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Westminster Abbey by Joseph Addison_ First

Westminster Abbey by Joseph Addison_ First - NoCC...

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NoCC Westminster Abbey By Joseph Addison Westminster Abbey Westminster Abbey Westminster Abbey Introductory Note Joseph Addison (1672-1719) divided his energies between literature and politics. He was educated at the Charterhouse and at Oxford with a view to holy orders, but the Earl of Halifax saw in him valuable political material, obtained for him a pension, and sent him abroad to prepare for a diplomatic career. His travels in France and Italy confirmed his classical tastes, and his critical writings show abundant traces of French influence. On his return to England he published his "Campaign," which laid the foundation of his career. He entered Parliament, and finally rose to be Secretary of State. In spite of the bitterness of political feeling in his time, Addison kept the esteem of men of all parties, and enjoyed a universal popularity such as has been bestowed on few men of letters and fewer politicians. Addison`s fame to - day rests mainly on his writings in the "Tatler" and the "Spectator." In the essays and articles published in these two periodicals, he not only produced a succession of pieces unsurpassed in their kind, but exerted an influence as wholesome as it was powerful upon the manners and morals of society in the London of Queen Anne. His style remains the great classic example of that combination of ease and elegance which is the characteristic merit of the prose of the period; and the imaginative moralizing which is exemplified in "The Vision of Mirza" and "Westminster Abbey" reveals something of the gentle persuasiveness with which he sought to lead his generation to higher levels of living and thinking. Westminster Abbey [Footnote 1: Published in "The Spectator," March 30, 1711 ] Pallida mors aequo palsat pede pauperam tabernas Regumque tures, O beati Sexti, Vitae summa brevis spem nos vetat inchoare longam: Jam te premet nox, fabulaeque manes, Et domus exilis Plutonia. - Hor.^2 [Footnote 2: "Pale death knocks with impartial foot at the huts of the poor and at the towers of kings, O happy Sextus. The shortness of the span of life forbids us to cherish remote hope; already night overtakes thee, and the fabled shades, and the wretched house of Pluto."]
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