Sayfadaki görseller
[merged small][ocr errors]

ther was pregnant of me, she once dreamed she was delivered of a Monster. It was observed also, at the Time of my Birth, that a Weezle was heard to Priek; and a Bat (though at Noon-Day) Aew into the Room, and settled upon the Midwife's Wrist, just as the received me. While in the Cradle. I was very froward. Early at School I discovered a promifing Genius for Mischief. I carried Tales from one Boy to another to set them a fighting, and afterwards to the Master, to bave them whipped. I had always Cunning enough, when I committed a Fault, to lay the Blame upon another, and laughed to see him fuffer for it. (A sure Prognostic of my future Judgment in Politics !) I was fond of tearing away the Legs and Wings of Flies, of picking out the Eyes of some little Bird, or laming some favourite Lap-Dog, merely by Way of Amusement. This was only a Sign, that one Time or other I should have Ill-nature enough for a great Wit. Now I understand to be a great Wit, is to take a Pleasure in giving every Body Pain, and to thew no Mercy to a Reputation, which is dearer to some Fools than perhaps a Limb, or an Eye. I was also given to pil. fer whatever lay in my Way; a Proof only that I would never fcruple being a Plagiary, should I turm Author. I was expert at almost every Thing (except learning my Book; but neither Encouragement nor Correction could bring me to any Sense of Duty. I was always very fullen after being corrected ; and if my Master forgave, and admonished me in a friendly Manner, I all the while ridiculed the old Put (as I then called him) by making Mouths or Horns over his Shoulder. This Thewed I had always Wit enough to laugh at the common Notion of Gratitude. I hooted, at any unfortunate, ill-dressed Person in the

never failed to mock the Infirmities of old Age. When at 2 Sermon, I was very full of Play myself, and fond


[ocr errors]

of interrupting the Devotion of others; fo that I thank my Stars!) in my Youth I had a fashionable Contempt for Religion... I came young into the World, with little Education, less Money, and no visible Way of living : However I qualified myself (though of mean Birth) for a Gentleman of Wit and Humour about Town. I have naturally à Sourness of Temper, a droll Solemnity of Countenance, and a dry Manner of joking upon fuch Accia dents, as Fools who value themselves upon Huma: nity, would be apt to compassionate. I have also a Propensity to sneer upon all Mankind, and partie cularly upon those who fancy they can oblige me. These elegant Qualities recommended me early to the Friendship of Dick Morley, Author of Mother Wifeborn. We met frequently at a little fnug Gaming-House, never yet discovered by informing Conftables. A Similitude of Circumstances and Sympathy of Souls endeared us to each other, and to him I owe the Improvements of my afore-mentioned Faculties. These he cultivated, and many others implanted in me of the like Nature,

We commenced Authors together. At my first setting out I was hired by a reverend Prebend to libel Dean Swift for Infidelity. Soon after I was employed by Curll to write a nierry Tale, the Wit of which was its Obscenity. This we agreed to palm upon the World for a pofthumouz Piece of Mr. Prior. However, a certain Lady, celebrated for certain Liberties, had a Curiosity to see the real Author. Curll, on my Promise that if I had a Prefent, he should go Snacks, sent me to her. I was admitted while her Ladyship was shifting ; and on my Admittance, Mrs. Abigail was ordered to withdraw. What passed between us, a Point of Galt lantry obliges me to conceal; but after some extraordinary Civilities, I was dismissed with a Purse of Guineas, and a Command to write a Sequel to my


Tale. Upon this I turned out smart in Dress, bit Curll of his Share, and run out most of the Money in printing my Works at my own Costi But fome Years after (just at the Time of his starving poort Pattifon) the Varlet was revenged. He arrelted me for several Months Board, brought me back to my. Garret, and made me drudge on in my old dirty. Work. 'Twas in his Service that I wrote Obsceni nity and Profaneness, under the Names of Pope and Swift. Sometimes I was Mr. Yoseph Gay, and at others Theory Burnett or Addison. I abridged Hiftories and Travels, translated from the French what they never wrote, and was expert at finding out new Titles for old Books. When á notorious Thief was hanged, I was the Plutarch to preserve his Memory; and when a great Man died, mine were his Remains, and mine the Account of his last Wilt and Teftament. Had Mr. Oldmixon and Mr. Curll agreed, my Afiftance had probably been invited into Father Bohour's Logie, and the critical Hiftory of England.

But before all this happened, a young Nobleman gratified me for letting some Verses of mine be handed about at Court in Manuscript under his Name. This was the first Time that I ever heard my Writings generally commended. But alas ! how Thort-lived the Applause! They unfortunatea ty Atole into Print, lost their Reputation at once, and I am now. alhamed to write any more, as a Person of Quality. I am a great Joker, and deal in Clenches, Puns, Quibbles, Gibes, Conundrums, and Carry-which-its. Many a good Time have I lashed the whole Body of Clergy, and crack'd many- a {mart Joke upon the Triniiy. One of my Books' had the Honour of being presented for a Libel' by the Grand-Jury, and another was made a Burnt-offering by the Hands of the Common Hangman. If an Author wsites a Piece that has


[ocr errors][merged small]

Success in his own Character, I abuse him ; but if in a fi&titious one I endeavour to personate him, and write a fecond Part to his work. I am very deep, ly read in all Pieces of Scandal, Obfcenity, and Profaneness, particularly in the Writings of Mrs. Haywood, Henley, Welsted, Morley, Foxton, Caoke, De Foe, Norton, Woolston, Dennis, Ned Ward, Cone canen, Journalif-Pit, and the Author of the Rival Modes. From these I propose to compile a very grand Work, which shall not be inferior to Utopia, Carimania, Gulliverania, Art of Flogging, Daily Jour nal, Epigrams on the Dunciad, or Oratory Transactions; and, as this is designed for the Use of young Templars, it is hoped they will promote my Suba fcription. Since private Vices have been proved to be public Benefits, I would venture to call it, An Useful Body of IMMORALITY, and print it in a broad, pompous Folio ; but such a one as may very well be bound up with Dean Smedley's intended Body of Divinity.

By the Help of Indexes, and technical Dictios naries, I work on every Branch of Learning, I pore often over the Volumes of State Tracts whence I collect Paragraphs, which I mix with Res marks of my own, and range under several Heads. Those against a discarded Minister I send to the London Journal, or Concanen's Daily, or Weekly Pan pers. * Concanen is a precious Fellow once love ed him for his Ingratitude to Dean Sivift:, I now. adore him for his dull Humour, and malevolent blundering Billingsgate against my Lord Bolingbrake.. Other Paragraphs more virulent against a Prime Mio nister (for I naturally hate my Superiors) are for my very good Friend the Craftsman. How long have to * In thy felonious Heart, tho' Malice lies,

1-07 blus sit) It does but touch thy Irish Pen, and dies.



[ocr errors]

called up the Shades of Sejanus, Buckingham, and Wolfey, to compare them to one who mortifiés me by laughing at the Comparison? How long shall I ftill prefs on one, whom I continually call Stateplunderer, and wicked Minister? Perhaps till the World will maliciously liken me to a Taylor's Gooset, which is at once hot and heavy. Rather than stand out of Play, I have penned Panegyrics, in Miff or Fog on Rich's Pantomimes, and Theobald's Shakespeare Restored. I am always listed by Mr. Lun the Harlequin, to hiss the firit Night at any of the Drury-Lane Performances. Sometimes I'draw

up Challenges for the Champions of Mr. Figg's Amphitheatre, and sometimes for the Difputants of Mr. Henley's Oratory.

I have an excellent Knack at Birth-day Odes,
Elegies, 'Acrosticks, Anagrams, Epithalamiums,
Prologues, Recommendatory Poems, Rhimes for
Almanack-makers, and witty Distiches for the Signs
of Country-inns and Ale-houses. When with an
audible Voice I fpout forth my own Verses, mar-
vellous is their Effect! The very Bell-man has
been touched with Envy-An Author, who like
Mr. Ralph*, has distinguished himself by Night
the Shrillness of my clamorous, dunning Landlady,
has been charmed into a ftill Attention! Nay, the
very Bailift, in Act to rush upon me, has stopped
fhort to listen, and for a Minute suspended the
cious Palm that was to fall upon my Shoulders !
* I have well" perused the Writings of Luke Mil-
bourn, Shadwell, Settle, Blackmore, and many others
of our Stamp, notable for salt Wit upon Dryden.
From there I have extracted curious Hints to affitt
Welfted in his new Satire against Pope, which was'
once (he told me) to have been christened Labeg.
1 A Comparison of Dr. Soutb's.

Author of a Porm called Nighr.



[ocr errors]
« ÖncekiDevam »