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mous puff is a case exactly in point. « He drew “ a comparison,” says Dr. Johnson, “ of Phillips's " performance with his own, in which, with an
unexampled and unequalled artifice of irony,-though he has himself always the advantage, he gives the preference to Phillips. The design of aggrandizing himself he disguised with such
dexterity, that, though Addison discovered it, ~ Steele was deceived, and was afraid of displea“ sing Pope by publishing his paper." — Now, what censure does Lord Chief-Justice Johnson (who, God knows, was far from being over lenient) pass on all this? None at all. He calls neither of these authors “an Imposter:" nor can I think he would have done so, had their puffs been written at his request, and for his benefit.
If a puff can ever be construed as an act of meanness, it must be, when its motive is self-interest. This cannot be attributed to me, as I could get nothing by promoting the sale of the work. I had a note of hand for it in my possession ; which the number of copies sold could not augment the value of.
What impudence must a man be blessed with, who can usher to the world a puff, which he wishes should be looked upon as something horridly villainous, when he himself requested it to be written, transcribed it himself, and carried it himself for publication ?-But here the Bradfords play a double game. “ It was not I trunscribed it,” says old Goosy Tom; and “ a father's wish is a law with me," returns the young Gosling. But, you hissing, webfooted animals, is it not between you ? - The puffing for fame belongs to me; but the transcribing and carrying to the press ; all the interested part of the business, all the dirty work, lies among yourselves, and so I leave you to waddle and dabble about in it.
Having dismissed the Puff, we now come to the breach of confidence in publishing it. There are many transactions which we do not look upon as criminal, which, nevertheless, we do not wish to have made public. A lady, in love with a handsome young fellow, may make indirect advances, by the aid of a third person. This is certainly no crime; but should the confident preserve one of her letters, and afterwards publish it, I presume such confident would meet with general detestation. This is a parallel case so far; but when to this we add the aggravating circumstance of the confident being the original adviser of the correspondence, we are at a loss for words to express our abhorrence. Yet we must go still further with respect to Bradford. He has not only divulged what was communicated to him under this pledged secrecy, and at his pressing request, to serve him; but he has been guilty of this scandalous breach of confidence towards a man, to whom he owes, perhaps, that he is not now in jail for debt.
It is easy to perceive what drove him to this act of treachery. Revenge for the statement I had published concerning the one shilling and sevenpence-half-penny pamphlet. He could not help fearing that people would resent this by avoiding his shop. He was right enough ; for, though I am an Englishman, and of course, a sort of lawful prey to the deinocrats, yet they, even they, cannot help saying that he is an abominable sharper. To be revenged on me for this, he published the letter, and has thus done what all impotent vindictive men do, injured himself without injuring his adversary. I hinted that he had taken me in, and in return he betrays me: to the reputation of a sharper, he adds that of a villain.
After this, will any one say that I am to blame, if I expose this stupid, this mean, this shabby,
this treacherous family? Do they deserve any quarter from me ?-Every one says-no, Peter, no.
They say I lived in a garret when first they knew me. They found me sole tenant and occupier of a very good house, No. 81, Callowhill. They say I was poor ; and that lump of walking tallow streaked with lampblack, that calls itself Samuel F. Bradford, has the impudence to say that my wardrobe consisted of my old regimentals, &c.-At the time the Bradfords first knew me I earned about 140 dollars per month, and which I continued to do for about two years and a half. I taught English to the most respectable Frenchmen in the city, who did not shuffle me off with notes as Bradford did. With such an income I leave the reader to guess whether I had any occasion to go shabbily dressed.—It would look childish to retort here, but let the reader go and ask the women in Callowhill street about the rent in old Bradford's yellow breeches.
The Bradfords have seen others attack me upon my sudden exaltation, as they call it: upon my,
having a book-shop, and all this without any visible means of acquiring it: whence they wish to make people believe that I am paid by the British government. It is excessively base in the Bradfords to endeavour to strengthen this opinion, because they know that I came by my money fairly and honestly. They were never out of my debt, from the moment they published the first pamphlet, which was in August 1794, till the latter end of May last.* They used to put off the payment of their notes from time 10 time, and they always had at their tongues end ;
# At this time they owed me 18 dollars, which had been due for near six months, and which I was at last obliged to take out in books.
" we know you don't want money." And these rascals have now the impudence to say that I was their needy hireling ! 'Tis pity, as Tom Jones's Host says, but there should be a hell for such fellows.
It is hinted, and indeed said, in this vile pamphlet, that I have been encouraged by the American government also.- I promised the reader I would tell him a story about Bradford's patriotism, and I will now be as good as my word. In order to induce me, to continue the Congress Gallery, he informed me, that Mr. Wolcot had promised to procure him the printing of the Reports to Congress : “So," added he, “ I will print off enough copies for the “ members, and so many besides as will be suffici
ent to place at the end of each of your numbers, “ and Congress will pay for printing the whole !" He told me he had asked Mr. Wolcot for this job, which I looked upon as an indirect way of asking for a bribe, being assured that he built his hopes of succeeding, upon being the publisher of my works.,
-Now, here's a dog for you, that goes and asks for a government job, presuming solely upon the merit of being the vender of what he, nine months afterwards, calls dirty water, and who adds to this an attempt to fix the character of government tool on another man. If I would have continued the Numbers, it is probable he might have printed the Reports : but this I would not do. I wanted no Reports tacked on to the end of my pamphlets: that would have been renewing the punishinent of coupling the living to the dead.
Sooty Sam, the Gosling, tells the public that I used to call him a sans-culotte and his father a rebel. If this be true, I am sure I can call them nothing worse, and therefore I am by no means anxious to contradict him.-But, pray, wise Mister Bradford of the “ political [and bawdy] book-store,” is not this avowal of yours rather calculated to destroy VOL, IV,
what you say about my being an artful and subtle hypocrite? I take it, that my calling you rebels and sans-culottes to your faces is no proof of my hypocrisy; nor will the public think it any proof of your putting a cout upon my back.
Men are generally inean when they are dependant; they do not, indeed they do not, call their patrons sans-culottes and rebels ; nor do people suffer themselves to be so called, unless some weighty motive induces them to put up with it.-This acknowledgment of Bradford's is conclusive : it shows at once on what footing we stood with relation to each other.
He says that I abused many of the most respectable characters, by calling them Speculators, Lundjobbers, &c. who were continually seeking to entrap and deceive foreigners.-If I did call those men Speculators and Landjobbers, who are continually seeking to entrap foreigners ; if I confined myself to such mild terms, I must have been in an extremely good humour. But, young Mister Lampblack, be candid for once and allow me that your father is a sharper. Oh! don't go to deny that now : what every body says must be true.
“ How grossly,” says the son, “did you frequent
ly abuse the People of America, by asserting that, “ for the greater part, they were Aristocrats and
Royalists in their hearts, and only wore the mask " of hypocrisy to answer their own purposes."~If young Urine will but agree to leave out People of America, and supply its place with, family of Goosy Tom, I will own the sentence for mine; and I will tell the public into the bargain, how I came to make use of it.-I entered Bradford's one day, and found him poring over an old book on heraldry. I looked at it, and we made some remarks on the orthography. In a few minutes afterwards he asked me if I knew any thing of the great Bradford family in England. I replied, no. He then told me that he