The Spectator, Volume 2.
Addison and Steele

Part 7 out of 19

* * * * *

No. 273. Saturday, January 12, 1712. Addison.

Notandi sunt tibi Mores.


Having examined the Action of _Paradise Lost_, let us in the next place
consider the Actors. [This is _Aristotle's_ Method of considering, first
the Fable, and secondly [1]] the Manners; or, as we generally call them
in _English_, the Fable and the Characters.

_Homer_ has excelled all the Heroic Poets that ever wrote, in the
Multitude and Variety of his Characters. Every God that is admitted into
this Poem, acts a Part which would have been suitable to no other Deity.
His Princes are as much distinguished by their Manners, as by their
Dominions; and even those among them, whose Characters seem wholly made
up of Courage, differ from one another as to the particular kinds of
Courage in which they excel. In short, there is scarce a Speech or
Action in the _Iliad_, which the Reader may not ascribe to the Person
that speaks or acts, without seeing his Name at the Head of it.

_Homer_ does not only outshine all other Poets in the Variety, but also
in the Novelty of his Characters. He has introduced among his _Grecian_
Princes a Person who had lived thrice the Age of Man, and conversed with
_Theseus, Hercules, Polyphemus_, and the first Race of Heroes. His
principal Actor is the [Son [2]] of a Goddess, not to mention the
[Offspring of other Deities, who have [3]] likewise a Place in his Poem,
and the venerable _Trojan_ Prince, who was the Father of so many Kings
and Heroes. There is in these several Characters of _Homer_, a certain
Dignity as well as Novelty, which adapts them in a more peculiar manner
to the Nature of an Heroic Poem. Tho at the same time, to give them the
greater Variety, he has described a _Vulcan_, that is a Buffoon among
his Gods, and a _Thersites_ among his Mortals.

_Virgil_ falls infinitely short of _Homer_ in the Characters of his
Poem, both as to their Variety and Novelty. _AEneas_ is indeed a perfect
Character, but as for _Achates_, tho he is stiled the Heros Friend, he
does nothing in the whole Poem which may deserve that Title. _Gyas_,
_Mnesteus_, _Sergestus_ and _Cloanthus_, are all of them Men of the same
Stamp and Character.

--_Fortemque Gyan, fortemque Cloanthum._

There are indeed several very Natural Incidents on the Part of
_Ascanius_; as that of _Dido_ cannot be sufficiently admired. I do not
see any thing new or particular in _Turnus_. _Pallas_ and _Evander_ are
[remote] Copies of _Hector_ and _Priam_, as _Lausus_ and _Mezentius_ are
almost Parallels to _Pallas_ and _Evander_. The Characters of _Nisus_
and _Eurialus_ are beautiful, but common. [We must not forget the Parts
of _Sinon_, _Camilla_, and some few others, which are fine Improvements
on the _Greek_ Poet.] In short, there is neither that Variety nor
Novelty in the Persons of the _AEneid_, which we meet with in those of
the _Iliad_.

If we look into the Characters of _Milton_, we shall find that he has
introduced all the Variety [his Fable [4]] was capable of receiving. The
whole Species of Mankind was in two Persons at the Time to which the
Subject of his Poem is confined. We have, however, four distinct
Characters in these two Persons. We see Man and Woman in the highest
Innocence and Perfection, and in the most abject State of Guilt and
Infirmity. The two last Characters are, indeed, very common and obvious,
but the two first are not only more magnificent, but more new [5] than
any Characters either in _Virgil_ or _Homer_, or indeed in the whole
Circle of Nature.

_Milton_ was so sensible of this Defect in the Subject of his Poem, and
of the few Characters it would afford him, that he has brought into it
two Actors of a Shadowy and Fictitious Nature, in the Persons of _Sin_
and _Death_, [6] by which means he has [wrought into [7]] the Body of
his Fable a very beautiful and well-invented Allegory. But
notwithstanding the Fineness of this Allegory may attone for it in some
measure; I cannot think that Persons of such a Chymerical Existence are
proper Actors in an Epic Poem; because there is not that measure of
Probability annexed to them, which is requisite in Writings of this
kind, [as I shall shew more at large hereafter].

_Virgil_ has, indeed, admitted Fame as an Actress in the _AEneid_, but
the Part she acts is very short, and none of the most admired
Circumstances in that Divine Work. We find in Mock-Heroic Poems,
particularly in the _Dispensary_ and the _Lutrin_ [8] several
Allegorical Persons of this Nature which are very beautiful in those
Compositions, and may, perhaps, be used as an Argument, that the Authors
of them were of Opinion, [such [9]] Characters might have a Place in an
Epic Work. For my own part, I should be glad the Reader would think so,
for the sake of the Poem I am now examining, and must further add, that
if such empty unsubstantial Beings may be ever made use of on this
Occasion, never were any more nicely imagined, and employed in more
proper Actions, than those of which I am now speaking.

Another Principal Actor in this Poem is the great Enemy of Mankind. The
Part of _Ulysses_ in _Homers Odyssey_ is very much admired by
_Aristotle_, [10] as perplexing that Fable with very agreeable Plots and
Intricacies, not only by the many Adventures in his Voyage, and the
Subtility of his Behaviour, but by the various Concealments and
Discoveries of his Person in several Parts of that Poem. But the Crafty
Being I have now mentioned, makes a much longer Voyage than _Ulysses_,
puts in practice many more Wiles and Stratagems, and hides himself under
a greater Variety of Shapes and Appearances, all of which are severally
detected, to the great Delight and Surprize of the Reader.

We may likewise observe with how much Art the Poet has varied several
Characters of the Persons that speak to his infernal Assembly. On the
contrary, how has he represented the whole Godhead exerting it self
towards Man in its full Benevolence under the Three-fold Distinction of
a Creator, a Redeemer and a Comforter!

Nor must we omit the Person of _Raphael_, who amidst his Tenderness and
Friendship for Man, shews such a Dignity and Condescension in all his
Speech and Behaviour, as are suitable to a Superior Nature. [The Angels
are indeed as much diversified in _Milton_, and distinguished by their
proper Parts, as the Gods are in _Homer_ or _Virgil_. The Reader will
find nothing ascribed to _Uriel, Gabriel, Michael,_ or _Raphael_, which
is not in a particular manner suitable to their respective Characters.]

There is another Circumstance in the principal Actors of the _Iliad_ and
_AEneid_, which gives a [peculiar [11]] Beauty to those two Poems, and
was therefore contrived with very great Judgment. I mean the Authors
having chosen for their Heroes, Persons who were so nearly related to
the People for whom they wrote. _Achilles_ was a Greek, and _AEneas_ the
remote Founder of _Rome_. By this means their Countrymen (whom they
principally proposed to themselves for their Readers) were particularly
attentive to all the Parts of their Story, and sympathized with their
Heroes in all their Adventures. A _Roman_ could not but rejoice in the
Escapes, Successes and Victories of _AEneas_, and be grieved at any
Defeats, Misfortunes or Disappointments that befel him; as a Greek_ must
have had the same Regard for Achilles_. And it is plain, that each of
those Poems have lost this great Advantage, among those Readers to whom
their Heroes are as Strangers, or indifferent Persons.

_Milton's_ Poem is admirable in this respect, since it is impossible for
any of its Readers, whatever Nation, Country or People he may belong to,
not to be related to the Persons who are the principal Actors in it; but
what is still infinitely more to its Advantage, the principal Actors in
this Poem are not only our Progenitors, but our Representatives. We have
an actual Interest in every thing they do, and no less than our utmost
Happiness is concerned, and lies at Stake in all their Behaviour.

I shall subjoin as a Corollary to the foregoing Remark, an admirable
Observation out of _Aristotle_, which hath been very much misrepresented
in the Quotations of some Modern Criticks.

If a Man of perfect and consummate Virtue falls into a Misfortune, it
raises our Pity, but not our Terror, because we do not fear that it
may be our own Case, who do not resemble the Suffering Person. But as
that great Philosopher adds, If we see a Man of Virtue mixt with
Infirmities, fall into any Misfortune, it does not only raise our Pity
but our Terror; because we are afraid that the like Misfortunes may
happen to our selves, who resemble the Character of the Suffering

I shall take another Opportunity to observe, that a Person of an
absolute and consummate Virtue should never be introduced in Tragedy,
and shall only remark in this Place, that the foregoing Observation of
_Aristotle_ [12] tho it may be true in other Occasions, does not hold
in this; because in the present Case, though the Persons who fall into
Misfortune are of the most perfect and consummate Virtue, it is not to
be considered as what may possibly be, but what actually is our own
Case; since we are embarked with them on the same Bottom, and must be
Partakers of their Happiness or Misery.

In this, and some other very few Instances, _Aristotle's_ Rules for Epic
Poetry (which he had drawn from his Reflections upon _Homer_) cannot be
supposed to quadrate exactly with the Heroic Poems which have been made
since his Time; since it is plain his Rules would [still have been [13]]
more perfect, could he have perused the _AEneid_ which was made some
hundred Years after his Death.

_In my next, I shall go through other Parts of_ Milton's _Poem; and hope
that what I shall there advance, as well as what I have already written,
will not only serve as a Comment upon_ Milton, _but upon_ Aristotle.


[Footnote 1: [These are what Aristotle means by the Fable and &c.]]

[Footnote 2: [Offspring]]

[Footnote 3: [Son of Aurora who has]]

[Footnote 4: [that his Poem]]

[Footnote 5: It was especially for the novelty of _Paradise Lost_, that
John Dennis had in 1704 exalted Milton above the ancients. In putting
forward a prospectus of a large projected work upon the Grounds of
Criticism in Poetry, he gave as a specimen of the character of his
work, the substance of what would be said in the beginning of the
Criticism upon Milton. Here he gave Milton supremacy on ground precisely
opposite to that chosen by Addison. He described him as

one of the greatest and most daring Genius's that has appear'd in the
World, and who has made his country a glorious present of the most
lofty, but most irregular Poem, that has been produc'd by the Mind of
Man. That great Man had a desire to give the World something like an
Epick Poem; but he resolv'd at the same time to break thro the Rules
of Aristotle. Not that he was ignorant of them, or contemned them....
Milton was the first who in the space of almost 4000 years resolv'd
for his Country's Honour and his own, to present the World with an
Original Poem; that is to say, a Poem that should have his own
thoughts, his own images, and his own spirit. In order to this he was
resolved to write a Poem, that, by virtue of its extraordinary
Subject, cannot so properly be said to be against the Rules as it may
be affirmed to be above them all ... We shall now shew for what
Reasons the choice of Milton's Subject, as it set him free from the
obligation which he lay under to the Poetical Laws, so it necessarily
threw him upon new Thoughts, new Images, and an Original Spirit. In
the next place we shall shew that his Thoughts, his Images, and by
consequence too, his Spirit are actually new, and different from those
of Homer and Virgil. Thirdly, we shall shew, that besides their
Newness, they have vastly the Advantage of _Homer and Virgil_.]

[Footnote 6: Paradise Lost, Book II.]

[Footnote 7: interwoven in]

[Footnote 8: Sir Samuel Garth in his _Dispensary_, a mock-heroic poem
upon a dispute, in 1696, among doctors over the setting up of a
Dispensary in a room of the College of Physicians for relief of the sick
poor, houses the God of Sloth within the College, and outside, among
other allegories, personifies Disease as a Fury to whom the enemies of
the Dispensary offer libation. Boileau in his _Lutrin_ a mock-heroic
poem written in 1673 on a dispute between two chief personages of the
chapter of a church in Paris, la Sainte Chapelle, as to the position of
a pulpit, had with some minor allegory, chiefly personified Discord, and
made her enter into the form of an old precentor, very much as in
Garths poem the Fury Disease

Shrill Colons person took,
In morals loose, but most precise in look.]

[Footnote 9: [that such]]

[Footnote 10: Poetics II. Sec. 17; III. Sec.6.]

[Footnote 11: [particular]]

[Footnote 12: 1 Poetics II. Sec. ii. But Addison misquotes the first
clause. Aristotle says that when a wholly virtuous man falls from
prosperity into adversity, this is neither terrible _nor piteous_, but
([Greek: miaron]) shocking. Then he adds that our pity is _excited_ by
undeserved misfortune, and our terror by some resemblance between the
sufferer and ourselves.]

[Footnote 13: [have been still]]

* * * * *

No. 274. Monday, January 14, 1712. Steele.

Audire est operae pretium, procedere recte
Qui moechis non vultis.


I have upon several Occasions (that have occurred since I first took
into my Thoughts the present State of Fornication) weighed with my self,
in behalf of guilty Females, the Impulses of Flesh and Blood, together
with the Arts and Gallantries of crafty Men; and reflect with some Scorn
that most Part of what we in our Youth think gay and polite, is nothing
else but an Habit of indulging a Pruriency that Way. It will cost some
Labour to bring People to so lively a Sense of this, as to recover the
manly Modesty in the Behaviour of my Men Readers, and the bashful Grace
in the Faces of my Women; but in all Cases which come into Debate, there
are certain things previously to be done before we can have a true Light
into the Subject Matter; therefore it will, in the first Place, be
necessary to consider the impotent Wenchers and industrious Haggs, who
are supplied with, and are constantly supplying new Sacrifices to the
Devil of Lust. You are to know then, if you are so happy as not to know
it already, that the great Havock which is made in the Habitations of
Beauty and Innocence, is committed by such as can only lay waste and not
enjoy the Soil. When you observe the present State of Vice and Virtue,
the Offenders are such as one would think should have no Impulse to what
they are pursuing; as in Business, you see sometimes Fools pretend to be
Knaves, so in Pleasure, you will find old Men set up for Wenchers. This
latter sort of Men are the great Basis and Fund of Iniquity in the Kind
we are speaking of: You shall have an old rich Man often receive Scrawls
from the several Quarters of the Town, with Descriptions of the new
Wares in their Hands, if he will please to send Word when he will be
waited on. This Interview is contrived, and the Innocent is brought to
such Indecencies as from Time to Time banish Shame and raise Desire.
With these Preparatives the Haggs break their Wards by little and
little, till they are brought to lose all Apprehensions of what shall
befall them in the Possession of younger Men. It is a common Postscript
of an Hagg to a young Fellow whom she invites to a new Woman, _She has,
I assure you, seen none but old Mr. Such-a-one_. It pleases the old
Fellow that the Nymph is brought to him unadorned, and from his Bounty
she is accommodated with enough to dress her for other Lovers. This is
the most ordinary Method of bringing Beauty and Poverty into the
Possession of the Town: But the particular Cases of kind Keepers,
skilful Pimps, and all others who drive a separate Trade, and are not in
the general Society or Commerce of Sin, will require distinct
Consideration. At the same time that we are thus severe on the
Abandoned, we are apt to represent the Case of others with that
Mitigation as the Circumstances demand. Calling Names does no Good; to
speak worse of any thing than it deserves, does only take off from the
Credit of the Accuser, and has implicitly the Force of an Apology in the
Behalf of the Person accused. We shall therefore, according as the
Circumstances differ, vary our Appellations of these Criminals: Those
who offend only against themselves, and are not Scandals to Society, but
out of Deference to the sober Part of the World, have so much Good left
in them as to be ashamed, must not be huddled in the common Word due to
the worst of Women; but Regard is to be had to their Circumstances when
they fell, to the uneasy Perplexity under which they lived under
senseless and severe Parents, to the Importunity of Poverty, to the
Violence of a Passion in its Beginning well grounded, and all other
Alleviations which make unhappy Women resign the Characteristick of
their Sex, Modesty. To do otherwise than thus, would be to act like a
Pedantick Stoick, who thinks all Crimes alike, and not like an impartial
SPECTATOR, who looks upon them with all the Circumstances that diminish
or enhance the Guilt. I am in Hopes, if this Subject be well pursued,
Women will hereafter from their Infancy be treated with an Eye to their
future State in the World; and not have their Tempers made too
untractable from an improper Sourness or Pride, or too complying from
Familiarity or Forwardness contracted at their own Houses. After these
Hints on this Subject, I shall end this Paper with the following genuine
Letter; and desire all who think they may be concerned in future
Speculations on this Subject, to send in what they have to say for
themselves for some Incidents in their Lives, in order to have proper
Allowances made for their Conduct.

_Mr_. SPECTATOR, _January_ 5, 1711.

The Subject of your Yesterdays Paper is of so great Importance, and
the thorough handling of it may be so very useful to the Preservation
of many an innocent young Creature, that I think every one is obliged
to furnish you with what Lights he can, to expose the pernicious Arts
and Practices of those unnatural Women called Bawds. In order to this
the enclosed is sent you, which is _verbatim_ the Copy of a Letter
written by a Bawd of Figure in this Town to a noble Lord. I have
concealed the Names of both, my Intention being not to expose the
Persons but the Thing.
_I am,
Your humble Servant_.

_My Lord_,
I having a great Esteem for your Honour, and a better Opinion of
you than of any of the Quality, makes me acquaint you of an Affair
that I hope will oblige you to know. I have a Niece that came to
Town about a Fortnight ago. Her Parents being lately dead she came
to me, expecting to a found me in so good a Condition as to a set
her up in a Milliners Shop. Her Father gave Fourscore Pounds with
her for five Years: Her Time is out, and she is not Sixteen; as
pretty a black Gentlewoman as ever you saw, a little Woman, which I
know your Lordship likes: well shaped, and as fine a Complection for
Red and White as ever I saw; I doubt not but your Lordship will be
of the same Opinion. She designs to go down about a Month hence
except I can provide for her, which I cannot at present. Her Father
was one with whom all he had died with him, so there is four
Children left destitute; so if your Lordship thinks fit to make an
Appointment where I shall wait on you with my Niece, by a Line or
two, I stay for your Answer; for I have no Place fitted up since I
left my House, fit to entertain your Honour. I told her she should
go with me to see a Gentleman a very good Friend of mine; so I
desire you to take no Notice of my Letter by reason she is ignorant
of the Ways of the Town. My Lord, I desire if you meet us to come
alone; for upon my Word and Honour you are the first that ever I
mentioned her to. So I remain,

_Your Lordships
Most humble Servant to Command._

I beg of you to burn it when you've read it.


* * * * *

No. 275. Tuesday, January 15, 1712. Addison.

--tribus Anticyris caput insanabile--


I was Yesterday engaged in an Assembly of Virtuosos, where one of them
produced many curious Observations which he had lately made in the
Anatomy of an Human Body. Another of the Company communicated to us
several wonderful Discoveries, which he had also made on the same
Subject, by the Help of very fine Glasses. This gave Birth to a great
Variety of uncommon Remarks, and furnished Discourse for the remaining
Part of the Day.

The different Opinions which were started on this Occasion, presented to
my Imagination so many new Ideas, that by mixing with those which were
already there, they employed my Fancy all the last Night, and composed a
very wild Extravagant Dream.

I was invited, methoughts, to the Dissection of a _Beaus Head_ and of a
_Coquets Heart_, which were both of them laid on a Table before us. An
imaginary Operator opened the first with a great deal of Nicety, which,
upon a cursory and superficial View, appeared like the Head of another
Man; but upon applying our Glasses to it, we made a very odd Discovery,
namely, that what we looked upon as Brains, were not such in reality,
but an Heap of strange Materials wound up in that Shape and Texture, and
packed together with wonderful Art in the several Cavities of the Skull.
For, as _Homer_ tells us, that the Blood of the Gods is not real Blood,
but only something like it; so we found that the Brain of a Beau is not
real Brain, but only something like it.

The _Pineal Gland_, which many of our Modern Philosophers suppose to be
the Seat of the Soul, smelt very strong of Essence and Orange-flower
Water, and was encompassed with a kind of Horny Substance, cut into a
thousand little Faces or Mirrours, which were imperceptible to the naked
Eye, insomuch that the Soul, if there had been any here, must have been
always taken up in contemplating her own Beauties.

We observed a long _Antrum_ or Cavity in the _Sinciput_, that was filled
with Ribbons, Lace and Embroidery, wrought together in a most curious
Piece of Network, the Parts of which were likewise imperceptible to the
naked Eye. Another of these _Antrums_ or Cavities was stuffed with
invisible Billetdoux, Love-Letters, pricked Dances, and other Trumpery
of the same Nature. In another we found a kind of Powder, which set the
whole Company a Sneezing, and by the Scent discovered it self to be
right _Spanish_. The several other Cells were stored with Commodities of
the same kind, of which it would be tedious to give the Reader an exact

There was a large Cavity on each side of the Head, which I must not
omit. That on the right Side was filled with Fictions, Flatteries, and
Falshoods, Vows, Promises, and Protestations; that on the left with
Oaths and Imprecations. There issued out a _Duct_ from each of these
Cells, which ran into the Root of the Tongue, where both joined
together, and passed forward in one common _Duct_ to the Tip of it. We
discovered several little Roads or Canals running from the Ear into the
Brain, and took particular care to trace them out through their several
Passages. One of them extended itself to a Bundle of Sonnets and little
musical Instruments. Others ended in several Bladders which were filled
either with Wind or Froth. But the latter Canal entered into a great
Cavity of the Skull, from whence there went another Canal into the
Tongue. This great Cavity was filled with a kind of Spongy Substance,
which the _French_ Anatomists call _Galimatias_, and the _English_,

The Skins of the Forehead were extremely tough and thick, and, what very
much surprized us, had not in them any single Blood-Vessel that we were
able to discover, either with or without our Glasses; from whence we
concluded, that the Party when alive must have been entirely deprived of
the Faculty of Blushing.

The _Os Cribriforme_ was exceedingly stuffed, and in some Places damaged
with Snuff. We could not but take notice in particular of that small
Muscle which is not often discovered in Dissections, and draws the Nose
upwards, when it expresses the Contempt which the Owner of it has, upon
seeing any thing he does not like, or hearing any thing he does not
understand. I need not tell my learned Reader, this is that Muscle which
performs the Motion so often mentioned by the _Latin_ Poets, when they
talk of a Man's cocking his Nose, or playing the Rhinoceros.

We did not find any thing very remarkable in the Eye, saving only, that
the _Musculi Amatorii_, or, as we may translate it into _English_, the
_Ogling Muscles_, were very much worn and decayed with use; whereas on
the contrary, the _Elevator_, or the Muscle which turns the Eye towards
Heaven, did not appear to have been used at all.

I have only mentioned in this Dissection such new Discoveries as we were
able to make, and have not taken any notice of those Parts which are to
be met with in common Heads. As for the Skull, the Face, and indeed the
whole outward Shape and Figure of the Head, we could not discover any
Difference from what we observe in the Heads of other Men. We were
informed, that the Person to whom this Head belonged, had passed for _a
Man_ above five and thirty Years; during which time he Eat and Drank
like other People, dressed well, talked loud, laught frequently, and on
particular Occasions had acquitted himself tolerably at a Ball or an
Assembly; to which one of the Company added, that a certain Knot of
Ladies took him for a Wit. He was cut off in the Flower of his Age by
the Blow of a Paring-Shovel, having been surprized by an eminent
Citizen, as he was tendring some Civilities to his Wife.

When we had thoroughly examined this Head with all its Apartments, and
its several kinds of Furniture, we put up the Brain, such as it was,
into its proper Place, and laid it aside under a broad Piece of Scarlet
Cloth, in order to be _prepared_, and kept in a great Repository of
Dissections; our Operator telling us that the Preparation would not be
so difficult as that of another Brain, for that he had observed several
of the little Pipes and Tubes which ran through the Brain were already
filled with a kind of Mercurial Substance, which he looked upon to be
true Quick-Silver.

He applied himself in the next Place to the _Coquets Heart_, which he
likewise laid open with great Dexterity. There occurred to us many
Particularities in this Dissection; but being unwilling to burden my
Readers Memory too much, I shall reserve this Subject for the
Speculation of another Day.


* * * * *

No. 276. Wednesday, January 16, 1712. Steele.

Errori nomen virtus posuisset honestum.



I hope you have Philosophy enough to be capable of bearing the Mention
of your Faults. Your Papers which regard the fallen Part of the Fair
Sex, are, I think, written with an Indelicacy, which makes them
unworthy to be inserted in the Writings of a Moralist who knows the
World. I cannot allow that you are at Liberty to observe upon the
Actions of Mankind with the Freedom which you seem to resolve upon; at
least if you do, you should take along with you the Distinction of
Manners of the World, according to the Quality and Way of Life of the
Persons concerned. A Man of Breeding speaks of even Misfortune among
Ladies without giving it the most terrible Aspect it can bear: And
this Tenderness towards them, is much more to be preserved when you
speak of Vices. All Mankind are so far related, that Care is to be
taken, in things to which all are liable, you do not mention what
concerns one in Terms which shall disgust another. Thus to tell a rich
Man of the Indigence of a Kinsman of his, or abruptly inform a
virtuous Woman of the Lapse of one who till then was in the same
degree of Esteem with her self, is in a kind involving each of them in
some Participation of those Disadvantages. It is therefore expected
from every Writer, to treat his Argument in such a Manner, as is most
proper to entertain the sort of Readers to whom his Discourse is
directed. It is not necessary when you write to the Tea-table, that
you should draw Vices which carry all the Horror of Shame and
Contempt: If you paint an impertinent Self-love, an artful Glance, an
assumed Complection, you say all which you ought to suppose they can
possibly be guilty of. When you talk with this Limitation, you behave
your self so as that you may expect others in Conversation may second
your Raillery; but when you do it in a Stile which every body else
forbears in Respect to their Quality, they have an easy Remedy in
forbearing to read you, and hearing no more of their Faults. A Man
that is now and then guilty of an Intemperance is not to be called a
Drunkard; but the Rule of polite Raillery, is to speak of a Man's
Faults as if you loved him. Of this Nature is what was said by
_Caesar_: When one was railing with an uncourtly Vehemence, and broke
out, What must we call him who was taken in an Intrigue with another
Man's Wife? Caesar answered very gravely, _A careless Fellow_. This was
at once a Reprimand for speaking of a Crime which in those Days had
not the Abhorrence attending it as it ought, as well as an Intimation
that all intemperate Behaviour before Superiors loses its Aim, by
accusing in a Method unfit for the Audience. A Word to the Wise. All I
mean here to say to you is, That the most free Person of Quality can
go no further than being [a kind [1]] Woman; and you should never say
of a Man of Figure worse, than that he knows the World.

I am, SIR,
Your most humble Servant,
Francis Courtly.

I am a Woman of an unspotted Reputation, and know nothing I have ever
done which should encourage such Insolence; but here was one the other
Day, and he was dressed like a Gentleman too, who took the Liberty to
name the Words Lusty Fellow in my Presence. I doubt not but you will
resent it in Behalf of,

Your Humble Servant,

You lately put out a dreadful Paper, wherein you promise a full
Account of the State of criminal Love; and call all the Fair who have
transgressed in that Kind by one very rude Name which I do not care to
repeat: But 1 desire to know of you whether I am or I am not of those?
My Case is as follows. I am kept by an old Batchelour, who took me so
young, that I knew not how he came by me: He is a Bencher of one of
the Inns of Court, a very gay healthy old Man; which is a lucky thing
for him, who has been, he tells me, a Scowrer, a Scamperer, a Breaker
of Windows, an Invader of Constables, in the Days of Yore when all
Dominion ended with the Day, and Males and Females met helter skelter,
and the Scowrers drove before them all who pretended to keep up Order
or Rule to the Interruption of Love and Honour. This is his way of
Talk, for he is very gay when he visits me; but as his former
Knowledge of the Town has alarmed him into an invincible Jealousy, he
keeps me in a pair of Slippers, neat Bodice, warm Petticoats, and my
own Hair woven in Ringlets, after a Manner, he says, he remembers. I
am not Mistress of one Farthing of Money, but have all Necessaries
provided for me, under the Guard of one who procured for him while he
had any Desires to gratify. I know nothing of a Wench's Life, but the
Reputation of it: I have a natural Voice, and a pretty untaught Step
in Dancing. His Manner is to bring an old Fellow who has been his
Servant from his Youth, and is gray-headed: This Man makes on the
Violin a certain Jiggish Noise to which I dance, and when that is over
I sing to him some loose Air, that has more Wantonness than Musick in
it. You must have seen a strange window'd House near _Hide-Park,_
which is so built that no one can look out of any of the Apartments;
my Rooms are after that manner, and I never see Man, Woman, or Child,
but in Company with the two Persons above-mentioned. He sends me in
all the Books, Pamphlets, Plays, Operas and Songs that come out; and
his utmost Delight in me as a Woman, is to talk over old Amours in my
Presence, to play with my Neck, say _the Time was_, give me a Kiss,
and bid me be sure to follow the Directions of my Guardian (the
above-mentioned Lady) and I shall never want. The Truth of my Case is,
I suppose, that I was educated for a Purpose he did not know he should
be unfit for when I came to Years. Now, Sir, what I ask of you, as a
Casuist, is to tell me how far in these Circumstances I am innocent,
though submissive; he guilty, though impotent?
_I am,
Your constant Reader,_

_To the Man called the_ SPECTATOR.

Forasmuch as at the Birth of thy Labour, thou didst promise upon thy
Word, that letting alone the Vanities that do abound, thou wouldst
only endeavour to strengthen the crooked Morals of this our _Babylon_,
I gave Credit to thy fair Speeches, and admitted one of thy Papers,
every Day save _Sunday_, into my House; for the Edification of my
Daughter _Tabitha_, and to the end that Susannah the Wife of my Bosom
might profit thereby. But alas, my Friend, I find that thou art a
Liar, and that the Truth is not in thee; else why didst thou in a
Paper which thou didst lately put forth, make mention of those vain
Coverings for the Heads of our Females, which thou lovest to liken
unto Tulips, and which are lately sprung up amongst us? Nay why didst
thou make mention of them in such a seeming, as if thou didst approve
the Invention, insomuch that my Daughter _Tabitha_ beginneth to wax
wanton, and to lust after these foolish Vanities? Surely thou dost see
with the Eyes of the Flesh. Verily therefore, unless thou dost
speedily amend and leave off following thine own Imaginations, I will
leave off thee.

_Thy Friend as hereafter thou dost demean thyself,_
Hezekiah Broadbrim.


[Footnote 1: [an unkind]]

* * * * *

No. 277. Thursday, January 17, 1712. Budgell.

--fas est et ab hoste doceri.


I presume I need not inform the Polite Part of my Readers,
that before our Correspondence with _France_ was unhappily
interrupted by the War, our Ladies had all their Fashions from
thence; which the Milliners took care to furnish them with by
means of a Jointed Baby, that came regularly over, once a
Month, habited after the manner of the most Eminent Toasts
in _Paris_.

I am credibly informed, that even in the hottest time of the
War, the Sex made several Efforts, and raised large Contributions
towards the Importation of this Wooden _Madamoiselle._

Whether the Vessel they set out was lost or taken, or whether
its Cargo was seized on by the Officers of the Custom-house, as
a piece of Contraband Goods, I have not yet been able to
learn; it is, however, certain their first Attempts were without
Success, to the no small Disappointment of our whole Female
World; but as their Constancy and Application, in a matter of
so great Importance, can never be sufficiently commended, I
am glad to find that in Spight of all Opposition, they have at
length carried their Point, of which I received Advice by the
two following Letters.

I am so great a Lover of whatever is _French_, that I lately
discarded an humble Admirer, because he neither spoke that Tongue, nor
drank Claret. I have long bewailed, in secret, the Calamities of my
Sex during the War, in all which time we have laboured under the
insupportable Inventions of _English_ Tire-Women, who, tho they
sometimes copy indifferently well, can never compose with that _Gout_
they do in _France_.

I was almost in Despair of ever more seeing a Model from that dear
Country, when last Sunday I over-heard a Lady, in the next Pew to me,
whisper another, that at the _Seven Stars_ in _King-street
Covent-garden_, there was a _Madamoiselle_ compleatly dressed just
come from _Paris_.

I was in the utmost Impatience during the remaining part of the
Service, and as soon as ever it was over, having learnt the Millener's
_Addresse_, I went directly to her House in _King-street_, but was
told that the _French_ Lady was at a Person of Quality's in
_Pall-mall_, and would not be back again till very late that Night. I
was therefore obliged to renew my Visit very early this Morning, and
had then a full View of the dear Moppet from Head to Foot.

You cannot imagine, worthy Sir, how ridiculously I find we have all
been trussed up during the War, and how infinitely the _French_ Dress
excels ours.

The Mantua has no Leads in the Sleeves, and I hope we are not lighter
than the _French_ Ladies, so as to want that kind of Ballast; the
Petticoat has no Whale-bone; but fits with an Air altogether galant
and _degage_: the _Coiffeure_ is inexpressibly pretty, and in short,
the whole Dress has a thousand Beauties in it, which I would not have
as yet made too publick.

I thought fit, however, to give this Notice, that you may not be
surprized at my appearing _a la mode de Paris_ on the next
Birth-Night. _I am, SIR,
Your humble Servant,_

Within an Hour after I had read this Letter, I received another from the
Owner of the Puppet.

On Saturday last, being the 12th Instant, there arrived at my House
in _King-street, Covent-Garden_, a _French_ Baby for the Year 1712. I
have taken the utmost Care to have her dressed by the most celebrated
Tyre-women and Mantua-makers in _Paris_, and do not find that I have
any Reason to be sorry for the Expence I have been at in her Cloaths
and Importation: However, as I know no Person who is so good a Judge
of Dress as your self, if you please to call at my House in your Way
to the City, and take a View of her, I promise to amend whatever you
shall disapprove in your next Paper, before I exhibit her as a Pattern
to the Publick.
_I am, SIR,
Your most humble Admirer,
and most obedient Servant,_
Betty Cross-stitch.

As I am willing to do any thing in reason for the Service of my
Country-women, and had much rather prevent Faults than find them, I went
last Night to the House of the above-mentioned Mrs. _Cross-stitch_. As
soon as I enter'd, the Maid of the Shop, who, I suppose, was prepared
for my coming, without asking me any Questions, introduced me to the
little Damsel, and ran away to call her Mistress.

The Puppet was dressed in a Cherry-coloured Gown and Petticoat, with a
short working Apron over it, which discovered her Shape to the most
Advantage. Her Hair was cut and divided very prettily, with several
Ribbons stuck up and down in it. The Millener assured me, that her
Complexion was such as was worn by all the Ladies of the best Fashion in
_Paris_. Her Head was extreamly high, on which Subject having long since
declared my Sentiments, I shall say nothing more to it at present. I was
also offended at a small Patch she wore on her Breast, which I cannot
suppose is placed there with any good Design.

Her Necklace was of an immoderate Length, being tied before in such a
manner that the two Ends hung down to her Girdle; but whether these
supply the Place of Kissing-Strings in our Enemy's Country, and whether
our _British_ Ladies have any occasion for them, I shall leave to their
serious Consideration.

After having observed the Particulars of her Dress, as I was taking a
view of it altogether, the Shop-maid, who is a pert Wench, told me that
_Mademoiselle_ had something very Curious in the tying of her Garters;
but as I pay a due Respect even to a pair of Sticks when they are in
Petticoats, I did not examine into that Particular.

Upon the whole I was well enough pleased with the Appearance of this gay
Lady, and the more so because she was not Talkative, a Quality very
rarely to be met with in the rest of her Countrywomen.

As I was taking my leave, the Millener farther informed me, that with
the Assistance of a Watchmaker, who was her Neighbour, and the ingenious
Mr. _Powell_, she had also contrived another Puppet, which by the help
of several little Springs to be wound up within it, could move all its
Limbs, and that she had sent it over to her Correspondent in _Paris_ to
be taught the various Leanings and Bendings of the Head, the Risings of
the Bosom, the Curtesy and Recovery, the genteel Trip, and the agreeable
Jet, as they are now practised in the Court of _France_.

She added that she hoped she might depend upon having my Encouragement
as soon as it arrived; but as this was a Petition of too great
Importance to be answered _extempore_, I left her without a Reply, and
made the best of my way to WILL. HONEYCOMBS Lodgings, without whose
Advice I never communicate any thing to the Publick of this Nature.


* * * * *

No. 278. Friday, January 18, 1712. Steele.

Sermones ego mallem
Repentes per humum.



Your having done considerable Service in this great City, by
rectifying the Disorders of Families, and several Wives having
preferred your Advice and Directions to those of their Husbands,
emboldens me to apply to you at this Time. I am a Shop-keeper, and tho
but a young Man, I find by Experience that nothing but the utmost
Diligence both of Husband and Wife (among trading People) can keep
Affairs in any tolerable Order. My Wife at the Beginning of our
Establishment shewed her self very assisting to me in my Business as
much as could lie in her Way, and I have Reason to believe twas with
her Inclination; but of late she has got acquainted with a Schoolman,
who values himself for his great Knowledge in the _Greek_ Tongue. He
entertains her frequently in the Shop with Discourses of the Beauties
and Excellencies of that Language; and repeats to her several Passages
out of the _Greek_ Poets, wherein he tells her there is unspeakable
Harmony and agreeable Sounds that all other Languages are wholly
unacquainted with. He has so infatuated her with his Jargon, that
instead of using her former Diligence in the Shop, she now neglects
the Affairs of the House, and is wholly taken up with her Tutor in
learning by Heart Scraps of _Greek_, which she vents upon all
Occasions. She told me some Days ago, that whereas I use some _Latin_
Inscriptions in my Shop, she advised me with a great deal of Concern
to have them changed into _Greek;_ it being a Language less
understood, would be more conformable to the Mystery of my Profession;
that our good Friend would be assisting to us in this Work; and that a
certain Faculty of Gentlemen would find themselves so much obliged to
me, that they would infallibly make my Fortune: In short her frequent
Importunities upon this and other Impertinences of the like Nature
make me very uneasy; and if your Remonstrances have no more Effect
upon her than mine, I am afraid I shall be obliged to ruin my self to
procure her a Settlement at _Oxford_ with her Tutor, for she's already
too mad for _Bedlam_. Now, Sir, you see the Danger my Family is
exposed to, and the Likelihood of my Wife's becoming both troublesome
and useless, unless her reading her self in your Paper may make her
reflect. She is so very learned that I cannot pretend by Word of Mouth
to argue with her. She laughed out at your ending a Paper in _Greek_,
and said twas a Hint to Women of Literature, and very civil not to
translate it to expose them to the Vulgar. You see how it is with,

_Your humble Servant_.

If you have that Humanity and Compassion in your Nature that you take
such Pains to make one think you have, you will not deny your Advice
to a distressed Damsel, who intends to be determined by your Judgment
in a Matter of great Importance to her. You must know then, There is
an agreeable young Fellow, to whose Person, Wit, and Humour no body
makes any Objection, that pretends to have been long in Love with me.
To this I must add, (whether it proceeds from the Vanity of my Nature,
or the seeming Sincerity of my Lover, I wont pretend to say) that I
verily believe he has a real Value for me; which if true, you'll allow
may justly augment his Merit for his Mistress. In short, I am so
sensible of his good Qualities, and what I owe to his Passion, that I
think I could sooner resolve to give up my Liberty to him than any
body else, were there not an Objection to be made to his Fortunes, in
regard they don't answer the utmost mine may expect, and are not
sufficient to secure me from undergoing the reproachful Phrase so
commonly used, That she has played the Fool. Now, tho I am one of
those few who heartily despise Equipage, Diamonds, and a Coxcomb, yet
since such opposite Notions from mine prevail in the World, even
amongst the best, and such as are esteemed the most prudent People, I
cant find in my Heart to resolve upon incurring the Censure of those
wise Folks, which I am conscious I shall do, if when I enter into a
married State, I discover a Thought beyond that of equalling, if not
advancing my Fortunes. Under this Difficulty I now labour, not being
in the least determined whether I shall be governed by the vain World,
and the frequent Examples I meet with, or hearken to the Voice of my
Lover, and the Motions I find in my Heart in favour of him. Sir, Your
Opinion and Advice in this Affair, is the only thing I know can turn
the Ballance; and which I earnestly intreat I may receive soon; for
till I have your Thoughts upon it, I am engaged not to give my Swain a
final Discharge.

Besides the particular Obligation you will lay on me, by giving this
Subject Room in one of your Papers, tis possible it may be of use to
some others of my Sex, who will be as grateful for the Favour as,
Your Humble Servant,_

P. S. _To tell you the Truth I am Married to Him already, but pray say
something to justify me._

You will forgive Us Professors of Musick if We make a second
Application to You, in order to promote our Design of exhibiting
Entertainments of Musick in _York-Buildings._ It is industriously
insinuated that Our Intention is to destroy Operas in General, but we
beg of you to insert this plain Explanation of our selves in your
Paper. Our Purpose is only to improve our Circumstances, by improving
the Art which we profess. We see it utterly destroyed at present; and
as we were the Persons who introduced Operas, we think it a groundless
Imputation that we should set up against the Opera in it self. What we
pretend to assert is, That the Songs of different Authors
injudiciously put together, and a Foreign Tone and Manner which are
expected in every thing now performed among us, has put Musick it self
to a stand; insomuch that the Ears of the People cannot now be
entertained with any thing but what has an impertinent Gayety, without
any just Spirit, or a Languishment of Notes, without any Passion or
common Sense. We hope those Persons of Sense and Quality who have done
us the Honour to subscribe, will not be ashamed of their Patronage
towards us, and not receive Impressions that patronising us is being
for or against the Opera, but truly promoting their own Diversions in
a more just and elegant Manner than has been hitherto performed. _We
are, SIR,
Your most humble Servants,_
Thomas Clayton.
Nicolino Haym.
Charles Dieupart. [1]

_There will be no Performances in_ York-buildings _till after that
of the Subscription._


[Footnote 1: See No. 258.]

* * * * *

No. 279. Saturday, January 19, 1712. Addison.

Reddere personae scit convenientia cuique.


We have already taken a general Survey of the Fable and Characters in
_Milton's Paradise Lost_. The Parts which remain to be considered,
according to _Aristotle's_ Method, are the _Sentiments_ and the
_Language_. [1]

Before I enter upon the first of these, I must advertise my Reader, that
it is my Design as soon as I have finished my general Reflections on
these four several Heads, to give particular Instances out of the Poem
which is now before us of Beauties and Imperfections which may be
observed under each of them, as also of such other Particulars as may
not properly fall under any of them. This I thought fit to premise, that
the Reader may not judge too hastily of this Piece of Criticism, or look
upon it as Imperfect, before he has seen the whole Extent of it.

The Sentiments in an Epic Poem are the Thoughts and Behaviour which the
Author ascribes to the Persons whom he introduces, and are _just_ when
they are conformable to the Characters of the several Persons. The
Sentiments have likewise a relation to _Things_ as well as _Persons_,
and are then perfect when they are such as are adapted to the Subject.
If in either of these Cases the Poet [endeavours to argue or explain, to
magnify or diminish, to raise] [2] Love or Hatred, Pity or Terror, or
any other Passion, we ought to consider whether the Sentiments he makes
use of are proper for [those [3]] Ends. _Homer_ is censured by the
Criticks for his Defect as to this Particular in several parts of the
_Iliad_ and _Odyssey_, tho at the same time those, who have treated
this great Poet with Candour, have attributed this Defect to the Times
in which he lived. [4] It was the Fault of the Age, and not of _Homer_,
if there wants that Delicacy in some of his Sentiments which now appears
in the Works of Men of a much inferior Genius. Besides, if there are
Blemishes in any particular Thoughts, there is an infinite Beauty in the
greatest Part of them. In short, if there are many Poets who would not
have fallen into the Meanness of some of his Sentiments, there are none
who could have risen up to the Greatness of others. _Virgil_ has
excelled all others in the Propriety of his Sentiments. _Milton_ shines
likewise very much in this Particular: Nor must we omit one
Consideration which adds to his Honour and Reputation. _Homer_ and
_Virgil_ introduced Persons whose Characters are commonly known among
Men, and such as are to be met with either in History, or in ordinary
Conversation. _Milton's_ Characters, most of them, lie out of Nature,
and were to be formed purely by his own Invention. It shews a greater
Genius in _Shakespear_ to have drawn his _Calyban,_ than his _Hotspur_
or _Julius Caesar:_ The one was to be supplied out of his own
Imagination, whereas the other might have been formed upon Tradition,
History and Observation. It was much easier therefore for _Homer_ to
find proper Sentiments for an Assembly of _Grecian_ Generals, than for
_Milton_ to diversify his infernal Council with proper Characters, and
inspire them with a Variety of Sentiments. The Lovers of _Dido_ and
_AEneas_ are only Copies of what has passed between other Persons.
_Adam_ and _Eve_, before the Fall, are a different Species from that of
Mankind, who are descended from them; and none but a Poet of the most
unbounded Invention, and the most exquisite Judgment, could have filled
their Conversation and Behaviour with [so many apt [5]] Circumstances
during their State of Innocence.

Nor is it sufficient for an Epic Poem to be filled with such Thoughts as
are _Natural_, unless it abound also with such as are _Sublime_. Virgil
in this Particular falls short of _Homer_. He has not indeed so many
Thoughts that are Low and Vulgar; but at the same time has not so many
Thoughts that are Sublime and Noble. The Truth of it is, _Virgil_ seldom
rises into very astonishing Sentiments, where he is not fired by the
_Iliad_. He every where charms and pleases us by the Force of his own
Genius; but seldom elevates and transports us where he does not fetch
his Hints from _Homer_.

_Milton's_ chief Talent, and indeed his distinguishing Excellence, lies
in the Sublimity of his Thoughts. There are others of the Moderns who
rival him in every other part of Poetry; but in the Greatness of his
Sentiments he triumphs over all the Poets both Modern and Ancient,
_Homer_ only excepted. It is impossible for the Imagination of Man to
distend itself with greater Ideas, than those which he has laid together
in his first, [second,] and sixth Book[s]. The seventh, which describes
the Creation of the World, is likewise wonderfully Sublime, tho not so
apt to stir up Emotion in the Mind of the Reader, nor consequently so
perfect in the Epic Way of Writing, because it is filled with less
Action. Let the judicious Reader compare what _Longinus_ has observed
[6] on several Passages in _Homer_, and he will find Parallels for most
of them in the _Paradise Lost_.

From what has been said we may infer, that as there are two kinds of
Sentiments, the Natural and the Sublime, which are always to be pursued
in an Heroic Poem, there are also two kinds of Thoughts which are
carefully to be avoided. The first are such as are affected and
unnatural; the second such as are mean and vulgar. As for the first kind
of Thoughts, we meet with little or nothing that is like them in
_Virgil:_ He has none of those [trifling [7]] Points and Puerilities
that are so often to be met with in _Ovid_, none of the Epigrammatick
Turns of _Lucan_, none of those swelling Sentiments which are so
frequent in _Statins_ and _Claudian_, none of those mixed Embellishments
of _Tasso_. Every thing is just and natural. His Sentiments shew that he
had a perfect Insight into human Nature, and that he knew every thing
which was the most proper to [affect it [8]].

Mr. _Dryden_ has in some Places, which I may hereafter take notice of,
misrepresented _Virgil's_ way of thinking as to this Particular, in the
Translation he has given us of the _AEneid_. I do not remember that
_Homer_ any where falls into the Faults above-mentioned, which were
indeed the false Refinements of later Ages. _Milton_, it must be
confest, has sometimes erred in this Respect, as I shall shew more at
large in another Paper; tho considering how all the Poets of the Age in
which he writ were infected with this wrong way of thinking, he is
rather to be admired that he did not give more into it, than that he did
sometimes comply with the vicious Taste which still prevails so much
among Modern Writers.

But since several Thoughts may be natural which are low and groveling,
an Epic Poet should not only avoid such Sentiments as are unnatural or
affected, but also such as are [mean [9]] and vulgar. _Homer_ has opened
a great Field of Raillery to Men of more Delicacy than Greatness of
Genius, by the Homeliness of some of his Sentiments. But, as I have
before said, these are rather to be imputed to the Simplicity of the Age
in which he lived, to which I may also add, of that which he described,
than to any Imperfection in that Divine Poet. _Zoilus_ [10] among the
Ancients, and Monsieur _Perrault_, [11] among the Moderns, pushed their
Ridicule very far upon him, on account of some such Sentiments. There is
no Blemish to be observed in _Virgil_ under this Head, and but [a] very
few in Milton.

I shall give but one Instance of this Impropriety of [Thought [12]] in
_Homer_, and at the same time compare it with an Instance of the same
Nature, both in _Virgil_ and _Milton_. Sentiments which raise Laughter,
can very seldom be admitted with any Decency into an Heroic Poem, whose
Business it is to excite Passions of a much nobler Nature. _Homer_,
however, in his Characters of _Vulcan_ [13] and _Thersites_ [14], in his
Story of _Mars_ and _Venus_, [15] in his Behaviour of _Irus_ [16] and in
other Passages, has been observed to have lapsed into the Burlesque
Character, and to have departed from that serious Air which seems
essential to the Magnificence of an Epic Poem. I remember but one Laugh
in the whole AEneid, which rises in the fifth Book, upon _Monaetes_, where
he is represented as thrown overboard, and drying himself upon a Rock.
But this Piece. of Mirth is so well timed, that the severest Critick can
have nothing to say against it; for it is in the Book of Games and
Diversions, where the Readers Mind may be supposed to be sufficiently
relaxed for such an Entertainment. The only Piece of Pleasantry in
_Paradise Lost_, is where the Evil Spirits are described as rallying the
Angels upon the Success of their new invented Artillery. This Passage I
look upon to be the most exceptionable in the whole Poem, as being
nothing else but a String of Punns, and those too very indifferent ones.

--Satan beheld their Plight,
And to his Mates thus in Derision call'd.
O Friends, why come not on those Victors proud?
Ere-while they fierce were coming, and when we,
To entertain them fair with open Front,
And Breast, (what could we more?) propounded terms
Of Composition, straight they chang'd their Minds,
Flew off, _and into strange Vagaries fell
As they would dance: yet for a Dance they seem'd
Somewhat extravagant, and wild; perhaps
For Joy of offer'd Peace; but I suppose
If our Proposals once again were_ heard,
_We should compel them to a quick_ Result.

_To whom thus_ Belial _in like gamesome Mood:
Leader, the Terms we sent were Terms of_ Weight,
_Of_ hard Contents, _and full of force urg'd home;
Such as we might perceive amus'd them all,
And_ stumbled _many: who receives them right,
Had need, from Head to Foot, will_ understand;
_Not_ understood, _this Gift they have besides,
They shew us when our Foes_ walk not upright.

_Thus they among themselves in pleasant vein
Stood scoffing_ [17]----


[Footnote 1: It is in Part II. of the _Poetics,_ when treating of
Tragedy, that Aristotle lays down his main principles. Here after
treating of the Fable and the Manners, he proceeds to the Diction and
the Sentiments. By Fable, he says (Sec. 2),

I mean the contexture of incidents, or the Plot. By Manners, I mean,
whatever marks the Character of the Persons. By Sentiments, whatever
they say, whether proving any thing, or delivering a general
sentiment, &c.

In dividing Sentiments from Diction, he says (Sec.22): The Sentiments
include whatever is the Object of speech, Diction (Sec. 23-25) the words
themselves. Concerning Sentiment, he refers his reader to the

[Footnote 2: [argues or explains, magnifies or diminishes, raises]]

[Footnote 3: [these]]

[Footnote 4: Rene le Bossu says in his treatise on the Epic, published
in 1675, Bk, vi. ch. 3:

What is base and ignoble at one time and in one country, is not
always so in others. We are apt to smile at Homers comparing Ajax to
an Ass in his Iliad. Such a comparison now-a-days would be indecent
and ridiculous; because it would be indecent and ridiculous for a
person of quality to ride upon such a steed. But heretofore this
Animal was in better repute: Kings and princes did not disdain the
best so much as mere tradesman do in our time. Tis just the same with
many other smiles which in Homers time were allowable. We should now
pity a Poet that should be so silly and ridiculous as to compare a
Hero to a piece of Fat. Yet Homer does it in a comparison he makes of
Ulysses... The reason is that in these Primitive Times, wherein the
Sacrifices ... were living creatures, the Blood and the Fat were the
most noble, the most august, and the most holy things.]

[Footnote 5: [such Beautiful]]

[Footnote 6: Longimus on the Sublime, I. Sec. 9. of Discord, Homer says
(Popes tr.):

While scarce the skies her horrid head can bound,
She stalks on earth.

(Iliad iv.)

Of horses of the gods:

Far as a shepherd from some spot on high
O'er the wide main extends his boundless eye,
Through such a space of air, with thundring sound,
At one long leap th' immortal coursers bound.

(Iliad v.)

Longinus quotes also from the Iliad xix., the combat of the Gods, the
description of Neptune, Iliad xi., and the Prayer of Ajax, Iliad xvii.]

[Footnote 7: [little]]

[Footnote 8: [affect it. I remember but one line in him which has been
objected against, by the Criticks, as a point of Wit. It is in his ninth
Book, where _Juno_, speaking of the _Trojans_, how they survived the
Ruins of their City, expresses her self in the following words;

_Num copti potuere copi, num incense cremorunt Pergama?_

_Were the Trojans taken even after they were Captives, or did_ Troy
_burn even when it was in Flames?_]

[Footnote 9: [low]]

[Footnote 10: Zoilus, who lived about 270 B. C., in the time of Ptolemy
Philadelphus, made himself famous for attacks upon Homer and on Plato
and Isocrates, taking pride in the title of Homeromastix. Circes men
turned into swine Zoilus ridiculed as weeping porkers. When he asked
sustenance of Ptolemy he was told that Homer sustained many thousands,
and as he claimed to be a better man than Homer, he ought to be able to
sustain himself. The tradition is that he was at last crucified, stoned,
or burnt for his heresy.]

[Footnote 11: Charles Perrault, brother of Claude Perrault the architect
and ex-physician, was himself Controller of Public Buildings under
Colbert, and after his retirement from that office, published in 1690
his Parallel between the Ancients and Moderns, taking the side of the
moderns in the controversy, and dealing sometimes disrespectfully with
Homer. Boileau replied to him in Critical Reflections on Longinus.]

[Footnote 12: [Sentiments]]

[Footnote 13: Iliad, Bk. i., near the close.]

[Footnote 14: Iliad, Bk. ii.]

[Footnote 15: Bk. v., at close.]

[Footnote 16: Odyssey, Bk. xviii]

[Footnote 17: Paradise Lost, Bk. vi. 1. 609, &c. Milton meant that the
devils should be shown as scoffers, and their scoffs as mean.]

* * * * *

No. 280. Monday, January 21, 1712. Steele.

Principibus Placuisse viris non ultima I laus est.


The Desire of Pleasing makes a Man agreeable or unwelcome to those with
whom he converses, according to the Motive from which that Inclination
appears to flow. If your Concern for pleasing others arises from innate
Benevolence, it never fails of Success; if from a Vanity to excel, its
Disappointment is no less certain. What we call an agreeable Man, is he
who is endowed with [the [1]] natural Bent to do acceptable things from
a Delight he takes in them meerly as such; and the Affectation of that
Character is what constitutes a Fop. Under these Leaders one may draw up
all those who make any Manner of Figure, except in dumb Show. A rational
and select Conversation is composed of Persons, who have the Talent of
Pleasing with Delicacy of Sentiments flowing from habitual Chastity of
Thought; but mixed Company is frequently made up of Pretenders to Mirth,
and is usually pestered with constrained, obscene, and painful
Witticisms. Now and then you meet with a Man so exactly formed for
Pleasing, that it is no matter what he is doing or saying, that is to
say, that there need no Manner of Importance in it, to make him gain
upon every Body who hears or beholds him. This Felicity is not the Gift
of Nature only, but must be attended with happy Circumstances, which add
a Dignity to the familiar Behaviour which distinguishes him whom we call
an agreeable Man. It is from this that every Body loves and esteems
_Polycarpus_. He is in the Vigour of his Age and the Gayety of Life, but
has passed through very conspicuous Scenes in it; though no Soldier, he
has shared the Danger, and acted with great Gallantry and Generosity on
a decisive Day of Battle. To have those Qualities which only make other
Men conspicuous in the World as it were supernumerary to him, is a
Circumstance which gives Weight to his most indifferent Actions; for as
a known Credit is ready Cash to a Trader, so is acknowledged Merit
immediate Distinction, and serves in the Place of Equipage to a
Gentleman. This renders _Polycarpus_ graceful in Mirth, important in
Business, and regarded with Love in every ordinary Occurrence. But not
to dwell upon Characters which have such particular Recommendations to
our Hearts, let us turn our Thoughts rather to the Methods of Pleasing
which must carry Men through the World who cannot pretend to such
Advantages. Falling in with the particular Humour or Manner of one above
you, abstracted from the general Rules of good Behaviour, is the Life of
a Slave. A Parasite differs in nothing from the meanest Servant, but
that the Footman hires himself for bodily Labour, subjected to go and
come at the Will of his Master, but the other gives up his very Soul: He
is prostituted to speak, and professes to think after the Mode of him
whom he courts. This Servitude to a Patron, in an honest Nature, would
be more grievous than that of wearing his Livery; therefore we will
speak of those Methods only which are worthy and ingenuous.

The happy Talent of Pleasing either those above you or below you, seems
to be wholly owing to the Opinion they have of your Sincerity. This
Quality is to attend the agreeable Man in all the Actions of his Life;
and I think there need no more be said in Honour of it, than that it is
what forces the Approbation even of your Opponents. The guilty Man has
an Honour for the Judge who with Justice pronounces against him the
Sentence of Death it self. The Author of the Sentence at the Head of
this Paper, was an excellent Judge of human Life, and passed his own in
Company the most agreeable that ever was in the World. _Augustus_ lived
amongst his Friends as if he had his Fortune to make in his own Court:
Candour and Affability, accompanied with as much Power as ever Mortal
was vested with, were what made him in the utmost Manner agreeable among
a Set of admirable Men, who had Thoughts too high for Ambition, and
Views too large to be gratified by what he could give them in the
Disposal of an Empire, without the Pleasures of their mutual
Conversation. A certain Unanimity of Taste and Judgment, which is
natural to all of the same Order in the Species, was the Band of this
Society; and the Emperor assumed no Figure in it but what he thought was
his Due from his private Talents and Qualifications, as they contributed
to advance the Pleasures and Sentiments of the Company.

Cunning People, Hypocrites, all who are but half virtuous, or half wise,
are incapable of tasting the refined Pleasure of such an equal Company
as could wholly exclude the Regard of Fortune in their Conversations.
_Horace_, in the Discourse from whence I take the Hint of the present
Speculation, lays down excellent Rules for Conduct in Conversation with
Men of Power; but he speaks it with an Air of one who had no Need of
such an Application for any thing which related to himself. It shews he
understood what it was to be a skilful Courtier, by just Admonitions
against Importunity, and shewing how forcible it was to speak Modestly
of your own Wants. There is indeed something so shameless in taking all
Opportunities to speak of your own Affairs, that he who is guilty of it
towards him upon whom he depends, fares like the Beggar who exposes his
Sores, which instead of moving Compassion makes the Man he begs of turn
away from the Object.

I cannot tell what is become of him, but I remember about sixteen Years
ago an honest Fellow, who so justly understood how disagreeable the
Mention or Appearance of his Wants would make him, that I have often
reflected upon him as a Counterpart of _Irus_, whom I have formerly
mentioned. This Man, whom I have missed for some Years in my Walks, and
have heard was someway employed about the Army, made it a Maxim, That
good Wigs, delicate Linen, and a chearful Air, were to a poor Dependent
the same that working Tools are to a poor Artificer. It was no small
Entertainment to me, who knew his Circumstances, to see him, who had
fasted two Days, attribute the Thinness they told him of to the Violence
of some Gallantries he had lately been guilty of. The skilful Dissembler
carried this on with the utmost Address; and if any suspected his
Affairs were narrow, it was attributed to indulging himself in some
fashionable Vice rather than an irreproachable Poverty, which saved his
Credit with those on whom he depended.

The main Art is to be as little troublesome as you can, and make all you
hope for come rather as a Favour from your Patron than Claim from you.
But I am here prating of what is the Method of Pleasing so as to succeed
in the World, when there are Crowds who have, in City, Town, Court, and
Country, arrived at considerable Acquisitions, and yet seem incapable of
acting in any constant Tenour of Life, but have gone on from one
successful Error to another: Therefore I think I may shorten this
Enquiry after the Method of Pleasing; and as the old Beau said to his
Son, once for all, Pray, Jack, _be a fine Gentleman_, so may I, to my
Reader, abridge my Instructions, and finish the Art of Pleasing in a
Word, Be rich.


[Footnote 1: [that]]

* * * * *

No. 281. Tuesday, January 22, 1712. Addison.

Pectoribus inhians spirantia consulit exta.


Having already given an Account of the Dissection of a Beaus Head, with
the several Discoveries made on that Occasion; I shall here, according
to my Promise, enter upon the Dissection of a Coquets Heart, and
communicate to the Public such Particularities as we observed in that
curious Piece of Anatomy.

I should perhaps have waved this Undertaking, had not I been put in mind
of my Promise by several of my unknown Correspondents, who are very
importunate with me to make an Example of the Coquet, as I have already
done of the Beau. It is therefore in Compliance with the Request of
Friends, that I have looked over the Minutes of my former Dream, in
order to give the Publick an exact Relation to it, which I shall enter
upon without further Preface.

Our Operator, before he engaged in this Visionary Dissection, told us,
that there was nothing in his Art more difficult than to lay open the
Heart of a Coquet, by reason of the many Labyrinths and Recesses which
are to be found in it, and which do not appear in the Heart of any other

He desired us first of all to observe the _Pericardium_, or outward Case
of the Heart, which we did very attentively; and by the help of our
Glasses discern'd in it Millions of little Scars, which seem'd to have
been occasioned by the Points of innumerable Darts and Arrows, that from
time to time had glanced upon the outward Coat; though we could not
discover the smallest Orifice, by which any of them had entered and
pierced the inward Substance.

Every Smatterer in Anatomy knows that this _Pericardium_, or Case of the
Heart, contains in it a thin reddish Liquor, supposed to be bred from
the Vapours which exhale out of the Heart, and, being stopt here, are
condensed into this watry Substance. Upon examining this Liquor, we
found that it had in it all the Qualities of that Spirit which is made
use of in the Thermometer, to shew the Change of Weather.

Nor must I here omit an Experiment one of the Company assured us he
himself had made with this Liquor, which he found in great Quantity
about the Heart of a Coquet whom he had formerly dissected. He affirmed
to us, that he had actually inclosed it in a small Tube made after the
manner of a Weather Glass; but that instead of acquainting him with the
Variations of the Atmosphere, it shewed him the Qualities of those
Persons who entered the Room where it stood. He affirmed also, that it
rose at the Approach of a Plume of Feathers, an embroidered Coat, or a
Pair of fringed Gloves; and that it fell as soon as an ill-shaped
Perriwig, a clumsy Pair of Shoes, or an unfashionable Coat came into his
House: Nay, he proceeded so far as to assure us, that upon his Laughing
aloud when he stood by it, the Liquor mounted very sensibly, and
immediately sunk again upon his looking serious. In short, he told us,
that he knew very well by this Invention whenever he had a Man of Sense
or a Coxcomb in his Room.

Having cleared away the _Pericardium_, or the Case and Liquor
above-mentioned, we came to the Heart itself. The outward Surface of it
was extremely slippery, and the _Mufro_, or Point, so very cold withal,
that, upon endeavouring to take hold of it it glided through the Fingers
like a smooth Piece of Ice.

The Fibres were turned and twisted in a more intricate and perplexed
manner than they are usually found in other Hearts; insomuch that the
whole Heart was wound up together in a Gordian Knot, and must have had
very irregular and unequal Motions, whilst it was employed in its Vital

One thing we thought very observable, namely, that, upon examining all
the Vessels which came into it or issued out of it, we could not
discover any Communication that it had with the Tongue.

We could not but take Notice likewise, that several of those little
Nerves in the Heart which are affected by the Sentiments of Love,
Hatred, and other Passions, did not descend to this before us from the
Brain, but from the Muscles which lie about the Eye.

Upon weighing the Heart in my Hand, I found it to be extreamly light,
and consequently very hollow, which I did not wonder at, when upon
looking into the Inside of it, I saw Multitudes of Cells and Cavities
running one within another, as our Historians describe the Apartments of
_Rosamond's_ Bower. Several of these little Hollows were stuffed with
innumerable sorts of Trifles, which I shall forbear giving any
particular Account of, and shall therefore only take Notice of what lay
first and uppermost, which, upon our unfolding it and applying our
Microscopes to it, appeared to be a Flame-coloured Hood.

We were informed that the Lady of this Heart, when living, received the
Addresses of several who made Love to her, and did not only give each of
them Encouragement, but made every one she conversed with believe that
she regarded him with an Eye of Kindness; for which Reason we expected
to have seen the Impression of Multitudes of Faces among the several
Plaits and Foldings of the Heart; but to our great Surprize not a single
Print of this nature discovered it self till we came into the very Core
and Center of it. We there observed a little Figure, which, upon
applying our Glasses to it, appeared dressed in a very fantastick
manner. The more I looked upon it, the more I thought I had seen the
Face before, but could not possibly recollect either the Place or Time;
when, at length, one of the Company, who had examined this Figure more
nicely than the rest, shew'd us plainly by the Make of its Face, and the
several Turns of its Features, that the little Idol which was thus
lodged in the very Middle of the Heart was the deceased Beau, whose Head
I gave some Account of in my last _Tuesdays_ Paper.

As soon as we had finished our Dissection, we resolved to make an
Experiment of the Heart, not being able to determine among our selves
the Nature of its Substance, which differ'd in so many Particulars from
that of the Heart in other Females. Accordingly we laid it into a Pan of
burning Coals, when we observed in it a certain Salamandrine Quality,
that made it capable of living in the midst of Fire and Flame, without
being consumed, or so much as singed.

As we were admiring this strange _Phoenomenon_, and standing round the
Heart in a Circle, it gave a most prodigious Sigh or rather Crack, and
dispersed all at once in Smoke and Vapour. This imaginary Noise, which
methought was louder than the burst of a Cannon, produced such a violent
Shake in my Brain, that it dissipated the Fumes of Sleep, and left me in
an Instant broad awake.


* * * * *

No. 282. Wednesday, January 23, 1712. Steele.

[--Spes incerta futuri.

Virg. [1]]

It is a lamentable thing that every Man is full of Complaints, and
constantly uttering Sentences against the Fickleness of Fortune, when
People generally bring upon themselves all the Calamities they fall
into, and are constantly heaping up Matter for their own Sorrow and
Disappointment. That which produces the greatest Part of the [Delusions
[2]] of Mankind, is a false Hope which People indulge with so sanguine a
Flattery to themselves, that their Hearts are bent upon fantastical
Advantages which they had no Reason to believe should ever have arrived
to them. By this unjust Measure of calculating their Happiness, they
often mourn with real Affliction for imaginary Losses. When I am talking
of this unhappy way of accounting for our selves, I cannot but reflect
upon a particular Set of People, who, in their own Favour, resolve every
thing that is possible into what is probable, and then reckon on that
Probability as on what must certainly happen. WILL. HONEYCOMB, upon my
observing his looking on a Lady with some particular Attention, gave me
an Account of the great Distresses which had laid waste that her very
fine Face, and had given an Air of Melancholy to a very agreeable
Person, That Lady, and a couple of Sisters of hers, were, said WILL.,
fourteen Years ago, the greatest Fortunes about Town; but without having
any Loss by bad Tenants, by bad Securities, or any Damage by Sea or
Land, are reduced to very narrow Circumstances. They were at that time
the most inaccessible haughty Beauties in Town; and their Pretensions to
take upon them at that unmerciful rate, was rais'd upon the following
Scheme, according to which all their Lovers were answered.

Our Father is a youngish Man, but then our Mother is somewhat older,
and not likely to have any Children: His Estate, being L800 per Annum,
at 20 Years Purchase, is worth L16,000. Our Uncle who is above 50, has
L400 _per Annum_, which at the foresaid Rate, is L8000. There's a Widow
Aunt, who has L10,000 at her own Disposal left by her Husband, and an
old Maiden Aunt who has L6000. Then our Fathers Mother has L900 _per
Annum_, which is worth L18,000 and L1000 each of us has of her own,
which cant be taken from us. These summ'd up together stand thus.

Fathers 800- 16,000 This equally divided between
Uncles 400- 8000 us three amounts to L20,000
Aunts 10,000 each; and Allowance being
6000- 16,000 given for Enlargement upon
Grandmother 900- 18,000 common Fame, we may lawfully
Own 1000 each- 3000 pass for L30,000 Fortunes.
Total- 61,000

In Prospect of this, and the Knowledge of her own personal Merit, every
one was contemptible in their Eyes, and they refus'd those Offers which
had been frequently made em. But _mark the End:_ The Mother dies, the
Father is married again, and has a Son, on him was entail'd the
Fathers, Uncles, and Grand-mothers Estate. This cut off L43,000. The
Maiden Aunt married a tall Irishman, and with her went the L6000. The
Widow died, and left but enough to pay her Debts and bury her; so that
there remained for these three Girls but their own L1000. They had [by]
this time passed their Prime, and got on the wrong side of Thirty; and
must pass the Remainder of their Days, upbraiding Mankind that they mind
nothing but Money, and bewailing that Virtue, Sense and Modesty are had
at present in no manner of Estimation.

I mention this Case of Ladies before any other, because it is the most
irreparable: For tho Youth is the Time less capable of Reflection, it
is in that Sex the only Season in which they can advance their Fortunes.
But if we turn our Thoughts to the Men, we see such Crowds of Unhappy
from no other Reason, but an ill-grounded Hope, that it is hard to say
which they rather deserve, our Pity or Contempt. It is not unpleasant to
see a Fellow after grown old in Attendance, and after having passed half
a Life in Servitude, call himself the unhappiest of all Men, and pretend
to be disappointed because a Courtier broke his Word. He that promises
himself any thing but what may naturally arise from his own Property or
Labour, and goes beyond the Desire of possessing above two Parts in
three even of that, lays up for himself an encreasing Heap of
Afflictions and Disappointments. There are but two Means in the World of
gaining by other Men, and these are by being either agreeable or
considerable. The Generality of Mankind do all things for their own
sakes; and when you hope any thing from Persons above you, if you cannot
say, I can be thus agreeable or thus serviceable, it is ridiculous to
pretend to the Dignity of being unfortunate when they leave you; you
were injudicious, in hoping for any other than to be neglected, for such
as can come within these Descriptions of being capable to please or
serve your Patron, when his Humour or Interests call for their Capacity
either way.

It would not methinks be an useless Comparison between the Condition of
a Man who shuns all the Pleasures of Life, and of one who makes it his
Business to pursue them. Hope in the Recluse makes his Austerities
comfortable, while the luxurious Man gains nothing but Uneasiness from
his Enjoyments. What is the Difference in the Happiness of him who is
macerated by Abstinence, and his who is surfeited with Excess? He who
resigns the World, has no Temptation to Envy, Hatred, Malice, Anger, but
is in constant Possession of a serene Mind; he who follows the Pleasures
of it, which are in their very Nature disappointing, is in constant
Search of Care, Solicitude, Remorse, and Confusion.

_January the 14th, 1712_.


I am a young Woman and have my Fortune to make; for which Reason I
come constantly to Church to hear Divine Service, and make Conquests:
But one great Hindrance in this my Design, is, that our Clerk, who was
once a Gardener, has this _Christmas_ so over-deckt the Church with
Greens, that he has quite spoilt my Prospect, insomuch that I have
scarce seen the young Baronet I dress at these three Weeks, though we
have both been very constant at our Devotions, and don't sit above
three Pews off. The Church, as it is now equipt, looks more like a
Green-house than a Place of Worship: The middle Isle is a very pretty
shady Walk, and the Pews look like so many Arbours of each Side of it.
The Pulpit itself has such Clusters of Ivy, Holly, and Rosemary about
it, that a light Fellow in our Pew took occasion to say, that the
Congregation heard the Word out of a Bush, like _Moses_. Sir _Anthony
Loves_ Pew in particular is so well hedged, that all my Batteries
have no Effect. I am obliged to shoot at random among the Boughs,
without taking any manner of Aim. _Mr_. SPECTATOR, unless you'll give
Orders for removing these Greens, I shall grow a very awkward Creature
at Church, and soon have little else to do there but to say my
Prayers. I am in haste,

_Dear SIR_,
_Your most Obedient Servant_,
Jenny Simper.


[Footnote 1: _Et nulli rei nisi Poenitentiae natus._ ]

[Footnote 2: Pollutions]

* * * * *

No. 283. Thursday, January 24, 1712. Budgell.

Magister artis et largitor ingeni


Lucian [1] rallies the Philosophers in his Time, who could not agree
whether they should admit _Riches_ into the number of _real Goods_; the
Professors of the Severer Sects threw them quite out, while others as
resolutely inserted them.

I am apt to believe, that as the World grew more Polite, the rigid
Doctrines of the first were wholly discarded; and I do not find any one
so hardy at present, as to deny that there are very great Advantages in
the Enjoyment of a plentiful Fortune. Indeed the best and wisest of Men,
tho they may possibly despise a good Part of those things which the
World calls Pleasures, can, I think, hardly be insensible of that Weight
and Dignity which a moderate Share of Wealth adds to their Characters,
Councils, and Actions.

We find it is a General Complaint in Professions and Trades, that the
richest Members of them are chiefly encouraged, and this is falsly
imputed to the Ill-nature of Mankind, who are ever bestowing their
Favours on such as least want them. Whereas if we fairly consider their
Proceedings in this Case, we shall find them founded on undoubted
Reason: Since supposing both equal in their natural Integrity, I ought,
in common Prudence, to fear foul Play from an Indigent Person, rather
than from one whose Circumstances seem to have placed him above the bare
Temptation of Money.

This Reason also makes the Common-wealth regard her richest Subjects, as
those who are most concerned for her Quiet and Interest, and
consequently fittest to be intrusted with her highest Imployments. On
the contrary, _Cataline's_ Saying to those Men of desperate Fortunes,
who applied themselves to him, and of whom he afterwards composed his
Army, that _they had nothing to hope for but a Civil War_, was too true
not to make the Impressions he desired.

I believe I need not fear but that what I have said in Praise of Money,
will be more than sufficient with most of my Readers to excuse the
Subject of my present Paper, which I intend as an Essay on _The Ways to
raise a Man's Fortune_, or, _The Art of growing Rich._

The first and most infallible Method towards the attaining of this End,
is _Thrift:_ All Men are not equally qualified for getting Money, but it
is in the Power of every one alike to practise this Virtue, and I
believe there are very few Persons, who, if they please to reflect on
their past Lives, will not find that had they saved all those Little
Sums which they have spent unnecessarily, they might at present have
been Masters of a competent Fortune. _Diligence_ justly claims the next
Place to _Thrift:_ I find both these excellently well recommended to
common use in the three following _Italian_ Proverbs,

Never do that by Proxy which you can do yourself.
Never defer that till To-morrow which you can do To-day.
Never neglect small Matters and Expences.

A third Instrument of growing Rich, is _Method in Business_, which, as
well as the two former, is also attainable by Persons of the meanest

The famous _De Wit_, one of the greatest Statesmen of the Age in which
he lived, being asked by a Friend, How he was able to dispatch that
Multitude of Affairs in which he was engaged? reply'd, That his whole
Art consisted in doing _one thing at once_. If, says he, I have any
necessary Dispatches to make, I think of nothing else till those are
finished; If any Domestick Affairs require my Attention, I give myself
up wholly to them till they are set in Order.

In short, we often see Men of dull and phlegmatick Tempers, arriving to
great Estates, by making a regular and orderly Disposition of their
Business, and that without it the greatest Parts and most lively
Imaginations rather puzzle their Affairs, than bring them to an happy

From what has been said, I think I may lay it down as a Maxim, that
every Man of good common Sense may, if he pleases, in his particular
Station of Life, most certainly be Rich. The Reason why we sometimes see
that Men of the greatest Capacities are not so, is either because they
despise Wealth in Comparison of something else; or at least are not
content to be getting an Estate, unless they may do it their own way,
and at the same time enjoy all the Pleasures and Gratifications of Life.

But besides these ordinary Forms of growing Rich, it must be allowed
that there is Room for Genius, as well in this as in all other
Circumstances of Life.

Tho the Ways of getting Money were long since very numerous; and tho
so many new ones have been found out of late Years, there is certainly
still remaining so large a Field for Invention, that a Man of an
indifferent Head might easily sit down and draw up such a Plan for the
Conduct and support of his Life, as was never yet once thought of.

We daily see Methods put in practice by hungry and ingenious Men, which
demonstrate the Power of Invention in this Particular.

It is reported of _Scaramouch_, the first famous Italian Comedian, that
being at _Paris_ and in great Want, he bethought himself of constantly
plying near the Door of a noted Perfumer in that City, and when any one
came out who had been buying Snuff, never failed to desire a Taste of
them: when he had by this Means got together a Quantity made up of
several different Sorts, he sold it again at a lower Rate to the same
Perfumer, who finding out the Trick, called it _Tabac de mille fleures_,
or _Snuff of a thousand Flowers_. The Story farther tells us, that by
this means he got a very comfortable Subsistence, till making too much
haste to grow Rich, he one Day took such an unreasonable Pinch out of
the Box of a _Swiss_ Officer, as engaged him in a Quarrel, and obliged
him to quit this Ingenious Way of Life.

Nor can I in this Place omit doing Justice to a Youth of my own Country,
who, tho he is scarce yet twelve Years old, has with great Industry and
Application attained to the Art of beating the Grenadiers March on his
Chin. I am credibly informed that by this means he does not only
maintain himself and his Mother, but that he is laying up Money every
Day, with a Design, if the War continues, to purchase a Drum at least,
if not a Colours.

I shall conclude these Instances with the Device of the famous
_Rabelais_, when he was at a great Distance from _Paris_, and without
Money to bear his Expences thither. This ingenious Author being thus
sharp set, got together a convenient Quantity of Brick-Dust, and having
disposed of it into several Papers, writ upon one _Poyson for Monsieur_,
upon a second, _Poyson for the Dauphin_, and on a third, _Poyson for the
King_. Having made this Provision for the Royal Family of _France_, he
laid his Papers so that his Landlord, who was an Inquisitive Man, and a
good Subject, might get a Sight of them.

The Plot succeeded as he desired: The Host gave immediate Intelligence
to the Secretary of State. The Secretary presently sent down a Special
Messenger, who brought up the Traitor to Court, and provided him at the
Kings Expence with proper Accommodations on the Road. As soon as he
appeared he was known to be the Celebrated _Rabelais_, and his Powder
upon Examination being found very Innocent, the Jest was only laught at;
for which a less eminent _Drole_ would have been sent to the Gallies.

Trade and Commerce might doubtless be still varied a thousand Ways, out
of which would arise such Branches as have not yet been touched. The
famous _Doily_ is still fresh in every ones Memory, who raised a
Fortune by finding out Materials for such Stuffs as might at once be
cheap and genteel. I have heard it affirmed, that had not he discovered
this frugal Method of gratifying our Pride, we should hardly have been
[able[1]] to carry on the last War.

I regard Trade not only as highly advantageous to the Commonwealth in
general; but as the most natural and likely Method of making a Man's
Fortune, having observed, since my being a _Spectator_ in the World,
greater Estates got about _Change_, than at _Whitehall_ or at St.
_James's_. I believe I may also add, that the first Acquisitions are
generally attended with more Satisfaction, and as good a Conscience.

I must not however close this Essay, without observing that what has
been said is only intended for Persons in the common ways of Thriving,
and is not designed for those Men who from low Beginnings push
themselves up to the Top of States, and the most considerable Figures in
Life. My Maxim of _Saving_ is not designed for such as these, since
nothing is more usual than for _Thrift_ to disappoint the Ends of
_Ambition_; it being almost impossible that the Mind should [be [2]]
intent upon Trifles, while it is at the same time forming some great

I may therefore compare these Men to a great Poet, who, as _Longinus_
says, while he is full of the most magnificent Ideas, is not always at
leisure to mind the little Beauties and Niceties of his Art.

I would however have all my Readers take great care how they mistake
themselves for uncommon _Genius's_, and Men above Rule, since it is very
easy for them to be deceived in this Particular.


[Footnote 1: In his Auction of Philosophers.]

[Footnote 2: [able so well]]

[Footnote 3: [descend to and be]]

* * * * *

No. 284. Friday, January 25, 1712. Steele.

[Posthabui tamen illorum mea seria Ludo.

Virg. [1]]

An unaffected Behaviour is without question a very great Charm; but
under the Notion of being unconstrained and disengaged, People take upon
them to be unconcerned in any Duty of Life. A general Negligence is what
they assume upon all Occasions, and set up for an Aversion to all manner
of Business and Attention. _I am the carelessest Creature in the World,
I have certainly the worst Memory of any Man living_, are frequent
Expressions in the Mouth of a Pretender of this sort. It is a professed
Maxim with these People never to _think_; there is something so solemn
in Reflexion, they, forsooth, can never give themselves Time for such a
way of employing themselves. It happens often that this sort of Man is
heavy enough in his Nature to be a good Proficient in such Matters as
are attainable by Industry; but alas! he has such an ardent Desire to be
what he is not, to be too volatile, to have the Faults of a Person of
Spirit, that he professes himself the most unfit Man living for any
manner of Application. When this Humour enters into the Head of a
Female, she gently professes Sickness upon all Occasions, and acts all
things with an indisposed Air: She is offended, but her Mind is too lazy
to raise her to Anger, therefore she lives only as actuated by a violent
Spleen and gentle Scorn. She has hardly Curiosity to listen to Scandal
of her Acquaintance, and has never Attention enough to hear them
commended. This Affectation in both Sexes makes them vain of being
useless, and take a certain Pride in their Insignificancy.

Opposite to this Folly is another no less unreasonable, and that is the
Impertinence of being always in a Hurry. There are those who visit
Ladies, and beg Pardon afore they are well seated in their Chairs, that
they just called in, but are obliged to attend Business of Importance
elsewhere the very next Moment: Thus they run from Place to Place,
professing that they are obliged to be still in another Company than
that which they are in. These Persons who are just a going somewhere
else should never be detained; [let [2]] all the World allow that
Business is to be minded, and their Affairs will be at an end. Their
Vanity is to be importuned, and Compliance with their Multiplicity of
Affairs would effectually dispatch em. The Travelling Ladies, who have
half the Town to see in an Afternoon, may be pardoned for being in
constant Hurry; but it is inexcusable in Men to come where they have no
Business, to profess they absent themselves where they have. It has been
remarked by some nice Observers and Criticks, that there is nothing
discovers the true Temper of a Person so much as his Letters. I have by
me two Epistles, which are written by two People of the different
Humours above-mentioned. It is wonderful that a Man cannot observe upon
himself when he sits down to write, but that he will gravely commit
himself to Paper the same Man that he is in the Freedom of Conversation.
I have hardly seen a Line from any of these Gentlemen, but spoke them as
absent from what they were doing, as they profess they are when they
come into Company. For the Folly is, that they have perswaded themselves
they really are busy. Thus their whole Time is spent in suspense of the
present Moment to the next, and then from the next to the succeeding,
which to the End of Life is to pass away with Pretence to many things,
and Execution of nothing.


The Post is just going out, and I have many other Letters of very
great Importance to write this Evening, but I could not omit making my
Compliments to you for your Civilities to me when I was last in Town.
It is my Misfortune to be so full of Business, that I cannot tell you
a Thousand Things which I have to say to you. I must desire you to
communicate the Contents of this to no one living; but believe me to
be, with the greatest Fidelity,


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