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whose tenderness and love smooth the pillow in our sickness, and rob the gloomy pathway to eternity of so many of its terrors as to cause our chief regret to be the leaving so tender, so perfect a being behind us !” Reader, I love you for your enthusiasm in so bright a cause, and offer my humble tribute with equal devotion at so fair a shrine. I quite acquit ladies of being the willing perpetrators of any acts of cruelty towards any animals (except their lovers); but that horses do suffer in their cause is decidedly the case. Ladies, in a general way, are all delighted by fast travelling, no matter by what sort of vehicle. . I dare say the inventor of that Brogdignagian butterfly the aërial machine had the gratification of the ladies in view when he projected its construction : if so, I wish him every success, and trust the ladies will then go as fast as they can wish : it will save my poor friends (horses) many an aching limb. Now, whether the woman of rank and fortune travels in her own carriage with posters, or one in a humbler walk of life goes by the Manchester Telegraph, the inn that furnishes the boys who drive the fastest, or the coach that goes the fastest, is sure to be the inn and the coach most patronised by ladies.
The former rolls along in her soft-lined well-hung carriage at an accelerated pace, stimulated by extra fees to the post-boys. The horses, it is true, by dint of whip and spur, go the last mile as rapidly as the first. What their suffering may be during the stage or after never strikes the mind of its fair inmate : it never strikes her that to arrive at the end of twelve miles ten minutes the sooner, she is in point of fact inflicting wanton suffering on four naturally noble, generous, and unoffending animals. Once only oblige
DISTRESS. this lady to leave her carriage and stand by and see these poor victims unharnessed: let her see their raw and bleeding shoulders, their panting sides and distended nostrils, their blood-shot and glassy eyes, their limbs trembling with pain from the extra exertion she has thus wantonly occasioned them: let her see them two hours afterwards, when they have got cool, standing with their heads resting on the manger, too sick at heart and stomach to touch the food their exhausted frames so much need to render them capable of a repetition of the same suffering; this, nature is too far exhausted to allow them to take: let her see them stand motionless, unless when they endeavour to procure some ease to their stiffened and aching limbs by changing their position : let her see this, of which she has no conception, and, if I know the mind or heart of woman, she would reprobate instead of encourage a repetition of the cause of such a scene. Nor let it be supposed that this scene is exaggerated: it is a state to which post-horses are always reduced when urged beyond their strength. Fortunately this is not a case of every-day occurrence, and only takes place when the cupidity of post-boys and post-masters induces them to comply with the unreasonable. requests of particular persons; and these particular persons, we will hope for humanity's sake, are but few: in the above case there cannot be two opinions as to its cruelty.
Nor is the lady alluded to as travelling by the fast-coach exempt altogether from a share of that censure that becomes the due of every one, who, to gratify whim or caprice, occasions unnecessary pain to other objects, whether of the human or brute species ; still she is not, like the former more favoured votary
ANOTHER "AGE,” “ TAGLIONI,” OR “TANTIVY.” 29 of fashion, the direct cause of the suffering she occasions. The latter is only one among hundreds who. thoughtlessly enjoy a rapid mode of conveyance, which they are not aware is only to be accomplished by a vast deal of animal suffering.
Reader, hast ever been in that abode of crippled horses, a coachstable ? Probably not : but I have in hundreds, and have there seen the direful havoc of fast-coaches. We must recollect that nothing but a high-couraged and high-bred horse is fit for a coachhorse (in these days). Carrying this in our minds, we must not infer, because we see four horses going along without the constant application of the whip, that they are going at their ease : quite the reverse: they are probably even at that moment suffering much, either from distress by pace or bodily infirmity; for we are not to expect such coaches as a Brighton Age, a Windsor Taglioni, or a Birmingham Tantivy (were) on every road." Here horses were bought in their prime, were kept in the highest possible condition, and from their number were allowed proper intervals and days of rest. But, taking a long line of road, many brutes of coachowners purchase only infirm horses, which by dint of punishment are made to do work for which they are really totally unfit. It is enough for their owner that they do it, their free and generous spirits inducing them to prefer the agony of going to that inflicted by the whip. But even here the suffering, great though it be, is slight in comparison to that endured by night-horses. Even coach-owners are ashamed to exhibit to the public the dreadful wrecks of horses turned over to the night-coaches. Here is suffering with a vengeance! Here the short docker can be used without exciting the cry of « shame"
30 COACH OWNERS, “ HAVE AT YE ALL.” along the road. Horses with shoulders where there are deep-seated wounds, in which without any exaggeration half an orange may be buried, are here worked : here also are to be found others with legs in that state that would call at once for the interference of the Society for the Suppression of Cruelty if exhibited in open day. If that Society want full occupation for their truly meritorious exertions, let me recommend them to make a tour of the fast-coach night-stables. This would some years since have been, I allow, an Augean task : now, fortunately for horses, night-coaches are scarce. No class of men (speaking of them of course in a general way) have so little even of the commonest feelings of humanity towards horses as coach-masters, although it is by the exertions of this very animal that they gain their livelihood: they regard the horse, the coach, and the harness precisely in the same light, and provided the whole come in safe and keep time, they have no more feeling for the unfortunate horse than they have for the coach or harness: he brings the coach home; that is enough for them ; at what expense of suffering he may do so they care not a pin. Should he become so weak or lame that continuing him at work would render him incurable, they kindly take him out of the team, not from the slightest compassion towards a faithful servant, but because, if they did not do this, either death would ensue or he would be rendered useless to them. The resting him therefore is a consideration of pounds, shillings, and pence. But the probability of death does not in all cases procure for him an intermission of his labours. This depends wholly on his value, and how far, in case this common act of humanity were extended towards him, his sub
sequent labour would pay for the indulgence. If it is thought it would, he is rested; if not, he is worked on till he drops. Many persons would be much astonished to be told, while they were going along twelve miles an hour, that the entire team before the coach was not worth eighteen pounds, sometimes not so much; but such is the case. What must be the infirmities of four good sort of horses to bring them to this price, and what their sufferings labouring under such infirmities ! Common reason tells us what they must be. These are a few observations on their horses common in the mouth of coach-masters :-“ It will be cheaper to work him to death than to be at any expense about him.” This means, that if resting him for three months will cost three pounds, and by working him to death three pounds five shillings is to be got out of him, he is condemned at once, and works till he drops. “ It will pay better to work him to death than to sell him at that price." That is, the price offered does not amount by five or ten shillings to the amount of labour still left in him; so he shares the fate of his companion above. “He is cheap to whip to death at the price;" or, “I only bought him to whip to death.” This is a frequent remark when a low-priced horse is purchased in. He is wanted for a night-coach, or to work some temporary opposition: and this is said of some wreck of a splendid hunter, who has carried our aristocracy in the first flight over Leicestershire, and is the fate that awaits many who are now doing the same thing! Human Nature, thou art but a combination of sel shness and ingratitude at the very best !
To show I am tolerably correct in my estimation of the general tender mercies of coach-masters, I will