HAVING thus traced our hero to the fourteenth year of his age, which may be reckoned the threescore and ten of a lap-dog, nothing now remains, but to draw his character, for the benefit and information of posterity. In so doing we imitate the greatest, and most celebrated historians, lord Clarendon, Dr. Middleton, and others, who, when they have put a period to the life of an eminent person (and such undoubtedly was our hero) finish all with a description of his morals, his religion, and private character: Nay, many biographers go so far, as to record the colour of their hero's complexion, the shade of his hair, the height of his stature, the manner of his diet, when he went to bed at night, at what hour he rose in the morning, and other equally important particulars; which cannot fail to convey the greatest satisfaction and improvement to their readers. Thus a certain painter, who obliged the world with a life of Milton, informs us, with an air of great importance, 'that he was a short thick man,' and then recollecting himself, informs us a second time, upon maturer deliberation, 'that he was not a short thick man, but if he had been a little shorter, and a little thicker, he would have been a short thick man;' which prodigious exactness, in an affair of such consequence, can never be sufficiently applauded.
Now as to the description of our hero's person, for that we shall refer to the reader to the frontispiece prefixed to this work, and proceed to his religion, his morals, his amours, &c. in conformity to the practice of other historians.
Let it be remembered, in the first place, to his credit, that he was a dog of the most courtly manners, ready to fetch and carry, at the command of all his masters, without ever considering the service he was employed in, or the person from whom he received his directions: He would fawn likewise with the greatest humility, on people who treated him with contempt, and was always particularly officious in his zeal, whenever he expected a new collar, or stood candidate for a ribbon with other dogs, who made up the retinue of the family.
Far be it from us to deny, that in the first part of his life he gave himself an unlimited freedom in his amours, and was extravagantly licentious, not to say debauched, in his morals; but whoever considers that he was born in the house of an Italian courtesan, that he made the grand tour with a young gentleman of fortune, and afterwards lived near two years with a lady of quality, will have more reason to wonder that his morals were not entirely corrupted, than that they were a little tainted by the ill effect of such dangerous examples.
As to religion, we must ingenuously confess that he had none; in which respect he had the honour to bear an exact resemblance to all the well-bred people of the present age, who have long since discarded religion, as a needless and troublesome invention, calculated only to make people wise, virtuous, and unfashionable; and whoever will be at the pains of perusing the lives and actions of the great world, will find them, in all points, conformable to such prodigious principles.
In politics it is difficult to say whether he was a whig or a tory, for so great was his caution, that he never was heard on any occasion to open his mouth on these subjects; and therefore each of those illustrious clans of men may be allowed to lay claim to him, unless perhaps they should both concur, as is sometimes the case, to despise him for observing a neutrality.
For the latter part of his life, his chief amusement was to sleep before the fire, and indolence grew upon him so much, as he advanced in age, that he seldom cared to be disturbed in his slumbers, even to eat his meals: His eyes grew dim, his limbs failed him, his teeth dropped out of his head, and, at length, a pthisic came very seasonably to relieve him from the pains and calamities of long life.
Thus perished little Pompey, or Pompey the Little, leaving his disconsolate mistress to bemoan his fate, and me to write his eventful history.