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

a Beckett, Arthur William

1900

BECOMING A SOCIETY LION.

 

WHEN the season commences and begin to be filled up weeks, and even months ahead, the annual question must be faced and answered. Who is to be lion-in-chief ? are certainly flourishing at the end of the century. We have our varieties. Now it is a soldier, now an explorer, now a now an author, now a

I fancy that lions of a season can be justly divided into two varieties-those who deserve attention on account of their merits and those who claim it on account of their eccentricities. Many years ago a friend of mine was a great collector of human curiosities. used to be present at his receptions. It was capital fun to see and the refreshments were by Gunter, or some other eminent artist of the kitchen. One afternoon he met me in great glee.

said he,

I admitted that I was burning with curiosity to see the representative of the Father of the Sun, or the Uncle of the Moon, or whatever other title the ruler of China assumes when .

assented my host,

And my friend was right. The Ambassador gave us a very charming and amusing song. It was full of humour. Of course I should have appreciated it better had I understood the language. But we all laughed heartily, as if nothing pleased us so well as a really witty saying in pure Pekinian. Later on an accomplished friend of mine obliged with one of his inimitable The performance in every way was excellent, and we were all immensely pleased with it, but I am afraid that many of us had a sneaking preference for the Ambassador's . The latter was so quaint, and (so far as we were able to judge without understanding the lingo) so thoroughly and entirely original.

On another occasion the same host was delighted at having secured a new kind of explorer.

my friend explained,

It is many years since this conversation took place, so I cannot speak by the card. However, the above is my impression of the incident, which may be more or less right or more or less wrong.

 
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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