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TOUCH NOT THE LORD'S ANOINTED. 67 premises, how long I should be suffered to enjoy my pursuit. I rather think Mr. Smellwash the Exciseman would very soon teach me how far the liberty of the subject would avail me; but by this certain duties to the Excise would be lost by baiting a bull, none !
There can be no doubt but the Society for the Suppression of Cruelty has had this good effect—it has in a very great measure prevented the exhibition of it in the public streets: but the punishment they are permitted to inflict is so trifling that the desired end is not attained to one half the extent it might be. I trust every one will allow that the sufferings of animals in performing the ordinary tasks demanded of them are quite sufficient, without subjecting them to an extra, and unnecessary share of them. I have endeavoured in a few cases to show what is and what is not cruelty towards them. I leave it in abler hands to decide on what would be the most ready, effective, and lasting mode of preventing or punishing what really is cruelty.
OBSERVATIONS ON DRIVING.
BY HARRY HIE'OVER.
* Sunt quos curriculo.”
On nearly every art or science practised by man there have been instructions, treatises, opinions, criticisms, and I know not what, repeatedly published, from the highly intellectual study of astronomy to the more manual art of making a horse-shoe. Nothing scarcely has been thought too insignificant to fix the attention and call forth the written opinions of those conversant with their subject. Horsemanship has produced writers on that art of a very early date, varying their instructions and terms used according to the age in which they lived and wrote; but I am not aware that any really good instructions in the art of driving have yet appeared. NIMROD, it is true, has given us his illustrations of the Road in the pages of Maga, and in a most masterly and scientific way has he handled his subject; on what subject, it may be asked, has he ever failed to do so ? But his observations relate only to coaching, of the perfection of which those who live in the next century will, I fear, have about as vague an idea as we have as yet of the merits of the new aërial flying smoke-jack. Why driving should have been hitherto considered less worthy of attention as a subject to be written on than horsemanship I cannot imagine. That the former should be done well, if done at all, I consider of the much greater importance. If a man rides, he rides alone, since the days of NE SUTOR ULTRA CREPIDAM.
pillions are gone by, and has most unquestionably a right to break his neck if he pleases : but if I am driven by another, he certainly has no right to break mine. Poor Mytton thought otherwise, but it is not every one who charges gates in tandems. In these money-saving days, where, so long as there are six inches square of room in a vehicle, some one must be accommodated, sundry great and little necks are, in private as well as public carriages, entrusted to the care of some one. Surely then this some one, be it papa or his subordinate, ought to know not merely something, but all about his undertaking. Now it most unfortunately happens for the drived, that the driver almost universally considers that he does know all about it; and hence the frequent occasions on which Mr. Swiggins, Mrs. Swiggins, a friend or two, and half-a-dozen little Swigginses, find themselves on the road, but not in the carriage ; and all probably because the Elder Junior Mr. Swiggins would, as he termed it, “handle the ribbons,” an occupation for which I am willing to give him credit in another meaning of the expression to be fully competent to, but handling silk ribbons and leather ones are not quite the same thing. The letting his ribbon at home get under his foot, and his ribbon abroad get under his horse's tail, may probably lead to very different results; and the “Well, I never," ejaculated by a pretty shop-girl at Mr. Swiggins's inadvertence in the shop, is a somewhat different one to that of a pair of horses' heels within an inch of his nose at the inadvertence of Mr. Swiggins in his coachman's seat.
Monomania has become, I believe, the ruling term to designate a person being sane on all points but 70
CHACUN A SON METIER. one. Now if a perversity and fallacy of idea on a particular point constitutes monomania, most certainly nine men out of ten who drive are labouring under this infirmity; for they all consider themselves fully competent to the task they undertake. It is singular enough, that though hundreds of men who ride on horseback quite willingly allow they are very indifferent horsemen, you will rarely find a man who drives a gig that does not conceive he does it as well as it can be done, or who for one moment thinks he is in danger from his ignorance. No doubt there is no great exertion of art required to sit in a gig, hold the reins, and guide a steady horse the way you wish him to go; but even in this humble attempt at coachmanship, the way it is done would, to a practised eye, at once show, that, while one man would be capable of greater things, another in fact was not capable of the little he did attempt. It is true a man may drive one horse well, but be by no means a pair-horse coachman : the latter may also drive his pair well, but be quite astray with four: but whether with one horse, a pair, a unicorn, or regular team before him, the coachman is to be detected at once: his mannner of taking up his reins and seating himself would be quite sufficient for the purpose. Of this our friend Mr. Swiggins could not be convinced by all the men in Europe : he can drive as fast as any man (such men mostly do): he has no fear of turning a corner at the rate of fourteen miles an hour (such men never have): he gets off safe for a time; hits the swing-bar of the leader of some coach in so doing, turns round, and smiles, while that smile says, as plain as a smile can say, “ Ain't I doing it ?” * Now, though I consider that it takes a much longer
LOLLERIES AND SIMPLE FACTS.
time to make a man what I call a coachman than it does to make a horseman, there can be no doubt but there are numberless men who ride on horseback, and who can drive a horse, a pair, or four, who could not ride a steeple-race. This arises from the want of practising the latter : and the probable reason why so few men, comparatively, do practise it is that they would be frightened to death to attempt it. Now our not-yet-to-be-forgotten friend Swiggins, Junior, might guide, I do not say drive, a pair of horses somehow ; put him on Lottery, and, fine-tempered animal as he is, and easy as he is to sit upon, let him take one of his five-and-twenty feet swings, depend upon it Swiggins would not be in his saddle on landing : or place him on Peter Simple, and set him going, he would take him faster and further from papa and mamma than ever the hopes of the family went before
- so, in truth, he would many a better man. This in no way militates against or disproves my opinion, that it requires more time and experience to make a coachman than a horseman. To bring a coach up from Brighton to the centre of London in the time and in the style that for so many years Snow did, is attended with a little more difficulty than people generally imagine; and to steer a horse, and he perhaps an uncertain one, four miles across country as Oliver can, comes. within the scope of but few men's capabilities. In stating two particular names, I beg to exculpate myself from any charge of being thought in any way as lessening the merit of others who follow the same pursuits, whether as coachmen or steeple-race riders. In each capacity there are a few first-rate artists, all of whom, upon the whole, may be one as good as the other. Some may in a par