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N° 6. WEDNESDAY, MARCH 7, 1710-11.
Credebant hoc grande nefas, et morte piandum,
JUV. Sat. xiii. 54.
'Twas impious then (so much was age rever'd)
instead of that, you see, it is often subservient t it; and, as unaccountable as one would think it, wise man is not always a good man.' This dege neracy is not only the guilt of particular persons but also at some times of a whole people; and perhaps it may appear upon examination, tha the most polite ages are the least virtuous. This may be attributed to the folly of admitting wit and For youth to keep their seats when an old man appear'd.learning as merit in themselves, without consider I KNOW no evil under the sun so great as the abuse of the understanding, and yet there is no one vice more common. It has diffused itself through both sexes, and all qualities of mankind; and there is hardly that person to be found, who is not more concerned for the reputation of wit and sense, than of honesty and virtue. But this unhappy affectation of being wise rather than honest, witty than good-natured, is the source of most of the ill habits of life. Such false impressions are owing to the abandoned writings of men of wit, and the awk-ing in the whole creation. He goes on soon afward imitation of the rest of mankind.
ing the application of them. By this means it be comes a rule, not so much to regard what we do as how we do it. But this false beauty will not pass upon men of honest minds, and true taste. Sir Richard Blackmore says, with as much good sense as virtue, 'It is a mighty shame and dishonour to employ excellent faculties and abundance of wit, to humour and please men in their vices and follies. The great enemy of mankind, notwithstanding his wit and angelic faculties, is the most odious be
ter to say very generously, that he undertook the For this reason Sir Roger was saying last night, writing of his poem,*to rescue the Muses out of that he was of opinion none but men of fine parts the bands of ravishers, to restore them to their sweet deserve to be hanged. The reflections of such men and chaste mansions, and to engage them in an emare so delicate upon all occurrences which they are ployment suitable to their dignity? This certainly concerned in, that they should be exposed to more ought to be the purpose of every man who appears than ordinary infamy and punishment, for offend-in public; and whoever does not proceed upon that ing against such quick admonitions as their own foundation, injures his country as fast as he suc souls give them, and blunting the fine edge of their ceeds in his studies. When modesty ceases to be minds in such a manner, that they are no more the chief ornament of one sex, and integrity of the shocked at vice and folly than men of slower capa- other, society is upon a wrong basis, and we shall cities. There is no greater monster in being, than be ever after without rules to guide our judgment a very ill man of great parts. He lives like a man in what is really becoming and ornamental. Nain a palsy, with one side of him dead. While per- ture and reason direct one thing, passion and hu haps he enjoys the satisfaction of luxury, of wealth, mour another. To follow the dictates of these two of ambition, he has lost the taste of good-will, of latter, is going into a road that is both endless and friendship, of innocence. Scarecrow, the beggar intricate; when we pursue the other, our passage in Lincoln's-Inn Fields, who disabled himself in is delightful, and what we aim at easily attainable. his right leg, and asks alms all day to get himself I do not doubt but England is at present as poa warm supper and a trull at night, is not half solite a nation as any in the world; but any man who despicable a wretch as such a man of sense. The thinks can easily see, that the affectation of being beggar has no relish above sensations; he finds rest gay and in fashion has very near eaten up our good more agreeable than motion; and while he has a sense and our religion. Is there any thing so just, warm fire and his doxy, never reflects that he de- as that mode and gallantry should be built upon serves to be whipped. Every man who terminates exerting ourselves in what is proper and agreeable his satisfactions and enjoyments within the supply to the institutions of justice and piety among us? of his own necessities and passions, is, says Sir Ro. And yet is there any thing more common, than that ger, in my eye, as poor a rogue as Scarecrow. we run in perfect contradiction to them? All which "But,' continued he, for the loss of public and is supported by no other pretension, than that it is private virtue we are beholden to your men of fine done with what we call a good grace. parts forsooth; it is with them no matter what is Nothing ought to be held laudable or becoming, done, so it be done with an air. But to me, who but what nature itself should prompt us to think am so whimsical in a corrupt age as to act accord-so. Respect to all kind of superiors is founded, I ing to nature and reason, a selfish man, in the most think, upon instinct; and yet what is so ridiculous shining circumstance and equipage, appears in the as age? I make this abrupt transition to the mensame condition with the fellow above mentioned, tion of this vice more than any other, in order to but more contemptible in proportion to what more introduce a little story, which I think a pretty inhe robs the public of, and enjoys above him. Istance, that the most polite age is in danger of be lay it down therefore for a rule, that the whole ing the most vicious.
man is to move together; that every action of any It happened at Athens, during a public repreimportance, is to have a prospect of public good; sentation of some play exhibited in honour of the and that the general tendency of our indifferent commonwealth, that an old gentleman came too actions ought to be agreeable to the dictates of reason, of religion, of good-breeding; without this, a man, as I have before hinted, is hopping instead of walking, he is not in his entire and proper motion.'
late for a place suitable to his age and quality. Many of the young gentlemen who observed the difficulty and confusion he was in, made signs to him that they would accommodate him if he came where they sat. The good man bustled through While the honest knight was thus bewildering the crowd accordingly; but when he came to the himself in good starts, I looked attentively upon seats to which he was invited, the jest was to sit him, which made him, I thought, collect his mind a close and expose him, as he stood, out of counte little. What I am at,' says he, 'is to represent,nance, to the whole audience. The frolic went that I am of opinion, to polish our understandings, round the Athenian benches. But on those occaand neglect our manners, is of all things the most sions there were also particular places assigned for inexcusable. Reason should govern passion, but Creation.
at we d will
se of t
foreigners. When the good man skulked towards was some traditionary superstition in it; and the boxes appointed for the Lacedemonians, that therefore, in obedience to the lady of the house, I honest people, more virtuous than polite, rose up disposed of my knife and fork in two parallel all to a man, and with the greatest respect received lines, which is the figure I shall always lay them him among them. The Athenians being suddenly in for the future, though I do not know any reatouched with a sense of the Spartan virtue, and their son for it.
own degeneracy, gave a thunder of applause; and It is not difficult for a man to see that a person the old man cried out, "The Athenians under-has conceived an aversion to him. For my own stand what is good, but the Lacedemonians prac-part, I quickly found, by the lady's looks, that
N° 7. THURSDAY, MARCH 8, 1710-11.
Samnia, terrores magicos, miracula, sagas,
Visions, and magie spells can you despise,
she regarded me as a very odd kind of fellow, with an unfortunate aspect. For which reason I took my leave immediately after dinner, and withdrew to my own lodgings. Upon my return home I fell into a profound contemplation on the evils that attend these superstitious follies of mankind; how they subject us to imaginary afflictions, and additional sorrows, that do not properly come within our lot. As if the natural calamities of life were not sufficient for it, we turn the most indifferent circumstances into misfortunes, and suffer as much from trifling accidents as from real evils. I have GOING yesterday to dine with an old acquaintance, known the shooting of a star spoil a night's rest I had the misfortune to find his whole family very and have seen a man in love grow pale, and lose much dejected. Upon asking him the occasion of his appetite, upon the plucking of a merrythought. it, he told me that his wife had dreamt a strange A screech-owl at midnight has alarmed a family dream the night before, which they were afraid more than a band of robbers; nay, the voice of a portended some misfortune to themselves or to their cricket hath struck more terror than the roaring of children. At her coming into the room, I observed a lion. There is nothing so inconsiderable, which 1 settled melancholy in her countenance, which I may not appear dreadful to an imagination that is should have been troubled for, had I not heard filled with omens and prognostics. A rusty nail, or from whence it proceeded. We were no sooner a crooked pin, shoot up into prodigies. sat down, but after having looked upon me a I remember, I was once in a mixt assembly, that Little while, 'My dear,' says she, turning to her was full of noise and mirth, when on a sudden an hasband, you may now see the stranger that was old woman unluckily observed there were thirteen the candle last night. Soon after this, as they of us in company. The remark struck a panic began to talk of family affairs, a little boy at the terror into several who were present, insomuch lower end of the table told her, that he was to go that one or two of the ladies were going to leave to join-hand on Thursday. Thursday!' says she, the room; but a friend of mine, taking notice that No, child, if it please God, you shall not begin one of our female companions was big with child, upon Childermas-day; tell your writing-master affirmed there were fourteen in the room, and that, that Friday will be soon enough.' I was reflect- instead of portending one of the company should ing with myself on the oddness of her fancy, and die, it plainly foretold one of them should be born. wondering that any body would establish it as a Had not my friend found this expedient to break rule, to lose a day in every week. In the midst of the omen, I question not but half the women in these my musings, she desired me to reach her a the company would have fallen sick that very little salt upon the point of my knife, which I did night. in such a trepidation and hurry of obedience, that An old maid that is troubled with the vapours, let it drop by the way; at which she immedi-produces infinite disturbances of this kind among ately startled, and said it fell towards her. Upon her friends and neighbours. I know a maiden this I looked very blank; and, observing the con-aunt of a great family, who is one of these antitern of the whole table, began to consider myself, quated Sybils, that forebodes and prophecies from ith some confusion, as a person that had brought one end of the year to the other. She is always a disaster upon the family. The lady, however, seeing apparitions, and hearing death-watches; recovering herself after a little space, said to her and was the other day almost frighted out of her usband with a sigh, My dear, misfortunes never wits by the great house-dog that howled in the come single. My friend, I found, acted but an stable, at a time when she lay ill of the tooth-ach. ader part at his table, and being a man of more Such an extravagant cast of mind engages multiod-nature than understanding, thinks himself tudes of people, not only in impertinent terrors, obliged to fall in with all the passions and humours but in supernumerary duties of life; and arises of his yoke-fellow. Do not you remember, child, from that fear and ignorance which are natural to says she, that the pigeon-house fell the very after the soul of man. The horror with which we enteron that our careless wench spilt the salt upon the tain the thoughts of death (or indeed of any future table-Yes,' says he, my dear, and the next evil), and the uncertainty of its approach, fill a post brought us an account of the battle of Al melancholy mind with innumerable apprehensions Manza. The reader may guess at the figure and suspicions, and consequently dispose it to the made, after having done all this mischief. I dis-observation of such groundless prodigies and prepatched my dinner as soon as I could, with my dictions. For as it is the chief concern of wise al taciturnity; when, to my utter confusion, the men to retrench the evils of life by the reasonings aty seeing me quitting my knife and fork, and of philosophy; it is the employment of fools to aying them across one another upon my plate, de multiply them by the sentiments of superstition. For my own part, I should be very much trou ethem out of that figure, and place them side bled were I endowed with this divining quality, mmitted I did not know, but I suppose there that can befal me. I would not anticipate the side. What the absurdity was which I had though it should inform me truly of every thing
red me that I should humour her so far as to
relish of any happiness, nor feel the weight of any servation, especially since the persons it is com misery, before it actually arrives. posed of are criminals too considerable for the 'I know but one way of fortifying my soul animadversions of our society. I mean, sir. the against these gloomy presages and terrors of mind, Midnight Mask, which has of late been frequently and that is, by securing to myself the friendship held in one of the most conspicuous parts of the and protection of that Being who disposes of town, and which I hear will be continued with ad events, and governs futurity. He sees, at one view, ditions and improvements. As all the persons the whole thread of my existence, not only that who compose this lawless assembly are masked part of it which I have already passed through, we dare not attack any of them in our way, lest but that which runs forward into all the depths of we should send a woman of quality to Bridewell eternity When I lay me down to sleep, I re- or a peer of Great Britain to the Counter; becommend myself to his care: when I wake, I give sides that their numbers are so very great, that I myself up to his directions. Amidst all the evils am afraid they would be able to rout our whole that threaten me, I will look up to him for help, fraternity, though we were accompanied with all and question not but he will either avert them, or our guard of constables. Both these reasons, turn them to my advantage. Though I know nei-which secure them from our authority, make them ther the time nor the manner of the death I am to obnoxious to yours; as both their disguise and their die, I am not at all solicitous about it; because I numbers will give no particular person reason to am sure that he knows them both, and that he will think himself affronted by you. not fail to comfort and support me under thein.' C.
'TO THE SPECTATOR, &c.
"If we are rightly informed, the rules that are observed by this new society are wonderfully contrived for the advancement of cuckoldom. The women either come by themselves, or are introduced by friends who are obliged to quit them upon their first entrance, to the conversation of any body that addresses himself to them. There are several rooms where the parties may retire, and, if they please, show their faces by consent. Whispers, squeezes, nods, and embraces, are the innocent freedoms of the place. In short, the whole design of this libidinous assembly seems to terminate in assignations and intrigues; and I hope you will take effectual methods, by your public advice and admonitions, to prevent such a promiscuous multitude of both sexes from meeting together in so clandestine a manner. am
Your humble servant,
Not long after the perusal of this letter. I rethe date and style of it, I take to be written by ceived another upon the same subject; which, by some young Templar:
Middle Temple, 1710-11.
I AM one of the directors of the society for the reformation of manners, and therefore think myself a proper person for your correspondence. I have thoroughly examined the present state of religion in Great Britain, and am able to acquaint you with the predominant vice of every market- WHEN a man has been guilty of any vice or town in the whole island. I can tell you the pro- folly, I think the best atonement he can make for gress that virtue has made in all our cities, bo- it, is to warn others not to fall into the like. roughs, and corporations; and know as well the order to this I must acquaint you, that some time evil practices that are committed in Berwick or in February last I went to the Tuesday's masqueExeter, as what is done in my own family. In a rade. Upon my first going in I was attacked by word, sir, I have my correspondents in the remotest half a dozen female quakers, who seemed willing parts of the nation, who send me up punctual acto adopt me for a brother; but, upon a nearer counts from time to time of all the little irregulari examination, I found they were a sisterhood of ties that fall under their notice in their several dis- coquettes, disguised in that precise habit. I was tricts and divisions. soon after taken out to dance, and, as I fancied,
I am no less acquainted with the particular by a woman of the first quality, for she was very quarters and regions of this great town, than with tall, and moved gracefully. As soon as the minuet the different parts and distributions of the whole was over, we ogled one another through our nation. I can describe every parish by its im- masks; and as I am very well read in Waller, I pieties, and can tell you in which of our streets repeated to her the four following verses out of lewdness prevails; which gaming has taken the his poem to Vandyke:
possession of, and where drunkenness has got the better of them both. When I am disposed to raise a fine for the poor, I know the lanes and alleys that are inhabited by common swearers. When I would encourage the hospital of Bridewell, and improve the hempen manufacture, I am very well acquainted with all the haunts and resorts of female night-walkers.
After this short account of myself, I must let you know, that the design of this paper is to give you information of a certain irregular assembly, which I think falls very properly under your ob
"The heedless lover does not know
Inquires her name that has his heart."
air, that I had some reason to conclude I had 'I pronounced these words with such a languishing made a conquest. She told me that she hoped my her watch, I accidentally discovered the figure of face was not akin to my tongue, and looking upon a coronet on the back part of it. I was so trans
See Nos. 14 and 101.
s it is com
ble for the
an, sir, the
parts of the
ed with a the person
r way, Bridewe
ed with s
se and the
es that erfully c n. The
upon ther Dody the
at this is signation
ported with the thought of such an amour, that I town should be annually chosen out of the two
private meeting the next day, without page or foot- Every one has heard of the club, or rather the
'Thus, sir, you see how I have mistaken a cloud A christian name has likewise been often used as
'I am, SIR,
"Your most humble admirer,
There are at present in several parts of this city what they call Street-clubs, in which the chief inhabitants of the street converse together every
I design to visit the next masquerade myself, in night. I remember, upon my inquiring after lodgthe same habit I wore at Grand Cairo and tillings in Ormond-street, the landlord, to recomthen shall suspend my judgment of this midnight mend that quarter of the town, told me there was entertainment.
No 9. SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 1710-11.
-Tigris agit rabida cum tigride pacem
JUV. Sat. xv. 163.
at that time a very good club in it; he also told me, upon further discourse with him, that two or three noisy country squires, who were settled there the year before, had considerably sunk the price of house-rent; and that the club (to prevent the like inconveniences 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 sociable nature and good conversation.
The Hum Drum club, of which I was formerly an unworthy member, was made up of very honest gentlemen of peaceable dispositions, that used to Max is said to be a sociable animal, and as an in-sit together, smoke their pipes, and say nothing stance of it, we may observe, that we take all oc- till midnight. The Mum club (as I am informed) casions and pretences of forming ourselves into is an institution of the same nature, and as great those little nocturnal assemblies, which are com- an enemy to noise.
monly known by the name of clubs. When a set After these two innocent societies, I cannot for. of men find themselves agree in any particular, bear mentioning a very mischievous one, that was though never so trivial, they establish themselves erected in the reign of King Charles the Second; to a kind of fraternity, and meet once or twice I mean the club of Duellists, in which none was week, upon the account of such a fantastic re-to be admitted that had not fought his man. kesemblance. I know a considerable market-town, president of it was said to have killed half a dozen ein which there was a club of fat men, that did not in single combat; and as for the other members, come together (as you may well suppose) to enter they took their seats according to the number of nastain one another with sprightliness and wit, but to their slain. There was likewise a side table, for ked keep one another in countenance. The room where such as had only drawn blood, and shown a lauwithe club met was something of the largest, and had dable ambition of taking the first opportunity to new entrances, the one by a door of a moderate qualify themselves for the first table. This club, Bize, and the other by a pair of folding-doors. If consisting only of men of honour, did not continue 1 candidate for this corpulent club could make his long, most of the members of it being put to the entrance through the first, he was looked upon as sword, or hanged, a little after its institution. qualified; but if he stuck in the passage, and Our modern celebrated clubs are founded upon could not force his way through it, the folding-cating and drinking, which are points wherein doors were immediately thrown open for his re-most men agree, and in which the learned and ilteption, and he was saluted as a brother. I have literate, the dull and the airy, the philosopher and ou heard that this club, though it consisted but of the buffoon, can all of them bear a part. The fifteen persons, weighed above three ton. Kit-Cat itself is said to have taken its original
In opposition to this society, there sprung up another composed of scarecrows and skeletons, who, This club, consisting of the most distinguished wits and being very meagre and envious, did all they could statesmen among the Whigs, met in Shire lane, and was to thwart the designs of their bulky brethren, named from a pastry-cook (Christopher Cat), who was fawhom they represented as men of dangerous principles; till at length they worked them out of the done by Sir Godfrey Kneller, were all at Barnes, in the favour of the people, and consequently out of the possession of the late Mr Jacob Tonsol, whose father was magistracy. These factions tore the corporation secretary by inheritance, the property of Wham Baker, pieces for several years, till at length they came Esq. In order to adapt them to the height of the club o this accommodation; that the two bailiffs of the room, the pictures were painted of a size less than a whole
mous for making mutton-pies, which constantly formed a part their refreshment. The portraits of its members,
• See No. 1.
to club. From Mr. Tonson's, they have since
and larger than a half length, admitting only one arm; and hence all pictures of that size have since been called Kis Cats.
from a mutton-pie. The Beef-Steak,* and Octo-| bert clubs, are neither of them averse to eating and drinking, if we may form a judgment of them from their respective titles.
N° 10. MONDAY, MARCH 12, 1710-11.
Non aliter quam qui adverso vix flumine lembum
So the boat's brawny crew the current stem,
When men are thus knit together, by a love of society, not a spirit of faction, and do not meet to censure or annoy those that are absent, 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 little institutions and establishments. I cannot forbear concluding this paper with a IT is with much satisfaction that I hear this great scheme of laws that I met with upon a wall in a city inquiring day by day after these my papers, little alehouse. How I came thither I may in- and receiving my morning lectures with a becom form my reader at a more convenient time. These ing seriousness and attention. My publisher tells laws were enacted by a knot of artisans and me-me, that there are already three thousand of them chanics, who used to meet every night; and as distributed every day: so that if I allow twenty there is something in them which gives us a pretty readers to every paper, which I look upon as a picture of low life, I shall transcribe them word for word:
Rules to be observed in the Two-penny club, erected in this place for the preservation of friendship and good neighbourhood.
I. Every member at his first coming in shall lay down his two-pence.
11. Every member shall fill his pipe out of his own box.
modest computation, I may reckon about threescore thousand disciples in London and Westminselves from the thoughtless herd of their ignorant ster, who I hope will take care to distinguish themand inattentive brethren. Since I have raised to myselt so great an audience, I shall spare no pains to make their instruction agreeable, and their diversion useful. For which reasons I shall endeavour to enliven morality with wit, and to temper wit with morality, that my readers may, if possible, both ways find their account in the speculation of
III. If any member absents himself, he shall forfeit a penny for the use of the club, unless in the day. And to the end that their virtue and case of sickness or imprisonment.
discretion may not be short, transient, intermitting
IV. If any member swears or curses, his neigh-starts of thought, I have resolved to refresh their bour may give him a kick upon the shins.
V. If any member tells stories in the club that are not true, he shall forfeit for every third lie an halfpenny.
VI. If any member strikes another wrongfully, he shall pay his club for him.
memories from day to day, till I have recovered them out of that desperate 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 assiduous culture. It was said of Socrates, that he brought VII. If any member brings his wife into the philosophy down from heaven, to inhabit among club, he shall pay for whatever she drinks or men; and I shall be ambitious to have it said of smokes. me, that I have brought philosophy out of closets VIII. If any member's wife comes to fetch him and libraries, schools and colleges, to dwell in home from the club, she shall speak to him with-clubs and assemblies, at tea-tables, and in coffee
out the door.
IX. If any member calls another a cuckold, he shall be turned out of the club.
X. None shall be admitted into the club that is of the same trade with any member of it.
XI. None of the club shall have his clothes or shoes made or mended, but by a brother member. XII. No non-juror shall be capable of being a member.
i would therefore in a very particular manner recommend these my speculations to all well-regulated families, that set apart an hour in every norning 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 lookfed upon as a part of the tea equipage.
Sir Francis Bacon observes, that a well-written The morality of this little club is guarded by like Moses's serpent, that immediately swallowed book, compared with its rivals and antagonists, is such wholesome laws and penalties, that I question not but my reader will be as well pleased up, and devoured those of the Egyptians. I shall with them, as he would have been with the Legestator appears, the other public prints will vanish; not be so vain as to think, that where the SpecConvivales of Ben Jonson, the regulations of an but shall leave it to my reader's consideration, old Roman club cited by Lipsius, or the rules of a whether it is not much better to be let into the Symposium in an ancient Greek author. knowledge of one's self, than to hear what passes C. in Muscovy or Poland; and to amuse ourselves
kingdom. It is said. that Mrs. Woffington, the only woman in
See Dr. King's Works, vol. iii. p. 290. 8vo. edit. 1776. This with such writings as tend to the wearing out of club also consisted of the chef wits and greatest men in the ignorance, passion, and prejudice, than such as it, was president Richard Estcourt, the comedian, was their naturally conduce to inflame hatreds, and make providore; and, as an honourable badge of his office, wore a enmities irreconcilable. small gridiron of gold hung round his neck with a green silk riband.
Swift, in a letter to Stella, (London, Feb. 10. 1710-11) says, We are plagued here with an October club; that is, a set of October beer at home, and meet every evening at a tavern near the parliament to consult affairs, and drive things on to ex tremes against the Whigs, to call the old ministry to account, and
above a hundred parliament men of the country, who drink
get off five or six heads.'
See Whalley's edit. vol. vii.
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, mean the fraternity of Spectators, who live in the world without having any thing to do in it; and either by the affluence of their fortunes, or laziness of their dispositions, have no other business