THE BUNCH OF FIVES instead of KNIVES!
Or, leave off when you like I
When wars assail a nation's peaceful soil
fiella, liorrida bella dread turmoil
The clang of arms the soldier's temper'd steel,
Dimm'd with ensanguin'd freemen's strife appeal
To the best feelings of the human breast
Tho' Glory smiles upon the hero's crest,
Sorrow sits monrnful at the fierce array,
And Pity, weeping, gazes at the fray.
Not so when fistic heroes cast the tile
Into the space TOM OL , the clever file,
Has stak'd and rop'd, and made for boxer's fit,
Where war, most doubtful, is but hit for hit.
What tho' one peeper lose its twinkling light,
As sometimes 'twill .'the man may be " all right,"
If t'other do but twig, with leary stare,
The bristling movements of the Jives a pair
That, right and left, essay to grass him flat,
Orjioor him, like an all-work maid's door-mat.
What tho' a snifter, with a Roman carve,
Should feel how sensitive th' olfactory nerve,
And show'r, in crimson streams, the claret dowc,
Ne'er will it daunt one boxer of renown.
What tho' each tier of tombstones they allow
To totter on their graves (gums) from rattling b?o*y,
And make their patt'rers mum- the fist can teti
A tale upon the outworks just as well
For glory, as if every grinder fast
In its mould was fix'd, by Nature cast.
The glory of OUT land, our boasted pride
(Although the squeamish Frenchman may deride)
Is boldly to stand up, with watchful eye,
And, man to man oppos'd, contend for victory.
Then are the tears of SORROW all " my eye
And Betty" too they flow when heroes die-
When blades unsheath'd the light of day let in,
Not when strife's deathless end as they begin
PIERCE EGAX'S BOOK OF SPORTS.
BRILLIANT STEEPLE CHASE AT ST. ALBANY
THE above gay meeting of the ' Racing Swells,
not only put * new life' into the inhabitants of
St. Albans ; but also " put some money into
their plates," in order, as that gentlemanly sort
of man, Jack Scroggins, would have expressed
himself, to make the " wisit pleasant." On
Thursday, March 8, 1832, the venerable town
of St. Albans exhibited a lively scene of bustle
and confusion, in consequence of the great
interest excited by the above STEEPLE CHASE,
for miles round the country. Lots of the right
sort of folks were presant, who were worth
waiting upon by the hosts of the different inns ;
a sprinkling of the upper part of the Fancy
also showed their smiling faces upon this oc-
casion ; and numerous country gentlemen,
farmers, &c., completed the Sporting Group.
Sporting Chant, Sung at the Turf Hotel.
Oft the bards of old times, and the minstrel's gay
Have the sports of the chase all transeendant re-
Song of NIMROD'S exploits on the wide-spreading
And from Dian's bright charms trac'd the charms
of the field ;
Whilst the turf's native green
Ever hallow'd has been,
And a contest more glorious enliven'd the scene ;
When the high mettled racer, proud, pamper'd, and
Bars the meed of his prowess triumphant a\vay.
PIERCE EGAN'S BOOK OF SPORTS.
These sports are confin d to no climate or shores,
But regions remote shall new patrons secure them ;
Like the orb in the east, which ail nature adores,
They have dawn'd on our land, and 'tis ours to ma-
ture them ;
No longer a waste,
As in rude ages past,
Shall our turf be forsaken by beauty and taste,
But impart to the high mettled racer so gay,
Fresh ardour to bear the proud tropliies away.
The smiles of the fair, like Spring's fostering breavh,
Shall rear the young scion, and teach it to shoot ;
Round the temples of beauty we'll twine the fresh
And Lov's hallo w'd altars shall teem with the fruit.
Then leave Cynics to rail,
Our voice shall prevail,
And the sous of the turf their favorites hail :
Whilst long for their sakes shall the sports of the day,
The high-mettled racer's fleet prowess display.
Although the stakes were but ten sovereigns
each, it was anticipated that some of the most
celebrated hunters in the south would be en-
tered, and this anticipation was not disappoint-
ed, for no less than twenty of the " right sort"
were booked by Tuesday night, foremost in
favor among which was Moonraker, the pro-
perty of Mr. Elmore, which had before won
two sweepstakes on similar hazardous enter-
prises, in the same neighbourhood, and which,
notwithstanding fired legs, age, and hard work,
still had the call against his younger, but, per-
haps, not so well experienced competitors.
The distance, it was agreed by the articles,
should be four miles no horse to carry less
than list. 71b. The last horse to pay the se-
cond horse's stake, and the winner to be sold
for 400 sovereigns, if demanded within three
hours after the race.
The whole of the horses entered were in sta-
bles either at Mr. Coleman's (the Turf Hotel),
to whom the getting up of this spirited afi'air,
so highly beneficial to the town, may be as-
cribed or in the immediate neighbourhood
and the riders and their friends mustered in
Strong force on Wednesday night, when the
usual speculations were entered into on the
probable result of the forthcoming sport. Mr.
Osbaldeston was chosen umpire, and Mr.
Coleman clerk of the race ; and to these gen-
tlemen was left the choice of the line of coun-
try which was to be taken it being distinctly
understood that their determination should be
kept a secret till immediately before the start.
At an early hour on Thursday morning, the
concourse of persons entering St. Albans from
all quarters was immense every house over-
flowed, and the postmasters, and other persons
who profited by the attraction, had ample
reason to feel grateful for such " a slice of
The Turf Hotel was head quarters, and
here nineteen of the subscribers were duly
weighed; the twentieth, Mr. Smith, having
drawn his brown horse, Mameluke, in the
course of the morning. All were now anxious
for a hint of the * line of march," but the
secret was well kept and with the excep-
tion of the fact that Mr. Coieman's paddock,
immediately at thw back of his premises, and
fronting towards London, was to be the win-
ning point, nothing was known.
Among other judicious, as well as gratifying
arrangements which were made, was a stipu-
lation that all the riders should saddle and
mount in the Turf Hotel-yard, where sufficient
space existed, and from thence accompany tlm
umpire and Mr. Coleman to the place of start-
ing. By this means all had an equal chance f
and the spectators, who were extremely nu-
merous, had the pleasure of seeing the whole
of the gallant steeds paraded before them,
as in the case previous to the race for the
great St. Leger, at Doncaster.
The pecuniary speculations during the morn-
ing were any thing but extensive ; as far as
we could collect, however, we considered
Moonraker, and Mr. Evans's Grimaldi first
favorites, Mr. ThornhiU's Creeper next, and
Mr. Lelly's brown mare (Bounce) third. These
four were backed against the field and the
odds against the first two were three to one,
and against the second and third six to one.
Mr. Evans offered to back Grimaldi against
any other to any amount.
At one o'clock the bugle was blown as a
signal for saddling and mounting, and the
horses were soon seen congregating from all
directions the riders attired in their party-
coloured jackets and hunting caps. The
whole having mounted, the articles were read
the principal instruction for guiding the
race in which was, that the course would be
marked by flags, to the left of which the riders,
were to keep throughout, or forfeit the race.
At a quarter to two, all being in readiness,
.Mr. Osbaldeston led the way out of the yard,
followed by the horses, of which the follow-
ing is a correct list together with their riders,
Mr. Elmore's b. g. Moonraker, rode by MJ.
Mr. Thomas's b. rn. Corinthian Kate Captaia
Mr. Evans's . h. Grimaldi M. Mostyn, Esq.
Col. Charitie's Napoleon Mr. Crommelin.
Sir Wm. Geary's b. in. Arab Owner.
Mr. Cox's ch. g. Rough Robin Mr. Osbal-
Mr. Johnson's Leporella Stubbs.
Mr. Tuppin's b. h. Peacock Weston.
H. Forbes, Esq. b. h. Zanga Owner.
Mr. duff's g. g. Redstart J. B. Hall, Esq,
Mr. Orbell's b. h. Bloomfield C. B. Codring
Capt. Home's c. st. Lucifer Owner.
Mr. ThornhiU's b. h. Creeper Mr. Patrick.
Mr. Carey's g. h. The Monk Owner.
Mr. Adams's b. m. Lilly Mr. "Wesley.
Mr. Comyn's b. h. Talisman Owner.
Mr. Solloway's m. Countess Owner.
Mr. Lelly's b. m. Bounce Mr. Parker.
C. Neville, Esq.'s ch. g. Hotspur W. Bean.
They proceeded up the town, passed the
Town Hall, and, turning to the right, were
conducted by the nearest route to a place
called Ellen brook-preen, on the borders of
Colney-heath, and within about a mile and a
PIERCE EGAN'S BOOK OF SPORTS.
half of Hutfield. A considerable time was
occupied in gaining the proposed starting-
post, and the cursory view which was thus
afforded of the country showed that it was
intersected with difficult fences, and was here
and there very heavy. There was nothing,
however, dangerous in the aspect, and all
seemed content with their task, and in the
While the horses were on their route, we
took ;i bird's-eye view of the ground which
was to constitute the scene of final struggle.
This was admirably seen from a meadow gra-
dually descending from the entrance to Mr.
Coleman's paddock which entrance was only
obtained by mounting a steep bank from
which the fence had been removed ; and, to
render this last point of struggle more distinct,
the horsemen had to dash between two high
trees. At the bottom of the first meadow was
a quickset hedge and drain then came a se-
cond meadow, and second quickset hedge and
drain, when the ground rose gradually to a
considerable elevation. Here the first flag was
displayed from the summit of a high tree, to
the left of which the riders were to keep. To
this tree the view was uninterrupted from a
path running in a line with the front of the last
house on the London-road, and along this path
an immense multitude of pedestrians was col-
lected. The intermediate space was, however,
enlivened by groups of horsemen, some in the
scarlet livery of the chase. On the hill in
the distance, avast crowd was also assembled
of horse and foot, and some few charioteers.
These persons had a more extended view over
a close country "up and down," with many
heavy leaps, and some ploughed land, to a
more distant hill, close to a farm-house, where
the second flag was visible. Here the route
turned short to the left, and could only again
be taken in view by obtaining a new position.
From this angle the direction to Ellen-brook
green was nearly straight, with the exception
of such deviations as the safe progress of the
riders rendered indispensable. From this
sketch of the locality of the scene, it will be
seen that there were abundant opportunities
for the gratification of the spectator?, which
was considerably enhanced by the very favor-
able state of the weather the gun shining
brilliantly throughout the race.
We must now return to the horses, which,
having reached the appointed ground, were
marshalled in the best order their impatient
spirits would permit. Mr. Anderson, of Pic-
cadilly, was permitted to enter a grey hunter
at the last moment, on payment of his stakes,
so that twenty actually started. By half-past
three they went off in gallant style. It would
be difficult at such a moment to say which had
the advantage. Lucifer, however, led the
way, and the rest followed at a round pace.
The first two or three fences were well taken ;
but in the tLird field, Captain Beecher, on
Corinthian Kate, had a fall, and his mare ran
half across the ueudow tefore he could catch
her and regain his seat, his bridle being then
all on one side. He had previously got the
lead, Rough Robin close behind. The others
were all well up, but Moonraker and Grimaldi
seemed waiting on each other in the rear. We
cannot presume to give the position of each
horse in the animated struggle which followed.
Many of the leaps were admirably taken, and
all seemed influenced by the same desire of
emulation. All the nags were not, however,
without question ; some got clumsy falls, un-
horsing their riders, and others declared off
the grand contest, seeing they had not a
chance. The most interesting point was the
struggle for turning the angle at the farm-
house from which a view of the distant goal
could be obtained. Here Moonraker asserted
his supremacy, and came gallantly round the
corner, close followed by Corinthian Kate,
Grimaldi, Bloomfield, Napoleon, and some
others well in their wake. The burst down
the hill was beautiful, and the general cry
was " Moonraker is winning easy !" Three
or four leaps were well taken, when Moon-
raker, in surmounting the hill, came to the
third fence from home, nearly abreast with
Corinthian Kate ; they both cleared well ; but
Moonraker, swerving a little to the left, so as
to clear the flag-tree, Corinthian Kate came
close to him on the right, and in the next
fence had rather the advantage in making her
leap. The call was now rather for Kate, but,
in a few strides, Moonraker regained his su-
periority, und, darting with unabating vigour
at the last fence, cleared nearly seven yards
at the spring, and shook his rider most fear-
fully. Kate now fell off, but Grimaldi, who
had been waiting for the last struggle home,
and who had taken his leaps beautifully from
the first, rushed out and challenged Moon-
raker. The struggle up the hill to the pad-
dock was desperate nothing could be finer ;
both sprang to the bank at the same moment,
but Moonraker had the advantage by half a
neck, and was pronounced the winner. It
was thought, had Grimaldi made play sooner,
the issue would have been different. The
struggle with those left immediately behind
was between Corinthian Kate, Napoleon, and
liloomfield. The former two came in third
and fourth. An accident prevented Bloom-
field from getting a better place he and his
rider having fallen into a chalk-pit which
unfortunately lay in the way, and was unper-
ceived, till too late, by Mr. Codrington. Much
credit is due to Captain Beecher, for the man-
ner in which he rode Corinthian Kate, and,
making allowance for his early mishap, it
will be seen that his chances of victory were
of no common character. Grimaldi was also
admirably ridden by Mr. Mostyn, who com-
plained of his path being crossed by some
horsemen, at a most important point. Of Mr.
Seffert's management of Moonraker we cannot
speak in terms of too much praise. Mr. Cod-
rington also rode admirably. The remaining
competitors came galloping in at intervals :
PIERCE EGAN'S BOOK OF SPORTS.
some of them at a slapping pace, anxious to
avoid being last a distinction -which was
awarded to Hotspur, who lost both his rider,
his bridle, and himself. Several of the riders,
in coming in, showed convincing marks of
having come in contact with " mother earth "
but, taking the whole field, a more beautiful
or interesting sight has never been witnessed.
Some few accidents occurred in the last mea-
dow, from the injudicious rush of the crowd,
horse and foot some were thrown down, but
we did not hear of any serious accident.
On going to scale there were, of course,
various opinions as to the merits of the differ-
ent horses, and the superiority of Grimaidi
over Moonraker. This led to fresh challenges,
and Mr. Osbaldeston proposed making a match
between Grimaidi and Moonraker, for 500,
or between one of his own horses and Moon-
raker, to be run in Leicestershire, for a like
sum undertaking to ride both races himself,
if he were well.
Mr. Codrington seemed confident, had he
not got into the chalk-pit, he could have won,
and said he was ready at the moment to ride
Bloomfield against Moonraker over the same
Great praise is due to Mr. Coleman for the
excellence of his arrangements throughout,
anil his townsmen must feel deeply sensible
of the advantages which, through his means,
h;r.e been conferred upon them.
Bounce, in the above race, was a Warwick-
shire horse, as, we believe, is Moonraker ;
but their qualities admit of no comparison.
The appearance of Moonraker is any thing but
on a par with his powers.
The four miles were performed in fifteen
minutes and a half, by the winner.
Some assertions having been made that
Moonraker had gone on the wrong side of one
of the flag trees, Mr. Osbaldeston heard
evidence on the subject, when Mr. Codring-
ton, who kept as close as possible to both
Moonraker and Grimaidi throughout, stated
most positively that he kept his right course
from first to last, and, in fact, swerved more
to the left than was at all times necessary.
Under these circumstances the stakes were
given to Mr. Elmore, without further objec-
STEEPLE-CHASE FOR ONE THOU-
The match between Moonraker, the pro-
perty of Mr. Elmore, and Grimaidi, the pro-
perty of Mr. Evans, came off on Tuesday, 13th
March, 1832, according to appointment, in the
neighbourhood of Harrow. This match was
made on the evening of Thursday week, at St.
Albans, after the grand Sweepstakes which
were run for on that day, when Moonraker
and Grimaidi contested the ground with such
vigour. Each party was equally confident that
in a fresh trial his horse would be successful,,
and such was Mr. Osbaldeston's high opinion
of Grimaidi, that he actually gave, or rather
promised to give, Mr. Elmore 50/. to make the
match, thus placing Grimaidi in the stakes a
favorite at 5501. to 450/. Notwithstanding
this position, however, on the same night
Moonraker was backed heavily at 120J. to
100/. and on subsequent days similar odds,
and even 5 to 4, were laid. Still Grimaidi
had strong friends, and was heavily backed at
evens, and in some cases was the favorite at
6 to 4, conditionally on Mr. Osbaldeston's
Both horses were allowed to be in excellent
condition, and " nothing the worse" for their
Thursday's exertion. Grimaidi had a decided
advantage in youth and freshness, and came
up from Warwickshire with an excellent
character. He is twelve years old, by Gri-
maidi, out of Miss Bab, by Highland-fling, out
of Lady Bab, and bred by Mr. Clifford, of
Gloucestershire. By Mr. Clifford he was
sold, at four years old, to Mr. Wynnet ; by
that gentleman sold lo Mr. Bray, and from
Mr. Bray he came into the hands of Mr.
Evans. His colour is grey. Moonraker is
what is called ''a dark" horse; that is to
say, neither his sire nor dam is known. He
was originally bought, we believe, at 35
guineas; and. after doing some excellent
work, was again sold for 80 guineas. He
was sent up from Warwickshire as nothing
but a u good un," although he had seen an
immense deal of service ; and his fame was
established by winning two steeple races in
succession, in the neighbourhood of St.
Albaus, which was followed up by his third
victory on Thursday week. His colour is
bay, but his age is not known. He is a high-
couraged horse, strong and willing in a heavy
country, and an excellent fencer ; stopping at
nothing, and taking his leaps with uncommon
clearness and precision. The distance agreed
to be run was four miles, the precise ground
to be chosen by the umpires Colonel Charitie
on the part of Moonraker ; and Mr. Meyrick
on the part of Grimaidi. On Monday it was
known that both horses were near the ap-
pointed place Moonraker, at Mr. Elmore's
farm, near Harrow ; and Orimaldi at Neasdon.
It was mutually agreed that the riders should
meet at Mr. Elmore's to weigh, at two
In the course of the morning the umpires
met and proceeded to select the course which
was finally fixed to be from a field on Mr.
Copeland's farm, near the seven-mile stone,
on the Edgware-road, down a gradual de-
scent across a flat country, at the foot of Har-
row Hill, into a field in front of a I\fr.
Hawkins's, a farm-house, at Harrow Weald.
The fences were by no means difficult, and the
ground, although heavy (principally meadow
or pasture), partook more, as was remarked
by some old fielders, of the character of a
race course thac a laborious hunting
PIERCE EGAN'S BOOK OF SPORTS.
and therefore more favorable, in their opinion,
for Grimaldi, who was supposed to possess
more speed than strength. The approaches
to the scene of action presented a lively spec-
tacle during the forenoon. The roads were
thronged with vehicles of every description
and an immense body of horsemen, who spread
themselves in all directions over the fields,
breaking down hedges and rendering the
small leaps there were still more easy. Har-
row was overflowing, and here innumerable
groups waited till the news arrived of the
precise route to be taken. All then proceeded
to take up the stations best calculated to
afford a view of the contest. The principal
body of the spectators concentrated in the
neighbourhood of Mr. Hawkins's farm, keep-
ing the winning flag in view.
Subsequent to the ground being chosen, the
stakes were said to be all right, that is to
say, each umpire held his friend's cash in his
own hands : rather an unusual way of making
stakes good. It was now universally known
that Mr. Osbaldeston would ride Grimaldi,
and Mr. Seffert, Moonraker but, after a long
delay beyond the hour appointed, which
occurred before Mr. Osbaldeston reached Mr.
Elmore's farm, apprehensions began to be
entertained that the race would not come off.
These fears were dissipated by the arrival of
Mr. Osbaldeston and his friends, and all now
became anxious for the commencement of the
sport. Previous to this, the flags had been
carried towards the starting post Mr. Seffert
having ridden a short distance to see them
placed. This act of Mr. Seffert having been
communicated to Mr. Osbaldeston, that gen-
tleman concluded that Mr. Seffert had seen
the whole line of the intended struggle,
and therefore insisted on having an equal
advantage. This led to some dispute, which
ended in an agreement that both should go over
the ground ; and they accordingly, contrary
to all precedent in steeple chases, set off on
their hacks attended by a cloud of eques-
trians, over hedge and ditch to Harrrow
Weald an experiment which afforded no
small amusement to the outlying spectators,
from the numerous accidents and unseemly
prostrations which were presented to their
view. On reaching the last field, it did not
seem that the precise goal, or winning point,
had been stipulated ; a hedge leading to a
paddock next the farm was named, but to
this Mr. Osbaldeston objected, on the ground
that Steeple Chases generally ended in the
middle of a field, and not in an abrupt leap.
This matter was soon adjusted by naming a
small drain or gutter in the centre of the
meadow, as the final '* scratch," the first
horse over this gutter to be considered the
winner, and two flags having been planted
so as to render this more distinct. By these
delays much time was wasted, and the hour
of four instead of one, the original hour for
starting mentioned, had arrived to the infinite
annoyance of those pedestrians who had been
lounging backwards and forwards over the
damp earth, and any thing but desirable or
gallant towards many of the fair sex, who,
seated in open carriages, exposed to no
friendly breeze, waited the event with their
At last, the preliminary view being com-
pleted, the riders and their partizans returned
to Mr. Elmore's farm, again showing their
skill or clumsiness in their progress ; and
here it is due to state, that in the most diffi-
cult leaps the palm of superiority was de-
servedly given to a young and beautiful lady,
whose graceful seat, perfect confidence, and
unshrinking courage, often put her followers
to the blush blushes which were occasion-
ally hidden by that natural paint of which
the surrounding ditches afforded abundance.
At length the important ceremony of weigh-
ing took place, and the horses were sent to
the starting post. Mr. Osbaldeston had but
little to add to his ordinary weight, to reach
the stipulated amount of list. Tibs., while
Mr. Seffert had nearly sixteen pounds of
" dead weight" attached round his loins in
belts. Both wore silk jackets and jockey
caps. It was after five o'clock before they
mounted and prepared for the rare. In the
interim the whole line they had to take had
been marked by flags at convenient distances.
The dusk of evening, with a slight fog, had