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[113] hypocrisy or honour or contentment, the facetious letters of imaginary correspondents commonly fill the remainder of the Courant's first page. Timothy Turnstone addresses flippant jibes to Justice Nicholas Clodpate in the first extant number of the Courant. Tom Pen-Shallow quickly follows, with his mischievous little postscript: “Pray inform me whether in your Province Criminals have the Privilege of a Jury.” Tom Tram writes from the moon about a certain “villainous Postmaster” he has heard rumours of. (The Courant was always perilously close to legal difficulties and had, besides, a lasting feud with the town postmaster.) Ichabod Henroost complains of a gadding wife. Abigail Afterwit would like to know when the editor of the rival paper, the Gazette, “intends to have done printing the Carolina Addresses to their Governour, and give his Readers Something in the Room of them, that will be more entertaining.” Homespun Jack deplores the fashions in general, and small waists in particular. Some of these papers represent native wit, with only a general approach to the model; others are little more than paraphrases of The Spectator. And sometimes a Spectator paper is inserted bodily, with no attempt at paraphrase whatever.

Benjamin Franklin, a mere boy at this time, contributed to the Courant the first fruits of his days and nights with Addison. The fourteen little essays from Silence Dogood to the editor are among the most readable and charming of Franklin's early imitations, clearly following The Spectator, yet at rather long range and with considerable adaptation to the New England environment. Silence rambles on amiably enough except for occasional slurs on the New England clergy, in regard to whom the Courant was always bitter, and often scurrilous. For the Hell-Fire Club never grasped the inner secret of Mr. Spectator, his urbane, imperturbable, impersonal kindliness of manner. Instead, they vented their hatred of dogmatism and intolerance in personalities so insolent as to become in themselves intolerant. Entertaining, however, the Courant is, from first to last, and full of a genuine humour and a shrewd satiric truth to life.

Offensive as the Courant certainly was to New England orthodoxy, its literary method was seized upon and used in the new paper established under the influence of the Boston clergymen Mather Byles and Thomas Prince. This was The New

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