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other drew his hat over his eyes and counterfeited a Number. 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 filence, 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 per. suaded to fit 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 forry 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 himfelf 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 Tenter den “ 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 sure “ prised 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 VOL. III.
« 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, is 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 in their entertainment; that for her part, “ while people 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 emulation 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 regard “ 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 but at my re“ turn to London I shall 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 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 so 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 unfolid 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-secu“ rity, till he could light upon an estate in his own ss 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 chese 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 perpetually increasing, and without any endeavour but to ourvie each other in fuperciliousness and neglect; and when any two of us could separate ourfelves for a moment, we yented our indignation at the fauciness 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 fo largely in the funds, is a clerk of a broker in 'Change-alley; the lady who fo 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, engroffes and transcribes for bread in a garret of the Temple. Of one of the women only I could make no disadvantageous detection, because the had assumed no character, but accommodated herself to the scene before her, without any struggle for distinction or superiority.
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 affuming 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 Itage-coach. Every man in the journey of life takes the same advantage of the ignorance of his fellow-travellers, 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 excellence shall be torn away, and all must be shown to all in their real estate.
I am, SIR,
Your humble servant,
NUMB. 85. Tuesday, August 28, 17:53
Qui cupit optatam cursu contingere metam,
The youth, who hopes th’Olympick prize to gain,
IT is observed by Bacon, that “ reading makes a 1 « full man, conversation a ready man, and writing « an exact 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