alike the recreation of the learned, the busy, and the idle. The “Spectator” was followed by the “Guardian,”! which was commenced by Steele, but to which Addison largely contributed. In the mean time he published his tragedy of “Cato,” which met with unbounded popularity, being represented on the stage thirty-five nights successively; not, however, so much from its merits as a tragedy, as from the noble sentiments of liberty which it breathes throughout, and which, in those times of great political excitement, each party, the Whig and the Tory, wished to appropriate to itself. 2

In 1716, Addison married the Countess of Warwick, who was, in every respect, vastly his inferior, except in the adventitious circumstance of family rank, which in England is of “wondrous potency." “ In point of intellect,” says Dr. Drake, “there could be no competition; and despicable must have been the ignorance of that woman who could for a moment suppose that the mere casualty of splendid birth entitled her to treat with contempt, and to arrogate a superiority over a man of exquisite genius and unsullied virtue.” That she was the means of imbittering his life, and shortening his days, there is no doubt. He had long been subject to an asthmatic affection, and it soon became evident that the hour of his dissolution could not be far distant. “ The death-bed of Addison was the triumph of religion and virtue. Reposing on the merits of his Redeemer, and conscious of a life well spent in the service of his fellow-creatures, he waited with tranquillity and resignation the moment of departure. The dying accents of the virtuous man have frequently, when other means have failed, produced the happiest effect; and Addison, anxious that a scene so awful might make its due impression, demanded the attendance of his son-in-law, Lord Warwick. This young nobleman was amiable, but dissipated; and Addison had often, though in vain, endeavored to correct his principles, and to curb the impetuosity of his passions. He came, says Dr. Young, who first related the affecting circumstance; but life was now glimmering in the socket, and the dying friend was silent. After a decent and proper pause, the youth said, “Dear sir, you sent for me; I believe, I hope you have some commands; shall hold them most sacred.' May distant ages not only hear but feel the reply. Forcibly grasping the youth's hand, he softly said, “SEE IN WHAT PEACE A CHRISTIAN CAN DIE;" and soon aster expired, on the 17th of June, 1719."4

Of the merits of Addison as a writer, there never has been but one opinion among the critics. Mr. Melmoth says of him, « In a word, one may justly

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1 The first number of the Guardian was published on the 12th of March, and the last on the 1st of October, 1713. Of the 176 numbers, Steele wrote 82; Addison, 53; Berkeley, 14; Pope, 8; Tickell, 7; Budgell, Hughes, and Parnell, 2 each; Gay, Young, Philips, Wotton, Birch, Bartlett, 1 each.

2 "The tragedy of Cato," says Dr. Warton, “is a glaring instance of the force of party. So sententious and declamatory a drama would never have met with such rapid success, if every line and sentiment had not been particularly tortured and applied to recent events. It is a fine dialogue on liberty and the love of one's country, but considered as a dramatic performance it wants action and prithos, the two hinges on which a just tragedy ought to turn, and without which it cannot subsist.” Dr. Johnson has censured it as a “dialogue too declamatory, of unaffecting elegance, and chill philosophy,”-the very terms most applicable to his own tragedy "IRENE."

"Owad some power the giftie gie us

To see oursels as others see us."-BURNS. 3 Tickell told Dr. Young, that in the following couplet of his elegy on the death of Addison, he alluded to this interview with the Earl of Warwick :

“He taught us how to live, and oh, too high

The price of knowledge, taught us how to die." 4 Read-an admirable sketch of Addison's life in Drake's Essays, vol. i. Also an article in the Edinburgh Review, July, 1843, and in Macaulay's Miscellanies, vol. v. p. 82: also, Life by Lucy Aikin


apply to him what Plato, in his allegorical language, says of Aristophanes, that the Graces, having searched all the world for a temple wherein they might for ever dwell, settled at last in the breast of Mr. Addison."

Dr. Young is no less emphatic in his praise. “Addison wrote little in verse, much in sweet, elegant, Virgilian prose; so let me call it, since Longinus calls Herodotus most Homeric; and Thucydides is said to have formed his style on Pindar. Addison's compositions are built with the finest materials, in the taste of the ancients. I never read him, but I am struck with such a disheartening idea of perfection, that I drop my pen. And, indeed, far superior writers should forget his compositions, if they would be greatly pleased with their own." 2 And Dr. Johnson remarks: “ 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.”3

As a writer, Addison may be considered as excelling in four departments, namely, in Criticism, in Humor, in Fable and Allegory, and in Instructive Morality. As a critic, he was the first to call the attention of the public to the rich mine of wealth to be found in Milton. His Essays on the Pleasures of the Imagination5 are well known as being the foundation of Akenside's fine poem on the same subject. Numerous single papers, also, on different subjects of criticism, are scattered throughout the Spectator; such as, those on the English Language, on Ancient and Modern Literature, on Pope's Essay on Criticism, on old English Ballads, 8 &c. The concluding part of a paper on Irregular Genius, we must here insert, as being an encomium on Shakspeare, " which, for its singularly happy imagery, may set competition at defiance."




Our inimitable Shakspeare is a stumbling-block to the whole tribe of rigid critics. Who would not rather read one of his plays, where there is not a single rule of the stage observed, than any production of a modern critic, where there is not one of them violated! Shakspeare was indeed born with all the seeds of poetry, and may be compared to the stone in Pyrrhus's ring, which, as Pliny tells us, had the figure of Apollo and the nine Muses in the veins of it, produced by the spontaneous hand of nature, without any help from art.

In refined and delicate humor, Addison has no superior, if he has any equal, in English prose literature.10 The following may be taken as specimens:

1 Fitzosborne's Letters, Letter XXIX.

2 Observations on Original Composition. 3 This excellence was not attained without great labor. "I have been informed that Addison was 80 extremely nice in polishing his prose compositions, that, when almost the whole impression of a Spectator was worked off, he would stop the press to insert a new preposition or conjunction.Warton's "Pope," i. 152. Read-Johnson's Life of Addison, in his “Lives of the Poets ;" also, Dr. Blair's criticisms, in the 19th Lecture; and Knox's Essays, Nos. 28 and 106.

4 Spectator, Nos. 262, 267, 273, and so on for sixteen more numbers, every Saturday. See page 240, for Sir Egerton Brydges's criticisms on these numbers. 6 Spectators, Nos. 411-421. 6 No. 135.

7 No. 253. 8 NO. 85.

9 No. 592. 10 " His humor," says Dr. Johnson, "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 amuse 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 the Imagination."--Lives of the Poets.




chamber-walls drawn at full length the figures of all sorts of men, from eight feet to three feet two inches. Within this height, I take it that all the fighting men of Great Britain are comprehended. But, as I push, I make allowances for my being of a lank and spare body, and have chalked out in every figure my own dimensions; for I scorn to rob any man of his life by taking advantage of his breadth : therefore, I press purely in a line down from his nose, and take no more of him to assault than he has of me: for, to speak impartially, if a lean fellow wounds a fat one in any part of the right or left

, whether it be in carte or in tierce, beyond the dimensions of the said lean fellow's own breadth, I take it to be murder, and such a murder as is below a gentleman to commit. As I am spare, I am also very tall, and behave myself with relation to that advantage with the same punctilio; and I am ready to stoop or stand, according to the stature of my adversary. I must confess, I have had great success this morning, and have hit every figure round the room in a mortal part without receiving the least hurt, except a little scratch by falling on my face, in pushing at one, at the lower end of my chamber; but I recovered so quick, and jumped so nimbly into my guard, that, if he had been alive, he could not have hurt me. It is confessed I have written against duels with some warmth ; but in all my discourses I have not ever said that I knew how a gentleman could avoid a duel if he were provoked to it; and since that custom is now become a law, I know nothing but the legislative power, with new animadversions upon it, can put us in a capacity of denying challenges, though we were afterwards hanged for it. But no more of this at present. As things stand, I shall put up no more affronts; and I shall be so far from taking ill words, that I will not take ill looks. I, therefore, warn all hot young

fellows not to look hereafter more terrible than their neighbors : for, if they stare at me with their hats cocked higher than other people, I will not bear it. Nay, I give warning to all people in general to look kindly at me; for I will bear no frowns, even from ladies ; and if any woman pretends to look scornfully at me, I shall demand satisfaction of the next of kin of the masculine gender.

Tatler, No. 93.



I do not know whether to call the following letter a satire upon coquettes, or a representation of their several fantastical accomplishments, or what other title to give it; but, as it is, I shall communicate it to the public. It will sufficiently explain its own intentions, so that I shall give it my reader at length, without either preface or postscript:


Women are armed with fans as men with swords, and sometimes do more execution with them. To the end, therefore, that ladies may

be entire mistresses of the weapon which they bear, I have erected an academy for the training up of young women in the exercise of the fan, according to the most fashionable airs and motions that are now practised at court. The ladies who carry fans under me are drawn up twice a day in my great hall, where they are instructed in the use of their arms, and exercised by the following words of command :-Handle your fans, Unfurl your fans, Discharge your fans, Ground your fans, Recover your fans, Flutter your fans: By the right observation of these few plain words of command, a woman of a tolerable genius, who will apply

а herself diligently to her exercise for the space of but one halfyear, shall be able to give her fan all the graces that can possibly enter into that little modish machine.

But to the end that my readers may form to themselves a right notion of this exercise, I beg leave to explain it to them in all its parts. When my female regiment is drawn up in array, with every one her weapon in her hand, upon my giving the word to Handle their fans, each of them shakes her fan at me with a smile, then gives her right-hand woman a tap upon the shoulder, then presses her lips with the extremity of her fan, then lets her arms fall in easy motion, and stands in readiness to receive the next word of command. All this is done with a close fan, and is generally learned in the first week.

The next motion is that of unfurling the fan, in which are comprehended several little flirts and vibrations, as also gradual and deliberate openings, with many voluntary fallings asunder in the fan itself, that are seldom learned under a month's practice. This part of the exercise pleases the spectators more than any other, as it discovers, on a sudden, an infinite number of cupids, garlands, altars, birds, beasts, rainbows, and the like agreeable figures, that display themselves to view, whilst every one in the regiment holds a picture in her hand.

Upon my giving the word to Discharge their fans, they give one general crack that may be heard at a considerable distance when the wind sits fair. This is one of the most difficult parts of the exercise, but I have several ladies with me, who at their first entrance could not give a pop loud enough to be heard at the farther end of the room, who can now discharge a fan in such a manner, that it shall make a report like a pocket-pistol. I have likewise taken care (in order to hinder young women from letting off their fans in wrong places, or on unsuitable occasions) to show upon what subject the crack of a fan may come in properly: 1 have likewise invented a fan, with which a girl of sixteen, by the


help of a little wind, which is enclosed about one of the largest sticks, can make as loud a crack as a woman of fisty with an ordi


nary fan.

When the fans are thus discharged, the word of command, in course, is to Ground their fans. This teaches a lady to quit her fan gracefully when she throws it aside in order to take up a pack ef cards, adjust a curl of hair, replace a falling pin, or apply herself to any other matter of importance. This part of the exercise, as it only consists in tossing a fan with an air upon a long table, (which stands by for that purpose,) may be learned in two days' time as well as in a twelvemonth.

When my female regiment is thus disarmed, I generally let them walk about the room for some time; when, on a sudden, (like ladies that look upon their watches after a long visit,) they all of them hasten to their arms, catch them up in a hurry, and place themselves in their proper stations upon my calling out, Recover your fans. This part of the exercise is not difficult, provided a woman applies her thoughts to it.

The fluttering of the fan is the last, and indeed the master-piece of the whole exercise; but if a lady does not mis-spend her time, she may make herself mistress of it in three months. I generally lay aside the dog-days and the hot time of the summer for the teaching this part of the exercise; for as soon as ever I

pronounce, Flutter your fans, the place is filled with so many zephyrs and gentle breezes as are very refreshing in that season of the year, though they might be dangerous to ladies of a tender constitution in any

other. There is an infinite variety of motions to be made use of in the flutter of a fan. There is the angry futter, the modest flutter, the timorous flutter, the confused flutter, the merry flutter, and the amorous flutter. Not to be tedious, there is scarce any emotion in the mind which does not produce a suitable agitation in the fan ; insomuch, that if I only see the fan of a disciplined lady, I know very well whether she laughs, frowns, or blushes. I have seen a fan so very angry, that it would have been dangerous for the absent lover who provoked it to have come within the wind of it; and at other times so very languishing, that I have been glad for the lady's sake the lover was at a sufficient distance from it. I need not add, that a fan is either a prude or coquette, according to the nature of the person who bears it. To conclude my letter, I must acquaint you that I have from my own observations compiled a little treatise for the use of my scholars, entitled, The Passions of the Fan; which I will communicate to you

think it


be of use to the public. I shall have a general review on Thursday next; to which you shall be very welcome if you will honor it with your presence.

I am, &c.




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