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Edinburgh : Printed by W. and R. Chambers.





JOSEPH ADDISON was born on the 1st of May 1672, at the Rectory of Milston in Wiltshire, of which his father, the Rev. Dr Lancelot Addison, was at that time incumbent. He was so weakly an infant in appearance, that it was deemed proper to christen him on the day of his birth; but the forebodings of his parents happily proved unfounded, and he soon attained to an ordinary degree of health and strength. He acquired the rudiments of education under the superintendence of his father, and subsequently attended the schools of Ambrosebury, Salisbury, and Litchfield, to the deanery of which latter city the able and learned rector of Milston was appointed in 1683.

Young Addison completed his education at Queen's College, Oxford; but before being sent thither, he enjoyed for a short time the advantage of attending the famous school of the Chartreux, or Charter-house, and there formed an acquaintance with Richard Steele, whose name after-events inseparably linked with his own. At the period of his entrance to Queen's College, Addison was only in his fifteenth year, yet he soon distinguished himself among his contemporaries, and chiefly by his skill in the composition of Latin verse. His productions of this description were not remarkable merely as being executed by a very young man; they gave him a lasting and eminent station among the few moderns who have successfully imitated the poets of Rome. The “ Battle of the Pigmies," the “Puppet-show," the “Bowling-green,” and the “ Barometer,” are the titles of his

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