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Thus every day increased our wealth and our reputation. My husband was often invited to dinner openly on the Exchange by hundred thousand pounds men: and whenever I went to any of the halls, the wives of the aldermen made me low courtesies, "We always took up our notes before the day, and made all considerable payments by draughts upon our banker. You will easily believe that I was well enough pleased with my condition; for what happiness can be greater than that of growing every day richer and richer: I will not deny that, imagining myself likely to be in a short time the sheriff’s lady, I broke of my acquaintance with some of my neighbours; and advised my husband to keep good company, and not to be seen with men who were worth nothing. In time he found that ale disagreed with his constitution, and went every night to drink his pint at a tavern, where he met with a set of critics, who disputed upon the merit of the different theatrical performers. By these idle fellows he was taken to the play, which at first he did not seem much to heed; for he owned, that he very seldom knew what they were doing, and that, while his companions would let him alone, he was commonly thinking on his last bargain. Having once gone, however, he went again and again, though I often told him that three shillings were thrown away : at last he grew uneasy if he missed a night, and importuned me to go with him. I went to a tragedy which they call Macbeth; and, when I came home, told him that I could not bear to see men and women make themselves such fools, by pretending to be

witches and ghosts, generals and kings, and to walk in

their sleep when they are as much awake as those who looked at them. He told me that I must get higher


notions, and that a play was the most rational of all en-
tertainments, and most proper to relax the mind after
the business of the day.
By degrees he gained knowledge of some of the
players, and, when the play was over, very frequently
treated them with suppers; for which he was admitted
to stand behind the scenes.
He soon began to lose some of his morning hours
in the same folly, and was for one winter very diligent
in his attendance on the rehearsals; but of this species
of idleness he grew weary, and said that the play was
nothing without the company.
His ardour for the diversion of the evening increased;
he bought a sword, and paid five shillings a night to
sit in the boxes; he went sometimes into a place which
he calls the Green-room, where all the wits of the age
assemble; and, when he had been there, could do no-
thing for two or three days, but repeat their jests, or
tell their disputes. - -
He has now lost his regard for every thing but
the play-house; he invites, three times a week, one or
other to drink claret, and talk of the drama. His first
care in the morning is to read the play-bills; and, if
he remembers any lines of the tragedy which is to be
represented, walks about the shop repeating them so
loud, and with such strange gestures, that the passen-
gers gather round the door. -
His greatest pleasure when I married him was to
hear the situation of his shop commended, and to be
told how many estates have been got in it by the same
trade; but of late he grows peevish at any mention of
business, and delights in nothing so much as to be told
that he speaks like Mossop.
Among his new associates, he has learned another
language, and speaks in such a strain that the neigh-
bours cannot understand him. If a customer talks
longer than he is willing to hear, he will complain that
he has been excruciated with unmeaning verbosity; he
laughs at the letters of his friends for their tameness
of expression, and often declares himself weary of at-
tending to the minutiae of a shop.
It is well for me that I know how to keep a book,
for of late he is scarcely ever in the way. Since one
of his friends told him that he had a genius for tragick
poetry, he has locked himself in an upper room six
or seven hours a day; and when I carry him any paper
to be read or signed, I hear him talking vehemently
to himself, sometimes of love and beauty, sometimes
of friendship and virtue, but more frequently of liber-
ty and his country. I would gladly, Mr. Idler, be in-
formed what to think of a shopkeeper who is inces-
santly talking about liberty; a word which, since his
acquaintance with polite life, my husband has always
in his mouth; he is on all occasions afraid of our lib-
erty. What can the man mean? I am sure he has lib-
By this course of life our credit as traders is lessened; and I cannot forbear to reflect, that my husband’s honour as a wit is not much advanced, for he seems to be always the lowest of the company, and is afraid to tell his opinions till the rest have spoken. When he was behind his counter, he used to be brisk, active, and jocular, like a man that knew what he was doing, and did not fear to look another in the face; but, among wits and criticks, he is timorous and awkward, and hangs down his head at his own table. Dear Mr. Idler, persuade him, if you can, to return once more to his native element. Tell him that his wit will never make him rich, but there are places where riches will always make a wit. I am, Sir, &c. DEBORAH GINGER.

erty enough : it were better for him and me if his

liberty was lessened. -

He has a friend, whom he calls a critick, that comes twice a week to read what he is writing. This critick tells him that his piece is a little irregular, but that

some detached scenes will shine prodigiously, and that

in the character of Bombulus he is wonderfully great. My scribbler then squeezes his hand, calls him the best of friends, thanks him for his sincerity, and tells him that he hates to be flattered. I have reason to believe that he seldom parts with his dear friend without lending him two guineas, and I am afraid that he gave bail for him three days ago.

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THERE is no kind of idleness, by which we are so easily seduced, as that which dignifies itself by the appearance of business, and, by making the loiterer imagine that he has something to do which must not be neglected, keeps him is perpetual agitation, and hurries him rapidly from place to place. He that sits still, or reposes himself upon a couch, no more deceives himself than he deceives others; he knows that he is doing nothing, and has no other soV. O. L. W. II. - Q

lace of his insignificance than the resolution, which the lazy hourly make, of changing his mode of life. To do nothing every man is ashamed; and to do much, almost every man is unwilling or afraid. Innumerable expedients have therefore been invented to produce motion without labour, and employment without solicitude. The greater part of those whom the kindness of fortune has left to their own direction, and whom want does not keep chained to the counter or the plough, play throughout life with the shadows of business, and know not at last what they have been doing. These imitators of action are of all denominations. Some are seen at every auction without intention to purchase; others appear punctually at the Exchange, though they are known there only by their faces. Some are always making parties to visit collections for which they have no taste; and some neglect every pleasure and duty to hear questions, in which they have no interest, debated in parliament. These men never appear more ridiculous than in the distress which they imagine themselves to feel, from some accidental interruption of those empty pursuits. A tiger newly imprisoned is indeed more formidable, but not more angry, than Jack Tulip withheld from a florist’s feast, or Tom Distich hindered from seeing the first representation of a play. As political affairs are the highest and most extensive of temporal concerns, the mimick of a politician is more busy and important than any other trifler. Monsieur le Noir, a man who, without property or importance in any corner of the earth, has, in the present

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