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titude in the following simple strain :" Tanté grazie Signori mici. Pare che siano in nostro caro paese."
As the object of our party in the two teams was to make a day of it, we did not leave the course until nearly six o'clock ; during which period we indulged in the aristocratic amusements of “shying sticks,” pricking the garter, playing at roulette, crying "seven's the main at the hazard table, risking our capital upon the red or black, and losing our money and patience at the newly-invented game of cockamaroo. The result was, that at the end of the day we found ourselves minus nearly all our funds, and plus some six dozen toys, consisting of wooden apples and pears, nutmeg-graters, jacks-in-the-boxes, pin-cushions, tin snuff-boxes, thimbles, all of which would have nearly furnished a shop for some modern Tackleton, and would have gladdened the heart of that inimitable creation of Boz, the worthy Caleb Plummer, At ten minutes before six o'clock, the “shooter's” horn gave notice that we were bout to start ; and in about five minutes from that time, the “dragsman” cried out “all right, let 'em go, I've got 'em ;” and away we bowled across the downs at a rattling pace. No sooner had we reached the road, than we found that the fun had begun in downright good earnest ; for such a scene of confusion I never before witnessed. It is no exaggeration to say that nearly every driver, and all the postboys, were considerably elevated. The gradations from dead drunk to what is called slightly intoxicated, were fully exemplified. See that swell-looking sporting “ gent." in the dennet, who has won a hundred by one of the Derby sweeps ; he is as drunk as a lord (why your aristocracy are thus to be libelled I know not, but I give the phrase most frequently in use) ; he has got his thorough-bred looking nag into a gallop, and is recklessly dashing by everything ; now one wheel is against our leaders, then the other is in the ditch ; the crazy vehicle is nearly overturned, when the driver's friend, who is only ten sheets in the wind, gives the horse a pull to the right, and again lands him on the road. Now an open barouche-and-four, filled with ladies of very questionable appearance, trots by ; the leading postboy is rather the worse for liquor, while the wheel one is what Bardolph calls awfully “fap.” Two horsechanting looking gentlemen gallop furiously by in a light Whitechapel cart, and thread the crowd with amazing dexterity ; they, like the horses they deal in, are considerably “screwed.” And now comes a sporting nobleman, rather fresh, in a phaeton and pair, going in and out” of the lines of carriages as cleverly as his lordship was wont to do when taking a double ox rails in Leicestershire. A van full of Bacchanalians now grazes our bars, while our shooter, who could boast of a classical education, exclaimed, rather dogmatically, at least as far as his Latin went on this occasion, “ Cave cui incurras inepte"- "Mind who you run against, stupid.” “Holloa, shooter," cries a young Life-Guardsman, “ you're coming it strong with your university education.” " All right, old fellow,” responded the guard ; “ Concessi Cantabrigium ad capiendum ingenii cultum ;" which in English means, at least according to the “Comic Latin Grammar," which I have studied most profoundly, “I went to Cambridge to become a fast man.” What with music, joke, song, and repartoe, added to upsets, overthrows, tumbles, break-downs, fights and wrangles, we approached Richmond; where the shooter, having appropriately played “The Lass of Richmond Hill,” gave us another
specimen of his dog Latin, by exclaiming, “ Porcis volentibus, loctissime epulabimur”—Please the pigs, we'll have a jolly good dinner.” Wo now drove up to the door of the Star and Garter, where the landlord and a bevy of waiters were in readiness to receive us. The pithy order, "dinner at half-past eight for four-and-twenty-price unlimited,” had had its due effect; and we were ushered into the large room, overlooking the river and the green Meadows of Twickenham.
No sooner had we got rid of the dust, which, despite of the surveyor's notice, we had carried away from the roads without permission, than the bugles played “ The roast beef of Old England," and dinner was announced. Instead of attempting turtle and difficult entrées, the spirited proprietor of this excellent hostellerie gave us a superb plain dinnerfreshwater fish of every sort and in the highest perfection, plain and spitchcock eels, water zuchet of all the different tribes of the river finny race, with every sort of flesh and fowl, dressed in the best manner. The wines, too, were of the first quality, and I never recollect passing a more agreeable evening. After dinner the president called upon four or five of the party for a song ; and until midnight the song, the catch, and glee went round. There was one of our party, whom I must particularly allude to, as not only being of the most gentlemanlike, kind-hearted creatures in the world, but whose taste and voice as a singer " whips,” as the yankees say, any other that I ever heard. Who, that has heard the “Bonnie, bonnie Owl,” “ The days that we were tipsy in,” and “ The Shooter's Horn,” will fail to recognise the party I allude to, who, on the occasion I write of, delighted us all with his musical talents, and who, although no follower of Father Mathew, always keeps himself sufficiently steady as to be able, at a moment's notice, to take the reins, should the dragsmen happen to find himself Bacchi plenus.
At twelve o'clock the teams were at the door, and after an hour's drive We were safely landed at Crockford's. The club then was in its zenith, and around the supper table were gathered all the choice spirits of the day; the Badmington, Horace Twiss's, and the waiters' mixtures, all the choicest concoctions of claret, curagoa, orange juice, and iced soda water, quite the modern nectar, passed freely round, and kept up the hearts of those who had been losers by the day; while it almost maddened with joy those who had come off winners. It was nearly daylight before I reached the Clarendon, highly delighted with my trip to Epsom.
By way of a change, I accompanied a party by the Brighton rail to the Oaks, but it was a dull, flat, and unprofitable affair ; we took our hacks with us, and got out at Stoat's Nest. There was no life, bustle, or excitement; and, instead of the humours of the road, nothing was to be seen but a dingy workman or a gaunt policeman, waving a dirt-stained red flag, as we passed the different stations. I was rather amused with an elderly gentleman who sat opposite to me, who informed me that he was a great railroad traveller, and who expatiated not a little upon the charms of steam power over horse-flesh. Among other drawbacks I ventured to remark that getting one's eye filled with iron dust was not the most agreeable thing in the world. “Wear goggles, as I do,” responded the blustering railer," and carry a magnet with you, that will extract every particle of metal that may happen to get within your eyelids."
The ride from Stoat's Nest to the Downs, was most agreeable : upon reaching the course we found the scene far different from that of the previous Wednesday ; there was an absence of life, and there were fewer persons by some thousands. The grand stand, however, was well filled, and the race, although not so exciting as the Derby, was, to the mass of spectators, replete with exceeding interest. As I had an engagement to an early dinner, and the French play in London, I lost no time in cantering to the Ditton station ; the Southampton rail bringing one to a more civilized part of the town—Vauxhall, instead of London Bridge: and there is certainly one thing to be said in favour of the rail
, which is, that you get over your ground quickly. I left Epsom at half-past three, reached the station at half-past four ; and, after having been whirled for half an hour through asparagus beds, cabbage gardens, gooseberry plantations, and the numerous patches of esculent vegetables that surround London on all sides, found myself safely landed at Vauxhall at about five o'clock. Certainly there are few sights that strike a foreigner more than Epsom Races : Ascot and Goodwood are more aristocratic, and it is a goodly sight to see at the former the Court honoring the people with the exhibition of its gala equipages ; to witness the Queen, surrounded by elegant and lovely women, radiant in beauty ; but all this falls short of the Derby, which has the power of wresting the Englishman of every degree from his lethargic gravity, and which makes him look upon this event as one that, in a national point of view, must be kept out. You may as well attempt to deprive him of his "rosbif” and plum-pudding on a Sunday, as to debar him from this annual fête.
Ascot races were now approaching ; and, unfortunately for me, some legal business of importance compelled me to decline a most kind and pressing invitation to pass a week at a friend's house near Sunning Hill. I was, however, in some degree compensated for my disappointment by receiving a command to dine with your gracious Queen at Windsor Castle upon the Cup day. I made my arrangements accordingly; and ordering four of Newman's best to my travelling chariot, and four to be in readiness at Hounslow to take me to the course and bring me back at night, I posted at an early hour on the Thursday, so as to be in time to see the whole humourers of the Cup day; and certainly my expectations were more than realized ; for the day was brilliant, the company numerous, and the racing excellent. After partaking of a most sumptuous lunch in Her Majesty's stand, I proceeded to Windsor, where, after some difficulty, I engaged a room to dress in. At the hour named on the card, I found myself in the Castle ; and, having occupied myself during the usually tedious half hour before dinner, as also during the evening, in looking over this splendid regal residence, I must give you a few rough notes of the impression it made upon my mind.
St. George's Hall is upwards of two hundred feet in length, and is about thirty-five in width. The ceiling is divided throughout its whole length into compartments, whereon are emblazoned the armorial bearings of all the Knights of the Garter, from the institution of the order. The knights on the corbels, in complete suits of mail, are Edward the Third, and his son, the Black Prince; and there are portraits from the first James to the last George. Along the sides of the Hall, on shields, are emblazoned the arms of the various knights; and in other
spaces are large brass shields, bearing the cross of St. George, and encireled by the garter and its well-known motto, “ Honi soit qui mal y pense.” A chamber more likely to revive associations of by-gone days, and bring to the mind's eye a review of the stirring times and warlike deeds of the proud aristocracy, of which your country may so truly boast, does not exist. It brought to my remembrance some bitter reflections connected with my own native land. But to the apartment now arranged as a banqueting hall. At each end were beaufets, seventeen feet in height and forty in breadth, covered with crimson cloth, and encompassed with carved gothic framework, upon which the massive gold plate was tastefully arranged. Immediately opposite the seat appropriated to her Majesty, and within a recess, was a pyramid of plate, comprising the tiger's head captured at Seringa patam ; over it the Iluma, formed of precious stones, presented by the late Marquis of Wellesly to George the Third. Above the Iluma was a cup, formed of a sheil, mounted in gold and silver, surmounted by the figure of Jupiter resting on an eagle, the base supported by Hippocampi, several vases rich in precious stones and ivory; and the national cup, with figures of St. George, St. Andrew, and St. Patrick, the patron saints of England, Scotland, and Ireland, the national emblems being formed of rare jewels. The table extended the whole length of the room, and covers were laid for one hundred. Gold epergnes, vases, cups, and candelabras, the latter containing a profusion of wax lights, were ranged down the centre of the table. The celebrated St. George's candelabra was placed opposite the Queen's seat : it is perhaps the most beautiful specimen of plate in the world. The upper division contains the combat of England's patron saint with the dragon ; the lower has four figures in full relief, supporting shields bearing the arms of England, Scotland, Ireland, and the plume of the Prince of Wales. In speaking of the plate, I must not omit to mention the shield of Achilles, and the massive gold salt-cellar made to represent the white tower of Windsor's proud castle. The wine-coolers are copies of the Warwick and other well-known classical vases. The hall was splendidly illuminated ; for, in addition to the numerous lights displayed upon the tables and sideboards, there were lamps in sets of four, placed on each shield throughout the apartment. On duty at the entrance were the yeoman of the guard, now called “ beef-eaters," derived from the word " bouffetiers ;' and the bands of two regiments, cavalry and infantry, quartered at Windsor, were stationed in one of the galleries. The company assembled in the drawing rooms by half-past seven ; and, from a pre-arranged and official list, made out by the lord in waiting, each person knew whom he was to take in to dinner ; my lot fell to a distinguished foreign minister's wife. Precisely at a quarter before eight, her Majesty entered the drawing room ; and after graciously recognising her guests, took the arm of the Duke of Cambridge, and followed by Prince Albert and the Duchess of Kent, led the way to the banqueting hall ; the remainder of the guests following according to their respective ranks. During dinner the band played some popular marches, overtures, waltzes, and quadrilles, from the works of Mendlessohn, Beethoven, Labitzky, Mozart, Ries, and Musard. The repast was splendid, and served on an entire service of gold plate. The attendance was complete, and there was less bustle and confusion in this party of one
SPORTING REMINISCENCES IN ENGLAND AND FRANCE.
hundred than I have often seen in a small circle of eight or ten. The wine of every description, from "humble port to imperial tokay," was handed round during dinner ; while that first-rate artist Francatelli, who then presided over the culinary department, walked round the table to see justice done to his respective plats. At a quarter before nine grace was said, the cloth removed, and the dessert, consisting of every luxury in and out of season, was placed on the table. No sooner did the wine "sparkle on the board” than the official toast-master, the lord steward, gave “The Queen." All stood up except her Majesty, who gracefully bowed her acknowledgments. “God save the Queen," was then played. Again the lord steward rose, and gave, “His Royal Highness Prince Albert ;" the toast was drunk standing, the band playing the "Coburg March.” The effect was most imposing ; the martial strains of the music, a hall replete with every attribute of regal munificence, and a well-dressed company of one hundred persons, sparkling in diamonds and other precious jewels, encircling a table one hundred and thirty feet long, produced an effect more like a fairy dream than a substantial pageant. At half-past nine her Majesty rose from table, the ladies of the company grouping round her, and proceeded to the drawing-room. The Prince Consort now again took his seat: the wine was passed briskly round, and in five-and-twenty minutes the Prince and the guests joined her Majesty. The Waterloo Chamber was thrown open for music and refreshments. Its pictorial treasures were historically connected with the deeds of your countrymen during the last fifty years. The galleries are of oak ; and the furniture, of the same material is covered with crimson plush. The ball-room is rather more than ninety feet long, and thirty-five in breadth. It is hung with gobelin tapestry, and has a magnificent gothic window occupying the northern end. The furniture, of crimson and gold, has a very rich appearance. The north corridor is arranged with much taste; it has a fine collection of arms, consisting of Oriental matchlocks, helmets, shields, spears, and swords. Among the latter are those worn by the Chevalier St. George in 1715, and by the Pretender in the fatal 1746. In the Guard Chamber are whole length figures, clothed in armour. The coats of mail include those worn by Charles, Prince of Wales, in 1620 ; Lord Howard, in 1588; Duke of Brunswick, in 1530; Lord Essex, in 1596 ; and Prince Rupert, in 1635. At the south end, on part of the mast of the Victory stands Chantrey's bust of Nelson. There are also busts of Marlborough and Wellington, with the banners from Blenheim and Strathfieldsaye ; one of which they are bound annually to place in Windsor Castle. In failing so to do on the anniversaries of their two great victories, their estates would be forfeited. Over the mantel-piece is the exquisite silver shield inlaid with gold, executed by Cellini, and presented by our monarch Francis the First to Henry the Eighth of England, on the far-famed field of the “ Cloth of Gold.” The concert of instrumental music was all that could be desired, and consisted of the chef-dæuvres of Mozart, Beethoven, Lindpainter, Mendlessohn, and Marschner. At a little after eleven o'clock, her Majesty, bending gracefully to the assembled guests, retired, leaning on the arm of the Prince Consort ; and shortly afterwards the rest of the company dispersed.
I now entered my carriage, and, throwing myself into the corner,