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This Vow full well the King perform'd

After on Humble-down,
In one day fifty Knights were slain,

With Lords of great renown.


And of the rest of small account

Did many thousands dye, &c.

At the same time that our Poet shews a laudable partiality to his Country-men, he represents the Scots after a manner not unbecoming so bold and brave a people.


Earl Douglas on a milk-white steed,

Most like a Baron bold,
Rode foremost of the company,

Whose armour shone like Gold.

His sentiments and actions are every way suitable to an Hero. 15 One of us two, says he, must dye: I am an Earl as well as

your self, so that you can have no pretence for refusing the combat: However, says he, 'tis pity, and indeed would be a sin, that so many innocent men should perish for our sakes, rather let you and I end our quarrel in single fight.



E'er thus I will out-braved be,

One of us two shall dye ;
I know thee well, an Earl thou art,

Lord Piercy, so am I.
But trust me, Piercy, pity it were,

And great offence, to kill
Any of these our harmless men,

For they have done no ill.
Let thou and I the battel try,

And set our men aside ;
Accurst be he, Lord Piercy said,

By whom this is deny'd.


When these brave men had distinguished themselves in the battel, and in single combat with each other, in the midst of a generous parly, full of heroic sentiments, the Scotch Earl falls; and with his dying words encourages his men to revenge his death, representing to them, as the most bitter circumstances of it, that his rival saw him fall.

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With that there came an arrow keen

Out of an English bow,
Which struck Earl Douglas to the heart

A deep and deadly blow.


Who never spoke more words than these,

Fight on my merry men all,
For why, my life is at an end,

Lord Piercy sees my fall. Merry Men, in the language of those times, is no more than 15 a chearful word for companions and fellow-soldiers. A passage in the eleventh book of Virgil's Æneids is very much to be admired, where Camilla in her last agonies instead of weeping over the wound she had received, as one might have expected from a warrior of her sex, considers only (like the 20 Heroe of whom we are now speaking) how the battel should be continued after her death.

Tum sic expirans, &c.


A gathering mist o'erclouds her chearful eyes;
And from her cheeks the rosie colour flies.
Then turns to her, whom, of her female train,
She trusted most, and thus she speaks with pain.
Acca, 'tis past! he swims before my sight,
Inexorable death; and claims his right.
Bear my last words to Turnus, fly with speed,
And bid him timely to my charge succeed :
Repel the Trojans, and the Town relieve :

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Turnus did not die in so heroic a manner; though our Poet seems to have had his eye upon Turnus's speech in the last verse,

Lord Piercy sees my fall.

Vicisti, et victum tendere palmas
Ausonii videre


Earl Piercy's lamentation over his enemy is generous, beautiful, and passionate; I must only caution the Reader

not to let the simplicity of the stile, which one may well 10 pardon in so old a Poet, prejudice him against the greatness of the thought.

Then leaving life, Earl Piercy took

The dead man by the hand,

And said, Earl Douglas for thy life 15

Would I had lost my land.

O Christ ! my very heart doth bleed

With sorrow for thy sake;
For sure a more renowned Knight

Mischance did never take.



That beautiful line, Taking the dead man by the hand will put
the Reader in mind of Æneas's behaviour towards Lausus,
whom he himself had slain as he came to the rescue of his
aged father.

At vero ut vultum vidit morientis, et ora,
Ora modis Anchisiades pallentia miris :
Ingemuit miserans graviter, dextramque tetendit, &c.
The pious Prince beheld young Lausus dead;
He griev'd, he wept; then grasp'd his hand, and said,
Poor hapless youth! what praises can be pai
To worth so great -



I shall take another opportunity to consider the other parts of this old Song.

N° 72.

Wednesday, May 23. [1711.]

Genus immortale manet, multosque per annos
Stat fortuna domus, et avi numerantur avorum. Virg.


Having already given my Reader an account of several extraordinary Clubs both ancient and modern, I did not design to have troubled him with any more narratives of this nature; but I have lately received information of a Club which I can call neither ancient nor modern, that I dare say will be no 5 less surprising to my Reader than it was to my self; for which reason I shall communicate it to the publick as one of the greatest curiosities in its kind.

A friend of mine complaining of a tradesman who is related to him, after having represented him as a very idle worthless fellow, who neglected his family, and spent most of his time over a bottle, told me, to conclude his character, that he was a member of the everlasting Club. So very odd a title raised my curiosity to enquire into the nature of a Club that had such a sounding name; upon which my friend gave me 15 the following account.

The everlasting Club consists of a hundred members, who divide the whole twenty four hours among them in such a manner, that the Club sits day and night from one end of the year to another; no party presuming to rise till they are relieved by those who are in course to succeed them. By this means a member of the everlasting Club never wants company; for though he is not upon duty himself, he is sure to find some who are ; so that if he be disposed to take a whet, a nooning, an evenings draught, or a bottle after mid- 25 night, he goes to the Club, and finds a knot of friends to his mind.

It is a maxim in this Club that the Steward never dies; for as they succeed one another by way of rotation, no man is to



quit the great elbow-chair which stands at the upper end of the table, till his successor is in a readiness to fill it; insomuch that there has not been a Sede vacante in the memory of man.

This Club was instituted towards the end (or, as some of 5 them say, about the middle of the Civil Wars, and continued

without interruption till the time of the Great Fire, which burnt them out, and dispersed them for several weeks. The Steward at that time maintained his post till he had like to have been blown up with a neighbouring house, (which was demolished in order to stop the fire ;) and would not leave the chair at last, till he had emptied all the bottles upon the table, and received repeated directions from the Club to withdraw himself. This Steward is frequently talked of in the Club, and looked upon by

every member of it as a greater man, than the famous Captain 15 mentioned in my Lord Clarendon, who was burnt in his ship

because he would not quit it without orders. It is said that towards the close of 1700, being the great year of Jubilee, the Club had it under consideration whether they should break up or continue their session ; but after many speeches and debates, it was at length agreed to sit out the other century. This resolution passed in a general Club Nemine contradicente.

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 25 members, which I shall do according to the best light I have

received in this matter.

It appears by their books in general, that since their first institution they have smoaked fifty tun of tobacco, drank thirty

thousand butts of ale, one thousand hogsheads of red port, two 30 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


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