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soliciting me for something in behalf of one or other of my tenants his parishioners. There has not been a lawsuit in the parish since he has lived among them; if any dispute arises they apply themselves to him for the decision; if they do not acquiesce in 5 his judgment, which I think never happened above once or twice at most, they appeal to me. At his first settling with me, I made him a present of all the good sermons which have been printed in English, and only begged of him that every Sunday he 10 would pronounce one of them in the pulpit. Accordingly he has digested them into such a series, that they follow one another naturally, and make a continued system of practical divinity.”
As Sir Roger was going on in his story, the gen- 15 tleman we were talking of came up to us; and
upon the knight's asking him who preached to-morrow (for it was Saturday night), told us the bishop of St. Asaph ? in the morning, and Dr. South in the afternoon. He then showed us his list of preachers 20 for the whole year, where I saw with a great deal of pleasure, archbishop Tillotson, bishop Saunderson, Dr. Barrow, Dr. Calamy, with several living authors who have published discourses of practical divinity. I no sooner saw this venerable man in the pulpit, 25 but I very much approved of my friend's insisting upon the qualifications of a good aspect and a clear voice; for I was so charmed with the gracefulness of his figure and delivery, as well as with the dis
courses he pronounced, that I think I never passed any time more to my satisfaction. A sermon repeated after this manner, is like the composition of
a poet in the mouth of a graceful actor. 5 I could heartily wish that more of our country
clergy would follow this example; and instead of wasting their spirits in laborious compositions of their own, would endeavor after a handsome elocu
tion, and all those other talents that are proper to 10 enforce what has been penned by greater masters.
This would not only be more easy to themselves, but more edifying to the people.
No. 7. Sir Roger's Servants
Æsopo ingentem statuam posuere Attici,
Phædr. Ep. 1. 2.
The reception, manner of attendance, undisturbed freedom and quiet, which I meet with here in the 15 country, has confirmed me in the opinion I always
had, that the general corruption of manners in servants is owing to the conduct of masters. The aspect of every one in the family carries so much
satisfaction, that it appears he knows the happy 20 lot which has befallen him in being a member of it.
There is one particular which I have seldom seen but at Sir Roger's; it is usual in all other places, that servants fly from the parts of the house through which their master is passing; on the contrary, here they industriously place themselves in his way; and it is on both sides, as it were, understood as a visit, 5 when the servants appear without calling. This proceeds from the humane and equal temper of the man of the house, who also perfectly well knows how to enjoy a great estate, with such economy as ever to be much beforehand. This makes his own 10 mind untroubled, and consequently unapt to vent peevish expressions, or give passionate or inconsistent orders to those about him. Thus respect and love go together; and a certain cheerfulness in performance of their duty is the particular distinction 15 of the lower part of this family. When a servant is called before his master, he does not come with an expectation to hear himself rated for some trivial fault, threatened to be stripped, or used with any other unbecoming language, which mean masters 20 often give to worthy servants; but it is often to know, what road he took that he came so readily back according to order; whether he passed by such a ground; if the old man who rents it is in good health; or whether he gave Sir Roger's love to him, 25 or the like.
A man who preserves a respect founded on his benevolence to his dependents, lives rather like a prince than a master in his family; his orders are
received as favors rather than duties; and the distinction of approaching him is part of the reward for executing what is commanded by him. There is another circumstance in which my
friend 5 excels in his management, which is the manner of
rewarding his servants. He has ever been of opinion, that giving his cast clothes to be worn by valets has a very ill effect upon little minds, and
creates a silly sense of equality between the parties, 10 in persons affected only with outward things. I
have heard him often pleasant on this occasion, and describe a young gentleman abusing his man in that coat, which a month or two before was the most
pleasing distinction he was conscious of in himself. 15 He would turn his discourse still more pleasantly
upon the bounties of the ladies in this kind; and I have heard him say he knew a fine woman, who distributed rewards and punishments in giving becoming or unbecoming dresses to her maids.
But my good friend is above these little instances of good-will, in bestowing only trifles on his servants; a good servant to him is sure of having it in his choice very soon of being no servant at all. As I
before observed, he is so good a husband, and 25 knows so thoroughly that the skill of the purse is
the cardinal virtue of this life; I say, he knows so well that frugality is the support of generosity, that he can often spare a large fine 3 when a tenement falls, and give that settlement to a good servant
who has a mind to go into the world, or make a stranger pay the fine to that servant, for his more comfortable maintenance, if he stays in his service.
A man of honor and generosity considers it would be miserable to himself to have no will but that of 5 another, though it were of the best person breathing, and for that reason goes on as fast as he is able to put his servants into independent livelihoods. The greatest part of Sir Roger's estate is tenanted by persons who have served himself or his ancestors. 10 It was to me extremely pleasant to observe the visitants from several parts to welcome his arrival into the country: and all the difference that I could take notice of between the late servants who came to see him, and those who stayed in the family, was 15 that these latter were looked upon as finer gentlemen and better courtiers.
This manumission and placing them in a way of livelihood, I look upon as only what is due to a good servant; which encouragement will make his 20 successor be as diligent, as humble, and as ready as he was.
There is something wonderful in the narrowness of those minds, which can be pleased, and be barren of bounty to those who please them.
One might, on this occasion, recount the sense 25 that great persons in all ages have had of the merit of their dependents, and the heroic services which men have done their masters in the extremity of their fortunes, and shown to their undone patrons,