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against those enormities that are too slight and trivial for the notice or censures of our magistrates, and shall communicate my roarings to him monthly, or oftener if occasion requires, to be inserted in your papers cum privilegio.
" I shall not omit giving informations of the improvement or decay of punning, and may chance to touch upon the rise and fall of tuckers; but I will roar aloud and spare not, to the terror of, at present, a very flourishing society of people called Loungers, gentlemen whose observations are mostly itinerant, and who think they have already too much good sense of their own, to be in need of staying at home to read other people's.
“I have, sir, a raven, that shall serve, by way of Jackall, to bring me in provisions, which I shall chaw and prepare for the digestion of my principal; and I do hereby give notice to all un. der my jurisdiction, that whoever are willing to contribute to this good design, if they will affix their informations to the leg or neck of the aforesaid raven or jackall, they will be thankfully received by their (but more particularly
" Your) humble servant, From my Den at
" LEO THE SECOND." College, in Cambridge, July 29.
N. B. The raven won't bite.
" Mr. Ironside, “ Hearing that your unicorn is now in hand, and not questioning but his horn will prove a cornu-copia to you, I desire that in order to introduce it, you will consider the following proposal.
“My wife and I intend a dissertation upon horns; the province she has chosen is, the planting of them, and I am to treat of their growth, improvement, &c. The work is like to swell so much upon our hands, that I am afraid we shan't be able to bear
the charge of printing it without a subscription, wherefore I hope you will invite the city into it, and desire those who have any thing by them relating to that part of natural history, to communicate it to,
“Sir, your humble servant,
“I HUMBLY beg leave to drop a song into your liun's mouth, which will very truly make him roar like any nightingale. It is fallen into my hands by chance, and is a very fine imitation of the works of many of our English lyrics. It cannot but be highly acceptable to all those who admire the translations of
July 30. "MR. IRONSIDE, "I HAVE always been very much pleased with the sight of those creatures, which being of a foreign growth, are brought into our island for show : I may say, there has not been a tiger, leopard, elephant, or hyghgeen," for some years past, in this nation, but I have taken their particular dimensions, and am able to give a very good description of them. But I must own, I never had a greater curiosity to visit any of these strangers than your lion. Accordingly I came yesterday to town, being able to
• Meant probably for hyena._*
wait no longer for fair weather; and made what haste I could to Mr. Button's, who readily conducted me to his den of state. He is really a creature of as noble a presence as I have seen, he has grandeur and good humour in his countenance, which command both our love and respect; his shaggy main and whiskers are peculiar graces. In short, I do not question but he will prove a worthy supporter of British honour and virtue, especially when assisted by the unicorn: you must think I would not wait upon him without a morsel to gain his favour, and had provided what I hope would have pleased, but was unluckily prevented by the presence of a bear, which constantly, as I approached with my present, threw his
in my way, and stared me out of my resolution. I must not forget to tell you, my younger daughter and your ward is hard at work about her tucker, having never from her infancy laid aside the modesty-piece. I am, venerable NesTOR,
"Your friend and humble servant, “ P. N."
“I was a little surprised, having read some of your
lion's roarings, that a creature of such eloquence should want a tongue, but he has other qualifications which make good that deficiency."
No. 134. FRIDAY, AUGUST 14.
Matronæ præter faciem nil cernere possis,
My lion having given over roaring for some time, I find that several stories have been spread abroad in the country to his disadvantage. One of my correspondents tells me, it is confidently reported of him, in their parts, that he is silenced by authority; another informs me, that he hears he was sent for by a messenger, who had orders to bring him away with all his papers, and that, upon examination, he was found to contain several dangerous things in his maw. I must not omit another report which has been raised by such as are enemies to me and my lion, namely, that he is starved for want of food, and that he has not had a good meal's meat for this fortnight. I do hereby declare these reports to be altogether groundless; and since I am contradicting common fame, I must likewise acquaint the world, that the story of a two hundred pound bank bill being conveyed to me through the mouth of my lion, has no foundation of truth in it. The matter of fact is this : my lion has not roared for these twelve days past, by reason that his prompters have put very ill words in his mouth, and such as he could not utter with common honour and decency. Notwithstanding the admonitions I have given my correspondents, many of them have crammed great quantities of scandal down his throat, others have choked him with lewdness and ribaldry. Some of them have gorged him with so much nonsense, that they have made a very ass of him. On Monday last, upon examining, I found him an arrant French tory, and the day after a virulent whig. Some have been so mischievous as to make him fall upon his keeper, and give me very reproachful language ; but as I have promised to restrain him from hurting any man's reputation, so my reader may be assured that I myself shall be the last man whom I will suffer him to abuse. However, that I may give general satisfaction, I have a design of converting a room in Mr. Button's house to the lion's library, in which I intend to deposit the several packets of letters and private intelligence which I do not communicate to the public. These manuscripts will in time be very valuable, and may afford good lights to future historians who shall give an account of the present age.