passed most of his waking time over the gaming tables, he was a ripe scholar-holding a fellowship of King's College, Cambridge—and the life of any company where learning was appreciated. Many stories concerning his gambling have been told, one being that by a wonderful run of luck he completely ruined a young man who had but just reached his majority and come into his fortune. The poor boy, who was on the point of marriage and aghast at his misfortune, sank upon a sofa in misery. Scrope sat by him and drew from him all the circumstances, then returned to the youth all that he had won on the promise being given that he would for ever forswear gaming. Scrope-retained only a little carriage, called a dormeuse, because, it being fitted with a bed, he said: "When I travel in it I shall sleep better for having acted right."

Later on, when fortune turned against him and Scrope was himself in distress, this young man, who might have been a beggar but for the gambler's generosity, refused to help him out in any way. With little left beyond the amount of his fellowship Scrope went to Paris, where he lived among books. There Ball Hughes once went to see him, and Davies found his visitor so much improved that he said of him: "He is no longer Golden' Ball; but since the gilt has worn off, he rolls so much more smoothly than he did."

Davies had a great liking for Moore, of whom he remarked, Ne plus ultra (Nothing better than More); and when some one said that Moore was a good Irish name, though spoiled for the want of the O', Scrope replied: "I always thought that O'thello, Moor of Venice, was an Irishman by the blunders he made."

One mot given by Gronow to Scrope Davies has also been assigned by others to Douglas Jerrold, who began

[graphic][merged small]

Scrope Davies

his London career in 1824.


The Wit affirmed that

an apt expression for everything that this earth affords could be found in Shakespeare. "Where does Shakespeare allude to the treadmill?" was the quick reply. "In King Lear. 'Down, thou climbing sorrow.'

When Brummell obtained from Lord Melbourne the Consulship at Caen, Scrope went to London to see Melbourne. However, he asked for nothing, as he said, "Lamb looked so sheepish when I was ushered into his presence, that I asked him for nothing; indeed there were so many nibbling at his grass, that I felt I ought not to jump over the fence into the meadow upon which such animals were feeding."


In 1835 Scrope Davies was ill, and in a very morbid state of mind, writing to Raikes that "lethargic days and sleepless nights have reduced me to a state of nervous irritability such as forbids me to see any society. must visit nobody, but must strictly follow the advice which Sir George Tuthill gave me. His words were these: 'On such occasions avoid all possible excitement, or the consequences may be most lamentable,' quoting from Rasselas Of all uncertainties, the uncertain continuance of reason is the most dreadful . . . I would much rather be accessory to my own death, than to my own insanity. The dead are less to be deplored than the insane. I never saw a maniac, but I found myself absorbed in a melancholy far more profound than that which I ever experienced at the death of any of my friends. I have survived most of my friends, heaven forbid that I should survive myself."

However, Davies recovered, and the next time Raikes inquired for him he was well and out.

Viscount Allen, who was so famous for his elegance that he received the nickname of " King," was one of the

greatest Dandies of the early nineteenth century. In his youth he had a dashing courage, which turned him for a time into a hero, for when but an ensign in the Guards he led his men with wonderful swiftness across the ravine at Talavera, and little more would have been heard of him had not the Duke sent the 48th Regiment to his assistance. Yet this promising young soldier was a few years later content to swagger down Pall Mall, become an authority on dress and a patron of the play-house; while later still his only walk was from White's to Crockford's, or from Crockford's to White's. His point,

or rather his points, were his hats and his boots, the one looking always new and the others always exquisitely polished. All purpose seemed to become concentrated into the frivolous one of idling elegantly, and the arduous one of living elegantly without money. Once, when for economy's sake he retired to the softened glare of Dublin's social life, he had a very large door in Merrion Square, upon which his name was engraved in very large letters, but the whisper went abroad that there was no house behind the door. He presented himself so frequently at the dining-tables of his friends that one irritable old lady told him that his title must be as good as board wages to him.

Lord Allen could not be called a Wit, but he could be sarcastic when he chose. There was a vulgar Lady N who always desired to be regarded as a great person. When, on the accession of her husband to the title, she came over to England from Ireland, she posed as having lived in London all her life, and meeting Lord Allen one day, she extended "one finger of her little fat hand," drawling in a patronising way, and with her Irish accent, "My Lard Alleen, how long have you been in London ?"

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