cates with a fair amount of correctness the anxious at all hazards to make ameuds for mode of life which those who are included his former abstinence. From the saloons under the category of the middle classes of Whitehall to the booths of Moorfields of society were wont to lead. Change the or Smithfield the gambling mania raged. scene of the action, substitute one locality Many a man of fashion literally passed the for another, the Mall in Hyde Park for whole of his life at play for the highest Marrowbone Gardens, St. James's for stakes that aoy one could be found to play Spring Gardens or the Folly, and the life with him, doing nothing else but gaming in such was only in a few respects dis- from the time he left his bed until the similar. Is it to be supposed that the time he stepped into it again. The life of people were not influenced by the example many another man was a continual alterof the court? Is it to be supposed that nation between poverty and wealth, winthey were less addicted to the pursuit of ning one day, and losing the next. At the pleasure than those who socially were court the extent to which card-playing and their superiors ? Certainly not. The dicing were carried on gave great offence Puritan party had been crushed, and to the few whom the all-prevailing mania crushed effectually, and boundless was the had not affected. Thus, for example, national exultation at the event. Men, in John Evelyn entered in his “ Diary," unthe times of Puritan ascen had der date of January 6, 1662, a scene which hardly dared to call their souls their own. he beheld with his own eyes, and which, He who had ventured openly to sigh for the it may be concluded, filled him with deep fleshpots of the Caroline age, he who had concern. " This evening," he wrote, "acventured to recall the fragrant memories cording to custom, his Majesty opened the of the past, who had frequented Spring revels of the night by throwing dice himGardens when in town and had indulged self in the privy chamber, where was a in hawking when in the country, soon table set on purpose, and lost his £100. found himself branded by “the righteous (The year before he won £1,500.) The overmuch ” as a malignant, as a heretic, or ladies also played very deep. I came as a knave. To all this the Restoration ef-away when the Duke of Ormond had won fectually put an end. The people breathed about £1,000 ; and left them still at pasfreely once again. Nor can we be sur sage, cards, etc. At other tables botin prised that when they did breathe freely there and at the groom.porters, observing they should have acted freely, and should the wicked folly and monstrous excess of have rushed into the wildest excesses. passion among some losers; sorry am I

Of all the many stains on national man that such a wretched custom as play to ners and morals for which the Restoration that excess should be countenanced in a must be held responsible, that of gaming court which ought to be an example of was certainly one of the deepest. During virtue to the rest of the kingdom.”* Nor the whole of the second half of the seven was the amazement of that other veracious teenth century, gaming under one form or chronicler of contemporary fashionable another constituted the ordinary amuse- folly less great than that of Evelyn. ment of both sexes in the highest society "This evening," wrote he in his “ Diary," of England. A residence abroad so pro. under date of February 17, 1667,“going to longed as that of Charles II. had been, the queen's side (in the palace at Whitehad initiated him into all the mysteries of hall) to see the ladies, I did find the the gamester's craft, and his followers were Queede, the Duchesse of York, and an. by no means slow in following his exam- other or two, at cards, with the room full ple. The consequence was, that when of great ladies and men ; which I was they returned to England in 1660, they amazed at to see on a Sunday, having not returned proficient in all the wisdom of believed it; but, contrarily, flatly denied the Continental gamblers, and lost no the same a little time since to my cosen time in communicating their knowledge to Roger Pepys." | Much as Pepys had almost every one into whose company they seen and heard of court life under the were thrown. Forth with Whitehall Pal. sway of his royal master, this came upon ace became in everything but name a him as a revelation. The truth was that gambling bell. The same courtier who all the members of the royal family prebut a few short months before might fairly ferred the fashionable games at cards on have been regarded as living in the odor the seventh day to the society and conver. of sanctity, who would have pretended to sation of court chaplains and divines emi. have been horror-stricken at the bare mention of cards or dice, now threw himself

• Diary, ed. Braybrooke, 1850, i., p. 359. with heart and soul into the vortex, as if

Ibid. iii., pp. 400-10. LIVING AGE. VOL. LXXIX. 4096

[ocr errors]



nent for their talents or for their oratorical What pity 'tis, those conquering eyes, powers. Moreover, the Princess Mary, Which all the world subdue, after she had been united in the bonds of Should, while the lover gazing, dies, wedlock to the Prince of Orange, intro.

Be only on Alpue. duced the practice into Holland, and in To render certain allusions in the foreso doing scandalized in no small degree a going verses comprehensible to some of people whose ecclesiastical polity and our readers, we must explain that in the practice had been founded on the gloomy game known as basset, which is now sel. system of John Calvin, the great French dom or never played, " waiting for a teacher of Geneva.*

knave," or wishing for a ten," implied We may with great reason conclude that the anxiety which was attendant upon the the predilection which women displayed in turning-up of the winning cards, and that the Caroline age for gambling must have the last word of this last line of the third been very great indeed when it was re- verse, “alpue," was a term which was apo buked publicly on the stage in the pro-plied to the continuation of a bet on a logues and epilogues to plays, the sole particular card which had previously won. portions of dramatic compositions in Inability to gamble and to play cards con. which playwrights endeavored to correct stituted an insuperable hindrance to intro that which was amiss in the public moral. duction into polite society. “Gaming," ity. Most of our readers who possess wrote the author of a treatise on the any acquaintance with the dramatic writ-games played “at court and in the assemings of the George Sand of the Restora- blies," written, as the title-page sets forth, tion, Mrs. Afra Behn -a lady, who for the use of the young princesses to through her marriage with a Dutch mer. whom it was dedicated, "is become so chant of the city of London, gained an much the fashion among the beau monde entrance to the court of Charles II., whom that he who in company should appear she was wont to amuse with her witty ignorant of the games in vogue would be sallies and eloquent descriptions — will reckoned low-bred and hardly fit for conbear us out when we say that it is impos- versation." These words occur in a sible, from what is known of her career, publication bearing the suggestive title of to admit her claim to be considered as a i. The Compleat Gamester; or, Full and censor of fashionable manners and morals. Easy Instructions for Playing the Games Yet in the prologue to her tragedy of now in Vogue, &c. By Richard Seymour, “The Moor's Revenge,” Mrs. Behn bids Esq.” This treatise was originally pubthe young ladies of the period to beware lished in the year 1674, and subsequently of keeping unreasonable hours at gam- passed through several editions, each of bling, if they desired to preserve their which was enlarged by the introduction complexions :

of ample descriptions of later games, such Yet sitting up so late, as I am told.

as ombre, picquet, and chess. Roger You'll lose in beauty what you gain in gold.

North, in that instructive and entertaining

sketch which he has left on record of the The celebrated dramatist, Sir George life of his brother Francis, Lord Guilford, Etherege, ain, whose life scandalized is careful to mention that he attained conmany, even in that age, and whose affec. siderable proficiency in all games of cards, tion for the fair sex knew scarcely any dice, and billiards, presumably in order bounds, was equally angry with the ladies to remove any misapprehension in the for the decided partiality which they mani- mind of the reader that he took no interest fested for cards and dice. In a song of in the most fashionable forms of amusehis on the game called basset, he remon- ment in that age. strated with them on the subject, saying, About eight years after the Restoration among other things :

the gambling mania for a time gave place The time which should be kindly lent

to one for masquerading. The rage, of To plays and witty men,

course, began in the court, but soon inIn waiting for a knave is spent,

fected the whole town. “At this time,” Or wishing for a ten.

says Bishop Burnet, under date of 1668,

" the court fell into much extravagance in Stand in defence of your own charms,

masquerading; both the king and queen Throw down this favorite That threatens, with his dazzling arms,

and all the court went about masked, and Your beauty and your wit.

came into houses unknown, and danced

there with a good deal of wild frolick. In • See in proof of this assertion the Diary of Dr. Edward Lake, published by the Camden Society.

• North's Life of Lord Guilford, i., p. 17.


all this, people were so disguised, that horse after returning from a card-party, without being in the secret none could The ride had not been long enough to act distinguish them. They were carried as a tonic, and he was still heavy with about in hackney chairs. Once the queen's whiskey and want of sleep as he went chairmen, not knowing who she was, went stumbling along through the stack-yard. from her. So she was alone, and was Suddenly, with all the speed of a military much disturbed, and came to Whitehall in projectile, a black figure shot down the a hackney coach. Some say in a cart.”* slope of a small stack, and fetched up It has been remarked, and we think with sharp just at his feet. The face, the much truth, that whenever masquerades clothes, the hands of this apparition were in public or private constitute popular all black, and its smile, meant to be pleas. arousement with the pleasure-loving pub. ant, showed like a ghastly grin through lic, including both the court and the aris- the mist. tocracy, it is a very bad sign of national “Oh, the devil !" cried Simpson Wil. morals.

loughby, in a tipsy fright, and proceeded

to bolt for the house. The midnight orgy and the mazy dance,

“ Hi, mister, hi !" shouted the putative The smile of beauty and the flush of wine,

devil. For fops, fools, gamesters, knaves, and lords combine;

The sound of a human, unmistakably Each to his humor - Comus all allows. human, voice restored Willoughby to him.

self. Here for the present we must conclude. “ What are you doing here ?” he thunCertain periods of history are often sur. dered, as he strode to the black shape. rounded with a halo of glory. Dazzling “Who are you? Why do you stand grioassociations cluster round names. It is ning there? Don't you know I could have distance which lends enchantmect to the you up before the magistrates for this?” view. Living witnesses who have known “ Not much good, sir. Nothing to get both the past and the present generations, out of me, sir. I'm only a poor sweep as will, by a law of human nature, always took the liberty of sleeping in your straw." award the palm of superiority to the com- “Sweep be damned ! Clear off the panions of their youth. Yet, unless we premises at once." greatly deceive ourselves, it will require Then Mr. Willoughby strode off again. very strong arguments to convince But he had a tender heart, and something thoughtful persons that the social powers in the man's face and attitude had of any class of English society have fallen touched it. off, while morality, taste, knowledge, gen- “ Hi, you sweep!” he suddenly shouted, eral freedom of intercourse and liberality turning round. of opinion have been steadily advancing; “ Yes, sir," with a touch of the hand to that the comparison between the manners the cap. and morals of the seventeenth century and “Where are you going to get your our own is not highly satisfactory; that breakfast?" intellectual tastes have not superseded the “ Don't know, sir." necessity which was then felt by the upper “And probably don't know if you will class of resorting to coarse indulgences get a breakfast at all?" and strong excitements; or that respect “ No, sir." for public opinion does not compel those “ Come with me." among them who continue unregenerate Mr. Willoughby led the way to the to conceal their transgressions from the kitchen door; his housekeeper was up eyes of the world.

and moving about. WILLIAM CONNOR SYDNEY. “Here, Mrs. Clack, I've brought you a

sweep; you said yesterday the chimneys • Burnet's History of My Own Times, i., p. 368. wanted sweeping.

Give him a good breakfast - beef and beer — then set him to work.”

“ Thank ye, sir," said the sweep; then,

to Mrs. Clack, with a very humble intonaFrom Temple Bar.

tion: "Fine morning, missis." SIMPSON WILLOUGHBY'S GROOM.

Mr. Willoughby went to his bedroom, It was a chill September morning, not kicked off his boots, and drawing a rug very light yet, and a thin haze clung over over his limbs, lay down on the bed and the face of all things. Mr. Simpson Wil- slept. He was a tall, broad man, with a loughby had just finished stablicg his dark face still retaining some traces of

[ocr errors]


early good looks. His youth he had spent “Very; but stick to the point. Do you
in London, nope exactly knew how; some feel inclined to settle down here in my
said as an artist, others said as a novelist ; service ?"
all agreed he had consumed his substance “If you'll have me, sir.”
in riotous living. When his father died, “I suppose you can't bring any testi-
and he came to settle at Holt Hill, he came monials to character?"
with a bad reputation. As he was forty, " Afraid not, sir. Don't know any re-
and did not marry, the bad reputation rap. spectable people. I'm only a travelling
idly grew worse. He had some faults, it is sweep, here to day, gone to-morrow. Take
true; he played cards freely, drank heavily, me a month on trial, sir."
and then he had a mysterious past. The “Very good; a month's trial. Coosider
clergy and all respectable married people yourself engaged, fifteen shillings a week,
held aloof from him; the young ladies ad. with keep. Will that do?"
mired him and trembled; the young men

“Yes, sir, thank ye.” said he was much maligned.

“ And now go on with the chimneys, When he woke the sun was high in the only no more climbing, mind you. I'll go heavens. He rose at once, had a cold and arrange with Mrs. Clack." tub, and then a good breakfast. “Now for And so Tom Sampler settled down. He the sweep,” said he. He found him at had been a jockey, and then a vagrant work in the dining-room.

sweep; his antecedents were not reassur“Well, Mr. Sweep, how are you getting ing; but clean clothes, regular diet, and

regular employment reformed him, and “Tom Sampler's my name, sir. Get perhaps the feeling that he was trusted ting on very nicely, thank you, sir." helped him more than anything. Wil

" Are those all the tools you have ?” – loughby took a strong fancy to him, and pointing a contemptuous foot at a brush let him into his coofidence in a small way. and a few rods lying about.

Tom adored his master. When Wil“ Yes, sir.”

loughby went out shooting, Tom carried “But they won't go to the top, surely?” the game; when he went out to card-par“Yes, sir, they will."

ties, Tom drove him there and back; when “ How?

Tom was running the machine over the “ I shall go up the chimney after them.” grass, Willoughby would sit near on a “ But you might stick.” and chat. At night, when “No fear, sir, in a good old-fashioned Tom knocked at the door of the smokingchimney like this. Besides, if I did, what room, and entered to report his day's work matter, sir? It's all in a day's work." and receive instructions for the morrow,

Mr. Willoughby turned away. The soft Willoughby would sometimes ask him to spot in his heart was touched again. sit down. If the weather was cold, he

He went out and strolled round the would pour him out a glass of whiskey, place, in the garden, the fold-yard, the sta- but he could never persuade him to take a bles. Then it occurred to him that he second. wanted a groom, a groom who would not “ Come, Tom, you might as well have object to do a little work in the garden, to another — it's a sharp night.” sit up for him at nights, to act occasionally “ No, thank ye, sir.” as a valet, and in other capacities. He “Why not? You must have druok returned to the sweep, and found him heavily in your time - eh?" in one of the bedrooms hard at work, and “ I have sir, but never again.” singing softly to himself.

“ How's that?" "Here, Mr. Sweep."

“ Bad example, sir, to others." “ Tom Sampler, sir.".

In this way the worthy fellow strove to “Well, then, Tom Sampler! Would lead his master in the right direction, not you like to settle down?"

without some result. “How, sir?"

“ You have been here a year now, Tom,” " Take a situation, I mean."

said Willoughby one day.

* Haven't you " As what?”

found a pretty girl to marry yet?" “ As my groom and man-of-all-work. “No, sir. I don't intend marrying a. Do you know anything about horses ? " present.”

“ Yes, sir; I was bred for a jockey." “ Not at present - eh? When, then?” " Good.”

“ When you do, sir." “But I had to give it up, sir. Couldn't Willoughby laughed aloud; but from train down quickly enough. A very bad that day he understood Tom perfectly. job for me, sir."

“He wishes to reform me," he would



[ocr errors]

sometimes say to himself; "and perhaps | row night; if I lose, I shall stop before he may. Who knows?”

much damage is done; if I win, I shall “I shall want the brown mare up to-follow my luck. There, my friend, let morrow,” said Willoughby to Tom one that quieten your fears. Good-night." night in the smoking-room ; "I'm going Good-night, sir. But promise me one to Mr. Ferguson's. We'll have the dog-thing: if you are lucky, you'll never play cart, and you shall drive me, as my ankle for money again.” is still weak.” He had sprained it about "I promise." a month before.

“Then may you be lucky, sir, for this “None of them carding-parties, I hope, once. Good-night, sir." And Tom dissir," said Tom.

appeared. Shut the door and sit down."

* The beginning of the reform," thought Tom obeyed.

Willoughby. “I wonder if he'll make me “Look here, Tom, you forget yourself. sign the pledge next.”. What is it to you whether I play cards or It was late in the afternoon when Tom not ?"

drove the dog.cart up to the front door. “ I'm sorry to offecd, sir. You've been “ Put a little corn in,” shouted Wilvery kind to me, but I can't help speaking loughby from his bedroom window, "and out, and I don't like to see you wasting a basket. I shall want you to fetch Lightyour money. You know, sir, you have ning up for me in the Bent Garth.” told me as how you lose sometimes." Lightning was a horse with a good deal “ But I win sometimes.

of blood in him, very dear to Willoughby, Tom looked at the floor and said noth- and often entered for steeple-chases at the ing. There was a long pause.

Wil-minor race-meetings. loughby puffed hard at his pipe; suddenly In a few minutes they drove away. Arhe broke out with :

rived at the Bent Garth, Tom got down “Do you know what mortgages are, with his basket of corn, and Willoughby Tom?"

sat waiting in the trap on the highroad. Yes, sir; we call 'em monkeys." The Bent Garth was, as its name im"Well

, Tom, there are a good many plied, a bent field, shaped like the letter monkeys on my farm, and the owners of L. The horse was not to be seen; it was the monkeys — that is, the mortgagees

no doubt round the bend. Thither Tom will want their interest in a month's time. marched through the grass; he had hardly If they don't get it they will sell me up. got round the corner, and out of his masI have not the money. Now, do you un- ter's sight, when he came on two men derstand why I am going to play cards lying on the ground - two men, one a big, to-morrow ?"

hulking fellow with a dark, unshaven face, Tom looked at his master sympathet- the other a nondescript of middle height ically, but did not speak.

and no particular color. Tom recognized "It's not all my fault,” he went on. “I them both – old acquaintances of his va. had the money in the bank at the begin- grant days, and a brace of thorough-going ning of the year; but a relative borrowed rascals. £500 to set up in business, and - and " Hullo !” cried Tom. But you understand?”

“ Bless me," said the big fellow, "if it You mean you won't see the color of ain't old Sweepy, looking quite respect. that money again, sir ? "

able too! Got a good job on, old pal?” Exactly so.”

Yes; I've turned groom.” • I'm right down sorry to hear it, sir. “Lor now, to think of that! Old But is there no way except this card-play- Sweepy turned groom! And looks quite ing? Couldn't you put off them monkey- reformed, don't he? Well, it is pleasant gees for a year? Couldn't you tell 'em meeting old friends when they're getting you were going to work hard, and save, up in the world. And where are you and pull things round? Knock off my hanging out now?" wage, sir; I don't want it. And put me At that big house this side of the vil. on to some harder work; I could do as lage.” much again as I do."

"Mr. Willoughby's ! I know him; Tomrose to his feet somewhat excit. fond of his glass, and don't mind tipping edly, pulling his waistcoat down and stiff- a poor feller a shilling when he's on a bit. ening his back, as though to show off his He's a gentleman, he is! What are you physical capacity for additional toils. going to do now with that basket ? Rubbish, Tom! Sit down. Kindly “ Fetch up

that horse for Mr. Wil. meant, but rubbish. I shall play to-mor. I loughby to look at."

[ocr errors]



[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« VorigeDoorgaan »