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Idler 033 [No. 33: Journal of a fellow of a college]
by [?]

Idler No. 33. Saturday, December 2, 1758.

[I hope the author of the following letter[1] will excuse the omission of some parts, and allow me to remark, that the Journal of the Citizen in the Spectator has almost precluded the attempt of any future writer.]

Non ita Romuli Praescriptum, et intonsi Catonis
Auspiciis, veterumque norma
. HOR. Lib. ii. Ode xv. 10.


You have often solicited correspondence. I have sent you the Journal of a Senior Fellow, or Genuine Idler, just transmitted from Cambridge by a facetious correspondent, and warranted to have been transcribed from the common-place book of the journalist.

Monday, Nine o’Clock. Turned off my bed-maker for waking me at eight. Weather rainy. Consulted my weather-glass. No hopes of a ride before dinner.

Ditto, Ten. After breakfast, transcribed half a sermon from Dr. Hickman. N.B. Never to transcribe any more from Calamy; Mrs. Pilcocks, at my curacy, having one volume of that author lying in her parlour-window.

Ditto, Eleven. Went down into my cellar. Mem. My Mountain will be fit to drink in a month’s time. N.B. To remove the five-year old port into the new bin on the left hand.

Ditto, Twelve. Mended a pen. Looked at my weather-glass again. Quicksilver very low. Shaved. Barber’s hand shakes.

Ditto, One. Dined alone in my room on a sole. N.B. The shrimp-sauce not so good as Mr. H. of Peterhouse and I used to eat in London last winter at the Mitre in Fleet-street. Sat down to a pint of Madeira. Mr. H. surprised me over it. We finished two bottles of port together, and were very cheerful. Mem. To dine with Mr. H. at Peterhouse next Wednesday. One of the dishes a leg of pork and pease, by my desire.

Ditto, Six. Newspaper in the common room.

Ditto, Seven. Returned to my room. Made a tiff of warm punch, and to bed before nine; did not fall asleep till ten, a young fellow commoner being very noisy over my head.

Tuesday, Nine, Rose squeamish. A fine morning. Weather-glass very high.

Ditto, Ten. Ordered my horse, and rode to the five-mile stone on the Newmarket road. Appetite gets better. A pack of hounds, in full cry, crossed the road, and startled my horse.

Ditto, Twelve. Drest. Found a letter on my table to be in London the 19th inst. Bespoke a new wig.

Ditto, One. At dinner in the hall. Too much water in the soup. Dr. Dry always orders the beef to be salted too much for me.

Ditto, Two. In the common room. Dr. Dry gave us an instance of a gentleman who kept the gout out of his stomach by drinking old Madeira. Conversation chiefly on the expeditions. Company broke up at four. Dr. Dry and myself played at backgammon for a brace of snipes. Won.

Ditto, Five. At the coffee-house. Met Mr. H. there. Could not get a sight of the Monitor.

Ditto, Seven. Returned home, and stirred my fire. Went to the common room, and supped on the snipes with Dr. Dry.

Ditto, Eight. Began the evening in the common room. Dr. Dry told several stories. Were very merry. Our new fellow, that studies physick, very talkative toward twelve. Pretends he will bring the youngest Miss —- to drink tea with me soon. Impertinent blockhead!

Wednesday, Nine. Alarmed with a pain in my ankle. Q. The gout? Fear I can’t dine at Peterhouse; but I hope a ride will set all to rights. Weather-glass below Fair.

Ditto, Ten. Mounted my horse, though the weather suspicious. Pain in my ankle entirely gone. Caught in a shower coming back. Convinced that my weather-glass is the best in Cambridge.

Ditto, Twelve. Drest. Sauntered up to the Fish-monger’s hill. Met Mr. H. and went with him to Peterhouse. Cook made us wait thirty-six minutes beyond the time. The company, some of my Emmanuel friends. For dinner, a pair of soles, a leg of pork and pease, among other things. Mem. Pease-pudding not boiled enough. Cook reprimanded and sconced in my presence.