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Title: Manners & Cvftoms of ye Englyfhe - Drawn from ye Qvick
Author: Doyle, Richard, 1824-1883
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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[Transcriber's Note: Italic text is denoted by _underscores_ and
superscript is denoted by {curly brackets}.]


  [Illustration: Manners
                 & Cvstoms
                 of y{e} Englyshe]




  London & Edinburgh

_The publisher has to acknowledge his indebtedness
to Messrs. Bradbury, Agnew, & Co. Ltd., the
publishers of the original edition of this work,
for permission kindly granted to include in this
new edition several copyright pictures with their
accompanying text._

_November 1911_

_Printed by_ MORRISON & GIBB LIMITED, _Edinburgh_


  _Ye Contributor hys Preface_                       _Page_ vii

  _A Cydere Cellare duryng a Comyck Songe_                    1

  _An "At Home." Ye Polka_                                    3

  _Ye Fashonable Worlde in Hyde Parke_                        5

  _A Drawynge Room Day_                                       7

  _Smythfield Cattle Markete_                                 9

  _A Few Friends to Tea, and a Lyttle Musyck_                11

  _Ye National Sporte!!! of Steeple Chasynge_                13

  _Ye Commons ressolved into a Commytte_                     15

  _Ye Public its Excytemente on ye Appearance of Miss Lind_  17

  _A Prospect of Exeter Hall_                                19

  _Ye Exhybityon at ye Royal Academye_                       21

  _A View of Epsom Downes on ye Derbye Daye_                 23

  _A Prospect of Greenwich Fair_                             25

  _Kensyngton Gardens with ye Bande Playinge there_          27

  _Ye Hyghest Court of Law in ye Kyngdom_                    29

  _Ye Flower Showe at Chysyk Gardens_                        31

  _"Socyetye" enjoyinge itselfe at a Soyrée_                 33

  _A View of Mr. Lorde hys Cryket Grounde_                   35

  _A Raylwaye Meetynge_                                      37

  _A Prospect of ye Thames its Regatta_                      39

  _A Raylway Statyon_                                        41

  _Ye Brytysh Granadiers amountynge Guard_                   43

  _A Prospect of a Fashyonable Haberdasher hys Shope_        45

  _Regente Streete at Four of ye Clocke p.m._                47

  _Blackwall_                                                49

  _Ye Sporte of Punte Fyshynge off Rychmonde_                51

  _Trycks of ye London Trade_                                53

  _Madame Tussaud her Wax Werkes_                            55

  _Deere Stalkynge in ye Hyghlandes_                         57

  _A Prospect of an Election_                                59

  _A Partie of Sportsmen out a Shutynge_                     61

  _Ye Wyne Vaults at ye Docks_                               63

  _A Weddynge Breakfaste_                                    65

  _A Theatre. Ye House amused by ye Comycke Actor_           67

  _A Prospecte of ye Zoological Societye its Gardens_        69

  _Westminster Hall_                                         71

  _A Prospecte of ye 5th of November_                        73

  _A Banquet of ye Agricultural Interest_                    75

  _Ye Appearance of ye Crymynyal Courte_                     77

  _A Promenade Concerte_                                     79

  _Ye Serpentyne during a Hard Frost_                        81

  _A Fashionable Club. Four o'clock p.m._                    83

  _The Circus at Astley's_                                   85

  _Ye Fathers of ye Churche gyving Judgmente_                87

  _A Juvenile Partye_                                        89

  _A Grande Review_                                          91

  _A Pic-nic_                                                93

  _Vauxhall_                                                 95

  _A Scientific Institution_                                 97


Suppose the great-grandfather of anybody could step down from his
picture-frame and stalk abroad, his descendant would be eager to hear
his opinion of the world we live in. Most of us would like to know what
the men of the _Past_ would say of the _Present_. If some old
philosopher, for instance SOCRATES, exchanging robes for modern clothes,
lest he should be followed by the boys and taken up by the police, could
revisit this earth, walk our streets, see our sights, behold the scenes
of our political and social life, and, contemplating this bustling age
through the medium of his own quiet mind, set down his observations
respecting us and our usages, he would write a work, no doubt, very
interesting to her MAJESTY'S subjects.

It would answer the purpose of a skilful literary enchanter to "unsphere
the spirit of PLATO," or that of PYTHAGORAS, ARISTOTLE, or any other
distinguished sage of antiquity, and send it out on its rambles with a
commission to take, and report, its views of things in general. But such
necromancy would have tasked even the Warlock of the North, would puzzle
the wizard of any point of the compass, and, it is probable, could be
cleverly achieved by no adept inferior to the ingenious MR. SHAKSPEARE.

However, there flourished in a somewhat later day a philosopher, for
such he was after his fashion, a virtuoso, antiquary, and _F.R.S._,
whose ghost an inconsiderable person may perhaps attempt to raise
without being accused of pretending to be too much of a conjuror. He
appears to have been a _Peripatetic_, at least until he could keep a
coach, but on the subjects of dress, dining, and some others, his
opinions favour strongly of _Epicurism_. A little more than a hundred
and eighty years ago he employed his leisure in going about everywhere,
peeping into everything, seeing all that he could, and chronicling his
experiences daily. In his _Diary_, which happily has come down to our
times, the historical facts are highly valuable, the comments mostly
sensible, the style is very odd, and the autobiography extremely
ludicrous. I have adventured reverently to evoke this worshipful
gentleman, that, resuming his old vocation as a journalist, he might
comment on the "_Manners and Customs of ye Englyshe_," in the name of
MR. PIPS. I hope his shadow, if not his spirit, may be recognised in the
following pages.

                                                       PERCIVAL LEIGH.


                                           SATURDAY, _March 10, 1849_.]

To Drury Lane this Evening, to see the Horsemanship, which did divert me
mightily; but had rather it had been at Astley's, which is the fitter
Place for it. After that, to Supper at the Cider Cellars in Maiden Lane,
wherein was much Company, great and small, and did call for Kidneys and
Stout, then a small Glass of _Aqua-Vitæ_ and Water, and thereto a Cigar.
While we supped, the Singers did entertain us with Glees and Comical
Ditties; but Lack, to hear with how little Wit the young Sparks about
Town are tickled! But the Thing that did most take me was to see and
hear one Ross sing the Song of SAM HALL the Chimney-Sweep, going to be
hanged: for he had begrimed his Muzzle to look unshaven, and in rusty
black Clothes, with a battered old Hat on his Crown and a short Pipe in
his Mouth, did sit upon the Platform, leaning over the Back of a Chair:
so making believe that he was on his way to Tyburn. And then he did sing
to a dismal Psalm-Tune, how that his Name was SAM HALL, and that he had
been a great Thief, and was now about to pay for all with his Life; and
thereupon he swore an Oath which did make me somewhat shiver, though
divers laugh. Then, in so many Verses, how his Master had badly taught
him and now he must hang for it; how he should ride up Holborn Hill in a
Cart, and the Sheriffs would come, and then the Parson, and preach to
him, and after them would come the Hangman; and at the End of each Verse
he did repeat his Oath. Last of all, how that he should go up to the
Gallows; and desired the Prayers of his Audience, and ended by cursing
them all round. Methinks it had been a Sermon to a Rogue to hear him,
and I wish it may have done good to some of the Company. Yet was his
cursing very horrible, albeit to not a few it seemed a high Joke; but I
do doubt that they understood the Song and did only relish the Oaths.
Strange to think what a Hit this Song of SAM HALL hath made, and how it
hath taken the Town, and how popular it is not only among Tavern
Haunters and Frequenters of Night Houses, but also with the Gentry and
Aristocracy who do vote it a Thing that ought to be heard though a
blackguard, and look in at the Cider Cellars Night by Night after Dinner
at their Clubs to hear it sung. After SAM HALL, to pay for my Supper,
which cost me 2s. 2d., besides 4d. to the Waiter; and then Home in a
Cab, it being late, and I fearing to anger my Wife, which cost me 2s.
more; but I grudged not the Money, having been much diverted, and so to

[Illustration: _AN "AT HOME." YE POLKA._

                                        WEDNESDAY, _March 21st, 1849_.]

To-night to an Evening Party with my Wife, to SIR HILARY JINKS'S,
whereunto we had been bidden to come at 10 of the Clock; for SIR HILARY
and her Ladyship have taken to keeping rare Hours. Thereat was a goodly
Company of about an hundred, and the Women all very fine, my Wife in her
last Year's Gown, which I am tired of, and do hate to see. But did not
tell her that, knowing she would have said how soon I might rid me of
that Objection. We did fall to dancing Quadrilles, wherein I made one,
and had for my Partner a pretty little black Damsel, whom after the
Dance was ended, did hand to a Sofa, and thereon sit me by her Side; but
seeing my Wife looking hard at us, did presently make my Bow, and go
away. And, my Wife seated by the Wall, to walk about the Room, and speak
with such as I thought like to tell me Something worth hearing, but told
me Nothing I cared to hear, they all shunning to talk, and in their
white Ties, and Waistcoats, and Kid Gloves, starch, and constrained, and
ill at Ease, which was ridiculous. Then to look on while some did dance
the Polka, which did please me not much, for had beheld it better danced
at the _Casino_, and do think it more suitable to such a Place than to a
Drawing Room. The Young Fellows did take their Partners by the Waist,
and these did lean upon the other's Shoulders, and with one Arm
stretched out, and holding Hand in Hand, they did spin round the Room
together. But, Lack! to see the kicking up of Heels and stamping of them
on the Ground, which did mightily remind me of _Jim Crow_. In Truth, I
am told that the Polka is but a Peasant's Hop, from Hungary, and to
think now of Persons of Quality cutting such Capers! SIR HILARY to his
Taste; but a Minuet for me at Home, with Gentlewomen, and a Polka with
Milkmaids at a Maying or Show Girls in a Booth. Meanwhile the Servants
did hand round Glasses of Negus, which was poor Stuff; and those who
listed to Supper when they chose, in a side Room, off wretched
Sandwiches of the Size of the Triangles of EUCLID his _Geometry_, which
did think shabby. Expected Chicken and Lobster Salad, with Champagne,
and Oysters and Ale and Stout, but disappointed. Home in a Cab, at Two
in the Morning, much wearied and little pleased; and on our Way Home,
spying a Tavern open, did go and get me a Pint of Beer, and the same to
my Wife; for we were both athirst, and she in an ill Humour about the
Beauty I had danced with, and I because of the bad Supper; and so very
ill-contented to Bed.


                                          TUESDAY, _March 27th, 1849_.]

This Day to the Ring in Hyde Park for a Walk to get me an Appetite, and
look at the fine Folks and People of Fashion riding in their carriages,
which it do much delight me to behold. But, good Lack! what a strange
Notion of the Pleasure of a Drive; with the Carriages in a close Line
jammed all together, and sometimes coming to a dead Stop like the
Omnibuses in Fleet Street of an Afternoon, and seldom moving on faster
than Mourning Coaches at a Funeral. Did see many mighty pretty young
Ladies; and one sitting in a Landau with a Coronet on the Panel, upon
whom I did smile, but perceiving that she did turn up her Nose at me, I
did look glum; howbeit, another comely Damsel that I smiled at did blush
and simper, which gave me Joy. It was as good as a Play to watch the
young Guardsmen, with their Tufts and Mustaches, riding straight-legged,
and them and the other Bucks taking off their Hats and kissing their
Hands to the charming Belles as they passed them by. But it was rarer
still to behold a Snob that strove to do the same Sort of Thing, and did
get laughed at for his Pains. Then what Sport to observe the fat
Coachmen, in their Wigs, something like Bishops', sitting on their
Boxes, and the Footmen behind with their parti-coloured Liveries of drab
and green, and red and yellow Plush, and gold-laced Hats, Shoulderknots
and Cockades, bearing their Canes, and their Noses to the Sky, holding
their Heads as high as Peacocks for Pride in their Frippery and plump
Calves! These Fellows are as fine as Court Cards, and full as
Ridiculous, and they do divert me in the Extreme: only their bepowdered
Pates do offend me, for I think the Fashion an uncleanly one; and after
all, I wonder how their Masters and Mistresses can delight in dressing
them out so much like Mountebanks. Did note divers Noble Lords and
Gentlemen of the House of Commons whom I did know either by Sight or
from the Caricatures in the Shop-Windows. From four to five o'Clock
around the Ring and up and down by the Serpentine to make my
observations. Methought how jolly these fine People must be, and how
happy they looked compared to a Beggar Boy whom I did spy squatting on
the Grass: yet no Doubt many of them have Troubles enough, and some may
be even short of Cash to pay for their Vanities. After that, to the
Corner, by the Powder Magazine, nigh to Kensington Gardens, to see the
Company alight from their Carriages, and take an Inventory of the
Ladies' Dresses, whereof to furnish an Account to my Wife. Then away
home at half-past Five, and so to Dinner off a Shoulder of Mutton and
Onion-Sauce, which my Wife doth make exceeding well, and my Dinner did
content me much; and thereupon I did promise my Wife a new Bonnet, the
Like whereof I had seen on a Countess in the Park, and so both in great
Good Humour, and very loving all the Evening.


                                         THURSDAY, _March 29th, 1849_.]

To see the Nobility and Gentry, and other great Company, go to the
QUEEN'S Drawing-Room, with a Friend to St. James's Street, where did
stand in Front of BOODLE'S Club-House in the Rain, which was heavy, and
spoiled my Paris Hat, cost me twelve Shillings. But the Sight of the
Show almost worth the Damage; for the Red and Blue Uniforms of the Army
and Navy Officers with their Orders on their Breasts, and their Cocked
Hats and Plumes in their Laps, and the Ladies of Quality in their Silks
and Satins of all Manner of Colours, and their Hair crowned with Ostrich
Feathers, and sparkling with Pearls and Diamonds, did much delight me to
behold. But I wish I could have had as good a View of the Gentlefolks
within the Carriages as I had of the Lackeys outside, who, with their
supercilious Airs, and their Jackanapes Garb, did divert me more than
ever. I do continually marvel at the enormous Calves of those Varlets,
for which one might almost think they were reared, like a sort of
Cattle. Indeed, I should have believed that their Stockings were
stuffed, if I had not seen one of them wince when a Horse chanced to lay
hold of his Leg. It did more and more amaze me to observe how high they
carried their Noses, especially as most of them had Posies in their
bosoms; whereas they looked as though, instead, there were some
unsavoury Odour beneath their Nostrils. But much as the Servants
resembled Zanies and Harlequins, yet did some of their Masters look not
much better; being dressed in a Court Suit, which methinks do make a
Gentleman seem a sort of embroidered Quaker. I do greatly wonder why the
ugliest Apparel of any Date in English History should be pitched upon
for the Court Dress. But the splendid Carriages painted with Coats of
Arms, and the stately caparisoned Horses, did make a rare Show; and
among them mighty droll to mark the Hack Cabs not suffered to enter at
the Palace Gate; so the Fares had to alight and walk on foot the Rest of
the Way to the Drawing-Room: and so into the Presence of Her MAJESTY in
dirty Boots: which was not seemly; but many of them are Half Pay
Officers, and other poor Subjects, who could afford no better than a
Cab. Pleased to see the Police with their Truncheons, keeping Order
among the Vagabonds, till one did tell me to move on, which did vex me.
Then there were the Guards, in full Uniform on Horseback, with their
Helmets on their Heads and their Swords drawn, about one under each Lamp
Post, mounting Guard, and I believe this is the heaviest Part of their
Duty. What with the blazing Uniforms and glittering Jewels, my Eyes were
dazzled and my Head did somewhat ache; moreover, some pretty Faces put
my Heart in a Flutter, which did not think fit to mention to my Wife.
Methinks how fine it would be to ride in State to Court, if it were not
so chargeable, and I should much delight in the Honour and Glory of the
Thing, but not like the Expense. A Drawing-Room doth altogether eclipse
the LORD MAYOR'S Show; although it do seem but a Toy and gilt
Gingerbread Affair, and an empty, childish Display, like the Babies'
Game of King and Queen; but then it hath certainly this Advantage, that
it do much good to Trade.


                                            MONDAY, _April 9th, 1849_.]

Up betimes, it being scarcely Light, to Smithfield, to see the Cattle
Market, which I do think a great Disgrace to the City, being so nasty,
filthy, and dangerous a Place in the very Heart of London. I did observe
the Manner of driving the Beasts together, used by the Drovers, which
did disgust me. To force the Oxen into their Places, they have stout
Cudgels, pointed with iron Goads or Prods, wherewith they thrust the
Creatures in the flesh of their Hind Quarters, or with the Cudgel
belabour them on the Hock. These means failing, they do seize the
Animal's Tail and give it a sudden Wrench with a Turn of the Wrist,
whereby they snap the Tail-bone, and so twist and wring the spinal Cord
till he pushes forward as far as they would have him. Some, not getting
Room for the Beasts in the Pens, do drive them into Circles called Ring
Droves, with their hind Parts outwards, and their Heads forced as close
as may be together: this done by beating them with all their Might about
the Head and Eyes, and between the Horns, which they do call pething
them. Then to see how they crowd the Sheep into the Pens by dogging them
as their Word is, which means baiting them with Dogs that do tear the
Sheeps' Eyes, Ears, and Cheeks, until they worry such Numbers in, that
not one can budge an Inch. All this Cruelty is caused by the Market not
being big enough: for which Reason they are obliged to force the unlucky
Brutes into the smallest possible Space. What with the Oaths and Curses
of the Drovers and Butchers and the Barking of their Dogs and the Cries
of the Animals in Torture, I do think I never heard a more horrid Din in
my Life. The Hearing was as bad as the Seeing, and both as bad as could
be, except the Smell, which was worse than either. But to be sure it was
good Sport to see here and there a fat Grazier overthrown by a Pig
running between his Legs, and so upsetting him in the Mire. It were well
if it were never worse; but with mad Oxen driven from the Market through
Streets full of People, it continually happens that some Person is
tossed and gored, and one of these Days it will be an Alderman, and then
Smithfield will be put an End to. No doubt it would have been done away
with long ago, but for the Tolls and Dues which the Corporation do
derive from the Market. This is why they do keep up a Nuisance which did
well nigh poison me; though one of them at a Meeting did declare that he
thought Smithfield salubrious, and did send his Children to walk there
for Change of Air, which if it were for the better, methinks that
Gentleman's Dwelling-House should be a sweet Abode. All but the Citizens
do say that Parliament ought to abolish this Nuisance; but it is thought
that my LORD JOHN dare not stir in the Matter, because he is Member for
the City. To Breakfast to an Early Coffee House, having lost my Pocket
Handkerchief, cost me 5s., doubtless by the Pickpockets, of whom
Smithfield, besides its other Recommendations, is a great Resort. But
content, not having had an Ox's Horn in my Stomach, and having seen all
I wanted, and do not wish to see any more.


                                            TUESDAY, _April 17, 1849_.]

To MR. JIGGINS'S, where my Wife and I were invited to Tea and a little
Musique, but we had much Musique and little Tea, though the Musique was
like the Tea in Quality, and I do prefer a stronger Kind of Musique as
well as Liquor. Yet it was pleasing enough to the Ear to hear the
fashionable Ballads, and the Airs from all the New Italian Operas sung
by the young Ladies; which, though they expressed Nothing but
common-place Love and Sentiment, yet were a pretty Sing-Song. But to see
the young Fellows whilst a Beauty was singing crowd round her, and bend
over her Shoulders, and almost scramble to turn over the Leaves of her
Musique Book! Besides the Singing, there was Playing of the Piano Forte,
with the Accompaniment of a Fiddle and Bass Violl, the Piano being
played by a stout fat Lady with a Dumpling Face; but for all her being
so fat it did amaze me to see how nimbly she did fillip the Keys. They
did call this Piece a Concerto, and I was told it was mighty brilliant;
but when I asked what Fancy, Passion, or Description there was in it, no
one could tell; and I verily thought the Brilliancy like that of a Paste
Buckle. It had not even an Air to carry away and whistle, and would have
pleased me just as well if I had stopped my Ears, for I could discern
Nothing in it but Musical Sleight of Hand. But good Lack! to think how,
in these Days, Execution is Everything in Musique, and Composition
little or Nothing: for almost no Account is made of the Master, and a
preposterous Value put upon the Player, or artiste, as the Frenchified
Phrase now is! After the Concerto, some Polkas and Waltzes, which did
better please me; for they were a lively Jingle certainly, and not quite
unmeaning. Strange, to find how rare a Thing good Musique is in Company;
and by good Musique I mean such as do stir up the Soul, like the Flowers
and Sunshine in Spring, or Storms and Tempests, or ghostly Imaginations,
or the thought of great Deeds, or tender or terrible Passages in Poetry.
My Wife do play some brave Pieces in this Kind, by MYNHEER VAN
BEETHOVEN, and I would rather hear her perform one of them, than all I
did hear to-Night put together; and so I did tell her when we got Home,
which did content her well. But every one to his Taste; and they who
delight in the trivial Style of Musique to theirs, as I to mine, not
doubting that the English, that have but just begun to be sensible to
Musique at all, will be awake to the nobler Sort of it by-and-by. And,
at any Rate, an Evening of insipid Musique and weak Tea is better than
sitting toping and guzzling after Dinner.


                                             MONDAY, _April 23, 1849_.]

Down the Road to a Steeple Chase, which I had never seen before, and did
much long to behold: for of all Things I do love Diversion and
Merriment; and both MR. STRAPPES and SIR WILLIAM SPURKINS did tell me
there would be rare Sport. Got a Place in the Grand Stand, cost me
half-a-Guinea, which was loth to part with, but thought I should have
brave Entertainment for so much Money. Did find myself here in fine
Company, Dukes, and Earls, and Lords and Ladies too, which did please
me; but among them some Snobs, in Stable-cut-Clothes, with spotted
Neckcloths and Fox-headed Breast-pins; though some of these were Lords
too, who seemed to have been at Pains to look like Ostlers. To see the
Crowd on Horseback and in Carriages, and those on Foot pushing and
scrambling, and trampling each other to get a Sight of the Course, as if
there had been going to be a Coronation, or a Man hanged! The Course,
marked out with Flags, and having Hurdles, Posts, Fences, Rails,
Hedges, Drains, Ditches, and Brooks in the Way; and this Sportsmen do
call the Country, and say such a Country is a Teaser, and so I should
think. By-and-by Jockies in their Saddles, but their word is Pig-skins,
looking, in their gay Colours, like Tulips on Horseback, which was a
pretty Sight. Then a Bell rung to clear the Course, and the Horses with
their Riders drawn up ready to start, and presently a Flag flourished
for a Signal: and so they off. Good Lack, to see them galloping
helter-skelter, like mad, through Rivers, and over Hedges and Ditches,
and the whole Thing done in ten Minutes! Some did jump the Fences and
Hedges, which they about me did term Raspers, clean over; but others not
so lucky, and stuck in Brambles or on Stakes, or between double Rows of
Posts, with a Quickset in the Middle, whereof the cant name is
Bullfinchers. Others upset in Ditches; and one or two of them not able
to get up again, and carried away upon some of the Hurdles; and when the
Race was over, three Horses found lying with their Backs broken, and so
shot. SIR WILLIAM did inform me that it was a tidy Field, which I could
not agree, with the Raspers and Palisades upon it, and the Horses
spiked, or sprawling with their Riders on the Ground with broken Backs
and Limbs. Nor did I understand the Fun of this Part of the Thing;
wherefore I suppose I must be dull; for it do seem to be the chief
Delight that People take in it. For, as if the Gates and Rails belonging
to the Ground were not dangerous enough, they do set up others called
made Fences, being stubborn Posts and Stakes twisted with Briars and
Brambles, which do seem to be meant for Nothing but to be tumbled over,
and in that Case to do as much Mischief, as may be, to Man and Beast.
The Horses mostly ridden by Jockeys for Hire; but some by their Owners,
who, methinks, do set a sufficient Value upon their own Existence when
they venture their Necks in riding a Steeple Chase; but I do blame them
for risking the Life of a useful Horse.


                                             FRIDAY, _April 27, 1849_.]

To the House of Commons, where an Irish Debate on the Rate-in-Aid Bill,
which did make me drowsy. The House in Committee; the Irish Members
moving all Sorts of frivolous Amendments, abusing the Government, and
quarrelling among themselves. SIR H. BARRON did accuse MR. REYNOLDS of
being ready to Vote away other People's Money because he had none of his
own, and MR. REYNOLDS did say that he never saw such Misery as on SIR H.
BARRON'S Estate; whereupon SIR H. BARRON up in a Rage, and did deny the
Fact with vehement Gestures, flourishing his Fists gallantly. Then MR.
REYNOLDS did fall foul of MR. BATESON, one that had been a Captain, for
questioning the CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER concerning young REYNOLDS'S
Place; and did make a Joke upon MR. BATESON'S Mustachios: whereat much
laughter. But a small Joke do go a great Way in the House of Commons.
Before the Debate, LORD JOHN RUSSELL marching up one of the side
Galleries, and taking the Measure of the House through his Eye-Glass: a
sharp delicate little Man, with a mild Voice, but do carry himself
stately. Methought his Observations amused him, for he smirked a little,
and looked as if he knew the Customers he had to deal with. But to see
persuade the Irish Members not to press their ridiculous Motions to a
Division, wheedling and coaxing them, as smiling and civil as
Haberdashers! The Bill to be reported to-morrow; and then the House to a
little ordinary Business; and MR. HORSMAN'S Bill postponed, through the
Irish cavilling and squabbling. Then a Debate on naming the Committee on
Savings Banks; and made an Irish Question too; the Dispute how many
Irish Members were to serve on the Committee: and the End, the Naming of
the Committee delayed. This Way of doing Business in the House of
Commons makes it no Wonder how little is done; and the chief Cause is
the Irish Members haranguing upon Nothing and quarrelling about Straws,
which do seem to me a childish and spiteful Attempt to give Trouble to
Government. I did hope to hear a Speech from SIR ROBERT PEEL, but was
disappointed, which did vex me; but heard a few Words from COLONEL
SIBTHORP, which made mighty Laughter, and were as sensible as any Thing
I heard all the Evening: and the Colonel in a brave Waistcoat, with his
droll Figure did divert me much. Last of all, a Settlement of the
Smithfield Committee: and I do wonder this became not an Irish Matter
too. The House adjourning at half-past One in the Morning; and to see
the Number of Members lying asleep on the Gallery Benches! All this
While Nothing whatever done of more Importance than Parish Business at a
Vestry. I off to Supper in the Haymarket on pickled Salmon and Stout,
cost me 1s. 6d., and then Home and to Bed, past 2 o'Clock, and my Wife
do say that the House of Commons keep worse Hours than any Tavern in


                                              SATURDAY, _May 5, 1849_.]

To the Queen's House in the Haymarket to hear Jenny Lind, whom Everybody
do call the Swedish Nightingale. Did go with a Pit Ticket, cost me 8s.
6d., which is a mighty Sum of Money to pay for only the Chance of a
Seat. Went at 6 p.m., expecting a Crowd, and there a Mob of People
already at the Doors, and some did say they had come as early as Five.
Got as close as I could to the Pit Entrance, and the Throng increasing;
and by-and-by Ladies in their Opera Dresses standing without their
Bonnets in the Street. Many of them between the Carriage Wheels and
under the Horses' Heads: and methinks I did never see more Carriages
together in my Life. At last the Doors open; which I began to fear they
never would, and I in with the Press, a most terrible Crush, and the
Ladies screaming and their Dresses torn in the Scramble, wherefore I
thought it a good Job that my Wife was not with me. With much ado into
the Pit, the Way being stopped by a Snob in a green Jockey Coat and
Bird's Eye Neckcloth, that the Checktakers would not suffer to pass. The
Pit full in a Twinkling, and I fain to stand where I best might, nigh to
Fop's Alley: but presently a Lady fainting with the Heat and carried
out, which I glad of; I mean that I got her Place. I did never behold so
much Company in the House before; and every Box full of Beauties, and
hung with yellow Satin Curtains, did show like a brave picture in a Gold
Frame; which was very handsome to look round upon while the Musicians
were tuning. The Fiddles tuned, and the Overture played, the Curtain up
for the Opera; which was the _Sonnambula_; the Part of _Amina_ acted by
JENNY. The moment she came on the Stage, the Audience, Lords, Ladies,
and all, upon their Legs, shouting, cheering, waving Hats and
Handkerchiefs, and clapping of Hands in white Kid Gloves. But at last
they silent, and let the Nightingale sing: and for certain she is a
wonderful Singer. It did amaze me to hear how easy and sweetly she do
trill and warble the most difficult Passages: and I perceive she hath a
rare Ability of Voice. But what did no less astonish me was her Acting,
it being as good as her singing; for she did seem to forget herself in
her Part, instead of her Part in herself; which is the Mistake of most
Opera Singers. To think that she should draw the whole Town in Crowds
together to hear her sing a few pretty Sugar-plum Melodies and portray
the Grief of a poor Peasant Wench cast off by her Lover! But she do put
a Grace and Beauty of her own into the Character and Musique: which I
take to be the Mark of a true Genius. She made to sing divers Songs
twice over, and called upon the Stage at the End of the Act, and again
when the Opera was finished; when, good Lack, to see the Nosegays and
Posies flung in Heaps upon the Stage! She must needs get a Mint of Money
by her Singing; but she has spent a Deal of it in building Hospitals,
and I do wish (Heaven forgive me!) I had all she has given away in


                                             WEDNESDAY, _May 9, 1849_.]

Went this Morning to Exeter Hall, where one of the May Meetings that do
regularly take Place at this Time of the Season, and serve in Lieu of
Concerts and Shows to a Sort of People that call themselves serious.
This, one of the Meetings of a Protestant Association, which I had heard
much of and did long to go to, expecting to hear some good Argument
against the Roman Catholiques. But instead of Argument, I did hear
Nothing but Abuse, which do always go in at one Ear and out at the
other. No new Point brought forward to confute Popery; but only an
Iteration of the Old Charges of Superstition and so forth, urged with no
greater Power than mere Strength of Lungs. The Commotions on the
Continent last Year laid much Stress on, and the Turmoils in Catholique
and Quiet in Protestant States contrasted, as though there had been no
Disturbance or Trouble in Prussia or Denmark, or any Tumult or
Revolution in Belgium or Portugal. I did note two chief Speakers, whom,
on their rising, the Assembly did applaud as if they had been Actors,
and to be sure, they ranted more frantically than I did ever see HICKS.
Yet at Times they stooped to Drollery in the Height of their Passion,
and one of them did make such Sport of the Roman Catholique Religion as
would not have been suffered in the Adelphi Theatre. But I do find that
some who would not be seen in a Play-House can enjoy their laugh at
Exeter Hall. This Orator was a Clergyman of some Kind, for he was called
Reverend in the Hand-bill, and dressed in a clerical Habit, but his Eyes
and Face blazing with Wrath, did storm like a Madman against the
Maynooth Grant and the POPE OF ROME; and howled as fierce as a Hyæna.
The other a Clergyman too, and looked as much like one, with his
sneering angry Visage, and did vehemently harangue, crying bitterly out
on some of my Lords and the Members of the Commons' House that had voted
for Popish Endowment. His Oration a medley of Sarcasm, Invective, and
Buffoonery, and wound up with a Flourish of Patriotism and Loyalty. The
Speeches received with Applause and Laughter, but also with
Interruptions and crying to turn Somebody out. The Speakers on a
Platform, whereon they bounced backwards and forwards, having Rails in
Front as if to hinder them from breaking loose on the Audience. Behind
them a Crowd of dainty smooth Gentlemen in Black, with white
Neckerchiefs, and to see how demure they looked, as if Butter would not
melt in their Mouths! In the Body of the Hall a goodly Number of Heads,
but by far the Most of them in Bonnets. The two chief Speeches lasted an
Hour and a Half each, and the Chairman leaving his Seat, I away, my Head
aching through the Raving. Such Violence, methinks, do only prove that
there are other Bigots besides Papists; and is the worst Means of
enforcing any Truth; for they that speak in Anger and Passion are
commonly concluded by indifferent People to be in the Wrong. The Society
complaining of want of Funds, which I do not wonder at, for I fear me
the Subscribers have but few Catholiques converted for their Money.


                                               MONDAY, _May 21, 1849_.]

This Morning with my Wife to the Exhibition of the Royal Academy, where
611 Paintings, besides Miniatures and other Drawings, and Pieces of
Sculpture, making altogether 1341 Works of Art, and methought it would
be strange if there were not some Masterpiece among so many. The Whole
to be seen for the small Sum of 1s., and the Catalogue cost me 1s. more,
but should have known all the old Hands as well without it. To see how
easy it is to distinguish them by their Styles after two or three Years'
Experience: as one by his Dogs, that might be expected to bark, or to
talk rather, with their Looks and Ways like Human Creatures. Then
another by his Colouring that do resemble a Mash of sweet Omelet with
all the Colours of the Rainbow and many more; which methinks is a
strange Fancy; but now he hath a Picture out of his trite Fashion; done
after the Manner of the antique Masters, and a good Imitation. A third
also by his unadorned Beauties with their glowing Eyes and Cheeks and
plump swarthy flesh, and a fourth by his never-ending Perspectives, and
Gulfs of Darkness, and Mountains of Blue. But this year I do mark fewer
of these old Acquaintances, and more of the Works of younger Men,
wherein there is less of Knack and more of Freshness, which I do esteem
a hopeful Sign. The Exhibition at large I judge to be a very excellent
middling one, many Pictures good in their Kind, but that Kind in very
few Cases high. The Silks and Satins mostly painted to Admiration, and
the Figures copied carefully from the Model; but this do appear too
plainly; and the Action generally too much like a Scene in a Play. In
the historical Pictures the Characters dressed strictly in the Fashion
of their Time, but in the best of them a Lack of Fancy and Imagination,
though seeming original through a certain Quaintness that do smack of
Church-Window Saints and illuminated Missals. The Landscapes better, and
a most brave Morning on the Lake of Zurich by one that hath the right
Stuff in him, and some sweet melancholy Shades and solemn Groves, and a
Solitary Pool that did please me mightily, and my Wife do say that the
Artist should be Commissioner of Woods and Forests. Some Pictures of
common Life pretty enough, and a little Crowd before a pleasant
sentimental one called the Duet. One or two droll ones, as the Slide,
and Drawing for the Militia, did make me laugh; but to think how many
Woodcuts as good as the best you can get in a little Miscellany
published weekly, cost you 3d. Fewer silly Portraits of Gentlemen and
Ladies than formerly, which is a Comfort. The Pictures fairly enough
hung, and strange to see a dead Lion between MONSIEUR GUIZOT and PRINCE
METTERNICH, as though to represent absolute Monarchy, and seemed meant
for a Joke. Some Pictures in the Octagon Room, which could not tell
whether they were good or no for Want of Light, and the same with all
the Sculptures in their Lumber Hole. This is how we treat Art in this
Country, and with Paintings presented to the Nation buried in a Vault,
but sorry Encouragement is given to Genius; and no Wonder that Artists
do Pictures for Furniture to sell to the great and small Vulgar, and so
produce the Kind of Works that make up the greater Part of the


                                WEDNESDAY, _May 23, 1849_.--DERBY DAY.]

To Epsom Downs to the Great Derby Race. In a Barouche, with a Party,
over Vauxhall Bridge, and by Clapham, carrying Hampers with Store of
every Thing needful for a brave Lunch. The Windows and House Fronts
crowded, and School-Boys mounted on Walls and Gates, and they and the
Urchins in the Street shouting, as though we were going to the Races for
their Amusement. But Lack! to see the pretty smart Damsels come out to
gaze at us, or peeping behind Blinds and Curtains, all in high Glee, and
good Humour do wonderfully heighten Beauty, as I do tell my Wife. The
Road through Trees and Orchards, and the Sun shining through the young
Leaves and on the Horse-Chestnut Blossoms, and the Flowers looking
bright like the Lasses. So we on, till into the Ruck, which is the Jam
of Carriages caused by the Stoppage at the Turnpike: and did banter each
other and them about us. Across the Course to the Hill, the Admission
cost us £1. Good Lack! what a Crowd of People collected to see which
out of six-and-twenty Horses should run the fastest, and what a Medley
of Vans, Omnibusses, and Taxed Carts on either Side of the Course with
the People in Front of them, and the Grand Stand crowded with Heads,
plenty as Blackberries, and seeming like a huge Mass of them. A Throng
of Carriages about us, whereon young handsome rakish-looking Gallants
with Mustaches and Cigars. Here and there, in open Coaches, Ladies in
lilac and blue Dresses, and pink Bonnets, and gay Ribbons, all Manner of
Colours, looking, with the parti-coloured Flags over the Booths, mighty
lively. Presently a Bell rung and the Course cleared, but then to see an
unlucky Dog running to get out, and the Mob yelling at him, and the poor
Dog in his Fright rushing straight on like mad! Then the Horses with the
motley Jockies on them prancing up and down before the Grand Stand, to
show their Paces to the Folks in the Betting Ring. At last, they taken
to the Post, and so started with much Cheering, and came easy round
Tattenham Corner; but presently away in good earnest, like Shot! The
Chief Struggle between the _Flying Dutchman_ and _Hotspur_, but
Yellow-Cap did win by half a Length. The Winner declared by his Number,
hung out in Front of the Grand Stand, and to see the Flock of Carrier
Pigeons sent up to bear away the News; but MR. WAGSTAFFE do say they
were Nothing to the Pigeons left behind. The Race run in three Minutes,
but to think of the Money lost and won in that little Time! My LORD
EGLINTON and the Public, as I hear, do gain much, and the Ring and
Rogues do lose, which I am glad of. After the Race to a brave Lunch; but
the Gipsy Women and Children did come and beg Morsels out of our Plates,
which in the Midst of all the Luxury was a sorry Sight. Then about the
Course to see the Company and the Flinging at Snuff-Boxes, and the
Thimble-Rig, and some playing at Roulette and Hazard, but the Police did
seize and break several of the Tables, and take away the Stakes. Great
Sport returning Home, with the Shouting for the Winner, and trumpeting
on Horns, and tossing of Snuff-Boxes and Toys to the pretty Lasses at
the Windows.


                               TUESDAY, _May 29, 1849_.--WHIT-TUESDAY.]

Down the River with BROWNE to Greenwich to view the Fair. To the Park,
where young Fellows and Hoydens at Archery, Donkey Riding, playing at
Kiss-in-the-Ring, and running down the Hill, romping, tripping, and
tumbling over Head and Heels, with Shouting, Screaming, and Laughter.
Then down to the Fair, made in a narrow Space in the Town by a Couple of
Rows of Booths and Sweet-Meat and Toy-Stalls, with Raree Shows at the
farther End, and Swings and Roundabouts on the Outside. The Passage most
insufferably crammed; and we having to force our Way between Walls hung
with Dolls and gilt Ginger-Bread. The Stalls and Booths crowded also,
and the Tobacco Smoke rising from the Drinking Places like a Fog. Young
Prentice Blades and Shop-Boys pushing about with large Masquerade Noses,
and did entertain themselves more than me. But the chief Amusement of
these Roysterers and the frolicksome Wenches do seem to be scratching
People behind, with a Scraper, which is a notched Disk of Wood, that
turns on an Axle in a Mortise, with a Handle some six Inches long, and
being dragged down a Man's Back, do make him believe that his Coat is
torn, as I thought mine was, when first served so, which did trouble me.
With this Noise of continual Tearing, and the Squeaking of Tin Trumpets,
and blowing of Whistles, and half-a-dozen different Bands playing as
many Tunes, is altogether made a most discordant Musique; and the
Showmen bellowing to the Spectators to walk up, do increase the Babel.
Strange to see the Lads and Lasses, heaved up and down, over and under,
in the Swings, and to think what Pleasure they can take in such a
Motion, which methinks a Physician might prescribe in Lieu of a Sea
Voyage. With much Ado, to RICHARDSON'S Show, where a Tragedy, a Comic
Song and a Pantomime all in Half an Hour, and the Tragedy accompanied on
Whistles and Penny Trumpets by the Audience. But the best of the Fun
outside, between the Performances, with the Beef-Eaters' Band playing,
and the Show-Girls in their Spangles and Paint, dancing, and the Clowns
grimacing and flinging Summersets, and the Robber Chief standing in a
brave Posture in the Corner. Store of Fat Ladies, Wonderful Pigs, Giants
and Dwarfs to see, and Conjurors in Plenty, specially in the Crowd,
conjuring Handkerchiefs out of Pockets. In the Evening to the great
Dancing-Booth, which lighted up and hung with variegated Lamps, was, to
be sure, a pretty fine Sight. But the Company uproarious through Drink;
and yet the Dancing without Liveliness, being mostly that rogueish
Chin-and-Shoulder French Dance, gone heavily through. Here again that
perpetual Scraping, and they who sold the Scrapers, did cry, "All the
Fun of the Fair for 2d."; which was true. Home by the Railway Train,
wherein the tipsy Passengers bawling and singing the whole of the Way.
Methinks these Fairs do cause a Concourse of Rogues and bad Characters;
and the more good cheap Concerts abound, and Museums and Exhibitions are
opened to the Public, the less will the People frequent such Places as
Greenwich Fair.


                                               FRIDAY, _June 1, 1849_.]

In the Afternoon to Kensington Gardens, where a Band of the Guards do
play on this Day, and also on Monday throughout the Season, and draw
together a great Crowd of Fashionable Folks. The Tunes played mostly
Polkas and Waltzes, though now and then a Piece of Musique of a better
Sort; but the Musique little more than an Excuse for a Number of People
assembling to see and be seen. There all the World and his Wife; and she
in all her Finery. The Day very fair, and the Sun shining gloriously,
and the bright coloured Silks and Muslins at a Distance between the
Trees, did make a mighty pleasant Picture. But I got as near as I could
to gaze upon the Beauties, and am afraid that I did look too hard at
some; but they mostly smiled, and methinks they do not trick themselves
out so bravely to discourage Observation. To see them pacing to and fro
in such smart Attire, with their shewy pink, and green, and
Forget-me-not Blue Parasols, I could fancy they were the London
Fashions for June come out a walking. But many on Seats with tall
well-looking Gallants posted beside them, or bending down to converse
with them with vast Attention and Politeness, whereat they seeming
mightily pleased. Others standing in Groups here and there under the
Shade, and a great Throng of them round about the Musicians; but all
walking to and fro between the Tunes to show themselves. Many of the
Army among the Crowd, and strange, to compare them and others of our
Gentry, in Air and Manner, with one or two dingy Foreigners with their
stubbly Beards and ill-favoured Looks. The little fashionable Children
by the side of their Mammas elegant enough to see; but overdressed in
their Velvet and Plaid Tunics and Plumes of Feathers, and their Ways too
mincing and dainty, and looking as though they had stepped from out a
Band-Box. Methinks they do seem brought up to think too much of their
Outsides, and to look on Display and Show as the Business of their
Lives, which is a silly Schooling. I did mark some of their Mothers, old
enough to know better, bedizened like the young Beauties, but looking
sour and glum, and plainly ill at ease in their Pride and Vanity. But it
divert me much to compare the delicate Children with some Charity-School
Urchins on the other Side of the Wall that did anger the Park Keeper by
mocking him. I doubt me that the young Leatherbreeches be not the
happier as long as they can get a Bellyful of Victuals. The Company
doubtless enjoying themselves after their Fashion, but in general
looking marvellous grave; and strange to shut my Eyes between the Tunes
and to hear Nothing but the Rustling of Dresses and a Murmur of Voices
as they did walk up and down. It is wonderful how we English do go
through our Amusements after the Manner of a solemn Ceremony. Yet do the
people of Fashion in Kensington Gardens make an exceeding rare Show; and
I do only wish that there were no Reverse of the Picture to be seen
among us. But their Finery do afford Employment to Work-People, and I do
thank them for parading themselves for my Amusement, and the Officers of
the Guards for treating the Town to Musique, and so giving Occasion to
such a fine Spectacle.


                                             THURSDAY, _June 7, 1849_.]

Up, and to the House of Lords, where a Committee of Privileges touching
a disputed Peerage, but I did only go for a Sight of the Inside of the
House, well worth seeing; and the Carving, and Gilding, and Blazoning, a
rich Feast to the Eye. There present none but my LORD BROUGHAM and my
LORD CAMPBELL, and three or four other Lords, but a smaller Muster do
often serve for a Court of Appeal; for their Lordships do trust all
their Law Business to the Law-Lords' Hands. Counsel speaking at the Bar
of the House, and the Clerks of the House before them at the Table, all
in their Wigs very stately, but my Lords lolling on the Benches, free
and easy, they only having the Right to make themselves at Home, yet
droll to see the Officers of the House forced to stand, but some of them
leaning against the Stems of the gilt Candlesticks, fast asleep on their
Legs. Did think I should go to sleep too, if I stayed much longer, and
about to depart; but glad I did not; for presently the Counsel made an
End, and then my LORD BROUGHAM examining a Witness was almost the best
Sport that I ever had in my Life. The Witness, one of the Attornies for
the Claimant of the Title, and LORD BROUGHAM suspecting some Trickery in
the Case, and good Lack! how he did bait and ferret him to draw it out,
asking the most peremptory Questions, and sometimes a second before the
first could be answered, firking with Impatience like one smarting with
Stinging Nettles: which was great Mirth. It did well-nigh cause me to
laugh outright, and commit a Breach of Privilege, to hear him in a Fume,
echo the Witness's Answers, and cry Eh? What! How! Why? and Wherefore?
and demand how he could do this, or came not to do the other, and how
was that, and so forth, and then set his Memory right, next made a short
Speech, then give a little Evidence of his own, and again go back to the
Examination. It seemed that the Pretender to the Peerage had been helped
with Money to maintain his Suit by certain Persons, and my Lord did
strive to worm out of the Lawyer their End therein: but to no Purpose;
for he had met with his Match; so forced to content himself with a Quip
on the Chances of the Witness's Client. Then another Witness examined; a
Chirurgeon, whom LORD BROUGHAM did make merry with for his jolly
good-natured Looks, and did jest upon concerning his Vocation: and the
other did bandy Jokes with my Lord, and gave him as good as he brought.
Methinks such Bantering is strange of a Peer, and one that hath been
Lord Chancellor and used to sit on the Woolsack, or anywhere else but
the Box of an Omnibus. But strange, how sober a Speech in summing up the
Evidence my Lord did make after all; and no Doubt he can be reasonable
and quiet when he pleases. Save a few words from LORD CAMPBELL, not a
Syllable spoke but my LORD BROUGHAM; wherefore methinks he must have
been thoroughly happy, having had nigh all the Talk to himself. But the
highest Court of Law in the Realm numbering so few, put me much in mind
of the Army in _Bombastes Furioso_.


                                             SATURDAY, _June 9, 1849_.]

My Wife holding me to my Promise to take her to the Chiswick Flower
Show, and I could not break it; for certainly the poor Wretch do drudge
in the House like a Slave; and so often as I go out for Pleasure myself,
methinks it were well to give her a Treat now and then, to ease my
Conscience, and keep her quiet also. So took her, though our two Tickets
together came to 10s., and we thither in an Omnibus, and the Fare
doubled on the Occasion, instead of 1s. cost me 2s. more, which made me
mad. A rare Sight, nigh the Gardens, to look out on the Line of
Carriages behind us, and methought how mean and paltry it seemed to be
riding in an Omnibus; and was in some Trouble lest any of our
acquaintance should be in the Carriages, and see us 'light. At the
Passage to the Gardens beset by Fellows with Shoe-Brushes and
Clothes-Brushes, importunate to brush my Coat and Boots, that were clean
enough, but only to earn 4d. or 6d. Our Tickets delivered, and we into
the Grounds with a Stream of Company, and followed them and our Ears to
a Band of Musique, the Horse Guards playing hard by a Grove of
Rhododendrons in full Bloom, and a Mob of Beauties round about them more
blooming still. Heard a Medley-Piece of Scraps of most of the Operas
that I knew; which was better Musique than I expected. Then to the
Tents, where the Prize-Flowers are shown, on high Stands as long as a
moderate-sized Barn: and there a pretty Display of Orchids, Azaleas,
Cactuses, Pelargoniums, and Heaths, very rare and curious, and a few
choice Roses; but I expected to see Roses as big as Cabbages. Many of
the Flowers finely variegated, and giving forth a Perfume sweeter than
ATKINSON his shop. Strange how to some of the Pelargoniums were given
the names of GRISI, ALBONI, MARIO, and other Opera Singers: and MR.
WAGSTAFFE do say it is Musique in a Flower-Pot. After seeing the
Flowers, to stroll about the Walks and among the Trees, and view the
Flowers without Stalks, which I do admire most of all, and a brave show
they were, drest out in their gayest, and smiling as if resolved to look
as pretty as they could; and looking all the brighter for the Sun
shining without a Cloud to be seen: whereby out of Pain for my Wife's
pink Bonnet, which, if spoiled by the Rain usual at this Show, had been
£2, 2s. gone. The Bands from Time to Time beat a March about the Garden;
when to see the fine Ladies and Gentlemen follow at the Soldiers' Heels,
natural as ragged Street-Children! At last all played together, and
ended with _God Save the Queen_; when the Flowers wheeled away. But the
Company remaining, some sitting on Benches to make a Lane, and the Rest
of the Multitude walking up and down to be seen, and the Beauties
showing off their Graces, which I did inspect from Head to Foot. My Wife
beginning to admire a certain Satin; so knowing what this signified,
away, and home to a Leg of Mutton; thinking of the State of the Nation,
which should not be so mighty gloomy to judge of it by Chiswick Flower
Show, and wondering how much all the Finery there cost, and where all
the Money could have come from.


                                              FRIDAY, _June 15, 1849_.]

After a Dinner off Bubble and Squeak, my Wife and I to my LORD
WILKINSON'S At Home, by invitation; though Heaven knows if ever I set
Eyes on his Lordship in my Life or he on me; but do ascribe this Honour
to having my Name put down in the _Court Guide_, and am glad to find the
Consequence and Importance I have got thereby. I in my new Suit of Black
and Silk Neckerchief, with a Fringe at the Ends, and my Wife did wear
her Lace Dress over her pink Satin Slip, which was very handsome. Gave
our Card to a Lackey in Yellow and Crimson Livery, with a huge
Shoulder-knot, who did shout out our Name, which, passing along a Row of
his Fellows lining the Stairs, was by the Time it reached the
Drawing-Room changed to PIPPINS--but no matter; and so we were presented
to my Lord and my Lady. So on in the Crowd; for my Lord's Drawing-Room
as thronged as the Opera Pit Entrance on a Thursday Night. Methought
surely there was Something worth seeing and hearing; but saw nothing
extraordinary beyond the Multitude of Company, and divers Writers,
Painters, and other Persons of Note, elbowing their Way through the
Press; nor heard anything but Puffing and Gasping, and complaining of
the terrible Heat. Several Ladies fainting; and my Wife declaring she
feared she should faint too, which made me mad; for it is always the Way
with Women at Spectacles and Assemblies, and yet they needs must and
will go to them. At some Distance before us, a Bustle and Stir, and in
the midst of it a Lackey with a Tray, whereon were Ices--the People
struggling for them; and I also strove to get one for my Wife; but the
Attempt vain, and we borne clear away by the Current to the other side
of the Room. Some young Beauties there, whom to have looked upon at my
Ease, and they at theirs, would have been a great delight; but they in
such Discomfort, that it quite spoilt their Prettiness, which was
pitiful. We met DR. DABBES the great Chemist, with whom some pretty
Discourse concerning the Air of crowded Rooms, which he said do contain
a Gas called Carbonic Acid, and is poisonous, and we were now breathing
too much per Cent. of it, which did trouble me. To think what Delight
fashionable Folks can take in crowding together, to the Danger of
Health, a Set of People, for the most Part, Strangers both to them and
to one another! Away early; for we could endure the Stifling no longer:
and good Lack, what a Relief to get into the open Air! My white Kid
Gloves soiled, cost me 3s. 6d.; but am thankful I carried with me my
Spring Hat, which do shut up; and did chuckle to see how many others got
their Hats crushed. Home in a Cab, and on the Way bought a Lobster,
whereunto my Wife would have me add a Bottle of Stout, which did think a
good Notion; cost me together 3s. 6d., and the Cab 2s. 6d. more, and
then to Supper; mighty proud that I had been invited by my Lord, though
utterly tired with his Party, and so with great Satisfaction, but much
Weariness, to Bed.


                                              MONDAY, _June 18, 1849_.]

This Day a great Cricket Match, Surrey against England, at LORD'S, and I
thither, all the Way to St. John's Wood, to see the Place, having often
heard Talk of it, and the Playing, which MR. LONGSTOPPE did tell me was
a pretty Sight. Paid 6d. to be let in, and 2d. for a Card of the
Innings, and bought a little Book of the Laws of the Game, cost me 1s.
6d. more, though when I had got it, could hardly understand a Word of
it; but to think how much Money I spend out of Curiosity, and how
inquisitive I am, so as to be vexed to the Heart if I cannot thoroughly
make out every Thing I see! The Cricketing I believe very fine; but
could not judge of it; for I think I did never before see any Cricket
since I was a little Varlet Boy at School. But what a Difference between
the Manner of Bowling in those Days, and that Players now use! for then
they did moderately trundle the Ball under-hand; but now they fling it
over-handed from the Elbow, as though viciously, and it flies like a
Shot, being at least Five Ounces and a Half in Weight, and hard as a
Block. I saw it strike one of the Batmen on the Knuckles, who Danced and
shook his Fist, as methought well he might. But to see how handy some
did catch it, though knocked off the Bat by a strong Man with all his
Force; albeit now and then they missing it, and struck by it on the
Head, or in the Mouth, and how any one can learn to play Cricket without
losing his front Teeth is a Wonder. The Spectators sitting on Benches in
a Circle, at a Distance, and out of the Way of the Ball, which was wise;
but some on a raised Stand, and others aside at Tables, under a Row of
Trees near a Tavern within the Grounds, with Pipes and Beer; and many in
the Circle also Smoking and Drinking, and the Drawers continually going
the Round of them to serve them Liquor and Tobacco. But all as quiet as
a Quaker's Meeting, except when a good Hit made, or a Player bowled out,
and strange to see how grave and solemn they looked, as if the Sight of
Men in white Clothes, knocking a Ball about, were Something serious to
think on. Did hear that many had Wagers on the Game, but doubt it, for
methinks there had been more Liveliness if much Betting, and Chance of
winning or losing Money. The Company very numerous, and among them some
in Carriages, and was glad to see so many People diverted, although at
what I could not tell. But they enjoyed themselves in their Way,
whatever that was, and I in mine, thinking how droll they looked, so
earnestly attending to a mere Show of Dexterity. I, for my Part, soon
out of Patience with the Length of the Innings, and the Stopping and
Interruption after each Run, and so away, more tired, I am sure, than
any of the Cricketers. Yet I do take Pride, as an Englishman, in our
Country Sport of Cricket, albeit I do not care to watch it playing; and
certainly it is a manly Game, throwing open the Chest, and strengthening
the Limbs, and the Player so often in Danger of being hit by the Ball.


                                               MONDAY, _July 2, 1849_.]

Comes MR. STAGGE to take me to the great Railway Meeting at a London
Tavern; and we up the Back Stairs to the Platform among the Directors,
and glad of so good a Place; but fearing to be taken for one of my
Company, did get behind a fat Man to hide myself. The Shareholders below
met to hear their Affairs debated, and what a Collection of wry and
doleful Faces! Methought the poor anxious Parsons and eager Half-pay
Officers among them was a pitiful Sight. Looked hard about for the
Railway King, but MR. STAGGE did say in my Ear he was not likely to show
his Face. The Secretary reading Bills to be brought into the Parliament
to join other Railways with this, and all the while interrupted by the
Shareholders with Noise and Outcries; but at last got through. Then the
Chairman did propose that the Bills be approved of; but an Amendment
moved with much Clapping of Hands that the Meeting do adjourn for one
Month to examine the Company's Accounts; which they do say have been
cooked. Upon this a long Speech from a Director, denying that it was so,
and One made answer to him in a bouncing, ranting Harangue; but to hear
how the Shareholders did shout and cheer whenever he accused the Board
of a Piece of Roguery! He complained that Proxy Papers had been sent out
by some for Votes, whereby to gain their own Ends, at £900 Expense to
the Company; whereat more Uproar, in the midst whereof he moved another
Amendment; when the Noise greater than ever, with Groans and calling for
Dividends; and several in the Meeting strove to speak, but could only
wag their Jaws and shake their Fists at the Chairman, and he imploring
Quiet in Dumb Show. Howbeit, one old Gentleman got Attention for a
Moment, and in great Wrath and Choler did declare that the Directors'
Statement was all Humbug. Then Another, with much ado to get a Hearing,
did move a third Amendment: and after that, more Wrangling and Jangling,
until the only Man of any Brains I had yet heard, up and showed the
folly of moving Amendment on Amendment. So the first and last Amendment
withdrawn, and the second put to the Vote, and lost, and then the
Chairman's Resolution put and lost also, and the Shareholders hooting
and hissing, and shouting "Shame!" and crying that they could not
understand the Question. So the Amendment and former Resolution both put
over again, and both again lost; whereupon the Shareholders stark mad,
and rushed in a Mob on the Platform, raving at the Chairman, who jumped
up in his Chair, throwing his Arms abroad, and shrieking for Silence;
till at last a Poll determined on to decide whether for Adjournment or
not; and so the Meeting brought to an End in as great a Hurly-Burly as I
ever heard; and a pretty Chairman methinks they have to keep Order, and
brave Directors to cook their Accounts, and their Meetings do seem as
confused as their Affairs; and thank my Stars, I have not sunk my Money
in a Railway.


                                             TUESDAY, _July 10, 1849_.]

Sent my Vest to the Tailor's to be let out in the Back, and my Wife and
every Body say I grow too stout, which do put me in mighty Pain lest I
should lose my Shape; wherefore I have resolved to take a long Walk
daily, for Exercise, to bring down my Fat. So begin this Day, and set
out to walk to Barn-Elms, by the way of Hammersmith, on a brave melting
Afternoon. I did muse at the Carriages and Omnibuses that passed me,
crowded both inside and on the Roof, and the People upon them whooping
and blowing Horns, as the British Public always do when they ride to see
any Sport. At Hammersmith found what all this meant, everyone there
hastening to the River, this being the first Day of the Thames Regatta,
and the Suspension-Bridge thronged, and Festoons of Spectators on the
Chains. Did go upon the Bridge, cost me 1/2d. toll, but would not have
missed the Sight for 6d. or 1s.; for the Thames with Boats scattered all
over it, their Flags fluttering, and their Crews shouting and laughing
full of Fun and Glee, made a lively Picture; and also I was just in the
Nick of Time to see a Race; four Boats of as many Oars darting under the
Bridge at full Speed, while the Beholders cheered and halloaed with all
their Might, and a Bell rung, and a Band of Musique upon the Bridge Pier
did play "Love Not." Good Lack! how wrapped up the People did seem to be
in the Race, and did now cry for Blue to go it; and then Red, and then
Pink, and at last that Red had it, meaning the Colours of the Rowers,
which indeed looked very smart and spruce. Over the Bridge, and, instead
of to Barnes, down the River, along the Towing Path, which was also
thronged with Folks running to and fro, all Eagerness and Bustle. So to
Putney, and there the Multitude greatest both on the Bridge and the
Shore, and FINCH his Ground to the Water-Side quite a Fair, with Fat
Ladies and Learned Pigs and Gilt Gingerbread; and his Tavern beset by
Customers for Ale, and mighty good Ale it is. Here more Boat-Racing,
with Firing of Cannon, Jollity, Shouting, Jangling of Street Pianos, and
everywhere Tobacco-Smoke and the Popping of Ginger-Beer. Some fouling of
Barges, but no worse Mishap, though I expected every moment that
Somebody would be ducked. Methought how neat and dainty the light
Wherries and Wager-Boats did look among the other Craft; but loth I
should be to trust my Carcase in a Cockle-Shell, that sitting an Inch
too much on one side would overthrow. Mighty pleasant also to behold on
the Water the little Parties of Beauties, rowed by their Sweethearts,
under Awnings to shade them from the Sun, and the Ripple on the Water,
and the Smiles on their Faces, and to hear their Giggling, which was a
pretty Noise. Afloat everywhere in their Boating-Trim I did note sundry
of those young Sparks that do and think and talk of Nothing but pulling
up the River, and live upon it almost, like Swans or Geese. But,
however, that Boat-Racing is a true British Pastime, and so long as we
pull together he will back us against all the World. "And talking of
that," says he, "the Sport being ended, suppose we take a pull at some
of FINCH his Ale."


                                             TUESDAY, _July 31, 1849_.]

Prevailed upon by my Wife to carry her to Bath, as she said, to go see
her Aunt DOROTHY, but I know she looked more to the Pleasure of her Trip
than any Thing else; nevertheless I do think it necessary Policy to keep
in with her Aunt, who is an old Maid and hath a pretty Fortune; and to
see what Court and Attention I pay her though I do not care 2d. about
her! But am mightily troubled to know whether she hath sunk her Money in
an Annuity, which makes me somewhat uneasy at the Charge of our Journey,
for what with Fare, Cab-Hire, and Vails to DOROTHY'S Servants for their
good Word, it did cost me altogether £6, 2s. 6d. To the Great Western
Station in a Cab, by Reason of our Luggage; for my Wife must needs take
so many Trunks and Bandboxes, as is always the Way with Women: or else
we might have gone there for 2s. 6d. less in an Omnibus. Did take our
places in the First Class notwithstanding the Expense, preferring both
the Seats and the Company; and also because if any Necks or Limbs are
broken I note it is generally in the Second and Third Classes. So we
settled, and the Carriage-Doors slammed to, and the Bell rung, the Train
with a Whistle off like a Shot, and in the Carriage with me and my Wife
a mighty pretty Lady, a Frenchwoman, and I did begin to talk French with
her, which my Wife do not well understand, and by and by did find the
Air too much for her where she was sitting, and would come and take her
Seat between us; I know, on Purpose. So fell a reading the _Times_, till
One got in at Hanwell who seemed to be a Physician, and mighty pretty
Discourse with him touching the Manner of treating Madmen and Lunatics,
which is now by gentle Management, and is a great Improvement on the old
Plan of Chains and the Whip. Also of the Foulness of London for Want of
fit Drainage, and how it do breed Cholera and Typhus, as sure as rotten
Cheese do Mites, and of the horrid Folly of making a great Gutter of the
River. So to Swindon Station, where the Train do stop ten Minutes for
Refreshment, and there my Wife hungry, and I too with a good Appetite,
notwithstanding the Discourse about London Filth. So we out, and to the
Refreshment-Room with a Crowd of Passengers, all pushing and jostling,
and trampling on each other's Toes, striving which should get served
first. With much Ado got a Basin of Soup for my Wife, and for myself a
Veal and Ham Pie, and to see me looking at my Watch, and taking a
Mouthful by Turns; and how I did gulp a Glass of GUINNESS his Stout!
Before we had half finished, the Guard rang the Bell, and my Wife with a
start did spill her Soup over her Dress, and was obliged to leave Half
of it; and to think how ridiculous I looked, scampering back to the
Train with my Meat-Pie in my Mouth! To run hurry-skurry at the Sound of
the Bell, do seem only fit for a Gang of Workmen; and the Bustle of
Railways do destroy all the Dignity of Travelling; but the World
altogether is less grand, and do go faster than formerly. Off again, and
to the End of our Journey, troubled at the Soup on my Wife's Dress, but
thankful I had got my Change, and not left it behind me at the Swindon


                                          WEDNESDAY, _August 1, 1849_.]

Up mighty betimes, and after a four Miles' Walk, losing Weight like a
Jockey, to the Palace Yard of St. James's Palace, to see the Soldiers
mount Guard to guard the QUEEN, which they do every Morning whether she
is there or no, and is a pretty pompous Ceremony. Found myself among as
dirty shabby a Set of Fellows hanging about as I think I ever saw, with
whom two or three with the Look of Gentlemen, and a pretty Sprinkling of
Milliner-Girls and Nurse-Maids. Strange how all Women almost do run
after Soldiers; which MR. PUMPKYNS do say is because Weakness do, by
Instinct, seek the Protection of Courage; but I think is owing to
nothing at all but the Bravery of a Red Coat. In a few Minutes more
Riff-Raff pouring in; then a Noise without of drumming: and then just at
1/4 to 11, a Party of the Grenadier Guards marching in under the
Clock-Tower, the Drums and Fifes in Front of them, and, at the Head of
all, the Drum Major, twirling his Staff, strutted like a Pouter-Pigeon,
as stately, almost, as ever I saw J. BLAND. The Men at the Word of
Command ground arms with a Clang, and stood at Ease in Lines, and
together with the Spectators made a Square, with the Drums and Fifes at
one End, and the Band at the other by the Clock-Tower, and a Post in the
Middle, and around the Post, with the Colours, the Officers in full
Figg, mighty trim; and MR. WAGSTAFFE do tell me that the Guards have
brave clothing Colonels. The Band did play while the Men that should
relieve Guard were marching off; and I do muse why Soldiers are provided
with so much Musique, and conclude it is to hinder them from thinking,
and also in Battle to inflame their Minds without making them drunk. At
five Minutes to the Hour comes the relieved Guard, and draws up ready to
be marched away, and to see them backing for Room on the Crowd's Toes!
Droll, also, to watch the Marshalman, in his grand Uniform and with his
Staff of Office, going about to make Space and keep Order among the
ragged Boys; and I remember how, in my Youth, I thought he was a General
Officer. More Musique, in the Meanwhile, by the Band; the Band-Master, a
rare plump Fellow, in goodly Condition, conducting, with a Clarionet for
his Batoon. Suddenly the Musique cut short by the Drums and Fifes, the
Word given, and the Men did fall in, and away to Barracks, a Grand March
playing, and all the Tag-Rag at their Heels. But to see the Lieutenant,
the Officer of the Day, set up the Colours on the Post, and touch his
Cap and kiss his Sword to them, saluting them, which do seem a senseless
Pantomime. Besides, the Flag, a most old and sorry one, blown into
Tatters, which, in our long Peace, must have been done by the Breeze and
not the Battle; but so left, with a Grenadier to guard it, sticking in
the Post. Then the Officer did dismiss the Off Guard, and away to his
Quarters for the Day. Methinks that mounting Guard at the Palace is a
Service of little Danger or Hardship; but, good Lack! to think what
Fire-eaters in Battle are the Dandy Officers of the Guards, and how
their Men will follow them through thick and thin, and what Work those
Fellows can do when called on, that play Soldiers about St. James's!


                                            TUESDAY, _August 7, 1849_.]

Finding Fault with my Wife, for that she do not use enough Exercise;
whence her continual Headach, and FADDELL, the 'Potticary his bill of
£5. She replying that I would never take her out, I said I would,
whenever she liked; whereupon, we agreed to go a Walk forthwith, and my
Wife did propose Regent Street. So we thither, pleasing ourselves with
observing the Passers-by and the Carriages, and the Streets blazing with
fine Ladies and flaming Liveries. Going by LINDSEY AND WOOLSEY'S, my
Wife's Eye taken with a Scarf in the Window, and would stop to look at
it with a Crowd of other Women gazing at the Finery, which MR. SKITT do
call Baits, and a Draper's Shop a Lady-Trap. Presently she recollected
that she wanted a Collar; so we into the Shop, where some sixty or
eighty Ladies sitting before the Counters, examining the Wares, busy as
Blue-Bottle Flies at a Sugar-Cask. Behind the Counters the Shopmen and
Assistants, showing off the Goods, and themselves also, with mighty
dainty Airs, every one of them, almost, NARCISSUS his Image. One of
these dapper young Sirs did help my Wife to her Collar, cost 3s. 6d.;
when she thought she had better get another while about it, cost 3s. 6d.
more. Then, says he, in his soft condoling Voice, "What is the next
Article?" Hereupon, my Wife bethought her of lacking some Lace Cuffs,
four Pair: cost 12s. "And now, Mem," says the young Fellow with a
Simper, "allow me to show you a Love of a Robe, a Barège, Double Glacé,
brocaded in the Flouncings, and reduced to Twenty-One-and-Six from
Forty-Five." But she professed that she needed it not: whereat I was
glad; when he did tell her he would do it at One-and-Four less: and she
then saying that it was indeed a Bargain, which I find is a Woman's Word
for anything cheap whether wanted or no, I let her have it: cost £1, 0s.
2d. But, to be sure, the Pattern was pretty, and my Wife being
well-dressed do please my Taste, and also increase my Consequence and
Dignity. The Robe bought, it comes into her Head that she could not do
without a new Shawl to match it, blue and scarlet, cost £2, 2s., but
will look mighty fine, and, I hope, last. Here I thought to hale her at
once by Force away; but seeing a stout middle-aged Gentleman doing the
very Thing, and how mean it looked, did forbear; and in the Meanwhile
the Shopman did beg, as he said, to tempt her with a superior Assortment
of Ribbons. She rummaging over this Frippery, I to gaze about the Shop,
and with Fellow-Feeling did mark an unhappy small Boy, while his Mother
was comparing some three-score different Pieces of Satin, perched on a
Stool, out of Patience. My Wife would have 5s. worth of Ribbons, and
here I hoped would make an End; but the Shopman did exhibit to her some
Silk Stockings; and I telling her they were unnecessary, she declared
that then she must wear Boots, which she knows I hate; and concluded
with buying half a Dozen Pair, cost 24s.; and we away, bowed out of the
Shop with Congees by the smirking Shopwalker, rubbing his Hands and
grinning, as obsequious as could be; and so Home; I mighty serious,
having laid out £5, 10s. 2d.; and the next Time I take out my Wife for a
Walk, it shall be in the Fields and not in Regent Street.


                                          THURSDAY, _August 16, 1849_.]

This Afternoon about Four of the Clock to Regent Street, and did walk up
and down, among the fine Folk mostly, many Foreigners, and a few Street
Urchins, and others of the lower Sort, and note the Carriages stand in
Front of the Shops, and the Walking Advertisement Boys and Men, and the
Cabs and Omnibuses go by, and the Advertising Vans, and mighty fine and
droll the Monster Advertising Car of MOSES AND SON the Tailors. In the
Evening to the Queen's House in the Haymarket, to hear MOZART his famous
Opera "_Le Nozze di Figaro_" and SONTAG in _Susanna_, which she do act
mighty skittish, and with the prettiest sidelong Looks, but the most
graceful and like a Lady, and do trip the Stage the daintiest and make
the nicest Curtsies, and sing the sweetest that methinks I ever did hear
or see: and to think that MR. VIEUXBOYS should tell me she do it as well
now as he did see her twenty Years ago! Pretty, to hear her sing
"_Venite inginocchiatevi_," where she do make _Cherubino_ kneel down on
the Cushion before the _Countess_, and put him on a Girl's Cap, and pat
his Chin and Face. Also her singing of "_Sull' Aria_" with PARODI, the
_Countess_, and the mingling of their Voices very musicall. Likewise
that jolly blooming she-BACCHUS-ALBONI, _Cherubino_, with her passionate
fine singing of "_Non so più_" and "_Voi che sapete_," did delight me
much; and she did play a stripling of a Page in Love to the very Life.
BELLETTI did mightily take me with his Knaveries, in _Figaro_, and
singing of "_Non più andrai_," which is a most lively and martial Song;
and the Grand March very brave as well, and did make my Heart leap, and
me almost jump out of my Seat. COLLETTI, too, the _Count_, did content
me much, and to the utmost with "_Crudel! perchè finora_." But then to
hear LABLACHE, what a great Thing he do make out of so small a Part as
_Bartolo_, with his Voice in the Concert-Pieces heard above all the
Rest, and thundering out "_La Vendetta_," like a musicall STENTOR; and
his undertaking of little Characters to make an Opera perfect is very
magnanimous; and MR. WAGSTAFFE do well say that he "_Ingentes Animos
ingenti in Pectore versat_," and have as much Brains as Body. Mighty
droll to hear the Quartett, with each Singer in turn holding the Voice
on the word "_Io_," called for three Times, and the Singers each Time
spinning "_Io_" out longer, whereat great Laughter; and the Performers
laughing as much as the Audience. Wonderfull how still all the House was
while SONTAG was a singing of "_Deh! vieni non tardar_," and the
_Bravas_ and Clapping of Hands when she had ended; and to hear how she
did stick to the Text, and not, like a vulgar silly _Prima Donna_,
disfigure noble Musique by ridiculous Flourishes. Home to Supper, it
being late, though, walking up the Haymarket, did sorely long for stewed
Oysters. Telling my Wife of the Opera, did speak of _Susanna_ boxing
_Figaro_ his Ears, and let out that I could have been glad to have her
box mine too, which my Wife did say she could do as well if I pleased;
but I said I had rather not, and so, whistling "_Non più andrai_,"
rather small to Bed.


                                          SATURDAY, _August 18, 1849_.]

Comes MR. GOLLOPE, this being his Birth-day, to bid me to go dine with
him and a Company of some Half-dozen of our Acquaintance, off Whitebait
at Blackwall. So we first to London Bridge, on Foot, walking for an
Appetite, and there took Water, and down the River in a Steam-Boat, with
great Pleasure, enjoying the Breeze, and the View of the Shipping, and
also the Prospect of a good Dinner. Landed at the Pier, and as fast as
we could to LOVEGROVE'S, where our Table engaged in the large Room. But
good Lack! to see the Fulness of the Place, every Table almost crowded
with eager Eaters, the Heaps of Whitebait among them, and they with open
Mouths and Eyes shovelling Spoonful after Spoonful into their Plates and
thence thrusting them five or six at a Time into their Chaps. Then, here
and there, a fat Fellow, stopping, out of Breath, to put down his Knife
and Fork, and gulp a Goblet of iced Punch, was mighty droll; also to
hear others speaking with their Mouths full. But Dinner coming, I cared
not to look about me, there being on Table some dozen different Dishes
of Fish, whereof the Sight did at first bewilder me, like the Donkey
between the Haystacks, not knowing which to choose; and MR. GOBLESTONE
do lament that at a Feast with Plenty of good Things he never was able
to eat his Fill of every one. A Dish of Salmon with India-Pickle did
please me mightily, also some Eels, spitchcocked, and a stewed Carp, and
ate heartily of them with much Relish; but did only nibble at the Rest
by way of a Taste, for I felt exceeding full, and methought I should
have no Stomach for the Whitebait. But Lack! to see when it came, how my
Appetite returned, and I did fall to upon it, and drink iced Punch, and
then at the Whitebait again. Pretty, the little Slices of brown Bread
and Butter, they did bring us to eat it withal, and truly, with a
Squeeze of Lemon and Cayenne Pepper, it is delicate Eating. After the
Whitebait plain, Whitebait devilled made us to eat the more, and drink
too, which we did in Champagne and Hock, pledging each other with great
Mirth. After the Fish comes a Course of Ducks, and a Haunch of Mutton,
and divers made Dishes; and then Tarts and Custards and Grouse; and
lastly, a Dessert, and I did partake of all, as much as I had a Mind to,
and after Dinner drank Port and Claret, when much Joking and rare
Stories, and very merry we were. Pretty to look out of Window as we sat,
at the Craft and the White Sails in the Sunset on the River. Back in a
Railway Carriage, shouting and singing, and in a Cab Home, where DR.
SHARPE called to see my Wife for her Vapours. Pretty Discourse with him
touching the Epidemic, he telling me that of all Things to bring it on
the likeliest was Excess in Food and Drink, which did trouble me, and so
with a Draught of Soda and a Dose of Pills to Bed.


                                         WEDNESDAY, _August 22, 1849_.]

This Day to Richmond, to go a Fishing on the River, and with me MR.
ITCHENBROOKE, out of Hampshire, a cunning Angler, who did mightily
desire to see what this Sport should be. So first we out in a Boat below
Richmond Bridge, where a Dozen or more of Punts full of People a
Fishing, and rowed among them to observe the Manner of doing it, which
is sinking with a Gentle, sitting upon Chairs, and smoking Cigars and
Pipes of Tobacco, and drinking cold Brandy and Water. We did note one
young Spark lying at full Length, in a Punt's End, asleep, and did
conclude he had had enough of the Fishing, or else of the Grog. Some
very silent, and bent on their Sport, but others bandying Fun and Jokes,
and shouting for Joy and Merriment whenever they caught a Fish, which
MR. ITCHENBROOKE do say is not the Wont of a Sportsman. Among the
Fishers I did note with Wonder one or two Damsels; but MR. WAGSTAFFE do
say it is a common Thing for Ladies to fish for Gudgeons. Several of
them also quite old Men; but seeming as much taken up with their Fishing
as Schoolboys, though catching Nothing but little Fish not a Span long.
So, satisfied with looking at the Sportsmen, we to try the Quality of
the Sport ourselves, and did hire a Punt, and Fishing Tackle, and a Man
to guide the Punt, and bait our Hooks, and did take on board a
Stone-Bottle of Half-and-Half Beer, to follow the Fashion. Pretty, to
see our Man sound the Depth of the River with a Plumb, to resolve
whereabouts on our Lines to place the Float, and glad to have him to put
the Bait on, being Gentles, which I was loath to touch. Our Hooks no
sooner dropped into the Water than MR. ITCHENBROOKE did pull up a Fish
about the Bigness of a Sprat, though, but for the Punt-Man, he would
have thrown it in again, saying that he never heard of keeping any Fish
under Half-a-Pound, and that while such small Fry were killed there
would be no good Fish in the River. But Lack! to see how my Float did
bob up and down, and I jerk at my Line, but generally bring up a Weed.
Did marvel at the Punt-Man flinging Lumps of Earth and Meal into the
Water to entice the Fish, which methought would either have driven them
away or surfeited them, but did not, and the Trick did much divert MR.
ITCHENBROOKE. We did catch Roach and Dace to the Number of fifteen,
which my Companion did call seven Brace-and-a-Half; and I caught the
Half: I mean the Half Brace. Our Fishing did last two Hours, cost 3s.,
and 6d. besides for the Beer, but we had much mirth for our Time and
Money, though little Fish, and yet more Fish than some our Man did show
us, saying they had been at it all the Day. So to Dinner at the Star and
Garter, where a most brave Dinner and excellent Wine, and pretty
Discourse with MR. ITCHENBROOKE of true Sport in Fishing and the Art of
Whipping for Trout with an Imitation Fly, made out of coloured Silk
Thread and Birds' Feathers. Our Dinner ended, cost me £1, 9s. 0d., went
and bought 6d. worth of Maids of Honour at the Pastrycook's, and did
take them Home to my Wife.


                                         TUESDAY, _September 4, 1849_.]

With my Wife this Day to Westminster, and walking thereabouts in
Regent-Street and Oxford-Street, and the principal Streets, though
contrary to my Resolution to walk with her only in the Fields, but did
it to please her, and keep her in good Humour, but in mighty Fear of
what it might cost me, trembling to observe her continually looking
askance at the Shop-Windows. But I cannot wonder that they did catch her
Eye; particularly the Haberdashers, and Drapers, and Mercers, whereof
many were full of Bills, stuck in all Manner of Ways across the Panes,
and printed in Letters of from two Inches to a Span long, and staring
Dashes of Admiration two and three together. In one Window posted a
"Tremendous Sacrifice!" in another an "Alarming Failure!!" in a third a
"Ruinous Bankruptcy!!!", by reason whereof, the Goods within were
a-selling off at 50, 60, or 70 per Cent. under prime Cost, but at any
Rate the Owners must raise Money. Good Lack! to think of the dreadful
Pass the Drapery Trade must have come to; so many Master-Mercers and
Haberdashers on the Threshold of the Prison or the Workhouse, and their
Wives and Families becoming Paupers on the Parish, or Beggars, and their
People out of Employ starving; if their notices do tell true. But my
Wife did say, very serious, that we were not to judge, or to know of
their Tricks and Cozenage, and, that it was no Matter to us if they did
cheat their Creditors, provided we could buy their Wares at a Bargain,
and besides, if we did not, others would. So going by RAGGE, RIP & CO.,
their Establishment, as they do call their Shop, she would needs stop in
Front of it to look in; which did trouble me. I to read the Posters in
the Window, which were the worst and most pitiful of any, and by their
showing MR. RAGGE and MR. RIP, and their CO. were going altogether to
the Dogs. My Wife did presently, as I expected, find somewhat she had a
Mind to: a Muslin she did say was Dirt-cheap, and I knew was Dirt-worth.
I plainly refused to let her buy it, or anything else at RAGGE and
RIP'S, who have been, to my knowledge, making a Tremendous Sacrifice any
Time the last two Years; but the Simpletons their Customers the only
Victims. But I pity not a Whit such Gudgeons as are caught by these
Tricks of the Drapery Trade; rightly served by being cheated in seeking
to profit, as they think, by Fraud and dishonest Bankruptcy. I told my
Wife that RAGGE and RIP do sell off at a Loss to none but those that
deal with them, and were like at that Moment, instead of being
Bankrupts, to be making merry at the Expense of their Dupes. But she
being sullen at my Denial of her Muslin, I did quiet her by the Promise
of a better Piece at FAIRCLOTH and PRYCE'S, who do carry on Business
without rogueish Puffery, and after the old Fashion of English Traders,
according to the Maxim, that "Good Wine needs no Bush," which my Wife,
poor silly Wretch, not understanding, I explained to her did mean, that
stuffs worth the buying, to find a Sale, do stand in no need of
Haberdashers' trickish Advertisements.


                                       WEDNESDAY, _September 5, 1849_.]

To please my Wife, did take her this Evening to MADAME TUSSAUD her Wax
Works; a grand large Room, with Gilding, lighted up very splendid: cost
2s., and a Catalogue 6d. The Wax Figures showy: but with their painted
Cheeks and glassy Eyes--especially such as nod and move--do look like
Life in Death. The Dresses very handsome, and I think correct; and the
Sight of so many People of Note in the Array of their Time, did much
delight me. Among the Company Numbers of Country Folk, and to see how
they did stare at the Effigies of the QUEEN, and the PRINCE, and the
CHARLOTTE that was, and GEORGE THE FOURTH in his Coronation Robes, grand
as a Peacock! The Catalogue do say that his Chair is the very one
wherein he sat in the Abbey; but it look like a Play-House Property, and
little thought the King where it would come down to figure! A Crowd of
Dames gazing at the Group of the Royal Family, calling the Children
"Dears" and "Ducks," and would, I verily believe, have liked to kiss
their Wax Chaps. My Wife feasted her Eyes on the little Princes and
Princesses, I mine upon a pretty, modest, black Maid beside me, and she
hers on me, till my Wife spying us, did pinch me with her Nails in the
Arm. Pretty, to see the Sovereign Allies in the last War, and bluff old
BLUCHER, and BONAPARTE and his Officers, in brave Postures, but stiff.
protesting against his Death-Warrant, and his Son Backing him; and
CARDINAL WOLSEY looking on. LORD BYRON in the Dress of a Greek Pirate,
looking Daggers and Pistols, close to JOHN WESLEY preaching a Sermon;
and methought, if all MADAME TUSSAUD'S Figures were their Originals
instead, what Ado there would be! Many of the Faces that I knew very
like; and my LORD BROUGHAM I did know directly, and LISTON in _Paul
Pry_. But strange, among the Kings to see him that was the Railway King;
and methinks that it were as well now if he were melted up. Thence to
the NAPOLEON Rooms, where BONAPARTE'S Coach, and one of his Teeth, and
other Reliques and Gimcracks of his, well enough to see for such as care
about him a Button. Then to the Chamber of Horrors, which my Wife did
long to see most of all; cost, with the NAPOLEON Rooms, 1s. more; a Room
like a Dungeon, where the Head of ROBESPIERRE, and other Scoundrels of
the great French Revolution, in Wax, as though just cut off, horrid
ghastly, and Plaster Casts of Fellows that have been hanged: but the
chief attraction a Sort of Dock, wherein all the notorious Murderers of
late Years; the foremost of all, RUSH, according to the Bill, taken from
Life at Norwich, which, seeing he was hanged there, is an odd Phrase.
Methinks it is of ill Consequence that there should be a Murderers'
Corner, wherein a Villain may look to have his Figure put more certainly
than a Poet can to a Statue in the Abbey. So away again to the large
Room, to look at JENNY LIND instead of GREENACRE, and at 10 of the Clock
Home, and so to Bed, my Wife declaring she should dream of the Chamber
of Horrors.


                                         MONDAY, _September 17, 1849_.]

Comes MR. GOLLOPE, and MR. GOBLESTONE, and JENKYNS, to dine with me off
a Haunch of Venison, and MR. MC. NAB calling, I did make him stay Dinner
too, and the Venison very fat and good; and MR. GOLLOPE did commend my
Carving, whereof I was proud. Between them a Debate over our Dinner, as
to whether the Red Deer or the Fallow Deer were the better Venison, and
both MR. GOLLOPE and MR. GOBLESTONE do say the Fallow, but MR. MC. NAB
will have it that the Red is by far the better, and do tell them they
know nothing about the Matter, and never tasted Red Deer but such as had
been mewed up in Richmond Park, which are mighty different from them
that do browse in the Highlands on the Heather. He do say that Highland
Deer-Stalking do excel every other Sport, from Tiger-Hunting to
Fox-Hunting, which I mean to repeat to MR. CORDUROYS to make him mad.
Then he to describe the Manner of Stalking the Deer, and his Account
thereof mighty taking, but, with his broad Scottish Accent and Phrases,
droll; and good Lack, to hear him talk of Braes, and Burns, and Cairns,
and Corries, rattling the R in every Word! He says that the Deer are the
cunningest and the watchfullest, and can see, and hear, and smell at the
greatest Distance of any Creature almost living, and do keep Spies to
look out, and their Ears and Eyes always open and their Noses to the
Wind, and do think and reason in their Minds like human Beings; which,
methinks, is peculiar to the Scotch Deer. He says that the Sport is to
fetch a Compass on them by Stratagem, so as to approach or drive them
nigh enough to shoot them with a Rifle, and it do often take some Hours
and several Miles, mostly crawling on the Hands and Knees, to get one
Shot. He says that the Stalker and Hill-Keepers that wait on him must,
to gain their Chance, dodge, stooping behind Crags, wriggle and creep
over Flats and up Brooks like Snakes or Eels, clamber up and run down
Precipices, and stride over Bogs, wherein they do sometimes sink plump
up to the Middle; which should be rather Sport to the Stag than the
Huntsman. But after all, the Deer shot dead, or wounded, and at Bay with
the Hounds at his Throat, but despatched at last, and paunched, which he
do call "gralloched," is such a Triumph that it do repay the Sportsman
for all his Pains. He do say that what with the Grandeur of the
Mountains, and the Freshness of the Air, the Spirits are raised beyond
what we could imagine, and the Appetite also increased wonderfully;
whereat MR. GOLLOPE did prick up his Ears. To conclude, he did declare
that no one could know what Deer-Stalking was that had not tried it; but
methinks I can, remembering how I used in my Youth to creep in Ditches
and behind Hedges to shoot Larks.


                                       THURSDAY, _September 27, 1849_.]

Up, and by Railway with MR. WAGSTAFFE to Guzzleford to my COSIN PEG her
Wedding, and heard the Bells a ringing at 9 o'clock, the Marriage not to
be till 11, but found they were rung for an Election; 'SQUIRE CALLOW and
MR. FAIRPORT standing for County Members in the Room of MR. BROWNJOHN.
So, the Wedding over, we about the Town to see the Fun. A Fellow the
worse for Beer demanding whose Colours we wore, meaning our
Wedding-Favours, MR. WAGSTAFFE did pleasantly answer, HYMEN'S, whereupon
the Fellow, crying "CALLOW for ever!" did rush full at us, but, we
parting, slip between us and tumble headlong into the Mud. Good Lack! to
see what Numbers of Ragamuffins everywhere with their Hats awry, Noses
bleeding, or Eyes blacked, staggering under huge Placard Boards,
whereon, in great Letters, "CALLOW and Agriculture," or, "Vote for
FAIRPORT and Commerce!" The Windows and Balconies full of Ladies, some
pretty, to whom in my Wife's Absence I did kiss my Hand. But to think
of the Ladies wearing the Colours of the Candidates, Blue and Yellow,
but only for an Excuse to deck themselves out with Ribbons! In the
Streets, Horsemen galloping to and fro, to tell the State of the Polls,
and the Mob cheering and bantering them, mighty droll. 'SQUIRE CALLOW
did put up at the Barley-Mow, and MR. FAIRPORT at the Rising Sun, and
between the two Inns, with a few plump rosy Farmers in Top-Boots, was a
noisy Rabble, quarrelling and fighting, with Skins unwashed, and unshorn
Muzzles, whom the Candidates' Committee-Men, speaking to them from the
Windows, did call Free and Independent Electors. To some that harangued
them, the Mob did cry, "Go Home," and "Who cheated his Washerwoman?" or,
"How about the Workhouse Beef?" yet listened to a few that were familiar
and cracked old Jokes with them. Presently they addressed by the
Candidates in Turn; and nasty to see them pelt each Speaker with stale
Eggs. But to hear, as well as might be for the Shouting and Hissing,
'SQUIRE CALLOW promising the Farmers to restore the Corn Laws, and
laying the Potato Blight and late Sickness to Free Trade; while MR.
FAIRPORT did as loudly charge all the Woes and Grievances of the Country
on the Landlords. By-and-by, MR. FAIRPORT, the Poll going so much
against him, did give in, and then 'SQUIRE CALLOW come forward, and make
a brave Speech about our Glorious Institutions and the British Lion, and
so away to have his Election declared, to the Town Hall, in a Carriage
and Four, and the Rabblement after him. Then they left behind did set to
on both Sides to fling Stones, and 'SQUIRE CALLOW'S Mob did break the
Windows of the Rising Sun, and MR. FAIRPORT'S the Windows of the
Barley-Mow; which the Townsmen did say would be good for the Glaziers,
and MR. WAGSTAFFE do observe that the Conservative 'SQUIRE CALLOW hath
destructive Constituents. What with Publicans, and Lawyers, and Damage,
the Election will cost the Candidates £6000 or £7000 a-Piece, and to
think what a good Motive one must have to become a Parliament-Man, that
will spend so much Money for the Chance of a Seat.


                                            MONDAY, _October 1, 1849_.]

Up mighty betimes, and to Brushwood for a Day's Shooting, by Invitation
from MR. TIBBITTS, whose Father, the rich Furrier, did die the other
Day, and leave him a Fortune, and now he hath rented Brushwood Manor to
shoot over for the Season. But Lack, what a set of young Rogues I found
there of TIBBITTS his Acquaintance, a-smoking of Cigars and short Pipes,
and a-drinking of Ale and bottled Stout at 10 o'clock of the Morning!
Mighty ashamed of, though diverted with, my Company, to hear their loose
and idle Conversation, and how none of them could pronounce the letter
H, and to think what an unlettered vulgar Fellow TIBBITTS is, and that I
should demean myself to associate with such a Companion only because of
his Riches, and Wine, and Dinners. One of the Party, WIGGYNS, did tell
me we should have a prime Lark, which, this being the first Day of
Pheasant-Shooting, I did think droll; but divers Larks, indeed, were
shot before the Day was over. So we into the Fields, and a Keeper
following us with the Dogs, and, whenever I did look over my Shoulder,
did catch him grinning and making Faces behind our Backs. But strange,
to see how much better the Rogues did shoot than I expected, though
firing at Tom-Tits, or anything almost, and do understand they got this
Skill at the Red House, Battersea, through popping at Pigeons and
Sparrows let loose from a Trap; which do seem but a cruel and a
barbarous kind of Sport. But little Birds were not all they shot, for
one HIGGES aiming at a Hare did miss, and instead of the Hare hit one of
the Dogges, and sent him yelping and limping Home. But good Lack, to see
how careless the Fellows were with their Fire-Arms, carrying their Guns,
full-cocked, pointing right in one another's Faces, and one, dragging
his Piece through a Hedge after him, it went off, but finding it had
only carried off the Skirt of his Shooting-Coat, we had a good Laugh of
it. Another, with a double-barrelled Gun, having shot off one Barrel at
a Blackbird, I did see reloading; the other Barrel being still loaded
and at full Cock. He, forcing down the Ramrod with all his Might, I did
catch him by the Elbow, and point to the Cock of the Gun, and methinks I
did never see a Man on a Sudden tremble so terribly, or grow so pale.
Getting beyond Brushwood, into a Field hard by, MR. WIGGYNS did let fly
at some Ducks, for one of those Larks he had been talking of, which did
bring down upon us the Farmer, with his Bull-Dog, and cause us to make
off with all the Speed we could. I in mighty Dread of being seized as an
Accomplice in shooting the Duck, fearing the Farmer, who is horridly
enraged with the Game-Preserving at Brushwood, for that the Game do eat
up his Crops; and, truly, the Game Laws are a great Nuisance. Home from
our Shooting, with our Bag, carried by TIBBITTS his Tiger-Boy, very
full, with a Brace or two of Pheasants and Partridges, but many more
Brace of Chaffinches, and Yellow-Hammers, and Robin Redbreasts, and so
to Dinner, where all very merry, and so to Bed.


                                         THURSDAY, _October 11, 1849_.]

To the Docks, to meet MR. SOKER, and go over the Wine Vaults with a
Tasting-Order, and taste the Wine there before it hath undergone any
Roguery for the Market. Found there SOKER, and MR. WAGSTAFFE, and
SWILBY, and SWYPE, and SHARPE, and with them MR. GOODFELLOWE, who had
gotten SOKER the Order. First to the Quay, heaped with Barrels of Wine,
and one huge Barrel, they did tell me, holding 625 Gallons, hoisted
ashore, MR. WAGSTAFFE did say, by an Adjutant, or Gigantic Crane. Then,
through all Manner of Casks and Tubs, and Bales of Merchandise, to St.
Katherine's Dock, and down to the Vault, where a Cooper forthwith did
wait on us with a Couple of Glasses, and gave each Man a flat Stick with
a Lamp at the farther End, to see our Way. The Vault almost quite dark,
only lighted by Sconces from the Roof, and the farthest Sconce looking
half-a-mile off, and all this Space full of Barrels of Wine! The Roof
supported by Rows of Columns; and the Vault altogether like the Crypt of
a vast Cathedral, but sweeter; the Air smelling of Wine very strong,
which alone did make me feel giddy. Strange to see the Mildew hanging
in all Sorts of Forms from the Roof, which many do mistake for Cobwebs,
but some call Fungus, and DR. LIMBECK, the Chymist, do tell me is mostly
Nitrate of Lime. The Cooper did lead us to the Wine we were to taste,
and pretty to see him tap the Barrel by boring a Hole in it with a
Gimlet. We did drink, all round, a good Ale-glass each of excellent
Sherry, all except MR. SHARPE; and I did wonder to see him taste the
Wine, and call it rare good Stuff, and yet spit it out, but found by and
by that he was wise. Next, to the London Dock; and MR. GOODFELLOWE did
give us Biscuit, and recommend us to eat, and I did take his advice, and
glad I did. Here, more Curiosities in Mildew, hanging from the Roof; and
one a Festoon as big as the great Sausage in the Pork-Shop at the Corner
of Bow Street. A good Story from the Cooper, of a Visitor that took a
Specimen of the Mildew away in his Hat, and with the Moisture of his
Head, it melted and blackened his Face, and served him right, that--like
more than enough Sight-Seers--could not keep his Hands from Picking. To
several Vaults, and tasted Wine in each; all very vast, but the East
Vault the biggest, and do contain more thousand Pipes, and cover more
Acres than I doubt, by Reason of the Wine I drunk, I can remember. By
this Time, our Party very jolly and noisy, and did begin to dance and
sing, and flourish their Lamps like Playhouse Devils; and methought I
did see the Meaning of the Notice outside, that Ladies could not be
admitted after 1 o'Clock. Coming into the open Air, could scarcely
stand; and MR. GOODFELLOWE did see them into Cabs, and I home on
Foot--straight as I could go--and my Wife wondering at the Redness of my
Nose. Good Lack! to see the Quantity of Goods and Wine in the Docks; and
to think what a great and mighty Nation we are, and what Oceans of
Liquor we do swill and guzzle!


                                           MONDAY, _October 22, 1849_.]

Up, and to Church together with my Wife, to see PALL HARLEY married this
Morning to DICK BAKER; on both Sides mighty genteel People, and their
Guests, all except ourselves, such as they do call Carriage-Company.
PALL, in a Dress of White Satin, and Orange Flowers in her Hair, very
pretty and demure, and DICK, wearing a Sky-Blue Coat, Crimson Velvet
Waistcoat, Yellow Moleskin Trousers, and Japanned Boots; with Lavender
Kid Gloves, and a Carbuncle in his Shirt-Front, a great Buck. DICK and
every Man of us with great White Favours at our Breasts, mighty
conspicuous and, methought, absurd, the Things serving neither for Use
nor Ornament. But to see how grand were old fat MR. HARLEY and MR.
BAKER, and how more grand were their fat Wives, and how fine and serious
they looked and how high they carried their Noses! And when the Ring was
put on PALL'S Finger (DICK first having fumbled for it in the wrong
Pocket), her Mother did weep, and falling for stay on MR. HARLEY, nigh
overthrew him. But the pretty modest Bridesmaids did most of all take
me; which my Wife observing, I saw, did trouble her. The Ceremony over,
and the Fees paid, and the Bride kissed by some of the old Gentlemen, we
to old HARLEY'S to Breakfast, where what WIGGYNS do call a Grand Spread,
very fine both for Show and Meats, every Dish ornamented with Flowers
and Gimcracks, the cold Chickens trimmed with Ribbons, and the
Bride-Cake, having upon it Wax CUPIDS and Turtle-Doves, was pretty. So
down we sat, DICK stiff and sheepish, and PALL also, shamefaced, and
trying to hide her Blushes with a Nosegay. PALL'S Mother in Tears, and
her Father solemn, and the Bridesmaids mostly bashful, but a little
black one that sate by me very merry, and I did by-and-by pull Crackers
with her, till my Wife suddenly thrust a Pin into my Arm, to the Quick.
The Company first silent, till a Friend of the young Pair, who did say
he had known them both from Babies, did propose their Health in a pretty
pathetic but confused Speech, and breaking down in the Midst of a
Sentence, conclude by wishing them long Life and Happiness, with great
Applause. Then the Bride-Groom to return Thanks, but, perplexed with his
Pronouns, obliged to stop short too, but, he said, overcome by his
Feelings. The Champagne flowing, we soon merrier, especially an old
Uncle of DICK'S who began to make Jokes, which did trouble the Bride and
Bride-Groom. But they presently with much Crying and Kissing, and
Shaking of Hands, away in a Coach-and-Four, amid the Cheering of the
Crowd in the Street and the Boys shouting to behold the fine Equipage;
and Servants and old Women looking on from the opposite Windows. We
eating and drinking with great Delight till late in the Afternoon, but
at last broke up, the Multitude saluting us each as we stepped into the
Street, and the Policeman and Beadle that were guarding the Door in
great State, touching their Hats. A grand Marriage Breakfast do give a
brave Treat to the Mob, in Show, and to the Company in Eating and
Drinking, and is great Fun to all but those most concerned. But to think
what a Fuss is made about most Marriages, and how little Reason for it
is shown by most People's married Life.


                                           FRIDAY, _October 26, 1849_.]

To the old House in the Market, where I would fain have seen _Macbeth_,
for the Acting as well as the Divertisement; but this not the Night, so
went Half-Price, and did see the _Unpolished Gem_, instead. TOUCHSTONE
did play _Brother Dick_, a Country Clown, and his Figure, in a Coat
short in the Waist, a huge striped Waistcoat, Trousers too big for him
tucked up at the Ankles, Hob-Nail Boots, and a great ill-shaped Hat,
mighty droll, and did move the People to clap their Hands and laugh the
Moment he come on the Stage. Then did he take off his Hat, and show a
red-cropped Head, and smooth down his Hair, and make a Face upon the
Audience, whereat they did laugh again, and then turning round show them
a Back View of himself, which made them laugh the more. Still greater
Laughter the Moment he opened his Mouth, and I did laugh too, as much as
any, though I heard not what he said; but only for the Oddness of his
Voice, which is such that methinks I could not keep my Countenance to
hear him, even if he were speaking _Hamlet_. Mighty droll to see him in
a fine House make himself at Home after the Fashion of a Bumpkin, and
hear him in his rustical Drawl and Twang relate all the News and Tattle
of his Village. What with his clodhopping Gait, and Awkwardness, and
Independence, and Impudence, he did make, methinks, the veriest Lout I
did ever see, even in Hampshire. His politeness even droller than his
Rudeness, and his Ploughboy Courtesy of kissing his Hand as comical as
could be. But I know not well whether I do more prefer his Cocknies or
his Clowns; for methinks I have seen him do a Snob as well as a
Clodpole, and he is very good in both, whether a rustical Booby or a
Whippersnapper Spark; and do use V for W, and misuse or drop his H, and
talk the Flash and Cant of the Town mighty natural. But to think how we
English People do take Delight in everything that is ridiculous; and how
I have seen a Theatre ringing with Merriment at the Sight of TOUCHSTONE
in a Paper Cap and Apron, with a Baker's Tray, and a Bell, crying
"Muffins!" or eating with his Mouth full; or even putting his Arms
a-Kimbo, or pulling his Hat over his Eyes, and some of the Audience, and
myself too, in Fits almost with Laughter. Methinks that Foreigners are
wrong to suppose that we are a melancholy People, and would give up this
Notion if they could see us at a broad Farce, and how easily we are
pleased, and what Straws will tickle us almost to Death. Home, my Sides
aching by Reason of TOUCHSTONE'S Drolleries, and truly he do make a
mighty excellent roguish Buffoon. So to Bed mimicking TOUCHSTONE his
Voice to my Wife, which did divert her mightily.


                                           MONDAY, _October 29, 1849_.]

To the Zoological Gardens, in the Regent's Park, at 3 p.m., in Time to
see the Otter fed with live Fishes, which he do chase round his Basin in
the Water, and dive after mighty clever. Then to the Wild Beasts,
hungry, in a terrible Rage, as I have seen others than Wild Beasts
waiting for Dinner. Some of the Dens with Trees in them for the Beasts
to climb in; Lions, old and young, Lionesses, He and She Tigers, a
Jaguar, an Ounce, a Cheetah, a Spotted and Black Leopard: and on the
other side Hyænas, and Pumas, and more Leopards, and Bears. Their
Yelling and Howling for Hunger a most horrid Musique, while the Tigers
rear on their hind Legs, and dash at their Bars, and grin and glare at
the Children outside. The Ramping and Roaring doubled when the Keeper
come with the Meat, and Lack! how they did fly at it with Teeth and
Claws, and howl and snort over it, and munch and crunch the Bones! But
one Hyæna droll, the Keeper passing him by, and he, thinking he was to
go without his Meal, throwing himself on his Back, and moaning, and
crying in Despair. Pretty, to see the Bears in their Pit climb up their
Post for Buns; which the Visitors did hold to them on the End of a long
Stick, and them below fighting for the Morsels that fell; and their
Clumsiness, and awkward Standing on their hind Legs. The White Bear,
also, swimming in his Tank, pleasant, I being on the outside of his
Cage. A fine old Wolf and Cubs, but snarling and snapping over their
Victuals, seemed not a Happy Family. Saw the Eagles and Vultures Prey,
treading on their Meat, and tearing it up with their Beaks; the Eagles
brave, but the Vultures look ignoble. Yet fine the Great Condor Vulture,
when the Wind blew, stretching forth his Wings upon it; and glad, no
doubt, would have been to sail away. The Parrots gay; but so shriek and
squall, that their Abode do seem the Madhouse of the Place. Much taken
with the Seal swim in the Water, and waddle out on his Stomach with his
Tail and Flappers, like a Fellow with his Legs tied for a Wager.
Diverted by the Gambols and Antics of the Monkeys and Apes: yet ashamed
to see such vile Likenesses of ourselves: and the Apes especially; and
the Crowd of Women and Ladies gazing at them! With Pleasure, yet Horror,
did view the Snakes and Lizards in the Reptile House, and glad they
could not get at me; but hoped to see the Boa Constrictor swallow a live
Rabbit: but did not. Bought Gingerbread Nuts to feed the Elephant, cost
me 2d. and he did please me, but I wished he had been bigger; but the
Rhinoceros did give me great Delight, and with Mirth heard a Countryman
standing by, call him the Hog in Armour. The Bison, with his huge shaggy
Head and Mane, Horns, and fiery Eyes, do look the most like a Demon I
ever did see. To the Camel-Leopards, graceful Creatures; after the Bison
and Rhinoceros. Then about the Gardens to watch the People and the
Children stare at, and feed and poke the Animals. Did mark some pretty
Damsels, and, having done gazing at the Beasts, gaze at them. So Home,
and described to my Wife what I had seen, except the Damsels, and did
discourse with her of Natural History; which the Zoological Gardens do
breed a pretty Taste for among the People.


                                           FRIDAY, _November 2, 1849_.]

Up, and by Appointment to MR. WAGSTAFFE'S, and so with him to
Westminster Hall, to see my LORD CHANCELLOR and the Judges, after
Breakfast with my Lord, this being the first Day of Michaelmas Term,
open the Law Courts in State, in their Robes and Wigs. We there at 12,
the Hour set for the Ceremony, but, we found, only for the Beginning of
it by Breakfast, which had we thought of, we had taken our Time, as
knowing that my Lords would be sure to take theirs. So clear that we
must have Patience, MR. WAGSTAFFE did say, like many besides us in
Westminster Hall. So out to look at the New Houses of Parliament, and
how the Masons speed with the Building, which will be mighty fine when
it is done, and MR. TRANSOM do commend the Style, and I too, both for
the Proportions and also for the Heraldry and Lions. Then back again to
the Hall, where now a few more People; and presently comes marching in a
Party of Policemen, large enough to have taken up all present, and yet
hardly have had one Prisoner a-piece; But the Numbers did by Degrees
increase, and were, I did note, mostly of the better Sort; thank the
Police. Among them divers Barristers-at-Law, some with their Sisters,
some with their Wives, or such as did seem like to be their Wives, many
of whom mighty comely Damsels, and were a Sight I never expected, not
thinking they could care for Law Matters, or to see the Judges, 2d.; but
strange how Women do flock to every Concourse, whether it be to see or
only to be seen. There for the first Time I did behold MR. TOMKYNS, the
young Barrister, in his Wig, wherein he do look mighty sedate, and I
telling him I hoped he would come to open Term himself, made answer as
it might be some while first, he wished I might live to see it. The
people now crowding about the Doors of the Courts, the Police did make a
Lane between them for my LORD CHANCELLOR and the Judges to walk down,
and MR. WAGSTAFFE did call it Chancery Lane. My Lords still not coming,
he did observe that now we had a Sample of the Law's Delay, and did
pleasantly lay the Lateness of the Breakfast to the Account of the
MASTER OF THE ROLLS. But they at last come, and we opposite the Court of
Common Pleas got a good View of them to my Heart's Content. First comes
the Mace, and a gentleman in his Court Suit, wearing a Sword and Bag,
and with them the Great Seal; then my LORD CHANCELLOR, and did walk down
to his Court at the end of the Hall, looking the better of his Sickness,
which I was glad of. After him the other Judges, of whom most did enter
the Door whereby we were, and mighty reverend they looked, but merry and
in good Humour, and beamy and ruddy after their Breakfast. But to see
MR. JUSTICE TALFOURD come last of all, shaking Hands with his Friends on
both Sides, he newly made a Judge, being a Poet, did most content me;
and MR. WAGSTAFFE did say he looked in good Case and by no means
_puisne_. The Judges all entered, the Rabblement let into the Hall, and
we away, fearing for our Pockets; which are like to be very soon emptied
in Westminster Hall.


                             MONDAY, _Nov. 5, 1849_.--GUY FAWKES' DAY.]

At Breakfast this Morning off a new-laid Egg, cost me 2d., but cheap for
the Time of Year, did hear a shrill Hallooing in the Street, which my
Wife told me was made by the Boys, going by with their GUY FAWKES. So on
this, GUY FAWKES his Day, did in Haste swallow my Breakfast, put on my
Boots and Over-Coat, and so out and about the Streets and Squares to see
the Sport, the Bells ringing for Church, and a Scarecrow of a GUY, borne
by Urchins on a Handbarrow, with Rough Musique at almost every Turn and
Corner. GUY FAWKES his Effigies, with his Fingers sticking out like
Spikes, and his Feet all awry, his Body and Limbs stuffed with Straw, a
Mask for his Face, with a Pipe in the Mouth, and a Lantern and
Tinder-Box dangling from his Wrist, and on his Head a Paper Cap, like an
old Grenadier's, but a Cross on it, and meant for the POPE his Crown. I
thought to see GUY with his Company, borne by the Police in State to the
Station House, but they this Year mostly let alone, and more GUYS, and
ragged Regiments of Boys shouting after them, than ever. The Varlets, as
they went, repeating Doggrel Verses, bidding to remember the Day, and
asking whomsoever they met for Money for a Bonfire to burn their GUY,
and did beg of me; but I would not fling my Money into the Fire. But
Lack to think of the Delight I do take in GUY FAWKES, because of his
ridiculous Figure, and recollecting how I loved to play with Fireworks
on this Day when a Boy; though I know what a Libel is the Holyday on the
Roman Catholiques, and the good Reason, though the Doggrel say to the
contrary, why Gunpowder Treason should be forgot. But some, who should
have known better, did give the Rogues Halfpence and encourage them in a
show of Bigotry; albeit the young Ragamuffins know not what it do mean,
and care only for the Frolick and Halfpence. From Westminster, by the
Back Ways and Streets to Fleet Street, Squibs and Crackers in the Courts
and Alleys fizzing and bouncing all the Way, and did in Fleet Street
dine at a Chop-house, cost me, with Beer and Punch, 2s.; and so to Tower
Hill, where the Banging and Blazing of the Fireworks the greatest of
all; and the Roman Candles and Pin-wheels mighty pretty; but some
letting off Guns and Pistols put me in Fear. Here presently I did hear a
Popping and Cracking behind me; which was a Cracker pinned by some
Scapegrace to my Coat-Tail, and did make me jump, and the Standers-by to
laugh: which did vex me to the Heart; and MR. GREGORY do say, served me
right for countenancing such Doings. But to see the Mob flinging
Serpents at each other, and burning and singeing one another like
Devils, did much divert me, till a Squib whizzing past me did scorch me
in the Face. Truly GUY FAWKES his Day this Time was mighty well kept,
and MR. HOWLETT do say its better Observance is a revival of Protestant
Spirit; but I do agree with MR. WAGSTAFFE that Protestancy is not a
Doctrine of Fireworks, and must own it were better to bury GUY FAWKES,
and not burn him any more.


                                          MONDAY, _November 19, 1849_.]

By Rail to Clod's Norton, to my old Country Friend MR. GILES the Farmer,
and with him to the Meeting and yearly Dinner of the North Gruntham
Agricultural Society at Grumbleton, at the Plantagenet Arms. A mighty
fine and great Dinner; and the Appetite of the Company droll to observe,
and hear MR. GILES declare that all the Farmers were starving. I did
mightily admire the Breadth and Bigness of the Countrymen, and their
round Faces like the Sign of the Rising Sun, but not so bright, for
though ruddy, looking glum. My LORD MOUNTBUSHEL in the Chair, very grand
and high and mighty, yet gently demeaning himself, and did pledge them
about him in Wine with an Obeisance the most stately I think that I did
ever see a Man, and wish I could do like him, and with Practice hope to
be able. The Dinner over, and the QUEEN drunk, and the Royal Family,
and also the Church and Army and Navy all drunk, the Chairman did
propose the Toast of the Evening, which was, Prosperity to the North
Gruntham Agricultural Society, and made a Speech, and did tell his
Hearers that they and the whole Farming Body were going to the Dogs as
fast as they could go; whereat, strange to hear them applaud mightily.
He ended his Speech by saying he hoped Gentlemen would that Evening,
according to Custom, keep clear of Politics, which Rule SQUIRE HAWEBUCKE
next rising to speak, did promise he would observe, and forthwith made a
violent Harangue against SIR ROBERT PEEL and MR. COBDEN. After him got
up MR. FLUMMERIE, and with great Action, and thumping the Table, spoke
for Half-an-Hour, with most brave Flourishes both of his Fists and of
Language. He did tell his Audience that they must be up and stirring,
and quit them like good Men and true, and did exhort them to rally round
the Altar and Throne, and nail their Colours to the Mast, and range
themselves under the Banner of Protection; which he did say was a Flag
that had braved 1,000 Years the Battle and the Breeze, and if so,
should, methinks, be by this time in Tatters. He did say that the
British Lion had been long asleep, but was now at last aroused, which do
seem a simple Saying, the British Lion being only a fabulous Beast, like
the Unicorn, also in the Royal Arms. But to hear how the Company did
cheer at this Mouthing, albeit it was the veriest Cant and Stuff; for,
good Lack! to think of the Monarchy and Church, and all Morals,
Religion, and Government, depending on the price of Wheat! After more
Speeches in the same Strain, the British Labourer his Health drunk, and
then the Prizes given out; and an old Man of 80, for bringing up a
Family without costing the Parish 1d. in 50 Years, did receive £1, and
others for honest Service nigh as long, a Jacket, a Smock Frock, or a
Pair of Hob-Nail Boots, in Reward of Merit. The Toasts and Speech-making
lasted till late, and then we broke up, the Farmers mighty merry, though
grumbling, but not more than their Wont, at the Laws and the Weather,
but their best Friends say, will have little to complain of either, if
they will but mind their Business, and turn seriously to improving their


                                          FRIDAY, _November 30, 1849_.]

Up, and did take my Wife, with a Party of Friends, to the Old Bailey, my
Wife having a great Longing to see a Prisoner tried, especially for
Murder, and little Pleasure as she do take, poor Wretch, I could not
find in my Heart to deny her this. Got our Places in the Gallery, cost
me 10s., which did begrudge, and do think it a Scandal to the City to
have Money taken at the Old Bailey Doors, as at a Play, yet it do serve
to keep the Company choice. And, good Lack! to see the Assemblage of
great Folks about us, we sitting close by SIR JESSAMIE SPINKES, and my
LORD POUNCETT, and two or three other Lords on the Bench by my Lords the
Judges, and the Aldermen, did make the Place look as fine almost as the
Opera. But in Truth it was as good as a Play, if not better, to hear the
Barristers speak to the Jury, especially the Counsel for the Prisoners,
making believe to be mightily concerned for their Clients, though most
observable Rogues, and arguing in their Behalf through Thick and Thin,
and striving as hard as they could to prove the Black, that did come out
in Evidence against them, White; and pleading their Cause as though they
were injured Innocents, with smiting of the Breast, and turning up of
the Eyes, more natural than I remember I did ever see any Actor. But
methinks they did go a little too far when, cross-examining the
Witnesses, they strove to entangle them in their Talk, and confound
them, trying to make them blunder, so as to mislead the Jury, which do
seem to me only telling a Lie by the Witness his Mouth. And then to hear
them labour to destroy the Witnesses' Credit, and make their Oath
suspected; and them, however honest, seem Perjurers; and to think that
they do practise all this Wickedness only for the Lucre of their Fees!
Among the Prisoners some of the most horrid Ruffians that methinks I
ever did see, and some, when found guilty and sentenced even to
Transportation, skipping out of the Dock, and snapping their Fingers,
which did remind me of the Saying, "Merry as Thieves." But others
looking mighty dismal, and when the Evidence did tell against them,
turning pale and shivering, and we had Eye-Glasses we took with us on
Purpose, and through our Eye-Glasses did watch the Quivering of their
Features, which, Heaven forgive us! we did take Delight in. Using
Eye-Glasses did the more make it seem as if I were at a Play, and what
did jump with the Notion was the Bunches of Rue on the Dock in Front of
the Prisoners, seeming almost like Nosegays, which glad I am that my
Wife and our other Ladies had not with them, for so taken were they with
the ranting Barristers and hang-Gallows Ruffians, that I do verily
believe they would have flung their Posies to them if they had. Strange
that we do make such Account of Criminals, and will sit for Hours to see
how it goes with a Villain, when we would not spare five Minutes to the
Cause of many an honest Man. But for one good Reason I did take Pleasure
in the Old Bailey, which was the Fairness of the Trials, and the
Patience of the Judge, and Justness of his summing up, which do cause me
mightily to reverence our Law, and to hear and see was pretty.

[Illustration: _A PROMENADE CONCERTE._

                                         THURSDAY, _December 6, 1849_.]

Did set me Wife, poor Wretch! this Evening to mending my Socks, and
myself to Drury Lane, to MONSIEUR JULLIEN his Concert. The first Part of
the Concert all DR. MENDELSSOHN his Musique, which I did long mightily
to hear, and, so to do in Comfort, buy a Ticket for the Dress Circle,
cost me 2s. 6d., but found the Seats all full, and obliged to stand the
whole While, which made me mad, but a pretty full-eyed young Lady being
forced to stand too, and close by me, though with her Brother, did
comfort me a little, not that she could not sit, but that she was by me.
Heard a Symphony that did well please me, seeming to lift me into the
Clouds, and was mighty mystical and pretty; and the Musique in the
_Midsummer Night's Dream_ did give me much Delight, the Twittering
throughout the Overture putting me in Mind of Singing-Birds and Fairies
and I know not what, and the sleepy Passages very sweet and lulling.
Mightily taken with the Prelude to the Mock-Tragedy, _Bottom_ his March,
as droll Musique as I ever heard; but what did most of all delight me
was the Wedding March, a noble Piece, and I did rejoice therein, and do
think to hire a Band to play it under our Window on my Wedding Day.
MONSIEUR JULLIEN in his white Waistcoat and with his Moustachios mighty
spruce and as grand as ever, and did conduct the Musique, but so quietly
in the first Part that I could scarce have believed it, and methought
showed Reverence for the Composer; which was handsome. But good Lack! to
see him presently, when he come to direct "_God Save the Queen_,"
flourish his Batoon, and act the mad Musician! All the Company rising
and taking off their Hats to hear that majestical Anthem, presently some
most ridiculous and impertinent Variations set all the House a laughing
and some hissing, and I do suspect MONSIEUR JULLIEN had a special
Audience this night, that would not away with such Tricks. Between the
Parts of the Concert, I into the Pit to walk about among the Sparks,
where a great Press, the House crammed to the Ceiling. In the
Refreshment and Reading Rooms, young Blades and Lasses drinking of
Coffee and eating of Ices, and Reading of the News, with Shrubs and
Statues round about, and the House all White and Gold, and brightly
lighted, mighty gay; and the Sparks jaunty, but not, I think, wearing
such flaming Neckcloths and Breast Pins as they were wont. Heard in Part
second some Musique of the _Prophète_, full of Snorting of Brass
Instruments and Tinkling of Triangles, and a long Waltz that did give me
the Fidgets, and nothing please me at all, save JETTY TREFFZ her singing
of "_Trab, trab_," which was pretty. Lastly, the Row-Polka played, and
well-named and very droll and absurd, with Chiming-in of Voices and
other monstrous Accompaniments, a good ridiculous rough Musique. But
many of the Hearers did hiss, methought with Unreason, the Polka being
no emptier than any other Polka, and having some Joke in it. Home, the
Wedding March running in my Head, and glad to find good Musique drawing
so great a House, which I do hope will be a Hint to MONSIEUR JULLIEN.


                                          TUESDAY, _January 29, 1850_.]

Up, and after Breakfast, to which a new laid Egg at this Time of Year
cost me 2d., to Hyde Park to see the Skating on the Serpentine, very
admirable and mighty good Mirth. The Members of the Skating Club, with
their Booth by the Ice mighty select, yet do as it were perform for the
Amusement of the British Publique. Pretty to see them cut out Figures of
8, and in a Sort dance Quadrilles upon the Ice, which I very much wish I
could do myself, but cannot skate at all, and never could, but whenever
I tried to always tumbled down, generally a Squat, which hurt me. Upon
the Ice all sorts of People high and low, great and little, old and
young, Women and Children, indeed a Multitude of the British Publique
altogether. With their Hollaing and Shouting a continual Roar like the
Cawing and Clacking of innumerable Rooks and Jackdaws. Pretty to see the
Chairs and Forms on the Brink of the Ice, where dirty Boys and Men do
ply with Skates for Hire, and kneeling and screwing and straping them on
to Skater's Feet turn a good Penny. Many fine Girls also, both fair and
black, skating in their warm Furs and Muffs mighty snug and elegant,
please me most of all; and a Troop of Schoolgirls walk two and two along
the Shore very pretty. Fun to see how the Skaters do throw themselves
into all manner of Postures, and how many of them tumble down, and
sprawl about, and roll over one another topsy-turvy, and kick their
Heels in the Air. Also the Unskilful beginning to learn to skate helped
on to the Ice, and an old Woman pulled on by a lively Urchin, make me
laugh heartily. But the most ridiculous Sight the Lower Sort, not
skating but sliding, Butcher Lads, and Costermongers, and Street Boys
with Sticks and Bludgeons in their Hands, and some in their Mouths short
Pipes, smoking while they slide, which I wonder how they can. Good Lack,
to see them come the Cobbler's Knock as they say, and keep the Pot
a-boiling! Likewise how of a Fellow upon the Ice with a Potato Can upon
a Fire-Basket, they buy and eat roast Potatoes which the Sellers cry
_Taturs all hot!_ The Street Boys, too, where the Ice at the Sides thin,
flock together nigh the Edge, and throw Stones breaking the Ice, and I
did hear one of the Varlets as his Pebble crash through cry, "There goes
a Window," and could not but laugh, though I would fain have boxed his
Ears. On Top of a Pole in one Part of the Ice a Board marked
"Dangerous," nevertheless many so foolhardy as to skate close to it,
until at last the Ice broke and a Fool went in and was like to have
drowned, but the Humane Society's Men did come with Drags, and one of
them fish him out by the Scuff of his Trowsers, mighty laughable. They
carry him off to the Receiving House, where they chafe and wrap him in
warm Blankets to bring him to, and give him hot Brandy and Water to
recruit him and send him Home Comfortable, and so reward him for his
Folly, and encourage other Fools to imitate his silly Example. Methinks
such an idle Companion were well served if, instead of getting hot Grog,
he were sent Home with a good Hiding.


                                        THURSDAY, _February 14, 1850_.]

This Afternoon at four o'clock with GUBBYNS to the Leviathan Club
whereof he is a member, and do mean to propose me to be a Member too
which I very much wish, only fear I may be black-balled but hope not.
To-day he take me over the Club to see it, which delight me much, and
good Lack to see how splendid the Building and the Carvings and Gildings
of the Walls and Windows, for all the World like a Palace, wherein a
private Man every Day of his Life may live like a King, as I should like
to. All the Rooms as full as could be of all Manner of Comforts and
Conveniences, especially the great Room where the Members do sit in easy
Chairs with well-stuffed soft Backs and Cushions lined with lovely
smooth shining Morocco Leather, or loll along on Sofas and Ottomans the
same, and read the Reviews and Papers and are served by Footmen in
Livery with Glasses of Sherry and Tumblers of Brandy and Soda Water, all
at their Ease, and enjoy such Accommodation as I think I never could
have imagined unless I had seen. Curious to observe the different
Readers and the Paper each reading; a Parliament or City Man the Times,
a Member, I take it, of the Protestant Association at Exeter-Hall the
Morning Herald, another the Standard, newspapers the wits call Mrs. GAMP
and Mrs. HARRIS, which is great Roguery. Some in Groups stand a
gossiping, some looking out of Windows down on the People in the Street
as they go by, mighty agreeable to such as are well off, and would give
me very much Pleasure. Others with their Backs to the Fire, and one
methought a Country Squire striding in front of the Grate, with his
Hands behind him under his Coat Tails warming himself and looking abroad
over his Neckcloth, as though upon his Parish, and as if he were Monarch
of all he surveyed; mighty dignified and droll. Likewise a Youth of some
Condition, but somewhat too like a Shopboy, in a pretty ridiculous
Posture, eyeing himself in a Pier Glass, did, with his walking Cane
sticking athwart his Arm, divert me. The Magazines, Guide Books, Post
Directories, and so on lying about on the Tables mighty handy, and I did
note also a Pack of Cards and hear some of the Club Men do play. After
going all over the Club-house, and the Lavatories and all, GUBBYNS take
me to dine with him in the Strangers' Room, and a mighty good Dinner
with excellent Claret, cost him how much I did not like to ask, but no
doubt much more cheap and better than it would have come to in the
cheapest tolerable Inn. Thence, after dinner, to the Smoking Room to
smoke a Cigar, and drink Seltzer Water and Brandy, and, after Talk of
the News, and all the Rumour about Town, and a good deal of Scandal, and
some Roguish Conversation, Home, and so to Bed.

[Illustration: _THE CIRCUS AT ASTLEY'S._

                                              FRIDAY, _March 8, 1850_.]

To the Circus at Astley's late, so missed the Grand Equestrian Drama,
which vex me not much, for the Acting only Horseplay. But in time to see
the Horsemanship in the Circle, which was what I wanted, and got a good
Place in the Boxes, but would have preferred the Pit, except for the
Company, which is of the Lower Sort, and there they do sit with their
Hats on, and eat Oranges and drink Soda Water and Ginger Beer, which
make me ashamed. Pretty riding on a Cream-coloured Horse by a pretty
black girl, and on horseback dancing carried a basket of Flowers, and
dance mighty pretty, but being above I could but look down upon little
but her Head, which did somewhat vex me that I was not below in the Pit.
Also a Fellow in the Dress of an Italian Robber they call a Brigand ride
on three Horses at once, and please me I think as much as anything I
ever saw in my Life. One of the Horses he rode piebald, the others
spotted, pretty to see. Curious to observe the Riding Master continually
smacking his Whip to keep the Horses galloping close to the Circle, but
above all the Head Riding Master they call WIDDICOMBE in a Uniform with
Epaulettes, as it were a Generalissimo, mighty pompous and droll, divert
me beyond measure, and good Lack to hear, between the Horsemanship, the
dialogues between WIDDICOMBE and the Clown. As the Clown walking before
WIDDICOMBE out of the Ring, WIDDICOMBE say "Stop, Sir, go behind; I
never follow the Fool." "Don't you," say the Clown, "then I do," and
walk after him; which tickle me and make me laugh, so that I was like to
burst my Sides. And Lack to see the Dignity of WIDDICOMBE, how grand he
bear himself and look down upon the Clown as an inferior Being, calling
him generally Fool, or else sometimes more gracious, Mr. Merriman. I do
hear WIDDICOMBE is now an old Man, but his Cherry Cheeks, and black Hair
and Eyebrows, make him look young, and his Waistcoat padded well out on
the Chest takes from his Paunch, and though no Doubt he be made up, he
make himself up mighty clever. All this while the Orchestra, mostly of
Brass, trumpeting and banging away the most suitable Music to the
Performance I think that ever could be played except the Tongs and
Bones. About me in the Boxes great Numbers of Small Children, both Boys
and Girls, some Babies almost, enjoy the Spectacle as much as any, and I
do like to see them, and think they with their Mirth do make their
Elders enjoy it all the more, and did think I should have liked to have
had some of my own to take with me, but then thinking of the Expense of
a Family make me better content with None. The Horsemanship mighty good
Fun for the Children, but serious Entertainment to the grown-up, and
strange to see how earnest they sit and gaze and stare with their Eyes
wide open, and their Minds also fixed upon the Horses, and to perceive
that they who think so much of Horses do commonly think very little upon
much else, and how many there be of that Sort among the English People.
After Astley's in a Cab to the Albion Tavern, where a Dish of Kidneys, a
Welsh Rarebit, a Pint of Stout, and a Go of Whisky cost me 3s., and so
Home in another Cab and so to Bed.


                                            SATURDAY, _March 9, 1850_.]

To the Judicial Committee of Privy Council to hear Judgment delivered in
the great GORHAM Case, the Reverend Mr. GORHAM against the BISHOP of
EXETER for refusing to institute him to the Living of Bramford Speke,
which the Bishop refuse because Mr. GORHAM deny Baptismal Regeneration.
The Court of Arches gave sentence for the BISHOP, and GORHAM then appeal
to the Privy Council. A great Commotion among the Clergy, and not a
little among the People also. The High Church hold, with the BISHOP of
EXETER, the same Opinion of Baptism as the Catholiques, and the Low do
side with GORHAM and the Baptists and most other Dissenters. To the
Council Chamber betimes, and did get a good Place and hear very well.
The Chamber all the public Part of it crammed with as many People as
could well get in. Lack, to see what Numbers of the Clergy here, both
High Church and Low, and distinguish them by their Looks, and their
Dress, and particularly by their Ties and Waistcoats. Also present many
Dissenters and Roman Catholiques, and among the Catholiques I did note
Bishop WISEMAN the Catholique Bishop of Melipotamus, and Vicar
Apostolique of the London District in the front Row next my Lord the
President's Chair, pricking up his Ears. By and by in come the Lords of
the Council and take their places, mighty Grave, yet as they sit do seem
to take it easy. They sit at a Table in the midst of the Chamber, where,
among them, Lords Brougham and Campbell look mighty ill-favoured and
droll. Behind, towards the Bookshelves, the Lay Lords, but with them a
Bishop in his Knee Breeches and Apron, and a Shovel Hat in his Hand.
Among the Lay Lords the EARL of CARLISLE, a Great Nobleman, and do look
noble, and very much like LISTON the Player. Hush, and Silence, even the
Ladies, of whom some present in the Crowd, when my Lord LANGDALE rise to
deliver Judgment, which he did mighty clever, and lay down the Law, but
no theological Argument, which I expected to hear, but did not. For he
said the Committee have no Authority to determine Points of Doctrine,
and whether Baptismal Regeneration were true or false, but only whether
the Clergy were bound to hold it, or free to deny it, by the Thirty-nine
Articles. And by that Rule he gave Judgment for GORHAM against the
BISHOP, and I see not how he could have done otherwise, nor why the High
Church should be so aghast and angry, nor WISEMAN smile and look so
merry and scornful as he did, and seem so mightily diverted. So the
BISHOP will have to submit, and institute GORHAM, or else resign his
Bishoprick, which I dare swear he will not. Nor do I much fear that many
of the High Church Clergy will leave the Church, as some prophesy, and
turn Catholiques, and relinquish the Loaves and Fishes. Methinks it is a
mighty good Thing that both High Church Clergy and Low are bound only by
the Articles as interpreted by the Law Lords in the Judicial Committee,
and not by themselves on either one Side or the other, for of all Men
methinks the Clergy of every Sect have less than any of a Judicial

[Illustration: _A JUVENILE PARTYE._

                                          WEDNESDAY, _April 24, 1850_.]

With my Wife this Evening to Mr. HARTLEY'S to a Children's Party, but
some grown up, and among them me and my Wife, though we have no
Children, which vex me, but not much, for Children mighty expensive and
cost money, and, if I had them, would only force me to deny myself a
great many Pleasures I now enjoy, and could not then afford. A large
Drawing Room very fine, and well lighted up, and so many Children of all
Ages down to Babies almost as I think I did never before, altogether in
one room, see. Pretty to see how the little Boys and Girls dance when
MYNHEER SCHLAMM thump and bang the Piano, and some of the very smallest
taught to dance nearly as soon as they could walk, and how they stand in
Position and point their Toes with heels close together, and arms
hanging down, as they do when the Dancing-Master teach them their
dancing Lessons. And to see how pleased all the Girls to dance, but not
all the Boys, but a good many of them look unhappy, yet pretty to
observe how a few little Boys make love to the little Girls, and one
little Boy offer a little Girl a Nosegay, like a young Gallant, and she
take it with the Air of a Coquette mighty pretty. But most of the Boys
make a great deal more Love to the good Things on the Tables; the Sweets
and Pastry, Jelly, Blanc-Mange, Tarts, Pies, Tipsy-Cake, Trifle, and
Ice-creams, and good Lack how they push, and scramble, and hold out
their plates, to get slices of Cake, while HARTLEY cut up a great rich
Cake like a Twelfth-cake and share it between them, and they eat and
stuff all they can, and I fear me some of them ill to-morrow if not
before. Droll to see a little Boy stand astride stuffing into his Mouth
a Pie whole like a Pantomime Clown. Another small Boy sitting down upon
a Pile of Plates set by on the Floor, they having been eaten from, in
the Remains of Trifle, cause great Laughter. So did a fat Dame with her
little Boy and Girl, and an Arm round each, like a great plump Fowl, a
Gizzard under one Wing and Liver beneath the other. Droll to see
HARTLEY'S little girl sit in her Grandmother's Chair beside her Crutch,
where her Grandmother hobbling in did find her, and to think that she
too will be such another old Woman, one of these Days, if she live. Some
of the bigger Boys public School Boys, mighty grand, and a few wearing
Spectacles like young Owls. Mrs. HARTLEY'S Brother, Mr. ST. LEGER, dress
himself like a Conjuror, in a conjuring Cap with magick Characters on
it, and conjure with Cards, and Oranges, and little Images, and Dolls,
mighty clever, and I do mean to get him if I can to teach me. One Thing
made me laugh heartily was to see the Page they call BUTTONS stand
behind him while he conjure, BUTTONS with his Eyes staring wide open,
and he grinning with his Mouth from Ear to Ear. The young Folk after
Supper to dance again, and romp, and play at Blindman's Buff, and
meanwhile the elder sup too, and I and my Wife on cold Fowl and Ham, and
Lobster Salad, and Champagne, mighty merry, and so Home betimes mighty
comfortable, and methinks I do like a Children's more than any other
Evening Party, to see the Children and their Elders also, play the Fool,
and to break up, and get Home early, and so with Content and Comfort to

[Illustration: _GRANDE REVIEW._

                                            WEDNESDAY, _May 15, 1850_.]

Up, and to St. James's Park, to see on the Parade Ground, the
Inspection, as usual upon the Queen's Birthday, appointed to be
celebrated beforehand this Day, of a Battalion of the Coldstream and
Grenadier Guards, and a Troop of the Royal Horse Guards they call the
Blues. Through a Friend at Court, got, with a choice Few, a good Place,
nigh the Sentry with the Colours, where he stood to keep the Ground, and
the Publique at a Distance, where I also wish always to keep yet pleased
to see them. The Troops reviewed by the Commander in Chief, Field
Marshal the DUKE of WELLINGTON, and with him the other Field Marshals,
Prince ALBERT and the DUKE of CAMBRIDGE, made Field Marshals I suppose
for the martial Deeds they would no doubt have done, if they had ever
had the chance in the Field. Field Marshal the PRINCE, the Colonel of
the Scots Fusiliers, and Field Marshal the Royal DUKE of the
Coldstream, and the great Field Marshal the DUKE of WELLINGTON, Colonel
of the Grenadier Guards. Besides the Field Marshals, at their Heels a
great Staff of Officers, of Lancers and Hussars, and the EARL of
CARDIGAN among them, looking mighty fierce. The DUKE of WELLINGTON at
their Head riding gently along inspecting his Regiment standing in their
big Caps of Bearskin, which do seem much too big for them though they
mostly six feet high, a mighty brave sight, yet a comical, as the men
stood shouldering Arms with their Heels together, and their Toes turned
out like the little Girls and Boys I did see dance at a Children's
Party. Glad to get so good a View as I had of the Duke, and wonderful to
see how well and firm he sits his horse, and he now fourscore-and-two
Years old, and to think what a great General he is and do look, and with
his Eagle Nose, very much resemble _Mr. Punch_. The Officers of the
Staff bestriding their Horses very gallant, and the Horses most noble
Animals and their prancing very pretty. Good Sport to see a Dragoon ride
keeping Order, flourish and point drawn Sword at a fat old Woman who
with a cotton Umbrella and Arms spread all abroad in Terror, run out of
his Way, and Policemen with their Staves closing in as it were to catch
the old Woman. Other Policemen rushing to and fro, help the Soldiers
keep the Ground, and the British Publique back, and beat back them that
would fain press too forward with their staves. Pleasant in a Place
where plenty of Elbow-Room, to behold the British Publique, around one
in the Midst the Likeness of JOHN BULL, perched on a Barrel, jostled one
against the other, push and scramble and tread upon one another's Toes,
and tumble topsy-turvy some of them and Head over Heels; when I had got
comfortable Standing in the meanwhile with a Dozen or so of the Better
Sort, and two or three Poodle and Terrier Dogs, in the Middle of the
Parade where the Troops were inspected, got in I suppose by Favour, like
me. But, good Lack, to think what playing at Soldiers now a holiday
Review like this do seem, and think at the same time what serious Work
the DUKE of WELLINGTON hath seen and done in his Day, which how many
seem to forget, and almost think him a Humbug, and if ever and how soon
we shall have the like to do again, and find another such a Man, to do

[Illustration: _A PIC-NIC._

                                             THURSDAY, _May 23, 1850_.]

With my Wife to a Pic-nic Party. I to content her more than to please
myself, and to think how I always study her Pleasure more than my own,
and sacrifice my own Inclinations to hers always. For I prefer to eat
good Things off a Plate or a Table, and not upon my Knees. Besides, the
Fly hired to carry us from Home and back, cost me three Guineas. The
Pic-Nic in my Lord Bilberry's Park, where the Ruins of an old Abbey,
open by my Lord's Allowance, People come to see from all Parts,
gipsying, and making merry and dancing basely among the Ruins. These
with mouldering Arches and Stones overgrown with Moss, and Lichen, and
Ivy, mighty venerable, and set off by a Youth with long Hair and
turned-down Collar, leaning on a broken Pillar, striking an attitude and
staring at the Sky, as though musing on Infinity but in Truth fancying
himself an Object of Admiration. But, he wrapt up in that Mistake, and
forgetting his Meals, the rest intent altogether on the good Things from
Fortnum and Mason's and the Pastry Cook's; and good Lack to see how
they, to the Number of nigh forty Men, Women, and Girls, pitch into the
Ham and Chicken, and the Cold Meat and Lobster Salad, and Pigeon and
Veal and Ham Pie, and therewith drink bottled Ale and Stout, whereof a
fat Serving Man in Livery, hardly drawing a Quart Bottle, mighty
comical, and also a Page, who, carrying Plates, kick against a Wasps'
Nest and raise the Wasps about his Ears and there he stand fighting them
with a Knife, his Face in the Centre of the swarm the Image of Horror.
The Younger Men mostly mighty Polite, they, and especially one with a
fine slim Figure and hooked Nose, with constrained Postures, making
Obeisance as they serve the Girls with Beer and Wine, whereof they as
well as the Men mostly drink their Whack, and pretty to see how one most
elegant Damsel seem falling into a happy Dream and how with her Hair
flowing all adown she droop her Eyelids, muzzy. But some did get full of
Fun, and a little Rogue I see pour the Heel-tap of a Champagne Glass
into the Face of a Youngster, who, lying on his Back, had fallen on
Sleep. The Managers of the Collection also mighty attentive, doing the
Honours, and rare to see one of them, a fine portly Man, carve Slices
off Great Round of Beef, in high Glee. But another rising from his Camp
Stool to hand a Plate to a fine fat Dame, she and her pretty Daughter
suddenly frighted by a Toad and Frog, which crawl and hop towards them
out of some Flags by the Water, start back in Horror, and startle him
and make him upset several Wine Glasses and the Water Can, and stamp on
and smash a Plate. Among the Elders worth noting a lean old Professor,
and his Neighbour a smug Lawyer how they gave their whole minds to most
serious Eating, and also one or two of the younger Men did nought but
stuff themselves; but most made Love; and pretty to see a loving Couple
clink Glasses together, while other Pairs having had enough, saunter and
strut about among and outside the Ruins. Good Lack to think what a Deal
we ate and drank between us, and how famished on one Hand looked a lean
old Labourer in a Smock Frock with a chubby but hungry little Clown,
eyeing the picked Bones, while a Cur on the other did, in his Mouth, run
away with the Wing of a Fowl.

[Illustration: _VAUXHALL._

                                              MONDAY, _July 15, 1850_.]

This Evening to Vauxhall, where a Gala Night and much Company, mostly of
the middling Sort, except the worse. Very few Gentlemen of any Condition
do now visit this Place, but plenty of the whippersnapper Sparks that
Shopmen used to call Gents, and a very good Word to distinguish them,
although a vile, as much as to say Snobs. The better Sort of all there
chiefly Medical Students. No Place for Ladies, but here and there a
respectable but stupid Farmer from the Country with his Wife or
Daughter. A bare, faded kind of a Garden, patched with shabby Trees,
variegated Lamps hanging to their Branches among smoky Leaves. The Lamps
do seem the main Attraction, the Bill of Entertainments advertise 10,000
additional every Night, which seems great Folly. However, the Outlines
of all the Buildings picked out with parti-coloured Lamps mighty gay. A
wooden Building on one Side called the Rotunda, where an Orchestra and
they sing, and opposite an Alcove where a Band in Uniform play at the
same Time Tunes which the Gents and their Partners dance to, waltzing
and spinning round like Teetotums, droll to look upon. The Partners some
pretty but nearly all ill-looking, and one or two horribly
ill-favoured, and to see the People sit and look on, and among them a
fat Country Wife, and prim starched old Maid very thin, make me ashamed.
Also a fat singing Woman sung a Song, not at all to my Liking, and did
throw herself about and make faces. Another Alcove hung with Lamps in
Festoons, and in the Middle a Circus Theatre and a Crowd at the Door
crowding to See a Dancing Girl jump through Hoops and dance upon
Horseback. Other Alcoves with Seats for Eating and Drinking, and they
eat Ham and Chicken, and I a Plate cost me 2s. 6d., and the Ham mighty
thin, which is Vauxhall Fashion, and they drink Arrack, a Spirit I was
curious to taste, and did and never shall again. But what did please me
was a Drink newly come in from America, and called Sherry Cobbler, made
of Sherry and Orange and lumps of Ice, and sucked up into the Mouth with
a Straw, which to see two Gents do for the first Time did take me
mightily, and I did do likewise, mighty cool and refreshing and did
delight me much, and three Cobblers cost me 3 Shillings. Amused to see
the Gents strut about so jaunty smoking Cigars, I think Cabbage Leaf
steeped in Tobacco-Juice. They also drink Rhubarb Wine they call
Champagne cost them 10s. a bottle, and bottled Stout, and good Lack to
see the Lots of empty Bottles on the by-Tables! An old Fellow with a
Pot-Paunch that had had too much Drink fallen asleep, a comical Sight,
whilst pretty to see the Waiters dance Attendance with the Refreshments,
and hear the hollaing and shouting, and altogether a good Deal of Fun,
but dreary; but a Family of little Boys and Girls with their fat Father
mighty merry, and clap their Hands to see the Balloon go up in another
Part of the Gardens. A grand Display of Fireworks to conclude diverted
me too, and so Home and to Bed, hoping after my Evening's Entertainment
I shall not wake with a Headache in the Morning.


                               FRIDAY (_further date wanting in MS._).

                                     WEEKLY EVENING MEETING.]

This Evening to the Royal Institution, to hear Professor OWEN, the
Hunterian Professor to Surgeons' College, Lecturer on Comparative
Anatomy and Physiology, on the Nature of Limbs. To the Institution
early, to the Theatre, and there got a good Place, the Theatre already
filling and soon crammed like any Playhouse where some leading Actor
make his appearance in a great Part, Gallery and all, as they say, to
the Ceiling. The Audience sitting on semi-circular Benches covered with
red Stuff, Tier above Tier, behind the select Visitors to the Front in
reserved Chairs. A mighty droll Sea of Faces, mostly wry, with Eyes
peering and squinting, many through Spectacles, though some
well-featured, one here and there a great Head, but few handsome, Ladies
excepted, a good Sprinkling of belles, and they look mighty pretty, the
rather by Comparison with their Elders, the strong-minded Women, and the
Philosophers around them, for the greater Part to look at, as the Vulgar
Phrase is, a rum Lot. In the Centre of the reserved Seats an Arm-Chair
for the Chairman facing the Lecture Table, whereon Prints and Papers, a
Book and a Water-Carafe and Tumbler. Behind on a Showboard on the Wall
Diagrams and Plates of Skeletons of Extinct Animals, Fish, and Flying
Lizards, and a Dinotherium, and Mastodon, and Mammoth, and withal a
human Skull, the People contemplate, and the Ladies and Damsels even,
with Complacence, and to think all those pretty Creatures have Skeletons
in themselves! By-and-by at eight, enter the Chairman and take the
Chair, a fine fat portly Man with a great Jole, and solemn Look, mighty
noble, and was, a Medical Student say, an awful Swell. Then in come the
Lecturer, the Professor, to great clapping of Hands, and he make his
Bow, and begin. I mighty taken with his Discourse, and to see him point
out with a long Wand he lean upon while he lecture, the Bones and other
Parts in the Diagrams of the Skeletons behind him he Describe, and
explain how this and that Bone, the same as a human Bone, exist only in
a different Form in Animals, and strange the Pterodactyl's Wing-bone a
great little Finger. Lack to think of such Animals nothing remain but
fossil Bones, and the Animals, Geologists say, did live and die Ages
before Adam, shake some People's Faith. But Mr. HOLDFAST think Geology
Bosh, extinct Quadrupeds Monsters destroyed in ancient Times by the
Heroes. Likewise the Fish Lizards and Pterodactyles Dragons, ST. GEORGE
and the Dragon all true, and ST. GEORGE did verily slay a Dragon, and
Accounts of real Reptiles under the name of Dragons handed down by
Tradition; their Bones now dug up out of the Earth witness Legends true,
and no Fable, and reconcile Orthodoxy with Science. However he do not
say he believe they belch Fire and Smoke. So my Thoughts a little
wandering from Professor OWEN'S Lecture, to listen attentively, but the
Air so foul with much Breath and burning of Gas that I at last nearly
asleep and fain to pinch myself to keep awake. Strange, in the chief of
Chemical Lecture Rooms such bad Ventilation. But to think what a
Philosopher Professor OWEN is and can tell an unknown Animal whether
Bird or Beast by a single Bone, and the French may brag of Monsieur
CUVIER, but England have as good Reason to be proud of Professor OWEN.


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Transcriber's Notes:

Multiple spellings not changed:

Multiple spellings are left as in the original.

fashionable, fashonable

both "birthday" and "birth-day" appear in the text

both "Club-House" and "Club-house"

both "Exeter-Hall" p.092 and "Exeter Hall"

both "Pic-Nic" and "Pic-nic"

both "raylway" and "raylwaye"

different spellings of "street"

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