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it, You must know,' says Sir Roger, I never make use of any body to row me, that has not either lost a leg or an arm. I would rather bate him a few strokes of his oar than not employ an honest man that has been wounded in the queen's service. If I was a lord or a bishop, and kept a barge, I would not put a fellow in my livery that had not a wooden leg.'
My old friend, after having seated himself, and trimmed the boat with his coachman, who, being a very sober man, always serves for ballast on these occasions, we made the best of our way for Vauxhall*. Sir Roger obliged the waterman to give us the history of his right leg; and, hearing that he had left it at La Hogue, with many particulars which passed in that glorious action, the knight, in the triumph of his heart, made several reflections on the greatness of the British nation; as, that one Englishman could beat three Frenchmen; that we could never be in danger of popery so long as we took care of our fleet; that the Thames was the noblest river in Europe; that London bridge was a greater piece of work than any of the seven wonders of the world; with many other honest prejudices which naturally cleave to the heart of a true Englishman.
After some short pause, the old knight turning about his head twice or thrice, to take a survey of this great metropolis, bid me observe how thick the city was set with churches, and that there was scarce a single steeple on this side Temple-bar. A most heathenish sight!' says Sir Roger: there is no religion at this end of the town. The fifty new churches will very much amend the prospect; but churchwork is slow, church-work is slow.'
I do not remember I have any where mentioned in Sir Roger's character, his custom of saluting every
* In the original publication in folio, it is printed Fox-hall.
body that passes by him with a good-morrow, or a good-night. This the old man does out of the overflowings of his humanity; though, at the same time, it renders him so popular among all his country neighbours, that it is thought to have gone a good way in making him once or twice knight of the shire. He cannot forbear this exercise of benevolence even in town, when he meets with any one in his morning or evening walk. It broke from him to several boats that passed by us upon the water; but, to the knight's great surprise, as he gave the good-night to two or three young fellows a little before our landing, one of them, instead of returning the civility, asked us what queer old put we had in the boat, and whether he was not ashamed to go a-wenching at his years; with a great deal of the like Thames-ribaldry. Sir Roger seemed a little shocked at first, but at length assuming a face of magistracy, told us, that if he were a Middlesex justice, he would make such vagrants know that her Majesty's subjects were no more to be abused by water than by land.
We were now arrived at Spring-garden, which is excellently pleasant at this time of the year. When I considered the fragrancy of the walks and bowers, with the choirs of birds that sung upon the trees, and the loose tribe of people that walked under their shades, I could not but look upon the place as a kind of Mahometan paradise. Sir Roger told me it put him in mind of a little coppice by his house in the country, which his chaplain used to call an aviary of nightingales. • You must understand,' says the knight, there is nothing in the world that pleases a man in love so much as your nightingale. Ah, Mr. Spectator, the many moon-light nights that I have walked by myself, and thought on the widow by the music of the nightingale! He here fetched a deep sigh, and was falling into a fit of musing, when a
mask, who came behind him, gave him a gentle tap upon the shoulder and asked him if he would drink a bottle of mead with her? But the knight being startled at so unexpected a familiarity, and displeased to be interrupted in his thoughts of the widow, told her she was a wanton baggage;' and bid her go about her business.
We concluded our walk with a glass of Burton ale, and a slice of hung beef. When we had done eating ourselves, the knight called a waiter to him, and bid him carry the remainder to a waterman that had but one leg. I perceived the fellow stared upon him at the oddness of the message, and was going to be saucy; upon which I ratified the knight's commands with a peremptory look.
As we were going out of the garden, my old friend thinking himself obliged, as a member of the quorum, to animadvert upon the morals of the place, told the mistress of the house, who sat at the bar, that he should be a better customer to her garden, if there were more nightingales, and fewer strumpets.
No. 384. WEDNESDAY, MAY 21, 1712.
Hague, May 24, N. S. The same republican hands, who have so often since the chevalier de St. George's recovery, killed him in our public prints, have now reduced the young dauphin of France to that desperate condition of weakness, and death itself, that it is hard to conjecture what method they will take to bring him to life again. Meantime we are assured by a very good hand from Paris, that on the the 20th instant this young prince was as well as ever he was known to be since the day of his birth. As for the other, they are now sending his ghost, we suppose, for they never had the modesty to contradict their assertions of his death, to Commerci in Lorrain, attended only by four gentlemen, and a few domestics of little consideration. The baron de Bothmar* having delivered in his credentials to qualify him as an ambassador to this state, an office to which his greatest enemies will acknowledge him to be equal, is gone to Utrecht, whence he will proceed to Hanover, but not stay long at that court, for fear the peace should be made during his lamented absence.'
POST-BOY, MAY 20.
I SHOULD be thought not able to read, should I overlook some excellent pieces lately come out. My lord bishop of St. Asaph †, has just now published some sermons, the preface to which, seems to me to determine a great point. He has, like a good man, and a good Christian, in opposition to all the flattery and base submission of false friends to princes, asserted, that Christianity left us where it found us as to our civil rights The present entertainment shall consist only of a sentence out of the Post-Boy, and the said preface of the lord of St. Asaph. I should
* Ambassador from Hanover, and afterwards agent here for the Hanoverian family.
reflecting upon the motives that
Lysander, slain at a puppet-show
Thyrsis shot from a casement in
Sir Simon Softly, murdered at t
Philander, mortally wounded by