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had disposed of a hundred acres in a diamond' ring, which he would have presented her with, had she thought fit to accept it; and that upon her weddingday she should have carried on her head fifty of the tallest oaks upon his estate. He further informed me, that he would have given her a coal-pit to keep her in clean linen, that he would have allowed her the profits of a wind-mill for her fans, and have presented her once in three years with the shearing of his sheep for her under-petticoats. To which the knight always adds, that though he did not care for fine clothes himself, there should not have been a woman in the country better dressed than my lady Coverley. Sir Roger, perhaps, may in this, as well as in many other of his devices, appear something odd and singular; but if the humour of pin-money prevails, I think it would be very proper for every gentilman of an estate to mark out so many acres of it, under the title of The Pins.
SIR JOHN ENVILLE. No: 299.
· HAVING carefully perused a letter sent your by Josiah Fribble, esq., with your subsequent discourse upon pin-money, I do presume to trouble you withi an account of any own case, which I look upon to be no less deplorable than that of squire Fribble. I am a person of no extraction, having begun the world with a small parcel of rusty iron, and was for some years commonly known by the name of Jack Anvil. I have naturally a very happy genius for getting money,
insomuch that by the age of five-and-twenty I had scraped together four thousand two hundred pounds five shillings and a few odd pence. I then launched out into considerable business, and became a bold trader both by sea and land, which in a few years raised me a very great fortune. For these my good services I was knighted in the thirty-fifth year of
my age, and lived with great dignity among my city neighbours by the name of sir John Anvil. Being in my temper very ambitious, I was now bent upon making a family, and accordingly resolved that my descendents should have a dash of good blood in their veins. In order to this I made love to the lady Mary Oddly, an indigent young woman of quality. To cut short the marriage-treaty, I threw her a carte blanche, as our news-papers call it, desiring her to write upon it her
She was very concise in her demands, insisting only that the disposal of my fortune and the regulation of my family should be entirely in her hands. Her father and brothers appeared exceedingly averse to this match, and would not see me for some time; but at present are so well reconciled, that they dine with me almost every day, and have borrowed considerable sums of me; which my lady Mary often twits me with, when she would show me how kind her relations are to me, She had no portion, as I told you
before; but what she wanted in fortune she makes up in spirit. She at first changed my naine tu sir John Envil, and at present writes herself Mary Enville. I have had some children by her, whom she has christened with the surnames of her family, in order, as she tells me, to wear out the homeliness of their parentage by their father's side. Our eldest son is the honourable Oddly Enville, esq., and our eldest daughter Harriet Enville.
Upon her first coming into my family, she turned off a parcel of very careful servants, who had been long with me, and introduced in their stead a couple of black-a-moors, and three or four very genteel fellows in laced liveries, besides her French-woman, who is perpetually making a noise in the house in a language which nobody understands except my lady Mary. She next set herself to reform every room of my house, having glazed all my chinney-pieces with lookingglasses, and planted every corner with such heaps of china, that I am obliged to move about my own house with the greatest caution and circumspection, for fear of hurting some of our brittle furniture. She makes an illumination once a week with wax candles in one of the largest rooms, in order, as she phrases it, to see company. At which time she always desires me to be abroad, or lo confine myself to the cock-loft, that I may not disgrace her among her visitants of quality. Her footmen, as I told you before, are such beaus that I do not much care for asking them questions: when I do, they answer me with a saucy frown, and say that every thing which I find fault with was done by my lady Mary's order. She tells me that she intends they shall wear swords with their next liveries, having lately observed the footmen of two or three persons of quality hanging behind the coach with swords by their sides. As soon as the first honey-moon was over, I represented to her the unreasonableness of those daily innovations which she made in my family; but she told me, I was no longer to consider myself as sir John Anvil, but as her husband; and added with a frown, that I did not seem to know who she was. I was surprised to be treated thus, after such familiarities as had passed between us. But she has since given me to
know, that whatever freedoms she may sometimes indulge me in, she expects in general to be treated with the respect that is due to her birth and quality. Our children have been trained up from their infancy with so many accounts of their mother's family, that they know the stories of all the great men and women it has produced. Their mother tells them, that such an one commanded in such a sea-engagement, that their great grandfather had a horse shot tinder him at Edge-hill, that their uncle was at the siege of Buda, and that her mother danced in a ball at court with the duke of Monmouth; with abundance of fiddle-faddle of the same nature. I was the other day a little out of .countenance at a question of my little daughter Harriet, who asked me with a great deal of innocence, why I never told them of the generals and admirals that had been in my family. As for
eldest son Oddly; he has been .so spirited up by his mother, that if he does not mend his manners I shall go near to disinherit him. He drew his sword upon me before he was nine years old, and told me that he expected to be used like a gentleman. Upon my offering to correct bim for his insolence, my lady Mary stepped in between us, and told me that I onght to consider there was some difference between his mother and mine. She is perpetually finding out the features of her own relations in every one of my children, though, by the way, I have a little chubfaced boy as like me as he can stare, if I durst say so.
But what most angers me, when she sees me playing with them upon my knee, she has begged me more than once to converse with the children as little as possible, that they may not learn any of my awkward tricks. You must further know, since I am opening my G3
heart to you, that she thinks herself my superior in sense, as much as she is in quality, and therefore treats me like a plain well-meaning man, who does not know the world. She dictates to me in my own business, sets me right in point of trade, and, if I disagree with her about
any of my ships at sea, wonders that I will dispute with her, when I know very well that her great grandfather was a flag-officer. * To complete my sufferings, she has teased me, for
last past, to remove into one of the squares at the other end of the town, promising for my encouragement, that I shall have as good a cock-loft as any gentleman in the square; to which the honourable Oddly Enville, esq. always adds, like a jackanapes as he is, that he hopes it will be as near the court as possible,
• In short, Mr. Spectator, I am so much out of my natural element, that, to recover my
of life, I would be content to begin the world again, and be plain Jack Anvil. But, alas ! I am in for life, and am bound to subscribe myself, with great sorrow of heart,
- Your humble servant,
John Envil, knt. ADDISON.
LETTER TO CLOE, A VISION. No. 301.
We are generally so much pleased with any little accomplishments either of body or mind, which have once made us remarkable in the world, that we endeavour to persuade ourselves it is not in the power of time to rob us of them. We are eternally pur