London debates
1780

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London Record Society

Publication

Author

Donna T. Andrew (compiled and introduced by)

Year published

1994

Pages

64-124

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'London debates: 1780', London debating societies 1776-1799 (1994), pp. 64-124. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=38844 Date accessed: 21 October 2014.


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Contents

375. January 3, 1780 Westminster Forum

'Whether the calamities of the empire are to be attributed more to the intrigues of the cabinet, the venality of parliament, or the profusion and servility of the people?'

Decision against Cabinet intrigues.

London Courant/Short History of the Westminster

376. January 4, 1780 The Oratorical Academy, Old Theatre, Portugal Street

'Ought the bold or the timid lover to succeed best with the Ladies?'

Mr. Dodd, President.

London Courant

377. January 4, 1780 Lyceum, Black Horse, New Bond Street

'Was the conduct of that part of the Opposition who left the House of Commons, when Lord North moved his propositions respecting Ireland, proper or improper?'

Gazetteer

378. January 5, 1780 Coachmakers Hall

'Would it not be a just and equitable law, that every man who had seduced a woman should be obliged to marry her?'

Gazetteer January 4

379. January 10, 1780 Westminster Forum

'Which is most apt to procure general estimation, the reality of virtue or the appearance of it?'

Audience in favour of the reality of virtue.

London Courant January 6/Short History of the Westminster

380. January 11, 1780 Oratorical Academy, Old Theatre, Portugal Street

'Whether a public, a private, or a mixt mode of education, is likely to be more advantageous?

N.B. The president begs leave to inform the public, that having, in consequence of the unanimous opinion of the society, renounced his design of giving an honorary medal, he has now no pretension to having the price of admission greater than in similar societies, and that in future, Admission six-pence only.'

London Courant

381. January 12, 1780 Lyceum, Black Horse

'Was it a politic step to bring the Dutch vessels into the British harbour?'

Gazetteer

382. January 14, 1780 Coachmakers Hall

'Is not imprisonment for debt in civil cases contrary to law, humanity and sound policy?'

Gazetteer January 12

383. January 17, 1780 Westminster Forum

'Which is more detrimental to the constitution, prerogative as it stood before the Revolution, or the influence of the crown, as it hath arisen since?'

London Courant January 13

384. January 18, 1780 Oratorical Academy

'Is female beauty more often of advantage or detriment to the possessor?'

London Courant January 17

385. January 18, 1780 Lyceum, Black Horse

'Was the seizing the Dutch vessels by Commodore Fielding a measure consistent with policy and the law of nations?'

Gazetteer

386. January 20, 1780 Coachmakers Hall

'Is it not a criminal indifference to be of no party in the present alarming and divided state of the nation?'

Gazetteer January 18

387. January 24, 1780 Westminster Forum

'Which is more detrimental to the constitution, prerogative as it stood before the Revolution, or the influence of the crown, as it hath arisen since?'

The vote went against the influence of the crown.

London Courant January 20/Short History of the Westminster

388. January 25, 1780 Oratorical Academy

'Whether the seizure of the Dutch vessels, in the present critical situation of affairs was prudent or impolitic?'

London Courant January 24

389. January 27, 1780 Coachmakers Hall

'Whether the virtues and qualifications of men, or those of women, are most conducive to the good and happiness of society?'

Gazetteer January 25

390. January 31, 1780 Westminster Forum

'Are the present Country Meetings likely to produce any salutary effects?'

London Courant January 27

391. February 1, 1780 Oratorical Academy

'Is not a king of Great Britain bound by his Coronation Oath, to redress the grievances of his subjects when they appeal to him?

N.B. The Colonel, Officers and Commander of the Ancient and Honourable Lumber Troop (meeting at New-Street-Square) intend to honour the Academy with a visit, in their Formalities, and with their Regalia.'

London Courant

392. February 2, 1780 London Courant

CARLISLE HOUSE

'Agreeable to a former advertisement, and to a plan delivered to the public, a large and elegant Room will be opened this present evening at Carlisle House, for the purpose of Debate and Public Speaking; where gentlemen and ladies will not be separated, but may continue in their respective parties, as at other places of public entertainment: and to accommodate those, who, from diffidence, or any other objection, may be discouraged from appearing as public speakers, masques and dominos will be provided and be permitted to be used, under the following restrictions; first, That every person shall put on his domino in a room appointed for that purpose, as no masques will be admitted at the doors. 2dly. That if any improper behaviour or expression shall be used under the concealment of a masque, the person offending shall submit, at the injunction of the President, to unmask or retire.

The question for the evening is, "Whether the art of oratory be of any real utility and importance?" A coffee room will be opened for the reception of company at seven, and the President will take the chair precisely at eight. The debate will be closed at ten.

Admittance two shillings and six pence.'

393. February 3, 1780 Coachmakers Hall

'Is it not to be wished that the county associations now forming might extend their views to effect a reform in the representation of the people, as well as the public oeconomy of the nation?'

Gazetteer February 1

394. February 3, 1780 St. James Chronicle

'This celebrated Place was opened, on Wednesday Evening, on a Plan of Literature entirely new . . .

During the whimsical, though brilliant Reign of Mrs. Cornelys, this very extensive and elegant Building wore alternatively the Appearance of Desolation, and of wild Extravagance and Enchantment. The Proprietors have therefore turned their Thoughts to more useful and permanent Views; and have induced Men of Letters to enter on a Plan of an Academy of Sciences and Belles Lettres, different, in several Circumstances, from any other in Europe. As they mean to make it the Theatre of Merit in all Branches of Learning, and to open their Doors to every Man who has Merit to recommend him, they have not sought Patronage, which is seldom procured but at the Expense of Independence.

The Whole is said to be under the Direction of the Gentleman who furnished them with the Plan; and he is to regulate every Department of it as Rector Academiae, or Principal of the Academy. It is to be his Business to draw together all the scattered Lecturers of this Place, or to appoint others in the several Branches of Philosophy, and to regulate an academick and dramatick Society, from which very beneficial Consequences are expected to arise.

But the more immediate Object of the Academy seems to be that of assisting young Gentlemen in their Preparation for the Senate, the Bar, and the Pulpit. First, by private Lessons, and then by publick Exercises, in a Room open to all the Town.

This Room, called The School of Eloquence, has a Moderator, and it was opened on Wednesday Evening, with a Speech from the Chair, which did Honour to the Institution. The Debate was conducted with very promising Abilities, in several young Speakers. But the mechanical Managers, not having had the Experience of such Undertakings, had disposed the great Room very injudiciously.

We would advise the Chair to be raised higher, and removed to the Centre, and that the Sophas may be disposed of in the Form of a Parallelogram. The Place is so beautiful, the Ornaments so elegant, and the Plan is so good, that it would be Faulty not to give every Circumstance of it the utmost Effect.

The Company on Wednesday Evening was very elegant, and the Ladies not being separated from their Parties, seemed highly delighted with the Contentions of the Orators.'

395. February 4, 1780 London Courant

CARLISLE HOUSE

'One branch of the institution, to be established at Carlisle-House, under the appellation of Academy of Sciences and Belles Letters, was entered upon last night. The plan itself is simple, comprehensive, and noble; and there seems to be little doubt of its being executed with ability and integrity. The design seems to concentrate, in the Academy, all that scattered learning and merit, which is with some trouble to be found in the various lectures of this metropolis. The school of Eloquence is to be truly a Palaestra for pupils, as well as a place of amusement for strangers. The whole is under the direction of a Principal, who is the author of the plan, and the school of Eloquence under the direction of a President, of whose abilities the public may judge, by the following speech, taken down verbatim.

It may be expected, at the opening of a society professedly instituted in favour of eloquence, that the praises of oratory should be celebrated, by the chair, in the flowery pomp of declamation. The subject would animate, and in any other situation impel me to appear with the most zealous of its advocates. But the properties of oratory being here submitted to investigation, it is not my opinion, but yours, that must determine whether it be an accomplishment to be desired or not. I shall therefore preface the question with a short explanation of the institution, as well for my own credit, as for your satisfaction and information.

It is incumbent on the projectors of every undertaking, which depends on public support, to demonstrate their pretensions to public favour. The entertainment for which you are now assembled, though similar in appearance, to many others, which the prevailing passion of the times hath produced, is peculiar in its nature, and is recommended by an object to which no other society or institution can pretend; it constitutes an essential part of a large, useful and comprehensive plan, which will be faithfully, and I trust ably, executed, in the Academy of Sciences and Belles Lettres, to be established in this house. If debate were proposed with no other view than the employment of an idle hour, or the discussion of questions uninteresting to an audience, and above the comprehension of the declaimers, it would require more courage and greater abilities than I possess to stand here in its defence.

The objects of oratory are as various as the circumstances of men; its exertions as manifold as the incidents of human life, for, though the powers of eloquence are peculiarly essential in the pursuit of fame, fortune, or honour, in any public or professional capacity; yet there is an oratory which belongs, and is adapted to every station, rank, and character, from the monarch who harangues his senate from the throne, to the beggar who supplicates an alms at your gate. - The institutors of this society have therefore considered oratory, not merely as a professional study, but a branch of general education; and this place is the scene of exercise for the pupils of their academy.

The brightest talents, the most brilliant abilities, are rendered, by inexertion, useless to their possessor; and, like the treasure of a miser, unprofitable to the community. In this practical application of the documents of theory, a spirit of emulation will be rouzed; the capacity of every pupil be measured; his daily improvement be manifested; and the habit acquired in this early exertion of abilities will render the delivery of his sentiments, on any future subject or occasion, easy and graceful.

The questions to be agitated in this society will be carefully directed to the discovery of truth, or to the establishment of just opinions, on such temporary subjects of importance, as must daily arise in a country so critically circumstanced as this, in times so replete with danger as these.

In this view we presume to hope that the institution of debate, considered either as an object of utility, a branch of education, or a source of entertainment, will be honoured with your unanimous approbation, and find a friend in every member of this assembly.

We presume likewise to hope, that the expedient adopted to induce modest merit, or gentlemen in particular situations, to engage in the exercise of debate, will remove every obstacle of delicacy or diffidence, and, by calling forth latent abilities, bring credit to the society, honour to the speakers, and benefit to the public. - To what cause will you impute the scarcity of orators in the senate, the want of characters of eminence of the bar, or the almost universal drowsiness of religious assemblies?

If depravation of morals be the cause; if national corruption of manners be the bane of oratory - the cultivation of eloquence may contribute to national reformation - and if this conclusion be admitted, your love of virtue, your love of your country, your love of yourselves, and of your children, will secure your patronage and encouragement to an institution which hath the boldness to cherish science, to explore the recesses of truth, and to meditate the restoration of virtuous times.'

396. February 7, 1780 Westminster Forum

'Are the present County Meetings likely to produce any salutary effects?

As some inconveniences have arisen from servants keeping places for Ladies at the Forum, the Proprietor, anxious to accommodate the generous Public, has converted a gallery into a range of boxes, which may be taken, or places had, by applying as above, at One Shilling each person.'

Vote was in the affirmative.

London Courant January 3/Short History of the Westminster

397. February 8, 1780 The Oratorical Academy is removed to the Mitre Tavern, Fleet Street

'Is the Prude or the Coquette, the most odious character?'

London Courant February 5

398. February 10, 1780 Coachmakers Hall

'Whether the penal laws of this country would not be more efficacious if they were rendered milder in their denunciations, and more certain in their execution?'

Gazetteer February 8

399. February 10, 1780 Carlisle House, that Branch of Sciences and Belle Lettres which relate to the practice of Eloquence

'An enquiry into the reasons, causes, propriety and probable effects of the present County Associations, by which will be decided that very important question, "Whether they are efforts of a disappointed faction in opposition to government, or the noble exertion of true patriotism in favour of an oppressed people?"

The Nobility and Gentry are requested to observed, that the Exercises of Debate and public Speaking will be for the future on THURSDAY EVENINGS; that the situation of the chair, the disposition of the sophas, &c. are now so contrived, that no confusion can arise from the fullest company. Dominos and Masques are provided for those who chuse them.

When the time alloted for the Debate had elapsed, the Question was decided in Favour of the Minority; but we must own the Decision was obtained by the disposition of the Audience rather than by the Arguments of the Speakers, for though the Opposition had many Advocates, and Administration had but one, the Weight of Eloquence was in Favour of Administration. The Moderator held the Scale with the utmost impartiality, and kept an Audience of 800 or 1000 People, in a Degree of Order and Decency which we have not often been a Witness to.'

Gazetteer/St. James Chronicle

400. February 14, 1780 Westminster Forum

'Which is more eligible, a State of Liberty without Property, or a State of Property without Liberty?'

London Courant February 10

401. February 15, 1780 Oratorical Academy removed from Lincoln's Inn fields to the Mitre Tavern, Fleet Street

'Did King Charles the First, or Oliver Cromwell, make the greatest Encroachments on the Liberties of the Subject?'

London Courant February 14

402. February 17, 1780 Coachmakers Hall

'Does not the present state of affairs respecting this nation require that all parties should unite, to give the utmost energy to the plans of Administration?'

Gazetteer February 15

403. February 17, 1780 Westminster Forum

'Which is more eligible, a state of Liberty without Property, or a state of Property without Liberty?' This question was dismissed, and replaced by 'Whether, in the present state of the Empire, a dissolution of Parliament would be of national advantage?'

Carried by a great majority in the affirmative.

Short History of the Westminster

404. February 17, 1780 Carlisle House, the Department of the Academy of Sciences and Belle Lettres, called the SCHOOL OF ELOQUENCE

'Whether parties, in a free state, are beneficial to it or not?

The Moderator, not presuming to expect such a numerous and brilliant company as honoured the debate on Thursday last, did not think it necessary to take any precautions to favour the introduction of modest speakers, or diffident pupils, into convenient situations to be heard; on receiving the slightest intimation from any Gentleman who intends to speak, he will endeavour to accommodate him.

The Tea-Rooms will be opened at six. A magnificent Suite of Rooms, intended for the Library, will be opened at seven, for the Inspection of the company.

The Principal of the Academy will attend to explain all the circumstances of the Plan; and books will be ready for subscriptions.

The Dramatic, as well as other branches of Academic business, are under consideration; but they will require more time than some of the warm friends of the Institution seem to imagine. Gentlemen are instructed in the Principles and Practice of Eloquence, either by private lessons, or by exercises, in small parties, at a Room at the Academy.'

Gazetteer

405. February 19, 1780 Carlisle House

'Thursday last there was a great Overflow of Company at the debating Department of the Academy instituted there. The Efforts of the Moderator and of the other Gentlemen concerned, to suppress the Irregularities and Rudenesses which are connived at in other Places, are commendable; but will require some Time in accomplishing, as they are against the Privileges of the Mob, some of whom find Means to creep into the genteelest Assemblies. The Company on the Whole was very respectable. And we would advise the Proprietors to be very sparing of their Tickets of Admission to those whose Wishes are to see the House; but who, on being admitted into better Company than they are used to, behave with indecent Insolence. The Debate (on Parties) was carried on with great Ability on each side of the Question; and we prognosticate, by the Specimens given of Eloquence on Thursday Evening, and by the resolute Determinations of the Society, that the Debates here will be the Means of considerable Amusement and Improvement.

Mr. B –, the well-known friend of the notorious Jack R – took upon him the heroick Business of disturbing the Entertainment, and frightening two or three Ladies; but at last submitted quietly to be carried out of the Room under the Arm of a Gentleman who took him up like a Monkey.'

St. James Chronicle

406. February 21, 1780 Westminster Forum

'Are not the Bishops and others of the clergy who have denied their support and assistance to the Protestant Association, highly culpable in so doing?'

Decided that Bishops were highly culpable.

London Courant February 17/Short History of the Westminster

407. February 22, 1780 Oratorical Academy, Mitre Tavern

'Is it prudent for the Lord Mayor of London to call a Common Hall, for the declared purpose of Petitioning and Associating in like manner with the County of Middlesex?'

London Courant February 21

408. February 22, 1780 London Courant

'The passion for public speaking is become epidemical, not content with Forums, Apollo's, Lyceum, and Schools of Eloquence, we have now on the tapis La Belle Assemblee, which is to be opened this week at the Hay-market. This plan, we are informed, is set on foot by several ladies of distinguished abilities in the literary world, where public and free debate will be agitated by ladies only.'

409. February 22, 1780 Old Theatre, Portugal Street, Lincolns Inn Fields

'Which has been the more prejudicial to Great Britain, the influence of the crown or the spirit of party?'

London Chronicle

410. February 23, 1780 Oratorical Hall, Spring Gardens

'Whether the reasons assigned by the Minority Lords in their last Protest, had fully justified their Position to the present Ministry?' The Question 'was carried by a very respectable majority'.

Admittance One Shilling.

London Courant February 22

411. February 24, 1780 Coachmakers Hall

'Are there motives sufficient, independent of the prospect of a future existence, to influence mankind to the practice of virtue?'

Gazetteer February 22

412. February 24, 1780 Carlisle House School of Eloquence

'Whether genius be the gift of nature, or the effect of education?

The Nobility and Gentry are requested to observe, that the short interruption in the Debate on Thursday last, was suspected by the Moderator to be occasioned by persons who came with that design; that being apprised of such intention, he did not in the first moment of resentment distinguish between the company and the persons he suspected to be the offenders; but being convinced of his mistake, he made an apology, which was received with applause, and restored peace and harmony to the assembly. In such circumstances it would be an insult to the judgment and candour of the assembly, to suppose that any spark of resentment against the Moderator should remain, as his very error arose from his zeal to accommodate and entertain the company. The Nobility and Gentry will therefore have the justice to refer all hints and paragraphs on this subject . . . to their true sources, envy and interested views.'

Gazetteer February 23

413. February 25, 1780 Morning Chronicle

'Last night there was a very numerous meeting of Ladies and Gentlemen, at the School of Eloquence, opened at Carlisle House; above 1,100 persons being present. The harmony of the assembly was disturbed about nine o'clock, by some persons not deporting themselves in a becoming manner, but interrupting the Speakers repeatedly with hisses and coughing. The Moderator was so provoked, that he lost his temper, and said, there were constables at the door, and that such Gentlemen that made any more interruptions, ought to be kicked out. This threw the meeting into a flame, and it was a very considerable time before the tumult was quelled, and order restored. The Moderator was called on repeatedly, for his apology for his having talked in so unbecoming a manner in so respectable an assembly, but for a long time he persisted in refusing, declaring that he was not conscious of having said any thing that ought to be construed as an offence. At last he said, he meant not to offend, and if any Gentlemen felt themselves hurt at his expressions, he was sorry for it. This quieted the meeting, and the debate proceeded and continued till ten o'clock.'

414. February 26, 1780 Morning Chronicle

'Carlisle-House, Thursday Night, on the Question, "Whether Genius be the Gift of Nature, or the acquirement of art."

Nature, Genius, and Art, were a-dancing the hays,
Cutting capers, and winding a mystical maze!
Attention, tho' puzzled, encouraged the ball,
As the vent'rous dancers, by turns, got a fall!
Pretty women betray'd, by their eloquent smiles,
By the look that inflames, and the look that beguiles.
Beauty's look was the Music that set them a-going –
And they danced, 'till they knew not what either was doing.
Frolic came to the door, and he set up a laugh,
Thought the dance was too dull, and too tedious by half.
This rude interruption soon altered the tune,
Debate took a the dumps, and gave way to wild Fun;
Fun called up a Fury in masculine shape,
But the Fury was led int'a devilish scrape!
Hell seem'd to break loose - yet some Angels were there,
Who pitied the Fury, thus cast to despair;
Their Mercy entreated Good Humour to save him.
The Fury ask'd pardon, and Frolic forgave him.'

415. February 26, 1780 La Belle Assemblee

'Whether Oratory is, or should be, confined to any sex?

The chair will be taken by Rev. Mr. Phillips . . . . Admittance Two Shillings each.'

London Courant February 24

416. February 28, 1780 Westminster Forum

'Which are the true Friends of the King, the Supporters or Opposers of the present Measures?'

It was decided, by a very small majority, that the Opposers were the true friends.

London Courant February 24/Short History of the Westminster

417. February 28, 1780 Morning Chronicle

'There were 700 persons at Mr. Greenwood's Room on Saturday evening to pay their compliments to La Belle Assemblee; some of the ladies spoke well, but the Moderator appeared to be but very moderately qualified for his office. After quitting a post, he gave no proof of his being fit to hold, a sprightly female seized it, and entertained the audience highly by an excellent recital of a well known poetical tale.

Various are the opinions formed by the public, of the entertainments to be presented on Wednesday evening at the Haymarket; some think the fabricators are suborned by the Majority, to ridicule the associations, others, that the protests are their subject of satire, and others, that the Lord-Mayor of London, and Court of Aldermen, are to be virulently abused.

A Correspondent informs us that a most exact representation of the House of Commons, is to be exhibited at the Haymarket next Wednesday evening, and a mock budget to be opened in the manner, and in imitation of the peculiarities of the noble Lord, to whose share this important part of the national business generally falls.'

418. February 28, 1780 London Courant

'Thursday evening the business, at Carlisle House, of that part of the Academy there, called The School of Eloquence, drew an astonishing number of the genteelest company, but whether from the machinations of envy, or interest against so promising an institution, or from accidental causes, several attempts were made to disturb the debate. These attempts were resented by the assembly, and by the moderator, in warm and pointed terms, which were thought to require an apology, and which he handsomely made. The question, however, had not justice done it, for the speakers were heard only on one side. It will require time and prudence in accomplishing the designs of the Academy; for the assembly is too formidable for their pupils, and the number of candidates for fame in speaking will fully occupy them. The passions for oratory are now like the jarring winds in chaos; we hope some spirit will direct them to regular and beneficent purposes.'

419. February 29, 1780 Oratorical Academy, Mitre Tavern

'Have political publications in newspapers been of more good or hurt to the nation?'

London Courant February 26

420. February 29, 1780 Old Theatre, Portugal Street, Lincoln'sinn-fields

'Was the sentence of the Court of Kings-Bench on the Members of the Council of Madras, for unlawfully deposing and confining Lord Pigot, adequate to their offence?'

Gazetteer

421. March 1, 1780 Oratorical Hall, Spring Gardens

'Whether Arrests for Debts upon Mesne Process, be Political and Constitutional?'

London Courant February 28

422. March 2, 1780 Coachmakers Hall

'Are there motives sufficient, independent of the prospect of a future existence, to influence mankind to the practice of virtue?'

Gazetteer February 29

423. March 2, 1780 Carlisle House, The School of Eloquence

'1. Whether a man should act with his friends and benefactors, though they do not, in his opinion, peruse right measures for the public interest?

As this Question may not admit of debate, it will be enquired

2. Whether a bad Administration, or a corrupt Parliament, be the juster object of popular indignation?

The Nobility and Gentry are requested to observe, that the short Interruption in the Debate on Thursday last, was suspected by the Moderator to be occasioned by persons who came with that design; that being apprised of such intention, he did not in the first moment of resentment distinguish between the company and the persons he suspected to be the offenders; but being convinced of his mistake, he made an apology, which was received with applause, and restored peace and harmony to the assembly. In such circumstances it would be an insult to the judgment and candour of the assembly, to suppose that any spark of resentment against the Moderator should remain, as his very error arose from his zeal to accommodate and entertain the company. The Nobility and Gentry will therefore have the justice to refer all hints and paragraphs on this subject (not countenanced or authorized by the advertisement of the Academy) to their true sources, envy and interested views.'

Gazetteer

424. March 4, 1780 'A Society for debating Cases and Questions in Law and Equity is held weekly at Staples Inn Coffee-house, Southampton Buildings, Chancery lane.'

Morning Chronicle

425. March 4, 1780 La Belle Assemblee

'Would it be sound Policy to make the Salique Law general?

The Debate to be wholly maintained by Ladies, but, for the sake of preventing tumult, a Gentleman will be in the Chair.'

London Courant

426. March 4, 1780 Religious Society, Old Theatre, Portugal Street, Lincoln's inn fields

'Is the Bill now depending in Parliament for the relief of Insolvents, consonant to policy and justice?

Order, decency, and liberality will be sedulously observed; which it is hoped, together with the central situation and elegance of the room, and other requisites, will amply recommend this institution to the public patronage and esteem.'

Morning Chronicle

427. March 6, 1780 London Courant

The meeting at La Belle Assemblee on Saturday night was exceedingly crowded, many gentlemen being obliged to go away for want of room. Among the female part of the Assembly were many ladies, who, while they struck the sight with the elegance of their persons, displayed in the debate such superior accomplishments and refined understandings, as may truly be said to win the soul - The subject for that evening's discussion was Whether it would be sound Policy to make the Salique Law general?

There were several speakers who took different sides of the question, which, nevertheless, was disputed with the utmost candour and moderation, and with real ability. Those ladies, who were for abolishing a law so tyrannical to the softer sex, instanced the glorious reigns of our Elizabeth, of Margaret of Denmark, and Christina of Sweden, while others, who, with humble modesty, were for declining all female pretensions to imperial sway, urged that from the natural softness and sensibility of their minds, women were too liable to be seduced from their attention to the public weal by the smooth and silken parasites who constantly infest a court, and who leave no artifice unemployed to captivate and ensnare the weaker sex. One of the fair orators asserted in a charming tone, that "there was one ingredient in the cup of sovereignty, which ought peculiarly to discourage females from tasting its flattering contents. It is, said she, when the rigid voice of inexorable justice demands the execution of the guilty delinquent; how shall woman, with all the trembling tenderness and sympathetic pity of her sex, sign the dreadful warrant denouncing death!" - This sentiment, delivered in a most graceful and expressive manner, was received with universal, and repeated tokens of deserved applause. - A most elegant, and beautiful figure in one of the galleries, with a black masque on the upper part of her face, spoke with uncommon propriety, elegance and dignity. - At ten o'clock the lady who opened the debate, rose up to speak some lines in conclusion, which however could not be heard, some persons among the audience, being shamefully noisy and tumultuous, but who on her sitting down called to her to proceed; the lady seemed confused, but replied, with great politeness to the gentlemen, that she should be very happy to entertain them all night, but that she had already finished what she had to say. The unguarded innocence of this expression produced a general laugh, which increasing her confusion, a very general acclamation of applause from the company made amends for the temporary distress which they occasioned.'

428. March 6, 1780 Westminster Forum

'Whether the Bill now depending in Parliament for extending the Privileges of Debtors, has not the strongest tendency to encourage Fraud and Dishonesty, and in consequence to produce effects highly injurious and destructive to the Commercial Interest of this Kingdom?'

Question carried in the affirmative.

London Courant March 2/Short History of the Westminster

429. March 6, 1780 London Courant

SOCIÉTÉ DISPUTATOIRE

'On Friday the 10th instant will be opened, at Mr. Greenwood's Rooms, in the Hay-market, a Society for free and liberal Debate, to be wholly conducted in French. It has been universally agreed upon that we cannot in this country acquire the proper pronunciation of, and a fluency in speaking that language, for want of such an opportunity as is now offered. Gentlemen by study and application in their closets may gain such a proficiency as to be able to read it with ease, and write it with elegance, but it is only by conversation that they can perfect themselves in the idiom, pronunciation, and delivery. The beauties of familiar conversation in any language, are lost to a foreigner; the fitness of peculiar allusions; the elegance of bon mots; the turn of well pointed periods are concealed from the man whose ear is not familiar with the articulation and modes of speaking practiced in the Country. Thus do we find that the big swelling passions of a Corneille are perfectly understood and highly relished by men who are unacquainted with the point, wit, and raillery of a Moliere; the reason is obvious, the passions are common to all countries, while the turn, wit, and humour of conversation are local, and peculiar to each. It is hoped that this institution will be productive of the most salutary advantage in facilitating Gentlemen in the acquisition of the language.

It will be conducted with the utmost regularity, and that the diffident may be invited to overcome their scruples, Masks and Dominos will be provided in an adjourning room. The Institution does not interfere with any other of the Debating Societies. Their principle is to cherish the growth of Eloquence, as it maybe useful to Gentlemen in their profession; this is calculated to perfect them in a language which in every situation of life is necessary as an accomplishment.

The Question for discussion on Friday evening will be "Quelle est l'étude la plus utile, et la plus necessaire - Celle des Langues mortes, ou celle des Langues vivantes?"

Admittance One Shilling.'

430. March 7, 1780 Oratorical Academy, Mitre Tavern

'Has the Union with Scotland been of more Benefit or Detriment to England?'

London Courant March 6

431. March 9, 1780 Coach Makers Society

'Is the Bill to prevent Imprisonment for Debt, now under consideration of Parliament, more likely to produce advantage or prejudice to the trading interest of this country?

Mr. Hopkins respectfully informs the public, that finding his gallery for the Ladies is not sufficient to accommodate the numbers that have generally applied, and being desirous of making every improvement to merit the public approbation, he has erected a convenient department in the Hall for the use of the Ladies. And for the future, to prevent the trouble of applying for Tickets, Ladies will be admitted on the same terms as the Gentlemen.'

London Courant

432. March 9, 1780 Carlisle House, School of Eloquence

'Whether it be practicable, in a Free State, to admit Colonies to a full participation of the rights of the Mother Country?

The sophas will be gradually raised, so that all the company will be seen at one view. Seats near the centre will be appropriated for those speakers who cannot command the room from every part of it; and some regulations will be proposed to this company to preserve that order and decent attention, without which no modest and ingenious men will be at the trouble of speaking.'

London Courant March 6

433. March 11, 1780 La Belle Assemblee

'Whether is connubial felicity more likely to arise from similarity or contrast of temper?'

London Courant

434. March 13, 1780 Westminster Forum

'Is it agreeable to the Constitution that the Commissioners of the Excise should determine Causes without a Jury, when their own Servants or Excise Officers, are always Plaintiffs, and that the said Commissioners' determination is final? and Is not a Reformation of the Representative Body necessary to prevent undue influence?'

It was decided that the actions of the Commissioners was not agreeable to the Constitution; second question adjourned.

London Courant March 9/Short History of the Westminster

435. March 13, 1780 London Courant

LYCÉE FRANCOIS

'On Friday evening there was opened at Mr. Greenwood's Rooms in the Hay-market, a society under the title of Lycée Francois, for conversation and debate, to be wholly conducted in the French language. A very genteel and numerous company were present, and the debate was supported mostly by English Gentlemen, with great spirit, argument and humour . . . It was exceedingly pleasant to mark with how much personal respect and polite attention the Gentlemen who took up the opposite sides of the question treated each other, as it shewed how well and how successfully argument might be maintained without connecting it with illiberality. The President in a very genteel address, ushered in the debate with some just recommendations of the plan and nature of the institution, and he said, that so long as the society forbore the introduction of religious and political questions, they would not be interrupted in the discussion of such as were moral and philosophical. Science, he said, was of no country, it entered into none of the jealousies and enmities of nations, but even in the midst of war it busied itself in cultivating the acts of peace. The name of the Society was changed from that of Sociétie Disputoire to Lycée Francois.'

436. March 14, 1780 Oratorical Academy, Mitre Tavern

'Does an uncorrupted Senator, or an able General, render the greater Services to the State?'

London Courant March 13

437. March 14, 1780 Oratorical Society, Portugal Street

'Is there a possible situation of human nature in which suicide is justifiable? and, Which is the more common character, the female or male coquet?'

Morning Chronicle

438. March 14, 1780 Morning Chronicle

'A correspondent says, he is happy to see the School of Eloquence at Carlisle House (in consequence of some judicious regulations, which took place on Thursday night) assume such a degree of good order and decorum, as might be expected from an institution so useful in its plan, and elegant in its institution. - The Question was important, and debated with great ability by several ingenious partisans of opposition; they were replied to by a person in a mask, who with equal ingenuity, and in a train of pleasing irony, professed to support the same side of the question, whilst he proved by arguments drawn from Montesquieu, and other authors, that it is impracticable to communicate to infant colonies, a full participation of the rights of the parent state. - It was whispered, that the mask was a young Gentleman who has upon several occasions contributed to the entertainment of this polite assembly; but we are at a loss to assigning a reason for the disguise of his person and voice.'

439. March 15, 1780 Lycee Francois

'L'Education publique est elle plus propre a former l'homme et le Citoyen que 1'Education particulière?'

London Courant March 13

440. March 16, 1780 Coachmakers Hall Society

'Doth the present mode of educating the Fair Sex in Boarding Schools, contribute more to corrupt or to reform the Manners of the Rising Generation?'

London Courant

441. March 16, 1780 Carlisle House School of Eloquence

'Would a repeal of the Marriage Act be consistent with the principles of sound policy?'

Gazetteer March 13

442. March 16, 1780 London Courant

'Omne tulit punctum qui miscuit utile dulci.

The public are respectfully informed, that the suite of rooms, No. 53, Great Marlborough street, known heretofore by the name of the Casino, will be opened on Saturday the 18th instant, under the title of The University for Rational Amusements, one part of which will be appropriated for Elocution, Oratory, and Exercise, not only for those that are proficient in matters of disputation, but where young pupils may improve in that useful science; and although this plan may be supposed to resemble many other institutions, yet upon the whole, it will be found to be new and agreeable, as it is intended to consist in variety, calculated to amuse and instruct, adhering to the motto.

With respect to the rooms, the Proprietors have exerted themselves to render them elegantly commodious, and the strictest attention will be paid to preserve that regularity so essentially necessary to the good order, accommodation, and pleasure of the company.

The Proprietors are bold to say, that this edifice possesses an evident superiority over every other place of the kind; being so well adopted for Public Oratory, that the most timid speaker, or weak voice, need not apprehend being led into embarrassment, from the Company not distinctly hearing; as the ordinary utterance of conversation, may with ease be heard at any part of the room.

The Proprietors of this University, not only mean it as a place for the improvement of Elocution, and the Science of Debate, but likewise as an agreeable substitute for the want of a winter Ranelagh. There is an elegant tea room, situated near the gallery, for the conveniency of the company, and a coffee room, equally desirable, adjoining the debating room.

The Question for that evening, Which deserves most admiration, a good orator or a good writer?'

Admittance 2s. 6d.

London Courant

443. March 17, 1780 Morning Chronicle

'A correspondent informs us, that the next question of debate at the Ladies Assembly is, "Whether such public publications as the pamphlet called the Picture Gallery, tend to improve or injure the morals of the sex." As there are near two hundred of the most distinguished women in this kingdom taken notice of in the above pamphlet, and very few of them pleased in an advantageous point of view, it is expected there will be a crouded room and warm debates; it is also said the author of the pamphlet intends to open the business, disguised in women's cloaths, which he has borrowed of Lady L–, who is to accompany him.'

444. March 18, 1780 La Belle Assemblee

'Whether variety is more predominant in the male or female breast?'

London Courant

445. March 19, 1780 Oratorical Society [on Sunday]

Exodus ch. xx, verse 5, & ch. xxii, verse 16.

Morning Chronicle March 14

446. March 20, 1780 Westminster Forum

'Is not a Reformation in the Representative Body necessary to prevent undue influence?'

Carried in the affirmative.

London Courant March 16/Short History of the Westminster

447. March 21, 1780 Oratorical Academy, Mitre Tavern

'Did the conduct of Adminstration toward the Speaker of the House of Commons, justify his late pointed Censure on the ostensible Minister?'

London Courant March 18

448. March 22, 1780 Free Mason Hall, The Palladium, or Liberal Academy of Eloquence

'What reason can be assigned for precluding the Fair from the privilege of Civil Society, or from a liberal participation in their discussions?'

Admittance Two Shillings and Six-pence.

Gazetteer

449. March 23, 1780 Coachmakers Hall Society

'Which is the most to be dreaded in this country, the influence of the Crown, or the spirit of party?'

London Courant

450. March 23, 1780 Carlisle House School of Eloquence

'Whether it will be most conducive to the general good of the Community that the East India Company should be dissolved, or their Charter renewed?'

Audience voted for renewal by a considerable majority. 'Carlisle House is now become as much the place of fashionable resort on a Thursday, as it was in the zenith of Mrs. Cornely's popularity. The Company last night amounted to nearly 1,200, among which number, were many persons of rank.'

London Courant March 20

451. March 24, 1780 Lycee Francois

'La poligamie est-elle d'aucun advantage dans un Gouvernment & son utile l'emporte t-elle sur ses abus?'

London Courant March 18

452. March 25, 1780 La Belle Assemblee, Greenwood's Rooms in the Haymarket

'Whether do the innocent gaieties of youth, or the mature wisdom of age, afford the greatest happiness?

N.B. It has been thought necessary to make some arrangements: For the future the galleries will be appropriated to Ladies only; and in the other part of the house the Ladies and Gentlemen may sit together.

Tea and coffee. Masks and Dominos provided.

Admittance Two shillings.'

'Such is the great propensity, as well as the propensity of the great, to frequent La Belle Assemblee, that on Saturday last soon after seven, Mr. Greenwood's room was crowded with persons of the first distinction, and the street rendered impassable by the great number of coaches of nobility, gentry, &c. who had left their homes to hear the ladies argue.'

Gazetteer March 22

453. March 25, 1780 Spring Garden's Oratory

'What is the propriety of this country permitting the sister kingdom [Ireland] to have a constitution similar to that of Great Britain?

There was scarcely an Irish Student in town, who did not attend, and pour forth his eloquence in support of the affirmative. It is but justice to say that the Amor Patriae was not more conspicuous in all of these orators, than the power of argument in many. A little closer attention to the real drift of the question will, however, do no harm to the young gentlemen who stood up for the honour of Ireland on Saturday evening; it will, at least, assist them in their endeavours to convince their hearers, which to men who wish to support truth, is surely a better object than barely attempting to amuse.'

Morning Chronicle March 27

454. March 25, 1780 The University for Rational Amusements

'Are we more indebted to Courage or Fear for our Protection? and Is Sincerity more frequently a Male or Female Virtue?'

London Courant March 21

455. March 25, 1780 The University for Rational Amusements

'Is challenging a Member of Parliament for any freedom he may take in debate, contrary to any principles of the Constitution?'

Masks and dominos permitted.

London Courant March 24

456. March 27, 1780 Morning Chronicle

'The rage for publick debate now shews itself in all. quarters of the metropolis. Exclusive of the oratorical assemblies at Carlisle House, Free-mason's Hall, the Forum, Spring Gardens, the Cassino, the Mitre Tavern and other polite places of debating rendezvous, we hear that new Schools of Eloquence are preparing to be opened in St. Giles, Clare-Market, Hockley in the Hole, Whitechapel, Rag-Fair, Duke's Place, Billingsgate, and the Back of the Borough.'

457. March 27, 1780 Morning Chronicle

'An admirer of every institution which has ever a probability of enlightening the understanding and polishing manners, was much pleased to see the first meeting at the Palladium at Free-Masons Hall, attended by so brilliant and respectable an audience. This institution most undoubtedly completes a system of Oratory, upon a pleasing and rational plan; at the Belle Assemblee, Ladies will accustom themselves to lay aside all mauvaise honte, and gentlemen become familiarized to their pleasing stile: Ladies by attending Carlisle-house, will learn to adopt the eligible part of gentlemen's stile of reasoning: and at Free Masons Hall both will have it in their power to display their talents, and give their unconstrained opinions.'

458. March 27, 1780 Westminster Forum

'Would or would not the depriving the petty boroughs of the liberty of sending Members to Parliament, and adding their quota to the counties and cities, be likely to remove the evils attending an influenced election?'

Question carried in the affirmative.

London Courant March 23/Short History of the Westminster

459. March 28, 1780 Oratorical Academy, Mitre Tavern

'Does the British stage, in its present state, tend more to improve or corrupt morals?'

London Courant March 27

460. March 29, 1780 Lycee Francois

'Laqueele des trois professions savantes, est la plus utile, la jurisprudence, la medecine, ou la theologie?'

London Courant March 27

461. March 29, 1780 Carlisle House School of Eloquence

'Whether any remedy can be applied to the present licentiousness of the press, by which its liberty will not be materially affected?'

London Courant March 28

462. March 29, 1780 University of Rational Amusement

'Have the People of England a right to demand a Restoration of annual Parliaments?'

Horns and Clarinets will assist to fill up the vacancy of time previous to the commencement of the debate.

London Courant March 28

463. March 30, 1780 Coachmakers Hall Society

'Would not the study of Mathematics be preferable to that of the Classics, in the general idea of educating Youth in this Commercial Country?'

London Courant

464. April 1, 1780 La Belle Assemblee

'Is the spirit of duelling esteemed by the Ladies, to proceed from a true or a false sense of honour?

The new arrangements that were made in the mode of sitting last evening, produced some inconveniencies that will be provided against in future. Several applications to this purpose have been made by Ladies who came with an intention to deliver their sentiments on the question, but who were intimidated by the Company's sitting promiscuously. For the future, therefore, the lower part of the house and the galleries will be appropriated to the Ladies only - the Ladies and Gentlemen may sit promiscuously in the other part of the room.'

Gazetteer

465. April 1, 1780 Oratorical Hall, Spring Garden

To the Nobility and Gentry

'Does Great Britain enjoy an inherent and constitutional right to subjugate and coerce the American Colonies? and, Is the promotion of Men from the Bar, the Desk or the Plough to Military Rank, injurious to the Soldier, or beneficial to the Country?

It was determined . . . almost unanimously, by a respectable assembly of the Nobility and Gentry, that Great Britain had a right to coerce America, and that the promotion of the lawyer, the clerk, or the farmer, to rank in the army, was not injurious to the old soldier, but beneficial to him and his country.'

London Courant

466. April 1, 1780 University for Rational Amusement

'Do the Reviews, as they are now conducted, tend to the prejudice or advantage of literature? and, Are the claims of the Irish for repeal of Poynings Law, and of the English Statues enacted to bind Ireland and declaring her dependent founded in right, and on the principles of the English Constitution?

The Rooms are so commodious, that any Lady or Gentleman may, with the greatest ease, retire from the debating room to the coffee-rooms, or to an elegant tea room, situated near the gallery. . .. The Proprietors are bold to say, that this edifice possesses an evident superiority to every other place of the kind; being so well adapted to public oratory, that the most [ ] speaker or weak voice, need not apprehend being left in embarrassment from the company not distinctly hearing . . . the ordinary utterance of conversation may with ease be heard at any part of the room.'

London Courant/Morning Post

467. April 1, 1780 London Courant

'Notwithstanding the prevailing depravity of manners, and the too great neglect of Religion, yet we have happily a number of well-disposed persons, who would wish to dedicate a few hours to serious disquisitions into the texts of Holy Writ, propose their doubts, receive explanations, and display their eloquence, on the noblest of all subjects. - For the entertainment and improvement of such persons, a Society of Gentlemen propose to open an assembly, under the name of the Religious Association, to be held every Sunday evening at Mr. Greenwood's Room in the Hay-Market. - The chair to be taken at half-past seven, and conclude at half past nine. The text to be explained on next Sunday evening [April 2] is, Romans xvi 17. Mark them which cause divisions, and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned, and avoid them. Admittance 6d.

N.B. As religion is equally important to both sexes, Ladies will be admitted.'

468. April 2, 1780 Theological Society, Portugal Street

'Charity suffereth long, and is kind; Charity envieth not; Charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up.' Paul to Cor. ch. viii. v.4. From whence the proposer of the theme adduces the following question:

'Are not the late indulgencies granted to Roman Catholics, consistent with religious liberties of this country?'

Morning Post April 1

469. April 2, 1780 University for Rational Amusement

Theological Question

'Whether we are authorized by Scripture to believe that the honest and virtuous Heathen will be accepted by the Maker?'

London Courant April 1

470. April 2, 1780 Free Masons Hall, The Palladium or Liberal Academy of Eloquence

'Whether is fortitude superior in the male or female breast?'

Thirteen speakers; decided that 'fortitude was more superior in the female than in the male breast.'

Admittance Two-Shillings and Six-pence.

Morning Chronicle April 3

471. April 2, 1780 Religious Association

Romans xvi, 17 'Mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned, and avoid them.'

Morning Chronicle March 27

472. April 3, 1780 The Oratorical Hall, Spring Gardens

'Are not Masquerades more beneficial to the Commerce, than injurious to the Morals of a Nation?

Is it not detrimental to the world to restrain the female sex from the pursuit of classical and mathematical learning?'

The hall 'will be open for the reception of the Nobility and Gentry, mask'd and unmask'd, as was usual on Masquerade Nights in the time of Mr. Cox's Museum. - Admittance, Two Shillings.

The Hall will be grandly illuminated, and the Company entertained with Music until the Debate commences.

N.B. Ladies and Gentlemen accommodated with Tea and Coffee.

It is particularly hoped that Ladies will avail themselves of their masks and join in the debate.'

Morning Chronicle

473. April 3, 1780 Westminster Forum

'Is it agreeable to the maxims of sound policy for any Protestant Government to tolerate Popery?'

Decision that it is not agreeable to tolerate Popery.

London Courant April 1/Short History of the Westminster

474. April 4, 1780 La Belle Assemblee

'In acts of real humanity, whether does the generous giver or the grateful receiver, feel the greater pleasure?

The Ladies have taken into their consideration the uncommon distresses of the sufferers at the late fire near Cavendish-square, intend assembling for their benefit.'

London Courant

475. April 4, 1780 Oratorical Academy, Mitre Tavern

'Is it probable that the American Colonies will be ever reunited to the British Empire?'

London Courant April 3

476. April 4, 1780 Oratorical Society, Old Theatre

'Is there a greater prospect of happiness in a married or single state?'

Debate 'to be opened by a lady'.

London Courant

477. April 4, 1780 Morning Post

'The interlude advertised this evening at Drury lane, under the title of the School of Eloquence, threatens the disputing clubs, which have so suddenly filled every large room in the metropolis with a severe check, which will probably be more useful than pleasing to the numerous frequenters who employ their time and attention in pursuits far beyond their knowledge or abilities. The quarter from which it originates, and the great comic strength of the representation, we hope the check will be effectual. Several of the disputing club members have reason to apprehend that the ridicule will be heightened by a personal caricature of the speakers; a liberty, which tho' highly reprehensible when exercised against private characters, is perfectly justifiable when directed against those who place themselves in so absurd a point of view.'

478. April 5, 1780 Lycee Francois

'A-t-on besoin, pour devenir orateur, de l'etude des Maitres de l'art, ou les talents naturel suffisent-ils?'

London Courant April 3

479. April 5, 1780 University for Rational Amusements

'Is the effeminate Man, or the Masculine Woman the more contemptible character? and, Are newspapers of use or prejudice to Society?'

London Courant

480. April 6, 1780 Carlisle House School of Eloquence

'Whether any restraints can be applied, to the licentiousness of the press, by which its liberty will not be materially affected? and, Is it consistent with the necessary freedom of Parliamentary debate, that the gentlemen should not be accountable in a private capacity, for any expression they may use as members of the Senate?'

London Courant April 3

481. April 6, 1780 The Religious Association

Deut. 24, 16 'Every man shall be put to death for his own sins.'

London Courant April 3

482. April 6, 1780 Coachmakers Hall

'Is the practice of public oratory a fit accomplishment for the ladies? On the decision of the question . . . respecting the propriety of the ladies speaking in public, a numerous company were almost unanimously against it; so that, as our correspondent remarks, that species of female departure from a reserved and modest character is not chargeable on the ladies in general, nor on the public but only on some particular characters.'

Gazetteer April 4

483. April 6, 1780 Oratorical Hall, Spring Garden

'Has not the conduct of opposition been uniformly consistent with public utility these ten years past? and, Is it true, that the people of Ireland have grounded their claims upon the example and conduct of America?'

Decided that it was not consistent with public utility.

'It is particularly hoped that Ladies will join in the debate.'

London Courant

484. April 6, 1780 London Courant

'A correspondent recommends it to the Proprietors of the several Debating Societies, who have so closely imitated the plans of the rooms in the Haymarket, to persist in their laudable endeavours, and follow the example of generosity, as well as interest, by bestowing the profits of one night at least on the unhappy sufferers by fire.

La Belle Assemblee - The unhappy sufferers by the late fire in Princes-street, Cavendish square, return their grateful thanks to the Ladies of La Belle Assemblee for the sum of Twenty Pounds, which they have this day received from them.'

485. April 7, 1780 Free Masons Hall, The Palladium, or Liberal Academy of Eloquence

'Is the character of a Patriot adorned or sullied by coinciding in the views and exertions of the Minority?

Whether is lenity or severity in the Sovereign most likely to prove conducive to the happiness of his subjects?'

Gazetteer April 5

486. April 7, 1780 Apollo Society, King's Arms Tavern

'Whether is the acquisition or communication of knowledge, productive of the greater pleasure to the human kind? And, Is it consistent with honour for a man to refuse a challenge?'

Gazetteer April 6

487. April 8, 1780 University for Rational Amusements

'Should the Execution of Charles I be considered as a Martyrdom? and, Would it be prudent in England to go to war with the Dutch?'

London Courant

488. April 8, 1780 La Belle Assemblee

'Whether is the reality or appearance of merit more likely to gain general estimation?'

Morning Chronicle April 6

489. April 8, 1780 Oratorical Hall, Spring Garden

'Is it true that the people of Ireland have grounded their claims upon the example and conduct of America?'

Morning Chronicle

490. April 9, 1780 Religious Association

Deut. 24, 16 'Every man shall be put to death for his own sin.'

Morning Chronicle April 6

491. April 9, 1780 University for Rational Amusements, Theological Question

'Behold, all Souls are mine, as the Soul of the Father, so also the Soul of the Son is mine; the Soul that sinneth, it shall die.

To begin with an Anthem by a Lady, . . .accompanied on the organ by Mr. Clark and others.'

London Courant April 8

492. April 10, 1780 Westminster Forum

'Whether it would be more consistent with the interest of the people of Great Britain, to immediately acknowledge the American Independence, upon the terms of a general peace, and a free trade with them in common with the rest of Europe, rather than to continue the war against the allied powers under our present circumstances?'

The question was decided in the affirmative, almost unanimously.

London Courant April 6/Short History of the Westminster

493. April 10, 1780 Oratorical Academy, Mitre Tavern

'Would it be prudent in Administration to employ Sir Hugh Palliser in any naval command? and, Would a total abolition of confinement for debt be of more good or hurt to a commercial country?'

London Courant April 8

494. April 11, 1780 Oratorical Society, Old Theatre

'Have not the Ladies as good a right to a classical education as the men?

The Lady who opened the question on Tuesday last being greatly confused by the repeated testimonies of applause given her by the society, it is earnestly requested in future of the Ladies and Gentlemen present to reserve their plaudits to the conclusion of the speech, when they will be more competent judges of the merits of the speakers; which will at the same time prevent the confusion that must obviously occur from the natural timidity of those who have but lately assumed their rights and privileges, by bursting those chains, with which through custom and illiberality, they have hitherto been fettered.'

Morning Post

495. April 12, 1780 Lycee Francois

'D'apres les preuves d'eloquence donnies depuis peu, par les deux sexes, doit on conclure, que les femmes l'importent sur les hommes dans les science de oratoire?'

London Courant

496. April 12, 1780 University for Rational Amusements

'Should a Minister resign when the Petitions of the People have created a Majority against him?'

Debate preceded by a public breakfast.

London Courant

497. April 12, 1780 Morning Post

'Mr. Adam, the famous combatant of Charles Fox, in a speech last Thursday night, at the Oratorical Academy, held at Coachmakers Hall, took an occasion to animadvert, with great severity, upon the Quakers. He was attacked, in reply, with very considerable acrimony, as well as great strength of argument, for the absurdity of pronouncing such vague unproved imputations against general characters and large bodies of men. A little struck with the impropriety of what he had said, Mr. Adam rose again to apologize for his rashness, when a neat, genteel, well dressed, female Quaker, got up and said, "Thou mayst hold thy peace; thou hast already spoken to very little purpose, and thou wilt hardly improve by saying more." This brief rebuke, coming from so engaging a character, was received with the loudest applause, and Mr. Adam was stunned into silence.'

498. April 13, 1780 Coachmakers Hall

'Ought the right to electing Representatives to serve in Parliament to depend on the property, or to be considered as the personal privilege of every Englishman?'

Gazetteer April 11

499. April 13, 1780 Carlisle House School of Eloquence

'Is it consistent with the necessary freedom of Parliamentary debate, that Gentlemen should be answerable in a private capacity, for any expressions they may use as members of the Senate? and, If a Senator should differ in opinion from those whom he represents, is he to act on his own sentiments, or those of his constituents?'

London Courant April 11

500. April 14, 1780 Female Parliament, for Rational Amusements

'Is that assertion of Mr. Pope's founded in Justice, which says "Every Woman is at Heart a Rake"?'

London Courant

501. April 14, 1780 Apollo Society, King's Arms Tavern, Grafton Street, Soho

'Can a man, consistent with honour refuse a challenge?'

N.B. The room lighted with wax, and a separate gallery for the Ladies.

Gazetteer

502. April 14, 1780 Free Masons hall, The Palladium, or Liberal Academy of Eloquence

'Does the late Minority, now turned Majority, forbode good or evil to the subjects of Great Britain?

Will it be a general good to the subjects of Great Britain, if the EastIndia debt is discharged by Government, and the trade thrown open?'

Gazetteer

503. April 15, 1780 Morning Post

'Many of the common speakers, as shopkeepers, etc. at the modern oratorical assemblies, begin to see what coxcombs they have been, to exert their faculties, and exhaust their breath and brains for the mere emolument of other people, who make their fortunes of these affairs; and many of the above orators have begun to form plans of partnership, to occupy large sets of rooms, and divide the spoil all alike. This is said to be carried into execution already at one place, in the western circuit of the town, and will soon be so in the city.

Religion exposed in an auction room, and on a Sunday night too, (says a Lady coming down the Haymarket) - well it is a going! a going! a going! sure enough.'

504. April 15, 1780 La Belle Assemblee

'To which is the world more indebted for their protection, their courage or their fear?'

London Courant April 12

505. April 15, 1780 University for Rational Amusements

'Should a Minister resign when the Petitions of the People have created a Majority against him?'

Begun by duet by two ladies, concluded with lady singing an Italian song.

London Courant April 14

506. April 15, 1780 Assembly Rooms, Crown and Rolls Tavern, Chancery Lane, for the Discussion of Liberal Opinions

'Has not the conduct of our patriotic opposition been consistent with the public utility these 13 years? and, Is the omnipotence of Parliament a doctrine consistent with reason and the principles of the Constitution? and, Is not a triennial Parliament more conducive to the security of our liberties, than any other?'

A society composed of students of the Inns of Court.

Clarinets and french horns, 2s. 6d. tea & coffee included.

Morning Chronicle April 15

507. April 16, 1780 Religious Association, Greenwoods Rooms

Genesis i. - 27 'God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him'. - ii. 16 'And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, of every tree of the garden thou may freely eat.' - 17. 'But of the tree of knowledge of and evil thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.'

London Courant April 12

508. April 16, 1780 University for Rational Amusements, Theological Question

'I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them, if they abide even as I.' I Cor. ch. vii vers 8

London Courant April 15

509. April 16, 1780 Theological Society, One Tun, Strand

20th verse of first chapter of the second epistle of Peter, 'Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.' Intended as a candid inquiry into whether or no scripture is the only rule of faith.

Includes original lecture.

Morning Chronicle April 15

510. April 17, 1780 Westminster Forum

'Is it not a general duty to associate for the restoring of annual Parliaments, and equal representation, as being immediately necessary in order to effectual oeconomy, and constitutional independence, the safety and happiness of the people?'

Carried almost unanimously.

London Courant April 13/Short History of the Westminster

511. April 18, 1780 Oratorical Academy, Mitre Tavern

'Would a total abolition of confinement for debt be of more good or hurt to a commercial country?'

London Courant April 15

512. April 18, 1780 Oratorical Society, Portugal Street

'Has the Art of Printing been more advantageous or detrimental to Mankind?'

Morning Post

513. April 19, 1780 Assembly Room, Crown and Rolls Tavern, Chancery Lane

'First, Has not the conduct of opposition been consistent with public interest since the year 1767?

Second, Is the omnipotence of parliament a doctrine consonant to reason and the principles of the constitution?

Third, Is not a triennial parliament more conducive to the security of our liberties, than any other of longer or shorter duration?'

Admission one shilling.

Morning Post

514. April 19, 1780 University for Rational Amusements

'Should a Minister resign when the petitions of the people have created a majority against him?

Previous to the debate a favorite DUET will be sung by two Ladies, and after the debate a Lady will sing the much admired Italian Song, "Tortsrella adandonato".'

Morning Post

515. April 20, 1780 Carlisle House, the School of Eloquence

'If a British Senator differs in opinion from his Constituents, is it his duty to vote in Parliament from his own judgement, or from their instructions?

2d. Whether anonymous criticisms, in periodical publications, and particularly in Reviews, be of real benefit or injury to Literature?

No persons will be admitted but subscribers, and none allowed to subscribe who are not perfectly agreeable to the Society.'

Gazetteer April 17

516. April 20, 1780 Coachmakers-hall

'Would it not greatly conduce to connubial happiness, if the means of total separation were less difficult than at present, and within the abilities of all ranks and situations?

After a learned, sensible, and judicious debate, it was unanimously carried in the negative.'

Gazetteer April 18

517. April 21, 1780 Female Parliament, University for Rational Amusements

'Is that assertion of Mr. Pope's founded in justice which says, 'Every Woman is at Heart a Rake'?'

It was decided this was unjust.

London Courant

518. April 21, 1780 Palladium or Liberal Academy of Eloquence

'Is there not cruelty in the law, that punishes a woman with burning, for the same crime which a man is only hanged for? and, Would not permitting Papists to realize property, and enjoy every other immunity in common with Protestant Dissenters, be the best means to secure their allegiance to a Protestant Prince?'

Gazetteer April 19

519. April 22, 1780 University for Rational Amusement

'Which is more to be dreaded in future in this country, the Influence of the Crown or the spirit of party?'

Morning Post

520. April 22, 1780 La Belle Assemblee

'Whether is jealousy the result of extreme love, or the effect of mental depravity?

The Rooms are altered for the better accommodation of the Ladies.

Determined that jealousy was the result of extreme love. An Italian lady, who was supposed to have given the question, spoke to it herself.'

Gazetteer

521. April 23, 1780 University for Rational Amusements, Theological Question

'For I the Lord thy God am a Jealous God, visiting the sins of the Fathers upon the Children, unto the third and fourth generations of them that hate me.' Exod. ch. xx. v. 5.

London Courant April 21

522. April 23, 1780 Religious Association

Hebrews vi. vers. 4, 5, 6 'For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the Heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost. And have tasted the word of God, and the powers of the world to come. If they fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to open shame.'

London Courant April 20

523. April 24, 1780 Westminster Forum

'Are there sufficient reasons to justify Englishmen in continuing the Slave Trade?'

Decided against the slave trade.

London Courant April 20/Short History of the Westminster

524. April 25, 1780 Oratorical Academy, Mitre Tavern

'Is that maxim of the poet true, which affects, that

Women born to be controll'd

Stoop to the forward and the bold.

This question was sent by some Ladies who promised to join in the debate.'

London Courant April 20

525. April 25, 1780 Oratorical Society, Portugal Street

'Is lenity or severity in a Sovereign most conducive to the happiness of the subjects?'

Morning Post

526. April 26, 1780 University for Rational Amusements

'Is Love or Hatred the most powerful passion? and, Was Cato justifiable in killing himself?

Previous to the debate, a Lady will sing the favourite Scotch air of 'Johnny and Mary,' introduced by Miss Catley, in Love in a Village: and after the debate, a Gentleman and Lady will sing the favourite duet of 'Dalmon and Clara.'

London Courant

527. April 27, 1780 St. James Chronicle

CARLISLE-HOUSE

'That Department of the Academy, called The School of Eloquence, like a young but robust Child, is subject to some violent Indispositions. The Audience last Thursday Evening not finding the usual Entertainment, owing to an Alteration in the Disposition of the Room, called upon the Moderator for Redress. He lamented, that from some unfortunate Perverseness in the Tenants, who depended on the Society for the very Payment of their Rent, he was prevented from doing what by his Contract he had a proper Power to do, and what he sincerely wished to do for the perfect Accommodation of the Company. The Proprietors were called for, and an elderly Man appeared. He faultered, and hesitated, and spoke bad English amidst the Hisses of the Audience; but at last, to complete his Disgrace, said "that every Thing should be put in Order, at the Request of the Audience, but not by Desire of the Moderator, who was only a Servant." The coarse Illiberality and Falsehood of the Insult was resented by the severest Expressions of Detestation. The Moderator was desired to quit the Chair, and a young Gentleman, glowing with a large Portion of the generous fire which animate the whole Assembly, took his Place. The Audience then with cordial Unanimity voted the Moderator Thanks for his impartial, candid, and judicious Conduct, ever since he had presided over that Society; pledged themselves to take him under their Protection, and to see him supported. The Moderator expressed his Gratitude, as well as the Fullness of his Heart would admit him. The Assembly broke up with the most generous good Humour; and we suppose, that having adopted the Moderator as their own, they will in future enforce their own Regulations, and redress their own Grievances.

The Company was very brilliant; and some Personages of the most distinguished Rank were active in the generous Parts of this Business.'

528. April 27, 1780 Carlisle House The School of Eloquence

'1. Whether anonymous criticisms, in periodical publications, particularly in Reviews, be of real benefit or injury to Literature?

2. Is the British House of Commons sufficient, without the concurrence of the other branches of the Legislature, to determine any character or description of men to be a disqualification for a seat in that House?'

Gazetteer

529. April 27, 1780 Coachmakers Hall

'Are not the Representatives of the Commons in Parliament, bound to obey the instructions of their particular constituents?'

Gazetteer April 25

530. April 28, 1780 Free Masons Hall, The Palladium, or Liberal Academy of Eloquence

'Was it politic in England, to assist Russia to become a Maritime Power? And, if the time permit, the second Question, Which is most in danger from flattery, a woman of singular beauty, or ample fortune?'

Gazetteer April 27

531. April 28, 1760 University for Rational Amusements, Female Parliament

'Are not Male Encroachments on Female Occupations, an hardship on the Sex, which ought to be remedied by a restrictive Law?'

London Courant April 26

532. April 29, 1780 La Belle Assemblee

'Which is the most amiable accomplishment in Woman, Fine Natural Sense or Extensive Learning?

The debate was spirited, and the language pointed and chaste. The question was carried in favour of fine natural sense.'

London Courant

533. April 29, 1780 University for Rational Amusement

'Is that circumstance of managers of Theatres, being authors themselves, of detriment to Dramatic Literature? and, Was Cato justifiable in killing himself?'

London Courant April 28

534. April 29, 1780 Gazetteer

CARLISLE HOUSE

'On Thursday evening the business of the School of Eloquence at that place was interrupted, in consequence of an alteration in the disposition of the room, and the situation of the chair. The company were seated inconveniently, and the speakers were so discouraged, that all the usual entertainment was lost: they therefore called on the Moderator, to account for their ill treatment. He candidly told them, that his situation was such with a troublesome person who was a tenant in the house, that he could get nothing done as he wished to accommodate an audience by whom he was so much honoured, and by whom the tenants were maintained. The tenants were called for, and one of them appeared, who made many excuses; concluding the whole with saying, that thing should be put in their former situation, in compliance with the request of the audience, but not at the desire of the Moderator, who was his servant! This, from a man who was considered as deriving his subsistence from a society in which the Moderator presided, under a contract with the tenants, threw the whole room into a tumult; and he was forced to engage, and promise a punctual compliance. The Moderator then received an unanimous vote of thanks from the assembly, attended with acclamations, and assurances of support, which may be improved very favourably to the institution. There were some of the very first personages in the kingdom, who did themselves, as well as the Moderator, great honour, by the part they took in the business.'

535. April 30, 1780 University for Rational Amusement, Theological Question

'For I say unto you, that unto every one which hath shall be given, and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away.' Luke, ch. xix. v. 26.

London Courant April 28

536. April 30, 1780 Religious Association

1 Corinthians, chap. xiii, vers. 3 'And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.'

London Courant April 29

537. May 1, 1780 School for Oratory, China-Hall, Rotherhithe

'1st If a Member of the House of Commons should think differently from a majority of his Constituents in parliamentary matters, ought he to follow their instructions, or the dictates of his own judgment?

2nd. In most instances, where the affections of the female sex are improperly attached, who is most blameable, the man or the woman?'

Gazetteer

538. May 1, 1780 Carlisle House

'The opening of Carlisle House on tomorrow Evening, for the discussion of a question by LADIES only, being advertised, and the Advertisement concluding in the form with which the subjects to be debated in the School of Eloquence have usually been announced, viz. that "The Moderator will take the Chair at Eight;" I beg leave to inform the Public that neither the Principal of the Academy or myself have any concern in that undertaking; and though I am evidently alluded to in the advertisement, that I received my first information upon the subject from a news paper.

I think it necessary to declare this, not only to prevent a seeming deception upon the public, but to protect myself and the institution from that ridicule which must deservedly follow the introduction of an entertainment so inconsistent with the Academic Plan, which the Public have been assured will be faithfully executed at Carlisle House.

I cannot omit this opportunity of repeating my warmest thanks, for the very flattering and unanimous vote of approbation with which I was honoured on Thursday last by the Nobility and Gentry, assembled at the School for Eloquence; and of assuring them, that I retain the most grateful sense of their favour, and will pay the most respectful attention to their future accommodation and entertainment.'

T. Martyn, Moderator

Morning Post

539. May 1, 1780 Westminster Forum

'Whether the candidates for seats in parliament refusing to sign a test, obliging themselves to exert their endeavours to obtain a reformation in the expenditure of the public money, the more equal representation, and shortening the duration of parliaments, ought to be depended upon as sincere friends of the people?'

It was decided that the candidates ought to sign a test.

London Courant April 27/Short History of the Westminster

540. May 2, 1780 Gazetteer

'A male correspondent, who was on Saturday evening last at La Belle Assemblee at the Haymarket, was filled with chagrin and admiration; admiration at the very able manner the question then discussed [was] treated; and chagrin to perceive, that with all the disadvantages of education which the fair sex labour under, how infinitely superior those who are formed by nature to excite the tender passions, are to excite every other. In short, not only to lead captive by all the graces of colloquial harmony, of pure diction, of varied and expressive emphasis, of language cloathed in the diversity of the several passions which were felt or wished to be personified, but likewise by sterling sentiments, founded in truth, forcibly directed to ultimate persuasion, and presenting in the whole to the attentive auditor, the unmixed result of well supported facts, or well-presumed premises, sufficient to bring home indubitable conviction to every mind capable of determining upon the only test of all human knowledge, logical conclusion, deduced from facts not denied, or premises not controverted.'

541. May 2, 1780 Carlisle House, Ladies Only

'Is the study of Politics and the affairs of state compatible with the station and character of the Fair Sex?'

London Courant April 29

542. May 2, 1780 Oratorical Society, Portugal Street

'Which is more to be desired by a female, beauty or good sense?'

Morning Chronicle

543. May 2, 1780 Oratorical Academy, Mitre Tavern

'Can the measure of arming the Third Regiment of Foot, and doubling the Horse Guards, on the day when the fate of the Petitions of the People was to be decided in the House of Commons, be vindicated?'

London Courant April 29

544. May 2, 1780 St. James Chronicle

CARLISLE HOUSE

'Tuesday Evening a Room was opened for Debate by Ladies only, at this House. The Inconsistency of this Measure with the academical Plan delivered to the Publick, and the Advertisement of the Moderator, that neither he nor the Principal of the Academy had any Concern in the Business, gave the Publick a disadvantageous Impression of it, as a desperate Expedient of the Tenants to get Money.

The Chair was not taken till Half after Eight; and we were sorry to see that a Gentleman of Character should be the Person engaged in such unworthy and dishonourable Business. He proposed the Question, to which some Women spoke; or rather read Speeches out of Papers; but the chief Dependence of the Evening was on a Mr. McNally in Woman's Clothes. He squeaked several Speeches to eke out the Time, but the Offence taken at such an indecent Artifice, and the Impatience of the Audience from Want of Entertainment, induced them to precipitate poor Marriott from the Chair, and to place an old discarded Actress in his Stead. She acquitted herself to the Satisfaction of those who surrounded the Chair, and who seemed to wish, like the Praetorian Band, to be occupied in placing and displacing Presidents. Whether the Freedom of her Behaviour, and the Luxuriance of her Language, aided by the Appearance of Men in Women's Clothes, may have any Effect in rendering this Assembly popular, and profitable to the Tenants, we leave to the Determination of the Publick.'

545. May 3, 1780 Morning Post

Letter, to the President of School for Eloquence, Freemasons Hall [Schoolboy tells story of how his father took him, and two younger brothers to debate. Remarks on how expensive entry was.] Then says he 'thought, from the shabbiness of the dress of the speakers, they were very extravagant and foolish, to give away that money which would have been better laid out for shoes and stockings.' Says question, which is most liable to flattery, men or women should be who is most liable. Father 'lamented much the temerity of men who expose an ignorance of the simplest rules of language, and the plainest principles of reasoning, and exhibit to the public, for imitation, and a model of eloquence, aukward actions, vulgar idioms, and discordant ideas'.

546. May 4, 1780 Carlisle House, The School of Eloquence

'Is the British House of Commons, without the concurrence of the other branches of the Legislature, competent to determine any character or description of men to a disqualification for a seat in that House?

2d Is an Address from Parliament immediately to his Majesty, or a proceeding by an Act of the Legislature, the most proper mode to obtain the abridgement of the Civil List, and the economy requested by the present Petitions?'

Gazetteer

547. May 4, 1780 Coachmakers Hall

'Are not the Representatives of the Commons in Parliament bound to obey the instructions of their particular constituents?'

Gazetteer May 2

548. May 6, 1780 La Belle Assemblee, Mr. Greenwood's Rooms in the Haymarket

'Do the manners of the Ladies, in the present day, tend more to invite the Gentlemen to, or to deter them from matrimony?'

London Courant May 6

549. May 7, 1780 University for Rational Amusements, Female Parliament

'Was Adam or Eve more culpable in Paradise?'

London Courant

550. May 7, 1780 Religious Association

5th chapter St. Matthew, verses the 11th and 12th. 'Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you for my sake. Rejoyce, and be exceedingly glad; for great is your reward in Heaven; for so persecuted they the Prophets which were before you.'

London Courant May 6

551. May 7, 1780 University for Rational Amusements, Theological Question

'And she took of the fruit, and did eat thereof, and gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat.'

London Courant May 5

552. May 8, 1780 Carlisle House School of Eloquence

'1st. Is an Address from Parliament immediately to his Majesty, or a proceeding by act of the Legislature, the most proper mode to obtain the abridgement of the Civil List, and the oeconomy requested by the present Petitions?

2d. Whether it is consistent with the principles of the constitution, that the Legislature of Great Britain should control the Legislature of Ireland?'

Gazetteer

553. May 8, 1780 The School of Oratory, China Hall, Rotherhithe

'In most Instances, when the affections of the female sex are improperly attached, who is most blameable, the man or the woman? Are the people, by the English Constitution, intitled to short or frequent Parliaments? And, Are women in general, most in danger, from men of strong, or weak intellectual faculties?'

Admission One Shilling.

Gazetteer

554. May 8, 1780 Westminster Forum

'What interest is the most susceptible of corruption, and consequently demands the most rigid and immediate reform - the ecclesiastical, civil or military?'

It was decided that the ecclesiastical interest was most in need of reform.

London Courant/Short History of the Westminster

555. May 9, 1780 Carlisle House, Ladies Only

'Is the Diffident or Resolute, the most persuasive Lover?'

London Courant May 8

556. May 9, 1780 Oratorical Academy, Mitre Tavern

'Can friendship subsist between the two sexes, without the passion of love?'

London Courant May 8

557. May 11, 1780 Coachmakers Hall

'Is the observation founded in truth, that the manners of the present age are more depraved than in former times?'

Gazetteer May 9

558. May 11, 1780 Carlisle House School of Eloquence

'1st. Is an Address from Parliament immediately to his Majesty, or a proceeding by an act of Legislature, the most proper mode to obtain the abridgement of the Civil List, and the oeconomy requested in the present Petitions?

2nd. Whether it is consistent with the principles of the constitution, that the Legislature of Great-Britain should controul the Legislature of Ireland?'

Gazetteer May 8

559. May 11, 1780 St. James Chronicle

'SIR,

The English are said to be Lions in War, so I believe they are; but in common Life they are Sheep. There is always a Bellwether in our Politicks, Morals, Fashions, and Diversions, who is followed by the Crowd as eagerly as the Bellwether of a Common; the Ton once given, the whole Nation appears running made the same Way. Who had the Merit of giving the present Rage for the Schools of Eloquence I know not, but certainly the Disorder is become so epidemical, that we are in Danger of dying a Nation of Orators.

I have attended several of these Schools, Mr. Baldwin, and have now and then heard a sensible Speaker: but more generally Weak Reasoning, false Conclusions, and illiterate Language. As I write ShortHand I have taken down a few Orations from the scientific lips of Tailors, Shoemakers, Haberdashers, etc. with which I may hereafter amuse that Part of the World who are unfortunately at too great a Distance from these Seminaries of Learning, to have their Minds elucidated by their Labours.

At present I shall confine myself to that one Head of the Hydra, called La Belle Assemblee. I am really, Sir, ashamed. I blush at seeing the lovely, tender, timid Sex, appear in a Light so very disadvantageous; and I am sorry for the Countenance given to their Excentricity by the Men, who, by insidious Applause, encourage the Folly they laugh at.

Were it really a Fact that these female Orators were any Thing more than the hired Reciters of a studied Lesson, it would be very little to their Honour: for what Women of the slightest Pretensions to Modesty, or common Decency could stand up in an Assembly of a thousand Persons, and hazard their Thoughts and Language on Subjects which they are supposed never to have studied till the Moment they begin to hold forth? Would not such Assurance and Effrontery render them absolutely disgustful? Is there a Man on Earth who from such a Set of Women would choose a Wife? or a Husband, Father, or Brother, who would not be shocked to find his Sister, Daughter or Wife in this garrulous Society?

But the Truth is (and it is a Fact in Favour of the Women who speak) their Lessons are all composed for them; so that they have no more to do with the Arguments they utter, than my Pen has with the Characters I force it to trace. But this though in Favour of the Speakers, is no Sort of Recommendation of the Society, for our Newspapers and Magazines present us infinitely better Essays on the same Subjects, and these we may enjoy in our Parlours, without the Disadvantages of hearing them from Mouths where they seem unnatural (for not the least Trace of feminine Thinking is to be found in these female Orations), or having them clipped and murthered by a vulgar pronunciation.

INDIGNUS'

560. May 12, 1780 Oratorical Academy, Mitre Tavern

'If the people receive no redress in consequence of their petitions, can any legal and constitutional method be adopted to procure it?'

London Courant May 11

561. May 12, 1780 University For Rational Amusements, Female Parliament

'Is publick Abuse, or private Scandal, the most injurious to society?'

London Courant

562. May 13, 1780 Religious Association

Revel, chap. xiv. vers 11 'And the smoke of their torments ascendeth up for ever and ever.'

London Courant

563. May 13, 1780 La Belle Assemblee

'Do the exhibitions of the Stage tend more to the promotion of Vice or Virtue?

The arguments adduced by the fair orators were genteel and sprightly, free from that censure and invective which so ample a field might have afforded, and the question was unanimously carried, that stage exhibitions, well regulated, tend more to the promotion of virtue.

Tea-rooms open at six. Ice creams, &c.'

Gazetteer

564. May 13, 1780 Westminster Forum

'Is not a federal Union with America the most desirable at present of all political events, next to the Reformation of our internal Policy?'

London Courant

565. May 13, 1780 University for Rational Amusements

'Was Cato justifiable in killing himself? and, Are the tedious Law Proceedings of England, or the summary Law Proceedings of the Eastern Countries, to be preferred?'

London Courant

566. May 14, 1780 University for Rational Amusements, Theological Question

'But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.' Romans, c. iv. v. 5.

London Courant May 13

567. May 15, 1780 China Hall, Rotherhithe

'1. Are women most in danger from men of strong, or weak intellectual faculties?

2. Which is the happiest state, weakness or wisdom?

3. What parliamentary term would be most advantageous to the people at large, Annual, Duennial, or Triennial?'

Adjourned.

Gazetteer

568. May 15, 1780 Westminster Forum

'Is not a federal union with America, the most desirable, at present, of all political events, next to the reformation of our internal policy?'

Question decided in the affirmative.

Short History of the Westminster

569. May 16, 1780 Carlisle House, Ladies Only

'Is not a liberal acquiescence with the prevalence of fashion, in the improvements of the person, as necessary as an attention to the cultivation of the understanding?'

Gazetteer

570. May 16, 1780 Oratorical Academy, Mitre Tavern

'If the people receive no redress in consequence of their petitions, can any legal and constitutional means be adopted to procure it?'

London Courant

571. May 17, 1780 University for Rational Amusement

'Are the tedious law Proceedings of England or the summary Law proceedings of the Eastern countries, to be preferred?'

London Courant

572. May 18, 1780 Carlisle House, School of Eloquence

'Is Pride in the class of the Virtues or the Vices?'

Gazetteer

573. May 19, 1780 Lyceum

'Whether the Discovery of America has been productive of Benefit or Injury to Europe? - If, of Benefit; what are the best means to preserve and encrease it? - if, of Injury; What are the best means to remedy it? In order to associate Genius, and give every Encouragement to an Institution founded on the most liberal Principles, that ever gave rise to any Society in this Country, the Select Committee have resolved, that those who may wish to subscribe for the remaining Nights of this Season, shall not be obliged to pay the full subscription, as if they had been Members from the Beginning: - But to preserve a proper Degree of Respect in the Company, the Subscription will never be lower than HALF A GUINEA.'

Morning Herald

574. May 19, 1780 University for Rational Amusement, The Female Parliament

'Is an old woman marrying a young man, or a young woman marrying an old man, the more blameable?

As the decorations of the Rooms gave such universal satisfaction on the night of the Carnival Masquerade, they will be illuminated this evening in the same style of elegance.'

Admittance 2s. 6d. refreshments of tea, coffee, capillaire, orgeat &c. included.

Gazetteer

575. May 20, 1780 La Belle Assemblee

'Which is the more censurable, an obstinate adherence to old fashions or the servile compliance with new?'

Gazetteer May 18

576. May 21, 1780 Religious Association

Rev. xiv. ver 11 'And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever.'

London Courant May 20

577. May 21, 1780 University for Rational Amusement, Theological Question

'Whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.' Matt. ch. xii, v. 32.

London Gourant May 20

578. May 22, 1780 Tusculanum or Rural Assembly

'Whether platonic love can exist between man and Woman?

Question was carried, that Platonic love cannot exist between the sexes. At the present period, when eloquence is become the favourite object of public attention, little need be said to recommend an establishment of this kind, as to its general nature or tendency; but it is proper to observe, that no Oratorical Society whatever has hitherto opened up with so fair a prospect of entertainment as the RURAL ASSEMBLY may challenge. The season is now arrived, when the confinement of the town must be irksome enough to depreciate its most favoured amusements: that the moments of relaxation should then be allotted to Rural Entertainment, seems to be the suggestion of true taste, and will be found to be most conducive to health and pleasure, which this institution is well calculated to promote . . . those who chuse to attend this institution, previous to their visiting Vauxhall Gardens, will not be precluded, by reason of the early hour at which the debates conclude, and may find thereby an agreeable variety in their evening's entertainment. NB the introduction of Masks in societies of this kind have been attended with several inconveniences, none will be admitted.'

Morning Post

579. May 22, 1780 China Hall, Rotherhithe

'1. Are women most in danger from men of strong or weak intellectual faculties?

2. Which is the happiest state, weakness or wisdom?

3. What parliamentary term would be most advantageous to the people at large, ANNUAL, DUENNIAL or TRIENNIAL?'

Gazetteer

580. May 22, 1780 Westminster Forum

'Is not giving a Military Command to a man who has never seen service, a discouragement to the army?'

Question decided in the affirmative.

Morning Chronicle/Short History of the Westminster

581. May 22, 1780 Morning Post

Lines on Hearing the Debates of the FEMALE PARLIAMENT at the Casino, May 19, 1780

'Lo! Now the mandate of despotic fate
Is fled - and women mingle in debate!
Op'd are those lips which bashful prudence clos'd,

And bar'd that breast where modesty repos'd.
Anxious in every course to win the bays,
They start, undaunted, candidates for praise!
But this ambition asks not for redress,
If human acts are measured by success!
Not Fletcher fills the Senatorial Chair
With more applause, than when a B–'s there.
Even in this infancy of female fame,
A Fox already lisps, and Burkes declaim!
An embryo minister the sex shall yield,
And young Minorities dispute the shield.
Ah! long victorious in the realms of Wit,
In all to thee must humbled man submit?
Content not Phoebus' envied heights to reach,
Ye claim the dormant privilege of speech! -
Ierned-like, the lucky moment seize,
Gain what ye ask, and ask what'er ye please!

Thus the immortal Amazons of yore,
In Mar's red field, the palm of conquest bore;
Even he, whose labours filled earth's circuit wide,
Here first in arms a foe superior try'd.
To pining youths, who left the myrtle bough,
And plucked the laurel from the warrior's brow!'

582. May 23, 1780 Carlisle House, Ladies Only

'Is not the hope of reclaiming a Libertine a principal cause of conjugal unhappiness?'

Gazetteer May 22

583. May 24, 1780 University for Rational Amusement, Theological Question

'The following text will be investigated: "Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers; and then, at my coming, I should have received mine own, with usury." St. Matt. ch xxv. v. 27.'

Gazetteer

584. May 25, 1780 Carlisle House School of Eloquence

'Is Great Britain verging more toward an absolute Monarchy or a Republic?'

Gazetteer May 22

585. May 27, 1780 Coachmakers Hall

'Is the man who never marries, or he who marries merely for pecuniary advantage, the greater enemy to the fair sex?'

Gazetteer May 25

586. May 27, 1780 La Belle Assemblee

'Whether are the elegant Amusements of the Town, or the simple Pastimes of the Country, more agreeable?'

Gazetteer

587. May 28, 1780 University for Rational Amusement, Theological Question

St. Matthew, chap, xxv, vers 27. 'Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.'

Morning Chronicle May 27

588. May 28, 1780 Religious Association

'And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever.'

London Courant May 27

589. May 29, 1780 Tusculanum, or the Rural Assembly for the Discussion of Moral, Political, Commercial, and Miscellaneous Questions at Smith's Tea Gardens, Vauxhall

'1. Which is the greater requisite in a Commander, courage or caution?

2. Is there a greater prospect of happiness in married or single state?

Those who are desirous of visiting Vauxhall Gardens, may here find an agreeable variety in their evening's entertainment, and the early hour at which the debate will conclude will be no impediment.'

Admission one shilling.

It was decided that caution was the greater requisite in a Commander.

Gazetteer

590. May 29, 1780 The Summer Lyceum or Liberal Assembly, for Free Debate, Lectures, and Oratorical Exercises, Smith's Tea Gardens, Islington

'Does the too prevailing aversion to matrimony in the present day, arise from a defect in the morals of the people, or a deficiency in the laws of our country?

The discussion of the most interesting and entertaining subjects by the people at large, is a recreation not only rational in itself, but particularly adapted to the taste of an English audience. To accommodate the public with an amusement that has received the sanction of the sentimental and polite, Mr. Smith has opened his great room, under the direction of a person of literary talents, where moral and political questions will be investigated, lectures regularly delivered, and orations on eminent characters occasionally pronounced.'

Gazetteer

591. May 29, 1780 Westminster Forum

'Would it not have been highly proper in the present state of naval affairs to have appointed Sir Hugh Palliser to the command of the Channel fleet, notwithstanding the popular clamour against him?'

Decided that this would have been highly improper.

London Courant May 27/Short History of the Westminster

592. May 30, 1780 Carlisle House, Ladies

'Is gallantry in men, or coquetry in the female sex, the most censurable?'

Gazetteer

593. June 1, 1780 Carlisle House School of Eloquence

'Has the King a right to make peace with America without the consent of Parliament?'

Gazetteer

594. June 2, 1780 La Belle Assemblee

'In the failure of a mutual affection in the married state, which is to be preferred, to love or be loved?'

London Courant

595. June 4, 1780 Religious Association

St. Mark vers. 15, 'There is nothing from without a man that entering into him can defile him; but the things which come out of him: those can defile him.'

Morning Chronicle June 3

596. June 6, 1780 Tusculanum

'Does the account of the late engagement in the West Indies, contained in the Gazette, justify the encomiums passed therein on the French Officers? Do not the late official dispatches throw too general a reflection on the officers of the British Fleet?'

Morning Chronicle

597. June 12, 1780 Tusculanum

'Does modern Matrimony offer a greater prospect of happiness than a single life?'

Morning Chronicle

598. September 7, 1780 Coachmakers Hall

'Are the military associations now forming in the metropolis, more likely to be productive of advantage or disadvantage to the community?'

Gazetteer September 2

599. September 7, 1780 King's Arms Society, for Free and Candid Debate, removed from Coachmaker's Hall

'Were the late Riots the effect of Accident or Design?'

Admittance sixpence; ladies may either sit separate or with their friends.

London Courant August 26

600. September 8, 1780 London Courant

Mitre Tavern, Fleet Street

'A Society of Gentlemen, who propose to meet weekly, during the Winter, at the Mitre Tavern, Fleet Street, for the discussion of Political, Moral, and other Interesting Subjects, take this opportunity of announcing to the public, that the following important question will be debated Monday next [September 11]:

"Has the general conduct of the Ministry in the last Parliament, entitled its Members to the Suffrages of the people on this election?" Admittance TWO SHILLINGS.'

601. September 14, 1780 King's Arms Society

'Would the electing members to serve in Parliament, by ballot, tend more to lessen undue influence, than the present mode of election?'

London Courant September 9

602. September 21, 1780 Coachmakers Hall

'Ought the right of electing Representatives to serve in Parliament to depend on the property, or to be considered as the personal privilege of every Englishman?'

Gazetteer

603. September 21, 1780 Debating Society, King's Arms-tavern, Cornhill

'Would it not be conducive to the happiness of the marriage state, that no woman should have a marriage portion?'

Gazetteer September 20

604. September 23, 1780 London Courant

'THE MIDDLESEX FORUM, for the exercise of public Speaking, will be opened on Wednesday next, the 27th inst. at the superb and elegant Room, known by the name of the
MUSEUM, SPRING GARDENS.

The Question to be debated will be, "Is it likely, that the People of England will receive any benefit from the general re-election of their Representatives in Parliament?"

The chair will be taken precisely at eight o'clock; and as it is meant that the Middlesex Forum should be conducted upon the most liberal plan, as an incitement to Elocution, and an honourable testimony thereof,
A most capital GOLD MEDAL
will be given to the best Speaker, to be delivered to him at the close of the evening by the Moderator, upon the vote of the company present.

Ladies will be admitted, though it is intended that none but Gentlemen shall be permitted to speak upon the question, as it is meant to set an evening sport for the female part of the forum.

Previous to, and during the time of debate,
The WAXWORK
which has so much excited the public curiosity and resort, will be exhibited, representing a Court of Justice in full display of all their oratorical proceedings; together with many more capital characters.

Price TWO SHILLINGS.'

605. September 25, 1780 Westminster Forum

'If uniformity of conduct, and tried abilities, render a Member of Parliament truly valuable, will not the rejection of Alderman Sawbridge be highly dishonourable to the Livery men of London?'

London Courant September 21

606. September 26, 1780 London Courant

'The intention of presenting the best speaker of the Middlesex Forum next Wednesday with a Gold Medal, seems to meet with the general idea and approbation of the public, who have long thought some mark of distinction necessary on such occasions, as an incitement to oratory and elocution, than which nothing can more conduce to the reputation of an individual, or the honour of the state.'

607. September 27, 1780 Gazetteer

'The debating Society at Coachmakers'-hall was opened on Thursday evening last to a genteel and respectable auditory, when the Chairman, with great propriety, addressed the company in the following well delivered speech:
GENTLEMEN,
Little needs to be said in commendation of public disputation conducted upon a liberal plan: it is as ancient as the days of Demosthenes and Cicero; for it was then, and ever since has been considered in a most advantageous light.

A liberal discussion of subjects political and philosophical must tend to increase the stock of human knowledge, and to open and expand the ideas of mankind. A mutual exchange of sentiments, in a friendly society, can only be productive of advantage; such an intercourse pleases while it instructs, and in the end the mind is furnished with that firmness and cool stability which can only be acquired in public debate.

Public disputation was revered as an invaluable blessing at a time when Rome was at the highest pitch of greatness: Philosophers and Politicians of all ages have ever considered it of the greatest consequence to mankind. For to dispute candidly, to discuss liberally, what means it? but that a society of friends have met for the very laudable purpose of discovering truth. Human genius cannot wish for a superior field to exercise in: it draws forth ideas which would never have arisen in the closet, and stimulates to such discoveries as would ever have been buried in retirement. Public disputation acts on genius as the flint does on steel - they both produce rays which would ever have been hidden, but for collision and friendly intercourse.

Be it our care then, gentlemen, to conduct this Society on such a plan - the assistance of every individual is necessary.

Much indeed ought to be said as an apology for your Chairman - but as it is his sincere intention to act with care and with impartiality, he deems it unnecessary to apologize for his want of abilities in a society of gentlemen, met for no other purpose but candid and liberal disputation. He will, therefore, not trouble you any further, conscious that he shall experience that candour which has ever so particularly distinguished this respectable Society.'

608. September 27, 1780 Morning Chronicle

'On a late Decision, by the King's Arms Society, "That the Abolition of Portions would be conducive to Matrimonial Happiness."

As 'twas lately determin'd, that no one from hence,
When taking a wife, should accept of few pence;
'Tis presum'd, that the ladies in gratitude ought
To prefer the poor lover, who's not worth a groat:
That thus destitute both, they both may be sure,
Themselves are alone, not their purses the lure.
Then contemplate ye lads, and ye lasses, the blisses!
When sans bread and cheese, you exist but on kisses!
And if love, in nine months, a fine boy should compleat,
They who live but on love, sure its produce may eat!
So cherish your wives, all as much as you're able,
As you value the sight of a joint at your table.

M. R.'

609. September 27, 1780 King's Arms

'Are those nations of Europe justifiable, who, in the critical moment of danger in which this country stands, have formed a maritime confederacy, under the pretense of preserving the neutrality of the seas?'

Morning Chronicle

610. September 28, 1780 Coachmakers Hall

'Are the military associations now forming in the metropolis, more likely to be productive of advantage or disadvantage to the community?'

Gazetteer September 27

611. September 29, 1780 Morning Post

'One of the first objects of consideration of the new Parliament, it is said, will be, a restriction upon public debating societies, particularly those in which theological questions are discussed. It cannot be doubted, but that such assemblies are exceedingly productive of both religious and political profligacy.'

612. October 1, 1780 Christian Society, at Mr. Greenwood's room St. Matthew 5th, verse 34, 'Swear not at all.'

London Courant September 29

613. October 2, 1780 Westminster Forum

'Which do most injure civil society, the absolutely indolent or the actively vicious?'

London Courant September 29

614. October 2, 1780 Middlesex Forum, Cox's Museum, Spring Garden 'Which of the two is the worst character, the absolutely "indolent or the actively vicious?'

London Courant

615. October 4, 1780 Middlesex Forum

'Which of the two is the worst character, the Member of Parliament that bribes the elector, or the Minister that corrupts the Member of Parliament?'

Morning Chronicle

616. October 5, 1780 Coachmakers Hall

'Would it not tend to the happiness of mankind, if women were allowed a scientific education?'

Gazetteer October 3

617. October 5, 1780 King's-Arms Society

'Is the general charge of depravity of manners more applicable to the male or female character?

The room is conveniently adapted for the accommodation of the ladies.'

Gazetteer October 3

618. October 7, 1780 Christian Society

'They that are whole need not a physician but they that are sick.'

Morning Chronicle

619. October 9, 1780 Westminster Forum

'Does the Morning Post, or the General Advertiser, deserve the greater share of reprobation?'

London Courant October 5

620. October 11, 1780 Middlesex Forum

'Who of the two suffered the hardest case, Lord George Gordon or Mr. Laurens?'

London Courant October 9

621. October 12, 1780 King's Arms Society

'Ought the Hon. Henry Laurens, late President of the American Congress, to be treated as a rebel, or as a prisoner of war?'

Gazetteer October 10

622. October 12, 1780 Coachmakers Hall

'Are not the Representatives of the Commons in Parliament bound to obey the instructions of their particular constituents?'

Gazetteer October 11

623. October 14, 1780 La Belle Assemblee

'Ought not the women of Great Britain to have a voice in the election of Representatives, and be eligible to sit in Parliament as well as the men?'

London Courant

624. October 14, 1780 Christian Society

'And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth.'

Morning Chronicle

625. October 16, 1780 Westminster Forum

'Whether the practice of admitting strangers into the Gallery of the H—e of C—ns is likely to produce greater advantages or disadvantages to the nation?'

London Courant October 14

626. October 18, 1780 Middlesex Forum

'Would it be right for the legislature to lay a tax on all batchelors after a given age?'

London Courant

627. October 18, 1780 Morning Post

'On Saturday evening La Belle Assemblee opened for the winter season, and were honoured with a very brilliant and respectable audience. The debate was admirably supported, and many pointed good things said which would be no discredit to a much higher assembly. Several Ladies who evidently came as auditors with no intent to speak, could not refrain from favouring the audience with their sentiments, in a language remarkably chaste, elegant and convincing. - A well wisher to this nouvelle and rational amusement, recommends to the Proprietors to make three prices instead of one, and have boxes, pit, and gallery, for which the place is well calculated. Thus would the pockets and persons of each class be more agreeably accommodated.'

628. October 19, 1780 Kings Arms

'Would it not have been of great advantage to mankind, if, in the construction of Civil Governments, rewards had been decreed for Virtue as well as Punishments for Vice?'

Morning Chronicle October 18

629. October 19, 1780 Coachmakers Hall

'Would it not be for the honour and interest of Great Britain to release immediately the Hon. Henry Laurens, late President of the American Congress, who was taken on his embassy to the States of Holland?'

Gazetteer October 17

630. October 21, 1780 Morning Post

'A correspondent says he was last Saturday night at the opening of La Belle Assemblee. The speeches of the Ladies now, in general, are well delivered; but, like some tavern wines, have too much Perry in their composition; and others seem to Hunt after humour. The President recapitulated the arguments of the speakers in such a manner, that the auditors were like poulterers' turkies, first fed with corn, and then afterwards crammed with Pollard.'

631. October 21, 1780 La Belle Assemblee

'Would it not be for the benefit of society, if the plan of female education was extended to the arts and sciences?'

Places may be taken for the boxes 3s., Pit 2s., Gallery 1s.

London Courant October 19

632. October 22, 1780 Christian Society

Romans chap. ix, vers. 13 'He hath mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will, he hardeneth.'

Admission 6d.

Morning Chronicle October 21

633. October 23, 1780 Westminster Forum

'Whether a good citizen would be justified in acting with his patron and friend, though he should seem to him to oppose the interest of his country?'

London Courant October 19

634. October 26, 1780 King's Arms Society

'Would it be proper at this crisis, considering our late successes, to allow independence to America?'

Gazetteer October 24

635. October 26, 1780 Coachmakers Hall

'Whether if on an investigation of the claims of private sufferers by the rioters in June last, damages should be recovered against the Chief Magistrate of this City - he ought to be reimbursed by the inhabitants of this metropolis?'

Gazetteer October 24

636. October 27, 1780 Morning Post

'A correspondent observes with pleasure, that the wise resolution of the Common Council to exclude their wives from the Lord Mayor's feast, is to become the subject of debate and ridicule of the Ladies of La Belle Assemblee. He should not be surprized, if it should turn out that the question originated with one of the offended Ladies, that they might have an opportunity of making reprisals. There is no doubt but that it will afford ample scope for laughter and ridicule, and should Mrs. —, who has been a constant patroness of La Belle Assemblee, take it into her head to communicate her sentiments on the subject, she will undoubtedly be able to give the most highly-finished picture of the Aldermanic body, as she is certainly more acquainted with the constitution and abilities of the Court than all the Poets or Poetesses of England.'

637. October 28, 1780 La Belle Assemblee

'Was it consistent with justice or politeness to think of excluding the ladies of the Common Council from the Lord-mayor's feast?'

London Courant October 26

638. October 29, 1780 Christian Society

Acts ch. 8, vers. 36 & 37 'And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water; and the eunuch said, see here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized. And Philip said, if thou believeth with all thine heart thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.'

Morning Chronicle October 28

639. October 30, 1780 Westminster Forum

'Whether the Corporation of London ought to defend their Magistrates in the action brought against them by an eminent Trader, who sustained great damages in the late riots?'

London Courant October 28

640. November 2, 1780 Coachmakers Hall

'Which is to be preferred in the choice of a wife, beauty without fortune, or fortune without beauty?'

Gazetteer October 31

641. November 2, 1780 King's Arms Society

'Is Love or Ambition more predominant in the human breast?'

Gazetteer

642. November 4, 1780 Christian Society

Revelations 22 chap. vers 14 'Blessed are they that do his commandments.'

Morning Chronicle

643. November 4, 1780 La Belle Assemblee

'Whether, in the present difficult situation of public affairs, a tax upon old batchelors would not only be just but equitable?'

London Courant November 2

644. November 5, 1780 School for Theology, Museum, Spring Garden 'It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.' St. Mark, chap. x, ver. 25.

'And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, who can be saved.' ver. 26.

Gazetteer November 4

645. November 6, 1780 Westminster Forum

'Whether the Law of Solon, which makes it a capital offence for any citizen to take a part in a civil dissension, is calculated for the security of a society and consonant with sound policy?'

London Courant November 2

646. November 7, 1780 Coachmakers Hall

'Can Administration be justified in the dismission of the late Speaker of the House of Commons?'

Morning Chronicle November 6

647. November 9, 1780 King's Arms Society

'Would a law to restrain extravagance in dress and the table, be of advantage or detriment to the morals and trade of this kingdom?'

Morning Chronicle November 8

648. November 11, 1780 La Belle Assemblee

'Can the Rev. Mr. Madan's doctrine of a plurality of wives be justified either by the laws of policy or religion?'

London Courant November 9

649. November 12, 1780 Christian Society

Matt. xxvi, vers 52 'All they that live by the sword, shall perish by the sword.'

Morning Chronicle November 11

650. November 12, 1780 School for Theology, Spring Gardens

'King Agrippa said unto Paul: Almost thou persuadist me to be a Christian.'

Admission 1s.

Morning Chronicle November 11

651. November 13, 1780 Westminster Forum

'Whether the late advertisement of persons calling themselves a Committee of Association for a certain great city, signed by a Right Honorable Member of the H—e of C—ns, is the effect of real patriotism and calculated to promote the interest of the country?'

London Courant November 9

652. November 16, 1780 King's Arms Society

'Can the doctrine of a celebrated Divine, in his treatise in behalf of a plurality of wives, be justified upon the principles of religion, reason, or sound policy?'

Gazetteer November 14

653. November 16, 1780 Coachmakers Hall

'Is it the love of the mental or personal charms of the fair sex, that is more likely to induce men to enter into the married state?'

Gazetteer November 14

654. November 18, 1780 La Belle Assemblee

'Can the Rev. Mr. Madan's doctrine of a plurality of wives be justified either by the laws of policy or religion? and, Whether is the man of learning, fortune, courage, or politeness, most acceptable to the ladies?'

London Courant November 16

655. November 19, 1780 Christian Society

Genesis iv. vers. 19 'And Lamech took unto him two wives.'

Morning Chronicle November 18

656. November 20, 1780 Westminster Forum

'Whether the advertisement of a Committee of Association of the City of Westminster, signed by the Hon. Charles Fox, dated Nov. 3, is the effect of real patriotism, and calculated to promote the interest of this country?'

London Courant November 16

657. November 22, 1780 Forum of Eloquence, borough of Southwark 'Whether it had been better for this nation, that the Earl of Mansfield had never existed?'

After a debate of three hours, it was carried in the affirmative by a very large majority. 'It was determined that "neither in his professional nor political character had his very enlightened understanding occasioned so much good as evil to this country".'

London Courant November 23

658. November 23, 1780 Coachmakers Hall

'Would not the Commander in Chief in America have promoted the Royal cause more, had he delivered up General Arnold, and thereby have saved the brave, but unfortunate Major Andre?'

Gazetteer November 21

659. November 23, 1780 King's Arms Society

'Has the discovery of America been productive of more good or evil consequences to mankind?

N.B. This is the question for the solution of which the Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences at Lyons have offered a premium of a thousand livres.'

Gazetteer November 21

660. November 25, 1780 La Belle Assemblee

'Whether the marriage act is consistent with sound policy?'

London Courant November 23

661. November 26, 1780 Christian Society

'Woe unto the world because of offences, for it must needs be that offences come: but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh.'

Morning Chronicle November 25

662. November 27, 1780 Westminster Forum

'Would it have been consistent with honour and humanity in Sir Henry Clinton to have given back General Arnold if he could thereby have saved Major Andre?'

London Courant November 23

663. November 30, 1780 Coachmakers Hall

'Is not the deliberate seduction of the fair, with an intention to desert, under all circumstances worse than murder?'

Gazetteer November 28

664. November 30, 1780 King's Arms Society

'Can friendship subsist between the sexes without the passion of love?' Gazetteer November 28

665. December 2, 1780 La Belle Assemblee

'Whether the sports of the field are proper amusements for the Ladies?'

London Courant November 30

666. December 3, 1780 School for Theology, Coxes Museum

'Indeed I baptize you with water unto repentance, but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear; he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.' St. Matthew ch. iii, vers. 11.

Admission 1 shilling.

Gazetteer December 2

667. December 3, 1780 Theological Society, High Holborn

Jam. cha. v, ver. 12 'But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither the earth, neither by any other oath, but let your yea be yea and your nay nay lest ye fall into condemnation.'

Morning Chronicle December 1

668. December 3, 1780 Christian Society

Job chap. 14 vers. 5 'See his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee; thou hast appointed his bound that he cannot pass.'

Morning Chronicle November 31

669. December 4, 1780 Westminster Forum

'Would it not be prudent to suffer the Convocation to sit, in order to consider the dangerous Doctrines contained in the late Publication of the Rev. Mr. Madan?'

London Courant November 30

670. December 7, 1780 Coachmakers Hall

'Ought not Great Britain immediately to recognize the independence of America, and open a treaty of general pacification?'

Gazetteer December 5

671. December 7, 1780 Carlisle House School of Eloquence

'Is the misconduct in the Council of a State an excuse for the desertion of a soldier from the standard he has inlisted under?'

Decision affirmative.

Morning Chronicle December 5

672. December 7, 1780 King's Arms Society

'Would not solitude in prison be a better mode of punishing criminals for capital offences, than that universally practiced in this kingdom?'

Gazetteer December 5

673. December 9, 1780 La Belle Assemblee

'A noble Lord having stated in the House of Commons, with his usual accuracy, that the decrease of people in this country within the last ninety years has been one million eight hundred thousand; therefore the question is, "Whether this decrease is more owing to the manners of the Ladies or of the Gentlemen?"'

London Courant December 7

674. December 10, 1780 Religious Society of Theological Enquiry, Coachmakers Hall

Second verse of 3rd chap. of first epistle of St. Paul to Timothy, 'Let a Bishop be the husband of one Wife.'

Morning Chronicle December 9

675. December 10, 1780 School of Theology, Coxe's Museum, Spring Garden

'Wherefore they are no more Twain, but one Flesh.' St. Matthew ch. xix, vers. 6. This text is selected as a Critique upon Mr. Madan's Defense of Polygamy.'

Admission 1 shilling.

Daily Advertiser December 9

676. December 11, 1780 Robin Hood, Butcher Row, Temple bar

'Whether any encrease of population on the Rev. Mr. Madan's plan would compensate for the confusion, Polygamy would create in society? And (if time permits) Would not the present aspect of American affairs justify Parliamentary thanks to the Ministry for their PERSEVERANCE in the national cause?

Admittance (men only) Six-pence, liquor included.

This undertaking is at the instance of many gentlemen desirous of renovating the old constitution of debating societies.'

Adjourned.

Morning Chronicle

677. December 11, 1780 Westminster Forum

'Is the frequency of corruption any excuse for the acceptance of a bribe?'

London Courant December 7

678. December 12, 1780 The Female Congress, Great Room, at the late King's Arm Tavern, Cornhill, for Ladies only

'Was Adam or Eve the more culpable in Paradise?'

Admittance One Shilling.

London Courant December 5

679. December 12, 1780 London Courant

'A Society of Gentlemen, whose views are to the Senate and the Bar, and whose studies are principally employed on the constitution of this country, has been for some time under the direction of the Rev. David Williams. The design of the society is to acquire the art of composing, and delivering Orations, &c. by such exercises, as an intimate knowledge of the human heart, by a study of its passions, alone can suggest. This design does not interfere with the purposes of those who are usefully occupied in removing defects of pronunciation, or improving the ear and modulating the voice for declamation. The business of the Society commences when the members have availed themselves of any assistances they may have wanted on such accounts; and its exercises, though in the circumstances they were first entered upon they had the fullest claim to originality, are similar to those which were given in Athens and Rome, in the periods of their highest lustre.

Though there are some reasons which induce the Society to make its design known; though it may be desirous to increase the number of its members, by the first and noblest youth of this country; yet the importance of its views, the harmony which prevails in it, and the satisfaction arising from the proper direction of its pursuits, are circumstances not to be hazarded merely to become numerous. Every nobleman or gentleman, therefore, must be proposed, in order to be admitted, if two black balls do not appear against him.

The Society will have public acts; but as no pecuniary advantages will arise from them, no persons will be admitted who is not introduced by the members.'

680. December 13, 1780 London Courant

'Last night the Pantheon society met for the discussion of the adjourned question, 'Can the conduct of Lord George Gordon respecting the Protestant Association be construed into High Treason?' . . . After a full discussion, it was moved and unanimously agreed to, that in respect that most of them who spoke against him, meant only to afford an opportunity to his friends, of clearing him from any shadow of guilt, the question should be dismissed unanimously in his favour.'

681. December 13, 1780 Carlisle House, The School of Eloquence 'Can an officer, whose military service is peculiarly essential to the service of the state, excuse himself in honour from such duty, on account of a conceived affront or injury received from the rulers of its councils?'

The decision was, that 'the true patriotic hero will abate every feeling of interest or resentment to venture himself totally in the service of his country; at the risque not only of his life but fame.

It was impossible, in the course of the debate, tho' contrary to the general rules of the School, to avoid some reprehension being made on the voluntary retirement of Admiral Keppel from his public character, which was seconded by the general opinion of the room, amidst many pleasing compliments to his personal courage and abilities and private virtue.'

Morning Chronicle

682. December 14, 1780 Coachmakers Hall

'Whether, if the idea of indelicacy, which custom has affixed to any advances of the fair sex, to enter into the married state, was abolished, it would not tend to the happiness of both sexes?'

Gazetteer December 12

683. December 14, 1780 King's Arms Society

'Would not a tax on Maids and Bachelors, after a certain age, be of public utility?'

Gazetteer December 12

684. December 14, 1780 School for Theology, Spring Gardens

'Who can say, I have made my Heart clean, I am pure from Sin?' Proverbs, ch. xx, vers 9.

Daily Advertiser December 13

685. December 14, 1780 Morning Post

'Last Tuesday evening a society for debate by Ladies only was opened at the late King's Arms Tavern, Cornhill, under the name of the Female Congress. The company was splendid and respectable, and so very numerous, that there was a considerable overflow. The chair was taken by a Lady, who made an elegant exordium, which lasted near twenty minutes. She traced the practice of eloquence through the medium of the debating societies, till at length Ladies were admitted to speak. She paid a delicate compliment to the Belle Assemblee, as the first institution in which women were restored to their natural rights, and declared the Female Congress was not opened from any spirit of rivalry or opposition, but solely to accommodate the Ladies of the east and south ends of the town, whom the distance of the Haymarket deprives of hearing Ladies debate so frequently as they might wish. She then mentioned the common objections, or rather cavils, against women speaking in public, and very ably defended the propriety of it, as well as the character of such who spoke. During the whole evening she maintained the dignity of the chair, and filled it with astonishing ability, so as to convince all present, that where a woman can be found equal to the task, a woman alone ought to preside over a female society. The debate that ensued was carried on with great spirit and vivacity. Some of the Ladies were capital in wit, humour, and eloquence, and all were agreeable, though it was apparent that three of them spoke under the disadvantages consequent on a first attempt: in short, the company were entertained with twelve pleasing speeches, and departed after giving every mark of general approbation.'

686. December 16, 1780 Morning Post

'The numerous disputing societies and forums for harangue have had such an effect on public opinion, that peoples of abilities and knowledge are now likely to be determined by the fluency of speech. But if we may believe a judicious writer, the common fluency of speech in many men, and most women, is owing to a scarcity of matter; for whoever is a master of language, and hath a mind full of ideas, will be apt in speaking to hesitate upon the choice of both; - whereas common speakers have only one set of ideas, and one set of words to cloath them in, and these are always ready at the mouth; so people come faster out of a church, when it is almost empty, than when a croud is at the door.'

687. December 16, 1780 La Belle Assemblee

'Whether is the inclination greater in spinsters to be married or in married men to be single?'

London Courant December 14

688. December 17, 1780 Christian Society

Colossians chap. 3, vers. 20, 21. 'Children obey your parents in all things.'

Morning Chronicle December 16

689. December 17, 1780 School for Theology, Spring Gardens

'All Scripture is given by Inspiration of God, and is profitable for Doctrine, for Reproof, for Correction, for Instruction in Righteousness.' 2 Timothy, ch. iii. vers 16.

Daily Advertiser December 16.

690. December 18, 1780 Robin Hood, Butcher Row, Temple Bar

'Whether any encrease of population on the Rev. Mr. Madan's plan would compensate for the confusion polygamy would create in society? The vote was almost nem. con. negative.'

Morning Chronicle

691. December 18, 1780 Westminster Forum

'Is publick examination of prisoners, and afterwards publishing the same, proper or improper?'

London Courant December 14

692. December 19, 1780 Female Congress, King's Arms Tavern, Cornhill

'Does Jealousy in Women more frequently arise from Love or Pride?'

Admission One Shilling.

Gazetteer December 16

693. December 21, 1780 Coachmakers Hall

'If the Legislature of these kingdoms were to frame a law concerning marriage agreeable to the system recommended by the Rev. Mr. Madan, in a late publication, would it not tend to prevent the ruin of the female sex, in all its horrid consequences, both to the public and individuals?'

Gazetteer December 19

694. December 21, 1780 King's Arms Society

'Would it not be of advantage to the fair sex, that every man who had seduced a woman, should be obliged to marry her?'

Gazetteer December 19

695. December 21, 1780 Carlisle House, The School of Eloquence

'Can a member of the British Legislature absent himself from his attendance in Parliament, consistently with the duty he owes his country and constituents?

From an accident of a Gentleman mistaking the question as "Whether the Member was obliged strictly to pursue the mandates of his constituents." The question, in the midst of a very spirited and entertaining argument, was carried away for the remainder of the night with a torrent of wit and humour, from out of its proper channel; but being thought worthy of a more serious discussion, a motion was made and consented to, that it should stand over.'

Morning Chronicle

696. December 21, 1780 La Belle Assemblee

'A celebrated Dutchess having invited the nobility to attend her route at 12 o'clock at night, which, in the vulgar regulation of time, is considered rather as an unseasonable hour for the beginning of an entertainment; therefore the question to be discussed is, Whether a Woman of Fashion can do wrong?'

Morning Chronicle

697. December 24, 1780 School for Theology, Museum, Spring Gardens

'Who can say, I have made my Heart clean, I am pure from Sin?'

Proverbs ch. xx, vers 9.

Daily Advertiser December 23

698. December 25, 1780 Robin Hood

'Is the declaration of hostilities by the Court of London, against the States of Holland commendable at this crisis?'

Morning Chronicle

699. December 26, 1780 Female Congress, King's Arms Tavern

'Who is the more condemnable, the young woman who marries an old man, or the old woman who marries a young man?'

A Lady in the Chair.

'After the close of the Debate, the Lady in the Chair will commence a Series of Characters of Living Ladies. - That for Tomorrow night, the Character of Miss Hannah More, Authoress of the Tragedy of Percy, &c. &c.'

Gazetteer December 25

700. December 27, 1780 Carlisle House, School of Eloquence

'Can a member of the British Legislature absent himself from his attendance in Parliament, consistently with the duty he owes his country and constituents?'

The Question 'was renewed in debate with much precision and judgment, to the great amusement of the company. In short, no argument ever gave more pleasure in its discussion. It was determined in the negative.'

Admittance 3s. Tea, Lemonade, Capillaire and Orgeat, included.

No Gentleman can be permitted to speak in Masque.

Morning Chronicle

701. December 28, 1780 King's Arms Society

'Doth not the present mode of educating females in boarding schools greatly prejudice their rising morals?'

Gazetteer December 26

702. December 28, 1780 Coachmakers Hall

'If the Legislature of these kingdoms were to frame a law concerning marriage agreeable to the system recommended by the Rev. Mr. Madan, in a late publication, would it not tend to prevent the ruin of the female sex, with all its horrid consequences, both to the public and individuals?'

Gazetteer December 27

703. December 31, 1780 Christian Society

Hebrews chap. 10, vers. 25 'Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another; and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.'

Morning Chronicle December 30

704. December 31, 1780 School For Theology, Spring Gardens

'Jesus took Bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the Disciples, and said, Take, eat, this is my Body.' St. Matthew, ch. xxvi, vers. 26.

'Previous to the Investigation, by particular Desire, will be delivered a moral Lecture.'

Daily Advertiser December 30

705. December 31, 1780 La Belle Assemblee

'Whether, during the continuance of the war, it is becoming in the ladies to encourage the produce, manufacture and fashions of France? and, Whether the recent legal decision in the Court of Chancery, "That without an equality of fortune there can be no just basis for wedlock" is consistent with the laws of nature, reason and equity?'

London Courant December 30

706. December 31, 1780 Religious Society for Theological Enquiry, at Coachmakers Hall

16th verse of the second chapter of St. Paul to the Galatians 'That we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law; for the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.' And James 2nd, 24th verse 'Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not faith alone.'

Admission 6d.

Gazetteer December 30