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without adding or diminishing; and pretend to no greater praise from iny translation, than they who smooth and clean the furs of that country which have suffered by carriage.
' It will be necessary to imagine, that the author of this song, not having the liberty of visiting his mistress at her father's house, was in hopes of spying her at a distance in her fields,
• My bliss too long my bride denics,
• What may for strength with steel compare?
No longer then perplex thy breast,
ON THE MANUFACTURE OF PAPER.
I HAVE often pleased myself with considering the two kinds of benefits which accrue to the public from these my speculations, and which, were I to speak after the manner of logicians, I would distinguish into the material and the formal.' By, the latter I understand those advantages which my readers receive, as their minds are either improved or delighted by these my daily labours ; but having already several times descanted on my endeavours in this light, I shall at present wholly confine myself to the consideration of the former. By the word material I mean those benefits which arise to the public from these my speculations, as they consume a considerable quantity of our papermanufacture, employ our artisans in printing, and find business for great numbers of indigent persons.
Our paper-manufacture takes into it several mean materials which could be put to no other use, and affords work for several hands in the collection of them, which are incapable of any other employment. Those poor retailers, whom we see so busy in every street, deliver in their respective gleanings to the merchant. The merchant carries them in loads to the paper-mill, where they pass through a fresh set of hands, and give life to another trade. Those who have mills on their estates by this means considerably raise their rents, and the whole nation is in a great measure supplied with a manufacture, for which formerly she was obliged to her neighbours.
The materials are no sooner wrought into paper, butthey are distributed among the presses, where they again set innumerable artists at work, and furnish business to another mystery. From hence, accordingly as they are stained with news or politics, they fly through the town in Post-men, Post-boys, Daily Courants, Reviews, Medleys, and Examiners. Men, women, and children contend who shall be the first bearers of them, and get their daily sustenance by spreading them. In short, when I trace in my mind a bundle of rags to a quire of Spectators, I find so many hands employed in every step they take through their whole progress, that while I am writing a Spectator I fancy myself providing bread for a multitude.
If I do not take care to obviate some of my witly readers, they will be apt to tell me, that my paper, after it is thus printed and published, is still beneficial to the public on several occasions. I must confess I have lighted my pipe with my own works for this twelvemonth past. My landlady often sends up her little daughter to desire some of my old Spectators, and has frequently told me that the paper they are printed on is the best in the world to wrap spice in. They likewise make a good foundation for a mutton pye, as
I have more than once experienced, and were very much sought for last Christmas by the whole neighbourhood.
It is pleasant enough to consider the changes that a linen fragment undergoes, by passing through the several hands above mentioned. The finest pieces of holland, when worn to tatters, assume a new whiteness more beautiful than the first, and often return in the shape of letters to their native country. A lady's shift may be metamorphosed into billets-doux, and come into her possession a second time. A beau may peruse his cravat after it is worn out, with greater pleasure and advantage than ever he did in a glass. word, a piece of cloth, after having officiated for some years as a towel or a napkin, may by this means be raised from a dunghill, and become the most valuable piece of furniture in a prince's cabinet.
The politest nations of Europe have endeavoured to vie with one another for the reputation of the finest printing. Absolute governments, as well as republics, have encouraged an art which seems to be the noblest and most beneficial that ever was invented among the sons of men. The present king of France, in his pursuits after glory, has particularly distinguished himself by the promoting of this useful art, insomuch that several books have been printed in the Louvre at his own expense, upon which he sets so great a value, that he considers them as the noblest presents he can make to foreign princes and ambassadors. If we look into the commonwealths of Holland and Venice, we shall find that in this particular they have made themselves the envy of the greatest monarchies. Elzevir and Aldus are more frequently mentioned than any pensioner of the one, or doge of the other.
My illiterate readers, if any such there are, will be surprised to hear me talk of learning as the glory of a nation, and of printing as an art that gains a reputation to a people among whom it flourishes. When men's thoughts are taken up with avarice and ambition, they cannot look upon any thing as great or valuable, which does not bring with it an extraordinary power or interest to the person who is concerned in it. But as I shall never sink this paper so far as to engage with Goths and Vandals, I shall only regard such kind of reasoners with that pity which is due to so deplorable a degree of stupidity and ignorance.
STORY OF MONSIEUR FESTEAU AND MADAMB
DE VILLACERFE, No. 368.
As the Spectator is in a kind a paper of news from the natural world, as others are from the busy and politic part of mankind, I shall translate the following letter written to an eminent French gentleman in this town from Paris, which gives yis the exit of a heroine who is a pattern of patience and generosity.
Paris, April 18, 1-12. "It is so many years
native country, that I ain to tell you the characters of your nearest relations as much as if you were an utter stranger to them. The occasion of this is to give you an account of the death of madame de Villacerfe, whose departure out of this life I know not whether a man of your philosophy will call unfortunate or not, since it was attended with some circumstances as much to be desired