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it be made but to that "eminent


ID Fashion require a dedication, in the appro priate manner of Mr. Spectator, to whom should eminent historian" who so confidently proclaimed the enduring reputation of those little diurnal essays"? It would be a tender pleasure to feel that it might be agreeable to him to hear that they are "still extant," and that these "diversions and characters" have, to his eternal praise as an ingenious critic, long survived the reign of Queen Anne the First." He might pardon a sentence of prophecy, prompted by his own excellent example, -that his critical wisdom in this matter will be as greatly honoured in the more learned reign of Queen Anne the Third. But dedications are departed with Old Style, and it is a vanity to say that Addison, in masquerade as this "imaginary historian," has rightly anticipated the verdict of posterity. It may be more to the purpose to state, as would have been done in the dedication, the claims of this new edition upon Mr. Spectator's later friends and "constant readers."

The main intention of these volumes is to preserve the original freshness of the text, to reject, in the words of old Thomas Sprat, "all amplifications, digres

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sions, and swellings of style," and to "return back to the primitive purity and shortness." If some of our classics have become corrupt in the careless hurry to supply an eager public, the Spectator has suffered, in a more leisurely way, from the attentions of a number of editorial adepts, painfully solicitous of its reputation for elegance. Even as early as 1764 "innumerable corrup tions" had crept in, to the sorrow of the editor of the Reliques of Ancient Poetry. The laudable attempt at reformation which he made in his edition was how ever soon forgotten; and it was left to the Bissets and the Chalmerses, and the cheap retailers of their texts, not only to undo his labours, but to set a detestable fashion of flamboyant emendation. In this plight the Spectator remained till 1868, when Mr. Henry Morley brought out his one-volume edition, "reproducing the original text, both as first issued, and as corrected by its authors." For many years it has remained the popular, perhaps the only accessible, complete edition; and, if it has somewhat failed of its purpose in its tangle of square brackets, if the annotations are capricious, and some times erroneous, it has, notwithstanding, well deserved the gratitude of students of English letters,—a gratitude, which would have had ampler expression had the format and type been less a matter of vexation.

The Spectator was published daily, in single sheets of foolscap folio, printed in double columns on both sides. The first number appeared on 1st March 1711, and the last on 6th December 1712, The sheets were afterwards republished in monthly parts, and in November 1711, a revised edition in octavo volumes was announced. Two


volumes, "well bound and gilt, two guineas," were issued to the subscribers on 8th January 1712, by "S. Buckley, at the Dolphin in Little Britain, and J. Tonson, at Shakespear's-Head, over against Catherine-street in the Strand." The third and fourth appeared sometime in April of that year; and the fifth, sixth, and seventh early in 1713. These seven volumes constitute the Second or First Collected edition, and with an eighth, edited by Addison in 1715, from the supplementary papers which he had published from 18th June to 20th December 1714, supply the text of the present edition. It appeared preferable to print from this edition rather than from the original sheets, which have many shortcomings in style and typography, inevitable in the circumstances of their publication. It would have been necessary to incorporate the many errata indicated in the columns of the early issue, with the result that we should have had neither the Spectator of the "tea-equipage" nor the carefully revised library edition, For purely literary considerations, the later text is interesting as being the final form in which the writers desired to leave their work, Historically, too, it is of first importance, for in it and its immediate reprints, rather than in the stray sheets of the earlier issue, the contemporaries of Steele and Addison found their amusement and sought their models of style,

It is to be hoped that the reproduction of the antique manner of the original in regard to spelling, punctuation, italics, and capital letters will not be condemned as antiquarian pedantry, A slight perusal must con vince the reader that these are not to be excused as


the caprice of the printer or the lazy fancy of the cor rectors. Though Swift satirically reminds us that

"When Letters are in vulgar Shapes,
'Tis ten to one the Wit escapes;
But, when in Capitals exprest,

The dullest Reader smoaks the Jest,"

we may quite seriously accept the capitals and commas of the original, and even hope to learn from the old fashioned emphasis and pause not a little of the de velopment of English prose technique. The punctua tion is rhetorical rather than logical, and should not, any more than should the bygone guise of a few words, mar the simple enjoyment of the most modern reader, Printers' errors are, of course, not repro duced and a few slight alterations have been made to avoid misunderstanding. The most serious inter ference is in the case of such plurals as Opera's, and such possessives as Peoples, which have been changed to Operas and People's, forms which the punctilious critic may know are to be found in the company of their antique sisters. The Latin and Greek mottoes and quotations have been revised. Many of them seem to have been written down, like Steele's story of Mr. Inkle, 'as they dwelt upon the memory,' though not always with the same literary pleasure to the reader, Verbal errors and impossible verses in the quotations in the text have been corrected; but the mere fashion of con temporary scholarship has been preserved, for it would have been an historical impropriety to supplant the worthy Tonson by the more learned Teubner. The


extracts from English writers have been left untouched. The memorial ingenuity shown in these is often too interesting to be lost; and sometimes the passages were intentionally misquoted. The reader will find the chief deviations from the original texts indicated in the Notes, Verses, such as Pope's Messiah or Addison's 'Pieces of Divine Poetry,' which were printed for the first time in the Spectator, are given in the ordinary type of the Papers; but the quoted passages have been set up in type of a smaller size,

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humorous Advertisements' which reappeared in the Collected Edition will be found in their places in these volumes. Some of the original advertisements, in small type of the kind which Mr. Bickerstaff commended for giving the reader something like the satisfaction of prying into a secret," are referred to in the Notes, when The they seem to illustrate the text of the Papers. page of this edition is smaller, but it contains a larger portion of the letterpress.

When Eustace Budgell wrote his preface to the Characters of Theophrastus, he chid La Bruyère for 'hinting at so many Grecian customs," which obliged the reader to peruse explanations which were longer than the sentences in the text, I would fain impute to that author and his greater associates in the Spectator a like neglect of consideration towards a modern editor and modern readers. It is an increasingly difficult task to know how much requires to be explained, and to do it within the narrowest limit. I hope I shall not be found guilty of those absurdities and superfluities which Addison, in one of the Spectators, satirises as a common vice

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