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of Cook and Littleton, he provides himself with a ladder of ropes, and by that means very often enters upon the premises.
The same art of scaling has likewise been practised with good success by many military engineers. Stratagems of this nature make parts and industry superfluous, and cut short the way to riches.
Nor is vanity a less motive than idleness to this kind of mercenary pursuit. A fop who admires his person in a glass, soon enters into a resolution of making his fortune by it, not questioning but every woman that falls in his way will do him as much justice as he does himself. When an heiress sees a man throwing particular graces into his ogle, or talking loud within her hearing, she ought to look to herself; but if withal she observes a pair of red-heels, a patch, or any other particularity in his dress, she cannot take too much care of her person. These are baits not to be trifled with, charms that have done a world of execution, and made their way into hearts which have been thought impregnable. The force of a man with these qualifications is so well known, that I am credibly informed there several female undertakers about the 'Change, who upon the arrival of a likely man out of a neighbouring kingdom, will furnish him with proper dress from head to foot, to be paid for at double price on the day of marriage.
We must, however, distinguish between fortunehunters and fortune-stealers. The first are those assiduous gentlemen who employ their whole lives in the chase, without ever coming at the quarry. Suffenus has combed and powdered at the ladies for thirty
years together, and taken his stand in a side box, till he is grown wrinkled under their eyes. He is now laying the same snares for the present generation of beauties, which he practised on their mothers. Cottilus, after having made his applications to more than you meet with in Mr. Cowley's ballad of mistresses, was at last smitten with a city lady of £20,000 sterling ; but died of old age before he could bring matters to bear. Nor must I here omit my worthy friend Mr. Honeycomb, who has often told us in the club, that for twenty years successively, upon the death of a childless rich man, he immediately drew on his boots, called for his horse, and made up to the widow. When he is rallied upon his ill success, Will. with his usual gaiety tells us, that he always found her pre-engaged.
Widows are indeed the great game of your fortunehunters. There is scarce a young fellow in the town of six foot high, that has not passed in review before one or other of these wealthy relics. Hudibras's Cupid, who
-took his stand Upon a widow's jointure land,
is daily employed in throwing darts and kindling flames. But as for widows, they are such a subtle generation of people, that they may be left to their own conduct ; or if they make a false step in it, they are answerable for it to nobody but themselves. The young innocent creatures who have no knowledge and experience of the world, are those whose safety I would principally consult in this speculation. The stealing of such an one should, in my opinion, be as
punishable as a rape. Where there is no judgment, there is no choice ; and why the inveigling a woman before she is come to years of discretion, should not be as criminal as the seducing of her before she is ten years old, I am at a loss to comprehend.
TOM Folio is a broker in learning, employed to get together good editions, and stock the libraries of great
There is not a sale of books begins till Tom Folio is seen at the door. There is not an auction where his name is not heard, and that too in the very nick of time, in the critical moment, before the last decisive stroke of the hammer. There is not a subscription goes forward, in which Tom is not privy to the first rough draught of the proposals ; nor a catalogue printed, that doth not come to him wet from the press. He is an universal scholar, so far as the title-page of all authors, knows the manuscripts in which they were discovered, the editions through which they have passed, with the praises or censures which they have received from the several members of the learned world. He has a greater esteem for Aldus and Elzevir, than for Virgil and Horace. If you talk of Herodotus, he breaks out into a panegyric upon Harry Stephens. He thinks he gives you an account of an author, when he tells the subject he treats of, the name of the editor, and the year in which it was printed. Or if you draw him into further particulars, he cries up the goodness of the paper, extols the diligence of the corrector, and is transported with the beauty of the letter. This he looks upon to be sound learning and substantial criticism.
As for those who talk of the fineness of style, and the justness of thought, or describe the brightness of any particular passages ; nay, though they write themselves in the genius and spirit of the author they admire, Tom looks upon them as men of superficial learning and flashy parts.
I had yesterday morning a visit from this learned idiot, (for that is the light in which I consider every pedant,) when I discovered in him some little touches of the coxcomb, which I had not before observed. Being very full of the figure which he makes in the republic of letters, and wonderfully satisfied with his great stock of knowledge, he gave me broad intimations, that he did not believe' in all points as his forefathers had done. He then communicated to me a thought of a certain author upon a passage of Virgil's account of the dead, which I made the subject of a late paper. This thought hath taken very much among men of Tom's pitch and understanding, though universally exploded by all that know how to construe Virgil, or have any relish of antiquity. Not to trouble my reader with it, I found upon the whole, that Tom did not believe a future state of rewards and punishments, because Æneas, at his leaving the empire of the dead, passed through the gate of ivory, and not through that of horn. Knowing that Tom had not sense enough to give up an opinion which he had once received, that he might avoid wrangling, I told him, that Virgil possibly had his oversights as well as another author. "Ah! Mr. Bickerstaffe,' says he, 'you would have another opinion of him, if you would read him in Daniel Heinsius's edition. I have perused him myself several times in that edition,' continued