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amidst the insipidities of the old romance, bewildering themselves in the mazes of polemical casuistry, or irritating their passions by a perusal of party invectives.

These works, and we mention them together, for Addison's name is associated with them all, attracted readers whom the sterner philosophy of Johnson would have repelled, and gently led on those to think who would have shrunk from a more austere instructer. To effect a change in the manners and taste of a nation was indeed a mighty work, and can only be overlooked amidst the results that have proceeded directly and progressively from it. 66 Imagination," it has been truly observed, "was born at once perfect, and her arts find a term to their progress: but there is no boundary to knowledge nor the discovery of thought.' Rich then should be their reward who moved a people to thought. the hand that first kindled the lamp of transmitted knowledge is too often lost in its brightening blaze, and the first impulse is forgotten as the huge mass rolls onward in its accelerated career.

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We scarcely deem an apology requisite for drawing the attention of our readers to this

interesting, yet somewhat overlooked, period of our literary history, and we dwell upon it at greater length because the plan of the present work precludes our giving the works alluded to themselves, though on them must Addison's fame mainly rest. In pursuance of our prescribed plan we must also exclude the Freeholder, but present our readers with some papers of the Whig Examiner, of which Johnson, all prejudiced as he was against Addison's politics, confesses that "every reader of every party, since personal malice is past, and the papers which once inflamed the nation are read only as effusions of wit, must wish for more of the Whig Examiners; for on no occasion was the genius of Addison more vigorously exerted, and on none did the superiority of his powers more evidently appear." We give too some papers in the Lover, the Discourse on Ancient and Modern learning, and, though it relates exclusively to a particular occasion, the late Trial and Conviction of Count Tariff, being fully persuaded ourselves that it may convey a useful lesson to the present age. A necessity, however, for condensing our materials obliges us to omit the letters which we partly promised, and the whole of which, dis

persed over the British museum and other public libraries, we have carefully perused; but our readers will less regret their omission, when informed that they entirely relate to private business, and afford not the slightest illustration of the manners or history of the times in which they were composed. They sufficiently show, however, that Addison could write on matters of business in ordinary and business-like language, though the contrary has been so flippantly affirmed. But deeply as we are impressed with the national importance of Addison's labours, we are not prepared to deny his unfitness for mere official exertion. Though unable, however, effectively to employ his great acquisitions in that transitory service of his country which is done in active life, yet, to quote the words of Burke," he will continue to do it that permanent service which it receives from the labours of those who know how to make the silence of closets more beneficial to the world than all the noise and bustle of courts, senates, and camps."

The general incidents of Addison's life are too well known to need our repeating them. His early progress may be best traced in the

works here presented to the public, and his writings rather than his actions require commemoration. And more grateful is it to dwell on his literary labours than to record how he "wedded discord in a noble wife," and was cut off by a premature death, hastened on by domestic disquiet, amidst labours perhaps more important than any he had completed. We say premature, for the man who dies at the age of forty-seven is abridged of the period of life from which the mature productions of his mind may be expected. The spring of life may greet us with its flowery offerings, and the summer may glow with noontide fervour, but it is the autumnal hour that bears those ripened racy fruits which at once refresh and nourish. Addison's parting breath was spent in the utterance of Christian exhortation, and his last work gives the evidences of that faith which enabled him in calm tranquillity to await the awful hour of dissolution. His life was passed in the energies of active benevolence, and his Discourse of the Christian Religion stamps with his dying confirmation his unshaken belief in the divine authority of the doctrines which he professed. He lived not to complete his task, but in its imperfect state

the work will well repay a careful perusal. To the other works contained in these volumes we have prefixed brief notices, and therefore deem it unnecessary to dwell upon them here at greater length. We would pause to observe, that those now least regarded were once important, and are rendered interesting when the results they produced are taken into consideration. His Latin poems, now neglected, first persuaded Boileau of the possibility of English genius, and, by removing national prejudices, opened a way for that literary and scientific intercourse that has, in spite even of war, so long existed between this country and the continent. The learned have been thus placed, as it were, above the intrigues of cabinets and the hostile transit of armies. A diligent examination of the subject has taught us, that the share Addison had in establishing this now recognised position of the learned was far greater than his biographers have usually assigned him. His Travels in Italy, and their companions, the Dialogues on Medals, and his Letter from Italy to lord Halifax, are little in accordance with the style of modern travel writings, but to turn from their sickly sentiment, deceptive morality, and fictitious ad

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