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NUMB. 53. TUESDAY, May S, 1753.
Quisque fuos patimur Manes.
Each has his lot, and bears the fate he drew.
Fleet, May 6, consequence of
my engagements, I address once more from the habitations of misery. this place, from which business and pleasure are equally excluded, and in which our only employ, ment and diversion is to hear the narratives of each other, I might much sooner have gathered materials for a letter, had I not hoped to have been reminded of my promise : but since I find myself placed in the regions of oblivion, where I am no less neglected by you than by the rest of mankind, I resolved no longer to wait for solicitation, but stole early this evening from between gloomy sullenness and riotous merriment, to give you an account of part
One of the most eminent members of our club is Mr. Edward Scamper, a man of whose name the Olympic heroes would not have been ashamed. Ned was born to a small estate, which he determined to inprove; and therefore, as soon as he became of ane, mortgaged part of his land to buy a mare and failion, and bred horses for the course. He was at firft very successful, and gained several of the king's blates, as he is now every day boasting, at the expence of very little more than ten times their value. At last, however, he discovered, that victory brought him more honour than profit : resolving, therefore, to be rich as well as illustrious, he replenished his pockers by another mortgage, became on a sudden a daring better, and resolving not to trust a jockey with his fortune, rade his horse himself, distanced two of his competitors the first heat, and at last won the race, by forcing his horse on a descent to full fpeed at the hazard of his neck. His estate was thus repaired, and some friends that had no souls 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 horse-race; and rising soon to the summit of equestrian reputation, he was constantly expected on every course, 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 horse and secretly on the other. Ned was now so sure of growing rich, that he involved his estate in a third mortgage, borrowed money of all his friends, and risqued his whole fortune upon Bay-Lincoln. He mounted with beating heart, started fair and won the first heat; but in the second, as he was pushing against the foremofl of his rivals, his girth broke, his shoulder was diflocated, and before he was disinised by the kurgeon, two bailiffs fastened upon him, and he saw Newmarket no more. His daily amusement for four years has been to blow the signal for starting, to make imaginary matches, to repeat the pedigree of
Bay-Lincoln, and to form resolutions against trusting another groom with the choice of his girth.
The next in seniority is Mr. Timothy Snug, a man of deep contrivance and impenetrable secrecy. His father died with the reputation of more wealth than he portefed : 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 resolved never to detect his own poverty ; but furnished his house with elegance, scattered his money with profusion, encouraged every scheme of costly pleasure, spoke of petty losses with negligence, and on the day before an execution entered his doors, had proclaimed at a publick table his resolution to be jolted no longer in a hackney-coach.
Another of my companions is the magnanimous Fuck Scatter, the son of a country gentleman, who having no other care than to leave him rich, considered that literature could not be had without expence; matters would not teach for nothing; and vhen a book was bought and read, it would fell for lirtie. Jack was, therefore, taught to read and write by the butler; and when this acquisition was made, was left to pass his days in the kitchen and the stable, where he heard no crime cenfured but covetoufnets and diftruit of poor honeit fervants, and where all. the praise was bestowed on good housekeeping and a free heart. At the death of his father, Jack let himfeli' to retrieve the honour of his family: he abandoned his cellar to the butler, ordered his groom to,
provide hay and corn at discretion, took his housekeeper's word for the expences of the kitchen, allowed all his servants to do their work by deputies, permitted his domesticks to keep his house open to their relations and acquaintance, and in ten years was conveyed hither, without having purchased by the loss of his patrimony either honour or pleasure, or obtained any other gratification than that of haying corrupted the neighbouring villagers by luxury and idleness.
Dick Serge was a draper in Cornbill, and passed eight years in prosperous diligence, without any care but to keep his books, or any ambition but to be in time an alderman: but then, by some unaccountable revolution in his understanding, he became enamoured of wit and humour, despised the conversation of pedlars and stockjobbers, and rambled every night to the regions of gaiety, in quest of company suited to his taste. The wits at first flocked about him for sport, and afterwards for interest; some found their way into his books, and some into his pockets; the man of adventure was equipped from his shop for the pursuit of a fortune; and he had sometimes the honour to have his security accepted when his friends were in distress. Elated with these affociations, hé soon learned to neglect his shop; and having drawn his money out of the funds, to avoid the necessity of teizing men of honour for triling debts, he has been forced at last to retire hither, till his friends can procure him a post at court.
Another that joins in the same mess 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 ihell of a building, Bob holds no great matter; the inside is the test of elegance. Of this house he was no sooner master than lie summoned twenty workmen to his assistance, tore up the floors and laid thein anew, stripped off the wainscot, drew the windows from their frames, altered the disposition of doors and fire-places, and cast 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 business was to follow the workmen with a microscope, and call upon them to retouch their performances, and heighten excellence to perfection. The reputation of his house now brings round hiin a daily confluence of visitants, and every one tells him of some elegance which he has hitherto overlooked, fome con. venience not yet procured, or some 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 considered his work as unfinished, while any observer could suggest an addition; some alteration was therefore every day made, without any other motive than the charms of novelty. A traveller at last suggested 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 shells and minerals, was busy in regulating the disposition of the colours and lustres, when two gentlemen, who had asked permission to see his gardens, presented him a writ, and led him off to less elegant apartments.