Imágenes de páginas
[ocr errors]

old friend, which carried so much goodness in it. He then launched out into the praise of the late act of parliament for securing the Church of England, and told me, with great satisfaction, that he believed it already began 5 to take effect, for that a rigid dissenter, who chanced to dine at his hou on Christmas day, had been observed to eat very plentifully of his plum-porridge.

After having despatched all our country matters, Sir Roger made several inquiries concerning the club, and 10 particularly of his old antagonist Sir Andrew Freeport.

He asked me with a kind of smile, whether Sir Andrew had not taken the advantage of his absence to vent among them some of his republican doctrines; but soon

after, gathering up his countenance into a more than 15 ordinary seriousness, “Tell me truly," says he," don't

you think Sir Andrew had a hand in the pope's procession?" but without giving me time to answer him, “Well, well,” says he, “I know you are a wary man,

and do not care for talking of public matters."

The knight then asked me if I had seen prince Eugenio, and made me promise to get him a stand in some convenient place where he might have a full sight of that extraordinary man, whose presence does so much honour

to the British nation. He dwelt very long on the praises 25 of this great general, and I found that, since I was with

him in the country, he had drawn many observations together out of his reading in Baker's Chronicle, and other authors, who always lie in his hall window, which very much redound to the honour of this prince.

Having passed away the greatest part of the morning in hearing the knight's reflexions, which were partly


[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]


private and partly political, he asked me if I would smoke a pipe with him over a dish of coffee at Squire's? As I love the old man, I take delight in complying with everything that is agreeable to him, and accordingly waited on him to the coffee house, where his venerable aspect drew 5 upon us the eyes of the whole room. He had no sooner seated himself at the upper end of the high table, but he called for a clean pipe, a paper of tobacco, a dish of coffee, a wax-candle, and the Supplement, with such an air of cheerfulness and good-humour, that all the boys in the 10 coffee-room (who seemed to take pleasure in serving him) were at once employed on his several errands, insomuch that no body else could come at a dish of tea, till the knight had got all his conveniences about him.



No. 329. — TUESDAY, MARCH 18, 1711-12.

IRE tamen restat, Numo quo devenit, et Ancus.

- HOR, EP, vi. Lib. I. 27.

IT yet remains to tread the drear descent,
Where good Pompelius, and great Ancus went.

[ocr errors]

My friend Sir Roger de Coverley told me t'other night, that he had been reading my paper upon Westminster Abbey, in which, says he, there are a great many ingenious fancies. He told me at the same time, that he 5 observed I had promised another paper upon the tombs, and that he should be glad to go and see them with me, not having visited them since he had read history. I could not imagine how this came into the knight's head,

till I recollected that he had been very busy all last 10 summer upon Baker's Chronicle, which he has quoted

several times in his disputes with Sir Andrew Freeport since his last coming to town. Accordingly I promised to call upon him the next morning, that we might go

together to the Abbey. 15 I found the knight under his butler's hands, who

always shaves him. He was no sooner dressed than he called for a glass of the widow Trueby's water, which he told me he always drank before he went abroad. He recommended to me a dram of it at the same time, with

[ocr errors]

so much heartiness, that I could not forbear drinking it. As soon as I had got it down, I found it very unpalatable; upon which the knight, observing that I had made several wry faces, told me that he knew I should not like it at first, but that it was the best thing in the world 5 against the stone or gravel.

I could have wished indeed that he had acquainted me with the virtues of it sooner ; but it was too late to complain, and I knew what he had done was out of goodwill. Sir Roger told me further, that he looked upon it 10 to be very good for a man whilst he stayed in town, to keep off infection, and that he got together a quantity of it upon the first news of the sickness being at Dantzick : when of a sudden turning short to one of his servants who stood behind him, he bid him call a hackney- 15 coach, and take care it was an elderly man that drove it.

He then resumed the discourse upon Mrs. Trueby's water, telling me that the widow Trueby was one who did more good than all the doctors and apothecaries in 20 the country; that she distilled every poppy that grew within five miles of her; that she distributed her water gratis among all sorts of people : to which the knight added, that she had a very great jointure, and that the whole country would fain have it a match between him 25 and her; "and truly," says Sir Roger, “if I had not been engaged, perhaps I could not have done better."

His discourse was broken off by his man's telling him he had called a coach. Upon our going to it, after having cast his eye upon the wheels, he asked the coachman 30 if his axle-tree was good ; upon the fellow's telling him

he would warrant it, the knight turned to me, told me he looked like an honest man, and went in without further ceremony.

We had not gone far, when Sir Roger popping out his 5 head, called the coachman down from his box, and upon presenting himself at the window, asked him if he smoked : as I was considering what this would end in, he bid him stop by the way at any good tobacconist's,

and take in a roll of their best Virginia. Nothing mate1o rial happened in the remaining part of our journey, till we were set down at the west end of the Abbey.

As we went up the body of the church, the knight pointed at the trophies upon one of the new monuments,

and cried out, “A brave man, I warrant him!” Passing 15 afterwards by Sir Cloudesly Shovel, he flung his hand

that way, and cried, “Sir Cloudesly Shovel, a very gallant man !” As we stood before Busby's tomb, the knight uttered himself again after the same

“Dr. Busby, a great man ! he whipped my grandfather; 20 a very great man ! I should have gone to him myself, if I had not been a blockhead : a very great man !”

We were immediately conducted into the little chapel on the right hand. Sir Roger planting himself at our

historian's elbow, was very attentive to everything he 25 said, particularly to the account he gave us of the lord

who had cut off the king of Morocco's head. Among several other figures, he was very well pleased to see the statesman Cecil upon his knees; and concluding them

all to be great men, was conducted to the figure which 30 represents that martyr to good housewifery, who died by

the prick of a needle. Upon our interpreter's telling us


« AnteriorContinuar »