Months rolled on, – to adopt the approved language of the popular Novelist, – and I still discovered myself duly rising every morning out of my miserable lair to deskant,215 as Gibbon was wont to say, on my own deformity of secular position;216 and every night I was regularly to be found in the back parlour of the Magpie and Punchbowl, extracting thence such wild honey as owed from the lips of its nocturnal visitants. I know not, for my own part, whether the desire of novelty or the force of habit be the stronger, but I am disposed to believe that the latter exercised its functions with more complete sway over my temperament, so that I have been at all times attached to ‘things as they are,’217 so long as they have been endurable, rather than to fanciful and speculative changes,218 whether in the politic or the corporeal body. Misty, it is true, shortly a er my introduction to this retreat, had abandoned his old haunt, and no intimation of his prolonged existence in the esh had been accorded to us, save the testimony of Haynes, who had beheld him one evening going into the Italian Opera,219 habited in a manner quite above the available strength of his accustomed wardrobe, and altogether a di erent man from the ‘Uncle’ who was wont to ruminate over his pipe in the chimney-corner of the Magpie and Punchbowl. And, indeed, were I not hastening to a airs of some special moment, it might not be uninteresting to speculate on the extraordinary change which wealth, or presumed wealth, works on those who are supposed to be basking in its bene cial beams; a metamorphosis only to be equalled by the in uence it appears to excercise220 on others who may happen to be spectators of such prosperous reverse of fortune.