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.

Another Reason why the Good-natured Man may sometimes bring his Wit in Question, is, perhaps, because he is apt to be moved with Compassion for those Misfortunes or Infirmities, which another would turn into Ridicule, and by that means gain the Reputation of a Wit.  The Ill-natured Man, though but of equal Parts, gives himself a larger Field to expatiate in; he exposes those Failings in Human Nature which the other would cast a Veil over, laughs at Vices which the other either excuses or conceals, gives utterance to Reflections which the other stifles, falls indifferently upon Friends or Enemies, exposes the Person [who [4]] has obliged him, and, in short, sticks at nothing that may establish his Character of a Wit.  It is no Wonder therefore he succeeds in it better than the Man of Humanity, as a Person who makes use of indirect Methods, is more likely to grow Rich than the Fair Trader.


[Footnote 1:  ‘Cyropaedia’, Bk. viii. ch. 6.]

[Footnote 2:  that]

[Footnote 3:  ‘Catiline’, c. 54.]

[Footnote 4:  that]

* * * * *




As the profest Design of this Work is to entertain its Readers in general, without giving Offence to any particular Person, it would be difficult to find out so proper a Patron for it as Your Self, there being none whose Merit is more universally acknowledged by all Parties, and who has made himself more Friends and fewer Enemies.  Your great Abilities, and unquestioned Integrity, in those high Employments which You have passed through, would not have been able to have raised You this general Approbation, had they not been accompanied with that Moderation in an high Fortune, and that Affability of Manners, which are so conspicuous through all Parts of your Life.  Your Aversion to any Ostentatious Arts of setting to Show those great Services which you have done the Publick, has not likewise a little contributed to that Universal Acknowledgment which is paid You by your Country.

The Consideration of this Part of Your Character, is that which hinders me from enlarging on those Extraordinary Talents, which have given You so great a Figure in the British Senate, as well as on that Elegance and Politeness which appear in Your more retired Conversation.  I should be unpardonable, if, after what I have said, I should longer detain You with an Address of this Nature:  I cannot, however, conclude it without owning those great Obligations which You have laid upon,


Your most obedient,

humble Servant_,


[Footnote 1:  Henry Boyle, to whom the third volume of the Spectator is dedicated, was the youngest son of Charles, Lord Clifford; one of the family founded by the Richard, Earl of Cork, who bought Raleigh’s property in Ireland.

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