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LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
THE ENGLISH HUMORISTS OF THE EIGHTEENTH
PORTRAIT OF HOGARTH (Etched by F. W. PAILTHORPE from the original sketch by HOGARTH)
Frontispiece DEAN Swift's POLITENESS
9 DEAN SWIFT AT COURT
23 THE GREAT MR. CONGREVE .
55 ADDISON AT “ Child's”
89 CAPTAIN STEELE .
109 MR. GAY
155 MR. POPE
181 LORD BATUURST INTRODUCES HIMSELF TO MR. STERNE. 245 GOLDSMITH AT Play
THE SECOND FUNERAL OF NAPOLEON.
365 387 409
THE ENGLISH HUMORISTS
In treating of the English humorists of the past age, it is of the men and of their lives, rather than of their books, that I ask permission to speak to you; and in doing so, you are aware that I cannot hope to entertain you with a merely humorous or facetious story. Harlequin without his mask is known to present a very sober countenance, and was himself, the story goes, the melancholy patient whom the Doctor advised to go and see Harlequin ? a man full of cares and perplexities like the rest of us, whose Self must always be serious to him, under whatever mask or disguise or uniform he presents it to the public. And as all of you here must needs be grave when you think of your own past and present, you will not look to find, in the histories of those whose lives and feel. ings I am going to try and describe to you, a story that is otherwise than serious, and often very sad. If Humor only meant laughter, you would scarcely feel more interest about humorous writers than about 1 The anecdote is frequently told of our performer Rich.