« AnteriorContinuar »
" Sir," said she, “where is the garden ?” “ Look “ behind you,” said he. She did fo ; and obferved the south wall was lined with brick, and a great number of fruit trees planted against it, which being then in blossom, looked very beautiful. " What are you fo intent on?” said the Dean. “ The opening bloom,” replied fhe; which brought Waller's lines to her remembrance.
Hope waits upon the flow'ry priine. “Oh !” replied he, "you are in a poetical vein; " I thought you had been taking notice of my
'Tis the best in Ireland. When the “ masons were building it, (as most tradesmen « are rogues), I watched them very close, and « as often as they could, they put in a rotten “ftone ; of which, however, I took no notice, " till they had built three or four perches bc“yond it. Now, as I am an absolute monarch " in the liberties, and king of the mob, my way " with them was, to have the wall thrown down " to the place where I observed the rotten stone; " and, by doing so five or fix times, the work
men were at last convinced it was their interest " to be honest:"_" Or else, Sir,” said Mrs Pilkington, “
wall would have been as tedious a piece of work as Penelope's web, if all " that was done in the day was to be undone at “ night.” “Well," answered the Dean, “I " find you have poetry for every occafion ; but
as you cannot keep pace with me in walking, “ I would have you sit down on that little bank, “ till you are rested, or I tired, to put us more
upon a par.”
She feated herself, and away the Dean walked, or rather trotted as hard as ever he could drive. She could not help smiling at his odd gait ; for she thought to herself, he had written fo much in praise of horses, that he was resolved to imitate them as nearly as he could. As she was indulging this fancy, the Dean returned to her, and gave her a strong confirmation of his partiality to those animals. “ I have been considering, “ Madamı, as I walked," said he, “what a fool “ Mr Pilkington was to marry you ; for he “ could have afforded to keep a horse for less “ money than you cost him; and that, you must “ confess, would have given him better exercise “ and more pleasure than a wife.Why you “ laugh, and don't anfwer me- is not it truth ?"
“ I must answer you, Sir,” replied she, 6 with another question : Pray how can a bate " chelor judge of this matter ?” “ I find,” said he,
you are vain enough to give yourself the pre« ference.” “I do, Sir," replied fhe, “to that “ fpecies here; to a Houyhnhnm I would, as be
comes me, give preference. But, Sir, 'tis “ going to rain.”_" I hope not,” said he, “ for " that will cost me fixpence for a coach for you,” (the garden being at fome distance from the house). " Come, haste; O how the tester trem“ bles in my pocket!” She obeyed; and they got in a doors just time enough to escape a heavy fhower. “ Thank God," said the Dean, “ I have “ saved my money. Here, you fellow,” (to the fervant), “ carry this fixpence to the lame old
man that sells gingerbread at the corner, be“ cause he tries to do something, and does not
Mrs Pilkington was shewed into a little streetparlour, where was Mrs Brent, his house-keeper. “ Here,” says he, “ Mrs Brent, take care of this “ child, while I take my walk out within doors." The Dean then ran up the great stairs, down one pair of back-stairs, up another, in fo violent a manner, that Mrs Pilkington could not help expressing her uneasiness to Mrs Brent, lest he should fall, and be hurted. Mrs Brent said, it was a customary exercise with him, when the weather did not permit him to walk abroad.
Mrs Brent then told Mrs Pilkington of the Dean's charity; of his giving above half of his, yearly income in private pensions to decayed families; and keeping sool. in the constant fervice of industrious poor, which he lent out 5l. at a time, and took the payment back at i s. aweek; which, she obferved, did them more fervice than if he gave it to them entirely, as it obliged them to work, and at the same time kept up this charitable fund for the assistance of many. " You cannot imagine,” said she, “what num“bers of poor tradesmen, who have even want
“ ed proper tools to carry on their work, have, “ by this small loan, been put into a prosperous “ way, and brought up their families in credit. « The Dean, added fhe, has found out a new “ method of being charitable, in which, how“ ever, I believe, he will have but few fol“ lowers ; which is, to debar himself of what he “ calls the superfluities of life, in order to ad“ minister to the necessities of the distressed. “ You just now saw an instance of it; the mo
ney a coach would have cost him, he gave
to a poor man unable to walk. When he s dines alone, he drinks a pint of beer, and gives " away the price of a pint of wine. And thus 66 he acts in numberlels instances."
The Dean came to dine with Mr and Mrs Pilkington at their Lilliputian palace, as he called it; and, who could have thought it ? he just looked into the parlour, and ran up into the garret, then into Mrs Pilkington's bedchamber and library, and from thence down to the kitchen; and the house being very clean, he complimented her upon it, and told her, that was his custom
; and that it was from the cleanliness of the garret and kitchen, he judged of the good housewifery of the mistress of the houf, for no doubt but a flut would have the room clean where the guests were to be entertained.
He was sometimes very rude, even to his fuperiors ; of which the following story, related to Mrs Pilkington by himself, may serve as one irrstance amongst a thousand others.
The last time he was in London, he went to dine with the Earl of Burlington, who was then but newly married. The Earl being willing, 'tis fuppofed, to have some diversion, did not introduce him to his lady, nor mention his name. It is to be observed, that his gown was generally very rusty, and his person no way extraordinary. After dinner, said the Dean, “ Lady “ Burlington, I hear you can fing; fing me a
song.” The lady looked on this unceremonious manner of asking a favour with distaste, and positively refused him. He faid, she should fing, or he would make her. “ Why, Madam, I fup“ pose you take me for one of your poor English “ hedge parsons ; fing when I bid you.” As the Earl did nothing but laugh at this freedom, the lady was so vexed, that the burst into tears and retired.
His first compliment to her when he saw her again, was, “ Pray, Madam, are you as proud " and as ill-natured now, as when I saw you “ last ?” To which she answered with great good humour, “ No, Mr Dean ; l'll fing for
you please.” From which time he conceived great esteem for her. But who that knew him, would tak&offence at his bluntness ?
Mrs Pilkington could not recollect that ever the faw the Dean laugh ; perhaps he thought it beneath him ; for when any pleasantry passed which might have excited it, he used to fuck his cheeks to avoid risibility. He used frequently to