Other maxims had prevailed. But he had been acquainted only with the least precious part of his treasures; and had hitherto contented himself with producing sometimes copper and sometimes lead, intermingled with a little silver. The Epistle, written at such a time, is one among many proofs that there was -no mixture of cowardice or meanness in the suavity and moderation which distinguished Addison from all the other public men of those stormy times. The time was not yet. John was, certainly, in Anne’s reign, the best tory speaker; Cowper was probably the best whig speaker. The American editor has not felt himself at liberty to reduce it to any cisatlantic standard. Swift boasted that he was never known to steal a hint:
Many eyes would be upon him; and he might find it difficult to behave in such a manner as to give offence neither to his patrons in England, nor to those among whom he resided. He was, however, so good-natured that it was not easy to be seriously angry with him, and that even rigid moralists felt more inclined to pity than to blame him, when he diced himself into a spunging-house, or drank himself into a fever. Many parts of the Irish administration at this time appear to have deserved serious blame. The brilliant Mary Montagu said that she had known all the wits, and that Addison was the best company in the world. The three most eminent masters of the art of ridicule, during the eighteenth century, were, we conceive, Addison, Swift, and Voltaire. At Geneva, the traveller learned’ that a partial change of ministry had taken place in Englanld, and that the Earl of Manchester had be. But many, probably, will think it strange that Addison’s failure as a speaker should have had no unfavorable effect on his success as a politician.
These days, we are told, passed pleasantly; and we can easily believe it, For Addison was a delightful companion when he was at his ease; and. In the spring of the ministry were freed from the restraint imposed by a House of Comnions, in which tories of the most perverse class had. sddison
Gerard Hamilton, for example, who, from fear of losing the fame gained by his ” single speech,” sat mute at Westminster during forty years, spoke with great effect at Dublin when he was secretary to Lord Halifax. A crowd of wits and poets, who would easily have vanquished him in a competitor, revered him as a judge and a patron. Sallust was a Sabine. He does not appear to have attained more than an ordinary acquaintance with the political and moral writers of Rome; nor was his own Latin prose by any means 1 He became fellow in course; Demies being students upon scholarships, who succeed in their order to the vacant fellowships.
It was, therefore, a profound and enlightened policy which led Montagu and Somers to attach such talents to the whig party, by the strongest ties both of interest and of gratitude. If his first attempts to set a presuming dunce right, were ill received, he changed his tone, “assented with civil leer,” and lured the flattered coxcomb deeper and deeper into absurdity. He was not ill qualified to conduct the work which he had planned.
But I will not name him.
Selected Works of Joseph Addison.
Brunell’s mill, in the dockyard at Portsmouth. In these cases, therefore, the parallel hardly holds good. It was clear that, if a general election took place essxy the excitement abated, the tories would have a majority. A political change, silent and gradual, but of the highest importance, was in daily progress.
At the same time he gave Tickell particular directions about collecting and publishing them, justly feeling that there was nothing in them which he could look back upon with regret, even from his death-bed.
It averted that envy which would otherwise have been excited by fame so splendid, and by so rapid an elevation. XXiii seen similar josrph from similar causes.
There are passages in Arbuthnot’s satirical works, which we, at least, cannot distinguish from Swift’s best writing. Dryden appears to have been lmuch gratified by the young scholar’s praise; and an interchange of civilities and good offices followed.
Nor were his great colloquial powers more admirable than the courtesy and softness of heart which appeared in his conversation. At Florence he spent some days with the Duke of Shrewsbury, who, cloyed with the pleasures of ambition, and impatient of its pains, fearing both parties, and loving neither, had determined to hide in an Italian retreat talents and accomplishments which, if they had been united with fixed principles and civil courage, might have made him the foremost man of his age.
Then turning to the right you enter through a tasteful iron gate and over a slight bridge, upon a walk, which, extending some distance to the left, turns abruptly to the right, when it stretches along the Cherwell and mnakes the circuit of the meadow. Addison repaired to Holland, where he learned the news of his esay death.
Cornelius Nepos, near Verona. This circumstance seems to have suggested to him. That such was his practice we should, we think, have guessed from his works.
Selected Works of Joseph Addison.
Thus much, at least, is certain, that both Swift and Voltaire have been successfully mimicked, and that no man has yet been able to mimic Addison. Presented to the Lord Keeper, To the King. When he had left college, he earned an humble subsistence by reading the liturgy of the fallen church to the families of those sturdy squires whose manor-houses were scattered over the Wild of Sussex.
There was at this time no stain on the character of Budgell, and it is not improbable that his career would have been prosperous and honorable, if the life of his cousin had been prolonged.
Budgell accompanied his cousin in the capacity of private secretary. These are now carefully collected and classed, as they deserve to be, among his works. Addison regarded Steele with kindness not unmingled with scorn,8 —tried, with little success, to keep him out of scrapes, introducing him to the great, procured a good place for him, corrected his plays, and, though by no means rich, lent him large sums of money.
No person who had derived all his information on the subject of medals from Addison, would suspect that the Greek coins were in historical interest equal, and in beauty of execution far superior to those of Rome.
The story teh Steele’s arrest stands, as Macaulay says, on the best evidence, but the picture in the text is too much of a fancy piece to be admitted as history.
A more miserable situation can hardly be conceived.