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JOSEPH ADDISON, the son of Launcelot Addison, was born at Milston near Ambros-Bury, Wilts, May 6, 1672, but being unlikely to live he was baptised the same day. Fortunely, however, he was reared, and to the care which effected it the lettered world owes a more than ordivary gratitude. He received the first part of his education under the tuition of his father. He was then put under the care of Mr. Nash of Ambrosebury; and afterwards under that of Mr. Taylor, at Salisbury, His father being created dean of Lichfield, he took his children with him to that place, where Joseph bes came pupil of Mr. Shaw. The anecdotes relating to his early days are few and unimportant. Johnson says that one of his masters was burred out, principally through the mischievous contrivance of Addison. From Lichfield he was sent to the Charterhouse, where he became acquainted with Steele. This acquaintance matured to a friendship which continued till dissolved by death. It is certain that this friendship did not exist on equal terms, but when it is considered that it was both uniform and permament, the detracting temper of Johnson may have heightened, by the exuberance of his diction, the circumstances which he details. “Of this memorable friendship," says he, “ the greater praise must be given to Steele. It is not hard to love those from whom nothing can be feared, and Addison never considered Steele as a rival; but Steele, lived, as he professes, under an habitual subjection to the predominating genius of Addison, whom he always mentioned with reverence,

Literary Miscellany, No. 78. 1

and treated with obsequiousness. Addison, who knew his own dignity, could not always forbear to shew it, by playing a little upon his admirer; yet he was in no danger of retort: his jests were endured without resistance or resentment. But the sneer of jocularity was not the worst. Steele, whose impradence of generosity, or vanity of profusion, kept him always incurably necessitous, upon some pressing exigence, in an evil hour, borrowed a hundred pounds of his friend, probably without much purpose of repayment; but 'Addison, who seems to have had other notions of a hundred pounds, grew inpatient of delay and reclaimed his loan by an execution. Steele felt, with great sensibility the obduracy of his creditor; but with emotions of sorrow rather than of anger.” In 1687, at the age of 15, Addison was entered at Queen's College, Oxford; and some Latin verses which he had written on the Inauguration of King William and Queen Mary, being seen by Dr. Lancaster, then fellow, afterwards provost, of Queen's College, he was induced to give such a recommendation as to cause our poet to be admitted into Magdalen College, on the founder's benefaction. He here inade a rapid progress in various attainments, and became eminent by his latin compositions and other exercises. Some of these are in the Musce Anglicana, a collection of pieces made by our author. Having taken the degree of Master of Arts, he published in 1693, some verses attributed to Dryden. It was followed by a Translation of Virgil's fourth Georgic (omitting the story of Aristæus) by an Account of the greatest English Poets, from Chaucer to Dryden, dedicated to H. S. generally supposed to be Henry Sacheverel, and various other pieces. In 1695 he wrote a poem to

King William, on one of his campaigns; and, by addressing it to Lord Somers, the keeper of the great seal, he procured the patronage of that nobleman. He thought to have entered into clerical orders, to which he was strongly solicited by his father, but the influence of Montague, Chancellor of the Exchequer, to whom he had been introduced by Congreve, happening to concur with his natural timidity, he was diverted from this design. Having yet no public employment, through the recommendations of Somers and Montague, the king granted him a pension of £300, to enable him to execute a favourite project of travelling into Italy. Accordingly, in 1699, he made a tour into that country, which he surveyed with the rapture of a poet, and the judgment of a critic. The appearances of the mountains, woods, and rivers, he compared with the descriptions given by Virgil and Horace. During bis travels he made various remarks, which he afterwards published; composed his dialogue on Medals; and wrote four acts of Cato, In 1701, he wrote from Italy his Poetical Epistle to Montague (then become lord Halifax) which has been much admired, but never beyond it's merit; it is justly considered the most elegant, if not the most subJime of his poetic compositions. He experienced however, during his absence from England, the common lot of those who are dependent on courts. His pension was not regularly remitted, which urged his return. Distressed by want of money, he was neCessitated to become the travelling tutor to a squire, whose name has not been recorded. In 1704, Addison celebrated the victory of Blenheim, and pane, gyrized the actors in that scene with such address as induced Lord Godolphin, the treasurer, to appoint

him to succeed Mr. Locke as commissioner of appeals. He was soon after chosen Under Secretary of State, first to Sir Charles Hedges and then to the earl of Sunderland. About this time he wrote the opera of Rosamond, which met with neglect; he published it indeed with better fortune, but he discovered an absurd servility in inscribing it to the duchess of Marlborough, “ a woman,” according to Johnson, “ without skill, or pretensions to skill, in poetry or literature.” He next assisted Steele in his play of the Tender Husband; who surprised his friend by a dedication openly avowing the obligation. In 1709, when the marquis of Wharton was appointed lord lieutenant of Ireland, Addison attended him as Secretary, and was made keeper of the records in Bermingham's Tower, with a salary augmented by the queen, for his accominodation, to £300 per annum. Tho' a keen whig, he did not relinquish his intimacy with Swift, who was attached to the tories. When in office he never in civility excused his friends the payment of fees, and throughout his life,' he appears to have known the value of noney, and to have had exact ideas of the duty of payment, when the time fixed was comie. But it should not be forgotten, that he established it as a rule for himself, not to take more than the usual fees of his office. He even refused a bank note of £300, and afterwards a diamond ring of the same value, from a major Dunbar, whom he had endeavoured to serve by his interest with lord Sunderland. See Matty's Review, 1783. While -Addison was in Ireland, Steele began the Tatler, the first number of which appeared on the 12th of April 1709. These essays where published without the name of the author, but Addison discovered them to

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