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ON THE COUNTESS DOWAGÉR OF PEMBROKE.
• Underneath this marble hearse
N° 324. WEDNESDAY, MARCH 27, 1711-12.
O curvæ in terris anima, et cælestium inanes!
PERS. Sat. ii. 61.
'The materials you have collected to. gether towards a general history of clubs, make so bright a part of your SPECULATIONS, that I think it is but a justice we all owe the learned world, to furnish you with such assistance as may promote that useful work. For this reason I could not for. bear communicating to you some in perfect inforinations of a set of men (if you will allow them a place in that species of being) who have lately erected themselves into a nocturnal fraternity, under the title of the Mohock-club, a name borrowed it seems from a sort of cannibals in India, who subsist
* The motto prefixed to this paper in its criginal forni in folio, As taken from juvenal.
Sevis inter se convenit ursisi
by plundering and devouring all the nations about them. The president is styled Emperor of tho Mohocks ;' and his arms are a Turkish crescent, which his imperial majesty bears at present in a very extraordinary manner engraven upon liis force head. Agreeable to their name, the avowed design of their institution is mischief; and upon this foun. dation all their rules and orders are framed. An out. rageous ambition of doing all possible hurt to their fellow creatures, is the great cement of their assem. bly, and the only qualification required in the members. In order to exert this principle in its full strength and perfection, they take care to drink' themselves to a pitch, that is, beyond the possibility of attending to any motions of reason or humanity; then make a general sally, and attack all that are so unfortunate as to walk the streets through which they patrole. Some are knocked down, others stabbed, others cut and carbonadoed. To put the watch to a total rout, and mortify some of those in. offensive militia, is reckoned a coup-d' éclat. The particular talents by which these misanthropes are distinguished from one another, consist in the various kinds of barbarities which they execute upon their prisoners. Some are celebrated for a happy dexterity in tipping the lion upon them; which is performed by squeezing the nose flat to the face, and boring out the eyes with their fingers. Others are called the dancing-masters, and teach their scholars to cut capers; by rnnning swords through their legs ; a new invention, whether originally French I cannot tell. A third sort are the tumblers, whose office is to set women on their heads, and commit cer, tain indecencies, or rather barbarities, on the limbs which they expose. But these I forbear to mention, because they cannot but be very shocking to the reader as well as the Spectator. In this manner
they carry on a war against mankind; and by the standing maxims of their policy, are to enter into no alliances but one, and that is offensive and defensive with all bawdy-houses in general, of which they have declared themselves protectors and guarantees.
“I must own, sir, these are only broken, incohe. rent memoirs of this wonderful society; but they are the best I have been yet able to procure: for, being but of late established, it is not ripe for a just history; and, to be serious, the chief design of this trouble is to hinder it from ever being so. You have been pleased, out of a concern for the good of your countrymen, to act, under the character of Spectator, not only the part of a looker-on, but an overseer of their actions; and whenever such enormities as this infest the town, we immediately fly to you for re. dress. I have reason to believe, that some thought, less youngsters, out of a false notion of bravery, and an immoderate fondness to be distinguished for fel, lows of fire, are insensibly hurried into this senseless, scandalous project. Such will probably stand cor. rected by your reproofs, especially if you inform them, that it is nof courage for half a score fellows, mad with wine and lust, to set upon two or three so berer than themselves, and that the manners of In. dian savages are not becoming accomplishments to an English fine gentleman. Such of them as have been bullies and scowerers of a long standing, and are grown veterans in this kind of service, are, I fear, too hardened to receive any impressions from your admonitions. But I beg you 'would recom, mend to their perusal your ninth Speculation, They may there be taught to take warning from the club of Duellists; and be put in mind, that the common fatë of those men of honour was, to be hanged.
I am, sir, March the 10th,
Your most humble servant, 1711-12
The following letter is of a quite contrary nature; but I add it here, that the reader may observe, at the same view, how amiable ignorance may be, when it is shown in its simplicities; and how detestable in barbarities. It is written by an honest countryman to his mistress, and came to the hands of a lady of good sense, wrapped about a thread-paper, who has long kept it by her as an image of artless love,
"To her I very much respect, Mrs. Margarct Clark
Lovely, and oh that I could write loving Mrs. Margaret Clark, I pray you
let affection excuse presumption. Having been so happy as to enjoy the sight of your sweet countenance and comelybody, sometimes when I had occasion to buy treacle or liquorish powder at the apothecary's shop, I am so enamoured with you, that I can no more keep close my flaming desires to become your servant *. And I am the more bold now to write to your swea! self, because I am now my own man, and may matca where I'please; for my father is taken away, an i now I am come to my living, which is ten yard land
* This letter was really conveyed, in the manner here men, tioned, to a Mrs. Cole, the wife of a churlish attorney in or near Northampton, who would not suffer her to correspond with any body. It was written by a substantial freeholder in Northamptonshire, whose name was Gabriel Bullock, and given to Steele by his friend the ingenious antiquary Mr. Browne Willis. Mrs. Cantrell, niece to Mrs. Cole, fortunately remembered what was torn off from the letter by a child at play, so that it is given here entire on good authority. P.
.... good matches amongst my neighboạrs. My mother, peace be with her soul! the good old gentlewoman, has left me good store of household linen of her own spinning, a chest full. If you and I lay our means together, it shall go hard but I will pave the way to do well. Your loving servant till death, Miste Gabriel Bullock, now my father is dead.'.
and a house; and there is never a yard land in our field, but it is as well worth ten pounds a year as ą, thief is worth a halter, and all my brothers and sisters are provided for: besides, I have good household stuff, though I say it, both brass and pewter, linens and woollens; and though my house be thatched, yet, if you and I match, it shall go hard but I will have one half of it slated. If you think well of this motion, I' will wait upon you as soon as my new clothes are made, and hay-harvest is in. I could, though I say it, have good: ......? The rest is torn off; and posterity must be contented to know, that Mrs. Margaret Clark was very pretty ; but are left in the dark as to the name of her loyer. T.
N° 325. THURSDAY, MARCH 13, 1711-12,
OVID. Metam. iii, 432
Quid frustra simulacra fugacia captas?
[From the fable of NARCISSUS.]
WILL HONEYCOMB diverted us last night with an account of a young fellow's first discovering his
* A yard land [virgata terre] in some counties contains 20 acres, in some 24, and in others 30 acres of land. Les Termes de la Ley Ed. 1667,