THE IDLER in
resolves to feast his mind with the conversa- tion of his old friends and the recollection of juvenile frolics. He stops at the house of his friend, whom he designs to overpower with pleasure by the unexpected interview. He is not known till he tells his name, and revives the memory of himself by a gradual explana- tion. He is then coldly received and cere- moniously feasted. He hastes away to another, whom his affairs have called to a distant place, and having seen the empty house, goes away, disgusted by a disappointment which could not be intended because it could not be fore- seen. At the next house he finds every face clouded with misfortune, and is regarded with malevolence as an unseasonable intruder, who comes not to visit but to insult them.
It is seldom that we find either men or places such as we expect them. He that has pictured a prospect upon his fancy, will receive little pleasure from his eyes; he that has anticipated the conversation of a wit, will wonder to what prejudice he owes his repu- tation. Yet it is necessary to hope, though hope should always be deluded; for hope itself is happiness, and its frustrations, how- ever frequent, are yet less dreadful than its extinction.