« PředchozíPokračovat »
He then shewed us his list of preachers for the whole year, where I saw with a great deal of pleasure, Archbishop Til lotson, Bishop Saunderson, Doctor Barrow, Doctor Calamy, with several living authors who have published discourses of practical divinity. I no sooner saw this venerable man in the pulpit, but I very much approved of my friend's insisting upon the qualifcations of a good aspect and a clear voice; for I was so charmed with the gracefulness of his figure and delivery, as well as the discourses he pronounced, that I think I never passed any time more to my satisfaction. A sermon repeated after this manner, is like the composition of a poet in the mouth of a giaceful actor.
I could heartily wish that more of our country clergy would follow this example; and, instead of wasting their spirits in laborious compositions of their own, would endeavour after a handsome elocution, and all those other talents that are proper to enforce what has been penned by greater masters. This would not only be more easy to themselves, but more edifying to the people.
No. 108. WEDNESDAY, JULY 4
Gratis anhelans, multa agendo nihil agens.
PuÆD. Fab. v. 2.
As I was yesterday morning walking with Sir Roger before his house, a country fellow brought him a huge fish, which he told him, Mr. William Wimble' had caught that very morning;
* This delineation, like the rest of the “Spectator's ” prominent characters, is too like life to have escaped the imputation of having been drawn from it. The received story is that Will Wimble was a Mr. Thomas More
and that he presented it with his service to him, and intended to come and dine with him. At the same time he delivered a letter, which my friend read to me as soon as the messenger left him.
“Sir ROGER, "I DESIRE you to accept of a Jack, which is the best I have caught this season. I intend to come and stay with you a week, and see how the Perch bite in the Black-River. I observed with some concern, the last time I saw you upon the Bowling-green, that your whip wanted a lash to it: I will bring half a dozen with me that I twisted last week, which I hope will serve you all the time you are in the country. I have not been out of the saddle for six days last past, having been at Eaton with Sir John's eldest son. He takes to his learning hugely. "I am, Sir, your humble Servant,
“ WILL. WIMBLE.”
This extraordinary letter, and message that accompanied it,
craft, younger son of a Yorkshire baronet, whom Steele knew in early life, and introduced to Addison, by whose bounty he was for some time supported. Though excelling in such small and profitless arts as are attributed to Will Wimble, Mr. Morecraft had not the ingenuity to gain his own livelihood. When Addison died, he went to Ireland to his friend the Bishop of Kildare, at whose house in Fish Street, Dublin, he died in 1741.
The attentive reader of the “Tatler” will find in it the germ of many of the characters in the “Spectator" -an additional argument against their having been drawn from actual individuals. The honourable Mr. Thomas Gules, who indicted Peter Plum in the Court of Honour for taking the wall of him (Tatler, No. 256), will at once be recognised as the prototype of Will Wimble. “The prosecutor alleged that he was the cadet of a very ancient family; and that, according to the principles of all the younger brothers of the said family, he had never sullied himself with business; but had chosen rather to starve like a man of honour, than do anything beneath his quality. He produced several witnesses that he had never employed himself beyond the twisting of a whip, or the making of a pair of nutcrackers, in which he only worked for his diversion, in order to make e present low and then to his friends.”_*
made me very curious to know the character and quality of the gentleman who sent them; which I found to be as follows. Will Wimble is younger brother to a baronet, and descended of the ancient family of the Wimbles. He is now between forty and fifty ; but being bred to no business, and born to no estate, he generally lives with his elder brother as superintendant of his game. He hunts a pack of dogs better than any man in the country, and is very famous for finding out a hare. He is extremely well versed in all the little handicrafts of an idle man : he makes a May.fly to a miracle; and furnishes the whole country with angle-rods. As he is a good-natured officious fellow, and very much esteemed upon account of his family, he is a welcome guest at every house, and keeps up a good correspondence among all the gentlemen about him. He carries a tulip root in his pocket from one to another, or exchanges a puppy between a couple of friends that live perhaps in the opposite sides of the county. Will is a particular favourite of all the young heirs, whom he frequently obliges with a net that he has weaved, or a setting-dog that he has made himself: he now and then presents a pair of garters of his own knitting to their mothers or sisters; and raises a great deal of mirth among them, by inquiring as often as he meets them, how they wear?' These gentleman-like manufactures, and obliging little humours, make Will the darling of the country.
Sir Roger was proceeding in the character of him, when he saw him make up to us with two or three bazel-twigs in his hand, that he had cut in Sir Roger's woods, as he came through them in his
way to the house. I was very much pleased to observe on one side the hearty and sincere welcome with which Sir Roger received him, and on the other, the secret joy which his guest
Finding out”-the technical phrase had been better- finding a kare”-H
discovered at sight of the good old knight. After the first sa. lutes were over, Will desired Sir Roger to lend him one of his servants to carry a set of shuttle-cocks, he had with him in a little box, to a lady that lived about a mile off, to whom it seems he bad promised such a present for above this half year. Sir Ro ger's back was no sooner turned, but honest Will began to tell me of a large cock pheasant that he had sprung in one of the neighbouring woods, with two or three other adventures of the same nature. Odd and uncommon characters are the game that I look for, and most delight in; for which reason I was as much pleased with the novelty of the person that talked to me, as he could be for his life with the springing of a pheasant, and therefore listened to him with more than ordinary attention.
In the midst of his discourse the bell rung to dinner, where the gentleman I have been speaking of had the pleasure of seeing the huge Jack, he had caught, served up for the first dish in a most sumptuous manner. Upon our sitting down to it, he gave us a long account how he had hooked it, played with it, foiled it, end at length drew it out upon the bank, with several other particulars, that lasted all the first course. A dish of wild-fowl, that came afterwards, furnished conversation for the rest of the dinner, which concluded with a late invention of Will's for improving the quail-pipe.
Upon withdrawing into my room after dinner, I was secretly touched with compassion towards the honest gentleman that had dined with us; and could not but consider with a great deal of concern, how so good an heart, and such busy hands, were wholly employed in trifles; that so much humanity should be sc little beneficial to others, and so much industry so little advantageous to himself. The same temper of mind, and application to affairs, night have recommended him to the public esteem, and have aised his fortune in another station of life. What good to his
country or himself, might not a trader or merchant have done with such useful though ordinary qualifications ?
Will Wimble's is the case of many a younger brother of a great family, who had rather see their children starve like gentle. men, than thrive in a trade or profession that is beneath their quality. This humour fills several parts of Europe with pride and beggary. It is the happiness of a trading nation, like ours, that the younger sons, though incapable of any liberal art or profession, may be placed in such a way of life, as may perhaps enable them to vie with the best of their family: accordingly we find several citizens that were launched into the world with narrow fortunes, rising by an honest industry to greater estates than those of their elder brothers. It is not improbable but Will was formerly tried at divinity, law, or physic; and that finding his genius did not lie that way, his parents gave him up at length to his own inventions. But certainly, however improper he might have been for studies of a higher nature, he was perfectly well turned for the occupations of trade and commerce. As I think this is a point which cannot be too much inculcated, I shall desire my reader to compare what I have here written with what I have said in my twenty-first speculation.
No. 110. FRIDAY, JULY 6.
Horror ubique animos, simul ipsa silentia terrent.
VIRG. Æn. II. 758.
At a little distance from Sir Roger's house, among the ruins of an old abbey, there is a long walk of aged elms; which are