The Spectator, Volume 2. eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,123 pages of information about The Spectator, Volume 2..
of Fame:  but I cannot help venturing to disoblige them for their Service, by telling them, that the utmost of a Woman’s Character is contained in Domestick Life; she is blameable or praiseworthy according as her Carriage affects the House of her Father or her Husband.  All she has to do in this World, is contain’d within the Duties of a Daughter, a Sister, a Wife, and a Mother:  All these may be well performed, tho a Lady should not be the very finest Woman at an Opera or an Assembly.  They are likewise consistent with a moderate share of Wit, a plain Dress, and a modest Air.  But when the very Brains of the Sex are turned, and they place their Ambition on Circumstances, wherein to excel is no addition to what is truly commendable, where can this end, but, as it frequently does, in their placing all their Industry, Pleasure and Ambition on things, which will naturally make the Gratifications of Life last, at best, no longer than Youth and good Fortune?  And when we consider the least ill Consequence, it can be no less than looking on their own Condition as Years advance, with a disrelish of Life, and falling into Contempt of their own Persons, or being the Derision of others.  But when they consider themselves as they ought, no other than an additional Part of the Species, (for their own Happiness and Comfort, as well as that of those for whom they were born) their Ambition to excel will be directed accordingly; and they will in no part of their Lives want Opportunities of being shining Ornaments to their Fathers, Husbands, Brothers, or Children.


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No. 343.  Thursday, April 3, 1712.  Addison.

 —­Errat et illinc
  Huc venit, hinc illuc, et quoslibet occupat artus
  Spiritus:  eque feris humana in corpora transit,
  Inque feras noster—­

  Pythag. ap.  Ov.

Will.  Honeycomb, who loves to shew upon occasion all the little Learning he has picked up, told us yesterday at the Club, that he thought there might be a great deal said for the Transmigration of Souls, and that the Eastern Parts of the World believed in that Doctrine to this day.  Sir Paul Rycaut, [1] says he, gives us an Account of several well-disposed Mahometans that purchase the Freedom of any little Bird they see confined to a Cage, and think they merit as much by it, as we should do here by ransoming any of our Countrymen from their Captivity at Algiers.  You must know, says WILL., the Reason is, because they consider every Animal as a Brother or Sister in disguise, and therefore think themselves obliged to extend their Charity to them, tho under such mean Circumstances.  They’ll tell you, says WILL., that the Soul of a Man, when he dies, immediately passes into the Body of another Man, or of some Brute, which he resembled in his Humour, or his Fortune, when he was one of us.

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The Spectator, Volume 2. from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.