John Bell.

Baily's Magazine of sports and pastimes, Volume 17 online

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due regard to the opposition, the London water seems, all things considered,
the most eligible, and the improved arrangements of Mr. Lord and the Thames
Conservancy should obviate all unpleasantness. No answer is at present re-
ceived to the letter of the London Rowing Club, but our Transatlantic friends
seem to consider it necessary to find a different four to row the Londoners,
whereas the best plan would be for all to start at once, and as Cambridge
appear unlikely to come to the post, there would be only three boats, which
is quite a practicable number on the Putney water. A short interview will
however do more to settle matters satisfiictorily than pages of letter writing;
and we doubt not all will be amicably arranged on the arrival of the gallant
visitors. Meanwhile, the (J. B. C.'s of Oxford and Cambridge describe them-
selves as aghast at the ' cheek ' of the Londoners in issuing the challenge at
all. We consider such ghastliness uncalled for, but having given tongue last



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J86g.] YACHTING AND ROWING. 39

month, we will not, like mosio-hall singers, 'oblige again' without being
encored Apropos of the forthooming match, the Canoe Club have sent
proposals to America for a little spin, with the most hospitable offers of every
ftcilitj to the oiterprising visitors.

At Oxford the scolk produced half a dosen entries, but Yarborough had the
best of all his of^onents and won the final very easily. For the pairs he also
entered scratch with Willan and made a good fight for the heat, but they
were beaten by Pownall and Jones, of Exeter, who afterwards won the final.
King's Lynn Regatta enjoyed the usual sport. The eight-oared prize was
retained by ist Trinity, Cambridge beating Corpus, as on public form they
were bound to do. A mixed crew of Jesus and Corpus won the fours, and the
pairs Jell to Muirbead and Phelps^ of Sydney, while Aitcheson, of Christ's,
landed the sculls, so the trophies were pretty equally divided. Watermen's
sculls were between Renforth and Sadler, and of course the former won
easily.

Henley Regatta, the great rowing meeting of the season this year, fell about
a fortnight earlier than usual, and bore out its ancient traditions with tbe
customary wet weather, which, of course, was especially obnoxious on the
second day, when the bulk of the spectators are wont to assemble. The first
day was tolerably fine, though scarcely up to June form, as a strong wind
blew across the stream, nullifying the advantage of the Berks Station, which
is usually considerable. The trial heat for the Grand Challenge between Eton
and Oxford Etonians produced what appeared to be a fine race, as the boys
rowing very well, though with a quick stroke, kept well up for a mile, when
power told, and the Oxonians won a very feust race with plenty to spare. The
Stewards were rather a surprise, as the Etonian four was generally considered
equal to ' wiring ' the Badleians, who, however, with Houblon stroke held a
slight lead at the critical point and won easily at the finish. Of the Wyfold
challengers, the Oscillators proved themselves for the beet, as in spite of most
eccentric steering, they took both their opponents' water in half a mile, and
conversing affably or otherwise amongst themselves, came in easy^winners.
The Staines Club, who made their d^hut at Henley, showed Csdr form, beating
the London Rowing Club, whose Wyfold team was never able to hve at the
pace and sadly disappointed their supporters, who expected them at least to
make a tight race with the Oscillators. The Ladies' Plate proved an easy
journey for Lady Margaret, Cambridge, who having nothing but the Radley
boys to beat did their work right merrily, and for once Granta caught the judge's
eye in the right place. The Scull Trials caused intense excitement, as the
Londoner, Long, was immensely fancied, and heavy odds were laid on his
beating Crofts, whose previous deeds of might in beating Stout and winning
the Sculls in 1867 were, for the moment^ utterly ignored, so straight were the
tips and marvellous the * reports from training quarters ' as to the powers of
the cockney. The race proved a very fiut one. Crofts getting a strong lead in
the first half-mile, when Long began to draw up, and at the point looked as
if he must go by him in the next ten yards ; but somehow he didn't, and
Crofts, though every stroke seemed his last, kept his nose in front to the
finish, winning this strange eventfiil scene by about eight feet. In &ct, it
was so near a thing, as to remind us of Brickwood and Woodgate's dead heat
in i86a. Long appeared utterly unable to raise a spurt, and was evidently
overtruned. Yarborough had nothing to do in his heat, and the final looked
a moral for Crofts, as indeed it proved.

The intervals between the races were virtuously occupied in executing



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4X> YACHTING AND ROWING. [July>

oondign vengeance on certain travellera from the Prinoipali 7, who, having
adopted for the time the names of C. Bush, P. Powter, and other well-known
metallioianB, proceeded to speculate with the verdant oa the ' Heads I win,
* tails you lose/ principle. Mr. Bush's double performed against Orofts, an^i
having a bad book attempted to skedaddle, with the usnal result of much
row and little pecuniary satisfJMstion to the aggrieved ones. On the second
daj two gentlemen who had prematurely stopped payment were treated to
a bath uUra libUum, and had, we trust, a sickener of Henley and its denLnns.
From welchera to three-card men is but a short step ; the latter wm in
great force, but did not apparently do much business, as a firm of two bon-
nets (female), a most unwholesome, unswellish swell, and the original old
pimple-£&ced decoy, were all occupied in kidding one yokel, who after all
would not play for more than crowns. It wis consolatory to notice that the
paths of vice are not always smooth.

On the second day the weather was simply infernal, and Macintosh was an
agreeable companion day and night. Up to four P.x. we contented ourselves
with witnessing the races through a telescope. The Qrand Challenge final
between London and Oxford Etonians proved a great race to the Point.
The challengers had done very &st time in their tria^ but the holders were
much strengthened by the accession of Long and Stout ; so that altogether
it looked a very near thing, and we were disposed to back stations rather
than crews ; as the wind had dropped the Berks side had now a decided
advantage. Apart from their position, howevw, Oxford showed itself the
better crew, as, in spite of losing starts they made up near Fawky Court, and
led before the Point, where the station teUs most. Bounding this bend they
improved their lead, and again became entitled to the great prize of the
regatta. The Wyfold produced a magnificent race, and every one's sym-
pathies were enlisted one way or the other, as the Kingston, who have held
this cup X (ever so many) years are special rivals of the Oscillators. The
holders had the station, but the others soon led, and more than once tiled to
take their water. Kingston's generalship was, however, so vastly superior
that they stalled o£f the wobblers, and kept their place to the Point, where
the Oscillators, though leading, went needlessly wide. The finish was most
interesting ; but the Oscillators, though badly steered, whUe their opponents
went straight, kept ahead to the end, and Kingston lost the trophy they
have held so long. The final heat of the Stewards showed the London four
to be &r better than their eight, as they ran right away from the Badleians,
who, however, won the No*coxswain prize, after a good race with the Oscil-
lators. In the final heat of the Ladies' Plate, Eton made short work of Lady
Margaret, who also were but second-best in the Visitors*, when University
College, though a scratch lot, scored an easy wm. Lady Mai^garet's crew,
though imsuccessful, deserve 'the thanks of their University, and indeed of
all oarsmen, as the sole representatives of Cambridge, which, having recently
passed a resolution that the head boat be expected to appear at King's Lynn,
might with advantage include Henley, where in the days of Griffiths, Lawes,
and Chambers, she has shown some first-rate form, and now, with Qoldie to
the fore, might surely repeat the exhibition.

Pangboume Begatta, a pleasant little meeting just after Henley, was suffi-
dent inducement for oarsmen to stop a little longer up the river. The fours
were expected to make a good race, as the crack London crew had Pamell
instead of Long, and Oxford Etonians therefore fancied themselves mode-
rately. The struggle proved exciting; but London landed pret^ easily.



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1869.J PARIS SPORT AND PARIS LIFE. 4I

Crofts, the Diamond holder^ won the Soulle from Gukton, who, besides, was
disqualified for foaling ; and a similar misohanoe happened in the pairs, but
in this ease Qnlston and Ryan were deolared the winners. The Soratoh Raoes
prodaoed intense ezoitement, whioh culminated in a dead heal Amongst
the numerous friends and comrades of the competitors, an eightKtared race
of Sngineer officers v. Artillery, Putney to MorUake, created a vast amonnt of
interest. The former had been looked after by Mr. Chambers, and the latter
were trained by Mr. Woodgate, of Henley, where their colours gave rise to
numerous inquiries as to who was who. The race was a hollow one after half
a mile, as Woodgate*s team soon showed in front, and, despite miserable
steering in boats, won easily. HoweTer, the affair was highly satisilM^ory, and
will, we hope, become an annual one. The Metropolitan BegatU, under the
auspices of the London Bowing Club, isimdedded at the time of writing ;
so we must defsr commente until next month.



PARIS SPORT AND PARIS LIPB.

The spring and summer racing seasons of Paris and ChantiHy bare passed off
without any great sensation ; and, to tell the truth, were, I think, duller than
usual. A certain unpleasant action which has affected the British Turf has
no doubt reacted on the Tribunes of Boulogne and Chantilly. That noble army
of plungers usually to be seen at Chantilly on the French Derby Day, and at
Longchamps on the Grand Prix, was— where shall I say ? Well— somewhere
else. The de Lagrange steble — in tremendous form this year— carried off, at
last, a French Derby, but not, I think, a great stake with it ; and with ninety
horses in training, you do require te win something besides the mere added
money — ' And the forfeite !' once observed Lord Qeorge te a friend, who con-
gratulate4 him on winning a grand steke. Count Frederic de Lagrange must
sometimes say, 'And the entries, and the forfeite, and the hay and corn-bill T
But still, this year, I &ncy things must look healthy, and the credit side of
M. Grandhomme's ledger show a pleasing balance of io,ooo7. : since writing
this it muist be much more. The French Derby has got so popular that it is
no longer as pleasant as it was wont to be : Chantilly is more like the old
Chantilly, on the Oaks day, when Diana still presides over a restricted and
aristocratic meeting. At the ' Grand Cerf ' there was the usual rush for break-
feat, but if you have my luck, and going down ' quite promiscuous like,' find a
very pleasant party and a capital breakfast all ready to your hand and mouth,
then I do not think that you can complain that your lines have fallen in un-
pleasant places : hjtropoa, I should like my lines to fall into some of those very
pleasant places where those venerable carp are ! I am told that there are carp
as big as whales, and pike as laige as walruses and as hungry as Dando ! The
Derby day, then, was a scrimmage, though it was ' General Election ' day as
well, and the fight for the trains was, as usual, an awful bore. Then we come
to the great solemnity of the Grand Prix de Paris— I have assisted at every one
of the seven which have yet been run. Each year they get more and more
crowded, till it is anything but a day of pleasure for the halituSs of the Tribune
of Longchampa To say that I would run a mile on a hot Sunday afternoon
rather than face the crowd of another Grand Prix would be to write under
the mark. I am very fond of racing, and think the Grand Prix ' a very interest-
' ing international contest^'— that is, if you please, the correct phrase, — ^but I



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42 PARIS SPORT AND PARIS LIFE. iJ^^Yj

have a holy liorror of a crowd, and I am not up to the weight of more than
one heavy man on each instep at a time. The Marquis de Talon, who is a
really Good Samaritan and one who pours champagne and Badminton in the
mouths of the distressed, has always on that day a drag modelled on that of
the ist Life Guards — no bad form — and from the roof of that convenient
conveyance we sat and saw Glaneur score the odd trick for France. You
ask who was there ? Ask how many grains of sand there are on the sea-
shore^ and try to count them when you go to Bognor for Goodwood I On the
outside, or improper side of the course, there was all that is demi-monde in
Paris, with some very elegant extracts from London thrown in. Carriages I
I wish you could see them — Pcters's best form—horses from Rice, at ten
thousand francs the foot — ^postilions in velvet : mark you, always with the
fomily crest on the arm — ^broughams so exquisite that it is no wonder that
ten young men about Paris should be looking into them : stay though — per-
haps they may be looking at the lining, t.e. that which is inside. Yes ! it is
dusty, and twenty francs is a large sum to give for a rose, to present to a
gilded syren of the Paphian district of Breda, who has already a small conser-
vatory in her coupe. Let us go over the way. Who is there ? Why everybody
— Emperor, Empress, Prince Imperial, Archdukes of Russia, Qaeens of Holland
and Spain, and the little King attached to that latter lady, who is not nearly
so dark as she is painted. Try to penetrate the enclosure in front of the Stand
— ^you might as well try to take the Quadrilateral. Attempt the Betting King
—it is so full that they cannot even ' pick you up,' and that, you know, does
not take up much of either time or space. You meet a friend, and he says,
' Charlie, my child, have you seen the Princess V (It is always as well to use
a good title, it takes so with the public.) ' Princess ! know so many !' ' Of

* course ; but I mean the Uttle Princess Checkchowcherrychow, whom we met
' at Bazias.' You have a vision of a charming child married to a baronial
monster 89tat. 45, — with blue eyes (I mean the Baroness, of course), light haii^
and a snaky figure, and off you go to find her. Reader, did you ever hear of
one Tantalus, or look for a needle in a truss of fine old, well-got in, last year's
meadow-hay, at five pounds the ton ? Yes ! Then there you have it. ' I say,

* old man, Peter says he owes you a pony, and is looking for you everywhere.'
You know be does, and look for him with both eyes, but you do not see him,
and that pony, so long standing out, is stabled with him for another year.
Then there is a race, which nobody sees, and all is over. ' Monsieur has had
< the chance to-day?* 'Yes, and a thousand thanks I it is not bad: an en-
' raged one betted me ten to one against Glaneur.' ' Monsieur is, then, the

* great winner !' ' My faith ! not bad : I have won twenty-five francs !'

Not that they do not pop it on nicely here now ! And if all the money
betted by French sportsmen on their Oaks, Derby, and Grand Prix was put in
a hat and to be given to 'the next two poor boys in the street,' I should like
to be one of those two poor boys. So much for racing. It must be confessed
that we had a great pigeon shooting here, and that is a display of talent which
we can go down to our Club and sit in a chair and see. As years creep on
one, one does like sitting in a chair and seeing. The battle raged furiously,
and the French are enemies worthy of the ' Gun Club.* Over two days ranged
the great contest. * Badinage ' is the French for ' chaff.' The dwellers on this
side the Channel were supposed to be 'post-masters ' of that weapon of attack
and defence. I wonder what they must have thought of the thrust and parry
of the right-hand side of the pavilion of the ' Skating Club I* There were
those present who could pleasantly talk off the hind leg from a dead donkey.



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1869.] PA&IS SPORT AND PARIS^LIPB. 43

The French Bhot well— miDd they were this year, for the first time, aooom*
modated with reel ' flyers,' which, as I heard an Englishman, who should have
known better, calmly inform an old French gentleman, 'came over in ice from
' England every hour.' It is a very pretty scene : the water in front, the
flowers, the Martello-looking towers in which are kept the feathered songsters,
which we are about to try and destroy. I call them songsters because each has a
man to sing out for him — he speaks ' de part ' the bird : ' Is you ready ?* ' Well 1'
' Poul !* And the liberated bird flies, and, as a rule, flies a very short distance,
for they are demons to shoot, are our members of the 'Skating dub,' where
they quickly and constantly reduce 'Blue-rocks' to the condition of ' pigeons
' auz petits pois (de plomb).'

When Mr. Reginald Herbert was crowned victor-— he will excuse the poetica
pbrase — I am bound to say that he was welcomed in great style, and tiie vic-
tory of England was certainly considered no disgrace to France. There is an
establishment in Paris, very little known to English, especially if they are re-
spectable—as, of course, all your subscribers, nay, readers, really are— called
' Mabille.' It is a dancing place set up in imitation of Cremome, — a low style
of place, of course, but, would you believe it ? it was crowded on several
nights during the Pigeo-Bacing week ! I could not believe it ; so I just ordered
the brougham and drove down to see with my own eyes and settle the ques-
tion. Now really ! there they were all I so many names and so many people
without names or under other names ; so many disreputable persons— I mean
' fiist ' people— that I was astonished ; and what do you thiak I did ? Qot
into the brougham and went home respectably to bed? No! sent it away
(the morals of servants must always be respected), and stayed ! Stayed— I
should think I did stay ! and I think the following few remarks from a
' Casual' at the Restaurants of the Boulevards may be as interesting and bb
dean as the dreadful drops into dirt which were celebrated by the poet of
the workhouse and the Knight of that Bath — Eugh I

Why people who dine at eight require supper at twelve, is one of those
mysteries which, sooner or later — later, probably, when the stomach is re-
duced to work in its short-sleeves and digestion has not a leg to stand on —
will be sads&ctorily deared up : at present, I say, it is a mjstery. On the
night in question the Maison Dor6e (which has never been closed for thirty-
five years) was so fuU that ' casuals ' were waiting in the haUs— just as in our
own ancestral halls, soon after the Conquest, serfii used to await on stoles and
on benches the coming of the Lady Bread-giver— (those waiting here wanted
a little something with their bread — say some trufiles, champagne-ice, straw-
berries — ^ cum midtis aliis quos nunc pnescribere longum,' as the Latin
grammar was kind enough to say). But the ' bread-giver' came not, male or
female. ' Get out of this, we are full to a turn,' put, of course, into French
worthy of the Academy ; but equally forcible and unpleasant was the com-
pliment which met us when we» ten in a cab (most decent people, I assure
you), presented oursdves at the iron gates which lead to the entresols of the
gilded mansion. ' Are you fall ?' ' Full !' ezdaimed Pierre, ' that room is
' already swarming with a hive of ladies, and is reserved for Smaahem-Pacha,

who is going back to Adrianopolis.' ' No. 3 ?' (' Henri, who is in No. 3 1 —
' Oh ! yes.') ' No. 3 : the Hong-Kong Vic^Consul has retained that for the
' night. And No. 7, you know, is taken by the attachSs of the Falaba

Legation.' ' No. 1 1 ?* 'So grieved, monsieur, but the Bishop of Nyanza is

coming with some missionaries.' 'Can we stay in the large roomV

Alas! no, monsieur. A Greek gentleman has hired it, to give a little



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44 *OUR VAN.* [Jul/f

' danoe — ^and behold, the music to commenoe !* EUminaied evidently — ^no^ing
left but bed or the Caf§ ADglius — ^the house which looks so truly like a
* iohtted sepulchre.' We cross the vay, and ' sound.' ' I want 80up6 yott
' know— supper, chaude — supper, hot, you see-Hsuite — at onoe, pour four.*
Such was the first order I heard as I threaded my way in van of our gang up
those tortuous steps which lead to supper and a view of the fftfade of the
Opera Comique. Then again began the same scene— K)rgy, to the tune of a
wizen old cracked piano inside and a perfect crowd in the passages and on the
stairs, literally seeking what they might devour — devour, h la carte, and by
paying for it. There the world stayed till daylight did appear and a good
deal longer. Rosalie began to look yellow, Blanche, blue ; the young lady
who had sung was now snoring; Fifine was still eating; La Belle de 'Nuit
looked rather like the ghost of yesterday as the little ' intimate party' of the
' English Cafe ' went home to bed to prepare for the labours of the next day.

Yes ! on reflection it was a lively week ! Once that period over, we had a
lull. In the first place we had a kind of Revolution, which frightened away
people, and you had Ascot, which took away people who were not the least
likely to be frightened, and so we got a little dull. Thorpe's was dry ; even the
hopes of a ' Boston Floater' could not attract a crowded house. This is now
the Turf-Club par excellence in Paris. If you drop into the Rue Scribe, at
eleven, you will hear all that has gone on in disreputable Paris all day ; and
allow me to say that that is a great advantage. Yelocipeding is still raging
here. Imagine 1 I know one British sportsman who has just imported three
velocipedes. Let him say what he likes, he will never get one of them over
the country round Market Harborough, even if they introduce jumping
springs. At the Hippodrome here you may see the fair— or perhaps I should
say the unfJEur sex, for they take unfair advantages — * in blue satin breeches
' and Bloomer costume,' to quote the hymn of one William Barlowe, well
known in the dark ages, careening away on two and three wheels, and the
sight is remarkable. It is asserted — I did not see it — that one lady rode to
the Grand Prix on a velocipede, her groom on another following her. There
was a neatish party ftt Maisons Laffitte on the 17th: all the ladies wore
knickerbockers ! Et pourquoi non ! It was an idea like auother-— ^.

I hope soon to be more amusing than we have been lately; but, do you
know, even in Paris life is sometimes dull. But I shall conclude my paper
by singing, ' Beviamo, e, speriamo,' and so go to bed.



*OUR VAN/

Thb Invoice.— June Jottings.

The Union which we stated last month, to have been entered into between
May and December has lasted a much longer time than had been anticipated,
and in fact continued throughout the month of June, which has deprived us of
a great portion of the enjoyment we always derive from its summer filtes. In
fact all classes of the community have been sufferers from the extreme severity
of the season, except the few survivors of Franklin's expedition ; and even one
of those admitted to us at Ascot on the Tuesday that the air was bracing.
Still there have been the customary number of Races, Yearling, Horse Shows,
Pigeon and Cricket Matches, Greenwich and Richmond Dinners, and Dog
Exhibitions which have ever characterised the month ; and judging from the



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1869.] «OUll TAM.» 45

publidied retorosy they do not aeem to hare been much affected by the tem-
perature of the atmosphere. Then the Betting World has had a heavy blow,
and great discouragement cast upon it by the hostile action of the Governmenty
which the organs of the Press in the interest of the former hare retaliated by
attacking those who they imagine put it in force against them— not a very
judicious plan, we consider^ as the strength of the game is clearly in the hands
of the aumorities. So altogether we may be said to hare gone through a very
sensational month, the proceedings of which» in all probabilinr, will have an



Online LibraryJohn BellBaily's Magazine of sports and pastimes, Volume 17 → online text (page 6 of 51)