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ditary Grand Duke of Saxe Weimar, his Royal Highness Prince George, his Serene Highness the Prince of Leiningen, and his Serene Highness Prince Edward of Saxe Weimar; the third, the Duchess of Sutherland, the Lady in Waiting, the Viscountess Canning, Baron de Brunow, the Russian Minister, and the Duke of Norfolk; the fourth, the Duchess of Bedford, the Countess of Assenburg, the Duke of Wellington, and the Duke of Bedford; the fifth, the Marchioness of Normanby, the Viscountess Palmerston, Count Revel, the Sardinian Chargé d'Affaires, and Admiral de Lutke; the sixth, the Lady Caroline Leveson Gower, the Hon. Misses Dawson and Stanley, maids of honour in waiting, and the Marquess of Abercorn; the seventh, the Marquis of Normanby, Viscount Palmerston, Marquis Provenzali, and the Count de Beust; the eighth, Lady Augusta Bruce, Le Baron Serge Fréedericksz, Baron Zigesar, and the Lord in Waiting, Lord Camoys; and the ninth, Le Conseiller d'Etat Haurowiz, Lord George Lennox, and the Groom in Waiting, Major the Hon. Alexander Hood. Lord Alfred Paget (clerk marshal), , equerry in waiting, Colonel the Hon. Charles Grey (in waiting on the Grand Duke Constantine), and Captain the Hon. A. H. Gordon (equerry in waiting on Prince Albert), were on horseback. On entering the Royal Stand, and presenting herself at the window, her Majesty was again hailed with renewed cheers. She was evidently in the highest spirits, and cheerfully participated in the amusements of the day, not even omitting the popular plan of drawing sweepstakes, the decision of which evidently
created a good deal of amusement. During the day the Duke of Wellington and several of her Majesty's guests were seen walking in the saddling enclosure, examining the horses with great interest, and the former receiving that meed of popular admiration to which he is so justly entitled. His Grace looked remarkably well, and if the vigour of his body is diminished, the fire of his eye is still as brilliant as ever. That noble patron of the turf, the Marquis of Normanby, was cheerfully recognized. In the course of the day, the great prizes were exhibited the Queen's Vase in the Stewards' Stand, and the Emperor's Cup and Hunt Cup in the saloon of the Grand Stand, each in turn eliciting approbation. Everything adjusted, precisely at the hour appointed, the bell rung for the first race.”
Thus much for the official and social details of the courtly circle : now a word about a circle by no means remarkable for the high bearing of its members, or the courtliness of its manners—the Ring. There was a growling on part of the profession against Mr. Hibburd, because he had provided better arrangements for the general convenience than the coterie desired. Exclusiveness is found to answer so well in town that the commission men and dealers on their private account were anxious to secure all the country custom also. This was demurred to, and ample range and space enough were provided for all to negotiate who should be so disposed. After growling like bears, the discontented were fain to put up with what they couldn't remedythe same luck to them twice over, every day they open a bettingbook.... The Trial Stakes were run off almost immediately after her Majesty's arrival. Four went, and the favourite-7 to 4 on--hight Prussic Acid, won in a canter by a length. A sweepstakes of 50 sovs. each for three-year-olds—the New Mile-brought ought a trio; but it was not as the talents would have it. They laid even on Dr. Goodall; while Mr. Harvey Combe's colt by The Nob, out of Premature....(why will not gentlemen give their steeds names of any kind ? a nomenclature as eccentric as that in favour once with Lord George Bentinck were better than none at all) won with all ease by a couple of lengths. Racers will run, it is well known, in all manner of forms; and certainly this son of The Nob came to the post on a pair of fore legs that one would never wish to see out of Smithfield, or ever in it. Her Majesty's Vase came next-a trophy all elegance and sterling worth—and eight saddled to contend for the hononr and profit of its possession. The “play,” as they call the hardest part of the work on the turf, was made by Jericho; and it was not till they skimmed the last turn that The Hero went up and won by a head; just on the post Bridle beating Jericho for second by a neck. They insisted in the ring and other places of authority that it was a very severe effort for The Hero ; but a little bird whispered me that old John's orders to his son Alfred were to take especial care of his turns, and to win by as little as he could, so as to be safe. I wonder did my feathered friend tell the truth ?....A Produce Sweepstakes of 50 sovs. each for three-year-olds—the Old Mile-1
-run a match between the Son of the Nob, as aforesaid, and Crozier—the former won with all ease by a couple of lengths. Here a net £750 was earned in a couple of hours by an animal that on its shapes would not fetch £25 at Tattersall’s. The Ascot Derby gave us another match, with Conyngham and another anonymous courser of Mr. Combe's, by Sir Hercules, out of Harmony. The former was the winner without putting himself beyond an easy canter. The Welcome brought seven to the post, Red Hart winning cleverly by a length. Miami was at 6 to 4 against her ; but she got more than a 6lbs. penalty beating. The pace, however, was very telling. The Ascot Stakes a very rich affair-broughtouta very considerable field; though fifteen in an entry of 125 was not more than might have been expected by the handicapper. Woodpigeon was “ boots" in the ring, 15 to 1 being the odds against him; but he was first at last, though it was a near thing, for he won only by a neck, having all but stopped when his jock sought to make him win by as little as might be convenient. The sport was wound up by a Two-year-old Sweepstakes, three runners, 5 to 2 on the winner—Glendower, who finished first by four lengths in a canter. The royal party left the course at the conclusion of the race for the Ascot Derby, hailed by similar expressions of love and loyalty as those which greeted its arrival.... Apart from the dust, all was perfect : it was a summer holiday in the letter and the spirit. ...
Wednesday, bright and balmy, and a bumper of sport, was still an off-day-in all that regarded a pageant. There was a fair amount of company, indeed, referentially considered, but no crowd-not even a thick sprinkling. I learnt, soon after reaching the heath, that Jolin Day, jun., had been attacked with delirium, arising, it was stated, to over-excitement at Epsom and at Danebury, in consequence of matters connected with his stable, and at Derby." He had been sent home, and subsequently recovered rapidly. There can be no doubt that as
a trainer he is now making ample amends for certain malefactions
All the business arrangements were as perfect as though they had been set before a kingdom of kings. The racing began with a Produce Sweepstakes of 50 sovs. each, for two-year-olds; T.Y.C.; 3 subscribers; and ran a match which Reflection-out of the Goodwood stable—won in a canter. The Swinley was then walked over for by the victorious Cossack ; though Doctrine was weighed and saddled for the field. The Fern Hill Stakes for two and three-year-olds, brought out nine ; and a very pretty race ended to the advantage of Christopher by a head. This brought us to the most sporting event of the day, the Royal Hunt Cup, handicap ; 57 subscribers, and 25 starters. There was a great deal of betting in small figures, and a great deal of spirit about the action—as all that relates to hunting should present. The course is the New Mile, up which the cavalry charged in awful array. It is impossible to say what was making running, or, rather, what was not ; they ran all at it as hard as they could crack. The final rush on the post (as the phrase goes) placed Tragical first, by a neck ; a four year old, with 6st. 12lb. on him. Here was another handsome sum won by a steed, under other circumstances little likely to pay. The Coronation Stakes came off a match between Cosachia and Miami (71b. extra); the first the winner, of course. This was £700 for Lord Exeter : a large amount, looking to his existing circumstances. The Windsor Stakes (72 subscribers) brought to the post nine. Mathematician—of whose form so much was said at Epsom—was booked certain for this prize ; but Mr. Martin was the winner, a clear length before Ziska—the favourite a length behind the mare. There were three Leger nags in the Windsor Stakes, of which Mr. Martin was the best by long odds. A Sweepstakes of 10 sovs. each, for all ages except two-year-olds, was won by that sheer good old one—for a short journey—the Bishop of Romford's Cob. Lord Exeter claimed him, and he will find him a useful servant. The Windsor Town Plate--another T.Y.C. affair-Lord Exeter carried off with Tanais ; beating Evenus and seven others. This brought a long list to an end, and a day's work that was not unprofitable to the fielders.
Thursday, the Cynosure of the meeting, was as brilliant as if it had been ordered for the occasion. There was a sunlight supreme, and a breeze fresh and fragrant as a Zephyr's love sigh—that's a pretty conceit, that “ Zephyr's love sigh.” Betimes London was astir; for many had resolved to take the road in preference to the rail—where last year, as regarded the Great Western starting-point, there was as much annoyance as the most prepense pleasure-party could expect. Some went by the South Western to Woking, and thence eight or nine miles through an uninhabited region, by a wild “ diggings,” yclept Chobam, reached the heath, without touching the Slough of abomination, for dust and devilry. We will suppose the achievement over, and the tryst won by
noon or thereabouts. The course was already densely peopled : equipages-alas that it must be written !—many removes beneath the average of other days, occupied it five and six rows deep, for three parts of a mile at the least ; but at Ascot, carriages only make rank on the side of the running-ground opposite to the stands. These stands, at a more mature hour—from the Royal, the Grand, the Stewards’, downwards to ricketty wooden contrivances, of the style of architecture common to the itinerant mansions of Punch and Judy—were all filled. The crowd was wonderful : how they all got there, to say nothing of how they got back again, was a miracle. Yet with all this, and more to be told yet, Ascot was not itself. Its once peerless promenade is no more! There was a time when the highest and the fairest of fashion's daughters were wont to ramble adown its course, what time the intervals between the races allowed them occasion, to witch the world with noble courtesies. That is now among too many of those pleasant passages whereof men speak and write in the past tense. Now the promenade is confined to the lawn around the grand stand ; a few of the ultra party incidentally lounging about the enclosed ground of privilege-beneath the Royal and the Stewards' stands. We demanded the cause of one, curious in such problems. “Because of the mob," quoth he. " But whence the mob?" we pursued. “ The sweeps have done it all," was his reply. Did he mean by that plebeian monosyllable the raff-or the raffle?
There was a report current about the hour of noon that Lord Exeter had bought The Hero ; but either it was premature, or altogether a fable. It would have been odd had the Danebury champions fought together as mercenaries—both for strangers, as paid subsidiaries. Soon after noon the word went forth “ The Queen is coming !" and the course was partly cleared for the gorgeous cavalcade. The procession was similar to that of Tuesday, with the addition of more carriages ; the queerest-looking being the French char-a-banc, in which the noble insides sat packed more with regard to space than elegance. Her Majesty was welcomed with every demonstration of English respect and good-heartedness ; and she acknowledged the loyal greeting with an urbanity and a grace every inch a monarch’s"--or that ought to incline a crown. The courtly circle, too, looked more courtly than on the first day : everything was en grande tenue. The noble Master of the Buck-hounds rode a palfrey, whose action seemed calculated to “ chip the moon,” as the dealers have it. Ribbons and orders were as rife as on a birth night. Fashion-whose most becoming mode is always in the present tense-never attired her high priestesses more bewitchingly: beside that custom of carrying bouquets as big as besoms is ravishing, nothing can be more enchanting-except, indeed, the nosegays were increased in their limits to the size of full grown and blown horse-chesnut tree. Turning from the court to the cockney costumes : immense was Finsbury-square--superhuman the ward of Cheap and Clapham-rise. Judging from the samples set out at Ascot, the Mansion-house next Michaelmas will be a place that every man should eschew, who would avoid selfslaughter. There was a sky-blue bonnet, a frock of orange silk glacé (the only gelid bit of the ensemble), and a rose-coloured visite, that effectually demolished our peace of mind from the hour we saw it to the present. Then the dresses were worn not quite so long, as they have too long been wont: a blessed change ! promising once more to restore
mankind to a practical knowledge of that most delicate simile of Suckling
“ Her feet, beneath her petticoat,
As if they feared the light.” To be sure the carriage and step of your city dame is not very remarkable for timidity; but how was a woman to let you know the symmetry of her ancles, if as superfluously swathed as an Egyptian mummy? The male portion of the Orientals was as ill got up as usual. How can they expect to be dressed like human beings, if they will persist in paying for their clothes? There is about as much chance of getting a coat, having claim to the name, from a ready-money tailor, as páté de foie gras at an eighteen-penny ordinary. How can a coat be a credit to any one who pays for it? These scarecrows, however, acted as useful contrasts to give us the just effect of so much that was in undeniable pomp and august circumstance. Imagine the clerk of the course riding about his proper business followed by a groom with a cockade in his hat like any other field officer ! but such was the fact, and the effect was unusually fine. Thus was the pageant of the Cup day put before an admiring company-or rather thus to the best of a most imperfect description ; to be au fait of the brilliant ceremonial it must have been witnessed and partaken of. One wonders whether the sight served the philosophy of the imperial and royal visitors of the sovereign of that free festival. It is true, princes are not proverbial for an aptness to receive advice; but seeing is said to be believing, or, to speak more elegantly
Segnius irritant animos admissa per aures,
Quam quæ sunt oculis submissa fidelibus ;" which hints to us that we let theory alone, and proceed with our narrative-" leave off your
d- -ble faces and begin. The racing, then, began very close upon the kibes of half-past one. The first encounter was for the Queen's Plate, the course “ ncarly three miles," according to the calendar-Why don't they say how near ? Three went for it, the winner-Footstool-being backed at 6 to 4, It was a very indifferent spectacle—bad pace, bad company. The New Stakes-the most interesting of the summer two-year-old races--with 49 subscribers, sent one to the post at 2 to 1 on him. The field consisted of seven : the contest, of Assault—the favourite-taking the lead, keeping it, and winning as he thought fit by a length, He was twice as good as anything in the list, and should he come to the post for the next Derby, with Flatcatcher and Beverlac for aids de camp, I should not like to enter the lists against him, and back my prospects. They took 15 to 1 at the conclusion of his devoir, that he won at Epsom; but the race is not always to the swift...... To this very interesting passagefor legs--succeeded the great event of the day-the struggle for the Emperor of Russia's Plate, nominally worth £500, but looking of twice that value at the least estimate. It also commanded seven champions, but not of the doughty cavalry that erst have stripped for it. The Hero—still honest John's Hero--and Mendicant-no longer Mr. Gully's belt-bearer, were at 6 to 4 about each, and nothing else favoured; Sting, *
* What a " mistake” there must have been about the trial between The Hero and Sting antecedent to the Leger! Alfred Day, who rode the family horse, said Sting was a stone the best!