THE SIR ROGER DE
FROM THE SPECTATOR
WITH INTRODUCTION AND NOTES
JOHN CALVIN METCALF
Professor of English in Eichmond College
B. F. JOHNSON PUBLISHING CO
ATLANTA RICHMOND DALLAS
Jobnson Series ot }£naltsb
GOLDSMITHS VICAR OF WAKEFIELD. Edited
by Prof. G. C. Edwards.
BURKE'S SPEECH ON CONCILIATION. Edited
by Dr. James M. Garnett
TENNYSON'S PRINCESS. Edited by Dr. C. W. Kent.
MACAULAY'S ESSAYS ON MILTON AND AD-
DISON. Edited by Dr. C. Alphonso Smith.
POPE'S HOMER'S ILIAD. Edited by Professors
F. E. Shoup and Isaac Ball.
ADDISON'S SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
Edited by Prof. John Calvin Metcalf.
SHAKESPEARE'S MERCHANT OF VENICE. Edited
by Dr. Robert Sharp.
THE ANCIENT MARINER. Edited by Prof. Nor-
man H. Pitman.
Others to be Announced.
By B. F. JOHNSON publishing CO.
l()-4— H. P.— 1 ed.
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It has been the purpose of the editor of this volume
to furnish the student or general reader with such
information in the introduction and notes as will en-
able him to form some general notion of the social
setting of The Sir Roger de Coverley Papers.
To those who would gain a more intimate know-
ledge of that fascinating period, the Age of Queen
Anne, extended reading in the more accessible books
mentioned in the brief bibliography is strongly
recommended. Such books as Thackeray's great
work, Henry Esmond, and his English Humourists,
along with Ashton's Social Life in the Age of Queen
Anne, will help the imagination to reconstruct the
period. But, above all else, the student should read
widely in The Tatler and The Spectator, to which this
selection of papers is simply an introduction.
The text is essentially that of Morley's edition of
The Spectator, with capitalization, spelling, and
punctuation modernized, and with a word or phrase
changed here and there. The headings to the various
papers (not found in the originals, of course,) have
almost become the common property of editors, and
little originality in phrasing is possible. The selec-
tions included in this volume have likewise become
established by the general agreement of editors,
though the name of Sir Roger de Coverley occurs
in several other numbers of The Spectator. These
thirty-three papers, however, include all that really
has to do with the career and personality of that
J. C. M.
Biclimond, Ya., March 1, 1910,
I. Addison and Steele vii
II. The Tatler and The Spectator xvi
III. The Sir Roger de Coverley Papers xxiii
Brief Bibliography xxvii
The Sir Roger de Coverley Papers:
I. A Description of the Spectator 1
II. The Members of the Club 7
III. Politeness and Morality 15
IV. A Meeting of the Club 20
V. Sir Roger at His Country Home 25
VI. The Coverley Household 30
VII. Will Wimble .35
VIII. Sir Roger's Family Portraits 40
IX. The Coverley Ghost 45
X. Sir Roger at Church 51
XI. Sir Roger in Love 55
XII. A Little Sermon on Economy 62
XIII. Health and Exercise 67
XIV. A Hunt with Sir Roger 72
XV. The Coverley Witch 79
XVI. Sir Roger Discourses on Love 84
XVII. Town and Country Manners 90
XVIII. Sir Roger at the Assizes 94
XIX. Florio and Leonilla 99
XX. The Spectator on Party Spirit 106
XXL Whig and Tory 112
XXII. A Gypsy Camp 118
XXIII. Reasons for Returning to Town 123
XXIV. The Journey Back to London 127
XXV. Sir Roger and Sir Andrew 132
XXVI. Sir Roger in Town 138
XXVII. Sir Roger in Westminster Abbey 143
XXVIII. Sir Roger at the Play 148
XXIX. Will Honeycomb's Love Affairs 153
XXX. Sir Roger at Vauxhall 158
XXXI. The Death of Sir Roger 163
XXXII. Will Honeycomb's Marriage 168
XXXIII. The Club is Dissolved 172
I. Addison and Steele
The two men who wrote most of the papers con-
tained in that famous collection of periodical essays,
The Spectator, were Joseph Addison and Richard
Steele. There were other contributors, to be sure,
but they exercised no shaping hand in this journal
of manners and morals. Steele originated The SpeC'
tator, but Addison may be said to have perfected it;
and Addison's name is associated with it in the
popular mind almost to the neglect of Steele's,
though Steele's contribution is very large. The
name of Addison, even in his own day, had greater
weight than that of Steele, and so it has continued.
The two men were closely associated from boyhood;
their very differences of temperament drew them
together; they were in a sense complementary, and
we cannot well understand the one without reference
to the other. Apart from his literary activity, Addi-
son was a busy man in affairs of State, while Steele
turned his hand to many things, from soldiering to
pamphleteering and play-writing. The versatility of the
two men was remarkable ; but posterity has for the
most part forgotten their political ambitions, their
'dramas, their pamphlets offensive and defensive, and
remembers them as writers of delightful essays and
viii SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
character-sketches, unambitious human documents,
known collectively as The Tatler and The Spectator.
Joseph Addison, son of Rev. Launcelot Addison,
was born at Milston, Wiltshire, May i, 1672. The
elder Addison was a man of literary tastes and
author of several books. He later became Dean of
Lichfield, where Joseph Addison studied at the gram-
mar school before going to the famous Charter
House in London. From this school he proceeded
to the University of Oxford in 1687 at the age of
fifteen, where he entered Queen's College. His
proficiency in the classics, especially in the writing
of Latin verse, won for him a scholarship in Magda-
len College, whither he went in 1689. He received
the degree of master of arts in 1693 and was made
a Fellow in 1698, retaining his fellowship until 171 1,
though he left Oxford in 1699.
During those eleven or twelve years at the Uni-
versity, Addison read widely in the classics, trans-
lated parts of Virgil's Georglcs and Ovid's Metamor-
phoses, and composed remarkably smooth Latin
verses. He wrote, besides. An Account of the Greatest
English Poets in verse, some lines in honor of the old
poet, John Dryden, and a poetical tribute to King
William. This studious life of Addison at Oxford
seemed to indicate that he would become a clergy-
man. The quiet dignity of the young Fellow of
Magdalen, whose favorite walk was under the elms
along the peaceful Cherwell, sorted well with that
impression. But the fates willed otherwise. Dryden
introduced Addison to Congreve, the dramatist, and
he in turn presented him to Charles Montague, later
Lord Halifax, whom Addison had praised in his
Account of the English Poets and in a Latin poem.
Montague obtained for him a traveling pension of
three hundred pounds a year in order that he might
visit foreign lands, learn French, and prepare him-
self for diplomatic service. Accordingly, in 1699, at
the age of twenty-seven, Addison left Oxford for the
When after a stay of four years on the continent,
mostly in France and Italy, Addison returned to
England, he found a new sovereign on the throne,
his pension gone, and himself without a livelihood;
for the Whigs, among whom were his political
friends, no longer directed the government. He
turned to literature for support, and from his garret
in London sent forth an account of his travels, a
book which added little to his fame and still less to
his purse. About this time, however, when Addi-
son's fortunes were at their lowest ebb, his friend
Montague again helped him. Godolphin, the Lord
Treasurer, asked Montague to recommend a poet
who could celebrate in worthy verse the recent great
victory at Blenheim under the Duke of Marlborough.
Montague mentioned Addison ; whereupon Godol-
phin sent Boyle, the Chancellor of the Exchequer,
to see the impecunious poet at his lodgings up three
X SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
flights of stairs over a shop in the Haymarket. The
outcome of this visit was The Campaign, Addison's
first really significant poem, in which the Duke of
Marlborough, victor at Blenheim, is glorified as the
avenging angel upon England's foes. The poem
was immensely popular.
Addison's long political career began the same
year in which The Campaign was written, 1704, with
his appointment as Commissioner of Appeals, to be
followed two years later by his promotion to the
office of Under-Secretary of State. Elected to Par-
liament in 1708, he served as a member of the House
of Commons until his death. In 1709 he was sent
to Ireland as Under-Secretary, but lost that office
the following year through the fall of the Whig
ministry. The supreme political honor of his life
came to him in 1717, two years before his death,
when he was made Secretary of State.
Throughout these years of active participation in
State affairs, Addison's literary activity continued.
To The Tatler, which His friend and schoolmate
Richard Steele had begun in 1709, he was a regular
contributor. The Spectator, running through iyii-12
and revived in 1714 for a year, shows Addison at his
best. The essays written for two later periodicals,
The Guardian and The Freeholder, are of less literary
importance because they are partisan. Addison
wrote, moreover, two dramas in verse, Rosamond, an
opera which was performed in 1706, and Cato, a rather
stiff and stately tragedy which was begun during his
travels on the continent, though not finished until
1713. Rosamond was deservedly a failure, but Cato
was highly successful in an age which esteemed cold-
ness and correctness of form in literature above faith-
fulness to human nature. It is difficult, indeed, for
the modern reader, while admitting the elegance and
dignity of many passages in Cato, to understand the
enthusiastic references to this drama by contemporary
The remainder of Addison's life was passed in the
ease which an assured position in literature, in society,
and in politics brings with it. He was one of the
foremost men of letters in England, the centre of a
circle of admirers at Button's Coffee-house, as Dry-
den had been at Will's twenty years before. His
marriage to the Countess Dowager of Warwick in
1716, to whom he had paid long court, may have in-
creased his social prestige, though, if reports be cor-
rect, it did not add to his happiness. In the company
of a few congenial friends at his coffee-house Addison
doubtless found during these last years his greatest
happiness. On June 17, 1719, Addison died at
Holland House, and was buried in Westminster
Abbey by the side of his "loved Montague."
Addison as a man was universally popular in an
age of bitter partisanship. Though he was no
speaker, he was repeatedly elected to Parliament and
appointed without personal solicitation to important
xii SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
offices of State. Though a Whig, he was once or
twice returned to ParHament by Tory votes. His
popularity is attested by Swift who wrote to Steele:
*T believe if he had a mind to be chosen king, he
would hardly be refused." Somewhat proud, very
sensitive, reserved, and self conscious, it may appear
strange that Addison was popular; but at heart he
was one of the kindest, most sympathetic of men,
however cold he may have seemed. His was the
scholar's austerity, and his very dignity and silence
inspired confidence, while his freedom from party
bitterness gave him a certain judicial poise. To his
purity of character were added the urbanity of good
breeding, the courage of real conviction, and the
sensibility of genius.
Richard Steele was born in Dublin in 1672, the
birth-year of his friend and associate, Joseph Addi-
son. Steele's father was English, his mother Irish;
and in the son there was a curious blending of
national traits, but the Irish were more pronounced.
His parents died while he was a mere child, and
an uncle took charge of him. This uncle sent him
at the age of twelve to the Charter House school in
London where he met Addison. In 1691 Steele went
to Oxford, first to Christ Church College and later
to Merton College ; but he was not of a studious
temperament, and after a few years at the University,
pining for a life of action, he left Oxford without
a degree. We next hear of him as a member of the
Horse Guards, playing soldier, for his campaigning
must have been mostly local. Here he remained
over ten years, during which he wrote a poem in
honor of Lord Cutts, a well-known military man of
the day, a devotional manual named The Christian
Hero, and a play called The Funeral, satirizing the
pretentious social follies of the time. Thus early
his versatile genius is shown.
Under the patronage of Lord Cutts, Steele was
becoming known to the wits and men of letters who
gathered at Will's Coffee-house. Two other plays
soon followed, The Lying Lover (1703) and The
Tender Husband (1705), the beginnings of that
species of drama termed 'sentimental comedy,' the
purpose of which was to give a moral tone to plays
as opposed to the dissolute language of the Restora-
tion Comedy of Manners. In writing the second of
these two plays Steele was assisted by Addison.
Soon after this Steele married Margaret Stretch, a
widow, who died in 1706, leaving him an income
of eight hundred pounds a year. In 1707, he was
made official Gazetteer, and distinguished by other
marks of court favor. The same year he married
Miss Scurlock, to whom he was ever a devoted
husband throughout their married life of over
twenty years. Indeed, there is not to be found in
eighteenth century literature a series of more affec-
tionate love-letters than Steele's almost daily notes
to his somewhat exacting but eminently sensible and
xiv SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
attractive wife. By this time Steele was a well-
known writer with political aspirations, who was
convivial with the leading wits at the Kit-Cat Club,
and whose finances were usually in a bad condition.
In 1709, partly as a money-making enterprise,
Steele began the publication of the periodical
through which the world came to know him at his
best, The Tatler. Two years later he planned with
Addison, who had been a contributor to The Tatler,
a new journal of manners, letters, and morals, which
was continued through 1712. For the next few
years Steele began one periodical after another, but
without conspicuous success, for he had now thrown
himself with energy into politics and the partisan
tone of his journals detracted from their social and
literary interest. When George I succeeded to the
throne in 1714, Steele became an aggressive cham-
pion of the House of Hanover and was promptly
rewarded with an appointment to several minor
offices, among which was that of Supervisor of
Drury Lane Theatre. The next year he was knighted
and again elected to Parliament, from which in the
preceding year under the Tory ministry he had been
expelled because of certain attacks on the govern-
ment in one of his papers. Luckily at this critical
juncture when poverty seemed dangerously near,
unknown admirers had sent him three thousand
The rest of Steele's life was devoted in the main
INTRODUCTION. . xv
to politics. As Supervisor of Drury Lane, he exer-
cised a wholesome restraint upon the management
of that theatre ; as one of the royal commissioners
he visited Scotland several times on government
business ; and as opponent of the South Sea Scheme,
he gained wide favor when that speculative bubble
burst. Unfortunately, in 1719 only a little while
before Addison's death, he and Addison had a dis-
agreement about the bill for limiting the number of
Peers. The two old friends attacked each other
in two rival periodicals of the day. But after Addi-
son's death, Steele's affection for his friend showed
itself in a generous tribute to his memory. The
last important contribution which Steele made to
literature was the comedy of The Conscious Lovers
in 1722, the most successful of his plays. The later
years of his life were spent in promoting certain
schemes for the public welfare and for his own private
fortune. He wished to leave something to his chil-
dren (his wife had died in 1718), but disease weak-
ened his native vigor and made weary his hopeful
spirit. In Wales, at Carmarthen, whither he had
gone to look after his wife's estates, Steele died in
1729, and there he was buried.
Impulsive, careless, inconsistent, warm-hearted,
improvident, Steele was one of those characters who
get close to the human heart. His vitality was as
buoyant as his sympathies were broad; he entered
with whole-hearted enjoyment into the life about
xvi SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
him, a man of action with an immense capacity for
social intercourse. He was courageous, with an
instinct for social and political reform, a chivalrous
defender of woman in an age of lax morals, a loyal
friend, a good father and husband. What particu-
larly impresses the student of Steele's life is the
man's ceaseless activity, his abounding energy ; and
with it all there goes that saving irrepressible good
nature, that human quality, which makes the world
love him, if it does not revere him.
II. The Tatler and The Spectator.
The Age of Queen Anne was above all else a
social age. After the gloom of Puritanism in the
middle of the seventeenth century came the gayety
of the Restoration when French influence prevailed
in literature as well as in London society. The
Court was the center from which spread fashions in
letters, in politics, in religion. It was upon the whole
a superficial age, in which urbanity of manner
counted for more than depth of thought or sincerity
of conviction. The moral tone was low, manifesting
itself in coarseness of speech and in recklessness of
conduct. Gambling and drinking were prevalent!
vices ; the laws were poorly enforced ; all sorts of
swindling schemes flourished; highwaymen infested
the country roads, and riotous gangs of young men,
often from good families, made night hideous in
London by attacking pedestrians, beating some and
compelling others to dance at the sword's point, or
by nailing women in barrels and rolling them down
inclines. The streets were narrow, poorly paved, ill-
lighted, and wretchedly dirty, often with reeking
gutters along the sidewalks. Of sanitation, as we
imderstand it to-day, there was little or none. Lon-
don, as compared with that modern vast hive of
human industry, was not a very big city, having
hardly more than a half million people ; and for
that very reason its citizens could get together
oftener and come to feel the bonds of human
interest. It was withal a lively throng of mortals,
who, feeling the delight of the passing hour, loved to
meet in groups and talk and show themselves.
The most noteworthy centers of this social con-
tact were the coffee-houses, the clubs, the theatres,
and the various public parks and pleasure gardens,
like Vauxhall, for instance, in and about the metro-
polis. Coffee-houses and clubs had very largely
taken the place of the taverns of Shakespeare's day
as meeting-places for men of wit. Will's was still
the most famous headquarters of literary men, while
for politicians, lawyers, clergymen, there were coffee-
houses professionally adapted. The merchants, too,
had their coffee-houses and clubs, for the great mid-
dle class, the tradesmen, were growing powerful in
municipal and national life. All sorts of clubs, from '
the exclusive Kit-Cat Club to the lower tavern gath-
erings, flourished in the heart of London, where con-
xviii SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
genial companions ate, drank, and made merry. At
the theatres, Drury Lane, Covent Garden, the Hay-
market, all classes assembled to hear a new comedy
by Congreve, or Gibber, or Steele. Here in the
boxes the nobles sat and talked court news,
"Who loses and who wins, who's in, who's out" —
and fine ladies exchanged court gossip. Here you
met your friends, and from here, when the curtain
fell, you went back to the cofifee-house for a chat
or to the Mall for a promenade.
Such great social activity could of course exist
only in a time of leisure attendant upon material
prosperity. All this meant a large class of readers
who demanded entertainment from lighter forms of
literature. To supply this demand various journals
came into existence, some to furnish foreign or
domestic news, others court news, some to set forth
dramatic criticism, others to comment upon the
manners of the day. The first daily newspaper. The
Daily Courant, began in 1702, a single sheet eight
by fourteen inches; Defoe started his Review in 1704.
Of the long list of weekly and monthly periodicals
born in the first decade of the eighteenth century
the greater part were short-lived; but the popularity
of several of these journals proved that henceforth
this form of literature was to be reckoned with by
aspiring young authors. The bounds of literature
were about to be enlarged by the inclusion of the
periodical essay, which is the literary offspring of a
quickened social sense.
The two men of that time best qualified by tem-
perament and by training to seize upon a popular
form and raise it to the dignity of literature were
Richard Steele and Joseph Addison. Steele in par-
ticular knew the town intimately and loved to min-
gle freely with the passing throngs of London life.
He well understood their wants, he felt keenly
enough his own pecuniary needs, and he had an
ambition, no doubt, to enter a field whence he might
exert a wider influence. Accordingly, on April 12,
1709, Steele issued the first number of The Tatler
tmder the pseudonym of Isaac Bickerstaff, a name
which he borrowed from Swift. The little folio,
double-columned paper was published three times
a week up to January 2, 171 1, at one penny a copy.
Of the two hundred and seventy-one numbers issued
Steele wrote one hundred and eighty-eight, Addison
wrote forty-two. The rest were contributed by
friends or by Steele and Addison together. At first
Steele had intended to make The Tatler strictly a
newspaper, but he soon decided to enlarge the scope
so as to touch on matters social, literary, and moral,
with helpful purpose. To the first collected volume
of papers from The Tatler Steele prefixed this state-
ment: 'The general purpose of this paper is to
expose the false arts of life, to pull off the disguises
XX SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
of cunning, vanity, and affectation, and to recommend
a general simplicity in our dress, our discourse, and
The success of The Tatler led Steele to plan, in
conjunction with his friend Addison, a new periodi-
cal of wider range. The Spectator began March i,
171 1, and appeared six times a week until December
6, 1712. After an intermission of about a year and a
half, Addison revived The Spectator, issuing it three
times a week, and wrote for it alone until its dis-
continuance, December 20, 1714. Of the six hun-
dred and thirty-five numbers in the two series, two
hundred and seventy-four were written by Addison,
two hundred and thirty-six by Steele ; the rest were
contributed by friends of the two men, including
Eustace Budgell, Hughes, Tickell, Pope, and others.
To each number of this little double-columned sheet
was prefixed as a motto an apt quotation from some
Latin or Greek author.
The Spectator was pitched upon a higher plane than
The Tatler, due in large measure, it may be safely
said, to the serene, reflective spirit of Addison, the
calm observer of men and things, somewhat detached
from the throng while keenly watching it with a
quiet sense of humor. The seriousness of purpose
which inspired Addison in writing these delightful
papers is thus set forth in No. 10 of The Spectator:
"Since I have raised to myself so great an
audience, I shall spare no pains to make their
instruction agreeable and their diversion useful. For
which reason I shall endeavour to enliven morality
with wit, and to temper wit with morality.
And to the end that their virtue and discretion may
not be short, transient, intermitting starts of thought,
I have resolved to refresh their memories from day
to day till I have recovered them out of that desper-
ate state of vice and folly into which the age is fallen.
The mind that lies fallow but a single day, sprouts
up in follies that are only to be killed by a constant
and assiduous culture. It was said of Socrates that
he brought Philosophy down from heaven to inhabit
among men ; and I shall be ambitious to have it said
of me that I have brought Philosophy out of closets
and libraries, schools and colleges, to dwell in clubs
and assemblies, at tea-tables and in coffee-houses."
This ethical purpose Addison kept steadily in view.
The contents of The Spectator were varied to suit all
tastes to which the principles of common sense and
common decency were likely to make an appeal.
Stories, character-sketches, literary and dramatic
criticism, playful social satire, penetrating comments
on morality and religion, filled the pages of the little
paper which was daily laid upon the breakfast tables
of the citizens of London. Queen Anne herself is
said to have read The Spectator at breakfast. In
Scotland it was regarded as suitable Sunday reading,
promotive of discussions on religion and morals.
That The Spectator reached a large public, even at
xxii SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
the outset, may be gathered from Addison's state-
ment in No. 10 : "My pubHsher tells me that there are
already three thousand of them distributed every
day." This number rapidly increased, of course, with
the growing popularity of the paper ; until, towards
the close of its career, as Courthope remarks in his
Life of Addison, "It is not unreasonable to conclude
that the usual daily issue of The Spectator to readers
in all parts of the kingdom would have reached ten
Aside from the mere entertainment which this
periodical afiforded its readers, there can be no doubt
that it exercised a distinctly wholesome restraint upon
manners and morals. Without being offensively
didactic. The Spectator made morality fashionable
and moderated social license until the standards of
common sense once more prevailed in a nation
which had, for a time, departed from its traditions
under the impulse of reaction from puritanical
repression. But it did still more : by reflecting local
manners, sketching character in a concrete and real-
istic way, by portraying homely scenes, and by
creating vividly human personalities socially
grouped. The Spectator, which was another name for
Addison, hastened the advent of the English novel
thirty years later. Not the least, in truth,
among the glories of the two originators of the
periodical essay, Steele and Addison, is the signifi-
cant contribution which they, all unconsciously, made
throug-h The Tatler and The Spectator to the most
democratic form of literature known to man, the
III. The Sir Roger De Coverlet Papers.
Of the thirty-three selections from The Spectator
included in this volume under the general title of
The Sir Roger de CoverUy Papers, twenty-two are by
Addison, nine by Steele, and two by Eustace Budgell
(see notes to page 72). The characters who figure
in these papers are members of an imaginary Club
of which the Spectator is the central personage.
Sir Roger, the dominant character, is the landed
country gentleman and staunch Tory; Sir Andrew
Freeport is a prosperous London merchant and a
devoted Whig; Captain Sentry represents the army,
the Templar the law, the Clergyman the church;
Will Honeycomb is the society man. Little effort is
made to develop the outline of each character given
in the second paper of The Spectator, always except-
ing Sir Roger, of course. Sir Andrew is somewhat
pale. Captain Sentry is indistinct, Will Honeycomb
is fairly clear-cut, while the other two are entirely
nes:ative. Steele sketched the characters and left
the enlargement of them into life-like portraits to
Addison, returning time and again to the old knight
through sheer love of him. Indeed, both writers
seem to have become so absorbed in this one domi-
nating figure as almost to forget about the others,
xxiv SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
contenting themselves with the introduction now and
then of a contrasted character by way of variety and
consistency. It is Steele who introduced Sir Roger
de Coverley (Spectator, No. 2) ; it is Steele who
dwells longer upon the whims of the old baronet ;
and it is Steele, who tells so inimitably the story
of Sir Roger and the perverse widow — that invisible
but familiar personage in the club. It is Addison,
however, who elaborates the character of Sir Roger
de Coverley until there lives before us a typical, old-
fashioned country gentleman of the eighteenth cen-
tury, endeared to us by his eccentricities, his preju-
dices, his touch of superstitittion, his rusticity, which
only serve to give color to his large humanity. The
old knight in the midst of the congregation on
Sunday ; the visit to the theatre and the comments
on the play ; the walk through Westminster Abbey,
with the recital from Baker's Chronicle to the
impatient verger and the cool appropriation of the
coronation chair; the moral reflections in Vauxhall
Gardens ; and that pathetic letter of the old steward
telling of Sir Roger's death : all these ever memora-
ble scenes are painted by Addison. The full-length
portrait of this famous character is a clever blending
of the sentimental touches of Steele and the more
refined shadings, the soberer coloring of the genius
of Addison. Upon the whole, however, when we
have examined in detail the elements which united
make this one of the most distinct and lovable char-
acters in literature, we conclude that Sir Roger de
Coverley is manifestly the creation of Addison.
But back of this engaging figure is the Spectator
himself. Parts of the characterization in the first
paper may be applied, directly or indirectly, to
Addison the man. "It is not easy to doubt," says
Macaulay, ''that the portrait was meant to be in some
features a likeness of the painter." Shy and silent in
company, but altogether charming as a talker when
with several congenial spirits, Addison was a man
of sensitive temperament despite his fondness for
public life. A delicate humor pervades the best of
his social essays, while throughout others, as, for
example, the Vision of Mirza (No. 159), or the
reflections on the tombs in Westminster Abbey (No.
26), there is a subdued and solemn music, a lingering
cadence. He was not, like Steele, a hasty or careless
writer, but refined and polished his periods. His
sense for words is discriminating, and his apprecia-
tion of the telling adjustment of phrases is evident
to the trained ear. He is master of an elegant style ;
though at times it verges upon the colloquial, it is
always graceful and sustained. As the man himself
was urbane, so is his style. Addison succeeded, as
no one before him had done, in writing prose that
was at once idiomatic and polished. It is the easy,
familiar, but refined style of the well-bred man of
the world, who is at the same time something of the
scholar, It is not a vigorous style, not epigram,^
xxvi SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
matic. "He thinks justly," said Dr. Johnson, "but
he thinks faintly." Although not a profound writer,
Addison perceived the possibilities of prose as a
medium of artistic expression. He had, moreover,
the industry and the critical acumen to demonstrate
these possibilities by treating subjects of the day
with a nicety of phrase and an elevation of sentiment
which have made our language and our literature his
lasting debtors. It was a notable accomplishment,
indeed, to reconcile wit and virtue in his own age ;
it is, perhaps, a still greater achievement to have
given to the world a new literary form.
But, in the last analysis, the appeal of Addison is
not to be found in his ethical teaching or in the
mere form of his utterance, important as these are,
but rather in a personality of compelling charm.
"Whoever wishes," says Johnson in an oft-quoted
sentence, "to attain an English style, familiar but not
coarse, and elegant but not ostentatious, must give
his days and nights to the volumes of Addison."
True as this is, it is altogether likely that Addison
himself, were he to speak, would wish his books
read for simple enjoyment, without a thought of
style. After two hundred years, those who love The
Spectator best think of Addison not as a classic, but
as a friend. His volumes are among the great com-
panionable books of our literature.
Editions of the Spectator
Henry Morley's, 3 vols., 1883, or i vol., 1888; G. Gregory
Smith's, 8 vols., 1897-1898. These are the best modern edi-
tions of The Spectator complete. Excellent single volumes
of selections from Addison's works are: J. R. Green's, 1880;
Wendell and Greenough's, 1905 ; Reed's, 1906.
Biography and Criticism
Life of Addison, by W. J. Courthope, in the English Men
of Letters Series, 1884, is the best brief biography. The Life
and Writings of Addison, by T. B. Macaulay, among his
essays, is a good estimate though it is over-emphatic here
and there; first appeared in Edinburgh Review, 1843. Addi-
son, in the Lives of the Poets, by Samuel Johnson, 1781, re-
mains one of the most sensible, judicious estimates. Lectures
on the English Humourists, Addison, by W. M. Thackeray.
Life of Richard Steele, by George A. Aitken, 1899. Rich-
ard Steele, by Austin Dobson, in the English Worthies Series,
1886. These are the best recent biographies. Lectures on the
English Humourists, by W. M. Thackeray, 1851. This esti-
mate hardly does Steele justice.
History and Social Life
A History of Eighteenth Century Literature, by Edmund
Gosse. English Literature in the Eighteenth Century, by T.
xxvlii SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
S. Perry. An Illustrated History of English Literature, by
Richard Garnett and Edmund Gosse, Vol. III. The illustra-
tions and facsimiles in this work are very helpful to the
student and reader.
Social Life in the Reign of Queen Anne, by John Ashton,
is an invaluable work on social customs, dress, amusements,
travel, etc., and should be accessible to every student of Addi-
son and Steele. Social England, by H. D. Traill, Vol. IV.
London in the Eighteenth Century, by Walter Besant. The
Llistory of England, by T. B. Macaulay, Chapter III. This
chapter is a brilliant account of social conditions in later
seventeenth century and early eighteenth century England.
Henry Esmond, by W. M. Thackeray, reproduces the atmos-
phere of the Age of Queen Anne.
The Advertisements of the Spectator, by Lawrence Lewis,
1909, is helpful towards understanding the manners of the
Among the valuable political histories of the Queen Anne
period are: Morris's The Age of Anne (Epochs of Modern
History Series) ; Lecky's A History of England in the Eigh-
teenth Century, Vol. I ; McCarthy's The Reign of Queen
Anne, dealing with literary and social matters also; Burton's
A History of the Reign of Queen Anne; Green's History of
the English Veople, Vol. IIL
SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY
Sir Roger de Coverley
A Description of the Spectator.
No. I. Addison".
^Non fumum ex fiilgore, sed ex fumo dare lucem
Cogitat, ut speciosa dehinc miracula promat.
I have observed that a reader seldom peruses a
book with pleasure till he knows whether the writer
of it be a ^black or a fair man, of a mild or choleric 5
disposition, married or a bachelor, with other particu-
lars of the like nature that conduce very much to the
right understanding of an author. To gratify this
curiosity, which is so natural to a reader, I design this
paper and my next as prefatory discourses to my fol- lo
lowing writings, and shall give some account in them
of the several persons that are engaged in this work.
As the chief trouble of compiling, digesting, and cor-
recting will fall to my share, I must do myself the jus-
tice to open the work with my own history. 15
I was born to a small hereditary estate, which, ac-
cording to the tradition of the village where it lies,
was bounded by the same hedges and ditches in
William the Conqueror's time that it is at present, and
has been delivered down from father to son, whole 20
C I 3
2 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
and entire, without the loss or acquisition of a single
field or meadow, during the space of six hundred
years. There runs a story in the family, that shortly
before I came into this world my mother dreamt that
5 she gave birth to a judge. Whether this might pro-
ceed from a lawsuit which was then ^depending in
the family, or my father's being a justice of the peace,
I cannot determine; for I am not so vain as to think
it presaged any dignity that I should arrive at in my
lo future life, though that was the interpretation which
the neighbourhood put upon it. The gravity of my
behaviour at my first appearance in the world seemed
to favour my mother's dream ; for, as she has often
told me, I threw away my rattle before I was two
15 months old, and would not make use of my ^coral
till they had taken away the bells from it.
As for the rest of my infancy, there being nothing
in it remarkable, I shall pass it over in silence. I find
that during my ^nonage I had the reputation of a
20 very sullen youth, but was always a favourite of my
schoolmaster, who used to say that 'my parts were
solid, and would wear well.' I had not been long at
the University before I distinguished myself by a
most profound silence ; for during the space of eight
25 years, excepting in the public exercises of the college,
I scarce uttered the quantity of an hundred words;
and indeed do not remember that I ever spoke three
sentences together in my whole life. Whilst I was in
this learned body, I applied myself with so much dili-
30 gence to my studies that there are very few celebrated
A DESCRIPTION OF THE SPECTATOR. 3
books, either in the learned or the modern tongues,
which I am not acquainted with.
Upon the death of my father, I was resolved to
travel into foreign countries, and therefore left the
University, with the character of an odd, unaccount- 5
able fellow, that had a great deal of learning, if I
would but show it. An insatiable thirst after knowl-
edge carried me into all the countries of Europe in
which there was anything new or strange to be seen ;
nay, to such a degree was my curiosity raised that, 10
having read the controversies of some great men con-
cerning the antiquities of Egypt, I made a voyage to
Grand Cairo on purpose to take the measure of a
^pyramid ; and, as soon as I had set myself right in
that particular, returned to my native country with 15
/ I have passed my latter years in this city, where I
am frequently seen in most public places, though there
are not above half a dozen of my select friends that
know me ; of whom my next paper shall give a more 20
particular account. There is no place of general re-
sort wherein I do not often make my appearance.
Sometimes I am seen thrusting my head into a ^round
of politicians at ^Will's, and listening with great atten-
tion to the narratives that are made in those little cir- 25
cular audiences. Sometimes I smoke a pipe at Child's ;
and, while I seem attentive to nothing but the Tost-
man, overhear the conversation of every table in the
room. I appear on Sunday nights at St. James's
coffee-house, and sometimes join the little committee 30
4 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
of politics in the inner room, as one who comes there
to hear and improve. My face is hkewise very well
known at the Grecian, the Cocoa-tree, and in the
^theatres both of Drury Lane and the Haymarket. I
5 have been taken for a merchant upon the ^Exchange
for above these ten years, and sometimes pass for a
Jew in the assembly of stockjobbers at ^Jonathan's.
In short, wherever I see a cluster of people, I always
mix with them, though I never open my lips but in
lo my own club^
Thus I live in the world rather as a spectator of
mankind than as one of the species, by which means
I have made myself a speculative statesman, soldier,
merchant, and artisan, without ever meddling with
15 any practical part in life. I am very well versed in
the theory of a husband, or a father, and can discern
the errors in the economy, business, and diversion of
others, better than those who are engaged in them ;
as standers-by discover "blots which are apt to escape
20 those who are in the game. I never espoused any
party with violence, and am resolved to observe an
exact neutrality between the Whigs and Tories, unless
I shall be forced to declare myself by the hostilities of
either side. In short, I have acted in all the parts of
2^ my life as a looker-on, which is the character I intend
to preserve in this paper.
I have given the reader just so much of my history
and character as to let him see I am not altogether
unqualified for the business I have undertaken. As
30 for other particulars in my life and adventures, I shall
A DESCRIPTION OF THE SPECTATOR. 5
insert them in following papers, as I shall see
occasion. In the meantime, when I consider how
much I have seen, read, and heard, I begin to blame
my own taciturnity ; and since I have neither time
nor inclination to communicate the fulness of my heart 5
in speech, I am resolved to do it in writing, and to
print myself out, if possible, before I die. I have been
often told by my friends that it is a pity so many use-
ful discoveries which I have made should be in the
possession of a silent man. For this reason, there- 10
fore, I shall publish a sheetful of thoughts every
morning for the benefit of my contemporaries ; and if
I can any way contribute to the diversion or improve-
ment of the country in which I live, I shall leave it,
when 1 am summoned out of it, with the secret satis- ^5
faction of thinking that I have not lived in vain.
There are three very material points which I have
not spoken to in this paper, and which, for several
important reasons, I must keep to myself, at least for
some time : I mean an account of my name, my age, 20
and my lodgings. I must confess I would gratify my
reader in anything that is reasonable ; but as for
these three particulars, though I am sensible they
might tend very much to the embellishment of my
paper, I cannot yet come to a resolution of communi- 25
eating them to the public. They would indeed draw
me out of that obscurity which I have enjoyed for
many years, and expose me in public places to sev-
eral salutes and civilities, which have been always
very disagreeable to me; for the greatest pain I can 30
6 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
suffer is the being talked to and being stared at. It
is for this reason, likewise, that I keep my complexion
and dress as very great secrets ; though it is not im-
possible but I may make ^discoveries of both in the
5 progress of the work I have undertaken.
After having been thus particular upon myself, I
shall in to-morrow's paper give an account of those
gentlemen who are concerned with me in this work ;
for, as I have before intimated, a plan of it is laid and
lo concerted, as all other matters of importance are, in a
club. However, as my friends have engaged me to
stand in the front, those who have a mind to corre-
spond with me, may direct their letters To the Specta-
tor, at ^Mr. Buckley's, in Little Britain. For I must
15 further acquaint the reader that, though our club
meets only on Tuesdays and Thursdays, we have ap-
pointed a committee to sit every night for the inspec-
tion of all such papers as may contribute to the
advancement of the public weal.
The Members of the Club.
No. 2. Steele.
— ''Ast alii sex
Et plures uno conclamant ore.
The first of our society is a gentleman of Worces-
tershire, of ancient descent, a baronet; his name. Sir
Roger de Coverley. His great-grandfather was in-
ventor of that famous ^country-dance which is called
after him. All who know that shire are very well
acquainted with the parts and merits of Sir Roger.
He is a gentleman that is very singular in his be-
haviour, but his singularities proceed from his good
sense, and are contradictions to the manners of the
world only as he thinks the world is in the wrong.
However, this Miumour creates him no enemies, for
he does nothing with sourness or obstinacy ; and his
being unconfined to modes and forms makes him but 15
the readier and more capable to please and oblige all
who know him. When he is in town, he lives in ^Soho
Square. It is said he keeps himself a bachelor by
reason he was crossed in love by a perverse beautiful
widow of the next county to him. Before this dis- 20
appointment, Sir Roger was what you call a fine
gentleman, had often supped with my ^Lord Roches-
ter and Sir George Etherege, fought a duel upon his
first coming to town, and kicked ''Bully Dawson in a
8 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
public coffee-house for calling him youngster. But
being ill-used by the above-mentioned widow, he was
very serious for a year and a half; and though, his
temper being naturally jovial, he at last got over it,
5 he grew careless of himself, and never dressed after-
wards. He continues to wear a coat and doublet of
the same cut that were in fashion at the time of his
repulse, which, in his merry humours, he tells us, has
been in and out twelve times since he first wore it.
10 He is now in his fifty-sixth year, cheerful, gay, and
hearty ; keeps a good house both in town and coun-
try ; a great lover of mankind ; but there is such a
mirthful cast in his behaviour that he is rather be-
loved than esteemed. His tenants grow rich, his
15 servants look satisfied, all the young women profess
love to him, and the young men are glad of his com-
pany. When he comes into a house, he calls the ser-
vants by their names, and talks all the way up-stairs
to a visit. I must not omit that Sir Roger is a justice
2Q of the ^quorum ; that he fills the chair at a ^quarter
session with great abilities ; and three months ago
gained universal applause by explaining a passage in
the ^game act.
The gentleman next in esteem and authority among
25 us is another bachelor, who is a member of the ^Inner
Temple, a man of great probity, wit, and understand-
ing; but he has chosen his place of residence rather
to obey the direction of an old humoursome father
than in pursuit of his own inclinations. He was
30 placed there to study the laws of the land, and is the
THE MEMBERS OF THE CLUB. 9
most learned of any of the house in those of the stage.
^Aristotle and Longinus are much better understood
by him than ^Littleton or Coke. The father sends up
every post questions relating to marriage articles,
leases, and tenures, in the neighbourhood; all which 5
questions he agrees with an attorney to answer and
take care of in the lump. He is studying the passions
themselves, when he should be inquiring into the
debates among men which arise from them. He
knows the argument of each of the orations of 10
Demosthenes and ^Tully, but not one case in the re-
ports of our own courts. No one ever took him for a
fool ; but none, except his intimate friends, know he
has a great deal of wit. This turn makes him at once
both disinterested and agreeable. As few of his 15
thoughts are drawn from business, they are most of
them fit for conversation. His taste of books is a
little too just for the age he lives in ; he has read all,
but approves of very few. His familiarity with the
customs, manners, actions, and writings of the an- 20
cients makes him a very delicate observer of what
occurs to him in the present world. He is an excel-
lent critic, and the time of the play is his hour of busi-
ness : exactly at five he passes through ^New Inn,
crosses through Russell Court, and takes a turn at 25
Will's till the play begins ; he has his shoes rubbed
and his periwig powdered at the barber's, as you go
into ^the Rose. It is for the good of the audience
when he is at the play, for the actors have an ambi-
tion to please him. ~q
10 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
The person of next consideration is Sir Andrew
Freeport, a merchant of great eminence in the city of
London : a person of indefatigable industry, strong
reason, and great experience. His notions of trade
5 are noble and generous, and, as every rich man has
usually some sly way of jesting, which would make
no great figure were he not a rich man, he calls the
sea the British Common. He is acquainted with com-
merce in all its parts ; and will tell you that it is a
lo stupid and barbarous way to extend dominion by
arms ; for true power is to be got by arts and industry.
He will often argue that, if this part of our trade were
well cultivated, we should gain from one nation ; and
if another, from another. I have heard him prove that
15 diligence makes more lasting acquisitions than valour,
and that sloth has ruined more nations than the
sword. He abounds in several frugal maxims,
amongst which the greatest favourite is, "A penny
saved is a penny got." A general trader of good
2Q sense is pleasanter company than a general scholar ;
and Sir Andrew having a natural unaffected elo-
quence, the perspicuity of his discourse gives the same
pleasure that Vit would in another man. He has made
his fortunes himself ; and says that England may be
25 richer than other kingdoms by as plain methods as he
himself is richer than other men ; though at the same
time I can say this of him, that there is not a point in
the compass but blows home a ship in which he is an
30 Next to Sir Andrew in the club-room sits Captain
THE MEMBERS OF THE CLUB. n
Sentry, a gentleman of great courage, good under-
standing, but invincible modesty. He is one of those
that deserve very well, but are very awkward at put-
ting their talents within the observation of such as
should take notice of them. He was some years a cap- 5
tain, and behaved himself with great gallantry in sever-
al engagements and at several sieges ; but having a
small estate of his own, and being next heir to Sir
Roger, he has quitted a way of life in which no man
can rise suitably to his merit who is not something of 10
a courtier as well as a soldier. I have heard him often
lament that, in a profession where merit is placed in
so conspicuous a view, impudence should get the bet-
ter of modesty. When he has talked to this purpose,
I never heard him make a sour expression, but frankly j^
confess that he left the world because he was not fit
for it. A strict honesty and an even, regular behaviour
are in themselves obstacles to him that must press
through crowds who endeavour at the same end with
himself — the favour of a commander. He will, how- 20
ever, in this way of talk, excuse generals for not *dis-
posing according to men's desert, or inquiring into it ;
for, says he, that great man who has a mind to help
me has as many to break through to come at me as I
have to come at him. Therefore he will conclude that ^^
the man who would make a figure, especially in a
military way, must get over all false modesty, and
assist his patron against the importunity of other
pretenders by a proper assurance in his own vindica-
tion. He says it is a ^civil cowardice to be backward
12 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
in asserting what you ought to expect, as it is a mili-
tary fear to be slow in attacking when it is your duty.
With this candour does the gentleman speak of him-
self and others. The same frankness runs through
5 all his conversation. The military part of his life has
furnished him with many adventures, In the relation of
which he is very agreeable to the company ; for he is
never overbearing, though accustomed to command
men in the utmost degree below him ; nor ever too
lo obsequious, from a habit of obeying men highly above
But that our society may not appear a set of
^humourists, unacquainted with the gallantries and
pleasures of the age, we have among us the gallant
i^ Will Honeycomb, a gentleman who, according to his
years, should be in the decline of his life ; but having
ever been very careful of his person, and always had
a very easy fortune, time has made but very little im-
pression, either by wrinkles on his forehead or traces
20 in his brain. His person is ^well turned and of a good
height. He is very ready at that sort of discourse
with which men usually entertain women. H^ has all
his life dressed very well ; and remembers Miabits as
others do men. He can smile when one speaks to
25 him, and laughs easily. He knows the history of every
^mode, and can inform you from which of the French
king's favourites our wives and daughters had this
manner of curling their hair, that way of placing their
hoods ; whose frailty was covered by such a sort of
^o petticoat; and whose vanity to show her foot made
THE MEMBERS OF THE CLUB. 13
that part of the dress so short in such a year. In a
word, all his ^conversation and knowledge have been
HI the female world. As other men of his age will
take notice to you what such a minister said upon
such and such an occasion, he will tell you when the 5
Duke of ^Monmouth danced at court, such a woman
was then smitten, another was taken with him at the
head of his troop in the park. In all these important
relations, he has ever about the same time received a
kind glance, or a blow of a fan, from some celebrated ^°
beauty, mother of the present Lord Such-a-one. If you
speak of a young commoner that said a lively thing in
the House, he starts up, "That young fellow's mother
used me more like a dog than any woman I ever made
advances to." This way of talking of his very much 15
enlivens the conversation among us of a more sedate
turn ; and I find there is not one of the company, but
myself, who rarely speak at all, but speaks of him as of
that sort of man who is usually called a well-bred fine
gentleman. To conclude his character, where women 20
are not concerned, he is an honest worthy man.
I cannot tell whether I am to account him whom I
am next to speak of as one of our company; for he
visits us but seldom, but when he does it adds to every
man else a new enjoyment of himself. He is a clergy- 25
man, a very philosophic man, of general learning,
great sanctity of life, and the most ^exact good breed-
ing. He has the misfortune to be of a very weak con-
stitution, and consequently cannot accept of such cares
and business as ^preferments in his function would 3°
SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
oblige him to. He is, therefore, among divines what a
^chamber-counsellor is among lawyers. The probity
of his mind, and the integrity of his life create him
followers, as being eloquent or loud advances others.
5 He seldom introduces the subject he speaks upon;
but we are so far gone in years that he observes, when
he is among us, an earnestness to have him fall on
some divine topic, which he always treats with much
authority, as one who has no interests in this world, as
lo one who is hastening to the object of all his wishes,
and conceives hope from his decays and infirmities.
These are my ordinary companions.
Politeness and Morality.
No. 6. Steele.
^Credehant hoc graiide nefas, et morte piandiim,
Si jiivenis vctiilo non assnrrexcrat.
I know no evil under the sun so great as the abuse
of the understanding, and yet there is no one vice
more common. It has diffused itself through both 5
sexes and all qualities of mankind ; and there is
hardly that person to be found who is not more con-
cerned for the reputation of Vit and sense than hon-
esty and virtue. But this unhappy affectation of being
wise rather than honest, witty than good-natured, is lo
the source of most of the ill habits of life. Such false
impressions are owing to the abandoned writings of
men of wit, and the awkward imitation of the rest of
For this reason, Sir Roger was saying last night 15
that he was of opinion that none but men of fine parts
deserved to be hanged. The reflections of such men
are so delicate upon all occurrences which they are
concerned in, that they should be exposed to more
than ordinary infamy and punishment for offending 20
against such ^quick admonitions as their own souls
give them, and blunting the fine edge of their minds
in such a manner that they are no more shocked at
l6 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
vice and folly than men of slower capacities. There
is no greater monster in being than a very ill man of
great parts. He lives like a man in a palsy, with one
side of him dead. While perhaps he enjoys the satis-
5 faction of luxury, of wealth, of ambition, he has lost
the taste of good-will, of friendship, of innocence.
Scarecrow, the beggar in "Lincoln's Inn Fields, who
disabled himself in his right leg, and asks alms all
day, is not half so despicable a wretch as such a
lo man of sense. The beggar has no relish above sen-
sations ; he finds rest more agreeable than motion ;
.and, while he has a warm fire, never reflects that
he deserves to be whipped. Every man who termi-
nates his satisfactions and enjoyments within the
^5 supply of his own necessities and passions is, says Sir
Roger, in my eyes as poor a rogue as Scarecrow.
*'But," continued he, "for the loss of public and
private virtue, we are beholden to your men of parts,
forsooth; it is with them no matter what is done, so
20 it is done with an air. But to me, who am so whim-
sical in a corrupt age as to act according to nature
and reason, a selfish man in the most shining cir-
cumstances and ^equipage appears in the same con-
dition with the fellow above mentioned, but more
25 contemptible, in proportion to what more he robs
the public of, and enjoys above him. I lay it down,
therefore, for a rule that the whole man is to
move together; that every action of any importance
is to have a prospect of public good ; and that the
30 general tendency of our indifferent actions ought to
POLITENESS AND MORALITY. 17
be agreeable to the dictates of reason, of religion, of
good breeding : without this, a man, as I before have
hinted, is hopping instead of walking ; he is not in his
entire and proper motion."
While the honest knight was thus bewildering him- 5
self in good starts, I looked ^intentively upon him,
which made him, I thought, collect his mind a little,
"what I aim at," says he, "is to represent that I am
of opinion to polish our understandings and neglect
our ^manners is of all things the most inexcusable. 10
Reason should govern passion ; but, instead of that,
you see, it is often subservient to it ; and, as unac-
countable as one would think it, a wise man is not
always a good man." This degeneracy is not only the
guilt of particular persons, but also at some times of 15
a whole people ; and perhaps it may appear upon
examination that the most ^polite ages are the least
virtuous. This may be attributed to the folly of ad-
mitting wit and learning as merit in themselves, with-
out considering the application of them. By this 20
means it becomes a rule, not so much to regard what
we do, as how we do it. But this false beauty will not
pass upon men of honest minds and true taste. ^Sir
Richard Blackmore says, with as much good sense as
virtue, "It is a mighty dishonour and shame to em- 25
ploy excellent faculties and abundance of wit to
humour and please men in their vices and follies.
The great enemy of mankind, notwithstanding his wit
and angelic faculties, is the most odious being in the
whole creation." He goes on soon after to say, very 30
l8 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
generously, that he undertook the writing of his poem
*'to rescue the Muses out of the hands of ravishers ;
to restore them to their sweet and chaste mansions ;
and to engage them in an employment suitable to
5 their dignity." This certainly ought to be the purpose
of every man who appears in public ; and whoever
does not proceed upon that foundation injures his
country as fast as he succeeds in his studies. When
modesty ceases to be the chief ornament of one sex,
lo and integrity of the other, society is upon a wrong
basis ; and we shall be ever after without rules to
guide our judgment in what is really becoming and
ornamental. Nature and reason direct one thing;
passion and humour another. To follow the dictates
15 of the two latter is going into a road that is both end-
less and intricate ; when we pursue the other, our
passage is delightful, and what we aim at easily at-
I do not doubt but England is at present as polite a
20 nation as any in the world ; but any man who thinks
can easily see that the affectation of being gay and in
fashion has very near eaten up our good sense and our
religion. Is there anything so just as that ''mode and
gallantry should be built upon exerting ourselves in
25 what is proper and agreeable to the institutions of
justice and piety among us? And yet is there any-
thing more ^common than that we run in perfect con-
tradiction to them? All which is supported by no
other pretension than that it is done with what we
30 call a good grace.
POLITENESS AND MORALITY. 19
Nothing ought to be held laudable or becoming
but what nature itself should prompt us to think so.
Respect to all kinds of superiors is founded, methinks,
upon instinct; and yet what is so ''ridiculous as age?
I make this abrupt transition to the mention of this ^
vice more than any other, in order to introduce a little
story, which I think a pretty instance that the most
polite age is in danger of being the most vicious.
''It happened at Athens, during a public representa-
tion of some play exhibited in honour of the common- 10
wealth, that an old gentleman came too late for a
place suitable to his age and quality. Many of the
young gentlemen, who observed the difficulty and con-
fusion he was in, made signs to him that they would
accommodate him if he came where they sat. The 15
good man bustled through the crowd accordingly;
but when he came to the seats to which he was in-
vited, the jest was to sit close and expose him, as he
stood out of countenance, to the whole audience.
The frolic went round all the Athenian benches. But 20
on those occasions there were also particular places
assigned for foreigners. When the good man skulked
towards the boxes appointed for the Lacedaemonians,
that honest people, more virtuous than ^polite, rose
up all to a man, and with the greatest respect received 25
him among them. The Athenians, being suddenly
touched with a sense of the Spartan virtue and their
own degeneracy, gave a thunder of applause ; and the
old man cried out, 'The Athenians understand what
is good, but the Lacedaemonians practise it.' " -^
A Meeting of the Club.
No. 34. Addison.
Cognatis maculis similis (era — .
The club of which I am a member Is very luckily
composed of such persons as are engaged in different
^ ways of life, and ^deputed as it were out of the most
conspicuous classes of mankind. By this means I am
furnished with the greatest variety of hints and mate-
rials, and know everything that passes in the different
quarters and divisions, not only of this great city, but
10 of the whole kingdom. My readers, too, have the
satisfaction to find that there is no rank or degree
among them who have not their rer^resentative in this
club, and that there is always somebody present who
will take care of their respective interests, that noth-
15 ing may be written or published to the ^prejudice or
infringement of their just rights and privileges.
I last night sat very late in company with this
select body of friends, who entertained me with sev-
eral remarks which they and others had made upon
20 these my speculations, as also with the various success
which they had met with among their several ranks
and degrees of readers. Will Honeycomb told me, in
the softest manner he could, that there were some
ladies ("but for your comfort," says Will, "they are
25 not those of the most wit") that were offended at the
A MEETING OF THE CLUB. 21
liberties I had taken with the *opera and the puppet
show ; that some of them were hkewise very much sur-
prised that I should think such serious points as the
dress and equipage of persons of quality proper sub-
jects for raillery. 5
He was going on, when Sir Andrew Freeport took
him up short, and told him that the papers he hinted
at had done great good in the city, and that all their
wives and daughters were the better for them ; and
further added that the whole city thought themselves 10
very much obliged to me for declaring my generous
intentions to scourge vice and folly as they appear in
a multitude, without condescending to be a publisher
of particular intrigues. '*In short," says Sir Andrew,
"if you avoid that foolish beaten road of falling upon 15
aldermen and citizens, and employ your pen upon
the vanity and luxury of courts, your paper must
needs be of general use."
Upon this my friend the ^Templar told Sir Andrew
that he wondered to hear a man of his sense talk after 20
that manner ; that the city had always been the pro-
vince for satire ; and that the wits of ^King Charles's
time jested upon nothing else during his whole reign.
He then showed, by the examples of ^Horace, Juvenal,
Boileau, and the best writers of every age, that the 25
follies of the stage and court had never been accounted
too sacred for ridicule, how great soever the persons
might be that patronised them. "But after all," says
he, "I think your raillery has made too great an ex-
cursion in attacking several persons of the ^Inns of 30
22 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
Court ; and I do not believe you can show me any
precedent for your behaviour in that particular."
My good friend Sir Roger de Coverley, who had
said nothing all this while, began his speech with a
5 ^'Pish !" and told us that he wondered to see so many
men of sense so very serious upon fooleries. "Let our
good friend," says he, ''attack every one that deserves
it ; I would only advise you, Mr. Spectator," applying
himself to me, *'to take care how you meddle with
lo country squires. They are the ornaments of the Eng-
lish nation ; men of good heads and sound bodies !
and, let me tell you, some of them take it ill of you
that you mention fox-hunters with so little respect."
Captain Sentry spoke very sparingly on this occa-
j^ sion. What he said was only to commend my pru-
dence in not touching upon the army, and advised me
to continue to act discreetly in that point.
By this time I found every subject of my specula-
tions was taken away from me by one or other of the
club ; and began to think myself in the condition of
the good man that had one wife who took a dislike to
his grey hairs, and another to his black, till by their
picking out what each of them had an aversion to, they
left his head altogether bald and naked.
While I was thus musing with myself, my worthy
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
-Q it was not Equality, but innocence, which exempted
A MEETING OF THE CLUB. 23
men from reproof; that vice and folly ought to be
attacked wherever they could be met with, and espe-
cially 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 5
chiefly exposed those who are already "depressed, and
in some measure turned into ridicule by the mean-
ness of their conditions and circumstances. He after-
wards proceeded to take notice of the great use this
paper might be of to the public by reprehending those 10
vices which are too trivial for the chastisement of the
law, and too ^fantastical for the cognisance of the pul-
pit. 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 15
all those whose praises do honour to the persons on
whom they are bestowed.
The whole club pays a particular deference to the
discourse of this gentleman, and are drawn into what
he says as much by the candid, ingenuous manner 20
with which he delivers himself as by the strength of
argument and force of reason which he; makes use of.
Will Honeycomb immediately agreed that what he
had said was right ; and that, for his part, he would
not insist upon the quarter w^hich he had demanded 25
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
into what quarter I pleased, provided I continued to 3°
SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
combat with criminals in a body, and to assault the
vice without hurting the person.
This debate, which was held for the good of man-
kind, put me in mind of that which the ^Roman trium-
5 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 pro-
scription ; and at length, making a sacrifice of all their
acquaintance and relations, furnished out a very de-
^° cent 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
^5 to all the remonstrances that shall be made to me on
this account. If ^Punch 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, if I meet with
^° anything in city, court, or country, that shocks mod-
esty or good manners, I shall use my utmost endeav-
ours to make an example of it. I must, however,
intreat every particular person who does me the
honour to be a reader of this paper, never to think
^5 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 thou-
sand people ; or to publish a single paper that is not
written in the spirit of benevolence, and with a love to
Sir Roger at His Country Home.
No. 1 06. Addison.
— "Hinc tibi copia
Manabit ad plenum, benigno
Ruris honorum opulenta cornu.
Having often received an invitation from my friend
Sir Roger de Coverley to pass away a month with 5
him in the country, I last week accompanied him
thither, and am settled with him for some time at his
country house, where I intend to form several of my
ensuing speculations. Sir Roger, who is very well
acquainted with my ^humour, 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 with-
out 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 15
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 20
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 25
26 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
brother, his butler is grey-headed, his groom is one of
the gravest men that I have ever seen, and his coach-
man has the looks of a privy-counsellor. You see the
goodness of the master even in the old house-dog, and
5 in a grey ^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
lo ancient domestics upon my friend's arrival at 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
15 the same time the good old knight, with a mixture of
the father and the master of the family, tempered the
inquiries after his ov/n affairs with several kind ques-
tions relating to themselves. This humanity and good
nature engages everybody to him, so that when he ^is
20 pleasant upon any of them, all his family are in good
humour, and none so much as the person whom he
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
25 all his servants.
My worthy friend has put me under the particular
care of his butler, who is a very ^prudent man, and, as
well as the rest of his fellow-servants, wonderfully de-
sirous of pleasing me, because they have often heard
30 their master talk of me as of his particular friend.
SIR ROGER AT HIS COUNTRY HOME. 27
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 5
learning, of a very regular life and obliging conversa-
tion. He heartily loves Sir Roger, and knows that he
is very much in the old knight's esteem, so that he
lives in the family rather as a relation than a de-
I have observed in several of my papers that my
friend Sir Roger, amidst all his good qualities, is
something of an ^humourist ; and that his virtues, as
well as imperfections, are, as it were, tinged by a cer-
tain extravagance, which makes them particularly his, 15
and distinguishes them from those of other men. This
cast of mind as it is generally very innocent in itself,
so it renders his conversation highly agreeable, and
more delightful than the same degree of sense and
virtue would appear in their common and ordinary 20
colours. As I was walking with him last night, he
asked me how I liked the good man whom I have just
now mentioned ; and without staying for my answer
told me that he was afraid of being ^insulted with
Latin and Greek at his own table ; for which reason he 25
desired a particular friend of his at the University to
find him out a clergyman rather of plain sense than
much learning, of a good aspect, a clear voice, a socia-
ble temper, and, if possible, a man that understood a
little of backgammon. "My friend," says Sir Roger, 30
28 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
"found me out this gentleman, who, besides the en-
dowments required of him, is, they tell me, a good
scholar, though he does not show it. I have given
him the parsonage of the parish ; and, because I know
5 his value, have settled upon him a good annuity for
life. If he outlives me, he shall find that he was higher
in my esteem than perhaps he thinks he is. He has
now been with me thirty years ; and, though he does
not know I have taken notice of it, has never in all
lo that time asked anything of me for himself, though he
is every day soliciting me for something in behalf of
one or other of my tenants, his parishioners. There
has not been a law-suit in the parish since he has lived
among them. If any dispute arises, they apply them-
15 selves to him for the decision ; if they do not acquiesce
in his judgment, which I think never happened above
once or twice at most, they appeal to me. At his first
settling with me, I made him a present of all the good
sermons which have been printed in English, and only
20 begged of him that every Sunday he would pronounce
one of them in the pulpit. Accordingly he has
digested them into such a series that they follow one
another naturally, and make a continued system of
25 As Sir Roger was going on in his story, the gentle-
man we were talking of came up to us ; and, upon
the knight's asking him who preached to-morrow (for
it was Saturday night) told us the ^Bishop of St. Asaph
in the morning and Dr. South in the afternoon. He
30 then showed us his list of preachers for the whole
SIR ROGER AT HIS COUNTRY HOME. 29
year, where I saw with a great deal of pleasure ''Arch-
bishop Tillotson, Bishop Saimderson, 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 5
approved of my friend's insisting upon the qualifica-
tions of a good aspect and a clear voice ; for I was so
charmed with the gracefulness of his figure and de-
livery, as well as with the discourses he pronounced,
that I think I never passed any time more to my sat- 10
isfaction. A sermon repeated after this manner is
like the composition of a poet in the mouth of a
I could heartily wish that more of our country
clergy would follow this example ; and, instead of 15
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 edify- 20
ing to the people.
The Coverley Household.
No. 107. Steele.
^jfEsopo ingenteni statitam posiiere Attici,
Servumqiie coUocCi ccterna in basi,
Patere honoris scirent ut cuncti viam.
The reception, manner of attendance, undisturbed
5 freedom, and quiet, which I meet with here in the
country has confirmed me in the opinion I always
had, that the general corruption of manners in ser-
vants is owing to the conduct of masters. The aspect
of every one in the family carries so much satisfaction
10 that it appears he knows the happy lot which has be-
fallen him in being a member of it. There is one par-
ticular which I have seldom seen but at Sir Roger's .
It is usual in all other places that servants fly from the
parts of the house through which their master is pass-
15 ing; on the contrary, here they industriously place
themselves in his way ; and it is on both sides, as it
were, understood as a visit when the servants appear
without calling. This proceeds from the humane and
equal temper of the man of the house, who also per-
20 fectly well knows how to enjoy a great estate with
such economy .as ever to be much ^beforehand. This
makes his own mind untroubled, and consequently
unapt to vent peevish expressions, or give passionate
or inconsistent orders to those about him. Thus re-
25 spect and love go together ; and a certain cheerfulness
THE COVERLEY HOUSEHOLD.
in performance of their duty is the particular distinc-
tion of the lower part of this family. When a servant
is called before his master, he does not come with an
expectation to hear himself rated for some trivial fault,
threatened to be ^stripped, or used with any other un- 5
becoming language, which mean masters often give to
worthy servants ; but it is often to know what road he
took that he came so readily back according to order ;
whether he passed by such a ground ; if the old man
who rents it is in good health ; or whether he gave Sir 10
Roger's love to him ; or the like.
A man who preserves a respect founded on his be-
nevolence to his dependents lives rather like a prince
than a master in his family ; his orders are received as
favours rather than duties ; and the distinction of ap- 15
proaching him is part of the reward for executing
what is commanded by him.
There is another circumstance in which my friend
excels in his management, which is the manner of re-
warding his servants. He has ever been of opinion 20
that giving his cast clothes to be worn by valets has a
very ill efifect upon little minds, and creates a silly
sense of equality between the parties, in persons af-
fected only with outward things. I have heard him
often ^pleasant on this occasion, and describe a young 25
gentleman abusing his man in that coat which a month
or two before was the most pleasing distinction he
was conscious of in himself. He would turn his dis-
course still more pleasantly upon the ladies' bounties
in this kind ; and I have heard him say he knew a fine 30
SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
woman who distributed rewards and punishments in
giving becoming or unbecoming dresses to her maids.
But my good friend is above these Httle instances of
good-will in bestowing only trifles on his servants ; a
5 good servant to him is sure of having it in his choice
very soon of being no servant at all. As I before
observed, he is so good an ^husband, and knows so
thoroughly that the skill of the purse is the cardinal
virtue of this life ; I say he knows so well that fru-
lo gality is the support of generosity that he can often
spare a large fine ^when a tenement falls, and give
that settlement to a good servant who has a mind to
go into the world, or make a stranger pay the fine to
that servant, for his more comfortable maintenance, if
15 he stays in his service.
A man of honour and generosity considers it would
be miserable to himself to have no will but that of
another, though it were of the best person breathing,
and for that reason goes on as fast as he is able to put
20 his servants into independent livelihoods. The great-
est part of Sir Roger's estate is tenanted by persons
who have served himself or his ancestors. It was to
me extremely pleasant to observe the ^visitants from
several parts to welcome his arrival into the country;
25 and all the difference that I could take notice of be-
tween the late servants who came to see him, and those
who stayed in the family, was, that these latter were
looked upon as finer gentlemen and better courtiers.
This manumission and placing them in a way of
30 livelihood, I look upon as only what is due to a good
THE COVERLEY HOUSEHOLD. 33
servant ; which encouragement will make his successor
be as diligent, as humble, and as ready, as he was.
There is something wonderful in the narrowness of
those minds which can be pleased and be barren of
bounty to those who please them. 5
One might, on this occasion, recount the sense that
great persons in all ages have had of the merit of their
dependents, and the heroic services which men have
done their masters in the extremity of their fortunes,
and shown to their ^undone patrons that fortune was 10
all the difference between them ; but as I design this
my speculation only as a gentle admonition to thank-
less masters, I shall not go out of the occurrences of
common life, but assert it as a general observation
that I never saw, but in Sir Roger's family and one or 15
two more, good servants treated as they ought to be.
Sir Roger's kindness extends to their children's chil-
dren, and this very morning he sent his coachman's
grandson to ^prentice. I shall conclude this paper
with an account of a picture in his gallery, where there 20
are many which will deserve my future observation.
At the very upper end of this handsome structure I
saw the portraiture of two young men standing in a
river : the one naked, the other in a livery. The per-
son supported seemed half dead, but stilT so much alive 25
as to show in his face exquisite joy and love towards
the other. I thought the fainting figure resembled my
friend Sir Roger ; and looking at the butler, who stood
by me, for an account of it, he informed me that the
person in the livery was a servant of Sir Roger's, who 30
SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
stood on the shore while his master was swimming,
and observing him taken with some sudden illness,
and sink under water, jumped in and saved him. He
told me Sir Roger "took off the dress he was in as soon
5 as he came home, and by a great bounty at that time,
followed by his favour ever since, had made him
master of that pretty seat which we saw at a distance
as we came to this house. I remembered, indeed. Sir
Roger said there lived a very worthy gentleman, to
lo whom he was highly obliged, without mentioning any-
thing further. Upon my looking a little dissatisfied
at some part of the picture, my attendant informed
me that it was against Sir Roger's will, and at the
earnest request of the gentleman himself, that he was
15 drawn in the habit in which he had saved his master.
No. 1 08. Addison.
'^Gratis anhelans, midta agendo nihil agens.
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; and that he presented it 5
with his service to him, and intended to come and
dine with him. At the same time he delivered a let-
ter, which my friend read to me as soon as the mes-
senger left him.
"Sir Roger, 10
"I desire you to accept of a ^jack, which is the best
I have caught this season. I intend to come and stay
with a you a week, and see how the perch bite in the
Black River. I observe with some concern the last
time I saw you upon the bowling-green that your 15
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 ^Eton with Sir John's eldest son. He 20
takes to his learning hugely. I am.
Sir, Your humble servant,
36 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
This extraordinary letter, and message that accom-
panied it, made me very curious to know the charactei
and quality of the gentleman who sent them ; which I
found to be as follows. Will Wimble is ^younger
5 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
superintendent of his game. He hunts a pack of dogs
lo better than any man in the country, and is very fa-
mous 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,
15 ^officious fellow, and very much esteemed upon ac-
count 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
20 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
25 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 manuTac-
tures and obliging little humours make Will the dar-
30 ling of the country.
• Sir Roger was proceeding in the ^character of him
when he saw him make up to us with tv/o 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
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 lo
set of shuttlecocks he had with him in a little 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 cock pheasant that he 15
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 2c
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 25
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 ac-
count how he had hooked it, played with it, foiled it,
and at length drew it out upon the bank, with several 30
38 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
other particulars that lasted all the first course. A
dish of wildfowl that came afterwards furnished con-
versation for the rest of the dinner, which concluded
with a late invention of Will's for improving the
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
lo good a heart and such busy hands were wholly em-
ployed in trifles ; that so much humanity should be so
little beneficial to others, and so much industry so lit-
tle advantageous to himself. The same temper of
mind and application to afifairs might have recom-
15 mended him to the public esteem, and have raised his
fortune in another station of life. What good to his
country or himself might not a trader or a merchant
have done with such useful though ordinary qualifica-
20 Will Wimble's is the case of many a younger
brother of a great family, who had rather see their
children starve like gentlemen 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
.Q that w^re launch^cj ir^to the WQ^W with narrow for-
WILL WIMBLE. 39
tunes rising by an honest industry to greater estates
than those of their elder brothers. It is not improba-
ble 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 in- 5
ventions. But certainly, however ^improper he might
have been for studies of a higher nature, he was per-
fectly 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 com- 10
pare what I have here written with what I have said
in my "twenty-first speculation.
Sir Roger's Family Portraits.
No. 109. Steele.
— ^Abnormis sapiens.
I was this morning walking in the gallery, when
Sir Roger entered at the end opposite to me, and, ad-
vancing towards me, said he was glad to meet me
5 among his relations the De Coverleys, and hoped I
liked the conversation of so much good company, who
were as silent as myself. I knew he alluded to the
pictures, and, as he is a gentleman who does not a
little value himself upon his ancient descent, I ex-
10 pected he would give me some account of them. We
were now arrived at the upper end of the gallery,
when the knight faced towards one of the pictures, and
as we stood before it, he entered into the matter after
his blunt way of saying things as they occur to his
15 imagination, without regular introduction or care to
preserve the appearance of chain of thought.
"It is," said he, ''worth while to consider the force
of dress, and how the persons of one age differ from
those of another, merely by that only. One may ob-
20 serve also that the general fashion of one age has been
followed by one particular set of people in another,
and by them preserved from one generation to an-
other. Thus the vast ^jetting coat and small bonnet,
which was the ^habit in Harry the Seventh's time, is
25 kept on in the ^yeomen of the guard; not without a
SIR ROGER'S FAMILY PORTRAITS. 41
good and politic view, because they look a foot taller,
and a foot and a half broader; besides that the cap
leaves the face expanded, and consequently more ter-
rible and fitter to stand at the entrance of palaces.
''This predecessor of ours, you see, is dressed after 5
this manner, and his cheeks would be no larger than
mine, were he in a hat as I am. He was the last man
that won a prize in the ^Tilt-yard, which is now a
common street before Whitehall. You see the broken
lance that lies there by his right foot. He shivered 10
that lance of his adversary all to pieces ; and bearing
himself, look you, sir, in this manner, at the same time
he ^came within the target of the gentleman who rode
against him, and taking him with incredible force
before him on the pommel of his saddle, he in that j^
manner rid the tournament over with an air that
showed he did it rather to perform the rule of the lists
than expose his enemy ; however, it appeared he knew
how to make use of a victory, and with a gentle trot
he marched up to a gallery where their mistress sat 20
(for they were rivals), and let him down with laudable
courtesy and pardonable insolence. I don't know, but
it might be exactly where the ^coflfee-house is now.
"You are to know this my ancestor was not only of
a military genius, but fit also for the arts of peace, for 25
he played on the bass-viol as well as any gentleman at
court ; you see where his viol hangs by his basket-hilt
sword. The action at the Tilt-yard you may be sure
won the fair lady, who was a maid of honour and the
greatest beauty of her time ; here she stands, the next 30
42 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
picture. You see, sir, my great-great-great-grand-
mother has on the *new-fashioned petticoat, except
that the modern is gathered at the waist; my grand-
mother appears as if she stood in a large drum,
5 whereas the ladies now walk as if they were in a
go-cart. For all this lady was bred at court, she
became an excellent country wife ; she brought ten
children ; and when I show you the library, you
shall see in her own hand, allowing for the difiference
^° of the language, the best receipt now in England both
for a hasty-pudding and a Vhite-pot.
"If you please to fall back a little, because 'tis
necessary to look at the three next pictures at one
view; these are three sisters. She on the right hand,
15 who is so very beautiful, died a maid ; the next to her,
still handsomer, had the same fate, against her will;
this homely thing in the middle had both their por-
tions added to her own, and was stolen by a neigh-
bouring gentleman, a man of stratagem and resolu-
20 tion, for he poisoned three mastiffs to come at her,
and knocked down two deer-stealers in carrying her
off. Misfortunes happen in all families. The theft of
this romp and so much money was no great matter
to our estate. But the next heir that possessed it was
25 this soft gentleman, whom you see there. Observe
the small buttons, the little boots, the laces, the
^slashes about his clothes, and above all the posture he
is drawn in, which to be sure was his own choosing;
you see he sits with one hand on a desk writing and
30 looking as it were another way, like an easy writer or
a ^sonneteer. He was one of those that had too much
SIR ROGER'S FAMILY PORTRAITS.
wit to know how to live in the world; he was a man
of no justice, but great good manners. He ruined
everybody that had anything to do with him, but
never said a rude thing in his life ; the most indolent
person in the world, he would sign a deed that passed 5
away half his estate with his gloves on, but would not
put on his hat before a lady if it were to save his coun-
try. He is said to be the first that made love by
squeezing the hand. He left the estate with ten thou-
sand pounds debt upon it; but, however, by all hands 10
I have been informed that he was every way the finest
gentleman in the world. That debt lay heavy on our
house for one generation, but it was retrieved by a
gift from that honest man you see there, a ^citizen of
our name, but nothing at all akin to us. I know Sir ^5
Andrew Freeport has said behind my back that this
man was descended from one of the ten children of
the maid of honour I showed you above; but it was ,
never made out. We winked at the thing indeed, be-
cause money was wanting at that time." 20
Here I saw my friend a little embarrassed, and
turned my face to the next portraiture.
Sir Roger went on with his account of the gallery
in the following manner. ''This man," pointing to
him I looked at, *T take to be the honour of our 25
house : Sir Humphrey de Coverley. He was in his
dealings as punctual as a tradesman and as generous
as a ^gentleman. He would have thought himself as
much undone by breaking his word as if it were to be
followed by bankruptcy. He served his country as 30
SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
'knight of this shire to his dying day. He found it no
easy matter to maintain an integrity in his words and
actions, even in things that regarded the offices which
were incumbent upon him, in the care of his own af-
5 fairs and relations of Hfe, and therefore dreaded,
though he had great talents, to go into employments
of state, where he must be exposed to the snares of
ambition. Innocence of life and great ability were the
distinguishing parts of his character; the latter, he
lo had often observed, had led to the destruction of the
former, and he used frequently to lament that great
and good had not the same signification. He was an
excellent "husbandman, but had resolved not to ex-
ceed such a degree of wealth ; all above it be bestowed
15 in secret bounties many years after the sum he aimed
at for his own use was attained. Yet he did not
slacken his industry, but to a decent old age spent the
^ life and fortune which was superfluous to himself in
the service of his friends and neighbours."
20 Here we were called to dinner, and Sir Roger ended
the discourse of this gentleman by telling me, as we
followed the servant, that this his ancestor was a
brave man, and narrowly escaped being killed in the
civil war. "For," said he, "he was sent out of the field
25 upon a private message the day before the ^battle of
Worcester." The whim of narrowly escaping by hav-
ing been within a day of danger, with other matters
above mentioned, mixed with good sense, left me at a
loss whether I was more delighted with my friend's
30 wisdom or simplicity.
The Coverley Ghost.
No. no. Addison.
^Horror uhique animos, simul ipsa silentia terrent.
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 shot up so very high that when one
passes under them the rooks and crows that rest upon 5
the tops of them seem to be cawing in another region.
I am very much delighted with this sort of noise,
which I consider as a kind of natural prayer to that
Being who supplies the wants of His whole creation,
and who, in the beautiful language of the Psalms, ^^
feedeth the young ravens that call upon Him. I like
this retirement the better, because of an ill report it
lies under of being haunted ; for which reason, as I
have been told in the family, no living creature ever
walks in it besides the chaplain. My good friend the 15
butler desired me with a very grave face not to ven-
ture myself in it after sunset, for that one of the foot-
men had been almost frighted out of his wits by a
spirit that appeared to him in the shape of a black
horse without an head ; to which he added that about a 20
month ago one of the maids, coming home late that
way with a pail of milk upon her head, heard such a
rustling among the bushes that she let it fall.
I was taking a walk in this place last night between
[ 45 ]
46 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
the hours of nine and ten, and could not but fancy it
one of the most proper scenes in the world for a
ghost to appear in. The ruins of the abbey are scat-
tered up and down on every side, and half covered
5 with ivy and elder bushes, the harbours of several soli-
tary birds which seldom make their appearance till
the dusk of the evening. The place was formerly a
churchyard, and has still several marks in it of graves
and burying places. There is such an echo among the
lo old ruins and vaults that, if you stamp but a little
louder than ordinary, you hear the sound repeated. At
the same time, the walk of elms, with the croaking of
the ravens, which from time to time is heard from the
tops of them, looks exceeding solemn and venerable.
^5 These objects naturally raise seriousness and atten-
tion; and when night heightens the awfulness of the
place, and pours out her supernumerary horrors upon
everything in it, I do not at all wonder that weak
minds fill it with spectres and apparitions.
2o Mr. Locke, in his chapter of the ^Association of
Ideas, has very curious remarks to show how, by the
prejudice of education, one idea often introduces into
the mind a whole set that bear no resemblance to one
another in the nature of things. Among several ex-
25 amples of this kind, he produces the following in-
stance : *'The ideas of goblins and sprites have really
no more to do with darkness than light ; yet let but a
foolish maid inculcate these often on the mind of a
child, and raise them there together, possibly he shall
30 never be able to separate them again so long as he
THE COVERLEY GHOST. 47
lives; but darkness shall ever afterwards bring with
it those frightful ideas, and they shall be so joined that
he can no more bear the one than the other."
As I was walking in this solitude, where the dusk
of the evening conspired with so many other occa- 5
sions of terror, I observed a cow grazing not far from
me, which an imagination that is apt to startle
might easily have construed into a black horse with-
out a head ; and I dare say the poor footman lost his
wits upon some such trivial occasion. 10
My friend Sir Roger has often told me, wdth a great
deal of mirth, that at his first coming to his estate he
found three parts of his house altogether useless ; that
the best room in it had the reputation of being
haunted, and ^by that means was locked up ; that 15
noises had been heard in his long gallery, so that he
could not get a servant to enter it after eight o'clock
at night ; that the door of one of his chambers was
nailed up, because there went a story in the family
that a butler had formerly hanged himself in it; and 20
that his mother, who lived to a great age, had shut up
half the rooms in the house, in which either her hus-
band, a son, or daughter, had died. The knight, see-
ing his habitation reduced to so small a compass, and
himself in a manner shut out of his own house, upon 25
the death of his mother ordered all the apartments to
be flung open and 'exorcised' by his chaplain, who lay
in every room one after another, and by that means
dissipated the fears which had sq long reigned in the
48 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
I should not have been thus particular upon these
ridiculous horrors, did not I find them so very much
prevail in all parts of the country. At the same time
I think a person who is thus terrified with the imagi-
5 nation of ghosts and spectres much more reasonable
than one, who, contrary to the reports of all historians,
sacred and profane, ancient and modern, and to the
traditions of all nations, thinks the appearance of
spirits fabulous and groundless. Could not I give my-
^° self up to this general testimony of mankind, I should
to the relations of particular persons who are now liv-
ing, and whom I cannot distrust in other matters of
fact. I might here add that not only the historians,
to whom we may join the poets, but likewise the
15 philosophers of antiquity, have favoured this opinion.
Lucretius himself, though by the course of his philos-
ophy he was obliged to maintain that the soul did
not exist separate from the body, makes no doubt of
the reality of apparitions, and that men have often ap-
20 peared after their death. This I think very 'remark-
able : he was so pressed with the matter of fact, which
he could not have the confidence to deny, that he was
forced to account for it by one of the most absurd
unphilosophical notions that was ever started. ^He
25 tells us that the surfaces of all bodies are perpetually
flying off from their respective bodies, one after
another ; and that these surfaces or thin cases that in-
cluded each other whilst they were joined in the body
like the coats of an onion are sometimes seen entire
30 when they are separated from it ; by which means we
THE COVERLEY GHOST. 49
often behold the shapes and shadows of persons who
are either dead or absent.
I shall dismiss this paper with a story out of "Jose-
phus, not so much for the sake of the story itself as
for the moral reflections with which the author con- 5
eludes it, and which I shall here set down in his own
words. **Glaphyra, the daughter of King Archelaus,
after the death of her two first husbands, being mar-
ried to a third, who was brother to her first husband,
and so passionately in love with her that he turned off 10
his former wife to make room for this marriage, had a
very odd kind of dream. She fancied that she saw her
first husband coming towards her, and that she em-
braced him with great tenderness ; when in the midst
of the pleasure which she expressed at the sight of 15
him, he reproached her after the following manner :
'Glaphyra,' says he, 'thou hast made good the old
saying, that women are not to be trusted. Was not I
thy husband ? How couldst thou forget our loves so far
as to enter into a second marriage, and after that into 20
a third, nay to take for thy husband my brother ? How-
ever, for the sake of our past loves, I shall free thee
from thy present reproach and make thee mine for-
ever.' Glaphyra told this dream to several women of
her acquaintance, and died soon after. I thought 25
this story might not be ''impertinent in this place,
wherein I speak of those kings. Besides that, the ex-
ample deserves to be taken notice of as it contains a
most certain proof of the immortality of the soul, and
of Divine Providence. If any man thinks these facts 30
SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
incredible, let him enjoy his opinion to himself, but
let him not endeavour to disturb the belief of others,
who by instances of this nature are excited to the
study of virtue/'
Sir Roger at Church.
No. 112. Addison.
^'Adavdrovg fiev irpura deovg, vofiu ug diaKeirai^ Ttng. —
I am always very well pleased with a country Sun-
day, and think, if keeping holy the seventh day were
only a human institution, it would be the best method
that could have been thought of for the polishing and 5
civilising 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, to j^
converse with one another upon indififerent 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 15
it ^puts both the sexes upon appearing in their most
agreeable forms, and exerting all such qualities as are
apt to give them a figure in the eye of the village. A
country fellow distinguishes himself as much in the
churchyard as a citizen does upon the ^Change, the 20
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
52 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
his own choosing. He has Hkewise given a hand-
some pulpit cloth, and railed in the communion-table
at his own expense. He has often told me that at his
coming to his estate he found his parishioners very
5 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 goes
about the country for that purpose, to instruct them
lo 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,
he keeps them in very good order, and will sufifer
15 nobody to sleep in it besides himself ; for if by chance
he has been surprised into a short nap at sermon,
upon recovering out of it he stands up and looks about
him, and if he sees anybody else nodding, either
wakes them himself or sends his servant to them.
20 Several other of the old knight's ^particularities break
out upon these occasions. Sometimes he will be
lengthening out a verse in the singing Psalms half a
minute after the rest of the congregation have done
with it ; sometimes, when he is pleased with the matter
25 of his devotion, he pronounces amen three or four
times to the same prayer; and sometimes stands up
when everybody else is upon their knees, to count the
congregation, or see if any of his tenants are missing.
I was yesterday very much surprised to hear my
30 old friend in the midst of the service calling out to
SIR ROGER AT CHURCH. 53
one John Matthews to mind what he was about, and
not disturb the congregation. This John Matthews,
it seems, is remarkable for being an idle fellow, and
at that time was kicking his heels for his diversion.
This authority of the knight, though exerted in that 5
odd manner which accompanies him in all circum-
stances of life, has a very good efifect upon the parish,
who are "not polite enough to see anything ridiculous
in his behaviour; besides that the general good sense
and worthiness of his character makes his friends ob- ^°
serve these little singularities as foils that rather set
ofif than blemish his good qualities.
As soon as the sermon is finished, nobody presumes
to stir till Sir Roger is gone out of the church. The
knight walks down from his seat in the chancel be- ^^
tween a double row of his tenants that stand bowing
to him on each side ; and every now and then inquires
how such an one's wife, or mother, or son, or father,
do, whom he does not see at church ; which is under-
stood as a secret reprimand to the person that is ab- 20
The chaplain has often told me that upon a cate-
chising day, when Sir Roger has been pleased with a
boy that answers well, he has ordered a Bible to be
given him next day for his encouragement ; and some- 25
times accompanies it with a flitch of bacon to his
mother. Sir Roger has likewise added five pounds a
year to the ^clerk's place ; and that he may encourage
the young fellows to make themselves perfect in the
Church service, has promised upon the death of the 3°
54 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
present incumbent, who is very old, to bestow it ac-
cording to merit.
The fair understanding between Sir Roger and his
chaplain, and their mutual concurrence in doing good,
5 is the more remarkable, because the very next village
is famous for the differences and contentions that rise
between the parson and the squire, who live in a per-
petual state of war. The parson is always preaching
at the squire; and the squire, to be revenged on the
lo parson, never comes to church. The squire has made
all his tenants atheists and ^tithe-stealers ; while the
parson instructs them every Sunday in the dignity of
his order, and insinuates to them almost in every ser-
mon that he is a better man than his patron. In short,
i^ matters are come to such an extremity that the squire
has not said his prayers either in public or private
this half year, and that the parson threatens him, if
he does not mend his manners, to pray for him in the
face of the whole congregation.
20 Feuds of this nature, though too frequent in the
country, are very fatal to the ordinary people, who are
so used to be dazzled with riches that they pay as
much deference to the understanding of a man of an
estate as of a man of learning; and are ^very hardly
25 brought to regard any truth, how impprtant soever it
may be, that is preached to them, when they know
there are several men of five hundred a year who do
not believe it.
Sir Roger in Love.
No. 113. Steele.
— ^Hcurent iniixi pectore vultns. y
In my first description of the company in which I
pass most of my time, it may be remembered that I
mentioned a great affliction which my friend Sir
Roger had met with in his youth ; which was no less
than a disappointment in love. It happened this even-
ing that we fell into a very pleasing walk at a distance
from his house. As soon as we came into it, "It is,"
quoth the good old man, looking round him with a
smile, "very hard that any part of my land should be
settled upon one who has used me so ill as the per-
verse widow did ; and yet I am sure I could not see a
sprig of any bough of this whole walk of trees, but I
should reflect upon her and her severity. She has cer-
tainly the finest hand of any woman in the world. You
are to know this was the place wherein I used to muse
upon her; and by that custom I can never come into
it, but the same tender sentiments revive in my mind
as if I had actually walked with that beautiful creature
under these shades. I have been fool enough to carve
her name on the bark of several of these trees ; so un-
happy is the condition of men in love to attempt the
removing of their passion by the methods which serve
only to imprint it deeper. She has certainly the finest
hand of any woman in the world."
56 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
Here followed a profound silence; and I was not
displeased to observe my friend falling so naturally
into a discourse, which I had ever before taken notice
he industriously avoided. After a very long pause,
5 he entered upon an account of this great circumstance
in his life with an air which I thought raised my idea
of him above what I had ever had before, and gave
me the picture of that cheerful mind of his before it
received that stroke which has ever since affected his
lo words and actions. But he went on as follows :
"I came to my estate in my twenty-second year, and
resolved to follow the steps of the most worthy of my
ancestors who have inhabited this spot of earth before
me, in all the methods of hospitality and good neigh-
15 bourhood, for the sake of my fame ; and in country
sports and recreations, for the sake of my health. In
my twenty-third year, I was obliged to serve as sheriff
of the county ; and in my servants, officers, and whole
equipage, indulged the pleasure of a young man, who
20 did not think ill of his own person, in taking that
public occasion of showing my figure and behaviour
to advantage. You may easily imagine to yourself
what appearance I made, who am pretty tall, rid
well, and was very well dressed, at the head of a whole
25 county, with music before me, a feather in my hat, and
my horse well bitted. I can assure you I was not a
little pleased with the kind looks and glances I had
from all the balconies and windows as I rode to the
hall where the ^assizes were held. But when I came
30 there, a beautiful creature in a widow's habit sat in
SIR ROGER IN LOVE. 57
court to hear the *event of a cause concerning her
dower. This commanding creature, who was born
for destruction of all who behold her, put on such
a resignation in her countenance, and bore the whis-
pers of all around the court with such a pretty uneasi- 5
ness, I warrant you, and then recovered herself from
one eye to another, till she was perfectly confused by
meeting something so wistful in all she encountered,
that at last, with a ^murrain to her, she cast her be-
witching eye upon me. I no sooner met it but I 10
bowed like a great surprised booby ; and, knowing
her cause to be the first which came on, I cried, like a
captivated calf as I was, 'Make way for the defend-
ant's witnesses.' This sudden partiality made all the
county immediately see the sheriff also was become a 15
slave to the fine widow. During the time her cause
was upon trial, she behaved herself, I warrant you,
with such a deep attention to her business, took op-
portunities to have little billets handed to her counsel,
then would be in such a pretty confusion, occasioned, 20
you must know, by acting before so much company,
that not only I, but the whole court, was prejudiced
in her favour; and all that the next heir to her hus-
band had to urge was thought so groundless and
frivolous that, when it came to her counsel to reply, 25
there was not half so much said as every one besides
in the court thought he could have urged to her ad-
vantage. You must understand, sir, this perverse
woman is one of those unaccountable creatures that
secretly rejoice in the admiration of men, but indulge 30
58 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
themselves in no further consequences. Hence it is
that she has ever had a train of admirers, and she re-
moves from her slaves in town to those in the country
according to the seasons of the year. She is a read-
5 ing lady, and far gone in the pleasures of friendship.
She is always accompanied by a confidante, who is
witness to her daily protestations against our sex, and
consequently a bar to her first steps towards love, upon
the strength of her own maxims and declarations.
lo "However, I must needs say, this accomplished mis-
tress of mine has distinguished me above the rest, and
has been known to declare Sir Roger de Coverley was
the tamest and most human of all the brutes in the
country. I was told she said so by one who thought
15 he ^rallied me ; but upon the strength of this slender
encouragement of being thought least detestable, I
made new liveries, new-paired my coach-horses, sent
them all to town to be bitted, and taught to throw
their legs well, and move all together, before I pre-
20 tended to cross the country and wait upon her. As
soon as I thought my retinue suitable to the character
of my fortune and youth, I set out from hence to make
my addresses. The particular skill of this lady has
ever been to inflame your wishes, and yet command
25 respect. To make her mistress of this art, she has a
greater share of knowledge, wit, and good sense than
is usual even among men of merit. Then she is beau-
tiful beyond the race of women. If you won't let her
go on with a certain artifice with her eyes and the
30 skill of beauty, she will arm herself with her real
SIR ROGER IN LOVE. 59
charms, and strike you with admiration instead of
desire. It is certain that if you were to behold the
whole woman, there is that dignity in her aspect, that
composure in her motion, that complacency in her
manner, that if her form makes you hope, her merit 5
makes you fear. But then again she is such a des-
perate scholar that no country gentleman can ap-
proach her without being a jest. As I was going to
tell you, when I came to her house, I was admitted to
her presence with great civility ; at the same time she 10
placed herself to be first seen by me in such an atti-
tude as I think you call the posture of a picture, that
she discovered new charms, and I at last came to-
wards her with such an awe as made me speechless.
This she no sooner observed but she made her ad- 15
vantage of it, and began a discourse to me concerning
love and honour, as they both are followed by pre-
tenders, and the real votaries to them. When she
had discussed these points in a discourse, which I
verily believe was as learned as the best philosopher in 20
Europe could possibly make, she asked me whether
she was so happy as to fall in with my sentiments on
these important particulars. Her confidante sat by
her, and, upon my being in the last confusion and
silence, this malicious aid of hers, turning to her, says, 25
*I am very glad to observe Sir Roger pauses upon
this subject, and seems resolved to deliver all his sen-
timents upon the matter when he pleases to speak.'
They both kept their countenances, and after I had
sat half an hour meditating how to behave before such 30
6o SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
profound casuists, I rose up and took my leave.
Chance has since that time thrown me very often in
her way, and she as often has directed a discourse to
me which I do not understand. This barbarity has
5 kept me ever at a distance from the most beautiful
object my eyes ever beheld. It is thus also she deals
with all mankind; and you must make love to her, as
you would conquer the Sphinx, by ^posing her. But
were she like other women, ^and that there were any
lo talking to her, how constant must the pleasure of that
man be who could converse with a creature — but,
after all, you may be sure her heart is fixed on some
one or other ; and yet I have been credibly informed —
but who can believe half that is said? After she had
15 done speaking to me, she put her hand to her bosom
and adjusted her ^tucker. Then she cast her eyes a
little down upon my beholding her too earnestly.
They say she sings excellently : her voice in her ordi-
nary speech has something in it inexpressibly sweet.
20 You must know I dined with her at a public table the
day after I first saw her, and she helped me to some
^tansy in the eye of all the gentlemen in the country.
She has certainly the finest hand of any woman in the
world. I can assure you, sir, were you to behold her,
25 you would be in the same condition ; for as her speech
is music, her form is angelic. But I find I grow
irregular while I am talking of her; but indeed it
would be stupidity to be unconcerned at such perfec-
tion. Oh, the excellent creature! she is as inimitable
30 to all women as she is inaccessible to all men."
SIR ROGER IN LOVE. 6l
I found my friend begin to rave, and insensibly led
him towards the house, that we might be joined by
some other company ; and am convinced that the
widow is the secret cause of all that inconsistency
which appears in some parts of my friend's discourse ; 5
though he has so much command of himself as not
directly to mention her, yet according to ^that of
Martial, which one knows not how to render into
English, dum tacet, lianc loquitur. I shall end this
paper with that whole epigram, which represents with 10
much humour my honest friend's condition :
^Quidquid agit Rnfus, nihil est nisi NcBvia Rufo,
Si gaudet, si Het, si facet, hanc loquitur;
Coenat, propinat, poscit, negat, annnit, una est
N^via; si non sit Ncevia, mutiis erit. 15
Scriberet hesternd patri cum luce salutem,
N(Bvia lux, inquit, Ncevia! lumen, ave.
Let Rufus weep, rejoice, stand, sit, or walk,
Still he can nothing but of Naevia talk.
Let him eat, drink, ask questions, or dispute, 20
Still he must speak of Naevia, or be mute.
He writ to his father, ending with this line,
I am, my lovely Naevia, ever thine.
A Little Sermon on Economy.
No. 114. Steele.
'^Paupertatis pudor et fuga.
Economy in our affairs has the same effect upon
our fortunes which good breeding has upon our con-
versations. There is a pretending behaviour in both
5 cases, which, instead of making men esteemed, ren-
ders them both miserable and contemptible. We had
yesterday at Sir Roger's a set of country gentlemen
who dined with him ; and after dinner the glass was
taken, by those who pleased, pretty plentifully.
10 Among others I observed a person of a tolerable good
aspect, who seemed to be more greedy of liquor than
any of the company, and yet, methought, he did not
taste it with delight. As he grew warm, he was sus-
picious of everything that was said ; and as he ad-
15 vanced towards being fuddled, his humour grew worse.
At the same time his bitterness seemed to be rather
an inward dissatisfaction in his own mind than any
dislike he had taken at the company. Upon hearing
his name, I knew him to be a gentleman of a consid-
20 erable fortune in this county, but greatly in debt.
What gives the unhappy man this peevishness of
spirit is that his estate is dipped, and is ^eating out
with usury; and yet he has not the heart to sell any
part of it. His proud ^stomach, at the cost of restless
A LITTLE SERMON ON ECONOMY. 63
nights, constant inquietudes, danger of affronts, and a
thousand nameless inconveniences, preserves this
canker in his fortune, rather than it shall be said he is
a man of fewer hundreds a year than he has been com-
monly reputed. Thus he endures the torment of 5
poverty to avoid the name of being less rich. If you
go to his house you see great plenty, but served in a
manner that shows it is all unnatural, and that the
master's mind is not at home. There is a certain waste
and carelessness in the air of everything, and the 10
whole appears but a covered indigence, a magnificent
poverty. That neatness and cheerfulness which at-
tends the table of him who lives within compass is
wanting, and exchanged for a libertine way of service
in all about him. ^5
This gentleman's conduct, though a very common
way of management, is as ridiculous as that officer's
would be who had but few men under his command,
and should take the charge of an extent of country
rather than of a small pass. To pay for, ^personate, 20
and keep in a man's hands a greater estate than he
really has, is of all others the most unpardonable
vanity, and must in the end reduce the man who is
guilty of it to dishonour. Yet if we look around us in
any county of Great Britain, we shall see many in this 25
fatal error; if that may be called by so soft a name
which proceeds from a false shame of appearing
what they really are, when the contrary behaviour
would in a short time advance them to the condition
which they pretend to. 30
64 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
Laertes has ^fifteen hundred pounds a year, which
is mortgaged for six thousand pounds ; but it is im-
possible to convince him that if he sold as much as
would pay of¥ that debt, he would save four shillings
5 in the pound, which he gives for the vanity of being
the reputed master of it. Yet if Laertes did this, he
would perhaps be easier in his own fortune ; but then
Irus, a fellow of yesterday, who has but twelve hun-
dred a year, would be his equal. Rather than this
lo shall be, Laertes goes on to bring well-born beggars
into the world, and every twelve month charges his
estate with at least one year's rent more by the birth
of a child.
Laertes and Irus are neighbours, whose way of
15 living are an abomination to each other. Irus is
moved by the fear of poverty, and Laertes by the
shame of it. Though the motive of action is of so
near affinity in both, and may be resolved into this,
that to each of them poverty is the greatest of all
20 evils ; yet are their manners very widely different.
Shame of poverty makes Laertes launch into unneces-
sary equipage, vain expense, and lavish entertain-
ments ; fear of poverty makes Irus allow himself only
plain necessaries, appear without a servant, sell his
25 own corn, attend his labourers, and be himself a la-
bourer. Shame of poverty makes Laertes go every
day a step nearer to it, and fear of poverty stirs up
Irus to make every day some further progress from it.
These different motives produce the excesses which
30 men are guilty of in the negligence of and provision
A LITTLE SERMON ON ECONOMY. 65
for themselves. Usury, *stock jobbing, extortion, and
oppression have their seed in the dread of want ; and
vanity, ^riot, and prodigahty, from the shame of it.
But both these excesses are infinitely below the pur-
suit of a reasonable creature. After we have taken 5
care to command so much as is necessary for main-
taining ourselves in the order of men suitable to our
character, the care of superfluities is a vice no less
extravagant than the neglect of necessaries would
have been before. 10
Certain it is that they are both out of nature, when
she is followed with reason and good sense. It is
from this reflection that I always read ^Mr. Cowley
with the greatest pleasure. His magnanimity is as
much above that of other considerable men as his un- 15
derstanding; and it is a true distinguishing spirit in
the elegant ^author who published his works, to dwell
so much upon the temper of his mind and the mod-
eration of his desires. By this means he has rendered
his friend as amiable as famous. That state of life 20
which bears the face of poverty with Mr. Cowley's
great ^Vulgar is admirably described ; and it is no
small satisfaction to those of the same turn of desire,
that he produces the authority of the wisest men of
the best age of the world to strengthen his opinion of 25
the ordinary pursuits of mankind.
It would, methinks, be no ill maxim of life, if, ac-
cording to that ancestor of Sir Roger whom I lately
mentioned, every man would "point to himself what
sum he would resolve not to exceed. He might by 30
66 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
this means cheat himself into a tranquilHty on this
side of that expectation, or convert what he should
get above it to nobler uses than his own pleasures or
necessities. This temper of mind would exempt a
5 man from an ignorant envy of restless men above him,
and a more inexcusable contempt of happy men below
him. This would be sailing by some compass, living
with some design ; but to be eternally bewildered in
prospects of future gain, and putting on unnecessary
lo armour against improbable blows of fortune, is a "me-
chanic being which has not good sense for its direc-
tion, but is carried on by a sort of acquired instinct
towards things below our consideration and unworthy
^5 It is possible that the tranquillity I now enjoy at
Sir Roger's may have created in me this way of think-
ing, which is so abstracted from the common relish of
the world. But as I am now in a pleasing arbour sur-
rounded with a beautiful landscape, I find no inclina-
2o tion so strong as to continue in these mansions, so
remote from the ostentatious scenes of life ; and am
at this present writing philosopher enough to conclude
with Mr. Cowley :
'If e'er ambition did my fancy cheat,
25 With any wish so mean as to be great,
Continue, Heaven, still from me to remove
The humble blessings of that life I love.
Health and Exercise.
No. 115. Addison.
— "Ut sit mens sana in cor pore sano.
Bodily labour is of two kinds, either that which a
man submits to for his livelihood, or that which he
undergoes for his pleasure. The latter of them gen-
erally changes the name of labour for that of exercise, ^
but differs only from ordinary labour as it rises from
A country life abounds in both these kinds of labour,
and for that reason gives a man a greater stock of
health, and consequently a more perfect enjoyment jq
of himself, than any other way of life. I consider
the body as a system of tubes and glands, or, to use
a more rustic phrase, a bundle of pipes and strainers,
fitted to one another after so wonderful a manner as
to make a proper engine for the soul to work with. 15
This description does not only comprehend the bow-
els, bones, tendons, veins, nerves, and arteries, but
every muscle and every ligature, which is a composi-
tion of fibres, that are so many imperceptible tubes
or pipes, interwoven on all sides with invisible glands 20
This general idea of a human body, without con-
sidering it in its niceties of anatomy, lets us see how
absolutely necessary labour is for the right preserva-
68 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
tion of it. There must be frequent motions and agita-
tions to mix, digest, and separate the juices contained
in it, as well as to clear and cleanse that infinitude of
pipes and strainers of which it is composed, and to
5 give their solid parts a more firm and lasting tone.
Labour or exercise ferments the ^humours, casts them
into their proper channels, throws oi¥ redundancies,
and helps nature in those secret distributions, with-
out which the body cannot subsist in its vigour, nor
lo the soul act with cheerfulness.
I might here mention the effects which this has
upon all the faculties of the mind, by keeping the un-
derstanding clear, the imagination untroubled, and
refining ^those spirits that are necessary for the proper
15 exertion of our intellectual faculties during the pres-
ent laws of union between soul and body. It is to a
neglect in this particular that we must ascribe the
'spleen, which is so frequent in men of studious and
sedentary tempers, as well as the ^vapours to which
20 those of the other sex are so often subject.
Had not exercise been absolutely necessary for our
well-being. Nature would not have made the body so
proper for it, by giving such an activity to the limbs,
and such a pliancy to every part as necessarily pro-
25 duce those compressions, extensions, contortions, dila-
tations, and all other kinds of motions that are neces-
sary for the preservation of such a system of tubes
and glands as has been before mentioned. And that
we might not want inducements to engage us in such
30 an exercise of the body as is proper for its welfare, it
HEALTH AND EXERCISE. 69
is so ordered that nothing valuable can be procured
without it. Not to mention riches and honour, even
food and raiment are not to be come at without the
toil of the hands and sweat of the brows. Providence
furnishes materials, but expects that we should work ^
them up ourselves. The earth must be laboured be-
fore it gives its increase, and when it is forced into its
several products, how many hands must they pass
through before they are fit for use ! Manufactures,
trade, and agriculture naturally employ more than 10
nineteen parts of the species in twenty ; and as for
those who are not obliged to labour, by the condition
in which they are born, they are more miserable than
the rest of mankind, unless they indulge themselves
in that voluntary labour which goes by the name of 15
My friend Sir Roger has been an indefatigable man
in business of this kind, and has hung several parts of
his house with the trophies of his former labours. The
walls of his great hall are covered with the horns of 20
several kinds of deer that he has killed in the chase,
which he thinks the most valuable furniture of his
house, as they afford him frequent topics of discourse,
and show that he has not been idle. At the lower end
of the hall is a large otter's skin stuffed with hay, 25
which his mother ordered to be hung up in that man-
ner, and the knight looks upon with great satisfac-
tion, because it seems he was but nine years old when
his dog killed him. A little room adjoining to the
hall is a kind of arsenal filled with guns of several 30
70 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
sizes and inventions, with which the knight has made
great havoc in the woods and destroyed many thou-
sands of pheasants, partridges, and woodcocks. His
stable-doors are patched with noses that belonged to
5 foxes of the knight's own hunting down. Sir Roger
showed me one of them that for distinction sake has a
brass nail struck through it, which cost him about
fifteen hours riding, carried him through half a dozen
counties, killed him a brace of geldings, and lost
lo above half his dogs. This the knight looks upon as
one of the greatest exploits of his life. The perverse
widow, whom I have given some account of, was the
death of several foxes ; for Sir Roger has told me that
in the course of his amours he patched the western
15 door of his stable. Whenever the widow was cruel,
the foxes were sure to pay for it. In proportion as his
passion for the widow abated and old age came on, he
left ofif fox-hunting ; but a hare is not yet safe that sits
within ten miles of his house.
20 There is no kind of exercise which I would so
recommend to my readers of both sexes as this of
riding, as there is none which so much conduces to
health, and is every way accommodated to the body,
according to the idea which I have given of it. ^Doc-
25 tor Sydenham is very lavish in its praises ; and if the
English reader will see the mechanical efifects of it
described at length, he may find them in a book pub-
lished not many years since under the title of the
^Medicina Gymnastica. For my own part, when I
30 am in town, for want of these opportunities, I exer-
HEALTH AND EXERCISE. 71
cise myself an hour every morning upon a dumb bell
that is placed in a corner of my room, and it pleases
me the more because it does everything I require of
it in the most profound silence. My landlady and her
daughters are so well acquainted with my hours of 5
exercise that they never come into my room to dis-
turb me whilst I am ringing.
When I was some years younger than I am at pres-
ent, I used to employ myself in a more laborious
diversion, which I learned from a ^Latin treatise of 10
exercises that is written with great erudition. It is
there called the oKiofiax'ia, or the fighting with a man's
own shadow, and consists in the brandishing of two
short sticks grasped in each hand, and loaden with
plugs of lead at either end. This opens the chest, 15
exercises the limbs, and gives a man all the pleasure
of boxing without the blows. I could wish that sev-
eral learned men would lay out that time which they
employ in controversies and disputes about nothing in
this method of fighting with their own shadows. It 20
might conduce very much to evaporate the spleen,
which makes them uneasy to the public as well as to
To conclude, as I am a compound of soul and
body, I consider myself as obliged to a double scheme 25
of duties ; and I think I have not fulfilled the business
of the day when I do not thus employ the one in
labour and exercise as well as the other in study and
A Hunt with Sir Roger.
No. 1 1 6. BUDGELL.
^Vocat ingenti clamore Cithcuron,
Taygetique canes. — Virg.
Those who have searched into human nature ob-
serve that nothing so much shows the nobleness of
5 the soul as that its felicity consists in action. Every-
man has such an active principle in him that he will
find out something to employ himself upon in what-
ever place or state of life he is posted. I have heard
of a gentleman who was under close confinement in
lo the* Bastile seven years, during which time he amused
himself in scattering a few small pins about his cham-
ber, gathering them up again, and placing them in
different figures on the arm of a great chair. He often
told his friends afterwards that, unless he had found
15 out this piece of exercise, he verily believed he should
have lost his senses.
After what has been said, I need not inform my
readers that Sir Roger, with whose character I hope
they are at present pretty well acquainted, has in his
20 youth gone through the whole course of those rural
diversions which the country abounds in, and which
seem to be extremely well suited to that laborious in-
dustry a man may observe here in a far greater degree
than in towns and cities. I have before hinted at some
25 of my friend's exploits. He has in his youthful days
[ 72 ]
A HUNT WITH SIR ROGER. 73
taken forty coveys of partridges in a season, and tired
many a salmon with a line consisting but of a single
hair. The constant thanks and good wishes of the
neighbourhood always attended him on account of his
remarkable enmity towards foxes, having destroyed 5
more of those vermin in one year than it was thought
the whole country could have produced. Indeed, the
knight does not scruple to own among his most inti-
mate friends that, in order to establish his reputation
this way, he has secretly sent for great numbers of ^°
them out of other counties, which he used to turn
loose about the country by night, that he might the
better signalize himself in their destruction the next
day. His hunting horses were the finest and best
managed in all these parts. His tenants are still full of 15
the praises of a gray "stone-horse that unhappily
staked himself several years since, and was buried
with great solemnity in the orchard.
Sir Roger, being at present too old for fox-hunting,
to keep himself in action, has disposed of his ^beagles 20
and got a pack of ^top-hounds. What these want in
speed he endeavours to make amends for by the deep-
ness of their mouths and the variety of their notes,
which are suited in such manner to each other that
the whole cry makes up a complete ^consort. He is so 25
nice in this particular that a gentleman having made
him a present of a very fine hound the other day, the
knight returned it by the servant with a great many
expressions of civility ; but desired him to tell his mas-
ter that the dog he had sent was indeed a most excel- 3o
74 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
lent bass, but that at present he only wanted a counter-
tenor. Could I believe my friend had ever read
Shakespeare, I would certainly conclude he had taken
the hint from Theseus in the Midsummer Night's
^ Dream :
*My hounds are bred out of the Spartan kind,
So "flew'd, so "sanded ; and their heads are hung
With ears that sweep away the morning dew ;
Crook-knee'd and ^dew-lapp'd like Thessalian bull;
^o Slow in pursuit, but match'd in mouth like bells,
Each under each : a cry more tuneable
Was never holla'd to, nor cheer'd with horn.
Sir Roger is so keen at this sport that he has been
out almost every day since I came down ; and upon
15 the chaplain's offering to lend me his easy ^pad, I was
prevailed on yesterday morning to make one of the
company. I was extremely pleased, as we rid along,
to observe the general benevolence of all the neigh-
bourhood towards my friend. The farmers' sons
20 thought themselves happy if they could open a gate
for the good old knight as he passed by ; which he
generally requited with a nod or a smile, and a kind
inquiry after their fathers and uncles.
After we had rid about a mile from home, we came
25 upon a large heath, and the sportsmen began to beat.
They had done so for some time, when, as I was at a
little distance from the rest of the company, I saw a
hare pop out from a small furze-brake almost under
my horse's feet. I marked the way she took, which I
30 endeavoured to make the company sensible of by ex-
A HUNT WITH SIR ROGER. 75
tending my arm; but to no purpose, till Sir Roger,
who knows that none of my extraordinary motions
are insignificant, rode up to me and asked me if 'puss
was gone that way.' Upon my answering "Yes," he
immediately called in the dogs and put them upon the 5
scent. As they were going off, I heard one of the
country fellows muttering to his companion that 'twas
a wonder they had not lost all their sport for want of
the silent gentleman's crying ''Stole away!"
This, with my aversion to leaping hedges, made me 10
withdraw to a rising ground, from whence I could
have the picture of the whole chase without the
fatigue of keeping in with the hounds. The hare im-
mediately threw them above a mile behind her ; but
I was pleased to find that instead of running straight 15
forwards, or, in hunter's language, "flying the coun-
try," as I was afraid she might have done, she wheeled
about, and described a sort of circle round the hill
where I had taken my station, in such manner as gave
me a very distinct view of the sport. I could see her 20
first pass by, and the dogs some time afterwards un-
ravelling the whole track she had made, and following
her through all her doubles. I was at the same time
delighted in observing that deference which the rest
of the pack paid to each particular hound, according 25
to the character he had acquired amongst them. If
they were at fault, and an old hound of reputation
opened but once, he was immediately followed by the
whole cry; while a raw dog, or one who was a noted
liar, might have yelped his heart out without being ^q
taken notice of.
76 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
The hare now, after having squatted two or three
times and been put up again as often, came still nearer
to the place where she was at first started. The dogs
pursued her, and these were followed by the jolly
5 knight, who rode upon a white gelding, encompassed
by his tenants and servants, and cheering his hounds
with all the gaiety of five-and-twenty. One of the
sportsmen rode up to me and told me that he was
sure the chase was almost at an end, because the old
lo dogs, which had hitherto lain behind, now headed the
pack. The fellow was in the right. Our hare took a
large field just under us, followed by the full cry "in
view." I must confess the brightness of the weather,
the cheerfulness of everything around me, the *chid-
15 ing' of the hounds, which was returned upon us in a
double echo from two neighbouring hills, with the hol-
loaing of the sportsmen and the sounding of the horn,
lifted my spirits into a most lively pleasure, which I
freely indulged because I was sure it was innocent.
20 If I was under any concern, it was on the account of
the poor hare, that was now quite spent and almost
within the reach of her enemies ; when the huntsman,
getting forward, threw down his pole before the dogs.
They were now within eight yards of that game which
^5 they had been pursuing for almost as many hours;
yet on the signal before mentioned they all made a
sudden stand, and though they continued opening as
much as before, durst not once attempt to pass be-
yond the pole. At the same time Sir Roger rode for-
30 ward, and alighting, took up the hare in his arms;
A HUNT WITH SIR ROGER. ^J
which he soon deHvered up to one of his servants with'
an order, if she could be kept aHve, to let her go in his
great orchard, where it seems he has several of these
prisoners of war, who live together in a very com-
fortable captivity. I was highly pleased to see the dis- 5
cipline of the pack and the good nature of the knight,
who could not find in his heart to murder a creature
that had given him so much diversion.
As we were returning home, I remembered that
Monsieur ^Pascal, in his most excellent discourse on lo
the "Misery of Man," tells us that ''all our endeavours
after greatness proceed from nothing but a desire of
being surrounded by a multitude of persons and af-
fairs that may hinder us from looking into ourselves,
which is a view we cannot bear." He afterwards goes ^5
on to show that our love of sports comes from the
same reason, and is particularly severe upon hunting.
"What," says he, "unless it be to drown thought, can
make men throw away so much time and pains upon
a silly animal, which they might buy cheaper in the 20
market?" The foregoing reflection is certainly just,
when a man suffers his whole mind to be drawn into
his sports, and altogether loses himself in the woods ;.
but does not affect those who propose a far more laud-
able end from this exercise, I mean the preservation 25
of health, and keeping all the organs of the soul in a
condition to execute her order. Had that incompara-
ble person, whom I last quoted, been a little more in-
dulgent to himself in this point the world might
probably have enjoyed him much longer; whereas, 30
78 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
through too great an application to his studies in his
youth, he contracted that ill habit of body, which, after
a tedious sickness, carried him ofi. in the fortieth year
of his age ; and the whole history we have of his life
till that time is but one continued account of the be-
haviour of a noble soul struggling under innumerable
pains and distempers.
For my own part, I intend to hunt twice a week
during my stay with Sir Roger and shall prescribe
the moderate use of this exercise to all my country
friends as the best kind of physic for mending a bad
constitution and preserving a good one.
I cannot do this better than in the following lines
out of Mr. Dryden :
^5 'The first physicians by debauch were made;
Excess began, and sloth sustains the trade.
By chase our long-lived fathers earned their food ;
Toil strung the nerves, and purified the blood ;
But we their sons, a pamper'd race of men,
20 Are dwindled down to threescore years and ten.
Better to hunt in fields for health unbought
Than fee the doctor for a nauseous draught.
The wise for cure on exercise depend :
God never made His work for man to mend.
The Coverley Witch.
No. 117. Addison.
'^Ipsi sibi s omnia Ungunt. _,
There are some opinions in which a man should
stand ''neuter, without engaging his assent to one side
or the other. Such a hovering faith as this, which
refuses to settle upon any determination, is absolutely ^
necessary in a mind that is careful to avoid errors and
prepossessions. When the arguments press equally
on both sides in matters that are indifferent to us, the
safest method is to give up ourselves to neither.
It is with this temper of mind that I consider the 10
subject of witchcraft. When I hear the ^relations that
are made from all parts of the world, not only from
Norway and Lapland, from the East and West Indies,
but from every particular nation in Europe, I cannot
forbear thinking that there is such an intercourse and 15
commerce with evil spirits as that which we express
by the name of witchcraft. But when I consider that
the ignorant and credulous parts of the world abound
most in these relations, and that the persons among us
who are supposed to engage in such an infernal com- 20
merce, are people of a weak understanding and crazed
imagination, and at the same time reflect upon the
many impostures and delusions of this nature that
have been detected in all ages, I endeavour to suspend
L 79 J
80 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
my belief till I hear more certain accounts than any
which have yet come to my knowledge. In short,
when I consider the question whether there are such
persons in the world as those we call witches, my mind
is divided between two opposite opinions ; or rather,
to speak my thoughts freely, I believe in general that
there is, and has been, such a thing as witchcraft, but
at the same time can give no credit to any particular
instance of it.
I am engaged in this speculation by some occur-
rences that I met with yesterday, which I shall' give
my reader an account of at large. As I was walking
with my friend Sir Roger by the side of one of his
woods, an old woman applied herself to me for my
charity. Her dress and figure put me in mind of the
following description in ^Otway :
In a close lane, as I pursued my journey,
I spied a wrinkled hag, with age grown double,
Picking dry sticks, and mumbling to herself.
Her eyes with scalding rheum were galled and red;
Cold palsy shook her head ; her hands seemed withered ;
And on her crooked shoulders had she wrapt
The tattered remnant of an old striped hanging,
Which served to keep her carcase from the cold :
25 So there was nothing of a piece about her.
Her lower *weedswere all o'er coarsely patched
With different coloured rags, black, red, white, yellow,
And seemed to speak variety of wretchedness.
As I was musing on this description, and compar-
3° ing it with the object before me, the knight told me
THE COVERLEY WITCH. 8l
that this very old woman had the reputation of a witch
all over the country, that her lips were observed to be
always in motion, and that there was not a switch
about her house which her neighbours did not believe
had ^carried her several hundreds of miles. If she 5
chanced to stumble, they always found sticks or
straws that lay in the figure of a cross before her. H
she made any mistake at church, and cried "Amen'*
in a wrong place, they never failed to conclude that
she was saying her prayers backwards. There was not 10
a maid in the parish that would take a pin of her,
though she should ofifer a bag of money with it. She
goes by the name of Moll White, and has made the
country ring with several imaginary exploits which
are palmed upon her. If the dairymaid does not make 15
her butter to come as soon as she would have it, Moll
White is at the bottom of the churn. If a horse sweats
in the stable, Moll White has been upon his back. If
a hare makes an unexpected escape from the hounds,
the huntsman curses Moll White. "Nay," says Sir 20
Roger, "I have known the master of the pack, upon
such an occasion, send one of his servants to see if
Moll White had been out that morning."
This account raised my curiosity so far that I
begged my friend Sir Roger to go with me into her 25
hovel, which stood in a solitary corner under the side
of the wood. Upon our first entering. Sir Roger
winked to me, and pointed at something that stood
behind the door, which, upon looking that way, I
found to be an old broom-stafif. At the same time, he 30
82 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
whispered me in the ear to take notice of a tabby cat
that sat in the chimney corner, which, as the old knight
told me, lay under as bad a report as Moll White
herself; for besides that Moll is said often to accom-
5 pany her in the same shape, the cat is reported to
have spoken twice or thrice in her life, and to have
played several pranks above the capacity of an ordi-
I was secretly concerned to see human nature in so
lo much wretchedness and disgrace, but at the same time
could not forbear smiling to hear Sir Roger, who is
a little puzzled about the old woman, advising her, as
a justice of peace, to avoid all communication with
the devil, and never to hurt any of her neighbours*
15 cattle. We concluded our visit with a bounty, which
was very acceptable.
In our return home, Sir Roger told me that old
Moll had been often brought before him for making
children spit pins, and giving maids the nightmare;
20 and that the country people would be tossing her into
a pond and ""trying experiments with her every day, if
it was not for him and his chaplain.
I have since found upon inquiry that Sir Roger was
several times staggered with the reports that had been
25 brought him concerning this old woman, and would
frequently have ^bound her over to the county ses-
sions, had not his chaplain, with much ado, persuaded
him to the contrary.
I have been the more particular in this account
30 because I hear there is scarce a village in England
THE COVERLEY WITCH. 83
that has not a Moll White in it. When an old woman
begins to ^dote and grow chargeable to a parish, she
is generally turned into a witch, and fills the whole
country with extravagant fancies, imaginary distem-
pers, and terrifying dreams. In the mean time, the 5
poor wretch that is the innocent occasion of so many
evils begins to be frighted at herself, and sometimes
confesses secret commerces and familiarities that her
imagination forms in a delirious old age. This fre-
quently cuts of¥ charity from the greatest objects of 10
compassion, and inspires people with a malevolence
towards those poor decrepit parts of our species, in
whom human nature is defaced by infirmity and
Sir Roger Discourses on Love.
No. 1 1 8. Steele.
*H(Bret lateri lethalis arundo.
This agreeable seat is surrounded with so many
pleasing walks, which are struck out of a wood in the
midst of which the house stands, that one can hardly
5 ever be weary of rambling from one labyrinth of de-
. light to another. To one used to live in a city the
charms of the country are so exquisite that the mind
is lost in a certain transport which raises us above
ordinary life, and is yet not strong enough to be in-
^° consistent with tranquillity. This state of mind was
I in, ravished with the murmur of waters, the whisper
of breezes, the singing of birds ; and whether I looked
up to the heavens, down on the earth, or turned to the
prospects around me, still struck with new sense of
15 pleasure ; when I found by the voice of my friend, who
walked by me, that we had insensibly strolled into the
grove sacred to the Widow. "This woman," says he,
**is of all others the most unintelligible : she either de-
signs to marry, or she does not. What is the most
20 perplexing of all is, that she doth not either say to her
lovers she has any resolution against that condition of
life in general, or that she banishes them ; but con-
scious of her own merit, she permits their addresses
without fear of any ill consequence, or want of respect,
SIR ROGER DISCOURSES ON LOVE. 85
from their rage or despair. She has that in her aspect
against which it is impossible to offend. A man whose
thoughts are constantly bent upon so agreeable an
object must be excused if the ordinary occurrences in
conversation are below his attention. I call her indeed c
perverse, but, alas ! why do I call her so ? Because
her superior merit is such that I cannot approach her
without awe, that my heart is checked by too much
esteem : I am angry that her charms are not more
accessible, that I am more inclined to worship than 10
salute her. How often have I wished her unhappy that
I might have an opportunity of serving her ! And how
often troubled in that very imagination, at giving her
the pain of being obliged ! Well, I have led a miser-
able life in secret upon her account; but fancy she 15
would have condescended to have some regard for
me, if it had not been for that watchful animal, her
*'Of all perspns under the sun," continued he, call- •
ing me by my name, "be sure to set a mark upon con- 20
fidantes ; they are of all people the most impertinent.
What is most ^pleasant to observe in them is that they
assume to themselves the merit of the persons whom
they have in their custody. Orestilla is a great for-
tune, and in wonderful danger of surprises ; therefore 25
full of suspicions of the least indifferent thing, particu-
larly careful of new acquaintance and of growing too
familiar with the old. Themista, her favourite woman,
is every whit as careful of whom she speaks to, and
what she says. Let the ward be a beauty, her confi- 30
86 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
dante shall treat you with an air of distance; let her
be a fortune, and she assumes the suspicious behaviour
of her friend and patroness. Thus it is that very many
of our unmarried women of distinction are to all in-
5 tents and purposes married, except the consideration
of different sexes. They are directly under the con-
duct of their whisperer, and think they are in a state
of freedom, while they can prate with one of these at-
tendants of all men in general and still avoid the man
lo they most like. You do not see one heiress in an
hundred whose fate does not turn upon the circum-
stance of choosing a confidante. Thus It is that the
lady is addressed to, presented, and flattered, only by
proxy, in her woman. In my case, how is it possible
Sir Roger was proceeding in his harangue, when
we heard the voice of one speaking very importu-
nately, and repeating these words, "What, not one
smile ?" We followed the sound till we came to a close
20 thicket, on the other side of which we saw a young
woman sitting as it were in a ^personated sullenness
just over a transparent fountain. Opposite to her
stood Mr. William, Sir Roger's master of the game.
The knight whispered me, "Hist, these are lovers."
25 The huntsman, looking earnestly at the shadow of the
young maiden in the stream, "O thou dear picture, if
thou couldst remain there in the absence of that fair
creature whom you represent in the water, how will-
ingly could I stand here satisfied forever, without
30 troubling my dear Betty herself with any mention of
SIR ROGER DISCOURSES ON LOVE. 87
her unfortunate William, whom she is angry with.
But alas ! when she pleases to be gone, thou wilt also
vanish. Yet let me talk to thee while thou dost stay.
Tell my dearest Betty thou dost not more depend
upon her than does her William : her absence will ^
make away with me as well as thee. If she offers to
remove thee, I'll jump into these waves to lay hold on
thee ; herself, her own dear person, I must never em-
brace again. — Still do you hear me without one
smile?- — It is too much to bear." — He had no sooner 10
spoke these words but he made an ofifer of throwing
himself into the water; at which his mistress started
up, and at the next instant he jumped across the foun-
tain and met her in an embrace. She, half recovering
from her fright, said in the most charming voice imagi- i5
nable, and with a tone of complaint, "I thought how
well you would drown yourself. No, no, you won't
drown yourself till you have taken your leave of Susan
Holiday." The huntsman, with a tenderness that spoke
the most passionate love, and with his cheek close to 20
hers, whispered the softest vows of fidelity in her ear,
and cried, ''Don't, my dear, believe a word Kate Wil-
low says; she is spiteful and makes stories, because
she loves to hear me talk to herself for your sake."
"Look you there," quoth Sir Roger, "do you see 25
there, all mischief comes from confidantes ! But let
us not interrupt them ; the maid is honest, and the
man dares not be otherwise, for he knows I loved her
father. I will interpose in this matter, and hasten the
wedding. Kate Willow is a witty mischievous woman 30
88 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
in the neighbourhood, who was a beauty ; and makes
me hope I shall see the perverse Widow in her con-
dition. She was so flippant with her answers to all
the honest fellows that came near her, and so very
5 vain of her beauty, that she has valued herself upon
her charms till they are ceased. She therefore now
• makes it her business to prevent other young women
from being more discreet than she was herself. How-
ever, the saucy thing said the other day well enough,
^° 'Sir Roger and I must make a match, for we are both
despised by those we loved.' The hussy has a great
deal of power wherever she comes, and has her share
''However, when I reflect upon "this woman, I do
^5 not know whether in the main I am the worse for
having loved her. Whenever she is recalled to my
imagination, my youth returns and I feel a forgotten
warmth in my veins. This affliction in my life has
streaked all my conduct with a softness of which I
2o should otherwise have been incapable. It is, per-
haps, to this dear image in my heart owing, that I
am apt to relent, that I easily forgive, and that many
desirable things are grown into my temper, which I
should not have arrived at by better motives than the
25 thought of being one day hers. I am pretty well satis-
fied such a passion as I have had is never well cured ;
and, between you and me, I am often apt to imagine
it has had some whimsical effect upon my brain. For
I frequently find that in my most serious discourse I
30 let fall some comical familiarity of speech or odd
SIR ROGER DISCOURSES ON LOVE. 89
phrase that makes the company laugh. However, I
cannot but allow she is a most excellent woman.
When she is in the country, I warrant she does not
run into dairies, but reads upon the nature of plants;
but has a glass hive, and comes into the garden out 5
of books to see ''them work, and observe the policies
of their commonwealth. She understands everything.
I'd give ten pounds to hear her argue with my friend
Sir Andrew Freeport about trade. No, no, for all she
looks so innocent as it were, take my word for it she lo
is no fool."
Town and Country Manners.
No. 119. Addison.
^Urbem quam dicunt Romam, Melibcee, putavi
Stultus ego nostrce similem. — Virg.
The first and most obvious reflections which arise
in a man who changes the city for the country are
^ upon the different manners of the people whom he
meets with in those two different scenes of Hfe. By
manners I do not mean morals, but behaviour and
good breeding as they show themselves in the town
and in the country.
And here, in the first place, I must observe a very
great revolution that has happened in this article of
good breeding. "Several obliging deferences, conde-
scensions, and submissions, with many outward forms
and ceremonies that accompany them, were first of
^^ all brought up among the politer part of mankind,
who lived in courts and cities, and distinguished them-
selves from the rustic part of the species (who on all
occasions acted bluntly and naturally) by such a mu-
tual ^complaisance and intercourse of civilities. These
20 forms of "conversation by degrees multiplied and grew
troublesome ; the modish world found too great a
constraint in them, and have therefore thrown most
of them aside. Conversation, like the Romish re-
ligion, was so encumbered with show and ceremony
25 that it stood in need of a reformation to retrench its
TOWN AND COUNTRY MANNERS. 91
superfluities and restore it to its natural good sense
and beauty. At present, therefore, an unconstrained
^carriage, and a certain openness of behaviour, are
the height of good breeding. The fashionable world
is grown free and easy; our manners sit more loose 5
upon us. Nothing is so modish as an agreeable neg-
ligence. In a word, good breeding shows itself most,
where to an ordinary eye it appears the least.
If after this we look on the people of mode in the
country, we find in them the manners of the last age. 10
They have no sooner fetched themselves up to the
fashion of the polite world, but the town has dropped
them, and are nearer to the first state of nature than
to those refinements which formerly reigned in the
court, and still prevail in the country. One may now ^5
know a man that never ^conversed in the world by
his excess of good breeding. A polite country squire
shall make you as many bows in half an hour as would
serve a courtier for a week. There is infinitely more
^to do about place and precedency in a meeting of 20
justices' wives than in an assembly of duchesses.
This rural politeness is very troublesome to a man
of my temper, who generally take the chair that is
next me, and walk first or last, in the front or in the
rear, as chance directs. I have known my friend Sir 25
Roger's dinner almost cold before the company could
adjust the ceremonial and be prevailed upon to sit
down; and have heartily pitied my old friend, when
I have seen him forced to pick and cull his guests, as
they sat at the several parts of his table, that he might 30
92 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
drink their healths according to their respective ranks
and quahties. Honest Will Wimble, who I should
have thought had been altogether uninfected with
ceremony, gives me abundance of trouble in this par-
5 ticular. Though he has been fishing all the morning,
he will not help himself at dinner till I am served.
When we are going out of the hall, he runs behind
me; and last night, as we were walking in the fields,
stopped short at a stile till I came up to it, and upon
lo my making signs to him to get over, told me, with a
serious smile, that sure I believed they had no man-
ners in the country.
There has happened another revolution in the point
of good breeding, which relates to the conversation
15 among men of mode, and which I cannot but look
upon as very extraordinary. It was certainly one of
the first distinctions of a well-bred man, to express
everything that had the most remote appearance of
being obscene in modest terms and distant phrases;
20 whilst the clown, who had no such delicacy of con-
ception and expression, clothed his ideas in those
plain, homely terms that are the most obvious and
natural. This kind of good manners was perhaps
carried to an excess, so as to make conversation too
25 stifif, formal, and precise : for which reason (as hypoc-
risy in one age is generally succeeded by atheism in
another) conversation is in a great measure relapsed
into the first extreme; so that at present several of
our men of the town, and particularly those who have
30 been polished in France, make use of the most coarse.
TOWN AND COUNTRY MANNERS. 93
uncivilized words in our language, and utter them-
selves often in such a manner as a clown would blush
This infamous piece of good breeding, which reigns
among the coxcombs of the town, has not yet made 5
its way into the country ; and as it is impossible for
such an irrational way of conversation to last long
among a people that make any profession of religion
or show of modesty, if the country gentlemen get
into it they will certainly be left in the lurch. Their 10
good breeding will come too late to them, and they
will be thought a parcel of lewd clowns, while they
fancy themselves talking together like men of wit and
As the two points of good breeding which I have 15
hitherto insisted upon regard behaviour and conver-
sation, there is a third, which turns upon dress. In
this, too, the country are very much behind-hand.
The rural beaus are not yet got out of the fashion
that took place at the time of ^the Revolution, but 20
ride about the country in red coats and laced hats,
while the women in many parts are still trying to out-
vie one another in the height of their head-dresses.
But a friend of mine, who is now Hipon the western
circuit, having promised to give me an account of the 25
several modes and fashions that prevail in the diflfer-
ent parts of the nation through which he passes, I
shall defer the enlarging upon this last topic till I
have received a letter from him, which I expect every
Sir Roger at the Assizes.
No. 122. Addison.
^Comes jucundus in via pro vehiculo est.
— PuBL. Syr. Frag.
A man's first care should be to avoid the reproaches
of his own heart; his next, to escape the censures of
the world. If the last interferes with the former, it
5 ought to be entirely neglected ; but otherwise there
cannot be a greater satisfaction to an honest mind
than to see those approbations which it gives itself
seconded by the applauses of the public. A man is
more sure of his conduct when the verdict which he
10 passes upon his own behaviour is thus warranted and
confirmed by the opinion of all that know him.
My worthy friend Sir Roger is one of those who is
not only at peace within himself, but beloved and
esteemed by all about him. He receives a suitable
15 tribute for his universal benevolence to mankind in
the returns of affection and good-will which are paid
him by every one that lives within his neighbourhood.
I lately met with two or three odd instances of that
general respect which is shown to the good old knight.
20 He would needs carry Will Wimble and myself with
him to the county "assizes. As we were upon the
road, Will Wimble joined a couple of plain men who
rid before us, and conversed with them for some
time, during which my friend Sir Roger acquainted
25 me with their characters.
SIR ROGER AT THE ASSIZES. 95
'The first of them," says he, "that has a spaniel by
his side, is a ^yeoman of about an hundred pounds a
year, an honest man. He is ^just within the Game
Act, and quahfied to kill an hare or a pheasant. He
knocks down a dinner with his gun twice or thrice a 5
week; and by that means lives much cheaper than
those who have not so good an estate as himself. He
would be a good neighbour if he did not destroy so
many partridges. In short, he is a very sensible man ;
shoots flying; and has been several times foreman of 10
the petty jury.
'The other that rides along with him is Tom
Touchy, a fellow famous for 'taking the law' of every-
body. There is not one in the town where he lives
that he has not sued at a quarter sessions. The rogue 15
had once the impudence to go to law with the widow.
His head is full of costs, damages, and ejectments.
He plagued a couple of honest gentlemen so long for
a trespass in breaking one of his hedges, ^till he was
forced to* sell the ground it inclosed to defray the 20
charges of the prosecution. His father left him four-
score pounds a year ; but he has ^'cast' and been cast
so often that he is not now worth thirty. I suppose he
is going upon the old business of the willow-tree."
As Sir Roger was giving me this account of Tom 25
Touchy, Will Wimble and his two companions
stopped short till we came up to them. After having
paid their respects to Sir Ro^er, Will told him that
Mr. Touchy and he must appeal to him upon a dis-
pute that arose between them. Will, it seems, had 30
96 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
been giving his fellow-traveller an account of his
angling one day in such a hole, when Tom Touchy,
instead of hearing out his story, told him that Mr.
Such-an-one, if he pleased, might 'take the law of
5 him ' for fishing in that part of the river. My friend
Sir Roger heard them both upon a round trot; and
after having paused some time, told them, with the air
of a man who would not give his judgment rashly,
that "much might be said on both sides." They were
^° neither of them dissatisfied with the knight's determi-
nation, because neither of them found himself in the
wrong by it. Upon which we made the best of our
way to the assizes.
The court was sat before Sir Roger came ; but not-
15 withstanding all the justices had taken their places
upon the bench, they made room for the old knight
at the head of them; who for his reputation in the
country took occasion to whisper in the judge's ear
that *'he was glad his lordship had met with so much
20 good weather in his circuit." I was listening to the
proceeding of the court with much attention, and in-
finitely pleased with that great appearance and
solemnity which so properly accompanies such a pub-
lic administration of our laws, when, after about an
25 hour's sitting, I observed to my great surprise, in the
midst of a trial, that my friend Sir Roger was getting
up to speak. I was in some pain for him, till I found
he had acquitted himself of two or three sentences
with a look of much business and great intrepidity.
20 Upon his first rising the court was hushed, and a
SIR ROGER AT THE ASSIZES. 97
general whisper ran among the country people that
Sir Roger 'was up.' The speech he made was so
little to the purpose that I shall not trouble my read-
ers with an account of it; and I believe was not so
much designed by the knight himself to inform the 5
court as to give him a figure in my eye and keep up
his credit in the country.
I was highly delighted, when the court rose, to see
the gentlemen of the country gathering about my old
friend, and striving who should compliment him 10
most ; at the same time that the ordinary people gazed
upon him at a distance, not a little admiring his
courage that was not afraid to speak to the judge.
In our return home we met with a very odd acci-
dent, which I cannot forbear relating, because it shows 15
how desirous all who know Sir Roger are of giving
him marks of their esteem. When we were arrived
upon the verge of his estate, we stopped at a little inn
to rest ourselves and our horses. The man of the
house had, it seems, been formerly a servant in the 20
knight's family; and, to do honour to his old master,
had some time since, unknown to Sir Roger, put him
up in a sign-post before the door ; so that the 'Knight's
Head' had hung out upon the road about a week before
he himself knew anything of the matter. As soon as 25
Sir Roger was acquainted with it, finding that his ser-
vant's indiscretion proceeded wholly from affection
and good will, he only told him that he had made
him too high a compliment; and, when the fellow
seemed to think that could hardly be, added, with a 30
98 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
more decisive look, that it was too great an honour
for any man under a duke; but told him at the same
time that it might be altered with a very few touches,
and that he himself would be at the charge of it. Ac-
5 cordingly they got a painter by the knight's directions
to add a pair of whiskers to the face, and by a little
^aggravation of the features to change it into the
"Saracen's Head.' I should not have known this story
had not the innkeeper, upon Sir Roger's alighting, told
lo him in my hearing that his honour's head was brought
back last night with the alterations that he had ordered
to be made in it. Upon this my friend, with his usual
cheerfulness, related the particulars above mentioned,
and ordered the head to be brought into the room. I
15 could not forbear discovering greater expressions of
mirth than ordinary upon the appearance of this mon-
strous face, under which, notwithstanding it was made
to frown and stare in a most extraordinary manner, I
could still discover a distant resemblance of my old
20 friend. Sir Roger, upon seeing me laugh, desired me
to tell him truly if I thought it possible for people to
know him in that disguise. I at first kept my usual
silence; but, upon the knight's conjuring me to tell
him whether it was not still more like himself than a
25 Saracen, I composed my countenance in the best man-
ner I could, and replied that ''''much might be said on
These several adventures, with the knight's beha-
viour in them, gave me as pleasant a day as ever I
30 met with in any of my travels.
No. 123. Addison.
^Doctrina sed vim promovet insitam
Rectique cultus pectora roborant;
Utcunque defecere mores,
Dedecorant bene nata culpce.
As I was yesterday taking the air with my friend 5
Sir Roger, we were met by a fresh-colored, ruddy
young man, who rid by us full speed, with a couple
of servants behind him. Upon my inquiry who he
was. Sir Roger told me that he was a young gentle-
man of a considerable estate, who had been educated 10
by a tender mother, that lives not many miles from
the place where we were. She is a very good lady,
says my friend, but took so much care of her son's
health that she has made him good for nothing. She
quickly found that reading was bad for his eyes, and 15
that writing made his head ache. He was let loose
among the woods as soon as he was able to ride on
horseback, or to carry a gun upon his shoulder. To
be brief, I found by my friend's account of him, that
he had got a great stock of health, but nothing else; 20
and that if it were a man's business only to live, there
would not be a more accomplished young fellow in
the whole country.
The truth of it is, since my residing in these parts
[ 99 ]
lOO SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
I have seen and heard innumerable instances of young
heirs and elder brothers who either from their own
reflecting upon the estates they are born to, and there-
fore thinking all other accomplishments unnecessary,
5 or from hearing these notions frequently inculcated
to them by the flattery of their servants and domes-
tics, or from the same foolish thought prevailing in
those who have the care of their education, are of no
manner of use but to keep up their families and trans-
lo mit their lands and houses in a line to posterity.
This makes me often think on a story I have heard
of two friends, which I shall give my reader at large
under feigned names. The moral of it may, I hope,
be useful, though there are some circumstances which
15 make it rather appear like a "novel than a true story.
Eudoxus and Leontine began the world with small
estates. They were both of them men of good sense
and great virtue. They prosecuted their studies to-
gether in their earlier years, and entered into such a
20 friendship as lasted to the end of their lives. Eudoxus,
at his first setting out in the world, threw himself
into a court, where by his natural endowments and
his acquired abilities he made his way from one post
to another, till at length he had raised a very consid-
25 erable fortune. Leontine, on the contrary, sought
all opportunities of improving his mind by study,
conversation, and travel. He was not only acquainted
with all the sciences, but with the most eminent pro-
fessors of them throughout Europe. He knew per-
30 fectly well the interests of its princes, with the cus-
FLORIO AND LEONILLA. lOI
toms and fashions of their courts, and could scarce
meet with the name of an extraordinary person in
the ^Gazette whom he had not either talked to or
seen. In short, he had so well mixed and digested
his knowledge of men and books, that he made one 5
of the most accomplished persons of his age. During
the whole course of his studies and travels he kept up
a punctual correspondence with Eudoxus, who often
made himself acceptable to the principal men about
court by the intelligence which he received from 10
Leontine. When they were both turned of forty (an
age in which, ^according to Mr. Cowley, 'there is no
dallying with life'), they determined, pursuant to the
resolution they had taken in the beginning of their
lives, to retire, and pass the remainder of their days 15
in the country. In order to this, they both of them
married much about the same time. Leontine, with
his own and his wife's fortune, bought a farm of three
hundred a year, which lay within the neighbourhood
of his friend Eudoxus, who had purchased an estate 20
of as many thousands. They were both of them
fathers about the same time, Eudoxus having a son
born to him, and Leontine a daughter ; but to the un-
speakable grief of the latter, his young wife, in whom
all his happiness was wrapt up, died in a few days 25
after the birth of her daughter. His affliction would
have been insupportable, had not he been comforted
by the daily visits and conversations of his friend. As
they were one day talking together with their usual
intimacy, Leontine considering how incapable he was 30
102 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
of giving his daughter a proper education in his own
house, and Eudoxus reflecting on the ordinary be-
haviour of a son who knows himself to be the heir of
a great estate, they both agreed upon an exchange of
5 children, namely, that the boy should be bred up with
Leontine as his son, and that the girl should live with
Eudoxus as his daughter, till they were each of them
arrived at years of discretion. The wife of Eudoxus,
knowing that her son could not be so advantageously
lo brought up as under the care of Leontine, and con-
sidering at the same time that he would be perpetu-
ally under her own eye, was by degrees prevailed
upon to fall in with the project. She therefore took
Leonilla, for that was the name of the girl, and edu-
15 cated her as her own daughter. The two friends on
each side had wrought themselves to such an ha-
bitual tenderness for the children who were under
their direction, that each of them had the real passion
of a father, where the title was but imaginary. Florio,
20 the name of the young heir that lived with Leontine,
though he had all the duty and afifection imaginable
for his supposed parent, was taught to rejoice at the
sight of Eudoxus, who visited his friend very fre-
quently, and was dictated by his natural afifection, as
25 well as by the rules of prudence, to make himself
esteemed and beloved by Florio. The boy was now
old enough to know his supposed father's circum-
stances, and that therefore he was to make his way
in the world by his own industry. This considera-
30 tion grew stronger in him every day, and produced
FLORIO AND LEONILLA.
so good an effect that he appHed himself with more
than ordinary attention to the pursuit of everything
which Leontine recommended to him. His natural
abilities, which were very good, assisted by the direc-
tions of so excellent a counsellor, enabled him to 5
make a quicker progress than ordinary through all
the parts of his education. Before he was twenty
years of age, having finished his studies and exercises
with great applause, he was removed from the uni-
versity to the ^Inns of Court, where there are very 10
few that make themselves considerable proficients in
the studies of the place who know they shall arrive at
great estates without them. This was not Florio's
case; he found that three hundred a year was but a
poor estate for Leontine and himself to live upon, so 15
that he studied without intermission till he gained a
very good insight into the constitution and laws of
I should have told my reader that whilst Florio
lived at the house of his foster-father, he was always 20
an acceptable guest in the family of Eudoxus, where
he became acquainted with Leonilla from her infancy.
His acquaintance with her by degrees grew into love,
which in a mind trained up in all the sentiments of
honour and virtue became a very uneasy passion. He 25
despaired of gaining an heiress of so great a fortune,
and would rather have died than attempted it by any
indirect methods. Leonilla, who was a woman of the
greatest beauty joined with the greatest modesty,
entertained at the same time a secret passion for 30
104 SI^ ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
Florio, but conducted herself with so much prudence
that she never gave him the least intimation of it.
Florio was now engaged in all those arts and im-
provements that are proper to raise a man's private
5 fortune and give him a figure in his country, but
secretly tormented with that passion which burns
with the greatest fury in a virtuous and noble heart,
when he received a sudden summons from Leontine
to repair to him into the country the next day. For
lo it seems Eudoxus was so filled with the report of his
son's reputation, that he could no longer withhold
making himself known to him. The morning after
his arrival at the house of his supposed father, Leon-
tine told him that Eudoxus had something of great
15 importance to communicate to him ; upon which the
good man embraced him and wept. Florio was no
sooner arrived at the great house that stood in his
neighbourhood, but Eudoxus took him by the hand,
after the first salutes were over, and conducted him
20 into his closet. He there opened to him the whole
secret of his parentage and education, concluding
after this manner: *T have no other way left of
acknowledging my gratitude to Leontine than by
marrying you to his daughter. He shall not lose the
25 pleasure of being your father by the discovery I have
made to you. Leonilla, too, shall be still my daugh-
ter; her filial piety, though misplaced, has been so
exemplary that it deserves the greatest reward I can
confer upon it. You shall have the pleasure of see-
30 ing a great estate fall to you, which you would have
FLORIO AND LEONILLA. 105
lost the relish of had you known yourself born to it.
Continue only to deserve it in the same manner you
did before you were possessed of it. I have left your
mother in the next room. Her heart yearns towards
you. She is making the same discoveries to Leonilla 5
which I have made to yourself." Florio was so over-
whelmed with this profusion of happiness that he was
not able to make a reply, but threw himself down at
his father's feet, and amidst a flood of tears kissed
and embraced his knees, asking his blessing, and ex- 10
pressing in dumb show those sentiments of love, duty,
and gratitude that were too big for utterance. To
conclude, the happy pair were married, and half
Eudoxus's estate settled upon them. Leontine and
Eudoxus passed the remainder of their lives together, 15
and received in the dutiful and afifectionate behaviour
of Florio and Leonilla the just recompense, as well
as the natural effects, of that care which they had
bestowed upon them in their education.
The Spectator on Party-spirit.
No. 125. Addison".
'^Ne, pueri, ne tanta animis assuescite hella;
Neu Patrice validas in viscera vertite vires.
My worthy friend Sir Roger, when we are talking
of the "malice of parties, very frequently tells us an
5 accident that happened to him when he was a school-
boy, which was at a time when the feuds ran high be-
tween the ^Roundheads and Cavaliers. This worthy
knight, being then but a stripling, had occasion to
inquire which was the way to St. Anne's Lane, upon
10 which the person whom he spoke to, instead of an-
swering his question, called him a young Popish cur,
and asked him who had made Anne a saint. The boy,
being in some confusion, inquired of the next he met
which was the way to Anne's Lane ; but was called a
15 prick-eared cur for his pains, and, instead of being
shown the way, was told that she had been a saint
before he was born, and would be one after he was
hanged. "Upon this," says Sir Roger, "I did not
think fit to repeat the former question, but, going
20 into every lane of the neighbourhood, asked what
they called the name of that lane." By which ingen-
ious artifice he found out the place he inquired after
without giving offence to any party. Sir Roger gen-
erally closes this narrative with reflections on the mis-
THE SPECTATOR ON PARTY-SPIRIT. 107
chief that parties do in the country; how they spoil
good neighbourhood, and make honest gentlemen
hate one another; besides that they manifestly tend
to the ''prejudice of the land-tax and the destruction
of the game.
There cannot a greater judgment befall a country
than such a dreadful spirit of division as rends a
government into two distinct people, and makes them
greater strangers and more averse to one another
than if they were actually two different nations. The jq
effects of such a division are pernicious to the last
degree, not only with regard to those advantages
which they give the common enemy, but to those
private evils which they produce in the heart of al-
most every particular person. This influence is very j^
fatal both to men's morals and their understandings;
it sinks the virtue of a nation, and not only so, but
destroys even common sense.
A furious party spirit, when it rages in its full vio-
lence, exerts itself in civil war and bloodshed; and ^o
when it is under its greatest restraint, naturally
breaks out in falsehood, detraction, calumny, and a
partial administration of justice. In a word, it fills
a nation with spleen and rancour, and extinguishes
all the seeds of good nature, compassion, and hu- 25
^Plutarch says, very finely, that a man should not
allow himself to hate even his enemies, "because," says
he, *'if you indulge this passion in some occasions, it
will rise of itself in others ; if you hate your enemies, 30
I08 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
you will contract such a vicious habit of mind, as by
degrees will break out upon those who are your
friends, or those who are indifferent to you." I
might here observe how admirably this precept of
5 morality (which derives the malignity of hatred from
the passion itself, and not from its object) answers to
"that great rule which was dictated to the world about
an hundred years before this philosopher wrote; but
instead of that, I shall only take notice, with a real
lo grief of heart, that the minds of many good men
among us appear soured with party principles, and
alienated from one another in such a manner as
seems to me altogether inconsistent with the dictates
either of reason or religion. Zeal for a public cause
15 is apt to breed passions in the hearts of virtuous per-
sons, to which the regard of their own private interest
would never have betrayed them.
If this party spirit has so ill an effect on our morals,
it has likewise a very great one upon our judgments.
20 We often hear a poor, insipid paper or pamphlet
cried up, and sometimes a noble piece depreciated, by
those who are of a different principle from the author.
One who is actuated by this spirit is almost under an
incapacity of discerning either real blemishes or beau-
25 ties. A man of merit in a different principle is like an
object seen in two different mediums, that appears
crooked or broken, however straight and entire it may
be in itself. For this reason there is scarce a person
of any figure in England who does not go by two con-
30 trary characters, as opposite to one another as light
THE SPECTATOR ON PARTY-SPIRIT. 109
and darkness. Knowledge and learning suffer in a
particular manner from this strange prejudice, which
at present prevails amongst all ranks and degrees in
the British nation. As men formerly became eminent
in learned societies by their parts and acquisitions, 5
they now distinguish themselves by the warmth and
violence with which they espouse their respective
parties. Books are valued upon the like considera-
tions. An abusive, scurrilous style passes for satire,
and a dull ^scheme of party notions is called fine 10
There is one piece of sophistry practised by both
sides, and that is the taking any scandalous story
that has been ever whispered or invented of a private
man, for a known, undoubted truth, and raising suit- 15
able speculations upon it. Calumnies that have been
never proved, or hav^e been often refuted, are the
ordinary postulatums of these infamous scribblers,
upon which they proceed as upon first principles
granted by all men, though in their hearts they know 20
they are false, or at best very doubtful. When they
have laid these foundations of scurrility, it is no won-
der that their superstructure is every way answerable
to them. If this shameless practice of the present age
endures much longer, praise and reproach will cease 25
to be motives of action in good men.
There are certain periods of time in all govern-
ments when this inhuman spirit prevails. Italy was
long torn in pieces by the ^Guelphs and Ghibellines,
and France by those who were for and against the 30
no SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
"League. But it is very unhappy for a man to be born
in such a stormy and tempestuous season. It is the
restless ambition of artful men that thus breaks a
people into factions, and draws several well-meaning
5 persons to their interest by a specious concern for
their country. How many honest minds are filled
with uncharitable and barbarous notions, out of their
zeal for the public good ! What cruelties and out-
rages would they not commit against men of an ad-
lo verse party, whom they would honour and esteem, if,
instead of considering them as they are represented,
they knew them as they are ! Thus are persons of
the greatest probity seduced into shameful errors and
prejudices, and made bad men even by that noblest
15 of principles, the love of their country. I cannot for-
bear mentioning the famous Spanish proverb, 'Tf
there were neither fools nor knaves in the world, all
people would be of one mind."
For my own part I could heartily wish that all
20 honest men would enter into an association for the
support of one another against the endeavours of
those whom they ought to look upon as their com-
mon enemies, whatsoever side they may belong to.
Were there such an honest body of neutral forces, we
25 should never see the worst of men in great figures of
life, because they are useful to a party; nor the best
unregarded, because they are above practising those
methods which would be grateful to their faction.
We should then single every criminal out of the herd,
30 and hunt him down, however formidable and over-
THE SPECTATOR ON PARTY-SPIRIT. m
grown he might appear. On the contrary, we should
shelter distressed innocence, and defend virtue, how-
ever beset with contempt or ridicule, envy or defama-
tion. In short, we should not any longer regard our
fellow-subjects as Whigs or Tories, but should make
the man of merit our friend, and the villain our
whig and Tory.
No. 126. Addison.
^Tros Rutulusve fuat, nullo discrimine habebo.
In my yesterday's paper I proposed that the honest
men of all parties should enter into a kind of associa-
tion for the defence of one another and the confusion
5 of their common enemies. As it is designed this neu-
tral body should act with a regard to nothing but
truth and equity, and divest themselves of the little
heats and prepossessions that cleave to parties of all
kinds, I have prepared for them the following form
^° of an association, which may express their intentions
in the most plain and simple manner :
"We, whose names are hereunto subscribed, do
solemnly declare, that we do in our consciences be-
lieve two and two make four; and that we shall
^5 adjudge any man whatsoever to be our enemy who
endeavours to persuade us to the contrary. We are
likewise ready to maintain, with the hazard of all that
is near and dear to us, that six is less than seven in
all times and all places ; and that ten will not be more
20 three years hence than it is at present. We do also
firmly declare, that it is our resolution as long as we
live to call black black, and white white. And we
shall upon all occasions oppose such persons that
upon any day of the year shall call black white, or
WHIG AND TORY. II3
white black, with the utmost peril of our lives and
Were there such a combination of honest men,
who without any regard to places would endeavour to
extirpate all such furious zealots as would sacrifice 5
one-half of their country to the passion and interest
of the other; as also such infamous hypocrites, that
are for promoting their own advantage under colour
of the public good ; with all the profligate immoral
retainers to each side, that have nothing to recom- 10
mend them but an implicit submission to their lead-
ers ; we should soon see that furious party spirit ex-
tinguished, which may in time expose us to the deri-
sion and contempt of all the nations about us.
A member of this society that would thus carefully 15
employ himself in making room for merit, by throw-
ing down the worthless and depraved part of man-
kind from those conspicuous stations of life to which
they have been sometimes advanced, and all this with-
out regard to his private interest, would be no small 20
benefactor to his country.
I remember to have read in ^Diodorus Siculus an
account of a very active little animal, which I think
he calls the 'ichneumon,' that makes it the whole busi-
ness of his life to break the eggs of the crocodile, 25
which he is always in search after. This instinct is
the more remarkable, because the ichneumon never
feeds upon the eggs he has broken, nor in any other
way finds his account in them. Were it not for the
incessant labors of this industrious animal, Egypt, 30
114 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
says the historian, would be overrun with crocodiles ;
for the Egyptians are so far from destroying those
pernicious creatures that they worship them as gods.
If we look into the behaviour of ordinary partisans,
5 we shall find them far from resembling this disinter-
ested animal; and rather acting after the example of
the wild Tartars, who are ambitious of destroying a
man of the most extraordinary parts and accomplish-
ments, as thinking that upon his decease the same
lo talents, whatever post they qualified him for, enter of
course into his destroyer.
As in the whole train of my speculations, I have
endeavoured, as much as I am able, to extinguish that
pernicious spirit of passion and prejudice which rages
15 with the same violence in all parties, I am still the
more desirous of doing some good in this particular,
because I observe that the spirit of party reigns more
in the country than in the town. It here contracts a
kind of brutality and rustic fierceness, to which men
20 of a politer conversation are wholly strangers. It
extends itself even to the return of the bow and the
hat ; and at the same time that the heads of parties
preserve toward one another an outward show of
good breeding, and keep up a perpetual intercourse
25 of civilities, their tools that are dispersed in these out-
lying parts will not so much as mingle together at a
*cock-match. This humour fills the country with
several periodical meetings of Whig jockeys and
Tory fox-hunters, not to mention the innumerable
30 curses, frowns, and whispers it produces at a quarter-
WHIG AND TORY. 1 15
I do not know whether I have observed in any of
my former papers, that my friends Sir Roger de
Coverley and Sir Andrew Freeport are of different
principles, the first of them incHned to the landed
and the other to the moneyed interest. This humour 5
is so moderate in each of them, that it proceeds no
farther than to an agreeable raillery, which very often
diverts the rest of the club. I find, however, that the
knight is a much stronger Tory in the country than
in town, which, as he has told me in my ear, is abso- 10
lutely necessary for the keeping up his interest. In
all our journey from London to his house we did not
so much as ^bait at a Whig inn ; or if by chance the
coachman stopped at a wrong place, one of Sir
Roger's servants would ride up to his master full 15
speed, and whisper to him that the master of the
house was against such an one in the last election.
This often betrayed us into hard beds and bad cheer ;
for we were not so inquisitive about the inn as the
inn-keeper; and, provided our landlord's principles 20
were sound, did not take any notice of the staleness
of his provisions. This I found still the more incon-
venient, because the better the host was, the worse
generally were his accommodations ; the fellow know-
ing very well that those who were his friends would 25
take up with coarse diet and an hard lodging. For
these reasons, all the while I was upon the road I
dreaded entering into an house of any one that Sir
Roger had applauded for an honest man.
Since my stay at Sir Roger's in the country, I 30
Il6 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
daily find more instances of this narrow party
humour. Being upon a bowling green at a neigh-
bouring market town the other day (for that is the
place where the gentlemen of one side meet once a
5 week), I observed a stranger among them of a better
presence and genteeler behaviour than ordinary; but
was much surprised that, notwithstanding he was a
very fair better, nobody would take him up. But
upon inquiry I found that he was one who had given
lo a disagreeable vote in a former parliament, for which
reason there was not a man upon that bowling green
who would have so much correspondence with him
as to win his money of him.
Among other instances of this nature, I must not
15 omit one which concerns myself. Will Wimble was
the other day relating several strange stories that he
had picked up, nobody knows where, of a certain
great man ; and upon my staring at him, as one that
was surprised to hear such things in the country,
20 which had never been so much as whispered in the
town. Will stopped short in the thread of his dis-
course, and after dinner asked my friend Sir Roger
in his ear if he was sure that I was not a "fanatic.
It gives me a serious concern to see a spirit of dis-
25 sension in the country ; not only as it destroys virtue
and common sense, and renders us in a manner bar-
barians towards one another, but as it perpetuates our
animosities, widens our breaches, and transmits our
present passions and prejudices to our posterity. For
30 my own part, I am sometimes afraid tl^at I discover
WHIG AND TORY. II7
the seeds of a civil war in these our divisions ; and
therefore cannot but bewail, as in their first principles,
the miseries and calamities of our children.
A Gypsy Camp.
No. 130. Addison.
— ^Semperque recentes
Convectare juvat prcBdas, et vivere rapto.
As I was yesterday riding out in the fields with my
friend Sir Roger, we saw at a Httle distance from us
5 a troop of gypsies. Upon the first discovery of them,
my friend was in some doubt whether he should not
exert the justice of the peace upon such a band of
lawless vagrants; but not having his clerk with him,
who is a necessary counsellor on these occasions, and
10 fearing that his poultry might fare the worse for it, he
let the thought drop ; but at the same time gave me a
particular account of the mischiefs they do in the.
country in stealing people's goods and spoiling their
servants. "If a stray piece of linen hangs upon an
15 hedge," says Sir Roger, ''they are sure to have it; if
the hog loses his way in the fields, it is ten to one but
he becomes their prey ; our geese cannot live in peace
for them ; if a man prosecutes them with severity, his
hen-roost is sure to pay for it. They generally strag-
20 gle into these parts about this time of the year, and
set the heads of our servant-maids so agog for hus-
bands that we do not expect to have any business
done as it should be whilst they are In the country.
I have an honest dairymaid who "crosses their hands
[ 118 ]
A GYPSY CAMP. II9
with a piece of silver every summer, and never fails
being promised the handsomest young fellow in the
parish for her pains. Your friend the butler has been
fool enough to be seduced by them, and though he is
sure to lose a knife, a fork, or a spoon every time his 5
fortune is told him, generally shuts himself up in
the pantry with an old gypsy for above half an hour
once in a twelve-month. Sweethearts are the things
they live upon, which they bestow very plentifully
upon all those that apply themselves to them. You 10
see now and then some handsome young jades
among them; the vagabonds have very often white
teeth and black eyes."
Sir Roger, observing that I listened with great at-
tention to his account of a people who were so en- ^5
tirely new to me, told me that, if I would, they should
tell us our fortunes. As I was very well pleased with
the knight's proposal, we rid up and communicated
our hands to them. A ^Cassandra of the crew, after
having examined my "lines very diligently, told me 20
that I loved a pretty maid in a corner, that I was a
good woman's man, with some other particulars
which I do not think proper to relate. My friend Sir
Roger alighted from his horse, and exposing his palm
to two or three that stood by him, they crumpled it 25
into all shapes, and diligently scanned every wrinkle
that could be made in it ; when one of them, who was
slder and more sunburnt than the rest, told him that
he had a widow in his line of life. Upon which the
knight cried, "Go, go, you are an ^idle baggage," and 30
120 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
at the same time smiled upon me. The gypsy, finding
he was not displeased in his heart, told him, a'fter a
farther inquiry into his hand that his true-love was
constant, and that she should dream of him to-night.
5 My old friend cried "Pish," and bid her go on. The
gypsy told him that he was a bachelor, but would not
be so long ; and that he was dearer to somebody than
he thought. The knight still repeated, 'she was an
idle baggage,' and bid her go on. "Ah, master,"
lo says the gypsy, "that roguish leer of yours makes a
pretty woman's heart ache; you ha'n't that simper
about the mouth for nothing." The uncouth gib-
berish with which all this was uttered, like the dark-
ness of an oracle, made us the more attentive to it.
15 To be short, the knight left the money with her that
he had crossed her hand with, and got up again on
As we were riding away, Sir Roger told me that he
knew several sensible people who believed these
20 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 humour,
meeting a common beggar upon the road, who was
no conjurer, as he went to relieve him he found his
25 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
remarks on this idle profligate people, who infest all
the countries of Europe, and live in the midst of gov-
30 ernments in a kind of commonwealth by themselves.
A GYPSY CAMP. 121
But instead of entering into observations of this na-
ture, I shall fill the remaining part of my paper with
a story 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 car- 5
ries passengers from Leyden to Amsterdam, was put-
ting ofif, a boy running along the side of the canal
desired to 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 lo
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 him afterwards, he found that he could
speak readily in three or four languages, and learned i5
upon farther examination that he had been stolen
away when he was a child by a gypsy, and had ram-
bled ever since with a gang of those strollers up and
down several parts of Europe. It happened that the
merchant, whose heart seems to have inclined to- 20
wards the boy by a secret kind of instinct, had him-
self lost a child some years before. The parents,
after a long search for him, gave him for drowned in
one of the canals with which that country abounds;
and the mother was so afflicted at the loss of a fine 25
boy, who was her only son, that she died for grief of
it. Upon laying together all particulars, and exam-
ining the several moles and marks by which the
mother used to describe the child when he was first
missing, the boy proved to be the son of the mer- ^o
122 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
chant, 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 the other hand was not a
5 little delighted to see a son return to him, whom he
had given for lost, with such a strength of constitu-
tion, sharpness of understanding, and skill in lan-
guages." Here the printed story leaves ofif; but if I
may give credit to reports, our linguist having re-
lo ceived such extraordinary rudiments towards a good
education, was afterwards trained up in everything
that becomes a gentleman ; wearing ofi by little and
little all the vicious habits and practices that he had
been used to in the course of his peregrinations. Nay,
15 it is said that he has since been employed in foreign
courts upon national business, with great reputation
to himself and honour to those who sent him, and that
he has visited several countries as a public minister
in which he formerly wandered as a gypsy.
Reasons for Returning to Town.
No. 131. Addison.
*Ipsce rursum concedite sylva.
It is usual for a man who loves country sports to
preserve the game in his own grounds, and divert
himself upon those that belong to his neighbour. My
friend Sir Roger generally goes two or three miles 5
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 flelds, where
he is always sure of finding diversion, when the worst
comes to the worst. By this means the breed about ^o
his house has time to increase and multiply, besides
that the sport is the more agreeable where the game
is the harder to 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, 15
like the fox, seldom preys near his own home.
In the same manner, I have made a month's excur-
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 20
hunted them down with some pleasure to myself, and
I hope to others. I am here forced to use a g^reat dea^
of diligence before I can spring anything to my
mind, whereas in town, whilst I am following one
[ 123 ]
124 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
character, it is ten to one but I am crossed in my way
by another, and put up such a variety of odd crea-
tures in both sexes, that they foil the scent of one
another and puzzle the chase. My greatest difficulty
5 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 re-
lo It is indeed high time for me to leave the country,
since I find the whole neighbourhood begin to grow
very inquisitive after my name and character; my
love of solitude, taciturnity, and particular way of life,
having raised a great curiosity in all these parts.
15 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
me very much alone, and extremely silent when I am
20 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
brought down a ^cunning man with him, to cure the
25 old woman and free the country from her charms.
So that the character which I go under in part of the
neighbourhood is what they here call a ^White Witch.
A justice of peace, who lives about five miles off,
and is not of Sir Roger's party, has, it seems, said
30 twice or thrice at his table, that he wishes Sir Roger
does not harbour a ^Jesuit in his house, and that he
REASONS FOR RETURNING TO TOWN. 125
thinks the gentlemen of the country would do very
well to make me give some account of myself.
On the other side, some of Sir Roger's friends are
afraid the old knight is imposed upon by a designing
fellow ; and, as they have heard that he converses very 5
promiscuously when he is in town, do? not know but
he has brought down with him some ^discarded
Whig, that is sullen and says nothing, because he is
^out of place.
Such is the variety of opinions which are here en- 10
tertained of me, so that I pass among some for a dis-
afifected person, and among others for a popish priest ;
among some for a wizard, and among others for a
murderer; and all this for no other reason that I can
imagine, but because I do not hoot, and hollow, and ^5
make a noise. It is true, my friend Sir Roger tells
them that 'it is my way,' and that I am only a
philosopher; but this will not satisfy them. They
think there is more in me than he discovers, and that
I do not hold my tongue for nothing. 20
For these and other reasons I shall set out for Lon-
don to-morrow, having found by experience that the
country is not a place for a person of my temper, who
does not love jollity and what they call good neigh-
bourhood. A man that is out of humour when an 25
unexpected guest breaks in upon him, and does not
care for sacrificing an afternoon to every chance-
comer, that will be the master of his own time and
the pursuer of his own inclinations, makes but a very
unsociable figure in this kind of life. I shall there- 3°
fore retire into the town, if I may make use of that
126 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
phrase, and get into the crowd again as fast as I can,
in order to be alone. I can there raise what specula-
tions I please upon others without being observed
myself, and at the same time enjoy all the advan-
5 tages of company with all the privileges of solitude.
In the meanwhile, to finish the month and conclude
these my rural speculations, I shall here insert a let-
ter from my friend Will Honeycomb, who has not
lived a month for these forty years out of the smoke
lo of London, and rallies me after his way upon my
"I suppose this letter will find thee picking of
daisies, or smelling to a Mock of hay, or passing away
^5 thy time in some innocent country diversion of the
like nature. I have, however, orders from the club
to summon thee up to town, being all of us cursedly
afraid thou wilt not be able to relish our company
after thy conversations with Moll White and Will
2o Wimble. Pr'ythee don't send us up any more stories
of a 'cock and a bull, nor frighten the town with
spirits and witches. Thy speculations begin to smell
confoundedly of woods and meadows. If thou dost
not come up quickly, we shall conclude thou art in
25 love with one of Sir Roger's dairy-maids. Service to
the knight. Sir Andrew is grown the cock of the club
since he left us, and if he does not return quickly, will
make every mother's son of us ^commonwealth's men.
"Dear Spec, Thine eternally,
30 "Will Honeycomb/'
The Journey Back to London.
No. 132. Steele.
"^Qui, aut tempus quid postulet non videt, aut plura loquitur,
aut se ostentat, aut corum quibuscum est rationem non habet,
is ineptus esse dicitur. — Tull.
Having notified to my good friend Sir Roger that
I should set out for London the next day, his horses 5
were ready at the appointed hour in the evening ; and,
attended by one of his grooms, I arrived at the county
town at twiHght, in order to be ready for the stage-
coach the day following. As soon as we arrived at
the inn, the servant who waited upon me inquired of 10
the ''chamberlain in my hearing what company he had
for the coach. The fellow answered, "^Mrs. Betty
Arable, the great fortune, and the widow her mother ;
a recruiting officer, who took a place because they
were to go ; young Squire Quickset, her cousin, that j^
her mother wished her to be married to ; ^Ephraim the
Quaker, her guardian ; and a gentleman that had
studied himself dumb from Sir Roger de Coverley's."
I observed, by what he said of myself, that according
to his ofifice he dealt much in intelligence ; and 20
doubted not but there was some foundation for his
reports of the rest of the company, as well as for the
whimsical account he gave of me. The next morning
at daybreak we were all called ; and I, who know my
own natural shyness, and endeavour to be as little
E 127 1]
128 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
liable to be disputed with as possible, dressed imme-
diately, that I might make no one wait. The first
preparation for our setting out was, that the captain's
half pike was placed near the coachman, and a drum
5 behind the coach. In the mean time, the drummer,
the captain's ^equipage, was very loud 'that none of
the captain's things should be placed so as to be
spoiled ;' upon which his cloak-bag was fixed ''in the
seat of the coach ; and the captain himself, according
lo to a frequent, though invidious, behaviour of military
men, ordered his man to look sharp that none but
one of the ladies should have the place he had taken
fronting the coach-box.
We were in some little time fixed in our seats, and
15 sat with that dislike which people not too good-
natured usually conceive of each other at first sight.
The coach jumbled us insensibly into some sort of
familiarity; and wfe had not moved above two miles,
when the widow asked the captain what success he
20 had in his recruiting. The officer, with a frankness
he believed very graceful, told her that ''indeed he had
but very little luck, and had suffered much by deser-
tion; therefore should be glad to end his warfare in
the service of her or her fair daughter. In a word,"
25 continued he, "I am a soldier, and to be plain is my
character: you see me, madam, young, sound and
impudent ; take me yourself, widow, or give me to
her ; I will be wholly at your disposal. I am a soldier
of fortune, ha!" This was followed by a vain laugh
^Q of his own, and a deep silence of all the rest of the
THE JOURNEY BACK TO LONDON. 129
company. I had nothing- left for it but to fall fast
asleep, which I did with all speed. ''Come," said he,
"resolve upon it, we will make a wedding at the next
town. We will wake this pleasant companion, who is
fallen asleep, to be the brideman ; and," giving the 5
Quaker a clap on the knee, he concluded, ''this sly
saint, who I'll warrant understands what's what as
well as you or I, widow, shall give the bride as
father." The Quaker, who happened to be a man of
smartness, answered, ''Friend, I take it in good part 10
that thou hast given me the authority of a father over
this comely and virtuous child ; and I must assure
thee, that if I have the giving her, I shall not bestow
her on thee. Thy mirth, friend, savoureth of folly:
thou art a person of a light mind ; thy drum is a type 15
of thee : it soundeth because it is empty. Verily, it is
not from thy fulness, but thy emptiness, that thou
hast spoken this day. Friend, friend, we have hired
this coach in partnership with thee, to carry us to the
great city ; we cannot go any other way. This worthy 20
mother must hear thee if thou wilt needs utter thy
follies ; we cannot help it, friend, I say ; if thou wilt,
we must hear thee. But if thou wert a man of under-
standing, thou wouldst not take advantage of thy
courageous countenance to abash us children of 25
peace. Thou art, thou sayest, a soldier; give quarter
to us, who cannot resist thee. Why didst thou fleer
at our friend, who feigned himself asleep? He said
nothing; but how dost thou know what he con-
taineth? If thou speakest improper things in the -q
I30 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
hearing of this virtuous young virgin, consider it as
an outrage against a distressed person that cannot
get from thee. To speak indiscreetly what we are
obhged to hear, by being Miasped up with thee in
5 this pubHc vehicle, is in some degree assaulting on
the high road."
Here Ephraim paused, and the captain with a
happy and uncommon impudence, which can be con-
victed and support itself at the same time, cries,
lo "Faith, friend, I thank thee; I should have been a
little impertinent if thou hadst not reprimanded me.
Come, thou art, I see, a ^smoky old fellow, and I will
be very orderly the ensuing part of the journey. I
was going to give myself airs, but, ladies, I beg par-
The captain was so little out of humour, and our
company was so far from being soured by this little
ruffle, that Ephraim and he took a particular delight
in being agreeable to each other for the future; and
20 assumed their different provinces in the conduct of
the company. Our reckonings, apartments, and ac-
commodation fell under Ephraim; and the captain
looked to all disputes on the road, as the good be-
haviour of our coachman, and the "right we had of
25 taking place, as going to London, of all vehicles com-
ing from thence. The occurrences we met with were
ordinary, and very little happened which could enter-
tain by the relation of them. But when I considered
the company we were in, I took it for no small good
30 fortune that the whole journey was not spent in im-
THE JOURNEY BACK TO LONDON. 131
pertinences, which to one part of us might be an
entertainment, to the other a suffering. What, there-
fore, Ephraim said when we were almost arrived at
London, had to me an air not only of good under-
standing, but good breeding. Upon the young lady's 5
expressing her satisfaction in the journey, and de-
claring how delightful it had been to her, Ephraim
delivered himself as follows : "There is no ordinary
part of human life which expresseth so much a good
mind, and a right inward man, as his behaviour upon 10
meeting with strangers, especially such as may seem
the most unsuitable companions to him. Such a man,
when he falleth in the way with persons of simplicity
and innocence, however knowing he may be in the
ways of men, will not vaunt himself thereof, but will 15
the rather hide his superiority to them, that he may
not be painful unto them. My good friend," con-
tinued he, turning to the officer, '*thee and I are to
part by and by, and peradventure we may never meet
again. But be advised by a plain man ; modes and 20
apparel are but trifles to the real man ; therefore do
not think such a man as thyself terrible for thy garb,
nor such a one as me contemptible for mine. When
two such as thee and I meet, with affections as we
ought to have towards each other, thou shouldst re- 25
joice to see my peaceable demeanour, and I should
be glad to see thy strength and ability to protect me
Sir Roger and Sir Andrew.
No. 174. Steele.
"Hcec memini, et victum frustra contendere Thyrsin.
There is scarce anything more common than ani-
mosities between parties that cannot subsist but by
their agreement : this was well represented in the sedi-
5 tion of the members of the human body in the old
*Roman fable. It is often the case of lesser confeder-
ate states against a superior power, which are hardly
held together, though their unanimity is necessary for
their common safety ; and this is always the case of
10 the landed and trading interest of Great Britain:
the trader is fed by the product of the land, and the
landed man cannot be clothed but by the skill of the
trader ; and yet those interests are ever jarring.
We had last winter an instance of this at our club,
15 in Sir Roger de Coverley and Sir Andrew Freeport,
between whom there is generally a constant, though
friendly, opposition of opinions. It happened that
one of the company, in an historical discourse, was
observing that "Carthaginian faith was a proverbial
20 phrase to intimate breach of leagues. Sir Roger said
it could hardly be otherwise : that the Carthaginians
were the greatest traders in the world ; and, as gain is
the chief end of such a people, they never pursue any
other: the means to it are never regarded; they will,
[ 132 ]
SIR ROGER AND SIR ANDREW.
if it comes easily, get money honestly ; but if not, they
will not scruple to attain it by fraud or cozenage.
And indeed, what is the whole business of the trader's
account, but to overreach him who trusts to his
memory? But were that not so, what can there great 5
and noble be expected from him whose attention is
forever fixed upon balancing his books and watching
over his expenses ? And at best, let frugality and par
simony be the virtues of the merchant, how much is
his punctual dealing below a gentleman's charity to 10
the poor, or hospitality among his neighbours !
Captain Sentry observed Sir Andrew very diligent
in hearing Sir Roger, and had a mind to turn the dis-
course, by taking notice in general, from the highest
to the lowest parts of human society, there was a 15
secret, though unjust, way among men of indulging
the seeds of ill-nature and envy, by comparing their
own state of life to that of another, and grudging the
approach of their neighbour to their own happiness ;
and on the other side, he who is the less at his ease 20
repines at the other, who, he thinks, has unjustly the
advantage over him. Thus the civil and military lists
look upon each oher with much ill-nature ; the sol-
dier repines at the courtier's power, and the courtier
rallies the soldier's honour; or, to come to lower in- 25
stances, the private men in the horse and foot of an
army, the carmen and coachmen in the city streets,
mutually look upon each other with ill will, when
they are in ^competition for quarters, or the way in
their respective motions. 30
134 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
"It is very well, good captain," interrupted Sir
Andrew: "you may attempt to turn the discourse if
you think fit; but I must, however, have a word or
two with Sir Roger, who, I see, thinks he has paid
5 me off, and been very severe upon the merchant. I
shall not," continued he, "at this time remind Sir
Roger of the great and noble monuments of charity
and public spirit which have been erected by mer-
chants since the Reformation, but at present content
lo myself with what he allows us, parsimony and fru-
gality. If it were consistent with the quality of so
ancient a baronet as Sir Roger, to keep an account,
or measure things by the most infallible way, that of
numbers, he would prefer our parsimony to his hos-
15 pitality. If to drink so many hogsheads is to be hos-
pitable, we do not contend for the fame of that virtue ;
but it would be worth while to consider, whether so
many artificers at work ten days together by my ap-
pointment, or so many peasants made merry on Sir
20 Roger's charge, are the men more obliged. I believe
the families of the artificers will thank me more than
the households of the peasants shall Sir Roger. Sir
Roger gives to his men ; but I place mine above the
necessity or obligation of my bounty. I am in very
25 little pain for the Roman proverb upon the Car-
thaginian traders ; the Romans were their professed
enemies. I am only sorry no Carthaginian histories
have come to our hands : we might have been taught
perhaps by them some proverbs against the Roman
30 generosity in fighting for atid bestowing other peo-
SIR ROGER AN0 SIR ANDREW. 135
pie's goods. But since Sir Roger has taken occasion
from an old proverb to be out of humour with mer-
chants, it should be no offence to offer one not quite
so old in their defence. When a man happens to
break in Holland, they say of him that iie has not 5
kept true accounts.' This phrase, perhaps, among us
would appear a soft or humorous way of speaking,
but with that exact nation it bears the highest re-
proach. For a man to be mistaken in the calculation
of his expense, in his ability to answer future de- 10
mands, or to be ^impertinently sanguine in putting
his credit to too great adventure, are all instances of
as much infamy as with gayer nations to be failing in
courage or common honesty.
"Numbers are so much the measure of everything 15
that is valuable, that it is not possible to demonstrate
the success of any action, or the prudence of any
undertaking, without them. I say this in answer to
what Sir Roger is pleased to say, that iittle that is
truly noble can be expected from one who is ever 25
poring on his cash-book, or balancing his accounts.'
When I have my returns from abroad, I can tell to a
shilling, by the help of numbers, the profit or loss by
my adventure ; but I ought also to be able to show
that I had reason for making it, either from my own 25
experience or that of other people, or from a reason-
able presumption that my returns will be sufficient to
answer my expense and hazard ; and this is never to
be done without the skill of numbers. For instance,
if I am to trade to Turkey, I ought beforehand to 30
136 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
know the demand of our manufactures there, as well
as of their silks in England, and the customary prices
that are given for both in each country. I ought to
have a clear knowledge of these matters beforehand,
5 that I may presume upon sufficient returns to answer
the charge of the cargo I have fitted out, the freight
and ^assurance out and home, the customs to the
queen, and the interest of my own money; and, be-
sides all these expenses, a reasonable profit to myself.
10 Now what is there of scandal in this skill ? What has
the merchant done that he should be so little in the
good graces of Sir Roger? He "throws down no
man's enclosures, and tramples upon no man's corn ;
he takes nothing from the industrious labourer; he
15 pays the poor man for his work ; he communicates his
profit with mankind ; by the preparation of his cargo
and the manufacture of his returns, he furnishes em-
ployment and subsistence to greater numbers than
the richest nobleman ; and even the nobleman is
20 obliged to him for finding out foreign markets for the
produce of his estate, and for making a great addition
to his Vents ; and yet 'tis certain that none of all these
things could be done by him without the exercise of
his skill in numbers.
25 "This is the economy of the merchant ; and the con-
duct of the gentleman must be the same, unless, by
scorning to be the steward, he resolves the steward
shall be the gentleman. The gentleman, no more
than the merchant, is able, without the help of num-
30 bers, to account for the success of any action, or the
SIR ROGER AND SIR ANDREW. 137
prudence of any adventure. If, for instance, the chase
is his whole adventure, his only returns must be the
stag's horns in the great hall and the fox's nose upon
the stable door. Without doubt Sir Roger knows the
full value of these returns ; and if beforehand he had 5
computed the charges of the chase, a gentleman of his
discretion would certainly have hanged up all his
dogs ; he would never have brought back so many
fine horses to the kennel; he would never have gone
so often, like a blast, over fields of corn. If such, too, 10
had been the conduct of all his ancestors, he might
truly have boasted at this day, that the antiquity of
his family had never been "sullied by a trade; a mer-
chant had never been permitted with his whole estate
to purchase a room for his picture in the gallery of 15
the Coverley's, or to claim his descent from the maid
of honour. But 'tis very happy for Sir Roger that
the merchant paid so dear for his ambition. 'Tis the
misfortune of many other gentlemen to turn out of
the seats of their ancestors, to make way for such new 20
masters as have been more exact in their accounts
than themselves ; and certainly he deserves the estate
a great deal better who has got it by his industry than
he who has lost it by his negligence."
Sir Roger in Town.
No. 269. Addison.
^2Evo rarissima nostra
Simplicitas. — Ovid.
I was this morning surprised with a great knock-
ing at the door, when my landlady's daughter came
5 up to me^ and told me that there was a man below
desired to speak with me. Upon my asking her who
it was, she told me it was a very grave elderly per-
son, but that she did not know his name. I imme-
diately went down to him, and found him to be the
10 coachman of my worthy friend Sir Roger de Cover-
ley. He told me that his master came to town last
night, and would be glad to take a turn with me in
^Gray's Inn Walks. As I was wondering in myself
what had brought Sir Roger to town, not having
15 lately received any letter from him, he told me that
his master was come up to get a sight of ^Prince
Eugene, and that he desired I would immediately
I was not a little pleased with the curiosity of the
20 old knight, though I did not much wonder at it,
having heard him say more than once in private dis-
course, that he looked upon Prince Eugenio (for so
the knight always calls him) to be a greater man than
2c I was no sooner come into Gray's Inn Walks, but
[1 138 ]
SIR ROGER IN TOWN. 139
I heard my friend upon the terrace hemming twice
or thrice to himself with great vigor, for he loves to
clear his pipes in good air (to make use of his own
phrase), and is not a little pleased with any one who
takes notice of the strength which he still exerts in 5
his morning hems.
I was touched with a secret joy at the sight of the
good old man, who before he saw me was engaged in
conversation with a beggar-man that had asked an
alms of him. I could hear my friend chide him for 10
not finding: out some work ; but at the same time saw
him put his hand in his pocket and give him six-
Our salutations were very hearty on both sides,
consisting of many kind shakes of the hand, and sev- 15
eral affectionate looks which we cast upon one an-
other. After which the knight told me my good
friend his chaplain was very well, and much at my
service, and that the Sundav before he had made a
most incomparable sermon out of ""Doctor Barrow. 20
*'I have left," says he, "all my affairs in his hands,
and being willing to lay an obligation upon him,
have deposited with him ^thirty marks, to be distrib-
uted among his poor parishioners."
He then proceeded to acquaint me with the welfare 25
of Will Wimble. Upon which he put his hand into
his fob and presented me in his name with a ^tobacco-
stopper, telling me that Will had been busy all the
beginning of the winter in turning great quantities
of them ; and that he made a present of one to every 30
I40 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
gentleman in the country who has good principles,
and smokes. He added that poor Will was at pres-
ent under great tribulation, for that Tom Touchy
had taken the law of him for cutting some hazel
5 sticks out of one of his hedges.
Among other pieces of news which the knight
brought from his country seat, he informed me that
Moll White was dead ; and that about a month after
her death the wind was so very high that it blew
lo down the end of one of his barns. "But for my
own part," says Sir Roger, 'T do not think that the
old woman had any hand in it."
He afterwards fell into an account of the diver-
sions which had passed in his house during the holi-
15 days ; for Sir Roger, after the laudable custom of his
ancestors, always keeps open house at Christmas. I
learned from him that he had killed eight fat hogs
for the season, that he had dealt about his chines
very liberally amongst his neighbours, and that in par-
20 ticular he had sent a string of ^hogs-puddings with a
pack of cards to every poor family in the parish.
"I have often thought," says Sir Roger, "it happens
very well that Christmas should fall out in the mid-
dle of the winter. It is the most dead uncomfortable
25 time of the year, when the poor people would suffer
very much from their poverty and cold, if they had
not good cheer, warm fires, and Christmas gambols
to support them. I love to rejoice their poor hearts
at this season, and to see the whole village merry in
30 my great hall. I allow a double quantity of malt to
SIR ROGER IN TOWN.
my small beer, and set it a running for twelve days
to every one that calls for it. I have always a piece
of cold beef and mince pie upon the table, and am
wonderfully pleased to see my tenants pass away a
whole evening in playing their innocent tricks, and 5
smutting one another. Our friend Will Wimble is
as merry as any of them, and shows a thousand
roguish tricks upon these occasions."
I was very much delighted with the reflection of
my old friend, which carried so much goodness in it. 10
He then launched out into the praise of the ^late Act
of Parliament for securing the Church of England,
and told me, with great satisfaction, that he believed
it already began to take effect, for that a rigid Dis-
senter, who chanced to dine at his house on Christ- 15
mas day, had been observed to eat very plentifully
of his "plum-porridge.
After having dispatched all our country matters,
Sir Roger made several inquiries concerning the
club, and particularly of his old antagonist Sir An- 20
drew Freeport. He asked me with a kind of smile
whether Sir Andrew had not taken advantage of
his absence to vent among them some of his republi-
can doctrines ; but soon after, gathering up the coun-
tenance into a more than ordinary seriousness, "Tell 25
me truly," says he, "don't you think Sir Andrew-
had a hand in the ^Pope's Procession?" — but with-
out giving me time to answer him, **Well, well,"
says he, *'I know you are a wary man, and do not
care to talk of public matters." 30
142 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
The knight then asked me if I had seen Prince
Eugenio, and made me promise to get him a stand
in some convenient place where he might have a full
sight of that extraordinary man, whose presence does
5 so much honour to the British nation. He dwelt very
long on the praises of this great general, and I found
that, since I was with him in the country, he had
drawn many observations together out of his reading
in ^Baker's Chronicle, and other authors, who always
fo lie in his hall window, which very much redound to
the honour of this prince.
Having passed away the greatest part of the morn-
ing in hearing the knight's reflections, which were
partly private and partly political, he asked me if I
j^ would smoke a pipe with him over a dish of coflfee at
Squire's, As I love the old man, I take delight in
complying with everything that is agreeable to him,
and accordingly waited on him to the cofTee-house,
where his venerable figure drew upon us the eyes of
20 the whole room. He had no sooner seated himself
at the upper end of the high table,, but he called for
a clean pipe, a paper of tobacco, a dish of cofifee, a
wax candle, and the ^Supplement, with such an air
of cheerfulness and good-humor, that all the boys in
»^ the coffee-room (who seemed to take pleasure in serv-
ing him) were at once employed on his several er-
rands, insomuch that nobody else could come at a
dish of tea, till the knight had got all his conven-
iences about him.
Sir Roger in Westminster Abbey.
No. 329. Addison.
*Ire tamen restat Numa quo devenit et Ancus.
My friend Sir Roger de Coverley told me t'other
night that he had been reading ^my paper upon West-
minster Abbey, ''in which," says he, "there are a great
many ingenious fancies." He told me at the same 5
time that he observed I had promised another paper
upon the tombs, and that he should be glad to go and
see them with me, not having visited them since he
had read historv. I could not at first imagine how
this came into the knight's head, till I recollected that 10
he had been very busy all last summer upon Baker's
Chronicle, which he has quoted several times in his
disputes with Sir Andrew Freeport since his last com-
ing to town. Accordingly I promised to call upon
him the next morning, that we might go together to 15
I found the knight under his butler's hands, who
always shaves him. He was no sooner dressed than
he called for a glass of the ^widow Trueby's water,
which he told me he always drank before he went 20
abroad. He recommended me to a dram of it at the
same time with so much heartiness that I could not
forbear drinking it. As soon as I had got it down, 1
found it very unpalatable; upon which the knight,,
SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
observing that I had made several wry faces, told me
that he knew I should not like it at first, but that it
was the best thing in the world against the stone or
5 I could have wished, indeed, that he had acquainted
me with the virtues of it sooner; but it was too late
to complain, and I knew what he had done was out of
good will. Sir Roger told me further, that he looked
upon it to be very good for a man whilst he staid in
lo town, to keep ofif infection, and that he got together a
quantity of it upon the first news of the ^sickness be-
ing at Dantzic ; when of a sudden turning short to one
of his servants, who stood behind him, he bid him call
a hackney-coach, and take care it was an elderly man
15 that drove it.
He then resumed his discourse upon Mrs. Trueby's
water, telling me that the widow Trueby was one who
did more good than all the doctors and apothecaries
in the country; that she distilled every poppy that
20 g'^^w within five miles of her ; that she distributed her
water gratis among all sorts of people ; to which the
knight added, that she had a very great ^jointure, and
that the whole country would fain have it a match
between him and her ; "and truly," says Sir Roger,
25 ''if I had not been ^engaged, perhaps I could not have
His discourse was broken oflf by his man's telling
him he had called a coach. Upon our going to it,
after having cast his eye upon the wheels, he asked
the coachman if his axle-tree was good ; upon the fel-
low's telling him he would warrant it, the knight
SIR ROGER IN WESTMINSTER ABBEY. 145
turned to me, told me he looked like an honest man,
and went in without further ceremony.
We had not gone far, when Sir Roger, popping out
his head, called the coachman down from his box, and
upon his presenting himself at the window, asked him 5
if he smoked. As I was considering what this would
end in, he bid him stop by the way at any good
tobacconist's and take in a roll of their best Virginia.
Nothing material happened in the remaining part of
our journey, till we were set down at the west end of 10
As we went up the body of the church, the knight
pointed at the trophies upon one of the new monu-
ments, and cried out, ''A brave man, I warrant him V*
Passing afterwards by ^Sir Cloudsley Shovel, he 15
flung his hand that way, and cried, "Sir Cloudsley
Shovel ! a very gallant man." As we stood before
^Busby's tomb, the knight uttered himself again af-
ter the same manner: ''Dr. Busby! a great man: he
whipped my grandfather ; a very great man ! I should 20
have gone to him myself, if I had not been a block-
head ; a very great man !"
We were immediately conducted into the ^little
chapel on the right hand. Sir Roger, planting him-
self at our historian's elbow, was very attentive to 25
everything he said, particularly to the account he
gave us of the lord who had cut ofif the King of
Morocco's head. Among several other figures he was
very well pleased to see the statesman "Cecil upon his
knees ; and, concluding them all to be great men, 30
146 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
was conducted to the figure which represents that
martyr to good housewifery who died by the ^prick
of a needle. Upon our interpreter's telHng us that
she was a maid of honour to Queen EHzabeth, the
5 knight was very inquisitive into her name and family ;
and, after having regarded her finger for some time,
"I wonder," says he, "that Sir Richard Baker has
said nothing of her in his Chronicle.''
We were then conveyed to the two "coronation
^° chairs, where my old friend, after having heard that
the stone underneath the most ancient of them, which
was brought from Scotland, was called Jacob's Pillar,
sat himself down in the chair, and, looking like the
figure of an old Gothic king, asked our interpreter
^5 what authority they had to say that Jacob had ever
been in Scotland? The fellow, instead of returning
him an answer, told him that he hoped his Honour
would pay his forfeit. I could observe Sir Roger a
little ruffled upon being thus ^trepanned; but our
20 guide not insisting upon his demand, the knight soon
recovered his good humour, and whispered in my ear,
that if Will Wimble were with us, and saw those two
chairs, it would go hard but he would get a tobacco-
stopper out of one or t'other of them.
25 Sir Roger, in the next place, laid his hand upon
Edward the Third's sword, and leaning upon the
pommel of it, gave us the whole history of the Black
Prince ; concluding, that in Sir Richard Baker's
opinion, Edward the Third was one of the greatest
^Q princes that ever sate upon the English throne.
We were then shown Edward the Confessor's tomb ;
SIR ROGER IN WESTMINSTER ABBEY. 147
upon which Sir Roger acquainted us that he was the
first who ^touched for the evil : and afterwards Henry
the Fourth's, upon which he shook his head, and told
us there was fine reading in the casualties of that
Our conductor then pointed to that monument
where there is the figure of one of our English kings
^without a head ; and upon giving us to know that the
head, which was of beaten silver, had been stolen away
several years since, "Some Whig, I'll warrant you," ic
says Sir Roger; "you ought to lock up your kings
better; they will carry off the body too, if you don't
The glorious names of Henry the Fifth and Queen
EHzabeth gave the knight great opportunities of 15
shining, 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 20
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
old friend, which flows out towards every one he con- 25
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,
telling him that he should be very glad to see him at
his lodgings in Norfolk Building, and talk over these 3o
matters with him more at leisure.
Sir Roger at the Play.
No. 335. Addison.
^Respicere exemplar vitce morumque jubebo
Doctum imitatorem, et veras hinc ducere voces.
My friend Sir Roger de Coverley, when we last met
together at the club, told me that he had a great mind
5 to see the new tragedy with me, assuring me at the
same time that he had not been at a play these twen-
ty 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
10 Church of England comedy. He then proceeded to
inquire of me who this ""Distressed Motlier was ; and,
upon hearing that she was Hector's widow, he told
me that her husband was a brave man, and that, when
he was a schoolboy, he had read his life at the end
^5 of the dictionary. My friend asked me, in the next
place, if there would not be some danger in coming
home late, in case the ^Mohocks should be abroad.
"I assure you," says he, "I thought I had fallen into
their hands last night ; for I observed two or three
20 lusty black men that followed me half-way up Fleet
Street, and mended their pace behind me in propor-
tion as I put on to get away from them. You must
know," continued the knight, with a smile, "I fancied
they had a mind to hunt me; for I remember an
[ 148 t]
SIR ROGER AT THE PLAY. 149
honest gentleman in my neighbourhood 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 been their design ; for as I am an old 5
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 "ii
these gentlemen had any such intention, they did not
succeed very well in it; for I threw them out," says 10
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. How-
ever," says the knight, ''if Captain Sentry will make
one with us to-morrow night, and if you will both of ^5
you call 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 you, for John tells me he
has got the fore-wheels mended."
The captain, who did not fail to meet me there at 20
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 25
plants, to attend their master upon this occasion.
When he had placed him in his coach, with my-
self 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 30
SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
having marched up the entry in good order, the cap-
tain and I went in with him, and seated him betwixt us
in the pit. As soon as the house was full, and the can-
dles lighted, my old friend stood up and looked about
5 him with that pleasure which a mind seasoned with
humanity naturally feels in itself, at the sight of a
multitude of people who seem pleased with one an-
other and partake of the same common entertain-
ment. I could not but fancy to myself, as the old
lo man stood up in the middle of the pit, that he made
a very proper centre to a tragic audience. Upon
the entering of a "Pyrrhus, the knight told me that he
did not believe the King of France himself had a bet-
ter strut. I was indeed very attentive to my old
j^ friend's remarks, because I looked upon them as a
piece of natural criticism, and 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 appeared much concerned for
2Q 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 re-
fusal to her lover's importunities, he whispered me in_
25 the ear, that he was sure she would never have him ;
to which he added, with a more than ordinary ve-
hemence, "You can't imagine, sir, what it is 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
part dwelt so much upon my friend's imagination
SIR ROGER AT THE PLAY. 151
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 this play according to your dramatic rules, as you 5
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
The fourth act very luckily begun before I had 10
time to give the old gentleman an answer. "Well,"
says the knight, sitting down with great satisfaction,
"I suppose we are ^now to see Hector's ghost." He
then renewed his attention, and from time to time
fell a-praising the widow. He made indeed a little 15
mistake as to one of her pages, whom, at his first
entering he took for Astyanax; but he quickly set
himself right in that particular, though, at the same
time, he owned he should have been very glad to have
seen the little boy, "who," says he, "must needs be a 20
very fine child by the account that is given of him."
Upon Hermione's going of¥ with a menace to Pyr-
rhus, the audience gave a loud clap, to which Sir
Roger added, "On my word, a notable young bag-
gage !" 25
As there was a very remarkable silence and still-
ness in the audience during the whole action, it was
natural for them to take the opportunity of these in-
tervals between the acts, to express their opinion of
the players and of their respective parts. Sir Roger, 30
hearing a cluster of them praise Orestes, struck in
152 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
with them, and told them that he thought his friend
Pylades was a very sensible man. As they were
afterwards applauding Pyrrhus, Sir Roger put in a
second time. *'And let me tell you," says he,
5 "though he speaks but little, I like the ''old fellow in
whiskers as well as any of them." Captain Sentry,
seeing two or three wags who sat near us lean with
an attentive ear towards Sir Roger, and fearing lest
they should ^smoke the knight, plucked him by the
lo elbow, and whispered something in his ear that lasted
till the opening of the fifth act. The knight was
wonderfully attentive to the account which Orestes
gives of Pyrrhus his death, and at the conclusion of it,
told me it was such a bloody piece of work that he
15 was glad it was not done upon the stage. Seeing
afterwards Orestes in his raving fit, he grew more
than ordinary serious, and took occasion to mor-
alise, in his way, upon an evil conscience, adding, that
" Orestes in his madness looked as if he saw some-
As we were the first that came into the house, so
we were the last that went out of it ; being resolved
to have a clear passage for our old friend, whom we
did not care to venture among the justling of the
25 crowd. Sir Roger went out fully satisfied with his
entertainment, and we guarded him to his lodgings
in the same manner that we had brought him
to the playhouse ; being highly pleased, for my own
part, not only with the performance of the excellent
30 piece which had been presented, but with the satisfac-
tion which it had given to the good old man.
Will Honeycomb's Love Affairs.
^o. 359. Steele.
'■Torva lecena lupum sequitur, lupus ipse capellam:
Florentem cytisum sequitur lasciva capella.
As we were at the club last night, I observed
that my friend Sir Roger, contrary to his usual cus-
tom, sat very silent, and, instead of minding what ^
was said by the company, was whistling to himself
in a very thoughtful mood, and playing with a cork.
I jogged Sir Andrew Freeport, who sat between us ;
and, as we were both observing him, we saw the
knight shake his head, and heard him say to him- j^
self, "A foolish woman! I can't believe it." Sir
Andrew gave him a gentle pat upon the shoulder,
and offered to lay him a bottle of wine that he was
thinking of the widow. My old friend started, and
recovering out of his brown study, told Sir Andrew j^
that once in his life he had been in the right. In
short, after some little hesitation. Sir Roger told
us, in the fullness of his heart, that he had just re-
ceived a letter from his steward, which acquainted
him that his old rival and antagonist in the country, ^o
Sir David Dundrum, had been making a visit to the
widow. ''However," says Sir Roger, "I can never
think that she'll have a man that's half a year older
than I am, and a noted ^Republican into the bargain."
154 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
Will Honeycomb, who looks upon love as his par-
ticular province, interrupting our friend with a jaunty
laugh, "I thought, knight," says he, "thou hadst lived
long enough in the world not to pin thy happiness
5 upon one that is a woman and a widow. I think
that without vanity I may pretend to know as much
of the female world as any man in Great Britian;
though the chief of my knowledge consists in this,
that they are not to be known." Will immediately,
10 with his usual fluency, rambled into an account of
his own amours. **I am now," says he, "upon the
verge of fifty," (though, by the way, we all knew he
was turned of threescore). "You may easily guess,"
continued Will, "that I have not lived so long in the
15 world without having had some thoughts of settling
in it, as the phrase is. To tell you truly, I have
several times tried my fortune that way, though I
can't much boast of my success.
"I made my first addresses to a young lady in
20 the country ; but, when I thought things were pretty
well drawing to a conclusion, her father happening
to hear that I had formerly boarded with a surgeon,
the old ^put forbid me his house, and within a fort-
night after married his daughter to a fox-hunter in the
"I made my next applications to a widow, and
attacked her so briskly that I thought myself within
a fortnight of her. As I waited upon her one morn-
ing, she told me that she intended to keep her ready
,0 money and jointure in her own hand, and desired me
WILL HONEYCOMB'S LOVE AFFAIRS. 155
to call upon her attorney in ^Lyon's Inn, who would
adjust with me what it was proper for me to add to it.
I was so rebuffed by this overture, that I never in-
quired either for her or her attorney afterwards.
"A few months after, I addressed myself to a 5
young lady who was an only daughter, and of a good
family. I danced with her at several balls, squeezed
her by the hand, said soft things to her, and, in short,
made no doubt of her heart ; and though my fortune
was not equal to hers, I was in hopes that her fond 10
father would not deny her the man she had fixed her
affections upon. But as I went one day to the house,
in order to break the matter to him, I found the
whole family in confusion, and heard, to my un-
speakable surprise, that Miss Jenny was that very 15
morning run away with the butler.
"I then courted a second widow, and am at a loss
to this day how I came to miss her, for she had often
commended my person and behaviour. Her maid,
indeed, told me one day that her mistress had said she 20
never saw a gentleman with such a spindle pair of
legs as Mr. Honeycomb.
"After this I laid siege to four heiresses succes-
sively, and, being a handsome young dog in those
days, quickly made a breach in their hearts ; but I ^5
don't know how it came to pass, though I seldom
failed of getting the daughter's consent, I could
never in my life get the old people on my side.
"I could give you an account of a thousand other
unsuccessful attempts, particularly of one which I 30
156 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
made some years since upon an old woman, v«'hom I
had certainly borne away with flying colours, if her
relations had not come pouring in to her assistance
from all parts of England; nay, I believe I should
5 have got her at last, had not she been carried ofif by
a hard frost."
As Will's transitions are extremely quick, he turned
from Sir Roger, and, applying himself to me, told
me there was a passage in the ''book I had con-
10 sidered last Saturday which deserved to be writ in
letters of gold ; and, taking out a pocket Milton,
read the ^following lines, which are part of one of
Adam's speeches to Eve after the fall: —
— Oh ! why did our
15 Creator wise ! that peopled highest heaven
With spirits masculine, create at last
This novelty on earth, this fair defect
Of nature, and not fill the world at once
With men, as angels, without feminine?
20 Or find some other way to generate
Mankind? This mischief had not then befallen,
And more that shall befall ; innumerable
Disturbances on earth, through female snares,
And strait conjunction with this sex: for either
2c He never shall find out fit mate, but such
As some misfortune brings him, or mistake;
Or whom he wishes most shall seldom gain,
Through her perverseness ; but shall see her gain'd
By a far worse; or, if she love, withheld
30 By parents ; or his happiest choice too late
Shall meet, already linked and wedlock-bound
To a fell adversary, his hate or shame :
Which infinite calamity shall cause
To human life, and household peace confound.
WILL HONEYCOMB'S LOVE AFFAIRS. 157
Sir Roger listened to this passage with great atten-
tion, and, desiring Mr. Honeycomb to fold down a
leaf at the place and lend him his book, the knight
put it up in his pocket, and told us that he would read
over those verses again before he went to bed.
Sir Roger at Vauxhall.
No. 383. Addison.
^Criminibus debent hortos.
As I was sitting in my chamber, and thinking on a
subject for my next Spectator, I heard two or three
irregular ^bounces at my landlady's door, and upon
5 the opening of it, a loud cheerful voice inquiring
whether the philosopher was at home. The child
who went to the door answered very innocently that
he did not lodge there. I immediately recollected
that it was my good friend Sir Roger's voice; and
10 that I had promised to go with him on the water to
^Spring Garden, in case it proved a good evening.
The knight put me in mind of my promise, from
the bottom of the staircase, but told me that if I was
speculating he would stay below till I had done.
^5 Upon my coming down, I found all the children of
the family got about my old friend, and my landlady
herself, who is a notable prating gossip, engaged in
a conference with him ; being mightily pleased with
his stroking her little boy upon the head, and bidding
20 him be a good child and mind his book.
We were no sooner come to the ^Temple Stairs,
but we were surrounded with a crowd of watermen,
offering us their respective services. Sir Roger, after
having looked about him very attentively, spied one
SIR ROGER AT VAUXHALL. 159
with a wooden leg, and immediately gave him orders
to get his boat ready. As we were walking towards
it, "You must know," says Sir Roger, '*I never make
use of anybody to row me that has not either lost a
leg or an arm. I would rather bate him a few 5
strokes of his oar than not employ an honest man
that has been wounded in the Queen's service. If I
was a lord or a bishop, and kept a barge, I would
not put a fellow in my livery that had not a wooden
My old friend, after having seated himself, and
trimmed the boat with his coachman, who, being a
very sober man, always serves for ballast on these oc-
casions, we made the best of our way for Foxhall.
Sir Roger obliged the waterman to give us the his- j^
tory of his right leg ; and, hearing that he had left it
at ^La Hogue, with many particulars which passed in
that glorious action, the knight, in the triumph of his
heart, made several reflections on the greatness of
the British nation ; as, that one Englishman could 20
beat three Frenchmen; that we could never be in
danger of popery so long as we took care of our fleet ;
that the Thames was the noblest river in Europe ;
that London Bridge was a greater piece of work
than any of the seven wonders of the world ; wuth 25
many other honest prejudices which naturally cleave
to the heart of a true Englishman.
After some short pause, the old knight turning
about his head twice or thrice, to take a survey of
this great metropolis, bid me observe how thick the 30
l6o SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
city was set with churches, and that there was scarce
a single steeple on this side ^Temple Bar. *'A
most heathenish sight !" says Sir Roger ; "there is
no religion at this end of the town. The ^fifty new
5 churches will very much amend the prospect; but
church work is slow, church work is slow."
I do not remember I have any where mentioned in
Sir Roger's character, his custom of saluting every
body that passes by him with a good morrow, or
lo a good night. This the old man does out of the
overflowings of his humanity ; though, at the same
time, it renders him so popular among all his country
neighbours, that it is thought to have gone a good
way in making him once or twice ^knight of the shire.
15 He cannot forbear this exercise of benevolence even
in town, when he meets with any one in his morning
or evening walk. It broke from him to several
boats that passed by us upon the water; but, to the
knight's great surprise, as he gave the good night to
20 two or three young fellows a little before our landing,
one of them, instead of returning the civility, asked
us what queer old put we had in the boat,
with a great deal of the like Thames ribaldry.
Sir Roger seemed a little shocked at first, but at
25 length, assuming a face of magistracy, told us that 'if
he were a Middlesex justice, he would make such
vagrants know that her Majesty's subjects were no
more to be abused by water than by land.'
We were now arrived at Spring Garden, which is
30 exquisitely pleasant at this time of year. When I
SIR ROGER AT VAUXHALL. i6l
considered the fragrancy of the walks and bowers,
with the choirs of birds that sung upon the trees,
and the loose tribe of people that walked under their
shades, I could not but look upon the place as a
kind of ^Mahometan paradise. Sir Roger told me it 5
put him in mind of a little coppice by his house in
the country, which his chaplain used to call an aviary
of nightingales. "You must understand," says the
knight, ''there is nothing in the world that pleases a
man in love so much as your nightingale. Ah, 1°
Mr. Spectator, the many moonlight nights that I
have walked by myself, and thought on the widow by
the music of the nightingales!" He here fetched a
deep sigh, and was falling into a fit of musing, when
*a mask, who came behind him, gave him a gentle 15
tap upon the shoulder and asked him if he would,
drink a bottle of mead with her. But the knight,
being startled at so unexpected a familiarity, and
displeased to be interrupted in his thoughts of the
widow, told her 'she was a wanton baggage,' and 20
bid her go about her business.
We concluded our walk with a glass of Burton
ale and a slice of "hung beef. When we had done
eating ourselves, the knight called a waiter to him,
and bid him carry the remainder to the waterman that 25
had but one leg. I perceived the fellow stared upon
him at the oddness of the message, and was going to
be saucy ; upon which I ratified the knight's com-
mands with a peremptory look.
As we were going out of the garden, my old friend, 30
1 62 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
thinking himself obHged, as a "member of the quorum,
to animadvert upon the morals of the place, told the
mistress of the house, who sat at the bar, that he
should be a better customer to her garden, if there
were more nightingales and fewer improper persons.
The Death of Sir Roger.
No. 517. Addison.
^Heu pietas! heu prisca fides.
We last night received a piece of ill news at our
club which very sensibly afflicted every one of us. I
question not but my readers themselves will be
troubled at the hearing of it. To keep them no long- ^
er in suspense, *Sir Roger de Coverley is dead. He
departed this life at his house in the country, after a
few weeks' sickness. Sir Andrew Freeport has a
letter from one of his correspondents in those parts,
that informs him the old man caught a cold at the 10
county sessions, as he was very warmly promoting
an address of his own penning, in which he succeeded
according to his wishes. But this particular comes
from a whig justice of peace, who was always Sir
Roger's enemy and antagonist. I have letters both 15
from the chaplain and Captain Sentry, which mention
nothing of it, but are filled with many particulars to
the honour of the good old man. I have likewise a
letter from the butler, who took so much care of me
last summer when I was at the knight's house. As 20
my friend the butler mentions, in the simplicity of his
heart, several circumstances the others have passed
over in silence, I shall give my readers a copy of his
letter, without any alteration or diminution.
[ 163 ]
l64 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
"Knowing that you was my old master's good
friend, I could not forbear sending you the melan-
choly news of his death, which has afflicted the
5 whole country, as well as his ' poor servants, who
loved him, I may say, better than we did our lives.
I am afraid he caught his death the last county
sessions, where he would go to see justice done to
a poor widow woman and her fatherless children,
lo that had been wronged by a neighbouring gen-
tleman ; for you know, sir, my good master was
always the poor man's friend. Upon his coming
home, the first complaint he made was that he had
lost his roast-beef stomach, not being able to touch
15 a sirloin, which was served up according to custom ;
and you know he used to take great delight in it.
From that time forward he grew worse and worse,
but still kept a good heart to the last. Indeed, we
were once in great hopes of his recovery, upon a kind
20 message that was sent him from the widow lady
whom he had made love to the forty last years of
his life ; but this only proved a lightning before
death. He has bequeathed to this lady, as a token of
his love, a great pearl necklace, and a couple of
25 silver bracelets set with jewels, which belonged to
my good old lady his mother. He has bequeathed
the fine white gelding that he used to ride a hunting
upon to his chaplain, because he thought he would
be kind to him ; and has left you all his books. He
-Q has, moreover, bequeathed to the chaplain a very
THE DEATH OF SIR ROGER. 165
pretty tenement with good lands about it. It being
a very cold day when he made his will, he left for
'mourning, to every man in the parish, a great frieze-
coat, and to every woman a black riding-hood. It
was a most moving sight to see him take leave of 5
his poor servants, commending us all for our fidelity,
whilst we were not able to speak a word for weeping.
As we most of us are grown gray-headed in our dear
master's service, he has left us pensions and legacies
which we may live very comfortably upon the re- 10
maining part of our days. He has bequeathed a
great deal more in charity, which is not yet come to
my knowledge, and it is peremptorily said in the
parish that he has left money to build a steeple to the
church ; for he was heard to say some time ago that 15
if he lived two years longer, Coverley church should
have a steeple to it. The chaplain tells everybody
that he made a very good end, and never speaks of
him without tears. He was buried, according to his
own directions, among the family of the Coverleys, 20
on the left hand of his father Sir Arthur. The coffin
was carried by six of his tenants, and the pall held
up by six of the quorum. The whole parish followed
the corpse with heavy hearts, and in their mourning
suits ; the men in frieze, and the women in riding- 25
hoods. Captain Sentry, my master's nephew, has
taken possession of the Hall-house and the whole
estate. When my old master saw him a little be
fore his death, he shook him by the hand, and wished
him joy of the estate which was falling to him, desir- 3°
l66 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
ing him only to make a good use of it, and to pay
the several legacies and the gifts of charity, which
he told him he had left as quit-rents upon the estate.
The captain truly seems a courteous man, though he
5 says but little. He makes much of those whom my
master loved, and shows great kindness to the old
house-dog that you know my poor master was so
fond of. It would have gone to your heart to have
heard the moans the dumb creature made on the
1^ day of my master's death. He has ne'er enjoyed
himself since; no more hp= ^^nv of us. 'Twas the
melancholiest day for the poor people that ever hap-
pened in Worcestershire. This being all from,
15 **Your most sorrowful servant,
"P. S. — My master desired, some weeks before he
died, that a book, which comes up to you by the car-
rier, should be given to Sir Andrew Freeport in his
This letter, notwithstanding the poor butler's man-
ner of writing it, gave us such an idea of our good
old friend, that upon the reading of it there was not
a dry eye in the club. Sir Andrew, opening the
25 book, found it to be a collection of acts of parliament.
There was in particular the ^Act of Uniformity, with
some passages in it marked by Sir Roger's own hand.
Sir Andrew found that they related to two or three
points which he had disputed with Sir Roger the
THE DEATH OF SIR ROGER. 167
last time he appeared at the club. Sir Andrew, who
would have been merry at such an incident on an-
other occasion, at the sight of the old man's hand-
writing burst into tears, and put the book into his
pocket. Captain Sentry informs me that the knight
has left ^rings and mourning for every one in the club.
Will Honeycomb's Marriage.
No. 530. Addison.
^Sic visum Veneri; cui placet unpares
Formas atque animos sub juga aJienea
Scevo mittere cum joco. — Hor.
It is very usual for those who have been severe
5 upon marriage in some part or other of their Hves,
to enter into the fraternity which they have ridiculed,
and to see their raillery return upon their own heads.
I scarce ever knew a woman-hater that did not,
sooner, or later, pay for it. Marriage, which is a
10 blessing to another man, falls upon such a one as a
judgment. Mr. ^Congreve's Old Bachelor is set
forth to us with much wit and humour, as an example
of this kind. In short, those who have most dis-
tinguished themselves by railing at the sex in general,
15 very often make an honourable amends, by choosing
one of the most worthless persons of it for a com-
panion and yoke-fellow. Hymen takes his revenge
in kind on those who turn his mysteries into ridicule.
My friend Will Honeycomb, who was so unmerci-
20 fully witty upon the women in a ^couple of letters
which I lately communicated to the public, has given
the ladies ample satisfaction by marrying a farmer's
daughter ; a piece of news which came to our club by
the last post. The Templar is very positive that he has
25 married a dairy-maid ; but Will, in his letter to me on
[ 168 ]
WILL HONEYCOMB'S MARRIAGE. 169
this occasion, sets the best face upon the matter that
he can, and gives a more tolerable account of his
spouse. I must confess I suspected something more
than ordinary, when, upon opening the letter, I found
that Will was fallen off from his former gaiety, hav- 5
ing changed "Dear Spec," which was his usual salute
at the beginning of the letter, into "My worthy
friend," and subscribed himself in the latter end of
it at full length, William Honeycomb. In short, the
gay, the loud, the vain Will Honeycomb, who had 10
made love to every great fortune that has appeared in
town for above thirty years together, and boasted of
favours from ladies whom he had never seen, is at
length wedded to a plain country girl.
His letter gives us the picture of a converted rake. 15
The sober character of the husband is dashed with
the man of the town, and enlivened with those little
cant phrases, which have made my friend Will often
thought very pretty company. But let us hear what
he says for himself. 20
"My Worthy Friend,
"I question not but you, and the rest of my ac-
quaintance, wonder that I, who have lived in the
smoke and gallantries of the town for thirty years
together, should all on a sudden grow fond of a 25
country life. Had not my dog of a steward run away,
as he did without making up his accounts, I had still
been immersed in sin and ^sea-coal. But since my
late forced visit to my estate, I am so pleased with it
170 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
that I am resolved to live and die upon it. I am
every day abroad among my acres, and can scarce
forbear filling my letter with breezes, shades, flowers,
meadows, and purling streams. The simplicity of
5 manners, which I have heard you so often speak of,
and which appears here in perfection, charms me
wonderfully. As an instance of it I must acquaint
you, and by your means the whole club, that I have
lately married one of my tenant's daughters. She is
lo born of honest parents ; and though she has no por-
tion, she has a great deal of virtue. The natural
sweetness and innocence of her behaviour, the fresh-
ness of her complexion, the unaffected turn of her
shape and person, shot me through and through
15 every time I saw her, and did more execution upon
me in grogram, than the greatest beauty in town or
court had ever done in brocade. In short, she is
such an one as promises me a good heir to my estate ;
and if by her means I cannot leave to my children
20 what are falsely called the gifts of birth, high titles,
and alliances, I hope to convey to them the more
real and valuable gifts of birth — strong bodies and
healthy constitutions. As for your fine women, I
need not tell thee that I know them. I have had my
25 share in their graces ; but no more of that. It shall
be my business hereafter to live the life of an honest
man, and to act as becomes the master of a family.
I question not but I shall draw upon me the raillery
of the town, and be treated to the tune of ^The Mar-
30 riage-Jiater Matched; but I am prepared for it, I
WILL HONEYCOMB'S MARRIAGE. 171
have been as witty upon others in my time. To tell
thee truly, I saw such a tribe of fashionable young
fluttering coxcombs shot up that I did not think my
post of an ^homme de ruelle any longer tenable. I felt
a certain stiffness in my limbs, which entirely de- 5
stroyed that jauntiness of air I was once master of.
Besides, for I may now confess my age to thee, I have
been eight-and-forty above these twelve years. Since
my retirement into the country will make a vacancy
in the club, I could wish you would fill up my place 10
with my friend Tom Dapperwit. He has an infinite
deal of fire, and knows the town. For my own
part, as I have said before, I shall endeavour to live
hereafter suitable to a man in my station, as a prudent
head of a family, a good husband, a careful father 15
(when it shall so happen) and as
"Your most sincere friend
"and humble servant,
The Club is Dissolved.
No. 549. Addison.
"Quamvis digressu veteris confusus amici,
Laudo tarn en. — ^Juv.
I believe most people begin the world with a reso-
lution to withdraw from it into a serious kind of
5 solitude or retirement when they have made them-
selves easy in it. Our unhappiness is that we find
out some excuse or other for deferring such our
good resolutions till our intended retreat is cut off by
death. But among all kinds of people there are none
10 who are so hard to part with the world as those who
are grown old in the heaping up of riches. Their
minds are so warped with their constant attention to
gain, that it is very difficult for them to give their
souls another bent, and convert them towards those
15 objects which, though they are proper for every
stage of life, are so more especially for the last.
Horace describes an old usurer as so charmed with
the pleasures of a country life that in order to make
a purchase he called in all his money; but what was
20 the event of it? Why, in a very few days after he
put it out again. I am engaged in this series of
thought by a discourse which I had last week with
my w^orthy friend Sir Andrew Freeport, a man of
so much natural eloquence, good sense, and probity
25 of mind, that I always hear him with a particular
[ 172 d
THE CLUB IS DISSOLVED. 173
pleasure. As we were sitting together, being the sole
remaining members of our club, Sir Andrew gave me
an account of the many busy scenes of life in which
he had been engaged, and, at the same time, reckoned
up to me abundance of those lucky hits, which at 5
another time he would have called pieces of good for-
tune ; but in the temper of mind he was then, he term-
ed them mercies, favours of Providence, and bless-
ings upon an honest industry. "Now," says he, "you
must know, my good friend, I am so used to consider 10
myself as creditor and debtor, that I often state my ac-
counts after the same manner with regard to heaven
and my own soul. In this case, when I look upon
the debtor side, I find such innumerable articles that
I want arithmetic to cast them up ; but when I look 15
upon the creditor side, I find little more than blank
paper. Now, though I am very well satisfied that it
is not in my power to balance accounts with my
Maker, I am resolved, however, to turn all my future
endeavours that way. You must not therefore be 20
surprised, my friend, if you hear that I am betak-
ing myself to a more thoughtful kind of life, and if
I meet you no more in this place."
I could not but approve so good a resolution, not-
withstanding the loss I shall suffer by it. Sir An- 25
drew has since explained himself to me more at large
in the following letter, which is just come to my
hands : —
"Good Mr. Spectator,
"Notwithstanding my friends at the club have 30
174 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
always rallied me when I have talked of retiring from
business, and repeated to me one of my own say-
ings, that "a merchant has never enough till he has
got a little more," I can now inform you, that there
5 is one in the world who thinks he has enough, and
is determined to pass the remainder of his life in the
enjoyment of what he has You know me so well
that I need not tell you, I mean by the enjoyment of
my possessions the making of them useful to the
^° public. As the greatest part of my estate has been
hitherto of an unsteady and volatile nature, either
tossed upon seas or fluctuating in funds, it is now
fixed and settled in substantial acres and tenements.
I have removed it from the uncertainty of stocks,
15 winds, and waves, and disposed of it in a considerable
purchase. This will give me great opportunity of
being charitable in my way, that is, in setting my
poor neighbours to work, and giving them a com-
fortable subsistence out of their own industry. My
20 gardens, my fish-ponds, my arable and pasture
grounds, shall be my several hospitals, or rather
workhouses, in which I propose to maintain a great
many indigent persons, who are now starving in
my neighbourhood. I have got a fine spread of
25 improvable lands, and in my own thoughts am already
ploughing up some of them, fencing others, planting
woods, and draining marshes. In fine, as I have
my share in the surface of this island, I am resolved
to make it as beautiful a spot as any in her Majesty's
30 dominions ; at least there is not an inch of it which
THE CLUB IS DISSOLVED. 175
shall not be cultivated to the best advantage, and do
its utmost for its owner. As in my mercantile em-
ployment I so disposed of my afifairs that, from what-
ever corner of the compass the wind blew, it was
bringing home one or other of my ships, I hope as a 5
husbandman to contrive it so, that not a shower of
rain or a glimpse of sunshine shall fall upon my es-
tate without bettering some part of it, and contribu-
ting to the products of the season. You know it has
been hitherto my opinion of life, that it is thrown ^^
away when it is not some way useful to others. But
when I am riding out by myself in the fresh air on
the open heath that lies by my house, I find several
other thoughts growing up in me. I am now of opin-
ion that a man of my age may find business enough ^^
on himself, by setting his mind in order, preparing it
for another world, and reconciling it to the thoughts
of death. I must, therefore, acquaint you, that be-
sides those usual methods of charity, of which I have
before spoken, I am at this very instant finding out a ^^
convenient place where I may build an almshouse,
which 1 intend to endow very handsomely, for a
dozen superannuated husbandmen. It will be a great
pleasure to me to say my prayers twice a day with
men of my own years, who all of them, as well as my- ^^
self, may have their thoughts taken up how they
shall die, rather than how they shall live. I remember
an excellent saying that I learned at school ''Finis
coronat opus. You know best whether it be in Vir-
gil or in Horace; it is my business to apply it. If 30
176 SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY PAPERS.
your affairs will permit you to take the country air
with me sometimes, you shall find an apartment fitted
up for you, and shall be every day entertained with
beef or mutton of my own feeding, fish out of my own
ponds, and fruit out of my own gardens. You shall
have free egress and regress about my house, without
having any questions asked you ; and, in a word, such
a hearty welcome as you may expect from
**Your most sincere friend
*'and humble servant,
The club of which I am a member being entirely
dispersed, I shall consult my reader next week upon
a project relating to the institution of a new one.
lOCQUE (1720 AND 1741)
Page 1, lines 1-2, Motto: Horace, Ars Poetica, 143-
144. — His purpose is to bring light out of smoke, not smoke
from flame, that he may thence display his shining won-
P. 1, 1. 5. A black or a fair man. — That is, a man of
black or light hair and complexion.
P. 2, 1. 6. Depending. — Pending is the more modern
form of the participle in the legal sense of "undecided."
P. 2, 1. 15. Coral. — A toy, made up of a stick of coral
with ring, small bells and sometimes a whistle attached.
Compare Beaumont and Fletcher, The Captain, III, 5:
"I'll be thy nurse, and get a coral for thee,
And a fine ring of bells."
P. 2, 1. 19. Nonage. — Minority or legal infancy: non
P. 3, 1. 14. Pyramid. — An allusion to the long and tedious
discussion in Addison's time about the exact dimensions
of the pyramids, especially of the Great Pyramid. John
Greaves (1605-1652), an Oxford professor, had visited
Egypt and had published a volume on the measurements
of the pyramids. The intimation in Addison's words that
a man's education was not complete until he had measured
a pyramid is, of course, in ridicule of the pedantic con-
troversy on the subject.
P. 3, 11. 23-24. A round of politicians at Will's.— That is,
a company (in a circle) of politicians at Will's Coffee-
house. Coffee-houses were the most popular centers of
resort in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries
for hearing the latest news and discussions of political
and literary matters. Of numerous coffee-houses in Lon-
don, Will's, situated on the northwest corner of Russell
and Bow streets, Covent Garden, was the most famous
because of the presence for long years of the poet John
Dryden. Around Dryden gathered the writers and wits
of the day as well as an idle crowd curious to see the
great man. The proprietor of the house was William
Urwin. The modern club is a development of the coffee-
Child's (in St. Paul's churchyard), St. James's (St.
James street), Grecian (the Strand), were other promi-
nent coffee-houses. The cocoa-tree was a celebrated
chocolate-house on St. James street and headquarters for
Tories as the St. James w^as for Whigs.
P. 3, 1. 27. Postman. — The name of a popular penny
journal edited by a Frenchman, M. Fonvive.
P. 4, 1. 4. Theatres both of Drury Lane and the Hay-
market. — The two most prosperous London theatres in
Queen Anne's reign, one being called the "Theatre Royal
in Drury Lane", the other the "Queen's Theatre in the
Haymarket." Drury Lane was built in 1663 and the Hay-
market in 1705.
P. 4, 1. 5. The Exchange. — The Royal Exchange,
founded by Sir Thomas Gresham in 1566, burned a hun-
dred years later and afterwards rebuilt, w'as the daily
meeting-place of merchants. A Frenchman, writing in
1708, calls it "the most noble edifice of its kind in the
world". See Spectator 69.
P. 4, 1. 7. Jonathan's. — A coffee-house in 'Change Alley,
the resort of stock-jobbers.
P. 4, 1. 19. Blots. — Referring to the game of back-
gammon, a "blot" being a single exposed piece liable to be
P. 6, 1. 4. Discoveries. — Disclosures.
P. 6, 1. 14. MP. Buckley's in Little Britain. — Mr. Buckley
was the publisher of the Spectator. Little Britain. — A
neighborhood east of Christ's Hospital, off Aldersgate
street. The Dukes of Brittany once lived there; hence
the name. See "Little Britain" in Irving's Sketch-Book.
P. 7, 11. 1-2. Motto: Juvenal, Satire VII, 167: Six others
and more cry out with one voice.
P. 7, 1. 6. Country-dance. — A dance like the Virginia
reel: partners, arranged opposite in the two facing rows,
dance in couples down the lines and back to their
original places. Sv/ift suggested the name Sir Roger de
Coverley (a popular dance-tune) for Addison's knight,
according to Steele,
P. 7, 1. 13. Humour. — This interesting word has here
the older meaning of 'peculiarity of disposition'. For the
changes of meaning which the word has undergone, see
P. 7, 11. 22-23. Lord Rochester and Sir George
Etherege. — Fashionable courtiers and wits in the dissolute
reign of Charles II. Etherege was the founder of the
brilliant but corrupt Comedy of Manners of which Con-
greve was the most striking writer.
P. 7, I. 24. Bully Dawson. — A swaggering imitator of the
manners and morals of the higher social classes.
P. 8, 1. 20. Quorum. — The number of justices of the
peace necessary to constitute "a bench" for trying cases.
Formerly those justices noted for their learning were
specially designated for the "quorum," but now all
justices are "of the quorum".
Quarter-session is the name of a criminal court held
quarterly by justices of the peace in English counties.
P. 8, 1. 23. Game Act. — A law against poaching in which
certain restrictions as to the ownership of guns and bows
and hunting-grounds were set forth. The rights of the
landed class and the preservation of game were the vital
points, no doubt, in Sir Roger's explanation of the passage.
P. 8, 1. 25. Inner Temple. — One "of the four societies of
lawyers in London called the Inns of Court, the other
three being the Middle Temple, Lincoln's Inn, and Gray's
P. 9, 11. 2-3. Aristotle and Longinus
Littleton or Coke.— Aristotle (384-322 B. C.) and Longinus
(210-273 A. D.), Greek philosophers, were classic authori-
ties in literary criticism, while Littleton (1421-1481) and
Coke 1549-1634) were established authorities on English]
P. 9, 1. 11. Demosthenes and Tully. — The greatest
orator, respectively, of the Greeks and Romans. Tully
is Marcus Tullius Cicero. The lawyer whom Steele is
here characterizing understood classic philosophy and
oratory much better than he did English law. Indeed,
during the latter part of the seventeenth and the first
half of the eighteenth century classic standards determined
the point of view of writers and professional men in
general. This is apparent throughout the Spectator.
Page 9, 11. 24 and 28. New |nn * * * * The Rose.—
New Inn was a precinct of Middle Temple noted for its
attractive grounds and walks. The Rose was a well-
known tavern in Russell street near Drury Lane Theatre,
and hence a favorite resort of playgoers. In 1711 plays
began at five or six o'clock, two or three hours later than
in Shakespeare's time.
The dinner-hour was three or four o'clock. The London
beau liked to spend an hour before the play at a coffee-
P. 10, 1. 23. Wit.— Intellectual ability.
P. 11, 1. 21. Disposing. — Making military appointments
according to individual fitness alone.
P. 11, 1. 30. Civil cowardice. — Civic cowardice, or a
weak sense of the duties of citizenship. The older mean-
ing of civil (pertaining to citizenship) is still found in such
expressions as "civil suit", "civil service", "civil law",
P. 12, 1. 13. Humourists. — Odd or eccentric persons.
See note to p. 7, 1. 13.
P. 12, 11. 20, 23, 26. Well turned. — Well shaped or
graceful. Habits. — Dress, garments. Mode.— Manner of
dressing, fashion. Fashions of the day were borrowed
from the French court.
P. 13, 1. 2. Conversation. — Association.
P. 13, 1. 6. Dui<e of Monmouth. — James Stuart, the pre-
tended Prince of Wales, who invaded England in 1685,
was defeated at the battle of Sedgemoor, and shortly
afterwards executed. Though of no great ability, the Duke
of Monmouth was handsome and of engaging manners.
He was son of Charles II and Lucy Walters.
P. 13, 11. 27 and 30. Exact good breeding.— Perfect polite-
ness. Preferments. — Conspicuous positions of honor or
P. 14, 1. 1. Chamber-counsellor. — An office-lawyer who
simply gives advice.
P. 15, 11. 1, 2. Motto: Juvenal, Satire XIII, 54.— They
used to think it a serious crime, one deserving of death,
if a youth did not rise up in the presence of an older
P. 15, 1. 8. Wit and sense.— In the age of Queen Anne
keenness of intellect and mere conversational brilliancy
were held in the highest esteem. Outwardly polished,
urban society was inwardly corrupt, caring more for form
than for spirit both in religion and literature. The bril-
liant comedy of the latter half of the seventeenth century
was morally rotten. Steele thought that wit and good
morals should go together.
P. 15, 1. 21. Quick admonitions. — Lively warnings.
P. 16, 1. 7. Lincoln's Inn Fields. — A large square near
Lincoln's Inn, frequented until 1735 (when it was fenced
off) by beggars and other disreputable characters.
P. 16, 1. 23. Equipage. — Showy equipment, whether in
dress, retinue of servants, carriage of state, furniture, etc.
P. 17, 1. 6. I ntentively.— Attentively.
P. 17,41. 10, 17. Manners. — Conduct, behavior. Polite. —
Polished, outwardly refined.
P. 17, 1. 24. Sir Richard Blackmore.— A dull but highly
respected poet of the time whose verses were more vir-
tuous than brilliant. The quotation in the text is from
the preface to an epic poem of his called Prince Arthur.
P. 18, 1. 23. Mode and gallantry. — Fashion and polite-
P. 18, 1. 27. Common.— That is, usual.
P. 19, 1. 4. Ridiculous as age. — That is, judging from the
present disrespect to age. Disrespect to age is the 'vice'
mentioned two lines below. See motto to this paper.
P. 19, 1. 24. Polite.— See note to p. 17, 1. 17.
P. 20, 11. 1, 2. Motto: Juvenal, Satire XV, 159.— The
wild beast spares those marked like itself.
P. 20, 1. 5, 15. Deputed. — Appointed, chosen. Preju-
dice. — Injury, detriment.
P. 21, 1. 1. Opera and the puppet show. — The Italian
opera, a recent importation upon the English stage, is
often ridiculed in the pages of the Spectator (See Nos.
5, 13, 14, 18, 22). The fantastic absurdities in language
and scenery of these foreign shows provoked. Addison and
other patriotic Englishmen to caustic criticism. Besides,
the utter unreality of such spectacles shocked the common
sense of conservative men. For a time, however, they
were very fashionable, and hence the offense to some
ladies, referred to by Will Honeycomb, caused by Addi-
son's reflections on the opera and puppet show in a num-
ber of the Spectator the week before.
P. 21, 1. 19. Templar.. — A lawyer who had rooms in the
Temple in London. The Inns of Court, mentioned on page
21, line 30, consisted of the Inner and the Middle Tem-
ple, the residence of lawyers or students of law. These
buildings stand on the site of the old Temple occupied
during the middle ages by the Knights Templars.
P. 21, 1. 22. The wits of King Charles's time. — Reference
to the writers of the Comedy of Manners during the reign
of Charles II — Congreve, Wycherley, Vanbrugh, and
others, whose plays are chiefly concerned with intrigues.
The moral purpose of the Spectator is shown in its attacks
upon the licentiousness of London society.
P. 21, 11. 24, 25. Horace, Juvenal, Boileau. — ^Horace (65-8
B. C.) and Juvenal (first century A. D.) were the greatest
Roman satirists; Boileau (1636-1711), a French satirist and
critic in the reign of Louis XIV. These three were
regarded in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries
as supreme authorities in literary criticism.
P. 21, 1. 30. Inns of Court.— See note to p. 21, 1. 19.
P. 22, 11. 28, 30. Order . . . quality. — Persons of
high official or social rank.
P. 23, 1. 6. Depressed. — Kept down by poverty. Com-
pare this literal use of the word in Johnson's famous lines
(London, lines 172, 173) :
"This mournful truth is every where confessed,
Slow rises worth, by poverty depressed".
P. 23, 11. 8-12. — In this sentence Addison well states
the general purpose of the Spectator as a social critic.
Fantastical vices are those which are too absurd or
grotesque to be discussed in the pulpit.
P. 24, 1. 4. Roman triumvirate. — After Julius Caesar's
death, the Roman world was divided among three men,
Octavius (later, Augustus Csesar), Mark Antony, and
Lepidus. For an account of their quarrel, see Plutarch's
Life of Mark Antony and Shakespeare's Julius Caesar,
P. 24, 1. 16. Punch. — The chief performer in the "Punch
and Judy" puppet show. Robert Powell, a dwarfish hunch-
back, kept a famous puppet show in Covent Garden in
Addison's time and grew wealthy from extensive patron-
age. Punch sometimes talked pretty freely; hence Addi-
son's use of the name for any person of extravagant
speech. In No. 262 of the Spectator Addison again asserts
that it is not his aim to attack specific individuals.
P. 25, 11. 1-3. Motto: Horace, Odes I, XVII, lines 14-17.—
Hence for thee will flow to the full from kindly horn a
rich abundance of rural honors.
P. 25, 1. 10. Humour. — Peculiarity of disposition, whim,
P. 25, 1. 19. Family. — In the sense of household or
P. 26, 1. 5, Pad. — An easy-going horse.
P. 26, 1. 19. Is pleasant upon. — That is, deals jestingly
with. Compare the word pleasantry.
P. 26, 1. 27. Prudent. — Politic; having an eye to self-
P. 27, 11. 4-6. In the nature of a chaplain, etc. — The
country clergy were in Addison's time not held in specially
high esteem. Reflections upon their character and learn-
ing may be found in much of the prose literature of the
P. 27, 1. 13. Humourist. — A man of eccentric disposition.
See note, p. 25, 1. 10.
P. 27, 1. 24. Insulted with Latin and Greek. — Conver-
sations of the day were liberally sprinkled with classical
quotations; but country squires were likely to forget their
Latin and Greek. Sir Roger did not want a chaplain
more learned than himself; at any rate, he must not
'show it'. Sir Roger's amiable chaplain is not unlike Dr.
Primrose in Goldsmith's Vicar of Wakefield.
P. 28, 11. 28, 29. Bishop of Asaph .... Dr.
South. — The Bishop of Asaph was probably William Fleet-
wood (1656-1723). Robert South (1633-1716) had been
chaplain at the Court. They were both eloquent preachers.
P. 29, 11. 2, 3. Archbishop Tillotson, Bishop Saunderson,
Dr. Barrow, Dr. Calamy. — Famous divines of the day. Til-
lotson was Archbishop of Canterbury; Saunderson was
Bishop of Lincoln; Isaac Barrow was a notable mathema-
tician as well as theologian; Calamy was a Presbyterian.
P. 30, 11. 1-3. Motto: Phaedrus, Epilogue 2. — The
Athenians erected a mighty statute to Aesop, slave though
he was, and placed it on an enduring foundation, that all
should know how open lies the path tO' Honour.
P. 30, 1. 21. Beforehand. — ^In good pecuniary condition;
having a considerable surplus after expenses are paid.
P. 31, 1. 5. Stripped. — That is, stripped of his livery;
dismissed from service.
P. 31, 1. 25. Pleasant on this occasion. — Jocular on this
subject. See note, p. 26, 1. 19.
P. 32, 1. 7. So good a husband. — So economical; sa
good a manager. Compare the phrase, "to husband one's
strength, resources", etc.
P. 32, 1. 11. When a tenement falls. — A legal expression
signifying the termination of the right to occupy a house
or lands. In English law a 'fine' is a sum of money paid
by the tenant of a knight whenever he makes over his
land or house to another. Sir Roger would remit this
'fine' in the case of a good servant, or make the 'stranger',
who leases the property, pay it.
P. 32, 1. 23. Visitants. — Somewhat ceremonial or for-
P. 33, 1. 10. Undone patrons. — Masters who had suffered
a reverse of fortune or financial loss.
P. 33, 1. 19. Prentice. — That is, bound him out to learn
a trade or business from some one. 'Prentice^ is, of
course, the colloquial form of 'apprentice'.
P. 34, 1. 4. Took off the dress. — That is, removed the
livery or badge of service from the man who had saved
P. 35, 1. 1. Motto: Ph?edrus, Fadles II, V, 3.— Out of
breath to no purpose; busy about many things, and yet
P. 35, 1. 4. Mr. William Wimble.— The word 'wimble'
means 'gimlet'; this has led some editors to suggest
that Addison meant to call Will Wimble a bore. Pro-
fessor Winchester adds: "Quite as possibly he meant that
the fellow was always turning about, yet making a very
small hole". — (Winchester: De Coverley Papers, p. 229).
P. 35, 1. 11. Jack.— A pickerel.
P. 35, 1. 20. Eton. — The famous English school on the
Thames near Windsor.
P. 36, 1. 4. Younger brother to a baronet. — The eldest
son inherited his father's estate and title; the younger
sons being without means and not trained to any business
were generally dependent upon their relatives. In Tatler
No. 256, Steele draws a portrait of a younger son of the
nobility: "He was the cadet of a very ancient family;
and 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 honor, than to 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 nut-crackers, in which he only worked
for his diversion, in order to make a present now and
then to his friends."
P. 36, 1. 13. May-fly.— Artificial fly for fishing.
P. 36, 1. 15. Officious.— Kind; obliging.
P. 36, 1. 17. Correspondence. — Friendly intercourse or
P. 36, 1. 18. Tulip-root. — There was a mania for tulips
in England in the seventeenth century which lasted, in
a modified form, through the first decade or two of the
eighteenth. Tulip-bulbs were imported from Holland,
sometimes at fabulous prices, as much as a thousand
pounds, it is said, being paid for one particularly fine
bulb. They became objects of speculation on the
exchange, until finally the Dutch government passed a law
limiting the price of a bulb. In Addison's time they were
P. 37, 1. 1. Character. — Characterization.
P. 37, 1. 8. Discovered. — Showed, disclosed.
P. 38, 1. 5. Quail-pipe. — A pipe for imitating and call-
ing up quail.
P. 39, 11. 6, 8. Improper. — Unfit. Turned.— Adapted by
P. 39, 1. 12. Twenty-first speculation. — In Spectator No.
21, Addison discusses the overcrowding of the three
learned professions, law, medicine, and divinity.
P. 40, 1. 1. Motto: Horace, Satires, II, II, 3.— Wise, but
not according to rule.
P. 40, 11. 23, 24. Jetting.— Jutting, or projecting. Habit.—
Costume or dress.
P. 40, 1. 25. Yeomen of the guard.— The attendants or
bodyguard of the king on state occasions, one hundred
men who wore the kind of dress mentioned in the pre-
ceding lines. They were the "beefeaters" whose uniform
is still worn by the guards in the grounds of the Tower
P. 41, 1. 8. Tilt-yard. — Tournament- ground formerly in
St. James Park.
P. 41, 1. 13. Within the target.— That is, within the
P. 41, 1. 23. Coffee-house. — Jenny Mann's Coffee-house.
P. 42, 1. 2. The new fashioned petticoat. — Bell-shaped,
widening from the waist, hooped. The drum-shaped
petticoat, or 'wheel farthingale', seems to have been worn
by Sir Roger's grandmother.
P. 42, 1. 11. White-pot. — Made of milk, eggs, sugar,
bread, or rice. Resembling rice or bread pudding.
P. 42, 1. 27. Slashes. — Slits cut in the cloth in order
to show a differently colored kind of goods beneath.
P. 42, 1. 31. Sonneteer. — A writer of sonnets or short
love poems, light, airy, and graceful; a typical Cava-
P. 43, 11. 14, 15. A citizen of our name, — A member
of the trading or business class as opposed to the landed
gentry. Sir Roger's family did not like to acknowledge
kinship or obligation to a tradesman of the same name;
but financial need had caused them to 'wink at' some
P. 43, 1. 28. Gentleman. — A man of gentle birth, belong-
ing to the landed aristocracy.
P. 44, 1. 1. Knight of this shire. — Representative in
Parliament from that shire.
P. 44, 1. 13. Husbandman. — Good manager or economist.
P. 44, 1. 25. Battle of Worcester.— September 3, 1651,
between the "Roundheads" under Cromwell, the victors,
and the Royalists, the army of Charles I.
P. 45, 1. 1. Motto: Virgil, Aeneid, 11, 755. — Horror on
all sides seizes the mind; the very silence terrifies.
P. 46, 1. 20. Association of Ideas. — The reference is to
Book II, Chapter 33, Section 10, of Essay on Human
Understanding by John Lrocke, the English philosopher
who lived between 1632 and 1704.
P. 47, 1. 15. By that means. — For that reason.
P. 48, 11. 24, 25. He tells us, etc.— That is, Lucretius,
Roman poet and philosopher, of the first century B. C.,
in his De Rerum Natura, Book IV.
P. 49, 11. 3, 4, ff. Josephus.— The Jewish historian
(37-95 A. D.) The passage is quoted from Josephus'
Antiquities of the Jews, Book XVII, Chapter 13.
P. 49, 1. 26. Impertinent. — Irrelevant, inapplicable.
P. 51, 1. 1. Motto: Pythagoras, Fragments. — First
honour the immortal gods, as the law commands.
P. 51, 1. 16. Puts both the sexes upon appearing, etc. —
That is, stimulates or incites them to look and talk their
P. 51, 1. 20. 'Change. — Short form of 'Exchange'; place
of business, especially for the buying and selling of
P. 52, 1. 20. Particularities. — Eccentricities, peculiarities.
Note the loose grammar in the use of pronouns in lines
19 and 27.
P. 53, 1. 8. Not polite enough. — Not sufficiently refined.
P. 53, 1. 28. The clerk's place.— The clerk leads the
responses in the church service.
P. 54, 1. 11. Tithe-stealers. — Those who do not pay
their tithes or church dues.
P. 54, 1. 24. Very hardly. — With difficulty, scarcely.
P. 55, 1. 1. Motto: Virgil, Aeneid, IV, 4. — Her looks
are fixed deep in his heart.
P. 56, 1. 29. Assizes. — Sessions of court in English
countries for trying civil or criminal cases.
P. 57, 1. 1. Event. — Result, issue.
P. 57, 1. 9. With a murrain to her. — Plague take her!
P. 58, 1. 15. Rallied me. — Dealt jestingly with; bantered.
P. 59, 1. 13. Discovered.— See p. 37, 1. 8.
P. 60, 1. 8. Sphinx. — Fabulous monster, having a
woman's head and a lion's body, who destroj-'ed those
unable to answer her riddle. Oedipus answered her riddle
and so conquered her and saved his countrymen.
For the 'riddle' and other details, see Classical Dic-
tionary. 'Posing is short lor 'opposing', that is, answering
her. The more exact meaning of the word, however, is
to silence by asking a puzzling question, such as the
Sphinx, rather than her opponent, was accustomed to
P. 60, 1. 9. And that there v^ere, etc. — And if there
were any such thing as talking to her.
P. 60, 1. 16. Tucker*. — A narrow piece of lace or muslin
folded across the neck or bosom above the dress.
P. 60, 1. 22. Tansy. — A seventeenth and eighteenth
century dish made of eggs, sugar, rose water, cream, and
butter, and flavored with tansy.
P. 61, 11. (^-S That of Martial, etc.— That epigram of
Martial, Latin poet of about 100 A. D., Bk. I, 69. Dum
tacet, hanc loquitur: Even when silent he is speaking of
P. 62, 1. 1. Motto: Horace, Epistles, I, XVIII, 24.— The
shame of poverty and the dread of it.
P. 62, 1. 22. Dipped. — Mortgaged. Eating out with
usury. — Wasting away from payment of interest.
P. 62, 1. 24. His proud stomach. — His proud nature or
P. 63, 1. 20. Personate. — To keep up appearances, to
act the part of unembarrassed ownership.
P. 64, 1. 1. Laertes has fifteen hundred pounds — Laertes
and Irus are classical names used for imaginary land-
owners. In Greek legend Laertes was the father of
Ulysses (Homer's Odyssey) and Irus was a beggar.
Laertes has to pay one-fifth of his income of fifteen
hundred pounds as interest on his mortgage of six thou-
sand, or three hundred pounds a year.
P. 65, 11. 1, 3. Stockjobbing. — Speculating in stocks.
Riot. — Reckless living.
P. 65, 11. 13-17 ff. Mr. Cowley, etc.— Abraham Cowley
(1618-1667), widely read and oft-quoted English poet in
the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. He is known
to-day mainly through his prose essays.
The 'elegant author' who published his works is Thomas
Sprat, Bishop of Rochester. Sprat edited Cowley's poems
and wrote a biography of him in 1680.
'Great Vulgar' (line 22) is a reference to Cowley's
paraphrase of Horace's famous ode (Bk. Ill, I), Odi Pro-
fanum Vulgus :
"Hence, ye profane, I hate ye all,
Both the great vulgar and the small."
The last sentence in this paragraph is an example of
Steele's careless English.
P. 65, 1. 29. Point to himself.— That is, appoint for
himself, or point out (designate) for himself.
P. 66, 11. 10, 11. Mechanic being. — Machine-like way of
P. 66, 1. 24. If e'er ambition, etc. — Verses taken from
Cowley's essay on Greatness.
P. 67, 1. 1. Motto: Juvenal, Satires, X, 356.— That a
sound mind may be in a sound body.
P. 68, 1. 6. Humours.— Fluids. According to ancient
physicians there were four cardinal or principal liu^nours
or fluids in the body, the blood, choler, bile, phlegm.
Health, physical and mental, depended upon a proper
combination of these humours in the individual. This old
notion influenced popular speech long after It was scientifi-
P. 68, I. 14. Those spirits.— What we call 'animal
P. 68, 11. 18, 19. Spleen. — Supposed seat of melancholy,
or ill-humour. Vapours. — Depression of spirits, the blues.
P. 70, 1. 25. Doctor Sydenham. — ^Dr. Thomas Sydenham
(1624-1689), a famous English physician.
P. 70, 1. 29. Medicina Gymnastica. — A book on the
Power of Exercise by Francis Fuller, published in 1704.
P. 71, 1. 10. Latin treatise of exercise. — Artis Gymnas-
ticae apud Antiquos, by Hieronymus Mercurialis, Venice,
P. 72. This paper (No. 116) was written by Eustace
Budgell, a kinsman of Addison as well as a literary and
political associate of his. He was clerk to Addison during
the latter's Secretaryship in Ireland. After holding several
important positions, Budgell gave himself wholly to
literature, contributing from time to time a paper to the
Tatler and the Spectator. Despondent at the loss of
large sums of money through speculation, accused of
forgery, and pursued by enemies, this gifted man drowned
himself in the Thames in 1736.
P. 72, 11. 1, 2. Motto: Virgil, Georgics, III, 43.—
Cithaeron calls with noisy clamour, and the dogs of
Tygetus loudly bay. (Cithaeron and Tygetus are moun-
tains in Greece).
P. 72, 1. 10. Bastiie. — The famous old prison in Paris
which was destroyed in 1789, at the beginning of the
P. 73, 11. 16, 17. Stone-horse that unhappily staked
itself. — Stallion that impaled itself in trying to jump the
P. 73, 11. 20, 21. Beagle.— A small hound. Stop-
hounds. — Those trained to stop promptly at the hunts-
P. 73, 1. 25. Consort. — Harmony of sounds; concert.
P. 74, 11. 6, 7. My hounds are bred, etc. — Midsummer
Night's Dream, IV, I, line 124 ff. Flew'd. — Deepmouthed
with long chaps or upper lips. Sanded. — Of a sandy color.
P. 74, 1. 9. Dew-lapped. — ^With skin hanging down
beneath the throat.
P. 74, 1. 15. See p. 26, 1. 5.
P. 77, 1. 10. Pascal. — French philosopher and mathe-
matician of the seventeenth century. As the following
lines in the text indicate, Pascal's life was spent in phy-
P. 78, II. 15-24. These lines are from Dryden's Epistle
to his Kinsman, J. Dryden, Esq., of Chesterton. John
Dryden (1631-1700) was the chief English poet of the
seventeenth century after Milton's death. He was,
besides, a great critic and a prolific dramatist.
P. 79, 1. 1. Motto: Virgil, Eclogues, VIII, 108.— They
shaped for themselves visions.
P. 79, 1. 3. Neuter.— Neutral.
P. 79, 11. 11, 12 ff. Relations that are made.— Stories
about witches. The belief in witches still existed in the
eighteenth century among the masses of the people;
indeed, it was not confined to the uneducated, for Dr.
Samuel Johnson was not even as skeptical on the subject
as Addison. In 1716 a Mrs. Hicks and her little daughter
were executed at Huntingdon as witches, while the law
making witchcraft a capital crime was not repealed until
P. 80, 1. 16. Otway.— Thomas Otway (1651-1685),
writer of tragedies. His Venice Preserved and The Orphan
are among the few really strong poetic plays of the
Restoration period. The lines quoted in the text are from
The Orphan, II, 1.
P. 80, 1. 26. Weeds.— Garments.
P. 81, 1. 5. Carried her several hundred miles. — Allu-
sion to the superstition that witches rode on broom-
sticks. Witches were supposed to be tortured inwardly
with pins (lines 10-12).
P. 82, 1. 21. Trying experiments with her. — If the
accused floated she was held to be bewitched; if she
sank, she was innocent.
P. 82, 1. 26. Bound her over to appear, etc. — That is,
would have cited her to appear for trial before the county
P. 83, 1. 2. Dote. — To grow weak-minded from age.
P. 84, 1. 1. Motto: Virgil, Aeneid, IV, 72.— The fatal
arrow sticks in his side.
P. 85, 1. 22. Pleasant. — Amusing.
P. 86, 1. 21. Personated. — Assumed.
P. 88, 1. 14. This woman. — The widow, of course.
P. 89, 1. 6. To see them work. — Comes into the garden
to see the bees work in the glass hive, having left her
Steele frequently uses a personal pronoun with an
antecedent merely implied, not expressed.
P. 90, 11. 1, 2. Motto: Virgil, Eclogues, I, 20.— The city
they call Rome, Melibaeus, I foolishly thought like our
P. 90, 1. 12. Several.— Various.
P. 90, 1. 19. Complaisance. — Courtesy.
P. 90, 1. 20. Conversation. — Social intercourse.
P. 91, 1. 3. Carriage. — Manner.
P. 91, 1. 16. Conversed in the world. — That is, never
associated with the "modish" or fashionable world. 'Them'
in line 13 refers to the fashions; the subject of 'are'
(in the same line) is, of course, 'town' thought of indi-
P. 91, 1. 20. To do.— A-do; fuss.
P. 93, 11. 20, 21. The Revolution ... red coats and
laced hats. — The Revolution of 1688 when James II was
dethroned and William of Orange made king. The red
coats and laced hats (i. e., edged with gold lace) came
into fashion about this time, but were not fashionable in
1711 when Addison was writing. Addison gives an exceed-
ingly interesting account of women's head-dress in Spec-
P. 93, 1. 24. Upon the western circuit.— That is, of the
eight judicial divisions of England and Wales.
P. 94, 1. 1. Motto: Publius Syrus, Frag^nents. — An agree-
able companion on the road is as good as a coach.
P. 94, 1. 21. Assizes. — Periodical sessions of court held
in an English county by at least one judge from the
P. 95, 1. 2. Yeoman. — A freeholder, in order of rank
just below the gentry.
P. 95, 1. 3. Just within the Game Act.— That is,
possessed of an income of forty pounds or more; for
according to a law passed in the reign of James I, no
person with a smaller income was allowed to shoot game.
P. 95, 1. 19. Till. — We should now use 'that' in correla-
tion with 'so' in the preceding line.
P. 95, 1. 22. Cast and been cast. — That is, has won and
P. 98, 1. 7. Aggravation. — That is, by adding to the
features; distortion of the features.
P. 98, 1. 8. Saracen's Head. — After the Crusades a
Saracen's, or Turk's head was frequently painted on sign-
boards. Hotels in English towns and villages are often
designated by some painted figure hanging over the door;
as, for example, the Red Horse Inn at Stratford. This
custom arose from the need of distinguishing buildings
by some sign easily intelligible to illiterate people. See
Spectator No. 28.
P. 98, 11. 26, 27. "Much might be said on both sides".—
Sir Roger's' famous decision has become a proverb.
P. 99, 11. 1-4. Motto: Horace, Odes IV, 33. — Learning
helps native talent and right training makes strong the
heart; but when character is wanting, natural endow-
ments are brought to shame.
P. 100, 1. 15. Novel. — The word is not used here in the
modern sense, but means a short story or tale. The
modern novel, with long complicated plot reflecting con-
temporary life, began with Richardson's Pamela about
1740. Before this, translations of Italian novelle, or
romantic tales, were common in England. There had,
of course, been long stories of adventure like Defoe's,
but none in which character was realistically treated.
The character-sketches in the Spectator and Tatler con-
tributed to the making of the novel.
P. 101, 1. 3. Gazette. — Official newspaper of the British
government in which are announced appointments, court
P. 101, 1. 12. According to Mr. Cowley. — In Cowley's
Essay on the Danger of Procrastination occurs this
sentence: "There is no fooling with life when it is once
turned beyond forty".
See note to p. 65, 1. 13.
P. 103, 1. 10. Inns of Court.— See note p. 21, 1. 19.
P. 106, 11. 1, 2. Motto: Virgil, Aeneid, VI, 832.— Do not,
my sons, accustom yourselves to such great strife nor
direct your strength against your country's breast.
P. 106, 1. 4. Malice of parties. — During the first years
of the eighteenth century party feeling ran high. Whig
and Tory hurled epithets at each other in public and in
private. Most writers of the day show their partisanship,
but Addison wisely kept the Spectator out of politics,
although his Whig preferences are now and then apparent.
P. 106, 1. 7. Roundheads and Cavaliers. — The Round-
heads were the followers of Cromwell during the Civil
War which resulted in the beheading of Charles I and the
establishment of a Protectorate; the Cavaliers were
Royalists. The Roundheads were so called because they
wore short hair, while the Cavaliers had flowing locks.
P. 107, 1. 4. Prejudice of the land-tax. — That is, bring
about an increase of taxes to pay war-debts. The Whigs
supported the War of the Spanish Succession in Queen
Anne's reign, and the landed class, or Tories (to which
Sir Roger belonged) opposed it.
P. 107, 1. 27. Plutarch. — The Greek writer of the first
century A. D., whose Lives, or biographies of famous
Greeks and Romans, every young person ought to read.
The quotation in the text is, in substance, from his
treatise On the Usefulness of Enemies.
P. 108, 1. 7. That great rule.— The Golden Rule: Luke
P. 109, 1. 10. Scheme. — Statement or setting forth of
P. 109, 1. 29. Guelphs and Ghibellines. — Great political
parties in Italy from the twelfth to the fifteenth century
which were constantly struggling for the supremacy. The
Guelphs were the partisans of the Pope, and the Ghibel-
lines the supporters of the Emperor.
P. 110, 1. 1. The League. — The great Catholic League
of the sixteenth century under the leadership of the
Duke of Guise, the purpose of which was to insure a
Catholic successor to Henry III of France.
P. 112, 1. 1. Motto: Virgil, Aeneid, X, 108.— Whether
he be Trojan or Rutulian, he shall receive no difference
of treatment from me.
P. 118, 1. 22. Diodorus Siculus. — A Greek historian,
bom in Sicily, who lived in the times of Julius Csesar and
Augustus. Of his voluminous History of the World only
P. 114, 1. 27. Cock-match.— A cock-fight. Cock-fighting
was a favorite amusement of country gentlemen.
P. 115, 1. 13. Bait. — Stop for a meal or for refresh-
P. 116, 1. 23. Fanatic. — Equivalent here to Puritan.
P. 118, 11. 1, 2. Motto: Virgil, Aeneid, VII, 748,— They
always delight to collect fresh booty and to live by plun-
P. 118, 1. 24. Crosses their hands. — That is, makes the
sign of the cross in the gypsy's hand with the coin as
she gives it, possibly against evil influence.
P. 119, 1. 19. Cassandra. — Daughter of King Priam of
Troy. Apollo had endowed her with the gift of prophecy,
but afterwards becoming angry with her, he decreed that
she should never be believed. Hence, though a true
prophetess, she was regarded as a false one.
P. 119, 1. 20. Lines. — According to believers in palm-
istry, certain significant lines in the palm of the hand.
So in line 29, page 119, the gypsy discovers a widow's face
outlined in Sir Roger's hand.
P. 119, 1. 30. Idle baggage. — Saucy, worthless person.
P. 123, 1. 1. Motto: Virgil, Eclogues, X, 63. — Once more,
ye woods, adieu.
P. 124, 1. 7. Cities of London and Westminster. — In
Addison's time London and Westminster were far less
compactly built together than now, being popularly
thought of as separate, though adjoining cities.
P. 124, 1. 24. Cunning man. — A fortune-teller; clair-
voyant; wonderworker. •
P. 124, 1. 27. White Witch.— That is, a good witch, as
opposed to black and gray witches who worked evil
P. 124, 1. 31. Jesuit. — Jesuits, or members of the
Catholic Society of Jesus, were regarded with suspicion
by the Whigs as being secretly allied with the Tories
for the purpose of restoring the Stuarts to the throne.
The justice of the peace mentioned, "not of Sir Roger's
party," was of course a Whig.
P. 125, 11. 7, 9. Discarded Whig . . . out of place.—
That is, a Whig not in favor with his own party, but 'out
of place' among such Tories as Sir Roger and the country
gentry. Addison lost his Irish secretaryship in 1710
through the fall of the Whig ministry, and it is possible
that the word 'discarded' may be a personal allusion, for
Addison was 'out of political place'.
P. 126, 1. 14. Smelling to a lock of hay. — Smelling of,
or at, a handful of hay. *To' was often used provincially
or colloquially for 'at', 'on', etc.
P. 126, 1. 21. Cock and bull. — Cock and bull stories are
wildly improbable tales.
P. 126, 1. 28. Commonwealth's men. — ^Whigs or Republi-
cans, supposed to entertain principles somewhat similar
to those of the supporters of the Commonwealth in Crom-
P. 127, 11. 1-3. Motto: Cicero, Be Oratore, II, 4. — That
man who does not see what the occasion demands, or
who talks too much or makes a display of himself, or
who regards not the person he is with, is said to be
P. 127, 1. 11. Chamberlain. — The head servant of an
P. 127, 1. 12. Mrs. Betty Arable. — ^We should now say
Miss Betty Arable, 'Mrs.' (Mistress) was at one time
applied both to married and unmarried women, while
'Miss' was applied to girls, or used in a depreciatory
sense. Cf. 'Miss Jenny,' p. 155.
P. 127, 1, 16. Ephraim the Quaker. — Ephraim was a
name often given to Quakers, in allusion, no doubt, to
the man mentioned in Psalm LXXVIII, 9, whose children
refused to fight.
P. 128, 1. 6. Equipage. — Humorous reference to the
captain's single attendant as if he were an entire retinue.
P. 128, 1. 8. In the seat.— That is, directly under the
P. 130, 1. 4. Hasped up. — That is, fastened, or shut up.
P. 130, 1. 24. Right we had of taking place.— The roads
at that time were often so narrow as to make it difficult,
tor two coaches to pass unless one of them stopped. The
coach bound for London had the right of way.
P. 132, 1. 1. Motto: Virgil, Eclogues, VII, 69.— These
things I remember, and how that Thyrsis was vanquished
P. 132, 1. 6. Roman fable.— The fable of the Belly and
the Members. See Livy, Book II, chapter 32; and
Shakespeare's Coriolanus, I, sc. 1.
P. 132, 1. 19. Carthagenian faith, — Punica fides meant
to the Romans supreme treachery.
P. 133, 1. 29. Competition for quarters, etc. — That is,
the soldiers, cavalry and infantry, compete for quarters,
while the drivers of carts and coaches contend about
the right of way in narrow streets.
P. 135, 1. 11. Impertinently sanguine. — Unreasonably
confident or hopeful.
P. 136, 1. 7. Assurance out and home. — Insurance on ship
and cargo to and from Turkey. Customs to the Queen. —
Tariff or duty.
P. 136, 1. 12. Throws down . . . and tramples upon
no man's corn. — Before the reign of George III, country
gentlemen had the right to ride through wheat fields in
hunting and to throw down fences which stood in their
way. Grain ready for harvesting was often ruined by
the heedless sportsman.
P. 136, 1. 22. Rents.— Incomes.
P. 137, 1. 12. Smoky. — Suspicious, quizzical. To 'smoke'
a person was to quiz, banter, or make sport of him.
P. 137, 1. 13. Sullied by a trade.— See note to p. 43,
11, 14, 15.
P, 138, 11. 1, 2. Motto; Ovid, Ar$ Amoris, I, 241. — Sim-
plicity most rare in our age,
P, 13S, I. 13, Gray's Inn Walks— The grounds about
Gray's Inn, one of the four societies of lawyers in
P. 138, 1. 16. Prince Eugene. — Prince Eugene of Savoy,
the Austrian general who was associated with the Duke
of Marlborough in the War of the Spanish Succession.
Prince Eugene visited London in 1711 to urge the restora-
tion to favor of his friend the Duke of Marlborough, but
without avail. He was enthusiastically received in Lon-
P. 138, 1. 24. Scanderbeg. — The correct form is
Iskander (Alexander) Bey, a famous Albanian chief who
lived in the fifteenth century. He fought against the
Turks for Albania and for Christianity. George Castriot
was his real name.
P. 139, 1. 20. Doctor Barrow. — ^Isaac Barrow, a noted
preacher of the day.
P. 139, 1. 23. Thirty marks. — The value of a mark was
thirteen shillings and four pence The 'mark' in England
was simply a measure of value, not a coin.
P. 139, 1. 27. Tobacco-stopper. — A small wooden plug
for pressing down the tobacco in a pipe.
P. 140, 1. 20. Hogs-puddings. — Sausages.
P. 141, 1. 11. Late Act of Parliament. — An act passed
in 1710 called the 'Act to Repress Occasional Conformity',
really an amendment to the Test Act of 1673. By the Test
Act all office-holders were required to take the sacrament
at specified times as administered in the Established
Church. This was intended to exclude from office
Catholics and Dissenters; but, as a matter of fact, Dis-
senters, in order to get or retain office, occasionally took
communion in the Church of England. The new act was
intended to repress this 'occasional conformity', and thus
to strengthen politically the Established Church.
P. 141, 1. 17. Plum-porridge. — The Dissenters, like the
Puritans, were supposed to be opposed to plum puMlng
and other special Christmas dishes, and, indeed to Christ-
mas festivities in general, as suggesting 'popery'.
P. 141, 1. 27. Pope's Procession. — A procession of Pro-
testants through London on November 17th, the anni-
versary of Queen Elizabeth's accession, in which was
borne an effigy of the Pope. This was carried to a bon-
fire and burned, as an expression of anti-Catholic senti-
ment. The procession in 1711, arranged by Whigs, was so
offensive that the government suppressed it.
P. 142, 1. 9. Baker's Chronicle. — Chronicle of the Kings
of England from the time of the Romans' Government
unto the Death of King James, by Sir Richard Baker,
P. 142, 1. 23. The Supplement. — A periodical of the day,
probably issued later than other papers.
P. 143, 1. 1. Motto: Horace, Epistles, I, VI, 27.— Still,
we must go where Numa and Ancus have gone before.
P. 143, 1. 3. My paper upon Westminster Abbey. — No.
26 of the Spectator, published March 30, 1711. This is
one of the most admired of the Spectator papers.
P. 143, 1. 19. Widow Trueby's Water. — One of the
numerous compounds or nostrums of the day, usually
called 'strong waters', of which alcoholic spirits formed
a liberal part, and corresponding to some of our patent
medicines. For an interesting collection of notices on the
virtues of these 'strong waters', see The Advertisements
of the Spectator, by Lawrence Lewis, pp. 276-288.
P. 144, 1. 11. Sickness being at Dantzic. — The great
plague at Dantzig, Germany, in 1709, which reduced the
population nearly half.
P. 144, 1. 22. Jointure. — "An estate or property settled
on a woman in consideration of marriage, and to be enjoyed
by her after her husband's decease." — Century Dictionary.
P. 144, 1. 25. Engaged. — Not, of course, in the usual
sense, but as having his affections 'engaged'.
P. 145, 1. 15. Sir Cloudsley Shovel. — A noted English
admiral who was drowned off the Scilly Isles in 1707, when
four of his ships went down. The monument in the Abbey-
is justly criticised by Addison (Spectator, 26) as being in
P. 145, 1. 18. Busby's tomb. — Dr. Richard Busby, head-
master of Westminster School from 1640 to 1695, was a
famous teacher and a forceful wielder of the rod.
P. 145, 1. 23. Little chapel on the right hand.— The chapel
of St. Edmund.
P. 145, 1. 29. Cecil upon his knees. — William Cecil, Lord
Burleigh, Secretary of State to Queen Elizabeth, kneeling
at the tomb of his wife and daughter.
P. 146, 1. 2. Prick of a needle. — The figure of Elizabeth
Russell used to be pointed out as that of the lady who
died from the pricking of a needle. Doubtless the guide
glibly repeated this piece of fiction to Sir Roger and Addi-
P. 146, 11. 9, 10. Coronation chairs. — These two chairs
are in the Chapel of Edward the Confessor. One, in which
every English sovereign from Edward the Confessor (1042-
1066) has been crowned, has under the seat the famous
'Stone of Scone'. This stone upon which the ancient
Scottish kings sat when crowned, was brought from Scot-
land (Scone Abbey) by Edward I, in 1296. According to
the legend, it was the rock on which Jacob pillowed his
head at Bethel. The other chair was made in 1689 for
Queen Mary, joint sovereign with William III.
P. 146, 1. 19. Trepanned. — Caught, snared. The more
correct spelling is 'trapanned'. The guide demanded a
forfeit of Sir Roger for sitting down in the chair.
P. 147, 1. 2. Touched for the evil. — Scrofula was called
'king's evil' because it was thought curable at the touch
of a truly annointed king. Queen Anne was the last
English sovereign who touched for the scrofula. See
Macbeth, IV, 3.
P. 147, 1. 8. Without a head.— That is, Henry V, the sil-
ver head of whose effigy was stolen in the reign of Henry
P. 148, 11. 1, 2. Motto: Horace, Ars Poetica, V. 327.— I
will bid the learned imitator look at life and manners, and
from them shape his words true to life,
P. 148, 11. 7, 8. The Committee. — A comedy satirizing
the Puritans, by Sir Robert Howard, brother-in-law of the
P. 148, 1. 11. Distressed Mother. — This is the 'new
tragedy' mentioned in line 5, page 148, a play by Ambrose
Phillips in 1712, translated and adapted from the
Andromaque of Racine, the great French dramatist.
P. 148, 1. 17. Mohocks. — A gang of rioters who roamed
the London streets at night assaulting persons and
destroying property. The name is taken from the
Mohawks, the tribe of American Indians. Various refer-
ences are made to these lawless street-bands in the
Spectator and in other literature of the Queen Anne
period. The London streets were poorly lighted and
policed. An interesting account of street conditions may
be found in Ashton's Social Life in the Time of Queen
Anne, Chapter 36.
P. 149, 1. 23. Battle of Steenkirk.— Battle between Wil-
liam III and the French, August 3, 1692, in which the
English were defeated. Steenkirk (Steenkerque) is in
P. 149, 1. 21. Plants.— Sticks.
P. 150, 1. 12. Pyrrhus. — Pyrrhus, son of Achilles, wooed
Andromache, widow of Hector and mother of the boy
Astyanax. Andromache reluctantly consents to marry
Pyrrhus because he promises to make Astyanax king.
Finally Astyanax is proclaimed king; Hermione, betrothed
to Pyrrhus, stirs up the Greeks against Pyrrhus, because
of her jealousy. Orestes, devoted to Hermione, kills
Pyrrhus, after which Hermione slays herself. Orestes him-
self goes mad. This is the version of the story in Racine's
P. 150, 1. 28. Pyrrhus his. — After a noun ending in s,
particularly a proper noun, 'his' was often used to indicate
the possessive instead of the regular genitive ending of
the noun itself. This use of 'his' was more common in the
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Ben Jonson called
one of his plays Sejanus His Fall, i. e., Sejanus's Pall. The
's is properly a contraction of the older genitive es,
and not of 'his' as once explained. (See Addison, Spec-
P. 151, 1. 13. Now to see Hector's ghost.— The tomb of
Hector was to be visited by Andromache in the fourth
P. 152, 1. 5. Old fellow in whiskers.— Phoenix, friend and
adviser of Pyrrhus.
P. 152, 1. 9. Smoke. — Ridicule; chaff.
P. 153, 11. 1, 2. Motto: Virgil, Eclogues, II, 63.— The
savage lioness follows the wolf, the wolf the kid; the frisky
kid seeks the flowering clover.
P. 153, 1. 24. Republican. — See note to p. 126, 1. 28.
P. 154, 1. 23. Old put.— Old clown; rustic.
P. 155, 1. 1. Lyon's Inn. — One of the smaller societies
of lawyers in London.
P. 156, 1. 9. Book I had considered last Saturday. — That
Is, Paradise Lost. Each Saturday between January 5 and
May 3, 1712, Addison wrote a critical essay on Milton's
Paradise Lost. The paper referred to here is No. 357 of
the Spectator, April 19, 1712.
P. 156, 1. 12. Following lines. — Paradise Lost, X, 888-908.
P. 158, 1. 1. Motto: Juvenal, Satire I, 75.— To vice they
owe their gardens.
P. 158, 1. 4. Bounces. — Bangs; blows.
P. 158, 1. 11. Spring Garden. — A pleasure resort near
Lambeth on the south or Surrey side of the Thames, better
known as Foxhall or Vauxhall, and famous throughout the
eighteenth century. Vauxhall is frequently mentioned in
the literature of the eighteenth and early nineteenth cen-
tury as the favorite place of public amusement in London.
The gardens were closed in 1859.
P. 158, 1. 21. Temple stairs. — A boat-landing on the
Thames at Temple Gardens.
P. 159, 1. 17. La Hogue. — On the northwest coast of
France, where, in 1692, the combined English and Dutch
fleets defeated the French. Browning's Herve Riel Is a
spirited account of this famous sea-fight.
P. 160. 1. 2. Temple Bar. — A gateway in London for-
merly dividing 'the city' (the old walled part of London)
from Westminster, Fleet Street being on the east side of
Temple Bar and the Strand on the west. It was torn
down in 1878.
P. 160, 1. 4. Fifty new churches. — By vote of the House
of Commons in 1711 fifty new churches were to be built
in London and Westminster, most of them, of course, in
the growing suburbs. By 'this side of the Temple Bar'
Sir Roger means the Westminster side.
P. 160, 11 14. Knight of the shire.— See note to p. 44,
P. 160, 1. 5. Mahometan Paradise. — Paradise, as
described in the Koran, abounds in objects pleasing to the
senses, including the 'houris', or 'black-eyed' maidens.
P. 161, 1. 15. A mask. — That is, a woman wearing a
P. 161, 1. 23. Hung beef.— Dried beef. Burton ale was
from Burton- on -Trent in East Staffordshire.
P. 162, 1. 1. Member of the quorum. — Justice of the
P. 163, 1. 1. Motto: Virgil, Aeneid, VII, 879.— Alas for
piety! Alas for old-time faith!
P. 163, 1. 6. Sir Roger de Coverley is dead. — Eustace
Budgell, in the first number of The Bee, February 1733,
made this statement: "Mr. Addison was so fond of this
character (Sir Roger de Coverley) that a little while
before he laid down the Spectator (foreseeing that some
nimble gentleman would catch up his pen the moment
he quitted it) , he said to an intimate friend, with a certain
warmth in his expression which he was not often guilty
of, 'I'll kill Sir Roger that nobody else may murder him.' "
Addison was preparing to bring the Spectator to a close,
and so he begins in this paper (No. 517) the gradual
removal of the characters.
P. 166, 1. 26. Act of Uniformity.— Passed in 1662, the
chief provision being that all clergymen should give full
assent to everything in the Book of Common Prayer and
use it twice a day. It caused the dividing line between
the Dissenters and the Established Church to be clearly
drawn. All Tories heartily approved the Act of Uniform-
P. 167. Rings and mourning. — Rings, gloves, hatbands,
etc., were often bequeathed to friends to be worn at the
P. 168, 11. 1-3. Motto: Horace, Odes, I. XXXIII, 10.—
Thus it seemed good to Venus, who delights to send, in
grim jest, under the brazen yoke those unequal in mind
P. 168, 1. 11. Congreve's Old Bachelor.— Comedy of Wil-
liam Congreve (1670-1729), first produced in 1693.
P. 168, 1. 20. A couple of letters.— Found in Nos. 499
P. 169, 1. 28. Sea-coal. — Coal was first brought to
London from Newcastle by sea; hence it was for a long
time called 'sea-coal'. The names *pit-coal' and 'earth-
coal' were also used to distinguish the new coal from
'charcoal', the older fuel.
P. 170, 1. 4. Homme de ruelle. — Society man; ladies'
man. 'Ruelle' was the narrow passage by the couch on
which the society queen reclined while receiving her
adorers. The word then came to mean any fashionable
reception. 'Fop's Alley' was the colloquial rendering of
'ruelle' (a little street) in London society,
P. 172, 11. 1, 2. Motto: Juvenal, Satire III, 1.— Though
grieved at the departure of my old friend, I nevertheless
commend his purpose of retiring.
P. 175, 11. 27, 28. Finis coronat opus. — "The end crowns
the work", i. e., shows whether the task was worth while.
A common Latin proverb.
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