To the PRINTER
As charitably disposed persons are frequently imposed upon by base impostors, your giving a place in your paper to the following lines, will greatly oblige your long constant reader,
Nether Seal, Jan. 27, 1766.
On the 22nd instant, a Man full forty years old, about six feet high, well built, but lean; much pitted with the small-pox, had on a light coloured surtout coat, a blue waistcoat, patched leather breeches, speckled worsted stockings, good shoes, and large plain yellow buckles; brought a letter (directed to a gentlewoman here) inclosing a petition signed by several neighbouring persons, which set forth the deplorable case of E. Wentworth, a clergyman’s Widow, and her six small orphans, who were (as the man said) at a gentleman’s house about seven miles distant, in their way to Yorkshire. A servant was ordered to act as he thought fit in the matter. He kept the papers (which threw the impostor into great confusion) and riding to the place assigned, found no such objects; But learned, that the same man had imposed upon divers of the nobility, clergy, and gentry in Staffordshire, (in the same manner) who had given very liberally, and actually signed the petition. If the villain above described, should by means of your paper be seized, and committed to prison, I would ride fifty miles (with the petition &c.) to assist in bringing him to condign punishment.
If all humane and generous persons, would confine their benefactions to known objects (and destroy all petitions offered) impositions of this kind would not be attempted so frequently as heretofore.