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NUMB. 53. TUESDAY, May S, 1753.
Quisque juos patimur Manes.
Fleet, May 6, TN consequence of my engagements, I address you I 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 sooner 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 resolved no longer to wait for solicitation, but stole early this evening from between gloomy sullenness 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 inprove; and therefore, as soon as he became of ane, mortgaged part of his land to buy a mare and Tullion, and bred horses for the course. He was at first very fuccessful, and gained several of the king's Hates, as he is now every day boasting, at the ex
pence pence of very little more than ten times their value. At last, however, he discovered, that victory brougri him more honour than profit : refulting, therefore, to be rich as well as illuftrios, be repies. Sessis pockets by another mortgage, became on a foscen a daring better, and revir. 257 10 lá a jockey with his fortune, rode his horse di, cresced (wo of his competitors the frit beai, a5caat sy the race, by forcing his borse da a deces: to f_1 speed at the hazard of Eis neck. His efate was tous repaired, and come friends that bad do Ouls 27:ed him to give over; but Nid Dow knew ite av to riches, and therefore witbout caution iacrealed his expences. From this hour be talked and drea.ned of Bothing but a horse-race; and rising soon to the summit of equestrian reputation, he was constantly expected on every courte, divided all his time between lords and jockies, and, as the unexperienced regulated their betts by his example, gained a great deal of money by laying openly on one horse and secretly on the ocher. Ned was now to fure of growing rich, that he involved his estate in a third mortgage, borrowed money of all his friends, and ruqued his whole fortune upon Bay-Linccin. He mounted with beating heart, started fair and won the first heat; but in the second, as he was pushing against the foremofl of his rivals, his girth broke, his shoulder was diflocated, and before he was disiniiled by the turgeon, two bailiffs fastened upon him, and he saw Newmarket no more. His daily amusement for four years has been to blow the signal for ftarting, to make imaginary 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 thousand pounds. Of this he very well knew that eight thousand was imaginary: but being a man of refined policy, and knowing how nuch honour is annexed to riches, he resolved never to detect his own poverty ; but furnished his house with elegance, scattered his money with profusion, encouraged every scheme of costly pleasure, spoke of petty loffes with negligence, and on the day before an execution entered his doors, had proclaimed at a publick table his resolution to be jolted no longer in a hackney-coach.
Another of ny companions is the magnanimous 7.CR Scatter, the son of a country gentleman, who having no other care than to leave him rich, confueres that literature could not be had without expence; middlers woulú not teach for nothing; and when it 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 covecousness anu diltruit of poor honest servants, and where all . the prizite was bestowed on good housekeeping and a tree heurt. At the death of his father, Yock set himfeltto retrieve the lionour of his family: he abansłoned his cellar to the butler, ordered his groom to,
provide hay and corn at discretion, took his housekeeper's word for the expences of the kitchen, allowed all his servants to do their work by deputies, permitted his domesticks to keep his house 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 pleasure, or obtained any other gratification than that of haying 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 some 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 shop 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 foon learned to neglect his shop; and having drawn his money out of the funds, to avoid the necessity of teizing men of honour for triling debts, he has been forced at last to retire hither, till his friends can procure him a post 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 inside 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 wainsco:, drew the windows from their frames, altered the disposition of doors and fire-places, and cast the whole fabrick into a new form: his next care was to have his ceilings painted, his pannels gilt, and his chimney-pieces carved: every thing was executed by the ablest 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 cells him of some elegance which he has hitherto overlooked, some con. venience not yet procured, or some new inode in ornament or furniture. Bob, who had no with 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 altera. tion was therefore every day made, without any other motive than the charms of novelty. A travel. ler at last suggested to him the convenience of a grotto: Bob immediately ordered the mount of his garden to be excavated; and having laid out a large fum in shells and minerals, was busy in regulating the disposition of the colours and lustres, when two gentlemen, who had asked permission to see his gardens, presented hiin a writ, and led him off to less elegant apartments.