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music gallery, the court-day odes of the laureates were rehearsed. Thus, in an old epigram, we are told :

“When Laureates make odes, do you ask of what sort ?

Do you ask if they're good or are evil ?
You may judge—from the Devil they come to the Court,

And go from the Court to the Devil.”

“For the music of Shirley's Triumph of Peace' I gave Mr. Ives and Mr. Lawes £100 apiece; for the four French gentlemen, the Queen's servants, I thought that a liberal gratifying of them would be made known to their mistress, and well taken by her. So I invited them to a collation att St. Dunstan's Taverne, in the great room—the oracle of Apollo—where each of them had his plate lay'd for him, covered, and the napkin by it; and when they opened their plates they found in each of them forty pieces of gold, of their master's coyne, for the first dish, and they had cause to be much pleased with the surprisall." Whitelocke--"Burney's History of Music."

April 22, 1661.-My Lord Monk rode bare after the King (Charles II., going from the Tower to Whitehall), and led in his hand a spare horse, as being Master of the Horse. The King, in a rich embroidered suit and cloak, looked most noble. Wadlow, the vintner at the Devil, in Fleet-street, did lead a fine company of soldiers, all young, comely men, in white doublets.”—Pepys.

“One likes no language but the Faery Queen;
A Scot will fight for Christ's kirk o' the Green;
And each true Briton is to Ben so civil,
He swears the Muses met him at the Devil."


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“Oct. 12, 1710.—I din’d to-day with Dr. Garth and Mr. Addison, at the Devil, in Fleet-street, by Temple Bar, and Garth treated.”— Swift—" Journal to Stella.

The tavern still flourished in Dr. Johnson's time, and there, with the Ivy-lane Club, in 1785, he regaled Mrs. Lennox.

“Her supper was elegant,” says Dr. Hawkins, " and Johnson had directed that a magnificent hot applepye should make part of it, and this he would have stuck with bay leaves, because, forsooth, Mrs. Lennox was an authoress, and had written verses, and he had prepared a crown of laurel, with which—but not until he had invoked the Muses by some ceremonies of his own invention-he encircled her brows."

It is agreeable to see the mighty lexicographer and moralist thus relaxing, harmlessly enough, for his only drink was “lemonade;" and we might well wish that the scene of so many pleasant meetings, where genius lost its sternness in the company of wit and mirth, could have been spared a little longer. It was demolished in 1788, to make room for a building dedicated to Plutus—Child's Bank.

Our readers would hardly pardon us did we not give the old translation of Ben's Tavern Code:



1. As the fund of our pleasure, let each pay his shot,

Except some chance friend should a member bring in;
Far hence be the sad, the lewd fop, and the sot;
For such have the plagues of good company been.

2. Let the learned, the witty, the jovial and gay,
3. The generous and honest, compose our free state;
4. And the more to exalt our delight while we stay,

Let none be debarred his choice female mate.

5. Let no scent offensive the chamber infest;
6. Let fancy, not cost, prepare all our dishes;
7. Let the caterer mind the taste of each guest,

And the cook in his dressing comply with their wishes.

8. Let's have no disturbance about taking places,

To show your nice breeding, or out of vain pride;
9. Let the drawers be ready with wine and fresh glasses,

Let the waiters have eyes, though their tongues must be tied.

10. Let our wines without mixture or stum be all fine,

Or call up the master and break his dull noddle; 11. Let no sober bigot here think it a sin

To push on the chirping and moderate bottle.

12. Let the contests be rather of books than of wine;
13. Let the company be neither noisy nor mute;
14. Let none of things serious, much less of divine,

When belly and heart's full, profanely dispute.

15. Let no saucy fiddler presume to intrude,

Unless he is sent for to vary our bliss ;
16. With mirth, wit, and dancing, and singing conclude,

To regale every sense with delight in excess.

17. Let raillery be without malice or hate;
18. Dull poems to read let none privilege take;
19. Let no poetaster command or entreat

Another extempore verses to make.

20. Let argument bear no unusual sound,

Nor jars interpose, sacred friendship to grieve; 21. For generous lovers let a corner be found,

Where they in soft sighs may their passions relieve.

22. Like old Lapithites, with the goblets to fight,

Our own ʼmongst offences unpardoned will rank,
Or breaking of windows or glasses for spite,
And spoiling of goods for a rakehelly prank.

23. Whoever shall publish what's said or what's done,

Be banished for ever our assembly divine;
24. Let the freedom we take be perverted by none,

To make any guilty by drinking good wine.''

Many of these rules might well be followed even in the nineteeth century; for in no few respects we are still much


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behind the standard of morals they suppose.

Would it not often greatly "exalt our delight” if our dull dinners were enlivened by the presence of ladies ? Ought we not always to remember the caution about discussing theology in our cups ? And the censure on those who "publish what's said or what's done” in the confidence of private society should never be forgotten.

Old Ben was probably over-fond of "Canary,” but the morality of these rules, like the Latin, is faultless. Clubs, in his age, had a raciness and an unaffected heartiness about them which must have made them more like a family gathering for social enjoyment than meetings devoted to display and excess. After a long study, or the wearying pursuits of business, whether on the crowded mart, in the senate, or at the bar, gifted minds found a suitable relaxation in the society of kindred spirits; and if ever, in the heyday of merriment, they passed the boundaries of reason, let us not judge their errors too severely, but rather endeavour to mingle with the inanity and stiffness of fashionable intercourse the harmless gaiety and innocent freedom of a club made classical by such master spirits as Shakspeare, Jonson, and Beaumont.



Few things are more dreary and uninviting than ordinary City auctions. Ordinary furniture or art sales become exciting from the associations connected with them; and we pity the “broken bankrupt," or sympathize in the glory of the illustrious painter, as the hammer rises and falls; but when tea, indigo, and cotton are the valuables to be disposed of, except that the heart of the speculator may beat rather quicker when a venture worth thousands of pounds is declared to be his, all proceeds in such a businesslike way, that interest or amusement is out of the question. They manage such matters better at Garraway's.

Most persons believe that the best time to ask a favour of a millionnaire is at his dessert, when the generous food and the good wine have made him, perhaps, a little somnolent, by opening all the flood-gates of his benevolence, readily accessible to every kindly emotion. Some wine merchant of the olden times, considering this well-ascertained fact, and having rich cargoes to dispose of, thought within himself, “Why should a sale be such a dry affair? A pleasant bowl of punch, a glass of old wine, or even coffee and muffins, would make my auction far more popular. A sale by inch of candle-good, for it gives time, but not too much time, for the buyers to deliberate ; but why not a sale with friendly nods of recognition,


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