Giles Wheelbarrow, Knt., Thomas Rentfree, Esq., justice of the quorum, Andrew Windmill, Esq., and Mr. Nicholas Doubt of the Inner Temple, Sir Harry's grandson, will wait upon you at the hour of nine to-morrow morning, being Tuesday the 25th of October, upon business which Sir Harry will impart to you by word of mouth. I thought it proper to acquaint you before-hand so many persons of quality came, that you might not be surprised therewith. Which concludes, though by many years' absence since I saw you at Stafford, unknown,
"Sir, your most humble servant,
I received this message with less surprise than I believe Mr. Thrifty imagined; for I knew the good company too well to feel any palpitations at their approach: but I was in very great concern how I should adjust the ceremonial, and demean myself to all these great men, who perhaps had not seen anything above themselves for these twenty years last past. I am sure that is the case of Sir Harry. Besides which, I was sensible that there was a great point in adjusting my behaviour to the simple squire, so as to give him satisfaction, and not disoblige the justice of the quorum.
The hour of nine was come this morning, and I had no sooner set chairs (by the stewards' letter) and fixed my tea equipage, but I heard a knock at my door, which was opened, but no one entered; after which followed a long silence, which was broke at last by, "Sir, I beg your pardon; I think I know better:" and another voice, "Nay, good Sir Giles-" I looked out from my window, and saw the good company all with their hats off, and arms spread, offering the door to each other. After many offers, they entered with much solemnity, in the order Mr. Thrifty was so kind as to name them to me. But they are now got to my chamber door, and I saw my old friend Sir Harry enter. I met him with all the respect due to so reverend a vegetable; for you are to know, that is my sense of a person who remains idle in the same place for half a century. I got him with great success into his chair by the fire, without throwing down any of my cups. The knight-bachelor told me, he had a great respect for my whole family, and would, with my leave, place himself next to Sir Harry, at whose right hand he had sat at
every quarter-sessions this thirty years, unless he was sick. The steward in the rear whispered the young Templar, " That is true to my knowledge." I had the misfortune, as they stood cheek by jole, to desire the squire to sit down before the justice of the quorum, to the no small satisfaction of the former, and resentment of the latter: but I saw my error too late, and got them as soon as I could into their seats. “Well, (said I,) gentlemen, after I have told you how glad I am of this great honour, I am to desire you to drink a dish of tea." They answered, one and all, that "They never drank tea in a morning." "Not in a morning!" said I, staring round me. Upon which the pert jackanapes Nick Doubt tipped me the wink, and put out his tongue at his grandfather. Here followed a profound silence, when the steward in his boots and whip proposed that we should adjourn to some public-house, where everybody might call for what they pleased, and enter upon the business. We all stood up in an instant, and Sir Harry filed off from the left very discreetly, counter-marching behind the chairs towards the door: after him, Sir Giles in the same manner. The simple squire made a sudden start to follow; but the justice of the quorum whipped between upon the stand of the stairs. A maid going up with coals made us halt, and put us into such confusion, that we stood all in a heap, without any visible possibility of recovering our order for the young jackanapes seemed to make a jest of this matter, and had so contrived, by pressing amongst us under pretence of making way, that his grandfather was got into the middle, and he knew nobody was of quality to stir a step, till Sir Harry moved first. We were fixed in this perplexity for some time, till we heard a very loud noise in the street; and Sir Harry asking what it was, I, to make them move, said it was fire. Upon this, all run down as fast as they could, without order or ceremony, till we got into the street, where we drew up in very good order, and filed off down Sheer Lane, the impertinent Templar driving us before him, as in a string, and pointing to his acquaintance who passed by.
I must confess, I love to use people according to their own sense of good breeding, and therefore whipped in between the justice and the simple squire. He could not properly take this ill; but I overheard him whisper the steward, "That he thought it hard that a common conjurer should
take place of him, though an elder squire." In this order we marched down Sheer Lane, at the upper end of which I lodge. When we came to Temple Bar, Sir Harry and Sir Giles got over; but a run of coaches kept the rest of us on this side the street: however, we all at last landed, and drew up in very good order before Ben. Tooke's shop, who favoured our rallying with great humanity. From hence we proceeded again, till we came to Dick's Coffee-house, where I designed to carry them.
Here we were at our old difficulty, and took up the street upon the same ceremony. We proceeded through the entry, and were so necessarily kept in order by the situation, that we were now got into the coffee-house itself, where, as soon as we arrived, we repeated our civilities to each other; after which, we marched up to the high table, which has an ascent to it enclosed in the middle of the room. The whole house was alarmed at this entry, made up of persons of so much state and rusticity. Sir Harry called for a mug of ale, and Dyer's Letter. The boy brought the ale in an instant but said, they did not take in the Letter. "No! (says Sir Harry,) then take back your mug; we are like indeed to have good liquor at this house." Here the Templar tipped me a second wink, and if I had not looked very grave upon him, I found he was disposed to be very familiar with me. In short, I observed after a long pause, that the gentlemen did not care to enter upon business till after their morning draught, for which reason I called for a bottle of mum; and finding that had no effect upon them, I ordered a second, and a third: after which, Sir Harry reached over to me, and told me in a low voice, that the place was too public for business; but he would call upon me again tomorrow morning at my own lodgings, and bring some more friends with him.
[Sir Richard Steele assisted in this paper.' T.]
One sees this by the pertness of the manner in which many parts of it are composed. The scene described is, however, pleasant enough: but why so much pains here, and elsewhere, to throw contempt on rural Knights and Squires? a set of men better stationed on their own estates, than in courts and great cities; and more estimable, by far, with all their rusticities, and (what offended Mr. Addison and his coadjutor more) with all their party prejudices, at that time about them, than their finer sons, whose good-breeding hath eaten out every other virtue, and made them too polite to endure the country air, or the conversation of their neighbours and tenants.
From my own Apartment, October 31.
I Was this morning awakened by a sudden shake of the house; and as soon as I had got a little out of my consternation, I felt another, which was followed by two or three repetitions of the same convulsion. I got up as fast as possible, girt on my rapier, and snatched up my hat, when my landlady came up to me, and told me that the gentlewoman of the next house begged me to step thither; for that a lodger she had taken in was run mad, and she desired my advice; as indeed everybody in the whole lane does upon important occasions. I am not, like some artists, saucy, because I can be beneficial, but went immediately. Our neighbour told us, she had the day before let her second floor to a very genteel, youngish man, who told her he kept extraordinary good hours, and was generally at home most part of the morning and evening at study; but that this morning he had for an hour together made this extravagant noise which we then heard. I went upstairs with my hand upon the hilt of my rapier, and approached this new lodger's door. I looked in at the key-hole, and there I saw a well-made man look with great attention on a book, and on a sudden jump into the air so high, that his head almost touched the ceiling. He came down safe on his right foot, and again flew up, alighting on his left; then looked again at his book, and holding out his right leg, put it into such a quivering motion, that I thought he would have shaked it off. He used the left after the same manner; when on a sudden, to my great surprise, he stooped himself incredibly low, and turned gently on his toes. After this circular motion, he continued bent in that humble posture for some time, looking on his book. After this he recovered himself by a sudden spring, and flew round the room in all the violence and disorder imaginable, till he made a full pause for want of breath. In this interim my woman asked what I thought: I whispered, that I thought this learned person an enthusiast, who possibly had his first education in the peripatetic way, which was a sect of philosophers who always studied when walking.
But observing him much out of breath, I thought it the best time to master him if he were disordered, and knocked at his door. I was surprised to find him open it, and say, with great civility and good mien, "That he hoped he had not disturbed us." I believed him in a lucid interval, and desired he would please to let me see his book. He did so, smiling. I could not make anything of it, and therefore asked in what language it was writ. He said, "It was one he studied with great application; but it was his profession to teach it, and could not communicate his knowledge without a consideration." I answered, "That I hoped he would hereafter keep his thoughts to himself; for his meditation this morning had cost me three coffee dishes, and a clean pipe. He seemed concerned at that, and told me he was a dancing-master, and had been reading a dance or two before he went out, which had been written by one who taught at an academy in France. He observed me at a stand, and went on to inform me, "That now articulate motions, as well as sounds, were expressed by proper characters; and that there is nothing so common as to communicate a dance by a letter." I beseeched him hereafter to meditate in a ground-room, for that otherwise it would be impossible for an artist of any other kind to live near him; and that I was sure, several of his thoughts this morning would have shaken my spectacles off my nose, had I been myself at study.
I then took my leave of this virtuoso, and returned to my chamber, meditating on the various occupations of rational
No. 90. SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 1709.
-Amoto quæramus seria ludo. HOR.
-THE joining of pleasure and pain together in such devices, seems to me the only pointed thought I ever read which is natural; and it must have proceeded from its being the universal sense and experience of mankind, that they have all spoken of it in the same manner. I have in my own reading remarked an hundred and three epigrams, fifty odes, and ninety-one sentences, tending to this sole purpose.
It is certain, there is no other passion which does produce