« ForrigeFortsett »
VOL. XIV.–No. LXXIX.
COSSACK, WINNER OF THE DERBY, 1847.-ENGRAVED BY E. HAC-
KER, FROM A PAINTING BY HARRY HALL, OF NEWMARKET.
« THE DOG AND DUCK."-ENGRAVED BY J. WESTLEY, FROM A
PAINTING BY G, ARMFIELD,
THE STAGE OF LIFE; INSIDERS AND OUTSIDERS; AND TRA-
VELLERS ON THE ROAD.-BY CHARLES M. WESTMACOTT
REGATTAS IN JULY.
7 Royal Yorkshire Yacht Club (at Whitby). 15 | Royal Victoria Yacht Club (Ryde).... 2
I Westminster and Eton Eight-Oar Match..
THE RACING IN JUNE,
“The horses I saw well chosen, ridden, and furnished. They were young and handsome, and of the best breed."-King HENRY THE EIGHTH.
Our last chapter of Olympics closed with a memoir of the Epsom Meeting, and we now come to a record of the royal races on Ascot Heath, which comienced, in this instant year of grace, on the first day of June. The poet-historian of the Grecian turf tells us that its celebrations partook quite as much of a political as a festive nature. Perhaps, if we had a Pindar behind the scenes at Windsor daring the Ascot week, curious revelations might come of it. Such men as Nicholas of Russia, Louis Philippe of France, and less "eminent hands,” though as subtle heads, don't cross the seas and mingle among strange people for nothing. I can well remember the mighty Muscovite on the occasion of his visit to the heath some three years ago, and his bearing had as little of a holiday character about it as could be imagined. How truly, to all ordinary seeming, hath it been said that a crown is no easy wearing! We read in our own Chapter of Kings of one merry monarch, indeed ; but training had not broken his spirit. His spring of life was passed remote from the contagion that circles the heir to a throne in the region of his infected inheritance. What a lesson on the philosophy of “pride, pomp, and circumstance," does the Peninsula furnish at this hour to the curious in king and queen craft!
But, politics apart, the royal meeting is less attractive on the score of sport than almost on any other account to which it may be turned. In the first place, it is—as appropriate, and becoming its courtly character-a full-dress assembly. « Fair women” frequent it, as it is written in the hexameter of one who understood such things well
“ Spectatum veniunt, veniunt spectentur ut ipse."
“Brave men” (as well as those not exceeding valiant) select it as the especial scene of sweethearting al fresco of this our northern Paphos. Surely, surely a terrible responsibility rests on those marchandes des modes who equip the invincibles for that campaign in which no quarter is given....
"Where men have souls or bodies, they must answer.” The cup day-what is it but a tournament of duels, sanguinary encounters, begun with the resolution that they shall terminate only in the fall of both the combatants....
Oh, Love! of whom great Cæsar was the suitor;
Titus, the master; Anthony, the slave;
Sappho, the sage blue-stocking, in whose grave
(Leucadia's rock still overlooks the wave).
And jestest with the brows of mightiest men.
Have much employed the muse of history's pen ;
Such worthies time will never see again ;
They all were heroes, conquerors, and cuckolds. “ What on earth has this to do with Ascot races?" is there any that shall ask? Wait awhile : by the grace of Cupid, you shall not die in ignorance.
It may not be the most graceful prologue to the pageant we have in hand; but still it will not be out of place to give Epsom a Parthian touch before opening our scene in Windsor's classic shades. The theme of most interest in the ring at Ascot was the unexpected default which had distinguished the Derby settling with such a bad pre-eminence. It sounds all very well and very chivalrous to denounce the poor devils that don't pay because they can't, or the finished vagabonds who decline as soon as they have made a satisfactory swindle ; but even this point of honour admits of some abatement. People have no business to bet if they can't afford it, neither. is it sound policy to discount paper at sixty or a hundred per cent. Still, the former, as well as the latter, is done, and in many cases on a similar principle. Young fellows of condition can have their bets booked at odds suited to their expectations. Lord is notoriously hard up; but they feed him in faith at Long's or Limmer's, so his wishes can be accommodated by — or --, or — at fifiy points over the market prices. Sir
has his weekly account submitted every Monday morning. The habitués of Tattersall's pronounce him unprofitable; but he picks up a youth of ambition now and then at the rooms; and late in the evening his liberal offers are entertained by some professional, off his guard—and his stint in brandy and water,
“At the corner of Conduit-street, Hanover-square.” Young Squire has absolutely repudiated, on the score of minority, or illegal contracting, or what not. His case should seem hopeless; but even for him there is refuge. He shall walk out of court, having snapped his fingers at his liabilities and a whole tribe of Levites, and anon finds an Israelite for whom the uttermost possibility of a thousand per cent. has a fascination which leads captive his prudence, even as the Egyptian did his fathers of old. Make usury your bait, and you are sure of a Jew; there are sharks among