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letter was tossed carelessly by Mounteagle to a gentleman in his service, who read it aloud. It was the very warning which Tresham wished so earnestly to convey to him. Mounteagle, in astonishment, carried the letter to Cecil the next morning, and thus the secret of the impending catastrophe was out. Once more Catesby and Winter appointed a meeting with Tresham in Enfield Chase. Their
purpose was to charge him with the warning of Mounteagle, and if he were found guilty, to stab him to the heart on the spot. But while they told him what had been done, they fixed their eyes searchingly on his countenance; all was clear and firm ; not a muscle moved, not a tone faltered; he swore solemn oaths that he was ignorant of the letter, and they let him go. This man, when part of the conspirators were arrested, remained at large; while others fled, he hastened to the Council to offer his services in apprehending the rebels. Finally, arrested and conveyed to the Tower himself, there, under torture, he implicated the Jesuits, Garnet and Greenway, in some treason in Queen Elizabeth's time, then retracted the confession, and died in agony, as the Catholics believed of poison. Such was the career and end of this strange man. The family estate passed away into the hands of the Cockaynes, and is now the property of Mr. Hope. Could there be a more inspiring solitude for the composition of a poem, the object of which was to smooth the way for the return of Catholic ascendancy, and that by a poet warm with the first fires of a proselyte zeal ?
Amongst other places of Dryden's occasional sojourn, may be mentioned Charlton, in Wiltshire, the seat of his wife's father, the Earl of Berkshire, whence he dates the introduction to his Annus Mirabilis ; and Chesterton, in Huntingdopshire, the seat of his kinsman, John Driden, where he translated part of Virgil. In the country he delighted in the pastime of fishing, and used, says Malone, to spend some time with Mr. Jones, of Ramsden, in Wiltshire. Durfey was sometimes of this party; but Dryden appears to have underrated his skill in fishing, as much as his attempt at poetry. Hence Fenton, in his Epistle to Lambard :
"By long experience, Durfey may, no doubt,
• He fish!'-because the man attempts to write." And finally, Canons-Ashby connects itself inevitably with his name. It was the ancient patrimony of the family. It was not his father's, it was not his, or his son's, though the title generally connected with it fell to his son, and there his son lived and died ; yet, as the place which gives name and status to the line, it will always maintain an association with the memory of the poet. These are the particulars respecting it collected by Mr. Baker. The mansion of the Drydens, seated in a small deer park, is a singular building of different periods. The oldest part, as early as the beginning of the sixteenth century, or perhaps earlier, is built round a small quadrangle. There is a dining-room in the house thirty feet long by twenty feet wide, which is said to be entirely floored and wainscoted with the timber of one single oak, which grew in this lordship. In this room are various portraits of persons of and connected with the family. The drawingroom is traditionally supposed to have been fitted up for the reception of Anne of Denmark, queen of James I. The estate is good, but not so large as formerly, owing to the strange conduct of the late Lady Dryden, who cut off her own children, three sons and two daughters, leaving the whole ancient patrimonial property from them to the son of her lawyer, the lawyer himself refusing to have it, or make such a will. The estate here was, it appears, regained, but only by the sacrifice of one in Lincolnshire. Such are the strange events in the annals of families which local historians rarely record. How little could this lady comprehend the honour lying in the name of Dryden ; how much less the nature and duties of a mother!
The monument of the poet in Westminster Abbey is familiar to the public, placed there by Sheffield, Duke of Buckingham, bearing only a single word, the illustrious name of-DRYDEN.
ADDISON was a fortunate man; the houses in which he lived testify it. His fame as a poet, though considerable in his own time, has now dwindled to a point which would not warrant us to include him in this work, were not his reputation altogether of that kind which inseparably binds him up with the poetical history of his country. He was not only a popular poet in his own day, but he was the friend and advocate of true poetry wherever it could be found. It was he who, in the Spectator, first sounded boldly and zealously abroad the glory of John Milton. In our time the revival of true poetry, the return to nature and to truth, have been greatly indebted to the old ballad poetry of the nation. Wordsworth, Coleridge, Southey, Scott, and others, attribute the formation of their taste in the highest degree to the reading of Percy's Reliques of Ancient English Poetry. But it was Addison
who long before had pointed out these sources, and these effects. It was he who brought forward again the brave old ballad of Chevy Chace; who reminded us that Sir Philip Sidney had said that it always stirred his heart like the sound of a trumpet. It was he who showed us the inimitable touches of nature and of true pathos in it, and how alive was the old bard who composed it to all the influences of nature and of circumstances.
Equally did he vindicate and commend to our hearts the sweet ballad of the Babes in the Wood, and others of the true school of nature and feeling. Who shall say that it was not owing to these criticisms that Bishop Percy himself was led to the study and the collection of the precious relics of former ages, that lay scattered about amongst the people? The services of Addison to the poetry of England are far greater through what he recommended than what he composed; and the man who, more than all others, contributed to make periodical literature what it has become, and gave us, moreover, Sir Roger de Coverley, and the spirit of true old English life which surrounds him, with all those noble papers in which religion and philosophy so beautifully blend in the Spectator, must ever remain enshrined in the most grateful remembrance of his countrymen.
Addison, I have said, was a fortunate man. It is well for us that he was in that one case so fortunate. It was the service that his pen could render to the government of the time, that raised him from the condition of a poor clergyman's son, to a minister of state, and thus gave him afterwards leisure to pursue those beautiful æsthetic speculations which have had so decided and so permanent an influence on our literature and modes of thinking. Addison had his faults, and was not without those thorns in the side which few escape in their progress through the wilderness of the world; but so far as we are conce
ncerned, we owe to him nothing but love and admiration. Thus much said, we must, in this brief article, leave all the details of his life and progress, of his travels, and his literary contests and achievements, as matters well known, and confine ourselves to a survey of the abodes in which he lived.
He was born at the parsonage of Milston, in Wiltshire, a humble dwelling, of which a view may be seen in Miss Aiken's life of him ; his father being then incumbent of the parish. He was sent to schools at Shrewsbury and Lichfield, and then to the Charterhouse, where he formed that acquaintance with Richard Steele, which resulted in such lasting consequences to literature. Thence he went to Oxford, where he continued till the age of five-and-twenty, when, finding that, notwithstanding his fellowship and the resource of his pupils, he was so far from realizing a livelihood, that he was greatly in debt, he gave up all thought of taking orders, and devoted himself to public business. Fully to qualify himself for this, he applied to Montague, afterwards Lord Halifax, with whose friendship he was already honoured, as well as with that of Lord Somers, and procured from government a pension of 3001. 2-year, to enable him to make the circle of European travel, and acquaint himself with the real condition of those countries with which every English statesman must come into continual practical contact. He first went over to France, saw Paris, and then settled down at Blois, to make himself master of the language. He continued nearly a year and a half at
Blois; and it was to his intense study during this time that he owed his great knowledge of French literature. He then sailed from Marseilles for Italy. "It was in December, 1700,” says Miss Aiken,“ that he embarked at Marseilles for Genɔa, whence he proceeded through Milan, Venice, Ravenna, and Loretto, to Rome; thence to Naples by sea, and proceeded, by Florence, Bologna, and Turin, to Geneva; where he arrived exactly one year from his quitting Marseilles, and two and a half after his dep from England.” At Geneva he was met by the news of the
death of King William. This was followed by the dismissal of the Whigs from office, the consequent loss of his pension, and the blasting of all his hopes of further advantage from them for the present. Instead, therefore, of attending on Prince Eugene, as secretary from the English king, as was appointed for him, he turned aside, on his own slender resources, to take a survey of Germany. After making a pleasant tour through the Swiss cantons, he descended into the plains of Germany, but found the inhabitants in arms, and full of apprehension of the Bavarian troops, and was advised not to trust himself in the territories of the Duke of Bavaria. He therefore lost all opportunity of seeing Munich, Augsburg, and Ratisbon, and was obliged to make his way through the Tyrol to Vienna. In Vienna he felt himself in great anxiety on account of money, and made his way back through Holland home. Before reaching it, he received a proposal to go on a second tour of Europe for three years, with the son of the Duke of Somerset, but refused the Duke's offers. Soon after his return to England, he was engaged to write a poem on the victory of Blenheim, to serve the Whig cause, and produced The Campaign; at the time, a most successful poem, but now chiefly remembered by the passage in which he represents Marlborough, like the angel of divine vengeance, riding on the whirlwind and directing the storm. From this period his advance was rapid, and we here leave him to the biographer, and restrict ourselves to our proper task.
The change of circumstances, from the humble author to the minister, and the friend of ministers; from the simple clergyman's son to the husband of a countess, and the step-father of an earl, cannot be more strikingly displayed than by the singular contrast of his abodes under these different characters. D'Israeli, in his Curiosities of Literature, says that Pope, when taking his usual walk with Harte in the Haymarket, desired Harte to enter a little shop, when, going up three pair of stairs into a small room, Pope said, “ In this garret Addison wrote his Campaign.” That was certainly somewhat different to Bilton and Holland-house. But between the garret in the Haymarket, and these princely houses, there were some connecting and ascending steps in residence. Addison was always anxious to get to a quiet retreat, amidst trees and greenness, where he could write. Such was afterwards his abode at Sandy-end, a hamlet of Fulham. Here he appears to have occupied apartments in a lodging-house established at this place; whence several of the published letters of Steele are dated, written at times when he seems to have been the guest of Addison. From Sandy-end, too, are dated