THE ROYAL ACADEMY CLUB
This Club consisted exclusively of Members of the Royal Academy. Nollekens, the sculptor, for many years, made one at the table; and so strongly was he bent upon saving all he could privately conceal, that he did not mind paying two guineas a year for his admission-ticket, in order to indulge himself with a few nutmegs, which he contrived to pocket privately; for as red-wine negus was the principal beverage, nutmegs were used. Now, it generally happened, if another bowl was wanted, that the nutmegs were missing. Nollekens, who had frequently been seen to pocket them, was one day requested by Rossi the sculptor, to see if they had not fallen under the table; upon which Nollekens actually went crawling beneath, upon his hands and knees, pretending to look for them, though at that very time they were in his waistcoat-pocket. He was so old a stager at this monopoly of nutmegs, that he would sometimes engage the maker of the negus in conversation, looking him full in the face, whilst he, slyly and unobserved, as he thought, conveyed away the spice; like the fellow who is stealing the bank-note from the blind man, in Hogarth's admirable print of the Royal Cockpit.—Smith's Nollekens and his Times, vol. i. p. 225.
Club Life of London Vol. II