The book is the sixty-fourth volume of the contains those papers from the Tatler which were especially associated with the imagined character of Isaac Bickerstaff who was the central figure in that series; and in the twenty-ninth volume there is a similar collection of papers relating to the Spectator Club and Sir Roger de Coverley who was the central figure in Steele and Addison’s Spectator. Those volumes contained no doubt some of the best essays of addison and Steele. But in the Tatler and Spectator are full armories of the wit and wisdom of these two writers who summoned into life the army of the essayists and led it on to kindly war against the forces of Ill-temper and Ignorance. Envy Hatred Malice and all their first cousins of the family of Charitableness are captains under those two commanders-in-chief and we can little afford to dismiss from the field two of the stoutest combatants against them. In this volume it is only Addison who speaks and in another volume presently to follow there will be the voice of Steele. The two friends differed in temperament and in many of the outward signs of character but these two little books will very distinctly show how wholly they agreed as to essentials. For Addison Literature had a charm of its own he delighted in distinguishing the finer graces of good style and he drew from the truths of life the principles of taste in writing.
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