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assembly-rooms with a fine band. The large
area of the building was thronged as a
promenade, made somewhat select by the price
of admission. There were boxes opening to
the garden for those who desired more strictly
select society. To Ranelagh, visitors repaired
to see the world of London, and dignified
clergymen who did not venture into other
public assemblies, saw nothing objectionable
in its rotunda. Vauxhall, from the time of
Queen Anne to an advanced period of the
reign of George the Third, was a fashionable
sink of infamy. The lessee, in seventeen
hundred and sixty-four, made an attempt to
check the wickedness that made it scandalous
if not unsafe for any decent woman to enter
the garden. He closed the secluded walks
and lit up the recesses; but the young gen-
tlemen of fashion, resenting this invasion of
their privileges, tore down the barriers and
put out the new lights. At Almack's people
of quality assembled for high play. In Soho
Square, Mrs.Cornelys kept a house of an
exclusive character, but of questionable
reputation. Masquerades and operasapproached
through guinea ticketswere the ostensible
amusements, assignations the real business
of the establishment. Worst of all was an
assembly called the Coterie, a mixed club of
the most fashionable ladies and gentlemen:
the ladies balloting for the gentlemen, and
the gentlemen for the ladies.

Mr. Massey tells us that " unless we are to
discredit the concurrent testimony of the
pulpit, the press, the stage, the records of
courts of justice, private letters and tradition
vwhich has hardly ceased to be recentit is
manifest that the depravity of manners in
this country from the accession of the House
of Hanover to the end, at least, of the first
ten years of George the Third, was not
excelled in the decline of the Roman empire
or in the decay of the old French monarchy."

Marriages of convenience were then the
rule. Parents concluded them between each
other as business contracts, and upon women
this practice was most oppressive. The power
of a father in the disposal of his daughter
was as a general rule, absolute. Young people
sought escape from under this oppression by
clandestine matches, and these were multiplied
by the uncertain state of the marriage law.
We pass over the frightful abuses to which
way was made by a custom that declared
every marriage valid that was performed any
where between persons of any age and under
any circumstances, if it was solemnised by an
ordained minister of the Protestant and
Roman Church with the consent of the
contracting parties. This rule begot Fleet
parsons, and gave, it was said, the revenue of a
bishopric to Keith's chapel in May Fair.
Three thousand couples were married in one
year at that chapel. Its advertisements
appeared in the newspaper almost daily, and,
through the year seventeen hundred and fifty,
this atrocious puff was prefixed to them in
the Public Advertiser: " We are informed
that Mrs. Keith's corpse was removed from
her husband's house, in May Fair, the middle
of October last, to an apothecary's in South
Audley Street, where she lies in a room hung
with mourning, and is to continue there until
Mr. Keith can attend her funeral."

London streets, in the early days of George
the Third, were infested with bold thieves,
who did not scruple to stop carriages after
dark in the public thoroughfares. Drunken
men were constantly to be met; no
well-dressed person could walk far without
receiving insult or injury; a walk of a mile out
of town could not be taken, even in the
day-time, without some risk of being waylaid.
In the streets the narrow footway was, until
seventeen hundred and sixty-one, separated
from the carriage-road only by a line of
unconnected stakes or posts, set at wide
intervals, and it was frequently blocked up with
chairs, wheelbarrows, or obstructions placed
there for the direct purpose of annoyance.
Carmen and hackney coachmen considered it
good sport to splash clean people from head
to foot. If a terrified woman or bewildered
stranger slipped into the kennel, there were
shouts of triumph and delight. In the
roadway the confusion was yet greater. There
being no regulations for the traffic, dead
locks and stoppages arose. Loud altercations
were then swollen by the chorus about
carriages of cripples and beggars, and if there
were ladies in a family-coach some street
vocalist was likely to begin a filthy song, of
which the refrain would be taken up by
humorous bystanders. Mobs were common;
foreigners were habitually insulted;
sometimes a pickpocket was hauled to the pump;
sometimes a man came by, shrieking under
the lash at the cart tail.

Such is the account given by Mr. Massey
on his faith as a historian, of the condition,
from which we have surely worked some
little way upward since the first years of
the reign of George the Third, and in the
lifetime of his immediate pi'edecessors. For
every statement in it there is plenty of
authority. It is not a complete picture of
those times, but it is a picture of that part
of them which now is dead, and we have
copied it for the pleasurable contemplation
of any one who is at all zealous for a revival
of old habits.



THE other day we described the career of
Rajah Brooke. Setting out from the form of
opinion into which many other minds than
our own had been cast, by a course of hostile
agitation that has year after year brought
accusation after accusation against that
gentleman, we had traced for ourselves,
through narratives and documents, every

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