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| VII"Cruel love, whose end is scorn' 345 The Romance of the Wiry-haired Ter-
rier. A Tale in three chapters .. 175
Another Peep at Anglo-Roman Life .. 413 vi. Urbs Roma
to Business ..
Choral Singing .. .. 209 | Sketches of London Society :-
No, I.—The Swell ..
Standards of Politeness .. ..
No. 1. Sancho before the Duchess 199 The Armstrong Gun and some of its
No. 2. The South Sea Bubble .. 456 Rivals ..
London Flowers-The Floral Orna-
| The Literature of the Blessed Isles :-
1. .. .. .. .. 80
Philosophy in Slippers.-On Sickness I of Schiller .. .. .. .. .. 55
229 Zoological Studies in Cold Weather-
Domini, 1862.. .. ..
242 Tender Words .. .. .. .. 36
Is it Friendship? Is it Love? .. The Fancy Fair .. .. .. ..
The Silent Lover .. ..
| Sans Cour"
A STROLL IN THE PARK.' A DAY cold, gray, cheerless as Back through the years that have A any day in February, and yet passed since Hyde Park was interthere is something in the air that sected by a chain of ponds, now speaks of milder breezes, of violets, flowing together-the Serpentine of and of spring-time; a something our days — to the time when the that lures me away from the warm, “Ring' which was laid out in the glowing hearth, out from between reign of Charles I. was in its glory ; hermetically closed windows and long, long before it was deserted for doors; through the dreary, bustling the ‘Ride' and 'Ladies' Mile,' and town and away from the din and left to present an appearance which fashion of Piccadilly.
causes an observer of the present Past that statue which Westma- day to waver between whether it cott and the ladies of England have might be the remains of a Roman raised to do honour to the Duke and encampment, or of an unrivalled themselves, to a quiet spot- quiet troupe from Astley's at which he enough at this season of the year- gazed, instead of having once been in the Park which takes its name the resort of all that was brilliant, from the old manor of the Hyde ad- wealthy, witty and beautiful in the joining Knightsbridge.
world of the London society of that Back to some of the seventeenth- day. century summers as I walk along And thus, as I walk, gradually over the delicate coating of hoar fade away these our modern days frost crisping under my feet, through and forms, and before me rises a some of the years that have gone by time when the doings here were so since Hyde Park, then in possession gay that prudent, far-sighted Pepys of abbot and convent, was first en (the most wonderful instance on closed for the public good.
record of a man succeeding in life It is not a very important fact through always doing the right that the first keeper, George Roper, thing at the right time, whether was appointed early in the reign that right thing chanced to be of Edward VI.; but it is rather the eating of humble pie before interesting to know that he had only Majesty, or the breathing a long
sixpence per diem’ as a reward for winded prayer before the Puritan the trouble it must have cost him to Protector) - Pepys on a pleasurekeep such a great, wild, unkempt tour heaved a sigh on the night of and uncared-for place, as we learn the zoth April, 1661, for that he'was this then highly rural Park was somewhere else, and could not be Nor will it be necessary to dwell at in Hyde Park among the great gallength on the division of the Park lants and ladies which will be very in 1652 into three portions. The fine.' names of the purchasers and the Down the stream of time to later sums they gave are of little con- days than when Cromwell, whom sequence; they were large sums, all somehow or other one can never ending in a few pence.
imagine to have been much of a VOL. 1.—NO. I.
whip, came to grief here through lashing very furiously a set of Friesland coach-horses which had been presented to him by the Duke of Holstein-an injudicious present the course of events proved them to be Cromwell loved Hyde Park well; the stern-faced Protector visited it often; and now, when those of whom he dreamed not tread the turf he once trod, and make merry in the vicinity of that place in which he once proved himself such an inefficient Jehu, he lies quietly, and sleeps a deep sleep, hard by at Tyburn.
Back to the days when the reign of gloom was over and the tide of merriment had set in-to those days when Charles II. - the 'merry monarch' with the 'melancholy face'-was king: who seems to have been as charming and reprehensible as most men who never say foolish things and never do wise ones are to the days when he was king and England was 'merry England,' as we are told so often that we have reason to doubt it.
That must have been a goodly company which assembled in Hyde Park then. Conspicuous in that bright ring of which Charles himself was the centre stands Villiers - foremost in beauty, bravery, wit, and gallantry, and every other dangerously fascinating quality which goes to the making up of the character of the perfect courtier. That Villiers who is described by Flecknoe as possessing • The gallant'st person and the noblest mind
In all the world his prince could ever find;' and who fell upon evil days and died after a long career of splendour and success in the worst inn's worst room,' where, according to Pope (although the story is now denied), ‘tawdry yellow strove with dirty red.' That poor 'great Buckingham,' whom a fastidious king pronounced to be the only English gentleman he had ever seen.' And with Villiers, the oval-faced and gleaming-eyed – the gay, dashing lord and husband of the “Puritan's daughter,' the 'little, short, brown, demure' lady, Mary Fairfax; the friend of Cowley, to whom at least,
whatever may have been his faults to others, he was faithful, generous, and kind; with him came De Grammont, the polished, graceful Frenchman, the lover, and after six years of uncertain courtship, the husband of that Miss Hamilton who was the greatest beauty in a court, where to be' was to be beautiful.
There was also St. Evremond, the blue-eyed Norman, most splendid specimen of a most magnificently handsome race, who at the age of fifty became the lover of Madame Mazarin. This lady, in addition to having the reputation of being the most beautiful woman in Europe of her day, took high honours as a practical joker. Amongst many other facetious tricks may be mentioned her swamping the poor nuns of a convent in which she had taken refuge once when in dire distress, in their uncomfortable beds. This feat she accomplished by causing the large reservoirs which supplied the establishment with water, to overflow. She also mixed ink with their holy water in order to make the cross stand out well upon their foreheads. This last trick was shocking, but harmless in comparison with the other; seclusion and rheumatism together must be intolerable.
And Rochester was here too_the most symmetrical and handsomest man of his age. He joined that witty, wicked group, an innocent Adonis and fell away terribly. He confessed to Bishop Burnet on his death-bed that for five years he had never been sober. But as I see him in the 'Ring,' walking along by the side of one of the daintiest of the court dames, he is young and fair and good, as he looks in the only portrait I have seen of him. The long love - locks are not dishevelled as yet, nor the deep clearcut eyes glazed, and the lower part of the face is still exquisitely refined- not heavy and coarse as it must have grown before those five years had come to an end.
And chivalrous, daring, happy Dorset was here; happy because he could do everything, and was never to blame.' And fair, lovely, insipid Mrs. Hyde, of the light falling ring
lets and rather weak expression, which Sir Peter Lely has handed down to posterity for admiration. And the dark queen, with the small brown hands, and long-suffering spirits. Lovely, foolish Jane Middleton; the bright brunette, Miss Warmestre; and countless others, who were beauties' in their day, and had names and fames a trifle higher than would be awarded them now. They all came here to the Ring in Hyde Park.
And here, too, came one who has told us more about them and their doings than any one else. Here came Pepys-ever-present Samuel -of course he did. Following the duke' (equally of course) - into the Park, I found Mr. Coventry's people had a horse ready for me; so fine a one that I was almost afraid to get upon him, but I did, and found myself more feared than hurt.
Pepys would have risked breaking any number of bones to follow 'a duke,' the brave fellow! The act of mounting a great fine horse, of which he stood in mortal dread, for the pleasure of following the Duke of York into the Park and being seen in his company by the fine folks in the Ring, is worthy of the gallant gentleman' who did extend his charity to his sister Jane by allowing her to be his servant;' and who lay in‘mighty trembling,' but cautiously passive one night, when he thought one of his domestics (possibly the aforesaid sister Jane) was being murdered in his house. Pepys, with something beneath him that he dared not hit, must have been a
mighty fine sight' indeed; as fine as any in the Ring.
As far as personal appearance goes, Charles I. was far worthier of being the leader of such a bright, brilliant, beautiful court, than was his plain, dark-visaged son.
Here they all came, powdered and patched and hooped; with the everready sword and joke, and made love and witty speeches and quarrels after the most approved fashion of that gay and gallant set.
And now, as I stand here, the bevy of noble cavaliers and ladies my imagination has conjured up to people this now-deserted Park with,
fades away-fades away and leaves me standing cold and solitary in the wintry sunbeams, alone.
Far into the reigns of the Georges the Ring continued to be the preeminently fashionable portion of Hyde Park. William MII. gave a certain tone to the Kensington division by going to reside in the redbricked palace there - the palace which now has a deeper claim on our interest, for there our own queen was born. And Queen Caroline, consort of George II., added to the attractiveness of this quarter by causing large gardens to be laid out there, which were opened to the public—to the 'full-dressed' public -every Sunday, when the king and herself had betaken themselves to Richmond. When the court ceased to reside at Kensington these gardens were thrown open altogether. For a long time they retained much of their secluded character, but now every other portion of the Park will be thrown into the shade by them in point of gaiety.
Wandering along yet further from the sounds of busy life, the fleecy clouds-half-mist, half-smoke hovering over everything, show me other scenes and forms.
Here, in later days, came Hervey, the pleasing refined wit; and Pope, the cynical unpleasing one. Lady Mary Wortley Montagu “the emancipated,' who was allowed to "say anything' (rare privilege!) without anything being said about herwho always dressed becomingly and untidily and attracted by so doing; and who, with a keen bright intellect, had but a 'neat-featured' face, which latter won the regard of both Hervey and Pope.
And those three Marys'—those maids of honour' about whom so much has been said and written; who have been the thread on which so many fine verses have been strung - Mary Lepell herself, Hervey's wife, who was good and charming, Mary Howard, and “jolly' Mary Bellenden, as she is called.
The amiable king who dreaded being left alone the night his poor faithful loving wife died, 'for fear he should see a spirit,' came here and sighed that he could not instead
be breathing the air of his own beloved Hanover. And Caroline herself was by his side of course; with her fair, comely face, and gracious form, and winning sweet manner; that model wife who appears to have acted with such consistent, judicious humility all through her conjugal life. Before the king had cause to express that fear and dread, she came here with him frequently and planned improvements in Hyde Park.
And the Prince of Wales—their son—was here, but not with them. Sir Robert Walpole calls him'a poor, weak, irresolute, false, lying, contemptible wretch ;' and his own mother the fair comely queen, with the gracious manner, seems in his case to have taken leave of these her special qualities of 'gracious sweetness,' for she says: “Popularity always make me sick, but Fritys makes me vomit. The names Sir Robert Walpole called him must have been hard to bear, yet that sentence from his mother's lips was surely harder.
In the years between 1798 and 1816, Beau Brummel and his set adorned the Park. He came here frequently-did the kind beau-to show inferior beings how friends. old friends-and new coats should be cut. He was as perfect in these noble arts as was the friend of his early days, the Prince Regent, whose countenance he lost through an impertinence. Many mean, base, weak and worthless ones, I doubt not, take a turn in Hyde Park daily throughout the season, but surely none so weak, base, mean and worthless as this dethroned idol of what were called the 'Bucks'-as this man who spent half of every day in tying his cravat, and the other half in showing the world-his world-how it should be tied. He is not a pleasing object to contemplate through the fleecy clouds of time. Nothing worthier is recorded of him
—that I can recal — than that he asked 'for damson jam tart' when little more than a baby ; 'Who is your fat friend ?' when full-grown; and several ridiculous questions as to cabbage and peas at different stages of his highly useful and orna
mental career. I see him dimly through the mists, standing by the visionary rails—not by any means leaning against them, that would have discomposed his attire-and hoping every one who passes will observe the number and gorgeousness of his waistcoats. I can forgive the man who would commit all sorts of extravagances in the way of point lace ruffles, and marooncoloured velvet coats, because they were beautiful and grand, and looked well then, and will continue to look well in pictures through all time. But the one who would ruin himself in table-cloths to wind around his throat, and several coloured waistcoats one over the other, and a blue coat with a velvet collar half hiding his head, and the waist indicated by two brass buttons up between his shoulders, is simply despicable.
And now, as I wander further south — on towards those quieter Kensington regions--the gray mist seems to clear away. The trees burst forth into leaf. The sun shines fully, gloriously over everything, and somewhere high in the upper air an invisible lark is pouring forth a wild sweet melody. It is the summer season of 1861, and here are assembled representatives of all classes-of'all' save the 'stout peasantry' of England, who with quilted smocks,' and heavy, weather-reddened complexions, have no call, find no place here. Poverty and wretchedness come here often enough to look at their betters, but it is not rural' poverty and wretchedness.
Here comes the world-famed minister, the wise and witty statesman on whom the years that he has passed in the public service tell so slightly to all outward seeming; who holds with equal judgment and skill the reins of government and those which restrain the eager footsteps of a fine-drawn high-couraged Irish mare. The author, favourite of fortune and fashion. The artist, seeking as he leans idly over those rails for a face fairer than his ideal, with which to delight the world next year at the Academy. The beauty, whose roses are paled a