Stories of the Streets of London

Baker, H. Barton


CHAPTER XVIII: The Haymarket--St. James's Square, Etc.

CHAPTER XVIII: The Haymarket--St. James's Square, Etc.


WHEN Sir John Vanbrugh, in 1704, proposed to build a theatre at the bottom of the Haymarket, all to the north of it was pasture land, and it was argued that the city, the Inns of Court, and the middle part of the town, from which came the chief supporters of the theatre, would be beyond the reach of an easy walk, and coach hire would be too hard a tax upon the pit and gallery. Houses, however, had been erected close by in Charles II.'s time, and in 1692 the roadway was formed on its present lines, but the air was still so pure that laundresses bleached their linen upon the hedges of Hedge Lane, which stretched from what is now Pall Mall East to Tyburn Road; and the farmers of Kensington and Chelsea sold their hay there three times a week, as they had done since the days of the Tudors.

The Queen's Theatre, however, as it was called until the accession of George I., when it became The King's, was built and opened in 1705. But it proved such a disastrous failure at first that it was let to Owen Swiney for £ 5 a night! After oscillating for a while


between drama and opera, in spite of the ridicule and opposition of such potent publications as The Spectator against this exotic species of entertainment, it finally settled down to an opera-house.

Vanbrugh's great theatre was burned down in 1739, set on fire, it was believed, by the leader of the orchestra out of revenge. It was a dull, heavy building of red brick, roofed with black glazed tiles, and with a frontage only thirty-five feet wide, in which were three circular-headed doors and windows. Upon its site rose the building which many of us remember, first opened in 1791, to fall a prey to the flames in 1867. It was rebuilt two years later; but the history of the third house was one of disaster and finally of degradation until its demolition. A handsome new theatre, bearing the old name, now occupies its site.

No spot in Europe can show a grander record of lyric genius than that south-west corner of the Haymarket; every great singer from Nicolini, the male soprano, to Tamberlik and Mario, from Faustina and Cuzzoni to Christine Nillson and Titiens, has sung there; the operas of every celebrated composer, from Handel to Verdi and Gounod, have been heard there; every famous ballerina from Mlle. Salle, who first introduced the opera ballet into London in 1734, to Taglioni, Ellsler and Rosati have pirouetted there. That spot has echoed to the notes of the wonderful Farinelli, for whose powers of execution no composer could write passages difficult enough, for whom, while he was singing, the orchestra forgot to play, over-


whelmed by his genius; to the bravura and fioturi of Catalani, who could leap two octaves; to the voice of that transcendent artiste, Pasta, of whom in her decay Viardot said: " She is like the Cenacolo of Da Vinci at Milan, a wreck of a picture-but that picture is the greatest in the world ;" to the wonderful B flat of the incomparable Rubini, which he once gave forth with such vigour that he fractured his collar-bone; to the thunderous bass of Lablache. Here was the scene of the Jenny Lind furore; and have not many of us the glorious notes of Titiens and the dulcet, silvery ring of Nillson's voice still echoing in our ears? Who in the present day can realise that dancing, vulgarised as it is now, was ever the poetry of motion? Yet what could have been more poetical than the ethereal grace of Taglioni, the intoxicating sorcery of the divine Ellsler, the ideality of Lucille Grahn, the dazzling brilliancy of Carlotta Grisi, the fascinating verve of Cerito.

When Lumley announced that Taglioni, Grahn, Grisi and Cerito would appear together in a pasdequatre, all fashionable Europe was in a flutter. But, oh, what a team of fillies for any man to control! At the final rehearsal they all but broke away. The last pas was ceded to Taglioni, but the crux was the first, each of the other three flatly refused to begin, and each desired to come immediately before Taglioni. Perrot, the ballet master, rushed to Lumley's room in despair; it was all over, the thing was impossible. The manager pondered until a happy thought flashed


across his mind. "Let the oldest take her unquestionable right to the envied position," he said. Perrot chuckled with delight, and bounded back to the stage. Lumley's judgment was as subtle as that of Solomon, no one of the three was inclined to accept the position on that count, and left it to the ballet master. The pas-de-quatre was performed; every night the house was crowded to suffocation; it was the one absorbing topic of conversation, and foreign newspapers teemed with stories of its wonders.

In 1720 a small, wooden theatre, which with all appliances cost only £1500, was built on the eastern side of the street and came to be known as "the little theatre in the Haymarket". First opened by a French company, it passed into the hands of mountebanks and rope-dancers, until Harry Fielding undertook it, in 1730, and produced his own comedies, burlesques and farces, one of which, for holding Sir Robert Walpole up to ridicule, brought about, in 1737, the stringent Theatrical Licensing Act, by which the London theatres were restricted to two, Drury Lane and Covent Garden. From that time until 1766, when Samuel Foote obtained a patent to open the house during the summer months, [1]  the little theatre led only


a vagabond existence, its managers and actors being more than once arrested for breaking the law.

After being repaired, patched, renovated, the original building, or rather all that remained of it, was pulled down in 1820, and the theatre of Webster and Buckstone took its place, which, though greatly altered by the Bancrofts, remains practically the same. It is probably a unique circumstance in the history of theatres that the Haymarket, during the hundred and seventy-eight years of its existence has never suffered from fire, and only once from any serious accidenton the occasion of the visit of George III. to the house, February, 1794, when the crush at the pit door was so great that fifteen people were killed and twenty seriously injured.

But theatrical riots have been by no means uncommon at the little theatre. The most curious of these occurred in 1805. Dowton announced for his benefit an old burlesque, "The Tailors," which had been brought out by Foote; it was a satire upon the sartorial craft, who convened an indignation meeting of its members, and resolved to oppose the performance with might and main. A letter was sent to the beneficiaire signed DEATH, warning him that 17,000 tailors would attend to hiss the piece, and that 10,000 more could be found if wanted. The actors laughed. But on the evening the knights of the needle contrived to secure, with few exceptions, every seat in the house, while a mob of tailors clamoured round the doors. When Dowton appeared, some one threw a pair of shears at


him, then the whole audience bellowed and roared, and the crowd outside answered with bellows and roars and attempted to storm the house. Magistrates were summoned, special constables called out, but all were helpless against the overwhelming odds; so formidable did the riot become that it was only quelled by a detachment of the Life Guards, who after taking sixteen prisoners put the rest of the mob to flight. The Haymarket was the last theatre which was lit by candles, gas not being introduced there until 1837, the first year of Webster's tenancy.

The Haymarket, in addition to its two theatres, was always noted for exhibitions, notorious among which was Mother Midnight's Oratory (1750), a sort of Barnum's show of monstrosities and trained animals. [2]  Monkeys and dogs did acrobatic performances and danced a minuet; a bear beat a drum; birds spelled names and told the time by the clock; turkeys executed a country dance; there was a cats' concert, to ridicule the opera, by which the inventor cleared thousands; a man who smoked out of a red-hot pipe and ate burning sulphur; giants, dwarfs, ventriloquists, dancing bears.

At the Cock Tavern, in Suffolk Street, the notorious Calves' Head Club held many of its meetings, on the 30th of January, to insult the memory of Charles I. According to Ned Ward the club was founded by Milton, and consisted of Independents and Anabaptists.


They dined on a dish of calves' heads, to typify the late king and his friends; a copy of the Icon Basilike was burned; a calves' skull was filled with wine and passed round for the guests to drink to the pious memory of "those worthy patriots who had killed the tyrant".

Even forty years ago, and less, the Haymarket, after midnight, was considered by fast young men to be one of the sights of London, though by day it was one of the shabbiest and drowsiest of thoroughfares. Until noon most of its inhabitants slumbered; and until night the half-awake attendants in the shops and taverns regarded a stray customer with heavy-eyed surprise and indifference; some of the proprietors did not trouble to take down their shutters before the shades of evening began to fall. Then the young ladies behind counters and bars rouse themselves and go away to take their hair out of curl papers, and change their " frocks," to reappear as transformed as the fairy of the footlights is from the fairy of the stage door; while slovenly waiters, who have been crawling and yawning all day, suddenly develop spotless shirt fronts and become as brisk as harlequins. Twelve o'clock ! The opera ballet is just over; Ellsler has performed her last pirouette, or Taglioni her last pas, or graceful Cerito has brought down the curtain with thunders of applause; out rush the swells and every bar is quickly crammed with them clamouring for drinks, and in a great hurry to get into the Haymarket Theatre to see Ned Wright in a farce-he is paid £50


a week to appear after midnight. And a very good bargain Buckstone makes of it, as he frequently takes £150 a week after the witching hour. The little theatre gives you plenty for your money; it begins at 7 P.M. and closes about 1 A.M. Sometimes you have a good long comedy and a drama and about three farces. After roaring at the irresistible Wright for three-quarters of an hour or so-Edmund Yates used to say that Wright made him laugh until he was a helpless massthe swells again crowd oyster and restaurant bar, or perform wild gallops with their lady friends up and down roadway and pavement, or order a keg of gin to be brought into the open and serve the liquor out to their friends and every passer-by, beggar or loafer, that chooses to partake of it. It is a veritable pandemonium of shrieks and laughter, and language unfit for ears polite. And the demons scarcely relax their fury until daylight dims the gas and the traffic of a new day commences.

Pall Mall when first formed was named after Charles II.'s Queen, Catherine Street. But as early as 1666 Pepys writes of it as " Pell Mell". At this time only a few houses were dotted here and there, in open country. Nell Gwynne lived for a time on the north side, but later on removed to the south. Evelyn relates in one of the entries of his Diary, 1671, how, while walking through St. James's Park, he saw and heard a very familiar discourse between (the king) and Mrs. Nellie, she looking out of her garden on the top of the wall and (the king) standing on the green walk under


it. " Thence the king walked to the Duchess of Cleveland's"-who also lodged in Pell Mell. In the house just referred to, now No. 79, "poor Nelly," the best of a bad lot, died in 1687, and was buried in St. Martin's-in-the-Fields. The Army and Navy Club stands upon the site of her first dwelling, and I understand that a looking-glass that must have often reflected her saucy face, taken with the old house, is still preserved there.

Schomberg House, the eastern wing of which was rebuilt for the War Office, is associated with many notable people. Originally inhabited by William of Orange's famous general, it passed to Culloden Cumberland. After his death it was divided into tenements and became a haunt of artists; here lived John Astley, a noted portrait painter; Conway, the miniature painter, and Gainsborough, who died here. On the western side of Schomberg House lived Mrs. Fitzherbert, the wife of George IV., of whom I shall have much to say anon.

Notable among the residents of Pall Mall was that charming, delightful comedienne of the Garrick period, Mrs. Abington, the original Lady Teazle. Like all theatrical managers Garrick was a martyr to the ladies of his company, but Fanny Abington was the greatest plague of all, the most capricious and unreasonable. How full of mischief and espieglerie is the face that still peeps at you out of Sir Joshua's canvas; it is Miss Prue herself, just as Congreve conceived her. Mrs. Abington associated with ladies of the highest


rank, and her devotion to cards in her old age was worthy of the time in which she lived. Not even in the summer months could she tear herself away from the pasteboard; to keep up appearances she shut up her house, pretended to leave London, but was really in lodgings in the immediate neighbourhood, where she kept up her nightly rubbers. Yet in spite of this sedentary life she attained the age of eighty-four.

Two celebrated houses, Marlborough and Carlton, the one still flourishing, the other a thing of the past, remain to be mentioned. The first was built for the conqueror of Blenheim, by Sir Christopher Wren, in 1709, on the site of a religious house, the Friary. To economise expense the parsimonious hero had the bricks brought over from Holland as ballast and unloaded at Westminster, Dutch bricks being smaller and much cheaper than English; six large mirrors being required for its adornment, his careful Grace petitioned the States-General of Holland that these might be exported free of charge from that country, and the petitioner was too powerful to be refused. Though he died worth a million and a half of money, he would in his old age walk through the most inclement night to save a sedan hire. Before his death Marlborough fell into a state of dotage, and the mighty victor of Ramillies, Malplaquet, Blenheim became a whimpering old man who could walk only by the support of two servants. Marlborough House remembers him in his greatness, when crowds gathered about its walls to applaud the conquering


hero; remembers him senile, tottering, crying, in second childhood; remembers that grand lying in state of the dead soldier, that splendid funeral cortege, than which, for solemn grandeur and military pomp, England has seen the like but once since, when as great a Captain-and a far nobler man-was carried to the tomb,

To the noise of the mourning of a mighty nation. The Duchess, a woman who was as destitute of all goodness as her lord, and without his genius to compensate, survived the duke twenty years. Avaricious to the last, though her income was £40,000 a year, she was always heaping acre upon acre, and wearied the Treasury by petitions for a few hundreds per annum that she believed herself entitled to as Ranger of Windsor Park. She lived to the age of eighty-four.

Marlborough House was leased from the crown, and when the lease expired, between sixty and seventy years ago, it was greatly enlarged for the Princess Charlotte on her marriage. And there her widowed husband continued to reside until he was called to the throne of Belgium. Queen Adelaide was its next occupant, and after her death the Vernon Gallery pictures were exhibited there. At the marriage of the Prince of Wales it again became a royal residence.

Carlton House was erected in the same year as Marlborough, 1709, by the Earl of Burlington. Twenty-one years afterwards it was purchased for the father of George III. But Frederick preferred Leicester House, and it is with the last of the Georges



that the former is more especially identified. Old Carlton House was but a mean building, and it was practically reconstructed for George of Wales in the classical style popular at the time. The centre was adorned by six Corinthian pillars, which now support the portico of the National Gallery, and this was flanked by two wings. Carlton House has furnished as much material, true and false, for the Chroniques Scandaleuses of the regency as Le Parc aux Cerfs did for those of Louis XV.

Sir Nathaniel Wraxall, in Memoirs of My Own Time, describes the banquets that were given here to celebrate Fox's victory in the Westminster election, 1784 -for the Prince of Wales was as noted a radical as George IV. was an unbending Tory-one of which lasted from the noon of one day to the morning of the next. A separate repast was served for the ladies: " On whom, in the spirit of chivalry, His Royal Highness and the gentlemen present waited while they were seated at table. It must be owned that on these occasions, for which he seemed peculiarly formed, the Prince appeared to great advantage. Louis XIV. himself could scarcely have eclipsed the son of George III. in a ballroom, or when doing the honours of his palace, surrounded by the pomps and attributes of luxury and royal state."

At Carlton House the Prince gathered about him all the men identified with the days of the Regency- Fox,Brummell, Moore, Sheridan, Colman, Kelly. Here the Princess Charlotte was born, apropos of whom the


Hon. Amelia Murray tells a good story. The engagement of the heiress presumptive to the English throne with the Prince of Orange was so disagreeable to Russia, that the Grand Duchess of Oldenburg made a journey to London to break it off, not by any direct means but by the usual Muscovite weapons, treachery and intrigue. Taking a house in Piccadilly the duchess gave a grand dinner party and ball; to the first the Prince of Orange was invited, to the second his fiancee. The duchess set the young man next to herself at table, and continually plied him with champagne, which it was impossible for a gentleman to decline under the circumstances; so that when he entered the ballroom, and solicited the princess's hand for a dance, he was very drunk indeed, and not being by any means good-looking or distingue was rather a disgusting spectacle in the eyes of a young girl of seventeen. Close at hand our intriguante had the handsomest and most fascinating young prince in Europe, Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, to whom the princess was introduced, and who made such good use of his chance that soon afterwards the Orange was sent packing-and was secured by our grand duchess for her own sister. And that was how the Princess Charlotte became the wife of Prince Leopold. It was rather a curious coincidence that her present majesty should also marry a Saxe-Coburg, a cousin of Leopold, both princesses being likewise cousins and heiresses to the throne of England.

Gronow describes the Princess Charlotte as a young


lady of more than ordinary personal attractions, with regular features and a fine complexion; blue eyes, abundant hair, "such as the middle-age Italian painters associate with their conceptions of the Madonna ". She was over the ordinary height, well developed and well proportioned, while her manners were remarkable for simplicity and good nature. The story of her early death is extremely pathetic.

The York column, the Atheneum, the United Service Club and Carlton Terrace were erected upon the land left vacant by the demolition of Carlton House in 1828. The Carlton Club was built upon the site of a famous tavern, the Star and Garter, wherein took place that duel to the death between Lord Byron of Newstead and Squire Chaworth of Nottinghamshire, which arose out of a trivial dispute over dinner. It was fought by the flickering flame of a fire, in a room only twelve feet by six. Byron ran his opponent clean through the body. At nine o'clock the next morning the unhappy gentleman breathed his last. Lord Byron surrendered and took his trial in Westminster Hall, but there was no shadow of proof of malice prepense; Mr. Chaworth had been the challenger, and furthermore was noted for his superior skill in the use of the sword. Byron was acquitted. At his death, in 1798, his grand-nephew, George Gordon Byron, succeeded to the title and estates. Does it not read like some old Greek story of Fate that the heir should fall in love with Mary Chaworth, whose grandfather his uncle had slain?

Although Golden Lane was lit by gas in 1807, Pall Mall was the first thoroughfare in the more central part of the town in which the new illuminant was used (1809). As a matter of course everybody jeered at the innovation, while some prophesied that all London would one night be sent flying up to the clouds. Even such scientists as Sir Humphrey Davey averred that it would be as easy to bring a bit of the moon down to light London with as to illuminate it with coal smoke.[3] 

At the Restoration those of the nobles who had not mansions in the Strand were still living in the City, or in St. Clement's Lane, or Drury Lane, or Clare Market. Henry Jermyn, Earl of St. Albans, was the first to draw the aristocracy westward, by obtaining a piece of ground known as Pell Mell Field, where the king and his courtiers played the game so calledwhich was much the same as croquet-and building thereon a square, which from its vicinity to the palace was named St. James's.

We are greatly shocked in these days of sanitation to hear of a refuse heap outside an Irish cabin, but the ancestors even of blue-blooded English were almost as indifferent to noxious sights and smells at their very threshold as is a hibernian peasant. Macaulay thus describes the condition of St. James's Square,


then recently built, in 1685: " It was a receptacle for all the offal and cinders and for all the dead cats and dogs of Westminster. At one time a cudgel player kept the ring there. At another time an impudent squatter settled himself there, and built a shed for rubbish under the windows of the gilded saloons in which the first magnates of the realm-Norfolk, Ormond, Kent and Pembroke-gave banquets and balls. It was not until these nuisances had lasted through a whole generation, and till much had been written about them, that the inhabitants applied to Parliament to put up rails and plant trees." But although a pond was subsequently sunk in the centre, and a fountain squirted a stream of water, dead cats and all kinds of rubbish continued to be shot there, even at the time when Samuel Johnson and Richard Savage, the poet, paced round and round the square on summer nights, for lack of a lodging, inveighing against ministers, making patriotic speeches and building castles in the air.

The town house of all the Dukes of Norfolk, since the time of Charles II., has been in this square (the south-eastern corner); next door to it is the " official " residence of the Bishops of London. It was in the house two doors west of the London Library, then tenanted by Mrs. Bohm, that the Prince Regent received the first news of the victory of Waterloo; he was dining there in company with Castlereagh and other ministers. "It is a glorious victory," said the Prince, after reading the despatch, " and we must


rejoice at it; but the loss has been fearful, and I have lost many friends." And while he spoke the tears ran down his cheeks. The great bibliophile, who has bequeathed his name to a club and that most famous collection of old ballads, the Duke of Roxburghe, resided at No. 20. The sale of his library, in 1812, occupied forty-two days.

Previous to his time the house had been the residence of the celebrated Right Hon. William Windham, statesman and scholar, in honour of whose memory the Windham Club, now held there, was instituted. It was of Windham that Dr. Johnson wrote: "Such conversation I shall not have again until I come back to the regions of literature, [4]  and there Windham is, inter stellas luna minores". Yet Windham was a great upholder of the Prize Ring and warmly defended it in the newspapers. He seldom missed being present at a fight, and when a match was fought between two noted gladiators, Gully and "the Game Chicken," being detained in London by State affairs, so eager was he to know the result that he secretly employed a Government courier to bring him the news in a Government despatch box.

Castlereagh lived for a time at No. 18; Arabella Churchill, the sister of John and mistress of James II., at 21, and after her this same house was tenanted by Charles Montagu, Earl of Halifax, who, with Paterson, founded the Bank of England. The Sunderlands, Clarendons, Churchills, Oxfords have had their town


houses here at different times.[5]  Of one Lady Oxford a good story is told. After leading a life of pleasure as long as she was able to enjoy it, her ladyship was "converted ". One day the Duchess of Buckingham was telling how "her lord" was doing this, and " her lord" was doing that, when Lady Oxford interrupted her with the severe remark that she knew " no lord but the Lord Jehovah". "Oh dear, who is that?" inquired the duchess. "I suppose it is one of the new titles, for I never heard of him before."

From St. James's Square it was but a step to Almack's, that most renowned and most exclusive arcanum of fashion that has ever existed in Europe. " There is a new institution that begins to make, and if it proceeds, will make a considerable noise," writes Walpole to George Montagu, 6th May, 1770. "It is a club of both sexes to be erected at Almac's, on the mode of that of the men at White's. Mrs. Fitzroy, Lady Pembroke, Mrs. Meynel, Lady Molyneux, Miss Pelham and Miss Lloyd are the foundresses." The club had been started about eighteen months previously; but the rooms were built and opened for balls and assemblies in 1765 by a tavern-keeper named Almack. As it was impossible for two or three to gather together without gambling, Almack's was no exception to the rule, and indeed gaming was conducted there on an even more extravagant scale than elsewhere. No stake less than fifty guinea rouleaux


was permitted, and £10,000 would frequently be piled upon the table at one time.

Probably Almack's did not attain its highest glories until the days of Ladies Jersey, Castlereagh, Cowper, and the Princesses Esterhazy and Lieven, who ruled it with such despotic exclusiveness that to be admitted to its balls and assemblies was a greater honour than to be presented at court.

Captain Gronow tells us that out of 300 officers of the Foot Guards only half a dozen were admitted; "very often persons whose rank entitled them to the entre anywhere were excluded by the cliqueism of the lady patronesses ". The Duke of Wellington was once refused admittance because he was not dressed en regle.

Here the first waltz (1813) was danced, and it is very suggestive to read of the horror it excited, not only among goody people, but in such moral censors as George Gordon Byron, who in "The Waltz " denounces the woman who indulges in its gyrations with all the fervour of a male prude. If such thou lovest-love her then no more, Or give, like her, caresses to a score, Her mind with these is gone, and with it go The little left behind it to bestow. It reads yet stranger, however, to hear that the quadrille, introduced about the same time at Almack's, was quite as much objected to on the score of modesty by women-who never practised that virtue. Almack's was afterwards known, as Willis's. There are two


other institutions in King Street I would love to gossip about, the St. James's Theatre and Christie and Manson's, but space will not permit.

After Queen Anne's reign fashion entirely deserted the neighbourhood of Covent Garden and took up its permanent quarters to the west of Charing Cross, and " the sweet shady side of Pall Mall" was the place where most did congregate, the beaux, fops, dandies, bucks, bloods and swells, while those varieties of one species existed. The first who affected the region were the Macaronis, so called because it was they who introduced that favourite Italian dish into London, and Almack's. Can we not see them as they appeared in 1772, in an extremely close-cut jacket, waistcoat and breeches, an immense knot of artificial hair behind, like a chignon, a very small cocked hat, red-heeled shoes, and carrying an enormous walking cane, with long tassels, in their hands? Or a year afterwards in a very lofty head-dress, and a nosegay as big as a cabbage at their breast, talking a jargon of French-Italian-English, their faces painted and patched, their eyebrows pencilled, simpering and mincing like monkeys treading upon hot bricks, in winter time, their hands thrust into muffs ? Watch them at the gaming table. They begin by pulling off their 1 Muffs, however, were in general use among men. "I send you a decent small muff, that you may put in your pocket; it cost fourteen shillings," wrote Walpole to George Montagu, Christmas, 1764. The beaux of Charles II. and James II.'s reign greatly affected the muff; it was small, lined with down and covered with satin, with a bow in front, and suspended by a ribbon round the neck.


embroidered clothes and putting on frieze greatcoats, or turning their coats inside out for luck. Then they put over their sleeves pieces of leather, such as are worn by footmen when they clean the knives, to save their laced ruffles, don high-crowned, broad-brimmed straw hats, trimmed with flowers and ribbons, to guard their eyes from the light and to preserve their hair from being tumbled, while they cover their faces with masks, in order that no change of expression, occasioned by gain or loss, may be visible, imperturbability being the correct form on these occasions.

Carlton House was the focus of the dandies during the Regency. How familiar the caricatures of Bunbury and Rowlandson, and other satirists of the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth centuries have made us with those English Incroyables, in extraordinary striped trousers, which had taken the place of breeches and skin-tight pantaloons, fulled very much at the hips and strapped tightly over the boots; in blue swallow-tailed coats, or braided frocks with collars half-way up the head, tight sleeves and brass buttons; buff or striped vests; huge cravats, bell-crowned beaver hats of enormous expansion, with only the narrowest border of a brim, promenading with a pompous or simpering air that would now be considered exaggerated in burlesque. And their fair companions, fat as cooks, in short dresses, so skimping that they could not step over a gutter, waists under the arm-pits, no petticoats beneath, sandalled shoes, huge bonnets with gigantic


plumes of feathers, the ensemble of all the colours of the rainbow.

We are always fond of a fling at fashion, even in the present day; but we do not make apes and dolls and monsters of ourselves as did our greatgrandfathers and great-grandmothers.

Note to p. 317.-As a curious contrast to Lady Amelia Murray's picture of Prince Leopold I subjoin another of the Princess Charlotte's widower, taken from the memoirs of Karoline Bauer, the celebrated German actress. It is her first impression of her future lover.

"He wore an unusually long surtout of black cloth, tightly buttoned from top to bottom. His short black hair, glossy with pomatum, turned out by daylight to be a very ingeniously made wig. Add to this his pale, languid complexion, his weary, weary expression, his stooping, relaxed gait, his slow, deliberate, subdued way of speaking-all this reminded one more of a pedantic, recluse professor and old bachelor of upwards of fifty than of a gay prince of eightandthirty. Only his finely shaped mouth, with its pleasing smile, and his large, dark, melancholy eyes were exceedingly interesting and attractive."


[1] How Foote obtained the licence is a curious story. At a country house at which he and the Duke of York were staying, His Royal Highness for a practical joke mounted the comedian, who could not ride, upon a spirited horse, with the result that he was thrown and his leg broken. Foote at that time rented the Haymarket, and was driving the proverbial coach and four through the Act of Parliament; as a compensation for the injury, the duke got him a patent legally to keep open the house six months in the year.

[2] See "Horace Walpole to George Montagu," 9th January, 1752, for a full account of the oratory.

[3] Until the last year of the reign of Charles II. no attempt was made to light the streets of London at night, but, in 1684, a projector, named Heminge, was granted letters patent to place a lantern before every tenth door on moonless nights from Michaelmas to Lady-day.

[4] He wrote this in Derbyshire.

[5] In 1676 the rates of one of the largest houses amounted to £10 per annum, while others were under £ 2!