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principles. Many other characters, in the course of the work, are delineated with great spirit and humour; and the Spectators are by this alone advantageously distinguished from all the periodical papers which have succeeded them.

Thus various are the merits of an author, whose fame can only perish with the language in which he wrote. As a critic, it is not profound learning or metaphysical subtlety, but exquisite taste; as a philosopher, it is not deep research, but the happy art of unfolding an idea, and placing it in the most attractive light; as a moralist, it is not that energy which rouses and carries away the soul in the vortex of its own enthusiasm ; nor the novelty of system, resulting from bold original ideas, but an eloquence urbane, persuasive, and temperate, the alliance of the heart with the imagination, which distinguishes the page of Addison. In strokes of delicate humour and refined wit he is inexhaustible; but he has given us no instance of the pathetic, except in his story of Theodosius and Constantia.

To the other authors of these periodical papers we are indebted for many pleasing essays. Pierce, bishop of Rochester, has some ingenious papers of the serious kind. The uns fortunate Budgell, the relation of Addison, wrote many papers: his style often comes so near that of his friend and master as to do him great honour, were it not said that Addison added so many touches of his own as to make Budgell's property in them very doubtful. He uses the signature of X. Tickell, who in many of his works presented a fainter reflexion of Addison, was one of the set ; bụt his papers have no mark. Parnell wrote the vision of the Grotto of Grief, and the Palace of Vanity. Mr. Byrom wrote the popular piece, My time, Oye Muses, and some papers on dreaming. Most of the interesting stories are Steele's; and the greater part of those papers that paint the manners of the town. Steele had a flowing pen, but his style is negligent; and though he has endeavoured to serve the cause of virtue, particularly in his strictures on duelling, then very common, and gaming, yet his morals have neither the dignity nor the pu. rity of those of his coadjutor. “The snuffers (says bishop Latimer) should be of pure gold.' Such was not Steele, whose weaknesses and faults drew upon him the reprehension of his own better judgment. He was a character vibrating between virtue and vice, but he wanted not moral feeling. He is said to have opposed duelling, in consequence of the deep remorse he felt from the fatal termination of a duel which he himself fought in early life with a brother officer. Steele tells a story with humour, but without its more delicate touches ; and his style is marked by little flippancies, and a certain air of the town. His signature is T, and sometimes R. Those of Addison were the letters which compose the name of the Muse Clio; which gave occasion to the clegant compliment paid him in the following couplet :

fortunate

wanted

When fainting Virtue her last effort made,
You brought your Clio to the virgin's aid.

The Spectator continued from 1710 to 1714 ; that is, during the last years of Queen Anne to the beginning of the reign of George the First : and during a time when all the other periodical publications were party papers, and so bitter a spirit of animosity divided almost every company, it was no small advantage that une paper appeared every morning the tendency of which was of an opposite nature, and that presented subjects for conversation which men might canvass without passion, and on which

they

they might differ without resentment. Three thousand of them were sold daily soon after the commencement of the publication; afterwards, it is said, twenty thousand ; and it may rebuke our rage for typographical luxury to be told, that the immortal productions of Addison were first given to the public on a half-sheet of very coarse paper, and, before the imposition of a stamp, for the price of one penny. : The Guardians may be considered as a kind of sequel to the Spectators. They were in two volumes. The strain of them is somewhat less sprightly; but they contain many excellent papers, and among them several by Pope. The Guardian was published in the year 1713, between the seventh and eighth volumes of the Spectator. For what reason the authors dropped, changed, and resumed their title in so short a space, cannot now be known. The Guardian has, like the Spectator, a set of characters as a frame to the work, my Lady Lizard and her sons and daughters, to whom Nestor Ironside is the Guardian ; but they are drawn with less spirit than those of the club in the Spectator, and both have the fault of not being necessary to the conduct of the work. It is justly observed by Dr. Johnson, that the grave

character character of a Guardian, and a guardian, to young ladies, is unfavourable to the propriaty of the lighter papers.. What, says he, have clubs of tall and short men to do with the education of Lady Lizard's daughters ? The only set of papers in these volumes is that on pastoral poetry, written, it should seem, by Tickell, perhaps with the assistance of Phillips, and some touches of Addison. They contain many just criticisms on a species of poetry now almost obsolete, but at one period so much in fashion, that there was hardly a poet who did not try his hand at it; till at length it became insipid by the triteness of the sentiment, and the servile use of the heathen mythology. The lovers of Italian poetry will by no means be satisfied to see the beautiful poems of Aminta and Pastor Fido only mentioned to be found fault with ; but English readers had, at that time, little relish for the belles lettres of other nations. · The Italian language was perhaps less cultivated than in the preceding century. Addison himself had a sufficient portion of national prejudice, as appears whenever the French writers are incidentally mentioned. The concluding allegory on pastoral poetry exhibits much elegant fancy, along with a strange con.

fusion

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