[Footnote A: March 1728. It is cheerful to know that Mr. Gregory also escaped hanging. It was contended during the trial, and afterwards, that the testimony against both these defendants was more damning than the facts warranted.]
[Footnote B: Nevertheless Savage did write a poem in Oldfield’s honour, although he did not sign his virtuous name thereto. The verses are quoted by Chetwood. Vide Chapter XI.]
Poor, crusty Samuel! what rot you could write now and then, and how you did hate players and their craft. But may not the bewildered reader ask how the aphorisms of the doctor and the disreputable affairs of Savage concern that home life of Nance to which the chapter is presumably consecrated? In answer the writer can only cry “Peccavi,” and, having done so, will sin boldly again by giving one more anecdote. The story concerns Savage, but Steele is the hero of it, and as winsome Dick is always welcome, we may take leave of the other Dick in a pleasant way.
Savage was once desired by Sir Richard (says Johnson), with an air of the utmost importance, to come very early to his house the next morning. Mr. Savage came as he had promised, found the chariot at the door, and Sir Richard waiting for him and ready to go out. What was intended, and whither they were to go, Savage could not conjecture, and was not willing to inquire; but immediately seated himself with Sir Richard. The coachman was ordered to drive, and they hurried with the utmost expedition to Hyde Park Corner, where they stopped at a petty tavern and retired to a private room. Sir Richard then informed him that he intended to publish a pamphlet, and that he had desired him to come thither that he might write for him. He soon sat down to the work. Sir Richard dictated, and Savage wrote, till the dinner that had been ordered was put upon the table. Savage was surprised at the meanness of the entertainment, and after some hesitation ventured to ask for wine, which Sir Richard, not without reluctance, ordered to be brought. They then finished their dinner, and proceeded in their pamphlet, which they concluded in the afternoon.
Mr. Savage then imagined his task over, and expected that Sir Richard would call for the reckoning and return home; but his expectations deceived him, for Sir Richard told him that he was without money, and that the pamphlet must be sold before the dinner could be paid for; and Savage was therefore obliged to go and offer their new production to sale for two guineas, which with some difficulty he obtained. Sir Richard then returned home, having retired that day only to avoid his creditors, and composed the pamphlet only to discharge his reckoning.