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Daughters had this Manner of curling their Hair, that Way of placing their Hoods; whose Frailty was covered by such a sort of Petticoat, and whose Vanity to shew her Foot made that Part of the Dress so short in such a Year. In a word, all his Conversation and Knowledge have been in the female World : as other Men of his Age will take Notice to you what such a Minister said upon such and such an Occasion, he will tell you when the Duke of Monmouth danced at Court, such a Woman was then smitten, another was taken with him at the Head of his Troop in the Park. In all these important Relations, he has ever about the same time received a kind Glance or a Blow of a Fan from some celebrated Beauty, Mother of the present Lord such-a-one. If you speak of a young Commoner that said a lively thing in the House, he starts up, "He has good Blood in his Veins, Tom • Mirabell, the Rogue, cheated me in that Affair : that young Fellow's Mother used me more like a Dog than any Woman I ever made Advances to.' This way of Talking of his very much enlivens the Conversation among us of a more sedate Turn; and I find there is not one of the Company, but myself, who rarely speak at all, but speaks of him as of that sort of Man who is usually called a well-bred fine Gentleman. To conclude his Character, where Women are not conc
ncerned, he is an honest worthy Man.
I cannot tell whether I am to account him whom I am next to speak of, as one of our Company; for he visits us but seldom, but when he does, it adds to every Man else a new Enjoyment of himself. He is a Clergyman, a very Philosophick Man, of general Learning, great Sanctity of Life, and the most exact good Breeding. He has the Misfortune to be of a very weak Constitution, and, consequently, cannot accept of such Cares and Business as Preferments in his Function would oblige him to : He is therefore among Divines what a Chamber-Counsellor is among Lawyers. The Probity of his Mind, and the Integrity of his Life, create him Followers, as being eloquent or loud advances others. He seldom introduces the Subject he speaks upon; but we are so far gone in Years, that he observes, when he is among us, an Earnestness to have him fall on some divine Topick,
ich he always treats with much Authority, as one who has no Interests in this World, as one who is hastening to the Object of all his Wishes, and conceives Hope from his Decays and Infirmities. These are my ordinary Companions.
AVING 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 of my ensuing Speculations. Sir Roger, who is very well acquainted with my Humour, lets me rise and
go to Bed when I please, dine at his own Table my
Chamber as I think fit, sit still and say nothing without bidding me be merry. When the Gentlemen of the County 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 an Hedge, and have heard the Knight desiring them not to let me see them, for that I hated 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 about him, his Servants never care for leaving him ; by this means his Domesticks are all in Years, and grown old with their Master. You would take his Valet de Chambre for his Brother, his Butler is greyheaded, his Groom is one of the gravest Men that I have ever seen, and his Coachman has the Looks of a Privy-Counsellor. 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 Tenderness, out of Regard to his past Services, though he 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 Domesticks, upon my Friend's Arrival at his Country-Seat. Some of them could not refrain 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 Family, tempered the Inquiries after his own Affairs with several kind Questions relating to themselves. This Humanity
and Good-nature engages every Body to him, so that when he is pleasant upon any of them, all his Family are in good Humour, and none so much as the Person whom he diverts himself with: On the contrary, if he coughs, or betrays any Infirmity of old Age, it is easy for a Stander-by to observe a secret Concern in the Looks of all his Servants.
My worthy Friend has put me under the particular Care of his Butler, who is a very prudent Man, and, as well as the rest of his Fellow-Servants, wonderfully desirous of pleasing me, because they have often heard their Master talk of me as of his particular Friend.
My chief Companion, when Sir Roger is diverting himself in the Woods or the Fields, is a very venerable Man who is ever with Sir Roger, and has lived at his House in the Nature of a Chaplain above thirty Years. This Gentleman is a Person of good Sense and some Learning, of a very regular Life and obliging Conversation: He heartily loves Sir Roger, and knows that he is very much in the old Knight's Esteem, so that he lives in the Family rather as a Relation than a Dependent.
I have observed in several of my Papers, that my Friend Sir Roger, amidst all his good Qualities, is something of an Humourist; and that his Virtues, as