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

a Beckett, Arthur William

1900

THE DIGNITY OF ART.

 

As I write there is no more enviable position in the wide world than the Presidentship of the Royal Academy. A season or two ago I happened to be present at the meeting of two Royal Academicians in the rooms at St. James's Palace. They were both in Court dress, and both had paid their respects to the Representative of their Sovereign. They looked and were cultured and comely gentlemen. Amidst the glittering throng of scarlet and blue uniforms the two members of the Royal Academy more than held their own. They were . And I could not help contrasting with these

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admirable representatives of modern English art the sort of worker that found his pictorial embodiment in Keene's sketch of The painter of twenty or thirty years ago was a Bohemian . He had hosts of friends, and these friends chaffed him unmercifully if he showed the slightest inclination to go If a man appeared after dark in a studio in evening dress, he was held up to ridicule as if he accepted an invitation to stay a week or so at a country house he was regarded with real concern as a dangerous madman. Charles Keene's "Stodge" was the companion sketch to Tom Robertson's The latter was the of Bohemia. They both were thoroughly good fellows -in the best sense of the word gentlemen-but I am afraid, from a society point of view, just a little Nowadays is all that he should be, and is nothing that he shouldn't be. They are welcome in halls of dazzling delight in Belgravia and Mayfair, and are asked to meet all sorts of august personages. Very right and proper. A king picked up an artist's pencil, and for centuries our principal portrait painters have received the honour of knighthood.

The old affectation (for it was nothing more) of preferring clay pipes and beer to cigars and wine, has passed away. Long hair is nowadays scarcely a

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sign of genius, and a tail coat does not bar the road to distinction. In a word, artists and journalists have rejoined the company that ages ago included Sheridan and Reynolds, Goldsmith and Dr. Johnson.

 
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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