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clock strikes

- one, two.

Far distant, from some belfry in the suburbs, comes the first sound, so indistinct as hardly to be distinguished from the crowing of a cock. Then close at hand the great bell of St. Paul's, with a heavy, solemn sound — one, two. It is answered from Southwark; then at a distance like an echo ; and then all around you, with various and intermingling clang, like a chime of bells, the clocks from a hundred bellries strike the hour. But the moon is already sinking, large and fiery, through the vapors of morning. It is just in the range of the chimneys and house-tops, and seems to follow you with speed, as you float down the river, between unbroken ranks of ships. Day is dawning in the east, not with a pale streak in the horizon, but with a silver light spread through the sky, almost to the zenith. It is the mingling of moonlight and daylight. The water is tinged with a green hue, melting into purple and gold, like the brilliant scales of a fish. The air grows cool. It comes fresh from the eastern sea, toward which we are swiftly gliding; and dimly seen in the uncertain twilight, behind you rises

A mighty mass of brick, and smoke, and shipping,

Dirty and dusky, but as wide as eye
Can reach ; with here and there a sail just skipping

In sight, then lost amid the forestry
Of masts ; a wilderness of steeples peeping

On tip-toe, through their sea-coal canopy;
A huge dun cupola, like a foolscap crown

On a fool's head, and there is London town. * But let us return to “The Great Metropolis.” The first chapter of the first volume is devoted to General Characteristics. In the second the Theatres are described, and we are told all that Mr. Bunn was, did, and suffered in the histrionic art. We leave him to his fate, and pass on to chapter third, wbich treats of the Clubs. Here we pause ; for the Clubs of London seem to be alike interesting to strangers and to the inhabitants of the metropolis. Nearly every man of note in London belongs to one or more of them. They are central points in society, where a constant interchange of opinion is going on, and every topic of interest is discussed. The clubs are of two kinds. The subscription clubs are those, in which some individual engages to furnish the members with certain conveniences, on the payment of a specified sum as entrance money, and a stated annual subscription. In the other clubs, a number of gentlemen unite together, build or rent a house, engage their servants, and are thus furnished with all articles of food and drink, at the market prices.

* Don Juan, Canto X.

The Club-houses are for the most part elegant establishments. The finest buildings in Regent Street belong to the clubs. Reading-rooms, dining-rooms, library and parlours, are all furnished with elegance; and there is an air of comfort and gentility about them, which is very attractive. The Clubs, too, are very numerous ; and have on an average a thousand members each. The principal are Brookes's; White's ; Boodle's ; The Carlton; The Reform Club; The Athenæum ; The Clarence ; The Oxford and Cambridge University Club; The United University Club; The Oriental; The Traveller's; The United Service, and the Junior United Service. But we will let our author speak for himself.

“ The ATHENÆUM Club, corner of Pall Mall, is one of the best known institutions in the metropolis. The number of members is about 1,300. The terms of admission are twenty guineas, and six guineas for the yearly subscription. The club was 'instituted for the association of individuals, known for their scientific or literary attainments, artists of eminence in any class of the fine arts, and noblemen and gentlemen distinguished as liberal patrons of science, literature, or the arts.' Such are the words made use of in describing the objects of the institution, by those with whom it had its origin. The qualification of admission consists, of course, in the party's coming under either of the above designations. With the view of securing the annual introduction into the club of a certain number of persons of distinguished eminence in science, literature, or the arts, the committee are vested with the power of electing nine such persons every year. Those who put down their names in the list of candidates are balloted for by the members the same as in other clubs. To get admitted into the Athenæum is considered a great honor, owing partly to the constitution of the club, and partly to the great difficulty of obtaining admission. Of late the members have got what Sir Francis Burdett would call a ' nasty trick' of blackballing the candidates. It is computed that, for some time past, nine out of every ten candidates have been black balled. Six members only have been elected during the present year. They are all, however, men of more or less distinction. Their names are the Right Hon. James Abercromby, Speaker of the House of Commons; Mr. John Macniel, minister plenipotentiary to the Court of Persia, and author of Researches in the East'; Mr. J.G. Wilkinson, author of a work on 'Thebes,

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and another on the Domestic Manners of the Egyptians,' &c.; Captain Back, author of the Voyage to the Arctic Regions'; Mr. William Thomas Brande, professor of chemistry; and Mr. Charles Barry, the architect, whose plan for the two Houses of Parliament has been adopted.

“ The house in which the Athenæum Club meet, was built some six or seven years ago.

The
expense

of the edifice alone was 35,0001., while nearly 5,0001. more were required for furnishing it; it is a very large and elegant building. The interior is unusually splendid. I went through it with Mr. Galt, two or three years ago,

the last time, I believe, he ever was in it. Nothing could exceed the taste and judgment with which the whole of the interior was laid out. Some idea will be formed of the way in which it is fitted up, when I mention that, in addition to 5,0001. for furniture, the plate, linen, china, glass, and cutlery cost 2,5001. The library alone is valued at 4,0001, and the stock of wine which is kept in the cellars, is supposed to be worth on an average from 3,5001. to 4,0001. A fier making every deduction for tear and wear, the property of the club, including, of course, the house, is valued at 47,0001., while the amount of its debts is only about 13,5001., 12,0001. of the sum being borrowed from the Phænix Fire Office, at 4 per cent., and the remaining 1,5001. consisting of the claims of tradesmen. The club has thus a virtual balance in its favor of about 33,5001.

"The trustees of the Athenæum Club are the Earl of Aberdeen, Sir Martin Archer Shee, Lord Yarborough, Mr. John Wilson Croker, and Mr. Gilbert Davies. The yearly income of the club is 9,0001. ; and the expenditure is about the same.”. Vol. 1. pp. 123 – 126.

One extract more will give our readers a sufficiently clear view of this part of the Great Metropolis.

“The United Service Club, Pall Mall, is one of the most flourishing institutions of the kind in town. The class of menbers of whom it is composed will be at once in ferred from its designation. The qualification for admission is the having attained to a certain status in either service. The house is a very handsome one externally, and is splendidly furnished and fitted up in the interior. Including the furniture, plate, &c., the house has cost little short of 30,0001. Of course the club was obliged to borrow a large sum of money before they could proceed with such an undertaking. Of the sum so borrowed, about 18,0001. is still owing. The club, however, is in a fair way of liquidating their debt. Last year they reduced the account by

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1,4157.; while Admiral Stopford, the Chairman of the Committee of Management, is confident, that the balance of money the club will have at their disposal, after meeting the current expenses, will, in round numbers, be 1,5001. The estimated receipts for the present year are nearly 10,5001., while it is calculated that the expenditure will be under 9,0001. The United Service Club boasts of a greater number of members, with one or two exceptions, than any other similar institution in the metropolis. The number is about 1,550. The entrance-money is unusually high, being thirty pounds. The annual subscription is six guineas. Notwithstanding the amount of the entrance-money, there are always a great many more candidates for admission than can be accepted. In one very important point, the United Service Club has a superiority over all the rest : it has the best cellar. According to the last estimate, the stock of wine is worth 7,7221. This looks well. A cellar so amply replenished must be no small recommendation to the club. It goes far to account for the extraordinary anxiety manifested by certain gentlemen to be admitted as members.

“ The Junior UNITED SERVICE CLUB, Charles Street, St. James's Square, is limited, as the name implies, to the members of the two services. By one of the rules of the club the number of persons to be admitted is restricted to 1,500 effective members. Beside these, however, there are usually about 300 supernumeraries. To procure admission to this club is extremely difficult, in consequence of the number of candidates at all times on the list. The number of candidates at present is not much under 2,000. It sometimes happens that gentlemen will be on the list for ten or twelve years before they are admitted. The qualifications for admission are, having been an officer in either service, or taking an appointment in the military department, at home or abroad, corresponding in rank with the commissioned officers of the army; being a captain, or lieutenant of the naval service of the East India Company, or a captain of a regular Indiaman; being a lord lieutenant in Great Britain, or governor of a county in Ireland. Persons who may have retired from the services are also eligible. So are midshipmen and assistant surgeons ; but he who belongs to either of the latter classes is considered a fortunate man, who, of late, has found a sufficient number of white balls to open the doors of the club to him. The patrons of the Junior United Service are, the Duke of Wellington, the Marquis of Anglesey, Earl Rosslyn, Lord Hill, Sir George Cockburn, and Sir Herbert Taylor. Among the trustees, there are no gentlemen of any great distinction. Their names are, Sir J. P. Beresford, Bart., Sir John Elly, Sir James Cockburn, Bart.,

silver "

Sir Archibald Christie, Lieutenant-Colonel G. Althorpe, and Lieutenant-Colonel John Mills." - Vol. 1. pp. 141 – 144.

The next chapter treats of the London Gaming Houses. Here our author gets upon his high horse. We have seldom met with a writer whose imagination was so fond of gold leaf and gingerbread ; seldom with such a gaping, wide-mouthed, Johnny-Raw description, as he gives of Old Crocky's. The great wonder and “contentation of Simon's wife of Southampton, when she beheld for the first time the goldsmiths' shops in Cheapside and “the mighty weather-cock of clean

on St. Paul's steeple, were nothing to those of our author, when he first saw the interior of Old Crocky's. Our own admiration we express in italics.

"No one, I believe, not even those accustomed to visit the mansions of the aristocracy, ever entered the saloon for the first time, without being dazzled by the splendor which surrounded him ! A friend and myself lately went throughout the whole of it; and for some moments, on entering the saloon, we stood confounded by the scene!! It is a large, spacious room, from fifty to sixty feet in length, and from twenty to twenty-five in breadth. On each side are two mirrors in magnificent frames. The plate alone of each of the four cost nearly one hundred guineas. From a glance of the eye, I should take their dimensio to be about sixteen feet by eight. The walls and ceiling of the saloon are most richly ornamented by carved work, beautifully gilt. The bottoms of the chairs are all stuffed with down, while the carpenter part of the work is of that unique description which renders it impossible for me to describe it! The principal table has the appearance of being cut out of a solid piece of wood : a piece of more richly carved work, all gilt except the top or surface, I have never seen. The chandeliers are magnificent, and when lighted up with sperm oil, the only thing used, they produce an effect of which it is impossible to convey an idea!!! On the left hand, as you enter the saloon, is the card-room; much smaller, but also splendidly fitted up. On the right hand, at the opposite or St. James's end of the saloon, is the hazard-room, with ail the paraphernalia of gaming. It is not large, being only about twenty feet in length by fourteen in breadth. There is admission to the hazard-room from the saloon by a large door, which in its massy appearance and the hardness of the wood of which it is made, reminded me of that of a prison; it is also a piece of su perior workmanship, with the ornamented part of it richly gilt !!!" - Vol. 1. pp. 160, 161. VOL. XLIV. - No. 95.

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