I do not question but my Country Readers have been very much surprized at the several Accounts they have met with in our publick Papers of that Species of Men among us, lately known by the Name of Mohocks. I find the Opinions of the Learned, as to their Origin and Designs, are altogether various, insomuch that very many begin to doubt whether indeed there were ever any such Society of Men. The Terror which spread it self over the whole Nation some Years since, on account of the Irish, is still fresh in most Peoples Memories, tho it afterwards appeared there was not the least Ground for that general Consternation.
The late Panick Fear was, in the Opinion of many deep and penetrating Persons, of the same nature. These will have it, that the Mohocks are like those Spectres and Apparitions which frighten several Towns and Villages in her Majesty's Dominions, tho they were never seen by any of the Inhabitants. Others are apt to think that these Mohocks are a kind of Bull-Beggars, first invented by prudent married Men, and Masters of Families, in order to deter their Wives and Daughters from taking the Air at unseasonable Hours; and that when they tell them the Mohocks will catch them, it is a Caution of the same nature with that of our Fore-fathers, when they bid their Children have a care of Raw-head and Bloody-bones.
For my own part, I am afraid there was too much Reason for that great Alarm the whole City has been in upon this Occasion; tho at the same time I must own that I am in some doubt whether the following Pieces are Genuine and Authentick; and the more so, because I am not fully satisfied that the Name by which the Emperor subscribes himself, is altogether conformable to the Indian Orthography.
I shall only further inform my Readers, that it was some time since I receiv'd the following Letter and Manifesto, tho for particular Reasons I did not think fit to publish them till now.
To the SPECTATOR.
"Finding that our earnest Endeavours for the Good of Mankind have been basely and maliciously represented to the World, we send you enclosed our Imperial Manifesto, which it is our Will and Pleasure that you forthwith communicate to the Publick, by inserting it in your next daily Paper. We do not doubt of your ready Compliance in this Particular, and therefore bid you heartily Farewell."
Sign'd, Taw Waw Eben Zan Kaladar, Emperor of the Mohocks.
The Manifesto of Taw Waw Eben Zan Kaladar, Emperor of the Mohocks.
"Whereas we have received Information from sundry Quarters of this
great and populous City, of several Outrages committed on the Legs,
Arms, Noses, and other Parts of the good People of England, by such
as have styled themselves our Subjects; in order to vindicate our
Imperial Dignity from those false Aspersions which have been cast on
it, as if we our selves might have encouraged or abetted any such
Practices; we have, by these Presents, thought fit to signify our
utmost Abhorrence and Detestation of all such tumultuous and
irregular Proceedings: and do hereby further give notice, that if
any Person or Persons has or have suffered any Wound, Hurt, Damage
or Detriment in his or their Limb or Limbs, otherwise than shall be
hereafter specified, the said Person or Persons, upon applying
themselves to such as we shall appoint for the Inspection and
Redress of the Grievances aforesaid, shall be forthwith committed to
the Care of our principal Surgeon, and be cured at our own Expence,
in some one or other of those Hospitals which we are now erecting
for that purpose.
"And to the end that no one may, either through Ignorance or
Inadvertency, incur those Penalties which we have thought fit to
inflict on Persons of loose and dissolute Lives, we do hereby
notifie to the Publick, that if any Man be knocked down or assaulted
while he is employed in his lawful Business, at proper Hours, that
it is not done by our Order; and we do hereby permit and allow any
such person so knocked down or assaulted, to rise again, and defend
himself in the best manner that he is able.
"We do also command all and every our good Subjects, that they do
not presume, upon any Pretext whatsoever, to issue and sally forth
from their respective Quarters till between the Hours of Eleven and
Twelve. That they never Tip the Lion upon Man, Woman or Child, till
the Clock at St. Dunstan's shall have struck One.
"That the Sweat be never given but between the Hours of One and Two;
always provided, that our Hunters may begin to Hunt a little after
the Close of the Evening, any thing to the contrary herein
notwithstanding. Provided also, that if ever they are reduced to the
Necessity of Pinking, it shall always be in the most fleshy Parts,
and such as are least exposed to view.
"It is also our Imperial Will and Pleasure, that our good Subjects
the Sweaters do establish their Hummums in such close Places,
Alleys, Nooks, and Corners, that the Patient or Patients may not be
in danger of catching Cold.
"That the Tumblers, to whose Care we chiefly commit the Female Sex,
confine themselves to Drury-Lane and the Purlieus of the Temple; and
that every other Party and Division of our Subjects do each of them
keep within the respective Quarters we have allotted to them.
Provided nevertheless, that nothing herein contained shall in any
wise be construed to extend to the Hunters, who have our full
Licence and Permission to enter into any Part of the Town where-ever
their Game shall lead them.
"And whereas we have nothing more at our Imperial Heart than the
Reformation of the Cities of London and Westminster, which to our
unspeakable Satisfaction we have in some measure already effected,
we do hereby earnestly pray and exhort all Husbands, Fathers,
Housekeepers and Masters of Families, in either of the aforesaid
Cities, not only to repair themselves to their respective
Habitations at early and seasonable Hours; but also to keep their
Wives and Daughters, Sons, Servants, and Apprentices, from appearing
in the Streets at those Times and Seasons which may expose them to a
military Discipline, as it is practised by our good Subjects the
Mohocks: and we do further promise, on our Imperial Word, that as
soon as the Reformation aforesaid shall be brought about, we will
forthwith cause all Hostilities to cease.
"Given from our Court at the Devil-Tavern,
March 15, 1712."
[Footnote 1: Turkish Sweating Baths. The Hummums "in Covent Garden was one of the first of these baths (bagnios) set up in England."]Translation of motto: