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exercised patience against her return home; but, Sir, when this scoundrel told me that you was put in the moon for stealing sticks on a Sunday, and that for you to make a preachment of morality, was for all the world like a Botany Bay convict coming home to England and opening a public lecture on honestyIt was not a moonlight night, or you would have seen the knock down blow I gave him, and there he lay twisting about his ugly body like an eel in a basket. You must know, Sir, I expects a reward for this, and expects you to tell me, whether you likes the wolun
, teers, because as how I entered into the rifling corpse at the request of my wife, who likes the green milantary humanform mortally ; but she says that i’se a dunce, for being drilled a month, and am not yet returned defective. Yours, as you please me,
A SHARP SHUTTER.”
Jemmy Sensitire's communication is before the Man in the Moon, and will
be duly considered.
An Essay on Epistolary Writing will shortly appear, with specimens for the
edification of gentlemen in and out of place.
MAN IN THE MOON.
" AUT CÆSAR AUT NULLUS."
Wednesday, 21st Dec. 1803.
MR. MAN IN THE MOON, I WAS occupied half an hour last night in perusing by the fire side of my chamber your last Number, wherein
you define the utility of the motto, Cui bono, in the circumstances of common life; and as you are one of the innumerable race of authors, moralists, or essayists, whose theories are all admirable, and who delight to torment your readers with precepts insupportable, and incongruous with the infirmity of human nature, I shall trouble you with a few genuine observations. According to your sage reasoning, it is just as easy to regulate our conduct in life as it is to set a stop watch, or to wind up an eight-day clock, I shall not be so unhandsome, at present, as to make any reflections on the possibility of personal inconsistencies, even in the sage monitor of the moon himself. It will be enough for me if I can prove to you the absolute imperfections of human nature, and that no author has yet discovered the true patent snafflle, bit, or bridle, by which men can rein effectually their unruly passions and appetites. Now, Sir, experimental philosophy appears to me to be the most certain of any,
, and to show you how much has been done to make
this anima or gold of the understanding, I will give you a sketch of my own outset in life. I was educated under the care of a private tutor, from whom I received not only classic instruction, but many moral inculcations, seldom attended to in public colleges. In short, my sentiments were as perfect a chain of correct and properly combined ideas as could be well imagined, and modesty ruled over me so absolutely that I blushed at every thing; and I could not have spoken first to a young girl if you had given me a guinea to do it; and as for giving her a salute I would sooner have suffered transportation. Upon so moral a ground, it might be imagined a perfect superstructure would have been raised, and indeed so it might, if the materials of the building had been better understood. But to continue, about the age of twenty I began, at the request of my parents, who were rich, to consider something of the character it would become me to establish in the world. I had not any of the material drawbacks upon the inclinations, many experience, such as the want of a liberal education, of fortune, of health, or of figure. It was now that, among other reading, I pe"rused Richardson's Sir Charles Grandison, and that I felt the ardour of making that imaginary gentleman my prototype. I had, in short, determined to be rea.sonable in all my actions, to abstain from the follies incident to other men, neyer to drink, never to game, never to visit bad women, never to get in debt, never to borrow money. This desire of the immaculate came on chiefly when I was alone, and then I strutted about the room, imagined the chairs filled with the wondering spectators of the assembly, admiring my elegance and refinement. No awkward constraint, no mistrust of myself, not an hasty expression, nor a look of impatience, were to be observed; I was perfectly at ease, assured, tranquil, and consistent in the assembly, where I had never been. At last, however, the time arrived when my lady mother, for my father was a country gentleman, saw company. I was of age, and was to put the lessons of my tutor, Sir Charles Grandison, and my dancing-master, into practice. The company were select and brilliant, and I entered the drawing-room with an assurance of success. Judge my astonishment, however, when I tell you that I passed unnoticed in the crowd, except what attention I received from some old women who had surrounded mamma. Still, however, I preserved my ease, until a little ugly foolish looking girl set up a horse laugh as I passed by, whispering at the same time a whole circle of creatures like herself, I wonder how Sir Charles Grandison would have stood this! I confess that it gave me a little physical confusion, but I surmounted the danger by running away, and when I got into a corner was perfectly Sir Charles Grandison again. But my mortification was soon after renewed, for I began to find, eren when I forced myself forward, that nobody gave to my morality nor to my manners the character of my original Sir Charles; nobody said, How like Sir Charles Grandison! However, I had sense enough to believe, that when a little more used to company I should soon get rid of those unpleasant
gaucheries which perplex and torment the novice on the town, and that my morals were at any rate safe from attacks like those I had just suffered. Among the rest of the company I observed a gentleman who really did seem the subject of admiration in the circle. His manners were perfectly formed, he conversed with ease and elegance, wore a constant smile upon his countenance, was polite and attentive to the women, and friendly and conversant with the men. Lord Lustre, and really I was much prepossessed in the idea of his likeness to Sir Charles Grandison, and of my likeness to him. Fortunately I did not pass the whole night unnoticed, for an extremely gay pleasant young man of fashion, who I had never seen before, Mr. Saunter, came to my relief, took my arm, walked
, up and down the room with me in the most friendly manner, and engaged me in conversation. I felt as bold as a lion, and I took an opportunity, among other things, to express to him my admiration of my Lord Lustre, who, I observed, was, doubtless, another Sir Charles Grandison. At this, Mr. Saunter set up a loud laugh, “ Damme, Peregrine, that's a good thing, however.” “I owe you one for that.” “ So you know my Lord Lustre?” “ Well, come, you have a good deal of wit, damme.” I could not, at first, make out what I had said so brilliant, particularly as I had before quoted some witty sayings of the ancients, which I had learnt of my tutor, without the smallest success. Why you know,” cried Saunter, as if I had been as well acquainted with life as himself, you know that Lord Lustre is the greatest