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character of a Guardian, and a guardian, to young ladies, is unfavourable to the propriety 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 himscif 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 confusion in the application of it to different writers, and the periods in which they fourished. The critique on Pope's Pastorals by that author himself, is remarkable for the delicacy and artful irony which imposed on the editor of the paper, and seeured its insertion, though it was, in fact, a concealed ridicule on Phillips, whose pastorals it had been the aim of the former pa
pers to extol,
The Freeholder was a direct party paper, written by Addison alone, on the side of Government, immediately after the rebellion of 1715, when perhaps one half of the nation were Jacobites in their hearts. It can of course supply little matter for a selection of this kind : yet a few papers are given, both as they possess genuine humour, and because, as Addison himself remarks, future readers may see in them the complexion of the times in which they were written. His country squire is drawn with great humour and much effect, as the representative of a set of men who were then almost all partisans against the court, if not favourers of the Stuart family:
There seems to be no kind of writing which admits of selection more readily than these pe
riodical papers. There is no plan to interrupt, no thread of reasoning to break. Each paper or set of papers is complete in itself; and though many are left out which may be thought to have some claim to insertion, none, it is hoped, are inserted which the reader of taste will wish to have been left out.