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not over-plentiful in any of these great handicaps; and Sweetmeat, in his match with Inheritress, taking a stone for two years, owed no small thanks to the multum in parvo, Mr. Flatman, for winning it. He is a "lazy, cold-tempered slug, and requires a deal of forcing and riding at most times;" in good faith he had never more need of assistance than on his visit to York. It is good work, however, especially on paper, and shows what a deal of squeezing these said slugs will put up with; there is some pleasure in having a horse of that easy disposition, as they often do more than is expected, and that, with so sanguine a race of gentlemen as turfites, is an agreeable surprise the majority of our high mettled racers are not over apt to treat them to.
On the principle that when things come to the worst they are sure to mend, it is to be hoped, as it is promised, that we may again see Warwick in something like the form it enjoyed but a very few years since, when all the world spent a week in Warwickshire not only to witness a good betting, well-managed race for the Leamington, but to get a wrinkle or two about Doncaster. There has been a sad want of pulling together, which we find alone has saved the said Doncaster it was wont to act as so worthy a prelude to. A greater or more striking testimony to the talent of a man than the last St. Leger was to that of John Scott, could scarcely be conceived; it was, they say, undoubtedly won by the best horse in the race, but still I should not take much forcing to believe our "elder brother" could have won with either of the three placed. The Baron's, however, getting last off and first home, with what he subsequently contrived to accomplish, makes any such supposition as this hardly fair, particularly with the "highly respectable" and straightforward character the great St. Leger is gradually assuming. The only drawbacks in 'forty-five to this improvement so devoutly to be wished were the long-delayed scratching of Old England, who, according to public. running, would just about have won; and the childish objection to the age of the winner. The reason for the former of these was, because Old England had a match in October at Newmarket (which, by the way, did not come to anything), he was not to run at Doncaster. The reason for his being brought to Doncaster, and the public being allowed to back him within an hour of the race, was not given; perhaps, as the novelists write, it is "more easily imagined than described." The examination demanded by Major Yarburgh appeared to be founded solely on the fact of the Baron being an Irish horse, an indirect argument to Running Rein mistakes the past certainly would not warrant us in using. Foig-a-Ballagh, another lucky Hibernian, had to submit, properly enough I consider, to the same test; but then Foig's trainer had started a four-year-old for the Derby and a four-year-old for the Oaks; consequently it was but natural to look a little closely on his next great card. Still, as a general rule, complaints without an atom of evidence or "just cause" about them, like that against Intrepid at Chester, and the Baron here, could do nobody any possible good, and racing, as a national sport, no little harm. The remainder of the three-year-old running went off in no ways at variance with that at York and for the Leger; as did the Cup, in the continued success of Sweetmeat, and the one
more small error of judgment for poor Alice Hawthorne; while the two-year-olds settled their differences without that decisive effect which usually marks the winner of the Champagne or its follower. Her highness the Princess Alice, to be sure, is now first favourite for the Oaks, but it is on the strength of some only of her performances. About the best bit of work, without anything afterwards to contradict it, was that of the Traverser; "under the circumstances" a good second to fully justify a prominent place in the state of the odds.
The fact of the winner of the Leger again standing in for the two grand finale handicaps, gave an additional interest and eclât to the close of the season that threatened alterations seem to argue it would be better to dispense with. Instead of placing a penalty on the winner of the Doncaster, let not the weights be published till after that meeting, and so, as a matter of course, shut him out of them altogether. For my part, I think such an amendment will neither tend to a larger acceptance nor a better field. The decision of the two carried out with many parties the idea that the Baron, after all, was the best horse in the Leger, and Alarm the best in the Derby; to the latter of these notions I have already expressed a strong doubt, and as to the former I think it by no means improbable to see the Baron following still further in the steps of Foig-a-ballagh. John Scott was a good genius that it will be difficult to replace.
The two-year-olds wound up the year as an uncommonly even lot, with one great exception, who took his revenge on Joy at 5lbs. the worst of it, and ran all courses at all penalties with a result that could not well inspire his friends with too much confidence. To the total of these three meetings, with their many beauties and few blemishes, both their length and the lateness of their date forbid much further consideration. Sufficient must it be to say, on the experience of each succeeding season, that old, and middle-aged horses are going rapidl out of fashion; while the young 'uns, like the heroes of love and war, are carrying all before them.
PUBLIC AMUSEMENTS OF THE METROPOLIS.
"But valiant fortune made Dan Orpheus bold,
"Motley's your only wear."
Ours is essentially a musical age. The fiddlestick of Orpheusalbeit a lyre-would soon be thrown for a mop to Molly the housemaid, did his divinityship attempt now-a-days to make a progress
through Germany, France, Italy, or England with such a bungling instrument at command. Nor judge nor jury would have been charmed by its simplicity. Forests, such few as are left to us, would no more wave to such namby-pamby; rivers would rush on heedless of the would-be magic; and wild beasts would as probably share the conceit of every tame fowler at the lodge-gates of civilization, and howl aloud their disapprobation at the ineffectual harmony, as be moved to motionless and stilly awe by his concord of silver sound! The Alpine hills echo now to wilder rhapsodies in the national Ranz des vaches. The Rhine river rolls its storied flood of waters to nobler themes of Vaterland than his. Strauss and Lanner would elevate their musical brows and batons over his diminished head. Paganini would but have barely condescended to execute his one-stringed variations of the Swiss air ere the demi-god wife-seeker had knelt to the superior enchanter; and the more likely of the two to cause the moon to stand still in her orbit, and those other aberrations of the superior planets mentioned by our poet. The very street-musicians of most of the cities of Europe would disdain his skill as that of an infant Tyro. It is a moot point whether he or Amphion would create a sensation nearer than the court of the king of Congo, or amid the north-western aborigines of America. So widely diffused is the knowledge of the divinest of arts in the nineteenth century.
The progression of music has immediately followed the retrocession of the drama. The positive sciences seem to have absorbed within their vortex the genius of the age. The genius of the passions, if so we may term those flights of imagination that depict and analyze the morale of action in its highest and critical manifestations, is no more. It is in vain we follow a Talfourd, a Kemble, a Leigh Hunt, or even a Sheridan Knowles through the intricacies of an ably-wrought play. The nerve and the majesty, the dignity, interest, and power of the real art, are all alike wanting in the dramatic attempts of the present day. We can more easily plan a railroad to the antipodes than produce from the utilitarian elements of our century a mind of the subtle woof and expansive nature of Shakspeare's, or of such moral alchemy as some of the Greek tragedians. Our progress is of the rude, thrusting, absolute kind, and affords no leisure, perhaps, for the wide yet delicate investigation of the sublime and beautiful in men's nature. Step by step we make daily new discoveries, and render them practically available; and step by step we seem to retrace our way farther and farther off from the once highly-wrought mine of the heroic affections. At the most, we can but strike off a witty vaudeville: at the least, we yawn through a romantic drama, irrelevant alike to reason and good taste. Let us then make much of the chaotic materials of the day, and at the close of another yearly link in the circle of eternity, let us make merry over good music and Christmas spectacles--the mises en scene of the French Theatre, and the scenes in the circle at Astley's Amphitheatre.
"Le Capitaine Roquefinette" has held its popular ground at the French playhouse. To understand Lafont's merit therein, and the vivacious life he imparts to the spectacle, one has but to undergo the doldrums of such a life-weary piece as Picord's comedy of " La
petite ville." "Zoe, ou l'amant prêté”—(The Loan of a Lover)—as produced on the English stage, is, we think, not so good in its original as in its British dress. M. Narcisse has merit as an imitator of Arnal. His comic scenes are very good. "Les Femmes Savantes," the keen satire of which is a little too much blunted by time to be appreciated thoroughly; "Le Chevalier de St. George" "Père et Fils;" "Le Hochet d'une Coquette;" "Le Mauvais Sujet ;" these are a few of the entertaining list of trifles that have wiled smiles from the most distinguished votaries of fashion resident in the metropolis during the last month, at this truly elegant resort.
JULLIEN'S CONCERTS have been capital. Herr Koenig still maintains a first place in skill. Mr. Case, on the concertina, is multum in parvo. Then there were choice morceaux of Beethoven, the grand master of his art; and of Mozart, the spirit-stirring; and of Weber, the dark searcher into the supernatural of music; besides crashes and clashes of M. Jullien's own, which have all merit, espe cially in the way of creating a sensation.
We have nothing to add to last month's notice of the performances at DRURY LANE, seeing that nothing more has been on the tapis than the previously-mentioned valuable opera of Mr. Wallace, which has increased in public favour; a pretty ballet, full of respectable dancing; and the old programmes. But the preparations for Christmas are even now rife as we write, and will have been enjoyed ere we go to press; therefore we are fain to defer our critical vein for a space.
The little theatre of THE PRINCESS's continues pretty much as it did. Wallack still makes a hit in "The Violet," and still "Le Diable à Quatre" dances out its moral.
At the STRAND THEATRE, one of the curious anomalies of London has attracted the attention of its denizens: a man who has walked out of his cell at Newgate figures away as a successful actor of the plays of Shakspeare! Of a truth, "fact is stranger than fiction;" and there are more 66 things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio."
ASTLEY'S ROYAL CIRCUS has been in full force during the month. The stud is in capital order: such leaps and counter-leaps sure were never before seen. The poetic horse of the Ukraine Chief was a mere wooden horse, compared to the one nightly careering his course amid stage-lights and the sub-scenery of the amphitheatre. The grand spectacle of "Mazeppa" is not the only novelty: "Jonathan ; or, The Man with Two Masters" assists to keep the juvenile spectator open-mouthed and awake during a long evening of well-furnished entertainment. For the next month, "Motley's your only wear." And if the railway projectors find therein the swiftest road to Avernus— if stumbling politicians shall fall into the gutter while their heads are buried in their own meal-sacks-if his Grace of Norfolk and Mr. Cobden make speeches gratis, and Dan of the long tail make them, with his vulture-claws adhering to paddy's threadbare pockets-if the go-ahead mania shown in Folly's manual is proved to have bewitched the three estates-why, we promise faithfully to criticize the same in our notices of the Christmas pantomimes.
THE FARMERS' ALMANAC (JOHNSON AND SHAW's). Ridgway, Piccadilly. We remember having heard, at times, some saying or other about" as useless as an old almanac," a phrase which the present system of getting up these necessary companions will go very far to make obsolete. Indeed, the almanac literature of this age and country has become quite a distinct and prominent feature in the book-world, and, with the two varieties of style and matter it generally appears— the useful and entertaining-promises even further to increase its hold on the public attention.
In the former of these classes-that is, the useful-few, we are certain, would bear comparison with, and none could we more conscientiously recommend to our readers, than the "Farmers' Almanac and Calendar." The majority of true sportsmen-we mean men who go out for the pleasures of hunting, not hard riding, and for shooting rather than slaughter-have almost naturally a taste for farming; and the majority of farmers, on the same principle, at least a good wish or so for sporting. When fairly practised, the sport of the field must bring about an association between the two, that can scarcely fail to augment every good feeling, while it gives health to the one and wealth to the other. To either of these, to any one actually living, or desirous of learning how people should live in the country, we would introduce this little annual. Copious and complete in all minor matters, as excellent and impressive on every important point connected with Agriculture, Gardening, or other rural affairs on which it treats, the "Farmer's Almanac" is a work, a bonâ fide standard work, that one and all, from the lord of the manor to the farm labourer, may turn to again and again with equal pleasure and advantage.
It cannot well be expected that we should offer any very minute examination of its many clever and judicious ingredients in this place; having, however, given the perhaps not over novel limits to its good acts and intentions, as ranging from the very highest man in the parish down to the very lowest, we shall beg leave to extract a short article entirely devoted to the interest and comfort of the latter; a paper which, while it appeals forcibly, earnestly, and practically to landlords and country gentlemen of all habits and dispositions, we would endeavour to impress more particularly on the attention of the sporting one. Of all the evils and drawbacks just now (as it long has been) connected with the life of a sportsman and a country gentleman, poaching ranks by far the greatest, and most common; a species of plunder which, though it engenders crime of the worst description, has always been found the most difficult to punish or put down. then, harsh means are altogether unavailable in crushing this hydra