Manners and customs of ye Englyshe/A View of Mr. Lorde hvs Cryket Grovnde.

Illustrated by Richard Doyle

Manners and Customs of ye Englyshe in 1849. No. 17.

A View of Mr. Lorde hys Cryket Grovnde.


A View of Mr. Lorde hvs Cryket Grovnde.

[Monday, June 18, 1849,]

THIS Day a great Cricket Match, Surrey againſt England, at Lord's, and I thither, all the Way to St. John's Wood, to ſee the Place, having often heard Talk of it, and the Playing, which Mr. Longstoppe did tell me was a pretty Sight. Paid 6d. to be let in, and 2d. for a Card of the Innings, and bought a little Book of the Laws of the Game, coſt me 1s. 6d. more, though when I had got it, could hardly underſtand a Word of it; but to think how much Money I ſpend out of Curioſity, and how inquiſitive I am, ſo as to be vexed to the Heart if I cannot thoroughly make out every Thing I ſee! The Cricketing I believe very fine; but could not judge of it; for I think I did never before ſee any Cricket ſince I was a little Varlet Boy at School. But what a Difference between the Manner of Bowling in thoſe Days, and that Players now uſe! for then they did moderately trundle the Ball under-hand; but now they ſling it over-handed from the Elbow, as though viciouſly, and it flies like a Shot, being at leaſt Five Ounces and a Half in Weight, and hard as a Block. I ſaw it ſtrike one of the Bat men on the Knuckles, who Danced and ſhook his Fiſt, as methought well he might. But to ſee how handy ſome did catch it, though knocked off the Bat by a ſtrong Man with all his Force; albeit now and then they milling it, and ſtruck by it on the I lead, or in the Mouth, and how any one can learn to play Cricket without loſing his front Teeth is a Wonder. The Spectators fitting on Benches in a Circle, at a Diſtance, and out of the Way of the Ball, which was wife; but ſome on a raiſed Stand, and others aſide at Tables, under a Row of Trees near a Tavern within the Grounds, with Pipes and Beer; and many in the Circle alſo Smoking and Drinking, and the Drawers continually going the Round of them to ſerve them Liquor and Tobacco. But all as quiet as a Quaker's Meeting, except when a good Hit made, or a Player bowled out, and ſtrange to ſee how grave and ſolemn they looked, as if the Sight of Men in white Clothes, knocking a Ball about, were Something ſerious to think on. Did hear that many had Wagers on the Game, but doubt it, for methinks there had been more Livelineſs if much Betting, and Chance of winning or loſing Money. The Company very numerous, and among them ſome in Carriages, and was glad to ſee ſo many People diverted, although at what I could not tell. But they enjoyed themſelves in their Way, whatever that was, and I in mine, thinking how droll they looked, ſo earneſtly attending to a mere Show of Dexterity. I, for my Part, ſoon out of Patience with the Length of the Innings, and the Stopping and Interruption after each Run, and ſo away, more tired, I am ſure, than any of the Cricketers. Yet I do take Pride, as an Engliſhman, in our Country Sport of Cricket, albeit I do not care to watch it playing; and certainly it is a manly Game, throwing open the Cheſt, and ſtrengthening the Limbs, and the Player ſo often in Danger of being hit by the Ball.