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Jo OSEPH ADDISON was the son of Dr. Lancelot Addison, rector of Milston, near Ambrosebury, in Wiltshire, and afterwards dean of Salisbury. He was born at Milston on the 1st of May 1672; and on the very day of his birth was laid out for dead; but heaven preserved so valuable a life for the benefit of posterity. Having received the elements of his education at school, he went to the University of Oxford at the age of fifteen. In the course of a few years he wrote eight Latin poems, distinguished for purity and classical elegance, which gained him a charac ter among all persons of taste. In the year 1695, he wrote a poem on one of King William's campaigns, addressed to Sir Jolm, afterwards Lord Somers, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, which introduced him to that statesman's patronage, and laid the foundation of a sincere and lasting friendship. Having shown an inclination to travel, his patron obtained for him a pension of £300 ayear. He visited Italy in 1699; and in the year following, wrote a poetical epistle from that country to Lord Halifax, which has been much admired. The death of King William, in 1702, deprived him of his pension, and rendered it necessary for him to return to England; where he soon after published an account of his travels.
In the year 1704 an accident happened which gave him a new opportunity of displaying his genius, and opened the way to his future honours. The Lord Treasurer Godolphin happened one day to express his regret to Lord Halifax, that the Duke of Marlborough's victory at Blenheim had not been celebrated as it deserved; and at the same time to request that his Lordship, who was the known patron of the poets, would name one qualified to do justice to so noble a subject. Lord Halifax mentioned Mr. Addison; but insisted that the Lord Treasurer should send a message to him in his own name; which was done in so respectful a manner, that Mr. Addison undertook the task. Lord Godolphin saw the poem when the author had arrived at the admired simile of the angel, and was so highly pleased, that he immediately appointed
him a commissioner of appeals. In 1706 Mr. Addison was made under secretary of state; and in 1709 went over to Ireland as secretary to the Lord Lieutenant.
In the year 1713, his celebrated tragedy of Cato was first acted, which was received, perhaps, with more applause than any piece which was ever exhibited on the English stage. It was repeated thirty-five nights in succession, amidst the resounding plaudits both of the Whigs and the Tories; panegyrics were written in honour of it by the greatest wits of the time; and it was translated into several languages.
At the death of Queen Anne he was made secretary to the Regency. In 1716 he married the Countess Dowager of Warwick, to whose son, it is said, he had formerly been tutor. In 1717 he was promoted to the office of secretary of state; but his health, which was before this period declining, suffered so much from the fatigues of business, that he was soon obliged to solicit his dismission; which he obtained with a pension of £1500 a-year. He did not long survive his resignation, but died in 1719, in the 54th year of his age.
It is to be regretted that so few anecdotes have been preserved respecting Mr. Addison as a writer in the Spectator. We are told, that when Jacob Tonson came to him for the papers which he contributed, Bayle's Historical and Critical Dictionary always lay open before him. Sir Roger de Coverley was his favourite character. Sir Richard Steele upon one occasion made the old knight guilty of a great inconsistency: Mr. Addison warnily remonstrated with him, and would not leave his friend till he promised that he would no more meddle with his favourite. To prevent any such improprieties for the future, he resolved to put Sir Roger out of the way; or, as he himself humorously expressed it, to kill the knight that nobody else might murder him.
As a writer, as a man, and as a Christian, the merit of Mr. Addison cannot be too highly extolled. His style has been always esteemed a model of excellence by men of taste. His humour has a charm which cannot be described; his philosophy is rational, and his morality is
* See NO. 410.
pure; and what must highly enhance his writings to every good man, he studied to practise himself the virtues which he recommended to others. His papers in the first seven volumes of the Spectator are marked by one of the letters in the name CLIO!
As a writer in the Spectator, Budgell may be ranked
next to Addison and Steele. He was the son of Dr. Gilbert Budgell, a clergyman; and was born about the year 1685. He distinguished himself, both at school and at the University of Oxford, by his rapid progress in classical learning. His father, intending him for the bar, entered him in the Inner Temple; but he preferred polite literature, and the society of persons of fashion, to the study of the law. He associated much with Addison, who was his mother's cousin-german; and when that gentleman was appointed secretary to the Earl of Wharton, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, he took Budgell along with him as one of his clerks. So close was the friendship between these two relations, that they lodged together, spent much of their time together, and presented to the world their literary productions in concert.
In 1711 Mr. Budgell succeeded to his father's estate, which amounted nearly to £950 a-year. But notwithstanding this accession to his fortune, he continued attentive to business. Mr. Addison obtained for him the of fice of under-secretary; he was also made chief secretary to the Lords Justices of Ireland, deputy-clerk of the council in that kingdom, and soon after elected a member of the Irish parliament, where he was a distinguished speaker. In these different offices he conducted himself with much ability and diligence. When Mr. Addison became secretary of state, he obtained for him the office of accountant and comptroller-general of Ireland, worth £400 a-year. But this honour was of short duration; he happened to give some umbrage to the Duke of Bolton, who succeeded to the office of Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and he was deprived of all his offices. To this misfortune was added the death of Mr. Addison, which gave a decisive blow to
his political hopes; and the delusive South Sea scheme brought his fortune to the brink of ruin. The loss of his offices affected his judgment; and one disaster succeeded another so closely, that his mind never recovered its former tone. At length he formed the desperate resolution of putting an end to his life. Having filled his pockets with stones, on the 4th of May 1737, he took a boat at London bridge, and threw himself into the river. He had appeared quite disordered for some days before; and the coroner's inquest brought him in lunatic.
Mr. Budgell possessed great accomplishments. He had a quick apprehension, a fine imagination, and a tenacious. memory; a genteel address, a ready wit, and a graceful Delocution, So attentive was he to his duty, that during the four years in which he held the offices of under-secretary to the Lord Lieutenant, and secretary to the Lords Justices, he had never been absent four days from his em→ployment, nor above ten miles distant from Dublin.
In the Spectator, Mr. Budgell preserved a respectable character. He wrote all the papers in the first seven volumes, which in the common editions are marked with the letter X, amounting to twenty-eight in number; and the neighth volume was written chiefly by Budgell and Addison. He wrote many excellent papers in the Guardian, which are marked with an asterisk; besides several papers in the Tatler, which are not distinguished. His style is elegant, and worthy of the intimate friend of Addison. His brother, Gilbert Budgell, wrote a pretty copy of verses in No. 591, in the eighth volume.
OHN HUGHES is said to have written the two letters in Nos. 33 and 53, signed R. B. and both the letters in NO. 66, No. 91, the letters in Nos. 104, 141, and in 210, the second letter in No. 220, and No. 230, all except the last letter. Besides these, he composed the letter in NO. 231, where the younger sister mentioned in Almahide was Mrs. Barbur, and No. 237. He also wrote the last letter in Nos. 252, 302, 306, and the letter in No. 311, Nos. 375, 525, 537, 541, and 554,
Mr. Hughes was the son of a citizen of London, and born at Marlborough, in Wiltshire, in 1677. In the earlier part of his life he cultivated poetry, drawing, and music; in each of which he made great proficiency. He only followed them, however, as agreeable amusements, when confined by bad health, to which he was often subject. At the age of 20 he published a poem on the peace of Ryswick, which was received with much applause. This was soon succeeded by others, which possessed such merit as to introduce him not only to the friendship of Addison, Pope, Congreve, Rowe, and other polite writers, but also to the patronage of the greatest men in the kingdom. He was made secretary to the commissioners of the peace in 1717, by means of Lord Chancellor Cowper, and continued in the same office till his death. This event took place in the forty-second year of his age, a few hours after his tragedy, entitled, The siege of Da mascus,' had been acted at Drury Lane with universal applause. He published two volumes of Poems, and some Translations from the French; besides the periodical pa pers which he contributed to the Tatler, Spectator, and Guardian,
THOMAS TICKELL. I
THO HOMAS TICKELL, though his papers have never been accurately discriminated, was certainly a large contributor to the Spectator, and as such is entitled to notice in this place. He was the son of the Reverend Richard Tickell, and born in 1686, at Brydekirk in Cumberland. At what school he received the rudiments of education is not known; but in April 1701, he became a member of Queen's College, Oxford, was admitted to the degree of A.M. in 1708, and two years afterwards was chosen fellow of his college. He entered early into the world, where he gained the friendship of Addison by some of the finest encomiastic verses on Rosamond, that ever were written on such an occasion. When the ministers of Queen Anne were negociating with France, Tickell published The Prospect of Peace; a poem of which the tendency was, to reclaim the nation from the pride of conquest to the