The Spectator, Volume 2. eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,123 pages of information about The Spectator, Volume 2..

 —­took his Stand
  Upon a Widows Jointure Land, [2]

is daily employed in throwing Darts, and kindling Flames.  But as for Widows, they are such a Subtle Generation of People, that they may be left to their own Conduct; or if they make a false Step in it, they are answerable for it to no Body but themselves.  The young innocent Creatures who have no Knowledge and Experience of the World, are those whose Safety I would principally consult in this Speculation.  The stealing of such an one should, in my Opinion, be as punishable as a Rape.  Where there is no Judgment there is no Choice; and why the inveigling a Woman before she is come to Years of Discretion, should not be as Criminal as the seducing of her before she is ten Years old, I am at a Loss to comprehend.


[Footnote 1:  them]

[Footnote 2:  Hudibras, Part I., Canto 3, II. 310-11.]

* * * * *

No. 312.  Wednesday, February 27, 1712.  Steele.

Quod huic Officium, quae laus, quod Decus erit tanti, quod adipisci cum colore Corporis velit, qui dolorem summum malum sibi persuaserit?  Quam porro quis ignominiam, quam turpitudinem non pertulerit, ut effugiat dolorem, si id summum malum esse decrevit?

  Tull. de Dolore tolerando.

It is a very melancholy Reflection, that Men are usually so weak, that it is absolutely necessary for them to know Sorrow and Pain to be in their right Senses.  Prosperous People (for Happy there are none) are hurried away with a fond Sense of their present Condition, and thoughtless of the Mutability of Fortune:  Fortune is a Term which we must use in such Discourses as these, for what is wrought by the unseen Hand of the Disposer of all Things.  But methinks the Disposition of a Mind which is truly great, is that which makes Misfortunes and Sorrows little when they befall our selves, great and lamentable when they befall other Men.  The most unpardonable Malefactor in the World going to his Death and bearing it with Composure, would win the Pity of those who should behold him; and this not because his Calamity is deplorable, but because he seems himself not to deplore it:  We suffer for him who is less sensible of his own Misery, and are inclined to despise him who sinks under the Weight of his Distresses.  On the other hand, without any Touch of Envy, a temperate and well-govern’d Mind looks down on such as are exalted with Success, with a certain Shame for the Imbecility of human Nature, that can so far forget how liable it is to Calamity, as to grow giddy with only the Suspence of Sorrow, which is the Portion of all Men.  He therefore who turns his Face from the unhappy Man, who will not look again when his Eye is cast upon modest Sorrow, who shuns Affliction like a Contagion, does but pamper himself up for a Sacrifice, and contract in himself a greater Aptitude to Misery by attempting to escape

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