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XLVI. "THE SPECTATOR'S" VISIT TO SIR

ROGER DE COVERLEY.

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[JOSEPH ADDISON (b. 1672, d. 1719) was born in Wiltshire, and educated at the Charter House. His most famous writings are to be found in "The Spectator;" he also contributed papers to "The Tatler." They consist of essays and short articles on a great variety of subjects. Among the best of his papers are those which refer to Sir Roger de Coverley, a good old country squire. The admirable manner in which the story of Sir Roger is told puts Addison in the front rank as a careful student of human nature. His style is considered the best example of English composition, being pure, simple, and elegant. His humour is quiet and refined, his satire kindly, and his teaching full of valuable lessons.]

1. Having often received an invitation from my friend, Sir Roger de Coverley, to pass away a month with him in the country, I last week accompanied him thither,

and am settled with him for some time at his countryhouse, where I intend to form several of my ensuing speculations.

2. Sir Roger, who is very well acquainted with my humour, lets me rise and go to bed when I please, dine at his own table or in my chamber, as I think fit, sit still and say nothing, without bidding me be merry.

3. When the gentlemen of the country come to see him, he only shows me at a distance. As I have been walking in his fields I have observed them stealing a sight of me over a hedge, and have heard the knight desiring them not to let me see them, for that I hated to be stared at.

4. I was the more at ease in Sir Roger's family, because it consists of sober and staid persons, for as the knight is the best master in the world, he seldom changes his servants; and as he is beloved by all about him, his servants never care for leaving him by this means are all in years and grown old with their master.

5. You would take his valet de chambre for his brother, his butler is grey-headed, his groom is one of the gravest men that I have ever seen, and his coachman has the look of a privy councillor. You see the goodness of the master even in the old house-dog and in a grey pad, that is kept in the stable with great care and tenderness out of regard to his past services, though he has been useless for several years.

6. I could not but observe with a great deal of pleasure the joy that appeared in the countenances of these ancient domestics upon my friend's arrival at his country-seat. Some of them could not refrain from tears at the sight of their old master. Every one of them pressed forward to

do something for him, and seemed discouraged if they were not employed.

7. At the same time the good old knight, with a mixture of the father and the master of the family, tempered the inquiries after his own affairs with several kind questions relating to themselves.

8. This humanity and good-nature engages everybody to him, so that when he is pleasant upon any of them, all his family are in good humour, and none so much as the person whom he diverts himself with: on the contrary, if he coughs, or betrays any infirmity of old age, it is easy for a stander-by to observe a secret concern in the looks of all his servants.

9 My chief companion, when Sir Roger is diverting himself in the woods or the fields, is a very venerable man, who is ever with Sir Roger, and has lived at his house in the nature of a chaplain above thirty years. This gentleman is a person of good sense and some learning, of a very regular life and obliging conversation. He heartily loves Sir Roger, and knows that he is very much in the old knight's esteem, so that he lives in the family rather as a relation than as a dependent.

10. My friend Sir Roger has often told me, with a great deal of mirth, that at his first coming to his estate he found three parts of his house altogether useless: that the best room in it had the reputation of being haunted, and by that means was locked up; that noises had been heard in his long gallery, so that he could not get a servant to enter it after eight o'clock at night; that the door of one of his chambers was nailed up, because there went a story in the family that a butler had formerly hanged himself. in it; and that his mother, who lived to a great age, had shut up half

the rooms in the house in which either her husband, a son, or a daughter had died.

11. The knight, seeing his habitation reduced to so small a compass, and himself in a manner shut out of his own house, upon the death of his mother ordered all the apartments to be flung open, and exorcised by his chaplain, who lay in every room, one after another, and by that means dissipated the fears which had so long reigned in the family.-Addison, "The Spectator."

SUMMARY.-Sir Roger de Coverley is minutely described in this sketch, so far as concerns his character and conduct towards other people. He is described as the best master in the world, for he had much consideration for those who were in his service. He made few changes, and his servants never cared to leave him. His valet or personal attendant, his butler, groom, and coachman had all grown old in his service, and all were deeply attached to their master. In the midst of his family, good humoured and kind. He had much trouble with his mansion when first he entered on his estate, for nearly three parts were useless from having been neglected or closed. He took prompt measures, however, to have every room restored to its proper use, and soon scattered the fears which had hitherto prevailed throughout the

house.

Dis-cour-age, put out of heart.
En-su-ing, following.
Humour, whim, fancy.
In-quiries, questions.

Knight, a title of honour.
Night, the time that follows day.
Spec-u-la-tions, observations, in-
quiries, theories.

QUESTIONS.

Who is the writer of this selection? In what periodical? Whom is he said to visit? How long? How was he entertained? What was peculiar about Sir Roger's

servants? Why were they fond of their master? What was peculiar about Sir Roger's house when he went to live there? How was this altered?

EXERCISES-1. Parse and analyse-This humanity and good-nature engages everybody to him.

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2. Nouns are formed from other nouns, by adding ism, ry, and ure, which mean the art, science, trade, or doctrine of;" as critic, critieism; carpenter, carpentry; architect, architecture. Make other nouns from the following-despot, patriot, cook, manufacturer. Make sentences to show the use of these words.

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[Rev. THOMAS GUTHRIE, D.D. (b. 1803, d. 1873), an eminent pulpit orator, philanthropist, and social reformer. He was born in Brechin, Forfarshire, and was educated for the ministry in Edinburgh. In addition to his theological studies, he attended several sessions at the chemistry, natural history, and anatomy classes, in Edinburgh and Paris. He possessed great rhetorical talent. Few public speakers ever have been able to blend solemnity and deep pathos with the humorous, as Guthrie did. He exerted himself in numerous ways against intemperance and other prevailing vices. He wrote several books, and was for some time editor of the " Sunday Magazine." His principal works are: "The Gospel in Ezekiel," "A Plea for Ragged Schools," and "The City: its Sins and Sorrows," from which the following extract is taken.]

1. A remarkable incident occurred during the last unhappy, and I will add, unnatural war between our country and America. We had taken a prize. A very gallant young officer was placed in command of her. Unfortunately for us, as the event proved, her original captain, and part of his crew, were not transferred to another ship, but allowed to remain on board.

2. The British lieutenant had a number of our own brave men sent along with him-a force sufficient to work the ship, and, in a fair stand up fight, to overpower the prisoners, should they attempt to retake the vessel. Hoisting British colours, they parted company with the capturing ship, and, with our officer on the quarter-deck, made homeward with their prize.

3. Onward the ship ploughs her way through the billows, and all seems safe. After some time, the American captain accosts our officer on the deck. He desires him to give up his sword and the command of the vessel.

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