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CHAPTER XVI THE PLEASURE GARDENS

It is somewhat remarkable that two books should have appeared almost at the same time on the Pleasure Gardens of London—that of Messrs. Warwick and Edgar Wroth, and that of Mr. H. A. Rogers. I refer the reader who desires exact and special knowledge on the subject to these two books. For my own part I have only to speak of two or three of these gardens, and shall confine myself to certain sources of information neither so exact nor so detailed as those from which Messrs. Warwick and Wroth have drawn the material for their excellent work.

The Pleasure Gardens grew out of the old Bear Baiting Gardens. The London citizen loved sport first and above all things: next, he loved the country: to sit under the shade of trees in the summer: to walk upon the soft sward; to smell the flowers: to rest his eyes upon country scenes. He has always yearned for the country while he remained in town. With these things he desired, as a concomitant of the entertainment, good eating, good drinking, the merry sound of music not softly but loudly played: the voices of those who sang: and a platform or floor for dancing. All these things he could get in Paris Gardens so long as that place existed, together with its bears and dogs. When the bears disappeared, what followed? The Gardens continued without the bears. There were also the Mulberry Gardens on the site of Buckingham House, and the Spring Gardens at Charing Cross. In the month of July 1661 Evelyn visited the new garden of Foxhall, afterwards{284} Vauxhall, and in June 1665, the year of the Plague, Pepys spent the evening at the same place, for the first time, and with great delight.
VAUXHALL GARDENS VAUXHALL GARDENS
(From the Engraving by J. S. Müller)

The Pleasure Garden apart from the sport of Bear and Bull Baiting was then beginning. Before long it became a necessity of life—at least, of the gregarious and social life of which the eighteenth century was so fond. Many things are said about that century, now so nearly removed from us by the space of another century, but we cannot say that it was not social, and that it was not gregarious. It had its coffee houses: its clubs: its taverns: its coteries: its societies: it loved the theatre: the opera: the concert: the oratorio: the masquerade: the Assembly: the card-room: but most of all the eighteenth century loved its Pleasure Gardens. It took every opportunity of getting away from the quiet house to crowds and noise and the scene of merriment.
VAUXHALL JUBILEE ADMISSION TICKET VAUXHALL JUBILEE ADMISSION TICKET

Many things were required to make a Pleasure Garden. There must be, first, abundance of trees—at first cherry trees, but these afterwards disappeared: if possible, there should be avenues of trees: aisles and dark walks of trees. There must be, next, an ornamental water with a fountain and a bridge: there must be a row of rustic bowers or retreats in which tea and supper could be served: there must be a platform for open-air dancing and promenading: there must be card-rooms: there must be a long room for dancing and for promenading, with a gallery for the orchestra and the singers. Add to these things a crowd every night including all classes and conditions of men and women. The eighteenth century was by no means a leveller of distinctions, but all classes met together without levelling. Distinctions were preserved: each party kept to itself: the nobleman wore his star and sash: he did not pretend to be on a level with the people around him: they liked him to keep up the dignity of aristocratic separation: he brought Ladies to the Gardens, sometimes in domino, sometimes not. They were not expected to speak to the ladies outside{285} their set: they danced together in the minuets: after the minuets they withdrew. The main point about the company of the Gardens was that each party was separate and kept separate. In the Park, either in the morning or the afternoon, it was not difficult to make acquaintances. The reason was that in the Park were only to be found in the morning or the afternoon those people who were not engaged in earning their livelihood. Accordingly, all professional men—lawyers, physicians,{286} attorneys, surgeons, artists, architects, literary people: all those engaged in trade, from the greatest merchant to the smallest shopkeeper, were excluded: they were occupied elsewhere. Therefore, the servants and footmen not being allowed in the Park, but compelled to wait outside, the people of position had the place to themselves, and access was easy. In the Gardens it was different: all could enter who paid the shilling for an entrance fee. Among them were the gentlemen in the red coat who bore His Majesty's Commission: the young fellows about town, a noisy disreputable band with noisy and disreputable companions: the plain citizen with his wife and daughter, the young fellow who was courting her: the young tradesman taking a holiday for once: the highwayman: the common pickpocket, and whole troops of the customary courtesan. All were here enjoying together—but separated into tiny groups of two or three—the strings of coloured lamps, the blare of the orchestra, the songs, the dances, and the supper. As for the last, it seems to have been always a cold collation: it generally consisted of chicken and a thin slice of ham, with a bowl of punch and a bottle of Port. There was no affectation of fine or polite behaviour; everybody behaved exactly as he pleased: the citizen was not gêné by the presence of the great lady: he prattled his vulgar commonplaces without being abashed: nor did the great lady put on 'side,' or behave among her own company with any affectation of dignity or reserve in the presence of the mercer of Ludgate Hill in the next box. Perhaps the recognition of rank made them all behave more naturally. After all, the mercer had his own rank. He could look forward to becoming Alderman, Sheriff, and Lord Mayor: he understood very well that he was already a good way up the ladder: the social precedence which belongs to the possession of money and the employment of many servants had already placed him in front of a vast crowd of inferiors: he was perfectly satisfied with his own position, although he could certainly{287} never become a noble earl or wear a star upon his breast, or hope to consort on equal terms with the jewelled lady in silks which he knew (professionally) to be beyond all price, with her rouged face and high-dressed head, who laughed so loud and talked so fast with the noble lords her companions, one of whom was blind drunk and the other was a little mincing beau who walked on his toes with bent knees and carried his hat under his arm, and spoke under his breath as if every word was to be listened to. Do you think the honest mercer was indignant at the manners of the great? Not he: he called for another bowl of punch and tied his handkerchief over his wig to keep off the damp. In the box on the other side of the citizen from Ludgate Hill was a party also taking supper and punch, with plenty of the latter. They were under the lead of an extremely fine gentleman: his white coat was covered with gold lace: his hat was laced in the same way: his waistcoat was of flowered silk: his ruffles were of white lace—lace of Valenciennes. The ladies with him were dressed with a corresponding splendour. Everybody knew that the gentleman was a highwayman: his face was perfectly well known: he had been going on so long that his time must soon be up. In a few months at most he would take that fatal journey in the cart to Tyburn, there to meet the end common to his kind. A good many people in the Gardens knew, besides, that the ladies with him—ladies of St. Giles in the Fields—were dressed from the stores of a receiving house for stolen goods. Perhaps the consciousness of this cheap and easy way of getting one's clothes made the ladies so buoyantly and extravagantly happy, with their sprightly sallies and their high-bred courtesy of adjectives. But the mercer troubled himself not at all about them.

The toleration of the mercer ought to endear his memory to us. For in all public assemblies there are things which must be tolerated. Less wise, we shut up the Assembly. We cannot keep out the Lady of the Camellias from the{288} Pleasure Garden. Therefore we shut up the place. In the eighteenth century this lady was told that everybody must behave with a certain amount of restraint: we have improved upon that manner: we cut off our nose to spite our face: we shut up the lovely Garden because we cannot keep her out.

For the same reason we have practically forbidden the youth of the lower middle class to practise the laudable, innocent, and delightful diversion of dancing. Not a single place, except certain so-called clubs, where the young people can now go to dance. Why? Because the magistrates in their wisdom have concluded that vice free and unchecked out of doors is better for the people than vice fettered and restrained by the necessity of behaving decently, and compelled to hide itself under the semblance of virtue. The Pleasure Gardens were shut up one after the other for that reason. When will they return? And in what form?

The Gardens of South London were not so celebrated as those of the North. Against Ranelagh, Cremorne, Marylebone, Bagnigge Wells, the White Conduit House—the South can only point to Vauxhall as a national institution. They were, however, of considerable note in their time, and were greatly frequented. They lay in a half circle, like pearls on a chain, all round South London. There were the Lambeth Wells, the Marble Hall, and the Cumberland Gardens at Vauxhall, besides Vauxhall itself; the Black Prince, Newington Butts; the Temple of Flora, the Temple of Apollo, the Flora Tea Gardens, the Restoration Spring Gardens, the Dog and Duck, the Folly on the Thames; Cuper's Gardens; Finch's Grotto, the Bermondsey Spa, and St. Helena Gardens, Rotherhithe. No doubt there were others, but these were the principal Gardens.

Cuper's Gardens lay exactly opposite to Somerset House. When Waterloo Bridge and Waterloo Bridge Road were constructed the latter passed right through the former site of the Gardens. St. John's Church marks the southern limit of{289} the Gardens. They were opened about the year 1678 by one Cuper, gardener to the Earl of Arundel. He begged such of the statues belonging to his master as were mutilated, and decorated the new gardens with them. Aubrey mentions them as belonging to Jesus College, Oxford; he calls them Cupid's gardens, and speaks of the arbours and walks of the place. There was a tavern connected with the gardens by the riverside, and fireworks were exhibited. These gardens continued until 1753, when they were suppressed as a nuisance. Cunningham quotes the prologue to Mrs. Centlivre's 'Busy Body.'
The Fleet Street sempstress, toast of Temple sparks, That runs spruce neckcloths for attorneys' clerks, At Cupid's Gardens will her hours regale, Sing 'Fair Dorinda,' and drink bottled ale.
THE DOG AND DUCK, BETHLEM THE DOG AND DUCK, BETHLEM

In the 'Sunday Ramble' (1794) the Dog and Duck is one of the last places visited in the course of that very remarkable Sunday 'out,' which began at four o'clock in the morning and ended at one o'clock next morning, such was the zeal of the ramblers. The place was a tavern in St.{290} George's Fields. On its site now stands Bethlehem Hospital. It was first built for the accommodation of those who came to this spot in order to drink the waters of a spring supposed to possess wonderful properties, especially in the case of cutaneous disorders and scrofula. The spring, like so many other medicinal springs, has long since been forgotten. Where is Beulah Spa? Who remembereth Hampstead Spa? Yet in its day the spring in St. George's Wells had no small reputation. It was especially in vogue between 1744 and 1770. Dr. Johnson advised Mrs. Thrale to try it. When the Spa declined, the tavern looked out for other attractions; it found them by day in certain ponds on the Fields close to the tavern: these ponds especially on Sunday were used for the magnificent sport of hunting the duck by dogs. All the ponds around London, especially those lying on the east side of Tottenham Court Road, were used for this sport. The gallant sportsmen, their hunt over, naturally felt thirsty: they were easily persuaded to stay for the evening when on week days there was music, with dancing, singing, supper, and more drink, and on Sundays the organ, with a choice company of the most well-bred gentlemen and ladies of similar breeding and taste.

Like Ranelagh and Bagnigge Wells, and indeed all the Pleasure Gardens, the Dog and Duck was a favourite place for breakfasts. The fashion of the public breakfast, now so completely forgotten, was brought to London from Bath, Tunbridge Wells, and Epsom. Tea and coffee were served at breakfast. After breakfast the people stayed on at the gardens, very often all day and half the night at the Dog and Duck. There was a bowling green for fine weather, there was also a swimming bath—I believe, the only one south of the Thames. About three or four in the afternoon there was dinner, with a bottle or several bottles of wine. One of the ponds not then employed for duck-hunting was in the garden, and served as an ornamental water, with alcoves or{291} bowers round it; a band played at intervals during the day. In the long room there was an organ, with an excellent organist. In the evening, there was generally a concert; the Dog and Duck maintained its own poet and its own composer. All this sounds very innocent and Arcadian, but in truth the place was acquiring a most evil reputation. In 1787 it was closed on Sunday, and in 1799 it was suppressed. In the 'Sunday Ramble' (1794) the Dog and Duck is open, but the Ramble may have taken place before 1787. Let us see what is going on. Remember that it is Sunday evening. But there is not the least trace of any respect for the day, and the place—to speak the truth—is full of the vilest company in the world, whose histories are described in the greedy fulness and with the hypocritical indignation against the wickedness of the people which were common among such writers a hundred years ago. I suppose they would not venture to set down what they did, but for the pretence of indignation. Thus, there is a certain City merchant, once a Quaker and formerly a bankrupt, but now rich and flourishing again. His companion is an ex-orange-girl, his mistress. Observe that the writer is certainly airing some City scandal of the day, and that his readers know perfectly well who was meant. There is a certain Nan Sheldon, who seems to have been a lady of some conversational powers with a considerable fund of information about the shady side of town life. There is also present a young lady described as the mistress of the 'Rev. Dr. D——s, of St. G.' Here, no doubt, we have a piece of contemporary humour which enables us to have a slap at the Church. There is other company of the like kind, but this specimen must suffice. As to the men, they are chiefly 'prentices and shopmen. At the Dog and Duck the license to sell drink had been withdrawn. The manager, however, met the difficulty by engaging a free vintner, i.e. a member of the Vintners'{292} Company, for whom no license was required. He therefore came to sell the drink to the visitors. It is a curious illustration of City privileges. Leaving the Dog and Duck, the Ramblers visited the Temple of Flora, dropped a tear over the Apollo Gardens, deserted and falling into ruins, and visited the Flora Tea Garden. The company here was more respectable, in consequence of some separation among the ladies; it was not, however, very orderly, and political argument ran high.

From this Tea Garden they drove to the Bermondsey Spa Gardens. Let me extract this account of this place, which was once so popular:

'We found the entrance presents a vista between trees, hung with lamps, blue, red, green, and white; nor is the walk in which they are hung inferior (length excepted) to the grand walk in Vauxhall Gardens. Nearly at the upper end of the walk is a large room, hung round with paintings, many of them in an elegant and the rest in a singular taste. At the upper end of the room is a painting of a butcher's shop, so finely executed by the landlord that a stranger to the place would cheapen a fillet of veal or a buttock of beef, a shoulder of mutton or a leg of pork, without hesitation, if there were not other pictures in the room to take off his attention. But these paintings are not seen on a Sunday.

'The accommodations at this place on a Sunday are very good, and the charges reasonable, and the captain, who is very intimate with Mr. Keyse, declares that there is no place in the vicinity of London can afford a more agreeable evening's entertainment.

'This elegant place of entertainment is situate in the lower road, between the Borough of Southwark and Deptford. The proprietor calls it one, but it is nearer two miles from London Bridge, and the same distance from that of Black-Friars. The proprietor is Mr. Thomas Keyse, who has been at great expense, and exerted himself in a very extraordinary{293} manner, for the entertainment of the public; and his labours have been amply repaid.

'It is easy to paint the elegance of this place, situated in a spot where elegance, among people who talk of taste, would be little expected. But Mr. Keyse's good humour, his unaffected easiness of behaviour, and his genuine taste for the polite arts, have secured him universal approbation.

'The gardens, with an adjacent field, consist of not less than four acres.

'On the north-east side of the gardens is a very fine lawn, consisting of about three acres, and in a field, parted from this lawn by a sunk fence, is a building with turrets, resembling a fortress, or castle. The turrets are in the ancient style of building. At each side of this fortress, at unequal distances, are two buildings, from which, on public nights, bomb shells, &c., are thrown at the fortress; the fire is returned, and the whole exhibits a very picturesque, and therefore a horrid, prospect of a siege.

'After walking a round or two in the gardens we retired into the parlour, where we were very agreeably entertained by the proprietor, who, contrary to his own rule, favoured us with a sight of his curious museum, for, it being Sunday, he never shows to any one these articles; but, the captain never having seen them, I wished him to be gratified with such an agreeable sight.

'Mr. Keyse presented us with a little pamphlet, written by the late celebrated John Oakman, of lyric memory, descriptive of his situation, which a few years ago was but a waste piece of ground. "Here is now," said he, "an agreeable place, where before was but a mere wilderness piece of ground, and, in my opinion, it was a better plan to lay it out in this manner than any other wise, as the remoteness of any place of public entertainment from this secured to me in my retreat a comfortable piece of livelihood."

'We perfectly coincided in opinion with our worthy host,{294} and, after paying for our liquor, got into our carriage, but not before we had tasted a comfortable glass of cherry brandy, for which Mr. Keyse is remarkable for preparing.'

I am not here writing a history of South London. Were this a history, Vauxhall Gardens would demand its own place, and a very large place. A garden which continued to be a favourite resort from the year 1660 or thereabouts until the year 1859, when it was finally abandoned, which occupies so large a part in the literature of that long period, must have its history told in length when a history is written of the place where it stood. In this place I desire to do no more than to take off my hat to this Queen of Gardens, and to recognise her importance. The history of Vauxhall is an old story; it has been told at greater or less length, over and over again. We seem to know all the anecdotes which have been copied from one writer by another, and all the literature and all the poetry about Vauxhall. The poetry is, indeed, very poor stuff. The best are the lines of Canning:
There oft returning from the green retreats Where fair Vauxhallia decks her sylvan seats; Where each spruce nymph, from City counters free, Sips the frothed syllabub or fragrant tea: While with sliced ham, scraped beef, and burnt champagne, Her 'prentice lover soothes his amorous pain.

What a chain of anecdotes it is! We begin in 1661 with Evelyn, who treats the place with his accustomed brevity and coldness; we go on to Pepys, who records how the visitors picked cherries, and how the nightingales sang, and lets us understand how much he enjoyed his visits there, and how delightful he found the place, and how much after his own heart; we proceed to Congreve and Tom Brown, to Addison, to Fielding, to Horace Walpole. We all know the Dark Walk, and how the ladies were taken there, not unwillingly, to be frightened: we know the stage where they danced: we{295} know the orchestra; we know the Chinese Room: we know Rowlandson's picture of the evening at Vauxhall with the Prince of Wales, putting on princely arrogance in the middle, and the Duchess of Devonshire and her friends apparently making fun of him; and in the side box, having supper, Goldsmith and Boswell, and Mrs. Traill, and Dr. Johnson; with Miss Linley singing; and we all know about the forty thousand coloured lamps festooned about the trees.

London was not London, life was not worth having, without Vauxhall. Like Mrs. Cornelys's masquerades and assemblies, Vauxhall was the great leveller of the eighteenth century. A man might be an earl or a prince: he would get no more enjoyment out of Vauxhall than a 'prentice who had a little money to spare. And the milliner going to Vauxhall with that 'prentice was quite as happy as any lady in the land could be.

When one thinks of Vauxhall and all it meant, one is carried away by admiration. To the City Miss who might belong to the City Assembly, but most likely did not, there was no such spectacle in the world as those avenues of trees with their thousands of coloured lamps; there was nothing that so much made her heart leap up as the sight of the dancing in the open air to the music of the orchestra in the high stand; there was nothing so delightful as to sit in an arbour dimly lighted, and to make a supper off cold chicken with a glass of punch afterwards—girls drank punch then—to look out upon the company, resplendent, men and women alike, in their dress, and ceremonious in their manners; to be told how the one was the young Lord Mellamour and the angel with him was a danseuse of Covent Garden: and that other gentleman behind them was the Rev. Dr. Scattertext of St. Bride's; and that the dashing young fellow in peach-coloured velvet was no other than Sixteen String Jack the highwayman. Vauxhall, in fact, for two hundred years, was nothing less than a national institution. All classes who could{296} command a decent coat went to Vauxhall. The Prince of Wales went there—once or twice he was recognised and mobbed; all the great ladies went there; all the lesser ladies; all the ladies of the half world; all the citizens, from the Alderman to the 'prentice; all the adventurers; all the gallant highwaymen. There was a charming toleration about the visitors to Vauxhall. They were not in the least disturbed by the presence of the highwaymen, of the adventurers, or of the ladies corresponding to those gentlemen—not in the least; they walked together in the lanes and aisles of the place; they ate supper in the next arbour; they saw the young rakes carrying on openly and without the least disguise. The sober citizen saw it; his sober wife saw it; her daughter saw it. There were no complaints, save occasionally from the Surrey magistrates. The place and the behaviour of the people are typical of the eighteenth century, in which the maintenance of order was thrown upon the public, and there were no police. If things got very bad in a pleasure garden, the magistrates refused a license; if the visitors were robbed by highwaymen on their way to and from the place, guards were appointed by the managers. Vauxhall, however, was safer than most places, because most of the people came by boat. In common with all places of amusement in the eighteenth century, Vauxhall was late. The people seem to have been allowed to stay there nearly all night.

There is a passage quoted in Chambers's 'Book of Days,' which I should like to transfer with acknowledgments to this page. It is from the 'Connoisseur' of 1755, and discusses a Vauxhall slice of ham.

'When it was brought, our honest friend twirled the dish about three or four times, and surveyed it with a settled countenance. Then taking up a slice of the ham on the point of his fork, and dangling it to and fro, he asked the waiter how much there was of it. "A shilling's worth, sir," said the fellow. "Prithee," said the cit, "how much dost{297} think it weighs?" "An ounce, sir." "Ah! a shilling an ounce, that is sixteen shillings per pound; a reasonable profit, truly! Let me see. Suppose, now, the whole ham weighs thirty pounds: at a shilling per ounce, that is sixteen shillings per pound. Why, your master makes exactly twenty-four pounds off of every ham; and if he buys them at the best hand, and salts and cures them himself, they don't stand him in ten shillings a-piece!"'

In 1841 there seemed every prospect that the gardens would be closed; they were not closed, however, but were reopened and continued open until the year 1859, where they were finally closed and the farewell night was celebrated.

The scare, however, in 1841 produced in June a brief history of Vauxhall Gardens in one of the morning papers—I do not know which—I have it as a cutting only. It is as follows:

'Vauxhall Gardens are announced for public sale under Gye and Hughes's bankruptcy, and their past celebrity deserves a notice, if only as a memento of the pleasure the old and young have experienced in their delightful retreats, while their hundredfold associations, such as the journey of Sir Roger de Coverley to the gardens, old Jonathan Tyers, and the paintings in the pavilions by Hayman and Hogarth, create an interest seldom to be met with. The gardens derive their name from the manor of Vauxhall, or Faukeshall, but the tradition that the property belonged to Guy Fawkes is erroneous. The premises were in 1615 the property of Jane Vaux, and the mansion was then called Stockdens. The gardens appear to have been originally planted with trees and laid out into walks for the pleasure of a private gentleman, Sir Samuel Moreland, who displayed in his house and gardens many whimsical proofs of his skill in mechanics. It is said these gardens were planted in the reign of Charles I.; nor is it improbable, since, according to Aubrey, they were well known in 1667, when Sir Samuel Moreland, the proprietor,{298} added a public room to them, "the inside of which," he says, "is all looking-glass and fountains and very pleasant to behold, and which is much visited by strangers." The time when they were first opened for the entertainment of the public is involved in some uncertainty; their celebrity is, however, established to be upwards of a century and a half old. In the reign of Queen Anne they appear to have been a place of great public resort, for in the "Spectator," No. 383, dated May 20, 1712, Addison has introduced Sir Roger de Coverley as accompanying him in a voyage from Temple-stairs to Vauxhall, then called Spring Gardens. He says: "We made the best of our way to Foxhall;" and describes the gardens as "exceedingly pleasant at this time of the year. When I considered the fragrancy of the walks and bowers with the choirs of birds that sung upon the trees and the tribe of people that walked under their shades, I could not but look on this place as a sort of Mohammedan Paradise." Masks were then worn, at least by some visitors, for Addison talks of "a mask tapping Sir Roger on the shoulder and inviting him to drink a bottle of mead with her." A glass of Burton ale and a slice of hung beef formed the supper of the party. The place, however, resembled a tea-garden of our days till the year 1730, when Mr. Jonathan Tyers took a lease of the premises, and shortly afterwards opened Vauxhall with a Ridotto al Fresco. The novelty of the term attracted great numbers, and Mr. Tyers was so successful in occasional repetitions as to be induced to open the gardens every evening during the summer. Hogarth at this time had lodgings at Lambeth-terrace, and, becoming intimate with Tyers, was induced to embellish the gardens with his designs, in which he was joined by Hayman. The house which he occupied is still shown, and a vine pointed out which he planted. Tyers's improvements consisted of sweeps of pavilions and saloons, in which these paintings were placed. He also erected an orchestra, engaged a band of music, and placed a fine statue of{299} Handel by Roubiliac in a conspicuous part of the gardens. Mr. Cunningham dates the appearance of this statue, which was Roubiliac's earliest work, at 1732. Mr. Tyers afterwards purchased the whole of the estate, which is copyhold of inheritance, and held of the Prince of Wales, as lord of Kennington manor, in right of his Duchy of Cornwall. The gardens were originally opened daily (Sunday excepted), and till the year 1792 the admission was 1s.; it was then raised to 2s.; including tea and coffee; in 1809 several improvements were made, lamps added, &c., the price was raised to 3s. 6d., and the gardens were only opened three nights in the week; in 1821 the price was again raised to 4s. Upon the death of Mr. Jonathan Tyers, the gardens became the property of Mr. Bryant Barrett, who married the granddaughter of the original proprietor. They next descended to Mr. Barrett's sons, and from them by right of purchase to the late proprietors. Mr. Thomas Tyers, a son of the famous Jonathan Tyers, and author of "Biographical Sketches of Johnson," and "Political Conferences," who died on February 1, 1787, contributed many poetic trifles to the gardens. The representation of the Ridotto al Fresco is thus described by one of the newspapers of June 21, 1732: "On Wednesday, at the Ridotto al Fresco at Vauxhall, there was not one half of the company as was expected, being no more than 203 persons, amongst whom were several persons of distinction, but more ladies than gentlemen, and the whole was managed with great order and decency; a detachment of 100 of the Foot Guards being posted round the gardens. A waiter belonging to the house having got drunk put on a dress and went to fresco with the rest of the company, but being discovered he was immediately turned out of doors." The season of 1739 was for three months, and the admittance was by silver tickets. The proprietors then announced that "1,000 tickets would only be delivered at 25s. each, the silver of every ticket to be worth 3s. 2d., and to admit two persons every{300} evening (Sunday excepted) during the season." It appears that these silver tickets were struck after designs by Hogarth, and a plate of some of them shows the following:—Mr. John Hinton, 212, 1794; on the reverse side the figure of Calliope. Mr. Wood, 63, 1750; on the reverse side three boys playing with a lyre, and the motto "Jocos? conveniunt Lyr?." Mr. R. Frankling, 70; on the reverse side figure of Euterpe. Mr. Samuel Lewes, 87; on the reverse side the figure of Erato. Mr. Carey, 11; on the reverse side the figure of Thalia. This plate also exhibits the gold ticket, a perpetual admission given to Hogarth by Jonathan Tyers, in gratitude for his advice and assistance in decorating the gardens. After his decease it remained in the hands of Mrs. Hogarth, his widow, who bequeathed it to her relation, Mrs. Mary Lewis, who subsequently left it to Mr. P. F. Hart, who in his will, in 1823, bequeathed it to Mr. John Tuck. It is hardly necessary to say that the ticket is after Hogarth's own design. The face of it presents the word "Hogarth," in a bold hand, beneath which is "In perpetuam beneficii memoriam." On the reverse there are two figures, surrounded with the motto, "Virtus voluptas felices una." It also appears that Roubiliac furnished a statue of Milton for the gardens. Among the singers Beard and Lowe were early favourites; then came Dignum, Mrs. Weichsel, Mrs. Billington, Signora Storace, Incledon, Mrs. Bland, &c. In later years, Misses Tunstall, Noel, Melville, and Williams; Stephens, Love, Madame Cornega, and Madame Vestris; Mr. Braham, Mr. Sinclair, Mr. Robinson, and Signor de Begnis, &c., with Signor Spagnoletti as leader.'


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