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SIR ROGER AT CHURCH.
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 present incumbent, who is very old, to bestow it according to merit.
The fair understanding between Sir Roger and his chaplain, and their mutual concurrence in doing good, is the more remarkable, because the very next village is famous for the differ
ences and contentions that rise between the parson and the 10 'squire, who live in a perpetual state of war. The parson is
always preaching at the 'squire, and the 'squire to be revenged on the 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 in almost every sermon that he is a better man than his patron. In short 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 20 congregation.
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 brought to regard any truth, how important 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 itn.-L.
No. 115. Labour and exercise : Sir Roger in the hunting-field.
Juv. Sat. x. 356. A healthy body and a mind at ease. Bodily labour is of two kinds, either that which a man submits to for his livelihood, or that which he undergoes for his pleasure. 30 The latter of them generally changes the name of labour for that
of exercise, but differs only from ordinary labour as it rises from another motive.
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 of himself, than
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. This description does not only comprehend the bowels, bones, tendons, veins, nerves, and arteries, but every muscle and every ligature, which is a composition of
fibres, that are so many imperceptible tubes or pipes interwoven 10 on all sides with invisible glands or strainers.
This general idea of a human body, without considering it in its niceties of anatomy, lets us see how absolutely necessary labour is for the right preservation of it. There must be frequent motions and agitations, 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 give their solid parts a more firm and lasting tone. Labour or exercise ferments the humours, casts them into their proper channels, throws off redun
dancies, and helps nature in those secret distributions, without 20 which the body cannot subsist in its vigour, nor the soul act with cheerfulness.
I might here mention the effects which this has upon all the faculties of the mind, by keeping the understanding clear, the imagination untroubled, and refining those spirits that are necessary for the proper exertion of our intellectual faculties, during the present 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 those of the other sex are so often subject. 30 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 produce those compressions, extensions, contortions, dilatations, and all other kinds of motions that are necessary 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 an exercise of the body as is proper for its welfare, it is so ordered, that nothing valuable can be
procured without it. Not to mention riches and honour, even 40 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 before 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 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 10 in that voluntary labour which goes by the name of exercise.
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 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 shew that he has not been idle. At the lower end of the hall, is a large otter's skin stuffed with hay, which his mother ordered to be hung up in
that manner, and the knight looks upon it with great satisfaction, 20 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 sizes and inventions, with which the knight has made great havoc in the woods, and destroyed many thousands of pheasants, partridges, and woodcocks. His stable doors are patched with noses that belonged to foxes of the knight's own hunting down. Sir Roger shewed me one of them, that for distinction's 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 above half his 30 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 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 off fox-hunting; but a hare is not yet safe that sits within ten miles of his house.
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
See Page 21, 1. 26.
so much conduces to health, and is every way accommodated to the body, according to the idea which I have given of it. Dr. Sydenham is very lavish in its praises; and if the English reader will see the mechanical effects of it described at length, he may find them in a book published not many years since, under the title of Medicina Gymnastica. For my own part, wher. I am in town, for want of these opportunities, I exercise myself an hour every morning upon a dumb bell that is placed in a corner of my room,
and pleases me the more, because it does everything I require of 10 it in the most profound silence. My landlady and her daughters
are so well acquainted with my hours of exercise, that they never come into my room to disturb me whilst I am ringing.
When I was some years younger than I am at present, I used to employ myself in a more laborious diversion, which I learned from a Latin treatise of exercises », that is written with great erudition : it is there called the oklopaxia, 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, exercises the limbs, and gives a man all the 20 pleasure of boxing without the blows. I could wish that several
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 might conduce very much to evaporate the spleen, which makes them uneasy to the public as well as to themselves.
To conclude, as I am a compound of soul and body, I consider myself as obliged to a double scheme of duties; and 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 30 contemplation.—L.
[No. 116, though signed X, the initial which marks the papers contributed by Eustace Budgell, was commonly reported at the time to have been written by Addison, and internal evidence goes far to prove that report spoke truly. It is a charming paper, describing a hare-hunt in which the Spectator accompanied Sir Roger, and did not distinguish himself as a rider to hounds.]
No. 117. Witch-craft: Moll White ; Sir Roger and the Spectator go to see her.
Ipsi sibi somnia fingunt.
VIRG. Ecl. viii. 108. 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 subject of witchcraft. When I hear the relations that are made from all 10 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 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 the most in these relations, and that the persons among us who are supposed to engage in such an infernal commerce 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, 20 I endeavour to suspend 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 the 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 occurrences that I met with yesterday, which I shall give my reader an account of 30 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,