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same favorite point of absurdity, as that does to the north pole; where the disease of noli me tangere is not known; where there is so very little corruption; where criticism is so pure and impartial; and where genius and taste is so much encouraged, because there is so much genius and taste.
Now the fact is, that whether the temper of the Man in the Moon has become soured by his long soliary position in that planet, without even a single opportunity for the solus cum sola he has so often witnessed below, or whether his disposition partakes of the melancholy temperament of the climate he dwells in, he certainly does entertain some material doubts respecting the wisdom, abilities, integrity, and honesty of vast numbers among us wise and enlightened people. Nay, he is even in the habit of thinking that the morals and manners of the age are far from pure, that some things are wrong, that there is now and then a little crooked policy, that we are apt to mistake the matter, that prejudice is the worst of tyrants, that aristocrats and democrats are fools of one and the same species, though of a different genus, who alike teize, torment, pester, and plague society with their wretched absurdities created out of selfish petty interests, to the annoyance of the public weal; that truth is still suffered to follow at a distance, offering his services, without being acknowledged and embraced.
may be thought, nevertheless, by, some versed in the science of optics, that from the situation of the
Man in the Moon, being, according to astronomers, placed at more than 24,000 miles from the earth, he can have but an imperfect vision of what is going on below, particularly in this island, owing to the almost impenetrable fog, which, in the months of October and November, covers it, as it were, with a wet napkin, from the impertinent gaze of any lunatic whatever; besides, that the atmosphere of the moon must occasion a sensible refraction of objects, without taking into consideration the optical inequality that must necessarily arise from the immense distance he preserves from us, we may therefore naturally enough conclude, without ever having read Father Echinard's Century of Problems in Optics, that he may be mistaken in some of the observations he may take. That he can but have a bird's eye view of our actions, and that a good deal of spleen may possibly be mixed with his remarks upon us, since, as he criticises the morals and manners of so little a place as Great Britain, he must make it a point to do so.
Whether the Man in the Moon does not sometimes wear spectacles; whether he does not, on grand review days, assist his vision by a telescope; whether he does not frequently use a reading glass, or apply a microscope when he wishes to look narrowly into matters; whether he was actually transported to the moon for gathering sticks on a Sunday; whether he is as fond of claret, as has been said by some eminent writers; whether he feeds upon powdered beef and carrots;
e Or does the Man in the Moon look big,
“ Than our native lunatics," are important questions, upon which the reader may possibly be satisfied in the next number, wherein we intend to introduce this extraordinary personage to his acquaintance, with the customary etiquette, Mr. Reader; Mr. Man in the Moon, Mr. Man in the Moon, Mr. Reader; after which, I believe, it is usual to be more open and communicative than any one, (acquainted with the nature of true politeness) can possibly be, even with the worthiest stranger, without being properly introduced.
The next Number promises also to be more explicit as to the qualifications and attributes of this new Critical Reviewer; and will describe, at large, the supernatural observations he is at the pains of taking aloft, to bring the true representation of objects below before him, that he may discover somewhat accurately the latitude and longitude of human actions, allowing for parallax, declination and refraction. Also, how he is able to pry so well into cabinets, and councils; to get into the inner chambers of families; how every thing is laid open to him, even the machinery of politics, the wheel within wheel, that by its movements dazzles and confounds the vulgar eye; how he can know when the work is imperfect; why it is dangerous to meddle with it; and why some, who have had the winding and regulating of the machine, should ha
preferred doing it in a corner, and, as they thought, out of sight.
As far as the Editor is at present at liberty to speak of the Man in Moon, he believes, that in his observations and opinions of the events and occurrences of the earth, he will not, on any occasion, shut his eyes to the truth; and that if he tries to see clearly into any thing, it will be only to expose vice and folly.
The Man in the Moon is no anarchist, for he contemplates with constant admiration the order of the universe; he is no democrat, for he is above the common sphere; and he disclaims all aristocracy, except over the presumptions of impudence and ignorance.
In the Man of the Moon-Merit shall find a friend _Truth an advocate-Falsehood, an inspector-general—The great no foe, but to their follies—The guilty no enemy, but to their crimes—The poor a guardian -The unhappy a counsellor.
Charity he has; for he himself is not immaculate. Humanity he has; for he is but a man.
THE MAN IN THE MOON.
MAN IN THE MOON.
* ECCE SIGNUM."
Wednesday, 16th Nov. 1803.
The Compiler's Account of his Birth and Parentage. The extraordinary
Visit he receives from the Man in the Moon, with the Conversation that ensued.
My father was, as fate would have it, the wellknown Editor of a certain morning print lately gone into oblivion; he was a tall thin man, of about five feet nine inches in height, with a large Roman nose, full black eyes, his face wrinkled, and pursed up into a malignant contortion of features happily expressive of chagrin and discontent, large thick lips, long black teeth, the right corner of the mouth drooping over its maxillary by the frequent action of the depressor anguli oris, with a remarkable oscillation of the head, resembling in its movements the action of a pendulum, which I rather imagine to have been the effect of intense study, though some ill-natured and censorious persons have gone so far as to alledge, that it was owing to his having, once in his life, run his head through the hole of a large wooden machine occasionally erected at Covent-garden or Charing-cross.
My mother, whose character also deserves some notice, was a little ill-favoured woman,