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attitude is, as you know, imperative with the attendants of a "drag." In despair, at last, my friend had to import a brace of "horsey" automata from England.
In three such great centres of wealth and civilization as New York, Boston, and Philadelphia, it would be hard indeed if some germ of the "horsey" element did not manage to hold its ground; and in New York especially there is a certain kind of sporting "life," a certain sprinkling of "turfishness," among the young dandies of the clubs, and a certain proportion of professional "sporting men." There are "Welchers" also; but these gentlemen are not exclusively "horsey," and are as willing to display their talents in connection with the exciting games of Faro and Old Sledgo as in matters directly referring to the turf. There are horse races, and very good races too, periodically run in the neighbourhood of New York-races of which such members of the élite as Mr. Jerome, Mr. Belmont, and Mr. Dexter Bradford have been munificent patrons; and now and again a steeplechase, with "gentlemen" riders, has, I believe, been tried. The nearest approach to "sporting life," as we understand it, is to be found in the trotting matches, for which the State of New York has, above all others, attained very extended celebrity. There are two or three race-courses, or "tracks," as they are termed, especially laid out for trotting matches, which are often made for very high stakes. Many private gentlemen also keep trotting waggons, drawn by one or two horses of high spirit and marvellous fleetness. When I went to the States, I think I took with me about three hundred letters of introduction the delivery of which means in America that the recipient immediately sets about slaying you with hospitality-and I shall always ascribe my escape from death by indigestion after a dinner at Delmonico's at Christmas, 1863, to being nearly driven out of my mind next morning by another kind-hearted friend in a trotting waggon. He drove me from Eighth Street to Harlem Bridge (as it seemed) before I could say the multiplication table (which, by the way, I never could say). His rapidly-whirring wheels so made the pebbles fly, that I felt as though I was being peppered with small shot. There was just room enough on the seats to hold our two selves. There were no rails to hold on by, and the impression produced on me was, that I was skimming through space on a chess-board. "In this connection" I shall never forget the observation of jovial old Commodore of Cunard Service fame, who had likewise experienced the amenities of the trotting waggon-" The confounded craft's got no bulwarks!" remarked the Commodore.
The pencil of Mr. Nast will express to you, much better than will my goose-quill, the external aspect of the trotting wagon. Behold it! (See page Plate.)
You will perceive-or, rather, you would perceive, if the artist's frenzied charioteer would only pull up for a moment or two, and allow him to examine the build of his vehicle-that the waggon is very slightly made. Its slightness, however, is more apparent than real, for it is most carefully and scientifically put together, and is amazingly strong. The wheels bear a not remote resemblance to two pairs of cobwebs, and the whole turn-out has an Arachnean or spider-like mien. The pace is tremendous, the time varying from two minutes nineteen seconds to two minutes forty seconds per mile. In Canada, where trotting is also a very favourite amusement, and whence came the famous trotting mare Flora Temple, a very "fast" young lady is generally spoken of as "two forty on a plank road." Plank roads are seldom used for trotting in the States.
On all the roads leading to the northern extremity of the Island of
Manhattan there are situated, at brief intervals, wayside tavernsusually buildings of one storey, with verandahs running all round. At these taverns the trotting wagoners halt to "liquor up." The
horses are baited by boys in waiting, and the drivers enter the bar, to refresh with "cobblers" in summer, "egg-noggs" in winter, and "Bourbon" in all weathers. The verandahs are generally filled with citizens of trotting sympathies, who lounge and loafe at their ease, puff their cigars, and criticize the turns-out, and the style and science of the driver. You will perceive, in the preceding illustration, that at least two of these censors of the verandah have their legs elevated at an angle of forty-five degrees, and their feet resting on the ledge of the verandah-railings. Mind: the artist, not the writer, is responsible for this. I never saw any American citizen put his feet up on any chair, railing, mantelpiece, or balustrade whatsoever; I never saw anybody chew or spit; I don't believe that anybody ever "whittles" in the States: so you will be good enough not to hold me responsible for the pictorial calumny figured above.
I have seen the sight, however, to which our next vignette refers, and a very pretty and exhilarating spectacle it is. Here is the "Road" in full force; the upper end of the Bloomingdale Road (Eighth
Avenue) with the "High Bridge," the very prosaic synonym for the Croton Aqueduct. By the way, when they use the classical appellation, the New Yorkers always persist in saying the "Croton Water Aqueduct." The Spaniards are guilty of a like pleonasm when they
speak of the "Bridge of Alcantara," "al cantara" simply meaning in Arabic "the bridge."
From trotting the transition is easy to sleighing; and, as regards the last named amusement the cosmopolitan critic is puzzled whether to award the palm to the citizens of the great Republic, to the Canadians, or to the Russians. My first acquaintance with sleighing in America was at Montreal, in Lower Canada; my obliging conductor was an officer of her Majesty's Grenadier Guards, and a splendid spin did we have round the Royal Mountain, from which the beautiful and hospitable city on the St. Lawrence derives its name. It was a biting cold day, however-bright as a Toledo blade, but quite as sharp; and being new to trans-Atlantic winters I ventured forth attired only in such clothing as we should wear in severe weather in Europe. I nearly lost my ears and nose, and the tips of my fingers and toes, from frost bite. The next time I was more wary, and so swaddled myself in furs, buffalo robes, sealskin cap and gloves, and boots lined with lambswool, that by the time we had got round the mountain I felt as though I were in the middle passage of a Turkish bath.
Returning to the States I had soon after an opportunity of enjoying a sleigh ride in the Central Park, of which our page Plate gives a very lively notion. It was on a Sunday, in mid January, and we were enduring the coldest of "cold snaps." I had been to church in the morning to hear Dr. Chapin, the famous universalist preacher-one of the most unaffectedly eloquent and moving divines I ever listened to: but I daresay I am no judge of sermons; and after service I found a handsome double-bodied sleigh, drawn by two spirited and splendidly caparisoned horses, waiting for me. My host, if the gentleman who drives you out in his sleigh can be termed a host-was a very old American friend whom I had known in Europe. I had occupied a seat in his pew at Dr. Chapin's that morning. Well, we had plenty of furs and tigers' skins, and away we went. We had another com
panion too, whose name escaped me when I was introduced to him; but as we were gliding through the beautiful avenues of the Central Park we happened to fall into talk about Jenny Lind's visit to the States, and I tried to recollect the name of an enthusiastic New Yorker who at the sale by auction of tickets for Jenny's first concert at Castle Garden bought the first stall for, I think, two hundred dollars. "Wasn't he a hatter?" I asked. I fortunately omitted the usual remark that hatters are mad, for my host, pointing to the gentleman opposite, replied, "Yes; it was Genin the hatter. That is Genin
the hatter." So I may say, vidi tantum. Would you like to know who my host was? None cther than Phineas T. Barnum, proprietor of the world-famous "Museum," author of the "Philosophy of Humbug," and entrepreneur of Washington's Nurse, the Woolly Horse, the Angel Fish of the Gulf of Mexico, General Tom Thumb, Commodore Nutt, Minnie Warren, the Mermaid, the Fat Houri of Circassia, the Nova Scotian Giantess, and the Albino Family. A proud Sunday, indeed, to have met two such celebrities in one sleigh! I was dreadfully "chaffed" afterwards by my friends for having gone to church with Barnum (I own that we held the same hymn-book), and indeed I found that Phineas T. was rather looked down upon in New York by polite society. Americans have an idea that by his frank exposition of humbug he has somewhat tended to lower the American character abroad. I believe Barnum to be, in the main, "not half a bad fellow;" I know (although he was a staunch Northerner, and hated a Copperhead worse than a bad ten-dollar bill) that he was very kind and civil to me; and I am sure he deserves commendation for the wonderful pluck and perseverance with which he has surmounted his difficulties. There is another form of sleighing, certainly exciting to the mind and body of youth, but slightly inelegant. It is styled, "Belly
Guttering," "Stomach sliding" would be, perhaps, more genteel,