Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

of Duellists, in which none was to be admitted that had not fought his man. The President of it was said to have killed half a dozen in single combat; and as for the other members, they took their feats according to the number of their Nain. There was likewise a fide-table for such as had only drawn blood, and shown a laudable ambition of taking the first opportunity to qualify themfelves for the first table. This club, consisting only of men of honour, did not continue long, moit of he members of it being put to the livord, or hanged, a little after its inftitution.

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 duli and the airy, the philosopher and the buffoon, can all of them bear a part. The Kit-Cat itself is said to have taken its original from a mutton-pye. The Beaf-fteak and October clubs are neither of them averse to eating and drinking, if we may form a judgment of them from their refpective titles.

When men are thus knit together by a love of society, not a spirit of facti and don't meet to censure or annoy those that are abíent, but to enjoy one another; when they are thus combined for their own improvement, or for the good of others, or at least to relax themselves from the business of the day, by an innocent and cheerful conversation, there may be something very useful in these liitle institutions and establidhments.

I cannot forbear concluding this paper with a scheme of laws that I met with upon a wall in a little alehouse: how I came thither I may inform my reader at a more convenient time. These laws were enacted by a knot of artisans and mechanics, who used to meet every night; and as there is something in them which gives us a pretty picture of low lifę, Į Phall transcribe them word for word.

RULES

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

RULES to be observed in the Trvo-penny Club, erected in

this Pluce, for the Preservation of Friendship and good Neighbourhood. I. Every meinber at his first coming in, shall lay down his two-pence.

II. Every member shall fill his pipe out of his own box.

III. If any member absents himself, he shall forfeit a penny for the use of the club, unless in case of sickness or imprifonment.

IV. If any member swears or curses, his neighbour may give him a kick upon the shins.

V. If any member tells stories in the club that are not truc, he thall forfeit for every third lyc, an halfpenny.

VI. If any member strikes another wrongfully, he shall pay his club for him.

VII. If any member brings his wife into the club, he shall pay for whatever ihe drinks or imokes.

VIII. If any member's wife come to fetch him home from the club, she shall speak to hiin without the door.

IX. If any member calls another cuckold, he shall be turned out of the club.

X. None shall be admitted into the club that is of the fame trade with any member of it.

XI. None of the club shall have his clothes or shoes ade or mended, but by a brother-member.

XII. No Nonjurer shall be capable of being a member.

[ocr errors]

od drinka their res

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

The morality of this little club is guarded by such wholesome laws and penalties, that I question not but my reader will be as well pleased with them as he would have been with the leges convivales of Ben Johnson, the regulations of an old Roman club cited by Lipfius, or the rules of a Symposium in an ancient Greek author. C.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

No. X. MONDAY, MARCH 12.

Non aliier quam qui adverso vix flumine lembum
Remi iis fusigit: li biachia forie remifit,
Alque illum in præcep's prono rapit alveus amni.

VIRG.

So the boat's brawny crew the current item,
And, Now advancing, 1łruggle with the stream:
But if they lack their hand-, or ceate to strive,
Then down the food with headlorg halte they drive.

DRYDEN.

IT is with much fatisfaction that I hear this great city ceiving my morning lectures with a becoming seriousness and attention. My publisher teils me, that there are already three thousand of them distributed every day; so that if I allow twenty readers to every paper, which I look upon as a modeft computation, I may reckon about threescore thousand disciples in London and WefininIter, who I hope will take care to diftinguish themselves from the thoughtless herd of their ignorant and unattentive brethren. Since I have raifud ro myself so great an audience, I fhall fpare no pains to make their instruction ay recable, and their diversion useful: For which reafons I shall endearour to enliven morality with wit, and to temper wit with morality, that my readers may, if potlible, both ways find their account in the speculation of the day.

And to the end that their virtue and discre. tion may not be short transient intermitting ftarts of thought, I have resolved to refresh their memories from day to day, till I have recovered thein out of that defperaie state of vice and folly into which the age is fallen. The mind that lies fallow but a single day, sprouts up in follies that are only to be killed by a constant and affiduous culture. It was said of Socrates, that he brought philofophy down from heaven, to inhabit among men; and I thall be ambitious to have it laid of me, that I have

brought

brought philosophy out of closets and libraries, schools and colleges, to dwell in clubs and allemblies, at teatables and in coffee-houses.

I would therefore in a very particular manner, recommend thefe my fpeculations to all well-regulated families that fet apart an hour in every morning for tea and bread and butter; and would earnestly advise them for their good, to order this paper to be punctually served up, and to be looked upon as a part of the tea-equipage.

Sir Francis Bacon observes, that a well-written book, compared with its rivals and antagonists, is like Mofes's serpent, that immediately swallowed up and devoured those of the Ægyptians. I shall not be so vain as to think that, where the Spectator appears, the other public prints will vanish; but ihall leave it to my readers confideration, whether it is not much better to be let into the knowledge of one's self than to hear what palles in Muscovy or Poland; and to amule ourselves with such writings as tend to the wearing out of ignorance, passion, and prejudice, than such as naturally conduce to inflame hatreds, and inake enmitics irreconcilcable !

In the next place I would recommend this paper to the daily perusal of those gentlemen whom I cannot but consider as my good brothers and allies, I mean the fraternity of fpectators, who live in the world without having any thing to do in it; and either by the aifluence of their fortunes, or laziness of their difpofitions, have no other business with the rest of mankind but to look upon them. Under this class of men are coinprehended all contemplative Tradelinen, titulac Physicians, Fellows of the Royal Society, Templars that are not given to be contentious, and Starelinen that are out of business: in hort, every one that considers the world as a theatre, and desires to form a right judgment of those who are the actors on it.

There is another set of men that I must likewise lay a claim to, whom I have lately called the Blanks of Society, as being altogether unfurnithed with ideas, till the búfiness and conversation of the day has fupplied them, I have often confidered these poor souls with an eye of

great

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

E 3

great commiseration, when I have heard them asking the firtt man they have met vith, whether there was any news stirring and by that means gathering together materials for thinking. These needy perfons do not know what to talk of uill about twelve o'clock in the morning; for by that time they are pretty good judges of the weather, know which way the wind fits, and whether the Dutch mail be come in. As they lie at the Mercy of the first man they meet, and are grave or impertinent all the day long, according to the notions which they have imbibed in the morning, I would ear. nestly intreat then not to stir out of their chambers till they have read this paper; and do promise them that I will daily inttil into them such sound and wholesome fentiments, as fhall have a good eticct on their conversation for the ensuing twelve hours.

But there are none to whom this paper will be more useful than to the female worid. I have often thought there has not been fufficient pains taken in finding out proper employments and diversions for the fair ones. Their amusements seem contrived for them, rather as they are women than as they are reasonable creatures ; and are inore adapted to the fox than to the species. The toilet is their great scene of bulincís, and the right adjusting of their hair the principal employment of their lives. The forting of a suit of ribbons is reckoned a very good morning's work; and if they make an excurfion to a mercer's or a toy-shop, so great a faugue makes them unfit for any thing else all the day after. Their more serious occupations are fewing and embroidery, and their greatest drudgery the preparation of jellies and sweet-meats. This, I say, is the state of ordinary women ; though I know there are multitudes of thosé of a more elevated life and conversation, that move in an exalted sphere of knowledge and virtue, that join all the beauties of the mind to the ornaments of dress, and in, spire a kind of awe and respect, as well as love, into their male-beholders. I hope to increase the number of these by publishing this daily paper, which I shall always endeavour to inake an innocent if not an improving en

tertainment,

« PředchozíPokračovat »