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me, there was at that time a very good Club in it; he Saturday; also told me, upon further Discourse with him, that two March 10, 1711.
or three noisie Country Squires, who were settled there the Year before, had considerably sunk the Price of House-Rent; and that the Club (to_prevent the like Inconveniences 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 sociable Nature and good Conversation.
The Hum-Drum Club, of which I was formerly an unworthy Member, was made up of very honest Gentle men, of peaceable Dispositions, that used to sit together, smoak their Pipes, and say nothing till Midnight. The Mum Club (as I am informed) is an Institution of the same Nature, and as great an Enemy to Noise.
After these two innocent Societies, I cannot forbear mentioning a very mischievous one, that was erected in the Reign of King Charles the Second: I mean the Club of Duellists, in which none was to be admitted that had not fought his Man. The President of it was said to have killed half a dozen in single Combat; and as for the other Members, they took_their Seats accord ing to the Number of their Slain. There was likewise a Side Table, for such as had only drawn Blood, and shewn a laudable Ambition of taking the first Oppor tunity to qualifie 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 Institution
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 it self is said to have
Steak, and October 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 don't meet to censure or annoy those that are absent, but to enjoy one another ;
When they are thus combined for their own Improve No. 9, ment, or for the Good of others, or at least to relax Saturday, themselves from the Business of the Day, by an innocent
1711 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 Ale-house : How I came thither I may inform my Reader at a more convenient time. These Laws were enacted by a Knot of Artizans and Mechanicks, 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. L Every Member at his first coming in shall lay down his Two-Pence.
IL 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 pav for whatever she drinks or smoaks.
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.
X. None shall be admitted into the Club that is of the same Trade with any Member of it.
XI. None of the Club shall have his Cloaths or Shoes made or mended, but by a Brother-Member,
No. 9. XIL No Non-juror shall be capable of being a Member,
The Morality of this little Club is guarded by such 1711
wholesome Laws and Penalties, that I question not but my Reader will be as well pleased with them, as he would have been with the Leges Convivales of Ben, Johnson, the Regulations of an old Roman Club cited by Lipsius, or the Rules of a Symposium in an ancient Greek Author..
Monday, March 12.
Atque illum praeceps prono rapit alveus amni.–Virg.
City inquiring Day by Day after these my Papers, and receiving my Morning Lectures with a becoming Seriousness and Attention. My Publisher tells me, that there are already Three thousand of them distributed every Day: So that if I allow Twenty Readers to every Paper, which I look upon as a modest Computation, I may reckon about Threescore thousand Disciples in London and Westminster, who I hope will take care to distinguish themselves from the thoughtless Herd of their ignorant and unattentive Brethren. Since I have raised to myself so great an Audience, I shall spare no Pains to make their Instruction agreeable, and their Diversion useful. For which Reasons I shall endeavour to enliven Morality with Wit, and to temper Wit with Morality, that my Readers may, if possible, both Ways find their Account in the Speculation of the Day. And to the End that their Virtue and Discretion may not be short transient intermittent Starts of Thought, I have resolved to refresh their Memories from Day to Day, till I have recovered them out of that desperate State of Vice and Folly into which the Age is fallen. The Mind that lies fallow but a single Day, sprouts up in Follies that are only to be killed by a constant and assiduous Culture, It was said of Socrates, that he brought Philosophy down from Heaven, to inhabit
among Men; and I shall be ambitious to have it said No. 10. of me, that I have brought Philosophy out of Closets Monday,
March 12, and Libraries, Schools and Colleges, to dwell in Clubs
1711. and Assemblies, at Tea-Tables and in Coffee Houses.
I would therefore in a very particular Manner recommend these my Speculations to all well regulated Families, that set apart an Hour in every Morning for Tea and Bread and Butter; and would earnestly advise them for their Good to order this Paper to be punctually served up, and to be looked upon as a Part of the Tea Equipage.
Sir Francis Bacon observes, that a well-written Book, compared with its Rivals and Antagonists, is like Moses's Serpent, that immediately swallow'd up and devoured those of the Egyptians. I shall not be so vain as to think, that where the SPECTATOR appears, the other publick Prints will vanish, but shall leave it to my Reader's Consideration, whether, Is it not much better to be let into the Knowledge of ones self, than to hear what passes in Muscovy or Poland, and to amuse our selves with such Writings as tend to the wearing out of Ignorance, Passion, and Prejudice, than such as naturally conduce to inflame Hatreds, and make Enmitiés irreconcileable ?
In the next Place, I would recommend this Paper to the daily Perusal of those Gentlemen whom I cannot but consider as my good Brothers and Allies, I mean the Fraternity of Spectators who live in the World without having any thing to do in it; and, either by the Affluence of their Fortunes, or Laziness of their Dispositions, have no other Business with the rest of Mankind, but to look upon them. Under this Class of Men are comprehended all contemplative Tradesmen, titular Physicians, Fellows of the Royal Society, Templers that are not given to be contentious, and Statesmen that are out of Business ;, in short, every one that considers the World as a Theatre, and desires to form a right Judg. ment of those who are the Actors on it
There is another Set of Men that I must likewise lay a Claim to whom I have lately called the Blanks of Society, as being altogether unfurnish'd with Ideas, till the Business and Conversation of the Day has supplied them. I have often consider'd these poor Souls with an
No. 10. Eye of great Commiseration, when I have heard them Monday, asking the first Man they have met with, whether there March 12,
was any News stirring and by that Means gathering 1711
together Materials for thinking. These needy Persons
But there are none to whom this paper will be more useful, than to the Female World. I have often thought there has not been sufficient Pains taken in finding out proper Employments and Diversions for the Fair
Their Amusements seem contrived for them rather as they are Women, than as they are reasonable Creatures, and are more adapted to the Sex than to the Species. The Toilet is their great Scene of Business, and the right adjusting of their Hair the principal Employment of their Lives. The sorting of a Suit of Ribbons is reckon'd a very good Morning's Work; and if they make an Excursion to a Mercer's or a Toy-shop so great a Fatigue makes them unfit for any thing else all the Day after. Their more serious Occupations are Sowing and Embroidery, and their greatest Drudgery the Preparation of Jellies and Sweet-meats. This, I say, is the State of ordinary Women ; tho' I know there are Multitudes of those of a more elevated Life and Conversa tion, that move in an exalted Sphere of Knowledge and Virtue, that join all the Beauties of the Mind to the Ornaments of Dress, and inspire a kind of Awe and Respect, as well as Love, into their Male-Beholders. I hope to encrease the Number of these by Publishing this daily Paper, which I shall always endeavour to make an innocent if not an improving Entertainment,