THE COVERLEY PAPERS
FROM THE ’SPECTATOR’ EDITED, WITH INTRODUCTION AND NOTES, BY O. M. MYERS PREFACE The following selection comprises all numbers of the Spectator which are concerned with the history or character of Sir Roger de Coverley, and all those which arise out of the Spectator’s visit to his country house. Sir Roger’s name occurs in some seventeen other papers, but in these he either receives only passing mention, or is introduced as a speaker in conversations where the real interest is the subject under discussion. In these his character is well maintained, as, for example, at the meeting of the club described in Spectator 34, where he warns the Spectator not to meddle with country squires, but they add no traits to the portrait we already have of him. No. 129 is included because it arises naturally out of No. 127, and illustrates the relation between the town and country. No. 410 has been omitted because it was condemned by Addison as inconsistent with the character of Sir Roger, together with No. 544, which is an unconvincing attempt to reconcile it with the whole scheme. Some of the papers have been slightly abridged where they would not be acceptable to the taste of a later age. The papers are not all signed, but the authorship is never in doubt. Where signatures are attached, C, L, I, and O are the mark of Addison’s work; R and T of Steele’s, and X of Budgell’s. [Footnote: Spectator 555.] I have availed myself freely of the references and allusions collected by former editors, and I have gratefully to acknowledge the help of Miss G. E. Hadow in reading my introductory essay. O. M. M.