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the wonderful collection of Essays attractive even to modern readers. Outside their contributions as coworkers, their literary fame is of the slenderest description; The Campaign and Cato, The Procession and The Lying Lover, are not works to win immortality for either one or the other. Yet one portion of Steele's work, other than journalistic, deserves a passing notice, as indirectly affecting his essays; namely, his contributions to dramatic literature. His claim to be a dramatist, in which capacity he was Addison's superior, rests upon four plays, The Funeral, The Lying Lover, The Tender Husband, and The Conscious Lovers, which, if they proved but only fairly successful, brought their author in contact with the theatrical world and gave him that knowledge of the stage which makes him so excellent a critic of stage plays. His ungrudging appreciation of other men's gifts, and his love for the actor and his art, are nowhere more apparent than in the two admirable essays on ‘The Death of Estcourt’ and ‘Betterton the Actor.” It is not perhaps too much to say that even Elia himself has not surpassed him in charm of expression or in critical appreciation in ‘The Acting of Munden, or ‘On Some of the Old Actors'; and a modern playgoer may still find delightful sympathy in Steele's thoughts on ‘The Pleasures of the Theatre.” It has been remarked that his love for Shakespeare, and his frequent quotation from the plays—not however always accurate—are in marked contrast with Addison, who hardly ever quotes him, and who evidently preferred Milton to the great playwright. Steele's righteous indignation against the coarser vices of his age forms the subject of many of his most forcible essays, but of necessity no example of these can be included in this selection, as, at times, his directness of speech would offend the decorum of our day; but the consistency of his practice and of his preaching is well illustrated by the courageous attitude which he assumed towards duelling and gaming. Having, during his early military career, fought with and wounded a Captain Kelly, a fiery countryman of his own, not, however, before he had done everything to dissuade his adversary from a meeting, he ever after in many an essay, as well as in his play of The Lying Lover, pointed out the unreasonableness and immorality involved in this method of settling disputes amongst so-called men of honour. And it must be remembered that in his crusade against this practice, and that of gambling, he ran no small risk; so much so, that two of his superior officers, whose sympathies he had completely won by his courage and honesty, placed their swords at his disposal, when his safety was endangered by the mohocks, the swindlers, and the gamesters, whose wrath he had effectually excited.

It is a subject for regret that Steele did not continue to the end to be solely a man of letters; but his impetuous desire to be the knight-errant of his time led him into an arena in which he was by no means an effective fighter. Little by little his later papers became more and more political, until, by The Crisis, and in a series of articles in The Englishman, advocating the demolition of the fortifications of Dunkirk, he drew down the wrath of the ministry. After a fight, in which he exhibited at least courage and much ingenuity, he was expelled from the House. This occurred in 1714, when he sat as member for Stockbridge. From this period his life ceases to be particularly interesting ; for, although he returned to Parliament in 1722 as member for Wendover—the place for which Edmund Burke afterwards sat—he does not appear to have taken any share in debate, and, so far as his literary career is concerned, it was practically over. o It was a strenuous and, although tempestuous, on the whole a happy life which closed at Carmarthen in 1725, seven years after Lady Steele, his “dear, little, peevish, beautiful, wise governess, had been taken from him. There were many to shed tears for kindly, warm-hearted Richard Steele ; and what they, doubtless, thought of him has been summed up by one of his fairest modern critics : —“He was unswerving in his loyalty to his friends; he was the most loving of fathers; and, in days when marriage was a lighter tie than now, his devotion to his wife may be called romantic. There have been wiser, stronger, greater men. But many a strong man would have been stronger for a touch of Steele's indulgent sympathy; many a great man has wanted his genuine largeness of heart ; many a wise man might learn something from his deep and wide humanity.’ And as Steele was a man who wore his heart upon his sleeve, it will not be easy to miss the charm which these good qualities have imparted to the following Essays.

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On Duelling . - -

On the Art of Growing Old

The Art of Story-telling.

Advice to Ladies on Exercise and Education

On Flogging Schoolboys

Prince Eugene - -

The Death of Stephen Clay

A Soldier's Letter . -

A Day in London . - - -

A Combat at Hockley-in-the-Hole

A Cure for the Spleen

The Cock's Petition














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