Jorrocks' Jaunts and Jollities Part 10

A little before seven they reached the village of Passy, where it was arranged they should meet and proceed from thence to the Bois de Boulogne, to select a convenient place for the fight; but neither the confectioner nor his second, nor any one on his behalf, was visible and they walked the length and breadth of the village, making every possible inquiry without seeing or hearing anything of them. At length, having waited a couple of hours, Mr. Jorrocks's appetite overpowered his desire of revenge, and caused him to retire to the "Chapeau-Rouge" to indulge in a "fork breakfast." Nature being satisfied, he called for pen and ink, and with the aid of Mr. Stubbs drew up the following proclamation which to this day remains posted in the _salle a manger_ a copy whereof was transmitted by post to the confectioner at Paris.

[Footnote 23: _Co-cous_ are nondescript vehicles that ply in the environs of Paris. They are a sort of cross between a cab and a young Diligence.]


I, John Jorrocks, of Great Coram Street, in the County of Middlesex, Member of the Surrey Hunt, in England, and Colonel of the Army when I'm in France, having been grossly insulted by Charles Adolphe Eugene of No. 15 bis, Rue Poupee, confectioner, this day repaired to Passy, with the intention of sarving him out with my fists; but, neither he nor any one for him having come to the scratch, I, John Jorrocks, do hereby proclaim the said Charles Adolphe Eugene to be a shabby fellow and no soldier, and totally unworthy the notice of a fox-hunter and a gentleman sportsman.


(Countersigned) STUBBS.

This being completed, and the bill paid, they returned leisurely on foot to Paris, looking first at one object, then at another, so that the Countess Benvolio's dinner-hour was passed ere they reached the Tuileries Gardens, where after resting themselves until it began to get dusk, and their appetites returned, they repaired to the Cafe de Paris to destroy them again.--The lofty well-gilded salon was just lighted up, and the numberless lamps reflected in costly mirrors in almost every partition of the wall, aided by the graceful figures and elegant dresses of the ladies, interspersed among the sombre-coated gentry, with here and there the gay uniforms of the military, imparted a fairy air to the scene, which was not a little heightened by the contrast produced by Mr.

Jorrocks's substantial figure, stumping through the centre with his hat on his head, his hands behind his back, and the dust of the day hanging about his Hessians.

"Garsoon," said he, hanging up his hat, and taking his place at a vacant table laid for two, "ge wouderai some wittles," and, accordingly, the spruce-jacketed, white-aproned _garcon_ brought him the usual red-backed book with gilt edges, cut and lettered at the side, like the index to a ledger, and, as Mr. Jorrocks said, "containing reading enough for a month." "Quelle potage voulez vous, monsieur?" inquired the _garcon_ at last, tired of waiting while he studied the _carte_ and looked the words out in the dictionary. "_Avez-vous_ any potted lobster?" "Non," said the _garcon_, "potage au vermicelle, au riz, a la Julienne, consomme, et potage aux choux." "Old shoe! who the devil do you think eats old shoes here? Have you any mock turtle or gravy soup?" "Non, monsieur," said the _garcon_ with a shrug of the shoulders. "Then avez-vous any roast beef?" "Non, monsieur; nous avons boeuf au naturel--boeuf a la sauce piquante--boeuf aux cornichons--boeuf a la mode--boeuf aux choux--boeuf a la sauce tomate--bifteck aux pommes de terre." "Hold hard," said Jorrocks; "I've often heard that you can dress an egg a thousand ways, and I want to hear no more about it; bring me a beef-steak and pommes de terre for three." "Stop!" cried Mr. Stubbs, with dismay--"I see you don't understand ordering a dinner in France --let me teach you. Where's the _carte?_" "Here," said Mr. Jorrocks, "is 'the bill of lading,'"

handing over the book.--"Garcon, apportez une douzaine des huitres, un citron, et du beurre frais," said the Yorkshireman, and while they were discussing the propriety of eating them before or after the soup, a beautiful dish of little green oysters made their appearance, which were encored before the first supply was finished. "Now, Colonel," said the Yorkshireman, "take a bumper of Chablis," lifting a pint bottle out of the cooler. "It has had one plunge in the ice-pail and no more--see what a delicate rind it leaves on the glass!" eyeing it as he spoke. "Ay, but I'd rayther it should leave something in the mouth than on the side of the glass," replied Mr. Jorrocks; "I loves a good strong generous wine--military port, in fact--but here comes fish and soup--wot are they?" "Filet de sole au gratin, et potage au macaroni avec fromage de Parmesan. I'll take fish first, because the soup will keep hot longest."

"So will I," said Mr. Jorrocks, "for I think you understand the thing--but they seem to give werry small penn'orths--it really looks like trifling with one's appetite--I likes the old joint--the cut-and-come-again system, such as we used to have at Sugden's in Cornhill--joint, wegitables, and cheese all for two shillings." "Don't talk of your joints here," rejoined the Yorkshireman--"I told you before, you don't understand the art of eating--the dexterity of the thing consists in titivating the appetite with delicate morsels so as to prolong the pleasure. A well-regulated French dinner lasts two hours, whereas you go off at score, and take the shine out of yourself before you turn the Tattenham Corner of your appetite. But come, take another glass of Chablis, for your voice is husky as though your throat was full of dust.--Will you eat some of this boulli-vert?" "No, not no bouleward for me thank ye." "Well, then, we will have the 'entree de boeuf--beef with sauce tomate--and there is a cotelette de veau en papillotte;--which will you take?" "I'll trouble the beef, I think; I don't like that 'ere pantaloon cutlet much, the skin is so tough." "Oh, but you don't eat the paper, man; that is only put on to keep this nice layer of fat ham from melting; take some, if it is only that you may enjoy a glass of champagne after it. There is no meat like veal for paving the way for a glass of champagne." "Well, I don't care if I do, now you have explained how to eat it, for I've really been troubled with indigestion all day from eating one wholesale yesterday; but don't you stand potatoes--pommes de terre, as we say in France?" "Oh yes, fried, and a la maitre d'hotel; here they come, smoking hot. Now, J---- for a glass of champagne--take it out of the pail--nay, man! not with both hands round the middle, unless you like it warm--by the neck, so,"

showing him how to do it and pouring him a glass of still champagne.

"This won't do," said Jorrocks, holding it up to the candle; "garsoon!

garsoon!--no good--no bon--no fizzay, no fizzay," giving the bottom of the bottle a slap with his hand to rouse it. "Oh, but this is still champagne," explained the Yorkshireman, "and far the best." "I don't think so," retorted Mr. Jorrocks, emptying the glass into his water-stand. "Well, then, have a bottle of the other," rejoined the Yorkshireman, ordering one. "And who's to pay for it?" inquired Mr.

Jorrocks. "Oh, never mind that--care killed the cat--give a loose to pleasure for once, for it's a poor heart that never rejoices. Here it comes, and 'may you never know what it is to want,' as the beggar boys say.--Now, let's see you treat it like a philosopher--the wire is off, so you've nothing to do but cut the string, and press the cork on one side with your thumb.--Nay! you've cut both sides!" Fizz, pop, bang, and away went the cork close past the ear of an old deaf general, and bounded against the wall.--"Come, there's no mischief done, so pour out the wine.--Your good health, old boy, may you live for a thousand years, and I be there to count them! --Now, that's what I call good," observed the Yorkshireman, holding up his glass, "see how it dulls the glass, even to the rim--champagne isn't worth a copper unless it's iced--is it, Colonel?" "Vy, I don't know--carn't say I like it so werry cold; it makes my teeth chatter, and cools my courage as it gets below--champagne certainly gives one werry gentlemanly ideas, but for a continuance, I don't know but I should prefer mild hale." "You're right, old boy, it does give one very gentlemanly ideas, so take another glass, and you'll fancy yourself an emperor.--Your good health again." "The same to you, sir. And now wot do you call this chap?" "That is a quail, the other a snipe--which will you take?" "Vy, a bit of both, I think; and do you eat these chaps with them?" "Yes, nothing nicer--artichokes a la sauce blanche; you get the real eating part, you see, by having them sent up this way, instead of like haystacks, as they come in England, diving and burning your fingers amid an infinity of leaves." "They are werry pretty eating, I must confess; and this upper Binjamin of ham the birds are cooked in is delicious. I'll trouble you for another plateful." "That's right, Colonel, you are yourself again. I always thought you would come back into the right course; and now you are good for a glass of claret of light Hermitage. Come, buck up, and give a loose to pleasure for once." "For once, ay, that's what you always say; but your once comes so werry often." "Say no more.--Garcon! un demi-bouteille de St. Julien; and here, J----, is a dish upon which I will stake my credit as an experienced caterer--a Charlotte de pommes--upon my reputation it is a fine one, the crust is browned to a turn, and the rich apricot sweet-meat lies ensconced in the middle, like a sleeping babe in its cradle. If ever man deserved a peerage and a pension it is this cook."

"It's werry delicious--order another." "Oh, your eyes are bigger than your stomach, Mr. J----. According to all mathematical calculations, this will more than suffice. Ay, I thought so--you are regularly at a stand-still. Take a glass of whatever you like. Good--I'll drink Chablis to your champagne. And now, that there may be no mistake as to our country, we will have some cheese--fromage de Roquefort, Gruyere, Neufchatel, or whatever you like--and a beaker of Burgundy after, and then remove the cloth, for I hate dabbling in dowlas after dinner is done." "Rum beggars these French," said Mr. Jorrocks to himself, laying down the newspaper, and taking a sip of Churchman's chocolate, as on the Sunday morning he sat with the Countess Benvolio, discussing rolls and butter, with _Galignani's Messenger_, for breakfast.

"Rum beggars, indeed," said he, resuming the paper, and reading the programme of the amusements for the day, commencing with the hour of Protestant service at the Ambassador's Chapel, followed on by Palace and Gallery of Pictures of the Palais Royal--Review with Military Music in the Place du Carousel--Horse-races in the Champs de Mars--Fete in the Park of St. Cloud--Combat d'Animaux, that is to say, dog-fighting and bull-baiting, at the Barriere du Combat, Tivoli, etc., etc., "It's not werry right, but I suppose at Rome we must do as Romans do," with which comfortable reflection Mr. Jorrocks proposed that the Countess and he should go to the races. Madame was not partial to animals of any description, but having got a new hat and feathers she consented to show them, on condition that they adjoined to the fete at St. Cloud in the evening.

Accordingly, about noon, the ostler's man of a neighbouring English livery-stable drew up a dark-coloured job cab, with a red-and-white striped calico lining, drawn by a venerable long-backed white horse, at the Countess's gateway in the Rue des Mauvais-Garcons, into which Mr.

Jorrocks having handed her ladyship, and Agamemnon, who was attired in his chasseur uniform, having climbed up behind, the old horse, after two or three flourishes of his dirty white tail, as a sort of acknowledgment of the whip on his sides, got himself into motion, and proceeded on his way to the races. The Countess being resolved to cut a dash, had persuaded our hero to add a smart second-hand cocked-hat, with a flowing red-and-white feather, to the rest of his military attire; and the end of a scarlet handkerchief, peeping out at the breast of his embroidered frock-coat, gave him the appearance of wearing a decoration, and procured him the usual salute from the soldiers and veterans of the Hospital of Invalids, who were lounging about the ramparts and walks of the edifice. The Countess's costume was simple and elegant; a sky-blue satin pelisse with boots to match, and a white satin bonnet with white feathers, tipped with blue, and delicate primrose-coloured gloves. Of course the head of the cab was well thrown back to exhibit the elegant inmates to the world.

Great respect is paid to the military in France, as Mr. Jorrocks found by all the hack, cab, and _fiacre _ drivers pulling up and making way for him to pass, as the old crocodile-backed white horse slowly dragged its long length to the gateway of the Champ de Mars. Here the guard, both horse and foot, saluted him, which he politely acknowledged, under direction of the Countess, by raising his _chapeau bras_, and a subaltern was dispatched by the officer in command to conduct him to the place appointed for the carriages to stand. But for this piece of attention Mr. Jorrocks would certainly have drawn up at the splendid building of the ecole Militaire, standing as it does like a grand stand in the centre of the gravelly dusty plain of the Champ de Mars. The officer, having speared his way through the crowd with the usual courtesy of a Frenchman, at length drew up the cab in a long line of anonymous vehicles under the rows of stunted elms by the stone-lined ditch, on the southern side of the plain when, turning his charger round, he saluted Mr. Jorrocks, and bumped off at a trot. Mr. Jorrocks then stuck the pig-driving whip into the socket, and throwing forward the apron, handed out the Countess, and installed Agamemnon in the cab.

A fine day and a crowd make the French people thoroughly happy, and on this afternoon the sun shone brightly and warmly on the land;--still there was no apparently settled purpose for the assembling of the multitude, who formed themselves in groups upon the plain, or lined the grass-burnt mounds at the sides, in most independent parties. The Champ de Mars forms a regular parallelogram of 2700 feet by 1320, and the course, which is of an oblong form, comprises a circuit of the whole, and is marked out with strong posts and ropes. Within the course, equestrians--or more properly speaking, "men on horseback"--are admitted under the surveillance of a regiment of cavalry, while infantry and cavalry are placed in all directions with drawn swords and fixed bayonets to preserve order. Being a gravelly sandy soil, in almost daily requisition for the exercise and training of troops, no symptoms of vegetation can be expected, and the course is as hard as the ride in Rotten Row or up to Kensington Gardens.

About the centre of the south side, near where the carriages were drawn up, a few temporary stands were erected for the royal family and visitors, the stand for the former being in the centre, and hung with scarlet and gold cloth, while the others were tastefully arranged with tri-coloured drapery. These are entered by tickets only, but there are always plenty of platforms formed by tables and "chaises a louer"

(chairs to let) for those who don't mind risking their necks for a sight. Some few itinerants tramped about the plain, offering alternately tooth-picks, play-bills, and race-lists for sale. Mr. Jorrocks, of course, purchased one of the latter, which was decorated at the top with a woodcut, representing three jockeys riding two horses, one with a whip as big as a broad sword. We append the list as a specimen of "Sporting in France," which, we are sorry to see, does not run into our pages quite so cleverly as our printer could wish.[24]

[Footnote 24: Racing in France is, of course, now a very different business to the primitive sport it was when this sketch was written.--EDITOR.]

Foreigners accuse the English of claiming every good-looking horse, and every well-built carriage, met on the Continent, as their own, but we think that few would be ambitious of laying claim to the honour of supplying France with jockeys or racehorses. Mr. Jorrocks, indeed, indifferent as he is to the affairs of the turf, could not suppress his "conwiction" of the difference between the flibberty-gibberty appearance of the Frenchmen, and the quiet, easy, close-sitting jockeys of Newmarket. The former all legs and elbows, spurting and pushing to the front at starting, in tawdry, faded jackets, and nankeen shorts, just like the frowsy door-keepers of an Epsom gambling-booth; the latter in clean, neat-fitting leathers, well-cleaned boots, spick and span new jackets, feeling their horses' mouths, quietly in the rear, with their whip hands resting on their thighs. Then such riding! A hulking Norman with his knees up to his chin, and a long lean half-starved looking Frenchman sat astride like a pair of tongs, with a wet sponge applied to his knees before starting, followed by a runaway English stable lad, in white cords and drab gaiters, and half a dozen others equally singular, spurring and tearing round and round, throwing the gravel and sand into each other's faces, until the field was so separated as to render it difficult to say which was leading and which was tailing, for it is one of the rules of their races, that each heat must be run in a certain time, consequently, though all the horses may be distanced, the winner keeps working away. Then what an absence of interest and enthusiasm on the part of the spectators! Three-fourths of them did not know where the horses started, scarcely a man knew their names, and the few tenpenny bets that were made, were sported upon the colour of the jackets. A Frenchman has no notion of racing, and it is on record that after a heat in which the winning horse, after making a waiting race, ran in at the finish, a Parisian observed, that "although 'Annette' had won at the finish, he thought the greater honour was due to 'Hercule,' he having kept the lead the greater part of the distance." On someone explaining to him that the jockey on Annette had purposely made a waiting race, he was totally incredulous, asserting that he was sure the jockeys had too much _amour-propre_ to remain in the rear at any part of the race, when they might be in front.




DEUX PRIX ROYAUX +------------+--------------+----------------+------+--------+----------------+ NOMS SIGNALEMENS NOMS POIDS NOMS COSTUMES Des Chevaux Et Ages Des a Des Des Jockeys Proprietaires porter Jockeys +------------+--------------+----------------+------+--------+----------------+ Prix royal de 5000 fr. pour les chevaux et jumens de deuxieme espece.--En partie liee Moina Bai-clair-4 Haras de Meudon 102 l. Tom Veste rouge Hall toque tricolore Corisandre Bai-brun-5 M. Bonvie fils 115 Tom Veste orange, Wilson manches et toque noires. Flore Bai-cerise-4 M. de Laroque 102 Tony Veste noire, Montel manches blanches toque noire. Eleanor Alezan-brule-5 M. de Royere 112 Bernou Veste verte, toque noire. Diomede Bai-4 M. le baron de 105 Baptiste Veste bleue, la Bastide manches jaunes, toque bl. et j. Cirus Bai-brun-5 Lord Seymour 115 North Veste orange, toque noire. Aline Bai-clair-4 M. Noel 102 Tom Veste ponceau, manches blanches toque bleue. Leonie Alezan-dore-5 M. Belhomme 112 Pichon Veste jaune, toque verte Prix royal de 6ooo fr. pour les chevaux de premiere espece.--En partie liee Young-Milton Bai-4 M. Fasquel 105 l. Tom Webb Veste et toque noires. Mouna Bai-clair-4 M. de Laroque 102 Tony Veste noire, Montal manches blanches toque noire Pamela Bai-4 Heras de Meudon 102 Tom Hall Veste rouge, toque tricolore. Egle Gris-sanguin-5 Lord Seymour 112 Mous Veste orange, toque noire Cederic Bai-5 M. le baron de 115 Baptiste Veste bleue, la Bastide manches jaunes, toque bl. et ja. Young-Tandem Bai-cerise-4 M. Schickler 105 Webb Veste rouge, toque noire. Oubiou Alezan-6 MM. Salvador et 121 Tom Veste bleue, Tassinari Johns manches blanches toque rouge. Coradin Bai-5 M. Moreil 115 Rene Veste bleue, manches jaunes, toque bl.&jaune. +------------+--------------+----------------+------+--------+----------------+ Nota. Les chevaux de premiere espece sont ceux nes en France de peres et meres etrangers: ceux de la deuxieme espece sont ceux nes de peres et meres Francais ou seulement de l'un des deux.--Chaque epreuve comprendra les deux tours du Champs de Mars.--Les courses commenceront par la premiere epreuve des chevaux de deuxieme espece.--La seconde course se fera pour la premiere epreuve des chevaux de premiere espece: suivie de la deuxieme epreuve des chevaux de deuxieme espece: et elles seront terminees par la deuxieme epreuve des chevaux de premiere espece. +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+

======================================================================== Transcriber's note: The original document contains an additional column that could not be squeezed into the 80 characters allowed in this format. That column shows the pedigree of the horses, as follows:

Moina: Issu de Candide et de Miltonia.

Corisandre: Issu d'Holbein et de Lisbeth.

Flore: Issue de Tigris et Biche.

Eleanor: Issue de Moulay et de Cadette.

Diomede: Issu de Premium et de Gabrielle.

Cirus: Issu de Toley et de Miss.

Aline: Issue de Snail et d'une jument Normande.

Leonie: Issue de Massoud et d'une fille de D-y-o.

Young-Milton: Issu de Milton et de Betzi.

Mouna: Issu de Rainbow et de Mouna.

Pamela: Issue de Candid et Geane Egle: Issue de Rainbow and Young-Urganda.

Cederic: Issue de Candid et Prestesse.

Young-Tandem: Issu de Multum-in-Parvo et d'Oida.

Oubiou: Issu d'Oubiou et d'une fille de Stradlamlad.

Coradin: Issu de Candid et de Prestesse.

"Moderate sport," said Mr. Jorrocks to himself, curling his mustachios and jingling a handful of five-franc pieces in the pocket of his leathers--"moderate sport indeed," and therefore he turned his back to the course and walked the Countess off towards the cab.

From beneath a low tenth-rate-looking booth, called "The Cottage of Content," supported by poles placed on the stunted trees of the avenue, and exhibiting on a blue board, "John Jones, dealer in British beer," in gilt letters, there issued the sound of voices clamouring about odds, and weights and scales, and on looking in, a score of ragamuffin-looking grooms, imitation jockeys, and the usual hangers-on of the racehorses and livery-stables, were seen drinking beer, smoking, playing at cards, dice, and chuck-farthing. Before the well-patched canvas curtain that flapped before the entrance, a crowd had collected round one of the horses which was in the care of five or six fellows, one to hold him, another to whistle to him, a third to whisk the flies away with a horse's tail, a fourth to scrape him, a fifth to rinse his mouth out,--while the stud-groom, a tall, gaunt, hairy-looking fellow, in his shirt sleeves, with ear-rings, a blue apron and trousers (more like a gardener than a groom), walked round and round with mystified dignity, sacreing and muttering, "Ne parlez pas, ne parlez pas," as anyone approached who seemed likely to ask questions. Mr. Jorrocks, having well ascertained the importance of his hat and feather, pushed his way with the greatest coolness into the ring, just to cast his eye over the horse and see whether he was fit to go with the Surrey, and the stud-groom immediately took off his lavender-coloured foraging cap, and made two profound salaams, one to the Colonel, the other to the Countess. Mr.

Jorrocks, all politeness, took off his _chapeau_, and no sooner was it in the air, than with a wild exclamation of surprise and delight, the groom screamed, "Oh, Monsieur Shorrock, mon ami, comment vous portez vous?" threw his arms round the Colonel's neck, and kissed him on each cheek.

"Hold!" roared the Colonel, half smothered in the embrace, and disengaging himself he drew back a few paces, putting his hand on the hilt of his sword, when in the training groom of Paris he recognised his friend the Baron of Newmarket. The abruptness of the incident disarmed Mr. Jorrocks of reflection, and being a man of impulse and warm affections, he at once forgave the novelty of the embrace, and most cordially joined hands with those of his friend. They then struck up a mixture of broken English and equally broken French, in mutual inquiries after each other's healths and movements, and presuming that Mr.

Jorrocks was following up the sporting trade in Paris, the Baron most considerately gave him his best recommendations which horse to back, kindly betting with him himself, but, unfortunately, at each time assigning Mr. Jorrocks the losing horse. At length, being completely cleaned out, he declined any further transactions, and having got the Countess into the cab, was in the act of climbing in himself, when someone took him by the sword as he was hoisting himself up by the wooden apron, and drew him back to the ground. "Holloa, Stubbs, my boy!" cried he, "I'm werry 'appy to see ye," holding out his hand, and thereupon Mr. Stubbs took off his hat to the Countess. "Well now, the deuce be in these French," observed Mr. Jorrocks, confidentially, in an undertone as, resigning the reins to Agamemnon, he put his arm through the Yorkshireman's and drew out of hearing of the Countess behind the cab--"the deuce be in them. I say. There's that beggarly Baron as we met at Newmarket has just diddled me out of four Naps and a half, by getting me to back 'osses that he said were certain to win, and I really don't know how we are to make 'tongue and buckle' meet, as the coachmen say.

Somehow or other they are far too sharp for me. Cards, dominoes, dice, backgammon, and racing, all one--they inwariably beat me, and I declare I haven't as much pewter as will coach me to Calais." The Yorkshireman, as may be supposed, was not in a condition of any great pecuniary assistance, but after a turn or two along the mound, he felt it would be a reproach on his country if he suffered his friend to be done by a Frenchman, and on consideration he thought of a trick that Monsieur would not be up to. Accordingly, desiring Mr. Jorrocks to take him to the Baron, and behave with great cordiality, and agree to the proposal he should make, they set off in search of that worthy, who, after some trouble, they discovered in the "Cottage of Content," entertaining John Jones and his comrades with an account of the manner in which he had fleeced Monsieur Shorrock. The Yorkshireman met him with the greatest delight, shook hands with him over and over again, and then began talking about racing, pigeon-shooting, and Newmarket, pretended to be full of money, and very anxious for the Baron's advice in laying it out.

On hearing this, the Baron beckoned him to retire, and joining him in the avenue, walked him up and down, while he recommended his backing a horse that was notoriously amiss. The Yorkshireman consented, lost a Nap with great good humour, and banteringly told the Baron he thought he could beat the horse on foot. This led them to talk of foot-racing and at last the Yorkshireman offered to bet that Mr. Jorrocks would run fifty yards with him on his back, before the Baron would run a hundred.

Upon this the Baron scratched his head and looked very knowing, pretended to make a calculation, when the Yorkshireman affected fear, and professed his readiness to withdraw the offer. The Baron then plucked up his courage, and after some haggling, the match was made for six Naps, the Yorkshireman reckoning the Baron might have ten francs in addition to what he had won of Mr. Jorrocks and himself. The money was then deposited in the hands of the Countess Benvolio, and away went the trio to the "Cottage of Content," to get men and ropes to measure and keep the ground. The English jockeys and lads, though ready enough to pigeon a countryman themselves, have no notion of assisting a foreigner to do so, unless they share in the spoil, and the Baron being a notorious screw, they all seemed heartily glad to find him in a trap.

Out then they all sallied, amid cheers and shouts, while John Jones, with a yard-wand in his hand, proceeded to measure a hundred yards along the low side of the mound. This species of amusement being far more in accordance with the taste of the French than anything in which horses are concerned, an immense mob flocked to the scene, and the Baron having explained how it was, and being considered a safe man to follow, numerous offers were made to bet against the performance of the match.

The Yorkshireman being a youth of discretion and accustomed to bet among strangers, got on five Naps more with different parties, who to "prevent accidents" submitted to deposit the money with the Countess, and all things being adjusted, and the course cleared by a picket of infantry, Mr. Jorrocks ungirded his sword, and depositing it with his frock-coat in the cab, walked up to the fifty yards he was to have for start. "Now, Colonel," said the Yorkshireman, backing him to the mound, so that he might leap on without shaking him, "put your best leg first, and it's a hollow thing; if you don't fall, you must win,"--and thereupon taking Mr. Jorrocks's cocked hat and feather from his head, he put it sideways on his own, so that he might not be recognised, and mounted his man. Mr.

Jorrocks then took his place as directed by John Jones, and at a signal from him--the dropping of a blue cotton handkerchief--away they started amid the shouts, the clapping of hands, and applause of the spectators, who covered the mound and lined the course on either side. Mr.

Jorrocks's action was not very capital, his jack-boots and leathers rather impeding his limbs, while the Baron had as little on him as decency would allow. The Yorkshireman feeling his man rather roll at the start, again cautioned him to take it easy, and after a dozen yards he got into a capital run, and though the lanky Baron came tearing along like an ill-fed greyhound, Mr. Jorrocks had full two yards to spare, and ran past the soldier, who stood with his cap on his bayonet as a winning-post, amid the applause of his backers, the yells of his opponents, and the general acclamation of the spectators.

The Countess, anticipating the victory of her hero, had dispatched Agamemnon early in the day for a chaplet of red-and-yellow immortelles, and having switched the old cab horse up to the winning-post, she gracefully descended, without showing more of her foot and ankle than was strictly correct, and decorated his brow with the wreath, as the Yorkshireman dismounted. Enthusiasm being always the order of the day in France, this act was greeted with the loudest acclamations, and, without giving him time to recover his wind, the populace bundled Mr. Jorrocks neck and shoulders into the cab, and seizing the old horse by the head, paraded him down the entire length of the Champ de Mars, Mr. Jorrocks bowing and kissing his hands to the assembled multitude, in return for the vivas! the clapping of hands, and the waving of ribbons and handkerchiefs that greeted him as he went.

Popularity is but a fickle goddess, and in no country more fickle than in France. Ere the procession reached the end of the dusty plain, the mob had tailed off very considerably, and as the leader of the old white horse pulled him round to return, a fresh commotion in the distance, caused by the apprehension of a couple of pickpockets, drew away the few followers that remained, and the recently applauded and belauded Mr.

Jorrocks was left alone in his glory. He then pulled up, and taking the chaplet of immortelles from his brow, thrust it under the driving cushion of the cab, and proceeded to reinstate himself in his tight military frock, re-gird himself with his sword, and resume the cocked hat and feather.

Nothing was too good for Mr. Stubbs at that moment, and, had a pen and ink been ready, Mr. Jorrocks would have endorsed him a bill for any amount. Having completed his toilette he gave the Yorkshireman the vacant seat in the cab, flopped the old horse well about the ears with the pig-driving whip, and trotted briskly up the line he had recently passed in triumphal procession, and wormed his way among the crowd in search of the Countess. There was nothing, however, to be seen of her, and after driving about, and poking his way on foot into all the crowds he could find, bolting up to every lady in blue, he looked at his great double-cased gold repeater, and finding it was near three o'clock and recollecting the fete of St. Cloud, concluded her ladyship must have gone on, and Agamemnon being anxious to see it, of course was of the same opinion; so, again flopping the old horse about the ears, he cut away down the Champ de Mars, and by the direction of Agamemnon crossed the Seine by the Pont des Invalides, and gained the route to Versailles.

Here the genius of the people was apparent, for the road swarmed with voitures of every description, diligences, gondoles, co-cous, cabs, fiacres, omnibuses, dame-blanches, all rolling and rumbling along, occasionally interrupted by the lilting and tilting of a light English cab or tilbury, drawn by a thoroughbred, and driven by a dandy. The spirit of the old white horse even seemed roused as he got among the carriages and heard the tramping of hoofs and the jingling of bells round the necks of other horses, and he applied himself to the shafts with a vigour his enfeebled-looking frame appeared incapable of supplying. So they trotted on, and after a mile travelling at a foot's pace after they got into close line, they reached the porte Maillot, and resigning the cab to the discretion of Agamemnon, Mr. Jorrocks got himself brushed over by one of the gentry who ply in that profession at all public places, and tucking his sword under one arm, he thrust the other through Mr. Stubbs's, and, John-Bull-like, strutted up the long broad grass avenue, through the low part of the wood of St. Cloud, as if all he saw belonged to himself. The scene was splendid, and nature, art, and the weather appeared confederated for effect. On the lofty heights arose the stately place, looking down with placid grandeur on the full foliage of the venerable trees, over the beautiful gardens, the spouting fountains, the rushing cascades, and the gay and countless myriads that swarmed the avenues, while the circling river flowed calmly on, without a ripple on its surface, as if in ridicule of the sound of trumpets, the clang of cymbals, and the beat of drums, that rent the air around.

Along the broad avenue were ranged shows of every description--wild beasts, giants, jugglers, tumblers, mountebanks, and monsters, while in spots sheltered from the sun by lofty trees were dancing-places, swings, roundabouts, archery-butts, pistol-ranges, ball-kicking and head-thumping places, montagnes-Suisses, all the concomitants of fairs and fetes--beating "Bartlemy Fair," as Mr. Jorrocks candidly confessed, "all to nothing."

The chance of meeting the Countess Benvolio in such a multitude was very remote indeed, but, to tell the truth, Mr. Jorrocks never once thought of her, until having eat a couple of cold fowls and drank a bottle of porter, at an English booth, he felt in his pocket for his purse, and remembered it was in her keeping. Mr. Stubbs, however, settled the account, and in high glee Mr. Jorrocks resumed his peregrinations, visiting first one show, then another, shooting with pea-guns, then dancing a quadrille, until he was brought up short before a splendid green-and-gold roundabout, whose magic circle contained two lions, two swans, two black horses, a tiger, and a giraffe. "Let's have a ride,"

said he, jumping on to one of the black horses and adjusting the stirrups to his length. The party was soon made up, and as the last comer crossed his tiger, the engine was propelled by the boys in the centre, and away they went at Derby pace. In six rounds Mr. Jorrocks lost his head, turned completely giddy, and bellowed out to them to stop. They took no heed--all the rest were used to it--and after divers yells and ineffectual efforts to dismount, he fell to the ground like a sack. The machine was in full work at the time, and swept round three or four times before they could stop it. At last Mr. Stubbs got to him, and a pitiable plight he was in. He had fallen on his head, broken his feather, crushed his chapeau bras, lost off his mustachios, was as pale as death, and very sick. Fortunately the accident happened near the gate leading to the town of St. Cloud, and thither, with the aid of two gendarmes, Mr. Stubbs conveyed the fallen hero, and having put him to bed at the Hotel d'Angleterre, he sent for a "medecin," who of course shook his head, looked very wise, ordered him to drink warm water--a never-failing specific in France--and keep quiet. Finding he had an Englishman for a patient, the "medecin" dropped in every two hours, always concluding with the order "encore l'eau chaud." A good sleep did more for Mr. Jorrocks than the doctor, and when the "medecin" called in the morning, and repeated the injunction "encore l'eau chaud," he bellowed out, "Cuss your _l'eau chaud_, my stomach ain't a reserwoir!

Chapter end

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