NLW 21387E, no. 7
What many have considered as singularities in me are I believe nothing more than the plain and simple dictates of nature and common sense. – 1. I have always from a desire of acquire knowledge been fond of reading. I have retained a relish for the amusements of Childhood & charms of nature. I have never known intoxication tho I occasionally drink a little of whatever may occur. I never frequent noisy companies. I never concern myself with my neighbours affairs, I have occasionally tried some experiments in my own trade &c for the sake of discovery & improvement, whilst others were content with the usual, and old; methods or any methods to get money. I never loved Gaming never saw Cock fighting, an execution &c. I hate crowds, a play is to me more pleasing in the closet than on the stage for throughout the reading I carry along in conception a far more perfect and lively idea of character and action than I have ever observed at the theatre, where in my opinion there is very little to be seen of nature, perhaps however that the actors know very well that nine tenths of mankind are fools, more please[d] with stage trick & scenic ostentation than with the actions, feelings and language of nature and truth.