페이지 이미지



I. The Clubs of London

II. Giulio, a Tale-An Improvisation of Bonaparte

III. Novelty and Familiarity

IV. To the Year One Thousand Eight Hundred and Twenty-four

[ocr errors]

V. A Vision of Judgment, in Prose

VI. London paved with Gold

VII. Letters from the East, No. XII.-Acre

VIII. This is Love

IX. On Cunning

X. Vesper of Petrarch

XI. The Canadian Emigrant, No. II.

XII. To lanthe

[ocr errors]

XIII. The Family Journal, No. II.—Beautiful Offspring-The Town
XIV. Poetical Scenes, No. IV.-Raffaelle and Fornarina

XV. Mr. Plunket and his Informations

XVI. Marshal Saxe and his Physician

XVII. Revival of Christmas Merrymakings

XVIII. Steam

XIX. London Letters to Country Cousins, No. II.-The Horse Bazaar
XX. Good News for the Ladies

XXI. Grimm's Ghost, Letter XXII.—Meeting the same People
XXII. Approaching Downfal of the Golden Calf

[ocr errors]
























THE NEW MONTHLY MAGAZINE will be, from this date, republished by N. HALE, to whom it is requested all communications may be addressed relating to it.

The subscriber has transferred to NATHAN HALE all his interest in the American edition of the New Monthly Magazine, together with all claims on account of the same. Subscribers to the Magazine and Agents indebted for it, are requested to remit the sums due to him, he being duly authorized to receive the same. OLIVER EVERETT.

BOSTON, Nov. 1, 1824.


I AM just returned from visiting two of those magnificent edifices to which modern luxury has given birth, and which are certainly very notable signs of the times. I mean the Club-houses, of which the University and Union are the handsomest of the more recent ones, and indeed fairly challenge admiration as beautiful structures and highly ornamental to the metropolis. The interior does not deceive expectation; and the stranger who is conducted through these noble buildings is struck by the combination of elegance and splendor, comfort and luxury, which they undoubtedly display. In the University Club, more particularly, the eye of taste is gratified by the grandeur and magnificence of the design, the extreme beauty of the decoration, the tasteful and judicious selection of the colours, which produce such. warmth and richness of effect; while the perfect harmony of the whole must completely satisfy the most critical observer that full justice has been done to this part of the plan. What a delicious place of resort is this Club! what a charm is comprehended in that library (which only wants the addition of books), where the very chairs seem to woo you to sit down-where the handsome inkstands of ample dimensions entreat you to be creative and to shed their contents, not upon the soft rich carpet which is spread for the student's feet, (and on which those feet fall with a tread as noiseless as upon the mossy turf,) but on the quires of gilt-edged paper which solicit his attention, peeping forth from the morocco-bound blotting-books which are profusely scattered around. Here indeed is space for study, room for thought. Or does the student wish to beguile an idle hour with the lighter page of ephemeral production?-all the periodical publications court his choice, while newspapers in abundance offer him tittle-tattle, and politics of every kind and shape and shade, so that he cannot fail to suit his taste, on whatever pattern his political creed may chance to be cut. If we proceed to the drawing-room, we are struck with the luxurious elegance of its furniture. Those chairs, those sofas, those mirrors.— Heavens! for what order of beings is all this intended? Surely for the highest circle of male and female society that London affords-where the lady patroness is of the blood royal, collecting around her the élite of that society, and where the feast of reason and the flow of soul may be reciprocally enjoyed by both sexes: the one bringing to the common stock solid learning, elegant literature, and high breeding; the other contributing all the agremens of polished female society in the highest state of cultivation. Nothing is less intended than any such scheme. All this expenditure of money, all this display of architectural talent, and upholsteral taste, is solely dedicated to the use of a certain set of men, whose claim to election consists in their being sons of one or other of our two prolific almæ matres, and who have the privilege of paying for their dinner or breakfast at this club whenever disposed to do so. Such is the rage for luxury and expense in the present day, that it is difficult to meet with a man now who does not belong to one or other of these Sybarite temples; all classes of men, under all circumstances, are desirous of belonging to them, and as eager to have their names enrolled in the band of the privileged, as the first noblemen in the land. And yet the entrance and annual subscription are in themselves no Vol. IX. No. 50.-1825.


trifles to a man of limited income; but this does by no means prevent the country clergyman residing on a small living, from being fired with the ambitious wish of occasionally inhabiting those stately apartments on a footing with the highest ranks. He squeezes out the necessary ten guineas per annum ; in return for which he has the gratification of eating a plain dinner, and swallowing a small quantity of wine, within the precincts of a palace, and seeing Lord A. and the Hon. Mr. B. pass in and out before his eyes, or seated at their costly repasts in the same room with him; and after a week or fortnight's expensive residence in London, for the advantage of frequenting the club to which he belongs (and where perhaps he has not half a dozen acquaintance to make it agreeable even as a rallying point) he returns into the country to his small parsonage, his homely parlour, and bachelor's fare, with feelings, I should shrewdly suspect, of no renewed contentment or invigorated cheerfulness. What do the ladies say to these expensive and exclusive establishments-these tempting resorts of idleness and ennui? Just what might have been expected: it is impossible that they should cast a favourable eye upon them, and they are accordingly, one and all, hostile to this new and fast-spreading mania for association amongst the men, and they look with a very jealous eye at the multiplication of these edifices, which they naturally consider the strong-holds of rebellion against female sway and petticoat influence. The matronly faction are loudly indignant, affirming that the direct consequence of these clubs is to corrupt the principles and unsettle the habits of their husbands; while the spinster sect, in the violence of their alarm, frankly declare that the tendency of them is to prevent their getting any husbands at all. This is indeed a serious charge, and it must be confessed is not without colour of justice. A luxurious kind of life is by these establishments made accessible to persons who would, in any other mode, be excluded by the compass of their pockets from indulging in a species of refinement to which they have no just claim, and by means of this indulgence, tastes and habits of expense are created, which must be highly prejudicial to sober matrimonial views; for the young man who has been accustomed to set a high value upon the enjoyments of his "club" will be hardly equal to the effort of foregoing them, should the sacrifice become necessary in the cause of matrimony. It must be allowed to be the worst possible school for bachelors, and for married men not less so; and I think I may venture confidently to predict that their ill effects will become pretty evident at no very distant period. I believe no one will seriously defend these institutions on the ground of their being friendly to the purposes of learning. It is hardly to be supposed that grown gentlemen, just emancipated from the trammels of the University, will come up to town to resume their studies and take further degrees in Pall Mall East; or that members of a maturer age will recommence such a course of application as shall endanger the stability of the roofs of their new edifices, had they been constructed under a similar spell with the demolished study of Friar Bacon at Oxford. I understand that the clubs are considered as places of rendezvous, as points of union for acquaintance, and for the merest lounging and idleness. A friend of mine (a very singular and whimsical person) who belongs to almost every institution of the kind in London, and who has been on that ac

count styled by his witty familiars the Knave of Clubs, honestly assured me that, as to reading being carried on within those precincts, he did not believe that a single individual of the whole community, in resorting thither, had it even in their remotest contemplation: that for his own part, he never could, in spite of the fascinating preparations, sit down to write so much as his letters there, but invariably adjourned to his lodgings for that purpose, situated perhaps in some obscure street, and most probably on very neighbourly terms with the moon. When I visited the University Club, the rooms were very empty, and in these noble apartments were chiefly to be seen groups of visitors under the guidance of some member, who was doing the honours with evident complacency. In the evening, indeed, I am informed, the attendance is by no means deficient, and for a pretty obvious reason: the attractions of play will always suffice to draw a multitude together, independently of the elegance of the place of meeting.

I could not for my soul help regretting, as we proceeded from room to room, the application, or misapplication rather, of so much money; nor was it possible to avoid wishing that the wealthy confederates had combined their funds in aid of some useful or benevolent design-some charity which would endure to the end of time, a living monument of their liberality-imparting comfort and blessing to generations yet unborn. I could not refrain from irhgining the widow, or the orphan, the deaf and dumb, or that benighted child of woe the indigent blind, or the houseless wanderer, rescued from misery, shame, and death, and living innocently and happily in an asylum built for their accommodation-or a refuge perhaps for the innocent destitute, who, I believe, are the only class of people unprovided for by the charitable institutions of London. I pictured their cheerful faces, and merry voices resounding through the building-a plain and unadorned structure. The reality before me was fading from my sight, and the scene of my fancy was growing more distinct upon the mental tablet, when the figure of a modern Exquisite, stretched upon a sofa, and reflected in a magnificent mirror opposite, dissipated my reverie, and so completely ruffled the current of my ideas that I could not resume them, but was fain to lament, like Alnaschar, over the brittle foundation of my visionary edifice.

With these feelings of hostility warring in my breast, it was almost with a malicious satisfaction that I witnessed the effects of the grand rout given by the University Club to the Duchess of Gloucester, who was invited to see the building, and in honour of whom about three thousand persons were also asked, being nearly three times as many as could be accommodated with any degree of convenience. It was a brilliant scene both within and without, and the company had ample leisure, during their long and tedious journey thither, to contemplate the dehors of the place they were so anxious to reach; and never did greater anxiety appear to prevail than on this occasion to achieve l'impossible, and to arrive at the door of the club-house. But eagerness and impatience were all thrown away; the thing was only to be accomplished by sitting contentedly for hours blocked up by innumerable carriages, the helpless tenants of which were condemned to await their turn to approach a foot nearer to the object of their wishes, which glittering with

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

splendid light, and directing their course, shone upon them from afar
"the cynosure" of every eye. And as they gradually approached inch
by inch nearer to the desired goal, they had the mortification to distin-
guish plainly the figures of the happy mortals who by good fortune had
arrived early, and whose plumes were seen to nod at each other, and
diamonds to exchange their blazing glances, with cruel distinctness;
whilst they were still doomed, though so near, to linger out the precious
moments in an agony of inevitable delay; and many had the chagrin
to find, when at length the blissful moment of admission arrived, that
the Duchess had been gone some time. For myself, having played the
humbler but more expeditious part of a pedestrian, I arrived at the
club, and it was then only by dint of my utmost efforts that I reached
the staircase, and had neither power nor ambition to get farther, but,
placing myself on the steps, I saw and heard and suffered enough.
The squeezing, the pushing, the fainting, the screaming, were abun
dant. Ladies lost their beaux, and were separated from their friends
the whole night; some their ornaments, many of them various articles
of their dress, which in every instance must have suffered irreparable
damage by pressure and friction. "I will trouble you for my gown,"
cried a lady sharply to two gentlemen, who, in brushing by, had car-
ried off between them the lace-train of their neighbour's petticoat,
as unconsciously as the milkmaid sweeps away the cobweb from the
dewy grass, as she steps briskly along at early dawn. The gentlemen
(it was, alas! all they could do) restored the gossamer to the right-
ful owner, with innumerable apologies, while the lady folded up the
remnants of her robe, and pocketed the disaster with tolerable com-
posure. Nor was it the flimsy articles of apparel alone that suffered;
flesh and blood had their full part in that evening's rude encounter. I
saw a pretty young lady's plump arm actually excoriated and bleed-
ing from the wounds inflicted by the ornaments of other females with
which she had been brought into violent and involuntary contact. The
confusion increased deliciously when the moment of departure came;
and it was matter of no small amusement to see the contrast exhibited
in the appearance of the same persons on their going in and coming out.
What a change had the heat, the crowd, the suffocation, the jostling
effected in the fairest faces!—the havock of years had taken place in that
short time, on the despoiled beauties who had gone up all brilliancy and
youth and sunshine. But, if real charms suffered thus severely, borrow-
ed ones had little chance in such a rout as the present. Rouge, wigs,
curls, were all fairly routed. The confusion towards the last became
general. Ladies, in default of their attendant swains, were to be heard
bawling for their carriages: some worn out with the fatigue of standing
for hours, took advantage of the company thinning a little, and the
small space left thereby, to cast themselves down upon
the carpet
as moss, which must have been proud of its unwonted burthen. One
lady who seemed almost frantic with the difficulties she had encountered,
flew to me an utter stranger, and entreated me to assist her to find her
servants and carriage, at the same time seizing my arm with the greatest
eagerness. But all is permitted on these occasions. I jumped up at
once from the steps on which I had thought myself happy to obtain a
seat, and immediately put myself into active operation; fortunately my

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
« 이전계속 »