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The editor takes this opportunity of thanking for their assistance Professors Lounsbury, Beers, and Cross, and Mr. Keogh of the Yale library.
Connecticut Hall, Yale College,
March 1st, 1906.
THE SELECTIONS ARE ARRANGED IN ORDER
OF THEIR PUBLICATION.
LIFE OF ADDISON.
JOSEPH ADDISON was born at Milston, Wiltshire, on May 1st, 1672. His father, Launcelot Addison, had been English chaplain at Dunkirk, 1660-1662, and at Tangier, 1662–1670. In 1683 he was appointed Dean of Lichfield. He was known as a writer and recorded his foreign experiences in three books, West Barbary, 1671; The Present State of the Jews (more particularly relating to those of Barbary) 1675, and The Moors Baffled, being a discourse concerning Tangier, especially when it was under the Earl of Teviot, 1681.
Little is known of Addison's early days. He was sent to school at Amesbury, Salisbury, and Lichfield, finally entering the Charter-House, London, where he met Steele. In 1687 he became a member of Queen's College, Oxford. He obtained in 1689 a demyship at Magdalen College, where his classical attainments and especially his facility in writing Latin verse, soon brought him to prominence, and in 1698 he was elected to a fellowship which he held until 1711.
Of a deeply religious nature, with a father prominent in the Church, it was natural that Addison should prepare himself to take orders, but Charles Montagu, afterwards Earl of Halifax, saw in him
a valuable man for the Government. He obtained for Addison a pension of £300 a year, with which he was sent abroad to fit himself by study and travel for a diplomatic position. He left England in the Fall of 1699 and returned about September, 1703. The first year he spent in France, at Blois and Paris. He found the men of letters in France easy
of access and met Malebranche and Boileau "who puts himself in a passion when he talks with any one that has not a high respect for the ancients.” 1 His French studies are apparent in the many allusions he makes to French writers and critics. In general, they confirmed him in his admiration for the Classics.
Leaving Paris for Marseilles he passed through Orange where he notices" Marius's triumphal arch and ye Remains of a Roman Amphitheatre that are more worth than the whole principality.” He embarked at Marseilles for Italy but was driven back by a storm, and leaving the ship at Savona, he continued his journey on land, crossing the mountains to Genoa. On July 2, 1701, he writes from Rome that it is “the pleasantest city I have yet seen. One can scarce hear the name of a Hill or river near it that does not bring to mind a piece of a Classic Authour.” He was evidently well received here, and mentions a call made upon him by a prelate who had been imprisoned by the Inquisition, man of Learning and a Virtuoso, but too free a thinker. The very morning he was seized he had done me the honour of a Visite.” 3
(1) Three letters of Addison, Athenæum No. 3175, September 1, 1888. (2) Ibid.