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.

But besides such as are Moles through Ignorance, there are others who are Moles through Envy.  As it is said in the Latin Proverb, ’That one Man is a Wolf to another; [2] so generally speaking, one Author is a Mole to another Author.  It is impossible for them to discover Beauties in one another’s Works; they have Eyes only for Spots and Blemishes:  They can indeed see the Light as it is said of the Animals which are their Namesakes, but the Idea of it is painful to them; they immediately shut their Eyes upon it, and withdraw themselves into a wilful Obscurity.  I have already caught two or three of these dark undermining Vermin, and intend to make a String of them, in order to hang them up in one of my Papers, as an Example to all such voluntary Moles.


[Footnote 1:  Proverbs i 20-22.]

[Footnote 2:  Homo homini Lupus.  Plautus Asin.  Act ii sc. 4.]

* * * * *

No. 125.  Tuesday, July 24, 1711.  Addison.

      ’Ne pueri, ne tanta animis assuescite bella: 
      Neu patriae validas in viscera vertite vires.’


My worthy Friend Sir ROGER, when we are talking of the Malice of Parties, very frequently tells us an Accident that happened to him when he was a School-boy, which was at a time when the Feuds ran high between the Roundheads and Cavaliers.  This worthy Knight, being then but a Stripling, had occasion to enquire which was the Way to St. Anne’s Lane, upon which the Person whom he spoke to, instead of answering his Question, call’d him a young Popish Cur, and asked him who had made Anne a Saint?  The Boy, being in some Confusion, enquired of the next he met, which was the Way to Anne’s Lane; but was call’d a prick-eared Cur for his Pains, and instead of being shewn the Way, was told that she had been a Saint before he was born, and would be one after he was hanged.  Upon this, says Sir ROGER, I did not think fit to repeat the former Question, but going into every Lane of the Neighbourhood, asked what they called the Name of that Lane.  By which ingenious Artifice he found out the place he enquired after, without giving Offence to any Party.  Sir ROGER generally closes this Narrative with Reflections on the Mischief that Parties do in the Country; how they spoil good Neighbourhood, and make honest Gentlemen hate one another; besides that they manifestly tend to the Prejudice of the Land-Tax, and the Destruction of the Game.

There cannot a greater Judgment befal a Country than such a dreadful Spirit of Division as rends a Government into two distinct People, and makes them greater Strangers and more averse to one another, than if they were actually two different Nations.  The Effects of such a Division are pernicious to the last degree, not only with regard to those Advantages which they give the Common Enemy, but to those private Evils which they produce in the Heart of almost every particular Person.  This Influence is very fatal both to Mens Morals and their Understandings; it sinks the Virtue of a Nation, and not only so, but destroys even Common Sense.

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