Esoteric London

No. 718: Westbourne Grove, W11

Posted in London Types, Pubs, Statues by esotericlondon on November 28, 2012

Westbourne Grove, London, W11. Photo © Roger Dean 2012

Gaslight and Daylight – George Augustus Sala, 1859:

He sells corn and coal on commission now – not at first-hand; but for those who are themselves commission agents. He is a ‘broker’s man in possession,’ when he can get a job. He does a bit of law writing, a bit of penny-a-lining, a bit of process-serving;-an infinity of those small offices known as ‘odd jobs.’ He picks up a sorry crust by these means, and is to be heard of at the bar of the Black Lion. He is sober; but, upon compulsion, I am afraid. If you give him much beer, he weeps, and tells you of his bygone horse and gig; of his box at Shooter’s Hill; of his daughter Emily, who had the best of boarding-school educations (and married Clegg, of the Great Detector Insurance Office), and who won’t speak to her poor old father, now, sir: of his other daughter, Jenny, who is kind to him; although she is mated with a dissolute printer, whose relations are continually buying him new founts of type, which he is as continually mortgaging for spirits and tobacco. Poor old Ghost! Poor old broken-down, spirit-worn hack! When great houses come toppling down, how many slender balustrades and tottering posts are crushed along with the massive pillars!

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