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be still improved, and much expedited, if the public would raise a fund for making and employing five hundred such frames in Lagado, and oblige the managers to contribute in common their several collections. He assured me that this invention had em- 90 ployed all his thoughts from his youth; that he had emptied the whole vocabulary into his frame, and made the strictest computation of the general proportion there is in books between the number of particles, nouns, and verbs, and other parts of speech.
8. I made my humblest acknowledgment to this illustrious 95 person for his great communicativeness, and promised, if ever I had the good fortune to return to my native country, that I would do him justice as the sole inventor of this wonderful machine. I told him, although it were the custom of our learned in Europe to steal inventions from each other, who had thereby at least 100 this advantage, that it became a controversy which was the right owner, yet I would take such caution that he should have the honor entire, without a rival.
9. In the school of political projectors, I was but ill entertained; the professors appearing, in my judgment, wholly out of their 105 senses, which is a scene that never fails to make me melancholy. These unhappy people were proposing schemes for persuading monarchs to choose favorites upon the score of their wisdom, capacity, and virtue ; of teaching ministers to consult the public good ; of rewarding merit, great abilities, and eminent services ; 110 of instructing princes to know their true interest, by placing it on the same foundation with that of their people ; of choosing for employments persons qualified to exercise them ; with many other wild, impossible chimeras that never entered before into the heart of man to conceive, and confirmed in me the old ob- 115 servation, “ that there is nothing so extravagant and irrational which some philosophers have not maintained for truth."
LITERARY ANALYSIS.-99. were. In what mood is this verb?
104-117. In the school ... truth, State in your own language the aims of the political projectors. These are characterized as “chimeras :” explain this term. What would be the condition of a country in which these aims were realized ?
CHARACTERIZATION BY MACAULAY. 1. To Addison we are bound by a sentiment as much like affection as any sentiment can be which is inspired by one who has been sleeping a hundred and fifty years in Westminster Ab
bey.' We trust, however, that this feeling will not betray us into that abject idolatry which we have often had occasion to reprehend in others, and which seldom fails to make both the idolater and the idol ridiculous. A man of genius and virtue is but a man. All his powers cannot be equally developed ; nor can we expect from him perfect self-knowledge. We need not, therefore, hesitate to admit that Addison has left us some compositions which do not rise above mediocrity — some heroic poems hardly equal to Parnell's, some criticism as superficial as Dr. Blair's, and a tragedy not very much better than Dr. Johnson's. It is praise enough to say of a writer that in a high department of literature, in which many eminent writers have distinguished themselves, he has had no equal; and this may with strict justice be said of Addison.
2. It is probable that Addison, when he sent across St. George's Channel his first contribution to the Tatler, ? had no notion of the extent and variety of his own powers. He was the possessor of a vast mine, rich with a hundred ores. But he had been acquainted only with the least precious part of his treasures, and had hitherto contented himself with producing sometimes copper, and sometimes lead, intermingled with a little silver. All at once, and by mere accident, he had lighted on an inexhaustible vein of pure gold. The mere choice and arrangement of his words would have sufficed to make his essays classical. For never, not even by Dryden, not even by Temple, had the English language been written with such sweetness, grace, and facility.
3. As a moral satirist, Addison stands unrivalled. In wit, properly so called, he was not inferior to Cowley or Butler. The still higher faculty of invention he possessed in still larger measure. The numerous fictions, generally original, often wild and grotesque, but always singularly graceful and happy, which are
This was written by Macaulay in 1843. He himself, sixteen years afterwards (1859), was laid to sleep, near Addison, in the same famous mausoleum of England's illustrious dead.
? The Tutler-the forerunner of the Spectator-was a periodical paper started in 1709 by Richard Steele, who had been Addison's schoolfellow. When its publication began, Addison was in Ireland (hence the reference above to “St. George's Channel”), in official employment, and he determined to give the new literary venture his assistance.
found in his essays fully entitle him to the rank of a great poet - a rank to which his metrical compositions give him no claim. As an observer of life, of manners, of all shades of human character, he stands in the first class. And what he observed he had the art of communicating in two widely different ways. He could describe virtues, vices, habits, whims, as well as Clarendon. But he could do something better. He could call human beings into existence, and make them exhibit themselves. If we wish to find anything more vivid than Addison's best portraits, we must go either to Shakespeare or to Cervantes.
4. But what shall we say of Addison's humor—of his sense of the ludicrous ; of his power of awakening that sense in others, and of drawing mirth from incidents which occur every day, and from little peculiarities of temper and manner such as may be found in every man? We feel the charm. We give ourselves up to it. But we strive in vain to analyze it.
5. Perhaps the best way of describing Addison's peculiar pleasantry is to compare it with the pleasantry of some other great satirists. The three most eminent masters of the art of ridicule during the eighteenth century were, we conceive, Addison, Swift, and Voltaire. Which of the three had the greatest power of moving laughter may be questioned. But each of them, within his own domain, was supreme. Voltaire is the prince of buffoons. His merriment is without disguise or restraint. He gambols ; he grins; he shakes his sides; he points the finger; he turns up the nose ; he shoots out the tongue. The manner of Swift is the very opposite to this. He moves laughter, but never joins in it. He appears in his works such as he appeared in society. All the company are convulsed with merriment; while the dean, the author of all the mirth, preserves an invincible gravity, and even sourness of aspect, and gives utterance to the most eccentric and ludicrous fancies with the air of a man reading the commination service.
6. The manner of Addison is as remote from that of Swift as from that of Voltaire. He neither laughs out like the French wit, nor, like the Irish wit, throws a double portion of severity into his countenance while laughing inly ; but preserves a look peculiarly his own—a look of demure severity, disturbed only by an arch sparkle of the eye, an almost imperceptible elevation of
the brow, an almost imperceptible curl of the lip. We own that the humor of Addison is, in our opinion, of a more delicious flavor than the humor of either Swift or Voltaire. Thus much, at least, is certain, that both Swift and Voltaire have been successfully mimicked, and that no man has yet been able to mimic Addison.
7. But that which chiefly distinguishes Addison from Swift, from Voltaire, from almost all the other great masters of ridicule, is the grace, the nobleness, the moral purity, which we find even in his merriment. Severity, gradually hardening and darkening into misanthropy, characterizes the works of Swift. The nature of Voltaire was, indeed, not inhuman; but he venerated nothing. Neither in the masterpieces of art, nor in the purest examples of virtue ; neither in the Great First Cause, nor in the awful enigma of the grave, could he see anything but subjects for drollery, The more solemn and august the theme, the more monkey-like was his grimacing and chattering. The mirth of Swift is the mirth of Mephistopheles ; the mirth of Voltaire is the mirth of Puck. If, as Soame Jenyns oddly imagined, a portion of the happiness of seraphim and just men made perfect be derived from an exquisite perception of the ludicrous, their mirth must surely be none other than the mirth of Addison — a mirth consistent with tender compassion for all that is frail, and with profound reverence for all that is sublime.
8. It is strange that neither his opulent and noble widow? nor any of his powerful and attached friends should have thought of placing even a simple tablet, inscribed with his name, on the walls of the Abbey.” It was not till three generations had laughed and wept over his pages that the omission was supplied by the public veneration. At length, in our own time, his image, skilfully graven, appeared in Poets' Corner. It represents him, as we can conceive him, clad in his dressing-gown, and freed from his wig, stepping from his parlor at Chelsea into his trim little garden, with the account of the Everlasting Club, or the Loves of Hilpa and Shalum, just finished for the next day's Spec
'In 1716, three years before his death, Addison married the Countess-dowager of Warwick, who survived him. She is said to have been somewhat of a shrew.
· Westminster Abbey.