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the Wig Club, the Rough Riders' Company, the Bearded Magdalens, the Grey Friars, the Court of Death, and the House of Correction. Such as have not quite turned the corner of fifty, and want a few months of being eligible, are very severe upon our age, call us the Antediluvians, and talk much of an opposition club of young fellows. While we have daily proofs, however, of the good effects of our institution, we are indifferent to attacks of every kind. We have the sensible pleasure of finding that the operation of our system is spreading; our married men return with sober spirits to their homes and hearths, and adopt, in part, our peaceful regulations in the bosom of their families; and it is not uncommon to see one of our old bachelors preferred by the ladies to beaux of five-and-twenty.
But the advantages resulting from these our institutions are not merely of a moral kind; topics of literature and criticism come frequently under our consideration, which will necessarily flourish under circumstances of peace and good order; and as at our meetings, which happen weekly, papers and communications on various subjects are read to us, I promise my readers to present them from time to time with such specimens as I think may amuse them.
On points of religion and politics, it is but rare that we allow ourselves to expatiate: religion, being throughout a connected and analogous system, is never fairly viewed but when we take in the whole, and, therefore, can never properly become the object of broken and desultory conversation : politics being a question that produces much heat, and little satisfaction, where obliquity of views and attractions of interest are sure to falsify the balance of our minds, we have almost entirely proscribed it; and if it be
by accident introduced, it is presently condemned by the spiritual censures of the infallible echo. Yet, although we think these matters too delicate and dangerous to be treated of in an argument, we often hear them touched upon in papers which are the lucubrations of such of our members as have leisure to commit their thoughts to writing ; and, since very agreeable presents of this kind are sometimes made to us, I shall beg my reader's acceptance
of such as I think will be most to his purpose.
But although we place great dependance on the efficacy of this regimen of tranquillity and order for the cure of a great many complaints in our social system, yet there are some which we are obliged to abandon to severer modes of chastisement.
Not to undertake above our ability, we exclude a certain description of characters from the privilege of a trial.
An avowed party-man is utterly inadmissible, whatever may be his other pretensions :- :-we set a higher value upon truth and temper, than upon the finest philippic in the world.
We have no room for atheists or idiots, or any such enemies to rule; especially as we hear that they have a club of their own, which meets sometimes in one place, sometimes in another, as chance directs; but
often in a street called Pall-Mall, or Pell-Mell, from some analogy in the name; which association, in strict conformity to their principles of confusion, is composed of all sorts except the good; and includes princes, and lords, and jockeys, who are jumbled together like their world of atoms.
We admit no man who keeps a woman, while he is kept by his wife. We admit no notorious parasites or hangers-on.
Mr. Sykes, the curate of the next parish, has been refused, for having the run of the squire's kitchen, and the combing of my lady's lap-dog. Mr. Barnaby, the churchwarden, has complained of fleas, and the smell of parsnips, ever since he came to propose himself. When this gentleman is disposed to be facetious, he suggests the idea of a parasitical club, on the plan of one that was formerly established among the turnspit-dogs, when this fraternity was in its full glory and consequence, who were observed to meet every morning in the Grove at Bath, for the sake of business, friendship, or gallantry, and then distribute themselves about the town according to their different destinations.
We have a rooted abhorrence of all gamesters, liars, and debauchees: we are therefore particularly on our guard against all such as have aspired to the infamy of certain great connections. Bad husbands and sons, and all those who sin against these sacred duties and charities of life, we include under one solemn sentence of proscription. We are very shy of a man who, after the age
of fifty, continues to be called Dick or Jack such-a-one; such men have probably sacrificed too much to notoriety to deserve respect.
We give little encouragement to geniuses, as geniuses are at present; whose wit principally consists in a habit of negligence, uncleanliness, and absence, and arises out of their want of judgment.
We have also a prejudice against a description of persons who are called ingenious gentlemen, who have in general no other claim to this title than what is derived from the solution of an enigma in the Lady's Magazine, or a contribution to the Poets' Corner. A
rage for riddles and impromptues, were it to get footing among us, would be a mighty hin
derance to the flow of conversation. It creates a kind of scramble in the mind of one that has a turn for these pleasantries, and scatters abroad his ideas like a ruined ant's nest; while those who are used to reason right forward, and to keep a steady point in view, are forced to sit in vacant silence, with their faculties bound up in a stupid thraldom.
It is the humour of our society to denominate all such as cannot be admitted among us, outlaws; which general term is meant to answer to the oi Bapapot of the Greeks, with this difference, that the reproach conveyed in it does not fall indiscrimi. nately on such as are without the circle, but merely on those to whom all entrance into it is for ever barred.
I shall conclude my paper of to-day with informing my readers, that the gentleman, who hath had the principal share in drawing up our code of laws, is a Mr. Anthony Allworth, a most valuable member of this our society, of whom I shall have frequent, occasion to speak in the course of my speculations, when I wish to hold up a more animated picture than ordinary of sublime virtue and practical religion. This gentleman is now in his seventieth year, and keeps himself in health by the diversion of his mind, and the exercise of his body, in his unwearied search after objects for his beneficence. one of our earliest members, and still suffers no weather to prevent his constant attendance. As he passes through many scenes in the course of every day, he never fails to introduce some agreeable or pathetic story, that sends us away more cheerful, or more resigned. His examples and admonitions are principally instrumental in conci. liating new members, and rendering them more docile and tractable; he has completely won Mr.
He was Blunt's esteem; and has never been known to raise the echo himself, but in the cause of unprotected innocence, or forsaken truth.
No. 4. TUESDAY, MARCH 20.
HOR. EP. iv.
Licet superbus ambules pecuniá,
Fortuna non mutat genus.
In this land of industry and commerce,where fortunes are ever in a constant flux, it is curious to observe the rapid changes which perpetually occur consequence and figure of different individuals.
These revolutions have, without doubt, their social advantages: they break the force of pride, which is always attended with an exclusive spirit; they open a wider field for the emulation of talents; and, by diffusing the feelings of fellowship, and the ties of affinity among us, give a freer range to the duties of benevolence and the practice of virtue. If such be a natural result of this community and participation of riches and honour, it is painful to observe the exceptions exhibited in the conduct of certain individuals. There are some ordinary spirits among us, who, having just emerged, by a perverse partiality of fortune, from the lowest conditions, conceive that the only way of showing themselves qualified to maintain their new character, is to manifest an extreme