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Teftament; that the Jewish Christians only received as authentic a Gospel of Matthew which did not contain the iwo first chapters; that the introductions to Matthew and Luke contain improbable and incompatible circumftances, particularly the account of the genealogies, the visit of the wise men, and the cenfus ; that no satisfactory reason can be given why Chrif should not have been born of two human parents ; that, had this narrative been true, he must have been, from the time of his birth, generally known as the Mefliah ; that it is improbable that Mark and John would have taken no notice of so fingular a fact; that the Jewith Christians in general, the early Gnoftics, and many Gentile Christians, disbelieved it; that Symmachus wrote against it; and that, if Jesus were not the son of Joseph, there is no evidence of his being descended from David.

Such is the outline of this work, which the Author has drawn up from materials immediately collected from original writers, and which he particularly addresses to the learned. With great tranquillity and satisfaction he commits it to his friends, and to his enemies : he is far from willing that it may escape the most rigorous examination ; being confident, that, thou h those who come after him may find some things to correct in him, all his oversights will not invalidate any position of consequence in the whole work.

How far this confidence is well-grounded, we leave to be determined by those, who have more leisure for such enquiries than ourselves.

日, Art. III. The Tatler, with Illustrations, and Notes, historical, bio

graphical, and critical. 8vo. 6 Vols. 11. 115. 6d. bound. Buckland, &c. 1786. HESE celebrated Essays, which originally made their ap

pearance at the beginning of the present century (a point of time whence some have dated the era of polite literature), are now reprinted, in an elegant manner, and with that degree of correctness which performances of such established reputation demand.

In that pleasing species of composition (periodical essay-writing) the Tatler, we believe, led the way; and he has been followed by a numerous train of imitators, some of whom have trodden invariably in the steps of their master, and disputed with him the palm to which, from his originality, he has posfibly the fairest claim. Let it be remembered, however, that three or four of the number are indisputably writers of merit, and that they have not unfrequently attained to an equal degree of excellence with, and in many instances surpassed, their very juftly admired prototype :-of which the Spectator, who has been properly styled the Arbiter elegantiarum of his time, is a sufficient proof. C3

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If, however, the Papers now before us are not absolutely for i in point of merit, they must undoubtedly be considered as of " the very first class”—and consequently entitled to considerable praise. When we reflect, indeed, on the bright constellation which at the period in question was seen in our literary hemisphere ; when we consider, likewise, that our Author was the contemporary and friend of Addison, from whose elegant pen he occasionally received affiliance, there is little cause to wonder at his having been so generally successful in the execution of his work.

It is to the care and affiduity of Dr. Percy, Bishop of Dromore, that we are indebted for the very curious anecdotes, and literary information, which are to be found in the notes to the several Essays, that have so long been in the hands of the Public as the lucubrations of Mr. Isaac Bickerstaff*. But with respect to the design and nature of the undertaking, the publisher Thall speak for himself.

· The Editor of these volumes claims no other merit than that of introducing them to the public. Neither the plan, nor much of the execution of it, is his own.

• It is now about five and twenty years fince the outlines of the undertaking were sketched, in conjunction with the late Mr. Tonson, by a writer of distinguished taste and talents; who was prevented from pursuing it, by avocations of a far different and more important nature. It has been considerably altered, and carried much farther than was at first intended; but all the information which was obtained by the active zeal and well-directed inquiries, which that gentleman made among men of the first eminence in the world of letters, though sometimes superseded on indubitable autho. sities, has been faithfully preserved, and is distinguished by a fignacure, in the accumulated collection, which the Reader has now before him.

• In all cases where the writers could be ascertained, their names are mentioned, and memoirs of them are now in preparation, which will either be published in a separate work, or interwoven with the illustrations of the Spectator and Guardian almost ready for publication, and principally with-held, in hopes of their being benefited and enlarged, by expected communications from aged and literary people, friends to this undertaking.

• 'These admirable Essays, at their first publication generally clear, might be in less need of comment; but as they frequently allude to facts which no longer exist, notes become now indispensibly necessary. This part of the work has been the more difficult to execute, because the passages that most require explanation, contain allusions to popular fashions, modes, and follies, seldom recorded in common books, nor very minutely in such as are uncommon, being chiefly to

Though Steele at all times stood forward as the ostensible author of the Tatler, many excellent Papers are to be found in it, the production of other pens.

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be learnt from personal information. To obtain this, neither trouble nor expence has been spared; nor will they be with held or regretted, if this part of the work should be fo fortunate as to meet with the approbation of the Public, and become the means of enticing people to a better acquaintance with useful papers, which, for some time back, have been, perhaps, more generally bought than read.'

Sreele, Swift, and Addison, formed, at this time, the grand triumvirate of wits, and were the principal writers in the Tatler. Of these there is little to say in addition to what is already known. We shall, however, select an anecdote or two of each of them, which cannot but be acceptable to our Readers, since it is from such particulars that we should judge of the characters and dispositions of men, and not, as some are too apt to imagine, from their writings, or literary course in life.

Steele’s want of economy in the management of his private affairs, is pretty generally known: the following story, however, related of Addison and his friend, do honour to both.

• Steele built, and inhabited for a few years, an elegant house adjoining to the Palace at Hampton, and which he distinguished by the name of the Hovel at Hampton-wick. Being embarrassed in his circumstances, he borrowed a thousand pounds of Addison on this house and furniture, giving bond and judgment for the repayment of the money at the end of twelve months. On the forfeiture of the bond, Addison's attorney proceeded to execution-the house and furniture were sold: the surplus Addison remitted to Steele, with a genteel letter, flating the friendly reason of this extraordinary procedure, viz. to awaken him, if possible, from a lethargy that must inevitably end in his ruin. Steele received the letter with his wonted composure and gaiety, met his friend as usual, said he confidered this itep as meant “ to do him service"--and the friendship subsisted to the end of Addison's life, with a few little bickerings (says Dr. Birch) on economical occasions.

* Steele's expence in his periodical publications (says his Annotator) was certainly very considerable.' In the process of his very la. borious and beneficial publications, he might have been eased a little, fometimes by whole Papers, and at other times by Mort hints from unknown hands, all which would cost him nothing but the trouble of digesting, and transcribing. But laudable as Steele's views certainly were, and though his publications were visibly serviceable, his auxiliaries, in general, did not aslist him gratis. Of this expence, from which Steele's genius might well have exempted him, and to which his indolence only, and his falhionable life subjected him, it is not now poflible to state with precision, or any kind of accuracy, the full amount. It may, however, enable the curious to form some estimate, to inform them, and on filial authority, that the celebrated Bihop Berkeley had one guinea and a dinner with Steele, for every Paper of his composing, published in the Guardian, in the interval beiween the 7th and 8th volumes of the Spectator.

• Steele (in 1725) on a principle of doing justice to his creditors, relinquished, in their behalf, all his lucrative places, grants, and

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employments; and having settled every thing to their entire fatif. faction, retired from public life.'

But enough of Addison and Steele-we meet with little else that is new to us respecting the social virtues of either. The Dean of St. Patrick's is next to be considered.

The rancour and enmity which Swift at all times manifested toward Lord Wharton is supposed to have arisen from the fole lowing circumstance, which is related on the authority of Dr. Samuel Salter, late Master of the Charter-house :

• Lord Somers recommended Swift at his own very earnest request to Lord Wharton, when that Earl went Lieutenant to Ireland in 1708, but without success; and the answer Wharton is said to have given, was never forgotten or forgiven by Swift-Oh, my Lord, we must not prefer or countenance these fellows ; We have not character enough OURSELVES.

Lord Wharton's remarkable words' (says the Editor) allude, not only to the odium Swift had contracted, as the known or supposed author of the “ Tale of a Tub," &c. but they seem to point more particularly to a flagrant part of his early criminality at Kilroot, not lo generally known. In consequence of an attempt to ravish one of his

parishioners, a farmer's daughter, Swift was carried before a ma. gistrate of the name of Dobis (in whose family the examinations taken on the occafior are said to be extant at this day), and to avoid the very serious confequences of this rafh action, he immediately refigned the prebend, and quitted the kingdom. This intelligence was communicated and vouched as a fact well known in the parish even now, by one of Swift's successors in the living, and is rested on the authority of the present Prebendary of Kilroot, Feb. 6, 1785.'

Swift speaks to the full as acrimoniously of Walpole, both in his poetic and profaic writings, as he does of Lord Wharton. That this hatred of him was great, may be learnt from the following story

To As soon as Dean Swift heard that Lord Orford was dismissed from power, he awakened with one flash of light from his dreaming of what he once was, and cried, I made a vow, that I would set up a coach when that man was turned out of his places; and having the good fortune to behold that day, long despaired of, I will shew that I was fincere. Send for a coachmaker. The operator cones, had one almost ready, it was sent home, horses were purchased, and the Dean entered the triumphant double chariot, supported by two old women and his daily flatterer, to entertain him with the only music he hath any ear to hear at this age. They made up the partie quarrée, and with much ado enabled his

decrepid reverence to endure the fatigue of travelling twice round our great fquare, by the cordial and amusement of their fulsome commendations, which he calls facetious pleasantry. But the next pacquet brought word (what lying rascals these news-writers are !) that Lord Orford's party revived, &c. Swift sunk back in the corner of the coach, his under-jaw fell; he was Carried up to his chamber and great chair, and obstinately refused to be lifted into the treacherous venicle any more, till the news-writers at least shall be hanged for deceiving him to imagine that Lord Or. ford was bona fide out of power, though visibly out of place.” Lett. figned Th. Derry.

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We now proceed to bring our Readers acquainted with some of the less remarkable (though not inconsiderable) personages, who have either figured as writers in the work, or whose characters have been delineated in it under affumed and fictitious names.

Among the names which are no way familiar to us, we meet with that of Fuller, of whom it is told, that at the age

of sixteen he composed the Vain-glorious glutton, with several other excellent pieces; and that he was, while a boy, the secret correspondent of the Tacler. Prior, Rowe, Congreve, and Hughes, were also contributors to the work. The character of Favonius, Tat. No. 72, was intended for Dr. Smalridge; and that of the Dean, No. 66, for Dr. Atterbury. Anecdotes are given of Sir Chrifto. pher Wren, James Duke of Ormond, the great Marlborough, the Earl of Halifax, Diamond Pict *, &c. &c. We find, moreover, in Note to No. 260, a learned account of the celebrated Taliacotius, the supplemental Nose-doctor-a curious history of W. Courten, Esq. the principal collector of the curiofilies in the British Museum-of Henry Wilby, Esq. a truly fingular character and likewise some particulars respecting Partridge the almanac-maker.

We shall conclude our account of the work with observing, that the Editor + (apparently from an over-fondness of his subo ject) is much too apt to enter into a detail of triling incidents, and even to give importance to characters which do not feem by any means to deserve it. That the notes are unnecessarily and affectedly multiplied is certain. Was there (for example) any occasion to tell the readers of the Tatler, that automata are mere machineschat glacis (where the writer is speaking particularly of the fiege of Tournay) is a term in fortification that Mercury was the god of thieves—that the sign in the heavens known by the name of Libra, is next to the sign Virgo? &c. &c. ? In a word, if the book is designed for the use of children, such notes are una doubtedly requisite : in any other case they are needless and impertinent,

The present edition of the Tatler must certainly be confidered (on account of the biographical anecdotes in it) not only as an entertaining, but a useful publication. however, forry to observe the omission of an article so very material, io a book of this miscellaneous kink, especially, as the Index : an advantage which the former editions poflefied; and

We are,

Not the present minister. + Mr.

-, who appears to have taken up the pen, where Dr. Percy laid it down.

without

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