Friday, November 13, 2009

Essay: "A Day's Ramble in London." Richard Steele.

The spectator, No. 454, August 11, 1712.

One-minute review: In the mood to be observant, unconcerned, not a significant actor in the city streets. From morning to night the types of people he observes change: gardeners; chimney sweepers; Covent Garden where I strolled from one fruit shop to another; flirtatious ladies; the signals from one coachman to another; “silk worms,” who go from shop to shop and never buy anything, but talk about laces and ribbons to their friends who do come and buy; a man who would die if he were not given money for a drink; the center of trade, the Exchange; and finishes the day at Will’s where men talked on the subjects of cards, dice, love, learning and politics.

Comment: Dickens gives a much more entertaining view of life in London in his first book, Sketches by Boz (pronounced to rhyme with “nose”). RayS.

Great Essays. Ed. Houston Peterson. New York: Washington Square Press, Inc. 1960.

What is an essay? “They are all prefaces. A preface is nothing but a talk with the reader; and they [essays] do nothing else.” Charles Lamb.

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