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now enforces his piteous complaint, with “ Good “ Chriftians, one good halfpenny to the stone blind!" and another, who tells you he has lost the use of his precious limbs, addreffes your compassion by shewing a bad halfpenny, and declaring that he is ready to perish with hunger, having tried it in vain at twenty-three places to buy a bit of bread. Farthings, we are told, were formerly called in by the beggars, as they threatened the ruin of their community. I should not wonder, therefore, if this public-spirited people were also to put a stop to the circulation of bad halfpence, by melting them down from time to time as they come into their hands. The experiment is worth making; and I am assured, that, for some end or other, orders will be issued out from the king of the beggars, to bring all their adulterated copper to their mint in the Borough, or their foundery in Moorfields.
I was led to the consideration of this subje& by some halfpence I had just received in change : among which one in particular attracted my regard, that seemed once 'o have borne the profile of King William, now scarce
was very much battered, and besides
usage had a hole through the middle. be the evening of a day of some faons di
much interrupt my proan
fell into a kind of halfa to
e halfpenny which then ne u
its tamped on its surface aring narration : d to conccal from
or the A;
" marks of old age, I received my being at Birming6 ham not fix months
From thence I was trans“ 'ported, with many of my brethren of different dates, “ characters, and configurations, to a Jew-pedlar in " Duke's place, who paid for us in specie scarce a fifth
part of our nominal and extrinsic value. We were “ foon after separately difposed of, at a more moderate “ profit, to coffee-houses, chop-houses, chaddler-shops
“ I had not been long in the world, before an inge06 nious tranfmuter of metals laid violent hands on me; " and observing my thin shape and flat-surface, by the
help of a little quicksilver, exalted me into a shilling. " Use, however, foon degraded me again to my native * low ftation; and I unfortunately fell into the poffef56 “ fion of an urchin just breeched, who received me as.
a Christmas-box of his god-mother.
". A love of money is ridiculously instilled into; “ children so early, that before they can possibly com. “ prehend the use of it, they consider it as of great va“ lue: I loft, therefore, the very effence of my being, " in the custody of this hopeful disciple of avarice and
folly; and was kept only to be looked at and admi. " red: but a bigger boy after a while snatched me from, “ him, and released me from my confinement.
I now underwent various hardships among his playfellows, and was kicked about, hustled, tossed up,, 61 and chucked into holes ;
much battered “ and impaired me : but I suffered most by the pegging “ of tops, the marks, of which I have borne about me " to this day. I was in this state the unwitting cause " of rapacity, strife, envy, rancour, malice and revenge, among the little the little apes of mankind; and became the
object and the nurse of those passions which disgrace 6 human nature, while I appeared only to engage chil « dren in innocent pastimes. At length, I was dismis“ fed from their service, by a throw with a barrow-40
man for an orange.
" From her it is natural to conclude, I posted to the “ gin-thop; where, indeed, it is probable I thould have “ immediately gone; if her husband, a foot-soldier had
not wrested me from her, at the expence of a bloody " nose, black eye, scratched face, and torn regimen" tals. By him I was carried to the Mall in St. “ James's Park; where I am ashamed to tell how I
parted from him-Let it fuffice that I was soon after safely deposited in a night-cellar.
“ From hence, I got into the coat-pocket of a blood,66 and remained there with several of my brethren for “ fome days unnoticed. But one evening, as he was " reeling home from the tavern, he jerked a whole “ handful of us through a falh-window into the dining
room of a tradesman, who he remembered had been “ so unmannerly to him the day before, as to defire "payment of his bill. We reposed in soft case on a “ fine Turkey carpet till the next morning, when the “ maid swept us up; and some of us were allotted to “ purchase tea, fome to buy snuff, and I myself was im" mediately trucked away at the door for the Sweet“ heart's Delight.
“ It is not my design to enumerate every little ac“cident that has befallen me, or to dwell upon trivial “ and indifferent circumstances, as is the practice of " those important egotifts, who write narratives, me
moirs, and travels. As useless to the community as mny single self may appear to be, I have been the inC4
“ ftrument of much good and evil in the intercourse of " mankind: I have contribnted no small sum to the revenues of the crown, by my share in each news-pa
and in the consumption of tobacco, fpirituous “ liquors, and other taxable commodities. If I have
encouraged debauchery, or supported extravagance ; “ I have also rewarded the labours of industry, and re" lieved the necessities of indigence. The poor ac
knowledge me as their constant friend : and the rich, though they affect to flight me, and treat me with
contempt, are often reduced by their follies to di. « ftreffes which it is even in my power to relieve.
“ The present exact scrutiny into our conftitution 66 has, indeed, very much obstructed and embarrassed
my travels; though I could not but rejoice in my * condition last Tuesday, as I was debarred having any " share in maiming, bruising and destroying the inno“ cent victims of vulgar barbarity: I was happy in
being confined to the mock-encounters with feathers $5 and stuffed leather; a childish fport, rightly calcu“ lated to initiate tender minds in arts of cruelty, and
prepare them for the exercise of inhumanity on ". helpless animals !
“ I shall conclude, Sir, with informing you by what
means I came to you in the condition you fee. A “ choice fpirit, a member of the Kill-Care Club, broke “ a link-boy's pate with me last night, as a reward for
lighting him across the kennel. The lad wasted half “ his tar-flambeau in looking for me: but I escaped his
search, being lodged snugly against a post. This
morning a parish girl picked me up, and carried me “ with raptures to the next baker's shop to purchase a “ roll. The master, who was church-warden, examin
“ ed me with great attention, and then gruffly threa“ tening her with Bridewell for putting off bad mo.
ney, knocked a rail through my middle, and fastened me to the counter : but the moment the poor hun. gry child was gone, he whipt me up again, and sending me away with others in change to the next
customer, gave me this opportunity of relating my 66 adventures to you.”
When I awaked, I found myself so much invigorated by my nap, that I immediately wrote down the strange story which I had just heard ; and as it is not totally
l deftitute of use and entertainment, I have sent it to you, that by means of
be communicated to the public.