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Jorrocks' Jaunts and Jollities   By: (1805-1864)

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Jorrocks' Jaunts and Jollities

Robert Surtees

CONTENTS

I. THE SWELL AND THE SURREY II. THE YORKSHIREMAN AND THE SURREY III. SURREY SHOOTING: MR. JORROCKS IN TROUBLE IV. MR. JORROCKS AND THE SURREY STAGHOUNDS V. THE TURF: MR. JORROCKS AT NEWMARKET VI. A WEEK AT CHELTENHAM: THE CHELTENHAM DANDY VII. AQUATICS: MR. JORROCKS AT MARGATE VIII. THE ROAD: ENGLISH AND FRENCH IX. MR. JORROCKS IN PARIS X. SPORTING IN FRANCE XI. A RIDE TO BRIGHTON ON "THE AGE" XII. MR. JORROCKS'S DINNER PARTY XIII. THE DAY AFTER THE FEAST: AN EPISODE BY THE YORKSHIREMAN

I. THE SWELL AND THE SURREY

What true bred city sportsman has not in his day put off the most urgent business perhaps his marriage, or even the interment of his rib that he might "brave the morn" with that renowned pack, the Surrey subscription foxhounds? Lives there, we would ask, a thoroughbred, prime, bang up, slap dash, break neck, out and out artist, within three miles of the Monument, who has not occasionally "gone a good 'un" with this celebrated pack? And shall we, the bard of Eastcheap, born all deeds of daring to record, shall we, who so oft have witnessed nay, shared the hardy exploits of our fellow cits, shall we sit still, and never cease the eternal twirl of our dexter around our sinister thumb, while other scribes hand down to future ages the paltry feats of beardless Meltonians, and try to shame old Father Thames himself with muddy Whissendine's foul stream? Away! thou vampire, Indolence, that suckest the marrow of imagination, and fattenest on the cream of idea ere yet it float on the milk of reflection. Hence! slug begotten hag, thy power is gone the murky veil thou'st drawn o'er memory's sweetest page is rent!

Harp of Eastcheap, awake!

Our thoughts hark back to the cover side, and our heart o'erflows with recollections of the past, when life rode the pace through our veins, and the bark of the veriest mongrel, or the bray of the sorriest costermonger's sorriest "Jerusalem," were far more musical sounds than Paganini's pizzicatos or Catalani's clamorous caterwaulings.

And, thou, Goddess of the Silver Bow chaste Diana deign to become the leading star of our lucubrations; come perch upon our grey goose quill; shout in our ear the maddening Tally ho! and ever and anon give a salutary "refresher" to our memory with thy heaven wrought spurs those spurs old Vulcan forged when in his maddest mood whilst we relate such feats of town born youths and city squires, as shall "harrow up the souls" of milk sop Melton's choicest sons, and "fright their grass galloping garrons from their propriety." But gently, Pegasus! Here again, boys, and "let's to business," as they say on 'Change.

'Twere almost needless to inform our readers, that such portion of a county as is hunted by any one pack of hounds is technically denominated their country; and of all countries under the sun, that of the Surrey subscription foxhounds undoubtedly bears the bell. This superiority arises from the peculiar nature of the soil wretched starvation stuff most profusely studded with huge sharp flints the abundance of large woods, particularly on the Kent side, and the range of mountainous hills that run directly through the centre, which afford accommodation to the timid, and are unknown in most counties and unequalled in any.

One of the most striking features in the aspect of this chosen region of fox hunting, is the quiet easy manner in which the sportsmen take the thing. On they go now trotting gently over the flints now softly ambling along the grassy ridge of some stupendous hill now quietly following each other in long drawn files, like geese, through some close and deep ravine, or interminable wood, which re echoes to their never ceasing holloas every man shouting in proportion to the amount of his subscription, until day is made horrible with their yelling. There is no pushing, jostling, rushing, cramming, or riding over one another; no jealousy, discord, or daring; no ridiculous foolhardy feats; but each man cranes and rides, and rides and cranes in a style that would gladden the eye of a director of an insurance office... Continue reading book >>




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