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.

Since I am recollecting upon this Subject such Passages as occur to my Memory out of ancient Authors, I cannot omit a Sentence in the celebrated Funeral Oration of Pericles [3] which he made in Honour of those brave Athenians that were slain in a fight with the Lacedaemonians.  After having addressed himself to the several Ranks and Orders of his Countrymen, and shewn them how they should behave themselves in the Publick Cause, he turns to the Female Part of his Audience;

’And as for you (says he) I shall advise you in very few Words:  Aspire only to those Virtues that are peculiar to your Sex; follow your natural Modesty, and think it your greatest Commendation not to be talked of one way or other’.


[Footnote 1:  ‘Davideis’, Bk III.  But Cowley’s Tiger is a Male.]

[Footnote 2:  that are proper]

[Footnote 3:  Thucydides, Bk II.]

* * * * *

No. 82.  Monday, June 4, 1711.  Steele.

      ‘...  Caput domina venate sub hasta.’


Passing under Ludgate [1] the other Day, I heard a Voice bawling for Charity, which I thought I had somewhere heard before.  Coming near to the Grate, the Prisoner called me by my Name, and desired I would throw something into the Box:  I was out of Countenance for him, and did as he bid me, by putting in half a Crown.  I went away, reflecting upon the strange Constitution of some Men, and how meanly they behave themselves in all Sorts of Conditions.  The Person who begged of me is now, as I take it, Fifty; I was well acquainted with him till about the Age of Twenty-five; at which Time a good Estate fell to him by the Death of a Relation.  Upon coming to this unexpected good Fortune, he ran into all the Extravagancies imaginable; was frequently in drunken Disputes, broke Drawers Heads, talked and swore loud, was unmannerly to those above him, and insolent to those below him.  I could not but remark, that it was the same Baseness of Spirit which worked in his Behaviour in both Fortunes:  The same little Mind was insolent in Riches, and shameless in Poverty.  This Accident made me muse upon the Circumstances of being in Debt in general, and solve in my Mind what Tempers were most apt to fall into this Error of Life, as well as the Misfortune it must needs be to languish under such Pressures.  As for my self, my natural Aversion to that sort of Conversation which makes a Figure with the Generality of Mankind, exempts me from any Temptations to Expence; and all my Business lies within a very narrow Compass, which is only to give an honest Man, who takes care of my Estate, proper Vouchers for his quarterly Payments to me, and observe what Linnen my Laundress brings and takes away with her once a Week:  My Steward brings his Receipt ready for my Signing; and I have a pretty Implement with the respective Names of Shirts, Cravats, Handkerchiefs and Stockings, with proper Numbers to know how to reckon with my Laundress.  This being almost all the Business I have in the World for the Care of my own Affairs, I am at full Leisure to observe upon what others do, with relation to their Equipage and Oeconomy.

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