The Works of the Right Honourable Joseph Addison
Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012 - 424 pages
Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: lying upon the table, and being sensible there was music in it, if she knew how to fetch it out, drew the bow over every part of the strings, and at last told her master she had tried the fiddle all over, but could not for her heart find whereabout the tune lay. But though the whole burden of such a paper is only fit to rest on the shoulders of a Bickerstaffe, or an Ironside, there are several who can acquit themselves of a single day's labour in it with suitable abilities. These are gentlemen whom I have often invited to this trial of wit, and who have several of them acquitted themselves to my private emolument, as well as to their own reputation. My paper among the republic of letters is the Ulysses his bow, in which every man of wit or learning may try his strength. One who does not care to write a book without being sure of his abilities, may see by this means if his parts and talents are to the public taste. This I take to be of great advantage to men of the best sense, who are always diffident of their private judgment, till it receives a sanction from the public. Provoco ad populum, I appeal to the people, was the usual saying of a very excellent dramatic poet, when he had any disputes with particular persons about the justness and regularity of his productions. It is but a melancholy comfort for an author to be satisfied that he has written up to the rules of art, when he finds he has no admirers in the world besides himself. Common modesty should, on this occasion, make a man suspect his own judgment, and that he misapplies the rules of his art, when he finds himself singular in the applause which he bestows upon his own writings. The public is always even with an author who has not a just deference for them. The contempt is reciprocal. I laugh at every one, sai...