chapter  4
Johnson: the correction of error
Pages 16

Besides the fictitious "author-editor," Addison and Steele also introduced other characters, and in The Spectator made them into a Club which represented what they saw as the main sectors of English society: Sir Roger represents the country squires, Sir Andrew Freeport typifies the wealthy trading dass, Captain Sentry gives the military viewpoint, Will Honeycomb contributes the perspective of the man-about-town, and the Clergyman that of the Church. The cirde of their discussions, intended as a microcosm of the nation, is further extended by the "letters to the editor," some of which may be fictitious, others not. The distinction is itself the subject of an essay (Spectator 542) which, by deliberately blurring the fictionl reality division, gives the fictitious characters a greater sense of possible "reality," a device common to the early novel from Cervantes onwards. Where Montaigne's multiplicity is that of a single self over time, that of The Spectator is produced by the variety of participating characters and textual forms.