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Group Title: Stories about horses : illustrative of their intelligence, sagacity, and docility
Title: Stories about horses
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00003629/00001
 Material Information
Title: Stories about horses illustrative of their intelligence, sagacity, and docility
Alternate Title: Bingley's stories for children
Bingley's stories, Dogs, Horses
Physical Description: ix, <3>, 192, <4> p., <12> leaves of plates : ill. ; 14 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Bingley, Thomas
Harrild, Thomas ( Printer )
Sands, Robert, 1782-1855 ( Engraver )
Bogue, David, 1812-1856 ( Publisher )
W. Kent and Co ( Publisher )
Publisher: W. Kent & Co.
Place of Publication: London
Manufacturer: Thomas Harrild
Publication Date: 1858
Edition: 4th ed.
 Subjects
Subject: Horses -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Horses -- Legends -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Horses -- Anecdotes -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Horses -- Psychological aspects -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Pictorial cloth bindings (Binding) -- 1854   ( rbbin )
Publishers' advertisements -- 1854   ( rbgenr )
Leighton Son & Hodge -- Binders' tickets (Binding) -- 1854   ( rbbin )
Bldn -- 1854
Genre: Pictorial cloth bindings (Binding)   ( rbbin )
Publishers' advertisements   ( rbgenr )
Binders' tickets (Binding)   ( rbbin )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Thomas Bingley.
General Note: Publisher's advertisements on p. <3> (2nd set) and following text.
General Note: Illustrations signed: R. Sands, Sc.
General Note: With: Stories about dogs : illustrative of their instinct, sagacity, and fidelity / by Thomas Bingley ; with plates by Thomas Landseer. 6th ed. London : David Bogue, 1854.
Funding: Brittle Books Program
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00003629
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002687732
oclc - 46547796
notis - ANF5010

Table of Contents
    Advertising
        Advertising page 1
        Advertising page 2
        Advertising page 3
        Advertising page 4
        Advertising page 5
    Half Title
        Page i
    Frontispiece
        Page ii
    Title Page
        Page iii
    Copyright
        Page iv
    Preface
        Page v
        Page vi
    Table of Contents
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page ix
        Page x
    List of Illustrations
        Page xi
    Main
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Full Text




BINGLEY'S JUVENILE WORKS,

uniform tit) ttj jrtscnt Tolume.



1. STORIES ABOUT DOGS, illustrative of their Instinct,
Sagacity, and Fidelity, with characteristic Engravings by
LANfDSEER.

2. STORIES ABOUT INSTINCT, illustrative of the Characters
and Habits of Animals; with Engravings after LANDSEER,
etc.

3. TALES OF SHIPWRECKS AND DISASTERS AT SEA,
including the Wreck of the Forfarshire, and other recent
Losses. Eight Plates.

4. TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS, their Perils, Adventures,
and Discoveries; with Eight Engravings.

5. STORIES ABOUT BIRDS, illustrative of their Nature,
Habits, and Instincts. Eight Engravings.


6. BIBLE QUADRUPEDS:
mentioned in Scripture.


the Natural History of Animals
Sixteen Engravings.


A SET OF BOOKS WHICH, PROFESSING ONLY TO AMUSE, IN-
STRUCT AND EDIFY IN NO ORDINARY DEG-REE."-Quarterly Review.









BINGLEY'S


ILLUSTRATED BOOKS FOR CHILDREN.

UNIFORM WITH STORIES ABOUT DOGS."


I.

STORIES ABOUT INSTINCT:

ILLUSTRATIVE OF THE CHARACTERS AND HABITS OF ANIMALS

Eight Engravings, by LANDSEER, &C.


II.

TALES OF SHIPWRECKS,

AND DISASTERS AT SEA;

INCLUDING THE WRECK OF THE FORFARSHIRE, AND OTHER
RECENT LOSSES.

Eight Engravings, by LANDELLS.


III.
STORIES ABOUT HORSES:

ILLUSTRATIVE OF THEIR INTELLIGENCE AND DOCILITY.

Twelve Engravings on Steel.








BINGLEY'S ILLUSTRATED BOOKS FOR CHILDREN.


IV.

TALES ABOUT BIRDS:

ILLUSTRATIVE OF THEIR NATURE, HABITS, AND INSTINCTS.

Eight Engravings, oy LANDELLS.



V.

TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS:

THEIR PERILS, ADVENTURES, AND DISCOVERIES.

Eight Engravings, by GILBERT.



'VI.

BIBLE QUADRUPEDS:

THE NATURAL HISTORY OF THE ANIMALS MENTIONED IN
SCRIPTURE.

With Sixteen Engravmgs, by S. WILLIAMS.



The above may be had, two Volumes zn one, price 4s. 6d. the double Volume, viz. :

DOGS AND HORSES.

BIRDS AND INSTINCT.

SHIPWRECKS AND TRAVELLERS.









Amuaig air IustrE tibe oatNs far Na's.

I.
THE YOUNG VOYAGEURS;

Or, ADVENTURES IN THE FUR COUNTRIES OF THE FAR NORTH.
BY CAPTAIN- MAYNE REID.
With Twelve Plates, by WILLIM HARVEY. Price 7s.

II.
THE DESERT HOME;

Or, THE ENGLISH FAMILY ROBINSON.
BY CAPTAIN MAYNE REID.
With Twelve Plates, by WILLIAM HARVEY. Third Edition. Ts.

III.
THE BOY HUNTERS;

Or, ADVENTURES IN SEARCH OF A WHITE BUFFALO.
BY CAPTAIN MAYNE REID.
With Twelve Plates, by WILLIAM HARVEY. Third Edition. 7s.

IV.
THE BOAT AND THE CARAVAN:

A FAMILY TOUR THROUGH EGYPT AND SYRIA.
With Illustrations. Fifth Edition. Price 7s.








AMUSING AND INSTRUCTIVE BOOKS FOR BOYS.


V.

FOOTPRINTS OF FAMOUS MEN:

BIOGRAPHY FOR BOYS.

BY J. G. EDGAR, Author of "The Boyhood of Great Men."
With Eight Illustrations, by BIRKET FOSTER. 3s. 6d.


VI.

THE BOYHOOD OF GREAT MEN:

AN EXAMPLE FOR YOUTH.
BY J. G EDGAR.

With Illustrations. Second Editzon. 3s. 6d.


VII.

THE BOY'S OWN BOOK:

A COMPLETE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ALL THE DIVERSIONS, ATHLETIC, SCIENTIFIC,
AND RECREATIVE, OF BOYHOOD AND YOUTH.

New Edition, greatly Enlarged and Improved, price 8s. 6d.


VIII.

PARLOUR MAGIC.

New Edition, Enlarged and Improved, with the addition of several Tricks
from the Performances of Messrs. HoUDIN, ROBIN, &c.
Price 4s. 6d. cloth.


DAVID BOGUE, FLEET STREET.















STORIES ABOUT HORSES.



















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STORIES ABOUT


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BY THOMAS


BINGLEY,


AUTHOR OP STORIES ABOUT DOGS," TLES OP SHIPWRECKS," ETC. ETC.


EMBELLISHED WITH TWELVE E3GRAVINGS ON STEEL.


Psutrty


eFtititnrr


LONDON:


W. KENT & CO. (LATE D. BoGUE),


FLEET STREET.


1858.


HORSES,



























LONDON


THOMAS HARRILD, 5T SALISBURY SQUARE,


FLEET STREET.






PREFACE.


A TASTE for the study of Natural History has been
said to be favourable to the exercise of benevolence.
" If we feel a common interest in the gratification of
inferior beings," it has been well remarked, we
shall no longer be indifferent to their sufferings, or
become wantonly instrumental in producing them.
We may be truly said to become susceptible of vir-
tuous impressions from the sight and study of such
objects. The patient ox is viewed with a kind of
complacency; the guileless sheep with pity; the play-
ful lamb raises emotions of tenderness. We rejoice
with the horse in his liberty and exemption from toil,
while he ranges at large through the enamelled pas-






PREFACE.


tures; and the frolics of the colt would afford un-
mixed delight, did we not recollect the bondage
which he is soon to undergo. We are charmed with
the song of birds, soothed with the buzz of insects,
and pleased with the sportive motions of the fish,
because these are expressions of enjoyment, and
we exult in the felicity of the whole animated
creation."
To call up and to exercise those feelings, in the
breasts of my young readers, to incite them to the
love of Nature, and to "look through Nature up to
Nature's God," I again present them with another
volume of Tales. With their appreciation of my
former works, evinced by the daily increasing demand
for them, I am highly gratified; and hope that the
present volume will be found equally interesting,
and deserving of the same favourable estimation.
T. B.









CONTENTS.






CHAPTER I.

UNCLE THOMAS TELLS ABOUT THE NATURAL HISTORY OF THE HORSE;
ITS HABITS IN A WILD STATE; AND THE VARIOUS MODES OF CAPTUR-
ING IT, AND MAKING IT SERVICEABLE TO MAN Page 1


CHAPTER II.

UNCLE THOMAS RELATES SEVERAL INTERESTING STORIES ABOUT ARABIAN
HORSES, AND ABOUT THE AFFECTION WHICH SUBSISTS BETWEEN
THEM AND THE ARABS, THEIR MASTERS 16


CHAPTER III.

UNCLE THOMAS TELLS ABOUT THE ENGLISH RACE-HORSE ; THE MODE IN
WHICH IT IS TRAINED ; AND ABOUT ITS EXTRAORDINARY SPEED 32


CHAPTER IV.

UNCLE THOMAS TELLS ABOUT THE HUNTER, AND RELATES MANY INTE-
RESTING STORIES OF HIS SAGACITY AND LOVE OF SPORT 46








Viii CONTENTS.




CHAPTER V.

UNCLE THOMAS TELLS ABOUT THE EXTRAORDINARY FEATS OF THE
COACH-HORSE, AND ABOUT THE SPIRIT AND COURAGE OF THE
CHARGER Page 68


CHAPTER VI.

UNCLE THOMAS TELLS ABOUT THE HACKNEY, OR ROADSTER 9


CHAPTER VII.

UNCLE THOMAS TELLS ABOUT CART-HORSES AND DESCRIBES SEVERAL OF
THE PRINCIPAL VARIETIES 96


CHAPTER VIII.

UNCLE THOMAS TELLS ABOUT THE PONY, PARTICULARLY ABOUT THE
SHELTIE OR SHETLAND PONY; AND ABOUT THE PONIES OF THE
EXMOOR FOREST 110


CHAPTER IX.

UNCLE THOMAS TELLS ABOUT THE NEW FOREST AND DARTMOOR PONIES,
AS WELL AS ABOUT THE CEFFAL OR WELSH PONIES 119


CHAPTER X,

UNCLE THOMAS TELLS ABOUT SEVERAL DIFFERENT BREEDS OF ASIATIC
HORSES, INCLUDING THE TARTAR, TOORKOMAN, AND CALMUCK
VARIETIES 133








CONTENTS.


CHAPTER XI.

UNCLE THOMAS TELLS OF SEVERAL DIFFERENT BREEDS OF EUROPEAN
AND AMERICAN HORSES Page 149

CHAPTER XII.

UNCLE THOMAS TELLS ABOUT THE ASS, THE MULE, AND THE ZEBRA, AND
CONCLUDES HIS STORIES ABOUT HORSES 172











LIST OF PLATES.


SHETLAND PONY

ARABIAN .

RACER .

HUNTEE.

COACH-HORSE

BLACK CART-HORSE

CoMMON CART-HORSE

FORESTER

WELSH PONx

Ass .

EMULE .

ZEBA .


Frontispiece.

. Page 17

S. 32

47

S 68

96

.109

S 119

S 123

. 172

S 184

.189







STORIES ABOUT HORSES.




CHAPTER I.

UNCLE THOMAS TELLS ABOUT THE NATURAL HISTORY OF THE
HORSE; ITS HABITS IN A WILD STATE; AND THE VARIOUS
MODES OF CAPTURING IT, AND MAKING- IT SERVICEABLE TO
MAN.

" WELCOME, Boys! welcome! I am delighted
to see you again !" exclaimed Uncle Thomas,
in a tone of voice which showed how exactly
his feelings corresponded with the terms of his
speech, as his nephews once more gathered
round him to listen to a new series of stories
which he had promised to relate to them-
STORIES ABOUT HORSES. The boys were
equally delighted : Frank had of late been
B






STORIES ABOUT HORSES.


quite captivated with a little Shetland pony-
one of the tiniest of its race-which a gentle-
man in the neighbourhood had procured from
the North of Scotland, and which scampered
about his lawn, seeming at a little distance
scarcely larger than a big Newfoundland dog
which he kept to watch his premises. John
and Harry, though they could not help ad-
miring the wild shaggy little creature, were
somewhat more measured in their admiration;
indeed it seemed questionable whether the
hunter which the gentleman sometimes rode
did not more take John's fancy, while the affec-
tions of Harry were set on a noble racer of the
Arabian breed which they almost daily saw
exercised on the Downs. The proposal of
Uncle Thomas to tell them stories about Horses
was therefore to each a source of delightful an-
ticipation.
As soon as the greetings had been duly ex-
changed, and the boys had seated themselves,
Uncle Thomas began :-






INTRODUCTION.


The animal, Boys, of whose sagacity and
docility I am going to relate to you many sin-
gular instances, was decidedly the noblest con-
quest ever made by man over the beasts of the
field. Without the assistance of the Horse,
civilization would have made much slower pro-
gress, and mankind would, without doubt, have
been some centuries later in emerging from
their primitive state of barbarism. Under the
dominion of man, the Horse freely submits to
his decision, and seems to have no wish but to
obey his master's commands. Under his guid-
ance it faces danger without dismay-fires at the
sound of war, and pursues the enemy with an
ardour and: perseverance matched only by that
of its master. In short, in the words of an
eminent writer, it-

holds a rank,
Important in the plan of Him who formed
This scale of being; holds a rank, which lost
Would break the chain, and leave behind a gap,
Which Nature's self would rue.' "






STORIES ABOUT HORSES.


Were horses originally wild, Uncle Tho-
mas ?"
Certainly, John, like all other creatures
they were created free, and were, with the
others, put by their Creator under the dominion
of man, in the celebrated sentence, 'have domi-
nion over the fish of the sea,' etc., which I dare
say you will recollect, as recorded in the first
chapter of Genesis."
Oh, yes Uncle Thomas; but are they to
be found in this wild state now ?"
In some parts of the world they are to be
found in great numbers in a state of wildness,
Frank, but it is very questionable whether in any
place where they are now to be found, they exist
as an original race, but are, as seems most
likely, descended from domesticated animals,
which have from time to time escaped from, or
been turned adrift by their owners. In South
America, for instance, where before the settle-
ment of Europeans the horse was unknown, it
has now multiplied to such an extent, as per-






WILD HORSES.


haps to outnumber those on the Eastern Con-
tinent. In the southern parts of Siberia, in the
great Mongolian deserts, and in some parts of
Russia, large herds are sometimes to be found,
but in all these places their parentage can with
more or less distinctness be traced to the do-
mestic race. At the Cape of Good Hope too
they are found in large troops, but there they
are said to be of a small size, and very vicious
and untameable."
Are they not also found in Arabia, Uncle
Thomas ?"
They are, Frank; indeed Arabia has been
long famed for the excellence of its horses.
From their superiority to those of other coun-
tries, it was long thought to be their native soil,
whence they had spread over the world; but
this has been disputed. Whether it is so or
not, it is certain that they are found more hand-
some, graceful, generous, and persevering there
than elsewhere."






STORIES ABOUT HORSES.


And do they run wild in that country,
Uncle Thomas ?"
In the deserts of Arabia wild horses are to
be found in considerable numbers, Harry; but
the finest animals are those bred under the
care of man. The Bedouin Arabs, a wandering
tribe, rear them in great numbers; but before I
proceed to give you an account of the Arabian
horse, I must first tell you something of the
habits of the animal in a wild state, which have
a remarkable similarity all over the world.
In their native plains, whether of the old
or the new world, they generally congregate in
herds, consisting of from five hundred to a
thousand. Powerful as they are, however, they
never attack other animals, but content them-
selves with acting on the defensive. So watchful
are they, that when reposing they generally
leave a sentinel to give notice of the approach
of danger. When the alarm is given, the whole
troop start to their feet, and after reconnoitering
their enemy, either give battle, or, should the






CONTEST WITH A LION.


danger seem imminent, gallop off with incon-
ceivable speed. When they determine on re-
pelling their assailant-generally a lion or a
tiger, or some of the larger beasts of prey-they
close round him in a dense mass, and soon
trample him to death; but if the attack is of a
more serious character, they form a circle, in
the centre of which the young and the females
are placed, and, ranging themselves with their
heels towards their foes, repel the most vigorous
attacks. What powerful weapons the heels of
an enraged horse are, you may judge from a
little story which occurs to me illustrative of
this fact :-
A nobleman, in the early part of the reign
of Louis XV., having a very vicious horse,
which none of the grooms or servants would
ride-several of them having been thrown, and
one killed-asked leave of his majesty to have
him turned loose into the menagerie, against
one of the largest lions. The king readily con-
sented, and the animal on a certain day was






STORIES ABOUT HORSES.


conducted thither. Soon after the arrival of the
horse the door of the den was drawn up, and
the lion with great state and majesty marched
slowly to the mouth of it, when, seeing his
antagonist, he set up a tremendous roar. The
horse immediately started and fell back; his
ears were erected, his mane was raised, his eyes
sparkled, and something like a general convul-
sion seemed to agitate his whole frame. After
the first emotions of fear had subsided, the horse
retired to a corner of the menagerie, where,
having directed his heels towards the lion, and
raising his head over his left shoulder, he
watched with extreme eagerness the motions of
his enemy.
The lion presently quitted the den, moved
cautiously about for a minute or two, as if
meditating the mode of attack, when, having
sufficiently prepared himself for the combat, he
made a sudden spring at the horse, which de-
fended itself by striking its adversary a most
violent blow on the chest.






CONTEST WITH A LION.


"The lion instantly retreated, groaned, and
seemed for several minutes inclined to give up
the contest; but recovering from the painful
effects of the blow, here turned to the charge with
unabated vigour, making similar preparations
for this second attack to those which he had
previously done for the first. He moved about
from one side of the menagerie to the other for
a considerable time, seeking a favourable oppor-
tunity to seize his prey; the horse, in the mean-
time, still preserving the same posture of de-
fence, and carefully keeping his eye fixed on
his enemy's motions. The lion at length gave
a second spring, with all his remaining strength;
but the watchful horse was prepared for him,
and struck him with his hoof on the under jaw,
which he fractured.
Having thus sustained a second and more
severe repulse, the lion retreated to his den as
well as he was able, apparently in the greatest
agony, moaning all the way in a most lament-
able manner. The horse, however, was soon






STORIES ABOUT HORSES.


obliged to be shot, as no one ever dared to ap-
proach the ground where he was kept.
"In some parts of the world the natives
replenish their studs from the wild herds. It
requires, however, great adroitness to secure
them. In Tartary, they train large birds of the
hawk species to hunt the wild horses; they are
taught to seize the horse by the head or neck,
when it darts off at the utmost speed, hoping in
this way to rid itself of its enemy. The bird,
however, pertinaciously retains its hold, till the
horse, quite exhausted, becomes an easy prey to
its pursuers. "
"That seems an excellent plan, Uncle Tho-
mas; I wonder how they manage to train the
bird so well."
It has this disadvantage, Frank, that it
requires a great many assistants, spread over
a large extent of country. They cannot, of
course, tell beforehand in what direction the
horse will run, and must, therefore, station
parties at considerable distances; besides, the


10






THE LASSO.


horse, if very vigorous, may go a great way
before- he is exhausted, and if not quickly
secured, will recover and be prepared for a
fresh gallop before his pursuers come up.
The plan practised in South America is more
simple. They are there secured by means of
a weapon called a lasso, which consists of a
very strong plaited thong, about half an inch
in thickness, and about forty feet in length.
It is made of strips of untanned hide, and is
kept quite pliant by being well oiled. At one
end there is an iron ring, about an inch and a
half in diameter, through which the thong is
passed, and thus forms a running-noose. The
other end is fastened to the saddle-girth of the
hunter, who holds the remainder carefully coiled
in his left hand.
Mounted on a horse which has been accus-
tomed to the sport, the huntsman gallops over
the plain in the direction of the wild herd, and,
circling round them, gradually approaches.
When sufficiently near some straggler from the


11






12


STORIES ABOUT HORSES.


main body, he throws the lasso with almost
unerring aim round the hind legs of his victim.
In an instant he turns his steed, and with a
sudden jerk pulls the feet of his captive from
beneath him, and it falls on its side. Before
it can.recover the shock, the hunter dismounts,
wraps his cloak round the animal's head, and
forces into its mouth one of the powerful bridles
of the country, straps a saddle on its back, and,
bestriding it, removes the covering from its
eyes. The astonished animal springs on its
feet, and endeavours, by a thousand vain efforts,
to disencumber itself of its enslaver, who sits
quite composedly on its back, and soon reduces
it to complete obedience."
That is decidedly better than the Tartar
mode, Uncle Thomas; but I think you once
told me of a man who could tame the wildest
horses by merely speaking to them: that was
more wonderful still."
It was so, Frank. You refer to the case of
James Sullivan, the Irishman, I suppose; and,






"C THE WHISPERER.


as I dare say neither John nor Harry ever heard
of him, I will tell you all that is known of him
and his mode of subduing vicious horses :-
Sullivan was a native of Cork, and fol-
lowed the occupation of a horse-breaker. Though
in appearance a rude, ignorant rustic, of the
lowest class, he had by some means or other
acquired a power over the horse, which has
never been equalled. When his assistance was
called in, no matter how vicious or what de-
scription of ill habit his patients laboured under,
he rendered them gentle and tractable in the
incredibly short space of half an hour; and this
too, apparently, without the slightest attempt at
severity or coercion of any kind.
His first operation was to direct the door
of the stable, in which his patient was, to be
closed, and not to be opened till a particular
signal was made. They remained shut up in
this way usually about half an hour, during
which, little or no bustle was heard. When
the signal was given and the door opened, the


13






14 STORIES ABOUT HORSES.

horse was usually found lying down, and the
man by its side, playing familiarly with it, as
as if it had all its life been one of the gentlest of
creatures.
That was very singular, Uncle Thomas.
How could he do it?"
That is a mystery, Harry, which cannot be
so easily explained. He kept his process a
profound secret; and, though the fact that he
did possess the power cannot be doubted, no
one has been abler to account for it. He was
known among the common people by the name
of the whisperer,' as they fancied he com-
municated with the animal in this manner.
Even his son, however, who followed his father's
profession, was ignorant of his secret, and un-
able to succeed in the same way. That he
acquired, by some means or other, a certain
power over the fears of the animal, there can be
little doubt, as in one case, to which an intelli-
gent person was eye-witness, he perceived that
the horse which had undergone, on the previous






" THE WHISPERER."


15


day, a half-hour's confinement with Sullivan,
betrayed symptoms of fear whenever he spoke
or looked at it. What was still more remark-
able was, that, though this docility was com-
municated so speedily, it retained a permanent
influence on their dispositions."
I cannot think what he did to them, Uncle
Thomas."
And I am sorry I cannot enlighten you,
Harry. But I see it is now time to stop for the
night; to-morrow I will tell you about the
Arabian, which I was obliged to postpone
this evening for the purpose of introducing the
account of the general habits of the horse, which
I hope has not been uninteresting to you."
We have been veryhighly interested, indeed,
Uncle Thomas."
Very well, Boys; good night."
Good night, Uncle Thomas."






16


CHAPTER II.

UNCLE THOMAS RELATES SEVERAL INTERESTING- STORIES ABOUT
ARABIAN HORSES, AND ABOUT THE AFFECTION WHICH SUBSISTS
BETWEEN THEM AND THE ARABS THEIR MASTERS.

" GoOD evening, Uncle Thomas !"
Good evening, Boys! I am glad to see you
have come early, as I have some long and plea-
sant stories for you to-night."
About the Arabian, Uncle Thomas ?"
Yes, John, about your favourite, the Ara-
bian. But, before I begin, I must describe the
animal to you, that you may know what are
the marks which distinguish it from other
horses. The Arabian is generally about four-
teen hands in height. Do you know what the
term 'hand,' as applied to measuring horses,
means, Frank ?"

















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THE ARABIAN.


17


Yes, Uncle Thomas; it is a measure of four
inches, I believe."
You are quite right. Well, the Arabian is
generally about .fourteen hands in height. Its
head is very beautifully formed; the forehead
broad and square, the muzzle short and fine,
and the eyes prominent. Its nostrils are large,
and its ears small; and the skin is so fine and
thin, that the veins may be distinctly traced.
The neck is beautifully curved; and, though
the body is light and the .chest narrow, the
latter conduces materially to their swiftness,
and is a matter of little importance in a horse
not intended for draught. Its legs are thin,
and very handsome, and its tail and mane long
and flowing."
The description does not exactly suit the
racers we see exercising on the Downs, Uncle
Thomas."
I speak of the Arabian in the pure breeds,
John. In this country they are crossed, for the
purpose of securing some real or fancied ad-
C






STORIES ABOUT HORSES.


vantage, and, of course, the more distant the
descent from the original race, the less charac-
teristic will be the distinctive marks.
In Arabia, as elsewhere, they have various
kinds of horses, some of which are highly
esteemed and anxiously tended by their owners,
while others are doomed to drudgery and hard-
ship. The noble race-the Kochlani, as they
are called in the Persian language-according
to an European eye-witness, evinces uncommon
mildness of temper, an unalterable faithfulness to
his master, a courage and intrepidity as aston-
ishing as they are innate in his noble breast,
an unfailing remembrance of the places where
he has been, of the treatment he has received.
In the most horrid confusion of a battle, cool
and collected, he never forgets the place he
came from, and, though mortally wounded, if
he can gather up sufficient strength, he carries
back his desponding rider to his defeated tribe.
His intelligence is wonderful; he knows when
he is sold, or even when his master is bargain-


18






THE ARABIAN.


ing to sell him. When the proprietor and pur-
chaser meet for that purpose in the stables, the
Kochlan soon guesses what is going on, becomes
restless, gives from his beautiful eye a side-
glance at the merchants, paws the ground with
his foot, and plainly shows his discontent.
Neither the buyer, nor any other, dares to come
near him; but, the bargain being struck, the
vendor taking the Kochlan by the halter, gives
him up to the purchaser, with a slice of bread and
some salt, and turns away, never more to look at
him as his own; an ancient custom of taking
leave of a horse, and his recognizing a new
master. It is then that this generous and noble
animal becomes tractable, mild, and faithful to
another, and proves himself immediately at-
tached to him whom his passion, a few minutes
before, might have laid at his feet and trampled
under his hoof. This is not an idle story; I
have been a witness of, and an actor in, the in-
teresting scene, having bought three of these
high-spirited animals in 1810 and 1811, from


19






STORIES ABOUT HORSES.


Turkish prisoners. I made the bargain in the
stables, and received personally, and led off the
most fierce but intelligent animals, which, before
the above-mentioned ceremony, I should not
have dared to approach. The fact has been
confirmed to me by all the Turkish and Arab
prisoners, and by several rich Armenian mer-
chants who deal in horses, and go generally to
the desert to buy them. The Kochlans also
evince great warlike qualities.' "
Oh, delightful, Uncle Thomas! How I
should like to have such an animal. I am sure
the racer is a real Arabian, he seems so spirited
and at the same time so gentle."
We can hardly wonder at the extreme gen-
tleness of the Arabian, John, when we consider
how differently they are treated from English
horses, or indeed from those of any other coun-
try. The Arabs live constantly in tents, and
these are always shared with their horses, so
that the whole family live together in indis-
criminate friendship ; the mare and her foal occu-


20






THE ARABIAN.


pying perhaps the same corner which serves the
children for a sleeping-place; where, indeed,
they may be often seen prattling to- their four-
legged companions, climbing on their bodies, or
hanging round their necks, with all the unsus-
pecting fondness of perfect security.
Accustomed from their infancy thus to treat
their horses with kindness, a spirit of affection
springs up between them, which is very rarely
interrupted. The use of the whip is unknown;
their willing services are secured by affection
alone. It is only in the utmost extremity that
the spur is used, and when this is the case, they
set off with amazing swiftness, overcoming every
obstacle, and sometimes even falling victims to
their generous ardour. Chateaubriand, a French
traveller, relates an instance in which the exer-
tions of a noble animal to save its master proved
fatal:-' When I was at Jerusalem, the feats of
one of these steeds made a great noise. The
Bedouin, to whom the animal, a mare, belonged,
being pursued by the governor's guards, rushed


21






STORIES ABOUT HORSES.


with him from the top of the hills that overlook
Jericho. The mare scoured at full gallop
down an almost perpendicular declivity, without
stumbling, and left the soldiers lost in admira-
tion and astonishment. The poor creature,
however, dropped down dead on entering Je-
richo, and the Bedouin, who would not quit her,
was taken, weeping over the body of his faithful
companion. This mare has a brother in the
desert, who is so famous, that the Arabs always
know where he has been, where he is, what he
is doing, and how he does. Ali Aga religiously
showed me, in the mountains near Jericho, the
footsteps of the mare that died in the attempt to
save her master. A Macedonian could not have
beheld those of Bucephalus with greater re-
spect.'
The Arab is not, however, without discri-
mination in his love for his horse. In order to
try the spirit of the animal they are said early
to put them to very severe tests. The most
general method of trying their swiftness is by


22






THE ARABIAN.


hunting the ostrich, which is found on the
sandy plains with which those countries abound.
When the ostrich sees that it is pursued, it
makes for the mountains, while the horsemen
follow at the utmost speed, and endeavour to
cut off its retreat. The chase then continues
along the plain, the ostrich using both legs and
wings in its endeavours to outstrip its pursuers.
Rapid as is its flight, however, a horse of first-
rate speed is able to outrun it, so that the poor
animal is at length compelled to have recourse
to art, frequently turning, and thus endea-
vouring to elude its persevering pursuers. At
length, finding escape impossible, it buries its
head in some tuft of the scanty herbage which
clothes the plain, and suffers itself to be taken.
If in a chase of this kind a horse shows great
speed, and is not readily tired, his character is
established.
Sometimes, however, they put them to even
severer trials-riding over their burning de-
serts without stopping to refresh the poor


23






24


STORIES ABOUT HORSES.


animal, and exposed to the beating of a burning
sun, perhaps for a hundred miles; arrived at
the end of their journey, the horse is plunged
into water, up to the middle, and if immediately
after this he will eat his barley, his staunchness
and the purity of his blood is considered in-
controvertible, and he accordingly rises in esti-
mation."
That seems very hard usage, Uncle
Thomas."
It is so, Frank, but it is amply redeemed
by their otherwise kind treatment. Many stories
of the extreme attachment of the Arab to his
horse are recorded. Here is one :-A person of
the name of Ibrahim being reduced to poverty,
was forced to allow a merchant at Rama to be-
come part-proprietor of a favourite mare. He
went frequently to see her, and would embrace
her, wipe her eyes with his handkerchief, rub
her with his shirt sleeves, give her a thousand
benedictions, and would remain talking to her
during whole hours. My eyes,' he would say






THE ARABIAN.


to her, 'my soul, my heart! must I be so un-
fortunate as to have thee sold to so many
masters, and not to keep thee myself ? I am
poor, my antelope Thou knowest it well, my
darling I brought thee up in my dwelling as
my child; I did never beat nor chide thee; I
caressed thee in the proudest manner. Allah
preserve thee, my beloved! Thou art beau-
tiful, thou art sweet, thou art lovely! Allah
defend thee from envious eyes !'
There is another story of the same kind,
Boys, which is still more affecting, and which at
the same time affords a good specimen of the
florid and impassioned style of the Arabs :-
The whole stock of a poor Arab of the de-
sert consisted of a mare, which the French
consul at Said wished to purchase, with the
intention of sending her to Louis X1V. The
Arab hesitated long, but, being pressed by po-
verty, he at length consented, on condition
of receiving a very considerable sum, which he
named. The consul wrote to France for per-


25






STORIES ABOUT HORSES.


mission to close the bargain, and having ob-
tained it, he immediately sent for the Arab, to
secure the mare and pay for her. The man
arrived with his magnificent courser. He dis-
mounted, a wretched spectacle, with only a
miserable rag to cover his body. He stood
leaning upon the mare; the purse was tendered
to him; he looked at the gold, and gazing sted-
fastly at his mare, heaved a deep sigh; the
tears trickled down his cheeks :-' To whom
is it,' he exclaimed, 'I am going to yield thee
up ? To Europeans-who will tie thee close,
who will beat thee, who will render thee mise.
rable Return with me, my beauty! my jewel!
and rejoice the hearts of my children !' As he
pronounced the last words, he sprung upon her
back, and was out of sight in a moment."
"Poor fellow! I dare say, Uncle Thomas,
that his horse was of more real value to him than
the gold, poor as he was."
The value of everything, Frank, ought to be
estimated by its power of producing happiness-


26






THE ARABIAN.


a feeling which approaches perfection in propor-
tion as it is unmixed with regret. Thus for
instance, the Arab of whom I have just told
you, by the sale of his mare, might have been
raised from poverty to a state of comparative
riches, but if a strong feeling of sorrow for
parting with his horse remained on his mind, the
mere possession of riches would have been very
far from producing happiness; and the same
principle applies to everything else."
"I wonder how so poor a man had such a
valuable horse, Uncle Thomas."
"Let the Arab be ever so poor, Harry, he
always possesses a horse. In Arabia they
usually ride upon mares, experience having
taught them that they bear fatigue, hunger, and
thirst better than horses. They are also less
vicious, and more gentle. They teach them
hardihood and endurance, by treatment which
would almost ruin any other race. They are
never,' says Chateaubriand, put under shelter,
but left exposed to the most intense heat of the


27






STORIES ABOUT HORSES.


sun, tied by all four legs to stakes driven into
the ground, so that they cannot stir; the saddle
is never taken from their backs; they frequently
drink but once, and have only one feed of barley
in twenty-four hours. This rigid treatment,
however, so far from wearying them out, gives
them sobriety and speed. I have often admired
an Arabian steed, thus tied down to the burning
sands, his hair loosely flowing, his head bowed
between his legs, to find a little shade, and
stealing with his wild eye an oblique glance at
his master. Release his legs from the shackles,
spring upon his back, and he will paw in
the valley, he will rejoice in his strength, he
will swallow the ground in the fierceness of his
rage," and you recognize the original picture of
Job. Eighty or one hundred piastres,' continues
the same writer, 'are given for an ordinary
horse, which is in general less valued than an
ass or a mule; but a horse of well-known noble
blood will fetch any price. The Pacha of Da-


28






THE ARABIAN. 29

mascus has just given three thousand piastres
for one.'
That sounds like a very large sum, Uncle
Thomas."
So it does, Harry, but if you will take the
trouble to reckon it up, you will find it is not
quite so much as you imagine. Very high
prices have, however, been given for first-rate
Arabians in this country. Buckfoot, one of the
most famous horses of his time, was sold for
twelve hundred pounds; another, which was
brought from India, cost, including the expense
of passage, etc., fifteen hundred guineas. These
high prices, however, are only given for horses
which have proved themselves superior Racers."
Are all race-horses Arabians, Uncle Tho-
mas ?"
No, Harry, but I must not enter upon that
subject to-night; we will leave it till we meet
again, when I will willingly tell you all I know
about the Racer. Before you go, however,






STORIES ABOUT HORSES.


there is one little story which I must tell
you:-
An Arab sheick, or chief, who lived within
fifty miles of Bussorah, had a favourite breed of
horses. He one day missed one of his best
mares, and could not, for a long while, discover
whether she was stolen or had strayed. Some
time after, a young man of a different tribe,
who had long wished to marry his daughter,
but had always been rejected by the sheick,
obtained the lady's consent, and eloped with
her. The sheick and his followers pursued, but
the lover and his mistress, mounted on one
horse, made a wonderful march, and escaped.
The old chief swore, that the fellow was either
mounted upon the devil, or the favourite mare
which he had lost. After his return, he found
the latter was the case; that the lover was the
thief of his mare as well as his daughter; and
that he had stolen the one to carry off the other.
The chief was quite gratified to think he had
not been beaten by a mare of another breed;


30






THE ARABIAN.


and was easily reconciled to the young man, in
order that he might recover his horse, which ap-
peared an object about which he was more soli-
citous than about his daughter."
What an affectionate parent he must have
been, Uncle Thomas!" remarked Frank, in
his dry sarcastic way. At which Uncle Thomas
laughed heartily, and wishing the boys good
night, they separated for the evening.


31












CHAPTER III.

UNCLE THOMAS TELLS ABOUT THE ENGLISH EACE-HORSE ; THE
MODE IN WHICH IT IS TRAINED ; AND ABOUT ITS EXTRAOR-
DINARY SPEED.

STO-NIGHT, Boys, I promised, at our last
meeting, to tell you about the Racer, so I begin
at once :-
The Racer, in some points, bears consi-
derable resemblance to the Arabian, from which
the most distinguished racers have been de-
scended. They are more patient and enduring,
-are capable of much longer-continued exer-
tion than the pure Arabian; and in speed the
English Race-horse is equal, if not superior, to
those of every other country.
In training them for the race-course, I dare
say you will be astonished, Boys, to hear the
amount of pains which are taken. You see
















































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THE RACER.


them exercising daily on the Downs, but I
am sure you cannot imagine how much care is
expended upon them, before they are fit for
entering the race-course, and contending for
the prize. Shall I describe how they are trained,
Harry ?"
Oh! by all means, Uncle Thomas; I am
very anxious to hear about the mode of training
Race-horses."
In stables set apart for this purpose, it
is usual for all the boys who are engaged in
tending the horses to rise at the same hour,
from half-past two in the morning in spring, to
between four and five in the depth of winter.
The horses hear them when they awaken each
other, and neigh, to denote their eagerness to
be fed. Being dressed, the boy begins with
carefully cleaning out the manger, and giving
the horse a feed of oats, which he is obliged
no less carefully to sift. He then proceeds to
dress the litter; that is, to shake the bed on
which the horse has been lying, remove what-
D


33






STORIES ABOUT HORSES.


ever is wet or unclean, and to lay aside the
remaining straw for future use. The whole
stables are then thoroughly swept, the places
for admitting fresh air kept open, by which the
stable is gradually cooled, and the horse, having
ended his first feed, is roughly cleaned and
dressed.
In about half an hour after they begin, the
horses have been rubbed down and re-clothed,
saddled, each turned in his stall, then bridled,
mounted, and the whole string goes out to
morning exercise; each boy knows his place,
and one usually takes the lead. Except by
accident, the race-horse never trots. He must
either walk or gallop; and in exercise, even
when it is the hardest, the gallop begins slowly
and gradually, and increases till the horse is
nearly at full speed. When he has galloped
about half an mile, the boy begins to push him
forward without relaxation for another half mile.
This is at the period when the horses are in full
exercise, to which they come by degrees. The


34






THE RACER.


boy among those of light weight that can best
regulate these degrees is generally chosen to
lead the gallop-that is, he goes first out of the
stable and first returns.
In the time of long exercise, this is the first
brushing gallop. A brushing gallop means that
the horses are nearly at full speed before it is
over, and it is commonly made at last rather up
hill. Having all pulled up, the horses stand
for two or three minutes to recover their wind;
they then leisurely descend the hill, and take a
long walk; after which they are brought to
water. But in this, as in everything else (at
least as soon as long exercise begins), everything
is measured to them. The boy counts the num-
ber of times the horse swallows when he drinks,
and allows him to take no more gulps than the
groom orders; the fewest in the hardest exer-
cise, and one horse more or less than another,
according to the judgment of the groom. After
watering, a gentle gallop is taken, and after that
another walk of considerable length; to which


35






STORIES ABOUT HORSES.


succeeds the second and last brushing gallop,
which is by far the most severe. When it is
over, another pause, thoroughly to recover their
wind, is allowed them; their last walk is begun,
the limits of which are prescribed: and it ends
in directing their ride homewards.
The morning's exercise often extends to
four hours, and the evening's to about the same
time. Once more in the stable, each lad begins
his labours. He leads the horse into his stall,
ties him up, rubs down his legs with straw,
takes off his saddle and body-clothes, curries
him carefully, then goes over him with both
curry-comb and brush, and never leaves him till
he has thoroughly cleansed his skin, so that
neither spot nor wet, nor any appearance of
neglect may be seen about him. The horse is
then re-clothed, and suffered to repose for some
time, which is first employed in satisfying his
hunger, and recovering from his weariness. All
this is performed, and the stables are once more
shut up, about nine o'clock."


36






THE RACER.


37


That is astonishing Uncle Thomas; I
really had no idea training was such a serious
matter."
Many thousands of pounds are annually
spent, John, in thus training horses for the
various race-courses. Sometimes the animals
enter as completely into the spirit of the race as
the riders or spectators. An instance of this, of
which he was an eye-witness, is recorded in
Holcroft's Memoirs. I must first tell you,
however, that Forrester was a horse of consider-
able note, and had won many hard-contested
races in his day :-
When I had been about a year and a half
at Newmarket,' says Holcroft, Captain Vernon
matched a horse, named Forrester, against Ele-
phant, a horse belonging to Sir Jennison Shaftoe,
whom I saw ride this famous match. I think it
was a four-mile heat, over the straight course,
and the abilities of Forrester were such, that he
passed the flat and ascended the hill as far as
the distance-post, nose to nose with Elephant.






STORIES ABOUT HORSES.


Between this and the chair, Elephant, in conse-
quence of hard whipping, got some little way
before him, while Forrester exerted every pos-
sible power to recover his lost equality, till,
finding all his efforts ineffectual, he made one
sudden spring, and caught Elephant by the
under jaw, which he griped so violently, as to
hold him back; nor was it without the utmost
difficulty that he could be forced to quit his
hold. Poor Forrester!' remarks Holcroft, with
great feeling, 'he lost, but he lost most honour-
ably.' "
How fast do racers generally run, Uncle
Thomas ?"
An ordinary racer, Harry, moves at the rate
of about a mile in two minutes. But there have
been instances of rapidity even exceeding this.
A horse called Bay Malton ran, at York, four
miles in seven minutes and forty-three seconds;
and Flying Childers-so called for his uncom-
mon speed-has been frequently known to move
above eighty-two feet and a half in a second, or


38






THE RACER.


almost a mile- in a minute! On one occasion he
ran over the round course at Newmarket, which
is very little less than four miles, in six minutes
and forty seconds. He also ran over the Beacon
course at the same place, which measures four
miles, one furlong, and one hundred and thirty-
eight yards, in seven minutes and thirty seconds,
covering at every bound a space of about twenty-
five feet !"
I have often heard a horse named Eclipse
spoken of as very fleet, Uncle Thomas. Did
you ever hear of him ?"
Oh yes, Frank !" I know all about Eclipse,
which was one of the most celebrated horses of
his day; and as his history is rather a singular
one, I will tell it to you.
Eclipse was bred by the famous George,
Duke of Cumberland, and as he happened to be
foaled during the great eclipse of 1764, the
duke gave him that name. When the duke's
stud was sold off, Eclipse was bought by a Mr.
Wildman. This person had a friend in the


39






STORIES ABOUT HORSES.


service of the duke, who pointed out to him the
superior points in the form of this horse, and he
hastened to attend the sale: but, before his
arrival, it had been knocked down at seventy
guineas. He, however, instantly appealed to
his watch, which he knew to be an exceedingly
correct time-piece, and finding that, according
to advertisement, the appointed hour of sale had
not yet arrived by a few minutes, he insisted that
the sale had not been a lawful one, and that the
lots knocked down should be again put up,
which was accordingly done, and Eclipse was
purchased by him for the sum of seventy-five
guineas.
In the first race which Eclipse ran, it hap-
pened that all the five horses which had started
were close together at the three-mile post,
when some of the jockeys used their whips.
At this time Eclipse was going at an easy
gallop, when taking alarm at the crack of the
whip, he bounded off at his full speed; and
although his rider was a man of powerful arm,


40






THE RACER.


he was not to be restrained, and in consequence
distanced the whole of his competitors."
Did he wish to restrain him, Uncle
Thomas ?"
In racing, Harry, it is usual for the riders
to set off at an easy pace, at which rate they
continue, gradually increasing till they arrive at
some distance from the winning post, when they
put forth all their exertions. If a horse sets off
at his full speed too soon he is apt to be blown
before the proper time for exerting himself ar-
rives, and thus to afford an easy victory to his
opponents."
I understand the matter now, Uncle
Thomas."
Before Eclipse ran for the King's plate at
Winchester, in 1769, Mr. O'Kelly purchased
the half share of him for six hundred and fifty
guineas; he afterwards became sole proprietor,
for an additional sum of a thousand guineas.
It is said that one of the Bedford family asked
O'Kelly, in 1779, what he would take for


41






42


STORIES ABOUT HORSES.


Eclipse, when he replied, 'By the mass, my
lord, it is not all Bedford Level that would
purchase him.' About this period he is also
said to have asked, from another person, twenty-
five thousand pounds down, and an annuity of
five hundred pounds on his own life, besides
other privileges."
He must have been a very valuable horse,
Uncle Thomas."
O'Kelly, according to his own account,
gained by this horse twenty-five thousand pounds,
and the statement is believed to be correct. Eclipse
won eleven King's plates, in ten of which he
carried twelve stone, and in the other, ten. It
was calculated, that within the course of twenty-
three years, three hundred and forty-four winners,
the descendants of this animal, produced to their
owners the enormous sum of one hundred and
fifty-eight thousand and seventy-one pounds
twelve shillings sterling, exclusive of various
prizes. The prevailing excellence of all this
horse's offspring was great speed, and they took






THE RACER.


43


up their feet in the gallop with wonderful ac-
tivity; they were not generally famed for stout-
ness, but almost all of them were horses of
fine temper, seldom or never betraying restive-
ness. Eclipse died in 1789, at the age of
twenty-six."
"c The large sum you mentioned was won by
betting, I suppose, Uncle Thomas ?"
I presume the greater part of it was so,
Frank. It is a species of gambling which
cannot be too highly reprobated. There is,
however, one practice connected with racing,
which is still more reprehensible, which, I fear,
is of too frequent occurrence-it is that of turn-
ing off the horses, when no longer fit for the
race-course, to undergo the most laborious em-
ployment and the cruellest treatment. Mr.
Youatt, an eminent veterinary surgeon, in a recent
work, affords some details on this subject, from
which every feeling mind must revolt :-
Ambo, the fastest horse of his day, who
won the Holywell Mostyn stakes three years in






44


STORIES ABOUT HORSES.


succession, was consigned to drag an opposition
coach that ran through Shrewsbury. When no
longer capable of this exertion, he was degraded
to yet more ignoble employment, and was at
length found dead in a ditch, from absolute
starvation. Hit-or-Miss, a good racer, was
during the last years of his life seen drawing
coal in a higgler's cart in the same town.
Mameluke is at this time drawing a cab in the
streets of the metropolis; and Guildford, after
having won for his various owners seventeen
races, was affected with incurable string-halt,
and was sold at a repository for less than four
pounds! Thence the hero of the turf was
doomed to an omnibus. There he was cruelly
used; the spasmodic convulsion that characterises
string-halt sadly aggravating his torture. The
skin was rubbed from his shoulders, his hips
and haunches were bruised in every part, and
his stifles were continually and painfully coming
in contact with the pole. In this situation he
was seen by the veterinary surgeon to the So-






THE RACER.


45


city for Preventing Cruelty to Animals, and
bought, in order to be slaughtered.'"
Shocking Uncle Thomas."
"It is indeed dreadful, Boys, and tells loudly
of the want of humanity on the part of their
owners. But .it gets late, so we must stop for
the evening."
Good night, Uncle Thomas."






46


CHAPTER IV.

UNCLE THOMAS TELLS ABOUT THE HUNTER, AND REILATES MAN
INTERESTING STORIES OF HIS SAGACITY AND LOVE OF SPORT.

" HERE we are again, Uncle Thomas! I hope
you have some more pleasing stories to tell u
to-night. The account you gave us last evening
of the fate of the poor worn-out race-horses,
made us all quite sad."
I am happy to say, Boys, that such cruel
treatment is far from general. To-night I pur.
pose telling you about the hunter, if you have
no objection."
Oh, certainly not, Uncle Thomas, we shall
be delighted to hear about it."
Well, Boys, I know not that I can describe
the hunter better to you than by showing you
this pretty little print of him by Mr. Le Keux






















































1i


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a1L 6 I' -St
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I -.
k r-I.









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3 BC 'C C.



JH i11 N T1K






THE HUNTER.


47


who is famed for his nice characteristic en-
gravings of animals. Here he is in the middle
of the hunting-field, with his master mounted on
his back, and the dogs busily engaged searching
for game."
"' It seems a strong and powerful animal,
Uncle Thomas, and appears to be considerably
shorter in the body than the racer which you
showed us last night."
It is so, Frank. But there are some other
points to which I must draw your attention
besides this, I will therefore describe to you, in
as few words as I can, what a hunter ought to
be. The whole form of a horse which is de-
signed for a hunter ought to be well knit toge-
ther, as the jockeys express it; the ears should
be small, open, and pricked: or, if they be
somewhat long, yet, if they stand upright,
and hold like those of a fox, it is a sign of
toughness and hardiness. The forehead should
be long and broad, not flat; the eyes full, large,
and bright; the nostrils not only large, but






STORIES ABOUT HORSES.


looking red and fresh within, for an open and
fresh nostril is always considered a sign of good
wind. The mouth should be large; the wind-
pipe capacious, and appear straight when the
animal bridles his head, since if it bend like a
bow it is not formed for a free passage of the
breath. The head should be set so on the
neck that a space may be felt between the latter
part and the chin. The crest ought to be strong,
and well-risen, the neck straight and firm, the
breast strong and broad, the ribs round like a
barrel, the legs clean, flat, and straight, and the
tail and inane should be long and thin, not
short and bushy. When a hunter has been
thus chosen, and has been taught to obey the
signal of the bridle and hand, has gained a
true temper of mouth, and has learned to stop,
make forward, and turn readily-if of a proper
age, he is fit for the field. It is a rule with
stanch sportsmen that no horse should be
used for hunting till he is five years old,
although some will take them to the field at


48






THE HUNTER.


four; but.at this age a horse has not attained
his full strength and courage, and will not only
fail on a tough trial, but will be subject to
sprains and accidents."
Is it true, Uncle Thomas, that some horses
enter so much into the spirit of the chase, that
they have been known to follow the hounds
without a rider ?"
Quite, John; I remember a very striking
instance of it, which took place a few years ago.
A gentleman happening to be on a visit to a
friend in Wiltshire, was mounted on one of his
horses, a well-bred and fiery mare. At the
close of a very fine day's sport, the huntsmen
had beat a small furze brake, and for the pur-
pose of better threading it, the gentleman dis-
mounted, and gave the bridle of the mare to the
next horseman. Puss was soon started; the
'halloo' was given; the person who held the.
mare, in the eagerness of sport, forgot his charge,
loosed his hold, and, regardless of any other
than his own steed, left the mare to shift for
E


49






STORIES ABOUT HORSES.


herself. To the astonishment of all, instead
of attempting to bend her course homewards
(and she was in the immediate neighbourhood
of her stable), she ran the whole course at the
tail of the dogs; turned as well as she could
when they brought the prey about; and stopped
only at the death of the hare, when she suffered
herself to be quietly taken and remounted.
What rendered the circumstance the more re-
markable was, that she had only twice followed
the hounds previous to this event, which strongly
indicated her natural love of sport.
Many instances of a similar kind might be
given, Boys; for example, I believe it is no un-
frequent occurrence for hunters, when no longer
fit for the hunting-field, and turned to other
employment, to fire at the sound of the chase,
and be with difficulty restrained from joining.
A remarkable instance of this, in which, how-
ever, the animals were not restrained, occurred
in 1807, when the Liverpool mail was changing
horses at the inn at Monk's Heath, between


50






THE HUNTER.


Congleton and Newcastle-under-Line. The
horses which had performed the stage were
taken off and separated when Sir Peter War-
burton's fox-hounds were heard in full cry.
The horses immediately started after them with
their harness on, and followed the chase until
the last. One of them, a blood mare, kept the
track of the whipper-in, and gallantly fol-
lowed him for about two hours over every leap
he took, until Reynard ran to earth in a neigh-
bouring plantation. These spirited horses were
led back to the inn at Monk's Heath, and per-
formed their stage back to Congleton on the
same evening."
They must have been very spirited animals,
Uncle Thomas."
While we are talking about horses hunting
without riders, Boys, I must not omit to tell you
about one of the most curious instances of this
kind that I dare say ever happened.
The late Duke of Richmond kept some
hunters in the county of Sussex. A monkey,


51






STORIES ABOUT HORSES.


which was kept in the stable, was remarkably
fond of getting on the backs of the horses,
skipping from one to the other, and teasing the
poor animals incessantly. The groom made a
complaint to the duke, who immediately formed
a plan to remedy the evil. If he is fond of
riding,' replied his grace, we'll endeavour to
give him enough of it; and accordingly gave
orders to provide a complete jockey dress for the
monkey. The next time the hounds were out,
Jocko, in his uniform, was strapped to the back
of one of the best hunters. The view halloo
being given, away they went through thick and
thin. The horse being fond of the sport, and
carrying so light a weight, soon left all the com-
pany behind. Some of the party passing by a
farm-house, inquired of a countryman whether
he had seen the fox ? 'Ay, zure,' said the man,
' he is gone over yon fallow.' 'And was there
any one up with him ?' Ay, zure !' said
John, there be a little man in yellow jacket
just gone by, riding as though the devil be in


52






THE HUNTER.


un. I hope, from my heart, the young gentle-
man mayn't meet with a fall, for he rides most
monstrous bould.' The experiment had the de-
sired effect; Jocko was sufficiently chafed by
his exercise to make him dislike the sight of the
stable ever afterwards."
Ha! ha! Uncle Thomas, that was very
good indeed !"
It is only the mischievous monkey, with his
antic drollery, Boys, that likes to annoy his
companions. Sometimes feelings of sincerest
friendship spring up between stable companions.
Here is an instance.
A gentleman of Bristol had a greyhound
which slept in the stable along with a very fine
hunter, of about five years of age. These
animals became mutually attached, and re-
garded each other with the most tender affec-
tion. The greyhound always lay under the
manger, beside the horse, who was so fond of
him, that he was unhappy and restless when
out of his sight. It was a common practice


53






STORIES ABOUT HORSES.


with the gentleman to whom they belonged, to
call at the stable for the greyhound to accom-
pany him in his walks. On such occasions, the
horse would look over his shoulder at the dog,
with much anxiety, and neigh in a manner
which plainly said, 'Let me go too !' When
the dog returned to the stable, he was always
welcomed by a loud neigh; he ran up to the
horse, and licked his nose; in return, the horse
would scratch his back with his teeth.
One day, when the groom was out with the
horse and greyhound for exercise, a large dog
attacked the latter and quickly bore him to
the ground; on which the horse threw back his
ears, and, in spite of all the efforts of the groom,
rushed at the strange dog, seized him by the
back with his teeth, which speedily made him
quit his hold; and, giving him a good shake,
let him fall to the ground. He no sooner got
on his feet, than he judged it prudent to make
a precipitate retreat from so formidable an
enemy."


54






THE HUNTER.


That was very kind, Uncle Thomas."
When the affections of the horse are gained,
Frank, whether by its fellow-brutes or by man,
he becomes a steady and determined friend. I
know an illustration of this, which will bear a'
contrast with the fidelity of the dog.
On one occasion, a gentleman, mounted on
a favourite hunter, was returning home from a
jovial meeting, where he had been too liberal in
his potations, and thus destroyed his power of
preserving his equilibrium, and rendered him-
self at the same time somewhat drowsy. In
consequence, he had the misfortune to fall from
his saddle, but in so easy a manner, that it had
not the effect of rousing him from his sleepy
fit, and he felt quite content to repose where he
alighted. His faithful steed, instead of scam-
pering home, as one would have expected, stood
by his prostrate master, and kept a strict watch
over him. He lay thus till sunrise, when he
was discovered by some labourers, sleeping very
contentedly on a heap of stones by the road-side.


55






56


STORIES ABOUT HORSES.


Anxious to afford all the assistance they could,
they approached the gentleman, with the inten-
tion of replacing him on the saddle, but every
attempt to touch him was resolutely opposed by
the grinning teeth and ready heels of this faithful
and determined guardian.
Here is another story of the horse's attach-
ment to his master, and of its extreme docility.
At the table of a celebrated sportsman, in
the vicinity of Sunning, Berks, the conversation
happening to turn on the docility of the brute
creation, the worthy host offered a wager, that
his favourite hunter would, at his request, quit
its quarters in the stable, and follow him into
the dining-room. The bet was instantly ac-
cepted. He accordingly went to the stable,
and, having untied the animal, returned to the
company, closely followed by his quadruped
friend. Not contented with this display, he
proceeded to his bed-room, whither also he was
followed by his horse. Here, however, the
proofs of its obedient disposition ended, for






THE HUNTER. 57

neither entreaty nor force could prevail upon
him to descend the stairs, and in the bed-room
he insisted upon passing the night. In the
morning he manifested uthe same determination
not to retrace his steps, and, after all means of
entreaty and intimidation had been in vain re-
sorted to, his master was compelled to have a
breach made in the wall, through which the
steed was forced to leap upon the ground, where
a quantity of straw had been spread to receive
him. The descent was accomplished in safety;
but owing to the trouble and expense occasioned
by the visit, the owner declined for the future
inviting his favourite beyond the parlour."
I wonder how it managed to get up stairs,
Uncle Thomas; I did not know horses would
ascend stairs at all."
Oh, yes, Harry, they sometimes do; but
they do not always escape so well as the Berk-
shire steed. For instance: Early one morn-
ing, a horse belonging to Mr. Richard Cove, of
Cranwell, near Waddesdon, Bucks, slipped his






STORIES ABOUT HORSES.


halter off his head, and mounted, by a very nar-
row pair of stairs, into the hayloft, above the
stable. Having performed this unheard-of feat,
the floor gave way under his weight, and he fell
partly through the loft, his body hanging over
one of the beams, his legs through the boards,
and his head down into the rack. In the violent
struggles which he made to escape, he cut and
bruised himself so dreadfully, that when released,
his condition was most distressing.
The horse had finished his ration of hay,
and it is very clear, from every circumstance,
that he had mounted up into the loft, with a
design of serving a second course into the rack,
for the accommodation of himself and his asso-
ciates of the stable.' So says the narrator of
the story, Boys; but I am not quite so well
satisfied as he seems to be, that its motive for
this daring feat was other than a selfish one.
That the horse possesses much ingenuity is un-
doubted. For example, in a recent work of Lord
Brougham's, he tells of a horse which gained


58






THE HUNTER.


admittance to a certain pasture, by pressing
down the upright bar of the latch of a wicket,
exactly as would have been done by a man;
and I have heard of a hunter belonging to a
gentleman in Leeds, which, after having been
kept in the stable for some time, and being
turned out into the field, where there was a
pump well furnished with water, regularly
obtained a supply from it by his own dexterity.
For this purpose, he was observed to take the
handle into his mouth, and work it in a way
exactly similar to that done by the hand of a
man, until a sufficiency of water was collected in
the trough."
That was very singular, indeed, Uncle
Thomas."
In telling you about the hunter, Boys, I
have so far confined myself to stories of his
sagacity and docility; but, before leaving him,
I must tell you something about his speed, as
well as about the other qualifications which fit
him for the hunting-field."


59






STORIES ABOUT HORSES.


In a hunter, the power of leaping is an
essential qualification, in consequence of the
numerous obstacles which the inclosures of a
cultivated country oppose to their progress. Of
all the breeds of hunters, those of Ireland are
the most famous leapers. I have a story to tell
you about the leaping of an Irish hunter, but,
for a particular reason, I pass it by at present.
Here is an instance of the power of leaping,
which some of those animals possess :-
A horse belonging to a dealer in Birming-
ham made a leap of such an extraordinary cha-
racter, as caused the gentleman who witnessed
it to make an accurate measurement of the space
over which it passed. It was found, that in
leaping over a bar three feet six inches high, the
spring was taken at the amazing distance of
seventeen feet seven inches from it, and the
whole space of ground passed over was nine
yards and eight inches! The horse was fifteen
and a half hands high, and carried upwards of
twelve stone. He afterwards leaped over the


60






THE HUNTER.


same bar several times, and cleared upwards of
eight yards without much apparent effort."
Twenty-four feet, Uncle Thomas!"
Yes, Frank. His first leap I believe to be
unequalled; at least I never heard of one so
great. The only one which I know of that
comes at all near it is that of a horse belong-
ing to a gentleman at Limerick, which leaped
twenty-six feet in length, clearing at the same
time a hedge upwards of four feet high.
These are, perhaps, the most astonishing
leaps ever undertaken voluntarily; there have
been some leaps even more singular, but they
may be more properly classed as escapes, than
feats of power. Here is an instance:-
"In April, 1823, a grey mare, belonging to
Mr. Lawson, of -Larrington, near Barnardcastle,
being at Durham fair for sale, a person wishing
to purchase her agreed with Mr. Lawson's ser-
vant to ride her a little on the road between
Durham and Sunderland Bridge, by way of
trial; and while doing so, the mare being in


61






STORIES ABOUT HORSES.


high condition, ran away with him, at so furious
a rate, that on coming to the end of Sunderland
Bridge, she was not able to make the sharp turn
to go along the bridge, but leaped over the bat-
tlements, and both rider and mare were preci-
pitated into the river on the west side of the
bridge; and what is most unaccountable to
relate, both escaped with scarcely any injury.
The height of the bridge may be guessed from
the fact that vessels of four hundred tons burden
sail under it, by striking their top-gallant masts
only."
How very singular, Uncle Thomas."
I have one or two stories of the same de-
scription, Boys, which are the more striking,
because they illustrate the ever-watchful care of
God over his creatures. Before I proceed with
them, however, I must tell you of an extraordi-
nary leap, which was made by a horse which
had managed to escape from the groom who
had charge of him, in a seaport town in the
west of Scotland. Finding itself at liberty, it


62






THE HUNTER.


63


ran with all its speed in the direction of a dry
dock, and, being unable to restrain itself when
it came to the edge it leaped down, and lighted
on all-fours, on the flags with which the dock
was paved, a height of thirty-four feet. After
trotting about for some time on the bottom of
the dock, it again ascended, by means of the
very steep stairs by which it was surrounded."
I wonder it was not injured by the hard
flag-stones, Uncle Thomas."
It certainly was a surprising escape, Frank.
A very remarkable instance of the escape of a
horse and its rider, under circumstances similar
to those I told you of a few minutes ago, oc-
curred some years since. A young gentleman
riding between Ravenglass and Whitehaven, on
a spirited blood horse, passed a chaise which
caused the animal to take fright. It bolted off
at full gallop, and coming upon Egremont
Bridge (the middle of the battlements of which
presents nearly a right angle to the entrance
upon it), was going with such fury, that, unable






STORIES ABOUT HORSES.


to retrieve himself, he leaped sidelong upon the
battlements, which are upwards of four feet
high. The rider seeing it impossible to recover
his horse, and the improbability of saving either
of their lives had he floundered over head fore-
most, had presence of mind to strike him on
both sides with his spurs, and force him to take
a clear leap. Owing to this precaution he
alighted upon his feet, and the rider firmly kept
his seat, till reaching the bottom he leaped off.
When it is considered that the height of the
bridge is upwards of twenty feet and a half to
the top of the battlements, and that there was
not one foot depth of water in the bed of the
river where they alighted, it is really wonderful
that they were not both struck dead on the
spot. Yet neither the horse nor its rider were
disabled from immediately pursuing their jour-
ney.
An incident of the same kind occurred to
the celebrated Lord Herbert, which he tells in
these words:-' I will tell one more history


64






THE HUNTER.


of a horse, which I bought of my cousin
Fowler, of the Grange, because it is memorable.
I was passing over a bridge, not far from Cole-
brook, which had no barrier on the one side,
and a hole in the bridge not far from the middle !
My horse, though lusty, yet being very timorous,
and seeing besides but very little in the right
eye, started so much at the hole, that, upon a
sudden, he had put half his body lengthwise
over the side of the bridge, and was ready to
fall into the river with his fore-feet and hinder-
foot on the right side, when I, foreseeing the
danger I was in if I fell down, clapped my left
foot, together with the stirrup and spur, flat-
length the left side, and so made him leap upon
all-fours into the river, where, after some three
or four plunges, he brought me to land.' "
These were very fortunate escapes, indeed,
Uncle Thomas."
I have now pretty well exhausted my
stories about the hunter, Harry, and must stop
for the present; but I must not forget the one
F


65






STORIES ABOUT HORSES.


of the Irish groom, which I promised to tell
you.
Two grooms, drinking at a public-house
door, one of them, who was mounted upon his
master's hunter, which he had brought out for
exercise, boasted of its superior power of leap-
ing, when the other betted that the horse could
not clear a neighboring wall. The height,
viewed from the horse's back, was tremendous;
nevertheless, full to the brim with Irish mettle
and whiskey, Patrick offered the leap to his
horse standing. After a little hesitation, the
horse reluctantly refused the leap; on which
the irritated rider, turning about, and canter-
ing to a considerable distance, turned it again,
and with his riding switch cutting it about the
ears, ran it at the wall. The generous horse
would not refuse a second time, but made a
desperate leap, and, being incapable of overtop-
ping such an altitude, his fore-feet struck against
the summit; yet the violence of his exertion
carrying him over, he came to the ground on


66






THE HUNTER.


67


his head and fore-quarters, and broke both his
fore-legs in the fall: yet the fellow escaped
with only a few contusions. Owing to the ab-
sence of his proprietor, the poor animal was
kept several days in torture before he was
shot !"
That was very barbarous, indeed, Uncle
Thomas."
Good night, Boys! I am glad you feel the
cruelty of the groom, and hope you will take a
lesson by it never to task a generous animal
above his capacity."
Good night, Uncle Thomas !"






68






CHAPTER V.

UNCLE THOMAS TELLS ABOUT THE EXTRAORDINARY FEATS OF THE
COACH-HOBSE, AND ABOUT THE SPIRIT AND COURAGE OF THE
CHARG-ER.

" GooD evening, Boys! you are come just in
time. I have been admiring this nice little
picture of the coach-horse in his trappings."
He seems to be a fine spirited animal,
Uncle Thomas."
That I am sure he is, Frank, and equal, I
dare say, to some of the best feats recorded of
his race.
Have you any stories about the coach-horse,
Uncle Thomas ? "
Very few, Harry, and these principally
about its speed and endurance. Such exertions,
too, have mostly been made in consequence of





























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THE COACH-HORSE. 69

bets. For instance, in the year 1822, a -gentle-
man, named Houlston, made a match for fifty
guineas, to drive tandem fifteen miles in one
hour, and to trot the first seven miles. The
horses did the first four miles in eighteen minutes
and twenty-two seconds, and the-other three
in fourteen minutes eight seconds, leaving twenty-
seven minutes for the eight miles' gallop. The
horses did the eighth mile in three minutes
ten seconds, the next four in thirteen minutes
twelve seconds, and the remaining three miles
in ten minutes and fifty seconds, winning the
match by eighteen seconds. It was esteemed
by sportsmen a beautiful performance; and the
pacing of the horses at the gallop was a great
treat.
Here is another. In the same year Mr.
Ambrose undertook to drive, at a trot, fifteen
miles in one hour. The match took place over
a piece of turf of three miles on the Epping
road, for a stake of five hundred sovereigns.
The referees decided, with a third person as






70


STORIES ABOUT HORSES.


umpire, that it was won by rather more than a
second. The horse broke into a gallop in the
last mile, and was turned.
But perhaps the most extraordinary achieve-
ment of the kind, Boys, was one undertaken by
a gentleman named Giles, namely, to drive a
favourite mare twenty-eight miles in two hours.
The performance accordingly took place on Sun-
bury Common, and was won with the greatest
ease, in less than one hour and fifty-eight
minutes. The fame of the match, which was
eagerly watched by many thousands of spec-
tators, reached the Continent, and a gentleman
from the Netherlands came to England ex-
pressly for the purpose of purchasing the mare,
which he did, as well as the light and elegant
carriage in which she performed the match, at a
high price.
I know very well, Boys, that these stories
do not interest yon so much as some that I have
told you, so I will now take leave of the coach-
horse, and tell you something about the horse







THE COACH-HORSE.


71


which is generally used as a charger; but I
first must read to you an epitaph on a favourite
coach-horse, which is erected at Goathurst, near
Bridgewater, in Somersetshire, the seat of Sir
Charles Tynne, Bart. One likes to see the ser-
vices of a faithful and generous animal thus
appreciated. The tomb is decorated with the
various trappings and accoutrements with which
the favourite was commonly arrayed; and in
the centre is the following ingenious inscrip-
tion :-

"' To the memory of one who was remarkably steady, these
stones are erected. What he undertook, with spirit he accom-
plished: his deportment was graceful, nay, noble; the ladies ad-
mired and followed him; by application, he gained applause. His
abilities were so powerful, as to draw easily the divine, the lawyer,
and the statesman into his own smooth track. Had he lived in
the days of Charles I., the cavaliers would not have refused
his assistance; for, to the reins of due government he was always
obedient. He was always a favourite, yet at all times he felt the
wanton lash of lawless power. After a life of laborious servi-
tude, performed, like Clarendon's, with unimpeached fidelity, he,
like that great man, was turned out of employment, stript of his
trappings, without place or pension: yet, being endued with a
generous, forgiving temper, saint-like, not dreading futurity, he







72


STORIES ABOUT HORSES.


placidly met the hand appointed to be his assassin. Thus he died
-an example to all mortals under the wide expanded canopy of
Heaven.'
"I will now, Boys, tell you some stories
about the Charger; which is not, however, a
distinct breed of horses, but springs from the
same stock as the hunter and the coach-horse;
indeed, the qualities required for the charger
and the hunter are pretty much the same. Like
the hunter, he enters into the spirit of the field,
and,
When he hears from far
The sprightly trumpets and the shouts of war,
Pricks up his ears, and, trembling with delight,
Shifts place, and paws, and hopes the promised fight.
On his right shoulder his thick mane reclined,
Ruffles at speed, and dances in the wind:
Sudden he stops; then, starting with a bound,
He turns the turf, and shakes the solid ground;
Fire from his eyes, clouds from his nostrils flow,
He bears his rider headlong on the foe.'
"A very curious illustration of the force of
habit in well-trained troop-horses, occurred in
the case of those of a dragoon regiment, that
had been sent to grass in the West Riding of






THE CHARGER.


Yorkshire. One hot summer day, a tremen-
dous thunder-storm came on, when the horses,
occupying a large enclosure, were observed to
collect in a body, and, afterwards, 'form in a
line,' with as much regularity and exactness as
when exercised on a field-day ; and, whilst the
'thunder rolled its awful burden to the wind,'
and the lightning glared on every side, main-
tained their position during the continuance of
the storm, exhibiting one of the most magni-
ficent spectacles the mind can well conceive."
"Did they mistake it for a battle, Uncle
Thomas ?"
No doubt of it, Harry. Some of these
old campaigners are the most knowing animals
imaginable.
During the late war, a regiment of cavalry
was ordered to embark from Plymouth Dock
for the Peninsula. Amongst the horses was an
old campaigner, which had been, it was said,
more than once on the same errand, and ap-
peared to have made up his mind not to go on






74


STORIES ABOUT HORSES.


foreign service. In pursuance of this deter-
mination, he resisted, with all his might, every
attempt to sling him on board the ship, kicking
and plunging so furiously, that the men em-
ployed at length gave up the attempt in despair.
A resolute fellow of a sailor, seeing how the
matter stood, came forward, vowing he would
conquer him, and instantly grasped the horse
round the neck, with the design of fixing the
necessary apparatus: Jack, however, reckoned
without his host; the horse, by a sudden
plunge, shook him off, and, turning his heels,
gave him a severe kick, which laid him sprawl-
ing on the pavement, galloped off, and, after
making a circle round the assembled crowd,
returned to the spot where his antagonist lay,
and fairly hurled him into the water, whence he
was picked up by the crew of a boat which hap-
pened to be at hand.
"When no longer able for active service, it
is astonishing how long he retains his love for
the duties to which he has been accustomed.






THE CHARGER.


75


The poet Rogers, in the Pleasures of Memory,'
notices this:-
( And when the drum beats briskly in the gale,
The war-worn courser charges at the sound,
And with young vigour wheels the pasture ground.'
But I can give you one or two practical exam-
ples, which I am sure will amuse you.
Towards the end of last century, a farmer
in Ireland bought, at a sale of cast-off horses, an
old troop horse which was unfit for regimental
service. The animal being quiet, the farmer,
who lived in the neighbourhood of Dublin,
mounted his daughter on it, and sent her to
town with milk. She unluckily arrived at the
Exchange at the time when the soldiers were
relieving guard. The horse, hearing the music
to which he had been accustomed, became
ungovernable by his fair rider, and, trotting,
snuffing, and snorting, bolted into the Castle
Yard, with his rider and her milkpails, and
took its place in the midst of the ranks, to the
no small amusement of all present."






76


STORIES ABOUT HORSES.


That was very droll, Uncle Thomas !"
Another instance, somewhat of the same
kind, occurred in the neighbourhood of Edin-
burgh. Some squadrons of the Scots Greys
being out for exercise, the trumpets were ordered
to sound a halt, when a horse which was drag-
ging a cart of sand happened to be passing,
pricked up his ears, gave a loud neigh, and
rushed into the middle of one of the troops,
where he quietly took up his station, to the no
small annoyance of those in his immediate
neighbourhood. The unfortunate carter was
immediately assailed by the adjutant for his
carelessness; but the poor man protested that
he could not help it, as the horse had made an
instantaneous bolt from him, dragging the halter
out of his hands. He informed the adjutant,
that he supposed his horse had taken the troops
in question for some old comrades, as he had,
about two years before, bought him at a sale of
cast dragoon horses.
There is another story, Boys, which also






THE CHARGER.


77


shows how lasting is the impression which the
word of command makes upon the mind of the
animal :-
"c A gentleman riding on a strong, spirited
horse, passed a pedestrian on the slope of the
Downs, at Brighton, at nearly full speed. The
horse had formerly been a charger in the 10th
Royal Hussars, and the pedestrian, who had
known him when attached to that regiment,
instantly recognized him. In a loud and au-
thoritative tone, as the horse dashed by him, he
vociferated the commanding word 'HALT !' It
was a mandate to which the animal had been
trained, and he had not forgotten it. The check
it produced was as sudden as unexpected; the
rider, completely unprepared for such a shock,
was thrown over the horse's head, and alighted
on his back some yards in advance; as good
fortune would have it, without receiving any
material injury."
That was rather a dangerous experiment,
Uncle Thomas, was it not ?"







78


STORIES ABOUT HORSES.


It was so, indeed, Frank, and might have
been productive of the most serious conse-
quences. I will conclude my account of the
charger, by reading to you the epitaph on Sir
Ralph Abercromby's charger, which is buried
in the garden, under the south-west gallery at
Marsa, near Floriand, in the island of Malta.
C Alas, poor General!
Thy toils and broils, and scenes of war are o'er;
Alas, thou sleep'st to wake no more!'
C Here lies the celebrated charger of the late Lieutenant-Geeneral
Sir Ralph Abercromby, who was killed at the memorable battle of
Alexandria, 21st March, 1801, where this noble animal received, on
that glorious day, seven musket-balls and two sabre cuts, when he
afterwards became the property of John Watson, of Malta, who
placed this stone over his remains, in token of his rare services,
peculiar qualities, high spirit, and good temper.
This esteemed horse departed this life of miseries, September
12th, 1823, aged 36 years.
Sua cuique voluptas.'"






79


CHAPTER VI.
UNCLE THOMAS TELLS ABOUT THE HACKNEY, OR ROADSTER.

"THERE is another horse, which differs so little
from the charger, or the coach-horse, that I
think it as well to proceed with the few stories
I have to tell about him at once. The horse to
which I refer is called the hackney, or roadster,
and is generally used by persons who travel on
horseback."
I know the horse you mean very well, Uncle
Thomas; we frequently see gentlemen riding
them on the highway."
I am glad you know them so well, Boys,
as it will save me the trouble of describing it to
you, which I confess would be rather a difficult
task.
When hackneys have been long accustomed






80 STORIES ABOUT HORSES.

to the road, they sometimes become the most
knowing animals imaginable. Here is an ac-
count of one, which I lately saw in a Scotch
newspaper.
"'A friend of ours,' says the editor of the
Dumfries Courier,' who travels a good deal in
the course of the year, visiting in his rounds
many out of the way corners, where inns and
milestones are alike scarce, has a mare that
follows him like a pet dog, and fares very much
as he does himself. Her name is Jess, and
when a feed of corn is difficult to be got at, she
can make shift to breakfast, dine, or sup, on oat
or barley-cakes, seasoned with a slice from the
gudewife's cheese. Though her staple beverage
is drawn from the pump-trough, the crystal
well, or the running brook, she can tipple at
times as well as her betters, particularly when
the weather is either sultry and oppressively
hot, or disagreeably raw and cold. In the
warm days she prefers something cooling, and
very lately we had the honour of treating her to




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