Let the ambitious Man therefore turn all his Desire of Fame this Way; and, that he may propose to himself a Fame worthy of his Ambition, let him consider that if he employs his Abilities to the best Advantage, the Time will come when the supreme Governor of the World, the great Judge of Mankind, who sees every Degree of Perfection in others, and possesses all possible Perfection in himself, shall proclaim his Worth before Men and Angels, and pronounce to him in the Presence of the whole Creation that best and most significant of Applauses, Well done, thou good and faithful Servant, enter thou into thy Masters Joy.
[Footnote 1: This being Christmas Day, Addison has continued to it a religious strain of thought.]
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No. 258. Wednesday, December 26, 1711. Steele.
Divide et Impera.
Pleasure and Recreation of one Kind or other are absolutely necessary to relieve our Minds and Bodies from too constant Attention and Labour: Where therefore publick Diversions are tolerated, it behoves Persons of Distinction, with their Power and Example, to preside over them in such a Manner as to check any thing that tends to the Corruption of Manners, or which is too mean or trivial for the Entertainment of reasonable Creatures. As to the Diversions of this Kind in this Town, we owe them to the Arts of Poetry and Musick: My own private Opinion, with Relation to such Recreations, I have heretofore given with all the Frankness imaginable; what concerns those Arts at present the Reader shall have from my Correspondents. The first of the Letters with which I acquit myself for this Day, is written by one who proposes to improve our Entertainments of Dramatick Poetry, and the other comes from three Persons, who, as soon as named, will be thought capable of advancing the present State of Musick.
I am considerably obliged to you for your speedy Publication of my last in yours of the 18th Instant, and am in no small Hopes of being settled in the Post of Comptroller of the Cries. Of all the Objections I have hearkened after in publick Coffee-houses there is but one that seems to carry any Weight with it, viz. That such a Post would come too near the Nature of a Monopoly. Now, Sir, because I would have all Sorts of People made easy, and being willing to have more Strings than one to my Bow; in case that of Comptroller should fail me, I have since formed another Project, which, being grounded on the dividing a present Monopoly, I hope will give the Publick an Equivalent to their full Content. You know, Sir, it is allowed that the Business of the Stage is, as the Latin has it, Jucunda et Idonea dicere Vitae. Now there being but one Dramatick Theatre licensed for the Delight and Profit of this