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Pray give us a speculation in general about servants, and you
· P.S. Pray do not omit the mention of grooms in particular.'
This honest gentleman, who is so desirous that I should write a satire upon grooms, has a great deal of reason for his resentment; and I know no evil which touches all mankind so much as this of the misbehaviour of servants.
The complaint of this letter runs wholly upon men-servants; and I can attribute the licentiousness which has at present prevailed among them, to nothing but what an hundred before me have ascribed it to, the custom of giving board-wages. This one instance of false economy is sufficient to debauch the whole nation of servants, and makes them as it were but for some part of their time in that quality. They are either attending in places where they meet and run into clubs, or else if they wait at taverns, they eat after their masters, and reserve their wages for other occasions. From hence it arises, that they are but in a lower degree what their masters themselves are; and usually affect an imitation of their manners: and you liave in liveries, beaux, fops, and coxcombs, in as high perfection as among people that keep equipages. It is a common humour among the retinue of people of quality, when they are in their revels, that is when they are out of their masters' sight, to assume in a humorous way the names and titles of those whose liveries they wear. By which means characters and distinctions become so familiar to them, that it is to this, among other causes, one inay impute a certain insolence among our servants, that they take no notice of any gentleman, though they know him ever so well, except he is an acquaintance of their master's.
My obscurity and taciturnity leave me at liberty without scandal, to dine if I think fit, at a common ordinary, in the meanest as well as the most sumptuous house of entertainnient.-Falling in the other day at a victualling-house near the house of peers, I heard the maid come down and tell the landlady at the bar, that my lord bishop swore he would throw her out at window, if she did not bring up more mild beer, and that my lord duke would have a double mug of purl. My surprise was increased, in hearing loud and rustic voices speak and answer to each other upon the public affairs, by the names of the most illustrious of our nobility; till of a sudden one came running in, and cried the house was rising. Down came all the company together and away! The alchouse was immediately filled with claniour, and scoring one mug to the marquis of such a place, oil and vinegar to such an earl, three quarts to my new lord for wetting his title, and so forth. It is a thing too notorious to mention the crowds of servants, and their insolence, near the courts of justice, and the stairs towards the supreme assembly, where there is an universal mockery of all order, such riotous clamour and licentious confusion, that one would think the whole nation lived in jest, and that there were no such thing as rule and distinction among us.
The next place of resort, wherein the servile world are let loose, is at the entrance of Hyde Park, while the gentry are at the ring. Hither people bring their lacqueys out of state, and here it is that all they say at their tables, and act in their houses, is çommunicated to the whole town. There are men
of wit în all conditions of life; and mixing with these people at their diversions, I have heard coquettes and prudes as well rallied, and insolence and pride exposed, allowing for their want of education) with as much humour and good sense, as in the politest companies. It is a general observation, that all dependents run in some measure into the manners and behaviour of those whom they serve. You shall frequently meet with lovers and men of intrigue ainong the lacqueys as well as at White's or in the side-boxes. I remember some years ago an instance of this kind. A footman to a captain of the guards used frequently, when his master was out of the way, to carry on amours and make assignations in liis master's clothes. The fellow had a very good person, and there are very many women that think no further than the outside of a gentleman: besides which, he was almost as learned a inan as the colonel * himself: I say, thus qualified, the fellow could scrawl billet-doux so well, and furnish a conversation on the common topics, that he had, as they call it, a great deal of good business on his hands. It happened one day, that coming down a tavern stairs in his master's fine guard-coat with a welldressed woman masked, he met the colonel coming up with other company; but with a ready assurance; he quitted his lady, came up to him and said, “Sir, I know you have too much respect for yourself to cane me in this honourable habit. But 'you see there is a lady in the case, and I hope on that score
off your anger till I liave told you all another time.' After a little pause the colonel cleared up his countenance, and with an air of familiarity whispered his man apart, “Sirrah, bring the lady with you to ask pardon for you:' then aloud, • Look to it, Will, I'll never forgive you else.' The fellow went back to his mistress, and telling her, with a loud voice and an oath, that was the honestest fellow in the world, conveyed her to an backneycoach.
* In the Spect. in folio, and in the edit. of 1712 in 8ro. this officer is styled both captain and colonel.
But the many irregularities committed by servants in the places above mentioned, as well as in theatres, of which masters are generally the occasions, are too various got to ueed being resumed on another occasion.
N° 89. TUESDAY, JUNE 12, 1711.
Petite hinc, juvenesque senesque,
PERS. Sat. v. 64.
Pers. From thee both old and young, with profit learn
Corn. Unhappy he, who does this work adjourn,
Pers. But is one day of ease too much to borrow?
As my correspondents upon the subject of love are very numerous, it is my design, if possible, to range them under several heads, and address myself to them at different times. The first branch of them, to whose service I shall dedicate this paper, are those that have to do with women of dilatory tempers, who are for spinning out the time of courtship to an immoderate length, without being able either to close with their lovers, or to dismiss them. I have many letters by me filled with complaints against this sort