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pafs away fome of his idle hours, that it was pub-
little white spaces of writing which want to be filled up, and which for that reafon are called blank paces, as of right appertaining to our family: for I confider myself as lord of a manor, who lays his claim to all waftes or fpotą of ground that are unappropriated. I am a near improv-kiniman to John a Styles and John a Noakes and they, I am told, came in with the Conqueror. I am mentioned oftener in both houfes of parliament than any other person in Great-Britain. My name is written, or, more properly fpeaking, not written thus I am
one that can turn my hand to every thing, ⚫ and appear under any shape whatsoever. I can 'make myself man, woman, or child. I am fometimes metamorphofed into a year of our Lord, a day of the month, or an hour of the day. I very often reprefent a fum of money, and am generally the first fubfidy that is granted to the crown, I have now and then fupplied the place of feveral thousand land foldiers, and have as frequently been employed in the sea⚫ fervice.
-Id populus curat fcilicet. Such informations cannot but be highly ing to the reader.
In works of humour, especially when a man writes under a fictitious perfonage, the talking of one's felf may give fome diverfion to the public; but I would advife every other writer, never to fpeak of himself, unless there be fomething very confiderable in his character: though I am fenfible this rule will be of little ufe in the world, because there is no man who fancies his thoughts worth publishing, that does not look upon himself as a confiderable perfon.
Now, Sir, my complaint is this, that I am only made ufe of to ferve turn, being always difcarded as foon as a proper person is found out to fill up my place.
1 fhall clofe this paper with a remark upon
If you have ever been in the play-house, be
But the most illuftrious branch of the Blanks are those which are planted in high pofts, 'till fuch time as perfons of greater confequence can be found out to fupply them. One of thefe Blanks is equally qualified for all offices; he can ferve in time of need for a foldier, a politician, a lawyer, or what you pleafe. I have known in my time many a brother Blank that has been born under a lucky planet, heap
up great riches, and fwell into a man of fi gure and importance, before the grandees of his party could agree among themselves which of them fhould ftep into his place. Nay, I have known a Blank continue fo long in one of these
no fmall confufion to find that his jokes had paf-vacant posts, (for fuch it is to be reckoned all
N° 563. MONDAY, JULY 5.
—Magni nominis umbra. Lucan. I, 1. ver. 435,
SHALL entertain my reader with two very curious letters. The first of them comes from a chimerical perfon, who I believe never writ to any body before.
A M defcended from the ancient family of the Blanks, a name well known among all ↑ meg of business. It is always read in those
Your moft obedient fervant,
P.S. I herewith fend you a paper drawn up by a country attorney, employed by two gentlemen, whofe names he was not acquainted with, and who did not think fit to let him into the fecret which they were tranfacting. I heard him call it a blank inftrument, and read it after the following manner. You may fee by this fingle instance of what ufe 1 am to the bufy world,
" IT. Blank, Efquire, of Blank town, in the county of Blank, do own myfelf indebted in
the fum of Blank, to Goodman Blank, for the "fervice he did me in procuring for me the goods "following, Blank: and I do hereby promile the faid Blank to pay unto him the faid fum of Blank, on the Blank day of the month of Blank next enfuing, under the penalty and
forfeiture of Blank."
I fhall take time to confider the cafe of this my imaginary correfpondent, and in the mean while thall prefent my reader with a letter which feems to come from a perfon that is made up of flesh and blood.
Good Mr. Speftator,
As foon as he begins to fret, down goes every thing that is within the reach of his • cane. I once prevailed upon him never to carry a ftick in his hand, but this faved me nothing; for upon feeing ine do fomething that did not pleafe him, he kicked down a great jar, that cost him about ten pounds but a week before. I then laid the fragments together in a heap, and gave him his cane again, defiring him, that if he chanced to be in anger, he would fpend his paffion upon the china that was broke to his hand; but the very next day, upon my giving a wrong meffage to one of the fervants, he flew into fuch a rage, that he fwept down a dozen tea difhes, which, to my misfortune, flood very convenient for a fide
I then removed all iny china into a room which he never frequents; but I got nothing by this neither, for my looking-glaffes immediately went to rack.
In short, Sir, whenever he is in a paffion, he is angry at every thing that is brittle; and if on fuch occafions he had nothing to vent his rage upon, I do not know whether my bones would be in fafety. Let me beg of you, Sir, to let me know whether there be any cure for this unaccountable diftemper; or if not, that you will be pleafed to publish this letter for my husband having a great veneration for your writings, will by that means know you do not approve of his conduct.
N° 564. WEDNESDAY, JULY 7.
Tis the work of a philofopher to be every day fubduing his paffions, and laying afide his prejudices. endeavour at least to look upon men and their actions only as an impartial fpec tator, without any regard to them as they hap pen to advance or crofs my own private intereft, But while I am thus employed myfelf, I cannot help obferving, how these about me fuffer themfelves to be blinded by prejudice and inclination, how readily they pronounce on every man's character, which they can give in two words, and make him either good for nothing, or qualified
every thing, On the contrary, thofe who fearch thoroughly into human nature, will find it much more difficult to determine the value of their fellow-creatures, and that mens characters are not thus to be given in general words. There is indeed no fuch thing as a perfon intirely good or bad; virtue and vice are blended and mixed together, in a greater or lefs proportion, in every one; and if you would fearch for fome particular good quality in its most eminent degree of perfection, you will often find it in a mind, where it is darkened and eclipfed by an hundred other irregular paffions.
Men have either no character at all, fays a celebrated author, or it is that of being incon fiftent with themfelves. They find it cafier to join extremities, than to be uniform and of a life of Cyrus the Great. That author tells us, piece. This is finely illuftrated in Xenophon's that Cyrus having taken a most beautiful lady named Panthea, the wife of Abradatas, commit ted her to the cuftody of Arafpas, a young Per fan nobleman, who had a little before maintained in difcourfe, That a mind truly virtuous was incapable of entertaining an unlawful paffion. The young gentleman had not long been in possetsion of his fair captive, when a complaint was made to Cyrus, that he not only folicited the lady Panthea to receive him in the room of her abfent husband, but that finding his intreaties had no effe, he was preparing to make use of force, Cyrus, who loved the young man, immediately fent for him, and in a gentle manner reprefenting to him his fault, and putting him in mind of his former affertion, the unhappy youth, confounded with a quick fenfe of his guilt and Your moft humble fervant, &c.' fhame, burst out into a flood of tears, and spoke as follows:
"Oh Cyrus, I am convinced that I have "two fouls, Love has taught me this piece of philofophy. If I had but one foul, it could "not at the fame time pant after virtue and
vice, with and abhor the fame thing. It is "certain therefore we have two fouls: when the "good foul rules, I undertake noble and virtu
ous actions; but when the bad foul predomi#mates, I am forced to do evil, All I can fay at
<< present is, that I find my good foul, encou-
I know not whether my readers will allow of this piece of philofophy; but if they will not, they must confefs we meet with as different paffions in one and the fame foul, as can be fuppofed in two. We can hardly read the life of a great man who lived in former ages, or converfe with any who is eminent among our contemporaries, that is not an inftance of what I am saying.
But as I have hitherto only argued against the
to moft of their actions. If on the one hand
Notwithstanding this, it is perhaps impoffible
The city of Sparta being unexpectedly attacked by a powerful army of Thebans, was in very great danger of falling into the hands of their enemies. The citizens fuddenly gathering themselves into a body, fought with a refolution equal to the neceffity of their affairs, yet no one fo remarkably diftinguithed himself on this occafion, to the amazement of both armies, as Ifidas, the fon of Phoebidas, who was at that time in the bloom of his youth, and very remarkable for the comelinefs of his perfon. He was coming out of the bath when the alarm was given, fo that he had not time to put on his clothes, much lefs his armour; however, tranfported with a defire to ferve his country in fo great an exigency, fnatch ing up a fpear in one hand, and a fword in the other, he flung himfelf into the thickest ranks of his enemies, Nothing could withstand his
fury: in what part foever he fought he put the enemies to flight without receiving a fingle wound. Whether, fays Plutarch, he was the particular care of fome god, who rewarded his valour that day with an extraordinary protection, or that his enemies ftruck with the unufualnefs of his dress, and beauty of his shape, fuppofed him fomething more than man, I fhall not determine.
The gallantry of this action was judged fo great by the Spartans, that the Ephori, or chief magiftrates, decreed he fhould be prefented with a gar land; but as foon as they had done fo, fined him a thoufand drachmas for going out to the battle unarmed.
FRIDAY, JULY 9.
-Deum namque ire per omnes
un me. I at first amufed myself with all the richnefs and variety of colours, which appeared in the western parts of Heaven: in proportion as they faded away and went out, feveral ftars and planets appeared one after another, until the whole firmament was in a glow. The blueness of the Ether was exceedingly heightened and enlivened by the feafon of the year, and by the rays of all thofe luminaries that paffed through it. The Galaxy appeared in its moft beautiful white. To complete the fcene, the full moon rofe at length in that clouded majefty which Milton takes notice of, and opened to the eye a new picture of nature, which was more finely fhaded, and dif pofed among fofter lights, than that which the fun had before difcovered to us.
As I was furveying the moon walking in her brightnefs and taking her progress among the conftellations, a thought rofe in me which I believe very often perplexes and disturbs men of ferious and contemplative natures. David himself fell into it in that reflection, "When I confider the "Heavens the work of thy fingers, the moon " and the ftars which thou haft ordained; what "is man that thou art mindful of him, and "the fon of man that thou regardeft him !" In the fame manner when I confidered that infinite hoft of stars, or, to speak more philofophically, of funs, which were then shining upon me, with thofe innumerable fets of planets or worlds, which were moving round their respective funs; when I ftill enlarged the idea, and fuppofed another Heaven of funs and worlds rifing ftill above this which we discovered, and these fill enlightened by a fuperior firmament of luminaries, which are planted at fo great a diftance, that they may appear to the inhabitants of the former as the stars do to us; in fhort, while I purfued this thought, I could not but reflect on that little infignificant figure which I myself bore amidst the immensity of God's works,
Were the fun, which enlightens this part of the creation, with all the hoft of planetary worlds that move about him, utterly extinguished and annihilated, they would not be miffed more than a grain of fand upon the sea-shore. The space they 2 R patel:
poffefs is fo exceedingly little in comparison of the whole, that it would fcarce make a blank in the creation. The chafm would be imperceptible to an eye, that could take in the whole compafs of nature, and pass from one end of the creation to the other; as it is poffible there may be fuch a fenfe in ourselves hereafter, or in creatures which are at prefent more exalted than ourselves. We fee many ftars by the help of glaffes, which we do not difcover with our naked eyes; and the finer our telescopes are, the more ftill are our difcoveries. Huygenius carries this thought fo far, that he does not-think it impoffible there may be ftars whofe light is not yet travelled down to us, fince their first creation. There is no queftion but the universe has bounds fet. to it; but when we confider that it is the work of infinite power, prompted by infinite goodness, with an infinite fpace to exert itself in, how can bur imagination fet any bounds to it?
To return therefore to my first thought, I could not but look upon myfelf with fecret horror, as a being that was not worth the fmalleft regard of one who had fo great a work under his care and fuperintendency. I was afraid of being overlooked amidit the immenfity, of nature, and loft among that infinite variety of creatures, which in all probability fwarm through all these immeafurable regions of matter.
In order to recover myfelf from this mortifying thought, I confidered that it took its rife from thofe narrow conceptions, which we are apt to entertain of the divine nature. We ourselves cannot attend to many different objects at the fame time. If we are careful to infpect fome things, we muft of courfe neglect others. This imperfection, which we obferve in ourfelves, is an imperfection, that cleaves in fome degree to creatures of the highest capacities, as they are creatures, that is, beings of finite and limited natures. The prefence of every created being is confined to a certain meafare of space, and confequently his obfervation is ftinted to a certain number of objects. The fphere in which we move, and act, and understand, is of a wider circumference to one creature than another, according as we rife above one another in the foale of existence. But the wideft of these our spheres has its circumference. When therefore we reflect on the divine nature, we are fo ufed and accustomed to this imperfection in ourselves,. that we cannot forbear in fome meafure afcribing it to him in whom there is no fhadow of imperfection. Our reafon indeed affures us that his attributes are infinite, but the poornefs of our conceptions is fuch that it cannot forbear setting bounds to every thing it contemplates, until our reafon comes again to our fuccour, and throws down all thofe little prejudices which rife in us unawares, and are natural to the mind of man.
We shall therefore utterly extinguish this melancholy thought, of our being over-looked by our Maker in the multiplicity of his works, and the infinity of thofe objects among which he feems to be incefiantly employed, if we confider, in the first place, that he is omniprefent; and, in the fecond, that he is omnifcient.
habit. His fubftance is within the fubftance of every being whether material or immaterial, and as intimately present to it, as that being is to itfelf. It would be an imperfection in him, were the able to remove out of one place into another, or to withdraw himself from any thing he has created, or from any part of that space which is diffused and spread abroad to infinity. In short, to fpeak of him in the language of the old philofopher, he is a being whofe center is every where, and his circumference no where.
If we confider him in his omniprefence: his being paffes through, actuates, and fupports the whole frame of nature: His creation, and every part of it, is full of him. There is nothing he has made, that is either fo diftant, fo little, or fo inconfiderable which he does not effentially in
In the fecond place, he is omnifcient as well as omniprefent. His omnifcience indeed neceffarily and naturally flows from his omnipresence; he cannot but be confcious of every motion that arifes in the whole material world, which he thus effentially pervades, and of every thought that is ftirring in the intellectual world, to every part of which he is thus intimately united. Several moralifts have confidered the creation as the Temple of God, which he has built with his own hands, and which is filled with his presence. Others have confidered infinite fpace as the receptacle, or rather the habitation of the Almighty: but the nobleft and most exalted way of confidering this infinite fpace is that of Sir Ifaac Newton, who calls it the Senforium of the God-head. Brutes and men have their Senforiola, or little Senforiums, by which they apprehend the presence and perceive the actions of a few objects, that lie contiguous to them. Their knowledge and obfervation tura within a very narrow circle. But as God Almighty cannot but perceive and know every thing in which he refides, infinite space gives room for infinite knowledge, and is, as it were, an organ to omnifcience.
Were the foul feparate from the body, and with one glance of thought should start beyond the bounds of the creation, fhould it for millions of years continue its progrefs through infinite space with the fame activity, it would fill find itself within the embrace of its Creator, and encompaffed round with the immenfity of the God-head. Whilft we are in the body he is not lefs prefent with us, be'caufe he is concealed from us. "O that I knew "where I might find him!" fays Job. "Be"hold I go forward, but he is not there; and "backward, but I cannot perceive him on the " left hand, where he does work, but I cannot "behold him he hideth himfelf on the right
hand that I cannot fee him." In fhort, reafon as well as revelation affures' us, that he cannot be abfent from us, notwithstanding he is undif covered by us.
In this confideration of God Almighty's omniprefence and omnifcience, every uncomfortable thought vanishes. He cannot but regard every thing that has being, especially fuch of his creatures who fear they are not regarded by him. He is privy to all their thoughts, and to that anxiety of heart in particular, which is apt to trouble them on this occafion: for, as it is impoffible he fhould overlook any of his creatures, fo we may be confident that he regards, with an eye of mercy, those who endeavour to recommend themfelves to his notice, and in an unfeigned humility of heart think themfelves unworthy that he should be mindful of them,
MONDAY, JULY 12.
Militia fpecies amor eft.—Ov. Ars Am. 1. 2. v. 233. Love is a kind of warfare.
S my correfpondents begin to grow pretty numerous, I think myself obliged to take fome notice of them, and fhail therefore make this paper a mifcellany of letters. I have, fince my re-affuming the office of Spectator, received abundance of epiftles from gentlemen of the blade, who, I find, have been so used to action that they know not how to lie ftill. They feem generally to be of opinion, that the fair at home ought to reward them for their fervices abroad, and that, until the caufe of their country calls them again into the field, they have a fort of right to quarter themfelves upon the ladies. In order to favour their approaches, I am defired by fome to enlarge upon the accomplishments of their profeffion, and by others to give them my advice in the carrying on their attacks. But let us hear what the gentlemen fay for themselves.
• Mr. Spectator,
HOUGH it may look fomewhat perverfe amidst the arts of peace, to talk too much of war, it is but gratitude to pay the last office to its manes, fince even peace itself is, in fome measure, obliged to it for its being.
You have, in your former papers, always recommended the accomplished to the favour of the fair; and, I hope, you will allow me to reprefent fome part of a military life not altogether unneceffary to the forming a gentleC man. I need not tell you, that in France, whose fashions we have been formerly fo fond • of, almost every one derives his pretences to merit from the fword; and that a man has fcarce the face to make his court to a lady, without fome credentials from the fervice to recommend him. As the profeffion is very ancient, we have reafon to think fome of the greatest men among the old Romans derived many of their virtues from it, the commanders being frequently in other refpects fome of the most 'fhining characters of the age..
The army not only gives a man opportunities of exercising thofe two great virtues patience and courage, but often produces them in minds where they had fcarce any footing before. I muft add, that it is one of the beft fchools in the world to receive a general notion of mankind in, and a certain freedom of behaviour, which is not fo eafily acquired in any other place. At the fame time I must own, that fome- military airs are pretty extraordinary, and that a man who goes into the army a coxcomb will come out of it a fort of public nuifance: but a man of fenfe, or one who before had not been fufficiently ufed to a mixed converíation, generally takes the true turn. The court has in all ages been allowed to be the ftandard of goodbreeding; and I believe there is not a jufter obfervation in Monfieur Rochefaucault, than that "a man who has been bred up wholly to
bufinefs, can never get the air of a courtier at "court, but will immediately catch it in the "camp." The reafon of this moft certainly is,
that the very effence of good-breeding and politenefs confifts in feveral niceties, which are fo minute that they efcape his obfervation, and he
falls fhort of the original he would copy after; but when he fees the fame things charged and 'aggravated to a fault, he no fooner endeavours to come up to the pattern which is fet before him, thap, though he ftops fomewhat fhort of that, he naturally refts where in reality he ought. I was, two or three days ago, mightily pleafed with the obfervation of an humorous gentleman upon one of his friends, who was in other refpects every way an accomplished perfon, that he wanted nothing but a dash of the coxcomb in him;" by which he undertood a little of that alertnefs and unconcern in the common actions of life, which is ufually fo vifible among gentlemen of the army, and which a campaign or two would infallibly have given
You will eafily guefs, Sir, by this my panegyric upon a military education, that I am myfelf a foldier, and indeed I am fo. I remember, within three years after I had been in the army, I was ordered into the country a recruiting. I had very particular fuccefs in this part of the fervice, and was over and above affured, at my going away, that I might have taken a young lady, who was the moft confiderable fortune in the country, along with me. I preferred the purfuit of fame at that time to all other confiderations, and though I was not abfolutely bent on a wooden leg, refolved at leaft to get a fcar or two for the good of Europe. I have at prefent as much as I defire of this fort of honour, and if you could recommend me effectually, fhould be well enough contented to pats the remainder of my days in the arms of fome dear kind creature, and upon a pretty eftate in the country. This, as I take it, would be following the example of Lucius Cincinnatus, the old Roman dictator, who at the end of the war left the camp to follow the plough. I am, Sir, With all imaginable refpect,
Your most obedient,
AM an half-pay officer, and am at prefent a is a rich widow in the neighbourhood, who has made fools of all the fox-hunters within fifty miles of her. She declares the intends to marry, but, has not yet been afked by the man fhe could like, She ufually admits her humble admirers to an audience or two; but, after she has once given them I am affured denial, will never fee them more. by a female relation, that I fhall have fair play at her; but as my whole fuccefs depends on my first approaches, I defire your advice, whether I had beft ftorm, or proceed by way of fap. • I am, Sir,
• Yours, &c.
• Will Warley.
P. S. I had forgot to tell you, that I have already carried one of her outworks, that is, fecured her maid.'
• Mr. Spectator,
HAVE affifted in feveral fieges in the LowCountries, and being ftill willing to employ my talents as a foldier and engineer, lay down this morning at feven o'clock before the door of an obftinate female, who had for fome time refufed me admittance. I made a lodgment in 2 R 2