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Cost. Come, Tummas, we 'll go home. •
KITE. Home! for shame, gentlemen; behave yourselves better before your cap tain. Dear Thomas ! honest Costar!
Tho. No, no; we'll be gone.
KITE. Náy, then. I command you to stay; I place you both sentinels in this place for two hours, to watch the motion of St. Mary's clock you, and ycu the motion of St. Chad's; and he that dares stir from his post till he be relieved, shall have my sword in his belly the next minute.
PLUME. What's the matter, sergeant ? I'm afraid you are too rough with these gentlemen.
KITE. I'm too mild, sir; they disobey command, sir; and one of them should be shot for an example to tic cite They deny their being listed.
Tho. Nay, sergeant, we don't downright deny it neither; that we dare not do, for fear of being shot; but we humbly conceive, in a civil way, and begging your worship's pardun, that we may go home.
PLUME. That's easily known. Have either of you received any of the king's money?
Cost. Not a brass farthing, sir.
Kite They have each of thein received one-and-twenty shillings, and 'tis now in their pockets
Cost. Wounds! if I have a penny in my pocket but a bent sixpence, I'll be content to be listed and shot into the bargain.
Tho. And I: look ye here, sir.
PLUME. The case is plain, gentlemen : the goods are found upon you. Those pieces of gold are worth one-and-twenty shillings-each.
Cost. So, it seems that Carolus is one-and-twenty shillings in Latin ?
Cost. Flesh ; but we an’t, Tummas: I desire to be carried before the mayor, captain.
[Captain and Sergeant whisper the while. PLUME. 'Twill never do, Kite; your tricks will ruin me at last. I won't lose the fellows though, if I can help it. Well, gentlemen, there must be some trick in this; iny sergeant offers to take his oath that you are fairly listed.
Tho. Why, captain, we know that you soldiers have more liberty of conscience than other folks ; but for me or neighbour Coster here to take such ár oath, 'twould be downright perjuration.
PLUME. Look ye, rascal, you villain ! if I find that you have imposed upon these two honest fellows, I'll trample you to death, you dog! Come, how was it?
Tuo. Nay, then, we 'll speak. Your sergeant, as you say, is a rogue; un 't like your worship, begging your worship’s pardon; and
Cost. Nay, Tuminas, let us speak; you know I can read. And so, sir, he gave us those two pieces of money for pictures of the king. by way of a present.
PLUME. How ? by way of a present ? the rascal! I'll teach him to abuse honest fellows like you. Scoundrel, rogue, villain ! [Beats of the Sergeant, and follows.
Both. O brave noble captain ! huzza! A brave captain, faith !
Cost. Now. Tommas, Carolus is Latin for a beating. This is the bravest captain I ever saw. Wounds! I've a month's inind to go with him,
Enter KITE. KITE. An't yon a couple of pretty fellows, now? Here you have complained to the captain ; I im to be turned out, and one of you will be sergeant. Which of you is to have my balberd ?
[Beats them off. COLLEY CIBBER-STEELE-PAILIPS— AARON HILL-MRS. CENTLIVRE.
Among the other successful writers for the stage may be instanced COLLEY CIBBER (1671–1757), an actor and manager, whose comedy, the Careless Husband' is still deservedly a favourite. Cibber was a lively amusing writer, and his ' Apology for his Life,' is one of the most entertaining autobiographies in die language.—Sir RICHARD STEELE was also a dramatist, and ovtained from George I. a patent, appointing him manager and governor of the royal company of comedians --The · Distrest Mother,' translated from Racine, was brought out by AMBROSE PHILIPS, the friend of Addison, and was highly successtil.—AARON Hill adapted the • Zara' of Voltaire to tie English theatre, aụd wrote some original dramas, which entitled lim, no less than lis poems, to the niche he has obtained in the Dunciad.'-A more legitimate comic writer appeared in MR3. SUSANNA CENTLIVRE (1667–1723), whose life and writings were immoral, but who possessed considerable dramatic skill and talent. Her comedies, the ‘Busy Body,' The Wonder–A Woman keeps a Secret,' and 'A Bold Stroke for a Wife,' are still favourite acting plays.' Her plots and incidents are admirably arranged for stage effect, and her characters well discriminated. Mrs. Centlivre had been some time an actress, and her experience had been of service to ber in writing for the stage. Her plays have recently (1873) been collected and published in four volumes.
The literature of France bad the delightful essays of Mantaigne, and, a century later, the Characters' of La Bruyère, in which the artificial life of the court of Louis XIV. was portrayed with fidelity and satirical effect; but it was not until the reign of Queen Anne that any English writer ventured to undertake a periodical work in which he should meet the public with a paper on some topic of the day, exposing fashionable folly, or insinuating instruction in the form of tale, allegory, or anecdote. The honour of originating this branch of literature is due to Daniel Defoe, who on the 19th of February 1704 commenced a literary and political journal, entitled The Review,' which he continued for about nine years, publishing for the first year twice a week, and afterwards thrice--on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday-the days in which the post left London for the ccuntry. Defoe aimed at being a censor of manners; he lashed the vices of the age, wrote also light and pleasant papers, and descanted on subjects of trade and commerce. His ‘Review' was highly popular. But it was not till Steele and Addison took the field that the essay assumed universal interest and importance, and exercised a great and beneficial influence on the morality, the piety, social manners, and intelligence of the British public.
SIR RICHARD STEELE-JOSEPH ADDISON.
The life of Addison we have already sketched. Steele was of English parentage, but born in Dublin, March 12, 1671-2. His father held the office of Secretary to the Lord-lieutenant of Ireland, the Duke of Ormond; and through Ormond's influence Richard Steele was placed in the Charterhouse, London. There he met Addison, just the same age as himself, and a close intimacy was formed between them, one of the most memorable in literature. Steele always regarded Addison with respect approaching to veneration.
Through the school and through the world,' as Mr. Thackeray has said, ' whithersoever his strange fortune leil this crring, wayward, affectionate creature, Joseph Addison was always his head-boy.' . They were together at Oxford, Steele having been entered of Merton College in 1692. He remained there three years, but left without taking a degree; and becoming en:moured of ihe military profession, but unable to obtain a commission, he entered as a private in the Horse Guards. A rich relation in Ireland threatened to disinherit bim if he took this step, but Steele, ' preferring the state of his mind to that of his fortune,' enlisted, and was disinherited. In the army, he was soon a favourite; he obtained a cornetcy, became secretary to his colonel, Lord Cutts, and afterwards was promoted to the rank of captain. He then plunged into the fashionable vices and follies of the age, at the same time acquiring that knowledge of life and character which proved so serviceable to him when he exchanged the sword for
As a check on his irregularities-a self-monitor-Steele wrote a treatise, called the 'Christian Hero,' which he published in 1701. His gay associates did not relish this semi-religious work (which abounds in fine characteristic passages), and not being himself very deeply impressed with his own reasoning and pious examples, he set about writing a comedy, 'The Funeral, or Grief à la Mode,' which was performed at Drury Lane in 1702 with great success. Next year he produced another play, the 'Tender Husband,' and in 1704 the 'Lying Lover,' which proved to be too grave a comedy for the public taste. The ill-success of this piece deterred him from attempting the stage again until 1722, when he achieved his great dramatic triumph by the production of the ‘Conscious Lovers.'
Steele was now a popular and fashionable man upon town. The Waig minister, Harley, conferred upon him the office of Gazetteer and Gentleman-Usher to Prince George; he had married a wife who died soon afterwards, leaving him an estate in Barbadoes, and his second marriage with Molly Scurlock' added to liis fortune. But Steele lived expensively, and was never free from pecuniary difficul. ties. His letters to his wife---of which about 400 have been preserved, forming the most singular correspondence ever published slew that lie was familiar with duns and bailiffs, with misery, folly, and repentance. Addison upon one occasion lent him £1000, which
was repaid within a twelvemonth; but another loan from the same friend is said to have been reclaimed by an execution, and Addison has been condemned for harshness. To his friend, Benjamin Victor, Steele related the case. His bond on some expensive furniture was put in force, but from the letter lie received with the surplus arising from the sale, he knew that Addison only intended a friendly warning against a manner of living altogether too costly, and, taking it as he believed it to be meant, he met him afterwards with the same gaiety of temper he had always shewn.* The warning was little lieeded-Steele had a long succession of troubles and embarrassments, but nothing could depress the elastic gaiety of his spirits. In 1709, a happy project suggested itself. His office of Gazetteer gave him a 'command of carly foreign intelligence, and following up Defoe's scheme of a thrice-a-week journal on the post-days, combining news and literature, he organised the “Tatier,' the first number of which appeared on the 12th of April, 1719. Swist had, by his ridicule of Partridge the almanac-maker, made the name of Ísaac Bickerstaff familiar; Steele adopted it for his new work, and thus, as he sait!, 'gained an audience of all who had any taste of wit, while the addition of the ordinary occurrences of common journals of news brought in a multitude of readers.'
Addison also came to his aid. IIe sent him hints from Ireland, and after the 80th number, became a regular contributor. 'I fared,' says Steele, like a distressed prince who calls in a powerful nciglibour to his aid: I was undone by my auxiliary; when I had once called him in, I could not subsist without dependence on him.” Some of the most charming of Addison's essays appear in the ‘Tailer,' but Steele stamped its character on the work as a gentle censor of manners and morals, a corrector of the public taste, and a delightful exponent of English society and English feeling. He aimed at high objects —' to expose the false arts of life, to pull off the disguises of cunning, vanity, and affectation, and to recommend a general simplicity in our dress, our discourse, and our behaviour.' That the careless and jovial ‘Dick Steele’ should set about such a task is only another illustration of the contradictions and incongruities in his character. His happy genius, however, carried him over all difficulties. The ‘Tailer' was continued regularly thrice a week, price one penny each number, until the 2d of January 1710–11. By this time the Tories were triumphant; Steele lost his appointment of Gazetteer ; but his success as an essayist inspired him with ambition, and on the 1st of March 1710-11, appeared the first number of the * Spectator,' which was to be published daily. The design was carried out, with unex:mpled success through 555 numbers, terminating on the 6th of December 1712. In 1714, the ' Spectator' was resumed, and eighty numbers—forming an eighth volume-added. In its
* See Forster's Essays-Sir Richard Steele.
most prosperous period, when Bolingbroke thought to curb the press by imposing a stamp on each sheet, the Spectator' doubled its price, yet maintained its popularity, and paid government on account of the half-penny stamp a sum of £29 each week. It had also a circulation of about 10,000 in volumes. Of the excellent effects produced by the essays of Steele and Addison, we possess the evidence not only of the improved state of society and literature which afterwards prevailed, but likewise the testimony of writers contemporary with the authors themselves. All speak of a decided and marked improvement. The'Spectator ceased in December 1712, and in the March following appeared the 'Guardian,' which was also issued daily. It extended to 175 numbers, or two volumes. Pope, Berkeley, Budgell, and other friends, aided Steele in this new work, but Addison was again bis principal assistant. Of the 271 papers in the 'Tailer,'Steele wrote 188, Addison 42, and both conjoined, 36. Of 635 Spectators,' Addison wrote 274, Steele, 240; and of 175 'Guardians,' Sieele wrote 82, and Addison, 53. At various intervals during his busy life Stecle attempted other periodicals on the same plan-as the ‘Englishman,' (which was chiefly political, and extended to 57 numbers), the ‘Lover,'
, the Reader, the ‘Plebeian,' the Theatre,' &c.—but these were shortlived productions, and liad little influence either on his fame or fortune.
Political controversy now raged. Swift assailed Steele with witty malice and virulence, and the patriotism of Steele prevailed over his interest, for he resigned an appointment he had received as commissioner of stamps, and threw himself into political warfare with disinterested but headlong zeal. He obtained a seat in parliament as member for Stockbridge, spoke warmly in support of the Protestant succession, which he conceived to be in danger, and published a pamphlet, entitled the Crisis,' which contained" some seasonable remarks on the danger of a popishi successor.' For these insinuations against the Protestantism of the government, Steele was expelled the House of Commons by a majority of 215 against 152 voies. The death of Queen Anne, however, humbled his opponents; and in the new reign, Steele received a place in the household-Surveyor of the Royal Stables, Governor of the Royal Company of Comedians—was placed in the commission of the peace for Middlesex, and knighted by King George I. Through the influence of the Duke of Newcastle, le entered parliament as member for Boroughbridge, and was an active politician and debater. In 1717, he visited Edinburgh, as one of the commissioners of forfeited estates, and whilst there, he is said on one occasion to have given a splendid entertainment to a multitude of decayed tradesmen and beggars collected from the streets! In 1718, he published an account of a patent scheme he had devised, called . The Fishpool,' for conveying salmon and other fish alive from Ireland to ibe London market. In 1719, he opposed the Peerage Bill, by which it was sought to fix permanently the number of