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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 fortune himself; and says that England 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 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 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 himself, the favour of a commander. He will however in his way of talk 'excuse generals, for not disposing according to men's desert, or enquiring 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 candour does 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 overbearing, though accustomed to command men in the utmost degree below him; nor ever too obsequious, from an habit of obey. ing men highly above him.
But that our society may not appear a set of hu. mourists, unacquainted with the gallantries and pleasures of the age, we have among us the gallant 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 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 which of the French king's wenches, 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 petticoat, 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. 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 thirg in the house, he starts up, "He has good blood (in his veins ; Tom Mirabell begot him; the rogue 6 cheated me in that affair, that young fellow's mother I used me more like a dog than any woman I ever o made advances to.” 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. Toconclude 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 himself. He is a clergyman, a very philosophic man, of general learning, great sanctity of life, and the most exact good breeding. He has the misfortune to be of a very weak constitution, and consequently cannot accept of such cares and business as prefermenti in his function would 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. 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 au.
thority, 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.
No. III. SATURDAY, MARCH 3,
Et quoi quisque fere studio devinctus adhæret,
What studies pleases, what most delight,
IN one of my late rambles, or rather speculations, I looked into the great hall where the bank is kept, and was not a little pleased to see the directors, secretaries, and clerks, with all the other members of that wealthy corporation, ranged in their several stations, according to the parts they act in that just and regular economy. This revived in my memory the many discourses which I had both read and heard concerning the decay of public credit, with the methods of restoring it, and which, in my opinion, have always been defective, because they have always been made with an eye to separate interests, and party principles.
The thoughts of the day gave my mind employment for the whole night, so that I fell insensible into a kind of methodical dream, which disposed all my contemplations into a vision or allegory, or what else the reader shall please to call it.
· Methought I returned to the great hall, where I had been the morning before, but, to my surprise, instead of the company that I left there, I saw, towards the upper end of the hall, a beautiful virgin, seated on a throne of gold. Her name (as they told me) was Public Credit. The walls, instead of being adorned with pictures and maps, were hung with many acts of Parliament, written in golden letters. At the upper end of the hall was the Magna Charta, with the act of uniformity on the right hand, and the act of toleration on the left. At the lower end of the hall, was the act of settlement, which was placed full in the eye of the virgin that sat upon the throne. Both the sides of the hall were covered with such acts of Parliament as had been made for the establishment of public funds. The lady seemed to set an unspeakable value upon these several pieces of furniture, insomuch, that she often refreshed her eye with them, and often smiled with a secret pleasure as she looked upon them ; but, at the same time, shewed a very particular uneasiness, if she saw any thing approaching that might hurt them. She appeared indeed infinitely timorous in allher behaviour; and, whether it was from the delicacy of her constitution, or that she was troubled with vapours, as I was afterwards told by one who I found was none of her well-wishers, she changed colour, and startled at every thing she heard. She was likewise (as I afterwards found) a greater valetudinarian than any I had ever met with, even in her own sex, and subject to such momentary consumptions, that, in the twinkling of an eye, she would fall away from the most florid complexion, and the most healthful state of body, and wither into a skeleton). Her recoveries were often as sudden as her decays, insomuch, that she would revive in a moment out of a wasting dis. temper, into a habit of the highest health and vigour,