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Jorrocks' Jaunts and Jollities Part 4

"A muffin--and the _Post_, sir," said George to the Yorkshireman,--on one of the fine fresh mornings that gently usher in the returning spring, and draw from the town-pent cits sighs for the verdure of the fields,--as he placed the above mentioned articles on his usual breakfast table in the coffee-room of the "Piazza."

With the calm deliberation of a man whose whole day is unoccupied, the Yorkshireman sweetened his tea, drew the muffin and a select dish of prawns to his elbow, and turning sideways to the table, crossed his legs and prepared to con the contents of the paper. The first page as usual was full of advertisements.--Sales by auction--Favour of your vote and interest--If the next of kin--Reform your tailor's bills--Law--- Articled clerk--An absolute reversion--Pony phaeton--Artificial teeth--Messrs. Tattersall--Brace of pointers--Dog lost--Boy found--Great sacrifice--No advance in coffee--Matrimony--A single gentleman--Board and lodging in an airy situation--To omnibus proprietors--Steam to Leith and Hull--Stationery--Desirable investment for a small capital--The fire reviver or lighter.

Then turning it over, his eye ranged over a whole meadow of type, consisting of the previous night's debate, followed on by City news, Police reports, Fashionable arrivals and departures, Dinners given, Sporting intelligence, Newmarket Craven meeting. "That's more in my way," said the Yorkshireman to himself as he laid down the paper and took a sip of his tea. "I've a great mind to go, for I may just as well be at Newmarket as here, having nothing particular to do in either place. I came to stay a hundred pounds in London it's true, but if I stay ten of it at Newmarket, it'll be all the same, and I can go home from there just as well as from here"; so saying, he took another turn at the tea. The race list was a tempting one, Riddlesworth, Craven Stakes, Column Stakes, Oatlands, Port, Claret, Sherry, Madeira, and all other sorts. A good week's racing in fact, for the saintly sinners who frequent the Heath had not then discovered any greater impropriety in travelling on a Sunday, then in cheating each other on the Monday. The tea was good, as were the prawns and eggs, and George brought a second muffin, at the very moment that the Yorkshireman had finished the last piece of the first, so that by the time he had done his breakfast and drawn on his boots, which were dryer and pleasanter than the recent damp weather had allowed of their being, he felt completely at peace with himself and all the world, and putting on his hat, sallied forth with the self-satisfied air of a man who had eat a good breakfast, and yet not too much.

Newmarket was still uppermost in his mind, and as he sauntered along in the direction of the Strand, it occurred to him that perhaps Mr.

Jorrocks might have no objection to accompany him. On entering that great thoroughfare of humanity, he turned to the east, and having examined the contents of all the caricature shops in the line, and paid threepence for a look at the _York Herald_, in the Chapter Coffee-house, St. Paul's Churchyard, about noon he reached the corner of St. Botolph Lane. Before Jorrocks & Co.'s warehouse, great bustle and symptoms of brisk trade were visible. With true city pride, the name on the door-post was in small dirty-white letters, sufficiently obscure to render it apparent that Mr. Jorrocks considered his house required no sign; while, as a sort of contradiction, the covered errand-cart before it, bore "JORROCKS & Co.'s WHOLESALE TEA WAREHOUSE," in great gilt letters on each side of the cover, so large that "he who runs might read," even though the errand-cart were running too. Into this cart, which was drawn by the celebrated rat-tail hunter, they were pitching divers packages for town delivery, and a couple of light porters nearly upset the Yorkshireman, as they bustled out with their loads. The warehouse itself gave evident proof of great antiquity. It was not one of your fine, light, lofty, mahogany-countered, banker-like establishments of modern times, where the stock-in-trade often consists of books and empty canisters, but a large, roomy, gloomy, dirty, dingy sort of cellar above ground, full of hogsheads, casks, flasks, sugar-loaves, jars, bags, bottles, and boxes.

The floor was half an inch thick, at least, with dirt, and was sprinkled with rice, currants, and raisins, as though they had been scattered for the purpose of growing. A small corner seemed to have been cut off, like the fold of a Leicestershire grazing-ground, and made into an office in the centre of which was a square or two of glass that commanded a view of the whole warehouse. "Is Mr. Jorrocks in?" inquired the Yorkshireman of a porter, who was busy digging currants with a wooden spade. "Yes, sir, you'll find him in the counting-house," was the answer; but on looking in, though his hat and gloves were there, no Jorrocks was visible. At the farther end of the warehouse a man in his shirt-sleeves, with a white apron round his waist and a brown paper cap on his head, was seen under a very melancholy-looking skylight, holding his head over something, as if his nose were bleeding. The Yorkshireman groped his way up to him, and asking if Mr. Jorrocks was in, found he was addressing the grocer himself. He had been leaning over a large trayful of little white cups--with teapots to match--trying the strength, flavour, and virtue of a large purchase of tea, and the beverage was all smoking before him. "My vig," exclaimed he, holding out his hand, "who'd have thought of seeing you in the city, this is something unkimmon! However, you're werry welcome in St. Botolph Lane, and as this is your first wisit, why, I'll make you a present of some tea--wot do you drink?--black or green, or perhaps both--four pounds of one and two of t'other. Here, Joe!" summoning his foreman, "put up four pounds of that last lot of black that came in, and two pounds of superior green, and this gentleman will tell you where to leave it.--And when do you think of starting?" again addressing the Yorkshireman--"egad this is fine weather for the country--have half a mind to have a jaunt myself--makes one quite young--feel as if I'd laid full fifty years aside, and were again a boy--when did you say you start?" "Why, I don't know exactly,"

replied the Yorkshireman, "the weather's so fine that I'm half tempted to go round by Newmarket." "Newmarket!" exclaimed Jorrocks, throwing his arm in the air, while his paper cap fell from his head with the jerk--"by Newmarket! why, what in the name of all that's impure, have you to do at Newmarket?"

"Why, nothing in particular; only, when there's neither hunting nor shooting going on, what is a man to do with himself?--I'm sure you'd despise me if I were to go fishing." "True," observed Mr. Jorrocks somewhat subdued, and jingling the silver in his breeches-pocket.

"Fox-'unting is indeed the prince of sports. The image of war, without its guilt, and only half its danger. I confess that I'm a martyr to it--a perfect wictim--no one knows wot I suffer from my ardour.--If ever I'm wisited with the last infirmity of noble minds, it will be caused by my ingovernable passion for the chase. The sight of a saddle makes me sweat. An 'ound makes me perfectly wild. A red coat throws me into a scarlet fever. Never throughout life have I had a good night's rest before an 'unting morning. But werry little racing does for me; Sadler's Wells is well enough of a fine summer evening--especially when they plump the clown over head in the New River cut, and the ponies don't misbehave in the Circus,--but oh! Newmarket's a dreadful place, the werry name's a sickener. I used to hear a vast about it from poor Will Softly of Friday Street. It was the ruin of him--and wot a fine business his father left him, both wholesale and retail, in the tripe and cow-heel line--all went in two years, and he had nothing to show at the end of that time for upwards of twenty thousand golden sovereigns, but a hundredweight of children's lamb's-wool socks, and warrants for thirteen hogsheads of damaged sherry in the docks. No, take my adwice, and have nothing to say to them--stay where you are, or, if you're short of swag, come to Great Coram Street, where you shall have a bed, wear-and-tear for your teeth, and all that sort of thing found you, and, if Saturday's a fine day, I'll treat you with a jaunt to Margate."

"You are a regular old trump," said the Yorkshireman, after listening attentively until Mr. Jorrocks had exhausted himself, "but, you see, you've never been at Newmarket, and the people have been hoaxing you about it. I can assure you from personal experience that the people there are quite as honest as those you meet every day on 'Change, besides which, there is nothing more invigorating to the human frame--nothing more cheering to the spirits, than the sight and air of Newmarket Heath on a fine fresh spring morning like the present. The wind seems to go by you at a racing pace, and the blood canters up and down the veins with the finest and freest action imaginable. A stranger to the race-course would feel, and almost instinctively know, what turf he was treading, and the purpose for which that turf was intended".

"There's a magic in the web of it."

"Oh, I knows you are a most persuasive cock," observed Mr. Jorrocks interrupting the Yorkshireman, "and would conwince the devil himself that black is white, but you'll never make me believe the Newmarket folks are honest, and as to the fine hair (air) you talk of, there's quite as good to get on Hampstead Heath, and if it doesn't make the blood canter up and down your weins, you can always amuse yourself by watching the donkeys cantering up and down with the sweet little children--haw! haw! haw!--But tell me what is there at Newmarket that should take a man there?" "What is there?" rejoined the Yorkshireman, "why, there's everything that makes life desirable and constitutes happiness, in this world, except hunting. First there is the beautiful, neat, clean town, with groups of booted professors, ready for the rapidest march of intellect; then there are the strings of clothed horses--the finest in the world--passing indolently at intervals to their exercise,--the flower of the English aristocracy residing in the place. You leave the town and stroll to the wide open heath, where all is brightness and space; the white rails stand forth against the dear blue sky--the brushing gallop ever and anon startles the ear and eye; crowds of stable urchins, full of silent importance, stud the heath; you feel elated and long to bound over the well groomed turf and to try the speed of the careering wind. All things at Newmarket train the mind to racing. Life seems on the start, and dull indeed were he who could rein in his feelings when such inspiring objects meet together to madden them!"

"Bravo!" exclaimed Jorrocks, throwing his paper cap in the air as the Yorkshireman concluded.--"Bravo!--werry good indeed! You speak like ten Lord Mayors--never heard nothing better. Dash my vig, if I won't go. By Jove, you've done it. Tell me one thing--is there a good place to feed at?"

"Capital!" replied the Yorkshireman, "beef, mutton, cheese, ham, all the delicacies of the season, as the sailor said"; and thereupon the Yorkshireman and Jorrocks shook hands upon the bargain.

Sunday night arrived, and with it arrived, at the "Belle Sauvage,"

in Ludgate Hill, Mr. Jorrocks's boy "Binjimin," with Mr. Jorrocks's carpet-bag; and shortly after Mr. Jorrocks, on his chestnut hunter, and the Yorkshireman, in a hack cab, entered the yard. Having consigned his horse to Binjimin; after giving him a very instructive lesson relative to the manner in which he would chastise him if he heard of his trotting or playing any tricks with the horse on his way home, Mr. Jorrocks proceeded to pay the remainder of his fare in the coach office. The mail was full inside and out, indeed the book-keeper assured him he could have filled a dozen more, so anxious ware all London to see the Riddlesworth run. "Inside," said he, "are you and your friend, and if it wern't that the night air might give you cold, Mr. Jorrocks" (for all the book-keepers in London know him), "I should have liked to have got you outsides, and I tried to make an exchange with two black-legs, but they would hear of nothing less than two guineas a head, which wouldn't do, you know. Here comes another of your passengers--a great foreign nobleman, they say--Baron something--though he looks as much like a foreign pickpocket as anything else."

"Vich be de voiture?" inquired a tall, gaunt-looking foreigner, with immense moustache, a high conical hat with a bright buckle, long, loose, blueish-blackish frock-coat, very short white waistcoat, baggy brownish striped trousers, and long-footed Wellington boots, with a sort of Chinese turn up at the toe. "Vich be de Newmarket Voiture?" said he, repeating the query, as he entered the office and deposited a silk umbrella, a camlet cloak, and a Swiss knapsack on the counter. The porter, without any attempt at an answer, took his goods and walked off to the mail, followed closely by the Baron, and after depositing the cloak inside, so that the Baron might ride with his "face to the horses," as the saying is, he turned the knapsack into the hind boot, and swung himself into the office till it was time to ask for something for his exertions. Meanwhile the Baron made a tour of the yard, taking a lesson in English from the lettering on the various coaches, when, on the hind boot of one, he deciphered the word Cheapside.--"Ah, Cheapside!" said he, pulling out his dictionary and turning to the letter C. "Chaste, chat, chaw,--cheap, dat be it. Cheap,--to be had at a low price--small value. Ah! I hev (have) it," said he, stamping and knitting his brows, "sacre-e-e-e-e nom de Dieu," and the first word being drawn out to its usual longitude, three strides brought him and the conclusion of the oath into the office together. He then opened out upon the book-keeper, in a tremendous volley of French, English and Hanoverian oaths, for he was a cross between the first and last named countries, the purport of which was "dat he had paid de best price, and he be dem if he vod ride on de Cheapside of de coach." In vain the clerks and book-keepers tried to convince him he was wrong in his interpretation. With the full conviction of a foreigner that he was about to be cheated, he had his cloak shifted to the opposite side of the coach, and the knapsack placed on the roof. The fourth inside having cast up, the outside passengers mounted, the insides took their places, three-pences and sixpences were pulled out for the porters, the guard twanged his horn, the coachman turned out his elbow, flourished his whip, caught the point, cried "All right! sit tight!" and trotted out of the yard.

Jorrocks and the Yorkshireman sat opposite each other, the Baron and old Sam Spring, the betting man, did likewise. Who doesn't know old Sam, with his curious tortoiseshell-rimmed spectacles, his old drab hat turned up with green, careless neckcloth, flowing robe, and comical cut?

He knew Jorrocks--though--tell it not in Coram Street, he didn't know his name; but concluded from the disparity of age between him and his companion, that Jorrocks was either a shark or a shark's jackal, and the Yorkshireman a victim. With due professional delicacy, he contented himself with scrutinising the latter through his specs. The Baron's choler having subsided, he was the first to break the ice of silence.

"Foine noight," was the observation, which was thrown out promiscuously to see who would take it up. Now Sam Spring, though he came late, had learned from the porter that there was a Baron in the coach, and being a great admirer of the nobility, for whose use he has a code of signals of his own, consisting of one finger to his hat for a Baron Lord as he calls them, two for a Viscount, three for an Earl, four for a Marquis, and the whole hand for a Duke, he immediately responded with "Yes, my lord," with a fore-finger to his hat. There is something sweet in the word "Lord" which finds its way home to the heart of an Englishman.

No sooner did Sam pronounce it, than the Baron became transformed in Jorrocks's eyes into a very superior sort of person, and forthwith he commences ingratiating himself by offering him a share of a large paper of sandwiches, which the Baron accepted with the greatest condescension, eating what he could and stuffing the remainder into his hat. His lordship was a better hand at eating than speaking, and the united efforts of the party could not extract from him the precise purport of his journey. Sam threw out two or three feasible offers in the way of bets, but they fell still-born to the bottom of the coach, and Jorrocks talked to him about hunting and had the conversation all to himself, the Baron merely replying with a bow and a stare, sometimes diversified with, or "I tank you--vare good." The conversation by degrees resolved itself into a snore, in which they were all indulging, when the raw morning air rushed in among them, as a porter with a lanthorn opened the door and announced their arrival at Newmarket. Forthwith they turned into the street, and the outside passengers having descended, they all commenced straddling, yawning, and stretching their limbs while the guard and porters sorted their luggage. The Yorkshireman having an eye to a bed, speedily had Mr. Jorrocks's luggage and his own on the back of a porter on its way to the "Rutland Arms," while that worthy citizen followed in a sort of sleepy astonishment at the smallness of the place, inquiring if they were sure they had not stopped at some village by mistake. Two beds had been ordered for two gentlemen who could not get two seats by the mail, which fell to the lot of those who did, and into these our heroes trundled, having arranged to be called by the early exercising hour.

Whether it was from want of his usual night-cap of brandy and water, or the fatigues of travelling, or what else, remains unknown, but no sooner was Mr. Jorrocks left alone with his candle, than all at once he was seized with a sudden fit of trepidation, on thinking that he should have been inveigled to such a place as Newmarket, and the tremor increasing as he pulled four five-pound bank-notes out of his watch-pocket, besides a vast of silver and his great gold watch, he was resolved, should an attempt be made upon his property, to defend it with his life, and having squeezed the notes into the toe of his boots, and hid the silver in the wash-hand stand, he very deliberately put his watch and the poker under the pillow, and set the heavy chest of drawers with two stout chairs and a table against the door, after all which exertions he got into bed and very soon fell sound asleep.

Most of the inmates of the house were up with the lark to the early exercises, and the Yorkshireman was as early as any of them. Having found Mr. Jorrocks's door, he commenced a loud battery against it without awaking the grocer; he then tried to open it, but only succeeded in getting it an inch or two from the post, and after several holloas of "Jorrocks, my man! Mr. Jorrocks! Jorrocks, old boy! holloa, Jorrocks!"

he succeeded in extracting the word "Wot?" from the worthy gentleman as he rolled over in his bed. "Jorrocks!" repeated the Yorkshireman, "it's time to be up." "Wot?" again was the answer. "Time to get up. The morning's breaking." "Let it break," replied he, adding in a mutter, as he turned over again, "it owes me nothing."

Entreaties being useless, and a large party being on the point of setting off, the Yorkshireman joined them, and spent a couple of hours on the dew-bespangled heath, during which time they not only criticised the figure and action of every horse that was out, but got up tremendous appetites for breakfast. In the meantime Mr. Jorrocks had risen, and having attired himself with his usual care, in a smart blue coat with metal buttons, buff waistcoat, blue stocking-netted tights, and Hessian boots, he turned into the main street of Newmarket, where he was lost in astonishment at the insignificance of the place. But wiser men than Mr. Jorrocks have been similarly disappointed, for it enters into the philosophy of few to conceive the fame and grandeur of Newmarket compressed into the limits of the petty, outlandish, Icelandish place that bears the name. "Dash my vig," said Mr. Jorrocks, as he brought himself to bear upon Rogers's shop-window, "this is the werry meanest town I ever did see. Pray, sir," addressing himself to a groomish-looking man in a brown cut-away coat, drab shorts and continuations, who had just emerged from the shop with a race list in his hand, "Pray, sir, be this your principal street?" The man eyed him with a mixed look of incredulity and contempt. At length, putting his thumbs into the arm-holes of his waistcoat, he replied, "I bet a crown you know as well as I do." "Done," said Mr. Jorrocks holding out his hand. "No--I won't do that," replied the man, "but I'll tell you what I'll do with you,--I'll lay you two to one, in fives or fifties if you like, that you knew before you axed, and that Thunderbolt don't win the Riddlesworth." "Really," said Mr. Jorrocks, "I'm not a betting man."

"Then, wot the 'ell business have you at Newmarket?" was all the answer he got. Disgusted with such inhospitable impertinence, Mr. Jorrocks turned on his heel and walked away. Before the "White Hart" Inn was a smartish pony phaeton, in charge of a stunted stable lad. "I say, young chap," inquired Jorrocks, "whose is that?" "How did you know that I was a young chap?" inquired the abortion turning round. "Guessed it,"

replied Jorrocks, chuckling at his own wit. "Then guess whose it is."

"Pray, are your clocks here by London time?" he asked of a respectable elderly-looking man whom he saw turn out of the entry leading to the Kingston rooms, and take the usual survey first up the town and then down it, and afterwards compose his hands in his breeches-pockets, there to stand to see the "world." [17] "Come now, old 'un--none o' your tricks here--you've got a match on against time, I suppose," was all the answer he could get after the man (old R--n the ex-flagellator) had surveyed him from head to foot.

[Footnote 17: Newmarket or London--it's all the same--"The world" is but composed of one's own acquaintance.]

We need hardly say after all these rebuffs that when Mr. Jorrocks met the Yorkshireman, he was not in the best possible humour; indeed, to say nothing of the extreme sharpness and suspicion of the people, we know of no place where a man, not fond of racing, is so completely out of his element as at Newmarket, for with the exception of a little "elbow shaking" in the evening, there is literally and truly nothing else to do. It is "Heath," "Ditch in," "Abingdon mile," "T.Y.C. Stakes,"

"Sweepstakes," "Handicaps," "Bet," "Lay," "Take," "Odds," "Evens,"

morning, noon and night.

Mr. Jorrocks made bitter complaints during the breakfast, and some invidious comparisons between racing men and fox-hunters, which, however, became softer towards the close, as he got deeper in the delicacy of a fine Cambridge brawn. Nature being at length appeased, he again thought of turning out, to have a look, as he said, at the shows on the course, but the appearance of his friend the Baron opposite the window, put it out of his head, and he sallied forth to join him. The Baron was evidently incog.: for he had on the same short dirty-white waistcoat, Chinese boots, and conical hat, that he travelled down in, and being a stranger in the land, of course he was uncommonly glad to pick up Jorrocks, so after he had hugged him a little, called him a "bon garcon," and a few other endearing terms, he run his great long arm through his, and walked him down street, the whole peregrinations of Newmarket being comprised in the words "up street" and "down." He then communicated in most unrepresentable language, that he was on his way to buy "an 'oss," and Jorrocks informing him that he was a perfect connoisseur in the article, the Baron again assured him of his distinguished consideration. They were met by Joe Rogers the trainer with a ring-key in his hand, who led the way to the stable, and having unlocked a box in which was a fine slapping four-year old, according to etiquette he put his hat in a corner, took a switch in one hand, laid hold of the horse's head with the other, while the lad in attendance stripped off its clothes. The Baron then turned up his wrists, and making a curious noise in his throat, proceeded to pass his hand down each leg, and along its back, after which he gave it a thump in the belly and squeezed its throat, when, being as wise as he was at starting, he stuck his thumb in his side, and took a mental survey of the whole.--"Ah," said he at length--"foin 'oss,--foin 'oss; vot ears he has?" "Oh," said Rogers, "they show breeding." "Non, non, I say vot ears he has?" "Well, but he carries them well," was the answer. "Non, non,"

stamping, "I say vot ears (years) he has?" "Oh, hang it, I twig--four years old." Then the Baron took another long look at him. At length he resumed, "I vill my wet." "What's that?" inquired Rogers of Jorrocks.

"His wet--why, a drink to be sure," and thereupon Rogers went to the pump and brought a glass of pure water, which the Baron refused with becoming indignation. "Non, non," said he stamping, "I vill my wet."

Rogers looked at Jorrocks, and Jorrocks looked at Rogers, but neither Rogers nor Jorrocks understood him. "I vill my wet," repeated the Baron with vehemence. "He must want some brandy in it," observed Mr. Jorrocks, judging of the Baron by himself, and thereupon the lad was sent for three-penn'orth. When it arrived, the Baron dashed it out of his hand with a prolonged sacre-e-e-e--! adding "I vill von wet-tin-nin-na-ary surgeon." The boy was dispatched for one, and on his arrival the veterinary surgeon went through the process that the Baron had attempted, and not being a man of many words, he just gave the Baron a nod at the end. "How moch?" inquked the Baron of Rogers. "Five hundred,"

was the answer. "Vot, five hundred livre?" "Oh d----n it, you may take or leave him, just as you like, but you won't get him for less." The "vet" explained that the Baron wished to know whether it was five hundred francs (French ten-pences), or five hundred guineas English money, and being informed that it was the latter, he gave his conical hat a thrust on his brow, and bolted out of the box.

But race hour approaches, and people begin to assemble in groups before the "rooms," while tax-carts, pony-gigs, post-chaises, the usual aristocratical accompaniments of Newmarket, come dribbling at intervals into the town. Here is old Sam Spring in a spring-cart, driven by a ploughboy in fustian, there the Earl of---- on a ten-pound pony, with the girths elegantly parted to prevent the saddle slipping over its head, while Miss----, his jockey's daughter, dashes by him in a phaeton with a powdered footman, and the postilion in scarlet and leathers, with a badge on his arm. Old Crockey puts on his greatcoat, Jem Bland draws the yellow phaeton and greys to the gateway of the "White Hart," to take up his friend Crutch Robinson; Zac, Jack and another, have just driven on in a fly. In short, it's a brilliant meeting! Besides four coronetted carriages with post-horses, there are three phaetons-and-pair; a thing that would have been a phaeton if they'd have let it; General Grosvenor's dog-carriage, that is to say, his carriage with a dog upon it; Lady Chesterfield and the Hon. Mrs. Anson in a pony phaeton with an out-rider (Miss---- will have one next meeting instead of the powdered footman); Tattersall in his double carriage driving without bearing-reins; Old Theobald in leather breeches and a buggy; five Bury butchers in a tax-cart; Young Dutch Sam on a pony; "Short-odds Richards"

on a long-backed crocodile-looking rosinante; and no end of pedestrians.

But where is Mr. Jorrocks all this time? Why eating brawn in the "Rutland Arms" with his friend the Baron, perfectly unconscious that all these passers-by were not the daily visables of the place. "Dash my vig," said he, as he bolted another half of the round, "I see no symptoms of a stir. Come, my lord, do me the honour to take another glass of sherry." His lordship was nothing loath, so by mutual entreaties they finished the bottle, besides a considerable quantity of porter. A fine, fat, chestnut, long-tailed Suffolk punch cart mare--fresh from the plough--having been considerately provided by the Yorkshireman for Mr. Jorrocks, with a cob for himself, they proceeded to mount in the yard, when Mr. Jorrocks was concerned to find that the Baron had nothing to carry him. His lordship, too, seemed disconcerted, but it was only momentary; for walking up to the punch mare, and resting his elbow on her hind quarter to try if she kicked, he very coolly vaulted up behind Mr. Jorrocks. Now Jorrocks, though proud of the patronage of a lord, did not exactly comprehend whether he was in earnest or not, but the Baron soon let him know; for thrusting his conical hat on his brow, he put his arm round Jorrocks's waist, and gave the old mare a touch in the flank with the Chinese boot, crying out--"Along me, brave _garcon_, along _ma cher_," and the owner of the mare living at Kentford, she went off at a brisk trot in that direction, while the Yorkshireman slipped down the town unperceived. The sherry had done its business on them both; the Baron, and who, perhaps was the most "cut" of the two, chaunted the _Marsellaise_ hymn of liberty with as much freedom as though he were sitting in the saddle. Thus they proceeded laughing and singing until the Bury pay-gate arrested their progress, when it occurred to the steersman to ask if they were going right. "Be this the vay to Newmarket races?" inquired Jorrocks of the pike-keeper. The man dived into the small pocket of his white apron for a ticket and very coolly replied, "Shell out, old 'un." "How much?" said Jorrocks. "Tuppence," which having got, he said, "Now, then, you may turn, for the heath be over yonder," pointing back, "at least it was there this morning, I know." After a volley of abuse for his impudence, Mr. Jorrocks, with some difficulty got the old mare pulled round, for she had a deuced hard mouth of her own, and only a plain snaffle in it; at last, however, with the aid of a boy to beat her with a furze-bush, they got her set a-going again, and, retracing their steps, they trotted "down street," rose the hill, and entered the spacious wide-extending flat of Newmarket Heath. The races were going forward on one of the distant courses, and a slight, insignificant, black streak, swelling into a sort of oblong (for all the world like an overgrown tadpole), was all that denoted the spot, or interrupted the verdant aspect of the quiet extensive plain. Jorrocks was horrified, having through life pictured Epsom as a mere drop in the ocean compared with the countless multitude of Newmarket, while the Baron, who was wholly indifferent to the matter, nearly had old Jorrocks pitched over the mare's head by applying the furze-bush (which he had got from the boy) to her tail while Mr. Jorrocks was sitting loosely, contemplating the barrenness of the prospect. The sherry was still alive, and being all for fun, he shuffled back into the saddle as soon as the old mare gave over kicking; and giving a loud tally-ho, with some minor "hunting noises," which were responded to by the Baron in notes not capable of being set to music, and aided by an equally indescribable accompaniment from the old mare at every application of the bush, she went off at score over the springy turf, and bore them triumphantly to the betting-post just as the ring was in course of formation, a fact which she announced by a loud neigh on viewing her companion of the plough, as well as by unpsetting some half-dozen black-legs as she rushed through the crowd to greet her.

Great was the hubbub, shouting, swearing, and laughing,--for though the Newmarketites are familiar with most conveyances, from a pair of horses down to a pair of shoes, it had not then fallen to their lot to see two men ride into the ring on the same horse,--certainly not with such a hat between them as the Baron's.

The gravest and weightiest matters will not long distract the attention of a black-leg, and the laughter having subsided without Jorrocks or the Baron being in the slightest degree disconcerted, the ring was again formed; horses' heads again turn towards the post, while carriages, gigs, and carts form an outer circle. A solemn silence ensues. The legs are scanning the list. At length one gives tongue. "What starts? Does Lord Eldon start?" "No, he don't," replies the owner. "Does Trick, by Catton?" "Yes, and Conolly rides--but mind, three pounds over." "Does John Bull?" "No John's struck out." "Polly Hopkins does, so does Talleyrand, also O, Fy! out of Penitence; Beagle and Paradox also--and perhaps Pickpocket."

Another pause, and the pencils are pulled from the betting-books. The legs and lords look at each other, but no one likes to lead off. At length a voice is heard offering to take nine to one he names the winner. "It's short odds, doing it cautiously. I'll take eight then," he adds--"sivin!" but no one bites. "What will anyone lay about Trick, by Catton?" inquires Jem Bland. "I'll lay three to two again him. I'll take two to one--two ponies to one, and give you a suv. for laying it."

"Carn't" is the answer. "I'll do it, Jem," cries a voice. "No, you won't," from Bland, not liking his customer. Now they are all at it, and what a hubbub there is! "I'll back the field--I'll lay--I'll take--I'll bet--ponies--fifties--hundreds--five hundred to two." "What do you want, my lord?" "Three to one against Trick, by Catton." "Carn't afford it--the odds really arn't that in the ring." "Take two--two hundred to one." "No." "Crockford, you'll do it for me?" "Yes, my lord. Twice over if you like. Done, done." "Do it again?" "No, thank you."

"Trick, by Catton, don't start!" cries a voice. "Impossible!" exclaim his backers. "Quite true, I'm just from the weighing-house, and----told me so himself." "Shame! shame!" roar those who have backed him, and "honour--rascals--rogues--thieves--robbery--swindle--turf-ruined"--fly from tongue to tongue, but they are all speakers with never a speaker to cry order. Meanwhile the lads have galloped by on their hacks with the horses' cloths to the rubbing-house, and the horses have actually started, and are now visible in the distance sweeping over the open heath, apparently without guide or beacon.

The majority of the ring rush to the white judge's box, and have just time to range themselves along the rude stakes and ropes that guard the run in, and the course-keeper in a shooting-jacket on a rough pony to crack his whip, and cry to half a dozen stable-lads to "clear the course," before the horses come flying towards home. Now all is tremor; hope and fear vacillating in each breast. Silence stands breathless with expectation--all eyes are riveted--the horses come within descrying distance--"beautiful!" three close together, two behind. "Clear the course! clear the course! pray clear the course!" "Polly Hopkins! Polly Hopkins!" roar a hundred voices as they near. "O, Fy! O, Fy!" respond an equal number. "The horse! the horse!" bellow a hundred more, as though their yells would aid his speed, as Polly Hopkins, O, Fy! and Talleyrand rush neck-and-neck along the cords and pass the judge's box. A cry of "dead heat!" is heard. The bystanders see as suits their books, and immediately rush to the judge's box, betting, bellowing, roaring, and yelling the whole way. "What's won? what's won? what's won?" is vociferated from a hundred voices. "Polly Hopkins! Polly Hopkins! Polly Hopkins!" replies Mr. Clark with judicial dignity. "By how much? by how much?" "Half a head--half a head," [18] replies the same functionary.

"What's second?" "O, Fy!" and so, amid the song of "Pretty, pretty Polly Hopkins," from the winners, and curses and execrations long, loud, and deep, from the losers, the scene closes.

The admiring winners follow Polly to the rubbing-house, while the losing horses are left in the care of their trainers and stable-boys, who console themselves with hopes of "better luck next time."

After a storm comes a calm, and the next proceeding is the wheeling of the judge's box, and removal of the old stakes and ropes to another course on a different part of the heath, which is accomplished by a few ragged rascals, as rude and uncouth as the furniture they bear. In less than half an hour the same group of anxious careworn countenances are again turned upon each other at the betting-post, as though they had never separated. But see! the noble owner of Trick, by Catton, is in the crowd, and Jem Bland eyeing him like a hawk. "I say, Waggey," cries he (singling out a friend stationed by his lordship), "had you ought on Trick, by Catton?" "No, Jem," roars Wagstaff, shaking his head, "I knew my man too well." "Why now, Waggey, do you know I wouldn't have done such a thing for the world! no, not even to have been made a Markiss!"

a horse-laugh follows this denunciation, at which the newly created marquis bites his livid lips.

[Footnote 18: No judge ever gave a race as won by half a head; but we let the whole passage stand as originally written.--EDITOR.]

The Baron, who appears to have no taste for walking, still sticks to the punch mare, which Mr. Jorrocks steers to the newly formed ring aided by the Baron and the furze-bush. Here they come upon Sam Spring, whose boy has just brought his spring-cart to bear upon the ring formed by the horsemen, and thinking it a pity a nobleman of any county should be reduced to the necessity of riding double, very politely offers to take one into his carriage. Jorrocks accepts the offer, and forthwith proceeds to make himself quite at home in it. The chorus again commences, and Jorrocks interrogates Sam as to the names of the brawlers. "Who be that?" said he, "offering to bet a thousand to a hundred." Spring, after eyeing him through his spectacles, with a grin and a look of suspicion replies, "Come now--come--let's have no nonsense--you know as well as I." "Really," replies Mr. Jorrocks most earnestly, "I don't." "Why, where have you lived all your life?"

"First part of it with my grandmother at Lisson Grove, afterwards at Camberwell, but now I resides in Great Coram Street, Russell Square--a werry fashionable neighbourhood." "Oh, I see," replies Sam, "you are one of the reg'lar city coves, then--now, what brings you here?" "Just to say that I have been at Newmarket, for I'm blowed if ever you catch me here again." "That's a pity," replied Sam, "for you look like a promising man--a handsome-bodied chap in the face--don't you sport any?"

"O a vast!--'unt regularly--I'm a member of the Surrey 'unt--capital one it is too--best in England by far." "What do you hunt?" inquired Sam.

"Foxes, to be sure." "And are they good eating?" "Come," replied Jorrocks, "you know, as well as I do, we don't eat 'em." The dialogue was interrupted by someone calling to Sam to know what he was backing.

"The Bedlamite colt, my lord," with a forefinger to his hat. "Who's that?" inquired Jorrocks. "That's my Lord L----, a baron-lord--and a very nice one--best baron-lord I know--always bets with me--that's another baron-lord next him, and the man next him is a baron-knight, a stage below a baron-lord--something between a nobleman and a gentleman."

"And who be that stout, good-looking man in a blue coat and velvet collar next him, just rubbing his chin with the race card--he'll be a lord too, I suppose?" "No,--that's Mr. Gully, as honest a man as ever came here,--that's Crockford before him. The man on the right is Mr. C----, who they call the 'cracksman,' because formerly he was a professional housebreaker, but he has given up that trade, and turned gentleman, bets, and keeps a gaming-table. This little ugly black-faced chap, that looks for all the world like a bilious Scotch terrier, has lately come among us. He was a tramping pedlar--sold worsted stockings--attended country courses, and occasionally bet a pair. Now he bets thousands of pounds, and keeps racehorses. The chaps about him all covered with chains and rings and brooches, were in the duffing line--sold brimstoned sparrows for canary-birds, Norwich shawls for real Cashmere, and dried cabbage-leaves for cigars. Now each has a first-rate house, horses and carriages, and a play-actress among them. Yon chap, with the extravagantly big mouth, is a cabinet-maker at Cambridge. He'll bet you a thousand pounds as soon as look at you."

"The chap on the right of the post with the red tie, is the son of an ostler. He commenced betting thousands with a farthing capital. The man next him, all teeth and hair, like a rat-catcher's dog, is an Honourable by birth, but not very honourable in his nature." "But see," cried Mr.

Jorrocks, "Lord---- is talking to the Cracksman." "To be sure," replies Sam, "that's the beauty of the turf. The lord and the leg are reduced to an equality. Take my word for it, if you have a turn for good society, you should come upon the turf.--I say, my Lord Duke!" with all five fingers up to his hat, "I'll lay you three to two on the Bedlamite colt." "Done, Mr. Spring," replies his Grace, "three ponies to two."

"There!" cried Mr. Spring, turning to Jorrocks, "didn't I tell you so?"

The riot around the post increases. It is near the moment of starting, and the legs again become clamorous for what they want. Their vehemence increases. Each man is _in extremis_. "They are off!" cries one. "No, they are not," replies another. "False start," roars a third. "Now they come!" "No, they don't!" "Back again." They are off at last, however, and away they speed over the flat. The horses come within descrying distance. It's a beautiful race--run at score the whole way, and only two tailed off within the cords. Now they set to--whips and spurs go, legs leap, lords shout, and amid the same scene of confusion, betting, galloping, cursing, swearing, and bellowing, the horses rush past the judge's box.

But we have run our race, and will not fatigue our readers with repetition. Let us, however, spend the evening, and then the "Day at Newmarket" will be done.

Mr. Spring, with his usual attention to strangers, persuades Mr.

Jorrocks to make one of a most agreeable dinner-party at the "White Hart" on the assurance of spending a delightful evening. Covers are laid for sixteen in the front room downstairs, and about six o'clock that number are ready to sit down. Mr. Badchild, the accomplished keeper of an oyster-room and minor hell in Pickering Place, is prevailed upon to take the chair, supported on his right by Mr. Jorrocks, and on his left by Mr. Tom Rhodes, of Thames Street, while the stout, jolly, portly Jerry Hawthorn fills--in the fullest sense of the word--the vice-chair.

Just as the waiters are removing the covers, in stalks the Baron, in his conical hat, and reconnoitres the viands. Sam, all politeness, invites him to join the party. "I tank you," replies the Baron, "but I have my wet in de next room." "But bring your wet with you," rejoins Sam, "we'll all have our wet together after dinner," thinking the Baron meant his wine.

Chapter end

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