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Jorrocks' Jaunts and Jollities Part 6

"I do," said the youth.

_Jorrocks._ Then DONE--now ring the bell for the waiter--I'll pump him.

_Enter waiter._

_Jorrocks._ Snuff them candles, if you please, and bring me another bottom o' brandy-cold, without--and, waiter! here, pray who is that gentleman that came in by the Liverpool coach to-night? The little gentleman in long black gaiters who sat in this chair, you know, and had some brandy-and-water.

_Waiter._ I know who you mean, sir, quite well, the gentleman who's gone to bed. Let me see, what's his name? He keeps that large Hotel in---- Street, Liverpool--what's the--Here an immense burst of laughter drowned the remainder of the sentence.

Jorrocks rose in a rage. "No! you double-distilled blockhead," said he, "no such thing--you're thinking of someone else. The gentleman hunts at Melton Mowbray, and travels in his own carriage."

_Waiter_. I don't know nothing about Melton Mowbray, sir, but the last time he came through here on his road to Bristol, he was in one of his own rattle-trap yellows, and had such a load--his wife, a nurse, and eight children inside; himself, his son, and an apple-tree on the dickey--that the horses knocked up half-way and...

_Jorrocks_. Say no more--say no more--d----n his teeth and toe-nails--and that's swearing--a thing I never do but on the most outrageous occasions. Confounded humbug, I'll be upsides with him, however. Waiter, bring the bill and no more brandy. Never was so done in all my life--a gammonacious fellow! "There, sir, there's your one pound one," said he, handing a sovereign and a shilling to the winner of the hat. "Give me my tile, and let's mizzle.--Waiter, I can't wait; must bring the bill up to my lodgings in the morning if it isn't ready.--Come away, come away--I shall never get over this as long as ever I live.

'Live and let live,' indeed! no wonder he stuck up for the innkeepers--a publican and a sinner as he is. Good night, gentlemen, good night."

_Exit Jorrocks_.

VII. AQUATICS: MR. JORROCKS AT MARGATE

The shady side of Cheapside had become a luxury, and footmen in red plush breeches objects of real commiseration, when Mr. Jorrocks, tired of the heat and "ungrateful hurry of the town," resolved upon undertaking an aquatic excursion. He was sitting, as is "his custom always in the afternoon," in the arbour at the farther end of his gravel walk, which he dignifies by the name of "garden," and had just finished a rough mental calculation, as to whether he could eat more bread spread with jam or honey, when the idea of the jaunt entered his imagination.

Being a man of great decision, he speedily winnowed the project over in his mind, and producing a five-pound note from the fob of his small clothes, passed it in review between his fingers, rubbed out the creases, held it up to the light, refolded and restored it to his fob.

"Batsay," cried he, "bring my castor--the white one as hangs next the blue cloak;" and forthwith a rough-napped, unshorn-looking, white hat was transferred from the peg to Mr. Jorrocks's head. This done, he proceeded to the "Piazza," where he found the Yorkshireman exercising himself up and down the spacious coffee-room, and, grasping his hand with the firmness of a vice, he forthwith began unburthening himself of the object of his mission. "'Ow are you?" said he, shaking his arm like the handle of a pump. "'Ow are you, I say?--I'm so delighted to see you, ye carn't think--isn't this charming weather! It makes me feel like a butterfly--really think the 'air is sprouting under my vig." Here he took off his wig and rubbed his hand over his bald head, as though he were feeling for the shoots.

"Now to business--Mrs. J---- is away at Tooting, as you perhaps knows, and I'm all alone in Great Coram Street, with the key of the cellar, larder, and all that sort of thing, and I've a werry great mind to be off on a jaunt--what say you?" "Not the slightest objection," replied the Yorkshireman, "on the old principle of you finding cash, and me finding company." "Why, now I'll tell you, werry honestly, that I should greatly prefer your paying your own shot; but, however, if you've a mind to do as I do, I'll let you stand in the half of a five-pound note and whatever silver I have in my pocket," pulling out a great handful as he spoke, and counting up thirty-two and sixpence. "Very good," replied the Yorkshireman when he had finished, "I'm your man;--and not to be behindhand in point of liberality, I've got threepence that I received in change at the cigar divan just now, which I will add to the common stock, so that we shall have six pounds twelve and ninepence between us." "Between us!" exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks, "now that's so like a Yorkshireman. I declare you Northerns seem to think all the world are asleep except yourselves;--howsomever, I von't quarrel with you--you're a goodish sort of chap in your way, and so long as I keep the swag, we carn't get far wrong. Well, then, to-morrow at two we'll start for Margate--the most delightful place in all the world, where we will have a rare jollification, and can stay just as long as the money holds out. So now good-bye--I'm off home again to see about wittles for the woyage."

It were almost superfluous to mention that the following day was a Saturday--for no discreet citizen would think of leaving town on any other. It dawned with uncommon splendour, and the cocks of Coram Street and adjacent parts seemed to hail the morn with more than their wonted energy. Never, save on a hunting morning, did Mr. Jorrocks tumble about in bed with such restless anxiety as cock after cock took up the crow in every gradation of noise from the shrill note of the free street-scouring chanticleer before the door, to the faint response of the cooped and prisoned victims of the neighbouring poulterer's, their efforts being aided by the flutterings and impertinent chirruping of swarms of town-bred sparrows.

At length the boy, Binjimin, tapped at his master's door, and, depositing his can of shaving-water on his dressing-table, took away his coat and waistcoat, under pretence of brushing them, but in reality to feel if he had left any pence in the pockets. With pleasure Mr. Jorrocks threw aside the bed-clothes, and bounded upon the floor with a bump that shook his own and adjoining houses. On this day a few extra minutes were devoted to his toilet, one or two of which were expended in adjusting a gold foxhead pin in a conspicuous part of his white tie, and in drawing on a pair of new dark blue stocking-net pantaloons, made so excessively tight, that at starting, any of his Newmarket friends would have laid three to two against his ever getting into them at all. When on, however, they fully developed the substantial proportions of his well-rounded limbs, while his large tasselled Hessians showed that the bootmaker had been instructed to make a pair for a "great calf." A blue coat, with metal buttons, ample laps, and pockets outside, with a handsome buff kerseymere waistcoat, formed his costume on this occasion.

Breakfast being over, he repaired to St. Botolph Lane, there to see his letters and look after his commercial affairs; in which the reader not being interested, we will allow the Yorkshireman to figure a little.

About half-past one this enterprising young man placed himself in Tommy Sly's wherry at the foot of the Savoy stairs, and not agreeing in opinion with Mr. Jorrocks that it is of "no use keeping a dog and barking oneself," he took an oar and helped to row himself down to London Bridge. At the wharf below the bridge there lay a magnificent steamer, painted pea-green and white, with flags flying from her masts, and the deck swarming with smart bonnets and bodices. Her name was the _Royal Adelaide_, from which the sagacious reader will infer that this excursion was made during the late reign. The Yorkshireman and Tommy Sly having wormed their way among the boats, were at length brought up within one of the vessels, and after lying on their oars a few seconds, they were attracted by, "Now, sir, are you going to sleep there?"

addressed to a rival nautical whose boat obstructed the way, and on looking up on deck what a sight burst upon the Yorkshireman's astonished vision!--Mr. Jorrocks, with his coat off, and a fine green velvet cap or turban, with a broad gold band and tassel, on his head, hoisting a great hamper out of the wherry, rejecting all offers of assistance, and treating the laughter and jeers of the porters and bystanders with ineffable contempt. At length he placed the load to his liking, and putting on his coat, adjusted his hunting telescope, and advanced to the side, as the Yorkshireman mounted the step-ladder and came upon deck.

"Werry near being over late," said he, pulling out his watch, just at which moment the last bell rang, and a few strokes of the paddles sent the vessel away from the quay. "A miss is as good as a mile," replied the Yorkshireman; "but pray what have you got in the hamper?"

"In the 'amper! Why, wittles to be sure. You seem to forget we are going a woyage, and 'ow keen the sea hair is. I've brought a knuckle of weal, half a ham, beef, sarsingers, chickens, sherry white, and all that sort of thing, and werry acceptable they'll be by the time we get to the Nore, or may be before."

"Ease her! Stop her!" cried the captain through his trumpet, just as the vessel was getting into her stride in mid-stream, and, with true curiosity, the passengers flocked to the side, to see who was coming, though they could not possibly have examined half they had on board.

Mr. Jorrocks, of course, was not behindhand in inquisitiveness, and proceeded to adjust his telescope. A wherry was seen rowing among the craft, containing the boatman, and a gentleman in a woolly white hat, with a bright pea-green coat, and a basket on his knee. "By jingo, here's Jemmy Green!" exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks, taking his telescope from his eye, and giving his thigh a hearty slap. "How unkimmon lucky! The werry man of all others I should most like to see. You know James Green, don't you?" addressing the Yorkshireman--"young James Green, junior, of Tooley Street--everybody knows him--most agreeable young man in Christendom--fine warbler--beautiful dancer--everything that a young man should be."

"How are you James?" cried Jorrocks, seizing him by the hand as his friend stepped upon deck; but whether it was the nervousness occasioned by the rocking of the wherry, or the shaking of the step-ladder up the side of the steamer, or Mr. Jorrocks's new turban cap, but Mr. Green, with an old-maidish reserve, drew back from the proffered embrace of his friend. "You have the adwantage of me, sir," said he, fidgeting back as he spoke, and eyeing Mr. Jorrocks with unmeasured surprise--"Yet stay--if I'm not deceived it's Mr. Jorrocks--so it is!" and thereupon they joined hands most cordially, amid exclamations of, "'Ow are you, J----?" '"Ow are you, G----?" "'Ow are you, J----?" "So glad to see you, J----" "So glad to see you, G----" "So glad to see you, J----" "And pray what may you have in your basket?" inquired Mr. Jorrocks, putting his hand to the bottom of a neat little green-and-white willow woman's basket, apparently for the purpose of ascertaining its weight. "Only my clothes, and a little prowision for the woyage. A baked pigeon, some cold maccaroni, and a few pectoral lozenges. At the bottom are my Margate shoes, with a comb in one, and a razor in t'other; then comes the prog, and at the top, I've a dickey and a clean front for to-morrow.

I abominates travelling with much luggage. Where, I ax, is the use of carrying nightcaps, when the innkeepers always prowide them, without extra charge? The same with regard to soap. Shave, I say, with what you find in your tray. A wet towel makes an excellent tooth-brush, and a pen-knife both cuts and cleans your nails. Perhaps you'll present your friend to me," added he in the same breath, with a glance at the Yorkshireman, upon whose arm Mr. Jorrocks was resting his telescope hand. "Much pleasure," replied Mr. Jorrocks, with his usual urbanity.

"Allow me to introduce Mr. Stubbs, Mr. Green, Mr. Green, Mr. Stubbs: now pray shake hands," added he, "for I'm sure you'll be werry fond of each other"; and thereupon Jemmy, in the most patronising manner, extended his two forefingers to the Yorkshireman, who presented him with one in return. For the information of such of our readers as may never have seen Mr. James Green, senior junior, either in Tooley Street, Southwark, where the patronymic name abounds, or at Messrs. Tattersall's, where he generally exhibits on a Monday afternoon, we may premise, that though a little man in stature, he is a great man in mind and a great swell in costume. On the present occasion, as already stated, he had on a woolly white hat, his usual pea-green coat, with a fine, false, four-frilled front to his shirt, embroidered, plaited, and puckered, like a lady's habit-shirt. Down the front were three or four different sorts of studs, and a butterfly brooch, made of various coloured glasses, sat in the centre. His cravat was of a yellow silk with a flowered border, confining gills sharp and pointed that looked up his nostrils; his double-breasted waistcoat was of red and yellow tartan with blue glass post-boy buttons; and his trousers, which were very wide and cut out over the foot of rusty-black chamois-leather opera-boots, were of a broad blue stripe upon a white ground. A curly, bushy, sandy-coloured wig protruded from the sides of his woolly white hat, and shaded a vacant countenance, which formed the frontispiece of a great chuckle head. Sky-blue gloves and a stout cane, with large tassels, completed the rigging of this borough dandy. Altogether he was as fine as any peacock, and as vain as the proudest.

"And 'ow is Mrs. J----?" inquired Green with the utmost affability--"I hopes she's uncommon well--pray, is she of your party?" looking round.

"Why, no," replied Mr. Jorrocks, "she's off at Tooting at her mother's, and I'm just away, on the sly, to stay a five-pound at Margate this delightful weather. 'Ow long do you remain?" "Oh, only till Monday morning--I goes every Saturday; in fact," added he in an undertone, "I've a season ticket, so I may just as well use it, as stay poking in Tooley Street with the old folks, who really are so uncommon glumpy, that it's quite refreshing to get away from them."

"That's a pity," replied Mr. Jorrocks, with one of his benevolent looks.

"But 'ow comes it, James, you are not married? You are not a bouy now, and should be looking out for a home of your own." "True, my dear J----, true," replied Mr. Green; "and I'll tell you wot, our principal book-keeper and I have made many calculations on the subject, and being a man of literature like yourself, he gave it as his opinion the last time we talked the matter over, that it would only be avoiding Silly and running into Crab-beds; which I presume means Quod or the Bench. Unless he can have a wife 'made to order,' he says he'll never wed. Besides, the women are such a bothersome encroaching set. I declare I'm so pestered with them that I don't know vich vay to turn. They are always tormenting of me. Only last week one sent me a specification of what she'd marry me for, and I declare her dress, alone, came to more than I have to find myself in clothes, ball-and concert-tickets, keep an 'oss, go to theatres, buy lozenges, letter-paper, and everything else with.

There were bumbazeens, and challies, and merinos, and crape, and gauze, and dimity, and caps, bonnets, stockings, shoes, boots, rigids, stays, ringlets; and, would you believe it, she had the unspeakable audacity to include a bustle! It was the most monstrous specification and proposal I ever read, and I returned it by the twopenny post, axing her if she hadn't forgotten to include a set of false teeth. Still, I confess, I'm tired of Tooley Street. I feel that I have a soul above hemp, and was intended for a brighter sphere; but vot can one do, cooped up at home without men of henergy for companions? No prospect of improvement either; for I left our old gentleman alarmingly well just now, pulling about the flax and tow, as though his dinner depended upon his exertions. I think if the women would let me alone, I might have some chance, but it worries a man of sensibility and refinement to have them always tormenting of one.--I've no objection to be led, but, dash my buttons, I von't be driven." "Certainly not," replied Mr. Jorrocks, with great gravity, jingling the silver in his breeches-pocket. "It's an old saying, James, and times proves it true, that you may take an 'oss to the water but you carn't make him drink--and talking of 'osses, pray, how are you off in that line?" "Oh, werry well--uncommon, I may say--a thoroughbred, bang tail down to the hocks, by Phantom, out of Baron Munchausen's dam--gave a hatful of money for him at Tatts'.--five fives--a deal of tin as times go. But he's a perfect 'oss, I assure you--bright bay with four black legs, and never a white hair upon him.

He's touched in the vind, but that's nothing--I'm not a fox-hunter, you know, Mr. Jorrocks; besides, I find the music he makes werry useful in the streets, as a warning to the old happle women to get out of the way.

Pray, sir," turning to the Yorkshireman with a jerk, "do you dance?"--as the boat band, consisting of a harp, a flute, a lute, a long horn, and a short horn, struck up a quadrille,--and, without waiting for a reply, our hero sidled past, and glided among the crowd that covered the deck.

"A fine young man, James," observed Mr. Jorrocks, eyeing Jemmy as he elbowed his way down the boat--"fine young man--wants a little of his father's ballast, but there's no putting old heads on young shoulders.

He's a beautiful dancer," added Mr. Jorrocks, putting his arm through the Yorkshireman's, "let's go and see him foot it." Having worked their way down, they at length got near the dancers, and mounting a ballast box had a fine view of the quadrille. There were eight or ten couple at work, and Jemmy had chosen a fat, dumpy, red-faced girl, in a bright orange-coloured muslin gown, with black velvet Vandyked flounces, and green boots--a sort of walking sunflower, with whom he was pointing his toe, kicking out behind, and pirouetting with great energy and agility.

His male _vis-a-vis_ was a waistcoatless young Daniel Lambert, in white ducks, and a blue dress-coat, with a carnation in his mouth, who with a damsel in ten colours, reel'd to and fro in humble imitation. "Green for ever!" cried Mr. Jorrocks, taking off his velvet cap and waving it encouragingly over his head: "Green for ever! Go it Green!" and, accordingly, Green went it with redoubled vigour. "Wiggins for ever!"

responded a female voice opposite, "I say, Wiggins!" which was followed by a loud clapping of hands, as the fat gentleman made an astonishing step. Each had his admiring applauders, though Wiggins "had the call"

among the ladies--the opposition voice that put him in nomination proceeding from the mother of his partner, who, like her daughter, was a sort of walking pattern book. The spirit of emulation lasted throughout the quadrille, after which, sunflower in hand, Green traversed the deck to receive the compliments of the company.

"You must be 'ungry," observed Mr. Jorrocks, with great politeness to the lady, "after all your exertions," as the latter stood mopping herself with a coarse linen handkerchief--"pray, James, bring your partner to our 'amper, and let me offer her some refreshment," which was one word for the Sunflower and two for himself, the sea breeze having made Mr. Jorrocks what he called "unkimmon peckish." The hamper was speedily opened, the knuckle of veal, the half ham, the aitch bone of beef, the Dorking sausages (made in Drury Lane), the chickens, and some dozen or two of plovers' eggs were exhibited, while Green, with disinterested generosity, added his baked pigeon and cold maccaroni to the common stock. A vigorous attack was speedily commenced, and was kept up, with occasional interruptions by Green running away to dance, until they hove in sight of Herne Bay, which caused an interruption to a very interesting lecture on wines, that Mr. Jorrocks was in the act of delivering, which went to prove that port and sherry were the parents of all wines, port the father, and sherry the mother; and that Bluecellas, hock, Burgundy, claret, Teneriffe, Madeira, were made by the addition of water, vinegar, and a few chemical ingredients, and that of all "humbugs," pale sherry was the greatest, being neither more nor less than brown sherry watered. Mr. Jorrocks then set to work to pack up the leavings in the hamper, observing as he proceeded, that wilful waste brought woeful want, and that "waste not, want not," had ever been the motto of the Jorrocks family.

It was nearly eight o'clock ere the _Royal Adelaide_ touched the point of the far-famed Margate Jetty, a fact that was announced as well by the usual bump, and scuttle to the side to get out first, as by the band striking up _God save the King_, and the mate demanding the tickets of the passengers. The sun had just dropped beneath the horizon, and the gas-lights of the town had been considerately lighted to show him to bed, for the day was yet in the full vigour of life and light.

Two or three other cargoes of cockneys having arrived before, the whole place was in commotion, and the beach swarmed with spectators as anxious to watch this last disembarkation as they had been to see the first. By a salutary regulation of the sages who watch over the interests of the town, "all manner of persons," are prohibited from walking upon the jetty during this ceremony, but the platform of which it is composed being very low, those who stand on the beach outside the rails, are just about on a right level to shoot their impudence cleverly into the ears of the new-comers who are paraded along two lines of gaping, quizzing, laughing, joking, jeering citizens, who fire volleys of wit and satire upon them as they pass. "There's leetle Jemmy Green again!" exclaimed a nursery-maid with two fat, ruddy children in her arms, "he's a beauty without paint!" "Hallo, Jorrocks, my hearty! lend us your hand," cried a brother member of the Surrey Hunt. Then there was a pointing of fingers and cries of "That's Jorrocks! that's Green!" "That's Green! that's Jorrocks!" and a murmuring titter, and exclamations of "There's Simpkins! how pretty he is!" "But there's Wiggins, who's much nicer."

"My eye, what a cauliflower hat Mrs. Thompson's got!" "What a buck young Snooks is!" "What gummy legs that girl in green has!" "Miss Trotter's bustle's on crooked!" from the young ladies at Miss Trimmer's seminary who were drawn up to show the numerical strength of the academy, and act the part of walking advertisements. These observations were speedily drowned by the lusty lungs of a flyman bellowing out, as Green passed, "Hallo! my young brockley-sprout, are you here again?--now then for the tizzy you owe me,--I have been waiting here for it ever since last Monday morning." This salute produced an irate look and a shake of his cane from Green, with a mutter of something about "imperance," and a wish that he had his big fighting foreman there to thrash him. When they got to the gate at the end, the tide of fashion became obstructed by the kissings of husbands and wives, the greetings of fathers and sons, the officiousness of porters, the cries of flymen, the importunities of innkeepers, the cards of bathing-women, the salutations of donkey drivers, the programmes of librarians, and the rush and push of the inquisitive; and the waters of "comers" and "stayers" mingled in one common flood of indescribable confusion.

Mr. Jorrocks, who, hamper in hand, had elbowed his way with persevering resignation, here found himself so beset with friends all anxious to wring his digits, that, fearful of losing either his bed or his friends, he besought Green to step on to the "White Hart" and see about accommodation. Accordingly Green ran his fingers through the bushy sides of his yellow wig, jerked up his gills, and with a _neglige_ air strutted up to that inn, which, as all frequenters of Margate know, stands near the landing-place, and commands a fine view of the harbour.

Mr. Creed, the landlord, was airing himself at the door, or, as Shakespeare has it, "taking his ease at his inn," and knowing Green of old to be a most unprofitable customer, he did not trouble to move his position farther than just to draw up one leg so as not wholly to obstruct the passage, and looked at him as much as to say "I prefer your room to your company." "Quite full here, sir," said he, anticipating Green's question. "Full, indeed?" replied Jemmy, pulling up his gills--"that's werry awkward, Mr. Jorrocks has come down with myself and a friend, and we want accommodation." "Mr. Jorrocks, indeed!" replied Mr. Creed, altering his tone and manner; "I'm sure I shall be delighted to receive Mr. Jorrocks--he's one of the oldest customers I have--and one of the best--none of your 'glass of water and toothpick'

gentleman--real downright, black-strap man, likes it hot and strong from the wood--always pays like a gentleman--never fights about three-pences, like some people I know," looking at Jemmy. "Pray, what rooms may you require?" "Vy, there's myself, Mr. Jorrocks, and Mr. Jorrocks's other friend--three in all, and we shall want three good, hairy bedrooms."

"Well, I don't know," replied Mr. Creed, laughing, "about their hairiness, but I can rub them with bear's grease for you." Jemmy pulled up his gills and was about to reply, when Mr. Jorrocks's appearance interrupted the dialogue. Mr. Creed advanced to receive him, blowing up his porters for not having been down to carry up the hamper, which he took himself and bore to the coffee-room, amid protestations of his delight at seeing his worthy visitor.

Having talked over the changes of Margate, of those that were there, those that were not, and those that were coming, and adverted to the important topic of supper, Mr. Jorrocks took out his yellow and white spotted handkerchief and proceeded to flop his Hessian boots, while Mr.

Creed, with his own hands, rubbed him over with a long billiard-table brush. Green, too, put himself in form by the aid of the looking-glass, and these preliminaries being adjusted, the trio sallied forth arm-in-arm, Mr. Jorrocks occupying the centre. It was a fine, balmy summer evening, the beetles and moths still buzzed and flickered in the air, and the sea rippled against the shingly shore, with a low indistinct murmur that scarcely sounded among the busy hum of men. The shades of night were drawing on--a slight mist hung about the hills, and a silvery moon shed a broad brilliant ray upon the quivering waters "of the dark blue sea," and an equal light over the wide expanse of the troubled town. How strange that man should leave the quiet scenes of nature, to mix in myriads of those they profess to quit cities to avoid!

One turn to the shore, and the gas-lights of the town drew back the party like moths to the streets, which were literally swarming with the population. "Cheapside, at three o'clock in the afternoon," as Mr.

Jorrocks observed, was never fuller than Margate streets that evening.

All was lighted up--all brilliant and all gay--care seemed banished from every countenance, and pretty faces and smart gowns reigned in its stead. Mr. Jorrocks met with friends and acquaintances at every turn, most of whom asked "when he came?" and "when he was going away?" Having perambulated the streets, the sound of music attracted Jemmy Green's attention, and our party turned into a long, crowded and brilliantly lighted bazaar, just as the last notes of a barrel-organ at the far end faded away, and a young woman in a hat and feathers, with a swan's-down muff and tippet, was handed by a very smart young man in dirty white Berlin gloves, and an equally soiled white waistcoat, into a sort of orchestra above where, after the plaudits of the company had subsided, she struck-up:

"If I had a donkey vot vouldn't go."

At the conclusion of the song, and before the company had time to disperse, the same smart young gentleman,--having rehanded the young lady from the orchestra and pocketed his gloves,--ran his fingers through his hair, and announced from that eminence, that the spirited proprietors of the Bazaar were then going to offer for public competition in the enterprising shape of a raffle, in tickets, at one shilling each, a most magnificently genteel, rosewood, general perfume box fitted up with cedar and lined with red silk velvet, adorned with cut-steel clasps at the sides, and a solid, massive, silver name-plate at the top, with a best patent Bramah lock and six chaste and beautifully rich cut-glass bottles, and a plate-glass mirror at the top--a box so splendidly perfect, so beautifully unique, as alike to defy the powers of praise and the critiques of the envious; and thereupon he produced a flashy sort of thing that might be worth three and sixpence, for which he modestly required ten subscribers, at a shilling each, adding, "that even with that number the proprietors would incur a werry heavy loss, for which nothing but a boundless sense of gratitude for favours past could possibly recompense them." The youth's eloquence and the glitter of the box reflecting, as it did at every turn, the gas-lights both in its steel and glass, had the desired effect--shillings went down, and tickets went off rapidly, until only three remained. "Four, five, and ten, are the only numbers now remaining," observed the youth, running his eye up the list and wetting his pencil in his mouth. "Four, five and ten! ten, four, five! five, four, ten! are the only numbers now vacant for this werry genteel and magnificent rosewood perfume-box, lined with red velvet, cut-steel clasps, a silver plate for the name, best patent Bramah lock, and six beautiful rich cut-glass bottles, with a plate glass mirror in the lid--and only four, five, and ten now vacant!" "I'll take ten," said Green, laying down a shilling. "Thank you, sir--only four and five now wanting, ladies and gentlemen--pray, be in time--pray, be in time! This is without exception the most brilliant prize ever offered for public competition. There were only two of these werry elegant boxes made,--the unfortunate mechanic who executed them being carried off by that terrible malady, the cholera morbus,--and the other is now in the possession of his most Christian Majesty the King of the French. Only four and five wanting to commence throwing for this really perfect specimen of human ingenuity--only four and five!" "I'll take them,"

cried Green, throwing down two shillings more--and then the table was cleared--the dice box produced, and the crowd drew round. "Number one!--who holds number one?" inquired the keeper, arranging the paper, and sucking the end of his pencil. A young gentleman in a blue jacket and white trousers owned the lot, and, accordingly, led off the game.

The lottery-keeper handed the box, and put in the dice--rattle, rattle, rattle, rattle, rattle, rattle, plop, and lift up--"seven and four are eleven"--"now again, if you please, sir," putting the dice into the box--rattle, rattle, rattle, rattle, rattle, rattle, plop, and lift up--a loud laugh--"one and two make three"--the youth bit his lips;--rattle, rattle, rattle, rattle, rattle, rattle, rattle, plop--a pause--and lift up--"threes!"--"six, three, and eleven, are twenty."

"Now who holds number two?--what lady or gentleman holds number two?

Pray, step forward!" The Sunflower drew near--Green looked confused--she fixed her eye upon him, half in fear, half in entreaty--would he offer to throw for her? No, by Jove, Green was not so green as all that came to, and he let her shake herself. She threw twenty-two, thereby putting an extinguisher on the boy, and raising Jemmy's chance considerably.

"Three" was held by a youngster in nankeen petticoats, who would throw for himself, and shook the box violently enough to be heard at Broadstairs. He scored nineteen, and, beginning to cry immediately, was taken home. Green was next, and all eyes turned upon him, for he was a noted hand. He advanced to the table with great sangfroid, and, turning back the wrists of his coat, exhibited his beautiful sparkling paste shirt buttons, and the elegant turn of his taper hand, the middle finger of which was covered with massive rings. He took the box in a _neglige_ manner, and without condescending to shake it, slid the dice out upon the table by a gentle sideway motion--"sixes!" cried all, and down the marker put twelve. At the second throw, he adopted another mode. As soon as the dice were in, he just chucked them up in the air like as many halfpence, and down they came five and six--"eleven," said the marker.

With a look of triumph Green held the box for the third time, which he just turned upside down, and lo, on uncovering, there stood two--"ones!"

A loud laugh burst forth, and Green looked confused. "I'm so glad!"

whispered a young lady, who had made an unsuccessful "set" at Jemmy the previous season, in a tone loud enough for him to hear. "I hope he'll lose," rejoined a female friend, rather louder. "That Jemmy Green is my absolute abhorrence," observed a third. "'Orrible man, with his nasty vig," observed the mamma of the first speaker--"shouldn't have my darter not at no price." Green, however, headed the poll, having beat the Sunflower, and had still two lots in reserve. For number five, he threw twenty-five, and was immediately outstripped, amid much laughter and clapping of hands from the ladies, by number six, who in his turn fell a prey to number seven. Between eight and nine there was a very interesting contest who should be lowest, and hopes and fears were at their altitude, when Jemmy Green again turned back his coat-wrist to throw for number ten. His confidence had forsaken him a little, as indicated by a slight quivering of the under-lip, but he managed to conceal it from all except the ladies, who kept too scrutinising an eye upon him. His first throw brought sixes, which raised his spirits amazingly; but on their appearance a second time, he could scarcely contain himself, backed as he was by the plaudits of his friend Mr.

Jorrocks. Then came the deciding throw--every eye was fixed on Jemmy, he shook the box, turned it down, and lo! there came seven.

"Mr. James Green is the fortunate winner of this magnificent prize!"

exclaimed the youth, holding up the box in mid-air, and thereupon all the ladies crowded round Green, some to congratulate him, others to compliment him on his looks, while one or two of the least knowing tried to coax him out of his box. Jemmy, however, was too old a stager, and pocketed the box and other compliments at the same time.

Another grind of the organ, and another song followed from the same young lady, during which operation Green sent for the manager, and, after a little beating about the bush, proposed singing a song or two, if he would give him lottery-tickets gratis. He asked three shilling-tickets for each song, and finally closed for five tickets for two songs, on the understanding that he was to be announced as a distinguished amateur, who had come forward by most particular desire.

Accordingly the manager--a roundabout, red-faced, consequential little cockney--mounted the rostrum, and begged to announce to the company that that "celebrated wocalist, Mr. James Green, so well known as a distinguished amateur and conwivialist, both at Bagnigge Wells, and Vite Conduit House, LONDON, had werry kindly consented, in order to promote the hilarity of the evening, to favour the company with a song immediately after the drawing of the next lottery," and after a few high-flown compliments, which elicited a laugh from those who were up to Jemmy's mode of doing business, he concluded by offering a _papier-mache_ tea-caddy for public competition, in shilling lots as before.

Chapter end

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