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other papers are assigned on indubitable authority.
Such an assistant as Addison was of incalculable value to STEELE; by his union his views became enlarged, and public attention more generally drawn to the paper, and he soon rose to the dignity of a teacher of wisdom and morals. His improvement is visible from about N° 82 or 83; N° 92, 95, 109, 132, may be referred to for their great excellence. STEELE's admirable papers on duelling were among the first successful attempts on that remnant of barbarism.
It is thought that some part of the popularity of the TATLERS, during their first, publication, was owing to an opinion, that the characters described in an unfavourable light, and held up to ridicule or contempt, were real; and the authors, being aware that nothing can render a work more popular than the supposition that it contains a proportion of scandal or personal history, were not very anxious to deprive themselves of a hold on the public mind which they could, and had the virtue, to turn to the best of purposes.
Thirty-four of the TATLERS are attributed to STEELE and ADDISON in conjunction
Forty-one are given to ADDISON alone, of which N° 132, 216, 220, 224, 250, 253, 256, 259, and 264, are admirable examples of that exquisite humour which afterwards became habitual in this author's writings, and flowed from a disposition of mind, easy, equable, and fertile in ridicule, yet delicate in sentiment and expression beyond any kind of wit that had hitherto appeared.
Among the occasional contributors to the TATLER, SWIFT has been often mentioned. He is said to have wrote, in N° 9, the Description of the Morning' in N° 32, the history of Madonella: in N° 35, from internal evidence, the family of Ix: in N° 59, the letter signed Obadiah Greenhat: in N° 63, Madonella's Platonic College: in N° 66, the first article, on pulpit oratory: in N° 67, the proposal for a Chamber of Fame: in N° 68, a continuation of the same: in N° 70, a letter on oratory, signed Jonathan Rosehat: in N° 71, a letter on the irregular conduct of a clergyman; N° 230, entire; in N° 238, the poetical description of a shower; and N° 258, a short letter on the words Great Britain.' These are all the communications that can with any confidence be ascribed to SWIFT.
The next contributor to the TATLER whom we shall notice, is Mr. JOHN HUGHES, who is said to have been the author of the letter signed Josiah Couplet in N° 64; that signed Will Trusty in N° 73; a letter on the tendency of the work in N° 76; and the inventory of a beau's effects in N° 118. Some farther notice will be taken of Mr. HUGHES among the authors of the SPECTATOR. The ‹ Medicine, a Tale,' in No 2, was written by Mr. WILLIAM HARRISON, a young gentleman of great promise. The very humorous genealogy of the family of Bickerstaff, in N° 11, is ascribed by STEELE in his 'Preface to the Octavo Edition, 1710,' to Mr. TWISDEN, who died at the battle of Mons, and has a monument in Westminster Abbey. The character of Aspasia, in N° 42, was written by CONGREVE. The paper on gluttony, N° 205, is ascribed by STEELE, in the Theatre, No 26,' to a Mr. FULLER. The letter on language, education, &c. in N° 234, was written by Mr. JAMES GREENWOOD, author of an Essay towards a practical English Grammar,' and teacher of a boarding-school at Woodford in Essex.
These are the names of all the contributors whose writings can be ascertained with any degree of probability. When their contributions are deducted, it will be seen that the continual supply of the work rested chiefly on STELLE.
We shall conclude these preliminary remarks by a few observations on the merit and utility of Periodical Writings, extracted from the excellent Essays illustrative of the Tatler, Spectator, and Guardian, by Dr. DRake.
"Few contrivances," says this writer, "have been found more effectual toward correcting the foibles and lighter vices of mankind, or better calculated to diffuse a taste for literature and refinement, than the periodical publication of short essays. To comprehend the intricacies of speculative science, or to relish the elaborate productions of genius, requires not only the education of many years, but much subsequent leisure through life; and such are the neces sary duties assigned to Man, so much of his time is occupied in the mere preservation of existence, that there are not many, even in the most civilized state of society, who, by inheriting property, enjoy an exemption from personal labour adequate to the pursuit; neither among
those privileged is it common to find many who possess the ability or inclination to improve the opportunities which opulence has bestowed, either in extending the limits of knowledge, or expatiating in the fields of imagination. To every one, however, whatever may be his rank, some portion of leisure is allotted, and it is of infinite importance to the happiness and prosperity of society that that leisure be properly employed.
"In a country just rising into consequence by commercial efforts, where, with the exception of a few individuals devoted to an academical or professional life, the higher and middle classes are but little acquainted with the pleasures and advantages of literature; where to form the character of the gentleman no more grammatical knowledge is required than may be found in the common mechanic; it will be in vain that attention is called to philological inquiry or studied exhortation. On men busied in the acquirement of wealth, merely for its own sake, or revelling in the grossest sensualities, no formal display of the value of science, or the beauty and utility of virtue, can be supposed to produce much effect. Under these
circumstances it should be our endeavour not