[Footnote 127: Addison, on reading here this remark upon Virgil, which he himself had communicated to Steele, discovered that his friend was the author of the Tatler. He was at this time in Ireland, Secretary to Lord Wharton, and returned to England with the Lord Lieutenant on the 8th of September following. (Tickell’s Preface to Addison’s Works.)]
[Footnote 128: “AEneid,” iv. 124.]
[Footnote 129: “The Rehearsal,” act i. sc. 2. This play of the Duke of Buckingham’s was produced in 1671, and the poet Bayes, as finally drawn after revision, was a satire on Dryden.]
From Saturday, April 23, to Tuesday, April 26, 1709.
* * * * *
It is so just an observation, that mocking is catching, that I am become an unhappy instance of it, and am (in the same manner that I have represented Mr. Partridge) myself a dying man in comparison of the vigour with which I first set out in the world. Had it been otherwise, you may be sure I would not have pretended to have given for news, as I did last Saturday, a diary of the siege of Troy. But man is a creature very inconsistent with himself: the greatest heroes are sometimes fearful, the sprightliest wits at some hours dull; and the greatest politicians on some occasions whimsical. But I shall not pretend to palliate, or excuse the matter; for I find, by a calculation of my own nativity, that I cannot hold out with any tolerable wit longer than two minutes after twelve o’clock at night, between the 18th and 19th of the next month. For which space of time you may still expect to hear from me, but no longer, except you will transmit to me the occurrences you meet with relating to your amours, or any other subject within the rules by which I have proposed to walk. If any gentleman or lady sends to Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq., at Mr. Morphew’s, near Stationers’ Hall, by the Penny Post, the grief or joy of their soul, what they think fit of the matter shall be related in colours as much to their advantage, as those in which Jervas has drawn the agreeable Chloe. But since, without such assistance, I frankly confess, and am sensible, that I have not a month’s wit more, I think I ought, while I am in my sound health and senses, to make my will and testament; which I do in manner and form following:
Imprimis, I give to the stockjobbers about the Exchange of London, as a security for the trusts daily reposed in them, all my real estate; which I do hereby vest in the said body of worthy citizens for ever.
Item, Forasmuch as it is very hard to keep land in repair without ready cash, I do, out of my personal estate, bestow the bearskin, which I have frequently lent to several societies about this town, to supply their necessities. I say, I give also the said bearskin, as an immediate fund to the said citizens for ever.