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Sequestered from the world, oh! let me dwell,
By mortal eye unseen, I will explore
The various works of nature's bounteous store;
From birth to growth, from growth to sure decay:
All ways despise that draw my mind from this,
Then strive to gain an endless age of bliss.
"I do not know that these lines were Mr. Addison's, but there is something in their versification that renders them not unworthy a recital. This estate was purchased by Mr. Addison in the year 1711 of the younger son of Sir William Broughton, for the sum of £10,000; in the purchase he was assisted by his brother, Mr. Gulstone Addison, Governor of Fort St. George at Madras, in which station he succeeded Governor Pitt, distinguished by the appellation of Diamond Pitt.
"At the decease of Mr. Addison, in 1719, this estate came to his widow, the Countess of Warwick, from whom it devolved on their daughter, the present Miss Addison, whom I had the honour of seeing, at this visit, with no small degree of respect and veneration. This lady was born about a twelvemonth before the death of her father, who, as some vague reports in the country say, left a large trunk of manuscripts, with a strict injunction that they should not be opened till her decease; if this be true, the polite and learned may, at a future day, expect what may yet further magnify the revered name of Addison."
Ireland's Warwickshire Avon.
IN the Gentleman's Magazine for March, 1797, we find the following: "At Bilton, near Rugby, in Warwickshire,
It is not known what became of these MSS. If the love-letters between Addison and the Countess of Warwick could be found, they would, no doubt, be highly interesting. The publisher of the present volume has made inquiries for them in every probable direction, without the least
died Miss Addison, only surviving daughter of the celebrated Joseph Addison, Esq., born just before his death, in 1718, by Sarah, Countess Dowager of Warwick, daughter of Thomas Dashwood, Esq., Alderman of London. Miss Addison was buried at Bilton, on the 10th of March. Many years since, she made her last will in favour of the third son of Lord Bradford, who now comes in for her estate. There are left at her house at Bilton several portraits of Mr. Addison and his friends, and his library, which, it is presumed, contains many valuable books and MSS. She inhe rited her father's memory, but none of the discriminating powers of his understanding; with the retentive faculties of Jedediah Buxton,' she was a perfect imbecile. She could go on in any part of her father's works, or repeat the whole, but was incapable of speaking or writing an intelligible sentence."
In a succeeding number2 of the same Magazine, a correspondent has corrected some errors in the above account, and as the writer appears to speak from personal acquaintance with this lady, we subjoin his remarks.
Looking into your obituary, I saw an account of Miss Addison, the daughter of the author of the Spectator. The circumstances that relate to her family are certainly very erroneous. The Countess her mother's Christian name was Charlotte, and the father of the Countess was Sir Thomas Middleton, of Chirk Castle, Denbighshire; and her mother's surname was Bridgman. The Countess was an only daughter. Miss Addison was born in London, and was twelve years old when the Countess died; was educated at a school in Queen's Square, and afterwards had a house of her own in Burlington Street. Perhaps the report which you have given in your useful miscellany about the strength of her memory and the weakness of her understanding, is almost as wide from the truth as the account of her family. I have not conversed very frequently with her; but enough to be convinced that her memory, though good, was not so extraordinary as is represented. I have heard her repeat some of the poetical parts of the Spectator, which she did with considerable accuracy of memory, and great propriety of emphasis.
A wonderful self-taught calculator, born at Elmeton in Derbyshire, 1704. See Kirby's Wonderful Museum IV. p. 119.
For May, 1797.
But I do not believe that she could have repeated one prose paper out of all her father's works. She could have given an account of the contents of many. She read them frequently. I have been told that she spoke French with fluency; and a person who had opportunities of observing informed me that she spelt it with correctness. She was very deaf; but when she could hear the questions which were put to her, she answered them with sound judgment and a steady recollection. So far is it from being true that she could not write or speak a single sentence intelligibly, that I am persuaded she could do both as well as the generality of other people. It is true that she was in no respect to be compared with her father in point of understanding; but how few are those that can admit of such a comparison! It is by no means true, that she was an imbecile, or such a prodigy of memory. Her memory was strong, but not marvellous; her understanding was good, but not particularly great. It was beneath admiration, and far above contempt. It must not be dissembled that it was at intervals clouded, but not for any great continuance of time; and perhaps she possessed her faculties in the extreme period of her life as well and as fully as in any of the former."
(Signed) "H. R."
SOME time after the death of Miss Addison, the books which she left were removed from Bilton, and disposed of by public auction in London.
Curiosity was much awakened on this occasion; as it was hoped some relic or memorial might be found in many of the volumes in the hand-writing of Miss Addison's illustrious father. Herein, however, the public were a good deal disappointed, nothing of the kind appearing; and only a few of the volumes were distinguished by his name in his own hand-writing; so that these books fetched in general no higher prices than might have been obtained for the same works from almost any other collection.1
Addison's Library is not fairly represented by the Catalogue of the sale, which took place eighty years after his death. His daughter (who died March, 1797) is not unlikely to have given away many of the books during her long life, and Addison's literary executor would most probably have obtained all his annotated volumes and manuscripts.
The library consisted of eight hundred and fifty-six lots, and was sold by Messrs. Leigh and Sotheby, on the 27th of May, 1799, and three following days. It produced £456 2s. 9d. And on the fifth day were sold the medals, jewels, &c., for £97 2s. 2d. The most interesting lots were the
Lot 800. A manuscript supposed to be written either by Mr. Addison or Mr. Tickell, declaring the authors of the greatest part of the numbers in the Eighth Volume of the Spectator, which have never been announced to the public. A single half-sheet. 38. 6d. Bindley.
Lot 880. The Countess of Warwick, daughter of the Earl of Manchester, and her son, a half-length.
Lot 881. The Earl of Warwick, first husband to Mrs. Addison, whole-length, by Sir Godfrey Kneller.
These two lots were sold together for 15s. Cooper.
ABBÉ, a French one, his account of the
Abbot of St. Gaul, his office and authority,
Abbreviations of English proper names,
Abdiel, his character exhibits a noble
Abdon, a judge of Israel, blessed with a
Abel Drugger, his appropriate sign-post,
Abigail, complaint of one, respecting her
Abigails, male, in fashion among the
Abingdon, Earl of, succeeded by Lord
Abraham, his relics in the great church
of Milan, i. 369; his lineage traced in
Absalom and Achitophel, Dryden's poem,
Absence, called by the poets, death in
love, iii. 134; consolations of lovers on
Abstinence, its tendency to abate party
Acætes, story of, i. 181; note respecting,
Acarnania, its promontory called Leucate,
Accent in speech of every nation differ-
Accident, a most afflicting one, ii. 70.
Achelous, the horn of, i. 299.
Acilianus, recommended by Pliny for a
Acosta, his answer to Limborch, on Jew-
Acquirement, used for acquisition, iii. 389,
Acrostic, a piece of false wit, divided into
Act of parliament, for the encouragement
Acts of parliament in favour of public
Actæon, transformed into a stag, i. 119;
Actors, Roman, their speech on making
Adam, his praise of Eve's virtues, ii. 43;