...also the recruiting sergeants, among them Sergeant Charley, the best known of all. He has stood at the corner of the National Gallery for many years, and has probably talked more country boys into Her Majesty’s service, consoled more weeping mothers, and cheered more disappointed maidens than any other man in the British army. There is no better place in which Sergeant Charley can operate than Trafalgar Square—or from which the stranger can begin London
Hyde Park Corner
Nowhere is caste more noticeable than in a London audience. A little board fence divides the ground-floor of a theatre into orchestra stalls and a pit. It would cost you ten shillings less and your social position to sit on the wrong side of this fence. It does not follow that sitting on the right side of it assures your position. But it does give you an uninterrupted view of the stage. No hats are worn, and that alone makes it worth extra charge. There is, in most of the theatres, room for your knees, and in some, additional room for the man who goes out between the acts, and people who arrive after the curtain is up. A London audience is brilliant. Everyone is in evening dress, and the audience is often more entertaining than the play. This is especially true on a first night. At such times the pit is watched most anxiously by the management, as the success of the piece generally depends on their verdict. It has often occurred to me, when I have seen them on a stormy night forming a line on the pavement outside the pit entrance, taking it all seriously enough to stand there for hours before the doors were opened, that by letting them inside the management might improve their spirits, and they in their turn might be more gentle.
A London audience is brilliant. Everyone is in evening dress, and the audience is often more entertaining than the play. This is especially true on a first night.
The greatest variety of expressions are to be seen in the audiences that come together at the law courts. There is the never-changing face of the judge, and the ever-changing face of the witness rocking from side to side in his box, and there are the black-robed barristers with small wigs and big fees, and pale law students crowding in at the doors and filling the passage-ways; and in front of the long table that is covered with papers and high hats sit those most interested in what is going on—care-worn parents and women thickly veiled.
Two men talking
In the 'Whispering Gallery'—A Small Loan
The most interesting place of amusement for men is the National Sporting Club. Every Monday night during the winter the sports of London meet there in the same building that Colonel Newcome and his son once left because they objected to Captain Costigan’s song. The Colonel would be more amused there now, well-trained and scientific boxers from all the world meet in a roped-in square, surrounded by an orderly crowd of stock-brokers, bankers, and miscellaneous sporting characters, who wait for the best man to win.
A Music Hall audience is the most demonstrative and amusing. It will applaud the longest, hiss the loudest, and sometimes join in the chorus. From the moment the numbers are posted announcing the next turn, it is easy to tell what the performer’s reception will be. On both sides of the orchestra are bars, and when a London barmaid stops work to listen and laugh you may be sure that the turn is a good one. Last winter they paid Dan Leno this compliment. The air is filled with tobacco-smoke, and the calcium-light, on its way from the gallery to the stage, looks like a sunbeam in a dusty hayloft.
In the early part of the day the parks are occupied by very young people; the visitors become older with the day. The nurses and their charges leave, and evening finds an old lady leaning on her husband’s arm, walking slowly along their favorite path, while their carriage follows at a little distance. And as night comes on they roll back into the great city among the never-ceasing tread of feet, past the side-walk artist sitting by his pictures on the pavement, looking anxiously at the passers-by—and the park’s day is done—a curtain of darkness falls on the great stage
Sunday is Hyde Park’s day “At Home,” and in the shape of a blue sky she sends her invitation to all London, and her popularity is easily shown by the number and variety of her friends. By long odds the best-looking exhibit is to be seen during church-parade. It extends from Hyde Park Corner to Stanhope Gate, and consists of the well-to-do, most of whom probably first came to the park with their nurses and a little later with their tutors, and they now come grown up and with white hair to pay their respects to the good doctor of their childhood. They form what is distinctly a Sunday gathering, and one as serious as a wedding. Seldom a loud voice is heard. There is a feeling of rest throughout the whole scene, and it is impossible to be there without entering into the spirit of it.
An actor in the park
A Constitutional in the Park
The old gentleman in the Row undoubtedly first appeared there on Shetland ponies under the watchful eye of the groom. It is not a thing to tire of, and Sunday after Sunday these well-dressed people attend church-parade as seriously as they attend church.
Separated from these people by another social gulf, and toward Marble Arch, are the unemployed listening to the park actors and park orators. If you are tall enough to look over the heads of an English crowd you will see in some of these groups strolling players at work. In the centre of one group a short, red-faced park orator declares that a Prime Minister has robbed him.
By long odds the best-looking exhibit is to be seen during church-parade. It extends from Hyde Park Corner to Stanhope Gate, and consists of the well-to-do.
On March 11, 1896, the first Drawing-room of that year was held at Buckingham Palace. Through the courtesy of the Lord Chamberlain I was given the entree to the palace on that day. As a Drawing-room is strictly a feminine affair, it matters very little what a man may think about it, for the line points of social advantages and the costly costumes he seldom understands. Apart from the foreign ambassadors, members of the Cabinet and attendants, men are not wanted and are seldom seen. Women go in hundreds, and sit for hours in carriages, extending in long rows down the Mall, while a crowd of curious idlers stare in at the carriage windows, making audible personal remarks. At two o’clock the palace gates are open, and the waiting continues in the different rooms above stairs.
At two o’clock the palace gates are open, and the waiting continues in the different rooms above stairs.
These rooms are divided by barriers, guarded by gentlemen of the household, which prevents over-crowding. It is an extraordinary sight to see room after room filled with nervous young girls and their more composed mothers sitting in the unbecoming light of an afternoon sun, with white plumes in their hair and the family jewels on their necks. With the exception of a now and then whispered conversation, everything is quiet until the barriers leading into the next room are opened; then a rush follows and small pieces of lace, spangles, flowers, and ostrich feathers are left on the floor. Mothers and daughters are separated. After the confusion of finding each other, all is quiet for another thirty minutes, when a rush for a better place in the next room begins.
After Presentation at a drawing-room
The bustle and waiting was transferred to the grand hall below, where little olive-skinned Indian ladies of high birth, and famous English beauties whose photographs could be bought on Piccadilly, stood side by side until their carriages stopped the way. Mothers and daughters passed between rows of Yeomen of the Guard to the door, daylight, and the photographers; finally home, where tea is arranged, and friends are gathered to hear about it.
A Gentleman at Arms
A Drawing-room Tea
Man in Top hat
The “season” begins about the time Parliament opens, and Parliament’s opening and closing depends more or less on fox-hunting and grouse-shooting. As the “season” approaches, town-houses are opened and “green” servants are broken in; secretaries busy themselves with lists and stationery, and the winter campaign begins immediately upon the family’s return to town. As a London house is seldom needed for more than the formal entertainments of a season, it is in most cases hired; consequently, it is seldom attractive. Acquaintances are entertained in the city, and friends are taken into the country to spend the week’s end on the family estate, surrounded by the household gods and the most attractive side of all England.
Profile of lady
At the Savoy
The fact that Phil May is a prophet in his own country should alone clear Englishmen of the suspicion that they are slow to see fun. On an Englishman’s love of fair play and good sport no suspicion has ever rested. It is the most attractive thing about him, and it is only natural that the greatest assortment of good-natured people are to be found at the Derby. I had already met them in May’s drawings, and I was prepared to find the good-nature contagious. Last year a party on a coach opposite the Royal box and a policeman, who looked after that particular part of the course, drank champagne out of the same bottle.
English-speaking people have been introduced to each other by a long line of clever draughtsmen. They have laughed together about the same people in the truest and sweetest-natured way in all the world. Above all others, one hand awakened the interest resulting in people knowing themselves and others better. The beautiful was safe in that gentle hand. Although the heart that guided it no longer beats, the human interest and kindly feeling that it awakened will live forever, and all the world has placed among the foremost men of his day the affectionately remembered name of George Du Maurier.
3 men raising their glasses to toast the Queen
“The old rat-man” and his pets find Brighton too dull in the winter, and come up to London for the season, to mix once more in its streets, where all kinds of horses are driven by as great a variety of men, from the pedler to the powdered-wigged coachman. Cable-cars and trolleys would be sadly out of place in London, and horseless carriages would be a calamity. There should be no need to go faster than a horse can trot, and the best way of all is to walk.
The Water-Gate of London - Tower Bridge from the East Side of the Tower
An East End Wharf
An East End Factory
A Typical Street in Bethnal Green
A Street Row in the East End
The Tower of London
The Bank of “The Pool.” Looking Toward Tower Bridge
London Street, Limehouse
In the Docks
Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Westminster Hall, Crimean and Canning Monuments. Penitentiary, Vauxhall Bridge,Lambeth Suspension Bridge, Lambeth Place, and Bethlehem Hospital in the distance
After an imprisonment of twelve years in the Tower of London, Sir Walter was beheaded.
On the death of Queen Elizabeth, James I. became king and, not favoring Raleigh, at length threw him into prison on a charge of treason. After an imprisonment of twelve years in the Tower of London, Sir Walter was beheaded.
Garret Master, or Cheap Furniture Maker
The Cabinet-makers, socially as well as commercially considered, consist, like all other operatives, of two distinct classes, that is to say, of society and non-society men, or, in the language of political economy, of those whose wages are regulated by custom and those whose earnings are determined by competition. The former class numbers between 600 and 700 of the trade, and the latter between 4000 and 5000
The Street Vocalists are almost as large a body as the street musicians. It will be seen that there are 50 Ethiopian serenaders, and above 250 who live by ballad-singing alone.
The character of Guy Fawkes-day has entirely changed. It seems now to partake rather of the nature of a London May-day. The figures have grown to be of gigantic stature, and whilst clowns, musicians, and dancers have got to accompany them in their travels through the streets, the traitor Fawkes seems to have been almost laid aside, and the festive occasion taken advantage of for the expression of any political feeling, the guy being made to represent any celebrity of the day who has for the moment offended against the opinions of the people. The kitchen-chair has been changed to the costermongers’ donkey-truck, or even vans drawn by pairs of horses. The bonfires and fireworks are seldom indulged in; the money given to the exhibitors being shared among the projectors at night, the same as if the day’s work had been occupied with acrobating
Jack Black - Her Majesty's Rat Catcher
In the sporting world, and among his regular customers, the Queen’s ratcatcher is better known by the name of Jack Black. He enjoys the reputation of being the most fearless handler of rats of any man living, playing with them—as one man expressed it to me—“as if they were so many blind kittens.”
Street Telescope Exhibitor
“It must be about eight years since I first exhibited the telescope. I have three telescopes now, and their powers vary from about 36 to 300. The instruments of the higher power are seldom used in the streets, because the velocity of the planets is so great that they almost escape the eye before it can fix it. The opening is so very small, that though I can pass my eye on a star in a minute, an ordinary observer would have the orb pass away before he could accustom his eye to the instrument. High power is all very well for separating stars, and so forth; but I’m like Dr. Kitchener, I prefer a low power for street purposes. A street-passer likes to see plenty of margin round a star. If it fills up the opening he don’t like it.
Street Performers on Stilts
Street Conjurer Performing
Street Acrobats performing
Rat-Killing at Sporting Public Houses
I thought it necessary, for the full elucidation of my subject, to visit the well-known public-house in London, where, on a certain night in the week, a pit is built up, and regular rat-killing matches take place, and where those who have sporting dogs, and are anxious to test their qualities, can, after such matches are finished, purchase half a dozen or a dozen rats for them to practise upon, and judge for themselves of their dogs’ “performances.”
Photographic Saloon, East end of London
The well-known Hurdy-Gurdy player
One of the most deserving and peculiar of the street musicians was an old lady who played upon a hurdy-gurdy. She had been about the streets of London for upwards of forty years, and being blind, had had during that period four guides, and worn out three instruments. Her cheerfulness, considering her privation and precarious mode of life, was extraordinary. Her love of truth, and the extreme simplicity of her nature, were almost childlike. Like the generality of blind people, she had a deep sense of religion, and her charity for a woman in her station of life was something marvellous; for, though living on alms, she herself had, I was told, two or three little pensioners.
A view of Petticoat Lane
Immediately connected with the trade of the central mart for old clothes are the adjoining streets of Petticoat-lane, and those of the not very distant Rosemary-lane. In these localities is a second-hand garment-seller at almost every step, but the whole stock of these traders, decent, frowsy, half-rotten, or smart and good habiliments, has first passed through the channel of the Exchange. The men who sell these goods have all bought them at the Exchange—the exceptions being insignificant—so that this street-sale is but an extension of the trade of the central mart, with the addition that the wares have been made ready for use.
A view in Rosemary Lane
This lane partakes of some of the characteristics of Petticoat-lane, but without its so strongly marked peculiarities. Rosemary-lane is wider and airier, the houses on each side are loftier (in several parts), and there is an approach to a gin palace, a thing unknown in Petticoat-lane: there is no room for such a structure there.