indifferent things, and a merit to actions the moft infignificant. When we look round the world, and obferve the many misunderstandings which are created by the malice and infinuation of the meaneft fervants between people thus related, how neceffary will it appear that it were inculcated that men would be upon their guard to fupport a conftancy of affection, and that grounded upon the principles of reafon, not the impulfes of inftir &?

It is from the common prejudices which men receive from their parents, that hatreds are kept alive from one generation to another; and when men act by instinct, hatreds will defcend when good offices are forgotten. For the degeneracy of human life is fuch, that our anger is more easily transferred to our children than our love. Love always gives fomething to the object it delights in, and anger fpoils the perfon against whom it is moved of fomething laudable in him from this degeneracy therefore, and * a fort of felf-love, we are more prone to 'take up the ill-will of our parents, than to follow them in their friendships.


One would think there should need no more to make men keep up this fort of relation with the utmost fanctity, than to examine their own hearts. If every father remembered his own thoughts and inclinations when he was a fon, and every fon remembered what he expected from his father, when he himself was in a ftate of dependence, this one reflexion would pre⚫ ferve men from being diffolute or rigid in thefe feveral capacities. The power and fubjection between them, when broken, make them more • emphatically tyrants and rebels against each other, with greater cruelty of heart, than the difruption of ftates and empires can poffibly produce. I fhall end this application to you with two letters which paffed between a mother and fon very lately, and are as follows:



Dear Frank,


[F the pleafures, which I have the grief to hear you pursue in town, do not take up all your time, do not deny your mother fo much of it, as to read feriously this letter. You faid before Mr. Letacre, that an old woman might live very well in the country upon half my jointure, and that your father was a fond fool to give me a rent charge of eight hundred a year to the prejudice of his fon. What Letacre faid to you upon that occafion, you ought to have borne with more decency, as he was your father's well-beloved fervant, than to have called him a country-put. In the first place, Frank, I must tell you, I will have my rent duly paid, for I will make up to your fifters for the partiality I was guilty of, in making your father do fo much as he has done for you. I may, it seems, live upon half my jointure! I lived upon much ¿ lefs, Frank, when I carried you from place to place in these arms, and could neither eat, drefs, or mind any thing for feeding and tending you a weakly child, and hedding tears when the convulfions you were then troubled with returned upon you. By my care you out-grew them, to throw away the vigour of your youth in the arms of harlots, and deny your mother what is not your's to detain. Both your fifters are crying to fee the paffion which I smother; but if you pleafe to go on thus like a gentleman of the town, and forget all regarde to yourself


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and family, I shall immediately enter upon your eftate for the arrears due to me, and without one. tear more condemn you for forgetting the fondnefs of your mother, as much as you have the example of your father. O Frank, do I live to omit writing myself,

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Your affectionate mother, • A. T.?


Your most dutiful fon,

F. T.

I will bring down new heads for my fifters. Pray let all be forgotten,' T

No 264. WEDNESDAY, JAN. 2.

Secretum iter fallentis femita vita..
Hor. Ep. 18. lib. 1. ver. 103.
-Clofe retirement, and a life by stealth.

I an affectation

love the pleafure of folitude, among those who cannot poflibly be fuppofed qualified for paffing life in that manner. This people have taken up from reading the many agreeable things which have been writ on that fubject, for which we are beholden to excellent perfons who delighted in being retired and abftracted from the pleasures that inchant the generality of the world. This way of life is recommended indeed with great beauty, and in fuch a manner as difpofes the reader for the time to a pleafing forgetfulness, or negligence of the particular hurry of life in which he is engaged, together with a longing for that ftate which he is charmed with in defcription. But when we confider the world itfelf, and how few there are capable of a religious, learned, or philofophical folitude, we thall be apt to change


regard to that fort of folitude, for being a little fingular in enjoying time after the way a man himself likes beft in the world, without going fo far as wholly to withdraw from it. I have often obferved, there is not a man breathing who does not differ from all other men, as much in the fentiments of his mind, as the features of his face. The felicity is, when any one is fo happy as to find out and follow what is the proper bent of his genius, and turn all his endeavours to exert himfelf according as that prompts him. Instead of this, which is an innocent method of enjoying a man's felf, and turning out of the general tracks wherein you have crouds of rivals, there are thofe who purfue their own way out of a fourness and fpirit of contradiction: thefe men do every thing which they are able to support, as if guilt and impunity could not go together. They choose a thing only because another diflikes it; and affect forfooth an inviolable conftancy in matters of no manner of moment. Thus fometimes an old fellow fhall wear this or that fort of cut in his clothes with great integrity, while allthe rest of the world are degenerated into button, pockets, and loops unknown to their ancestors. As infignificant as even this is, if it were fearded to the bottom, you perhaps would find it mt fincere, but that he is in the fashion in his heart and holds out from mere obftinacy. But I an running from


equiped from head to foot, with a little oaken
cane in the form of a fubftantial man that did
not mind his drefs, turned of fifty. He had at
this time fifty pounds of ready money; and in
this habit, with this fortune, he took his prefent
lodging in St. John's-ftrcet, at the manfion-house
of a taylor's widow, who washes and can clear-
ftarch his bands. From that time to this he has
kept the main stock, without alteration under or
over, to the value of five pounds. He left off all
his old acquaintance to a man, and all his arts of
life, except the play of back-gammon, upon
which he has more than bore his charges. Irus
has, ever fince he came into this neighbourhood,
given all the intimation he fkilfully cou d of be-
ing a clofe hunks worth money: no body comes
to vifit him, he receives no letters, and tells his
money morning and evening. He has, from the
public papers, a knowledge of what generally
paffes, thuns all difcourfes of money, but shrugs
his fhoulders when you talk of fecurities; he de-
nies his being rich with the air, which all do who
are vain of being fo: he is the oracle of a neighbour-
ing juftice of peace, who meets him at the coffee-
houfe; the hopes that what he has muft come to
fomebody, and that he has no heirs, have that ef-
feet wherever he is known, that he every day has
three or four invitations to dine at different pla-
ces, which he generally takes care to choose in
fuch a manner, as not to feem inclined to the
richer man. All the young men refpect him, and
fay he is just the fame man he was when they
were boys. He ufes no artifice in the world, but
makes ufe of men's defigns upon him to get a
maintenance out of them. This he carries on
by a certain peevishness, (which he acts very well)
that no one would believe could poffibly enter
into the head of a poor fellow. His mien, his
drefs, his carriage, and his language are fuch, that
you would be at a lofs to guess whether in the ac-
part of his life he had been a fenfible citizen,
or fcholar that knew the world. These are the
great circumftances in the life of Iras, and thus
does he pass away his days a ftranger to mankind;
and at his death, the worst that will be faid
of him will be, that he got by every man whọ
had expectations from him, more than he had to
leave him.

I have an inclination to print the following letters; for that I have heard the author of them has fomewhere or other feen me, and by an excellent faculty in mimicry my correfpondents tell me he can affume my air, and give my taciturnity a flynefs which diverts more than "any thing I could fay if I were prefent. Thus I am glad my filence is atoned for to the good company in town. He has carried his skill in imitation fo far, as to have forged a letter from my friend Sir Roger in fuch a manner, that any one but I, who am thoroughly acquainted with him, would have taken it for genuine,

from my intended purpofe, which was to cele-
brate a certain particular manner of paffing away
life, and is a contradiction to no man, but a re-
folution to contract none of the exorbitant de-
fres by which others are enslaved. The best way
of feparating a man's felf from the world, is to
give up the defire of being known to it. After
a man has preferved his innocence, and performed
all duties incumbent upon him, his time fpent
his own way is what makes his life differ from
that of a flave. If they who affect show and
pomp knew how many of their spectators derided
their trivial tafte, they would be very much lefs
elated, and have an inclination to examine the
merit of all they have to do with: they would
foon find out that there are many who make a
figure below what their fortune or merit intitles
them to, out of mere choice, and an elegant de-
fire of eafe and difincumbrance. It would look
like a romance to tell you in this age of an old
man who is contented to pafs for an humourift,
and one who does not understand the figure he
ought to make in the world, while he lives in a
lodging of ten fhillings a week with only one fer-
vant while he dreffes himfelf according to the
feafon in cloth or in ftuff, and has no one necef-
fary attention to any thing but the bell which
calls to prayers twice a day. I fay it would look
like a fable to report that this gentleman gives
away all which is the overplus of a great fortune,
by fecred methods, to other men. If he has not
the pomp of a numerous train, and of profeffors
of fervice to him, he has every day he lives the
confcience that the widow, the fatherlefs, the
mourner, and the ftranger blefs his unfeen hand
in their prayers.
This humourift gives up all
the compliments which people of his own condi-
tion could make him, for the pleafures of helping
the afflicted, fupplying the needy, and befriending
the neglected. This humourift keeps to himself
much more than he wants, and gives a vaft re-
fufe of his fuperfluities to purchase heaven, and
by freeing others from the temptations of worldly
want, to carry a retinue with him thither.


Of all men who affect living in a particular way, next to this admirable character, I am the moit enamoured of Irus, whofe condition will not admit of fuch large fes, and who perhaps would not be capable of making them, if it were. Irus, though he is now turned of fifty, has not appeared in the world, in his real character, fince five and twenty, at which age he ran out a small patrimony, and spent fome time after with rakes who had lived upon him a course of ten years time, paffed in all the little alleys, by-paths, and fometimes open taverns and ftreets of this town, gave Irus a perfect skill in juaging of the inclinations of mankind, and acting accordingly. He feriously confidered he was poor, and the general horror which moft men have of all who are in that condition. Irus judged very rightly, that while he could keep his poverty a fecret, he fhould not feel the weight of it; he improved this thought into an affectation of clofenefs and covetoufnefs. Upon this one principle he refolved to govern his future life; and in the thirty-fixth year of his age he repaired to Long-lane, and looked upon feveral dreffes which hung there deferted by their first mafters, and expofed to the purchase of the best bidder. At this place he exchanged his gay fhabbinefs of clothes fit for a much younger man, to warm ones that would be decent for a much older one, Irus came out thoroughly


Mr, Spectator,

how fweetly Bacchus and Apollo run in a verie: I have to preferve the amity between them, called i Bacchus to the aid of my profeffion of the Theatre. So that while fome peo ple of quality are befpeaking plays of me to be acted upon fuch a day, and others, hogfheads for their houfes against fuch a time; I am wholly employed in the agreeable fervice of wit and wine; Sir, I have fent you Sir Roger de Coverley's

Coverley's letter to me, which pray comply with in favour of the Bumper Tavern. Be • kind, for you know a player's utmost pride is the approbation of the Spectator. I am your admirer, though unknown, Richard Eftcourt To Mr. Eftcourt, at his houfe in Covent-Gar


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'Coverley, December the 18th, 1711. Old comical One,


HE hogfheads of neat port came fafe, and have gotten thee good reputation in thefe < parts; and I am glad to hear, that a fellow who has been laying out his money ever fince he was born, for the mere pleasure of wine, has be⚫ thought himself of joining profit and pleasure to gether. Our fexton, (poor man) having received ⚫ strength from thy wine fince his fit of the gout, is hugely taken with it: he fays it is given by nature for the use of families, that no fteward's ⚫ table can be without it, that it strengthens digeftion, excludes furfeits, fevers and phyfic; which green wines of any kind cannot do. Pray get a pure fnug room, and I hope next term to help fill your Bumper with our people of the club; but you must have no bells stirring when the Spectator comes; I forbore ringing to dinner while he was down with me in the country. Thank you for the little hams and Portugal onions; pray keep fome always by you. You know my supper is only good Chefhire cheese, best mustard, a golden pippin, attended with a pipe of John Sly's beft. Sir Harry has ftolen all your fongs, and tells the story of the 5th of November to perfection.

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Your's, to ferve you, Roger de Coverley. < We have loft old John fince you were here.'


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Inftruct a snake to bite, or wolf to prey.

whether it be a creft, a comb, a tuft of feathers or a natural little plume, erected like a kind of pinnacle on the very top of the head. As nature on the contrary has poured out her charms in the greatest abundance upon the female part of our fpecies, fo they are very affiduous in beftowing upon themselves the finest garnitures of art. The peacock, in all his pride, does not difplay half the colours that appear in the garments of a British lady, when she is dreffed either for a ball or a birth-day.

But to return to our female heads. The ladies have been for fome time in a kind of moulting feafon, with regard to that part of their drefs, having caft great quantities of ribbon, lace, and cambric, and in fome measure reduced that part of the human figure to the beautiful globular form, which is natural to it. We have for a great while expected what kind of ornament would be substituted in the place of those antiquated commodes. But our female projectors were all the last summer so taken up with the improvement of their petticoats, that they had not time to attend to any thing elfe; but having as length fufficiently adorned their lower parts, they now begin to turn their thoughts upon the other extremity, as well remembering the old kitchen proverb, "that if you light your fire at both "ends, the middle will shift for itself."



NE of the fathers, if I am rightly informed, has defined a woman to "an animal that delights in finery." I have already treated of the, fex in two or three papers, conformably to this definition, and have in particular obferved, that in all ages they have been more careful than the men to adorn that part of the head, which we generally call the outfide.

This obfervation is fo very notorious, that when in ordinary difcourfe we fay a man has a fine head, a long head, or a good head, we exprefs ourselves metaphorically, and fpeak in relation to his understanding; whereas when we fay of a woman, fhe has a fine, a long, or a good head, we speak only in relation to her commode.

It is obferved among birds, that nature has lavished all her ornaments upon the male, who very often appears in a most beautiful head-drefs:


I am engaged in this fpeculation by a fight which I lately met with at the opera. As I was ftanding in the hinder part of the box, I took no tice of a little cluster of women fitting together in the prettieft coloured hoods that I ever faw. One of them was blue, another yellow, and another philemot; the fourth was of a pink colour, and the fifth of a pale green. I looked with as much pleasure upon this little party-coloured affembly, as upon a bed of tulips, and did not know at first whether it might not be an embassy of Indian queens; but upon my going about into the pit, and taking them in front, I was immediately undeceived, and faw fo much beauty in every face, that I found them all to be English. Such eyes and lips, cheeks and foreheads, could be the growth of no other country. The complexion of their faces hindered me from obferving any fareafily perceive by that unspeakable fatisfaction ther the colour of their hoods, though I could which appeared in their looks, that their own thoughts were wholly taken up on thofe pretty ornaments they wore upon their heads.

I am informed that this fafhion fpreads daily, infomuch that the whig and tory ladies begin already to hang out different colours, and to fhew their principles in their head drefs. Nay, if I may believe my friend Will Honeycomb, there is a certain old coquette of his acquaintance who intends to apear in a rainbow hood, like the Iris in Dryden's Virgil, not queftioning but that among fuch variety of colours the fhall have a charm for every heart.

My friend Will, who very much values himself upon his great infight into gallantry, tells me, that he can already guefs at the humour a lady is in by her hood, as the courtiers of Morocco know the difpofition of their prefent emperor by the colour of the drefs which he puts on. When Melefinda wraps her head in flame colour, her heart is fet upon execution. When the covers it with purple, I would not, fays he, advife her lever to approach her; but if the appears in white,


it is peace, and he may hand her out of the box with fafety.

Will informs me likewife, that these hoods may be ufed as fignals, Why elfe, fays he, does Cor, melia always put on a black hood when her hulband is gone into the country?

Such are my friend Honeycomb's dreams of galJantry. For my own part, I impute this diverfity of colours in the hoods to the diverfity of complexion in the faces of my pretty countrywomen. Orid in his Art of Love has given fome precepts as to this particular, though I find they are different from thofe which prevail among the moderns. He recommends a red ftriped filk to the pale com plexion; white to the brown, and dark to the fair. On the contrary, my friend Will, who pretends to be a greater matter in this art than Ovid, tells me, that the paleft features look the most agreeable in white farfanet; that a face which is overflushed appears to advantage in the deepest fcarlet, and that the darkest complexion is not a little alleviated by a black hood. In short, he is for lofing the colour of the face in that of the hood, as a fire Burns dimly, and a candle goes half out, in the light of the fun. This, fays he, your Ovid himfelf has hinted, where he treats of these matters, when he tells us that the blue water nymphs are dreffed in fky-coloured garments; and that Aurora, who always appears in the light of the rifing fun, is robed in fatron.

hor the breach of chastity too much; but pray let her hate it for herself, and only pity it in others. Will Honeycomb calls these over-offended ladies, the outrageously virtuous.

I do not defign to fall upon failures in general, with relation to the gift of chastity, but at prefent only enter upon that large field, and begin with the confideration of poor and public whores. The other evening paffing along near Covent Garden, I was jogged on the elbow as I turned into the piazza, on the right hand coming out of James-Street, by a young flim girl of about feventeen, who with a pert air afked me if I was for a pint of wine. I do not know but I fhould have indulged my curiofity in having fome chat with her, but that I am informed the man of the Bumper knows me; and it would have made a ftory for him not very agreeable to fome part of my writings, though I have in others fo frequently faid that I am wholly unconcerned in any scene I am in, but merely as a spectator. This impediment being in my way, we food under one of the arches by twilight; and there I could obferve as exact features as I had ever feen, the most agreeable fhape, the fineft neck and bofom, in a word, the whole perfon of a woman exquifitely beautiful. She affected to allure me with a forced wantonnefs in her look and air; but I faw it checked with hunger and cold: her eyes. were wan and eager, her drefs thin and tawdry, her mien genteel and childish. This ftrange figure gave me much anguish of heart, and to avoid being feen with her I went away, but could not forbear giving her a crown. The poor thing fighed, curtfled, and with a bleffing expreffed with the utmost This creature is vehemence, turned from me. what they call "newly come upon the town," but who, I fuppofe, falling into cruel hands, was left in the first month from her difhonour, and exposed to pafs through the hands and difcipline of one of thofe hags of hell whom we call bawds. But left L thould grow too fuddenly grave on this fubject, and be myfelf outrageously good, I fhall turn to a scene in one of Fletcher's plays, where this character is drawn, and the economy of whoredom most admirably defcribed. The paffage I would point to is in the third fcene of the fecond Act of the Humorous Lieutenant. Leucipre, who is agent for the king's luft, and bawds at the fame time for the whole court, is very pleasantly introduced, reading her minutes as a perfon of bufinefs, with two maids her under-fecretaries, taking inftructions at a table before her. Her women, both thofe under her prefent tutelage, and thofe which the is laying wait for, are alphabetically fet down in her book; and fhe is looking over the letter C, in a muttering voice, as if between foliloquy and fpeaking out, The fays,

Whether thefe his obfervations are juftly grounded I cannot tell: but I have often known him, as we have flood together behind the ladies, praife or difpraife the complexion of a face which he never faw, fron obferving the colour of her hood, and has been very feldom out in thefe his gueffes.

As I have nothing more at heart than the honour and improvement of the fair fex, I cannot conclude this paper without an exhortation to the British ladies, that they would excel the women of all other nations as much in virtue and good fenfe, as they do in beauty; which they may certainly do, if they will be as induftrious to cultivate their minds, as they are to adorn their bodies: in the mean while fhall recommend to their most ferious confideration the faying of an old Greek poet,

Γυναικὶ κόσμος ὁ τρόπος κ ̓ ἐ χρυσία.


N° 266. FRIDAY, JANUARY 4. Id verò eft, quod ego mihi puto palmarium, Me reperiffe, quomodo adolefcentulus Meretricium ingenia & mores poffit nofcere:"} Mature ut cum cognovit perpetuò oderit. Ter. Eun. A&t. I look upon it as my mafter-piece, that I have found out how a young fellow may know the difpofition and behaviour of harlots, and by early knowing come to deteft them.

Se. 4. 5.

"Her maidenhead will yield me; let me fee now; "She is not fifteen they fay; for her complex❝ion

"Cloe, Cloe, Cloe, here I have her,

O vice or wickednefs which people fall into

Cloe, the daughter of a country gentleman;

from indulgence to defires which are naturalHer age upon fifteen. Now her complexion. to all, ought to place them below the compaffion of A lovely brown; here 'tis ; eyes black and rollthe virtuous part of the world; which indeed often ing, makes me a little apt to fufpect the fincerity of their virtue, who are too warmly provoked at other people's perfonal fins. The unlawful commerce of "Sings moft enticingly: these helps confider'd, the fexes is of all other the hardest to avoid; and "Her maidenhead will amount to fome three hunyet there is no one which you fhall hear the rigider dred, part of womankind speak of with fo little mercy. Or three hundred and fifty crowns: 'twill bear it It is very certain that a modeft woman cannot abhandfomely,

"The body neatly built; fhe ftrikes a lute well,

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Her father's poor, fome little hare deducted,
To buy him a hunting nag"

These creatures are very well inftructed in the circumstances and manners of all who are any way related to the fair one whom they have a defign upon. As Cloe is to be purchafed with 350 crowns, the father taken off with pad; merchant's wife next to her, who abounds in the ty, is not to have downright money, but the mercenary part of her mind is engaged with a prefent of plate and a little ambition. She is made to underftand that it is a man of quality who dies for her. The examination of a young girl for bufinefs, and the crying down her value for being a flight thing, together with every other circumftance in the fcene, are inimitably excellent, and have the true fpirit of comedy; though it were to be wished the author had added a circumftance which thould make Leucippe's bafenefs more odious.

Cedite Romani fcriptares, cedite Graii.
Propert. El. 34. lib. 2. ver. 65
Give place, ye Roman, and ye Grecian wits.

It must not be thought a digreffion from my in-
tended speculation, to talk of bawds in a difcourfe
upon wenches; for a woman of the town is not
thoroughly and properly fuch, without having gone
through the education of one of these houfes. But
the compaffionate cafe of very many is, that they
are taken into fuch hands without any the leaft
'fufpicion, previous temptation, or admonition to
what place they are going. The last week I went
to an inn in the city to inquire for fome provifions
which were fent by a waggon out of the country;
and as I waited in one of the boxes till the cham-
berlain had looked over his parcel, I heard an old
and a young voice repeating the questions and re-
fponfes of the church-catechifm. I thought it no
breach of good-manners to peep at a crevice, and
look in at people fo well employed; but who
fhould I fee there but the most artful procurefs in
the town, examining a moft beautiful country-girl,
who had come up in the fame waggon with my
things, "Whether fhe was well educated, could
"forbear playing the wanton with fervants and
❝idle fellows, of which this town," fays the, "is
too full:" at the fame time, "whether the
"knew enough of breeding, as that if a 'fquire or
gentleman, or one that was her betters, fhould
"give her a civil falute, the thould curtefy and be
humble neverthelefs." Her innocent forfooth's,
yes's, and't please you's, and the would do her en-
deavour, moved the good old lady to take her out
of the hands of a country bumkin her brother, and
hire her for her own maid. I ftaid till I faw them
all marched out to take coach; the brother loaded
with a great cheese, he prevailed upon her to take
for her civilities to his fifter. This poor creature's
fate is not far off that of her's whom I fpoke of
above, and it is not to be doubted, but after he has
been long enough a prey to luft, fhe will be deli-
vered over to famine. The ironical commendation
of the industry and charity of these antiquated la-
dies, thefe directors of fin, after they can no longer
commit it, makes up the beauty of the inimitable
dedication to the Plain-Dealer, and is a mafter-
piece of raillery on this vice. But to understand
all the purlieus of this game the better, and to il-
luftrate this fubject in future difcourfes, I must ven-
ture myfelf, with my friend Will, into the haunts
of beauty and gallantry; from pampered vice in
the habitations of the wealthy, to diftreffed in-
digent wickednefs expelled the harbours of the bro-


HERE nothing in nature fo


Theral difcourfes, efpecially when they turn chiefly upon words. For this reafon I fhall wave the difcuffion of that point which was started fome years fince, whether Milton's Paradife Loft may be called an heroic poem? Those who will not give it that title, may call it, if they please, a divine poem. It will be fufficient to its perfection, if it has in it all the beauties of the highest kind of poetry; and as for those who alledge it is not an heroic poem, they advance no more to the diminution of it, than if they should say Adam is not Æneas nor Eve Hélen.

I fhall therefore examine it by the rules of epic poetry, and fee whether it falls fhort of the Iliad or

neid, in the beauties which are effential to that kind of writing. The first thing to be confidered in an epic poem, is the fable, which is perfect or imperfect, according as the action which it relates is more or lefs fo. This action fhould have three qualifications in it. Firft, it fhould be but one action. Secondly, it fhould be an entire action; and, thirdly, it should be a great action. To confider the action of the Iliad, Eneid, and Paradife Loft, in thefe three feveral lights. Homer to preferve the unity of his action haftens into the midst of things, as Horace has obferved: had he gone up to Leda's egg, or begun much later even at the rape of Helen, or the investing of Troy, it is manifeft that the ftory of the poem would have been a series of feveral actions. He therefore opens his poem with the difcord of his princes, and artfully interweaves, in the feveral fucceeding parts of it, an account of every thing material which relates to them, and had paffed before that fatal diffention. After the fame manner Æneas makes his first appearance in the Tyrrhene feas, and within fight of Italy, becaufe the action propofed to be celebrated was that of his fettling himself in the Latium. But because it was neceffary for the reader to know what happened to him in the taking of Troy, and in the preceding parts of his voyage, Virgil makes his hero relate it by way of epifode in the fecond and third books of the Æneid. The contents of both which books come before thofe of the first book in the thread of the ftory, though for preferving of this unity of action they follow them in the difpofition of the poem. Milton, in imitation of these two great poets, opens his Paradife Loft, with an infernal council plotting the fall of man, which is the action he propofed to celebrate; and as for those great actions, which preceded in point of time, the battle of the angels, and the creation of the world, which would have intirely destroyed the unity of his principal action, had he related them in the fame order they happened, he caft them into the fifth, fixth, and seventh books, by way of epifode to this noble poem.

Ariftotle himself allows, that Homer has nothing to boaft of as to the unity of his fable, though at the fame time that great critic and philofopher endeavours to palliate this imperfection in the Greek poet by imputing it in fome meature to the very nature of an epic poem. Some have been Tof opinion, that the Æneid alfo labours in this párticular, and has episodes which may be looked upon

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