"Les Trois Magots"


of York was informed that she must wait for the tide, Coleraine, with a profound bow said, "If I had been the tide I should have waited for your Royal Highness." "Nothing could have been more stupid," adds Raikes; "but there was something in the manner in which it was said that made everybody burst out laughing."

The Three Barrymores-"Les Trois Magots," as Gillray named them below the caricature he made of them are worth no more than a mention as companions of the Prince of Wales. They were exceedingly wild Irishmen, and Lord Barrymore alternated between a gentleman and a blackguard. A refined wit and a most vulgar bully, he was equally well known at St. Giles's and St. James's. He could fence, dance, drive, drink, box, or bet with any man in the kingdom. He could discourse slang as trippingly as French, relish porter after port, and compliment her ladyship at a ball with as much ease and brilliance as he could bespatter blood in a quarrel in a cider cellar. He was generous to prodigality, and always independent of prejudice, and was so foul-mouthed as to gain the nickname of "Hellgate." He died by misadventure in 1793, at the early age of twenty-four.

Henry Barry, his brother, eighth Earl of Barrymore, the inventor of the "Tiger," or boy-groom, being lame, was known as "Cripplegate." The third brother, Augustus, was in Holy Orders in the Church of Ireland, but this did not save him from being an inveterate gambler, always in debt and in danger of the sponging house. He was said to have been in every prison in England except Newgate, therefore he was hilariously christened "Newgate." To this precious trio we must add a word about their sister, Lady Melfort, who had so bad a temper, and made use of such foul language, that she earned the name of "Billingsgate." These Barrymores always said what

came into their minds, their wit always ready and their spirits always high.

As for the Duke of Norfolk, generally known as "Jockey," he too was one of the constant visitors at Brighton, wearing a sky-blue suit with lace ruffles, with which, when shooting, he would at times wipe out the pan of his gun. In him drunkenness was hereditary, says Wraxall, and Thackeray gives us a picture of the " poor old sinner" being deliberately made drunk with bumpers of brandy by the First Gentleman in Europe.

Sir John Lade, a creature of the Prince's, was one of the false Dandies, for his highest ambition was to be thought a jockey, and he generally dressed as such. One good story about him is to the effect that he wagered Lord Cholmondeley that he would carry him twice round the Steine at Brighton, and as he was a small man and Cholmondeley a large one a great crowd assembled to witness the feat. The two men met on the Steine, and Sir John stood waiting. Well," said his lordship, "I am ready." "No," replied the baronet; "I said I would carry you round the Steine, but I said nothing of your clothing. Please strip that we may not disappoint the ladies." Cholmondeley paid the wager.

When one thinks of the orgies which took place at Brighton with such a set of men and women-men lying under the table, wine spilled, cards all over the place; the intrigues and schemings, the races, the publicity of everything, no wonder can be felt at the King's dislike for his son's friends, nor at the indignation expressed by his subjects against the Prince.

One of Brummell's contemporaries was Sir Lumley Skeffington, who set up as a man of fashion as soon as he had finished his education. He was a stage-struck youngster, who attended the production of every new

Lumley Skeffington


play, and wrote an extravaganza called The Sleeping Beauty, lampooned by Byron as a dull play which

In five facetious acts came thundering on.

His other plays were absolute failures. As a young man he was eccentric enough to get talked about, so much so that he was soon noticed by the Prince of Wales, for the vanity he felt concerning his appearance caused him to spend much money in dressing in the most foppish way. He was fond of acting, and sought theatrical society, being friends with Kemble, Mrs. Siddons, and others; and he was a precursor of those who will stand hours at a theatre door to see the first acting of a new play, though he had the advantage of seeing it without waiting.

We know more of Lumley in his age than in his youth, and then it is said that he used to paint his face so that he looked like a French toy, and dressed “à la Robespierre." "You always knew of his approach by an avant-courrier of sweet smells; and when he advanced a little nearer, you might suppose yourself in the atmosphere of a perfumer's shop." He was, however, always popular with the ladies, not only for his politeness and courtly manners, but for his genuine kindness of heart. Miss Berry says in her Diary, dated June 8th, 1809:

"Dined at Mrs. 's; a dinner of fifteen people of whom my only acquaintance was Skeffington, who I found afterwards was the wit, the bel-esprit, l'aigle de la société ! Two ladies joined after dinner in extolling the endowments and even the personal appearance of Skeffington."

The poor man spent an enormous sum in producing The Sleeping Beauty, and though in 1815 he succeeded to the title, there was no income with it, as he had allowed his father to cut off the entail. So for some years this

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