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varieties, in fact, has been nearly at a stand-still during the last month, and what has happened in the way of hunting sounds in the superlative as but cold-catchy, sticky, unsettled sort of work. A week's frost relieved by a week's rain is about the finest receipt for making a country rotten, and crossing, it dangerous, that we confess to be cognizant of; and this, in plain fact, is nothing, more or less, than the sum-up of the last moon or so of the old year. Accidents at such times come quite as matters of course; and accordingly, we have only to begin at the top of the tree, and notch down at once the Master of Her Majesty's staghounds for a roughish fall and a dislocated ancle while fighting his
" the vale" as likely a neighbourhood, certainly, as any we know of, et mihi contingit adire Corinthum, to show cause for such a calamity. Then, next in order, we have that ramming, cramming top-sawyer, Lord Gardiner, selling off, but with reserve, in consequence of a still worse overthrow, and a damaged collar-bone in remembrance thereof. How many more of smaller rank and hurt would follow in procession, we cannot stay to consider, but hasten to drop the acquaintance of a dreary December that has been unfit for hunting, and really, as a contingency, fit for very little else. Some of the steeple-chasers, to be sure, were willing to keep the ball a-rolling, despite the efforts of Father Frost to the contrary; but then livery-stable and tavern bills have, in all these instances, so strong a tendency to top valour over discretion, that we may set down the sine die adjournment of the Leamington as only “the proper thing." Perhaps, just to add one drop of comfort, we could not hit on a better (if another) than the great promise and éclat with which the Worcestershire Hunt dinner went off, and the predisposition evinced by the members to be pleased with their new Governor. This is all as it ought to be, and we trust the good men of Worcester will continue to encourage a feeling that we fancy has not always been so general in that sporting shire as it should have been.
ROYAL YACHT SOUADRON.
A special meeting of the members of this Squadron is called for the 4th of February, when a new commodore will be elected. The present vice-commodore, the Marquis of Donegal, has lately been chosen commodore of the New Royal Irish Yacht Club, and is also pretty generally expected to succeed Lord Yarborough. The celebrated yacht of the late commodore has been appropriated to the following very becoming and national purpose. We borrow the paragraph entire from Bell's Life:
The KESTREL Yacht.-We are glad to announce that the report of the Portsmouth Dockyard officers, of their recent survey of the late ever-to-belamented Commodore's yacht, the Kestrel, has been favourable. The Admiralty have accordingly become the purchasers of that splendid yacht, and the name of Kestrel is henceforth to grace the Navy-list. This act of the Government has, we have no doubt, been done to record its sense of the seryices which the late Earl of Yarborough has rendered to his country by promoting the advancement of naval science, and encouraging that branch of architecture. It is a singular coincidence that two distinct Administrations have purchased for the Royal Navy the two “flag yachts” of the squadron—the Waterwitch and Kestrel—both of which, for mechanical and scientific proportions, have been the theme of admiration throughout the world. Thus has another laurel been added to the many already possessed by their talented builder, and Cowes may be justly proud that her scientific builders have not been forgotten. The Kestrel was hauled off the mud on Saturday week, and has been moored in the stream, in readiness to be conveyed to Portsmouth, It is rumoured that she will be added to the Mediterranean fleet.
The amount of subscriptions received to the monument or sea mark now exceeds £600; and it is reported that the committee have determined on a monument to be erected in the Isle of Wight. Mr. Whalley's proposition of the Royal Thames Yacht Club subscribing a certain sum from its funds, was negatived, after considerable discassion, at a late meeting of the club, and the plan of the Royal Yacht Squadron adopted, by which every member gives individually and what he pleases. At the same meeting of the Thames Yacht Club Lord Groves was elected a member, the annual ball fixed for February 18th, and the disputed prize at the Dawlish Regatta awarded to the Ithiel.
ROYAL VICTORIA YACHT CLUB. At a special meeting of this club, held on the 1st of December, the following resolutions were received and adopted, in order to facilitate the opening of the new club-house, and which will now be ready the 25th of March :
1. That the members of the R.V.Y.C., of the second class, subscribers of two guineas, who, being absent, do not make use of the club-house, shall continue to be members on the payment of that subscription; but, in the event of their using the club-house, they shall be subject to the payment of three guineas annually.
II. That on and after the 1st of January, 1847, all members of the R.V.Y.C., of the second class (with the exception of the above), shall pay an annual subscription of three guineas each.
III. That on and after the 24th of March, 1847, all members who may be elected in the R.V.Y.C. shall, in addition to the annual subscription, be subject to the payment, as entrance money, of five guineas.
IV. That every honorary member of the R.V.Y.C. who may use the clubhouse, shall be subject to the payment of one guinea annually; the officers of H.M. Service, locally employed, excepted.
V. That the entrance money of five guineas, to be paid on the election of members of the first class, and on and after the 24th of March, 1847, shall cover all demands for the yacht privileges—viz., Admiralty warrant, foreign certificate, signal-book, pendant-sheet, and seamen's articles.
VI. That officers in H.M. Service, in full pay, may be admitted by ballot as temporary members of the R.V.Y.C., on payment of the following subscriptions :-For six months, £2 2s.; three months, £1 11s. 6d.
The dog-stealers, it appears, have shifted their quarters, and are now doing a good business in Glasgow, above all places in the world !
EXTRAORDINARY SPORT.-On Friday, the 4th of last month, the Marquis of Blandford, Lord Huntingfield, Lord Rendlesham, and Mr. Thomas Thellusson killed, while shooting over Lord Rendlesham's estate in Suffolk, in four hours and a half, 167 redlegs, 35 grey partridges, 12 pheasants, 58 hares, 30 rabbits, and I woodcock. Extraordinary sport, certainly, if sport it be; for our own part, however, we fear it sounds a little too much on the wholesale system. A-propos here, we may say that the report of the Duchess of Marlborough's shooting without a license, which was made so much of by some of our contemporaries, has been denied upon authority.” We do not see any great sin in the act, even if it had been so, and think, if we must come to comparisons, that it is far better than playing heavily at cards, speculating in railroads, and other more ladylike habits of the kind. Nay, confining ourselves to our own proper theme-field sports—what a fine line it is to draw between one lady handling a nice light gun, another riding most determinedly to hounds, and a third breeding her own race-horses! All these pursuits are well known and received, and yet her Grace the Duchess of Marlborough is alone to suffer. In plain truth, though, it looked more like catching at a straw for some other purpose; and we hope few Englishmen will think less of an Englishwoman for the touch of Di Vernon she has shown in her character.
AN EXTRAORDINARY OTTER.--An otter of unusual size and weight was shot in the Thames, near Clewer, by Mr. George Chapman, surgeon, of Windsor. The animal was making for the bank, with a large jack alive in its jaws, when Mr. Chapman fired and killed it close to the shore. It measured from its nose to the tip of its tail between four and five feet, and weighed nearly 30lb.
STATE OF THE ODDS, &c.
THE TURF CLUB.—This long rumoured and well whispered undertaking appears at length to be coming to a trial, as the house has been engaged and preparations made for opening with the new year. The situation in St. James's Street, and next door to what once was Crockford's, is appropriate and favourable enough; while the annual subscription of ten guineas is as ample for the purpose as sufficiently moderate to warrant a long list of members. "If kept tolerably close to its title, such a club ought to be supported; but on this point we are short of information. Old habits are easily renewed in old quarters, and whether the Turf Club really will offer The Turf as its great attraction yet remains to be considered. If it does, we need not add how heartily we wish it a successful development.
“A Monkey,” or in more common parlance, £500 is the now settled sum to be added to the Epsom Spring Handicap, which closes on the first day of the new year.
We have to record the deaths of Mr. Phillimore and Mr. John Plummer: the former a member of the Jockey Club, and latterly rather a prominent man at Newmarket. Mr. Plummer, a Yorkshire Yeoman, is better known as the breeder of the celebrated mare Alice Hawthorne, Rebecca (her dam), Rowena, the Provost, Anandale, Fair Ellen, and others. His blood stock, including the old mare," are to be put up at York, on the first.
Bob Peel, by Medora, a decent runner and promising stallion, has been shipped with some young ones for Hungary, as an "acquisition" to the stud of Count Hungady.
Foig-a-Ballagh, with a very proper discretion, is announced as a stud-horse for the ensuing season. One more of the Sir Hercules sort, not worth a bunch of dog's meat after the third year's running was out of him.
A bad month for horses, and a proverbially bad month for business, bas still being going on quite as well as could be expected at such a season. Any great change or sensation would naturally be out of all custom, and accordingly the points we have to advise on must be taken rather as slight symptoms than direct attacks. The first then to suffer has been the first in the throng," the mighty Van Tromp, who, though little the worse now, has had the public feeling rather against him of late. After him, and far more in abeyance, is the Cobweb Colt, still next door to a dead letter, and with hourly indication of giving place. Then the Liberator, however forced and fancied by friends, don't go down wholesale by any means. Yet lower, Red Hart, ditto ditto in every item; and so on, "even to the end," as the almanack has it. The odds quoted may always be had with lots of choice from the layers. The only nags, in fact, really in force have been Epirote and Mr. Mostyn's two, Planet and Glentilt
, a trio about whom there has been a marked desire to invest, and whose ascendency, considering the individual merits of each, and the fashionable quarters they come from, is, we calculate, as yet hardly arrived at its limit. In other particulars, our comments must stand more as a guide to the changes and “scratching" which that intervallum since our last appearance has brought about. Imprimis, Sir Gilbert Heathcote has gazetted the following batch of titles for his Derby string :-The colt by Liverpool, out of Carolina, to be known as “ Atlantic”; the colt by Samarcand, out of Lady Sarah, as “Timour"; and the colt by Glaucus, out of Miss Wilfred, as "Bellerophon.” Sir R. Bulkeley, too, has christened his Brother to Joinville, appropriately enough, Montpensier, and he how figures in our list with that more definite mark of “distinction;" while Mr. Parr's gelding, by Muley Moloch, out of Margellina, if he even does come into the betting, will appear as “Morok.” A little bit of a mystery, moreover, has to be cleared up regarding the now Miss Martin, but quondam Miss Iris colt-by Lanercost, dam by Vol. taire, out of Miss Iris—at least so it stands in the original nomination, showing mother and son both without names; the dam, however, has since been made Miss Martin, and the sooner Mr. Mostyn fixes also on something for the produce, so much the better. Not the least useful feature in the arrangements of his predecessor, Lord George, was the almost invariable habit of giving names to horses at the time they were entered; and we think, with all due deference, the gentleman in possession might follow it up with advantage. Saddle is disqualified, from the death of his owner, Mr. Phillimore; and Severus must be struck out, having died a few days since at Newmarket.
CHESTER CUP (name or not).-50 to 1 against Crim Con, 50 to 1 against Fitzallen, 66 to 1 against Punch, 66 to 1 against Newcourt, 66 to 1 against Mickey Free, 66 to 1 against Crown Prince, 66 to 1 against Pam, 66 to 1 against the Duke of Richmond, 66 to 1 against Rufus, and 66 to 1 against Burgundy.
2000 Gs. STAKES.—6 to 1 against Glentilt.