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seemed to enjoy his own singing so thoroughly, to enter with such gusto into the spirit of the thing, that one readily forgave him the few sins of omission and commission of which he was occasionally guilty. When the song was concluded he beamed around benevolently as if to express his gratitude to the audience for listening to him, and their not very cordial thanks appeared to give him the liveliest pleasure. Poor little man, he was quite unconscious of the ill-concealed smiles on the faces of many. It was evident that the earnestness which pleased me had sunk him in the estimation of every one else in the room. The Snobtonians hate anything like earnestness or enthusiasm in music; in fact the last-named quality is hardly thought respectable, and if a man or a woman were to get up and sing a song "like a professional” as the phrase goes, hands and eyes would be raised in horror, shoulders would be shrugged contemptuously, and the unlucky singer would certainly be set down as "Decidedly odd, you know, and hardly a proper person to be asked to one's house."
This being the case the young curate's song was by no means an unqualified success, and when another gentleman succeeded him at the instrument, something very like a sigh of relief was audible through the room.
Theophrastus Tabbicatt is not a man calculated to shock the susceptibilities of a drawing-room audience. He has a thin and wiry voice, which struggles painfully from between his closely-shut teeth. He sang "Tom Bowling." Do you fully realize all that phrase conveys? Oh, my dear girl, I have heard the prince of tenors sing that song and I have heard Theophrastus Tabbicatt sing it! Look on that picture and on this. Dream of that song and of this, and pity me!
He sang it. Yes, he sang it through to the bitter, bitter end, and I am still here. I have survived my sufferings; does it not say much for my recuperative powers? But the memory of that song haunts me still. I wake up in the night watches and think of it. When I sleep it visits me as a horrible nightmare. I dream of it by the "sad sea waves" as I take my matutinal airing on the esplanade. Even as I write it sweeps over me like a flood of bitter waters. I must lay my pen aside, for if I continue I cannot be answerable for what may slip into my letter, so I will bid you a "fair good-night" and wish you" sweet repose" under the shelter of the paternal roof, where you are safe from the high-notes of amateur sopranos, and free from the "wicked troubling" of wouldbe Sims Reeveses who murder both sleep and song.
Your always attached,
THE HORSE AND HIS RIDER.
An Anecdotic Medley.
BY "THORMANBY," AUTHOR OF "RACING MEN," &c.
INSTINCT, POWER OF MEMORY AND DOCILITY OF THE HORSE. F the cleverness of the horse, how he remembers benefits and injuries, and how he oftentimes learns to anticipate his rider's will, many tales are told. "Perhaps no animal in man's employment more thoroughly understands what he is about than the 'stock horse' of New South Wales. From the earliest period of his breaking he is taught to wheel instantly when at full speed on any ground; and from the innate sagacity which horses have in discerning their rider's object, one that has been after stock' for a year or two reaches such perfection in this point as almost to justify the ordinary recommendation of an Australian horsedealer, that he can turn upon a cabbage-leaf.' The best exemplification of this faculty is the process of driving, or as it is called, cutting out' a single bullock, to which he will not submit without a sharp tussle, from the instinctive dislike to separation which all the bush cattle exhibit. At first starting he trusts wholly to his speed, but, finding after a trial of two or three hundred yards, that his retreat to the herd is still intercepted, he doubles round in the rear of his pursuer, who, were he to continue his onward career, would thereby lose a great deal of ground; but such is the agility of the stock horse that he simultaneously wheels round, and still keeps on the inside without losing an inch. This kind of thing is repeated again and again, till the baffled bullock is fain to take any course his tormentor may direct."*
In submission to a master the horse is affected by kind treatment almost as much as the dog and elephant; for although habitually his actions show timidity, they are more an effect of good temper than fear, for where severity is unreasonably exercised, obedience, which is readily granted to kind treatment, becomes doubtful, and sooner or later breaks out in vicious resentment and opposition. A horse knows its own strength, and oppression has its limits. "In emulation to surpass a rival no more convincing instance can be cited than in the case of a
*Haygarth's "Bush Life."
race-horse finding his competitor beginning to head him in the course, seizing him by the fore-leg with such firm teeth, that both jockeys were obliged to dismount to part them. This was a horse of Mr. Quin's in 1753. Forester, another racer, caught his antagonist by the jaw to hold him back. Surely such animals should not be gored with the spur or cut with the whip to do their utmost."
But the sagacious animal expects that his master or rider shall be fully competent to perform his share of the business. A horse soon learns to despise a timid rider.
"The confidence of a horse in a firm rider and his own courage is great, as was conspicuously evinced in the case of an Arab possessed by the late General Sir Robert R. Gillespie, who being present on the race-course of Calcutta during one of the great Hindu festivals, when several hundred thousand people may be assembled to witness all kinds of shows, was suddenly alarmed by the shrieks of the crowd, and informed that a tiger had escaped from his keeper. Sir Robert immediately called for his horse, and grasping a boar-spear which was in the hands of one of the crowd, rode to attack this formidable enemy. The tiger probably was amazed at finding himself in the middle of such a number of shrieking beings, flying from him in all directions; but the moment he perceived Sir Robert, he crouched with the attitude of preparing to spring at him, and that instant the gallant soldier passed his horse in a leap over the tiger's back, and struck the spear through his spine. The horse was a small grey, afterwards sent home by him a present to the Prince Regent. When Sir Robert fell at the storming of Kalunga, his favourite black charger, bred at the Cape of Good Hope, and carried by him to India, was at the sale of his effects, competed for by several officers of his division, and finally knocked down to the privates of the 8th Dragoons, who contributed their prizemoney to the amount of £500 sterling, to retain this commemoration of their late commander. Thus the charger was always led at the head of the regiment on a march; and at the station of Cawnpore was indulged with taking his ancient station at the colour-stand, where the salute of passing squadrons was given at drill and on reviews. When the regiment was ordered home, the funds of the privates running low, he was bought for the same sum by a relative of ours, who provided funds and a paddock for him, where he might end his days in comfort; but when the corps had marched, and the sound of trumpet had departed, he refused to eat; and on the first opportunity, being led out to exercise, he broke from his groom, and galloping to his ancient station on the parade, after neighing aloud, dropped down and died."
The Naturalist's Library---Horses," by Lieutenant-Colonel Chas. Hamilton Smith.
The pressure of the rider's limbs, the feel of the hand on the bridle, may even serve a horse instead of the sense of sight. Blind horses are by no means uncommon, and some of them do daily work without being much inconvenienced by the want of sight, if the rider or driver is patient and steady.
"I remember many years back my old acquaintance and infallible doctor, Mr. Minster, of Cheltenham, having a very fine old grey hunter, stone blind; and when visiting his patients he would often cross the country by the footpaths, leaping the stone stiles with ease and safety. Being one day with a dashing young farmer who was boasting of the feats his horse could perform, the doctor took the shine out of him on the instant by proposing a wager that he had a horse in his stable which could take a leap the farmer's horse could not.
"Where shall we go to decide the bet?' said the farmer who of course had said "done."
"Only into the street,' replied the other.
Consequently the doctor was mounted on the blind horse in a trice, when giving him the office by the bit (and, as Horace says, there lies the horse's ear), he made him believe a stone stile was before him, and he took a spring that would have cleared the highest in the parish, to the no small discomfiture of the farmer."*
And when well treated the horse is capable of great affection for the biped who rides or drives him; the animal will show a great deal of ingenuity in protecting his master from dangerwitness the following "Instance of Docility!"
"A farmer was remarkable for two qualities-attachment to animals and getting tipsy. The horse he usually rode, or rather the one that usually walked by his side like a dog-for he seldom rode him-had been brought up by him from a foal. Once every week the owner went to a market some seven or eight miles distant from his home, and as invariably came home the worse for liquor, his potations in such cases being usually varied by sundry slumbers in the middle of the road. The horse was always by his side, and if any one approached, a warning neigh gave notice to be wary; no accident to the master ever occurred. "One night a farmer of the neighbourhood was coming home when the well-known neigh informed him that J was asleep in the mud. Determined to test the sagacity of the horse he removed the tipsy man from the middle of the road to the close vicinity of a ditch half filled with water, placing him in a position so that he nearly touched the water. He then remounted his own horse, rode onwards a short distance, when he tied his horse to a gate and returned to watch the result, which he found to be that the intoxicated man was lying far from the ditch
where he had left him; having had his coat torn by the teeth of his own horse when dragging him out of danger of drowning. The tipsy farmer's horse, which had previously been very friendly towards the experimenter, could not afterwards be brought to notice him otherwise than with aversion."
An instance of vindictive memory may follow here showing how the horse remembers those who ill-treat him.
"I will relate a little circumstance which took place in Mexico a few years before I left there. One of my friends had a horse extremely gentle, and of such an easy agreeable gait, that he took the greatest care of him, and held him at a great price. A well-fed big and lusty friar was a friend to our neighbour: one who liked the good things of this world, as well as he liked to ride out to the small towns bordering upon the city of Mexico, and take a dinner with the bonny lasses and countrymen inhabiting those villages. He used to ask my friend to loan him his horse to take these excursions just around the capital; and, as his requests were granted with so good a grace, he, in a short time, went so far as to ask the loan of this favourite animal to go to Cuernavaca, a distance of eighteen leagues. As this happened pretty often, our friend complained to me one day of the indiscretion of the friar. I asked him if he could procure me a friar's dress for a few days, and leave his horse with me for the same time. He did so. I dressed myself in the friar's dress and went in where the horse was. I took a good whip in my hand and made him do penance for no other sin but that of too much gentleness. Going out I took off my friar's dress and went in again in my own dress, and handled him gently. I repeated the operation a few days, at the end of which I took the horse back to his master, and told him he might lend him to the friar whenever he pleased. A day or two after he came to my store. 'Your remedy,' said he, has had a marvellous effect. Our monk has just left my house, perfectly persuaded that my horse is possessed with the devil. For when the holy personage came up to take him by the bridle to get on him, he was so frightened, and wheeled round so quick, and flew away from him with so much terror, that one would have said he took him for the destroying angel.' The friar crossed himself many times, hurried away in all haste to the convent to sprinkle himself with holy water, and never asked my friend for his horse again."†
In this case the horse remembered the dress, not the features of the individual who used the whip on him. But horses can remember features as well as costumes.
The late General Pater of the East India Service was a remarkably fat man. While stationed at Madras he purchased a charger,
*Youatt, "The Horse."
"Tachyhippodamia," by W. J. Pellow.