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Grief chill'd his breast, and check'd his rising thought; | Addison had brought out his opera of Kosamond,

1 Probably an undertaker.

which was not successful on the stage. The story of fair Rosamond would seem well adapted for

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ment. He is also said to have been slow and fastidious in the discharge of the ordinary duties of office. When he held the situation of under secretary, he was employed to send word to Prince George at Hanover of the death of the queen, and the vacancy of the throne; but the critical nicety of the author overpowered his official experience, and Addison was so distracted by the choice of expression, that the task was given to a clerk, who boasted of having done what was too hard for Addison. The love of vulgar wonder may have exaggerated the poet's inaptitude for business, but it is certain he was no orator. He retired from the principal secretaryship with a pension of £1500 per annum, and during his retirement, engaged himself in writing a work on the

(until thawed by wine); and the satire of Pope, that he could bear no rival near the throne,' seems to have been just and well-founded. His quarrels with Pope and Steele throw some disagreeable shades among the lights and beauties of the picture; but enough will still remain to establish Addison's title to the character of a good man and a sincere Christian. The uniform tendency of all his writings is his best and highest eulogium. No man can dissemble upon paper through years of literary exertion, or on topics calculated to disclose the bias of his tastes and feelings, and the qualities of his heart and temper. The display of these by Addison is so fascinating and unaffected, that the impression made by his writings, as has been finely remarked, is 'like being recalled to a sense of something like that original purity from which man has been long estranged.'

Holland House.

A 'Life of Addison,' in two volumes, by Lucy Aiken, published in 1843, contains several letters supplied by a descendant of Tickell. This work is written in a strain of unvaried eulogium, and is frequently unjust to Steele, Pope, and the other contemporaries of Addison. The most interesting of the letters were written by Addison during his early travels; and though brief, and often incorrect, contain touches of his inimitable pen. He thus records his impressions of France: Truly, by what I have yet seen, they are the happiest nation in the world. "Tis not in the power of want or slavery to make 'em miserable. There is nothing to be met with in the country but mirth and poverty. Every one sings, laughs, and starves. Their conversation is generally agreeable; for if they have any wit or sense, they are sure to show it. They never mend upon a second meeting, but use all the freedom and familiarity at first sight that a long intimacy or abundance of wine can scarce draw from an Englishman. Their women are perfect mistresses in this art of showing themselves to the best advantage. They are always gay and sprightly, and set off the worst faces in Europe with the best airs. Every one knows how to give herself as charming a look and posture as Sir Godfrey Kneller could draw her in.'

After some further experience, he recurs to the same subject: I have already seen, as I informed you in my last, all the king's palaces, and have now seen a great part of the country; I never thought there had been in the world such an excessive magnificence or poverty as I have met with in both together. One can scarce conceive the pomp that appears in everything about the king; but at the same time it makes half his subjects go bare-foot. The people are, however, the happiest in the world, and enjoy from the benefit of their climate and natural constitution such a perpetual mirth and easiness of temper, as even liberty and plenty cannot bestow on those of other nations. Devotion and loyalty are everywhere at their greatest height, but learning seems to run very low, especially in the younger people; for all the rising geniuses have turned their ambition another way, and endeavoured to make their fortunes in the army. The belles lettres in particular seem to be but short-lived in France.'

In acknowledging a present of a snuff-box, we see traces of the easy wit and playfulness of the Spectator:- About three days ago, Mr Bocher put a very pretty snuff-box in my hand. I was not a little pleased to hear that it belonged to myself, and was much more so when I found it was a present from a gentleman that I have so great an honour for. You do not probably foresee that it would draw on you the trouble of a letter, but you must blame yourself for it. For my part, I can no more accept of a snuff-box without returning my acknowledgments, than I can take snuff without sneezing after it. I This last, I must own to you, is so great an absurdity, that I should be ashamed to confess it, were not I in hopes of correcting it very speedily. I am observed to have my box oftener in my hand than those that have bin used to one these twenty years, for I can't forbear taking it out of my pocket whenever I think of Mr Dashwood. You know Mr Bays recommends snuff as a great provocative to wit, but you may produce this letter as a standing evidence against him. I have, since the beginning of it, taken above a dozen pinches, and still find myself much more inclined to sneeze than to jest. From whence I conclude, that wit and tobacco are not inseparable; or to make a pun of it, tho' a man may be master of a snuff-box,


"Non cuicunque datum est habere Nasam."

I should be afraid of being thought a pedant for my quotation, did not I know that the gentleman I am writing to always carrys a Horace in his pocket.'

The same taste which led Addison, as we have seen, to censure as fulsome the wild and gorgeous genius of Spenser, made him look with indifference, if not aversion, on the splendid scenery of the Alps: I am just arrived at Geneva,' he says, 'by a very troublesome journey over the Alps, where I have been for some days together shivering among the eternal snows. My head is still giddy with mountains and precipices, and you can't imagine how much I am pleased with the sight of a plain, that is as agreeable to me at present as a shore was about a year ago, after our tempest at Genoa.'

The matured powers of Addison show little of this tame prosaic feeling. The higher of his essays, and his criticism on the Paradise Lost, betray no insensibility to the nobler beauties of creation, or the sublime effusions of genius. His conceptions were enlarged, and his mind expanded, by that literary study and reflection from which his political ambition never divorced him even in the busiest and most engrossing period of his life.

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