his pulse. Vagellius is careful, studious and obliging, but withal a little thick-skulled; he has not a single client, but might have had abundance of customers. The misfortune is, that parents take a liking to a particular profession, and therefore desire that their sons may be of it. Whereas, in so great an affair of life, they should consider the genius and abilities of their children more than their own inclinations.1

It is the great advantage of a trading nation, that there are very few in it so dull and heavy, who may not be placed in stations of life, which may give them an opportunity of making their fortunes. A well regulated commerce is not, like law, physic, or divinity, to be overstocked with hands; but, on the contrary, flourishes by multitudes, and gives employment to all its profes


Fleets of merchantmen are so many floating shops, that vend our wares and manufactures in all the markets of the world, and find out chapmen under both the tropics.-C.

1 This idea is carried out with much humour in the character of Will Wimble, No. 108. V. also Hon. Mr. Thomas Gules. Tatler, 256, by Steele and Addison.-G.

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in, or some such transitive verb, of which ". whom"
through which the person and the act, i. e.
cessarily connected.-H.

No. 23. TUESDAY, MARCH 27.

Sævit atrox Volscens, nec telf conspicit usquam
Auctorem, nec quo se ardens immittere possit.

VIRG. En. ix. 420.
Fierce Volscens foams with rage, and gazing round,
Descry'd not him who gave the fatal wound;

Nor knew to fix revenge


THERE is nothing that more betrays a base ungenerous spirit, than the giving of secret stabs to a man's reputation. Lampoons and satires, that are written with wit and spirit, are like poisoned

'The following endorsement at the top of this paper, No. 23, is in a set of the Spectator, in 12mo., in the edition of 1712, which contains some MS. notes by a Spanish merchant, who lived at the time of the original publication.


This was Mr. Blundel's opinion, and whether it was well-grounded, illgrounded, or ungrounded, probably he was not singular in the thought. The intimacy between Swift, Steele, and Addison was now over; and that they were about this time estranged, appears from Swift's own testimony, dated March 16, 1710-11. See Swift's Works, edit. or. 8vo., vol. xxii. p. 188. See No. 509, Blundel's MS. Note; et pussim.—C.

Neither the Spanish merchant nor Mr. Blundel did much honor to Addison's sincerity, for he was never on had terms with Swift; and tells him in a very friendly letter, written several years after this, that he has always honoured him for his good nature.—V. vol. ii. p. 543.—G.

a The giving of. This use of the participle, instead of the substantive, is agreeable to the English idiom, and has a good effect in our language, which in this, as in other instances, resembles the Greek, much more than the Latin tongue. But our polite writers, being generally more conversant in the latter of these languages, have gradually introduced the substantive, or a verb in the infinitive mood, into the place of the participle. Thus, they would say, "detraction," or "to detract from the reputation of others shews a base spirit." Yet the practice is not so far established, but that the other mode of expression may, sometimes (though more sparingly, perhaps, than heretofore), be employed. An exact writer, indeed, would not set out with a sentence in this form; but, in the body of a discourse, “currente calamo," he would not scruple to make use of it. Never to employ the participle, would be finical and affected: to employ it constantly, or frequently, would now be thought careless; but to employ it occasionally, contributes plainly to the variety, and, I think, to the grace, of a good English style.-‚

darts, which not only inflict a wound, but make it incurable. For this reason I am very much troubled when I see the talents of humour and ridicule in the possession of an ill-natured man. There cannot be a greater gratification to a barbarous and inhuman wit, than to stir up sorrow in the heart of a private person, to raise uneasiness among near relations, and to expose whole families to derision, at the same time that he remains unseen and andiscovered. If, besides the accomplishments of being witty and ill-natured, a man is vicious into the bargain, he is one of the most mischievous creatures that can enter into a civil society. His satire will then chiefly fall upon those who ought to be the most exempt from it. Virtue, merit, and every thing that is praiseworthy, will be made the subject of ridicule and buffoonery. It is impossible to enumerate the evils which arise from these arrows that fly in the dark; and I know no other excuse that is or can be made for them, than that the wounds they give are only imaginary, and produce nothing more than a secret shame or sorrow in the mind of the suffering person. It must indeed be confessed, that a lampoon or a satire do not carry in them robbery or murder; but at the same time, how many are there that would not rather lose a considerable sum of money, or even life itself, than be set up as marks of infamy and derision? And in this case a man should consider, that an injury is not to be measured by the notions of him that gives, but of him that receives it.

Those who can put the best countenance upon the outrages of this nature which are offered them, are not without their secret anguish. I have often observed a passage in Socrates's behaviour at his death, in a light wherein none of the critics have considered it. That excellent man, entertaining his friends, a little before he

• Which arise from these arrows that fly in the dark. This sentence had been more exact, and less languid, if he had said, "Innumerable evils arise from those arrows that fly in the dark. —II

drank the bowl of poison, with a discourse on the immortality of the soul, at his entering upon it says, that he does not believe any the most comic genius can censure him for talking upon such a subject at such a time. This passage, I think, evidently glances upon Aristophanes, who writ a comedy on purpose to ridicule the discourses of that divine philosopher. It has been observed by many writers that Socrates was so little moved at this piece of buffoonery, that he was several times present at its being acted upon the stage, and never expressed the least resentment of it. But with submission, I think the remark I have here made shews us that this unworthy treatment made an impression upon Lis mind, though he had been too wise to discover it.

When Julius Caesar was lampooned by Catullus, he invited him to a supper, and treated him with such a generous civility, that he made the poet his friend ever after. Cardinal Mazarine gave the same kind of treatment to the learned Quillet, who had reflected upon his eminence in a famous Latin poem. The cardinal sent for him, and, after some kind expostulations upon what he had written, assured him of his esteem, and dismissed him with a promise of the next good abbey that should fall, which he accordingly conferred upon him in a few months after. This had sc good an effect upon the author, that he dedicated the second edition of his book to the cardinal, after having expunged the passages which had given him offence.

Sextus Quintus was not of so generous and forgiving a temper. Upon his being made pope, the statue Pasquin was one night dressed in a very dirty shirt, with an excuse written under it, that he was forced to wear foul linen because his laundress was made a princess. This was a reflection upon the pope's sister, who, before the promotion of her brother, was in those mean circumstances that Pasquin represented her. As this pasquinade made a great noise in Rome the a considerable sum of money to any

offered pope

person that should discover the author of it.

The author rely

ing upon his holiness's generosity, as also on some private overtures which he had received from him, made the discovery himself; upon which the pope gave him the reward he had promised, but at the same time, to disable the satirist for the future, ordered his tongue to be cut out, and both his hands to be chopped off. Aretine is too trite an instance.1 Every one knows that all the kings of Europe were his tributaries. Nay, there is a letter of his extant, in which he makes his boasts that he had laid the Sophi of Persia under contribution.2

Though, in the various examples which I have here drawn together, these several great men behaved themselves very differently towards the wits of the age who had reproached them; they all plainly shewed that they were very sensible of their reproaches of them, and consequently that they received them as very great injuries. For my own part, I would never trust a man that I thought was capable of giving these secret wounds; and cannot but think that he would hurt the person, whose reputation he thus assaults, in his body or in his fortune, could he do it with the same security. There is indeed something very barbarous and inhuman in the ordinary scribblers of lampoons. An innocent young lady shall be exposed for an unhappy feature. A father of a family turned

1 Pietro Aretino, born at Arezzo in 1492-died 1556-poet and prose writer; vain, licentious, and mean: equally distinguished by his base adulation and bitter invective. The pensions which he received were as much the reward of his flattery, as bribes against his satire. His devotional writings look strangely by the side of his comedies and sonetti lussuriosi : yet they won him such favor at Rome, that he was not without hopes of obtaining the Cardinal's hat. It was on a medal struck by his own directions that the title, which Addison gives him, is found-Divus Petrus Aretinus, flagellum principum.-G.

2 V. Aretino's lett., L. vi. fol. 115.-C.

a Circumstances that Pasquin represented her. Carelessly and elliptically expressed, vol. iv.—H.

VOL. V.-4

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