« ZurückWeiter »
manifestation of his impudence and enmity to this country will not be passed over. With a view therefore of preventing your feeling the blow designed for him, I now address you. When the time of retribution arrives, it may not be convenient to discriminate between the innocent and the guilty. Your property therefore may suffer. For depend upon it brick walls will not skreen the rascal from punishment when once the business is undertaken. As a friend therefore I advise you to save your property by either compelling Mr. Porcupine to leave your house or at all events oblige him to cease exposing his abominable produćtions or any of his courtley prints at his window for sale. In this way only you may avoid danger to your house and perhaps save the rotten carcase of your tenant for the present.” “A HINT.” “July 16th, 1796.”
I have copied this loving epistle, word for word, and letter for letter, preserving the false orthography, as the manner of spelling may probably lead some of my readers to a discovery of the writer. When Mr. Vicessimus Knox (who is a sort of a Democrat), publishes his next edition of Elegant Epistles, he will do well to give this a place amongst them; for, it is certainly a master-piece in its way. It will be a good pattern for the use of future ruffians, who wish to awe a man into silence, when they are incapable of resisting him in print. But, the worst of it will be, the compiler will not have it in his power to say, that this was attended with Su CCCSS. If I am right in my guess, the family of the author of this powder blunderbuss, makes a considerable figure in the Tyburn Chronicle. His grandfather father was hanged for house-breaking, and his papa came to the southern part of these States on his travels, by the direétion of a righteous judge, and twelve honest men. So much for the author; now to his serawl. The cut-throat acts in charaćter. He proceeds exactly in the manner of the Revolutionary Tribunal at Paris: that is, he arraigns, condemns and executes, all in the space of about five minutes. The first charge he brings against me is, that I have “repeatedly traduced the people of this coun“ try.” I take notice of this, not because it is found in this base and cowardly letter, but because it has long been the theme of all those who wish to decry my performances, and because I am willing to let slip no opportunity of declaring my respect for a public, from whom those performances have ever, from the publication of my first essay, to the present moment, met with the most liberal encourageInent. Let any stupid member of the broken-up, backdoor clubs point out, if he can, one single sentence in the writings of Peter Porcupine, where the people of the United States are traduced. 'Tis true, I have not fallen into the beaten track of confounding the good with the bad, of lumping the enemies and the friends of public happiness together, and fawning on them indiscriminately. I have not said that they are all virtuous and wise, and that virtue and wisdom is to be found amongst them alone. No ; I am no spaniel, nor will I be one. I address myself to the good sense of my readers, and to that alone : if they want a buffoon, or whining parasite, I am not their man. But, I must do the people of this country the justice to say, that this is not their taste. They stand in no need of base flattery. Their love of truth has been fully exemplified in the rapid sale of my essays, while their contempt for the popular parasites has been unequivocally expressed in the fate of all the miserable attempts that have been made, to oppose their progress. I have received letters of thanks, and congratulation from every quarter of the Union, even from Richmond in Virginia: and not from “British Agents,” but from native Americans, real lovers of their country. I have received offers of service from persons of the first consequence, in their divers towns and countries, persons whom I never saw or heard of, previous to their communications. Let any fawning scribbler on liberty and equality produce such testimony of public approbation, if he can. But, I have, it seems, “ vilified some of the “ most eminent, and patriotic charaćters amongst “ us.” 'Tis pity, to be sure, that these patriotic chara&ters should be vilified more than they have vilified themselves. What could I, or any body else, say to vilify a man, for instance, a man who had made overtures to sell his country for “a few “ thousands of dollars;” or another, who had done all in his power, “to stop the wheels of govern“ment,” by stirring men up to open rebellion against it? It is not I who have vilified the eminent patriots, it is Citizen Joseph Fauchet, the old Father Confessor on the banks of the Schuylkill, when he calls them, “the pretended patriots of America,” and when he says, they “ have already their prices.” Surely I might take upon me to repeat the expressions of the Minister of France, of our good and faithful allies, without being chargeable with vilifying the eminent patriots. And, if I have laughed at little Mr. Swanwick, what have I done more than every man, every woman, and every child, in the United States, at least every one that ever saw his person, listened to his harangues, or read his poetry I wonder what I have done, that I must
hot laugh, that I must remain in a corner as demure as a cat, while every body else are bursting their sides. In France, the only country in Europe, (according to Dočfor Jaundice's account of it), which is not in chains. Under that free and happy sky, the mild and humane rulers often issue decrees, forbidding people to weep or look sad, on pain of death, even at the moment they hear the last groans of their parents; but they have never yet carried their douce humanisé so far as to forbid men to smile. They permit, nay, encourage, both men and women, to sing and laugh, and cut capers, at the very foot of the guillotine, while the pavement is running with human blood ; and yet my cruel and inflexible persecutors will not suffer me to laugh, when I hear them bawling at a civic festival, or see them boxing with an old image that they had formerly adored. Again, the cut-throat says, I have “ grosly “ abused our allies the French.” This is false. By the treaty made between this country and the King of France, the French nation is, in my opinion, no more the ally of the United States, than the Chinese are. Louis the Sixteenth was, indeed, the ally, “the great and good ally” (to make use of the words of Congress) of this country; and, I leave any one who has read my works, to determine whether I have ever abused him or not. The Queen of France, the calumniated Antoinette, was the first foreigner, except some generous Englishmen, that advanced a shilling in the American cause: have I ever abused her memory It was not I, though it was an Englishman, that cut off her head, and besprinkled her garments with blood, on a sign, hung over a public road. It was not I that guillotined her husband, in an automaton, every day, from nine in the morning to nine at night,
for the diversion of the inhabitants of Philadelphiao. I did not rejoice at the death of an innocent young prince, whose birth had been celebrated with uncommon pomp in this city, in the prosperous days of his father. I never reviled the gallant French
officers and army who served in this country, and - to
* Advertisement, extraćted from the Daily Advertiser of the 21st November 1794.
“ (Corner of Second and Callowhill Streets)
“Late King of France, together with his Queen, taking her last Farewel of him in the Temple, the day preceding his execution. The whole is a striking likeness, in full stature, and dressed as they were at the time. “The King is represented standing; his Queen on her knees, by his right side, overwhelmed with sorrow, and ready to faint, the King looking tenderly at her. “ Second is the Scaffold on which he was executed, whereon. the King stands in full view of the Guillotine; before him is a Priest on his knees, with a Crucifix in one hand, and a Prayer Book in the other ; on the side of the Guillotine stands the executioner prepared to do his duty. “When the first signal is given, the Priest rises on his feet; the King lays himself on the block, where he is secured; the executioner then turns, and prepares to do his duty; and, when the second signal is given, the executioner drops the knife, and severs the head from the body in one second; the head falls in a basket, and the lips which are first red, turn blue; the whole is performed to the life, by an invisible machine, without any perceivable assistance.
“Made by the first Italian Artist, of the name of
“The workmanship has been admired by the most professed judges, wherever it has been seen.
“*.* The proprietors humbly hope for the encouragement Qf