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whiskers as well as any of them.” Captain Sentry, seeing two or three wags who sat near us, lean with an attentive ear towards Sir Roger, and fearing lest they should smoke the knight, plucked him by the elbow, and whispered something in his ear, that lasted till the opening 5 of the fifth act. The knight was wonderfully attentive to the account which Orestes gives of Pyrrhus his death, and at the conclusion of it told me, it was such a bloody piece of work, that he was glad it was not done upon the stage. Seeing afterwards Orestes in his raving fit, he grew to more than ordinary serious, and took occasion to moralise in his way) upon an evil conscience, adding, that Orestes, in his madness, looked as if he saw something.
As we were the first that came into the house, so we were the last that went out of it; being resolved to have 15 a clear passage for our old friend, whom we did not care to venture among the justling of the crowd.
Sir Roger went out fully satisfied with his entertainment, and we guarded him to his lodging in the same manner that we brought him to the play-house ; being highly pleased 20 for my own part, not only with the performance of the excellent piece which had been presented, but with the satisfaction which it had given to the old man.
SIR ROGER AND WILL HONEYCOMB.
No. 359. — TUESDAY, APRIL 22, 1712.
Torva leæna lupum sequitur, lupus ipse capellam;
LIONS the wolves, and wolves the kids pursue,
As we were at the club last night, I observed that my old friend Sir Roger, contrary to his usual custom, sat very silent, and instead of minding what was said by the
company, was whistling to himself in a very thoughtful 5 mood, and playing with a cork. I jogged Sir Andrew
Freeport who sat between us; and as we were both observing him, we saw the knight shake his head, and heard him say to himself, “ A foolish woman! I can't believe
it.” Sir Andrew gave him a gentle pat upon the shoulder, 10 and offered to lay him a bottle of wine that he was think
ing of the widow. My old friend started, and recovering out of his brown study, told Sir Andrew that once in his life he had been in the right. In short, after some little hesitation, Sir Roger told us in the fulness of his heart, that he had just received a letter from his steward, which acquainted him that his old rival and antagonist in the county, Sir David Dundrum, had been making a visit to the widow. However," says Sir Roger, “I can
never think that she'll have a man that's half a year older than I am, and a noted Republican into the bargain."
Will Honeycomb, who looks upon love as his particular province, interrupting our friend with a jaunty laugh, "I thought, knight,” said he, “thou hadst lived long 5 enough in the world, not to pin thy happiness upon one that is a woman and a widow. I think that without vanity I may pretend to know as much of the female world as any man in Great Britain, though the chief of my knowledge consists in this, that they are not to be 10 known.” Will immediately, with his usual fluency, rambled into an account of his own amours. now," says he,“ upon the verge of fifty" (though by the way we all knew he was turned of threescore). “You may easily guess," continued Will, “ that I have not lived 15 so long in the world without having had some thoughts of settling in it, as the phrase is. To tell you truly, I have several times tried my fortune that way, though I can't much boast of my success.
“I made my first addresses to a young lady in the 20 country; but when I thought things were pretty well drawing to a conclusion, her father happening to hear that I had formerly boarded with a surgeon, the old put forbade me his house, and within a fortnight after married his daughter to a fox-hunter in the neighbourhood. 25
“I made my next applications to a widow, and attacked her so briskly, that I thought myself within a fortnight of her. As I waited upon her one morning, she told me that she intended to keep her ready-money and jointure in her own hand, and desired me to call 30 upon her attorney in Lyon’s-inn, who would adjust with
me what it was proper for me to add to it. I was so rebuffed by this overture, that I never inquired either for her or her attorney afterwards.
“ A few months after, I addressed myself to a young 5 lady, who was an only daughter, and of a good family.
I danced with her at several balls, squeezed her by the hand, said soft things to her, and, in short, made no doubt of her heart; and though my fortune was not
equal to hers, I was in hopes that her fond father would 10 not deny her the man she had fixed her affections upon. But as I went one day to the house in order to break the matter to him, I found the whole family in confusion, and heard to my unspeakable surprise, that Miss Jenny
was that very morning run away with the butler. 15 “I then courted a second widow, and am at a loss to
this day how I came to miss her, for she had often commended my person and behaviour. Her maid indeed told me one day, that her mistress said she never saw
a gentleman with such a spindle pair of legs as Mr. 20 Honeycomb.
“After this I laid siege to four heiresses successively, and being a handsome young dog in those days, quickly made a breach in their hearts; but I don't know how
it came to pass, though I seldom failed of getting the 25 daughter's consent, I could never in my life get the old people on my side.
“I could give you an account of a thousand other unsuccessful attempts, particularly of one which I made
some years since upon an old woman, whom I had cer30 tainly borne away with flying colours, if her relations had
not come pouring in to her assistance from all parts of
England; nay, I believe I should have got her at last, had not she been carried off by a hard frost."
As Will's transitions are extremely quick, he turned from Sir Roger, and, applying himself to me, told me there was a passage in the book I had considered last 5 Saturday, which deserved to be writ in letters of gold; and taking out a pocket Milton read the following lines, which are part of one of Adam's speeches to Eve after the fall.
“Oh! why did our
To human life, and household peace confound.” Sir Roger listened to this passage with great attention, and, desiring Mr. Honeycomb to fold down a leaf at the place, and lend him his book, the knight put it up in his pocket, and told us that he would read over these verses again before he went to bed.