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from London, and looks like a little enchanted palace. The rocks about her are shaped into artificial grottoes covered with woodbines and jasmines.
The woods are cut into shady walks, twisted into 5 bowers, and filled with cages of turtles.34 The
springs are made to run among pebbles, and by that means taught to murmur very agreeably. They are likewise collected into a beautiful lake that is
inhabited by a couple of swans, and empties itself 10 by a little rivulet which runs through a green
meadow, and is known in the family by the name of “The Purling Stream." The knight likewise tells me, that this lady preserves her game better than
any of the gentlemen in the country, not (says 15 Sir Roger) that she sets so great a value
value upon her partridges and pheasants, as upon her larks and nightingales. For she says that every bird which is killed in her ground, will spoil a concert, and that she shall certainly miss him the next year.
When I think how oddly this lady is improved by learning, I look upon her with a mixture of admiration and pity. Amidst these innocent entertainments which she has formed to herself, how
much more valuable does she appear than those of 25 her sex, who employ themselves in diversions that
are less reasonable though more in fashion? What improvements would a woman have made, who is so susceptible of impressions from what she reads, had she been guided to such books as have a ten
dency to enlighten the understanding and rectify the passions, as well as to those which are of a little more use than to divert the imagination?
But the manner of a lady's employing herself usefully in reading, shall be the subject of another 5 paper, in which I design to recommend such particular books as may be proper for the improvement of the sex. And as this is a subject of a very nice nature, I shall desire my correspondents to give me their thoughts upon it.
No. 6. Sir Roger at his Country House
Hinc tibi copia
Hor. Lib. 1. Od. xvii. 14.
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 country-house, where I intend to form several 15 of my ensuing speculations. Sir Roger, who is very well acquainted with my humor, 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. When the 20 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 5 hated to be stared at.
I am 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 10 about him, his servants never care for leaving him:
by this means his domestics are all in years, and grown old with their master. You would take his valet de chambre for his brother, his butler is gray
headed, his groom is one of the gravest men that I 15 have ever seen, and his coachman has the looks of
a privy counselor. You see the goodness of the master even in the old house-dog, and in a gray pad that is kept in the stable with great care and ten
derness out of regard to his past services, though he 20 has been useless for several years.
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 re25 frain 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. 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. 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 humor, and none so 5 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.
My worthy friend has put me under the particular care of his butler, who is a very prudent man, and, as well as the rest of his fellow-servants, wonderfully desirous of pleasing me, because they have often heard their master talk of me as of his par- 15 ticular friend.
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 20 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 25 a dependent.
I have observed in several of my papers, that my friend Sir Roger, amidst all his good qualities, is something
of a humorist; and that his virtues, as
well as imperfections, are as it were tinged by a certain extravagance, which makes them particularly his, and distinguishes them from those of
other men. This cast of mind, as it is generally 5 very innocent in itself, so it renders his conversation
highly agreeable, and more delightful than the same degree of sense and virtue would appear in their common and ordinary colors. As I was walking
with him last night, he asked me how I liked the 10 good man whom I have just now mentioned ? and
without staying for my answer told me, that he was afraid of being insulted with Latin and Greek at his own table; for which reason he desired a | particular friend of his at the university to find 15 him out a clergyman rather of plain sense than
much learning, of a good aspect, a clear voice, a sociable temper, and, if possible, a man that understood a little of back-gammon. “My friend,” says
Sir Roger, “found me out this gentleman, who, 20 besides the endowments required of him, is, they
tell me, a good scholar, though he does not show it. I have given him the parsonage of the parish; and because I know his value, have settled upon him a
good annuity for life. If he out-lives me, he shall 25 find that he was higher in my esteem than perhaps
he thinks he is. He has now been with me thirty years; and though he does not know I have taken notice of it, has never in all that time asked anything of me for himself, though he is every day