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276 A WELCOME SORT OF GHOST.
cumstances of life, the dread of an event is often more horrible than the realisation itself. Many a man, who has worked himself into a fever and high state of nervous irritability during the night from the apprehension of an operation in the morning, has borne that operation firmly, and allowed his fears had greatly exceeded the reality. Fear is a most powerful agent, and, where it is once awakened, a most difficult one to tranquillise. With horses a minute awakens fear that years will not eradicate. We cannot reason with them, or explain away the cause of their alarm; so, if any irrational animal is once hurt by any thing he sees or hears, or is seriously alarmed by it, hearing or seeing the same thing without sustaining any injury from it a hundred times afterwards barely suffices to re-assure his fears of it. Frighten a boy by the appearance of a ghost, he is alarmed : throw off the sheet, and let him see it was his sister dressed up, his alarm is gone; nay, he would probably think less of ghosts in future. We can do this with animals; but, in educating them, nothing but length of time can overcome terror; and till terror is assuaged, they have not even the instinct nature gave them. Ladies may fancy that if a horse has a tender mouth, there can be no fear of his going off with them: he would not on any ordinary occasion or under any ordinary excitement: if, however, he gets frightened, mouth will avail nothing: he becomes totally insensible to pain. The more timid therefore he is, the more dangerous he is; and, vice versá, the more courageous the more safe. Why are veterans more to be depended on than raw troops ? Mainly,
VETERANS FOR YOUNG LADIES, (MEM.) NOT MEN. 277 because the former, from habit, are more collected in moments of danger than the latter. Till therefore the lady's horse, from being habituated to such objects of alarm as he will probably encounter, is in practice a veteran, he is not to be depended on, nor is he sufficiently educated; and very few horses are so for any purpose.
SPORTING PRINTS AND SPORTING
“To hold the Mirror up to Nature.”
THAT whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well, has been so long an admitted maxim that no one attempts to deny its truth: and that to do any thing well we should feel a certain enthusiasm in its pursuit is, in a general way, a fact equally incontrovertible. One of the most powerful incentives to reach excellence in any pursuit is the commendation of others at the present moment, and next to that is the hope or prospect of our successful efforts being perpetuated. There are three classes of persons who can thus perpetuate our acts, be those acts meritorious or the reverse—these are, the writer, the sculptor, and the painter. A most common-place circumstance gave rise to the above reflections, this circumstance being no more than a heavy shower of rain. I among thousands have often gratified myself by viewing the different prints and pictures exhibited in the windows of publishers of the former and dealers in the latter specimens of talent. The windows of Messrs. Fores in Piccadilly are a temptation that, be my hurry what it might, always brought me to a dead stop: even the shower I allude to failed to drive me past the fascination of the memorable corner. To the kind
THE PUBLISHER FOR A SPORTSMAN. 279
offer of shelter from Mr. Fores was I indebted for keeping a dry skin, and to the urbanity of the same gentleman was I further indebted for as great a treat as a Sportsman could enjoy, always saving and excepting a good run with hounds. Finding I was a Sportsman I really believe every print that it was conceived would be most interesting to me was paraded for my gratification; nor did the politeness and good nature of the worthy publisher end here, but was accompanied by a cordial invitation to a similar treat whenever I felt disposed to enjoy it. By all the votaries of hunting and sporting, said I to myself, nothing but a Sportsman would make such an offer. Inquiries followed: I found I had made a “good cast,” and had “hit off” my man. What “a burst” we had together Racing, hunting, coaching, breeding, et hoc genus omne, were discussed, and then exemplified by the most finished representations pencil could form of every catastrophe by “flood or field” incidental to such pursuits. In heart, and to the very core, the spirited publisher is a Sportsman—need I say I soon availed myself of the permission given 2 Let us first notice the portraitures of all the best sires and mares, got up at an expense to the publishers that would astonish those unversed in such matters, and which nothing short of the estimation in which they are held, and the enormous numbers sold, ever could repay. These I do not look at as merely objects to please the eye, but as stock portraitures of animals that have been the wonder of their time, to be handed down to posterity as a faithful representative history of the turf. The few prints published formerly have
given a something to judge by of what an Eclipse, a
280 PERPETUATING A NOBLE LINE.
Flying Childers, and a Gimcrack were; but prints of those days were not the prints of 1845; for our posterity will know as well every point of a Sir Hercules, a Pantaloon, a Beeswing, and others, as we do ourselves. They will be able to judge to the nicest point how far the racing form of such sires and mares is continued to their progeny, and will gain from this a most correct idea of how far such and such crosses appear to succeed, or the reverse. Thus d) I regard the publication of such prints as a national benefit to the Racing World. The likenesses of the winners of the Derby, Leger, and Oaks, from paintings by that prince of artists in this particular line, Mr. Herring, Sen., must all command an interest with the Sporting World that perhaps no other prints can call forth. Animals that have brought fortunes to some, wealth to many, heavy loss to some, and ruin to others, must ever be objects of paramount interest to thousands. Many, no doubt, in bitterness of heart anathematise the hour they first saw the originals; but, perhaps, as many hail the likeness of the noble animal who has brought wealth and happiness to their very door. A Derby or a Leger is not what a race was in former days, a pastime : no ; it has now become a business, an event comprehending the interests of thousands; an event that raises many to the pinnacle of happiness, or drives them to the lowest depths of despair. Oh, how tumultuously throb those hearts whose possessors have turned from the warning voice of prudence, and staked their all on the efforts of one animal—a noble one it is true, and one whose generous nature disposes him to strain every nerve to obey the will of far less generous man! But then to the initiated comes the