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“He taught us how to live, and (oh! too high

The price of knowledge) taught us how to die." Addison's personal appearance has not been very vividly recorded. Thackeray speaks of his “chiseled features, pure and cold." His statue in Westminster Abbey represents him clad in his dressing-gown, and freed from his wig, as though stepping into his Chelsea garden, with the last Sir Roger de Coverley paper just finished for the next day's Spectator. His temperament was cold, and his manner diffident. In large companies he was extremely reticent, but with two or three friends he was a charming companion and delightful conversationist.

Of Addison's style something has already been said, but rather by way of indicating the relation which as a prose writer he bore to his predecessors than of fixing his absolute rank. Dr. Johnson, in his autocratic way, laid down the famous dogma : “Whoever wishes to attain an English style, familiar but not coarse, and elegant but not ostentatious, must give his days and nights to the volumes of Addison.”

This advice, though quite sound in Johnson's day, is somewhat antiquated. The prose of the nineteenth century - the prose of the best writers of our own day

has attained an excellence unknown in the style of the eighteenth century, whether that style was exemplified in the felicitous expression of Addison, or in the sonorous and balanced periods of Johnson. The prose of this latter half of the nineteenth century is marked by a richness, freedom, and variety unknown in any former period of English literature.


[In the Introductory Sketch mention has been made of the Spectator, and of the charming series of papers by Addison descriptive of the characters in an imaginary “select club." The leading character is that of Sir Roger de Coverley, the representative of an English country gentleman, “ generous, ignorant, loyal, patriotic, and prejudiced.” The following sketch was printed in the Spectator, No. 106.)

HAVING often 1 received an invitation from


friend Sir Roger de Coverley to pass away a month with him in the country, I last week accompanied him thither, and am settled with him for some time at his countryhouse, where I intend to form several of my ensuing : speculations.

Sir Roger, who is very well acquainted with my humor,4 lets me rise and go to bed when I please; dine at his own table or in my chamber, as I think fit; sit still and say nothing, without bidding me be merry. When the gentlemen of the country come to see him, he only shows me at a distance. As I have 6 been walking in his fields, I have observed them stealing a sight of me over an hedge, and have heard the knight desiring them not to let me see them, for that I hated to be stared at.

I am the more at ease in Sir Roger's family, because

1 Having often, etc. Analyze 5 at a distance. The Spectator, this sentence.

the reporter of the club, is repre2 thither. What distinction be- sented as rather a shy person. tween “thither” and hither?

6 As I have, etc. What type of 3 ensuing. Give a synonym. sentence granımatically ?

4 humor. Here equivalent to an hedge. Should we now use temper, disposition. See Glossary. "an” or a

it consists of sober and staid persons; for, as the knight is the best master in the world, he seldom changes his servants; and as he is beloved by all about him, his servants never care for leaving him. By this means his domesties are all in years, and grown old with their master. You would take his valet de chambre 1 for his brother; his butler is gray-headed; his groom is one of the gravest men that I ever have seen ; and his coachman has the looks of a privy-councilor. You see the goodness of the master even in the old housedog, and in a gray pad that is kept in the stable with great care and tenderness out of regard to his past services, though he has been useless for several years.

I could not but observe with a great deal of pleasure the joy that appeared in the countenances of these ancient domestics upon my friend's arrival at his country-seat. Some of them could not refrain * from tears at the sight of their old master; every one of them pressed forward to do something for him, and seemed discouraged if they were not employed. At the same time, the good old knight, with a mixture of the father and the master of the family, tempered 5 the inquiries after his own affairs with several kind questions relating to themselves. This humanity and good-nature engages 6 everybody to him, so that when he is pleasant

1 valet de chambre, a body ser- 5 tempered, mingled. vant.

engages. The singular nun2 pad. Meaning? See Webster. ber may be justified by the unity 3 arrival. See Glossary.

of idea in the subjects “humanity” 4 refrain. For its etymology sec and “good-nature.” What is the Glossary.

distinction between these terms?


upon any of them, all his family are in good-humor, and none so much as the person whom he diverts himself with : on the contrary, if he coughs, or betrays any infirmity of old age, it is easy for a stander-byl to observe a secret concern in the looks of all his servants.

My worthy friend has put me under the particular care of his butler, who is a very prudent man, and, as well as the rest of his fellow-servants, wonderfully desirous of pleasing me, because they have often heard their master talk of me as of his particular friend.

My chief companion, when Sir Roger is diverting himself in the woods or the fields, is a very venerable man, who is ever with Sir Roger, and has lived at his house in the nature of a chaplain 2 above thirty years. This gentleman is a person of good sense and some learning, of a very regular life and obliging conversation; he heartily loves Sir Roger, and knows that he is very much in the old knight's esteem, so that he lives in the family rather as a relation than a dependent.

I have observed in several of my papers that my friend Sir Roger, amidst all his good qualities, is something of an humorist; 3 and that his virtues as well as imperfections are, as it were, tinged 4 by a certain extravagance, which makes them particularly his, and distinguishes them from those of other men. This castó of mind, as it is generally very innocent 6 in

i stander-by=modern bystander. 5 cast... it. This is an instance 2 chaplain. See Glossary. of two subjects to the same verb,

8 humorist, a person with pecul- a construction not allowed by our iarities of temper.

strict modern grammar. 4 tinged. See Glossary.

6 innocent. Give a synonym.

itself, so it renders his conversation highly agreeable, and more delightful than the same degree of sense and virtue would appear in their common and ordinary colors.

As I was walking with him last night, he asked me how I liked the good man whom I have just now mentioned ; and, without staying for my answer, told me that he was afraid of being insulted with Latin and Greek at his own table, for which reason he desired a particular friend of his at the university to find him. out a clergyman rather of plain sense than much learning, of a good aspect, a clear voice, a sociable temper, and, if possible, a man that understood a little of backgammon.

“My friend,” says Sir Roger, “found me out this gentleman, who, besides the endowments required of him, is, they tell me, a good scholar, though he does not show it. I have given him the parsonage? of the parish; and because I know his value, have settled upon him a good annuity for life. If he outlives me, he shall find that he was higher in my esteem than perhaps he thinks he is. He has now been with me thirty years, and, though he does not know I have taken notice of it, has never in all that time asked any thing of me for himself, though he is every day soliciting me for something in behalf of one or other of my tenants, his parishioners. There has not been a law-suit in the parish since he has lived among

1 of a good aspect. Explain.

parsonage, office of parson.

8 parishioners. With what noun in apposition ?


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