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application to affairs might have recommended him to the public esteem, and have raised his fortune in another station of life. What good to his country or himself might not a trader or a merchant have done with such useful though ordinary qualifications? 5.
Will Wimble's is the case of many a younger brother of a great family, who had rather see their children starve like gentlemen, than thrive in a trade or profession that is beneath their quality. This humor fills several parts of Europe with pride 10 and beggary. It is the happiness of a trading nation like ours, that the younger sons, though incapable of any liberal art or profession, may be placed in such a way of life, as may perhaps enable them to vie with the best of their family. Accord- 15 ingly we find several citizens that were launched into the world with narrow fortunes, rising by an honest industry to greater estates than those of their elder brothers. It is not improbable but Will was formerly tried at divinity, law, or physic; and 20 that finding his genius did not lie that way, his i parents gave him up at length to his own inventions. But certainly, however improper he might have been for studies of a higher nature, he was perfectly well turned for the occupations of trade and com- 25 merce. As I think this is a point which cannot be too much inculcated, I shall desire my reader to compare what I have here written with what I have said in my twenty-first speculation.
No. 9. Sir Roger's Ancestors
Hor. Lib. 2. Sat. ii. 3.
I was this morning walking in the gallery, when Sir Roger entered at the end opposite to me, and advancing towards me, said he was glad to meet
me among his relations the De Coverleys, and hoped 5 I liked the conversation of so much good company,
who were as silent as myself. I knew he alluded to the pictures, and as he is a gentleman who does not a little value himself upon his ancient descent,
I expected he would give me some account of them. 10 We were now arrived at the upper end of the
gallery, when the knight faced towards one of the pictures, and as we stood before it, he entered into the matter, after his blunt way of saying things, as
they occur to his imagination, without regular intro15 duction, or care to preserve the appearance of chain of thought.
"It is," said he, "worth while to consider the force of dress; and how the persons of one age
differ from those of another, merely by that only. 20 One may observe also, that the general fashion of
one age has been followed by one particular set of people in another, and by them preserved from one generation to another. Thus the vast jetting coat
and small bonnet, which was the habit in Harry the
“This predecessor of ours you see is dressed after
“You are to know this my ancestor was not only of a military genius, but fit also for the arts of
peace, for he played on the bass-viol as well as any gentleman at court; you see where his viol hangs by his basket-hilt sword. The action at the Tilt
yard you may be sure won the fair lady, who was 5 a maid of honor, and the greatest beauty of her
time; here she stands the next picture. You see, sir, my great great great grandmother has on the new-fashioned petticoat,' except that the modern
is gathered at the waist; my grandmother appears 10 as if she stood in a large drum, whereas the ladies
now walk as if they were in a go-cart. For all this lady was bred at court, she became an excellent country-wife, she brought & ten children, and when
I show you the library, you shall see in her own 15 hand (allowing for the difference of the language)
the best receipt now in England both for an hastypudding and a white-pot."
"If you please to fall back a little, because it is necessary to look at the three next pictures at one 20 view; these are three sisters. She on the right hand
who is so very beautiful, died a maid; the next to her, still handsomer, had the same fate, against her will; this homely thing in the middle had both their
portions added to her own, and was stolen by a 25 neighboring gentleman, a man of stratagem and
resolution, for he poisoned three mastiffs to come at her, and knocked down two deer-stealers in carrying her off. Misfortunes happen in all families. The theft of this romp, and so much money, was no great matter to our estate. But the next heir that possessed it was this soft gentleman, whom you see there. Observe the small buttons, the little boots, the laces, the slashes about his clothes, and above all the posture he is drawn in (which to be sure was 5 his own choosing), you see he sits with one hand on a desk writing and looking as it were another way, like an easy writer, or a sonnetteer. He was one of those that had too much wit to know how to live in the world; he was a man of no justice, 10 but great good manners; he ruined everybody that had anything to do with him, but never said a rude thing in his life; the most indolent person in the world; he would sign a deed that passed away half his estate with his gloves on, but would not 15 put on his hat before a lady if it were to save his country. He is said to be the first that made loves by squeezing the hand. He left the estate with ten thousand pounds debt upon it; but however by all hands I have been informed that he was every way the 20 finest gentleman in the world. That debt lay heavy on our house for one generation, but it was retrieved by a gift from that honest man you see there, a citizen of our name, but nothing at all akin to us. I know Sir Andrew Freeport has said behind my back, 25 that this man was descended from one of the ten children of the maid of honor I showed you above; but it was never made out. We winked at the thing indeed, because money was wanting at that time.”?