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apply to him what Plato, in his allegorical language, says of Aristophanes, that the Graces, having searched all the world for a temple wherein they might for ever dwell, settled at last in the breast of Mr. Addison.")
Dr. Young is no less emphatic in his praise. « Addison wrote little in verse, much in sweet, elegant, Virgilian prose; so let me call it, since Longinus calls Herodotus most Homeric; and Thucydides is said to have formed his style on Pindar. Addison's compositions are built with the finest materials, in the taste of the ancients. I never read him, but I am struck with such a disheartezing idea of perfection, that I drop my pen. And, indeed, far superior writers should forget his compositions, if they would be greatly pleased with their own.'? And Dr. Johnson remarks: “Whoever wishes to attain an Eng. lish style, familiar but not coarse, and elegant but not ostentations, must give his days and nights to the volumes of Addison.”3
As a writer, Addison may be considered as excelling in four departments, namely, in Criticism, in Humor, in Fable and Allegory, and in Instructive Morality. As a critic, he was the first to call the attention of the public to the rich mine of wealth to be found in Milton. His Essays on the Pleasures of the Imaginations are well known as being the foundation of Akenside's fine poem on the same subject. Numerous single papers, also, on diflerent subjects of criticism, are scattered throughout the Spectator; such as, those on the English Language,6 on Ancient and Modern Literature, on Pope's Essay on Criticism, on old English Ballads,8 &c. The concluding part of a paper on Irregular Genius,' we must here insert, as being an encomium on Shakspeare, "which, for its singularly happy imagery, niay set competition at defiance."
SHAKSPEARE. Our inimitable Shakspeare is a stumbling-block to the whole tribe of rigid critics. Who would not rather read one of his plays, where there is not a single rule of the stage observed, than any production of a modern critic, where there is not one of them violated! Shakspeare was indeed born with all the seeds of poetry, and may be compared to the stone in Pyrrhus's ring, which, as Pliny tells us, had the figure of Apollo and the nine Muses in the veins of it, produced by the spontaneous hand of nature, without any help from art.
In refined and delicate humor, Addison has no superior, if he has any equal, in English prose literature,10 The following may be taken as specimens:
1 Fitzosborne's Letters, Letter XXIX.
Observations on Original Composition. 3 This excellence was not attained without great labor. "I have been informed that Addison was o extremely nice in polishing his prose compositions, that, when almost the whole impression of a Spectator was worked off, he would stop the press to insert a new preposition or conjunction." Warton's " Pope,” i. 152. Read-Johnson's Life of Addison, in his "Lives of the Poets;" also, Dr Bur's criticismis, in the 19th Lecture; and Knox's Essays, Nos. 28 and 106.
4 Spectator, Nos, 262, 267, 273, and so on for sixteen niore numbers, every Saturday. See page 240, for Sir Egerton Brydges's criticisms on these numbers, 6 Spectators, Nos. 411-421. 6 No. 135. 7 No. 253. 8 No. 83.
9 No. 592. 10 "His humor," says Dr. Johnson, "is so happily diffused as to give the grace of novelty to do. mestic scenes and daily occurrencey. He never outsteps the modesty of nature, nor rises merriment or wonder by the violation of truth. His figures neither divert by distortion, nor amuse by Lagravation. He copics life with so much fidelity, that he can hardly be said to invent; yet iis exhibitions have an air so much original, that it is difficult to suppose then not merely the product oribe imagination."--Lives of the Poets,
BICKERSTAFF LEARNING FENCING. I have upon my chamber-walls drawn at full length the figures of all sorts of men, from eight feet to three feet two inches. Within this height, I take it that all the fighting men of Great Britain are comprehended. But, as I push, I make allowances for my being of a lank and spare body, and have chalked out in every figure my own dimensions; for I scorn to rob any man of his life by taking advantage of his breadth : therefore, I press purely in a line down from his nose, and take no more of him to assault than he has of me: for, to speak impartially, if a lean sellow wounds a fat one in any part of the right or left, whether it be in curte or in tierce, beyond the dimensions of the said lean fellow's own breadth, I take it to be murder, and such a murder as is below a gentleman to commit. As I am spare, I am also very tall, and behave myself with relation to that advantage with the same punctilio; and I am ready to stoop or stand, according to the stature of my adversary. I must confess, I have had great success this morning, and have hit every figure round the room in a mortal part without receiving the least hurt, except a little scratch by falling on my face, in pushing at one, at the lower end of my chamber ; but I recovered so quick, and jumped so nimbly into my guard, that, if he had been alive, he could not have hurt me. It is confessed I have written against duels with some warmth; but in all niy discourses I have not ever said that I knew how a gentleman could avoid a duel if he were provoked to it; and since that custom is now become a law, I know nothing but the legislative power, with new animadversions upon it, can put us in a capacity of denying challenges, though we were afterwards hanged for it. But no more of this at present. As things stand, I shall put up no more affronts; and I shall be so far from tak. ing ill words, that I will not take ill looks. I, therefore, warn all hot young fellows not to look hereafter more terrible than their neighbors : for, if they stare at me with their hats cocked higher than other people, I will not bear it. Nay, I give warning to all people in general to look kindly at me ; for I will bear no frowns, even from ladies; and if any woman pretends to look scornfully at me, I shall demand satisfaction of the next of kin of the masculine gender.
Tatler, No. 93. ON THE USE OF THE FAN. I do not know whether to call the following letter a satire upon cuquettes, or a representation of their several fantastical accomplishments, or what other title to give it; but, as it is, I shall cominunicate it to the public. It will sufficiently explain its own inLentions, so that I shall give it my reader at length, without either preface or postscript:
Women are armed with fans as men with swords, and sometimes do more execution with them. To the end, therefore, that ladies may be entire mistresses of the weapon which they bear, I have erected an academy for the training up of young women in the exercise of the fan, according to the most fashionable airs and motions that are now practised at court. The ladies who carry fans under me are drawn up twice a day in my great hall, where they are instructed in the use of their arms, and exercised by the following words of command :-Handle your fans, Unfurl your fans, Discharge your fans, Ground your fans, Recover your fans, Flutter your fans. By the right observation of these few plaiu words of command, a woman of a tolerable genius, who will apply herself diligently to her exercise for the space of but one halfyear, shall be able to give her fan all the graces that can possibly enter into that little modish machine.
But to the end that my readers may form to themselves a right notion of this exercise, I beg leave to explain it to them in all its parts. When my female regiment is drawn up in array, with every one her weapon in her hand, upon my giving the word to Handle their fans, each of them shakes her im at me with a smile, then gives her right-hand woman a tap upon the shoulder, then presses her lips with the extremity of her fan, then lets her arms fall in easy motion, and stands in readiness to receive the next word of command. All this is done with a close fan, and is generally learned in the first week.
The next motion is that of unfurling the fan, in which are comprehended several little flirts and vibrations, as also gradual and deliberate openings, with many voluntary fallings asunder in the fan itself, that are seldom learned under a month's practice. This part of the exercise pleases the spectators more than any other, as it discovers, on a sudden, an infinite number of cupids, garlands, altars, birds, beasts, rainbows, and the like agreeable figures, that display themselves to view, whilst every one in the regiment holds a picture in her hand.
Upon my giving the word to Discharge their fans, they give one general crack that may be heard at a considerable distance when the wind sits fair. This is one of the most difficult parts of the exercise, but I have several ladies with me, who at their first entrance could not give a pop loud enough to be heard at the farther end of the room, who can now discharge a fan in such a manner, that it shall make a report like a pocket-pistol. I have likewise taken care (in order to hinder young women from letting off their fans in wrong places, or on unsuitable occasions) to show upon what subject the crack of a fan may come in properly: 1 have likewise invented a fan, with which a girl of sixteen, by the help or a little wind, which is enclosed about one of the largest sticks, can make as loud a crack as a woman of fisty with an ordinary fan.
When the fans are thus discharged, the word of command, in course, is to Ground their fans. This teaches a lady to quit her fan gracefully when she throws it aside in order to take up a pack of cards, adjust a curl of hair, replace a falling pin, or apply herself to any other matter of importance. This part of the exercise, as it only consists in tossing a fan with an air upon a long table, (which stands by for that purpose,) may be learned in two days' time as well as in a twelvemonth.
When my female regiment is thus disarmed, I generally let them walk about the room for some time; when, on a sudden, (like ladies that look upon their watches after a long visit, they all of them hasten to their arms, catch them up in a hurry, and place themselves in their proper stations upon my calling out, Recover your fans. This part of the exercise is not difficult, provided a woman applies her thoughts to it.
The fluttering of the fan is the last, and indeed the master-piece of the whole exercise ; but if a lady does not mis-spend her time, she may make herself mistress of it in three months. I generally lay aside the dog-days and the hot time of the summer for the teaching this part of the exercise; for as soon as ever I pronounce, Flutter your fans, the place is filled with so many zephyrs and gentle breezes as are very refreshing in that season of the year, though they might be dangerous to ladies of a tender constitution in any other.
There is an infinite variety of motions to be made use of in the flutter of a fan. There is the angry flutter, the modest flutter, the timorous flutter, the confused flutter, the merry flutter, and the amorous flutter. Not to be tedious, there is scarce any emotion in the mind which does not produce a suitable agitation in the fan; insomuch, that if I only see the fan of a disciplined lady, I know very well whether she laughs, frowns, or blushes. I have seen a fan so very angry, that it would have been dangerous for the absent lover who provoked it to have come within the wind of it; and at other times so very languishing, that I have been glad for the lady's sake the lover was at a sufficient distance from it. I need no: add, that a fan is either a prude or coquette, according to the nature of the person who bears it. To conclude my letter, I must acquaint you that I have from my own observations compiled a little treatise for the use of my scholars, entitled, The Passions of the Fan; which I will communicate to you if you think it may be of use to the public. I shall have a general review on Thursday next; to which you shall be very welcome if you will honor it with your presence.
I am, &c.
P.S. I teach young gentlemen the whole art of gallanting a fan.
N. B. I have several little plain fans made for this use, to avoid € xpense.
Spectator, No. 102. THE LOVER'S LEAP. I shall in this paper discharge myself of the promise I have made to the public, by obliging them with a translation of the little Greek manuscript, which is said to have been a piece of those records that were preserved in the temple of Apollo, upon the promontory of Leucate. It is a short history of the Lover's Leap, and is inscribed, An account of persons, male and female, who offered up their vows in the temple of the Pythian Apollo in the forty-sixth Olympiad, and leaped from the promontory of Leucate into the Ionian Sea, in order to cure themselves of the passion of love.
This account is very dry in many parts, as only mentioning the name of the lover who leaped, the person he leaped for, and relating, in short, that he was either cured, or killed, or maimed by the fall. It, indeed, gives the names of so many who died by it, that it would have looked like a bill of mortality, had I translated it at full length; I have, therefore, made an abridgment of it, and only extracted such particular passages as have something extraordinary, either in the case or in the cure, or in the fate of the person who is mentioned in it. After this short preface, take the account as follows:
Battus, the son of Menalcas the Sicilian, leaped for Bombyca the musician: got rid of his passion with the loss of his right leg and arm, which were broken in the fall.
Melissa, in love with Daphinis, very much bruised, but escaped with life.
Cynisca, the wife of Æschines, being in love with Lycus; and Æschines her husband being in love with Eurilla, (which had made this married couple very uneasy to one another for several years ;) both the husband and the wife took the leap by consent; they both of them escaped, and have lived very happily together ever since.
Larissa, a virgin of Thessaly, deserted by Plexippus, after a courtship of three years; she stood upon the brow of the promontory for some time, and after having thrown down a ring, a brace. let, and a little picture, with other presents which she had received from Plexippus, she threw herself into the sea, and was taken up alive.
N. B. Larissa, before she leaped, made an offering of a silver Cupid in the temple of Apollo.
Aridæus, a beautiful youth of Epirus, in love with Praxinoë. the wife of Thespis; escaped without damage, saving only