« Time To Enjoy | Main | Mention My Name »

Lansdowne Crescent: Chapter 8

…Frank is an actor of no small ability. His star part was that of 'Sir Jeremy' in the Duchess of Bayswater, in which he sustained from start to finish the voice and affectations of a snobbish old malade imaginaire, a part exactly opposed to his own character. A stranger who saw him rehearse without make-up, seated in a bath chair said his cheery, healthy face and invalidish manner made up one of the most incongruous sights she had ever seen. His merry ways endears him to children. A small girl after taking a walk, through the town volunteered the remark that she had seen no one she liked the look of so well as Mr. Frank Tree. Another day some children remarked as he passed, 'There goes Charlie Chaplin,' evidently associating him with mirth….

Jean Day brings to life the residents of a crescent in the city of Worcester a century ago.

To read earlier chapters of her book please click on
http://www.openwriting.com/archives/lansdowne_crescent/

1911

Here it is, time for my annual review of our road. But this time I find that there is little new to say about the neighbours, so I will start with our family.

Frank always is very anxious to find out the smallest details in connection with anything that comes before him at work. He had not been in the office long before the c1erks began to realise that he took not only an interest in the work of the office, but was always ready and willing to discuss matters of a general or private nature. I heard them tell out this incident. During his period of articles another young gentleman came to do the same. He had not been in the office long before it could be clearly seen that he had a great helpmate in Frank, who was always ready to answer any question or to give references to his books. It may here be noted that they had very many arguments, not only in connection with their studies, but on matters outside office business, chiefly politics, but the same good sporting spirit always prevailed and they remained the best of friends.

Frank, after working for a year or two at practical law, has conceived a great desire to gain, like his father before him, the L.L.B. degree. As he grows older his intellectual powers are developing in an extraordinary way. He more than once has expressed a great desire to go to one of the Universities, and had he been capable of it he would have been almost envious of Charlie who is doing so well at Cambridge. Such a feeling as envy, he was, however, too large-hearted and generous to entertain, and the two boys are wonderfully sweet with each other. Charlie is extremely modest about his achievements at school and college, and at the end of each term, when he invariably came home laden with prizes, he would, should they take the form of books, place them on the shelves, if possible without being discovered, leaving us to find them in the course of time. Or, should fate be adverse enough to let him be detected, he would look almost shamefaced, as though found out in some youthful peccadillo. I believe it made him really unhappy to feel that the work which to him was so easy should prove so laborious to Frank and he does his best to prevent Frank feeling the unevenness of their intellectual powers.

As a solicitor Frank immediately began to show that he is a man with a great future. He was successful in his first cases before the Magistrates, both in Worcester and elsewhere. He not only began to excel in magisterial work, but also in the County Court. At Ledbury, for instance, when conducting a case in the court there this last year, his abilities were referred to by the judge, who before giving his judgment adopted the unusual procedure of congratulating Mr. Frank on the way he had conducted the case, and said that he considered he was a young man who would have a great future. He was soon looked upon as a dangerous opponent, as he always went into court fully prepared in every detail, and his ready reply to almost any point raised showed that he had mastered his case.

Frank is an actor of no small ability. His star part was that of 'Sir Jeremy' in the Duchess of Bayswater, in which he sustained from start to finish the voice and affectations of a snobbish old malade imaginaire, a part exactly opposed to his own character. A stranger who saw him rehearse without make-up, seated in a bath chair said his cheery, healthy face and invalidish manner made up one of the most incongruous sights she had ever seen. His merry ways endears him to children. A small girl after taking a walk, through the town volunteered the remark that she had seen no one she liked the look of so well as Mr. Frank Tree. Another day some children remarked as he passed, 'There goes Charlie Chaplin,' evidently associating him with mirth.

Categories

Creative Commons License
This website is licensed under a Creative Commons License.