MacMillan's Reading Books eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 236 pages of information about MacMillan's Reading Books.

Notice throughout this piece the archaic phrases used.]

* * * * *

VISIT TO SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY’S COUNTRY SEAT.

Having often received an invitation from my friend Sir Roger de Coverley to pass away a month with him in the country, I last week accompanied him thither, and am settled with him for some time at his country-house, where I intend to form several of my ensuing speculations.  Sir Roger, who is very well acquainted with my humour, lets me rise and go to bed when I please, dine at his own table or in my own chamber, as I think fit, sit still and say nothing without bidding me be merry.

I am the more at ease in Sir Roger’s family, because it consists of sober and staid persons; for, as the knight is the best master in the world, he seldom changes his servants; and as he is beloved by all about, his servants never care for leaving him; by this means his domestics are all in years, and grown old with their master.  You would take his valet de chambre for his brother; his butler is grey-headed, his groom is one of the gravest men that I have ever seen, and his coachman has the looks of a Privy Counsellor.  You see the goodness of the master even in the old house-dog, and in a grey pad that is kept in the stable with great care and tenderness, out of regard for his past services, though he has been useless for several years.

I could not but observe, with a great deal of pleasure, the joy that appeared in the countenance of these ancient domestics upon my friend’s arrival at his country-seat.  Some of them could not refrain from tears at the sight of their old master; every one of them pressed forward to do something for him, and seemed discouraged if they were not employed.  At the same time the good old knight, with a mixture of a father and the master of the family, tempered the inquiries after his own affairs with several kind questions about themselves.  This humanity and good-nature engages everybody to him, so that when he is pleasant upon any of them, all his family are in good-humour, and none so much as the person he diverts himself with.  On the contrary, if he coughs, or betrays any infirmity of old age, it is easy for a stander-by to observe a secret concern in the looks of all his servants.

My chief companion, when Sir Roger is diverting himself in the woods or the fields, is a very venerable man who is ever with Sir Roger, and has lived at his house in the nature of a chaplain above thirty years.  This gentleman is a person of good sense and some learning; of a very regular life and obliging conversation:  he heartily loves Sir Roger, and knows that he is very much in the old knight’s esteem, so that he lives in the family rather as a relation than a dependent.

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
MacMillan's Reading Books from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook