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twenty-three gold dishes of the richest design. The whole of the gold and silver plate belonging to the City companies was used at this feast, and probably on no occasion, either before or since, has any table been so gorgeously and expensively furnished. And yet there was a lingering touch of barbarism about the feast; for while gold and silver and precious stones were heaped upon the tables in reckless profusion, some of the gold plates were flanked by steel forks!

In former times, civic hospitalities, though magnificent enough, were somewhat rough and rude. The era of refinement may be said to date from the erection of the present Mansion House in 1740. Previous to that date the Lord Mayors dispensed their hospitality out of doors at the Guildhall and other places, where, their feasts being of a public character, the restraints of private society were not always scrupulously observed. But when the Mansion House was built and furnished, the chief magistrate held state in his own palace, and much of his hospitality began to assume a private and domestic character.

The Mansion House, where so many elegant entertainments are now given, is indeed worthy to be called a palace. Blocked in as it is among a mass of business houses in the very thick of the City, the building, in its outward aspect, gives no idea of the magnificence of the apartments within.


first stone of the building was laid in 1739, and the whole was completed and furnished in the mayoralty of Sir Crisp Gascoigne, who was the first Lord Mayor who resided in it. The style of the interior is Italian, with a lofty court in the centre, leading to the various state apartments, two of the principal being known as the Venetian Parlour and the Egyptian Hall. The latter is one of the finest apartments, as regards its proportions and strictly classical style, to be found in all Europe. It was called the Egyptian Hall because in its construction it exactly corresponds with the Egyptian Hall described by Vitruvius. The whole cost of building and fur

nishing the Mansion House was 80,000l.

The elegance of Mansion House hospitalities of late years has done much to remove from the City magnates the old reproach of being a corporation of mere turtle and champagne guzzlers; and this improvement in civic manners has culminated this year in the reign of Lord Mayor Phillips, in a degree of dignified refinement which places the Mansion House on the same footing with the royal palace of the sovereign. Courtly etiquette is strictly observed at the Mansion House, and yet with a hearty affability which puts every one at his ease. The title of Merchant Prince has been well realized in Lord Mayor Phillips, at once in the magnificence of his entertainments and in his manners. As a speaker, the present Lord Mayor has held his own even by the side of the orators of Parliament, and in conjunction with the accomplished Lady Mayoress and their daughter, Mrs. Barnet, he has been able to give a welcome to distinguished foreigners in all the languages known to polite society. One of the most pleasing Mansion House entertainments of the present season was a juvenile ball given on the 21st of May. Like the fine old English gentleman, Lord Mayor Phillips,

'While he feasted all the great,

He ne'er forgot the small.'

The Egyptian Hall never presented a more charming appearance than on this occasion, when it was filled almost exclusively with chubby-faced schoolboys and sylphlike maidens of from seven to blushing fifteen. There were nearly 900 of them altogether, sons and daughters of the citizens; and the Lord Mayor, the Lady Mayoress, and Mrs. Barnet were goodnatured enough to stand in the court for nearly three hours-one or other being always present to give each individual guest a reception. The arrival of the juveniles at the grand entrance attracted a great crowd of spectators, who, though condemned to stand outside in the rain, were in a position to witness one of the most

picturesque features of this entertainment. It rained in torrents; and notwithstanding that an awning had been thrown over the balcony, the steps were puddled with water. This rendered it necessary that all the little fairies in white satin shoes should be lifted from their carriages and carried up the steps. This gallant duty was voluntarily performed by some big, goodnatured members of the City police force, against whose rough blue uniforms the dainty finery of the fairies stood out with striking effect. This scene would have made a capital picture, but it would require colour-the colour of the paint-box-to bring out the full force of the contrast. So our artist has chosen to depict the grand staircase as it appeared about half-past nine o'clock, when the juveniles were streaming up to

supper. There were nearly 900 guests, and the supper-room held only 220; so when the room was full, a bar was placed across the door, and the crowd upon the stairs had to wait their turn. In this way, following the rule of the street traffic, the whole of the guests passed on to supper in a continuous stream, and to the very last, by an almost magical arrangement of the servants, a fresh bottle of champagne, a fresh dish of fowl, lobster salad, &c., instantly replaced the wine and dishes that had been consumed.

It was a gracious thing in the Lady Mayoress to give the juvenile cits an opportunity of sharing in the hospitalities of the Mansion House, and her juvenile ball will long be remembered as one of the most elegant and graceful entertainments ever given in the City.


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Three hundred thousand letters come,
Three hundred thousand go;
The quick rat-tat for me is dumb,
I've neither friend nor foe.

I deck my desk with fancy's forms,
Like all the other clerks;

When, lo! one day a voice informs,
'Here is a note from Berks!'

'Tis the address I first survey,
And then I scan the seal;
Impatience brooks no long delay,
"Tis from Sir Lemon Peel!'

The office calls me long her own,
No kindly demonstration
Sir Lemon Peel to me has shown,
And yet he's my relation.

'Dear sir, your relatives you shun,
Consider all we feel;

Be kind enough to bring your gun,
Yours truly, Lemon Peel.'
My upper garment's near in rags,
That coat of every day;

A little nearer are my bags,
Those trousers old and grey.

My leave obtained, I rush insane
On thorns without the roses,

As fast as able for a cane,

And then I rush to Moses.

The shopman lavishes on me
A hail of honied smiles;

'You're in the nick of time to see
The sweetest thing in tiles!'

'Tile me no tiles-some dulcet vest

Next fetch a coat of male,

Like other swells wear when they're drest,

Whereby there hangs a tail.'

'The coat for you is twelve and three,

And splendidly it sits;

The vest and trousers leave to me,

I guarantee they fits.'

Behind his ear he sticks a pen,

And then selects me togs,

Designed by Fate to please the men,
And terrify the dogs.

In time for dinner next I set

Full sail for Lemon Peel;
'I'm so delighted that we've met,
Will you take Miss O'Neill?'

Some whisper, 'He does look a gent,'
Between the soup and veal;
I gather what is kindly meant,
And look at Miss O'Neill.

When rustling step and closing door
Proclaim the ended meal,

And men say all they thought before,
I worship Miss O'Neill.

Soon, when Sir Lemon's weary guest
The friendly sheets conceal,
A happy vision cheers my rest,
I dream of Miss O'Neill.

Next morn I hear with pretty frown
Her say to Lord de Loop,

'You must not go and hit the brown,
You've not been through your hoop.'

Entranced I stand, how queer I feel,
The keeper calls in vain;

Oh! let me kneel to Miss O'Neill,
I'm sure it's going to rain.

But then they lead me such a dance,
There breaks no friendly storm;

Soon shouts the keeper, 'Now's your chance,
A hare upon her form.'

I stare five minutes ere I blaze,

To kill her is my aim;

But what-as William Shakspeare says'What is there in a name?'

'Well done!' the keeper bland observes,
"The weather's rather dark:'-

A snub such love as mine deserves,
I am a shabby clerk.

As we come in, I long to dine,
Yet do not long for dinner;

Oh! how I wish that she was mine,
I am a hardened sinner.

Oh, bliss! 'tis I who take her down,
She wears such lovely flowers;
She asks me what I do in town-
How spend my leisure hours?

She talks so kindly through the fish,
So sweetly through the curry,

I hardly taste a single dish,

I am in such a flurry!

When, gone the apples, gone the cheese,

The ladies go away;

She says, 'I am a prisoner, please;

Do you make any stay?'

Later we dance; the giddy whiz

Does leave me nearly dead;

I think the second time it is

That she has turned my head!

But 'midst that whiz and 'midst that whirr, I tell her all I feel;

I whisper that I'd live for her,

Or die for Miss O'Neill!

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