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302. · DOING A MAGISTRATE. postulated: this led to high words: the magistrate came to the window to see what was the matter, and, finding one of the two must be wrong, requested the stranger to walk in, and he would see into the merits of the case; and he left the room to go to the stranger. On his return, he found Barrington gone, who of course did not wish any interview with the stranger, who consequently took himself off also. This was well enough; but, on wishing to see the hour, his worship discovered that his watch was gone too. He now remembered the hook. Barrington, not daring to keep it, returned with it next day, when, if report says true, the magistrate presented it to him for his ingenuity: if so, he was a trump.
I hope my friends will believe me when I say that a horse in the hands of a certain set is to be made as efficacious an instrument for picking pockets as George Barrington's hooks. They may forget themselves, and be induced (if not to look out of window as the worthy magistrate was) to do something that puts their pockets in quite as much danger. Whether in buying or selling, the only way is to have nothing to do with these gentry: never fancy you can guard against their tricks: they have a dodge at every turn. Nice lads to get a bargain of! Yes, they will give you a bargain, “ with a hook."
We will shortly show how these fellows act when a gentleman or any other individual wants to buy; for they will have a finger in the pie here too. I have before said, these scamps do not come to fairs (in the common acceptation of the term) to buy, that is, they do not come to buy a certain number of horses to take away to be sold at a proper and a general profit. If they can buy, as I have represented, a
“ THE EAGLE DOES NOT TAKE FLIES.” 303 horse for a quarter of his value, in which so far as one or two they generally succeed in doing, they buy, and of course do not object to their being sound: but they would much prefer buying what they term a “good screw" at ten or twelve pounds, that would be worth sixty or seventy if he was sound, to buying a sound horse at thirty that in ordinary dealing they might expect to sell for forty. It is by screws they live, and why they do so is easily explained. For instance: a good sort of (what dealers term) trades. man's horse, six years old, sound and a fair goer, is worth we will say forty pounds. This is one of the kind of horses that can be valued as easily as the gig or four-wheel he is destined to draw: take him where you will, he is worth within two pounds, more or less, of that sum: his size, age, looks, and action, will always command about that; but there is nothing in him to command more: every man who knows a horse from a hand-saw can judge his price; there is no flatcatching in him. Go to Burford's stables; I doubt not among his other horses he will show you twenty of this stamp: he must keep some such among others for his customers. But this is not a money-making sort of horse: he can only be sold at a fair profit, like a sheep or a bullock. Now this sort of horse would not do for Rascal-dealer at all: he could not get a LOB out of him: consequently he never buys such (in a fair way at least): he does, if, as I have shown, he can do some one out of him for fifteen or sixteen pounds, not otherwise.
There are horses that no man alive can value such as hunters, horses of extraordinary beauty, or horses of extraordinary pretensions as to going. Such horses are worth just what different people choose to
give for them. These are the horses to bring the profit to first-rate dealers; but, as Rascal-dealer cannot touch them, he must find something else whose value
- or, I should in this case say, worthlessness— cannot be easily defined; and this is the good screw. What he terms “a good screw" is a horse whose complaint or tricks can be so palliated or concealed for a time as to prevent their being detected (sometimes even by a good judge). It would be useless my attempting to describe the thousand-and-one ways to which such fellows resort to produce the desired effect: it would fill a good-sized volume; and then the ordinary run of buyers would be still unable to detect them. A man may be told that the conjurer does not leave the watch in the box, as he pretends to do; but if the man sees the watch in the box, locks it himself, keeps the key, and on again opening it finds the watch gone, it only amounts to “ How the devil did he get it out ?” after all. The truth is, the conjurer was too quick for him; and depend on it Rascal-dealer would be too quick too, notwithstanding all the previous information or fancied knowledge the buyer might have.
Particular shoeing, beaning, (or other ways of producing the same effect,) hot water, stimulants, sedatives, physic, copious general, or local bleedings, rest or constant exercise, tonics, sickening medicine, fatigue, keeping a horse awake for three or four nights and days, will all produce wonderful effects on horses in palliating lameness, bad eyes, bad wind, internal or external weakness, vice, or violence. People will suppose a horse's throat an open sepulchre when I tell them I have once seen as many as six-and-thirty balls popped down a broken-winded one's throat one
after the other: it is nevertheless fact; he seemed to take it as a matter of course. I saw the same horse sold more than ten times over in Dublin in about six weeks; so, as he doubtless got his dose each time he was sold, reckoning by length, he got in that time about thirty yards of ball down his throat. Pretty well for the time! If he has gone on ever since, I conclude his inside has by this time become tolerably well lubricated.
I have mentioned sickening medicines, and it might appear to some persons strange that a dealer should wish to sicken his own horse. Well, then, suppose a dealer has bought a thoroughly-known vicious restive run-away brute - to be sold he must be tried; and to be tried, he must be rode. Now it is not so extraordinary he should wish to sicken him a bit. If my reader has ever enjoyed the pleasant sensation of a thorough sea-sickness, I will answer for him, that, hasty or belligerent as he might be on ordinary occasions, he was tame enough then: so I have seen horses so violent that it was next to impossible to mount thein, and as difficult to keep on their backs when mounted, rendered so sick and tame that you might have lifted them into a waggon for all they cared at the time; and thus have they been prepared when “the Gentleman was coming to ride them.” In a few hours the effect goes off, and then, when the Gentleman attempts to ride, probably he goes off too. “Very astonishing! nothing could carry him quieter than the horse did yesterday.” If the Gentleman is only astonished, he is very lucky; but he is farther astonished, when, on calling on the dealer, he probably has also gone: so altogether he finds it a very pretty go! -- The first go was wrong in going to such fellows.
But suppose Mr. Rascal does not mean to go, but
306 ONE OF THE TEMPERANCE SOCIETY. stands his ground, and takes the horse back: he then brings this violent customer of a horse to his senses in another way, and for a more permanent (but still temporary) period. He ties my gentleman's head up to the rack, which he gives him full permission to look at; if he can derive any nourishment from that, he is at liberty to do so: a man is placed behind him with a whip night and day; this keeps the horse from getting a wink of sleep—the man of course relieved by a substitute. The horse does not find himself particularly relieved by this process, nor is the substitute behind him and two or three pounds of hay and a little water a very pleasant substitute for good feeding; nor is the addition of his forty-eight hours' vigil any pleasing addition to his comfort. Mr. Horse begins to find this anything but a joke, and keeps looking round as far as he can to see if anyone is coming. Right glad would he be to welcome the very man whose brains he would have tried to have knocked out two days before if he went up to him; but no, there is the man on the stool of reform, and Mr. Horse finds himself on the stool of repentance. He is now well prepared by abstinence for a dose of physic; very sick; no sleep allowed; warm water ad libitum; must not be made to look too lanky. By the time the physic has done, and four days and nights of constant wakefulness, with nothing but a little bran and warm water, have passed, what with weakness, drowsiness, and fatigue, there is little doubt of the horse carrying quietly enough. He is accordingly ridden ; if any remains of restiveness or vice appear, he gets first a sound thrashing, which he is too dispirited to resist, and then he gets another night of it till he is thoroughly tamed and browbeaten: he is