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like men entertained with the view of a spacious landscape, where the eye passes over one pleasing prospect into another, till the sight is lost by degrees in a succession of delightful objects, and leaves us in the persuasion that there remain still more behind.
But if we regard her Royal Highness in that light which diffuses the greatest glory round a human character, we shall find the christian no less conspicuous than the princess. She is as eminent for a sincere piety in the practice of religion, as for an inviolable adherence to its principles. She is constant in her attendance on the daily offices of our church, and by her serious and devout comportment on these solemn occasions, gives an ex: ample that is very often too much wanted in courts.
Her religion is equally free from the weakness of superstition, and the sourness of enthusiasm. It is not of that uncomfortable melancholy nature which disappoints its own end, by appearing unamiable to those whom it would gain to its interests. It discovers itself in the genuine effects of Christianity, in affability, compassion, benevolence, evenness of mind, and all the offices of an active and universal charity.
As a cheerful temper is the necessary result of these virtues, so it shines out in all the parts of her conversation, and dissipates those apprehensions which naturally hang on the timorous or the modest, when they are admitted to the honour of her presence. There is none that does not listen with pleasure to a person in so high a station, who condescends to make herself thus agreeable, by mirth without levity, and wit without ill-nature.
Her Royal Highness is, indeed, possessed of all those talents which make conversation either delightful or improving. As she has a fine taste of the elegant arts, and is skilled in several modern languages, her discourse is not confined to the ordinary subjects or forms of conversation, but can adapt itself with an uncommon grace to every occasion, and entertain the politest persons of different nations. I need not mention, what is observed by every one, that agrecable turn which appears in her sentiments upon the most ordinary affairs of life, and which is so suitable to the delicacy of her sex, the politeness of her education, and the splendour of her quality.
It would be vain to think of drawing into the compass of this paper, the many eminent virtues which adorn the character of this great princess; but as it is one chief end of this undertaking to make the people sensible of the blessings which they enjoy under his Majesty's reign, I could not but lay hold on this opportunity to speak of that which ought, in justice, to be reckoned among the greatest of them.
No. 22.* MONDAY, MARCH 5.
Studiis rudis, sermono barbarus, impetu strenuus, manu promptus, cogitatione celer.
For the honour of his Majesty, and the safety of his government, we cannot but observe, that those who have appeared the greatest enemies to both, are of that rank of men, who are commonly distinguished by the title of Fox-hunters. As several of these have had no part of their education in cities, camps, or courts, it is doubtful whether they are of greater ornament or use to the nation in which they live. It would be an everlasting reproach to politics, should such men be able to overturn an establishment which has been formed by the wisest laws, and is supported by the ablest heads. The wrong notions and preju- . dices which cleave to many of these country gentlemen, who have always lived out of the way of being better informed, are not easy to be conceived by a person who has never conversed with them.
* This Freeholder, together with the 44th and 47th, on a tory for-hunter, have all the ease and gaiety of the best Spectators on Sir Roger de Coverley. And, in general, we may observe, that the gentle graces of Mr. Addison never forsake him, in a paper of humour; the bent of his genius lying so strongly that way.
If he any where writes beneath himself in the Freeholder, it is in those graver parts, which seem scarce susceptible of embellishment, (ns those on the habeas-corpus, and the land-tax), or which require more time and recollection in a writer who would do justice to liis subject (as those on trade, and government) than he had to bestow upon them. Not but another reason might be, that he purposely restrained his wit, on many occasions, the better to adapt himself to the apprehension of his plainer readers, whom he was chiefly concerned to manage, and whose idiot prejudices he wanted to remove.
That I may give my readers an image of these rural statesmen, I shall, without farther preface, set down an account of a discourse I chanced to have with one of them some time ago.
I was travelling towards one of the remote parts of England, when about three o'clock in the afternoon, seeing a country gentleman trotting before me with a spaniel by bis horse's side, I made up to him. Our conversation opened, as usual, upon the weather; in which we were very unanimous; having both agreed that it Fas too dry for the season of the year. My fellow-traveller, upon this, observed to me, that there had been no good weather since the revolution. I was a little startled at so extraordinary a remark, but would not interrupt him till he proceeded to tell tee of the fine weather they used to have in King Charles the second's reign. I only answered that I did not see how the badDess of the weather could be the king's fault; and, without waiting for his reply, asked him whose house it was we saw upon a rising ground at a little distance from us. He told me it belonged to an old fanatical cur, Mr. Such-a-one, “ You must have heard of him,' says he, he's one of the Rump.' I knew the gentleman's character upon hearing his name, but assured him, that to my knowledge he was a good churchman : 'Ay!' says he, with a kind of surprise, We were told in the country, that he spoke
twice, in the Queen's time, against taking off the duties upon French claret.' This naturally led us in the proceedings of late parliaments, upon which occasion he affirmed roundly, that there had not been one good law passed since King William's accession to the throne, except the act for preserving the game. I had a mind to see him out, and therefore did not care for contradicting him. “Is it not hard,' says he, that honest gentlemen should be taken into custody of messengers to prevent them from acting according to their consciences? But,' says he, 'what can we expect when a parcel of factious sons of whores —. He was going on in great passion, but chanced to miss his dog, who was amusing himself about a bush, that
at some distance behind us. We stood still till he had whistled him up; when he fell into a long panegyric upon his spaniel, who seemed, indeed, excellent in his kind : but I found the most remarkable adventure of his life was, that he had once like to have worried a dissentingteacher. The master could hardly sit on his horse for laughing all the while he was giving me the particulars of this story, which I found had mightily endeared his dog to him, and as he himself told
me, had made him a great favourite among all the honest gentlemen of the country. We were at length diverted from this piece of mirth by a post-boy, who winding his horn at us, my companion gave him two or three curses, and left the way clear for him. 'I fancy,' said I, 'that post brings news from Scotland. I shall long to see the next Gazette.' 'Sir,' says he, 'I make it a rule never to believe any of your printed news.
We never see, sir, how things go, except now and then in Dyer's Letter, and I read that more for the style than the news. The man has a clever pen, it must be owned. But is it not strange that we should be making war upon Church of England men, with Dutch and Swiss soldiers, men of antimonarchical principles ? these foreigners will never be loved in England, sir; they have not that wit and good-breeding that we have.' I must confess I did not expect to hear my new acquaintance value himself upon these qualifications, but finding him such a critic upon foreigners, I asked him if he had ever travelled; he told me, he did not know what travelling was good for, but to teach a man to ride the great horse, to jabber French, and to talk against passive obedience : to which he added, that he scarce ever knew a traveller in his life who had not forsook his principles, and lost his hunting-seat. "For my part,' says he, 'I and my father before me have always been for passive-obedience, and shall be always for opposing a prince who makes use of ministers that are of another opinion. But where do you intend to inn to-night ? (for we were now come in sight of the next town) I can help you to a very good landlord if you will go along with me. He is a lusty, jolly fellow, that lives well, at least three yards in the girt, and the best Church of England man upon the road.' I had a curiosity to see this high-church inn-keeper, as well as to enjoy more of the conversation of my fellow-traveller, and therefore readily consented to set our horses together for that night. As we rode side by side through the town, I was let into the characters of all the principal inhabitants whom we met in our way. One was a dog, another a whelp, another a cur, and another the son of a bitch, under which several denominations were comprehended all that voted on the whig side, in the last election of burgesses. As for those of his own party, he distinguished them by a nod of his head, and asking them how they did by their christian names. Upon our arrival at the inn, my companion' fetched out the jolly landlord, who knew him by his whistle. Many endearments and pri. vate whispers passed between them; though it was easy to see, by the landlord's scratching his head, that things did not go to their wishes. The landlord had swelled his body to a prodigious size, and worked up his complection to a standing crimson by