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.
every thing that is not capable of mathematical Demonstration; in order to unsettle the Minds of the Ignorant, disturb the publick Peace, subvert Morality, and throw all things into Confusion and Disorder.  If none of these Reflections can have any Influence on them, there is one that perhaps may, because it is adapted to their Vanity, by which they seem to be guided much more than their Reason.  I would therefore have them consider, that the wisest and best of Men, in all Ages of the World, have been those who lived up to the Religion of their Country, when they saw nothing in it opposite to Morality, and [to] the best Lights they had of the Divine Nature.  Pythagoras’s first Rule directs us to worship the Gods as it is ordained by Law, for that is the most natural Interpretation of the Precept. [3] Socrates, who was the most renowned among the Heathens both for Wisdom and Virtue, in his last Moments desires his Friends to offer a Cock to AEsculapius; [4] doubtless out of a submissive Deference to the established Worship of his Country.  Xenophon tells us, that his Prince (whom he sets forth as a Pattern of Perfection), when he found his Death approaching, offered Sacrifices on the Mountains to the Persian Jupiter, and the Sun, according to the Custom of the Persians; for those are the Words of the Historian. [5] Nay, the Epicureans and Atomical Philosophers shewed a very remarkable Modesty in this Particular; for though the Being of a God was entirely repugnant to their Schemes of natural Philosophy, they contented themselves with the Denial of a Providence, asserting at the same Time the Existence of Gods in general; because they would not shock the common Belief of Mankind, and the Religion of their Country.’


[Footnote 1:  that]

[Footnote 2:  that]

[Footnote 3:  Which is motto to No. 112.]

[Footnote 4:  Phaedon.]

[Footnote 5:  Cyropaedia, Bk. viii.]

* * * * *

No. 187.  Thursday, October 4, 1711.  Steele.

      ’...  Miseri quibus
      Intentata nites ...’


The Intelligence given by this Correspondent is so important and useful, in order to avoid the Persons he speaks of, that I shall insert his Letter at length.


’I do not know that you have ever touched upon a certain species of Women, whom we ordinarily call Jilts.  You cannot possibly go upon a more useful Work, than the Consideration of these dangerous Animals.  The Coquet is indeed one Degree towards the Jilt; but the Heart of the former is bent upon admiring her self, and giving false Hopes to her Lovers; but the latter is not contented to be extreamly amiable, but she must add to that Advantage a certain Delight in being a Torment to others.  Thus when her Lover is in the full Expectation of Success, the Jilt shall
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