« ZurückWeiter »
“ FOR THE AURORA.
« HISTORY OF PETER PORCUPINE.
« MR. BACHE, “ As the people of America may not be inform" ed who PETER PORCUPINE is, the celebrated - manufacturer of lies, and retailer of filth, I will
give you some little account of this pestiferous “ animal. This wretch was obliged to abscond “ from his darling Old England to avoid being s turned off into the other world before, what he “ supposed, his time. It may be well imagined, es that in a land of liberty, and flowing with milk " and honey, his precipitate retreat could not have “ been owing to any offence committed against " the government very honourable to himself. is Gnawed by the worm that never dies, his own " wretchedness would ever prevent him from mak
ing any attempt in favour of human happiness, “ His usual occupation at home was that of a garret
scribbler, excepting a little night-business occa“ sionally, to supply unavoidable exigencies : “ Grub-street did not answer his purposes, and “ being scented by certain tip-staffs for something
more than scribbling, he took a French leave for “ France. His evil genius pursued him here, and “ as bis fingers were as long as ever, he was obliged " as suddenly to leave the Republic, which has 66 now drawn forth all his venom for her
attempt “ to do him justice. On his arrival in this coun
try, he figured some time as a pedagogue ; but as “ this employment scarcely furnished him salt to « his porridge, he having been literally without
hardly bread to eat, and not a second shirt to “ his back, he resumed his old occupation of
" scribbling, having little chance of success in the “ other employments which drove him to this " country. His talent at lies and Billingsgate rhe
toric, introduced him to the notice of a certain
foreign agent, who was known during the Revo“ lution by the name of traitor. This said agent “ has been seen to pay frequent visits to Peter. “ To atone for his transgressions in the mother
country, as well as to get a little more bread to
eat than he had been accustomed to, he enlisted “ in the cause of his gracious majesty. From the
extreme of poverty and filth, he has suddenly “ sprouted into at least the appearance of bet“ ter condition; for he has taken a house for “ the sale of his large poison, at the enormous rent “ of twelve hundred dollars a year, and has paid a
year's rent in advance!! The public will now be “ enabled to account for the overflowings of his “ gall against the Republic of France, and all the
Republicans of this country, as well as his de
votion to the cause of tyranny and of Kings. “ From the frequency of visits paid him by the
agent already mentioned, and his sudden change “ of condition, secret service-money must have been
liberally employed; for his zeal to make atone
ment to his mother country seems proportioned “ to the magnitude of his offence, and the guineas « advanced. As this fugitive felon has crept from “ his hole, his quills will now become harmless ; “ for hitherto they have only excited apprehen“ sion, because the beast who shot them was “ concealed. I have a number of anecdotes re“ specting him, that I will soon trouble you with, “ for the amusement of the public. This state
ment will convince Peter, that I know him so well, and that I have only disclosed a part of of the truth."
56 PAUL HEDGEHOG.”
This Paul Hedgehog I know nothing of. I can hardly suppose that he is one of my cousins at New-York: if he be, for the honour of our family, I hope that he is a bastard. But, let Paul be what he will, he is not the only one who has attempted to sink me in the opinion of a public that has ever honoured my essays with distinguished marks of approbation. I have been well informed, that it is currently reported, that Mr. Thomas Bradford, the bookseller, “put a coat upon my
« back," and that, when I was first favoured with his patronage, I had not a “ second shirt to my 6 back.”
Were I to calculate upon the usual operations of truth and gratitude, I should look upon it as impossible tliat insinuations of this kind had ever been thrown out by Mr. Bradford, or any of his family ; but, now-a-days, in this happy age of reason and liberty, we see such extraordinary things happen in the world, that to doubt, at least, does not argue an excess of credulity or incredulity,
Let the propagators of all these falsehoods be who they may, I am much obliged to them for giving me this opportunity of publishing the History of my Life and Adventures, a thing that I was determined to do, whenever a fair occasion offered, and which never could have been so well timed as at the moment when I am stepping into a situation where I may probably continue for the rest of my life.
I liere remember well what I said in my Observations on the Emigration of Dr. Priestley.
man has a right to pry into his neighbour's priFs vate concerns; and the opinions of every man *s are his private concerns, while he keeps them so ; that is to say, while they are confined to
“ himself, his family, and particular friends; but, * when he makes those opinions public; when he
once attempts to make converts, whether it be in “ religion, politics, or anything else ; when he
once comes forward as a candidate for public " admiration, esteem, or compassion, his opinions, “ his principles, his motives, every action of his “ life, public or private, become the fair subject “ of public discussion.”
This is a principle I laid down in the first original page I ever wrote for the press. On this principle it is, that I think myself justified in the present publication, and that I am ready to approve of others for publishing whatever they may know concerning me. Let them write on, till their old pens are worn to the stump: let the devils sweat; let thein fire their balls at my reputation, till the very press cries out nurder. If ever they hear me whine or complain, I will give them leave to fritter my carcass, and trail my guts along the street, as the French sans-culottes did those of Thomas Mauduit.