Jorrocks' Jaunts and Jollities Part 7

As soon as the drawing was over, they gave the organ a grind, and Jemmy popped up with a hop, step, and a jump, with his woolly white hat under his arm, and presented himself with a scrape and a bow to the company.

After a few preparatory "hems and haws," he pulled up his gills and spoke as follows: "Ladies and gentlemen! hem"--another pull at his gills--"ladies and gentlemen--my walued friend, Mr. Kitey Graves, has announced that I will entertain the company with a song; though nothing, I assure you--hem--could be farther from my idea--hem--when my excellent friend asked me,"--"Hookey Walker!" exclaimed someone who had heard Jemmy declare the same thing half a dozen times--"and, indeed, ladies and gentlemen--hem--nothing but the werry great regard I have for Mr.

Kitey Graves, who I have known and loved ever since he was the height of sixpennorth of coppers" a loud laugh followed this allusion, seeing that eighteenpenny-worth would almost measure out the speaker. On giving another "hem," and again pulling up his gills, an old Kentish farmer, in a brown coat and mahogany-coloured tops, holloaed out, "I say, sir! I'm afear'd you'll be catching cold!" "I 'opes not," replied Jemmy in a fluster, "is it raining? I've no umbrella, and my werry best coat on!"

"No! raining, no!" replied the farmer, "only you've pulled at your shirt so long that I think you must be bare behind! Haw! haw! haw!" at which all the males roared with laughter, and the females hid their faces in their handkerchiefs, and tittered and giggled, and tried to be shocked.

"ORDER! ORDER!" cried Mr. Jorrocks, in a loud and sonorous voice, which had the effect of quelling the riot and drawing all eyes upon himself.

"Ladies and gentlemen," said he, taking off his cap with great gravity, and extending his right arm,

Immodest words admit of no defence, For want of decency is want of sense;

a couplet so apropos, and so well delivered, as to have the immediate effect of restoring order and making the farmer look foolish. Encouraged by the voice of his great patron, Green once more essayed to finish his speech, which he did by a fresh assurance of the surprise by which he had been taken by the request of his friend, Kitey Graves, and an exhortation for the company to make allowance for any deficiency of "woice," inasmuch as how as labouring under "a wiolent 'orseness," for which he had long been taking pectoral lozenges. He then gave his gills another pull, felt if they were even, and struck up:

"Bid me discourse,"

in notes, compared to which the screaming of a peacock would be perfect melody. Mr. Jorrocks having taken a conspicuous position, applauded long, loudly, and warmly, at every pause--approbation the more deserved and disinterested, inasmuch as the worthy gentleman suffers considerably from music, and only knows two tunes, one of which, he says, "is _God save the King_, and the other isn't."

Having seen his protege fairly under way, Mr. Jorrocks gave him a hint that he would return to the "White Hart," and have supper ready by the time he was done; accordingly the Yorkshireman and he withdrew along an avenue politely formed by the separation of the company, who applauded as they passed.

An imperial quart and a half of Mr. Creed's stoutest draft port, with the orthodox proportion of lemon, cloves, sugar, and cinnamon, had almost boiled itself to perfection under the skilful superintendence of Mr. Jorrocks, on the coffee-room fire, and a table had been handsomely decorated with shrimps, lobsters, broiled bones, fried ham, poached eggs, when just as the clock had finished striking eleven, the coffee-room door opened with a rush, and in tripped Jemmy Green with his hands crammed full of packages, and his trousers' pockets sticking out like a Dutch burgomaster's. "Vell, I've done 'em brown to-night, I think," said he, depositing his hat and half a dozen packages on the sideboard, and running his fingers through his curls to make them stand up. "I've won nine lotteries, and left one undrawn when I came away, because it did not seem likely to fill. Let me see," said he, emptying his pockets,--"there is the beautiful rosewood box that I won, ven you was there; the next was a set of crimping-irons, vich I von also; the third was a jockey-vip, which I did not want and only stood one ticket for and lost; the fourth was this elegant box, with a view of Margate on the lid; then came these six sherry labels with silver rims; a snuff-box with an inwisible mouse; a coral rattle with silver bells; a silk yard measure in a walnut-shell; a couple of West India beetles; a humming-bird in a glass case, which I lost; and then these dozen bodkins with silver eyes--so that altogether I have made a pretty good night's work of it. Kitey Graves wasn't in great force, so after I had sung _Bid me Discourse_, and _I'd be a Butterfly_, I cut my stick and went to the hopposition shop, where they used me much more genteelly; giving me three tickets for a song, and introducing me in more flattering terms to the company--don't like being considered one of the nasty 'reglars,' and they should make a point of explaining that one isn't. Besides, what business had Kitey to say anything about Bagnigge Vells? a hass!--Now, perhaps, you'll favour me with some supper."

"Certainly," replied Mr. Jorrocks, patting Jemmy approvingly on the head--"you deserve some. It's only no song, no supper, and you've been singing like a nightingale;" thereupon they set to with vigorous determination.

A bright Sunday dawned, and the beach at an early hour was crowded with men in dressing-gowns of every shape, hue, and material, with buff slippers--the "regulation Margate shoeing," both for men and women. As the hour of eleven approached, and the church bells began to ring, the town seemed to awaken suddenly from a trance, and bonnets the most superb, and dresses the most extravagant, poured forth from lodgings the most miserable. Having shaved and dressed himself with more than ordinary care and attention, Mr. Jorrocks walked his friends off to church, assuring them that no one need hope to prosper throughout the week who did not attend it on the Sunday, and he marked his own devotion throughout the service by drowning the clerk's voice with his responses.

After this spiritual ablution Mr. Jorrocks bethought himself of having a bodily one in the sea; and the day being excessively hot, and the tide about the proper mark, he pocketed a couple of towels out of his bedroom and went away to bathe, leaving Green and the Yorkshireman to amuse themselves at the "White Hart."

This house, as we have already stated, faces the harbour, and is a corner one, running a considerable way up the next street, with a side door communicating, as well as the front one, with the coffee-room.

This room differs from the generality of coffee-rooms, inasmuch as the windows range the whole length of the room, and being very low they afford every facility for the children and passers-by to inspect the interior. Whether this is done to show the Turkey carpet, the pea-green cornices, the bright mahogany slips of tables, the gay trellised geranium-papered room, or the aristocratic visitors who frequent it, is immaterial--the description is as accurate as if George Robins had drawn it himself. In this room then, as the Yorkshireman and Green were lying dozing on three chairs apiece, each having fallen asleep to avoid the trouble of talking to the other, they were suddenly roused by loud yells and hootings at the side door, and the bursting into the coffee-room of what at first brush they thought must be a bull. The Yorkshireman jumped up, rubbed his eyes, and lo! before him stood Mr. Jorrocks, puffing like a stranded grampus, with a bunch of sea-weed under his arm and the dress in which he had started, with the exception of the dark blue stocking-net pantaloons, the place of which were supplied by a flowing white linen kilt, commonly called a shirt, in the four corners of which were knotted a few small pebbles--producing, with the Hessian boots and one thing and another, the most laughable figure imaginable. The blood of the Jorrockses was up, however, and throwing his hands in the air, he thus delivered himself. "Oh gentlemen! gentlemen!--here's a lamentable occurrence--a terrible disaster--oh dear! oh dear!--I never thought I should come to this. You know, James Green," appealing to Jemmy, "that I never was the man to raise a blush on the cheek of modesty; I have always said that 'want of decency is want of sense,' and see how I am rewarded! Oh dear! oh dear! that I should ever have trusted my pantaloons out of my sight." While all this, which was the work of a moment, was going forward, the mob, which had been shut out at the side door on Jorrocks's entry, had got round to the coffee-room window, and were all wedging their faces in to have a sight of him. It was principally composed of children, who kept up the most discordant yells, mingled with shouts of "there's old cutty shirt!"--"who's got your breeches, old cock?"--"make a scramble!"--"turn him out for another hunt!"--"turn him again!"--until, fearing for the respectability of his house, the landlord persuaded Mr. Jorrocks to retire into the bar to state his grievances. It then appeared that having travelled along the coast, as far as the first preventive stationhouse on the Ramsgate side of Margate, the grocer had thought it a convenient place for performing his intended ablutions, and, accordingly, proceeded to do what all people of either sex agree upon in such cases--namely to divest himself of his garments; but before he completed the ceremony, observing some females on the cliffs above, and not being (as he said) a man "to raise a blush on the cheek of modesty," he advanced to the water's edge in his aforesaid unmentionables, and forgetting that it was not yet high tide, he left them there, when they were speedily covered, and the pockets being full of silver and copper, of course they were "swamped." After dabbling about in the water and amusing himself with picking up sea-weed for about ten minutes, Mr. Jorrocks was horrified, on returning to the spot where he thought he had left his stocking-net pantaloons, to find that they had disappeared; and after a long fruitless search, the unfortunate gentleman was compelled to abandon the pursuit, and render himself an object of chase to all the little boys and girls who chose to follow him into Margate on his return without them.

Jorrocks, as might be expected, was very bad about his loss, and could not get over it--it stuck in his gizzard, he said--and there it seemed likely to remain. In vain Mr. Creed offered him a pair of trousers--he never had worn a pair. In vain he asked for the loan of a pair of white cords and top-boots, or even drab shorts and continuations. Mr. Creed was no sportsman, and did not keep any. The bellman could not cry the lost unmentionables because it was Sunday, and even if they should be found on the ebbing of the tide, they would take no end of time to dry.

Mr. Jorrocks declared his pleasure at an end, and forthwith began making inquiries as to the best mode of getting home. The coaches were all gone, steamboats there were none, save for every place but London, and posting, he said, was "cruelly expensive." In the midst of his dilemma, "Boots," who is always the most intelligent man about an inn, popped in his curly head, and informed Mr. Jorrocks that the Unity hoy, a most commodious vessel, neat, trim, and water-tight, manned by his own maternal uncle, was going to cut away to London at three o'clock, and would land him before he could say "Jack Robinson." Mr. Jorrocks jumped at the offer, and forthwith attiring himself in a pair of Mr. Creed's loose inexpressibles, over which he drew his Hessian boots, he tucked the hamper containing the knuckle of veal and other etceteras under one arm, and the bunch of sea-weed he had been busy collecting, instead of watching his clothes, under the other, and, followed by his friends, made direct for the vessel.

Everybody knows, or ought to know, what a hoy is--it is a large sailing-boat, sometimes with one deck, sometimes with none; and the Unity, trading in bulky goods, was of the latter description, though there was a sort of dog-hole at the stern, which the master dignified by the name of a "state cabin," into which he purposed putting Mr.

Jorrocks, if the weather should turn cold before they arrived. The wind, however, he said, was so favourable, and his cargo--"timber and fruit,"

as he described it, that is to say, broomsticks and potatoes--so light, that he warranted landing him at Blackwall at least by ten o'clock, where he could either sleep, or get a short stage or an omnibus on to Leadenhall Street. The vessel looked anything but tempting, neither was the captain's appearance prepossessing, still Mr. Jorrocks, all things considered, thought he would chance it; and depositing his hamper and sea-weed, and giving special instructions about having his pantaloons cried in the morning--recounting that besides the silver, and eighteen-pence in copper, there was a steel pencil-case with "J.J."

on the seal at the top, an anonymous letter, and two keys--he took an affectionate leave of his friends, and stepped on board, the vessel was shoved off and stood out to sea.

Monday morning drew the cockneys from their roosts betimes, to take their farewell splash and dive in the sea. As the day advanced, the bustle and confusion on the shore and in the town increased, and everyone seemed on the move. The ladies paid their last visits to the bazaars and shell shops, and children extracted the last ounce of exertion from the exhausted leg-weary donkeys. Meanwhile the lords of the creation strutted about, some in dressing-gowns, others, "full puff," with bags and boxes under their arms--while sturdy porters were wheeling barrows full of luggage to the jetty. The bell-man went round dressed in a blue and red cloak, with a gold hatband. Ring-a-ding, ring-a-ding, ring-a-ding, dong, went the bell, and the gaping cockneys congregated around. He commenced--"To be sould in the market-place a quantity of fresh ling." Ring-a-ding, ring-a-ding, dong: "The _Royal Adelaide_, fast and splendid steam-packet, Capt. Whittingham, will leave the pier this morning at nine o'clock precisely, and land the passengers at London Bridge Steam-packet Wharf--fore cabin fares and children four shillings--saloon five shillings." Ring-a-ding, ring-a-ding, dong: "The superb and splendid steam-packet, the _Magnet_, will leave the pier this morning at nine o'clock precisely, and land the passengers at the St.

Catherine Docks--fore-cabin fares and children four shillings--saloon five shillings." Ring-a-ding, ring-a-ding, dong: "Lost at the back of James Street--a lady's black silk--black lace wale--whoever has found the same, and will bring it to the cryer, shall receive one shilling reward." Ring-a-ding, ring-a-ding, dong: "Lost, last night, between the jetty and the York Hotel, a little boy, as answers to the name of Spot, whoever has found the same, and will bring him to the cryer, shall receive a reward of half-a-crown." Ring-a-ding, ring-a-ding, dong: "Lost, stolen, or strayed, or otherwise conveyed, a brown-and-white King Charles's setter as answers to the name of Jacob Jones. Whoever has found the same, or will give such information as shall lead to the detection and conversion of the offender or offenders shall be handsomely rewarded." Ring-a-ding, ring-a-ding, dong: "Lost below the prewentive sarvice station by a gentleman of great respectability--a pair of blue knit pantaloons, containing eighteen penny-worth of copper--a steel pencil-case--a werry anonymous letter, and two keys.

Whoever will bring the same to the cryer shall receive a reward.--_God save the King!"_

Then, as the hour of nine approached, what a concourse appeared! There were fat and lean, and short and tall, and middling, going away, and fat and lean, and short and tall, and middling, waiting to see them off; Green, as usual, making himself conspicuous, and canvassing everyone he could lay hold of for the _Magnet_ steamer. At the end of the jetty, on each side, lay the _Royal Adelaide_ and the _Magnet_, with as fierce a contest for patronage as ever was witnessed. Both decks were crowded with anxious faces--for the Monday's steamboat race is as great an event as a Derby, and a cockney would as lieve lay on an outside horse as patronise a boat that was likely to let another pass her. Nay, so high is the enthusiasm carried, that books are regularly made on the occasion, and there is as much clamour for bets as in the ring at Epsom or Newmarket. "Tomkins, I'll lay you a dinner--for three--_Royal Adelaide_ against the _Magnet_," bawled Jenkins from the former boat.

"Done," cries Tomkins. "The _Magnet_ for a bottle of port," bawled out another. "A whitebait dinner for two, the _Magnet_ reaches Greenwich first." "What should you know about the _Magnet_?" inquires the mate of the _Royal Adelaide_. "Vy, I think I should know something about nauticals too, for Lord St. Wincent was my godfather." "I'll bet five shillings on the _Royal Adelaide."_ "I'll take you," says another. "I'll bet a bottom of brandy on the _Magnet_," roars out the mate. "Two goes of Hollands', the _Magnet's_ off Herne Bay before the _Royal Adelaide."_ "I'll lay a pair of crimping-irons against five shillings, the _Magnet_ beats the _Royal Adelaide_," bellowed out Green, who having come on board, had mounted the paddle-box. "I say, Green, I'll lay you an even five if you like." "Well, five pounds," cries Green. "No, shillings,"

says his friend. "Never bet in shillings," replies Green, pulling up his shirt collar. "I'll bet fifty pounds," he adds,-getting valiant. "I'll bet a hundred ponds--a thousand pounds--a million pounds--half the National Debt, if you like."

Precisely as the jetty clock finishes striking nine, the ropes are slipped, and the rival steamers stand out to sea with beautiful precision, amid the crying, the kissing of hands, the raising of hats, the waving of handkerchiefs, from those who are left for the week, while the passengers are cheered by adverse tunes from the respective bands on board. The _Magnet_, having the outside, gets the breeze first hand, but the _Royal Adelaide_ keeps well alongside, and both firemen being deeply interested in the event, they boil up a tremendous gallop, without either being able to claim the slightest advantage for upwards of an hour and a half, when the _Royal Adelaide_ manages to shoot ahead for a few minutes, amid the cheers and exclamations of her crew. The _Magnet's_ fireman, however, is on the alert, and a few extra pokes of the fire presently bring the boats together again, in which state they continue, nose and nose, until the stiller water of the side of the Thames favours the _Magnet_, and she shoots ahead amid the cheers and vociferations of her party, and is not neared again during the voyage.

This excitement over, the respective crews sink into a sort of melancholy sedateness, and Green in vain endeavours to kick up a quadrille. The men were exhausted and the women dispirited, and altogether they were a very different set of beings to what they were on the Saturday. Dull faces and dirty-white ducks were the order of the day.

The only incident of the voyage was, that on approaching the mouth of the Medway, the _Royal Adelaide_ was hailed by a vessel, and the Yorkshireman, on looking overboard, was shocked to behold Mr. Jorrocks sitting in the stern of his hoy in the identical position he had taken up the previous day, with his bunch of sea-weed under his elbow, and the remains of the knuckle of veal, ham, and chicken, spread on the hamper before him. "Stop her?" cried the Yorkshireman, and then hailing Mr.

Jorrocks he holloaed out, "In the name of the prophet, Figs, what are you doing there?" "Oh, gentlemen! gentlemen!" exclaimed Mr. Jorrocks, brightening up as he recognised the boat, "take compassion on a most misfortunate indiwidual--here have I been in this 'orrid 'oy, ever since three o'clock yesterday afternoon and here I seem likely to end my days--for blow me tight if I couldn't swim as fast as it goes." "Look sharp, then," cried the mate of the steamer, "and chuck us up your luggage." Up went the sea-weed, the hamper, and Mr. Jorrocks; and before the hoyman awoke out of a nap, into which he had composed himself on resigning the rudder to his lad, our worthy citizen was steaming away a mile before his vessel, bilking him of his fare.

Who does not recognise in this last disaster, the truth of the old adage?

"Most haste, least speed."


"Jorrocks's France, in three wolumes, would sound werry well," observed our worthy citizen, one afternoon, to his confidential companion the Yorkshireman, as they sat in the veranda in Coram Street, eating red currants and sipping cold whiskey punch; "and I thinks I could make something of it. They tells me that at the 'west end' the booksellers will give forty pounds for anything that will run into three wolumes, and one might soon pick up as much matter as would stretch into that quantity."

The above observation was introduced in a long conversation between Mr.

Jorrocks and his friend, relative to an indignity that had been offered him by the rejection by the editor of a sporting periodical of a long treatise on eels, which, independently of the singularity of diction, had become so attenuated in the handling, as to have every appearance of filling three whole numbers of the work; and Mr. Jorrocks had determined to avenge the insult by turning author on his own account. The Yorkshireman, ever ready for amusement, cordially supported Mr. Jorrocks in his views, and a bargain was soon struck between them, the main stipulations of which were, that Mr. Jorrocks should find cash, and the Yorkshireman should procure information.

Accordingly, on the Saturday after, the nine o'clock Dover heavy drew up at the "Bricklayers' Arms," with Mr. Jorrocks on the box seat, and the Yorkshireman imbedded among the usual heterogeneous assembly--soldiers, sailors, Frenchmen, fishermen, ladies' maids, and footmen--that compose the cargo of these coaches. Here they were assailed with the usual persecution from the tribe of Israel, in the shape of a hundred merchants, proclaiming the virtues of their wares; one with black-lead pencils, twelve a shilling, with an invitation to "cut 'em and try 'em"; another with a good pocket-knife, "twelve blades and saw, sir"; a third, with a tame squirrel and a piping bullfinch, that could whistle _God save the King_ and the _White Cockade_--to be given for an old coat.

"Buy a silver guard-chain for your vatch, sir!" cried a dark eyed urchin, mounting the fore-wheel, and holding a bunch of them in Mr.

Jorrocks's face; "buy pocket-book, memorandum-book!" whined another.

"Keepsake--Forget-me-not--all the last year's annuals at half-price!"

"Sponge cheap, sponge! take a piece, sir--take a piece." "Patent leather straps." "Barcelona nuts. Slippers. _Morning Hurl (Herald)._ Rhubarb.

'Andsome dog-collar, sir, cheap!--do to fasten your wife up with!"

"Stand clear, ye warmints!" cries the coachman, elbowing his way among them--and, remounting the box, he takes the whip and reins out of Mr.

Jorrocks's hands, cries "All right behind? sit tight!" and off they go.

The day was fine, and the hearts of all seemed light and gay. The coach, though slow, was clean and smart, the harness bright and well-polished, while the sleek brown horses poked their heads about at ease, without the torture of the bearing-rein. The coachman, like his vehicle, was heavy, and had he been set on all fours, a party of six might have eat off his back. Thus they proceeded at a good steady substantial sort of pace; trotting on level ground, walking up hills, and dragging down inclines. Nor among the whole party was there a murmur of discontent at the pace. Most of the passengers seemed careless which way they went, so long as they did but move, and they rolled through the Garden of England with the most stoical indifference. We know not whether it has ever struck the reader, but the travellers by Dover coaches are less captious about pace than those on most others.

And now let us fancy our friends up, and down, Shooter's Hill, through Dartford, Northfleet, and Gravesend--at which latter place, the first foreign symptom appears, in words, "Poste aux Chevaux," on the door-post of the inn; and let us imagine them bowling down Rochester Hill at a somewhat amended pace, with the old castle, by the river Medway, the towns of Chatham, Strood and Rochester full before them, and the finely wooded country extending round in pleasing variety of hill and dale.

As they reach the foot of the hill, the guard commences a solo on his bugle, to give notice to the innkeeper to have the coach dinner on the table. All huddled together, inside and out, long passengers and short ones, they cut across the bridge, rattle along the narrow street, sparking the mud from the newly-watered streets on the shop windows and passengers on each side, and pull up at the "Pig and Crossbow," with a jerk and a dash as though they had been travelling at the rate of twelve miles an hour. Two other coaches are "dining," while some few passengers, whose "hour is not yet come," sit patiently on the roof, or pace up and down the street with short and hurried turns, anxious to see the horses brought out that are to forward them on their journey. And what a commotion this new arrival creates! From the arched doorway of the inn issue two chamber-maids, one in curls the other in a cap; Boots, with both curls and a cap, and a ladder in his hand; a knock-kneed waiter, with a dirty duster, to count noses, while the neat landlady, in a spruce black silk gown and clean white apron, stands smirking, smiling, and rubbing her hands down her sides, inveigling the passengers into the house, where she will turn them over to the waiters to take their chance the instant she gets them in. About the door the usual idlers are assembled.--A coachman out of place, a beggar out at the elbows, a sergeant in uniform, and three recruits with ribbons in their hats; a captain with his boots cut for corns, the coachman that is to drive to Dover, a youth in a straw hat and a rowing shirt, the little inquisitive old man of the place--who sees all the midday coaches change horses, speculates on the passengers and sees who the parcels are for--and, though last but not least, Mr. Bangup, the "varmint" man, the height of whose ambition is to be taken for a coachman. As the coach pulled up, he was in the bar taking a glass of cold sherry "without"

and a cigar, which latter he brings out lighted in his mouth, with his shaved white hat stuck knowingly on one side, and the thumbs of his brown hands thrust into the arm-holes of his waistcoat, throwing back his single breasted fancy buttoned green coat, and showing a cream coloured cravat, fastened with a gold coach-and-four pin, which, with a buff waistcoat and tight drab trousers buttoning over the boot, complete his "toggery," as he would call it. His whiskers are large and riotous in the extreme, while his hair is clipped as close as a charity schoolboy's. The coachman and he are on the best of terms, as the outward twist of their elbows and jerks of the head on meeting testify.

His conversation is short and slangy, accompanied with the correct nasal twang. After standing and blowing a few puffs, during which time the passengers have all alighted, and the coachman has got through the thick of his business, he takes the cigar out of his mouth, and, spitting on the flags, addresses his friend with, "Y've got the old near-side leader back from Joe, I see." "Yes, Mr. Bangup, yes," replies his friend, "but I had some work first--our gov'rnor was all for the change--at last, says I to our 'osskeeper, says I, it arn't no use your harnessing that 'ere roan for me any more, for as how I von't drive him, so it's not to no use harnessing of him, for I von't be gammon'd out of my team not by none on them, therefore it arn't to never no use harnessing of him again for me." "So you did 'em," observes Mr. Bangup. "Lord bless ye, yes! it warn't to no use aggravising about it, for says I, I von't stand it, so it warn't to no manner of use harnessing of him again for me." "Come, Smith, what are you chaffing there about?" inquires the landlord, coming out with the wide-spread way-bill in his hands, "have you two insides?"

"No, gov'rnor, I has but von, and that's precious empty, haw! haw! haw!"

"Well, but now get Brown to blow his horn early, and you help to hurry the passengers away from my grub, and may be I'll give you your dinner for your trouble," replies the landlord, reckoning he would save both his meat and his horses by the experiment. "Ay, there goes the dinner!"

added he, just as Mr. Jorrocks's voice was heard inside the "Pig and Crossbow," giving a most tremendous roar for his food.--"Pork at the top, and pork at the bottom," the host observes to the waiter in passing, "and mind, put the joints before the women--they are slow carvers."

While the foregoing scene was enacting outside, our travellers had been driven through the passage into a little, dark, dingy room at the back of the house, with a dirty, rain-bespattered window, looking against a whitewashed blank wall. The table, which was covered with a thrice-used cloth, was set out with lumps of bread, knives, and two and three pronged forks laid alternately. Altogether it was anything but inviting, but coach passengers are very complacent; and on the Dover road it matters little if they are not. The bustle of preparation was soon over.

Coats No. 1, No. 2, and No. 3, are taken off in succession, for some people wear top-coats to keep out the "heat"; chins are released from their silken jeopardy, hats are hid in corners, and fur caps thrust into pockets of the owners. Inside passengers eye outside ones with suspicion, while a deaf gentleman, who has left his trumpet in the coach, meets an acquaintance whom he has not seen for seven years, and can only shake hands and grin to the movements of the lips of the speaker. "You find it very warm inside, I should think, sir?" "Thank ye, thank ye, my good friend; I'm rayther deaf, but I presume you're inquiring after my wife and daughters--they are very well, I thank ye."

"Where will you sit at dinner?" rejoins the first speaker, in hopes of a more successful hit. "It is two years since I saw him." "No; where will you sit, sir? I said." "Oh, John? I beg your pardon--I'm rayther deaf--he's in Jamaica with his regiment." "Come, waiter, BRING DINNER!"

roared Mr. Jorrocks, at the top of his voice, being the identical shout that was heard outside, and presently the two dishes of pork, a couple of ducks, and a lump of half-raw, sadly mangled, cold roast beef, with waxy potatoes and overgrown cabbages, were scattered along the table.

"What a beastly dinner!" exclaims an inside dandy, in a sable-collared frock-coat--"the whole place reeks with onions and vulgarity. Waiter, bring me a silver fork!" "Allow me to duck you, ma'am?" inquires an outside passenger, in a facetious tone, of a female in a green silk cloak, as he turns the duck over in the dish. "Thank you, sir, but I've some pork coming." "Will you take some of this thingumbob?" turning a questionable-looking pig's countenance over in its pewter bed. "You are in considerable danger, my friend--you are in considerable danger,"

drawls forth the superfine insider to an outsider opposite. "How's that?" inquires the former in alarm. "Why, you are eating with your knife, and you are in considerable danger of cutting your mouth".--What is the matter at the far end of the table?--a lady in russet brown, with a black velvet bonnet and a feather, in convulsions. "She's choking by Jove! hit her on the back--gently, gently--she's swallowed a fish-bone."

"I'll lay five to two she dies," cries Mr. Bolus, the sporting doctor of Sittingbourne. She coughs--up comes a couple of tooth-picks, she having drunk off a green glass of them in mistake.

"Now hark'e, waiter! there's the guard blowing his horn, and we have scarcely had a bite apiece," cries Mr. Jorrocks, as that functionary sounded his instrument most energetically in the passage; "blow me tight, if I stir before the full half-hour's up, so he may blow till he's black in the face." "Take some cheese, sir?" inquires the waiter.

"No, surely not, some more pork, and then some tarts". "Sorry, sir, we have no tarts we can recommend. Cheese is partiklar good." [Enter coachman, peeled down to a more moderate-sized man.]

"Leaves ye here, if you please, sur." "With all my heart, my good friend." "Please to remember the coachman--driv ye thirty miles." "Yes, but you'll recollect how saucy you were about my wife's bonnet-box there's sixpence between us for you." "Oh, sur! I'm sure I didn't mean no unpurliteness. I 'opes you'll forget it; it was werry aggravising, certainly, but driv ye thirty miles. 'Opes you'll give a trifle more, thirty miles." "No, no, no more; so be off." "Please to remember the coachman, ma'am, thirty miles!" "Leaves ye here, sir, if you please; goes no further, sir; thirty miles, ma'am; all the vay from Lunnun, sir."

A loud flourish on the bugle caused the remainder of the gathering to be made in dumb show, and having exhausted his wind, the guard squeezed through the door, and, with an extremely red face, assured the company that "time was hup" and the "coach quite ready." Then out came the purses, brown, green, and blue, with the usual inquiry, "What's dinner, waiter?" "Two and six, dinner, beer, three,--two and nine yours,"

replied the knock-kneed caitiff to the first inquirer, pushing a blue-and-white plate under his nose; "yours is three and six, ma'am;--two glasses of brandy-and-water, four shillings, if you please sir--a bottle of real Devonshire cider."--"You must change me a sovereign," handing one out. "Certainly, sir," upon which the waiter, giving it a loud ring upon the table, ran out of the room. "Now, gentlemen and ladies! pray, come, time's hup--carn't wait--must go"--roars the guard, as the passengers shuffle themselves into their coats, cloaks, and cravats, and Joe "Boots" runs up the passage with the ladder for the lady. "Now, my dear Mrs. Sprat, good-bye.--God bless you, and remember me most kindly to your husband and dear little ones --and pray, write soon," says an elderly lady, as she hugs and kisses a youngish one at the door, who has been staying with her for a week, during which time they have quarrelled regularly every night. "Have you all your things, dearest? three boxes, five parcels, an umbrella, a parasol, the cage for Tommy's canary, and the bundle in the red silk handkerchief--then good-bye, my beloved, step up--and now, Mr. Guard, you know where to set her down." "Good-bye, dearest Mrs. Jackson, all right, thank you," replies Mrs. Sprat, stepping up the ladder, and adjusting herself in the gammon board opposite the guard, the seat the last comer generally gets.--"But stay! I've forgot my reticule--it's on the drawers in the bedroom--stop, coachman! I say, guard!" "Carn't wait, ma'am--time's hup"--and just at this moment a two-horse coach is heard stealing up the street, upon which the coachman calls to the horse-keepers to "stand clear with their cloths, and take care no one pays them twice over," gives a whistling hiss to his leaders, the double thong to his wheelers, and starts off at a trot, muttering something about, "cuss'd pair-'oss coach,--convict-looking passengers," observing confidentially to Mr. Jorrocks, as he turned the angle of the street, "that he would rather be hung off a long stage, than die a natural death on a short one," while the guard drowns the voices of the lady who has left her reticule, and of the gentleman who has got no change for his sovereign, in a hearty puff of:

Chapter end

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