Friday, December 21, 2007

Church Greens

From The Spectator, [Richard Steele]
January the 14th, 1712.

Mr. Spectator,

I am a young woman, and have my fortune to make, for which reason I come constantly to church to hear divine service, and make conquests; but one great hindrance in this my design is, that our clerk, who was once a gardener, has this Christmas so over-decked the Church with greens, that he has quite spoil'd my prospect, insomuch that I have scarce seen the young Baronet I dress at these three weeks, though we have both been very constant at our devotions, and do not sit above three pews off. The Church, as it is now equipped, looks more like a green-house than a place of worship; the middle isle is a very pretty shady walk, and the pews look like so many arbours on each side of it. The pulpit itself has such clusters of ivy, holly, and rosemary about it, that a light fellow in our pew took occasion to say, that the congregation heard the word out of a bush, like Moses. Sir Anthony Love's pew in particular is so well hedg'd, that all my batteries have no effect. I am obliged to shoot at random among the boughs, without taking any manner of aim. Mr. Spectator, unless you will give orders for removing these greens, I shall grow a very aukward creature at Church, and soon have little else to do there but say my prayers. I am in haste,

Dear Sir,
Your most obedient servant,
Jenny Simper.

-from A Christmas Book: An Anthology for Moderns by D. B. Wyndham Lewis & G. C. Heseltine (London: J. M. Dent & Sons, 1928) p. 20-21.

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