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As I was wondring what this profusion of learning would end in, Will told us that Jack Freelove, who was a fellow of whim, made love to one of those Ladies who throw away
all their fondness on parrots, monkeys, and lap-dogs. Upon going to pay her a visit one morning, he writ a very pretty epistle upon this hint. Jack, says he, was conducted into the parlour, where he diverted himself for some time with her favourite monkey, which was .chained in one of the windows; till at length observing a pen and ink lie by him, he writ the following letter to his Mistress, in the person of the monkey; and upon her not coming down so soon as he expected, left it in the window, and went about his business.
The Lady soon after coming into the parlour, and seeing her monkey look upon a paper with great earnestness, took it up, and to this day is in some doubt, says Will, whether it was written by Jack or the monkey.
“Not having the gift of speech, I have a long time waited "in vain for an opportunity of making my self known to you ; "and having at present the conveniences of pen, ink, and paper “by me, I gladly take the occasion of giving you my history in
writing, which I could not do by word of mouth. You must “know, Madam, that about a thousand years ago I was an “ Indian Brachman, and versed in all those mysterious secrets “which your European Philosopher, called Pythagoras, is said 25 “to have learned from our fraternity. I had so ingratiated my “self by my great skill in the occult sciences with a Dæmon "whom I used to converse with, that he promised to grant me "whatever I should ask of him. I desired that my soul might “never pass into the body of a brute creature ; but this he told
30 me was not in his power to grant me. I then begged that "into whatever creature I should chance to transmigrate, I "might still retain my memory, and be conscious that I was
“ the same person who lived in different animals. This he told “me was within his power, and accordingly promised on the “ word of a Dæmon that he would grant me what I desired. “From that time forth I lived so very unblameably, that I was “made President of a college of Brachmans, an office which I “discharged with great integrity till the day of my death.
“I was then shuffled into another human body, and acted my part so very well in it, that I became first Minister to a “ Prince who reigned upon the banks of the Ganges. I here “ lived in great honour for several years, but by degrees lost all “the innocence of the Brachman, being obliged to rifle and 'oppress the people to enrich my Soveraign ; till at length I “ became so odious, that my Master to recover his credit with “his subjects, shot me through the heart with an arrow, as I
was one day addressing my self to him at the head of his
“Upon my next remove I found my self in the woods under “the shape of a Jack-call, and soon listed my self in the service “of a Lion. I used to yelp near his den about midnight, “which was his time of rouzing and seeking after his prey. “He always followed me in the rear, and when I had run “ down a fat buck, a wild goat, or an hare, after he had feasted very plentifully upon it himself, would now and then throw
me a bone that was but half picked for my encouragement; “but upon my being unsuccessful in two or three chaces, he
gave me such a confounded gripe in his anger, that I died " of it.
“In my next transmigration I was again set upon two legs, “and became an Indian tax-gatherer ; but having been guilty “ of great extravagances, and being married to an expensive “jade of a wife, I ran so cursedly in debt, that I durst not “shew my head. I could no sooner step out of my house, but “I was arrested by some body or other that lay in wait for " me.
As I ventured abroad one night in the dusk of the
“ evening, I was taken up and hurry'd into a dungeon, where “ I died a few months after.
“My soul then entered into a flying-fish, and in that state “ led a most melancholy life for the space of six years. Sev“ eral fishes of prey pursued me when I was in the water, “ and if I betook my self to my wings, it was ten to one but “ I had a flock of birds aiming at me. As I was one day “flying amidst a fleet of English ships, I observed a huge “sea-gull whetting his bill and hovering just over my head : “Upon my dipping into the water to avoid him, I fell into “ the mouth of a monstrous shark that swallowed me down in an instant.
“I was some years afterwards, to my great surprize, an emi“nent banker in Lombard-Street; and remembring how I had
formerly suffered for want of mony, became so very sordid “ and avaritious, that the whole town cried shame of me. I
was a miserable little old fellow to look upon, for I had in a “ manner starved my self, and was nothing but skin and bone 6 when I died.
“I was afterwards very much troubled and amazed to find my self dwindled into an emmet. I was heartily concerned “ to make so insignificant a figure, and did not know but some “ time or other I might be reduced to a mite if I did not mend
my manners. I therefore applied my self with great diligence “ to the offices that were allotted me, and was generally looked
upon as the notablest ant in the whole molehill. I was at last “ picked up, as I was groaning under a burden, by an unlucky “cock-sparrow that lived in the neighbourhood, and had before “made great depredations upon our commonwealth.
“I then bettered my condition a little, and lived a whole “ summer in the shape of a Bee ; but being tired with the “ painful and penurious life I had undergone in my two last “transmigrations, I fell into the other extreme, and turned “ drone. As I one day headed a party to plunder an hive,
" we were received so warmly by the swarm which defended “it, that we were most of us left dead upon the spot.
“I might tell you of many other transmigrations which I “went through : how I was a town-rake, and afterwards did penance in a bay gelding for ten years; as also how I was "a taylor, a shrimp, and a tom-tit. In the last of these my
shapes I was shot in the Christmas holidays by a young “ Jack-a-napes, who would needs try his new gun upon me.
“But I shall pass over these and several other stages of life, “to remind you of the young beau who made love to you
about “six years since. You may remember, Madam, how he masked, “and danced, and sung, and played a thousand tricks to gain “you; and how he was at last carried off by a cold that he had “got under your window one night in a serenade. I was that “unfortunate young fellow, whom you were then so cruel to. “Not long after my shifting that unlucky body, I found my self
upon a hill in Æthiopia, where I lived in my present grotesque shape, till I was caught by a servant of the English factory, " and sent over into Great Britain : I need not inform
how “I came into your hand. You see, Madam, this is not the first “ time that you have had me in a chain : I am, however, very
happy in this my captivity, as you often bestow on me those “kisses and caresses which I would have given the world for, " when I was a man. I hope this discovery of my person will “ not tend to my disadvantage, but that you will still continue “your accustomed favours to
Your most devoted humble Servant, Pugg.
P. S. “I would advise your little shock-dog to keep out of “my way; for as I look upon him to be the most formidable “of my rivals, I may chance one time or other to give him “such a snap as he won't like.
N° 383. Tuesday, May 20. [1712.]
As I was sitting in my chamber, and thinking on a subject for my next Spectator, I heard two or three irregular bounces at my Landlady's door, and upon the opening of it, a loud chearful voice enquiring whether the Philosopher was at home. The child who went to the door answered very innocently, that he
5 did not lodge there. I immediately recollected that it was my good friend Sir Roger's voice; and that I had promised to go with him on the water to Spring-garden, in case it proved a good evening. The Knight put me in mind of my promise from the stair-case, but told me that if I was speculating, he would stay below till I had done. Upon my coming down, I found all the children of the family got about my old friend, and my Landlady herself, who is a notable prating gossip, engaged in a conference with him; being mightily pleased with his stroaking her little boy upon the head, and bidding 15 him be a good child, and mind his book.
We were no sooner come to the Temple stairs, but we were surrounded with a croud of water-men, offering their respective services. Sir ROGER, after having looked about him very attentively, spied one with a wooden-leg, and immediately gave him orders to get his boat ready. As we were walking towards it, You must know, says Sir ROGER, I never make use of any body to row me, that has not either lost a leg or an arm. I would rather bate him a few strokes of his Oar, than not employ an honest man that has been wounded in the Queen's service. If I 25 was a Lord or a Bishop, and kept a Barge, I would not put a fellow in my livery that had not a wooden-leg.
My old friend, after having seated himself, and trimmed the boat with his coachman, who, being a very sober man, always serves for Ballast on these occasions, we made the best of our 30