Victorian London - Entertainment and Recreation - Clubs - Cosmopolite

Wednesday, 2 March... Went to Ralston's rooms, & walked out with him.  At seven; dined with Edward & George Cayley in Dean's Yard. After dinner coffee & pipes & some etymological talk-also E. brought out the pedigree & papers of the Wiltshire peerage case, which he is conducting for the Scroopes. Towards eleven G. took me to the Cosmopolite, in Charles St. Berkeley Square: talking by the way of protestantism & prostitutes, and of the character of Evil. . . The Cosmopolite was formed out of the Sterling, White Cottage, & other clubs, and is now the arcanum & the Parnassus of literary swells. They meet in a large lofty room, or rather hall, formerly a studio & still hung with pictures & cartoons of great size and some of considerable value. Round the fire a large inner circle was formed of ottomans & sofas, bounded towards the door by a huge folding screen of Chinese pattern. Coffee & tea on a table in the outskirts: on another (much more frequented) soda water, spirits, & punch-ingredients: long clays also, & a tall jar . . . of real Turkish. So much for the entourage: the men were few when we arrived, but came in thickly about midnight, from parties or the House.

Arthur Munby, Diary, 1859