stone; wheel all the old apple-women to the workhouse; trundle the barrows to the 'green yard ;' explode all the ginger-beer; swallow all the annual reports;' never read the Sunday newspaper - except in the Monday's edition ;'-and yet with all these professions and exertions, if you so chain your clerk to the desk, your shopman to the counter, in short, all your slaves to the oar, as to destroy the comfort of week-day life, and only release them from their bondage when you are compelled to strike off the fetters, you merely goad them to violate the word of God, and mock the spirit of Christianity. What are termed the ordinances of the Church are only applications of the Divine Law. You must take all or none. Difficulties unquestionably there are in the way; but as is most truly and powerfully remarked by Archdeacon Manning, with whose words we shall conclude,

• The habits of life are not so absolute but that a little firmness would soon throw them into a better order. Let us only resolve to "seek first the kingdom of God,” to take the cycle and the seasons of the Church as our governing rule, and to make our lives bend to its appointments. When once the Church has restored the solemn days of fast and festival, and the stated hours of daily prayer, there will be an order marked out for all men of good will to follow; and, at the last, we shall once more see this fretful, busy world checked, and for a while cast out by the presence of the world unseen. Its burthen will be sensibly lessened, and the hearts of men will have some shelter and rest to turn to in the dry and glaring turmoil of life. Then among us, as of old, men may go up in secret to the house of prayer, to make their sin-offerings, and their peace-offerings, and their offerings of thanks. No sun should then go down on sins unconfessed, or blessings unacknowledged; and if any be truly hindered, still in their own home, or by the wayside, or in crowded marts, or in busy cities, or in the fields—when the bell is heard afar off, or the known hour of prayer is come—they may say with us the Confession and the Lord's Prayer, and though far from us on earth, may meet us in the court of heaven.'— Sermons, pp. 206, 207.

Note. Since this article was paged for working off, Lord Juhn Manners has published a 'Plea for National Holidays,' in which he has taken much the same view of the question which we have attempted to advocate. Regretting that under these circumstances we cannot at this moment enter into an examination of his production, we do most earnestly recommend it to all who are interested in the welfare of the community. It is written with ability, and, what is of far more importance than ability, in an excellent spirit. May the young author he strengthened and guided in the good course which he has begun, and may others of his rank and station follow his example; for it is amongst such men as he promises to be, that the Crown will find its best defenders, the poor and needy their most sincere and steady friends.


Art. V.-IIandley Cross; or, the Spa-Hunt. London. 1843.

3 vols. 12mo. FROM the days of John Gilpin down to those of John Jorrocks

the doings of our citizens have had interest for country as well as for town. The furthest removed, whether in station or in location, like to know how the Londoners proper live-how and where they ride, fish, shoot - above all, whereabouts, and after what fashion, they hunt. Still there has always been an unworthy leaning to disparage and ridicule the prowess of the East; as if it were not hard enough in all conscience for people to be cooped up in bricks and mortar all the year, without having the slow-pointing finger of scorn proclaiming them cockneys whenever they venture forth for a breath of fresh air. “The unkindest cut of all’is, that city sportsmen are mainly indebted to city pencils and city pens for this unenviable notoriety.

The late Mr. Seymour, for instance (a thorough-bred cockney), published as many sketches as filled half-a-dozen volumes, of which the field-sports of Londoners formed the staple, and which will outlive his more elaborate productions. Nobody can resist the fun of some of these delineations—especially in the fishing and shooting departments. At one page we have a country practitioner (a jolly-looking clown in a smock-frock) about “to serve an ejectment;' that is to say, shove a smart fisherman into a river in which he is poaching; and hard by we have a City swell, with shot-belt and gun, pointing to a dead sparrow across a piece of water, and exclaiming to a plethoric pugdog— Fetch it, Prim; fetch it: vy, vot a perverse dog you are!' We have two urchins with one gun, tugging along a poodle pup by a great heavy chain ; the puller observing to the shooter-Vot vith buying powder and shot, and keeping that 'ere sporting dog, shooting 's werry expensive!' A few Numbers further on, we have a sportsman taking a deliberate aim at a Billy.goat on a bank by a cottage; while his companion, as he opens a sack, exclaims—. Make sure of him, Bob; I'm told it 's as good as wenison.' Then comes a tattered ruffian seizing a common-councilman just about to fire· Vot the divil are you shooting at through the hedge?' "'Ares!' • Them 'ere brown things arn’t hares—them's gipsy babbies!!'

Strype enumerates respectfully among the recreations of the Londoners in his own day (the reign of George I.) riding on horseback and hunting with my Lord Mayor's hounds when the common hunt goes out.' We need hardly say, indeed, that the maintenance of a pack of hounds formed a part of the expenses of many of the corporations in former times, just as the donation of purses or pieces of plate to the race meetings does at present.


his rump

But even in Strype's day the joking had begun--witness Tom D'Ursey on the Lord Mayor's field-day :

Once a-year into Essex a hunting they do go; To see 'em pass along O'tis a most pretty show: Through Cheapside and Fenchurch-street and so to Aldgate-pump, Each man with 's spurs in 's horse's sides, and his backsword cross My Lord he takes a staff in hand to beat the bushes o’er; I must confess it was a work he ne'er had done before. A creature bounceth from a bush, which made them all to laugh ; My lord, he cried, A hare, a hare! but it proved an Essex calf.'*

We like the Londoners—their joyous enthusiasm is like the hearty gaiety of a girl at her first ball, while the listlessness of many of what are called regular sportsmen resembles the inertness of the belle of many seasons. Colonel Cook, who hunted what may be called a cockney country-part of Essex-bears testimony to the excellence of their characters :

Should you happen to keep hounds,' says he, 'at no great distance from London, you will find many of the inhabitants of that capital (cockneys, if you please) good sportsmen, well mounted, and riding well to hounds : they never interfere with the management of them in the field, contribute liberally to the expense, and pay their subscriptions regularly...... Whenever I went to town I received the greatest kindness and hospitality from these gentlemen; capital dinners, and the choicest wines. We occasionally went the best pace over the mahogany, often ran the Portuguese a sharp burst, and whoo-whooped many a long-corked Frenchman !'+

Be it observed, there is a wide difference between the London sportsman and the London sporting-man. The former loves the country, and rushes eagerly at early dawn to enjoy a long day's diversion, while the latter is a street-lounging, leather-plating idiot, who feels quite unhappy off the stones. If railroads had effected no greater good, they had yet earned our eternal gratitude for diminishing, if not annihilating, that most disgusting of all disgusting animals, the would-be stage-coachman. Not that we object to gentlemen driving four-in-hand-if well, so much the better for their own necks—but we groan over those benighted youths who, while following the occupation, think it incumbent to descend to

* Pills to purge Melancholy-1719.

+ Observations on Fox-Hunting, p. 148. The derivation of cockney has gravelled our philologists. Meric Casaubon is clear for oixoyevns-not a bad bit of pedantry ;but we have little doubt it is a diminutive of coke, i. e. cook; and from the same root probably are the French coquin and coquette: for the levities and vices of the townsfolk are all associated in the primitive rustic mind with the one overwhelming idea of devotion to delicate Dr. Richardson's earliest example is from Chaucer's Reeve's Tale :

. And when this jape is tald another day,
I shall be halden a daffe (fool] or a Cokenay.'



the manners, the gestures, and the articulation of the regulars,' who touch their hats to ladies, and turn in their toes and jerk out an elbow to their male friends. There was a smart paper in a recent number of that justly popular miscellany, the New Sporting Magazine, wherein this". Sporting Tiger' is well portrayed :

The only possible mistake that may be made in judging of him by his skin may be in taking him for an opulent hookkeeper at a coach-office, or for an omnibus cad who has inherited largely. He usually wears à broadish-brimmed hat, furnished with a loop and string to secure it to his head in 'tempestuons weather, and a long-waisted dark coat, with a widish hem in lieu of a collar, and with astoundingly wideapart hindi buttons, very loose and ample in the skirts; his neckcloth is generally white, and tied so as to display as much of his poll as possible; his waistcoat is easy, long, and groomish in cut, whilst his trousers are close-fitting, short, and secured under a thick, round-toed, well-cleaned boot, by a long narrow strap. His great coat, wrapper, coatoon, pea-jacket, or whatever he may please to call it, is indescribably bepatched, bestitched, and hepocketed—constructed on the plan best calculated to afford extraordinary facilities for getting at halfpence to pay turnpikes with rapidity, and for withstanding unusual inclemency of weather in an exposed situation. He saunters about with a sort of jaunty swagger, twitching his head on one side about thrice in a minute; he carries a slight switch in his hand, with which he deliberately rehearses, as be strolls along, the outline of a severe double-thonging with which he means to surprise his team when he sets up one. What appears to interest him above all things in this sublunary scene are the family affairs of stage-coachmen, and the success or failure of the coaches committed to their charge. He would rather be accosted familiarly before witnesses by Brighton Bill than by the Duke of Wellington.'

Such figures as this used to be very familiar to all who saw the arrival or departure of The Age or The Times ;' but they are now rare. There survives, however, another and a still lower grade of London sporting-men-lower in rank-lower in everything—who tend materially to bring the fair fame of our citizens into disrepute. We allude to the steeple-chase and hurdle-race riders. We denounce the whole system. It is bad in every point of view--cruel, dangerous, and useless-cruel to horses, dangerous to riders, and useless in all its results—except, indeed, the frequent riddance it makes of fools. What can be more cruel than rewarding a noble animal who has carried his rider gallantly throughout the winter, when his legs want rest and refreshment, by a butchering race across country, without the wonted stimulus in the cry of hounds—and all for a few sovereigns sweepstake? What can be more dangerous than the pranks of a set of hotheaded youths, roused perhaps with the false courage of brandy, setting off to gallop straight across an artificially-fenced country, against captains who don their titles with their jackets, and retire


after the race into the privacy of grooms or stable-men? If it is the speed of the horse that the owner wishes to ascertain, the smooth race-course is the place for that; and as to saying that hunters must be able to go the pace,' we answer, that hounds must go even faster than they do to require the pace that steeplechases are ridden at. Every day sees the hunting countries becoming more enclosed; and it is supposing that the hedges are no impediment to the fox and hounds to say it is necessary to ride a horse full tilt,' and at score' while they are running. No doubt there are bursts, but there are few without some breathing time—and at any rate the excitement of the hounds lends an impetus to the horse, which the spur of the steeple-chaser can never supply

An amusing book might be written on the 'genuine sportsmen' of this our great city; and we heartily wish Mr. Surtees of Hemsterly Hall, Northumberland, to whom we are indebted for the volumes named at the head of this paper, would undertake the job.

We believe the Epping Hunt was taken up after the downfall of the city pack by Tom Rounding and his brother Dick. Dick died in 1813, leaving Tom, who, though now, alas ! dead too, will never die in the annals of the chase. He has been celebrated by Hood—but the greatest compliment perhaps that could be paid him was that the Epping Hunt died with him. Happy we are to think that with our editorial ubiquity we once joined the Epping Hunt. Though somewhat shorn of its glory-still Tom Rounding was there—the living likeness of George III.--the courteous host of the Horse and Groom at Woodford Wells;

• A snow-white head, a merry eye,

A cheek of jolly blush,
A claret tint laid on by Health

With Master Reynard's brush!' We know not if Tom Rounding felt the contempt that most old fox-hunters do for stag-hunting-but certainly, the day we had the honour of attending, there was not much energy in the out-ofdoors department. A stupid-looking hind, its head garnished with dingy ribbons, was uncarted before a dozen yelping unsizeable hounds, whom no exertions or persuasions of a blowsy whipper-in clad in green, with the peak of his cap turned behind to conduct the rain down his back, could induce to pack together; and after a circuitous struggle of a mile or so, hind, hounds, and horsemen found themselves at the back of the Horse and Groom-with the real business of the day yet to commence.

But Surrey was the great scene of action. Ten years ago, in that county, there were three packs of fox-hounds, one of stagVOL. LXXI. NO. CXLII.

2 E


« ElőzőTovább »