Jorrocks' Jaunts and Jollities Part 2

Great was the emulation when any of these were approached, and the rasping sportsmen rushed eagerly to the "fore." At last they approach "Miss Birchwell's finishing and polishing seminary for young ladies,"

whose great flaring blue-and-gold sign, reflecting the noonday rays of the sun, had frightened the fox and caused him to alter his line and take away to the west. A momentary check ensued, but all the amateur huntsmen being blown, Tom, who is well up with his hounds, makes a quick cast round the house, and hits off the scent like a workman. A private road and a line of gates through fields now greet the eyes of our M'Adamisers. A young gentleman on a hired hunter very nattily attired, here singles himself out and takes place next to Tom, throwing the pebbles and dirt back in the eyes of the field. Tom crams away, throwing the gates open as he goes, and our young gentleman very coolly passes through, without a touch, letting them bang-to behind him. The Yorkshireman, who had been gradually creeping up, until he has got the third place, having opened two or three, and seeing another likely to close for want of a push, cries out to our friend as he approaches, "Put out your hand, sir!" The gentleman obediently extends his limb like the arm of a telegraph, and rides over half the next field with his hand in the air! The gate, of course, falls to.

A stopper appears--a gate locked and spiked, with a downward hinge to prevent its being lifted. To the right is a rail, and a ha-ha beyond it--to the left a quick fence. Tom glances at both, but turns short, and backing his horse, rides at the rail. The Yorkshireman follows, but Jorrocks, who espies a weak place in the fence a few yards from the gate, turns short, and jumping off, prepares to lead over. It is an old gap, and the farmer has placed a sheep hurdle on the far side. Just as Jorrocks has pulled that out, his horse, who is a bit of a rusher, and has got his "monkey" completely up, pushes forward while his master is yet stooping--and hitting him in the rear, knocks him clean through the fence, head foremost into a squire-trap beyond!--"Non redolet sed olet!"

exclaims the Yorkshireman, who dismounts in a twinkling, lending his friend a hand out of the unsavoury cesspool.--"That's what comes of hunting in a new[12] saddle, you see," added he, holding his nose.

Jorrocks scrambles upon "terra firma" and exhibits such a spectacle as provokes the shouts of the field. He has lost his wig, his hat hangs to his back, and one side of his person and face is completely japanned with black odoriferous mixture. "My vig!" exclaims he, spitting and spluttering, "but that's the nastiest hole I ever was in--Fleet Ditch is lavender-water compared to it! Hooi yonder!" hailing a lad, "Catch my 'oss, boouy!" Tom Hills has him; and Jorrocks, pocketing his wig, remounts, rams his spurs into the nag, and again tackles with the pack, which had come to a momentary check on the Eden Bridge road. The fox has been headed by a party of gipsies, and, changing his point, bends southward and again reaches the hills, along which some score of horsemen have planted themselves in the likeliest places to head him.

Reynard, however, is too deep for them, and has stolen down unperceived.

Poor Jorrocks, what with the violent exertion of riding, his fall, and the souvenir of the cesspool that he still bears about him, pulls up fairly exhausted. "Oh, dear," says he, scraping the thick of the filth off his coat with his whip, "I'm reglarly blown, I earn't go down with the 'ounds this turn; but, my good fellow," turning to the Yorkshireman, who was helping to purify him, "don't let me stop you, go down by all means, but mind, bear in mind the quarter of house-lamb--at half-past five to a minute."

[Footnote 12: There is a superstition among sportsmen that they are sure to get a fall the first day they appear in anything new.]

Many of the cits now gladly avail themselves of the excuse of assisting Mr. Jorrocks to clean himself for pulling up, but as soon as ever those that are going below hill are out of sight and they have given him two or three wipes, they advise him to let it "dry on," and immediately commence a different sort of amusement--each man dives into his pocket and produces the eatables.

Part of Jorrocks's half-quartern loaf was bartered with the captain of an East Indiaman for a slice of buffalo-beef. The dentist exchanged some veal sandwiches with a Jew for ham ones; a lawyer from the Borough offered two slices of toast for a hard-boiled egg; in fact there was a petty market "ouvert" held. "Now, Tomkins, where's the bottle?" demanded Jenkins. "Vy, I thought you would bring it out to-day," replied he; "I brought it last time, you know." "Take a little of mine, sir," said a gentleman, presenting a leather-covered flask--"real Thomson and Fearon, I assure you." "I wish someone would fetch an ocean of porter from the nearest public," said another. "Take a cigar, sir?" "No; I feel werry much obliged, but they always make me womit." "Is there any gentleman here going to Halifax, who would like to make a third in a new yellow barouche, with lavender-coloured wheels, and pink lining?" inquired Mr.----, the coach-maker. "Look at the hounds, gentlemen sportsmen, my noble sportsmen!" bellowed out an Epsom Dorling's correct--cardseller--and turning their eyes in the direction in which he was looking, our sportsmen saw them again making for the hills.

Pepper-and-salt first, and oh, what a goodly tail was there!--three quarters of a mile in length, at the least. Now up they come--the "corps de reserve" again join, and again a party halt upon the hills. Again Tom Hills exchanges horses; and again the hounds go on in full cry. "I must be off," said a gentleman in balloon-like leathers to another tiger; "we have just time to get back to town, and ride round by the park before it is dark--much better than seeing the end of this brute. Let us go"; and away they went to canter through Hyde Park in their red coats. "I must go and all," said another gentleman; "my dinner will be ready at five, and it is now three." Jorrocks was game; and forgetting the quarter of house-lamb, again tackled with the pack. A smaller sweep sufficed this time, and the hills were once more descended, Jorrocks the first to lead the way. He well knew the fox was sinking, and was determined to be in at the death. Short running ensued--a check--the fox had lain down, and they had overrun the scent. Now they were on him, and Tom Hills's who-whoop confirmed the whole.

"Ah! Tom Hills, Tom Hills!" exclaimed Jorrocks, as the former took up the fox, "'ow splendid, 'ow truly brilliant--by Jove, you deserve to be Lord Hill--oh, had he but a brush that we might present it to this gentleman from the north-east side of the town of Boroughbridge, in the county of York, to show the gallant doings of the men of Surrey!" "Ay,"

said Tom, "but Squire----'s keeper has been before us for it."

"Now," said a gentleman in a cap, to another in a hat, "if you will ride up the hill and collect the money there, I will do so below--half-a-crown, if you please, sir--half-a-crown, if you please, sir.--Have I got your half-a-crown, sir?"--"Here's three shillings if you will give me sixpence." "Certainly, sir--certainly." "We have no time to spare," said Jorrocks, looking at his watch. "Good afternoon, gentlemen, good afternoon," muttering as he went, "a quarter of house-lamb at half-past five--Mrs. Jorrocks werry punctual--old Fleecy werry particular." They cut across country to Croydon, and as they approached the town, innumerable sportsmen came flocking in from all quarters. "What sport have you had?" inquired Jorrocks of a gentleman in scarlet; "have you been with Jolliffe?" "No, with the staghounds; three beautiful runs; took him once in a millpond, once in a barn, and once in a brickfield--altogether the finest day's sport I ever saw in my life."

"What have you done, Mr. J----?" "Oh, we have had a most gallant thing; a brilliant run indeed--three hours and twenty minutes without a check--over the finest country imaginable." "And who got the brush?"

inquired the stag-man. "Oh, it was a gallant run," said Jorrocks, "by far the finest I ever remember." "But did you kill?" demanded his friend. "Kill! to be sure we did. When don't the Surrey kill, I should like to know?" "And who got his brush, did you say?" "I can't tell,"

said he--"didn't hear the gentleman's name." "What sport has Mr. Meager had to-day?" inquired he of a gentleman in trousers, who issued from a side lane into the high road. "I have been with the Sanderstead, sir--a very capital day's sport--run five hares and killed three. We should have killed four--only--we didn't." "I don't think Mr. Meager has done anything to-day." "Yes, he has," said a gentleman, who just joined with a hare buckled on in front of his saddle, and his white cords all stained with blood; "we killed this chap after an hour and forty-five minutes' gallop; and accounted for another by losing her after running upwards of-three-quarters of an hour." "Well, then, we have all had sport," said Jorrocks, as he spurred his horse into a trot, and made for Morton's stables--"and if the quarter of house-lamb is but right, then indeed am I a happy man."


Our readers are now becoming pretty familiar with our principal hero, Mr. Jorrocks, and we hope he improves on acquaintance. Our fox-hunting friends, we are sure, will allow him to be an enthusiastic member of the brotherhood, and though we do not profess to put him in competition with Musters, Osbaldeston, or any of those sort of men, we yet mean to say that had his lot been cast in the country instead of behind a counter, his keenness would have rendered him as conspicuous--if not as scientific--as the best of them.

For a cockney sportsman, however, he is a very excellent fellow--frank, hearty, open, generous, and hospitable, and with the exception of riding up Fleet Street one Saturday afternoon, with a cock-pheasant's tail sticking out of his red coat pocket, no one ever saw him do a cock tail action in his life.

The circumstances attending that exhibition are rather curious.--He had gone out as usual on a Saturday to have a day with the Surrey, but on mounting his hunter at Croydon, he felt the nag rather queer under him, and thinking he might have been pricked in the shoeing, he pulled up at the smith's at Addington to have his feet examined. This lost him five minutes, and unfortunately when he got to the meet, he found that a "travelling[13] fox" had been tallied at the precise moment of throwing off, with which the hounds had gone away in their usual brilliant style, to the tune of "Blue bonnets are over the border." As may be supposed, he was in a deuce of a rage; and his first impulse prompted him to withdraw his subscription and be done with the hunt altogether, and he trotted forward "on the line," in the hopes of catching them up to tell them so. In this he was foiled, for after riding some distance, he overtook a string of Smithfield horses journeying "foreign for Evans,"

whose imprints he had been taking for the hoof-marks of the hunters.

About noon he found himself dull, melancholy, and disconsolate, before the sign of the "Pig and Whistle," on the Westerham road, where, after wetting his own whistle with a pint of half-and-half, he again journeyed onward, ruminating on the uncertainty and mutability of all earthly affairs, the comparative merits of stag-, fox-, and hare-hunting, and the necessity of getting rid of the day somehow or other in the country.

[Footnote 13: He might well be called a "travelling fox," for it was said he had just travelled down from Herring's, in the New Road, by the Bromley stage.]

Suddenly his reverie was interrupted by the discharge of a gun in the field adjoining the hedge along which he was passing, and the boisterous whirring of a great cock-pheasant over his head, which caused his horse to start and stop short, and to nearly pitch Jorrocks over his head. The bird was missed, but the sportsman's dog dashed after it, with all the eagerness of expectation, regardless of the cracks of the whip--the "comes to heel," and "downs to charge" of the master. Jorrocks pulled out his hunting telescope, and having marked the bird down with the precision of a billiard-table keeper, rode to the gate to acquaint the shooter with the fact, when to his infinite amazement he discovered his friend, Nosey Browne (late of "The Surrey"), who, since his affairs had taken the unfortunate turn mentioned in the last paper, had given up hunting and determined to confine himself to shooting only. Nosey, however, was no great performer, as may be inferred, when we state that he had been in pursuit of the above-mentioned cock-pheasant ever since daybreak, and after firing thirteen shots at him had not yet touched a feather.

His dog was of the right sort--for Nosey at least--and hope deferred had not made his heart sick; on the contrary, he dashed after his bird for the thirteenth time with all the eagerness he displayed on the first.

"Let me have a crack at him," said Jorrocks to Nosey, after their mutual salutations were over. "I know where he is, and I think I can floor him." Browne handed the gun to Jorrocks, who, giving up his hunter in exchange, strode off, and having marked his bird accurately, he kicked him up out of a bit of furze, and knocked him down as "dead as a door-nail." By that pheasant's tail hangs the present one.

Now Nosey Browne and Jorrocks were old friends, and Nosey's affairs having gone crooked, why of course, like most men in a similar situation, he was all the better for it; and while his creditors were taking twopence-halfpenny in the pound, he was taking his diversion on his wife's property, which a sagacious old father-in-law had secured to the family in the event of such a contingency as a failure happening; so knowing Jorrock's propensity for sports, and being desirous of chatting over all his gallant doings with "The Surrey," shortly after the above-mentioned day he dispatched a "twopenny," offering him a day's shooting on his property in Surrey, adding, that he hoped he would dine with him after. Jorrocks being invited himself, with a freedom peculiar to fox-hunters, invited his friend the Yorkshireman, and visiting his armoury, selected him a regular shot-scatterer of a gun, capable of carrying ten yards on every side.

At the appointed hour on the appointed morning, the Yorkshireman appeared in Great Coram Street, where he found Mr. Jorrocks in the parlour in the act of settling himself into a new spruce green cut-away gambroon butler's pantry-jacket, with pockets equal to holding a powder-flask each, his lower man being attired in tight drab stocking-net pantaloons, and Hessian boots with large tassels--a striking contrast to the fustian pocket-and-all-pocket jackets marked with game-bag strap, and shot-belt, and the weather-beaten many-coloured breeches and gaiters, and hob-nail shoes, that compose the equipment of a shooter in Yorkshire. Mr. Jorrocks not keeping any "sporting dogs," as the tax-papers call them, had borrowed a fat house-dog--a cross between a setter and a Dalmatian--of his friend Mr. Evergreen the greengrocer, which he had seen make a most undeniable point one morning in the Copenhagen Fields at a flock of pigeons in a beetroot garden. This valuable animal was now attached by a trash-cord through a ring in his brass collar to a leg of the sideboard, while a clean licked dish at his side, showed that Jorrocks had been trying to attach him to himself, by feeding him before starting.

"We'll take a coach to the Castle", said Jorrocks, "and then get a go-cart or a cast somehow or other to Streatham, for we shall have walking enough when we get there. Browne is an excellent fellow, and will make us range every acre of his estate over half a dozen times before we give in". A coach was speedily summoned, into which Jorrocks, the dog Pompey, the Yorkshireman, and the guns were speedily placed, and away they drove to the "Elephant and Castle."

There were short stages about for every possible place except Streatham.

Greenwich, Deptford, Blackheath, Eltham, Bromley, Footscray, Beckenham, Lewisham--all places but the right. However, there were abundance of "go-carts," a species of vehicle that ply in the outskirts of the metropolis, and which, like the watering-place "fly," take their name from the contrary--in fact, a sort of _lucus a non lucendo_. They are carts on springs, drawn by one horse (with curtains to protect the company from the weather), the drivers of which, partly by cheating, and partly by picking pockets, eke out a comfortable existence, and are the most lawless set of rascals under the sun. Their arrival at the "Elephant and Castle" was a signal for a general muster of the fraternity, who, seeing the guns, were convinced that their journey was only what they call "a few miles down the road," and they were speedily surrounded by twenty or thirty of them, all with "excellent 'osses, vot vould take their honours fourteen miles an hour." All men of business are aware of the advantages of competition, and no one more so than Jorrocks, who stood listening to their offers with the utmost sang-froid, until he closed with one to take them to Streatham Church for two shillings, and deliver them within the half-hour, which was a signal for all the rest to set-to and abuse them, their coachman, and his horse, which they swore had been carrying "stiff-uns" [14] all night, and "could not go not none at all". Nor were they far wrong; for the horse, after scrambling a hundred yards or two, gradually relaxed into something between a walk and a trot, while the driver kept soliciting every passer-by to "ride," much to our sportsmen's chagrin, who conceived they were to have the "go" all to themselves. Remonstrance was vain, and he crammed in a master chimney-sweep, Major Ballenger the licensed dealer in tea, coffee, tobacco, and snuff, of Streatham (a customer of Jorrocks), and a wet-nurse; and took up an Italian organ-grinder to ride beside himself on the front, before they had accomplished Brixton Hill. Jorrocks swore most lustily that he would fine him, and at every fresh assurance, the driver offered a passer-by a seat; but having enlisted Major Ballenger into their cause, they at length made a stand, which, unfortunately for them, was more than the horse could do, for just as he was showing off, as he thought, with a bit of a trot, down they all soused in the mud. Great was the scramble; guns, barrel-organ, Pompey, Jorrocks, driver, master chimney-sweep, Major Ballenger, were all down together, while the wet-nurse, who sat at the end nearest the door, was chucked clean over the hedge into a dry ditch. This was a signal to quit the vessel, and having extricated themselves the best way they could, they all set off on foot, and left the driver to right himself at his leisure.

[Footnote 14: Doing a bit of resurrection work.]

Ballenger looked rather queer when he heard they were going to Nosey Browne's, for it so happened that Nosey had managed to walk into his books for groceries and kitchen-stuff to the tune of fourteen pounds, a large sum to a man in a small way of business; and to be entertaining friends so soon after his composition, seemed curious to Ballenger's uninitiated suburban mind.

Crossing Streatham Common, a short turn to the left by some yew-trees leads, by a near cut across the fields, to Browne's house; a fiery-red brick castellated cottage, standing on the slope of a gentle eminence, and combining almost every absurdity a cockney imagination can be capable of. Nosey, who was his own "Nash," set out with the intention of making it a castle and nothing but a castle, and accordingly the windows were made in the loophole fashion, and the door occupied a third of the whole frontage. The inconveniences of the arrangements were soon felt, for while the light was almost excluded from the rooms, "rude Boreas"

had the complete run of the castle whenever the door was opened. To remedy this, Nosey increased the one and curtailed the other, and the Gothic oak-painted windows and door flew from their positions to make way for modern plate-glass in rich pea-green casements, and a door of similar hue. The battlements, however, remained, and two wooden guns guarded a brace of chimney-pots and commanded the wings of the castle, one whereof was formed into a green-, the other into a gig-house.

The peals of a bright brass-handled bell at a garden-gate, surmounted by a holly-bush with the top cut into the shape of a fox, announced their arrival to the inhabitants of "Rosalinda Castle," and on entering they discovered young Nosey in the act of bobbing for goldfish, in a pond about the size of a soup-basin; while Nosey senior, a fat, stupid-looking fellow, with a large corporation and a bottle nose, attired in a single-breasted green cloth coat, buff waistcoat, with drab shorts and continuations, was reposing, _sub tegmine fagi_, in a sort of tea-garden arbour, overlooking a dung-heap, waiting their arrival to commence an attack upon the sparrows which were regaling thereon. At one end of the garden was a sort of temple, composed of oyster-shells, containing a couple of carrier-pigeons, with which Nosey had intended making his fortune, by the early information to be acquired by them: but "there is many a slip," as Jorrocks would say.

Greetings being over, and Jorrocks having paid a visit to the larder, and made up a stock of provisions equal to a journey through the Wilderness, they adjourned to the yard to get the other dog, and the man to carry the game--or rather, the prog, for the former was but problematical. He was a character, a sort of chap of all work, one, in short, "who has no objection to make himself generally useful"; but if his genius had any decided bent, it was, perhaps, an inclination towards sporting.

Having to act the part of groom and gamekeeper during the morning, and butler and footman in the afternoon, he was attired in a sort of composition dress, savouring of the different characters performed. He had on an old white hat, a groom's fustian stable-coat cut down into a shooting-jacket, with a whistle at the button-hole, red plush smalls, and top-boots.

There is nothing a cockney delights in more than aping a country gentleman, and Browne fancied himself no bad hand at it; indeed, since his London occupation was gone, he looked upon himself as a country gentleman in fact. "Vell, Joe," said he, striddling and sticking his thumbs into the arm-holes of his waistcoat, to this invaluable man of all work, "we must show the gemmem some sport to-day; vich do you think the best line to start upon--shall we go to the ten hacre field, or the plantation, or Thompson's stubble, or Timms's turnips, or my meadow, or vere?" "Vy, I doesn't know," said Joe; "there's that old hen-pheasant as we calls Drab Bess, vot has haunted the plantin' these two seasons, and none of us ever could 'it (hit), and I hears that Jack, and Tom, and Bob, are still left out of Thompson's covey; but, my eyes! they're 'special vild!" "Vot, only three left? where is old Tom, and the old ramping hen?" inquired Browne. "Oh, Mr. Smith, and a party of them 'ere Bankside chaps, com'd down last Saturday's gone a week, and rattled nine-and-twenty shots at the covey, and got the two old 'uns; at least it's supposed they were both killed, though the seven on 'em only bagged one bird; but I heard they got a goose or two as they vent home. They had a shot at old Tom, the hare, too, but he is still alive; at least I pricked him yesterday morn across the path into the turnip-field.

Suppose we goes at him first?"

The estate, like the game, was rather deficient in quantity, but Browne was a wise man and made the most of what he had, and when he used to talk about his "manor" on 'Change, people thought he had at least a thousand acres--the extent a cockney generally advertises for, when he wants to take a shooting-place. The following is a sketch of what he had: The east, as far as the eye could reach, was bounded by Norwood, a name dear to cockneys, and the scene of many a furtive kiss; the hereditaments and premises belonging to Isaac Cheatum, Esq. ran parallel with it on the west, containing sixty-three acres, "be the same more or less," separated from which, by a small brook or runner of water, came the estate of Mr. Timms, consisting of sixty acres, three roods, and twenty-four perches, commonly called or known by the name of Fordham; next to it were two allotments in right of common, for all manner of cattle, except cows, upon Streatham Common, from whence up to Rosalinda Castle, on the west, lay the estate of Mr. Browne, consisting of fifty acres and two perches. Now it so happened that Browne had formerly the permission to sport all the way up to Norwood, a distance of a mile and a half, and consequently he might have been said to have the right of shooting in Norwood itself, for the keepers only direct their attention to the preservation of the timber and the morals of the visitors; but since his composition with his creditors, Mr. Cheatum, who had "gone to the wall" himself in former years, was so scandalised at Browne doing the same, that no sooner did his name appear in the _Gazette_, than Cheatum withdrew his permission, thereby cutting him off from Norwood and stopping him in pursuit of his game.

Joe's proposition being duly seconded, Mr. Jorrocks, in the most orthodox manner, flushed off his old flint and steel fire-engine, and proceeded to give it an uncommon good loading. The Yorkshireman, with a look of disgust, mingled with despair, and a glance at Joe's plush breeches and top-boots, did the same, while Nosey, in the most considerate sportsmanlike manner, merely shouldered a stick, in order that there might be no delicacy with his visitors, as to who should shoot first--a piece of etiquette that aids the escape of many a bird in the neighbourhood of London.

Old Tom--a most unfortunate old hare, that what with the harriers, the shooters, the snarers, and one thing and another, never knew a moment's peace, and who must have started in the world with as many lives as a cat--being doomed to receive the first crack on this occasion, our sportsmen stole gently down the fallow, at the bottom of which were the turnips, wherein he was said to repose; but scarcely had they reached the hurdles which divided the field, before he was seen legging it away clean out of shot. Jorrocks, who had brought his gun to bear upon him, could scarcely refrain from letting drive, but thinking to come upon him again by stealth, as he made his circuit for Norwood, he strode away across the allotments and Fordham estate, and took up a position behind a shed which stood on the confines of Mr. Timms's and Mr. Cheatum's properties. Here, having procured a rest for his gun, he waited until old Tom, who had tarried to nip a few blades of green grass that came in his way, made his appearance. Presently he came cantering along the outside of the wood, at a careless, easy sort of pace, betokening either perfect indifference for the world's mischief, or utter contempt of cockney sportsmen altogether.

He was a melancholy, woe-begone-looking animal, long and lean, with a slight inclination to grey on his dingy old coat, one that looked as though he had survived his kindred and had already lived beyond his day.

Jorrocks, however, saw him differently, and his eyes glistened as he came within range of his gun. A well-timed shot ends poor Tom's miseries! He springs into the air, and with a melancholy scream rolls neck over heels. Knowing that Pompey would infallibly spoil him if he got up first, Jorrocks, without waiting to load, was in the act of starting off to pick him up, when, at the first step, he found himself in the grasp of a Herculean monster, something between a coal-heaver and a gamekeeper, who had been secreted behind the shed. Nosey Browne, who had been watching his movements, holloaed out to Jorrocks to "hold hard," who stood motionless, on the spot from whence he fired, and Browne was speedily alongside of him. "You are on Squire Cheatum's estate," said the man; "and I have authority to take up all poachers and persons found unlawfully trespassing; what's your name?" "He's not on Cheatum's estate," said Browne. "He is," said the man. "You're a liar,"

said Browne. "You're another," said the man. And so they went on; for when such gentlemen meet, compliments pass current. At length the keeper pulled out a foot-rule, and keeping Jorrocks in the same position he caught him, he set-to to measure the distance of his foot from the boundary, taking off in a line from the shed; when it certainly did appear that the length of a big toe was across the mark, and putting up his measure again, he insisted upon taking Jorrocks before a magistrate for the trespass. Of course, no objection could be made, and they all adjourned to Mr. Boreem's, when the whole case was laid before him. To cut a long matter short--after hearing the pros and cons, and referring to the Act of Parliament, his worship decided that a trespass had been committed; and though, he said, it went against the grain to do so, he fined Jorrocks in the mitigated penalty of one pound one.

This was a sad damper to our heroes, who returned to the castle with their prog untouched and no great appetite for dinner. Being only a family party, when Mrs. B---- retired, the subject naturally turned upon the morning's mishap, and at every glass of port Jorrocks waxed more valiant, until he swore he would appeal against the "conwiction"; and remaining in the same mind when he awoke the next morning, he took the Temple in his way to St. Botolph Lane and had six-and-eightpence worth with Mr. Capias the attorney, who very judiciously argued each side of the question without venturing an opinion, and proposed stating a case for counsel to advise upon.

As usual, he gave one that would cut either way, though if it had any tendency whatever it was to induce Jorrocks to go on; and he not wanting much persuasion, it will not surprise our readers to hear that Jorrocks, Capias, and the Yorkshireman were seen a few days after crossing Waterloo Bridge in a yellow post-chaise, on their way to Croydon sessions.

After a "guinea" consultation at the "Greyhound," they adjourned to the court, which was excessively crowded, Jorrocks being as popular with the farmers and people as Cheatum was the reverse. Party feeling, too, running rather high at the time, there had been a strong "whip" among the magistrates to get a full attendance to reverse Boreem's conviction, who had made himself rather obnoxious on the blue interest at the election. Of course they all came in new hats,[15] and sat on the bench looking as wise as gentlemen judges generally do.

[Footnote 15: Magistrates always buy their hats about session times, as they have the privilege of keeping their hats on their blocks in court.]

One hundred and twenty-two affiliation cases (for this was in the old Poor Law time) having been disposed of, about one o'clock in the afternoon, the chairman, Mr. Tomkins of Tomkins, moved the order of the day. He was a perfect prototype of a county magistrate--with a bald powdered head covered by a low-crowned, broad-brimmed hat, hair terminating behind in a _queue_, resting on the ample collar of a snuff-brown coat, with a large bay-window of a corporation, with difficulty retained by the joint efforts of a buff waistcoat, and the waistband of a pair of yellow leather breeches. His countenance, which was solemn and grave in the extreme, might either be indicative of sense or what often serves in the place of wisdom--when parties can only hold their tongues--great natural stupidity. From the judge's seat, which he occupied in the centre of the bench, he observed, with immense dignity, "There is an appeal of Jorrocks against Cheatum, which we, the bench of magistrates of our lord the king, will take if the parties are ready,"

and immediately the court rang with "Jorrocks and Cheatum! Jorrocks and Cheatum! Mr. Capias, attorney-at-law! Mr. Capias answer to his name! Mr.

Sharp attorney-at-law! Mr. Sharp's in the jury-room.--Then go fetch him directly," from the ushers and bailiffs of the court; for though Tomkins of Tomkins was slow himself, he insisted upon others being quick, and was a great hand at prating about saving the time of the suitors. At length the bustle of counsel crossing the table, parties coming in and others leaving court, bailiffs shouting, and ushers responding, gradually subsided into a whisper of, "That's Jorrocks! That's Cheatum!"

as the belligerent parties took their places by their respective counsel. Silence having been called and procured, Mr. Smirk, a goodish-looking man for a lawyer, having deliberately unfolded his brief, which his clerk had scored plentifully in the margin, to make the attorney believe he had read it very attentively, rose to address the court--a signal for half the magistrates to pull their newspapers out of their pockets, and the other half to settle themselves down for a nap, all the sport being considered over when the affiliation cases closed.

"I have the honour to appear on behalf of Mr. Jorrocks," said Mr.

Smirk, "a gentleman of the very highest consideration--a fox-hunter--a shooter--and a grocer. In ordinary cases it might be necessary to prove the party's claim to respectability, but, in this instance, I feel myself relieved from any such obligation, knowing, as I do, that there is no one in this court, no one in these realms--I might almost add, no one in this world--to whom the fame of my most respectable, my most distinguished, and much injured client is unknown. Not to know JORROCKS is indeed to argue oneself unknown."

"This is a case of no ordinary interest, and I approach it with a deep sense of its importance, conscious of my inability to do justice to the subject, and lamenting that it has not been entrusted to abler hands.

It is a case involving the commercial and the sporting character of a gentleman against whom the breath of calumny has never yet been drawn--of a gentleman who in all the relations of life, whether as a husband, a fox-hunter, a shooter, or a grocer, has invariably preserved that character and reputation, so valuable in commercial life, so necessary in the sporting world, and so indispensable to a man moving in general society. Were I to look round London town in search of a bright specimen of a man combining the upright, sterling integrity of the honourable British merchant of former days with the ardour of the English fox-hunter of modern times, I would select my most respectable client, Mr. Jorrocks. He is a man for youth to imitate and revere!

Conceive, then, the horror of a man of his delicate sensibility--of his nervous dread of depreciation--being compelled to appear here this day to vindicate his character, nay more, his honour, from one of the foulest attempts at conspiracy that was ever directed against any individual. I say that a grosser attack was never made upon the character of any grocer, and I look confidently to the reversion of this unjust, unprecedented conviction, and to the triumphant victory of my most respectable and public-spirited client. It is not for the sake of the few paltry shillings that he appeals to this court--it is not for the sake of calling in question the power of the constituted authorities of this county--but it is for the vindication and preservation of a character dear to all men, but doubly dear to a grocer, and which once lost can never be regained. Look, I say, upon my client as he sits below the witness-box, and say, if in that countenance there appears any indication of a lawless or rebellious spirit; look, I say, if the milk of human kindness is not strikingly portrayed in every feature, and truly may I exclaim in the words of the poet:"

If to his share some trifling errors fall, Look in his face, and you'll forget them all.'

Chapter end

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