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occurred to prevent me. Why, sir, I never told a
, story, or sung a song in my life, without being interrupted; but if it will not take up too much of your time, I will detail some of the most extraordinary of the interruptions I have met with. About eighteen months after my marriage, my wife (for there also had occurred an interruption) proved with child, and at one o'clock in the morning I was awakened to go for a doctor. Nobody could be more active in getting out of bed, but I was a little delayed by the having tied my night-cap in a knot, as I did not wish to go out with it on my head; at last I was disencumbered, sallied forth manfully, and had actually got within a few doors of the doctor's house, in St. Martin's-lane, when I unluckily met a possè of the guardians of the night, conducting a poor fellow, who had drunk a little too much, to the watch-house. I could not, for the soul of me, resist following the party, and in with the rest; where I took the part of the prisoner, harangued the constable of the night upon the improper conduct of the watchmen, and actually forgot altogether that my wife was in the pains of labour, until the squeaking of a little child, who just appeared from under the red cloak of a poor woman who had fled there for refuge from the ill usage of a bad hus, band, reminded me of my dear wife's situation. I made my way out instantly, but lost my shoe in the scuffle, and hopped upon one leg the whole length of St. Martin's-lane, to the door of the accoucheur. At my return, however, I found that my interruption had not at all impeded the affair; as my son, who after,
wards turned out an enterprising lad, had forced his way into the world without the help of a doctor. Soon after this, one night, being awake, I heard the engines driving along the street; well, sir, up I started, and ran out of doors, when, upon enquiry, I found that it was a friend's house which was on fire; away I scampered after the engines, until I fell in with a concourse of people going to the Pantheon masquerade, when I stept into Mrs. Richman's, got a fancy dress, and left my friend's house to burn without any interruption of mine. Another time, having been advertised by a friend that the banker's where I kept my cash was about to fail, I ran out immediately to get my balance, , but was interrupted in my way by two little boys fighting, and actually stopped to see the battle out, until the house had stopt payment. And once, in the former part of my life, as I was going to the Crown and Anchor tavern, I was met by a shabby fellow in the street, who said that he wanted to speak to me. I answered, “ Pray, sir, don't interrupt me!" and he replied, “ Sir, you must go with me.” In short, he was a bailiff, and I was his prisoner; so, instead of the Crown and Anchor tavern, I turned into a lock-up house, where I experienced a great many interruptions from the law before I got out again.
“ I believe, my dear sir, that one half of the ills of life proceed from interruption. Temptation and interruption are the two devils that make life such a zigzag course as it is, resembling what seaman call traverse sailing. Happy are those people, in my opinion, 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
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
I recommend my correspondent, Mr. Peter Pivot, not to be so easily turned round.
DEAR MR. MAN 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
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,
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 on every faux pas of childhood, the one or the other constantly made their appearance; never praised when right,