+ ~ -
 
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
 
Report an Error
Go!
 
Go!
 
TOC
 

surface with which he replaced the jolting
pavement, and the miles of mud, which, a hundred
years ago, buried Arthur Young's gig on a highway
up to its axles, struck a fatal blow at the
state coach with six horses, and its guard of
active running footmen. The railroad followed,
nipped the stage-coach just as it reached
perfection, destroyed the professors of four-in-hand,
and finally reduced to the value of old wood and
iron those luxurious posting chariots, without
which, before the days of the iron horse, no
country gentleman's coach-house was complete.

Although still quite a young man, as compared
witli premiers and lord chancellors, my earliest
recollectionsas an unbreeched boy, whose
greatest joy was to sit on a horse in the stall,
while a groom, the nurse's sweetheart, hissed
through his workgo back to the palmy days of
posting, and sailing-packets between Dover and
Calais. It was in those days of keen observation,
of rapid eye-and-ear education, that I accompanied
my parents on a journey by post, which extended
from the extreme north of England to the south
of France. Posting was in those days the
indispensable mode of conveyance for a sick man,
who could by any sacrifice afford the exorbitant
cost. Some scenes of this long journey are as
indelibly impressed on my memory as my first
pantomime. The formidable state with which
we were received at the inns where we stopped
for the night, by the landlord, the landlady, and
their attendant suitethe fierce battles next
morning on the question whether or not the
road required a pair of leadersbattles in which
my father, a country parson travelling on a legacy
which included his first and last carriage, was
invariably defeatedthe sensation of awe and
admiration which filled my infant mind, when,
on a high road near a great race-course, our
humble chariot and pair was drawn off the
pavement into the mud, while there passed along
the lord-lieutenant in uniform, in his state coach
drawn by six horses, and preceded by outriders,
who, as well as the postilion, bore each on his
left arm a badge magnificently embroidered, as
big as a dinner-plate, while as for the coachman
and his wig, his degenerate representative may
still be seen at Lord Mayors' shows. These
effects were not exceeded by the procession of
Bluebeard or the feats of Harlequin. Not less
acute is my remembrance of the disgust with
which, a clean little boy, I was compelled to sit
next the ragged dirty driver of the hack cabriolet
in Paris. Paris of oil lamps, and gutters in mid-
street, reeking with filth and crowded with foot
passengers, whom our grimy driver seemed to
chase with wild cries.

It was on this journey that, near an English
manufacturing town, we called with a letter of
introduction on one of the new great men of the
place, at his stucco-painted mock Italian villa,
staring at the highway. Our host, a little man
in satin knee-breeches, with a white powdered
head, ruddy cheeks, and amazing black eyebrows,
received us with boisterous hospitality, as the
bearers of a letter from his friend Dick Somebody.
After a profuse mid-day meal, in which
he did more than justice to the wine which his
invalid guest declined, he proceeded to show the
glories of his establishment. A fish-pond alive
with gold and silver fish, the first I had ever
seen; painted wooden temples dedicated to divers
divinities; fountains which spouted from leaden
statues on turning a tap; and other cheap classical
arrangements in favour at that pre-architectural
period; finally we were conducted to the stables
and coach-house, where six horses and two
carriages were not the least part of the state of the
fortunate owner. Then nothing less would serve
the excited little man than that the servants
should put on their liveries, harness four of the
horses to a bright yellow chariot, resplendent with
silver, and parade the whole equipage before us.
Even this was not enough; an equally brilliant
curricle was produced, and, taking the reins, he
drove bare-headed round the grounds. I do not
now remember what impression this performance
produced on my parents, but to my childish
eyes it was as magnificent as anything I had
heard of in fairy tales. It may be presumed
that there are at this day persons as anxious to
display their newly acquired wealth, as the little
man just described; but fashion has so changed,
that no one unqualified for Bedlam would think
of maintaining a reputation on a chariot and
four horses. It would rather be in plate, a
picture-gallery, a cellar of choice wine, wonderful
pheasant covers, or some lavish gift to a literary
institution, or church.

The curricle with its silver bar flourished
in its most expensive shape with two grooms
attendant, in the time of George the Regent.
The little boot which in later days carried the
grooms, was an economical compromise; four
horses and two servants to carry two persons
in a carriage only fit for day-work, was surely
the height of extravagance. It was necessary,
too, that the horses should be matched to the
greatest nicety in size and step, as well as
colour, and match horses are always an
additional expense.

The most celebrated curricle of the last
century was built of copper, in the shape of a
sea-shell, and was driven by that caricature of
dandies, Romeo Coates. The last curricle about
town was Count D'Orsay's, and although the
shape of the body of the carriage was inelegant,
the effect of that kind of be-plated luxury was
very striking when the horses were perfect, and
the harness gorgeous and well varnished.

The Four-horse Coach Club was in great
force forty years ago, when the highest
professors of the art of four-in-hand were to be
found by day and night on every high road in the
kingdom. The coaches of the club of the regiments
in which the art still survives, are perhaps
as complete specimens of mere mechanic art as
ever. Among the carriages which have altogether
disappeared since the Reform Bill, is the
vis-à-vis, essentially a court carriage, requiring

Profile Information

Application afterLoad: 0.000 seconds, 0.28 MB
Application afterInitialise: 0.023 seconds, 1.00 MB
Application afterRoute: 0.029 seconds, 2.05 MB
Application afterDispatch: 0.077 seconds, 3.65 MB
Application afterRender: 0.114 seconds, 3.99 MB

Memory Usage

4219904

21 queries logged

  1. SELECT *
      FROM jos_session
      WHERE session_id = 'a08a014cb43bed35081e3230fe35a1a1'
  2. DELETE
      FROM jos_session
      WHERE ( TIME < '1634402767' )
  3. SELECT *
      FROM jos_session
      WHERE session_id = 'a08a014cb43bed35081e3230fe35a1a1'
  4. INSERT INTO `jos_session` ( `session_id`,`time`,`username`,`gid`,`guest`,`client_id` )
      VALUES ( 'a08a014cb43bed35081e3230fe35a1a1','1634404567','','0','1','0' )
  5. SELECT *
      FROM jos_components
      WHERE parent = 0
  6. SELECT folder AS TYPE, element AS name, params
      FROM jos_plugins
      WHERE published >= 1
      AND access <= 0
      ORDER BY ordering
  7. SELECT id
      FROM jos_toc_pages
      WHERE alias = 'page-12'
  8. SELECT id
      FROM jos_toc_pages
      WHERE alias = 'page-12'
  9. SELECT *
      FROM jos_toc_pages
      WHERE id = '73'
  10. UPDATE jos_toc_pages
      SET hits = ( hits + 1 )
      WHERE id='73'
  11. SELECT template
      FROM jos_templates_menu
      WHERE client_id = 0
      AND (menuid = 0 OR menuid = 113)
      ORDER BY menuid DESC
      LIMIT 0, 1
  12. SELECT *
      FROM jos_toc_pages
      WHERE alias = 'page-12'
      AND id_volume = 34
  13. SELECT *
      FROM jos_toc_volumes
      WHERE id = '34'
  14. SELECT *
      FROM jos_toc_magazines
      WHERE id = '775'
  15. SELECT id, title,alias
      FROM jos_toc_pages
      WHERE  id_volume = 34
      ORDER BY ordering ASC
  16. SELECT id, DATE, id_page
      FROM jos_toc_magazines
      WHERE  id_volume = 34
      ORDER BY ordering ASC
  17. SELECT *
      FROM jos_toc_parameter
      WHERE `group` = 'voice'
  18. SELECT *
      FROM jos_toc_parameter
      WHERE `group` = 'voice'
  19. SELECT id, title,alias
      FROM jos_toc_pages
      WHERE id_volume = 34
      AND ordering > 20
      ORDER BY ordering ASC
      LIMIT 1
  20. SELECT id, title,alias
      FROM jos_toc_pages
      WHERE id_volume = 34
      AND ordering < 20
      ORDER BY ordering DESC
      LIMIT 1
  21. SELECT id, title, module, POSITION, content, showtitle, control, params
      FROM jos_modules AS m
      LEFT JOIN jos_modules_menu AS mm
      ON mm.moduleid = m.id
      WHERE m.published = 1
      AND m.access <= 0
      AND m.client_id = 0
      AND ( mm.menuid = 113 OR mm.menuid = 0 )
      ORDER BY POSITION, ordering

Language Files Loaded

Untranslated Strings Diagnostic

None

Untranslated Strings Designer

None