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I was my wish, when entering upon the execution of the following work, to adopt a plan which, in its arrangement, should be productive of novelty, and in its various branches, fertile in literary discussion; which should, in fact, though occasionally digressive in its parts, preserve a perspicuous unity of design, and a mutual subserviency in all its departments.

I have therefore, urged by the hope of succeeding, in some degree, in this

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arduous attempt, divided my volumes into five parts, and again subdivided these into Essays.

The first part, embracing but one essay, and which may be considered as introductory to the whole, contains,

General observations on periodical writing, its merit and utility, and on the state of literature and manners in this island at the commencement of the Tatler, in 1709.

The second part, including every thing relative to Sir Richard Steele, is branched into six essays.

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1. A Biographical Sketch of Steele.
2. Observations on his Style.
3. On his Taste and Critical Abilities.

4. On his Invention, Imagery, and Pathos.
5. On his Delineation of Character and on

his Humour.
6. On his Ethics and Morality.

The third part also, which is employed on the character and writings of Addison, receives a similar arrange

ment, viz.

1, A Biographical Sketch of Addison.
2. Observations on, and Specimens of, the

Progress of English Style, and on the

Style of Addison in particular. 3. On the Origin and Progress of English

Criticism, and on the Critical Abilities

and Taste of Addison. 4. On his Humour and Comic Painting. 5. On the Introduction of Oriental Imagery

into Europe, and on the Fable, Imagery,

and Allegory of Addison. 6. On the Moral Tendency of his Periodical


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