“Steele writes like a man at one with his audience. He does not feel the need to argue or convince; it is enough to appeal to the sense of right and wrong. As he said himself, when exposing the tyranny of husbands, ‘touching upon the malady tenderly is half way to the cure; and there are some faults which need only to be observed, to be amended.’ His business was not so much to create sentiments as to awaken them by a vivid description, and teach his readers to recognise their own principles in some poignant situation.”
–The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume IX. From Steele and Addison to Pope and Swift.
Okay, so this is the moral center of the domestic novel. Good to know. Query: can we cross-apply it to Jane Austen-type comedies of manners?