The 18th century is usually characterized as an age of prose literature. In fact, the age s found rich in prose writings, and in these prose writings, the periodical essay, as it is called, proves immensely successful. In the periodical essays of the 18th century, The Spectator , a venture of Joseph Addison and Richard Steele, published first in , is an important literary name. It was lasting from to
Joseph Addison • Essays
Joseph Addison - Essays
Non fumum ex fulgore, sed ex fumo dare lucem Cogitat, ut speciosa dehinc miracula promat. To gratify this Curiosity, which is so natural to a Reader, I design this Paper, and my next, as Prefatory Discourses to my following Writings, and shall give some Account in them of the several persons that are engaged in this Work. As for the rest of my Infancy, there being nothing in it remarkable, I shall pass it over in Silence. I find that, during my Nonage, I had the reputation of a very sullen Youth, but was always a Favourite of my School-master, who used to say, that my parts were solid, and would wear well. I had not been long at the University, before I distinguished myself by a most profound Silence: For, during the Space of eight Years, excepting in the publick Exercises of the College, I scarce uttered the Quantity of an hundred Words; and indeed do not remember that I ever spoke three Sentences together in my whole Life.
A short note on the Spectator(1711-1712), periodical essay
No eBook available Amazon. Steele was born in the same year as Joseph Addison, whom he knew at Charterhouse School and at Oxford, which Steele left before receiving his degree. In he began the first of a series of periodicals that established the characteristics of the "periodical essay.
In the last essay in the selection Addison muses on the wide variety of living beings on earth. He is also amazed by how gradually animals progress in their capacity for perception and intellect from the lowest mussels to man. This is a rather bland essay about the pleasures of the imagination. The rest of the essay is the praise of the pleasures of the imagination which are neither so gross as purely sensual ones nor as refined as the pleasures of intellect.