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PETITION TO THE BOARD OF EXCISE.

HONORABLE SIRS:

In humble obedience to your honors' letter of discharge, bearing date August 29, 1765, I delivered up my commission, and since that time have given you no trouble.

I confess the justice of your honors' displeasure, and humbly beg leave to add my thanks for the candor and lenity which you at that unfortunate time indulged me with.

And though the nature of the report and my own confession cut off all expectations of enjoying your honors' favor then, yet I humbly hope it has not finally excluded me therefrom; upon which hope I humbly presume to intreat your honors to restore me.

The time I enjoyed my former commission was short and unfortunate an officer only a single year. No complaint of the least dishonesty,.or intemperance, ever appeared against me; and if I am so happy as to succeed in this my humble petition, I will endeavor that my future conduct shall as much engage your honors' approbation, as my former has merited your displeasure.

I am your honors' most dutiful

humble servant,

THOMAS PAINE.

London, July 3, 1766.

LETTER TO DR. GOLDSMITH.

HONORED SIR:

HEREWITH I present you with the case of the officers of Excise. A compliment of this kind from an entire stranger may appear somewhat singular; but the following reasons and information will, I presume, sufficiently apologize. I act myself in the humble station of an officer of Excise, though somewhat differently circumstanced to what many of them are, and have been the principal promoter of a plan for applying to parliament this session for an increase of salary. A petition for this purpose has been circulated through every part of the kingdom, and signed by all the officers therein. A subscription of three shillings per officer is raised, amounting to upwards of £500, for supporting the expenses. The Excise officers in all cities and corporate towns, have obtained letters of recommendation from the electors to the members in their behalf, many or most of whom have promised their support. The enclosed case we have presented to most of the members, and shall to all, before the petition appear in the house. The memorial before you, met with so much approbation while in manuscript, that I was advised to print 4000 copies: 3000 of which were subscribed for the officers in general, and the remaining 1000 reserved for presents. Since the delivering them I have received so many letters of thanks and approbation for the performance, that were I not rather singularly modest, I should insensibly become a little vain. The literary fame of Dr. Goldsmith has induced me to present one to him, such as it is. It is my first and only attempt, and even now I should not have undertaken it, had I not been particularly applied to by some of my superiors in office. I have some few questions to trouble Dr. Goldsmith with, and should esteem his company for n hour or two, to partake of a bottle of wine, or any thing else, and apologize for this trouble, as a singular favor conferred on

Excise Coffee House,

His unknown

Humble servant and admirer,

Broad Street, Dec. 21, 1772.

THOMAS PAINE.

P. S. Shall take the liberty of waiting on you in a day or two.

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INTRODUCTION TO THE FIRST NUMBER OF THE PENNSYLVANIA MAGAZINE.

To the Public.

THE design of this work has been so fully expressed in the printed proposals, that it is unnecessary to trouble the reader now with a formal preface; and instead of that vain parade with which publications of this kind are introduced to the public, we shall content ourselves with soliciting their candor, till our more qualified labors shall entitle us to their praise.

The generous and considerate will recollect, that imperfection is natural to infancy; and that nothing claims their patronage with a better grace than those undertakings which, besides their infant state, have many formidable disadvantages to oppress them.

We presume it is unnecessary to inform our friends that we encounter all the inconveniences which a Magazine can possibly start with. Unassisted by imported materials, we are destined to create, what our predecessors, in this walk, had only to compile. And the present perplexities of our affairs have rendered it somewhat difficult for us to procure the necessary aids.

Thus encompassed with difficulties, the first number of THE PENNSYLVANIA MAGAZINE entreats a favorable reception; of which we shall only say, like the snowdrop, it comes forth in a barren season, and contents itself with foretelling, that CHOICER FLOWERS are preparing to appear.

Philadelphia, January 24, 1775

FOR THE PENNSYLVANIA MAGAZINE.

Cupid and Hymen. An Original.

As the little amorous deity was one day winging his way over a village in Arcadia, he was drawn by the sweet sound of the pipe and tabor, to descend and see what was the matter. The gods themselves are sometimes ravished with the simplicity of mortals. The groves of Arcadia were once the country seats of the celestials, where they relaxed from the business of the skies, and partook of the diversions of the villagers. Cupid being descended, was charmed with the lovely appearance of the place. Every thing he saw had an air of pleasantness. Every shepherd was in his holyday dress, and every shepherdess was decorated with a profusion of flowers. The sound of labor was not heard among them. The little cottages had a peaceable look, and were almost hidden with arbors of jessamine and myrtle. The way to the temple was strewed with flowers, and enclosed with a number of garlands and green arches. Surely," quoth Cupid, "here is a festival today. I'll hasten and inquire the matter."

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So saying, he concealed his bow and quiver, and took a turn through the village: As he approached a building distinguished from all the rest by the elegance of its appearance, he heard a sweet confusion of voices mingled with instrumental music. "What is the matter," said Cupid to a swain who was sitting under a sycamore by the way-side, and humming a very melancholy tune, "why are you not at the feast, and why are you so sad?" "I sit here, answered the swain, "to see a sight, and a sad sight 'twill be." "What is it," said Cupid, "come tell me, for perhaps I can help you." "I was once happier than a king," replied the swain," and was envied by all the shepherds of the place, but now every thing is dark and gloomy, because"-"Because what?" said Cupid"Because I am robbed of my Ruralinda; Gothic, the lord of the manor, hath stolen her from me, and this is to be the nuptial day." "A wedding," quoth Cupid, "and I know nothing of it! vou

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must be mistaken, shepherd, I keep a record of marriages, and no such thing has come to my knowledge; 'tis no wedding, I assure you, if I am not consulted about it." "The lord of the manor," continued the shepherd, "consulted nobody but Ruralinda's mother, and she longed to see her fair daughter the lady of the manor: he hath spent a deal of money to make all this appearance, for money will do any thing; I only wait here to see her come by, and then farewell to the hills and dales." Cupid bade him not be rash, and left him. "This is another of Hymen's tricks," quoth Cupid to himself, "he hath frequently served me thus, but I'll hasten to him, and have it out with him." So saying, he repaired to the mansion. Every thing there had an air of grandeur rather than of joy, sumptuous but not serene. The company were preparing to walk in procession to the temple. The lord of the manor looked like the father of the village, and the business he was upon gave a foolish awkwarkness to his age and dignity. Ruralinda smiled, because she would smile, but in that smile was sorrow. Hymen with a torch faintly burning on one side only stood ready to accompany them. The gods when they please can converse in silence, and in that language Cupid began on Hymen.

"Know, Hymen," said he, "that I am your master. Indulgent Jove gave you to me as a clerk, not as a rival, much less a superior. 'Tis my province to form the union, and yours to witness it. But of late you have treacherously assumed to set up for yourself. 'Tis true you may chain couples together like criminals, but you cannot yoke them like lovers; besides you are such a dull fellow when I am not with you, that you poison the felicities of life. You have not a grace but what is borrowed from me. As well may the moon attempt to enlighten the earth without the sun, as you to bestow happiness when I am absent. At best you are but a temporal and a temporary god, whom Jove has appointed not to bestow, but to secure happiness, and restrain the infidelity of mankind. But assure yourself that I'll complain of you to the synod."

"This is very high indeed," replied Hymen, "to be called to an account by such a boy of a god as you are. You are not of such importance in the world as your vanity thinks; for my own part I have enlisted myself with another master, and can very well do without you. Plutus and I are greater than Cupid; you may complain and welcome, for Jove himself descended in a silver God of riches.

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