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upon which Sir Roger acquainted us that he was the first who touched for the evil,o and afterwards Henry the Fourth's, upon which he shook his head, and told
us there was fine reading in the casualties in that 5 reign.
Our conductor then pointed to that monument where there is the figure of one of our English kings without an head; and upon giving us to know that the head,
which was of beaten silver, had been stolen away 10 several years since, “Some Whig, I'll warrant you,
says Sir Roger: "you ought to lock up your kings better; they will carry off the body too if you don't take care.”
The glorious names of Henry the Fifth and Queen 15 Elizabeth gave the Knight great opportunities of shin
ing and of doing justice to Sir Richard Baker, who, as our Knight observed with some surprise, had a great many kings in him whose monuments he had not seen in the Abbey.
For my own part, I could not but be pleased to see the Knight show such an honest passion for the glory of his country, and such a respectful gratitude to the memory of its princes.
I must not omit that the benevolence of my good 25 old friend, which flows out towards every one he con:
verses with, made him very kind to our interpreter, whom he looked upon as an extraordinary man; for which reason he shook him by the hand at parting, teiling him that he should be very glad to see him at his lodgings in Norfolk Buildings, and talk over these į matters with him more at leisure.
XII. SIR ROGER AT THE THEATRE.
My friend Sir Roger de Coverley, when we last met together at the Club, told me that he had a great mind to see the new tragedyo with me, assuring me, at the same time, that he had not been at a play these twenty 10 years. “The last I saw," said Sir Roger, “was the "Committee,'' which I should not have gone to neither, had not I been told beforehand that it was a good Church of England comedy." He then proceeded to inquire of me who this distressed mother was, and, is upon hearing that she was Hector's widow, he told me that her husband was a brave man, and that when he was a school-boy, he had read his life at the end of the dictionary. My friend asked me, in the next place, if there would not be some danger in coming 24 home late, in case the Mohockso should be abroad. "I assure you," says he, "I thought I had fallen into their hands last night, for I observed two or three
lusty black men that followed me half way up Fleet Street, and mended their pace behind me in proportion as I put on to get away from them. You must
know," continued the Knight with a smile, “I fancied į they had a mind to hunt me, for I remember an honest
gentleman in my neighborhood who was served such a trick in King Charles the Second's time; for which reason he has not ventured himself in town ever since.
I might have shown them very good sport had this so been their design; for, as I am an old fox-hunter, I
should have turned and dodged, and have played them a thousand tricks they had never seen in their lives before.” Sir Roger added that if these gentlemen
had any such intention they did not succeed very well 15 in it; “for I threw them out,” says he, "at the end
of Norfolk Street, where I doubled the corner and got shelter in my lodgings before they could imagine what was become of me. However,” says the Knight, “if Captain Sentry will make one with us to-morrow night, and if you will both of
upon me about four o'clock, that we may be at the house before it is full, I will have my own coach in readiness to attend
ohn Ils me he has got the fore wheels mended.” 25 The Captain, who did not fail to meet me there at
the appointed hour, bid Sir Roger fear nothing, for that he had put on the same sword which he made use of at the battle of Steenkirk. Sir Roger's servants, and among the rest my old friend the butler, had, I found, provided themselves with good oaken plants to ! attend their master upon this occasion. When he had placed him in his coach, with myself at his left hand, the Captain before him, and his butler at the head of his footmen in the rear, we convoyed him in safety to the playhouse, where, after having marched up the 16 entry in good order, the Captain and I went in with him, and seated him betwixt us in the pit.
As soon as the house was full, and the candles lighted, my old friend stood up and looked about him with that pleasare which a mind seasoned with humanity naturally 15 feels in itself, at the sight of a multitude of people who seem pleased with one another, and partake of the same common entertainment. I could not but fancy to myself, as the old man stood up in the middle of the pit, that he made a very proper centre to a 20 tragic audience. Upon the entering of Pyrrhus, the Knight told me that he did not believe the King of Trance himself had a better strut. I was, indeed, very attentive to my old friend's remarks, because I looked upon them as a piece of natural criticism; and 24 was well pleased to hear him, at the conclusion of almost every scene, telling me that he could not imagine how the play would end. One while he ap
peared much concerned for Andromache; and a little $ while after as much for Hermione; and was extremely puzzled to think what would become of Pyrrhus.
When Sir Roger saw Andromache's obstinate refusal to her lover's importunities, he whispered me in the
ear, that he was sure she would never have him; to 10 which he added, with a more than ordinary vehe
mence, “You can't imagine, Sir, what 'tis to have to do with a widow.” Upon Pyrrhus his threatening afterwards to leave her, the Knight shook his head,
and muttered to himself, “Ay, do if you can.” This 15 part dweļt so much upon my friend's imagination,
that at the close of the third act, as I was thinking of something else, he whispered in my ear, "These widows, Sir, are the most perverse creatures in the
world. But pray,” says he, “you that are a critic, is 20 this play according to your dramatic rules, as you call
them? Should your people in tragedy always talk to be understood? Why, there is not a single sentence in this play that I do not know the meaning of.”
The fourth act very luckily begun before I had time 25 to give the old gentleman an answer: “Well,” says