Page images

uniform, but of different Sizes, &c. according to the different Geniuses and Dispositions of those who are to to be admitted. In this Point too the Situation of the Chambers ought to be observed j for Instance, the Compilers of Vade-mecum's, Abridgment makers, &c. should be stationed in the Cellars under Ground; the Ode Writers next to the Sky-light; the Translators on the Ground-Floor.; and the Epic and Dramatic Authors on the first and second Stories. In the Midst of the Whole I would have a large Hall, where the whole Society should meet three Times a Day, to be provided at every Meal with Dishes adapted to their Constitutions; for Care had, that the Gentlemen who soar " above, the vi"fible diurnal Sphere.," do not eat of Beef or any other Meat, that is subject to clog the Intellects, but be fed, i&Pindar and the.Bards of old were, with Food that elates and puts the Fancy on the Wing. This College should be governed by. a President and Twelve Directors, all of whom have been Booksellers in London for the Space of seven Years before the Time they are elected such, that they may be thereby qualified to judge properly of the Pretensions of the Candidates to this Charity. Every Candidate must have the Recommendation cf one or more of the Directors, and a Certificate under the Hands and Seals of four of the Company of Stationers, that he has been Muse-rid for ten Years, in such a Manner as to be entirely incapacitated for any other Vocation in Life. If these Things seem clear, the Person shall be admitted without any farther Trouble, except it is proved he is worth Money, for a rich

Man Man must be as incapable to enter this Hospital as the Kingdom of Heaven.

We next come to the Choice of proper Servants and Attendants. Now, as there are in the three Kingdoms innumerable Footmen, and Chamber Maids, who spend best part of their Time with Lee and Otway, and daily condemn Fate for having placed People of their uncommon Talents in such a Situation, as to be subject to be called every Moment from the heroic Company of Alexander and Roxana, i and sent to converse, much against their Inclinations, with the Dregs of the People; I would have all such as are disposed to live retired, and to have frequent Opportunities of conversing not only with dead Poets but living Wits, come and offer their Service to the Hospital; where they shall be furnished with every thing necessary for Life, and be allowed, after the little Labour that shall be required of them is over, stated Hours for their favourite Studies.

When these things all are settled, and a handsome Subscription opened, the Legislature, no doubt, will give Encouragement to so noble, useful, and charitable a Foundation, by establishing the Lands and Funds raised for its Support by parliamentary Authority; and if it would not be looked upoft as Presumption to give a Hint to so wise and august an Assembly, a Tax might be laid, which would bring in vast Sums annually, and at the some Time be no Burthen to the industrious Subject, but on the contrary tend to promote every Branch of Trade in the


Nation. The Tax I mean should be laid upon that unprofitable Commodity, that abounds so much in these Kingdoms, commonly called Scribbling. There should be in every Parisli an Inspector into this Manufactory, (suppose the Parson) who should take his Rounds once a Week, like the Exciseman, to visit those that are Dealers, and receive the limited Duty; and to obviate any Fraud, very large Penalties should be laid upon all such, as should clandestinely make Verse or Prose, or a Mixture of both, (which I think is most in request at present) without previously acquainting the ecclesiastical Officer, or at least informing him immediately after. This Expence would hinder many an Attorney's Clerk, and Prentice from Phillismg away his Time, and keep him from being reduced at last to the Hospital.

Should it be objected by the Proprietors of the Magazines, or other periodical Miscellanies, that such a Tax would deprive them of many an ingenious Performance both in Verse and Prose, the Grievance may be redressed by applying to the Directors, and compounding with them for so much a Year for all their Authors in a Lump, as those People do with Commissioners of Turnpikes, who live near the Gate. Thus, Sir, having thrown together some lose Thoughts of my own, I leave you and the Reader to make what farther Improvements upon the Project you are able.

I am

Your most Humble Servant, ife.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

In the manner os P L U T A R C H: Between a most celebrated


And ONE, scarce ever heard of, in


By the Reverend Mr; S P E N C E.


First Printed in the Year 1757. Vol. II. Y THE

« PreviousContinue »