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fought most desperately, and carried their point, which was to obtain in the procession, the place immediately after the King's coach. There were several men slain on the French side, together with one or two of the Spaniards, and one Englishman apparently by a chance bullet. This fact in itself is not suficient to establish our inference, The Ambassadors, too, of barbarous powers might, it is obvious, even at this day, dispute about some point equally frivolous, and proceed to bloodshed; but what would the public think of an order from the Board of Green Cloth, to “ let them do what they would?” Moreover, would any well-educated gentleman, not to say a man in authority, be found running after them,“ through all the dirt, and the streets full of people,” not with a view of assisting to prevent the fray, but of seeing and enjoying the spectacle? “At last at the Mews, I saw the Spanish coach go, with fifty drawn swords to guard it, and our soldiers shouting for joy.” It was also “strange to see how the city did rejoice" at the result. “Indeed, we do naturally all love the Spanish and hate the French.” In the latter, “ I observe, that there is no men in the world of a more insolent spirit when they do well, and more abject when they miscarry. They all look like dead men, and not a word among them, but shake their heads." There is no mention of any judicial proceeding subsequent to this outrage, that would have disgraced the metropolis of Turkey and a corps of Janizaries; no reparation either for the individual, whose life was sacrificed, or to justice, whose vital interests were endangered. The French, it appears, were nearly four to one, and had one hundred pistols among them; whilst the Spaniards had not a single gun; “ which is for their bonour, for ever, and the others disgrace.” Such was the reflection suggested by this strange occurrence in the mind of an enlightened contemporary. “So, having been very much daubed with dirt, I got a coach and home, when I vexed my wife in telling her of this story, and pleading for the Spaniards against the French.” The conduct of the King and constituted authorities, was most shameful; but it is not so conclusive against the spirit of the age, as this reflection and this narrative of an individual English gentleman.
Another symptom of the unhappy state of things is the kind of duelling that prevailed. We say the kind, because we do not insist upon the prevalence of the practice; as that would compel us to prove that it was more general then than now, which we have not the means at hand of showing. Their duels were distinguished by these circumstances, which are now considered as great aggravations of the offence against justice. They were often sudden, and perpetrated in the height of passion, without witnesses or arrangements to prevent unnecessary bloodshed. They arose out of occasions the most frivolous; and, by involving the seconds in actual hostility, made the outrage yet greater, as well as precluded the possibility of an amicable arrangement of differences. Thus, without note or comment, he enters the following as an extraordinary item of news: “ In our way to Kensington, we understood how that my Lord Chesterfield had killed another gentleman about half an hour before, and was fled." In another rencontre, one of the combatants was suspected of having worn armour; for his antagonist's sword was shivered up to the hilt against it. The principals were Mr. Jermyn, (a well-known character in the Jan. 1826.
Memoires de Grammont) and Captain Howard, Lord Carlisle's brother. The latter was the challenger, and, “ what is most strange, he would not, to the last, tell Jermyn what the quarrel was, nor do any body know." Mr. Jermyn was supposed to be mortally wounded; his second, Colonel Rawlins, was killed outright. Their antagonists had horses ready, “ and are fled." The circumstances of the Duke of Buckingham's duel with Lord Shrewsbury are notorious, and for infamy altogether without precedent, even in that unscrupulous age. He was instantly pardoned by a special act under the great seal; an office worse than any to which the late Chancellor, observes Mr. Pepys, from which it had recently been taken, had ever put it. The suspicion under which he lay, of having suborned Blood to take Ormond's life, a design which failed in consequence of the Colonel's whim, to hang his Grace on Tyburn tree, are also well known. There are one or two incidents which the Diary has brought to light for the first time, that yet more satisfactorily establish this scoundrel nobleman's guilt, as well as show the lawless spirit of the times. Harry Killigrew was wounded in nine places by footmen, in the highway, between the Park and Hammersmith. They were supposed to be my Lady Shrewsbury's men, as she was herself close behind, in her coach and six horses. Her grudge against him was his having openly said that he had intrigued with her. “ In discourse this afternoon the Duke of York did tell her that he was the most amazed at one thing just now that ever he was in his life; which was, that the Duke of Buckingham did just now come into the Queen's bed-chamber, where the King was, with much mixed company, and, among others, Tom Killegrew, the father of Harry, who was last night wounded so as to be in danger of death; (and his man is quite dead) and there did say that he had spoke with one that was by, (which person all the world must know must be his mistress, my Lady Shrewsbury) who says, that they did not mean to hurt, but beat him, and that he did run first at them with his sword: so that he do hereby clearly discover that he knows who did it, and is of conspiracy with them, being of known conspiracy with her; which the Duke of York did seem to be pleased with, and said it might perhaps cost him his life, and I find was mightily pleased with it, saying it was the most impudent thing, as well as the most foolish that ever he knew man do in all his life.” Of the atrocity of Buckingham's conduct, whatever its impudence or folly, there can but be one opinion. Of the Duke of York's comment upon it we think there can scarcely be any difference of opinion, either as respects his personal character or the principles of the age. Still more astonishing is the fact, that we hear of no enquiries instituted on the occasion, or that Buckingham, so far from losing his life, lost not even his place, which was then that of Prime Minister, or, at least, the principal adviser of the Crown.
Another affray of honour is recorded by Mr. Pepys, and especially quoted as “a kind of emblem of the general complexion of this whole kingdom.” Sir H, Bellarses, happening one evening, in conversation with Tom Porter, to whom he was giving some advice, to talk a little louder than ordinary, some of the company standing by said, “what, are they quarrelling ?” “No," said Bellarses, “I would have you know, I never quarrel but I strike; take that as a rule of mine." “How," says Tom Porter, “strike!” I would I could see the man
in England that durst give me a blow! With that, Sir H. did give him a box on the ear, and so they were going to fight then, (they were at dinner at Sir R. Carr's,) but were hindered. By-and-bye
Tom Porter went out, and meeting Dryden the poet, told him of the business, and that he was resolved to fight Sir H. Bellarses presently; for he knew, if he did not, that they should be friends to-morrow, and then the blow would rest upon him. To prevent this misfortune, he desires Dryden to let him have his boy, to bring him notice which way Sir H. went. By-and-bye he hears that Sir H.'s coach is coming -stops it--and bids Sir H. get out. “Why,” says Sir H., “ you will not hurt me coming out will you ?” “ No," says Tom Porter. So out he gets—both draw-Sir H. Alinging away his scabbard. you ready?” asks Porter.—The other replies, he is.--After this they fall to, some of their acquaintance standing by. They are both wounded, Sir H. mortally. The latter calls Tom, kisses him, and bids him shift for himself; “ for,” says he, “ Tom, thou hast hurt me, but I will make shift to stand upon my legs till thou mayest withdraw, for I would not have thee troubled for what thou hast done. But Tom was wounded too, and unable to fly. And this is a fine example; and H. Bellarses, a parliament man too, and both of them extraordinary friends.” Thus for the first, and almost the only time, we have something in the shape of a reflection upon these wanton, and criminal transactions: and yet even here the wonder is not that two gentlemen should thus frivolously wound each other, even to death, but that one of them should be a parliament man, and person in office.
The existence of this ferocious temper is discovered, as might be expected, in the affrays that frequently occurred in the streets among the lower orders. “ To Westminster Hall, and in King street, there being a great stop of coaches, there was a falling out between a drayman and my Lord Chesterfield's coachman, and one of his footmen killed.” What, if every stoppage of the kind was to be productive of the like consequences now! If draymen carried the law, like their whips, in hand, and footmen wore it at their sides, in the shape of a sword ! “ I heard to-day of a great fray between Sir H. Finch's coachman, who struck with a whir, a coachman of the king's, to the loss of his eyes." Savage enough, but whether an occurrence absolutely impossible now, we cannot decidedly pronounce. The accompanying facts, however, indicate a brutality, of which no one now would suspect, even in the “ bulls and the bears." “ The people of the Exchange seemed to laugh and make sport of it, with words of contempt to the unhappy coachman.” This is monstrous--but what follows is more so :-“My Lord Chamberlain did come from the king to shut up the 'Change, and by the help of a Justice, did it, hut upon a petition to the king, it was opened again.” It is well said, curse not to the king, nor ought appertaining unto him. Lord! to what a pass had loyalty, and ardent attachment, and ale and bon-fires brought our masters ! We do remember an exertion of authority somewhat resembling this, even in our own times, but an infinite number of degrees below it in audacity. Carriages turned back in the open streets by the military, and coachmen manned with swords or bayonets—something like this; the exact particulars we do not recollect. At the time we allude to, complaints were very general of an insolent deportment on the part of the soldiery on their different stations. The heroes of Waterloo had not had time to subside into quiet, orderly regulars. The interference of a few spirited individuals, however, soon redressed those petty grievances. We hear of no such things now.—That was a military year. Scarlet was your injurer. Far too much vapouring and brandishing of bright steel, for a civic rule. We desire not the return of it. If liberty ever again, to use the Scotch vulgarism,“ croups her criels," it will be in some moment, when people are drunk, either with loyalty as in 1660, or with glory, as in 1815.
We are apt to exclaim against the brutality of the prize-fights at present in vogue; but we find, that disgraceful as they are to the country, they are nevertheless an improvement upon the prize-fights in which our fathers took delight. “With Sir J. Minnes in the Strand, and walked to the New Theatres, where the fencers piay prizes at. And here I came and saw the first prize I ever saw in my life. It was between one Mathews, who did beat at all weapons, and one Westwicke, who was soundly cut several times both in the head and legs, that he was all over blood; and other deadly blows they did give and take in very good earnest, till Westwicke was in a sad pickle. They fought at eight weapons, three bouts at each weapon.
This being upon a private quarrel, they did it in good earnest, and I felt one of their swords, and found it to be very little, if at all, blunter on the edge, than the common swords are. Strange to sce what a deal of money is fung to them both, upon the stage, between every bout.” Different trades often met and fought with great fury. Thus, in Moorfields, the butchers and weavers, between whom there had been, time immemorial, a competition for mastery, had a pitched battle, in which the former were soundly beaten, and some deeply wounded and sadly bruised. The weavers left the field in triumph, calling, 1001, for a butcher.
Frequently, among persons of the very highest rank, affrays took place, which for vulgarity were not to be exceeded even by the champions of Moorfields or Bartholomew Fair. At an entertainment given by Lord Orford, at which Lords Albemarle, Bellarsis, and other persons of quality were present, a dispute arose, which from words quickly came to blows, and ended in a general mélée to the great detriment of perriwigs, which were bandied about without scruple. At a conference between the two houses, the Duke of Buckingham leaning rudely over the Marquis of Dorchester, the latter removed his elbow: Buckingham inquired whether he were weary, to which the other replied, yes, and that he, the Duke, durst not do this were he any where else. To this Buckingham rejoined, yes, he would, and that he was a better man than him. Dorchester said, that he lied. Upon which Buckingham struck off his hat, took him by his perriwig, pulled it aside, and held him in this ludicrous position. The Lords interfered, and sent the two peers to the Tower. Well might Mr. Pepys exclaim,“ To what a pass are the noblemen of this age come !" After this, Lord St. John pulling Sir Andrew Henley by the nose, in Westminster Hall, in presence of the Bench, was a mere trifle.
If the hostile rencontres of the age were ferocious and bloody, their amusements were no less rude and boisterous. The author gives the following account of a day's sport at Lord Sandwich's. Arriving at eleven o'clock, he found my lord and ladies at a sermon in the house. This ended, the company, among whom are enumerated several persons of distinction, went“ mighty merry" to dinner. After that he walked in the park with Lord Sandwich alone, talking about politics. Then to the young ladies, who played on the guitar, and "mighty merry, and anon to supper.” After which,“ my lord going away to write, the young gentlemen to flinging of cushions, and other mad sport, till twelve at night: and then, being sleepy, I and my wife, in a passage-room, to bed, and slept not very well, because of noise.”. But the most perfect example of Saturnalian license occur in the author's own private circle of acquaintance. With infinite glee he records, first, taking his wife and maid to the Bear-garden, where, among other instances of what he calls “good sport," one of the dogs was tossed by the bull into the very boxes. Then there were a great many Hectors in the same box with him, who drank his maid's health, which he pledged with his hat oik. “ After the ball-fight-home to suppervery merry. After supper, they amused themselves till twelve with serpents and rockets, burning one another and the people over the way. After that, into the house again, still mighty merry,' smutting each other with candle-grease and soot, till they were like devils. That sport being over, up stairs they went, and fell to dancing and dressing the men like women, and vice versâ; some of the ladies putting on whole suits, and others, as his wife, contenting themselves in perriwigs. Thus we spent till three or four in the morning, mighty merry, and then parted and to bed.” Another time we find him at a cock-fight in Shoe-lane; but “ Lord! to see the strange variety of people, from parliament men to the poorest 'prentices, bakers, brewers, butchers, draymen, and what not, and all these fellows, one with another, cursing and betting.” He seems to have been bent upon tasting every pleasure the metropolis afforded, and seeing every thing that was to be seen. The cock-pit, however, was not to his liking. “I had soon enough of it." He was better pleased with the puppetshow of Whittington, at Southwark fair; where it was pretty to see how that idle třing do work upon people that see it, and even myself too!"
Then to Jacob Hale, the rope-dancer, “ where I saw such action as I never saw before.” Here he made acquaintance with a fellow, who carried him to a tavern, whither Jacob himself shortly after repaired. He conversed with the latter on the subject of his misadventures in the course of his professional career.
“ He seems a mighty strong man. So giving them a bottle or two of wine, I away!"
It is possible that this kind of rusticity was confined to Mr. Pepys and his immediate acquaintance. We do not think so. apparently, a man of as much breeding as any of his contemporaries, and in constant intercourse with the highest personages in the kingdom. Every thing, in short, recorded, that bears at all upon the subject of manners, countenances the idea of a grossness amoug all classes that exceeds any conception that former documents would lead one to form. In questions of this kind, the slighest piece of information often carries us further in our conclusions than narratives of length. He has occasion to go to the coachmaker's, and “there I do find a great many ladies, sitting in the body of a coach that must be ended by to-morrow, (they were the Lady Marquis of Winchester,