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"The other that rides along with him is Tom Touchy, a fellow famous for taking the law of everybody. There 35 is not one in the town where he lives sued at a quarter sessions.
that he has not
had once the imHis head is full plagued a couple
pudence to go to law with the Widow. of costs, damages, and ejectments; he of honest gentlemen so long for a trespass in breaking 40 one of his hedges, till he was forced to sell the ground it enclosed to defray the 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 45 tree."
As Sir Roger was giving me this account of Tom Touchy, Will Wimble and his two companions stopped short till we came up to them. After having paid their respects to Sir Roger, Will told him that Mr. Touchy 50 and he must appeal to him upon a dispute that arose between them. Will, it seems, had 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, 55 might take the law of 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. 60 They were neither of them dissatisfied with the Knight's determination, 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- 65
41. till. Equivalent to so long that.
43, 44. has cast and been cast. Has won and lost.
65. was sat. Modernize this phrase. Compare the German idiom.
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 70 glad his lordship had met with so much good weather in his circuit. I was listening to the proceeding of the court with much attention, and infinitely pleased with that great appearance and solemnity which so properly accompanies such a public administration of our laws; 75 when, after about an 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 80 intrepidity.
Upon his first rising the court was hushed, and a 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 readers with an ac85 count of it; and I believe was not so much designed by the Knight himself to inform the 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 90 the gentlemen of the country gathering about my old friend, and striving who should compliment him 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 accident, which I cannot forbear relating, because it shows how desirous all who know Sir Roger are of giving him marks of their esteem. When we were arrived upon the verge
94. In rustic communities lawyers and judges are still often regarded with considerable awe.
of his estate, we stopped at a little inn to rest ourselves and our horses. The man of the house had, it seems, 100 been formerly a servant in the Knight's family; and, to do honor 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 105 of the matter. As soon as Sir Roger was acquainted with it, finding that his servant'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, 110 with a more decisive look, that it was too great an honor 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. Accordingly they got a painter, by the Knight's directions, to 115 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 inn-keeper, upon Sir Roger's alighting, told him in my hearing, that his honor's head was brought back last 120 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 could not forbear discovering greater expressions of mirth than 125 ordinary upon the appearance of this monstrous face, under which, notwithstanding it was made to frown and
118. Even after the ability to read became general, it remained the custom of innkeepers to use as signs paintings of some easily recognized object.
122. Did the innkeeper know the Knight's reason for desiring the alterations?
125 and 129. In what different senses is the word discover used in these lines?
stare in a most extraordinary manner, I could still discover a distant resemblance of my old friend. Sir Roger, 130 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 Saracen, I composed my 135 countenance in the best manner I could, and replied that much might be said on both sides.
These several adventures, with the Knight's behavior in them, gave me as pleasant a day as ever I met with in any of my travels.
XXI. THE STORY OF AN HEIR
[No. 123, July 21, 1711.]
Doctrina sed vim promovet insitam
Rectique cultus pectora roborant;
Dedecorant bene nata culpæ.
HORACE, Odes, iv. 4, 33.
As I was yesterday taking the air with my friend 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 5 me that he was a young gentleman of a considerable estate, who had been educated 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 10 nothing. She quickly found that reading was bad for his eyes, and 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; and 15 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 I have seen and heard innumerable instances of young 20 heirs and elder brothers who either from their own reflecting upon the estates they are born to, and therefore thinking all other accomplishments unnecessary, or from hearing these notions frequently inculcated to them by the flattery of their servants and domestics, or from the 25 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 transmit their lands and houses in a line to posterity.
This makes me often think on a story I have heard 30 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 make it rather appear like a novel than a true story.
Eudoxus and Leontine began the world with small 35 estates. They were both of them men of good sense and great virtue. They prosecuted their studies together in their earlier years, and entered into such a friendship as lasted to the end of their lives. Eudoxus, at his first setting out in the world, threw himself into 40 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 considerable fortune. Leontine, on the contrary, sought all oppor
34. novel. The novel as understood in Addison's time was our modern short story, of a somewhat romantic type, and with a love motive. Up to this time there had been produced in England nothing resembling the modern novel in style, content, and motive, except the stories of The Tatler and The Spectator themselves.