Excerpt from Selected Essays of Joseph Addison: With an Introduction
IN this oft-quoted line, Mr. Pope, with his own admirable terseness, has summed up the character of his great contemporary Joseph Addison. For Mr. Addison seems to have had by nature that most excel lent gift, an even and cheerful temper. One thinks of him as wearing a certain calm dignity and decorum always. Courteous, urbane, with no angularities of character, throughout a long and busy life he seldom gavebffence to any one 3 and when he did give Offence he offered his enemy no point of attack. And he had a good luck to match his good temper. Pensions and places he seemed to get without seeking, and to keep when everybody else' lost them. I believe Mr. Addi son might be king if he chose, said Swift once, with a twinge of envy. The truth is, however, that Addison's good luck, like most good luck, was no mere accident, but the result of uniform good sense and good humor.
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