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Many men there are than whom nothing is Deeds always over-balance, and downright more commendable when they are singled; and practice speaks more plainly than the fairest yet, in society with others, none less fit to an profession.
SOUTH. swer the duties which are looked for at their
For a man to found a confident practice upon hands.
a disputable principle is brutishly to outrun his That every man should regulate his actions
SOUTH. by his own conscience, without any regard to
Actions that promote society and mutual felthe opinions of the rest of the world, is one of
lowship seem reducible to a proneness to do the first precepts of moral prudence; justified not only by the suffrage of reason, which de.
good to others and a ready sense of any good clares that none of the gifts of Heaven are to
done by others.
SOUTH. lie useless, but by the voice likewise of experi- If he acts piously, soberly, and emperately, ence, which will soon inform us that, if we he acts prudentially and safely. SOUTH. make the praise or blame of others the rule of
We are not only to look at the bare action, our conduct, we shall be distracted by a bound. less variety of irreconcilable judgments, be held
| but at the reason of it. STILLINGFLEET. in perpetual suspense between contrary impulses, Considering the usual motives of human acand consult forever without determination. tions, which are pleasure, profit, and ambition, Dr. S. JOHNSON: Rambler, No. 23 | I cannot yet comprehend how these persons
find their account in any of the three. Act well at the moment, and you have per.
Swift. formed a good action to all eternity.
LAVATER. In every action reflect upon the end; and in The just season of doing things must be nicked. | your undertaking it consider why you do it.
JEREMY TAYLOR. and all accidents improved. L'ESTRANGE. No man sets himself about anything but upon
It is not much business that distracts any man;
"" but the want of purity, constancy, and tendency some view or other which serves him for a
JEREMY TAYLOR. reason,
There is no action of man in this life, which Actions have their preference, not according
| is not the beginning of so long a chain of conto the transient pleasure or pain that accompanies or follows them here, but as they serve to secure
sequences, as that no human providence is high that perfect durable happiness hereaster.
enough to give us a prospect to the end.
THOMAS OF MALMESBURY. LOCKE.
In matters of human prudence, we shall find Our voluntary actions are the precedent causes of good and evil which they draw after them
the greatest advantage by making wise observa
tions on our conduct. DR. I. WATTS. and bring upon us.
Locke. We will not, in civility, allow too much sincerity to the professions of most men, but think their actions to be interpreters of their thoughts.
The mere choice and arrangement of his forth of the utmost power, vigour, and activity
words would have sufficed to make his essays of man's nature. God is pleased to vouchsafe
classical. For never, not even by Dryden, not the best that he can give only to the best that
even by Temple, had the English language been we can do. The properest and most raised con
written with such sweetness, grace, and facility. ception that we have of God is, that he is a pure
But this was the smallest part of Addison's act, a perpetual, incessant motion. SOUTH.
praise. Had he clothed his thoughts in the
half-French style of Horace Walpole, or in the The schools dispute, whether in morals the half-Latin style of Dr. Johnson, or in the halfexternal action superadds anything of good or German jargon of the present day, his genius evil to the internal elicit act of the will: but would have triumphed over all faults of manner. certainly the enmity of our judgments is wrought As a moral satirist he stands unrivalled. If ever up to an high pitch before it rages in an open the best Tatlers and Spectators were equalled in denial.
SOUTH. their own kind, we should be inclined to gues; Since the event of an action usually follows
that it must have been by the lost comedies of the nature or quality of it, and the quality fol
Menander. lows the rule directing it, it concerns a man in
In wit, properly so called, Addison was not the framing of his actions not to be deceived in
inferior to Cowley or Butler. No single ode of the rule.
Cowley contains so many happy analogies as are
crowded into the lines of Sir Godfrey Kneller; We may deny God in all those acts that are and we would undertake to collect from the capable of being morally good or evil: those Spectators as great a number of ingenious illusare the proper scenes in which we act our contrations as can be found in Hudibras. The fessions or denials of him.
SOUTH. I still higher faculty of invention Addison pos.
sessed in still larger measure. The numerous the humour of either Swift or Voltaire. Thus fictions, generally original, often wild and grow much, at least, is certain, that both Swift and tesque, but always singularly graceful and happy, Voltaire have been successfully mimicked, and which are found in his essays, fully entitle him that no man has yet been abie to mimic Addi. to the rank of a great poet, a rank to which his son. The letter of the Abbé Coyer to Panmetrical compositions give him no claim. As sophe is Voltaire all over, and imposed, during an observer of life, of manners, of all the shades a long time, on the Academicians of Paris. of human character, he stands in the first class. There are passages in Arbuthnot's satirical works And what he observed he had the art of com. which we, at least, cannot distinguish from municating in two widely different ways. He Swift's best writing. But of the many eminent could describe virtues, vices, habits, whims, as men who have made Addison their model, well as Clarendon. But he could do something though several have copied his mere diction better. He could call human beings into exist with happy effect, none has been able to catch ence, and make them exhibit themselves. If the tone of his pleasantry. In the World, in the we wish to find anything more vivid than Addi Connoisseur, in the Mirror, in the Lounger, son's best portraits, we must go either to Shak there are numerous papers written in obvious speare or to Cervantes.
imitation of his Tatlers and Spectators. Most But what shall we say of Addison's humour, of those papers have some merit; many are of his sense of the ludicrous, of his power of very lively and amusing ; but there is not a awakening that sense in others, and of drawing single one which could be passed off as Addi. mirth from incidents which occur every day, son's on a critic of the smallest perspicacity. and from little peculiarities of temper and man.
LORD MACAULAY: Addison. ner, such as may be found in every man? We feel the charm, we give ourselves up to it; but
But that which chiefly distinguishes Addison we strive in vain to analyze it.
from Swist, from Voltaire, from almost all the LORD MACAULAY:
other great masters of ridicule, is the grace, the Life and Writings of Addison, July, 1843.
nobleness, the moral purity, which we find even
in his merriment. Severity, gradually hardenPerhaps the best way of describing Addison's ing and darkening into misanthropy, character. peculiar pleasantry is to compare it with theizes the works of Swift. The nature of Voltaire pleasantry of some other great satirists. The was, indeed, not inhuman; but he venerated three most eminent masters of the art of ridi. nothing. Neither in the masterpieces of art nor cule, during the eighteenth century, were, we in the purest examples of virtue, neither in the conceive, Addison, Swift, and Voltaire. Which Great First Cause nor in the awful enigma of of the three had the greatest power of moving the grave, could he see anything but subjects laughter may be questioned. But each of them, for drollery. The more solemn and august the within his own domain, was supreme.
theme, the more monkeylike was his grimacing Voltaire is the prince of buffoons. His merri. and chattering. The mirth of Swift is the mirth hent is without disguise or restraint. He gam- of Mephistopheles; the mirth of Voltaire is the bols; he grins; he shakes his sides; he points mirth of Puck. If, as Soame Jenyns oddly im. the finger; he turns up the nose; he shoots out agined, a portion of the happiness of seraphim the tongue. The manner of Swift is the very and just men made perfect be derived from an opposite to this. He moves laughter, but never exquisite perception of the ludicrous, their mirth joins in it. He appears in his works such as must surely be none other than the mirth of he appeared in society. All the company are Addison; a mirth consistent with tender comconvulsed with merriment, while the Dean, the passion for all that is srail, and with profoumel author of all the mirth, preserves an invincible reverence for all that is sublime. Nothing greai, gravity, and even sourness, of aspect, and gives nothing amiable, no moral duty, no doctrine of utterance to the most eccentric and ludicrous natural or revealed religion, has ever been assofancies with the air of a man reading the com. ciated by Addison with any degrading idea. His mination service.
humanity is without a parallel in literary history, The manner of Addison is as remote from The highest proof of virtue is 10 possess boundthat of Swift as from that of Voltaire. He less power without abusing it. No kind of neither laughs out like the French wit, nor, like power is more formidable than the power of the Irish wit, ihrows a double portion of severity making men ridiculous; and that power Adinto his countenance while laughing inwardly; dison possessed in boundless measure. How but preserves a look peculiarly his own, a look grossly that power was abused by Swift and by of demure serenity, disturbed only by an arch Voltaire is well known. But of Addison it may sparkle of the eye, an almost imperceptible eleva- / be confidently affirmed that he has blackened no tion of the brow, an almost imperceptible curl of man's character, nay, that it would be difficult, the lijf. His tone is never that either of a Jack if not impossible, to find in all the volumes Pudding or of a cynic; it is that of a gentle which he has left us a single taunt which can man, in whom the quickest sense of the ridicu. | be called ungenerous or unkind. Yet he had lous is constantly tempered by good nature and detractors whose malignity might have seemed good breeding.
to justify as terrible a revenge as that which We own that the humour of Addison is, in men not superior to him in genius wreaked on our opinion, of a more delicious flavour than | Beitesworth and on Franc de Pompignan. He was a politician; he was the best writer of his there was only one good glass in a bottle. As party; he lived in times of fierce excitement, soon as we have tasted the first sparkling foam in times when persons of high character and of a jest, it is withdrawn, and a fresh draught station stooped to scurrility such as is now prac of nectar is at our lips. On the Monday we tised only by the basest of mankind. Yet no have an allegory as lively and ingenious as Luprovocation and no example could induce him cian's Auction of Lives; on the Tuesday, an Eastto return railing for railing.
ern apologue as richly coloured as the Tales of LORD MACAULAY: Addison. Scherezade; on the Wednesday, a character de. Of the service which his Essays rendered to
scribed with the skill of La Bruyère ; on the
Thursday, a scene from common life equal to morality it is difficult to speak too highly. It
the best chapters in the Vicar of Wakefield; on is true that, when the Tatler appeared, that age
the Friday, some sly Horatian pleasantry on of outrageous profaneness and licentiousness which followed the Restoration had passed
fashionable follies, on hoops, patches, or puppet
shows; and on the Saturday, a religious mediaway. Jeremy Collier had shamed the theatres
tation which will bear a comparison with the into something which, compared with the ex
finest passages in Massillon. cesses of Etherege and Wycherley, might be cailed decency. Yet there still lingered in the
It is dangerous to select where there is so public mind a pernicious notion that there was
much that deserves the highest praise. We will some connection between genius and profligacy,
venture, however, to say that any person who between the domestic virtues and the sullen
wishes to form a just notion of the extent and formality of the Puritans. That error it is the
variety of Addison's powers will do well to
read at one sitting the following papers: the glory of Addison to have dispelled. He taught
two Visits to the Abbey, the Visit to the Exthe nation that the faith and the morality of
change, the Journal of ihe Retired Citizen, the Hale and Tillotson might be found in company
Vision of Mirza, the Transmigrations of Pug with wit more sparkling than the wit of Con- |
the Monkey, and the Death of Sir Roger de greve, and with humour richer than the humour of Vanbrugh. So effectually, indeed, did he
The least valuable of Addison's contributions retort on vice the mockery which had recently
to the Spectator are, in the judgment of our age, heen directed against virtue, that, since his time, the open violation of decency has always been
his critical papers. Yet his critical papers are considered among us as the mark of a fool.
' | always luminous, and often ingenious. The
| very worst of them must be regarded as credit. And this revolution, the greatest and most salu
able to him, when the character of the school tary ever effected by any satirist, he accomplished, be it remembered, without writing one
in which he had been trained is fairly consid
ered. The best of them were much too good personal lampoon.
for his readers. In truth, he was not so far In the early contributions of Addison to the Tatler his peculiar powers were not fully exhib
behind our generation as he was before his own. ited. Yet, from the first, his superiority to all
No essays in the Spectator were more censured his coadjutors was evident. Some of his later
and derided than those in which he raised his Tatlers are fully equal to anything that he ever
voice against the contempt with which our fine wrote. Among the portraits we most admire
old ballads were regarded, and showed the Tom Folio, Ned Softly, and the Political Up
scoffers that the same gold which, burnished holsterer. The proceedings of the Court of
and polished, gives lustre to the Æneid and the Honour, the Thermometer of Zeal, the story of the Frozen Words, the Memoirs of the Shil. |
of Chevy Chace.
The ling, are excellent specimens of that ingenious
LORD MACAULAY: Addison. and lively species of fiction in which Addison The last moments of Addison were perfectly excelled all men. There is one still better paper serene. His interview with his son-in-law is of the same class. But though that paper, a universally known. “See,” he said, “how a hundred and thirty-three years ago, was proba Christian can die!" The piety of Addison was, bly thought as edifying as one of Smalridge's lin truth, of a singularly cheerful character. The Sermons, we dare not indicate it to the squeam feeling which predominates in all his devotional ish readers of the nineteenth century.
writings is gratitude. God was to him the allLORD MACAULAY : Addison.
wise and all-powerful friend who had watched We say this of Addison alone; for Addison over his cradle with more than maternal tenderis the Spectator. About three-sevenths of the ness; who had listened to his cries before they works are his; and it is no exaggeration to say could form themselves in prayer; who had prethat his worst essay is as good as the best essay served his youth from the snares of vice; who of any of his coadjutors. His best essays ap. had made his cup run over with worldly bless. proach near to absolute perfection; nor is their ings; who had doubled the value of those bless. excellence more wonderful than their variety. | ings by bestowing a thankful heart to enjoy His invention never seems to flag; nor is he them and dear friends to partake them ; who ever under the necessity of repeating himself, had rebuked the waves of the Ligurian gulf, had or of wearing out a subject. There are no purified the autumnal air of the Campagna, and dregs in his wine. He regales us aster the had restrained the avalanches of Mount Cenis. fashion of that prodigal nabob who held that of the Psalms, his favourite was that which
represents the Ruler of all things under the Adversity borrows its sharpest sting from our endearing image of a shepherd, whose crook | impatience.
Bishop HORNE. guides the flock safe through gloomy and deso
| As adversity leads us to think properly of our late glens, to meadows well watered and rich , with herbage. On that goodness to which he
" state, it is most beneficial to us. ascribed all the happiness of his life he relied in
Dr. S. JOHNSON. the hour of death with the love which casteth | All is well as long as the sun shines and the out fear. LORD MACAULAY: Addison. fair breath of heaven gently wafts us to our own
purposes. But if you will try the excellency and feel the work of faith, place the man in a
persecution ; let him ride in a storm; let his ADMIRATION.
bones be broken with sorrow, and his evelids Admiration is a short-lived passion, that im- / loosed with sickness; let his bread be dipped mediately decays upon growing familiar with its with tears, and all the daughters of music be object, unless it be still fed with fresh discov- | brought low ; let us come to sit upon the mar. eries.
gin of our grave, and let a tyrant lean hard
upon our fortunes and dwell upon our wrong; All things are admired either because they
let the storm arise, and the keels toss till the are new or because they are great.
cordage crack, or that all our hopes buige under
LORD BACON. I us, and descend into the hollowness of sad The passions always move, and therefore misfortunes.
JEREMY TAYLOR. (consequently) please : for without motion there
Some kinds of adversity are chiefly of the can be no delight; which cannot be considered character of TRIALS and others of DISCIPLINE. but as an active passion. When we view those But Bacon does not advert to this difference. elevated ideas of nature, the result of that view
nor say anything at all about the distinction is admiration, which is always the cause of
between discipline and trial; which are quite pleasure.
different in themselves, but often confounded There is a pleasure in admiration; and this together. By “ discipline" is to be understood
together. By "dis is that which properly causeth admiration: when
anything, whether of the character of adverwe discover a great deal in an object which we sity or not--that has a direct tendency to produce understand to be excellent, and yet we see (we
improvement, or to create some qualification know not how much) more beyond that, which that did not exist before; and by trial, anything our understandings cannot fully reach and com- |
that tends to ascertain what improvement has prehend.
been made, or what qualities exist. Both effects LX
may be produced at once; but what we speak
of is, the proper character of trial, as such, and ADVERSITY.
of discipline, as such.
WHATELY: A remembrance of the good use he had made
Annot. on Bacon's Essay, Of Adversity. of prosperity contributed to support his mind under the heavy weight of adversity which then lay upon him.
ATTERBURY. He that has never known adversity is but
ADVERTISEMENTS. half acquainted with others, or with himself.
But, to consider this subject in its most ridicuConstant success shows us but one side of the world. For, as it surrounds us with friends,
lous lights, advertisements are of great use to who will tell us only our merits, so it silences
the vulgar. First of all, as they are instruments those enemies from whom alone we can learn
of ambition. A man that is by no means big
enough for the Gazette may easily creep into our defects.
the advertisements; by which means we often In the struggles of ambition, in violent com- see an apothecary in the same paper or news petitions for power or for glory, how slender the with a plenipotentiary, or a running footman partition between the widest extremes of fortune, with an ambassador. An advertisement from and how few the steps and apparently slight the Piccadilly goes down to posterity with an article circumstances which sever the throne from the from Madrid, and John Bartlett of Goodman's. prison, the palace from the tomb! So Tibni fields is celebrated in the same paper with the died, says the sacred historian, with inimitable Emperor of Germany. Thus the fable tells us simplicity, and Omri reigned.
that the wren mounted as high as the eagle, by ROBERT HALL:
getting upon his back. Sermon for the Princess Charlotte.
ADDISON: Tatler, No. 224. Concerning deliverance itself from all ad. The advertisements which appear in a public versity we use not to say, “Men are in adver- journal take rank among the most significant sity," whensoever they feel any small hindrance indications of the state of society of that time of their welfare in this world; but when some and place. The wants, the wishes, the means, notable affliction or cross, some great calamity the employments, the books, the amusements, or trouble, befalleth them. HOOKER. I the medicines, the trade, the economy of do. mestic households, the organization of wealthy rosive; reading good books of morality is a establishments, the relation between masters little flat and dead; observing our faults in and servants, the wages paid to workmen, the others is sometimes improper for our case; but rents paid for houses, the prices charged for the best receipt (best, I say, to work and best to commodities, the facilities afforded for travel take) is the admonition of a friend. It is a ling, the materials and fashions for dress, strange thing to behold what gross errors and the furniture and adornments of houses, the extreme absurdities many (especially of the varieties and systems of schools, the appearance greater sort) do commit for want of a friend to and traffic of towns,-all receive illustration from tell them of them, to the great damage both of such sources. It would be possible to write a | their fame and fortune. very good social history of England during the
LORD BACON: last two centuries from the information fur
Essay XXVIII. : Of Friendship. nished by advertisements alone.
Household Words. To take advice of some few friends is ever
honourable ; for lookers-on many times see more than gamesters; and the vale best discovereth
the hill. There is little friendship in the world, ADVICE.
and least of all between equals, which was wont
to be magnified. That that is, is between suThe truth of it is, a woman seldom asks ad- perior and inferior, whose fortunes may comvice before she has bought her wedding clothes.
| prehend the one the other. When she has made her own choice, for form's
LORD BACON: Essay L.: Of Suitors. sake she sends a congé d'élire to her friends.
If we look into the secret springs and motives Whoever is wise, is apt to suspect and be that set people at work on these occasions, and diffident of himself, and upon that account is put them upon asking advice which they never willing to “ hearken unto counsel ;” whereas intend to take, I look upon it to be none of the the foolish man, being in proportion to his folly least, that they are incapable of keeping a full of himself, and swallowed up in conceit, secret which is so very pleasing to them. A girl
will seldom take any counsel but his own, and longs to tell her confidante that she hopes to be for that very reason because it is his own. married in a little time; and, in order to talk
J. BALGUY. of the pretty fellow that dwells so much in her
Advice, however earnestly sought, however thoughts, asks her very gravely what she would
ardently solicited, if it does not coincide with advise her to do in a case of so much difficulty.
a man's own opinions, if it tends only to invesADDISON: Spectator, No. 475. tigate the improprieties, to correct the criminal There is nothing which we receive with so
excesses of his conduct, to dissuade from a much reluctance as advice. We look upon the
continuance and to recommend a reformation man who gives it us as offering an affront to
of his errors, seldom answers any other purpose our understanding, and treating us like children
| than to put him out of humour with himself, or idiots. We consider the instruction as an
and to alienate his affections from the adviser. implicit censure, and the zeal which any one
Rr. Hon. GEORGE CANNING : shows for our good on such an occasion as a
Microcosm, No. 18. piece of presumption or impertinence. The We ask advice, but we mean approbation. truth of it is, the person who pretends to advise
COLTON: Lacon. does, in that particular, exercise a superiority
It is always safe to learn, even from our eneover us, and can have no other reason for it but that, in comparing us with himself, he thinks us
mies-seldom safe to instruct, even our friends. defective either in our conduct or our under
COLTON: Lacon. standing. For these reasons, there is nothing Good counsels observed, are chains to grace, so difficult as the art of making advice agree. which neglected, prove halters to strange unable; and indeed all the writers, both ancient dutiful children.
T. FULLER. and modern, have distinguished themselves
It is by no means necessary to imagine that among one another according to the perfection
he who is offended at advice was ignorant of at which they have arrived in this art. How
the fault, and resents the admonition as a false many devices have been made use of to render this bitter potion palatable! Some convey their
charge ; for perhaps it is most natural to be eninstructions to us in the best chosen words,
raged when there is the strongest conviction of others in the most harmonious numbers; some
our own guilt. While we can easily desend our in points of wit, and others in short proverbs.
character, we are no more disturbed by an accusa
tion than we are alarmed by an enemy whom we ADDISON: Spectator, No. 512.
are sure to conquer, and whose attack, therefore, Counsel is of two sorts; the one concerning will bring us honour without danger. But when a manners, the other concerning business : for the man feels the reprehension of a friend seconded first, the best preservative to keep the mind in by his own heart, he is easily heated into rehealth is the faithful admonition of a friend. sentment and revenge, either because he hoped The calling of a man's self to a strict account that the fault of which he was conscious had is a medicine sometimes too piercing and cor- l escaped the notice of others; or that his friend