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on an air of deference and respect. To whom reflection, that he could not believe such a the old man said, "Hark you, sirrah, I will pay woman that upon trial he found her. W off your extravagant bills once more, but will take he got by his conquest, but to think me effectual care for the future, that your prodigality her for whom a day or two before he had t shall not spirit up a parcel of rascals to insult est honor? And of himself for perhaps your father." ing the man whom of all men living he would least willingly have injured?
Though I by no means approve either the impudence of the servants or the extravagance of the son, I cannot but think the old gentleman was in some measure justly served for walking in masquerade, I mean in appearing in a dress so much beneath his quality and estate.-X.
Pleasure seizes the whole man who addi self to it, and will not give him leisure good office in life which contradicts the ga the present hour. You may indeed ob people of pleasure a certain complacency sence of all severity, which the habit of unconcerned life gives them; but tell the pleasure your secret wants, cares, or sorro you will find that he has given up the del his passions to the cravings of his appeti little knows the perfect joy he loses, for appointing gratifications which he pursu looks at Pleasure as she approaches, and him with the recommendation of warm gay looks, and graceful motion; but he observe how she leaves his presence with impotence, downcast shame, and consciou fection. She makes our youth inglorious, shameful.
I KNOW no one character that gives reason a greater shock, at the same time that it presents a good ridiculous image to the imagination, than that of a man of wit and pleasure about the town. This description of a man of fashion, spoken by some with a mixture of scorn and ridicule, by others with great gravity as a laudable distinc- Will Honeycomb gives us twenty int tion, is in everybody's mouth that spends any in an evening of several hags whose bl time in conversation. My friend, Will Honey-given up to his arms; and would raise a comb, has this expression very frequently; and I never could understand by the story which follows upon his mention of such a one, but that his man of wit and pleasure was either a drunkard too old for wenching, or a young lewd fellow with some liveliness, who would converse with you, receive kind offices of you, at the same time debauch your sister; or lie with your wife. According to this description, a man of wit, when he could have wenches for crowns apiece which he liked quite as well, would be so extravagant as to bribe servants, make false friendships, fight relations; I say, according to him, plain and simple vice was too little for a man of wit and pleasure; but he would leave an easy and accessible wickedness, to come at the same thing with only the addition of certain falsehood and possible murder. Will thinks the town grown very dull, in that we do not hear so much as we used to do of these coxcombs, whom (without observing it) he describes as the most infamous rogues in nature, with relation to friendship, love, or conver-tails poverty on his unhappy descendants.
When pleasure is made the chief pursuit of life, it will necessarily follow that such monsters as these will arise from a constant application to such blandishments as naturally root out the force of reason and reflection, and substitute in their place a general impatience of thought, and a constant pruriency of inordinate desire.
himself for having had, as the phrase is
But to return more directly to my ma and pleasure. In all orders of men, where is the chief character, the person who we a negligent friend, father, and husband,
gages, diseases, and settlements, are the
Irresolution and procrastination in all Pleasure, when it is a man's chief purpose, dis- affairs, are the natural effects of being add appoints itself; and the constant application to it pleasure. Dishonor to the gentleman, and palls the faculty of enjoying it, though it leaves ruptcy to the trader, are the portion o the sense of our inability for that we wish, with a whose chief purpose of life is delight. T disrelish of everything else. Thus the interme- cause that this pursuit has been in all ages diate seasons of the man of pleasure are more with so much quarter from the soberer heavy than one would impose upon the vilest mankind, has been, that some men of grea criminal. Take him when he is awaked too soon have sacrificed themselves to it. after a debauch, or disappointed in following a qualities of such people have given a b worthless woman without truth, and there is no whatever they were engaged in, and a mix man living whose being is such a weight of vex-wit has recommended madness. For let a ation as his is. He is an utter stranger to the who knows what it is to have passed mu pleasing reflections in the evening of a well-spent in a series of jollity, mirth, wit, or humor day, or the gladness of heart or quickness of spirit tertainments, look back at what he was in the morning after a profound sleep or indolent while a-doing, and he will find that he ha slumbers. He is not to be at ease any longer than at one instant sharp to some man he is s he can keep reason and good sense without his have offended; impertinent to some one curtains; otherwise he will be haunted with the cruelty to treat with such freedom, ungr
noisy at such a time, unskillfully open at such a time; unmercifully calumnious at such a time; and, from the whole course of his applauded satisfactions, unable in the end to recollect any circumstance which can add to the enjoyment of his own mind alone, or which he would put his character upon with other men. Thus it is with those who are best made for becoming pleasures; but how monstrous is it in the generality of mankind who pretend this way, without genius or inclination toward it! The scene, then, is wild to an extravagance this is, as if fools should mimic madmen. Pleasure of this kind is the intemperate meals and loud jollities of the common rate of country gentlemen, whose practice and way of enjoyment is to put an end as fast as they can, to that little particle of reason they have when they are sober. These men of wit and pleasure dispatch their senses as fast as possible, by drinking until they cannot taste, smoking until they cannot see, and roaring until they cannot hear.-T.
No. 152.] FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 1711.
Like leaves on trees the race of man is found.
THERE is no sort of people whose conversation is so pleasant as that of military men, who derive their courage and magnanimity from thought and reflection. The many adventures which attend their way of life makes their conversation so full of incidents, and gives them so frank an air in speaking of what they have been witnesses of, that no company can be more amiable than that of men of sense who are soldiers. There is a certain irregular way in their narrations or discourse, which has something more warm and pleasing than we meet with among men who are used to adjust and methodize their thoughts.
of worthy actions and service of mankind, they can put it to habitual hazard. The event of our designs, say they, as it relates to others, is uncertain; but as it relates to ourselves it must be prosperous, while we are in the pursuit of our duty, and within the terms upon which Providence has ensured our happiness, whether we die or live. All that nature has prescribed must be good; and as death is near to us, it is absurdity to fear it. Fear loses its purpose when we are sure it cannot preserve us, and we should draw resolution to meet it from the impossibility to escape it. Without a resignation to the necessity of dying, there can be no capacity in man to attempt anything that is glorious: but when they have once attained to that perfection, the pleasures of a life spent in martial adventures are as great as any of which the human mind is capable. The force of reason gives a certain beauty mixed with conscience of well-doing and thirst of glory to all which before was terrible and ghastly to the imagination. Add to this, that the fellowship of danger, the common good of mankind, the general cause, and the manifest virtue you may observe in so many men who made no figure until that day, are so many incentives to destroy the little considerations of their own persons. Such are the heroic part of soldiers, who are qualified for leaders. As to the rest whom I before spoke of, I know not how it is, but they arrive at a certain habit of being void of thought, insomuch that on occasion of the most imminent danger they are still in the same indifference. Nay, I remember an instance of a gay Frenchman, who was led on in battle by a superior officer (whose conduct it was his custom to speak of always with contempt and raillery), and in the beginning of the action received a wound he was sensible was mortal; his reflection on this occasion was, I wish I could live another hour, to see how this blundering coxcomb will get clear of this business.'
I was this evening walking in the fields with my friend Captain Sentry, and I could not, from "I remember two young fellows who rode in the many relations which I drew him into of what the same squadron of a troop of horse, who were passed when he was in the service, forbear express- ever together; they ate, they drank, they intrigued; ing my wonder, that the "fear of death," which in a word, all their passions and affections seemed We, the rest of mankind, arm ourselves against to tend the same way, and they appeared servicewith so much contemplation, reason, and philoso- able to each other in them. We were in the dusk phy, should appear so little in camps, that com- of the evening to march over a river, and the mon men march into open breaches, meet opposite troop these gentlemen belonged to were to be battalions, not only without reluctance, but with transported in a ferry-boat, as fast as they could. alacrity. My friend answered what I said in the One of the friends was now in the boat, while the following manner: "What you wonder at may other was drawn up with others by the water-side, very naturally be the subject of admiration to all waiting the return of the boat. A disorder hap who are not conversant in camps; but when a pened in the passage by an unruly horse; and a man has spent some time in that way of life, he gentleman who had the rein of his horse negliobserves a certain mechanic courage which the gently under his arm, was forced into the water ordinary race of men become masters of from act by his horse's jumping over. The friend on the ing always in a crowd. They see indeed many shore cried out, Who is that drowned, trow?' He drop, but then they see many more alive; they was immediately answered, Your friend Harry observe themselves escape very narrowly, and Thompson.' He very gravely replied, Ay, he they do not know why they should not again. had a mad horse.' This short epithet from such Beside which general way of loose thinking, they a familiar, without more words, gave me, at that usually spend the other part of their time in time under twenty, a very moderate opinion of the pleasures upon which their minds are so entirely friendship of companions. Thus is affection and bent, that short labors or dangers are but a cheap every other motive of life in the generality rooted purchase of jollity, triumph, victory, fresh quar-out by the present busy scene about them; they ters, new scenes, and uncommon adventures. Such are the thoughts of the executive part of an ariny, and indeed of the gross of mankind in uneral; but none of these men of mechanical courage have ever made any great figure in the profession of arms. Those who are formed for command, are such as have reasoned themselves, out of a consideration of greater good than length of days, into such a negligence of their being, as to make it their first position, that it is one day to be resigned;—and since it is, in the prosecution
lament no man whose capacity can be supplied by another; and where men converse without delicacy, the next man you meet will serve as well as he whom you have lived with half your life. To such the devastation of countries, the misery of inhabitants, the cries of the pillaged, and the silent sorrow of the great unfortunate, are ordinary ob
*The Frenchman here alluded to was the Chevalier de
Flourilles, a lieutenant-general under the Prince of Conde, at the battle of Senelf, in 1674.
jects; their minds are bent upon the little gratifi- | their appetites, they give to sober minds a prosp cations of their own senses and appetites, forgetful of compassion, insensible of glory, avoiding only shame; their whole hearts taken up with the trivial hope of me ting and being merry. These are the people who make up the gross of the sol diery. But the fine gentleman in that band of men is such a one as I have now in my eye, who is foremost in all danger to which he is ordered. His officers are his friends and companions, as they are men of honor and gentlemen; the private men his brethren, as they are of his species. He is beloved of all that behold him. They wish him in danger as he views their ranks, that they may have occasions to save him at their own hazard. Mutual love is the order of the files where he commands; every man, afraid for himself and his neighbor, not lest their commander should punish them, but lest he should be offended. Such is his regiment who knows mankind, and feels their distresses so far as to prevent them. Just in distributing what is their due, he would think himself below their tailor to wear a snip of their clothes in lace upon his own; and below the most rapacious agent should he enjoy a farthing above his own pay. Go on, brave man! immortal glory is thy fortune, and immortal happiness thy reward."-T.
Life, as well as all other things, hath its bounds assigned by nature; and its conclusion, like the last act of a play, is old age, the fatigue of which we ought to shun, especially when our appetites are fully satisfied.
Or all the impertinent wishes which we hear expressed in conversation, there is not one more unworthy a gentleman or a man of liberal education, than that of wishing one's self younger. I have observed this wish is usually made upon sight of some object which gives the idea of a past action, that it is no dishonor to us that we cannot now repeat; or else on what was in itself shameful when we performed it. It is a certain sign of a foolish or a dissolute mind if we want our youth again only for the strength of bones and sinews which we once were masters of. It is (as my author has it) as absurd in an old man to wish for the strength of youth, as it would be in a young man to wish for the strength of a bull or a horse. These wishes are both equally out of nature, which should direct in all things that are not contradictory to justice, law, and reason. But though every old man has been young, and every young one hopes to be old, there seems to be a most unnatural misunderstanding between those two stages of life. This unhappy want of commerce arises from the insolent arrogance or exultation in youth, and the irrational despondence or self-pity in age. A young man whose passion and ambition is to be good and wise, and an old one who has no inclination to be lewd or debauched, are quite unconcerned in this speculation; but the cocking young fellow who treads upon the toes of his elders, and the old fellow who envies the saucy pride he sees him in, are the objects of our present contempt and derision. Contempt and derision are harsh words; but in what manner can one give advice to a youth in the pursuit and possession of sensual pleasures, or afford pity to an old man in the impotence and desire of enjoying them? When young men in public places betray in their deportment an abandoned resignation to
of a despicable age, which, if not interrupted death in the midst of their follies, must certai come. When an old man bewails the loss of st gratifications which are past, he discovers a m strous inclination to that which it is not int course of Providence to recall. The state of old man, who is dissatisfied merely for his be such, is the most out of all measures of reason a good sense of any being we have any account from the highest angel to the lowest worm miserable is the contemplation to consider a libi nous old man (while all created beings, bes himself and devils, are following the order of i vidence) fretting at the course of things, and le almost the sole malcontent in the creation. I let us a little reflect upon what he has lost by number of years. The passions which he had youth are not to be obeyed as they were then, reason is more powerful now without the dist bance of them. An old gentleman, the other d in discourse with a friend of his (reflecting up some adventures they had in youth together) cr out, "Oh Jack, those were happy days!" "T is true," replied his friend, "but methinks we about our business more quietly than we did the One would think it should be no small satisf tion to have gone so far in our journey that heat of the day is over with us. When life its is a fever, as it is in licentious youth, the pl sures of it are no other than the dreams of au in that distemper; and it is as absurd to wish return of that season of life, as for a man in hea to be sorry for the loss of gilded palaces, fa walks, and flowery pastures, with which he reme bers he was entertained in the troubled slumb of a fit of sickness.
As to all the rational and worthy pleasures our being-the conscience of a good fame, contemplation of another life, the respect and co merce of honest men, our capacities for such enj ments are enlarged by years. While health dures, the latter part of life, in the eye of reas is certainly the more eligible. The memory o well-spent youth gives a peaceable, untaxed, a elegant pleasure to the mind; and to such who so unfortunate as not to be able to look back youth with satisfaction, they may give themsel no little consolation that they are under no ten tation to repeat their follies, and that they at p sent despise them. It was prettily said, "Het would be long an old man, must begin early to one:" it is too late to resign a thing after a ma robbed of it; therefore it is necessary that bef the arrival of age we bid adieu to the pursuits youth, otherwise sensual habits will five in i imaginations, when our limbs cannot be sub vient to them. The poor fellow who lost his s last siege, will tell you, he feels the fingers t are buried in Flanders ache every cold morning Chelsea.
The fond humor of appearing in the gay fashionable world, and being applauded for triv excellencies, is what makes youth have age in c tempt, and makes age resign with so ill a z the qualifications of youth; but this in both se is inverting all things, and turning the natu course of our minds, which should build their a probations and dislikes upon what nature a reason dictate, into chimera and confusion.
Age in a virtuous person, of either sex, can in it an authority which makes it preferable t the pleasures of youth. If to be saluted, and tended, and consulted with deference, are insta of pleasure, they are such as never fail a virt old age. In the enumeration of the imperfecti and advantages of the younger and later years
man, they are so near in their condition, that, methinks, should be incredible we see so little commerce of kindness between them. If we consider youth and age with Tully, regarding the affinity to death, youth has many more chances to be near it than age; what youth can say more than an old man, "he shall live until night?" Youth catches distempers more easily, its sickness is more violent, and its recovery more doubtful. The youth indeed hopes for more days, so cannot the old man. The youth's hopes are ill-grounded; for what is more foolish than to place any confidence upon an uncertainty? But the old man has not room so much as to hope; he is still happier than the youth; he has already enjoyed what the other does but hope for. One wishes to live long, the other has lived long. But, alas! is there anything in human life, the duration of which can be called long? There is nothing which must end, to be valued for its continuance. If hours, days, months, and years pass away, it is no matter what hour, what day, what month, or what year we die. The applause of a good actor is due to him at whatever scene of the play he makes his exit. It is thus in the life of a man of sense; a short life is sufficient to manifest himself a man of honor and virtue; when he ceases to be such he has lived too long; and while he is such, it is of no consequence to him how long he shall be so, provided he is so to his life's end.-T.
upon me, that I resolved to be as agreeable as the best of the men who laughed at me; but I observed it was nonsense for me to be impudent at first among those who knew me. My character for modesty was so notorious wherever I had hitherto appeared, that I resolved to show my new face in new quarters of the world. My first step I chose with judgment; for I went to Astrop, and came down among a crowd of academics, at one dash, the impudentest fellow they had ever seen in their lives. Flushed with this success, I made love, and was happy. Upon this conquest I thought it would be unlike a gentleman to stay long with my mistress, and crossed the country to Bury. I could give you a very good account of myself at that place also. At these two ended my first summer of gallantry.-The winter following, you would wonder at it, but I relapsed into modesty upon coming among people of figure in London, yet not so much but that the ladies who had formerly laughed at me, said, 'Bless us, how wonderfully that gentleman is improved!' Some familiarities about the play-houses toward the end of the ensuing winter, made me conceive new hopes of adventures. And instead of returning the next summer to Astrop or Bury, I thought myself qualified to go to Epsom, and followed a young woman, whose relations were jealous of my place in her favor, to Scarborough. I carried my point, and in my third year aspired to go to Tunbridge, and in the autumn of the same year made my appearance at Bath. I was now got into the way of talk proper for ladies, and was run into a vast acquaintance among them, which I always improved to the best advantage. In all this course of time, and some years following, I found a sober modest man was always looked upon by both sexes as a precise unfashioned fellow of no life or "You are frequent in the mention of matters spirit. It was ordinary for a man who had been which concern the feminine world, and take upon drunk in good company, or passed a night with a you to be very severe against men upon all those wench, to speak of it next day before women for occasions: but all this while I am afraid you have whom he had the greatest respect. He was rebeen very little conversant with women, or you proved, perhaps, with a blow of the fan, or with Would know the generality of them are not so an 'Oh fie!' but the angry lady still preserved an angry as you imagine at the general vices among apparent approbation in her countenance. as I am apt to believe (begging your pardon) was called a strange wicked fellow a sad wretch; that you are still what I myself was once, a queer he shrugs his shoulders, swears, receives another modest fellow; and therefore, for your informa- blow, swears again he did not know he swore, and tion, shall give you a short account of myself, all was well. You might often see men game in and the reasons why I was forced to wench, drink, the presence of women, and throw at once for play and do everything which are necessary to the more than they were worth, to recommend themcharacter of a man of wit and pleasure, to be well selves as men of spirit. I found by long experience, that the loosest principles and the most "You are to know, then, that I was bred a gen- abandoned behavior, carried all before them in tleman, and had the finishing part of my educa-pretensions to women of fortune. The encouragetion under a man of great probity, wit, and learn- ment given to people of this stamp, made me soon ing, in one of our universities. I will not deny throw off the remaining impressions of a sober but this made my behavior and mien bear in it a education. In the above-mentioned places, as figure of thought rather than action; and a man of well as in town, I always kept company with quiet contrary character who never thought in those who lived most at large; and in due process his life, rallied me one day upon it, and said, 'he of time I was a very pretty rake among the men, believed I was still a virgin. There was a young and a very pretty fellow among the women. lady of virtue present, and I was not displeased must confess, I had some melancholy hours upon to favor the insinuation; but it had a quite con- the account of the narrowness of my fortune, but trary effect from what I expected. I was ever my conscience at the same time gave me the comafter treated with great coldness both by that lady fort that I had qualified myself for marrying a little time I never came into a room but I could! and all the rest of my acquaintance. In a very fortune. humor would on some occasion say, 'Why, how twenty-seventh year of my age, and about the
No. 154.] MONDAY, AUGUST 27, 1711. Nemo repente fuit turpissimus Juv., Sat. ii, 83. No man e'er reach'd the heights of vice at first.-TATE. "MR. SPECTATOR,
with the ladies.
sion of that kind was
generally followed by a
"When I had lived in this manner some time,
and became thus
loud laugh. In a word, for no other fault in the into the company of a very pretty young lady in world than that they really thought me as innocent as themselves, I became of no consequence
estate wasting very fast; when I happened to fall
* Astrop-wells, in Oxfordshire; into which Doctor Radcliffe Bury-fair. A place of fashionable resort.
foot of a jest. This made so strong an impression
among them, and was received always upon the "put a toad."
her own disposal. I entertained the company, as we men of gallantry generally do, with the many haps and disasters, watchings under windows, escapes from jealous husbands, and several other perils. The young thing was wonderfully charmed with one that knew the world so well, and talked so fine: with Desdemona, all her lover said affected her; it was strange; it was wondrous strange.' In a word, I saw the impression I had made upon her, and with a very little application the pretty thing has married me. There is so much charm in her innocence and beauty, that I do now as much detest the course I have been in for many years, as ever I did before I entered
courses they are pleased to entertain me w They strive who shall say the most immo things in my hearing. At the same time ha dozen of them loll at the bar staring just in face, ready to interpret my looks and gestures cording to their own imaginations. In this sive condition I know not where to cast my place my hands, or what to employ myself But this confusion is to be a jest, and I hear t say in the end, with an insipid air of mirth subtlety, 'Let her alone; she knows as well as for all she looks so.' Good Mr. Spectator, suade gentlemen that it is out of all decency. it is possible a woman may be modest and keep a public-house. Be pleased to argue, th 'What I intend, Mr. Spectator, by writing all truth the affront is the more unpardonable bec this to you, is that you would, before you go any I am obliged to suffer it, and cannot fly from farther with your panegyrics on the fair sex, give I do assure you, Sir, the cheerfulness of life w them some lectures upon their silly approbations. would arise from the honest gain I have, is It is that I am weary of vice, and that it was ly lost on me from the endless, flat, impert. not my natural way, that I am now so far recovered pleasantries which I hear from morning to n as not to bring this dear believing creature to con- In a word, it is too much for me to bear; and tempt and poverty for her generosity to me. At sire you to acquaint them, that I will keep the same time tell the youth of good education of and ink at the bar, and write down all they our sex, that they take too little care of improving me, and send it to you for the press. It is themselves in little things. A good air at enter-sible when they see how empty what they s ing into a room, a proper audacity in expressing himself with gayety and gracefulness, would make a young gentleman of virtue and sense capable of discountenancing the shallow rogues, that shine among the women.
without the advantage of an impudent co nance and gesture, will appear, they may co some sense of themselves,and the insults the guilty of toward me.
"I am, Sir, your most humble servant,
"Mr. Spectator, I do not doubt but you are a very sagacious person, but you are so great with Tully of late, that I fear you will contemn these things as matters of no consequence: but believe me, Sir, they are of the highest importance to human life; and if you can do anything toward opening fair eyes, you will lay an obligation upon all your cotemporaries who are fathers, hus-havior. This correspondent is not the onl bands, or brothers to females.
"Your most affectionate, humble servant, Ꭲ . "SIMON HONEYCOMB."
Mo. 155.] TUESDAY, AUGUST 28, 1711.
I HAVE more than once taken notice of an indecent license taken in discourse, wherein the conversation on one part is involuntary, and the effect of some necessary circumstance. This happens in traveling together in the same hired coach, sitting near each other in any public assembly, or the like. I have, upon making observations of this sort, received innumerable messages from that part of the fair sex whose lot in life it is to be of any trade or public way of life. They are all, to a woman, urgent with me to lay before the world the unhappy circumstances they are under, from the unreasonable liberty which is taken in their presence, to talk on what subject is thought fit by every coxcomb who wants understanding or breeding. One or two of these complaints I shall set down.
I keep a coffee-house, and am one of those whom you have thought fit to mention as an Idol some time ago. I suffered a good deal of raillery upon that occasion; but shall heartily forgive you, who are the cause of it, if you will do me justice in another point. What I ask of you is, to acquaint my customers (who are otherwise very good ones) that I am unavoidably hasped in my bar and cannot help hearing the improper dis
This representation is so just, that it is ha speak of it without an indignation which haps would appear too elevated to such as c guilty of this inhuman treatment, where the they affront a modest, plain, and ingenuou
ferer in this kind, for I have long letters from the Royal and New Exchange on the subject. They tell me that a young fop c buy a pair of gloves, but he is at the same straining at some ingenious ribaldry to say young woman who helps them on. It is no addition to the calamity that the rogues hard as the plainest and modestest customers have; beside which, they loll upon their co half an hour longer than they need, to drive other customers, who are to share their im nences with the milliner, or go to another Letters from 'Change-alley are full of the evil; and the girls tell me, except I can chase eminent merchants from their shops they sh a short time fail. It is very unaccountable men can have so little deference to all ma who pass by them, as to bear being seen by twos and threes at a time, with no othe pose but to appear gay enough to keep up conversation or common-place jests, to the of her whose credit is certainly hurt by it, t their own may be strong enough to bear it. we come to have exact accounts of these c sations, it is not to be doubted but that the courses will raise the usual style of buyin selling. Instead of the plain downright and asking and bidding so unequally to wha will really give and take, we may hope to from these fine folks an exchange of compli There must certainly be a great deal of pl difference between the commerce of lover that of all other dealers, who are in a kin versaries. A sealed bond, or a bank-note, be a pretty gallantry to convey unseen in hands of one whom a director is charmed otherwise the city-loiterers are still more unr able than those at the other end of the town