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times I paid four pounds for the fupper and claret and nine guineas I gave the agent for good offices. I then obtained the money, paying ten per cent. advance; and at the tenth meeting gave another fupper, and disburfed fifteen pounds for the writings.
Others, who ftiled themselves brokers, would only trust their money upon goods; that I might, therefore, try every art of expenfive folly, I took a houfe and furnished it. I amufed myself with defpoiling my moveables of their gloffy appearance, for fear of alarming the lender with fufpicions; and in this I fucceeded fo well, that he favoured me with one hundred and fixty pounds upon that which was rated at feven hundred. I then found that I was to maintain a guardian about me, to prevent the goods from being broken or removed. This was, indeed, an unexpected tax; but it was too late to recede; and I comforted myself, that I might prevent a creditor, of whom I had fome apprehenfions, from feizing, by having a prior execution always in the house.
By fuch means I had fo embarraffed myfelf, that my whole attention was engaged in contriving excuses, and raising fmall fums to quiet fuch as words would no longer mollify. It coft me eighty pounds in prefents to Mr. Leech the attorney, for his forbearance of one hundred, which he folicited me to take when I had no need. I was perpetually haraffed with importunate demands, and infulted by wretches, who a few months before would not have dared to raise their eyes from the duft before me. I lived in continual terror, frighted by every noise at the door, and terrified at the approach of every step quicker than common, I never retired to reft, with
out feeling the juftnefs of the Spanish proverb, "Let him who fleeps too much, borrow the pillow "of a debtor;" my folicitude and vexation kept me long waking; and when I had closed my eyes, I was purfued or infulted by visionary bailiffs.
When I reflected upon the meannefs of the fhifts I had reduced myfelf to, I could not but curfe the folly and extravagance that had overwhelmed me in a fea of troubles, from which it was highly improbable that I fhould ever emerge. I had fome time lived in hopes of an eftate, at the death of my uncle; but he difappointed me by marrying his houfekeeper; and, catching an opportunity foon after of quarrelling with me, for fettling twenty pounds a year upon a girl whom I had feduced, told me that he would take care to prevent his fortune from being fquandered upon prostitutes.
Nothing now remained, but the chance of extricating myfelf by marriage; a fcheme which, I flattered myfelf, nothing but my prefent diftrefs would have made me think on with patience. I determined, therefore, to look out for a tender novice, with a large fortune at her own difpofal; and accordingly fixed my eyes upon Mifs Biddy Simper. I had now paid her fix or feven vifits; and fo fully convinced her of my being a gentleman and a rake, that I made no doubt that both her perfon and fortune would be foon mine.
At this critical time, Mifs Gripe called upon me, in a chariot bought with my money, and loaded with trinkets that I had in my days of affluence lavished on her. Those days were now over; and there was little hope that they would ever return. She was not able
able to withstand the temptation of ten pounds that Talon the bailiff offered her, but brought him into my apartment disguised in a livery; and taking my fword to the window, under pretence of admiring the workmanship, beckoned him to feize me.
Delay would have been expenfive without ufe, as the debt was too confiderable for payment or bail: I, therefore, fuffered myself to be immediately conducted to jail.
Veftibulum ante ipfum primifque in faucibus Orci,
Juft in the gate and in the jaws of hell,
Revengeful cares, and fullen forrows dwell;
Confinement of any kind is dreadful; a prifon is fometimes able to fhock thofe, who endure it in a good cause let your imagination, therefore, acquaint you, with what I have not words to exprefs, and conceive, if poffible, the horrors of imprisonment attended with reproach and ignominy, of involuntary affociation with the refufe of mankind, with wretches who were before too abandoned for fociety, but being now freed from fhame or fear, are hourly improving their vices by conforting with each,
There are, however, a few, whom like myself imprisonment has rather mortified than hardened: with thefe only I converfe; and of thefe you may perhaps hereafter receive fome account from
Your humble fervant, MISARGYRUS.
NUMB. 45. TUESDAY, April 10, 1753.
Nulla fides regni fociis, omnifque poteftas
No faith of partnership dominion owns;
T is well known, that many things appear plaufible in fpeculation, which can never be reduced to practice; and that of the numberlefs projects that have flattered mankind with theoretical fpeciousness, few have ferved any other purpofe than to fhew the ingenuity of their contrivers. A voyage to the moon, however romantic and abfurd the fcheme may now appear, fince the properties of air have been better understood, feemed highly probable to many of the afpiring wits in the laft century, who began to doat upon their glofly plumes, and fluttered with impatience for the hour of their departure:
Percant veftigia mille
Ante fugam, abfentemque ferit gravis ungula campum.
Among the fallacies which only experience can detect, there are fome, of which fcarcely experience itfelf can destroy the influence; fome which, by a captivating fhew of indubitable certainty, are perpetually gaining upon the human mind; and which,
though every trial ends in difappointment, obtain new credit as the fenfe of mifcarriage wears gradually away, perfuade us to try again what we have tried already, and expofe us by the fame failure to double
Of this tempting, this delufive kind, is the expectation of great performances by confederated ftrength. The speculatift, when he has carefully obferved how much may be performed by a fingle band, calculates by a very easy operation the force of thousands, and goes on accumulating power till refiftance vanifhes before it; then rejoices in the fuccefs of his new fcheme, and wonders at the folly or idleness of former ages, who have lived in want of what might fo readily be procured, and suffered themfelves to be debarred from happiness by obftacles which one united effort would have fo eafily furmounted.
But this gigantic phantom of collective power vanishes at once into air and emptiness, at the first attempt to put it into action. The different apprehenfions, the difcordant paffions, the jarring interests of men, will scarcely permit that many fhould unite in one undertaking.
Of a great and complicated defign, fome will never be brought to difcern the end; and of the feveral means by which it may be accomplished, the choice will be a perpetual fubject of debate, as every man is swayed in his determination by his own knowledge or convenience. In a long feries of action, fome will languifh with fatigue, and fome be drawn off by present gratifications; fome will loiter because others labour, and fome will ceafe to labour because