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No. 324.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 12, 1711-12.

O curvæ in terris animæ, & celestium inanes !

PERS. SAT. ii. 61.

"O souls in whom no heavenly fire is found,
Flat minds, and ever grovelling on the ground!”




THE materials you have collected together 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 forbear communicating to you some imperfect informations 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 Mobock-Club, a name borrowed it seems from a sort of Cannibals in India, who subsist by plundering and devouring all the nations about them. The president is styled Emperor of the Mobocks;* and his arms are a Turkish crescent, which his Imperial Majesty bears at present in a very extraordinary manner engraven upon his forehead. Agreeable to their name, the avowed design of their institution is mischief; and upon this foundation all their rules and orders are framed. An outrageous ambition of doing all possible

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*The title of one of the four Indian kings who visited Eng land in the reign of Queen ANNE.

hurt to their fellow creatures, is the great cement of their assembly, 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 unfortu- · nate 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 inoffensive militia, is reckoned a coup d'eclat. 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 running swords through their legs; a new invention, whether originally French I cannot tell. A third sort are the tumblers, whose office it is to set women on their heads, and commit certain 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 incoherent memoirs of this wonderful society; but they are the best

These outrageous proceedings of the Mohocks were less unaccountable, bad as they were, than the noted Monster's delight in cutting and mangling women. That was a fact which has never been traced to any principle by which men are actuated: It was altogether anomalous.

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 redress. I have reason to believe, that some thoughtless youngsters, out of a false notion of bravery, and an immoderate fondness to be distinguished for fellows of fire, are insensibly hurried into this senseless scandalous project. Such will probably stand corrected by your reproofs, especially if you inform them that it is not courage for half a score fellows, mad with wine and lust, to set upon two or three soberer than themselves; and that the manners of Indian savages are no 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 recommend to their perusal your ninth speculation. They may there be taught to take warning from the club of Duelists; and be put in mind, that the common fate of those men of honour was, to be hanged.

I am,

March the 10th,

Your most humble servant,


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 shewn 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.


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 comely body, 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 sweet self, because I am now my own man, and may match where I please; for my father is taken away, and now I am come to my living, which is ten yard land, and a house; and there is never a yard land in our field, but it is as well worth ten pounds a year, as a 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 cloaths 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 tą the name of her lover.


No. 325:

THURSDAY, MARCH 13, 1711-12.

-Quid frustra simulacra fugacia captas?
Quod petis, est nusquam : quod amas avertere, perdes.
Ista repercussæ quam cernis imaginis umbra est,
Nil habet ista sui; tecum venitque, manetque,

Tecum discedet si tu discedere possis.

OVID. METAM. iii. 432.

[From the Fable of NARCISSUS.]

"What could, fond youth, this helpless passion move?
"What kindled in thee this unpitied love?

"Thy own warm blush within the water glows:
"With thee the colour'd shadow comes and goes;

"Its empty being on thyself relies ;

"Step thou aside, and the frail charmer dies."



WILL HONEYCOMB diverted us last night with an account of a young fellow's first discovering his passion to his mistress. The young lady was one, it seems, who had long before conceived a favourable opinion of him, and was still in hopes that he would some time or other make his advances. As he was one day talking with her in company of her two sisters, the conversation happening to turn upon love, each of the young ladies was by way of raillery, recommending a wife to him; when, to the no small surprise of her who languished for him in secret, he told them with a more than ordinary seriousness, that his heart had been long engaged to one whose name he thought himself obliged

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