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fruitless search. I tore a countess's skirt, and trod upon a duke's toe. I passed Lady Overbearing, without the slightest token of recognition; my heart was with Zoë on the Lake of the Thousand Islands, and I toiled on in vain. Could it have been a vision sent to warn me, or was it my Canadian love, thus assisting in the body at a London ball? I had pictured her to myself many thousand miles away; I had been haunted for months by that calm face, with the very same expression that it bore as she passed me a few minutes ago; the same agonized look that had once seemed to bid me an eternal farewell; and now she was in the room, in the house, and I could not find her; it was heartbreaking-it was maddening. The lights danced around me, the gaudy crowd swam before my eyes, while ever and anon a strain of music from the dancing-room rose fitfully, like the wail of a lost spirit, or the mocking laugh of a demon, and combined to drive me well nigh out of my senses. At length, in despair, I was compelled to seek the cooling atmosphere of the open street; and it was with a beating brain, and a sickness at my heart, that I staggered down those broad and stately steps which I had ascended so triumphantly but two hours before.
Are you for St. James's-street, Grand?' said Hillingdon's wellknown voice, as he put his arm within mine, and proffered the soothing refreshment of a cigar to my excited nerves.
Anywhere,' said I, wildly—' anywhere for excitement; Jem Burn's, Crocky's, Meadows's, or the devilit's all the same to me.'
And so it was; all I wanted was to escape from reflection, and another minute saw my companion and myself cooling our brows in a Hansom's cab, hastening to the emporium of a retired prize-fighter, where we might see two redoubted champions of our species pommel one another to their heart's content, and then walk round and show themselves' in all the unsavoury triumph of first-rate muscular condition.
Any orders, gen'lemen,' said a dwarfish waiter of the dirtiest description, as, flourishing his dingy napkin, he dodged about a small
square apartment, with an area in the centre, on which, as on a stage, the science and tactics of the ring were being displayed. On three sides of the lists were ranged the goodly company, none of the choicest, but numbering in their equivocal ranks some stalwart frames and honest, courageous-looking countenances. On the fourth side, a wooden bar stretched completely across the room, partitioning off an alcove at its extremity into a species of private box, where the hospitable 'Jem' received his more aristocratic visitors, and to which, as Corinthians,' or 'swells,' we were immediately admitted. Here we found Maltby completely in his element; an enormous cigar in his mouth, a comforting glass of brandy-andwater in his hand, and his elaborate costume of white neck cloth, studs, and ball-going suit of sables, covered by a rough and venerable pea-jacket. He was busily engaged in watching the preliminaries for an amicable set-to, between the Battersea Snob' and Nappy Jim' or the Sprig of Seven Dials,' two dwarfish heroes, who were now exchanging a cordial shake of their gauntleted hands previous to an uncompromising encounter. Wont ye do as we do, gentlemen ?' said our host, offering a tankard full of champagne and a box of tempting 'weeds.' We may as well wet our whistles, while these little chaps give and take a belly full.' And as we lit our cigars, and prepared for a good view of the proceedings, we saw, by the manner in which pots of beer were set down untasted, and pipes removed from sundry queerlooking countenances, that each stunted Hercules was an object of intense interest and admiration to his own backers in that motley assemblage. I confess to a partiality for a glove-fight- a fine athletic exercise, it developes the muscular vigour, and, to a large extent, the mental resources, of the combatants, without any of the bru tality, the butchery of an actual prize-fight. It exhibits the same amount of activity, the same fine proportions and commanding attitudes, the same presence of mind in difficulties, the same generous forbearance to a fallen foe; nor does
it disgust the eye and shock the feelings, by the spectacle of a brave man, reduced to helplessness through punishment and exhaustion, struggling gamely on, when overtaxed nature has cried, Enough. It is, in short, a tournament in place of a combat à l'outrance; and to those who own to an affection for manly and athletic exercises, a rattling 'set-to' between two proficients cannot fail to be an interesting sight. There is much to be said for and against our national practice of prizefighting. Its enemies do not hesitate to denominate it a brutal exhibition;' its friends and supporters seldom go further than admitting that it is a necessary evil;' but without entering upon the oft-repeated arguments, sustained by such expressions as Old English pluck,' British love of fair-play,' 'cowardly recourse to the knife,' 'bull-dog courage,' and 'never hit a man when he's down'-it must be acknowledged that the history of the P. R. records instances of gallantry and heroism that would not have disgraced the romantic chivalry of the middle ages. Jackson, champion' of England, breaking his leg in the second round of a prize-fight, requested to be allowed to sit down, and offered to finish the battle in a chair! he presented no bad specimen of that spirit which, under other circumstances, and with other opportunities, has made the name of Englishmen a type of all that is resolute, daring, and invincible. We have a high authority in the expression of Napoleon, that they never know when they are beaten.' But, in the meantime, the 'Sprig of Seven Dials,' after a miraculous display of science, tactics, ingenuity, and activity-after a vast deal of scuffling, struggling, and kicking up the dust-after many a sounding thwack and lightning parry, at length finds his head under the griping arm of the Battersea Snob,' who rains down on that unprepossessing countenance a shower of blows that but for the muffle which covers his relentless knuckles, would present a ghastly spectacle indeed.
When the famous
The Sprig is in chancery,' says mine host, removing a cigar from his lips; walk round and show
yourselves;' and the panting combatants, untwining from the close embrace of strife, proceed to regain their breath, as they strut round the arena, displaying to their admirers two very ugly faces, two wiry, muscular and hardy-looking frames.
A shower of browns,' the coppers mingled with silver from our private box, rewards their exertions; and a call of Time' from our landlord stimulates them to fresh activity, or, as Maltby says, putting on his hat to accompany us back to St. James'sstreet, they take a suck at the lemon, and at him again.'
We were in the act of leaving the door, when a tremendous 'hullaballoo,' and loud voices in angry altercation, caused us to return, in time to see reduced to practice those principles of self-defence which had lately been witnessed in theory. A tall, savage-looking negro was standing in the bar, and with all the volubility of his race when excited, was abusing all who came near him, and, as he dwelt upon some unintelligible grievance, working himself into a passion that was frightful to behold.
At length, grinding his ivory teeth, while the whites of his eyes rolled with rage, he addressed an epithet to our hostess, a most respectable woman, that roused Maltby's chivalrous ire to the utmost, and being a large, powerful man, and an accomplished fighter, he would soon have annihilated the black, had he not been checked by the stalwart arm of our host. He is not big enough for you or me, my lord; we should kill him,' said he, laying his heavy hand on the chafing nobleman. Here, Buster, this darky's getting troublesome; come and put him out.' I looked round to see the champion who was to accomplish this dangerous feat, and to my astonishment recognised the dirty little waiter, who came tumbling out at the summons in the most businesslike manner imaginable.
The contrast was too ludicrous between the tall, well-grown negro, and the diminutive, quiet little Londoner, and the first blow aimed by the child of the sun must, I thought, have demolished his adversary. Not so; it passed harmless over the
waiter's bushy head, and the little man rattled in his "one, two,' in return, with a force and velocity that sent the black down as if he had been shot. Once more Sambo made his attack, butting with his woolly head at the active little combatant; and once more, foiled by science and agility, he measured his length upon the floor, this time in the immediate vicinity of the door, through which he found himself bundled into the street by the dexterous Buster, with no inclination to renew the contest, the waiter returning to his former employment of pot-filling and glass-wiping, as though such encounters were in the common course of his daily busi
Many a hearty laugh did we enjoy over the incident during our walk along the now silent and almost deserted streets, and we reached the broad steps and frowning portals of Crockford's pande
monium ere we had half done discussing the fighting qualities of the waiter and the speedy emancipation of the black. Good-natured Maltby would not suffer either of us to enter the club, insisting on our accompanying him home to his comfortable little bachelor's abode in Queen-street. 'If Hillingdon once gets you in there,' said he to me,
you will both begin 'punting;' sit up till five o'clock, lose three hundred a-piece, and go home disgusted. Much better come with me; I'll give you some supper, the best brew of cold punch in Europe, and then we'll smoke a cigar and have a good long talk about hunting.' We laughed heartily at our friend's devotion to his favourite pursuit; and with the easy readiness of youth to accept the first diversion that offers itself, we strolled on, arm-in-arm, to his abode, and finished the night in the manner he proposed.
A POPULAR ROUE-MORNINGS AT RICHMOND-THE OPERA, AND ITS ATTRACTIONS— A COLLISION BY LAMP-LIGHT-THE DANGERS OF FLIRTING AND FENCING.
IF ever man existed of whom it might be said, that he knew the right, and yet the wrong pursued,' that man was Lord St. Heliers. With a high position, a large fortune, great abilities, a powerful frame, and an iron constitution, he had opportunities of fame and distinction enjoyed by few, and yet he made all these advantages subservient to the purposes of amusement and self-indulgence: whilst others of his own standing, far inferior in talents and acquirements, were taking the House' by storm with their eloquence, or convincing by the calm arguments of reason the unimpassioned judgments of 'Another Place,' St. Heliers was betting at Newmarket or hunting at Melton; whilst the associates of his boyhood were winning fame and building reputations in the varied walks of public life, he was celebrated but for the cutting sarcasm of his witticisms or the dissolute recklessness of his orgies. To the scoffer's requisites for living well, a bad heart and a good stomach,' he added a temper that nothing could ruffle,
and nerves that no catastrophe could shake; perhaps a more goodnatured man than St. Heliers never existed, nor one with a worse heart. He looked upon the world around him but to laugh at it, and measured by his own selfish guage, not only the conduct, but the very feelings of his neighbours. Did he see a kindly action, he set it down to the score of a far-seeing self-interest; did he hear a virtuous sentiment, he dubbed it a well-acted piece of consummate hypocrisy. I never give any man credit for being a fool,' such was one of his favourite maxims; and he considered no piece of folly so glaring as that of inconveniencing self for the purpose of benefiting another. And yet was this man the most agreeable companion; in the language of the world, the best fellow' that was to be met with in the whole range of London society. His anecdotes were so well told, his satire of himself, as well as othersfor he never spared his own failings-so lively and humorous, his dry, quaint manner so original, that as the ladies smiled at his repartees,
and the clubs rang with his sallies, he was universally voted the most popular fellow in England. With his quick insight into character, and insatiable appetite for amusement, new faces and young companions were absolutely necessary; and from my first introduction to him, he took me up,' as people call it, and bestowed upon me the equivocal advantage of his intimacy. From my lively disposition and reckless habits, he probably foresaw that I should contribute much to his amusement, so long as I could live the pace' with him; nor did he care that, when ruin stared me in the face, I must eventually drop into the rear, beggared and dishonoured through his friendship. What did it matter to him? There would be more young ones coming on.
Such was the man who had invited me to accompany him to a dinner at Richmond, with a small party, as he said, not composed entirely of men;' and as we were to go early, and enjoy the fine weather on the river during the afternoon, I had scarcely finished a late breakfast, consequent upon Maltby's prolonged hunting-lecture, ere it was time to adjourn to his lordship's house, whence we were to take our departure. A perfect little dwelling-place it was, too, with its front windows enjoying the comparatively fresh breeze from the park, and its hall opening into a quiet street, whose cul-de-sac precluded all the noise of traffic which pervades each busy thoroughfare. The sun shone with a tropical warmth upon the dry white pavement, the crossings alone being knee-deep in mud; for it appears that, in London, there can be no medium between the dust of the Sahara desert and the floundering difficulties of a morass. St. Heliers had asked me to come early, and smoke a cigar with him before starting; and on my admittance by his servant, I was immediately ushered into his lordship's snuggery, or boudoir,' as he called it, where I found him sedulously engaged in the consumption of tobacco, and assisted by a good-looking, gentleman-like man, whom he introduced to me as Captain Lavish, of some hussar regiment.
Sitting on a well-cushioned ottoman, in the quiet enjoyment of an enormous pipe, his low, square frame enveloped in the folds of a shawl dressing-gown, his broad forehead, short curly hair, and large bushy whiskers, all betokening strength and repose, I could not help thinking what a good Turk St. Heliers would make in a picture, if taken in that attitude and costume; nor would the sly humorous twinkle of his eye have been out of character with some sedate Mussulman, grave by profession and rollicking by nature. He received me with some joking allusion to military punetuality, and ran on in his dry, amusing manner into a most laughable account of the battalion to which I belonged, retiring in rather unseemly haste from a field-day, when caught in a tremendous shower of rain some days previously; and as he was quizzing the hurried retreat with an affectation of military language and detail, I interrupted him with Right in front, St. Heliers; you civilians can never understand these things-we marched into the barracks right in front.' So you did, my dear fellow,' was the instantaneous reply; of course that was the reason that you were left behind;' and he went on with his description in a manner that brought tears of laughter into the eyes of his two listeners. Such readiness, such a happy knack of creating mirth, such a keen sense of the ludicrous, I never met in any one else. yet this flow of wit, abundant as it was, never became obtrusive-never for an instant verged upon noise and vulgarity.
Nothing could go off better than did our dinner at Richmond. Lavish drove me down in one of St. Heliers' phaetons; he himself, Mdlle. de Rivolte, (a danseuse of European celebrity,) a much rouged German Countess, and another dandy, completing the party, and travelling socially in a britzka. I found my companion and charioteer a very agreeable, careless, good-humoured fellow, and we struck up a great alliance, much cemented by sundry potations of champagne-cup, a beverage highly approved of by the fairer portion of the company. We agreed to dine early, so as to have
the whole evening to enjoy upon the river, when the heat of the day was past. Jest, repartee, merriment, and broken English-the popping of corks, the ringing of glasses, half-blown roses, floods of sunshine, Venetian blinds, and cold currant tart, made up a highly inspiriting scene. Mdlle.de Rivolte declared her determination to be sculled about upon the river by no one but ce cher Grand, an arrangement which St. Heliers did not seem entirely to approve, but which, with his usual imperturbable good humour, he immediately acceded to. Lavish got the others safely afloat in a punt, not without misgivings on the part of the German, whose unsteadiness was not wholly attributable to the water: and lighting our cigars, the two freights floated luxuriantly down the stream, as the last beams of sunset gilded the fresh green foliage of the merry month of May.
An occasional stroke of my sculls soon bore us far beyond the more tardy progression of the punt; and as I gazed at my companion, whose eyes sparkled and cheeks flushed with enjoyment of her holiday, (for it was not an opera night,) and whose tasteful dress, classical head and neck, silky dark hair, and long eyelashes, made amends for rather irregular features and a very inferior complexion, I could not help thinking that she was really fascinating, and that all this was uncommonly pleasant. You like England, Mons. Grand,' she said, in her pretty broken English, after a long description of the sunny haunts she loved in la belle France; but you have nevare seen my contrèe,' and she warbled out the refrain of some melodious old French romanceC'est l'espérance, qui fait l'avenir; Sans espérance, mieux vaut, mieux vaut mourir.
Mieux vaut, mieux vaut mourir,' she repeated, almost in a whisper, and relapsing into a dreamy reverie, she gazed downwards upon the water, as though its rippling current could bear her thoughts far, far away into the golden regions of the future. And here, thought I, is a woman whose whole education has been for the public; whose appearance nightly on the stage is greeted by the applause of thou
sands; who cannot step into her carriage without hearing a passer-by exclaim, 'There goes Rivolte;' whose name is in every paper, as her picture is in every print-shop; who has achieved fame, for such she has been taught to consider this notoriety; who has arrived at the pinnacle of her ambition, and yet, in her woman's nature, she pines for the domestic pleasures of a peaceful home; she anticipates the time when she shall retire from the public gaze, and hide her weary head beneath a husband's roof-probably when the time does come, it will bore her exceedingly, but that will be the fault of her previous education, not the law of her instinct. Meanwhile she is melancholy and depressed; she must be consoled; and with this charitable view, I offered her those quiet and respectful attentions ever so much prized by a woman who is not quite certain of her position, and doubly acceptable from their contrast to the obtrusive gallantries of which such women are generally the objects.
If you would make arrangements for a pic-nic, a fête champêtre, or any out-of-doors excursion in our native land, mind that, in addition to the corkscrew and the salt, you remember to take with you plenty of plaids, umbrellas, and Macintosh cloaks, for the three fine days of an English summer too surely endwith their proverbial thunderstorm. We were far a-head of the party in the punt, gliding smoothly over one of those wide reaches which form so delightful a variety in the Thames ; the sun had been some hours below the horizon; the moon, after an unsuccessful attempt, had been ob. scured by clouds; and the weather, sultry all day, became more oppressive as the dusk deepened into darkness. My fair companion and myself were so engrossed with our conversation, that we had scarcely observed the threatening aspect of the night, and we were in the act of turning homewards, with a remark that the others would wonder what had be come of us, when a few heavy drops, plashing loudly into the stream, warned us of what was to follow. I put the boat's head round, and pulled vigorously for the shore; the only thing I learned at Eton (to my shame be it said), the art of sculling,