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this visit? A matter of business (replied he). It is my design to publish with you; do you think my works will sell? No man upon earth, sir, (replied I), has reason to expect greater success than--The Man in the Moon.
I was so much enraptured with the idea of retaining so novel an author, that numberless ideas of profit and advantage rushed at once upon my mind. Doubtless, sir, (cried I), you will touch upon politics, classics, morality, inebriety, cookery, paper credit, galvanism, the acts of parliament, children's books, the philosophy of banking, or the experiments of omnium. Hold! for heaven's sake! (cried the Old Gen. tleman); what variety of employment! but if we are to do business together, you will, if you please, leave me to the choice of my subjects. I have already brought you some manuscript; but as I can only pay you a visit in the time of an eclipse, or steal half an hour's absence now and then, as at present, I shall contrive to send you the copy by one of the moonbeams, in the same way as boys convey a messenger to a kite, and which will be transmitted to you through the same aperture in the window-shutter which gave me admission. I could not help admiring the facility of this communication, and begged that my new correspondent would on no account delay the press. The Old Gentleman now rose to take his leave, when he hinted, that the chief motive of his publishing the papers to be called after his name, was from a tradition that the spell, by which he had been so long confined in the moon, would end at the time
when the manners of men should become so chaste and pure, as to exclude from among them malice, hatred, revenge, lust, and avarice, with the necessity of imprisonment and war, the approach of which millennium he hoped to be the means of hastening by his opinions and reflections upon good and evil. I could not, however, help shrugging up my shoulders at so chimerical an undertaking, and seized the first opportunity to ask him a few general questions; such as what he thought of Cobbett's Register? of the Income Bill? of little Byrne's Hornpipe? and of Buonaparte's Invasion? to which last question he only replied with a smile, and in the words of Lucan,
Impiger et fortis virtute coacta."
By a forced valour, resolute and brave. After a promise to supply me regularly with copy, the Old Gentleman shook hands with me, and I observed his form gradually diminish to about the size of a marmozet monkey, when seating himself across a beam of the moon, he was presently drawn up to the hole in the window-shutter, at the circle of which he stopt an instant to wish me a good night, and then took his leave, while I sat down to read over the manuscript he had left; the contents of which will be given to the reader in the next Number.
ERRATUM.-No. I. p.5, 1. 9, for soliary read solitary.
MAN IN THE MOON.
“ O quantum est in rebus inane !"
Saturday, 19th Nov. 1803.
The Compiler peruses the Manuscript left by the Man in the Moon, in
which he finds a supernatural Account of his own Birth, and the Doctrine of good and evil Spirits established, with their Influences on certain sublunary Movements now going on.
I WAS no sooner left alone than I felt curiosity, a leading feature in the character of all men, but more particularly in a collector of news, begin to operate. I disposed of a pinch of snuff, which was between the fore finger and thumb of my right hand with astonishing celerity into the left receptacle of my nose, and after snuffing the candles in great literary agitation, untied the manuscript, and read as follows:
TO THE EDITOR,
“ It may be expected that I should give my readers some account of my situation, and office in the Moon, with a prospectus of my plan. On the first subject I am forbid to be very explicit at present, all that I can say is, that having little other occupation, I em
ploy my time in perusing the actions, (that is) the blunders, exploits, follies, mistakes, and mischances of busy and impertinent man, which I am enabled to do to advantage, by means of a perfection of vision peculiar to an inhabitant of the moon, and which is so far exceeding the optics of any creature of the earth, and of your modern aeronauts, that there is not the smallest danger of my taking a forest for a gooseberry bush.
“ I am enabled likewise, by this clearness of vision, to see things in the dark, and to penetrate into the most concealed places with the facility of a moonbeam, you must doubtless imagine that I am often amused with the blindman's buff going on below me among great politicians, philosophers, and men of business, and frequently smile at their running their wrong heads one against the other. What adds to the entertainment is, my acquaintance with the invisible movers of these performers, who dance them about like puppets, just as they please; but of this more hereafter. I shall now offer to you the plan of my lunar observations: they will be taken upon the greater and lesser circles of the sphere, upon religion, morals, and the occurrences of the political world; they will include at times critiques on the works of literature, the productions of the drama, and the merits of actors, but they shall never be offensive to the feelings of any, or wantonly severe. I am too well acquainted with the infirmities of human beings, and with the havoc self-interest, pride, and vanity make
among society, for, situated as I am, the region between the earth and moon is open to my contemplation, and I have opportunities of discoursing (and indeed am personally acquainted) with those innumerable invisible agents who are the friends or enemies of
“ Asmodeus, the most ingenious of the devils, has already in
open, in his correspondence with the facetious Don Cleofas Perez de Zambullo, the secret influence of those potent contrivers, who tempt and perplex poor human beings into error. Each department has a chief, as described by the Diable Boiteux; they are always busy, and never neglect an opportunity to do mischief. I am enabled by this knowledge to tell you, that it is to Astorath, the famous political devil, you owe the happy facility you possess of invention and intrigue. It was that demon who watched over the
pregnancy of your mother, and attended her delivery, when, observing you to be a little ugly infant, (you will pardon my sincerity) he instantly claimed you as his own, a fit subject of experiment, and seating himself one night in November upon a heavy black cloud, that hung over the chimney of your house of nativity, he dexterously mixt up the ingredients which he meant to transfuse into your mind; genius, malice, envy, spleen, the love of mischief, and of licentious liberty made up the hotch potch, and I am sure you must admit that it was the devil of a composition; he was so adroit, that the good spirit (who, by the by, your mother had frightened away with