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The first thing when I awoke in the morning was to call to mind, though with subdued feeling, the annoyance to which I had been subjected the night before. The lamp still burnt in the cabin. But the daylight which struggled through the companion, or some other oblique entrance, diminished the general obscurity, and enabled me to distinguish objects with rather more facility than I had done before. As I drew back the curtain of my berth, my vision was greeted by the sight of a stout individual, in his shirt-sleeves, sitting at the table directly opposite, the upper half of whose face wore the rosy hue which nature had laid on, or brandy superinduced, while the lower expanse was covered with a sheet of foaming lather, the daily curse of manhood being then in its course of fulfilment. Disguised as the features were which I thus beheld, there was something familiar in their expression, which seemed to remind me that I had seen them before ; and an instinctive sense at the same time assured me that in the midst of that placid countenance I gazed upon the bulbous nose which had wrought me so much discomfort. I have said that sleep had turned away the sharp edge of my wrath, and Christianity coming to my aid, reminded me that, if I gave vent to invective against a shaving man, I might probably cause him to cut his throat ; I therefore waited in a mood of grim complacence till the process was accomplished. In proportion as the flakes of soap disappeared before the razor, the features of the shaver became more familiar to me ; and when the deed was done, I felt convinced that I saw an old acquaintance, though of what place or date I could not remember. Modifying my intentions in consequence, I addressed the unknown in a tone rather of sarcasm than positive offence.
"You sleep soundly, sir,' said I,—very soundly; I wonder you contrived to wake.'
* For the matter o' that,' replied the culprit, 'I do sleep pretty sound when I goes off; it takes a deal to wake me.'
So I should imagine, for I tried hard enough last night.' • Wot did you want wi' me ? inquired my nocturnal aversion, rubbing his face down with a jack-towel, as if he was grooming a horse ; Wot might be your pleasure, sir, if I may make so bold ?'
Why, nothing at present,' I answered, “unless you snore as loud when you are awake as you do when you're asleep. What I wanted with you last night was to stop the infernal noise you were making.'
• I'm wery sorry, sir, to disoblige any one, let alone a gen'l'm'n in a forrin' land, tho' I believe we're pretty much the same now as if we was on British ground, -but snorin’'s an 'abit quite as much as fits is, and when it comes, why there's no stoppin' on it; one might just as well try to stop a runaway team by puttin' on the skid.'
'I'm sorry to hear you say so,' I replied, as a new light began to break in on me; “but I think you might prevent it by a little resolution.'
Wot's the use o' resolution if you're not a wolluntary hagent? As I said before, snorin''s jist like fits, and I've seen enuff o' them. Wy, once wen I was a-drivin' over Nettlebed-Hill, a woman as sat behind me, was took wi' fits, and werry bad 'uns they wos. Well, if it hadn't a-been for a gen'l'm'n 'at was on the box beside me, and held her tight by the knee to prevent her from rollin' off the cutch, what would a' bin the consequence? Wot could I a' done, I ask you, if that 'ere woman had had them there fits, if I'd a' bin alone on that 'ere box, with them there
hosses ? Why, she must have tumbled off in stirricks, and got killed ? Do you
think she'd a' done that if resolootion could have prewented it? And so I says o' snorin’'
• You speak of Nettlebed,' I observed: 'I think I must have seen you before somewhere in that part of the country.'
Werry likely you have, sir. There's many as knows me wot I don't call to mind; but if so be as you have seen me—it ain't werry impossible but it wos atop of the Oxford Tellygraft, as I've a-driv now for the last nine year.'
*Exactly!' I exclaimed; that's the very place. I sat beside you once, two or three years ago, between Oxford and Henley, and you gave me an account of an expedition of yours to Antwerp.'
Ah! I've a-told that 'ere story to a good many gen'l'm'n ; let me see, I think I do remember your face, too, sir
, now your
nightcap's off. Warn't I a-drivin' a grey team out o' Oxford ? and warn't it werry wet weather about that time ??
'I know it rained very hard, but I forget the colour of the horses.'
"Well, now, do you know, sir, that's wot I never forgets,-leastways, I always remembers ewents by the team as I drives. Ah! that 'ere near leader wos a prime one. He came down one day though, on a heap of stones, and broke both his knees, and I was forced to part wi' him.
How far my friend's reminiscences would have extended I know not; but, being more curious to know what brought him aboard the John Bull at Hamburg than to learn the fate of his horses, I turned the current of his thoughts to the present.
• But,' said I, how comes it that I find you so far from home at this season of the
year, and in such a country as the one we are leaving ?? •Why, sir,' he answered, "that 'ere is the curos part of the story. I've been on a sort of hembassy, as I may say ; leastways, I was employed on a werry delicate ondertaking, wot couldn't a' been confided to everybody, I've been hactin' as state-cutchman to the King of Hanover, and conducted his stud from England.'
How came that to pass ?? I inquired.
Why, sir, tho' I've a-bin drivin' most principally on the Oxford road, I warn't unbeknown about the Pallis, and down at Kew, and Booshy, and Windsor, and one of my arnts is married to the Dook's—that is, the King's head cutchman ; so, as my principles was reg'lar conserwative, and bisness was slack, I accepted the hoffer of bringin' over his Majesty's hosses to this here country, where I've been a-stayin' till sich time as I'd taught them Jarmans how to drive. They're good ones at breaking-in of ridin'-hosses, and sets capital ; but, as to drivin', I'm blest if they can do that by no manner o' means. Why, if a hoss was to kick both legs over the pole, they'd go on a-drivin' as if nothin' had happened, I've seen 'em do it; and, as to keepin' of a team well in hand, they doesn't know wot it means.
*Well, I hope they have profited by your example and experience. I should like to know how you got on while you were in Hanover ; but it's time to dress, and after breakfast we'll talk it over. I am very glad to have met you again.'
The same by you, sir,' rejoined my friend, who by this time was completely apparelled; and with your leave, sir, I'll go up and see
about that 'ere breakfast. Here, stooard ! lend us a hand to get up this here crooked staircase!' And with these words he effected a sortie.
In about half an hour I also ascended, and found that my stout friend had not been wasting his time. He was comfortably settled on
a sofa before the breakfast-table, which was covered with viands of all sorts, to which he was doing ample justice. I drew a chair to the opposite side of the table, and prepared to follow his example.
• Well,' said 1, we're not under weigh yet. I thought we should have been halfway to Cuxhaven.'
“So we should, sir, the stooard tells me, if so be as we hadn't run right agin a sand-bank just at startin', by which means we got into a fix till the tide ris.'
Are we off now, then?' I inquired. • Just about it. You can hear 'em a-hollering at this werry moment. Them 'ere pilots as have been a drinkin' snaps all the mornin', they's the loudest o' the whole lot. Precious noisy chaps they is.'
I see you have been busy here.'
'In coorse, sir. I makes it a rule always to perwide agin any countertongs, as the French calls 'em. I makes it an inwariable practice to eat my meals wenever I can get 'em. I'm not one o' them as waits till five o'clock every day afore I finds out as I'm hungry. Wenever I sees grub, and has got the time to walk into it, why then I doos it. I'm all right, then, in case of an emergency'
“A good maxim,' I observed, 'the observance of which must have helped you in your travels.'
"Why, sir, I always took pretty good care to help myself; wich I found was the best way, as I don't speak werry much of the langidge. Ten to one, while I was parleyvooing, if the most on it wouldn't a-bin gone; for them plaws is but little ’uns, you know, sir. None but wot the Jarmans is better nor the French; they gives far more on it, and more time to do it in. I shouldn't so much object agin their manner of feedin', if it warn't for their beer, which is all make-believe, and their music at dinner, wot goes right through one.'
Being curious to hear the experiences of my travelling companion, I questioned him more directly about his late expedition.
Well, sir, as I've a-done eatin', I don't mind torkin’; so, while you indulges in your breakfast, I'll tell you how I managed it all. Soon after the King had sot out for this 'ere new country of his, I receives a hintimation from a friend o' mine at Kew, a gen’ım'n as keeps a public nigh hand to the stables, lettin' me know, if I wos agreeable, that I might have the conveying of his Majesty's hosses over to Hanover. Now this 'ere happened to suit my book oncommon; for my cutch had just been taken off the road, and I was out of employ. So I goes over to Kew, sees my friend, and has a tork with my arnt, and made it all right in less than no time. I don't valley myself much upon personal distinctions; but I must say, if I hadn't a-bin quollified, I shouldn't a-had the job.'
And here my friend stretched out his leg, puckered up his mouth, and glanced over his shoulder at his near top-boot. Having make this acknowledgment to conscious worth, he resumed.
'I sharn't ockepy your valliable time, sir, as public speakers says when they means to do nothin' else, by tellin' you how I got to this here port as we're a-cuttin away from pretty fast at this moment. The hosses was shipped at the Tower, and all slung quite reg’lar, and a werry fine passage we had ; none on us warn't sick, hosses nor nobody. We warn't more than forty-eight hours aboard wen we comes in sight of this ’ere citty, where they does speak a little English, or I'm blest if I should a-known how to get on. "Why, it's bad enough of the French and them Belgies to call a hoss a shovel,—that has some meanin' in it, anyhow; but these Jarmans they takes and calls him a faird, -as if that meant anything. Why can't they call the same thing by the same name all the world over ?'
It would have been rather a serious matter to have discussed the philosophy of language with this learned Theban ; so, without committing myself by any indiscreet observation on this head, I simply inquired how he made his way to the capital.
· As these hosses wos the property of the King of Hanover, there warn't no call to land 'em out of his own do-minions, so they was got ashore at Harburg; and glad enough they wos to stretch their legs agin. For the matter o' that, none on us warn't sorry to be once more on terry. firmy-me and the three lads as I had for helpers. The first night as we landed, the skipper of our wessel helped us to find a stable for the hosses ; for, bless your heart! they hadn't a-got no word for a stablethey calls 'em all stalls; and as soon as we'd groom'd 'em, and littered 'em, and given 'em their suppers, we went and got ourn at a guest-house, as they calls their inns, where each man treats hisself.'
On the same principle,' said I, as a pic-nic dinner, where every one is invited to bring his own provisions.
Just so, sir. Well, we wos interdooced into a long room, where ever so many gen'l'm'n was a-sittin' a-smokin' of long pipes ; for the Jarmans, sir, always smokes before dinner to give theirselves a appetite.'
And after dinner, I suppose, to help their digestion ?'
Werry likely. And wen they goes to bed, they smokes to send 'em to sleep; and when they wants to get up, they smokes to make 'em wake again. The fact is, sir, they're always a-smokin', and no mistake. How they find time to eat a bit of vittles was a wonder to me afore I seed 'em.
'And what did you think when they amused themselves in that way?
*Amused 'emselves? I'm blest if ever I saw any set of men so much in earnest in my life. Why, now I've got a pretty fairish appetite, -(my friend had given me a tolerably convincing proof of the truth of his remark)— my appetite is rayther a goodish one, but it ain't worth speaking of along side of a Jarman's. They're always at it,least ways, as I said, when they're not smokin'. I'll tell you wot they doos now, reg'lar. As soon as they gets out of their beds they takes and has a cup of coffee, and as large a piece of bread as they can lay hands on; then about eight o'clock they has their freestick*—that is, their breakfasties—and eats all manner of flesh and hegos, and drinks maybe half a bottle of sour Rine-wine, so called 'cause it's made out of the shuck of the grape. Then at twelve o'clock they goes to their mittags pison,t and 'dines jest as if they'd never eat anything afore, and never meant to eat anything agin. Then they has coffee
in the coorse of the afternoon; and at eight o'clock they're ready for their suppers, wich means their dinners over agin.
After that they goes to a condyto-ri, (somethin' between a pastry-cook’s and a eatin'-house,) and there they drinks beer, and punch, and passes their time werry agreeable, and eats a butterbrot made of “calves' flesh," or maybe a bit of raw ham, and then they smokes their way home to bed.'
• A very intellectual life, truly; but I hope you were not prevented from enjoying yourselves.'
Why, for the matter o' that, we did contrive to do pretty well, wot with one thing and wot with another. The most curos part of the supper was their bringing' in a large plum-pudden with sweet sarse, afore we'd half done with the meat ; and wether or no, you must have some, to please the gen'l'm'n as hands it round, him as they calls the “kellner.” We shouldn't have minded eatin' of the pudden ; but we was rayther vexed when we see roasts and stoos a-comin' in arterwards, and we jest fit to bust our weskit-buttons off. It put me in mind of what they doos at schools, to take away the boys' appetites. Howsever, it made no differ. ence to the Jarmans; first or last was all the same to them.'
* And had you the benefit of the music you spoke of as not being much to your taste?'
I b’lieve we had, sir. I was jest a askin' the captin of the wessel, as sot next to me, why they called their taturs cast-offal, wen I heard sich a scream close at my back as made me think some of the Jarmans had made away with theirselves, wich you know, sir, they is a wery much in the habit of doing. I shies round, jest as one of my hosses might have done at the sight of a wheelbarrow, bottom uppards, and wot did I see but a gal a-playin' on the harp, and screechin' with all her might, and a old feller in a smock frock a-workin' away at a base wial, as if he'd a sawed it in two. I assure you, sir, it gave me quite a turn. The captain larfed, and said it was quite regʻlar, and so we found it, -and werry reg'lar we found, as we was obligated to pay for it. I says to the young lady when she came round with the plate,-(will you believe it, they calls a plate a “teller !")—“ You don't make a noise, marm, for nothin'.” I think she understood me, seeing I spoke as loud as I could; for she drops me a curtsey, and says, " Swy gooty groschen,” which means, “ I'll trouble you for threepence." Them 'ere words is in everybody's mouth in Han-o-ver. You
go into any shop in the town, and ask 'em any question, and see if they don't say, “Swy gooty groschen.”—“How do you feel ?” says one; “Swy gooty groschen," says the other; and it's the same with everything. Well, sir, as soon as dinner was over, we shakes hands with the captin, fust of all gettin' him to arsk where our bed-rooms wos, and up stairs we toddles into two double-bedded
windercurtins and sandy floors. You've heard tell, maybe, of Jarman beds ?'
You forget that I must have slept in one as lately as yourself.' Arsk your pardon, sir ; but torkin' to you on board this 'ere Brittish wessel, I quite forgot as you've bin in Jarmany. Well, then, I needn't to tell you wot they is. Blest if ever I had a night's rest all the time I was in the country,--not what I calls a regʻlar good downright snooze.'
How much ?' and the answer, · Zwei gute Groschen-Two good groschen (3d.),' the price of numerous small articles.