No. 227. Tuesday, November 20, 1711. Addison.

[Greek: Ô moi egô tí páthô ti ho dússuos; ouch hypakoúeis; Tàn Baítan apodùs eis kúmata tàena aleumai Hômer tôs thúnnôs skopiázetai Olpis ho gripéus. Káeka màe pothánô, tó ge màn teòn hadù tétuktai.

In my last Thursday's Paper I made mention of a Place called The Lovers' Leap, which I find has raised a great Curiosity among several of my Correspondents. I there told them that this Leap was used to be taken from a Promontory of Leucas. This Leucas was formerly a Part of Acarnania, being [joined to[1]] it by a narrow Neck of Land, which the Sea has by length of Time overflowed and washed away; so that at present Leucas is divided from the Continent, and is a little Island in the Ionian Sea. The Promontory of this Island, from whence the Lover took his Leap, was formerly called Leucate. If the Reader has a mind to know both the Island and the Promontory by their modern Titles, he will find in his Map the ancient Island of Leucas under the Name of St. Mauro, and the ancient Promontory of Leucate under the Name of The Cape of St. Mauro.

Since I am engaged thus far in Antiquity, I must observe that Theocritus in the Motto prefixed to my Paper, describes one of his despairing Shepherds addressing himself to his Mistress after the following manner, Alas! What will become of me! Wretch that I am! Will you not hear me? Ill throw off my Cloaths, and take a Leap into that Part of the Sea which is so much frequented by Olphis the Fisherman. And tho I should escape with my Life, I know you will be pleased with it. I shall leave it with the Criticks to determine whether the Place, which this Shepherd so particularly points out, was not the above-mentioned Leucate, or at least some other Lovers Leap, which was supposed to have had the same Effect. I cannot believe, as all the Interpreters do, that the Shepherd means nothing farther here than that he would drown himself, since he represents the Issue of his Leap as doubtful, by adding, That if he should escape with [Life,[2]] he knows his Mistress would be pleased with it; which is, according to our Interpretation, that she would rejoice any way to get rid of a Lover who was so troublesome to her.

After this short Preface, I shall present my Reader with some Letters which I have received upon this Subject. The first is sent me by a Physician.


The Lovers Leap, which you mention in your 223d Paper, was generally, I believe, a very effectual Cure for Love, and not only for Love, but for all other Evils. In short, Sir, I am afraid it was such a Leap as that which Hero took to get rid of her Passion for Leander. A Man is in no Danger of breaking his Heart, who breaks his Neck to prevent it. I know very well the Wonders which ancient Authors relate concerning this Leap; and in particular, that very many Persons who tried it, escaped not only with their Lives but their Limbs. If by this Means they got rid of their Love, tho it may in part be ascribed to the Reasons you give for it; why may not we suppose that the cold Bath into which they plunged themselves, had also some Share in their Cure? A Leap into the Sea or into any Creek of Salt Waters, very often gives a new Motion to the Spirits, and a new Turn to the Blood; for which Reason we prescribe it in Distempers which no other Medicine will reach. I could produce a Quotation out of a very venerable Author, in which the Frenzy produced by Love, is compared to that which is produced by the Biting of a mad Dog. But as this Comparison is a little too coarse for your Paper, and might look as if it were cited to ridicule the Author who has made use of it; I shall only hint at it, and desire you to consider whether, if the Frenzy produced by these two different Causes be of the same Nature, it may not very properly be cured by the same Means.

_I am, SIR,

Your most humble Servant, and Well-wisher,_



I am a young Woman crossed in Love. My Story is very long and melancholy. To give you the heads of it: A young Gentleman, after having made his Applications to me for three Years together, and filled my Head with a thousand Dreams of Happiness, some few Days since married another. Pray tell me in what Part of the World your Promontory lies, which you call The Lovers Leap, and whether one may go to it by Land? But, alas, I am afraid it has lost its Virtue, and that a Woman of our Times would find no more Relief in taking such a Leap, than in singing an Hymn to Venus. So that I must cry out with Dido in Dryden's Virgil,

_Ah! cruel Heaven, that made no Cure for Love!

Your disconsolate Servant,_



My Heart is so full of Lofes and Passions for Mrs. Gwinifrid, and she is so pettish and overrun with Cholers against me, that if I had the good Happiness to have my Dwelling (which is placed by my Creat-Cranfather upon the Pottom of an Hill) no farther Distance but twenty Mile from the Lofers Leap, I would indeed indeafour to preak my Neck upon it on Purpose. Now, good Mister SPICTATUR of Crete Prittain, you must know it there is in Caernaruanshire a fery pig Mountain, the Glory of all Wales, which is named Penmainmaure, and you must also know, it iss no great Journey on Foot from me; but the Road is stony and bad for Shooes. Now, there is upon the Forehead of this Mountain a very high Rock, (like a Parish Steeple) that cometh a huge deal over the Sea; so when I am in my Melancholies, and I do throw myself from it, I do desire my fery good Friend to tell me in his Spictatur, if I shall be cure of my grefous Lofes; for there is the Sea clear as Glass, and as creen as the Leek: Then likewise if I be drown, and preak my Neck, if Mrs. Gwinifrid will not lose me afterwards. Pray be speedy in your Answers, for I am in crete Haste, and it is my Tesires to do my Pusiness without Loss of Time. I remain with cordial Affections, your ever lofing Friend, Davyth ap Shenkyn.

P. S. My Law-suits have brought me to London, but I have lost my Causes; and so have made my Resolutions to go down and leap before the Frosts begin; for I am apt to take Colds.

Ridicule, perhaps, is a better Expedient against Love than sober Advice, and I am of Opinion, that Hudibras and Don Quixote may be as effectual to cure the Extravagancies of this Passion, as any of the old Philosophers. I shall therefore publish, very speedily, the Translation of a little Greek Manuscript, which is sent me by a learned Friend. It appears to have been a Piece of those Records which were kept in the little Temple of Apollo, that stood upon the Promontory of Leucate. The Reader will find it to be a Summary Account of several Persons who tried the Lovers Leap, and of the Success they found in it. As there seem to be in it some Anachronisms and Deviations from the ancient Orthography, I am not wholly satisfied myself that it is authentick, and not rather the Production of one of those Grecian Sophisters, who have imposed upon the World several spurious Works of this Nature. I speak this by way of Precaution, because I know there are several Writers, of uncommon Erudition, who would not fail to expose my Ignorance, if they caught me tripping in a Matter of so great Moment. [3]


[Footnote 1: [divided from]]

[Footnote 2: [his Life,]]

[Footnote 3: The following Advertisement appeared in Nos. 227-234, 237, 247 and 248, with the word certainly before be ready after the first insertion:

There is now Printing by Subscription two Volumes of the SPECTATORS on a large Character in Octavo; the Price of the two Vols. well Bound and Gilt two Guineas. Those who are inclined to Subscribe, are desired to make their first Payments to Jacob Tonson, Bookseller in the Strand, the Books being so near finished, that they will be ready for the Subscribers at or before Christmas next.

The Third and Fourth Volumes of the LUCUBRATIONS of Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq., are ready to be delivered at the same Place.

N.B. The Author desires that such Gentlemen who have not received their Books for which they have Subscribed, would be pleased to signify the same to Mr. Tonson.]

Translation of motto:
'Wretch that I am! ah, whither shall I go?
Will you not hear me, nor regard my woe?
I'll strip, and throw me from yon rock so high,
Where Olpis sits to watch the scaly fry.
Should I be drown'd, or 'scape with life away,
If cured of love, you, tyrant, would be gay.'