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NUMB. 53. TUESDAY, May 8, 1753.
Quifque fuos patimur Manes.
Each has his lot, and bears the fate he drew.
Fleet, May 6.
confequence of my engagements, I address you once more from the habitations of mifery. In this place, from which bufinefs and pleasure are equally excluded, and in which our only employment and diverfion 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 promife: but fince I find myfelf 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 folicitation, but ftole early this evening from between gloomy fullennefs 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 whofe name the Olympic heroes would not have been afhamed. Ned was born to a final eftate, 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 horfes for the courfe. He was at firft very fuccefsful, and gained several of the king's plates, as he is now every day boafting, at the expence
pence of very little more than ten times their value. At last, however, he discovered, that victory brought him more honour than profit: refolving, therefore, to be rich as well as illuftrious, he replenished his pockets by another mortgage, became on a sudden a daring better, and refolving not to trust a jockey with his fortune, rode his horse himself, distanced two of his competitors the first heat, and at laft won the race, by forcing his horfe on a defcent to full speed at the hazard of his neck. His eftate was thus repaired, and fome friends that had no fouls 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 horfe-race; and rifing foon to the fummit of equestrian reputation, he was conftantly expected on every courfe, 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 horfe and fecretly on the other. Ned was now fo fure of growing rich, that he involved his eftate in a third mortgage, borrowed money of all his friends, and rifqued his whole fortune upon Bay-Lincoln. He mounted with beating heart, ftarted fair and won the firft heat; but in the fecond, as he was pushing against the foremofl of his rivals, his girth broke, his fhoulder was diflocated, and before he was difiniffed by the furgeon, two bailiffs faftened upon him, and he faw Newmarket no more. His daily amusement for four years has been to blow the fignal for ftarting, to make imaginary matches, to repeat the pedigree of
Bay-Lincoln, and to form refolutions 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 fecrecy. His father died with the reputation of more wealth than he poffeffed: 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 much honour is annexed to riches, he refolved never to detect his own poverty; but furnished his house with elegance, fcattered his money with profusion, encouraged every fcheme of coftly pleasure, fpoke of petty loffes with negligence, and on the day before an execution entered his doors, had proclaimed at a publick table his refolution to be jolted no longer in a hackney-coach.
Another of my companions is the magnanimous Jack Scatter, the fon of a country gentleman, who having no other care than to leave him rich, confidered that literature could not be had without expence; malters would not teach for nothing; and when a book was bought and read, it would fell for little. Jack was, therefore, taught to read and write by the butler; and when this acquifition was made, was left to pafs his days in the kitchen and the stable, where he heard no crime cenfured but covetoufnefs and diftruft of poor honeft fervants, and where all. the praife was bestowed on good housekeeping and ą free heart. At the death of his father, Jack fet himfelf to retrieve the honour of his family: he abandoned his cellar to the butler, ordered his groom to
provide hay and corn at difcretion, took his houfekeeper's word for the expences of the kitchen, allowed all his fervants to do their work by deputies, permitted his domefticks to keep his house open to their relations and acquaintance, and in ten years was conveyed hither, without having purchased by the lofs of his patrimony either honour or pleasure, 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 paffed eight years in profperous 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, defpifed the converfation of pedlars and stockjobbers, and rambled every night to the regions of gaiety, in queft of company fuited to his tafte. The wits at firft flocked about him for fport, and afterwards for intereft; fome found their way into his books, and some into his pockets; the man of adventure was equipped from his fhop for the purfuit of a fortune; and he had fometimes the honour to have his fecurity accepted when his friends were in diftrefs. Elated with these affociations, hé foon learned to neglect his fhop; and having drawn his money out of the funds, to avoid the neceffity of teizing men of honour for trifling debts, he has been forced at laft to retire hither, till his friends can procure him a poft at
Another that joins in the fame mefs 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 fhell of a building, Bob holds no great matter; the infide is the test of elegance. Of this houfe he was no fooner mafter than he fummoned twenty workmen to his affiftance, tore up the floors and laid them anew, ftripped off the wainscot, drew the windows from their frames, altered the difpofition of doors and fire-places, and caft 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 ableft hands: Bob's bufinefs was to follow the workmen with a microfcope, 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 vifitants, and every one tells him of fome elegance which he has hitherto overlooked, fome con. venience not yet procured, or fome new mode in ornament 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 confidered his work as unfinished, while any obferver could fuggeft an addition; fome alteration was therefore every day made, without any other motive than the charms of novelty. A traveller at laft fuggefted 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 fhells and minerals, was bufy in regulating the difpofition of the colours and luftres, when two gentlemen, who had afked permiffion to fee his gardens, prefented him a writ, and led him off to lefs elegant apartments.