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other drew his hat over his eyes and counterfeited a slumber. The man of benevolence, to shew that he was not depressed by our neglect, hummed a tune and beat time upon his snuff-box.
Thus universally displeased with one another, and not much delighted with ourselves, we came at last to the little inn appointed for our repast ; and all began at once to recompense themselves for the constraint of silence, by innumerable questions and orders to the people that attended us.
At last, what every one had called for was got, or declared impossible to be got at that time, and we were persuaded to sit round the same table; when the gentleman in the red surtout looked again upon his watch, told us that we had half an hour to spare, but he was sorry to see so little merriment among us; that all fellow-travellers were for the time upon the level, and that it was always his way to make himself one of the company. “I remember,” says he,
“ it was on just “ such a morning as this, that I and my Lord Mumble " and the Duke of Tenterden were out upon a ramble: “ we called at a little house as it might be this; and “my landlady, I warrant you, not suspecting to whom " she was talking, was so jocular and facetious, and “ made so many merry answers to our questions, that “ we were all ready to burst with laughter. At last “ the good woman happening to overhear me whisper " the duke and call him by his title, was so surprised “ and confounded, that we could scarcely get a word “ from her; and the duke never met me from that “ day to this, but he talks of the little house, and “ quarrels with me for terrifying the landlady.”
He had scarcely time to congratulate himself on the veneration which this narrative must have procured him from the company, when one of the ladies having reached out for a plate on a distant part of the table, began to remark “ the inconveniences of travelling, « and the difficulty which they who never sat at home “ without a great number of attendants found in per« forming for themselves such offices as the road re** quired; but that people of quality often travelled in “ disguise, and might be generally known from the *«* vulgar by their condescension to poor inn-keepers, " and the allowance which they made for any
defect "lin their entertainment; that for her part, while peo
ple were civil and meant well, it was never her * *custom to find fault, for one was not to expect upon a journey all that one enjoyed at one's own house."
A general emalation seemed 'now to be excited. One 'of the men, who had hitherto said nothing, called for the last news-paper; and having perused it a while with deep pensiveness, “ 'It is impossible,” says he, “ for any man to guess how to act with re
gard to the stocks; last week it was the general “ opinion that they would fall; and I sold out twenty "" thousand pounds in order to a purchase: they have “ now risen unexpectedly: and I make no doubt büt Wat my return to London Ishall risk thirty thousand
pounds among them again."
A young man, who had hitherto distinguished himself only by the vivacity of his looks, and a frequent diversion of his eyes from one object to another, upon this closed his snuff box, and told us, that “ he had a “ hundred times talked with the chancellor and the " judges on the subject of the stocks; that for his
part he did not pretend to be well acquainted with " the principles on which they were established, but “ had always heard them reckoned pernicious to “ trade, uncertain in their produce, and unsolid in " their foundation; and that he had been advised by “ three judges, his most intimate friends, never to “ venture his money in the funds, but to put it out
upon land-security, till he could light upon an “ estate in his own country.
It might be expected, that upon these glimpses of latent dignity, we should all have began to look round us with veneration; and have behaved like the princes of romance, when the enchantment that disguises them is dissolved, and they discover the dignity of each other: yet it happened, that none of these hints made much impression on the company ; every one was apparently suspected of endeavouring to impose false appearances upon the rest; all continued their haughtiness in hopes to enforce their claims; and all grew every hour more sullen, because they found their representations of themselves without effect.
Thus we travelled on four days with malevolence erpetually increasing, and without any endeavour but to outvie each other in superciliousness and neglect; and when any two of us could separate ourselves for a moment, we vented our indignation at the sauciness of the rest.
At length the journey was at an end; and time and chance, that strip off all disguises, have discovered that the intimate of lords and dukes is a nobleman's butler, who has furnished a shop with the money he has saved; the man who deals so largely in the funds, is a clerk of a broker in 'Change-alley; the lady who so carefully concealed her quality, keeps a cook-shop behind the Exchange; and the young man, who is so happy in the friendship of the judges, engrosses and transcribes for bread in a garret of the Temple. Of one of the women only I could make no disadvantageous detection, because she had assumed no character, but accommodated herself to the scene before her, without any struggle for distinction orsuperiority.
I could not forbear to reflect on the folly of practising a fraud, which, as the event shewed, had been already practised too often to succeed, and by the success of which no advantage could have been obtained; of assuming a character, which was to end with the day; and of claiming upon false pretences honours, which must perish with the breath that paid them.
But, Mr. Adventurer, let not those who laugh at me and my companions, think this folly confined to a stage-coach. Every man in the journey of life takes the same advantage of the ignorance of his fellowtravellers, disguises himself in counterfeited merit, and hears those praises with complacency which his conscience reproaches him for accepting. Every man deceives himself, while he thinks he is deceiving others; and forgets that the time is at hand when every illusion shall cease, when fictitious excellence shall be torn away, and all must be shown to all in their real estate.
I am, Sir,
Your humble servant,
N° 85. TUESDAY, AUGUST 28, 1753.
Qui cupit optatam cursu contingere metam,
The youth, who hopes th’ Olympic prize to gain,
It is observed by Bacon, that “ reading makes a full * man, conversation a ready man, and writing an ex« act man.”
As Bacon attained to degrees of knowledge scarcely ever reached by any other man, the directions which he gives for study have certainly a just claim to our regard; for who can teach an art with so great authority, as he that has practised it with undisputed success?
Under the protection of so great a name, I shall, therefore, venture to inculcate to my ingenious contemporaries, the necessity of reading, the fitness of consulting other understandings than their own, and of considering the sentiments and opinions of those who, however neglected in the present age, had in their own times, and many of them a long time afterwards, such reputation for knowledge and acuteness, as will scarcely ever be attained by those that despise them.
An opinion has of late been, I know not how, propagated among us, that libraries are filled only with useless lumber; that men of parts stand in need of no