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of any of the house in thofe of the ftage. Ariftotle and Longinus are much better understood by him than Littleton or Coke. The father fends up every poft questions relating to marriage-articles, leafes, and tenures, in the neighbourhood; all which questions he agrees with an attorney to answer and take care of in the lump. He is studying the paffions themselves when he should be inquiring into the debates among men which arise from them. He knows the argument of each of the orations of Demofthenes and Tully, but not one cafe in the reports of our own courts. No one ever took

him for a fool, but none, except his intimate friends, know he has a great deal of wit. This turn makes him at once both difinterested and agreeable: as few of his thoughts are drawn from bufinefs, they are moft of them fit for converfation. His tafte of books is a little too just for the age he lives in; he has read all, but approves of very few. His familiarity with the customs, manners, actions, and writings of the ancients, makes him a very delicate obferver of what occurs to him in the prefent world. He is an excellent critic, and the time of the play is his hour of business; exactly at five he paffes through New-Inn, croffes through Ruffel-Court, and takes a turn at Will's till the play begins; he has his fhoes rubbed and his periwig powdered at the barber's as you go into the Rofe. It is for the good of the audience when he is at a play, for the actors have an ambition to please him.

The perfon of next confideration, is fir ANDREW FREEPORT, a merchant of great eminence in the city of London. A perfon of indefatigable induftry, ftrong reafon, and great experience. His notions of trade are noble and generous, and (as every rich man has usually some fly way of jefting, which would make no great figure were he not a rich man) he calls the fea the British Common. He is acquainted with commerce in all its parts, and will tell you that it is a ftupid and barbarous way to extend dominion by arms; for true power is to be got by arts and industry. He will often argue, that if this part of our trade were well cultivated, we fhould gain from one nation; and if another, from another. I have heard him prove, that

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diligence makes more lafting acquifitions than valour, and that floth has ruined more nations than the fword. He abounds in feveral frugal maxims, amongst which the greatest favourite is, A penny faved is a penny got.' A general trader of good fenfe is pleafanter company than a general scholar; and fir ANDREW having a natural unaffected eloquence, the perfpicuity of his difcourfe gives the fame pleasure that wit would in another man. He has made his fortunes himfelf; and fays that England may be richer than other kingdoms, by as plain methods as he himself is richer than other men; though at the fame time I can fay this of him, that there is not a point in the compafs but blows home a ship in which he is an owner.

Next to fir ANDREW in the club-room fits captain SENTRY, a gentleman of great courage, good understanding, but invincible modefty. He is one of thofe that deferve very well, but are very aukward at putting their talents within the obfervation of such as fhould take notice of them. He was fome years a captain, and behaved himself with great gallantry in feveral engagements and at feveral fieges; but having a small eftate of his own, and being next heir to fir ROGER, he has quitted a way of life in which no man can fife fuitably to his merit, who is not fomething of a courtier, as well as a foldier. I have heard him often lament, that in a profeffion where merit is placed in fo confpicuous a view, impudence fhould get the better of modefty. When he has talked to this purpose, I never heard him make a four expreffion, but frankly confefs that he left the world, because he was not fit for it. A ftrict honefty and an even regular behaviour, are in themselves obftacles to him that must prefs through crowds, who endeavour at the fame end with himfelf, the favour of a commander. He will however in his way of talk excufe generals, for not difpofing according to mens defert, or inquiring into it for, fays, he, that great man who has a mind to help me, has as many to break through to come at me, as I have to come at him: therefore he will conclude, that the man who would make a figure, efpecially in a military way, muft get over all falfe

modefty, and affift his patron against the importunity of other pretenders, by a proper affurance in his own vindication. He fays it is a civil cowardice to be backward in afferting what you ought to expect, as it is a military fear to be flow in attacking when it is your duty. With this candour does the gentleman speak of himself and others. The fame franknefs runs through all his converfation. The military part of his life has furnished him with many adventures, in the relation of which he is very agreeable to the company; for he is never overbearing, though accuftomed to command men in the utmost degree below him; nor ever too obfequious, from an habit of obeying men highly above him.

But that our fociety may not appear a set of humourists unacquainted with the gallantries and pleasures of the age, we have among us the gallant WILL HoNEYCOMB, a gentleman, who according to his years fhould be in the decline of his life, but having ever been very careful of his perfon, and always had a very eafy fortune, time has made but very little impreffion, either by wrinkles on his forehead, or traces in his brain. His perfon is well turned, of a good height. He is very ready at that fort of difcourfe with which men ufually entertain women. He has all his life dreffed very well, and remembers habits as others do men. He can fmile when one fpeaks to him, and laughs eafily. He knows the hiftory of every mode, and can inform you from which of the French king's wenches our wives and daughters had this manner of curling their hair, that way of placing their hoods; whofe frailty was covered by fuch a fort of petticoat, and whofe vanity to fhew her foot made that part of the drefs fo fhort in fuch a year. In a word, all his converfation and, knowledge has been in the female world as other men of his age will take notice to you what fuch a minifter faid upon fuch and fuch an occafion, he will tell you, when the duke of Monmouth danced at court, fuch a woman was then fmitten, another was taken with him at the head of his troop in the Park. In all these important relations, he has ever about the fame time received a kind glance or a blow of a fan from fome

celebrated beauty, mother of the prefent lord fuch-aone. If you fpeak of a young commoner that faid a lively thing in the houfe, he ftarts up, He has good blood in his veins, Tom Mirabell begot him, the rogue cheated me in that affair, that young fellow's mother used me more like a dog than any woman I ever made advances to.' This way of talking of his very much enlivens the converfation among us of a more fedate turn; and I find there is not one of the company, but myself, who rarely speak at all, but fpeaks of him as of that fort of man who is ufually called a well-bred fine gentleman. To conclude his character, where women are not concerned, he is an honeft worthy man.

I cannot tell whether I am to account him whom I am next to speak of, as one of our company; for he vifits us but feldom, but when he does it adds to every man else a new enjoyment of himself. He is a clergyman, a very philofophic man, of general learning, great fanctity of life, and the moft exact good breeding. He has the misfortune to be of a very weak conftitution, and confequently cannot accept of fuch cares and bufinefs as preferments in his function would oblige him to : he is therefore among divines what a chamber-counsellor is among lawyers. The probity of his mind, and the integrity of his life, create him followers, as being eloquent or loud advances others. He feldom introduces the fubject he speaks upon; but we are so far gone in that he obferves when he is among us, an years, earneftness to have him fall on fome divine topic, which he always treats with much authority, as one who has no interefts in this world, as one who is haftening to the object of all his wishes, and conceives hope from his decays and infirmities. These are my ordinary companions.



Saturday, March 3.

Et quoi quifque ferè ftudio devinctus adhæret,
Aut quibus in rebus multùm fumus antè morati,
Atque in qua ratione fuit contenta magis mens,
In fomnis eadem plerumque videmur obire.

Lucr. 1. 4. ver. 959.

-What ftudies please, what moft delight, And fill mens thoughts, they dream them o'er at night.


IN one of my late rambles, or rather speculations, I

looked into the great hall, where the bank is kept, and was not a little pleafed to fee the directors, fecretaries, and clerks, with all the other members of that wealthy corporation, ranged in their feveral ftations, according to the parts they act in that just and regular economy. This revived in my memory the many difcourfes which I had both read and heard concerning the decay of public credit, with the methods of restoring it, and which in my opinion have always been defective, because they have always been made with an eye to feparate interefts, and party principles.

The thoughts of the day gave my mind employment for the whole night, fo that I fell infenfibly into a kind of methodical dream, which difpofed all my contemplations into a vifion or allegory, or what else the reader fhall please to call it.

Methought I returned to the great hall, where I had been the morning before, but, to my furprife, inftead of the company that I left there, I saw towards the upper end of the hall, a beautiful virgin, feated on a throne of gold. Her name (as they told me) was Public Credit. The walls, inftead of being adorned with pictures and maps, were hung with many acts of parliament written in golden letters. At the upper end of the hall was the Magna Charta, with the

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