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warrior, they do not observe, that to turn all the reading of the best and wisest writings into rhapsodies of love, is a frenzy 'no less diverting than that of the foresaid accomplished Spaniard. A gentleman, who, Jhope, will continue his correspondence, is lately admitted into the fraternity, and sent me the following letter :
SIR, “ Since I find you take notice of clubs, I beg leave to give you an account of one in Oxford, which you have nowhere mentioned, and perhaps never heard of. We distinguish ourselves by the title of the Amorous Club, are all votaries of Cupid, and admirers of the fair
The reason that we are so little known in the world, is the secrecy which we are obliged to live under in the university. Our constitution runs counter to that of the place wherein we live ; for in love there are no doctors, and we all profess so high passion, that we admit of no graduates in it. Our presidentship is bestowed according to the dignity of passion; our number is un. limited ; and our statutes are like those of the Druids, recorded in our own breasts only, and explained by the majority of the company. A mistress, and a poem in her praise, will introduce any candidate: without the latter no one can be admitted; for he that is not in love enough to rhyme, is unqualified for our society. To speak disrespectfully of any woman, is expulsion from our gentle society. As we are at present all of us gown-men, instead of duelling when we are rivals, we drink together the health of our mistress. The manner of doing this sometimes indeed creates debates; on such occasions we have recourse to the rules of love among the ancients. NÆvia sex cyathis, septem JUSTINA bibatur.
MART. E Pig. . 720 Six cups to Nævia, to JUSTINA seven. This method of a glass to every letter of her name, oca casioned the other night a dispute of some warmth. A young student, who is in love with Mrs ELISABETH DIMPLE, was so unreasonable as to begin her health under the name of Elisabetha ; which so exasperated the
club, that by common consent we retrenched it to Betty. We look upon a man as no company that does not sigh five times in a quarter of an hour; and look upon a 'member as very absurd that is so much himself as to make a direct answer to a question. In fine, the whole assembly is made up of absent men, that is, of such persons as have lost their locality, and whose minds and bodies never keep company with one another. As I am an unfortunate member of this distracted society, you cannot expect a very regular account of it; for which reason, I hope you will pardon me that I so abruptly subscribe myself, Sir,
Your most obedient,
« I forgot to tell you, that ALBINA, who has six votaries in this club,
is one of
NO. 31.-THURSDAY, APRIL 5. 1711.
Sit mihi fas audita loquia
VIRG. ÆN. vi. 266.
What I have heard, permit me to relate.
A PROJECTOR'S PLAN OF AN OPERA.
Last night, upon my going into a coffeehouse not far from the Hay-Market theatre, I diverted myself for above half an hour with overhearing the discourse of one who, by the shabbiness of his dress, the extravagance of his conceptions, and the hurry of his speech, I discovered to be of that species who are generally distinguished by the title of projectors. This gentleman, for I found he was treated as such by his audience, was entertaining a whole table of listeners with the project of an opera, which he told us had not cost him above two or three mornings in the contrivance, and which he was ready to
pat in execution, provided he might find his account init. He said, that he had observed the great trouble and inconvenience which ladies were at in travelling up and down to the several shows that are exhibited in different quarters of the town. The dancing monkeys are in one place; the puppet-show in another; the opera in a third; not to mention the lions, that are almost a whole day's journey from the politer part of the town. By this means people of figure are forced to lose half the winter, after their coming to town, before they have seen all the strange sights about it. In order to remedy this great inconvenience, our projector drew out of his pocket. the scheme of an opera, intitled, The Expedition of AlexANDER the Great ; in which he had-disposed all the remarkable shows about town amung the scenes and de. corations of his piece. The thought, he confessed, was Dot originally his own, but that he had taken the hint of it from several performances which he had seen upon our stage: in one of which there was a raree-show, in another a ladder-dance ; and in others a posture-man, a moving picture, with many curiosities of the like nature.
This expedition of ALEXANDER opens with his consulting the oracle at Delphos ; in which the dumb-con. jurer, who has been visited by so many persons of qua lity of late years, is to be introduced as telling him his fortune : at the same tiine CLENCH of Barnet is repre. sented in another corner of the temple, as ringing the bells of Delphos for joy of his arrival. The tent of DA RIUS is to be peopled by the ingenious Mrs SALMON, where ALEXANDER to fall in love with a piece of waxwork, that represents the beautiful STATIRA. When ALEXANDER comes into that country, in which QUINTUS CURTius tells us the dogs were so exceeding fierce that they would not lose their hold though they were cut to pieces limb by limb, and that they would hang upon their prey by their teeth when they had nothing but a mouth left; there is to be a scene of Hockley in the Hole, in which is to be represented all the diversions of that place, the bull-baiting only excepted, which cannot possibly be exhibited in the theatre by reason of the lowness of the roof. The several woods in Asia, which ALEXANDER must be supposed to pass through, will
give the audience a sight of monkeys dancing upon ropes, with the many other pleasantries of that ludicrous species. At the same time, if there chance to be any: strange animals in town, whether birds or beasts, they may be either let loose among the woods, or driven across the
stage by some of the country people of Asia. In the last great battle, PINKETHMAN is to personate King Porus upon an elephant, and is to be encountered by Powell, representing ALEXANDER the Great, upon a dromedary; which, nevertheless, Mr POWELL is de. sired to call by the name of BucephALUS. Upon the close of this great decisive battle, when the two kings are thoroughly reconciled, to shew the mutual friendship and good correspondence that reigns between them, they both of them go together to a puppet-show ; in which the ingenious Mr Powell, junior, may have an opporo tunity of displaying his whole art of machinery, for the diversion of the two monarchs. Some at the table urged that a puppet-show was not a suitable entertainment for ALEXANDER the Great ;, and that it might be introdu. ced more properly if we suppose the.conqueror touched upon
that part of India which is said to be inhabited by the Pigmies. But this objection was looked upon as frivolous, and the proposal immediately, over-ruled. Our projector further added, that after the reconciliation of these two kings, they might invite one another to dinner, and either of them entertain his guest with the German artist, Mr PINKETHMAN's heathen gods, or any of the liks diversions, which shall then chance to be in vogue.
This project was received with very great applause by the whole table. Upon which the undertaker told us, that he had not yet communicated to us above half his design; for that ALFXANDER being a Greek, it was his intention that the whole opera should be acted in that language, which was a tongue he was sure would won. derfully please the ladies, especially when it was a little raised and rounded by the lonic dialect ; and could not but be acceptable to the whole audience, because there are fewer of them who understand Greek than Italian. The only difficulty that remained was, how to get performers, unless we could persuade some gentlemen of the universities to learn to sing, in order to qualify themselves
for the stage : but this objection soon vanished, when the projector informed us that the Greeks were at present the only musicians in the Turkish empire, and that it would be very easy for our factory at Smyrna to furnish us every year with a colony of musicians by the oppor. tunity of the Turkey fleet : besides, says he, if we want any single voice for any lower part in the opera, Law. RENCE can learn to speak Greek, as well as he does Ita. lian, in a fortnight's time.
The projector having thus settled matters to the good liking of all that heard him, he left his seat at the table, and planted himself before the fire, where I had unluckily taken
ту stand for the convenience of overhearing what he said. Whether he had observed me to be more atten, tive than ordinary, I cannot tell ; but he had not stood hy me above a quarter of a minute, but he turned short upon me on a sudden, and catching me by a button of my coat, attacked me very abruptly after the following
Besides, Sir, I have heard of a very extraor. dinary genius for music that lives in Switzerland, who has so strong a spring in his fingers that he can make the board of an organ sound like a drum ; and if I could but procure a subscription of about ten thousand pounds every winter, I would undertake to fetch him over, and oblige him by articles to set every thing that should be sung upon the English stage. After this he looked full in my face, expecting I would make an answer; when, by good luck, a gentleman that had entered the coffeebouse since the projector applied himself to me, hea: ing him talk of his Swiss compositions, cried out, in a kind of laugh, Is our music then to receive farther ima provements from Switzerland! This alarmed the
projector, who immediately let go my button, and turned about to answer him. I took the opportunity of the diversion, which seemed to be made in favour of me, and kaying down my penny upon the bar, retired with some precipitation.