페이지 이미지
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

lies all within the Verge of the Court? He will tell you the Names of the principal Favourites, repeat the shrewd Sayings of a Man of Quality, whifper an Intreague that is not yet blown upon by common Fame; or, if the Sphere of his Observations is a little larger than ordinary, will perhaps enter into all the Incidents, Turns, and Revolu. tions in a Game of Ombre. When he has gone thus far he has shewn you the whole Circle of his Accomplishments, his Parts are drained, and he is disabled from any further Conversation. What are these but rank Pedants? and yet there are the Men who value themselves most on their Exemption from the Pedantry of Colleges.

I might here mention the Military Pedant who always talks in a Camp, and is storming Towns, making Lodgments, and fighting Battles from one end of the Year to the other. Every thing he speaks smells of Gunpowder ; if you take away his Artillery from him, he has not a Word to say for himself. I might likewise mention the Law Pedant, that is perpetually putting Cases, repeating the Transactions of Westminster-Hall, wrangling with you upon the most indifferent Circumstances of Life, and not to be convinced of the Diftance of a Place, or of the most trivial Point in Conversation, but by dint of Argument. The State-Pedant is wrapt up in News, and lost in Poli. ticks. If you mention either of the Kings of Spain or Poland, he talks very notably; but if you go out of the Gazette, you drop him. In short, a meer Courtier, a meer Soldier, a meer Scholar, a meer any thing, is an infipid Pedantick Character, and equally ridiculous.

O F all the Species of Pedants, which I have mentioned, the Book-Pedant is much the most supportable; he has at least an exercised Understanding, and a Head which is full though confused, fo that a Man who converses with him may often receive from him hints of things that are worth knowing, and what he may possibly turn to his own Advantage, tho they are of little Use to the Owner, The worst kind of Pedants among Learned Men, are such as are naturally endued with a very small share of common Sense, and have read a great number of Books without Tate or Distinction. :

THỂ Truth of it is, Learning, like Travelling, and all other Methods of Improvement, as it finishes good Sense,

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

so it makes a filly Man ten thousand times more infufferable,by supplying variety of Matter to his Iinpertinence,and giving him an opportunity of abounding in Absurdities.

SÅ ALLOW Pedants cry up one another much more than Men of solid and useful Learning. To read the Titles they give an Editor, or Collator of a Manuscript, you would take him for the Glory of the Common-wealth of - Letters, and the Wonder of his Age, when, perhaps upon Examination you find that he has only. Rectify'da Greek Particle, or laid out a whole Sentence in proper Commas.

THEY are obliged indeed to be thus lavish of their Praises, that they may keep one another in Countenance; and it is no wonder if a great deal of Knowledge, which is not capable of making a Man wise, has a natural Tendency to make him Vain and Arrogant,

No 106.

Monday, July 2.

Hinc tibi Copia
Manabit ad plenum, benigno
Ruris honorum opulenta cornu.


LTAVING often received an Invitation from my My Friend Sir ROGER DE COVERLEY to pass away

á 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 of my ensuing Speculations. Sir ROGER, who is very well acquainted with my Humour, 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 Gentlemen of the Country come to see him, he only shews me at a Distance. As I have been walking in his Fields I'have observed them ftealing a Sight of me over an Hedge, and have heard the Knight desiring them not to let me see them, for that I kated to be stared at.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

I am the more'at Eafe in Sir ROGER's Fainily, because it confifts of fober 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 about him, his Servånts never care for leaving him : By this Means his Domesticks are all in Years, and grown old with their Master. You would take liis Valet de Chambre for his Brother, his Butfer is grey-headed, his Groom is one of the graveft Men that I have ever seen, and his Coachman has the Looks of a Privy-Counsellor. You see the Goodness of the Master even in the old House-dog, and in a grey Pad that is képt in the Stable with great Care'ånd Tenderness out of Re. gard to his past Services, tho' he has been useless for leve. ral Yeařs.

I could not but observe with a great deal of Pleasure the Joy that appeared in the Countenances of these anti"ent Domefticks upon my Friend's Arrival at his Country. Seat. Some of them could not refrain from Tears' at the Sight of their old Master; every one of them press'd 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 Mafter of the Family, tempered the Enquiries after his own Af. fairs with several kind Questions relating to themselves. This Humanity and Good-nature'engages every Body to him, so that when he is pleasant upon any of them, all his Family are in Good Humour, and none so much as the Person whom 'he diverts himself with : On the con. trary, if he coughs, or betrays any Infirmity of old Age, it is eafy for a Stander-by to obserye a fecret Concern in the Looks of all his Servants.

MY worthy Friend has put the under the particular Care of his Butler, who is a very prudent Man, and, as well as the rest of his Fellow-Servants, wonderfully defi. rous of pleasing me, because they have often heard their Mafter talk of me as of his particular 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 Years.

This Gentleman is a Person of good Senfe and some Learnang, of a very regular Life and obliging Conversation:


[ocr errors][ocr errors]

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 a Dependant,

I have observed in several of my Papers, that my Friend Sir Roger, amidst all his good Qualities, is something of an Humourist; 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 very innocent in it felf, 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 Colours. As I was walking with him last Night, he asked me how I liked the 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 him out a Clergyman rather of plain Sense than much Learning, of a good Afpect, a clear Voice, a sociable Temper, and, if possible, à Man that understood a little of Back-Gammon. My Friend, says Sir Roger, found me out this Gentleman, who, besides the Endowments required of him, is, they tell me, a good Scholar, though he does not shew 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 find that he was higher in my Esteem than per. haps he thinks he is. He has now been with me thirty Years; and tho' he does not know I have taken Notice of it, has never in all that Time asked any thing of me for himself, tho’ he is every Day folliciting me for something in Behalf of one or other of my Tenants his Parishioners. There has not been a Law-Suit in the Pac rish since he has lived among them: If any Dispute arises they apply themselves to him for the Decision; if they do not acquiesce in his Judgment, which I think never hap. pened 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 would pro. nounce 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 Gentleman 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. Afaph in the Morning, and Dr. South in the Afternoon. He then shewed us his List of Preachers for the whole Year, where I saw with a great deal of Pleasure Archbishop Tillotfon, Bishop Saunderson, Doctor Barrow, Doctor Calamy, with several living Authors who have published Dir. courses of Practical Divinity. I no sooner saw this Venerable Man in the Pulpit, but I very much approved of my Friend's insisting upon the Qualifications of a good Alpect and a clear Voice; for I was so charmed with the Gracefulness of his Figure and Delivery, as well as with the Discourses 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. . I could heartily with that more of our Country-Clergy would follow this Example; and instead of wasting their Spirits in laborious Compositions of their own, would endeavour after a handsome Elocution, and all those other Talents that are proper to enforce what has been penned by greater Masters. This would not only be more easie to themselves, but more edifying to the People. L

No 107.

Tuesday, July 3.

Æsopo ingentem ftatuam posuere Attici,
Servumque collocârunt Æterna in Bafi,
Patere honoris scirent ut Cunéti viam. Phæd.
THE Reception, manner of Attendance, undisturbed

Freedom and Quiet, which I meet with here in

the Country, has confirmed me in the Opinion I always had, that the general Corruption of Manners in VOL. II,


« 이전계속 »