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'never have admitted them to come into daylight but under such a shelter. So that all which the Editor has said, either out of design or incapacity, Mr. Congreve must determine to end in this, that Steele has been so candid and upright, that he owes nothing to Mr. Addison as a writer; but whether he does or does not, whatever Steele owes to Mr. Addison, the publick owes Addison to Steele. But the Editor has such a fantastical and ignorant zeal for his patron, that he will not allow his correspondents to conceal any thing of his, though in obedience to his commands. What I never did declare was Mr. Addison's, I had his direct injunctions to hide, against the natural warmth and passion of my own temper towards my friends. Many of the writings now published as his, I have been very patiently traduced and calumniated for, as they were pleasantries and oblique strokes upon certain the wittiest men of the age, who will now restore me to their good-will, in proportion to the abatement of wit which they thought I employed against them. But I was saying, that the Editor will not allow us to obey his patron's commands in any thing which he thinks would redound to his credit if discovered. And because I would shew a little wit in my anger, I shall have the diicretion to thew you, that he has been guilty in this particular towards a much greater man than your humble servant, and one
whom you are much more obliged to vindicate. Mr. Dryden, in his Virgil, after having acknowledged, that “a certain excellent young “ man" had shewed him many faults in the translation of Virgil, which he had endeavoured to correct, goes on to say, “two other worthy “ friends of mine, who defire to have their “ names concealed, seeing ine straitened in my o time, took pity on me, and gave me the Life “ of Virgil, the two Prefaces to the Pastorals and “ the Georgics, and all the Arguments in prose " to the whole translation.” If Mr. Addison is one of the two friends, and the Preface to the Georgics be what the Editor calls the Effay upon the Georgics, as one may adventure to say they are, from their being word for word the fame, he has cast an inhuman reflection upon Mr. Dryden, who, though tied down not to name Mr. Addison, pointed at him, so as all mankind conversant in these matters knew him, with an eloginm equal to the highest merit, considering who it was that bestowed it. I could not avoid remarking upon this circumstance, out of justice to Mr. Dryden, but confess, at the same time, I took a great pleasure in doing it, because I knew, in exposing this outrage, I made my court to Mr. Congreve.
I have observed, that the Editor will not let me nor any one else obey Mr. Addison's commands in hiding any thing he defires should be
concealed. I cannot but take further notice, that the circumstance of marking his Spectators, which I did not know till I had done with the work, I made my own act; because I thought it too great a sensibility in my friend, and thought it, since it was done, better to be supposed marked by me than the author himself; the real state of which this zealot rafhly and injudiciously exposes. I ask the reader, Whether any thing but an earnestness to disparage me could provoke the Editor, in behalf of Mr. Addison, to say that he marked it out of caution against me when I had taken upon me to say it was I that did it out of tenderness to him?
As the imputation of any the least attempt of arrogating to myself, or detracting from Mr. Addison, is without any colour of truth; you will give me leave to go on in the same ardour towards him, and resent the cold, unaffectionate, dry, and barren manner in which this gentleman gives an account of as great a benefactor as any one learned man ever had of another. Would any man, who had been produced from a college life, and pushed into one of the most confiderable employments of the kingdom, as to its weight and truít, and greatly lucrative with respect to a fellowship, and who had been daily and hourly with one of the greatest men of the age, be satisfied with himself in faying nothing
of such a person, besides what all the world knew, except a particularity, and that to his disadvantage, which l, his friend from a boy, don't know to be true, to wit, “ that he never “had a regular pulse ?” As for the facts and confiderable periods of his life, he either knew nothing of them, or injudiciously places them in a worse light than that in which they really stood. When he speaks of Mr. Addison's declining to go into or lers, his way of doing it is, to lament that his seriousness and modesty, which might have recommended him, “proved
the chief obstacles to it. It seems, those qua“ lities by which the priesthood is so much " adorned represented the duties of it as too "weighty for him, and rendered him ftill more " worthy of that honour which they made him « decline.” These, you know very well, were not the reasons which made Mr. Addison turn his thoughts to the civil world; and, as you were the instrument of his becoming acquainted with my Lord Halifax, I doubt not but you remember the warm inftances that noble Lord made to the head of the college not to infift upon Mr. Addison's going into orders ; his arguments were founded upon the general pravity and corruption of men of business, who wanted liberal education. And I remember, as if I had read the letter yesterday, that my Lord ended with a compliment, “ that, however he might
“ be represented as no friend to the Church, he “ never would do it any other injury than keep“ing Mr. Addison out of it.”—The contention for this man, in his early youth, among the people of greatest power, Mr. Secretary Tickell, the executor for his fame, is pleased to ascribe to a serious visage and modesty of behaviour. When a writer is grossly and essentially faulty, it were a jest to take notice of a false expression, or a phrase; otherwise Priesthood, in that place, might be observed upon as a term not used by. the real well wishers to Clergymen, except when they would express some folemn act, and not when that order is spoken of as a profession among gentlemen. I will not therefore busy myself about "the unconcerning parts of know
ledge, but be contented, like a reader of plain " sense without politeness ;” and, since Mr. Secretary will give us no account of this gentleman, “ I admit the Alps and Apennines, instead “ of his Editor, to be commentators of his “ works, which," as the Editor says, “ have s raised a demand for correctness.” This demand, by the way, ought to be more strong upon those who were most about him, and had the greatest advantage of “his example.” But our Editor says, “ that those who come the “ nearest to exactness are but too often fond of “ unnatural beauties, and aim at something s better than perfection.” Believe me, Sir,