The London Pulpit Part 10

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Contents: Introduction-Seeing a Man Hanged-Catherine-Street-The Bal Masque-Up the Haymarket-Canterbury Hall-Ratcliff-Highway-Judge and Jury Clubs-The Cave of Harmony-Discussion Clubs-Cider Cellars-Leicester-Square-Dr. Johnson's-The Sporting Public-house-The Public-house with a Billiard-room-The Respectable Public-house-The Hungerford Music Hall-Highbury Barn-Boxing Night-The Mogul-Caldwell's-Cremorne-The Costermongers' Free and Easy-The Southwark Music Hall-The Eagle Tavern-The Police Court-The Lunatic Asylum.


"We would wish for this little volume an attentive perusal on the part of all to whom inclination or duty, or both, give an interest in the moral, the social, and the religious condition of their fellow-men: above all, we should wish to see it in the hands of bishops, and other ecclesiastical dignitaries-of metropolitan rectors and fas.h.i.+onable preachers-of statesmen and legislators-and of that most mischievous cla.s.s of men, well-meaning philanthropists. The picture of life in London, of its manifold pitfalls of temptation and corruption, which are here presented to the reader's eye, is truly appalling. No one can rise from it without a deep conviction that something must be done, ay, and that soon, if the metropolis of the British Empire is not to become a modern Sodom and Gomorrah. What that something is to be the writer does not indeed indicate-that is not his object; what he aims at is, to let one part of the world of London know how another part of the same world spends its days, ay, and its nights. The disease is laid bare by him, it is for others to devise the remedy."-_John Bull_.

"Mr. Ritchie is favourably known to us; nor do we think this little volume will detract from his reputation."-_Daily News_.

"Not ill done in parts, it is not done in a fast spirit or affectedly; and the moral tone throughout is healthy enough."-_Ill.u.s.trated London News_.

"Mr. Ritchie's sketches are lively and graphic in style, and convey truthful pictures of some of the dark phases of London life. His book may be regarded as supplementary to the Hand-books and Guides of the Metropolis, which lightly touch upon topics which are here specially described and vigorously commented on."-_Literary Gazette_.

"We have derived considerable amus.e.m.e.nt, as well as some information, from a perusal of this volume, whose somewhat fanciful t.i.tle is, however, very suggestive of its contents. These comprise the haunts chiefly of our night-roving population. . . . All that is known in the shape of haunts and habits is here delineated with an unexaggerated fidelity we must bear testimony to. In effect, the whole is a very gloomy and forcible piece of word painting-literal, true, and graphic. We accept this little volume cordially, and recommend it as warmly to the attention of our readers."-_Weekly Dispatch_.

"The idea is excellent."-_Tait_.

"This book is elegantly written; the style is even simple, and is occasionally the vehicle of a manly pathos, somewhat stern, indeed, but all the more real, perhaps, on that account. This book will be read with pleasure and profit."-_Weekly Times_.

"In the 'Night Side of London,' Mr. J. Ewing Ritchie draws a most painful, but, we have reason to believe, not an over-coloured picture of the fearful temptations which abound in our great metropolis. The evils which seduce many a young man from the path of duty, and keep down the poor in their poverty and degradation, are traced to the love of intoxicating liquors, and the abundant facilities which are afforded for the gratification of that fatal pa.s.sion. Mr. Ritchie writes in an earnest manner, and his book contains information which demands the careful consideration of the moralist and the social reformer."-_Inquirer_.

"Almost every line bears the stamp of truth, and the rising generation would do well to take great heed to its revelations. Of old, Rome had its public censor of manners, and London needs such an officer as much as ever did that ancient mistress of the world. Mr. Ritchie has performed this office for us, and the community owes him its best thanks."-_People_.

"There is a matter-of-fact reality about the sketches, but they are chiefly remarkable for the moral tone of the reflections. Generally speaking, painters of these subjects rather throw a purple light over the actual scenes, and say nothing of the consequences to which they lead; Mr. Ritchie is ever stripping off the mask of the mock gaiety before him, and pointing the end to which it must finally come."-_Spectator_.

"Mr. Ritchie contents himself with a graphic and not over-drawn description."-_Economist_.

"It is written in a sketchy and das.h.i.+ng style, and is a most readable work."-_Sunday Times_.

"The book is a good book, and carefully written; so much so, that notwithstanding the t.i.tle and repulsive nature of the subject, it may be perused by all without fear of offence. A knowledge of what goes on in this huge metropolis, whether for good or evil, is desirable for all who inhabit or frequent our Modern Babylon. And, as regards the dark side of the picture, Mr. Ritchie deserves great credit for the tact and delicacy with which he has embodied the information which this book conveys."-_Indian News_.

"Mr. Ritchie has long been known as a clever writer in some of the newspapers. . . . Mr. Ritchie possesses a fluent and clear style."-_The Weekly Chronicle_.

"These graphic and powerful sketches, the result of keen, extensive observation and high literary talent."-_Alliance Weekly News_.

"We hail Mr. Ritchie as a social reformer, and trust he will not merely rest satisfied with exposing, but will seek at the same time, by personal effort, to illume, 'The Night Side of London.'"-_The Weekly Journal of the Scottish Temperance League_.

"We have kept Mr. Ritchie's book lying on our table, hoping that we might find an opportunity for making it the basis of an article on the fearful evils which it discloses. We must be satisfied, however, for the present, with recommending all our readers who are anxious to promote the social and moral regeneration of our great cities to read it carefully; and to remember, while they read, that London does not stand alone, but that, all our larger towns are cursed with abominations, such as those which Mr. Ritchie has so vigorously and effectually described."-_Eclectic Review_.

"It sketches and spreads out before us many of the Night Scenes of London with great vividness and truth."-_The Christian News_.

"It is a book of off-hand sketches, but they afford the reader many truly instructive glimpses of those apples of Sodom and grapes of Gomorrah-the amus.e.m.e.nts that are furnished for the metropolitan public by the vendors of intoxicating liquors."-_Evangelical Repository_.

"Anything of their sort more striking and vivacious cannot be conceived; the more complete descriptions are as buoyant and racy as the briefer; a few strokes of the pen place a scene clearly before the mental vision, and in very few instances can it be reasonably charged upon the writer that he is sacrificing fact to fancy, the literal to the ideal. Then comes the caution, wisely insinuated, the moral reading of the gay illusion, the exhibition of the interior corruption of the fruit, fair and fascinating to behold. So suggestively, yet so skilfully, is this done, that we should not be surprised to hear that the perusal of this volume had drawn away many votaries of vice from its debasing follies.

Certain we are that the author's dramatic style is used with wonderful effect, and in a manner that we hope to see long employed on kindred subjects and for kindred ends."-_Weekly Record_.


The London Pulpit Part 10

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The London Pulpit Part 10 summary

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