THE DRUMMER OF HERSTMONCEUX. 199
situation." Dr. Joseph Warton calls it " that excellent and neglected comedy, that just picture of life and real manners, where the poet never speaks in his own person, or totally drops or forgets a character for the sake of introducing a brilliant simile or acute remark : where no train is laid for wit ; no Jeremys or Bens are allowed to appear."
The data now brought together, even if not sufficient for a definitive judgment, make it probable that the story of the house at Tedworth, haunted by a drummer, which Addison would hear in his boyhood, as his father's residence was in the same county and at no great distance, may have recurred to him in manhood as a fitting subject for treatment in a comedy. That he would suggest it to young William Harrison is not unlikely, seeing the interest that he took in him. The exact share of Harrison as author or amanuensis cannot now be determined, but whether great or little, it need not be doubted that to Addison the play owes the excellent qualities of its style.
It is to be regretted that Walpole did not give a more detailed account of the drummer of Herstmonceux. The local story appears to have