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an accuracy, justice, and despatch, truly worthy of imitation; a circumstance of peculiar felicity to our constitution, as the cognizance of this department extends over the largest description of offences. The authority of the echo is effectual in preventing loud laughter, hallooing, whistling, cracking of whips, scraping on the floor, tattooing, nonsense, confusion, menaces, impertinence, pretended zeal, debates on politics, debates on religion, haste, dogmatism, and à multitude of other enemies to peace and order, which cannot well exist without noise. 2d. For Superlatives. MR. MANACLE, judge.
The cognizance of this court carries a particular force against long harangues, boasting speeches, declamation, passion, contempt, revenge, invective, moroseness, exaggeration, enthusiasm, and such like invaders of mirth and harmony. 3d. For Immoralities. MR. ALLWORTH, judge.
This is a very solemn court; and the gentleman who presides at present, is repeatedly chosen to the same office, which he executes with a rigour of which nobody complains. Profane or indecent allusions, oaths, irreverent doubts, falsehood, abuse, scandal, invidious comparisons, personal reflections, ridicule, &c. have no mercy shown to them by this upright lawgiver.
4th. For Indecencies. MR. SHAPELY, judge.
Mr. Shapely, I should premise, is the youngest member of our society, and has passed a youth of great levities and indiscretions. Accident brought him acquainted with Mr. Allworth a few years ago, whose lessons of virtue being grafted on his natural politeness and knowledge of the world, have rendered him a very complete gentleman. He has discharged the duties of his office so ably and punctually, that occasions are rare which call for his interference. No man can wound, or shock, or disconcert the feel. ings of another, without subjecting himself to the censures of this court, which are exact and severe. All impolite speeches, solecisms in good manners, interruptions, contradictions, abruptnesses, negli. gencies, mimicry, sarcasm, vulgar wit, buffoonery, contemptuous smiles, &c. fall under the correction of Mr. Shapely's department.
5th. For Wagers. MR. BROWNCOLE, judge. This gentleman's office simply requires him to punish and controul the itch for betting and gaming. His duty demands firmness and vigour, as he is frequently opposed to two offenders at once. Mr. Browncole is a steady and judicious person, but, being a little choleric in his temper, gives to the disgraced members frequent opportunities of making reprisals ; at the last meeting he paid half a crown for offering to lay a crown that Mr. Barnaby would propose a wager before we broke
In these cases the president always interferes to punish the judge. 6th. For Toasting. MR. SOLOMON, my curate, judge.
We prohibit this practice, as leading frequently to discourses about the merits of particular persons, and as affording an opportunity to one man of disconcerting another by an eulogy on his particular enemy.
In any case of difficulty, a judge has the privilege of inviting to his aid a certain number of the members, who are of more than a year's standing among us. The punishments are assigned to all by the six judges, whocompose on this occasion a sort of coun
cil, though it must be owned that Mr. Allworth has a very leading share in these judiciary determinations. We have admitted one new member since I spoke little commonwealth in
third gentleman was remarkable for his absence of mind; and has proved one of the most impracticable subjects on whom the efficacy of our system has been tried. Mr. Farthingale was introduced to us as a man of indefatigable research, and great profundity of thought, but what avail our thoughts and our researches, if they furnish no matter of contemplation to others; if they bring no accession to the treasures of human knowledge, and lend neither countenance to virtue, nor confirmation to truth? To him who, not content with locking up within the cavern of his mind all the knowledge he may possess, buries also his manners along with it, doubtless the world has fewer obligations than to the coarse mechanic, who has his rough industry to plead, or to the well-bred loiterer, who strews at Ieast a few flowers in our path, and helps us to pass cheerily onward through the vale of years.
Mr. Farthingale has been six weeks a constant at. tendant at our meetings, and has not yet surprised us with any thoughts that seem worth the sacrifice of all present objects and obligations, or which others might not arrive at, without the fatigue and parade of so long a journey. Though nothing can be more evident than the truth of this statement, yet so great is the vulgar prepossession in favour of this gentleman's genius and penetration, so convincing are the proofs of excellence drawn from the discoveries of deficiency, that nothing is wanting to complete the perfection of his philosophical character, but his walking off a precipice into the sea, or eating up his little finger instead of a radish.
This gentleman's dress and figure is altogether uncommon. He is somewhat about six feet four inches high, with a considerable protuberance before, overhanging a pair of legs so slender and inadequate, that it seems as if his body were supported by some invisible geometrical principles ; between his lower clothes and his waistcoat, there is, for the most part, a quantity of linen displayed, forming a kind of interregnum; and as his neckcloth is continually missing where it should in due order appear, we often suspect some cross purposes in the business, and that it has, somehow or other, been lied about the middle, instead of the neck. It is reported, that when a boy, he never could acquire the talent of dressing himself; and it used to be a common jest among his school-fellows, to send him into school with his shirt over his coat. Even at this day he loses a quarter of an hour every morning before he can determine whether his coat is to be buttoned before or behind; and is sure to try it on three times before he has made up his mind. As he is continually without a handkerchief, he thinks himself privileged to pocket our Doyleys; and if the robbery be charged upon him, pleads his alibi, while he confesses the crime. It is in vain to drink his health, or inquire after his family: he answers, “pretty well, I thank you,” to the first civility; and, “I am much obliged to you,” to the second. He will begin a story to the tallest man in our society, and finish it to the shortest ; and at our last meeting asked Mr. Barnaby, the churchwarden, several serious questions about his periodical undertaking.
While he was courting the daughter of one of my neighbours a few weeks ago, there was not a man in the club who did not receive a love-letter from him; while notesintended for them were carried to his mistress, with inquiries after her gout or dropsy, her wife or children. The other day he threw our whole society into the greatest distress imaginable, by bringing the intelligence of Mr. Allworth's death. In about half an hour afterwards Mr. Allworth entered the room, looking remarkable well; and upon referring to the newspaper, we found it was a Mr. Alders, in the East Indies. About a year ago he was on the point of being married to an elderly maiden lady, of large property, when, happening to take her out for an airing on a pillion behind him, he spoke so disrespectfully of her short allowance of teeth to a friend who was riding by his side, that he was obliged to trot home with her under a pretty heavy load of abuse.