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6:an atom. Had the monster gorg’d thee at a « mouthful, how many thousands, nay tens of " thousands have the voracious jaws of death « devoured in a succession of campaigns, which « have made creation melt? Didst thou escape " the monster? what then; how can we have “ leisure to reflect upon thy single deliverance, « when we call to mind the numbers of de« spairing captives, who have been liberated «s from the dungeons of tyranny? In a word, 66.friend Cracker, if it is through a love for the “ marvellous thou makest so free with the sacred « name of truth, thou doft but abuse our pa« tience and thine own time in hunting after « sharks and monsters of the deep; and if thou u hast any other motive for fiction than the « above, it must be a motive less innocent than “ what I have supposed, and in that case we hold “ thee dangerous to society and a disgrace to hu. « man nature.”
Here he concluded, and though the length and deliberate folemnity of his harangue had given me time enough, yet I had not so availed myself of it as to collect my thoughts and prepare myself for any kind of defence: How to deal with this formal old fellow I knew not; to cudgel him was a service of more danger than I
faw fit to engage in, for he was of athletic limbs and stature; to challenge him to a gentleman's fatisfaction, being a Quaker, would have fubjected me to universal ridicule : I rose from my chair, took my hat from' the peg and abruptly quitted the room: Next morning I sent to cut my name out of the club; but behold! they had saved me that ceremony over-night, and I had once more a new set of acquaintance to go ini search of. · In this solitàry interim I strove to lighten the burthen of time by starting a correspondence with one of our public prints, and so long as I supplied it with anecdotes from the country, I may say without vanity there was neither fire nor flood, murder, rape nor robbery wanting to embellish it: I broke two or three necks at a horse-race without any detriment to the community, and for the amufement of my readers drove over blind beggars, drowned drunken farmers, and tossed women with child by mad bul. locks, without adding one item to the bills of mortality; I made matches without number which the register never recorded; I was at the same time a correspondent at Brussels, a resident in Spain and a traveller at Constantinople, who gave secret information of all proceedings in
those several places, and by the mysterious stile, in which I enveloped my dispatches, nobody could fix a falsehood on my intelligence, till I imprudently fought a battle on the banks of the Danube, after the armies were gone into winter quarters, which did the Turk no mischief, and effectuaily blasted me with the compiler, and him with the public.
I am now out of business, and, if you want any thing in my way to enliven your Observers, (which give me leave to remark are sometimes father of the dulleft) I fhall be proud to serve
Your very humble fervant
N. B. I do not want any thing in Kit Cracker's
way; but though I decline the offer of his assistance, I willingly avail myself of the morzi of his example.
No CXXXV. .
Writer of miscellaneous essays is open to A the correspondence of persons of all defcriptions, and though I think fit to admit the following letter into my collection, I hope my readers will not suppose I wish to introduce the writer of it into their company, or even into my own.
TO THE OBSERVER. Sir, As we hear a great deal of the affluence of this fourishing country, and the vast quantity of peeping cash, as it is called, lockt up in vaults and strong boxes, we conceive it would be a good deed to waken some of it, and put it into use and circulation : we have therefore associated ourselves into a patriotic fraternity of circulators, commonly called pick-pockets : But with sorrow we let you know, that notwithstanding our best endeavours to put forward the purposes of our inftitution, and the great charges of providing ourselves with instruments and tools of all sorts for the better furtherance of our busi
ness, nefs, we have yet hooked up little except dirty handkerchiefs, leathern snuff-boxes, empty purses and bath-metal watches from the pockets of the public ; articles these, let me fay, that would hardly be received at the depôt of the patriotic contributors in Paris. Are these the symptoms of a great and wealthy nation? we blush for our country, whilst we are compelled by truth and candor to replyThey are not.
As we have a number of petty articles on hand, which will not pass in our trade, nothing deters us from putting them up to public cant, but the tax our unworthy parliament has laid upon auctions. I send you two or three papers, which a brother artist angled out of the pocket of a penniless gentleman the other night at the playhouse. door; the one a letter signed Urania, the other Gorgon; they can be of no use to us, as we have nothing to do with Urania's virtue, nor stand in need of Gorgon to paint scenes, which we can act better than he describes; neither do we want his effigy of a man under the gallows to remind us of what we must all come to.