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whole design of this libidinous assembly, seems to • terminate in affignations 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 clandeftine a manner.
your humble servant,
Not long after the perufal of this letter, I received another
upon the same subject ; which by the date and style of it, I take to be written by some young Templar. SIR,
Middle-Temple, 1710-1 L. • WHEN a man has been guilty of any vice or ' folly, I think the best atonement he can make for it, ' is to warn others not to fall into the like. In order
to this I must acquaint you, that some time in Fe'bruary last I went to the Tuesday's masquerade. Upon
my first going in I was attacked by half a dozen 'female quakers, who seemed willing to adopt me for a brother; but upon a nearer examination I found they were a sisterhood of coquettes disguised in that precise habit. I was soon after taken out to dance, and;
I fancied, by a woman of the first quality, for the was very tall, and moved gracefully. As soon as the minuet was over, we ogled one another through our masks ;
well read in Waller, I repeated to her the four following verses out of his poem to Vandyke.
The heedless lover does not know
2 founded with thy art,
I pronounced these words with such a languishing air that I had some reason to conclude I had made a con
quest. She told me that she 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 so transported with the thought • of such an amour, that I plied her from one room to • another with all the gallantries I could invent; and at
length brought things to so happy an issue, that the 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 laundress. I have • since 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, sir, you see how I have mistaken a Cloud • for a Juno ; and if you can make any use of this ad
venture, for the benefit of those who may possibly be as vain young coxcombs as myself, I do most heartily give you leave. I am, SIR,
your most bumble admirer,
B. Li I design to visit the next masquerade myself, in the fame habit I wore at Grand Cairo; and till then shall sufpend 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
In leagues offensive and defensive join'd. ТАТЕ. Mai
LAN is faid to be a fociable animal, and, as an instance of it, we may observe that we take all occasions and pretences of forming ourselves into those little nocturnal assemblies, which are commonly known by the name of clubs. When a set of men find themselves agree in any particular, though never so trivial, they establish themselves into a kind of fraternity, and meet once or twice a week, upon the account of such a fantastic resemblance. I know a considerable market-town, in which there was a club of fat men, that did not come together (as you may well fuppose) to entertain one another with sprightliness and wit, but to keep one another in countenance : the room where the club met was something of the largest, and had two entrances, the one by a door of a moderate fize, and the other by a pair of folding-doors. If a candidate for this corpulent club could make his entrance through the first, he was looked upon as unqualified ; but if he stuck in the passage, and could not force his way through it, the folding-doors were immediately thrown open for his reception, and he was faluted as a brother. I have heard that this club, though it confifted but of fifteen persons, weighed above three ton.
In opposition to this fociety, there sprung up another composed of fcarecrows and f:eletons, 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 consequently out of the magistracy. These factions tore the corporation in pieces for several years, till at length they came to this accommodation; that the two bailiffs of the town should be annually chosen 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 second, and admitted into it men of all qualities and professions, provided they agreed in the surname of King, which, as they imagined, fufficiently declared the owners of it to be altogether untainted with republican and antimonarchical principles.
A christian name has likewise been often used as a badge of distinction, and made the occasion of a club. That of the George's, which used to meet at the sign of the George on St. George's day, and swear Before George, is still fresh in
There are at present in several 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 also told me, upon further discourse with him, that two or three noisy country-squires, who were settled there the year before, had considerably funk the price of house-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 honest gentlemen, of peaceable dispositions, that used to sit together, smoke their pipes, and say nothing till midnight. The Mum club (as I am informed) is an institution of the fame nature, and as great an enemy
to noise. After these two innocent societies, I cannot forbear mentioning a very mischieyous one, that was erected in the reign of king Charles the second : I mean the Club of Dwellifts, in which none was to be admitted that had not fought his man. The prefident of it was said to have killed half a dozen in fingle combat ; and as for the other members, they took their seats according to the number of their lain. There was likewife a fide-table, for fuch as had only drawn blood, and shewn a laudable ambition of taking the first opportunity to qualify themselves for the first table. This club, consisting only of men of honour, did not continue long, most of the members of it being put to the sword, 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 dull 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-pie. The Beef - Stake, and Odober clubs, are neither of them averse 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 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 chearful conversation, there may be something very useful in these little institutions 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
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 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.
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 imprisonment.
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 true, he shall forfeit for every third lie 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 she drinks or smokes. VIII. If any member's wife comes to fetch him home from the club, she shall speak to him without the door.
IX. If any member calls another cuckold, he shall be turned out of the club.