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In the Roman time the Saxons and Frisians who were on the west side of Jutland made their first inroads, and hence the Celts called all the Germanic comers Saxons, as the Welsh, Irish, and Highlanders do to this day. The Frisians, Saxons, and Jutes seem to have been among the first who made good their landing, and set up the commonwealths of Kent, of the South-rick* or Sur-rey, of the East, Middle, South, and West Saxons, and of Wight. The English, however, passing from their seat in the east of Jutland to the west, soon took the leadership, and the names of the other Germani were lost in theirs, giving to the land, folk, speech, and laws, the name of English. The English, Warings, and Frisians were very near akin, their speech much alike, and their laws the same, so that they readily mingled together in these islands, as they did in Russia. The old or first Danes seem to have been near akin to the English, as were the Jutes, Vandals, and Bructwara ; and all these had more or less share in the first settlement. Under the name of English, all England, to the north of the Thames, and up to the Highlands of Wales and Scotland, was filled by them, the leading commonwealths being those of the North and South Folk of East English,—of Lindsey,—of the Wiccii,-of the Middle English or Mercians,—of Bernicia and Deiri in Northumberland, -of Cumberland,--and of Lothian.
It seems very likely that English sea-kings were among the first who seated themselves on the shores of South Wales, Anglesea, Scotland, and Ireland; their settlements, like those in England, being afterwards taken by the Northmen or Scandinavians. + Note.-The Frisians, who speak much
Good butter and good cheese, like the West Somerseters, still hold
Is good English and good Freese. themselves as our kinsmen, and the likeness of the two tongues is well shown in Some of Shakspeare's plays have been put their common saying:
into Frisian almost word for word.
A PARENTAL ODE TO MY SON ---T. Hood. I
Thou happy, happy elf! (But stop,—first let me kiss
that tear) Thou tiny image of myself ! (My love, he's poking peas into his ear!) * South Reich (German) Kingdom.
+ The countries, &c., named in this Lesson should be carefully sought out on the map by the scholar. If thoroughly studied, it will be found to give a great amount of information in a very small compass.
See p. 202, “Fifth Reader."
Thou merry, laughing sprite!
With spirits feather-light, Untouch'd by sorrow, and unsoil'd by sin(Good heavens! the child is swallowing a pin !)
Thou little tricksy Puck! With antic toys so funnily bestuck, Light as the singing bird that wings the air(The door! the door! he'll tumble down the stair!)
Thou darling of thy sire !
Thou imp of mirth and joy !
There goes my ink !)
Thou cherub—but of earth;
In harmless sport and mirth,
Thou human humming-bee, extracting honey From ev'ry blossom in the world that blows,
Singing in Youth's Elysium ever sunny, (Another tumble !-that's his precious nose !)
Thy father's pride and hope ! (He'll break the mirror with that skipping-rope !) With pure heart newly stamp'd from Nature's mint(Where did he learn that squint?)
Thou young domestic dove !
Dear nursling of the Hymeneal nest !
Little epitome of man !
(He's got a knife !)
Thou enviable being !
Play on, play on,
My elfin John! Toss the light ball—bestride the stick(I knew so many cakes would make him sick !)
With fancies, buoyant as the thistle-down,
With many a lamb-like frisk,
Thou pretty opening rose !
(I'll tell you what, my love, I cannot write, unless he's sent above !) Give the meaning of elf, sprites, Puck, Elysium, hymeneal, epitome, elfin, grotesque.
Write out the verbs, with their voices, moods, tenses, &c., &c.
The end of this useful life was now approaching. Addison had for some time been oppressed by shortness of breath, which was now aggravated by a dropsy; and, finding his danger pressing, he prepared to die conformably to his own precepts and professions.
During this lingering decay he sent, as Pope relates, a message by the Earl of Warwick to Mr. Gay, desiring to see him. Gay, who had not visited him for some time before, obeyed the summons, and found himself received with great kindness. The purpose for which the interview had been solicited was then discovered. Addison told him that he had injured him; but that, if he recovered, he would recompense him. What the injury was he did not explain ; nor did Gay ever know, but supposed that some preferment designed for him had, by Addison's intervention, been withheld.
Lord Warwick was a young man of very irregular life, and perhaps of loose opinions. Addison, for whom he did not want respect, had very diligently endeavoured to reclaim him ; but his arguments and expostulations had no effect. One experiment, however, remained to be tried. When he found his life near its end, he directed the young lord to be called, and when he desired, with great tenderness, to hear his last injunctions, told him, “I have sent for you, that you may see how a Christian can die.” What effect this awful scene had on the earl I know not: he likewise died himself in a short time. He died June 17, 1719, at Holland House, leaving no child but a daughter.
Of his habits, or external manners, nothing is so often mentioned as that timorous or sullen taciturnity which his friends called modesty by too mild a name. Steele mentions with great tenderness “ that remarkable bashfulness, which is a cloak that hides and muffles merit ;” and tells us, “ that his abilities were covered only by modesty, which doubles the beauties which are seen, and gives credit and esteem to all that are concealed." Chesterfield affirms that " Addison was the most timorous and awkward man that he ever saw.” And Addison, speaking of his own deficience in conversation, used to say of himself, that, with respect to intellectual “ wealth, he could draw bills for a thousand pounds, though he had not a guinea in his pocket.”
That he wanted current coin for ready payment, and by that want was often obstructed and distressed ; that he was often oppressed by an improper and ungraceful timidity, every testimony concurs to prove; but Chesterfield's representation is doubtless hyperbolical. That man cannot be supposed very inexpert in the arts of conversation and practice of life who, without fortune or alliance, by his usefulness and dexterity, became secretary of state, and who died at forty-seven, after having not only stood long in the highest rank of wit and literature, but filled one of the most important offices of state.
The time in which he lived had reason to lament his obstinacy of silence; “ for he was," says Steele, " above all men in that talent called humour, and enjoyed it in such perfection, that I have often reflected, after a night spent with him apart from all the world, that I had had the pleasure of conversing with an intimate acquaintance of Terence and Catullus, who had all their wit and nature, heightened with humour more exquisite and delightful than any other man ever possessed." This is the fondness of a friend ; let us hear what is told us by a rival. " Addison's conversation,” says Pope,
66 had something in it more charming than I have found in any other man. But this was only when familiar; before strangers, or, perhaps, a single stranger, he preserved his dignity by a stiff silence."
This modesty was by no means inconsistent with a very high opinion of his own merit. He demanded to be the first name in modern wit; and, with Steele to echo him, used to depreciate Dryden, whom Pope and Congreve defended against them.
His own powers were such as might have satisfied him with conscious excellence. Of very extensive learning he has, indeed, given no proofs. He seems to have had small acquaintance with the sciences, and to have read little except Latin and French. The abundance of his own mind left him little in need of adventitious sentiments; his wit always could suggest what the occasion demanded. He had read with critical eyes the important volume of human life, and knew the heart of man, from the depths of stratagem to the surface of affectation.
What he knew he could easily communicate. “This,” says Steele, was particular in this writer, that, when he had taken his resolution, or made his plan for what he designed to write, he would walk about a room, and dictate it into language with as much freedom and ease as any one could write it down, and attend to the coherence and grammar of what he dictated.”
Pope, who can be less suspected of favouring his memory, declares that he wrote very fluently, but was slow and scrupulous in correcting; that many of his Spectators were written very fast, and sent immediately to the press; and that it seemed to be for his advantage not to have time for much revisal.
“He would alter," says Pope, "anything to please his friends before publication; but would not retouch his pieces afterwards; and I believe not one word in Cato,' to which I made an objection, was suffered to stand.”
One slight lineament of his character Swift has preserved.