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XCI. Of the Lottery. Hiftory of feveral Adventurers, who got the
ETTER from Mr. Village to Mr. Town, containing the
cx. Letter, containing a Propofal to Tax all fashionable Vices and Amuse-
ries, and French Servants-Kept Miftreffes, and Ladies of Plea-
CXIII. On the Modern Tafte in adorning Gardens with the Statues of Pa-
cxv. Letter from Chriftopher Ironfide, an Old Bachelor, complaining of
CXVII. The Temple of Ufury. A Vision
CXVIII. History of the Birth and Family of Nonfenfe
CXIX O Keeping a Secret. Characters of faithlefs Confidants
CXXXII. On Keeping Low Company. Character of Toby Bumper
CXXXIV. Letter from Mr. Village, giving an Account of the present
cxxxv.. The Cit's Country Box. A Poem
CXXXVI. On the Knowledge of the World. Characters of Sir Harry
VOLUME THE FIRST.
N° I. THURSDAY, JANUARY 31, 1754.
MORES, ET STUDIA, ET POPULOS, ET PRÆLIA DICAM.
A rious a love of gain,
low the example of the old Roman Cenfor, the first part of whose duty was to review the people, and diftribute them into their several divifions. I fhall therefore enter upon my office, by taking a cursory survey of what is usually called The Town. In this I fhall not confine myself to the exact method of a geographer, but carry the reader from one quarter to another, as it may fuit my convenience, or beft contribute to his entertainment.
When a comedian, celebrated for his excellence in the part of Shylock, firft undertook that character, he made daily vifits to the centre of business, the 'Change and the adjacent coffee-houses; that by a frequent intercourfe and converfation with the unforeskinn'd race,' be might habituate himself to their air and deportment. A like defire of penetrating into the most secret springs of 'action in these people has often led Me there; but I was never more diverted than at Garraway's a few days before the drawing of the lottery. I not only
ftrongly pictured in the faces of thofe who came to buy; but I remarked with no less delight, the many little artifices made ufe of to allure adventurers, as well as the vifible alterations in the looks of the fellers, according as the demand for tickets gave occafion to raise or lower their price. So deeply were the countenances of these bubble-brokers impreffed with an attention to the main chance, and their minds feemed fo dead to all other fenfations, that one might almost doubt, where money is out of the cafe, whether a few has eyes, hands, organs, dimenfions, fenfes, affections, paffions."
From Garraway's it is but a fhort ftep to a gloomy clafs of mortals, not lefs intent on gain than the stock-jobber: I mean the difpenfers of life and death, who flock together, like birds of prey watching for carcafes, at Batfon's. I never enter this place, but it ferves as a memento mori to me. What a formal aflemblage of fable fuits, and tremendous perukes! I have often met here a
molt intimate acquaintance, whom I have fcarce known again; a fprightly young fellow, with whoin have spent many a jolly hour; but being juft dubbed a graduate in phyfic, he has gained fuch an entire conqueit over the rifible mufcles, that he hardly vouchfafes at any time to fmile. I have heard him harangue, with all the oracular importance of a veteran, on the poffibility of Canning's fubfiiting for a whole month on a few bits of bread; and he is now preparing a treatise, in which will be fet forth a new and infallible method to prevent the spreading of the plague from France into England. Batfon's has been reckoned the feat of folemn ftupidity: yet is it not totally devoid of tafte and common fenfe. They have among them phyficians, who can cope with the most eminent lawyers or divines; and critics, who can relifh the fal volatile of a witty compofition, or determine how much fire is requifite to fublimate a tragedy fecundùm artem.
Emerging from thefe difmal regions, I am glad to breathe the pure air in St. Paul's Coffee-houfe: where (as I profefs the highest veneration for our clergy) I cannot contemplate the magnificence of the cathedral without reflecting on the abject condition of thofe tatter'd crapes,' who are faid to ply here for an occafional burial or fermon, with the fame regularity as the happier drudges, who falute us with the cry of Coach,
Sir,' or Chair, your honour.' And here my publifher would not forgive me, was I to leave the neigh. bourhood without taking notice of the Chapter Coffee-houfe, which is frequented by thofe encouragers of literature, and (as they are tiled by an eminent critic) not the worst judges of merit, the bookfellers.' The converfation here naturally turns upon the neweft publications; but their criticifms are fomewhat fingular. When they fay a good book, they do not mean to praife the file or fentiment, but the quick and extenfive fale of it. That book, in the phrafe of the CONGER, is beft, which fells molt: and if the demand for Quarles fhould be greater than for Pope, he would have the highest place on the rubric-poft. There are alfo many parts of every work liable to their reks, which fall not within the notice of lefs accurate obfervers. A few nights ago I faw one of thefe gentlemen take up a
fermon, and after seeming to peruse it for fome time with great attention, he declared, it was very good English.* The reader will judge whether I was moft furprised or diverted, when I difcovered, that he was not commending the purity and elegance of the diction, but the beauty of the type; which, it feems, is known among the printers by that appellation. We must not, however, think the members of the CONGER ftrangers to the deeper parts of literature; for as carpenters, fmiths, masons, and all mechanics, fmell of the trade they labour at, book fellers take a peculiar turn from their connections with books and authors. The character of the bookfeller is commonly formed on the writers in his fervice. Thus one is a politician or a deift; another affects humour, or aims at turns of wit and repartee; while a third perhaps is grave, moral, and fententious.
The Temple is the barrier that divides the city and fuburbs; and the gentlemen who refide there, feem influenced by the fituation of the place they inhabit. Templars are, in general, a kind of citizen-courtiers. They aim at the air and mien of the drawing-room; but the holiday fmartness of a prentice, heightened with fome additional touches of the rake or coxcomb, betrays itself in every thing they do. The Temple, however, is ftocked with it's peculiar beaux, wits, poets, critics, and every character in the gay world: and it is a thousand pities, that fo pretty a fociety fhould be disgraced with a few dull fellows, who can fubmit to puzzle themfelves with cafes and reports, and have not tafte enough to follow the genteel method of studying the law.
I fhall now, like a true ftudent of the Temple, hurry from thence to Covent Garden, the acknowledged region of gallantry, wit, and criticism; and hope to be excufed for not stopping at George's in my way, as the Bedford affords a greater variety of nearly the fame chraracters. This coffee-houfe is every night crouded with men of parts. Almost every one you meet is a polite scholar and a wit. Jokes and bon mots are echoed from box to box; every branch of literature is critically examined, and the merit of every production of the prefs, or performance at the theatres, weighed and determined. This fchool (to which I am myself indebted for a