Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

progressively; this of Bradford's crowns the whole, caps the climax of falsehood and villainy.

The former part of it bears the assumed name of Tickletoby, the latter, that of Samuel F. Bradford. It is evident, however, that both are by the same author ; who he is, is not of much consequence: it is clear that he acted under the directions of Bradford, and Bradford must and shall answer for the whole.

What every one recoils at the bare idea of, is Bradford's writing a pamphlet against the works of Peter Porcupine. Had he confined his attack to my private character and opinions, he would not have so completely exposed himself; but this, I suppose, his author would not consent to; I do. not know any other way of accounting for his conduct.

Every one perceives that the letter which Bradford inserts in Tickletoby's part of the pamphlet, is nothing but a poor and vain attempt to preserve consistency. However, to leave no room for dispute on this score, and to convict the shuffling Bradford on his own words, I am willing to allow him to be neuter with respect to Tickletoby's part, and will take him up on the contents of the letter which he signs. “That I have made use," says he, “ of the British Corporal for a good purpose, I “ have little doubt--Dirty water will quench fire.”

Of his making use of me I shall speak by-and-by; at present I shall confine myself to the dirty water, which is the name he gives my writings.--Now, how will he reconcile this with his zeal to spread them abroad, and with the aukward flattery he and his family used to bore my ears with ? Had I believed the half of what they told me, I should have long ago expired in an extacy of self-conceit. When the Observations on Priestley's Emigration were published, Bradford and his wife took great care

to inform me of the praises bestowed on them by several gentlenen, Dottor Green in particular, and to point out to me the passages that gave the most pleasure. The first Bone to Gnaw gave universal satisfaction, they told me : it was read in all companies, by the young and by the old ; and I remember that the sons told me, on this oscasion, how delighted their uncle, the late worthy Attorney General, was with it; and that he said he should have loved me for ever, if I had not been so severe upon the French. Before the New Year's Gift

appeared in public, Bradford told me he had read some pages of it to two of the Senators, who were mightily pleased with it, and laughed very heartily. While the father was plying ine with his Senators, the sons played upon me from the lower kouse. Several of the members, their intimate friends, wanted to be blessed with a sight of me: one wanted to treat me to a supper, another wanted to shake hands with me, and a third wanted to embrace me.

I shall name no names here; but I would advise the members of both houses to be cautious how they keep company with shop-boys and printers devils.

I could mention a thousand instances of their base flattery, but it would look like praising myself in an indirect way. One more, however, I must not omit. Bradford, in endeavouring to prevail on me to continue the Congress Gallery, related a conversation that had taken place between him and Mr. Wolcot, the present Secretary of the Treasury (and thereby hangs another tale which I will tell by-and-by), who assured him that some of the officers of government did intend to write an answer to Randolph's Vindication, but that my New Year's Gift had done its business so completely, that nothing further was necessary. He added, that

they

they were all exceedingly delighted with my productions.

Again, if he thought my works dirty water, how came he to beg and pray for a continuation of them? When I gave his son William a final refusal, he urged, with tears in his eyes he urged, the loss · his father's credit would sustain by it, and often repeated, that it was not for the sake of the profit but the honour of publishing my works, that made him so anxious to continue.-My wife was present at this interview, and can, with me, make oath to the truth of what I have here asserted.

Nay, if my works were dirty water, why did he threaten to prosecute me for not continuing them? Dirty water is not a thing to go to law about. Did ever any body hear of a man's prosecuting another, because he refused to bring him dirty water to throw on the public?

After all this praising, and flattering, and menacing, my poor labours are good for nothing. The writings which had given so much pleasure to Doctor Green, that the Attorney General would have loved me for ever for, that charned all sexes and all ages, that made grave Senators shake their sides with laughter, and Congress-men want to treat and hug me; that were so highly approved of by the officers of government, that it was an honour to publish, and that I was threatened with a prosecution for not continuing; these writings are now become dirty water !Say rather, sour grapes.

I must, however, do the Bradfords the justice to say, that they very candidly told me, that every body could perceive a falling off, after the Congress Gallery. How singular it was, that I should begin to sink the instant I quitted them! Was this because they did no longer amend my works for me, or because they no longer pocketed the cash they produced! The Bradfords are booksellers dyed in

grain.. grain. Heaven is with them worth nothing, unless they can get something by it.

With respect to the motives that gave rise to my panıphlets, I have already stated them, and as to their literary merit, though I have no great opinion of it, yet, after having heard them ascribed to Mr. Bond, Mr. Thornton (not the language maker, but the secretary to the English ambassador), Dr. Andrews, the Rev. Mr. Bisset, Mr. Lewis, Mr. Sedgewick, Dr. Smith, and, in short, to almost every gentleman of distinguished talents among the friends of the Federal Government, it would be inere grimace for me to pretend, that they have no merit at all. It is something singular, that the democrats never pitched upon any low fellow as the author; their suspicions always alighted among gentlemen of family, and gentlemen of learning. It is therefore too late to decry my performances as tasteless and illiterate, now it is discovered that the author was brought up at the plough tail, and was a few years ago a private soldier in the British army. .

To return to my friend Bradford. Though I am ready to admit him as a neutral in all that is said by Tickletoby, I cannot do this with regard to what is ushered into the world as the performance of Samuel F. Bradford. This hatter-turned-printer, this sootyfisted son of ink and urine, whose heart is as black and as foul as the liquid in which he dabbles, must have written, if he did write, at the special instance and request of his father; for, the Lampblack says, 66 a father's wish is a law with me.”

After having premised this, making Bradford responsible for what is contained in his letter and his son's, I shall proceed to remark on such parts of both as I think worth my notice.

And first on the grand discovery of the letter to the Aurora-Man.- This is a letter which I wrote to

the

the gazette, under the signature of A Correspondent, against the second part of the Bone to Ĝnaw. The letter, as now printed by Bradford, may, for ought I know, be a very correct copy.

I remember the time and all the circumstances well. Bradford, who is as eager to get money into his hands as he is unwilling to let it out again, repeatedly asked me for a Puff to this pamphlet. This very son came to me for it as many as half a dozen times. I at last complied ; not that I was unwilling to do it at first (for I had bored the cunning grandchild of the cunning almanack-maker several times before), but I could with difficulty spare time to write it.

Puffs are of several soits. I believe the one now before us, is what is called a Puf indirect, which means, a piece written by an author, or by his desire, against his own performances, thereby to excite opposition, awaken the attention of the public, and so advance the renown or sale of his labours. A Puff indirect is, then, what I stand accused of, and as I have no argument at hand to prove the moral fitness of the thing, I'must, as pleaders do in all knotty points, appeal to precedents. My authorities are very high, being no other than Addison, Phillips, and Pope.

No one that has read the Spectator (and who has not done that ?) can have failed to observe, that he published many letters against his own writings, imitating the style and manner of his adversaries, and containing weak arguments, which he immediately overturns in his answer.-Doctor Johnson tells us that, before the acting of Phillips's Distressed Mother, a whole Spectator was devoted to its praise, and on the first night a select audience was called together to applaud it. The Epilogue to this play was written by Addison, who inserted a letter against it in the Spectator, for the sake of giving it a triumphant answer. But, Pope's fa

mous

« НазадПродовжити »