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Hunch back'd, sharp nos’d, cross-ey'd, and lean,
The veriest vixen ever seen.

She was vastly fond of prerogative, and was skilled in argument. It used to be a constant maxim of my poor dear father's, “ Son Jack, never marry a woman that understands logic.” It frequently, upon reflection, astonishes me how my mother's system of government was upheld, for she was both despotic and mercenary, (though, doubtless, some great states have been supported by the same policy, if we may believe continental news). She would impose the heaviest burthens upon my poor father, and yet her smiles were to be bought at any time by a new cap, or a gown. It is true, my father sometimes rebelled, but then my mother kept up a military force, in the person of a tall, athletic serjeant of the guards, who lodged in the second floor.

Notwithstanding which, sometimes my father and mother were extremely fond, and I am said to be the hopeful offspring of their mutual affection.

“Suspiciones, inimicitiæ, induciæ,
“ Bellum, pax rursum, incerta hæc si postules."

Terent. Eunuch. Act I, Sc. 1.

The quarrels, jealousies, and brawls of love,
Its truce, its war or peace, uncertain prove.

I was very much distinguished, when a boy, for the rapidity with which I took my learning, and for the archness and ill nature which I evinced in every little matter of controversy among my school-fellows. My figure, owing to soine cross accidents in my birth, was

somewhat extraordinary; my head was remarkably large, resembling in shape an overgrown pumpkin; my right leg was considerably longer than my left; my eyes were placed (after my mother's fashion) diagonally in my forehead, and the rest of my features were half formed, and misplaced, like my father's, so that some people, not acquainted with the beautiful and sublime, might have called me ugly. My disposition was more retrograde than the action of my legs, which made the like angles in walking as may be noticed in the pedatim of a young volunteer practising the oblique march.


So early as the age of four years I began to have les mauvaise habitudes; I quarrelled with every body at the tea table for a lump of sugar, overturned the slop bason if contradicted, and made daily depredations in my mother's private closet for raspberry jam and cherry brandy; I constantly made it a point to do exactly contrary to what I was bid, began the alphabet with the letter 2, and learnt the Lord's

prayer backwards.

I had so early a notion of liberty, that at eight years of age I dislodged the bar placed by my parents at the window for my personal safety, and fell headlong into the street; and when only nine, untied a mastiff in the yard, who not being sufficiently sensible of the blessings of freedom, had very nearly, and but for the interference of his master, torn me to pieces for my intended civility.

In addition to these pleasing traits of disposition, I had others which seemed to mark my future character more strongly: I had so little respect for the civil rights of persons, and the laws of property, that there was not an orchard within ten miles that I had not robbed, nor a farmer's yard where I had not committed a trespass; and as I conceived one person ought to live just as well as another, I never failed to put my fingers into the best filled dishes, was remarkably fond of a sop in the pan, and had a very early notion of the loaves and fishes.

It is amazing with what spirit I sustained the misfortunes of my youth; through all the lectures of my father and the buffetings of my mother I remained perfectly undaunted; the spirit of defiance kept me up; I sought for argument on every occasion, and found the greatest of all pleasures in contradiction, which last disposition, it is easy to suppose, I imbibed from the female part of my family. How beautifully blended in the child were the talents and qualifications of the parents, the vis liberti was engrafted in my character, and I preserved it inviolate to grow and expand for greater purposes.

I was, at fourteen years of age, bound an apprentice to a printer, which business, my father, whose foresight was very great, chose for me; and as I was the sharp keen boy that I have described, I improved beyond expectation; in short, my abilities were not suffered to lie dormant, I was taken into wonderful

favour, and was presently allowed to be the cleverest devil my master had; I was let into the arcana of the newspaper business, and the hidden mysteries of communication and intelligence; I was, 'tis true, a little staggered at first with letters from Hamburgh, murders from Dublin, and Yorkshire accidents, but these presently became familiar. I discovered that the newspapers contained a great deal of matter, and usually one article of truth—the list of bankrupts.

After my apprenticeship was expired, as my turn for invention and abuse were pretty generally known, I did not wait long for employ. I was engaged in one of the chief departments of the office, and was near being appointed a joint editor to a morning print, when I was stopt short in my career by a somewhat extraordinary adventure. I happened one evening to be left alone in the office adjoining the printing-loft, correcting the press of a new work, entitled, Galvanic Experiments on the Human Mind, by professor Humbug, by the help of which the famous archbishop of Grenada, in Gil Blas, might have given another fillip to his decayed mental powers that would have astonished the hearers of his homilies; when, in an instant, I beheld seated on the stool opposite to me, on the other side of the desk, the figure of a little old man, leaning forwards upon a crutch stick, a huge periwig upon his head, and a bundle of faggots on his back. Had I not been used to the marvellous, I should doubtless have leapt out of the window with fright; but I had dealt so long in fiction, that I could not

readily conceive the reality of an apparition, and was combating with the powers of the imagination, when my unexpected visitor, with a smile upon his countenance, addressed me very familiarly, “ How d'ye do, Master Printer ?” To which interrogatory I had not the power to answer a syllable. I hope (con, tinued he, after a pause) that you are not frightened. Not at all, replied I, (shaking every limb); not in the least, sir. The Old Gentleman had by this time shoved his stool to the side of the stove, next mine, resting his hands upon his knees with great gravity, in the attitude of a judge on the bench at the assizes, looking me full in the face. Pray, sir, cried I, in a tremulous tone, may I take the liberty to ask how you came in here, and who you are? I came in, answered he, through the hole in the window-shutter, and I am that extraordinay personage called or known by the inhabitants of the earth by the name of the MAN IN THE MOON.

The reader may judge my astonishment. The Man IN THE Moon, repeated I, surveying him more attentively, and at the same time mustering up my courage to pay him les hommages respectueux, I managed to hand him a chair, which stood in a corner of the office for the accommodation of authors to read over their proofs, and making a profound bow, resumed my seat on the high stool.


And pray, sir, (said I), may I ask to what extraordinary circumstance I am indebted for the honour of

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