Əsas səhifə Notes and Queries THACKERY AT THE DERBY 1845


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Notes and Queries
September, 1970
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Bruno's 'Candelalio.'

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September, 1970


M. F. A. Husbands, although the less
familiar work by M. Rogers, The Waverley
Dictionary (Chicago, 1885; 2nd ed.), p. 272,
does furnish it. I assume, of course, that
although the situation and characteristics of
the Lady Eveline suggested those of the
second mate in Poe's tale, " Eleonora ", he
preferred to transfer to her the more characteristically Saxon name of the great-aunt
Ermengarde. This was just the sort of
adaptation that Poe liked to practice, and he
would probably have regarded the then
widespread knowledge of Scott's novel as
assisting in appreciative apprehension of his
own story.
Bronx Community College of the
City University of New York.
A MANUSCRIPT which has recently
come to light in New Zealand gives a
glimpse of Thackeray's Derby Day in 1845.
It is the London journal of Edward Jerningham Wakefield, son of Gibbon Wakefield,
who as a young man of 25 had just returned
from a four-year sojourn in New Zealand,
and was savouring the life of the capital.
Thackeray exploits his Derby Day experiences in several ways. In Pendennis, he
makes the festival the occasion for a dramatic confrontation of the chief characters
(Chapter 58); in Vanity Fair, that "jolly"
sporting parson Bute Crawley " gave the
odds of 100 to 1 (in twenties) against
Kangaroo, who won the Derby" (Chapter
11). In The Newcomes (Chapter 24), Clive
is involved in a brawl, "coming from the
Derby once—a merry party—and stopped on
the road from Epsom in a lock of carriages,
during which the people in the carriage ahead
saluted us with many vituperative epithets,
and seized the heads of our leaders—Clive in
a twinkling jumped off the box, and the next
minute we saw him engaged with a halfdozen of the enemy."
This last episode is partly based on
Thackeray's own adventure at the Kennington (Vauxhall) Turnpike bottleneck, "half
way to Epsom". which he described to
Richard Bedingfield (Cassell's Magazine, n.s.
ii ; (1870), 29), when "the carriage in which
my friends and I went . . . nearly upset a
costermonger in his cart . . . He came after
us the whole way, and uttered a volley of

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well, as his misprint of " lieden" for
" leiden" in " Von Kempelen and His
Discovery " shows; it is unbelievable that he
could have known Old German.
He could, however, easily have known
Scott's novel, The Betrothed, the first of the
two novels published in Tales of the Crusaders in 1825 (for Poe's familiarity with Scott's
works see my Dictionary of Names and
Titles in Poe's Collected Works [New York,
1968] pp. 82-83). Ermengarde is the name
of the ancient Lady of Baldringham, proud
of her Saxon identity, who requires her
great-niece Eveline, the heroine of the book,
to confront the " Bahr-geist" of the wronged
Saxon woman Vanda in the haunted room
of Ermengarde's castle. Eveline, having
been recenty pledged to her rescuer, the
heroic but markedly older nobleman, Hugo
de Lacy, Constable of Chester, although she
is tacitly in love with bis young nephew, has
come to her great-aunt, Ermengarde, to
settle her feelings about the troth. Ermengarde greets her with a reference to her blue
eyes, which betray her Saxon origin, despite
her darker Norman hair (The Betrothed
[Edinburgh, 1834], p. 178). The ghost in the
chamber of the Red-Finger haunts only
members of the family who are expected to
meet her in a night-time vigil. Scott provides
passages about the link between spirits and
the real world that remind us of both of
Poe's tales (The Betrothed, pp. 196 and 214);
the conclusion (p. 468) presents a spectral
vision of grace and comfort to the blessed
Eveline much like that of Eleonora herself,
when visiting Ermengarde in Poe's tale. The
parallel of the suggested ocular contrast of
the two mates, carried into " Eleonora"
from " Ligeia ", is more fully developed in a
passage of the 1841 version, dropped from
that of 1845, which is usually used for
modern reprints. Harrison gives it in his
notes to the Complete Works (IV, 315): " I
looked down into the blue depths of her
meaning eyes, and I thought only of them,
and of her." All the other attributes mentioned are the same for the two women;
obviously we were originally to have the
Ligeia-Rowena contrast for this tale as well.
The clue in the name used by Scott in his
popular novel, The Betrothed, might have
appeared to Poe students earlier, had not
the name been inexplicably omitted from
the widely used Dictionary of the Characters
in the Waverley Novels (London, 1910), by





A " snug old-fashioned house near St. Paul's "
where Jerningham WakefieM and Thackeray often

dined. (Thackeray, Letters and Private Papers, ed.
Gordon N. Ray, 4 vols., London, 1945-46, II, 844,
and IV, 322.)
Inserted above line.
From Boston ; agency just opened in London.
" TT=Tandem Travellers? i.e., riding the
Mark Beresford Whyte, Temple barrister, son
of James Whyte and Frances, daughter of Hon.
John Beresford; Captain John Marcus Clements,
Light Dragoons.
" C " = c o a c h travellers? William Guyton. exsettler from Wellington, NZ, where he was Mayor
Morton Stubbs, noted sportsman.

September, 1970

beer—Another shakes hands with the man
who can lick any fellow of 8 stone &c. &c.
recovery, refreshment & feed. Off to
Vauxhall. nada. 3 in a cob to Charg + .
on to Deanery with the " Publisher "."—
then to W. Arms—M B W again!—off to
Sealing-wax Hall—una hermosa, etc. etc.
Jerningham Wakefield's journal includes
other references to Thackeray, whom we see
at bachelor dinners with Morgan John
O'Connell, Henry Collinson, M. B. Whyte,
and others. Henry Glynn, the original of
Captain Strong in Pendennis (Letters, II,
148; III, 380-381 and note), is often of the
company. There are visits to Vauxhall, one
with " Thackeray in the go-cart" (he had
sprained his ankle: Letters, II 211). And, it
seems, Thackeray's spree on Derby Day,
followed by what Wakefield noted as " very
bad wine " at their Deanery dinner the next
night, led to " a violent attack of bilious
sickness " (Letters, II, 192).
The journal ends in September, 1846, just
as Thackeray set up his home in Kensington
with his two daughters. 1845-1846 was, then,
his last " bachelor" year in Bohemia, and
one in which he confessed he was indulging
in " too much dining and pleasuring ", was
" weary of being alone ", and wanted " some
other companions besides those over the
bottle " (9 August 1845, Letters, II, 209-210).
Thackeray's own records for this year are
rather meagre, so that Wakefield's glimpses
of his " hob and nob" are all the more
Chapter references to Thackeray's novels
are to the Oxford edition, ed. Saintsbury,
Quotations from Edward Jerningham
Wakefield's London Journal by courtesy of
the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington,



Victoria University of Wellington.
John Murray, who had just published Wake-

fie'.d's Adventure in New Zealand.

TN 1846, in the last number of his Bells and
Pomegranates, Browning published a
note to explain the significance of his series'
title. After referring to rabbinical and
patristic traditions, he mentions paintings by
Giotto and Rafael, each with its symbolic
pomegranate, " as if the Bellari and Vasari
would be sure to come after, and explain that

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imprecations". Thackeray took off his
spectacles " expecting to get a licking. There
stood the valiant Titmarsh in a boxing
attitude". The postilion, however, settled
the matter.
Jerningham Wakefield's account of their
experiences on Derby Day, 1845, suggests
some similar imbroglio.
Here is part of the entry for Tuesday, 27
May, and the whole entry for Wednesday
28 May. Wednesday's page has two drawings, of a rider, and of a coach collision.
Tuesday 27th May. Wind round to S.E.,
with bright
warm weather . . .
Deanery,1 arranged about the victuals &
drink—2 gallons of cider cup, 6 bottles of
stout, 6 bottles of pale2 ale,
2 bottles of
sherry—Wenhamlake ice3 in a blanket,
and pie, fowls & tongue, young rolls etc.,
and 4 pewter pots with glass bottoms—
home. This was the celebration of the
Queen's birthday and grand drawing room.
Crowds of country folks who are attracted
to town by the Railway and other Parliamentary business, filled the streets and
gaped at the feathers and diamonds . . .
Wednesday, 28th May. Poured with rain
from S.E. till about 10. The illustrations4
began to collect for the coach. The TT
were Mark Whyte and Clements of the
13th L. Drag.s5. The C.11were Thackeray,
C Knight, W Guyton and myself—
Vauxhall Turnpike—Epsom Downs.—
onto the hill £1—Merry Monarch, an
outsider won. 7 Stakes worth nearly £4000.
Ginger Stubbs said to have won £7000.—
Cider cup very good stuff, bravo Mr
Hunt! Saw Baillie Symon on top of a
drag. In returning home, good scene with
the tailors and the mounted butcher—
policemen our friends in the pleasure van
—the one horse chay treats the boys to