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And on the margin of the fount was laid
Like DIAN and her nymphs, when tir'd with sport,
The dame herself the goddess well express'd,
The fanning wind and purling streams continue her repose.
Then would have spoke, but by his glimm'ring sense,
But lest this fine description should be excepted a gainst, as the creation of that great master, Mr DRYDEN, and not on account of what has really ever happened in the world; I shall give you, verbatim, the epistle of an enamoured footman in the country to his mistress. Their surnames shall not be inserted, because their passions demand a greater respect than is due to their quality. JAMES is servant in a great family, and ELIZABETH waits upon the daughter of one as numerous, some miles off her lover. JAMES, before he beheld BETTY, was vain of his strength, a rough wrestler, and quarrelsome cudgel-player; BETTY a public dancer at may poles, a romp at stool-ball: he always following idle women, she playing among the peasants: he a country bully, she a country coquette. But love has made her constantly in her mistress's chamber, where the young lady gratifies a secret passion of her own, by making BETTY talk of JAMES; and JAMES is become a constant waiter at his master's apartment, in reading, as well as he can, romances. I cannot learn who MOLLY. is, who it seems walked ten miles to carry the angry message, which gave occasion to what follows.
MY DEAR BETTY,
MAY 14. 1711.
"Remember your bleeding lover, who lies bleeding at the wounds CUPID made with the arrows he borrowed at the eyes of VENUS, which is your sweet person. "Nay more, with the token you sent me for my love and service offered to your sweet person; which was your base respects to my ill conditions; when, alas! there is no ill conditions in me, but quite contrary; all love and purity, especially to your sweet person'; but all this I take as a jest.
"But the sad and dismal news which MOLLY brought me, struck me to the heart; which was, it seems, and is, your ill conditions for my love and respects to you.
"For she told me, if i came forty times to you, you would not speak with me; which words I am sure is a great grief to me.
"Now, my dear, if I may not be permitted to your sweet company, and to have the happiness of speaking with your sweet person, I beg the favour of you to accept of this my secret mind and thoughts, which hath so long lodged in my breast; the which if you do not accept, I believe will go nigh to break my heart.
"For indeed, my dear, I love you above all the beauties I ever saw in all my life.
The young gentleman, and my master's daughter, the Londoner that is come down to marry her, sat in the arbour most part of last night. Oh! dear BETTY, must the nightingales sing to those who marry for money, and not to us true lovers! Oh, my dear BETTY, that we could meet this night where we used to do in the wood!
"Now, my dear, if I may not have the blessing of kissing your sweet lips, I beg I may have the happiness of kissing your fair hand, with a few lines from your dear self, presented by whom you please or think fit. I believe, if time would permit me, I could write all day but the time being short, and paper little, from your never-failing lover till death.
Poor JAMES! since his time and paper were so short, I, that have more than I can use well of both, will put the sentiments of, this kind letter (the style of which seems to be confused with scraps he had got in hearing and reading what he did not understand) into what he meant to express.
Can you then neglect him who has forgot all his recreations and enjoyments, to pine away his life in thinking of you? When I do so, you appear more amiable to me than VENUS does in the most beautiful description that ever was made of her. All this kindness you return with an accusation, that I do not love you; but the contrary is so manifest, that 1 cannot think you in earnest. But the certainty given me in your message by MOLLY, that you do not love me, is what robs me of all comfort. She says you will not see me: if you can have so much cruelty, at least write to me, that I may kiss the impression made by your fair hand. I love you above all things; and, in my condition, what you look upon with indifference is to me the most exquisite pleasure or pain. Our young lady, and a fine gentleman from London, who are to marry for mercenary ends, walk about our gardens, and hear the voice of evening nightingales, as if for fashion-sake they courted those solitudes, because they have heard lovers do so. Oh BETTY! could I hear these rivulets murmur, and birds sing while you stood near me, how little sensible should I be that we are both servants, that there is any thing on earth above us. Oh! I could write to you as long as I love you, till death itself.
N. B. By the words ill-conditions, JAMES means, in a woman coquetry, in a man inconstancy.
NO. 72.-WEDNESDAY, MAY 23. 1711.
Genus immortale manet, multosque per annos Stat fortuna domus, et avi numerantur avorum.
VIRG. GEORG. iv. 208.
Th' immortal line in sure succession reigns,
THE EVERLASTING CLUB.
HAVING already given my reader an account of several extraordinary clubs both ancient and modern, I did not design to have troubled him with any more narratives of this nature; but I have lately received information of a club which I can call neither ancient nor modern, that I dare say will be no less surprising to my reader than it was to myself; for which reason I shall communicate it to the public as one of the greatest curiosities in its kind.
A friend of mine, complaining of a tradesman who is related to him, after having represented him as a very idle worthless fellow, who neglected his family, and spent. most of his time over a bottle, told me, to conclude his character, that he was a member of the Everlasting Club. So very odd a title raised my curiosity to inquire into the nature of a club that had such a sounding name;' upon which friend my gave me the following account: "The everlasting Club consists of a hundred members, who divide the whole twenty-four hours among them in such a manner, that the Club sits day and night from one end of the year to another; no party presuming to rise till they are relieved by those who are in course to succeed them. By this means, a member of the Everlast ing Club never wants company; for tho' he is not upon duty himself, he is sure to find some who are; so that if he be disposed to take a whet, a nooning, an evening's draught, or a bottle after midnight, he goes to the club, and finds a knot of friends to his mind.
"It is a maxim in this club, That the steward never
dies; for as they succeed one another by way tion, no man is to quit the great elbow-chair which stands at the upper end of the table, till his successor is in readiness to fill it insomuch that there has not been
a fede vacante in the memory of man.
"This club was instituted towards the end (or, as some of them say, about the middle) of the civil wars, and continued without interruption till the time of the great fire, which burnt them out, and dispersed them for several weeks. The steward at that time maintained his post till he had like to have been blown up with a neighbouring house (which was demolished in order to stop the fire); and would not leave the chair at last, till he had emptied all the bottles upon the table, and received repeated di rections from the club to withdraw himself. This steward is frequently talked of in the club, and looked upon by every member of it as a greater man than the famous captain mentioned by my Lord CLARENDON, who was burnt in his ship, because he would not quit it without orders. It is said, that towards the close of 1700, be ing the great year of jubilee, the club had it under consideration whether they should break up or continue their session but after many speeches and debates, it was at length agreed to sit out the other century. This resolution passed in a general club nemine contradicente.'
Having given this short account of the institution and continuation of the Everlasting Club, I should here endeavour to say something of the manners and characters of its several members, which I shall do according to the best lights I have received in this matter.
appears by their books in general, that since their first institution they have smoked fifty tons of tobacco, drank thirty thousand butts of ale, one thousand hogs heads of red port, two hundred barrels of brandy, and a kilderkin of small beer. There has been likewise a great consumption of cards. It is also said, that they observe the law in Ben Johnson's club, which orders the fire to be always kept in (focus perennis eflo), as well for the convenience of lighting their pipes, as to cure the dampness of the club-room. They have an old woman in the nature of a vestal, whose business it is to cherish and per petuate the fire, which burns from generation to gene