Frozen Voices
Note by J H Fowler

This parody of Sir John Mandeville is a charming example of Addison's skill in describing the incredible as if it were the most natural thing in the world. There is something of the same art that appears in Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, published nine years later. Addison did not invent the idea of 'frozen voices.' Mr. Austin Dobson refers to Rabelais, Bk. IV., chs. 55-56, and to Heylyn's description of Muscovy (early seventeenth century) where the same idea is to be found. In the Surprising Travels and Adventures of Baron Munchhausen (1786) there is an amusing account of a postillion's horn that had the tunes frozen up in it and began to play of its own accord when hung in the chimney corner.

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