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SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY.

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His great grandfather was inventor 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 behaviour, 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 humour creates him no enemies, for he does nothing with sourness or obstinacy; and his being un

confined to modes and forms, makes him but the readier and 10 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 batchelor, by reason he was crossed in love by a perverse beautiful widow of the next county to him. Before this disappointment, Sir Roger was what you call a fine gentleman, had often supped with my Lord Rochestern and Sir George Etheregen, fought a duel upon his first coming to town, and kicked Bully Dawson in a public coffeehouse, 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 20 being naturally jovial, he at last got over it, he grew careless

of himself, and never dressed afterwards. 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. He is now in his fifty-sixth year, chearful, gay, and hearty; keeps a good house both in town and country; a great lover of mankind; but there is such a mirthful cast in his behaviour, that he is rather beloved than esteemed. His tenants grow rich,

his servants look satisfied, all the young women profess love to 30 him, and the young men are glad of his company; when he

comes into a house, he calls the servants by their names, and talks all the way up stairs to a visit. I must not omit, that Sir Roger is a justice 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 gameact.

The gentleman next in esteem and authority among us, is another batchelor, who is a member of the Inner Temple"; a

man of great probity, wit, and understanding; but he has chosen 40 his place of residence rather to obey the direction of an old

humoursome father, than in pursuit of his own inclinations. He was placed there to study the laws of the land, and is the most learned of any of the house in those of the stage. Aristotle and Longinus n are much better understood by him than Littleton or Coken. The father sends up every post questions relating to marriage-articles, leases, and tenures, in the neighbourhood; all which 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 10 arise from them. He knows the argument of each of the

orations of Demosthenes and Tully; but not one case in the reports 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 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 ancients, makes him a very delicate 20 observer of what occurs to him in the present world. He is

an excellent critic, and the time of the play is his hour of business; exactly at five he passes through New Inn, crosses through Russell Court, and takes a turn at Wills', 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 a play; for the actors have an ambition to please him.

The person of next consideration is Sir Andrew Freeport, a merchant of great eminence in the city of London. A person 30 of indefatigable industry, strong reason, and great experience.

His notions of trade 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 commerce in all its parts, and will tell you that it is a 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 diligence 40 makes more lasting acquisitions than valour, and that sloth

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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 sense is pleasanter company than a general scholar; and Sir Andrew having a natural unaffected eloquence, the perspicuity of his discourse gives the same pleasure that wit would in another man. He has made his fortunes himself; and says that Enę land may be 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 10 him, that there is not a point in the compass but blows home a ship in which he is an owner.

Next to Sir Andrew in the club-room sits Captain Sentry, a gentleman of great courage, good understanding, but invincible modesty. He is one of those that deserve very well, but are very awkward at putting their talents within the observation of such as should take notice of them. He was some years a captain, and behaved himself with great gallantry in several 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 20 life, in which no man can rise suitably to his merit, who is not

something of 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 better of modesty. When he has talked to this purpose, I never heard him make a sour expression, but frankly 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 him

self, the favour of a commander. He will, however, in his way 30 of talk, excuse generals for not disposing 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 vindication. He says, it is a civil cowardice to be backward in asserting what you ought to expect, as it is a military fear to be

slow in attacking when it is your duty. With this candor does 40 the gentleman speak of himself and others. The same frankness

runs through 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 over-bearing, though accustomed to command men in the utmost degree below him; nor ever too obsequious, from an habit of obeying men highly above him.

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 Will Honeycomb, a gentleman who, accord10 ing 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 a very little impression, either by wrinkles on his forehead, or traces in his brain. His person is well turned, of a good height. He is very ready at that sort of discourse with which men usually entertain women. He has all his life dressed very well, and remembers habits as others do men.

He can smile when one speaks to him, and laughs easily. He knows the history of every mode, and can inform

you from what Frenchwoman our wives and daughters had this 20 manner of curling their hair, that way of placing their hoods;

and whose vanity to shew her foot made that part of the dress so short in such a year. In a word, all his conversation and knowledge have been in 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 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. For 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, 30 mother of the present Lord such-a-one.

This way of talking of his very much 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 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 him

He is a clergyman, a very philosophic man, of general

40 self.

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learning, great sanctity of life, and the most exact good breeding. He bas the misfortune to be of a very weak constitution; and consequently cannot accept of such cares and business as preferments in his function would oblige him to; he is therefore among divines what a chamber councillor is among lawyers. The probity of his mind, and the integrity of his life, create him followers, as being eloquent or loud advances others.

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 earnest10 ness 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 one who is hastening to the object of all his wishes, and conceives hope from his decays and infirmities. These are my ordinary companions.-R.

No. 12. The Spectator's experience in London lodgings; ghost-stories; superstition and piety. Veteres avias tibi de pulmone revello.

PERS. Sat. v. 92. I root the old woman from thy trembling heart. At my coming to London, it was some time before I could settle myself in a house to my liking. I was forced to quit my first lodgings, by reason of an officious landlady, that would be asking me every morning how I had slept. I then fell into an

honest family, and lived very happily for above a week; when my 20 landlord, who was a jolly good-natured man, took it into his head

that I wanted company, and therefore would frequently come into my chamber to keep me from being alone. This I bore for two or three days; but telling me one day that he was afraid I was melancholy, I thought it was high time for me to be gone, and accordingly took new lodgings that very night. About a week after, I found my jolly landlord, who, as I said before, was an honest hearty man, had put me into an advertisement of the Daily Courant, in the following words, Whereas a melancholy

man left his lodgings on Thursday last in the afternoon, and was 30 afterwards seen going towards Islington; if any one can give notice

of him to R. B. fishmonger in the Strand, he shall be very well rewarded for his pains. As I am the best man in the world to keep my own counsel, and my landlord the fishmonger not know

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