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470. Criticism-Specimen of various Readings,
475. On asking Advice in affairs of Love,
476. On Method in Writing and Conversation-Characters of
481. Opinions on the Dispute between Count Rechtern and
482. Letters from Hen-peckt Husbands-from a Woman mar-
483. On attributing our Neighbours' Misfortunes to Judg-
488. On the Price and Success of the Spectator,
513. Meditation on Death, a Hymn,
517. Death of Sir Roger de Coverley,
Defence and Happiness of a Married Life,
505. On Conjurors and Revealers of Dreams,
511. Will Honeycomb's Proposal of a Fair for Marriage-Sale
Meditations on the Wonders of the Deep, with a Hymn, 485
On Religious Melancholy,
495. On the Number, Dispersion, and Religion of the Jews,
Will Honeycomb's Account of the Siege of Hersberg, and
523. Poetry too often mixed with Mythology-Edict on that
529. Rules of Precedency among Authors and Actors,
530. Account of the Marriage of Will Honeycomb,
531. On the Idea of the Supreme Being,
535. On vain Hopes of temporal Objects-Story of Alnaschar, 549
538. On Extravagance in Story-telling-Epitaph in Pancras
542. Criticisms on the Spectator-Letter on the Decay of the
543. Meditation on the Frame of the Human Body,
547. Cures performed by the Spectator,
556. Account of the Spectator opening his Mouth,
557. On Conversation-Letter by the Ambassador of Bantam, 587
558. Endeavours of Mankind to get rid of their Burdens, a
561. Account of the Widow's Club,
562. On Egotism-Retailers of old Jokes,
565. On the Nature of Man-of the Supreme Being,
Method of Political Writers affecting Secrecy; Specimen, 613
Coffee-house Conversation on the preceding Paper-The
580. On the Glories of Heaven,
571. Advantages of seeking the Protection of the Supreme
575. The present Life preparatory to the Happiness of Eter-
576. On Singularity; the Dread and Affectation of it,
583. Duty of being usefully employed-on Planting,
598. On a merry and serious Cast of Temper,
No. 253. THURSDAY, DECEMBER 20.
Indignor quicquam reprehendi, non quia crasse
I lose my patience, and I own it too,
THERE is nothing which more denotes a great mind, than the abhorrence of envy and detraction. This passion reigns more among bad poets, than among any other set of men.
As there are none more ambitious of fame, than those who are conversant in poetry, it is very natural for such as have not succeeded in it, to depreciate the works of those who have. For since they cannot raise themselves to the reputation of their fellow-writers, they must endeavour to sink it to their own pitch, if they would still keep themselves upon a level with them.
The greatest wits that ever were produced in one age, lived together in so good an understanding, and celebrated one another with so much generosity, that each of them receives an additional lustre from his contemporaries, and is more famous for having lived with men of so extraordinary a genius, than if he had himself been the sole wonder of the age. I need not tell my reader, that I here point at the reign of Augustus, and I believe he will VOL. VI.-1
be of my opinion, that neither Virgil nor Horace would have gained so great a reputation in the world, had they not been the friends and admirers of each other. Indeed all the great writers of that age, for whom singly we have so great an esteem, stand up together as vouchers for one another's reputation. But at the same time that Virgil was celebrated by Gallus, Propertius, Horace, Varius, Tucca, and Ovid, we know that Bavius and Mævius were his declared foes and calumniators.
In our own country a man seldom sets up for a poet, without attacking the reputation of all his brothers in the art. The ignorance of the moderns, the scribblers of the age, the decay of poetry, are the topics of detraction, with which he makes his entrance into the world: but how much more noble is the fame that is built on candour and ingenuity, according to those beautiful lines of Sir John Denham, in his poem on Fletcher's works!
But whither am I stray'd? I need not raise
Of eastern kings, who, to secure their reign,
Must have their brothers, sons, and kindred slain.
I am sorry to find that an author, who is very justly esteemed among the best judges, has admitted some strokes of this nature into a very fine poem, I mean 'The Art of Criticism,' which was
Some strokes of this nature. If, by strokes of this nature, he meant strokes of personal detraction, it is certain that we now perceive no such strokes in the Art of Criticism. But, I suppose, that some general reflections in that poem were understood, at the time of its publication, to be particular and personal; or, the candour and gentleness of Mr. Addison's temper, might take offence at general satire, when expressed with a certain force.-H.
And yet some of Addison's commentators, and Hurd among them, love to find out personal allusions in many of his own writings; and Steele ex pressly tells us, that he has more than once taken upon himself the blame which would have fallen upon Addison, if all the papers in the Tatler, &c., had been assigned to their real author. V. vol. i. p. 274.-G.