John Bell.

Baily's Magazine of sports and pastimes, Volume 17 online

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' poor man with a bad wife soon have a wedding day !' was emphati-
cally, if murmuringly carried. Then a close-fisted contractor warbled
forth his desire for them ' all to love one another,' with a view to
their ^ flying up to heaven like birds of a feather ;' and then, the con-

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gregadon augmented by the presence of Sillery, the chairman rose
to propose the toast of the evening.

He said he felt assured they were all genuine sportsmen. (Hear,
hear.) He was, and he was not ashamed to own it, either there or
elsewhere, as they knew. (Applause.) On other matters, especially
in respect of the vital political questions of the day, they might, and,
in fsLCtj did differ ; but in respect of the great question of sporting he
would dare to affirm that there never was a Quaker among 'em.
^aughter, and a voice 'One for old Barjona/ The voice was

* You are fiilly aware, gentlemen,' continued the chairman, ' that

* I stood the wrong one in the match which was decided yesterday.'
(Crisp : ^That thou did !') \I can cheerfully pardon the remarks of
^ our friend Mr. Crisp ; but I must ask him to subdue his enthu-

* siasm until I have concluded, when he will be afforded an oppor-

* tunity of expressing his sentiments, without intirruptionJ (^ With-
^ out interruption,' severely emphasized ; cheers, and — ^ Gan on wi'
*thou,' from Crisp.) * Very well, gentlemen, having bestowed my
^ bullion — I say having bestowed my bullion on the loser, you will

* at least give me credit for thorough disinterestedness if I ask you to

* drink, with all the honours, the health of the winner.' (Loud
cheers, and sotto voce, from Crisp, ^ Thou's a better bred 'un than I

< thowt thou was,' followed, in the same tone, by a ^ Whisht, can't

< thou ?' from Golightly, his nextnloor neighbour.) ' The oldest and
^ most sagacious turf campaigner could not have managed his horse
' more admirably than Doctor Sutton managed Kelpie (* True '), and
^ he rides like an artist. (Applause.) I dropped a tidy sum over the
^ match, but I am happy to say that I got round on the meeting.' (Ma-
carthy, sotto voa, 'And isn't it myself wishes I could say the same !')
^ But whether that were so or not I should never have but one
^ opinion about Doctor Sutton. He is a sportsman, gentlemen, of
^ whom Heatherthorp is justly proud. Here's his jolly good health,
^ and long may he live, to play cricket as some of us have seen him
' play ' (Crisp — very low in tone — * So thou's convarted at last, is

* thou ?' Golightly : ' Haud thy tongue, can't thou ?') * and ride as

< we have seen him ride. Doctor Sutton's health ; and permit me
^ to couple with his name that of his trainer,, Mr. Crisp.'

So loud and prolonged was the noise that cheered the chairman
on the conclusion of his speech — Essom had made a great point by
adroitly coupling Crisp's name with the Doctor's, and the company
saw it — Sillery thought to himself, ^ Well, it is lucky I let them
' have this room, and not the other to kick up their row in.' This
room, fortunately for the landlord (if the truth must be told, he waf
a little [put out in consequence of having had sundry ' little bills'
taxed by certain racing men who had uttered expletives during the
process), was so situated, in relation to the main portion of the hotel)
that it might have been turned out of the windows without in the least
disturbing the slumbers of the temporary sojourners beneath his
^ linteL The hall (of course it was a hall) was supported on one sidp

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bjr a fragment brewery and on the other by an extensive 'range of
subles ; it commanded a comprehensive view of the Sursingle yard^
and boasted a convenient^ if complicated, right of way from the
Wimpleside. Now Martin Sillery was liberal, in the most exhaustive
sense of that most ill-used word. Hence the spacious hall in ques-
tion was, ^ for a consideration,' at the disposal of any well-behaved
person or persons who might chance to require it. In addition to
the highly talented (^ see small bills') but incomprehensibly impecu-
nious wanderers, who occasionally ^ took' the hall, it was periodi-
cally occupied by one of the brassiest of brass bands from the dales,
a flourishing society of Free (and Easy) Gardeners, and a Young
Men's Temperance Association, who took unwarrantable liberties
with Shakspeare and Campbell, and indulged in teetotal melodies
adapted to the seductive strains of burnt-cork minstrelsy by the
poetical pastor of an Independent church.

Ready enough of speech on ordinary occasions. Crisp could scarcely
find a word to say on this. He felt awkward ; his legs were heavy
to move, and his hands were a trouble to him. The fact is, the
rare old boy was touched by Essom's eloquence. The circumstance
of its being Essom's did not weigh with him an atom. Somebody
had praised his beloved master, and that was enough. There was
a half-lugubrious expression in his Ribstone-pippin £ice, a suspicion
of humidity in his eyes, by no means assignable to the recent
enjoyment of spirituous liquors, or a distaste for the task Essom
had rather maliciously set him. He rose deliberately, carefully re-
moved his glass, as if to give himself more room,|as carefully restored
it to its original place, spilled some of the contents, sipped the rest,
traced a diagram of nothmg at all upon the table, raised his eyes to
Essom, and began.

* Mr. Chairman : gentlemen all '

^ Hear, hear,' observed the plumber and glazier, who had erewhile
distinguished himself in Twankydillo ; whereupon there was, firstly,
a disorderly request for ^ order,' and, secondly, a desire on the part
of Golightly, who spoke in a peremptory and personally-outraged tone
of voice, for them to ^ give him time.' The chairman waved his

^ I'm nobbut a moderate speech-maker, but if I was as glib at it

* as our friend the chairman I'd ha' to pick and choose my words
^ terribly afore I could tell you half of what I feel about Mr. Arthur

* — ^about Doctor Sutton.' Here he looked round with a glance of
pride and straightened himself. The mention of his master's name
appeared to do him good, to inspire him with fresh confidence. As
for his hearers, they — forgot to applaud. ^ I have pretty much my
' own way, gentlemen, up yonder,' suggesting his master's residence
by a slight movement of the head, ' but I'd need : I'm an old servant

* of the Suttons, and as for Mr. Arthur — I've known him for so

* many vears, nineteen come Lady day — I say I have known him so

* long, I look upon him, if you understand me {he wad if he was

* here), more like a son, having neither chick nor child of my own.

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* than a master/ Another pause, during which Crisp refreshed
himself from Golightly's grog.

* In a manner of speaking I may say he was nobbut a yearlbg

* when 1 took him in hand, and off and on he's never been out of
' my hands sin'. Surely there's verra little of his sporting he docs
' not owe to me, as he'd tell you if he was here. I was the first to
^ put his little fat legs across a horse ; the first to show him how to

* handle a creckit-stick.' Another pause.

^ Never mind that. He's no 'casion to be ashamed of bis bring-

* ings up i' that way : an' ye knaw it !* The last three words with

* However, he went away, and I — I fancied I wanted a change —
^ took another place. But I was back in t' owd place when he re-
^ turned to help his father i' doctoring : then he cam' here and I
^ cam' with him. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen all, I'm nearly
^ done. My master's a gentleman upright, downright, and tho-

* roughbred. Gentlemen are not common now-a-days, remember.
^ There's never an individual that ever was under him wouldn't go
^ go through fire and water to serve him, and if t' dumb animals
^ that have him for master could speak they'd say the same.'

He sat down, but, recollecting himself, rose again, thereby putting
a ^stop to the applause his simple garrulity had provoked, and
said —

^ I am much obliged to you for mentioning me with Mr. Arthur.
^ I can say nowt about myself, but if you have no objection I'll just
' try a bit of a sang.'

^ Weel done. Mat : thou could pipe a bit years syne/ exclaimed

* That's not now, John j but never mind, I'll do my best.*

^ Bravo !' patronisingly ejaculated the chairman ; ^ perhaps Mr.
^ Sillery will pass the word for the waiters to remain without until

* the conclusion of Mr. Crisp's song.'

In a voice somewhat cracked in its upper register but sturdy and
musical withal Crisp sang —

' Let the cobwebs of age bedim eves that once twinkled
With joy at the peal of a loua tally ho !
And feet which at sunrise spumed uplands dew-sprinkled

Prove false as through turnips and stubble we go :
Though life's springtide leave us, the Michaelmas grieve us,

The winter old-womanish service compel,
We will not knock under — we sportsmen — believe us I
Breeding will tell 1

' In the thick of the scrummage, at football or lightings
Behold the brave youngster, whose breeding is true !
Or across a stiiF country, well mounted, he's right in

Advance of the field with a stout fox in view.
Steady stayer, fleet-goer— rough wrestler, fine rower

(As you judge of the kernel by bruising the shell),
We cry, when the pinching he stands without flinching,
Breeding will tell !

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' A handsomer colt never danced on the daisies !

That satin coat covers tough sinews : yet hold I
Let him collar the hill ere you carol his praises :

Base metal will glisten as grandly as gold 1
Behold him ! he*s cut it 1 ears drooping, flag working ;'

The beauty'*s a craven ! That other runs well :
YeSy she's plain and three-cornerM, but — hasn't learnt shirking t
Breeding will tell !

' Never sneer, though the oldster who handles yon willow

Has white in his whisker ; just wait till he's warm I
There's a drive ! can you beat it, my eager young fellow ?
Though his joints have grown rusty he ha$n*t lost form !
Then stand to the bowling, boys ! spank it or snick it ;

Earn a score, if *tis fated for you to excel j
And, warned of the bowler who must take your wicket,
Think- breeding will tell I

^ How dare you enter the room in such a noisy manner while a
^ gentleman is singing ?*

* After you and the others were expressly forbidden ?*

* I waited for the chorus, sir '

' You waited for the chorus, sir ! Don't reply to me. Don't
^ bandy words with me I There is something you will not have to
^ wait for, let me tell you ; and that is notice to leave my service*

* Understand that.*

* I really beg your pardon, but if you will only hear '

* I will do nothing of the sort, sir,* hotly rejoined the landlord,
who was not at all sorry for an opportunity of dispersing the ire that
had been raised by the taxing of his ^little bills.' The pilloried
waiter, a supremely negative person and a useful, could not get in a
word edgeways. ' Hear you, indeed ! Are my orders to be dis-
^ obeyed and my guests disturl3ed to suit you ? i ou heard the chair-
^ man request me to keep the waiters out of the room until the gen-

* tleman had finished his song, and, nevertheless, you rush in without
^ a with your leave or a by your leave, like an uncultivated cow. I am

* surprised, Williams ; you of all my men ought to have known better.*

4 But, sir '

' Don't sir me, sir ! I am disgusted.'

* Although your master has every reason to be annoyed at your
' unpardonable contravention of his orders,' observed the chairman,
mediatorially, ' I might say oi my request and his orders, if you have
^ any explanation to make I have no doubt Mr. Sillery will listen to

* it, and perhaps for this time look over the offence.'

* Oh bother the oiSnce !' exclaimed Mr, Macarthy, who, over-
flowing with whiskey and music, was burning to sing the son^ of the
Blunderskull Blazers ; 'sittle it afterwards. Here s your jolly good
^ health and song, Misther Chrisp ! Misther chairman, some more

* harrmony !'

* If you will allow me, gentlemen, 1 would like it settled now.
' Though 1 amz waiter, I am a Briton and have a right to fair play.*

*Oh ! go on,' said the landlord, peevishly; 'my mind is made up.*
' And so is mine,' replied the Ganymede, who by this time (re-
membering his value in the establishment) had managed to stiffen his


back, ^so is mine, Mr. Silleiy. If you would have permitted me to
^ speak before you would have heard that Doctor Sutton galloped
' into the yard while Mr. Crisp was singing, that he wants Mr. Crisp

* immediately, and that he wants to see you at the same time about
' a trap to drive him to Billingham Gimlet to see a patient, for he
^ says the mare is knocked up and Kelpie wants rest.'

* Why the deuce didn't you tell me all this before V exclaimed
mine host of the Sursingle.

to < Yes, why could you not tell him before V added the chairman.

* Who knows but what Doctor Sutton's getting speedily out to Bil-
^ lineham Gimlet is of the last importance ?'

^ Well,' replied the amazed waiter, opening his wondering eyes as
much as the lids would allow, ^ well, I'm—-'

The victim of overwhelming tyranny was not permitted to com-
plete his may-be highly improper remark. Sillery hustled him from
the room.

^ Good night, gentlemen ; I must be ofF,' said Crisp.

^ Good night r in concert replied his boon companions : the
plumber-and-glazier adding, by way of a parting greeting, ^ I should
^ have been glad to hear another song from you, sir : but duty —

* duty. / know.'

Crisp hurried down into the yard and found the Doctor impa-
tiently pacing to and fro, as though powerfully excited. Widow
Malone stood hard by, and it was evident from tne steam that enve-
loped her, and the flecks of foam that here and there speckled her
coat, that she had not been over-indulged during the journey from
Wimpledale to Heatherthorp.

^ Come, come. Mat I' exclaimed our hero, * what have you been
^ dawdling about ? I am quite tired of waiting. There— don't ex-
^ plain ; I can conjecture the cause. But first of all let me have a
' good look at you.'

Taking Crisp by the sleeve he hastily led him to the bar-window.
In the blaze of light which lit up that portion of the main entrance
to the hotel Crisp stood for a minute while his master peered closely
into his face. The Doctor was tolerably well satisfied with the
inspection, for he exclaimed —

' Yes — ^you will do, Matthew. At the same time you will be none

* the worse for drinking a bottle of soda and dashing a little cold

* water into your face. See to this, at once, Mat, and ask no ques-

* tions — ^yet. While you are bracing yourself up a bit, I will run
^ home and get some medicine. Never mind the mare. 'She must

* wait. By the time I return let the trap be quite ready, for there is

* not a minute to spare. You will have to drive. Now, Mat, if ever
' you were wide-awake and up 'to work you must be now* I ask

* this as a fiivour. I will explain when we get on the road.'

* What is the trap. Dot ?' inquired Crisp of the under-ostler— a
gnarled specimen of the species who, by reason of possessing what
were locally described as a short leg and a shorter, answered uncom-
plainingly to the name of Dot, a convenient abbremtion of Dot-and-
carry^ne. 3igitized by GoOglc


* Bromc ' (meaning brougham. He should have said * broom/
but being an unfashionable under-ostler, he didn't).


' Middling. 'Tisn't heavy. Til go that for.'

*Oh! Good nag?'

' The mare we got frae Yarm last week.'

* Fresh ?'

' As a dais^. She hasn't done a mite of work this day.'

* That's right Now leave them traces half a minute, and give

* us a turn at the pump.'

Dot-and-carry-one obeyed, and Crisp, all the better for his primi-
tive but copious refresher, assisted the ostler to yoke the mare, and
then departed in search of soda-water.

SQlery, who had been unable to exchange words with the Doctor,
encountered Crisp at the bar-door.

* Dot has been smart, I hope. Crisp/ observed he. * Ah ! then

* we shall keep our character. And now is there anything I can do
' for you ? You will have a cold drive, although not an unpleasant

* one, — there's a splendid moon.'

' Give me a bottle of soda — and a drop of brandy in it. Mr.

* Arthur said nothing about the brandy/ he added to himself—* but

* he surely never intended me to take the other stufF alone.'

The Doctor was not long absent. In fact, he had merely tied up
Widow Malone, written half a dozen words of a note to Mr. Robson,
provided himself with a further supply of the current coin of the
realm, and slightly changed his raiment when he returned. But how
absent-minded he was, to be sure I What was he thinking about ?
Not only did he forget to properly prescribe for Crisp — a mistake
that individual took the liberty of rectifying, as we have seen — but
now he had actually omitted to bring the very medicine he signified
his intention of bringing.

* Now, Crisp, my man, are you perfectly ready ?'
« Yes, Mr. Arthur.'

* That is well. How do you do, Mr. Sillery ? Oh no, nothing

* very serious : only it might be if I lost time. I suppose your osder

* here will sit up until Crisp returns with the brougham ?'

* Yes, Doctor.'

' Then, look here — take this key— Mr. Sillery will oblige me by

* sparing vou for half an hour or so— run up and look after my

* mare. 1 had no time to attend her at all myself. Be careful of

* fire. Now, Matthew, lose no time. Good night.'

In three minutes the brougham was outside the town at a point
where the main road diverges into one that leads to Billingham Gim-
let. Doctor Sutton pulled the checkstring.

* Straight on, towards Wimpledalc Place.'
Crisp whistled — inaudibly.

* As fast as you can go without breaking down« Don't pull up

* till you reach Squire Wilson's gate.'

* All right!'
Was it all right?

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3t6 .A QVikT BIT OF scitooLiN(}. [l>ecembery


A FEW weeks ago I happened to be staying, with other guests,
at the country house of my friend, Stansby. We had several good
days amongst the partridges, not a few of which were brought
to haiid, besides nailing such pheasants as could be mrorked with
spaniels out of the oudying gorse and hedgerows. One young
fellow of the party panicularly struck me for his quiet, unobtrusive
demeanour. Almost a boy in appearance, he was slightly though
strongly made, and there was a quiet look in his eye which, despite
an all but diffident manner, seemed to give promise of sterling coin
within. We were perfect strangers, and I for one had never even
heard the name of George Hatherley ; but there was something from
the first moment of our meeting that caused me to take an interest in
him. As a shot he was first-rate, and proved it on one occasion :
when shooting in some gorse, with no one near him, a rabbit bolted,
and a pheasant rose behind him at the same momenL He first
rolled over poor bunny, his nerves not the least disconcerted by the
whirr of the pheasant, and then quietly turning, dropped him also.
On another occasion he ' wiped the eye ' of the whole party, who had
successively missed a woodcock, and brought him down with a long
and difficult shot. At the end of about a week we were strolling
with Stansby through the stables, and commenting on the horses ;
when in the stalls devoted to hackneys we came on a magnificent
chesnut, fully sbcteen hands high, and whose long sloping shoulders,
powerful quarters, and big second thighs gave him the appearance of
being a veritable clinker across country.

^ Why is this horse in the hack stable ?' asked George, running
his eye over the chesnut's fine proportions.

^ To tell you the truth/ replied his owner, ' he has no business
^ here. I bought him for a hunter, at a long price ; but no power on
^ earth can make him jump. He will do anydiing else pleasantly and
^ well, but that he will not do. I sent him to the Kennels, and all
^ the best men in the country have tried him to no purpose. Jump

* he will not.*

^ What a pity ! he looks like a thoroughbred, and good enough

* to win a Liverpool.*

^ He is by Flatcatcher, dam by Cotherstone, out of an Emilius
' mare,' said his owner. * He was bred by a man who entered him
' lor nothing, and did not even have him broken until his third year ;

* then I fancy, it was imperfectly done, and as he got the better

* of them, he went through an operation, and was again turned out.
' On his breeder's death I bought him at Tattersall's, thinking

* to make a hunter of him. That he declines, though he is a

* capital hack, and worth a good sum for that purpose.'

' A great pity,' remarked George, lifting up the horse's quarter*
piece, and once more scanning his powerful quarters.

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* I wish you would let me ride him to-morrow at Finchley Gate/
said a young fellow of the name of Waters. *I never yet saw
^ the horse 1 could not make jump/

^ With pleasure ; but send your own horse on, as I can assure you
' this one will not cany you beyond the first fence, and you must

* not lose the day in our best country.'

' You would not sell that chesnut, Stansby ?' asked after

^ Well, I really do not want him, as I am full of hacks ; I would
^ take what he cost me at the hammer — a hundred.*

^ He has never been tried, I think.'

* Never.'

* I will throw my leg across him to-morrow, and if I like him I

* will give you the hundred.*

^ Agreed ; he is worth all the money for a young fellow like you to
*' ride in the Park.' George smiled, and said nothing.

The next day, as Finchley Gate was under five miles, we rode
our own horses to the fixture. If we were pleased with the son of
Flatcatcher in the stable, his appearance quite took us all by storm
as he trotted with gay, jaunty step along the greensward at the road-
side. He was quite up to fourteen stone, and with his shape and
breeding it was impossible for him to be anything but a flyer across
country, provided he would take it into his head to go.

Arrived at the meet. Waters had no small amount of chaff to
encounter ; it seemed every one in the field knew the horse, and
each had some little anecdote of his obstinacy to relate.

*' Take a ^ood look at the pack,' said an elderly gentleman, who
had shot with us a few days previously, 'before they find, for
' you will never see them afterwards.'

' Are you afraid of your friend breaking his neck ?' asked another
of Stansby, ' and have put him on that brute that he may not have

* the chance ?'

' It is his own doing ; he thinks he can make him jump, but I fear
' he will find himself deceived.'

Somehow Waters did not look quite so confident as when he
mounted ; and as Dick trotted the hounds away to a small gorse
cover, I detected him making more than one application to his flask.
A quick find, however, gave us very little time to look at him ; the fox
was away at once — seemed oflF, indeed, as we came up. An old
customer who heard us, and stole away no doubt. Dick improved
the occasion to the utmost, sent his horse over a stiff flight of rails,
to shake off the field, and did so, all but some half-dozen (amongst
whom I was surprised to see George on a two-year old), and got his
hounds well settled on the line, and running hard ere the crowd made
their way through the nearest gate. For a mile or two there was no
time to look for any one ; the scent was good, the country grass, and
our fox went up wind, so the pace was a regular cracker; but
at the end of that distance our fox showed that he had good reason
for making the move he did, an unsuspected earth in a wooded bank

vou xvn.-No. 118. Digi.ize^b.'Google

312 A QViiT BIT OP SCHOOLING. [December,

giving sanctuary from his foes ; but he had not made his exit from the
gorse one moment too soon, as the leading hounds were not fifty
yards from his brush as he went to ground. Another moment^s con-
sideration on his part would have been fiital.

^ Rather quick/ said George, who had sent his two-year old bang
in front all the way. ^ I don't see our friend on the chesnut any-

* where.'

To tell the truth, although the distance was so short, a great
many were missing. They very seldom dug oi|t a fox in that

Online LibraryJohn BellBaily's Magazine of sports and pastimes, Volume 17 → online text (page 41 of 51)