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To No. 123.
The following letter, dated July 21, 1711, was sent by Addison to his friend Mr. Wortley Montagu, with No. 123 of the Spectator.
’Being very well pleased with this day’s Spectator I cannot forbear sending you one of them, and desiring your opinion of the story in it. When you have a son I shall be glad to be his Leontine, as my circumstances will probably be like his. I have within this twelvemonth lost a place of L200 per ann., an estate in the Indies of L14,000, and what is worse than all the rest, my mistress. Hear this, and wonder at my philosophy. I find they are going to take away my Irish place from me too: to which I must add, that I have just resigned my fellowship, and that stocks sink every day. If you have any hints or subjects, pray send me up a paper full. I long to talk an evening with you. I believe I shall not go for Ireland this summer, and perhaps would pass a month with you if I knew where. Lady Bellasis is very much your humble servant. Dick Steele and I often remember you.’
I am, Dear Sir, Yours eternally.
To Nos. 453, 461, and 465.
The Retrospective Review, vol. xi. for 1825, in a cordially appreciative review of the writings of Marvell, says,
’Captain Thompson was a very incorrect and injudicious editor of Marvell’s works. A very contemptible charge of plagiarism is also preferred by the editor against Addison for the insertion of three hymns in the Spectator, Nos. 453, 461, and 465; no proof whatever is vouchsafed that they belong to Marvell, and the hymn inserted in the Spectator, No. 461, “When Israel freed from Pharaoh’s land,” is now known to be the noble composition of Dr. Watts.’
Captain Edward Thompson’s edition of Marvell in 3 volumes quarto was printed for the editor in 1776. Its great blunder was immediately disposed of in the Gentleman’s Magazine for September, 1776, and February, 1777, where it was shown for example that Dr. Watts had claimed and transferred his version of the 114th Psalm (which Captain Thompson supposed to have been claimed by ‘Tickle’) to his volume of Divine Psalms and Hymns, published in 1719. In the preface to that volume Dr. Watts wrote,