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A Spelling Book.
A Dictionary for the explanation of hard words.
Sherlock 14

upon Death. The fifteen Comforts of Matrimony. 15 5 Sir William Temple's 16 Essays. Father Malebranche's 17 Search after Truth, trans

lated into English. A Book of Novels.

The Academy of Compliments. 10 The Ladies' Calling 18 Tales in Verse, by Mr. Durfey; 19 bound in red

leather, gilt on the back, and doubled down in

several places. All the Classic Authors in wood. 15 A set of Elzevirs 20 by the same hand.21 Clelia: 22 which opened of itself in the place that

describes two lovers in a bower. Baker's Chronicle.23

Advice to a Daughter. 24
20 The New Atalantis,25 with a Key to it.

Mr. Steele's Christian Hero.26
A Prayer-book: with a bottle of Hungary Water 27

by the side of it.
Dr. Sacheverell's Speech.28
25 Fielding's Trial.29

Seneca's 30 Morals.
Taylor's 31 Holy Living and Dying.
La Ferte's 32 Instructions for Country Dances.

I was taking a catalogue in my pocket-book of these, and several other authors, when Leonora entered, and upon my presenting her with a letter from the knight, told me, with an unspeakable grace, that she hoped Sir Roger was in good health: 5 I answered Yes, for I hate long speeches, and after a bow or two retired.

Leonora was formerly a celebrated beauty, and is still a very lovely woman. She has been a widow for two or three years, and being unfortunate in her 10 first marriage, has taken a resolution never to venture upon a second. She has no children to take care of, and leaves the management of her estate to my good friend Sir Roger. But as the mind naturally sinks into a kind of lethargy, and falls 15 asleep, that is not agitated by some favorite pleasures and pursuits, Leonora has turned all the passions of her sex into a love of books and retirement. She converses chiefly with men (as she has often said herself), but it is only in their writings; 20 and admits of very few male visitants,33 except my friend Sir Roger, whom she hears with great pleasure, and without scandal. As her reading has lain very much among romances, it has given her a very particular turn of thinking, and discovers itself even 25 in her house, her gardens, and her furniture. Sir Roger has entertained me an hour together with a description of her country seat, which is situated in

kind of wilderness, about an hundred miles distant

from London, and looks like a little enchanted palace. The rocks about her are shaped into artificial grottoes covered with woodbines and jasmines.

The woods are cut into shady walks, twisted into 5 bowers, and filled with cages of turtles.34 The

springs are made to run among pebbles, and by that means taught to murmur very agreeably. They are likewise collected into a beautiful lake that is 'inhabited by a couple of swans, and empties itself 10 by a little rivulet which runs through a green

meadow, and is known in the family by the name of “The Purling Stream.” The knight likewise tells me, that this lady preserves her game better than

any of the gentlemen in the country, not (says 15 Sir Roger) that she sets so great a value upon her

partridges and pheasants, as upon her larks and nightingales. For she says that every bird which is killed in her ground, will spoil a concert, and that she shall certainly miss him the next year.

When I think how oddly this lady is improved by learning, I look upon her with a mixture of admiration and pity. Amidst these innocent entertainments which she has formed to herself, how

much more valuable does she appear than those of 25 her sex, who employ themselves in diversions that

are less reasonable though more in fashion? What improvements would a woman have made, who is so susceptible of impressions from what she reads, had she been guided to such books as have a ten

20

dency to enlighten the understanding and rectify the passions, as well as to those which are of a little more use than to divert the imagination?

But the manner of a lady's employing herself usefully in reading, shall be the subject of another 5 paper, in which I design to recommend such particular books as may be proper for the improvement of the sex. And as this is a subject of a very nice nature, I shall desire my correspondents to give me their thoughts upon it.

IO

No. 6. Sir Roger at his Country-House
SPECTATOR No. 106. Monday, July 2, 1711

Hinc tibi copia
Manabit ad plenum, benigno
Ruris honorum opulenta cornu.

Hor. Lib. 1. Od. xvii. 14.

HAVING often received an invitation from my friend Sir Roger de Coverley to pass away a month with him in the country, I last week accompanied him thither, and am settled with him for some time at his country-house, where I intend to form several 15 of my ensuing speculations. Sir Roger, who is very well acquainted with my humor, lets me rise and go to bed when I please, dine at his own table or in my chamber, as I think fit, sit still and say nothing without bidding me be merry. When the 20 gentlemen of the country come to see him, he only

shows me at a distance. As I have been walking in his fields I have observed them stealing a sight of me over a hedge, and have heard the knight

desiring them not to let me see them, for that I 5 hated to be stared at.

I am the more at ease in Sir Roger's family, because it consists of sober and staid persons; for as the knight is the best master in the world, he seldom

changes his servants; and as he is beloved by all 10 about him, his servants never care for leaving him:

by this means his domestics are all in years, and grown old with their master. You would take his valet de chambre for his brother, his butler is gray

headed, his groom is one of the gravest men that I 15 have ever seen, and his coachman has the looks of

a privy counselor. You see the goodness of the master even in the old house-dog, and in a gray pad that is kept in the stable with great care and ten

derness out of regard to his past services, though he 20 has been useless for several years.

I could not but observe with a great deal of pleasure the joy that appeared in the countenances of these ancient domestics upon my friend's arrival

at his country-seat. Some of them could not re25 frain from tears at the sight of their old master;

every one of them pressed forward to do something for him, and seemed discouraged if they were not employed. At the same time the good old knight, with a mixture of the father and the master of the

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