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Table companions to the end of time. What age, what country has not produced Knaves to invent--and Fools to believe?

But of all the Deceivers by whom the world hath been cheated, there never, surely, was a more consummate master of his art, than George Pfalmanazar! Other Impofters owed much of their success to the ignorance of the age they lived in, or of the people they had to deal with ; but this man carried on a system of artifice and fallhood for half a century together, undetected to the last; and this in an enlighten'd age, among a fensible and discerning people,-imposing even on the learned themselves : fo that it may be truly said, not only the multitude were duped, but the KNOWING ONES were taken in.-But we shall wave all farther preliminary reflections, and proceed to gratify our Reader's curiosity, in laying before him some of the most remarkable circumstances which diltinguished the life of that very extraordinary person, to whom the public is obliged for the famous pretended History of Formosa; and for a considerable part of the UNIVERSAL HISTORY.

Previous, however, to the extracts we shall make from the Anecdotes with which this work abounds, we shall give a transcript of the penitent Author's last Will and Testament, as that is the best introduction of the Narrative, and will abundantly serve to authenticate the particulars which follow: The laf Will and Testament of me a poor sinful and worthless creature,

commonly known by the affumed name of George Psalmanazar.

• Thy ever blessed and unerring Will, Oh most gracious, though offended God! be done by me and all the world, whether for life or death.

Into thy all-merciful hands I commit my soul, as unto a most gracious father, who, though justly provoked by my past vain and wicked life, but more especially so during the youthful sallies of a rath and unthinking part of it, has yet been graciously pleased, by thy undeserved grace and mercy, to preserve me from the reigning errors and heresies, and the more deplorable apostacy and infidelity of the present age, and enabled me to take a constant and stedfast hold on the only author of our salvation, thy ever adorable and divine Son Jesus Christ, our powerful and meritorious Redeemer, from whose alone, and allpowerful intercession and merits (and not from any the least inherent righteousness of my own, which I heartily abhor as filthy rags in thy all purer eyes) I hope and beg for pardon and reconciliation, and for a happy resurrection unto that blessed immortality to which we are redeemed by his most precious and inestimable blood. I likewise bless and adore tiry infinite good7

ness

me.

nefs for preserving me from innumerable dangers of body and soul, to which this wretched life, but more particularly by my own youthful rashness and inconfideration, might have exposed me, had not thy Divine Providence interposed in such a wonderful manner, as justly challenges my deepest admiration and acknowledgment : particularly I am bound to bless thee for fo timely nipping that ambition and vain-glory, which had hurried me through such scenes of impiety and hypocrisy, and as the most effectual antidote against it, next to thy divine grace, half brought me not only to prefer, but to delight in a state of obfcurity and lowness of circumstances, as the fureft harbour of peace and safety ; by which, though the little I have left in my poffeffion be dwindled to fo little value as to be but a poor acknowledgement for the services which I have received from my friend hereafter named, to whom I can do no less than bequeath it all, yet I hope the will may be accepted for the deed, and that the Divine Providence will supply to her what is wanting in

And now, O Father of Mercies, I beseech thee for thy dear Son's sake, so to direct me by thy grace through all the futare concerns of this life, that when, where, or in what manner foever it shall please thee to call me out of it, I may be found ready and willing to return my soul, worthless as it is of itself, to thee who gavelt it; and my death, as well as my latter end, may be such as may tend all possible ways to thy glory, the edification of thy church, and my own eternal comfort. And in hopes there is nothing in this my last will that is not agreeable to thine, I leave it to be executed after my death by my worthy and. pious friend Sarab Rewalling, of this parish of St. Luke, in Middlefex, in the manner hereafter mentioned, viz.

"I desire that my body, when or wherever I die, may be kept fo long above ground, as decency or conveniency will permit, and afterwards conveyed to the common burying-ground, and there interred in some obseure corner of it, without any further ceremony or formality than is used to the bodies of the deceased pensioners where I happen to die, and about the same time of the day, and that the whole may be performed in the lowest and cheapest manner. And it is my earnest request, that my body be not inclosed in any kind of coifin, but only decently Taid in what is called a fhell of the lowest value, and without lid or other covering which may hinder the natural earth from covering it all around.

« The books relating to the Universal History, and belonging to the Proprietors, are to be returned to them according to the true list of them, which will be found in a blue paper in my account book. All the rest being my own property, together with

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all my boufhold goods, wearing apparel, and whatever money Thall be found due to me after my decease, I give and bequeath to my friend Sarah Rewalling above named, together with such manuscripts as I had written at different times, and designed to be made public, if they shall be deemed worthy of it, they confisting of sundry effays on some difficult parts of the Old Testament, and chicfy written for the use of a young Clergyman in the country, and fo unhappily acquainted with that kind of learning, that he was likely to become the butt of his sceptical parishioners, but being, by this means furnished with proper materials, was enabled to turn the tables upon them.

• But the principal manuscript I thought myself in duty bound to leave behind, is a faithful narrative of my education, and the sallies of my wretched youthful years, and the various ways by which I was in some measure unavoidably led into the base and Thameful impofture of pafling upon the world for a native of Formosa, and a convert to Christianity, and backing it with a fi&itious account of that island, and of my own travels, converfion, &c. all or most of it hatched in my own brain, without regard to truth and honesty. It is true, I have long since difclaimed even publicly all but the shame and guilt of that vile impofition, yet as long as I knew there were still two editions of that scandalous romance remaining in England, besides the several versions it had abroad, I thought it incumbent upon me to undeceive the world, by unravelling that whole myftery of iniquity in al posthumous work, which would be lefs liable to suspicion, as the author would be far out of the infuence of any finifter motives that might induce him to deviate froin the truth. All that I shall add concerning it is, that it was began above twenty-five years ago with that view, and no other, during a long recess in the country, accompanied with a threatening difease, and since then continued in my most ferious hours, as any thing new presented itself; so that it hath little else to recommend itself but its plainnels and fincerity, except here and there some useful observations and innuendoes on those branches of learning in which I had been concerned, and particularly with such excellent improvements as might be made in the method of learning of Hebrew, and in the producing a more perfect body of Universal History, and more answerable to its title than that which hath already passed a second edition. And these, I thought, might be more deserving a place in that narrative, as the usefulness of them would in a great measure make amends for the fmall charge of the whole. If it therefo:c shall be judged worth printing, I desire it may be fold to the highest bidder, in order to pay my arrears for my lodgings, and to defray my funeral ; and í further request that it be printed in the plain and

undisguiled

undisguised manner in which I have written it, and without alteration or embellishment. I hope the whole is written in the true, fincere spirit of a person awakened by a miracle of mercy, unto a deep sense of his folly, guilt, and danger, and is desirous, above all things, to give God the whole glory of so gracious a change, and to shew the various steps by which his Divine Providence brought it about. The whole of the account countains fourteen pages of Preface, and about ninetythree more of the said relation, written in my own hand with a proper title, and will be found in the deep drawer on the right hand of my white cabinet. However, if the obscurity I have lived in, during such a series of years, should make it needlefs to revive a thing in all likelihood so long since forgot, I cannot but wish, that so much of it was published in some weekly paper, as might inform the world, especially those who have it! by them the above-mentioned fabulous account of the Isand of Formosa, &c. that I have long since owned both in conversation and in print, that it was no other than a mere forgery of my own devising, a scandalous imposition on the public, and fuch, as I think myself bound to beg God and the world pardan for writing, and have been long since, as I am to this day, and shall be as long as I live, heartily sorry for, and alhamed of..

These I do hereby folemnly declare and testify, to be my last Will and Testament; and in witness thereof have thereto fet my name, on the 2 3d day of April, in the year of our Lord 1752, 0. S. and in the 73d year of my age.

G. Pfalmanazar. « The last Will and Testament of G. Pfalmanazar, of Ironmonger-Row, in the Parish of St. Luke, Middlesex, whenever it shall please God to take him out of this world unto himself.

January 1, 1762, being the day of the Circumcifion of our divine 'Lord, then, blessed be God, quite found in my mind, though weak in my body, I do ratify and confirm the above particulars of my last Will made.'

In his Preface, the Author expatiates farther on his design in leaving behind him his genuine memoirs ; to which he declares he was solely induced, in order at once to undeceive the world with respect to that vile and romantic account he formerly gave of himself, and of the island of Formosa, and to make all the amends in his power for that shameful imposition on the public, by this faithful narrative of himself, and of the remarkable accidents of his wretched life.' The religious education he had happily received during his

tender

tender years, had, he says, made so strong an impression upon his mind, that though it did not prove sufficient to preserve him from being hurried by his passions, into that scandalous piece of forgery, yet it never failed of makin; him condemn himself, in bis more serious hours, for every step he took towards it; but more particularly for the last and most vile scene of all, his pretended conversion from heathenism to christianity : so that he laboured ever after, under frequent and bitter remorses, and stings of conscience.–At length, we are told, the grace of God (which he most earnestly befought) co-operating with his remorse of conscience, wrought an effectual change in his heart, removed all his doubts and fears, his difficulties and discouragements, and finally enabled him to persevere in his resolution and endeavours to give mankind the most ample satisfaction in his power, for all the deceit and falfhood by which he had so egregiously imposed on their credulity.

The remainder of his long preface, of 63 pages, is employed in reciting the particulars of his Conversion (after he came to reside in this country) from the Roman Catholic Religion, to that of the Church of England : in which relation, to do him justice, he shews the utmost candour of disposition, and talks like a man of sense, learning, and integrity.

He begins his Narrative with an apology for not giving can account either of his real country or family, or any thing that might cast a reflection upon either.' In respect to his family, his reserve might, no doubt, be well excused; but in regard to his country, we think it was carrying his delicacy very far indeed! However, he might have his reasons, besides what he alleges, as to the aptness of people to censure nations or families, for the crimes of private perions; from the confideration of which, he ia's, he was induced to conceal chis circumstance of birth and pèrentage. The most that he vouchsafes to communicate on this head, is the acknowlegement that 'out of Europe he was not born, nor elucated, nor ever travelled; but continued in some of the southern parts of it, till about the fixteenth year of his ago, when neceiiy obliged nim to remove into the more northern ones, tho'niver further northward thai the Rhine in Germany *, or Yorkin re in England.' This, at least, may serve lo convince us, that he was not the famous t wan

*As to Germany, t':c author declares he rever fa.v that country till he was 15, ror England t'i about 2 or 3 years after.

† The vulgır mighi pchips be induced to form this coniecture, from his venerible lona beard, and fingular osrb; beside which he had other peculiarities about hiro all calcula'el to keep up the a, pearance of a moli myfte:ious fi ciecy: but the general notion tirat he unde stood all languages, and had visited all countrics, mere efpccially contributed to prove bim the very identical Wandering Jiw.

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