Imagens da página

during the previous week, was sent to the right-about, which, in process of time, they will discover was not “about being right"—1000 to 25, and 2,500 to 50, having been laid “on the quiet” against him— there not being, at this writing, a superfluous sixpence in the Ring. Oulston was backed for £100—sum stupendous—at 20 to l ; and the same would have been taken about Flatterer—1000 to 60 the highest offer against the latter. The day following this brilliant tryst at the Corner, Ascot Heath Races made their début on high authority, as follows:– A stranger, ignorant that this was the opening day of the Royal Meeting on Ascot Heath, would certainly not have guessed the fact from any extraordinary appearances at the London stations of the two railway companies—the South-Western and Great Western (the cart before the horse), by the aid of which the majority of visitors to Ascot are in the habit of performing the largest portion of their journey to the course. Although special trains, at frequent intervals, were advertised—that is to say, were advertised to start at frequent intervals—the arrivals of customers at each station were so few and far between, that very considerable periods—that is to say, full stops—elapsed between their departure early in the morning, and even then many of the carriages were not filled. Those who did go, found Windsor beset by a tremendous hail storm, and as empty as the imperial Muscovite's pockets. There was a select supply of “traps" at the Station, and consequently they charged what they liked—and nobody else did. Their inmates, moreover, to make things pleasant, were imprisoned to keep out the “pelting of the pitiless storm,” and, as the hour of gala arrived, the Heath was a lugubrious spectacle—like the “blasted ” of that ilk in “Macbeth.” There was, of course, a crowd of hawks; but the pigeons were unprecedentedly scarce. With this exhilarating prologue, the play was put upon the scene appropriately, with— The Trial Stakes of £ each.-A dozen started—and Captain Lane's Crosslanes, the last in speculation, was first in fact. A Sweepstakes of £50 each—half forfeit—for two-year-olds, course three-quarters of a mile—had half-a-dozen entries, and a moiety of them at the post. The odds were 6 to 4 on Namur—the winner, cleverly by a length and a half, Coroebus. Her Majesty's Gold Wase—which is a silver ornament—came off, in honour of the courteous presentment, a match between Gully's Hermit and Tom Parr's Rataplan ; the latter the first favourite ; the former— the winner--the leading fancy. The first year of the Sixth Ascot Triennial Stakes, of £10 each, with £100 added, for foals of 1852, to be run at two years old; colts, 8st. 7lbs.; fillies, 8st. 4lbs.-the second to receive £50 out of the Stakes, T.Y.C. Fifty-three subscribers—nine ran. Betting—5 to 2 against The Bonnie Morn, who, the previous afternoon, was “sent to the right-about ’’ as aforesaid, at Tattersall's ; 4 to 1 against Constance; 5 to 1 against Joshua—the same against Coroebus, and 7 to 1 against The Hind. The Bonnie Morn came out radiantly abreast the Grand Stand, and won cleverly. Thus it will be seen that my Monday notions took their premier pas in the succeeding twenty-four hours. The Ascot Stakes, of £25 each, with the Conventional Handicap forfeit conditions, had seventy-eight nominations, and sixteen runners. Odds—5 to 2 against Kingston, 9 to 2 against Little Jack, 6 to 1

[ocr errors]

against Bracken, 10 to 1 against Little Harry, ditto Ilex, ditto Hercules,

100 to 6 against Sweetness, 20 to 1 against Cock Pheasant, and 6 to 1
against the brace—Pancake and Rackapelt. As usual with such
encounters, it was “confusion worse confounded.” In as prepense a
piece of plating as ever came off on Moulsey Hurst, Little Harry was
hammered in first—the tip of the tail little more than within sight.
The Ascot Derby Stakes of £50 each—half forfeit—for three year-
olds; colts, 8st. 71bs. ; fillies, 8st. 31bs.—the winner of the Derby 10lb.
extra; the winner of the Oaks 5lbs. extra;-Swinly course—fifteen sub-
scribers. Betting—2 to 1 against Marley Hill, 5 to 2 against Bobby,
3 to 1 against Marley Hill (“haud meus hic sermo”), and 4 to 1
against Phaeton. This, the wind up of the list, had nearly been the
same of the lives of the jockeys. Marley Hill, the favourite, has only a
single “pceper” in his head; so he ran foul of Bobby, and tumbled on
his ears and knees. Being a heavy colt, he was soon up and at it
again; but not so poor Tim Templeman, who, by even sticking to his
steed with his spurs, could not keep his saddle, and came to his mother
earth as if never again of his own accord to rise from it. Phaeton, last
in the market, was first in the finish.
Wednesday, as if to mark the moral of its tenure, opened with the
Coronation Stakes—won by “Mishap.” The Fernhill Stakes was a
walk over by Bessie. I omitted saying that for the Coronation Sortie
was the favourite.
A £100 Handicap, of £2 each—£100 douceur—John of Burges
was backed to win, at one point against him ; which Calamus did at
5 to 1 against him.
The Royal Hunt Cup, valued at £200 for intrinsic worth and design
-New Mile—sixty-one subscribers at £10 a piece; twenty-two ran,
and four were placed. Betting—2 to 1 against Alembic—a podrida of
intermediates, and 15 to 1 against Brocket. Brocket was first; King
of Trumps, second ; colt by the Emperor—dam Begum—third ; and
Alembic, last.
The second year of the Fifth Ascot Triennial Stakes, of £10 each,
with a bonus of £100–New Mile—forty-three subscribers—had a field
of seven. Betting—7 to 4 against Champagne, and 2 to 1 against
Meteora; the filly the winner.
The third year of the Fourth Ascot Triennial Stakes, of £10 each,
and a bonus of £100—Mr. Bowes's West Australian (thus in the
Book Calendar), with 5 to 1 on him, won by four lengths.
A £50 Sweepstakes—£10 forfeit—Delia won by a neck.
Thursday—by grace of the Royal presence and heavy rain—produced
* Prodigal crop of umbrellas. After the accustomed “pomp and cir-
gumstance,” the performance opened with the St. James's Palace Stakes,
for three-year-olds; Old Mile ; eighteen subscribers. It was run a trio
–9 to 1 on Prince Arthur, and 3 to 1 against Baalbec. “Baalbec,”
* the newspaper report, “headed Prince Arthur at the Stand, and
"*", hard held, by a length. Time and place considered, it was a
*ous coincidence that the Turk should beat the English Prince.
The Visitors' Plate Jujube won by a length, and Mulligrubs was
* Ecce iterum—“what's in a name 2"
ere again is “confusion worse confounded.” To follow in the Book
Calendar, appears—“A PIECE of PLATE, value Five Hundred Sove-

reigns, the gift of His Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias”—a trophy now.

“In the deep waters of the ”—Danube—“buried.”
Present edition.

A Gold Cup, value Three Hundred Sovereigns, the surplus in specie, with £200 added from the fund—eighteen subscribers—was run for by half a dozen. Betting—6 to 4 on West Australian, 3 to 1 against Rataplan, 7 to 1 against Kingston, 15 to 1 against Orestes, 20 to 1 against Talfourd, ditto Cobnut, ditto Nabob. The finish was a struggle “for the dear life"—won by the winner of last year's Two Thousand Guineas Stakes, Derby, and St. Leger, &c., &c., by a head—Kingston being beaten by this length, and a weight above the flying West Australian of nine pounds. For the New Stakes—two-year-olds—there were forty-four named, and a field of a baker's dozen. The odds were 6 to 4 against Border Chief, 3 to 1 against Flatterer, 5 to 1 against Mary, and 8 to 1 against Monge—“boots" in the books. Bad as his place in the ring was, it was first in the race. The Windsor Castle Stakes—Hospodar, with 7 to 4 on him—won, hard held, by eight lengths, beating Balmoral and Woodcote in their places. Of the twenty-four named, three started. A Sweepstakes of £50 each—half forfeit—for three-year-olds, Swinley course, nine subscribers, came off a match between Boer and Pelham—even betting. It terminated as the runners are here placed. The Windsor Forest Stakes, Meteora walked over for, and the list was ran Out. Friday—the climax of Ascot's ill-betiding in its last anniversary; and to sum up the shocking bad account, “a glass of sherry, with a few spoonfuls of water, was charged at a shilling in the Grand Stand, and, in fact, everything was paid for at the rate of a hundred per cent, more than its value.” A Sweepstakes of £50 each—half forfeit—for three-year-olds, Old Mile, nine subscribers—Epaminondas, with 3 to 1 on him, won from Weathercock and Eccleston. The First Class of the Wokingham Handicap—twenty-six subscribers, last three-quarters of the New Mile—brought out fourteen. Hobby Horse, 5 to 2 against him, the winner. The Great Western Handicap—twenty-four subscribers—eleven runners—5 to 2 against Miss Bolton, 4 to 1 against Phaeton, 5 to 1 against Roebuck, 6 to 1 against Diana, and 7 to 1 against Hero. The two last in the odds made a dead heat of it, and thus divided stakes. Her Majesty's Plate Rataplan, 6 to 4 against him, won, beating Epaminondas and Sharavogue by a neck. The Second Class of the Wokingham Brocket—7 to 4 against him— won, beating nine. The Borough Members' Plate of £50 Little Tom—6 to 1 against him—won, beating seven. The Sweepstakes of £20 each, for two-year-olds, The Bonnie Morn walked over for—wherewith ended the Meeting. My moral – pour l'avenir– “Why dost thou show to the apt thoughts of man

The things that are not "''

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

The peace of 1815, now broken after an uninterrupted course of nearly forty years' duration, has, to a certain extent, at least as far as its officers are concerned, altered the constitution and, so to speak, the morale of the British army. This is more particularly the case in the cavalry regiments, which, seldom .# abroad, and enjoying a routine of the pleasantest quarters at home, have become the resort of a number of fashionable gentlemen, who can thus combine the exoteinent of a profession with their favourite pursuit of doing nothing. Far be it from us to affirm that they do not make good soldiers; on the contrary, the greatest authority of the age has been known to declare, that when work was really meant, “his smartest dandies Proved to be his best officers;” and we have ourselves had occasion to remark, that those who are most careful in their dress are often most reckless of their bodies. No man took such pains with his adornment as that prince of hussars, the Marquis of Anglesea; no man exposed himself in the field with such utter disregard of life and limb; and, not to multiply instances, we may say of these petit*aitre heroes, as Clarendon says of the dashing race of Williers, that they have ever proved “prodigal of their persons.” In time of war, len work their way by hard fighting, or rather, by that immunity hom hot lead which some enjoy, whilst their superiors are shot off, olderased from the Army List, up to the highest ranks of the pro*son, and no man asks whence they come, or what may be their irth, education, and antecedents. Nothing is then more serviceable than the cavalry officer; but in time of peace no fashionable club can * more exclusive than a light-dragoon regiment, and the newly*lved member of the mess requires to be showy as well as staunch To dancing dandy as well as a fighting hero. Under these circum**, a commission in such a corps is at once a passport to the *y best society—society which, without this “open sesame,” would * hermetically sealed to the ambitious “parvenu,” as was ever the cave of the Forty Thieves to the enterprising woodman; and con**ently amongst the sprigs of nobility, and cadets of ancient race, * officer one of our Hussar or Lancer regiments, a sprinkling is .* to be found of names unknown to Burke or Lodge, those heralds of modern days; and some perhaps not the least agreeable and talented C

[ocr errors][graphic]

of the mess, however familiar they may be with the pedigree of last year's Derby winner, would find it very difficult to identify their own grandfathers. Such was Frank Morrison when I knew him, first as the most dashing cornet even in the dashing Light Dragoon regiment to which he belonged. We were all quartered at Brighton, and I had many opportunities of studying the character, and admiring the brilliancy of one who was an enigma to most societies, as he was the favourite of all. No one in the regiment knew anything whatever of his antecedents. He had been appointed to the corps through the interest of a general officer, since dead; he seemed to have no relations, no belongings, no friends; to have come from no particular county, and hunted with no particular pack of hounds. The last-mentioned fact was pretty sure to be elicited amongst the youngsters the first day after mess, their favourite occupation being foxhunting, and, when deprived of that amusement, talking about it. He was supposed to have a mother—no extraordinary peculiarity in the human race, and to write to her once in six months—no great stretch of filial piety; but beyond this vague conjecture, all that was known of Frank Morrison was comprised in his own person. Like Horace's modelhilosopher, he was self-contained—“totus teres atque rotundus.” My rst introduction to him was on the race-course at Brighton. I had remarked a particularly good-looking young man, with an effeminate expression of countenance, relieved by a dark pair of moustaches, paying devoted attention to a young and titled lady, the reigning beauty and “bright particular star” of the place. “Ah !” thought I, “a regular lady's man that! thrown away in the Lancers' he must be a sad muff on a horse !” And having some slight acquaintance with the lady, I ventured to ask her the name of her cavalier, the instant he quitted her side. “Good gracious !” said Lady Jane, in her pretty way, “don’t you know Frank Morrison 7 I thought everybody knew Frank Morrison. Dear me! he's the nicest creature I’ll introduce you to him. You should hear him sing. I'll bet you any amount of gloves on him for the hurdle-race" And, sure enough, on looking at my card, there was Mr. Morrison's Lovelock amongst the seven starters for that neck-breaking event, and, moreover, his owner to ride! Lady Jane, like a thorough woman, was evidently determined to stand up for her favourite because he was her favourite; so, declining her liberal offer of a wager, I proceeded to the weighing enclosure to see the gentlemen-jockeys stripped and prepared for their arduous undertaking. Good heavens! what a funk most of them were in at least, if not so their countenances shamefully belied them. Cornet Swivel had finished three glasses of sherry (six to the bottle) without apparently being steadied in the least degree by such potent refreshment. , Poor lad! he had pluck to face a battery, but no more nerve than his mother's lady'smaid; as how should he 7 sitting up till four o'clock every morning over broiled bones and large cigars, with a ricketty constitution at nineteen ' Mr. Pevensey, a squire of the county, and as good a man as ever rode to hounds, seemed so utterly taken aback by the novelty of his position, in a short silk jacket and leathers, with a May sun

« AnteriorContinuar »