Manners and customs of ye Englyshe/A View of Epsom Downes on ye Derbye Dave.

Illustrated by Richard Doyle

Manners and Customs of ye Englyshe in 1849. No. 12.

A View of Epsom Downes on ye Derbye Daye.


A View of Epsom Downes on ye Derbye Dave.

[Wedneſday, May 23, 1849.—Derby Day.]

To Epſom Downs to the Great Derby Race. In a Barouche, with a Party, over Vauxhall Bridge, and by Clapham, and very merry we were, carrying Hampers with Store of every Thing needful for a brave Lunch. The Windows and Houſe Fronts crowded, and School-Boys mounted on Walls and Gates, and they and the Urchins in the Street ſhouting, as though we were going to the Races for their Amuſement. But Lack! to ſee the pretty ſmart Damſels come out to gaze at us, or peeping behind Blinds and Curtains, all in high Glee, as if glad that we were taking our Pleaſure, and good Humour do wonderfully heighten Beauty, as I do tell my Wife. The Road through Trees and Orchards, and the Sun mining through the young Leaves and on the Horſe-Cheſtnut Bloſſoms, and the blowers looking bright like the Leaves. So we on, with Mirth and Pleaſant Diſcourfe, till into the Ruck, which is the Jam of Carriages cauſed by the Stoppage at the Turnpike: and did banter each other and them about us. Acroſs the Courſe to the Hill, the Admiſſion coſt us £1. Good Lack! what a Crowd of People collected to ſee which out of ſix-and twenty Horſes ſhould run the fastest, and what a Medley of Vans, Omnibuſſes, and Taxed Carts on either Side of the Courſe with the People in Front of them, and the Grand Stand crowded with Heads, plenty as Blackberries and ſeeming like a huge Maſs of them. A Throng of Carriages about us, whereon young handſome rakifh-looking Gallants with Muſtaches and Cigars. Here and there, in open Coaches, Ladies in lilac and blue Dreſſes, and pink Bonnets, and gay Ribbons, all Manner of Colours, looking, with the parti-coloured Flags over the Booths, mighty lively. Preſently a Bell rung and the Courſe cleared, but then to ſee an unlucky Dog running to get out, and the Mob yelling at him, and the poor Dog in his Fright ruſhing ſtraight on like mad! Then the Horſes with the motley Jockies on them prancing up and down before the Grand Stand, to ſhow their Paces to the Folks in the Betting Ring. At laſt, they taken to the Poſt, and ſo ſtarted with much Cheering, and came eaſy round Tattenham Corner; but preſently away in good earned, like Shot! The chief Struggle between the Flying Dutchman and Hotſpur, but Yellow-Cap did win by half a Length. The Winner declared by his Number, hung out in Front of the Grand Stand, and to ſee the Flock of Carrier Pigeons ſent up to bear away the News; but Mr. Wagstaffe do ſay they were Nothing to the Pigeons left behind. The Race run in three Minutes, but to think of the Money loſt and won in that little Time! My Lord Eglinton and the Public, as I hear, do gain much, and the Ring and Rogues do loſe, which I am glad of. After the Race, to a brave Lunch; but the Gipſy Children and Women did come and beg Morſels out of our Plates, as well as Money, and got Plenty of both, but in the Midſt of all the Luxury it was a ſorry Sight. Then about the Courſe to ſee the Company and the Flinging at Snuff-Boxes, and the Thimble-Rig, but of the laſt I ſaw none, only ſome playing at Roulette and Hazard, but the Police did ſeize and break ſeveral of the Tables, and take away the Stakes. Great Sport returning Home, with the ſhouting for the Winner, and Trumpetting on Horns, and tolling of Snuff-Boxes and Toys to the pretty Laſſes at the Windows, and bandying Jokes, but all in mighty good Humour. Seeing all Sorts and Conditions of Perſons, great and ſmall, joining in Sport and Frolic, made me compare our own Country with foreign Nations that do prate of their Fraternity, but can none of them ſhow ſuch a Sample of it as the Derby.