|Statue of Wilberforce at Yorkshire|
The Son of a Neighbour (very few years older than myself) about this time returned from the East-Indies, with one of those sudden fortunes, which never fail to draw upon their possessors the admiration of the Vulgar, the envy of the Weak, and the pity of the Wise. — As we had been formerly Schoolfellows, and our Families were still upon terms of great intimacy, I was one of the first who were invited to a magnificent Villa, he had just purchased, on the banks of the Thames, where one fortnight spent amidst the luxury of fashionable dissipation, and the blaze of Oriental Grandeur, completely turned my head, and determined me to waste no more time in this dirty Island, but to go at once to that Country, were riches were so easily to be acquired. It was to no purpose, my Friends attempted to oppose this resolution: it had so entirely taken possession of my mind, that it haunted my very Dreams. Sometimes I found myself carried in an elegant Palanquin, attended by a long train of Blacks; and at others inclined at my ease on a rich Sopha, while my careful Slaves drove away the Mosquitoes with their fans. I now settled the accounts with my Circars, now counted imaginary Lacks, and admired the lustre of ideal Diamonds.