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strange Vision. All the Place about me was covered No. 499. with Packs of Ribbands, Brocades, Embroidery, and Ten Thursday,
October 2, Thousand other Materials, sufficient to have furnish'd
1712. whole Street of Toy-Shops. One of the Women, having an Husband who was none of the heaviest, was bringing him off upon her Shoulders, at the same Time that she carried a great Bundle of Flanders Lace under her Arm; but finding her self so over-loaden that she could not save both of them, she dropp'd the good Man, and brought away the Bundle. In short, I found but one Husband among this great Mountain of Baggage, who was a lively Cobler, that kicked and spurr'd all the While his Wife was carrying him on, and, as it was said, had scarce passed a Day in his Life without giving her the Discipline of the Strap
I cannot conclude my Letter, Dear Spec, without tells ing thee one very odd Whim in this my Dream. I saw,
, methoughts, a dozen Women employed in bringing off one Man ; I could not guess who it should be, 'till upon his nearer Approach I discovered thy short Phiz. The Women all declared that it was for the Sake of thy Works, and not thy Person, that they brought thee off, and that it was on Condition that thou shouldst continue the Spectator. If thou thinkest this Dream will make a tolerable one, it is at thy Service, from,
The Ladies will see, by this Letter, what I have often told them, that Will is one of those old-fashioned Men of Wit and Pleasure of the Town, that shews his Parts by Raillery on Marriage, and one who has often tryed his Fortune that Way without Success. I cannot however dismiss his Letter, without observing, that the true Story on which it is built does Honour to the Sex, and that in Order to abuse them, the Writer is obliged to have Recourse to Dream and Fiction,
No. 500. No. 500.
Friday, October 3.
-Huc natas adjice septem,
Socrates, must have read how, upon his making a Discourse concerning Love, he pressed his Point with so much Success that all the Batchelors in his Audience took a Resolution to marry by the first Opportunity, and that all the married Men immediately took Horse and galloped home to their Wives. I am apt to think your Discourses, in which you have drawn so many agreeable Pictures of Marriage, have had a very good Effect this Way in England. We are obliged to you at least, for having taken off that senseless Ridicule, which for
many Years the Witlins of the Town have turned upon their Fathers and Mothers. For my own Part, I was born in Wedlock, and I don't care who knows it. For which Reason, among many others, I should look upon my self as a most insufferable Coxcomb, did I endeavour to maintain that Cuckoldom was inseparable from Marriage, or to make use of Husband and Wife as Terms of Reproach. Nay, Sir, I will go one Step further, and declare to you before the whole World, that I am a married Man, and at the same Time I have so much Assurance as not to be ashamed of what I have done.
Among the several Pleasures that accompany this State of Life, and which you have described in your former Papers, there are two you have not taken Notice of, and which are seldom cast into the Account, by those who write on this Subject. You must have observed, in your Speculations on human Nature, that Nothing is more gratifying to the Mind of Man than Power or Dominion, and this I think my self amply possessed of, as I am the Father of a Family.' I am perpetually taken up in giving out Orders, in prescribing Duties, in hearing Parties, in administring Justice, and in distributing Rewards and Punishments. To speak in the Language of the Centurion,
I say unto one, go, and he goeth, and to another, come, No. 500. and he cometh, and to my Servant do this, and he doeth Friday, it . In short, Sir, I look upon my Family as a patriarchal October 3,
1712. Sovereignty, in which I am my self both King and Priest. All great Governments are Nothing else but Clusters of these little private Royalties, and therefore I consider the Masters of Families as small Deputy-Governors presiding
over the several little Parcels and Divisions of their = Fellow-Subjects. As I take great pleasure in the Admin
istration of my Government in Particular, so I look upon my self not only as a more useful, but as a much greater and happier Man than any Batchelor in England of my
Rank and Condition, 1 There is another accidental Advantage in Marriage,
which has likewise fallen to my Share, I mean the having a Multitude of Children. These I cannot but regard as very great Blessings. When I see my little Troop before
me, I rejoyce in the Additions which I have made to my * Species, to my Country, and to my Religion, in having
produced such a Number of reasonable Creatures, Citizens, and Christians. I am pleased to see my self thus perpetuated, and as there is no Production comparable to that of an human Creature, I am more proud of having been the Occa sion of Ten such glorious Productions, than if I had built an hundred Pyramids at my own Expence, or published as many Volumes of the finest Wit and Learning. In what a beautiful Light has the holy Scripture repre. sented Abdon, one of the Judges of Israel, who had Forty Sons, and Thirty Grandsons, that rode on three
score and ten Ass Colts, according to the Magnificence t of the eastern Countries? How must the Heart of f of the old Man rejoyce, when he saw such a beautiful E Procession of his own Descendants, such a numerous o Cavalcade of his own Raising? For my own Part, I can om sit in my Parlour with great Content, when I take a of Review of half a Dozen of my little Boys mounting upon mbi Hobby Horses, and of as many little Girls tutoring their
Babies, each of them endeavouring to excel the rest, and to do Something that may gain my Favour and Approbation, I cannot question but he who has blessed me with so many Children, will assist my Endeavours in IV.
No. 500. providing for them. There is one Thing I am able to Friday, , give each of them, which is a virtuous Education. I October 3, think it is Sir Francis Bacon's Observation, that in a 1712.
numerous Family of Children the eldest is often spoiled by the Prospect of an Estate, and the youngest by being the Darling of the Parent; but that some one or other in the Middle, who has not perhaps been regarded, has made his Way in the World, and overtopp'd the rest.
It is my Business to implant in every one of my Children the same Seeds of Industry, and the same honest Principles. By this Means I think I have a fair Chance, that one or other of them may grow considerable in some or other Way of Life, whether it be in the Army, or in the Fleet, in Trade, or any of the three learned Professions ; for you must know, Sir, that from long Experience and Observation, I am perswaded of what seems a Paradox to most of those with whom I converse, namely, that a Man who has many Children, and gives them a good Education, is more likely to raise a Family, than he who has but one, notwithstanding he leaves him his whole Estate. For this Reason I cannot forbear amusing my self with finding out a General, an Admiral, or an Alderman of London, a Divine, a Physician, or a Lawyer, among my little People who are now perhaps in Petticoats; and when I see the motherly Airs of my little Daughters when they are playing with their Puppets, I cannot but flatter my self that their Husbands and Children will be happy, in the Possession of such Wives and Mothers.
If you are a Father, you will not perhaps think this Letter impertinent, but if you are a single Man, you will not know the Meaning of it, and probably throw it into the Fire : whatever you determine of it, you may assure your self that it comes from one who is Your most humble Servant
No. 501, [ADDISON.]
Saturday, October 4. Saturday,
Ancients are in Allegory, I have endeavoured, in several of my Papers, to revive that Way of Writing, and hope I have not been altogether unsuccessful in its For I find there is always a great Demand for those particular Papers, and cannot but observe that several Authors have endeavoured of late to excell in Works of this Nature. Among these, I do not know any one who has succeeded better than a very ingenious Gentleman, to whom I am obliged for the following Piece, and who was the Author of the Vision in the CCCCLXth Paper. O.
How are we tortured with the Absence of what we covet to possess, when it appears to be lost to us! What Excursions does the Soul make in Imagination after it! And how does it turn into it self again, more foolishly fond and dejected, at the Disappointment! Our Grief, instead of having Recourse to Reason, which might restrain it, searches to find a further Nourishment. It calls upon Memory to relate the several Passages and Circumstances of Satisfactions which we formerly enjoy'd; the Pleasures we purchased by those Riches that are taken from us, or the Power and Splendour of our departed Honours; or the Voice, the Words, the Looks, the Temper and Affections of our Friends that are deceased. It needs must happen from hence, that the Passion shou'd often swell to such a Size as to burst the Heart which contains it, if Time did not make these Circumstances less strong and lively, so that Reason should become a more equal Match for the Passion, or if another Desire which becomes more present did not over-power them with a livelier Representation. These are Thooghts which I had when I fell into a Kind of Vision upon this Subject, and may therefore stand for a proper Introduction to a Relation of it. I found my self upon a naked Shore, with Company