« PředchozíPokračovat »
which all this was uttered, like the darkness of an oracle, made us the more attentive to it. To be short, the Knight left the money with her that he had
crossed her hand with, and got up again on his horse. 5 As we were riding away, Sir Roger told me that he
knew several sensible people who believed these gypsies now and then foretold very strange things; and for half an hour together appeared more jocund than
ordinary. In the height of his good humor, meeting 10 a common beggar upon the road who was no conjurer,
as he went to relieve him he found his pocket was picked; that being a kind of palmistry at which this race of vermin are very dexterous.
I might here entertain my reader with historical re15 marks on this idle, profligate people, who infest all the
countries of Europe, and live in the midst of governments in a kind of commonwealth by themselves. But instead of entering into observations of this nature, I
shall fill the remaining part of my paper with a story 20 which is still fresh in Holland, and was printed in
one of our monthly accounts about twenty years ago. “As the trekschuyt, or hackney-boat, which carries passengers from Leyden to Amsterdam, was putting off,
a boy running along the side of the canal desired to 25 be taken in: which the master of the boat refused,
because the lad had not quite money enough to pay the usual fare. An eminent merchant being pleased with the looks of the boy, and secretly touched with compassion towards him, paid the money for him, and ordered him to be taken on board. Upon talking with s him afterwards, he found that he could speak readily in three or four languages, and learned upon farther examination that he had been stolen away when he was a child by a gypsy, and had rambled ever since with a gang of those strollers up and down several 10 parts of Europe. It happened that the merchant, whose heart seems to have inclined towards the boy by a secret kind of instinct, had himself lost a child some years before. The parents, after a long search for him, gave him for drowned in one of the canals 15 with which that country abounds; and the mother was so afflicted at the loss of a fine boy, who was her only son, that she died for grief of it. Upon laying together all particulars, and examining the several moles and marks by which the mother used to describe the 20 child when he was first missing, the boy proved to be the son of the merchant, whose heart had so unaccountably melted at the sight of him. The lad was very well pleased to find a father who was so rich, and likely to leave him a good estate : the father, on 25 the other hand, was not a little delighted to see a son return to him, whom he had given for lost, with such a strength of constitution, sharpness of understand
ing, and skill in languages.” Here the printed story ; leaves off ; but if I may give credit to reports, our
linguist having received such extraordinary rudiments towards a good education, was afterwards trained up in everything that becomes a gentleman ; wearing off
by little and little all the vicious habits and practices 10 that he had been used to in the course of his peregri
nations. Nay, it is said that he has since been employed in foreign courts upon national business, with great reputation to himself and honor to those who
sent him, and that he has visited several countries as 15 a public minister, in which he formerly wandered as a
WHY THE SPECTATOR LEAVES COVERLEY
It is usual for a man who loves country sports to preserve the game in his own grounds, and divert him
self upon those that belong to his neighbor. My friend 2) Sir Roger generally goes two or three miles from his
house, and gets into the frontiers of his estate, before he beats about in search of a hare or partridge, on
purpose to spare his own fields, where he is always sure of finding diversion when the worst comes to the worst. By this means the breed about his house has time to increase and multiply; besides that the sport is the more agreeable where the game is the harder to 5 come at, and where it does not lie so thick as to produce any perplexity or confusion in the pursuit. For these reasons the country gentleman, like the fox, seldom preys near his own home.
In the same manner I have made a month's excur- 10 sion out of the town, which is the great field of game for sportsmen of my species, to try my fortune in the country, where I have started several subjects, and hunted them down, with some pleasure to myself, and I hope to others. I am here forced to use a great deal 15 of diligence before I can spring anything to my mind; whereas in town, whilst I am following one character, it is ten to one but I am crossed in my way by another, and put up such a variety of odd creatures in both sexes, that they foil the scent of one another, and 20 puzzle the chase. My greatest difficulty in the country is to find sport, and, in town, to choose it. In the mean time, as I have given a whole month's rest to the cities of London and Westminster, I promise myself abundance of new game upon my return thither. 25 It is indeed high time for me to leave the country, since I find the whole neighborhood begin to grow very inquisitive after my name and character; my
love of solitude, taciturnity, and particular way of 5 life having raised a great curiosity in all these parts.
The notions which have been framed of me are various: some look upon me as very proud, some as very modest, and some as very melancholy. Will
Wimble, as my friend the butler tells me, observing 10 me very much alone, and extremely silent when I am in company, is afraid I have killed a man.
The coun: try people seem to suspect me for a conjurer; and some of them, hearing of the visit which I made to
Moll White, will needs have it that Sir Roger has 15 brought down a cunning man with him, to cure the
old woman, and free the country from her charms. So that the character which I go under in part of the neighborhood is what they here call a "White Witch."
A Justice of Peace, who lives about five miles off, 20 and is not of Sir Roger's party, has, it seems, said twice
or thrice at his table, that he wishes Sir Roger does not harbor a Jesuit in his house, and that he thinks the gentlemen of the country would do very well to
make me give some account of myself. 25 On the other side, some of Sir Roger's friends are