Bennet Street (st. James’s, London)


Corner house—Red Baize Door called  a Club House.

Firm: Messrs Fielder, Miller and Carlos. Formerly Fielder, Roubel, Miller and Co.

This is what is called a topping house, where high rank and title resort. We mentioned in the poem the luck of a certain Duke's son there; and, of late, there has been a lucky run in favour of the frequenters of the bank—but lauda finem. Its crisis has arrived.

The noble Marquess, on the night that he lost the money at No. 40 which was closed against him, went full charged with the Tuscan grape, and attacked poor Fielder,vi et pugnis, and, at length, was necessitated to leave this house also.

Here, all things are in a very high style, served on plate, et cetera. It is supposed that the customer's specie  is melted down to furnish this luxury, which is reversing the ordinary plan: it is, commonly, the family plate which is melted by the gamester into specie; but here it is the current coin which is molten and shaped into salvers, waiters, &c. This is, however, all in the way of business; for we have heard of parson's wives having silk gowns made out of burial scarves, and we know a presbyterian minister who has converted mourning rings into a splendid piece of plate. Therefore, why should not these conveyancers of property, convey a portion into their wives and mistress's pockets, or ridicules, and transform guineas into gold snuff boxes; or crowns, &c., into a service of plate?

The receipts of these houses are immense: We know the wife of a proprietor of a hell, not an hundred miles from St James's Palace, who was so majestic in her deportment, and so magnificent in her attire, that she gained the name of Proserpine.

The neighbourhood of Bennet Street is very convenient: if a pigeon be refused admittance on the score of not being known, and receive the stale answer —‘Sir, this house is only open to the gentlemen of the Club,' he has only to go down  St James's Street into the Square or to Pall Mall, and he will find accommodation all the way: the descent is easy  even to the most intoxicated dandy or guardsman, who will experience the truth of the ‘facilis descensus Averni.'