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of turtle-soup. How many haunches of venison does he carry on his back! He is larded with jobs and contracts; he is stuffed and swelled out with layers of bank-notes, and invitations to dinner! His face hangs out a flag of defiance to mischance: the roguish twinkle in his eye
with which he lures half the city and beats Alderman
hollow, is a smile reflected from heaps of unsunned gold! Nature and Fortune are not so much at variance as to differ about this fellow. To enjoy the good the Gods provide us, is to deserve it. Nature meant him for a Knight, Alderman, and City-Member; and Fortune laughed to see the goodly person and prospects of the man!*-I am not, from certain early prejudices, much given to admire the ostentatious marks of wealth (there are persons enough to admire them without me)-but I confess, there is something in the look of the old bankinghouses in Lombard-street, the posterns covered with mud, the doors opening sullenly and silently, the absence of all pretence, the darkness and the gloom within, the gleaming of lamps in the day-time,
A thorough fitness for
any end implies the means. Where there is a will, there is a way. A real passion, an entire devotion to any object, always succeeds. The strong sympathy with what we wish and imagine, realizes it, dissipates all obstacles, and removes all scruples. The disappointed lover may complain as much as he pleases. He was himself to blame. He was a half witted, wishy-washy fellow. His love might be as great as he makes it out: but it was not his ruling-passion. His fear, his pride, his vanity was greater. Let any one's whole soul be steeped in this passion, let him think and care for nothing else, let nothing divert, cool or intimidate him, let the ideal feeling become an actual one and take possession of his whole faculties, looks and manner, let the same voluptuous hopes and wishes govern his actions in the presence of his mistress that haunt his fancy in her absence, and I will answer for his success. But I will not answer for the success of “ a dish of skimmed milk” in such a case. I could always get to see a fine collection of pictures myself. The fact is, I was set upon it. Neither the surliness of porters, nor the impertinence of footmen could keep me back. I had a portrait of Titian in my eye, and nothing could put me out in my determination. If that had not (as it were) been looking on me all the time I was battling my way, I should have been irritated or disconcerted, and gone away. But my liking to the end conquered my scruples or aversion to the means. I never understood the Scotch character but on these occasions. I would not take No" for an answer. If I had wanted a place under government or a writership to India, I could have got it from the same importunity, and on the same terms.
“ Like a faint shadow of uncertain light,"
that almost realises the poetical conception of the cave of Mammon in Spenser, where dust and cobwebs concealed the roofs and pillars of solid gold, and lifts the mind quite off its ordinary hinges. The account of the manner in which the founder of Guy's Hospital accumulated his immense wealth has always to me something romantic in it, from the same force of contrast. He was a little shop-keeper, and out of his savings, bought Bibles and sold them to sailors, wandering mariners, by which he left a fortune of two hundred thousand pounds. The story suggests the idea of a magician ; nor is there any thing in the Arabian Nights that looks more like a fiction.