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THE SPECTATOR




A NEW EDITION

REPRODUCING THE ORIGINAL TEXT BOTH AS FIRST ISSUED
AND AS CORRECTED BY ITS AUTHORS

WITH INTRODUCTION, NOTES, AND INDEX

BY

HENRY MORLEY

PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH LITERATURE, UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, LONDON



IN THREE VOLUMES

VOL. I.



1891





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EACH IN THREE VOLS., PRICE 10s. 6d.

CHARLES KNIGHT'S SHAKSPERE.

NAPIER'S HISTORY OF THE PENINSULAR WAR. With Maps and Plans.

LONGFELLOW'S WORKS--Poems--Prose--Dante.

BOSWELL'S LIFE OF JOHNSON. With Illustrations.

MOTLEY'S RISE OF THE DUTCH REPUBLIC.

BYRON'S POETICAL WORKS.





INTRODUCTION


When Richard Steele, in number 555 of his 'Spectator', signed its last
paper and named those who had most helped him

'to keep up the spirit of so long and approved a performance,'

he gave chief honour to one who had on his page, as in his heart, no
name but Friend. This was

'the gentleman of whose assistance I formerly boasted in the Preface
and concluding Leaf of my 'Tatlers'. I am indeed much more proud of
his long-continued Friendship, than I should be of the fame of being
thought the author of any writings which he himself is capable of
producing. I remember when I finished the 'Tender Husband', I told him
there was nothing I so ardently wished, as that we might some time or
other publish a work, written by us both, which should bear the name
of THE MONUMENT, in Memory of our Friendship.'

Why he refers to such a wish, his next words show. The seven volumes of
the 'Spectator', then complete, were to his mind The Monument, and of
the Friendship it commemorates he wrote,

'I heartily wish what I have done here were as honorary to that sacred
name as learning, wit, and humanity render those pieces which I have
taught the reader how to distinguish for his.'

So wrote Steele; and the 'Spectator' will bear witness how religiously
his friendship was returned. In number 453, when, paraphrasing David's
Hymn on Gratitude, the 'rising soul' of Addison surveyed the mercies of
his God, was it not Steele whom he felt near to him at the Mercy-seat as
he wrote

Thy bounteous hand with worldly bliss
Has made my cup run o'er,
And in a kind and faithful Friend
Has doubled all my store?

The _Spectator_, Steele-and-Addison's _Spectator_, is a monument
befitting the most memorable friendship in our history. Steele was its
projector, founder, editor, and he was writer of that part of it which
took the widest grasp upon the hearts of men. His sympathies were with
all England. Defoe and he, with eyes upon the future, were the truest
leaders of their time. It was the firm hand of his friend Steele that
helped Addison up to the place in literature which became him. It was
Steele who caused the nice critical taste which Addison might have spent
only in accordance with the fleeting fashions of his time, to be
inspired with all Addison's religious earnestness, and to be enlivened
with the free play of that sportive humour, delicately whimsical and
gaily wise, which made his conversation the delight of the few men with
whom he sat at ease. It was Steele who drew his friend towards the days
to come, and made his gifts the wealth of a whole people. Steele said in
one of the later numbers of his _Spectator_, No. 532, to which he
prefixed a motto that assigned to himself only the part of whetstone to
the wit of others,

'I claim to myself the merit of having extorted excellent productions
from a person of the greatest abilities, who would not have let them
appear by any other means.'

There were those who argued that he was too careless of his own fame in
unselfish labour for the exaltation of his friend, and, no doubt, his
rare generosity of temper has been often misinterpreted. But for that
Addison is not answerable. And why should Steele have defined his own
merits? He knew his countrymen, and was in too genuine accord with the
spirit of a time then distant but now come, to doubt that, when he was
dead, his whole life's work would speak truth for him to posterity.

The friendship of which this work is the monument remained unbroken from
boyhood until death. Addison and Steele were schoolboys together at the
Charterhouse. Addison was a dean's son, and a private boarder; Steele,
fatherless, and a boy on the foundation. They were of like age. The
register of Steele's baptism, corroborated by the entry made on his
admission to the Charterhouse (which also implies that he was baptized
on the day of his birth) is March 12, 1671, Old Style; New Style, 1672.
Addison was born on May-day, 1672. Thus there was a difference of only
seven weeks.

Steele's father according to the register, also named Richard, was an
attorney in Dublin. Steele seems to draw from experience--although he is
not writing as of himself or bound to any truth of personal detail--when
in No. 181 of the 'Tatler' he speaks of his father as having died when
he was not quite five years of age, and of his mother as 'a very
beautiful woman, of a noble spirit.' The first Duke of Ormond is
referred to by Steele in his Dedication to the 'Lying Lover' as the
patron of his infancy; and it was by this nobleman that a place was
found for him, when in his thirteenth year, among the foundation boys at
the Charterhouse, where he first met with Joseph Addison. Addison, who
was at school at Lichfield in 1683-4-5, went to the Charterhouse in
1686, and left in 1687, when he was entered of Queen's College, Oxford.
Steele went to Oxford two years later, matriculating at Christ Church,
March 13, 1689-90, the year in which Addison was elected a Demy of
Magdalene. A letter of introduction from Steele, dated April 2, 1711,
refers to the administration of the will of 'my uncle Gascoigne, to
whose bounty I owe a liberal education.' This only representative of the
family ties into which Steele was born, an 'uncle' whose surname is not
that of Steele's mother before marriage, appears, therefore, to have
died just before or at the time when the 'Spectator' undertook to
publish a sheetful of thoughts every morning, and--Addison here speaking
for him--looked forward to

'leaving his country, when he was summoned out of it, with the secret
satisfaction of thinking that he had not lived in vain.'

To Steele's warm heart Addison's friendship stood for all home blessings
he had missed. The sister's playful grace, the brother's love, the
mother's sympathy and simple faith in God, the father's guidance, where
were these for Steele, if not in his friend Addison?

Addison's father was a dean; his mother was the sister of a bishop; and
his ambition as a schoolboy, or his father's ambition for him, was only
that he should be one day a prosperous and pious dignitary of the
Church. But there was in him, as in Steele, the genius which shaped
their lives to its own uses, and made them both what they are to us now.
Joseph Addison was born into a home which the steadfast labour of his
father, Lancelot, had made prosperous and happy. Lancelot Addison had
earned success. His father, Joseph's grandfather, had been also a
clergyman, but he was one of those Westmoreland clergy of whose
simplicity and poverty many a joke has been made. Lancelot got his
education as a poor child in the Appleby Grammar School; but he made his
own way when at College; was too avowed a Royalist to satisfy the
Commonwealth, and got, for his zeal, at the Restoration, small reward in
a chaplaincy to the garrison at Dunkirk. This was changed, for the
worse, to a position of the same sort at Tangier, where he remained
eight years. He lost that office by misadventure, and would have been
left destitute if Mr. Joseph Williamson had not given him a living of
120 a-year at Milston in Wiltshire. Upon this Lancelot Addison married
Jane Gulstone, who was the daughter of a Doctor of Divinity, and whose
brother became Bishop of Bristol. In the little Wiltshire parsonage
Joseph Addison and his younger brothers and sisters were born. The
essayist was named Joseph after his father's patron, afterwards Sir
Joseph Williamson, a friend high in office. While the children grew, the
father worked. He showed his ability and loyalty in books on West
Barbary, and Mahomet, and the State of the Jews; and he became one of
the King's chaplains in ordinary at a time when his patron Joseph
Williamson was Secretary of State. Joseph Addison was then but three
years old. Soon afterwards the busy father became Archdeacon of
Salisbury, and he was made Dean of Lichfield in 1683, when his boy
Joseph had reached the age of 11. When Archdeacon of Salisbury, the Rev.
Lancelot Addison sent Joseph to school at Salisbury; and when his father
became Dean of Lichfield, Joseph was sent to school at Lichfield, as
before said, in the years 1683-4-5. And then he was sent as a private
pupil to the Charterhouse. The friendship he there formed with Steele
was ratified by the approval of the Dean. The desolate boy with the warm
heart, bright intellect, and noble aspirations, was carried home by his
friend, at holiday times, into the Lichfield Deanery, where, Steele
wrote afterwards to Congreve in a Dedication of the 'Drummer',

'were things of this nature to be exposed to public view, I could show
under the Dean's own hand, in the warmest terms, his blessing on the
friendship between his son and me; nor had he a child who did not
prefer me in the first place of kindness and esteem, as their father
loved me like one of them.'

Addison had two brothers, of whom one traded and became Governor of Fort
George in India, and the other became, like himself, a Fellow of
Magdalene College, Oxford. Of his three sisters two died young, the
other married twice, her first husband being a French refugee minister
who became a Prebendary of Westminster. Of this sister of Addison's,
Swift said she was 'a sort of wit, very like him. I was not fond of her.'


In the latter years of the seventeenth century, when Steele and Addison
were students at Oxford, most English writers were submissive to the new
strength of the critical genius of France.



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