This proposal was extremely acceptable to our young gentleman, who, besides the advantage which might accrue to him from such a valuable connection, foresaw much entertainment and satisfaction in the discourse of so many learned guests. The occasions of his health and interest, moreover, coincided in another circumstance; the minister’s levee being kept betimes in the morning, so that he could perform his walk, yield his attendance, and breakfast at this philosophical board, without encroaching a great deal upon his other avocations. Measures being thus preconcerted, the physician conducted our adventurer to the house of this celebrated cheap nike heels sage, to whom he recommended him as a gentleman of genius and taste, who craved the honour of his acquaintance; but he had previously smoothed the way to his introduction, by representing Peregrine as a young fellow of great ambition, spirit, and address, who could not fail to make a figure in the world; that therefore he would be a creditable addition to the subordinates of such a patron, and by his qualifications, intrepidity, and warmth of temper, turn out a consummate herald of his fame. Upon these considerations, he met with a most engaging reception from the entertainer, who was a well-bred man, of some learning, generosity, and taste; but his foible was the desire of being thought the inimitable pattern of all three. It was with a view to acquire and support this character, that his house was open to all those who had any pretensions to literature; consequently he was surrounded by a strange variety of pretenders; but none were discouraged, because he knew that even the most insignificant might, in some shape, conduce to the propagation of his praise. A babbler, though he cannot run upon the scent, may spring the game, and, by his yelping, help to fill up the cry. No wonder, then, that a youth of Pickle’s accomplishments was admitted and even invited into the pack. After having enjoyed a very short private audience in the closet, our young gentleman was shown into another room, where half a dozen of his fellow-adherents waited for the Maecenas, who in a few minutes appeared, with a most gracious aspect, received the compliments of the morning, and sat down to breakfast, in the midst of them, without any further ceremony. The conversation at first turned upon the weather, which was investigated in a very philosophical manner by one of the company, who seemed to have consulted all the barometers and thermometers that ever were invented, before he would venture to affirm that it was a chill morning. This subject being accurately discussed, the chief inquired about the news of the learned world; and his inclination was no sooner expressed than every cheap air force heels guest opened his mouth, in order to ratify his curiosity. But he that first captivated his attention was a meagre, shrivelled antiquary, who looked like an animated mummy, which had been scorched among the sands of the desert. He told the patron, that he had, by accident, met with a medal, which, though it was defaced by time, he would venture to pronounce a genuine antique, from the ringing and taste of the metal, as well as from the colour and composition of the rust. So saying, he produced a piece of copper coin, so consumed and disguised by age, that scarce a vestige of the impression was to be perceived. Nevertheless, this connoisseur pretended to distinguish a face in profile, from which he concluded that the piece was of the Upper Empire, and on the reverse he endeavoured to point out the bulb of the spear, and part of the parazonium, which were the insignia of the Roman Virtus, together with the fragment of one fold of the multicium in which she was clothed. He likewise had discovered an angle of the letter N, and, at some distance, an entire I; from these circumstances conjecturing, and indeed concluding, that the medal was struck by Severus, in honour of the victory he obtained over his rival Niger, after he had forced the passes of Mount Taurus. This criticism seemed very satisfactory to the entertainer, who, having examined the coin by the help of his spectacles, plainly discerned the particulars which the owner had mentioned, and was pleased to term his account of the matter a very ingenious explanation. The curiosity was circulated through the hands of all present, and every virtuoso, in his turn, licked the copper, and rung it upon the hearth, declaring his assent to the judgment which had been pronounced. At length it fell under the inspection of our young gentleman, who, though no antiquarian, was very well acquainted with the current coin of his own country, and no sooner cast his eyes upon the valuable antique, than he cheap nike high heels affirmed, without hesitation, that it was no other than the ruins of an English farthing, and that same spear, parazonium, and multicium, the remains of the emblems and drapery with which the figure of Britannia is delineated on our copper money. This hardy asseveration seemed to disconcert the patron while it incensed the medallist, who, grinning like an enraged baboon, “What d’ye tell me of a brass farthing?” said he. “Did you ever know modern brass of such a relish? Do but taste it, young gentleman; and sure I am, if you have ever been conversant with subjects of this kind, you will find as wide a difference in the savour between this and an English farthing as can possibly be perceived betwixt an onion and a turnip. Besides, this medal has the true Corinthian ring; then the attitude is upright, whereas that of Britannia is reclining; and how is it possible to mistake a branch of palm for a parazonium?” All the rest of the company espoused the virtuoso’s side of the question, because the reputation of each was concerned. The patron, finding himself in the same circumstance, assumed a solemnity of feature, dashed with a small mixture of displeasure, and told Peregrine, that as he had not made that branch of literature his particular study, he was not surprised to see him mistaken in his opinion. Pickle immediately understood the reproof, though he was shocked at the vanity or infatuation of his entertainer and fellow-guests; asked pardon for his presumption, which was accordingly excused, in consideration of his inexperience; and the English farthing was dignified with the title of a true antique. The next person that addressed himself to the chief was a gentleman of a very mathematical turn, who valued himself upon the improvements he had made in several domestic machines, and now presented the plan of a new contrivance for cutting cabbages, in such a manner as would secure the stock against the rotting rain, and enable it to produce a plenteous aftercrop of delicious sprouts. In this important machine he had united the whole mechanic powers, with such massy complication of iron and wood, that it could not have been moved without the assistance of a horse, and a road made for the convenience of the draught. These objections were so obvious, that they occurred at first sight to the inspector-general, who greatly commended the invention, which, he observed, might be applied to cheap nike heels several other useful purposes, could it once be rendered a little more portable and commodious. The inventor, who had not foreseen these difficulties, was not prepared to surmount them; but he took the hint in good part, and promised to task his abilities anew, in altering the construction of his design. Not but that he underwent some severe irony from the rest of the virtuosi, who complimented him upon the momentous improvement he had made, by which a family might save a dish of greens in a quarter, for so trifling an expense as that of purchasing, working, and maintaining such a stupendous machine; but no man was ever more sarcastic in his remarks upon this piece of mechanism than the naturalist, who next appealed to the patron’s approbation for a curious disposition he had made touching the procreation of muck-flies, in which he had laid down a curious method of collecting, preserving, and hatching the eggs of these insects, even in the winter, by certain modifications of artificial heat. The nature of this discovery was no sooner communicated, than Peregrine, unable to contain himself, was seized with a fit of laughter, which infected every person at the table, the landlord himself not excepted, who found it impossible to preserve his wonted gravity of face  
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