Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

nion, who are yet in leading-strings, who are tied to their wives aprons, or who are led by the nose. I dislike these pierres d'achoppment so much, that I shall certainly hang myself with disgust of life, if I am not interrupted.

“ I had something else to say;

but
my

wife has just interrupted me by asking a question, and put it out of my head. I shall therefore conclude with requesting that, if it is not too much trouble, you will condescend to give your opinion how a man may go on without interruption, as I think that I shall then become a very steady and consistent character. “ I am, dear sir, your devoted

PETER PIVOT.

I recommend my correspondent, Mr. Peter Pivot, not to be so easily turned round.

Z.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

DEAR MR. MÀN IN THE MOON, “ EVER since the commencement of your sublunary labours, I have been anxiously expecting that you would do me the honour of a passing nod, or some familiar notice, to distinguish your old relation from the motley crowd. You know well that I am really a native of the moon, and indeed all my acquaintance join in the opinion that I am a lunatic. Such being the case, I expected in your new year's review of characters, that I should have cut some figure, especially as I also am an author-but, perhaps, entre nous, that is the very reason why you left me out, though I can scarcely think you so very selfish, so mean, and illiberal, as studiously to avoid mention of a brother author, or, deny that there is such an one existing; and when you give your annual review of all the books and men who have appeared before the public in the preceding year, I feel confident that your long list in the newspaper will neither betray envy nor ill-nature,

Y

but be, as it really ought, a true and correct list of all that has appeared in the preceding year.

“ Do not imagine, sir, that I suspect your integrity, I believe you superior to every thing that is mean,' I only wish that you may not be corrupted by bad example (be not offended—recollect the angels fell,) and that the imposing air of popularity may not blind you to the tricks of craftiness, and the finesse of the narrow minded.

“ These observations I beg you accept, as a Christmas box, (old stile,) and trifling acknowledgment in return for your New-year's gift, which, I assure you, I prize very highly: and as your lottery of public characters for the present year is now drawing, I trust you will excuse my vanity in wishing to have a share in it--nay, in even being put into the wheel as a prize for the lovely females of nineteen or twenty to speculate for. The description might run thus:

“ Jack Giddy, is a young man between the ages of twenty and thirty; whether he was born to good hopes or the contrary is not easy to determine, for though he is the eldest son of a country gentleman, yet his father has treated him unkindly from his birth. The rope end and dog-whip were his earliest acquaintances, and those who stuck closer than a brother, whether Jack liked them or no was very immaterial, but onevery faux pas of childhood, the one or the other constantly made their appearance; never praised when right,

and always chastised when wrong, stripes became so familiar, and his disposition so completely soured, that he grew regardless of his conduct, and never feeling · the pleasure of pleasing,' his mind, the elasticity of which was not subdued by severity, sought for and found consolation in retaliating the injuries that he suffered upon those who committed them.

" His brother, being a tell tale kind of a boy, a little hypocritical, and a little knavish, always took care to make all the mischief he could, and lay every accident on poor Jack whose denial went for nothing: such being the case, Jack determined to keep his own counsel, and never affirm or deny any thing, endeavouring, as far as he was able, to give a Rowland for an Oliver. His resentments were generally levelled at the pocket, for cruelty had no share in his disposition. The windows were broken, the cattle turned into the lanes, the hogs driven into the kitchen and flower gardens, the ripe fruit shook from the trees, and the poultry put into the barn. One day, when Jack had been punished for what, in his estimate of right and wrong, did not amount to a punishable offence, his father ordered him to be confined in the cellar without food until the next day. What energies will not the untamed spirit even of a child call forthi and what will he not dare when wronged?—Few, I dare say, will guess at Jack's expedient; why he took the cock out of every barrel of beer and ale, and when the servant was sent to draw some for supper, he found Jack up to the ancles in malt liquor; but not a drop was left

[ocr errors]

in any of the casks. This crime, as might be expected, procured a second drubbing, but without effect; for being confined in the coal cellar, which he could not contrive to set on fire, he managed to get out through the trap door, and doing several mischievous tricks, secreted himself for three days in a neighbour's house. During this time a pretty uproar was created; every pond in the neighbourhood was dragged, and those persons who knew the cruelty with which Jack had been treated, even went so far as to insinuate that his father had killed him by beating. At length the lost boy appeared, and went home as unconcerned as though nothing had happened. His mother, with whom Jack was always a favourite, was ready to die with joy, and his father was scarcely less pleased at being relieved from the stigma which slander had thrown upon his character, and on that account forgave all that had passed. Now it is evident that there were faults on both sides; the son was too like the father, and seemed to acknowledge a wrong when he had not committed one, or even of saying

Forgive me, and I'll do so no more.” This was a language which Jack was a stranger to; yet if he had submitted occasionally, even to a wrong, he would certainly have conciliated the affections of his parent; but however he jogged on without, and being of course soon driven from home, he plunged into those dissipations which his finances permitted. He had ever been fond of books, and fond of writing, which often solaced him under the reflection that he was ab noxious to a father's anger,

[ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsæt »