Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

shore, and the Taffies, to talk to; so you see that he will stand no more chance than a cat without claws. Steady boys, that's all ; luff, no'near, as ye go now, get by us if you can; every man to his station, and the cook to the foresheet. You understand me.

Yours, until death,

THE MAN AT THE MAST HEAD."

In addition to the above I have just received the following:

MOST POTENT POTENTATE OF THE MOON, “ It is long since that I have refreshed myself under the influence of thy planet, and basked in its beams; I have watched the New Moon, and felt its approach with delight; it is then that I feel my dignities resumed, and that I am a prince. The Prince of Plaistow is my name, and love, with its soft seducing syren sweets, has preyed upon me; but what of that, I am no longer a victim. Softly she came across the lawn attired like a Roman virgin; her bosom rich and tempting as Mantuan grapes; her eyes beaming with the fulness of the delights of love, but me she saw not; her form was perfect, her steps were measured to the soft movements of harmony, and she never tripped. Oh! let me contemplate those actions that first enwrapt me in delight; my dominions are at her service, my crown is laid at her feet, my sceptre is hers; but she is false, is faithless, is frivolous; no, no, never more ; yet thou art adorable, the universe is at thy feet, and the Prince of Plaistow

bends to thee lovely Pharonida. Use thy soft influence, beauteous Cynthia, to make tender the heart of Pharonida, for it is as hard as the rock against which the ocean beats in vain. A black heavy cloud has just hid thee from my sight, and I am in despair ; confusion, horror, rage, fury, love, war, thunder, music, and distraction.

“ Farewell,

THE PRINCE OF PLAISTOW." The Incurable Ward, Bedlam,

Full Moon.

Such are the effects of love, and the Prince seems to have taken the inoculation very completely; there seems to be little fear that he will ever have the complaint again, even in an epidemic.

2.

THE

MAN IN THE MOON.

“ Polly matete cry town is my deskalon.”

Partridge, Fielding's Tom Jones,

NUMBER VIII.

Wednesday, 7th Dec. 1803. IT

may become a subject of curious investigation among philosophers, whether the Man in Moon ever sleeps; probably they may sometime or other catch him nodding, or at least find him so dull and heavy as nearly to determine the fact. However, to save them the trouble of further enquiry, he candidly avows, that he does, at times, close his eyes, and shut his mouth upon occasion, like other people; and the better to establish the truth of the position, and introduce himself to the notice of a large class of the community, called dreamers, he will relate an extraordinary vision that he had only a few nights since, which, whether it was the effect of the images floating in his brain of what he had seen going on upon earth, or a mere misrepresentation of them, he cannot, at present, determine.

About ten o'clock of the night of the first day of December instant, being fatigued with turning over a variety of incongruous matter, or lumber of the earth, the Man in the Moon fell into a dose, and fancied

[ocr errors]

himself, as is frequently the case with other people, wide awake. He imagined the printer of these sheats on his right hand, and that he, the Man in the Moon, was very gravely enquiring into the purport of a great bustle below, in words nearly as follows: “ Bless me, , what are these innumerable hordes, apparently savages, issuing forth from all corners, and covering the land? Instead of ensigns, they seem to carry an immense volume before them, the sheets open, and the contents as mysterious and ambiguous as the sibyllini versus. I am afraid that nothing can be collected from them, yet I discover in large capitals the word 'INCOME, which seems to dwindle and diminish the longer one looks at it. Truly, however, the bearers of these colours appear an effective corps, they seem constantly upon the alert, and ready for action, they are doubtless rifle men. How long have they been brigaded? Is this the dreaded descent! and are they called marauders or invaders? Doubtless they are marching to obtain a collection after dinner from those liberal gentlemen seated round a table at yonder hotel, and who have ordered all the luxuries of a French kitchen; what a variety of dishes for this necessitous troop to partake of-des matelotes d'anguilles et des carpes, des cotelettes etonné et surpris, des beçasses et des becassines, des omelettes superbes, with hock, claret, and Burgundy, followed by caffee and the most exquisite liqueurs, absinthe, and abricot; what immense wealth! surely the partakers of so sumptuous a table will, at least, be able to pay two shillings in the pound; or, perhaps, this chosen troop of sharp-shooters are de

a

stined to make an attack on that superb pastry shop. Methinks I see them already among the jellies and savoury pâtès, or sipping the creme de rose, and capilaire. Pray, heaven, that they may not assail the roast beef or plumb pudding on the table of that decent family, now sitting over their meal, and counting out their rent for their landlord, and who, I observe, have only a few pounds left them."

The Man in the Moon went on in this incoherent strain, the offspring of his disordered imagination for some time, when his friend, the printer, assured him of his mistake; and that what he took to be a newraised regiment were nothing more than a troop of tax-gatherers; that they were nearly complete, and would soon know their exercise, which they were to learn as well in houses, as in the fields; that they would shortly understand charging, and surcharging, and go through the whole of their manæuvres with skill and adroitness.

At this explanation the Man in the Moon awoke, and being now come to his senses, I shall, in my pro

I per person, that is, in the first person singular, offer some reflections on the remarkable subject of my dream, the great business of taxation.

Adam Smith, in his Wealth of Nations, defines the principle of taxation as follows:--- That the subjects of every state ought to contribute towards the support of the government, as nearly as possible,

1

« ForrigeFortsæt »