Martin Chuzzlewit HTML version

Chapter 27
Mr Bailey, Junior--for the sporting character, whilom of general utility at
Todgers's, had now regularly set up in life under that name, without troubling
himself to obtain from the legislature a direct licence in the form of a Private Bill,
which of all kinds and classes of bills is without exception the most unreasonable
in its charges--Mr Bailey, Junior, just tall enough to be seen by an inquiring eye,
gazing indolently at society from beneath the apron of his master's cab, drove
slowly up and down Pall Mall, about the hour of noon, in waiting for his
'Governor.' The horse of distinguished family, who had Capricorn for his nephew,
and Cauliflower for his brother, showed himself worthy of his high relations by
champing at the bit until his chest was white with foam, and rearing like a horse
in heraldry; the plated harness and the patent leather glittered in the sun;
pedestrians admired; Mr Bailey was complacent, but unmoved. He seemed to
say, 'A barrow, good people, a mere barrow; nothing to what we could do, if we
chose!' and on he went, squaring his short green arms outside the apron, as if he
were hooked on to it by his armpits.
Mr Bailey had a great opinion of Brother to Cauliflower, and estimated his powers
highly. But he never told him so. On the contrary, it was his practice, in driving
that animal, to assail him with disrespectful, if not injurious, expressions, as, 'Ah!
would you!' 'Did you think it, then?' 'Where are you going to now?' 'No, you won't,
my lad!' and similar fragmentary remarks. These being usually accompanied by a
jerk of the rein, or a crack of the whip, led to many trials of strength between
them, and to many contentions for the upper-hand, terminating, now and then, in
china-shops, and other unusual goals, as Mr Bailey had already hinted to his
friend Poll Sweedlepipe.
On the present occasion Mr Bailey, being in spirits, was more than commonly
hard upon his charge; in consequence of which that fiery animal confined himself
almost entirely to his hind legs in displaying his paces, and constantly got himself
into positions with reference to the cabriolet that very much amazed the
passengers in the street. But Mr Bailey, not at all disturbed, had still a shower of
pleasantries to bestow on any one who crossed his path; as, calling to a full-
grown coal-heaver in a wagon, who for a moment blocked the way, 'Now, young
'un, who trusted YOU with a cart?' inquiring of elderly ladies who wanted to
cross, and ran back again, 'Why they didn't go to the workhouse and get an order
to be buried?' tempting boys, with friendly words, to get up behind, and
immediately afterwards cutting them down; and the like flashes of a cheerful
humour, which he would occasionally relieve by going round St. James's Square
at a hand gallop, and coming slowly into Pall Mall by another entry, as if, in the
interval, his pace had been a perfect crawl.
It was not until these amusements had been very often repeated, and the apple-
stall at the corner had sustained so many miraculous escapes as to appear