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arch, do compose yourself.” But he continued to laugh, very smallest farces, as long as his poor wits were left his

There is something to me exceedingly touching in early life of the King's. As long as his mother lived -a uuztu years after his marriage with the little spinet-player — he was a great, shy, awkward boy, under the tutelage of that hard parent. She must have been a clever, domineering, cruel woman.

She kept her household lonely and in gloom, mistrusting almost all people who came about her children. Seeing the young Duke of Gloucester silent and unhappy once, she sharply asked him the cause of his silence. “I am thinking,” said the poor child. “Thinking, sir ! and of what ?” “I am thinking if ever I have a son I will not make him so unhappy as you make me.” The other sons were all wild, except George. Dutifully every evening George and Charlotte paid their visit to the King's mother at Carlton House. She had a throat-complaint, of which she died; but to the last persisted in driving about the streets to show she was alive. The night before her death the resolute woman talked with her son and daughterin-law as usual, went to bed, and was found dead there in the morning. “George, be a king !” were the words which she was forever croaking in the ears of her son: and a king the simple, stubborn, affectionate, bigoted man tried to be.

(From The English Humorists.)


We love him for his vanities as much as his virtues. What is ridiculous is delightful in him ; we are so fond of him because we laugh at him so. And out of that laughter, and out of that sweet weakness, and out of those harmless eccentricities and follies, and put of that touched brain, and out of that honest manhood and simplicity - we get a result of happiness, goodness, tenderness, pity, piety; such as, if my audience will think their reading and hearing over, doctors and divines but seldom have the fortune to inspire. And why not? Is the glory of Heaven to be sung only by gentlemen in black coats ? Must the truth be only expounded in gown and surplice, and out of those two vestments can nobody preach it? Commend me to this preacher without orders this parson in the tye-wig. When this man looks from the world, whose weaknesses he describes so benevolently, up to the Heaven which shines over us all, I can hardly fancy a human face lighted up with a more se

rene rapture: a human intellect thrilling with a purer love and adoration than Joseph Addison's. Listen to him : from your childhood you have known the verses : but who can hear their sacred music without love and awe ?

“Soon as the evening shades prevail,
The moon takes up the wondrous tale,
And nightly to the listening earth,
Repeats the story of her birth;
And all the stars that round her burn,
And all the planets in their turn,
Confirm the tidings as they roll,
And spread the truth from pole to pole.
What though, in solemn silence, all
Move round this dark terrestrial ball;
What though no real voice nor sound,
Among their radiant orbs be found;
In reason's ear they all rejoice,
And utter forth a glorious voice,
Forever singing as they shine,
The hand that made us is divine."

It seems to me those verses shine like the stars. They shine out of a great deep calm. When he turns to Heaven, a Sabbath comes over that man's mind : and his face lights up from it with a glory of thanks and prayer. His sense of religion stirs through his whole being In the fields, in the town: looking at the birds in the trees : at the children in the streets : in the morning or in the moonlight: over his books in his own room : in a happy party at a country merry-making or a town assembly, good-will and peace to God's creatures, and love and awe, of Him who made them, fill his pure heart and shine from his kind face. If Swift's life was the most wretched, I think Addison's was one of the most enviable. A life prosperous and beautiful — a calm death — an immense fame and affection afterwards for his happy and spotless name.


SHORTLY before the Boyne was fought, and young Swift had begun to make acquaintance with English court manners and English servitude, in Sir William Temple's family, another Irish youth was brought to learn his humanities at the old school of Charterhouse, near Smithfield; to which foundation he had been appointed by James, Duke of Ormond, a governor of the House, and a patron of the lad's family. The boy was an orphan, and described, twenty years after, with a sweet pathos and simplicity, some of the earli

est recollections of a life which was destined to be checkered by a strange variety of good and evil fortune.

I am afraid no good report could be given by his masters and ushers of that thick-set, square-faced, black-eyed, soft-hearted little Irish boy. He was very idle. He was whipped deservedly a great number of times. Though he had very good parts of his own, he got other boys to do his lessons for him, and only took just as much trouble as should enable him to scuffle through his exercises, and by good fortune escape the fogging-block. One hundred and fifty years after, I have myself inspected, but only as an amateur, that instrument of righteous torture still existing, and in occasional use, in a secluded private apartment of the old Charterhouse School; and have no doubt it is the very counterpart, if not the ancient and interesting machine itself, at which poor Dick Steele submitted himself to the tormentors.

Besides being very kind, lazy, and good-natured, this boy went invariably into debt with the tart-woman ; ran out of bounds, and entered into pecuniary, or rather promissory engagements with the neighboring lollipop-vendors and .piemen — exhibited an early fondness and capacity for drinking mum and sack, and borrowed from all his comrades who had money to lend. I have no sort of authority for the statements here made of Steele's early life ; but if the child is father of the man, the father of young Steele of Merton, who left Oxford without taking a degree, and entered the Life Guards — the father of Captain Steele of Lucas's Fusiliers, who got his company through the patronage of my Lord Cutts — the father of Mr. Steele the Commissioner of Stamps, the editor of “The Gazette,” “ The Tatler,” and “Spectator," the expelled Member of Parliament, and the author of “The Tender Husband” and “The Conscious Lovers ;” if man and boy resembled each other, Dick Steele the school-boy must have been one of the most generous, good-for-nothing, amiable little creatures that ever conjugated the verb tupto I beat, tuptomai I am whipped, in any school in Great Britain.

Almost every gentleman who does me the honor to hear me will remember that the very greatest character which he has seen in the course of his life, and the person to whom he has looked up with the greatest wonder and reverence, was the head boy at his school. The schoolmaster himself hardly inspires such an awe. The head boy construes as well as the schoolmaster himself. When he begins to speak the hall is hushed, and every little boy listens. He writes

off copies of Latin verses as melodiously as Virgil. He is goodnatured, and, his own master-pieces achieved, pours out other copies of verses for other boys with an astonishing ease and fluency; the idle ones only trembling lest they should be discovered on giving in their exercises, and whipped because their poems were too good. I have seen great men in my time, but never such a great one as that head boy of my childhood : we all thought he must be Prime Minister, and I was disappointed on meeting him in after-life to find he was no more than six feet high.

Dick Steele, the Charterhouse gown boy, contracted such an admiration in the years of his childhood, and retained it faithfully through his life. Through the school and through the world, whithersoever his strange fortune led this erring, wayward, affectionate creature, Joseph Addison was always his head boy. Addison wrote his exercises. Addison did his best themes. He ran on Addison's messages : fagged for him and blacked his shoes : to be in Joe's company was Dick's greatest pleasure ; and he took a sermon or a caning from his monitor with the most boundless reverence, acquiescence, and affection.


In those charming lines of Béranger,' one may fancy described the career, the sufferings, the genius, the gentle nature of Goldsmith, and the esteem in which we hold him. Who, of the millions whom he has amused, doesn't love him? To be the most beloved of English writers, what a title that is for a man! A wild youth, wayward, but full of tenderness and affection, quits the country vil. lage where his boyhood has been passed in happy musing, in idle shelter, in fond longing to see the great world out of doors, and

1Jeté sur cette boule,

Laid, chétif et souffrant ;
Etouffé dans la foule,
Faute d'être assez grand :
Une plainte touchante
De ma bouche sortit;
Le bon Dieu me dit: Chante,
Chante, pauvre petit !
“Chanter, ou je m'abuse,

Est ma tâche ici bas.
Tous ceux qu'ainsi j'amuse,
Ne m'aimeront-ils pas ?

achieve name and fortune ; and after years of dire struggle, and neglect and poverty, his heart turning back as fondly to his native place as it had longed eagerly for change when sheltered there, he writes a book and a poem, full of the recollections and feelings of home — he paints the friends and scenes of his youth, and peoples Auburn and Wakefield with remembrances of Lissoy. Wander he must, but he carries away a home-relic with him, and dies with it on his breast. His nature is truant; in repose it longs for change : as on the journey it looks back for friends and quiet. He passes to-day in building an air-castle for to-morrow, or in writing yesterday's elegy; and he would fly away this hour: but that a cage and necessity keeps him. What is the charm of his verse, of his style, and humor ? His sweet regrets, his delicate compassion, his soft smile, his tremulous sympathy, the weakness which he owns ? Your love for him is half pity.

You come hot and tired from the day's battle, and this sweet minstrel sings to you. Who could harm the kind vagrant harper? Whom did he ever hurt ? He carries no weapon harp on which he plays to you ; and with which he delights great and humble, young and old, the captains in the tents, or the soldiers round the fire, or the women and children in the villages, at whose porches he stops and sings his simple songs of love and beauty. With that sweet story of “ The Vicar of Wakefield,” he has found entry into every castle and every hamlet in Europe. Not one of us, however busy hard, but

or twice in our lives, has passed an evening with him, and undergone the charm of his delightful music.

save the

Think of him reckless, thriftless, vain if you like — but merciful, gentle, generous, full of love and pity. He passes out of our life, and goes to render his account beyond it. Think of the poor pensioners weeping at his grave ; think of the noble spirits that admired and deplored him ; think of the righteous pen that wrote his epitaph — and of the wonderful and unanimous response of affection with which the world has paid back the love he gave it. His humor delighting us still : his song fresh and beautiful as when first he charmed with it: his words in all our mouths : his very

weaknesses beloved and familiar - his benevolent spirit seems still to smile upon us : to do gentle kindnesses : to succor with sweet charity: to soothe, caress, and forgive : to plead with the fortunate for the unhappy and

the poor.

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