A Merchant that had gotten a Friend of his to lay up a considerable Quantity of Copper for him, comes afterward to have occasion for't, and so desires he may have his Copper again. Alas, says his Friend, my House is so Pester'd with Rats, that they have gotten to your Copper, and Eat it all up. The First Rats of that Diet, says the Merchant, that ever I heard of. O Good Sir, says the Man, 'tis a common thing with 'em here in this Island. So away goes the Merchant, and the next Morning comes his Friend to him, Wringing his Hands, and Exclaiming, Oh what should he do! The Kidnappers had stoll'n away his only Child. Bless me, says the Master, this minds me of a Raven I saw Yesterday Steeple-high, just over your House with a Child in's Foot: My Life for't, that was your Child. No, no, says t'other, a Raven Fly away with a Child! that's Impossible. Pardon me, says the Merchant, 'tis a common thing where Rats eat Copper, for Ravens to Fly away with Children. The Man found himself Beaten as his own Play, and so Compounded with the Merchant to give him Satisfaction for his Copper, upon condition that he might have his Child again; for he had smelt it out by this time that the Merchant himself was the Kidnapper.
'Tis a Dextrous Turn of Address, to Baffle One Banter with Another; and the Nearer the Resemblance of the Humour, the Hit is so much the Better.