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allow that she affects so much being alone, but for want of particular company. I have railed at romances before her, for fear of her falling into those deep studies: she has fallen in with my humour that way for the time, but I know not how, my imprudent prohibition has, it seems, only. excited her curiosity; and I am afraid she is better read than I know of, for she said of a glass of water in which she was going to wash her hands after dinner, dipping her fingers with a pretty lovely air, “ It is crystalline. I shall examine further, and wait for clearer proofs.
Mrs. Betty is (I cannot by what means or me. thods imagine) grown mightily acquainted with what
passes in the town ; she knows all that matter of my lord such-a-one's leading my lady-such-one out from the play; she is prodigiously acquainted, all of a sudden, with the world, and asked her sister Jane the other day in an argument, ' Dear sister, how should you know any thing, that hear nothing but what we do in our own family?' I do not much like her maid.
Mrs. Mary, the youngest daughter, whom they rally and call Mrs. Ironside, because I have named her the Sparkler, is the very quintessence of goodnature and generosity; she is the perfect picture of her grandfather; and if one can imagine all good qualities which adorn human life become feminine, the seeds, nay, the blossom of them, are apparent in Mrs. Mary. It is a weakness I cannot get over, (for how ridiculous is a regard to the bodily perfections of a man who is dead) but I cannot resist my partiality to this child, for being so like her grandfather; how often have I turned from her, to hide the melting of my heart when she has been talking to me! I am sure the child has no skill in it, for artifice could not dwell under that visage ; but if I am absent a day from the family, she is sure to be at my lodging the next morning to know what is the matter.
At the head of these children, who have very plentiful fortunes, provided they marry with mine and their mother's consent, is my lady Lizard ; who, you cannot doubt, is very well visited. Sir William Oger, and his son almost at age, are frequently at our house on a double consideration, The knight is willing (for so he very gallantly expresses himself) to marry the mother, or he will consent, whether that be so or not, that his son Oliver shall take any one of the daughters Noll likes best.
Mr. Rigburt of the same county, who gives in his estate much larger, and his family more ans cient, offers to deal with us for two daughters,
Sir Harry Pandolf has writ word from his seat in the country, that he also is much inclined to an alliance with the Lizards, which he has declared in the following letter to my lady; she shewed it me this morning. MADAM,
• I HAVE heard your daughters very well spoken of: and though I have very great offers in my own neighbourhood, and heard the small-pox is very rife at London, I will send my eldest son to see them, provided that by your ladyship’s answer, and your liking of the rent-roll which I send herewith, your ladyship assures me he shall have one of them, for I do not think to have my son refused by any woman; Madam, I conclude, Your most humble servant,
N° 6. WEDNESDAY, MARCH 18, 1713.
I HAVE dispatched my young women, and the town has them among them; it is necessary for the elucidation of my future discourses, which I desire may be denominated, as they are the precepts of a Guardian, Mr. Ironside's Precautions: I say after what has been already declared, in the next place necessary to give an account of the males, of this worthy family, whose annals I am writing. The affairs of women being chiefly domestick, and not made up of so many circumstances as the duties of men are, I fear I cannot dispatch the account of the males under my care, in so few words as I did the explanation which regarded my women.
Sir Harry Lizard, of the county of Northampton, son and heir of the late Sir Marmaduke, is now entered
age, and is now at his seat in the country,
The estate at present in his hands is above three thousand a year after payment of taxes, and all necessary charges whatsoever. He is a man of good understanding, but not at all what is usually called a man of shining parts. His virtues are much greater than his accomplishments, as to his conversation. But when you come to consider his conduct with relation to his manners and fortune, it would be a very great injury not to allow him [to be] a very fine gentleman. "It has been carefully provided in his education, that he should be very ready at calculations. This gives him a quick alarm inwardly upon all undertakings; and in a much shorter time than is usual with men who are not versed in business, he is master of the question before him, and can instantly inform himself with great exactness in the matter of profit or loss tha shall arise from any thing proposed to him. The same capacity, joined to an honest nature, makes him very just to other men, as well as to himself. His payments are very punctual, and I dare answer he never did, or ever will, undertake any piece of building, or any ornamental improvement of his house, garden, park or lands, before the money is in his own pocket, wherewith he is to pay for sucb undertaking. He is too good to purchase labourers or artificers (as by this means he certainly could) at an under rate; but he has by this means what I think he deserves from his superior prudence, the choice of all who are most knowing and able to serve him. With his ready money the builder, mason, and carpenter, are enabled to make their market of gentlemen in his neighbourhood, who inconsiderately employ them; and often pay their undertakers by sale of some of their land : whereas, were the lands on which those improvements are made, sold to the artificers, the buildings would be rated as lumber in the purchase. Sir Harry has for ever a year's income, to extend his charity, serve his pleasures, or regale his friends. His servants, his cattle, his goods speak their master a rich man. Those about his person, as his bailiff, the groom of his chamber, and his butler, have a chearful, not a gay air; the servants below them seem to live in plenty, but not in wantonness. As Sir Harry is a young man, and of an active disposition, his best figure is on horse-back. But before I speak of that, I should acquaint you, that during his infancy all the young gentlemen of the neighbourhood were welcome to a part of the house, which was called the school; where, at the charge of the family, there was a grammar-master, a plain sober man, maintained (with a salary, besides his diet, of fifty pounds a year) to instruct all such children of gentlemen, or lower people, as would partake of his education. As they grew up, they were allowed to ride out with him upon his horses. There were always ten or twelve for the saddle in readiness to attend him and his favourites, in the choice of whom he shewed a good disposition, and distributed his kindness among them, by turns, with great goodnature. All horses both for the saddle, and swift draught, were very well bitted, and a skilful rider, with a riding-house, wherein he (the riding-master) commanded, had it in order to teach any gentleman's son of the county that would please to learn that exercise. We found our account in this proceeding, as well in real profit, as in esteem and power in the country; for as the whole shire is now possessed by gentlemen, who owe Sir Harry a part of education, which they all value themselves upon (their horsemanship); they prefer his horses to all others, and it is 10 per cent. in the price of a steed, which appears to come out of his riding-house.
By this means it is, that Sir Harry, as I was going to say, makes the best figure on horseback, for his usual hours of being in the field are well known; and at those seasons the neighbouring gentlemen, his friends and school-fellows, take a pleasure in giving him their company, with their servants well behaved, and horses well commanded.
I cannot enough applaud Sir Harry for a particular care in his horses. He not only bitts all which are ridden, but also all which are for the