There are some acquaintances whom it is no easy matter to shake off. My little beau yesterday overtook me again in one of the public walks, and, slapping me on the shoulder, saluted me with an air of the most perfect familiarity. His dress was the same as usual, except that he had more powder in his hair; wore a dirtier shirt, and had on a pair of temple spectacles, and his hat under his arm.
As I knew him to be an harmless amusing little thing, I could not return his smiles with any degree of severity; so we walked forward on the terms of the utmost intimacy, and in a few minutes discussed all the usual topics preliminary, to particular conversation.
The oddities that marked his character, however, soon began to appear; he bowed to several well-dressed persons, who, by their manner of returning the compliment, appeared perfect strangers. At intervals he drew out a pocket-book, seeming to take memorandums before all the company, with much importance and assiduity. In this manner he led me through the length of the whole Mall, fretting at his absurdities, and fancying myself laughed at as well as he by every spectator.
When we were got to the end of our procession, "Hang me," cries he, with an air of vivacity, "I never saw the park so thin in my life before; there's no company at all to-day. Not a single face to be seen." " No company," interrupted I, peevishly; "no company where there is such a crowd? Why, man, there is too much. What are the thousands that have been laughing at us but company?" "Lord, my dear," returned he, with the utmost good humour, "you seem immensely chagrined; but, hang me, when the world laughs at me, I laugh at all the world, and so we are even. My Lord Trip, Bill Squash, the Creolian, and I, sometimes make a party at being ridiculous; and so we say and do a thousand things for the joke's sake. But I see you are grave; and if you are for a fine grave sentimental companion, you shall dine with my wife to-day; I must insist on't;...