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No. XXX. WEDNESDAY, APRIL 4.
Si, Mimnermus uti censet, fine anore jocisque
ONE common calamity, makes men extremely affe&t
each other, though they differ in every other particular. The passion of love is the most general concern ainong men; and I am glad to hear by my last advices from Oxford, that there are a set of sighers in that university, who have erected themselves into a society, in honour of that tender passion. These gentlemen are of that sort of inamoratos, who are not so very much loft to common sense, but that they understand the folly they are guilty of; and for that reason separate themselves from all other company, because they will enjoy the pleasure of talking incoherently, without being ridiculous to any but each other. When a man comes into the club, he is not obliged to make any introduction to his discourse, but at once, as he is feating himself in his chair, speaks in the thread of his own thoughts, “ She
gave me a very obliging glance, she never looked so well “ in her life as this evening;" or the like reflection, without regard to any other member of the fociety; for in this assembly they do not meet to talk to each other, but every man claims the full liberty of talking to himself. Instead of inuff-boxes and canes, which are usual helps to discourse with other young fellows, there have each some piece of ribbon, a broken fan, or an old girdle, which they play with while they talk of the fair perion remembered by each respective token. According to the representation of the mater from my letters, the company appear like so many players rehearsing behind the scenes; one is fighing and I menting his deitiny in beleeching terms; another declaring he will break bis
chain, and another in dumb-show striving to express his passion by his gesture. It is very ordinary in the assembly for one of a sudden to rise and make a discourse concerning his passion in general, and describe the temper of his mind in such a manner, as that the whole coinpany shall join in the description, and feel the force of
In this case, if any man has declared the violence of his flame in more pathetic terms, he is made president for that night, out of refpect to his superior paflion.
We had some years ago in this town a set of people who met and dressed like lovers, and were distinguished by the name of the Fringe-glove Club; but they were persons of such moderate intellects, even before they were impaired by their paffion, that their irregularities could not furnish sufficient variety of folly to afford daily new impertinencies; by which means that institution dropped. These fellows could express their passion in nothing but their dress; but the Oxonians are phantaftical now they are lovers, in proportion to their learning and understanding before they became such. The thoughts of the ancient poets on this agreeable phrenzy, are translated in honour of some modern beauty; and Chloris is won to day by the fame compliment that was made to Lesbia a thousand years ago. But as far as I can learn, the patron of the club is the renowned Don Quixote. The adventures of that gentle knight are frequently mentioned in the society, under the colour of laughing at the passion and themselves; but at the same time, though they are sensible of the extravagances of that unhappy warrior, they do not observe, that to turn all the reading of the best and wisest writings into rhapfodies of love, is a phrenzy no less diverting than that of the aforesaid accomplished Spaniard. A gentleman who, I hope, will continue his correspondence, is lately admitted into the fraternity, and sent me the following letter.
< Sir, SINCE I find you take notice of clubs, I beg leave
to give you an account of one in Oxford, which you have no where mentioned, and perhaps never
heard of. We distinguish ourselves by the title of " the Amorous Club, are all votaries of Cupid, and adi mirers of the fair sex. The reason that we are so little • known in the world, is the secrecy which we are ob
liged to live under in the university. Our constitution .
runs counter to that of the place wherein we live; ' for in love there are no doctors, and we all profess so • high paflion, that we admit of no graduates in it. Our
presidentihip is bestowed according to the dignity of • paffion ; our number is unlimited; and our statutes are
like those of the Druids, recorded in our own breasts • only, and explained by the majority of the company. • A mistress, and a poem in her praise, will introduce
any candidate; without the latter no one can be admit• ted; for he that is not in love enough to rhyme, is ' unqualified for our society. To speak disrespectfully of
any woman is expulsion from our gentle fociety. As
we are at present all of us gown-men, instead of duel• ling when we are rivals, we drink together the health • of our mistress. The manner of doing this sometimes • indeed creates debates; on such occasions we have re
course to the rules of love among the ancients.
Naevia sex cyathis, septem Justina bibatur. MART,
Six cups to Naevia, to Justina seven. • This method of a glass to every letter of her name,
occasioned the other night a dispute of fome warmth. • A young student, who is in love with Mrs. Elizabeth • Dimple, was so unreasonable as to begin her health • under the name of Elizabetha; which fo exasperated
the club, that by common consent we retrenched it to
Betty. We look upon a man as no company, that ' does not figh five times in a quarter of hour; and look
upon a member as very absurd, that is so much him. ' self as to make a direct answer to a question. In
fine, the whole assembly is made up of absent men, ' that is, of such persons as have lost their locality, • and whose minds and bodies never keep company
< with one another. As I am an unfortunate member of • this distracted society, you cannot expect a very regu<lar account of it; for which reafon, I hope you will
pardon me that I fo abruptly subscribe mytelf,
"Your most obedient humble servant;
. I forgot to tell you, that Albina, who has fix vo5 taries in this club, is one of your readers.'
No. XXXI. THURSDAY, APRIL 5.
Sit mihi fas audita loqui
LAST night, upon my going into a coffee-house not
far from the Hay-market theatre, I diverted myself for above half an hour with over-hearing the discourse of one, who, by the shabbiness of his dress, the extravagance of his conceptions, and the hurry of his speech, 1 discovered to be of that species who are generally distinguished by the title of projectors. This gentleman, for I found he was treated as such by his audience, was entertaining a whole table of listeners with the project of an opera, which he told us had not cost him above two or three mornings in the contrivance, and which he was ready to put in execution, provided he might find his account in it. He said, that he had observed the great trouble and inconvenience which ladies were at, in travelling up and down to the several fhows that are exhibited in different quarters of the town. The dancing monkies are in one place; the puppet-Show in another; the opera in a third; not to mention the lions, that are almost a whole day's journey from the politer part of the town. By this means people of figure are forced to lose half the winter after
their coming to town, before they have seen all the strange fights about it. In order to remedy this great inconvenience, our projector drew out of his pocket the scheme of an opera, entitled, “ The Expedition of “ Alexander the Great;" in which he had difpofed all the remarkable shows about town among the scenes and decorations of his piece. The thought, he confessed, was not originally his own, but that he had taken the hint of it from several performances which he had feen upon our stage; in one of which there was a raree-show; in another, a ladder-dance; and in others a postureman, a moving picture, with many curiosities of the like
The Expedition of Alexander opens with his consulta ing the Oracle at Delphos, in which the dumb conjurer, who has been visited by so many persons of quality of late years, is to be introduced as telling him his fortune : at the same time Clinch of Barnet is represented in another corner of the temple, as ringing the bells of Delphos, for joy of his arrival. The tent of Darius is to be peoplcd by the ingenious Mrs. Salmon, where Alexander is to fall in love with a piece of waxwork, that represents the beautiful Statira. "When Alexander comes into that country in which Quintus Curtius tells us the dogs were fo exceeding fierce that they would not lose their hold, though they were cut to pieces limb by limb, and that they would hang upon their prey by their teeth when they had nothing but a mouth left, there is to be a scene of Hockley in the Hole, in which is to be represented all the diverfions of that place, the Bull-baiting only excepted, which cannot poilibly be exhibited in the theatre, by reason of the lowness of the roof. The several woods in Ala, which Alexander must be supposed to pass through, will give the audience 2 fight of monkies dancing upon ropes, with many other pleasantries of that ludicrous ipecics. At the same time, if there chance to be any itrange animals in town!, whether birds or beants, they may be cither let luofe among the woods, or driven across the stage by foine of the country people of Afia. In the last great battle, Pink.