Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

“ make you as happy as a Queen ; you shall “ have some in perfection : For when I was “ chaplain to the Earl of Berkeley, who was in “ the government here, I was so poor, I was “ obliged to keep a coffee-house, and all the no“ bility resorted to it to talk treason.” The Dean then fet about making the coffee : But the fire scorching his hand, he called to Mrs Pilkington to reach him his glove ; and changing the coffeepot to his left band, held out his right one, ordering her to put the glove on it; which accordingly she did ; when taking up part of his gown to fan himself with, and acting in character of a prudith lady, he said, “Well, I don't know “ what to think : Women may be honest that do “ such things; but, for my part, I never could “ bear to touch any man's flesh-except my “ husband's; whom, perhaps,” (said he), “ The " wished at the devil.”

“ Mr Pilkington,” said he, “ you would not “ tell me your wife's faults ; but I have found “ her out to be d-n’d, insolent, proud, unmannerly flut.” “ What has she done now ??” said Mr Pilkington. “ Done," said the Dean; “ why nothing, but fat there quietly, and never

once offered to interrupt me in making the “ coffee; whereas, a lady of modern good breed“ ing would have struggled with me for the cof“ fee-pot, till the had made me fcald myself and “ her, and make me throw the coffee in the fire, or perhaps at her head, rather than per66 mit me to take so much trouble for her.”

Mrs Pilkington staid at home with the Dean during the time of the afternoon's service; and e he made her read his history of the four laft years

of Q. Anne, asking her at the conclusion of every period, whether she understood it ?

66 for I " would,” said he, “ have it intelligible to the * meanest capacity; and if you comprehend it, “ 'tis poisible every body may.”

She accompanied the Dean to evening prayer ; czi and on their return to the deanry, he told Mr and Mrs Pilkington, that he gave them leave to stay to supper ; which from him was a fufficient clinvitation. The Dean then decanted a bottle of ist wine; and the last glass being muddy, he called

to Mr Pilkington to drink it; “ for,” says he, “I Fon"s always keep some poor parson to drink the foul

“ wine for me.” Mr Pilkington entering into his humour, thanked him, and told him, he did not know the difference, but was glad to get a glass at any rate. " Why then," said the Dean,

you shan't ; for I'll drink it myself. Why p-x take you, you are wiser than a paltry curate, whom I asked to dine with me a few days ago ; for upon my making the same speech to him, he told me he did not understand such

usage ; and so walked off without his dinner. “ By the same token, I told the gentleman " who recommended him to me, that the fellow

was a blockhead, and I had done with hiin." The Dean then mifling his golden bottle-fore, told Mrs Tilkington very ftcrrly, he was sure the VOL. ).

Р

had

bad stolen it. She affirmed very seriously, she had not. Upon which he looked for it, and found it where he himself had laid it : " 'Tis " well for you,” said he, “ that I have got it, “ or I would have charged you with theft." Why, pray, Sir,” said she, “ should I be “ suspected more than any other person in the company

?" “ For a very good reason,” said he, “because you are the poorest.”

At their going away, the Dean handed Mrs Tilkington down all the steps to the coach, thanking them for the honour of their company, at the same time flipping into her hand as much money as Mr Pilkington and she had given at the offering in the morning, and coach hire also ; which the durft not refuse, left she should have been deemed as great a blockhead as the parson who refused the thick wine.

In one of the Dean's periodical fits of deafness, he sent for Mrs Pilkington; who having come, he brought out to her a large book, finely bound in Turkey leather, and handsomely gilt: “ This," said he, “ is a translation of the epistles of Ho“ race, a present to me from the author ; 'tis a special good cover ; but I have a mind there « should be something valuable within fide of it.” So taking out his penknife, he cut out all the leaves close to the inner margin. “ Now,” said he, “ I will give these what they greatly want;" and put them all into the fire. “Your task, Madam, is “ to paste in these letters, in this cover, in the or" der I shall give them to you: I intended to do

[ocr errors]

« it myself, but that I thought it might be a pret" ty amusement for a child ; fo I sent for you.” She told him she was extremely proud to be honoured with his commands ; but requested to have leave to read the letters as she went on. “ Why,” said the Dean,“ provided you will ac" knowledge yourself amply rewarded for your “ trouble, I don't much care if I indulge you fo

“ far.”

[ocr errors]

In reading the letters, she could not avoid remarking to the Dean, that, notwithstanding the friendship Mr Pope profefled for Mr Gay, he could not forbear a great many satirical, or, if she might be allowed to say fo, envious remarks on the success of the Beggar's Opera. The Dean very frankly owned, he did not think Mr Pope was so candid to the merit of other writers as he ought to be. She then ventured to ask the Dean, whether he thought the lines Mr Pope addresses him with in the beginning of the Dunciad, were any compliment to him, viz.

O thou ! whatever title please thine ear. “ I believe,” faid he, “ they were meant as “ fuch, but they are very ftiff.” “ Indeed, Sir,”

“he is so perfectly a master of harnio“nious numbers, that, had his heart been the “ least affected with his subject, he must have “writ better. How cold, how forced, are his "lines to you, compared with your's to him! Hail, happy Pope ! whose gen'rous mind, * &c. P 2

" Here * See vol. ix.

faid she,

“ Here we see the masterly poet, and the warm, “ fincere, generous friend; while he, according “ to the character he gives of Mr Addison, “ damins with faint praise."_“ Well,” replied the Dean, “ I'll shew you a letter of his.” He did fo; and Mrs Pilkington was surprised to find it filled with low and ungentleman-like reflections, both on Mr Gay, and the two noble persons who honoured him with their patronage after his difappointment at court. “ Well, Madam,” said the Dein, “what do you think of that letter ?” (seeing the had gone quite through it.) “ In“ deed, Sir,” replied fhe, “I am sorry I have “ read it ; for it gives me reason to think there “ is no such thing as a sincere friend to be met “ with in the world.” -“ Why,” replied he, " authors are as jealous of their prerogative as

kings; and can no more bear a rival in the “ empire of wit, than a monarch could in his “ dominions.” Mrs Pilkington then observing a Latin sentence writ in Italics, desired the Dean to explain it. “ No," replied he, smiling, “ I'll “ leave that for your husband to do. I'll send “ for him to dine with us, and in the mean time “ we'll go and take a walk in Naboth’s vineyard.”

-65 Where may that be, pray, Sir?” said she. Why, a garden,” said the Dean, “I cheated “ one of my neighbours out of.” When they entered the garden, or rather the field, which was square, and inclofed with a stone wall, the Dean asked her how the liked it? “ Why, pray,

« Sir,

« AnteriorContinuar »