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contradict the plaintiffs evidence, by proving the masculine gender.

Lord Mansfield expressed his abhorrence of the whole transaction, and the more so, for their bringing it into a Court of Justice, when it might have been settled elsewhere; wishing it had been in his power, in concurrence with the jury, to have made both parties lose; but, as the law had not expressly prohibited it, and the wager was laid, the question before them was, who had won? His Lordship remarked that the indecency of the proceeding arose more from the unnecessary questions asked, than from the case itself; that the witnesses had declared they perfectly knew the Chevalier d'Eon to be a woman; if she is not a woman, they are certainly perjured: there was, therefore, no need of inquiring how, or by what methods they knew it, which was all the indecency.

As to the fraud suggested, of the plaintiff's knowing more than the defendant, he seemed to think there was no foundation for it. His Lordship then recited a wager entered into by two gentlemen, in his own presence, about the dimensions of the Venus de Medicis, for £100. One of the gentlemen said, "I will not deceive you; I tell you fairly, I have been there, and measured it myself." *Well," says the other, "and do you think I should be such a fool, as to lay if I had not measured it ?. . . I will lay for all that."

His Lordship then went on to state to the jury, that this Chevalier had publicly appeared as a man, had been employed by the Court of France, as a man, as a military man, in a civil office, and as a Minister of State here, and in Russia; there was all the presumption against the plaintiff, and the onus probandi lay upon him, which might never been come at; for it appeared, the only proposition of a discovery of sex that had been made to the Chevalier, by some gentlemen on an excursion, had been resented by d'Eon, who had instantly quitted their company on that account it might, therefore, never have been in his power to have proved his


wager, but for some accidental quarrels between d'Eon and some of her countrymen. His Lordship was, therefore, of opinion that the jury should find a verdict for the plaintiff.

The jury, without hesitation, gave a verdict for the plaintiff, £700, and 40s. Yet, when d'Eon died, in London, in 1810, it was proved, without a shadow of a doubt, that he

was a man.


Gluttonous Wager-Walk to Constantinople and back-Sir John Lade and Lord Cholmondeley-Other Wagers-Betting on Napoleon-Bet on a CoatLord Brougham-Brunel and Stephenson-Captain Barclay-Story by Mr Ross-The Earl of March's Coach-Selby's drive to Brighton-White's betting book.

A DIFFERENT kind of wager is recorded in The World, of 4th May 1787. "At the Wheel, at Hackington Fen, on Wednesday sen'night, a fen farmer laid a wager he could eat two dozen of penny mutton pies, and drink a gallon of ale in half an hour, which he performed with ease, in half the time, and said he had but a scanty supper and wished for something more; in less than half an hour after, he ate a threepenny loaf and a pound of cheese, and still swore he was hungry. The landlord, unwilling to starve his delicate guest, set before him a leg of pork, which his voracious appetite gormandized with great composure. He thanked the landlord for his civility, and said, 'I hate to go to bed with an empty stomach.""

In the Annual Register we read, September 1788. "A young Irish gentleman, for a very considerable wager, set out on Monday the 22nd instant, to walk to Constantinople and back again in one year. It is said that the young gentleman has £20,000 depending on the performance of this exploit. 1st June 1789, Mr Whaley arrived about this time in Dublin from his journey to the Holy Land, considerably within the limited time of twelve months. The above wager, however whimsical, is not without a precedent. Some years ago, a baronet of some fortune, in the north, laid a considerable wager that he would go to Lapland, bring home two females of that country and two reindeer in

a given time. He performed his journey, and effected his purpose in every respect. The Lapland women lived with him for about a year, but, having a wish to go back to their own country, the baronet very generously furnished them with means and money."

In Trinity Term, 1790, was argued in the Court of King's Bench, whether all wagers, by the 14th George III., were not void, as gaming contracts, and being contrary to the policy of the law? Lord Kenyon and Justices Ashurst and Grose were of opinion, that the law had not declared all wagers illegal, however desirable such a law might be. Wagers that led to a breach of the peace, to immorality, the injury of a third person, or that had a libellous tendency, were void; but some wagers, between indifferent people, were, certainly legal, both by the common law, and by statute. Mr Justice Buller differed from the rest of the Court.

Times, October 2, 1795. "A curious circumstance occurred here (Brighton) yesterday. Sir JOHN LADE, for a trifling wager, undertook to carry Lord CHOLMONDELEY, on his back, from opposite the Pavilion, twice round the Steine. Several ladies attended to be spectators of this extraordinary feat of the dwarf carrying the giant. When his Lordship declared himself ready, Sir John desired him to strip. 'Strip!' exclaimed the other, 'why, surely, you promised to carry me in my clothes!' 'By no means,' replied the Baronet, I engaged to carry you, but not an inch of clothes. So, therefore, my Lord, make ready, and let us not disappoint the ladies.' After much laughable altercation, it was, at length, decided that Sir JOHN had won his wager, the Peer declining to exhibit in puris naturalibus."

Times, September 11, 1797. "A Mr Marston, of the Borough, has laid a bet of 2000 guineas, that he will, in the course of the ensuing week, go into one of the great wheels of the water works at London Bridge, while it is in its swiftest motion with an ebb tide, stay there five minutes, and come out again with safety, though not with

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out accident, in a different part from that in which he went in: and, afterwards, walk one mile within an hour, on condition that the lower bucket of the wheel is two feet from the river bottom."

A wager was made, in 1806, in the Castle Yard, York, between Thomas Hodgson and Samuel Whitehead, as to which should succeed in assuming the most singular character. Umpires were selected, whose duty it was to decide upon the comparative absurdity of the costumes in which the two men appeared. On the appointed day, Hodgson came before the umpires, decorated with bank notes of various value on his coat and waistcoat, a row of five guinea notes, and a long netted purse of gold round his hat, whilst a piece of paper, bearing the words “John Bull," was attached to his back. Whitehead was dressed like a woman on one side; one half of his face was painted, and he wore a silk stocking and a slipper on one leg. The other half of his face was blacked, to resemble a negro: on the corresponding side of his body he wore a gaudy, longtailed, linen coat; and his leg was cased in half a pair of leather breeches, with a boot and spur. One would fancy that Whitehead must have presented the most singular appearance, by far, but the umpires thought differently, and awarded the stakes to Hodgson.


In the early part of this century sporting men fond of betting on the duration of the lives of celebrities. Napoleon I. was specially the subject of these wagers. It is related that, at a dinner party in 1809, Sir Mark Sykes offered to pay any one who would give him a hundred guineas down, a guinea a day, so long as Napoleon lived. The offer was taken by a clergyman present; and, for three years, Sir Mark Skyes paid him three hundred and sixty-five guineas per annum. He, then, thought he had thrown away enough money, and disputed further payment. The recipient, who was not at all disposed to lose his comfortable annuity, brought an action, which, after lengthy litigation, was decided in favour of the baronet.

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