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cure, and which will bring along with it Fulness of Joy and Pleasures for evermore.
HOW the Pursuit after Fame may hinder us in the Attainment of this great End, I shall leave the Reader to collect from the three following Considerations.
FIRST, Because the strong Defire of Fame breeds several vicious Habits in the Mind.
SECONDLY, Because many of those Actions, which are apt to procure Fame, are not in their Nature conducive to this our ultimate Happiness.
THIRDLY; Because if we should allow the same Actions to be the proper Instruments, both of acquiring Fame, and of procuring this Happiness, they would nevertheless fail in the Attainment of this last End, if they proceeded from a Defire of the first,
THESE three Propositions are self-evident to those who are versed in Speculations of Morality. For which Reason I shall not enlarge upon them, but proceed to a Point of the fame Nature, which may open to us a more uncommon Field of Speculation.
FROM what has already been observed, I think we may have a natural Conclusion, that it is the greatest Folly to seek the Praise or Approbation of any Being, befides the Supreme, and that for these two Reasons, Because no other Being can make a right Judgment of us, and esteem us according to our Merits ; and Because we can procure no considerable Benefit or Advantage from the Eleem and Approbation of any other Being
IN the first Place, No other Being can make a right: Judgment of us, and esteem us according to our Merits. Created Beings see nothing but our Outside, and can therefore only frame a Judgment of us from our exterior Actions and Behaviour; but how unfit these are to give us a right Notion of each other's Perfections, may appear from several Considerations. There are many Virtues, which in their own Nature are incapable of any outward Representation : Many filent Perfections in the Soul of a good Man, which are great Ornaments to human Nature, but not able to discover themselves to the Knowledge of others; they are transacted in private, without Noise or Show, and are only visible to the great Searcher of Hearts. What Actions can express the intire B 3
Purity of Thought which refines and fanctifies a virtuous Man ? That secret Rest and Contentedness of Mind, which gives him a Perfect Enjoyment of his present Condition ? That inward Pleasure and Complacency, which he feels in doing Good ? That Delight and Satisfaction which he takes in the Prosperity and Happiness of another ? These and the like Virtues are the hidden Beauties of a Soul, the secret Graces which cannot be discovered by a mortal Eye, but make the Soul lovely and precious in his Sight, from whom no Secrets are concealed. Again, there are many Virtues which want an Opportunity of exerting and sewing themselves in A&tions. Every Virtue requires Time and Place, a proper Object and a fit Conjuncture of Circumstances, for the due Exercise of it. A State of Poverty obscures all the Virtues of Liberality and Munificence. T'he Patience and Fortitude of a Martyr or Confeffor lie concealed in the flourishing Times of Chriftianity. Some Virtues are only seen in Afiction, and fome in Prosperity ; some in a private, and others in a publick Capacity. But the great Sovereign of the World be. holds every Perfection in its Obscurity, and not only fees what we do, but what we would do. He views our Behaviour in every Concurrence of Affairs, and sees us engaged in all the Poffibilities of Action. He discovers the Martyr and Confessor without the Trial of Flames and Tortures, and will hereafter entitle many to the Reward of Actions, which they had never the Opportunity of performing. Another Reason why Men cannot form a right Judgment of us is, because the fame Actions may be aimed at different Ends, and arise from quite contrary Principles. Actions are of fo mixt a Nature, and so full of Circumstances, that as Men pry into them more or lefs, or observe some Parts more than others, they take different Hints, and put contrary Interpretations on them; so that the fame Actions may represent a Man as hypocritical and designing to one, which makes him appear a Saint or Hero to another. He therefore who looks upon the Soul through its outward Actions, often fees it through a deceitful Medium, which is apt to discolour and pervert the Object : So that on this Account also, he is the önly proper Judge of our Perfections, who does not guess • at the Sincerity of our Intentions from the Goodness of
our Actions ; but weighs the Goodness of our Actions by the Sincerity of our Intentions.
BUT further ; it is impossible for outward Actions to represent the Perfections of the Soul, because they can never shew the Strength of those Principles from whence they proceed. They are not adequate Expressions of our Virtues, and can only shew us what Habits are in the Soul, without discovering the Degree and Perfection of such Habits. They are at best but weak Resemblances of our Intentions, faint and imperfect Copies that may acquaint us with the general Design, but can never express the Beauty and Life of the Original. But the great Judge of all the Earth knows every different State and Degree of human Improvement, from those weak Stirrings and Tendencies of the Will which have not yet formed themselves into regular Purposes and Designs, to the last intire Finishing and Consummation of a good Habit. He beholds the first imperfect Rudiments of a Virtue in the Soul, and keeps a watchful Eye over it in all its Progress, 'till it has received every Grace it is capable of, and appears in its full Beauty and Perfection. Thus we see that none but the supreme Being can esteem us according to our proper Merits, fince all others must judge of us from our outward Actions, which can never give them a just Estimate of us, since there are many Perfections of a Man which are not capable of appearing in A&tions ; many which, allowing no natural Incapacity of shewing themfelves, want an Opportunity of doing it ; or should they all meet with an Opportunity of appearing by Actions, yet those Actions may be misinterpreted, and applied to wrong Principles; or though they plainly discovered the Principles from whence they proceeded, they could never shew the Degree, Strength and Perfection of those Principles.
AND as the supreme Being is the only proper Judge of our Perfections, so is he the only fit Rewarder of them. This is a Consideration that comes home to our Interest, as the other adapts itself to our Ambition. And what could the most aspiring, or the most selfish Man desire more, were he to form the Notion of a Being to whom he would recommend himself, than such a Knowledge as can discover the least Appearance of Per
fection in him, and such a Goodness as will proportion a Reward to it ?
LET the ambitious Man therefore turn all his Desire of Fame this Way; and, that he may propose to himself a Fame worthy of his Ambition, let him consider that if he employs his Abilities to the best Advantage, the Time will come when the supreme Governor of the World, the great Judge of Mankind, who sees every Degree of Perfection in others, and possesses all poffible Perfection in himself, shall proclaim his Worth before Men and Angels, and pronounce to him in the Presence of the whole Creation that belt and most significant of Applauses, Well dont thou good and faithful Servant, enter thou into thy MafHor's Joy.
N? 258. Wednesday, December 26.
Divide & Impera.
DLEASURE and Recreation of one Kind or other P are absolutely necessary to relieve our Minds and Bo
dies from too constant Attention and Labour: Where therefore publick Diversions are tolerated, it behoves Perfons of Distinction, with their Power and Example, to preside over them in such a Manner as to check any thing that tends to the Corruption of Manners, or which is too mean or trivial for the Entertainment of reasonable Creatures. As to the Diversions of this kind in this Town, we owe them to the Arts of Poetry and Mufick : My own private Opinion, with Relation to such Recreations, I have heretofore given with all the Frankness imaginable; what concerns those Arts at present the Reader shall have from my Correspondents. The first of the Letters with which I acquit my self for this Day, is written by one who proposes to improve our Entertainments of Drama. tick Poetry, and the other comes from three Persons who, as soon as named, will be thought capable of advancing the present State of Mufick.
Mr. SPECTATOR, " Am considerably obliged to you for your speedy Pub
Ilication of my last in yours of the 18th Instant, 6 and am in no small Hopes of being settled in the Poit of • Comptroller of the Cries. Of all the Objections I have • hearkened after in publick Coffee-houses there is but one ' that seems to carry any Weight with it, viz. That such ' a Post would come too near the Nature of a Monopo
ly. Now, Sir, because I would have all Sorts of People ' made easy, and being willing to have more Strings than ' one to my Bow; in case that of Comptroller should fail ' me, I have since formed another Project, which, being ' grounded on the dividing a present Monopoly, I hope I will give the Publick an Equivalent to their full Content. • You know, Sir, it is allowed that the Business of the ' Stage is, as the Latin has it, jucunda & Idonea din • cere Vitæ. Now there being but one Dramatick Thea• tre licensed for the Delight and Profit of this extensive • Metropolis, I do humbly propose, for the Convenience ' of such of its Inhabitants as are too distant from Covent• Garden, that another Theatre of Ease may be erected in • some spacious Part of the City; and that the Direction • thereof may be made a Franchise in Fee to me, and my • Heirs for ever. And that the Town may have no Jea* lousy of my ever coming to an Union with the Set of
Actors now in being, I do further propose to constitute for my Deputy my near Kinsman and Adventurer Kite • Crotchet, whose long Experience and Improvements in
those Affairs need no Recommendation. 'Twas obvious ' to every Spectator what a quite different Foot the Stage • was upon during his Government; and had he not • been bolted out of his Trap-Doors, his Garrison might . have held out for ever, he having by long Pains and • Perseverance arriv'd at the Artof making his Army fight • without Pay or Provisions. I must confess it with a • melancholy Amazement, I see so wonderful a Genius • laid aside, and the late Slaves of the Stage now become lits Masters, Dunces that will be sure to suppress all The' atrical Entertainments and Activities that they are not & able themselves to thine in!