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any intelligible manner, as I could) to rally all those singularities of human life, through the different professions and characters in it, which obstruct anything that was truly good and great.' It is such generous statements as these that furnished Macaulay with the excuse for saying that almost everything good in the Tatler was Addison's, any five of whose papers were of more value than all the two hundred in which he did not take part.

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Though Addison's work is more finished than Steele's, the initiative usually came from Steele, who was fully entitled to say, 'I claim to myself the merit of having extorted excellent productions from a person of the greatest abilities, who would not have let them appear by any other means.' This is not the place to dwell upon the merits of the Tatler; but any one who reads the Spectator with pleasure will do well to turn to the earlier periodical. There he will find most of the features of the Spectator anticipated, and though there are fewer elaborate moral or critical discourses, there is a certain freshness and absence of study that fully makes up for their absence. There is the same kindly satire on follies of the day; the same denunciation of duelling, brutal sports, swindlers, and the like.

Steele's comments on gambling in the Tatler were so severe that they brought upon him the anger of many of the sharpers. There is a wellknown story that Lord Forbes, Major-General Davenport, and Brigadier Bisset were in the St. James's Coffee-House when some well-dressed men Spectator, No. 532.


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entered, and began to abuse Steele as the author of the Tatler. One of them swore that he would cut Steele's throat or teach him better manners. 'In this country,' said Lord Forbes, 'you will find it easier to cut a purse than to cut a throat'; and the cut-throats were soon turned out of the house with every mark of disgrace. A similar incident is described in a recently-published letter from Lady Marow to her daughter, Lady Kaye.1 Writing on January 5, 1709-10, Lady Marow says: All the town are full of the Tatler, which I hope you have to prepare you for discourse, for no visit is made that I hear of but Mr. Bickerstaff is mentioned, and I am told he has done so much good that the sharpers cannot increase their stocks as they did. formerly; for one Young came into the Chocolate House, and said he would stop Mr. Bickerstaff if he knew him. Mr. Steele, who is thought to write the Tatler, heard Young say so, and, when he went out of the house, said he should walk in St. James's Park an hour, if any would speak with him; but the Hector took no notice.'

The Tatler, like the Spectator, contains many friendly notices of the stage; and there are the same short stories of domestic life, in which Steele excelled. There is, too, the same respect for women; with, in fact, a tone perhaps more remarkable than that of the Spectator, where Addison adopted a certain patronising air in dealing with the foibles of his lady readers. It was in the Tatler that

1 Manuscripts of the Earl of Dartmouth,' iii. 148 (Hist. MSS. Comm., Fifteenth Report, Part I., 1896).

Steele wrote, 'As charity is esteemed a conjunction of the good qualities necessary to a virtuous man, so love is the happy composition of all the accomplishments that make a fine gentleman.' And in this same paper1 he made his memorable remark of Lady Elizabeth Hastings: 'Though her mien carries much more invitation than command, to behold her is an immediate check to loose behaviour, and to love her is a liberal education.' 'Wife,' he says, 'is the most amiable term in human life.' But the graces of a woman's mind must be cultivated, as well as those of the body; 'a woman must think well to look well.'3

No one has given a better account of the work accomplished by Addison and Steele than the poet John Gay, in a pamphlet called 'The Present State of Wit' (1711). Speaking of the discontinuance of the Tatler, Gay says: "His disappearing seemed to be bewailed as some general calamity: every one wanted so agreeable an amusement; and the coffeehouses began to be sensible that the Esquire's lucubrations alone had brought them more customers than all their other newspapers put together. It must, indeed, be confessed that never man threw up his pen under stronger temptations to have employed it longer; his reputation was at a greater height than, I believe, ever any living author's was before him. . . There is this noble difference between him and all the rest of our polite and gallant authors: the latter have endeavoured to please the age by falling in with them, and encouraging them in their fashionable vices and

1 No. 49.

2 No. 33.

3 No. 212.

false notions of things. It would have been a jest some time since, for a man to have asserted that anything witty could be said in praise of a married state; or that devotion and virtue were any way necessary to the character of a fine gentleman. Bickerstaff ventured to tell the town that they were a parcel of fops, fools, and vain coquettes; but in such a manner as even pleased them, and made them more than half inclined to believe that he spoke truth. Instead of complying with the false sentiments or vicious tastes of the age, either in morality, criticism, or good breeding, he has boldly assured them that they were altogether in the wrong, and commanded them, with an authority which perfectly well became him, to surrender themselves to his arguments for virtue and good sense.

'It is incredible to conceive the effect his writings have had on the town; how many thousand follies they have either quite banished, or given a very great check to; how much countenance they have added to virtue and religion; how many people they have rendered happy, by showing them it was their own fault if they were not so; and, lastly, how entirely they have convinced our fops and young fellows of the value and advantages of learning. He has indeed rescued it out of the hands of pedants and fools, and discovered the true method of making it amiable and lovely to all mankind. In the dress he gives it, it is a most welcome guest at tea-tables and assemblies, and is relished and caressed by the merchants on the Change; accordingly, there is not a lady at court, nor a banker in Lombard Street, who is not verily

persuaded that Captain Steele is the greatest scholar and best casuist of any man in England.

Lastly, his writings have set all our wits and men of letters upon a new way of thinking, of which they had little or no notion before; and though we cannot yet say that any of them have come up to the beauties of the original, I think we may venture to affirm that every one of them writes and thinks much more justly than they did some time since.'

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The numbers of the Tatler were regularly reprinted in Dublin and Edinburgh as soon as they reached those cities; and the arrival of the paper was looked forward to with great eagerness in many country towns. At Spalding a barrister named Maurice Johnson founded, by the encouragement of Addison and his friends, a 'Gentleman's Society'; but the movement had its beginning in the arrival of the Tatler. The numbers were taken in by a gentleman, who communicated them to his acquaintances at the coffee-house then in the Abbey Yard; and these papers being universally approved as both instructive and entertaining, they ordered them to be sent down thither, with the Gazettes and Votes, for which they paid out of charity to the person who kept the coffee-house, and they were accordingly had and read there every post day, generally aloud to the company, who would sit and talk over the subject afterwards. This insensibly drew the men of sense and letters into a sociable way of conversing, and continued the next year, 1710, until the publication of these papers desisted, which was in December, to their great regret.'

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