The Coverley Papers
Author: Various
Previous Part     1  2  3  4
Home - Random Browse


'Your most sorrowful servant,


'P. S. My master desired, some weeks before he died, that a book which comes up to you by the carrier, should be given to Sir ANDREW FREEPORT, in his name.'

This letter, notwithstanding the poor butler's manner of writing it, gave us such an idea of our good old friend, that upon the reading of it there was not a dry eye in the club. Sir ANDREW opening the book, found it to be a collection of acts of parliament. There was in particular the Act of Uniformity, with some passages in it marked by Sir ROGER'S own hand. Sir ANDREW found that they related to two or three points, which he had disputed with Sir ROGER the last time he appeared at the club. Sir ANDREW, who would have been merry at such an incident on another occasion, at the sight of the old man's hand-writing burst into tears, and put the book into his pocket. Captain SENTRY informs me, that the Knight has left rings and mourning for every one in the club.



Page 1.

9. black. Dark. Cf. Shakespeare, Sonnet cxxvii:

In the old days black was not counted fair,

or Love's Labour's Lost, iv, iii. 265:

Paints itself black to imitate her brow.

Page 2.

6. depending. Undetermined. In law, pending. Cf. Shakespeare, Cymbeline, iv. iii. 23:

We'll slip you for a season; but our jealousy Does yet depend.

24. public exercises. Academic discussions maintained by candidates for degrees at the older universities. Traces appear in the term 'Wrangler' (Cambridge) and in the supplementary viva voce examination.

Page 3.

5-10. I made ... satisfaction. Addison is alluding to John Greaves, who journeyed to Egypt in 1638 and published a learned work entitled Pyramidographia.

17 et seq. Will's, v. Appendix I, On Coffee-houses. Also for Child's (3. 19), St. James's (22), the Grecian (25), the Cocoa-Tree (25), and Jonathan's (29).

20. the Postman, edited by a Frenchman, M. Fonvive, is mentioned in a contemporary account by John Dunton as the best of the newspapers. It was published weekly.

23. politics was frequently used for politicians. Perhaps so used here.

26. Drury-Lane theatre was built in 1674 and burnt down in 1809.

the Hay-Market theatre took its name from the street in which it was situated, which was the site of a market for hay and straw from the reign of Elizabeth till the beginning of the nineteenth century. It was built in 1705.

27. the Exchange is at the east end of the Poultry. It was built by Sir Thomas Gresham and opened by Queen Elizabeth in 1571. It was destroyed by the Great Fire of 1666, and has since been twice rebuilt.

Page 4.

5. blots. In backgammon to expose a man to capture is called leaving a blot.

23. so many ... which. Mixed construction: the many ... which or so many ... as.

32. spoken to. Obsolete in ordinary speaking and writing; survives in oratory.

34. my lodgings. The Spectator discourses on this subject in No. 12.

Page 5.

10. complexion. Aspect, appearance. Cf. Shakespeare, Richard II., III. ii. 194:

Men judge by the complexion of the sky The state and inclination of the day.

12. discoveries. Revelations, disclosures. Cf. Shakespeare, Rape of Lucrece, 1314:

She dares not thereof make discovery.

14. having been thus particular upon. Having related so many details concerning.

18. For the prevalence of clubs v. Spectator 9.

19. engaged me. Made me undertake.

21. Mr. Buckley's. The printer of the Spectator.

Little Britain, formerly the mansion of the Duke of Bretagne, near Aldersgate Street, was the regular booksellers' quarter.


Page 6.

5. Sir Roger de Coverley. For a discussion of the identity of Sir Roger and the other characters v. Appendix II, On the Spectator's Acquaintance. The name was suggested by Swift (Elwin).

7. that famous country-dance. Originated by the minstrels of Sir Roger of Calverley in the reign of Richard I. (Wills).

8. parts. Qualifications, capacities. Cf. Shakespeare, King Lear, i. iv. 285:

My train are men of choice and rarest parts.

17. Soho-Square, south of Oxford Street, was a fashionable place of residence. The name is derived from the cry 'So Hoe' in use when the Mayor and Corporation hunted the hare over the fields of that district.

In Spectator 329 Sir Roger says that he is staying in Norfolk- Buildings.

19. a perverse beautiful widow. v. Appendix II.

22. Lord Rochester, the poet-wit, who died in 1680, was notorious as a leader of fashionable dissipation. In this connexion he is mentioned by Evelyn and Pepys.

Sir George Etherege, author of The Man of Mode and two other comedies, was the companion of Rochester in dissipation and notoriety. He died in 1691.

23. Bully Dawson. A notorious ruffian and sharper.

29. doublet. A coat reaching just below the waist, introduced from France in the fourteenth century.

Page 7.

9. justice of the Quorum. County justice, magistrate. Quorum was a prominent word in their commission of appointment.

10. quarter-session. The quarterly meeting of magistrates, at which cases sent up from petty sessions are tried. The word is now always used in the plural form, sessions, as in Spectator 126.

12. the game-act originated in the Game Laws of William the Conqueror. The first Game Act was passed in 1496, and the one in force at the time of Addison's writing in the reign of Anne. By these enactments a man was qualified to take out a licence to kill game by his birth or estate. The usual qualification was the possession of land to the value of 100 pounds per annum.

14. the Inner-Temple was originally the property of the Knights Templars. It was converted into Inns of Court in 1311, after the suppression of the military knighthoods.

17. humoursome. Whimsical, capricious. Cf. Shakespeare, 2 Henry IV., IV. iv. 34, 'As humorous as winter.'

20. the house. The fraternity of lawyers.

Aristotle and Longinus. Aristotle's Poetics and the essay 'On the Sublime' of Longinus are the basis of all classical criticism. Longinus was a critic of the third century. Addison probably knew him in Boileau's famous translation of 1674.

21. Littleton. Author of a famous book on Tenures. He died in 1481.

Coke. The famous seventeenth century jurist and Chief Justice. He is best known by his commentary on Littleton's Tenures.

28. Demosthenes. The famous Athenian orator of the fourth century B.C.

29. Tully. Marcus Tullius Cicero, the great Roman orator of the last century B.C.

31. wit. Understanding, perception. 'True wit consists in the resemblance of ideas' when that resemblance is 'such an one that gives delight and surprise to the reader.' (Dryden.) Cf. Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, III. ii. 225:

I have neither wit, nor words, nor worth.

32. turn. Bent, proclivity.

34. taste of. Obsolete. Modern English, taste in.

Page 8.

5. the time of the play varied from about five o'clock to half-past six. Cf. Spectator 335, where Sir Roger leaves Norfolk Street at four o'clock for the play.

6. New-Inn. A square in Lincoln's Inn. Russel-Court. A turning out of Drury Lane.

7. turn. Short time.

8. periwig. The long curled dress wig introduced at the Restoration.

9. the Rose was the actors' tavern in Covent Garden.

18. the British common. The sea stands to Britain in the relation that the village common does to the village community.

Page 9.

5. Captain Sentry. v. Appendix II.

19. left the world. Retired from public life.

32. his own vindication. The claim he makes for himself.

Page 10.

9. humourists. Eccentrics. Cf. Ben Jonson, Prologue to The Alchemist:

Many persons more Whose manners, now call'd humours, feed the stage.

11. Will Honeycomb. v. Appendix II.

20. habits. Clothes. Cf. Shakespeare, Hamlet, I. iii. 70:

Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy.

30. the Duke of Monmouth was the natural son of Charles II., and was famous for his personal beauty and fine manners. He was executed in 1685 for pretending to the crown. Mention is made of him in the diaries of Evelyn and Pepys.

Page 11.

22. chamber-counsellor. A consulting lawyer, who does not conduct cases in the courts.

26. gone. Advanced.


Page 12.

13. humour. Disposition. Cf. Shakespeare, 2 Henry IV., II. iv. 256, 'What humour's the prince of?—A good shallow young fellow.'

31. pad. A horse of easy paces. Obsolete.

Page 13.

13. engages. Binds in affection.

14. is pleasant upon. Jests concerning. Cf. Shakespeare, Taming of the Shrew, III. i. 58:

Take it not unkindly, pray, That I have been thus pleasant with you both.

30. conversation. v. note on p. 23, 1. 16.

34. in several of my papers. Once only, p. 6, 1. 10.

Page 14.

22. The meaning of this hint is explained in Spectator 517.

Page 15.

8 et seq. All contemporary or recently dead divines.


Page 16.

12. family. Household. Obsolete. Cf. Shakespeare, Othello, I. 1. 84:

Signior, is all your family within?

Page 17.

1. stripped, of his livery, i.e. discharged. Cf. Shakespeare, Othello, II. i. 173, 'Such tricks as these strip you out of your lieutenantry.'

17. cast. Discarded. Cf. old saw:

Ne'er cast a clout till May be out.

29. in bestowing. Elliptical. Sc. which consist before in bestowing.

32. husband. Manager. Cf. Shakespeare, Henry VIII., III. ii. 142:

Your earthly audit; sure, in that I deem you an ill husband.

35. fine when a tenement falls. When a tenement became vacant, the incoming tenant paid dues to the landlord.

Page 18.

18. manumission. Release. The word is derived from the process of freeing a Roman slave—manumissio.

28. that fortune was all the difference between them. That their inferior position did not imply an inferiority of nature.

Page 19.

1. prentice. Shortened form of apprentice. Cf. Shakespeare, 2 Henry IV., II. ii. 194, 'From a prince to a prentice.'


Page 20.

2. Mr. William Wimble, v. Appendix II.

8. jack. Pike.

32. angle-rods. Fishing-rods. Cf. Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra, II. v. 10:

Give me mine angle,—we'll to the river.

officious. Serviceable, ready to do things for other people. The word is now restricted to its bad sense of meddlesome. Cf. Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus, v. ii. 202:

Come, come, be every one officious To make this banquet.

35. correspondence. Communication.

36. a tulip-root. William III. brought to England the passion for tulip-growing which originated in Holland. At this time it was already on the wane in England.

Page 21.

5. setting dog. Setter.

made. Trained.

10. humours. Pleasantries.

Page 22.

4. played with it. Now played it.

9. quail-pipe. A pipe with which quails are lured to the nets.

26. humour. Whim, notion. Cf. Shakespeare, I Henry IV, III. i. 237, 'You are altogether governed by humours.'

Page 23.

4. turned. Adapted.

8. my twenty-first speculation argues that it is better for a man to go into trade than to enter an over-crowded profession, and reproves 'parents who will not rather choose to place their sons in a way of life where an honest industry cannot but thrive, than in stations where the greatest probity, learning, and good sense may miscarry.'


Page 23.

16. conversation. Intercourse, behaviour. Cf. Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra, II. vi. 131, 'Octavia is of a holy, cold, and still conversation.'

Page 24.

1. jetting. Projecting. Cf. Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus, II. i. 64:

How dangerous It is to jet upon a prince's right.

habit. v. note on p. 10, 1. 20.

2. The bonnet of the Yeomen of the Guard is a round cap of black velvet with a gold band.

10. the tilt-yard. Formerly the yard of St. James's Palace.

11. Whitehall was formerly a royal palace. It was almost entirely destroyed in the two fires of 1691 and 1697.

14. target. Small shield. Cf. Shakespeare, 3 Henry VI., II i. 40:

Bear Upon my target three fair-shining suns.

16. pommel. Rim in front of saddle.

17. rid. Obsolete. Now rode.

tournament. Here used for lists.

24. the coffee-house, v. Appendix I.

27. bass-viol. A large fiddle-shaped instrument held between the legs. It was very fashionable in the eighteenth century, and was generally to be found in the sitting-rooms of the upper classes for the use of any guests who could perform on it. It is the viol-de-gamboys of Sir Andrew Aguecheek (Twelfth Night, i. iii. 27).

28. basket-hilt. Steel hilt shaped like a basket.

Page 25.

1. go-cart. A sort of cage on small wheels for teaching children to walk.

5. hasty-pudding. A kind of batter made of flour or meal and water.

6. white-pot. A very rich Devonshire dish.

20. slashes. Slits to show the lining of a garment.

Page 26.

18. knight of this shire. Member of Parliament for this county.

30. such. Such and such, a certain. Cf. Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice, I. iii. 128, 'You spurned me such a day.'

Page 27.

2. discourse of. Discourse concerning. Cf. Shakespeare, Two Gentlemen of Verona, II. iv. 140:

Now no discourse, except it be of love.

6. the battle of Worcester, 1651, was the final defeat of Charles II. by Cromwell.

7. whim. Whimsical idea.


Page 27.

22. Psalm cxlvii. 9, 'He giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry.'

Page 28.

25. Locke. The author of the Essay on the Human Understanding died in 1704. The reference is to II. xxxiii. 10.

26. curious. Elaborate, minutely detailed. Cf. Shakespeare, Cymbeline, V. v. 361:

A most curious mantle, wrought by the hand Of his queen mother.

Page 29.

14. by that means. On that account. Cf. Shakespeare, 2 Henry VI., II. i. 178:

By this means Your lady is forthcoming yet at London.

Page 30.

8. Lucretius. Poet and philosopher of the last century B.C. His opinion on this point is expressed in De Rerum Natura, IV. 29, 33, et seq.

13. pressed. Impressed, constrained.

27. Antiquities of the Jews, XVII. xv. 415.


Page 33.

27. do. Strictly does.

Page 34.

3. incumbent. Occupant (of the clerk's place).

13. tithe-stealers. The tithes being paid in kind, it was easy to cheat the parson out of some portion of them.

16. his patron. The squire, who gave him his living.


Page 35.

11. settled. Salmon thinks that the walk was not actually settled upon the widow as her property, but that it was indissolubly connected with her in Sir Roger's mind.

20. Cf. Orlando in As You Like It, III. ii. 10:

Carve on every tree The fair, the chaste, and unexpressive she.

Page 36.

17. rid. v. note on p. 24, 1. 17.

19. bitted. Trained to carry their heads well with a bearing rein.

22. assizes. Sessions of the court.

Page 37.

20. far gone. Deeply experienced. For this use of gone, cf. Keats, On a Lock of Milton's Hair, 25, 'Grey gone in passion.'

21. confident. Now confidant.

28. humane. Human, civilized.

34. pretended. Presumed, attempted. Cf. Shakespeare, I Henry VI., IV. i. 6:

And none your foes but such as shall pretend Malicious practices against his state.

Page 38.

7. go on with. Continue to charm you with, proceed with.

20. discovered, v. note on p. 5, 1, 12.

31. last. Most extreme.

Page 39.

9. the sphinx. The monster which continued to oppress Thebes until such time as one of her victims should be able to answer the riddle she put to him. Oedipus answered her, and she destroyed herself.

21. a publick table. When away from home, it was usual for a traveller to dine, not at his lodgings, but at a public table or ordinary.

22. tansy. A very popular dish of the seventeenth century, a kind of rich, spiced custard.

Page 40.

3. Martial. A Latin poet of the first century of our era. i. 69.


Page 40.

24. pretending. Pretentious.

in both cases. In both particulars, i.e. fortune and conversation.

Page 41.

12. dipped. Mortgaged.

32. personate. Appear the possessor of.

Page 42.

7, 13. Laertes and Irus. Laertes was king of Ithaca and father of Ulysses; Irus, or properly Arnaeus, a beggar who kept watch over Penelope's suitors. Their names are here introduced as typical of the rich and the poor man.

10. four shillings in the pound. The amount of the land tax.

19. way. If the verb is correctly are, way should be written in the plural.

Page 43.

11. Cowley, the poet and essayist, who died in 1667.

14. author who published his works. Dr. Sprat, Bishop of Rochester, published Cowley's works in 1688.

18. face. Appearance. Cf. Shakespeare, Tempest, 1. ii. 104, 'The outward face of royalty.'

great Vulgar. Cowley concludes his Sixth Essay, Of Greatness, with a translation of Horace, Book III, Ode i, commencing:

Hence, ye profane, I hate ye all, Both the great vulgar, and the small.

25. lately mentioned. In Steele's last paper, Spectator 109, p. 26, 1. 29.

26. point. Appoint. Cf. Shakespeare, Sonnet xiv. 6:

Pointing to each his thunder, rain and wind.

Page 44.

2. being. Existence, state of being. Cf. Shakespeare, Sonnet lxxxi. II:

Tongues to be your being shall rehearse.

7. relish. Taste, enjoyment. Cf. Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida, III. ii. 20:

The imaginary relish is so sweet

10. mansions. Abiding-places. Cf. St. John, xiv. 2, 'In my Father's house are many mansions.'

13. Quoted from an earlier passage in the same essay (v. note on p. 43, 1. 18).


Page 45.

26. the spleen. Melancholy disposition, not the organ of that name. Cf. Shakespeare, As You Like It, iv. i. 217, 'Begot of thought, conceived of spleen.'

27. the vapours. Moods of depression. Cf. Fielding, Amelia, iii. 7, 'Some call it the fever on the spirits, some a nervous fever, some the vapours, some the hysterics.'

29 et seq. The argument runs: nature has adapted the body to exercise, therefore exercise is necessary to our well-being. This is sound only on the assumptions that everything which nature performs is based on necessity, and that the body has been made in such a way as to secure our well-being.

30. proper. Fit. Cf. Shakespeare, Hamlet, II. i. 114:

It is as proper to our age To cast beyond ourselves in our opinions.

Page 46.

8. laboured. Worked, tilled. The verb is no longer used transitively.

14. condition. State of prosperity, material circumstances. Cf. Shakespeare, 2 Henry VI, v. i. 64, 'One so rude and of so mean condition.'

22. chace. The substantive was distinguished from the verb by its spelling. Cf. modern practice, practise.

34. patched. Perhaps with reference to the black patches worn on the face to enhance its beauty; perhaps merely covered here and there, studded.

Page 47.

1. distinction sake. The 's of the possessive is omitted before the initial s of sake.

6. The perverse widow, v. Spectator 113.

8. amours. Used of a single love-affair.

12. sits. Couches in her form or seat.

18. Doctor Sydenham, the celebrated physician, who died in 1689.

22. Medicina Gymnastica, by Francis Fuller, was printed in 1705.

24. dumb bell. An apparatus resembling that used for ringing a church bell, but wanting the bell itself. The use of the modern form of dumb-bell was introduced into England in Elizabeth's reign. It is described in the next paragraph under the name of skiomachia.

33. a Latin treatise. Artis Gymnastica apud Antiquos, by Hieronymus Mercurialis, 1569.

Page 48.

2. loaden. The verb has now become weak; loaded.

9. uneasy. Troublesome.


Page 48.

25. the Bastile. The State prison in Paris, which was destroyed by the mob in 1789 (v. Coleridge's poem on this subject, and the stirring description in Dickens' Tale of Two Cities, II. xxi.).

Page 49.

20. Budgell has somewhat defaced the character of Sir Roger by this touch, and by the inhuman humanity of p. 52, 1. 18.

24. managed. Broken in. Cf. Shakespeare, Richard II., III. iii. 179:

Wanting the manage of unruly jades.

25. stone-horse. Stallion.

26. staked himself. Impaled himself on a stake in jumping.

29. beagles. Small hounds formerly employed in hunting the hare. Cf. White's Selborne, Letter VI, 'One solitary grey hen was sprung by some beagles in beating for a hare.' They are now superseded by harriers, which are still sometimes called by their name.

30. Stop-hounds. So called because when one of them found the scent he stopped and squatted 'to impart more effect to his deep tones, and to get wind for a fresh start' (Wills).

32. mouths. Voices. Cf. Shakespeare, Henry V., II. iv. 70:

For coward dogs Most spend their mouths when what they seem to threaten Runs far before them.

33. cry. Pack. Cf. Shakespeare, Coriolanus, III. iii. 120,

'You common cry of curs.'

34. nice. Fastidious. Cf. Shakespeare, Love's Labour's Lost, v. ii. 219, 'We'll not be nice; take hands.'

Page 50.

5. counter-tenor. Alto.

8. iv. i. 124. Shakespeare was not in Budgell's day so common a reservoir of quotations as he has since become. Dryden had appreciated him, but he was in general very little known, even among men of letters.

15. Hunting in July must have entailed great loss on the farmers before it was forbidden by the Game Laws of 1831.

17. pad. v. note on p. 12, 1. 31.

19. rid. v. note on p. 24, 1. 17.

20. benevolence. In its literal meaning of goodwill.

25. rid. Now obsolete: ridden.

Page 51.

7. chace. v. note on p. 46, 1. 22.

35. took. Betook herself to. Cf. Shakespeare, Comedy of Errors, v. i. 36:

Run, master, run; for God's sake, take a house!

Page 52.

2. chiding. Barking. Cf. Shakespeare, Midsummer Night's Dream, iv. i. 120:

Never did I hear Such gallant chiding.

10. his pole. The huntsman followed on foot, carrying a long leaping-pole, which permitted him to keep a straighter course than he could have done on horseback, owing to the state of the country.

26. Monsieur Paschal, the great French philosopher of the seventeenth century, who died in 1662.

Page 53.

12. habit. State, condition.

17. But the Spectator's hunting has only consisted of watching the chase from a rising ground!

24. Epistle to John Dryden, 73-4, 88-95.


Page 54.

4. neuter. Neutral, Cf. Shakespeare, Richard II., II. iii. 159, 'Be it known to you I do remain as neuter.'

engaging. Pledging. Cf. Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice, III. ii. 264:

I have engaged myself to a dear friend.

6. determination. Decision. Cf. Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, III. ii. 258, 'He humbles himself to the determination of justice.'

15. particular. Individual. Cf. Shakespeare, All's Well that Ends Well, I. i. 97:

That I should love a bright particular star.

Page 65.

7. applied herself. Cf. Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra, v. 2. 126:

If you apply yourself to our intents,

where the word is used in a somewhat different sense. It is now used reflexively only in the sense of applying oneself to the performance of an action.

8. Otway, the poet and playwright, died in 1685. The quotation is from his play of The Orphan, II. i. The first line should run:

Through a close lane....

36. palmed. Foisted, falsely attributed.

Page 60.

16. tabby. Brindled or sometimes female, as opposed to tom-cat. The meaning is derived from the word tabby, a name for watered silk.

28. a bounty. The concrete sense of this word has been lost.

33. trying experiments with her. Testing her by ordeal.

Page 57.

1. Sir Roger's doubtfulness on the subject of witchcraft was not exceptional. In 1664 Sir Thomas Browne had assisted in the condemnation of a witch. In 1711 there were two executions for witchcraft, and in 1712 Jane Wenham was sentenced, but afterwards pardoned. In 1716 there were again two executions, and although the Act was repealed in 1736, an old woman was done to death by the mob as late as 1751.

3. bound her over to. sc. appear at.

14. commerce and familiarities with the devil or evil spirits.


Page 68.

9. of all others. A classic construction. For a similar inaccurate phrase cf. Milton, Paradise Lost, iv. 324, 'The fairest of her daughters Eve.' The phrase occurs also on p. 41, 1. 33.

24. salute. Kiss. Cf. Shakespeare, As You Like It, III. ii. 50,

You salute not at the court, but you kiss your hands.

33. set a mark upon, in order to know and to shun them.

35. pleasant. Amusing, ridiculous. Cf. Shakespeare, Taming of the Shrew, Induction, ii. 132, 'Play a pleasant comedy.'

Page 59.

13. conduct. Guidance. Cf. Shakespeare, 2 Henry IV., V. ii. 36: Led by the impartial conduct of my soul.

19. is addressed to. Has addresses paid to her.

presented. Given presents. The verb is not now used without the indirect completion, 'to be presented with a thing.'

26. personated. Affected, feigned. Cf. Spectator 555, 'A personated character.'

Page 60.

24. honest. Honourable. Cf. Shakespeare, Othello, III. iii. 225: I do not think but Desdemona's honest.

Page 61.

23. reads upon. Reads on the subject of.

26. policies. Arrangements, economy, administration.


Page 62.

7. manners. Customs, habits. Cf. Shakespeare, Comedy of Errors, I. ii. 12, 'I'll view the manners of the town.'

12. article. Particular. Cf. Shakespeare, Othello, III. iii. 22:

I'll perform it To the last article.

Now concrete in sense: a material object.

23. Conversation. v. note on p. 23, 1. 16.

30. modish. Fashionable. Sc p. 64, 1. 2, 'Men of mode,' and p. 63, 1, 3, 'People of mode.'

Page 64.

31. the country are. Properly is.

Page 65.

3. upon the western circuit. As judge.


Page 65.

29. demonstrative. Conclusive. Cf. Shakespeare, Henry V., II. iv. 89: In every branch truly demonstrative.

Page 66.

11. the leaving a posterity. Mixed construction. Leaving should be used either as a gerund, leaving a posterity, or as a verbal noun, the leaving of a posterity.

14. nicer. More delicate.

17. birth. That which they bear, their offspring. Cf. Shakespeare, Othello, I. iii. 410:

Hell and night Must bring this monstrous birth to the world's light.

30. temper. Temperature.

Page 67.

34. which. sc. a circumstance which.

Page 68.

1. as it spreads. To the degree in which it spreads.

16. Take a brute out of his instinct. Consider an animal in matters outside the range of his instinct.

Page 69.

18. do not carry an immediate regard to. Have no immediate bearing on.


Page 70.

7. stepmother. Properly foster-mother.

17. A modern philosopher. M. Bernard, who quotes the Latin saw, is himself quoted by Bayle in a long discussion appended to the articles on Pereira and Rosarius in his Historical Dictionary, a translation of which was printed in 1710. Jacob Tonson, the publisher, declares that the Dictionary was Addison's constant companion.

26. Dampier, the great navigator, printed in 1691 a book entitled A New Voyage round the World.

Page 72.

4. Mr. Locke. v. note on p. 28, 1. 25. The reference is to ii. 9, 13.

19. Dr. More was one of the original members of the Royal Society. He died in 1687.

Cardan or Cardano, was an Italian philosopher of the sixteenth century. The citation is from De Rerum Subtilitate, x.

Page 73.

13. Mr. Boyle. A famous natural philosopher, and member of the Royal Society, who died in 1691. The citation is from A Disquisition about the Final Causes of Natural Things.

18. one humour. The typical eye of the higher animals consists of a lens and two humours or fluids, known as the aqueous and the vitreous.

33. our Royal Society. Founded in 1662.

Page 74.

2. original. Origin. Cf. Shakespeare, 2 Henry IV, I. ii. 131, 'It hath its original from much grief.'

3. policies. v. note on p. 61, 1. 26.

14. Howling Wilderness and Great Deep. Deuteronomy, xxxii. 10, 'He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness.' Psalm li. 10, 'The waters of the great deep.'

25. Tully. v. note on p. 7, 1. 29.

29. nice. Accurate, precise. Cf. Shakespeare, Much Ado about Nothing, v. i. 75:

Despite his nice fence and his active practice.


Page 75.

8. approbations. Not now used in the plural.

21. assizes, v. note on p. 36, 1. 22.

23. rid. v. note on p. 24, 1. 17.

28. the game-act, v. note on p. 7, 1. 12.

Page 76.

3. shoots flying. This accomplishment was just coming into fashion, and was not yet common.

4. the petty-jury, which actually gives a verdict on cases tried. The grand jury decides whether cases shall be sent up for trial.

8. quarter-sessions, v. note on p. 7, 1. 10.

14. cast and been cast. To defeat or be defeated or condemned in a trial or law-suit. Cf. Milton, Eikonoklastes, 'The Commons by far the greatest number cast him.'

34. was sat. Was seated.

Page 77.

2. for. For the sake of, in order to enhance.

Page 78.

11. be at the charge. Bear the expense.

29. conjuring. Urging. Cf. Shakespeare, Comedy of Errors, iv. iii. 68:

I conjure you to leave me and be gone.


Page 80.

8. a novel at this time meant a short fictitious tale, generally of love.

9. Eudoxus and Leontine. This charming story is reminiscent of Shakespeare's Winter's Tale. Leontine, the friend who has a daughter, may well trace his descent from Leontes, King of Sicilia. Eudoxus must stand for Polixenes, King of Bohemia, since his son Florio is certainly the shadow of Prince Florizel. The plot hinges on the fact that both of the children, like the daughter of Leontine's prototype, grow up in ignorance of their parentage, and in both cases there is an apparent inequality of fortune between the lovers.

In a letter of the same date addressed to Mr. Wortley, Addison writes: 'When you have a son I shall be glad to be his Leontine, as my circumstances will probably be like his.' He had just sustained heavy losses.

32. turned of. We should now say turned.

33. Cowley, Essay X, 'But there is no fooling with life when it is once turned beyond forty.'

Page 81.

1. In order to this. In order to accomplish this.

Page 82.

1. dictated. Dictated to, counselled. Not now used transitively of persons.

Page 83.

26. relish, v. note on p. 44, 1. 7.

30. discoveries, v. note on p. 5, 1. 12.


Page 84.

19. St. Anne's Lane. Turning out of Aldersgate Street.

24. prickeared. A contemptuous term applied to Roundheads, in allusion to the effect produced by the shortness of their hair, and borrowed from its ordinary use as applied to mongrel dogs.

Page 85.

7. prejudice of the land-tax. The land-tax was first levied in 1699 to pay for the French War. It was carried by Whig feeling in opposition to the Tory landholders.

the destruction of the game, which would proceed while the country gentlemen were occupied with their party differences.

19. sinks. Used transitively, lowers, diminishes. Cf. Shakespeare, Henry VIII., iii. ii. 383, 'A load would sink a navy.'

28. Plutarch, the great Greek moralist and biographer of the first century of our era. The quotation is from De Inimicorum Utilitate.

Page 86.

2. that great rule. St. Luke, vi. 27, 'Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you.'

10. the regard of. A regard for.

19. an object seen in two different mediums. For instance, a straight stick partly immersed in water appears as if bent at the point at which it enters the water. The rays of light reflected from the position under water, by which we see that portion, are bent when they leave the water and enter the air in such a way as to make that part of the stick appear nearer to our eye than it would appear in air.

Page 87.

4. postulatums. The word has now become Anglicized in a different form, postulate, plural postulates.

15. Guelfes and Gibellines. The opposing political parties in Germany and Italy from the twelfth to the fifteenth century. In Italy they were the adherents of the Pope and the Emperor respectively.

16. the League. The Holy League, formed in 1576, in the Roman Catholic interest.

17. unhappy. Unfortunate. Cf. Shakespeare, Comedy of Errors, IV. iv. 126, 'O most unhappy day!'


Page 89.

7. such persons, that. Mixed construction: all persons that or such persons as. Frequent in Shakespeare; cf. Measure for Measure, II. ii. 147:

Such things That want no ear but yours.

16. retainers. Followers, adherents.

28. Diodorus Siculus, a Greek historian of the last century B.C. The citation is from his universal history, a work in forty books, i. 35. 7.

30. Ichneumon. An animal belonging to the same family as the civets. The Egyptian ichneumon, known also as Pharaoh's cat, was held sacred among the ancient Egyptians because of its propensity for destroying crocodiles' eggs, but unfortunately for Addison's illustration, it is now proved that the degenerate ichneumon does actually 'find his account' in feeding upon the eggs which he breaks, whether they be those of crocodiles or merely of the barn-door fowl.

34. finds his account. Receives any recompense or advantage.

Page 90.

8. the wild Tartars. The Tartars are a race of Russians, of Turkish and Mongolian origin. Some of them adhere to the religion of the Greek church, some are Moslems, and some Shamanites. The reference is probably to some Shaman belief, for magic and the spirits of the dead play a very large part in this religion.

12. of course. In due course, in consequence. Cf. Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, III. i. 259, 'This being granted in course, now follows all.'

27. cock-match. Match between fighting-cocks.

humour, v. note on p. 22, 1. 26.

30. quarter-sessions, v. note on p. 7, 1. 10.

34. the landed and ... the monied interest. The land-owner would naturally be a Tory, and the merchant a Whig.

Page 91.

6. interest. Political position, by virtue of which he was returned for his county.

11. such an one. v. note on p. 26, 1. 30. Here, the Tory candidate for the district.

19. take up with. Put up with.

30. a very fair bettor. Quite a good bettor or better.

32. disagreeable. Unpleasing, unpopular.

34. correspondence. v. note on p. 20, 1. 35.

Page 92.

10. fanatick. A madman. Will Wimble suspects the Spectator of unsoundness in politics, that is, of not being of the Tory persuasion.


Page 92.

24. the post would have reached Sir Roger in Worcester twice a week, on Thursdays and Saturdays (Report for 1809.)

25. Dyer's letter. Dyer's News Letter was published three times a week. It dealt more in domestic news than did the regular newspapers, such as The Postman, and was sometimes driven to fill up space by relating fictitious events. Cf. Tatler 18, in which Steele and Addison declare that Dyer is famous for whales in the Thames!

29. under the quality of. In the office of. Cf. Shakespeare, Henry V., III. vi. 146, 'What is thy name? I know thy quality.'

Page 93.

2. ordinary. Used as an adverb.

5. expence. Now expense, v. note on chace, p. 46, 1. 22.

13. You praised them. v. Spectator 98, On Ladies' Headdresses.

14. the humour. The fluid which causes the disease.

30. Sir George Etherege. v. note on p. 6, 1. 22. His first comedy, 1664, was entitled The Comical Revenge, or Love in a Tub. The reference is to IV. vi.

Page 94.

2. the farthingale was a framework for extending the skirt of a woman's dress. It was introduced in 1545, and finally assumed a perfectly cylindrical shape.

the ruin of the Spanish monarchy. The defeat and dispersal of the Armada in 1558.

5. the tail of a blazing star. Comets have always been held to foretell disaster.

11. into meetings and conventicles. That is, to Dissent.

12. trunk-breeches. Very full, short breeches, reaching to the knee or half-way down the thigh.

16. it is recorded of Alexander the Great in Plutarch's Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans. 'He first contrived many vain and sophistical things to serve the purposes of fame; among which were arms much bigger than his men could use ... left scattered up and down.' This report is probably baseless, as it is opposed to the magnanimity of Alexander's character.

28. Rotunda. A building of circular shape both outside and inside, such as the Pantheon in Rome.

31. a little black monkey enshrined. Each Egyptian village had its sacred animal or fetish.

Page 95.

8. the sensitive plant. Mimosa pudica, whose leaflets fold together at a touch.


Page 96.

9. from thence. A redundant expression. Thence is in itself equivalent to from there. Cf. Shakespeare, Comedy of Errors, IV. iv. 79, 'Did not I in rage depart from thence?'

Page 97.

4. carries it. Succeeds. Cf. Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida, II. iii. 228, 'Shall pride carry it?'

Page 98.

3. the younger Faustina, the profligate wife of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus.

25. your was frequently used instead of the in naming an object as typical of its class, especially when the speech carries any flavour of pleasantry. Cf. Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, IV. ii. 46, 'Every true man's apparel fits your thief.'

Page 99.

1. Aristus. aristos, best.

Aspasia. The mistress of Pericles, and the inspiration of his greatness.


Page 99.

17. periwig. v. note on p. 8, 1. 8.

Page 100.

1. habits, v. note on p. 10, 1. 20.

5. the mode. v. note on p. 62, 1. 30.

12. engage. Undertake.

23. circuit. v. note on p. 65, 1. 3.

28. Stains, now spelt Staines, in Middlesex, ten miles from London.

29. commode. A wire erection to raise the front of the hair and the cap. First worn by Mlle. Fontange, at the court of Louis XIV. In Spectator 98, Addison notes that head-dresses have diminished in height.

33. the Ramilie cock. A particular way of folding back the flaps of a cocked hat invented after Marlborough's victory at Ramillies, 1706.

Page 101.

10. a Friezland hen. Probably frizzled hen (Gallus crispus) whose feathers stand outward from the body, giving it a much beruffled aspect.

15. retrenching. Cutting back, diminishing. Cf. Milton, Paradise Regained, i. 454:

But this thy glory shall be soon retrenched.

18. franked by a parliament-man. Members of Parliament were privileged to send and receive postal matter free of charge. The custom began in 1660, and was regulated by law in 1764. Until 1837 the member had simply to write his name on the corner of the envelope, and often presented his friends with parcels of franked envelopes. The privilege was abolished in 1840.

22. next. Most recent, last. Obsolete in this sense. Cf. Shakespeare, Henry VIII., I. i. 17, 'Each following day became the next day's master.'

26. in buckle. In curl.

Page 102.

4. astonishments. The plural form is not now in use.

7. bob-wig. A wig with short curls or bobs, to imitate natural curly hair.

18. Monmouth cock. Another fashion of cocking the hat, named after the Duke of Monmouth. v. note on p. 10, 1. 30.

23. night-cap wig. A periwig with a short tie and a small round head.

Page 103.

1. the Steenkirk was a black silk cravat, tied so as to produce an effect of negligence, in imitation of the victorious French generals, when a sudden attack summoned them hastily to the field at the battle of Steinkirk. v. note on Spectator 335.


Page 103.

10. exert the Justice of the Peace. Exercise the authority of a justice of the peace.

Page 104.

15. A Cassandra. A prophetess. Cassandra, daughter of Priam, King of Troy, was inspired by Apollo with the divine frenzy.

17. in a corner. Secretly. Cf. Acts of the Apostles, xxvi. 26, 'This thing was not done in a corner.'

Page 105.

21. our monthly accounts about twenty years ago. From 1681 monthly publications began to appear, the most notable being The Gentleman's Journal, issued by Peter Mottuex, 1691-4, which proved to be the germ of our entire magazine literature.

22. Trekschuyt. Literally draw-boat.

hackney-boat. Boat plying for hire.

Page 106.

4. gave him for. Gave him up for. Cf. Shakespeare, The Winter's Tale, III. ii. 96:

Your favour I do give lost.


Page 107.

17. a month's excursion. In the Spectator for July 2 Addison writes that he went 'last week' to Sir Roger's country-house.

Page 108.

10. killed a man. In a duel. Duelling was still the one way of repudiating an insult. The crusade against it was on foot, but it died hard.

11. visit ... to Moll White, v. Spectator 117.

13. cunning. Learned in magic. Cf. Spectator 505, 'Wizards, gypsies, and cunning men.'

16. a White Witch is a witch who can do no harm, and who sometimes performs beneficent actions. Cf. the use of white in such phrases as white lie.

21. harbour a Jesuit. The last order for the expulsion of the Jesuits was issued in 1602. Those who harboured them in defiance of this order were liable to very heavy penalties.

28. discarded Whig, as Salmon points out, is an exact description of Addison at this time.

29. out of place. Deprived of his post or office.

31. disaffected, to the sovereign.

Page 109.

3. discovers, v. note on p. 5, 1. 12.

7. temper. Temperament, disposition. Cf. Shakespeare, Henry V., V. ii. 153, 'A fellow of this temper.'

26. picking of. As if the gerund, a-picking of.

27. smelling to. Now smelling at.

33. stories of a cock and a bull. Now condensed to cock-and- bull stories. Cf. Burton, Anatomy of Melancholy, II. 11. iv. 274.

Page 110.

6. commonwealth's men. Republicans.


Page 110.

23. chamberlain. Servant who attends the bedchambers. Cf. Milton, On the University Carrier, 1. 14, 'In the kind office of a chamberlin.'

25. Mrs. was the early abbreviation of mistress, which we have now unhappily abbreviated to miss.

Page 111.

8. half-pike. A kind of short lance, the weapon of an infantry officer.

10. equipage. Train, following.

12. cloak-bag. Portmanteau. Cf. Shakespeare, Cymbeline, III. iv. 172:

'Tis in my cloak-bag-doublet, hat, hose, all.

in the seat. Under the actual seat, in the well of the coach.

Page 112.

1. the brideman. Now called the best man.

8. the giving her. The giving of her.

11. Cf. Shakespeare, Henry V., IV. iv. 73, 'The saying is true,— the empty vessel makes the greatest sound.'

19. countenance. In its original meaning of bearing, behaviour. Cf. Shakespeare, Taming of the Shrew, i. i. 234:

Puts my apparel and my countenance on.

22. fleer. Gibe. Cf. Shakespeare, Much Ado about Nothing, V. i. 58, 'Never fleer and jest at me.'

28. hasped up. Shut up.

30. Ephraim was a generic name for Quakers, given them because they refused to fight, v. Psalm lxxviii. 9, 'The children of Ephraim being armed and carrying bows turned back in the day of battle.'

35. smoky. The current slang for shrewd. To smoke a plot or a trick was to detect it; in modern slang to smell a rat.

Page 113.

4. ruffle. Disturbance, commotion.

7. conduct. Cf. note on p. 59, 1. 13.

11. taking place of other vehicles was an important privilege, for the road was generally practicable only for one vehicle at a time, so that the displaced one would have to stop till the road should be clear again.

25. inward. Pious, earnest. Cf. Thomas a Kempis, De Imitatione Christi, II. i. 41, 'a very inward man:' also Penn, Rise and Progress of the Quakers, 1690, 'more religious, inward, still.'

32. thee and I. The Friends generally employ thee for thou. So too in p. 114, 1. 2.

Page 114.

3. affections. Dispositions, feelings. Cf. Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, II. iv. 168:

By the affection that now guides me most.


Page 114.

19. Gray's Inn Walks are said to have been planted by Bacon. They are situated on the north side of Holborn, and were the regular promenade of people of fashion in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, for the air blew straight over from Hampstead, unimpeded by the houses which have since sprung up.

22. Eugene, Prince of Savoy, had arrived in London three days before the date of this paper. He had been Marlborough's colleague in the War of the Spanish Succession, and he had come over in order to attempt to repair the overthrow of Marlborough and to prevent the Tory government from concluding peace with France on ruinous and disgraceful terms.

27. Eugenio was regularly employed by Prince Eugene as his signature, in recognition of his Italian family.

28. Scanderbeg was the great Albanian prince and commander of the fifteenth century, who freed his country from the dominion of Turkey.

Page 115.

15. made. Preached, delivered.

16. Dr. Barrow, v. p. 15, 1. 12.

18. thirty merks. Twenty pounds. A merk or mark was worth 13s 4d. It was not a coin, but only a convenient name, as guinea is now.

21. fob. A small pocket, usually intended to hold a watch.

22. tobacco-stopper. A small plug for pressing down the tobacco in the bowl of the pipe.

28. Tom Touchy. v. Spectator 122.

31. Moll White. v. Spectator 117.

Page 116.

8. hogs-puddings. Large sausage-shaped bags stuffed with minced pork.

18. for twelve days, that is, till Twelfth Night, January 6, which puts an end to the Christmas festivities.

22. smutting. A trick, the victim of which is made unconsciously to blacken his own face. Cf. Goldsmith:

The swain mistrustless of his smutted face While secret laughter tittered round the place.

27. the late act of Parliament for securing the Church of England. The Act of Occasional Uniformity, 1710, attempted to exclude Dissenters from political power and office by strengthening the Test Act of 1673. Dissenters who had once taken the sacrament in order to qualify for civil, military, or magisterial office, were prohibited under very severe penalties from appearing afterwards in sectarian places of worship.

28. securing. Making safe. Cf. Shakespeare, Tempest, II. i. 310, 'We stood here securing your repose.'

Page 117.

6. the Pope's procession was a Whig demonstration performed annually on November 17, the anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth, to relieve the feelings of the Anti-Papal party. This year a particularly riotous procession had been prepared, but it was prevented by the seizure of all the images and accessories by the police in the middle of the preceding night.

17. Baker's Chronicle. Sir Richard Baker, who died in 1645, was the author of A Chronicle of the Kings of England. The observations which Sir Roger applied to Prince Eugene had not, of course, been written with regard to him.

23. Squire's. v. Appendix I.

25. waited on. Attended. Cf. Shakespeare, Two Gentlemen of Verona, III. ii. 96:

We'll wait upon your grace till after supper.

30. the Supplement was 'an alternative edition of The Postboy, by Jacob Abellius, a postscriptorian, otherwise Boyer.' (Fox Bourne.)


Page 118.

5. my paper upon Westminster Abbey. Spectator 26.

8. promised another paper upon the Tombs. 'I have left the repository of our English kings for the contemplation of another day.'

Page 119.

3. the sickness. The plague, which was at Dantzick in 1709.

5. a hackney-coach. A coach let out on hire, the precursor of the modern cab. The hackney-coach was introduced into London in 1625, and in 1715 their number had to be restricted to seven hundred. Cf. p. 105, 1. 22, hackney-boat.

15. engaged in my affections, not betrothed. Cf. p. 13, 1. 13.

34. Sir Cloudesly Shovel, the admiral, who was wrecked off the Scilly Isles in 1707.

Page 120.

2. Dr. Busby, the famous flogging head master, who ruled Westminster School for fifty-five years, 1640-95.

6. the little chapel on the right hand. St. Edmund's Chapel.

9. the lord who had cut off the king of Morocco's head, or who was supposed to have done so on the evidence of his crest.

'a Moor's head orientally crowned,' was Sir Bernard Brocas, a knight of the fourteenth century.

12. the statesman Cecil, in the Chapel of St. Nicholas. Lord Burleigh was Secretary of State to Edward VI., and Lord High Treasurer to Queen Elizabeth.

14. that martyr to good housewifery, who died by the prick of a needle. Elizabeth Russell, whose effigy is sculptured with one finger extended, in reality to direct attention to the death's-head at her feet. Cf. Goldsmith, The Citizen of the World, Letter xiii., in which the guide to the Abbey 'talked of a lady who died by pricking her finger; of a king with a golden head, and twenty such pieces of absurdity'.

21. the two coronation chairs. The ancient chair was made for Edward I. to enclose the stone of Scone, which he had brought from Scotland. It was the sacred coronation stone of the Scottish kings, and was supposed to have come originally from Palestine. Unfortunately for this theory it consists of Scotch sandstone, and, as Wills remarks, 'Sir Roger's question was extremely pertinent.' All succeeding sovereigns have been crowned on this chair and stone. It is now railed in, but in Addison's time it was a source of revenue to the guides, who demanded a fine of any person who should sit in it. The second chair was made for the coronation of William III. and Mary.

24. Jacob's pillar, or pillow, v. Genesis, xxviii. 11, 18, and 22.

30. trepanned. In the two earliest editions spelt trapanned, that is, entrapped. In later editions its spelling was influenced by the word trepan, a surgical operation.

Page 121.

1. Edward the Third's sword. A mighty weapon, seven feet long and weighing eighteen pounds, in the Chapel of Edward the Confessor.

8. touched for the evil. The evil is scrofula. Cf. the use of the sickness, p. 119, 1. 3, for the plague. It was long held to be cured by the royal touch. Dr. Johnson remembered being taken to London to be touched by Queen Anne when he was a small child. She was the last sovereign who practised touching for the evil. Cf. Macbeth, IV. iii. 140-56.

Henry the Fourth's tomb is at Canterbury Cathedral, Henry III. is probably intended.

10. fine reading in the casualties of that reign. In Baker's Chronicle the chapter on The Reign of King Henry IV contains a paragraph entitled Casualties happening in his time, relating the appearance of a 'blazing star', a visit of the Devil 'in the likeness of a Gray Friar', a flood, a fire, and finally a winter so severe 'that almost all small birds died through hunger'.

12. the figure of one of our English kings without an head. The effigy of Henry V. was made of oak covered with silver, but the head was of solid silver, and was stolen at the time of the dissolution of the monasteries, 1536-9.

33. Norfolk-Buildings, in Norfolk Street, Strand, were originally the property of the Howards. For Sir Roger's residence, v. also Spectator 2, p. 6, 1. 17.


Page 122.

9. the Committee was a play by Sir Robert Howard, 1662, the motive of which is ridicule of the Puritans.

12. Distressed Mother, an adaptation by Ambrose Philips of Racine's Andromaque, had been produced on March 17.

15. at the end of the dictionary, where biographical notices of famous persons used to be inserted.

18. the Mohocks. Ever since the Restoration the streets of London had been infested at night with bands of dissolute young men who assaulted and injured men and women by wounding and beating them. No sort of mischief came amiss to them; they effected endless damage by the breaking of windows, and so forth, and a favourite diversion consisted in binding a woman in a barrel, and rolling it down Snow Hill or Ludgate Hill. Their name was derived from the Mohawks, a tribe of North American Indians, and was used to denote savages in general. An especially flagrant outbreak of this Hooliganism was in progress at this time (v, Spectator 324, 332), and on March 17 a royal proclamation against the Mohocks had been issued.

20. black, v. note on p. 1, 1. 9.

21. Fleet Street ran beside the river Fleet, which is now covered over.

22. put on. Hastened.

24. to hunt me. The View Hallo was a favourite and doubtless a very amusing pastime of the Mohocks. The person elected to share in the game was run down and surrounded by a circle of sportsmen, who kept him rotating like a top by pricking him with their swords. Cf. Spectator 332.

26. in King Charles the Second's time the marauders were known as Muns and Tityre-Tus.

Page 123.

8. about four o'clock. For the time of the play, v. note on p. 8, 1. 5.

14. the battle of Steenkirk, 1692, in which the French defeated the allies under William III.

16. oaken plants. Cudgels.

22. the pit was the resort of the critics and people of fashion.

30. Pyrrhus, son of Achilles, was one of the warriors who entered Troy in the wooden horse. He killed Priam, and was given Andromache, the widow of Hector, as his share of the spoil. The play goes on to depict how Hermione, daughter of Menelaus and Helen, was forced by her parents to marry him, and how in consequence her lover Orestes raised the Delphians and killed him.

31. the King of France, whom Sir Roger regards as the leader of fashion.

32. a better strut. By reference to an advertisement of the play in the Spectator for March 17, we learn that the happy possessor of this strut was a certain Mr. Booth.

Page 124.

9. Pyrrhus his. This form of the possessive was in frequent use, especially after proper names ending in s.

21. begun. Obsolete in prose; now began.

25. the widow. Andromache.

27. Astyanax, the son of Hector and Andromache.

35. a very remarkable silence. For an account of the talking and disturbance that usually went on, v. Spectator 45 and 240.

Page 125.

6. Pylades, the close friend of Orestes.

9. the old fellow in whiskers. Phoenix, counsellor to Pyrrhus, a minor character.

12. smoke, make a butt of, amuse themselves with. Cf. modern schoolboy slang, roast.

26. justling. Hustling, jostling. Cf. Shakespeare, Tempest, III. ii. 29, 'I am in case to justle a constable.'


Page 126.

16. that once. We should say that for once.

Page 127.

13. I had formerly boarded with a surgeon, and so was presumably not a strong man.

14. Put. A Devonshire word, the old wretch.

19. waited upon. Visited.

22. Lion's-Inn. An old Inn of Court, destroyed in 1863.

Page 128.

5. spindle. Thin like the stick with which the thread is twisted in spinning.

21. the book I had considered last Saturday. The Tenth Book of Paradise Lost. Addison's famous criticism of this poem, which appeared in the Saturday issue of the Spectator from January 5 to May 3, 1712, was written before Milton had come into his kingdom.

23. the following lines. Paradise Lost, x. 888-908.


Page 129.

20. bounces. Rough, disorderly knocks.

26. Spring-Garden, The new gardens at Vauxhall, not the old Spring Gardens in Whitehall. They are mentioned by Pepys as a place of bad repute.

Page 130.

7. The Temple Stairs were the landing stairs in the grounds of the Temple. Although there was much wheeled traffic in London the river remained a very favourite highway.

14. bate him. Let him off, remit him. Cf. Shakespeare, Tempest, I. ii. 250:

Thou didst promise To bate me a full year.

22. Faux-Hall. The new Spring-Garden took this name from Foukes de Breant, who married the Countess of Albemarle. It is the scene of the matchless Letter XLVI in Fanny Burney's Evelina, and the subject of many allusions in literature.

24. at La Hogue. The original issue reads in Bantry Bay, where the French fleet defeated the English in 1689. The memory of La Hogue, where the French were defeated in 1692 by the English and Dutch, would be more pleasing to the public.

31. London Bridge. Not the bridge now standing, which dates from 1825, but the old bridge built in the thirteenth century.

32. the seven wonders. The Pyramids, the walls and hanging gardens of Babylon, the tomb of Mausolus at Halicarnassus, the temple of Diana at Ephesus, the Colossus of Rhodes, the statue of Jupiter by Phidias at Olympia, and the Pharos of Alexandria.

33. true Englishman. A phrase made popular by Defoe's True- born Englishman, 1701.

Page 131.

4. Temple-Bar. The old gateway between the Strand and Fleet Street, where traitors' heads used to be exhibited. On this side would be the western side, outside the city.

6. the fifty new churches. By the Act of 1710 a duty was imposed on coal for this and other purposes.

15. knight of the shire, v. note on p. 26, 1. 18.

22. put. v. note on p. 127, 1. 14.

23. Thames ribaldry. The waterway was famous for its verbal interchange, some of which has been recorded by Taylor the Water-Poet, Tom Brown, Swift and Dr. Johnson, and of which the amenities of our omnibus-drivers are but a Bowdlerized version.

34. Mahometan paradise. A paradise of the senses.

Page 132.

4. your nightingale, v. note on p. 98, 1. 25.

8. a mask. A woman in a mask.

16. hung beef. Beef preserved in salt or spices


Page 133.

5. sensibly. Keenly. Cf. Shakespeare, Hamlet IV. v. 150:

And am most sensibly in grief for it.

13-14. promoting an address ... in which he succeeded. Urging the adoption of an address which actually was adopted.

27. you was. A very frequent use.

29. country. Country-side, neighbourhood. Cf. Shakespeare, Merry Wives of Windsor:

He's a justice of peace in his country.

Page 134.

14. a lightning before death. These words occur in Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, V. iii. 90.

33. peremptorily. Authoritatively, positively. Cf. Shakespeare, I Henry IV, II. iv. 472:

Peremptorily I speak it, there is virtue in that Falstaff.

Page 135.

7. Quorum, v. note on p. 7, 1. 9.

16. quit-rents. Charges on the estate.

23. joyed himself. Enjoyed himself, been cheerful.

Page 136.

3. Act of Uniformity. Acts of Uniformity were passed in 1549, 1558, 1662, and 1706.



The first English coffee-house was opened in Oxford in 1650, and by the beginning of the eighteenth century the coffee-house had become the regular resort of every Londoner who could afford to pay the twopence for the dish of the beverage which admitted him to its society. Men of similar tastes assembled at the same house, so that gradually each of the principal coffee-houses became a centre for a particular kind of society. Thus Will's (p. 3, 1. 17), at the corner of Russell Street and Bow Street, Covent Garden, which had been Dryden's favourite coffee-house, became the haunt of the wits and men of letters; it was from here that Steele dated his articles on poetry for the Tatler. St. James's (p. 3, 1. 22) in St. James's Street, was frequented by politicians and men of fashion; it was a Whig house, and the head quarters of the Tatler's foreign and domestic news (cf. Spectator 403). The Grecian (p. 3, 1. 25), Devereux Court, Temple, was the oldest of all the London coffee-houses; here gathered the barristers of the Temple, and here the Tatler finds the material of his papers on learning, while men from the Exchange assembled at Jonathan's (p. 3, 1. 29) in Exchange Alley, and doctors, clerics, and men of science from the Royal Society at Child's (p. 3, 1. 19), in St. Paul's Churchyard. Coffee-houses were very numerous; we find mention within the limits of these papers of two others, Jenny Mann's (p. 24, 1. 24), in the Tilt-Yard, Charing-Cross, and Squire's (p. 117, 1. 23), in Fulwood's Rents, Holborn, and Ashton gives the names of between four and five hundred, while three thousand are known to have existed in 1708.

There were also a few chocolate-houses, notably White's and the Cocoa-Tree (p. 3, 1. 25), the Tory centre, both in St. James's Street. White's was a great gambling-house; Steele dated from it his articles on Gallantry, Pleasure, and Entertainment, and its destruction by fire, which took place in 1723, is depicted as the scene of Plate VI of Hogarth's The Rake's Progress, in which the Rake ruins himself by gaming.



Various suggestions have been made concerning the identity of the characters drawn in these papers. Tradition reported that Sir Roger was drawn from Sir John Pakington or Packington, Knight of Worcester. This theory was maintained by Tyers in 1783, but has been conclusively disproved by Wills. Mr. R. E. H. Duke has made an exhaustive study to show that his original was Richard Duke, of Bulford, near Milston, where Addison's early years were spent.

For the prototype of Sir Andrew Freeport Mr. Henry Martin has been suggested. He was one of the authors of The British Merchant; he contributed No. 180, and probably other papers, to the Spectator.

Rumour has also identified Will Honeycomb with Pope's friend, Colonel Cleland; Captain Sentry with Colonel Kempenfeldt, father of Admiral Kempenfeldt of the Royal George; and Will Wimble with Thomas Morecraft, a Yorkshire gentleman introduced to Addison by Steele. Will Wimble seems, however, to be more nearly akin to the Hon. Thomas Gules of the Tatler (256), who 'produced several witnesses that he had never employed himself beyond the twisting of a whip, or the making of a pair of nut-crackers, in which he only worked for his diversion, in order to make a present now and then to his friends'; [Footnote: Cf. p. 20, I, 13 and p. 21, II, 2-11.] and the imaginary nature of Will Honeycomb's existence is sufficiently indicated by the style in which Addison's eighth and supplementary volume of the Spectator is dedicated to him.

The same questionable authority has given to the perverse widow the name of Mrs. Catharine Bovey, or Boevey, of Flaxley Abbey, Gloucestershire, to whom Steele dedicated the second volume of the Ladies' Library.

It is, however, very doubtful that the characters of the Spectator were drawn from individual persons. Budgell certainly says of Theophrastus that he 'was the Spectator of the age he lived in; he drew the pictures of particular men', but Tickell, who was Addison's friend and literary executor, speaks expressly of 'the feigned person of the Author, and of the several characters that compose his club', and the Spectator himself in two papers exhorts every reader 'never to think of himself or any one of his friends or enemies aimed at in what is said', [Footnote: Spectator 34] for 'when I draw a faulty character I ... take care to dash it with such particular circumstances as may prevent all such ill-natured applications.' [Footnote: Spectator 262] The characters are almost certainly created by the Spectator's genius out of the material gathered from his observation of many men.



After Sir Roger's visit to town we hear no more of him until the club is startled by the receipt of his butler's letter announcing his death. Some of his admirers have devised a sentimental reason for his decease. In Budgell's Bee we read that "Mr. Addison was so fond of this character that a little before he laid down the Spectator (foreseeing that some nimble gentleman would catch up his pen the moment he quitted it) he said to our intimate friend with a certain warmth in his expression, which he was not often guilty of, 'I'll kill Sir Roger that nobody else may murder him'" Dr. Johnson follows Budgell, and assigns to Addison Cervantes' reason, who finds himself obliged to kill Don Quixote, 'being of opinion that they were born for one another, and that any other hand would do him wrong.'

But there was a more inevitable reason for the death of the knight. Six more weeks saw the end of the original Spectator, the joint production of Addison and Steele, and their creators were now engaged in disposing of their characters in various ways. Chalmers remarks that 'The killing of Sir Roger was sufficiently accounted for without supposing that Addison despatched him in a fit of anger; for the work was about to close, and it appeared necessary to close the club.'



The great vogue of the Spectator gives some measure of its extraordinary influence. Already in the tenth number we read that the daily circulation is three thousand, and later, in Spectator 124, Addison writes: 'My bookseller tells me the demand for these my papers increases daily.' Of particular papers we know that twenty or thirty thousand were sold, and Mr. Forster estimates that these numbers must be multiplied by six to represent a corresponding popularity in our day.

On July 31, 1712, Addison wrote: 'This is the day on which many eminent authors will probably publish their last words.' On August 1 the Stamp Tax came into operation, and every half-sheet periodical paid a duty of a half-penny. The price of the Spectator rose to twopence, and only half the former number of copies were sold, yet towards the close of the seventh volume about ten thousand copies were being issued daily.

After publication the papers were collected and issued in eight volumes, and nine or ten thousand copies of this first edition were sold at the price of a guinea a volume.


Previous Part     1  2  3  4
Home - Random Browse