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upon a picture; and that every now and then they cast their eyes upon me, as if they had found some resemblance betwixt that and my features. I could not forbear to ask the meaning of it; upon which the lady answered, that if I had been a Frenchman, she should have imagined that I was the person for whom the picture was drawn, because it so exactly resembled me. I desired to see it; but how great was my surprise! when I found it to be the very painting which I had sent to the queen five years before, and which she commanded me to get drawn to be given to my children. After I had viewed the piece, I cast my eyes upon the young lady, and then upon the gentleman I had thought to be her lover. My heart beat, and I felt a secret emotion which filled me with wonder. I thought I traced in the two young persons some of my own features, and at that moment I said to myself, "Are not these my children?" The tears came into my eyes, and I was about to run and embrace them; but constraining myself with pain, I asked whose picture it was? The maid, perceiving that I could not speak without tears, fell a weeping. Her tears absolutely confirmed me in my opinion, and falling upon her neck, "Ah, my dear child," said I, "yes, I am your father." I could say no more. The youth seized my hands at the same time, and kissing, bathed them with his tears. Throughout my life, I never felt a joy equal to this; and it must be owned, that nature inspires more lively emotions and pleasing tenderness than the passions can possibly excite.'
N° 151. THURSDAY, SEPT. 3, 1713.
Accipiat sanè mercedem sanguinis, et sic
A dear-bought bargain, all things duly weigh'd,
TO THE GUARDIAN.
* OLD NESTOR,
I BELIEVE you distance me not so much in years as in wisdom, and therefore since you have gained so deserved a reputation, I beg your assistance in correcting the manners of an untoward lad, who perhaps may listen to your admonitions, sooner than to all the severe checks, and grave reproofs of a father. Without any longer preamble, you must know, sir, that about two years ago, Jack, my eldest son and heir, was sent up to London, to be admitted of the Temple, not so much with a view of his studying the law, as a desire to improve his breeding. This was done out of complaisance to a cousin of his, an airy lady, who was continually teasing me, that the boy would shoot up into a mere country booby, if he did not see a little of the world. She herself was bred chiefly in town, and since she was married into the country, neither looks, nor talks, nor
dresses like any of her neighbours, and is grown the admiration of every one but her husband. The latter end of last month some important business called me up to town, and the first thing I did, the next morning about ten, was to pay a visit to my son at his chambers; but as I began to knock at the door, I was interrupted by the bed-maker in the staircase, who told me her master seldom rose till about twelve, and about one I might be sure to find him drinking tea. I bid her somewhat hastily hold her prating, and open the door, which accordingly she did. The first thing I observed upon the table was the secret amours of and by it stood a box of pills: on a chair lay a snuff-box with a fan half broke, and on the floor a pair of foils. Having seen this furniture I entered his bedchamber, not without some noise; whereupon he began to swear at his bed-maker (as he thought) for disturbing him so soon, and was turning about for the other nap, when he discovered such a thin, pale, sickly visage, that had I not heard the voice, I should never have guessed him to have been my How different was this countenance from that ruddy, hale complexion, which he had at parting with me from home! After I had waked him, he gave me to understand, that he was but lately recovered out of a violent fever, and the reason why he did not acquaint me with it, was, lest the melancholy news might have occasioned too many tears among his relations, and be an unsupportable grief to his mother. To be short with you, old Nestor, I hurried my young spark down into the country along with me, and there am endeavouring to plump him up, so as to be no disgrace to his pedigree; for I assure you it was never known in the memory of man, that any one of the family
of the Ringwoods ever fell into a consumption, except Mrs. Dorothy Ringwood, who died a maid at 45. In order to bring him to himself, and to be one of us again, I make him go to bed at ten, and rise at half an hour past five; and when he is puling for bohea tea and cream, I place upon a table a jolly piece of cold roast beef, or well powdered ham, and bid him eat and live; then take him into the fields to observe the reapers, how the harvest goes forwards. There is nobody pleased with his present constitution but his gay cousin, who spirits him up, and tells him, he looks fair, and is grown well-shaped; but the honest tenants shake their heads and cry," Lack-a-day, how thin is poor young master fallen!" The other day, when I told him of it, he had the impudence to reply, "I hope, sir, you would not have me as fat as Mr. Alas! what would then become of me how would the ladies pish at such a great monstrous thing!"-If you are truly, what your title imports, a Guardian, pray, sir, be pleased to consider what a noble generation must in all prohability ensue from the lives which the town-bred gentlemen too often lead. A friend of mine, not long ago, as we were complaining of the times, repeated two stanzas out of my lord Roscommon, which I think may here be applicable:
""Twas not the spawn of such as these, That dy'd with Punic blood the conquer'd seas, And quash'd the stern acides;
Made the proud Asian monarch feel,
How weak his gold was against Europe's steel;
And won the long-disputed world at Zama's fatal field ;
Rough, hardy, season'd, manly, bold;
Either they dug the stubborn ground,
Or thro' hewn woods their weighty strokes did sound;
And after the declining sun
Had changed the shadows, and their task was done; Home with their weary team, they took their way, And drown'd in friendly bowls the labours of the day."
I am, Sir,
Your very humble servant,
P. S. I forgot to tell you, that while I waited in my son's anti-chamber, I found upon the table the following bill.
Sold to Mr. Jonathan Ringwood, a plain muslin head and ruffles, with colbertine lace.
"Six pair of white kid gloves for 20
66 Three handkerchiefs for madam 30 15 0
"In his chamber window I saw his shoe-maker's bill, with this remarkable article,
"For Mr. Ringwood three pair of 23 0 0 }
And in the drawer of the table was the following billet.
"I DESIRE, that because you are such a country booby, that you forget the use and care of your snuff box, you would not call me thief. Pray see my face no more.
Your abused friend,
Under these words my hopeful heir had writ, Memorandum, to send her word I have found my box, though I know she has it."