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scribe every parish by its impieties, and can tell you in which of our streets lewdness prevails, which gaming has taken the possession of, and where drunkenness has got the better of them both. When I am disposed to raise a fine for the poor, I know the lanes and alleys that are inhabited by common swearers. When I would encourage the hospital of Bridewell, and improve the hempen manufacture, I am very well acquainted with all the haunts and resorts of female nightwalkers.

"After this short account of myself, I must let you know that the design of this paper is to give you information of a certain irregular assembly, which I think. falls very properly under your observation, especially since the persons it is composed of are criminals too considerable for the auimadversions of our society. I mean, Sir, the Midnight Mask, which has of late been very frequently held in one of the most conspicuous parts of the town, and which I hear will be continued with additions and improvements. As all the persons who compose this lawless assembly are masked, we dare not attack any of them in our way, lest we should send a Woman of Quality to Bridewell, or a Feer of Great Britain to the Counter: besides that, their numbers are so very great, that I am afraid they would be able to: rout our whole fraternity, though we were accompanied with all our guard of constables. Both these reasons, which secure them from our authority, make them ohnoxious to your's; as both their disguise, and their numbers, will give no particular person reason to think him-self affronted by you.

"If we are rightly informed, the rules that are oɓ-served by this new society are wonderfully contrived. for the advancement of cuckoldum. The women either come by themselves, or are introduced by friends,. wh are obliged to quit them, upon their first entrance, to the conversation of any body that addresses himself to them. There are several rooms where the parties. may retire, and, if they please, shew their faces by consent. Whispers, squeezes, nods, and embraces, are. the innocent freedoms of the place. In short, the whole design of this libidinous assembly seems to terminate in assignations and intrigues; and I hope you

will take effectual methods by your public advice and admonitions to prevent such a promiscuous multitude of both sexes from meeting together in so clandestine a manner. I am,

Your humble servant,
and fellow-labourer,

T. B."

Not long after the perusal of this letter, I received another upon the same subject, which, by the date and style of it, I take to be written by some young Templar.

« SIR,



"WHEN a man has been guilty of any vice or folly, I think the best atonement he can make for it is to warn others not to fall into the like. In order to this, I must acquaint you, that some time in February last I went to the Tuesday's masquerade. Upon my first going in I was attacked by half a dozen female Quakers, who seemed willing to adopt me for a brother but upon a nearer examination. I found they were a sisterhood of coquettes, disguised in that precise habit. I was soon after taken out to dance, and, as Ffancied, by a woman of the first quality, for she was very tall, and moved gracefully. As soon as the minuet was over, we ogled one another through our masks: and as I am very well read in Waller, I repeated to her the four following verses out of his poem to Vandyke.


The heedless lover does not know

Whose eyes they are that wound him so;
But confounded with thy art,

Inquires her name that has his heart.

I pronounced these words with such a languishing air, that. I had some reason to conclude I had made a conquest. She told me that she hoped my face was not a-kin to my tongue; and looking upon her watch, I accidentally discovered the figure of a coronet on the back part of it. I was so transported with the thought of such an amour, that I plied her from one room to another with all the gallantries I could invent; and at Tength brought things to so happy an issue, that she gave me a private meeting the next day, without page.

or footman, coach or equipage. My heart danced in raptures; but I had not lived in this golden dream above three days, before I found good reason to wish that I had continued true'to my laundress. I have since

heard, by a very great accident, that this fine lady

does not live far from Covent Garden, and that I am not the first cully whom she has passed herself upon for

a countess.

"Thus, Sir, you see how I have mistaken a cloud for a Juno; and if you can make any use of this adventure, for the benefit of those who may possibly be as vain young coxcombs as myself, I do most heartily give you Ícave. I am, Sir,

Your most humble admirer,

B. L."

I design to visit the next masquerade myself, in the same habit I wore at Grand Cairo*; and till then shall suspend my judgment of this midnight entertainment. C.

NO. 9.-SATURDAY, MARCH 10. 1710-11.

-Tigris agit rabidâ cum tigride pacem
Perpetuam, sævis inter se convenit ursis.

Tiger with tiger, bear with bear, you'll find
In leagues offensive and defensive join'd.

JUV. SAT. XV. 163.



MAN is said to be a social animal; and as an instance of it, we may observe, that we take all occasions and pretences of forming ourselves into those little nocturnal assemblies which are commonly known by the name of CLUBS. When a set of men find themselves agree in any particular, though never so trivial, they establish themselves into a kind of fraternity, and meet once or

* See No. 1.

twice a week, upon the account of such a fantastic resemblance. I know a considerable market-town, in which there was a club of fat men, that did not come together, as you may well suppose, to entertain one another with sprightliness and wit, but to keep one another in countenance: the room where the club met was something of the largest, and had two entrances, the one by a door of a moderate size, and the other by a pair of folding doors. If a candidate for this corpulent club could make his entrance through the first, he was looked upon as unqualified; but if he stuck in the passage, and could not force his way through it, the folding doors were immediately thrown open for his reception, and he was saluted as a brother. I have heard that this club, though it consisted but of fifteen persons, weighed above three tun..

In opposition to this society, there sprung up another composed of scarecrows and skeletons, who being very meagre and envious, did all they could to thwart the designs of their bulky brethren, whom they represented as men of dangerous principles; till at length they worked. them out of the favour of the people, and consequently out of the magistracy. These factions tore the corporation in pieces for several years, till at length they came to this accommodation, that the two bailiffs of the town should be annually chosen out of the two clubs; by which means the principle magistrates are at this day coupled like rabbits, one fat and one lean.

Every one has heard of the club, or rather the confederacy, of the Kings. This grand alliance was formed a little after the return of King CHARLES II. and ad.mitted into it men of all qualities and professions, provided they agreed in the surname of King, which, as they imagined, sufficiently declared the owners of it to be altogether untainted with republican and antimonarchical principles.

A Christian name has likewise been often used as a badge of distinction, and made the occasion of a club.. That of the Georges, which used to meet at the sign of the George, on St George's day; and swear "before GEORGE," is still fresh in every one's memory. There are at present in several parts of this city what

they call Street-Clubs, in which the chief inhabitants of the street converse together every night. I remember,. upon my inquiring after lodgings in Ormond-Street, the landlord, to recommend that quarter of the town, told me there was at that time a very good club in it; he also told me, upon further discourse with him, that two or three noisy country-squires, who were settled there the year before, had considerably sunk the price of house-rent t; and that the club, to prevent the like inconveniences for the future, had thoughts of taking every house that became vacant into their own hands, till they had found a tenant for it of a sociable nature and good conversation.

The Hum-drum Club, of which I was formerly an unworthy member, was made up of very honest gentlemen, of peaceable dispositions, that used to sit together, smoke their pipes, and say nothing till midnight. The Mum Club, as I am informed, is an institution of the same nature, and as great an enemy to noise.


After these two innocent societies, I cannot forbear mentioning a very mischievous one, that was erected in the reign of King CHARLES II. I mean the Club of Duellists, in which none was to be admitted that had The President of it was said to not fought his man. have killed half a dozen in single combat and as for the other members, they took their seats according to the number of their slain. There was likewise a side. table for such as had only drawn blood, and shewn a laudable ambition of taking the first opportunity to qualify themselves for the firft table. This club, consisting only of men of honour, did not continue long, most of the members of it being put to the sword, or hanged, a little after its institution.

Our modern celebrated clubs are founded upon eating and drinking; which are points wherein most men agree, and in which the learned and illiterate, the dull and the airy, the philosopher and the buffoon, can all of them bear a part. The Kit-Cat (a) itself is said to have taken its original from a mutton-pye. The Beef-Steak (b), and October clubs, are neither of them averse to eating and drinking, if we may form a judgment of them from their respective titles.

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