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in compliance with his father's desires, he was once very near concluding on; when having, through Mr. Congreve's means, become a great favourite with that universal patron of poetry and the polite arts, the famous Lord Halifax, that nobleman, who had frequently regretted that so few men of liberal education and great abilities applied themselves to affairs of public business, in which their country might reap the advantage of their talents, earnestly persuaded him to lay aside this design; and as an encou
couragement for him so to do, and an indulgence to an inclination for travel, which shewed itself in Mr. Addison, procured him an annual pension of 3001, from the crown, to enable him to make the tour of France and Italy.
On this tour then he set out at the latter end of the year 1699, and did his country great honour by his extraordinary abilities, receiving in his turn every mark of esteer. that could be shewn to a man of exalted genius, particularly from M. Boileau, the famous French poet, and the Abbé Salvini, Professor of the Greek tongue in the University of Florence, the former of whom declared that he first conceived an opinion of the English genius for poetry from Mr. Addison's Latin Poems, printed in the Musä Anglicanæ, and the latter translated into elegant Italian verse his Epistolary Poem to Lord Halifax, which is esteemed a master-piece in its kind.
In the year 1702, as he was about to return home, he was informed from his friends in England, by letter, that King William intended him the post
of Secretary to attend the Army under Prince Eugene in Italy.-- This was an office that would have been extremely acceptable to Mr. Addison; but his Majesty's death, which happened before he could get his appointment, put a stop to that, together with his pension. This news came to him at Geneva ; he therefore chose to make the tour of Germany in his way home, and at Vienna composed his Treatise on Medals, wbich, however, did vot make its appearance until after his death.
A different set of ministers coming to the manage. ment of affairs in the beginning of Queen Anne's reign, and consequeytly the interest of Mr. Addison's friends being considerably weakened, le coritioued unemployed and in obscurity until 1704, when an accident called him again into notice.
The amazing victory gained by the great Duke of
Marlborough, at Blenheini, exciting a desire in the Earl of Godolphin, then Lord High Treasurer, to have it celebrated in verse, Lord Halifax, to whom that nobles man had communicated this his wish, recommended Mr. Addison to him, as the only person who was likely to execute such a task in a manner adequate to the subject, in which he succeeded so happily, that when the poem he wrote, viz. The Campaign, was finished no further than to the celebrated simile of the angel, the Lord High Treasurer was so delighted with it, that he immediately presented the author with the place of one of the Coin-missioners of Appeals in the Excise, in the room of Mr. Locke, then lately deceased.
In the year 1705 he attended Lord Halifax to Hanover, and in the succeeding year was appointed UnderSecretary to Sir Charles Hedges, then Secretary of State; nor did he lose this post on the removal of Sir Charles, the Earl of Sunderland, who succeeded to that gentlenian, willingly continuing Mr. Addison as his UnderSecretary.
In 1709, Lord Wharton, being appointed Lord Lieuter pant of Ireland, nominated our author Secretary for that kingdom, the Queen at the same time bestowing on him also the post of Keeper of the Records in Ireland.-But when, in the latter end of her Majesty's reign, the minis. try was again changed, and Mr. Addison expected no fure ther employment, he gladly submitted to a retirement, in which he had formed a design, which it is much to be regretted that he never had in his power to put in execution, viz. the compiling a dictionary to tix the standard of the English language, upon the same kind of plan with the famous Dittionario della Crusca of the Italians.
What prevented Mr. Addison's pursuing this design was his being again called out into public business ; for, on the death of the Queen, he was appointed Secretary to the Lords Justices; then again, in 1715, Secretary for Ireland; and, on Lord Sunderland's resignation of the Lord-Lieutenancy, he was made one of the Lords Commissioners of Trade.
In 1716 he married the Countess of Warwick, and in the ensuing year was raised to the high dignity of one of her Majesty's principal Secretaries of State. The fatigues of this important post being too much for Mr. Addison's constitution, which was naturally not an extraordinary one, he was very soon obliged to resign it, intending for
the remainder of bis life to pursue the completion of some literary designs which he had planned out: but this he had no long time allowed him for the doing, an asthma, attended with a dropsy, carrying him off the stage of this world before he could finish any of his schemes. He departed this life at Holland-house, near Kensington, on the 17th of June, 1719, having then just entered into his 48th year, and left behind him
one only daughter. “ After a long and manly, but vain struggle with his distemper," says
Dr. Young, “ he dismissed his physicians, and with them all hopes of life: but with his hopes of life he dismissed not his concern for the living, but sent for a youth (Lord Warwick) nearly related, and finely accomplished, but not above being the better for good impressions from a dying friend : he came; but life now glimmering in the socket, the dying friend was silent. After a decent and proper pause, the youth said, Dear Sir! you sent for me: I believe, and I hope, that you have some commands; I shall hold them most sacred.--May distant ages," proceeds the Doctor, “not only hear, but feel, the reply !--Forcibly grasping the youth's hand, he softly said, See in what peace a Christian can die.--He spoke with difficulty, and soon expired."
A WINTER'S NIGHT IN LONDON. It was December--the north wind, in stormy gusts, blew right in my face, which I now and then attempted to raise, to mark the dark murky clouds, as they were carried rapidly past the moon. I wrapped myself in my great coat ; fastened the highest button ; and, getting warm, began to feel pity for others in the inverse ratio that I felt it for myself. “ Heaven shield the houseless," seid I, “and guard the traveller and guide the mariner!” A poor shivering wretch prayed for a halfpenny.—“Indeed, Sir," said he “ I require it-I am very cold--and my
dear wife and her poor babes" “ Say no more,” said I, “ would it were a guinea, for your sake! If it were, it would be dearly earned, in such a coat as yours, and such a night as this."
I walked onwards the sound of music next attracted my notice. It came, not as the breath of Apollo, mur. mured from the harp of Æolus; but, loud and full, it
swelled with the blast, and almost drowned, in its noise, the bellowing of the storm. I raised my head-It came from the dwelling of Prospero. “ He has been giving a masquerade,” said a listener under the porch,
and this is the music of the ball," said he;" these are the footmen, those the carriages of his guests.”—“Wonld that my poor shivering friend, with his wife and bis habes, were in one of them !” said I, as I walked has. tily forward.
“ Heaven and earth! are men really equals ?” This was food for the imagination for a winter's night.
It was now past one. The moon was totally obscured by a dark cloud, which had swallowed up a dozen of others, and covered the half of the horizon. The wind was more furious than ever, and carried sharp half-frozen drops of rain along with it. I turned Pall-mall, passed through Stable-yard, and entered the Park, through which I had to pass on my way to Chelsea: all seemed desolation-even the sentinel appeared afraid to open his mouth, and refrained froin the usual “ Who
there?” * It is a pity," said I, thinking still of the beggar and the masquerade, “it is a pity that it is so; yet some men are provident, and others the reverse, so I believe it must be as it is. And,” added I, wishing still more to prove to myself that it is the best of all possible worlds, os it is better that it is so, else man would want a spur to exertion, and a lesson to be prudent." So I hugged myself close, and walked on. 6 Yet that is a vile
sup position, after all; is it necessary that man should be so wretched as to beg his fellow-creature for a halfpenny, in such a night as this, and all the time hear the music of masqueraders mocking his distresses and reviling his poverty? If fortune had made me a Nobleman now" A sigh interrupted my soliloquyết caine from a bench below an old tree, on my right hand; a groan followed, and was repeated. A male figure lay stretched along the bench, half-sheltered by the tree, and half-covered with a shawl. I started, yet stirred pot, I knew not why. " Who is there?” I exclaimed: a sound betwixt a sob and a groan was the reply. I flew to the bench, and raised the figure in my arms.
« Good God! you are starved to death,” I cried; “ leave this place instantlyI shall help you,” said I, finding she could not stand; her shawl fell off in the attempt; her naked hosom was exposed to the piercing blast; and she sank, apparently lifeless, on my shoulder. I shuddered as I placed her again on the bench, and wept as I took off my great coat and my handkerchief, and wrapped the wholearound her. I seized her in my arms, and ran along with her to Buckingham-gate.-—Not one house open to shelter a poor dying female!"-" A house, a little further on, is not yet shut,” cried a hoarse watchman on the other side of the way. I ran-I flew". There is a fire within, Sir."-" Thank you, thank you ; make room, for Hea. ven's sake, for she is still alive!"
She was still alive. Two eyes, of pale blue, opened, as I placed her by the fire on my knee: they were open for a moment, and instantly shut. I gazed on her, every idea absorbed in her reanimation. A young girl was employed in chafing her hands and her temples; and an old woman in pouring a cordial down her throat. I eagerly watched her features ah! never shall I forget them. Her nose was of the finest Grecian; her mouth of the most exquisite forın, but her lips were no longer red; her cheeks were pale; her eyes were suuk; and her arched eye-brows were almost concealed by herauburn hair, A slight straw hat covered her head, and a thin muslin gown her body. Over the whole Sympathy could trace the hand of Sorrow; and Pity sighed, as she recognised the symptoms of Frailty.
She sighed, again opened her eyes, stared wildly around her, and, in a voice that thrilled through my soul as I heard it, asked where she was ?" You are among friends,” said I; “ do not be alarmed.-You may leave us now, my good woman,” said I, addressing the hostess. The woman glanced at me, then at the poor sufferes. My husband is scrupulous, Sir, and your companion is not a fit person for our house.” The ears of the wretched creature caught the sound: a momentary glow overspread her cheeks it was succeeded by a deadly pale.“ True,” sighed she; she attempted to rise, but, in the attempt, fell, fainting, on the chair beside me.
The heart of the hostess was moved; I marked tbe sob which rose in her bosom, as she supported the almost exanimate body, and seized the favourable moment, “ Poor young creature !” said I, for she appeared to be under twenty—“ You may once have known what it was to have a mother, but the world has lost all its charms for you now; and, if you have still a párent_” I could pot proceed; a big tear trembled in my eye, and rolled