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friend the clergyman, who, very luckily for me, was at the club that night, undertook my cause. He told us, that he wondered any order of persons should think themselves too considerable to be advised ; that it was not quality, but innocence, which exempted men from s reproof; that vice and folly ought to be attacked wherever they could be met with, and especially when they were placed in high and conspicuous stations of life. He further added, that my paper would only serve to aggravate the pains of poverty, if it chiefly 10 exposed those who are already depressed, and in some measure turned into ridicule, by the meanness of their conditions and circumstances. He afterwards proseeded to take notice of the great use this paper might be to the public, by reprehending those vices which 15 are too trivial for the chastisement of the law, and too fantastical for the cognizance of the pulpit. He then advised me to prosecute my undertaking with cheerfulness, and assured me, that whoever might be displeased with me, I should be approved by all those 20 whose praises do honor to the persons on whom they are bestowed.
The whole club pay a particular deference to the discourse of this gentleman, and are drawn into what he says, as much by the candid and ingenuous manner 25 with which he delivers himself, as by the strength of argument and force of reasin which he makes use of. Will Honeycomb immediately agreed that what he
had said was right; and that for his part, he would 5 not insist upon the quarter which he had demanded
for the ladies. Sir Andrew gave up the city with the same frankness. The Templar would not stand out, and was followed by Sir Roger and the Captain, who
all agreed that I should be at liberty to carry the war so into what quarter I pleased, provided I continued to
combat with criminals in a body, and to assault the vice without hurting the person.
This debate, which was held for the good of mankind, put me in mind of that which the Roman trium15 virate were formerly engaged in, for their destruction.
Every man at first stood hard for his friend, till they found that by this means they should spoil their proscription: and at length, making a sacrifice of all their
acquaintance and relations, furnished out a very decent 20 execution.
Having thus taken my resolution to march on boldly in the cause of virtue and good sense, and to annoy their adversaries in whatever degree or rank of men
they may be found, I shall be deaf for the future to 25 all the remonstrances that shall be made to me on this account. If Puncho grow extravagant, I shall reprimand him very freely; if the stage becomes a nursery of folly and impertinence, I shall not be afraid to animadvert upon it. In short, it I meet with anything in city, court, or country, that shocks modestys or good manners, I shall use my utmost endeavors to make an example of it. I must, however, intreat every particular person, who does me the honor to be a reader of this paper, never to think himself, or any one of his friends or enemies, aimed at in what is said; for I promise him, never to draw a faulty character which does not fit at least a thousand people, or to publish a single paper that is not written in the spirit of benevolence, and with a love to mankind.
V. SIR ROGER AT HIS COUNTRY HOUSE.
HAVING often received an invitation from
friend Sir Roger de Coverley to pass away a month with him in the country, I last week accompanied him thither, and am settled with him for some time at his countryhouse, where I intend to form several of my ensuing speculations. Sir Roger, who is very well acquainted 20 with my humor, lets me rise and go to bed when I please, dine at his own table or in my chamber as I think fit, sit still and say nothing without bidding me
be merry. When the gentlemen of the country come to see him, he only shows me at a distance: as I have been walking in his fields I have observed them stealing a sight of me over an hedge, and have heard the Knight desiring them not to let me see them, for that I hated to be stared at.
I am the more at ease in Sir Roger's family, because it consists of sober and staid persons; for, as
the Knight is the best master in the world, he seldom * changes his servants; and as he is beloved by all
about him, his servants never care for leaving him; by this means his domestics are all in years, and grown old with their master. You would take his valet de chambre for his brother, his butler is gray. headed, his groom is one of the gravest men that I have ever seen, and his coachman has the looks of a privy counsellor. You see the goodness of the master even in the old house-dog, and in a gray pad that is kept in the stable with great care and tenderness, out of regard to his past services, though he has been useless for several years.
I could not but observe with a great deal of pleasure, the joy that appeared in the countenances of
these ancient domestics upon my friend's arrival at 2. his country-seat. Some of them could not refrain
from tears at the sight of their old master; every one of them pressed forward to do something for him, and seemed discouraged if they were not employed. At the same time the good old Knight, with the mixture of the father and the master of the family, tempered i the inquiries after his own affairs with several kind questions relating to themselves. This humanity and good-nature engages everybody to him, so that when he is pleasant upon any of them, all his family are in good humor, and none so much as the person whom he 10 diverts himself with: on the contrary, if he coughs, or betrays any infirmity of old age, it is easy for a stander-by to observe a secret concern in the looks of all his servants.
My worthy friend has put me under the particular si care of his butler, who is a very prudent man, and, as well as the rest of his fellow-servants, wonderfully desirous of pleasing me, because they have often heard their master talk of me as his particular friend.
My chief companion, when Sir Roger is diverting himself in the woods or the fields, is a very venerable man who is ever with Sir Roger, and has lived at his house in the nature of a chaplain above thirty years. This gentleman is a person of good sense and some learning, of a very regular life and obliging conversas