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thing, be surprised at nothing, say nothing, do nothing

Having long quitted the studies in which I was your fellow-labourer, for a place in which I thought I should be at least amused, I have now thrown up that, from the disgusts I have experienced. In short, like old Worcester, “ I have forsook the court,

“ Broken my staff of office, and dispersed

The household of the king." In other words, I have abandoned all objects of ambition, for the sake of enjoying myself at ease:which I cannot do in the midst of turbulence, envy, hatred, and malice, to say nothing of cowardice.

But, though I take my leave of politics, the court, and the senate, and bequeath them to more stirring, or, I would rather say, to less philosophical spirits; though I renounce my hopes of ever being prime minister some fifty years hence (under the republic that is to be), and you are welcome to all my

chances of it; I do not abandon—I would rather say, I more than ever wish to cultivate those I really love,ấyou, misled as you are, among them. Hence, I have complied with your wish to hear from me, whatever my plans or undertakings, at present so uncertain. But what is not uncertain, is, that whatever my destination, or the character of my travels, I shall enjoy myself. You know locomotion, and discovery of new scenes, new characters, new men, and new women, were ever my most pregnant sources of happiness. I never could be a fixture, like you, whatever the reward in expectation. It was this chiefly that made me cut you diggers for hidden treasure in the Inns of Court, and look for it in palaces; and I now fly the palaces, where I have failed to find what I sought, to look for it in scenes less sophisticated, where I suppose I shall fail again. Yours seems the surer plan: at least I have not as yet succeeded. Nevertheless, I am content always to pursue, though I fail; and in this perhaps I am as happy as you, though you succeed.

Probably, notwithstanding my indignation, I should not have taken so decided a resolution, altering my whole plan of life, and, as it were, preferring what you will call a morbid despair, to the hopes you still cling to of a change of thingsbut for the handsome succession left me by my uncle. And yet I believe I should; for, before this happened, so great was my spleen, at seeing ourselves so gulled and cast into the dirt by our best friends, that I contemplated exile, and bread and cheese, in preference to a race (even though I were victorious in it), to be run through the mireperhaps through blood. My disposition, as well

lot “ Forbade to wade through slaughter to a throne.”

as my

This I leave to the talkers who call themselves honest, and the fools, rich and titled as they may be, who believe them.

Adieu, I will write again when I know better what to write. At present I scarcely know the port to which I am bound, and am only certain that, with all your errors,

I am much

yours, WALTER FITZWALTER.

LETTER II.

STRICKLAND TO FITZWALTER; -COMBATS HIS

FRIEND'S NEW PHILOSOPHY.

amuses me.

Lincoln's-Inn. Though your letter has grieved, I cannot say it has surprised me. I had long observed the shock which the changes in the times, and the characters of men (many of them your friends), had given your too sensitive feelings. But your remedy

Nil admirari ! wonder at nothing ! Why you were made to wonder at every thing! You could not help it if you would. If the wind be a little high, or the water only ripple, you are afraid of a storm. If you smell a rogue, you avoid

if
you

smelt a rat. If a public man break a promise, you pout; and if a patriot hold that a man may

be a scoundrel in public, yet a very moral man in private-nay swear what he knows to be false, for the good of his country-you are seized with a

alm, and call him a Jesuit.

him as

You, who have lived in a hot-bed of all these wonders, ought to be too used to them to care a farthing about them. What, though a minister, professing economy, rob honest men, and even attempt to break public faith, to serve the country, yet employ all his patronage to serve himself-this ought not to surprise you ; and your only remedy, I allow, is to make your mind a callus. But do you know yourself when

you
think

you have produced this callosity ?

I have often told you yours was too sickly a sensibility to do yourself or your friends, still less your country, any good. Let me see you are full thirty years old, and have lived many of them in May Fair, nay in the Court itself; and yet you wonder that Whigs are aristocratic, or even greater aristocrats than Tories. How little must

you

have observed of Whig women, as well as Whig men, not to have seen that they will kiss a greasy butcher, or invite the greatest vagabonds to a county ball, to serve a political purpose, yet cut their oldest friends in the fashionable world, if not quite sufficiently fashionable! As for your maxim, take my word for it, you never were made to prove its truth. You bully indeed not a little about the nymph Indifference, but like other nymphs, (or, as you say of Swift's bagatelle,) I am mistaken if she do not also prove a confounded jilt.

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