Manners and customs of ye Englyshe/Ye Fashonable Worlde takynge its Exercise in Hyde Parke.

Illustrated by Richard Doyle

Manners and Customs of ye Englyshe in 1849. No. 3.

Ye Fashonable Worlde takynge its Exercyse in Hyde Parke.


Ye Fashonable Worlde takynge its Exercise in Hyde Parke.

[Tuesday, March 17th, 1849.]

THIS Day to the Ring in Hyde Park for a Walk to get me an Appetite, and look at the fine Folks and People of Faſhion riding in their Carriages, which it do much delight me to behold. But, good Lack! what a ſtrange Notion of the Pleaſure of a Drive; with the Carriages in a cloſe Line jammed all together, and ſometimes coming to a dead Stop like the Omnibuſes in Fleet Street of an Afternoon, and ſeldom moving on faſter than Mourning Coaches at a Funeral. Did ſee many mighty pretty young Ladies; and one ſitting in a Landau with a Coronet on the Panel, upon whom I did ſmile, but perceiving that ſhe did turn up her Nose at me, I did look glum; howbeit, another comely Damſel that I ſmiled at did bluſh and ſimper, which gave me Joy. It was as good as a Play to watch the young Guardſmen, with their Tufts and Muſtaches, riding ſtraight-legged, and them and the other Bucks taking off their Hats and kiſſing their Hands to the charming Belles as they paſſed them by. But it was rarer ſtill to behold a Snob that ſtrove to do the ſame Sort of Thing, and did get laughed at for his Pains. Then what Sport to obſerve the fat Coachmen, in their Wigs, ſomething like Biſhops', sitting on their Boxes, and the Footmen behind with their parti-coloured Liveries of drab and green, and red and yellow Pluſh, and gold-laced Hats, Shoulderknots and Cockades, bearing their Canes, and their Noſes to the Sky, holding their Heads as high as Peacocks for Pride in their Frippery and plump Calves! Theſe Fellows are as fine as Court Cards, and full as Ridiculous, and they do divert me in the Extreme : only their bepowdered Pates do offend me, for I think the Faſhion an uncleanly one; and after all, I wonder how their Maſters and Miſtreſſes can delight in dreſſing them out ſo much like Mountebanks. Did note divers Noble Lords and Gentlemen of the Houſe of Commons whom I did know either by Sight or from the Caricatures in the Shop-Windows. From four to five o'Clock around the Ring and up and down by the Serpentine to make my Obſervations. Methought how jolly these fine People muſt be, and how happy they looked compared to a Beggar Boy whom I did ſpy ſquatting on the Graſs: yet no Doubt many of them have Troubles enough, and ſome may be even ſhort of Caſh to pay for their Vanities. After that, to the Corner, by the Powder Magazine, nigh to Kenfington Gardens, to ſee the Company alight from their Carriages, and take an Inventory of the Ladies' Dreſſes, whereof to furniſh an Account to my Wife. Then away Home at half-paſt Five, and ſo to Dinner off a Shoulder of Mutton and Onion-Sauce, which my Wife doth make exceeding Well, and my Dinner did content me much; and thereupon I did promiſe my Wife a new Bonnet, the Like whereof I had ſeen on a Counteſs in the Park, and ſo both in great Good Humour, and very loving all the Evening.