Imágenes de página


and leave me to pursue my studies for the for: gold, nor what, baser wretch corrupted good of the public.

him, and then bought the bargain : all this, Advertisement.

and much more of the same kind, I shall forI give notice, that I am actually now com to be observed, that I expect and require a

get, and pass over in silence; but then it is piling, and design to publish in a short time, sudden and general amendment. the true history of the rise, growth, and progress of the renowned Tiff-Club All persons have a good effect, and, if regarded, may pre

These threatenings of mine, I hope, will who are acquainted with any facts, circum- vent abundance of folly and wickedness in stances, characters, transactions, &c. which will be requisite to the perfecting and embel- dance of trouble: and that people may not

others, and at the same time save me abunlishment of the said work, are desired to com. Aatter themselves with the hopes of conceaimunicate the same to the author, and direct ing their loose misdemeanours from my knowtheir letters to be left with the printer hereof. ledge, and in that view persist in evil doing,

The letter signed Would-be-something, I must acquaint them, that I have lately encame to hand.

tered into an intimacy with the extraordinary

person who some time ago wrote me the folNo. V.

lowing letter; and who, having a wonderful Vos, O patricius sanguis, quos vivere fas est, faculty, that enables him to discover the most Occipiti cæco, posticiæ occurrite sannæ.- Persius.

secret iniquity, is capable of giving me great This paper being designed for a terror to assistance in my designed work of reformaevil doers, as well as a praise to them that do tion. well, I am lifted up with secret joy to find, that my undertaking is approved, and encou

No. VI. raged, by the just and good, and that few are against me but those who have reason to fear “ Mr. Busy-BODY,-/ rejoice, sir, at the

opportunity you have given me to be serviceThere are little follies in the behaviour of able to you, and by your means, to this promost men, which their best friends are too vince; you must know, that such have been the tender to acquaint them with; there are lit- circumstances of my life, and such were the tle vices and small crimes, which the law has marvellous occurrences of my birth, that I have no regard to or remedy for: there are like- not only a faculty of discovering the actions of wise great pieces of villany sometimes so persons that are absent or asleep, but even of craftily accomplished, and so circumspectly the devil himself in many of his secret workguarded, that the law can take no hold of the ings, in the various shapes, habits, and names actors. All these things, and things of this of men and women; and having travelled and nature, come within my province as Censor, conversed much, and met with but a very and I am determined not to be negligent of few of the same perceptions and qualifications, the trust I have reposed in myself, but resolve I can recommend myself to you as the most to execute my office diligently and faithfully. useful man you can correspond with. My

All the world may judge without how father's father's father (for we had no grandmuch humanity as well as justice I shall be- fathers in our family) was the same John have in this office; and that even my enemies Bunyan that writ that memorable book, The may be convinced I take no delight to rake Pilgrim's Progress, who had, in some deinto the dunghill lives of vicious men; and to gree, a natural faculty of second sight. This the end that certain persons may be a little faculty (how derived to him our family meeased of their fears, and relieved from the moirs are not very clear) was enjoyed by all terrible palpitations they have lately felt and his descendants, but not by equal talents. It suffered, and do still suffer ; I hereby gracious was very dim in several of my first cousins, ly pass a general act of oblivion, for all of- and probably had been nearly extinct in our fences, crimes, and misdemeanours, of what particular branch, had not my father been a kind soever, committed from the beginning traveller. He lived in his youthful days in of the year 1681, until the day of the date of New England. There he married, and there my first paper, and promise only to concern was born my elder brother, who had so much of inyself with such as have been since and shall this faculty, as to discover witches in some of hereafter be committed. I shall take no no- their occult performances. My parents transtice who has (heretofore) raised a fortune by porting themselves to Great Britain, my sefraud and oppression, nor who by deceit and cond brother's birth was in that kingdom. hypocrisy; what woman has been false to her He shared but a small portion of this virtue, good husband's bed, nor what man has by being only able to discern transactions about barbarous usage or neglect, broke the heart the time of and after their happening. My of a faithful wife; and wasted his health and good father, who delighted in the Pilgrim's substance in debauchery; what base wretch Progress, and mountainous places, took shipbas betrayed his friend, and sold his honesty ping with his wife for Scotland, and inbabit.

ed in the Highlands, where myself was born, , fees; which indulgence the small wits, in and and whether the soil, climate, or astral influ- about the city, are advised gratefully to acences, of which are preferred divers prognoscept and acknowledge. tics, restored our ancestor's natural faculty of The gentleman who calls himself Sirronis, second sight in a greater lustre to me, than is directed, on receipt of this, to burn his great it had shined in through several generations, book of crudities. I will not here discuss. But so it is, that I P. S. In compassion to that young man on am possessed largely of it, and design, if you account of the great pains he has taken, in encourage the proposal, to take this opportu- consideration of the character I have just renity of doing good with it, which I question ceived of him, that he is really good natured, not will be accepted of in a grateful way by and on condition he shows it to no foreigner, many of your honest readers, though the dis- or stranger of sense, I have thought fit to recovery of my extraction bodes me no defer- prieve his said great book of crudities from ence from your great scholars and modern the flames till further order. philosophers. This my father was long ago aware of, and lest the name alone should hurt the fortunes of his children, he in his shiftings

No. VII. from one country to another, changed it.

Noli me tangere. “Sir, I have only this further to say, how I I HAD resolved when I first commenced may be useful to you, and as a reason for my this design, on no account to enter into a pub not making myself more known in the world: lic dispute with any man; for I judged it by virtue of this great gift of nature, second would be equally unpleasant to me, and my sightedness, I do continually see numbers of readers, to see this paper filled with contenmen, women, and children, of all ranks, and tious wranglings, answers, replies, &c. which what they are doing, while I am sitting in is a way of writing that is endless, and at the my closet; which is too great a burden for same time seldom contains any thing that is the mind, and makes me also conceit, even edifying or entertaining. Yet, when such a against reason, that all this host of people can considerable man as Mr. finds himself so see and observe me, which strongly inclines warmly concerned to accuse and condemn me, me to solitude, and an obscure living; and on as he has done in Keimer's last Instructor, I the other hand, it will be an ease to me to dis- cannot forbear endeavouring to say something burden my thoughts and observations in the in my own defence, from one of the worst chaway proposed to you, by, sir, your friend and racters that could be given me by a man of servant."

worth. But as I have many things of more I conceal this correspondent's name in my consequence to offer to the public, I declare care for his life and safety, and cannot but ap- that I never will, after this time, take notice prove his prudence in choosing to live obscure- of any accusations not better supported with ly. I remember the fate of my poor monkey: truth and reason; much less may every little he had an ill-natured trick of grinning and scribbler, that shall attack me, expect an anchattering at every thing he saw în petticoats: swer from the Busy-Body. my ignorant country neighbours got a notion The sum of the charge delivered against that

pug. snarled by instinct at every female me, either directly or indirectly, in the said who had lost her virginity. This was no sooner paper, is this : not to mention the first mighty generally believed, than he was condemned sentence concerning vanity and ill nature, to death; by whom I could never learn, but and the shrewd intimation that I am without he was assassinated in the night, barbarously charity, and therefore can have no pretence stabbed and mangled in a thousand places, and to religion, I am represented as guilty of deleft hanging dead on one of my gate posts, famation and scandal, the odiousness of which where I found him the next morning. is apparent to every good man; and the prac

The Censor observing that the itch of scrib- tice of it opposite to Christianity, morality, bling begins to spread exceedingly, and being and common justice, and in some cases so far carefully tender of the reputation of his country below all these, as to be inhuman; as a blaster in point of wit, and good sense, has determined of reputations; as attempting by a pretence, to take all manner of writings, in verse or to screen myself from the imputation of maprose, that pretend to either, under his imme- lice and prejudice; as using a weapon which diate cognizance; and accordingly hereby the wise and better part of mankind hold in prohibits the publishing any such for the fu- abhorrence; and as giving treatment which ture till they have first passed his examina- the wiser and better part of mankind dislike, tion, and received his imprimatur: for which on the same prinoiples and for the same reahe demands as a fee only six pence per sheet. sons, as they do assassination, &c.; and all this

N. B. He nevertheless permits to be pubis inferred and concluded from a character I lished, all satirical remarks on the Busy-Body, have wrote in my No. III. the above prohibition notwithstanding, and In order to examine the justice and truth without examination or requiring the said of this heavy charge, let us recur to that cha

VOL. II. ... 3Q

racter. And here we may be surprised to picture should be published which he never find what a trifle has raised this mighty cla- sat for, it must be, that we should give no mour and complaint, this grievous accusation! character without the owner's consent. If I The worst thing said of the person, in what discern the wolf disguised in harmless wool, is called my gross description, (be he who he and contriving the destruction of my neighwill to whom my accuser has applied the cha- bour's sheep, must I have his permission, beracter of Critico) is, that he is a sour philoso- fore I am allowed to discover and prevent pher, crafty, but not wise. Few human cha- him? If I know a man to be a designing racters can be drawn that will not fit some knave, must I ask his consent to bid my body in so large a country as this; but one friends beware of him? If so, then by the would think, supposing I meant Critico a real same rule, supposing the Busy-Body had realperson, I had sufficiently manifested my im- ly merited all his enemy had charged him partiality, when I said in that very paragraph, with, his consent ought likewise to have been that Critico is not without virtue; that there obtained, before so terrible an accusation was are many good things in him, and many good published against him. actions reported of him; which must be al I shall conclude with observing, that in the lowed in all reason, much to overbalance in last paragraph save one of the piece now exhis favour those worst words, sour-tempered amined, much ill nature and some good sense and cunning. Nay, my very enemy and ac- are coinhabitants (as he expresses it.) The cuser must have been sensible of this

, when ill nature appears in his endeavouring to dishe freely acknowledges, that he has been seri- cover satire where I intended no such thing, ously considering, and cannot yet determine but quite the reverse: the good sense is this, which he would choose to be, the Cato or Cri- that drawing too good a character of any one tico of that paper; since my Cato is one of is a refined manner of satire that may be as the best characters. Thus much in my own injurious to him as the contrary, by bringing vindication. As to the only reason there given on an examination that undresses the person, why I ought not to continue drawing charac- and in the haste of doing it, he may happen ters, viz. Why should any man's picture be to be stript of what he really owns and depublished that he never sat for, or his own serves. As I am Censor, I might punish the good name taken from him any more than his first, but I forgive it. Yet I will not leave money or possessions, at the arbitrary will of the latter unrewarded; but assure my adveranother ? &c. I have but this to answer: the sary, that in consideration of the merit of those money or possessions I presume are nothing four lines, I am resolved to forbear injuring to the purpose; since no man can claim a him in that refined manner. right to either those or a good name, if he has I thank my neighbour PW for acted so as to forfeit them. And are not the his kind letter. public the only judges what share of reputation The lions complained of shall be muzzled. they may think proper to allow to any man? Supposing I was capable, and had an inclination, to draw all the good and bad characters

No. VIIL in America, why should a good man be offend

March 27, 1720. ed with me for drawing good characters ? Quid non mortalia pectora cogie, And if I draw ill ones, can they fit any other

Auri sacra fames.-Virgil. but those that deserve them ? And ought any ONE of the greatest pleasures an author but such be incensed that they have their de- can have, is certainly the hearing his works sert ? I have as great an aversion and abhor- applauded. The hiding from the world our rence for defamation and scandal as any man, names, while we publish our thoughts, is so and would with the utmost care avoid being absolutely necessary to this self gratification, guilty of such base things: besides, I am very that I take my well wishers will congratulate sensible and certain, that if I should make use me on my escape from many diligent but fruitof this paper to defame any person, my repu- less inquiries that of late have been made aftation would be sooner hurt than his; and the ter me. Every man will own that an author Busy-Body would quickly become detestable; as such, ought to be hid by the merit of his because, in such a case, as is justly observed, productions only; but pride, party, and prejuthe pleasure arising from a tale of wit and no- dice, at this time run so very high, that exvelty soon dies away in generous and honest perience shows we form our notions of a piece minds, and is followed with a secret grief, to by the character of the author. Nay there see their neighbours calumniated. But if I are some very humble politicians in and about myself was actually the worst man in the the city who will ask on which side the province, and any one should draw my true writer is, before they presume to give their character, would it not be ridiculous in me opinion of the thing wrote. This ungenerous to say, he had defamed and scandalized me, way of proceeding I was full aware of before unless he had added in a matter of truth? If I published my first speculation; and thereany thing is meant by asking, why any man's fore concealed my name. And I appeal to

[ocr errors]

the more generous part of the world, if I have, mercurial wand and magnet, I have still failsince I appeared in the character of the Busy- ed in my purpose; this, therefore, I send, to Body, given an instance of my siding with propose and desire an acquaintance with you, any party more than another, in the unhappy and I do not doubt, notwithstanding my repeatdivisions of my country; and I have above all ed ill fortune, but we may be exceedingly serthis satisfaction in myself, that neither affec- viceable to each other in our discoveries; and tion, aversion, or interest have biassed me to that if we use our united endeavours, the time use any partiality towards any man, or set of will come when the Busy-Body, his secondmen; but whatsoever I find nonsensical, ri- sighted correspondent, and your very honourdiculous, or immorally dishonest, I have and able servant, will be three of the richest men shall continue openly to attack with the free. in the province: and then, sir, what may we dom of an honest man and a lover of my not do! a word to the wise is sufficient. country.

I conclude, with all demonstrable respect, I profess I can hardly contain myself, or yours and Urani's votary, preserve the gravity and dignity that should

TITAN PLEIADS. attend the censorial office, when I hear the

In the evening after I received this letter, odd and unaccountable expositions that are put I made a visit to my second-sighted friend, upon some of my works, through the malicious and communicated to him my proposal. When ignorance of some, and vain pride of more he had read it, he assured me that, to his certhan ordinary penetration in others; one in- tain knowledge, there is not at this time so stance of which many of my readers are ac- much as one ounce of gold or silver hid under quainted with. A certain gentleman has ground in any part of the province; for that taken a great deal of pains to write a key to the late and present scarcity of money had obthe letter in my No. IV., wherein he has in- liged those who were living, and knew where geniously converted a gentle satire upon te, they had formerly hid any, to take it up and dious and impertinent visitants, into a libel use it in their own necessary affairs : and as on some of the Government. This I mention to all the rest, which was buried by pirates only as a specimen of the taste of the gentle and others in old times, who were never like man; I am forsooth bound to please in my to come for it, he had himself long since dug speculations, not that I suppose my imparti- it all up, and applied it to charitable uses ; and ality will ever be called in question on that this he desired me to publish for the general account. Injustice of this nature I could good. For as he acquainted me, there are complain of in many instances; but I am at amongst us great numbers of honest artificers present diverted by the reception of a letter, and labouring people, who, fed with a vain hope which though it regards me only in my pri- of growing suddenly rich, neglect their busivate capacity, as an adept, yet I venture to ness almost to the ruining of themselves and publish it for the entertainment of my readers. families, and voluntarily endure abundance of

fatigue in a fruitless search after imaginary To Censor Morum, Esq. Busy-Body gene hidden treasures. They wander through the

ral of the Province of Pennsylvania, and woods and bushes by day, to discover the the counties of Newcastle, Kent, and Sus- marks and signs; at midnight they repair to sex upon Delaware.

those hopeful spots with spades and pickaxes; “ HONOURABLE SIR, -I judge by your lucu- full of expectation they labour violently, brations, that you are not only a lover of truth trembling at the same time in every joint and equity, but a man of part and learning, through fear of certain malicious demons, who and a master of science; as such I honour are said to haunt and guard the places. At you. Know then, most profound sir, that I length a mighty hole is dug, and perhaps sevehave, from my youth up, been a very indefati- ral cart loads of earth thrown out; but alas, no gable student in, and admirer of, that divine keg or iron pot is found ! no seaman's chest science, astrology. I have read over Scot, ornamented with Spanish pistoles or weighty Albertus Magnus, and Cornelius Agrippa pieces of eight! Then they conclude that, above three hundred times; and was in hopes, through some mistake in the procedure, some by my knowledge and industry, to gain enough rash word spoke, or some rule of art neglectto have recompensed me for my money ex- ed, the guardian spirit had power to sink it pended, and time lost in the pursuit of this deeper into the earth, and convey it out of his learning. You cannot be ignorant, sir, (for reach. Yet when a man is once thus infatuyour intimate second-sighted correspondent ated, he is so far from being discouraged by knows all things,) that there are large sums of ill success, that he is rather animated to doumoney hidden under ground in divers places ble his industry, and will try again and again, about this town, and in many parts of the in a hundred different places, in hopes at last country; but alas, sir, notwithstanding I have of meeting with some lucky hit, that shall at used all the means laid down in the immortal once sufficiently reward them for all their exauthors before mentioned, and when they fail. pense of time and labour. ed, the ingenious Mr. P-d-1, with his This odd humour of digging for money,

Nov. 1735.

through a belief that much has been hid by wealthy. But how absurd is it to neglect a pirates formerly frequenting the river, has for certain profit for such a ridiculous whimsey; several years been mighty prevalent among to spend whole days at the George tavern in us; insomuch that you can hardly walk half company with an idle pretender to astrology, a mile out of the town on any side, without contriving schemes to discover what was neobserving several pits dug with that design, ver hidden, and forgetting how carelessly buand perhaps some lately opened. Men other-siness is managed at home in their absence: wise of very good sense have been drawn into to leave their wives and a warm bed at midthis practice through an overrunning desire night (no matter if it rain, hail, snow, or blow of hidden wealth, and an easy credulity of a hurricane, provided that be the critical hour) what they so earnestly wished might be true. and fatigue themselves with the violent exerWhile the rational and almost certain mecise of digging for what they shall never find, thods of acquiring riches by industry and fru- and perhaps getting a cold that may cost their gality are neglected or forgotten. There lives, or at least disordering themselves so as seems to be some peculiar charm in the con- to be fit for no business besides for some days ceit of finding money, and if the sands of after. Surely this is nothing less than the Schuylkill were so much mined with small most egregious folly and madness. grains of gold, that a man might in a day's I shall conclude with the words of my dis me, with care and application, get

gether creet friend Agricola, of Chester county, to the value of half

a crown, I make no ques- when he gave his son a good plantation : “My tion but we should find several people employ son," says he, "I give thee now a valuable ed there, that can with ease earn five shil- parcel of land; I assure thee I have found a lings a day at their proper trades.

considerable quantity of gold by digging there; Many are the idle stories told of the private thee mayest do the same: but thee must caresuccess of some people, by which others are fully observe this, never to dig more than encouraged to proceed; and the astrologers, plough deep." with whom the country swarms at this time, are either in the belief of these things themselves, or find their advantage in persuading

No. IX. others to believe them; for they are often consulted about the critical times for digging, the methods of laying the spirit, and the like creature in this place know, by publishing

MR. Busy-BODY,–Pray let the prettiest whimsies, which renders them very necessa- this, that if it was not for her affectation, she ry to and very much caressed by, the poor de would be absolutely irresistible. luded money hunters.

BOB BRIEF. There is certainly something very bewitching in the pursuit after mines of gold and sil.

Mr. Brief appears to have communicated ver, and other valuable metals, and many have his laconic letter to others, at the same time been ruined by it

. A sea captain of my ac- that it was presented here; it has produced quaintance used to blaine the English for en

no less than six other communications, which vying Spain their mines of silver, and too follow in the order they were received. much despising and overlooking the advan MR. Busy. Body,–I cannot conceive who tages of their own industry and manufactures. Mr. Brief means, by the prettiest creature in “For my part,” says he, “I esteeem the this place; but I can assure either him or Banks of Newfoundland to be a more valua- her, that she who is truly so, has no affectable possession than the mountains of Potosi; tion at all.

DIANA. and when I have been there on the fishing ac

Sir,--As a correspondent of yours has count, I have looked upon every cod pulled up into the vessel as a certain quantity of silver thought fit to communicate to me his note to ore, which required only carrying to the next in my glass repeatedly,-a thousand times


before it can be published, I have looked Spanish port to be coined into pieces of eight; perhaps, in a day—and' if it was not for the not to mention the national profit of fitting charge of affectation, 1 might, without the out and employing such a number of ships and charge of partiality, believe myself particuseamen."Let honest Peter Buckram, who has larly pointed at.

ROSELLA. long without success been a searcher after hidden money, reflect on this, and be reclaim

Mr. Busy-BODY,-I must own that several ed from this unaccountable folly; let him con- have told me, I am the prettiest creature in sider that every stitch he takes when he is on this place, but I believe I should not be taxed his shop-board is picking up a part of a grain with affectation, if I could have thought as of gold, that will in a few days time amount well of them as they do of themselves. to a pistole; and let Faber think the same of

ELVIRA. every nail he drives, or every stroke with his SIR,-Your sex calls me pretty; my own, plane; such thoughts may make them industri- affected: is it from candour in the one, or ous, and of consequence in time they may be envy in the other ? ANNABELLA.

« AnteriorContinuar »