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No. 126 [from The Spectator]
by [?]

I do not know whether I have observed in any of my former Papers, that my Friends Sir ROGER DE COVERLEY and Sir ANDREW FREEPORT are of different Principles, the first of them inclined to the landed and the other to the monyed Interest. This Humour is so moderate in each of them, that it proceeds no farther than to an agreeable Raillery, which very often diverts the rest of the Club. I find however that the Knight is a much stronger Tory in the Country than in Town, which, as he has told me in my Ear, is absolutely necessary for the keeping up his Interest. In all our Journey from London to his House we did not so much as bait at a Whig Inn; or if by chance the Coachman stopped at a wrong Place, one of Sir ROGER’S Servants would ride up to his Master full speed, and whisper to him that the Master of the House was against such an one in the last Election. This often betray’d us into hard Beds and bad Chear; for we were not so inquisitive about the Inn as the Inn-keeper; and, provided our Landlord’s Principles were sound, did not take any Notice of the Staleness of his Provisions. This I found still the more inconvenient, because the better the Host was, the worse generally were his Accommodations; the Fellow knowing very well, that those who were his Friends would take up with coarse Diet and an hard Lodging. For these Reasons, all the while I was upon the Road I dreaded entering into an House of any one that Sir Roger had applauded for an honest Man.

Since my Stay at Sir ROGER’S in the Country, I daily find more Instances of this narrow Party-Humour. Being upon a Bowling-green at a Neighbouring Market-Town the other Day, (for that is the Place where the Gentlemen of one Side meet once a Week) I observed a Stranger among them of a better Presence and genteeler Behaviour than ordinary; but was much surprised, that notwithstanding he was a very fair Bettor, no Body would take him up. But upon Enquiry I found, that he was one who had given a disagreeable Vote in a former Parliament, for which Reason there was not a Man upon that Bowling-green who would have so much Correspondence with him as to Win his Money of him.

Among other Instances of this Nature, I must not omit one which [concerns [2]] my self. Will. Wimble was the other Day relating several strange Stories that he had picked up no Body knows where of a certain great Man; and upon my staring at him, as one that was surprised to hear such things in the Country [which [3]] had never been so much as whispered in the Town, Will. stopped short in the Thread of his Discourse, and after Dinner asked my Friend Sir ROGER in his Ear if he was sure that I was not a Fanatick.

It gives me a serious Concern to see such a Spirit of Dissention in the Country; not only as it destroys Virtue and Common Sense, and renders us in a Manner Barbarians towards one another, but as it perpetuates our Animosities, widens our Breaches, and transmits our present Passions and Prejudices to our Posterity. For my own Part, I am sometimes afraid that I discover the Seeds of a Civil War in these our Divisions; and therefore cannot but bewail, as in their first Principles, the Miseries and Calamities of our Children.


[Footnote 1: Bibliothecae Historicae, Lib. i. Sec. 87.]

[Footnote 2: concerns to]

[Footnote 3: that]