I, John Dangerous, a faithful subject of his Majesty King George,
whose bread, God bless him ! I have eaten, and whose battles I have fought, in my poor way, am now in my sixty-eighth year, and live in my own house in Hanover Square. By virtue of several commissions, both English and foreign, I have a right to call myself Captain ; and if any man say that I have no such right, he lies, and deserves the stab. It may be that this narrative, now composed only for my own pleasure, will, long after my death, see the light in print, and that some sham Captain, or sham critic, or pitiful creature of that kind, will question my rank, or otherwise despitefully use my memory. Let such gutter-bloods venture it at their peril.
I have, alas, no heirs male ; but to my daughter's husband, and to his descendants, or, failing them, to their
executors, administrators, and assigns,
I solemnly commit the task of seeking out such envious rogues, and of kicking and cudgelling them on the basest part of their base bodies. The stab I forego ; I wish not to cheat the hangman of his due. . But let the knaves discover, to the aching of their sorry sides, that even the ghost of John Dangerous is not to be trifled with.
There is a knot of these same pestilent persons who meet at a coffee-house in Great Swallow Street, which I am sometimes minded to frequent, and who imagine that they show their wit and parts by reviling their...
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