« السابقةمتابعة »
No. LIII. Tuesday, May 8, 1753.
Quisque fuos patimur Manes.
Each has his lot, and bears the fate he drew.
Fleet, May 6.
In consequence of my engagements, I address you once more from the habitations of misery. In this place, from which business and pleasure are equally excluded, and in which our only employment and diversion is to hear the narratives of each other, I might much fooner have gathered materials for a letter, had I not hoped to have been reminded of my promise : but since I find myself placed in the regions of oblivion, where I am no less neglected by you than by the rest of mankind, I refolved no longer to wait for solicitation, but stole early this evening from between gloomy fullenness and riotous merriment, to give you an account of part of my companions.
One of the most eminent members of our club is Mr. Edward Scamper, a man of whose name the Olympic heroes would not have been ashamed. Ned was born to a small estate, which he determined to improve ; and therefore, as foon as he became of age, mortgaged part
of his land to buy a mare and stallion, and bred horses for the course. He was at first
successful, and gained several of the king's plates, as he is now every day boasting, at the
little more than ten times their value. At last, however, he discovered, that victory brought him more honour than profit ; resolving, therefore, to be rich as well as illustrious, he replenished his pockets by another mortgage, became on a sudden a daring better, and resolving not to trust a jockey with his fortune, rode his horse himself, diftanced two of his competitors the first heat, and at last won the race, by forcing his horse on a descent at full speed, at the hazard of his neck. His estate was thus repaired, and some friends that had no souls advised him to give over ; but Ned now knew the way to riches, and therefore without caution increased his expences. From this hour he talked and dreamed of nothing but a horse race; and rising soon to the summit of equestrian reputation, he was constantly expected on every course, divided all his time between lords and jockies, and, as thé unexperienced regulated their betts by his example, gained a great deal of money by laying openly on one horse and secretly on the other. Ned was now so sure of growing rich, that he involved his estate in a third mortgage, borrowed money of all his friends, and risqued his whole fortune upon Bay-Lincoln. He mounted with beating heart, started fair, and won the first heat; but in the second, as he was puthing against the foremost of his rivals, his girth broke, his shoulder was dislocated, and before he was dismissed by the surgeon, two bailiffs faftened upon him, and he saw Newmarket no more. His daily amusement for four years has been to blow the signal for starting, to make ima
ginary matches, to repeat the pedigree of Bay-Lincoln, and to form resolutions against trusting another groom with the choice of his girth.
The next in feniority is Mr. Timothy Snug, a man of deep contrivance and impenetrable secrecy. His father died with the reputation of more wealth than he possessed :- Tim, therefore, entered the world with a reputed fortune of ten thoufand pounds. Of this he very well knew that eight thousand was imaginary : but being a man of refined policy, and knowing how much honour is annexed to riches, he resolved never to detect his own poverty; but furnished his house with elegance, scattered his money with profufion, encouraged every scheme of costly pleasure, spoke of petty lofles with negligence, and on the day before an execution entered his doors, had proclaimed at a public table his resolution to be jolted no longer in a hackneycoach.
Another of my companions is the magnanimous Jack Scatter, the son of a country gentleman, who having no other care than to leave him rich, considered that literature could not be had without expence; masters would not teach for nothing; and when a book was bought and read, it would sell for little. Jack was therefore taught to read and write by the butler; and when this acquisition was made, was left to pass his days in the kitchen and the stable, where he heard no crime censured but covetousness and distrust of
honest servants, and where all the praise was bestowed on good housekeeping and a free heart. At the death of his father, Jack fet himself to retrieve the honour of his family: he abandoned his cellar to the butler, ordered bis groom to provide hay and corn at discretion, tock Vol. II.
his housekeeper's word for the expences of the kitchen, allowed all his fervants to do their work by deputies, permitted his domeftics to keep his boufe open to their relations and acquaintance, and in ten years was conveyed hither, without having purchased by the loss of his patrimony either honour or pleaʻure, or obtained any other gratification than that of having corrupted the neighbouring villagers by luxury and idleness.
Dick Serge was a draper in Cornhill, and passed eight years in prosperous diligence, without any care but to keep his books, or any ambition but to be in time an alderman ; but then, by fome unaccountable revolution in his understanding, he became enamoured of wit and humour, despised the conversation of pedlars and stockjobbers, and rambled every night to the regions of gaiety, in quest of company suited to his taste. The wits at first flocked about him for sport, and afterwards for interest ; some found their way into his books, and some into his pockets; the man of adventure was equipped from his fhop for the pursuit of a fortune; and he had sometimes the honour to have his security accepted when his friends were in distress. Elated with these associations, he soon learned to neglect his fhop; and having drawn his money out of the funds to avoid the neceflity of teazing men of honour for trifling debts, he has been forced at last to retire hither, till his friends can procure him a poft at court.
Another that joins in the same mess is Bob Cornice, whose life has been spent in fitting up a house. About ten years ago Bob purchased the country habitation of a bankrupt : the mere shell of a building, Bob holds no great matter, the infide is the test of elegance.
Of this house he was no sooner master than he summoned twenty workmen to his assistance, tore up the floors and laid them anew, stripped off the wainícot, drew the windows from their frames, altered the difpofition of doors and fire places, and cast the whole fabric into a new form : his next care was to have his ceilings painted, his pannels guilt, and his chimneypieces carved : every thing was executed by the ableft hands : Bob's business was to follow the workmen with a microscope, and call upon them to retouch their performances, and heighten excellence to perfection. The reputation of his house now brings round him a daily confluence of visitants, and every one tells him of fome. elegance which he has hitherto overlooked, fome convenience not yet procured, or some new mode in ornat ment or furniture. Bob, who had no wish but to be admired, nor any guide but the fashion, thought every thing beautiful in proportion as it was new, and considered his work as unfinished, while any observer could suggest an addition; some alteration was therefore every day made, without any other motive than the charms of novelty. A traveller at last suggested to him the convenience of a grotto : Bob immediately crdered the mount of his garden to be excavated ; and having laid out a large sum in shells and minerals, was busy in regulating the disposition of the colours and lustres, when two gentlemen, who had asked permission to his gardens, presented him a writ, and led him off to less
elegant apartments. 1
I know not, Sir, whether among this fraternity of forrow you will think any much to be pitied; nor inideed do many of them appear to solicit compassion,
for they generally applaud their own conduct, and def1