Abbildungen der Seite


their best faces, and in their cleanliest habits, to converse with one another upon indifferent subjects, hear their duties explained to them, and join together in adoration of the supreme Being. Sunday clears away the rust of the whole week, not only as it refreshes in their minds the notions of

5 religion, but as it puts both the sexes upon appearing in their most agreeable forms, and exerting all such qualities as are apt to give them a figure in the eye of the village. A countryfellow distinguishes himself as much in the Church-yard, as a Citizen does upon the Change, the whole parish-politicks being generally discussed in that place either after sermon or before the bell rings.

My friend Sir Roger being a good church-man, has beautified the inside of his church with several texts of his own chusing : He has likewise given a handsome pulpit-cloth, and railed in 15 the communion-table at his own expence. He has often told me, that at his coming to his estate he found his parishioners very irregular; and that in order to make them kneel and join in the responses, he gave every one of them a hassock and a common-prayer-book; and at the same time employed an itinerant singing-master, who goes about the country for that purpose, to instruct them rightly in the tunes of the Psalms; upon which they now very much value themselves, and indeed out-do most of the country churches that I have ever heard.

As Sir Roger is landlord to the whole congregation, he keeps 25 them in very good order, and will suffer no body to sleep in it besides himself; for if by chance he has been surprized into a short nap at sermon, upon recovering out of it he stands up and looks about him, and if he sees any body else nodding, either wakes them himself, or sends his servant to them. Several 30 other of the old Knight's particularities break out upon these occasions : Sometimes he will be lengthening out a verse in the singing-psalms, half a minute after the rest of the congregation have done with it; sometimes, when he is pleased with the



matter of his devotion, he pronounces Amen three or four times to the same prayer; and sometimes stands up when every body else is upon their knees, to count the congregation, or see if

any of his Tenants are missing. 5 I was yesterday very much surprized to hear my old friend,

in the midst of the service, calling out to one John Matthews to mind what he was about, and not disturb the congregation. This John Matthews it seems is remarkable for being an idle fellow, and at that time was kicking his heels for his diversion. This authority of the Knight, though exerted in that odd manner which accompanies him in all circumstances of life, has a very good effect upon the parish, who are not polite enough to see any thing ridiculous in his behaviour ; besides that the

general good sense and worthiness of his character, make his 15 friends observe these little singularities as foils that rather set

off than blemish his good qualities.

As soon as the sermon is finished, no body presumes to stir till Sir Roger is gone out of the church. The Knight walks down from his seat in the chancel between a double row of his tenants, that stand bowing to him on each side ; and every now and then enquires how such an one's wife, or mother, or son, or father do, whom he does not see at church; which is understood as a secret reprimand to the person that is absent.

The Chaplain has often told me, that upon a catechising25 day, when Sir Roger has been pleased with a boy that answers

well, he has ordered a bible to be given him next day for his encouragement; and sometimes accompanies it with a Aitch of bacon to his mother. Sir ROGER has likewise added five pounds a year to the Clerk's place; and that he may encourage the young fellows to make themselves perfect in the churchservice, has promised upon the death of the present Incumbent, who is very old, to bestow it according to merit.

The fair understanding between Sir Roger and his Chaplain, and their mutual concurrence in doing good, is the more





remarkable, because the very next village is famous for the differences and contentions that rise between the Parson and the 'Squire, who live in a perpetual state of war. The Parson is always preaching at the 'Squire, and the 'Squire to be revenged on the Parson, never comes to church. The 'Squire has made all his tenants atheists and tithe-stealers; while the Parson instructs them every Sunday in the dignity of his order, and insinuates to them almost in every sermon, that he is a better man than his Patron. In short, matters are come to such an extremity, that the 'Squire has not said his prayers either in publick or private this half year; and that the Parson threatens him, if he does not mend his manners, to pray for him in the face of the whole congregation.

Feuds of this nature, though too frequent in the country, are very fatal to the ordinary people ; who are so used to be dazled with riches, that they pay as much deference to the understanding of a man of an estate, as of a man of learning; and are very hardly brought to regard any truth, how important soever it may be, that is preached to them, when they know there are several men of five hundred a year who do not believe it.



N° 115. Thursday, July 12. [1711.]

Ut sit mens sana in corpore sano. Juv.

Bodily labour is of two kinds, either that which a man submits to for his livelihood, or that which he undergoes for his pleasure. The latter of them generally changes the name of Labour for that of Exercise, but differs only from ordinary labour as it rises from another motive.

A country life abounds in both these kinds of labour, and for that reason gives a man a greater stock of health, and consequently a more perfect enjoyment of himself, than any



other way of life. I consider the body as a system of tubes and glands, or to use a more rustick phrase, a bundle of pipes and strainers, fitted to one another after so wonderful a manner

as to make a proper engine for the soul to work with. This 5 description does not only comprehend the bowels, bones, ten

dons, veins, nerves and arteries, but every muscle and every ligature, which is a composition of fibres, that are so many imperceptible tubes or pipes interwoven on all sides with invisible glands or strainers.

This general idea of a humane body, without considering it in the niceties of anatomy, lets us see how absolutely necessary Labour is for the right preservation of it. There must be frequent motions and agitations, to mix, digest, and separate the

juices contained in it, as well as to clear and cleanse that infin15 itude of pipes and strainers of which it is composed, and to

give their solid parts a more firm and lasting tone. Labour or Exercise ferments the humours, casts them into their proper channels, throws off redundancies, and helps Nature in those secret distributions without which the body cannot subsist in its vigour, nor the soul act with chearfulness.

I might here mention the effects which this has upon all the faculties of the mind, by keeping the understanding clear, the imagination untroubled, and refining those spirits that are neces

sary for the proper exertion of our intellectual faculties, during 25 the present laws of union between soul and body. It is to a

neglect in this particular that we must ascribe the spleen, which is so frequent in men of studious and sedentary tempers, as well as the vapours to which those of the other sex are so often

subject. 30

Had not Exercise been absolutely necessary for our wellbeing, nature would not have made the body so proper for it, by giving such an activity to the limbs, and such a pliancy to every part as necessarily produces those compressions, extensions, contortions, dilatations, and all other kinds of motions



that are necessary for the preservation of such a system of tubes and glands as has been before mentioned. And that we might not want inducements to engage us in such an exercise of the body as is proper for its welfare, it is so ordered that nothing valuable can be procured without it. Not to mention 5 riches and honour, even food and raiment are not to be come at without the toil of the hands and sweat of the brows. Providence furnishes materials, but expects that we should work them up our selves. The Earth must be laboured before it gives its encrease, and when it is forced into its several products, how many hands must they pass through before they are fit for use ? Manufactures, trade, and agriculture, naturally employ more than nineteen parts of the species in twenty; and as for those who are not obliged to labour, by the condition in which they are born, they are more miserable 15 than the rest of mankind, unless they indulge themselves in that voluntary labour which goes by the name of Exercise.

My friend Sir ROGER has been an indefatigable man in business of this kind, and has hung several parts of his house with the trophies of his former labours. The walls of his great hall are covered with the horns of several kinds of Deer that he has killed in the chace, which he thinks the most valuable furniture of his house, as they afford him frequent topicks of discourse, and shew that he has not been idle. At the lower end of the hall is a large Otter's skin stuffed with hay, which his mother ordered to be hung up in that manner, and the Knight looks upon with great satisfaction, because it seems he was but nine years old when his dog killed him. A little room adjoining to the hall is a kind of Arsenal filled with guns of several sizes and inventions, with which the Knight has made great 30 havock in the woods, and destroyed many thousands of pheasants, partridges, and wood-cocks. His stable doors are patched with noses that belonged to Foxes of the Knight's own hunting down. Sir ROGER shewed me one of them that for distinction



« ZurückWeiter »