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No. 488. I write next on that Subject, to speak a Word or two upon Friday, the present Duties on Castie-Soap. But there is none of Sept 19, these my Correspondents
, who writes with a greater Turn of good Sense and Elegance of Expression, than the generous Philomedes, who advises me to value every Spectator at Six Pence, and promises that he himself will engage for above an Hundred of his Acquaintance, who shall take it in at that Price,
Letters from the Female World are likewise come to me, in great Quantities, upon the same Occasion, and as I naturally bear a great Deference to this part of our Species, I am very glad to find that those, who approve my
Conduct in this Particular, are much more numerous than those who condemn it. A large Family of Daughters have drawn me up a very handsome Remonstrance, in which they set forth, that their Father having refused to take in the Spectator, since the additional Price was set upon it, they offered him unanimously to bate him the Article of Bread and Butter in the Tea Table Account, provided the Spectator might be served up to them every Morning as usual. Upon this the old Gentleman, being pleased, it seems, with their Desire of improving them selves, has granted them the Continuance both of the Spectator and their Bread_and_Butter ; having given particular Orders, that the Tea Table shall be set forth every Morning with its Customary Bill of Fare, and without any Manner of Defalcation. I thought my self obliged to mention this particular, as it does Honour to this worthy Gentleman ; and if the young Lady Laetitia, who sent me this Account, will acquaint me with his Name, I will insert it at length in one of my Papers, if he desires it
I should be very glad to find out any Expedient that might alleviate the Expence which this my Paper brings to any of my Readers, and, in order to it, must propose two Points to their consideration. First, that if they retrench any the smallest Particular in their ordinary Expence, it will easily make up the Half-Penny a Day, which we have now under Consideration, Let a Lady sacrifice but a single Ribband to her Morning Studies, and it will be sufficient. Let a Family burn but a Candle a
Night less than the usual Number, and they may take in No. 488. the Spectator without detriment to their private Affairs, Friday,
In the next Place, if my Readers will not go to the Sept. 19, Price of buying my Papers by Retail
, let them have Patience, and they may buy them in the Lump, without the Burthen of a Tax upon them. My Speculations, when they are. sold single, like Cherries upon the Stick, are Delights for the Rich and Wealthy after some time they come to Market in greater Quantities, and are every ordinary Man's Money. The Truth of it is, they have a certain Flavour at their first Appearance, from several accidental Circumstances of Time Place and Person, which they may lose if they are not taken early , but in this Case every Reader is to consider, whether it is not better for him to be half a Year behind Hand with the fashionable and polite Part of the World, than to strain himself beyond his Circumstances. My Bookseller has now about Ten Thousand of the Third and Fourth Volumes, which he is ready to publish, having already disposed of as large an Edition both of the first and Second Volume. As he is a Person whose Head is very well turned to his Business, he thinks they would be a very proper Present to be made to Persons at Christenings, Marriages, visiting Days, and the like joyful Solemnities, as several other Books are frequently given at Funerals. He has printed them in such a little portable Volume, that many of them may be rang'd together upon a single Plate, and is of Opinion, that a Salver of Spectators would be as acceptable an Entertainment to the Ladies, as a Salver of Sweetmeats,
I shall conclude this paper with an Epigram lately sent to the Writer of the Spectator, after having returned my Thanks to the ingenious Author of it
Sir, Having heard the following Epigram very much con mended, I wonder that it has not yet had a Place in any of your Papers, I think the Suffrage of our Poet-laureat should not be overlooked, which shews the Opinion he entertains of your Paper, whether the Notion he proceeds upon be true or false. I make bold to convey it to you, not knowing if it has yet come to your Hands.
On the SPECTATOR.
-aliusque & idem
When first the Tatler to a Mute was turn'd,
'Tis the same Sun, and does himself succeed.
Saturday, September 20.
of the Imagination, I find, among the three Sources of those Pleasures which you have discovered, that Greatness is one. This has suggested to me the Reason why, of all Objects that I have ever seen, there is none which affects my Imagination so much as the Sea or Ocean. I cannot see the Heavings of this prodigious Bulk of Waters, even in a Calm, without a very pleasing Astonishment, but when it is worked up in a Tempest, so that the Horizon on every Side is nothing but foaming Billows and floating Mountains, it is impossible to describe the agreeable Horrour that arises from such a Prospect. A troubled Ocean, to a Man who sails upon it, is, I think, the biggest Object that he can see in Motion, and consequently gives his Imagination one of the highest Kinds of Pleasure that can arise from Greatness. I must confess, it is impossible for me to survey this World of fluid
Matter, without thinking on the Hand that first poured it No. 489, out, and made a proper Channel for its Reception. Such Saturday, an Object naturally raises in my Thoughts the Idea of an
1712. Almighty Being, and convinces me of his Existence as much as a metaphysical Demonstration. The Imagination prompts the Understanding, and by the Greatness of the sensible Object, produces in it the Idea of a Being who is neither circumscribed by Time nor Space.
As I have made several Voyages upon the Sea, I have often been tossed in Storms, and on that Occasion have frequently reflected on the Descriptions of them in ancient Poets. I remember Longinus highly recommends one in Homer, because the Poet has not amused himself with little Fancies upon the Occasion, as Authors of an inferiour Genius, whom he mentions, had done, but because he has gathered together those Circumstances which are the most apt to terrify the Imagination, and which really happen in the Raging of a Tempest. It is for the same Reason, that I prefer the following Description of a Ship in a Storm, which the Psalmist has made, before any other I have ever met with. They that go down to the Sea in Ships, that do Business in great Waters These see the Works of the Lord, and his Wonders in the Deep. For he commandeth and raiseth the stormy Wind, which lifteth up the Waters thereof. They mount up to the Heaven, they go down again to the Depths, their Soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken Man, and are at their Wit's End, Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their Distresses. He maketh the Storm a Calm, so that the Waves thereof are still. Then they are glad, because they be quiet, so he bringeth them unto their desired Haven,
By the way, how much more comfortable, as well as rational, is this System of the Psalmist, than the Pagan Scheme in Virgil, and other Poets, where one Deity is represented as raising a Storm, and another as laying it. Were we only to consider the Sublime in this piece of Poetry, what can be nobler than the Idea it gives us, of the Supreme Being thus raising a Tumult among the
No. 489. Elements, and recovering them out of their Confusion,
Great Painters do not only give us Landskips of 1712.
Gardens, Groves, and Meadows, but very often employ their Pencils upon Sea-Pieces: I could wish you would follow their Example. If this small Sketch may deserve a Place among your Works, I shall accompany it with a Divine Ode, made by a Gentleman upon the Conclusion of his Travels.
In foreign Realms, and Lands remote,
Supported by Thy Care,
And breath'd in tainted Air.
Made ev'ry Region please 1
And smoak'd the Tyrrhene Seas:
How with affrighted Eyes
In all its Horrors rise!
And Fear in ev'ry Heart