[12 February 1754]
The HUMOURIST to the CRITICS.
← — Procul O! Procul este Profani!1
I have no Ambition of your Acquaintance, nor will I concern myself with the Sect, abominable Tribe! Your Name bespeaks Contempt; more it may, less methinks! it cannot.
Preserve a proper and respectable Distance, a reverential Awe to my Authority, or I will assume the Wings of Icaromenippus,2 and fly to my aerial Mansion (now ready for the Reception of its Master) and hurl Confusion on you.
If a People are to fear, it is necessary to know, whom they are to fear; the Brave are ever just. Know then, that I was born under a Planet not to die in a Lazaretto. The hot Constellation of Cancer presided at my Nativity. Mars was then predominant. Of all the Elements, Fire sways most in me. I have many Aspirings, many elevated Conceptions, owing, for the most Part, to the peculiar Quality of the Ground wherein I was born, which was the Top of a Hill situated South-East, so that the House must be illustrious, being so obvious to the Sun-Beams.
I have made a Rule, that whoever shall insinuate a Laugh, a distant Joke, or otherwise, on my Writings, and shall not own my Performances to be the best wrote Pieces in the World, the Classics only excepted, shall be look’d upon as a Coxcomb, and —-; and I do hereby give any Man leave to lay him on his Center of Gravity.