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living illustration of the “ bear" in Johnson's dictionary -" one who nominally sells."
These anticipations are not meant in a mocking spirit, though the vein in which they are expressed be not the gravest. Counsel, like physic, should be administered in as palatable a preparation as it admits of. The dose will be received with wry faces, most probably, as it is : the will must plead for the deed .... When Sir James Granam pronounced against gambling on race-courses, their doom was sealed by tho hasty of deduction : when lotteries receive their coup-de-grace, we are told the turf will be immediately damaged ; but it won't. There is a disposition abroad to extend the sport of racing, that will be more than an equivalent for the miscellaneous popularity it derived from being the agent of “play" for the million. The attempt to establish two meetings annually where there used to be but one, has succeeded everywhere that it has been made in earnest. Epsom spring races this year will be over the country, as well as over the course; steeple-racing being announced for a second day. This will in fact be an equestrian festival, consisting of two of the most stirring acts of national horsemanship. The plan will no doubt be followed in other places ; and I wish it success.... Less betting, gentlemen, and better sport to ye ! -.there's many a worse new-year's gift than that has found cordial acceptance.
In the session whose sitting will commence next month, the gamelaws are to undergo another overhauling. Mr. Cobden overlooked them when prescribing his universal social panacea for the constitution of England ; or probably he left them to the care of Colonel Sibthorp, as being part of the rural policy, and consequently more suited to the peculiar talent of the gallant member for Lincoln Roast hare has already come to be accounted a delicacy : shall we survive to see the pheasants go the way of the bustards ? To be sure, Mr. Cobden reconimends the abolition of the duty on advertisements, which will be found beneficial now that the plan of jogging gentlemen's memories through the medium of newspapers has been adopted in reference to money so long due for bets as apparently to be absolutely forgotten .... Fox-hunting, like all else sublunary, has obeyed the laws of changeand for the better, beyond all question. The chase is now a sport in the spirit as well as in the letter. People don't rise to put on their sporting et-cæteras as if the house were on fire, nor sally forth at unnatural hours, neither do they toil at their pleasure from star-set to moon-rise. Hounds are within easy reach of everybody--those who dwell in uttermost Cockayne, as well as those who set up their staff in Melton Mowbray. When Punch's map of England, à la gridiron, appeared, it was foretold that the reign of the virgin goddess drew fast to a close. But it was a false alarm--the iron has not entered into her soul. On the contrary, her disciples have multiplied exceedingly, as well as the appliances and means for her worship. I am writing these dottings-down in a country that now possesses three first-class hunting establishments, where five-and-twenty years ago there was but one. At that period the Hampshire country very nearly embraced the whole of the county, which occasionally called for a journey to cover-transit of some thirty miles or more. Now, if Lord Gifford is at a distance, the Vine are at hand, or the Hursley are come-at-able, or for the farafield there are the Hambledon hounds and country. It is the same in every fox-hunting district in the land.
And then look at the amateur marine—there indeed “ Britancia rules the waves.” Not only in its increase, but the character of its economy, yachting within the last half dozen years has assumed an importance that was not even dreamt of in the days of the sailor king. We have now our pleasure craft circumnavigating the globe, and we have societies of gentlemen-sailors that put the old play and political clubs to utter shame. The Royal Victoria Club House at Ryde would have opened the eyes of the celebrities of White's and Brooks's of the good old times. Suppose Izaak Walton had been invited to join a salmonfishing party for a fortnight's foray among the fjords of Norway, he would first have asked permission to make his will. The representatives of the aspiring sportsmen who took the town by storm when they related their morning accidents among the Scottish hills, now take their pleasure among the lions of the Orange river, or the tigers of Mysore. You meet young fellows every day in St. James's Street, who have shot their brace or two of giraffes-animals that were considered fabulous when Colonel Thornton wrote his book “as big as all dis scheese," and ostriches are as available to us, as were grouse to our grandfathers.
The characteristic of our time is facility-none of your sneers, Mister Hypercritic, about facilis descensus. A man can do tenfold as much now as he could have done sixty years ago. The whole population of the earth could not produce with their hands that which the manufacture of Great Britain furnishes by the aid of such of its inhabitants as adopt handicraft in lieu of agriculture. The means of society, taken as an aggregate, are certainly not reduced within the last quarter of a century ; while the worth of money, in reference to that which it represents, is increased fifty per cent.—though the advance is certainly not so equally balanced as might be wished. The change has principally affected luxuries—but with these we are dealing here. In the item of travelling expenses, the annual outlay of persons of condition in this country is probably as two shillings in the pound to what it was antecedent to railways. Great people, for example, who lived a dozen years ago a couple of hundred miles from the metropolis, paid forty pounds for their journey up-four horses at four shillings a mile. My lord and my lady, valet and lady's maid, now accomplish it, without wear and tear of company or carriage, for a ten pound note. And let it be had in memory, that the cost of moving from place to place is one of the heaviest et-cæteras of sporting. Here, at all events, is one set-off against the costly practices that now, more than formerly, attach to some of our national amusements. If betting must be a parasite of the turf, the personal charges of the proprietor of race horses are less than they were. Less horseflesh is required by the foxhunter. The moorshooter can seek his pleasure in the land of brown heath upon as reasonable terms as heretofore he accomplished a morning on the Brighton Chain Pier. For my part, I am not one of those who love to view life “ through a glass, darkly :' and if the truth was always told, such would be found the actual taste of mankind. But there appears to be a conventional imposition upon the family of John Bull, that their morale should receive God's blessings as Byron says their physique bears vegetables—“ in a grumbling way.” Jonathan is no Chesterfield in his manners, but one can't avoid admiring his candour. The philosopher of Slickville hits him off to nature : “ Mr. Slick, I'll tell you what; of all the work I ever did in my life, I like hoeing potatoes the best ; and
I'd rather die than do that-it makes my back ache so." ..... The Blue Nose spoke as he felt—the Saxon is of the same opinion—but what would Mrs. Grundy say if he came out with it? ..... Let us arise, give three cheers for the future, and, as they say in Nova Scotia, “walk into it like a thousand of bricks.” There is a good old axiom, “ laugh and be fat.” Cæsar had an especial horror of the lean and hungry Cassius. Let us be of good cheer. No man ever succeeded who attempted to make pleasure the staple of life-you can no more exist upon it than on the perfume of flowers. It is a resource ; not a social principle. When the current of existence flags, then help it with that which shall make it sparkle on its way—" time is like women and pigs; the more you want it to go, the more it wont.” .... Carpe diem is a maxim that the Roman no doubt had from those who were the ancients of his days, and which they derived from the sages who lived before the Flood. Time is a great riddle : like the nigger's pig, “ it's bery little, but it's dam old.”
SURPLICE AND CANEZOU.
THE SET-TO FOR THE ST. LEGER, 1848.
ENGRAVED BY E HIACKER, PROY A PAINTING BY HARRY HALL, OF NEW.
As a curious, and equally as an established fact, had it come to be chronicled in turf history, that the winner of the Derby went on to Doncaster to be beaten. No matter how good his own powers, or how superior the hands he was in, the sun of the Leger day set with the shine taken out of him as sure as year after year's experience could make it. May-be, when there was nothing in within three or four stone of him, they drugged him, as they did Plenipo; or the “party,” too strong for the game in their hands, took to coquetting with another of the lot, and so disappointed themselves and the double event in that way, as all the world knows they did with Cotherstone. Or, armed with a curious cunning to keep other people from making the crack safe, they set their heads to work to do it themselves, by never giving him a gallop till his jockey asked for his “leg up”—as is it not written they did with Coronation? Or, once more, seeing he was brought bright and blooming up to the post, the great point became that he should never leave it ; at least, not in anything like decent time-as sure enough it happened with Mameluke. In short, Fate declared against any such succession, and good judgment and good management gradually bowed down before her decree, as example after example went to show that the Leger was lost only because the Derby had been won.
It is the old story through, of the boy who cried wolf so loud and long, that when he did come nobody would believe it. Certainly no Derby winner ever reached Doncaster with a much worse look than Surplice. His friends, indeed, gave him all that support, money, and confidence can give. But the law and the prophets generally were