All things by turns, and nothing long.

Such was the gentleman elected to succeed the silent, matter-of-fact Mr Slocdolager in the important office of Master of the Laverick Wells Hunt; and whatever may be the merits of either -- upon which we pass no opinion -- it cannot be denied that they were essentially different. Mr Slocdolager was a man of few words, and not at all a ladies’ man. He could not even talk when he was crammed with wine, and though he could hold a good quantity, people soon found out they might just as well pour it into a jug as down his throat, so they gave up asking him out. He was a man of few coats, as well as of few words; one on, and one off, being the extent of his wardrobe. His scarlet was growing plum-colour, and the rest of his hunting-costume has been already glanced at. He lodged above Smallbones, the veterinary-surgeon, in a little back street, where he lived in the quietest way, dining when he came in from hunting -- dressing, or rather changing, only when he was wet, hunting each fox again over his brandy-and-water, and bundling off to bed long before many of his ‘field’ had left the dining-room. He was little better than a better sort of huntsman.

Waffles, as we said before, had made himself conspicuous towards the close of Mr Slocdolager’s reign, chiefly by his dashing costume, his reckless riding, and his off-hand way of blowing up and slanging people.

Indeed, a stranger would have taken him for the master, a delusion that was heightened by his riding with a formidable-looking sherry-case, in the shape of a horn, at his saddle. Save when engaged in sucking this, his tongue was never at fault. It was jabber, jabber, jabber; chatter, chatter, chatter; prattle, prattle, prattle; occasionally about something, oftener about nothing, but in cover or out, stiff country or open, trotting or galloping, wet day or dry, good scenting day or bad, Waffles’ clapper never was at rest. Like all noisy chaps, too, he could not bear anyone to make a noise but himself. In furtherance of his, he called in the aid of his Oxfordshire rhetoric. He would holloo at people, designating them by some peculiarity that he thought he could wriggle out of, if necessary instead of attacking them by name. Thus, if a man spoke, or placed himself where Waffles thought he ought not to be (that is to say, anywhere but where Waffles was himself), he would exclaim, ‘Pray, sir, hold your tongue! -- you, sir! -- no, sir, not you -- the man that speaks as if he had a brush in his throat!’ -- or, ‘Do come away, sir! -- you, sir! -- the man in the mushroom-looking hat!’ -- or, ‘that gentleman in the parsimonious boots!’ looking at someone with very narrow tops.

Still he was a rattling, good-natured, harum-scarum fellow; and masterships of hounds, memberships of Parliament -- all expensive unmoney-making offices -- being things that most men are anxious to foist upon their friends, Mr Waffles’ big talk and interference in the field procured him the honour of the first refusal. Not that he was the man to refuse, for he jumped at the offer, and, as he would be of age before the season came round, and would have got all his money out of Chancery, he disdained to talk about a subscription, and boldly took the hounds as his own. He then became a very important personage at Laverick Wells.

He had always been a most important personage among the ladies, but as the men couldn’t marry him, those who didn’t want to borrow money of him, of course, ran him down. It used to be, ‘Look at that dandified ass, Waffles, I declare the sight of him makes me sick;’ or, ‘What a barber’s apprentice that fellow is, with his ringlets all smeared with Macassar.’

Now it was Waffles this, Waffles that, ‘Who dines with Waffles?’ ‘Waffles is the best fellow under the sun! By Jingo, I know no such man as Waffles!’ ‘Most deserving young man!’

In arriving at this conclusion, their judgement was greatly assisted by the magnificent way he went to work. Old Tom Towler, the whip, who had toiled at his calling for twenty long years on fifty pounds and what he could ‘pick up,’ was advanced to a hundred and fifty, with a couple of men under him. Instead of riding worn-out, tumble-down, twenty-pound screws, he was mounted on hundred-guinea horses, for

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