The Works of the Right Honourable Joseph Addison, Vol. 6 of 6 (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from The Works of the Right Honourable Joseph Addison, Vol. 6 of 6

Same time gave great offence to a Northumberland squire, whom he threatened to excommunicate, if he did not give up to him the church-lands, which his family had usurped ever since the reformation. In short, every man had cut out a place for himself in his own thoughts; so that I could reckon up in our little army, two or three lord-treasurers, half a dozen secretaries of state, and at least a score of lords-justices in Eyre, for each side of Trent. We pursued our march through several villages, which we drank dry, -making proclamation at our entrance, in the name of James the third, against -all concealments of ale or brandy. Being very much fatigued with the action of a whole week, it was agreed to rest on Sunday, when we heard a most excellent sermon. Our chaplain insisted principally upon two heads. Under the first he proved to us, that the breach of public oaths is no perjury; and under the second, expounded to us the nature of non-resistance; which might be interpreted from the Hebrew, to signify either loyalty or rebellion, according as the sovereign bestow ed his favours and preferments. He concluded with exhorting us, in a most pathetic manner, to purge the land by wholesome severities, and to propagate sound principles by fire and sword. We set forward the next day, towards our friends at Kelso but by the way had like to have lost our general, and some of our most ao tive officers. For a fox unluckily crossing the road, drew off a considerable detachment, who clapped spurs to their horses, and pursued him with whoops and hal loos, till we had lost sight of them. A covey of par tridges springing in our front, put our infantry into disorder on the same day. It was not long after this, that we were joined by our friends from the other side of the Frith. Upon the junction of the two corps, our spies brought us word, that they discovered a great cloud of dust at some distance; upon which we sent out a party to reconnoitre. They returned to us with in telli ence, that the dust was raised by a great drove of blac cattle. This news was not a little welcome to us.

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Addison, son of the Dean of Litchfield, took high honors at Oxford University and then joined the British army. He first came to literary fame by writing a poem, "The Campaign" (1704), to celebrate the Battle of Blenheim. When Richard Steele, whom he had known in his public school Charterhouse, started The Tatler in 1709, Addison became a regular contributor. But his contributions to a later venture The Spectator (generally considered the zenith of the periodical essay), were fundamental. While Steele can be credited with the editorial direction of the journal, Addison's essays, ranging from gently satiric to genuinely funny, secured the journal's success. In The Spectator, No. 10, Addison declared that the journal aimed "to enliven morality with wit, and to temper wit with morality." His brilliant character of Sir Roger de Coverley (followed from rake to reformation) distinguishes the most popular essays. Addison died in 1719. He is buried in Westminster Abbey.

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