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.

  Tunbridge, Sept. 26, 1712.


’That insufferable Prude Mrs. Mohair, who has told such Stories of the Company here, is with Child, for all her nice Airs and her crooked Legs.  Pray be sure to put her in for both those two Things, and you’ll oblige every Body here, especially

  Your humble Servant,

  Alice Bluegarter.’


* * * * *

No. 497.  Tuesday, September 30, 1712.  Steele.

  [Greek:  Houtos esti galeotaes geron.]—­Menander.

A favour well bestow’d, is almost as great an Honour to him who confers it, as to him who receives it.  What indeed makes for the superior Reputation of the Patron in this case, is, that he is always surrounded with specious Pretences of unworthy Candidates, and is often alone in the kind Inclination he has towards the Well-deserving.  Justice is the first Quality in the Man who is in a Post of Direction; and I remember to have heard an old Gentleman talk of the Civil Wars, and in his Relation give an Account of a General Officer, who with this one Quality, without any shining Endowments, became so peculiarly beloved and honoured, that all Decisions between Man and Man were laid before him by the Parties concerned in a private Way; and they would lay by their Animosities implicitly, if he bid them be Friends, or submit themselves in the Wrong without Reluctance, if he said it, without waiting the Judgment of Court-Martials.  His Manner was to keep the Dates of all Commissions in his Closet, and wholly dismiss from the Service such who were deficient in their Duty; and after that, took Care to prefer according to the Order of Battel.  His Familiars were his entire Friends, and could have no interested Views in courting his Acquaintance; for his Affection was no Step to their Preferment, tho’ it was to their Reputation.  By this means a kind Aspect, a Salutation, a Smile, and giving out his Hand, had the weight of what is esteem’d by vulgar Minds more substantial.  His Business was very short, and he who had nothing to do but Justice, was never affronted with a Request of a familiar daily Visitant for what was due to a brave Man at a Distance.  Extraordinary Merit he used to recommend to the King for some Distinction at home, till the Order of Battel made way for his rising in the Troops.  Add to this, that he had an excellent Manner of getting rid of such whom he observed were good at an Halt, as his Phrase was.  Under this Description he comprehended all those who were contented to live without Reproach, and had no Promptitude in their Minds towards Glory.  These Fellows were also recommended to the King, and taken off of the General’s hands into Posts wherein Diligence and common Honesty were all that were necessary.  This General had no weak Part in his Line; but every Man had as much

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