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the conduct of all his ancestors, he might truly have boasted, at this day, that the antiquity of his family had never been şullied by a trade; a merchant had never been permitted with his whole estate to purchase a room for his picture in the gallery of the Coverley's, or to claim his 5 descent from the maid of honor. But 'tis very happy for Sir Roger that the merchant paid so dear for his ambition. 'Tis the misfortune of many other gentlemen to turn out of the seats of their ancestors to make


for such new masters as have been more exact in their 10 accounts than themselves; and certainly he deserves the estate a great deal better who has got it by his industry, than he who has lost it by his negligence."


The first part of Spectator, No. 251. [ADDISON. THERE is nothing which more astonishes a foreigner and frights a country squire than the cries of London. My good 15 friend Sir Roger often declares that he cannot get them out of his head or go to sleep for them, the first week that he is in town. On the contrary, Will Honeycomb calls them the ramage de la ville, and prefers them to the sounds of larks and nightingales, with all the music of the fields and woods. I have 20 iately received a letter from some very odd fellow upon this subject, which I shall leave with my reader without saying anything further of it.


No. 269.]

Tuesday, January 8, 1712.


Aevo rarissima nostro


I was this morning surprised with a great knocking at the door, when my landlady's daughter came up to me and 25 told me that there was a man below desired to speak with

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me. Upon my asking her who it was, she told me it was a very grave, elderly person, but that she did not know his

I immediately went down to him, and found him to be the coachman of my worthy friend, Sir Roger de 5 Coverley. He told me that his master came to town last

night, and would be glad to take a turn with me in Gray's Inn Walks. As I was wondering in myself what had 'brought Sir Roger to town, not having lately received any

letter from him, he told me that his master was come up 10 to get a sight of Prince Eugene, and that he desired I would immediately meet him.

I was not a little pleased with the curiosity of the old knight, though I did not much wonder at it, having heard

him say more than once in private discourse that he looked 15 upon Prince Eugenio- for so the knight always calls him

- to be a greater man than Scanderbeg.
I was no sooner come into Gray's Inn Walks, but I

friend upon the terrace hemming twice or thrice to himself with great vigor, for he loves to clear his pipes 20 in good air, to make use of his own phrase, and is not a

little pleased with any one who takes notice of the strength which he still exerts in his morning hems.

I was touched with a secret joy at the sight of the good old man, who before he saw me was engaged in conver25 sation with a beggar-man that had asked an alms of him.

I could hear my friend chide him for not finding out some work; but at the same time saw him put his hand in his pocket and give him sixpence.

Our salutations were very hearty on both sides, consist30 ing of many kind shakes of the hand, and several affec

tionate looks which we cast upon one another. After which the knight told me my good friend his chaplain was very well, and much at my service, and that the Sunday before he had made a most incomparable sermon out of

heard my

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Doctor Barrow. “I have left," says he, “all my affairs
in his hands, and being willing to lay an obligation upon
him, have deposited with him thirty marks, to be distrib-
uted among his poor parishioners."

He then proceeded to acquaint me with the welfare of 5
Will Wimble. Upon which he put his hand into his fob
and presented me, in his name, with a tobacco stopper,
telling me that Will had been busy all the beginning of
the winter in turning great quantities of them, and that
he made a present of one to every gentleman in the coun- 10
try who has good principles and smokes. He added that
poor Will was at present under great tribulation, for that
Tom Touchy had taken the law of him for cutting some
hazel sticks out of one of his hedges.

Among other pieces of news which the knight brought 15
from his country-seat, he informed me that Moll White
was dead ; and that about a month after her death the
wind was so very high that it blew down the end of one
of his barns. “ But for my own part,” says Sir Roger, “I
do not think that the old woman had any hand in it."

He afterwards fell into an account of the diversions
which had passed in his house during the holidays; for
Sir Roger, after the laudable custom of his ancestors,
always keeps open house at Christmas. I learned from
him that he had killed eight fat hogs for the season, that 25
he had dealt about his chines very liberally amongst his
neighbors, and that in particular he had sent a string of
hog's-puddings with a pack of cards to every poor family
in the parish. I have often thought," says Sir Roger,
“it happens very well that Christmas should fall out in 30
the middle of the winter. It is the most dead, uncom-
fortable time of the year, when the poor people would
suffer very much from their poverty and cold if they had
not good cheer, warm fires, and Christmas gambols to



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support them. I love to rejoice their poor hearts at this season, and to see the whole village merry in my great hall. I allow a double quantity of malt to my small beer,

and set it a running for twelve days to every one that calls 5 for it. I have always a piece of cold beef and a mince

pie upon the table, and am wonderfully pleased to see my tenants pass away a whole evening in playing their innocent tricks, and smutting one another. Our friend Will

Wimble is as merry as any of them, and shows a thousand 10 roguish tricks upon these occasions." I was very much delighted with the

reflection of my 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 15 great satisfaction, that he believed it already began to take

effect, for that a rigid Dissenter, who chanced to dine at his house on Christmas day, had been observed to eat very plentifully of his plum-porridge.

After having dispatched all our country matters, Sir 20 Roger made several inquiries concerning the club, and

particularly of his old antagonist, Sir Andrew Freeport. He asked me with a kind of smile whether Sir Andrew had not taken advantage of his absence to vent among

them some of his republican doctrines; but soon after, 25 gathering up his countenance into a more than 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 to talk 30 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 honor

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to the British nation. He dwelt very long on the praises 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 5 very much redound to the honor of this prince.

Having passed away the greatest part of the morning in hearing the knight's reflections, which were partly 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 10 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 figure drew 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 15 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 humor that all the boys in the coffee-room – who seemed to take pleasure in serving him — were at once employed on his several errands; insomuch that 20 nobody else could come at a dish of tea till the knight had got all his conveniences about him.


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From Spectator, No. 271 : A letter from a supposed correspondent.


Your readers are so well pleased with your character of Sir Roger de Coverley, that there appeared a sensible joy in every coffee-house upon hearing the old knight was come to town, 25 I am now with a knot of his admirers, who make it their joint request to you, that you would give us public notice of the window or balcony where the knight intends to make his appearance. He has already given great satisfaction to several who have here seen him at Squire's Coffee-house. . If you think-fit 30

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