The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 3,418 pages of information about The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3.
‘Spectator’ besides myself; nor can I deny, but upon the first Perusal of those Papers, I felt some secret Inclinations of Ill-will towards the Persons who wrote them.  This was the Impression I had upon the first reading them; but upon a late Review (more for the Sake of Entertainment than Use) regarding them with another Eye than I had done at first, (for by converting them as well as I could to my own Use, I thought I had utterly disabled them from ever offending me again as ‘Spectators’) I found my self moved by a Passion very different from that of Envy; sensibly touched with Pity, the softest and most generous of all Passions, when I reflected what a cruel Disapointment the Neglect of those Papers must needs have been to the Writers who impatiently longed to see them appear in Print, and who, no doubt, triumphed to themselves in the Hopes of having a Share with me in the Applause of the Publick; a Pleasure so great, that none but those who have experienced it can have a Sense of it.  In this Manner of viewing these Papers, I really found I had not done them Justice, there being something so extremely natural and peculiarly good in some of them, that I will appeal to the World whether it was possible to alter a Word in them without doing them a manifest Hurt and Violence; and whether they can ever appear rightly, and, as they ought, but in their own native Dress and Colours:  And therefore I think I should not only wrong them, but deprive the World of a considerable Satisfaction, should I any longer delay the making them publick.

After I have published a few of these ‘Spectators’, I doubt not but I shall find the Success of them to equal, if not surpass, that of the best of my own.  An Author should take all Methods to humble himself in the Opinion he has of his own Performances.  When these Papers appear to the World, I doubt not but they will be followed by many others; and I shall not repine, though I my self shall have left me but very few Days to appear in Publick:  But preferring the general Weal and Advantage to any Consideration of my self, I am resolved for the Future to publish any ‘Spectator’ that deserves it, entire, and without any Alteration; assuring the World (if there can be Need of it) that it is none of mine and if the Authors think fit to subscribe their Names, I will add them.

I think the best way of promoting this generous and useful Design, will be by giving out Subjects or Themes of all Kinds whatsoever, on which (with a Preamble of the extraordinary Benefit and Advantage that may accrue thereby to the Publick) I will invite all manner of Persons, whether Scholars, Citizens, Courtiers, Gentlemen of the Town or Country, and all Beaux, Rakes, Smarts, Prudes, Coquets, Housewives, and all Sorts of Wits, whether Male or Female, and however distinguished, whether they be True-Wits, Whole, or Half-Wits, or whether Arch, Dry, Natural, Acquired, Genuine, or Deprav’d Wits; and Persons of all sorts of Tempers

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The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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