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company, through all the stages of feeding, sunning, and hatching; with an episode on mulberry-trees, a digression upon grass seeds, and a long parenthesis about his new postillion. In this manner we travelled on, wishing every story to be the last; but all in vain
« Hills over hills, and Alps on Alps arose.»
The last club in which I was enrolled a member, was a society of moral philosophers, as they called themselves, who assembled twice a-week, in order to show the absurdity of the present mode of religion, and establish a new one in its stead.
I found the members very warmly disputing when I arrived; not indeed about religion or ethics, but about who had neglected to lay down his preliminary sixpence upon entering the room. The president swore that he had laid his own down, and so swore all the company.
During this contest I had an opportunity of observing the laws, and also the members of the society. The president, who had been, as I was told, lately a bankrupt, was a tall pale figure with a long black wig; the next to him was dressed in a large white wig, and a black cravat; a third by the brownness of his complexion seemed a native of Jamaica; and a fourth by his hue appeared to be a blacksmith. But their rules will give the most just idea of their learning and principles.
I. We being a laudable society of moral philosophers, intends to dispute twice a week about religion and priestcraft. Leaving behind us old wives' tales, and following good learning and sound sense: and if so be, that any other persons has a mind to be of the society, they shall be entitled so to do, upon paying the sum of three shillings to be spent by the company in punch.
II. That no member get drunk before nine of the clock, upon pain of forfeiting threepence, to be spent by the company in punch.
III. That as members are sometimes apt to go away without paying, every person
pay sixpence upon his entering the room; and all disputes shall be settled by a majority; and all fines shall be paid in punch.
IV. That sixpence shall be every night given to the president, in order to buy books of learning for the good of the society: the president has already put himself to a good deal of expense in buying books for the club; particularly the works of Tully, Socrates, and Cicero, which he will soon read to the society.
V. All them who brings a new argument against religion, and who being a philosopher, and a man of learning, as the rest of us is, shall be admitted to the freedom of the society, upon paying sixpence only, to be spent in punch.
VI. Whenever we are to have an extraordinary meeting, it shall be advertised by some outlandish name in the newspapers.
SAUNDERS MacWild, president,
his + mark.
We essayists, who are allowed but one subject at a time, are by no means so fortunate as the writers of magazines, who write upon several. If a magaziner be dull upon the Spanish war, he soon has us up again with the Ghost in Cock-lane; if the reader begins to doze upon that, he is quickly roused by an eastern tale; tales prepare us for poetry, and poetry for the meteorological history of the weather. It is the life and soul of a magazine never to be long dull upon one subject; and the reader, like the sailor's horse, has at least the comfortable refreshment of having the spur often changed.
As I see no reason why they should carry off all the rewards of genius, I have some thoughts for the future of making this Essay a magazine in miniature: I shall hop from subject to subject, and, if properly encouraged, I intend in time to adorn my feuille volant with pictures. But to begin in the usual form with
A MODEST ADDRESS TO THE PUBLIC.
The public has been so often imposed upon by the unperforming promises of others, that it is with the utmost modesty we assure them of our inviolable design of giving the very best collection that ever astonished society. The public we honour and regard, and therefore to instruct and entertain them is our highest ambition, with labours calculated as well for the head as the heart. If four extraordinary pages of letter-press be any recommendation of our wit, we may at least boast the honour of vindicating our own abilities. To say more in favour of the Infernal Magazine, would be unworthy the public; to say less, would be injurious to ourselves. As we have no interested motives for this undertaking, being a society of gentlemen of distinction, we disdain to eat or write like hirelings; we are all gentlemen, resolved to sell our sixpenny magazine merely for our own amusement.
Be careful to ask for the Infernal Magazine.
DEDICATION TO THAT MOST INGENIOUS OF ALL PATRONS, THI
May it please your Excellency, As your taste in the fine arts is universally allowed and admired, permit the authors of the Infernal Magazine to lay the following sheets humbly at your Excellency's toe; and should our labours ever have the happiness of one day adorning the courts of Fez, we doubt not that the influence wherewith we are honoured, shall be ever retained with the most warm ardour by,
May it please your Excellency,
The authors of the INFERNAL MAGAZINE.
A SPEECH SPOKEN BY THE INDIGENT PhiloSOPHER, TO PERSUADE
his CLUB AT CATEATON TO DECLARE WAR AGAINST SPAIN.
My honest friends and brother politicians, I perceive that the intended war with Spain makes many of you uneasy. Yesterday, as we were told, the stocks rose, and you were glad; to-day they fall, and you are again miserable. But, my dear friends, what is the rising or the
you or me?
falling of the stocks to us, who have no money? Let Nathan Ben Funk, the Dutch Jew, be glad or sorry for this; but, my good Mr Bellows-mender, what is all this to
You must mend broken bellows, and I write bad prose, as long as we live, whether we like a Spanish war or not. Believe me, my honest friends, whatever you may
talk of liberty and your own reason, both that liberty and reason are conditionally resigned by every poor man in every society; and, as we are born to work, so others are born to watch over us while we are working. In the name of common sense then, my good friends, let the great keep watch over us, and let us mind our business, and perhaps we may at last get money ourselves, and set beggars at work in our turn. I have a Latin sentence that is worth its weight in gold, and which I shall beg leave to translate for your instruction. An author, called Lilly's Grammar, finely observes, that « Æs in præsenti perfectum format;» that is, « Ready money makes a perfect man.» Let us then get ready money; and let them that will spend theirs by going to war with Spain.
RULES FOR BEHAVIOUR, DRAWN UP BY THE INDIGENT PHILOSOPHER.
you be a rich man, you may enter the room with three loud hems, march deliberately up to the chimney, and turn your back to the fire. If you be a poor man, I would advise you to shrink into the room as fast as you can, and place yourself as usual upon the corner of a chair in a remote corner.
When you are desired to sing in company, I would advise you to refuse; for it is a thousand to one but that you torment us with affectation or a bad voice.
If you be young, and live with an old man, I would