DIRECTOR   Enver Tennison


Ack was born of industrious and honest parents, and received an education suitable to their circumstances. He was bound an apprentice to a baker, served three years, then run away from his master, went to London, and enlisted in the foot guards. While in the army, he served at the memorable seige of Maestricht, under the command of the Duke of Monmouth, the general of the English forces in the Low Countries. His natural avarice and restless disposition excited him to desert his colours, and flying to Amsterdam, he began his career by stealing a piece of silk. He was detected in the act, and carried before a magistrate. The evidence against him being unquestionable, he was committed to the rasp, house, and doomed to hard labour, such as rasping log-wood, and other drudgeries, during the space of twelve months. Unaccustomed to hard labour, Jack fainted under the sentence, but to no purpose, as his task.master1 imputed it to indolence. To cure this distemper, he chained him to the bottom of a cistern by one foot, and several cocks at once beginning to pour in their streams upon him, he was obliged to pump for his life. The cistern was much higher than he was, so that if the water had not been quickly discharged, he would have lieen drowned, without either relief or pity. This discipline being limited to the space of one hour, Jack vanquished the various Hoods which threatened to overwhelm him, and was accordingly relieved. The experience, however, of that hour, rendered hisr labour sweet during the remainder of the year. Upon the expiry of that period, he took leave of a country where he had been so speedily detected and so severely punished, and returned to England to prosecute his adventures upon the highway. Disdaining the mean employment of a footpad, he stole a horse, provided himself with six good pistols and a broad sword ; and in the dress and character of a gentleman Commenced his campaign. In three or four robberies fortune was auspicious, and seemed to offer a plentiful harvest to gratify his avarice, and to nourish his extravagance. But, similar to many others, he soon experienced her fluctuating dispositions. On the road between Gravesend and Chatham, Bird met with one Joseph Pinnis, a pilot at Dover, who had been at London receiving ten or twelve pounds for conducting a Dutch ship up the River. He had lost both his hands in an engagement, so that when Bird accosted him in the common language of his profession, the old tar replied, " You see, Sir, that I have never a hand, so that I am not able to take my money out of my pocket myself. Be so kind, therefore, as to take the trouble of searching me." Jack complied with his reasonable demand, and began to examine the contents of the pilot's purse. Meanwhile the furious tar suddenly clasped his arms about Jack, and spurring his own horse, drew our adventurer off his, then falling directly upon him, he kept him down, beating him most unmercifully with his shod stumps. During the scuffle, some passengers approached, and enquiring the cause, Pinnis related the particulars, and requested them to supply his place, and give the ruffian a little more of the *ame oil to his bones, adding, that he was almost out of breath with, what he had done already. Informed of the whole matter,the passengers apprehended him, carried him before a magistrate, who committed him to Maidstone jail, where he continued until the assizes, and then was tried and condemned. He, however, had the good fortune to obtain a pardon, and afterwards his liberty. The affront of being so completely buffeted by a man without hands, made such an impression upon Bird's mind, that he resolved to abandon an employment which had been so dangerous and so disgraceful to him. But the want of an occupation by which to supply his necessities, again compelled him to the highway. The first that he encountered was a Welsh drover. The fellow, being equal in strength and courage to the Pilot, began to lay about him with a large quarter.staff. Jack, perceiving the boldness of the Welchman, fled out of the reach of his staff, and said, " That he had been taken once by a villain of a tar without hands, and for that trick, I shall no^ venture my carcase within the reach of one that has hands, for fear of something worse." Meanwhile he pulled out a pistol and shot him through the head. In examining his purse, he found only eighteenpence. Jack, with ironical indifference ,observed, " This is a price worth killing a man for at any time," and rode off without the least remorse. At another time Bird met with poor Robin the almanack . writer ; and as he exacted contributions from the poor, when the rich were not at hand, so the poor astrologer was demanded to halt, and surrender. As this was the first time that Robin had heard such language, and had received no intelligence of the arrival of Bird from the stars, he stood and stared as if he had been planet-struck. Infprmed that Bird was in real earnest, Robin plead his poverty. " That," said Jack, .** is a common threadbare excuse, and will not save your bacon."—" But," quoth the star.gazer, " my name is poor Robin, I am the author of those almanacks that come out yearly in my name, and I have canonized a great many gentlemen of your profession ;' look in my kalendar ' /or their names, and let this be my protection." But all in vain, Bird ransacked his pockets, and from thence extracted the large sum of fifteen shillings, took a new hat from his head, and requested him. as now he had given him cause, to canonize him likewise ; which Robin engaged to do a9 soon as he had suffered mar. tyrdom at Tyburn.