Transmigration of Dexter to Dragonfly
Dexter's Contexture ~ The Array of Threads that Weave
the Fabric of this Vision ~ Homespun by the Darning Need


or Plain Truths in a Homespun Dress”



(spelling and punctuation modified by publisher, The Impartial Herald)


T. Dexter says four things --- Wants good judgment to live in the world, in giving and lending, trusting and borrowing, For I begin to see I have already given my wife that was, and my son Samuel Dexter, and B****p more than ten thousand dollars, in two years, and neither of them thank me. Now to all men that owes me, be so kind to themselves and me, as to pay me, in a short time, or else call and pay squire Bradbury’s son the lawyer in Newburyport, without futher trouble and cost.



Messrs. Blunt and March --- I say to whom it may concern --- to the majesty of the people of Newburyport, Greeting ---

It costs eight hundred dollars a year to support a watch in this town, and yet gentlemen’s windows are broken, fences pulled down and Cellars broken open, and much other misdemeanors done at night. Are the watch asleep, or are they afraid to detect those who are guilty of such practices? Boast not of it, if you call this Liberty and Equality. Newburyport has had the name of being a very civil worthy place; it is a great pity some bad boys or young men should disgrace it. I hope our worthy and honorable rulers will bring those rude lads to see themselves, and lick the dust like serpents, and ask forgiveness of their betters, and do so no more, but repent and live.

Now fellow citizens is it wisdom, is it policy, to use a man or men so shocking bad as to oblige them to leave the town where they paid one Dollar a day to support government?

A friend to good order, honor to whom it belongs, to great men a friend --- to all good citizens and honest men good bye.

WHEREAS many philosopher has judged or guessed at many things about the world, and so on Now I suppose I may guess as it is guessing times. I guess the world is one very large living creature, and always was and always will be without any end from everlasting to everlasting, and no end. What grows on this large creature is trees and many other things. In the room of hair the rocks is moulds. This is called land where the hair grows, the belly the sea --- all kinds of fish is the worms in the belly. This large body wants dressing to get our living of this creature and by industry we get a living --- We and all the animal creation is less than fleas in comparison on the back or belly of this very large immense body.23 Among the hairs to work on this great body is that of Nature, past finding out. All we know is we are here, we come into the world crying and gone out groaning. Mankind is the master beast on the earth --- in the sea, the whale is the head fish24 --- the great fish eat up the little ones, and so men not only destroy one another, but they are master over the whole of beasts and fish, even over a lion, therefore man is the masterly beast, and the worst of the whole --- they know the most and act the worst according to what they know. Seeing mankind so bad by nature, I think when the candle goes out, men and women is done, they will lay as dirt or rocks till the great gun fires, and when that goes off the gun will be so large that the gun will contain nine hundred million tons of the best of good powder, then that will shake and bring all the bones together, then the world will be to an end. All kind of music will be going on, funding systems will be laid aside, the melody will be very great. Now who can’t you all believe the above written as well as many other things to be true, as well as what was set forth in the last Centinel concerning digging up a frog twenty feet below the surface, where it was most as hard as a rock --- there was his shape like taking a stone out of a rock. This is from a minister.  Now why wont you believe me as well.25



The follering peases are not my Riting but very drole



Note to Dexter’s Second Edition:“fouder mister printer the Nowing ones complane of my book the fust edition had no stops I put in A Nuf here and thay may peper and solt it as they plese”


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The following extracts containing important sidelights on Lord Dexter’s domestic difficulties and showing some of the very finest of his poetic aspirations are contained in a “revised edition” of A PICKLE FOR THE KNOWING ONES published in Newburyport by Enoch Hale, Jr. in 1847. These particular chapters are absent form the other edition, which possibly indicates that other works of Dexter’s were extant at that time. The spelling has not been altered but the editor added punctuation in such a way that the most puzzling passages suddenly blossom into sense. The extracts from “A Pickle” which have appeared in our narration of his lordship’s life were taken largely from this useful little volume.


Lord Dexter’s Domestic Afflictions.

My frinds & felow mortals, there is A first Cose of all things, most Comonly; so it Came to pass that one Abraham bishup got A quanted with my Dafter --- she A babey, he Old in Eage and larning, and Colage lant & lawyer lant and preast lant and masonik lant and Divel lant; he was then nothing as for Cash; he being A fox, and A old fox, he was After the graps; he tasted of them he Cryed out, sower, this Annemel sent my Dafter home, he sade A b did Not git all the Lovs & little fishes, but got A part --- and now 9 years I have Now had my Dafter Crasy, in & by the Cost of this wild A b; hell on Earth; o, o, pity me, All good felow mortels; sade Creater, A b, mad with larning, & as pour as A snake, and as proud as Lousefer, he sade his father was worth twenty thousand Dolars, & he was Not more than five thosand Dolors; he sent for bisup bass to be married before publessed, & Insisted to be maried; he says Dexter may Crye them Down in the lore Reagon.  After some time thay got published; then he in sisted not to have Any witness; went and hid, finly my gost, my wife, that was the gost; 3 years last march; thay whare maried; I was maried to the gost thirtey five last may; I have bin in hell all the time --- more so sence Abraham bishup got in to my house; he hurt me and family one tun of silver;26 it was the Cose of my parting with mis Dexter. Now I am free; Now for A wife that has A sole --- the gost was A gisard & A Cose all Round her. A b striking my Dafter on hur side, as shee swares to grat lawyer Dexter and many others, I be leave it that knows the trouth; the bloue he gave hur on the side, she had to put plasters on hur side Neare three years; when likker is in, the wit is scattered. A b is the beast or Creater two leged, Conekett boull --- short Neck, boull head, thik hare, big sholders, black Corlley hare, he wants to be A god, but what I sot sade Creater Down at short A quatence, I can prove it my selfe by men of the sekent magnetoude; my gesing of the Creater is turned out Acording to my gessing --- and when I see my father, the grat good man, father Thomas geffison, I will Let the Cat out of the bag, and give lite to the blind. sade A b will Doue for sum offess --- Evereye Annemel will Doue for sumthing; A b will make a midling good Camp Collemon, A thing hier; if I am a Roug in grane, so be it; A Lepard Cant Altur hur spots, Nor beaver wont groue on a hoggs back. I be Leave if my father, the presedente knowe the holl trouth of A bs treatment to my Dafter, from her mouth, the grat man would shed tears with greafe, and all good peopel Like wise; shoking is the A fare.27


Forbid by the Ghost of his Wife to become a Mason; Makes a contract with the Ghost to quit his estate.

TO MANKIND AT LARGE: I Never had the honor to be Long to that onerable mesonek Order.  I Noked once, twise, three times, & the gohst Apeared, sade, ‘thou shalt not enter,’ be Cose I have toue much noledge in my head; I sopose had I bin one then should bin to keep open Dors for thivs & Robers; I have Rougs plentey without keeping taven; I Dont want Noe Abrahams, Nor Aney of the order; only fict Ladeys mared, and grat gintel men that belongs out of the town: mared people and fine widders I wish to see, with pleasur, for I wants to marey a fine wider, for I hant had Noe wife for thirteene years next orgest. I gave the gost fore hundred wate of silver to quit the state; grat lawyer passons, the gient of the law, Rote the Contract; the Cose of it was, that mis Dexter, that was, would have my Dafter marey to A bishup --- Cosed the agrement --- the sole Cose, she has two trousteays, which have the money, to deal out the intress, and she is so ginress shee bys hur Neadls; I bys the pins & sifers28 & all things Else; shee leaves the intress in the hands of the trosteys, I must have a Companon four good by all, at present with glorey.


To save his Life from the Attacks of the Ghost, offers to sell House, Lands, and Equipage.

NOW TO ALL ONNEST MEN, to pittey me that I have bin in hell 35 years, in this world, with the gost --- A woman I maried, and have two Children, Now Liveing; Abram bishup maried my Dafter --- sence, the troubel is such that words Cant be Expresed; Nine years disordered for a tun of silver for three months; I could Not have the gost in my palles; sleep Not to be had; now to save my Life I will sell --- if Not, I will let the house; it is as Noted as any hous in the oile shouls, and fourder, in the world, or sence Noers Arke & sence the floud; taking in my self, finly, such a plas No whare in the world; all goes with it --- hoses, carages, all but plate and gouels, and Reserve the holey bybel and one bouck more. my old head has wore out three boddeys; it would take a jourey of Doctors one our to find and Count the scars on my head, given by the gost & others. A men.

Clean trouth.


Joune 12, 1805.


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