Having given this short Account of the Institution and Continuation of the Everlasting Club, I should here endeavour to say something of the Manners and Characters of its several Members, which I shall do according to the best Lights I have received in this Matter.
It appears by their Books in general, that, since their first Institution, they have smoked fifty Tun of Tobacco; drank thirty thousand Butts of Ale, One thousand Hogsheads of Red Port, Two hundred Barrels of Brandy, and a Kilderkin of small Beer. There has been likewise a great Consumption of Cards. It is also said, that they observe the law in Ben. Johnson’s Club, which orders the Fire to be always kept in (focus perennis esto) as well for the Convenience of lighting their Pipes, as to cure the Dampness of the Club-Room. They have an old Woman in the nature of a Vestal, whose Business it is to cherish and perpetuate the Fire [which ] burns from Generation to Generation, and has seen the Glass-house Fires in and out above an Hundred Times.
The Everlasting Club treats all other Clubs with an Eye of Contempt, and talks even of the Kit-Cat and October as of a couple of Upstarts. Their ordinary Discourse (as much as I have been able to learn of it) turns altogether upon such Adventures as have passed in their own Assembly; of Members who have taken the Glass in their Turns for a Week together, without stirring out of their Club; of others [who ] have smoaked an Hundred Pipes at a Sitting; of others [who ] have not missed their Morning’s Draught for Twenty Years together: Sometimes they speak in Raptures of a Run of Ale in King Charles’s Reign; and sometimes reflect with Astonishment upon Games at Whisk, [which ] have been miraculously recovered by Members of the Society, when in all human Probability the Case was desperate.
They delight in several old Catches, which they sing at all Hours to encourage one another to moisten their Clay, and grow immortal by drinking; with many other edifying Exhortations of the like Nature.
There are four general Clubs held in a Year, at which Times they fill up Vacancies, appoint Waiters, confirm the old Fire-Maker or elect a new one, settle Contributions for Coals, Pipes, Tobacco, and other Necessaries.
The Senior Member has out-lived the whole Club twice over, and has been drunk with the Grandfathers of some of the present sitting Members.
[Footnote 1: The other]
[Footnotes 2 (several): that]
[Footnote 3: Of London in 1666.]
* * * * *
No. 73. Thursday, May 24, 1711. Addison.
‘... O Dea certe!’
It is very strange to consider, that a Creature like Man, who is sensible of so many Weaknesses and Imperfections, should be actuated by a Love of Fame: That Vice and Ignorance, Imperfection and Misery should contend for Praise, and endeavour as much as possible to make themselves Objects of Admiration.