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ments of this nature, I depend upon your known humanity for pardon, when I acknowledge, that you have this present trouble for mine. When I take myself to be ill treated with regard to my behaviour to the merit of other men, my conduct towards you is an argument of my candour that way, as well as that your name and authority will be my protection in it. You will give me leave, therefore, in a matter that concerns us in the poetical world, to make you my judge, whether I am not injured in the highest manner ; for, with men of your taste and deicacy, it is a high crime and misdemeanor to be guilty of any thing that is difingenuous : but I will into the matter.
Upon my return out of Scotland, I visited Mr. Tonson's shop, and thanked him for his care in sending to my house the volumes of my dear and honoured friend Mr. Addison, which are at last published by his secretary Mr. Tickell; but took occasion to observe, " that I « had not seen the work before it came out;" which he did not think fit to excuse any otherwife than by a recrimination, “ that I had put « into his hands at an high price, a comedy
called "The Drummer ;' which, by my zeal “ for it, he took to be written by Mr. Addison, “ of which, after his death, he said, I directly acknowledged he was the author.” To urge
this hardship still more home, he produced a receipt under my hand, in these words :
in March 12, 1715. " Received then the sum of fifty guineas, for “ the copy of the Comedy called “The Drum
mer, or, The Haunted House:' I say, received by order of the Author of the said Comedy,
“RICHARD STEELE." And added, at the same time, that fince Mr. Tickell had not thought fit to make that play a part of Mr. Addison's Works, he would sell the copy to any bookseller that would give moft for it.
This is represented thus circumstantially to fhew how incumbent it is upon me, as well in justice to the bookseller, as for many other considerations, to produce this Comedy a second time, and take this occasion to vindicate myfelf against certain infinuations thrown out by the publisher of Mr. Addison's writings concerning my behaviour in the nicest circumstance, that of doing justice to the merit of my friend,
I shall take the liberty, before I have ended this letter, to say why I believe “The Drummer" a performauce of Mr. Addison; and, after de claring this, any surviving writer may be at ease, if there be any one who has hitherto been vain enough to hope, or filly enough to fear, it may be given to himself.
Before I go any further, I'must make my public appeal to you and all the learned world, and humbly demand whether it was a decent or reasonable thing that works written (as a great part of Mr. Addison's were) in correspondence with me, ought to have been published without my review of the catalogue: of them ? or,
if there were any exception to be inade against any circumstance in my conduct, whether an opportunity to explain myself should not have been allowed me, before any reflections were made upon me in print?
When I perused Mr. Tickell's Preface, I had foon many objections, besides his omission to say any thing of “The Drummer,” against his long.expected performance. The chief inten. tion of which, and which it concerns me first to examine, seems to aim at doing the deceased author justice against me, whom he insinuates to have assumed to myself part of the merit of
He is pleased, Sir, to express himself concerning the present writer in the following manner : “ The Comedy called “ The Tender Husband'
appeared much about the same time, to which “ Mr. Addison wrote the prologue. Sir Richard “ Steele surprised him with a very handsome “ dedication of this play, and has since acquaint" ed the publick that he owed some of the “ most taking scenes of it to Mr. Addison *.”
* Mr. Tickell's Preface, p. ir.
“ He was in that kingdom (Ireland) when he fi first discovered Sir Richard Steele
to be the “ author of "The Tatier,' by an observation
upon Virgil, which had been by him commu. “ nicated to his friend * The affistance he oc“casionally gave him afterwards, in the course “ of his paper, did not a little contribute to ad“ vance its reputation ; and, upon the change “ of the Ministry, he found leisure to engage
more constantly in that work, whích, how. ever, was dropped at last, as it had been taken up, without his participation.
" In the last paper, which closed those cele “ brated performances, and in the preface to " the last volume, Sir Richard Steele has given “ to Mr. Addison the honour of the most ap
plauded pieces in that collection. But as " that acknowledgment was delivered only in
general terms, without directing the publick “ to the several papers, Mr. Addison, who was " content with the praise arising from his own “ works, and too delicate to take any part of " that which belonged to others, afterwards
thought fit to diftinguish his writings in the “ Spectators and Guardians by such marks as “ might remove the least possibility of mistake " in the most undiscerning readers. It was ne" cessary that his share in the Tatlers should be
* This has been generally supposed to allude to TAT. N° 6. See new edit. with notes, vol. I. p. 17, note. 7
adjusted in a complete collection of his « Works; for which reason Sir Richard Steele, “ in compliance with the request of his de" ceased friend, delivered to him by the Editor, "s was pleased to mark with his own hand those “ Tatlers which are inserted in this edition, 5 and even to point out several in the writing " of which they were both concerned *.”
“ The plan of The Spectator, as far as it "s regards the figned person of the author, and “ of the several characters that compose his « club, was projected in concert with Sir « Richard Stecle; and because many passages, “ in the course of the work, would otherwise be “ obscure, I have taken leave to insert one single
paper, written by Sir Richard Steele, where« in those characters are drawn, which may “ serve as a Dramatis Persone, or as so many
pictures for an ornament and explication of o the whole. As for the distinct papers, they
were never or seldom shewn to each other by o their respective authors, who fully answered “ the promise they had made, and far out" went the expectation they had raised of
pur6 suing their labour in the same spirit and “ strength with which it was begun 4."
It need not be explained, that it is here intimated that I had not sufficiently acknow. ledged what was due to Mr. Addison in these * Mr, Tickell's Preface, p. 12.
+ Ibid. p. 13.