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selves to be thorough-bred, and that our charioteer will not be found wanting to render the journey, at all times, pleasant, full of interest, and of importance to the traveller.
But, as the Editor has always been, and always will be, fond of "A Bit Of Good Truth," he does not want the courage to assert, that it is far from his intention to be as prim as a Puritan, or as low and saucy as a donkey boy in his travels ; yet, perhaps, a tiny bit of the Paul-pry may be seen attached to his efforts, in order to procure information; but nevertheless, he trusts that nothing of "the Marplot" will be discovered in his character. To resemble the busy bee, if possible, by " sipping sweets from every flower," but without leaving any of the sting behind him, will be one of the Editor's most decided points in the Book Of Sports, i. e. "Nothing extenuate, or set down aught in malice." In short, " Variety is our motto— every thing by fits and starts—and nothing long, dull, or prosing, to occupy our columns;" indeed, to make it a "BOOK For Every Body J" in which, topics will be introduced to interest the Duke and attract the Commoner, to please the Rich Man and afford amusement and information to the Poor One; but never to give the slightest offence, by "o'erstepping the modesty of Nature!" A book to be found welcome at all tables—a cheerful fire-side companion; and an interestingfellowtraveller, either in a post-chaise, or a stage coach. Under the Poet's idea, that "the proper study of mankind is man;" and to catch the manners living as they rise :—
"One negro say one ting, you take no offence, Black and white be one colour a hundred year hence;
And when Massa Death kick him into a grave,
So says the Editor; therefore he wishes that sadness may always be a day's march behind us; and to follow the excellent advice, given gratis by the late Lord Chancellor Erskine, "that a little mirth in this melancholy life is a good thing." Therefore, it is our intention to be merry and wise; and although we do not puff ourselves off as an Atlas, capable of carrying the world upon our shoulders, neither as strong as a Samson, who slew thousands
with the jaw bone of an ass, nor so romantic a chevalier as Don Quixote, who attacked wind-mills; yet, nevertheless, we mean to Book all the Wit that crosses our path—to note down all the Talent we meet with in our pursuits through life; and to make use of our eyes towards keeping a good look out upon all occasions, to increase our stores of amusements; that is to say, to be alive to all the movements of the Sporting World ; to
Chant the pleasures of sporting, the charms of a race, And ne'er be at fault at a mill or the chace.
To be awake at the Theatres, in order to perpetuate the doctrine of our immortal Bard, "to hold, as it were, the mirror up 'to Nature;" and be able to show our passport, if required, at the turnpike-gate of Knowledge, as to an acquaintance with society in general—
Fortune in men has some small difference made.
One flaunts in rags, one flutters in brocade;
The cobler apron'd, and the parson gown'd,
The friar hooded, and the Monarch crown'd.
"What differ more (you cry), than crown and cowl?"
I'll tell you, friend, a Wise man and a Fool!
If then, in the recital of our Anecdotes, we cannot prove ourselves as funny as Jack Reeve, we will endeavour to keep him in our eye, as an excellent model to produce mirth and laughter: also, if it is not within our grasp to tell our Stories like Liston, to keep our readers continually on the broad grin; nevertheless, we will put as comical a face upon the subject as our capabilities will allow us to do; and lastly, though not the least, in the Court of Momus, if we should not be able to give that sort of pith and strength of humour by way of illustration to our Tales, like the much-admired, irresistible comedian, Charles Mathews, we shall exert ourselves to be as near " At Home," as possible; or, in other words, no exertions shall be wanting on our part (if we cannot command it), to deserve success. We now start for the winning-post, with a sketch of real life:—
THE SWELL DRAGSMAN OF "THE "AGE!"
Or, in plain English, a well-dressed Stage Coachman; but the character of the thing must be preserved—and a driver of four 'good tins' ought not to be described with any thing like the gravity of a parson, whose "good ones" are of another guess sort; therefore, if a 'tiny bit' of slang now and then should pop out, it must only be considered in keeping with the picture.
His late Majesty, King George the Fourth, when Prince of Wales, could 'push along,' keep moving, with his four ' nonesuches,' and give the 'go-by' to all his nobles like fun; indeed, the Prince was the delight of all the jockies and coachmen in the kingdom; but amongst the grooms, huntsmen, and whippersin, at Brighton, Windsor, Newmarket, &c., he was their idol. His late Majesty had always a taste for driving, and very much attached to the turf. Not very long before he died, he asked one of his grooms, with whom he was conversing on the subject of his racing stud—" Well," said the King, "and what do they say of me at Newmarket ?"— "What do they say of your Majesty," replied the groom, "why they say that you are the most varmint of 'em all, and they wish that '.hey had you back again at Newmarket." The phrase " varmint" was a cant term in the days of the merry monarch Charles II., and was frequently used when speaking of him.
The late high-minded, splendid, Duke of Bedford, who never stood still at trifles, but got over the ground with all the ease of a bowling-green, with a 'turn-out' worthy of one of the highest rank in the peerage, was also considered a first-rate coachman; and likewise the never-to-be-forgotten Squire Mellish in the sporting world—who would not be second to any body, or at any thing—a first-rate charioteer, and nothing else, upon all occasions—with 'neck or nothing' for his motto—galloping up and down the Brighton hills, with all the playfulness of style and ease of manners, like the best bred gentleman in a ball-room. I think I see him now on a Race Course, surrounded by characters of the first rank in society, communicating life and spirits to the circle; indeed, he was a 'magnificent' fellow on horseback; a complete hero on the box ; and an ' out-and-outei' in every other point of view upon the Turf, and all the et ceteras belonging to it; and, I take him for all in all,' I have seen nothing like the late Squire Mellishsince thatfoetothe human race, Death, placed him under it. And last, though not least in the ' Scale of Merit' in the whip line, the present venerable Sir John Lade, bart., the father of the drivingschool for gentlemen. The ease and elegance displayed by Sir John in handling the reins, was quite a picture to the admirers of good coachmanship—his eye was precision itself, and he was distinguished for driving to an inch. Sir John's memorable wager of driving through a gate only wide enough to admit his carriage, almost with the rapidity of lightning, two-and-twenty times in succession, and scarcely allowing himself room to turn round, sets this matter of fact at rest:— such a superiority of command had the once gay, dashing, baronet over his high-bred cattle. This will account, in some degree, for the Brighton road having been conspicuous
for upwards of the last fifty years for first-rate coachmen; indeed commoners, mere whipsters, would not have been able to have kept their seats, but have been voted, by the visitors of this splendid watering place, of 'no use,' and compelled to retire from the stage.
The late George Simcock, as the term goes now-a-days, was a ' rum one to look at,' but a 'good one' to get over the heavy ground on the Forest as light as he could, by keeping his leaders to their work, and also making the wheelers do their duty; indeed, George was admitted to be a sound, practical coachman, and the lives of his passengers were considered safe under his protection ; and a truly facetious fellow into the bargain. He had a tale for every body on the coach, and one or two to spare for his friends in the evening, when he left his coach to 'blow a cloud,' take his glass, and keep the 'game alive,' until the hand of the clock pointed out to him it was time to ' rack up' for the night, and also that coachmen, like other folks who have business to look after, must go to roost. George had a great many merry little 'dodges' belonging to his character— and was a great favorite both up and down the road. The gentlemen passengers he caused to laugh heartily at his comical jokes; and the fair ones to smile, but not to blush; his wit was always so well wrapped up; George being a family man, and fully aware of the necessity of 'keeping the line.' But it was a perfect treat to hear him get the Johny Raws 'in a string,' by telling them to have a care of the phantasmagoria sort of sights, which would stare them full in the face at every turn in the metropolis. 'The London ghosts are a queer set of chaps,' said George, 'and very likely to make your teeth chatter again, if you only look at them; but, if you touch them, it is all up with you ; therefore, I say, be on your guard. Why, you would scarcely believe it, that a friend of mine, a very strong countryman, who had the hardihood to tackle one of those nothing sort of things, as he thought, to his great surprise, during the struggle for victory, every hair of his head became as thick as a broomstick.' The passengers, in general, were laughing from the beginning of their journey to the end of it; and the whole of them felt sorry when George touched his castor, and said, "The coachman!"—"Remember the coach man!" said a gentleman one day, "d—n the fellow! I shall never forget him. I shan't get my jaws right again for some time, they have been so widely extended with laughing during the journey."
"Why," said George, to a country fellow who expressed his astonishment at Simcock's lingo, " when you have been as long upon the stage as I have, you then, perhaps, may see as many strange sights as I have seen."— "Lord ! Measter Simcock," replied the Johnny Raw, "What, have you ever been upon the stage; one of those strolling player sort of chaps that go about the country living by their wits? I never heard of it before, I declare."—." Yes," answered George, "to be sure I have; and performed a great many parts it. my time: don't you see I am on the stage now." -" Lord, so you, be Mcaster Simcoch," said the yokel, "how droll I.-- well, I never thought of that before. You really are such a funny fellow, it is worth all the fare only to keep you company up to London." It is well known that poor George Simcock was the delight of that stage on which he exercised his talents; but, like other great actors, with all his knowledge and care, he suffered 'Old Death' to get the whip-hand of him, and who compelled George to quit his box against his will, and also to laugh on the other side of his mouth. It is also true that his place has been supplied; but his box has never since been filled by any of his successors, like the original 'rum one.' No, indeed; 'no more like my father than I am to Hercules.'—Peace to his manes!
Sum Goodman and 'the Snows' were well known on the Brighton road as first-rate coachmen—safe drivers—prime cattle—with elegant turn-outs, and gentlemanly behaved men in every point of view, long, very long, before the late Harry Stevenson had ever entertained the slightest notion of mounting the box as a coachman for hire, and becoming a competitor with the above experienced dragsmen. In fact, it might almost have been observed that the road, which they had passed over so many years with credit to themselves and satisfaction to their passengers, exclusively belonged to them; they were so punctual to their time, did their business like clock-work, and civil and attentive to all their patrons, that nothing, it was thought, would have had any chance with them, they played their parts so well upon the stage. For months together were Goodman and Snow seen driving up to London and down again to Brighton every day, actually performing six hundred and twenty-four miles in the course of every week, regardless of wind and weather, and in opposition to clouds of dust, storms of hail and rain, and violent tempests of thunder and lightning. Indeed, it was the general opinion of the inhabitants of Brighton that any thing like an opening for a new coach was entirely out of the question; that Sam Goodman, as the punsters had it, was nothing else but a 'good' man; indeed, his points were all good. He was lively in conversation—full of anecdote—anxious to give satisfaction to all parties; and Sam could handle subjects in general with as much ease and freedom as he handled his reins. And although the quotation of Shakspeare might be made use o' against his opponent Snow—" Wert thou as chaste as ice, or as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny," yet, nevertheless, he stood equally in favor with the visitors to and from Lon
don; and, in spite of a hot burning sun at times, and during the melting moments of summer, yet Snow was always to be seen as a fixture upon his box, completely unchanged in his duty towards his passengers and his horses. The obstacles thus thrown in the way of Stevenson to deter him from the attempt of starting a new coach at Brighton had not the desired effect; he thought otherwise, and therefore with the advice of his friends—he " took the road."
Stevenson, it appears, had received his education at Cambridge; but, notwithstanding the degrees he had taken at that celebrated seat of learning, prudence and economy were not amongst them. He soon got rid of his patrimony in mixing with society, and "keeping it up," as other swells of his acquaintance were wont to do. Harry Stevenson was ultimately " told out." The treasury became empty; and it was with him, " pockets to let, unfurnished." "He eould not beg," and "to dig he was ashamed;" to become a clerk, or to stand behind a counter, were ideas too groveling to be adapted to the taste of a ci-devant gentleman! Yet something must be done to make the pot boil: breakfast was absolutely necessary to keep up an appearance in life ; dinner he could not dispense with; a cup of tveankey, and a muffin, were equally essential to prevent the human frame from decay; and supper, by way of winding up the day, a most important feature in the history of man's career. A glass of grog also wanting to keep up the spirits—a cigar to cogitate over as to future events—or a bottle of wine to make the " wisit pleasant," if the funds and numbs could procure it. The stage then was the only thing that struck his fancy, as the readiest road to preferment and riches; or, pernaps, a more humble phrase might better elucidate the matter, namely, "to keep the wolf from the door." In this dilemma—this state of nothingness—Stevenson was too highminded to perform the character of Sponge, although a living must be prooured for him some how or other. He was considered a crack gentleman driver—the hero of the tale— amongst all his pals who could " toolajervy," and also voted by them "a proper marvellous man" to appear before the public in the personification of a regular dragsman. Tin practicability of the thing was canvassed by all his immediate friends—the points well considered—and the result—that Harry Stevenson should make his debut not in a box at the opera, with an eye-glass to stare his way into elegant society amongst the Corinthians, but upon the box of a stage-coach, with a whip in his hand, to persuade the horses that they had a master behind them ; and likewise to obtain the good opinion of (whom, all in public or in private worship) The Town?
His noble pals, fellow-collegians, and sprigs of nobility, were fully acquainted with the doctrine and advantages laid down by the late Lord Chesterfield, that a prepossessing appearance is every thing in Society—therefore, in order to heighten the debut of Stevenson upon the stage, directions were given for a new drag to be made by the best workmen, calculated to "take the shine" out of every thing on the road. His tits, as fine as stars, possessing the qualities of race horses for speed, blood, and bone, with harness tasteful in the extreme, and placed on the prads with as much studied attention and care as the diamond necklace round the lovely alabaster neck of a beautiful duchess, or the gold chain upon the most handsome countess in the world, to attract admirers; and then the coachman, to correspond, or rather to harmonize, with the whole, a complete Pelham in his walk of life; his dress was good, and his address of the same quality: his manners mild and interesting; his figure slight, but carrying with it the air of a gentleman, and his " pickers and stealers," as the classic might call them; his fingers and hands, as the sober sort of folks would term them; or, as the sporting men would have it, his "bunch of fives," were protected from the inclemency of the rude elements by " white kid gloves."
No "petted" race horse was ever brought to the starting post in better Trim than the late Henry Stevenson; indeed, he was ushered upon the stage under patronage of the very first quality, a young honorable, the son of a very eloquent nobleman in the House of Louis, placing himself by his side on the box, the roof of the coach also covered with several young gentlemen connected with some of the highest families in the kingdom. The stare of the crowd was completely gratified; his cad (or assistant) also better attired than usual, to keep the unison of things perfect, who placed the boxes, and handed up the passengers. Stevenson paying no other attention but to his horses, and when the signal was given "all right," his start was a first rate thing altogether—a Taglioni movement: and he handled the ribbons with as much ease and confidence as Paganini when playing one of his favorite solos on the violin; he likewise held up his prads compact, firm, and coachman-like, and he left Castle Square, Brighton, triumphantly; he turned the corner of North Street like a charioteer; he was upon the London Road in a twinkling, and almost out of sight before you could utter "Jack Robinson!" The spectators crying out, in the words of Goldfinch, "That's your sort."
He had scarcely made his appearance on the stage, as an actor, before he became a great favourite with " the Town :" in fact, he was immediately patronized by all the beaus and belles as one of the " great creatures " of the Age in which he lived, when the capabilities of a stage-coachman became the theme of discussion. Stevenson was quite a feature up and down the road; "mine hosts " were all "cap in hand" to him when he pulled up at their doors; and the good-natured smiling
hostesses always greeted him with a kindly welcome; and the dashing bar maids looked "unutterable things," in favor of the gentleman dragsman. The " fine women" from the metropolis' would always go with Stevenson, he was such a nice, kind, genteel, obliging, coachman; and the Corinthians, and better sort of folks, would always book with him for the sake of being in " good company."
But, notwithstanding the above high flights of patronage of the "young swells," who were always upon the tout for him, united with the smiles and interest of some of the best dressed and most attractive females of the day, yet Harry Stevenson, nevertheless, had his "work" to do; it was an Herculean task to attempt to get the best of such bang up drivers—" old stagers on the road from boys to manhood." It was true—he had pictured to himself the accomplishment of "great things," but it was scarcely possible to achieve any thing like improvement in the Coach Department, every portion of which was so well done on all sides. Stevenson, however, was resolved upon making a dash—to try the question, at all events, he was determined; when he was immediately viewed as a dangerous rival by the " old uns;" his exertions to produce novelty were scanned with jealousy; and all his movements were watched with the most scrutinizing eyes by his knowing opponents. Sam, the pleasant, much respected Sam Goodman, was always a fast coachman; Snow (the good-natured, jolly fellow, fond of life and all the good things attached to it, in his business) was equally on the alert to keep " his time," nay, to get in before the appointed minute: indeed, all the dragsmen were on the look out to be placed any where on the list by the proprietors, except the Inst! They were all "quick chaps," and every one of them endeavoured to make their grads put their best legs foremost to get over the ground with all the celerity of ten miles an hour. There was nothing like dozing to be witnessed on the boxes, nay, on the contrary, they were compelled to be "wide awake," in order that they might not give half-a-chance away likely to be turned to good account by their learned; accomplished, and leary rival, who was anxious to stand very high in the opinion of the public.
Although it should seem that Stevenson's box was not exactly a " bed of roses" to his feelings, but rather a difficult place to be firmly seated upon ; yet there was a certain "sort of style" about his conduct that caused him to be attractive in his line:—" the GenTleman Coachman!" The most perfect stranger could not view Stevenson with indifference, either when standing by the sides of his horses, or seated upon his " box:" indeed, the appellation of "the gentleman coachman," is such that few men can obtain the name, without it is attached in an eminent degree to their personal requisites as to stamp the character: gentility of demeanour is uct one of those common-place sort of things to be assumed at will by every body; neither is it to be put on with as much ease and indifference as the stage coachman puts on his upper tog when the rude elements assail his outward man. The "smart fellow" is another sort of appearance in the eye of the critic; "the good-looking man" a different caste altogether, to the common observer of men and manners; and the "dashing, knowing sort of driver," who has crept up by degrees to obtain a seat upon the box, and a good suit of clothes into the bargain, is considered to partake more of the swaggering qualities of human nature, in the mind's eye of the painter, than any thing like the idea of conveying the portrait of " a gentleman."
The remarks which took place as Stevenson passed up and down the road from London to Brighton, were often extremely amusing to the passengers, of which the following wellknown anecdote, perhaps, will suffice: two London costard monger's, with their donkeys, who were selling their turnips and greens at the door of a gentleman's house at Streatham, when "the Age" stage coach passed by them, gave birth to the under-mentioned dialogue. "My eyes, Jem," said one of them to his pal, " only look out, did you ever seesich a heavy load of swells in your natural life time before? I never did." "Vy," answered the other dealer in apples, &C., "that ere is nothing new to him; his drag is always crammed both inside and out with the tip-top sort of customers; and as to the beautiful female women he brings along with him, lord bless their pretty faces, it does one good to look at them, I never saw sick pictures of flesh and blood since I was out of my eggshell! I should like to know as how where they grows sich handsome things. That ere Stevenson is a lucky sort of chap. He has got all the top sawyers in a string! I should like to take a leaf out of his Book—it would be vorth having at any price, that's vot it Voud." "Vy, Jem, I will tell you to a nicety how he does it; you might come over the folks i' the same sort of vay if you voud'n't be so independant—veil then, listen to me, you see ciwility costs nothing, and he has got a bag full of it, and which he always takes with him every journey that he goes; and he pulls it out as he vants it; he gives a. hand full of ciwility to some of his customers, and a hat full to others, just as they will stand it; therefore, do you see as how if you will play your cards with as much judgement as the swell dragsman does, you are sure to vin the game, and no mistake.'
The following outline of Stevenson, written by ourselves, under the designation of" Bill Put-'em-along," in the "Finish to the Adventures of Tom, Jerry, And Logic;" and which appeared during the lifetime of SteVenson: we therefore extract it towards the completion of his character, and for the amusement of our readers:—
"Our hero now mounted the box, along with Bill Put-'em-along, who was every thing but a dummy; in fact, originally, he had been intended by his relatives to sustain the sacred functions of a clergyman; and accordingly he had received his education at one of the colleges at Cambridge. What progress he had made in his studies during his novitiate to obtain the character of a 'learned Pundit,' had never been a subject of argument amongst his fellow-collegians; but for a trotting match, as a good shot, and as an amateur whip, they would back him to 'push along, keep moving, and to get over the ground,' against most of the stage coachmen of the day. His papa and mamma had long been called to that 'bourne from whence no traveller returns;' and he was left wholly to the guardianship of a rich old uncle. A 'good living' was also in store for him, when he arrived at a proper period of his life to conduct it with propriety and rectitude. The least thing Bill partook of at College was learning, it being the most troublesome. He could much sooner dispose of a bottle or two of Champagne, than descant upon the Elements of Euclid; mount his tit with greater celerity than quote a passage from Virgil; and make use of the gloves with more tact than expatiate on the beauties of Pa Ley. Bill never expected preferment in the Church —to become a Dean never entered his thoughts—to be made a Bishop, quite out of the question; and as to filling the high situation of an Archbishop of Canterbury, it was visionary in the extreme. Therefore, severity of Study did not belong to his book—he turned over the leaves of the Racing C» Lender with pleasure and profit; and noloil down the ODDS at Tattersall's several times with an interesting account: and' in the true spirit of the thing, Bill often used to give it as a matter of taste amongst his brethren of the gown, when enjoying the 'gaily circling glass,' during the hours of relaxation at College. 'For my money,' said he, 'I'll have Doncaster for BooK-i/ig- against Cambridge; for NoB-work, I'll bet odds Epsom in preference to Oxford; and for Readers, NewMarket 50 to 1 against both the schools of St. Paul's and Westminster. Ten Ponies on York, for the production of scholars, as to knowledge and calculation, against all the deep studies acquired at Eton; and Ascot, delightful splendid Ascot, for pedigree, bottom bone, and blood, ' all to nothing' against the 'training' at the Charter-house!
"Put-'em-along, it was soon discovered preferred the range of the world, to the con fined state of the closet, and he was deter mined to risk his fortune upon the Grand Theatre of Life, rather than stick to the ' old musty, fusty rules of College.' He soon rea through his patrimony; the advice of his uncle had not been attended to, and Bill felt quite satisfied that the 'good living' was completely out of sight; something must be