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[ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN 1765.]
have been objected to the following Essays, and it must be owned in some measure that the charge is true. However, I could have made them more metaphysical had I thought fit; but I would ask, whether, in a short Essay, it is not necessary to be superficial? Before we have prepared to enter into the depths of a subject in the usual forms, we have arrived at the bottom of our scanty page, and thus lose the honours of a victory by too tedious a
There is another fault in this collection of tri
THE following Essays have already appeared at different times, and in different publications. The pamphlets in which they were inserted being generally unsuccessful, these shared the common fate, without assisting the bookseller's aims, or extending the writer's reputation. The public were too strenuously employed with their own follies to be assiduous in estimating mine; so that many of my preparation for the combat. best attempts in this way have fallen victims to the transient topic of the times-the Ghost in Cock-fles, which, I fear, will not be so easily pardoned. lane, or the siege of Ticonderoga. It will be alleged, that the humour of them (if any But though they have passed pretty silently in-be found) is stale and hackneyed. This may be to the world, I can by no means complain of their true enough, as matters now stand; but I may circulation. The magazines and papers of the with great truth assert, that the humour was new day have indeed been liberal enough in this re-when I wrote it. Since that time, indeed, many spect. Most of these essays have been regularly of the topics, which were first stated here, have reprinted twice or thrice a year, and conveyed to been hunted down, and many of the thoughts the public through the kennel of some engaging blown upon. In fact, these Essays were considercompilation. If there be a pride in multiplied edi-ed as quietly laid in the grave of oblivion; and our tions, I have seen some of my labours sixteen modern compilers, like sextons and executioners, times reprinted, and claimed by different parents think it their undoubted right to pillage the dead. as their own. I have seen them flourished at the However, whatever right I have to complain of beginning with praise, and signed at the end with the public, they can, as yet, have no just reason to the names of Philautos, Philalethis, Phileleutheros, complain of me. If I have written dull Essays. and Philanthropos. These gentlemen have kindly they have hitherto treated them as dull Essays. stood sponsors to my productions, and, to flatter Thus far we are at least upon par, and until they the more, have always passed them as their own. think fit to make me their humble debtor by praise, It is time, however, at last to vindicate my I am resolved not to lose a single inch of my selfclaims; and as these entertainers of the public, as importance. Instead, therefore, of attempting to they call themselves, have partly lived upon me for establish a credit amongst them, it will perhaps be some years, let me now try if I can not live a little wiser to apply to some more distant correspondent; upon myself. I would desire, in this case, to imi- and as my drafts are in some danger of being protate that fat man whom I have somewhere heard tested at home, it may not be imprudent, upon this of in a shipwreck, who, when the sailors, pressed occasion, to draw my bills upon Posterity. by famine, were taking slices from his posteriors to satisfy their hunger insisted, with great justice, on having the first cut for himself.
Yet, after all, I can not be angry with any who have taken it into their heads, to think that whatever I write is worth reprinting, particularly when I consider how great a majority will think it scarcely worth reading. Trifling and superficial are terms of reproach that are easily objected, and that carry an air of penetration in the observer. These faults
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, etc.
something touched off to a nicety, for Mr. Spriggins was going to give us Mad Tom in all its glory. Mr. Spriggins endeavoured to excuse himself;
I REMEMBER to have read in some philosopher for as he was to act a madman and a king, it was (I believe in Tom Brown's works), that, let a impossible to go through the part properly without man's character, sentiments, or complexion be a crown and chains. His excuses were overruled what they will, he can find company in London to by a great majority, and with much vociferation. match them. If he be splenetic, he may every The president ordered up the jack-chain, and inday meet companions on the seats in St. James's stead of a crown, our performer covered his brows Park, with whose groans he may mix his own, with an inverted jorden. After he had rattled his and pathetically talk of the weather. If he be pas-chain, and shook his head, to the great delight of sionate, he may vent his rage among the old ora- the whole company, he began his song. As tors at Slaughter's Coffee-house, and damn the have heard few young fellows offer to sing in comnation because it keeps him from starving. If he pany, that did not expose themselves, it was no be phlegmatic, he may sit in silence at the hum- great disappointment to me to find Mr. Spriggins drum club in Ivy-lane; and, if actually mad, he among the number; however, not to seem an odd may find very good company in Moorfields, either fish, I rose from my seat in rapture, cried out, at Bedlam or the Foundry, ready to cultivate a bravo! encore! and slapped the table as loud as nearer acquaintance. any of the rest.
The gentleman who sat next me seemed highly pleased with my taste and the ardour of my approbation; and whispering told me that I had suffered an immense loss, for had I come a few minutes sooner, I might have heard Gee ho Dobbin sung in a tip-top manner by the pimple-nosed spirit at the president's right elbow; but he was evaporated before I came.
But, although such as have a knowledge of the town may easily class themselves with tempers congenial to their own, a countryman, who comes to live in London, finds nothing more difficult. With regard to myself, none ever tried with more assiduity, or came off with such indifferent success. I spent a whole season in the search, during which time my name has been enrolled in societies, lodges, convocations, and meetings, with- As was expressing my uneasiness at this disout number. To some I was introduced by a appointment, I found the attention of the compafriend, to others invited by an advertisement; to ny employed upon a fat figure, who, with a voice these I introduced myself, and to those I changed more rough than the Staffordshire giant's, was my name to gain admittance. In short, no co- giving us the Softly Sweet in Lydian Measure of quette was ever more solicitous to match her ri- Alexander's Feast. After a short pause of adbands to her complexion, than I to suit my club to miration, to this succeeded a Welsh dialogue, my temper; for I was too obstinate to bring my with the humours of Teague and Taffy: after that temper to conform to it. came on Old Jackson, with a story between every stanza; next was sung the Dustcart, and then Solomon's Song. The glass began now to circulate pretty freely: those who were silent when soher would now be heard in their turn; every man had his song, and he saw no reason why he should
The first club I entered upon coming to town was that of the Choice Spirits. The name was entirely suited to my taste; I was a lover of mirth, good-humour, and even sometimes of fun, from my childhood.
As no other passport was requisite but the pay-not be heard as well as any of the rest; one begged tc ment of two shillings at the door, I introduced my- be heard while he gave Death and the Lady in high self without further ceremony to the members, who taste; another sung to a plate which he kept were already assembled, and had for some time trundling on the edges; nothing was now heard begun upon business. The Grand, with a mallet but singing; voice rose above voice; and the whole in his hand, presided at the head of the table. I became one universal shout, when the landlord could not avoid, upon my entrance, making use of came to acquaint the company that the reckoning all my skill in physiognomy, in order to discover was drank out. Rabelais calls the moment in that superiority of genius in men, who had taken which a reckoning is mentioned the most melana title so superior to the rest of mankind. I ex-choly of our lives; never was so much noise so pected to see the lines of every face marked with quickly quelled as by this short but pathetic orastrong thinking; but though I had some skill in tion of our landlord: drank out! was echoed in a this science, I could for my life discover nothing tone of discontent round the table: drank out albut a pert simper, fat or profound stupidity. ready! that was very odd! that so much punch could be drank already-impossible! The landlord, however, seeming resolved not to retreat from
My speculations were soon interrupted by the Grand, who had knocked down Mr. Spriggins for 8 song. I was upon this whispered by one of the his first assurances, the company was dissolved, company who sat next me, that I should now see and a president chosen for the night ensuing.
We all here talked and behaved as every body
A friend of mine, to whom I was complaining and they sometimes whip for a double reckoning. some time after the entertainment I have been de- To this club few recommendations are requisite, scribing, proposed to bring me to the club that he except the introductory fourpence and my landfrequented, which he fancied would suit the gravity lord's good word, which, as he gains by it, he never of my temper exactly. "We have at the Muzzy refuses. Club," says he, no riotous mirth nor awkward ribaldry; no confusion or bawling ; all is conducted else usually does on his club-night; we discussed with wisdom and decency: besides, some of our the topic of the day, drank each other's healths, members are worth forty thousand pounds; men of snuffed the candles with our fingers, and filled our prudence and foresight every one of them: these are pipes from the same plate of tobacco. The comthe proper acquaintance, and to such I will to night pany saluted each other in the common manner; introduce you." I was charmed at the proposal: Mr. Bellows-mender hoped Mr. Currycomb-maker to be acquainted with men worth forty thousand had not caught cold going home the last clubpounds, and to talk wisdom the whole night, were night; and he returned the compliment by hoping offers that threw me into raptures. that young Master Bellows-mender had got well again of the chincough. Dr. Twist told us a story of a parliament-man, with whom he was intimately acquainted; while the bug-man, at the same time, was telling a better story of a noble lord with whom
At seven o'clock I was accordingly introduced by my friend, not indeed to the company, for, though I made my best bow, they seemed insensible of my approach, but to the table at which they were sitting. Upon my entering the room, I could he could do any thing. A gentleman, in a black not avoid feeling a secret veneration from the so-wig and leather breeches at the other end of the lemnity of the scene before me; the members kept table, was engaged in a long narrative of the Ghost a profound silence, each with a pipe in his mouth, in Cock-lane: he had read it in the papers of the and a pewter pot in his hand, and with faces that day, and was telling it to some that sat next him, might easily be construed into absolute wisdom. who could not read. Near him Mr. Dibbins was Happy society, thought I to myself, where the disputing on the old subject of religion with a Jew members think before they speak, deliver nothing pedler, over the table, while the president vainly rashly, but convey their thoughts to each other knocked down Mr. Leathersides for a song. Bepregnant with meaning and matured by reflection. sides the combinations of these voices, which 1 could hear altogether, and which formed an upper part to the concert, there were several others playing under-parts by themselves, and endeavouring to fasten on some luckless neighbour's ear, who was himself bent upon the same design against some other.
We have often heard of the speech of a corpora
In this pleasing speculation I continued a full half-hour, expecting each moment that somebody would begin to open his mouth: every time the pipe was laid down I expected it was to speak; but it was only to spit. At length resolving to break the charm myself, and overcome their extreme diffidence, for to this I imputed their silence, I rubbed my hands, and, looking as wise as possible, ob- tion, and this induced me to transcribe a speech of served that the nights began to grow a little coolish this club, taken in short-hand, word for word, as it at this time of the year. This, as it was directed was spoken by every member of the company. It to none of the company in particular, none thought may be necessary to observe, that the man who told himself obliged to answer, wherefore I continued of the ghost had the loudest voice, and the longest still to rub my hands and look wise. My next story to tell, so that his continuing narrative filled effort was addressed to a gentleman who sat next every chasm in the conversation. me; to whom I observed, that the beer was extremely good. My neighbour made no reply, but by a large puff of tobacco-smoke.
I now began to be uneasy in this dumb society, till one of them a little relieved me by observing that bread had not risen these three weeks: "Aye," says another, still keeping the pipe in his mouth, "that puts me in mind of a pleasant story about that-hem-very well; you must know-but, be- highway, I met a young damsel-Then what fore I begin—sir, my service to you-where was brings you here? says the parson to the ghost→ . Sanconiathan, Manetho, and Berosus-The whole
"So, sir, d'ye perceive me, the ghost giving three loud raps at the bed-post-Says my Lord to me, my dear Smokeum, you know there is no man upon the face of the earth for whom I have so highA damnable false heretical opinion of all sound doctrine and good learning; for I'll tell it aloud and spare not that-Silence for a song; Mr. Leathersides for a song-'As I was walking upon the
My next club goes by the name of the Harmo-way from Islington-turnpike to Dog-house barnical Society; probably from that love of order and Dam-As for Abel Drugger, sir, he's damn'd low friendship which every person commends in insti- in it; my 'prentice boy has more of the gentleman tutions of this nature. The landlord was himself than he-For murder will out one time or anothe founder. The money spent is fourpence each; ther⚫ and none but a ghost, you know, gentlemen,
can-Damme if I don't; for my friend, whom The last club in which I was enrolled a member. you know, gentlemen, and who is a parliament- was a society of moral philosophers, as they called man, a man of consequence, a dear honest crea- themselves, who assembled twice a-week, in order ture, to be sure; we were laughing last night at to show the absurdity of the present mode of reDeath and damnation be upon all his posterity, by ligion, and establish a new one in its stead. simply barely tasting-Sour grapes, as the fox said I found the members very warmly disputing once when he could not reach them; and I'll, I'll when I arrived; not indeed about religion or ethics tell you a story about that, that will make you but about who had neglected to lay down his preburst your sides with laughing: A fox once-Will liminary sixpence upon entering the room. The nobody listen to the song-'As I was walking upon president swore that he had laid his own down, and the highway, I met a young damsel both buxom so swore all the company.
and gay'-No ghost, gentlemen, can be murdered; During this contest I had an opportunity of ob nor did I ever hear but of one ghost killed in all serving the laws, and also the members of the somy life, and that was stabbed in the belly with a―ciety. The president, who had been, as I was My blood and soul if I don't-Mr. Bellows-mender, told, lately a bankrupt, was a tall pale figure with I have the honour of drinking your very good a long black wig; the next to him was dressed ir. health-Blast me if I do-dam-blood-bugs-fire a large white wig, and a black cravat; a third by -whiz-blid-tit-rat-trip"- -The rest all riot, the brownness of his complexion seemed a native of Jamaica; and a fourth by his hue appeared to be a blacksmith. But their rules will give the most just idea of their learning and principles.
nonsense, and rapid confusion.
I. We being a laudable society of moral philosophers, intends to dispute twice a-week about religion and priestcraft. Leaving behind us old wives' tales, and following good learning and sound sense: and if so be, that any other persons has a mind to be of the society, they shall be entitled so to do, upon paying the sum of three shillings to be spent by the company in punch.
Fatigued with this society, I was introduced the following night to a club of fashion. On taking my place, I found the conversation sufficiently easy, and tolerably good-natured; for my lord and Sir Paul were not yet arrived. I now thought myself completely fitted, and resolving to seek no further, determined to take up my residence here for the winter; while my temper began to open in sensibly to the cheerfulness I saw diffused on every face in the room: but the delusion soon vanished, when the waiter came to apprise us that his lordship and Sir Paul were just arrived.
IV. That sixpence shall be every night given to the president, in order to buy books of learning for the good of the society: the president has already put himself to a good deal of expense in buying books for the club; particularly the works of Tully, Socrates, and Cicero, which he will soon
From this moment all our felicity was at an end; our new guests bustled into the room, and took their seats at the head of the table. Adieu now all confidence; every creature strove who should most recommend himself to our members of distinction. Each seemed quite regardless of pleasing any but our new guests; and what before wore the appearance of friendship was now turned into rivalry. Yet I could not observe that, amidst all this flattery and obsequious attention, our great men took read to the society. V. All them who brings a new argument any notice of the rest of the company. Their whole discourse was addressed to each other. Sir against religion, and who being a philosopher, and Paul told his lordship a long story of Moravia the a man of learning, as the rest of us is, shall be adJew; and his lordship gave Sir Paul a very long mitted to the freedom of the society, upon paying account of his new method of managing silk sixpence only, to be spent in punch. worms: he led him, and consequently the rest of VI. Whenever we are to have an extraordinary the company, through all the stages of feeding, meeting, it shall be advertised by some outlandish sunning, and hatching; with an episode on mul- name in the newspapers.
berry-trees, a digression upon grass seeds, and a long parenthesis about his new postillion. In this manner we travelled on, wishing every story to be the last; but all in vain
"Hi' over hills, and Alps on Alps arose.”
II. That no member get drunk before nine of the clock, upon pain of forfeiting threepence, to be spent by the company in punch.
III. That as members are sometimes apt to go away without paying, every person shall pay sixpence upon his entering the room; and all disputes shall be settled by a majority, and all fines shall bø paid in punch.
SAUNDERS MAC WILD, president,
A SPEECH SPOKEN BY THE INDIGENT PHILOSO-
My honest friends and brother politicians, I perceive that the intended war with Spain makes many of you uneasy. Yesterday, as we were told,
WE essayists, who are allowed but one subject at a time, are by no means so fortunate as the writers of magazines, who write upon several. If a magaziner be dull upon the Spanish war, he soon has us up again with the Ghost in Cock-lane; if the stocks rose, and you were glad; to-day they the reader begins to doze upon that, he is quickly fall, and you are again miserable. But, my dear roused by an eastern tale; tales prepare us for po- friends, what is the rising or the falling of the etry, and poetry for the meteorological history of stocks to us, who have no money? Let Nathan the weather. It is the life and soul of a magazine Ben Funk, the Dutch Jew, be glad or sorry for never to be long dull upon one subject; and the this; but, my good Mr. Bellows-mender, what is reader, like the sailor's horse, has at least the com- all this to you or me? You must mend broken fortable refreshment of having the spur often bellows, and I write bad prose, as long as we live, changed. whether we like a Spanish war or not. Believe me, my honest friends, whatever you may talk of liberty and your own reason, both that liberty and reason are conditionally resigned by every poor man in every society; and, as we are born to work, so others are born to watch over us while we are
As I see no reason why they should carry off all the rewards of genius, I have some thoughts for the future of making this Essay a magazine in miniature: I shall hop from subject to subject, and, if properly encouraged, I intend in time to adorn my feuille volant with pictures. But to begin in working. In the name of common sense then, my the usual form with
A MODEST ADDRESS TO THE PUBLIC.
good friends, let the great keep watch over us, and let us mind our business, and perhaps we may at last get money ourselves, and set beggars at work in our turn. I have a Latin sentence that is worth
The public has been so often imposed upon by the unperforming promises of others, that it is with its weight in gold, and which I shall beg leave to the utmost modesty we assure them of our invio-translate for your instruction. An author, called lable design of giving the very best collection that Lilly's Grammar, finely observes, that “Æs in ever astonished society. The public we honour
and regard, and therefore to instruct and entertain præsenti perfectum format ;" that is, "Ready mothem is our highest ambition, with labours calcu-ney makes a perfect man." Let us then get ready lated as well for the head as the heart. If four money; and let them that will spend theirs by going to war with Spain. extraordinary pages of letter-press, be any recommendation of our wit, we may at least boast the onour of vindicating our own abilities. To say more in favour of the Infernal Magazine, would If you be a rich man, you may enter the room e unworthy the public; to say less, would be inju- with three loud hems, march deliberately up to ious to ourselves. As we have no interested mo- the chimney, and turn your back to the fire. If ives for this undertaking, being a society of gen- you be a poor man, I would advise you to shrink lemen of distinction, we disdain to eat or write into the room as fast as you can, and place your ike hirelings; we are all gentlemen, resolved to self as usual upon the corner of a chair in a resell our sixpenny magazine merely for our own mote corner.
Be careful to ask for the Infernal Magazine.
DEDICATION TO THAT MOST INGENIOUS OF ALL
May it please your Excellency,
Your most devoted humble servants,
RULES FOR BEHAVIOUR, DRAWN UP BY THE INDI
When you are desired to sing in company, I would advise you to refuse; for it is a thousand to one but that you torment us with affectation or a bad voice.
May it please your Excellency,
If you be young, and live with an old man, I would advise you not to like gravy; I was disinherited myself for liking gravy.
Don't laugh much in public; the spectators that
As your taste in the fine arts is universally al'owed and admired, permit the authors of the Inrnal Magazine to lay the following sheets hum-are not as merry as you will hate you, either beoly at your Excellency's toe; and should our la- cause they envy your happiness, or fancy thombours ever have the happiness of one day adorning selves the subject of your mirth. the courts of Fez, we doubt not that the influence wherewith we are honoured, shall be ever retained with the most warm ardour by,
RULES FOR RAISING THE DEVIL. TRANSLATED
FROM THE LATIN OF DANEUS DE SORTIARIIS,
The person who desires to raise the Devil, is to