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“THE MANAGER AT HOME.” 317
supposing he does not want your horse, and can only sell you his, depend upon it his time will not have been lost. He knows you will buy his; so the first thing is to get your horse in his way or out of his way as may best suit him.—(Mem. this is another little naturel way he has 1)—Now to do this, our lately neglected Rascal is employed: he calls at your stables, “has heard from (anyone but the person he did hear it from) that you have a horse to sell.” Now the way he will work will depend upon the hints he has got of your habits, temper, and knowledge of horses: he either “does not care about price, will give anything for a nice'un ;” and then points out fifty things that make yours a very nasty one; or he comes the candid and civil: “does not mislike the horse; is but a poor man; if he can make two or three pounds by him he is satisfied ;” and so forth : or, “he wants him for a Gemman what won't buy no horse without him seeing him : will bring the Gemman.” He does so: “the Gemman don't like the horse at all:” he persuades him strongly to buy him. We will say the Gemman does not buy the horse. “Well,” says the owner to himself, “the poor man did all he could to sell the horse at any rate:” so Rascal gets something for his trouble. The horse has been tolerably abused by this time, at least so far as Gemman dare abuse him, and the owner is left to digest this at his leisure. This is only paving the way for another gemman that Rascal brings; and it rarely happens but the horse is got, and either goes to the dealer's stables who wanted him, or is sold somewhere else. Thus, in point of fact, the swap will be made, not indeed exactly as the gentleman meant, but very nearly on the same and
3.18 “GENIUS GENUINE.”
only terms on which dealer would have swapped in his own yard. Most probably, on the gentleman purchasing the horse he wanted to swap for, something is said about the other. Dealer now takes his cue and says something to this effect: “Why, Sir, your horse was certainly a very clever nag; but I tell you very honestly” —(oh oh!)—“that if I had chopped, I should have wanted to draw fifteen pounds between them. I knew you would think that too much; so, not wishing to offend any customer, I declined altogether.” The gentleman, smarting under “the trouble the poor man took to sell the horse,” wishes he had known what Mr. would have taken, which he thinks was very fair indeed, and resolves, if ever he wants to swap again, to come to Mr. , and leave the deal entirely to him. He may if he likes; but he will then find Mr. has some other little naturel way of managing the thing that won't give him quite the worst of the swap ! I have endeavoured to give some idea how a certain class of dealers work, either in buying, selling, or assisting others in doing so; also the ruling principle of all dealers in swapping. I fear, however, I have not done anything like justice to the talents of our friend Rascal. His ubiquity of presence, universality of information, presence of mind, versatility of invention and manner, with many other virtues all ready at a moment's warning to suit different occasions, are really astonishing, and a good many he does astonish in no small degree. I am quite aware I have not exhibited one-thousandth part of his talents. I did not intend, nor do I intend to attempt, to do so; and, what is more, I could not if I did, though I do know
“Too FLATTERING sweeT TO BE SUBSTANTIAL.” 319
something about him too. At all events I know enough to keep out of his hands. But I will now look at him in another cast of character, and acting in one of those precious pieces of rascality that are carried on to a great extent in London. Reader, you have no doubt seen an advertisement something to this effect:—
“THE PROPERTY OF A LADY,
i." To be parted with in consequence of the ill health of the owner, who is ordered to a warmer climate –
“A pair of splendid grey britska geldings, with full manes and tails, six and seven years old, own brothers, and nearly thorough-bred, match well, with grand action.
“A beautiful brown lady's mare, seven years old, thorough-bred; has been regularly ridden by the owner these last two years.
“Also a particularly handsome dun cob, with flowing white mane and tail, so docile an invalid or child may drive him; has been constantly driven in a low Albert phaeton: invaluable to a timid person.
“The above are all sound; price will not be an object where they will be treated kindly.—N. B. No horse-dealer need apply.—The coachman will show the horses at the rear of No. —, Street, Square.”
Now, as a prelude, let me advise my reader to first always look with a suspicious eye on a horse advertisement. If represented as coming from a lady, eighteen times out of twenty it's a do: if ever it is said that the great object is to sell to a person who will use them kindly, nineteen times out of twenty it's a do. But if it is said no horse-dealer need apply, the do is certain. It only requires a little reflection to convince us such an advertisement is not a genuine one: and to show its absurdity, though it takes in numbers daily. In the first place, a Lady, keeping her carriage, saddle-horse,
320 KILLING LADIES.
and pony phaeton, must of course also keep a servant's hack: this requires coachman, groom, and helper; the Lady probably has two men in the house. Now, is it likely a lady keeping five men-servants would be driven to the necessity of advertising her ill health and horses? If from that cause she wished to part with such horses as those described, among her numerous acquaintance and their acquaintance she would find plenty to take them off her hands. A beautiful mare, which has carried a lady two years, or a very handsome cob invaluable to a timid person, are not to be had every day, consequently want no advertising. As to finding her horses a comfortable berth, really nice horses seldom get uncomfortable ones. But would a lady suppose any one would bind themselves to her horses for life? If they do not, what would be the use of her sacrificing her money when they might be again sold in a month : and as to no dealer needing to apply—why not ? A dealer would not use her horses ill, for his own sake 1 and as she is not very likely to ask him into her drawing room, what would it matter to her whether he saw her coachman or not ? As to the ill health, it is astonishing how many ladies are in ill health and wanting to sell their horses, according to the papers' account. It is really cruel of these papers to wound our feelings by such statements; I don't say mine, because I don't believe them: and what is more, I know that, thank GoD, delicate as the fair creatures are, Ladies, like some other things I could name, take a devilish deal of killing: so do their lovers, or else God help them But should the lady not find a friend to purchase her horses, surely Mr. Tattersall would be a better medium through which they might be disposed of; for no one
LE SAVANT, ET LA SAVONETTE. 321
who knows him could doubt his evertions being used to their utmost extent where ladies are concerned.
And a lady advertising her horses really has something dealing-like in it ! Now if house furniture and the whole paraphernalia were to be advertised, well and good: we should then, if Mr. Robins was employed, see her horses brought before the public in something like the following modest announcement : —
“Last though not least among the many prizes of inestimable and matchless worth, THE BEAU MONDE may here possess themselves of those living specimens OF REFINED TASTE, selected for the use, and for some time the happy FAVOURITES OF THE FAIR ; and, as her lovely prototype of old, the then unrivalled MATCHLESS CLEOPATRA, was wont, when sailing on the Cydnus, to shine the leading
star of her less
when these envied animals, these happy slaves were harnessed
did their fair mistress, by their willing aid, move amid THE GALAXY OF FASHION.”
I rather think there is a trifle of soap here, but not the beastly yellow kind used (as mentioned) by Tom : no, nor the plain brown Windsor used by my humble self: Mr. Robins has an article for his especial use, in comparison to which he would vote the best Naples as detestably out of taste as musk or lavender water. Long may he get the best of that and everything else for his own use, for he is a capital fellow,
WOL. I. Y