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.
’There is no State of Life so Anxious as that of a Man who does not live according to the Dictates of his own Reason.  It will seem odd to you, when I assure you that my Love of Retirement first of all brought me to Court; but this will be no Riddle, when I acquaint you that I placed my self here with a Design of getting so much Mony as might enable me to Purchase a handsome Retreat in the Country.  At present my Circumstances enable me, and my Duty prompts me, to pass away the remaining Part of my Life in such a Retirement as I at first proposed to my self; but to my great Misfortune I have intirely lost the Relish of it, and shou’d now return to the Country with greater Reluctance than I at first came to Court.  I am so unhappy, as to know that what I am fond of are Trifles, and that what I neglect is of the greatest Importance:  In short, I find a Contest in my own Mind between Reason and Fashion.  I remember you once told me, that I might live in the World, and out of it, at the same time.  Let me beg of you to explain this Paradox more at large to me, that I may conform my Life, if possible, both to my Duty and my Inclination.  I am, Your most humble Servant, R.B.’


[Footnote 1:  See the close of No. 2.]

[Footnote 2:  blank left]

* * * * *

No. 28.  Monday, April 2, 1711.  Addison.

      ’...  Neque semper arcum
      Tendit Apollo.’


I shall here present my Reader with a Letter from a Projector, concerning a new Office which he thinks may very much contribute to the Embellishment of the City, and to the driving Barbarity out of our Streets. [I consider it as a Satyr upon Projectors in general, and a lively Picture of the whole Art of Modern Criticism. [1]]


’Observing that you have Thoughts of creating certain Officers under you for the Inspection of several petty Enormities which you your self cannot attend to; and finding daily Absurdities hung out upon the Sign-Posts of this City, [2] to the great Scandal of Foreigners, as well as those of our own Country, who are curious Spectators of the same:  I do humbly propose, that you would be pleased to make me your Superintendant of all such Figures and Devices, as are or shall be made use of on this Occasion; with full Powers to rectify or expunge whatever I shall find irregular or defective.  For want of such an Officer, there is nothing like sound Literature and good Sense to be met with in those Objects, that are everywhere thrusting themselves out to the Eye, and endeavouring to become visible.  Our streets are filled with blue Boars, black Swans, and red Lions; not to mention flying Pigs, and Hogs in Armour, with many other Creatures more extraordinary than any in the desarts of Africk. Strange! that one who has all the Birds and Beasts in Nature
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The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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