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brated as a pattern of munificence and piety. By her historical character drawn up by THOMAS BARNARD, M. A. and published in 1742, it appears that she was indeed "little lower than the angels.' It does honour to CONGREVE that he could relish the beauties of such a character.
An excellent paper on gluttony, No. 205, is ascribed by STEELE, in the Theatre, No. 26,' to a Mr. FULLER, with this encomium: "The mind usually exerts itself in all its faculties, with an equal pace towards maturity : and this gentleman, whoat the age of sixteen, could form such pleasant pictures of the false and little ambitions of low spirits, as Mr. FuLLER did, to whom, when a boy, we owe, with several other excellent pieces, The Vain-Glorious Glutton, when a secret correspondent of the Tatler; I say, such a one might, easily, as he proceeded in human life, arrive at this superior strength of mind at four and twenty.' Of this young writer, and of his other pieces, I have not been able to obtain any account. I hazard a conjecture that he might be THOMAS FULLER, M. D. a physician, who died at Seven-oaks in Kent, Feb. 10, 1731, and who published • Introductio ad Sapientiam, or the Right Art of Thinking, assisted and improved.'
The letter on language, education, &c. in No. 234, was writen by Mr. James GREENWOOD, author of an • Essay towards a practical English Grammar,' and teacher of a boarding-school at Woodford in Essex. In 1717, he published, under the title of• The Virgin Muse,' a collection of poems from our most celebrated English poets. He was also the author of · The London Vocabulary, English and Latin, &c.' It appears that for a considerable time of his life he was Sur-master of St. Paul's School, in which office he died Sept. 12, 1737,
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 STEELE. That he had however some unknown correspon. dents whose favours he admitted is certain, and not less so that there were many whose communications he thought proper to reject. In No. 619, of the SPECTATOR, written most probably by STEELE, adesignis announced of publishing these rejected contributions. I have often thought,' says the writer of that paper, that if the several letters which are written to me under the character of SPECTATOR, and which I have not made use of, were published in a volumc, they would not be an unentertaining collection. The vari. ety of the subjects, styles, sentiments, and informations, which are transmitted to me, would lead a very curious, or very idle reader, insensibly along through a great many pages. I know some authors who would pick up a secret history out of such inaterials, and make a bookseller an alderman by the copy. I shall therefore carefully preserve the original papers in a room set apart for that purpose, to the end that they may be of ser. vice to posterity.'
Such a work actually appeared in 1725, entitled Original and genuine letters sent to the TatLER and SPECTATOR, during the time these works were publishing: none of which have been before printed ;' 2 vols. 8vo. The design of this work, however, is here attributed to Charles Lillie, the perfumer, who probably took the hint from the above passage in the SPECTATOR, and obtained the manuscripts from STEELE; who, in a short letter prefixed.to the first volume, says, “I have a great deal of business and very ill health, therefore must desire you to excuse me from looking over them; but if you take care that no person or family is offended at any of them, or any thing in them published contrary to religion or good manners, you have my leave to do what you please with them.'
This sanction being obtained, Mr. LILLIE returned the compliment in as handsome a dedication as he could frame: and, in a long preface, written with equal ability, endeavours to recommend these rejected wares. A short specimen of this may, perhaps, amuse the reader. Here are near three hundred letters wrote by as many different wri. ters, no two of which, though very near in their way of thinking, 'tis probable, so much as knew or ever saw each other: from which observation, I think, the whole may claim the title of the dictates of nature. Here is religion and morality for the upright and the just; here is manners for the rude, and a whip for the incorrigible; here is sobriety for the drunkard, and temperance for the epicure. For the droles and laughers, here is odd mirth, and an account of whims, not yet heard or hardly thought of. Here is dress and fashion for the gay, and just satire for the pretenders and insipid. If the avaricious wants gold, here it is. If any man wants to buy or sell a wife, here he may find his trader. Is any one jealous ?- let him or her read, mind, and coolly digest, No. 87, 119, in the first volume, and No. 25 in the second.'
The whole is, however, a most wretched farrago of dulness and insipidity, such as the most contemptible of our modern periodical publications would not admit; but LILLIE had the wisdom to secure a very copious list of subscribers, whose curiosity was probably excited by the singular and not very modest attempt to sell dross at the price of pure
metal. The work, as may be supposed, was never reprinted, and is now become scarce.
The rival candidates for popularity during the publication of the Tatler were very numerous. A list is given of thirteen, which made in all fiftyfive publications each week. The superior attractions of the TATLER were soon felt by some of those, and excited all the hostility of which they were capable, but which was so feeble that while few years pass without an edition of the TATLER being printed in some part of the kingdom, it is with the utmost difficulty the productions of its contemporaries can be procured. Among them, Mr. THOMAS BAKER, the author of the FEMALE TATLER, laboured hard to gain fame hy depreciating the lucubrations of Isaac BICKERSTAFF, chiefly by vulgar and personal remarks on STEELE's character, gait, &c. The hostility of the authors of the EXAMINER is rather better known. Another enemy was a monsieur BourNELLE, whose work is entitled, Annotations on the TATIER in two parts,' 24mo. It is said to have been originally written in French, and translated into English by WALTER WAGSTAFF, Esq. 1710. The author, however, and his translator seem to have been one and the same person, perhaps Dr. William Wagstaffe*, who was unfriendly to STEELE, and had published a false and injurious character of him, which, as the writer of Dr. WAGSTAFFE's life acknowledges,
* Or as some think, Oldisworth, an 'under-spur-lcather,' and a coxcomb, as Swift calls him, who was also a writer in the EXAMINER, and a poet of some note in his time. In Pope's admirable letter to Lord Burlington, Lintot, the bookseller, is made to testify of him, “I'll say that of Oldisworth (though I lost by his Timothy's) he translates an ode of Horace the quickest of any man in England.'
does indeed want some apology. The annotator, whoever he was, points clearly to STEELE as the author of the TATLER; and his petulant annotations are minute remarks, quaintly expressed in a strain of coarse irony and undisguised malignity, with such a mixture of the sort of wit that is nearest allied to madness, as sufficiently justifies STEELE's imputation of insanity in No 79. There are, however, some passages in both parts of the book, less obnoxious to this general censure, that might incline one to think the writer a distant kinsman of the STAFFs, in consequence of the left hand favours of some open-hearted woman of the family*.
But if STEELE had his enemies, he had also his imitators, whose performances, however, are now little known. One, indeed, by assuming the name and character of TaTLER and BICKERSTAFF, endeavoured to gain the more particular notice of the public, and had some claims to it. STEELE'S Tatler terminated Jan. 2, 1710, and on the 13th of the same month appeared the first number of what has been since called the Spurious Tatler, which was conducted by Swift and the little HARRISON’already mentioned, of whom he speaks with much contempt in his Journal to Stella : "I am setting up a new Tatler, little Harrison. Others have put him on it, and I encourage him;
and he was with me this morning and evening, shewing me his first, which comes out on Saturday. I doubt he will not succeed, for I do not much approve his manner; but the scheme is Mr. Secre. tary St. John's and mine, and would have done well
* Tatler, No. 79, notes.