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and ride their own horses, it is probable, that we shall soon see the best Jockies among the first of our nobility.
That the encomiums of the horse should so frequently be enlarged on, without entering into the praises of the Jockey, is indeed something wonderful; when we consider how much the beast is under his direction, and that the strength and fleetness of Victorious or Driver would be of no use without the skill and honesty of the rider. Large sums have been lost by a horse running, accidentally without doubt, on the wrong side of the post; and We knowing-ones, Mr. Town, have frequently seen great dexterity and management exerted, in contriving that one of the best horses in the field should be distanced. The Jockey has, indeed, so great a share in the success of the race, that every man, who has ever betted five pounds, is acquainted with his consequence; and does not want to be told, that the victory depends at least as often on the rider as the horse.
I cannot help agreeing with Lady Pentweazle in the farce, that if there was as much care taken in the breed of the human species, as there is in that of dogs and of horses, we should not have so many puny half-formed animals as we daily see among us :" and every thorough sportsman very well knows, that as much art is required in bringing up a Jockey, as the beast he is to ride. In every respect the same care must be had to keep him in wind, and he must be in like manner dieted, put in sweats, and exercised, to bring him down to a proper weight. Much depends upon the size of the man as well as horse: for a rider of the same dimensions with a grenadier would no more be fit to come upon the turf as a Jockey, than an aukward thing taken out of the shafts of a dray could ever appear at the starting-post as a race horse. 1 his is obvious to every one; and I could not help smiling at
what my landlord at the White Bear said the other day to a little fellow commoner of St. John's, (who would fain be thought a knowing one) by way of compliment: "my worthy master, said the landlord, it is a thousand pities you should be a gownsman, when you would have made such a special postboy or Jockey."
My chief inducement to write to you at present, Mr. Town, was to desire you to use your endeavours to bring the Jockey into equal esteem with the animal he bestrides; and to beg, that you would promote the settling an established scheme for the preservation of his breed. In order to this I would humbly propose, that a stud for the Jockies should be immediately built near the stables at Newmarket; and that their genealogies should be duly registered; that the breed should be crossed as occasion might require, and that the best horsemen, and of the lightest weights, should intermarry with the full sisters of those who had won most plates: and in a word, the same methods used for the improvement of the Jockies as their horses. I have here sent you the exact pedigree of a famous Jockey, taken with all that care just now prescribed; and I doubt not, if my scheme was universally put in execution, but we should excel all other nations in our horsemen, as we already do in our horses.
TO RIDE THIS SEASON,
AN able Jockey, fit to start for Match, Sweepstakes, or King's Plate; well sized; can mount twelve stone, or strip to a feather; is sound wind and limb, and free from blemishes. He was got by Yorkshire Tom, out of a full sister to Deptford Nan: His dam was got by the noted Matchim Tims; his Grandam was the German Princess; and his great Grandam was daughter to Flanders Moll. His Sire won the king's
91 Plate at York and Hambleton, the Lady's Subscription purse at Nottingham, the Give-and-Take at Lincoln, and the sweepstakes at Newmarket. His grandsire beat Dick Rogers at Epsom and Burford, and Patrick M'Cutt'em over the Curragh of Kildare. His great grandsire, and great great grandsire rode for King Charles the second; and so noble is the blood which flows in this jockey's veins, that none of his family were ever distanced, stood above five feet five, or weighed more than twelve stone.
N° 64. THURSDAY, APRIL 17, 1755.
Canes legatos misere,
Ut sese eriperent hominum contumeliis.
Hounds, pointers, mastiffs, lap-dogs sue for help, With many a doleful howl, and piteous yelp. RETURNING the other night from the coffeehouse, where I had just been reading the * votes, I found myself on a sudden oppressed with a drowsiness, that seemed to promise me as sound a repose in my great chair, as my dog already enjoyed by the fireside. I willingly indulged it; and had hardly closed my eyes, before I fell into the following dream.
Methought the door of my room on a sudden flew open, and admitted a great variety of dogs of all sorts and sizes, from the mastiff to the lap-dog. I was surprised at this appearance; but my amazement
* A bill had been brought into parliament for laying a tax upon dogs.
was much encreased, when I saw a large greyhound advancing towards me, and heard him thus address me in an human voice.
You cannot, Sir, be ignorant of the panic that prevails among all our species, on account of a scheme now on foot for our destruction. That slaughter, which was formerly made among the wolves of this land, and in which our ancestors bore so large a share, is now going to be revived among us. I, for my own part, have no hopes of escaping, as you will easily judge when you hear my case. My master owes his subsistence to his labour, and with his wages can just maintain me and his three children. In return, I now and then afford him a comfortable meal, by killing him a rabbit in the squire's warren, or picking him up a hare on a Sunday morning. The other services I render him are of equal importance to him, and pleasure to myself. I am his constant companion to the field in the morning, and back again at night: he knows that his clothes and his wallet are safe in my keeping; and he is sure to be rouzed on any midnight alarm, when I am in the house.
It is with horror I reflect on the numbers of my relations, who will swing their last, and against whom this law seems, indeed, to be levelled. Is it not enough, that our merits are neglected, and thought inferior to those of a slow-footed race, who inhabit a spacious kennel in the squire's yard, and who are as many hours in killing a hare, as we are minutes? Yet they are kept by the great, attended by the noble, and every day treated with horse-flesh: while I live among the poor, am threatened by the rich, and now probably shall be destroyed by public authority.
I cannot deny, but that the favour of the ladies is frequently extended to a small and degenerate race; who, though they bear our name, may very properly be styled the fribbles of our species. 'Tis true, they
are of foreign extraction, which alone is sufficient merit; and seem, indeed, to be as much preferred by the beau monde to our English greyhounds, as their countrymen in the Haymarket are to our English singers. But though this breed is so diminutive, that I myself have coursed one of them for a hare, yet I will venture to pronounce, that, be the tax what it will, not a Fido in the land will be sacrificed to the laws.
Our request to you is to display our merits to the world, and convince mankind of the innocence of our intentions, and the hardships that we already labour under. Though I have enlarged on my own case, I have the honour to address you in the name of all my brethren; such of them, I mean, as think themselves endangered by this scheme for our destruction. At the same time we desire you to apprize the public of the hazard they may run, by coming to an open rupture; since, in such a case, the mastiffs and the bulldogs are determined to join their forces, and will sell their lives at the dearest rate.
This last resolution was confirmed by a general growl. After which I was thus accosted by another of the company, of the pointing-breed.
Little did I think, that the pains I have taken, and the blows I have suffered, to perfect me in the art I profess, would have been thus requited. Having lost the best of masters by an accident from his gun, w which I can scarce ever think of without a howl, I have now, like my friend Smoker, the misfortune to live with a poor man. A misfortune I now call it; since alas! he will not be able to save me from the halter, by paying my ransom. He too, I am afraid, will be reduced to beggary; since, at present, I and his gun are his chief support. If he is deprived of me, and thereby prevented from what the rich maliciously term poaching, his best resource will be to dispatch