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And not my chariot but my counsel take;
While yet securely on the earth you stand;
Nur touch the horses with too r-iih a hand. Addisok.
U the ADVENTURER.
S I R, Fleet, March 24.
I NOW send you the sequel of my story; which had not been so long delayed, is I could have brought myself to imagine, that any real impatience was selt for the fate of Misargyrus; who has travelled no unbeaten track to misery, and consequently can present the reader only with such incidents as occur in daily lise.
You have seen me, Sir, in the zenith of my glory; not dispensing the kindly warmth of an all-cheering sun, but, like another Phaeton, scorching and blasting every thing round me. I shall proceed, therefore, to finish my career, and pass as rapidly as possible through the remaining vicissitudes of my lise.
When I first began to be in want of money, I made no doubt of an immediate supply. The newspapers. papers were perpetually offering directions to men, who seemed to have no other business than to gather heaps of gold for thofe who place their supreme selicity in scattering it. I posted away, therefore, to one of these advertisers, who by his propoffals seemed to deal in thoufands; and was not a little chagrined to find, that this general benefactor would have nothing to do with any larger sum than thirty pounds, nor would venture that without a joint note from myself and a reputable housekeeper, or for a longer time than three months.
It was not yet so bad with me, as that I needed to solicit surety for thirty pounds: yet partly from the greediness that extravagance always produces, and partly from a desire of seeing the humour of a petty usurer, a character of which I had hitherto lived in ignorance, I condescended to listen to his terms. He proceeded to insorm me of my great selicity in not falling into the hands of an extortioner; and assured me, that I should find him extremely moderate in his demands: he was not, indeed, certain, that he could furnish me with the whole sum, for people were at this particular time extremely pressing and importunate for money; yet as I had the appearance of a gentleman, he would try what he could do, and give me his answer in three days.
At the expiration of the time, I called upon him again; and was again insormed of the great demand for money, and that "money was money now:" he then advised me to be punctual in my payment, as that might induce him to befriend me hereaster; and delivered me the money, deducting at the rate of
sive sive and thirty per cent, with another panegyric upon his own moderation.
I will not tire you with the various practices of usurious oppression; but cannot omit my tranfaction with Squeeze on tower-billy who finding me a young man of considerable expectations, employed an agent to persuade me to borrow sive hundred pounds, to be refunded by an annual payment of twenty per tent, during the joint lives of his daughter Nancy Squeeze and myself. The negociator came prepared to insorce his propoffal with all his art; but finding that I caught his offer with the eagerness of necessity, he grew cold and languid: "he had mentioned it "out of kindness; he would try to serve me: Mr, "Squeeze was an honest man, but extremely cau"tious." In three days he came to tell me, that his endeavours had been ineffectual, Mr. Squeeze having no good opinion of my lise: but that there was one expedient remaining; Mrs, Squeeze could influence her husband, and her good-will might be gained by a compliment. I waited that asternoon on Mrs. Sqvaze, and poured out before her the flatteries which usually gain access to rank and beauty: I did not then know, that there are places in which the only compliment is a bribe. Having yet credit with a jeweller, I asterwards procured a ring of thirty guineas, which I humbly presented, and was soon admitted to a treaty with Mr. Sq tceze. He appeared peevish and backward, and my old friend whispered me, that he would never make a dry bargain: I, therefore, invited him to a tavern. Nine times we met on the affair; nine
times I paid sour pounds for the supper and claret j and nine guineas I gave the agent for good offices. I then obtained the money, paying ten per cent, advance) and at the tenth meeting gave another supper, and disbursed fifteen pounds for the writings.
Others, who stiled themselves brokers, would only trust their money upon goods; that I might, therefore, try every art of expensive folly, I took a house and furnished it. I amused myself with despoiling my moveables of their glossy appearance, for sear of alarming the lender with suspicions; and in this I succeeded so well, that he favoured me with one hundred and sixty pounds upon that which was rated at seven hundred. I then found that I was to maintain a guardian about me, to prevent the goods from being broken or removed. This was, indeed, an unexpected tax; but it was too late to recede; and I comforted myself, that I might prevent a creditor, of whom I had some apprehensions, from seizing, by having a prior execution always in the house.
By such means I had so embarrassed myself, that my whole attention was engaged in contriving excuses, and raising small sums to quiet such as words would no longer mollisy. It cost me eighty pounds in presents to Mr. Leech the attorney, for his forbearance of one hundred, which he solicited me to take when I had no need. I was perpetually harassed with importunate demands, and insulted by wretches, who a sew months before would not have dared to raise their eyes from the dust before me. I lived in continual terror, frighted by every noise at the door, and terrified at the approach of every step
quicker than common, I never retired to rest, without out seeling the justness of the Spanish proverb, "Let him who fleeps too much, borrow the pillow "of a debtor;" my solicitude and vexation kept me long waking; and when I had closed my eyes, I was pursued or insulted by visionary bailiffs.
When I reflected upon the meanness of the shists I had reduced myself to, I could not but curse the folly and extravagance that had overwhelmed me in a sea of troubles, from which it was highly improbable that I should ever emerge. I had some time lived in hopes of an estate, at the death of my uncle; but he difappointed me by marrying his housekeeper; and, catching an opportunity soon aster of quarrelling with me, for settling twenty pounds a year upon a girl whom I had seduced, told me that he would take care to prevent his fortune from being squandered upon prostitutes.
Nothing now remained, but the chance of extricating myself by marriage; a scheme which, I flattered myself, nothing but my present distress would kave made me think on with patience. I determined, therefore, to look out for a tender novice, with a large fortune at her own dispoffal; and accordingly fixed my eyes upon Miss Biddy Simper. I had now paid her fix or seven visits; and so fully convinced her of my being a gentleman and a rake, that I made no doubt that both her person and fortune would be soon mine.
At this critical time, Miss Gripe called upon me, in a chariot bought with my money, and loaded with trinkets that I had in my days of affluence lavished on her. Those days were now over; and there was little hope that they would ever return. She was not