Page images

PAGE 138. On Regard for Posterity,

780 139. History of Lions-Story of Androcles,

784 140. On Female Dress-Letter to Pope Clement on the Tucker, 788 152. Comparative Merit of the two Sexes, an Allegory, 791 153. Pride not made for Man,

795 154. Lucifer's Account of a Masquerade,

799 155. Utility of Learning to the Female Sex,

804 156. History and Economy of Ants,

808 157. The same, concluded,

814 158. Proper Employment of Time; a Vision,

821 159. Story of Miss Betty, cured of her Vanity,

826 160. Conjectures of concealed Meanings under the History of the Ants,

830 161. Proper Sense and Notion of Honour,

835 162. Humour of a Blunt Squire—Complaisance-Story of Schacabac,

839 163. Letter from an Insulted Chaplain--Poem by Sir Thomas More,

843 165. Miseries of Folly and Vice at the Head of a Family, 848 166. On Charity—The Guardian in search of the Philosopher's Stone, .

851 167. Story of Helim and Abdallah,

855 THE LOVER: Introductory Remarks,

864 10. On China Ware,

865 39. Will Wormwood-A Discontented Temper-A Sloven - Nastiness, or Slovenliness,



T H E F Ꭱ Ꭼ Ꭼ Ꮋ 0 Ꮮ Ꭰ Ꭼ Ꭱ .


QCEEN ANNE died on the first of August, 1714, and was succeeded by George Ist, whose accession was the signal for the fall of the Tory administration. The Whigs returned to power, and Addison with them. In the following year an insurrection in favor of the Pretender broke out, first in Scotland under the Earl of Mar, and then in England itself. Its fatal results and the vindictive cruelty of the new king are well known to every reader of history. It was on this occasion that Addison wrote the 'Freeholder,' the most elaborate of his political writings, and one of the noblest monuments of his genius.

Of this work Johnson says: “This was undertaken in defence of the established government, sometimes with argument and sometimes with mirth. In argument he had many equals: but his humour was singular and matchless. Bigotry itself must be delighted with the Tory Fox Iunter.

“There are, however, some strokes less elegant and less decent: such as the Pretender's journal, in which one topic of ridicule is his poverty. This mode of abuse had been employed by Milton against Charles II.

" Jacobaei

Centum, exulantis viscera marsupii regis." And Oldmixon delights to tell of some alderman of London, that he had more money than the exiled princes: but that which might be expected from Milton's savageness or Oldmixon's meanness was not suitable to the delicacy of Addison.

“Steele thought the humour of the Freeholder too nice and gentle for such noisy times; and is reported to have said that the ministry made use of a lute, when they should have called for a trumpet.”—V. Johnson's Lives of the Poets. --Addison.

Johnson, who was a Jacobite at heart, and could illy bear a sarcasmi upon the exiled family, has confounded the annals of the Pretender's reign' in No. 83, with the journal of a rebel' in No. 3.

Swift's remarks upon the Freeholder are sa characteristic, that I give them separately from Scott's edition.

Drake, an enthusiastic admirer of Aldison, speaks of the “Freeholder" in still higher terms than Johnson:

“The Freeholder, which has been justly termed a political Spectator, stands at the head of its class, and was written by our author to evince the enormity of rebellion, and to repel the prejudices of ignorance and faction. It commenced December 23d, 1715; was published every Friday and Monday, and, having reached fifty-five numbers, closed on the 29th of June, 1716."

“Though in this work Addison was entirely unassisted, every page indicates an unwearied spirit. The same elegance and sweetness of style, the same humour and allegoric vein of description, which distinguished his former periodical writings, are discoverable in these essays. Political periodical papers, which have been extremely numerous in this country, have seldom survived the occasion which gave them birth.

Who now enquires for the productions of Welwood or L'Estrange? Even the Freeholder, owing to the polemical nature of its subject, and notwithstanding its beauty of style and fecundity of illustration, is seldom read through. It possesses, however, some delineations, which, being exact copies from nature, are independent of local circumstances, and will live for ever. Of these the portrait of the Tory Fox-hunter, with which, as Johnson observes, ‘Bigotry itself must be delighted,' is so exquisitely drawn, that I purpose introducing it with a few observations in the Essay on the Humour of Addison.

“ If the literary merit of the Freeholder be great, its political moderation is entitled to no inferior encomium. At a period when scurrility and abuse were thought more efficient, in proportion as they were keen and bitter, this work presented a specimen of what urbanity combined with wit and argument might effect. Though Steele is said to have declared, that the ministry in employing Addison had chosen a lute, when they should have selected a trumpet, the Freeholder, it is acknowledged, proved of essential service to the government, and contributed much towards the promotion of its tranquillity and establishment.”—G.

« PreviousContinue »