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are in no very good humour when we observe the verdant-coated verderers of the Office of Woods and Forests, cutting away with ratans at poor little nursery girls and their helpless charges, who crowd round the gate of the inclosure; and all, forsooth, lest harm should arrive to the rum Duck Society's outlandish poultry! We tell the rum Duck Society, in plain terms, that the exclusion of one individual from a breath of the fresh air, or from an hour's repose on the green turf, is a greater public loss than if the necks were twisted off their whole exotic rookery! What business have a parcel of noblemen and gentlemen to convert a public place of recreation like this into an aquatic zoological garden, if, by so doing, the laws respecting admission become more stringent, and the public, or part and parcel thereof, are excluded? Why do not they, with their ducks and ducklings, geese and goslings, betake themselves to the society of their brother naturals in the Regent's Park?
We are sorry to observe, too, that there is much insolence displayed by the green men who keep the gates, towards decent poor people, who may be desirous of taking a mouthful of fresh air within the inclosure.
Do these fellows recollect that themselves and their masters, the grounds they are appointed to protect, and the green coats they wear, are bought, fed, maintained, and paid for by the taxation, direct and indirect, contributed from the sweat of the brow of that very poor fellow, among others, this moment repulsed from the gate for no reason on earth that I can discover, save that, like myself, circumstances incline him to a preference of a four-and-ninepenny hat, or because, like myself, he may be disinclined to wear goat-skin on his fingers.
We venture to hint to the Commissioners of Woods and Forests, what it is altogether unlikely persons of their class would ever discover by their own natural capacity, that although a man may walk under a four-and-ninepenny hat, he is not therefore necessarily a highwayman; or that, although he may not have goat-skin on his fingers, does it follow that he intends to insinuate his digits into the pockets of every body he may happen to meet? We should be sorry to see St James's
Park appropriated to the exclusive use of the gentility-mongers.
The gentility-mongers are already in possession of Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park; surely these are sufficient for the pedestrian and equitative
"The twice two thousand for whom earth was made."
And surely St James's Park may be opened to every body, however humble, whose dress and deportment do not outrage public decency. We hope the Commissioners of Woods and Forests will have pity upon decent poor people, and that there may be no official prejudice against them because they are industrious, and the producers of our national wealth and tax-created splendour. It does our heart good, on the first Sunday in spring, to see the decent artisan, his respectable industrious wife, and two or three homely toddling little children, issue from the dusky alley in which they have toiled the tedious winter through, to inhale a mouthful of the Almighty's untaxed air, and to refresh their brick-confounded eyes with a bit of nature's unadulterated green. A Chancellor of the Exchequer, to be sure, would rather see the whole family in a gin-shop, for the sake of the revenue, and because the budget would be all the better for it; but, the Lord be praised, we are not a Chancellor of the Exchequer !
Another turn up the Mall, and at the angle formed by the southern and western sides of the enclosure of the Duke of Sutherland-a piece of ground large enough to spread her apron on, as Sarah, Dutchess of Marlborough, said of it-we find an entrance into the enclosure of
us. This little park has its own peculiar beauties—lies well open to the south, and possesses, in a very limited space, an agreeable undulation of surface; from hence, we see the "Toadin-the-Hole" to least disadvantage, and have a fine view of the low-lying St James's Park; behind which rise, in lofty majesty, the twin-towers of Westminster Abbey, giving dignity and elevation to the view. Over the Queen's Garden, of which we are permitted barely a glimpse, the Surrey hills are dimly visible above the conglomerated accumulation of habitations that make up the bulk of Pim. lico.
"On the north-west side of the Queen's palace," says Lambert, "is the Green Park, which extends from St James's Palace to Piccadilly; from the latter of which it is separated in some places by a wall, and by an iron railing in others. The ranger's lodge, at the top of the hill, fronting towards Piccadilly, with its grounds and private gardens, forms a very picturesque object, and is seen to advantage from the ride on the scuth side of the Park towards Constitution Hill. This Park contributes greatly towards the pleasantness of the surrounding houses that are situated so as to command a view of it."
On a sunny summer's afternoon, the view from this spot is one of great animation-the royal standard floats lazily over the marble arch of Buckingham Palace, in front of which hundreds upon hundreds of well-dressed persons of both sexes are congregated, in patient expectation of her Majesty's return from her usual ride. Myriads are every where reclining on the green sward, while the privileged classes, having the entré of St James's Park, are careering in their carriages and on horseback towards the grand point of social attraction-the magic circle of fashion in Hyde Park.
The magnificent approach to London by Hyde Park Corner, is seen from this place to the greatest advantage the triumphal arch on this side -the noble entrance to Hyde Park on that, with the colossal statue of Achilles seen through one of the arches-the long line of noble mansions in Piccadilly, terminated towards the Park by Apsley House. Crossing the road as soon as the almost unin
terrupted succession of carriages entering the Park will permit us, we make our appearance on a Sunday afternoon in July - the height of the fashionable season-in
"Hyde Park," says Lambert, "is a royal demesne, at the west extremity of the metropolis, extending between the great western road on the south side, and the road to Oxford on
the north to Kensington. It is part of the ancient manor of Hida, which belonged to the monastery of St Peter at Westminster, till, in the reign of King Henry VIII., it became the property of the crown. It was originally much larger than it is at present, having been reduced since the survey in 1662, when it contained 620 acres, by enclosing Kensington Gardens, and by grants of land between Hyde Park Corner and Park Lane, for building on. According to a survey taken in 1790, the present extent is three hundred and ninety-four acres, two roods, and thirty-eight perches.
"The scenery of this Park is very pleasing, and its natural beauties will be greatly heightened when the plantations made in it lately have reached maturity. The Serpentine River at the west end is a fine sheet of water, formed by Queen Caroline in the year 1730, by enclosing the head of the stream, which, taking its rise to the north-west of Bayswater, on the Uxbridge Road, passes through Kensington Gardens and this Park, and falls into the Thames near Ranelagh.
"On the north side of the Serpentine River, is a cluster of houses for the keepers and deputy-rangers of the Park, which, by being built on the edge of a grove of tall oaks, forms a pleasing and picturesque object in the landscape. The one nearest the river is built of timber and plaster, and is of considerable antiquity. It was
known by the name of the Cake House in the beginning of the last century, and probably much earlier. In the garden belonging to this house is the building erected by the Home Secretary, as a receiving-house for such as are unfortunately drowned in the neighbouring river.
"At the north-west corner of this park is a very beautiful enclosed eminence, called Buckden Hill, which,
being only separated from Kensington Gardens by a ha-ha-seems to be only a part of it. On the declivity of this hill is a grove, in which are two chalybeate springs. There is a footpath across this road to Kensington Gardens.
"On the south side of the Park are very handsome barracks for the Royal Horse Guards. And on this side are two carriage roads to Kensington, one of which is better known by the name of Rotten Row.
"These have become the resort of the fashionable world instead of the ring, and are much resorted to on Sundays.
"The open part of the Park was much resorted to till lately for the field-days and reviews of the horse and foot guards, as also for those of the volunteers, by which the sward of it was so much injured that it had become a dry sandy plain, with scarcely a vestige of verdure. At present, however, these exercises are forbidden, and the surface of the Park is sown with grass seeds, and covered with the mud taken from the bed of the Serpentine river, which will restore it to its pristine beauty."
This is truly a noble place-more extensive than the Green Park and the park of St James's put together. It unites the gentle and varied diversity of surface of the one, with the umbrageous shade of the other. The trees, too, have dignity in their decay, and the tout ensemble is that of a park of some noble house in the olden time-a thing not to be manufactured in a hurry. What a mob of people in carriages and on horseback; and what an admiring congregation of envious pedestrians, who console themselves for the want of an equipage in finding fault with the equipages of others, and flattering themselves when they do have a turn-out, they will do the trick in a superior style! Dreadful thing that gentlemen and ladies with so much taste should be so much in want of money, and find their chief consolation in observing how very badly monied people lay their money out!
That fine-looking man on the black horse-him, I mean, in the coat of indescribable green-I say indescribable, for it is neither bottle-green, pea-green, apple-green, olive-green, grass-green, nor invisible-green-who sits his horse sympathetically, as if he
were part and parcel of the animalis Count D'Orsay. Close at his heels you may observe youth in a Chesterfield hat, with a gold chain wound twice round his neck, dipping into his waistcoat pocket, and coming out again. He joggles on his animal, and has an anxious expression of countenance, as if he were about to undergo some dreadful surgical operation, but which doubtless is derived from an apprehension that the waistband of his Sunday breeches is going to crack
that is Fitz- Wiggins, son to old Wiggins the retired cow-keeper of Canonbury Row, Islington. I know the fellow well. He is a gentility-monger; spends all his time and all his money in smelling after fashionable people; but, with all his exertions, the highest approach he ever made to genteel society was getting into the Garrick Club. He has a good horse, you see, and seems as much at home upon it as if he were mounted on one of his paternal cows. Alas, poor Wiggins!
There goes Count D'Orsay again. The more I look at him, the more I am surprised at the despotic authority that accomplished gentleman has long exercised in matters of dress. He is faultless, to be sure; I cannot say he is overdressed, and it is equally clear that he is not under-dressed. Still there is something about him that does not fulfil my preconceived idea of the rig-out of a perfect gentleman. coat-collar is too much detached, which gives to the upper part of his figure an air of singularity-of a pretension to unapproachable perfection-which, of all things, your English gentleman studies to avoid. The pantaloon, too, embracing the hoby round the sole, and hardly exhibiting the toe, however well calculated to throw out the symmetrical leg in bold relief, gives to the foot something of a slippered air. But it is in the accompaniments of his habit that the Count D'Orsay mainly excels. No man living has such exquisite taste in the details. What expression in that hat! What tone, harmony, and keeping in that vest! What grace and elegance in the drapery of that stock! The Count is acknowledged to be, I had almost said, superhuman in stocks! Pray observe, if you please, sir, the style of the Count's spur. That spur, let me tell you, was designed by the Count himself. It was the admiration of every
body, and the maker calculated on gaining a fortune by it. But would you believe it, as soon as one pair had been cast for the heels of the Count himself, he ordered the moulds, patterns, and drawings to be brought home to him; had them broken up before his face, and with his own hands committed the fragments to the flames!
You observe that unimpeachable pony-phæton, drawn by two creamcoloured ponies-what simplicitywhat taste-such inexpensive elegance, you might say! Notwithstanding which, that phaeton has not been turned out of Long Acre under two hundred and fifty guineas, and the ponies one hundred and fifty the pair-not a speck you may perceive of silver or brass on the harness -not an atom of gold-lace on the subdued and sober livery of the tiger -the equipage is not, you see, perched on wheels or hung on a perch-it reclines, as it were taking its ease, and floats lightly and easily in perfect equilibrium. The turn-out is, without doubt, the most elegant in the ring-it attracts admiration by a studious endeavour to decline it, and belongs, I think, to the Earl of Harrington. To contrast with it, pray note that continental cab, driven by the man in a huge moustache-an attaché to the French embassy-did you ever -Long Acre would blush for such a concern: you see the body of the machine is painted an odious chocolate colour, picked out with broad stripes of white, that give it the appearance of being bound round the edges with penny tape, a blazing armorial bearing on every side, such as you see on shabby hackney coaches. - it is evidently ashamed of itself, too, for you observe it is making a desperate effort to dive down head foremost between the shafts, to counteract which centripetal tendency is, without doubt, the proprietor's reason for mounting a tiger behind, who, in loutishness and size, looks more like an unfledged elephant-regard the harness, too, all brass and no leather. Who is that fellow in military uniform, joggling behind the cab on a waggoner's black horse, with a couteau de chasse, and a cock's feather in his cocked hat- a field-marshal, doubtless, of the grand army-no such thing, my dear sir, simply a footman in disguise. Mercy on us, assuredly our heads will be all
cut off! Ridiculous as that turn-out appears in our country, and in our eyes, I can assure you that, on the Prado of Madrid, the Corso of Rome, or at the Parisian fête of Long Champs, this attaché and his descending cab would be considered machines of the very first fashion.
You see that slashing yellow chariot, with the pair of dark bays-close in the rear of it you may observe a coach of a deep claret-colour-a fine pair of bright bays under it, and the coachman and footmen in pepper and salt, with plain cockades that is one of the royal carriages, and exactly the thing that a royal carriage ought to be-no cock's feathers, no lubberly footmen, no blazing armorial bearings -no gold, in short, upon our gingerbread. Close at the heels of the royal equipage may be seen three in a gig
such a gig, and such a three !-FitzWiggins and the Frenchman are both thrown into the shade. Hilloa! who would have thought of seeing young Capillaire, the fashionable wig-trimmer's son of Bond Street-there he goes, however, at railway pace, on his half-guinea hack, making the best use he can of his ten-and-sixpence worth of equestrian exercitation. Now they are all at a dead lock-the triple line of wealth, fashion, and pretension has come to a regular stand-still-we will have time enough to walk half round the circle before they are able to get on again.
The stroll along the beach of that Cockney ocean the Serpentine, is delightful the carriage-way is carefully watered, and the heat of the summer's day tempered by a refreshing breeze from the river. There is, on the one side and the other, as George Robins would say, a never-ending panorama of moving scenery. Now are we opposite the receiving house of the Royal Humane Society, and pause a moment to admire the aptitude of the device carved in marble over the door-a cherub endeavouring to relight, with his breath, an extinguished lamp, with the touching and beautiful motto,
"Forsitan scintillula latet."
Let us turn up this little path, and make our way to the Chalybeate Springs, I should rather say to the site of the Chalybeate Springs
for they are long since dried up, and, like benefits conferred, are forgotten. Here they were in this
little glen, once the most beautiful and retired spot within the circumference of the Park, and would be so still, if some military Goths-the Board of Ordnance, I suspect-had not desecrated it by the erection of a very ugly barrack-all barracks are ugly, but this particular barrack, being located in a sweet pretty place, is superlatively ugly-we wonder the Board of Ordnance has not a little more taste! A little further on, and we come to a couple of leafless old treesnature's own ruins-ivy-mantled, and carefully defended from the rude assaults of idle men and boys by an iron paling-two venerable old cripples are they-what names they are known by I am sure I know not-but this I know, that I never look upon them without humming the old Scottish, old-warld, old folks' tune of "John Anderson my jo."
Now, the classic bridge over the Serpentine-a very neat fresh-water bridge as you would wish to see in a summer-day-attracts our architectural optics, and beneath its arches we catch on our picturesque retina small patches of the verdant green of Kensington Gardens, whither we are tending. We are assuredly in the country now? -no such thing; for just at our nose is a powder magazine, of an exploded order of architecture, that transports us back again to the piazza of Covent Garden. Heaven sends fields and groves, hills and dales, wood and water, and ever in the midst of these, the devil sends one of his chosen architects; or, what is ten times worse, the Board of Ordnance sends one of theirs, to dissolve the charm, and to load the lovely earth with uglinesses not her own!
We are on the bridge of the Serpentine-over the keystone of the centre arch; and without affectation-that is, without Cockney affectation-there are few points of view in the immediate vicinity of great cities more attractive than this. To the east lies the whole length of the Serpentine, and to the west extends the sweep of the same river as it bends towards Bayswater, where it enters the Park, with the gently swelling banks rising on either side. The view from the high grounds near Cumberland gate is also very fine, and the Queen's ride affords many pleasing prospects to the right and left. From the termination of this
noble avenue we enter, by a foot gate,
Which consisted originally, as we are told by Pennant, of only twenty-six acres. Queen Anne added thirty acres, which were laid out by her gardener, Mr Wise; but the principal additions were made by the late Queen, who took in near three hundred acres out of Hyde Park, which were laid out by Bridgeman. They are now three and a half miles in circumference. The broad walk, which extends from the palace along the south side of the gardens, is in the spring a very fashionable promenade, especially on Sunday mornings. Kensington Gardens have been the subject of several poems, one especially by Tickell, of which we would here insert some extracts did space permit. The present extent of these gardens is somewhere about three hundred and thirty-six acres, with eight acres of water, occupying a circular pond to the west of the palace-an ugly edifice, as all our metropolitan palatial edifices are-but unpretending enough; nor, unlike its precious colleague in St James's Park, does it superadd impudence to vulgarity. At this season of the year Kensington Gardens look remarkably well; they have an air more park-like, more secluded, than any of the other public walks of the metropolis, and afford a more unbroken shelter from the noonday heat. Here a is solitude, a seclusion, as complete as can be wished for in the immediate vicinity of a great city; the noise, confusion, and racket of the mighty Babylon close by, is lost in the distance, save when the booming bell of St Paul's is heard to thunder forth the fleeting hour. trees here are more numerous, more lofty, and cast a greater breadth of shade than in the Parks; but then, regarded individually, they are comparatively insignificant. The grounds are skilfully laid out, partly in the Dutch, partly in the English taste, which combination of the artificial formal, with the more natural irregular style, when cleverly executed, forms the perfection of landscape-gardening. This union of grandeur and breadth of effect with a certain degree of natural arrangement has been very well hit off in these gardens-the long, unbroken, regular avenues of green sward, with the dense columnar