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mainder of my run to Southampton, the following reverie rose to my fancy-the Birmingham road being indebted most probably to the coleur de rose in which it appears to my frame of mind at the

I called to mind my exultation, when a school-boy, that Wednesday was a half holiday, as it enabled me to stand on the steps of the Cross Keys, at Oswestry, and see the Honourable Tom Kenyon pull up at the door. He was in those days one of the most ardent disciples of the whip in England. He made it a practice, no matter what the condition of the weather might be, to visit Shrewsbury and Oswestry, between which towns his seat, Pradoe, is situated, on every Wednesday and Saturday, their respective market days, as regularly as the mail; and all persons proceeding to either were entitled to a lift, if there was room, in or about his drag. His style of “set out" was simple, but complete-a plain yellow carriage, a stagecoach in all its arrangements, but lighter, of course, than the build of such conveyances at that period, and cattle such as only a professor like himself could put together; he had, I think, three regular teams -two I well recollect, the greys and browns, and they were worthy of the artist who drove them—their best eulogium.

Man is an imitative animal; so I soon began to itch for the ribbons. The first time I ever caught a hold of four horses was on the Ancient Briton,” then tooled by “old Wells,” known for half a century on the Holyhead road. This worthy was a legitimate of the school of charioteers of that day; his face was of the hue of the piony-like Boniface, he “ ate his ale, drank his ale, aud slept on his ale;" in manner, no one could accuse him of being a gentlemanperhaps he had read Johnson, and thought “ who drives rough horses should himself be rough,” for he was as unpolished as his cattle; to crown all, he was so excessively“ protuberant”—to speak it gracefully—that when you saw him on the box, “you wondered how the devil he got there." The rate of travelling by this patriarchal convenience was about five miles an hour, which, considering the roads and loads of those times, was by no means contemptible work. Among the many into whose hands this volume falls, it will not be without some who can remember that road before, within the last twenty years, its splendid re-modelling, under the skilful direction of Mr. Telford combined with the Menai Suspension Bridge, also the production of that gentleman's genius; it may be pronounced the most stupendous modern evidence of human ingenuity and perseverance. At the period of which I speak, that which is now decidedly the finest road in Europe (it's days, alas! are numbered), was little more than a narrow lane, rudely constructed, and running, almost without a fence, along the brink of precipices, to look on which made the blood freeze. Still, wild and dangerous as was this mountain pass, even it had been formed within a very few years after a resolution had been passed in the House of Commons declaring it impossible to construct a road through those regions, and, even if made, that it would be utterly useless during the winter season, as the snow and the torrents from the mountains would then render it impassable.

Fifty years ago the lovely scenery of North Wales was almost as little known as the valley of Chamouni at the same period; and to shew that all the wisdom in the world was not monopolized by our ancestors, I have heard that the late Lord Penrhyn, whose property has been so incalculably benefited by the improvements in those districts, was one of the strongest opponents of the till; yet he was “a fine old English gentleman, one of the olden time !"

Many a “right merrie conceit” had I, during my career on that heavy drag. The passengers by her were, for the most part, Irish -then the transit from Holyhead to Dublin had not been made little more than a ferry, by the aid of steam: at present a genuine unsophisticated Patlander in England is a treat; in those days, when you saw one, you were sure of him. I remember one broiling hot day, as my four great rumbling cart horses were crawling up “Chirk hill” (at that time a real mountain) with four tons of lumber behind them, a choice specimen of the finest population alive, under the idea that he was doing a bit of English superbly, thrusting a great red whiskered face out of the coach window, and calling to me, in pure Tipperary,“ droiver, stop! here's a leedy in a feenting steete in the intarior !"

From this slow work I was, after a little while, promoted to the “ Chester Highflyer," not that of the renowned “ Chester Billy" of Quarterly Review celebrity, but the Welch coach of that denomination, the workman on it being Jack Williams, who afterwards met a melancholy “wind up,” poor follow, losing his life on that road. Thus was I tolerably entered for all I was so soon to witness; and if any of my readers remember, as doubtless they do, the scene which the Star," at Oxford, offered daily, at two o'clock, to an elève of the craft, they will know what I mean. I now became a constant workman on “ the Veteran,” London and Gloucester; and to those who recollect George Flowers, and Dan Gilbert, the latter horsing it splendidly from Oxford down, they will not say my education was trusted to inefficient hands. Gilbert was just the character to make an Oxford drag popular: a monstrous good-looking fellow, with excellent manners, and lots of dash. There was scarce a room appertaining to a man of any pretension as a dragsman, where he was not a welcome guest. Methinks I see him now, eyeing his ruby glass, sipping it with the demonstrative smack of an amateur, and blowing his cloud with the air of a bashaw of three tails. A taste thus acquired and cherished, was one not likely soon to lose its attraction. Though, as the world opened to me, other sporting matters claimed much of my time, still did I ever acknowledge allegiance to my first attachment. My well remembered and well esteemed connexion on the Birmingham line was by means of those celebrated coaches the Eclipse, Independent, and Patent Tallyhos—I should think, in every sense of the word, the most superior public carriages that ever ran in England. Established for a number of years, doing their work as well as it could be done, keeping at all seasons their time to a minute, their opposition consisted only in a generous rivalry as to which should be the best conducted. Even I, prejudiced as I confess myself to have been in favour of one concern, were I called on for an opinion, should find it impossible to give that preference, by pointing out any defect in the other. Were I asked the man in England for a fast stage coach, I should name “ Robert Flack.” I

have known many men far more graceful on their boxes--very many more stylish coachmen; but in temper, nerve, eye to his horses, and power to punish or assist them, I have never seen his equal.

Let me be permitted, as the ladies of both sexes say in the Annuals, to offer here a slight token of my esteem for that great artist, and of my admiration for the chariot of his triumphs.


Reader! if haply thou shouldst ever feel

To that famed place of smoke disposed to go,
Where people manufacture things in steel,

Iron, tin, pewter, brass, and or-molu;
Attend, I'll put a “ spoke into thy wheel,"

Just try for once the Patent Tallyho-
Search all the offices, I'll let you rummage 'em,
And pound it, you find no such drag to Brummagem.
It is the pink of coaches, with its steeds

Fierce as a storming party in attack,
And looking as if“ they could do such deeds,"

As Shakspere has it, if perchance he crack
His whip, be who all other swells exceeds,

That broth of coachmen, Mr. Robert Flack.
Instead of Hector, had he lived in Troy oh !
Homer had sung of Flack “ HIPPODAM010."

For me, where'er I journey, or howe'er,

Whether on coach-box, or the bounding steed,
I dearly love to cleave the yielding air,

“Bloody with spurring, fiery hot with speed,"
As if Sathanas kicked me endways, there

I have the best authority indeed,
For Doctor Jolinson loved to ride in chaises,
Ofall things, when the post boys drove like blazes !
Then let them boast, who will, the Cambridge Times,

The Rapid, Rover, Wonder, or the Age,
And others less entitled to our rhymes,

(And all less worthy of this sporting page,)
Where dragsmen change like tricks in pantomimes,

And scarcely “ fret their hour upon the stage ;"
For me, whene'er to Birmingham I go,
I'll stick to Flack and Nelson's Tallyho !

A Lay of 'Thirty-five.

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SIR,_I know not of any one to whom I can with greater propriety address the following account of the most eventful periods of my

life than yourself, believing as I do that you take an interest in all who from either accident or design may have in any way associated with those avocations coniprised in the common name of “sports ;" nor can I refrain from hoping that what I am about to relate may have the effect of enlisting the humane and liberal portion of mankind on the side of my persecuted race.

My parentage on both sides enjoyed the reputation of being perfectly unexceptionable, tracing their genealogies in direct lines from some of the most illustrious enemies of the wily race. In consequence of this spotless pedigree, the treatment which I invariably experienced during my infantine days was such as was dictated by the greatest tenderness, added to a strict regard to my convenience and advantage. As soon as I was considered of sufficient age, one of the choicest farm-houses was selected for my accommodation, where I was delivered by the huntsman himself, who in person consigned me to the care of the “good dame," with many requests that no pains might be spared to cause me to grow up a scion worthy of the high renown of my ancestors; to which were added most particular injunctions that no symptoms of indisposition-however slight, especially if accompanied by a husky kind of cough—might be allowed to pass unheeded. I was received on the part of the "good dame” with every profession of regard, and must ever feel grateful for the uniform kindness which I received at her hands. Here I remained for the space of some months; till, as the summer was drawing to a close, I was taken away, and, together with several others about my own age, introduced to the kennel.

During my residence at the farm I had been living upon the fat of the land, and had taken my growth as well as my most anxious well-wishers could desire. But, unfortunately, there was one part about me which had increased in a ratio too large for my other proportions; in other words, I must confess that the size of my head was such as to militate in no inconsiderable degree against my otherwise graceful appearance. No notice, however, was taken of this deformity at the time, and I began to be submitted to the usual discipline, both in the kennel and the field. This, it is true, I found somewhat irksome, but by degrees what was at first restraint became a confirmed habit; and after I had once tasted the flavour of a fox, I never more conceived any desire for hares. The huntsman was in raptures at my prowess, and declared “ that though my head might be a trifle out of size, it contained a world of serious mischief to the foxes, and he made no doubt of my sustaining the high character of my family.” Time, however, rolled on, cub-hunting was nearly at an end, and the day was fixed for our master to inspect the entries in person, and make his final selection as to which should be “put forward." The size of my cranium immediately attracted his attention, and, as he paid more regard to the effect produced upon the eye than

upon the other senses, he swore that no pack of his should be polluted by such a monster of deformity. The huntsman remonstrated, but in vain, and dilated upon my great promise of future excellence, but all to no purpose; nothing could compensate for the odious magnitude of my unlucky knowledge-box.

I was now left to be disposed of to any one who would take me; and I know not what would have been my ultimate lot had not a brother of my master, who was an officer in the army, arrived about this time; and one morning when he was looking about the kennel, my friend the huntsman took the opportunity of introducing my name in the conversation, when he was so much delighted with my character, that he immediately requested the possession of me, which was as readily complied with.

In the course of a few weeks from this time my new master proceeded to rejoin his regiment, whither I accompanied him, and was introduced to the society of about ten or twelve others much like myself. My situation here was one of great comfort. Is is true I had not the luxuries to which I had been accustomed in my previous residences, but I was equally well fed; and if not quite so commodiously lodged as in my last kennel, what was wanting in that way was fully compensated for by the greater laxity of discipline, and the absence of the dreaded voice of the whipper-in with his “ Have-acare, Radical”—such a salutation being too often preceded by a blow from his whip.

Our chief business now was to hunt drags-composed of redherrings, or any other substance supposed to emit a sufficiency of effluvia—though we were occasionally indulged with a "bagman," who usually fell an easy prey to our prowess. Thus was my


passed during the remainder of this winter; and I had begun to think that my change had not been a bad one, when my master was suddenly ordered abroad. Either having no farther occasion for our services, or being hurried away without sufficient time, no provision was made for us, and we were abandoned to him who had the care of us.

It was not long ere we began to feel the absence of our master in the alteration both of the quantity and quality of our food; and our ragged coats and staring bones afforded melancholy proof of the indifferent circumstances of our present proprietor, who in his turn became exceedingly anxious to dispose of us; but after considerable delay, beginning to get impatient at the expense of our keep, some of my companions were summarily provided for by the halter, and I narrowly escaped a similar fate. It happened, however, that an itinerant vender of brooms, who was passing about this time, was in need of another dog to assist the two which he then had in drawing a small cart, in which he conveyed his merchandize when hawking it about from one country town to another. Upon seeing my forlorn situation, and judging from my apparent strength that I promised well for his purpose, he became the purchaser of me for the sum of five shillings and a jug of ale.

I was now harnessed to the cart, and must confess that I felt my dignity not a little hurt by being called upon for the performance of such menial drudgery. One of the companions of my labours was a very merry fellow, who trotted along with his bushy tail erect, and barking as loud as his lungs would admit, as though he were helping to cry the goods for sale. I must own I have always been at a loss to discover the source of this great merriment, which he delighted to express in so clamorous a manner; but at first it afforded me no small consolation, as it convinced me there was nothing so very desperate in our condition. Of his parentage he had no knowledge. All he could recollect was that for some time no pains were spared to teach him to direct his master to the partridges without disturbing them himself; but for this his spirits proved too buoyant, till

, after many fruitless attempts, he was discarded as incorrigible, and very shortly

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