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MR. ADDISON is generally allowed to be the most correct and elegant of all our writers; yet some inaccuracies of style have escaped him, which it is the chief design of the following notes to point out. A work of this sort, well executed, would be of use to foreigners who study our language; and even to such of our countrymen, as wish to write it in perfect purity.
MOY WAX LIBRAR
Extract from a Letter of BISHOP WARBURTON, to
"Gloucester, Sept. 10, 1770. "Your grammatical pleasures, which you enjoy in studying the most correct of our great writers, Mr. Addison, cannot be greater than the political ones I taste, in reading, over again, the most incorrect of all good writers (though not from his incorrectness, which is stupendous) Lord Clarendon, in the late published continuation of his History
"I charge you bring your Addison to town. Nothing is minutiæ to me which you write or think."
See "Letters from a late eminent Prelate," &c.-Letter 227. 4. 1808.
And in Letter 228, in the same collection, October 16, 1770, the BISHOF says
"Your reflections on Lord Clarendon are the truth itself. The History of his Life and Administration I have just finished. Every thing is admirable in it but the style: in which your favourite and amiable author [Mr. Addison] has infinitely the advantage. Bring him with you to town. There, I own, your late amusements have the advantage of mine. It was an advantage I envied you;"
Extract of a Letter from DR. HURD to the REVEREND MR. MASON, Residentiary of Yorke.
"Thurcaston, Oct. 26, 1770.
"You will ask what I have done in this long leisure. Not much indeed, to any purpose. My lecture has slept: But I found an amusement in turning over the works of Mr. Addison. I set out, many years ago, with a warm admiration of this amiable writer. I then took a surfeit of his natural, easy manner; and was taken, like my betters, with the raptures and high flights of Shakespeare. My maturer judgment, or lenient age, (call it which you will) has now led me back to the favourite of my youth. And, here, I think, I shall stick for such useful sense, in so charming words, I find not elsewhere. His tast is so pure, and his Virgilian prose (as Dr. Young styles it) so exquisite, that I have but now found:ont, at the close of a critical life, the full value of his writings:
Inscription to Mr. Addison,
GRATIA, FAMÂ, FORTUNA COMMENDATO; HUMANIORIBUS LITERIS UNICÈ INSTRUCTO;
HAUD IGNOBILI POETÆ;
IN ORATIONE SOLUTÂ CONTEXENDÂ
SUMMO ARTIFICI ;
GRAVI SANÈ, SED ET PERJUCUNDO,
LEVIORIBUS IN ARGUMENTIS
RES ETIAM SERIAS
LEPORE QUODAM SUO CONTINGENTI;
HOC EST, CHRISTIANÆ,
EXIMIO, PROINDÈ, VIRO,
HOC MONUMENTUM SACRUM ESTO.
R. W. 1805, Sept. 5.