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than the other.' I have not been able to write the operas out of the kingdom: and, though I have more than once thewed my contempt for Harlequin, I am affured there are no lefs than three Pantomimes to be brought on this feafon. As I invested myself with the dignity of fupreme judge in theatrical matters, I was in hopes that my Lord Chamberlain would at least have appointed me his Deputy-licenfer; but he has not even confulted me on any one new play. I made no doubt but the managers would pay their court to me: but they have not once fent for me to dinner; and, fo far from having the freedom of the house, I declare I have not had fo much as a fingle order from any of the under-actors.
In my office of Cenfor General, though I cannot boast of having overturned the card tables at routes and af
femblies, or broke up tlie club at Arthur's, I can fafely boat, that I have routed the many-headed monfter at the Difputant Society at the Robin Hood, and put to filence the great Clare Market Orator. In a word, I have laboured to prevent the growth of vice and immorality; and with as much effect as the Juftices at the Quarter-feffions. For this reafon I expected to have been put in the commiffion, and to have had the power of licenfing all places of public diverfion vested folely in my hands. But as I find my merits have been hitherto over looked, I am determined to lay down my office; and in my next number I fhall take my final leave of the public; when I thall give them an account of my correfpondents, together with a full and particular account of MYSELF.
N° CXL. THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 1756.
SURE IN THE SELF-SAME MOULD THEIR MINDS WERE CAST,
tail their fenfe or nonfenfe to the world sheet by sheet, acquire a fort of familiarity and intimacy with the public, peculiar to themfelves. Had thefe four volumes, which have fwelled by degrees to their prefent bulk, burst forth at once, Mr. Town muft have introduced himself to the acquaintance of the public with the aukward air and diftance of a stranger: but he now flatters himself, that they will look upon him as an old companion, whofe converfation they are pleased with; and, as they will fee him no more after this time, will now and then perhaps mifs their ufual vifitor.
However this may be, the Authors of the Connoiffeur now think proper to clofe the undertaking in which they have been engaged for near three years pat: and among their general thanks to the indulgent readers of their papers, they must include in a particular maner their acknowledgments to thofe,
who have been pleafed to appear in them as writers. They have, therefore, at the clofe of their work, brought Mr. Town and his affociates on the fcene together, like the dramatis perfonæ at the end of the last act.
Our earliest and most frequent correfpondent diftinguished his favours by the fignatures G. K. and we are forry that he will not allow us to mention his name; fince it would reflect as much credit on our work, as we are fure will redound to it from his contributions. To him we are proud to own ourselves indebted for most part of N° XIV. and XVII; for the Letter, figned Goliah English, in N° XIX; for a great part of N° XXXIII. and XL; and for the Letters, figned Reginald Fitzworm, Michael Krawbidge, Mofes Orthodox, and Thom. Vainall, in No CII. CVII. CXII. and CXXIX.
The next, in priority of time, is a gentleman of Cambridge, who figned himself A. B, and we cannot but regret
that he withdrew his affiftance, after having obliged us with the best part of the Letters in No XLVI. XLIX. and LII. and of the Essays in No LXII. and
The Letters in N° LXXXII. XCVIII. CXII. and CXXX. came from various hands, equally unknown to us. The Imitation of Horace, in N° x1. was written (as we are informed) by a gentleman of Oxford: and from two gen. tlemen of Cambridge we received the Letter, figned W. Manly, in N° LXV. and another, figned B. A. in No CVII.
Thefe unexpected marks of favour, conferred on us by ftrangers, demand our higheft gratitude; but we are no lefs happy in being able to boast the affiftance of fome other gentlemen, whom we are proud to call friends, though we are not at liberty to introduce them to the acquaintance of our readers. From a friend engaged in the Law, we had the first sketches and most ftriking paffages of N° LXXV. LXXVIII. LXXXVII. and CIV. though it may be regretted by the public, as well as ourfelves, that his leifure would not permit him to put the finishing hand to them. From a friend, a gentleman of the Temple, we received N° cx1. CXV. and CXIX. To a friend, a member of Trinity College, Cambridge, we are indebted for the Song in No LXXII. and the Verfes in N° LXVII. xc. cxxv. and cxxxv. The lift of contributions from fuch capable friends would doubtlefs have been much larger, had they been fooner let into the fecret: but as Mr. Town, like a great prince, chose to appear incog. in order to avoid the impertinence of the multitude, he did not even make himself known to those about his perfon, till at last they themselves found him out through his difguife.
There are still remaining two correfpondents, who must ftand by themfelves; as they have wrote to us, not in an affumed character, but in propria perfona. The firit is no lefs a perfonage than the great Orator Henley, who obliged us with that truly original Letter, printed in N° xxxvII. The other, who favoured us with a Le ter no lefs original, in N° LXX. we have reason to believe, is a Methodist Teacher and a mechanic; but we do not know either his name or his trade.
difcovery of Ourselves, and to answer the often-repeated question of- Who is Mr. Town?' it being the custom for the periodical writers, at the same time that they fend the hawkers abroad with their Jaft dying speech like the malefactors, like them alfo to couple it with a confeffion. The general method of unravelling this mystery is by declaring, to whom the different fignatures, affixed to different papers, are appropriated. For ever fince the days of the inimitable Spectator, it has been ufual for a bold Capital to stand like a fentry, at the end of our effays, to guard the author in fecrecy and it is commonly suppofed, that the writer, who does not chufe to put his name to his work, has in this manner, like the painters and statuaries of old, at least fet his mark. But the Authors of the Connoiffeur now confefs, that the feveral letters, at first pitched upon to bring up the rear of their effays, have been annexed to different papers, at random, and sometimes omitted, on purpose to put the fagacious reader on a wrong fcent. It is particularly the intereft of a writer, who prints himself out week by week, to remain unknown, during the course of this piece-meal publication. The best method, therefore, to prevent a difcovery, is to make the road to it as intricate as poffible; and, instead of feeming to aim at keeping the reader entirely in the dark, to hang out a kind of wandering light, which only ferves to lead him aftray. The defire of giving each writer his due, according to the fignatures, has, in the courfe of this undertaking, often confufed the curious in their enquiries. Soon after the publication of our first papers, fome ingenious gentlemen found out, that T, 0, W, N, being the letters that formed the name of TOWN, there were four authors, each of whom sheltered himself under a particular letter; but no paper ever appearing with an N affixed to it, they were obliged to give up this notion. But, if they had been more able decypherers, they would have made out, that though T, O, W, will not compofe the name of TOWN, yet, by a different arrangement of the letters, it will form the word TWO: which is the grand mystery of our fignatures, and couches under it the true and real number of the Authors of the Connoif
We now come to the most important feur.
Having thus declared Mr. Town to confift of two separate individuals, it will perhaps be expected, that, like two tradesmen, who have agreed to diffolve their partnership, we thould exactly balance our accounts, and affign to each his due parcel of the ftock. But our ccounts are of fo intricate a nature, that it would be impoffible for us to adJust them in that manner. We have ot only joined in the work taken altoether, but almost every fingle paper is the joint product of both: and, as we have laboured equally in erecting the fabric, we cannot pretend, that any one particular part is the fole workmanship of either. An hint has perhaps been Started by one of us, improved by the other, and still further heightened by an Lappy coalition of fentiment in both:
To gratify this paffion, many literary anecdotes have been published, and an account of their life, character, and behaviour, has been prefixed to the works of our molt celebrated writers. Ellayifts are commonly expected to be their own Biographers: and perhaps our readers may require fome further intelligence concerning the Authors of the Connoiffeur. But, as they have all along,appeared as a fort of Sofias in literature, they cannot now describe themselves any otherwife, than as one and the fame per. fon; and can only fatisfy the curiofity of the public, by giving a flort account of that refpectable perfonage Mr. Town, confidering him as of the plural, or rather (according to the Græcians) of the dual number.
black, middleHe wears his
Mr. Town is a fair, fized, very short man. own hair and a periwig. He is about thirty years of age, and not more than four and twenty. He is a Student of the Law, and a Bachelor of Phyfic. He was bred at the University of Oxford; where having taken no less than three degrees, he looks down on many learned profeffors as his inferiors: yet, having been there but little longer than to take the first degree of Bachelor of Arts, it has more than once happened, that the Cenfor-General of all England has been reprimanded by the Cenfor of his College, for neglecting to furnish the ufual Effay, or (in the collegiate phrafe) the Theme of the week.
fire is truck out by a mutual collifion of flint and fteel. Sometimes, like Strada's lovers converfing with the fympathetic needles, we have written papers together at fifty miles diftance from each other: the first rough draught or loofe minutes of an effay have often travelled in the ftage coach from town to country, and from country to town; and we have frequently waited for the poft man (whom we expected to bring us the precious remainder of a Connoiffeur) with the fame anxiety, as we should wait for the half of a bank note, without which the other half would be of no value. Thefe our joint labours, it may eafily be imagined, would have foon broke off abruptly, if either had been too fondly attached to his own little conceits, or if we had conversed together with the jea-out any further information. For our loufy of a rival, or the complaifance of a formal acquaintance, who fmiles at every word that is faid by his companion. Nor could this work have been fo long carried on, with fo much chear fulness and good humour on both fides, if the Two had not been as closely united, as the two Students, whom the Spectator mentions, as recorded by a Terra Filius at Oxford, to have had ⚫ but one mind, one purse, one chamber, and one hat.'
It has been often remarked, that the reader is very defirous of picking up fome little particulars concerning the author of the book which he is perufing.
This joint defcription of ourfelves will, we hope, fatisfy the reader, with
own parts, we cannot but be pleased with