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hagen and in the Peninsula. As the Regent took up Brummell, the young cornet in his own Tenth Hussars, so Alvanley became not only the favourite of the Duke of York, but, as Gronow phrases it, his bosom friend. The intimacy launched him on his career of extravagance. He was an habitual guest at Oatlands for the parties from Saturday to Monday, and Raikes says that only Yarmouth, the future Lord Hertford-Disraeli's Marquis of Monmouth and Thackeray's Marquis of Steyne-could hold his own with the young guardsman in conversation. Naturally he became a member of all the fashionable clubs. By the way, he was afterwards blackballed at the Cercle of the Rue Grammont in Paris, though the committee were induced to reconsider a capricious abuse of the ballot. Excessive modesty or self-mistrust can never have been among his foibles. He is said to have soon had the talk of the day completely at his command, and to have become the acknowledged dictator of the school for scandal in St. James's. He was as unwilling as Walpole to tolerate rivals, and he was bitterly jealous of Brummell, whom he affected to despise. He declared that Brummell was the only perennial dandelion that had struck root and flourished, year after year, in the hotbed of the fashionable world. He even condescended to be severe on more ephemeral celebrities, and he wrote to Lord Dalkeith, when Master Betty and Belzoni were the lions of a season's drawingrooms, 'If famous for writing verses or slicing cucumbers, for acting plays when you should be at school, or for attending schools or institutions when you should be in your grave, your notoriety becomes a talisman.' He followed Sheridan and Brummell as a sayer of good things, but those most generally quoted have a touch of sarcastic malice, for cynical talk was a fashion of the time. When Brummell made his midnight flitting to Boulogne at the suit of the Jews, he remarked complacently, 'Brummell has done quite right to be off; it was Solomon's judgment.' He was a kind-hearted man, and gave many proofs of generosity to acquaintances in distress. One of those he had assisted was the well-known Jack Talbot, a reckless prodigal who had repeatedly borrowed of him. When Talbot was beggared and lying on his death-bed, Alvanley met his doctor and inquired about the invalid. The answer was, 'My lord, I fear he is in a bad way. I had to use the lancet.' 'You should have tapped him, doctor,' said Alvanley coolly; 'I fear he has more claret than blood in his veins.' That reminds us unpleasantly of Talleyrand's remark on

his old friend Montrond, who had fallen in a fit on the carpet and was convulsively kicking the floor-'Il veut absolument descendre. Or that other observation of the same humourist on a somewhat similar occasion, when Montrond ejaculated that he was suffering the torments of the damned-' Quoi, déjà?' Much more excusable, considering the man and the circumstances, was Alvanley's aggrieved expostulation when he had been persuaded to dine with the eccentric millionaire Neeld in his new mansion in Grosvenor Square. The host, with the vulgarity of a nouveau riche, was expatiating on the sumptuous decorations of the apartment, and, in the words of Milton, 'letting dinner cool.' 'I don't care what your gilding cost,' said Alvanley bluntly, but I am most anxious to make a trial of your carving, for I am famished.'

The story of his ruin is simple enough, and Hogarth had anticipated it in the 'Rake's Progress.' Inveterate gambling, lavish extravagance, and utter inattention to his money matters explain all. 8,000l. a year is a handsome independence, but it does not suffice to satisfy the caprices of a Monte-Cristo, and Alvanley never hesitated to gratify a whim. It was his fancy to have a cold apricot tart every day on the side table. Strange to say, the maître d'hôtel remonstrated. 'Go and buy all the preserved apricots at Gunter's,' was the reply, and don't bother about expense.' Highly characteristic the reply was, for it was virtually giving an honest servant carte blanche to rob him. When the allied sovereigns and the ambassadors of the Great Powers visited England in 1814, there was a ruinous round of festivities at Devonshire House and elsewhere. These festivities seem to have suggested a banquet at White's, when the rage for betting was at its height in the club. The member who devised the most costly dish was to dine at the expense of the others. On that occasion Alvanley's extravagance proved economy, for he won the sweep and dined for nothing. On another, he was seriously out of pocket. He had been invited by his friend Mr. Anson to a water party on the Thames; and, Anson being even less thoughtful than himself, he found on inquiry that the important matter of the refreshments had been forgotten. He undertook at once to see to that, gave a restaurateur a free hand, and had to owe a bill for 200 guineas. That induces us to believe a story which, though thoroughly well authenticated, might otherwise appear incredible. When his pecuniary affairs had become gravely embarrassed, Charles Greville, who was an

excellent man of business, volunteered to make an arrangement with the creditors. He congratulated Alvanley on the balancesheet being better than he had supposed. 'Oh, by the way,' said Alvanley, meeting him next day, 'à propos to those accounts, I had quite forgotten a debt of 55,000l.' All things considered, and though he came into more than one succession which he dissipated, it is marvellous that he could keep his head so long above water, and leave his heir some 2,000l. a year. For it is needless to repeat that he never grudged himself anything, yet it was not his doom to die in the King's Bench.

Scott, in the journal of his cruise to the Northern Isles, mentions an Orkney clergyman who, when impeached before the General Assembly for drunkenness, admitted that he drank as other gentlemen did. Alvanley might have said the same about his gambling, though there, as in everything else, he drained the cup of dissipation to the dregs. No man in his position could have shunned the réunions at Crockford's. Other times, other manners! In the beginning of the century the polite hell which was run by the enriched ex-fishmonger was the resort of all that was most distinguished or renowned in Europe. He had founded a club of which he was the proprietor. Disraeli in 'Sybil' has painted to the life the scene in the rooms, on the eve of the Derby, when Rat-trap was favourite and Caravan was fancied. He and Lytton represented letters in that select gathering of rank, station, and dissipation. Foreign ambassadors met there, as a matter of course, on common ground. There were Talleyrand, Pozzo di Borgo, Metternich and Alava; the Duke of Wellington, though no gambler like old Blücher, not unfrequently graced it with his presence. But Alvanley is acknowledged by all his contemporaries to have been the life and soul of that brilliant society. The place suited him and his habits. The old fishmonger who presided was the shrewdest of men, though the better part of the million he is said to have amassed in a second-rate hell was subsequently lost in unlucky speculations. He sat in a corner, keeping the accounts, watching to make advances on satisfactory security, and Alvanley had frequent dealings with him. The old spider knew his business and limed his webs. Ude had been secured as chef of the establishment. The most sumptuous of suppers was served gratis to all comers, and the undeniable contents of the cellars were at call. A man of honour, as he could not pay, was bound to play. Alvanley, like his royal friend the

Regent, was a man of fine and almost phenomenal appetite. However he might have dined he was ever ready to sup, and when cibo vinoque semi-gravatus, he was only too willing to discharge the score, in accordance with the expectations of the establishment. He adjourned to the hazard table, and was scarcely more fortunate there than Stephen Fox, of whom General Fitzpatrick sang: Whenever he touches the cards or the box, Away fly the guineas of this Mr. Fox.

Then, sooner or later, he had recourse to the usurers.

Doubtless those convivial suppers, not unfrequently repeatedly renewed in the course of the night, did much to lay the seeds of the gout, to which he latterly became a martyr. But Alvanley, who was the most indolent and the most active of men, did far more to fight it off than most of his afflicted acquaintances. Sometimes, after the evening's play at Crockford's or White's, he would stumble half-asleep into a chariot, and be jolted as fast as four posters could take him down to some meet in the shires where his horses were standing. The man of many tastes and of manifold supremacy was as much a dictator at Melton as in the clubs of St. James's. He was one of the members of the famous Old Club at Melton, limited to four on account of the cramped bedroom accommodation. He figures conspicuously in 'Nimrod's ' quarterly article on 'The Chase.' He was a heavy weight, and grew heavier yearly, yet he was always well forward in the first flight. Admirably mounted, he grudged no money for his hunters, which he could afford the better that he never paid ready cash. When some one asked what he had given for a horse he was riding, he answered carelessly and characteristically, 'I believe I owe 3001. for him.' When the game little bay hunter broke down under the straight-going provincial gentleman whom 'Nimrod' most gratuitously christened 'Snob,' Snob looks wistfully after the field drawing away from him, deploring that he can neither go so fast nor so long as that heavy Tom Maxse and the heavier Lord Alvanley. When they have to fly the flooded Whissendine, and Bulkeley shouts that it will be a bumper after last night's rain, Alvanley exclaims in answer, 'So much the better; I like a bumper at all times.' Who can doubt that the epicure's most blissful hours of enjoyment were when, mud-stained and glorious, having been in at the death, and after bath and toilette, he sat down to the recherché dinner at the club, to discuss the doings of

the day, from the soup and the sherry, through champagne to the claret? By the way, Nimrod makes him perpetrate what must certainly have been a solecism in a man of his perfect breeding. Having noticed 'Snob' and admired his riding, he accosts him one afternoon with 'Perhaps you would like to dine with me to-day?' We are sure the invitation would have been worded more courteously. 'Snob' never sat down to a better dressed dinner,' which we can well believe; but we do not believe that the subject of hunting was never once alluded to except when an order was given to ask for a gentleman who had come to grief. But, indeed, 'Nimrod' contradicts himself in his account of a previous entertainment.

Alvanley's rare appearances in the House of Lords made his best friends regret that he did not take an active part in politics. He showed himself a good and effective speaker, with an exceptional knowledge of Irish politics, on which he wrote a very able pamphlet. An awkward question he put to Lord Melbourne led to the memorable duel with Morgan O'Connell. The question irritated O'Connell père, and, with his customary truculent coarseness, he denounced Alvanley in the Commons as a bloated buffoon. As usual, there was some truth in it to give sting to the invective; but in any case the insult must have been followed by a challenge. The agitator declined to come out, and Alvanley threatened personal chastisement. Thereupon Morgan took up the glove on his father's behalf, in a letter characterised by his father's scurrility. They met to exchange sundry shots and to part scatheless, but without any apology. Alvanley observed afterwards, 'What a clumsy fellow O'Connell must be to miss such a fat fellow as I am! He ought to practise at a haystack to get his hand in.' He gave the hackney coachman a guinea for driving him from Wormwood Scrubs, when the grateful jarvey said it was too much. 'I don't pay you for taking me there,' rejoined Alvanley, but for bringing me back.'

We said that Alvanley, although in remarks he knew would be repeated he fell into the cynical fashion of the day, was in reality a warm-hearted man and a staunch friend. And by those who could judge people most perspicuously he was regarded as anything but a shallow trifler. With the Duke of Wellington, for example, he was on so familiar a footing that his Grace frequently consulted him on the politics of the day, and confided to him how much he felt hurt by the treatment of the Ministry. Seizing the opportunity with his accustomed tact, he never hesitated to exert his

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