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THE COURT. -..--





SPORTS AND PASTIMES. —,— « REMARKABLE "WHIST BET.—A record of the fol- lowing bowl fide bet at whist, made in the middle of the last century by two well-known gentlemen of "quality," is preserved in a curious manuscript book of bets belonging to a very old-established London club: — "Mr. Fanshawe and Captain Rodney agree, whenever they cut in at whist and are not together, whichever offers to bet fifty guineas, the other refusing is to forfeit one hundred guineas. December 12,1758." One is tempted to ask, says a contemporary, what can be the object of such a bet ? If two gentlemen wish to bet when opposed to each other, a verbal agreement ought to be sufficient. The fixing of a penalty in case either should fail to keep his word looks very much as though these two gentlemen each suspected the other of backing out when saddled with a bad partner, or when pursued by bad luck. That such a bet could be proposed without its being regarded as an insult, shows a singular contrast of feeling to that which prevails among mon of honour at the present day. A NOVEL EEL BAIT.—"Perhaps," says a corre- spondent in the Field, "you will be able to find room for a little anecdote told me by a Scotch gentleman. I am no fisherwoman (though, considering the bright example set us in the Highlands this year by her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales, and other noble ladies, I think angling will become speedily fashionable), therefore you must kindly overlook any defective or unpiscatorial expressions I may use— attribute them, I pray, to my ignorance, coupled with a defective memory, for could I relate you the tale in my friend's graphic words I know it would tell well. He was fishing in Scotland—salmon fishing, and having succeeded in hooking a very fine fish, was not disposed to lose him by over haste in landing him, his line being rather weak so he allowed the fish to run, I think he called it, and he ran also, with the rod in his hand, along the banks of the river, with eyes fixed upon the line and the playing fish; he never looked at his feet. A little stream or freshet ran into the river, right across his path; in he stumbled, lost his footing, and fell over into the river, but never left hold of his rod; like a good coachman, he kept possession of the reins. His hat fell off. and, leaving it to its fate, he swam out, and finally landed the fish. He went back to seek his hat, met it floating down, and taking up a couple of stones flung them at it to try and bring it nearer shore. One of them fell in the hat (he is no shot), and sank it. Well," thought he, one ducking a day is enough, the dinner-hour is drawing near, my uncle's temper never improves by waiting, so hatless I will go," and go he did, salmon on shoulder, for several miles. A week afterwards, passing by the spot where his hat sank, he determined to have a dive for it, for the fan of the thing. In he plunged, and brought up his best hat, half full of silver eel", and he really assured me that he believed they wore attracted into the hat by the scent of the pomade he used for his hair, which he had purchased in Bond-street." THE ARAB V. THE ENGLISH RACER.—A corres- pondent of a contemporary, writing from Alexandria, says:—"Your racing readers may be interested in hearing that the much-vexed point as to the merits of English and Arab horses has just again been tried in Cairo. Ali Pasha, who has the finest stud of Arabs in Egypt, maintained that no English horse could run against an Arab for four miles. His Highness Halim Pasha offered to run Companion, a well-known racer here, against him for any sum he liked. The match was run from the first station on the Suez desert to Cairo. The English horse, which was bred, I believe, by Lord Ribbesdale, won in a canter by more than half a mile. Such a crushing defeat has taken all the courage out of the partisans of Arab horses. What astonished the natives most was that Companion, beating his adver- sary by so great a distance, was perfectly fresh, and quite ready to turn round and run the distance over again, while the Arab was quite exhausted and blown." THE ROD-FISHING IN THE TAY.—The Tay, says the Scotsman, is at present swarming with salmon, grilse, and trout, all of which arc in fine condition, and during the past week anglers have had excellent sport on the various stations between the mouth of the Almond and Cargill. Anglers are highly pleased with the proposal of the Salmon Fisheries Commissioners 'o to extend the rod-fishing in the Tay district till the 31st of October, and are unanimously of opinion that such extension will not be in the smallest degree detri- mental to spawning operations, as the fish are gene- rally clean till the beginning of November. The district fishery board, however, is of opinion that rod-fishing should end by the 30th September. The board likewise seem determined to limit rod-fishing as much as possible. The Doncaster Meeting; Racing events and the progress of the turf season must impress upon the minds of the public the silent advances of time; a "mellow September" brings us once more to the Doncaster meeting, which involves the world-famous struggle for the St. Leger. In the North, the Sellinger Day, as it is termed, is always regarded as one great district festival-and, perhaps, at no time since the race has been established (and it is now in its 87th year) has there been greater interest felt than on the present occasion. For the great event we give the various predic- tions that proceeded from the mouths of the prophets previous to the race :■— The writer to Bell's Life, after discussing the pre- tensions of Avenger, Queen Bertha, Ranger, Golden Pledge, Lord Clifden, Borealis, Blue Mantle, National Guard, Dr. Syntax, and Erin-go-Bragh, thus wound up his analysis:—" To sum up, we must plead to a preference for Avenger, Golden Pledge, and Borealis, of the favourites; and for National Guard, Erin-go- Bragli, and Dr. Syntax, of the outsiders; and a careful analysis of public form," the money put on the horse, and the good hands he is in, justify our giving the St. Leger of 1863 to Avenger." Three poetic prophets in the same paper had each their different fancies, the first selecting the Ranger, the second Lord Clifden, and the third Queen Bertha. "Touchstone," in the Era, said: We never knew this famed race to present a more open character, and that it has that aspect is evidenced by the price offered on the field, a much longer one than ought to be if The Ranger and Lord Clifden are all right, seeing that they have displayed the best form of the whole lot who have shown in public. Discarding Queen Bertha, and admitting that the good judges who have betted so heavily against the two others named may know more than us, we shall stand against the majority ef the favourites, and anticipate the judge's verdict as under:—The Avenger, 1; Blue Mantle, 2; and National Guard, 3." Stable Mouse," in the same paper thus concluded a rather lengthy squeak Putting this and that together, and then pulling 'em apart again, and then placing them face to face, and topsy turvey, and head over heels, this is my conviction as to the result of the St. Leger, that Queen Bertha and Golden Pledge will be first and second, with Borealis very close to them." "Observer," in the Field, after discussing the chances of those likely to show at the post, thus con- cludes "Had The Ranger not exposed himself so much at York, I should unhesitatingly have regarded him as the winner. But the exhibition was too poor a one to rely upon, and the validity of the excuse offered for him I cannot acknowledge. I shall therefore pre- fer trusting to Queen Bertha, who has had every chance given her, and, I believe, is destined to tread in the steps of Queen of Trumps. Next to her I shall look for The Ranger and Golden Pledge." Vaticinator," in the Sunday Times, gave Avenger, 1; The Ranger, 2; Golden Pledge, 3. "Beacon," in the Sporting Gazette, says: "I ex- pect to see the St. Leger of 1863 fall to either Avenger, Golden Pledge, or Queen Bertha; and look- ing at the manner in which Lord Stamford's horse ran away with the Prince of Wales's Stakes, I must give the preference to Avenger." The Telegraph gave Queen Bertha and Lord Clifden, with Golden Pledge for a cockboat. "Augur," in the Sporting Life, said Lord Clifden would be first, and Queen Bertha second, their most dangerous opponents being Golden Pledge and Blue Mantle.