The Spectator, Volume 2. eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,123 pages of information about The Spectator, Volume 2..
he should not feel the Weight of it; he improved this Thought into an Affectation of Closeness and Covetousness.  Upon this one Principle he resolved to govern his future Life; and in the thirty sixth Year of his Age he repaired to Long-lane, and looked upon several Dresses which hung there deserted by their first Masters, and exposed to the Purchase of the best Bidder.  At this Place he exchanged his gay Shabbiness of Cloaths fit for a much younger Man, to warm ones that would be decent for a much older one. Irus came out thoroughly equipped from Head to Foot, with a little oaken Cane in the Form of a substantial Man that did not mind his Dress, turned of fifty.  He had at this time fifty Pounds in ready Money; and in this Habit, with this Fortune, he took his present Lodging in St. John Street, at the Mansion-House of a Taylor’s Widow, who washes and can clear-starch his Bands.  From that Time to this, he has kept the main Stock, without Alteration under or over to the value of five Pounds.  He left off all his old Acquaintance to a Man, and all his Arts of Life, except the Play of Backgammon, upon which he has more than bore his Charges. Irus has, ever since he came into this Neighbourhood, given all the Intimations, he skilfully could, of being a close Hunks worth Money:  No body comes to visit him, he receives no Letters, and tells his Money Morning and Evening.  He has, from the publick Papers, a Knowledge of what generally passes, shuns all Discourses of Money, but shrugs his Shoulder when you talk of Securities; he denies his being rich with the Air, which all do who are vain of being so:  He is the Oracle of a Neighbouring Justice of Peace, who meets him at the Coffeehouse; the Hopes that what he has must come to Somebody, and that he has no Heirs, have that Effect where ever he is known, that he every Day has three or four Invitations to dine at different Places, which he generally takes care to choose in such a manner, as not to seem inclined to the richer Man.  All the young Men respect him, and say he is just the same Man he was when they were Boys.  He uses no Artifice in the World, but makes use of Mens Designs upon him to get a Maintenance out of them.  This he carries on by a certain Peevishness, (which he acts very well) that no one would believe could possibly enter into the Head of a poor Fellow.  His Mein, his Dress, his Carriage, and his Language are such, that you would be at a loss to guess whether in the Active Part of his Life he had been a sensible Citizen, or Scholar that knew the World.  These are the great Circumstances in the Life of Irus, and thus does he pass away his Days a Stranger to Mankind; and at his Death, the worst that will be said of him will be, that he got by every Man who had Expectations from him, more than he had to leave him.

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The Spectator, Volume 2. from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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