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through a mistake of my man's charging my pistols unknown to me. Him have I murdered for it. Such is my wedding day.------I will immediately follow my wife to her grave: but before I throw myself upou my sword, I command my distraction so far as to explain my story to you. I fear my heart will not keep together until I have stabbed it. Poor good old man ! Remember, he that killed your daughter died for it. In the article of death I give you my thanks, and pray for you, though I dare not for myself. If it be possible, do not curse ine.'
When I came home last night, my servant delivered me the following letter :
October 24, 1709. I have orders from sir Harry Quickset of Staffordshire, baronet, to acquaint you that his honour sir Harry himself, sir Giles Wheelbarrow, knight, Thomas Rentfrec, esquire, justice of the quorum, Andrew Windmill, esquire, and Mr. Nicholas Doubt of the Inner Temple, sir Harry's grandson, will wait upon you at the hour of nine to-morrow morning, being Tuesday the twenty-fifth of October, upon business which sir Harry will impart to you by word of mouth. I thought it proper to acquaint you beforehand so many persons of quality came, that you might not be surprised therewith. Which concludes, though, by many years abscnce since I saw you at Stafford, unknown,
. I received
I received this message with less surprise than I believe Mr. Thrifty imagined; for I knew the good company too well to feel any palpitations at their approach : but I was in a very great concern how I should adjust the ceremonial, and demean myself to all these great men, who perhaps had not seen any thing above themselves for these twenty years last past. I am sure that is the case of sir Harry. Besides which, I was sensible that there was a great point in adjusting my behaviour to the simple esquire, 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, Templar, That is true to my knowledge. I had the inisfortune, as they stood cheek by jole, to desire the esquire 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 disereetly, countermarching behind the chairs towards the door : after him, sir Giles in the same manner. The simple esquire 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. T'pon this, all ran down as fast as they could, without örder or ceremony, until we got into the street, where we drew up in 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 heir own sense of good breeding, and therefore whipped in between the justice and the esquire. He could not properly take this ill; but I overheard him whisper the steward that he thought it hard that a common conjurer should take place of him, though an elder esquire. 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 up in very good order before Ben Took's shop, who favoured our rallying with great humanity. From whence we proceeded again, until we came to Dick's coffee-house, 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 inclosed 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.
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 at my own lodgings, and bring some more friends with him.
ADDISON AND STEELE. *
TENDERNESS OF AUTHORS TO THEIR WORKS.
A VERY pleasant gentleman of my acquaintance told me one day a story of falsehood and vanity in an author.
Mævius showed him a paper of verses, which he said he had received that morning by the penny-post from an unknown hand. My friend admired them extremely. Sir, said he, this must come from a man that is eminent: you see fire, life, and spirit, run through the whole, and at the same time a correctness which shows he is used to writing: pray, sir, read them over again. He begins again, title and all : « To Mævius on his incoinparable poems. The second reading was performed with inuch more vehemence and action than the former; after which my friend fell into downright rapturesWhy, they are truly sublime! there is energy in this line! description in that! Why, it is the thing itself! this is perfect picture ! Mæyius could bear no more;