The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3
Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

Part 19 out of 51

Hist.' Bk. xiii.]

[Footnote 6: The Sure Way]

* * * * *

No. 196. Monday, October 15, 1711. Steele.

Est Ulubris, animus si te non deficit oequus.



'There is a particular Fault which I have observed in most of the
Moralists in all Ages, and that is, that they are always professing
themselves, and teaching others to be happy. This State is not to be
arrived at in this Life, therefore I would recommend to you to talk in
an humbler Strain than your Predecessors have done, and instead of
presuming to be happy, instruct us only to be easy. The Thoughts of
him who would be discreet, and aim at practicable things, should turn
upon allaying our Pain rather than promoting our Joy. Great Inquietude
is to be avoided, but great Felicity is not to be attained. The great
Lesson is AEquanimity, a Regularity of Spirit, which is a little above
Chearfulness and below Mirth. Chearfulness is always to be supported
if a Man is out of Pain, but Mirth to a prudent Man should always be
accidental: It should naturally arise out of the Occasion, and the
Occasion seldom be laid for it; for those Tempers who want Mirth to be
pleased, are like the Constitutions which flag without the use of
Brandy. Therefore, I say, let your Precept be, Be easy. That Mind is
dissolute and ungoverned, which must be hurried out of it self by loud
Laughter or sensual Pleasure, or else [be [1]] wholly unactive.

There are a Couple of old Fellows of my Acquaintance who meet every
Day and smoak a Pipe, and by their mutual Love to each other, tho'
they have been Men of Business and Bustle in the World, enjoy a
greater Tranquility than either could have worked himself into by any
Chapter of Seneca. Indolence of Body and Mind, when we aim at no more,
is very frequently enjoyed; but the very Enquiry after Happiness has
something restless in it, which a Man who lives in a Series of
temperate Meals, friendly Conversations, and easy Slumbers, gives
himself no Trouble about. While Men of Refinement are talking of
Tranquility, he possesses it.

What I would by these broken Expressions recommend to you, Mr.
SPECTATOR, is, that you would speak of the Way of Life, which plain
Men may pursue, to fill up the Spaces of Time with Satisfaction. It is
a lamentable Circumstance, that Wisdom, or, as you call it,
Philosophy, should furnish Ideas only for the Learned; and that a Man
must be a Philosopher to know how to pass away his Time agreeably. It
would therefore be worth your Pains to place in an handsome Light the
Relations and Affinities among Men, which render their Conversation
with each other so grateful, that the highest Talents give but an
impotent Pleasure in Comparison with them. You may find Descriptions
and Discourses which will render the Fire-side of an honest Artificer
as entertaining as your own Club is to you. Good-nature has an endless
Source of Pleasure in it; and the Representation of domestick Life,
filled with its natural Gratifications, (instead of the necessary
Vexations which are generally insisted upon in the Writings of the
Witty) will be a very good Office to Society.

The Vicissitudes of Labour and Rest in the lower Part of Mankind, make
their Being pass away with that Sort of Relish which we express by the
Word Comfort; and should be treated of by you, who are a SPECTATOR, as
well as such Subjects which appear indeed more speculative, but are
less instructive. In a word, Sir, I would have you turn your Thoughts
to the Advantage of such as want you most; and shew that Simplicity,
Innocence, Industry and Temperance, are Arts which lead to
Tranquility, as much as Learning, Wisdom, Knowledge, and

I am, Sir,

Your most Humble Servant,

'T. B.'

Hackney, [October 12. [2]]


'I am the young Woman whom you did so much Justice to some time ago,
in acknowledging that I am perfect Mistress of the Fan, and use it
with the utmost Knowledge and Dexterity. Indeed the World, as
malicious as it is, will allow, that from an Hurry of Laughter I
recollect my self the most suddenly, make a Curtesie, and let fall my
Hands before me, closing my Fan at the same instant, the best of any
Woman in England. I am not a little delighted that I have had your
Notice and Approbation; and however other young Women may rally me out
of Envy, I triumph in it, and demand a Place in your Friendship. You
must therefore permit me to lay before you the present State of my
Mind. I was reading your Spectator of the 9th Instant, and thought the
Circumstance of the Ass divided between two Bundles of Hay which
equally affected his Senses, was a lively Representation of my present
Condition: For you are to now that I am extremely enamoured with two
young Gentlemen who at this time pretend to me. One must hide nothing
when one is asking Advice, therefore I will own to you, that I am very
amorous and very covetous. My Lover _Will_ is very rich, and my
Lover _Tom_ very handsome. I can have either of them when I
please; but when I debate the Question in my own Mind, I cannot take
_Tom_ for fear of losing _Will_'s Estate, nor enter upon
_Will's_ Estate, and bid adieu to _Tom_'s Person. I am very
young, and yet no one in the World, dear Sir, has the main Chance more
in her Head than myself. _Tom_ is the gayest, the blithest
Creature! He dances well, is very civil, and diverting at all Hours
and Seasons. Oh, he is the Joy of my Eyes! But then again _Will_
is so very rich and careful of the Main. How many pretty Dresses does
_Tom_ appear in to charm me! But then it immediately occurs to
me, that a Man of his Circumstances is so much the poorer. Upon the
whole I have at last examined both these Desires of Loves and Avarice,
and upon strictly weighing the Matter I begin to think I shall be
covetous longer than fond; therefore if you have nothing to say to the
contrary, I shall take _Will_. Alas, poor _Tom_!

_Your Humble Servant_,


[Footnote 1: is]

[Footnote 2: the 12th of October.]

* * * * *

No. 197. Saturday, October 16, 1711. Budgell

'Alter rixatur de lana saepe caprina,
Propugnat nugis armatus: scilicet, ut non
Sit mihi prima fides; et vere quod placet, ut non
Acriter elatrem, pretium aetas altera sordet.
Ambigitur quid enim? Castor sciat an Docilis plus,
Brundusium Numici melius via ducat an Appi.'


Every Age a Man passes through, and Way of Life he engages in, has some
particular Vice or Imperfection naturally cleaving to it, which it wil
require his nicest Care to avoid. The several Weaknesses, to which
Youth, Old Age and Manhood are exposed, have long since been set down by
many both of the Poets and Philosophers; but I do not remember to have
met with any Author who has treated of those ill Habits Men are subject
to, not so much by reason of their different Ages and Tempers, as the
particular Profession or Business in which they were educated and
brought up.

I am the more surprised to find this Subject so little touched on, since
what I am here speaking of is so apparent as not to escape the most
vulgar Observation. The Business Men are chiefly conversant in, does not
only give a certain Cast or Turn to their Minds, but is very often
apparent in their outward Behaviour, and some of the most indifferent
Actions of their Lives. It is this Air diffusing itself over the whole
Man, which helps us to find out a Person at his first Appearance; so
that the most careless Observer fancies he can scarce be mistaken in the
Carriage of a Seaman or the Gaite of a Taylor.

The liberal Arts, though they may possibly have less Effect on our
external Mein and Behaviour, make so deep an Impression on the Mind, as
is very apt to bend it wholly one Way.

The Mathematician will take little less than Demonstration in the most
common Discourse, and the Schoolman is as great a Friend to Definitions
and Syllogisms. The Physician and Divine are often heard to dictate in
private Companies with the same Authority which they exercise over their
Patients and Disciples; while the Lawyer is putting Cases and raising
Matter for Disputation out of every thing that occurs.

I may possibly some time or other animadvert more at large on the
particular Fault each Profession is most infected with; but shall at
present wholly apply my self to the Cure of what I last mentioned,
namely, That Spirit of Strife and Contention in the Conversations of
Gentlemen of the Long Robe.

This is the more ordinary, because these Gentlemen regarding Argument as
their own proper Province, and very often making ready Money of it,
think it unsafe to yield before Company. They are shewing in common Talk
how zealously they could defend a Cause in Court, and therefore
frequently forget to keep that Temper which is absolutely requisite to
render Conversation pleasant and instructive.

CAPTAIN SENTRY pushes this Matter so far, that I have heard him say, _He
has known but few Pleaders that were tolerable Company_.

The Captain, who is a Man of good Sense, but dry Conversation, was last
Night giving me an Account of a Discourse, in which he had lately been
engaged with a young Wrangler in the Law. I was giving my Opinion, says
the Captain, without apprehending any Debate that might arise from it,
of a General's Behaviour in a Battle that was fought some Years before
either the Templer or my self were born. The young Lawyer immediately
took me up, and by reasoning above a Quarter of an Hour upon a Subject
which I saw he understood nothing of, endeavoured to shew me that my
Opinions were ill grounded. Upon which, says the Captain, to avoid any
farther Contests, I told him, That truly I had not consider'd those
several Arguments which he had brought against me; and that there might
be a great deal in them. Ay, but says my Antagonist, who would not let
me escape so, there are several Things to be urged in favour of your
Opinion which you have omitted, and thereupon begun to shine on the
other Side of the Question. Upon this, says the Captain, I came over to
my first Sentiments, and entirely acquiesced in his Reasons for my so
doing. Upon which the Templer again recovered his former Posture, and
confuted both himself and me a third Time. In short, says my Friend, I
found he was resolved to keep me at Sword's Length, and never let me
close with him, so that I had nothing left but to hold my tongue, and
give my Antagonist free leave to smile at his Victory, who I found, like
_Hudibras, could still change Sides, and still confute_. [1]

For my own part, I have ever regarded our Inns of Courts as Nurseries of
Statesmen and Law-givers, which makes me often frequent that Part of the
Town with great Pleasure.

Upon my calling in lately at one of the most noted _Temple_
Coffee-houses, I found the whole Room, which was full of young Students,
divided into several Parties, each of which was deeply engaged in some
Controversie. The Management of the late Ministry was attacked and
defended with great Vigour; and several Preliminaries to the Peace were
proposed by some, and rejected by others; the demolishing of _Dunkirk_
was so eagerly insisted on, and so warmly controverted, as had like to
have produced a Challenge. In short, I observed that the Desire of
Victory, whetted with the little Prejudices of Party and Interest,
generally carried the Argument to such an Height, as made the Disputants
insensibly conceive an Aversion towards each other, and part with the
highest Dissatisfaction on both Sides.

The managing an Argument handsomely being so nice a Point, and what I
have seen so very few excel in, I shall here set down a few Rules on
that Head, which, among other things, I gave in writing to a young
Kinsman of mine who had made so great a Proficiency in the Law, that he
began to plead in Company upon every Subject that was started.

Having the entire Manuscript by me, I may, perhaps, from time to time,
publish such Parts of it as I shall think requisite for the Instruction
of the _British_ Youth. What regards my present Purpose is as follows:

Avoid Disputes as much as possible. In order to appear easie and
well-bred in Conversation, you may assure your self that it requires
more Wit, as well as more good Humour, to improve than to contradict the
Notions of another: But if you are at any time obliged to enter on an
Argument, give your Reasons with the utmost Coolness and Modesty, two
Things which scarce ever fail of making an Impression on the Hearers.
Besides, if you are neither Dogmatical, nor shew either by your Actions
or Words, that you are full of your self, all will the more heartily
rejoice at your Victory. Nay, should you be pinched in your Argument,
you may make your Retreat with a very good Grace: You were never
positive, and are now glad to be better informed. This has made some
approve the Socratical Way of Reasoning, where while you scarce affirm
any thing, you can hardly be caught in an Absurdity; and tho' possibly
you are endeavouring to bring over another to your Opinion, which is
firmly fix'd, you seem only to desire Information from him.

In order to keep that Temper, which [is [2]] so difficult, and yet so
necessary to preserve, you may please to consider, that nothing can be
more unjust or ridiculous, than to be angry with another because he is
not of your Opinion. The Interests, Education, and Means by which Men
attain their Knowledge, are so very different, that it is impossible
they should all think alike; and he has at least as much Reason to be
angry with you, as you with him. Sometimes to keep your self cool, it
may be of Service to ask your self fairly, What might have been your
Opinion, had you all the Biasses of Education and Interest your
Adversary may possibly have? but if you contend for the Honour of
Victory alone, you may lay down this as an Infallible Maxim. That you
cannot make a more false Step, or give your Antagonists a greater
Advantage over you, than by falling into a Passion.

When an Argument is over, how many weighty Reasons does a Man recollect,
which his Heat and Violence made him utterly forget?

It is yet more absurd to be angry with a Man because he does not
apprehend the Force of your Reasons, or gives weak ones of his own. If
you argue for Reputation, this makes your Victory the easier; he is
certainly in all respects an Object of your Pity, rather than Anger; and
if he cannot comprehend what you do, you ought to thank Nature for her
Favours, who has given you so much the clearer Understanding.

You may please to add this Consideration, That among your Equals no one
values your Anger, which only preys upon its Master; and perhaps you may
find it not very consistent either with Prudence or your Ease, to punish
your self whenever you meet with a Fool or a Knave.

Lastly, If you propose to your self the true End of Argument, which is
Information, it may be a seasonable Check to your Passion; for if you
search purely after Truth,'twill be almost indifferent to you where you
find it. I cannot in this Place omit an Observation which I have often
made, namely, That nothing procures a Man more Esteem and less Envy from
the whole Company, than if he chooses the Part of Moderator, without
engaging directly on either Side in a Dispute. This gives him the
Character of Impartial, furnishes him with an Opportunity of sifting
Things to the Bottom, shewing his Judgment, and of sometimes making
handsome Compliments to each of the contending Parties.

I shall close this Subject with giving you one Caution: When you have
gained a Victory, do not push it too far; 'tis sufficient to let the
Company and your Adversary see 'tis in your Power, but that you are too
generous to make use of it.


[Footnote 1: Part I., canto i., v. 69, 70.]

[Footnote 2: "it is", and in first reprint.]

* * * * *

No. 198. Wednesday, October 17, 1711. Addison.

'Cervae luporum praeda rapacium
Sectamur ultro, quos opimus
Fallere et effugere est triumphus.'


There is a Species of Women, whom I shall distinguish by the Name of
Salamanders. Now a Salamander is a kind of Heroine in Chastity, that
treads upon Fire, and lives in the Midst of Flames without being hurt. A
Salamander knows no Distinction of Sex in those she converses with,
grows familiar with a Stranger at first Sight, and is not so
narrow-spirited as to observe whether the Person she talks to be in
Breeches or Petticoats. She admits a Male Visitant to her Bed-side,
plays with him a whole Afternoon at Pickette, walks with him two or
three Hours by Moon-light; and is extreamly Scandalized at the
unreasonableness of an Husband, or the severity of a Parent, that would
debar the Sex from such innocent Liberties. Your Salamander is therefore
a perpetual Declaimer against Jealousie, and Admirer of the _French_
Good-breeding, and a great Stickler for Freedom in Conversation. In
short, the Salamander lives in an invincible State of Simplicity and
Innocence: Her Constitution is _preserv'd_ in a kind of natural Frost;
she wonders what People mean by Temptation; and defies Mankind to do
their worst. Her Chastity is engaged in a constant _Ordeal_, or fiery
Tryal: (Like good Queen _Emma_, [1]) the pretty Innocent walks blindfold
among burning Ploughshares, without being scorched or singed by them.

It is not therefore for the Use of the Salamander, whether in a married
or single State of Life, that I design the following Paper; but for such
Females only as are made of Flesh and Blood, and find themselves subject
to Human Frailties.

As for this Part of the fair Sex who are not of the Salamander Kind, I
would most earnestly advise them to observe a quite different Conduct in
their Behaviour; and to avoid as much as possible what Religion calls
_Temptations_, and the World _Opportunities_. Did they but know how many
Thousands of their Sex have been gradually betrayed from innocent
Freedoms to Ruin and Infamy; and how many Millions of ours have begun
with Flatteries, Protestations and Endearments, but ended with
Reproaches, Perjury, and Perfidiousness; they would shun like Death the
very first Approaches of one that might lead them into inextricable
Labyrinths of Guilt and Misery. I must so far give up the Cause of the
Male World, as to exhort the Female Sex in the Language of _Chamont_ in
the _Orphan_; [2]

'Trust not a Man, we are by Nature False,
Dissembling, Subtle, Cruel, and Unconstant:
When a Man talks of Love, with Caution trust him:
But if he Swears, he'll certainly deceive thee.'

I might very much enlarge upon this Subject, but shall conclude it with
a Story which I lately heard from one of our _Spanish_ Officers, [3] and
which may shew the Danger a Woman incurs by too great Familiarities with
a Male Companion.

An Inhabitant of the Kingdom of _Castile_, being a Man of more than
ordinary Prudence, and of a grave composed Behaviour, determined about
the fiftieth Year of his Age to enter upon Wedlock. In order to make
himself easy in it, he cast his Eye upon a young Woman who had nothing
to recommend her but her Beauty and her Education, her Parents having
been reduced to great Poverty by the Wars, [which [4]] for some Years
have laid that whole Country waste. The _Castilian_ having made his
Addresses to her and married her, they lived together in perfect
Happiness for some time; when at length the Husband's Affairs made it
necessary for him to take a Voyage to the Kingdom of _Naples_, where a
great Part of his Estate lay. The Wife loved him too tenderly to be left
behind him. They had not been a Shipboard above a Day, when they
unluckily fell into the Hands of an _Algerine_ Pirate, who carried the
whole Company on Shore, and made them Slaves. The _Castilian_ and his
Wife had the Comfort to be under the same Master; who seeing how dearly
they loved one another, and gasped after their Liberty, demanded a most
exorbitant Price for their Ransom. The _Castilian_, though he would
rather have died in Slavery himself, than have paid such a Sum as he
found would go near to ruin him, was so moved with Compassion towards
his Wife, that he sent repeated Orders to his Friend in _Spain_, (who
happened to be his next Relation) to sell his Estate, and transmit the
Money to him. His Friend hoping that the Terms of his Ransom might be
made more reasonable, and unwilling to sell an Estate which he himself
had some Prospect of inheriting, formed so many delays, that three whole
Years passed away without any thing being done for the setting of them
at Liberty.

There happened to live a _French_ Renegado in the same Place where the
_Castilian_ and his Wife were kept Prisoners. As this Fellow had in him
all the Vivacity of his Nation, he often entertained the Captives with
Accounts of his own Adventures; to which he sometimes added a Song or a
Dance, or some other Piece of Mirth, to divert them [during [5]] their
Confinement. His Acquaintance with the Manners of the _Algerines_,
enabled him likewise to do them several good Offices. The _Castilian_,
as he was one Day in Conversation with this Renegado, discovered to him
the Negligence and Treachery of his Correspondent in _Castile_, and at
the same time asked his Advice how he should behave himself in that
Exigency: He further told the Renegado, that he found it would be
impossible for him to raise the Money, unless he himself might go over
to dispose of his Estate. The Renegado, after having represented to him
that his _Algerine Master_ would never consent to his Release upon such
a Pretence, at length contrived a Method for the _Castlian_ to make his
Escape in the Habit of a Seaman. The _Castilian_ succeeded in his
Attempt; and having sold his Estate, being afraid lest the Money should
miscarry by the Way, and determining to perish with it rather than lose
one who was much dearer to him than his Life, he returned himself in a
little Vessel that was going to _Algiers_. It is impossible to describe
the Joy he felt on this Occasion, when he considered that he should soon
see the Wife whom he so much loved, and endear himself more to her by
this uncommon Piece of Generosity.

The Renegado, during the Husband's Absence, so insinuated himself into
the good Graces of his young Wife, and so turned her Head with Stories
of Gallantry, that she quickly thought him the finest Gentleman she had
ever conversed with. To be brief, her Mind was quite alienated from the
honest _Castilian_, whom she was taught to look upon as a formal old
Fellow unworthy the Possession of so charming a Creature. She had been
instructed by the Renegado how to manage herself upon his Arrival; so
that she received him with an Appearance of the utmost Love and
Gratitude, and at length perswaded him to trust their common Friend the
Renegado with the Money he had brought over for their Ransom; as not
questioning but he would beat down the Terms of it, and negotiate the
Affair more to their Advantage than they themselves could do. The good
Man admired her Prudence, and followed her Advice. I wish I could
conceal the Sequel of this Story, but since I cannot I shall dispatch it
in as few Words as possible. The _Castilian_ having slept longer than
ordinary the next Morning, upon his awaking found his Wife had left him:
He immediately arose and enquired after her, but was told that she was
seen with the Renegado about Break of Day. In a Word, her Lover having
got all things ready for their Departure, they soon made their Escape
out of the Territories of _Algiers_, carried away the Money, and left
the _Castilian_ in Captivity; who partly through the cruel Treatment of
the incensed _Algerine_ his Master, and partly through the unkind Usage
of his unfaithful Wife, died some few Months after.


[Footnote 1: The story of Queen Emma, mother of Edward the Confessor,
and her walking unhurt, blindfold and barefoot, over nine red-hot
ploughshares, is told in Bayle's Dictionary, a frequent suggester of
allusions in the _Spectator_. Tonson reported that he usually found
Bayle's Dictionary open on Addison's table whenever he called on him.]

[Footnote 2: Act 2.]

[Footnote 3: That is, English officers who had served in Spain.]

[Footnote 4: that]

[Footnote 5: in]

* * * * *

No. 199. Thursday, October 18, 1711. Steele.

'Scribere jussit amor.'


The following Letters are written with such an Air of Sincerity, that I
cannot deny the inserting of them.


'Tho' you are every where in your Writings a Friend to Women, I do not
remember that you have directly considered the mercenary Practice of
Men in the Choice of Wives. If you would please to employ your
Thoughts upon that Subject, you would easily conceive the miserable
Condition many of us are in, who not only from the Laws of Custom and
Modesty are restrained from making any Advances towards our Wishes,
but are also, from the Circumstance of Fortune, out of all Hope of
being addressed to by those whom we love. Under all these
Disadvantages I am obliged to apply my self to you, and hope I shall
prevail with you to Print in your very next Paper the following
Letter, which is a Declaration of Passion to one who has made some
feint Addresses to me for some time. I believe he ardently loves me,
but the Inequality of my Fortune makes him think he cannot answer it
to the World, if he pursues his Designs by way of Marriage; and I
believe, as he does not want Discerning, he discovered me looking at
him the other Day unawares in such a Manner as has raised his Hopes of
gaining me on Terms the Men call easier. But my Heart was very full on
this Occasion, and if you know what Love and Honour are, you will
pardon me that I use no further Arguments with you, but hasten to my
Letter to him, whom I call _Oroondates_, [1] because if I do not
succeed it shall look like Romance; and if I am regarded, you shall
receive a pair of Gloves at my Wedding, sent you under the Name of




'After very much Perplexity in my self, and revolving how to acquaint
you with my own Sentiments, and expostulate with you concerning yours,
I have chosen this Way, by which means I can be at once revealed to
you, or, if you please, lie concealed. If I do not within few Days
find the Effect which I hope from this, the whole Affair shall be
buried in Oblivion. But, alas! what am I going to do, when I am about
to tell you that I love you? But after I have done so, I am to assure
you, that with all the Passion which ever entered a tender Heart, I
know I can banish you from my Sight for ever, when I am convinced that
you have no Inclinations towards me but to my Dishonour. But, alas!
Sir, why should you sacrifice the real and essential Happiness of
Life, to the Opinion of a World, that moves upon no other Foundation
but profess'd Error and Prejudice? You all can observe that Riches
alone do not make you happy, and yet give up every Thing else when it
stands in Competition with Riches. Since the World is so bad, that
Religion is left to us silly Women, and you Men act generally upon
Principles of Profit and Pleasure, I will talk to you without arguing
from any Thing but what may be most to your Advantage, as a Man of the
World. And I will lay before you the State of the Case, supposing that
you had it in your Power to make me your Mistress, or your Wife, and
hope to convince you that the latter is more for your Interest, and
will contribute more to your Pleasure.

'We will suppose then the Scene was laid, and you were now in
Expectation of the approaching Evening wherein I was to meet you, and
be carried to what convenient Corner of the Town you thought fit, to
consummate all which your wanton Imagination has promised you in the
Possession of one who is in the Bloom of Youth, and in the Reputation
of Innocence: you would soon have enough of me, as I am Sprightly,
Young, Gay, and Airy. When Fancy is sated, and finds all the Promises
it [made [2]] it self false, where is now the Innocence which charmed
you? The first Hour you are alone you will find that the Pleasure of a
Debauchee is only that of a Destroyer; He blasts all the Fruit he
tastes, and where the Brute has been devouring, there is nothing left
worthy the Relish of the Man. Reason resumes her Place after
Imagination is cloyed; and I am, with the utmost Distress and
Confusion, to behold my self the Cause of uneasie Reflections to you,
to be visited by Stealth, and dwell for the future with the two
Companions (the most unfit for each other in the World) Solitude and
Guilt. I will not insist upon the shameful Obscurity we should pass
our Time in, nor run over the little short Snatches of fresh Air and
free Commerce which all People must be satisfied with, whose Actions
will not bear Examination, but leave them to your Reflections, who
have seen of that Life of which I have but a meer Idea.

On the other hand, If you can be so good and generous as to make me
your Wife, you may promise your self all the Obedience and Tenderness
with which Gratitude can inspire a virtuous Woman. Whatever
Gratifications you may promise your self from an agreeable Person,
whatever Compliances from an easie Temper, whatever Consolations from
a sincere Friendship, you may expect as the Due of your Generosity.
What at present in your ill View you promise your self from me, will
be followed by Distaste and Satiety; but the Transports of a virtuous
Love are the least Part of its Happiness. The Raptures of innocent
Passion are but like Lightning to the Day, they rather interrupt than
advance the Pleasure of it. How happy then is that Life to be, where
the highest Pleasures of Sense are but the lower Parts of its

Now am I to repeat to you the unnatural Request of taking me in direct
Terms. I know there stands between me and that Happiness, the haughty
Daughter of a Man who can give you suitably to your Fortune. But if
you weigh the Attendance and Behaviour of her who comes to you in
Partnership of your Fortune, and expects an Equivalent, with that of
her who enters your House as honoured and obliged by that Permission,
whom of the two will you chuse? You, perhaps, will think fit to spend
a Day abroad in the common Entertainments of Men of Sense and Fortune;
she will think herself ill-used in that Absence, and contrive at Home
an Expence proportioned to the Appearance which you make in the World.
She is in all things to have a Regard to the Fortune which she brought
you, I to the Fortune to which you introduced me. The Commerce between
you two will eternally have the Air of a Bargain, between us of a
Friendship: Joy will ever enter into the Room with you, and kind
Wishes attend my Benefactor when he leaves it. Ask your self, how
would you be pleased to enjoy for ever the Pleasure of having laid an
immediate Obligation on a grateful Mind? such will be your Case with
Me. In the other Marriage you will live in a constant Comparison of
Benefits, and never know the Happiness of conferring or receiving any.

It may be you will, after all, act rather in the prudential Way,
according to the Sense of the ordinary World. I know not what I think
or say, when that melancholy Reflection comes upon me; but shall only
add more, that it is in your Power to make me
your Grateful Wife,
but never your Abandoned Mistress.


[Footnote 1: A character in Madame Scuderi's 'Grand Cyrus.']

[Footnote 2: made to]

* * * * *

No. 200. Friday, October 19, 1711. Steele. [1]

'Vincit Amor Patriae.'


The Ambition of Princes is many times as hurtful to themselves as to
their People. This cannot be doubted of such as prove unfortunate in
their Wars, but it is often true too of those who are celebrated for
their Successes. If a severe View were to be taken of their Conduct, if
the Profit and Loss by their Wars could be justly ballanced, it would be
rarely found that the Conquest is sufficient to repay the Cost.

As I was the other Day looking over the Letters of my Correspondents, I
took this Hint from that of _Philarithmus_ [2]; which has turned my
present Thoughts upon Political Arithmetick, an Art of greater Use than
Entertainment. My Friend has offered an Essay towards proving that
_Lewis_ XIV. with all his Acquisitions is not Master of more People than
at the Beginning of his Wars, nay that for every Subject he had
acquired, he had lost Three that were his Inheritance: If _Philarithmus_
is not mistaken in his Calculations, _Lewis_ must have been impoverished
by his Ambition.

The Prince for the Publick Good has a Sovereign Property in every
Private Person's Estate, and consequently his Riches must encrease or
decrease in proportion to the Number and Riches of his Subjects. For
Example: If Sword or Pestilence should destroy all the People of this
Metropolis, (God forbid there should be Room for such a Supposition! but
if this should be the Case) the Queen must needs lose a great Part of
her Revenue, or, at least, what is charged upon the City must encrease
the Burden upon the rest of her Subjects. Perhaps the Inhabitants here
are not above a Tenth Part of the Whole; yet as they are better fed, and
cloth'd, and lodg'd, than her other Subjects, the Customs and Excises
upon their Consumption, the Imposts upon their Houses, and other Taxes,
do very probably make a fifth Part of the whole Revenue of the Crown.
But this is not all; the Consumption of the City takes off a great Part
of the Fruits of the whole Island; and as it pays such a Proportion of
the Rent or yearly Value of the Lands in the Country, so it is the Cause
of paying such a Proportion of Taxes upon those Lands. The Loss then of
such a People must needs be sensible to the Prince, and visible to the
whole Kingdom.

On the other hand, if it should please God to drop from Heaven a new
People equal in Number and Riches to the City, I should be ready to
think their Excises, Customs, and House-Rent would raise as great a
Revenue to the Crown as would be lost in the former Case. And as the
Consumption of this New Body would be a new Market for the Fruits of the
Country, all the Lands, especially those most adjacent, would rise in
their yearly Value, and pay greater yearly Taxes to the Publick. The
Gain in this Case would be as sensible as the former Loss.

Whatsoever is assess'd upon the General, is levied upon Individuals. It
were worth the while then to consider what is paid by, or by means of,
the meanest Subjects, in order to compute the Value of every Subject to
the Prince.

For my own part, I should believe that Seven Eighths of the People are
without Property in themselves or the Heads of their Families, and
forced to work for their daily Bread; and that of this Sort there are
Seven Millions in the whole Island of _Great Britain_: And yet one would
imagine that Seven Eighths of the whole People should consume at least
three Fourths of the whole Fruits of the Country. If this is the Case,
the Subjects without Property pay Three Fourths of the Rents, and
consequently enable the Landed Men to pay Three Fourths of their Taxes.
Now if so great a Part of the Land-Tax were to be divided by Seven
Millions, it would amount to more than three Shillings to every Head.
And thus as the Poor are the Cause, without which the Rich could not pay
this Tax, even the poorest Subject is upon this Account worth three
Shillings yearly to the Prince.

Again: One would imagine the Consumption of seven Eighths of the whole
People, should pay two Thirds of all the Customs and Excises. And if
this Sum too should be divided by seven Millions, _viz._ the Number of
poor People, it would amount to more than seven Shillings to every Head:
And therefore with this and the former Sum every poor Subject, without
Property, except of his Limbs or Labour, is worth at least ten Shillings
yearly to the Sovereign. So much then the Queen loses with every one of
her old, and gains with every one of her new Subjects.

When I was got into this Way of thinking, I presently grew conceited of
the Argument, and was just preparing to write a Letter of Advice to a
Member of Parliament, for opening the Freedom of our Towns and Trades,
for taking away all manner of Distinctions between the Natives and
Foreigners, for repealing our Laws of Parish Settlements, and removing
every other Obstacle to the Increase of the People. But as soon as I had
recollected with what inimitable Eloquence my Fellow-Labourers had
exaggerated the Mischiefs of selling the Birth-right of _Britons_ for a
Shilling, of spoiling the pure _British_ Blood with Foreign Mixtures, of
introducing a Confusion of Languages and Religions, and of letting in
Strangers to eat the Bread out of the Mouths of our own People, I became
so humble as to let my Project fall to the Ground, and leave my Country
to encrease by the ordinary Way of Generation.

As I have always at Heart the Publick Good, so I am ever contriving
Schemes to promote it; and I think I may without Vanity pretend to have
contrived some as wise as any of the Castle-builders. I had no sooner
given up my former Project, but my Head was presently full of draining
Fens and Marshes, banking out the Sea, and joining new Lands to my
Country; for since it is thought impracticable to encrease the People to
the Land, I fell immediately to consider how much would be gained to the
Prince by encreasing the Lands to the People.

If the same omnipotent Power, which made the World, should at this time
raise out of the Ocean and join to _Great Britain_ an equal Extent of
Land, with equal Buildings, Corn, Cattle and other Conveniences and
Necessaries of Life, but no Men, Women, nor Children, I should hardly
believe this would add either to the Riches of the People, or Revenue of
the Prince; for since the present Buildings are sufficient for all the
Inhabitants, if any of them should forsake the old to inhabit the new
Part of the Island, the Increase of House-Rent in this would be attended
with at least an equal Decrease of it in the other: Besides, we have
such a Sufficiency of Corn and Cattle, that we give Bounties to our
Neighbours to take what exceeds of the former off our Hands, and we will
not suffer any of the latter to be imported upon us by our
Fellow-Subjects; and for the remaining Product of the Country 'tis
already equal to all our Markets. But if all these Things should be
doubled to the same Buyers, the Owners must be glad with half their
present Prices, the Landlords with half their present Rents; and thus by
so great an Enlargement of the Country, the Rents in the whole would not
increase, nor the Taxes to the Publick.

On the contrary, I should believe they would be very much diminished;
for as the Land is only valuable for its Fruits, and these are all
perishable, and for the most part must either be used within the Year,
or perish without Use, the Owners will get rid of them at any rate,
rather than they should waste in their Possession: So that 'tis probable
the annual Production of those perishable things, even of one Tenth Part
of them, beyond all Possibility of Use, will reduce one Half of their
Value. It seems to be for this Reason that our Neighbour Merchants who
ingross all the Spices, and know how great a Quantity is equal to the
Demand, destroy all that exceeds it. It were natural then to think that
the Annual Production of twice as much as can be used, must reduce all
to an Eighth Part of their present Prices; and thus this extended Island
would not exceed one Fourth Part of its present Value, or pay more than
one Fourth Part of the present Tax.

It is generally observed, That in Countries of the greatest Plenty there
is the poorest Living; like the Schoolmen's Ass, in one of my
Speculations, the People almost starve between two Meals. The Truth is,
the Poor, which are the Bulk of the Nation, work only that they may
live; and if with two Days Labour they can get a wretched Subsistence
for a Week, they will hardly be brought to work the other four: But then
with the Wages of two Days they can neither pay such Prices for their
Provisions, nor such Excises to the Government.

That paradox therefore in old _Hesiod_ [[Greek: pleon hemisu pantos],
[3]] or Half is more than the Whole, is very applicable to the present
Case; since nothing is more true in political Arithmetick, than that the
same People with half a Country is more valuable than with the Whole. I
begin to think there was nothing absurd in Sir _W. Petty_, when he
fancied if all the Highlands of _Scotland_ and the whole Kingdom of
_Ireland_ were sunk in the Ocean, so that the People were all saved and
brought into the Lowlands of _Great Britain_; nay, though they were to
be reimburst the Value of their Estates by the Body of the People, yet
both the Sovereign and the Subjects in general would be enriched by the
very Loss. [4]

If the People only make the Riches, the Father of ten Children is a
greater Benefactor to his Country, than he who has added to it 10000
Acres of Land and no People. It is certain _Lewis_ has join'd vast
Tracts of Land to his Dominions: But if _Philarithmus_ says true, that
he is not now Master of so many Subjects as before; we may then account
for his not being able to bring such mighty Armies into the Field, and
for their being neither so well fed, nor cloathed, nor paid as formerly.
The Reason is plain, _Lewis_ must needs have been impoverished not only
by his Loss of Subjects, but by his Acquisition of Lands.


[Footnote 1: Or Henry Martyn.]

[Footnote 2: In No. 180.]

[Footnote 3: [Greek: pleon haemisi panta]]

[Footnote 4: A new edition of Sir W. Petty's 'Essays in Political
Arithmetic' had just appeared.]

* * * * *

No. 201. Saturday, October 20, 1711. Addison.

'Religentem esse oportet, Religiosum nefas.'

Incerti Autoris apud Aul. Gell.

It is of the last Importance to season the Passions of a Child with
Devotion, which seldom dies in a Mind that has received an early
Tincture of it. Though it may seem extinguished for a while by the Cares
of the World, the Heats of Youth, or the Allurements of Vice, it
generally breaks out and discovers it self again as soon as Discretion,
Consideration, Age, or Misfortunes have brought the Man to himself. The
Fire may be covered and overlaid, but cannot be entirely quenched and

A State of Temperance, Sobriety, and Justice, without Devotion, is a
cold, lifeless, insipid Condition of Virtue; and is rather to be styled
Philosophy than Religion. Devotion opens the Mind to great Conceptions,
and fills it with more sublime Ideas than any that are to be met with in
the most exalted Science; and at the same time warms and agitates the
Soul more than sensual Pleasure.

It has been observed by some Writers, that Man is more distinguished
from the Animal World by Devotion than by Reason, as several Brute
Creatures discover in their Actions something like a faint Glimmering of
Reason, though they betray in no single Circumstance of their Behaviour
any Thing that bears the least Affinity to Devotion. It is certain, the
Propensity of the Mind to Religious Worship; the natural Tendency of the
Soul to fly to some Superior Being for Succour in Dangers and
Distresses, the Gratitude to an invisible Superintendent [which [1]]
rises in us upon receiving any extraordinary and unexpected good
Fortune; the Acts of Love and Admiration with which the Thoughts of Men
are so wonderfully transported in meditating upon the Divine
Perfections, and the universal Concurrence of all the Nations under
Heaven in the great Article of Adoration, plainly shew that Devotion or
Religious Worship must be the Effect of Tradition from some first
Founder of Mankind, or that it is conformable to the Natural Light of
Reason, or that it proceeds from an Instinct implanted in the Soul it
self. For my part, I look upon all these to be the concurrent Causes,
but which ever of them shall be assigned as the Principle of Divine
Worship, it manifestly points to a Supreme Being as the first Author of

I may take some other Opportunity of considering those particular Forms
and Methods of Devotion which are taught us by Christianity, but shall
here observe into what Errors even this Divine Principle may sometimes
lead us, when it is not moderated by that right Reason which was given
us as the Guide of all our Actions.

The two great Errors into which a mistaken Devotion may betray us, are
Enthusiasm and Superstition.

There is not a more melancholy Object than a Man who has his Head turned
with Religious Enthusiasm. A Person that is crazed, tho' with Pride or
Malice, is a Sight very mortifying to Human Nature; but when the
Distemper arises from any indiscreet Fervours of Devotion, or too
intense an Application of the Mind to its mistaken Duties, it deserves
our Compassion in a more particular Manner. We may however learn this
Lesson from it, that since Devotion it self (which one would be apt to
think could not be too warm) may disorder the Mind, unless its Heats are
tempered with Caution and Prudence, we should be particularly careful to
keep our Reason as cool as possible, and to guard our selves in all
Parts of Life against the Influence of Passion, Imagination, and

Devotion, when it does not lie under the Check of Reason, is very apt to
degenerate into Enthusiasm. When the Mind finds herself very much
inflamed with her Devotions, she is too much inclined to think they are
not of her own kindling, but blown up by something Divine within her. If
she indulges this Thought too far, and humours the growing Passion, she
at last flings her self into imaginary Raptures and Extasies; and when
once she fancies her self under the Influence of a Divine Impulse, it is
no Wonder if she slights Human Ordinances, and refuses to comply with
any established Form of Religion, as thinking her self directed by a
much superior Guide.

As Enthusiasm is a kind of Excess in Devotion, Superstition is the
Excess not only of Devotion, but of Religion in general, according to an
old Heathen Saying, quoted by _Aulus Gellius_, _Religentem esse oportet,
Religiosum nefas_; A Man should be Religious, not Superstitious: For as
the Author tells us, _Nigidius_ observed upon this Passage, that the
_Latin_ Words which terminate in _osus_ generally imply vicious
Characters, and the having of any Quality to an Excess. [2]

An Enthusiast in Religion is like an obstinate Clown, a Superstitious
Man like an insipid Courtier. Enthusiasm has something in it of Madness,
Superstition of Folly. Most of the Sects that fall short of the Church
of _England_ have in them strong Tinctures of Enthusiasm, as the _Roman_
Catholick Religion is one huge overgrown Body of childish and idle

The _Roman_ Catholick Church seems indeed irrecoverably lost in this
Particular. If an absurd Dress or Behaviour be introduced in the World,
it will soon be found out and discarded: On the contrary, a Habit or
Ceremony, tho' never so ridiculous, [which [3]] has taken Sanctuary in
the Church, sticks in it for ever. A _Gothic_ Bishop perhaps, thought it
proper to repeat such a Form in such particular Shoes or Slippers;
another fancied it would be very decent if such a Part of publick
Devotions were performed with a Mitre on his Head, and a Crosier in his
Hand: To this a Brother _Vandal_, as wise as the others, adds an antick
Dress, which he conceived would allude very aptly to such and such
Mysteries, till by Degrees the whole Office [has] degenerated into an
empty Show.

Their Successors see the Vanity and Inconvenience of these Ceremonies;
but instead of reforming, perhaps add others, which they think more
significant, and which take Possession in the same manner, and are never
to be driven out after they have been once admitted. I have seen the
Pope officiate at St. _Peter's_ where, for two Hours together, he was
busied in putting on or off his different Accoutrements, according to
the different Parts he was to act in them.

Nothing is so glorious in the Eyes of Mankind, and ornamental to Human
Nature, setting aside the infinite Advantages [which [4]] arise from it,
as a strong, steady masculine Piety; but Enthusiasm and Superstition are
the Weaknesses of human Reason, that expose us to the Scorn and Derision
of Infidels, and sink us even below the Beasts that perish.

Idolatry may be looked upon as another Error arising from mistaken
Devotion; but because Reflections on that Subject would be of no use to
an _English_ Reader, I shall not enlarge upon it.

[Footnote 1: that]

[Footnote 2: Noct. Att., Bk. iv. ch. 9.]

[Footnote 3: that]

[Footnote 4: that]

* * * * *

No. 202. Monday, October 22, 1711. Steele.

'Saepe decem vitiis instructior odit et horret.'


The other Day as I passed along the Street, I saw a sturdy Prentice-Boy
Disputing with an Hackney-Coachman; and in an Instant, upon some Word of
Provocation, throw off his Hat and [Cut-Periwig, [1]] clench his Fist,
and strike the Fellow a Slap on the Face; at the same time calling him
Rascal, and telling him he was a Gentleman's Son. The young Gentleman
was, it seems, bound to a Blacksmith; and the Debate arose about Payment
for some Work done about a Coach, near which they Fought. His Master,
during the Combat, was full of his Boy's Praises; and as he called to
him to play with his Hand and Foot, and throw in his Head, he made all
us who stood round him of his Party, by declaring the Boy had very good
Friends, and he could trust him with untold Gold. As I am generally in
the Theory of Mankind, I could not but make my Reflections upon the
sudden Popularity which was raised about the Lad; and perhaps, with my
Friend _Tacitus_, fell into Observations upon it, which were too great
for the Occasion; or ascribed this general Favour to Causes which had
nothing to do towards it. But the young Blacksmith's being a Gentleman
was, methought, what created him good Will from his present Equality
with the Mob about him: Add to this, that he was not so much a
Gentleman, as not, at the same time that he called himself such, to use
as rough Methods for his Defence as his Antagonist. The Advantage of his
having good Friends, as his Master expressed it, was not lazily urged;
but he shewed himself superior to the Coachman in the personal Qualities
of Courage and Activity, to confirm that of his being well allied,
before his Birth was of any Service to him.

If one might Moralize from this silly Story, a Man would say, that
whatever Advantages of Fortune, Birth, or any other Good, People possess
above the rest of the World, they should shew collateral Eminences
besides those Distinctions; or those Distinctions will avail only to
keep up common Decencies and Ceremonies, and not to preserve a real
Place of Favour or Esteem in the Opinion and common Sense of their

The Folly of People's Procedure, in imagining that nothing more is
necessary than Property and superior Circumstances to support them in
Distinction, appears in no way so much as in the Domestick part of Life.
It is ordinary to feed their Humours into unnatural Excrescences, if I
may so speak, and make their whole Being a wayward and uneasy Condition,
for want of the obvious Reflection that all Parts of Human Life is a
Commerce. It is not only paying Wages, and giving Commands, that
constitutes a Master of a Family; but Prudence, equal Behaviour, with
Readiness to protect and cherish them, is what entitles a Man to that
Character in their very Hearts and Sentiments. It is pleasant enough to
Observe, that Men expect from their Dependants, from their sole Motive
of Fear, all the good Effects which a liberal Education, and affluent
Fortune, and every other Advantage, cannot produce in themselves. A Man
will have his Servant just, diligent, sober and chaste, for no other
Reasons but the Terrour of losing his Master's Favour; when all the Laws
Divine and Human cannot keep him whom he serves within Bounds, with
relation to any one of those Virtues. But both in great and ordinary
Affairs, all Superiority, which is not founded on Merit and Virtue, is
supported only by Artifice and Stratagem. Thus you see Flatterers are
the Agents in Families of Humourists, and those who govern themselves by
any thing but Reason. Make-Bates, distant Relations, poor Kinsmen, and
indigent Followers, are the Fry which support the Oeconomy of an
humoursome rich Man. He is eternally whispered with Intelligence of who
are true or false to him in Matters of no Consequence, and he maintains
twenty Friends to defend him against the Insinuations of one who would
perhaps cheat him of an old Coat.

I shall not enter into farther Speculation upon this Subject at present,
but think the following Letters and Petition are made up of proper
Sentiments on this Occasion.


I am a Servant to an old Lady who is governed by one she calls her
Friend; who is so familiar an one, that she takes upon her to advise
her without being called to it, and makes her uneasie with all about
her. Pray, Sir, be pleased to give us some Remarks upon voluntary
Counsellors; and let these People know that to give any Body Advice,
is to say to that Person, I am your Betters. Pray, Sir, as near as you
can, describe that eternal Flirt and Disturber of Families, Mrs.
_Taperty_, who is always visiting, and putting People in a Way, as
they call it. If you can make her stay at home one Evening, you will
be a general Benefactor to all the Ladies Women in Town, and
particularly to

_Your loving Friend_,

Susan Civil.


'I am a Footman, and live with one of those Men, each of whom is said
to be one of the best humoured Men in the World, but that he is
passionate. Pray be pleased to inform them, that he who is passionate,
and takes no Care to command his Hastiness, does more Injury to his
Friends and Servants in one half Hour, than whole Years can attone
for. This Master of mine, who is the best Man alive in common Fame,
disobliges Some body every Day he lives; and strikes me for the next
thing I do, because he is out of Humour at it. If these Gentlemen
[knew [2]] that they do all the Mischief that is ever done in
Conversation, they would reform; and I who have been a Spectator of
Gentlemen at Dinner for many Years, have seen that Indiscretion does
ten times more Mischief than Ill-nature. But you will represent this
better than _Your abused_

_Humble Servant_,

Thomas Smoaky.


The humble Petition of _John Steward_, _Robert Butler_, _Harry Cook_,
and _Abigail Chambers_, in Behalf of themselves and their Relations,
belonging to and dispersed in the several Services of most of the
great Families within the Cities of _London and Westminster_;


That in many of the Families in which your Petitioners live and are
employed, the several Heads of them are wholly unacquainted with what
is Business, and are very little Judges when they are well or ill used
by us your said Petitioners.

That for want of such Skill in their own Affairs, and by Indulgence
of their own Laziness and Pride, they continually keep about them
certain mischievous Animals called Spies.

That whenever a Spy is entertained, the Peace of that House is from
that Moment banished.

That Spies never give an Account of good Services, but represent our
Mirth and Freedom by the Words Wantonness and Disorder.

That in all Families where there are Spies, there is a general
Jealousy and Misunderstanding.

That the Masters and Mistresses of such Houses live in continual
Suspicion of their ingenuous and true Servants, and are given up to
the Management of those who are false and perfidious.

That such Masters and Mistresses who entertain Spies, are no longer
more than Cyphers in their own Families; and that we your Petitioners
are with great Disdain obliged to pay all our Respect, and expect all
our Maintenance from such Spies.

Your Petitioners therefore most humbly pray, that you would represent
the Premises to all Persons of Condition; and your Petitioners, as in
Duty bound, shall for ever Pray, &c.


[Footnote 1: Perriwig]

[Footnote 2: "know", and in first reprint.]















No. 203. Tuesday, October 23, 1711. Addison.

Phoebe pater, si das hujus mihi nominis usum,
Nec falsa Clymene culpam sub imagine celat;
Pignora da, Genitor

Ov. Met.

There is a loose Tribe of Men whom I have not yet taken Notice of, that
ramble into all the Corners of this great City, in order to seduce such
unfortunate Females as fall into their Walks. These abandoned
Profligates raise up Issue in every Quarter of the Town, and very often,
for a valuable Consideration, father it upon the Church-warden. By this
means there are several Married Men who have a little Family in most of
the Parishes of London and Westminster, and several Batchelors who
are undone by a Charge of Children.

When a Man once gives himself this Liberty of preying at large, and
living upon the Common, he finds so much Game in a populous City, that
it is surprising to consider the Numbers which he sometimes propagates.
We see many a young Fellow who is scarce of Age, that could lay his
Claim to the Jus trium Liberorum, or the Privileges which were granted
by the Roman Laws to all such as were Fathers of three Children: Nay,
I have heard a Rake [who [1]] was not quite five and twenty, declare
himself the Father of a seventh Son, and very prudently determine to
breed him up a Physician. In short, the Town is full of these young
Patriarchs, not to mention several batter'd Beaus, who, like heedless
Spendthrifts that squander away their Estates before they are Masters of
them, have raised up their whole Stock of Children before Marriage.

I must not here omit the particular Whim of an Impudent Libertine, that
had a little Smattering of Heraldry; and observing how the Genealogies
of great Families were often drawn up in the Shape of Trees, had taken a
Fancy to dispose of his own illegitimate Issue in a Figure of the same

--Nec longum tempus et ingens
Exiit ad coelum ramis felicibus arbos,
Miraturque novas frondes, et non sua poma.

Virg. [2]

The Trunk of the Tree was mark'd with his own Name, Will Maple. Out of
the Side of it grew a large barren Branch, Inscribed Mary Maple, the
Name of his unhappy Wife. The Head was adorned with five huge Boughs. On
the Bottom of the first was written in Capital Characters Kate Cole,
who branched out into three Sprigs, viz. William, Richard, and
Rebecca. Sal Twiford gave Birth to another Bough, that shot up into
Sarah, Tom, Will, and Frank. The third Arm of the Tree had only a
single Infant in it, with a Space left for a second, the Parent from
whom it sprung being near her Time when the Author took this Ingenious
Device into his Head. The two other great Boughs were very plentifully
loaden with Fruit of the same kind; besides which there were many
Ornamental Branches that did not bear. In short, a more flourishing Tree
never came out of the Heralds Office.

What makes this Generation of Vermin so very prolifick, is the
indefatigable Diligence with which they apply themselves to their
Business. A Man does not undergo more Watchings and Fatigues in a
Campaign, than in the Course of a vicious Amour. As it is said of some
Men, that they make their Business their Pleasure, these Sons of
Darkness may be said to make their Pleasure their Business. They might
conquer their corrupt Inclinations with half the Pains they are at in
gratifying them.

Nor is the Invention of these Men less to be admired than their Industry
or Vigilance. There is a Fragment of Apollodorus the Comick Poet (who
was Contemporary with Menander) which is full of Humour as follows:
Thou mayest shut up thy Doors, says he, with Bars and Bolts: It will be
impossible for the Blacksmith to make them so fast, but a Cat and a
Whoremaster will find a Way through them. In a word, there is no Head
so full of Stratagems as that of a Libidinous Man.

Were I to propose a Punishment for this infamous Race of Propagators, it
should be to send them, after the second or third Offence, into our
American Colonies, in order to people those Parts of her Majesty's
Dominions where there is a want of Inhabitants, and in the Phrase of
Diogenes, to Plant Men. Some Countries punish this Crime with Death;
but I think such a Banishment would be sufficient, and might turn this
generative Faculty to the Advantage of the Publick.

In the mean time, till these Gentlemen may be thus disposed of, I would
earnestly exhort them to take Care of those unfortunate Creatures whom
they have brought into the World by these indirect Methods, and to give
their spurious Children such an Education as may render them more
virtuous than their Parents. This is the best Atonement they can make
for their own Crimes, and indeed the only Method that is left them to
repair their past Mis-carriages.

I would likewise desire them to consider, whether they are not bound in
common Humanity, as well as by all the Obligations of Religion and
Nature, to make some Provision for those whom they have not only given
Life to, but entail'd upon them, [tho very unreasonably, a Degree of]
Shame and [Disgrace. [3]] And here I cannot but take notice of those
depraved Notions which prevail among us, and which must have taken rise
from our natural Inclination to favour a Vice to which we are so very
prone, namely, that Bastardy and Cuckoldom should be look'd upon as
Reproaches, and that the [Ignominy [4]] which is only due to Lewdness
and Falsehood, should fall in so unreasonable a manner upon the Persons
who [are [5]] innocent.

I have been insensibly drawn into this Discourse by the following
Letter, which is drawn up with such a Spirit of Sincerity, that I
question not but the Writer of it has represented his Case in a true and
genuine Light.


I am one of those People who by the general Opinion of the World are
counted both Infamous and Unhappy.

My Father is a very eminent Man in this Kingdom, and one who bears
considerable Offices in it. I am his Son, but my Misfortune is, That I
dare not call him Father, nor he without Shame own me as his Issue, I
being illegitimate, and therefore deprived of that endearing
Tenderness and unparallel'd Satisfaction which a good Man finds in the
Love and Conversation of a Parent: Neither have I the Opportunities to
render him the Duties of a Son, he having always carried himself at so
vast a Distance, and with such Superiority towards me, that by long
Use I have contracted a Timorousness when before him, which hinders me
from declaring my own Necessities, and giving him to understand the
Inconveniencies I undergo.

It is my Misfortune to have been neither bred a Scholar, [a Soldier,]
nor to [any kind of] Business, which renders me Entirely uncapable of
making Provision for my self without his Assistance; and this creates
a continual Uneasiness in my Mind, fearing I shall in Time want Bread;
my Father, if I may so call him, giving me but very faint Assurances
of doing any thing for me.

I have hitherto lived somewhat like a Gentleman, and it would be very
hard for me to labour for my Living. I am in continual Anxiety for my
future Fortune, and under a great Unhappiness in losing the sweet
Conversation and friendly Advice of my Parents; so that I cannot look
upon my self otherwise than as a Monster, strangely sprung up in
Nature, which every one is ashamed to own.

I am thought to be a Man of some natural Parts, and by the continual
Reading what you have offered the World, become an Admirer thereof,
which has drawn me to make this Confession; at the same time hoping,
if any thing herein shall touch you with a Sense of Pity, you would
then allow me the Favour of your Opinion thereupon; as also what Part
I, being unlawfully born, may claim of the Man's Affection who begot
me, and how far in your Opinion I am to be thought his Son, or he
acknowledged as my Father. Your Sentiments and Advice herein will be a
great Consolation and Satisfaction to,
Your Admirer and Humble Servant,
W. B.

[Footnote 1: that]

[Footnote 2: Georg. II. v. 89.]

[Footnote 3: Infamy.]

[Footnote 4: Shame]

[Footnote 5: suffer and are]


* * * * *

No. 204. Wednesday, October 24, 1711. Steele.

Urit grata protervitas,
Et vultus nimium lubricus aspici.


I am not at all displeased that I am become the Courier of Love, and
that the Distressed in that Passion convey their Complaints to each
other by my Means. The following Letters have lately come to my hands,
and shall have their Place with great Willingness. As to the Readers
Entertainment, he will, I hope, forgive the inserting such Particulars
as to him may perhaps seem frivolous, but are to the Persons who wrote
them of the highest Consequence. I shall not trouble you with the
Prefaces, Compliments, and Apologies made to me before each Epistle when
it was desired to be inserted; but in general they tell me, that the
Persons to whom they are addressed have Intimations, by Phrases and
Allusions in them, from whence they came.

_To the_ Sothades [1].

"The Word, by which I address you, gives you, who understand
_Portuguese_, a lively Image of the tender Regard I have for you. The
SPECTATOR'S late Letter from _Statira_ gave me the Hint to use the
same Method of explaining my self to you. I am not affronted at the
Design your late Behaviour discovered you had in your Addresses to me;
but I impute it to the Degeneracy of the Age, rather than your
particular Fault. As I aim at nothing more than being yours, I am
willing to be a Stranger to your Name, your Fortune, or any Figure
which your Wife might expect to make in the World, provided my
Commerce with you is not to be a guilty one. I resign gay Dress, the
Pleasure of Visits, Equipage, Plays, Balls, and Operas, for that one
Satisfaction of having you for ever mine. I am willing you shall
industriously conceal the only Cause of Triumph which I can know in
this Life. I wish only to have it my Duty, as well as my Inclination,
to study your Happiness. If this has not the Effect this Letter seems
to aim at, you are to understand that I had a mind to be rid of you,
and took the readiest Way to pall you with an Offer of what you would
never desist pursuing while you received ill Usage. Be a true Man; be
my Slave while you doubt me, and neglect me when you think I love you.
I defy you to find out what is your present Circumstance with me; but
I know while I can keep this Suspence.

_I am your admired_ Belinda."


"It is a strange State of Mind a Man is in, when the very
Imperfections of a Woman he loves turn into Excellencies and
Advantages. I do assure you, I am very much afraid of venturing upon
you. I now like you in spite of my Reason, and think it an ill
Circumstance to owe ones Happiness to nothing but Infatuation. I can
see you ogle all the young Fellows who look at you, and observe your
Eye wander after new Conquests every Moment you are in a publick
Place; and yet there is such a Beauty in all your Looks and Gestures,
that I cannot but admire you in the very Act of endeavouring to gain
the Hearts of others. My Condition is the same with that of the Lover
in the _Way of the World_, [2] I have studied your Faults so long,
that they are become as familiar to me, and I like them as well as I
do my own. Look to it, Madam, and consider whether you think this gay
Behaviour will appear to me as amiable when an Husband, as it does now
to me a Lover. Things are so far advanced, that we must proceed; and I
hope you will lay it to Heart, that it will be becoming in me to
appear still your Lover, but not in you to be still my Mistress.
Gaiety in the Matrimonial Life is graceful in one Sex, but
exceptionable in the other. As you improve these little Hints, you
will ascertain the Happiness or Uneasiness of,
Your most obedient,
Most humble Servant_,

When I sat at the Window, and you at the other End of the Room by my
Cousin, I saw you catch me looking at you. Since you have the Secret
at last, which I am sure you should never have known but by
Inadvertency, what my Eyes said was true. But it is too soon to
confirm it with my Hand, therefore shall not subscribe my Name.

There were other Gentlemen nearer, and I know no Necessity you were
under to take up that flippant Creatures Fan last Night; but you
shall never touch a Stick of mine more, that's pos.

To Colonel R----s [3] in Spain.

Before this can reach the best of Husbands and the fondest Lover,
those tender Names will be no more of Concern to me. The Indisposition
in which you, to obey the Dictates of your Honour and Duty, left me,
has increased upon me; and I am acquainted by my Physicians I cannot
live a Week longer. At this time my Spirits fail me; and it is the
ardent Love I have for you that carries me beyond my Strength, and
enables me to tell you, the most painful Thing in the Prospect of
Death, is, that I must part with you. But let it be a Comfort to you,
that I have no Guilt hangs upon me, no unrepented Folly that retards
me; but I pass away my last Hours in Reflection upon the Happiness we
have lived in together, and in Sorrow that it is so soon to have an
End. This is a Frailty which I hope is so far from criminal, that
methinks there is a kind of Piety in being so unwilling to be
separated from a State which is the Institution of Heaven, and in
which we have lived according to its Laws. As we know no more of the
next Life, but that it will be an happy one to the Good, and miserable
to the Wicked, why may we not please ourselves at least, to alleviate
the Difficulty of resigning this Being, in imagining that we shall
have a Sense of what passes below, and may possibly be employed in
guiding the Steps of those with whom we walked with Innocence when
mortal? Why may not I hope to go on in my usual Work, and, tho
unknown to you, be assistant in all the Conflicts of your Mind? Give
me leave to say to you, O best of Men, that I cannot figure to myself
a greater Happiness than in such an Employment: To be present at all
the Adventures to which human Life is exposed, to administer Slumber
to thy Eyelids in the Agonies of a Fever, to cover thy beloved Face in
the Day of Battle, to go with thee a Guardian Angel incapable of Wound
or Pain, where I have longed to attend thee when a weak, a fearful
Woman: These, my Dear, are the Thoughts with which I warm my poor
languid Heart; but indeed I am not capable under my present Weakness
of bearing the strong Agonies of Mind I fall into, when I form to
myself the Grief you will be in upon your first hearing of my
Departure. I will not dwell upon this, because your kind and generous
Heart will be but the more afflicted, the more the Person for whom you
lament offers you Consolation. My last Breath will, if I am my self,
expire in a Prayer for you. I shall never see thy Face again.

Farewell for ever. T.

[Footnote 1: Saudades. To have saudades of anything is to yearn with
desire towards it. Saudades da Patria is home sickness. To say Tenho
Saudades without naming an object would be taken to mean I am all
yearning to call a certain gentleman or lady mine.]

[Footnote 2: In Act I. sc. 3, of Congreve's Way of the World, Mirabell
says of Millamant,

I like her with all her faults, nay, like her for her faults. Her
follies are so natural, or so artful, that they become her; and those
affectations which in another woman would be odious, serve but to make
her more agreeable. Ill tell thee, Fainall, she once used me with
that insolence, that in revenge I took her to pieces, sifted her, and
separated her failings; I studied em and got em by rote. The
Catalogue was so large, that I was not without hopes one day or other
to hate her heartily: to which end I so used myself to think of em,
that at length, contrary to my design and expectation, they gave me
every hour less and less disturbance; till in a few days it became
habitual to me to remember em without being displeased. They are now
grown as familiar to me as my own frailties; and, in all probability,
in a little time longer I shall like em as well.]

[Footnote 3: The name was commonly believed to be Rivers, when this
Paper was published.]

* * * * *

No. 205. Thursday, October 25, 1711. Addison.

Decipimur specie recti


When I meet with any vicious Character that is not generally known, in
order to prevent its doing Mischief, I draw it at length, and set it up
as a Scarecrow; by which means I do not only make an Example of the
Person to whom it belongs, but give Warning to all Her Majesty's
Subjects, that they may not suffer by it. Thus, to change the
[Allusion,[1]] I have marked out several of the Shoals and Quicksands of
Life, and am continually employed in discovering those [which [2]] are
still concealed, in order to keep the Ignorant and Unwary from running
upon them. It is with this Intention that I publish the following
Letter, which brings to light some Secrets of this Nature.


There are none of your Speculations which I read over with greater
Delight, than those which are designed for the Improvement of our Sex.
You have endeavoured to correct our unreasonable Fears and
Superstitions, in your Seventh and Twelfth Papers; our Fancy for
Equipage, in your Fifteenth; our Love of Puppet-Shows, in your
Thirty-First; our Notions of Beauty, in your Thirty-Third; our
Inclination for Romances, in your Thirty-Seventh; our Passion for
_French_ Fopperies, in your Forty-Fifth; our Manhood and Party-zeal,
in your Fifty-Seventh; our Abuse of Dancing, in your Sixty-Sixth and
Sixty-Seventh; our Levity, in your Hundred and Twenty-Eighth; our Love
of Coxcombs, in your Hundred and Fifty-Fourth, and Hundred and
Fifty-Seventh; our Tyranny over the Henpeckt, in your Hundred and
Seventy-Sixth. You have described the _Pict_ in your Forty-first; the
Idol, in your Seventy-Third; the Demurrer, in your Eighty-Ninth; the
Salamander, in your Hundred and Ninety-Eighth. You have likewise taken
to pieces our Dress, and represented to us the Extravagancies we are
often guilty of in that Particular. You have fallen upon our Patches,
in your Fiftieth and Eighty-First; our Commodes, in your
Ninety-Eighth; our Fans in your Hundred and Second; our Riding Habits
in your Hundred and Fourth; our Hoop-petticoats, in your Hundred and
Twenty-Seventh; besides a great many little Blemishes which you have
touched upon in your several other Papers, and in those many Letters
that are scattered up and down your Works. At the same Time we must
own, that the Compliments you pay our Sex are innumerable, and that
those very Faults which you represent in us, are neither black in
themselves nor, as you own, universal among us. But, Sir, it is plain
that these your Discourses are calculated for none but the fashionable
Part of Womankind, and for the Use of those who are rather indiscreet
than vicious. But, Sir, there is a Sort of Prostitutes in the lower
Part of our Sex, who are a Scandal to us, and very well deserve to
fall under your Censure. I know it would debase your Paper too much to
enter into the Behaviour of these Female Libertines; but as your
Remarks on some Part of it would be a doing of Justice to several
Women of Virtue and Honour, whose Reputations suffer by it, I hope you
will not think it improper to give the Publick some Accounts of this
Nature. You must know, Sir, I am provoked to write you this Letter by
the Behaviour of an infamous Woman, who having passed her Youth in a
most shameless State of Prostitution, is now one of those who gain
their Livelihood by seducing others, that are younger than themselves,
and by establishing a criminal Commerce between the two Sexes. Among
several of her Artifices to get Money, she frequently perswades a vain
young Fellow, that such a Woman of Quality, or such a celebrated
Toast, entertains a secret Passion for him, and wants nothing but an
Opportunity of revealing it: Nay, she has gone so far as to write
Letters in the Name of a Woman of Figure, to borrow Money of one of
these foolish _Roderigos_, [3] which she has afterwards appropriated
to her own Use. In the mean time, the Person who has lent the Money,
has thought a Lady under Obligations to him, who scarce knew his Name;
and wondered at her Ingratitude when he has been with her, that she
has not owned the Favour, though at the same time he was too much a
Man of Honour to put her in mind of it.

When this abandoned Baggage meets with a Man who has Vanity enough to
give Credit to Relations of this nature, she turns him to very good
Account, by repeating Praises that were never uttered, and delivering
Messages that were never sent. As the House of this shameless Creature
is frequented by several Foreigners, I have heard of another Artifice,
out of which she often raises Money. The Foreigner sighs after some
_British_ Beauty, whom he only knows by Fame: Upon which she promises,
if he can be secret, to procure him a Meeting. The Stranger, ravished
at his good Fortune, gives her a Present, and in a little time is
introduced to some imaginary Title; for you must know that this
cunning Purveyor has her Representatives upon this Occasion, of some
of the finest Ladies in the Kingdom. By this Means, as I am informed,
it is usual enough to meet with a German Count in foreign Countries,
that shall make his Boasts of Favours he has received from Women of
the highest Ranks, and the most unblemished Characters. Now, Sir, what
Safety is there for a Woman's Reputation, when a Lady may be thus
prostituted as it were by Proxy, and be reputed an unchaste Woman; as
the Hero in the ninth Book of _Dryden's_ Virgil is looked upon as a
Coward, because the Phantom which appeared in his Likeness ran away
from _Turnus?_ You may depend upon what I relate to you to be Matter
of Fact, and the Practice of more than one of these female Pandars. If
you print this Letter, I may give you some further Accounts of this
vicious Race of Women.
_Your humble Servant,_

I shall add two other Letters on different Subjects to fill up my Paper.


I am a Country Clergyman, and hope you will lend me your Assistance
in ridiculing some little Indecencies which cannot so properly be
exposed from the Pulpit.

A Widow Lady, who straggled this Summer from _London_ into my Parish
for the Benefit of the Air, as she says, appears every _Sunday_ at
Church with many fashionable Extravagancies, to the great Astonishment
of my Congregation.

But what gives us the most Offence is her theatrical Manner of
Singing the Psalms. She introduces above fifty _Italian_ Airs into the
hundredth Psalm, and whilst we begin _All People_ in the old solemn
Tune of our Forefathers, she in a quite different Key runs Divisions
on the Vowels, and adorns them with the Graces of _Nicolini_; if she
meets with Eke or Aye, which are frequent in the Metre of _Hopkins_
and _Sternhold_,[4] we are certain to hear her quavering them half a
Minute after us to some sprightly Airs of the Opera.

I am very far from being an Enemy to Church Musick; but fear this
Abuse of it may make my _Parish_ ridiculous, who already look on the
Singing Psalms as an Entertainment, and no Part of their Devotion:
Besides, I am apprehensive that the Infection may spread, for Squire
_Squeekum_, who by his Voice seems (if I may use the Expression) to be
cut out for an _Italian_ Singer, was last _Sunday_ practising the same

I know the Lady's Principles, and that she will plead the Toleration,
which (as she fancies) allows her Non-Conformity in this Particular;
but I beg you to acquaint her, That Singing the Psalms in a different
Tune from the rest of the Congregation, is a Sort of Schism not
tolerated by that Act.

_I am, SIR, Your very humble Servant,_ R. S.


In your Paper upon Temperance, you prescribe to us a Rule of
drinking, out of Sir _William Temple_, in the following Words; _The
first Glass for myself, the second for my Friends, the third for
Good-humour, and the fourth for mine Enemies_. Now, Sir, you must
know, that I have read this your _Spectator_, in a Club whereof I am a
Member; when our President told us, there was certainly an Error in
the Print, and that the Word _Glass_ should be _Bottle;_ and therefore
has ordered me to inform you of this Mistake, and to desire you to
publish the following _Errata:_ In the Paper of _Saturday, Octob._
13, Col. 3. Line 11, for _Glass_ read _Bottle_.

_Yours_, Robin Good-fellow.


[Footnote 1: Metaphor,]

[Footnote 2: that]

[Footnote 3: As the Roderigo whose money Iago used.]

[Footnote 4: Thomas Sternhold who joined Hopkins, Norton, and others in
translation of the Psalms, was groom of the robes to Henry VIII. and
Edward VI.]


* * * * *

No. 206. Friday, October 26, 1711. Steele.

Quanto quisque sibi plura negaverit,
A Diis plura feret--


There is a Call upon Mankind to value and esteem those who set a
moderate Price upon their own Merit; and Self-denial is frequently
attended with unexpected Blessings, which in the End abundantly
recompense such Losses as the Modest seem to suffer in the ordinary
Occurrences of Life. The Curious tell us, a Determination in our Favour
or to our Disadvantage is made upon our first Appearance, even before
they know any thing of our Characters, but from the Intimations Men
gather from our Aspect. A Man, they say, wears the Picture of his Mind
in his Countenance; and one Man's Eyes are Spectacles to his who looks
at him to read his Heart. But tho that Way of raising an Opinion of
those we behold in Publick is very fallacious, certain it is, that
those, who by their Words and Actions take as much upon themselves, as
they can but barely demand in the strict Scrutiny of their Deserts, will
find their Account lessen every Day. A modest Man preserves his
Character, as a frugal Man does his Fortune; if either of them live to
the Height of either, one will find Losses, the other Errors, which he
has not Stock by him to make up. It were therefore a just Rule, to keep
your Desires, your Words and Actions, within the Regard you observe your
Friends have for you; and never, if it were in a Man's Power, to take as
much as he possibly might either in Preferment or Reputation. My Walks
have lately been among the mercantile Part of the World; and one gets
Phrases naturally from those with whom one converses: I say then, he
that in his Air, his Treatment of others, or an habitual Arrogance to
himself, gives himself Credit for the least Article of more Wit, Wisdom,
Goodness, or Valour than he can possibly produce if he is called upon,
will find the World break in upon him, and consider him as one who has
cheated them of all the Esteem they had before allowed him. This brings
a Commission of Bankruptcy upon him; and he that might have gone on to
his Lifes End in a prosperous Way, by aiming at more than he should, is
no longer Proprietor of what he really had before, but his Pretensions
fare as all Things do which are torn instead of being divided.

There is no one living would deny _Cinna_ the Applause of an agreeable
and facetious Wit; or could possibly pretend that there is not something
inimitably unforced and diverting in his Manner of delivering all his
Sentiments in Conversation, if he were able to conceal the strong Desire
of Applause which he betrays in every Syllable he utters. But they who
converse with him, see that all the Civilities they could do to him, or
the kind Things they could say to him, would fall short of what he
expects; and therefore instead of shewing him the Esteem they have for
his Merit, their Reflections turn only upon that they observe he has of
it himself.

If you go among the Women, and behold _Gloriana_ trip into a Room with
that theatrical Ostentation of her Charms, _Mirtilla_ with that soft
Regularity in her Motion, _Chloe_ with such an indifferent Familiarity,
_Corinna_ with such a fond Approach, and _Roxana_ with such a Demand of
Respect in the great Gravity of her Entrance; you find all the Sex, who
understand themselves and act naturally, wait only for their Absence, to
tell you that all these Ladies would impose themselves upon you; and
each of them carry in their Behaviour a Consciousness of so much more
than they should pretend to, that they lose what would otherwise be
given them.

I remember the last time I saw _Macbeth_, I was wonderfully taken with
the Skill of the Poet, in making the Murderer form Fears to himself from
the Moderation of the Prince whose Life he was going to take away. He
says of the King, _He bore his Faculties so meekly_; and justly inferred
from thence, That all divine and human Power would join to avenge his
Death, who had made such an abstinent Use of Dominion. All that is in a
Man's Power to do to advance his own Pomp and Glory, and forbears, is so
much laid up against the Day of Distress; and Pity will always be his
Portion in Adversity, who acted with Gentleness in Prosperity.

The great Officer who foregoes the Advantages he might take to himself,
and renounces all prudential Regards to his own Person in Danger, has so
far the Merit of a Volunteer; and all his Honours and Glories are
unenvied, for sharing the common Fate with the same Frankness as they do
who have no such endearing Circumstances to part with. But if there were
no such Considerations as the good Effect which Self-denial has upon the
Sense of other Men towards us, it is of all Qualities the most desirable
for the agreeable Disposition in which it places our own Minds. I cannot
tell what better to say of it, than that it is the very Contrary of
Ambition; and that Modesty allays all those Passions and Inquietudes to
which that Vice exposes us. He that is moderate in his Wishes from
Reason and Choice, and not resigned from Sourness, Distaste, or
Disappointment, doubles all the Pleasures of his Life. The Air, the
Season, a [Sun-shiny [1]] Day, or a fair Prospect, are Instances of
Happiness, and that which he enjoys in common with all the World, (by
his Exemption from the Enchantments by which all the World are
bewitched) are to him uncommon Benefits and new Acquisitions. Health is
not eaten up with Care, nor Pleasure interrupted by Envy. It is not to
him of any Consequence what this Man is famed for, or for what the other
is preferred. He knows there is in such a Place an uninterrupted Walk;
he can meet in such a Company an agreeable Conversation: He has no
Emulation, he is no Man's Rival, but every Man's Well-wisher; can look
at a prosperous Man, with a Pleasure in reflecting that he hopes he is
as happy as himself; and has his Mind and his Fortune (as far as
Prudence will allow) open to the Unhappy and to the Stranger.

_Lucceius_ has Learning, Wit, Humour, Eloquence, but no ambitious
Prospects to pursue with these Advantages; therefore to the ordinary
World he is perhaps thought to want Spirit, but known among his Friends
to have a Mind of the most consummate Greatness. He wants no Man's
Admiration, is in no Need of Pomp. His Cloaths please him if they are
fashionable and warm; his Companions are agreeable if they are civil and
well-natured. There is with him no Occasion for Superfluity at Meals,
for Jollity in Company, in a word, for any thing extraordinary to
administer Delight to him. Want of Prejudice and Command of Appetite are
the Companions which make his Journey of Life so easy, that he in all
Places meets with more Wit, more good Cheer and more good Humour, than
is necessary to make him enjoy himself with Pleasure and Satisfaction.

[Footnote 1: [Sun-shine], and in the first reprint.]


* * * * *

No. 207. Saturday, October 27, 1711. Addison.

Omnibus in terris, quoe sunt a Gadibus usque
Auroram et Gangem, pauci dignoscere possunt
Vera bona, atque illis multum diversa, remota
Erroris nebula--


In my last _Saturdays_ Paper I laid down some Thoughts upon Devotion in
general, and shall here shew what were the Notions of the most refined
Heathens on this Subject, as they are represented in _Plato's_ Dialogue
upon Prayer, entitled, _Alcibiades the Second_, which doubtless gave
Occasion to _Juvenal's_ tenth Satire, and to the second Satire of
_Persius_; as the last of these Authors has almost transcribed the
preceding Dialogue, entitled _Alcibiades the First_, in his Fourth

The Speakers in this Dialogue upon Prayer, are _Socrates_ and
_Alcibiades_; and the Substance of it (when drawn together out of the
Intricacies and Digressions) as follows.

_Socrates_ meeting his Pupil _Alcibiades_, as he was going to his
Devotions, and observing his Eyes to be fixed upon the Earth with great
Seriousness and Attention, tells him, that he had reason to be
thoughtful on that Occasion, since it was possible for a Man to bring
down Evils upon himself by his own Prayers, and that those things, which
the Gods send him in Answer to his Petitions, might turn to his
Destruction: This, says he, may not only happen when a Man prays for
what he knows is mischievous in its own Nature, as _OEdipus_ implored
the Gods to sow Dissension between his Sons; but when he prays for what
he believes would be for his Good, and against what he believes would be
to his Detriment. This the Philosopher shews must necessarily happen
among us, since most Men are blinded with Ignorance, Prejudice, or
Passion, which hinder them from seeing such things as are really
beneficial to them. For an Instance, he asks _Alcibiades_, Whether he
would not be thoroughly pleased and satisfied if that God, to whom he
was going to address himself, should promise to make him the Sovereign
of the whole Earth? _Alcibiades_ answers, That he should doubtless look
upon such a Promise as the greatest Favour that he could bestow upon
him. _Socrates_ then asks him, If after [receiving [1]] this great
Favour he would be content[ed] to lose his Life? or if he would receive
it though he was sure he should make an ill Use of it? To both which
Questions _Alcibiades_ answers in the Negative. Socrates then shews him,
from the Examples of others, how these might very probably be the
Effects of such a Blessing. He then adds, That other reputed Pieces of
Good-fortune, as that of having a Son, or procuring the highest Post in
a Government, are subject to the like fatal Consequences; which
nevertheless, says he, Men ardently desire, and would not fail to pray
for, if they thought their Prayers might be effectual for the obtaining
of them. Having established this great Point, That all the most apparent
Blessings in this Life are obnoxious to such dreadful Consequences, and
that no Man knows what in its Events would prove to him a Blessing or a
Curse, he teaches _Alcibiades_ after what manner he ought to pray.

In the first Place, he recommends to him, as the Model of his Devotions,
a short Prayer, which a _Greek_ Poet composed for the Use of his
Friends, in the following Words; _O_ Jupiter, _give us those Things
which are good for us, whether they are such Things as we pray for, or
such Things as we do not pray for: and remove from us those Things which
are hurtful, though they are such Things as we pray for._

In the second Place, that his Disciple may ask such Things as are
expedient for him, he shews him, that it is absolutely necessary to
apply himself to the Study of true Wisdom, and to the Knowledge of that
which is his chief Good, and the most suitable to the Excellency of his

In the third and last Place he informs him, that the best Method he
could make use of to draw down Blessings upon himself, and to render his
Prayers acceptable, would be to live in a constant Practice of his Duty
towards the Gods, and towards Men. Under this Head he very much
recommends a Form of Prayer the _Lacedemonians_ made use of, in which
they petition the Gods, _to give them all good Things so long as they
were virtuous_. Under this Head likewise he gives a very remarkable
Account of an Oracle to the following Purpose.

When the _Athenians_ in the War with the _Lacedemonians_ received many
Defeats both by Sea and Land, they sent a Message to the Oracle of
_Jupiter Ammon_, to ask the Reason why they who erected so many Temples
to the Gods, and adorned them with such costly Offerings; why they who
had instituted so many Festivals, and accompanied them with such Pomps
and Ceremonies; in short, why they who had slain so many Hecatombs at
their Altars, should be less successful than the _Lacedemonians_, who
fell so short of them in all these Particulars. To this, says he, the
Oracle made the following Reply; _I am better pleased with the Prayer of
the_ Lacedemonians, _than with all the Oblations of the_ Greeks. As this
Prayer implied and encouraged Virtue in those who made it, the
Philosopher proceeds to shew how the most vicious Man might be devout,
so far as Victims could make him, but that his Offerings were regarded
by the Gods as Bribes, and his Petitions as Blasphemies. He likewise
quotes on this Occasion two Verses out of _Homer_, [2] in which the Poet
says, That the Scent of the _Trojan_ Sacrifices was carried up to Heaven
by the Winds; but that it was not acceptable to the Gods, who were
displeased with _Priam_ and all his People.

The Conclusion of this Dialogue is very remarkable. _Socrates_ having
deterred _Alcibiades_ from the Prayers and Sacrifice which he was going
to offer, by setting forth the above-mentioned Difficulties of
performing that Duty as he ought, adds these Words, _We must therefore
wait till such Time as we may learn how we ought to behave ourselves
towards the Gods, and towards Men_. But when will that Time come, says
_Alcibiades_, and who is it that will instruct us? For I would fain see
this Man, whoever he is. It is one, says _Socrates_, who takes care of
you; but as _Homer_ tells us, [3] that _Minerva_ removed the Mist from
_Diomedes_ his Eyes, that he might plainly discover both Gods and Men;


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