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:THE MISSING COIN; • • OR;■…

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A RAMBLERS JOTTINGS. ,---+----

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A RAMBLERS JOTTINGS. ,+- IF any one had taken up the Court 'Newsman during this month, he would have seen it solemnly affirmed that London was "quite empty," that every body was in the country or at the seaside, and nobody—or to put it more explicitly—only the nobodies remained in town. Well, if any one had accompanied me to Putney on the 8th inst., be would have wondered where on earth all the people could come from that crowded the steamers and boats and covered every available spot on the banks of the Thames. Amongst per- sons fond of aquatic pursuits this was the gala day of the year, the competition for the championship of the Thames was about to come off, and the competitors were well-known men who had many friends. The one being a Newcastle man, and the other a London one, it created a kind of rivalry between the metropolis and the North, and the excitement long before the day was very great. It, is now nearly six years ago since the redoubt- able Robert Chambers, a Newcastle man, wrested the .proud riband of the Thames from his opponent and conqueror, Harry Kelly, of Pulham^ which he held until his late defeat. From an early hour of the morning of the race Putney exhibited the usual signs and symptoms indicative of a high festival; flags flaunted from every mast-head, tower, and fk.g-staf? in most picturesque confusion; it seemed as if every availably bit of bunting within the limits of the metropolitan postal delivery had been pressed, into service on the occasion. As the morning advanced the motley crowd mustered in increasing force; Tyne- siders were shoulder to shoulder with the UIl- mistakable cockney "cad," and there were itine- rant vendors of every commodity under the sun, from ginger-bread to electric shocks, &c., whilst roughs, fighting-men, pickpockets, members of the swell mob, some artisans, and a few respectable tradesmen and gentlemen all got huddled together in ^heterogeneous mass, and to make matters worse, the irrepressible nigger" would scream c-.i..t his blatant melody, drowning even the prevailing din of voices, and making the confusion more con- founding. The men were to row from Putney-bridge to Mortlake. The Mite amongst the spectators paid their 10s. and went on board steamers which ac- companied the boats, whilst there were barges moored at certain distances on which persons could take their stand upon paying a certain fee. Again' there were parties ranged on spots which were private property-thus, from Fulham Church to the end of what is called Bishop's-walk, there were numerous groups of ladies decked out in summer dresses of every conceivable hue, whilst, of course, their merry smiles added "enchantment to the view." As your correspondent I "roughed" it, and went with the crowd, hoping to gather something original from what I saw around me; but if I may be pardoned for making this one attempt, I will promise never more to try the experiment, for with all my care, I came,home with a damaged hat and clothes besmeared with something less sweet than eau de Cologne. As the hour appointed for the start drew nigh, the crowd, both afloat and ashore, became momen- tarily more dense and unwieldy. Every available bridge, boat, bank, or wall, was assiduously be- sieged by a struggling mass of eager sight-seers, whose ranks every moment received fresh acces- sions from the ceaseless stream of human traffic which poured continuously from the flood gates of the South-Western down the quaint old High- street of Putney. Now the swell mobsmen and pickpockets carried out their schemes. The former would profess a high position in society, and make bets any way with strangers, so that they posted their money; and many Tyne men deposited their cash uponthese:flash fellows' own representation of honour; but had they won, and applied for their money at the ad- dress given them, they would have found no response. As to the pickpockets, they swarmed, forming themselves into little bands of five, and six, and under pretence of looking for some lost friend in the crowd would jostle their victim, and whilst he was charging one of them with rudeness, the others would be picking his pockets. I saw one Newcastle man looking des- pondingly upon his broken chain, and in a pitiful tone said to his next neighbour, I carried the watch that was attached to this chain for five-and- twenty years, and I would not have lost it for fifty pounds. I never felt it go. It's my opinion they are a queer lot about here." He sought a policeman, but of course did not recovernis lost treasure. Well, rmust not linger on details. The start- ing was fiked for half-past two, and a few minutes before thie time Kelly made; his appearance and paddled to the starting point. He is a fine stalwart fellow, and looked in good condition. The old English hurrahs that greeted him were tre- mendous; but these were outdone when Chambers, a few seconds afterwards, became visible. Then, in Northern dialect, the Tyne men shouted Bravo, Bob Had away, man!" Gan on, Bob! <c. Show them St. Nicholas to-day, my lad! Divvent disgrace awd Harry". (meaning his trainer, Harry Clasper); Show 'em what the North can do," &c. &c. Then the row amongst the betting fraternity (" I'll take odds J" Here, I'll take three to two no one names the winner!" &c.), the chaff of the London boys, the interohang-e of badinage among the wherry men, the hiss and .splash of the steamers, and the mingled strains of harps, fiddles, piccolos, and cornets, each.instru- ment playing a separate tune, and on remarkably foee and independent principles, are things to be remembered. I believe it will be one of the remi- niseencés of my life that I never shall ferget, and yet scarcely think of with pleasure. The papers will tell you it was a gallant contest, and that Chambers' prestige and undoubted skill, ap- proved in many a gallant struggle, made him the pet of, the betting fraternity; but from the first his friends entertained a respectful dread of his opponent, who, in fact, won -the race., by about five or six lengths. It will be tedious to say more concerning this rowing match, because my Teaders will doubtless have seen an account in other columns, but I mjist. observe that the rowing of the two men is very dissimilar Kelly takes short repeated strokes, which he does with elegance and ease, whilst Chambers takes the longest stroke of any man on record; he carries his hands for- ward far ever his toes, and then bends till his back almost touches the boat, which, with one stroke, is impelled several yards. Death has laid his ruthless hand upon a man well known and much respected, though, perhaps, scarcely heard of in the country—I mean Mr. Joseph Parkes. Any one accustomed to walk down Pall-mall or near the Reform Club, could not have failed to meet occasionally a tall old man, rather bent with years, but exhibiting a merry countenance as he turned to look at you. Almost every other man whom he met would stop to speak, and have something particular to say to him. He always seemed to have somebody by the button- hole, and to be engaged in secret conclave. If you asked who the gentleman was, Oh," would be the reply, "it'3 Joe Parkes, of the Beform Club." His nanae was always associatedwith thelatter, although of late years he held no office there, but merely went in and out as an ordinary member. But then he was so good-natured that every one asked his advice and assistance, and he was a thorough practical politician besides. In early life he was | a solicitor in Birmingham, and in" partnership with Mr. Solomon Bray, the first town-clerk of the Birmingham Corporation. At the time of the Birmingham Political Union, Mr. Parkes dis- tinguished himself as the adviser of Mr. Attwood, who was the leader of that movement, and by This means became acquainted with the members of Lord Grey's administration. After this, bis services being considered valuable, he became a political agent for the Whigs, and the Reform Club taking him by the hand, he removed to London in 1832, where he practised as solicitor and Parliamentary agent till about the year 1850, when he was appointed Taxing Master to the Court of Exchequer, an office he held until his death.

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