International Weekly Miscellany - Volume 1, No. 9, August 26, 1850 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 140 pages of information about International Weekly Miscellany.
they acquired he retained for a longer period than any one of his contemporaries; from his first appearance in the fashionable world in the year 1746, to the year he left it forever, in 1810, at the age of eighty-five, he was always an object of comparative notoriety.  There was no interregnum in the public course of his existence.  His first distinction he achieved on the turf; his knowledge of which, both in theory and practice, equaled that of the most accomplished adepts of Newmarket.  In all his principal matches he rode himself, and in that branch of equitation rivaled the most professional jockeys.  Properly accoutered in his velvet cap, red silken jacket, buckskin breeches, and long spurs, his Lordship bore away the prize on many a well-contested field.  His famous match with the Duke of Hamilton was long remembered in sporting annals.  Both noblemen rode their own horses, and each was supported by numerous partisans.  The contest took place on the race-ground at Newmarket, and attracted all the fashionables of the period.  Lord March, thin, agile, and admirably qualified for exertion, was the victor.  Still more celebrated was his Lordship’s wager with the famous Count O’Taafe.  During a conversation at a convivial meeting on the subject of ‘running against time,’ it was suggested by Lord March, that it was possible for a carriage to be drawn with a degree of celerity previously unexampled, and believed to be impossible.  Being desired to name his maximum, he undertook, provided choice of ground were given him and a certain period for training, to draw a carriage with four wheels not less than nineteen miles within the space of sixty minutes.  The accomplishment of such rapidity staggered the belief of his hearers; and a heavy wager was the consequence.  Success mainly depending on the lightness of the carriage, Wright of Long Acre, the most ingenious coach-builder of the day, devoted the whole resources of his skill to its construction, and produced a vehicle formed partly of wood and partly of whale-bone, with silk harness, that came up to the wishes of his employer.  Four blood horses of approved speed were then selected, and the course at Newmarket chosen as the ground of contest.  On the day appointed, 29th of August, 1750, noble and ignoble gamesters journeyed from far and near to witness the wonderful experiment; excitement reached the highest point, and bets to an enormous amount were made.  At length the jockeys mounted; the carriage was put in motion, and rushing on with a velocity marvelous in those times of coach traveling, but easily conceived by us railway travelers of the nineteenth century, gained within the stipulated hour the goal of victory.”

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THE DECAY OF GREAT FAMILIES.

Not the least valuable parts of Burke’s just published “Anecdotes of the Aristocracy,” are a species of essay on the fortunes of families.  The following is from a chapter on their decadence: 

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International Weekly Miscellany - Volume 1, No. 9, August 26, 1850 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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