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"It is of dangerous consequence," says he, "to represent to man how near he is to the level of beasts, without showing him at the same time his greatness. It is likewise dangerous to let him see his greatness without his meanness. It is more dangerous yet to leave him ignorant of either; but very beneficial that he should be made sensible of both." Whatever imperfections we may have in our nature, it is the business of religion and virtue to rectify them, as far as is consistent with our present state. In the mean time it is no small encouragement to generous minds to consider, that we shall put them all off with our mortality. That sublime manner of salutation with which the Jews approach their kings,

"O king, live for ever!"

may be addressed to the lowest and most despised mortal among us, under all the infirmities and distresses with which we see him surrounded. And whoever believes in the immortality of the soul, will not need a better argument for the dignity of his nature, nor a stronger incitement to actions suitable to it.

I am naturally led by this reflection to a subject I have already touched upon in a former letter, and cannot without pleasure call to mind the thought of Cicero to this purpose, in the close of his book concerning old age. Every one who is acquainted with his writings will remember that the elder Cato is introduced in that discourse as the speaker, and Scipio and Lelius as his auditors. This venerable person is represented looking forward as it were from the verge of extreme old age into a future state, and rising into a contemplation on the unperishable part of his nature, and its existence after death. I shall collect part of his discourse. And as you have formerly offered Some arguments for the soul's immortality, agreeable both to reason and the Christian doctrine, I believe your readers will not be displeased to see how the same great truth shines in the pomp of Roman eloquence. "This (says Cato) is my firm persuasion, that since the human soul exerts itself with great activity; since it has such a remembrance of the past, such a concern for the future; since it is enriched with so many arts, sciences, and discoveries; it is impossible but the being which contains all these must be immortal. 39

the soul while in a mortal body lives, but when departed out of it dies: or that its consciousness is lost when it is discharged out of an unconscious habitation. But when it is freed from all corporeal alliance, then it truly exists. Farther, since the human frame is broken by death, tell us what becomes of its parts? It is visible whether the materials of other beings are translated; namely, to the source from whence they had their birth. The soul alone, neither present nor departed, is the object of our eyes.

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Thus Cyrus. But to proceed:-"No one shall persuade me, Scipio, that your worthy father or your grandfathers Paulus and Africanus, or Africanus his father or uncle, or many other excellent men whom I need not name, performed so many actions to be remembered by posterity, without being sensible that futurity was their right. And, if I may be allowed an old' man's privilege so to speak of myself, do you think I would have endured the fatigue of so many wearisome days and nights, both at home and abroad, if I imagined that the same boundary which is set to my life must terminate my glory? Were it not more desirable to have worn out my days in ease and tranquillity, free from labour and without emulation? But, I know not how, my soul has always raised itself, and looked forward on futurity, in this view and expectation, that when it shall depart out of life it shall then live for ever; and if this were not true, that the mind is immortal, the soul of the most worthy would not, above all others, have the strongest impulse to glory.

"What besides this is the cause that the wisest men die with the greatest equanimity, the ignorant with the greatest concern? Does it not seem that those minds which have the most extensive views foresee they are removing to a happier condition, which those of a narrow sight do not perceive? I, for my part, am transported with the hope of seeing your ancestors: whom I have honoured and loved; and am earnestly desirous of meeting not only those excellent persons whom I have known, but those too of whom I have heard and read, and of whom I my self have written; nor would I be detained from so pleasing a journey. O happy day, when I shall escape from this crowd, this heap of pollution, and be admitted to that The elder Cyrus, just before his death, divine assembly of exalted spirits! when I is represented by Xenophon speaking after shall go not only to those great persons I this manner: Think not, my dearest chil- have named, but to my Cato, my son, than dren, that when I depart from you I shall whom a better man was never born, and be no more: but remember, that my soul, whose funeral rites I myself performed, even while I lived among you, was invisible whereas he ought rather to have attended to you: yet by my actions you were sensible mine. Yet has not his soul deserted me, texisted in this body. Believe it therefore but, seeming to cast back a look on me, is existing still, though it be still unseen. How gone before to those habitations to which it quickly would the honours of illustrious was sensible I should follow him. And men perish after death, if their souls per- though I might appear to have borne my formed nothing to preserve their fame! loss with courage, I was not unaffected with my own part, I never could think that it; but I comforted myself in the assurance,


that it would not be long before we should until we had worked up ourselves to sucht meet again and be divorced no more. am, sir, &c.'


No. 538.] Monday, November 17, 1712.


Finem tendere opus.

Hor. Sat. i. Lib. 2. 1.

To launch beyond all bounds.

I a pitch of complaisance, that when thei dinner was to come in we inquired the name of every dish, and hoped it would be no offence to any in company, before it was admitted. When we had sat down, this! civility among us turned the discourse from 1 eatables to other sorts of aversions; and ther eternal cat, which plagues every conversa-ti tion of this nature, began then to engrosse the subject. One had sweated at the sight:: of it, another had smelled it out as it lay SURPRISE is so much the life of stories, concealed in a very distant cupboard; and that every one aims at it who endeavours to he who crowned the whole set of these please by telling them. Smooth delivery, stories, reckoned up the number of times an elegant choice of words, and a sweet ar- in which it had occasioned him to swooni rangement, are all beautifying graces, but away. 'At last,' says he, that you may not the particulars in this point of conversa- all be satisfied of my invincible aversion to tion which either long command the atten- a cat, I shall give an unanswerable instance. tion, or strike with the violence of a sudden As I was going through a street of London, passion, or occasion the burst of laughter where I never had been until then, I felt a which accompanies humour. I have some- general damp and faintness all over me, th times fancied that the mind is in this case which I could not tell how to account for, like a traveller who sees a fine seat in haste; until I chanced to cast my eyes upwards, to he acknowledges the delightfulness of a and found that I was passing under ai walk set with regularity, but would be un-sign-post on which the picture of a cat was easy if he were obliged to pace it over, when the first view had let him into all its beauties from one end to the other.


The extravagance of this turn in the way of surprise, gave a stop to the talk we had been carrying on. Some were silent be cause they doubted, and others because they were conquered in their own way; so that the gentleman had an opportunity to press the belief of it upon us, and let us see 2 that he was rather exposing himself than ridiculing others.

However, a knowledge of the success which stories will have when they are attended with a turn of surprise, as it has happily made the characters of some, so has it also been the ruin of the characters of others. There is a set of men who outrage truth, instead of affecting us with a manner in telling it; who overleap the line I must freely own that I did not all this of probability that they may be seen to move while disbelieve every thing that was said; out of the common road; and endeavour but yet I thought some in the company had only to make their hearers stare by impos- been endeavouring who should pitch the ing upon them with a kind of nonsense bar farthest; that it had for some time beenagainst the philosophy of nature, or such a a measuring cast, and at last my friend of heap of wonders told upon their own know- the cat and sign-post had thrown beyond ledge, as it is not likely one man should them all. have ever met with.

I have been led to this observation by a company into which I fell accidentally. The subject of antipathies was a proper field wherein such false surprisers might expatiate, and there were those present who appeared very fond to show it in its full extent of traditional history. Some of them, in a learned manner, offered to our consideration the miraculous powers which the effluviums of cheese have over bodies whose pores are disposed to receive them in a noxious manner; others gave an account of such who could indeed bear the sight of cheese, but not the taste; for which they brought a reason from the milk of their nurses. Others again discoursed, without endeavouring at reasons, concerning an unconquerable aversion which some stomachs have against a joint of meat when it is whole, and the eager inclination they have for it when, by its being cut up, the shape which had affected them is altered. From hence they passed to eels,then to pars nips, and so from one aversion to another,

I then considered the manner in which this story had been received, and the possibility that it might have passed for a jest upon others, if he had not laboured against, himself. From hence, thought I, there are two ways which the well-bred world generally takes to correct such a practice,.. when they do not think fit to contradict it flatly.

The first of these is a general silence, which I would not advise any one to inter pret in his own behalf. It is often the effect of prudence in avoiding a quarrel, when they see another drive so fast that there is no stopping him without being run against; and but very seldom the effect of weakness in believing suddenly. The generality of mankind are not so grossly ignorant, as some overbearing spirits would persuade themselves; and if the authority of a cha racter or a caution against danger make us suppress our opinions, yet neither of these are of force enough to suppress our thoughts of them. If a man who has endeavoured to amuse his company with improbabilities

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could but look into their minds, he would | others entertain concerning you. In short, find that they imagine he lightly esteems you are against yourself; the laugh of the of their sense when he thinks to impose company runs against you; the censuring upon them, and that he is less esteemed by world is obliged to you for that triumph them for his attempt in doing so. His en- which you have allowed them at your own deavour to glory at their expense becomes expense; and truth, which you have ina ground of quarrel, and the scorn and jured, has a near way of being revenged on indifference with which they entertain it you, when by the bare repetition of your begins the immediate punishment: and in-story you become a frequent diversion for deed (if we should even go no farther) the public. silence, or a negligent indifference, has a deeper way of wounding than opposition,

'MR. SPECTATOR,-The other day, because opposition proceeds from an anger walking in Pancras church-yard, I thought that has a sort of generous sentiment for of your paper wherein you mention epithe adversary mingling along with it, while taphs, and am of opinion this has a thought it shows that there is some esteem in your in it worth being communicated to your mind for him: in short, that you think him readers. worth while to contest with. But silence, negligent indifference, proceeds from anger, mixed with a scorn that shows another he is thought by you too contemptible to be regarded.

or a

The other method which the world has taken for correcting this practice of false surprise, is to overshoot such talkers in their own bow, or to raise the story with

"Here innocence and beauty lies, whose breath
Was snatch'd by early, not untimely, death.
Hence did she go, just as she did begin
Sorrow to know, before she knew to sin.
Death, that does sin and sorrow thus prevent,
Is the next blessing to a life well spent."
'I am, sir, your servant.'

farther degrees of impossibility, and set up No. 539.] Tuesday, November 18, 1712.

Heteroclita sunto.-Que Genus.

Be they heteroclites.

for a voucher to them in such a manner as must let thein see they stand detected. Thus I have heard a discourse was once managed upon the effects of fear. One of MR. SPECTATOR,-I am a young widow the company had given an account how it of good fortune and family, and just come had turned his friend's hair gray in a night, to town; where I find I have clusters of while the terrors of a shipwreck encom- pretty fellows come already to visit me, passed him. Another, taking the hint some dying with hopes, others with fears, from hence, began, upon his own know-though they never saw me. Now, what I ledge, to enlarge his instances of the like would beg of you would be to know whether nature to such a number, that it was not I may venture to use these pert fellows probable he could ever have met with with the same freedom as I did my country them: and as he still grounded these upon acquaintance. I desire your leave to use different causes for the sake of variety, it them as to me shall seem meet, without might seem at last, from his share of the imputation of a jilt; for since I make declaconversation, almost impossible that any ration that not one of them shall have me, one who can feel the passion of fear, should I think I ought to be allowed the liberty all his life escape so common an effect of it. of insulting those who have the vanity to By this time some of the company grew believe it is in their power to make me negligent, or desirous to contradict him; break that resolution. There are schools but one rebuked the rest with an appear for learning to use foils, frequented by those ance of severity, and with the known old who never design to fight; and this useless story in his head, assured them he did not way of aiming at the heart, without design scruple to believe that the fear of any thing to wound it on either side, is the play with can make a man's hair gray, since he knew which I am resolved to divert myself. The one whose periwig had suffered so by it. man who pretends to win, I shall use him Thus he stopped the talk, and made them like one who comes into a fencing-school asy. Thus is the same method taken to to pick a quarrel. I hope upon this foundaring us to shame, which we fondly take tion you will give me the free use of the o increase our character. It is indeed a natural and artificial force of my eyes, kind of mimickry, by which another puts looks, and gestures. As for verbal pron our air of conversation to show us to mises, I will make none, but shall have no urselves. He seems to look ridiculous mercy on the conceited interpreters of efore you, that you may remember how glances and motions. I am particularly ear a resemblance you bear to him; or skilled in the downcast eye, and the recohat you may know that he will not lie very into a sudden full aspect and away nder the imputation of believing you. again, as you may have seen sometimes Then it is that you are struck dumb im- practised by us country beauties beyond ediately with a conscientious shame for all that you have observed in courts and hat you have been saying. Then it is cities. Add to this, sir, that I have a ruddy at you are inwardly grieved at the senti- heedless look, which covers_artifice the ents which you cannot but perceive | best of any thing. Though I can dance VOL. II.



very well, I affect a tottering untaught way| Spectator, this reverend divine gave us his of walking, by which I appear an easy grace's sermon, and yet I do not know prey; and never exert my instructed how; even I that am sure have read it at charms, until I find I have engaged a pur- least twenty times, could not tell what to suer. Be pleased, sir, to print this letter, make of it, and was at a loss sometimes to which will certainly begin the chase of a guess what the man aimed at. He was so rich widow. The many foldings, escapes, just, indeed, as to give us all the heads and returns, and doublings, which I make, I the subdivisions of the sermon, and farther shall from time to time communicate to I think there was not one beautiful thought you, for the better instruction of all females, in it but what we had. But then, sir, this who set up, like me, for reducing the pre- gentleman made so many pretty additions: sent exorbitant power and insolence of and he could never give us a paragraph of man. I am, sir, your faithful corres- the sermon but he introduced it with some pondent, thing which methought looked more like a design to show his own ingenuity than t instruct the people. In short, he added and curtailed in such a manner, that he vexed me; insomuch that I could not for bear thinking (what I confess I ought not to have thought in so holy a place,) that this young spark was as justly blameable as Bullock or Penkethman, when they mend a noble play of Shakspeare or Jon son. Pray, sir, take this into your considera tion; and, if we must be entertained with the works of any of those great men, desire find them, that so when we read them to these gentlemen to give them us as they our families at home they may the better them remember they have heard church. Sir, your humble servant."


No. 540.] Wednesday, November 19, 1712.

-Non deficit alter.-Virg. Æn. vi. 143.
A second is not wanting.

DEAR MR. SPECTATOR,-I depend upon your professed respect for virtuous love for your immediately answering the design of this letter: which is no other than to lay before the world the severity of certain parents, who desire to suspend the marriage of a discreet young woman of eighteen, three years longer, for no other reason but that of her being too young to enter into that state. As to the consideration of riches, my circumstances are such, that I cannot be suspected to make my addresses to her on such low motives as avarice or ambition. If ever innocence, wit, and beauty, united their utmost charms, they have in her. I wish you would expatiate a little on this subject, and admonish her parents that it may be from the very imperfection of human nature itself, and not any personal frailty of her or me, that our inclinations baffled at present may alter; and while we are arguing with ourselves to put off the enjoyment of our present passions, our affections may change their objects in the operation. It is a very delicate subject to talk upon; but if it were but hinted, I am in hopes it would give the parties concerned some reflection that might expedite our happiness. There is a possibility, and I hope I may say it without imputation of immodesty to her I love with the highest honour; I say there is a possibility this delay may be as painful to her as it is to me; if it be as much, it must be more, by reason of the severe rules the sex are under, in being denied even the relief tation of six virtues-holiness, temperance. Spenser's general plan is the represen of complaint. If you oblige me in this, and chastity, friendship, justice, and courtesyI succeed, I promise you a place at my wed-in six legends by six persons. The si ding, and a treatment suitable to your spectatorial dignity. Your most humble fegories suitable to their respective charac personages are supposed, under proper al ters, to do all that is necessary for th full manifestation of the respective virtue which they are to exert.



'SIR,-I yesterday heard a young gentleman, that looked as if he had come just to the gown and a scarf, upon evil speaking: which subject you know archbishop Tillotson has so nobly handled in a sermon in his folio. As soon as ever he had named his text, and had opened a little the drift of his discourse, I was in great hopes he had been one of Sir Roger's chaplains. I have conceived so great an idea of the charming discourse above, that I should have thought one part of my sabbath very well spent in hearing a repetition of it. But, alas! Mr.

'MR. SPECTATOR,—There is no part of your writings which I have in more esteem It is ar honourable and candid endeavour to set the than your criticism upon Milton. works of our noble writers in the gracefu much of my kind inclination towards you light which they deserve. You will los if you do not attempt the encomium of Spenser also, or at least indulge my pas sion for that charming author so far as t print the loose hints I now give you on tha subject.

"These, one might undertake to shov under the several heads, are admirabl drawn; no images improper, and most sur prisingly beautiful. The Redcross Knigh runs through the whole steps of the Chris tian life; Guyon does all that temperance can possibly require; Britomartis (a woman observes the true rules of unaffected chas tity; Arthegal is in every respect of life strictly and wisely just; Calidore is rightly courteous.



In short, in Fairly-land, where knightserrant have a full scope to range, and to do even what Ariostos or Orlandos could not do in the world without breaking into creSdibility, Spenser's knights have, under those six heads, given a full and truly poetical system of Christian, public, and low life.

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'His legend of friendship is more diffuse; yet even there the allegory is finely drawn, only the heads various; one knight could not there support all the parts.

To do honour to his country, prince Arthur is a universal hero; in holiness, temperance, chastity, and justice, superexcellent. For the same reason, and to compliment queen Elizabeth, Gloriana, queen of fairies, whose court was the asylum of the oppressed, represents that glorious queen. At her commands all these knights set forth, and only at hers the RedCross Knight destroys the dragon, Guyon overturns the Bower of Bliss, Arthegal (if Justice) beats down Geryoneo (i. e. Philip II. king of Spain) to rescue Belge (ie. Holland,) and he beats the Grantorto (the same Philip in another light) to restore Irena (i. e. Peace) to Europe.

Chastity being the first female virtue, Britomartis is a Briton; her part is fine, though it requires explication. His style is very poetical; no puns, affectations of wit, forced antitheses, or any of that low tribe.

'His old words are all true English, and umbers exquisite; and since of words there is the multa renascentur, since they are all proper, such a poem should not (any more than Milton's) consist all of it of common ordinary words. See instances of descrip


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"Like as a wayward child, whose sounder sleepe Is broken with some fearful dream's affright, With froward will doth set himself to weep, Ne can be still'd for all his nurse's might, But kicks and squalls, and shrieks for fell despite : Now scratching her, and her loose locks misusing, Now seeking darkness, and now seeking light; Then craving suck, and then the suck refusing: Such was this lady's loves in her love's fond accusing." Curiosity occasioned by jealousy, upon occasion of her lover's absence. Ibid. Stan. 8, 9.

"Then as she looked long, at last she spied

One coming towards her with hasty speed, Well ween'd she then, ere him she plain descry'd, That it was one sent from her love indeed : Whereat her heart was fill'd with hope and dread, Ne would she stay till he in place could come, But ran to meet him forth to know his tidings somme; Even in the door him meeting, she begun, And where is he, thy lord, and how far hence ? Declare at once: and hath he lost or won?"


"There entering in, they found the good man's self Full busily unto his work ybent,

Who was so weel a wretched wearish elf,

With hollow eyes and rawbone cheeks far spent,
As if he had in prison long been pent.

Full black and griesly did his face appear,
Besmear'd with smoke, that nigh his eye-sight blent,
With rugged beard, and hoary shagged hair,

The which he never wont to comb, or comely shear. 35.

Rude was his garment, and to rags all rent,
Ne better had he, ne for better cared;
His blister'd hands amongst the cinders brent,
And fingers filthy, with long nails prepared,
Right fit to rend the food on which he fared.
His name was Care: a blacksmith by his trade,
That neither day nor night from working spared,
But to small purpose iron wedges made:
These be unquiet thoughts that careful minds invade."

'Homer's epithets were much admired by antiquity: see what great justness and variety there are in these epithets of the trees in the forest, where the Redcross Knight lost truth, B. i. Cant. i. Stan. 8, 9.

"The sailing pine, the cedar proud and tall,
The vine-prop elm, the poplar never dry;
The builder oak, sole king of forests all,
The aspine, good for staves, the cypress funeral.

"The laurel, meed of mighty conquerors,
And poets sage; the fir, that weepeth still,
The willow, worn of forlorn paramours,
The yew, obedient to the bender's will,
The birch for shafts, the sallow for the mill:
The myrrhe sweet, bleeding in the bitter wound,
The war-like beech, the ash, for nothing ill,
The fruitful olive, and the plantane round,
The carver holm, the maple, seldom inward sound."

'I shall trouble you no more, but desire you to let me conclude with these verses, though I think they have already been young ladies oppressed with calumny, v. quoted by you. They are addressed to 6. 14

"The best (said he) that I can you advise,
Is to avoid the occasion of the ill;
For when the cause whence evil doth arise,
Removed is, the effect surceaseth still.

Abstain from pleasure and restrain your will,
Subdue desire and bridle loose delight,
Use scanted diet, and forbear your fill,
Shun secresy, and talk in open sight,

So shall you soon repair your present evil plight."


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My friend the Templar, whom I have so often mentioned in these writings, having determined to lay aside his poetical Care and his house are described thus, v. studies, in order to a closer pursuit of the

6. 33, 34, 35.

law, has put together, as a farewell essay, some thoughts concerning pronunciation They spied a little cottage, like some poor man's nest, and action, which he has given me leave

"Not far away, nor meet for any guest,

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