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This unexpected awful sound,

Soon reach'd the placeman's ear,
Then like stern Richard in his tent,

He started pale with fear.
Ha! what, or who, and whence art thon,

That thus offend'st my sight;
Art thou corporeal, quickly say,

Or visionary sprite?
Behold (returned the throttled shade)

A face you well must know,
By thee condemn'd to die with shame,

And suffer pains below.
What, though I forged that fatal scroll,

I only cheated you,
But king and country you have wronged;

What will not traitors do.
On aged Tyburn's triple tree,

A victim I was made, For fear my tongue should blab such truths

Would make thy honours fade.
But soft, I scent the morning air,

Brief let me be-then know
I come to tell thee whence I came

Thou soon must also go.
Not all thy art or wealth can e'er

Avert the stern decree;
The same base hand that stretch'd my neck,

Shall do the same for thee.
Britannia's drooping sons, once rid

Of thee and Scottish pride,
Again with joy shall raise their heads,

And Pitt shall be their guide.
Here stopt the shade, and quick as thought

Dissolved itself in air,
And left the troubled man of state

O'erwhelm'd with sad despair.









The North Briton, with its usual acrimony of stricture and unrelenting persecution of all the members of administration, had in some of its numbers incidentally introduced some characteristic sketches, supposed to allude to the hero of this poem, Samuel Martin, Esq., M. P. for Camelford, Secretary to the Treasury, and Treasurer to the Princess Dowager of Wales. In that strain of personal abuse, which forms the predominant feature of that scurrilous journal, mention is made in No. 37, published 12 Feb. 1763, of “ The secretary of a certain board, a very apt tool of ministerial persecution, who, with a spirit worthy of a Portuguese inquisitor, is hourly looking for carrion in every office to feed the maw of the insatiable vulture. Imo etiam in senatum venit, notat et designat unumquemque nostrum : he marks us and all our innocent families for beggary and ruin. Neither the derness of age, nor the sacredness of sex is spared by the cruel Scot.” And again, in the 40th Number, notice is taken " of the most treacherous, base, selfish, mean, abject, lowlived and dirty fellow that ever wriggled himself into a secretaryship.”

Of these passages Mr. Martin took no notice until the first day of the session of the ensuing parliament, when, in the debate * upon the proceedings which had been adopted during

* This debate occasioned the longest sitting which had ever then taken place in the House of Commons. The Speaker was twenty hours in the chair, the House not adjourning until between seven and eight in the morring. VOL. II.


the recess against the persons concerned in the North Briton he observed, with pointed expression towards Mr. Wilkes, that the author of that paper was a malignant, infamous scoundrel, who had stabbed him in the dark.

On the breaking up of the House, the following letter to Mr. Martin threw the desired light upon the subject of his complaint:

Great George Street, Westminster, Nov. 16, 1763. Sir,—You complained yesterday, before five hundred gentlemen, that you had been stabbed in the dark by the North Briton, but I have reason to believe you was not so much in the dark as you affected and chose to be. Was the complaint made before so many gentlemen on purpose that they might interpose? To cut off every pretence of ignorance as to the author, I whisper in your ear that every passage in the North Briton, in which you have been named or even alluded to, was written by your humble servant, John WilkES.

To this letter the following answer was returned:

SIR, -As I said in the House of Commons yesterday, that the writer of the North Briton, who had stabbed me in the dark, was a cowardly as well as a malignant and infamous scoundrel; and your letter of this morning's date acknowledges that every passage of the North Briton, in which I have been named or even alluded to, was written by yourself; I must take the liberty to repeat, that you are a malignant and infamous scoundrel, and that I desire to give you an opportunity of shewing me whether the epithet of cowardly was rightly applied or not.

I desire that you meet me in Hyde Park immediately with a brace of pistols each, to determine our difference. I shall

go to the ring in Hyde Park with my pistols so corcealed that nobody may see them, and I will wait in expectation of you one hour. As I shall call in my way at your house to deliver this letter, I propose to go from thence directi, to the ring in Hyde Park, from whence we may proceel, it it be necessary, to any more private place, and I mention

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