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Jntercepted Letters; or, the Twopenny Post Bag.

Elapsæ manibus cocidere tabellae.-OVID.

so very

DEDICATION.

but in a newspaper) to publish something or other in the shape of a book; and it occurred to me that, the

present being such a letter-writing era, a few of these To ST--NW--LR--E, Esq.

two-penny post epistles, turned into easy verse, would MY DEAR W--E,

be as light and popular a task as I could possibly

select for a commencement. I did not think it It is now about seven years since I promised (and I

prugrieve to think it is almost as long since we met) to dent, however, to give too many letters at first, and, dedicate to you the very first book, of whatever size or accordingly, have been obliged (in order to eke out a kind, I should publish.' Who could have thought that sufficient number of pages) to reprint some of those so many years would clapse without my giving the trillcs, which had already appeared in the public least signs of life upon the subject of this important journals

. As, in the battles of ancient times, the shades promise ? Who could have imagined that a volume of of the departed were sometimes seen among the comdoggerel, after all, would be the first offering that batants, so I thought I might remedy the thinness of Gratitude would lay upon the shrine of Friendship?

my ranks, by conjuring up a few dead and forgotten If, however, you are as interested about me and

ephemerons to fill them. mny

Such are the motives and accidents that led to the pursuits as formerly, you will be happy to hear that doggerel is not my only occupation ; but that I am

present publication; and as this is the first time my

muse has cver ventured out of the go-cart of a news preparing to throw my name to the Swans of the Temple of Immortality,' leaving it, of course, to the paper, though I feel all a parent's delight at sceing said Swans to determine whether they ever will take little Miss go alone, I am also not without a parent's the trouble of picking it from the stream.

anxiety, lest an unlucky fall should be the consequence In the mean time, my dear W--5, like a pious of the experiment; and I need not point out the many Lutheran, you must judge of me rather by my faith living instances there are of Muses that have suffered than my works, and, however tritling the tribute which severely in their heads, from taking too early and rashly I offer, never doubt the fidelity with which I am, and

to their fect. Besides, a book is different a thing always shall be,

from a newspaper! - in the former, your doggerel, Your sincere and attached friend,

without either company or shelter, must stand shivering

in the middle of a bleak white page by itself; whereas in THE AUTHOR.

the latter, it is comfortably backed by advertisements, 245, Piccadilly, March 4, 1813.

and has sometimes even a specch of Mr St-phi-n's,

or something equally warm, for a chauffe-pié, --so that, PREFACE.

in general, the very reverse of « laudatur et alget» is its destiny

Ambition, however, must run some risks, and I shall Tae Bag, from which the following Letters are se

very well satisfied if the reception of these few Letlected, was dropped by a Twopenny Postman about ters should have the effect of sending me to the Posttwo months since, and picked up by an emissary of Bag for more. the Society for the S-pp-s-n of V-e, who, supposing it might materially assist the private researches

PREFACE TO THE FOURTEENTH EDITION. of that institution, immediately took it to his em

BY A FRIEND OF THE AUTHOR. ployers, and was rewarded handsomely for his trouble. Such a treasury of secrets was worth a whole host of informers ; and, accordingly, like the Cupids of the In the absence of Mr Brown, who is at present on a poet (if I may use so profane a simile), who « fell at tour through

I feel myself called upon, as odds about the sweet-bag of a bee, » 2 those venerable his friend, to notice certain misconceptions and misresuppressors almost fought with cach other for the presentations, to which this little volume of Tritles has honour and delight of first ransacking the Post-bag. given risc. Unluckily, however, it turned out, upon examination, In the first place, it is not true that Mr Brown has had that the discoveries of profligacy, which it cnabled any accomplices in the work. A nute, indeed, which has them to make, lay chiefly in those upper regions of bitherto accompanied his Preface, may very naturally society, which their well-bred regulations forbid them have been the origin of such a supposition, but that to molest or meddle with. In consequence, they gained note, which was merely the coquetry of an author, I but very few victims by their prize, and, after lying for have, in the present edition, taken upon myself to rea week or two under Mr H-TCR-D's counter, the move, and Mr Brown must therefore be considered Bag, with its violated contents, was sold for a tritle to (like the mother of that unique production, the Centaur, a friend of mine,

Move xxL MOVO)' as alone responsible for the whole It happened that I had just then been seized with an contents of the volume. ambition (having never tried the strength of my wing

' Pindar. Pyth. 2.--My friend certainly cannot add out' av kve Ariosto, canto 35.

Herrick.

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FROM THE PR-NC-SS CI---E OF VS TO THE

ADY B-BB-AA--SAL-Y.

In the next place it has been said, that in consequence of this graceless litde book, a certain distinguished Per- INTERCEPTED LETTERS, sonage prevailed upon another distinguished Personage to withdraw from the author that notice and kindness, with which he had so long and so liberally honoured him. There is not one syllable of truth in this story.

LETTER I. For the magnanimity of the former of these persons I would, indeed, in no case answer too rashly; but of the conduct of the latter towards my friend, I have a proud gratification in declaring, that it has never ceased to be My dear Lady Bab, you 'll be shock'd, I'm afraid, such as he must remember with indelible gratitude ;- When you hear the sad rumpus your ponies have made, a gratitude the more cheerfully and warmly paid, from Since the time of horse-consuls (now long out of date) its not being a deht incurred solely on his own account, No nags ever made such a stir in the State! but for kindness shared with those nearest and dearest to him.

Lord Eld-n first heard-and as instantly pray'd he To the charge of being an Irishman, poor Mr Brown To God and his King-that a Popish young lady pleads guilty; and I believe it must also be acknowledged (For though you've bright eyes, and twelve thousand a that he comes of a Roman Catholic family: an avowal

year, which, I am aware, is decisive of his utter reprobation in It is still but too true you're a Papist, my dear) the cyes of those exclusive patentecs of Christianity, so Had insidiously sent by a tall Irish groom, worthy to have been the followers of a certain enlight- Two priest-ridden ponies, just landed from Rome, ened Bishop, Donatus,' who held « that God is in Africa, And so full, little rogues, of pontifical tricks, and not elsewhere. But from all this it does not ne- That the dome of St Paul's was scarce safe from their cessarily follow that Mr Brown is a Papist; and, indeed,

kicks! I have the strongest reason for suspecting that they who

say so are totally mistaken. Not that I presume to Off at once to papa, in a flurry, he flicshave ascertained his opinions upon such subjects; all i For papa always does what these statesmen advise, know of his orthodoxy is, that he has a Protestant wife On condition that they 'll be, in turn, so polite and two or three little Protestant children, and that he As in no case whate'er to advise him too righthas been seen at church every Sunday, for a whole year i «Pretty doings are here, sir, (he angrily cries, together, listening to the sermons of his truly reverend While by dint of dark cyebrows he strives to look wise), and amiable friend, Dr ---, and behaving there as 'T is a scheme of the Romanists, so help me God! well and as orderly as most people.

To ride over your most Royal Highness rough-shodThere are a few more mistakes and falsehoods about Excuse, sir, my tears, they're from loyalty's sourceMr Brown, to which I had intended, with all becoming Bad enough 't was for Troy to be sack'd by a Horse, gravity, to advert ; but I begin to think the task is alto- But for us to be ruined by Ponies, still worse!, gether as useless as it is tiresome. Calumnies and misrepresentations of this sort are, like the arguments and Quick a council is calld—the whole cabinet sitsstatements of Dr Duigenan, not at all the less vivacious The Archbishops declare, frightend out of their wits, or less serviceable to their fabricators for having been That if vile Popish ponics should eat at my manger, refuted and disproved a thousand times over: they are From that awful moment the Church is in danger! brought forward again, as good as new, whenever ma- As, give them but stabling, and shortly no stalls lice or stupidity is in want of them, and are as useful as Will suit their proud stomachs but those of St Paul's, the old broken lantern, in Fielding's Amelia, which the watchman always keeps ready by him, to produce, in The Doctor, and he, the devout man of Leather, proof of riot, against his victims. I shall therefore give V-18-11-t, now laying their saint-heads together, up the fruitiess

of vindication, and would even draw Declare that these skittish young a-bominations my pen over what I have already written, had I not Are clearly foretold in chap. vi Revelationspromised to furnish the Publisher with a Preface, and Nay, they verily think they could point out the one know not how else I could contrive to cke it out.

Which the Doctor's friend Death was to canter upon I have added two or three more trilles to this edition, which I found in the Morning Chronicle, and knew 10 Lord H-rr-by, hoping that no one imputes be from the of my friend.2

The rest of the volume To the Court any fancy to persccute brutes, remains 3 in its original state.

Protests, on the word of himself and his cronies,

That had these said creatures been Asses, not Ponies, April 20, 1814.

The Court would have started no sort of objection,

As Asses were, there, always sure of protection. • Bisbop of Casæ Nigræ, in the fourth century.

* The Trifles here alluded to, and others, which have since ap- « If the Pr-nc-ss will keep them (says Lord C-sd-r-gh), peared, will be found in this edition.- Publisher. A new reading has been suggested in the original of the Ode of

To make them quite harmless the only true way Horace, freely translated by Lord E.D-r. In the line . Sive per Is (as certain Chief-Justices do with their wives) Syrteis iter estuosas,» it is proposed, by a very trifling alteration, To flog them within half an inch of their livesto read. Surtees - instead of Syrteis, which brings the Ode, it is said, more home to the noble Translator, and gives a peculiar force and aptness to the epithet astuosas.- I merely throw out this emen- * This young Lady, who is a Roman Catholic, has lately made a dation for the learned, being unable myself to decide upon its merits. present of some beagtiful popies to the Pr--nc-ss.

!

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You 'll send it, also, speedily-
As, truth to say,

'twixt

you His Highness, heated by your work, Already thinks himself Grand Turk! And you 'd have laugh'd had you seen how He scared the Ch-nc-r just now, When (on his Lordship's entering puffd) he Slapp'd his back and call'd him « Mufti !»

FROM COLONEL M'M-I-N TO G-LD FR-NC-S

L-CKIE, ESQ.
Dear Sir, I 've just had time to look
Into your very learned book,
Wherein-as plain as man can speak
Whose English is half modern Greck-
You prove that we can ne'er intrench
Our happy isles against the French,
Till Royalty in England's made
A much more independent trade-
In short, until the House of Guelph
Lays Lords and Commons on the shelf,
And boldly sets up for itself!

The tailors, too, have got commands
To put directly into hands
All sorts of dulimans and pouches,
With sashes, turbans, and pabouches
(While Y-rm-th's sketching out a plan
Of new moustaches à l'Ottomane),
And all things fitting and expedient
To Turkify our gracious R-6-nt!

All that can be well understood
In this said book, is vastly good :
And, as to what's incomprehensible,
I dare be sworn 't is full as sensible.

You therefore have no time to waste-
So send your system. -

Your's, in haste.

But, to your work's immortal credit, The P--e, good sir,- the P--e has read it. (The only book, himself remarks, Which he has read since Mrs Clarke's.) Last levee-morn he look'd it through During that awful hour or two Of grave tonsorial preparation, Which, to a fond admiring nation, Sends forth, announced by trump and drum, The best-wige'd P--c in Christendom!

POSTSCRIPT.
Before I send this scrawl away,
I seize a moment, just to say
There's some parts of the Turkish system
So vulgar, 't were as well you miss'd 'em.
For instance, in Seraglio matters-
Your Turk, whom girlish fondness flatters,
Would fill his Haram (tasteless fool!)
With tittering, red-cheek'd things from school-
But here (as in that fairy-land,

Where Love and Age went hand in hand;' I The learned Colonel must allude bere to a description of the Mysterious Isle, in the History of Abdalla, Son of Hanif, where such inversions of the order of nature aro said to have taken place.-- A score of old women, and the same pumber of old men, played here and there in the court, some at chuck-farthing, others at tip-cat or at cockles. ----And again, « There is notbing, believe me, more on gaging than those lovely wrinkles, etc. etc. - See Tales oj the East, vol. iii, pp. 607, 608.

He thinks, with you, the imagination
Of partnership in legislation
Could only enter in the noddles
Of dull and ledger-keeping twaddles,
Whose lieads on firms are running so,
They even must have a king and Co.

See the Edinburgh Review, No XL.

Where lips till sixty shed no honey,
And Grandams were worth any money)
Our Sultan has much riper notions-
So, let your list of she-promotions
Include those only, plump and sage,
Who 've reach'd the regulation-age;
That is - as near as one can fix
From Peerage dates-full fifty-six.

That, however we still might in courtesy call
Them a fine dish of brains, they were no brains at all.
When the dinner was over, we drank, every one
In a bumper, « the venial delights of Crim. Con.»
At which H-D-T with warm reminiscences gloated,
And E-Bir-1 chuckled to hear himself quoted.

This rule 's for favourites-nothing more-
For, as to wives, a Grand Signor,
Though not decidedly without them!
Necd never care one curse about them !

Our next round of toasts was a fancy quite new,
For wc drank-and you 'll own 't was benevolent too-
To those well-meaning husbands, cits, parsons, or peers,
Whom we've any time honour'd by kissing their dears :
This museum of witlols was comical rather ;
Old H-D-t gave M--Y, and I gave ---

In short, not a soul till this morning would budgeLETTER III.

We were all fun and frolic !--and even the J-E

Laid aside, for the time, his juridical fashion,
FROM G. R. TO THRE-- OF YO!

And through the whole night was not once in a passion!
We miss'd you last night at the « hoary old sinner's,
Who gave us, as usual, the cream of good dinners-

I write this in bed, while my whiskers are airing, His soups scientific-his fishes quite prime

And M-c has a sly dose of jalap preparing His pâtés superb-and his cutlets sublime !

For poor T—MMY T-RR-T at breakfast to quaffIn short, 't was the snug sort of dinner to stir a

As I feel I want somcthing to give me a laugh, Stomachic orgasm in my Lord E----GH,

And there's nothing so good as old T-MMY, kept close Who set-to, to be sure, with miraculous force,

To his Cornwall accounts, after taking a dose ! And exclaim'd, between mouthfuls, « a He-cook, of

course! While you live-(what's there under that cover? pray,

LETTER IV. look) While you live-(I'll just taste it)-ne'er keep a She- FROM THE RIGHT HON. P-IR-CK DGN-N TO THE cook.

RIGHT HON. SIR J-INN-CH-L. 'T is a sound Salic law-(a small bit of that toast)

Dublin.' Which ordains that a female shall nc'er rule the roast; Last week, dear N-cn-L, making merry For Cookery 's a secret- -(this turtle's uncommon)

At dinner with our Secretary, Like Masonry, never found out by a woman!»

When all were drunk, or pretty near

(The time for doing business here), The dinner, you know, was in gay celebration

Says he to me, « Sweet Bully-Bottom! Of my brilliant triumph and Hunt's condemnation ;

These Papist dogs-hiccup-od rot 'em' A compliment, too, to his Lordship the J

Deserve to be bespatter'd—hiccupFor his speech to the J-y, and, zounds! who would with all the dirt even you can pick up: grudge

But, as the P--E-(here's to lim-fillTurtle-soup, though it came to five guineas a bowl,

Hip, hip, hurra!) --is trying still To reward such a loyal and complaisant soul ?

To humbug them with kind professions, We were all in high gig-Roman Punch and Tokay

And as you deal in strong expressionsTravell'd round, till our heads travell'd just the same Rogue', — traitor'—hiccup-and all thatway, —

You must be muzzled, Doctor Par! -
And we cared not for Juries or Libels-no-dam'me! nor

You must indeed-hiccup—that is flat. »
Even for the threats of last Sunday's Examiner!
More good things were eaten than said — but Tom Yes—« muzzled» was the word, Sir John-
T-RRH-T

These fools have clapp d a muzzle on
In quoting Joe Miller, you know, has some mcrit, The boldest mouth that c'er ran o'er
And, hearing the sturdy Justiciary Chief

With slaver of the times of yore! -
Say-sated with turtle—« I'll now try the beef»— Was it for this that back I went
Tommy whisper'd him (giving his Lordship a sly bit) As far as Latcran and Trent,
«I fear 't will be hung-beef, my Lord, if you try it!»

that they who damn'd us then,

Ought now, in turn, be damn'd again!
And C-MD--N was there, who, that morning had gone The silent victim still to sit
To fit his new Marquis's coronet on;

Of GR-IT-n's fire and C-NN-G's wit,
And the dish set before him--oh dish well-devised ! To hear even noisy M-T1-w gabble on,
Was, what old Mother GLASSE calls, « a calf's head sur- Nor mention once the W-e of Babylon'

prised !» The brains were near --; and once they 'd been fine,

This letter, which contained some very beavy inclosures, seems

to have been sent to London by a private band, and then put into But of late they had lain so long soaking in wine

The Twopeony Post Office, to save trouble. Seo tho Appendis.

• In sending this sheet to tbe press, however, I learn that the This letter, as the reader will perceive, was written the day after • muzzle - bas been taken off, and the Right Hon. Doctor let loose a dinner, given by the M--- of I-d-t.

again.

To prove

two

Oh!'t is too much, who now will be

(By the bye, you 've seen ROKEBY?—this moment got The Nightman of No-Popery?

mineWhat Courtier, Saint, or even Bishop,

The Mail-Coach Edition i--prodigiously fine!) Such learned filth will ever fish up?

But I can't conceive how, in this very cold weather, If there among our ranks be one

I'm ever to bring my five hundred together; To take my place, 't is thou, Sir JOAN—

As, unless the thermometer 's ncar boiling heat, Thou—who like me, art dubb'd Right Hon.

One can never get half of one's hundreds to meetLike me, too, art a Lawyer Civil

(Apropos-you'd have laugh'd to see Townsend, last night, That wishes Papists at the devil!

Escort to their chair, with his staff so polite,

The three maiden Miseries, all in a fright!
To whom then but to thee, my friend,

Poor Townsend, like Mercury filling two posts,
Should Patrick' his Port-folio send ?
Take it-'t is thine-his learn'a Port-folio,

Supervisor of thieves, and chicf-usher of ghosts :')
With all its theologic olio

But, my dear Lady --- !: can't you hit on some Of Bulls, half Irish and half Roman,

notion, Of Doctrines now believed by no man

At least for one night to set London in motion ? Of Councils, held for men's salvation,

As to having the R-G-nr-that show is gone by~ Yet always ending in damnation

Besides, I've remark'd that (between you and I) (Which shows that since the world's creation,

The MARCaesa and he, inconvenient in more ways, Your Priests, whate'er their gentle shamming,

Ilave taken much lately to whispering in door-ways; Have always had a taste for damning);

Which-considering, you know, dear, the size of the And many more such pious scraps, To prove (what we've long proved perhaps)

Makes a block that one's company cannot get througlı; That, mad as Christians used to be

And a house such as mine is, with door-ways so small, About the Thirteenth Century,

Has no room for such cumbersome love-work at all!-There's lots of Christians to be had

(Apropos, though, of lovo-work-you've heard it, I hope In this, the Nineteenth, just as mad!

That Napoleon's old Mother 's to marry the Pope, — Farewell - I send with this, dear N-CI-L!

What a comical pair!)—But, to stick to my Rout, A rod or two I've had in pickle

’T will be hard if some novelty can't be struck out. Wherewith to trim old GR-TT-r's jacket.

Is there no ALGERINE, no KAMCHATKAN arrived :

No Plenipo Packa, three-tail'd and ten-wived ? The rest shall go by Monday's packet.

P. D.

No Russian, whose dissonant consonant name

Almost rattles to fragments the trumpet of fame?
Among the Inclosures in the foregoing Letter was the
following « Unanswerable Argument against the I remember the time, threc or four winters back,
Papists."

When-provided their wigs were but decently black

A few Patriot monsters, from Spain, were a sight We're told the ancient Roman nation

That would people one's house for one, night after night. Made use of spittle in lustration.

But-whether the Ministers paw'd them too much(Vide Lactantium ap. Gallæum_3

(And you know how they spoil whatever they touch), I. e. you need not read but see 'em).

Or, whether Lord G-RGE (the young man about town) Now, Irish Papists (fact surprising!)

Has, by dint of bad poetry, written them downMake use of spittle in baptising,

One has certainly lost one's peninsular rage, Which proves them all, OʻFinns, O'FAGANS,

And the only stray Patriot seen for an age CONNORS, and Tootes, all downright Pagans!

Has been at such places (think how the fit cools) This fact's enough-let no one tell us

As old Mrs V--n's or Lord L-V-RP--L's! To free such sad, salivous fellows

But, in short, my dear, names like WINTZTSCHITSTOPSNo-no-the man baptised with spittle

CHINZOUDROFF Hath no truth in him-not Little!

Are the only things now make an evening go smooth

off

So, get me a Russian-till death I'm your debtorLETTER V.

If he brings the whole Alphabet, so much the better :

And-Lord! if he would but, in character, sup FROM THE COUNTESS DOWAGER OP C--- TO Off his fish-oil and candles, he'd quite set me up!

Au revoir, my sweet girl-I must leave you in basteMy dear Lady --! I've been just sending out

Little Gunter has brought me the liqueurs to taste. About five hundred cards for a snug little Rout

POSTSCRIPT.
This is a bad name for poetry: but D-gen-n is worso.-As
Prudentius says, upon a very different subject-

By the bye, have you found any friend that can construc
torquetur Apollo
Nomine percussus

That Latin account, t' other day, of a Monster ??
1- lustralibus ante salivis

If we can't get a Russian, and that thing in Latin
Expiat.
Pers. Sat. 2.

Be not too improper, I think I'll bring that in. I have taken the trouble of examining the Doctor's reference here, and find bim, for once, correct. The following are the words Soe Mr Murray's Advertisement about the Mail-Coach copies of of his indignant referee Gallæus-· Asserere non veremur sacrum Rokeby. baptismum a Papistis profanari, et sputi usum in peccatorum expi- • Alluding, I suppose, to the Latin Advertisement of a Lusus Naatione a Paganis non a Christian is manasse..

turæ in the Newspapers lately.

LADY .

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