Imágenes de páginas

traveller an account of his angling one day in such a hole ; when Tom Touchy, instead of hearing out his story, told him that Mr. such-a-one, if he pleased, might take the law of him for fishing in that part of the river. My friend Sir Roger heard them both upon a 5 round trot; and after having paused some time, told them, with the air of a man who would not give his judgment rashly, that much might be said on both sides. They were neither of them dissatisfied with the knight's determination, because neither of them found himself in to the wrong by it: upon which we made the best of our way to the assizes.

The court was set before Sir Roger came; but notwithstanding all the justices had taken their places upon the bench, they made room for the old knight at the 15 head of them; who, for his reputation in the country, took occasion to whisper in the judge's ear, that he was glad his lordship had met with so much good weather in his circuit. I was listening to the proceedings of the court with much attention, and infinitely pleased with 20 that great appearance of solemnity which so properly accompanies such a public administration of our laws; when, after about an hour's sitting, I observed to my great surprise, in the midst of a trial, that my friend Sir Roger was getting up to speak. I was in some pain 25 for him till I found he had acquitted himself of two or three sentences, with a look of much business and great intrepidity.

Upon his first rising the court was hushed, and a general whisper ran among the country people that Sir 30 Roger was up. The speech he made was so little to

the purpose,

that I shall not trouble my readers with an account of it; and I believe was not so much designed by the knight himself to inform the court, as to give him a figure in my eye, and keep up his credit in the 5 country.

I was highly delighted, when the court rose, to see the gentlemen of the country gathering about my old friend, and striving who should compliment him most; at the

same time that the ordinary people gazed upon him at 10 a distance, not a little admiring his courage, that was not afraid to speak to the judge.

In our return home we met with a very odd accident ; which I cannot forbear relating, because it shews how

desirous all who know Sir Roger are of giving him marks 15 of their esteem. When we were arrived upon the verge

of his estate, we stopped at a little inn to rest ourselves and our horses. The man of the house had, it seems, been formerly a servant in the knight's family, and to

do honour to his old master, had some time since, un20 known to Sir Roger, put him up in a sign-post before the

door; so that “the Knight's Head” had hung out upon the road about a week before he himself knew anything of the matter. As soon as Sir Roger was acquainted with

it, finding that his servant's indiscretion proceeded wholly 25 from affection and good-will, he only told him that he

had made him too high a compliment; and when the fellow seemed to think that could hardly be, added with a more decisive look, that it was too great an honour for any man under a duke; but told him at the same time, that it might be altered with a very few touches, and that he himself would be at the charge of it. Accordingly,


they got a painter by the knight's directions to add a pair of whiskers to the face, and by a little aggravation of the features to change it into the Saracen's Head. I should not have known this story, had not the inn-keeper, upon Sir Roger's alighting, told him in my hearing, that 5 his honour's head was brought back last night with the alterations that he had ordered to be made in it. Upon this my friend with his usual cheerfulness related the particulars above-mentioned, and ordered the head to be brought into the room. I could not forbear discovering 10 greater expressions of mirth than ordinary upon the appearance of this monstrous face, under which, notwithstanding it was made to frown and stare in a most extraordinary manner, I could still discover a distant resemblance of my old friend. Sir Roger, upon seeing me 15 laugh, desired me to tell him truly if I thought it possible for people to know him in that disguise. I at first kept my usual silence: but upon the knight's conjuring me to tell him whether was not still more like himself than a Saracen, I composed my countenance in the best manner 20 I could, and replied That much might be said on both sides.

These several adventures, with the knight's behaviour in them, gave me as pleasant a day as ever I met with in any of my travels.

L. 25



No. 123. — SATURDAY, JULY 21, 1711.
Doctrina sed vim promovet insitam,
Rectique cultus pectora roborant;
Utcunque defecere mores,
Dedecorant bene nata culpæ. - HoR. LIB. 4, OD. iv. 33.
YET the best blood by learning is refin’d,
And virtue arms the solid mind;
Whilst vice will stain the noblest race,
And the paternal stamp efface. - OLDISWORTH.

As I was yesterday taking the air with my friend Sir Roger, we were met by a fresh-coloured ruddy young man, who rid by us full speed, with a couple of servants behind him. Upon my inquiry who he was, Sir Roger 5 told me that he was a young gentleman of considerable estate, who had been educated by a tender mother that lived not many miles from the place where we were. She is a very good lady, says my friend, but took so

much care of her son's health that she has made him 10 good for nothing. She quickly found that reading was

bad for his eyes, and that writing made his head ake. He was let loose among the woods as soon as he was able to ride on horseback, or to carry a gun upon his

shoulder. To be brief, I found, by my friend's account 15 of him, that he had got a great stock of health, but nothing else; and that if it were a man's business only to live,


there would not be a more accomplished young fellow in the whole country.

The truth of it is, since my residing in these parts I have seen and heard innumerable instances of young heirs and elder brothers, who either from their own 5 reflecting upon the estates they are born to, and therefore thinking all other accomplishments unnecessary, or from hearing these notions frequently inculcated to them by the flattery of their servants and domestics, or from the same foolish thought prevailing in those who have the care of their education, are of no manner of use but to keep up their families, and transmit their lands and houses in a line to posterity.

This makes me often think on a story I have heard of two friends, which I shall give my reader at large, under 15 feigned names. The moral of it may, I hope, be useful, though there are some circumstances which make it rather appear like a novel, than a true story.

Eudoxus and Leontine began the world with small estates. They were both of them men of good sense 20 and great virtue. They prosecuted their studies together in their earlier years, and entered into such a friendship as lasted to the end of their lives. Eudoxus, at his first setting out in the world, threw himself into a court, where by his natural endowments and his acquired abilities he 25 made his way from one post to another, till at length he had raised a very considerable fortune. Leontine on the contrary sought all opportunities of improving his mind by study, conversation, and travel. He was not only acquainted with all the sciences, but with the most emi- 30 nent professors of them throughout Europe. He knew

« AnteriorContinuar »