The Spectator, Volume 2. eBook

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If Virtue is of this amiable Nature, what can we think of those who can look upon it with an Eye of Hatred and Ill-will, or can suffer their Aversion for a Party to blot out all the Merit of the Person who is engaged in it.  A Man must be excessively stupid, as well as uncharitable, who believes that there is no Virtue but on his own Side, and that there are not Men as honest as himself who may differ from him in Political Principles.  Men may oppose one another in some Particulars, but ought not to carry their Hatred to those Qualities which are of so amiable a Nature in themselves, and have nothing to do with the Points in Dispute.  Men of Virtue, though of different Interests, ought to consider themselves as more nearly united with one another, than with the vicious Part of Mankind, who embark with them in the same civil Concerns.  We should bear the same Love towards a Man of Honour, who is a living Antagonist, which Tully tells us in the forementioned Passage every one naturally does to an Enemy that is dead.  In short, we should esteem Virtue though in a Foe, and abhor Vice though in a Friend.

I speak this with an Eye to those cruel Treatments which Men of all Sides are apt to give the Characters of those who do not agree with them.  How many Persons of undoubted Probity, and exemplary Virtue, on either Side, are blackned and defamed?  How many Men of Honour exposed to publick Obloquy and Reproach?  Those therefore who are either the Instruments or Abettors in such Infernal Dealings, ought to be looked upon as Persons who make use of Religion to promote their Cause, not of their Cause to promote Religion.


[Footnote 1:  [we find that Cato,]]

* * * * *

No. 244.  Monday, December 10, 1711.  Steele.

 —­Judex et callidus audis.


  Covent-Garden, Dec. 7.


I cannot, without a double Injustice, forbear expressing to you the Satisfaction which a whole Clan of Virtuosos have received from those Hints which you have lately given the Town on the Cartons of the inimitable Raphael.  It [1] should be methinks the Business of a SPECTATOR to improve the Pleasures of Sight, and there cannot be a more immediate Way to it than recommending the Study and Observation of excellent Drawings and Pictures.  When I first went to view those of Raphael which you have celebrated, I must confess 1 was but barely pleased; the next time I liked them better, but at last as I grew better acquainted with them, I fell deeply in love with them, like wise Speeches they sunk deep into my Heart; for you know, Mr.  SPECTATOR, that a Man of Wit may extreamly affect one for the Present, but if he has not Discretion, his Merit soon vanishes away, while a Wise Man that has not so great a Stock
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The Spectator, Volume 2. from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.