Coverley Papers from the Spectator

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Macmillan, 1897 - 197 pages
 

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Page 112 - O ! why did God, Creator wise, that peopled highest Heaven With spirits masculine, create at last This novelty on Earth, this fair defect Of Nature, and not fill the world at once With men, as angels, without feminine ; Or find some other way to generate Mankind...
Page 116 - WE last night received a piece of ill news at our club, which very sensibly afflicted every one of us. I question not but my readers themselves will be troubled at the hearing of it. To keep them no longer in suspense, Sir Roger de Coverley is dead. He departed this life at his house in the country, after a few weeks
Page 31 - ... than blemish his good qualities. As soon as the sermon is finished, nobody presumes to stir till Sir Roger is gone out of the church. The knight walks down from his seat in the chancel between a double row of his tenants, that stand bowing to him on each side; and every now and then...
Page 6 - He is now in his fifty-sixth year, cheerful, gay, and hearty ; keeps a good house both in town and country ; a great lover of mankind ; but there is such a mirthful cast in his behaviour, that he is rather beloved than esteemed. His tenants grow rich, his servants look satisfied, all the young women profess love to him, and the young men are glad of his company.
Page 29 - ... their duties explained to them, and join together in adoration of the Supreme Being. Sunday clears away the rust of the whole week, not only as it refreshes in their minds the notions of religion, but as it puts both the sexes upon appearing in their most agreeable forms, and exerting all such qualities as are apt to give them a figure in the eye of the village.
Page 14 - ... practical divinity. I no sooner saw this venerable man in the pulpit, but I very much approved of my friend's insisting upon the qualifications of a good aspect and a clear voice ; for I was so charmed with the gracefulness of his figure and delivery, as well as with the discourses he pronounced, that I think I never passed any time more to my satisfaction. A sermon repeated after this manner, is like the composition of a poet in the mouth of a graceful actor.
Page 32 - Feuds of this nature, though too frequent in the country, are very fatal to the ordinary people ; who are so used to be dazzled with riches, that they pay as much deference to the understanding of a man of an estate, as of a man of learning ; and are very hardly brought to regard any truth, how important soever it may be, that is preached to them, when they know there are several men of five hundred a year who do not believe it.
Page 13 - My friend, says Sir Roger, found me out this gentleman; who, besides the endowments required of him, is, they tell me, a good scholar, though he does not show it. I have given him the parsonage of the parish; and because I know his value, have settled upon him a good annuity for life. If he outlives me, he shall find that he was higher in my esteem than perhaps he thinks he is. He has now been with me thirty years, and though he does not know I have taken notice of it, has never, in all that time,...
Page 30 - He has often told me, that at his coming to his estate he found his parishioners very irregular; and that in order to make them kneel, and join in the responses, he gave every one of them a hassock and a Common Prayer Book : and at the same time employed an itinerant...
Page 30 - As Sir Roger is landlord to the whole congregation, he keeps them in very good order, and will suffer nobody to sleep in it besides himself; for if, by chance, he has been surprised into a short nap at sermon, upon recovering out of it he stands up and looks about him, and, if he sees anybody else nodding, either wakes them himself, or sends his servants to them.

About the author (1897)

Addison, son of the Dean of Litchfield, took high honors at Oxford University and then joined the British army. He first came to literary fame by writing a poem, "The Campaign" (1704), to celebrate the Battle of Blenheim. When Richard Steele, whom he had known in his public school Charterhouse, started The Tatler in 1709, Addison became a regular contributor. But his contributions to a later venture The Spectator (generally considered the zenith of the periodical essay), were fundamental. While Steele can be credited with the editorial direction of the journal, Addison's essays, ranging from gently satiric to genuinely funny, secured the journal's success. In The Spectator, No. 10, Addison declared that the journal aimed "to enliven morality with wit, and to temper wit with morality." His brilliant character of Sir Roger de Coverley (followed from rake to reformation) distinguishes the most popular essays. Addison died in 1719. He is buried in Westminster Abbey.

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