« PředchozíPokračovat »
dence 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 favorite 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 to deal of mirth among them, by inquiring as often as
he meets them how they wear. These gentleman-like manufactures and obliging little humors make Will the darling of the country.
Sir Roger was proceeding in the character of him, 15 when we saw him make up to us with two or three
hazel-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 20 Roger received him, and, on the other, the secret joy
which his guest discovered at sight of the good old Knight. After the first salutes were over, Will desired Sir Roger to lend him one of his servants to
carry a set of shuttlecocks he had with him in a little 25 box, to a lady that lived about a mile off, to whom it seems he had promised such a present for above this half year. Sir Roger's back was no sooner turned but honest Will began to tell me of a large cockpheasant that he had sprung in one of the neighboring woods, with two or three other adventures of the s 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 lis- iG tened 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 15 manner. Upon our sitting down to it he gave us a long account how he had hooked it, played with it, foiled it, and at length drew it out upon the bank, with several other particulars that lasted all the first
A dish of wild-fowl that came afterwards 20 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 2:
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 5 so little beneficial to others, and so much industry so
little advantageous to himself. The same temper of mind and application to affairs might have recommended him to the public esteem, and have raised
his fortune in another station of life. What good to 10 his country or himself might not a trader or mer
chant 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 15 children starve like gentlemen than thrive in a trade
or profession that is beneath their quality. This humor fills several parts of Europe with pride and beggary. It is the happiness of a trading nation,
like ours, that the younger sons, though uncapable of 20 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 25 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 5 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 10 speculation.
VIII. A SUNDAY AT SIR ROGER'S.
I am always very well pleased with a country Sunday, and think, if keeping holy the seventh day were only a humano institution, it would be the best method that could have been thought of for the polishing and 15 civilizing of mankind. It is certain the country people would soon degenerate into a kind of savages and barbarians, were there not such frequent returns of a stated time, in which the whole village meet together with their best faces, and in their cleanliest habits, 20 to converse with one another upon indifferent subjects, hear their duties explained to them, and join together in adoration of the Supreme Being. Sunday clears
away the rust of the whole week, not only as it re freshes in their minds the notions of religion, but as it puts both the sexes upon appearing in their most
agreeable forms, and exerting all such qualities as are 5 apt to give them a figure in the eye of the village. А
country fellow distinguishes himself as much in the churchyard, as a citizen does upon the 'Change, the whole parish politics being generally discussed in that place, either after sermon or before the bell rings.
My friend Sir Roger, being a good churchman, has beautified the inside of his church with several texts of his own choosing; he has likewise given a handsome pulpit cloth, and railed in the communion-table at his own expense.
He has often told me that, at 15 his coming to his estate, he found his parishioners
very irregular; and that in order to make them kneel and join in the responses, he gave every one of them a hassock and a Common Prayer Book: and at the
same time employed an itinerant singing-master, who 20 goes about the country for that purpose, to instruct
them rightly in the tunes of the Psalms; upon which they now very much value themselves, and indeed outdo most of the country churches that I have ever heard.
As Sir Roger is landlord to the whole congregation,