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the famous 'Saturday papers' of the Spectator, that day having been usually devoted by Addison and Steele to the discussion of some serious topic, so as to wind up the speculation or satire of the week well, and dispose the reader's mind to the reverential observance of the following day.
To the Fifth Part I have assigned a selection from those very numerous papers on manners, which, in the Spectator, as previously in the Tatler, were the fruit of Addison's close, but mostly silent and shy, observation of human life. In many of these papers the purpose of the moral reformer is indeed apparent, but the artist or the humourist predominates;-the things observed, and the mode of describing them, assume an importance higher than that of the moral remarks connected with them; just as we sometimes see in reverend explorers the tastes of the geographer and the naturalist overpowering those of the preacher and the missionary.
The Sixth Part imperfectly represents the critical vein of Addison, as exercised (1) on questions of taste and wit, (2) on the stage and the drama, (3) on books and authors. The series of papers on the Paradise Lost, and that on the pleasures of imagination, have been unavoidably excluded, but may perhaps appear in a future volume of selections.
In the Seventh Part most of the tales, fables, and allegories which Addison wrote for the Spectator have been brought together. The Eighth Part contains a few papers of more than average merit on miscellaneous topics, which it was not easy to classify under any of the preceding heads; finally, the Ninth Part consists of the five hymns, or sacred poems, which Addison contributed to the Spectator at various times.
The original mottos have been retained; but with regard to the translation of them no uniform procedure has been adopted. They are never translated in the original publication; but considering that the present volume might come into the hands of many to whom Latin and Greek were not familiar, we have freely added translations, when English poets had supplied us with a good one, but have excluded a large number of the versions of Creech, Francis, Tate, &c., that are printed in the ordinary editions of the Spectator.
With regard to the orthography, we have as a rule conformed it to that of the present day, being unable to see that anything is
gained by substituting for the anomalies of our present spelling, which are sufficiently deplorable, a set of anomalies which were in use among our forefathers a hundred and sixty years ago, besides reproducing typographical absurdities, and solecisms in punctuation, from which we have in a great measure delivered ourselves. Professor Morley, in his recent edition of the Spectator, has reproduced, he tells us,-and his industry and painstaking in the procedure cannot be too much applauded,— both the original texts of the Spectator'; the text of the daily sheets, and that of the volumes as revised and first published by the authors; and he prides himself on reprinting for the first time in the present century the text of the Spectator as its authors left it.' Such exact reproduction, however, is difficult of attainment; we think that it would be worthless if attained; at any rate, Professor Morley has not succeeded in his task. Though the matter is not of the slightest importance, yet, as Professor Morley has noticed that a recent edition contains eighty-eight petty variations from the proper text' in the first eighteen numbers, which is at the rate of 3000 errors for the whole work, it may surprise the reader to learn that, whereas he claims that by taking the readings in brackets at the foot of his page, 'the text becomes throughout that of the Spectator as it first came wet from the press to English breakfast-tables,' a single paper, as printed by Professor Morley, No. 35, is found on examination to contain no fewer than fifteen slight variations from the text as it first came wet from the press, &c.'; although his foot-notes, if the above claim were tenable, ought to supply the means of exactly reproducing it.
Nevertheless, no one will deny that it is a legitimate subject of curiosity to inquire how English was spelt and written at the beginning of the last century; and we have gratified this curiosity by printing the first number in the Critical section, No. 35, exactly (errors excepted!) as it originally issued from the press. The copy of the original sheets that we have used is that in the Hope Collection of Newspapers in the Bodleian Library.
A chronological summary of the principal memorabilia in the life of Addison, together with a list of the chief editions of the Spectator, and other works composing the literature of the subject, has been prefixed to the Selections.
CHRONOLOGY OF ADDISON'S LIFE.
1672. May 1. Birth of Joseph Addison, eldest son of Lancelot Addison
and Jane Gulston, at Milston parsonage, Wilts. 1683. Addison removed to Lichfield, on his father becoming dean of the
cathedral; placed at Lichfield Grammar School. 1684 or 1685. Entered at the Charter-house. 1687. Entered at Queen's College, Oxford ; his Latin verses soon after
gained for him admission into Magdalen College as a demy. 1693. Took his M.A. degree.
Wrote · Verses to Mr. Dryden': Dryden introduced him to
Congreve, through whom he became acquainted with Lord
of Commons. 1698. Elected full Fellow of Magdalen. 1699. He leaves England with a travelling pension of 300l. a year,
obtained through Somers and Montague. Resides at Blois;
then at Paris; travels in Italy; makes a long stay at Geneva. 1703. Returns to England"; elected member of the Kit-cat club. 1704. He writes • The Campaign’; is appointed by Lord Godolphin a
commissioner of appeals.
Publishes his · Remarks on several parts of Italy.' 1706. Appointed under-secretary of State under Sir Charles Hedges. 1707. Publishes his opera of Rosamond.'
Accompanies Lord Halifax to Hanover, on the mission of pre
senting the Act for the naturalization of the Princess Sophia, and investing the Electoral Prince with the order of the
Garter. 1709. Appointed in February or March chief secretary for Ireland,
under the Marquis of Wharton. Crossed to Ireland in April.
Returned in October.
Commenced to write for the Tatler in May. 1710. Again in Ireland between May and August.
On the final fall of the Whig ministry, after the elections in
October, Addison loses all his employments.
1711. March 1. Publishes the first number of the Spectator.
Purchases the house and lands of Bilton in Warwickshire for
10,000l. 1713. The tragedy of Cato brought upon the stage.
Addison writes for the Guardian between May and September. 1714. Appointed secretary to the Council of State, which carried on the
government between the death of Queen Anne and the arrival
Ireland, under Lord Sunderland.
between June and September.
Returns to England and obtains a seat at the Board of Trade.
December 23. Commences the Freeholder. 1716. Marries the Dowager Countess of Warwick. 1717. Appointed secretary of State; has the charge of the southern
province. Resigns in a few months from ill health, on a pension of 1500l.
a year. Writes a treatise on the evidences and early extension of the
Christian Religion. 1719. Writes in the Old Whig against Steele in the Plebeian.
June 17. Dies at Holland House, of asthma, complicated by a
LITERATURE OF THE SPECTATOR.
Addison, Life of, by Miss Aikin
1843 Addison, Works, ed. by Tickell
1721 Miscellaneous Works, by same
1726 Works, Baskerville edition
1761 by Bishop Hurd (Bohn's British Classics).
1856 Baker, D. E., Biographia Dramatica, third edition
1812 Downes, Roscius Anglicanus, an Historical Review of the Stage 1708 Drake, Dr. Nathan, Essays on Periodical Literature
1805 Edwards, Sutherland, History of the Opera ·
1862 Gilfillan, George, Poetical Works of Joseph Addison
1859 Gildon, Lives and characters of the English Dramatic Poets 1698 Johnson, Dr. Samuel, Lives of the Poets (Art. Addison) Langbaine, Gerard, Account of the English Dramatic Poets 1691 Macaulay, Lord, Essays (Life and Writings of Addison)
1866 Spectator, The, 7 vols., first edition
1712 With Prefaces, by A. Chalmers
1806 In one volume, with notes, Tegg
1850 Sir Roger de Coverley, edited by W. H. Wills, with Illustrations .
1850 With Introduction, Notes, and Index by Henry Morley; Routledge.
No date Thackeray, W. M., English Humourists of the 18th Century . 1858