently expected by your Friends of both Sexes, but by
none so much as

_Your humble Servant_,

Rustick Sprightly.

_December_ 3, 1711.


I was the other Night at _Philaster_,[1] where I expected to hear your
famous Trunk-maker, but was happily disappointed of his Company, and
saw another Person who had the like Ambition to distinguish himself in
a noisy manner, partly by Vociferation or talking loud, and partly by
his bodily Agility. This was a very lusty Fellow, but withal a sort of
Beau, who getting into one of the Side-boxes on the Stage before the
Curtain drew, was disposed to shew the whole Audience his Activity by
leaping over the Spikes; he pass'd from thence to one of the entering
Doors, where he took Snuff with a tolerable good Grace, display'd his
fine Cloaths, made two or three feint Passes at the Curtain with his
Cane, then faced about and appear'd at tother Door: Here he affected
to survey the whole House, bow'd and smil'd at random, and then shew'd
his Teeth, which were some of them indeed very white: After this he
retired behind the Curtain, and obliged us with several Views of his
Person from every Opening.

During the Time of Acting, he appear'd frequently in the Princes
Apartment, made one at the Hunting-match, and was very forward in the
Rebellion. If there were no Injunctions to the contrary, yet this
Practice must be confess'd to diminish the Pleasure of the Audience,
and for that Reason presumptuous and unwarrantable: But since her
Majesty's late Command has made it criminal,[2] you have Authority to
take Notice of it.

SIR, _Your humble Servant_,

Charles Easy.


[Footnote 1: Beaumont and Fletchers Philaster had been acted on the
preceding Friday, Nov. 30. The Hunt is in the Fourth Act, the Rebellion
in the Fifth.]

[Footnote 2: At this time there had been added to the playbills the line

By her Majesty's Command no Person is to be admitted behind the

* * * * *

No. 241. Thursday, December 6, 1711. Addison.

--Semperque relinqui
Sola sibi, semper longam incomitata videtur
Ire viam--



Though you have considered virtuous Love inmost of its Distresses, I
do not remember that you have given us any Dissertation upon the
Absence of Lovers, or laid down any Methods how they should support
themselves under those long Separations which they are sometimes
forced to undergo. I am at present in this unhappy Circumstance,
having parted with the best of Husbands, who is abroad in the Service
of his Country, and may not possibly return for some Years. His warm
and generous Affection while we were together, with the Tenderness
which he expressed to me at parting, make his Absence almost
insupportable. I think of him every Moment of the Day, and meet him
every Night in my Dreams. Every thing I see puts me in mind of him. I
apply myself with more than ordinary Diligence to the Care of his
Family and his Estate; but this, instead of relieving me, gives me but
so many Occasions of wishing for his Return. I frequent the Rooms
where I used to converse with him, and not meeting him there, sit down
in his Chair, and fall a weeping. I love to read the Books he
delighted in, and to converse with the Persons whom he esteemed. I
visit his Picture a hundred times a Day, and place myself over-against
it whole Hours together. I pass a great part of my Time in the Walks
where I used to lean upon his Arm, and recollect in my Mind the
Discourses which have there passed between us: I look over the several
Prospects and Points of View which we used to survey together, fix my
Eye upon the Objects which he has made me take notice of, and call to
mind a thousand [agreeable] Remarks which he has made on those
Occasions. I write to him by every Conveyance, and contrary to other
People, am always in good Humour when an East-Wind blows, because it
seldom fails of bringing me a Letter from him. Let me entreat you,
Sir, to give me your Advice upon this Occasion, and to let me know how
I may relieve my self in this my Widowhood.

_I am, SIR, Your most humble Servant_,


Absence is what the Poets call Death in Love, and has given Occasion to
abundance of beautiful Complaints in those Authors who have treated of
this Passion in Verse. _Ovid's_ Epistles are full of them. _Otway's
Monimia_ talks very tenderly upon this Subject. [1]

--It was not kind
To leave me like a Turtle, here alone,
To droop and mourn the Absence of my Mate._
_When thou art from me, every Place is desert:
And I, methinks, am savage and forlorn.
Thy Presence only tis can make me blest,
Heal my unquiet Mind, and tune my Soul.

The Consolations of Lovers on these Occasions are very extraordinary.
Besides those mentioned by _Asteria_, there are many other Motives of
Comfort, which are made use of by absent Lovers.

I remember in one of _Scudery's_ Romances, a Couple of honourable Lovers
agreed at their parting to set aside one half Hour in the Day to think
of each other during a tedious Absence. The Romance tells us, that they
both of them punctually observed the Time thus agreed upon; and that
whatever Company or Business they were engaged in, they left it abruptly
as soon as the Clock warned them to retire. The Romance further adds,
That the Lovers expected the Return of this stated Hour with as much
Impatience, as if it had been a real Assignation, and enjoyed an
imaginary Happiness that was almost as pleasing to them as what they
would have found from a real Meeting. It was an inexpressible
Satisfaction to these divided Lovers, to be assured that each was at the
same time employ'd in the same kind of Contemplation, and making equal
Returns of Tenderness and Affection.

If I may be allowed to mention a more serious Expedient for the
alleviating of Absence, I shall take notice of one which I have known
two Persons practise, who joined Religion to that Elegance of Sentiments
with which the Passion of Love generally inspires its Votaries. This
was, at the Return of such an Hour, to offer up a certain Prayer for
each other, which they had agreed upon before their Parting. The
Husband, who is a Man that makes a Figure in the polite World, as well
as in his own Family, has often told me, that he could not have
supported an Absence of three Years without this Expedient.

[_Strada_, in one of his Prolusions, [2]] gives an Account of a
chimerical Correspondence between two Friends by the Help of a certain
Loadstone, which had such Virtue in it, that if it touched two several
Needles, when one of the Needles so touched [began [3]], to move, the
other, tho at never so great a Distance, moved at the same Time, and in
the same Manner. He tells us, that the two Friends, being each of them
possessed of one of these Needles, made a kind of a Dial-plate,
inscribing it with the four and twenty Letters, in the same manner as
the Hours of the Day are marked upon the ordinary Dial-plate. They then
fixed one of the Needles on each of these Plates in such a manner, that
it could move round without Impediment, so as to touch any of the four
and twenty Letters. Upon their Separating from one another into distant
Countries, they agreed to withdraw themselves punctually into their
Closets at a certain Hour of the Day, and to converse with one another
by means of this their Invention. Accordingly when they were some
hundred Miles asunder, each of them shut himself up in his Closet at the
Time appointed, and immediately cast his Eye upon his Dial-plate. If he
had a mind to write any thing to his Friend, he directed his Needle to
every Letter that formed the Words which he had occasion for, making a
little Pause at the end of every Word or Sentence, to avoid Confusion.
The Friend, in the mean while, saw his own sympathetick Needle moving of
itself to every Letter which that of his Correspondent pointed at. By
this means they talked together across a whole Continent, and conveyed
their Thoughts to one another in an Instant over Cities or Mountains,
Seas or Desarts.

If Monsieur _Scudery_, or any other Writer of Romance, had introduced a
Necromancer, who is generally in the Train of a Knight-Errant, making a
Present to two Lovers of a Couple of those above-mentioned Needles, the
Reader would not have been a little pleased to have seen them
corresponding with one another when they were guarded by Spies and
Watches, or separated by Castles and Adventures.

In the mean while, if ever this Invention should be revived or put in
practice, I would propose, that upon the Lovers Dial-plate there should
be written not only the four and twenty Letters, but several entire
Words which have always a Place in passionate Epistles, as _Flames,
Darts, Die, Language, Absence, Cupid, Heart, Eyes, Hang, Drown_, and the
like. This would very much abridge the Lovers Pains in this way of
writing a Letter, as it would enable him to express the most useful and
significant Words with a single Touch of the Needle.


[Footnote 1: Orphan, Act II.]

[Footnote 2: [In one of Strada's Prolusions he] Lib. II. Prol. 6.]

[Footnote 3: [begun], and in first reprint.]

* * * * *

No. 242. Friday, December 7, 1711. Steele.

Creditur, ex medio quia res arcessit, habere
Sudoris minimum--



Your Speculations do not so generally prevail over Mens Manners as I
could wish. A former Paper of yours [1] concerning the Misbehaviour of
People, who are necessarily in each others Company in travelling,
ought to have been a lasting Admonition against Transgressions of that
Kind: But I had the Fate of your Quaker, in meeting with a rude Fellow
in a Stage-Coach, who entertained two or three Women of us (for there
was no Man besides himself) with Language as indecent as was ever
heard upon the Water. The impertinent Observations which the Coxcomb
made upon our Shame and Confusion were such, that it is an unspeakable
Grief to reflect upon them. As much as you have declaimed against
Duelling, I hope you will do us the Justice to declare, that if the
Brute has Courage enough to send to the Place where he saw us all
alight together to get rid of him, there is not one of us but has a
Lover who shall avenge the Insult. It would certainly be worth your
Consideration, to look into the frequent Misfortunes of this kind, to
which the Modest and Innocent are exposed, by the licentious Behaviour
of such as are as much Strangers to good Breeding as to Virtue. Could
we avoid hearing what we do not approve, as easily as we can seeing
what is disagreeable, there were some Consolation; but since [in a Box
at a Play,][2] in an Assembly of Ladies, or even in a Pew at Church,
it is in the Power of a gross Coxcomb to utter what a Woman cannot
avoid hearing, how miserable is her Condition who comes within the
Power of such Impertinents? And how necessary is it to repeat
Invectives against such a Behaviour? If the Licentious had not utterly
forgot what it is to be modest, they would know that offended Modesty
labours under one of the greatest Sufferings to which human Life can
be exposed. If one of these Brutes could reflect thus much, tho they
want Shame, they would be moved, by their Pity, to abhor an impudent
Behaviour in the Presence of the Chaste and Innocent. If you will
oblige us with a _Spectator_ on this Subject, and procure it to be
pasted against every Stage-Coach in _Great-Britain_, as the Law of the
Journey, you will highly oblige the whole Sex, for which you have
professed so great an Esteem; and in particular, the two Ladies my
late Fellow-Sufferers, and,

SIR, _Your most humble Servant_,

Rebecca Ridinghood.


The Matter which I am now going to send you, is an unhappy Story in
low Life, and will recommend it self, so that you must excuse the
Manner of expressing it. A poor idle drunken Weaver in
_Spittle-Fields_ has a faithful laborious Wife, who by her Frugality
and Industry had laid by her as much Money as purchased her a Ticket
in the present Lottery. She had hid this very privately in the Bottom
of a Trunk, and had given her Number to a Friend and Confident, who
had promised to keep the Secret, and bring her News of the Success.
The poor Adventurer was one Day gone abroad, when her careless
Husband, suspecting she had saved some Money, searches every Corner,
till at length he finds this same Ticket; which he immediately carries
abroad, sells, and squanders away the Money without the Wife's
suspecting any thing of the Matter. A Day or two after this, this
Friend, who was a Woman, comes and brings the Wife word, that she had
a Benefit of Five Hundred Pounds. The poor Creature over-joyed, flies
up Stairs to her Husband, who was then at Work, and desires him to
leave his Loom for that Evening, and come and drink with a Friend of
his and hers below. The Man received this chearful Invitation as bad
Husbands sometimes do, and after a cross Word or two told her he
woudn't come. His Wife with Tenderness renewed her Importunity, and
at length said to him, My Love! I have within these few Months,
unknown to you, scraped together as much Money as has bought us a
Ticket in the Lottery, and now here is Mrs. Quick [come] [3] to tell
me, that tis come up this Morning a Five hundred Pound Prize. The
Husband replies immediately, You lye, you Slut, you have no Ticket,
for I have sold it. The poor Woman upon this Faints away in a Fit,
recovers, and is now run distracted. As she had no Design to defraud
her Husband, but was willing only to participate in his good Fortune,
every one pities her, but thinks her Husbands Punishment but just.
This, Sir, is Matter of Fact, and would, if the Persons and
Circumstances were greater, in a well-wrought Play be called
_Beautiful Distress_. I have only sketched it out with Chalk, and know
a good Hand can make a moving Picture with worse Materials.

SIR, &c.


I am what the World calls a warm Fellow, and by good Success in Trade
I have raised myself to a Capacity of making some Figure in the World;
but no matter for that. I have now under my Guardianship a couple of
Nieces, who will certainly make me run mad; which you will not wonder
at, when I tell you they are Female Virtuosos, and during the three
Years and a half that I have had them under my Care, they never in the
least inclined their Thoughts towards any one single Part of the
Character of a notable Woman. Whilst they should have been considering
the proper Ingredients for a Sack-posset, you should hear a Dispute
concerning the [magnetick] [4], and in first reprint.] Virtue of the
Loadstone, or perhaps the Pressure of the Atmosphere: Their Language
is peculiar to themselves, and they scorn to express themselves on the
meanest Trifle with Words that are not of a _Latin_ Derivation. But
this were supportable still, would they suffer me to enjoy an
uninterrupted Ignorance; but, unless I fall in with their abstracted
Idea of Things (as they call them) I must not expect to smoak one Pipe
in Quiet. In a late Fit of the Gout I complained of the Pain of that
Distemper when my Niece _Kitty_ begged Leave to assure me, that
whatever I might think, several great Philosophers, both ancient and
modern, were of Opinion, that both Pleasure and Pain were imaginary
[Distinctions [5]], and that there was no such thing as either _in
rerum Natura_. I have often heard them affirm that the Fire was not
hot; and one Day when I, with the Authority of an old Fellow, desired
one of them to put my blue Cloak on my Knees; she answered, Sir, I
will reach the Cloak; but take notice, I do not do it as allowing your
Description; for it might as well be called Yellow as Blue; for Colour
is nothing but the various Infractions of the Rays of the Sun. Miss
_Molly_ told me one Day; That to say Snow was white, is allowing a
vulgar Error; for as it contains a great Quantity of nitrous
Particles, it [might more reasonably][6] be supposed to be black. In
short, the young Husseys would persuade me, that to believe ones Eyes
is a sure way to be deceived; and have often advised me, by no means,
to trust any thing so fallible as my Senses. What I have to beg of you
now is, to turn one Speculation to the due Regulation of Female
Literature, so far at least, as to make it consistent with the Quiet
of such whose Fate it is to be liable to its Insults; and to tell us
the Difference between a Gentleman that should make Cheesecakes and
raise Paste, and a Lady that reads _Locke_, and understands the
Mathematicks. In which you will extreamly oblige

_Your hearty Friend and humble Servant_,

Abraham Thrifty.


[Footnote 1: No. 132.]

[Footnote 2: at a Box in a Play, and in first reprint.]

[Footnote 3: [comes], and in first reprint.]

[Footnote 4: [magnetical], and in first reprint.]

[Footnote 5: [Distractions], and in first reprint.]

[Footnote 6: [may more seasonably], and in first reprint.]

* * * * *

No. 243. Saturday, December 8, 1711. Addison.

Formam quidem ipsam, Marce fili, et tanquam faciem Honesti vides: quae
si oculis cerneretur, mirabiles amores (ut ait Plato) excitaret

Tull. Offic.

I do not remember to have read any Discourse written expressly upon the
Beauty and Loveliness of Virtue, without considering it as a Duty, and
as the Means of making us happy both now and hereafter. I design
therefore this Speculation as an Essay upon that Subject, in which I
shall consider Virtue no further than as it is in it self of an amiable
Nature, after having premised, that I understand by the Word Virtue such
a general Notion as is affixed to it by the Writers of Morality, and
which by devout Men generally goes under the Name of Religion, and by
Men of the World under the Name of Honour.

Hypocrisy it self does great Honour, or rather Justice, to Religion, and
tacitly acknowledges it to be an Ornament to human Nature. The Hypocrite
would not be at so much Pains to put on the Appearance of Virtue, if he
did not know it was the most proper and effectual means to gain the Love
and Esteem of Mankind.

We learn from _Hierodes_, it was a common Saying among the Heathens,
that the Wise Man hates no body, but only loves the Virtuous.

_Tully_ has a very beautiful Gradation of Thoughts to shew how amiable
Virtue is. We love a virtuous Man, says he, who lives in the remotest
Parts of the Earth, though we are altogether out of the Reach of his
Virtue, and can receive from it no Manner of Benefit; nay, one who died
several Ages ago, raises a secret Fondness and Benevolence for him in
our Minds, when we read his Story: Nay, what is still more, one who has
been the Enemy of our Country, provided his Wars were regulated by
Justice and Humanity, as in the Instance of _Pyrrhus_ whom _Tully_
mentions on this Occasion in Opposition to _Hannibal_. Such is the
natural Beauty and Loveliness of Virtue.

Stoicism, which was the Pedantry of Virtue, ascribes all good
Qualifications, of what kind soever, to the virtuous Man. Accordingly
[Cato][1] in the Character _Tully_ has left of him, carried Matters so
far, that he would not allow any one but a virtuous Man to be handsome.
This indeed looks more like a Philosophical Rant than the real Opinion
of a Wise Man; yet this was what _Cato_ very seriously maintained. In
short, the Stoics thought they could not sufficiently represent the
Excellence of Virtue, if they did not comprehend in the Notion of it all
possible Perfection[s]; and therefore did not only suppose, that it was
transcendently beautiful in it self, but that it made the very Body
amiable, and banished every kind of Deformity from the Person in whom it

It is a common Observation, that the most abandoned to all Sense of
Goodness, are apt to wish those who are related to them of a different
Character; and it is very observable, that none are more struck with the
Charms of Virtue in the fair Sex, than those who by their very
Admiration of it are carried to a Desire of ruining it.

A virtuous Mind in a fair Body is indeed a fine Picture in a good Light,
and therefore it is no Wonder that it makes the beautiful Sex all over

As Virtue in general is of an amiable and lovely Nature, there are some
particular kinds of it which are more so than others, and these are such
as dispose us to do Good to Mankind. Temperance and Abstinence, Faith
and Devotion, are in themselves perhaps as laudable as any other
Virtues; but those which make a Man popular and beloved, are Justice,
Charity, Munificence, and, in short, all the good Qualities that render
us beneficial to each other. For which Reason even an extravagant Man,
who has nothing else to recommend him but a false Generosity, is often
more beloved and esteemed than a Person of a much more finished
Character, who is defective in this Particular.

The two great Ornaments of Virtue, which shew her in the most
advantageous Views, and make her altogether lovely, are Chearfulness and
Good-Nature. These generally go together, as a Man cannot be agreeable
to others who is not easy within himself. They are both very requisite
in a virtuous Mind, to keep out Melancholy from the many serious
Thoughts it is engaged in, and to hinder its natural Hatred of Vice from
souring into Severity and Censoriousness.

If Virtue is of this amiable Nature, what can we think of those who can
look upon it with an Eye of Hatred and Ill-will, or can suffer their
Aversion for a Party to blot out all the Merit of the Person who is
engaged in it. A Man must be excessively stupid, as well as
uncharitable, who believes that there is no Virtue but on his own Side,
and that there are not Men as honest as himself who may differ from him
in Political Principles. Men may oppose one another in some Particulars,
but ought not to carry their Hatred to those Qualities which are of so
amiable a Nature in themselves, and have nothing to do with the Points
in Dispute. Men of Virtue, though of different Interests, ought to
consider themselves as more nearly united with one another, than with
the vicious Part of Mankind, who embark with them in the same civil
Concerns. We should bear the same Love towards a Man of Honour, who is a
living Antagonist, which _Tully_ tells us in the forementioned Passage
every one naturally does to an Enemy that is dead. In short, we should
esteem Virtue though in a Foe, and abhor Vice though in a Friend.

I speak this with an Eye to those cruel Treatments which Men of all
Sides are apt to give the Characters of those who do not agree with
them. How many Persons of undoubted Probity, and exemplary Virtue, on
either Side, are blackned and defamed? How many Men of Honour exposed to
publick Obloquy and Reproach? Those therefore who are either the
Instruments or Abettors in such Infernal Dealings, ought to be looked
upon as Persons who make use of Religion to promote their Cause, not of
their Cause to promote Religion.


[Footnote 1: [we find that _Cato_,]]

* * * * *

No. 244. Monday, December 10, 1711. Steele.

--Judex et callidus audis.


_Covent-Garden, Dec. 7._


I cannot, without a double Injustice, forbear expressing to you the
Satisfaction which a whole Clan of Virtuosos have received from those
Hints which you have lately given the Town on the Cartons of the
inimitable _Raphael_. It [1] should be methinks the Business of a
SPECTATOR to improve the Pleasures of Sight, and there cannot be a
more immediate Way to it than recommending the Study and Observation
of excellent Drawings and Pictures. When I first went to view those of
_Raphael_ which you have celebrated, I must confess 1 was but barely
pleased; the next time I liked them better, but at last as I grew
better acquainted with them, I fell deeply in love with them, like
wise Speeches they sunk deep into my Heart; for you know, _Mr_.
SPECTATOR, that a Man of Wit may extreamly affect one for the Present,
but if he has not Discretion, his Merit soon vanishes away, while a
Wise Man that has not so great a Stock of Wit, shall nevertheless give
you a far greater and more lasting Satisfaction: Just so it is in a
Picture that is smartly touched but not well studied; one may call it
a witty Picture, tho the Painter in the mean time may be in Danger of
being called a Fool. On the other hand, a Picture that is thoroughly
understood in the Whole, and well performed in the Particulars, that
is begun on the Foundation of Geometry, carried on by the Rules of
Perspective, Architecture, and Anatomy, and perfected by a good
Harmony, a just and natural Colouring, and such Passions and
Expressions of the Mind as are almost peculiar to _Raphael_; this is
what you may justly style a wise Picture, and which seldom fails to
strike us Dumb, till we can assemble all our Faculties to make but a
tolerable Judgment upon it. Other Pictures are made for the Eyes only,
as Rattles are made for Children's Ears; and certainly that Picture
that only pleases the Eye, without representing some well-chosen Part
of Nature or other, does but shew what fine Colours are to be sold at
the Colour-shop, and mocks the Works of the Creator. If the best
Imitator of Nature is not to be esteemed the best Painter, but he that
makes the greatest Show and Glare of Colours; it will necessarily
follow, that he who can array himself in the most gaudy Draperies is
best drest, and he that can speak loudest the best Orator. Every Man
when he looks on a Picture should examine it according to that share
of Reason he is Master of, or he will be in Danger of making a wrong
Judgment. If Men as they walk abroad would make more frequent
Observations on those Beauties of Nature which every Moment present
themselves to their View, they would be better Judges when they saw
her well imitated at home: This would help to correct those Errors
which most Pretenders fall into, who are over hasty in their
Judgments, and will not stay to let Reason come in for a share in the
Decision. Tis for want of this that Men mistake in this Case, and in
common Life, a wild extravagant Pencil for one that is truly bold and
great, an impudent Fellow for a Man of true Courage and Bravery, hasty
and unreasonable Actions for Enterprizes of Spirit and Resolution,
gaudy Colouring for that which is truly beautiful, a false and
insinuating Discourse for simple Truth elegantly recommended. The
Parallel will hold through all the Parts of Life and Painting too; and
the Virtuosos above-mentioned will be glad to see you draw it with
your Terms of Art. As the Shadows in Picture represent the serious or
melancholy, so the Lights do the bright and lively Thoughts: As there
should be but one forcible Light in a Picture which should catch the
Eye and fall on the Hero, so there should be but one Object of our
Love, even the Author of Nature. These and the like Reflections well
improved, might very much contribute to open the Beauty of that Art,
and prevent young People from being poisoned by the ill Gusto of an
extravagant Workman that should be imposed upon us.
_I am, SIR,
Your most humble Servant_.


Though I am a Woman, yet I am one of those who confess themselves
highly pleased with a Speculation you obliged the World with some time
ago, [2] from an old _Greek_ Poet you call _Simonides_, in relation to
the several Natures and Distinctions of our own Sex. I could not but
admire how justly the Characters of Women in this Age, fall in with
the Times of _Simonides_, there being no one of those Sorts I have not
at some time or other of my Life met with a Sample of. But, Sir, the
Subject of this present Address, are a Set of Women comprehended, I
think, in the Ninth Specie of that Speculation, called the Apes; the
Description of whom I find to be, "That they are such as are both ugly
and ill-natured, who have nothing beautiful themselves, and endeavour
to detract from or ridicule every thing that appears so in others."
Now, Sir, this Sect, as I have been told, is very frequent in the
great Town where you live; but as my Circumstance of Life obliges me
to reside altogether in the Country, though not many Miles from
_London_, I cant have met with a great Number of em, nor indeed is
it a desirable Acquaintance, as I have lately found by Experience. You
must know, Sir, that at the Beginning of this Summer a Family of these
Apes came and settled for the Season not far from the Place where I
live. As they were Strangers in the Country, they were visited by the
Ladies about em, of whom I was, with an Humanity usual in those that
pass most of their Time in Solitude. The Apes lived with us very
agreeably our own Way till towards the End of the Summer, when they
began to bethink themselves of returning to Town; then it was, _Mr_.
SPECTATOR, that they began to set themselves about the proper and
distinguishing Business of their Character; and, as tis said of evil
Spirits, that they are apt to carry away a Piece of the House they are
about to leave, the Apes, without Regard to common Mercy, Civility, or
Gratitude, thought fit to mimick and fall foul on the Faces, Dress,
and Behaviour of their innocent Neighbours, bestowing abominable
Censures and disgraceful Appellations, commonly called Nicknames, on
all of them; and in short, like true fine Ladies, made their honest
Plainness and Sincerity Matter of Ridicule. I could not but acquaint
you with these Grievances, as well at the Desire of all the Parties
injur'd, as from my own Inclination. I hope, Sir, if you cant propose
entirely to reform this Evil, you will take such Notice of it in some
of your future Speculations, as may put the deserving Part of our Sex
on their Guard against these Creatures; and at the same time the Apes
may be sensible, that this sort of Mirth is so far from an innocent
Diversion, that it is in the highest Degree that Vice which is said to
comprehend all others. [3]

_I am, SIR, Your humble Servant_,

Constantia Field.


[Footnote 1: In No. 226. Signor Dorigny's scheme was advertised in Nos.
205, 206, 207, 208, and 210.]

[Footnote 2: No. 209.]

[Footnote 3: Ingratitude.

Ingratum si dixeris, omnia dixeris.]

* * * * *

No. 245. Tuesday, December 11, 1711. Addison.

Ficta Voluptatis causa sint proxima Veris.


There is nothing which one regards so much with an Eye of Mirth and Pity
as Innocence, when it has in it a Dash of Folly. At the same time that
one esteems the Virtue, one is tempted to laugh at the Simplicity which
accompanies it. When a Man is made up wholly of the Dove, without the
least Grain of the Serpent in his Composition, he becomes ridiculous in
many Circumstances of Life, and very often discredits his best Actions.
The _Cordeliers_ tell a Story of their Founder St. _Francis_, that as he
passed the Streets in the Dusk of the Evening, he discovered a young
Fellow with a Maid in a Corner; upon which the good Man, say they,
lifted up his Hands to Heaven with a secret Thanksgiving, that there was
still so much Christian Charity in the World. The Innocence of the Saint
made him mistake the Kiss of a Lover for a Salute of Charity. I am
heartily concerned when I see a virtuous Man without a competent
Knowledge of the World; and if there be any Use in these my Papers, it
is this, that without presenting Vice under any false alluring Notions,
they give my Reader an Insight into the Ways of Men, and represent human
Nature in all its changeable Colours. The Man who has not been engaged
in any of the Follies of the World, or, as _Shakespear_ expresses it,
_hackney'd in the Ways of Men_, may here find a Picture of its Follies
and Extravagancies. The Virtuous and the Innocent may know in
Speculation what they could never arrive at by Practice, and by this
Means avoid the Snares of the Crafty, the Corruptions of the Vicious,
and the Reasonings of the Prejudiced. Their Minds may be opened without
being vitiated.

It is with an Eye to my following Correspondent, Mr. _Timothy Doodle_,
who seems a very well-meaning Man, that I have written this short
Preface, to which I shall subjoin a Letter from the said Mr. _Doodle_.


I could heartily wish that you would let us know your Opinion upon
several innocent Diversions which are in use among us, and which are
very proper to pass away a Winter Night for those who do not care to
throw away their Time at an Opera, or at the Play-house. I would
gladly know in particular, what Notion you have of Hot-Cockles; as
also whether you think that Questions and Commands, Mottoes, Similes,
and Cross-Purposes have not more Mirth and Wit in them, than those
publick Diversions which are grown so very fashionable among us. If
you would recommend to our Wives and Daughters, who read your Papers
with a great deal of Pleasure, some of those Sports and Pastimes that
may be practised within Doors, and by the Fire-side, we who are
Masters of Families should be hugely obliged to you. I need not tell
you that I would have these Sports and Pastimes not only merry but
innocent, for which Reason I have not mentioned either Whisk or
Lanterloo, nor indeed so much as One and Thirty. After having
communicated to you my Request upon this Subject, I will be so free as
to tell you how my Wife and I pass away these tedious Winter Evenings
with a great deal of Pleasure. Tho she be young and handsome, and
good-humoured to a Miracle, she does not care for gadding abroad like
others of her Sex. There is a very friendly Man, a Colonel in the
Army, whom I am mightily obliged to for his Civilities, that comes to
see me almost every Night; for he is not one of those giddy young
Fellows that cannot live out of a Play-house. When we are together, we
very often make a Party at Blind-Man's Buff, which is a Sport that I
like the better, because there is a good deal of Exercise in it. The
Colonel and I are blinded by Turns, and you would laugh your Heart out
to see what Pains my Dear takes to hoodwink us, so that it is
impossible for us to see the least Glimpse of Light. The poor Colonel
sometimes hits his Nose against a Post, and makes us die with
laughing. I have generally the good Luck not to hurt myself, but am
very often above half an Hour before I can catch either of them; for
you must know we hide ourselves up and down in Corners, that we may
have the more Sport. I only give you this Hint as a Sample of such
Innocent Diversions as I would have you recommend; and am, _Most
esteemed SIR, your ever loving Friend_, Timothy Doodle.

The following Letter was occasioned by my last _Thursdays_ Paper upon
the Absence of Lovers, and the Methods therein mentioned of making such
Absence supportable.


Among the several Ways of Consolation which absent Lovers make use of
while their Souls are in that State of Departure, which you say is
Death in Love, there are some very material ones that have escaped
your Notice. Among these, the first and most received is a crooked
Shilling, which has administered great Comfort to our Forefathers, and
is still made use of on this Occasion with very good Effect in most
Parts of Her Majesty's Dominions. There are some, I know, who think a
Crown-Piece cut into two equal Parts, and preserved by the distant
Lovers, is of more sovereign Virtue than the former. But since
Opinions are divided in this Particular, why may not the same Persons
make use of both? The Figure of a Heart, whether cut in Stone or cast
in Metal, whether bleeding upon an Altar, stuck with Darts, or held in
the Hand of a _Cupid_, has always been looked upon as Talismanick in
Distresses of this Nature. I am acquainted with many a brave Fellow,
who carries his Mistress in the Lid of his Snuff-box, and by that
Expedient has supported himself under the Absence of a whole Campaign.
For my own Part, I have tried all these Remedies, but never found so
much Benefit from any as from a Ring, in which my Mistresss Hair is
platted together very artificially in a kind of True-Lovers Knot. As
I have received great Benefit from this Secret, I think myself obliged
to communicate it to the Publick, for the Good of my Fellow-Subjects.
I desire you will add this Letter as an Appendix to your Consolations
upon Absence, and am, _Your very humble Servant,_ T. B.

I shall conclude this Paper with a Letter from an University Gentleman,
occasioned by my last _Tuesdays_ Paper, wherein I gave some Account of
the great Feuds which happened formerly in those learned Bodies, between
the modern _Greeks_ and _Trojans_.


This will give you to understand, that there is at present in the
Society, whereof I am a Member, a very considerable Body of _Trojans_,
who, upon a proper Occasion, would not fail to declare ourselves. In
the mean while we do all we can to annoy our Enemies by Stratagem, and
are resolved by the first Opportunity to attack Mr. _Joshua Barnes_
[1], whom we look upon as the _Achilles_ of the opposite Party. As for
myself, I have had the Reputation ever since I came from School, of
being a trusty _Trojan_, and am resolved never to give Quarter to the
smallest Particle of _Greek_, where-ever I chance to meet it. It is
for this Reason I take it very ill of you, that you sometimes hang out
_Greek_ Colours at the Head of your Paper, and sometimes give a Word
of the Enemy even in the Body of it. When I meet with any thing of
this nature, I throw down your Speculations upon the Table, with that
Form of Words which we make use of when we declare War upon an Author.

_Graecum est, non potest legi._ [2]

I give you this Hint, that you may for the future abstain from any
such Hostilities at your Peril.



[Footnote 1: Professor of Greek at Cambridge, who edited Homer, Euripides,
Anacreon, &c., and wrote in Greek verse a History of Esther. He died
in 1714.]

[Footnote 2:

It is Greek. It cannot be read.

This passed into a proverb from Franciscus Accursius, a famous
Jurisconsult and son of another Accursius, who was called the Idol of
the Jurisconsults. Franciscus Accursius was a learned man of the 13th
century, who, in expounding Justinian, whenever he came to one of
Justinian's quotations from Homer, said Graecum est, nec potest legi.
Afterwards, in the first days of the revival of Greek studies in Europe,
it was often said, as reported by Claude d'Espence, for example, that to
know anything of Greek made a man suspected, to know anything of Hebrew
almost made him a heretic.]

* * * * *

No. 246. Wednesday, December 12, 1711. Steele

[Greek: Ouch ara soi ge pataer aen ippora Paeleus Oude Thetis maetaer,
glaukae de d etikte thalassa Petrai t aelibatoi, hoti toi noos estin


As your Paper is Part of the Equipage of the Tea-Table, I conjure you
to print what I now write to you; for I have no other Way to
communicate what I have to say to the fair Sex on the most important
Circumstance of Life, even the Care of Children. I do not understand
that you profess your Paper is always to consist of Matters which are
only to entertain the Learned and Polite, but that it may agree with
your Design to publish some which may tend to the Information of
Mankind in general; and when it does so, you do more than writing Wit
and Humour. Give me leave then to tell you, that of all the Abuses
that ever you have as yet endeavoured to reform, certainly not one
wanted so much your Assistance as the Abuse in [nursing [1]] Children.
It is unmerciful to see, that a Woman endowed with all the Perfections
and Blessings of Nature, can, as soon as she is delivered, turn off
her innocent, tender, and helpless Infant, and give it up to a Woman
that is (ten thousand to one) neither in Health nor good Condition,
neither sound in Mind nor Body, that has neither Honour nor
Reputation, neither Love nor Pity for the poor Babe, but more Regard
for the Money than for the whole Child, and never will take further
Care of it than what by all the Encouragement of Money and Presents
she is forced to; like _AEsop's_ Earth, which would not nurse the Plant
of another Ground, altho never so much improved, by reason that Plant
was not of its own Production. And since anothers Child is no more
natural to a Nurse than a Plant to a strange and different Ground, how
can it be supposed that the Child should thrive? and if it thrives,
must it not imbibe the gross Humours and Qualities of the Nurse, like
a Plant in a different Ground, or like a Graft upon a different Stock?
Do not we observe, that a Lamb sucking a Goat changes very much its
Nature, nay even its Skin and Wooll into the Goat Kind? The Power of a
Nurse over a Child, by infusing into it, with her Milk, her Qualities
and Disposition, is sufficiently and daily observed: Hence came that
old Saying concerning an ill-natured and malicious Fellow, that he had
imbibed his Malice with his Nurses Milk, or that some Brute or other
had been his Nurse. Hence _Romulus_ and _Remus_ were said to have been
nursed by a Wolf, _Telephus_ the Son of _Hercules_ by a Hind, _Pelias_
the Son of _Neptune_ by a Mare, and _AEgisthus_ by a Goat; not that
they had actually suck'd such Creatures, as some Simpletons have
imagin'd, but that their Nurses had been of such a Nature and Temper,
and infused such into them.

Many Instances may be produced from good Authorities and daily
Experience, that Children actually suck in the several Passions and
depraved Inclinations of their Nurses, as Anger, Malice, Fear,
Melancholy, Sadness, Desire, and Aversion. This _Diodorus, lib._ 2,
witnesses, when he speaks, saying, That _Nero_ the Emperors Nurse had
been very much addicted to Drinking; which Habit _Nero_ received from
his Nurse, and was so very particular in this, that the People took so
much notice of it, as instead of _Tiberius Nero,_ they call'd him
_Biberius Mero_. The same _Diodorus_ also relates of _Caligula,_
Predecessor to _Nero_, that his Nurse used to moisten the Nipples of
her Breast frequently with Blood, to make _Caligula_ take the better
Hold of them; which, says _Diodorus,_ was the Cause that made him so
blood-thirsty and cruel all his Life-time after, that he not only
committed frequent Murder by his own Hand, but likewise wished that
all human Kind wore but one Neck, that he might have the Pleasure to
cut it off. Such like Degeneracies astonish the Parents, [who] not
knowing after whom the Child can take, [see [2]] one to incline to
Stealing, another to Drinking, Cruelty, Stupidity; yet all these are
not minded. Nay it is easy to demonstrate, that a Child, although it
be born from the best of Parents, may be corrupted by an ill-tempered
Nurse. How many Children do we see daily brought into Fits,
Consumptions, Rickets, &c., merely by sucking their Nurses when in a
Passion or Fury? But indeed almost any Disorder of the Nurse is a
Disorder to the Child, and few Nurses can be found in this Town but
what labour under some Distemper or other. The first Question that is
generally asked a young Woman that wants to be a Nurse, [Why[3]] she
should be a Nurse to other Peoples Children; is answered, by her
having an ill Husband, and that she must make Shift to live. I think
now this very Answer is enough to give any Body a Shock if duly
considered; for an ill Husband may, or ten to one if he does not,
bring home to his Wife an ill Distemper, or at least Vexation and
Disturbance. Besides as she takes the Child out of meer Necessity, her
Food will be accordingly, or else very coarse at best; whence proceeds
an ill-concocted and coarse Food for the Child; for as the Blood, so
is the Milk; and hence I am very well assured proceeds the Scurvy, the
Evil, and many other Distempers. I beg of you, for the Sake of the
many poor Infants that may and will be saved, by weighing this Case
seriously, to exhort the People with the utmost Vehemence to let the
Children suck their own [Mothers, [4]] both for the Benefit of Mother
and Child. For the general Argument, that a Mother is weakned by
giving suck to her Children, is vain and simple; I will maintain that
the Mother grows stronger by it, and will have her Health better than
she would have otherwise: She will find it the greatest Cure and
Preservative for the Vapours and future Miscarriages, much beyond any
other Remedy whatsoever: Her Children will be like Giants, whereas
otherwise they are but living Shadows and like unripe Fruit; and
certainly if a Woman is strong enough to bring forth a Child, she is
beyond all Doubt strong enough to nurse it afterwards. It grieves me
to observe and consider how many poor Children are daily ruin'd by
careless Nurses; and yet how tender ought they to be of a poor Infant,
since the least Hurt or Blow, especially upon the Head, may make it
senseless, stupid, or otherwise miserable for ever?

But I cannot well leave this Subject as yet; for it seems to me very
unnatural, that a Woman that has fed a Child as Part of her self for
nine Months, should have no Desire to nurse it farther, when brought
to Light and before her Eyes, and when by its Cry it implores her
Assistance and the Office of a Mother. Do not the very cruellest of
Brutes tend their young ones with all the Care and Delight imaginable?
For how can she be call'd a Mother that will not nurse her young ones?
The Earth is called the Mother of all Things, not because she
produces, but because she maintains and nurses what she produces. The
Generation of the Infant is the Effect of Desire, but the Care of it
argues Virtue and Choice. I am not ignorant but that there are some
Cases of Necessity where a Mother cannot give Suck, and then out of
two Evils the least must be chosen; but there are so very few, that I
am sure in a Thousand there is hardly one real Instance; for if a
Woman does but know that her Husband can spare about three or six
Shillings a Week extraordinary, (altho this is but seldom considered)
she certainly, with the Assistance of her Gossips, will soon perswade
the good Man to send the Child to Nurse, and easily impose upon him by
pretending In-disposition. This Cruelty is supported by Fashion, and
Nature gives Place to Custom. _SIR, Your humble Servant_.


[Footnote 1: [nursing of], and in first reprint.]

[Footnote 2: [seeing], and in 1st r.]

[Footnote 3: [is, why], and in 1st. r.]

[Footnote 4: Mother,]

* * * * *

No. 247. Thursday, December 13, 1711. Addison.

[Greek:--Ton d akamatos rheei audae Ek stomaton haedeia--Hes.]

We are told by some antient Authors, that _Socrates_ was instructed in
Eloquence by a Woman, whose Name, if I am not mistaken, was _Aspasia_. I
have indeed very often looked upon that Art as the most proper for the
Female Sex, and I think the Universities would do well to consider
whether they should not fill the Rhetorick Chairs with She Professors.

It has been said in the Praise of some Men, that they could Talk whole
Hours together upon any Thing; but it must be owned to the Honour of the
other Sex, that there are many among them who can Talk whole Hours
together upon Nothing. I have known a Woman branch out into a long
Extempore Dissertation upon the Edging of a Petticoat, and chide her
Servant for breaking a China Cup, in all the Figures of Rhetorick.

Were Women admitted to plead in Courts of Judicature, I am perswaded
they would carry the Eloquence of the Bar to greater Heights than it has
yet arrived at. If any one doubts this, let him but be present at those
Debates which frequently arise among the Ladies [of the [1]] _British_

The first Kind therefore of Female Orators which I shall take notice of,
are those who are employed in stirring up the Passions, a Part of
Rhetorick in which _Socrates_ his Wife had perhaps made a greater
Proficiency than his above-mentioned Teacher.

The second Kind of Female Orators are those who deal in Invectives, and
who are commonly known by the Name of the Censorious. The Imagination
and Elocution of this Set of Rhetoricians is wonderful. With what a
Fluency of Invention, and Copiousness of Expression, will they enlarge
upon every little Slip in the Behaviour of another? With how many
different Circumstances, and with what Variety of Phrases, will they
tell over the same Story? I have known an old Lady make an unhappy
Marriage the Subject of a Months Conversation. She blamed the Bride in
one Place; pitied her in another; laughed at her in a third; wondered at
her in a fourth; was angry with her in a fifth; and in short, wore out a
Pair of Coach-Horses in expressing her Concern for her. At length, after
having quite exhausted the Subject on this Side, she made a Visit to the
new-married Pair, praised the Wife for the prudent Choice she had made,
told her the unreasonable Reflections which some malicious People had
cast upon her, and desired that they might be better acquainted. The
Censure and Approbation of this Kind of Women are therefore only to be
consider'd as Helps to Discourse.

A third Kind of Female Orators may be comprehended under the Word
_Gossips_. Mrs. _Fiddle Faddle_ is perfectly accomplished in this Sort
of Eloquence; she launches out into Descriptions of Christenings, runs
Divisions upon an Headdress, knows every Dish of Meat that is served up
in her Neighbourhood, and entertains her Company a whole Afternoon
together with the Wit of her little Boy, before he is able to speak.

The Coquet may be looked upon as a fourth Kind of Female Orator. To give
her self the larger Field for Discourse, she hates and loves in the same
Breath, talks to her Lap-dog or Parrot, is uneasy in all kinds of
Weather, and in every Part of the Room: She has false Quarrels and
feigned Obligations to all the Men of her Acquaintance; sighs when she
is not sad, and Laughs when she is not Merry. The Coquet is in
particular a great Mistress of that Part of Oratory which is called
Action, and indeed seems to speak for no other Purpose, but as it gives
her an Opportunity of stirring a Limb, or varying a Feature, of glancing
her Eyes, or playing with her Fan.

As for News-mongers, Politicians, Mimicks, Story-Tellers, with other
Characters of that nature, which give Birth to Loquacity, they are as
commonly found among the Men as the Women; for which Reason I shall pass
them over in Silence.

I have often been puzzled to assign a Cause why Women should have this
Talent of a ready Utterance in so much greater Perfection than Men. I
have sometimes fancied that they have not a retentive Power, or the
Faculty of suppressing their Thoughts, as Men have, but that they are
necessitated to speak every Thing they think, and if so, it would
perhaps furnish a very strong Argument to the _Cartesians_, for the
supporting of their [Doctrine,[2]] that the Soul always thinks. But as
several are of Opinion that the Fair Sex are not altogether Strangers to
the Art of Dissembling and concealing their Thoughts, I have been forced
to relinquish that Opinion, and have therefore endeavoured to seek after
some better Reason. In order to it, a Friend of mine, who is an
excellent Anatomist, has promised me by the first Opportunity to dissect
a Woman's Tongue, and to examine whether there may not be in it certain
Juices which render it so wonderfully voluble [or [3]] flippant, or
whether the Fibres of it may not be made up of a finer or more pliant
Thread, or whether there are not in it some particular Muscles which
dart it up and down by such sudden Glances and Vibrations; or whether in
the last Place, there may not be certain undiscovered Channels running
from the Head and the Heart, to this little Instrument of Loquacity, and
conveying into it a perpetual Affluence of animal Spirits. Nor must I
omit the Reason which _Hudibras_ has given, why those who can talk on
Trifles speak with the greatest Fluency; namely, that the Tongue is like
a Race-Horse, which runs the faster the lesser Weight it carries.

Which of these Reasons soever may be looked upon as the most probable, I
think the _Irishman's_ Thought was very natural, who after some Hours
Conversation with a Female Orator, told her, that he believed her Tongue
was very glad when she was asleep, for that it had not a Moments Rest
all the while she was awake.

That excellent old Ballad of _The Wanton Wife of Bath_ has the following
remarkable Lines.

_I think, quoth_ Thomas, _Womens Tongues
Of Aspen Leaves are made._

And Ovid, though in the Description of a very barbarous Circumstance,
tells us, That when the Tongue of a beautiful Female was cut out, and
thrown upon the Ground, it could not forbear muttering even in that

--Comprensam forcipe linguam
Abstulit ense fero. Radix micat ultima linguae,
Ipsa jacet, terraeque tremens immurmurat atrae;
Utque salire solet mutilatae cauda colubrae

If a tongue would be talking without a Mouth, what could it have done
when it had all its Organs of Speech, and Accomplices of Sound about it?
I might here mention the Story of the Pippin-Woman, had not I some
Reason to look upon it as fabulous.

I must confess I am so wonderfully charmed with the Musick of this
little Instrument, that I would by no Means discourage it. All that I
aim at by this Dissertation is, to cure it of several disagreeable
Notes, and in particular of those little Jarrings and Dissonances which
arise from Anger, Censoriousness, Gossiping and Coquetry. In short, I
would always have it tuned by Good-Nature, Truth, Discretion and


[Footnote 1: that belong to our]

[Footnote 2: [Opinion,]]

[Footnote 3: [and]]

[Footnote 4: Met. I. 6, v. 556.]

* * * * *

No. 248. Friday, December 14, 1711. Steele.

Hoc maxime Officii est, ut quisque maxime opis indigeat, ita ei
potissimum opitulari.


There are none who deserve Superiority over others in the Esteem of
Mankind, who do not make it their Endeavour to be beneficial to Society;
and who upon all Occasions which their Circumstances of Life can
administer, do not take a certain unfeigned Pleasure in conferring
Benefits of one kind or other. Those whose great Talents and high Birth
have placed them in conspicuous Stations of Life, are indispensably
obliged to exert some noble Inclinations for the Service of the World,
or else such Advantages become Misfortunes, and Shade and Privacy are a
more eligible Portion. Where Opportunities and Inclinations are given to
the same Person, we sometimes see sublime Instances of Virtue, which so
dazzle our Imaginations, that we look with Scorn on all which in lower
Scenes of Life we may our selves be able to practise. But this is a
vicious Way of Thinking; and it bears some Spice of romantick Madness,
for a Man to imagine that he must grow ambitious, or seek Adventures, to
be able to do great Actions. It is in every Man's Power in the World who
is above meer Poverty, not only to do Things worthy but heroick. The
great Foundation of civil Virtue is Self-Denial; and there is no one
above the Necessities of Life, but has Opportunities of exercising that
noble Quality, and doing as much as his Circumstances will bear for the
Ease and Convenience of other Men; and he who does more than ordinarily
Men practise upon such Occasions as occur in his Life, deserves the
Value of his Friends as if he had done Enterprizes which are usually
attended with the highest Glory. Men of publick Spirit differ rather in
their Circumstances than their Virtue; and the Man who does all he can
in a low Station, is more [a[1]] Hero than he who omits any worthy
Action he is able to accomplish in a great one. It is not many Years ago
since _Lapirius_, in Wrong of his elder Brother, came to a great Estate
by Gift of his Father, by reason of the dissolute Behaviour of the
First-born. Shame and Contrition reformed the Life of the disinherited
Youth, and he became as remarkable for his good Qualities as formerly
for his Errors. _Lapirius_, who observed his Brothers Amendment, sent
him on a New-Years Day in the Morning the following Letter:

_Honoured Brother,_

I enclose to you the Deeds whereby my Father gave me this House and
Land: Had he lived till now, he would not have bestowed it in that
Manner; he took it from the Man you were, and I restore it to the Man
you are. I am,

Your affectionate Brother, and humble Servant,_
P. T.

As great and exalted Spirits undertake the Pursuit of hazardous Actions
for the Good of others, at the same Time gratifying their Passion for
Glory; so do worthy Minds in the domestick Way of Life deny themselves
many Advantages, to satisfy a generous Benevolence which they bear to
their Friends oppressed with Distresses and Calamities. Such Natures one
may call Stores of Providence, which are actuated by a secret Celestial
Influence to undervalue the ordinary Gratifications of Wealth, to give
Comfort to an Heart loaded with Affliction, to save a falling Family, to
preserve a Branch of Trade in their Neighbourhood, and give Work to the
Industrious, preserve the Portion of the helpless Infant, and raise the
Head of the mourning Father. People whose Hearts are wholly bent towards
Pleasure, or intent upon Gain, never hear of the noble Occurrences among
Men of Industry and Humanity. It would look like a City Romance, to tell
them of the generous Merchant who the other Day sent this Billet to an
eminent Trader under Difficulties to support himself, in whose Fall many
hundreds besides himself had perished; but because I think there is more
Spirit and true Gallantry in it than in any Letter I have ever read from
_Strepkon_ to _Phillis_, I shall insert it even in the mercantile honest
Stile in which it was sent.


I Have heard of the Casualties which have involved you in extreme
Distress at this Time; and knowing you to be a Man of great
Good-Nature, Industry and Probity, have resolved to stand by you. Be
of good Chear, the Bearer brings with him five thousand Pounds, and
has my Order to answer your drawing as much more on my Account. I did
this in Haste, for fear I should come too late for your Relief; but
you may value your self with me to the Sum of fifty thousand Pounds;
for I can very chearfully run the Hazard of being so much less rich
than I am now, to save an honest Man whom I love.

_Your Friend and Servant_,
[W. S. [2]]

I think there is somewhere in _Montaigne_ Mention made of a Family-book,
wherein all the Occurrences that happened from one Generation of that
House to another were recorded. Were there such a Method in the
Families, which are concerned in this Generosity, it would be an hard
Task for the greatest in _Europe_ to give, in their own, an Instance of
a Benefit better placed, or conferred with a more graceful Air. It has
been heretofore urged, how barbarous and inhuman is any unjust Step made
to the Disadvantage of a Trader; and by how much such an Act towards him
is detestable, by so much an Act of Kindness towards him is laudable. I
remember to have heard a Bencher of the _Temple_ tell a Story of a
Tradition in their House, where they had formerly a Custom of chusing
Kings for such a Season, and allowing him his Expences at the Charge of
the Society: One of our Kings, said my Friend, carried his Royal
Inclination a little too far, and there was a Committee ordered to look
into the Management of his Treasury. Among other Things it appeared,
that his Majesty walking _incog_, in the Cloister, had overheard a poor
Man say to another, Such a small Sum would make me the happiest Man in
the World. The King out of his Royal Compassion privately inquired into
his Character, and finding him a proper Object of Charity, sent him the
Money. When the Committee read their Report, the House passed his
Account with a Plaudite without further Examination, upon the Recital of
this Article in them.

_For making a Man happy_ L. : s. : d.:

10 : 00 : 00


[Footnote 1: [an]]

[Footnote 2: [W. P.] corrected by an Erratum in No. 152 to W.S.]

* * * * *

No. 249. Saturday, December 15, 1711. Addison.

[Greek: _Gelos akairos en brotois deinon kakon_]

Frag. Vet. Poet.

When I make Choice of a Subject that has not been treated on by others,
I throw together my Reflections on it without any Order or Method, so
that they may appear rather in the Looseness and Freedom of an Essay,
than in the Regularity of a Set Discourse. It is after this Manner that
I shall consider Laughter and Ridicule in my present Paper.

Man is the merriest Species of the Creation, all above and below him are
Serious. He sees things in a different Light from other Beings, and
finds his Mirth [a]rising from Objects that perhaps cause something like
Pity or Displeasure in higher Natures. Laughter is indeed a very good
Counterpoise to the Spleen; and it seems but reasonable that we should
be capable of receiving Joy from what is no real Good to us, since we
can receive Grief from what is no real Evil.

I have in my Forty-seventh Paper raised a Speculation on the Notion of a
Modern Philosopher [1], who describes the first Motive of Laughter to be
a secret Comparison which we make between our selves, and the Persons we
laugh at; or, in other Words, that Satisfaction which we receive from
the Opinion of some Pre-eminence in our selves, when we see the
Absurdities of another or when we reflect on any past Absurdities of our
own. This seems to hold in most Cases, and we may observe that the
vainest Part of Mankind are the most addicted to this Passion.

I have read a Sermon of a Conventual in the Church of _Rome_, on those
Words of the Wise Man, _I said of Laughter, it is mad; and of Mirth,
what does it?_ Upon which he laid it down as a Point of Doctrine, that
Laughter was the Effect of Original Sin, and that _Adam_ could not laugh
before the Fall.

Laughter, while it lasts, slackens and unbraces the Mind, weakens the
Faculties, and causes a kind of Remissness and Dissolution in all the
Powers of the Soul: And thus far it may be looked upon as a Weakness in
the Composition of Human Nature. But if we consider the frequent Reliefs
we receive from it, and how often it breaks the Gloom which is apt to
depress the Mind and damp our Spirits, with transient unexpected Gleams
of Joy, one would take care not to grow too Wise for so great a Pleasure
of Life.

The Talent of turning Men into Ridicule, and exposing to Laughter those
one converses with, is the Qualification of little ungenerous Tempers. A
young Man with this Cast of Mind cuts himself off from all manner of
Improvement. Every one has his Flaws and Weaknesses; nay, the greatest
Blemishes are often found in the most shining Characters; but what an
absurd Thing is it to pass over all the valuable Parts of a Man, and fix
our Attention on his Infirmities to observe his Imperfections more than
his Virtues; and to make use of him for the Sport of others, rather than
for our own Improvement?

We therefore very often find, that Persons the most accomplished in
Ridicule are those who are very shrewd at hitting a Blot, without
exerting any thing masterly in themselves. As there are many eminent
Criticks who never writ a good Line, there are many admirable Buffoons
that animadvert upon every single Defect in another, without ever
discovering the least Beauty of their own. By this Means, these unlucky
little Wits often gain Reputation in the Esteem of Vulgar Minds, and
raise themselves above Persons of much more laudable Characters.

If the Talent of Ridicule were employed to laugh Men out of Vice and
Folly, it might be of some Use to the World; but instead of this, we
find that it is generally made use of to laugh Men out of Virtue and
good Sense, by attacking every thing that is Solemn and Serious, Decent
and Praiseworthy in Human Life.

We may observe, that in the First Ages of the World, when the great
Souls and Master-pieces of Human Nature were produced, Men shined by a
noble Simplicity of Behaviour, and were Strangers to those little
Embellishments which are so fashionable in our present Conversation. And
it is very remarkable, that notwithstanding we fall short at present of
the Ancients in Poetry, Painting, Oratory, History, Architecture, and
all the noble Arts and Sciences which depend more upon Genius than
Experience, we exceed them as much in Doggerel, Humour, Burlesque, and
all the trivial Arts of Ridicule. We meet with more Raillery among the
Moderns, but more Good Sense among the Ancients.

The two great Branches of Ridicule in Writing are Comedy and Burlesque.
The first ridicules Persons by drawing them in their proper Characters,
the other by drawing them quite unlike themselves. Burlesque is
therefore of two kinds; the first represents mean Persons in the
Accoutrements of Heroes, the other describes great Persons acting and
speaking like the basest among the People. _Don Quixote_ is an Instance
of the first, and _Lucians_ Gods of the second. It is a Dispute among
the Criticks, whether Burlesque Poetry runs best in Heroick Verse, like
that of the _Dispensary;_ [2] or in Doggerel, like that of _Hudibras_. I
think where the low Character is to be raised, the Heroick is the proper
Measure; but when an Hero is to be pulled down and degraded, it is done
best in Doggerel.

If _Hudibras_ had been set out with as much Wit and Humour in Heroick
Verse as he is in Doggerel, he would have made a much more agreeable
Figure than he does; though the generality of his Readers are so
wonderfully pleased with the double Rhimes, that I do not expect many
will be of my Opinion in this Particular.

I shall conclude this Essay upon Laughter with observing that the
Metaphor of Laughing, applied to Fields and Meadows when they are in
Flower, or to Trees when they are in Blossom, runs through all
Languages; which I have not observed of any other Metaphor, excepting
that of Fire and Burning when they are applied to Love. This shews that
we naturally regard Laughter, as what is in it self both amiable and
beautiful. For this Reason likewise _Venus_ has gained the Title of
[Greek: Philomeidaes,] the Laughter-loving Dame, as _Waller_ has
Translated it, and is represented by _Horace_ as the Goddess who
delights in Laughter. _Milton_, in a joyous Assembly of imaginary
Persons [3], has given us a very Poetical Figure of Laughter. His whole
Band of Mirth is so finely described, that I shall [set [4]] down [the
Passage] at length.

_But come thou Goddess fair and free,
In Heaven ycleped_ Euphrosyne,
_And by Men, heart-easing Mirth,
Whom lovely_ Venus _at a Birth,
With two Sister Graces more,
To Ivy-crowned_ Bacchus _bore:
Haste thee, Nymph, and bring with thee
Jest and youthful jollity,
Quips and Cranks, and wanton Wiles,
Nods, and Becks, and wreathed Smiles,
Such as hang on_ Hebes _Cheek,
And love to live in Dimple sleek:
Sport that wrinkled Care derides,_
And Laughter holding both his Sides.
_Come, and trip it, as you go,
On the light fantastick Toe:
And in thy right Hand lead with thee
The Mountain Nymph, sweet Liberty;
And if I give thee Honour due,
Mirth, admit me of thy Crew,
To live with her, and live with thee,
In unreproved Pleasures free_.


[Footnote 1: Hobbes.]

[Footnote 2: Sir Samuel Garth, poet and physician, who was alive at this
time (died in 1719), satirized a squabble among the doctors in his poem
of _the Dispensary_.

The piercing Caustics ply their spiteful Powr;
Emetics ranch, and been Cathartics sour.
The deadly Drugs in double Doses fly;
And Pestles peal a martial Symphony_.]

[Footnote 3: L'Allegro.]

[Footnote 4: [set it]]

* * * * *

No. 250. Monday, December 17, 1711.

Disce docendus adhuc, quae censet amiculus, ut si
Caecus iter monstrare velit; tamen aspice si quid
Et nos, quod cures proprium fecisse, loquamur.



You see the Nature of my Request by the _Latin_ Motto which I address
to you. I am very sensible I ought not to use many Words to you, who
are one of but few; but the following Piece, as it relates to
Speculation in Propriety of Speech, being a Curiosity in its Kind,
begs your Patience. It was found in a Poetical Virtuosos Closet among
his Rarities; and since the several Treatises of Thumbs, Ears, and
Noses, have obliged the World, this of Eyes is at your Service.

The first Eye of Consequence (under the invisible Author of all) is
the visible Luminary of the Universe. This glorious Spectator is said
never to open his Eyes at his Rising in a Morning, without having a
whole Kingdom of Adorers in _Persian_ Silk waiting at his Levee.
Millions of Creatures derive their Sight from this Original, who,
besides his being the great Director of Opticks, is the surest Test
whether Eyes be of the same Species with that of an Eagle, or that of
an Owl: The one he emboldens with a manly Assurance to look, speak,
act or plead before the Faces of a numerous Assembly; the other he
dazzles out of Countenance into a sheepish Dejectedness. The Sun-Proof
Eye dares lead up a Dance in a full Court; and without blinking at the
Lustre of Beauty, can distribute an Eye of proper Complaisance to a
Room crowded with Company, each of which deserves particular Regard;
while the other sneaks from Conversation, like a fearful Debtor, who
never dares [to] look out, but when he can see no body, and no body

The next Instance of Opticks is the famous _Argus_, who (to speak in
the Language of _Cambridge_) was one of an Hundred; and being used as
a Spy in the Affairs of Jealousy, was obliged to have all his Eyes
about him. We have no Account of the particular Colours, Casts and
Turns of this Body of Eyes; but as he was Pimp for his Mistress
_Juno_, tis probable he used all the modern Leers, sly Glances, and
other ocular Activities to serve his Purpose. Some look upon him as
the then King at Arms to the Heathenish Deities; and make no more of
his Eyes than as so many Spangles of his Heralds Coat.

The next upon the Optick List is old _Janus_, who stood in a
double-sighted Capacity, like a Person placed betwixt two opposite
Looking-Glasses, and so took a sort of retrospective Cast at one View.
Copies of this double-faced Way are not yet out of Fashion with many
Professions, and the ingenious Artists pretend to keep up this Species
by double-headed Canes and Spoons [1]; but there is no Mark of this
Faculty, except in the emblematical Way of a wise General having an
Eye to both Front and Rear, or a pious Man taking a Review and
Prospect of his past and future State at the same Time.

I must own, that the Names, Colours, Qualities, and Turns of Eyes vary
almost in every Head; for, not to mention the common Appellations of
the Black, the Blue, the White, the Gray, and the like; the most
remarkable are those that borrow their Title[s] from Animals, by
Vertue of some particular Quality or Resemblance they bear to the Eyes
of the respective Creature[s]; as that of a greedy rapacious Aspect
takes its Name from the Cat, that of a sharp piercing Nature from the
Hawk, those of an amorous roguish Look derive their Title even from
the Sheep, and we say such a[n] one has a Sheep's Eye, not so much to
denote the Innocence as the simple Slyness of the Cast: Nor is this
metaphorical Inoculation a modern Invention, for we find _Homer_
taking the Freedom to place the Eye of an Ox, Bull, or Cow in one of
his principal Goddesses, by that frequent Expression of

[Greek: Boopis potnia haerae--][2]

Now as to the peculiar Qualities of the Eye, that fine Part of our
Constitution seems as much the Receptacle and Seat of our Passions,
Appetites and Inclinations as the Mind it self; and at least it is the
outward Portal to introduce them to the House within, or rather the
common Thorough-fare to let our Affections pass in and out. Love,
Anger, Pride, and Avarice, all visibly move in those little Orbs. I
know a young Lady that cant see a certain Gentleman pass by without
shewing a secret Desire of seeing him again by a Dance in her
Eye-balls; nay, she cant for the Heart of her help looking Half a
Streets Length after any Man in a gay Dress. You cant behold a
covetous Spirit walk by a Goldsmiths Shop without casting a wistful
Eye at the Heaps upon the Counter. Does not a haughty Person shew the
Temper of his Soul in the supercilious Rowl of his Eye? and how
frequently in the Height of Passion does that moving Picture in our
Head start and stare, gather a Redness and quick Flashes of Lightning,
and make all its Humours sparkle with Fire, as Virgil finely describes

--Ardentis ab ore
Scintillae absistunt: oculis micat acribus ignis. [3]

As for the various Turns of [the] Eye-sight, such as the voluntary or
involuntary, the half or the whole Leer, I shall not enter into a very
particular Account of them; but let me observe, that oblique Vision,
when natural, was anciently the Mark of Bewitchery and magical
Fascination, and to this Day tis a malignant ill Look; but when tis
forced and affected it carries a wanton Design, and in Play-houses,
and other publick Places, this ocular Intimation is often an
Assignation for bad Practices: But this Irregularity in Vision,
together with such Enormities as Tipping the Wink, the Circumspective
Rowl, the Side-peep through a thin Hood or Fan, must be put in the
Class of Heteropticks, as all wrong Notions of Religion are ranked
under the general Name of Heterodox. All the pernicious Applications
of Sight are more immediately under the Direction of a SPECTATOR; and
I hope you will arm your Readers against the Mischiefs which are daily
done by killing Eyes, in which you will highly oblige your wounded
unknown Friend,
T. B.


You professed in several Papers your particular Endeavours in the
Province of SPECTATOR, to correct the Offences committed by Starers,
who disturb whole Assemblies without any Regard to Time, Place or
Modesty. You complained also, that a Starer is not usually a Person to
be convinced by Reason of the Thing, nor so easily rebuked, as to
amend by Admonitions. I thought therefore fit to acquaint you with a
convenient Mechanical Way, which may easily prevent or correct
Staring, by an Optical Contrivance of new Perspective-Glasses, short
and commodious like Opera Glasses, fit for short-sighted People as
well as others, these Glasses making the Objects appear, either as
they are seen by the naked Eye, or more distinct, though somewhat less
than Life, or bigger and nearer. A Person may, by the Help of this
Invention, take a View of another without the Impertinence of Staring;
at the same Time it shall not be possible to know whom or what he is
looking at. One may look towards his Right or Left Hand, when he is
supposed to look forwards: This is set forth at large in the printed
Proposals for the Sale of these Glasses, to be had at Mr. _Dillons_
in _Long-Acre_, next Door to the _White-Hart_. Now, Sir, as your
_Spectator_ has occasioned the Publishing of this Invention for the
Benefit of modest Spectators, the Inventor desires your Admonitions
concerning the decent Use of it; and hopes, by your Recommendation,
that for the future Beauty may be beheld without the Torture and
Confusion which it suffers from the Insolence of Starers. By this
means you will relieve the Innocent from an Insult which there is no
Law to punish, tho it is a greater Offence than many which are within
the Cognizance of Justice.

I am, SIR,

Your most humble Servant,

Abraham Spy.


[Footnote 1: Apostle spoons and others with fancy heads upon their

[Footnote 2: The ox-eyed, venerable Juno.]

[Footnote 3: AEn. 12, v. 101.]

* * * * *

No. 251. Tuesday, December 18, 1711. Addison.

--Lingua centum sunt, oraque centum.
Ferrea Vox.


There is nothing which more astonishes a Foreigner, and frights a
Country Squire, than the _Cries of London_. My good Friend Sir ROGER
often declares, that he cannot get them out of his Head or go to Sleep
for them, the first Week that he is in Town. On the contrary, WILL.
HONEYCOMB calls them the _Ramage de la Ville_, and prefers them to the
Sounds of Larks and Nightingales, with all the Musick of the Fields and
Woods. I have lately received a Letter from some very odd Fellow upon
this Subject, which I shall leave with my Reader, without saying any
thing further of it.


I am a Man of all Business, and would willingly turn my Head to any
thing for an honest Livelihood. I have invented several Projects for
raising many Millions of Money without burthening the Subject, but I
cannot get the Parliament to listen to me, who look upon me, forsooth,
as a Crack, and a Projector; so that despairing to enrich either my
self or my Country by this Publick-spiritedness, I would make some
Proposals to you relating to a Design which I have very much at Heart,
and which may procure me [a [1]] handsome Subsistence, if you will be
pleased to recommend it to the Cities of _London_ and _Westminster_.

The Post I would aim at, is to be Comptroller-General of the _London_
Cries, which are at present under no manner of Rules or Discipline. I
think I am pretty well qualified for this Place, as being a Man of
very strong Lungs, of great Insight into all the Branches of our
_British_ Trades and Manufactures, and of a competent Skill in Musick.

The Cries of _London_ may be divided into Vocal and Instrumental. As
for the latter they are at present under a very great Disorder. A
Freeman of _London_ has the Privilege of disturbing a whole Street for
an Hour together, with the Twanking of a Brass-Kettle or a Frying-Pan.
The Watchman's Thump at Midnight startles us in our Beds, as much as
the Breaking in of a Thief. The Sowgelder's Horn has indeed something
musical in it, but this is seldom heard within the Liberties. I would
therefore propose, that no Instrument of this Nature should be made
use of, which I have not tuned and licensed, after having carefully
examined in what manner it may affect the Ears of her Majesty's liege

Vocal Cries are of a much larger Extent, and indeed so full of
Incongruities and Barbarisms, that we appear a distracted City to
Foreigners, who do not comprehend the Meaning of such enormous
Outcries. Milk is generally sold in a note above _Ela_, and in Sounds
so [exceeding [2]] shrill, that it often sets our Teeth [on [3]] Edge.
The Chimney-sweeper is [confined [4]] to no certain Pitch; he
sometimes utters himself in the deepest Base, and sometimes in the
sharpest Treble; sometimes in the highest, and sometimes in the lowest
Note of the Gamut. The same Observation might be made on the Retailers
of Small-coal, not to mention broken Glasses or Brick-dust. In these
therefore, and the like Cases, it should be my Care to sweeten and
mellow the Voices of these itinerant Tradesmen, before they make their
Appearance in our Streets; as also to accommodate their Cries to their
respective Wares; and to take care in particular, that those may not
make the most Noise who have the least to sell, which is very
observable in the Venders of Card-matches, to whom I cannot but apply
that old Proverb of _Much Cry but little Wool_.

Some of these last mentioned Musicians are so very loud in the Sale
of these trifling Manufactures, that an honest Splenetick Gentleman of
my Acquaintance bargained with one of them never to come into the
Street where he lived: But what was the Effect of this Contract? Why,
the whole Tribe of Card-match-makers which frequent that Quarter,
passed by his Door the very next Day, in hopes of being bought off
after the same manner.

It is another great Imperfection in our _London_ Cries, that there is
no just Time nor Measure observed in them. Our News should indeed be
published in a very quick Time, because it is a Commodity that will
not keep cold. It should not, however, be cried with the same
Precipitation as Fire: Yet this is generally the Case. A Bloody Battle
alarms the Town from one End to another in an Instant. Every Motion of
the _French_ is Published in so great a Hurry, that one would think
the Enemy were at our Gates. This likewise I would take upon me to
regulate in such a manner, that there should be some Distinction made
between the spreading of a Victory, a March, or an Incampment, a
_Dutch_, a _Portugal_ or a _Spanish_ Mail. Nor must I omit under this
Head, those excessive Alarms with which several boisterous Rusticks
infest our Streets in Turnip Season; and which are more inexcusable,
because these are Wares which are in no Danger of Cooling upon their

There are others who affect a very slow Time, and are, in my Opinion,
much more tuneable than the former; the Cooper in particular swells


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