Excerpt from Dutch Pictures: With Some Sketches in the Flemish Manner; And Pictures Done With a Quill
I have heard that a politician once declared that had he not been bred up to the Quaker persuasion, he would surely have been a prizefighter. It is probable that, had I not d... rifted into authorship, I should have been a broker's man. I can even remember in early life once taking stock in a theatrical wardrobe, and once making out the Christmas bills for a fashion able tailor and I can recall the delight with which, in a neat round hand, I expatiated upon one demon's dress, complete, six page's tunics and tights, and again upon one best superfine Saxony broad cloth frock-coat, with silk sleeve and skirt lining, buttons and binding. On that same art of inventory-making and stock-taking I still take my stand. What ever success I have to be thankful for in a life of incessant and painful labour - never without censure, seldom relieved by encouragement or praise - pursued in sickness and sorrow, in poverty and obscurity, has been due to the pen and the inkhorn of the inventory-maker, to persistence in describing the things I have seen, and to a habit of setting down the common things I have thought about them: exactly as they have been presented to me, and exactly as they have occurred.
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