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Ned Revel's face was at once laid Aat, and that effected in an instant, which its most mortal foe had for ye.irs assayed in vain. I shall pass over the accidents that attend attempts to scale windows, and endeavours to disodge signs from their hooks ; there are many“ hair-breadth 'scapes,” besides those in the “ imminent deadly breach;" but the rake's life, though it be equally hazardous with that of the soldier, is neither accompanied with present honour nor with pleasing retrospect: such is, and such ought to be the difference, between the enemy and the preserver of his country.
Amidit such giddy and thoughtless extravagance, it will not seem strange, that I was often the dupe of coarle Battery. When Monf. I'llicrgè assured me, that I thrust quart over arm better than any man in England, what could I less than present him with a sword that cost me thirty pieces? I was bound for a hundred pounds for Tum Trippet, because he had declared that he would dance a minuet with any man in the three kingdoms except myself. But I often parted with money against my inclination, either beCause I wanted the refolution to refuse, or dreaded ihe appellation of a niggardly fellow; and I may be truly said to have squandered my estate, without honour, without friends, and without pleasure. The Just may, perhaps, appear strange to men unacquainted with the masquerade of life: I deceived others, and I endeavoured to deceive myself; and have worn the face of pleasantry and gaiety, while my heart suffered the most exquisite torture.
By the instigation and encouragement of my friends, I became at length ambitious of a feat in
parliament; and accordingly set out for the town of Wallop in the west, where my arrival was welcomed by a thousand throats, and I was in three days fure of a majority: but after drinking out one hundred and fifty hoglheads of wine, and bribing two-thirds of the corporation twice over, I had the mortification to find, that the borough had been before sold to Mr. Courtly.
In a life of this kind, my fortune, though confi. derable, was presently dissipated; and as the atfraction grows more strong the nearer any body approaches the earth, when once a man begins to sink into poverty, he falls with velocity always increaring; every supply is purchased at a higher and higher price, and every office of kindness obtained with greater and greater difficulty. Having now acquainted you with my state of elevation, I shall, if you encourage the continuance of my correspondence, shew you by what steps I descended from a first floor in Pall-Mall to my present habitation.
I am, SIR,
Your humble fervant,
NUMB. 41. TUESDAY, March 27, 1753,
Si mutabile peetus
To ihe ADVENTURER.
Fleet, March 24. T NOW lead you the sequel of my story; which
liad not been so long delayed, if I could have brought myself to imagine, that any real impatience wis felt for the fate of Misargyrus; who has travelfed no unbeaten track to milery, and consequently 022 present the reader only with such incidents as occur in daily life.
You have seen me, Sir, in the zenith of my glory; 200 dispensing the kindly warmth of an all-cheering wwvl, but, like another Phaeton, scorching and blastIs every thing round me. I shall proceed, therefore, to finish my career, and país as rapidly as porlille through the remaining vicissitudes of my life.
When I first began to be in want of money, I Inace no doubt of an immediate supply. The news
papers papers were perpetually offering dire&tions to men, who seemed to have no other business than to gather heaps of gold for those who place their supreme felicity in scattering it. I posted away, therefore, to one of these advertisers, who by his proposals seemed to deal in thousands; and was not a little chagrined to find, that this general benefactor would have nothing to do with any larger surm 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 ufurer, a character of which I had hitherto lived in ignorance, I condescended to listen to his terms. He proceeded to inform me of my great felicity 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 fum, 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 informed 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 hereafter ; and delivered me the money, deducting at the rate of
five 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 transaction with Squeeze on Tower-bill, who finding me a young man of considerable expectations, employed an agent to persuade me to borrow five hundred pounds, to be refunded by an annual payment of twenty per cent, during the joint lives of his daughter Nancy Squeeze and myself. The negociator care prepared to inforce his proposal with all his art; but finding that I caught his offer with the eagerness of neceflity, he grew cold and languid: “ he had mentioned it « out of kindneis; he would try to serve me: Mr, « Squeeze was an honest man, but extremely cau“ cious.” In three days he came to tell me, that his endeavours had been ineffectual, Mr. Sylueeze having no good opinion of my life: but that there was one expedient remaining; Mrs. Sauteze could influence her husband, and her good-will might be gained by a compliment. I waited that afternoon on Mrs. Srete, and poured out before her the filtteries 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 afterwards procured å ring of thirty guineus, which I humbly presented, and was foon admitted to a treaty with Mr. Syrteze. He appeared peevith and backward, and my old friend whispered me, that he would never make a dry bargain: I, therefore, invited him to a cavern. Nine times we met on the affair; nin: