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party-very taking to our friend Jolly Green, of Allcash Park, at £150. “I don't like his shoulders."
Perhaps not, sir. We think them very good—a little defective behind, sir, perhaps ; but very nice oss---very nice oss indeed. Take him in, Jim!”
“If Mr. Scribble won't have him, I know plenty as will,” says Mr. Halfmaster to himself ; and as you have treated him in his own way, and are evidently not quite such a fool as you look, you have risen in his estimation ; and after another plant or two, you'll have something to carry you. He is, in his trade, as honest as most men. The marketprice of his article is whatever he can get for it ; and he does not invite you to buy what you don't like. He tells you no falsehoods about his wares ; but he certainly takes care to put the best face upon the worst points, and leaves the good ones to take care of themselves. He wants no dealings with the poor man; and when he gets a bad article, as he often does, he gets rid of it as well as he can, to some greenhorn that can afford to pay for it. He is civil and respectful to all his betters and to all his customers, of whom he appears to have an instinctive knowledge, and distinguishes by a rather more empressé style of salutation the St. Boniface man from the humble student of Ironsides Hall,
The next stable into which I should recommend you to look, and a very likely place to find a moderately priced good horse, without much fashion and a blemish or two-no beauty, but lots of work— belongs to a good-humoured looking fellow, rather talkative, full of civility, with an air of bustle that means to say—“Here we are again ! more customers; if this goes on I shall be the first man in Oxbridge.” The stable consists of seven or eight horses, in full working condition, and bought just as the fancy or purse of the buyer has dictated, at odd times and places in fact, whenever a bargain was to be had. The master of this establishment has been the head groom for so many years in a large repository, that he can't help carrying the groom a little with him into the mastership. In this yard you will have to remember how the horses were bought ; in all cases supposed bargains, in many without warranty, though not in the face of a known defect ; and in one or two positive speculations on averred unsoundness, which has, to all appearance, come right. Alec Pullen, familiarly known as Alec by the undergraduates, and Mr. Pullen by his helpers, is dressed in the shooting-jacket and tight drab-trouser and gaiter style, and speaks of all his superiors, without distinction, as gents. This he brought with him from the Birmingham Repository. He may have left Oxbridge, or he may be a Half-master by this time, or he may be dead and buried; but he existed in full force in my young days, and I will venture to say there are plenty there to take his place, if empty. His pattern horse is shown to
you first, after your general inspection. A favourable impression is his great object ; and
you will be very likely to buy him, if he is the sort of horse I recollect in those stables, notwithstanding his want of fashion, but for one thing. As Alec Pullen bought him for twenty sovereigns at the end of the season, and he has been doing gentle work since, he can afford to take forty-five for him ; but you have made up your mind to give £70, or not be carried at all, and you will therefore turn your back upon him.
The horse is something, I take it, after this fashion : not the prettiest head in the world, but beautifully put on, something to pull at without fatigue, a good hold in fact ; neck lean, shoulders admirably placed, deep in the girth, but not very thick through the heart ; capital arms and good wearing legs and feet, with a scar or two; ragged hips, with long drooping quarters, and hind legs well under him ; fired in the hocks, though what for you cannot very well make out; and a quick wiry goer, with good knee action, and when mounted worth certainly donble what you calculated him at. Caveat emptor is what a late master of hounds called his dog Latin ; it should here be your horse Latin, and not be forgotten ; never let it be a dead language to you. And with that in your mind, and a warranty in your pocket, I think a young gentleman in the pig skin at llst. 10lb. might have got as much for his money as for £70 elsewhere. However, for security, and as a rule, go to the highest dealers your pocket will permit; their character is worth more to them than your money.
Alec was a civil fellow, and as he bows you out of Sanctity Lane yard he “hopes you will allow him to find you something as 'ad suit, which he has no doubt he can do in a short time, at a moderate figure.” If those middle-class fellows' figures were not so moderate sometimes, I think they might occasionally do more amongst the Greens.
And now, my dear fellow, before I conclude I shall put you on your guard against å set of men, of whom luckily there can be but few, if any, in Oxbridge--I mean a low dealer, such as are occasionally met with in our small market towns, and sometimes in large ones ; an unmitigated ruffian, hardly a step above a common character. He shows you round his yard with a bad cigar in his mouth, and his hands in his pockets ; his servants are dirty, and one always has a black
He has not a horse in the stable that he bought for a sound one, but he will give you a warranty for the whole lot. Those that are not lame, or about to become so, or blind, or whistlers, are carnivorous, and are dressed over with two broomsticks and an iron muzzle. What he can't sell he sends to his partner, and his partner returns him the compliment from twenty miles distant. He swears and curses in the most offensive manner ; and as each successive screw is brought out, he “ wishes he may drop" if he can't go longer and faster, and jump higher and farther, than any hanimal as hever wur foaled; and if you don't bang the field on him, why! his eyes if he don't give him to you for nuffin. You need not go there, so we won't have his horses out. I could tell you some curious anecdotes of my experience, and perhaps I may. Adieu, my dear boy. Ever your affectionate uncle,
ERNEST A THERLEY;
OR, SCENES AT HOME AND A BRO A D.
BY LORD WILLIAM LENNOX.
“I once more view the room, with spectators surrounded,
Where, as Zanga, I trod on Alonzo o'erthrown;
I fancied that Mossop himself was outshone :
By my daughters, of kingdom and reuson deprived ;
My Love for the Drama-Choice of a Profession -- Receive my Commission.
During the short dramatic summer season, independent of the performance already alluded to in the last chapter, I had prevailed upon my tutor to accompany me to the theatre upon two occasions, and had witnessed the representation of " King Lear" and the “ Revenge. It is true that the “stock” tragedian of the company did not come up to the " brilliant star” that had so dazzled and bewitched me ; still the minor light was far from feeble, and delighted me to nu small degree. Can it be wondered, then, that the impression made upon my pliant mind increased rather than diminished? The histrionic art shortly became a passion ; I could think and talk of nothing else--every leisure moment was devoted to Shakspeare--and I learnt the principal speeches of Shylock, Lear, and Zanga by heart, and spouted them to Mrs Miller, old Harry Arthur, James Morris, the groom, and whoever else was patient enough to listen to me, The Jew was my favourite part. I had converted an old brown table-cover into the Hebrew gaberdine ; I had made myself a beard from the stuffing of one of Farmer Dale's old cartsaddles ; and, with a wooden knife and a pair of scales, furnished by the carpenter, I strutted about on every holiday, looking much more like a Monmouth-street old-clothesman than the Venetian money-lender. Upon one occasion, when I had blackened my visage for the Moor, and had made a turban and tunic of some striped blue-and-white calico, I was taken for a May-day sweep, and was called upon by seme clods to execute the shovel-and-broom dance. To render the performance attractive, I easily persuaded one of my cricketing companions, young Frank Grey, to read the other parts to me, or to give me the "
cue," for I now began to understand all the Thespian - slang ;" and the long hall at Atherley Manor, with a couple of screens as side-scenes, or å rural natural theatre of Scotch firs in the shrubbery, with, as Quince says, “ the green plot for stage, and the hawthorn brake for our tiring
house," often witnessed our dramatic efforts, to the delight and astonishment of Frank Sewell the huntsman's son, the butler, housekeeper, dairy-maids, gardener, foot-boy, groom, stable-lads, or any other spectators that we could press into our service.
Time circled on, and I had received many letters from my parents, as also a visit from the kind-hearted Mr. Ramsay, the purport of which was to ascertain my feelings with respect to my future life and profession. The army and navy were both open to me ; and the worthy old stockbroker, who was commissioned by my father to get at my real sentiments, entered into a full and amiable detail as to the merits of the respective services, and which detail he had gleaned from the opinions of two valued friends, who had served with distinction under Abercromby and Nelson, and who now were enjoying their well-earned half-pay within a mile of the “ Willows."
" Honour, courage, zeal, and implicit obedience to orders," said my Mentor, " are the indispensable réquisites for a soldier or sailor ; and civilian as I am, it has often occurred to me that they are equally imperative upon the citizen--honour, never to tell a falsehood or commit an ungentlemanlike act; courage to meet the assault of those enemies from which no one is free ; zeal to do heart,' not. eye,' service to our employers; and implicit obedience to the laws of the land."
In this strain would the old man proceed. At one moment, he could not refrain from alluding, with tears in his eyes, to the premature death of his darling son, and to the prospects he had entertained for him ; then, without a murmur, would he meekly bow to the dispensation of an all-wise and inscrutable Providence. At another time, he would refer to his only daughter, and his hopes that he might see her happily settled in life before he was called to his last account. Little did the speaker know how deeply interested I felt in the latter subject; for from my boyhood I had looked upon Ellen Ramsay as the most perfect of her sex. As this is no love-story, I will not dwell upon the romantic passion I had formed for her ; suffice it to say, she was my "morning star of memory" -the object of my first attachment.
Anxious to talk over my future prospects with the companion of my youth, I proposed to pass a few days at the “ Willows," during which time I promised to decide the important question. This suggestion was readily agreed to ; and as my tutor wished to go up to London on private business for a week, it was arranged that I should devote that time to my old friends near Coventry. Upon the following day this plan was put into execution ; and at an early hour a chaise and pair was at the door to convey Mr. Ramsay and myself to his residence. Before I left the Manor House, I ran over to the kennel to wish Frank Sewell good-bye, and to urge him to see every attention paid to my pony, King Pepin, during my absence.
4. That will i," said the kind-hearted youth, who was the greatest “chum” I had--the participator of all my pleasures, the companion of all my frolics, and the sympathising friend to whom I could unburthen my troubles, great and small. “ I'm sorry father's out,” continued Frank" he's gone over to see old Sam Wyatt, the earth-stopper ; he's had a sad attack of illness, and is confined to his bed.”
“Is there anything I can send him?" I responded. “Oh yes,” I proceeded, " I will get Mrs Miller to make up a hamper of wine, arrow
root, and sago, and, if Farmer Dale will add a fowl or two, it will make the old man comfortable until next Wednesday, when I will get Mr. Ramsay to drive me over to see him at his cottage.'
Frank Sewell promised to send a helper over with the fare, and took leave of me, but not before saying
“ Father has written to the Earl about a horse for you, Master Atherley ; for he will never rest satisfied until he gets you properly mounted.”
I now hastened to execute my commission ; and as Wyatt—who had been born and bred upon the estate-was an especial favourite with all classes, a most liberal contribution was made for him in the shape of flesh, fowl, wine, rice, and other nutritious condiments and buyables. The chaise was now at the door--a ricketty, rattling affair, with as much straw in it as would form a good stubble for a covey of partridges. No incident occurred upon the road ; and shortly after twelve o'clock, we drove up to the " Willows," where we were most kindly welcomed by Mrs. Ramsay and the blushing Ellen. The hours that I passed under the hospitable roof of my friends was one of the happiest period of my life. Emancipated from the control of my tutor, about to enter into the world as my own master, in constant intercourse with my charmer, can it be wondered that the moments glided rapidly away? and when the day arrived that I was to return to Atherley Manor, I felt as if I had not been absent a tenth part of the time. Upon the evening previous to my intended departure, the subject of my future profession was again brought forward; and although my young adviser, Ellen, had strongly urged me to adopt a peaceful employment, I could not help imagining, with all the enthusiasm of youth, that the artless girl would be proud to see my name enrolled among the defenders of the country. I therefore -having heard the advantages and disadvantages of a military over a naval life most freely discussed by two veteran friends of my host, both equally distinguished in their respective services---decided upon entering the army.
“As you have now, without any undue bias," said Mr. Ramsay, " made your selection, it will be gratifying for you to know that your father will entirely approve of the step. I have a letter from Lord Atherley, which only reached me this morning, saying that his old friend, General Havelock, has a vacancy in his regiment, and that he will strongly recommend you to the Commander-in-Chief for an appointment in it.'
“And what regiment is it?" anxiously inquired Ellen.
“The —th, one of the finest corps in the service ; at least, so I am informed by Colonel Warburton," responded the father ; “but here he is, to answer for himself.
The veteran who now entered the room, and whose loose right sleeve marked that he had been severely wounded in the service, was a brave soldier who had fought under Abercromby. Superannuated in consequence of illness brought on in pestilential climates, and by the loss of his arm, he now enjoyed a miserable pittance from the country he had so nobly served ; and although broken down by bodily infirmities, his mind still retained its power and vigour. After a friendly congratulation upon the choice I had made, the hearty colonel addressed me as follows