Jorrocks' Jaunts and Jollities Part 14

Crane was shy--unused to sing in company--nevertheless, if it was the wish of the party, and if it would oblige his good customer, Mr.

Jorrocks, he would try his hand at a stave or two made in honour of the immortal Surrey. Having emptied his glass and cleared his windpipe, Crane commenced:

"Here's a health to them that can ride!

Here's a health to them that can ride!

And those that don't wish good luck to the cause.

May they roast by their own fireside!

It's good to drown care in the chase, It's good to drown care in the bowl.

It's good to support Daniel Haigh and his hounds, Here's his health from the depth of my soul."


"Hurrah for the loud tally-ho!

Hurrah for the loud tally-ho!

It's good to support Daniel Haigh and his hounds.

And echo the shrill tally-ho!"

"Here's a health to them that can ride!

Here's a health to them that ride bold!

May the leaps and the dangers that each has defied, In columns of sporting be told!

Here's freedom to him that would walk!

Here's freedom to him that would ride!

There's none ever feared that the horn should be heard Who the joys of the chase ever tried."

"Hurrah for the loud tally-ho!

Hurrah for the loud tally-ho!

It's good to support Daniel Haigh and his hounds, And halloo the loud tally-ho!"

"Beautiful! beautiful!" exclaimed Jorrocks, clapping his hands and stamping as Crane had ceased.

"A werry good song, and it's werry well sung.

Jolly companions every one!"

"Gentlemen, pray charge your glasses--there's one toast we must drink in a bumper if we ne'er take a bumper again. Mr. Spiers, pray charge your glass--Mr. Stubbs, vy don't you fill up?--Mr. Nimrod, off with your 'eel taps, pray--I'll give ye the 'Surrey 'Unt,' with all my 'art and soul.

Crane, my boy, here's your werry good health, and thanks for your song!"

(All drink the Surrey Hunt and Crane's good health, with applause, which brings him on his legs with the following speech):

"Gentlemen, unaccustomed as I am to public speaking (laughter), I beg leave on behalf of myself and the absent members of the Surrey 'Unt, to return you our own most 'artfelt thanks for the flattering compliment you have just paid us, and to assure you that the esteem and approbation of our fellow-sportsmen is to us the magnum bonum of all earthly 'appiness (cheers and laughter). Gentlemen, I will not trespass longer upon your valuable time, but as you seem to enjoy this wine of my friend Mr. Jorrocks's, I may just say that I have got some more of the same quality left, at from forty-two to forty-eight shillings a dozen, also some good stout draught port, at ten and sixpence a gallon--some ditto werry superior at fifteen; also foreign and British spirits, and Dutch liqueurs, rich and rare." The conclusion of the vintner's address was drowned in shouts of laughter. Mr. Jorrocks then called upon the company in succession for a toast, a song, or a sentiment. Nimrod gave, "The Royal Staghounds"; Crane gave, "Champagne to our real friends, and real pain to our sham friends"; Green sung, "I'd be a butterfly"; Mr. Stubbs gave, "Honest men and bonnie lasses"; and Mr. Spiers, like a patriotic printer, gave, "The liberty of the Press," which he said was like fox-hunting--"if we have it not we die"--all of which Mr. Jorrocks applauded as if he had never heard them before, and drank in bumpers. It was evident that unless tea was speedily announced he would soon become;

O'er the ills of life victorious,

for he had pocketed his wig, and had been clipping the Queen's English for some time. After a pause, during which his cheeks twice changed colour, from red to green and back to red, he again called for a bumper toast, which he prefaced with the following speech, or parts of a speech:

"Gentlemen--in rising--propose toast about to give--feel werry--feel werry--(Yorkshireman, 'werry muzzy?') J---- feel werry--(Mr. Spiers, 'werry sick?') J---- werry--(Crane, 'werry thirsty?') J---- feel werry --(Nimrod, 'werry wise?') J---- no; but werry sensible --great compliment--eyes of England upon us--give you the health--Mr. Happerley Nimrod--three times three!"

He then attempted to rise for the purpose of marking the time, but his legs deserted his body, and after two or three lurches down he went with a tremendous thump under the table. He called first for "Batsay," then for "Binjimin," and, game to the last, blurted out, "Lift me up!--tie me in my chair!--fill my glass!"


On the morning after Mr. Jorrocks's "dinner party" I had occasion to go into the city, and took Great Coram Street in my way. My heart misgave me when I recollected Mrs. J---- and her horrid paws, but still I thought it my duty to see how the grocer was after his fall. Arrived at the house I rang the area bell, and Benjamin, who was cleaning knives below, popped his head up, and seeing who it was, ran upstairs and opened the door. His master was up, he said, but "werry bad," and his misses was out. Leaving him to resume his knife-cleaning occupation, I slipped quietly upstairs, and hearing a noise in the bedroom, opened the door, and found Jorrocks sitting in his dressing-gown in an easy chair, with Betsey patting his bald head with a damp towel.

"Do that again, Batsay! Do that again!" was the first sound I heard, being an invitation to Betsey to continue her occupation. "Here's the Yorkshireman, sir," said Betsey, looking around.

"Ah, Mr. York, how are you this morning?" said he, turning a pair of eyes upon me that looked like boiled gooseberries--his countenance indicating severe indisposition. "Set down, sir; set down--I'm werry bad--werry bad indeed--bad go last night. Doesn't do to go to the lush-crib this weather. How are you, eh? tell me all about it. Is Mr.

Nimrod gone?"

"Don't know," said I; "I have just come from Lancaster Street, where I have been seeing an aunt, and thought I would take Great Coram Street in my way to the city, to ask how you do--but where's Mrs. Jorrocks?"

_Jorrocks_. Oh, cuss Mrs. J----; I knows nothing about her--been reading the Riot Act, and giving her red rag a holiday all the morning--wish to God I'd never see'd her--took her for better and worser, it's werry true; but she's a d----d deal worser than I took her for. Hope your hat may long cover your family. Mrs. J----'s gone to the Commons to Jenner--swears she'll have a diworce, a _mensa et thorax_, I think she calls it--wish she may get it--sick of hearing her talk about it--Jenner's the only man wot puts up with her, and that's because he gets his fees. Batsay, my dear! you may damp another towel, and then get me something to cool my coppers--all in a glow, I declare--complete fever. You whiles go to the lush-crib, Mr. Yorkshireman; what now do you reckon best after a regular drench?

_Yorkshireman._ Oh, nothing like a glass of soda-water with a bottom of brandy--some people prefer a sermon, but that won't suit you or I. After your soda and brandy take a good chivy in the open air, and you'll be all right by dinner-time.

_Jorrocks._ Right I Bliss ye, I shall niver be right again. I can scarce move out of my chair, I'm so bad--my head's just fit to split in two--I'm in no state to be seen.

_Yorkshireman._ Oh, pooh!--get your soda-water and brandy, then have some strong coffee and a red herring, and you'll be all right, and if you'll find cash, I'll find company, and we'll go and have a lark together.

_Jorrocks._ Couldn't really be seen out---besides, cash is werry scarce.

By the way, now that I come to think on it, I had a five-pounder in my breeches last night. Just feel in the pocket of them 'ere nankeens, and see that Mrs. J---- has not grabbed it to pay Jenner's fee with.

_Yorkshireman_ (feels). No--all right--here it is--No. 10,497--I promise to pay Mr. Thos. Rippon, or bearer, on demand, five pounds! Let's demand it, and go and spend the cash.

_Jorrocks._ No, no--put it back--or into the table-drawer, see--fives are werry scarce with me--can't afford it--must be just before I'm generous.

_Yorkshireman._ Well, then, J----, you must just stay at home and get bullied by Mrs. J----, who will be back just now, I dare say, perhaps followed by Jenner and half Doctors' Commons.

_Jorrocks_. The deuce! I forgot all that--curse Mrs. J---- and the Commons too. Well, Mr. Yorkshireman, I don't care if I do go with you--but where shall it be to? Some place where we can be quiet, for I really am werry bad, and not up to nothing like a lark.

_Yorkshireman_. Suppose we take a sniff of the briny--Margate--Ramsgate--Broadstairs?

_Jorrocks_. No, none of them places--over-well-known at 'em all--can't be quiet--get to the lush-crib again, perhaps catch the cholera and go to Gravesend by mistake. Let's go to the Eel Pye at Twickenham and live upon fish.

_Yorkshireman_. Fish! you old flat. Why, you know, you'd be the first to cry out if you had to do so. No, no--let's have no humbug--here, drink your coffee like a man, and then hustle your purse and see what it will produce. Why, even Betsey's laughing at the idea of your living upon fish.

_Jorrocks_. Don't shout so, pray--your woice shoots through every nerve of my head and distracts me (drinks). This is grand Mocho--quite the cordial balm of Gilead--werry fine indeed. Now I feel rewived and can listen to you.

_Yorkshireman_. Well, then, pull on your boots--gird up your loins, and let's go and spend this five pounds--stay away as long as it lasts, in fact.

_Jorrocks_. Well, but give me the coin--it's mine you know--and let me be paymaster, or I know you'll soon be into dock again. That's right; and now I have got three half-crowns besides, which I will add.

_Yorkshireman_. And I've got three pence, which, not to be behind-hand in point of liberality, I'll do the same with, so that we have got five pounds seven shillings and ninepence between us, according to Cocker.

_Jorrocks_. Between us, indeed! I likes that. You're a generous churchwarden.

_Yorkshireman_. Well--we won't stand upon trifles the principle is the thing I look to--and not the amount. So now where to, your honour?

After a long parley, we fixed upon Herne Bay. Our reasons for doing so were numerous, though it would be superfluous to mention them, save that the circumstance of neither of us ever having been there, and the prospect of finding a quiet retreat for Jorrocks to recover in, were the principal ones. Our arrangements were soon made. "Batsay," said J---- to his principessa of a cook, slut, and butler, "the Yorkshireman and I are going out of town to stay five pounds seven and ninepence, so put up my traps." Two shirts (one to wash the other as he said), three pairs of stockings, with other etceteras, were stamped into a carpet-bag, and taking a cab, we called at the "Piazza," where I took a few things, and away we drove to Temple Bar. "Stop here with the bags," said Jorrocks, "while I go to the Temple Stairs and make a bargain with a Jacob Faithful to put us on board, for if they see the bags they'll think it's a case of necessity, and ask double; whereas I'll pretend I'm just going a-pleasuring, and when I've made a bargain, I'll whistle, and you can come." Away he rolled, and after the lapse of a few minutes I heard a sort of shilling-gallery cat-call, and obeying the summons, found he had concluded a bargain for one and sixpence. We reached St. Catherine's Docks just as the Herne Bay boat--the _Hero_--moored alongside, consequently were nearly the first on board.

Chapter end

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