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Lord Warwick was a young man, of very irregular life, and perhaps of loose opinions. `Addison, for whom he did not want respect, had very diligently endeavoured to reclaim him ; but his arguments and expostulations had no effect.
One experiment, however, remained to be tried : when he found his life near its end, he directed the young Lord to be called ; and when he desired, with great tenderness, to hear his last injunctions, told him, “ I have sent for you, that you may see how a Christian can die." What effect this awful scene had on the Earl, I know not; he likewise died himself in a short time. 83 In Tickell's excellent elegy on his friend are these lines:
“He taught us how to live; and, oh! too high
The price of knowledge, taught us how to die” in which he alludes, as he told Dr. Young, $4 to this moving interview.
Having given directions to Mr. Tickell for the publication of his works, and dedicated them on his death-bed to his friend Mr. Craggs, he died June 17, 1719, at Holland House, leaving no child but a daughter.5
Of his virtue it is a sufficient testimony, that the resentment of party has transmitted no charge of any crime. He was not one of those who are praised only after death; for his merit was so generally acknowledged, that Swift, having observed that his
83 The young Earl of Warwick died 16th Aug. 1721, aged 24. His mother (Addison's widow and executrix) died 7th July, 1731. Addison survived his own mother, and by his will (dated 14th May, 1719) left her an annuity of fifty pounds. When the bequest was made, she was living at Coventry.
84 Young's Conjectures on Original Composition.'
65 He was buried in the north aisle of Henry the Seventh's Chapel, in the same grave with his friend and patron, Montague Lord Halifax, Atterbury read the service. (“Atter. Corr.,' iv. 489.) His only sister, Mrs. Sarah Combes, was twice married, and dying 2nd March, 1750, was buried in the grave of her first husband, the Rev. Mr. Sarstre, one of the prebendaries of Westminster Abbey, She left her estate, after certain legacies, for the erection of a monument to Addison in Westminster Abbey. (“Gent's. Mag.' for 1750, p. 139.) Swift describes her “as a sort of wit, and very like her brother." (Journal to Stella, 25 Oct. 1710.) Addison's only child, Charlotte Addison, died unmarried at Bilton, in Warwickshire, March 10, 1797, aged 80. The two best portraits of Addison are by Kneller: the Kit-Kat head, now at Bayfordbury; and the fine one, in blue, in the Bodleian.
election passed without a contest, adds, that, if he proposed himself for king, he would hardly have been refused. 86
His zeal for his party did not extinguish his kindness for the merit of his opponents : when he was secretary in Ireland, he refused to intermit his acquaintance with Swift.$7
Of his habits, or external manners, nothing is so often mentioned as that timorous or sullen taciturnity, which his friends called modesty by too mild a name. Steele mentions with great tenderness that remarkable bashfulness, which is a cloak that hides and muffles merit;" and tells us, that “his abilities were covered only by modesty, which doubles the beauties which are seen, and gives credit and esteem to all that are concealed.” 88 Chesterfield affirms, that “Addison was the most timorous and awkward man that he ever saw.” And Addison, speaking of his own deficience in conversation, used to say of himself, that, with respect to intellectual wealth," he could draw bills for a thousand pounds, though he had not a guinea in his pocket.'
That he wanted current coin for ready payment, and by that want was often obstructed and distressed ; that he was often oppressed by an improper and ungraceful timidity; every testimony concurs to prove : but Chesterfield's representation is doubtless hyperbolical. That man cannot be supposed very unexpert in the arts of conversation and practice of life, who, without fortune or alliance, by his usefulness and dexterity, became Secretary of State; and who died at forty-seven, after having not only stood long in the highest rank of wit and literature, but filled one of the most important offices of State.
The time in which he lived had reason to lament hisobstinacy of silence: “for he was,” says Steele, “ above all men
86 Journal to Stella, 12th Oct. 1710. “That man (Addison) has worth enough to give reputation to an age.”—Swift to Ambrose Philips, Sept. 14, 1708.
87 None but converts are afraid of showing favour to those who lie under buspicion in point of principles: and that was Mr. Addison's argument, in openly continuing his friendship to me to the very hour of his death.—SWIFT to Tickell, Sept. 18, 1725 (Scott's. Swift,' xix. 286).
S8 Steele: Dedication of · The Drummer' to Congreve.
89 This saying, though somewhat different, Johnson obtained from Langton. (See · Boswell by Croker,' p. 263 and p. 611.)
in that talent we call humour, and enjoyed it in such perfection, that I have often reflected, after a night spent with him apart from all the world, that I had had the pleasure of conversing with an intimate acquaintance of Terence and Catullus, who had all their wit and nature, heightened with humour more exquisite and delightful than any other man ever possessed.” This is the fondness of a friend ; let us hear what is told us by a rival : " Addison's conversation,” 90 says Pope, “had something in it more charming than I have found in any other man.
But this was only when familiar: before strangers, or perhaps a single stranger, he preserved his dignity by a stiff silence."
This modesty was by no means inconsistent with a very high opinion of his own merit. He demanded to be the first name in modern wit; and, with Steele to echo him, used to depreciate Dryden, whom Pope and Congreve defended against them. There is no reason to doubt that he suffered too much pain from the prevalence of Pope's poetical reputation ; nor is it without strong reason suspected that by some disingenuous acts he endeavoured to obstruct it. Pope was not the only man whom he insidiously injured, though the only man of whom he could be afraid. 92
His own powers were such as might have satisfied him with conscious excellence. Of very extensive learning he has indeed given no proofs. He seems to have had small acquaintance with the sciences, and to have read little except Latin and French ; but of the Latin poets his · Dialogues on Medals' show that he had perused the works with great diligence and skill. The abundance of his own mind left him little indeed of adventitious sentiments; his wit always could suggest what the occasion demanded. He had read with critical eyes the important volume of human life, and knew the heart of man from the depths of stratagem to the surface of affectation.
90 Spence.-Jouxson. Ed. Singer, p. 50.
92 Cibber confirmed to me Mr. Addison's character of bearing no rival and enduring none but flatterers. - Spence, ed. Sinyer, p. 348.
HIS DAILY LIFE.
" This," says
What he knew he could easily communicate. Steele, was particular in this writer, that, when he had taken his resolution, or made his plan for what he designed to write, he would walk about the room, and dictate it into language with as much freedom and ease as any one could write it down, and attend to the coherence and grammar of what he dictated.” 93
Pope, 94 who can be less suspected of favouring his memory, declares that he wrote very fluently, but was slow and scrupulous in correcting; that many of his “Spectators' were written very fast, and sent immediately to the press; and that it seemed to be for his advantage not to have time for much revisal. “ He would alter,” says Pope, 9 “ anything to please his
” friends, before publication ; but would not retouch his pieces afterwards; and I believe not one word in Cato,' to which I made an objection, was suffered to stand.”
The last line of “Cato’ is Pope's, having been originally written
“And, oh! 'was this that ended Cato's life.”
Pope might have made more objections to the six concluding lines. In the first couplet the words “ from hence” are improper; and the second line is taken from Dryden's Virgil.' Of the next couplet, the first verse being included in the second, is therefore useless; and in the third Discord is made to produce Strife.
Of the course of Addison's familiar day, before his marriage, Pope has given a detail." He had in the house with him Budgell, and perhaps Philips. His chief companions were Steele, Budgell, [Ambrose] Philips, Carey, 97 Davenant, and Colonel Brett. With one or other of these he always break
93 Sieele: Dedication of "The Drummer.' 94 Spence.---JOHNSON. Ed. Singer, pp. 49 and 50. 95 Spence by Singer, p. 151. 96 Spence.--Johnson. Ed. Singer, p. 286. 97 This was not Harry Carey, the song writer, but Walter Carey, the • Umbra' of Pope.
fasted. He studied all morning ; then dined at a tavern ; and went afterwards to Button's.
Button had been a servant in the Countess of Warwick's family, who, under the patronage of Addison, kept a coffeehouse on the south side of Russell-street, about two doors from Covent-garden. Here it was that the wits of that time used to assemble. It is said, when Addison had suffered any vexation from the Countess, he withdrew the company from Button's house.
From the coffee-house he went again to a tavern, where he often sat late, and drank too much wine. In the bottle, discontent seeks for comfort, cowardice for courage, and bashfulness for confidence. It is not unlikely that Addison was first seduced to excess by the manumission which he obtained from the servile timidity of his sober hours. Ile that feels oppression from the presence of those to whom he knows himself superior, will desire to set loose his powers of conversation; and who, that ever asked succours from Bacchus, was able to preserve himself from being enslaved by bis auxiliary ?98
Among those friends it was that Addison displayed the elegance of his colloquial accomplishments, which may easily be supposed such as Pope represents them. The remark of Mandeville, 99 who, when he had passed an evening in his company, declared that he was a parson in a tye-wig, can detract
98 14th Sept. 1711. This evening I met Addison and Pastoral Philips in the Park, and supped with them at Addison's lodgings. We were very good company, and  yet know no man half so agreeable to me as he is.--SWIFT: Journal to Stella. Compare Dartquineuve in • Tatler,' No. 252.
“It is reported to have been one of the most exquisite entertainments to the choice spirits in the beginning of this century, to get Addison and Steele together in company for the evening. Steele entertained them till he was tipsy; when the same wine that stupified him only served to elevate Addison, who took up the ball just as Steele dropped it, and kept it up for the rest of the evening.”—The Connoisseur, No. 92, of 30th Oct. 1755.
Of the friendly manner in which Addison lived with the Tory wits, I will give an unpublished illustration. Dr. Arbuthnot's eldest son, by his will, bequeaths to his cousin John Arbuthnot, of Ravensbury, near Mitcham, in Surrey, “the large silver cup given to my father by Mr. Addison.”
99 Preserved in Hawkins's ‘History of Music,' vol. v., p. 315-16; note from thence copied into ‘Bio. Brit.,' ed. Kippis, i. 56.