« ZurückWeiter »
tioned Widow, he was very serious for a year and a half; and though, his Temper being naturally jovial, he at last gót over it, he grew careless of himself, and never dressed afterwards. He continues to wear a Coat and Doublet of the same Cut, that were in Fafhion at the Time of his Repulse, which, in his merry Humours, he tells us, has been in and out twelve Times fince he first wore it. It is said Sir Roger grew humble in his Defires, after he had forgot his cruel Beauty, in so much, that it is reported, he has frequently offended in Point of Chastity with Beggars and Gypsies : But this is looked upon by his Friends rather as Matter of Raillery than Truth. He is now in his fifty fixth Year cheerful, gay and hearty; keeps a good House, both in Town and Country; a great lover of Mankind: but there is such a mirthful Caft in his Behaviour, that he is rather beloved than esteemed. His Tenants grow rich, his Servants look satisfied, all the young Women profefs love to him, and the young Men are glad of his Company. When he comes into a House, he calls the Servants by their Names, and talks all the way up Stairs to a Visit. I must not omit, that Sir Ros ger is a Justice of the Quorum; that he hills the Chair at a Quarter Session with great Abilities, and three Months ago gained universal Applause by explaining a Pallage in the Game-Act,
The Gentleman next in Esteem and Authority among us, is another Batchelor, who is a Member of the Inner-Temple; a Man of great Probity, Wit and Understanding; but he has chosen his Place of Residence rather to obey the Direction of an old humoursome Father, than in Pursuit of his own Inclination. He was placed there to study the Laws of the Land, and is the must learned of any of the House in those of the Stage. Aristotle and Longinus are much better unders
stood by him than Littleton or Cooke. The Father sends up every Post Questions relating to Marriage-Articles, Leases, and Tenures, in the Neighbourhood; all which Questions he agrees with an Attorney to answer and take care of in the Lump. He is studying the Palfions themselves, when he should be inquiring into the Debates among Men which arise from them, He knows the Argument of each of the Orations of Demosthenes and Tully, but not one Case in the Reports of our own Courts. No one ever took him for a Fool, but none, except his intimate Friends, know he has a great deal of Wit. This Turn makes him at once both disinterested and agreeable. As few of his Thoughts are drawn from Business, they are most of them fit for Conversation. His taste of Books is a little too just for the Age he lives in; he has read all but approves of
His Familiarity with the Customs, Manners, Actions, and Writings of the Ancients, makes him a very delicate Observer of what occurs to him in the present World. He is an excellent Critick, and the Time of the Play is his Hour of Business; exactly at hve he passes through New-Inn, crosses thro' RusselCourt, and takes a turn at Will's till the Play begins ; he has his Shoes rubbed and his Periwig powdered at the Barber's as you go into the Rose. It is for the Good of the Audience when he is at Play, for the Actors have an Ambition to please him.
The Person of next Consideration is Sir Andrew Freeport, a Marchant of great Eminence in the City of London, A Person of indefatigable Industry, strong Reason, and great Experience. His notions of Trade are noble and generous, and (as every rich Man has usually some fly Way of jesting, which would make no great Figure were he not a rich Man) he calls the Sea, the British Common, He is acquainted with
Commerce in all its Parts, and will tell you, it is a stupid and barbarous Way to extend Dominion by Arms; for true Power is to be got by Arts and Industry. He will often argue, that if this Part of our Trade were well cultivated, we should gain from one Nation; and if another, from another.
I have heared him prove, that Diligence makes more lasting Acquisitions than Valour, and that Sloth has ruined more Nations than the Sword. He abounds in several frugal Maximes, amongst which the greatest Favourite is; A penny saved is a penny got.
A general Trader of good Sense, is pleasanter Company, than a general Scholar; and Sir Andrew having a natural unaffected Eloquence, the Perspicuity of his Discourse gives the same Pleasure, that Wit would in another Man. He has made his Fortunes himself; and says that England may be richer than other Kingdoms, by as plain Methods as he himself is richer than other Men; though at the same Time, I can say this of him, that there is not a Point in the Compass but blows home a Ship in which he is an Owner.
Next to Sir Andrew in the Club-Roomn sits Captain Sentry, a Gentleman of great Courage, good Understanding, but invincible Modesty. He is one of those that deserye very well, but are very aukward at putting their Talents within the Observation of such as should take notice of them.. He was some Years a Captain, and behaved himself with great Gallantry in several Engagements and at several Sieges; but having a small Estate of his own, and being next Heir to Sir Roger, he has quitted a Way of Life, in which no Man can rise suitably to hisMerit, who is not something of a Courtier,as well as a Soldier. I have heard him often lament, that ina. Profession, whereMerit is placed in so conspicuous a View, Impudence should get the better of Modesty. When
he has talked to this Purpose, I never heard him make a sour Expression, but frankly confess, that he left the World, because he was not fit for it. A strict Honesty, and an even regular Behaviour, are in themselves Obstacles to him, that must press through Crowds, who endeavour at the same End with himself, the Favour of a Commander. He will however in his way of Talk excuse Generals, for not disposing according to Men's Desert, or enquiring into it: For, says he, that great Man, who has a Mind to help me, has as many to break through to come at me, as I have to come at him. Therefore, he will conclude, that the Man who would make a Figure, especially in a Military Way, must get over all false Modesty, and alfist his Patron against the Importunity of other Pretenders, by a proper Assurance in his own Vindication. He says, it is a civil Cowardice to be backward in allerting what you ought to expect, as it is a military Fear to be flow in attacking when it is your Duty. With this Candor does the Gentleman (peak of himself, and others. The same Frankness runs through all his Conversation. The Military Part of his Life has furnished him with many Adventures, in the Relation of which he is very agreeable to the Company; for he is never overbearing, though accustomed to command Men in the utmost Degree below him; nor ever too obfequious, from an Habit of obeying Men highly above him.
But that our Society may not appear a Set of Hu. mourist, unacquainted with the Gallanteries and Pleasures of the Age, we have among us the Gallant Will. Honeycomb a Gentleman, who according to his Years should be in the Decline of his Life, but having ever been very careful of his Person and always had a very easy Fortune, Time has made but very little Impression, either by Wrinkles on his Forehead, or Traces in his
Brains. His Person is well turned, of a good Height. He is very ready at that sort of Discourse with which Men usually entertain Women. He has all his Life dressed very well, and remembers Habits as others do Men, He can smile when one speaks to him, and laughs easily. He knows the History of every Mode, and can inform you from which of the] French King's Wenches, our Wives and Daughters had this Manner of curling their Hair, that Way of placing their Hoods; whose Frailty was covered by such a sort of Petticoat, and whose Vanity to shew her Foot made that Part of the Dress fo short in such a Year. In a Word, all his Conversation and Knowledge has been in the female World: As other Men of his Age will take notice to you, what such a Minister said upon such and such an Occasion, he will tell you when the Duke of Monmouth danced at Court, such a Woman was then (mitten, an other was taken with him at the Head of his Troop in the Park. In all these important Relations, he has ever about the same Time received a kind Glance, or a Blow of a Fan from some celebrated Beauty, Mother of the present Lord such a one. If you speak of a young Commoner that said a lively thing in the House, he starts up. He has good Blood in his Veins, Tom, Mi„rabell begot him, the Rogue cheated mein that Affair,
young Fellow's Mother used me inore like a Dog „than any Woman ever made Advances to." His way of Talking of his, does very much enliven the Conversation among us of a more sedate Turn; and I find there is not one of the Company, but myself, who rarely [peak at all, but speaks of him as of that fort of Man, who is usually called a wellbred fine Gentleman. To conclude his Character, where Women ate not concern ed he is an honest worthy Man,