A prodigious short Chapter
When the gentlemen and ladies were got back to their inn, they diverted themselves with much raillery at the old doctor's expense, and began to despair of any better success from their second recommendation, charitably concluding that all the members of the university were like the gentleman they had seen. They resolved therefore not to be at the trouble of visiting Mr. Williams but sent a messenger from the inn to inform him of their arrival, and beg the favour of his company at supper; which invitation, however, they would gladly have excused him from accepting, for they were grown sick of the place, and determined to leave it early the next morning.
Williams, who had lived in expectation of their coming several days, ported away to the inn with all imaginable dispatch, and with many academical compliments, welcomed them to Cambridge. He stayed supper, and the evening was spent with a good deal of mirth; for when the ladies found they had to do with a human being, they recounted the adventure of the old doctor, and Williams, in return, entertained them with several others of a similar nature. Nor did he depart to his college, till he had made them promise to dine with him at his chambers the next day.
Early in the morning then he rose with the lark, and held a consultation, with the college cook concerning the dinner, and other particulars of the entertainment: for as he had never yet been honoured with company of so high a rank, he resolved to do what was handsome, and send them away with an opinion of his politeness. Among many other devices, he had to be genteel, one very well deserves mentioning, being of a very academical nature indeed; for he was at the expense of purchasing a china vase of a certain shape, which sometimes passes under a more vulgar name, to set in his bed-chamber, that if the ladies should choose to retire after dinner, for the sake of looking at the pattern of his bed, or to see the prospect out of his window, or from any other motive of curiosity, they might have the pleasure of being served in china.
When these affairs were settled, he dressed himself in his best array, and went to bid the ladies good-morrow. As soon as they had breakfasted, he conducted them about the university, and shewed them all the rarities of Cambridge. They observed, that such a thing was very grand, another thing was very neat, and that there were a great many books in the libraries, which they thought it impossible for any man to read through, though he was to live as long as Methuselah.
When their curiosity was satisfied, and Williams had indulged every wish of vanity, in being seen to escort ladies about the university, and to hand them out of their coach, they all retired to his chambers to dinner. Much conversation passed, not worth recording, and when the cloth was taken away, little Pompey was produced on the table for the ladies to admire him. They were greatly struck with his beauty; and one of them took courage to ask him as a present, which the complaisant master of arts, in his great civility, complied with, and immediately delivered him into the lady's hands. He likewise related the story, how he came into his possession, which another person perhaps would have suppressed; but Williams was so transported with his company, that he was half out of his wits with joy, and his conversation was as ridiculous as his behaviour.