Obrázky stránek
[ocr errors]

Complete sets of this paper for the month of March, are sold by Mr. Greaves, in St. James'sstreet; Mr. Lillie, perfumer, the corner of Beaufortbuildings; Messrs. Sanger, Knapton, Round, and Mrs. Baldwin.-Spect. in folio.

N° 30. WEDNESDAY, APRIL 4, 1711.

Si, Mimnermus uti censet, sine amore jocisque
Nil est jucundum ; vivas in amore jocisque.

HOR. 1 Ep. vi. 65.
If nothing, as Mimnerinus strives to prove,
Can e'er be pleasant without mirth and love,

Then live in mirth and love, thy sports pursue.-CREECH. One common calamity makes men extremely affect each other, though they differ in every other particular. The passion of love is the most general concern among 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 lost 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 seating 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 society; 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 snuff-boxes and canes, which are the usual helps to discourse with other young fellows, these have each some piece of riband, a broken fan, or an old girdle, which they play with while they talk of the fair person remembered by each respective token. According to the representation of the matter from my letters, the company appear like so many players rehearsing behind the scenes; one is sighing and lamenting his destiny in beseeching terms, another declaiming be will break his 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 company shall join in the description, and feel the force of it. 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 respect to his superior passion.

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 passion, that their irregularities could not furnish sufficient variety of folly to afford daily new impertinences ; by which means that institution dropped. These fellows could express their passion in nothing but their dress; but the Oxonians are fantastical now they are lovers, in proportion to their learning and understanding before they became such. The thoughts of the adcient poets on this agreeable frenzy are translated in honour of some modern beauty; and Chloris is won to-day by the same compliment that was made to


Lesbia a thousand years ago. But as far as I 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 rhapsodies of love, is a frenzy 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:

[ocr errors]

Since I find


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 admirers of the fair sex. The reason that we are so little known in the world, is the secrecy which we are obliged 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 a passion, that we admit of no graduates in it. Our presidentship is bestowed according to the dignity of passion; 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 admitted; for he that is not in love enough to rhyme, is unqualified for our society. To speak disrespectfully of a woman is expulsion from our gentle society. As we are at present all of us gownmen, instead of duelling 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 recourse to the rules of love among the ancients. Nævia sex cyathis, septem Justina bibatur.

Mart. Epig. i. 72. Six cups to Nævia, to Justina seven. This method of a glass to every letter of her name, occasioned the other night a dispute of some 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 so exasperated the club, that by common consent we retrenched it to Betty. We look upon a man as no company

that does not sigh five times in a quarter of an hour; and look upon a member as very absurd, that is so much himself 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 regular account of it; for which reason I hope you will pardon me that I so abruptly subscribe myself, Sir, your most obedient humble servant,

T. B. I forgot to tell you, that Albina, who has six votaries in this club, is one of



No 31. THURSDAY, APRIL 5, 1711.

Sit mihi fas audita loqui

VIRG. Æn. vi. 266. What I have heard, permit me to relate. 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 overhearing the discourse of one, who, by the shabbiness of his dress, the extravagance of his conceptions, and the hurry of his speech, I 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 shows that are exhibited in different quarters of the town. The dancing monkeys 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 sights 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 disposed all the remarkable shows about town, among the scenes and decorations of his piece. The thought, he confessed, was not

« PředchozíPokračovat »