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BIS DAT QUI CITO DAT. appropriately term him) makes his dernier examination by lifting up his horse's tail. Now had Muff done this, he would have learned about as much as he did by looking in his horse's mouth; namely, he would have seen there was something there : but Wide-awake judges by the appearance of what he sees there — a something that gives him a shrewd guess as to the hardihood of his horse's constitution. I am not, however, presuming to write instructions on buying a horse: I am only showing the different modes of trial or purchasing between two buyers.
The horse is now ordered to be saddled. Wideawake hums no scena from La Sonnambula or any thing else: here he attends to his business on hand, follows his horse into the stable, sees him saddled, sees he shows no reluctance or vice, and on being brought out, and just seeing the stirrups are somewhere about his length, mounts his horse at once, gives him his head, and lets him walk away; tries his trot and canter; now comes back, having while out privately again looked at his horse when left quietly to himself. On returning to the yard, all Tom ventures to say will be, “ I hope you like him, Sir! you found him a good goer, Sir!” The probable answer will be, “ Yes, I do not dislike his riding, and he is a very fair goer.” This buyer we · will suppose also gives his cheque, but, without waiting to be waylaid by Tom, goes into the stable, and gives his half crown. Tom, however, from habit cannot help the “ You've got a good horse, Sir," in addition to touching his hat. Tom says no more, being perfectly aware that all he could say would not get a shilling more than he had a right to expect,
THE FORCE OF HABIT.
and what was customary he would get without wasting his breath.
I have merely by the above supposed case endeavoured to give some idea of the very different probabilities there are of two persons — the one a judge and the other not so-getting what they want at the hands of a dealer. ......I must add, in anythingand to show how soon the novice and the judge are detected. That the novice will be detected at once is quite clear; but I will further add, if a man accustomed to look at horses was to wish to pass for one who was not, I do not believe he could do it; a something, an habitual mannerism would detect him : in short, neither party could do anything like the other. Such men as the Marquis of Abercorn and Lord Lonsdale would both probably show the same refined manners at their own tables, and be equally at home at a Levee; but the former could no more look at a pack of fox-hounds or a stable of hunters in the same way as the latter would, than the latter's coach-maker could act the part of his noble customer either as host or guest. You could no more tell a man how to act the part of a horseman than you could tell him how to act that of a Gentleman: you may tell him not to commit such atrocities as to eat with his knife, wipe his hands on the table-cloth in lieu of his napkin, eat his soup with his spoon lengthways instead of sideways, or to literally wash his mouth in his finger glass; but he will not even sit down on his chair like a Gentleman if he is not one; nor will a novice even walk through a stable like a man used to do so. Habit must give the air of both. If a vulgar man will thrust himself among Gentlemen, he is sure
LOOKING TO RESULTS.
to be detected and shunned; and if a man, unaccustomed to the thing, will go and purchase for himself, he is likewise certain to be detected, and imposed upon. If I have convinced those of this who were not before aware of it, I shall have the satisfaction of knowing I have done some good.
I have only as yet supposed men going to reputable dealers: how people may get off in going to those who are not so shall be a further consideration; and if my Reader will so far honour me, we will perhaps walk together and take a peep into a commissionstable and a public repository- not intending to say anything in general disparagement of either of the last-mentioned places when conducted by men of probity; but it may do no harm to know and to keep in our recollection what we are exposed to, supposing (of course only just barely supposing) the owner not to be quite immaculate.
I left the two Gentlemen (each of whom I have been rude enough to distinguish as Muff and Wide-awake) having purchased their horses — we will now drop the sobriquet, and in more decent terms designate the non-judge as Mr. A., and the judge as Mr. B., and will suppose each to have had his purchase six weeks, by which time a tolerably fair estimate may be supposed to have been formed of their respective worth after being used in a moderate way. We shall thus see how each of these Gentlemen stands so far as regards their prospects in a pecuniary point of view whether they may wish to dispose of their horses again, or keep them. I do not mean to say the conclusión we shall come to will invariably be the case; but I will answer for it that to two men (of similar habits to each of these) in nine cases out of ten the MAKING OR MARRING A SERVANT.
result will be very near the one I shall in this bring it to.
We will not here enter on the subject of grooms, on whose qualifications as stablemen of course much of the well-doing of a horse depends, but will suppose each Gentleman to have a good servant. It would be useless to suppose each to have a bad one; for, though it might be quite possible for Mr. A. not to have a good groom, we may depend upon it Mr. B. would not have a bad one; so we will conclude them to be both good: but we may be pretty certain they will not be equally good, for two reasons: first, Mr. A. is of course no better judge of a good stableman than he is of a good horse, while Mr. B. is an equally competent one of the qualities of either. And further, Mr. A. probably leaves every thing to his groom, or, if he does interfere, his directions as to stable management will probably keep pace with his judgment in buying: so, supposing his servant to know his business, his horses derive no more benefit from it than if he did not. Thus, under any circmstances, they will not be as well managed as Mr. B.'s, who leaves nothing of importance to his groom, or at least not without a watchful eye that it is properly done : so that, had he taken a man from the plough-tail, he must under his eye become a good servant; that is, he will learn to handle his wisp, brush, and duster properly and like a stableman, and not to spare his labour, otherwise B. would very soon spare him. When he knows this, and knows how to feed, water, and exercise horses as inay be directed, he knows quite as much as I ever wish a groom to know. There is another thing, how. ever, he must learn, and this Mr. B. would soon teach him; namely (like a soldier), to obey orders without 276 A LITTLE KNOWLEDGE IS A DANGEROUS THING.
presuming to ask why or wherefore they are given. The moment he is allowed to give his opinion, he is spoiled: defend me from a knowing groom! If I was engaging a man, and he told me he could attend horses without a veterinary surgeon if they wanted one, I should reject him at once. God help the horses! they never would be without a ball, drench, or powder in their stomachs. This sort of knowledge may be very well (in a very limited way) for a stud groom who has 20 or 30 hunters under his care; but then I should take care that Barbadoes aloes, soap, a few carminatives, some nitre, a little soap liniment, goulard, and a little dressing or hot stopping for the feet, constituted his pharmacopæia. If he began talking of calomel, arsenic, alteratives, absorbents, digestives, sudorifics, &c., the moment he had done, I should have done with him. Let him see that his men under him strap : if a horse is amiss, let him report at headquarters that he is so: I will answer for it my monthly report of the state of my stable is better than that of those who trust to one of these yeterinary grooms.
Both horses have now been had the six weeks, so we will have a look at them, beginning with A.'s nag. Being fat when bought, he concluded he wanted nothing but work to get him into condition. Certainly not; nothing but work to get him into bad condition: it has got his flesh off, and he is lighter, it is true; so would a pound of butter be if we exposed it to the kitchen fire: I have no doubt many dealers' horses might be melted down by the same process. I have never tried this, not being an experimentalist, and having an old-fashioned plan of my own for doing it by other means. But others