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The Mansion House, at the corner of Wal- , to our progress in sculpture between 1745 brook and King William-strect, is the official and 1845. A long narrow attic which oriresidence of the Lord Mayor, the chief ma-ginally ran across the centre of the roof, and gistrate of London, who is renewed annually. was called the Mayor's (mare's) nest, has The building occupies the site of a market, been removed. The Mansion House contains and was begun in 1739, by the elder Dance. some handsome rooms, of which the principal The facade, which is crowded and overloaded is called the Egyptian Hall, being an imiwithout being rich, has allegorical sculpture tation of what Vitruvius describes under in the pediment, designed by Sir Robert | that name. The Mayor here gives a splendid Taylor, which, like the only other ornament private entertainment on Easter Monday, of the kind, that of the East India House, and is always expected to spend during the being turned to the north, is not intelligible; year, on other festivities and for public puryet its contrast with that lately executed poses, at least the £8000 which he receives upon the Royal Exchange is not flattering as salary, and much more is usually spent.
We give here a representation of two of one best known to Americans. Members of the famous Club Houses of London ; and our diplomatic corps are not unfrequently we open with the Travellers', since it is the guests at its tables.
This is another much admired structurewhich was limited to twenty-four members) upon the “sunny side” of Pall Mall-built one was, that each person should spend not in 1848-9.
less than sixpence; another, that each abThe buildings of this class in London are sentee should forfeit threepence, and each of all of a most elegant character. The "Trav the company was to contribute a penny as a eller's” has, however, obtained a distinction douceur to the waiter! At that period the which has not fallen to the lot of any other chief object of such associations was relaxacotemporary structure, it having been the tion after the business of the day, and the subject of an elegant volume of architectural enjoyment of a social evening in a homely illustrations, (published by Mr. Weale ;) a way in what would now be called a snug circumstance that has, perhaps, contributed party. The celebrated “ Literary Club," to diffuse an acquaintance with the genius which was founded by Reynolds in 1763, and resources of that so-called Italian- and whose meetings were held once a week palazzo style, all the chief features and at the Turk’s Head, in Gerrard-street, Soho, details of that club-house being there shown now a very unfashionable locality, consisted at large.
at first of only nine members, which number As the arrangement and management of was, however, gradually increased to the Club-Houses will be new to most of our large number of thirty-five ; yet, limited as readers, we extract for insertion here, a it was, it would not be easy even now to general notice of their design and character bring together as large a number of equally from a late London publication :
distinguished characters. That club dined
together once a fortnight, on which occasions CLUB-HOUSES.
" the feast of reason and the flow of soul"
were, no doubt, enjoyed in perfection. In As at present constituted, the London most clubs of that period, on the contrary, clubs and club life have produced a new the flow of wine, or other liquor, was far phase in English society, at least in the me- more abundant than that of mind, and the tropolis—one that will claim the notice of conversation was generally more easy and some future Macaulay, as showing the very hilarious than intellectual or refined. The “form and pressure of the time ;" while to bottle, or else the punch-bowl, played too the more patient chronicler of anecdotes, prominent a part; and sociality too freclub-house traditions and reminiscences will quently partook of bacchanalian festivity, if afford materials all the more interesting, not revelry, at least, or what would now be perhaps, for not being encumbered with the considered such according to our more temdignity of formal history. Our task is perate habits ;--and it deserves to be remerely to touch upon and attempt a slight marked that, though in general the elder characteristic outline of them; not to trace clubs encouraged compotation and habits of the history of clubs to their origin in the free indulgence as indispensable to goodheroic ages of Greece. We shall not go fellowship and sociality, the modern clubs, back even to the clubs of the last century, on the contrary, have done much to disexcept just to indicate cursorily some of the courage them as low and ungentlemanly. special differences between them and those “Reeling home from a club” used to be forof the present day.
| merly a common expression ; whereas now, Until about thirty years ago a club was inebriety, or the symptom of it, in a clubseldom more than a mere knot of acquaint- house, would bring down disgrace upon him ances who met together of an evening, at who should be guilty of such an indiscretion. stated times, in a room engaged for that. The old clubs have passed away, for purpose at some tavern, and some of them though some of them, or similar societies, held their meetings at considerable intervals may still exist, it is behind the scenes inapart. Most of them were any thing but stead of figuring conspicuously upon the fashionable-some of them upon a footing stage. Quite a new order of things has not at all higher than that of a club of come up, the clubs of the present time being mechanics. Among the regulations of the upon quite a different footing, and also, Essex.street Club, for instance, instituted comparatively, gigantic in scale. From by Dr. Johnson shortly before his death, and small social meetings held periodically, they
have become permanent establishments, lux. gen über Esskunst.”* Although it does not urious in all their appointments; and of bear those words inscribed upon it, the carte some of them the locales are quite palatial. seems to say FARE WELL, not as a phrase of No longer limited to a few acquaintances dismissal, but of welcome and invitation, its familiarly known to each other, they count contents being such as to adapt themselves their members by hundreds, and, sleeping to the humor of every palate, since they accommodation excepted, provide for them range from roast beef and other joints au abundantly all the agrémens of an aristocratic naturel to the most recherché sophistications home and admirably-regulated ménage, with of edible substances. Besides, the more out any of the trouble inseparable from a material advantages, the completeness of private household, unless it be one whose the attendance, the admirable good manage management is, as in a club-house, confided ment, and the style in which every thing is to responsible superintendents. In fact, a conducted, ought to be taken into account; modern London club is a realization of a and what not least of all recommends a Utopian cænobium-a sort of lay convent club-house to those who have no establishrivalling the celebrated Abbey of Thelemé, ment of their own, is the economy of the with its agreeable rule of “ Fais ce que vou- system. To live upon the same scale and dras," instead of monastic discipline and footing, to be surrounded with the same mortification. Even a Sybarite might be atmosphere of luxuriousness and refinement content with the studied and refined comfort elsewhere, at any thing like the same cost, which pervades every department of a West is utterly impracticable. The moral inilaEnd club-house, and which is such as to be ence of the club life is also, upon the wbole, unattainable in a private family, except by a favorable one ; if there be no longer that the opulent, though here brought within heartiness of sociality which characterized the reach of those whose means are compar
the clubs of the last century, when their atively moderate.
meetings did not exceed in number that of Besides those staple features, news-room a private party of friends, there is more of and coffee-room, the usual accommodation of the polish of gentlemanly manners and de a club-house comprises library and writing. corum, and infinitely less of intemperance, room, evening or drawing-room, and card or rather intemperance is banished altoroom, billiard and smoking-rooms, and even gether as a low and disgraceful vice, and baths and dressing-rooms; also a “house-what, if openly indulged in so as to exhibit dining-room,” committee-room, and other its effects, would disqualify for companionapartments; all appropriately fitted up ac- ship, and lead to loss of caste. Great is the cording to their respective purposes, and improvement which has taken place in our supplied with almost every imaginable convenience. In addition to the provision thus Apropo to kitchen matters, Anthus himself amply made for both intellectual and other has recorded the sausage-making achievements of recreation, there is another important and Leo X., though whether the flesh of papal bedie tasteful department of the establishment; “The gentle Elia,” too, has given us a most ama
formed any of the ingredients is not specified. which with many, perhaps, stands foremost sing account of the Origin of Roast Pig;" but do among the attractions of a club-house one has yet pretended to discover that of pickled namely, the cuisine ; nor is its auxiliary, onions. Yet the inventor of them was obviously the cellar, to be overlooked. The first-men
no less a personage than Queen Cleopatra bersell,
who was the first that steeped a unionem or orienes tioned of these is presided over by a chef, in vinegar. Now that it is here pointed out, the sometimes one, like Soyer, whose fame is matter is as clear as midnight—and that there sre widely spread among the adepts in gastron- bright moonshiny midnights, as well as dark ones, omy, as an accomplished artiste—a professor the most captious cannot deny. A propos, again,
to the diners at club-houses, if we are to beliere whose performances do not fall short of his
the late Lady Blessington, many a wealthy old professions, but who shows himself skilled bachelor is compolled to starve at home upoe in the most recondite mysteries of culinary spunge-cake and a bottle of Madeira—a substitute philosophy and science, and to be worthy of for dinner-when he is prevented from going to a niche in the “ Classiques de la Table," or
his club; it being impossible, it would seem, in
such a place as London, even for those who can of honorable mention by some future Anthus, afford to pay for it, to procure a dinner from s in a series of ticklingly piquant "Vorlesun- | tavern.
English babits in this respect; and it is one As to the management of a club housewhich has partly, if not maiply, been brought hold, nothing of the kind can be more comabout by modern club babits-after-dinner plete or more economical, because all its compotations and evening symposia being details are conducted quite systematically, quite out of the question. In fact, club- consequently without the slightest confuhouse statistics would warrant our conclusion or bustle. The whole may be compared ding that, instead of aught approaching ex- to a skillfully-contrived piece of machinery, cess, abstemiousness is the general rule, the regularly wound up and kept in order. average charge a head for wine and liqueurs Every one has his proper post and definite being under two shillings per diem--a most duties, and what contributes to his dischargmonstrous falling-off from the days of six- | ing them as he ought is, that he has no time bottle heroes in the annals of bacchanalian to be idle ; wherefore many a private estabachievement; although the degeneracy from lishment might take an excellent lesson from such heroism may fairly be considered an that of a club-house. The following is the advancement in civilization.
| scheme of government adopted :-At the For those who avail themselves of it, the head of affairs is the committee of managerefectory part of the club-house system rec. | ment, who are appointed from among the ommends itself by extraordinary cheapness members, and hold office for a certain time, in comparison with the superior quality of during which they constitute a board of conthe viands; which cheapness, marvellous as trol, from whom all orders emanate, and to it may appear, is at once accounted for by whom all complaints are made, and irreguthe fact that whatever is consumed in the larities reported. They superintend all way of eating and drinking, is charged to matters of expenditure and the accounts, the actual consumer at only cost price, and which last are duly audited every year by is further supplied in large quantities by the others, who officiate as auditors. The combest purveyors. All other expenses, such mittee further appoint the several officers as rents, rates and taxes, salaries, servants' and servants, also the several trades-people. wages, &c., fall upon the club or general The full compliment of a club house estabbody, and are defrayed out of the fund lishment consists of secretary and librarian, arising from entrance fees and the an- steward and housekeeper ; to these princinual subscriptions; both which last vary, pal officials succeed hall-porter, groom of they being in some clubs considerably higher the chambers, butler, under-butler; then in than in others, according to the style and the kitchen department, clerk of the kitchen, status affected for the institution. The ad-chef, cooks, kitchen-maids, &c.; lastly, atvantages held out by clubs of this descrip- tendants, or footmen, and female servants, tion are such that they would be abused of both which classes the number is greater were it not for one wholesome regulation, or less, according to the scale of the houseand, indeed, quite indispensable precaution, hold. which is, that no one can be admitted as a The regularity which pervades the domember unless he be first proposed by some mestic economy generally, is particularly actual member, who thereby becomes re- remarkable in the kitchen department; for sponsible for his pretensions and eligibility ; ) instead of any thing like bustle, or that fuss nor is even that sufficient, for the candidate which notable housewives seem to think must afterwards undergo the ordeal of the essential to good management, all the culinballot-box. Another precaution is, that ary operations, multifarious as they are, are each member must leave with the secretary conducted with activity and dispatch, at the his bona fide address, or place of residence same time in the most orderly and methodfor the time being. Thus a club is tolera- ical manner, towards which the arrangements bly well fenced in from those “ loose fish" of the place contribute not a little. In the of society, who might else, by clever ma- | Reform, and some of the other large clubpeuvring, contrive to get out of their own houses, the kitchen, with its manifold appaproper element into that higher one, where, ratus, machinery, and modi operandi, constiafter all, perhaps, they might chance to find tutes a perfect laboratory for scientific prepthemselves pretty much in the condition of arations of the most appetite-enticing kind. fish out of water.
In fact, the greatly.improved apparatus,