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However, whatever right I have to complain of the public, they can, as yet, have no just reason to complain of me. If I have written dull Essays, they have hitherto treated them as dull Essays. Thus far we are at least upon par, and until they think fit to make me their humble debtor by praise, I am resolved not to lose a single inch of my selfimportance. Instead, therefore, of attempting to establish a credit amongst them, it will perhaps be wiser to apply to some more distant correspondent; and as my drafts are in some danger of being protested at home, it may not be imprudent, upon this occasion, to draw my bills upon Posterity. MR. POSTERITY,
Sir, -Nine hundred and ninety-nine years after sight hereof pay the bearer, or order, a thousand pounds worth of praise, free from all deductions whatsoever, it being a commodity that will then be very serviceable to him, and place it to the account of, &c.
to gain admittance. In short, no coquette Description of various Clubs.
was ever more solicitous to match her
ribbons to her complexion, than I to suit I REMEMBER to have read in some my club to my temper; for I was too philosopher (I believe in Tom Brown's obstinate to bring my temper to conform works), that, let a man's character, senti- to it. ments, or complexion, be what they will, The first club I entered, upon coming he can find company in London to match to town, was that of the Choice Spirits, them. If he be splenetic, he may every The name was entirely suited to my taste, day meet companions on the seats in St.-I was a lover of mirth, good-humour, James's Park, with whose groans he may and even sometimes of fun, from my mix his own, and pathetically talk of the childhood. weather. If he be passionate, he may As no other passport was requisite vent his rage among the old orators at but the payment of two shillings at the Slaughter's Coffee-house, and damn the door, I introduced myself without farther nation, because it keeps him from starv- ceremony to the members, who were ing. If he be phlegmatic, he may sit in already assembled, and had for some time silence at the Humdrum Club in Ivy begun upon business. The Grand, with Lane; and, if actually mad, he may find a mallet in his hand, presided at the head very good company in Moorfields, either of the table. I could not avoid, upon my at Bedlam or the Foundery, ready to entrance, making use of all my skill in cultivate a nearer acquaintance.
physiognomy, in order to discover that But, although such as have a know- superiority of genius in men who had ledge of the town may easily class them- taken a title so superior to the rest of selves with tempers congenial to their mankind. I expected to see the lines of own, a countryman who comes to live in every face marked with strong thinking ; London' finds nothing more difficult. but though I had some skill in this science, With regard to myself, none ever tried I could for my life discover nothing but a with more assiduity, or came off with pert sįmper, fat, or profound stupidity. such indifferent success.
I spent a whole My speculations were soon interrupted season in the search, during which time by the Grand, who had knocked down my name has been enrolled in societies, Mr. Spriggins for a song.
I was upon lodges, convocations, and meetings, with this whispered by one of the company out number. To some I was introduced who sat next me, that I should now see by a friend, to others invited by an something touched off to a nicety, for advertisement : to these I introduced Mr. Spriggins was going to give us Mad myself, and to those I changed my name Tom" in all its glory. Mr. Spriggins
endeavoured to excuse himself ; for as he universal shout, when the landlord came
was to act a madman and a king, it was to acquaint the company that the reckonimpossible to go through the part pro- ing was drunk out. Rabelais calls the perly without a crown and chains. His moments in which a reckoning is men. excuses were overruled by a great ma- tioned the most melancholy of our lives : jority, and with much vociferation. The never was so much noise so quickly quelled, president ordered up the jack-chain, and, as by this short but pathetic oration of our instead of a crown, our performer covered landlord. “Drunk out!” was echoed his brows with an inverted jordan. After in a tone of discontent round the table : he had rattled his chain and shook his “drunk out already! that was very odd ! head, to the great delight of the whole that so much punch could be drunk out company, he began his song. As I have already--impossible !” The landlord, heard few young fellows offer to sing in however, seeming resolved not to retreat company that did not expose themselves, from his first assurances, the company it was no great disappointment to me to was dissolved, and a president chosen for find Mr. Spriggins among the number ; the night ensuing. however, not to seem an odd fish, I rose A friend of mine, to whom I was comfrom my seat in rapture, cried out plaining some time after the entertainment “ Bravo! Encore !” and slapped the I have been describing, proposed to bring table as loud as any of the rest.
me to the club that he frequented, which The gentleman who sat next me seemed he fancied would suit the gravity of my highly pleased with my taste and the temper exactly. 'We have at the Muzzy ardour of my approbation ; and whisper- Club,” says he, no riotous mirth nor ing, told me that I had suffered an im- awkward ribaldry; no confusion or bawl. mense loss, for had I come a few minutes ing ; all is conducted with wisdom and sooner, I might have heard “Gee-ho Dob- decency: besides, some of our members bin” sung in a tip-top manner by the are worth forty thousand pounds--men of pimple-nosed spirit at the president's prudence and foresight every one of them : right elbow; but he was evaporated these are the proper acquaintance, and to before I came.
such I will to-night introduce you." I As I was expressing my uneasiness at was charmed at the proposal : to be this disappointment, I found the attention acquainted with men worth forty thousand of the company employed upon a fat pounds, and to talk wisdom the whole figure, who, with a voice more rough night, were offers that threw me into than the Staffordshire giant's, was giving rapture. us the “Softly sweet in Lydian measure At seven o'clock I was accordingly of Alexander's Feast. After a short pause introduced by my friend, not indeed to of admiration, to this succeeded a Welsh the company-for though I made my dialogue, with the humours of Teague best bow, they seemed insensible of my and Taffy ; after that came on “Old approach, but to the table at which they Jackson,” with a story between every were sitting Upon my entering the stanza : next was sung the “ Dust Cart, room, I could not avoid feeling a secret and then “Solomon's Song.” The glass veneration from the solemnity of the scene begun now to circulate pretty freely ; before me; the members kept a profound those who were silent when sober, would silence, each with a pipe in his mouth, now be heard in their turn; every man and a pewter pot in his hand, and with had his song, and he saw no reason why faces that inight easily be construed into he should not be heard as well as any of absolute wisdom. Happy society, thought the rest : one begged to be heard while I to myself, where the members think he gave “Death and the Lady” in high before they speak, deliver nothing rashly, taste; another sang to a plate which he but convey their thoughts to each other kept trundling on the edges. Nothing pregnant with meaning, and matured by was now heard but singing ; voice rose reflection ! above voice, and the whole became one In this pleasing speculation I continued a full half-hour, expecting each moment cough. Dr. Twist told us a story of a that somebody would begin to open his parliament-man with whom he was intimouth : every time the pipe was laid mately acquainted; while the bag-man, down I expected it was to speak ; but it at the same time, was telling a better story was only to spit. At length, resolving to of a noble lord with whom he could do break the charm myself, and overcome anything. A gentleman in a black wig their extreme diffidence -- for to this I and leather breeches, at t’other end of imputed their silence — I rubbed my the table, was engaged in a long narrative hands, and, looking as wise as possible, of the Ghost in Cock Lane: he had read observed that the nights began to grow it in the papers of the day, and was telling a little coolish at this time of the year. it to some that sat next him, who could This, as it was directed to none of the not read. Near him, Mr. Dibbins was company in particular, none thought disputing on the old subject of religion himself'obliged to answer ; wherefore I with a Jew pedlar, over the table; while continued still to rub my hands and look the president vainly knocked down Mr. wise. My next effort was addressed to a Leathersides for a song. Besides the comgentleman who sat next me; to whom I binations of these voices, which I could observed, that the beer was extremely hear altogether, and which formed an good: my neighbour made no reply, but upper part to the concert, there were by a large puff of tobacco smoke. several others playing under parts by
I now began to be uneasy in this dumb themselves, and endeavouring to fasten society, till one of them a little relieved on some luckless neighbour's ear, who me, by observing, that bread had not risen was himself bent upon the same design these three weeks. Ay," says another, against some other. still keeping the pipe in his mouth, “that We have often heard of the speech of a puts me in mind of a pleasant story about corporation, and this induced me to tranthat-hem—very well; you must know-scribe aspeech of this club, taken in shortbut before I begin-sir, my service to you hand, word for word, as it was spoken by - where was I ?"
every member of the company. My next club goes by the name of the be necessary to observe, that the man who Harmonical Society; probably from that told of the ghost had the loudest voice, love of order and friendship which every and the longest story to tell, so that his person commends in institutions of this continuing narrative filled every chasm in nature. The landlord was himself the the conversation. founder. The money spent is fourpence “So, sir, d'ye perceive me, the ghost each; and they sometimes whip for a giving three loud raps at the bed-postdouble reckoning. To this club few re. Says my lord to me, my dear Smokeum, commendations are requisite, except the you know there is no man upon the face introductory fourpence, and my landlord's of the yearth for whom I have so highgood word, which, as he gains by it, he A damnable false heretical opinion of all never refuses.
sound doctrine and good learning; for I'll We all here talked and behaved as tell it aloud, and spare not, that-Silence everybody else usually does on his club for a song ; Mr. Leathersides for a song night; we discussed the topic of the day, - As I was a-walking upon the highway, drank each other's healths, snuffed the I met a young damsel'— Then what brings candles with our fingers, and filled our you here? says the parson to the ghostpipes from the same plate of tobacco. Sanconiathon, Manetho, and BerosusThe company saluted each other in the The whole way from Islington turnpike common manner: Mr. Bellows-mender to Dog-house bar--Dam-As for Abel hoped Mr. Currycomb-maker had not Drugger, sir, he's damned low in it: my caught cold going home the last club 'prentice boy has more of the gentleman night; and he returned the compliment than he-For murder will out one time or by hoping that young Master Bellows- another; and none but a ghost, you know, mender had got well again of the chin- gentlemen, can Damme, if I don't ;
for my friend, whom you know, gentlemen, this flattery and obsequious attention, our and who is a parliament-man, a man of great men took any notice of the rest of consequence, a dear honest creature, to the company. Their whole discourse was be sure ; we were laughing last night at addressed to each other. Sir Paul told -Death and damnation upon all his his Lordship a long story of Moravia the posterity, by simple barely tasting-Sour Jew; and his Lordship gave Sir Paul a grapes, as the fox said once when he could very long account of his new method of not reach them: and I'll, I'll tell you a managing silk-worms: he led him, and story about that that will make you burst consequently the rest of the company, your sides with laughing: a fox once through all the stages of feeding, sunning, Will nobody listen to the song—'As I and hatching ; with an episode on mulwas a-walking upon the highway, I met berry-trees, a digression upon grass seeds, a young damsel both buxom and gay,' – and a long parenthesis about his new postiNo ghost, gentlemen, can be murdered ; lion. In this manner we travelled on, nor did I ever hear but of one ghost killed wishing every story to be the last ; but all in all my lise, and that was stabbed in the in vain : belly with a--My blood and soul if I don't
Hills over hills, and Alps on Alps arose. -Mr. Bellows-mender, I have the honour of drinking your very good health-Blast The last club in which I was enrolled me if I do-dam-blood-bugs—fire- a member was a society of moral philo. whiz-blid — tit-rat- trip”- - The rest sophers, as they called themselves, who all riot, nonsense, and rapid confusion. assembled twice a week, in order to show
Were I to be angry at men for being the absurdity of the present mode of fools, I could here find ample room for religion, and establish a new one in its declamation ; but, alas ! I have been a stead. fool myself; and why should I be angry I found the members very warmly diswith them for being something so natural puting when I arrived, not indeed about to every child of humanity?
religion or ethics, but about who had Fatigued with this society, I was intro. neglected to lay down his preliminary duced the following night to a club of sixpence upon entering the room. The fashion. On taking my place, I found the president swore that he had laid his own conversation sufficiently easy, and tolerably down, and so swore all the company. good-natured : for my Lord and Sir Paul During this contest I had an oppor. were not yet arrived. I now thought my- tunity of observing the laws, and also the self completely fitted, and resolving to members, of the society. The president, seek no farther, determined to take up my who had been, as I was told, lately a residence here for the winter ; while my bankrupt, was a tall pale figure, with a long temper began to open insensibly to the black wig ; the next to him was dressed cheerfulness I saw diffused on every face in a large white wig and a black cravat ; in the room: but the delusion soon a third, by the brownness of complexion, vanished, when the waiter came to apprise seemed a native of Jamaica; and a fourth, us that his Lordship and Sir Paul were by his hue, appeared to be a blacksmith. just arrived.
But their rules will give the most just idea From this moment all our felicity was of their learning and principles. at an end ; our new guests bustled into I. We, being a laudable society of moral the room, and took their seats at the head philosophers, intends to dispute twice a of the table. Adieu, now, all confidence! week about religion and priestcraft; leaving every creature strove who should most behind us old wives' tales, and following recommend himself to our members of good learning and sound sense: and if so distinction. Each seemed quite regardless be, that any other persons has a mind to of pleasing any but our new guests; and be of the society, they shall be entitled so what before wore the appearance of friend to do, upon paying the sum of three ship, was now turned into rivalry. shillings, to be spent by the company in
Yet I could not observe that, amidst all punch.
II. That no member get drunk before hop from subject to subject, and if properly nine of the clock, upon pain of forfeiting encouraged, I intend in time to adorn my threepence, to be spent by the company in feuille volant with pictures. But to begin punch.
in the usual form with III. That, as members are sometimes apt to go way without paying, every person
A modest Address to the Public. shall pay sixpence upon his entering the The public has been so often imposed room; and all disputes shall be settled upon by the unperforming promises of by a majority; and all fines shall be paid others, that it is with the utmost modesty in punch.
we assure them of our inviolable design IV. That sixpence shall be every night of giving the very best collection that ever given to the president, in order to buy astonished society. The public we honour books of learning for the good of the and regard, and, therefore, to instruct and society: the president has already put entertain them is our highest ambition, himself to a good deal of expense in buy with labours calculated as well for the ing books for the club; particularly, the head as the heart. 'If four extraordinary works of Tully, Socrates, and Cicero, pages of letter-press be any recommendawhich he will soon read to the society. tion of our wit, we may at least boast the
V. All them who brings a new argument honour of vindicating our own abilities. against religion, and who being a philo. To say more in favour of the INFERNAL sopher and a man of learning, as the rest MAGAZINE would be unworthy the public; of us is, shall be admitted to the freedom to say less, would be injurious to ourselves. of the society, upon paying sixpence only, As we have no interested motives for this to be spent in punch.
undertaking, being a society of gentlemen VI. Whenever we are to have an extra- of distinction, we disdain to eat or write ordinary meeting, it shall be advertised by like hirelings: we are all gentlemen, resome outlandish name in the newspapers. solved to sell our magazine for sixpence
SAUNDERS MACWILD, President. merely for our own amusement.
Dedication to that most ingenious of all
Patrons, the Tripoline Ambassador. ESSAY II.
May it please your Excellency, -As your Specimen of a Magazine in Miniature.
taste in the fine arts is universally allowed WE essayists, who are allowed but one and admired, permit the authors of the subject at a time, are by no means so for- Infernal Magazine to lay the following tunate as the writers of magazines, who sheets humbly at your Excellency's toe; write upon several. If a magaziner be and should our labours ever have the dull upon the Spanish wär, he soon has us happiness of one day adorning the courts up again with the Ghost in Cock Lane; of Fez, we doubt not that the influence if the reader begins to doze upon that, he wherewith we are honoured, shall be ever is quickly roused by an Eastern tale: tales retained with the most warm ardour by, prepare us for poetry, and poetry for the May it please your Excellency, meteorological history of the weather. It Your most devoted humble servants, is the life and soul of a magazine never to
The Authors of the be long dull upon one subject; and the
INFERNAL MAGAZINE. reader, like the sailor's horse, has at least the comfortable refreshment of having the Speech spoken by the Indigent Philosopher, spur often changed.
to persuade his Club at Cateaton to declare As I see no reason why these should
War against Spain. carry off all the rewards of genius, I have My honest friends and brother politicians, some thoughts for the future of making - I perceive that the intended war with my Essays a magazine in miniature: I shall Spain makes many of you uneasy. Yester