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The last moments of Addison were perfectly serene, His interview with his son-in-law is universally known. "See," he said, “how a Christian can die.” The piety of Addison was, in truth, of a singularly cheerful character. The feeling which predominates in all his devotional writings is gratitude. God was to him the allwise and allpowerful friend who had watched over his cradle with more than maternal tenderness; who had listened to his cries before they could form themselves in prayer ; who had preserved his youth from the snares of vice; who had made his cup run over with worldly blessings ; who had doubled the value of those blessings, by bestowing a thankful heart to enjoy them, and dear friends to partake them ; who had rebuked the waves of the Ligurian gulf, had purified the autumnal air of the Campagna, and had restrained the avalanches of Mont Cenis. Of the Psalms, his favourite was that which represents the Ruler of all things under the endearing image of a shepherd, whose crook guides the flock safe, through gloomy and desclate glens, to meadows well watered and rich with herbage. On that goodness to which he ascribed all the happiness of his life, he relied in the hour of death with the love which casteth out fear. He died on the seventeenth of June 1719. He had just entered on his forty-eighth year.
His body lay in state in the Jerusalem Chamber, and was borne thence to the Abbey at dead of night. The
hoir sang a funeral hymn. Bishop Atterbury, one of those Tories who had loved and honoured the most accomplished of the Whigs, met the corpse, and led the procession by torchlight, round the shrine of Saint Edward and the graves of the Plantagenets, to the Chapel of Henry the Seventh. On the north side of
that Chapel, in the vault of the House of Albemarle, the coffin of Addison lies next to the coffin of Montague. Yet a few months; and the same mourners passed again along the same aisle. The same sad anthem was again chanted. The same vault was again opened; and the coffin of Craggs was placed close to the coffin of Addison.
Many tributes were paid to the memory of Addison ; but one alone is now remembered. Tickell bewailed his friend in an elegy which would do honour to the greatest name in our literature, and which unites the energy and magnificence of Dryden to the tenderness and purity of Cowper. This fine poem was prefixed to a superb edition of Addison's works, which was published, in 1721, by subscription. The names of the subscribers proved how widely luis fame had been spread. That his countrymen should be eager to possess his writings, even in a costly form, is not worderful. But it is wonderful that, though English literature was then little studied on the continent, Spanish Grandees, Italian Prelates, Marshals of France, should be found in the list. Among the most remarkable names are those of the Queen of Sweden, of Prince Eugene, of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, of the Dukes of Parma, Modena, and Guastalla, of the Doge of Genoa, of the Regent Orleans, and of Cardinal Dubois. We ought to add that this edition, though eminently beautiful, is in some important points defective; nor, indeed, do we yet possess a complete collection of Addison's writings.
It is strange that neither his opulent and noble widow, nor any of his powerful and attached friends, shonld have thought of placing even a simple tallet, inscribed with his name, on the walls of the Abbey,
It was not till three generations had laughed and wept over his pages, that the omission was supplied by the public veneration. At length, in our own time, his image, skilfully graven, appeared in Poet's Corner. It represents him, as we can conceive him, clad in his dressing gown, and freed from his wig, stepping from his parlour at Chelsea into his trim little garden, with the account of the Everlasting Club, or the Loves of Hilpa and Shalum, just finished for the next day's Spectator, in his hand. Such a mark of national respect was due to the unsullied statesman, to the accomplished scholar, to the master of pure English elo quence, to the consummate painter of life and manners. It was due, above all, to the great satirist, who alone knew how to use ridicule without abusing it, who, without inflicting a wound, effected a great social reform, and who reconciled wit and virtue, after a long and disastrous separation, during which wit had been lod astray by profligacy, end virtue by fanaticism.
(Edinburgh Review, April, 1844.)
This book has more than one title to our serious attention. It is an appeal, solemnly made to posterity by a man who played a conspicuous part in great events, and who represents himself as deeply aggrieved by the rash and malevolent censure of his contemporaries. To such an appeal we shall always give ready audience. We can perform no duty more useful to society, or more agreeable to our own feelings, than that of making, as far as our power extends, reparation to the slandered and persecuted benefactors of mankind. We therefore promptly took into our consideration this copious apology for the wife of Bertrand Barère. We have made up our minds; and we now purpose to do him, by the blessing of God, full and signal justice.
It is to be observed that the appellant in this case does not come into court alone. He is attended to the bar of public opinion by two compurgators, who оссиру Jighly honourable stations. One of these is M. David of Angers, Member of the Institute, an eminent sculp lor, and, if we have been rightly informed, a favourite pupil, though not a kinsman, of the painter who bore the same name. The other, to wliom we owe the bio
| Mémoires de Bertrand Barère; publiés par MM. HIPPOLYTE CARNOT. Membre de la Chambre des Députés, et David d'Angers, Membre de l'Institut: précédés d'une Notice Historique par H. CARNOT. 4 tones, Paris : 1843.
graphical preface, is M. Hippolyte Carnot, member of the Chamber of Deputies, and son of the celebrated Director. In the judgment of M. David and of M. Hippolyte Carnot, Barère was a deserving and an illused man, a man who, though by no means faultless, must yet, when due allowance is made for the force uf circumstances and the infirmity of human nature, be considered as on the whole entitled to our esteem. It will be for the public to determine, after a full hearing, whether the editors have, by thus connecting their names with that of Barère, raised his character or lowered their own.
We are not conscious that, when we opened this book, we were under the influence of any feeling likely to pervert our judgment. Undoubtedly, we had long entertained a most unfavorable opinion of Barère ; but to this opinion we were not tied by any passion or by any interest. Our dislike was a reasonable dislike, and might have been removed by reason. Indeed our expectation was, that these Memoirs would in some measure clear Barère's fame. That he could vindicate himself from all the charges which had been brought against him, we knew to be impossible; and his editors udmit that he has not done so. But we thought it nighly probable that some grave accusations would be efuted, and that many offences to which he would have been forced to plead guilty would be greatly extenuated. We were not disposed to be severe. We were fully aware that temptations such as those to which the members of the Convention and of the Committee of Public Safety were exposed must try severely the strength of the firmest virtue. Indeed our inclination has always been to regard with an indulgence, which to some rigid moralists appears excessive, those faults into