« ForrigeFortsæt »
An Address to the Reuder, in which the Editor will explain something
of the Character of the Paper entitled " THE MAN IN THE MOON."
IT is trusted, that when the world shall be made acquainted with the means by which the compiler of the paper entitled The Man in the Moon will be enabled from time to time to afford them the intelligence it is meant to convey, when they are informed, that it is the work of no hireling fag, nor disappointed grum bler; but that its information has been, and will be communicated by the aid of revelation, and written from the mouth of the ingenious inhabitant of the
moon himself, they will, no doubt, feel due veneration for its author.
It will be necessary, as a kind præludium to the character of this curious paper, to correct a frequent and familiar prejudice that exists in the minds of the inhabitants of the earth, against the inhabitant of the moon, and which is at once injurious and offensive to his powers, and discrimination. It is noticeable in the coarse and vulgar comparison, " that one knows “no more of a thing than the man in the moon :" how false and erroneous this degree of comparison must be, is evident, when one considers that from his high situation, and the having constantly his eyes, nose, and mouth, ready to see, smell, and taste, the natural and accidental provisions of the earth, he must necessarily be abundantly supplied with food for contemplation and satire, that at the phases, or changes, of the planet wherein he resides, he is always busy turning over some materials or other, and that he is never totally and altogether shut out from his studies, and contemplation with us, except in the time of a total eclipse, when, it is presumed, he has a holiday. It follows then, that he must review pretty often and attentively the actions of his undermentioned neighbours, and know more about them than they may think; in short, he is constantly paying them attention, and in this respect he must be allowed to show a true greatness of character, for he certainly does, contrary to the usual manners of the world, take notice of those beneath him.
How the Man in the Moon happened to consent to furnish the intelligences and opinions of this paper, named after him by his permission, will remain to be hereafter explained ; let it suffice, for the present, to advertise the reader, that the Man in the Moon entertains no politics but what are for the happiness of society, nor any share of that monstrous philosophy that would separate pure religion from pure morality. He views with satisfaction every thought, every sentiment of good, spring from whence it may, whether it comes from the mouth of the Christian or the Bramin, the Mussulman or the Chinese, it is only the errors and absurdities of man that he would satirise. He constantly aims at some convenient mark, some selected object; he will keep a sharp look out upon folly, and fix his eye, as in the vignette, on the
Omnia plena stultorum ; but he will not wink at vice, nor corruption.
The Man in the Moon will therefore view the politics of the earth with moderation and good humour, (that is, with as much good humour and moderation as he can), though indeed, possessing the supernatural privileges he does from his high office, he can have little to dread, and in the opinion of any Attorney or Solicitor General living, must be considered as acting not at all within the meaning of the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act.
Another peculiar degree of protection and advantage enjoyed by the Man in the Moon, is from his vast
experience, and knowledge, attained in a series of contemplations since the days of Moses, on the events and transactions of this globe, which instructs him to appreciate, not depreciate, the characters, manners, and actions of men, uninterrupted by partialities or prejudices, as he has little or no acquaintance upon earth, and is perfectly independant, and above every thing that is mean.
It may possibly be asked, What business the Man in the Moon has to make any of his observations upon us? Why he should have fixed his inquisitive eye upon this island, and what he can possibly have to find fault with in a country so enlightened, and where the morals are preserved by the precepts and examples of so many great and wise men, who are just at this nick of time employed for the benefit of their country? Where religion is unsullied by party, or political themes and disquisitions; where it is so very seldom disgraced by the familiar discourses of wretched and ignorant traders, who traffic their abominable nonsense for popularity, and prophane the temple with their absurdities; where the decencies of life are never called upon to yield to false and fantastic notions of pride, or fear; where one is not seen to tremble at the truth, and another to tremble at the having spoken it; where you do not observe an ingenious false philosophy, combating with childish strength, against ancient weakness; where the vibrations of public opinion cannot be said to resemble the wanderings of the needle in the mariner's compass, by returning, at last, to the