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men— the immortality of fame; subjective in the life of the world—the immortality of energy, energy that expends itself in good works, and, by the natural transmission of force, lives to perish never. These three were the inheritance of Addison, and are possible to few; the last is the privilege of all. No particles of him will ever be lost. Ever since he died there has been a growth of the Christ-like. The seeds he dropped took root in the soul of man, have grown apace, flowering every spring, fruiting every autumn, spreading in the very air the odor of the bloom and the flavor of the fruit. No good thing is lost. Forty-four years after his death, the Council of Constance ordered the bones of Wycliffe to be dug up and burned. The vultures of the law took what little they could find, burned it, and cast the ashes into the Swift, a little brook running hard by, and thought they had made away with both his bones and his doctrines. How does it turn out? The historian says: “The brook took them into the Avon, the Avon into the Severn, the Severn into the narrow seas, they into the main ocean; and thus the ashes of Wycliffe are the emblems of his doctrine, which is now dispersed all the world over.” 1
You and I may not have much intellectual power, our thought may never fill the world's soul; but, if we have stimulated a generous wish or a noble aspiration, if we have ever furnished a medium in which handsome things may be projected and performed, — if we have added one leaf to the tree of humanity, one blossom to its wealth of bloom, or aught to its harvest of fruit, we may rely upon the eternal law that neither things present nor things to come can deprive these outgoing particles of their immortality. More fitting and enduring epitaph than this Addison could not have: “He lived wisely and usefully.'
1 See Vol. I, p. 203.
His imagination was that of a man of business, not of an artist, crammed, and as it were jammed down with facts. He tells them as they come to him, without arrangement or style, like a conversation. ... Never was such a sense of the real before or since.- Taine.
Biography. - Born in 1661, the son of a London butcher named Foe. Disliking the family name, he added a prefix to suit his own taste. Studied five years, at a Dissenters' academy, for the Presbyterian ministry. Joined the Monmouth insurrection, and escaped hanging or transportation. Became a hosier, and failed. Became a merchant-adventurer, visiting Spain and Portugal, and absconded from his creditors in 1692. Subsequently paid their entire claims, when legally relieved of the obligation to
Became an accountant under William III, but lost his appointment in 1699 by suppression of the Glass Duty. Became a tile-maker, and lost three thousand pounds in the undertaking. Explains in 1705, 'How, with a numerous family and no help but his own industry, he had forced his way with undiscouraged diligence through a sea of misfortunes. Writes a pamphlet against the High Church party, is misunderstood, fined, pilloried, his ears cut off, imprisoned two years,— charity preventing his wife and six children from dying of hunger during his imprisonment. Caricatured, robbed, and slandered, he withdrew from politics, and at fifty-five, poor and burdened, turned to fiction. Wrote in prose, in verse, on all subjects, in all two hundred and fifty-four works! and, struck down with apoplexy, died in 1731, penniless, insolvent, immortal.
Appearance.-Under order of arrest on the charge of sedition, he was described by the Gazette of January, 1702, as 'a middle-sized spare man, about forty years old, of a brown complexion, and dark brown hair, though he wears a wig, having a hook nose, a sharp chin, grey eyes, and a large mole near his mouth.'
Writings.- True-born Englishman (1701), a poetical satire on the foreigners, and a defence of King William and the Dutch. Its sale was almost unexampled; eighty thousand pirated copies were sold on the streets. Tuneless and homely, it shows the
ability of its author to reason forcibly in rhyme. The opening lines are characteristic:
• Wherever God erects a house of prayer,
The Shortest Way with the Dissenters (1702), a work wherein he, ‘himself a Dissenter,' ironically recommends the stake and the gallows. Neither Whig nor Tory could understand De Foe's irony; it was too subtle or obscure, and the work was voted a libel on the nation. The author was condemned to pay a fine, was set in the pillory, and imprisoned. Confined in Newgate, he commenced the Review, designed to treat of news, foreign and domestic; of politics, English and European; of trade, particular and universal. Realizing that the age, naturally averse to anything serious, would not read unless it could be diverted, he skilfully instituted a Scandal Club, which discussed questions in divinity, morals, war, trade, poetry, love, marriage, drunkenness, and gaming. Thus it is easy to see that the Review pointed the way to the Tatler.
Robinson Crusoe, a novel of adventure. Perhaps the most widely diffused and the most eagerly read of English productions. As long as there are boys and girls, it will continue to find devoted readers. “Nobody,' observed Johnson, “ever laid it down without wishing it were longer.'
Journal of the Great Plague in London, a description of sights, incidents, and persons, as observed by an assumed shopkeeper. Dr. Mead, a famous physician, appealed to it for medical purposes, and it has more than once passed for a genuine history.
The Memoirs of a Cavalier, so plausible, so natural, so real, that Lord Chatham was deceived into recommending it as the most authentic account of the Civil War.
True Relation of the Apparition of Mrs. Veal, a narrative of facts seemingly as true and indubitable as any that ever passed before our eyes.
It was prefixed to a religious book On Death, and not only sold the whole edition of an otherwise unsalable work, but excited extensive inquiries into the alleged facts. of his works has the curious title of: Mars stript of his armor; a lashing caricature of the habits and manners of all kinds of
military men, written on purpose to delight quiet tradespeople, and cure their daughters of their passion for red-coats.
Judge, from two or three examples, of his wonderful gift of ‘forging the handwriting of nature,' and how near are we to the present anti-romantic reading of observers and moralists. We quote from the Journal:
As I went along Houndsditch one morning about eight o'clock, there was a great noise. ... A watchman, it seems, had been employed to keep his post at the door of a house which was infected, or said to be infected, and was shut up. He had been there all night, for two nights together, as he told his story, and the day watchman had been there one day, and was now come to relieve him. All this while no noise had been heard in the house, no light had been seen, they called for nothing, had sent him no errands, which used to be the chief business of the watchman; neither had they given him any disturbance, as he said, from Monday afternoon, when he heard a great crying and screaming in the house, which, as he supposed, was occasioned by some of the family dying just at that time.
It seems, the night before, the dead-cart, as it was called, had been stopped there, and a servant-maid had been brought down to the door dead, and the buriers, or bearers, as they were called, put her into the cart, wrapped only in a green rug, and carried
The watchman had knocked at the door, it seems, when he heard that noise and crying, as above, and nobody answered a great while; but at last one looked out and said, with an angry, quick tone, and yet a kind of crying voice, or a voice of one that was crying, “What d'ye want, that you make such a knocking?"
He answered, “I am the watchman. How do you do? What is the matter?” The person answered, “What is that to you? Stop the dead-cart." , Again:
Much about the same time I walked out into the fields towards Bow, for I had a great mind to see how things were managed in the river and among the ships. ..
Here I saw a poor man walking on the bank, or sea-wall, as they call it, by himself. I walked awhile also about, seeing the houses all shut up; at last I fell into some talk, at à distance, with this poor man. First I asked him how people did thereabouts. “Alas! sir," says he, “almost desolate; all dead or sick. Here are very few families in this part, or in that village,"— pointing at Poplar,—“where half of them are dead already, and the rest sick.” Then he, pointing to one house: “There they are all dead," said he, “and the house stands open; nobody dares go into it. A poor thief,'' says he, “ventured in to steal something, but he paid dear for his theft, for he was carried to the churchyard too, last night.” Then he pointed to several other houses. “There," says he, “they are all dead-the man and his wife and five children. There,” says he, “ They are shut up; you see a watchman at the door; and so of other houses.'' “Why," says I, “what do
here all alone?” “Why,' says he, “I am a poor desolate man: it hath pleased God I am not yet visited, though my family is, and one of my children dead.” “How do you mean then," said I, “that you are not visited?" Why,” says he, “that is my house,"-pointing to a very little low-boarded house, —"and there my poor wife and two children live," said he, “if they may be said to live; for my wife and one of the children are visited, but I do not come at them.” And with that word I saw the tears run very plentifully down his face; and so they did down mine too, I assure you.
“But," said I, “why do you not come at them? How can you abandon your own flesh and blood?” “O, sir," says he, “the Lord forbid. I do not abandon them; I work for them as much as I am able; and blessed be the Lord, I keep them from want." And with that I observed he lifted up his eyes to heaven with a countenance that presently told me I had happened on a man that was no hypocrite, but a serious, religious, good man: and his ejaculation was an expression of thankfulness, that, in such a condition as he
was in, he should be able to say his family did not want. “Well," says I, “honest man, that is a great mercy, as things go now with the poor. But how do you live then, and how are you kept from the dreadful calamity that is now upon us all?" "Why, sir," says he, “I am a waterman and there is my boat," says he; "and the boat serves me for a house; I work in it in the day, and I sleep in it in the night; and what I get I lay it down upon that stone,” says he, shewing me a broad stone on the other side of the street, a good way from his house; "and then," says he, “I halloo and call to them till I make them hear, and they come and fetch it."
“Do you see there,'' says he, “five ships lie at anchor?”– pointing down the river a good way below the town,—"and do you see," says he, “eight or ten ships lie at the chain there, and at anchor yonder?”– pointing above the town. "All those ships have families on board, of their merchants and owners, and such like, who have locked themselves up, and live on board, close shut in, for fear of the infection; and I tend on them to fetch things for them, carry letters, and do what is absolutely necessary, that they may not be obliged to come on shore; and every night I fasten my boat on board one of the ship's boats, and there I sleep by myself; and blessed be God, I am preserved hitherto."
“Hark thee, friend,” said I, "come hither, for I believe thou art in health, that I may venture thee;” so I pulled out my hand, which was in my pocket before. “Here,” says I, “go and call thy Rachel once more, and give her a little comfort from me; God will never forsake a family that trust in Him as thou dost”: so I gave him four other shillings, and bid him go lay them on the stone, and call his wife. I have not words to express the poor man's thankfulness, neither could he express it himself, but by tears running down his face. He called his wife, and told her God had moved the heart of a stranger, upon hearing their condition, to give them all that money; and a great deal more such as that he said to her. The woman, too, made signs of the like thankfulness, as well to Heaven as to me, and joyfully picked it up; and I parted with no money all that year that I thought better bestowed.' Crusoe, cast alone on a desert island, is terrified by the discovery of a human footmark:
•It happened one day about noon, going towards my boat, I was exceedingly surprised with the print of a man's naked foot on the shore, which was very plain to be seen in the sand: I stood like one thunderstruck, or as if I had seen an apparition: I listened, I looked around me, I could hear nothing, nor see anything; I went up to a rising ground to look farther: I went up the shore, and down the shore, but it was all one, I could see no other impression but that one: I went to it again to see if there were any more, and to observe if it might not be my fancy; but there was no room for that, for there was exactly the very print of a foot, toes, heel, and every part of a foot. How it came thither I knew not, nor could in the least imagine. But after innumerable fluttering thoughts, like a man perfectly confused, and out of myself, I came home to my fortification, not feeling, as we say, the ground I went on, bu ified to the last degree, looking behind me at every two or three steps, mistaking every bush and tree, and fancying every stump at a distance to be a man; nor is it possible to describe how many various shapes an affrighted imagination represented things to me in; how many wild ideas were formed every moment in my fancy, and what strange, unaccountable whimsies came into my thoughts by the way.
When I came to my castle, for so I thiuk I called it ever after this, I fled into it like one pursued; whether I went over by the ladder, at first contrived, or went in at the hole in the rock, which I called a door, I cannot remember; for never frighted hare fled to cover, or fox to earth, with more terror of mind than I to this retreat.' Perhaps the devil left it:
'I considered that the devil might have found out abundance of other ways to have terrified me, ...
that, as I lived quite on the other side of the island, he would never have been so simple to leave a mark in a place where it was ten thousand to one whether