The American Humane Education Society.
GEO. T. ANGELL, President.
JOSEPH L. STEVENS, cretar
HON. HENRY 0. HOUGHTON, Treasurer.
( PEACUHTON OFFN CRTH.)
7- KINDNESS, JUSTICE
E AMERICAN HUMANE EDUCATION SOCIETY.
The first Society of its kind in the World
GEO. T. ANGELL, President.
JOSEPH L. STEVENS, Secretary,
HON. HENRY 0. HOUGHTON, Treasurer.
(OF HOUGHTONS MIFFLIN & CO.)
THE AMERICAN HUMANE EDUCATION SOCIETY.
The first Society of its kind in the World.
The American Humane Education Society, the first of its kind in
the world, was incorporated as a National Society by Act of the Leg-
islature of Massachusetts, March, 1889, with power to hold half
a million of dollars free from taxation.
It received during itsfirst year in its permanent fund real estate
given by its president, valued at over three thousand dollars, and for
present and future use money given by persons in various States to
the amount of over eight thousand dollars more.
Its object is to carry humane education into all our American
schools and homes, and to found Humane Societies" and Bands
of Mercy" over the whole American Continent.
In its first year it founded in Western States fourteen new "Hu-
mane Societies" and four hundred and sixty-six new "Bands of
also to all American editors, for best essays on the Effect of Humane
Education on the Prevention of Crime; employed an active mission-
ary, and sent nearly a hundred thousand copies of humane publica-
tions into every State and Territory except Alaska.
Its directors are among our most respected citizens.
All persons wishing information as to what it has already done
and is proposing to do will receive prompt answers by writing.
GEO. T. ANGELL,
President of the American Humane Education Society, the Massachusetts
Societyfor the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, andtha iareni Amer-
ican Band of Mercy, eg Milk Street, Boston.
TON, A arch 1. 1890.
The American Humane Education Society.
RATES OF SOCIETY MEMBERSHIP :
Active Life -- $100.00
Associate Life 50.00
Active Annual 10.00
Associate Annual 5.00
All members receive "OUR DUMB ANIMALS" and
other publications free.
OFFICES OF THE SOCIETY:
GODDARD BUILDING, 19 MILK STREET,
COR. HAWLEY ST., BOSTON.
To those who wish to remember in their wills our "American
Humane Education Society I would say that the Trustees of the
Permanent Fund of the Society have a box in the Union Safe De-
posit Vaults, State Street, Boston, as has also the undersigned,
where such wills can be preserved, and where several wills already
made in favor of the Society are now deposited.
To guard against accident I recommend that all wills be executed
in duplicate or triplicate, and so kept in different places.
After a will is made it is very little cost or trouble to make one
or two copies, and execute all at the same time with same witnesses,
and in the last clause of each write that it is executed in duplicate or
triplicate, as the case may be.
All persons wishing to give property by will to the Society can
have their wills written without charge by applying to
GEO. T. ANGELL,
President of the American Humane Education Society, the Massa-
chusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and the
Parent American Band of Mercy, 19 Milk Street, Boston.
BOSTON, March I, 1890.
Killing Animals Humanely.
HUMANITY requires that animals be killed in the quick-
est and least painful manner. The following circular has
been sent by our AMERICAN HUMANE EDUCATION SocI-
ETY very widely through the country,
SHOOTING.-Place the pistol muzzle within a few inches
of the head, and shoot at the dot, aiming toward the centre
of the head.
BLOWS. Blindfold, and with a heavy axe or hammer
strike just below the foretop, at the point indicated in the
present cut. Two vigorous, well-directed blows will make
Be careful not to shoot or strike too low.
SHOOTING. -Place the pistol muzzle near the head,
aiming a little one side of the centre of the top of the
skull, and shoot downward at the dot, so that the bullet
shall go through the brain into or toward the neck.
Do not shoot too low or directly in the middle, because of
After much consultation with veterinary surgeons and
experts, no better or more merciful method of killing cats
has been found than to put, with a long-handled wooden
spoon, about half a teaspoonful of pure cyanide of potas-
sium on the cat's tongue, as near the throat as possible.
The suffering is only for a few seconds. Great care must
be used to get pure cyanide of potassium, and to keep it
For further information, when needed, write
GEO. T. ANGELL,
President of the American Humane Education Society,
the 1Massachusetts Societyfor the Prevention of Cru.
elty to Animals, and the Parent American Band of
Mercy, i9 Milk Street, Boston.
IN IJI DAX r1I IRNBYhR f
HIS GROOMS AND COMPANIONS
The "Uncle Tom's Cabin" of the Horse
D LOTHROP COMPANY
WASHINGTON STREET OPPOSITE BROMFIELD
ALPHABETICAL INDEX OF "BLACK BEAUTY.'
PREPARED BY JAMES A. BLAISDELL, OF BELOIT, WIS.
Bits, 38, 149.
Breaking in, well, 16-20, 99; badly, 32-37, 106.
Cab horses, overdriven, 171; standing in cold, 220.
Cab licenses, exorbitant, 194-196.
Check-rein, with, 38-41, 57, 58, 107-110; without, 41; in carting,
Cockneys, 137, etc.
Cruelty, effect of, 56-67, 191; interfering with, 96,191, 192.
Drink habit, in grooms, 119-123, 215, 216.
Driving, 48, 72; cruelty in, 56, 106, 137; tight rein, 132; loose
Exercise, necessity of, 151, 223.
Exhausted horses, treatment for, 235.
Feed, 63, 145, 204.
Fire, management of horses in, 77, 78.
Fright from railroad trains, to cure, 19.
Groom, training for, 68-71.
Grooming, 27, 28, 41; kindness in, 42, 43,103.
Heated horses, care for, 89; watering, 162.
Horse-balls, "Birtwick," 43.
Hunting, danger in, 12-15, 75, 128.
Instinct of horses, 61-63.
Killing horses, 200, 217.
Leg, length of, in affecting paces, 140.
Overdriving of cab horses, 171, 236; cart horses, 202; public re-
sponsible for, 203.
Overloading, 201, 227-230.
Shoes, 18; loose nails in, 121, 122.
Skittish and spirited horses, 31.
Stalls, 21, 22; slope in, 131 ; cleaning, 150; light in, 231.
Stones in hoof, 134, 135.
Stumbling, cause and cure, 151.
Sunday use of horses, 162, 177-182, 184-187.
Thrush, 151, 152.
War horses, 163-169.
Wounds, care of, 109; cut feet, 126; legs, 126.
Wornout horses, treatment for, 241.
The Riverside Press, Cambridge Mass., U. S. A.
Electrotyped and Printed by II. O. Houghton & Company.
INTRODUCTORY CHAPTER *. *
M EARLY HOME .
MY BREAKING IN .
A FAIR START
GINGER'S STORY CONTINUED
A TALK IN THE ORCHARD
A STORMY DAY
THE DEVIL'S TRADE MARK
THE OLD OSTLER
JOHN MANLY'S TALK .
GOING FOR THE DOCTOR .
ONLY IGNORANCE .
THE PARTING .
A STRIKE FOR LIBERTY
THE LADY ANNE, OR A RUNAWAY HORSE 111
REUBEN SMITH .
How IT ENDED .
RUINED, AND GOING DOWNHILL
A JOB HORSE AND HIS DRIVERS .
A HORSE FAIR
A LONDON CAB HORSE
AN OLD WAR HORSE
THE SUNDAY CAB
THE GOLDEN RULE.
DOLLY AND A REAL GENTLEMAN
THE BUTCHER .
A FRIEND IN NEED
OLD CAPTAIN AND HIS SUCCESSOR
JERRY'S NEW YEAR
XLVI. JAKES AND THE LADY. .227
XLVII. HARD TIMES 232
XLVIII. FARMER THOROUGHOOOD AND HIS GRANDSON
XLIX. MY LAST HOME 242
THE UNCLE TOM'S CABIN OF THE HORSE.
OR more than twenty years this thought
has been upon my mind.
Somebody must write a book which shall
be as widely read as "Uncle Tom's Cabin," and shall
have as widespread and powerful influence in abol-
ishing cruelty to horses, as "Uncle Tom's Cabin"
had on the abolition of human slavery.
Many times, by letter and word of mouth, I have
called the attention of American writers to this
matter and asked them to undertake it.
At last the book has come to me; not from
America, but from England, where already over
ninety thousand copies have been sold.
It was written by a woman, Anna Sewell.
It is the autobiography of an English horse, tell-
ing of kind masters and cruel, of happiness and of
suffering. I am glad to say that happiness predomi-
nates and finally triumphs.
I have read each of its two hundred and thirty-
eight beautifully printed pages from its cheerful
beginning to its happy end, and then called in the
Through the kind gifts of friends I am enabled to
pay $265 for having it electrotyped, and through the
kindness of another friend am enabled to print a
first edition of ten thousand, at the marvelously low
price of twelve cents each- to which must be added,
when sent by mail, eight cents for postage, etc.
As I have said, over ninety thousand copies have
been already sold in England.
I want to print immediately a hundred thousand
I want the power to give away thousands of these
to drivers of horses, and in public schools, and else-
I want to send a copy postpaid to the editors of
each of about thirteen thousand American newspa-
pers tid magazines.
I would be glad to have each reader of this paper,
who has ever loved or cared for a horse, send me as
large a check as he or she can afford, to be used in
the distribution of this book.
Every such check will be acknowledged in Our
Dumb Animals," and at once passed into the treas-
ury of our "American Humane Education Society,"
and be promptly used for the purpose for which it
I would be glad, if I had the means, to put a copy
of it in every home in America, for I am sure there
has never been a book printed in any language, the
reading of which will be more likely to inspire love
and kind care for these dumb servants and friends
who toil and die in our service. I hope to live
long enough to print and distribute a million copies.
THE TITLE OF THE BOOK IS "BLACK BEAUTY,
HIs GROOMS AND COMPANIONS."
GEO. T. ANGELL,
President of the American Humane Education Society, the
Massachusetts Society jbr the Prevention of Cruelty to
Animals, and the Parent American Band of Mercy,
19 Milk Street, Boston.
BOSTON, February 12, 1890.
MY EARLY HOME.
HE first place that I can well remember was a
large pleasant meadow with a pond of clear
water in it. Some shady trees leaned over
it, and rushes and water-lilies grew at the deep
end. Over the hedge on one side we looked into a
ploughed field, and on the other we looked over a
gate at our master's house, which stood by the road-
side; at the top of the meadow was a grove of fir
trees, and at the bottom a running brook overhung
by a steep bank.
Whilst I was young, I lived upon my mother's
milk, as I could not eat grass. In the daytime I
ran by her side, and at night I lay down close by
her. When it was hot, we used to stand by the
pond in the shade of the trees, and when it was
cold, we had a nice warm shed near the grove.
As soon as I was old enough to eat grass, my
mother used to go out to work in the daytime, and
come back in the evening.
There were six young colts in the meadow be-
sides me; they were older than I was; some were
nearly as large as grown-up horses. I used to run
with them, and had great fun; we used to gallop all
together round and round the field as hard as we
could go. Sometimes we had rather rough play,
for they would frequently bite and kick as well as
One day, when there was a good deal of kicking,
my mother whinnied to me to come to her, and then
she said, -
I wish you to pay attention to what I am going
to say to you. The colts who live here are very
good colts, but they are cart-horse colts, and of
course they have not learned manners. You have
been well-bred and well-born; your father has a
great name in these parts, and your grandfather
won the cup two years at the Newmarket races;
your grandmother had the sweetest temper of any
horse I ever knew, and I think you have never seen
me kick or bite. I hope you will grow up gentle
and good, and never learn bad ways; do your work
with a good will, lift your feet up well when you
trot, and never bite or kick even in play."
I have never forgotten my mother's advice; I
knew she was a wise old horse, and our master
thought a great deal of her. Her name was Duchess,
but he often called her Pet.
Our master was a good, kind man. He gave us
good food, good lodging, and kind words; he spoke
as kindly to us as he did to his little children. We
were all fond of him, and my mother loved him very
MY EARLY HOME.
much. When she saw him at the gate, she would
neigh with joy, and trot up to him. He would pat
and stroke her and say, "Well, old Pet, and how is
your little Darkie ?" I was a dull black, so he
called me Darkie; then he would give me a piece
of bread, which was very good, and sometimes he
brought a carrot for my mother. All the horses
would come to him, but I think we were his favor-
ites. My mother always took him to the town on
a market day in a light gig.
There was a ploughboy, Dick, who sometimes
came into our field to pluck blackberries from the
hedge. When he had eaten all he wanted, he would
have, what he called, fun with the colts, throwing
stones and sticks at them to make them gallop. We
did not much- mind him, for we could gallop off ; but
sometimes a stone would hit and hurt us.
One day he was at this game, and did not know
that the master was in the next field; but he was
there, watching what was going on; over the hedge
he jumped in a snap, and catching Dick by the arm,
he gave him such a box on the ear as made him roar
with the pain and surprise. As soon as we saw the
master, we trotted up nearer to see.what went on.
Bad boy!" he said, "bad boy! to chase the
colts. This is not the first time, nor the second,
but it shall be the last. There take your money
and go home; I shall not want you on my farm
again." So we never saw Dick any more. Old
Daniel, the man who looked after the horses, was
just as gentle as our master, so we were well off.
EFORE I was two years old, a circumstance
happened which I have never forgotten.
jll It was early in the spring; there had been
a little frost in the night, and a light mist still hung
over the woods and meadows. I and the other colts
were feeding at the lower part of the field when
we heard, quite in the distance, what sounded like
the cry of dogs. The oldest of the colts raised his
head, pricked his ears, and said, "There are the
hounds !" and immediately cantered off, followed by
the rest of us to the upper part of the field, where
we could look over the hedge and see several fields
beyond. My mother and an old riding horse of our
master's were also standing near, and seemed to
know all about it.
"They have found a hare," said my mother, and
if they come this way we shall see the hunt."
And soon the dogs were all tearing down the field
of young wheat next to ours. I never heard such a
noise as they made. They did not bark, nor howl,
nor whine, but kept on a yo yo, o, o yo yo, o,
o!" at the top of their voices. After them came a
number of men on horseback, some of them in green
coats, all galloping as fast as they could. The old
horse snorted and looked eagerly after them, and we
young colts wanted to be galloping with them, but
they were soon away into the fields lower down;
here it seemed as if they had come to a stand; the
dogs left off barking, and ran about every way with
their noses to the ground.
They have lost the scent," said the old horse;
"perhaps the hare will get off."
"What hare ? I said.
"Oh! I don't know what hare; likely enough it
may be one of our own hares out of the woods; any
hare they can find will do for the dogs and men to
run after;" and before long the dogs began their
"yo! yo, o, o!" again, and back they came alto-
gether at full speed, making straight for our meadow
at the part where the high bank and hedge overhang
"Now we shall see the hare," said my mother;
and just then a hare wild with fright rushed by, and
made for the woods. On came the dogs; they burst
over the bank, leapt the stream, and came dashing
across the field, followed by the huntsmen. Six or
eight men leaped their horses clean over, close upon
the dogs. The hare tried to get through the fence;
it was too thick, and she turned sharp round to
make for the road, but it was too late; the dogs
were upon her with their wild cries; we heard one
shriek, and that was the end of her. One of the
huntsmen rode up and whipped off the dogs, who
would soon have torn her to pieces. He held her
up by the leg torn and bleeding, and all the gentle-
men seemed well pleased.
As for me, I was so astonished that I did not at
first see what was going on by the brook; but when
I did look, there was a sad sight; two fine horses
were down, one was struggling in the stream, and
the other was groaning on the grass. One of the
riders was getting out of the water covered with
mud, the other lay quite still.
His neck is broke," said my mother.
"And serve him right, too," said one of the colts.
I thought the same, but my mother did not join
"Well, no," she said, "you must not say that;
but though I am an old horse, and have seen and
heard a great deal, I never yet could make out why
men are so fond of this sport; they often hurt
themselves, often spoil good horses, and tear up the
fields, and all for a hare, or a fox, or a stag, that they
could get more easily some other way; but we are
only horses, and don't know."
Whilst my mother was saying this, we stood and
looked on. Many of the riders had gone to the
young man; but my master, who had been watch-
ing what was going on, was the first to raise him.
His head fell back and his arms hung down, and
every one looked very serious. There was no noise
now ; even the dogs were quiet, and seemed to know
that something was wrong. They carried him to
our master's house. I heard afterwards that it was
young George Gordon, the Squire's only son, a fine,
tall young man, and the pride of his family.
There was now riding off in all directions to the
doctor's, to the farrier's, and no doubt to Squire
Gordon's, to let him know about his son. When
Mr. Bond, the farrier, came to look at the black
horse that lay groaning on the grass, he felt him
all over, and shook his head; one of his legs was
broken. Then some one ran to our master's house
and came back with a gun; presently there was a
loud bang and a dreadful shriek, and then all was
still; the black horse moved no more.
My mother seemed much troubled; she said she
had known that horse for years, and that his name
was "'Rob Roy;" he was a good horse, and there
was no vice in him. She never would go to that
part of the field afterwards.
Not many days after, we heard the church-bell
tolling for a long time; and looking over the gate
we saw a long strange black coach that was covered
with black cloth and was drawn by black horses;
after that came another and another and another,
and all were black, while the bell kept tolling,
tolling. They were carrying young Gordon to the
churchyard to bury him. He would never ride again.
What they did with Rob Roy I never knew; but
't was all for one little hare.
MY BREAKING IN.
WAS now beginning to grow handsome;
my coat had grown fine and soft, and was
bright black. I had one white foot, and a
pretty white star on my forehead. I was thought
very handsome; my master would not sell me till I
was four years old; he said lads ought not to work
like men, and colts ought not to work like horses
till they were quite grown up.
When I was four years old, Squire Gordon came
to look at me. He examined my eyes, my mouth,
and my legs; he felt them all down; and then I
had to walk and trot and gallop before him; he
seemed to like me, and said, "When he has been
well broken in, he will do very well." My master
said he would break me in himself, as he should not
like me to be frightened or hurt, and he lost no time
about it, for the next day he began.
Every one may not know what breaking in is,
therefore I will describe it. It means to teach a
horse to wear a saddle and bridle, and to carry on
his back a man, woman, or child; to go just the
way they wish, and to go quietly. Besides this, he
has to learn to wear a collar, a crupper, and a breech-
MY BREAKING IN.
ing, and to stand still whilst they are put on; then
to have a cart or a chaise fixed behind, so that he
cannot walk or trot without dragging it after him;
and he must go fast or slow, just as his driver
wishes. He must never start at what he sees, nor
speak to other horses, nor bite, nor kick, nor have
any will of his own; but always do his master's
will, even though he may be very tired or hungry;
but the worst of all is, when his harness is once on,
he may neither jump for joy nor lie down for wea-
riness. So you see this breaking in is a great thing.
I had of course long been used to a halter and a
headstall, and to be led about in the field and lanes
quietly, but now I was to have a bit and bridle; my
master gave me some oats as usual, and after a good
deal of coaxing he got the bit into my mouth, and
the bridle fixed, but it was a nasty thing! Those
who have never had a bit in their mouths cannot
think how bad it feels; a great piece of cold hard
steel as thick as a man's finger to be pushed into
one's mouth, between one's teeth, and over one's
tongue, with the ends coming out at the corner of
your mouth, and held fast there by straps over your
head, under your throat, round your nose, and under
your chin; so that no way in the world can you get
rid of the nasty hard thing; it is very bad! yes,
very bad! at least I thought so; but I knew my
mother always wore one when she went out, and all
horses did when they were grown up; and so, what
with the nice oats, and what with my master's pats,
kind words, and gentle ways, I got to wear my bit
Next came the saddle, but that was not half so
bad; my master put it on my back very gently,
whilst old Daniel held my head; he then made the
girths fast under my body, patting and talking to
me all the time; then I had a few oats, then a little
leading about; and this he did every day till I began
to look for the oats and the saddle. At length, one
morning, my master got on my back and rode me
round the m adow a the soft grass. It certainly
did feel queer; but I must say I felt rather proud
to carry my master, and as he continued to ride me
a little every day, I soon became accustomed to it.
The next pleasant business was putting on the
iron shoes; that too was very hard at first. My
master went with me to the smith's forge, to see
that I was not hurt or got any fright. The black-
smith took my feet 1 his hand, one after the other,
and at away some of the hoof. It did not pain me,
so I stood still on three legs till he had done them
all. Then he took a piece -f iron the shape of my
foot, and clapped it on, and drove some nails through
the shoe quite into my hoof, so that the shoe was
firmly on. My feet felt very stiff and heavy, but in
time I got used to it.
And now having got so far, my master went on to
break me to harness; there were more new things
to wear. First, a stiff heavy collar just on my neck,
and a bridle with great side-pieces against my eyes
called blinkers, and blinkers indeed they were, for I
could not see on either side, but only straight in
front of me; next, there was a small saddle with a
nasty stiff strap that went right under my tail; that
MY BREAKING IN.
was the crupper. I hated the crupper,- to have
my long tail doubled up and poked through that
strap was almost as bad as the bit. I never felt
more like kicking, but of course I could not kick
-such a good master, and so in time I got used to
everything, and could do my work as well as my
I must not forget to mention one part of my train-
ing, which I have always considered a very great
advantage. My master sent me for a fortnight to a
neighboring farmer's, who had a meadow which was
skirted on one side by the railway. Here were some
sheep and cows, and I was turned in amongst them.
I shall never forget the first train that ran by.
I was feeding quietly near the pales which sepa-
rated the meadow from the railway, when I heard
a strange sound at a distance, and before I knew
whence it came, with a rush and a clatter, and a
puffing out of smoke, a long black train of some-
thing flew by, and was gone almost before I could
draw my breath. I turned and galloped to the fur-
ther side of the meadow as fast as I could go, and
there I stood snorting with astonishment and fear.
In the course of the day many other trains went by,
some more slowly; these drew up at the station close
by, and sometimes made an awful shriek and groan
before they stopped. I thought it very dreadful, but
the cows went on eating very quietly, and hardly
raised their heads as the black frightful thing came
puffing and grinding past.
For the first few days I could not feed in peace;
but as I found that this terrible creature never came
into the field, or did me any harm, I began to dis-
regard it, and very soon I cared as little about the
passing of a train as the cows and sheep did.
Since then I have seen many horses much alarmed
and restive at the sight or sound of a steam engine;
but thanks to my good master's care, I am as fear-
less at railway stations as in my own stable.
Now if any one wants to break in a young horse
well, that is the way.
My master often drove me in double harness with
my mother, because she was steady and could teach
me how to go better than a strange horse. She told
me the better I behaved the better I should be
treated, and that it was wisest always to do my best
to please my master; "but," said she, "there are a
great many kinds of men; there are good, thought-
ful men like our master, that any horse may be
proud to serve; and there are bad, cruel men, who
never ought to have a horse or dog to call their own.
Beside, there are a great many foolish men, vain,
ignorant, and careless, who never trouble themselves
to think; these spoil more horses than all, just for
want of sense; they don't mean it, but they do it
for all that. I hope you will fall into good hands;
but a horse never knows who may buy him, or who
may drive him; it is all a chance for us; but still 1
say, do your best wherever it is, and keep up your
Tthis time I used to stand in the stable, and
my coat was brushed every day till it shone
like a rook's wing. It was early in May,
when there came a man from Squire Gordon's, who
took me away to the Hall. My master said, Good-
by, Darkie; be a good horse, and always do your
best." I could not say "good-by," so I put my
nose into his hand; he patted me kindly, and I left
my first home. As I lived some years with Squire
Gordon, I may as well tell something about the
Squire Gordon's park skirted the village of Birt-
wick. It was entered by a large iron gate, at which
stood the first lodge, and then you trotted along on
a smooth road between clumps of large old trees;
then another lodge and another gate, which brought
you to the house and the gardens. Beyond this lay
the home paddock, the old orchard, and the stables.
There was accommodation for many horses and car-
riages; but I need only describe the stable into
which I was taken; this was very roomy, with four
good stalls; a large swinging window opened into
the yard, which made it pleasant and airy.
The first stall was a large square one, shut in
behind with a wooden gate ; the others were common
stalls, good stalls, but not nearly so large; it had a
low rack for hay and a low manger for corn; it was
called a loose box, because the horse that was put
into it was not tied up, but left loose, to do as h(
liked. It is a great thing to have a loose box.
Into this fine box the groom put me; it was clean,
sweet, and airy. I never was in a better box than
that, and the sides were not so high but that I could
see all that went on through the iron rails that were
at the top.
He gave me some very nice oats, he patted me,
spoke kindly, and then went away.
When I had eaten my corn, I looked round. In
the stall next to mine stood a little fat gray pony,
with a thick mane and tail, a very pretty head, and
a pert little nose.
I put my head up to the iron rails at the top of
my box, and said, How do you do ? what is your
name ? "
He turned round as far as his halter would allow,
held up his head, and said, "My name is Merrylegs.
I am very handsome, I carry the young ladies on my
back, and sometimes I take our mistress out in the
low chair. They think a great deal of me, and so
does James. Are you going to live next door to me
in the box ? "
I said, "Yes."
Well, then," he said, "I hope you are good-tem-
pered; I do not like any one next door who bites."
Just then a horse's head looked over from the
stall beyond; the ears were laid back, and the eye
looked rather ill-tempered. This was a tall chestnut
mare, with a long handsome neck; she looked across
to me and said, -
So it is you who have turned me out of my box;
it is a very strange thing for a colt like you to come
and turn a lady out of her own home."
"I beg your pardon," I said, "I have turned no
one out; the man who brought me put me here, and
I had nothing to do with it; and as to my being a
colt, I am turned four years old, and am a grown-up
horse. I never had words yet with horse or mare,
and it is my wish to live at peace."
"Well," she said, "we shall see; of course I do
not want to have words with a young thing like
you." I said no more.
In the afternoon, when she went out, Merrylegs
told me all about it.
"The thing is this," said Merrylegs. "Ginger
has a bad habit of biting and snapping; that is why
they call her Ginger, and when she was in the loose
box, she used to snap very much. One day she bit
James in the arm and made it bleed, and so Miss
Flora and Miss Jessie, who are very fond of me,
were afraid to come into the stable. They used to
bring me nice things to eat, an apple or a carrot, or
a piece of bread, but after Ginger stood in that box,
they dared not come, and I missed them very much.
I hope they will now come again, if you do not bite
I told him I never bit anything but grass, hay,
and corn, and could not think what pleasure Ginger
24 BLACK BEAUTY.
"Well, I don't think she does find pleasure," says
Merrylegs ; "it is just a bad habit; she says no one
was ever kind to her, and why should she not bite ?
Of course it is a very bad habit; but I am sure, if
all she says be true, she must have been very ill-used
before she came here. John does all he can to
please her, and James does all he can, and our mas-
ter never uses a whip if a horse acts right; so I
think she might be good-tempered here; you see,"
he said with a wise look, "I am twelve years old; I
know a great deal, and I can tell you there is not a
better place for a horse all round the country than
this. John is the best groom that ever was, he has
been here fourteen years; and you never saw such a
kind boy as James is, so that it is all Ginger's own
fault that she did not stay in that box."
A FAIR START.
HE name of the coachman was John Manly;
he had a wife and one little child, and they
lived in the coachman's cottage, very near
The next morning he took me into the yard and
gave me a good grooming, and just as I was going
into my box, with my coat soft and bright, the
Squire came in to look at me, and seemed pleased.
" John," he said, I meant to have tried the new
horse this morning, but I have other business. You
may as well take him around after breakfast; go
by the common and the Highwood, and back by the
watermill and the river; that will show his paces."
I will, sir," said John. After breakfast he came
and fitted me with a bridle. He was very particular
in letting out and taking in the straps, to fit my
head comfortably; then he brought a saddle, but it
was not broad, enough for my back; he saw it in a
minute and went for another, which fitted nicely.
He rode me first slowly, then a trot, then a canter,
and when we were on the common he gave me a
light touch with his whip, and we had a splendid
"Ho, ho my boy," he said, as he pulled me up,
"you would like to follow the hounds, I think."
As we came back through the park we met the
Squire and Mrs. Gordon walking; they stopped, and
John jumped off.
"Well, John, how does he go ?"
"First-rate, sir," answered John; "he is as fleet
as a deer, and has a fine spirit too; but the lightest
touch of the rein will guide him. Down at the end
of the common we met one of those traveling carts
hung all over with baskets, rugs, and such like; you
know, sir, many horses will not pass those carts
quietly; he just took a good look at it, and then
went on as quiet and pleasant as could be. They
were shooting rabbits near the Highwood, and a gun
went off close by; he pulled up a little and looked,
but did not stir a step to right or left. I just held
the rein steady and did not hurry him, and it's my
opinion he has not been frightened or ill-used while
he was young."
"That's well," said the Squire, "I will try him
The next day I was brought up for my master. I
remembered my mother's counsel and my good old
master's, and I tried to do exactly what he wanted
me to do. I found he was a very good rider, and
thoughtful for his horse too. When he came home,
the lady was at the hall door as he rode up.
"Well, my dear," she said, "how do you like
him ? "
"He is exactly what John said," he replied; "a
pleasanter creature I never wish to mount. What
shall we call him ?"
"Would you like Ebony?" said she; "he is as
black as ebony."
A FAIR START.
"No, not Ebony."
"Will you call him Blackbird,' like your uncle's
old horse ?"
"No, he is far handsomer than old Blackbird ever
"Yes," she said, he is really quite a beauty, and
he has such a sweet good-tempered face and such
a fine intelligent eye what do you say to calling
him Black Beauty' ?"
Black Beauty why, yes, I think that is a very
good name. If you like, it shall be his name; and
so it was.
When John went into the stable, he told James
that master and mistress had chosen a good sensi-
ble English name for me, that meant something; not
like Marengo, or Pegasus, or Abdallah. They both
laughed, and James said, "If it was not for bring-
ing back the past, I should have named him Rob
Roy,' for I never saw two horses more alike."
"That's no wonder," said John; "did n't you
know that farmer Grey's old Duchess was the
mother of them both ? "
I had never heard that before; and so poor Rob
Roy who was killed at that hunt was my brother I
I did not wonder that my mother was so troubled.
It seems that horses have no relations; at least
they never know each other after they are sold.
John seemed very proud of me; he used to make
my mane and tail almost as smooth as a lady's hair,
and he would talk to me a great deal; of course I
did not understand all he said, but I learned more
and more to know what he meant, and what he
wanted me to do. I grew very fond of him, he was
so gentle and kind; he seemed to know just how a
horse feels, and when he cleaned me he knew the
tender places and the ticklish places when he
brushed my head, he went as carefully over my eyes
as if they were his own, and never stirred up any
James Howard, the stable boy, was just as gentle
and pleasant in his way, so I thought myself well
off. There was another man who helped in the
yard, but he had very little to do with Ginger and
A few days after this I had to go out with Ginger
in the carriage. I wondered how we should get on
together; but except laying her ears back when I
was led up to her, she behaved very well. She did
her work honestly, and did her full share, and I
never wish to have a better partner in double har-
ness. When we came to a hill, instead of slacken-
ing her pace, she would throw her weight right into
the collar, and pull away straight up. We had both
the same sort of courage at our work, and John had
oftener to hold us in than to urge us forward; he
never had to use the whip with either of us; then
our- paces were much the same, and I found it very
easy to keep step with her when trotting, which
made it pleasant, and master always liked it when
we kept step well, and so did John. After we had
been out two or three times together we grew quite
friendly and sociable, which made me feel very much
As for Merrylegs, he and I soon became great
A FAIR START.
friends; he was such a cheerful, plucky, good-tem-
pered little fellow, that he was a favorite with every
one, and especially with Miss Jessie and Flora, who
used to ride him about in the orchard, and have fine
games with him and their little dog Frisky.
Our master had two other horses that stood in an-
other stable. One was Justice, a roan cob, used for
riding, or for the luggage cart; the other was an old
brown hunter, named Sir Oliver; he was past work
now, but was a great favorite with the master, who
gave him the run of the park; he sometimes did
a little light carting on the estate, or carried one
of the young ladies when they rode out with their
father; for he was very gentle, and could be trusted
with a child as well as Merrylegs. The cob was
a strong, well-made, good-tempered horse, and we
sometimes had a little chat in the paddock, but of
course I could not be so intimate with him as with
Ginger, who stood in the same stable.
WAS quite happy in my new place, and if
there was one thing that I missed, it must
not be thought I was discontented; all who
had to do with me were good, and I had a light airy
stable and the best of food. What more could I
want ? Why, liberty For three years and a half of
my life I had had all the liberty I could wish for;
but now, week after week, month after month, and
no doubt year after year, I must stand up in a stable
night and day except when I am wanted, and then
I must be just as steady and quiet as any old horse
who has worked twenty years. Straps here and
straps there, a bit in my mouth, and blinkers over
my eyes. Now, I am not complaining, for I know
it must be so. I only mean to say that for a young
horse full of strength and spirits, who has be. used
to some large field or plain, where he can fling up
his head, and toss up his tail and gallop away at full
speed, then round and back again with a snort to his
companions, I say it is hard never to have a bit
more liberty to do as you like. Sometimes, when I
have had less exercise than usual, I have felt so full
of life and spring, that when John has taken me out
to exercise I really could not keep quiet; do what
I would, it seemed as if I must jump, or dance, or
prance, and many a good shake I know I must have
given him, specially at the first; but he was always
good and patient.
Steady, steady, my boy," he would say; wait a
bit, and we '11 have a good swing, and soon get the
tickle out of your feet." Then as soon as we were
out of the village, he would give me a few miles at
a spanking trot, and then bring me back as fresh as
before, only clear of the fidgets, as he called them.
Spirited horses, when not enough exercised, are often
called skittish, when it is only play; and some grooms
will punish them, but our John did not; he knew it
was only high spirits. Still, he had his own ways
of making me understand by the tone of his voice
or the touch of the rein. If he was very serious
and quite determined, I always knew it by his voice,
and that had more power with me than anything
else, for I was very fond of him.
I ought to say that sometimes we had our liberty
for a few hours; this used to be on fine Sundays in
the summer-time. The carriage never went out on
Sunday, because the church was not far off.
It was a great treat to us to be turned out into the
home paddock or the old orchard; the grass was so
cool and soft to our feet, the air so sweet, and the
freedom to do as we liked was so pleasant to gal-
lop, to lie down, and roll over on our backs, or to
nibble the sweet grass. Then it was a very good
time for talking, as we stood together under the
shade of the large chestnut tree.
NE day when Ginger and I were standing
alone in the shade, we had a great deal of
talk; she wanted to know all about my
bringing up and breaking in, and I told her.
Well," said she, if I had iad your bringing up,
I might have had as good a temper as you, but now
I don't believe I ever shall."
"Why not? "I said.
Because it has been all so different with me,"
she replied. "I never had any one, horse or man,
that was kind to me, or that I cared to please, for in
the first place I was taken from my mother as soon
as I was weaned, and put with a lot of other young
colts; none of them cared for me, and I cared for
none of them. There was no kind master like yours
to look after me, and talk to me, and bring me nice
things to eat. The man that had the care of us never
gave me a kind word in my life. I do not mean that
he ill-used me, but he did not care for us one bit
further than to see that we had plenty to eat, and
shelter in the winter. A footpath ran through our
field, and very often the great boys passing through
would fling stones to make us gallop. I was never
hit, but one fine young colt was badly cut in the
4 '"`1 :
face, and I should think it would be a scar for life.
We did not care for them, but of course it made us
more wild, and we settled it in our minds that boys
were our enemies. We had very good fun in the
free meadows, galloping up and down and chasing
each other round and round the field; then standing
still under the shade of the trees. But when it came
to breaking in, that was a bad time for me; several
men came to catch me, and when at last they closed
me in at one corner of the field, one caught me by
the forelock, another caught me by the nose and held
it so tight I could hardly draw my breath; then
another took my under jaw in his hard hand and
wrenched my mouth open, and so by force they got
on the halter and the bar into my mouth; then one
dragged me along by the halter, another flogging be-
hind, and this was the first experience I had of
men's kindness; it was all force. They did not give
me a chance to know what they wanted. I was high
bred and had a great deal of spirit, and was very
wild, no doubt, and gave them, I dare say, plenty of
trouble, but then it was dreadful to be shut up in a
stall day after day instead of having my liberty, and
I fretted and pined and wanted to get loose. You
know yourself it's bad enough when you have a
kind master and plenty of coaxing, but there was
nothing of that sort for me.
"There was one the old master, Mr. Ryder--
who, I think, could soon have brought me round, and
could have done anything with me; but he had given
up all the hard part of the trade to his son and to
another experienced man, and he only came at times
to oversee. His son was a strong, tall, bold man;
they called him Samson, and he used to boast that
he had never found a horse that could throw him.
There was no gentleness in him, as there was in his
father, but only hardness, a hard voice, a hard eye,
a hard hand; and I felt from the first that what
he wanted was to wear all the spirit out of me, and
just make me into a quiet, humble, obedient piece of
horse-flesh. Horse-flesh!' Yes, that is all that he
thought about," and Ginger stamped her foot as if
the very thought of him made her angry. Then she
went on: -
"If I did not do exactly what he wanted, he would
get put out, and make me run round with that long
rein in the training field till he had tired me out. I
think he drank a good deal, and I am quite sure that
the oftener he drank the worse it was for me. One
day he had worked me hard in every way he could,
and when I laid down I was tired, and miserable,
and angry; it all seemed so hard. The next morn-
ing he came for me early, and ran me round again
for a long time. I had scarcely had an hour's rest,
when he came again for me with a saddle and bridle
and a new kind of bit. I could never quite tell how
it came about; he had only just mounted me on the
training ground, when something I did put him out
of temper, and he chucked me hard with the rein.
The new bit was very painful, and I reared up sud-
denly, which angered him still more, and he began
to flog me. I felt my whole spirit set against
him, and I began to kick, and plunge, and rear as I
had never done before, and we had a regular fight;
for a long time he stuck to the saddle and punished
me cruelly with his whip and spurs, but my blood
was thoroughly up, and I cared for nothing he could
do if only I could get him off. At last after a ter-
rible struggle, I threw him off backwards. I heard
him fall heavily on the turf, and without looking be-
hind me, I galloped off to the other end of the field;
there I turned round and saw my persecutor slowly
rising from the ground and going into the stable. I
stood under an oak tree and watched, but no one
came to catch me. The time went on, and the sun
was very hot; the flies swarmed round me and settled
on my bleeding flanks where the spurs had dug in.
I felt hungry, for I had not eaten since the early
morning, but there was not enough grass in that
meadow for a goose to live on. I wanted to lie
down and rest, but with the saddle strapped tightly
on, there was no comfort, and there was not a drop
of water to drink. The afternoon wore on, and the
sun got low. I saw the other colts led in, and I
knew they were having a good feed.
At last, just as the sun went down, I saw the
old master come out with a sieve in his hand. He
was a very fine old gentleman with quite white hair.
but his voice was what I should know him by
amongst a thousand. It was not high, nor yet low,
but full, and clear, and kind, and when he gave or,
ders it was so steady and decided, that every one
knew, both horses and men, that he expected to be
obeyed. He came quietly along, now and then
shaking the oats about that he had in the sieve, and
speaking cheerfully and gently to me: Come along,
lassie, come along, lassie; come along, come along.'
I stood still and let him come up; he held the oats
to me, and I began to eat without fear; his voice
took all my fear away. He stood by, patting and
stroking me whilst I was eating, and seeing the
clots of blood on my side he seemed very vexed.
'Poor lassie! it was a bad business, a bad business '
then he quietly took the rein and led me to the
stable; just at the door stood Samson. I laid my
ears back and snapped at him. Stand back,' said
the master, 'and keep out of her way; you've done
a bad day's work for this filly.' He growled out
something about a vicious brute. 'Hark ye,' said
the father, 'a bad-tempered man will never make a
good-tempered horse. You 've not learned your
trade yet, Samson.' Then he led me into my box,
took off the saddle and bridle with his own hands,
and tied me up; then he called for a pail of warm
water and a sponge, took off his coat, and while the
stable-man held the pail, he sponged my sides a
good while, so tenderly that I was sure he knew how
sore and bruised they were. 'Whoa! my pretty
one,' he said, 'stand still, stand still.' His very
voice did me good, and the bathing was very comfort-
able. The skin was so broken at the corners of my
mouth that I could not eat the hay, the stalks hurt
me. He looked closely at it, shook his head, and
told the man to fetch a good bran mash and put
some meal into it. How good that mash was and
so soft and healing to my mouth. He stood by all
the time I was eating, stroking me and talking to
the man. 'If a high-mettled creature like this,'
said he, 'can't be broken in by fair means, she will
never be good for anything.'
After that he often came to see me, and when
my mouth was healed, the other breaker, Job, they
called him, went on training me; he was steady and
thoughtful, and I soon learned what he wanted."
GINGER'S STORY CONTINUED.
HE next time that Ginger and I were to-
gether in the paddock, she told me about
I her first place.
"After my breaking in," she said, "I was bought
by a dealer to match another chestnut horse. For
some weeks he drove us together, and then we were
sold to a fashionable gentleman, and were sent up
to London. I had been driven with a check-rein by
the dealer, and I hated it worse than anything else;
but in this place we were reined far tighter; the
coachman and his master thinking we looked more
stylish so. We were often driven about in the Park
and other fashionable places. You who never had
a check-rein on don't know what it is, but I can
tell you it is dreadful.
"I like to toss my head about, and hold it as
high as any horse; but fancy now yourself, if you
tossed your head up high and were obliged to hold it
there, and that for hours together, not able to move
it at all, except with a jerk still higher, your neck
aching till you did not know how to bear it. Besides
that, to have two bits instead of one; and mine was
a sharp one; it hurt my tongue and my jaw, and the
blood from my tongue colored the froth that kept
GINGER'S STORY CONTINUED. 39
flying from my lips, as I chafed and fretted at the
bits and rein. It was worst when we had to stand
by the hour waiting for our mistress at some grand
party or entertainment; and if I fretted or stamped
with impatience, the whip was laid on. It was
enough to drive one mad."
Happy Horse No Blinders or Check-Rein.
"Did not your master take any thought for you ? "
No," said she, he only cared to have a stylish
turn-out, as they call it; I think he knew very little
about horses; he left that to his coachman, who told
him I had an irritable temper; that I had not been
well broken to the check-rein, but I should soon
get used to it; but he was not the man to do it, for
when I was in the stable, miserable and angry,
instead of being soothed and quieted by kindness,
I got only a surly word or a blow. If he had been
civil, I would have tried to bear it. I was willing
to work, and ready to work hard too; but to be tor-
mented for nothing but their fancies angered me.
What right had they to make me suffer like that ?
Besides the soreness in my mouth, and the pain in
my neck, it always made my windpipe feel bad, and
if I had stopped there long, I know it would have
spoiled my breathing; but I grew more and more
GINGER'S STORY CONTINUED.
restless and irritable, I could not help it; and I
began to snap and kick when any one came to har-
ness me; for this the groom beat me, and one day,
as they had just buckled us into the carriage, and
were straining my head up with that rein, I began
to plunge and kick with all my might. I soon
broke a lot of harness, and kicked myself clear; so
that was an end of that place.
"After this, I was sent to Tattersall's to be sold;
of course I could not be warranted free from vice,
so nothing was said about that. My handsome ap-
pearance and good paces soon brought a gentleman
to bid for me, and I was bought by another dealer;
he tried me in all kinds of ways and with different
bits, and he soon found out what I could not bear.
At least he drove me quite without a check-rein,
and then sold me as a perfectly quiet horse to a
gentleman in the country; he was a good master,
and I was getting on very well, but his old groom
left him and a new one came. This man was as
hard-tempered and hard-handed as Samson; he al-
ways spoke in a rough, impatient voice, and if I did
not move in the stall the moment he wanted me, he
would hit me above the hocks with his stable broom
or the fork, whichever he might have in his hand.
Everything he did was rough, and I began to hate
him; he wanted to make me afraid of him, but I
was too high-mettled for that, and one day when
he had aggravated me more than usual, I bit him,
which of course put him in a great rage, and he
began to hit me about the head with a riding whip.
After that, he never dared to come into my stall
again; either my heels or my teeth were ready for
him, and he knew it. I was quite quiet with my
master, but of course he listened to what the man
said, and so I was sold again.
"The same dealer heard of me, and said he
thought he knew one place where I should do well.
"T was a pity,' he said, 'that such a fine horse
should go to the bad, for want of a real good
chance,' and the end of it was that I came here not
long before you did; but I had then made up my
mind that men were my natural enemies, and that
I must defend myself. Of course it is very different
here, but who knows how long it will last ? I wish
I could think about things as you do; but I can't,
after all I have gone through."
"Well," I said, I think it would be a real shame
if you were to bite or kick John or James."
"I don't mean to," she said, while they are good
to me. I did bite James once pretty sharp, but John
said, 'Try her with kindness,' and instead of pun-
ishing me as I expected, James came to me with his
arm bound up, and brought me a bran mash and
stroked me; and I have never snapped at him since,
and I won't, either."
I was sorry for Ginger, but of course I knew very
little then, and I thought most likely she made the
worst of it; however, I found that as the weeks
went on, she grew much more gentle and cheerful,
and had lost the watchful, defiant look that she
used to turn on any strange person who came near
her; and one day James said, "I do believe that
mare is getting fond of me, she quite whinnied after
GINGER'S STORY CONTINUED.
me this morning when I had been rubbing her fore-
Aye, aye, Jim, 't is the Birtwick balls,'" said
John, she '11 be as good as Black Beauty by and
by; kindness is all the physic she wants, poor
thing!" Master noticed the change, too, and one
day when he got out of the carriage and came to
speak to us, as he often did, he stroked her beauti-
ful neck. "Well, my pretty one, well, how do things
go with you now ? you are a good bit happier than
when you came to us, I think."
She put her nose up to him in a friendly, trustful
way, while he rubbed it gently.
"We shall make a cure of herj John," he said.
Yes, sir, she's wonderfully improved; she's not
the same creature that she was; it's 'the Birtwick
balls,' sir," said John, laughing.
This was a little joke of John's; he used to say
that a regular course of "the Birtwick horse-balls"
would cure almost any vicious horse; these balls,
he said, were made up of patience and gentleness,
firmness and petting, one pound of each to be mixed
up with half a pint of common sense, and given to
the horse every day.
R. BLOMEFIELD, the Vicar, had a large
family of boys and girls; sometimes they
used to come and play with Miss Jessie and
Flora. One of the girls was as old as Miss Jessie;
two of the boys were older, and there were several
little ones. When they came, there was plenty of
work for Merrylegs, for nothing pleased them so
much as getting on him by turns and riding him all
about the orchard and the home paddock, and this
they would do by the hour together.
One afternoon he had been out with them a long
time, and when James brought him in and put on
his halter, he said, -
"There, you rogue, mind how you behave your-
self, or we shall get into trouble."
What have you been doing, Merrylegs ?" I
"Oh!" shid he, tossing his little head, "I have
only been giving those young people a lesson; they
did not know when they had had enough, nor when
I had had enough, so I just pitched them off back-
wards; that was the only thing they could under-
"What ?" said I, "you threw the children off ? I
M ERRY LEGS.
thought you did know better than that! Did you
throw Miss Jessie or Miss Flora ?"
He looked very much offended, and said, -
"Of course not; I would not do such a thing for
the best oats that ever came into the stable; why,
I am as careful of our young ladies as the master
could be, and as for the little ones, it is I who teach
them to ride. When they seem frightened or a little
unsteady on my back, I go as smooth and as quiet
as old pussy when she is after a bird; and when
they are all right I go on again faster, you see, just
to use them to it; so don't you trouble yourself
preaching to me; I am the best friend and the best
riding master those children have. It is not them,
it is the boys; boys," said he, shaking his mane,
"are quite different; they must be broken in, as
we were broken in when we were colts, and just be
taught what's what. The other children had ridden
me about for nearly two hours, and then the boys
thought it was their turn, and so it was, and I was
quite agreeable. They rode me by turns, and I gal-
loped them about, up and down the fields and all
about the orchard, for a good hour. They had each
cut a great hazel stick for a riding whip, and laid it
on a little too hard; but I took it in good part, till
at last I thought we had had enough, so I stopped
two or three times by way of a hint. Boys, you see,
think a horse or pony is like a steam engine or a
thrashing machine, and can go on as long and as fast
as they please; they never think that a pony can
get tired, or have any feelings; so as the one who
was whipping me -could not understand, I just rose
46 BLACK BEAUTY.
up on my hind legs and let him slip off behind, -
that was all; he mounted me again, and I did the
same. Then the other boy got up, and as soon as he
began to use his stick I laid him on the grass, and
so on, till they were able to understand, that was
all. They are not bad boys; they don't wish to be
cruel. I like them very well; but you see I had
to give them a lesson. When they brought me to
James and told him, I think he was very angry to
see such big sticks. He said they were only fit for
drovers or gypsies, and not for young gentlemen."
If I had been you," said Ginger, "I would have
given those boys a good kick, and that would have
given them a lesson."
"No doubt you would," said Merrylegs; "but then
I am not quite such a fool (begging your pardon) as
to anger our master or make James ashamed of me;
besides, those children are under my charge when
they are riding; I tell you they are entrusted to
me. Why, only the other day I heard our master
say to Mrs. Blomefield, My dear madam, you need
not be anxious about the children, my old Merry-
legs will take as much care of them as you or I
could; I assure you I would not sell that pony for
any money, he is so perfectly good-tempered and
trustworthy;' and do you think I am such an un-
grateful brute as to forget all the kind treatment I:
have had here for five years, and all the trust they
place in me, and turn vicious because a couple of
ignorant boys used me badly ? No, no! you never
had a good place where they were kind to you, and
so you don't know, and I'm sorry for you; but I can
tell you good places make good horses. I would n't
vex our people for anything; I love them, I do,"
said Merrylegs, and he gave a low "ho, ho, ho,"
through his nose, as he used to do in the morning
when he heard James's footstep at the door.
"Besides," he went on, "if I took to kicking,
where should I be ? Why, sold off in a jiffy, and
no character, and I might find myself slaved about
under a butcher's boy, or worked to death at some
seaside place where no one cared for me, except to
find out how fast I could go, or be flogged along in
some cart with three or four great men in it going
out for a Sunday spree, as I have often seen in the
place I lived in before I came here; no," said he,
shaking his head, "I hope I shall never come to
A TALK IN THE ORCHARD.
INGER and I were not of the regular tall
carriage horse breed, we had more of the
racing blood in us. We stood about fifteen
and a half .hands high; we were therefore just as
good for riding as we were for driving, and our mas-
ter used to say that he disliked either horse or man
that could do but one thing; and as he did not want
to show off in London parks, he preferred a more
active and useful kind of horse. As for us, our
greatest pleasure was when we were saddled for a
riding party; the master on Ginger, the mistress on
me, and the young ladies on Sir Oliver and Merry-
legs. It was so cheerful to be trotting and can-
tering all together, that it always put us .in high
spirits. I had the best of it, for I always carried
the mistress; her weight was little, her voice was
sweet, and her hand was so light on the rein, that
I was guided almost without feeling it.
Oh! if people knew what a comfort to horses a
light hand is, and how it keeps a good mouth and a
good temper, they surely would not chuck, and drag,
and pull at the rein as they often do. Our mouths
are so tender, that where they have not been spoiled
or hardened with bad or ignorant treatment, they
A TALK IN THE ORCHARD.
feel the slightest movement of the driver's hand,
and we know in. an instant what is required of us.
My mouth had never been spoiled, and I believe
that was why the mistress preferred me to Ginger,
although her paces were certainly quite as good.
She used often to envy me, and said it was all the
fault of breaking in, and the gag bit in London, that
her mouth was not so perfect as mine; and then
old Sir Oliver would say, "There, there don't vex
yourself; you have the greatest honor; a mare that
can carry a tall man of our master's weight, with
all your spring and sprightly action, does not need
to hold her head down because she does not carry
the lady; we horses must take things as they come,
and always be contented and willing so long as we
are kindly used."
I had often wondered how it was that Sir Oliver
had such a very short tail; it really was only six or
seven inches long, with a tassel of hair hanging from
it; and on one of our holidays in the orchard I ven-
tured to ask him by what accident it was that he
had lost his tail. "Accident!" he snorted with a
fierce look, "it was no accident! it was a cruel,
shameful, cold-blooded act/ When I was young I
was taken to a place where these cruel things were
done; I was tied up, and made fast so that I could
not stir, and then they came and cut off my long
beautiful tail, through the flesh and through the
bone, and took it away."
"How dreadful!" I exclaimed.
"Dreadful, ah! it was dreadful; but it was not
only the pain, though that was terrible and lasted a
long time; it was not only the indignity of having
my best ornament taken from me, though that was
bad; but it was this, how could I ever brush the flies
off my sides and my hind legs any more? You who
have tails just whisk the flies off without thinking
about it, and you can't tell what a torment it is to
have them settle upon you and sting and sting,and
have nothing in the world to lash them off with. I
tell you it is a life-long wrong, and a life-long loss;
but thank Heaven, they don't do it now."
S"What did they do it for then ? said Ginger.
"For fashion said the old horse with a stamp
of his foot; "for fashion! if you know what that
means; there was not a well-bred young horse in my
time that had not his tail docked in that shameful
way, just as if the good God that made us did not
know what we wanted, and what looked best."
"I suppose it is fashion that makes them strap
our heads up with those horrid bits that I was tor-
tured with in London," said Ginger.
Of course it is," said he; "to my mind, fashion
is one of the wickedest things in the world. Now
look, for instance, at the way they serve dogs, cut-
ting off their tails to make them look plucky, and
shearing up their pretty little ears to a point to
make them look sharp, forsooth. I had a dear
friend once, a brown terrier; Skye' they called her.
She was so fond of me that she never would sleep
out of my stall; she made her bed under the manger,
and there she had a litter of five as pretty little
puppies as need be; none were drowned, for they
were a valuable kind, and how pleased she was with
A TALK IN THE ORCHARD.
them! and when they got their eyes open and
crawled about, it was a real pretty sight; but one
day the man came and took them all away; I
thought he might be afraid I should tread upon
them. But it was not so; in the evening poor Skye
brought them back again, one by one in her mouth;
not the happy little things that they were, but
bleeding and crying pitifully; they had all had a
piece of their tails cut off, and the soft flap of their
pretty little ears was cut quite off. How their
mother licked them, and how troubled she was, poor
thing! I never forgot it. They healed in time, and
they forgot the pain, but the nice soft flap that of
course was intended to protect the delicate part of
their ears from dust and injury, was gone forever.
Why don't they cut their own children's ears into
points to make them look sharp ? why don't they cut
the end off their noses to make them look plucky ?
one would be just as sensible as the other. What
right have they to torment and disfigure God's crea-
Sir Oliver, though he was so gentle, was a fiery
old fellow, and what he said was all so new to me,
and so dreadful, that I found a bitter feeling toward
Smen rise up in my mind that I never had before.
Of course Ginger was very much excited; she flung
up her head with flashing eyes and distended nos-
trils, declaring that men were both brutes and block-
S "Who talks about blockheads ? said Merrylegs,
who just came up from the old apple tree, where he
had been rubbing himself against the low branch
"Who talks about blockheads ? I believe that is a
Bad words were made for bad things," said Gin-
ger, and she told him what Sir Oliver had said.
It is all true," said Merrylegs sadly, "and I've
seen that about the dogs over and over again where
I lived first; but we won't talk about it here. You
know that master, and John, and James are always
good to us, and talking against men in such a place
as this does n't seem fair or grateful, and you know
there are good masters and good grooms beside ours,
though of course ours are the best."
This wise speech of good little Merrylegs, which
we knew was quite true, cooled us all down, es-
pecially Sir Oliver, who was dearly fond of his mas-
ter; and to turn the subject I said, "Can any one
tell me the use of blinkers ?"
No !" said Sir Oliver shortly, "because they are
"They are supposed," said Justice, the roan cob,
in his calm way, to prevent horses from shying and
starting, and getting so frightened as to cause acci-
Then what is the reason they do not put them on
riding horses; especially on ladies' horses ?" said I.
"There is no reason at all," said he quietly, "ex-
cept the fashion; they say that a horse would be so
frightened to see the wheels of his own cart or car-
riage coming behind him, that he would be sure to
run away, although of course when he is ridden he
sees them all about him if the streets are crowded.
I admit they do sometimes come too close to be
A TALK IN THE ORCHARD.
pleasant, but we don't run away; we are used to it,
and understand it, and if we never had blinkers put
on we should never want them; we should see what
was there, and know what was what, and be much
less frightened than by only seeing bits of things
that we can't understand. Of course there may be
some nervous horses who have been hurt or fright-
ened when they were young, who may be the better
for them; but as I never was nervous, I can't judge."
"I consider" said Sir Oliver, "that blinkers are
dangerous things in the night; we horses can see
much better in the dark than men can, and many an
accident would never have happened if horses might
have had the full use of their eyes. Some years
ago, I remember, there was a hearse with two horses
returning one dark night, and just by farmer Spar-
row's house, where the pond is close to the road, the
wheels went too near the edge, and the hearse was
overturned into the water; both the horses were
drowned, and the driver hardly escaped. Of course
after this accident a stout white rail was put up that
might be easily seen, but if those horses had not been
partly blinded, they would of themselves have kept
farther from the edge, and no accident would have
happened. When our master's carriage was over-
turned, before you came here, it was said, that if
the lamp on the left side had not gone out, John
would have seen the great hole that the road makers
had left; and so he might, but if old Colin had not
had blinkers on, he would have seen it, lamp or no
lamp, for he was far too knowing an old horse to
run into danger. As it was, he was very much hurt,
the carriage was broken, and how John escaped no
I should say," said Ginger, curling her nostril,
"that these men, who are so wise, had better give
orders that in future all foals should be born with
their eyes set just in the middle of their foreheads,
instead of on the side; they always think they can
improve upon nature and mend what God has,
Things were getting rather sore again, when M~er-
rylegs held up his knowing little face and said, "I '11
tell you a secret: I believe John does not approve
of blinkers; I heard him talking with master about
it one day. The master said, that 'if horses had
been used to ther-, it might be dangerous in some
cases to leave them off;' and John said he thought
it would be a good thing if all colts were broken in
without blinkers, as was the case in some foreign
countries. So let us cheer up, and have a run to
the other end of the orchard; I believe the wind
has blown down some apples, and we might just as
well eat them as the slugs."
Merrylegs could not be resisted, so we broke off
our long conversation, and got up our spirits by
munching some very sweet apples which lay scat.
tered on the grass.
HE longer I lived at Birtwick, the more
proud and happy I felt at having such a
place. Our master and mistress were re-
spected and beloved by all who knew them; they
were good and kind to everybody and everything;
not only men and women, but horses and donkeys,
dogs and cats, cattle and birds; there was no op-
pressed or ill-used creature that had not a friend
in them, and their servants took the same tone. If
any of the village children were known to treat any
creature cruelly, they soon heard about it from the
The Squire and farmer Grey had worked together,
as they said, for more than twenty years, to get
check-reins on the cart horses done away with,
and in our parts you seldom saw them; and some-
times if mistress met a heavily laden horse, with his
head strained up, she would stop the carriage and
get out, and reason with the driver in her sweet
serious voice, and try to show him how foolish and
cruel it was.
I don't think any man could withstand our mis-
tress. I wish all ladies were like her. Our master,
too, used to come down very heavy sometimes. I
remember he was riding me towards home one morn-
ing, when we saw a powerful man driving towards
us in a light pony chaise, with a beautiful little bay
pony, with slender legs, and a high-bred sensitive
head and face. Just as he came to the park gates,
the little thing turned towards them; the man,
without word or warning, wrenched the creature's
head round with such a force and suddenness, that
he nearly threw it on its haunches; recovering it-
self, it was going on, when he began to lash it furi-
ously; the pony plunged forward, but the strong
heavy hand held the pretty creature back with force
almost enough to break its jaw, whilst the whip
still cut into him. It was a dreadful sight to me,
for I knew what fearful pain it gave that delicate
little mouth; but master gave me the word, and we
were up with him in a second.
"Sawyer," he cried in a stern voice, "is that pony
made of flesh and blood ? "
"Flesh and blood and temper," he said; "he's
too fond of his own will, and that won't suit me."
He spoke as if he was in a strong passion; he was a
builder, who had often been to the park on business.
"And do you think," said master sternly, "that
treatment like this will make him fond of your
He had no business to make that turn; his road
was straight on !" said the man roughly.
"You have often driven that pony up to my
place," said master; "it only shows the creature's
memory and intelligence; how did he know that
you were not going there again ? but that has little
to do with it. I must say, Mr. Sawyer, that more
unmanly, brutal treatment of a little pony, it was
never my painful lot to witness; and by giving way
to such passion, you injure your own character as
much, nay more, than you injure your horse; and
remember, we shall all have to be judged according
to our works, whether they be towards man or to-
1Master rode me home slowly, and I could tell by
his voice how the thing had grieved him. He was
just as free to speak to gentlemen of his own rank
as to those below him; for another day, when we
were out, we met a Captain Langley, a friend of our
master's; he was driving a splendid pair of grays
in a kind of break. After a little conversation the
Captain said, -
What do you think of my new team, Mr.
Douglas ? You know, you are the judge of horses
in these parts, and I should like your opinion."
The master backed me a little, so as to get a good
view of them. "They are an uncommonly hand-
some pair," he said, "and if they are as good as
they look, I am sure you need not wish for anything
better; but I see you still hold that pet scheme of
yours for worrying your horses and lessening their
"What do you mean," said the other, "the
check-reins ? Oh, ah! I know that's a hobby of
yours; well, the fact is, I like to see my horses hold
their heads up."
So do I," said master, "as well as any man, but
I don't like to see them held up; that takes all
the shine out of it. Now you are a military man,
Langley, and no doubt like to see your regiment
look well on parade, 'heads up,' and all that; but
you would not take much credit for your drill, if all
your men had their heads tied to a backboard! It
might not be much harm on parade, except to worry
and fatigue them; but how would it be in a bayonet
charge against the enemy, when they want the free
use of every muscle, and all their strength thrown
forward ? I would not give much for their chance
of victory. And it is just the same with horses:
you fret and worry their tempers, and decrease their
power; you will not let them throw their weight
against their work, and so they have to do too much
with their joints and muscles, and of course it wears
them up faster. You may depend upon it, horses
were intended to have their heads free, as free as
men's are; and if we could act a little more accord-
ing to common sense, and a good deal less according
to fashion, we should find many things work easier;
besides, you know as well as I, that if a horse makes
a false step, he has much less chance of recovering
himself if his head and neck are fastened back.
And now," said the master, laughing, "I have given
my hobby a good trot out, can't you make up your
mind to mount him too, Captain ? Your example
would go a long way."
"I believe you are right in theory," said the other,
"and that's rather a hard hit about the soldiers;
but well I 'll think about it," and so they
A STORMY DAY.
NE day late in the autumn my master had
a long journey to go on business. I was
put into the dog-cart, and John went with
his master. I always liked to go in the dog-cart, it
was so light and the high wheels ran along so pleas-
antly. There had been a great deal of rain, and now
the wind was very high and blew the dry leaves
across the road in a shower. We went along merrily
till we came to the toll-bar and the low wooden
bridge. The river banks were rather high, and the
bridge, instead of rising, went across just level, so
that in the middle, if the river was full, the water
would be nearly up to the woodwork and planks;
but as there were good substantial rails on each side,
people did not mind it.
The man at the gate said the river was rising fast,
and he feared it would be a bad night. Many of the
meadows were under water, and in one low part of
the road, the water was halfway up to my knees;
the bottom was good, and master drove gently, so it
was no matter.
When we got to the town, of course I had a good
bait, but as the master's business engaged him a long
time, we did not start for home till rather late in
the afternoon. The wind was then much higher,
and I heard the master say to John, he had never
been out in such a storm; and so I thought, as we
went along the skirts of a wood, where the great
branches were swaying about like twigs, and the
rushing sound was terrible.
"I wish we were well out of this wood," said my
Yes, sir," said John, it would be rather awk-
ward if one of these branches came down upon us."
The words were scarcely out of his mouth when
there was a groan, and a crack, and a splitting
sound, and tearing, crashing down amongst the
other trees came an oak, torn up by the roots, and
it fell right across the road just before us. I will
never say I was not frightened, for I was. I stopped
still, and I believe I trembled; of course I did not
turn round or run away; I was not brought up to
that. John jumped out and was in a moment at my
"That was a very near touch," said my master.
" What's to be done now ?"
"Well, sir, we can't drive over that tree, nor yet
get round it; there will be nothing for it, but to
go back to the four cross ways, and that will be a
good six miles before we get round to the wooden
bridge again; it will make us late, but the horse is
So back we went and round by the cross roads,
but by the time we got to the bridge it was very
nearly dark; we could just see that the water was
over the middle of it; but as that happened some-
A STORMY DAY.
times when the floods were out, master did not stop.
We were going along at a good pace, but the mo-
ment my feet touched the first part of the bridge, I
felt sure there was something wrong. I dare not go
forward, and I made a dead stop. Go on, Beauty,"
said my master, and he gave me a touch with the
whip, but I dare not stir; he gave me a sharp cut; I
jumped, but I dare not go forward.
"There's something wrong, sir," said John, and
he sprang out of the dog-cart and came to my head
and looked all about. He tried to lead me forward.
"Come on, Beauty, what 's the matter ?" Of course
I could not tell him, but I knew very well that the
bridge was not safe.
Just then the man at the toll-gate on the other
side ran out of the house, tossing a torch about like
"Hoy, hoy, hoy! halloo! stop !" he cried.
"What's the matter ?" shouted my master.
"The bridge is broken in the middle, and part of
it is carried away; if you come on you '11 be into the
"Thank God !" said my master. "You Beauty!"
said John, and took the bridle and gently turned
me round to the right-hand road by the river side.
The sun had set some time; the wind seemed to
have lulled off after that furious blast which tore up
the tree. It grew darker and darker, stiller and
stiller. I trotted quietly along, the wheels hardly
making a sound on the soft road. For a good while
neither master nor John spoke, and then master
began in a serious voice. I could not understand
much of what they said, but I found they thought,
if I had gone on as the master wanted me, most
likely the bridge would have given way under us,
and horse, chaise, master, and man would have
fallen into the river; and as the current was flow-
ing very strongly, and there was no light and no
help at hand, it was more than likely we should all
have been drowned. Master said, God had given
men reason, by which they could find out things for
themselves ; but he had given animals knowledge
which did not depend on reason, and which was
much more prompt and perfect in its way, and by
which they had often saved the lives of men. John
had many stories to tell of dogs and horses, and the
wonderful things they had done; he thought people
did not value their animals half enough, nor make
friends of them as they ought to do. I am sure he
makes friends of them if ever a man did.
At last we came to the park gates, and found the
gardener looking out for us. He said that mistress
had been in a dreadful way ever since dark, fearing
some accident had happened, and that she had sent
James off on Justice, the roan cob, towards the
wooden bridge to make inquiry after us.
We saw a light at the hall door and at the upper
windows, and as we came up, mistress ran out, say-
ing, "Are you really safe, my dear? Oh! I have
been so anxious, fancying all sorts of things. Have
you had no accident ?"
No, my dear; but if your Black Beauty had not
been wiser than we were, we should all have been
carried down the river at the wooden bridge." I
A STORMY DAY. 63
heard no more, as they went into the house, and
John took me to the stable. Oh, what a good sup-
per he gave me that night, a good bran mash and
some crushed beans with my oats, and such a thick
bed of straw! and I was glad of it, for I was tired.
THE DEVIL'S TRADE MARK.
E day when John and I had been out on
some business of our master's, and were
returning gently on a long straight road, at
some distance we saw a boy trying to leap a pony
over a gate; the pony would not take the leap, and
the boy cut him with the whip, but he only turned
off on one side. He whipped him again, but the
pony turned off on the other side. Then the boy
got off and gave him a hard thrashing, and knocked
him about the head; then he got up again and tried
to make him leap the gate, kicking him all the time
shamefully, but still the pony refused. When we
were nearly at the spot, the pony put down his head
and threw up his heels and sent the boy neatly over
into a broad quickset hedge, and with the rein dan-
gling from his head he set off home at a full gallop.
John laughed out quite loud. Served him right,"
"Oh, oh, oh!" cried the boy as he struggled
about amongst the thorns; "I say, come and help
Thank ye," said John, "I think you are quite
in the right place, and may be a little scratching will
teach you not to leap a pony over a gate that is too
THE DEVIL'S TRADE MARK.
high for him," and so with that John rode off. It
may be," said he to himself, that young fellow is
a liar as well as a cruel one; we 'll just go home by
farmer Bushby's, Beauty, and then if anybody wants
to know, you and I can tell 'em, ye see." So we
turned off to the right, and soon came up to the
stack yard, and within sight of the house. The
farmer was hurrying out into the road, and his wife
was standing at the gate, looking very frightened.
"Have you seen my boy ? said Mr. Bushby, as
we came up; "he went out an hour ago on my black
pony, and the creature is just come back without a
"I should think, sir," said John, "he had better
be without a rider, unless he can be ridden prop-
What do you mean ? said the farmer.
"Well, sir, I saw your son whipping, and kicking,
and knocking that good little pony about shame-
fully, because he would not leap a gate that was too
high for him. The pony behaved well, sir, and
showed no vice; but at last he just threw up his
heels, and tipped the young gentleman into the
thorn hedge: he wanted me to help him out; but
I hope you will excuse me, sir, I did not feel in-
clined to do so. There's no bones broken, sir, he 'll
only get a few scratches. I love horses, and it riles
me to see them badly used; it is a bad plan to ag-
gravate an animal till he uses his heels; the first
time is not always the last."
During this time the mother began to cry, Oh,
my poor Bill, I must go and meet him, he must be
"You had better go into the house, wife," said
the farmer; Bill wants a lesson about this, and I
must see that he gets it; this is not the first time,
nor the second, that he has ilT used that pony, and I
shall stop it. I am much obliged to you, Manly.
So we went on, John chuckling all the way home;
then he told James about it, who laughed and said,
" Serve him right. I knew that boy at school; he
took great airs on himself because he was a farmer's
son; he used to swagger about and bully the little
boys; of course we elder ones would not have any
of that nonsense, and let him know that in the
school and the playground, farmers' sons and labor-
ers' sons were all alike. I well remember one day,
just before afternoon school, I found him at the
large window catching flies and pulling off their
wings. He did not see me, and I gave him a box
on the ears that laid him sprawling on the floor.
Well, angry as I was, I was almost frightened, he
roared and bellowed in such a style. The boys
rushed in from the playground, and the master ran
in from the road to see who was being murdered.
Of course I said fair and square at once what I had
done, and why; then I showed the master the flies,
some crushed and some crawling about helpless, and
I showed him the wings on the window sill. I
never saw him so angry before; but as Bill was
still howling and whining, like the coward that he
was, he did not give him any more punishment of
that kind, but set him up on a stool for the rest of
the afternoon, and said that he should not go out to
THE DEVIL'S TRADE MARK.
play for that week. Then he talked to all the boys
very seriously about cruelty, and said how hard-
hearted and cowardly it was to hurt the weak and
the helpless; but what stuck in my mind was this,
he said that cruelty was the Devil's own trade mark,
and if we saw any one who took pleasure in cruelty,
we might know who he belonged to, for the devil
was a murderer from the beginning, and a tormentor
to the end. On the other hand, where we saw peo-
ple who loved their neighbors, and were kind to man
and beast, we might know that was God's mark, for
'God is Love.'"
"Your master never taught you a truer thing,"
said John; there is no religion without love, and
people may talk as much as they like about their re-
ligion, but if it does not teach them to be good and
kind to man and beast, it is all a sham,- all a
sham, James, and it won't stand when things come
to be turned inside out, and put down for what they
NE morning early in December, John had
just led me into my box after my daily ex-
ercise, and was strapping my cloth on, and
James was coming in from the corn chamber with
some oats, when the master came into the stable;
he looked rather serious, and held an open letter
in his hand. John fastened the door of my box,
touched his cap, and waited for orders.
Good-morning, John," said the master; "I want
to know if you have any complaint to make of
"Complaint, sir? No, sir."
"Is he industrious at his work and respectful to
"Yes, sir, always."
"You never find he slights his work when your
back is turned ?"
"That's well; but I must put another question:
have you no reason to suspect when he goes out with
the horses to exercise them, or to take a message,
that he stops about talking to his acquaintances, or
goes into houses where he has no business, leaving
the horses outside ? "
JAMES HOWARD. 69
"No, sir, certainly not; and if anybody has been
saying that about James, I don't believe it, and I
don't mean to believe it unless I have it fairly
proved before witnesses; it's not for me to say who
has been trying to take away James's character, but
I will say this, sir, that a steadier, pleasanter, hon-
ester, smarter young fellow I never had in this
stable. I can trust his word and I can trust his
work; he is gentle and clever with the horses, and
I would rather have them in charge with him than
with half the young fellows I know of in laced hats
and liveries; and whoever wants a character of
James Howard," said John, with a decided jerk of
his head, "let them come to John Manly."
The master stood all this time grave and atten-
tive, but as John finished his speech, a broad smile
spread over his face, and looking kindly across at
James, who, all this time had stood still at the door,
he said, "James, my lad, set down the oats and
come here; I am very glad to find that John's opin-
ion of your character agrees so exactly with my own.
John is a cautious man," he said, with a droll smile,
"and it is not always easy to get his opinion about
people, so I thought if I beat the bush on this side
the birds would fly out, and I should learn what I
wanted to know quickly; so now we will come to
business. I have a letter from my brother-in-law,
Sir Clifford Williams, of Clifford Hall. He wants
me to find him a trustworthy young groom, about
twenty or twenty-one, who knows his business. His
old coachman, who has lived with him thirty years,
is getting feeble, and he wants a man to work with
him and get into his ways, who would be able, when
the old man was pensioned off, to step into his place.
He would have eighteen shillings a week at first, a
stable suit, a driving suit, a bedroom over the coach-
house, and a boy under him. Sir Clifford is a good
master, and if you could get the place it would be a
good start for you. I don't want to part with you,
and if you left us I know John would lose his right
"That I should, sir," said John, "but I would not
stand in his light for the world."
How old are you, James ? said master.
"Nineteen next May, sir."
That's young; what do you think, John ?"
"Well, sir, it is young; but he is as steady as a
man, and is strong, and well grown, and though he
has not had much experience in driving, he has a
light firm hand and a quick eye, and he is very care-
ful, and I am quite sure no horse of his will be
ruined for want of having his feet and shoes looked
Your word will go the furthest, John," said the
master, "for Sir Clifford adds in a postscript, If I
could find a man trained by your John, I should like
him better than any other;' so James, lad, think it
over, talk to your mother at dinner time, and then
let me know what you wish."
In a few days after this conversation, it was fully
settled that James should go to Clifford Hall, in a
month or six weeks, as it suited his master, and in
the meantime he was to get all the practice in driv-
ing that could be given to him. I never knew the
carriage go out so often before; when the mistress
did not go out, the master drove himself in the two-
wheeled chaise; but now, whether it was master or
the young ladies, or only an errand, Ginger and I
were put in the carriage and James drove us. At
the first, John rode with him on the box, telling
him this and that, and after that James drove alone.
Then it was wonderful what a number of places
the master would go to in the city on Saturday, and
what queer streets we were driven through. He
was sure to go to the railway station just as the
train was coming in, and cabs and carriages, carts
and omnibuses were all trying to get over the bridge
together; that bridge wanted good horses and good
drivers when the railway bell was ringing, for it
was narrow, and there was a very sharp turn up to
the station, where it would not have been at all
difficult for people to run into each other, if they
did not look sharp and keep their wits about them.
THE OLD OSTLER.
FTER this, it was decided by my master
and mistress to pay a visit to some friends
who lived about forty-six miles from our
home, and James was to drive them. The first day
we traveled thirty-two miles. There were some
long heavy hills, but James drove so carefully and
thoughtfully that we were not at all harassed. He
never forgot to put on the brake as we went down-
hill, nor to take it off at the right place. He kept
our feet on the smoothest part of the road, and if
the uphill was very long, he set the carriage wheels
a little across the road, so as not to run back, and
gave us a breathing. All these little things help a
horse very much, particularly if he gets kind words
into the bargain.
We stopped once or twice on the road, and just as
the sun was going down, we reached the town where
we were to spend the night. We stopped at the
principal hotel, which was in the Market Place; it
was a very large one; we drove under an archway
into a long yard, at the further end of which were
the stables and coach-houses. Two ostlers came to
take us out. The head ostler was a pleasant, active
little man, with a crooked leg, and a yellow striped
THE OLD OSTLER.
waistcoat. I never saw a man unbuckle harness so
quickly as he did, and with a pat and a good word
he led me to a long stable, with six or eight stalls
in it, and two or three horses. The other man
brought Ginger; James stood by whilst we were
rubbed down and cleaned.
I never was cleaned so lightly and quickly as by
that little old man. When he had done, James
stepped up and felt me over, as if he thought I
could not be thoroughly done, but he found my -coat
as clean and smooth as silk.
"Well," he said, "I thought I was pretty quick,
and our John quicker still, but you do beat all I
ever saw for being quick and thorough at the same
"Practice makes perfect," said the crooked little
ostler, "and 't would be a pity if it did n't; forty
years' practice, and not perfect! ha, ha! that would
be a pity; and as to being quick, why, bless you!
that is only a matter of habit; if you get into the
habit of being quick, it is just as easy as being
slow; easier, I should say; in fact, it don't agree
with my health to be hulking about over a job twice
as long as it need take. Bless you! I could n't
whistle if I crawled over my work as some folks
do You see, I have been about horses ever since I
was twelve years old, in hunting stables, and racing
stables; and being small, ye see, I was jockey for
several years; but at the Goodwood, ye see, the
turf was very slippery and my poor Larkspur got a
fall, and I broke my knee, and so of course I was of
no more use there. But I could not live without
horses, of course I could n't, so 1 took to the hotels.
And I can tell ye it is a downright pleasure to
handle an animal like this, well-bred, well-mannered,
well-cared for; bless ye I can tell how a horse is
treated. Give me the handling of a horse for twenty
minutes, and I'll tell you what sort of a groom he
has had. Look at this one, pleasant, quiet, turns
about just as you want him, holds up his feet to be
cleaned out, or anything else you please to wish;
then you '11 find another fidgety, fretty, won't
move the right way, or starts across the stall, tosses
up his head as soon as you come near him, lays his
ears, and seems afraid of you; or else squares about
at you with his heels. Poor things I know what
*sort of treatment they have had. If they are timid,
it makes them start or shy; if they are high-met-
tled, it makes them vicious or dangerous; their
tempers are mostly made when they are young.
Bless you! they are like children, train 'em up in
the way they should go, as the good book says, and
when they are old they will not depart from it, if
they have a chance, that is."
I like to hear you talk," said James, that 's
the way we lay it down at home, at our master's."
"Who is your master, young man ? if it be a
proper question. I should judge he is a good one,
from what I see."
"He is Squire Gordon, of Birtwick Park, the
other side the Beacon hills," said James.
Ah! so, so, I have heard tell of him: fine judge
of horses, ain't he ? the best rider in the county ? "
"I believe he is," said James, "but he rides
THE OLD OSTLER.
very little now, since the poor young master was
"ALh! poor gentleman; I read all about it in the
paper at the time; a fine horse killed too, was n't
there ? "
Yes," said James, "he was a splendid creature,
brother to this one, and just like him."
"Pity! pity!" said the old man, "'t was a bad
place to leap, if I remember; a thin fence at top, a
steep bank down to the stream, was n't it? no
chance for a horse to see where he is going. Now,
I am for bold riding as much as any man, but still
there are some leaps that only a very knowing old
huntsman has any right to take; a man's life and a
horse's life are worth more than a fox's tail, at least
I should say they ought to be."
During this time the other man had finished Gin-
ger, and had brought our corn, and James and the
old man left the stable together.
ATER on in the evening, a traveler's horse
was brought in by the second ostler, and
whilst he was cleaning him, a young man
with a pipe in his month lounged into the stable to
"I say, Towler," said the ostler, "just run up the
ladder into the loft and put some hay down into this
horse's rack, will you ? only lay down your pipe."
"All right," said the other, and went up through
the trap door; and I heard him step across the floor
overhead and put down the hay. James came in to
look at us the last thing, and then the door was
I cannot say how long I had slept, nor what time
in the night it was, but I woke up very uncomfort-
able, though I hardly knew why. I got up; the air
seemed all thick and choking. I heard Ginger
coughing, and one of the other horses seemed very
restless; it was quite dark, and I could see nothing,
but the stable seemed full of smoke, and I hardly
knew how to breathe.
The trap door had been left open, and I thought
that was the place it came through. I listened, and
heard a soft rushing sort of noise, and a low crack-
ling and snapping. I did not know what it was, but
there was something in the sound so strange, that it
made me tremble all over. The other horses were
now all awake; some were pulling at their halters,
others were stamping.
At last I heard steps outside, and the ostler who
had put up the traveler's horse burst into the stable
with a lantern, and began to untie the horses, and
try to lead them out; but he seemed in such a hurry
and so frightened himself that he frightened me still
more. The first horse would not go with him; he
tried the second and third, and they too would not
stir. He came to me next and tried to drag me out
of the stall by force; of course that was no use. He
tried us all by turns and then left the stable.
No doubt we were very foolish, but danger seemed
to be all round, and there was nobody we knew to
trust in, and all was strange and uncertain. The
fresh air that had come in through the open door
made it easier to breathe, but the rushing sound
overhead grew louder, and as I looked upward,
through the bars of my empty rack, I saw a red
light flickering on the wall. Then I heard a cry of
"Fire!" outside, and the old ostler quietly and
quickly came in: he got one horse out, and went to
another, but the flames were playing round the trap
door, and the roaring overhead was dreadful.
The next thing I heard was James's voice, quiet
and cheery, as it always was.
Come, my beauties, it is time for us to be off, so
wake up and come along." I stood nearest the door,
so he came to me first, patting me as he came in.
"Come, Beauty, on with your bridle, my boy,
we '11 soon be out of this smother." It was on in no
time; then he took the scarf off his neck, and tied it
lightly over my eyes, and patting and coaxing he led
me out of the stable. Safe in the yard, he slipped
the scarf off my eyes, and shouted, "Here some-
body! take this horse while I go back for the other."
A tall broad man stepped forward and took me,
and James darted back into the stable. I set up a
shrill whinny as I saw him go. Ginger told me af-
terwards, that whinny was the best thing I could
have done for her, for had she not heard me outside,
she would never have had courage to come out.
There was much confusion in the yard; the horses
being got out of other stables, and the carriages and
gigs being pulled out of houses and sheds, lest the
flames should spread further. On the other side the
yard, windows were thrown up, and people were
shouting all sorts of things; but I kept my eye fixed
on the stable door, where the smoke poured out
thicker than ever, and I could see flashes of red
light; presently I heard above all the stir and din a
loud clear voice, which I knew was master's, -
"James Howard! James Howard! Are you
there ?" There was no answer, but I heard a crash
of something falling in the stable, and the next mo-
ment I gave a loud joyful neigh, for I saw James
coming through the smoke leading Ginger with him;
she was coughing violently, and he was not able to
My brave lad!" said master, laying his hand on
his shoulder, "are you hurt ? "
James shook his head, for he could not yet speak.
Aye," said the big man who held me; he is a
brave lad, and no mistake."
"And now," said master, "when you have got
your breath, James, we '11 get out of this place as
quickly as we can," and we were moving towards
the entry, when from the Market Place there came a
sound of galloping feet and loud rumbling wheels.
"'Tis the fire engine! the fire engine!" shouted
two or three voices, "stand back, make way !" and
clattering and thundering over the stones two horses
dashed into the yard with the heavy engine behind
them. The firemen leaped to the ground; there
was no need to ask where the fire was -it was roll-
ing up in a great blaze from the roof.
We got out as fast as we could into the broad
quiet Market Place; the stars were shining, and ex-
cept the noise behind us, all was still. Master led
the way to a large hotel on the other side, and as
soon as the ostler came, he said, "James, I must
now hasten to your mistress; I trust the horses en-
tirely to you, order whatever you think is needed,"
and with that he was gone. The master did not
run, but I never saw mortal man walk so fast as he
did that night.
There was a dreadful sound before we got into
our stalls; the shrieks of those poor horses that
were left burning to death in the stable -it was
very terrible! and made both Ginger and me feel
very bad. We, however, were taken in and well
The next morning the master came to see how we
were and to speak to James. I did not hear much,
for the ostler was rubbing me down, but I could
see that James looked very happy, and I thought
the master was proud of him. Our mistress had
been so much alarmed in the night, that the jour-
ney was put off till the afternoon, so James had the
morning on hand, and went first to the inn to see
about our harness and the carriage, and then to'hear
more about the fire. When he came back, we heard
him tell the ostler about it. At first no one could
guess how the fire had been caused, but at last a
man said he saw Dick Towler go into the stable with
a pipe in his mouth, and when he came out he had
not one, and went to the tap for another. Then the
under ostler said he had asked Dick to go up the
ladder to put down some hay, but told him to lay
down his pipe first. Dick denied taking the pipe
with him, but no one believed him. I remember
our John Manly's rule, never to allow a pipe in the
stable, and thought it ought to be the rule every-
James said the roof and floor had all fallen in,
and that only the black walls were standing; the
two poor horses that could not be got out were
buried under the burnt rafters and tiles.
JOHN MANLY'S TALK.
HE rest of our journey was very easy, and a
little after sunset we reached the house of
my master's friend. We were taken into a
clean snug stable; there was a kind coachman, who
made us very comfortable, and who seemed to think
a good deal of James when he heard about the fire.
There is one thing quite clear, young man," he
said, "your horses know who they can trust; it is
one of the hardest things in the world to get horses
out of a stable when there is either fire or flood. I
don't know why they won't come out, but they
won't -not one in twenty."
We stopped two or three days at this place and
then returned home. All went well on the journey;
we were glad to be in our own stable again, and
John was equally glad to see us.
Before he and James left us for the night, James
said, "I wonder who is coming in my place."
"Little Joe Green at the Lodge," said John.
"Little Joe Green! why, he's a child !
"He is fourteen and a half," said John.
"But he is such a little chap!"
"Yes, he is small, but he is quick, and willing,
and kind-hearted too, and then he wishes very much
to come, and his father would like it; and I know
the master would like to give him the chance. He
said if I thought he would not do, he would look
out for a bigger boy; but I said I was quite agree-
able to try him for six weeks."
Six weeks !" said James; why, it will be six
months before he can be of much use! It will make
you a deal of work, John."
"Well," said John with a laugh, "work and I are
very good friends; I never was afraid of work yet."
You are a very good man," said James. "I wish
I may ever be like you."
"I don't often speak of myself," said John, "but
as you are going away from us out into the world,
to shift for yourself, I'll just tell you how I look on
these things. I was just as old as Joseph when my
father and mother died of the fever, within ten days
of each other, and left me and my crippled sister
Nelly alone in the world, without a relation that
we could look to for help. I was a farmer's boy,
not earning enough to keep myself, much less both
of us, and she must have gone to the workhouse
but for our mistress (Nelly calls her her angel, and
she has good right to do so). She went and hired a
room for her with old widow Mallet, and she gave
her knitting and needlework when she was able to
do it; and when she was ill she sent her dinners
and many nice, comfortable things, and was like a
mother to her. Then the master, he took me into
the stable under old Norman, the coachman that
was then. I had my food at the house and my bed
in the loft, and a suit of clothes, and three shillings
JOHN MANLYS TALK.
a week, so that I could help Nelly. Then there was
Norman; he might have turned round and said at
his age he could not be troubled with a raw boy
from the plough-tail, but he was like a father to me,
and took no end of pains with me. When the old
man died some years after, I stepped into his place,
and now of course I have top wages, and can lay by
for a rainy day or a sunny day, as it may happen,
and Nelly is as happy as a bird. So you see, James,
I am not the man that should turn up his nose at a
little boy, and vex a good, kind master. No, no I
shall miss you very much, James, but we shall pull
through, and there's nothing like doing a kindness
when 't is put in your way, and I am glad I can
"Then," said James, "you don't hold with that
saying, Everybody look after himself, and take care
of number one.'"
"No, indeed," said John; "where should I and
Nelly have been if master and mistress and old Nor-
man had only taken care of number one ? Why,
she in the workhouse and I hoeing turnips! Where
would Black Beauty and Ginger have been if you
had only thought of number one ? Why, roasted to
death! No, Jim, no that is a selfish, heathenish
saying, whoever uses it; and any man who thinks he
has nothing to do but take care of number one, why,
it's a pity but what he had been drowned like a
puppy or a kitten, before he got his eyes open, -
that's what I think," said John, with a very decided
jerk of his head.
James laughed at this; but there was a thickness
in his voice when he said, "You have been my best
friend except my mother; I hope you won't forget
"No, lad, no!" said John, "and if ever I can do
you a good turn, I hope you won't forget me."
The next day Joe came to the stables to learn all
he could before James left. He learned to sweep
the stable, to bring in the straw and hay; he began
to clean the harness, and helped to wash the car-
riage. As he was quite too short to do anything in
the way of grooming Ginger and me, James taught
him upon Merrylegs, for he was to have full charge
of him, under John. He was a nice little bright
fellow, and always came whistling to his work.
Merrylegs was a good deal put out at being
"mauled about," as he said, "by a boy who knew
nothing;" but towards the end of the second week
he told me confidentially that he thought the boy
would turn out well.
At last the day came when James had to leave
us; cheerful as he always was, he looked quite
down-hearted that morning.
"You see," he said to John, "I am leaving a great
deal behind; my mother and Betsy, and you, and a
good master and mistress, and then the horses, and
my old Merrylegs. At the new place there will not
be a soul that I shall know. If it were not that I
shall get a higher place, and be able to help my
mother better, I don't think I should have made up
my mind to it; it is a real pinch, John."
Ay, James, lad, so it is; but I should not think
much of you, if you could leave your home for the
JOHN MANLY'S TALK.
first time and not feel it. Cheer up, you '11 make
friends there; and if you get on well, as I am sure
you will, it will be a fine thing for your mother, and
she will be proud enough that you have got into
such a good place as that."
So John cheered him up, but every one was sorry
to lose James; as for Merrylegs, he pined after him
for several days, and went quite off his appetite. So
John took him out several mornings with a leading
rein, when he exercised me, and, trotting and gallop-
ing by my side, got up the little fellow's spirits
again, and he was soon all right.
Joe's father would often come in and give a little
help, as he understood the work; and Joe took a
great deal of pains' to learn, and John was quite en-
couraged about him.
GOING FOR THE DOCTOR.
[ NE night, a few days after James had left, I
had eaten my hay and was lying down in
Smy straw fast asleep, 'when I was suddenly
roused by the stable bell ringing very loud. I heard
the door of John's house open, and his feet running
up to the Hall. He was back again in no time; he
unlocked the stable door, and came in, calling out,
" Wake up, Beauty You must go well now, if ever
you did;" and almost before I could think, he had
got the saddle on my back and the bridle on my
head. He just ran round for his coat, and then took
me at a quick trot up to the Hall door. The Squire
stood there, with a lamp in his hand.
"Now, John," he said, "ride for your life, -that
is, for your mistress' life; there is not a moment to
lose. Give this note to Doctor White; give your
horse a rest at the inn, and be back as soon as you
John said, "Yes, sir," and was on my back in a
minute. The gardener who lived at the lodge had
heard the bell ring, and was ready with the gate
open, and away we went through the park, and
through the village, and down the hill till we came
to the toll-gate. John called very loud and thumped
GOING FOR THE DOCTOR.
upon the door; the man was soon out and flung
open the gate.
"Now," said John, "do you keep the gate open
for the Doctor; here 's the money," and off we went
There was before us a long piece of level road by
the river side; John said to me, "Now, Beauty, do
your best," and so I did; I wanted no whip nor
spur, and for two miles I galloped as fast as I could
lay my feet to the ground; I don't believe that my
old grandfather, who won the race at Newmarket,
could have gone faster. When we came to the
bridge, John pulled me up a little and patted my
neck. "Well done, Beauty! good old fellow," he
said. He would have let me go slower, but my
spirit was up, and I was off again as fast as before.
The air was frosty, the moon was bright; it was
very pleasant. We came through a village, then
through a dark wood, then uphill, then downhill,
till after an eight miles' run we came to the town,
through the streets and into the Market Place. It
was all quite still except the clatter of my feet on
the stones, everybody was asleep. The church
clock struck three as we drew up at Doctor White's
door. John rang the bell twice, and then knocked
at the door like thunder. A window was thrown
up, and Doctor White, in his nightcap, put his head
out and said, "What do you want ? "
"Mrs. Gordon is very ill, sir: master wants you
to go at once; he thinks she will die if you cannot
get there. Here is a note."
"Wait," he said, "I will come."
He shut the window, and was soon at the door.
"The worst of it is," he said, "that my horse
has been out all day and is quite done up; my son
has just been sent for, and he has taken the other.
What is to be done ? Can I have your horse ? "
"He has come at a gallop nearly all the way,
sir, and I was to give him a rest here; but I think
my master would not be against it, if you think fit,
"All right," he said; I will soon be ready."
John stood by me and stroked my neck; I was
very hot. The Doctor came out with his riding-
You need not take that, sir," said John; Black
Beauty will go till he drops. Take care of him, sir,
if you can; I should not like any harm to come to
"No, no, John," said the Doctor, "I hope not,"
and in a minute we had left John far behind.
I will not tell about our way back. The Doctor
was a heavier man than John, and not so good a
rider; however, I did my very best. The man at
the toll-gate had it open. When we came to the
hill, the Doctor drew me up. Now, my good fellow,"
he said, "take some breath." I was glad he did,
for I was nearly spent, but that breathing helped
me on, and soon we were in the park. Joe was at
the lodge gate; my master was at the Hall door, for
he had heard us coming. He spoke not a word;
the Doctor went into the house with him, and Joe
led me to the stable. I was glad to get home; my
legs shook under me, and I could only stand and
GOING FOR THE DOCTOR.
pant. I had not a dry hair on my body, the water
ran down my legs, and I steamed all over, Joe
used to say, like a pot on the fire. Poor Joe! he
was young and small, and as yet he knew very little,
and his father, who would have helped him, had
been sent to the next village; but I am sure he did
the very best he knew. He rubbed my legs and my
chest, but he did not put my warm cloth on me;
he thought I was so hot I should not like it. Then
he gave me a pailful of water to drink; it was
cold and very good, and I drank it all; then he gave
me-some hay and some corn, and, thinking he had
done right, he went away. Soon I began to shake
and tremble, and turned deadly cold; my legs ached,
my loins ached, and my chest ached, and I felt
sore all over. Oh! how I wished for my warm
thick cloth as I stood and trembled. I wished for
John, but he had eight miles to walk, so I lay
down in my straw and tried to go to sleep. After
a long while I heard John at the door; I gave a
low moan, for I was in great pain. He was at my
side in a moment, stooping down by me. I could
not tell him how I felt, but he seemed to know it
all; he covered me up with two or three warm
cloths, and then ran to the house for some hot
water; he made me some warm gruel, which I drank,
and then I think I went to sleep.
John seemed to be very much put out. I heard
him say to himself over and over again, "Stupid
boy! stupid boy! no cloth put on, and I dare say
the water was cold, too; boys are no good;" but Joe
was a good boy, after all.