Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

NOTES

TO

THE SELECT ESSAYS OF ADDISON.

P. 1. I have observed, etc. Though the fictitious personage represented in this paper as describing himself has many striking points of resemblance to Joseph Addison, yet the reader must guard against the mistake of thinking that the Spectator is Addison. The Spectator is an imaginary person, created by Addison and Steele and their coadjutors. The writer of each paper, whoever he may be, assumes the rôle of the Spectator, and speaks in this character, using the first person singular. Thus the modern journalistic plural we stands for no one individual, but for the paper, as an impersonal institution.

""

This imaginary Spectator is a member of an imaginary club, of which he is the spokesman. In this paper he is made to give an account of himself, and in the next to describe his fellow-members. One of these papers is by Addison, the other by Steele, though both papers appear as coming from the Spectator. The fiction that a plan of the work "is laid and concerted in a club serves to add the interest of mystery to the undertaking, and to furnish occasion for descriptions of manners and humors. Of course the plan of the work was really laid and concerted by Addison and Steele. The writers who now and then aided them were men who had caught the spirit of the fiction, and were thus able to join the enterprise as partners in the work of invention and creation.

The young reader may find cause of confusion in the fact that the name Spectator is given to the entire collection of papers written under this pseudonym, and that the several papers are also called Spectators.

a black or a fair man. It was formerly customary to couple the words black and fair as opposites. See Shakespeare, Sonn. 147 ; Rom. and Jul., I., 1, 237; Oth. I., 3, 291, and elsewhere. See, also, instances of this use of black in Murray.

P. 3. On the coffee-houses and the theatres of the time, the reader may profitably consult Social Life in the Reign of Queen Anne, by John Ashton.

P. 5. Spectator No. 2, the reader will note, is by Steele. Other De Coverley papers by Steele are those on pp. 20, 26, 34 of this book. No. 116, p. 41, is by Budgell. All the while, however, it is the Spectator that speaks.

Soho Square should be looked up in Hare's Walks in London. Lord Rochester, Sir George Etherege, and Bully Dawson may be looked up in the notes to Morley's edition of the Spectator.

P. 8. humorists. The meaning of this word, as here used, may be inferred from the context. Consider if it is used in this sense at present. See the same word on p. 18.

P. 11. the city. The expression is here used in its special London sense. See Murray's Dictionary, City, 5, b. See, also,

Baedeker's London.

P. 18. he is pleasant upon any of them. The meaning of "pleasant" as here used is not given in Webster, but may be easily inferred. Consider the noun, pleasantry.

P. 19. This cast of mind, etc. The young reader must learn betimes to make his account with the peculiarities of the Addisonian syntax, and must recognize that in many points usage has changed since the early years of the eighteenth century. See a similar construction on p. 16, in the sentence beginning, "The truth of it is."

P. 22. took off the dress he was in; i.e., raised him from the condition of servant.

P. 24. discovered. Do not misinterpret this word. It is no longer used in just this sense.

P. 25. my twenty-first speculation may be found on p. 118. P. 41. Spectator No. 116, though written by Budgell, is wholly in the Addisonian vein. Budgell had successfully caught the style of his master. Boswell reports Johnson as saying that "Addison wrote Budgell's papers, or at least mended them so much that he made them almost his own."

P. 46. I believe in general, etc. Remember, it is the Spectator, and not Addison, that is speaking. Addison chooses not to let the Spectator boldly disavow a belief in witchcraft. Addison's own disbelief in it is abundantly inferable from the spirit of this very paper. It becomes interesting to consider whether in 1711 belief in witchcraft was generally entertained by educated men. Recall the date of the latest outbreak of the delusion in New England. Ascertain from any history of witchcraft, or from the article on this subject in the Encyclo. Brit., when the last witch-trials were held in England. See Knight's Popular History, Vol. V., p. 430.

P. 49. a yeoman. It is impossible for an American to appreciate fully the connotations of this purely English word without considerable reading. Besides looking up the definitions in the dictionaries, read, also, the chapter on the Yeomen, in Boutmy's English Constitution.

within the Game Act. A little reading will explain this. See, e.g., the last paragraph of Chap. IV., Vol. VIII., of Knight's History, and the passage from Blackstone there quoted.

P. 57. I remember to have read. Look up the facts about the ichneumon, and see if he is as disinterested an animal as Diodorus represents him.

P. 59. Spectator No. 130. The authority on the Gypsies is George Borrow, whose books are all peculiarly interesting. In the introduction to his Gypsies of Spain is a short, readable account of the English Gypsies.

P. 63. discovers. See note to p. 24.

P. 64. Prince Eugene. See Knight's History, opening of Chap. XXV., Vol. V.

See The Deserted Village,

P. 66. smutting one another. line 27.

This was the law against Occa-
See the histories, or Encyclo.

the late Act of Parliament.

sional Conformity, passed in 1711. Brit., Vol. VIII., pp. 353, 354.

the Pope's Procession. See Knight's History, Vol. V., p. 377. Baker's Chronicle. See article on Sir Richard Baker, in Encyclo. Brit.

P. 69. the lord who had cut off, etc.; that martyr to good housewifery, etc. See Hare's Walks in London, II., 257.

See Hare,

the two coronation chairs. See Hare, II., 303. P. 70. one of our English kings without a head. II., pp. 300–302.

P. 71. 'the Committee,' a play by Sir Robert Howard, one of the minor comic dramatists of the Restoration.

this distressed mother. The Distressed Mother was a play by Ambrose Philips, founded on Racine's tragedy of Andro

maque.

the Mohocks. See Ashton's Social Life in the Reign of Queen Anne.

P. 75. Vauxhall Gardens. See Hare's Walks, II., 422.

P. 76. La Hogue. See Macaulay's History, Chap. XVIII. The fifty new churches. Parliament had just voted to build fifty churches in the city.

P. 80. Spectator No. 10. The Spectator commends his papers to sundry classes of men, and especially to women. The vein of badinage, light and playful in manner, but serious in purpose, in which the Spectator discusses the affairs of women, was novel and piquant at the beginning of the eighteenth century. The reader will remember the grossness of manners that prevailed during the immediately preceding period of the Restoration. Addison perceived the importance of woman's social influence as an auxiliary in his work of reforming the manners and morals of his countrymen, and aimed to make his paper as attractive to women as to men. The Spectator was, in fact, a family paper, and was read in cultivated households with curiosity and zest. In No. 4 Steele had written, "As these (the fair sex) compose half the world, and are, by the just complaisance and gallantry of our nation, the more powerful part of our people, I shall dedicate a considerable share of these my speculations to their service, and shall lead the young through all the becoming duties of virginity, marriage, and widowhood. When it is a woman's day, in my works, I shall endeavor at a style and air suitable to their understanding. When I say this, I must be understood to mean that I shall not lower, but exalt, the subjects I treat upon. Discourse for their entertainment is not to be debased, but refined."

P. 85. For if we interpret his words in their literal meaning, etc. The allusions in this passage are to Nos. 14, 81 (see p. 122, this volume), 18, 22, 36, 8.

[ocr errors]

P. 86. nodding places, etc. An allusion to Horace's lines,

Indignor quandoque bonus dormitat Homerus:
Verum operi longo fas est obrepere somnum;

whence Homer's nodding has become a commonplace.

P. 89. this new imprimatur. See Knight's History, Vol. V., p. 394.

P. 97. Signor Nicolini, an Italian actor and singer; Hydaspes, an Italian opera. Morley's note will be found interesting.

P. 100. the famous equestrian statue. What king is meant? P. 106. Doggett. See Adams's Dictionary of English Literature.

P. 108. Mr. Rymer that great critic. This is Thomas Rymer, author of the Fœdera, a work of the first importance to English history. He is here, however, alluded to as a critic. Read him up in the Encyclo. Brit., and, by all means, find Macaulay's characteristic allusion to him in the Essay on Boswell's Life of Johnson, at the end of a paragraph near the close of the essay.

P. 111. To find the passages referred to in South's Sermons and in Pliny's Natural History would be literary enterprises of the first order.

P. 112. Aldus and Elzevir. Do not fail to look up these names, the former under the family name Manutius.

With his familiar "Harry Stephens," Tom undoubtedly refers to the celebrated French printer and author, Henri Estienne, who may be looked up in the Encyclo. Brit., under the Anglicized form of his name, Stephens.

a late paper. Tatler, No. 154. P. 113. Ah! Mr. Bickerstaff. The reader will note that this paper and the next are Tatlers, not Spectators. See note to p. 263, this volume.

P. 119. Should our clergy, ete. This means, "the clergy are so numerous that if, as is done by lay land-holders, they could cut up their glebes and tithes into forty-shilling freeholds, each of which would entitle the holder to vote at the election of county members, they would command most of the (county) elections in England." - Arnold.

P. 135. within the bills of mortality. See Webster's International Dictionary.

« НазадПродовжити »