Richard Steele.

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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: quæ
si oculis cerneretur, mirabiles amores (ut ait Plato) excitaret

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

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

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 causâ 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

Online LibraryRichard SteeleThe Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 With Translations and Index for the Series → online text (page 89 of 228)