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racter in the comedy, who says his “respectability has been his ruin.” She started for another stake : this her owner booked her to win ;." but booking and winning are far different affairs. She had attracted too much attention : she had become an object to be worked on by the ring. The consequence was, that while her owner thought he had put an honest jockey up, he had got hold of John Strongarm. Her master lost his race, and of course his money. In truth, the strong arm of the jockey, like that of the law, often has brought desolation to a man's hearth, and the thing done is done. “Thou can'st not say I did it :" at all events, it can't be proved ; and if it was, disgracing a jockey is poor recompense for defeat, mortification, and, worse still, serious loss. Like many other victims of rascality, my injured mother never held up her head afterwards : it is true those aware of the transaction still respected her ; otherwise I should probably never have been born, and then maternal solicitude awakened in her stronger feelings than the thirst for fame, fleeting as it mostly is, and in her case tarnished without a fault of hers.
It unfortunately happened that the wish to become a mother took such strong hold of my parent, and her anxiety on this account became so intense, that it was found necessary, or at least advisable, to accede to her wishes at a time when it was known my appearance in the world would occur at an inclement period of the season, namely, early in the following January : however, as the lesser evil, her inclinations were attended to. Whether the consort chosen for her was a proper one or not, it would be ungracious and undutiful in me to discuss; but my mother's owner set his heart on possessing a flyer, and it was considered that as my mother had shown herself stouter than was anticipated, and, morever, had a considerable turn of speed, that Winged Meteor would form a desirable family connexion ; consequently I have the honour of calling myself his son.
No pains that could be taken-no caution that human foresight could suggest to prevent injury or accident to my mother and myself, was spared : her paddock was chosen as having the sweetest herbage, and her hovel the best secured from all vicissitude of weather ; and the eye of the man in charge of the stock, that of the trainer and master, was constantly over her comfort, safety, and well-doing. As the important period drew near that was expected to usher me into the world, an unusually large but comfortable box was selected as my birth-place, and the eye of vigilance was oftener on us. The year had nearly expired when indications appeared that the time of my birth would arrive earlier than had been calculated on : the man had cast his eye into the box at ten at night, saw my mother apparently quite at her ease ; at five in the morning he looked in again, when, like Priam awaked in his sleep, his eyes dilated with surprise-and indeed dismay-for there, on the 30th of December, lay I, my mother affectionately licking and welcoming me into this breathing world, little dreaming of the appalling difference between the dates of 30th of December and 1st of January.
This said functionary, whose surprise and dismay my unexpected early appearance had so called forth, gloried in the Christian name of Moses, but was usually recognised as Mosey, and at times, for brevitysake, as Mo. Mosey was a character, and, as men go, not a bad one either : he verified the characteristic applied to a portion of our conti
nental neighbours—"point d'argent, point de Suisse :" not that Mosey would refuse a good turn to any one because he was not paid for it ; but he represented the Swiss in unqualified attention to the interest of his employer. He was not certainly precisely the man calculated for a referee as to what might or might not be strictly honourable conduct in his employer, or indeed, in any gentleman ; but he judged it to be honourable in himself to carry out the interest of those whose bread he ate ; and if the truth must be told, this would Mosey do "per fas aut nefas.”
I was, of course, too young to notice what transpired in the first few hours of my birth ; but as I have been told by my mother, Mosey's first indication of what passed within his mind on seeing me, was expressed by a lengthened “Whew!”-a kind of one-eighth word and seven-eighths whistle. This peculiar and somewhat mysterious sound was, however, explained when he expressed his consciousness of dilemma by the following chaste and metaphorical exclamation—“By dad ! here's a pretty kettle of fish!" though in what the similitude existed, neither my mother at the time, nor I since, ever could understand. Mosey was not one, however, to waste his time in words ; so, seeing my ineffectual attempts to get on my legs, he gently raised me, and placing me by the side of my parent, after having done and got all he considered necessary for her comfort and refreshment, he carefully locked us in and disappeared.
That he had employed his absence in informing both trainer and our owner of my appearance was manifest by an early visit from both. Mosey, good soul, opened our door as noiselessly, and with as much precaution, as if the heir-apparent to a throne had been ushered into the world ; then speaking fondly and soothingly to my mother, he laid his hand on me, with this short but comprehensive expression of his entire approbation
* If that bean't a Leger någ, I never saw one! By dad ! he's a beauty!"
Neither owner nor trainer expressed their assent or dissent to Mosey's fond prediction : in fact, they both looked, as Jonathan has it, "in a fix."
Rather awkward this, sir !” said the trainer. “Very !” moodily replied the master.
“What's awkward ?" says Mosey, addressing the former : "it ain't awkward a bit, if you don't make it so. We ain't going to be done out of a year for two days—you leave that to me.”
“But,” doubtingly added the trainer, “ the boys will talk !"
“Will they?” replied Mosey; "why there ain't but one as ever comes in here."
“ Can you trust him?" inquired the trainer.
Here Mosey made a motion that no doubt he expected his auditors to at once comprehend, by placing his thumb in a peculiar way on the side of his nose ; but lest his figurative language might not be perfectly understood, he descended to plain prose :
“I bean't going to trust him," says Mosey, " he's half a dozen miles off by this. I give him leave to go home for a week; and when he returns, if he can tell whether a colt is five days old, or seven, he's a precious deal cuter than I takes him to be!"
At this he gave a peculiar kind of chuckle, that he always used when he felt or wished to express satisfaction, adding, in a kind of encouraging tone
“ All right, sir! if you'll leave it so."
“Well, Mosey !” said the master, “we'll see about it: in the mean time there's a sovereign for your good intentions—at all events.”
Mosey, in further indication of such intentions, performed the somewhat unseemly ceremony of spitting on the coin for luck ; then giving it a cant into the air with his thumb, caught it back-handed as it deseended, put it into his pocket, and opening the box-door, all three went out.
(To be continued.)
THE UNSUCCESSFUL MAN;
OR, PASSAGES IN THE LIFE OF TILBURY NOGO, ESQ.
"Yelled on the view, the opening pack,
Rock, glen, and cavern paid them back;
LADY OF THE LAKE.
My old friend Jack Raffleton, in his hunting days, used to avow that the happiest moment in his life was when he said to his servant, me to-morrow morning at half-past seven ; and let the hacks be at the door by nine." Mr. Jorrocks, that most immortal of Nimrods, dearly loved the ride to cover, “the mud on his top-boots, and the smell of the morning h'air.” Whilst many an aspiring sportsman, I verily believe, prizes beyond all other hours of the day, that moment of relief in which he dismounts from his jaded hunter, and hies to his long-wished for “ dressing-gown and slippers,” and the welcome embrace of his “too easy-chair.
But none of these authorities, however much they may disagree as to the exact period which brings them their greatest amount of felicity in connection with the chase, will venture to deny the charm of that most sociable of meals—a hunting-breakfast : not the uncomfortable repast taken in the dark, with a fork in one hand and a button-hook in the other, by the hurried citizen, who makes the express” his coverthack, and who knows not what it is to start for his destination in the Vale" at a later hour than six a.m. Not the modicum of milk and soda-water which, with half a devilled kidney, forms the sole support of
the dissipated youth, whose two thorough-bred hacks must be told out" between Melton and Keythorpe, because their "wide-awake" master played whist this morning till two, and smoked till four. No, the hunting breakfast I mean is that at which a party of quiet steadygoing sportsmen meet at some picturesque old country-house, with clear heads, rosy faces, and sharpened appetites; men whose affection for hunting vies (and it is saying a good deal) with their regard for their dinners ; who know the points of a hound, the line of a fox, and every gap in the fences within twenty miles—such a breakfast, in short, as we sat down to, in the comfortable morning-room of Topthorne Lodge, on the squire's first hunting day in November.
At the top of the table, half hidden by the urn, the long sunny tresses of Mrs. Montague Forbes, drooped over the tea which she knew so well how to sweeten to my taste ; need I add that, late or early, a place was reserved for me at her right hand? Old Mr. Shafto and his wife were staying at the Lodge, and sundry jolly squires and substantial magistrates, rejoicing for the most part in roomy cords and stout black boots, had dropped in to partake of the morning meal. The hounds were to meet on the lawn, and all were full of hilarity and anticipation.
I thought the lady glanced admiringly at my attire as I made my appearance, clad with the strictest attention to costume, in well-cleaned leathers and deserving “tops ;” and even the Squire, although stoutly repudiating dandyism, nodded his approval of my "get-up.”
Breakfast progresses—the eggs disappear, and the ham wanes rapidly. The post arrives, and the squires one and all exhibit that rabid eagerness for the newspaper, which in middle-aged country-gentlemen supersedes all other considerations. I am deep in my second cup of tea, and becoming gradually absorbed in a reverie as to the probable merits of my new purchase, the gallant grey, whom I am about to ride with hounds for the first time, when Mrs. Montague's eager exclamation of " a letter from Bagshot ! and what do you think ?" startles us all into attention. “You'll never guess, John,” she continues ; “ you'll be so surprised, Mr. Nogo-Bagshot is going to be married ! and, of all people in the world, to cousin Kate!"
In my ignorance of the fascinating relation who, under the cognomen of “cousin Kate " has subjugated my old friend, I address some unmeaning congratulations to the excited lady, and her somewhat indifferent brother ; but the torrent of feminine eloquence, once let loose by so prolific a subject as a wedding, rushes on unchecked.
"Such a short acquaintance-quite love at first sight, Mr. Nogoand she seems so much attached to him. They are to be married immediately, and he will bring his bride here at once. What a nice clergyman's wife she will make, and so pretty ; but there are few girls like Kate Cotherstone! Shall I give you some more tea, Mr. Nogo? you have upset your last cup all over your "- here Mrs. Montague checked herself, and fortunately for me directed the attention of the company from my manifest confusion.
I never was so completely taken aback-could I believe my ears ? " Kate Cotherstone going to be married to Bagshot !" I inwardly ejaculated ; "and a cousin of these people, with whom I am on terms of such intimacy--this is a go! And coming here almost immediately; but perhaps it may not be my Kate Cotherstone," and with this slender
consolation I summoned up courage to make further inquiries of my delighted hostess.
“ Did you never meet the Cotherstones ?" she proceeded; “he is a great sportsman” (very like it, thought I); "and she is a most goodhumoured pleasant woman-a cousin of ours. They used to have a charming little villa in Windsor Forest ; but they have been abroad lately. I am sure you would like them so much : and as for Kate, she would captivate you altogether," added the widow, with a glance of triumphant malice and conscious success in her mischievous blue eye.
The truth was now completely revealed. A villa at Windsor and a tour on the continent, left no doubt as to the identity of that dangerous family, and stammering out some incoherent remark, as to “having met them once at Ascot," I took advantage of the Squire's impatience, which was now waxing highly irritable, to make my escape to the lawn, where the hounds were already assembled, and there, in the fresh morning air, endeavoured to regain that composure which this startling and unwelcome intelligence had so completely put to flight.
What to do I knew not. In the first place, notwithstanding all that was past and gone, notwithstanding the fascination exercised over me by Mrs. Montague Forbes, I was still sufficiently sore from the feelings I had so lately entertained for the too charming Kate, not to relish the idea of meeting her as the bride of another, and that other my old friend Joe Bagshot. In the next place, this was hardly a connection that would be advantageous to that worthy and respectable divine ; and was it not my duty to warn him, before it was too late, of all that I knew concerning this very enterprising family? But then, if they were indeed people to be avoided (and no one had better reason to think so than myself), what was to become of sundry day-dreams gilded by the widow's smile, in which I had lately indulged? If my friend was to be dissuaded from marrying Kate on account of her connections, how could I consistently enter into an alliance with her mother's first cousin ? And if such a proceeding was to be immediately dismissed as out of the question, was I not in honour bound to leave Topthorne Lodge immediately, and at once break off an acquaintance, to call
it by no softer name, fraught with such dangers and inconveniences? This, however, would destroy all my arrangements for the autumn, and put me to great personal discomfort--always with me a primary consideration ; besides, I doubted my own stoicism if once it should come to bidding the widow farewell, to say nothing of the difficulty I should find in parrying the Squire's direct questions, and his friends' roundabout inquiries concerning my speedy departure. There was no Jack Raffleton to advise me : I never had enough energy to act entirely for myself in a doubtful case ; so adopting my favourite plan of being guided entirely by circumstances-like those doctors, who, leaving Nature to herself, suffer her to kill the patient in her own way-resolved to take no decided course, but to wait philosophically for such events as should duly arrive upon the stream of Time.
It was now necessary to turn my attention to the business of the day, as the Squire was already mounted on his famous horse " Blunderbuss, and, with his hounds around him, two or three of whom I recognised as my tormentors in the kennel, was all anxiety to begin. Whilst he is drawing his own laurels, shrubbery, flower-garden, and washing-green,