https://www.novelcool.com/novel/Jorrocks-Jaunts-and-Jollities.html

https://www.novelcool.com/chapter/Jorrocks-Jaunts-and-Jollities-Part-11/270288/
https://www.novelcool.com/chapter/Jorrocks-Jaunts-and-Jollities-Part-13/270290/

Jorrocks' Jaunts and Jollities Part 12

said I, "and I'll do it." "Done," said he, and he knocked the snow off my coat, pulled my wig straight, and made me look decent, and took me to a bow-winder'd room on the first floor, threw up; the sash, and exhibited me to the company outside. I bowed and kissed my hand like a candidate. They cheered and shouted, and then called for silence whilst; I addressed them. "Gentlemen," said I, "Who are you?" "Why, we be the men wot carried your honour's glory from Cavendish Street, and wants to be paid for it."; "Gentlemen," said I, "I'm no orator, but I'm a honest man; I pays everybody twenty shillings in the pound. and no mistake (cheers). If you had done your part of the bargain, I would have done mine, but 'ow can you expect to be paid after spilling me? This is a most inclement day, and, whatever you may say to the contrary, I'm not Mr. Clement Wigney."--"No, nor Mr. Faithful neither," bellowed one of the bearers.--said I, "you'll get the complaints of the season, chilblains and influhensa, if you stand dribbling there in the snow. Let me advise you to mizzle, for, if you don't, I'm blowed if I don't divide a whole jug of cold water equally amongst you. Go home to your wives and children, and don't be after annoying an honest, independent, amiable publican, like Jonathan Boxall. That's all I've got to say, and if I was to talk till I'm black in the face, I couldn't say nothing more to the purpose; so, I wishes you all 'A Merry Christmas and an 'Appy New Year.'"

But I'm fatiguing you, Mr. Nimrod, with all this, which is only hinteresting to the parties concerned, so will pass on to other topics.

I saw the King riding in his coach with his Sunday coat on. He looked werry well, but his nose was rather blueish at the end, a sure sign that he is but a mortal, and feels the cold just like any other man. The Queen did not show, but I saw some of her maids of honour, who made me think of the Richmond cheesecakes. There were a host of pretty ladies, and the cold gave a little colour to their noses, too, which, I think, improved their appearance wastly, for I've always remarked that your ladies of quality are rather pasty, and do not generally show their high blood in their cheeks and noses. I'm werry fond of looking at pretty girls, whether maids of 'onour or maids of all work.

The storm stopped all wisiting, and even the Countess of Winterton's ball was obliged to be put off. Howsomever, that did not interfere at all with Jonathan Boxall and me, except that it, perhaps, made us take a bottom of brandy more than usual, particularly after Jonathan had run over again one of his best runs.

Now, dear Nimrod, adieu. Whenever you comes over to England, I shall be werry 'appy to see you in Great Coram Street, where dinner is on the table punctually at five on week days, and four on Sundays; and with best regards to Mrs. Nimrod, and all the little Nimrods,

I remain, for Self and Co., yours to serve,

JOHN JORROCKS.

XII. MR. JORROCKS'S DINNER PARTY

The general postman had given the final flourish to his bell, and the muffin-girl had just begun to tinkle hers, when a capacious yellow hackney-coach, with a faded scarlet hammer-cloth, was seen jolting down Great Coram Street, and pulling up at Mr. Jorrocks's door.

Before Jarvey had time to apply his hand to the area bell, after giving the usual three knocks and a half to the brass lion's head on the door, it was opened by the boy Benjamin in a new drab coat, with a blue collar, and white sugar-loaf buttons, drab waistcoat, and black velveteen breeches, with well-darned white cotton stockings.

The knock drew Mr. Jorrocks from his dining-room, where he had been acting the part of butler, for which purpose he had put off his coat and appeared in his shirtsleeves, dressed in nankeen shorts, white gauze silk stockings, white neckcloth, and white waistcoat, with a frill as large as a hand-saw. Handing the bottle and corkscrew to Betsey, he shuffled himself into a smart new blue saxony coat with velvet collar and metal buttons, and advanced into the passage to greet the arrivers.

"Oh! gentlemen, gentlemen," exclaimed he, "I'm so 'appy to see you--so werry 'appy you carn't think," holding out both hands to the foremost, who happened to be Nimrod; "this is werry kind of you, for I declare it's six to a minute. 'Ow are you, Mr. Nimrod? Most proud to see you at my humble crib. Well, Stubbs, my boy, 'ow do you do? Never knew you late in my life," giving him a hearty slap on the back. "Mr. Spiers, I'm werry 'appy to see you. You are just what a sporting publisher ought to be--punctuality itself. Now, gentlemen, dispose of your tiles, and come upstairs to Mrs. J----, and let's get you introduced." "I fear we are late, Mr. Jorrocks," observed Nimrod, advancing past the staircase end to hang up his hat on a line of pegs against the wall.

"Not a bit of it," replied Mr. Jorrocks--"not a bit of it--quite the contrary--you are the first, in fact!"

"Indeed!" replied Nimrod, eyeing a table full of hats by where he stood--"why here are as many hats as would set up a shop. I really thought I'd got into Beaver (Belvoir) Castle by mistake!"

"Haw! haw! haw! werry good, Mr. Happerley, werry good indeed--I owes you one."

"I thought it was a castor-oil mill," rejoined Mr. Spiers.

"Haw! haw! haw! werry good, Mr. Spiers, werry good indeed--owes you one also--but I see what you're driving at. You think these hats have a coconut apiece belonging to them upstairs. No such thing I assure you; no such thing. The fact is, they are what I've won at warious times of the members of our hunt, and as I've got you great sporting coves dining with me, I'm a-going to set them out on my sideboard, just as racing gents exhibit their gold and silver cups, you know. Binjimin! I say, Binjimin! you blackguard," holloaing down the kitchen stairs, "why don't you set out the castors as I told you? and see you brush them well!"

"Coming, sir, coming, sir!" replied Benjamin, from below, who at that moment was busily engaged, taking advantage of Betsey's absence, in scooping marmalade out of a pot with his thumb. "There's a good lot of them," said Mr. Jorrocks, resuming the conversation, "four, six, eight, ten, twelve, thirteen--all trophies of sporting prowess. Real good hats.

None o' your nasty gossamers, or dog-hair ones. There's a tile!" said he, balancing a nice new white one with green rims on the tip of his finger. "I won that in a most miraculous manner. A most wonderful way, in fact. I was driving to Croydon one morning in my four-wheeled one-'oss chay, and just as I got to Lilleywhite, the blacksmith's, below Brixton Hill, they had thrown up a drain--a 'gulph' I may call it--across the road for the purpose of repairing the gas-pipe--I was rayther late as it was, for our 'ounds are werry punctual, and there was nothing for me but either to go a mile and a half about, or drive slap over the gulph. Well, I looked at it, and the more I looked at it the less I liked it; but just as I was thinking I had seen enough of it, and was going to turn away, up tools Timothy Truman in his buggy, and he, too, began to crane and look into the abyss--and a terrible place it was, I assure you--quite frightful, and he liked it no better than myself. Seeing this, I takes courage, and said, 'Why, Tim, your 'oss will do it!' 'Thank'e, Mr. J----,' said he, 'I'll follow you.' 'Then,'

said I, 'if you'll change wehicles'--for, mind ye, I had no notion of damaging my own--'I'll bet you a hat I gets over.' 'Done,' said he, and out he got; so I takes his 'oss by the head, looses the bearing-rein, and leading him quietly up to the place and letting him have a look at it, gave him a whack over the back, and over he went, gig and all, as clever as could be!"

_Stubbs_. Well done, Mr. J----, you are really a most wonderful man! You have the most extraordinary adventures of any man breathing--but what did you do with your own machine?

_Jorrocks_. Oh! you see, I just turned round to Binjimin, who was with me, and said, You may go home, and, getting into Timothy's buggy, I had my ride for nothing, and the hat into the bargain. A nice hat it is too--regular beaver--a guinea's worth at least. All true what I've told you, isn't it, Binjimin?

"Quite!" replied Benjamin, putting his thumb to his nose, and spreading his fingers like a fan as he slunk behind his master.

"But come, gentlemen," resumed Mr. Jorrocks, "let's be after going upstairs.--Binjimin, announce the gentlemen as your missis taught you.

Open the door with your left hand, and stretch the right towards her, to let the company see the point to make up to."

The party ascend the stairs one at a time, for the flight is narrow and rather abrupt, and Benjamin, obeying his worthy master's injunctions, threw open the front drawing-room door, and discovered Mrs. Jorrocks sitting in state at a round table, with annuals and albums spread at orthodox distances around. The possession of this room had long been a bone of contention between Mr. Jorrocks and his spouse, but at length they had accommodated matters by Mr. Jorrocks gaining undivided possession of the back drawing-room (communicating by folding-doors), with the run of the front one equally with Mrs. Jorrocks on non-company days. A glance, however, showed which was the master's and which the mistress's room. The front one was papered with weeping willows, bending under the weight of ripe cherries on a white ground, and the chair cushions were covered with pea-green cotton velvet with yellow worsted bindings.

The round table was made of rosewood, and there was a "whatnot" on the right of the fire-place of similar material, containing a handsomely-bound collection of Sir Walter Scott's Works, in wood. The carpet-pattern consisted of most dashing bouquets of many-coloured flowers, in winding French horns on a very light drab ground, so light, indeed, that Mr. Jorrocks was never allowed to tread upon it except in pumps or slippers. The bell-pulls were made of foxes' brushes, and in the frame of the looking-glass, above the white marble mantelpiece, were stuck visiting-cards, notes of invitation, thanks for "obliging inquiries," etc. The hearth-rug exhibited a bright yellow tiger, with pink eyes, on a blue ground, with a flossy green border; and the fender and fire-irons were of shining brass. On the wall, immediately opposite the fire-place, was a portrait of Mrs. Jorrocks before she was married, so unlike her present self that no one would have taken it for her. The back drawing-room, which looked out upon the gravel walk and house-backs beyond, was papered with broad scarlet and green stripes in honour of the Surrey Hunt uniform, and was set out with a green-covered library table in the centre, with a red morocco hunting-chair between it and the window, and several good strong hair-bottomed mahogany chairs around the walls. The table had a very literary air, being strewed with sporting magazines, odd numbers of _Bell's Life_, pamphlets, and papers of various descriptions, while on a sheet of foolscap on the portfolio were ten lines of an elegy on a giblet pie which had been broken in coming from the baker's, at which Mr. Jorrocks had been hammering for some time. On the side opposite the fire-place, on a hanging range of mahogany shelves, were ten volumes of _Bell's Life in London_, the _New Sporting Magazine_, bound gilt and lettered, the _Memoirs of Harriette Wilson, Boxiana_, Taplin's _Farriery_, Nimrod's _Life of Mytton_, and a backgammon board that Mr. Jorrocks had bought by mistake for a history of England.

Mrs. Jorrocks, as we said before, was sitting in state at the far side of the round table, on a worsted-worked ottoman exhibiting a cock pheasant on a white ground, and was fanning herself with a red-and-white paper fan, and turning over the leaves of an annual. How Mr. Jorrocks happened to marry her, no one could ever divine, for she never was pretty, had very little money, and not even a decent figure to recommend her. It was generally supposed at the time, that his brother Joe and he having had a deadly feud about a bottom piece of muffin, the lady's friends had talked him into the match, in the hopes of his having a family to leave his money to, instead of bequeathing it to Joe or his children. Certain it is, they never were meant for each other; Mr.

Jorrocks, as our readers have seen, being all nature and impulse, while Mrs. Jorrocks was all vanity and affectation. To describe her accurately is more than we can pretend to, for she looked so different in different dresses, that Mr. Jorrocks himself sometimes did not recognise her. Her face was round, with a good strong brick-dust sort of complexion, a turn-up nose, eyes that were grey in one light and green in another, and a middling-sized mouth, with a double chin below. Mr. Jorrocks used to say that she was "warranted" to him as twelve years younger than himself, but many people supposed the difference of age between them was not so great. Her stature was of the middle height, and she was of one breadth from the shoulders to the heels. She was dressed in a flaming scarlet satin gown, with swan's-down round the top, as also at the arms, and two flounces of the same material round the bottom. Her turban was of green velvet, with a gold fringe, terminating in a bunch over the left side, while a bird-of-paradise inclined towards the right. Across her forehead she wore a gold band, with a many-coloured glass butterfly (a present from James Green), and her neck, arms, waist (at least what ought to have been her waist) were hung round and studded with mosaic-gold chains, brooches, rings, buttons, bracelets, etc., looking for all the world like a portable pawnbroker's shop, or the lump of beef that Sinbad the sailor threw into the Valley of Diamonds. In the right of a gold band round her middle, was an immense gold watch, with a bunch of mosaic seals appended to a massive chain of the same material; and a large miniature of Mr. Jorrocks when he was a young man, with his hair stiffly curled, occupied a place on her left side. On her right arm dangled a green velvet bag with a gold cord, out of which one of Mr. Jorrocks's silk handkerchiefs protruded, while a crumpled, yellowish-white cambric one, with a lace fringe, lay at her side.

On an hour-glass stool, a little behind Mrs. Jorrocks, sat her niece Belinda (Joe Jorrocks's eldest daughter), a nice laughing pretty girl of sixteen, with languishing blue eyes, brown hair, a nose of the "turn-up"

order, beautiful mouth and teeth, a very fair complexion, and a gracefully moulded figure. She had just left one of the finishing and polishing seminaries in the neighbourhood of Bromley, where, for two hundred a year and upwards, all the teasing accomplishments of life are taught, and Mrs. Jorrocks, in her own mind, had already appropriated her to James Green, while Mr. Jorrocks, on the other hand, had assigned her to Stubbs. Belinda's dress was simplicity itself; her silken hair hung in shining tresses down her smiling face, confined by a plain tortoiseshell comb behind, and a narrow pink velvet band before. Round her swan-like neck was a plain white cornelian necklace; and her well-washed white muslin frock, confined by a pink sash, flowing behind in a bow, met in simple folds across her swelling bosom. Black sandal shoes confined her fairy feet, and with French cotton stockings, completed her toilette. Belinda, though young, was a celebrated eastern beauty, and there was not a butcher's boy in Whitechapel, from Michael Scales downwards, but what eyed her with delight as she passed along from Shoreditch on her daily walk.

The presentations having been effected, and the heat of the day, the excellence of the house, the cleanliness of Great Coram Street--the usual topics, in short, when people know nothing of each other--having been discussed, our party scattered themselves about the room to await the pleasing announcement of dinner. Mr. Jorrocks, of course, was in attendance upon Nimrod, while Mr. Stubbs made love to Belinda behind Mrs. Jorrocks.

Presently a loud long-protracted "rat-tat-tat-tat-tan, rat-tat-tat-tat-tan," at the street door sounded through the house, and Jorrocks, with a slap on his thigh, exclaimed, "By Jingo! there's Green.

No man knocks with such wigorous wiolence as he does. All Great Coram Street and parts adjacent know when he comes. Julius Caesar himself couldn't kick up a greater row." "What Green is it, Green of Rollestone?" inquired Nimrod, thinking of his Leicestershire friend.

"No," said Mr. Jorrocks, "Green of Tooley Street. You'll have heard of the Greens in the borough, 'emp, 'op, and 'ide (hemp, hop, and hide) merchants--numerous family, numerous as the 'airs in my vig. This is James Green, jun., whose father, old James Green, jun., _verd antique_, as I calls him, is the son of James Green, sen., who is in the 'emp line, and James is own cousin to young old James Green, sen., whose father is in the 'ide line." The remainder of the pedigree was lost by Benjamin throwing open the door and announcing Mr. Green; and Jemmy, who had been exchanging his cloth boots for patent-leather pumps, came bounding upstairs like a racket-ball. "My dear Mrs. Jorrocks," cried he, swinging through the company to her, "I'm delighted to see you looking so well. I declare you are fifty per cent younger than you were.

Belinda, my love, 'ow are you? Jorrocks, my friend, 'ow do ye do?"

"Thank ye, James," said Jorrocks, shaking hands with him most cordially, "I'm werry well, indeed, and delighted to see you. Now let me present you to Nimrod."

"Ay, Nimrod!" said Green, in his usual flippant style, with a nod of his head, "'ow are ye, Nimrod? I've heard of you, I think--Nimrod Brothers and Co., bottle merchants, Crutched Friars, ain't it?"

"No," said Jorrocks, in an undertone with a frown--Happerley Nimrod, the great sporting hauthor."

"True," replied Green, not at all disconcerted, "I've heard of him--Nimrod--the mighty 'unter before the lord. Glad to see ye, Nimrod.

Stubbs, 'ow are ye?" nodding to the Yorkshireman, as he jerked himself on to a chair on the other side of Belinda.

As usual, Green was as gay as a peacock. His curly flaxen wig projected over his forehead like the roof of a Swiss cottage, and his pointed gills were supported by a stiff black mohair stock, with a broad front and black frill confined with jet studs down the centre. His coat was light green, with archery buttons, made very wide at the hips, with which he sported a white waistcoat, bright yellow ochre leather trousers, pink silk stockings, and patent-leather pumps. In his hand he carried a white silk handkerchief, which smelt most powerfully of musk; and a pair of dirty wristbands drew the eye to sundry dashing rings upon his fingers.

Jonathan Crane, a little long-nosed old city wine-merchant, a member of the Surrey Hunt, being announced and presented, Mrs. Jorrocks declared herself faint from the heat of the room, and begged to be excused for a few minutes. Nimrod, all politeness, was about to offer her his arm, but Mr. Jorrocks pulled him back, whispering, "Let her go, let her go." "The fact is," said he in an undertone after she was out of hearing, "it's a way Mrs. J---- has when she wants to see that dinner's all right.

You see she's a terrible high-bred woman, being a cross between a gentleman-usher and a lady's-maid, and doesn't like to be supposed to look after these things, so when she goes, she always pretend to faint.

You'll see her back presently," and, just as he spoke, in she came with a half-pint smelling-bottle at her nose. Benjamin followed immediately after, and throwing open the door proclaimed, in a half-fledged voice, that "dinner was sarved," upon which the party all started on their legs.

"Now, Mr. Happerley Nimrod," cried Jorrocks, "you'll trot Mrs. J---- down--according to the book of etiquette, you know, giving her the wall side.[25] Sorry, gentlemen, I havn't ladies apiece for you, but my sally-manger, as we say in France, is rayther small, besides which I never like to dine more than eight. Stubbs, my boy, Green and you must toss up for Belinda--here's a halfpenny, and let be 'Newmarket'[26] if you please. Wot say you? a voman! Stubbs wins!" cried Mr. Jorrocks, as the halfpenny fell head downwards. "Now, Spiers, couple up with Crane, and James and I will whip in to you. But stop, gentlemen!" cried Mr. Jorrocks, as he reached the top of the stairs, "let me make one request--that you von't eat the windmill you'll see on the centre of the table. Mrs. Jorrocks has hired it for the evening, of Mr. Farrell, the confectioner, in Lamb's Conduit Street, and it's engaged to two or three evening parties after it leaves this." "Lauk, John! how wulgar you are.

What matter can it make to your friends where the windmill comes from!"

exclaimed Mrs. Jorrocks in an audible voice from below, Nimrod, with admirable skill, having piloted her down the straights and turns of the staircase. Having squeezed herself between the backs of the chairs and the wall, Mrs. Jorrocks at length reached the head of the table, and with a bump of her body and wave of her hand motioned Nimrod to take the seat on her right. Green then pushed past Belinda and Stubbs, and took the place on Mrs. Jorrocks's left, so Stubbs, with a dexterous manoeuvre, placed himself in the centre of the table, with Belinda between himself and her uncle. Crane and Spiers then filled the vacant places on Nimrod's side, Mr. Spiers facing Mr. Stubbs.

[Footnote 25: "In your passage from one room to another, offer the lady the wall in going downstairs," etc,--_Spirit of Etiquette._]

[Footnote 26: "We have repeatedly decided that Newmarket is _one_ toss."--_Bell's Life._]

The dining-room was the breadth of the passage narrower than the front drawing-room, and, as Mr. Jorrocks truly said, was rayther small--but the table being excessively broad, made the room appear less than it was. It was lighted up with spermaceti candles in silver holders, one at each corner of the table, and there was a lamp in the wall between the red-curtained windows, immediately below a brass nail, on which Mr.

Jorrocks's great hunting-whip and a bunch of boot garters were hung. Two more candles in the hands of bronze Dianas on the marble mantelpiece, lighted up a coloured copy of Barraud's picture of John Warde on Blue Ruin; while Mr. Ralph Lambton, on his horse Undertaker, with his hounds and men, occupied a frame on the opposite wall. The old-fashioned cellaret sideboard, against the wall at the end, supported a large bright-burning brass lamp, with raised foxes round the rim, whose effulgent rays shed a brilliant halo over eight black hats and two white ones, whereof the four middle ones were decorated with evergreens and foxes' brushes. The dinner table was crowded, not covered. There was scarcely a square inch of cloth to be seen on any part. In the centre stood a magnificent finely spun barley-sugar windmill, two feet and a half high, with a spacious sugar foundation, with a cart and horses and two or three millers at the door, and a she-miller working a ball-dress flounce at a lower window.

The whole dinner, first, second, third, fourth course --everything, in fact, except dessert--was on the table, as we sometimes see it at ordinaries and public dinners. Before both Mr. and Mrs. Jorrocks were two great tureens of mock-turtle soup, each capable of holding a gallon, and both full up to the brim. Then there were two sorts of fish; turbot and lobster sauce, and a great salmon. A round of boiled beef and an immense piece of roast occupied the rear of these, ready to march on the disappearance of the fish and soup--and behind the walls, formed by the beef of old England, came two dishes of grouse, each dish holding three brace. The side dishes consisted of a calf's head hashed, a leg of mutton, chickens, ducks, and mountains of vegetables; and round the windmill were plum-puddings, tarts, jellies, pies, and puffs.

Behind Mrs. Jorrocks's chair stood "Batsay" with a fine brass-headed comb in her hair, and stiff ringlets down her ruddy cheeks. She was dressed in a green silk gown, with a coral necklace, and one of Mr.

Jorrocks's lavender and white coloured silk pocket-handkerchiefs made into an apron. "Binjimin" stood with the door in his hand, as the saying is, with a towel twisted round his thumb, as though he had cut it.

"Now, gentlemen," said Mr. Jorrocks, casting his eye up the table, as soon as they had all got squeezed and wedged round it, and the dishes were uncovered, "you see your dinner, eat whatever you like except the windmill--hope you'll be able to satisfy nature with what's on--would have had more but Mrs. J---- is so werry fine, she won't stand two joints of the same sort on the table."

_Mrs. J._ Lauk, John, how can you be so wulgar! Who ever saw two rounds of beef, as you wanted to have? Besides, I'm sure the gentlemen will excuse any little defishency, considering the short notice we have had, and that this is not an elaborate dinner.

_Mr. Spiers._ I'm sure, ma'm, there's no de_fish_ency at all. Indeed, I think there's as much fish as would serve double the number--and I'm sure you look as if you had your soup "on sale or return," as we say in the magazine line.

Chapter end

Report
<<Prev
Next>>
Arial
Georgia
Courier New
Comic Sans MS
14
Catalogue
Night
Mode
Collect
Chapters
Report
Donate
Oh o, this user has not set a donation button.
English
Español
lingua italiana
Русский язык
Portugués
Deutsch
Novel Cool
Read thousands of novels online
Download
Success Warn New Timeout NO YES Summary More details Please rate this book Please write down your comment Reply Follow Followed This is the last chapter. Are you sure to delete? Account We've sent email to you successfully. You can check your email and reset password. You've reset your password successfully. We're going to the login page. Read Your cover's min size should be 160*160px Your cover's type should be .jpg/.jpeg/.png This book hasn't have any chapter yet. This is the first chapter This is the last chapter We're going to home page. * Book name can't be empty. * Book name has existed. At least one picture Book cover is required Please enter chapter name Create Successfully Modify successfully Fail to modify Fail Error Code Edit Delete Just Are you sure to delete? This volume still has chapters Create Chapter Fold Delete successfully Please enter the chapter name~ Then click 'choose pictures' button Are you sure to cancel publishing it? Picture can't be smaller than 300*300 Failed Name can't be empty Email's format is wrong Password can't be empty Must be 6 to 14 characters