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thor in saying something of myself. I shall though you know how often many protherefore beg leave to add, that I have pur- found critics in style and sentiments have posely omitted setting those marks to the very judiciously erred in this particular, end of every paper, which appeared in my before they were let into the secret. Í former volumes, that you may have an op- am, portunity of showing Mrs. Honeycomb the
SIR, shrewdness of your conjectures, by ascrib- Your most faithful humble servant, ing every speculation to its proper author:
THE BOOKSELLER TO THE READER. In the six hundred and thirty-second Perhaps it will be unnecessary to inform Spectator the reader will find an account the reader, that no other papers which of the rise of this eighth and last volume. have appeared under the title of the Spec
I have not been able to prevail upon the tator, since the closing of this eighth volseveral gentlemen who were concerned in ume, were written by any of those gentlethis work to let me acquaint the world with men who had a hand in this or the former their names.
In presenting to the American public this new edition of the writings of Joseph Addison, the publishers hold it altogether superfluous and unnecessary to say anything in commendation of the works themselves, or make any reference to the established and increasing celebrity of the author. That celebrity has been deliberately conferred by a succession of generations, and the name of Addison is permanently enrolled among the brightest that adorned the Augustan age of English literature. A few words, however, of comment upon the peculiar advantages of this edition may be permitted, it is hoped, if on no other ground, at least as showing the anxiety of the publishers to provide the community with the best which they can obtain, and the most suited to gratify the wants and wishes of every reader.
The superiority of this edition over any heretofore published in this coun try, or, indeed, in England, consists in its convenience of form, its low price, its accuracy, its neatness of mechanical execution, and, above all
, its completeness. It comprises not only all the essays, letters, poems, criticisms, tales, descriptions, and dramatic works of Addison, but also the whole of the Spectator; this last being a new and very useful arrangement, inasmuch as many of the finest essays, narratives, and characters in that admirable series were contributed jointly by Addison and others. The delightful character of Sir Roger de Coverley, for instance, was frequently taken up by Steele; and the pens of Steele, Budgell, and several others of the contributors, were quite as often employed in the beautiful papers relating to “The Club” as was that of Addison. It is evident that, by separating those of the latter from the others, as has been done in former editions of his works, the continuity of the story is destroyed and the pleasure of the reader materially diminished. In this point of view alone the edition now offered must be considered vastly preferable.
Care has been taken, nevertheless, to designate not only the papers contributed by Addison, but also those furnished by each of the other writers; and in all other respects the edition of the Spectator comprised within these volumes is as complete and perfect as any ever published. The publishers have only to add the expression of their hope, that the favour of the public to this undertaking may be such as shall encourage them to the production of other English classics, in a corresponding style of excellence, literary and mechanical.