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so as to give him satisfaction, and not disoblige the justice of the quorum.
The hour of nine was come this morning, and I had no sooner set chairs, by the steward's letter, and fixed my, tea-equipage, but I heard a knock at my door, which was opened, but no one entered ; after which followed a long silence,
which was broke at last by, “Sir, I beg your pardon; I think I know better:' and another voice, *Nay, good Sir Giles – I looked out from my window, and saw the good company
all with their hats off, and arms spread, offering the door to each other. After many offers, they entered with much solemnity, in the order Mr. Thrifty was so kind as to name them to me. But they are now got to my chamber-door, and I saw my old friend Sir Harry enter. I met him with all the respect due to so reverend a vegetable; for you are to know, that is my sense of a person who remains idle in the same place for half a century. I got him with great success into his chair by the fire, without throwing down any of my cups.
The knight-bachelor told me, he had a great respect for my whole family, and would, with my leave, place himself next to Sir Harry, at whose right hand he had sat at every quarter-sessions these thirty years, unless he was sick.' The Steward in the rear whispered the young Templar, “ That is true to my knowledge. I had the misfortune, as they stood cheek by jole, to desire the squire to sit down before the justice of the quorum, to the no small satisfaction of the former, and resentment of the latter. But I saw my error too late, and got them as soon as I could into their seats.
Well,' said I, gentlemen, after I have told you how glad I am of this great honour, I am to desire you to drink a dish of tea.' They answered one and all, “ that they never drank tea in a morning!'-Not in a morning!' said
I, staring round me. Upon which the pert jackanapes, Nic Doubt, tipped me the wink, and put out his tongue at his grandfather. Here followed a profound silence, when the steward in his boots and whip proposed, that we should adjourn to some public house, where every body might call for what they pleased, and enter upon the business. We all stood up in an instant, and Sir Harry filed off from the left, very discreetly, countermarching behind the chairs towards the door. After him, Sir Giles in the same
The simple squire made a sudden start to follow; but the justice of the quorum whipped between upon
the stand of the stairs. A maid, going up with coals, made us halt, and put us into such confusion, that we stood all in a heap, without any visible possibility of recovering our order; for the young jackanapes seemed to make a jest of this matter, and had so contrived, by pressing amongst us, under pretence of making way, that his grandfather was got into the middle, and he knew nobody was of quality to stir a step, until Sir Harry moved first. We were fixed in this perplexity for some time, until we heard a very loud noise in the street; and Sir Harry asking what it was, I, to make them move, said, it was fire. Upon this, all ran down as fast as they could, without order or ceremony, until we got into the st et, where
very good order, and filed off down Sheer-lane; the impertinent Templar driving us before him, as in a string, and pointing to his acquaintance who passed by.
I must confess, I love to use people according to their own sense of good breeding, and therefore whipped in between the justice and the simple squire. He could not properly take this ill; but I overheard him whisper the steward, that he thought it hard, that a common conjuror should take place of him, though an elder squire. In
this order we marched down Sheer-lane, at the upper end of which I lodge. When we came to Temple-bar, Sir Harry and Sir Giles got over; but a run of the coaches kept the rest of us on this side of the street; however, we all at last landed, and drew
in very good order before Ben Tooke's* shop, who favoured our rallying with great humanity ; from whence we proceeded again, until we came to Dick's coffee-house t, where I designed to carry them. Here we were at our old difficulty, and took up the street upon the same ceremony. We proceeded through the entry, and were so necessarily kept in order by the situation, that we were now got into the coffee-house itself, where, as soon as we arrived, we repeated our civilities to each other; after which, we marched up to the high table, which has an ascent to it enclosed in the middle of the room. The whole house was alarmed at this entry, made up of persons of so much state and rusticity Sir Harry called for a mug of ale, and Dyer's Letter. The boy brought the ale in an instant; but said, they did not take in the Letter.'• No!' says Sir Harry, then take back your mug ; we are like indeed to have good liquor at this house!' Here the Templar tipped me a second wink, and, if I had not looked very grave upon him, I found he was disposed to be very familiar with me. In short, I observed, after a long pause, that the gentlemen did not care to enter upon business until after their morning-draught, for which reason I called for a bottle of mum; and finding that had no effect upon them, I ordered a second, and a third, after which Sir Harry reached over to me, and told me in a low voice, “that the place was too public for business; but he would call upon me again to-morrow morning
* The celebrated bookseller, in Fleet-street. + Which still goes by that name.
at my own lodgings, and bring some more friends with him.'
Will's Coffee-house, October 26. Though this place is frequented by a more mixed company
than it used to be formerly, yet you meet very often some whom one cannot leave without being the better for their conversation. A gentle. man this evening, in a dictating manner, talked, I thought, very pleasingly in praise of modesty, in the midst of ten or twelve libertines, upon whom it seemed to have had a good effect. He represented it as the certain indication of a great and noble spirit. Modesty,' said he is the virtue which makes men prefer the public to their private interest, the guide of every honest undertaking, and the great guardian of innocence. It makes men amiable to their friends, and respected by their very enemies. In all places, and on all occasions, it attracts benevolence, and demands approbation.'
One might give instances, out of antiquity, of the irresistible force of this quality in great minds : Cicereius, and Cneius Scipio, the son of the great Africanus, were competitors for the office of prætor. The crowd followed Cicereius, and left Scipio unattended, Cicereius saw this with much concern; and desiring an audience of the people, he descended from the place where the candidates were to sit in the eye of the multitude; pleaded for his adversary; and, with an ingenuous modesty, which it is impossible to feign, represented to them, “how much it was to their dishonour, that a virtuous son of Africanus should not be preferred to him, or any other man whatsoever.' This immediately gained the election for Scipio; but all the compliments and congratulations upon it were made to Cicereius. It is easier in this case to say who had the office, than
the honour. There is no occurrence in life where this quality is not more ornamental than any other. After the battle of Pharsalia, Pompey marching towards Larissus, the whole people of that place came out in procession to do him honour. He thanked the magistrates for their respect to him; but desired them to perform these ceremonies to the conqueror.' This gallant submission to his fortune, and disdain of making any appearance but like Pompey, was owing to his modesty, which would not permit him to be so disingenuous, as to give himself the air of prosperity, when he was in the contrary condition.
This I say of modesty, as it is the virtue which preserves a decorum in the general course of our Jife ; but, considering it also as it regards our mere bodies, it is the certain character of a great mind. It is memorable of the mighty Cæsar ; that when he was murdered in the Capitol, at the very moment in which he expired he gathered his robe about him, that he might fall in a decent posture. In this manner, says my author, he went off, not like a man that departed out of life, but a deity that returned to his abode.
N° 87. SATURDAY, OCTOBER 29, 1709.
Wills Coffee-house, October 28. THERE is nothing which I contemplate with greater pleasure than the dignity of human nature, which often shews itself in all conditions of life. For, notwithstanding the degeneracy and meanness that is crept into it, there are a thousand occasions in which