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that fortune was all the difference between them; but as I design this my speculation only as a gentle admonition to thankless masters, I shall not go out
of the occurrences of common life, but assert it as 5 a general observation, that I never saw, but in
Sir Roger's family, and one or two more, good servants treated as they ought to be. Sir Roger's kindness extends to their children's children, and
this very morning he sent his coachman's grandson 10 to prentice. I shall conclude this paper with an
account of a picture in his gallery, where there are many which will deserve my future observation.
At the very upper end of this handsome structure I saw the portraiture of two young men standing in 15 a river, the one naked, the other in a livery. The
person supported seemed half dead, but still so much alive as to show in his face exquisite joy and love towards the other. I thought the fainting figure
resembled my friend Sir Roger; and looking at the 20 butler who stood by me, for an account of it, he
informed me that the person in the livery was a servant of Sir Roger's, who stood on the shore while his master was swimming, and observing him taken
with some sudden illness and sink under water, 25 jumped in and saved him. He told me Sir Roger
took off the dress he was in as soon as he came home, and by a great bounty at that time, followed by his favor ever since, had made him master of that pretty seat which we saw at a distance as we
came to this house. I remembered indeed Sir
No. 8. Will Wimble
SPECTATOR No. 108. Wednesday, July 4, 1711
Gratis anhelans, multa agendo nihil agens.1
Phædr. Fab. v. 1. 2.
As I was yesterday morning walking with Sir 10 Roger before his house, a country-fellow brought him a huge fish, which, he told him, Mr. William Wimble had caught that very morning; and that he presented it with his service to him, and intended to come and dine with m. the same time he 15 delivered a letter, which my friend read to me as soon as the messenger left him.
“I desire you to accept of a jack, which is the best I have caught this season. I intend to come 20 and stay with you a week, and see how the perch
bite in the Black river. I observed with some concern, the last time I saw you upon the bowlinggreen, that your whip wanted a lash to it; I will
bring half a dozen with me that I twisted last week, 5 which I hope will serve you all the time you are in
the country. I have not been out of the saddle for six days last past, having been at Eton with Sir John's eldest son. He takes to his learning hugely.
“I am, Sir,
“ WILL WIMBLE."
This extraordinary letter, and message that accompanied it, made me very curious to know the
character and quality of the gentleman who sent 15 them; which I found to be as follows. — Will Wimble
is younger brother to a baronet, and descended of the ancient family of the Wimbles. He is now between forty and fifty; but being bred to no busi
ness, and born to no estate, he generally lives with 20 his elder brother as superintendent of his game.
He hunts a pack of dogs better than any man in the country, and is very famous for finding out a hare. He is extremely well versed in all the little handi
crafts of an idle man. He makes a May-fly to a 25 miracle; and furnishes the whole country with angle
rods. As he is a good-natured officious fellow, and very much esteemed upon account of his family, he is a welcome guest at every house, and keeps up a good correspondence among all the gentlemen about him. He carries a tulip root in his pocket from one to another, or exchanges a puppy between a couple of friends that live perhaps in the opposite sides of the country. Will is a particular favorite 5 of all the young heirs, whom he frequently obliges with a net that he has weaved, or a setting-dog that he has made himself. He now and then presents a pair of garters of his own knitting to their mothers or sisters; and raises a great deal of mirth among 10 them, by inquiring as often as he meets them “how they wear!” These gentleman-like manufactures and obliging little humors make Will the darling of the country.
Sir Roger was proceeding in the character of him, 15 when he saw him make up to us with two or three hazel twigs in his hand that he had cut in Sir Roger's woods, as he came through them, in his way to the house. I was very much pleased to observe on one side the hearty and sincere welcome 20 with which Sir Roger received him, and on the other, the secret joy which his guest discovered at sight of the good old knight. After the first salutes were over, Will desired Sir Roger to lend him one of his servants to carry a set of shuttle-cocks he had with 25 him in a little box, to a lady that lived about a mile off, to whom it seems he had promised such a present for above this half year. Sir Roger's back was no sooner turned but honest Will began to tell
me of a large cock pheasant that he had sprung in one of the neighboring woods, with two or three other adventures of the same nature. Odd and
uncommon characters are the game that I look for, 5 and most delight in; for which reason I was as much
pleased with the novelty of the person that talked to me, as he could be for his life with the springing of a pheasant, and therefore listened to him with more than ordinary attention.
In the midst of this discourse the bell rung to dinner, where the gentleman I have been speaking of had the pleasure of seeing the huge jack, he had caught, served up for the first dish in a most sump
tuous manner. Upon our sitting down to it he gave 15 us a long account how he had hooked it, played
with it, foiled it, and at length drew it out upon the bank, with several other particulars that lasted all the first course.
A dish of wild fowl that came afterwards furnished conversation for the rest of 20 the dinner, which concluded with a late invention of Will's for improving the quail-pipe.?
Upon withdrawing into my room after dinner, I was secretly touched with compassion towards the honest
gentleman that had dined with us; and could not but 25 consider with a great deal of concern, how so good an
heart and such busy hands were wholly employed in trifles; that so much humanity should be so little beneficial to others, and so much industry so little advantageous to himself. The same temper of mind and