London at the End of the Century:A Book of Gossip

a Beckett, Arthur William

1900

AMATEURS AND PROFESSIONALS.

 

But to leave generalities to come to particulars. On two distinct occasions the Rifles have shown themselves to be excellent troops. A few years ago

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the Canadian Volunteers gave a good account of the Fenians, and a little later the Post Office Volunteers sent an admirably disciplined force to Egypt. And more recently our Colonial Volunteers have worked wonders in our Cape possessions.

The German system has shown us how a man who has had a of military training as a lad can be recalled to the colours in middle age and become a first-class warrior. The moment hostilities broke out between Prussia and France, hundreds of quiet sober young clerks threw up their situations in London and hurried away to the Fatherland. They proved themselves thoroughly capable as cavalry, infantry, and artillery, and I venture to think that if the volunteers were called to the colours in defence of their native land they would be equally reliable. Under these circumstances it seems a folly, a shame, a crime, to our citizen soldiers. Nothing kills so surely as ridicule. The comic papers are more merciful than the officials of the War Office. If there is a field day regulars are given the principal commands, and the Volunteers' are left in the cold. This is one of the many grievances that should meet with redress. In spite of C.B.'s (Civil) and long service medals the citizens are distinctly snubbed. Of course an invasion would set everything to rights, but that is a blessing that we would not desire. Until the days of disaster arrive, then, the

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Volunteers must be accepted on trust. They are certainly a very fine body of men. And here before I conclude these brief remarks I may refer to the proposed Ladies' Ambulance Corps. The members of this novel gathering are not only to act as nurses in the hospital but soldiers in the field. They are emphatically to hold their own. I cannot help thinking that the idea is a mistake. When I was in France and Germany during the war I saw a good deal of the Of course, amongst them were some conscientious, self-sacrificing persons. But there were exceptions (possibly proving the rule) in the shape of a few fussy and tiresome females. These ladies were anything rather than popular with the doctors, and, I must add, anything rather than popular with the patients. It appears to me that Amazons may be all very well at a music-hall, but will be decidedly out of place at the seat of war.

In conclusion, may the London Volunteers increase and prosper. Let not the citizen soldier be ridden rough-shod by the regular. After all, they are both Englishmen, and the amateur is frequently the equal of the professional. This is true enough with cricket; then why not with soldiering?

 
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 Title Page
 Dedication
 PREFACE
CHAPTER I: LONDON AT THE END OF THE CENTURY
CHAPTER II: STRANGERS IN LONDON
CHAPTER III: RELIGION IN LONDON
CHAPTER IV: A PEEP INTO STAGELAND
CHAPTER V: PARLIAMENT UP TO DATE
CHAPTER VI: A NIGHT IN THE HOUSE
CHAPTER VII: THE PREMIER CLUB OF ENGLAND
CHAPTER VIII: LONDONERS HOLDING HOLIDAY
CHAPTER IX: THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE CLUB
CHAPTER X: IN RATHER MIXED CLUBLAND
CHAPTER XI: IN AUXILIARY CLUBLAND
CHAPTER XII: A PANTOMIME AT DRURY LANE
CHAPTER XIII: LONDON EXHIBITIONS
CHAPTER XIV: COACHING THE UNIVERSITY CREW
CHAPTER XV: THE SEQUEL TO THE DERBY
CHAPTER XVI: THE LONDON GONDOLA
CHAPTER XVII: LONDON ON STRIKE
CHAPTER XVIII: LONDON FIRES
CHAPTER XIX: PALL MALL AND PRIVATE THOMAS ATKINS
CHAPTER XX: CONCERNING THE LONDON VOLUNTEERS
CHAPTER XXI: SERVING WITH THE LONDON MILITIA
CHAPTER XXII: LONDON GUNNERS AT SHOEBURYNESS
CHAPTER XXIII: BECOMING A SOCIETY LION
CHAPTER XXIV: ENTERTAINING THE WORKING MAN
CHAPTER XXV: CHOOSING A FANCY DRESS
CHAPTER XXVI: PARLIAMENTARY SPEAKING
CHAPTER XXVII: ART IN LONDON
CHAPTER XXVIII: SPENDING BANK HOLIDAY IN LONDON
CHAPTER XXIX: A BANK HOLIDAY WITHOUT 'ARRY
CHAPTER XXX: LONDON OUT OF TOWN
CHAPTER XXXI: LONDONERS AND THEIR SUMMER HOLIDAYS
CHAPTER XXXII: LONDONERS AND THE CHANNEL
CHAPTER XXXIII: LONDON UNDER DOCTOR'S ORDERS
CHAPTER XXXIV: TWO CITIES IN FORTY-EIGHT HOURS
CHAPTER XXXV: THE LONDONER'S SEARCH FOR HEALTH
CHAPTER XXXVI: THE PARISIAN PART OF THE LONDON DISTRICT
CHAPTER XXXVII: A NOVELTY IN LONDON RECREATIONS
CHAPTER XXXVIII: LONDON SCHOOLBOYS AT THE END OF THE CENTURY