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ducing a great variety of characters into my work, which could not have been done, had I always written in the person of the Spectator. Fourthly, because the dignity spectatorial would have suffered, had I published as from myself
, those several ludicrous compositions which I have ascribed to fictitious names and characters. And lastly, because they often serve to bring in, more naturally, such additional reflections as have been placed at the end of them.
There are others who have likewise done me a very particular honour, though undesignedly. These are such who will needs have it, that I have translated or borrowed many of my thoughts out of books which are written in other languages. I have heard of a person, who is more famous for his library than his learning, that has asserted this more than once in his private conversation. Were it true, I am sure he could not speak it from his own knowledge; but had he read the books which he has collected, he would find this accusation to be wholly groundless. Those who are truly learned, will acquit me in this point, in which I have been so far from offending, that I have been scrupulous, perhaps to a fault, in quoting the authors of several passages which I might have made my own.
But as this assertion is in reality an encomium on what I have published, I ought rather to glory in it, than endeavour to confute it.
Some are so very willing to alienate from me that small reputation which might accrue to me from any of these my speculations, that they attribute some of the besť of them to those imaginary manuscripts with which I have introduced them. There are others, I must confess, whose objections have given me a greater concern, as they seem to reflect, under this head, rather on my morality than on my inven- . tion. These are they who say an author is guilty of falsehood, when he talks to the public of manuscripts which he never saw, or describes scenes of action or discourse in which he was never-engaged. But these gentlemen would do well to consider, there is not a fable or a párable which ever was 'made use óf, that is not liable to this exception since nothing, according to this notion, can be related innos cently, which was not once matter of fact. Besides, I think, the most ordinary reader may be able to discover, by my way of writing, what I deliver in these occurrences as truth, and what as fiction.ws
Since I am unawares engaged in answering the several objections which have been made against these my works, I must take notice that there are some who affirm a paper of this nature should always turn upon diverting subjects, and others who find fault with every one of them that hath not an immediate tendency to the advancement of religion or learning. I shall leave these gentlemen to dispute it out among themselves, since I see one half of my conduct patronised by each side. Were I serious on an improper subject, or trifling in a serious one, I should deservedly draw upon me the censure of my readers : or were I conscious of any thing in my writings, that is not innocent at least, or that the greatest part of them were not sincerely designed to discountenance vice and ignorance, and support the interest of true wis, dom and virtue, I should be more severe upon my, self than the public is disposed to be.
In the mean while, I desire my reader to consider every particular paper or discourse as a distinct tract by itself, and independent of every thing that goes before or after it.
I shall end this paper with the following letter, which was really sent me, as some others have been iwhich I have published, and for which I must own myself indebted to their respective writers,
Sir, f. 162-16
your wellwishers, when we read over, with great satisfaction, Tully's Observations on Action, adapted to the British Theatre, though, by the way, we were very sorry to find that you have disposed of another member of your club. Poor Sir Roger is dead; and the worthy Clergymąn dying, Captain Sentry has taken possession of a fair estate; Will
. Honeycomb has married a farmer's daughter; and the Templar withdraws himself into the business of his own profession. What will all this end in? We are afraid it portends no good to the public. Unless you very speedilyfix a day for the election of new members, wę are under apprehensions of losing the British Spegtator. I hear of a party of ladies who intend to address you on this subject, and question not, if you do not give us the slip very suddenly, that you will receive addresses from all parts of the kingdom to continue so useful a work, Pray deliver us out of this perplexity, and among the multitude of your readers, you will particularly oblige “ Your most sincere friend and servant,
No. 543. SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 22.
па, Nec diversa tamen
THOSE who were skilful in anatomy among the ancients, concluded, from the outward and inward make of an human body, that it was the work of a Being transcendently wise and powerful. As the world grew more enlightened in this art, their discoveries gave them fresh opportunities of admiring the conduct of Providence in the formation of an
human body. Galen was converted by his disseg:
parts, bas what we discover in the body of every single animal
The more extended our reason is, and the more able to grapple with immense objects, the greater stil are those discoveries which it makes of wisdom and Providence in the works of the creation. A Sir Isaac Newton, who stands up as the miracle of the present age, can look through a whole planetary system consider sit in its weight, number, and measure; and draw from it as many demonstrations of infinite power and wisdom, as a more confined understanding is able to deduce from the system of an human body.s 1 : )! Wir
But to return to our speculations on anatomy. I shall here consider the fabric and texture of the bodies of animals in one particular view, which, in my opinion, shews the hand of a thinking and Allwise Being in their formation, with the evidence of a thousand demonstrations. I think we may lay this down as un incontested principle, that chance never acts in a perpetual uniformity and consistence with itself. If one should always fling the same number with ten thousand dice, or see every throw just five times less, or five times more, in number than the throw which immediately preceded it, who would not imagine there is some invisible power which directs the cast? This is the proceeding which we find in the operations of nature. Every kind of animal is diversified by different magnitudes, each of which gives rise to a different species. Let a man trace the dog or lion kind, and he will observe how many of the works of Nature are published, if I may use the expression, in a variety of editions. If we look into the reptile world, or into those different kinds of animals that fill the element of water,' iwe meet with the same repetitions among several species, that differ very little from one another, but in size and bulk. You find the same creature that is drawn at large, copied out in several proportions, and end