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PAGE Tue SPECTATOR (Continued), 523. Poetry too often mixed with Mythology-Edict on that Subject,
534 529. Rules of Precedency among Authors and Actors,
538 530. Account of the Marriage of Will Honeycomb,
542 631. On the Idea of the Supreme Being,
545 535. On vain Hopes of temporal Objects—Story of Alnaschar, 549 538. On Extravagance in Story-telling—Epitaph in Pancras
563 543. Meditation on the Frame of the IIuman Body,
567 547. Cures performed by the Spectator,
572 519. On Reluctance to leave the World,
576 550. Proposal for a new Club,
580 556. Account of the Spectator opening his Mouth, 557. On Conversation Letter by the Ambassador of Bantam, 587 558. Endeavours of Mankind to get rid of their Burdens, a Dream,
591 559. The same concluded,
596 561. Account of the Widow's Club,
600 562. On Egotism-Retailers of old Jokes,
604 565. On the Nature of Man-of the Supreme Being,
608 567. Method of Political Writers affecting Secrecy; Specimen, 613 568. Coffee-house Conversation on the preceding Paper-The Whole Duty of Man turned into a Libel,
616 569. On Drunkenness,
619 571. Advantages of seeking the Protection of the Supreme Being,
622 674. Advantages of Content,
627 575. The present Life preparatory to the Happiness of Eternity,
632 576. On Singularity; the Dread and Affectation of it,
635 579. On Adultery-Dogs which guarded the Temple of Vul
Tue SPECTATOR (Continued),
On the Itch of Writing,
No. 253. THURSDAY, DECEMBER 20.
Indignor quicquam reprehendi, non quia crasse
Hor 1 Ep. Il. 76.
There is nothing which more denotes a great mind, than the abhorrence of envy and detraction. This passion reigns more among bad poets, than among any other set of men.
As there are none more ambitious of fame, than those who are conversant in poetry, it is very natural for such as have not succeeded in it, to depreciate the works of those who have. For since they cannot raise themselves to the reputation of their fellow-writers, they must endeavour to sink it to their own pitch, if they would still keep themselves upon a level with them.
The greatest wits that ever were produced in one age, lived together in so good an understanding, and celebrated one another with so much generosity, that each of them receives an additional lustre from his contemporaries, and is more famous for having lived with men of so extraordinary a genius, than if he had himself been the sole wonder of the age. I need not tell that I here point at the reign of Augustus, and I believe he will
be of my opinion, that neither Virgil nor Horace would have gained so great a reputation in the world, had they not been the friends and admirers of each other. Indeed all the great writers of that age, for whom singly we have so great an esteem, stand up together as vouchers for one another's reputation. But at the same time that Virgil was celebrated by Gallus, Propertius, Horace, Varius, Tucca, and Ovid, we know that Bavius and Mævius were his declared foes and calumniators.
In our own country a man seldom sets up for a poet, without attacking the reputation of all his brothers in the art. The ignorance of the moderns, the scribblers of the age, the decay of poetry, are the topics of detraction, with which he makes his entrance into the world : but how much more noble is the fame that is built on candour and ingenuity, according to those beautiful lines of Sir John Denham, in his poem on Fletcher's works !
But whither am I stray'd! I need not raise
Must have their brothers, sons, and kindred slain. I am sorry to find that an author, who is very justly esteemed among the best judges, has admitted some strokes of this nature
I mean . The Art of Criticism,' which was * Some strokes of this nature. If, by strokes of this nature, he meant strokes of personal detraction, it is certain that we now perceive no such strokes in the Art of Criticism. But, I suppose, that some general reflec. lions in that poem were understood, at the time of its publication, to be particular and personal; or, the candour and gentleness of Mr. Addison's temper, might take offence at general satire, when expressed with a certain force.-H.
And yet some of Addison's commentators, and Hurd among them, love to find out personal allusions in many of his own writings; and Steele ex pressly tells us, that he has more than once taken upon himself the blame which would have fallen upon Addison, if all the papers in the Tatler, &c., had been assigned to their real author. V. vol. i. p. 274.-G.
into a very