« PředchozíPokračovat »
'whole defign of this libidinous affembly, feems to terminate in affignations and intrigues; and I hope you will take effectual methods by your public advice and admonitions, to prevent fuch a promifcuous mul'titude of both fexes from meeting together in fo clan'deftine a manner.
your humble fervant,
Not long after the perufal of this letter, I received another upon the fame fubject; which by the date and ftyle of it, I take to be written by fome young Templar.
to this I must acquaint you, that fome time in Fe'bruary laft I went to the Tuesday's mafquerade. Upon
my first going in I was attacked by half a dozen female quakers, who feemed willing to adopt me for a brother; but upon a nearer examination I found they were a fifterhood of coquettes disguised in that 'precife habit. I was foon after taken out to dance, and,
as I fancied, by a woman of the firft quality, for fhe was very tall, and moved gracefully. As foon 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.
WHEN a man has been guilty of any vice or folly, I think the beft atonement he can make for it, is to warn others not to fall into the like. In order
The beedlefs lover does not know
Whofe eyes they are that wound him fo;
I pronounced these words with fuch a languishing air that I had fome reason to conclude I had made a conqueft. She told me that fhe hoped my face was not akin to my tongue, and looking upon her watch, I accidentally discovered the figure of a coronet on the
⚫ back part of it. I was fo tranfported with the thought ⚫ of fuch an amour, that I plied her from one room to ⚫ another with all the gallantries I could invent; and at • length brought things to fo happy an iffue, that fshe 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 laundrefs. I have fince 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, fir, you fee 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 poffibly be as vain young coxcombs as myfelf, I do moft heartily give you leave. I am,
your moft bumble admirer,
I defign to vifit the next masquerade myself, in the fame habit I wore at Grand Cairo; and till then shall fufpend my judgment of this midnight entertainment. C.
Saturday, March 10.
-Tigris agit rabidâ cum tigride pacem
-Juv. Sat. 15. ver. 163.
Tiger with tiger, bear with bear, you'll find
AN is faid to be a fociable animal, and, as an inftance of it, we may observe that we take all occafions and pretences of forming ourselves into thofe little nocturnal affemblies, which are commonly known by the name of clubs. When a fet of men find themselves agree in any particular, though never
fo trivial, they establish themselves into a kind of fra-
In oppofition to this fociety, there fprung up another compofed of fcarecrows 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 confequently out of the magiftracy. Thefe factions tore the corporation in pieces for feveral years, till at length they came to this accommodation; that the two bailiffs of the town fhould be annually chofen out of the two clubs; by which means the principal magiftrates 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 the fecond, and admitted into it men of all qualities and profeffions, provided they agreed in the furname of King, which, as they imagined, fufficiently declared the owners of it to be altogether untainted with republican and antimonarchical principles.
A chriftian name has likewife been often used as a badge of distinction, and made the occafion of a club. That of the George's, which used to meet at the fign of the George on St. George's day, and fwear Before George, is ftill fresh in every one's memory.
There are at prefent in feveral parts of this city what they call Street-Clubs, in which the chief inhabitants of the street converfe 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 alfo told me, upon further difcourfe with him, that two or three noify country-fquires, who were fettled there the year before, had confiderably funk the price of houfe-rent; and that the club (to prevent the like inconveniencies 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 fociable nature and good conversation.
The Hum Drum club, of which I was formerly an unworthy member, was made up of very honeft gentlemen, of peaceable difpofitions, that used to fit together, fmoke their pipes, and fay nothing till midnight. The Mum club (as I am informed) is an inftitution of the fame nature, and as great an enemy to noife.
After these two innocent focieties, I cannot forbear mentioning a very mifchieyous one, that was erected in the reign of king Charles the fecond: I mean the Club of Duellifts, in which none was to be admitted that had not fought his man. The prefident of it was faid to have killed half a dozen in fingle combat; and as for the other members, they took their feats according to the number of their flain. There was likewife a fide-table, for fuch as had only drawn blood, and fhewn a laudable ambition of taking the firft opportunity to qualify themselves for the firft table. This club, confifting only of men of honour, did not continue long, most of the members of it being put to the fword, or hanged, a little after its inftitution.
Our modern celebrated clubs are founded upon eating and drinking, which are points wherein moft men agree, and in which the learned and illiterate, the dull and the airy, the philofopher and the buffoon, can all of them bear a part. The Kit-Cat itself is faid to have taken its original from a mutton-pie. The Beef-Stake, and October clubs, are neither of them averfe to eating and drinking, if we may form a judgment of them from their respective titles.
When men are thus knit together, by a love of fociety, not a spirit of faction, and do not meet to cenfure or annoy thofe that are abfent, 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 themfelves from the business of the day, by an innocent and chearful converfation, there may be fomething very ufeful in these little inftitutions and establishments.
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 artifans and mechanics, who used to meet every night; and as there is fomething in them which gives us a pretty picture of low life, I fhall transcribe them word for word.
RULES to be obferved in the Two-penny Club, erected in this place for the prefervation of friendship and good neighbourhood.
I. Every member at his first coming in fhall lay down his two-pence.
II. Every member fhall 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 imprisonment.
IV. If any member fwears or curfes, his neighbour may give him a kick upon the thins.
V. If any member tells ftories in the club that are not true, he shall forfeit for every third lie an halfpenny.
VÍ. If any member ftrikes another wrongfully, he fhall pay his club for him.
VII. If any member brings his wife into the club, he fhall pay for whatever fhe drinks or fmokes.
VIII. If any member's wife comes to fetch him home from the club, fhe fhall speak to him without the door.
IX. If any member calls another cuckold, he shall be turned out of the club,