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lished, 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, we 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 ending in miniature. It would be tedious to produce instances of this regular conduct in Providence, as it would be superfluous to those who are versed in the natural history of animals. The magnificent harmony of the universe is such, that we may observe innumerable divisions running upon the same ground. I might also extend this speculation to the dead parts of nature, in which we may find matter disposed into many similar systems, as well in our survey of stars and planets, as of stones, vegetables, and other sublunary parts of the creation. In a word, Providence has shown the richness of its goodness and wisdom, not only in the production of many original species, but in the multiplicity of descants which it has made on every original species in particular.
But to pursue this thought still further: every living creature considered in itself has many very complicated parts, that are exact copies of some other parts which it possesses, and which are complicated in the same manner. One eye would have been sufficient for the subsistence and preservation of an animal; but, in order to better his condition, we see another placed with a mathematical exactness in the same most advantageous situation, and in every particular of the same size and texture. Is it possible for chance to be thus delicate and uniform in her operations? Should a million of dice turn up twice together the same number, the wonder would be nothing in comparison with this. But when we see this similitude and resemblance in the arm, the hand, the fingers; when we see one half of the body entirely correspond with the other, in all those minute strokes, without which a man might have very well subsisted; nay, when we often see a single part repeated a hundred times in the same body, notwithstanding it consists of the most intricate weaving of numberless fibres, and these parts differing still in magnitude, as the convenience of their particular situation requires; sure a man must have a strange cast of understanding, who does not discover the finger of God in so won
derful a work. These duplicates in those parts of the body, without which a man might have very well subsisted, though not so well as with them, are a plain demonstration of an all-wise contriver; as those more numerous copyings, which are found among the vessels of the same body, are evident demonstrations that they could not be the work of chance. This argument receives additional strength, if we apply it to every animal and insect within our knowledge, as well as to those numberless living creatures that are objects too minute for a human eye: and if we consider how the several species in the whole world of life resemble one another in very many particulars, so far as is convenient for their respective states of existence; it is much more probable that an hundred million of dice should be casually thrown a hundred million of times in the same number, than that the body of any single animal should be produced by the fortuitous concourse of matter. And that the like chance should arise in innumerable instances, requires a degree of credulity that is not under the direction of common sense. We may carry this consideration yet further, if we reflect on the two sexes in every living species, with their resemblances to each other, and those particular distinctions that were necessary for the keeping up of this great world of life.
There are many more demonstrations of a Supreme Being, and of his transcendent wisdom, power, and goodness, in the formation of the body of a living creature, for which I refer my reader to other writings, particularly to the sixth book of the poem entitled Creation, where the anatomy of the human body is described with great perspicuity and elegance. I have been particular on the thought which runs through this Speculation, because I have not seen it enlarged upon by others.
No. 547. THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 27.
Si vulnus tibi monstratâ radice vel herbâ
Ir is very difficult to praise a man without putting him out of countenance. My following correspondent has found out this uncommon art, and, together with his friends, has
celebrated some of my Speculations after such a concealed but diverting manner, that if any of my readers think I am to blame in publishing my own commendations, they will allow I should have deserved their censure as much, had I suppressed the humour in which they are conveyed
I am often in a private assembly of wits of both sexes, where we generally descant upon your speculations, or upon the subjects on which you have treated. We were last Tuesday talking of those two volumes which you have lately published. Some were commending one of your papers, and some another; and there was scarce a single person in the company that had not a favourite speculation. Upon this a man of wit and learning told us, he thought it would not be amiss if we paid the Spectator the same compliment that is often made in our public prints to Sir William Read, Dr. Grant, Mr. Moor the apothecary, and other eminent physicians, where it is usual for the patients to publish the cures which have been made upon them, and the several distempers under which they laboured. The proposal took, and the lady where we visited having the two last volumes in large paper interleaved for her own private use, ordered them to be brought down, and laid in the window, whither every one in the company retired, and writ down a particular advertisement in the style and phrase of the like ingenious compositions which we frequently meet with at the end of our newspapers. When we had finished our work, we read them with a great deal of mirth at the fireside, and agreed, nemine contradicente, to get them transcribed, and sent to the Spectator. The gentleman who made the proposal entered the following advertisement before the title-page, after which the rest succeeded in order.
"Remedium efficax et universum; or, an effectual remedy adapted to all capacities; showing how any person may cure himself of ill-nature, pride, party-spleen, or any other distemper incident to the human system; with an easy way to know when the infection is upon him. This panacea is as innocent as bread, agreeable to the taste, and requires no confinement. It has not its equal in the universe, as abundance
of the nobility and gentry throughout the kingdom have experienced.
"N. B. No family ought to be without it."
Over the two Spectators on Jealousy, being the two first in the third volume.
'I, William Crazy, aged threescore and seven, having been for several years afflicted with uneasy doubts, fears, and vapours, occasioned by the youth and beauty of Mary my wife, aged twenty-five, do hereby for the benefit of the public give notice, that I have found great relief from the two following doses, having taken them two mornings together with a dish of chocolate. Witness my hand," &c.
For the benefit of the poor.
"In charity to such as are troubled with the disease of levee-hunting, and are forced to seek their bread every morning at the chamber-doors of great men, I, A. B., do testify, that for many years past I laboured under this fashionable distemper, but was cured of it by a remedy which I bought of Mrs. Baldwin, contained in a half-sheet of paper, marked No. 193, where any one may be provided with the same remedy at the price of a single penny.
“An infallible cure for hypochondriac melancholy. No. 173, 184, 191, 203, 209, 221, 233, 235, 239, 245, 247, 251. "Probatum est. CHARLES EASY."
"I, Christopher Query, having been troubled with a certain distemper in my tongue, which showed itself in impertinent and superfluous interrogatories, have not asked one unnecessary question since my perusal of the prescription marked No. 228."
"The Britannic Beautifier, being an Essay on Modesty, No. 231, which gives such a delightful blushing colour to the cheeks of those that are white or pale, that it is not to be distinguished from a natural fine complexion, nor perceived to be artificial by the nearest friend: is nothing of paint, or in the least hurtful. It renders the face delightfully handsome; is not subject to be rubbed off, and cannot be paralleled by either wash, powder, cosmetic, &c. It is certainly the best beautifier in the world.
"I, Samuel Self, of the parish of St. James's, having a constitution which naturally abounds with acids, made use of a paper of directions, marked No. 177, recommending a healthful exercise called Good-nature, and have found it a most excellent sweetener of the blood."
"Whereas I, Elizabeth Rainbow, was troubled with that distemper in my head, which about a year ago was pretty epidemical among the ladies, and discovered itself in the colour of their hoods, having made use of the doctor's cephalic tincture, which he exhibited to the public in one of his last year's papers, I recovered in a very few days."
"I, George Gloom, have for a long time been troubled with the spleen, and being advised by my friends to put myself into a course of Steele,1 did for that end make use of Remedies conveyed to me several mornings in short letters, from the hands of the invisible doctor. They were marked at the bottom, Nathaniel Henroost, Alice Threadneedle, Rebecca Nettletop, Tom Loveless, Mary Meanwell, Thomas Smoky, Anthony Freeman, Tom Meggot, Rustick Sprightly, &c., which have had so good an effect upon me, that I now find myself cheerful, lightsome, and easy; and therefore do recommend them to all such as labour under the same distemper."
Not having room to insert all the advertisements which were sent me, I have only picked out some few from the third volume, reserving the fourth for another opportunity.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 29.
Quamvis digressu veteris confusus amici,
2I BELIEVE most people begin the world with a resolution to withdraw from it into a serious kind of solitude or retire
A course of Steele.] The joke lies in the ambiguity of the expression -a course of Steele: which may either mean a course of steel-medicines, which are thought good in hypochondriac cases, or a course of those speculations which were first published by Sir Richard Steele. This observation will have its use, if these papers should outlive (as they possibly may) the memory of the invisible doctor.
2 This paper is not so well written as might be expected from Mr. Addison, on so critical an occasion as that of winding up the plot of the Spectator. Yet, on the whole, it might possibly be his.