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“ an atom. Had the monster gorg'd thee at a a mouthful, how many thousands, nay tens of « thousands have the voracious jaws of death " devoured in a succeflion of campaigns, which u 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 des
spairing captives, who have been liberated, " from the dungeons of tyranny? In a word, " friend Gracker, if it is through a love for the « marvellous thou makest so free with the sacred
name of truth, thou dost but abuse our pa-, “ tience and thine own time in hunting after « sharks and monsters of the deep; and if thou " 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.
Here he concluded, and though the length aná deliberate folemnity of his harangue had given me time enough, yet I had not so availed my-, felf 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
saw fit to engage in, for he was of athletic limbs and ftature; to challenge him to a gentleman's fatisfaction, being a Quaker, would have fubjected me to universal ridicule : I rofe 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 fāved me that ceremony over-night, and I had once more a new set of acquaintance to go in search of.
In this folitary interim I strove to lighten the burthen of time by starting a correspondence with one of our public prints, and so long as I fupplied it with anecdotes from the country, I may say without vanity there was neither fire nor ftood, 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 amusement 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 fame 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 effectually 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 Obfervers, (which give me leave to remark are sometimes rather of the dullest). I fhall be proud to serve
Your very humble servant
N. B. I do not want any thing in Kit Cracker's
way; but though I decline the offer of his affistance, I willingly avail myself of the moral of his example.
Writer of miscellaneous essays is open to
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 flourishing country, and the vast quantity of sleeping 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 qurselves 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 institution, and the great charges of providing ourselves with instruments and tools of all sorts for the better furtherance of our busia
ness, 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 reply-They 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 papersy 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
j neither do we want his effigy of a man under the gallows to remind us of what we must all