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

https://www.novelcool.com/chapter/Jorrocks-Jaunts-and-Jollities-Part-2/270279/
https://www.novelcool.com/chapter/Jorrocks-Jaunts-and-Jollities-Part-4/270281/

Jorrocks' Jaunts and Jollities Part 3

"I regret to be compelled to trespass upon the valuable time of the court; but, sir, this appeal is based on a trespass, and one good trespass deserves another."

The learned gentleman then proceeded to detail the proceedings of the day's shooting, and afterwards to analyse the enactments of the new Game Bill, which he denounced as arbitrary, oppressive, and ridiculous, and concluded a long and energetic speech, by calling upon the court to reverse the decision of the magistrate, and not support the preposterous position of fining a man for a trespass committed by his toe.

After a few minutes had elapsed, Mr. Sergeant Bumptious, a stiff, bull-headed little man, desperately pitted with the smallpox, rose to reply, and looking round the court, thus commenced:

"Five-and-thirty years have I passed in courts of justice, but never, during a long and extensive practice, have I witnessed so gross a perversion of that sublimest gift, called eloquence, as within the last hour"--here he banged his brief against the table, and looked at Mr.

Smirk, who smiled.--"I lament, sir, that it has not been employed in a better cause--(bang again--and another look). My learned friend has, indeed, laboured to make the worse appear the better cause--to convert into a trifle one of the most outrageous acts that ever disgraced a human being or a civilised country. Well did he describe the importance of this case!--important as regards his client's character--important as regards this great and populous county--important as regards those social ties by which society is held together--important as regards a legislative enactment, and important as regards the well-being and prosperity of the whole nation--(bang, bang, bang). I admire the bombastic eloquence with which my learned friend introduced his most distinguished client--his most delicate minded--sensitive client!--Truly, to hear him speaking I should have thought he had been describing a lovely, blushing young lady, but when he comes to exhibit his paragon of perfection, and points out that great, red-faced, coarse, vulgar-looking, lubberly lump of humanity--(here Bumptious looked at Jorrocks as he would eat him)--sitting below the witness-box, and seeks to enlist the sympathies of your worships on the Bench--of you, gentlemen, the high-minded, shrewd, penetrating judges of this important cause--(and Bumptious smiled and bowed along the Bench upon all whose eyes he could catch)--on behalf of such a monster of iniquity, it does make one blush for the degradation of the British Bar--(bang--bang--bang--Jorrocks here looked unutterable things). Does my learned friend think by displaying his hero as a fox-hunter, and extolling his prowess in the field, to gain over the sporting magistrates on the Bench? He knows little of the upright integrity--the uncompromising honesty--the undeviating, inflexible impartiality that pervades the breast of every member of this tribunal, if he thinks for the sake of gain, fear, favour, hope, or reward, to influence the opinion, much less turn the judgment, of any one of them." (Here Bumptious bowed very low to them all and laid his hand upon his heart.

Tomkins nodded approbation.) "Far, far be it from me to dwell with unbecoming asperity on the conduct of anyone--we are all mortals--and alike liable to err; but when I see a man who has been guilty of an act which has brought him all but within the verge of the prisoners' dock; I say, when I see a man who has been guilty of such an outrage on society as this ruffian Jorrocks, come forward with the daring effrontery that he has this day done, and claim redress where he himself is the offender, it does create a feeling in my mind divided between disgust and amazement"--(bang).

Here Jorrock's cauldron boiled over, and rising from his seat with an outstretched shoulder-of-mutton fist, he bawled out, "D--n you, sir, what do you mean?"

The court was thrown into amazement, and even Bumptious quailed before the fist of the mighty Jorrocks. "I claim the protection of the court,"

he exclaimed. Mr. Tomkins interposed, and said he should certainly order Mr. Jorrocks into custody if he repeated his conduct, adding that it was "most disrespectful to the justices of our lord the king."

Bumptious paused a little to gather breath and a fresh volume of venom wherewith to annihilate Jorrocks, and catching his eye, he transfixed him like a rattlesnake, and again resumed.

"How stands the case?" said he. "This cockney grocer--for after all he is nothing else--who I dare say scarcely knows a hawk from a hand-saw--leaves his figs and raisins, and sets out on a marauding excursion into the county of Surrey, and regardless of property--of boundaries--of laws--of liberties--of life itself--strides over every man's land, letting drive at whatever comes in his way! The hare he shot on this occasion was a pet hare!--For three successive summers had Miss Cheatum watched and fed it with all the interest and anxiety of a parent. I leave it to you, gentlemen, who have daughters of your own, with pets also, to picture to yourselves the agony of her mind in finding that her favourite had found its way down the throat of that great guzzling, gormandising, cockney cormorant; and then, forsooth, because he is fined for the outrageous trespass, he comes here as the injured party, and instructs his counsel to indulge in Billingsgate abuse that would disgrace the mouth of an Old Bailey practitioner! I regret that instead of the insignificant fine imposed upon him, the law did not empower the worthy magistrate to send him to the treadmill, there to recreate himself for six or eight months, as a warning to the whole fraternity of lawless vagabonds." Here he nodded his head at Jorrocks as much as to say, "I'll trounce you, my boy!" He then produced maps and plans of the different estates, and a model of the shed, to show how it had all happened, and after going through the case in such a strain as would induce one to believe it was a trial for murder or high treason, concluded as follows:

"The eyes of England are upon us--reverse this conviction, and you let loose a rebel band upon the country, ripe for treason, stratagem, or spoil--you overturn the finest order of society in the world; henceforth no man's property will be safe, the laws will be disregarded, and even the upright, talented, and independent magistracy of England brought into contempt. But I feel convinced that your decision will be far otherwise--that by it you will teach these hot-headed--rebellious--radical grocers that they cannot offend with impunity, and show them that there is a law which reaches even the lowest and meanest inhabitant of these realms, that amid these days of anarchy and innovation you will support the laws and aristocracy of this country, that you will preserve to our children, and our children's children, those rights and blessings which a great and enlightened administration have conferred upon ourselves, and raise for Tomkins of Tomkins and the magistracy of the proud county of Surrey, a name resplendent in modern times and venerated to all eternity."

Here Bumptious cast a parting frown at Jorrocks, and banging down his brief, tucked his gown under his arm, turned on his heel and left the court, to indulge in a glass of pale sherry and a sandwich, regardless which way the verdict went, so long as he had given him a good quilting.

The silence that followed had the effect of rousing some of the dozing justices, who nudging those who had fallen asleep, they all began to stir themselves, and having laid their heads together, during which time they settled the dinner-hour for that day, and the meets of the staghounds for the next fortnight, they began to talk of the matter before the court.

"I vote for reversing," said Squire Jolthead; "Jorrocks is such a capital fellow." "I must support Boreem," said Squire Hicks: "he gave me a turn when I made the mistaken commitment of Gipsy Jack." "What do you say, Mr. Giles?" inquired Mr. Tomkins. "Oh, anything you like, Mr.

Tomkins." "And you, Mr. Hopper?" who had been asleep all the time. "Oh!

guilty, I should say--three months at the treadmill--privately whipped, if you like," was the reply. Mr. Petty always voted on whichever side Bumptious was counsel--the learned serjeant having married his sister--and four others always followed the chair.

Tomkins then turned round, the magistrates resumed their seats along the bench, and coming forward he stood before the judge's chair, and taking off his hat with solemn dignity and precision, laid it down exactly in the centre of the desk, amid cries from the bailiffs and ushers for "Silence, while the justices of the peace of our sovereign lord the king, deliver the judgment of the court."

"The appellant in this case," said Mr. Tomkins, very slowly, "seeks to set aside a conviction for trespass, on the ground, as I understand, of his not having committed one. The principal points of the case are admitted, as also the fact of Mr. Jorrocks's toe, or a part of his toe, having intruded upon the respondent's estate. Now, so far as that point is concerned, it seems clear to myself and to my brother magistrates, that it mattereth not how much or how little of the toe was upon the land, so long as any part thereof was there. 'De minimis non curat lex'--the English of which is 'the law taketh no cognisance of fractions'--is a maxim among the salaried judges of the inferior courts in Westminster Hall, which we the unpaid, the in-cor-rup-ti-ble magistrates of the proud county of Surrey, have adopted in the very deep and mature deliberation that preceded the formation of our most solemn judgment. In the present great and important case, we, the unpaid magistrates of our sovereign lord the king, do not consider it necessary that there should be 'a toe, a whole toe, and nothing but a toe,' to constitute a trespass, any more than it would be necessary in the case of an assault to prove that the kick was given by the foot, the whole foot, and nothing but the foot. If any part of the toe was there, the law considers that it was there _in toto_. Upon this doctrine, it is clear that Mr. Jorrocks was guilty of a trespass, and the conviction must be affirmed. Before I dismiss the case I must say a few words on the statute under which this decision takes place.

"This is the first conviction that has taken place since the passing of the Act, and will serve as a precedent throughout all England. I congratulate the country upon the efficacy of the tribunal to which it has been submitted. The court has listened with great and becoming attention to the arguments of the counsel on both sides: and though one gentleman with a flippant ignorance has denounced this new law as inferior to the pre-existing system, and a curse to the country, we, the magistrates of the proud county of Surrey, must enter our protest against such a doctrine being promulgated. Peradventure, you are all acquainted with my prowess as a shooter; I won two silver tankards at the Red House, Anno Domini 1815. I mention this to show that I am a practical sportsman, and as to the theory of the Game Laws, I derive my information from the same source that you may all derive yours--from the bright refulgent pages of the _New Sporting Magazine_!"

IV. MR. JORROCKS AND THE SURREY STAGHOUNDS

The Surrey foxhounds had closed their season--a most brilliant one--but ere Mr. Jorrocks consigned his boots and breeches to their summer slumber, he bethought of having a look at the Surrey staghounds, a pack now numbered among the things that were.

Of course he required a companion, were it only to have some one to criticise the hounds with, so the evening before the appointed day, as the Yorkshireman was sitting in his old corner at the far end of the Piazza Coffee-room in Covent Garden, having just finished his second marrowbone and glass of white brandy, George--the only waiter in the room with a name--came smirking up with a card in his hand, saying, that the gentleman was waiting outside to speak with him. It was a printed one, but the large round hand in which the address had been filled up, encroaching upon the letters, had made the name somewhat difficult to decipher. At length he puzzled out "Mr. John Jorrocks--Coram Street"; the name of the city house or shop in the corner (No.--, St. Botolph's Lane) being struck through with a pen. "Oh, ask him to walk in directly," said the Yorkshireman to George, who trotted off, and presently the flapping of the doors in the passage announced his approach, and honest Jorrocks came rolling up the room--not like a fox-hunter, or any other sort of hunter, but like an honest wholesale grocer, fresh from the city.

"My dear fellow, I'm so glad to see you, you can't think," said he, advancing with both hands out, and hugging the Yorkshireman after the manner of a Polar bear. "I have not time to stay one moment; I have to meet Mr. Wiggins at the corner of Bloomsbury Square at a quarter to six, and it wants now only seven minutes to," casting his eye up at the clock over the sideboard.--"I have just called to say that as you are fond of hunting, and all that sort of thing, if you have a mind for a day with the staghounds to-morrow, I will mount you same as before, and all that sort of thing--you understand, eh?" "Thank you, my good friend," said the Yorkshireman; "I have nothing to do to-morrow, and am your man for a stag-hunt." "That's right, my good fellow," said Jorrocks, "then I'll tell you what do--come and breakfast with me in Great Coram Street, at half-past seven to a minute. I've got one of the first 'ams (hams) you ever clapt eyes on in the whole course of your memorable existence.--Saw the hog alive myself--sixteen score within a pound; must come--know you like a fork breakfast--dejeune a la fauchette, as we say in France, eh?

Like my Lord Mayor's fool I guess, love what's good; well, all right too--so come without any ceremony--us fox-hunters hates ceremony--where there's ceremony there's no friendship.--Stay--I had almost forgotten,"

added he, checking himself as he was on the point of departure. "When you come, ring the area bell, and then Mrs. J---- won't hear; know you don't like Mrs. J---- no more than myself."

At the appointed hour the Yorkshireman reached Great Coram Street, just as Old Jorrocks had opened the door to look down the street for him.

He was dressed in a fine flowing, olive-green frock (made like a dressing-gown), with a black velvet collar, having a gold embroidered stag on each side, gilt stag-buttons, with rich embossed edges; an acre of buff waistcoat, and a most antediluvian pair of bright yellow-ochre buckskins, made by White, of Tarporley, in the twenty-first year of the reign of George the Third; they were double-lashed, back-stiched, front-stiched, middle-stiched, and patched at both knees, with a slit up behind. The coat he had won in a bet, and the breeches in a raffle, the latter being then second or third hand. His boots were airing before the fire, consequently he displayed an amplitude of calf in grey worsted stockings, while his feet were thrust into green slippers. "So glad to see you"! said he; "here's a charming morning, indeed--regular southerly wind and a cloudy sky--rare scenting it will be--think I could almost run a stag myself. Come in--never mind your hat, hang it anywhere, but don't make a noise. I stole away and left Mrs. J---- snoring, so won't do to wake her, you know. By the way, you should see my hat;--Batsey, fatch my hat out of the back parlour. I've set up a new green silk cord, with a gold frog to fasten it to my button-hole--werry illigant, I think, and werry suitable to the dress--quite my own idea--have a notion all the Surrey chaps will get them; for, between you and me, I set the fashions, and what is more, I sometimes set them at a leap too. But now tell me, have you any objection to breakfasting in the kitchen?--more retired, you know, besides which you get everything hot and hot, which is what I call doing a bit of plisure." "Not at all," said the Yorkshireman, "so lead the way"; and down they walked to the lower regions.

It was a nice comfortable-looking place, with a blazing fire, half the floor covered with an old oil-cloth, and the rest exhibiting the cheerless aspect of the naked flags. About a yard and a half from the fire was placed the breakfast table; in the centre stood a magnificent uncut ham, with a great quartern loaf on one side and a huge Bologna sausage on the other; besides these there were nine eggs, two pyramids of muffins, a great deal of toast, a dozen ship-biscuits, and half a pork-pie, while a dozen kidneys were spluttering on a spit before the fire, and Betsy held a gridiron covered with mutton-chops on the top; altogether there was as much as would have served ten people. "Now, sit down," said Jorrocks, "and let us be doing, for I am as hungry as a hunter. Hope you are peckish too; what shall I give you? tea or coffee?--but take both--coffee first and tea after a bit. If I can't give you them good, don't know who can. You must pay your devours, as we say in France, to the 'am, for it is an especial fine one, and do take a few eggs with it; there, I've not given you above a pound of 'am, but you can come again, you know--waste not want not. Now take some muffins, do, pray. Batsey, bring some more cream, and set the kidneys on the table, the Yorkshireman is getting nothing to eat. Have a chop with your kidney, werry luxterous--I could eat an elephant stuffed with grenadiers, and wash them down with a ocean of tea; but pray lay in to the breakfast, or I shall think you don't like it. There, now take some tea and toast or one of those biscuits, or whatever you like; would a little more 'am be agreeable? Batsey, run into the larder and see if your Missis left any of that cold chine of pork last night--and hear, bring the cold goose, and any cold flesh you can lay hands on, there are really no wittles on the table. I am quite ashamed to set you down to such a scanty fork breakfast; but this is what comes of not being master of your own house. Hope your hat may long cover your family: rely upon it, it is cheaper to buy your bacon than to keep a pig". Just as Jorrocks uttered these last words the side door opened, and without either "with your leave or by your leave", in bounced Mrs. Jorrocks in an elegant dishabille (or "dish-of-veal", as Jorrocks pronounced it), with her hair tucked up in papers, and a pair of worsted slippers on her feet, worked with roses and blue lilies.

"Pray, Mister J----," said she, taking no more notice of the Yorkshireman than if he had been enveloped in Jack the Giant-killer's coat of darkness, "what is the meaning of this card? I found it in your best coat pocket, which you had on last night, and I do desire, sir, that you will tell me how it came there. Good morning, sir (spying the Yorkshireman at last), perhaps you know where Mr. Jorrocks was last night, and perhaps you can tell me who this person is whose card I have found in the corner of Mr. Jorrocks's best coat pocket?" "Indeed, madam", replied the Yorkshireman, "Mr. Jorrocks's movements of yesterday evening are quite a secret to me. It is the night that he usually spends at the Magpie and Stump, but whether he was there or not I cannot pretend to say, not being a member of the free and easy club. As for the card, madam..." "There, then, take it and read it," interrupted Mrs.

J----; and he took the card accordingly--a delicate pale pink, with blue borders and gilt edge--and read--we would fain put it all in dashes and asterisks--"Miss Juliana Granville, John Street, Waterloo Road."

This digression giving Mr. Jorrocks a moment or two to recollect himself, he pretended to get into a thundering passion, and seizing the card out of the Yorkshireman's hand, he thrust it into the fire, swearing it was an application for admission into the Deaf and Dumb Institution, where he wished he had Mrs. J----. The Yorkshireman, seeing the probability of a breeze, pretended to have forgotten something at the Piazza, and stole away, begging Jorrocks to pick him up as he passed. Peace had soon been restored; for the Yorkshireman had not taken above three or four turns up and down the coffee-room, ere George the waiter came to say that a gentleman waited outside. Putting on his hat and taking a coat over his arm, he turned out; when just before the door he saw a man muffled up in a great military cloak, and a glazed hat, endeavouring to back a nondescript double-bodied carriage (with lofty mail box-seats and red wheels), close to the pavement. "Who-ay, who-ay,"

said he, "who-ay, who-ay, horse!" at the same time jerking at his mouth.

As the Yorkshireman made his exit, a pair eyes of gleamed through the small aperture between the high cloak collar and the flipe of the glazed hat, which he instantly recognised to belong to Jorrocks. "Why, what the deuce is this you are in?" said he, looking at the vehicle. "Jump up,"

said Jorrocks, "and I'll tell you all about it," which having done, and the machine being set in motion he proceeded to relate the manner in which he had exchanged his cruelty-van for it--by the way, as arrant a bone-setter as ever unfortunate got into, but which he, with the predilection all men have for their own, pronounced to be a "monstrous nice carriage." On their turning off the rough pavement on to the quiet smooth Macadamised road leading to Waterloo Bridge, his dissertation was interrupted by a loud horse-laugh raised by two or three toll-takers and boys lounging about the gate.

"I say, Tom, twig this 'ere machine," said one. "Dash my buttons, I never seed such a thing in all my life." "What's to pay?" inquired Jorrocks, pulling up with great dignity, their observations not having penetrated the cloak collar which encircled his ears. "To pay!" said the toll-taker--"vy, vot do ye call your consarn?" "Why, a phaeton," said Jorrocks. "My eyes! that's a good 'un," said another. "I say, Jim--he calls this 'ere thing a phe-a-ton!" "A phe-a-ton!--vy, it's more like a fire-engine," said Jim. "Don't be impertinent," said Jorrocks, who had pulled down his collar to hear what he had to pay--"but tell me what's to pay?" "Vy, it's a phe-a-ton drawn by von or more 'orses," said the toll-taker; "and containing von or more asses," said Tom.

"Sixpence-halfpenny, sir," "You are a saucy fellow," said Jorrocks.

"Thank ye, master, you're another," said the toll-taker; "and now that you have had your say, vot do ye ax for your mouth?" "I say, sir, do you belong to the Phenix? Vy don't you show your badge?" "I say, Tom, that 'ere fire-engine has been painted by some house-painter, it's never been in the hands of no coach-maker. Do you shave by that 'ere glazed castor of yours?" "I'm blowed it I wouldn't get you a shilling a week to shove your face in sand, to make moulds for brass knockers." "Ay, get away!--make haste, or the fire will be out," bawled out another, as Jorrocks whipped on, and rattled out of hearing.

"Now, you see," said he, resuming the thread of his discourse, as if nothing had happened, "this back seat turns down and makes a box, so that when Mrs. J---- goes to her mother's at Tooting, she can take all her things with her, instead of sending half of them by the coach as she used to do; and if we are heavy, there is a pole belonging to it, so that we can have two horses; and then there is a seat draws out here (pulling a stool from between his legs) which anybody can sit on." "Yes, anybody that is small enough," said the Yorkshireman, "but you would cut a queer figure on it, I reckon." The truth was, that the "fire-engine"

was one of those useless affairs built by some fool upon a plan of his own, with the idea of combining every possible comfort and advantage, and in reality not possessing one. Friend Jorrocks had seen it at a second-hand shop in Fore Street, and became the happy owner of it, in exchange for the cruelty-van and seventeen pounds.--Their appearance on the road created no small sensation, and many were the jokes passed upon the "fire-engine." One said they were mountebanks; another that it was a horse-break; a third asked if it was one of Gurney's steam-carriages, while a fourth swore it was a new convict-cart going to Brixton.

Jorrocks either did not or would not hear their remarks, and kept expatiating upon the different purposes to which the machine might be converted, and the stoutness of the horse that was drawing it.

As they approached the town of Croydon, he turned his cloak over his legs in a very workman-like manner, and was instantly hailed by some brother sportsmen;--one complimented him on his looks, another on his breeches, a third praised his horse, a fourth abused the fire-engine, and a fifth inquired where he got his glazed hat. He had an answer for them all, and a nod or a wink for every pretty maid that showed at the windows; for though past the grand climacteric, he still has a spice of the devil in him--and, as he says, "there is no harm in looking." The "Red Lion" at Smitham Bottom was the rendezvous of the day. It is a small inn on the Brighton road, some three or four miles below Croydon.

On the left of the road stands the inn, on the right is a small training-ground, and the country about is open common and down. There was an immense muster about the inn, and also on the training-ground, consisting of horsemen, gig-men, post-chaise-men, footmen,--Jorrocks and the Yorkshireman made the firemen.

"Here's old Jorrocks, I do declare", exclaimed one, as Jorrocks drove the fire-engine up at as quick a pace as his horse would go. "Why, what a concern he's in", said another, "why, the old man's mad, surely".--"He's good for a subscription," added another, addressing him.

"I say, Jorrocks, old boy, you'll give us ten pound for our hounds won't you?--that's a good fellow." "Oh yes, Jorrocks promised us a subscription last year," observed another, "and he is a man of his word--arn't you old leather breeches?" "No, gentlemen," said Jorrocks, standing up in the fire-engine, and sticking the whip into its nest, "I really cannot--I wish I could, but I really cannot afford it. Times really are so bad, and I have my own pack to subscribe to, and I must be 'just before I am generous.'" "Oh, but ten pounds is nothing in your way, you know, Jorrocks--adulterate a chest of tea. Old----here will give you all the leaves off his ash-trees." "No," said Jorrocks, "I really cannot--ten pounds is ten pounds, and I must cut my coat according to my cloth." "By Jove, but you must have had plenty of cloth when you cut that coat you've got on, old boy. Why there's as much cloth in the laps as would make a pair of horse-sheets." "Never mind," said Jorrocks, "I wear it, and not you." "Now," said Jorrocks in an undertone to the Yorkshireman, "you see what an unconscionable set of dogs these stag-'unters are. They're at every man for a subscription, and talk about guineas as if they grew upon gooseberry-bushes. Besides, they are such a rubbishing set--all drafts from the fox'ounds.--Now there's a chap on a piebald just by the trees--he goes into the _Gazette_ reglarly once in three years, and yet to see him out, you'd fancy all the country round belonged to him. And there's a buck with his bearing-rein so tight that he can hardly move his neck," pointing to a gentleman in scarlet, with a tremendous stiff blue cravat--"he lives by keeping a mad-house and being werry high, consequential sort of a cock, they calls him the 'Lord High Keeper!'--I'll tell ye a joke about that fellow," said he, pointing to a man alighting from a red-wheeled buggy--"he's a werry shabby screw, and is always trying to save a penny.--Well, he hires a young half-witted hawbuck for a servant, who didn't clean his boots to his liking, so he began reading the Riot Act one day, and concluded by saying, 'I'm blowed if I couldn't clean them better myself with a little pump-water.'--The next day, up came the boots duller than ever.--'Bless my soul,' exclaimed he, 'why, they are worse than before, how's this, sir?'--'Please, sir, you said you could clean them better with a little pump-water, so I tried it, and I do think they are worse!' Haw! haw!

haw!--Yon chap in the black plush breeches and Hessians, standing by the ginger-pop tray, is the only man what ever got the better of me in the 'oss-dealing line, and he certainlie did bite me uncommon 'andsomely.

I gave him three and twenty pounds, a strong violin case with patent hinges, lined with superfine green baize, and an uncut copy of Middleton's _Cicero_, for an 'oss that the blacksmith really declared wasn't worth shoeing.--Howsomever, I paid him off, for I christened the 'oss Barabbas--who, you knows, was a robber--and the seller has gone by the name of Barabbas ever since."

"Well, but tell me, gentlemen, where do we dine?" inquired Jorrocks, turning to a group who had just approached the fire-engine. "We don't know yet," said a gentleman in scarlet, "the deer has not come yet; but yonder he is," pointing up the road to a covered cart, "and there are the hounds just coming over the hill at the back." The covered cart approached, and several went to meet it. The cry of "Oh, it's old Tunbridge," was soon heard. "Well, we shall have a good dinner," said Jorrocks, "if that is the case. Is it Tunbridge?" inquired he eagerly of one of the party who returned from the deer-cart. "Yes, it's old Tunbridge, and Snooks has ordered dinner at the Wells for sixteen at five o'clock, so the first sixteen that get there had better look out."

"Here, bouy," said Jorrocks in an undertone to his servant, who was leading his screws about on the green, "take this 'oss out of the carriage, and give him a feed of corn, and then go on to Tunbridge Wells, and tell Mr. Pegg, at the Sussex Arms, that I shall be there with a friend to the dinner, and bid him write 'Jorrocks' upon two plates and place them together.--Nothing like making sure," said he, chuckling at his own acuteness.

"Now to 'orse--to 'orse!" exclaimed he, suiting the action to the word, and climbing on to his great chestnut, leaving the Yorkshireman to mount the rat-tail brown. "Let's have a look at the 'ounds", turning his horse in the direction in which they were coming. Jonathan Griffin[16] took off his cap to Jorrocks, as he approached, who waved his hand in the most patronising manner possible, adding "How are you, Jonathan?" "Pretty well, thank you, Mister Jorrocks, hope you're the same." "No, not the same, for I'm werry well, which makes all the difference--haw! haw! haw!

You seem to have but a shortish pack, I think--ten, twelve, fourteen couple--'ow's that? We always take nine and twenty with the Surrey".

"Why, you see, Mister Jorrocks, stag-hunting and fox-hunting are very different. The scent of the deer is very ravishing, and then we have no drawing for our game. Besides, at this season, there are always bitches to put back--but we have plenty of hounds for sport.--I suppose we may be after turning out," added Jonathan, looking at his watch--"it's past eleven."

[Footnote 16: Poor Jonathan, one of the hardest riders and drinkers of his day, exists, like his pack, but in the recollection of mankind. He was long huntsman to the late Lord Derby, who, when he gave up his staghounds, made Jonathan a present of them, and for two or three seasons he scratched on in an indifferent sort of way, until the hounds were sold to go abroad--to Hungary, we believe.]

On hearing this, a gentleman off with his glove and began collecting, or capping, prior to turning out--it being the rule of the hunt to make sure of the money before starting, for fear of accidents. "Half a crown, if you please, sir." "Now I'll take your half a crown." "Mr. Jorrocks, shall I trouble you for half a crown?" "Oh, surely," said Jorrocks, pulling out a handful of great five-shilling pieces; "here's for this gentleman and myself," handing one of them over, "and I shan't even ask you for discount for ready money." The capping went round, and a goodly sum was collected. Meanwhile the deer-cart was drawn to the far side of a thick fence, and the door being opened, a lubberly-looking animal, as big as a donkey, blobbed out, and began feeding very composedly. "That won't do," said Jonathan Griffin, eyeing him--"ride on, Tom, and whip him away." Off went the whip, followed by a score of sportsmen whose shouts, aided by the cracking of their whips, would have frightened the devil himself; and these worthies, knowing the hounds would catch them up in due time, resolved themselves into a hunt for the present, and pursued the animal themselves. Ten minutes having expired and the hounds seeming likely to break away, Jonathan thought it advisable to let them have their wicked will, and accordingly they rushed off in full cry to the spot where the deer had been uncarted. Of course, there was no trouble in casting for the scent; indeed they were very honest, and did not pretend to any mystery; the hounds knew within an inch where it would be, and the start was pretty much like that for a hunter's plate in four-mile heats. A few dashing blades rode before the hounds at starting, but otherwise the field was tolerably quiet, and was considerably diminished after the three first leaps. The scent improved, as did the pace, and presently they got into a lane along which they rattled for five miles as hard as ever they could lay legs to the ground, throwing the mud into each other's faces, until each man looked as if he was roughcast. A Kentish wagon, drawn by six oxen, taking up the whole of the lane, had obliged the dear animal to take to the fields again, where, at the first fence, most of our high-mettled racers stood still. In truth, it was rather a nasty place, a yawning ditch, with a mud bank and a rotten landing. "Now, who's for it? Go it, Jorrocks, you're a fox-hunter," said one, who, erecting himself in his stirrups, was ogling the opposite side. "I don't like it," said Jorrocks; "is never a gate near?" "Oh yes, at the bottom of the field," and away they all tore for it. The hounds now had got out of sight, but were heard running in cover at the bottom of the turnip-field into which they had just passed, and also the clattering of horses' hoofs on the highway.

The hounds came out several times on to the road, evidently carrying the scent, but as often threw up and returned into the cover. The huntsman was puzzled at last; and quite convinced that the deer was not in the wood, he called them out, and proceeded to make a cast, followed by the majority of the field. They trotted about at a brisk pace, first to the right, then to the left, afterwards to the north, and then to the south, over grass, fallow, turnips, potatoes, and flints, through three farmyards, round two horse-ponds, and at the back of a small village or hamlet, without a note, save those of a few babblers. Everyone seemed to consider it a desperate job. They were all puzzled; at last they heard a terrible holloaing about a quarter of a mile to the south, and immediately after was espied a group of horsemen, galloping along the road at full speed, in the centre of which was Jorrocks; his green coat wide open, with the tails flying a long way behind that of his horse, his right leg was thrust out, down the side of which he kept applying his ponderous hunting whip, making a most terrible clatter. As they approached, he singled himself out from the group, and was the first to reach the field. He immediately burst out into one of his usual hunting energetic strains. "Oh Jonathan Griffin! Jonathan Griffin!" said he, "here's a lamentable occurrence--a terrible disaster! Oh dear, oh dear--we shall never get to Tunbridge--that unfortunate deer has escaped us, and we shall never see nothing more of him--rely upon it, he's killed before this." "Why, how's that?" inquired Griffin, evidently in a terrible perturbation. "Why," said Jorrocks, slapping the whip down his leg again, "there's a little girl tells me, that as she was getting water at the well just at the end of the wood, where we lost him, she saw what she took to be a donkey jump into a return post-chaise from the 'Bell', at Seven Oaks, that was passing along the road with the door swinging wide open! and you may rely upon it, it was the deer. The landlord of the 'Bell' will have cut his throat before this, for, you know, he vowed wengeance against us last year, because his wife's pony-chaise was upset, and he swore that we did it." "Oh, but that's a bad job", said the huntsman; "what shall we do?" "Here, Tom," calling to the whipper-in, "jump on to the Hastings coach" (which just came up), "and try if you can't overtake him, and bring him back, chaise and all, and I'll follow slowly with the hounds." Tom was soon up, the coach bowled on, and Jonathan and the hounds trotted gently forward till they came to a public-house. Here, as they stopped lamenting over their unhappy fate, and consoling themselves with some cold sherry negus, the post-chaise appeared in sight, with the deer's head sticking out of the side window with all the dignity of a Lord Mayor. "Huzza! huzza! huzza!"

exclaimed Jorrocks, taking off his hat, "here's old Tunbridge come back again, huzza! huzza!" "But who's to pay me for the po-chay," said the driver, pulling up; "I must be paid before I let him out." "How much?"

says Jonathan. "Why, eighteen-pence a mile, to be sure, and three-pence a mile to the driver." "No," says Jorrocks, "that won't do, yours is a return chay; however, here's five shillings for you, and now, Jonathan, turn him out again--he's quite fresh after his ride--and see, he's got some straw in the bottom."

Old Tunbridge was again turned out, with his head towards the town from whence he took his name, and after a quarter of an hour's law, the pack was again laid on. He was not, however, in very good wind, and it was necessary to divide the second chase into two heats, for which purpose the hounds were whipped off about the middle, while the deer took a cold bath, after which he was again set a-going. By half-past three they had accomplished the run; and Mr. Pegg, of the "Sussex Arms," having mounted his Pegasus, found them at the appointed place by the Medway, where old Tunbridge's carriage was waiting, into which having handed him, they repaired to the inn, and at five o'clock eighteen of them sat down to a dinner consisting of every delicacy of the season, the Lord High Keeper in the chair. Being all "hungry as hunters," little conversation passed until after the removal of the cloth, when after the King and his Majesty's Ministers had been drunk, the President gave "The noble, manly sport of stag-hunting," which he eulogised as the most legitimate and exhilarating of all sports, and sketched its progress from its wild state of infancy when the unhappy sportsmen had to range the fields and forests for their uncertain game, to the present state of luxurious ease and elaborate refinement, when they not only brought their deer to the meet, but by selecting the proper animal, could insure a finish at the place they most wished to dine at--all of which was most enthusiastically applauded; and on the speaker's ending, "Stag-hunting,"

and the "Surrey staghounds," and "Long life to all stag-hunters," were drank in brimming and overflowing bumpers. Fox-hunting, hare-hunting, rabbit-hunting, cat-hunting, rat-catching, badger-baiting--all wild, seasonable, and legitimate sports followed; and the chairman having run through his list, and thinking Jorrocks was getting rather mellow, resolved to try the soothing system on him for a subscription, the badgering of the morning not having answered. Accordingly, he called on the company to charge their glasses, as he would give them a bumper toast, which he knew they would have great pleasure in drinking.--"He wished to propose the health of his excellent friend on his right--MR.

JORROCKS (applause), a gentleman whose name only required mentioning in any society of hunters to insure it a hearty and enthusiastic reception.

He did not flatter his excellent friend when he said he was a man for the imitation of all, and he was sure that when the present company recollected the liberal support he gave to the Surrey foxhounds, together with the keenness with which he followed that branch of amusement, they would duly appreciate, not only the honour he had conferred upon them by his presence in the field that morning, and at the table that day, but the disinterested generosity which had prompted him voluntarily to declare his intention of contributing to the future support of the Surrey staghounds (immense cheers). He therefore thought the least they could do was to drink the health of Mr. Jorrocks, and success to the Surrey foxhounds, with three times three," which was immediately responded to with deafening cheers.

Old Jorrocks, after the noise had subsided, got on his legs, and with one hand rattling the five-shilling pieces in his breeches-pocket, and the thumb of the other thrust into the arm-hole of his waistcoat, thus began to address them.--"Gentlemen," said he, "I'm no orator, but I'm an honest man--(hiccup)--I feels werry (hiccup) much obliged to my excellent friend the Lord High Keeper (shouts of laughter), I begs his pardon--my friend Mr. Juggins--for the werry flattering compliment he has paid me in coupling my name (hiccup) with the Surrey fox'ounds--a pack, I may say, without wanity (hiccup), second to none. I'm a werry old member of the 'unt, and when I was a werry poor man (hiccup) I always did my best to support them (hiccup), and now that I'm a werry rich man (cheers) I shan't do no otherwise. About subscribing to the staggers, I doesn't recollect saying nothing whatsomever about it (hiccup), but as I'm werry friendly to sporting in all its ramifications (hiccup), I'll be werry happy to give ten pounds to your 'ounds."--Immense cheers followed this declaration, which lasted for some seconds. When they had subsided, Jorrocks put his finger on his nose and, with a knowing wink of his eye, added: "Prowided my friend the Lord High Keep--I begs his pardon--Juggins--will give ten pounds to ours!"

V. THE TURF: MR. JORROCKS AT NEWMARKET

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