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No. 413 [from The Spectator]
by [?]

I have here supposed that my Reader is acquainted with that great Modern Discovery, which is at present universally acknowledged by all the Enquirers into Natural Philosophy: Namely, that Light and Colours, as apprehended by the Imagination, are only Ideas in the Mind, and not Qualities that have any Existence in Matter. As this is a Truth which has been proved incontestably by many Modern Philosophers, and is indeed one of the finest Speculations in that Science, if the English Reader would see the Notion explained at large, he may find it in the Eighth Chapter of the second Book of Mr. Lock’s Essay on Human Understanding.


[To Addison’s short paper there was added in number 413 of the Spectator the following letter, which was not included in the reprint into volumes:

June 24, 1712.


I would not divert the Course of your Discourses, when you seem bent upon obliging the World with a train of Thinking, which, rightly attended to, may render the Life of every Man who reads it, more easy and happy for the future. The Pleasures of the Imagination are what bewilder Life, when Reason and Judgment do not interpose; It is therefore a worthy Action in you to look carefully into the Powers of Fancy, that other Men, from the Knowledge of them, may improve their Joys and allay their Griefs, by a just use of that Faculty: I say, Sir, I would not interrupt you in the progress of this Discourse; but if you will do me the Favour of inserting this Letter in your next Paper, you will do some Service to the Public, though not in so noble a way of Obliging, as that of improving their Minds. Allow me, Sir, to acquaint you with a Design (of which I am partly Author), though it tends to no greater a Good than that of getting Money. I should not hope for the Favour of a Philosopher in this Matter, if it were not attempted under all the Restrictions which you Sages put upon private Acquisitions.

The first Purpose which every good Man is to propose to himself, is the Service of his Prince and Country; after that is done, he cannot add to himself, but he must also be beneficial to them. This Scheme of Gain is not only consistent with that End, but has its very Being in Subordination to it; for no Man can be a Gainer here but at the same time he himself, or some other, must succeed in their Dealings with the Government. It is called the Multiplication Table, and is so far calculated for the immediate Service of Her Majesty, that the same Person who is fortunate in the Lottery of the State, may receive yet further Advantage in this Table. And I am sure nothing can be more pleasing to Her gracious Temper than to find out additional Methods of increasing their good Fortune who adventure anything in Her Service, or laying Occasions for others to become capable of serving their Country who are at present in too low Circumstances to exert themselves. The manner of executing the Design is, by giving out Receipts for half Guineas received, which shall entitle the fortunate Bearer to certain Sums in the Table, as is set forth at large in the Proposals Printed the 23rd instant. There is another Circumstance in this Design, which gives me hopes of your Favour to it, and that is what Tully advises, to wit, that the Benefit is made as diffusive as possible. Every one that has half a Guinea is put into a possibility, from that small Sum, to raise himself an easy Fortune; when these little parcels of Wealth are, as it were, thus thrown back again into the Redonation of Providence, we are to expect that some who live under Hardship or Obscurity, may be produced to the World in the Figure they deserve by this means. I doubt not but this last Argument will have Force with you, and I cannot add another to it, but what your Severity will, I fear, very little regard; which is, that

I am, SIR, Your greatest Admirer,
Richard Steele.