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tious study of these specimens of English style. Among the choicest essays of the “Spectator" are the thirty-three papers comprising the “De Coverley" series. Of these, Addison wrote twenty-one; Steele, nine; and Eustace Budgell, three.
Addison signed all that he wrote by the letters "C.,” “L.,” “I.," or “O.” Steele usually signed his papers “R.” or “T.;" and Budgell, “X.”
The chief events in Addison's life are briefly noted as follows. He was born May 1, 1672, at his father's rectory, near Amesbury, Wiltshire, England. In 1683 his father became dean of Lichfield, where young Addison attended school, soon changing for the famous Charterhouse School in London, where he first met his friend Richard Steele. In 1687 he entered Queen's College, Oxford, where he early distinguished himself writing Latin verses. He took the degree of M.A. in 1693, and a fellowship in 1698, at Magdalen College. His Latin scholarship soon gave him prominence in London, for he had in 1693 written a "Poetical Address praising Dryden's Translations," which soon brought him to the attention of that poet. Montagu, through Lord Somers, secured a pension for him of three hundred pounds in recognition of his literary services. He was expected to qualify for diplomatic services thereby. After traveling on the Continent for several years, he returned to England in 1703, and joined the famous Kitcat Club. In 1704 he was appointed commissioner of appeals, succeeding John Locke, and secured at the same time further prominence by writing a poem celebrating the victory at Blenheim, called “The Campaign." Later in the year he was appointed undersecretary of state.
In 1705 he published “Remarks on Several Parts of Italy,"
and in 1706 he was appointed undersecretary to Sir Charles Hedges. Lord Halifax, in 1707, paid a complimentary visit to the Elector of Hanover, and Addison accompanied him. This year he wrote the opera of "Rosamond," and a book called “ The Present State of the War." He was elected to Parlia. ment in 1708; but, the election being set aside, he was reëlected shortly after, standing for Malmesbury, and held his seat for life.
In 1711, at the age of thirty-nine, we find him alert, polished, cultivated, full of experience, ready for the work which was to give him lasting fame,- his contributions to the "Spectator." Besides the “De Coverley Papers,” he wrote many others, humorous, critical, and serious, and seemed to put his most intense efforts and life into his contributions. His most important critical papers were those on
"Paradise Lost," seventeen in number, published in the "Spectator" during 1712. His serious contri
“ butions were published in 1711, and included some exquisite hymns, the most familiar of which is "When all thy mercies, O my God.” In 1713 he wrote the tragedy of “Cato," which had a long run at Drury Lane Theater. It was quickly translated into French, Italian, German, and Latin. After the death of the "Spectator," Steele established the “Guardian,” to which
' Addison contributed fifty-one papers in 1713.
In 1714 Queen Anne died; and the Whigs were again restored to power, and Addison to politics. He was appointed to several important secretaryships, and became one of the lords commissioners of trade. In 1715 he published the “Freeholder," to which he contributed fifty-five papers. On Aug. 3, 1716, he was married to the Countess of Warwick, and the next year was appointed secretary of state in Sunderland's ministry. In consequence of ill health he resigned his position in 1718.
He died of dropsy and asthma, June 17, 1719, and is said to have sent for his stepson Warwick, and said to him, “See in what peace a Christian can die."
Richard Steele was born in Dublin, March 12, 1672,- the same year as Addison. His father was a lawyer. At twelve Steele entered Charterhouse School, and in 1690 entered Christ Church, Oxford. The next year he became postmaster at Merton College. Not long after, he entered the army as a cadet. The death of Queen Mary furnished him with material for a poem, which he published in 1695 under the title of “The Procession." While still in the army, he published the "Christian Hero," and a comedy, — the “Funeral,” acted at Drury Lane, 1701. During the three following years he wrote several successful plays. In May, 1707, he was appointed gazetteer and gentleman in waiting to Prince George of Denmark. The same year he married Miss Mary Scurlock, a Welsh lady.
The "Tatler” was published in 1709, Steele the next year being made commissioner of stamps, and also losing his appointment as gazetteer. In 1711 the “Spectator" occupied most of his attention, while on March 12, 1713, he commenced the “Guardian,” which ran a hundred and seventy-five numbers. The same year he both entered Parliament, and started the "Englishman.” The year 1714 saw many contributions from his pen, largely critical and political.
He was expelled from the House of Commons in March, appointed surveyor of the royal stables at Hampton Court, deputy-lieutenant of the County of Middlesex, and supervisor of the Theater Royal. He became, in 1715, patentee of Drury Lane Theater, was knighted by George I., elected member of
Parliament for Boroughbridge, Yorkshire, published “An Account of the State of the Roman-Catholick Religion throughout the World,” and began “Town Talk.” He was appointed com. missioner for forfeited estates in Scotland in 1716.
During 1719 the “Plebeian” was begun, as well as * The Spinster.” Steele was again elected to Parliament in 1722, for Wendover, Bucks, and produced at Drury Lane, Nov. 7, scious Lovers.” He died Sept. 1, 1729, at Carmarthen, and is
" buried in St. Peter's Church there.
In addition to those mentioned above, Steele started five other papers, which had more or less success; namely, the “Englishman," "The Lover," "Tea-Table," "Chit Chat," the “Theater." An eminent English critic has said of him, “ As a prose writer, Steele does not rank with the great masters of English style. He claimed, indeed, in his capacity as a Tatler, to use
common speech, to be even 'incorrect' if need be; and, it may be added, he sometimes abused this license, writing hastily and under pressure.
His language is frequently involved and careless; and it is only when he is strongly stirred by his subject that he attains to real elevation and dignity of diction.”
Eustace Budgell was born in the year 1685. His father was Gilbert Budgell of St. Thomas, Exeter. He was a cousin of Addison, and owes what small literary reputation he has to this fact. He entered Oxford in 1705 at Trinity College, and afterwards entered the Inner Temple. He was called to the bar, but his intimacy with Addison diverted him from his profession. His contributions to the “Spectator" were thirty-seven in number, mostly imitations of Addison's style.
In 1714 he published a translation of “Theophrastus.” He became in this year a member of the Irish House of Commons. Through Addison's influence he became accountant-general in 1717, at a salary of four hundred pounds, which he lost in South Sea speculations. Many political pamphlets are attributed to him. He contributed to the " Bee," the “ Craftsman,” and other papers, the former being started by him. In 1732 he published “Memorials of the Life and Character of the Late Earl of Orrery and the Family of Boyles.” He committed suicide in 1736, after having ruined his character by improper money transactions. He is said to have been of unsound mind during the latter part of his life.