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

a Beckett, Arthur William

1900

QUITE A LITTLE HOLIDAY IN LUDGATE CIRCUS.

 

But perhaps the amateur companies are the latest fashion. The Victoria has, I fancy, a professional staff, and consequently is unlike the voluntary associations in the East End. It was my good fortune a short while since to be present at a concert organised with the view of amusing certain young men cooperating

214

for their own improvement in the neighbourhood of a well-known city church. The function was held in a highly-decorated room, redolent of illuminated texts, and the company was distinctly select. A clergyman presided, and in the front row were a number of people well known The programme was a good one. We had some excellent songs sung by two professionals who had kindly volunteered their services, and a host of auxiliary talent. One gentleman did wonders with a banjo. I never heard a more refined rendering of negro minstrelsy in my life. The gentleman uttered his (I believe that is the technical term for those mirth-provoking jokes that find so much favour in the Great St. James's Hall) in a manner that would have been entirely appropriate to the Row or the stalls at the opera.

"You see," he said to me afterwards,

I returned,

Besides the gentleman with a banjo, we heard a reciter who told us gruesome tales (in blank verse) about starved paupers and Further, one talented individual recited a Tommy Atkins' Barrack Ballad in the most faultless fashion. Seeing ladies present, he dropped his voice at words referring to the infernal regions and a condition of the atmosphere that would have excited the suspicion of an inspector of nuisances. But the hero of the evening was unquestionably my friend with the banjo, and when he sang a song with a rattling chorus, and appealed to the audience to join in it, the applause was absolutely deafening. The function was altogether a pleasant one, and we congratulated ourselves all round upon having kept our humble friends the juvenile Christians well employed.

 
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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