« НазадПродовжити »
writings. I shall make a full answer to what seems intended by the words “ He was too de“ licate to take any part of that which belong “ed to others,” if I can recite, out of my own papers, any thing that may make it appear groundless.
The subsequent encomiums bestowed by me on Mr. Addison will, I hope, be of service to me in this particular.
“ But I have only one gentleman, who will “ bë nameless, to thank for any frequent affit
ance to me, which, indeed, it would have « been barbarous in him to have denied to one " with whom he has lived in an intimacy from “ childhood, considering the great ease with 56 which he is able to dispatch the most enter"taining pieces of this nature. This good “ ofhce he performed with such force of ge
nius, humour, wit, and learning, that I fared “ like a distressed prince who calls in a power"ful neighbour to his aid. I was undone by
my auxiliary. When I had once called him in, ♡ I could not subfift without dependence on him.
" (he same hand writ the distinguishing cha“racters of men and women, under the names “ of Muhcal Infruments, the Distress of the “ Nerus-writers, the Inventory of the Play-houle
, çe and the Description of the Thermometer,
which "I cannot but look upon as the greatest em. & bellishments of this work *"
* Preface to the fourth volume of the Tatlers.
« As to the work itself, the acceptance it has
met with is the best proof of its value : but “ I should err against that candour which an ho“ nest man should always carry about him, if I " did 'not own, that the most approved pieces “ in it were written by others, and those, which " have been most excepted against, by myself: “ " The hand that has affifted me in those noble “ discourses upon the immortality of the soul, “the glorious prospects of another life, and the “ most sublime ideas of religion and virtue, is a
person who is too fondly my friend ever to “ own them: but I should little deserve to be “ his if I usurped the glory of them. I must
acknowledge, at the same time, that I think " the finest strokes of wit and humour in all “ Mr. Bickerstaff's Lucubrations are those for 56 which he is also beholden to him *.”
“I hope the apology I have made as to the
licence allowable to a feigned character, may “ excuse any thing that has been said in these “ Discourses of the Spectator and his works. “ But the imputation of the groffest vanity “ would still dwell upon me if I did not give ". some account by what means I was enabled to
keep up the spirit of so long and approved a “ performance. All the papers marked with a - C, L, I, or 0, that is to say, all the papers “ which I have distinguished by any letter in the
“ name of the Muse CLIO*, were given me by the
gentleman of whofe assistance I formerly boast“ed in the preface and concluding leaf of 'The “ Tatler. 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. I heartily with what I have done “ here were as honorary to that facred name as
learning, wit, and humanity render those pieces “ which I have taught the reader how to diftin
guish for his. When the play abovenien« tioned was last acted, there were so many apo
plauded strokes in it, which I had from the “ same hand, that I thought very meanly of “ myself that I had ever publicly acknowledged “ them. After I have put other friends upon “ importuning him to publish dramatic as well “ as other writings he has by him, I shall end « what I think I am obliged to fay on this “ head by giving the reader this hint for the
* It seems probable that these letters, which in conjunction make the name of the Muse Clio, were originally used as fig. natures by ADDISON, to denote the places where the papers were written, viz. Chelsea, London, Illington, and his Office as Secretary of State.
“ better judging of my productions: That the “ best comment upon them would be an ac“ count when the patron to "The Tender “ Husband' was in England or abroad *.”
My purpose, in this application, is only to " Thew the esteem I have for you, and that I “ look upon my intimacy with you as one of “the most valuable enjoyments of
my life up." I am sure you have read my quotations with indignation against the little zeal which prompted the Editor, who, by the way, has in himself done nothing in applause of the works which he prefaces, to the mean endeavours of adding to Mr. Addison, by disparaging a man who had, for the greatest part of his life, been his known bosom friend, and shielded him from all the resentinents which many of his own works would have brought upon him at the time in which they were written. It is really a good office to society, to expose the indiscretion of intermed. dlers in the friendship and correspondence of men, whose sentiments, passions, and resentments, are too great for their proportion of foul. Could the Editor's indiscretion provoke me even so far as within the rules of stricteft honour I could go, and I were not restrained by supererogatory affection to dear Mr. Addison, I would ask this unskilful creature what he means,
* Spectator, No 555. + Dedication before “ The Tender Husband.” See p. 290,
when he speaks in the air of a reproach, that
The Tatler was laid down as it was taken up, without his participation; let him speak out and say, why “ without his knowledge” would not serve his purpose as well. If, as he says, he restrains himself to Mr. Addison's character as a writer, while he attempts to leffan me, he exalts me: for he has declared to all the world what I never have so explicitly done, that I am, to all intents and purposes, the author of “ The
Tatler.” He very justly says, the occasional afsistance Mr. Addison gave me in the course of that Paper “ did not a little contribute to ad“ vance its reputation, especially when, upon " the change of the ministry, he found leisure “ to engage more constantly in it.” It was advanced indeed; for it was raised to a greater thing than I intended it: for the elegance, purity, and correctness, which appeared in his writings, were not so much my purpose, as in any intelligible manner as I could to railly all those singularities of human life, through the different professions and characters in it, which obstruct any thing that was truly good and great. After this acknowledgement you will see, that is, such a man as you will fee, that I rejoiced in being excelled, and made those little talents, whatever they are which I have, give way, and be subfervient to the superior qualities of a friend whom I loved, and whose modesty would