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exceptionable in the other. As you improve these little Hints, you
will ascertain the Happiness or Uneasiness of,
Your most obedient,
Most humble Servant_,

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

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

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

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

Farewell for ever. T.

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

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

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

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

* * * * *

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

Decipimur specie recti


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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

_Yours_, Robin Good-fellow.


[Footnote 1: Metaphor,]

[Footnote 2: that]

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

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


* * * * *

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

Quanto quisque sibi plura negaverit,
A Diis plura feret -


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


* * * * *

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

Omnibus in terris, quoe sunt à Gadibus usque
Auroram et Gangem, pauci dignoscere possunt
Vera bona, atque illis multùm diversa, remotâ
Erroris nebulâ -


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

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

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

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

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

In the third and last Place he informs him, that the best Method he
could make use of to draw down Blessings upon himself, and to render his
Prayers acceptable, would be to live in a constant Practice of his Duty

Online LibraryRichard SteeleThe Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 With Translations and Index for the Series → online text (page 77 of 228)