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pillaged by the theatres. Some other characters of less importance, but all very nicely sketched, need not detain us.
At the period after the waters first began to be frequented, there was on the spot a primitive farmer's pack of houndstrencher-fed, as they are called--that is to say, where every man kept one. As the place proceeds to expand, a little more ambition is apparent in the hunting department. Michael Hardy, a knowing, comfortable yeoman, takes the lead, and under his auspices the pack acquires some provincial distinction. That eminent character, however, is after one glorious day's sport run to ground-gathered to his fathers; and very serious difficulty occurs as to the discovery of a fit successor—that is to say, a master who should be qualified to give the concern a still more effectual lift in the eyes of the world.
Fortunately several influential members had perused the "Jaunts and Jollities, and after a lengthened negotiation the celebrated Mr. Jorrocks was prevailed upon to accept the vacant post. We must allow his biographer to introduce the prince of grocers :
• At the time of which we speak Mr. Jorrocks had passed the grand climacteric, and, balancing his age with less accuracy than he balanced his books, called himself between fifty and sixty. He was a stiff, squarebuilt, middle-sized man, with a thick neck and a large round head. A woolly, broad-brimmed, lowish-crowned hat sat with a jaunty sidelong sort of air upon a bushy nut-brown wig, worn for comfort and not deception. Indeed his grey whiskers would have acted as a contradiction if he had, but deception formed no part of Mr. Jorrocks's character. He had a fine open countenance, and though his turn-up nose, little grey eyes, and rather twisted mouth, were not handsome, still there was a combination of fun and goodhumour in his looks that pleased at first sight, and made one forget all the rest. His dress was generally the same--a puddingy white neckcloth tied in a knot, capacious shirt-frill (shirt made without collars), a single-breasted, high-collared buff waistcoat with covered buttons, a blue coat with metal ones-dark-blue stocking-net pantaloons, and Hessian boots with large tassels, displaying the liberal dimensions of his well-turned limbs. The coat-pockets were outside, and the back buttons far apart.
* His business-place was in St. Botolph's Lane, in the city, but his residence was in Great Coram Street. This is rather a curious locality, city people considering it west, while those in the west consider it east. The fact is that Great Coram Street is somewhere about the centre of London, near the London University, and not a great way from the Euston station of the Birmingham railway. Neat, unassuming houses form the sides, and the west end is graced with a building that acts the double part of a reading-room and swimming-bath-"literature and lavement” is over the door. 'In this region the dazzling glare of civic pomp and courtly state are
equally unknown. Fifteen-year-old footboys, in cotton velveteens and variously fitting coats, being the objects of ambition, while the rattling of pewter pots about four o'clock denotes the usual dinner-hour.-It is a nice quiet street, highly popular with Punch and other public characters.' - vol. i. pp. 120-122.
The readers of the • Jaunts' will perceive that the hero of Great Coram Street has advanced considerably in years since the date of his Surreyfeats and the trip to Paris with Countess Benuolio; but bis taste and manners preserye very much the old stamp. Mrs. Jorrocks is still as fat and nearly as comely as she used to be-as proud and perhaps as jealous of the great man: the niece Belinda has from a pale little thread paper girl become a plump, rosy charmer, slightly given to coquetry—but at heart good, and really very pretty. Batsy, the maid, is still what we remember-handsome, active, clever, managing—a principal personage in the establishment, and possessing special influence over her master. Binjamin, the boy, is as short às when Jorrocks picked him out of the Pentonville Poorhouse-but his wits have been considerably sharpened from living several years under the roof, and occasionally partaking in the sporting excursions, of so eminent a connoisseur.
Mr. J. and family tear themselves from Great Coram Street, and proceed to the Terminus in the same elegant vehicle which we had admired of old on the cover-side near Croydon-a roomy, double-bodied phaëton, sky-blue body, red wheels picked out with black-Jorrocks and Belinda in front, Mrs. J. and Betsy behind-thie two celebrated steeds of all-work, Xerxes, and ArterXerxes, tandemwise-Benjamin riding postilion on the leader. In two or three short bours they are carried over what used to be a long day's journey, and arrive at the Handley Cross Station of the Lily-white-sand Railway, recently opened for the purpose of supplying the metropolis with that useful article. The principal members of the hunting club are in waiting, with the charity boys and girls in their Sunday clothes, the Spa band, and in fact the élite of the now fashionable place. Mr. Jorrocks is received amidst tumultuous demonstrations of curiosity and respect. Neither Mr. nor Mrs. Barnington, nor any of the exclusives, have been let in to the grocership—Mr. J. has been to them merely
a wealthy gentleman engaged in commercial pursuits'-and if the appearance of himself and his party be somewhat less imposing than had been anticipated, much toleration is extended to the caprices of a sporting millionnaire. No doubt the regular equipages are to come down by the slower train in the afternoon. • Mr. Jorrocks, pulling short up, stood erect in the vehicle, and tak
ing off his low-crowned hat bowed and waved it repeatedly to the company, while Mrs. Jorrocks acknowledged the compliment by frequent kisses of her hand, and Belinda's face became suffused with blushes at the publicity and novelty of her situation.—Having sufficiently exercised their lungs, hats began to rest upon their owners' heads, handkerchiefs were returned to their reticules, and amid a general buzz and exclamation of applause a rush was made at the carriage to get a closer view of Belinda. “By Jove, what a beautiful girl!” exclaimed Captain Percival, eyeing Belinda through his glass. “Did you ever see such eyes ?" asked a second. “ Handsomest creature I ever beheld! What a quiz the old girl is !” “Is she her daughter?" inquired a third of Captain Doleful, who was busy marshalling the procession. “Lots of money I suppose ?" "He looks like a rich fellow, with that great sack of a M'Intosh. The servant girl's not bad-looking." for my money, I'm in love with her already. I wish she'd stand up and let's see her size." "I lay a guinea she's a clipper. There's a hand! I'll be bound for it she has a good foot and ankle. None of your hairy-heeld ones.” “He looks like a jolly old dog. ., We shall have lots of dinners, I dare say.' Doleful's face wrinkled into half its usual size with delight, for he plainly saw he had made a hit; and most fortunate were those who had cultivated his friendship through the medium of the subscription-books at the libraries, for the two-guinea subscribers were immediately presented to the trio, while the guinea men were let in at intervals as the procession moved along.'- vol. i. pp. 170, 171.
From the balcony of the Dragon the M.C. addresses the assembled beauty, fashion, Tarf, Road, and Chase of Handley Cross, in an oration, which Mrs. Jórrocks' and Belinda hear from the front drawing-room with tremours of agitated delight. Doleful closes, and the great Jorrocks, having cast aside his dingy white M'Intosh, and set wig and whiskers straight, steps forth :
""'Ow are ye all ?” said Mr. Jorrocks with the greatest familiarity, nodding round to the meeting, and kissing his hand. 'Opes you are well.
You see I've come down to be master of your 'ounds, and first of all I'll explain to you what I means by the word master. Some people call a man a master of ’ounds wot sticks an 'orn in his saddle, and blows when he likes, but leaves everything else to the 'untsman. That's not the sort of master of 'ounds I mean to be. Others call a man a master of ’ounds wot puts in the paper Mr. So-and-so’s ’ounds meet on Monday, at the Loin o' Lamb; on Wednesday, at the Brisket o'Weal; and on Saturday, at the Frying-pan; and after that, jest goes out or not, as suits his con wenience-but thal's not the sort of master of ’ounds I means to be. Again, some call themselves masters of ’ounds, when they pay the difference atwixt the subscription and the cost, leaving the management of matters, the receipt of money, payment of damage, and all them sort of partiklars, to the secretary—but that's not the sort of master of 'ounds I means to be. Still, I means to ride with an 'orn in my saddle. Yonder it is, see,” said he, pointing to the
package behind the carriage, "a reg'lar Percival, silver mouth-piece, deep cupp'd—and I means to adwertise the ’ounds in the paper, and not go sneakin' about like some of them beggarly Cockney ’unts, that look more as if they were goin' to rob a hen-roost than ’unt a fox, but, havin’ fixed the meets, I shall attend them most punctual and regler, and take off my ’at to all payin' subscribers as they come up (cheers).”
How very good is Jorroeks's thus early joining in the cry against Cockneys! He proceeds:
«« Of all sitivations under the sun, none is more enviable or more ’onerable than that of a master of fox-'ounds ! Talk of a M.P.! vot's an M.P. compared to an M.F.H.? Your M.P. lives in a tainted hatmosphere among other M.P.s, and loses his consequence by the commonness of the office, and the scoldings he gets from his constituents; but an M.F.H. holds his levee in the stable, his levee in the kennel, and his levee in the ’unting-field-is great and important everywhere—has no one to compete with him, no one to find fault, but all join in doing honour to him to whom honour is so greatly due (cheers). And on, John Jorrocks! my good frind,” continued the worthy grocer, fumbling the silver in his smallclothes with upturned eyes, “to think that you, after all the ups and downs of life—the crossins and jostlins of merchandise and ungovernable trade-the sortin of sugars—the mexing of teas—the postins of ledgers, and handlin of inwoices, should have arrived at this distinguished post, is most miraculously wonderful, most singularly queer. Gentlemen, this is the proudest moment of my life! (cheers.) I've now reached the top-rail in the ladder of my hambition! (renewed cheers). Binjimin !” he hallooed out to the boy below; “Binjimin! I say, give an eye to them 'ere harticles behind the chay -the children are all among the Copenhagen brandy and marmeylad! Vy don't you vollop 'em ? Vere's the use of furnishing you with a vip, I vonder?”
" To resume,” said he, after he had seen the back of the carriage cleared of the children, and the marmalade and things put straight. “ 'Unting, as I have often said, is the sport of kings—the image of war without its guilt, and only five-and-twenty per cent. of its danger. I doesn't know what the crazeyologists may say, but I believes my head is nothin' but one great bump of 'unting (cheers). 'Unting fills my thoughts by day, and many a good run I have in my sleep. I'm none of your fine, dandified, Rotten-row swells, that only ride out to ride 'ome again, but I loves the smell of the mornin' hair, and the werry mud on my tops when I comes home of an evenin' is dear to my 'eart (cheers). Oh, my frinds! if I could but go to the kennel now, get out the 'ounds, find my fox, have a good chivey, and kill him--for no day is good to me without blood—I'd-I'd-Id-drink three pints of port after dinner instead of two! (loud cheers.) .... We'll soon get acquainted, and then you'll say that John Jorrocks is the man for your money. At present I've done—hoping werry soon to meet you all in the field for the present I says adieu." * Hereupon Mr. Jorrocks bowed, and, kissing his hand, backed out of
the balcony, leaving his auditory to talk him over at their leisure.'vol. i. pp. 182-186.
The dramatis persone are now mustered, and the play begins: but we have no desire to anticipate the satisfaction with which it is sure to be studied as a whole. It will be guessed that the plot
embraces a keen rivalry between Mrs. Barnington and Mrs. Jor· rocks in the salon—while the new M.F.H. gives his morning to the
kennel, his day to the field, his evenings to the mahogany'--that public balls and fancy balls occur at proper intervals and that the interest of the new dynasty is much promoted by the charms of Belinda. Benjamin undertakes the office of whipper-in under the tea-merchant--but Jorrocks by and by establishes, even to his own satisfaction, his incompetency to hunt the pack himself--and hereupon much trouble and alarm ensue. The grocer's blood is upin for a penny in for a pound : albeit the subscriptions come in poorly, a real huntsman must be hired—otherwise the honour and glory of Great Coram Street are gone. Mr. Jorrocks advertises in Bell's Life,' and the letters that pour in are far too good not to be exemplified :
Warminster. 'Sir,-- On hearing you want a huntsman, I take the liberty of writing to enquire after the place I thoroly understand my business either as groom or coachman and have been accustomed with hounds I live at present with John Jones Esq at Warminster as groom and gardner where I leave on Thursday first if you want a servant I shall be glad to serve you as I am a married man
"Your obedient servant "To Mr. Jorrocks, Esq.,
Your humble Servant
MARK SPRAGGON.' For hunter Handley Cross James Pigg-a Newcastle-man-or Scotchman, as Mr. Jorrocks calls him-at length obtains the envied situation, and James's rough honesty, keenness, and local songs (or national melodies as his master phrases it) do credit to the North, whatever his drinking and swearing may do. Pigg is quite a character, and an