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low, that he sent for me, which he could al. ways do, from his natural power over me, as much as he could for any of his clerks when he was Secretary of State, and told me that a gentleman then in the room had written a play that he was sure I would like, but it was to be a fe. cret, and he knew I would take as much pains, since he recommended it, as I would for him. I hope nobody will be wronged, or think himself aggrieved, that I give this rejected work where I do; and if a certain gentleman is injured by it, I will allow I have wronged him, upon this issue, that (if the reputed * translator of the first book of Homer shall please to give us another book) there shall appear another good judge in poetry, befides Mr. Alexander Pope, who shall like it. But I detain you too long upon things that are too personal to myself, and will defer giving the world a true notion of the character and talents of Mr. Addison, till I can speak of that amiable gentleman on an occasion void of controversy : I shall then perhaps upo say
* It is plain by this passage that Steele knew the real transa lator. Mr. Gay, in a letter to Pope, July 8, 1715, says, “ Sir “ Samuel Garth bid me tell you, that every body is pleased with your
translation but a few at Button's ; and that Sir Richard “ Steele told him, that Mr. Addison said, Tickell's tranflation
was the beft that ever was in any language.”
# It may be inferred from this, that Steele intended to give the publick some memoirs of his excellent friend; and perhaps the materials for it may ftill exist among the papers that were collected towards the Life of the Duke of Marlborough. K k 2
many things of him, which will be new even to you, with regard to him in'all parts of his character : for which I was so zealous, that I could not be contented with praising and adorning him as much as luy in my power, but was ever foliciting and putting my friends upon the fame office.' And since the Editor has adorned - his heayy discourse with profe in rhime at the end of it, upon Mr: Addison's death, give me leave to atone for this long and tedious epistle, by giving you after it, what I dare say you will esteem, an excellent poem on his marriage*. I
* This was the following poem by Mr. Welfted, addressed " to the Countess of Warwick on her Marriage, Aug. 2, 1716:”
“ Ambition long has Woman's hear: tetray'd,
While others gain light conquests by their eyes,
must conclude without satisfying as strong a defire as; ever man had of saying something remarkably handsome to the person to whom I am writing; for you are so good a judge, that you will find out the endeavourer to be witty : and therefore, as I have tired you and myself, I will be contented with afturing you, which I do very honestly, I had-rather have you-satisfied with me on this subject than any other man living.
You will please to pardon me, that I have, thus, laid this nice affair before a person who has the acknowledged superiority to all others, not only in the most excellent talents, but poffeffing them with an equanimity, candour, and benevolence, which render those advantages, a pleasure as great to the rest of the world, as they can be to the owner of them. And since fame consists in the opinion of wife and good men, you must not blame me for taking the readiest way to baffle an attempt upon my reputation,
In Beauty's pride unenvy'd let her reign,
Come forth, reveal thyself, thou chosen Bride,
K k 3
by an address to one whom every wise and good man looks upon with the greatest affection and veneration. I am, Sir, your most obliged, most obedient, and most humble servant,
To the KING *.
May it pleafe your Majesty,
moft laudable ambition, that of following the cause of Liberty, I should not have humbly petitioned your Majesty for a direction of the theatre, had I not believed success in that province an happiness much to be wished by an honest man, and highly conducing to the prof. perity of the commonwealth. It is in this view I lay before your Majesty a Comedy, which the audience, in justice to themselves, has supported and encouraged, and is the prelude of what, by your Majesty's influence and favour, may be attempted in future representations.
The imperial mantle, the royal vestment, and the shining diadem, are what strike ordinary minds; but your Majesty's native goodness, your passion for Justice, and her constant alsessor, Mercy, is what continually surrounds Prefixed to “ The Conscious Lovers."
you, in the view of intelligent spirits, and gives hope to the suppliant, who sees he has more than succeeded in giving your Majesty an opportunity of doing good. Our King is above the greatness of royalty; and every act of his will, which makes another man happy, has ten times more charms in it than one that makes himself appear raised above the condition of others; but even this carries unhappiness with it; for calm dominion, equal grandeur, and familiar greatness, do not easily affect the imagination of the vulgar, who cannot see power but in terror; and as fear moves mean spirits, and love prompts great ones to obey, the infinuations of malcontents are directed accordingly; and the unhappy people are in nared, from want of reflection, into disrespectful ideas of their gracious and amiable Sovereign; and then only begin to apprehend the greatness of their Mafter when they have incurred his difpleasure.
As your Majesty was invited to the throne of a willing people, for their own fakes, and has ever enjoyed it with contempt of the ostentation of it, we beseech you to protect us, who reyere your title as we love your person. It is to be savage to be a rebel; and they who have fallen from you have not so much forfeited their allegiance as lost their humanity. And therefore, if it were only to preserve myself from the imputation of being amongst the insensible and