The Spectator, Volume 2. eBook

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Example I have set before them, the truly virtuous Wives may learn to avoid those Errors which have so unhappily mis-led mine, and which are visibly these three.  First, in mistaking the proper Objects of her Esteem, and fixing her Affections upon such things as are only the Trappings and Decorations of her Sex.  Secondly, In not distinguishing what becomes the different Stages of Life.  And, Lastly, The Abuse and Corruption of some excellent Qualities, which, if circumscrib’d within just Bounds, would have been the Blessing and Prosperity of her Family, but by a vicious Extreme are like to be the Bane and Destruction of it.


* * * * *

No. 329.  Tuesday, March 18, 1712.  Addison.

  Ire tamen restat, Numa quo devenit et Ancus.


My friend Sir ROGER DE COVERLEY told me tother Night, that he had been reading my Paper upon Westminster Abby, in which, says he, there are a great many ingenious Fancies.  He told me at the same time, that he observed I had promised another Paper upon the Tombs, and that he should be glad to go and see them with me, not having visited them since he had read History.  I could not at first imagine how this came into the Knights Head, till I recollected that he had been very busy all last Summer upon Bakers Chronicle, which he has quoted several times in his Disputes with Sir ANDREW FREEPORT since his last coming to Town.  Accordingly I promised to call upon him the next Morning, that we might go together to the Abby.

I found the Knight under his Butlers Hands, who always shaves him.  He was no sooner Dressed, than he called for a Glass of the Widow Trueby’s Water, which he told me he always drank before he went abroad.  He recommended me to a Dram of it at the same time, with so much Heartiness, that I could not forbear drinking it.  As soon as I had got it down, I found it very unpalatable; upon which the Knight observing that I [had] made several wry Faces, told me that he knew I should not like it at first, but that it was the best thing in the World against the Stone or Gravel.

I could have wished indeed that he had acquainted me with the Virtues of it sooner; but it was too late to complain, and I knew what he had done was out of Good-will.  Sir ROGER told me further, that he looked upon it to be very good for a Man whilst he staid in Town, to keep off Infection, and that he got together a Quantity of it upon the first News of the Sickness being at Dautzick:  When of a sudden turning short to one of his Servants, who stood behind him, he bid him call [a [1]] Hackney Coach, and take care it was an elderly Man that drove it.

He then resumed his Discourse upon Mrs. Trueby’s Water, telling me that the Widow Trueby was one who did more good than all the Doctors and Apothecaries in the County:  That she distilled every Poppy that grew within five Miles of her; that she distributed her Water gratis among all Sorts of People; to which the Knight added, that she had a very great Jointure, and that the whole Country would fain have it a Match between him and her; and truly, says Sir ROGER, if I had not been engaged, perhaps I could not have done better.

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The Spectator, Volume 2. from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.