Page images

of Women of the Town .... STEELE.

191. On the Whims of Lottery-Adven-





192. Parental Fondness and Expecta-

tions—Consolation on the Death

of a Parent

..... STEELE.

193. Account of a great Man's Levee...

194. Letters on an untoward Wife-

Fickle Friend



N° 132. WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 1, 1711.

Qui, aut tempus quid postulet non videt, aut plura loquitur, aut se ostentat, aut eorum quibuscum est rationem non habet, is ineptus esse dicitur.

TULL. That man may be called impertinent, who considers not the circumstances of time, or engrosses the conversation, or makes himself the subject of his discourse, or pays uo regard to the company he is in.

HAVING notified to my good friend Sir Roger that I should set out for London the next day, his horses were ready at the appointed hour in the evening; and, attended by one of his grooms, I arrived at the county-town at twilight, in order to be ready for the stage-coach the day following. As soon as we arrived at the inn, the servant who waited upon me inquired of the chambermaid in my hearing what company

he had for the coach? The fellow answered, * Mrs. Betty Arable, the great fortune, and the widow her mother; a recruiting officer (who took a pļace because they were to go); young 'Squire Quickset, her cousin (that her mother wished her to be mar-,

[blocks in formation]

of me.

ried to); Ephraim the quaker, her guardian; and a gentleman that had studied himself dumb from Sir Roger De Coverley's. I observed by what he said of myself, that according to his office he dealt much in intelligence; and doubted not but there was some foundation for his reports of the rest of the company, as well as for the whimsical account he gave

The next morning at day-break we were all called; and I who know my own natural shyness, and endeavour to be as little liable to be disputed with as possible, dressed immediately, that I might make no one wait. The first preparation for our setting out was, that the captain's half pike was placed near the coachman, and a drum behind the coach. In the mean time the drummer, the captain's equipage, was very loud, that none of the captain's things should be placed so as to be spoiled ;' upon which his cloak-bag was fixed in the seat of the coach; and the captain himself, according to a frequent, though invidious behaviour of military men, ordered his man to look sharp, that none but one of the ladies should have the place he had taken fronting the coach-box.

We were in some little time fixed in our seats, and sat with that dislike which people not too goodnatured usually conceive of each other at first sight. The coach jumbled us insensibly into some sort of familiarity; and we had not moved above two miles, when the widow asked the captain what success he had in his recruiting ? The officer, with a frankness he believed very graceful, told her, “ that indeed he had but very little luck, and had suffered much by desertion, therefore should be glad to end his warfare in the service of her or her fair daughter. In a word, continued he, “I am a soldier, and to be plain is my character : you see me, madam, young, sound, and impudent: take me yourself, widow, or

« PreviousContinue »