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"Rowe, in Mr. Pope's opinion, maintained a decent character, but had no heart. Mr. Addison was justly offended with some behaviour which arose from that want, and estranged himself from him; which Rowe felt very severely. Mr. Pope, their common friend, knowing this, took an opportunity, at some juncture of Mr. Addison's advancement, to tell him how poor Rowe was grieved at his displeasure, and what satisfortune, which he expressed so naturally, that he (Mr. Pope) could not but think him sincere. Mr. Addison replied, 'I do not suspect that he feigned; but the levity of his heart is such, that he is struck with any new adventure; and it would affect him just in the same manner, if he heard I was going to be hanged.'-Mr. Pope said he could not deny but Mr. Addison under

upon the account of their opinions in religion; and, being strict in his own, he took it not upon him to censure those of another persuasion. His conversation was pleasant, witty, and learned, without the least tincture of affectation or pedantry; and his inimitable manner of diverting and enlivening the company, made it impossible for any one to be out of humour when he was in it. Envy and detraction seemed to be entirely foreign to his constitution; and whatever provo-faction he expressed at Mr. Addison's good cations he met with at any time, he passed them over without the least thought of resentment or revenge. As Homer had a Ziolus, so Mr. Rowe had sometimes his; for there were not wanting malevolent people, and pretenders to poetry too, that would now and then bark at his best performances; but he was conscious of his own genius, and had so much good nature as to forgive them; nor could he ever be tempted to re-stood Rowe well." turn them an answer.

This censure time has not left us the power of confirming or refuting; but observation daily shows that much stress is not to be laid on hyperbolical accusations, and pointed sentences, which even he that utters them desires to be applauded rather than credited. Addison can hardly be supposed to have meant all that he said. Few characters can bear the microscopic scrutiny of wit, quickened by anger; and perhaps the best advice to authors would be, that they should keep out of the way of one another.

Rowe is chiefly to be considered as a tragic writer and a translator. In his attempt at comedy he failed so ignominiously, that his "Biter" is not inserted in his works; and his occasional poems and short compositions are rarely worthy of either praise or censure; for they seem the casual sports of a mind seeking rather to amuse its leisure than to exercise its powers.

"The love of learning and poetry made him not the less fit for business, and nobody applied himself closer to it, when it required his attendance. The late Duke of Queensberry, when he was secretary of state, made him his secretary for public affairs; and when that truly great man came to know him well, he was never so pleased as when Mr. Rowe was in his company. After the Duke's death all avenues were stopped to his preferment; and, during the rest of that reign, he passed his time with the muses and his books, and sometimes the conversation of his friends. "When he had just got to be easy in his fortune, and was in a fair way to make it better, death swept him away, and in him deprived the world of one of the best men as well as one of the best geniuses of the age. He died like a Christian and a philosopher, in charity with all mankind, and with an absolute resignation to In the construction of his dramas, there is not the will of God. He kept up his good humour much art: he is not a nice observer of the unito the last; and took leave of his wife and friends ties. He extends time and varies place as his immediately before his last agony, with the convenience requires. To vary the place is not, same tranquillity of mind, and the same indif-in my opinion, any violation of nature, if the ference for life, as though he had been upon taking but a short journey. He was twice married; first to a daughter of Mr. Parsons, one of the auditors of the revenue; and afterwards to a daughter of Mr. Devenish, of a good family in Dorsetshire. By the first he had a son; and by the second a daughter, married afterwards to Mr. Fane. He died the 6th of December, 1718, in the forty-fifth year of his age; and was buried the nineteenth of the same month in Westminster Abbey, in the aisle where many of our English poets are interred, over against Chaucer, his body being attended by a select number of his friends, and the Dean and choir officiating at the funeral."

change be made between the acts; for it is no less easy for the spectator to suppose himself at Athens in the second act, than at Thebes in the first; but to change the scene, as is done by Rowe, in the middle of an act, is to add more acts to the play, since an act is so much of the business as is transacted without interruption. Rowe, by this license, easily extricates himself from difficulties; as, in "Jane Grey," when we have been terrified with all the dreadful pomp of public execution, and are wondering how the heroine or the poet will proceed, no sooner has Jane pronounced some prophetic rhymes, thanpass and be gone-the scene closes, and Pem broke and Gardiner are turned out upon the stage.

To this character, which is apparently given with the fondness of a friend, may be added the I know not that there can be found in his testimony of Pope, who says in a letter to plays any deep search into nature, any accurate Blount, "Mr. Rowe accompanied me, and pass-discriminations of kindred qualities, or nice dised a week in the Forest. I need not tell you play of passion in its progress: all is general how much a man of his turn entertained me; but and undefined. Nor does he much interest or I must acquaint you, there is a vivacity and affect the auditor, except in "Jane Shore," who gayety of disposition almost peculiar to him, is always seen and heard with pity. Alicia is a which makes it impossible to part from him with-character of empty noise, with no resemblance out that uneasiness which generally succeeds all our pleasure."

Pope has left behind him another mention of his companion, less advantageous, which is thus reported by Dr. Warburton.

to real sorrow or to natural madness.

Whence, then, has Rowe his reputation? From the reasonableness and propriety of some of his scenes, from the elegance of his diction, and the suavity of his verse. He seldom moves

either pity or terror, but he often elevates the sentiments; he seldom pierces the breast, but he always delights the ear, and often improves the understanding.

His translation of the "Golden Verses," and of the first book of Quillet's Poem, have nothing in them remarkable. The "Golden Verses" are tedious.

The version of Lucan is one of the greatest productions of English poetry; for there is perhaps none that so completely exhibits the genius and spirit of the original. Lucan is distinguished by a kind of dictatorial or philosophical dignity, rather, as Quintilian observes, declamatory than poetical; full of ambitious morality and pointed sentences, comprised in vigorous and animated lines. This character Rowe has very diligently and successfully preserved. His versification,

which is such as his contemporaries practised, without any attempt at innovation or improve ment, seldom wants either melody or force. His author's sense is sometimes a little diluted by additional infusions, and sometimes weakened by too much expansion. But such faults are to be expected in all translations, from the constraint of measures and dissimilitude of languages. The "Pharsalia" of Rowe deserves more notice than it obtains, and as it is more read will be more esteemed.*

The life of Rowe is a very remarkable instance of the uncommon strength of Dr. Johnson's memory. When I received from him the MS. he complacently ob sidering that he had not seen Rowe's Works for thirty served, "that the criticism was tolerably well done, conyears."-N.


JOSEPH ADDISON was born on the first of May, 1672, at Milston, of which his father, Lancelot Addison, was then rector, near Ambrosebury in Wiltshire, and appearing weak and unlikely to live, he was christened the same day. After the usual domestic education, which from the character of his father may be reasonably supposed to have given him strong impressions of piety, he was committed to the care of Mr. Naish, at Ambrosebury, and afterwards of Mr. Taylor, at Salisbury.

Not to name the school or the masters of men illustrious for literature is a kind of historical fraud, by which honest fame is injuriously diminished; I would therefore trace him through the whole process of his education. In 1683, in the beginning of his twelfth year, his father, being made dean of Lichfield, naturally carried his family to his new residence, and, I believe, placed him for some time, probably not long, under Mr. Shaw, then master of the school at Lichfield, father of the late Dr. Peter Shaw. Of this interval his biographers have given no account, and I know it only from a story of a barring-out, told me when I was a boy, by Andrew Corbet of Shropshire, who had heard it from Mr. Pigot, his uncle.

Chartreux; but, as he was not one of those who enjoyed the founder's benefaction, there is no account preserved of his admission. At the school of the Chartreux, to which he was removed either from that of Salisbury or Lichfield, he pursued his juvenile studies under the care of Dr. Ellis, and contracted that intimacy with Sir Richard Steele, which their joint labours have so effectually recorded.

Of this memorable friendship the greater praise must be given to Steele. It is not hard to love those from whom nothing can be feared; and Addison never considered Steele as a rival, but Steele lived, as he confesses, under an habitual subjection to the predominating genius of Addison, whom he always mentioned with reverence, and treated with obsequiousness.

Addison, who knew his own dignity, could not always forbear to show it, by playing a little upon his admirer; but he was in no danger of retort: his jests were endured without resistance or resentment.

But the sneer of jocularity was not the worst. Steele, whose imprudence of generosity, or vanity of profusion, kept him always incurably necessitous, upon some pressing exigence, in an evil hour, borrowed a hundred pounds of his friend, probably without much purpose of repayment; but Addison, who seems to have had other notions of a hundred pounds, grew impatient of delay, and reclaimed his loan by an execution. Steele felt with great sensibility the obduracy of his creditor, but with emotions of sorrow rather than of anger.†

The practice of barring-out was a savage license, practised in many schools at the end of the last century, by which the boys, when the periodical vacation drew near, growing petulant at the approach of liberty, some days before the time of regular recess, took possession of the school, of which they barred the doors, and bade their master defiance from the windows. It is not easy to suppose that on such occasions the master would do more than laugh; yet if tradition may be credited, he often struggled harding by a person of unquestionable veracity, but whose This fact was communicated to Johnson in my hearto force or surprise the garrison. The master, name I am not at liberty to mention. He had it, as he when Pigot was a school-boy, was barred-out told us, from Lady Primrose, to whom Steele related it at Lichfield; and the whole operation, as he with tears in his eyes. The late Dr. Stinton confirmed said, was planned and conducted by Addison. it to me, by saying, that he heard it from Mr. Hooke, auTo judge better of the probability of this thor of the Roman History; and he from Mr. Pope.-H See, Victor's Letters, vol. i. p. 328, this transaction story, I have inquired when he was sent to the somewhat differently related.-R.

* Spence.

In 1687 he was entered into Queen's College, I of a small part of Virgil's "Georgics," pubin Oxford, where, in 1689, the accidental peru- lished in the Miscellanies; and a Latin encosal of some Latin verses gained him the patron-mium on Queen Mary, in the "Musa Angliage of Dr. Lancaster, afterwards provost of cane." These verses exhibit all the fondness Queen's College; by whose recommendation he of friendship; but on one side or the other, was elected into Magdalen College as a Demy, friendship was afterwards too weak for the maa term by which that society denominates those lignity of faction. which are elsewhere called Scholars; young men who partake of the founder's benefaction, and succeed in their order to vacant fellowships.*

Here he continued to cultivate poetry and criticism, and grew first eminent by his Latin compositions, which are indeed entitled to particular praise. He has not confined himself to the imitation of any ancient author, but has formed his style from the general language, such as a diligent perusal of the productions of dif ferent ages happened to supply.

His Latin compositions seem to have had much of his fondness, for he collected a second volume of the "Musæ Anglicane," perhaps for a convenient receptacle, in which all his Latin pieces are inserted, and where his poem on the peace has the first place. He afterwards presented the collection to Boileau, who, from that time, "conceived," says Tickell, "an opinion of the English genius for poetry." Nothing is better known of Boileau, than that he had an injudicious and peevish contempt of modern Latin, and therefore his profession of regard was probably the effect of his civility rather than approbation.

Three of his Latin poems are upon subjects on which perhaps he would not have ventured to have written in his own language. "The Battle of the Pigmies and Cranes;" "The Barometer;" and "A Bowling-green." When the matter is low or scanty, a dead language, in which nothing is mean because nothing is familiar, affords great conveniences; and, by the sonorous magnificence of Roman syllables, the writer conceals penury of thought, and want of novelty, often from the reader, and often from himself.

In his twenty-second year he first showed his power of English poetry by some verses addressed to Dryden; and soon afterwards published a translation of the greater part of the Fourth Georgic, upon Bees; after which, says Dryden, "my latter swarm is hardly worth the hiving."

About the same time he composed the arguments prefixed to the several books of Dryden's Virgil and produced an essay on the "Georgics," juvenile, superficial, and uninstructive, without much either of the scholar's learning or the critic's penetration.

His next paper of verses contained a character of the principal English poets, inscribed to Henry Sacheverell, who was then, if not a poet, a writer of verses;† as is shown by his version

He took the degree of M. A. Feb. 14, 1692.

In this poem is a very confident and discriminate character of Spenser, whose work he had then never read. So little sometimes is criticism the effect of judgment. It is necessary to inform the reader, that about this time he was introduced by Congreve to Montague, then chancellor of the Exchequer: Addison was then learning the trade of a courtier, and subjoined Montague as a poetical name to those of Cowley and of Dryden.

By the influence of Mr. Montague, concurring, according to Tickell, with his natural modesty, he was diverted from his original design of entering into holy orders. Montague alleged the corruption of men who engaged in civil employments without liberal education; and declared, that, though he was represented as an enemy to the church, he would never do it any injury but by withholding Addison from it.

Soon after (in 1695) he wrote a poem to King William, with a rhyming introduction addressed to Lord Somers. King William had no regard to elegance or literature; his study was only war; yet by a choice of ministers, whose dispo sition was very different from his own, he pro cured, without intention, a very liberal patronage to poetry. Addison was caressed both by Somers and Montague.

In 1697 appeared his Latin verses on the peace of Ryswick, which he dedicated to Montague, and which was afterwards called by Smith, "the best Latin poem since the 'Eneid,'" Praise must not be too rigorously examined; but the performance cannot be denied to be vigorous and elegant.

Having yet no public employment, he ob tained, (in 1699,) a pension of three hundred pounds a-year, that he might be enabled to travel. He stayed a year at Blois,§ probably to learn the French language; and then proceeded in his journey to Italy, which he surveyed with the eyes of a poet.

While he was travelling at leisure, he was far from being idle: for he not only collected his observations on the country, but found time to write his Dialogues on Medals, and four acts of "Cato." Such at least is the relation of Tickell. Perhaps he only collected his materials, and formed his plan.

Whatever were his other employments in Ita ly, he there wrote the Letter to Lord Halifax, which is justly considered as the most elegant, if not the most sublime, of his poetical productions. But in about two years he found it necessary to hasten home; being, as Swift informs us, dis

A letter which I found among Dr. Johnson's papers, name, who died young, supposed to be a Manksman, for dated in January 174, from a lady in Wiltshire, con- that he wrote the history of the Isle of Man.-That this tains a discovery of some importance in literary hi tory, person left his papers to Mr. Addison, and had formed a viz. that by the initials H. S. prefixed to the poem, we plan of a tragedy upon the death of Socrates. The lady are not to understand the famous Dr. Henry Sachever 11, says she had this information from a Mr. Stephens, who whose trial is the most remarkable incident in his life. was a fellow of Merton College, a contemporary and inThe information thus communicated is, that the verses timate with Mr. Addison, in Oxford, who died near fifty in question were not an address to the famous Dr. Sache-years ago, a prebendary of Winchester.-H. yerell, but to a very ingenious gentleman of the same † Spence,

§ Ibid.

tressed by indigence, and compelled to become | to be exceeded only by Joshua Barnes's dedicathe tutor of a travelling squire, because his pen- tion of a Greek Anacreon to the Duke. sion was not remitted.

His reputation had been somewhat advanced by "The Tender Husband," a comedy which Steele dedicated to him, with a confession that he owed to him several of the most successful scenes. To this play Addison supplied a prologue.

When the Marquis of Wharton was appoint

At his return he published his Travels, with a dedication to Lord Somers. As his stay in foreign countries was short, his observations are such as might be supplied by a hasty view, and consist chiefly in comparisons of the present face of the country with the descriptions left us by the Roman poets, from whom he made pre-ed lord lieutenant of Ireland, Addison attended paratory collections, though he might have him as his secretary, and was made keeper of spared the trouble, had he known that such the records in Birmingham's Tower, with a sacollections had been made twice before by Italian lary of three hundred pounds a-year. The office authors. was little more than nominal, and the salary was augmented for his accommodation.

The most amusing passage of his book is his account of the minute republic of San Marino; of many parts it is not a very severe censure to say, that they might have been written at home. His elegance of language, and variegation of prose and verse, however, gains upon the reader; and the book, though awhile neglected, became in time so much the favourite of the public, that before it was reprinted, it rose to five times its price.

When he returned to England (in 1702) with a meanness of appearance which gave testimony of the difficulties to which he had been reduced, he found his old patrons out of power, and was, therefore, for a time, at full leisure for the cultivation of his mind: and a mind so cultivated gives reason to believe that little time was lost.

But he remained not long neglected or useless. The victory at Blenheim (1701) spread triumph and confidence over the nation; and Lord Godolphin, lamenting to Lord Halifax, that it had not been celebrated in a manner equal to the subject, desired him to propose it to some better poet. Halifax told him, that there was no encouragement for genius; that worthless men were unprofitably enriched with public money, without any care to find or employ those whose appearance might do honour to their country. To this Godolphin replied, that such abuses should in time be rectified; and that, if a man could be found capable of the task then proposed, he should not want an ample recompense. Halifax then named Addison, but required that the treasurer should apply to him in his own person. Godolphin sent the message by Mr. Boyle, afterwards Lord Carlton; and Addison, having undertaken the work, communicated it to the treasurer, while it was yet advanced no farther than the simile of the angel, and was immediately rewarded by succeeding Mr. Locke in the place of commissioner of appeals.

In the following year he was at Hanover with Lord Halifax; and the year after he was made under secretary of state, first to Sir Charles Hedges, and in a few months more to the Earl of Sunderland.

Interest and faction allow little to the operation of particular dispositions or private opinions. Two men of personal characters more opposite than those of Wharton and Addison could not easily be brought together. Wharton was impious, profligate, and shameless, without regard, or appearance of regard, to right and wrong: whatever is contrary to this may be said of Addison: but as agents of a party they were connected, and how they adjusted their other sentiments we cannot know.

Addison must however not be too hastily condemned. It is not necessary to refuse benefits from a bad man, when the acceptance implies no approbation of his crimes; nor has the subordinate officer any obligation to examine the opinions or conduct of those under whom he acts, except that he may not be made the instrument of wickedness. It is reasonable to suppose that Addison counteracted, as far as he was able, the malignant and blasting influence of the Lieutenant; and that at least by his intervention some good was done and some mischief prevented.

When he was in office, he made a law to himself, as Swift has recorded, never to remit his regular fees in civility to his friends: "for," said he, "I may have a hundred friends; and if my fee be two guineas, I shall, by relinquishing my right, lose two hundred guineas, and no friend gain more than two: there is, therefore, no proportion between the good imparted and the evil suffered."

He was in Ireland when Steele, without any communication of his design, began the publi cation of the "Tatler;" but he was not long concealed; by inserting a remark on Virgil, which Addison had given him, he discovered himself. It is indeed not easy for any man to write upon literature or common life, so as not to make himself known to those with whom he familiarly converses, and who are acquainted with his track of study, his favourite topic, his peculiar notions, and his habitual phrases.

This is

If Steele desired to write in secret, he was not lucky; a single month detected him. His About this time the prevalent taste for Italian first Tatler was published April 22, (1709,) and operas inclined him to try what would be the Addison's contribution appeared May 26. Tickeffect of a musical drama in our own language. ell observes, that the "Tatler" began and was He therefore wrote the opera of "Rosamond," concluded without his concurrence. which, when exhibited on the stage, was either doubtless literally true; but the work did not . hissed or neglected; but, trusting that the read-suffer much by his unconsciousness of its comers would do him more justice, he published it, mencement or his absence at its cessation; for with an inscription to the Dutchess of Marlbo- he continued his assistance to December 23, rough; a woman without skill, or pretensions to skill, in poetry or literature. His dedication

Dr. Johnson appears to have blended the character

was therefore an instance of servile absurdity, of the Marquis with that of his son the Duke.-N

and the paper stopped on January 2. He did | daily conversation, and free it from thorns and not distinguish his pieces by any signature, prickles, which tease the passer, though they do and I know not whether his name was not kept not wound him. secret till the papers were collected into volumes. For this purpose nothing is so proper as the To the "Tatler," in about two months, suc- frequent publication of short papers, which we ceeded the "Spectator;" a series of essays of read not as study but amusement. If the subthe same kind, but written with less levity, upon ject be slight, the treatise is short. The busy a more regular plan, and published daily. Such may find time, and the idle may find patience. an undertaking showed the writers not to dis- This mode of conveying cheap and easy trust their own copiousness of materials, or knowledge, began among us in the civil war,t facility of composition; and their performance when it was much the interest of either party to justified their confidence. They found, how-raise and fix the prejudices of the people. At ever, in their progress, many auxiliaries. To that time appeared "Mercurius Aulicus," "Merattempt a single paper was no terrifying labour; curius Rusticus," and "Mercurius Civicus." It many pieces were offered, and many were re-is said that when any title grew popular, it was ceived. stolen by the antagonist, who by this stratagem conveyed his notions to those who would not have received him had he not worn the appearance of a friend. The tumult of those unhappy days left scarcely any man leisure to treasure up occasional compositions; and so much were they neglected, that a complete collection is no where to be found.

Addison had enough of the zeal of party, but Steele had at that time almost nothing else. The "Spectator," in one of the first papers, showed the political tenets of its authors; but a resolution was soon taken, of courting general approbation by general topics and subjects on which faction had produced no diversity of sentiments, such as literature, morality, and fami- These Mercuries were succeeded by L'Esliar life. To this practice they adhered with few trange's "Observator;" and that by Lesley's deviations. The ardour of Steele once broke "Rehearsal," and perhaps by others; but hithout in praise of Marlborough; and when Dr. erto nothing had been conveyed to the people in Fleetwood prefixed to some sermons a preface this commodious manner but controversy relatoverflowing with whiggish opinions, that it mighting to the church or state; of which they taught be read by the Queen,* it was reprinted in the many to talk, whom they could not teach to Spectator." judge.


To teach the minuter decencies and inferior duties, to regulate the practice of daily conversation, to correct those depravities which are rather ridiculous than criminal, and remove those grievances which, if they produce no lasting calamities, impress hourly vexation, was first attempted by Casa in his book of Manners, and Castiglione in his "Courtier;" two books yet celebrated in Italy for purity and elegance, and which, if they are now less read, are neglected only because they have effected that reformation which their authors intended, and their precepts now are no longer wanted. Their usefulness to the age in which they were written is sufficiently attested by the translations which almost all the nations of Europe were in haste to obtain.

This species of instruction was continued, and perhaps advanced, by the French; among whom La Bruyere's "Manners of the Age," though, as Boileau remarked, it is written without connexion, certainly deserves praise for liveliness of description and justness of obser


It has been suggested, that the Royal Society was instituted soon after the Restoration, to divert the attention of the people from public discontent. The "Tatler" and "Spectator" had the same tendency; they were published at a time when two parties, loud, restless, and violent, each with plausible declarations, and each perhaps without any distinct termination of its views, were agitating the nation: to minds heated with political contest they supplied cooler and more inoffensive reflections; and it is said by Addison, in a subsequent work, that they had a perceptible influence upon the conversa tion of that time, and taught the frolicksome and the gay to unite merriment with decency; an effect which they can never wholly lose, while they continue to be among the first books by which both sexes are initiated in the elegancies of knowledge.

The "Tatler" and "Spectator" adjusted, like Casa, the unsettled practice of daily intercourse by propriety and politeness; and, like La Bruyere, exhibited the Characters and ManBefore the "Tatler" and "Spectator," if the ners of the Age. The personages introduced in writers for the theatre are excepted, England these papers were not merely ideal; they were had no masters of common life. No writers had then known, and conspicuous in various stayet undertaken to reform either the savageness tions. Of the "Tatler" this is told by Steele in of neglect or the impertinence of civility; to his last paper; and of the "Spectator" by Budshow when to speak or to be silent; how to re-gell in the preface to "Theophrastus," a book fuse or how to comply. We had many books to teach us our more important duties, and to settle opinions in philosophy or politics; but an Arbiter Elegantiarum, a judge of propriety, was yet wanting, who should survey the track of

This particular number of the "Spectator," it is said, was not published till twelve o'clock, that it might come out precisely at the hour of her Majesty's breakfast, and that no time might be left for deliberating about serving it up with that meal, as usual. See the edition of the "Tatler," with notes, vol. vi. No. 271, note p. 452, &c.-N.

which Addison has recommended, and which he was suspected to have revised, if he did not write it. Of those portraits, which may be supposed to be sometimes embellished and some

Newspapers appear to have had an earlier date than here assigned. Cleiveland, in his character of a London diurnal, says, "The original sinner of this kind was Dutch; Gallo-Belgicus, the Protoplas, and the modern Mercuries but Hans en Kelders." Some intelligence given by Mercurius Gallo-Belgicus is mentioned in Carew's

Survey of Cornwall," p. 126, originally published in 1602. These vehicles of information are often mentioned in the plays of James and Charles the First.-R.

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