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at the same time I must own that I have thoughts of creating an officer under me to be intitled The Censor of Small Wares, and of allotting him one day in a week for the execution of such his office. An operator of this nature might act under me, with the same regard as a surgeon to a physician; the one might be employed in healing those blotches and tumours which break out in the body, while the other is sweetening the blood and rectifying the constitution. To speak truly, the young people of both sexes are so wonderfully apt to shoot out into long swords or sweeping trains, bushy head-dresses or full-bottomed periwigs, with several other encumbrances of dress, that they stand in need of being pruned very frequently, lest they should be oppressed with ornaments, and over-run with the luxuriancy of their habits. I am much in doubt, whether I should give the preference to a quaker that is trimmed close and almost cut to the quick, or to a beau that is loaden with such a redundance of excrescences. I must therefore desire my correspondents to let me know how they approve my project, and whether they think the erecting of such a petty censorship may not turn to the emolument of the public; for I would not do any thing of this nature rashly and without advice.

There is another set of correspondents to whom I must address myself in the second place; I mean, such as fill their letters with private scandal and black accounts of particular persons and families. The world is so full of ill-nature, that I have lampoons sent me by people who cannot spell, and satires composed by those who scarce know how to write. By the last post in particular I received a packet of scandal which is not legible; and have a whole bundle of letters in women's hands that are full of blots and calumnies, insomuch that when I

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see the name Cœlia, Phillis, Pastora, or the like, at the bottom of a scrawl, I conclude of course that it brings me some account of a fallen virgin, a faithless wife, or an amorous widow. I must therefore inform these my correspondents, that it is not my design to be a publisher of intrigues and cuckoldoms, or to bring little infamous stories out of their present lurking-holes into broad day-light. If I attack the vicious, I shall only set upon them in a body; and will not be provoked by the worst usage I can receive from others, to make an example of any particular criminal. In short, I have so much of a Drawcansir in me, that I shall pass over a single foe to charge whole armies. It is not Laïs or Silenus, but the harlot and the drunkard, whom I shall endeavour to expose; and shall consider the crime as it appears in the species, not as it is circumstanced in an individual. Í think it was Caligula, who wished the whole city of Rome had but one neck, that he might behead them at a blow. I shall do out of humanity, what that emperor would have done in the cruelty of his temper, and aim every stroke at a collective body of offenders. At the same time I am very sensible that nothing spreads a paper like private calumny and defamation; but as my speculations are not under this necessity, they are not exposed to this temptation.

In the next place, I must apply myself to my party correspondents, who are continually teasing me to take notice of one another's proceedings. How often am I asked by both sides, if it is possible for me to be an unconcerned spectator of the rogueries that are committed by the party which is opposite to him that writes the letter? About two days since, I was reproached with an old Grecian law, that forbids any man to stand as a neuter or a looker-on in the divisions of his country. However, as I am

of mouth, or obliquity of aspect. It is happy for a man that has any of these oddnessess about him, if he can be as merry upon himself, as others are apt to be upon that occasion. When he can possess himself with such a cheerfulness, women and children, who were at first frighted at him, will afterwards be as much pleased with him. As it is barbarous in others to rally him for natural defects, it is extremely agreeable when he can jest upon himself for them.

Madam Maintenon's first husband was a hero in this kind, and has drawn many pleasantries from the irregularity of his shape, which he describes as very much resembling the letter Z. He diverts himself likewise by representing to his reader the make of an engine and pulley, with which he used to take off his hat. When there happens to be any thing ridiculous in a visage, and the owner of it thinks it an aspect of dignity, he must be of very great quality to be exempt from raillery. The best expedient therefore is to be pleasant upon himself. Prince Harry and Falstaff, in Shakspeare, have carried the ridícule upon fat and lean as far as it will go. Falstaff is humorously called woolsack, bedpresser, and hill of flesh; Harry, a starveling, an elf-skin, a sheath, a bow-case, and a tuck. There is, in several incidents of the conversation between them, the jest still kept up upon the person. Great tenderness and sensibility in this point is one of the greatest weaknesses of self-love. For my own part, I am a little unhappy in the mould of my face, which is not quite so long as it is broad. Whether this might not partly arise from my opening my mouth much seldomer than other people, and by consequence not so much lengthening the fibres of my visage, I am not at leisure to determine. However it be, I have been often put out of countenance by the short

ness of my face, and was formerly at great pains in concealing it by wearing a periwig with a high fore-top, and letting my beard grow. But now I have thoroughly got over this delicacy, and could be contented it were much shorter, provided it might qualify me for a member of the merry club which the following letter gives me an account of. I have received it from Oxford; and, as it abounds with the spirit of mirth and good humour which is natural to that place, I shall set it down word for word as it

came to me.

66 MOST PROFOUND SIR,

"HAVING been very well entertained, in the last of your speculations that I have yet seen, by your specimen upon clubs, which I therefore hope you will continue, I shall take the liberty to furnish you with a brief account of such a one as perhaps you have not seen in all your travels, unless it was your fortune to touch upon some of the woody parts of the African continent, in your voyage to or from Grand Cairo. There have arose in this university, long since you left us without saying any thing, several of these inferior hebdomadal societies, as the Punning club, the Witty club, and, amongst the rest, the Handsome club; as a burlesque upon which, a certain merry species, that seem to have come into the world in masquerade, for some years last past have associated themselves together, and assumed the name of the Ugly club. This ill-favoured fraternity consists of a president and twelve fellows; the choice of which is not confined by patent to any particular foundation, as St. John's men would have the world believe, and have therefore erected a separate society within themselves, but liberty is left to elect from any school in Great Britain, pro

VOL. V.

K

vided the candidates be within the rules of the club, as set forth in a table, intitled, The Act of Deformity. A clause or two of which I shall transmit to

you.

"I. That no person whatsoever shall be admitted without a visible queerity in his aspect, or peculiar cast of countenance; of which the president and officers for the time being are to determine, and the president to have the casting voice.

"II. That a singular regard be had, upon examination, to the gibbosity of the gentlemen that offer themselves as founder's kinsmen; or to the obliquity of the figure, in what sort soever.

66

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"III. That if the quantity of any man's nose be eminently miscalculated, whether as to length or breadth, he shall have a just pretence to be elected. Lastly, That if there shall be two or more competitors for the same vacancy, cæteris paribus, he that has the thickest skin to have the preference. Every fresh member, upon his first night, is to entertain the company with a dish of cod-fish, and a speech in praise of Esop, whose portraiture they have in full proportion, or rather disproportion, over the chimney; and their design is, as soon as their funds are sufficient, to purchase the heads of Thersites, Duns Scotus, Scarron, Hudibras, and the old gentleman in Oldham, with all the celebrated ill faces of antiquity, as furniture for the club-room.

"As they have always been professed admirers of the other sex, so they unanimously declare that they will give all possible encouragement to such as will ke the benefit of the statute, though none yet have eared to do it.

The worthy president, who is their utmost devoted mpion, has lately shown me two copies of verses, mposed by a gentleman of his society; the first, a ngratulatory ode, inscribed to Mrs. Touchwood,

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