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ever suffer his head to be broken but out of a prin
ciple of honour. This is the secret spring that
pushes them forward; and the superiority which
they gain above the undistinguished many, does
more than repair those wounds they have received
in the combat. It is Mr. Waller's opinion, that
Julius Cæsar, had he not been master of the Ro-
man empire, would in all probability have made
an excellent wrestler:

"Great Julius on the mountains bred,
A flock perhaps or herd had led;
He that the world subdu'd had been
But the best wrestler on the green.'

That he subdued the world, was owing to the acci
dents of art and knowledge; had he not met with
those advantages, the same sparks of emulation
would have kindled within him, and prompted him to
distinguish himself in some enterprise of a lower
nature. Since therefore no man's lot is so unalter
ably fixed in this life, but that a thousand acci-
dents may either forward or disappoint his advance-
ment, it is, methinks, a pleasant and inoffensive
speculation, to consider a great man as divested
of all the adventitious circumstances of fortune,
and to bring him down in one's imagination to that
low station of life, the nature of which bears some
distant resemblance to that high one he is at pre-
sent possessed of. Thus one may view him exer-
cising in miniature those talents of nature, which
being drawn out by education to their full length,
enable him for the discharge of some important
employment. On the other hand, one may raise
uneducated mèrit to such a pitch of greatness as
may seem equal to the possible extent of his im

road upon the great multitude of
endeavour to trace out the princi-
in every individual, it will, I think,
robable that ambition runs through
cies, and that every man in propor-
our of his complexion is more or less
-It is indeed no uncommon thing to
, who, by the natural bent of their
nd without the discipline of philo-
ot to the heights of power and gran-
ver set their hearts upon a numerous
ts and dependencies, nor other gay
greatness; who are contented with
, and will not molest their tranquil-proved capacity.
abundance. But it is not therefore
ed that such a man is not ambitious;
y have cut out another channel, and
m to other pursuits; the motive how-
till the same; and in these cases like-
may be equally pushed on with the


Thus nature furnishes a man with a general appetite of glory, education determines it to this or that particular object. The desire of distinction is not, I think, in any instance more observable than in the variety of outsides and new appearances, which the modish part of the world are obliged to provide, in order to make themselves remarkable; pure consciousness of worthy actions, for any thing glaring and particular, either in bem the views of popular applause, behaviour or apparel, is known to have this good efmind an ample reward, yet the de- feet, that it catches the eye, and will not suffer tion was doubtless implanted in our you to pass over the person so adorned without additional incentive to exert ourdue notice and observation. It has likewise, upon ous excellence. this account, been frequently resented as a very great slight, to leave any gentleman out of a lampoon or satire, who has as much right to be there as his neighbour, because it supposes the person not eminent enough to be taken notice of. To this passionate fondness for distinction are owing various frolicsome and irregular practices, as sallying out into nocturnal exploits, breaking of windows, singing of catches, beating the watch, getting drunk twice a day, killing a great number of horses; with many other enterprises of the like fiery nature: for certainly many a man is more rakish and extravagant than he would willingly be, were there not others to look on, and give their approbation.

, indeed, like all others, is frequently vil and ignoble purposes; so that we for many of the excellencies and folon the same innate principle, to wit, being remarkable: for this, as it has ly cultivated by education, study, and bring forth suitable effects, as it falls enuous disposition, or a corrupt mind. dingly express itself in acts of mag. Ifish cunning, as it meets with a good nderstanding. As it has been embellishing the mind, or adorning the ders the man eminently praiseworous. Ambition therefore is not to be to one passion or pursuit; for as the in constitutions otherwise different, y after different manners, so the same iple within us, sometimes breaks forth ect, sometimes upon another. we doubted, but that there is as great y in a ring of wrestlers or cudgelany other more refined competition y. No man that could avoid it, would

* See No 229.

One very common, and at the same time the most absurd ambition that ever showed itself in human nature, is that which comes upon a man with experience and old age, the season when it might be expected he should be wisest; and therefore it cannot receive any of those lessening circumstances which do, in some measure, excuse the disorderly ferments of youthful blood: I mean the passion for getting money, exclusive of the character of the provident father, the affectionate husband, or the generous friend. It may be remarked,



into the untainted youth early notices of justice and honour, that so the possible advantages of good parts may not take an evil turn, nor be perverted to base and unworthy purposes. It is the business of religion and philosophy not so much to extinguish our passions, as to regulate and direct them to valuable well-chosen objects. When these have pointed out to us which course we may law. fully steer, it is no harm to set out all our sail: if the storms and tempests of adversity should rise upon us, and not suffer us to make the haven where we would be, it will however prove no smali consolation to us in these circumstances, that we have neither mistaken our course, nor fallen into calamities of our own procuring.

for the comfort of honest poverty, that this desire reigns most in those who have but few good qualities to recommend them. This is a weed that will grow in a barren soil. Humanity, good nature, and the advantages of a liberal education, are incompatible with avarice. It is strange to see how suddenly this abject passion kills all the noble sentiments and generous ambitions that adorn human nature; it renders the man who is overrun with it a peevish and cruel master, a severe parent, an unsociable husband, a distant and mistrustful friend. But it is more to the present purpose to consider it as an absurd passion of the heart, rather than as a vicious affection of the mind. As there are frequent instances to be met with of a proud humility, so this passion, contrary to most others, affects applause, by avoiding all show and appearance; for this reason it will not sometimes endure even the common decencies of apparel. A covetous man will call himself poor, that you may sooth his vanity by contradicting him.' Love and the desire of glory, as they are the most natural, so they are capable of being refined into the most delicate and rational passions. It is true, the wise man who strikes out of the secret paths of a private life, for honour and dignity, allured by the splendour of a court, and the unfelt weight of public employment, whether he succeeds in his attempts or no, usually comes near enough to this painted greatness to discern the daubing; he is then desir- N° 225. SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 1711. ous of extricating himself out of the hurry of life, that he may pass away the remainder of his days in tranquillity and retirement.

It may be thought then but common prudence in a man not to change a better state for a worse, nor ever to quit that which he knows he shall take up again with pleasure; and yet if human life be not a little moved with the gentle gales of hopes and fears, there may be some danger of its stagnating in an unmanly indolence and security. It is a known story of Domitian, that after he had possessed himself of the Roman empire, his desires turned upon catching flies. Active and masculine spirits in the vigour of youth neither can nor ought to remain at rest. If they debar themselves from aiming at a noble object, their desires will move downwards, and they will feel themselves actuated by some low and abject passion. Thus if you cut off the top branches of a tree, and will not suffer it to grow any higher, it will not therefore cease to grow, but will quickly shoot out at the bottom. The man indeed who goes into the world only with the narrow views of self-interest, who catches at the applause of an idle multitude, as he can find no solid contentment at the end of his journey, so he deserves to meet with disappointments in his way: but he who is actuated by a noble principle; whose mind is so far enlarged as to take in the prospect of his country's good; who is enamoured with that praise which is one of the fair attendants of virtue, and values not those acclamations which are not seconded by the impartial testimony of his own mind; who repines not at the low station which Providence has at present allotted him, but yet would willingly advance himself by justifiable means to a more rising and advantageous ground; such a man is warmed with a generous emulation; it is a virtuous movement in him to wish and to endeavour that his power of doing good may be equal to his will.

The man who is fitted out by nature, and sent into the world with great abilities, is capable of doing great good or mischief in it. It ought therefore to be the care of education to infuse

Religion therefore (were we to consider it no further than as it interposes in the affairs of this life) is highly valuable, and worthy of great veneration; as it settles the various pretensions, and otherwise interfering interests of mortal men, and thereby consults the harmony and order of the great community; as it gives a man room to play his part, and exert his abilities; as it animates to actions truly laudable in themselves, in their effects beneficial to society; as it inspires ra tional ambition, correct love, and elegant desire.


Nullum numen abest si sit prudentia.

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JUV. Sat. x. ver. 365. Prudence supplies the want of every god. I HAVE often thought if the minds of men wers laid open, we should see but little difference be tween that of the wise man and that of the fool. There are infinite reveries, numberless extravagan cies, and a perpetual train of vanities which pas through both. The great difference is, that the first knows how to pick and cull his thoughts for conversation, by suppressing some, and communicating others; whereas the other lets them all indifferently fly out in words. This sort of discretion, however, has no place in private conversation between intimate friends. On such occasions the wisest men very often talk like the weakest; for indeed the talking with a friend is nothing else but thinking aloud.

Tully has therefore very justly exposed a precept delivered by some ancient writers, that a man should live with his enemy in such a manner, as might leave him room to become his friend; and with his friend in such a manner, that if he became his enemy, it should not be in his power to hurt him. The first part of this rule, which regards our behaviour towards an enemy, is indeed very reasonable, as well as very prudential; but the latter part of it, which regards our behaviour towards a friend, savours more of cunning than of discretion, and would cut a man off from the greatest pleasures of life, which are the freedoms of conversation with a bosom friend. Besides that when a friend is turned into an enemy, and as the son of Sirach calls him, a bewrayer of secrets,' the world is just enough to accuse the perfidiousness of the friend, rather than the indiscretion of the person who confided in him,

Discretion does not only show itself in words, but in all the circumstances of action, and is like

• Ecclesiasticus vi. 9 xxvii. 17.

an under-agent of Providence, to guide and direct us in the ordinary concerns of life.

There are many more shining qualities in the mind of man, but there is none so useful as discretion; it is this indeed which gives a value to all the rest, which sets them at work in their proper times and places, and turns them to the advantage of the person who is possessed of them. Without it, learning is pedantry, and wit impertinence; virtue itself looks like weakness; the best parts only qualify a man to be more sprightly in errors, and active to his own prejudice."

Nor does discretion only make a man the master of his own parts, but of other men's. The discreet man finds out the talent of those he converses with, and knows how to apply them to proper uses. Accordingly, if we look into particular communities and divisions of men, we may observe, that | it is the discreet man, not the witty, nor the learned, nor the brave, who guides the conversation, and gives measures to the society. A man with great talents, but void of discretion, is like Polyphemus in the fable, strong and blind, endued with an irresistible force, which for want of sight is of no use to him.

Though a man has all other perfections, and wants discretion, he will be of no great consequence in the world; but if he has this single talent in perfection, and but a common share of others, he may do what he pleases in his particular station of life.

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cure to himself that which is the proper happiness of his nature, and the ultimate design of his being. He carries his thoughts to the end of every action, and considers the most distant as well as the most immediate effects of it. He supersedes every little prospect of gain and advantage which offers itself here, if he does not find it consistent with his views of an hereafter. In a word, his hopes are full of immortality, his schemes are large and glorious, and his conduct suitable to one who knows his true interest, and how to pursue it by proper methods.

I have, in this essay upon discretion, considered it both as an accomplishment and as a virtue, and have therefore described it in its full extent; not only as it is conversant about worldly affairs, but as it regards our whole existence; not only as it is the guide of a mortal creature, but as it is in general the director of a reasonable being. It is in this light that discretion is represented by the wise man, who sometimes mentions it under the name of discretion, and sometimes under that of wisdom. It is indeed (as described in the latter part of this paper) the greatest wisdom, but at the same time in the power of every one to attain. Its advantages are infinite, but its acquisition easy; or to speak of her in the words of the apocryphal writer whom I quoted in my last Saturday's paper *, Wisdom is glorious, and never fadeth away, yet she is easily seen of them that love her, and found of such as seek her. She preventeth them that desire her, in making herself first known unto them. At the same time that I think discretion the He that seeketh her early, shall have no great tramost useful talent a man can be master of, I look vel: for he shall find her sitting at his doors. To upon cunning to be the accomplishment of little, think therefore upon her is the perfection of wismean, ungenerous minds. Discretion points outdom, and whoso watcheth for her shall quickly be the noblest ends to us, and pursues the most proper without care. For she goeth about seeking such and laudable methods of attaining them. Cunning as are worthy of her, showeth herself favourably has only private selfish aims, and sticks at nothing unto them in the ways, and meeteth them in every which may make them succeed. Discretion has thought.' large and extended views, and, like a well-formed eye, commands a whole horizon. Cunning is a kind of short-sightedness, that discovers the minutest objects which are near at hand, but is not able to discern things at a distance. Discretion, the more it is discovered, gives a greater authority to the person who possesses it. Cunning, when it is once detected, loses its force, and makes a man incapable of bringing about even those events which he might have done, had he passed only for a plain man. Discretion is the perfection of reason, and a guide to us in all the duties of life: cunning is a kind of instinct, that only looks out after our immediate interest and welfare. Discretion is only found in men of strong sense and good under-able aspect imaginable, that it does not only exstandings: cunning is often to be met with in brutes themselves, and in persons who are but the fewest removes from them. In short, cunning is only the mimic of discretion, and may pass upon weak men, in the same manner as vivacity is often mistaken for wit, and gravity for wisdom.

The cast of mind which is natural to a discreet man, makes him look forward into futurity, and consider what will be his condition millions of ages hence, as well as what it is at present. He knows that the misery or happiness which are reserved for him in another world, lose nothing of their reality by being placed at so great a distance from him. The objects do not appear little to him because they are remote. He considers that those pleasures and pains which lie hid in eternity, approach nearer to him every moment, and will be present with him in their full weight and measure, as much as those pains and pleasures which he feels at this very instant. For this reason he is careful to se



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N° 226. MONDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 171 1.

Mutum est pictura poema.

A picture is a poem without words.

I HAVE very often lamented and hinted my sorrow in several speculations, that the art of painting is made so little use of to the improvement of our manners. When we consider that it places the action of the person represented in the most agree

press the passion or concern as it sits upon him who is drawn, but has under those features the height of the painter's imagination, what strong images of virtue and humanity might we not expect would be instilled into the mind from the labours of the pencil? There is a poetry which would be understood with much less capacity, and less expense of time, than what is taught by writings; but the use of it is generally perverted, and that admirable skill prostituted to the basest and most unworthy ends. Who is the better man for beholding the most beautiful Venus, the best wrought Bacchanal, the images of sleeping Cupids, languishing nymphs, or any of the representations of gods, goddesses, demi-gods, satyrs, Polyphemes, sphynxes, or fawns? But if the virtues and vices, which are sometimes pretended to be represented under such draughts, were given us by the painter in the cha

* Wisdom of Solomon, th. vi, 12–16.

phael. We have of this gentleman a piece of transfiguration, which I think is held a work second to none in the world.

It is certainly the greatest honour we can do our country, to distinguish strangers of merit who apply to us with modesty and diffidence, which generally accompanies merit. No opportunity of this kind ought to be neglected; and a modest behaviour should alarm us to examine whether we do not lose something excellent under that disadvantage in the possessor of that quality. My skill in paintings, where one is not directed by the passion of the pictures, is so inconsiderable, that I am in very great perplexity when I offer to speak of any performances of painters of landscapes, buildings, or single figures. This makes me at a loss how to mention the pieces which Mr. Boul exposes to sale by auction on Wednesday next in Chandois-street: but having heard him commended by those who have bought of him heretofore for great integrity in his dealing, and overheard him himself (though a laudable painter) say, nothing of his own was fit to come into the room with those he had to sell, I feared I should lose an occasion of serving a man of worth, in omitting to speak of his auction.

racters of real life, and the persons of men and women, whose actions have rendered them laudable or infamous; we should not see a good history-piece without receiving an instructive lecture. There Methinks it would be ridiculous in our people of needs no other proof of this truth, than the testi- condition, after their large bounties to foreigners mony of every reasonable creature who has seen of no name or merit, should they overlook this the cartoons in her majesty's gallery at Hampton-occasion of having, for a trifling subscription, a court. These are representations of no less actions work which it is impossible for a man of sense to than those of our blessed Saviour and his apostles. behold, without being warmed with the noblest As I now sit and recollect the warm images which the sentiments that can be inspired by love, admiraadmirable Raphael has raised, it is impossible even | tion, compassion, contempt of this world, and exfrom the faint traces in one's memory of what one pectation of a better. has not seen these two years, to be unmoved at the horror and reverence which appear in the whole assembly when the mercenary man fell down dead; at the amazement of the man born blind, when he first receives sight; or at the graceless indignation of the sorcerer when he is struck blind. The lame when they first find strength in their feet, stand doubtful of their new vigour. The heavenly apostles appear acting these great things, with a deep sense of the infirmities which they relieve, but no value of themselves who administer to their weakness. They know themselves to be but instruments; and the generous distress they are painted in when divine honours are offered to them, is a representation in the most exquisite degree of the beauty of holiness. When St. Paul is preaching to the Athenians, with what wonderful art are almost all the different tempers of mankind represented in that elegant audience? You see one credulous of all that is said; another wrapt up in deep suspense; another saying, there is some reason in what he says; another angry that the apostle destroys a favourite opinion which he is unwilling to give up; another wholly convinced, and holding out his hands in rapture; while the generality attend, and wait for the opinion of those who are of leading characters in the assembly, I will not pretend so much as to mention that chart on which is drawn the appearance of our blessed Lord after his resurrection. Present authority, late sufferings, humility and majesty, despotic command, and divine Jove, are at once seated in his celestial aspect. The figures of the eleven apostles are all in the same passion of admiration, but discover it differently according to their characters. Peter receives his Master's orders on his knees with an admiration mixed with a more particular attention: the two next with a more open ecstasy, though still constrained by the awe of the divine presence. The beloved disciple, whom I take to be the right of In my last Thursday's paper*, I made mention of the two first figures, has in his countenance wonder drowned in love; and the last personage, whose a place called The Lover's Leap, which I find has back is towards the spectators, and his side towards raised a great curiosity among several of my corthe presence, one would fancy to be St. Thomas, respondents. I there told them, that this leap was as abashed by the conscience of his former dith-This Leucas was formerly a part of Acarnania, beused to be taken from a promontory of Leucas, dence; which perplexed concern it is possible Raphael thought too hard a task to draw, buting joined to it by a narrow neck of land, which by this acknowledgment of the difficulty to de-washed away; so that at present Leucas is divided the sea has by length of time overflowed and

scribe it.

The whole work is an exercise of the highest piety in the painter; and all the touches of a religious mind are expressed in a manner much more forcible than can possibly be performed by the most moving eloquence. These invaluable pieces are very justly in the hands of the greatest and most pious sovereign in the world; and cannot be the frequent object of every one at their own leisure: but as an engraver is to the painter what a printer is to an author, it is worthy her majesty's name, that she has encouraged that noble artist Monsieur Dorigny, to publish these works of Ra




There is arrived from Italy a painter, who acknow ledges himself the greatest master of the age in that art, and is willing to be as renowned in this island, as he declares he is in foreign parts The doctor paints the poor for nothing.

N°227. TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 171.

Ω μοι εγω τι παθω: τι
6 durco;
Των βαιταν απολύς εις κυμαία την άλευμαι
Ωπέρ της θύννως σκοπιαζεται Όλπις ὁ γριπεύς
Kh ποθάνω, το γε μεν των άδυ τετυκίαι.


from the continent, and is a little island in the whence the lover took his leap, was formerly called Ionian sea. The promontory of this island, from Leucate. If the reader has a mind to know both the island and the promontory by their modern titles, he will find in his map the ancient island of Leucas under the name of St. Mauro, and the an

* This paper was intended by Steele to promote a pro had been invited from Rome) to copy and engrave the carposed subscription to enable Signor Nicola Dorigny (who toons of Raphael.

+ No 2:23.

cient promontory of Leucate under the name of The Cape of St. Mauro.

Since I am engaged thus far in antiquity, I must observe, that Theocritus, in the motto prefixed to my paper, describes one of his despairing shepherds addressing himself to his mistress after the following | manner: Alas! what will become of me! wretch that I am! Will you not hear me? I'll throw off my clothes, and take a leap into that part of the sea which is so much frequented by Olpis the fisherman. And though I should escape with my life, I know you will be pleased with it.' I shall leave it with the critics to determine whether the place, which this shepherd so particularly points out, was not the above-mentioned Leucate, or at least some other lover's leap, which was supposed to have had the same effect. I cannot believe, as all the interpreters do, that the shepherd means nothing further here than that he would drown himself, since he represents the issue of his leap as doubtful, by adding, that if he should escape with life, he knows his mistress would be pleased with it: which is according to our interpretation, that she would rejoice any way to get rid of a lover who was so troublesome to her.

After this short preface, I shall present my reader with some letters which I have received upon this subject. The first is sent me by a physician.


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My heart is so full of lofes and passions for Mrs. Gwinifrid, and she is so pettish and overrun with cholers against me, that if I had the good happiness to have my dwelling (which is placed by my creat-cranfather upon the pottom of an hill) no further distance but twenty mile from the Lofer's Leap, I would indeed indeafour to preak my neck upon it on purpose. Now, good Mister Spictatur of Crete Pritain, you must know it, there is in Caernarvonshire a very pig mountain, the clory of all Wales, which is named Penmainmaure, and you' must also know, it is no great journey on foot from me; but the road is stony and bad for shooes. Now, there is upon the forehead of this mountain a very high rock (like a parish steeple), that cometh a huge deal over the sea; so when I am in my melancholies, and I do throw myself from it, I do desire my fery good friend to tell me in his Spictatur, if I shall be cure of my griefous lofes; for 'THE Lover's Leap, which you mention in your there is the sea clear as glass, and as creen as the 223d paper, was generally, I believe, a very effec- leek. Then likewise if I be drown and preak my tual cure for love, and not only for love, but for neck, if Mrs. Gwinifrid will not lofe me afterall other evils. In short, sir, I am afraid it was such a leap as that which Hero took to get rid of wards. Pray be speedy in your answers, for I am in crete haste, and it is my tesires to do my her passion for Leander. A man is in no danger pusiness without loss of time. I remain with corof breaking his heart, who breaks his neck to pre-dial affections, your ever lofing friend, vent it. I know very well the wonders which ancient authors relate concerning this leap; and in particular, that very many persons who tried it, escaped not only with their lives but their limbs. If by this means they got rid of their love, though it may in part be ascribed to the reasons you give for it; why may not we suppose that the cold bath into which they plunged themselves, had also some share in their cure? A leap into the sea, or into any creek of salt waters, very often gives a new motion to the spirits, and a new turn to the blood; for which reason we prescribe it in distempers which no other medicine will reach. I could produce a quotation out of a very venerable author, in which the frenzy produced by love, is compared to that which is produced by the biting of a mad dog. But as this comparison is a little too coarse for your paper, and might look as if it were cited to ridicule the author who has made use of it; I shall only hint at it, and desire you to consider whether, if the frenzy produced by these two different causes be of the same nature, it may not very properly be cured by the same means.

'I am, SIR,
"Your most humble servant,

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'P. S. My law-suits have brought me to London, but I have lost my causes; and so have made my resolutions to go down and leap before the frosts begin; for I am apt to take colds.'

Ridicule, perhaps, is a better expedient against love than sober advice; and I am of opinion, that Hudibras and Don Quixote may be as effectual to the old philosophers. I shall therefore publish very cure the extravagancies of this passion, as any of speedily the translation of a little Greek manu script, which is sent me by a learned friend. It which were kept in the temple of Apollo, that appears to have been a piece of those records stood upon the promontory of Leucate. The reader will find it to be a summary account of several per sons who tried the Lover's Leap, and of the success they found in it. As there seem to be in it some anachronisms, and deviations from the ancient orthography, I am not wholly satisfied myself that it is authentic, and not rather the production of one of those Grecian sophisters, who have imposed upon the world several spurious works of this nature. I speak this by way of precaution, because I know there are several writers of uncommon erudition, who would not fail to expose my ignorance, if they caught me tripping in a matter of so great

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