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I question not but most of my readers will be very well pleased to hear, that my friend the fox-hunter, of whose arrival in town I gave notice in my forty fourth paper, is become a convert to the present establishment, and a good subject to King George. The motives to his conversion shall
5 be the subject of this paper, as they may be of use to other persons who labour under those prejudices and prepossessions, which hung so long upon the mind of my worthy friend. These I had an opportunity of learning the other day, when, at his request, we took a ramble together to see the curiosities of this great town.
The first circumstance, as he ingenuously confessed to me (while we were in the coach together) which helped to disabuse him, was seeing King Charles I. on horseback, at CharingCross; for he was sure that Prince could never have kept 15 his seat there, had the stories been true he had heard in the country, that forty one was come about again.
He owned to me that he looked with horror on the new Church that is half built in the Strand, as taking it at first sight to be half demolished : But upon enquiring of the workmen, was agreeably surprized to find, that instead of pulling it down, they were building it up; and that fifty more were raising in other parts of the town.
To these I must add a third circumstance, which I find had no small share in my friend's conversion. Since his coming to 25 town, he chanced to look into the Church of St. Paul, about the middle of sermon-time, where having first examined the dome, to see if it stood safe, (for the screw-plot still ran in his head) he observed, that the Lord-mayor, Aldermen, and citysword were a part of the congregation. This sight had the 30
more weight with him, as by good luck not above two of that venerable body were fallen a-sleep.
This discourse held us till we came to the Tower; for our first visit was to the Lions. My friend, who had a great deal 5 of talk with their keeper, enquired very much after their health,
and whether none of them had fallen sick upon the taking of Perth, and the flight of the Pretender ? and hearing they were never better in their lives, I found he was extreamly startled: for he had learned from his cradle, that the Lions in the tower were the best judges of the title of our British Kings, and always sympathized with our soveraigns.
After having here satiated our curiosity, we repaired to the Monument, where my fellow-traveller, being a well-breathed
man, mounted the ascent with much speed and activity. I was 15 forced to halt so often in this perpendicular march, that, upon
my joining him on the top of the pillar, I found he had counted all the steeples and towers which were discernable from this advantageous situation, and was endeavouring to compute the number of acres they stood upon.
We were both of us very well pleased with this part of the prospect; but I found he cast an evil eye upon several ware-houses, and other buildings, that looked like barns, and seemed capable of receiving great multitudes of people. His heart misgave him that these were so
many meeting-houses, but, upon communicating his suspicions 25 to me, I soon made him easy in this particular.
We then turned our eyes upon the river, which gave me an occasion to inspire him with some favourable thoughts of trade and merchandise, that had filled the Thames with such crowds
of ships, and covered the shore with such swarms of people. 30 We descended very leisurely, my friend being careful to
count the steps, which he registred in a blank leaf of his new almanack. Upon our coming to the bottom, observing an English inscription upon the basis, he read it over several times, and told me he could scarce believe his own eyes, for
that he had often heard from an old Attorney, who lived near him in the country, that it was the Presbyterians who burned down the city; whereas, says he, this pillar positively affirms in so many words, that the burning of this ancient city was begun and carried on by the treachery and malice of the popish 5 faction, in order to the carrying on their horrid plot for extirpating the Protestant religion, and old English liberty, and introducing popery and slavery. This account, which he looked upon to be more authentick, than if it had been in print, I found, made a very great impression upon him.
We now took coach again, and made the best of our way for the Royal Exchange, though I found he did not much care to venture himself into the throng of that place ; for he told me he had heard they were, generally speaking, Republicans, and was afraid of having his pocket picked amongst them. 15 But he soon conceived a better opinion of them, when he spied the statue of King Charles II. standing up in the middle of the crowd, and most of the Kings in Baker's chronicle ranged in order over their heads; from whence he very justly concluded, that an antimonarchical assembly could never chuse such a place to meet in once a day.
To continue this good disposition in my friend, after a short stay at Stocks Market, we drove away directly for the Meuse, where he was not a little edified with the sight of those fine sets of horses which have been brought over from Hanover, 25 and with the care that is taken of them. He made many good remarks upon this occasion, and was so pleased with his company, that I had much ado to get him out of the stable.
In our progress to St. James's Park (for that was the end of our journey) he took notice, with great satisfaction, that, 30 contrary to his intelligence in the country, the shops were all open and full of business ; that the soldiers walked civilly in the streets; that Clergymen, instead of being affronted, had generally the wall given them; and that he had heard the
bells ring to prayers from morning to night, in some part of the town or another.
As he was full of these honest reflections, it happened very luckily for us that one of the King's coaches passed by with 5 the three young Princesses in it, whom by an ccidental
stop we had an opportunity of surveying for some time: my friend was ravished with the beauty, innocence, and sweetness, that appeared in all their faces. He declared several times that they were the finest children he had ever seen in all his life; and assured me that, before this sight, if any one had told him it had been possible for three such pretty children to have been born out of England, he should never have believed them.
We were now walking together in the park, and as it is usual 15 for men who are naturally warm and heady, to be transported
with the greatest flush of good-nature when they are once sweetned; he owned to me very frankly, he had been much imposed upon by those false accounts of things he had heard in the country ; and that he would make it his business, upon his return thither, to set his neighbours right, and give them a more just notion of the present state of affairs.
What confirm'd my friend in this excellent temper of mind, and gave him an inexpressible satisfaction, was a message he
received, as we were walking together, from the prisoner, for 25 whom he had given his testimony in his late tryal. This per
son having been condemned for his part in the late rebellion, sent him word that his Majesty had been graciously pleased to reprieve him, with several of his friends, in order, as it was
thought, to give them their lives; and that he hoped before 30 he went out of town they should have a cheerful meeting, and
drink health and prosperity to King George.
A LETTER FROM ITALY
On December 9, 1701, Addison wrote to Wortley Montagu from Geneva: “I am just now arrived at Geneva by a very troublesome journey over the Alps, where I have been for some days together shivering among the eternal snows. My head is still giddy with mountains and precipices, and you cannot imagine how much I am pleased with the sight of a plain, that is as agreeable to me at present as a shore was about a year ago after our tempest at Genoa. During my passage over the mountains I made a rhyming epistle to my Lord Halifax, which perhaps I will trouble you with the sight of, if I do not find it to be nonsense upon a review. You will think it, I dare say, as extraordinary a thing to make a copy of verses in a voyage over the Alps as to write an heroic poem in a hackney coach, and I believe I am the first that ever thought of Parnassus on Mont Cenis.”
Charles Montagu (1661-1715), Earl of Halifax, entered Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1682. In 1687 he wrote with Prior The City and the Country Mouse, a parody on Dryden's The Hind and the Panther. His Epistle to the . Earl of Dorset (1690) celebrated King William's victory at the Boyne. In March, 1692, he was a Lord Commissioner of the Treasury and in 1694 Chancellor of the Exchequer. In the next year he began to interest himself in reëstablishing the currency, a service for which he received the thanks of the House of Commons in 1697. He was made First Lord of the Treasury in 1698; he resigned in June, 1700. The same year he was created Baron Halifax. In 1701 he was impeached for “high crime and misdemeanor.” The charge of neglecting the auditorship of the exchequer, however, was not sustained. During the remainder of Queen Anne's reign, Halifax was out of office; in 1714 he became First Lord of the Treasury, and later Earl of Halifax. In March, 1715, he took his seat in the House of Lords. He died May 19, 1715. The principal authorities for his life are given in the Dict. Nat. Biog. His Works and Life appeared in 1715.