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nearly one-sixth consisted of excellent and exhaustive literary criticisms whose length makes it impossible that they shall be read by any one who is not a special student of the authors considered. Of the remaining papers, nearly one-half are upon habits and follies which died with their day, and of which only the curious care to read. To omit the Roger de Coverley papers from any edition of the Spectator, is a crime somewhat akin to that of dismissing Hamlet from the play which bears his name; but the papers devoted to the model old knight have already been published in a volume by themselves, whereas the present series is designed to contain only what the reading public might not easily find elsewhere. A few papers, in which vices not unknown to the present age are vigorously attacked, are excluded for the sole cause that their diction is, while never indecent, too plain to suit ears accustomed to the wisely guarded speech of today. The extracts, mostly from Latin writers, which precede the original papers, have been omitted for the sake of space; most of them are pithy in themselves, but have not necessarily a connection with the papers,-for Addison and Steele, like many a good preacher, often took texts merely for the purpose of having a definite point of departure. Although we have not given all that remains after the omissions alluded to have been made,

the mass of the readers for whose use this volume is prepared, will hardly complain that we have selected unfairly. Before habitual readers of the Spectator, however—those who know every original paper by its date, its number, and the quotation at its head-we can only plead guilty of sacrilege, desecration, butchery, or whatever they in their wrath may denominate our offence, and humbly offer, in extenuation, the nature of our in


Joseph Addison, to whose contributions the success of the Spectator is mainly due, was born on May-day, 1672. He came of good stock, apparently; his father, the Dean of Lichfield, was noted for his ability at college, and was a theological writer of some reputation. Addison's grandfather, also, was a clergyman. Entering King's College, Oxford, at the age of fifteen, Addison was so successful in his classical studies that he became famous for the excellence of his Latin poetry. Previous to entering the university he studied at Charter-house School, and made there the acquaintance of his future literary partner, Richard Steele. Addison had intended to follow the example of his progenitors and take holy orders; but while he never lost his taste for teaching morality and religion, the charms of a life purely literary seem to have withheld him at first from fulfilling an intention from which

it is said he was afterward dissuaded by an eminent statesman. In his twenty-third year he wrote a poem, upon one of King William's campaigns, that gained him a pension of £300 a year, which amount made him quite independent, financially. With the death of King William, Addison lost his pension, and for a year or two his prospects were unenviable. But again his pen came to his rescue; the victory of Blenheim was gained by Marlborough in 1704, and the government sought for a poet to do justice to the subject. Addison was recommended for the task, and succeeded so well that he was appointed Commissioner of Appeals, and two years later, UnderSecretary of State. His pen was freely used in the service of the government, and no one can doubt that it was the ablest advocate through which the Crown appeared in the press. In 1709 Steele started the Tatler, which was succeeded by the Spectator and the Guardian; to each of these periodicals Addison was by far the strongest contributor. Addison's last literary work of consequence consisted of his defence of the government, published in the Freeholder in 1715-16.

In his forty-fourth year he married the Dowager Countess of Warwick, with whom it is believed he lived unhappily; four years later he died at Holland House. When dying he sent for his step-son, the young Earl of

Warwick, to show him with what peace a Christian could die.

Among the most appreciative persons of large reading, a sense of reluctance, founded upon sad experience, accompanies the proper curiosity which is felt as to the personality and character of authors. Addison's life, however, was as pure as his pages, and that too in an age when personal purity was extremely unpopular. Upon only two points has his character even been criticised. It has been said that he was jealous of Pope, but this charge has but slender foundation. It is undoubtedly true that he sometimes drank too much wine, but it should be remembered that he lived in a day when total abstinence was an unheard-of virtue. But so faultless was Addison in all other respects, that even a habit which was not considered reprehensible among other men, seemed a fault in Addison. Johnson, than whom Addison has no more devoted admirer, tries to explain this habit in a manner which should not reflect discredit upon its victim. He says: "It is not unlikely that Addison was first seduced to excess by the manumission which he obtained from the servile timidity of his sober hours. He that feels oppression from the presence of those to whom he knows himself superior, will desire to set loose the powers of conversation: and who, that ever asked succor

from Bacchus, was able to preserve himself from being enslaved by his auxiliary ?"

Addison's style has been admired and coveted by every writer who came after him. Dr. Johnson, whose own style had all the complexity of the Latin without any of its peculiar grace, was the author of the oft-quoted saying, "Whoever wishes to attain an English style, familiar but not coarse, and elegant but not ostentatious, must give his days and nights to the volumes of Addison." Johnson's description of Addison's humor is simply perfect. "His humor, which, as Steele observes, is peculiar to himself, is so happily diffused as to give the grace of novelty to domestic scenes and daily occurrences. He never outsteps the modesty of nature, nor raises merriment or wonder by the violation of truth. His figures neither divert by distortion, nor amaze by aggravation. He copies life with so much fidelity that he can hardly be said to invent, yet his exhibitions have an air so much original that it is difficult to suppose them not merely the product of imagination." The same author, alluding to what was the real secret of Addison's permanent influence upon the world, says: "It is justly observed by Tickell, that Addison employed wit on the side of virtue and religion. He not only made the proper use of wit himself, but taught it to others; and from his time it has been gener

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