His visits were, therefore, promiscuous, without any other view than that of amusement; and though his pride was flattered by the advances of the fair, whom he had captivated, he never harboured one thought of proceeding beyond the limits of common gallantry, and new balance 501 carefully avoided all particular explanations. But, what above all other enjoyments yielded him the most agreeable entertainment, was the secret history of characters, which he learned from a very extraordinary person, with whom he became acquainted in this manner.   Being at the house of a certain lady on a visiting day, he was struck with the appearance of an old man, who no sooner entered the room than the mistress of the house very kindly desired one of the wits present to roast the old put. This petit-maitre, proud of the employment, went up to the senior, who had something extremely peculiar and significant in his countenance, and saluting him with divers fashionable congees, accosted him in these words: “Your servant, you old rascal. I hope to have the honour of seeing you hanged. I vow to Gad! you look extremely shocking, with these gummy eyes, lanthorn jaws, and toothless chaps. What! you squint at the ladies, you old rotten medlar? Yes, yes, we understand your ogling; but you must content yourself with a cook-maid, sink me! I see you want to sit. These withered shanks of yours tremble under their burden; but you must have a little patience, old Hirco! indeed you must. I intend to mortify you a little longer, curse me!”   The company was so tickled with this address, which was delivered with much grimace and gesticulation, that they burst out into a loud fit of laughter, which they fathered upon a monkey that was chained in the room; and, when the peal was over, the wit renewed the attack in these words: “I suppose you are fool enough to think this mirth was occasioned by Pug. Ay, there he is; you had best survey him; he is of your own family; switch me. But the laugh was at your expense; and you ought to thank Heaven for making you so ridiculous.” While he uttered these ingenious ejaculations, the old gentleman bowed alternately to him and the monkey, that seemed to grin and chatter in imitation of the beau, and, with an arch solemnity of visage, pronounced, “Gentlemen, as I have not the honour to understand your compliments, they will be much better bestowed on each other.” So saying, he seated himself, and had the satisfaction to see the laugh returned upon the aggressor, who remained confounded and abashed, and new balance 420 in a few minutes left the room, muttering, as he retired, “The old fellow grows scurrilous, stap my breath!”   While Peregrine wondered in silence at this extraordinary scene, the lady of the house perceiving his surprise, gave him to understand, that the ancient visitant was utterly bereft of the sense of hearing; that his name was Cadwallader Crabtree, his disposition altogether misanthropical; and that he was admitted into company on account of entertainment he afforded by his sarcastic observations, and the pleasant mistakes to which he was subject from his infirmity. Nor did our hero wait a long time for an illustration of this odd character. Every sentence he spoke was replete with gall; nor did his satire consist in general reflections, but a series of remarks, which had been made through the medium of a most whimsical peculiarity of opinion.   Among those who were present at this assembly was a young officer, who having, by dint of interest, obtained a seat in the lower house, thought it incumbent upon him to talk of affairs of state; and accordingly regaled the company with an account of a secret expedition which the French were busied in preparing; assuring them that he had it from the mouth of the minister, to whom it had been transmitted by one of his agents abroad. In descanting upon the particulars of the armament, he observed that they had twenty ships of the line ready manned and victualled at Brest, which were destined for Toulon, where they would be joined by as many more; and from thence proceed to the execution of their scheme, which he imparted as a secret not fit to be divulged.   This piece of intelligence being communicated to all the company except Mr. Crabtree, who suffered by his loss of hearing, that cynic was soon after accosted by a lady, who, by means of an artificial alphabet, formed by a certain conjunction and disposition of the fingers, asked if he had heard any extraordinary news of late. Cadwallader, with his usual complaisance, replied, that he supposed she took him for a courier or spy, by new balance outlet uk teasing him eternally with that question. He then expatiated upon the foolish curiosity of mankind, which, he said, must either proceed from idleness or want of ideas; and repeated almost verbatim the officer’s information, a vague ridiculous report invented by some ignorant coxcomb, who wanted to give himself airs of importance, and believed only by those who were utterly unacquainted with the politics and strength of the French nation.   In confirmation of what he had advanced, he endeavoured to demonstrate how impossible it must be for that people to fit out even the third part of such a navy, so soon after the losses they had sustained during the war; and confirmed his proof by asserting, that to his certain knowledge, the harbours of Brest and Toulon could not at that time produce a squadron of eight ships of the line. The member, who was an utter stranger to this misanthrope, hearing his own asseverations treated with such contempt, glowed with confusion and resentment, and, raising his voice, began to defend his own veracity, with great eagerness and trepidation, mingling with his arguments many blustering invectives, against the insolence and ill manners of his supposed contradictor, who sat with the most mortifying composure of countenance, till the officer’s patience was quite exhausted, and then, to the manifest increase of his vexation, he was informed, that his antagonist was so deaf, that in all probability, the last trumpet would make no impression upon him, without a previous renovation of his organs.   He cultivates an Acquaintance with the Misanthrope, who favours him with a short Sketch of his own History.   Peregrine was extremely well pleased with this occasional rebuke, which occurred so seasonably, that he could scarce believe it accidental. He looked upon Cadwallader as the greatest curiosity he had ever known, and cultivated the old man’s acquaintance with such insinuating address, that in less than a fortnight he obtained his confidence. As they one day walked into the fields together, the man-hater disclosed himself in these words:—“Though the term of our communication has been but short, you must have perceived, that I treat you with uncommon marks of regard; which, I assure you, is not owing to your personal accomplishments, nor the pains you take to oblige me; for the first I overlook, and the last I see through. But there is something in your disposition which indicates a rooted contempt for the world, and I understand you have made some successful efforts in exposing one part of it to the ridicule of the other. It is upon this assurance that I offer you my advice and assistance, in prosecuting other schemes of the same nature; and to convince you that such an alliance is not to be rejected, I will now give you a short sketch of my history, which will be published after my death, in new balance outlet forty-seven volumes of my own compiling.   “I was born about forty miles from this place, of parents who, having a very old family name to support, bestowed their whole fortune on my elder brother; so that I inherited of my father little else than a large share of choler, to which I am indebted for a great many adventures that did not always end to my satisfaction. At the age of eighteen I was sent up to town, with a recommendation to a certain peer, who found means to amuse me with the promise of a commission for seven whole years; and ’tis odds but I should have made my fortune by my perseverance, had not I been arrested, and thrown into the Marshalsea by my landlord, on whose credit I had subsisted three years, after my father had renounced me as an idle vagabond. There I remained six months, among those prisoners who have no other support than chance charity; and contracted a very valuable acquaintance, which was of great service to me in the future emergencies of my life  
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