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A BLACK DRAUGHT.

287 pagne to customers, some of whom, being deeply dipped with him, bear with his impertinence (I pity the man who is). A nobleman taking champagne at the table of a flash horse-dealer is, I conceive, an occurrence more to be “honoured in the breach than the performance;" but a refusal might for sundry reasons be made unpleasant to His Lordship: so, as I give him credit for feeling the “performance” unpleasant, it is something like a dose of physic, neither pleasant in the breach nor the performance, so the sooner it is got rid of the better. From such dealers as do not advertise “fifty young sound fresh horses from Horncastle fair," we may also get horses of whose merits, when we come to use them, we may judge from their having been at work: so it is our own fault if we are much deceived in them; for though we are not in the hands of one of the Highflyers, we are in those of a respectable man (we mean by and by to have a look at the regular coper who lives by screws). From respectable middling dealers, numbers of good horses, and good hunters too, are to be got; and if a man wants a horse to go to work, he is much more likely to suit himself with them than with the generality of those who deal in higher-priced horses; for if the latter only get fashionable-looking ones, their object is attained.

A purchaser should always bear in mind what it is that brings horses to moderate prices : it is in the generality of cases one of these drawbacks — want of beauty, want of action, want of soundness, or want of temper; for if a horse is perfectly sound, free from all vice, has beauty and fine action, he cannot be bought of any dealer under a high figure. Still such a horse certainly may be purchased for nearly half 288

ESTABLISHMENTS FOR LOVES.
the sum of one dealer than he can of another, and for
this reason: one dealer has not so many customers
who give enormous prices as the other has ; so he
must sell at less prices, or not sell at all. Some
ladies fancy they cannot get “a love of a shawl”
unless they go to the most expensive house to buy it.
The prayers of the sinful are never heard : I have
cursed two or three of these establishments for “loves of
things” to their hearts' content; but, confound them!
there they stand, and while they do I suppose our
wives will go to them; and so will certain men pay
much more for their horses than they need do, because
they also come from a particular establishment.

I have, I remember, in an early part of these
“ Hints," said that a man knowing little of horses
will in the end probably find a respectable dealer the
best source whence to supply himself, I say so again;
but the term respectable may perhaps bear a different
import in different people's mind. I mean, by a
respectable man, one who values his character too
much to commit acts incompatible with the character
of being as fair in his dealings as we may expect any
trader to be; but I do not consider respectability
involves the necessity of imitating Lord Chesterfield
in the colour or tie of his cravat. Cravats at a pound
apiece will not last for ever, nor will a case of cham-
pagne. If these are not paid for by the user out of a
PRIVATE fortune, they must be paid for by some one
else. "What good-natured people they must be who .
do pay for them !” A man may say, and with truth,
he wants a fine horse, and does not know where to
get him but somewhere where satin is worn; perhaps
he does not know where else to get him. I dare say
he does not; but there are plenty of men who do, and

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à man must be badly off for friends if he cannot find one who will take this trouble for him. But then the money must be forthcoming; promises or “ bits of stiff” won't do for men who will take a reasonable profit, and want their money to go to market with ; for “bits of stiff” won't do there either.

A friend of mine, who is a very fair judge of a horse, two years since merely wanted one to carry him safely and pleasantly on the road: he rides heavy, is a liberal man, so was willing to pay a liberal price, and he did so (very considerably more than a hundred). The horse did not suit him, though what the dealer said of him could not be contradicted (for pleasantry to ride is rather a vague and indefinite term, depending so much on ideas as to what is pleasant). He was immediately changed: money changed hands also, OF COURSE. The new purchase did not suit either; was most civilly (I beg the dealer's pardon for the term as applied to him) — well, then, most politely-changed also, and the difference in price as politely taken. This went on till my friend, despairing of getting a riding-horse, and wanting a match carriage-horse, took one, I believe, this time without giving money, and he got a fair useful ordinary carriage-horse. He told me some time afterwards, that, on looking to his memoranda, he had given, first cost and differences of exchange, an amount during the time that made this carriage-horse stand him in a trifle over 6001., and he is a man who strictly adheres to the truth. “Champagne for ever!”

I have said that many men are really at a loss where to find a horse if they want him. These are only men who never buy a horse but as they do a dinner-service, namely, when the one is broken, or a

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290

CONNOISSEURS. change of fashion induces them to do so. If a man is known as a connoisseur in pictures, or bronzes, or books, he is at no loss where to find them; he need not even seek them. The dealers in such articles will take very good care he shall not be; but, on the contrary, will wait on Mr. or his Lordship the moment they think they have got any thing they can persuade him to buy. So it is with horses. If the Marquis of Anglesey wanted a park-horse or a charger, or the late Lord Sefton a carriage-horse (both as first-rate judges of these different horses as of things that require a more refined taste to be a judge of)—these noblemen need not hunt dealers' stables for horses. In the first place, the pad groom or the coachman will soon let it be known in the right quarter that my Lord has room for a horse : the dealers know to a hair what horse will suit each : they know it would be useless to show or send any other, and they further know they must not play tricks here: the connexion, the being able to say they supply such men, is too great an advantage to risk the loss of: and, though they know they will be paid a liberal price, they also know they will not be paid a ridiculous one. They know, if a horse cannot handle his legs like Taglioni, the Marquis won't ride him ; and, unless his pace and action were first-rate, they knew Lord Sefton would not have driven him.

A dealer requires a good deal of tact to act the best for his own interest with his different customers. With some of these his business is to literally SUIT and please them, that they may say they buy horses of such-and-such men, and they have always behaved well and fairly. Now they would not say they were treated fairly if the horses they bought did not

“ MILD AS MOONBEAMS."

291 GENERALLY answer their expectations ; and they would be right in saying so, because they would not, like the bad judge, buy what by nature was inappropriate to the purpose wanted : so the not suiting would proceed from some hidden fault or failing, not from the evident want of judgment in the selection. The dealer knows this, and consequently, knowing that in such cases he has no excuse, is very careful in selling. Such men, barring the risk inseparable from purchasing untried horses, generally do not get disappointed: when they are, they are sensible and liberal enough to blame if blame is due, and not to censure where censure would be injustice. In the event of a horse not answering their purpose, they would send for or go to the dealer, and something like the following remarks would probably take place:-“Well, Collins,” (we will say Collins as well as any other name,)“ that horse does not turn out as well as we expected.”—“I'm sorry for it, my Lord :" (in this case he is so :) “I hope you found him as near as I could judge what I told your Lordship."“ Yes, I have no fault to find; he is sound and quiet, and goes well; but he is a jade, and, after going a dozen miles, he is not worth a farthing.”(Mem. one of the blessings of buying young fresh horses !) “I shall be most happy, my Lord, to change him for any thing in my stables ; or, if there is nothing there your Lordship likes, I will look out immediately, and you will perhaps be kind enough, my Lord, to drive the brute till I have got what will suit your Lordship.” He either supplies another from his stable, or hunts for one in others; and in all probability he suits his noble purchaser. Now, though I never . recommend any one to change a horse with a dealer

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