The Spectator, Volume 2.
by Addison and Steele
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This Thought will appear yet more reasonable, if we consider human Life as a State of Probation, and Adversity as the Post of Honour in it, assigned often to the best and most select Spirits.

But what I would chiefly insist on here, is, that we are not at present in a proper Situation to judge of the Counsels by which Providence acts, since but little arrives at our Knowledge, and even that little we discern imperfectly; or according to the elegant Figure in Holy Writ, We see but in part, and as in a Glass darkly. [It is to be considered, that Providence[4]] in its Oeconomy regards the whole System of Time and Things together, [so that] we cannot discover the beautiful Connection between Incidents which lie widely separated in Time, and by losing so many Links of the Chain, our Reasonings become broken and imperfect. Thus those Parts in the moral World which have not an absolute, may yet have a relative Beauty, in respect of some other Parts concealed from us, but open to his Eye before whom Past, Present, and To come, are set together in one Point of View: and those Events, the Permission of which seems now to accuse his Goodness, may in the Consummation of Things both magnify his Goodness, and exalt his Wisdom. And this is enough to check our Presumption, since it is in vain to apply our Measures of Regularity to Matters of which we know neither the Antecedents nor the Consequents, the Beginning nor the End.

I shall relieve my Reader from this abstracted Thought, by relating here a Jewish Tradition concerning Moses [5] which seems to be a kind of Parable, illustrating what I have last mentioned. That great Prophet, it is said, was called up by a Voice from Heaven to the top of a Mountain; where, in a Conference with the Supreme Being, he was permitted to propose to him some Questions concerning his Administration of the Universe. In the midst of this Divine [Colloquy [6]] he was commanded to look down on the Plain below. At the Foot of the Mountain there issued out a clear Spring of Water, at which a Soldier alighted from his Horse to drink. He was no sooner gone than a little Boy came to the same Place, and finding a Purse of Gold which the Soldier had dropped, took it up and went away with it. Immediately after this came an infirm old Man, weary with Age and Travelling, and having quenched his Thirst, sat down to rest himself by the Side of the Spring. The Soldier missing his Purse returns to search for it, and demands it of the old Man, who affirms he had not seen it, and appeals to Heaven in witness of his Innocence. The Soldier not believing his Protestations, kills him. Moses fell on his Face with Horror and Amazement, when the Divine Voice thus prevented his Expostulation: Be not surprised, Moses, nor ask why the Judge of the whole Earth has suffer'd this Thing to come to pass: The Child is the Occasion that the Blood of the old Man is spilt; but know, that the old Man whom thou sawst, was the Murderer of that Child's Father [7].

[Footnote 1: Paradise Lost, B. II. v. 557-561.]

[Footnote 2: In Saturdays Spectator, for reward read lot. Erratum in No. 238.]

[Footnote 3: De Constantia Sapientis.]

[Footnote 4: [Since Providence, therefore], and in 1st rep.]

[Footnote 5: Henry Mores Divine Dialogues.]

[Footnote 6: [Conference]]

[Footnote 7: No letter appended to original issue or reissue. Printed in Addison's Works, 1720. The paper has been claimed for John Hughes in the Preface to his Poems (1735).]

* * * * *

No. 238. Monday, December 3, 1711. Steele.

Nequicquam populo bibulas donaveris Aures; Respue quod non es.

Persius, Sat. 4.

Among all the Diseases of the Mind, there is not one more epidemical or more pernicious than the Love of Flattery. For as where the Juices of the Body are prepared to receive a malignant Influence, there the Disease rages with most Violence; so in this Distemper of the Mind, where there is ever a Propensity and Inclination to suck in the Poison, it cannot be but that the whole Order of reasonable Action must be overturn'd, for, like Musick, it

—So softens and disarms the Mind, That not one Arrow can Resistance find.

First we flatter ourselves, and then the Flattery of others is sure of Success. It awakens our Self-Love within, a Party which is ever ready to revolt from our better Judgment, and join the Enemy without. Hence it is, that the Profusion of Favours we so often see poured upon the Parasite, are represented to us, by our Self-Love, as Justice done to Man, who so agreeably reconciles us to our selves. When we are overcome by such soft Insinuations and ensnaring Compliances, we gladly recompense the Artifices that are made use of to blind our Reason, and which triumph over the Weaknesses of our Temper and Inclinations.

But were every Man perswaded from how mean and low a Principle this Passion is derived, there can be no doubt but the Person who should attempt to gratify it, would then be as contemptible as he is now successful. Tis the Desire of some Quality we are not possessed of, or Inclination to be something we are not, which are the Causes of our giving ourselves up to that Man, who bestows upon us the Characters and Qualities of others; which perhaps suit us as ill and were as little design'd for our wearing, as their Cloaths. Instead of going out of our own complectional Nature into that of others, twere a better and more laudable Industry to improve our own, and instead of a miserable Copy become a good Original; for there is no Temper, no Disposition so rude and untractable, but may in its own peculiar Cast and Turn be brought to some agreeable Use in Conversation, or in the Affairs of Life. A Person of a rougher Deportment, and less tied up to the usual Ceremonies of Behaviour, will, like Manly in the Play,[1] please by the Grace which Nature gives to every Action wherein she is complied with; the Brisk and Lively will not want their Admirers, and even a more reserved and melancholy Temper may at some times be agreeable.

When there is not Vanity enough awake in a Man to undo him, the Flatterer stirs up that dormant Weakness, and inspires him with Merit enough to be a Coxcomb. But if Flattery be the most sordid Act that can be complied with, the Art of Praising justly is as commendable: For tis laudable to praise well; as Poets at one and the same time give Immortality, and receive it themselves for a Reward: Both are pleased, the one whilst he receives the Recompence of Merit, the other whilst he shews he knows now to discern it; but above all, that Man is happy in this Art, who, like a skilful Painter, retains the Features and Complection, but still softens the Picture into the most agreeable Likeness.

There can hardly, I believe, be imagin'd a more desirable Pleasure, than that of Praise unmix'd with any Possibility of Flattery. Such was that which Germanicus enjoyed, when, the Night before a Battle, desirous of some sincere Mark of the Esteem of his Legions for him, he is described by Tacitus listening in a Disguise to the Discourse of a Soldier, and wrapt up in the Fruition of his Glory, whilst with an undesigned Sincerity they praised his noble and majestick Mien, his Affability, his Valour, Conduct, and Success in War. How must a Man have his Heart full-blown with Joy in such an Article of Glory as this? What a Spur and Encouragement still to proceed in those Steps which had already brought him to so pure a Taste of the greatest of mortal Enjoyments?

It sometimes happens, that even Enemies and envious Persons bestow the sincerest Marks of Esteem when they least design it. Such afford a greater Pleasure, as extorted by Merit, and freed from all Suspicion of Favour or Flattery. Thus it is with Malvolio; he has Wit, Learning, and Discernment, but temper'd with an Allay of Envy, Self-Love and Detraction: Malvolio turns pale at the Mirth and good Humour of the Company, if it center not in his Person; he grows jealous and displeased when he ceases to be the only Person admired, and looks upon the Commendations paid to another as a Detraction from his Merit, and an Attempt to lessen the Superiority he affects; but by this very Method, he bestows such Praise as can never be suspected of Flattery. His Uneasiness and Distastes are so many sure and certain Signs of anothers Title to that Glory he desires, and has the Mortification to find himself not possessed of.

A good Name is fitly compared to a precious Ointment,[2] and when we are praised with Skill and Decency, tis indeed the most agreeable Perfume, but if too strongly admitted into a Brain of a less vigorous and happy Texture, twill, like too strong an Odour, overcome the Senses, and prove pernicious to those Nerves twas intended to refresh. A generous Mind is of all others the most sensible of Praise and Dispraise; and a noble Spirit is as much invigorated with its due Proportion of Honour and Applause, as tis depressed by Neglect and Contempt: But tis only Persons far above the common Level who are thus affected with either of these Extreams; as in a Thermometer, tis only the purest and most sublimated Spirit that is either contracted or dilated by the Benignity or Inclemency of the Season.


The Translations which you have lately given us from the Greek, in some of your last Papers, have been the Occasion of my looking into some of those Authors; among whom I chanced on a Collection of Letters which pass under the Name of Aristaenetus. Of all the Remains of Antiquity, I believe there can be Nothing produc'd of an Air so gallant and polite; each Letter contains a little Novel or Adventure, which is told with all the Beauties of Language and heightened with a Luxuriance of Wit. There are several of them translated,[3] but with such wide Deviations from the Original, and in a Style so far differing from the Authors, that the Translator seems rather to have taken Hints for the expressing his own Sense and Thoughts, than to have endeavoured to render those of Aristaenetus. In the following Translation, I have kept as near the Meaning of the Greek as I could, and have only added a few Words to make the Sentences in English fit together a little better than they would otherwise have done. The Story seems to be taken from that of Pygmalion and the Statue in Ovid: Some of the Thoughts are of the same Turn, and the whole is written in a kind of Poetical Prose.

Philopinax to Chromation.

"Never was Man more overcome with so fantastical a Passion as mine. I have painted a beautiful Woman, and am despairing, dying for the Picture. My own Skill has undone me; tis not the Dart of Venus, but my own Pencil has thus wounded me. Ah me! with what Anxiety am I necessitated to adore my own Idol? How miserable am I, whilst every one must as much pity the Painter as he praises the Picture, and own my Torment more than equal to my Art. But why do I thus complain? Have there not been more unhappy and unnatural Passions than mine? Yes, I have seen the Representations of Phaedra, Narcissus, and Pasiphae. Phaedra was unhappy in her Love; that of Pasiphae was monstrous; and whilst the other caught at his beloved Likeness, he destroyed the watery Image, which ever eluded his Embraces. The Fountain represented Narcissus to himself, and the Picture both that and him, thirsting after his adored Image. But I am yet less unhappy, I enjoy her Presence continually, and if I touch her, I destroy not the beauteous Form, but she looks pleased, and a sweet Smile sits in the charming Space which divides her Lips. One would swear that Voice and Speech were issuing out, and that ones Ears felt the melodious Sound. How often have I, deceived by a Lovers Credulity, hearkned if she had not something to whisper me? and when frustrated of my Hopes, how often have I taken my Revenge in Kisses from her Cheeks and Eyes, and softly wooed her to my Embrace, whilst she (as to me it seem'd) only withheld her Tongue the more to inflame me. But, Madman that I am, shall I be thus taken with the Representation only of a beauteous Face, and flowing Hair, and thus waste myself and melt to Tears for a Shadow? Ah, sure tis something more, tis a Reality! for see her Beauties shine out with new Lustre, and she seems to upbraid me with such unkind Reproaches. Oh may I have a living Mistress of this Form, that when I shall compare the Work of Nature with that of Art, I may be still at a loss which to choose, and be long perplex'd with the pleasing Uncertainty.


[Footnote 1: Wycherley's Plain Dealer.]

[Footnote 2: Eccles, vii. I.]

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

* * * * *

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

Bella, horrida bella!


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

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

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

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

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

When our Universities found that there was no End of Wrangling this Way, they invented a kind of Argument, which is not reducible to any Mood or Figure in Aristotle. It was called the Argumentum Basilinum (others write it Bacilinum or Baculinum) which is pretty well express'd in our English Word Club-Law. When they were not able to confute their Antagonist, they knock'd him down. It was their Method in these polemical Debates, first to discharge their Syllogisms, and afterwards to betake themselves to their Clubs, till such Time as they had one Way or other confounded their Gainsayers. There is in Oxford a narrow [Defile, [1] (to make use of a military Term) where the Partizans used to encounter, for which Reason it still retains the Name of Logic-Lane. I have heard an old Gentleman, a Physician, make his Boasts, that when he was a young Fellow he marched several Times at the Head of a Troop of Scotists, [2] and cudgel'd a Body of Smiglesians [3] half the length of High-street, till they had dispersed themselves for Shelter into their respective Garrisons.

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

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

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

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

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

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


[Footnote 1: Defile]

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

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

[Footnote 4: Erasm. Epist.]

[Footnote 5: Louis XIV.]

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

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

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

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

* * * * *

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

—Aliter not fit, Avite, liber.



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

SIR, Your most humble Servant.


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

Your humble Servant,

Rustick Sprightly.

December 3, 1711.


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

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

SIR, Your humble Servant,

Charles Easy.


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

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

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

* * * * *

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

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



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

I am, SIR, Your most humble Servant,


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


[Footnote 1: Orphan, Act II.]

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

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

* * * * *

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

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



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

SIR, Your most humble Servant,

Rebecca Ridinghood.


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

SIR, &c.


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

Your hearty Friend and humble Servant,

Abraham Thrifty.


[Footnote 1: No. 132.]

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

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

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

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

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

* * * * *

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

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

Tull. Offic.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

* * * * *

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

—Judex et callidus audis.


Covent-Garden, Dec. 7.


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


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

I am, SIR, Your humble Servant,

Constantia Field.


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

[Footnote 2: No. 209.]

[Footnote 3: Ingratitude.

Ingratum si dixeris, omnia dixeris.]

* * * * *

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

Ficta Voluptatis causa sint proxima Veris.


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

Graecum est, non potest legi. [2]

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



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

[Footnote 2:

It is Greek. It cannot be read.

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

* * * * *

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

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


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 Fishery.

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 Posture.

—Comprensam forcipe linguam Abstulit ense fero. Radix micat ultima linguae, Ipsa jacet, terraeque tremens immurmurat atrae; Utque salire solet mutilatae cauda colubrae Palpitat:—[4]

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 Sincerity.


[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,

SIR, 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.

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