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

Part 23 out of 51

Judgments, and will not stay to let Reason come in for a share in the
Decision. Tis for want of this that Men mistake in this Case, and in
common Life, a wild extravagant Pencil for one that is truly bold and
great, an impudent Fellow for a Man of true Courage and Bravery, hasty
and unreasonable Actions for Enterprizes of Spirit and Resolution,
gaudy Colouring for that which is truly beautiful, a false and
insinuating Discourse for simple Truth elegantly recommended. The
Parallel will hold through all the Parts of Life and Painting too; and
the Virtuosos above-mentioned will be glad to see you draw it with
your Terms of Art. As the Shadows in Picture represent the serious or
melancholy, so the Lights do the bright and lively Thoughts: As there
should be but one forcible Light in a Picture which should catch the
Eye and fall on the Hero, so there should be but one Object of our
Love, even the Author of Nature. These and the like Reflections well
improved, might very much contribute to open the Beauty of that Art,
and prevent young People from being poisoned by the ill Gusto of an
extravagant Workman that should be imposed upon us.
_I am, SIR,
Your most humble Servant_.


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

_I am, SIR, Your humble Servant_,

Constantia Field.


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

[Footnote 2: No. 209.]

[Footnote 3: Ingratitude.

Ingratum si dixeris, omnia dixeris.]

* * * * *

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

Ficta Voluptatis causa sint proxima Veris.


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

_Graecum est, non potest legi._ [2]

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



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

[Footnote 2:

It is Greek. It cannot be read.

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

* * * * *

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

[Footnote 4: Mother,]

* * * * *

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


[Footnote 1: that belong to our]

[Footnote 2: [Opinion,]]

[Footnote 3: [and]]

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

* * * * *

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

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


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

_Honoured Brother,_

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

10 : 00 : 00


[Footnote 1: [an]]

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

* * * * *

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

[Greek: _Gelos akairos en brotois deinon kakon_]

Frag. Vet. Poet.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


[Footnote 1: Hobbes.]

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

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

[Footnote 3: L'Allegro.]

[Footnote 4: [set it]]

* * * * *

No. 250. Monday, December 17, 1711.

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

I am, SIR,

Your most humble Servant,

Abraham Spy.


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

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

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

* * * * *

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

There are others who affect a very slow Time, and are, in my Opinion,
much more tuneable than the former; the Cooper in particular swells
his last Note in an hollow Voice, that is not without its Harmony; nor
can I forbear being inspired with a most agreeable Melancholy, when I
hear that sad and solemn Air with which the Public are very often
asked, if they have any Chairs to mend? Your own Memory may suggest to
you many other lamentable Ditties of the same Nature, in which the
Musick is wonderfully languishing and melodious.

I am always pleased with that particular Time of the Year which is
proper for the pickling of Dill and Cucumbers; but alas, this Cry,
like the Song of the [Nightingale [5]], is not heard above two Months.
It would therefore be worth while to consider, whether the same Air
might not in some Cases be adapted to other Words.

It might likewise deserve our most serious Consideration, how far, in
a well-regulated City, those Humourists are to be tolerated, who, not
contented with the traditional Cries of their Forefathers, have
invented particular Songs and Tunes of their own: Such as was, not
many Years since, the Pastryman, commonly known by the Name of the
Colly-Molly-Puff; and such as is at this Day the Vender of Powder and
Wash-balls, who, if I am rightly informed, goes under the Name of

I must not here omit one particular Absurdity which runs through this
whole vociferous Generation, and which renders their Cries very often
not only incommodious, but altogether useless to the Publick; I mean,
that idle Accomplishment which they all of them aim at, of Crying so
as not to be understood. Whether or no they have learned this from
several of our affected Singers, I will not take upon me to say; but
most certain it is, that People know the Wares they deal in rather by
their Tunes than by their Words; insomuch that I have sometimes seen a
Country Boy run out to buy Apples of a Bellows-mender, and Gingerbread
from a Grinder of Knives and Scissars. Nay so strangely infatuated are
some very eminent Artists of this particular Grace in a Cry, that none
but then Acquaintance are able to guess at their Profession; for who
else can know, that _Work if I had it_, should be the Signification of
a Corn-Cutter?

Forasmuch therefore as Persons of this Rank are seldom Men of Genius
or Capacity, I think it would be very proper, that some Man of good
Sense and sound Judgment should preside over these Publick Cries, who
should permit none to lift up their Voices in our Streets, that have
not tuneable Throats, and are not only able to overcome the Noise of
the Croud, and the Rattling of Coaches, but also to vend their
respective Merchandizes in apt Phrases, and in the most distinct and
agreeable Sounds. I do therefore humbly recommend my self as a Person
rightly qualified for this Post; and if I meet with fitting
Encouragement, shall communicate some other Projects which I have by
me, that may no less conduce to the Emolument of the Public.

_I am

SIR_, &c.,

Ralph Crotchet.

[Footnote 1: an]

[Footnote 2: exceedingly]

[Footnote 3: an]

[Footnote 4: contained]

[Footnote 5: Nightingales]

* * * * *


_My_ LORD,

As it is natural to have a Fondness for what has cost us so much Time
and Attention to produce, I hope Your Grace will forgive an endeavour to
preserve this Work from Oblivion, by affixing to it Your memorable Name.

I shall not here presume to mention the illustrious Passages of Your
Life, which are celebrated by the whole Age, and have been the Subject
of the most sublime Pens; but if I could convey You to Posterity in your
private Character, and describe the Stature, the Behaviour and Aspect of
the Duke of _Marlborough_, I question not but it would fill the Reader
with more agreeable Images, and give him a more delightful Entertainment
than what can be found in the following, or any other Book.

One cannot indeed without Offence, to Your self, observe, that You excel
the rest of Mankind in the least, as well as the greatest Endowments.
Nor were it a Circumstance to be mentioned, if the Graces and
Attractions of Your Person were not the only Preheminence You have above
others, which is left, almost, unobserved by greater Writers.

Yet how pleasing would it be to those who shall read the surprising
Revolutions in your Story, to be made acquainted with your ordinary Life
and Deportment? How pleasing would it be to hear that the same Man who
had carried Fire and Sword into the Countries of all that had opposed
the Cause of Liberty, and struck a Terrour into the Armies of _France_,
had, in the midst of His high Station, a Behaviour as gentle as is usual
in the first Steps towards Greatness? And if it were possible to express
that easie Grandeur, which did at once perswade and command; it would
appear as clearly to those to come, as it does to his Contemporaries,
that all the great Events which were brought to pass under the Conduct
of so well-govern'd a Spirit, were the Blessings of Heaven upon Wisdom
and Valour: and all which seem adverse fell out by divine Permission,
which we are not to search into.

You have pass'd that Year of Life wherein the most able and fortunate
Captain, before Your Time, declared he had lived enough both to Nature
and to Glory; [2] and Your Grace may make that Reflection with much more
Justice. He spoke it after he had arrived at Empire, by an Usurpation
upon those whom he had enslaved; but the Prince of _Mindleheim_ may
rejoice in a Sovereignty which was the Gift of Him whose Dominions he
had preserved.

Glory established upon the uninterrupted Success of honourable Designs
and Actions is not subject to Diminution; nor can any Attempts prevail
against it, but in the Proportion which the narrow Circuit of Rumour
bears to the unlimited Extent of Fame.

We may congratulate Your Grace not only upon your high Atchievements,
but likewise upon the happy Expiration of Your Command, by which your
Glory is put out of the Power of Fortune: And when your Person shall be
so too, that the Author and Disposer of all things may place You in that
higher Mansion of Bliss and Immortality which is prepared for good
Princes, Lawgivers, and Heroes, when HE in HIS due Time removes them
from the Envy of Mankind, is the hearty Prayer of,

_Your Graces
Most Obedient,
Most Devoted
Humble Servant_,

[Footnote 1: John Churchill, afterwards Duke of Marlborough, was at this
time 62 years old, and past the zenith of his fame. He was born at Ashe,
in Devonshire, in 1650, the son of Sir Winston Churchill, an adherent of
Charles I. At the age of twelve John Churchill was placed as page in the
household of the Duke of York. He first distinguished himself as a
soldier in the defence of Tangier against the Moors. Between 1672 and
1677 he served in the auxiliary force sent by our King Charles II. to
his master, Louis XIV. In 1672, after the siege of Maestricht, Churchill
was praised by Louis at the head of his army, and made
Lieutenant-colonel. Continuing in the service of the Duke of York,
Churchill, about 1680, married Sarah Jennings, favourite of the Princess
Anne. In 1682 Charles II. made Churchill a Baron, and three years
afterwards he was made Brigadier-general when sent to France to announce
the accession of James II. On his return he was made Baron Churchill of
Sandridge. He helped to suppress Monmouth's insurrection, but before the
Revolution committed himself secretly to the cause of the Prince of
Orange; was made, therefore, by William III., Earl of Marlborough and
Privy Councillor. After some military service he was for a short time
imprisoned in the Tower on suspicion of treasonous correspondence with
the exiled king. In 1697 he was restored to favour, and on the breaking
out of the War of the Spanish Succession in 1701 he was chief commander
of the Forces in the United Provinces. In this war his victories made
him the most famous captain of the age. In December, 1702, he was made
Duke, with a pension of five thousand a year. In the campaign of 1704
Marlborough planned very privately, and executed on his own
responsibility, the boldest and most distant march that had ever been
attempted in our continental wars. France, allied with Bavaria, was
ready to force the way to Vienna, but Marlborough, quitting the Hague,
carried his army to the Danube, where he took by storm a strong
entrenched camp of the enemy upon the Schellenberg, and cruelly laid
waste the towns and villages of the Bavarians, who never had taken arms;
but, as he said, we are now going to burn and destroy the Electors
country, to oblige him to hearken to terms. On the 13th of August, the
army of Marlborough having been joined by the army under Prince Eugene,
battle was given to the French and Bavarians under Marshal Tallard, who
had his head-quarters at the village of Plentheim, or Blenheim. At the
cost of eleven thousand killed and wounded in the armies of Marlborough
and Eugene, and fourteen thousand killed and wounded on the other side,
a decisive victory was secured, Tallard himself being made prisoner, and
26 battalions and 12 squadrons capitulating as prisoners of war. 121 of
the enemy's standards and 179 colours were brought home and hung up in
Westminster Hall. Austria was saved, and Louis XIV. utterly humbled at
the time when he had expected confidently to make himself master of the
destinies of Europe.

For this service Marlborough was made by the Emperor a Prince of the
Empire, and his Most Illustrious Cousin as the Prince of Mindelsheim.
At home he was rewarded with the manor of Woodstock, upon which was
built for him the Palace of Blenheim, and his pension of L5000 from the
Post-office was annexed to his title. There followed other victories, of
which the series was closed with that of Malplaquet, in 1709, for which
a national thanksgiving was appointed. Then came a change over the face
of home politics. England was weary of the war, which Marlborough was
accused of prolonging for the sake of the enormous wealth he drew
officially from perquisites out of the different forms of expenditure
upon the army. The Tories gathered strength, and in the beginning of
1712 a commission on a charge of taking money from contractors for
bread, and 2 1/2 per cent, from the pay of foreign troops, having
reported against him, Marlborough was dismissed from all his
employments. Sarah, his duchess, had also been ousted from the Queens
favour, and they quitted England for a time, Marlborough writing,
Provided that my destiny does not involve any prejudice to the public,
I shall be very content with it; and shall account myself happy in a
retreat in which I may be able wisely to reflect on the vicissitudes of
this world. It was during this season of his unpopularity that Steele
and Addison dedicated to the Duke of Marlborough the fourth volume of
the _Spectator_.]

[Footnote 2: _Julius Caesar_.]

* * * * *

No. 252. Wednesday, December 19, 1711. Steele.

Erranti, passimque oculos per cuncta ferenti.

Virg. [1]


I am very sorry to find by your Discourse upon the Eye, 1 that you
have not thoroughly studied the Nature and Force of that Part of a
beauteous Face. Had you ever been in Love, you would have said ten
thousand things, which it seems did not occur to you: Do but reflect
upon the Nonsense it makes Men talk, the Flames which it is said to
kindle, the Transport it raises, the Dejection it causes in the
bravest Men; and if you do believe those things are expressed to an
Extravagance, yet you will own, that the Influence of it is very great
which moves Men to that Extravagance. Certain it is, that the whole
Strength of the Mind is sometimes seated there; that a kind Look
imparts all, that a Years Discourse could give you, in one Moment.
What matters it what she says to you, see how she looks, is the
Language of all who know what Love is. When the Mind is thus summed up
and expressed in a Glance, did you never observe a sudden Joy arise in
the Countenance of a Lover? Did you never see the Attendance of Years
paid, over-paid in an Instant? You a SPECTATOR, and not know that the
Intelligence of Affection is carried on by the Eye only; that
Good-breeding has made the Tongue falsify the Heart, and act a Part of
continual Constraint, while Nature has preserved the Eyes to her self,
that she may not be disguised or misrepresented. The poor Bride can
give her Hand, and say, _I do_, with a languishing Air, to the Man she
is obliged by cruel Parents to take for mercenary Reasons, but at the
same Time she cannot look as if she loved; her Eye is full of Sorrow,
and Reluctance sits in a Tear, while the Offering of the Sacrifice is
performed in what we call the Marriage Ceremony. Do you never go to
Plays? Cannot you distinguish between the Eyes of those who go to see,
from those who come to be seen? I am a Woman turned of Thirty, and am
on the Observation a little; therefore if you or your Correspondent
had consulted me in your Discourse on the Eye, I could have told you
that the Eye of _Leonora_ is slyly watchful while it looks negligent:
she looks round her without the Help of the Glasses you speak of, and
yet seems to be employed on Objects directly before her. This Eye is
what affects Chance-medley, and on a sudden, as if it attended to
another thing, turns all its Charms against an Ogler. The Eye of
_Lusitania_ is an Instrument of premeditated Murder; but the Design
being visible, destroys the Execution of it; and with much more Beauty
than that of _Leonora_, it is not half so mischievous. There is a
brave Soldiers Daughter in Town, that by her Eye has been the Death
of more than ever her Father made fly before him. A beautiful Eye
makes Silence eloquent, a kind Eye makes Contradiction an Assent, an
enraged Eye makes Beauty deformed. This little Member gives Life to
every other Part about us, and I believe the Story of _Argus_ implies
no more than that the Eye is in every Part, that is to say, every
other Part would be mutilated, were not its Force represented more by
the Eye than even by it self. But this is Heathen _Greek_ to those who
have not conversed by Glances. This, Sir, is a Language in which there
can be no Deceit, nor can a Skilful Observer be imposed upon by Looks
even among Politicians and Courtiers. If you do me the Honour to print
this among your Speculations, I shall in my next make you a Present of
Secret History, by Translating all the Looks of the next Assembly of
Ladies and Gentlemen into Words, to adorn some future Paper. I am,
SIR, _Your faithful Friend_, Mary Heartfree.

I have a Sot of a Husband that lives a very scandalous Life, and
wastes away his Body and Fortune in Debaucheries; and is immoveable to
all the Arguments I can urge to him. I would gladly know whether in
some Cases a Cudgel may not be allowed as a good Figure of Speech, and
whether it may not be lawfully used by a Female Orator.
_Your humble Servant_,
Barbara Crabtree.

_Mr_. SPECTATOR, [2]

Though I am a Practitioner in the Law of some standing, and have heard
many eminent Pleaders in my Time, as well as other eloquent Speakers
of both Universities, yet I agree with you, that Women are better
qualified to succeed in Oratory than the Men, and believe this is to
be resolved into natural Causes. You have mentioned only the
Volubility of their Tongue; but what do you think of the silent
Flattery of their pretty Faces, and the Perswasion which even an
insipid Discourse carries with it when flowing from beautiful Lips, to
which it would be cruel to deny any thing? It is certain too, that
they are possessed of some Springs of Rhetorick which Men want, such
as Tears, fainting Fits, and the like, which I have seen employed upon
Occasion with good Success. You must know I am a plain Man and love my
Money; yet I have a Spouse who is so great an Orator in this Way, that
she draws from me what Sum she pleases. Every Room in my House is
furnished with Trophies of her Eloquence, rich Cabinets, Piles of
China, Japan Screens, and costly Jars; and if you were to come into my
great Parlour, you would fancy your self in an _India_ Ware-house:
Besides this she keeps a Squirrel, and I am doubly taxed to pay for
the China he breaks. She is seized with periodical Fits about the Time
of the Subscriptions to a new Opera, and is drowned in Tears after
having seen any Woman there in finer Cloaths than herself: These are
Arts of Perswasion purely Feminine, and which a tender Heart cannot
resist. What I would therefore desire of you, is, to prevail with your
Friend who has promised to dissect a Female Tongue, that he would at
the same time give us the Anatomy of a Female Eye, and explain the
Springs and Sluices which feed it with such ready Supplies of
Moisture; and likewise shew by what means, if possible, they may be
stopped at a reasonable Expence: Or, indeed, since there is something
so moving in the very Image of weeping Beauty, it would be worthy his
Art to provide, that these eloquent Drops may no more be lavished on
Trifles, or employed as Servants to their wayward Wills; but reserved
for serious Occasions in Life, to adorn generous Pity, true Penitence,
or real Sorrow.
I am, &c.


[Footnote 1: quis Temeros oculus mihi fascinat Agnos.--Virg.]

[Footnote 2: This letter is by John Hughes.]

* * * * *

No. 253. Thursday, December 20, 1711. Addison.

Indignor quicquam reprehendi, non quia crasse
Compositum, illepideve putetur, sed quia nuper.


There is nothing which more denotes a great Mind, than the Abhorrence of
Envy and Detraction. This Passion reigns more among bad Poets, than
among any other Set of Men.

As there are none more ambitious of Fame, than those who are conversant
in Poetry, it is very natural for such as have not succeeded in it to
depreciate the Works of those who have. For since they cannot raise
themselves to the Reputation of their Fellow-Writers, they must
endeavour to sink it to their own Pitch, if they would still keep
themselves upon a Level with them.

The greatest Wits that ever were produced in one Age, lived together in
so good an Understanding, and celebrated one another with so much
Generosity, that each of them receives an additional Lustre from his
Contemporaries, and is more famous for having lived with Men of so
extraordinary a Genius, than if he had himself been the [sole Wonder
[1]] of the Age. I need not tell my Reader, that I here point at the
Reign of _Augustus_, and I believe he will be of my Opinion, that
neither _Virgil_ nor _Horace_ would have gained so great a Reputation in
the World, had they not been the Friends and Admirers of each other.
Indeed all the great Writers of that Age, for whom singly we have so
great an Esteem, stand up together as Vouchers for one anothers
Reputation. But at the same time that _Virgil_ was celebrated by
_Gallus, Propertius, Horace, Varius, Tucca_ and _Ovid_, we know that
_Bavius_ and _Maevius_ were his declared Foes and Calumniators.

In our own Country a Man seldom sets up for a Poet, without attacking
the Reputation of all his Brothers in the Art. The Ignorance of the
Moderns, the Scribblers of the Age, the Decay of Poetry, are the Topicks
of Detraction, with which he makes his Entrance into the World: But how
much more noble is the Fame that is built on Candour and Ingenuity,
according to those beautiful Lines of Sir _John Denham_, in his Poem on
_Fletchers_ Works!

But whither am I strayed? I need not raise
Trophies to thee from other Mens Dispraise:
Nor is thy Fame on lesser Ruins built,
Nor needs thy juster Title the foul Guilt
Of Eastern Kings, who, to secure their Reign,
Must have their Brothers, Sons, and Kindred slain.

I am sorry to find that an Author, who is very justly esteemed among the
best Judges, has admitted some Stroaks of this Nature into a very fine
Poem; I mean _The Art of Criticism_, which was publish'd some Months
since, and is a Master-piece in its kind. [2] The Observations follow
one another like those in _Horace's Art of Poetry_, without that
methodical Regularity which would have been requisite in a Prose Author.
They are some of them uncommon, but such as the Reader must assent to,
when he sees them explained with that Elegance and Perspicuity in which
they are delivered. As for those which are the most known, and the most
received, they are placed in so beautiful a Light, and illustrated with
such apt Allusions, that they have in them all the Graces of Novelty,
and make the Reader, who was before acquainted with them, still more
convinced of their Truth and Solidity. And here give me leave to mention
what Monsieur _Boileau_ has so very well enlarged upon in the Preface to
his Works, that Wit and fine Writing doth not consist so much in
advancing Things that are new, as in giving Things that are known an
agreeable Turn. It is impossible for us, who live in the lat[t]er Ages
of the World, to make Observations in Criticism, Morality, or in any Art
or Science, which have not been touched upon by others. We have little
else left us, but to represent the common Sense of Mankind in more
strong, more beautiful, or more uncommon Lights. If a Reader examines
_Horace's Art of Poetry_, he will find but very few Precepts in it,
which he may not meet with in _Aristotle_, and which were not commonly
known by all the Poets of the _Augustan_ Age. His Way of expressing and
applying them, not his Invention of them, is what we are chiefly to

For this Reason I think there is nothing in the World so tiresome as the
Works of those Criticks who write in a positive Dogmatick Way, without
either Language, Genius, or Imagination. If the Reader would see how the
best of the _Latin_ Criticks writ, he may find their Manner very
beautifully described in the Characters of _Horace, Petronius,
Quintilian_, and _Longinus_, as they are drawn in the Essay of which I
am now speaking.

Since I have mentioned _Longinus_, who in his Reflections has given us
the same kind of Sublime, which he observes in the several passages that
occasioned them; I cannot but take notice, that our _English_ Author has
after the same manner exemplified several of his Precepts in the very
Precepts themselves. I shall produce two or three Instances of this
Kind. Speaking of the insipid Smoothness which some Readers are so much
in Love with, he has the following Verses.

These_ Equal Syllables _alone require,
Tho oft the_ Ear _the_ open Vowels _tire,
While_ Expletives _their feeble Aid_ do _join,
And ten low Words oft creep in one dull Line.

The gaping of the Vowels in the second Line, the Expletive _do_ in the
third, and the ten Monosyllables in the fourth, give such a Beauty to
this Passage, as would have been very much admired in an Ancient Poet.
The Reader may observe the following Lines in the same View.

A needless Alexandrine _ends the Song,
That like a wounded Snake, drags its slow Length along_.

And afterwards,

Tis not enough no Harshness gives Offence,
The Sound must seem an Eccho to the Sense.
Soft is the Strain when Zephyr gently blows,
And the smooth Stream in smoother Numbers flows;
But when loud Surges lash the sounding Shore,
The hoarse rough Verse shou'd like the Torrent roar.
When Ajax strives some Rocks vast Weight to throw,
The Line too labours, and the Words move slow;
Not so, when swift Camilla scours the Plain,
Flies o'er th' unbending Corn, and skims along the Main.

The beautiful Distich upon _Ajax_ in the foregoing Lines, puts me in
mind of a Description in _Homer's_ Odyssey, which none of the Criticks
have taken notice of. [3] It is where _Sisyphus_ is represented lifting
his Stone up the Hill, which is no sooner carried to the top of it, but
it immediately tumbles to the Bottom. This double Motion of the Stone is
admirably described in the Numbers of these Verses; As in the four first
it is heaved up by several _Spondees_ intermixed with proper Breathing
places, and at last trundles down in a continual Line of _Dactyls_.

[Greek: Kai maen Sisyphon eiseidon, krater alge echonta,
Laan Bastazonta pelorion amphoteraesin.
Aetoi ho men skaeriptomenos chersin te posin te,
Laan ano otheske poti lophon, all hote melloi
Akron hyperbaleein, tot apostrepsaske krataiis,
Autis epeita pedonde kylindeto laas anaidaes.]

It would be endless to quote Verses out of _Virgil_ which have this
particular Kind of Beauty in the Numbers; but I may take an Occasion in
a future Paper to shew several of them which have escaped the
Observation of others.

I cannot conclude this Paper without taking notice that we have three
Poems in our Tongue, which are of the same Nature, and each of them a
Master-Piece in its Kind; the Essay on Translated Verse [4], the Essay
on the Art of Poetry [5], and the Essay upon Criticism.

[Footnote 1: [single Product]]

[Footnote 2: At the time when this paper was written Pope was in his
twenty-fourth year. He wrote to express his gratitude to Addison and
also to Steele. In his letter to Addison he said,

Though it be the highest satisfaction to find myself commended by a
Writer whom all the world commends, yet I am not more obliged to you
for that than for your candour and frankness in acquainting me with
the error I have been guilty of in speaking too freely of my brother

The only moderns of whom he spoke slightingly were men of whom
after-time has ratified his opinion: John Dennis, Sir Richard Blackmore,
and Luke Milbourne. When, not long afterwards, Dennis attacked with his
criticism Addison's Cato, to which Pope had contributed the Prologue,
Pope made this the occasion of a bitter satire on Dennis, called _The
Narrative of Dr. Robert Norris_ (a well-known quack who professed the
cure of lunatics) _upon the Frenzy J. D_. Addison then, through Steele,
wrote to Popes publisher of this manner of treating Mr. Dennis, that
he could not be privy to it, and was sorry to hear of it. In 1715,
when Pope issued to subscribers the first volume of Homer, Tickell's
translation of the first book of the Iliad appeared in the same week,
and had particular praise at Buttons from Addison, Tickell's friend and
patron. Pope was now indignant, and expressed his irritation in the
famous satire first printed in 1723, and, finally, with the name of
Addison transformed to Atticus, embodied in the Epistle to Arbuthnot
published in 1735. Here, while seeing in Addison a man

_Blest with each talent and each art to please,
And born to live, converse, and write with ease,_

he said that should he, jealous of his own supremacy, damn with faint
praise, as one

_Willing to wound, and yet afraid to strike,
Just hint the fault and hesitate dislike,
Who when two wits on rival themes contest,
Approves of both, but likes the worse the best:
Like Cato, give his little Senate laws,
And sits attentive to his own applause;
While wits and templars every sentence raise:
And wonder with a foolish face of praise:
Who would not laugh if such a man there be?
Who would not weep if Addison were he?_

But in this _Spectator_ paper young Popes _Essay on Criticism_
certainly was not damned with faint praise by the man most able to give
it a firm standing in the world.]

[Footnote 3: Odyssey Bk. XI. In Ticknell's edition of Addison's works
the latter part of this sentence is omitted; the same observation having
been made by Dionysius of Halicarnassus.]

[Footnote 4: Wentworth Dillon, Earl of Roscommon, author of the Essay
on Translated Verse, was nephew and godson to Wentworth, Earl of
Strafford. He was born in Ireland, in 1633, educated at the Protestant
University of Caen, and was there when his father died. He travelled in
Italy, came to England at the Restoration, held one or two court
offices, gambled, took a wife, and endeavoured to introduce into England
the principals of criticism with which he had found the polite world
occupied in France. He planned a society for refining our language and
fixing its standard. During the troubles of King James's reign he was
about to leave the kingdom, when his departure was delayed by gout, of
which he died in 1684. A foremost English representative of the chief
literary movement of his time, he translated into blank verse Horace's
Art of Poetry, and besides a few minor translations and some short
pieces of original verse, which earned from Pope the credit that

_in all Charles's days
Roscommon only boasts unspotted lays,_

he wrote in heroic couplets an Essay on Translated Verse that was
admired by Dryden, Addison, and Pope, and was in highest honour wherever
the French influence upon our literature made itself felt. Roscommon
believed in the superior energy of English wit, and wrote himself with
care and frequent vigour in the turning of his couplets. It is from this
poem that we get the often quoted lines,

_Immodest words admit of no Defence:
For Want of Decency is Want of Sense._]

[Footnote 5: The other piece with which Addison ranks Popes Essay on
Criticism, was by John Sheffield, Duke of Buckingham, who was living
when the _Spectator_ first appeared. He died, aged 72, in the year 1721.
John Sheffield, by the death of his father, succeeded at the age of nine
to the title of Earl of Mulgrave. In the reign of Charles II he served
by sea and land, and was, as well as Marlborough, in the French service.
In the reign of James II. he was admitted into the Privy Council, made
Lord Chamberlain, and, though still Protestant, attended the King to
mass. He acquiesced in the Revolution, but remained out of office and
disliked King William, who in 1694 made him Marquis of Normanby.
Afterwards he was received into the Cabinet Council, with a pension of
L3000. Queen Anne, to whom Walpole says he had made love before her
marriage, highly favoured him. Before her coronation she made him Lord
Privy Seal, next year he was made first Duke of Normanby, and then of
Buckinghamshire, to exclude any latent claimant to the title, which had
been extinct since the miserable death of George Villiers, Duke of
Buckingham, the author of the _Rehearsal_. When the _Spectator_ appeared
John Sheffield had just built Buckingham House--now a royal palace--on
ground granted by the Crown, and taken office as Lord Chamberlain. He
wrote more verse than Roscommon and poorer verse. The _Essay on Poetry_,
in which he followed the critical fashion of the day, he was praised
into regarding as a masterpiece. He was continually polishing it, and
during his lifetime it was reissued with frequent variations. It is
polished quartz, not diamond; a short piece of about 360 lines, which
has something to say of each of the chief forms of poetry, from songs to
epics. Sheffield shows most natural force in writing upon plays, and
here in objecting to perfect characters, he struck out the often-quoted

_A faultless monster which the world ne'er saw_.

When he comes to the epics he is, of course, all for Homer and Virgil.

_Read Homer once, and you can read no more;
For all books else appear so mean, so poor,
Verse will seem Prose; but still persist to read,
And Homer will be all the Books you need_.

And then it is supposed that some Angel had disclosed to M. Bossu, the
French author of the treatise upon Epic Poetry then fashionable, the
sacred mysteries of Homer. John Sheffield had a patronizing recognition
for the genius of Shakespeare and Milton, and was so obliging as to
revise Shakespeare's Julius Caesar and confine the action of that play
within the limits prescribed in the French gospel according to the
Unities. Pope, however, had in the Essay on Criticism reckoned
Sheffield, Duke of Buckingham, among the sounder few

_Who durst assert the juster ancient Cause
And have restored Wits Fundamental Laws.
Such was the Muse, whose Rules and Practice tell,
Natures chief Masterpiece is writing well_.

With those last words which form the second line in the _Essay on
Poetry_ Popes citation has made many familiar. Addison paid young Pope
a valid compliment in naming him as a critic in verse with Roscommon,
and, what then passed on all hands for a valid compliment, in holding
him worthy also to be named as a poet in the same breath with the Lord

* * * * *

No. 254. Friday, December 21, 1711. Steele.

[Greek: Semnos eros aretaes, ho de kypridos achos ophellei.]

When I consider the false Impressions which are received by the
Generality of the World, I am troubled at none more than a certain
Levity of Thought, which many young Women of Quality have entertained,
to the Hazard of their Characters, and the certain Misfortune of their
Lives. The first of the following Letters may best represent the Faults
I would now point at, and the Answer to it the Temper of Mind in a
contrary Character.

_My dear_ Harriot,

If thou art she, but oh how fallen, how changed, what an Apostate! how
lost to all that's gay and agreeable! To be married I find is to be
buried alive; I cant conceive it more dismal to be shut up in a Vault
to converse with the Shades of my Ancestors, than to be carried down
to an old Manor-House in the Country, and confined to the Conversation
of a sober Husband and an awkward Chamber-maid. For Variety I suppose
you may entertain yourself with Madam in her Grogram Gown, the Spouse
of your Parish Vicar, who has by this time I am sure well furnished
you with Receipts for making Salves and Possets, distilling Cordial
Waters, making Syrups, and applying Poultices.

Blest Solitude! I wish thee Joy, my Dear, of thy loved Retirement,
which indeed you would perswade me is very agreeable, and different
enough from what I have here described: But, Child, I am afraid thy
Brains are a little disordered with Romances and Novels: After six
Months Marriage to hear thee talk of Love, and paint the Country
Scenes so softly, is a little extravagant; one would think you lived
the Lives of _Sylvan_ Deities, or roved among the Walks of Paradise,
like the first happy Pair. But prythee leave these Whimsies, and come
to Town in order to live and talk like other Mortals. However, as I am
extremely interested in your Reputation, I would willingly give you a
little good Advice at your first Appearance under the Character of a
married Woman: Tis a little Insolence in me perhaps, to advise a
Matron; but I am so afraid you'll make so silly a Figure as a fond
Wife, that I cannot help warning you not to appear in any publick
Places with your Husband, and never to saunter about St. _James's
Park_ together: If you presume to enter the Ring at _Hide-Park_
together, you are ruined for ever; nor must you take the least notice
of one another at the Play-house or Opera, unless you would be laughed
at for a very loving Couple most happily paired in the Yoke of
Wedlock. I would recommend the Example of an Acquaintance of ours to
your Imitation; she is the most negligent and fashionable Wife in the
World; she is hardly ever seen in the same Place with her Husband, and
if they happen to meet, you would think them perfect Strangers: She
never was heard to name him in his Absence, and takes care he shall
never be the Subject of any Discourse that she has a Share in. I hope
you' propose this Lady as a Pattern, tho I am very much afraid
you'll be so silly to think _Portia, &c. Sabine_ and _Roman_ Wives
much brighter Examples. I wish it may never come into your Head to
imitate those antiquated Creatures so far, as to come into Publick in
the Habit as well as Air of a _Roman_ Matron. You make already the
Entertainment at Mrs. _Modish's_ Tea-Table; she says, she always
thought you a discreet Person, and qualified to manage a Family with
admirable Prudence: she dies to see what demure and serious Airs
Wedlock has given you, but she says she shall never forgive your
Choice of so gallant a Man as _Bellamour_ to transform him to a meer
sober Husband; twas unpardonable: You see, my Dear, we all envy your
Happiness, and no Person more than _Your humble Servant_, Lydia.

Be not in pain, good Madam, for my Appearance in Town; I shall
frequent no publick Places, or make any Visits where the Character of
a modest Wife is ridiculous. As for your wild Raillery on Matrimony,
tis all Hypocrisy; you, and all the handsome young Women of our
Acquaintance, shew yourselves to no other Purpose than to gain a
Conquest over some Man of Worth, in order to bestow your Charms and
Fortune on him. There's no Indecency in the Confession, the Design is
modest and honourable, and all your Affectation cant disguise it.

I am married, and have no other Concern but to please the Man I Love;
he's the End of every Care I have; if I dress, tis for him; if I read
a Poem or a Play, tis to qualify myself for a Conversation agreeable
to his Taste: He's almost the End of my Devotions; half my Prayers are
for his Happiness. I love to talk of him, and never hear him named but
with Pleasure and Emotion. I am your Friend, and wish your Happiness,
but am sorry to see by the Air of your Letter that there are a Set of
Women who are got into the Common-Place Raillery of every Thing that
is sober, decent, and proper: Matrimony and the Clergy are the Topicks
of People of little Wit and no Understanding. I own to you, I have
learned of the Vicars Wife all you tax me with: She is a discreet,
ingenious, pleasant, pious Woman; I wish she had the handling of you
and Mrs. _Modish_; you would find, if you were too free with her, she
would soon make you as charming as ever you were, she would make you
blush as much as if you had never been fine Ladies. The Vicar, Madam,
is so kind as to visit my Husband, and his agreeable Conversation has
brought him to enjoy many sober happy Hours when even I am shut out,
and my dear Master is entertained only with his own Thoughts. These
Things, dear Madam, will be lasting Satisfactions, when the fine
Ladies, and the Coxcombs by whom they form themselves, are irreparably
ridiculous, ridiculous in old Age. I am, _Madam, your most humble
Servant_, Mary Home.

You have no Goodness in the World, and are not in earnest in any thing
you say that is serious, if you do not send me a plain Answer to this:
I happened some Days past to be at the Play, where during the Time of
Performance, I could not keep my Eyes off from a beautiful young
Creature who sat just before me, and who I have been since informed
has no Fortune. It would utterly ruin my Reputation for Discretion to
marry such a one, and by what I can learn she has a Character of great
Modesty, so that there is nothing to be thought on any other Way. My
Mind has ever since been so wholly bent on her, that I am much in
danger of doing something very extravagant without your speedy Advice

SIR, _Your most humble Servant_.

I am sorry I cannot answer this impatient Gentleman, but by another

_Dear Correspondent_, Would you marry to please other People, or your


* * * * *

No. 255. Saturday, December 22, 1711. Addison.

Laudis amore tumes? sunt certa piacula, quae te
Ter pure lecto poterunt recreare libello.


The Soul, considered abstractedly from its Passions, is of a remiss and
sedentary Nature, slow in its Resolves, and languishing in its
Executions. The Use therefore of the Passions is to stir it up, and to
put it upon Action, to awaken the Understanding, to enforce the Will,
and to make the whole Man more vigorous and attentive in the
Prosecutions of his Designs. As this is the End of the Passions in
general, so it is particularly of Ambition, which pushes the Soul to
such Actions as are apt to procure Honour and Reputation to the Actor.
But if we carry our Reflections higher, we may discover further Ends of
Providence in implanting this Passion in Mankind.

It was necessary for the World, that Arts should be invented and
improved, Books written and transmitted to Posterity, Nations conquered
and civilized: Now since the proper and genuine Motives to these and the
like great Actions, would only influence virtuous Minds; there would be
but small Improvements in the World, were there not some common
Principle of Action working equally with all Men. And such a Principle
is Ambition or a Desire of Fame, by which [great [1]] Endowments are not
suffered to lie idle and useless to the Publick, and many vicious Men
over-reached, as it were, and engaged contrary to their natural
Inclinations in a glorious and laudable Course of Action. For we may
further observe, that Men of the greatest Abilities are most fired with
Ambition: And that on the contrary, mean and narrow Minds are the least


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