« ElőzőTovább »
I must not omit that argument for the excellency of the soul which I have seen quoted out of Tertullian, namely, its power of divining in dreams. That several such divinations have been made, none can question, who believes the holy writings, or who has but the least degree of a common historical faith ; there being innumerable instances of this nature in several authors, both ancient and modern, sacred and profane. Whether such dark presages, such visions of the night, proceed from any latent power in the soul, during this her state of abstraction, or from any communication with the Supreme Being, or from any operation of subordinate spirits, has been a great dispute among the learned: the matter of fact is, I think, incontestible, and has been looked upon as such by the greatest writers, who have been never suspected either of superstition or enthusiasm.
I do not suppose that the soul in these instances is entirely loose and unfettered from the body: it is sufficient if she is not so far sunk and immersed in matter, nor entangled and perplexed in her operations with such motions of blood and spirits, as when she actuates the machine in its waking hours. The corporeal union is slackened enough to give the mind more play. The soul seems gathered within herself, and recovers that spring which is broke and weakened, when she operates more in concert with the body.
The speculations I have here made, if they are not arguments, they are at least strong intimations notonly of the excellency of a human soul, but of its independence on the body; and, if they do not prove, do, at least, confirm these two great points, which are established by many other reasons that are altogether unanswerable.
N°488. FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 1712:
Quanti emptæ parvo. Quanti èrgo? octo assibus. Eheu!
HOR. 2 Sit. iii. 156. What doth it cost? Not much upon my word. How much pray? Why, Two-pence. I'wo-pondo, O Lord!
CREECH. Irind by several letters which I receive daily, that many of my readers would be better pleased to pay three halfpence for my paper than two-pence. The ingenious T. W.* tells me that I have deprived him of the best part of his breakfast; for that, since the rise of my paper, he is forced every morning to drink his dish of coffee by itself, without the addition of the Spectator, that used to be better than lace † to it. Eugenius informs me, very obligingly, that he never thought he should have disliked any passage in my paper, but that of late there have been two words in every one of them which he could heartily wish left out, viz.“ Price Two-pence.' I have a letter from a soap-boiler, who condoles with me very affectionately upon the necessity we both lie under of setting a higher price on our commodities since the late tax has been laid upon them, and desiring me, when I write next on that subject, to speak a word or two upon the present duties on Castile soap. But there is none of these my correspondents, who writes with a greater turn of good sense, and elegance of expression, than the generous Philomedes, who advises me to value every Spectator at sixpence, and promises that he himself will engage for
* Dr. Thomas Walker, head master of the Charter-houso school, whose scholars Addison and Steele bad been. The doctor was head master 49 years, and died June 12, 1728, in the 81st year of his age.
+ A little brandy or rum.
above a hundred of his acquaintance, who shall take it in at that price. ' · Letters from the female world are likewise come to me, in great quantities, upon the same occasion; and as I naturally bear a great deference to this part of our species, I am very glad to find that those who approve my conduct in this particular, are much more numerous than those who condemn it. A large family of daughters have drawn me up a very handsome remonstrance, in which they set forth that their father having refused to take in the Spectator, since the additional price was set upon it, they offered him unanimously to bate him the article of bread and butter in the tea-table account, provided the Spectator might be served up to them every morning as usual. Upon this the old gentleman, being pleased, it seems, with their desire of improving themselves, has granted them the continuance both of the Spectator, and their bread and butter, having given particular orders that the tea-table shall be set forth every morning with its customary bill of fare, and without any manner of defalcation. I thought myself obliged to mention this particular, as it does honour to this worthy gentleman; and if the young lady Lætitia, who sent me this account, will acquaint me with his name, I will insert it at length in one of my papers, if he desires it.
I should be very glad to find out any expedient that might alleviate the expense which this my paper brings to any of my readers; and in order to it, must propose two points to their consideration. First, that if they retrench any the smallest parti. cular in their ordinary expense, it will easily make up the halfpenny a-day which we have now under consideration. Let a lady sacrifice but a single ribbon to her morning studies, and it will be sufficient : let a family burn but a candle a night less
than the usual tumber, and they may take in the Spectator without detriment to their private affairs.
In the next place, if my readers will not go to the price of buying my papers by retail, let them have patience, and they may buy them in the lump, without the burthen of a tax upon them. My specu. lations, when they are sold single, like cherries upon the stick, are delights for the rich and wealthy:after some time they come to market in greater quantities, and are every ordinary man's money. The truth of it is, they have a certain flavor at their first appear. ance, from several accidental circumstances of time, place, and person, which they may lose if they are not taken early; but in this case, every reader is to consider, whether it is not better for him to be half a year behindhand with the fashionable and polite part of the world, than to strain himself beyond his circumstances. My bookseller has now about ten thousand of the third and fourth volumes, which he is ready to publish, having already disposed of as large an edition both of the first and second volume. As he is a person whose head is very well turned to his business, he thinks they would be a very proper present to be made to persons at christenings, marriages, visiting days, and the like joyful solemnities, as several other books are frequently given at funerals. He has printed them in such a little portable volume, that many of them may be ranged together upon a single plate; and is of opinion, that a salver of Spectators would be as acceptable an entertainment to the ladies as a salver of sweetmeats.
I shall conclude this paper with an epigram lately sent to the writer of the Spectator, after having returned my thanks to the ingenious author of it. 'SIR,
HAVING heard the following epigram very much commended, I wonder that it has not
yet had a place in any of your papers; I think the suffrage of our poet laureat should not be overlooked, which shews the opinion he entertains of your paper, whether the notion he proceeds upon be true or false. I made bold to convey it to you, not knowing if it has yet come to your hands.
ON THE SPECTATOR.
BY MR. TATE.
HoŘ. Carm. Sæc. 10.
When first the Tatler to a mute was turn'd,
No 489. SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 1712.
Upon reading your essay concerning the Pleasures of the Imagination, I find, among the three sources of those pleasures which you have discovered, that greatness is one. This has suggested to me the reason why, of all objects that I have ever seen, there is none which affects my imagination so much