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Libertas; quæ sera, tamen respexit inertem.


Virg. Ecl. i. 28. Freedom, which came at length, though slow to come Dryden.

verse, discovers at last a wide gap in it, poem. The same observation might be which led into the creation, and is described applied to that beautiful digression upon as the opening through which the angels hypocrisy in the same book. pass to and fro into the lower world, upon their errands to mankind. His sitting upon the brink of this passage, and taking a No. 316.] Monday, March 3, 1711-12. survey of the whole face of nature, that appeared to him new and fresh in all its beauties, with the simile illustrating this circumstance, fills the mind of the reader with as surprising and glorious an idea as any that arises in the whole poem. He looks down into that vast hollow of the uni-letter which is sent with the more pleasure verse with the eye, or (as Milton calls it in his first book) with the ken of an angel. He surveys all the wonders in this immense amphitheatre that lie between both the poles of heaven, and takes in at one view the whole round of the creation.

'MR. SPECTATOR,-If you ever read a

for the reality of its complaints, this may have reason to hope for a favourable acceptance; and if time be the most irretrievable loss, the regrets which follow will be thought, I hope, the most justifiable. The regaining of my liberty from a long state of His flight between the several worlds indolence and inactivity, and the desire of that shined on every side of him, with the resisting the farther encroachments of idle. particular description of the sun, are set ness, make me apply to you; and the unforth in all the wantonness of a luxuriant easiness with which I recollect the past imagination. His shape, speech, and be-years, and the apprehensions with which I haviour, upon his transforming himself into expect the future, soon determined me to an angel of light, are touched with exquisite it. Idleness is so general a distemper, that' beauty. The poet's thought of directing I cannot but imagine a speculation on this Satan to the sun, which, in the vulgar subject will be of universal use. There is opinion of mankind, is the most conspicuous hardly any one person without some allay part of the creation, and the placing in it of it; and thousands besides myself spend an angel, is a circumstance very finely con- more time in an idle uncertainty which to trived, and the more adjusted to a poetical begin first of two affairs, than would have probability, as it was a received doctrine been sufficient to have ended them both. among the most famous philosophers, that The occasion of this seems to be the want every orb had its intelligence; and as an of some necessary employment, to put the apostle in sacred writ is said to have seen spirits in motion, and awaken them out of such an angel in the sun. In the answer their lethargy. If I had less leisure, I which the angel returns to the disguised should have more; for I should then find evil spirit, there is such a becoming ma-my time distinguished into portions, some jesty as is altogether suitable to a superior for business, and others for the indulging of being. The part of it in which he repre-pleasures; but now one face of indolence sents himself as present at the creation, is overspreads the whole, and I have no landvery noble in itself, and not only proper mark to direct myself by. Were one's time where it is introduced, but requisite to pre-a little straitened by business, like water pare the reader for what follows in the seventh book:

I saw when at his word the formless mass,
This world's material mould, came to a heap:
Confusion heard his voice, and wild Uproar
Stood rul'd, stood vast infinitude confin'd;
Till at his second bidding Darkness fled,
Light shone, &c.

In the following part of the speech he points out the earth with such circumstances, that the reader can scarce forbear fancying himself employed on the same distant view of it.

Look downward on that globe, whose hither side
With light from hence, though but reflected, shines;
That place is earth, the seat of man, that light
His day, &c.

I must not conclude my reflections upon this third book of Paradise Lost, without taking notice of that celebrated complaint of Milton with which it opens, and which certainly deserves all the praises that have been given it; though, as I have before hinted, it may rather be looked upon as an excrescence than as an essential part of the

enclosed in its banks, it would have some determined course; but unless it be put into some channel it has no current, but becomes a deluge without either use or motion.

"When Scanderbeg, Prince of Epirus, was dead, the Turks, who had but too often felt the force of his arm in the battles he had won from them, imagined that by wearing a piece of his bones near their heart, they should be animated with a vigour and force like to that which inspired him when living. As I am like to be but of little use whilst I live, I am resolved to do what good I can after my decease; and have accordingly ordered my bones to be disposed of in this manner for the good of my countrymen, who are troubled with too exorbitant a degree of fire. All fox-hunters, upon wearing me, would in a short time be brought to endure their beds in a morning, and perhaps even quit them with regret at ten. Instead of hurrying away to tease a poor animal, and run away from their own thoughts, a chair or a chariot would be thought the most desirable means of per

forming a remove from one place to another. I should be a cure for the unnatural desire of John Trot for dancing, and a specific to lessen the inclination Mrs. Fidget has to motion, and cause her always to give her approbation to the present place she is in. In fine, no Egyptian mummy was ever half so useful in physic, as I should be to these feverish constitutions, to repress the violent sallies of youth, and give each action its proper weight and repose.

I can stifle any violent inclination, and oppose a torrent of anger, or the solicitations of revenge, with success. Indolence is a stream which flows slowly on, but yet undermines the foundation of every virtue. A vice of a more lively nature were a more desirable tyrant than this rust of the mind, which gives a tincture of its nature to every action of one's life. It were as little hazard to be lost in a storm, as to lie thus perpetually becalmed: and it is to no purpose to have within one the seeds of a thousand good qualities, if we want the vigour and resolution necessary for the exerting them. Death brings all persons back to an equality; and this image of it, this slumber of the mind, leaves no difference between the greatest genius, and the meanest understanding. A faculty of doing things remarkably praiseworthy, thus concealed, is of no more use to the owner than a heap of gold to the man who dares not use it.

To-morrow is still the fatal time when all is to be rectified. To-morrow comes, it goes, and still I please myself with the shadow, whilst I lose the reality: unmindful that the present time alone is ours, the future is yet unborn, and the past is dead, and can only live (as parents in their children,) in the actions it has produced.

acquired his eloquence. Seneca in his letters to Lucilius assures him there was not a day in which he did not either write something, or read and epitomize some good author; and I remember Pliny in one of his letters, where he gives an account of the various methods he used to fill up every vacancy of time, after several employments which he enumerates; “Sometimes," says he, "I hunt: but even then I carry with me a pocket-book, that whilst my servants are busied in disposing of the nets and other matters, I may be employed in something that may be useful to me in my studies; and that if I miss of my game, I may at the least bring home some of my own thoughts with me, and not have the mortification of having caught nothing all day.'

Thus, sir, you see how many examples I recall to mind, and what arguments I'use with myself to regain my liberty: but as I am afraid it is no ordinary persuasion that will be of service, I shall expect your thoughts on this subject with the greatest impatience, especially since the good will not be confined to me alone, but will be of universal use. For there is no hope of amendment where men are pleased with their ruin, and whilst they think laziness is a desirable character; whether it be that they like the state itself, or that they think it gives them a new lustre when they do exert themselves, seemingly to be able to do that without labour and application, which others attain to but with the greatest diligence. I am, sir, your most obliged humble servant, SAMUEL SLACK.'

Clytander to Cleone.

'MADAM,-Permission to love you is all that I desire, to conquer all the difficulties, those about you place in my way, to surmount and acquire all those qualifications you expect in him who pretends to the honour of being, madam, your most devoted humble servant,



-Fruges consumere nati. Hor. Ep. ii. Lib. 1. 27.
-Born to drink and eat. Creech.

The time we live ought not to be computed by the number of years, but by the use that has been made of it; thus, it is not the extent of ground, but the yearly rent, which gives the value to the estate. Wretched and thoughtless creatures, in the only place where covetousness were a virtue, we turn prodigals! Nothing lies upon our hands with such uneasiness, nor have No. 317.] Tuesday, March 4, 1711-12. there been so many devices for any one thing, as to make it slide away imperceptibly and to no purpose. A shilling shall be hoarded up with care, whilst that which is above the price of an estate is flung away death, asked his friends who stood about AUGUSTUS, a few minutes before his with disregard and contempt. There is him, if they thought he had acted his part nothing now-a-days, so much avoided, as a well; and upon receiving such an answer solicitous improvement of every part of time; it is a report must be shunned as one as was due to his extraordinary merit, 'Let tenders the name of a wit and a fine genius, me, then,' says he, go off the stage with and as one fears the dreadful character of your applause;' using the expression with which the Roman actors made their exit a laborious plodder: but notwithstanding this, the greatest wits any age has pro- could wish that men, while they are in at the conclusion of a dramatic piece.* I duced thought far otherwise; for who can health, would consider well the nature of any reputation by their continual pains both the part they are engaged in, and what in overcoming the defects and improving figure it will make in the minds of those the gifts of nature? All are acquainted with they leave behind them, whether it was the labour and assiduity with which Tully

think either Socrates or Demosthenes lost

* Vos valete et plaudite.

worth coming into the world for; whether it be suitable to a reasonable being; in short, whether it appears graceful in this life, or will turn to an advantage in the next. Let the sycophant, or the buffoon, the satirist, or the good companion, consider with himself, when his body shall be laid in the grave, and his soul pass into another state of existence, how much it will redound to his praise to have it said of him that no man in England ate better, that he had an admirable talent at turning his friends into ridicule, that nobody out-did him at an illnatured jest, or that he never went to bed before he had despatched his third bottle. These are, however, very common funeral orations and eulogiums on deceased persons who have acted among mankind with some figure and reputation.

But if we look into the bulk of our species, they are such as are not likely to be remembered a moment after their disappearance. They leave behind them no traces of their existence, but are forgotten as though they had never been. They are neither wanted by the poor, regretted by the rich, nor celebrated by the learned. They are neither missed in the commonwealth, nor lamented by private persons. Their actions are of no significancy to mankind, and might have been performed by creatures of much less dignity than those who are distinguished by the faculty of reason. An eminent French author speaks somewhere to the following purpose: I have often seen from my chamber window two noble creatures, both of them of an erect countenance and endowed with reason. These two intellectual beings are employed from morning to night in rubbing two smooth stones one upon another; that is, as the vulgar phrase is, in polishing marble.

My friend, Sir Andrew Freeport, as we were sitting in the club last night, gave us an account of a sober citizen, who died a few days since. This honest man being of greater consequence in his own thoughts than in the eye of the world, had for some years past kept a journal of his life. Sir Andrew showed us one week of it. Since the occurrences set down in it mark out such a road of action as that I have been speaking of, I shall present my reader with a faithful copy of it; after having first informed him, that the deceased person had in his youth been bred to trade, but finding himself not so well turned for business, he had for several years last past lived altogether upon a moderate annuity.'

MONDAY, eight o'clock. I put on my clothes and walked into the parlour.

Nine o'clock ditto. Tied my knee-strings, and washed my hands.

It has been conjectured that this journal was intended to ridicule a gentleman who was a member of the congregation named Independents, where a Mr. Nes. bit officiated as minister. See John Dunton's account of his Life, Errors and Opinions.

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Sprouts wanting.

Coffee-house. Read Grand vizier

Three. Nap as usual. From four to six. the news. A dish of twist. strangled.

From six to ten. At the club. Mr. Nis

by's account of the Great Turk.

Ten. Dream of the grand vizier. Broken sleep.

WEDNESDAY, eight o'clock. Tongue of my shoe-buckle broke. Hands but not face."

Nine. Paid off the butcher's bill. Mem. To be allowed for the last leg of mutton.

Ten, eleven. At the Coffee-house. More work in the north. Stranger in a black wig asked me how stocks went.

From twelve to one. Walked in the fields. Wind to the south.

From one to two. Smoked a pipe and a half.

Two. Dined as usual. Stomach good. Three. Nap broke by the falling of a pewter dish. Mem. Cook-maid in love, and grown careless.

From four to six. At the coffee-house. Advice from Smyrna that the grand vizier was first of all strangled, and afterwards beheaded.

Six o'clock in the evening. Was half an hour in the club before any body else came. Mr. Nisby of opinion that the grand vizier was not strangled the sixth instant.

Ten at night. Went to bed. Slept without waking until nine the next morning.

THURSDAY, nine o'clock. Staid within until two o'clock for Sir Timothy; who did not bring me my annuity according to his premise.

Two in the afternoon. Loss of appetite. Beef over-corned,


Sat down to dinSmall-beer sour.

Three. Could not take my nap.

Four and five. Gave Ralph a box on the ear. Turned off my cook-maid. Sent a messenger to Sir Timothy. Mem. I did not go to the club to night. Went to bed at nine o'clock.

FRIDAY. Passed the morning in meditation upon Sir Timothy, who was with me a quarter before twelve.

Twelve o'clock. Bought a new head to my cane, and a tongue to my buckle. Drank a glass of purl to recover appetite.

Two and three. Dined and slept well. From four to six. Went to the coffeehouse. Met Mr. Nisby there. Smoked several pipes. Mr. Nisby of opinion that

laced coffee is bad for the head.

Six o'clock. At the club as steward. Sat late.

Twelve o'clock. Went to bed, dreamt that I drank small beer with the grand vizier.

SATURDAY. Waked at eleven, walked

in the fields, wind N. E.

Twelve. Caught in a shower. One in the afternoon. Returned home and dried myself.

Two. Mr. Nisby dined with me. First course, marrow-bones; second, ox-cheek, with a bottle of Brooks and Hellier.

Three. Overslept myself.

Six. Went to the club. Like to have fallen into a gutter. Grand vizier certainly

dead, &c.

I question not but the reader will be surprised to find the above-mentioned journalist taking so much care of a life that was filled with such inconsiderable actions, and received so very small improvements; and yet, if we look into the behaviour of many whom we daily converse with, we shall find that most of their hours are taken up in those three important articles of eating, drinking, and sleeping. I do not suppose that a man loses his time, who is not engaged in public affairs, or in an illustrious course of action. On the contrary, I believe our hours may very often be more profitably laid out in such transactions as make no figure in the world, than in such as are apt to draw upon them the attention of mankind. One may become wiser and better by several methods of employing one's self in secrecy and silence, and do what is laudable without noise or ostentation, I would, however, recommend to every one of my readers, the keeping a journal of their lives for one week, and setting down punctually their whole series of employments during that space of time. This kind of self-examination would give them a true state of themselves, and incline them to consider seriously what they are about. One day would rectify the omissions of another, and make a man weigh all those indifferent actions, which though they are easily forgotten, must certainly be accounted for.


No. 318.] Wednesday, March 5, 1711-12.

-non omnia possumus omnes. Virg. Ecl. viii. 63. With different talents form'd, we variously excel.* 'MR. SPECTATOR,-A certain vice, yet been considered by you as growing so which you have lately attacked, has not deep in the heart of man, that the affectahave observed, that men who have been tion outlives the practice of it. You must bred in arms preserve to the most extreme and feeble old age, a certain daring in their aspect. In like manner, they who have passed their time in gallantry and adventure, keep up, as well as they can, the appearance of it, and carry a petulant inclination to their last moments. Let this serve for a preface to a relation I am going not only been amorous, and a follower of to give you of an old beau in town, that has women in general, but also, in spite of the sixty-third year to his present seventieth, admonition of grey hairs, been from his in an actual pursuit of a young lady, the wife of his friend, and a man of merit. The gay old Escalus has wit, good health, and is perfectly well-bred; but from the fashion his bloom, has such a natural tendency to amorous adventure, that he thought it would be an endless reproach to him to at a gentleman's house, whose good humake no use of a familiarity he was allowed mour and confidence exposed his wife to the addresses of any who should take it in their head to do him the good office. It is not impossible that Escalus might also resent that the husband was particularly negligent of him; and though he gave many intinations of a passion towards the wife, the husband either did not see them, or put him to the contempt of overlooking them. In the mean time Isabella, for so we shall call our heroine, saw his passion, and rejoiced in it, as a foundation for much diversion, and an opportunity of indulging herself in the dear delight of being admired, addressed to, and flattered, with no ill consequence to her reputation. This lady is of a free and disengaged behaviour, ever in good-humour, such as is the image of innocence with those who are innocent, and an encouragement to vice with those who are abandoned. From this kind of carriage, and an apparent approbation of his gallantry, Escalus had frequent opportunities of laying amorous epistles in her way, of fixing his eyes attentively upon her actions, of performing a thousand little offices which are neglected by the unconcerned, but are so many approaches towards happiness with the enamoured. It was now, as is above hinted, almost the end of the seventh year of his passion, when Escalus, from general terms, and the ambigu

and manners of the court when he was in

The motto to this paper in folio was,

• Rideat, et pulset lasciva decentius atas.'—H»

ous respect which criminal lovers retain in their addresses, began to bewail that his passion grew too violent for him to answer any longer for his behaviour towards her, and that he hoped she would have consideration for his long and patient respect, to excuse the emotions of a heart now no longer under the direction of the unhappy owner of it. Such, for some months, had been the language of Escalus, both in his talk and his letters to Isabella, who returned all the profusion of kind things which had been the collection of fifty years, with "I must not hear you; you will make me forget that you are a gentleman; I would not willingly lose you as a friend;" and the like expressions, which the skilful interpret to their own advantage, as well knowing that a feeble denial is a modest assent. I should have told you, that Isabella, during the whole progress of this amour, communicated it to her husband; and that an account of Escalus's love was their usual entertainment after half a day's absence. Isabella therefore, upon her lover's late more open assaults, with a smile told her husband she could hold out no longer, but that his fate was now come to a crisis. After she had explained herself a little farther, with her husband's approbation, she proceeded in the following manner. The next time that Escalus was alone with her, and repeated his importunity, the crafty Isabella looked on her fan with an air of great attention, as considering of what impor- No. 319.] Thursday, March 6, 1711-12. tance such a secret was to her; and upon the repetition of a warm expression, she looked at him with an eye of fondness, and told him he was past that time of life which could make her fear he would boast of a lady's favour; then turned away her head, with a very well acted confusion, which favoured the escape of the aged Escalus. This adventure was matter of great pleasantry to Isabella and her spouse; and they had enjoyed it two days before Escalus could recollect himself enough to form the following letter:

ness has not destroyed the esteem I had for you, which was confirmed by so many years of obstinate virtue. You have reason to rejoice that this did not happen within the observation of one of the young fellows, who would have exposed your weakness, and gloried in his own brutish inclinations.

"I am, Madam, your most devoted humble servant,"

returned the following answer:
'Isabella, with the help of her husband,

"SIR,-I cannot but account myself a
very happy woman, in having a man for a
lover that can write so well, and give so
good a turn to a disappointment. Another
excellence you have above all other pre-
tenders I ever heard of; on occasions where
the most reasonable men lose all their rea-
son, you have yours most powerful. We
have each of us to thank our genius that
the passion of one abated in proportion
as that of the other grew violent. Does it
not yet come into your head to imagine,
that I knew my compliance was the great-
est cruelty I could be guilty of towards
you? In return for your long and faithful
passion, I must let you know that you are
old enough to become a little more gravity;
but if you will leave me, and coquet it any
where else, may your mistress yield.

Quo teneam vultus mutantem Protea nodo?

Hor. Ep. i. Lib. 1. 90. Say while they change on thus, what chains can bind These varying forms, this Proteus of the mind?


it be that the women afford a more fruitful field for speculation, or whether they run more in my head than the men, I cannot tell; but I shall set down the charge as it is laid against me in the following letter.

I HAVE endeavoured in the course of my papers to do justice to the age, and have taken care, as much as possible, to keep myself a neuter between both sexes. I have neither spared the ladies out of complaisance, nor the men out of partiality, but notwithstanding the great integrity with which I have acted in this particular, I "MADAM,-What happened the other find myself taxed with an inclination to faday gives me a lively image of the incon-vour my own half of the species. Whether sistency of human passions and inclinations. We pursue what we are denied, and place our affections on what is absent, though we neglected it when present. As long as you refused my love, your refusal did so strongly excite my passion, that I had not once the leisure to think of recalling my reason to aid 'MR. SPECTATOR,-I always make one me against the design upon your virtue. among a company of young females, who But when that virtue began to comply in peruse your speculations every morning. I my favour, my reason made an effort over am at present commissioned by our whole my love, and let me see the baseness of my assembly to let you know, that we fear you behaviour in attempting a woman of honour. are a little inclined to be partial towards I own to you, it was not without the most your own sex. We must, however, acviolent struggle that I gained this victory knowledge, with all due gratitude, that in over myself; nay, I will confess my shame, some cases you have given us our revenge and acknowledge, I could not have pre- on the men, and done us justice. We could vailed but by flight. However, madam, I not easily have forgiven you several strokes beg that you will believe a moment's weak-in the dissection of the coquette's heart, if

Vo. II.


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