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When the sport is over, the company saunter away towards the Warren-Hill, before the other horses, left at the several stables in the town, are rode out to take their evening exercise and their water. On this delightful spot you may see at once, above a hundred of the most beautiful horses in the universe, all led out in strings, with the grooms and boys upon them, in their several liveries, distinguishing each person of rank they belong to
This is indeed a noble sight; it is a piece of grandeur, and an expensive one too, which no nation can boast of, but our own. To this the crown contributes, not only by a very handsome allowance for keeping horses, but also by giving plates to be run for by horses and mares at different ages, in order to encourage the breed, by keeping up the price of them, and to make the breeders extremely careful of their race and genealogy.
The pedigree of these horses is more strictly regarded and carefully looked into, than that of a knight of Malta. They must have no blemished quarter in the family on either side for many generations; their blood must have run pure and untainted, from the great, great, five times great grandfather and grandam, to be attested in the most authentic and solemn manner by the hand of the breeder. It is this care of the breed, and particularly with an eye to their strength, that makes all the world so fond of our horses. Many thousands are carried out of England every year; so that it is become a trade of great consequence, and brings a vast balance of money to this country annually. The French monarch rides no other horses but ours, in his favourite diversion of hunting. You may at any time see two or three hundred beautiful English geldings in those great and noble stables at Chantilli. Most of the German princes, and many of their nobility, are desirous of having English horses; and, I dare say, his present Majesty of Prussia, however military his genius may be, had rather mount an English horse in a review of his troops, than a breach at any siege in Europe.
The country races over the whole kingdom, are what I confess give me some little disrelish to the sport. Every county, and almost the whole of it, is mad during the time of the races. Many substantial farmers go to them with thirty or forty pounds in their pockets, and return without one single farthing. Here they drink and learn to be vicious, and the whole time is spent in riot and disorder. An honest butcher, that is taken in at a horse-race, is tempted perhaps, in his return, to borrow an ox, or a few sheep of his neighbour, to make up his losses. An industrious tradesman, or a good farmer, has sometimes turned highwayman, to be even with the rogue that bubbled him at the races. Upon the whole, if I consider only how much time is lost to all the labouring men in this kingdom, by country races, the damage they occasion is immense. Let us suppose it but a week's labour all over England; and, if we consider the number of plates in the different metropolises, besides the lesser country plates, this must be allowed a very moderate computation: and then let those two ingenious gentlemen, Mr. Pond and Mr. Heber, however they may be at variance with each other join to compute how much the loss must be to the whole kingdom. I dare answer for it, that it must amount to many hundred thousands of pounds.— But as my paper was principally designed in honour of horses, I will not be led to urge any thing against them. Horses of all kinds have ever been held in the highest esteem. Darius was chosen king of Persia by the neighing of his horse. I question if Alexander himself had pushed his conquests half so far, if Bucephalus had not stooped to take him on his back. An emperor of Rome made his horse a consul; and it will be readily owned that the dignity was as properly conferred upon the beast, as the imperial diadem upon his master.
I shall conclude this paper with a short extract from Churchill's collection of voyages.
'In Morocco the natives have a great respect for horses that have been the pilgrimage of Mecca, where Mahomet was born; they are called HatlgU, or saints. Such horses have their necks adorned with strings of beads, and relics, being writings wrapt up in cloth of gold or silk, containing the names of their prophet; and when these horses die, they are buried with as much ceremony, as the nearest relations of their owners. The king of Morocco has one of them, whom he causes to be led before him when he goes abroad, very richly accoutred, and covered with these writings; his tail being held up by a Christian slave, carrying in one hand a pot and a towel, to receive the dung and wipe the posteriors.'
No. 18- THURSDAY, MAY 3,1753.
The following letter had appeared earlier in the World, if its length, or, what at present happens to be the same thing, its merit had not been so great. I have been trying to shorten it, without robbing it of beauties; but after many unsuccessful attempts, 1 find that the spirit of it is, as the human soul is imagined to be by some ancient philosophers, lotus in toto, et totus in qualibet parte. I have therefore, changed the form of my paper, choosing rather to present my readers with an extraordinary halfsheet, than to keep from them any longer what was sent me for their instruction. At the same time I must beg leave to say, that I shall never think myself obliged to repeat my complaisance, but to those of my correspondents, who, like the writer of this letter, can inform me of their grievances with all the elegance of wit.
"To MB. FITZ-ADAM. "SIR,
"I Consiner you as supplemental to the law of the land. I take your authority to begin, where the power of the law ends. The law is intended to stop the progress of crimes by punishing them; your paper seems calculated to check the course of follies by exposing them. May you be more successful in the latter than the law is in the former!
"Upon this principle I shall lay my case plainly before you, and desire your publication of it as a warning to others. Though it may seem ridiculous to many of your readers, I can assure you, Sir, that it is a very serious one to me, notwithstanding the ill-natured comfort which I might have, of thinking it of late a very common one.
"I am a gentleman of a reasonable paternal estate in my county, and serve as a knight of the shire for it. Having what is called a very good family-interest, my election encumbered my estate with a mortgage of only five thousand pounds; which I have not been able to clear, being obliged by a good place which I have got since, to live in town, and in all the best company, nine months in the year. I married suitably to my circumstances. my wife wanted neither fortune, beauty, nor understanding. Discretion and good-humour on her part, joined to good-nature and good-manners on mine, made us live comfortably together for eighteen years. One son and one daughter were our only children. We complied with custom in the education of both. My daughter learned some French and some dancing; and my son passed nine years at Westminster school in learning the words of two languages, long since dead, and not yet above half revived. When I took him away from school, I resolved to send him directly abroad, having been at Oxford myself. My wife approved of my design, but tacked a proposal of her own to it, which she urged with some earnestness. 'My dear,' said she, I think you do very right to send George abroad, for I love a foreign education, though I shall not see the poor boy a great while; but since we are to part for so long a time, why should we not take that opportunity of carrying him ourselves as far as Paris? The journey is nothing; very little further than to our own house in the north; we shall save money by it; for every thing is very cheap in France; it will form the girl, who is of right age for it; and a couple of months with a good French and dancing master will perfect her in both, and give her an air and manner that will help her off in these days, when husbands are not plenty, especially for girls with only five thousand pounds to their fortunes. Several of my acquaintance who have lately taken trips to Paris, have told me, that to be sure we should take this opportunity of going there. Besides, my dear, as neither you nor I have ever been abroad, this little jaunt will