Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

received as favors rather than duties; and the distinction of approaching him is part of the reward for executing what is commanded by him.

There is another circumstance in which my friend 5 excels in his management, which is the manner of

rewarding his servants. He has ever been of opinion, that giving his cast clothes to be worn by valets has a very ill effect upon little minds, and

creates a silly sense of equality between the parties, 10 in persons affected only with outward things. I

have heard him often pleasant on this occasion, and describe a young gentleman abusing his man in that coat, which a month or two before was the most

pleasing distinction he was conscious of in himself. 15 He would turn his discourse still more pleasantly

upon the bounties of the ladies in this kind; and I have heard him say he knew a fine woman, who distributed rewards and punishments in giving becoming or unbecoming dresses to her maids.

But my good friend is above these little instances of good-will, in bestowing only trifles on his servants; a good servant to him is sure of having it in his choice very soon of being no servant at all. As I

before observed, he is so good a husband, and 25 knows so thoroughly that the skill of the purse is

the cardinal virtue of this life; I say, he knows so well that frugality is the support of generosity, that he can often spare a large fine 3 when a tenement falls, and give that settlement to a good servant

20

who has a mind to go into the world, or make a stranger pay the fine to that servant, for his more comfortable maintenance, if he stays in his service.

A man of honor and generosity considers it would be miserable to himself to have no will but that of 5 another, though it were of the best person breathing, and for that reason goes on as fast as he is able to put his servants into independent livelihoods. The greatest part of Sir Roger's estate is tenanted by persons who have served himself or his ancestors. 10 It was to me extremely pleasant to observe the visitants from several parts to welcome his arrival into the country: and all the difference that I could take notice of between the late servants who came to see him, and those who stayed in the family, was 15 that these latter were looked upon as finer gentlemen and better courtiers.

This manumission and placing them in a way of livelihood, I look upon as only what is due to a good servant; which encouragement will make his 20 successor be as diligent, as humble, and as ready as he was.

There is something wonderful in the narrowness of those minds, which can be pleased, and be barren of bounty to those who please them.

One might, on this occasion, recount the sense 25 that great persons in all ages have had of the merit of their dependents, and the heroic services which men have done their masters in the extremity of their fortunes, and shown to their undone patrons,

that fortune was all the difference between them; but as I design this my speculation only as a gentle admonition to thankless masters, I shall not go out

of the occurrences of common life, but assert it as 5 a general observation, that I never saw, but in

Sir Roger's family, and one or two more, good servants treated as they ought to be. Sir Roger's kindness extends to their children's children, and

this very morning he sent his coachman's grandson 10 to prentice. I shall conclude this paper with an

account of a picture in his gallery, where there are many which will deserve my future observation.

At the very upper end of this handsome structure I saw the portraiture of two young men standing in 15 a river, the one naked, the other in a livery. The

person supported seemed half dead, but still so much alive as to show in his face exquisite joy and love towards the other. I thought the fainting figure

resembled my friend Sir Roger; and looking at the 20 butler who stood by me, for an account of it, he

informed me that the person in the livery was a servant of Sir Roger's, who stood on the shore while his master was swimming, and observing him taken

with some sudden illness and sink under water, 25 jumped in and saved him. He told me Sir Roger

took off the dress he was in as soon as he came home, and by a great bounty at that time, followed by his favor ever since, had made him master of that pretty seat which we saw at a distance as we

6

came to this house. I remembered indeed Sir Roger said, there lived a very worthy gentleman, to whom he was highly obliged, without mentioning anything further. Upon my looking a little dissatisfied at some part of the picture, my attendant 5 informed me that it was against Sir Roger's will, and at the earnest request of the gentleman himself, that he was drawn in the habit in which he had saved his master.

No. 8.

Will Wimble

SPECTATOR No. 108. Wednesday, July 4, 1711

Gratis anhelans, multa agendo nihil agens.1

Phædr. Fab. y. 1. 2.

As I was yesterday morning walking with Sir 10 Roger before his house, a country-fellow brought him a huge fish, which, he told him, Mr. William Wimble had caught that very morning; and that he presented it with his service to him, and intended to come and dine with him. At the same time he 15 delivered a letter, which my friend read to me as soon as the messenger left him.

“SIR ROGER,

“I desire you to accept of a jack, which is the best I have caught this season. I intend to come 20 and stay with you a week, and see how the perch

bite in the Black river. I observed with some concern, the last time I saw you upon the bowlinggreen, that your whip wanted a lash to it; I will

bring half a dozen with me that I twisted last week, 5 which I hope will serve you all the time you are in

the country. I have not been out of the saddle for six days last past, having been at Eton with Sir John's eldest son. He takes to his learning hugely.

"I am, Sir,
" Your humble servant,

IO

“WILL WIMBLE."

This extraordinary letter, and message that accompanied it, made me very curious to know the

character and quality of the gentleman who sent 15 them; which I found to be as follows. Will Wimble

is younger brother to a baronet, and descended of the ancient family of the Wimbles. He is now between forty and fifty; but being bred to no busi

ness, and born to no estate, he generally lives with 20 his elder brother as superintendent of his game.

He hunts a pack of dogs better than any man in the country, and is very famous for finding out a hare. He is extremely well versed in all the little handi

crafts of an idle man. He makes a May-fly to a 25 miracle; and furnishes the whole country with angle

rods. As he is a good-natured officious fellow, and very much esteemed upon account of his family, he is a welcome guest at every house, and keeps up a

« НазадПродовжити »