Victorian London - Women - in Public - The Ladies Club


A LADIES' Club is said to be in process of formation. how the male mind shudders at this most tremendous news! What a field tor fearful questions the intelligence suggests! Will there be a Club Committee? and if so, at its meetings how many ladies' tongues will be allowed to speak at once? Will there be a smoking-room? And, if so, will cigars be suffered to be lighted, or will the fear of being ill restrain the ladies from indulgence in anything except the very mildest cigarettes? Will conversation be restricted to the politics of the nursery and the latest news in bonnets; or what will be the limits sanctioned to recounters of a thrilling bit of scandal, or to narrators of a tale of love, or marriage, or divorce, which has just been set a-wagging on high life? Instead of billiards we presume the younger members will amuse themselves with tatting, while the elder are engaged in a fierce battle at Bezique. We would suggest that, if new members be elected by the ballot, it would be fitting that the votes should be signified by cotton balls. Of course no husband will he suffered to set his foot within the sacred threshold of the Club, but he may drive up to the door-step, and send word to his wife that the carriage is in waiting, when perhaps she may reply that he had better drive straight home, and let the children have their tea, and on no account wait dinner, as she probably will stay to take a chop with an old school-fellow, who has just cone from the country, and wants to know a few of the best women of the Club. By the way, what a sensation would be caused on the street pavement, if the Club belles were to congregate about the Club beau-windows, and stare through their eye-glasses every handsome man who passed!
    The ladies will, of course, want a title for their Club. Perhaps, The Femineum would be a fitting name for it ; or would its members prefer to call themselves The Chatterers while the present fashion lasts? Should the Ladies' Club prove popular, there may doubtless he some little ducks desirous to belong to it. But we trust, however silly may be certain of its members, nobody will ever dream of calling it The Goose Club.

Punch, April 3, 1869