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reach it. Well, I thrust my hand quite up to my elbow, but no bottom was to be found, or any end of the hole or cavity; I got a stick of the tree, and thrust it in a great way, but all
Then I cried, nay, roared out, I was in such a pas
then I got down the tree again, then up again ; I thrust in my
hand again till I scratched my arm and made it bleed, and cried all the while most violently; then I began to think I had not so much as a halfpenny left for a halfpenny roll, and I was hungry, and then I cried again; then I came away in despair, crying and roaring like a little boy that had been whipped; then I went back again to the tree and up the tree again, and this I did several times.
“ The last time I had gotten up the tree I happened to come down not on the same side that I went up and came down before, but on the other side of the tree, and on the other side of the bank also; and behold the tree had a great open place in the side of it close to the ground, as old hollow trees often have; and, looking into the open place, to my inexpressible joy there lay my money and my linen rag, all wrapped up just as I had put it into the hole; for, the tree being hollow all the way up, there had been some moss or light stuff, which I had not judgment enough to know was not firm, and had given way when it came to drop out of my hand, and so it had slipped quite down at once.
" It would tire the reader should I dwell on all the little boyish tricks that I played in the ecstasy of my joy and satisfaction when I found my money. Joy is as extravagant as grief; and since I've been a man I have often thought that had such a thing befallen a man so to have lost all he had, and not have a bit of bread to eat, and then so strangely to find it again, after having given it effectually over, — I say, had it been so with a man, it might have hazarded his using some violence upon himself.”
We cannot follow any further in detail the fortunes of little Jack. Before he gets deep enough in his career of a pickpocket to be arrested by the law, he is kidnapped by the captain of a vessel who has given him some drugged liquor, and, while insensible, he is carried off to the colony of Virginia, in America, where he is sold to a master, an English planter who is cultivating lands in these new colonies belonging to England. The time of servitude for which he is sold is five years, and, after he recovers his liberty, Jack manages so well that he himself becomes a landholder and a prosperous man, and ends his story in great peace and contentment.
During his period of imprisonment in Newgate, De Foe began the publication of a sort of journal called the Review, published twice a week, which was somewhat on the plan of the modern newspaper. In this he gave such news, foreign and native, as he could get hold of, and criticisms on politics at home and abroad. Finding that politics alone would not interest his readers, he formed the idea of a Scandal Club, whose members should discuss all the topics of the day in his paper. Like most of De Foe's works, the Review has passed into obscurity ; but I refer to it because this was the forerunner of The Tatler, The Spectator, and other series written by the two famous English writers who are the subjects of our next Talk.
ON ADDISON AND STEELE, EDITORS OF "THE SPECTATOR.”
HE names of JOSEPH ADDISON and RICHARD STEELE are
of Beaumont and Fletcher, and their lives were
united for a much longer period than those of 1671-1729
the two dramatists. They were schoolboys together in the Charterhouse School, — Addison the head
boy in his class, grave, studious, painstaking; Steele a merry youngster who got whipped as often as praised, and was gay and light-hearted in spite of the rod and his unmastered lessons. There was always the same difference between them in after life, and to the last of his days Steele seemed to regard Addison with the same sort of awe he had felt for the boy who was always above him in school.
Joseph Addison was one of the most gifted men of his age. He wrote sufficiently well in college to attract attention, and almost as soon as he left his studies he was offered a position in public life. But politics did not suit his taste, and he came back to his books and his pen rather soured and disappointed by his experience. His earlier works were nearly all of them in verse, and his first success was the tragedy of Cato, which had a run at the theatre only equalled by Gay's Beggar's Opera. But it was
a prose-writer, and particularly as the writer of prose essays, that Addison made his reputation.
It was Steele, not Addison, who began the enterprise that made them both honored among English essayists. While Addison had been trying political life, Steele had enlisted as a soldier, beginning at the very bottom of the military ladder, but rising rapidly in the scale of promotion, largely from his personal popularity. After he entered the army he discovered his gifts as a writer. In the midst of a wild career he was suddenly checked by a burst of repentance, in which he wrote a tract called the Christian Hero, which excited the amazement of his comrades that a man who practised so badly could preach so well. Very soon after this he wrote a brilliant comedy, The Funeral, or Grief à la Mode. The Christian Hero had given him a reputation for piety which, as he says, he felt he did not deserve, and so he struck the balance by a rattling comedy. This was characteristic of good-natured Dick Steele, who was never moderate in anything, and, as he says, always sinning and repenting."
This first comedy was followed by others, which gave him a reputation as a man of wit and genius. He had arrived at middle age, and was living in London, a gay man of the world, a frequenter of clubs, welcome in the best society, a man well fitted to hold the mirror up to the virtues for which he had a hearty respect, and the vices he was never quite strong enough to withstand, when the idea of The Tatler came to him.
The Tatler was in plan not unlike De Foe's Review.
It was a tri-weekly paper, with a small portion devoted to news; but the larger part of its space was given to a daily essay on subjects most interesting to its readers.
These essays were in the main on social topics; they criticised reigning follies in taste and manners; they exalted what was best and noblest in human nature ; “they advocated a general simplicity in dress, conversation, and behavior.” The purpose was good, and there are few literary works which have had so wholesome and so immediate an influence on the time as these essays of Steele and Addison.
Addison was in Ireland when Steele began this new enterprise ; but he thought, on first seeing it, that he recognized Steele's hand in The Tatler; and convinced that this mode of writing was the one of all others best suited to his own genius, he sent some contributions to Steele. The Tatler lived about two years, and when it was dropped, it was almost immediately succeeded by The Spectator, in which the two friends united as partners in full, writing nearly an equal share. This is the longest sustained and the most famous of all their papers. For the greater part of the time it was issued daily, and was published solely as a series of essays, without n ws or politics. It was followed by The Guardian and by two or three other journals, none of them so long-lived or successful as The Spectator, and that stands as the chief among all works of its kind.
I know at this day no more delightful reading than The Spectator. Addison and Steele formed just such an admirable contrast to each other as would make the papers a constant variety. Addison, more profound and thoughtful than Steele, had a fund of quaint humor, a little satirical, which touched genially but keenly on all the follies of the time. He was also a critic of merit, and his series of essays on Milton in The Spectator drew attention to the unheeded beauty of Paradise Lost. Steele, with less judgment than Addison, had abundant wit and pathos, and could move to tears and laughter. They also worked readily together on one conception, as did Beaumont and
Fletcher. The delightful characters of the Spectator's Club, Sir Roger de Coverley, Will Honeycomb, Captain Sentry, and the rest, were first drawn by Steele ; but Addison entered fully into his conception of them, and made Sir Roger one of his favorite characters, adding to him some of those traits that make the dear old gentleman so delightful to those who have ever read The Spectator.
I have just hinted that Steele was not moderate either in his good or bad qualities, he was always at an extreme in both; but as an offset to his vices, he had always generous and noble words for woman. Up to his time, little appeal had been made to the higher virtues in woman, and the fashionable comedies painted her as a creature without heart or brains. The service Steele did in writing for women and about them as if they were reasonable beings, is one of the best traits of his essays. As one of his characteristic pieces of writing, I have selected for your reading, Paper XXXIII. of The Spectator :
THE STORY OF LÆTITIA AND DAPHNE, OR THE ART OF
A friend of mine has two daughters, whom I will call Lætitia and Daphne; the former is one of the greatest beauties of the age in which she lives, the latter no way remarkable for any charms in her person. Upon this one circumstance of their outward form the good and ill of their life seems to turn. Læti. tia has not, from her very childhood, heard anything else but commendations of her features and complexion, by which means she is no other than nature made her,
a very beautiful outside. The consciousness of her charms has rendered her insupportably vain and insolent towards all who have to do with her. Daphne, who was almost twenty before one civil thing had been said to her, found herself obliged to acquire some accomplishments to make up for the want of those attractions which she saw in her sister. Poor Daphne was seldom admitted to a debate wherein she was concerned; her discourse had nothing to recommend it but the good sense of it, and she was always under a necessity to have very well considered what she was to say before she uttered it; while Lætitia was listened to with partiality, and approbation sat in the countenances of