1E03131IINICATED BY ONE WHO /KNEW IT IN OTHER DAYS.]
Tills once popular place of amusement fades like the fashions, and seems destined to follow Ranelagh, which is now only to be found in old novels and octogenarian recollections. No open-air spectacles can survive, one would suppose, the wet blanket of an English summer ; and in the case of Rain versus Rockets, it is clear what must be the issue. Yet it is nei- ther easterly winds nor Scotch mists which have rendered Vauxhall -vulgar ; though they have tended to damp the ardour of visitors, and to diminish the receipts of the proprietors. Even the chickens of old, small as hummingbirds, and nearly as costly—the slices of ham, seeming rathe,r to be segments of the bee's-wing that was not in the port, than carvings out of a boar's haunch—the execrable wines.even, which made the visitor pay as dearly in headache as in pocket for the privilege of being poisoned. thege-nutsances- failed to make Vauxhall-wiper.tar,. --Itsdeolinis 13 to be attributed mainly, no doubt, to the discountenance or FaSidon,-;: which a visit of Bing WILLIAM the Fourth could hardly retrieve : but the Proprietors themselves seem hastening the fall of their trees, and the extinction of their illuminations, by dosing the public with nauseous vaudevilles—to be taken, like pills, in boxes, which moreover are charged for extra. Instead of courting the taste of the town, they attack the pockets of the public, and tax their own to enable them to do so. The sixpenny and shilling galleries, to see the fire-works and out-door spec- tacles, and to hear the in-roofed music, are all deviations from the good old plan—the democratical level of the promenade system ; which is the only one for Vauxhall. The quality and canaille love to jostle in a crowd ; the vanity of the one and the pride of the other are equally gratified. But in the "most high and palmy state" of Vauxhall, the distinctions of dress prevented that confounding of ranks, which at pre. sent is felt so inconvenient in places of public and promiscuous resort. But without refining upon the matter—only let the proprietors do away with their plays and operas, which would not be endured at the Olympic, and have only their open air orchestra a few comic songs and pretty ballads, the best of their kind—plenty :f the ad caplandunt sort of instrumental music, and a variety of bands—together with all sorts of out-door amusements, the choicest in their way ; let their rope-dancing and their water-works' vie with the unrivalled beauty and splendour of their fire-works, and the Gardens will be once more thronged with the people, although the fashionables may desert the But who would pay four shillings to see fire-works, and walk in illu. minated gardens half-filled with dull and lifeless visitants, who look as if, like the bidders at mock auctions, they were paid to be there, and perform the discipline of the tread-mill horizontally instead of vertically? We went on the night of the last Juvenile Fete, with a bevy of children, and thought that at least the holyday folks would present an aspect of gaiety. Poor dears ! they bore the loyal burletta with all possible fortitude, and tried to laugh at the execrable Punch (not that of arrack, which is excellent), and to feel interested in the cosm i cosmoramas. be - as.
But had it not been for the lamps and fire-works, they would have wished themselves at home and a-bed. As for the music—will
believed, that of the thousands of little feet that tripped over the sanded floors of the Rotunda, eight pair could scarcely be found to ex- ercise their " light fantastic toes" in a quadrille ! and when we had, by dint of persuasion, and out of pure compassion to the restless feet which were heating time to the inspiriting airs of the orchestra, organized a. quadrille, and were in the full enjoyment of the sight of eight deft; little dancers footing it away with enviable lightness of heart and heel, and not without some of the wild grace of childish movements, the re. morseless fiddlers stole out, one by one, and left the little quadrillers despair and the middle of reset A 'child's fete at Vauxhall without a dance !—a birthday without. plumeake. None but English parents would have been fearful of the cheap epithet "vulgar," and refused their children a dance in a public assembly ; and none but English caterers for amusement would have forgotten a master of the ceremonies for the little holyday folks. What virtue was there in the blazing " Welcome our Young Friends" in lamps, when they almost refused the boon of a quadrille? They manage
these things better in France, in spite of the Revolution. s.