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was the approbation his Latin poems met with, that eight pieces were printed in the second vo lume of the collection entitled "Musarum Anglicarum Analecta," where they excited very general applause. The topics are both serious and light; and in the latter a vein of that humour, for which he was afterwards so distinguished, is discernible.
It was not till his twenty-second year that he became an author in his own language; and his first attempt of that kind was a short copy of verses addressed to the veteran poet Dryden. It was followed by a translation of great part of the fourth Georgic of Virgil. Both these gave him the reputation of a skilful and correct versifier. Soon after, he exercised himself in the field of criticism; and communicated to Dryden a discourse on Virgil's Georgics, which was prefixed, without a name, to that writer' translation of the Georgics. Other poetical ef forts succeeded; and in 1695 he opened the career of his fortune as a literary man, by a complimentary poem on one of the campaigns of King William, addressed to the Lord-keeper Somers. This had the effect of engaging the friendship and patronage of that eminent statesman; and was probably the cause of his laying
aside all thoughts of entering into orders, which he seems once to have entertained, and for which his seriousness of principle, and regularity of conduct, appeared peculiarly to qualify him. A pension of 3001. per annum from the crown, which his patron obtained for him, enabled him to indulge his inclination for travel; and he set out on a tour through France and Italy in the latter end of 1699. His Latin poems, which had been printed and made known abroad, were useful harbingers to him; and they gained the applause of a judge, certainly not prejudiced in favour of the English, the famous Boileau. An epistolary poem, from Italy which Addison wrote to Lord Halifax, in 1701, was a valuable return to his country for the public patronage he had received. It breathes a noble spirit of liberty, and will probably continue to be, as it has been one of the most admired of his works.
His first considerable work in prose was an account of his travels, published on his return. A comparison of the ancient and modern state of the countries he visited, and the illustration of classical descriptions by observations made on the spot, were its principal objects; to which may be added, a decided purpose of displaying
the blessings of free government, by contrasting its effects with those of slavery. The first reception of this work appears to have been rather cold; but it gradually rose in its reputation, and is still, notwithstanding the numerous later volumes on similar topics, read with pleasure. Some passages in it, particularly the description of the diminutive republic of San Marino, gave a foretaste of the inimitable humour displayed in the Tatler and Spectator.
The most famous of Addison's political poems, "The Campaign," appeared in 1704. This was not a spontaneous production, but a task kindly imposed by his patron Lord Halifax, in consequence of a wish expressed by Lord Godolphin to have the victory at Blenheim, and the rest of Marlborough's successes, adequately celebrated in verse-with an intimation that the writer should not lose his labour. The poem is certainly as good as such an origin could be expected to produce; and it was rewarded by an immediate appointment of the author to the post of commissioner of appeals. In 1705, Addison attended Lord Halifax in his mission to Hanover, and in the succeeding year he was made undersecretary of state. These opening prospects of
political elevation did not render him negligent of the Muses, to whom he owed so much. He even ventured on a kind of experiment in poetry, and wrote his amusing and melodious opera of "Rosamond ;" which, however, was not successful on the stage A pamphlet which came out anonymously in 1707, entitled, "The present state of the War, and the Necessity of an Augmentation considered," is assigned to him in Tickell's edition of his posthumous works, and does credit to his powers in this kind of writing. In 1709, he accompanied the Marquis of Wharton, made lord lieutenant of Ireland, as his secretary; and to this post was added that of keeper of the records, with an augmented salary. was during his continuance in this kingdom that an incident took place, which eventually contributed more to the fame and usefulness of Addison than all his poetical or political exertions. His friend Steele began in London, in the year 1709, to publish his periodical paper, "The Tatler;" a miscellaneous performance, including, with the common articles of a newspaper, essays and letters on a variety of subjects con nected with manners and literature. Addison occasionally afforded his assistance in a number of papers, allegorical, humourous, and serious,
some of which are exquisite productions, especially those which relate to the laughable foibles and minute peculiarities of character, in the delineation of which no writer ever equalled him. "The Court of Honour," and "The Political Upholsterer," are pieces of this kind, which he himself never surpassed. Steele modestly and ingeniously compared his situation to that of a distressed prince, who calls in a more powerful neighbour to his aid, and is undone by his auxiliary; and certain it is, that nothing of his own can be compared to the communications of his friend. Nevertheless, so sensible was he of the value of Addison's co-operation in engaging the public attention, that when the Tatler was dropped in January, 1711, he concerted with Addison the plan of a new paper under the title of "The Spectator," which made its appearance on March 1, in the same year. To this very celebrated work, which by its size and merit stands at the head of all publications of a similar kind, Addisou contributed a stock of materials comprising some of the most interesting pieces, moral, critical, and humourous, to be met with in the English language. All that regards the smaller morals, and the decencies of life, elegance and justness of taste, the regulation of