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Our salutations were very hearty on both sides, consisting of many kind shakes of the hand, and several affectionate looks which we cast upon one another. After which the Knight told
me my good friend his Chaplain was very well, and much at 5 my service, and that the Sunday before, he had made a most
incomparable Sermon out of Doctor Barrow. I have left, says he, all my affairs in his hands, and being willing to lay an obligation upon him, have deposited with him thirty marks, to be distributed among his poor parishioners.
He then proceeded to acquaint me with the welfare of Will Wimble. Upon which he put his hand into his fob, and presented me in his name with a tobacco stopper, telling me that Will had been busie all the beginning of the winter in
turning great quantities of them; and that he made a present 15 of one to every Gentleman in the country who has good prin
ciples, and smokes. He added, that poor Will was at present under great tribulation, for that Tom Touchy had taken the law of him for cutting some hazel sticks out of one of his hedges.
Among other pieces of news which the Knight brought from his country seat, he informed me that Moll White was dead; and that about a month after her death the wind was so very high, that it blew down the end of one of his barns. But for
my part, says Sir ROGER, I do not think that the old woman 25 had any hand in it.
He afterwards fell into an account of the diversions which had passed in his house during the holydays, for Sir ROGER, after the laudable custom of his ancestors, always keeps open
house at Christmas. I learned from him, that he had killed 30 eight fat hogs for this season, that he had dealt about his chines
very liberally amongst his neighbours, and that in particular he had sent a string of hogs-puddings with a pack of cards to every poor family in the parish. I have often thought, says Sir Roger, it happens very well that Christmas should fall out
in the middle of the winter. It is the most dead uncomfortable time of the year, when the poor people would suffer very much from their poverty and cold, if they had not good cheer, warm fires, and Christmas gambols to support them. I love to rejoyce their poor hearts at this season, and to see the whole 5 village merry in my great hall. I allow a double quantity of malt to my small beer, and set it a running for twelve days to every one that calls for it. I have always a piece of cold beef and a mince-pye upon the table, and am wonderfully pleased to see my tenants pass away a whole evening in playing their innocent tricks, and smutting one another. Our friend Will Wimble is as merry as any of them, and shews a thousand roguish tricks upon these occasions.
I was very much delighted with the reflection of my old friend, which carried so much goodness in He then
15 launched out into the praise of the late Act of Parliament for securing the Church of England, and told me with great satisfaction, that he believed it already began to take effect; for that a rigid Dissenter, who chanced to dine at his house on Christmas day, had been observed to eat very plentifully of his plumb-porridge.
After having dispatched all our country matters, Sir ROGER made several enquiries concerning the club, and particularly of his old antagonist Sir ANDREW FREEPORT. He asked me with a kind of smile, whether Sir ANDREW had not taken the 25 advantage of his absence, to vent among them some of his Republican doctrines; but soon after gathering up his countenance into a more than ordinary seriousness, Tell me truly, says he, don't you think Sir ANDREW had a hand in the Pope's procession but without giving me time to answer him, 30 Well, well, says he, I know you are a wary man, and do not care to talk of publick matters.
The Knight then asked me, if I had seen Prince Eugene ; and made me promise to get him a stand in some convenient
place where he might have a full sight of that extraordinary man, whose presence does so much honour to the British nation. He dwelt very long on the praises of this great Gen
eral, and I found that since I was with him in the country, he 5 had drawn many observations together out of his reading in
Baker's Chronicle, and other Authors, who always lie in his hall window, which very much redound to the honour of this Prince.
Having passed away the greatest part of the morning in 10 hearing the Knight's reflections, which were partly private,
and partly political, he asked me if I would smoke a pipe with him over a dish of Coffee at Squire's. As I love the old man, I take a delight in complying with every thing that
is agreeable to him, and accordingly waited on him to the 15 Coffee-house, where his venerable figure drew upon us the
eyes of the whole room. He had no sooner seated himself at the upper end of the high table, but he called for a clean pipe, a paper of Tobacco, a dish of Coffee, a wax candle, and the Supplement, with such an air of cheerfulness and good humour, that all the boys in the Coffee-room (who seemed to take pleasure in serving him) were at once employed on his several errands, insomuch that no body else could come at a dish of Tea, till the Knight had got all his conveniencies about him.
N° 295. Thursday, February 7. [1712.]
Prodiga non sentit pereuntem fæmina censum :
“ I am turned of my great climacteric, and am naturally a “man of a meek temper. About a dozen years ago I was “ married, for my sins, to a young woman of a good family, “and of an high spirit; but could not bring her to close with 5 “me, before I had entered into a treaty with her longer than “ that of the grand Alliance. Among other articles, it was “therein stipulated, that she should have 400 l. a year for “ Pin-money, which I obliged my self to pay quarterly into “the hands of one who acted as her Plenipotentiary in that “affair. I have ever since religiously observed my part in “this solemn agreement. Now, Sir, so it is, that the Lady “ has had several children since I married her ; to which, if “I should credit our malicious neighbours, her Pin-money “has not a little contributed. The education of these my 15 "children, who, contrary to my expectation, are born to me
every year, streightens me so much that I have begged “ their mother to free me from the obligation of the above“mentioned Pin-money, that it may go towards making a “provision for her family. This proposal makes her noble 20 * blood swell in her veins, insomuch that finding me a little “ tardy in her last quarter's payment, she threatens me every “day to arrest me; and proceeds so far as to tell me, that if “I do not do her justice, I shall dye in a jayl. To this she sadds, when her passion will let her argue calmly, that she 25 “has several play-debts on her hand, which must be dis
charged very suddenly, and that she cannot lose her money
as becomes a woman of her fashion, if she makes me any “ abatements in this article. I hope, Sir, you will take an “occasion from hence to give your opinion upon a subject “which you have not yet touched, and inform us if there
are any precedents for this usage among our ancestors;
any mention of Pin-money in Grotius, Puffendorf, or any other of the Civilians.
I am ever the humblest of your Admirers, Josiah Fribble, Esq;
As there is no man living who is a more professed advocate for the fair sex than my self, so there is none that would be more unwilling to invade any of their ancient rights and privileges; but as the doctrine of Pin-money is of a very late date, unknown to our great grandmothers, and not yet received by
many of our modern Ladies, I think it is for the interest of 15 both sexes to keep it from spreading.
Mr. Fribble may not, perhaps, be much mistaken where he intimates, that the supplying a man's wife with Pin-money, is furnishing her with arms against himself, and in a manner becoming accessary to his own dishonour. We may, indeed, generally observe, that in proportion as a woman is more or less beautiful, and her husband advanced in years, she stands in need of a greater or less number of Pins, and upon a treaty of marriage, rises or falls in her demands accordingly. It
must likewise be owned, that high quality in a Mistress does 25 very much inflame this article in the marriage reckoning.
But where the age and circumstances of both parties are pretty much upon a level, I cannot but think the insisting upon Pin-money is very extraordinary; and yet we find sev
eral matches broken off upon this very head. What would a 30 foreigner, or one who is a stranger to this practice, think of a
Lover that forsakes his Mistress, because he is not willing to keep her in Pins; but what would he think of the Mistress, should he be informed that she asks five or six hundred