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complaisance, they indulged the pride of their entertainer, inwardly they despised and ridiculed his foolish extravagance; for, notwithstanding his great secrecy, every body knew he much outlived his income, and must soon become miserable and contemptible. The second course was just come in, which consisted of rarities purchased at vast prices, and so cooked up that I could not tell the name of any one dish : some looked as if the cook, to save the teeth a trouble, had chewed the meat beforehand; and others seemed a complication of all tastes together, more like a vomit brought up from the stomach overcharged, than any thing designed for food. Upon examining the whole curiously, I perceived that all the elements had been ransacked to furnish out their respective delicates, which were thus artificially disguised. But I was most surprised at finding every sort of distemper incident to mankind concealed in one or other of the dishes, and all of them together mixed in soine: here a fever was 'tossed
in a delicious fricassee; there, an apoplexy appeared in a high ragout; a pleurisy stood smoking at the upper end of the table, and a surfeit at the bottom: in one of the intermesses, head-ache was dressed out with rich perfumes and spices; and in another, mortal sick.
ness lay covered over with marrow and strong gravy : cholic, jaundice, palsy, dropsy, spleen, and consumption, were placed against each other: scurvy in great abundance seasoned all the sauces; with everywhere a plenteous mixture of restlessness, discontent, pains, aches, and running sores. When the dessert came on, the same distempers again appeared in different forms, After which, the cloth was taken away, and the table covered with bottles of champaigne and burgundy; which my spectacles discovered to contain large quantities of the gout, stone, and rheumatism, together with seeds of many other diseases. Whilst I was considering the scene before me, the company, on a sudden, appeared more fit for an hospital than an entertainment: some roared out with agonies of pain; others seemed sick almost to death; some meagre, shrivelled, and decrepit; some puffed up like bladders; and some full of putrid sores and ulcers. The master of the feast himself was languid, pale, and helpless, fainting often, and like one expiring: when, immediately, a mixed multitude of poulterers, fishmongers, pastrycooks, confectioners, vintners, upholsterers, coach-makers, milliners, tailors, and tradesmen of all sorts, entered in a tumultuous manner, with much noise and clamour; and, seizing the
sick man, by main force hurried him away to prison. The costly furniture was torn down and cast in heaps, and all was ruin and disorder. -When, in an instant, the whole vanished, and a pleasant country appeared before me, where people, whose ruddy countenances discovered health, were singing merrily to their labour. It seemed the middle of wheat harvest, for some were reaping, others binding up the sheaves, and others carting it away. I stood, methought, to look at them with great delight; till, leaving off their work, they joined together in rustic dances, whilst a supper was preparing for them. After entertaining themselves some time with this wholesome exercise, one, who appeared somewhat superior to the rest, approached me, and, with a smiling countenance, desired me to go with them to a thatched cottage that he shewed me at a little distance. I accepted the invitation, and found a table covered with homely, but clean and wholesome plenty. There were joints, both boiled and roasted, which they sat down to with lusty appetites; and a large plumbpudding crowned the board. They had no such thing as wine, but well-brewed ale went round in wooden canns; and, in compliment to me, the honest farmer brought forth a bottle of choice cyder, which his own orchard had
produced. I took an opportunity of putting on my spectacles, that I might discover truth from falsehood; and, to my great satisfaction, found in all the dishes hearty nourishment, sound health, and quiet sleep. Their merriment also, upon the strictest examination, appeared sincere and unaffected, coming directly from the heart, which, tormented by no avaricious cares or anxious thoughts, enjoyed that real peace and true content the rich and great in vain seek after. In short, I was charmed with that simplicity and honesty I found among them. . The farmer, who had employed them, entertained them with a friendly welcome, and they regarded him with thankfulness and esteem; but void of those forms and professions that are so often made use of, and so often put in practice, by those who call themselves polite.
I was contemplating the felicity of these happy people, when a loud knocking at the door waked me.
UNIVERSAL SPECTATOR, vol. ii. p. 140.
Be thou the first true merit to befriend :
BOOKSELLERS are the best judges whether poetry is a thriving branch of trade; and authors, whether they find a Mecænas to reward their studies: but this the whole age is sensible of, that there never were more adventurers to Parnassus than at present; and all who have taste and candour must acknowledge several late performances have a legitimate title to their applause. Not to mention the works of our arch-poet, who is celebrated by every pen as well as his own; we have been obliged with an excellent Essay on Human Nature, by Lord Paget; several miscellaneous pieces, by Mr. Lyttleton; the Chace, by Mr. Somerville; the Economy of Love, by an ingenious Physician ; Leonidas, and London, by Mr. Glover; Grisselda, by Mr. Ogle; a canto of Spenser's Fairy Queen, by Mr. W~; and, within these few days, the Ruins of Rome, by a Gentleman, who, together with all those first mentioned, has only to communicate his name, to render it immortal.