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A TRUE NARRATIVE*

OF THE PHRENSY OF HURLOTHRUMBO VETUS, ESQ. IN A LETTER FROM SIR BART. TO THE EDITOR.

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December 10, 1812.

SIR,

As the phrensy of Mr. HURLOTHRUMBO VETUS has, of late, taken a more desperate turn, and as I feel my character in some degree implicated in the notoriety which has accompanied his last paroxysm, I trust you will have the goodness to give insertion to the following Narrative :-On the 6th inst. while at dinner with one of my most distinguished nervous patients, I was called home to speak with a person who came to request my immediate attendance on a Gentleman who was dangerously ill: as the messenger was only a poor old woman, who implored me with

• This is an obvious imitation of Pope's Narrative of the Phrensy of John Dennis.

nothing but tears in her eyes, I should have de clined going, but as she told me the Gentleman's name was VETUS, and as I knew he stood remarkably well with my dear and noble friend the Marquis WELLESLEY, I consented to attend, and I followed the old woman as soon as my chariot was got ready.

When I came to his lodging, near the King's Bench,* up three pair of stairs (which I should not have thus particularly mentioned, but that this lunatic conceals his place of residence, on purpose to prevent the good offices of certain charitable persons, who are bent, it is said, on effecting his cure by wholesome discipline,) when, I say, I came into his room, I found this unfortunate Gentleman in bed, with an Editor of a Newspaper standing on one side of him, and a † tall lusty Gentleman in spectacles

It was reported that a person whose circumstances were embarrassed, and who lived in the rules of the King's Bench, wrote Vetus's Letters.-E.

+ Probably Mr. Sydenham. See p. 65.

me!"

sitting on the other, whom I afterwards learnt was in the Excise. On my entrance, the patient frowned upon me, and cried out with violence, "'Sdeath, 'tis a spy from LIVERPOOL! there's a plot to betray "Sir," said I, "here is no plot, but for your own good; and I never have been in Liverpool in my life the recovery of your senses requires my attendance, and I have been sent for on no other account." I then took a particular survey of his person, and the furniture and disposition of his apartments; his aspect was furious, and he rolled his eyes about with great velocity; his hair was grizzled and short, and his beard of the same colour but long; his eyebrows grey and thick, and, with perpetual frowning, they were almost grown into one. I omit to describe his personal attire; suffice it to say, it was such as one would expect from one who for many years had been, from low circumstances, confined to these poor apartments: by the fire-side, there were a two-penn'orth of coals in a Times newspaper; and on the table (which had but

three legs) and the floor, which was not very perfect, there were piled huge heaps of paper of the same title, which the old Nurse said she was sure was the cause of his malady, and begged of me to remove them from his sight. There was nothing neat in the whole chamber except a half dozen books magnificently bound and gilded, which, notwithstanding my intimacy at *Apsley-house, I never before heard of, nor, I believe, were any where else to be found; such as "The Marquis Wellesley's Official Correspondence with Foreign Ministers in the years 1810 and 1811." "Plans for sending the Tower Hamlet Militia and the Light Horse Volunteers to re-inforce the Spanish army in the Peninsula." "A Project for raising 1,000,000l. in hard cash." "An Account of the Travels and Adventures of Ferdinand Count Kolli," and " An Essay on Public

At this period the residence of the Marquis Wellesley.-E. + It will be recollected that the Moniteur published a story of a supposed emissary of Lord Wellesley's, called Baron or Count Kolli: the plan, as stated in the Moniteur, was too silly to be believed of a British Minister.-E.

Spirit." The only works I had any knowledge of were the Letters of the unhappy Gentleman himself, in two very thick volumes, and an old Play, called "The Plain Dealer," which I picked up from the floor, where it had been sadly soiled and trampled upon. On the table before-mentioned were also a few candle-ends, but no cheese-parings, that I observed; a gallipot of ink with a yellow pen in it; and a pot of half-dead ale, covered with a LIVY, Latin and English.

As I was casting my eyes around on all this odd furniture with some earnestness and astonishment, I was somewhat surprized to hear the man address me in a very sober manner, to the following effect: "Beware, Doctor, that it fare not with you as with your predecessor, the famous HIPPOCRATES, whom the mistaken citizens of Athens sent for, in this very manner, to cure the Philosopher DEMOCRITUS; he returned full of admiration at the wisdom of that He con

person whom he supposed a lunatic." tinued in this strain for a considerable time, and

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