« PoprzedniaDalej »
vour of the most unbounded magnificence; and as they have nothing to bestow, a most surprising generosity always accompanies every action of the quill. A novellist, for example, is remarkably lavish of his cash on all occasions; and spares no expences in carrying on the designs of his personages through ever so many volumes. Nothing, indeed is more easy than to be very profuse upon paper: an author when he is about it, may erect his airy castles to what height he pleases, and with the wave of his pen may command the mines of Peru: and as he deals about his money without once untying his purse-strings, it will cost him the same whether he throws away a mite or a million; and another dip of ink, by the addition of two or three gratis cyphers, may in an instant convert a single ten into as many thousands.
But it must be confessed, that we essay-writers, as we are the greatest egotists, are consequently most vain and ostentatious. As we frequently find occasion to prate about ourselves, we take abundant care to put the reader constantly in mind of our importance. It is very well known, that we keep the best company, are present at the most expensive places of diversion, and can talk as familiarly of White's, as if we had been admitted to the honour of losing an estate there. Though the necessaries as well as the luxuries of life may perhaps be denied us, we readily make up for the want of them by the creative power of the imagination. Thus, for instance, I remember a brother essayist, who took a particular pride in dating his lucubrations, from my own apartment;' which he represented as abounding with every convenience: though at the same time he was working three stories from the ground, and was often forced for want of other paper, to scribble upon wrappers of tobacco. As to myself, I make no doubt but the reader has long ago discovered, without my telling him, that I loll at my