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a good style and to fashionable society. Whig, he continued mode ate in po A young man in Voltaire's time, on lemics ; and in an age when the winners leaving college, had to write his trag- in the political fight were ready to ruin edy, as now he must write an article their opponents or to bring them to on political economy; it was then a the block, he confined himself to show proof that he could converse with la- the faults of argument made by the dies, as now it is a proof that he can Tories, or to rail courteously at their argue with men. He learned the art of prejudices. At Dublin he went first being amusing, of touching the heart, of all to shake hands with Swift, his of talking of love; he thus escaped great and fallen adversary. Insulted from dry or special studies; he could bitterly by Dennis and Pope, he re. chocse among events or sentiments fused to employ against them his influthose which interest or please ; he was ence or his wit, and praised Pope to able to hold his own in good society, the end. What can be more touching, to be sometimes agreeable there, never when we have read his life, than his to offend. Such is the culture which essay on kindness ? we perceive that these works gave Addison; it is of he is unconsciously speaking of him. slight importance that they are poor. self: In them he dealt with the passions, with humor.
“There is no society or conversation to be He produced in his kept up in the world without good-nature, or opera some lively and smiling pictures ; something which must bear its appearance, and in his tragedy some noble or moving supply its place. For this reason mankind accents; he emerged from reasoning humanity, which is what we express by, the
have been forced to invent a kind of artificial and pure dissertation ; he acquired word good-breeding ... The greatest wits ! the art of rendering morality visible have conversed with are men eminent for thei and truth expressive; he knew how to humanity. ... Good-nature is generally borr give ideas a physiognomy, and that an
with us ; health, prosperity, and kind treat.
ment from the world are great cherishers of it attractive one. Thus was the finished where they find it.” * writer perfected by contact with ancient and modern, foreign and national It so happens that he is involuntarily urbanity, by the sight of the fine arts, describing his own charm and his own by experience of the world and study success. It is himself that he is un. of style, by continuous and delicate veiling; he was very prosperous, and choice of all that is agreeable in things his good fortune spread itself around and men, in life and art.
him in affectionate sentiments, in conHis politeness received from his stant consideration for others, in calm character a singular bent and charm. cheerfulness. At College he was disIt was not external, simply voluntary tinguished;
his Latin verses made him and official; it came from the heart. a fellow at Oxford; he spent ten years He was gentle and kind, of refined there in grave amusements and in sensibility, so shy even as to remain studies which pleased him. Dryden, silent and seem dull in a large company the highest terms, when Addison was
the prince of literature, praised him in or before strangers, only recovering his spirits before intimate friends, and only twenty-two. When he left Oxford, confessing that only two persons can the ministry gave him a pension of three converse together. He could not en
hundred pounds to finish his education, dure an acrimonious discussion ; when and prepare him for public service. On his opponent was intractable, he
his return from his travels, his poem
pretended to approve, and for punish- on Blenheim placed him in the first ment, plunged him discreetly into his rank of the Whigs. He became twice own folly. He withdrew by preference Secretary for Ireland, Under-Secretary from political arguments ; being invited of State, a member of Parliament, one to deal with them in the Spectator, he of the principal Secretaries of State. contented himself with inoffensive and Party hatred spared him; amid the general subjects, which could interest almost universal defeat of the Whigs, all whilst offending none. It would he was re-elected member of Parlia have painei him to give others pain: ment; in the furious war of Whigs and Though a very decided and steady
* Spectator, No. 16g.
Tories, both united to applaud his into a cheese-shop in order to see for tragedy of Cato; the most cruel himself all the stages of the manufao pamphleteers- respected him; his up- ture; he returns, like Addisoz, pro rightness, his talent, seemed exalted by vided with exact statistics, completo common consent above discussion. He notes; this mass of verified informa. lived in abundance, activity, and honors, tion is the foundation of the common wisely and usefully, amid the assiduous sense of Englishmen. Addis on added admiration and constant affection of to it experience of business, having iearned and distinguished friends, who been successively, or at the same time, could never have too much of his con- a journalist, a member of Parliament, a versation, amid the applause of all the statesman, hand and heart in all the good men and all the cultivated minds fights and chances of party. Mero of England. If twice the fall of his literary education only makes good party seemed to destroy or retard his talkers, able to adorn and publish ideas fortune, he maintained his position which they do not possess, and which without much effort, by reflection and others furnish for them. If writers coolness, prepared for all that might wish to invent, they must look to events happen, accepting mediocrity, con- and men, not to books and drawing, firmed in a natural and acquired calm- rooms; the conversation of special ness, accommodating himself without men is more useful to them than the yielding to men, respectful to the great study of perfect periods; they cannot without degrading himself, free from think for themselves, but in so far as secret revolt or internal suffering. they have lived or acted. Addison These are the sources of his talent; knew how to act and live. When we could any
be purer or finer? could any read his reports, letters, and disthing, be more engaging than worldly cussions, we feel that politics and gov. polish and elegance, without the facernment have given him half his mind. titious ardor and the complimentary To exercise patronage, to handle falsehoods of the world? Where shall money, to interpret the law, to divine we look for more agreeable conversa- the motives of men, to foresee the tion than that of a good and happy changes of public opinion, to be comman, whose knowledge, taste, and wit, pelled to judge rightly, quickly, and are only employed to give us pleasure ? twenty times a day, on present and
great interests, looked after by the pub III.
lic and under the espionage of enemies; This pleasure will be useful to us. all this nourished his reason and sus. Our interlocutor is as grave as he is tained his discourses. Such a man polite; he will and can instruct as well might judge and counsel his fellows; as amuse us; his education has been his judgments were not amplifications as solid as it has been elegant; he even arranged by a process of the brain, but confesses in the Spectator that he pre- observations controlled by experience: fers the serious to the humorous style. he might be listened to on moral subHe is naturally reflective, silent, atten-jects as a natural philosopher was on tive. He has studied literature, men, subjects connected with physics; we and things, with the conscientiousness feel that he spoke with authority, and of a scholar and an observer. When that we were instructed. he travelled in Italy, it was in the Eng. After having listened a little, people hsh style, noting the difference of man- felt themselves better; for they recog: ners, the peculiarities of the soil, nized in him from the first a singularly good and ill effects of various govern- lofty soul, very pure, so much attached ments, providing himself with precise to uprightness that he made it his con memoirs, circumstantial statistics on stant care and his dearest pleasure. He taxes, buildings, minerals, climate, naturally loved beautiful things, goodhar bors, administration, and on a great ness and justice, science and liberty. many other things.* An English lord, From an early age he had joined the who travels in Holland, goes simply Liberal party, and he continued in it to
See, for instance, his chapter on the the end, hoping the best of human Republic of San Marino.
virtue and reason, noting the wretched
ness into which nations fell who passions on the side of truth. He had abandoned their dignity with their in: made for himself a portrait of a rationdependence.* He followed the grand al creature, and he conformed his con discoveries of the new physical sciences, duct to this by reflection as much as by so as to give him more exalted ideas of instinct. He rested every virtue on an the works of God. He loved the deep order of principles and proofs. llis and serious emotions which reveal to logic fed his morality, and the upright us the nobility of our nature and the ness of his mind completed the singi. infirmity of our condition.
ness of his heart. His religion, Englisk ployed all his talent and all his writings in every sense, was after the like fasi in giving us the notion of what we are 'ion. He based his faith on a regulas worth, and of what we ought to be. Of succession of historical discussions ; * wo tagedies which he composed or he established the existence of God ty contenplated, one was on the death of a regular series of moral deductions ; Cato, the most virtuous of the Ra minute and solid demonstration was mans; the other on that of Socrates, throughout the guide and foundation the most virtuous of the Greeks. At the of his beliefs and emotions. Thus dis. end of the first he felt some scruples; posed, he loved to conceive God as the and for fear of being accused of finding rational head of the world; he trans. an excuse for suicide, he gave Cato formed accidents and necessities into some remorse. His opera of Rosa calculations and directions; he saw mond ends with the injunction to prefer order and providence in the conflict of pure love to forbidden joys; the Spec- things, and felt around him the wisdom tator, the Tatler, the Guardian, are which he attempted to establish in mere lay sermons. Moreover, he put himself. Addison, good and just him. his maxims into practice. When he self, trusted in God, also a being good was in office, his integrity was perfect; and just. He lived willingly in His he conferred often obligations on those knowledge and presence, and thought whom he did not know-always gratui- of the unknown future which was to tously, refusing presents, under what complete human nature and accomever form they were offered. When plish moral order. When the end came, out of office, his loyalty was perfect; he went over his life, and discovered he maintained his opinions and friend that he had done some wrong or other ships without bitterness or baseness, to Gay: this wrong was doubtless boldly praising his fallen protectors,f slight, since Gay had never thought of fearing not thereby to expose himself it. Addison begged him 'o come to to the loss of his only remaining re- his bedside, and asked is pardon.
He possessed an innate no- When he was about to die, he wished bility of character, and reason aided still to be useful, and sent for his step him in keeping it. He considered that son, Lord Warwick, whose careless there is common sense in honesty. His life had caused him some uneasiness. first care, as he said, was to range his He was so weak that at first he could
not speak. The young man, after wait * Letter from Italy to Lord Halifax;
ing a while, said to him : “Dear sır, " O Liberty, thou Goddess heavenly bright, Profuse of bliss, and pregnant with de- you sent for me, I believe ; I hope that light;
you have some commands; I shall hold Eternal pleasures in thy presence reign, them most sacred.” The dying man And smiling plenty leads thy wanton train. with an effort pressed his hand, and re 'Tis liberty that crowns Britannia's isle, And makes her barren rocks and her bleak plied gently: "“See in what peace a mountains smile."-i. 53.
Christian can die.”+ Shortly after. About the Republic of San Marino he writes :
wards he expired. “ Nothing can be a greater instance of the natural love that mankind has for liberty, and
IV. of their aversion to an arbitrary government, than such a savage mountain covered with peo- “ The great and only end of these ple, and the Campagna of Rome, which lies in speculations,” says Addison, in one of the same country, almost destitute of inhabitants."-Remarks on Italy, ü. 48
. Of the Christian Religion. + Halifax, for instance.
Addison's Works, Hurd, vi gos.
his Spectators, “is to banish vice and Of course he sets himself against do ignorance out of the territories of liberate shamelessness and the system Great Britain.” And he kept his word. atic debauchery which were the taste His papers are wholly moral--advices and the shame of the Restoration He to families, reprimands to thoughtless wręte whole articles against young women, a' sketch of an honest man, fashionable men, “a sort of vermin remedies for the passions, rct'ections who fill London with their bastards; ca Gcil and a future life. I hardly against professional seducers, who ara know, or rather I know very well, what the “knights-errant " of vice. “When success a newspaper full of sermons men of rank and figure pass away their would have in France. In England it lives in these criminal pursuits and was extraordinary, equa. o that of : le practices, they ought to consider that most popular modern novelists. In they render themselves more vile and the general downfall of the daily and despicable than any innocent man can weekly papers ruined by the Stamp be, whatever low station his fortune o. Act,* the Spectator doubled its price, birth have placed him in.” * He se and held its ground.t. This was be- verely jeers at women who expose cause it offered to Englishmen the pic. themselves to temptations, and whom ture of English reason: the talent and he calls “salamanders:" " A salaman. the teaching were in harmony with the der is a kind of heroine in chastity, needs of the age and of the country. that treads upon fire, and lives in the Let us endeavor to describe this rea. midst of flames without being hurt. A son, which became gradually eliminated salamander knows no distinction of from Puritanism and its rigidity, from sex in those she converses with, grows the Restoration and its excess. The familiar with a stranger at first sight, mind attained its balance, together with and is not so narrow-spirited as to ob religion and the state. It conceived serve whether the person she talks to the rule, and disciplined its conduct ; be in breeches or petticoats. She adit diverged from a life of excess, and mits a male visitant to her bedside, confirmed itself in a sensible life ; it plays with him a whole afternoon at shunned physical and prescribed moral picquet, walks with him two or three
Addison rejects with scorn hours by moonlight.”+ He fights like gross corporeal pleasure, the brutal a preacher against the fashion of low joy of noise and motion: “I would dresses, and gravely demands the nevertheless leave to the consideration tucker and modesty of olden times of those who are patrons of this mon- “ To prevent these saucy familiar strous trial of skill, whether or no they glances, I would entreat my gentle are not guilty, in some measure, of an readers to sew on their tuckers again, affront to their species, in treating after to retrieve the modesty of their char: this manner the human face divine.” 1 acters, and not to imitate the naked“ Is it possible that human nature can ness, but the innocence, of their mother rejoice in its disgrace, and take pleas- Eve. In short, modesty gives the ure in seeing its own figure turned to maid greater beauty than even the ridicule, ară distorted into forms that bloom of youth; it bestows or the wife raise horror and aversion? There is the dignity of a matron, and reinstates Bc meching disingenuous and immoral the widow in her virginity.” | We in che being able to bear such a sight."$ find also lectures on masquerades
which end with a rendezvous ; precepts • The Siamp Act (1712 ; 10 Anne, c. 19) put duty of a halfpenny on every printed half
on the number of glasses people might sheet or less, and a penny on a whole sheet, drink, and the dishes of which they besides twelve pence on every advertisement might eat; condemnations of licen This Act was repealed in 1853. Swift writes tious professors of irreligion and im tu Stella (August 7, 1712),
Do you know that a'l Grub Street is ruined by the Stamp Act.” morality; all maxims now somewhat
stale, but then new and useful because + The sale
of the Spectator was considerably Wycherley and Rochester had put into diminished through its forced increase of price, practice and made popular the oppo and it was discontinued in 1713, the year after the Stamp Act was passed. - Tr.
* Guardian, No. 123. † Spectator, No. 196 Speutator No 17?. $ Tatler, No. 108. Guerdian, No. 100.
site maxims. Debau: iery passed for is only an honest man's manual, and is French and fashionab.e : this is why often like the Complete Lawyer. It is Addison proscribes in addition all practical, its aim being not to amuse, French frivolities. He laughs at but to correct us. The conscientious women who receive visitors in their Protestant, nourished with dissertadressing-rooms, and speak aloud at the tions and morality, demands an effect theatre : There is nothing which ex- ive monitor and guide; he would like poses a woman to greater dangers, his reading to influence his conduct, than that gayety and airiness of temper, and his newspaper to suggest a resolu which are natural to most of the sex. tion. To this end Addison seeks mu It should be therefore the concern of tives everywhere. He thinks of the very wise and virtuous woman to keep future :ife, but does not forget the this sprightliness from degenerating present; he rests virtue on interest. into levity. On the contrary, the whole rightly understood. He strains ng discourse and behavior of the French princip.e to its limits; he accepts them is to make the sex more fantastical, or all, as they are to be met with every(as they are pleased to term it) more where, according to their manifest awakened, than is consistent either goodness, drawing from them only the with virtue or discretion." * We see primary consequences, shunning the already in these strictures the portrait powerful logical pressure which spoils of the sensible housewife, the modest all by expressing too much. Let us English woman, domestic and grave, observe him establishing a maxim, recwholly taken up with her husband and ommending constancy for instance ; children. Addison returns a score of his motives are mixed and incongru. times to the artifices, the pretty af- ous : first, inconstancy exposes us to fected babyisms, the coquetry, the scorn; next, it puts us in continual disfutilities of women. He cannot suffer traction ; again, it hinders us as a rule languishing or lazy habits. He is full from attaining our end ; moreover, it of epigrams against flirtations, extray is the great feature of a human and agant toilets, useless visits. † He mortal being; finally, it is most op: writes a satirical journal of a man who posed to the inflexible nature of Gud, goes to his club, learns the news, who ought to be our model. The yawns, studies the barometer, and whole is illustrated at the close by a thinks his time well occupied. He quotation from Dryden and a verse considers that time is capital, business from Horace. This medley and jumduty, and life a task.
ble describe the ordinary mind which Is life only a task ? If Addison remains on the level of its audience, holds himself superior to sensual life, he and the practical mind, which knows falls short of philosophical life. His how to dominate over its audience. morality, thoroughly English, always Addison persuades the public, because drags along among commonplaces, dis- he draws from the public sources of covering no principles, making nó de- belief. He is powerful because he is ductions. The fine and lofty aspects vulgar, and useful because he is nar. of the mind are wanting. He gives row. useful advice, clear instruction, justified Let us picture now this mind, so by what happened yesterday, useful characteristically mediocre, limited to for to-morrow. He observes that the discovery of good motives of action fathers must not be inflexible, and that What a reflective man, always calm and they often repent driving their chil. dignified! What a store he has of dren to despair. He finds that bad resolutions and maxims! All rapture, books are pernicious, because their instinct, inspiration, and caprice, are durability carries their poison to future abolished or disciplined. No case surages. He consoles a woman who has prises or carries him away. He is always lost her sweetheart, by showing her ready and protected; so much so, that the misfortunes of so many other peo. he is. ike an automaton. Argument has ple who are suffering the greatest frozen and invaded him. Consider, for evils at th: same time. His Spectator instance, how he puts us on our guard . Spectator, No. 45. † Iord. 319 and 323. against involuntary hypocrisy, announc