The Spectator, Volume 2. eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 946 pages of information about The Spectator, Volume 2..

The Knight then asked me, if I had seen Prince Eugenio, and made me promise to get him a Stand in some convenient Place where he might have a full Sight of that extraordinary Man, whose Presence does so much Honour to the British Nation.  He dwelt very long on the Praises of this Great General, and I found that, since I was with him in the Country, he had drawn many Observations together out of his reading in Bakers Chronicle, and other Authors, [who [5]] always lie in his Hall Window, which very much redound to the Honour of this Prince.

Having passed away the greatest Part of the Morning in hearing the Knights Reflections, which were partly private, and partly political, he asked me if I would smoak a Pipe with him over a Dish of Coffee at Squires.  As I love the old Man, I take Delight in complying with every thing that is agreeable to him, and accordingly waited on him to the Coffee-house, where his venerable Figure drew upon us the Eyes of the whole Room.  He had no sooner seated himself at the upper End of the high Table, but he called for a clean Pipe, a Paper of Tobacco, a Dish of Coffee, a Wax-Candle, and the Supplement with such an Air of Cheerfulness and Good-humour, that all the Boys in the Coffee-room (who seemed to take pleasure in serving him) were at once employed on his several Errands, insomuch that no Body else could come at a Dish of Tea, till the Knight had got all his Conveniences about him.

L.

[Footnote 1:  Prince Eugene was at this in London, and caressed by courtiers who had wished to prevent his coming, for he was careful to mark his friendship for the Duke of Marlborough, who was the subject of hostile party intrigues.  During his visit he stood godfather to Steels second son, who was named, after, Eugene.]

[Footnote 2:  had made]

[Footnote 3:  Cold and Poverty]

[Footnote 4:  The Act against Occasional Conformity, 10 Ann. cap. 2.]

[Footnote 5:  [that]]

* * * * *

No. 270.  Wednesday, January 9, 1712.  Steele.

  Discit enim citius, meminitque libentius illud,
  Quod quis deridet, quam quod probat.

  Hor.

I do not know that I have been in greater Delight for these many Years, than in beholding the Boxes at the Play the last Time The Scornful Lady [1] was acted.  So great an Assembly of Ladies placed in gradual Rows in all the Ornaments of Jewels, Silk and Colours, gave so lively and gay an Impression to the Heart, that methought the Season of the Year was vanished; and I did not think it an ill Expression of a young Fellow who stood near me, that called the Boxes Those Beds of Tulips.  It was a pretty Variation of the Prospect, when any one of these fine Ladies rose up and did Honour to herself and Friend at a Distance, by curtisying; and gave Opportunity to that Friend to shew her Charms to the same Advantage in returning the Salutation.  Here that Action is as proper and graceful, as it is at Church unbecoming and impertinent.  By the way, I must take the Liberty to observe that I did not see any one who is usually so full of Civilities at Church, offer at any such Indecorum during any Part of the Action of the Play.

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