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half-crowns, which were quite forgotten in the intense enjoyment of the journey back. The row at the Cock at Sutton ; the facetious slang of the turnpike-gate-keeper ; the frantic state of John Brown, cow-keeper, Cheam, who was quite forgetful of the large letters which proclaimed his name, residence, and occupation to all who drove behind him ; and the numerous cocked-hatted and red-coated gentlemen who performed the doll trick, and kept up a running commentary on the peculiarities of yourself or neighbours, as you backed into some ginger-beer cart behind, or ran your pole through a crowd of indescribably drunken blackguards in front of you, formed a scene which make it a happiness to have lived when George IV. was king.
Neph.—That's not all over yet, my dear uncle : people will get drunk still, on a Derby-day, in spite of the railroad and the tax upon malt; and the road, though no longer what you remember it, is not quite deserted. Besides, when one goes to race, one goes to win one's money, and not to amuse oneself with national absurdities.
Uncle S.—Then go to Newmarket. There are no women, no children, no champagne and lobster salad: nothing but racing. I can understand a young man going to Newmarket; but I never connect the Derby with horse-racing. The blue ribbon of the turf is like other blue ribbons—symbols of honour and distinction : the two always seem to have little or nothing to do with one another.
Neph.—But whatever it is, sir, surely a quiet ride in a railroad carriage is better than heat or cold, dust or rain, for twelve or fourteen miles, to finish with not seeing what you came professedly to see, and being slanged by a drunken blackguard, or run into by an omnibus conductor, and licked by his brother, a professional chicken, for remonmonstrating : to say nothing of having to prosecute or be prosecuted the next morning before a magistrate, when you ought to be sleeping off the effects of yesterday's cold veal.pie and plovers' eggs, which always do disagree with a fellow.
Uncle S.-All very well, nephew, if true ; but the facts are against you. You get no comfort at all, excepting for
of sojourn in the railway carriage. Hurrying down stairs from a halffinished meal in your bed-room, for fear the train should not wait, which it certainly will not, you are jolted in a hack cab to the station. You are in time to become in a few moments the centre of a crowd more pressing than complimentary. The doors are kept religiously shut, whilst the perspiring multitude shout and holloa at the tardy officials. At length the outer-door opens, and you are carried to the ticket-office, whence you embark with the loss of nothing but a tooth, your watch, and a coat-lap. After a journey with an ex-master chimney-sweep, a carpenter, two licensed victuallers, and an unlicensed hawker (but all gentlemen of the profession) in their Sunday clothes, you emerge upon a scene of disorder and tumult which beggars description ; and all to know whether you would like to go as one of fifteen inside of an omnibus to the course, or charter a sociable Hansom at a guinea or thereabouts for yourself. Having settled the point by walking, you enter the enclosure, and as, of course, everybody has their money on something or other, your attention is directed to the ring-tinkers, tailors, soldiers, sailors, gentlemen, journeymen, apothecaries, ploughboys, thieves! and this latter appellation happily includes the lot. Not
a sonl in the place but would rob his own parish church, if the sexton would but trust him with the key. Men, who thirty years ago were laying “ 'alf-a-guinca to a new 'at,” are now shouting in stentorian tones, “I lay agin Handover, my Lord, 7 to 2—do it in thousands”: “Wot's the hodds agin ’Ermit ?” while the noble Lord does not seem at all abashed at booking his 7,000 to 2,000 with a man whose proper occupation might have been blacking his Lordship's boots : and youngsters, such as you, my dear Charlie, who scarely know by sight the plates of a race-horse from the shoes of a mourning-coacher, think it necessary for the honour of the country to have something from ten to fifty “upon the stable ;' and even then (for I could forgive you for laying it out with a gentleman,) you must go to Commissioner D-—'s, or Commissioner H--1, because, forsooth, the professionals are the fellows that pay. It would not surprise me, if some fine morning a certain Mr. Commissioner Fonblanque had a finger in that pie.
Neph.-I hope your prejudices do not extend, sir, to Ascot? You go down to the Cup? such a Cup day as has not been heard of for years : West Australian, Virago, Stockwell
, Kingston, and Rataplan. Besides, surely your antiquated notions of propriety are not likely to be shocked there?
Uncle S.-Certainly not ; Ascot is as aristocratically stupid as the Derby is vulgarly amusing. I remember that meeting the most agreeable and charming in the world. If the Derby was the national holiday, Ascot was looked for as the most love-making festival of the seasonthe delight of the detrimentals, the horror of the match-making old women ; but that's a thing of times gone by-the stand ruined it.
Neph.-The stand ruined it? I don't understand that, my dear uncle. You have a great character for gallantry, but I think that last speech of yours would not add to your reputation. I never see anywhere such a galaxy of beauty as in the Stand at Ascot-such a display of bonnets and parasols !
Uncle S.--Exactly, my boy; and, so long as you confine your attention to bonnets and parasols, the Grand Stand will be your chief attraction. When I was your age, I had no fancy for staring at, or riggling and twisting before the apple of your eye in the garden of the Hesperides in a pink bonnet ; wedged in on one side by her gouty old father, and guarded by that dragon of an aunt on the other, whose palsied head shook itself at one incontinently, while it seemed to say—“ How dare you make love to my niece, when you know your eldest brother is as sound as a roach, and you have only £13,000 in the Three per Cent. Consols ? You ought to be ashamed of yourself.” And the bird-of-paradise plume gave a lurch which bid fair to settle it between your eyes, if you did not decamp at once. All this happens in that infernal stand. When I was a boy, every carriage was drawn up nights before on the course. No sooner was a race over, than out poured legions of well-dressed people—all the aristocracy and beauty of the island ; fine, well-formed girls, not afraid to exhibit the elasticity of their step and the lightness of their heart on the green sward ; it makes one's old blood warm again to think of it. Those were days when the poor man, if he happened to be there, got a chance of rubbing a coatsleeve against the beautiful Duchess of and had some idea of what a nobleman looked like, out of his family coach, and without his
cauliflower-headed footmen to guard him. But now the sovereigns and
Neph.—But, my dear uncle, what would you have ? Every race-
Uncle 8.—Yes! there it is again--business to be transacted! Who in the world, excepting you enlightened young gentlemen of the nineteenth century, ever cared about business on a race-course. Leave that to the men whose hearts and souls are on their horses' saddles or their own breeches-pockets; the fine old English nobleman or gentleman, who can no more help being a turfite than he can a landed proprietor, who was born one, and whose father was one before him ; or the dirty underbred snob, who, not being able to rob his customers fast enough to please himself by legitimate cabbage, has made your gullibility a short cut to opulence. What have I to do with business? I go to Ascot for pleasure ; and I say the distinguishing feature of Ascot is gone. It is business now. And her most gracious Majesty's ears (and nose) may be assailed at Ascot, as at other places, not by the loyal yells (and smells) of her loyal subjects, but by the ill-omened vulgarities of a pack of vultures, who would not even look at the royal carriage :-—"I lay agin Chaff box.” “ Do it in 'underds ?” Any gent lay agin Heagle for the Stakes ?” “ What's the hodds”.
Neph. -Just so, sir ; what are the odds, as long as you're happy ? which, by-the-bye, you don't appear to be. But stay, is'nt that the “Sporting Magazine" you've been reading? There's an article in it by Harry Hieover, just the thing for you. He's getting quite as particular as yourself. Have you read it ?
Uncle S.--I have ; and, though it requires modification, there's some truth in what he says. At all events, he errs on the right side.
Neph.- I should like to know his friend ; what a splendid ass he must be! Just give me the book, sir. Thank you. Now look at this : Harry Hieover says—“My incentive (to take up this subject) arose from the following circumstance”; and then he goes on to tell us how that, seeing a well-appointed phaeton, he made a remark on the sporting yet gentlemanly cut of the tout ensemble ; to which his friend replied, “ I'd bet ten to one that, though the owner may be a gentleman by birth, he is a blackguard in habits—did not you see that bull-dog between his knees?" Now I keep a bull-dog, so do lots of fellows just as gentlemanly in their minds as Mr. Hieover's friend, or hundreds of other persons who do not.
Uncle S.-You must not take too literally what men write on such subjects. You and I are, perhaps, incompetent judges of what Harry Hieover does write ; I believe I understand and appreciate what he means. The mistake of his friend—who is, to speak mildly, a bit of a humbug-arises from his not knowing that almost every man has his peculiarity apart from his general character, and that the mildest and
most quiet man alive might (though it would not happen often) have a highly-bred bull-dog for a pet. In fact, in the whole world, I hardly know a less sporting-looking lady than Mrs. Scribble ; yet her only pet -excepting always the young hopeful—happens to be a very neat white bull-bitch terrier. Her only reason for accepting the present arose from a totally different feeling from that which Mr. Hieover's friend would attribute to the proprietor of a slang dog. Mrs. Scribble has a taste, as you know, for high breeding. She likes well-bred CochinChinas, ponies, pigs, and people ; and, having heard that this was one of the most highly-bred terriers in England (which it is), accepted it at once. Having been debarred from its natural propensities of fighting and bull-baiting, it is an admirable house-dog and lady's walkingcompanion ; and, when asked what could induce her to have such a dog, her invariable answer is the same as my own in the stable"I don't know about her beauty, but she's one of the very highest-bred animals in England.” I have become very cautious of my abuse of any man, or, rather, in my estimate of character from any one habit or association, for I was frequently led into error ; and I know what bad judges men are of individual character generally--far worse than women. There's many an old ruffian, who swears at his wife and his servants, tells lies, robs his creditors, and has half-a-dozen illegitimate children in his neighbourhood, who tells his friends that Uncle Scribble can't be a gentleman in his mind, whatever he may be by birth, because he smokes in his dining-room. But I think I understand Harry Hieover better than you ; and, though wanting force, he has shot his arrow in the right direction. The fact is, that it requires much tact to know where slang ought to be introduced either in writing or conversation ; to suppose that it can be done away with altogether is an absurdity. Every profession has its technicalities, every country, and, I believe, every age ; I can vouch for the ancients and moderns. Neph.-If
you think you understand him, had not you better explain him?
Uncle S.—No. Let my own sins rest on my own head, and his on his. He is quite capable of doing justice to his own subject ; the only mistake about which is, that the time for it is gone by. There is very little stable-boy and coachman taste either in manner, language, or costume, with the rising generation ; it is rather the moustache-and-collar movement, the swagger and elbow-squaring of the half-fledged cornet of the onety-onth, that staggers an old gentleman as he moves along Bond-street for his afternoon stroll. In former days you were accosted by a rather closely-shaven, white-neckclothed, Jolliffe-hatted, tighttrousered young fellow, with a whip under his arm, and boots and straps à merveille, and who looked as if he had been brought into the world expressly for this suit of clothes ; they fitted him like a skin. Or, perhaps, on turning the corner of George-street or Clifford-street, there came out of Long's or Limmer's a large white coat, caped to the small of the back, and a four-in-hand whip, which saluted you with, “ Now then, Charley ; come along down the road, my boy. Holmes is ill, and I'm going down as far as Uxbridge to meet the up-load : they all think I'm the regular jarvey." But all this is gone by; the sporting man now affects the gentleman, if he isn't one: talks only of the Quorn, the Pytchley, or Lord Southampton's; and would as soon think of turning
stoker as stage-coachman. And, as to his clothes, by Jove ! they might fit the whole family, by the shape and size of them, from his grandmother downwards.
Neph.—Ah, sir, I thought I should have very little sympathy from you on a subject of this sort ! You would like to reform the sporting manners of the world yourself, and
Uncle S.-And, therefore, shall never think ill of a man that has the same object in view. There is plenty in the paper you speak of, sufficiently remarkable ; and the writer seems quite aware of it, for, to a certain extent, he deprecates the ill-wishes of a certain class of
persons-persons, I suppose, addicted to the slang which he would very properly banish from the drawing-room and boudoir, much less properly from the stable itself. The fact is, that it is already banished from all good society: a sporting man scarcely exists, excepting in combination with many other qualifications. The facilities for travelling and communication have made us more civilized and more vicious. Formerly we met the rich man, and the nobleman of high fashion, out hunting in the winter ; and while he was eating Greenwich dinners, flirting with French and German danseuses in the Haymarket, or gambling and duelling at Baden, we were improving our homes and cheering our tenants, taking care of the game and the foxes, and spudding up the plantains on the lawn. The young squires certainly acquired a vast amount of stable language, and emulated the elaborate Sunday toilette of the stud-groom. Now we are all London gentlemen. We all dine at 7.30; we meet behind the scenes at the opera, or less reputable places ; and when Lord Punterton meets us again in town and forgets us, we go home and swear, “ By- sir, I'll vote for that blackguard Hustingby at the next election. I'll see whether any lord shall know me in the country and cut me in town—by Jove, sir, I will !” We are greater snobs, but much finer gentlemen ; and we have ceased to love the language of the coach-box or the costume of the stable.
Neph.—May I ask you a question, my dear uncle? Relying as I do upon your superior judgment, pray answer me candidly.
Uncle S.-A thousand, my dear boy (much inollified of course, not being proof against soft sawder); and depend upon my answering them to the utmost of my ability, and with all sincerity.
Neph.—You admit that slang or technicalities in language are absolutely necessary in all professions ?
Uncle 8.-I do, most certainly.
Uncle 8.—Because a certain sort of language is more natural to certain persons employed in those professions than any other. not only so from long habit and custom (for the the same thing would happen if language recommenced its growth again from infancy), but it is more agreeable to others to hear people speak in the language most suited to their education and occupation.
Neph.—You think so. Then, uncle, listen to this, and explain it away if you can. In speaking of a prize fight, and the description, which is stigmatized as a low-lived, blackguard production, Mr. Hieover's friend continues :-" Now I make no objection to the doings of such brave men as Gully, Belcher, Gregson, Oliver, or the whole of the honest part of the corps, being chronicled as much as you please ; but it