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stand, are an emblem of all the patience in creation, animate and inanimate. The submission with which the coach takes every variety of the weather, dust, rain, and wind, never moving but when some eddying blast makes its old body seem to shiver, is only surpassed by the vital patience of the horses. Can any thing better illustrate the poet's line about
-Years that bring the philosophic mind, than the still-hung head, the dim indifferent eye, the dragged and blunt-cornered mouth, and the gaunt imbecility of body dropping its weight on three tired legs in order to give repose to the lame one ? When it has blinkers on, they seem to be shutting up its eyes for death, like the windows of a house. Fatigue and the habit of suffering have become as natural to the creature, as the bit to its mouth. Once in half an hour it moves the position of its leg, or shakes its drooping old ears. The whip makes it go, more from habit than from pain. Its coat has become almost callous to minor stings. The blind and staggering fly in autumn might come to die against its cheek.
Of a pair of hşckney-coach horses, one so much resembles the other, that it seems unnecessary for them to compare notes. They have that within which is beyond the comparative. They no longer bend their heads towards each other, as they go. They stand together as if unconscious of one another's company, but they are not. An old horse misses his companion like an old man. The presence of an associate, who has gone through pain and suffering with us, need not say any thing. It is talk, and memory, and every thing. Something of this it may be to our old friends in harness. What are they thinking of, while they stand motionless in the rain ? Do they remember? Do they dream?
Do they still, unperplexed as their old blood is by too many foods, receive a pleasure from the elements; a dull refreshment from the air and sun? Have they yet a palate for the hay which they pull so feebly? or for the rarer grain, which induces them to perform their only voluntary gesture of any vivacity, and toss up the bags that are fastened on their mouths, to get at its shallow feast?
If the old horse were gifted with memory, (and who shall say he is not, is one thing as well as another?), it might be at once the most melancholy and pleasantest feeling lie has; -for the commonest hack has very likely been a hunter or racer; has had his days of lustre and enjoyment; has darted along the course, and scoured the pasture; has carried his master proudly, or his lady gently; has pranced, has gal. loped, has neighed aloud, has dared, has forded, has spurned at magtery, has graced it and made it proud, has rejoiced the eye, has been crowded to as an actor, has been all instinct with life and quickness, has had its very fear admired as courage, and been sat upon by valour as its chosen seat.
His ears up prick'd ; his braided hanging mane
His eye, which scornfully glistens like fire,
Sometimes he trots as if he told the steps,
With gentle majesty, and modest pride ;
And thus I do to captivate the eye
of the fair breeder ihat is standing by.
He sees bis love, and nothing else he seos,
For nothing else with his proud sight agrees.
So did this horse excel a conimon one,
In shape, in courage, colour, pace, and bone.
Look what a horse should have, he did not lack,
Save a proud rider on so proud a back. Alas! his only riders now are the rain and and a sordid harness ! The least utterance of the wretchedest voice makes him stop and become a fixture, His loves were in existence at the time the old sigo, fifty miles hence, was first painted. His nostrils drink nothing but what they cannot help,—the water out of an old tub. Not all the hounds in the world could make his ears attain any eminence. His mane is scratchy and lax : his shape an anatomy: his name a mockery. The same great poet who wrote the triumphal verses for him and hiç loves, has written their living epitaph :
The poor jades
K. Henry 5th, Act 4. There is a song called the High-mettled Racer, describing the progress of a favourite horse's life, from its time of vigour and glory, down to its furnishing food for the dogs. It is not as good as Shakspeare; but it will do, to those who are half as kind as he. We defy any body to read that song, or be in the habit of singing it or hearing it sung, and treat horses as they are sometimes treated. So much good may an author do, who is in earnest, and does not go a pedantic way to work. We will not say that Plutarch's good-natured observation ahout taking care of one's old horse, did more for that class of retired servants than all the graver lessons of philosophy. For it is philosophy which first sets people thinking; and then some of them put it in a more popular shape. But we will venture to say, that Plutarch's observation saved many a steed of antiquity a superfluous thump; and in this respect, the author of the High-mettled Racer (Mr. Dibdin, we
believe,—no mean man, after all, in his way) may stand by the side of - the illustrious biographer. Next to ancient causes, to the inevitable
progress of events, and to the practical part of Christianity (which persons, the most accused of irreligion, have preserved like a glorious infant, through ages of blood and fire) the kindliness of modern philo. sophy is more immediately owing to the great national writers of Europe, in whose schools we have all been children :-to Voltaire in France, and Shakspeare in England. Shakspeare, in his time, obliquely pleaded the cause of the Jew, and got him set on a common level with humanity. The Jew has since been not only allowed to be human, but some have undertaken to shew him as “ the best good Christian though he knows it not.” We shall not dispute the title with him, nor with the other worshippers of Mammon, who force him to the same shrine. We allow, as things go in that quarter, that the Jew is as great a Christian as his neighbour, and his neighbour as great a Jew as he. There is neither love nor money lost between them. But at all events, the Jew is a man; and with Shakspeare's assistance, the time has arrived, when we can afford to acknowledge the horse for a fellow-creature and treat him as one. We may say for him, upon precisely the same grounds and to the same purpose, as Shakspearė said for the Isrealite, “ Hath not a horse organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is ?” Oh--but some are always at hand to cry out, it would be effeminate to think too much of these things !--- Alas! we have no notion of asking the gentlemen to think too much of any thing. If they will thipk at all, it will be a great gain, As to effeminacy (if we must use that ungallant and partial word, for want of a better) it is cruelty that is effeminate. It is selfishness that is effeminate. Any thing is effeminate, which would get an excitement, or save a proper and manly trouble, at the undue expense of another. How does the case stand then between those who ill treat their horses, and those who spare them? To return to the coach. Imagine a fine coach and pair,
which are standing at the door of a house, in all the pride of their sleek strength and beauty, converted into what they may both really become, a hackney and its old shamblers. Such is one of the meditations of the philosophic eighteenpenny rider. A hackney-coach has often the arms of nobility on it. As we are going to get into it, we catch a glimpse of the faded lustre of an earl's or marquis's coronet, and think how many light or proud hearts have ascended those now rickety steps. In this coach perhaps an elderly lady once rode to her wedding, a blooming and blushing girl. Her mother and sister were on each side of her the bridegroom opposite in a blossom-coloured coat. They talk of every thing in the world, of which they are not thinking. The sister was never prouder of her. The mother with difficulty represses her own pride and tears. The bride, thinking he is looking at her, casts down her eyes, pensive in her joy. The bridegroom is at once the proudest, and the humblest, and the happiest man in the world. For par parts, we sit in a corner, and are in love with the sister. We dream she is going to speak to us in answer to some indifferent ques. tion, when a hoarse voice comes in at the front window, and says “ Whereabouts, Sir ???
And grief has consecrated thee, thou reverend dilapidation, as well joy! Thou hast carried unwilling as well as willing hearts; hearts, that have thought the slowest of thy paces too fast; faces, that have sat back in a corner of thee, to hide their tears from the very thought of being seen. In thee, the destitute have been taken to the poorhouse, and the wounded and sick to the hospital; and many an arm has been round many an insensible waist. Into thee, the friend or the lover has hurried, in a passion of tears, to lament his loss. In thee, he has hastened to console the dying or the wretched. In thee, the father or mother, or the older kinswoman, more patient in her years, has taken the little child to the grave, like a human jewel that must be parted with,
But joy appears in thee again, like the look-in of the sunshine. If the lover has gone in thee unwillingly, he has also gone willingly. How many friends hast thou not carried to merry-meetings ! How many young parties to the play! How many children, whose faces thou hast turned in an instant from the extremity of lachrymose weasiness to that of staring delight! Thou hast contained as many different passions in thee as a human heart: and for the sake of the human heart, old body, thou art venerable. Thou shalt be as respectable as a reduced old gentleman, whose very slovenliness is pathetic. Thou shalt be made gay, as he is over a younger and richer table, and thou shalt be still more touching for the gaiety.
We wish the hackney-coachman were as interesting a machine as either his coach or horses : but it must be owned, that of all thc driring species, he is the least agreeable specimen. This is partly to be attributed to the life which has most probably put him into his situation ; partly to his want of outside passengers to cultivate his gentility; and partly, to the disputable nature of his fare, which always leads him to be lying and cheating. The waterman of the stand, who beats him if possible in sordidness of appearance, is more respectable. He is less of a vagabond, and cannot cheat you. Nor is the hackneycoachmen only disagreeable in himself, but like Falstaff reversed, the cause of disagreeableness in others; for he sets people upon disputing 'with him in pettiness and ill-temper. He induces the mercenary to be violent, and the violent to seem mercenary. A man whom you took for a pleasant laughing fellow, shall all of a sudden put on an irritable look of calculation, and vow that he will be charged with a constable rather than pay the sixpence. Even fair woman shall waive her all-conquering softness, and sound a shrill trumpet in reprobacion of the extortionate charioteer, who, if she were a man she says, she would expose.
Being a woman then, let her not expose herself. Oh-but it is intolerable to be so imposed upon! Let the lady then get a pocket-book, if she must, with the hackney-coach fares in it; or a pain in the legs, rather than the temper; or above all, let her get wiser, and have an understanding that can dispense with the good opinion of hackney-coachman. Does she think that her rosy lips
JOS; for he
were made to grow pale about two and sixpence ? or that the cat of them will ever be like her cousin Fanny's, if she goes on ?---(See No. ll, page 88.) ki The stage-coachman likes the boys on the road, because he knows they admire him. The hackney-coachman knows that they cannot admire hin, and that they can get up behind his coach; which makes kim very sivage. The cry of “cut bebind," from the malicious urchins on the pavement, wounds at once his self-love and his interest. He would not mind over-loading his master's horses for another sixince; but to do it for nothiug, is what shocks his humanity. lle lates the boy for imposing apon hiin, and the boys for reminding him that he has been imposed upon; and he would willingly twinge the cherks of all mine. The cot of his whip over the coach is very malignant. lle has a constant eye to the road behind him. Ile has also an eye to what may be left in the coach. lle will undertake to search the straw for yon, and miss the half-crowu on perpose. He speculates on what he may get above his fare, according to your manners or company, and knows how much to ask, for driving faster or slower than usua). He does not like wet-weather so much as people sup
says, it rots both his horses and harness, and he takes partiry out of town when the weather is fine; which produces good payments in a lump. Lovers, late supper-caters, and girls going kome from boareling-school, are his best pay, Ile has a rascally air of simonstrance, when you dispute kalf the cyercharge; and accord. jag to the tempes he is in, begs you to consider his bread, hopes you will slot make such a fuss about a trifle, or tells you may take his Domber, or sit in the coach all night.
LADY. There, Sir?
LADY. The coachman, Sir! - INDIĆ. On, pray, Madam, don't trouble yourself. Leave the grntleman alone with him. Do you continue to be delightful at a little distance.
A great number of ludicrous adventures must have taken place, in which hackroy-coaches were concerned. The story of the celebrated Ifarlequin, Lunn, who secretly pitched himself out of one into a tavern window, and when the coachman was about to submit to the loss of his fare, astonished him by calling out again from the inside, is too well known for repetition. There is one of Swift, not perhaps so com
He was going, one dark evening, to dine with some great man, and was accompanied with some other clergy man, to whom he gave their cue. They were all in their canonicals. When they arrive at the house, the coachman opens the door, and lets down the steps, Dora steps the Dean, very severendly in his black robes: after him, comes another personage, equally black and dignified : then another : then a fourth. The coachman, who recollects taking up no greater sumber, is about to put up the steps, when another clergy man descends. After giving way to this other, he proceeds with great confidence to toss them up, when lo! another comes. Well; there cannot, he thinks, be well more than six. lle is mistaken. Down comes a