Please give a character sketch of the Templar in The Spectator.

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The Templar in The Spectator, a periodical whose essays were written by Richard Steele and Joseph Addison and published in 1711–12, is unnamed, but he is a recognizable character type in eighteenth-century London.

He takes his title from both his profession and place of residence. According to Steele, this...

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The Templar in The Spectator, a periodical whose essays were written by Richard Steele and Joseph Addison and published in 1711–12, is unnamed, but he is a recognizable character type in eighteenth-century London.

He takes his title from both his profession and place of residence. According to Steele, this gentleman:

is a member of the Inner Temple; a man of great probity, wit, and understanding...[who] was placed there to study the laws of the land, and is the most learned of any of the house [the Inner Temple] in those of the stage. (Spectator 2)

As a member of the Inner Temple, this gentleman of the Spectator Club is, in theory at least, a member of the legal profession, but instead of applying himself to the law, he has become an expert in the stage. Mr. Spectator observes that the lawyer knows more about Aristotle, who wrote foundational treatises on poetry and drama, and Longinus, most well known for his On the Sublime, than he does about the leading legal authorities Coke and Littleton who wrote the principal legal texts on land use in England—a subject on which the Templar's father constantly seeks his advice.

Rather than interrupt his play-going with his father's legal questions, the Templar routinely "agrees with an attorney to answer and take care of in the lump." As Mr. Spectator observes, the young Templar spends his time studying passions—as dramatized in the theater—when he should be examining the legal issues that arise from those passions.

The Templar is, in short, an upper-middle-class young man whose goal in life is to seek pleasure at the expense of an indulgent father, a character common in the society and the literature of eighteenth-century England, and a perfect foil for Steele's subtle humor.

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