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remedied my first error, or rather his, low, we have twenty miles to ride
who rode up and called a trot, or a gallop, I have caught hold of the strap which was never been able satisfactorily to fastened about his head, the care- learn; but I was considerably obliged less woman must have been knocked to him for the selection; for though down. She was, however, sufficient, the motion was inconceivably rapid, ly punished by the boys in the street, it was, at the same time, pleasant for I heard them shout after her, and easy. I take it that flying must - Well done, stupid;" " That's be very like it. He seemed scarcely right, Johnny Raw.” On reaching the to touch the ground. The hot-houses Stable-yard, my horse, instead of that decorate the King's-road, the following the others, as I imagined "Gardeners' grounds,"the" Prospecthe would have done of his own ac- places,” and “ Pleasant-rows,” and cord, walked slowly towards the To Paradise-terraces,” were no sooner mansion of the Marquis of Stafford ; seen than passed-they appeared and but a tug to the left instantly brought vanished! The rapidity of my prohim into the proper direction. I did gress is not to be described : and had not regret this accident, for it served I been allowed to proceed, I am to convince me that I possessed a cer- persuaded I should have been at tain degree of power over the animal; Weybridge-at least, somewbere or moreover, that I performed the ma- other twenty miles off-within the næuvre with some dexterity, for I ob- hour. But soon I heard R-shoutserved that the centinels looked at each ing after me: “Stop, stop, for the love other and smiled. Indeed, I may of heaven, or you'll break your say that the people on both sides of neck !” He overtook me, and enthe way stopt to gaze at me as I treated me to return, assuring me, it passed along: a compliment they did was fearful even to behold me. Connot bestow on any other of the party. vinced, as I was, that I should have In St. James's-park-may I men- gone on very well in my own, or ration it without incurring the charge ther, my horse's way, he appeared so of vanity ?-a cavalry officer actual- seriously uneasy on my account, ly stopped his horse, and remained that I consented to return. « Shall I for some time looking after me! At lead you that is, show you the way Pimlico-gate there was a general back to the stable?” I desired only whispering among my friends, and to know where it was, and, thanking all, except poor R- (now no him for his super-abundant caution, more!) galloped off. He and I con- took the road towards May-fair ; or, tinued our route for some time, very rather, the horse took it, for, literally, leisurely ; and, for my part, I was as he walked gently back without any much at my ease as if seated in an effort of mine to guide him; standarm-chair. R-, every now and ing still, as if by instinct, when he then, cast a glance at me, and seem- came to the toll-gate at Hyde-parked anxious to speak, yet hem'd and corner, then turning up one street, ha’d, and appeared confused in a way down another, now right, now, left, I could not then account for. At till he reached his stable. There he length he said, “ P.* my good fel- stood quietly while I dismounted,
• Bridle is the proper term.- PRINTER'S DEVIL..
and when I was fairly off his back he owner's door 1 perceived my frisky slowly turned his head, and cast a and unfaithful bearer standing close look at me. It was a look of quiet, at my elbow! Now, though we good-natured reproach, for having sometimes speak of horse-laughs, yet caused him to be dragged from his horses do not laugh; that is to say, comfortable warm stable to no pur- they do not express their sense of the pose. As he walked towards his ridiculous by that vulgar convulsion stall he looked towards where the peculiar to man: no, they evince it grooms were assembled, and, by one by a subtle and delicate variation of glance, acquainted them with the countenance; and I shall never bewhole of my adventures. Their nods lieve otherwise than that at the moand winks assured me that he did so. ment I caught my pony's eye he was I ordered a chaise (a means of loco- enjoying a sly, Shandean, internal motion I strongly recommend to all chuckle at the awkward situation his such as are not accustomed to horse flight had left me in, and my eviexercise) and arrived at Weybridge dent confusion at his unexpected rein good time for dinner :-a disincli- turn. Since that time I have never nation to much walking, for two or been able to look a horse in the face three days afterwards, being the only without blushing, from an inexplicadistinct effect resulting from my little ble persuasion that the history of my expedition.
misadventures in their company has My next essay was on Brighton got abroad among them, and serves Downs. My late defeat (for in a as a standing jest to the whole race. certain degree it was so) had taught The reader may now form some me caution. Instead, therefore, of idea of the state of my feelings as I taking a full-grown horse, I selected approached the court-yard at Vilette. a. pony for this experiment, deter- The ladies were specially invited to mining to choose one an inch higher see me “turn and wind" this untameevery day, till I should gradually able courser, à la mode Anglaise. In have acquired the power of manags great extremities slight consolations ing an animal of the hugest dimen- are eagerly caught at. I had never sions. But I fear it is not in my yet tried to ride in France! This was destiny to excel in equestrian exer- not much to be sure ; yet it was sufcises: this second attempt was even ficient to inspire me with the assurless successful than the first. In or- ance that I should come out from der to give fair play to the principle the ordeal at something less than the I intended to adopt, I chose a pony cost of a broken neck. The very apso small, that when I was across pearance of the animal added to my him my feet nearly touched the confidence. It was an immense horse, ground, and it was a moot point finely proportioned, nearly seven feet whether I was riding, or walking tall from the ground to the crown of with a pony between my legs. his head, of a dark snuff-colour, with Scarcely had he tasted the sharp a long bushy waving tail, and a beaufresh air of the Downs when he be- tiful head of hair floating loosely in came frisky: he ran, and I ran ; but the morning breeze.* I had just as he was the swifter of the two, he put one foot into the stirrup, and soon (not threw me, but) ran from was preparing to swing myself into under me, leaving me for a few se- the saddle, when the intelligent creaconds standing a-straddle, as if I ture slowly turned its head and darthad been seated on an invisible horse. ed at me a look ! There was An attempt to overtake him would in it more than whole hours of human have been useless: so I gently walke language; it was eloquence refined ed back to town, calculating what it into an essence which rendered words was likely I should have to pay for unnecessary ; its single glance spoke the lost pony. But what was my plainly of Weybridge and of Brighsurprise, when on arriving at his ton Downs ! It combined all the
* I take the liberty of suggesting, that the terms Mr. P.* uses to describe the horse are not those current in the stable. There it would be said, that the horse was bay, brown, or chesnut, of so many hands high, and his beautiful head of hair would be simply termed, the mane. “ Floating loosely in the morning breeze," is a very pretty phrase, but highly inappropriate in matters of pure jockeyship.-P. D.
forms of oratory, but persuasion and sions of regret at the accident which entreaty were its great characterishad prevented my showing the party tics. There was besides an appeal the English mode of taming the spi. from the animal's consciousness of rit of a high-blooded horse; and im his own strength to my couscious patiently did they look forward to 'ness of my weakness; and his mute the morrow, when the exhibition oration concluded with an exhorta- might take place. So did not I. In tion, that I would spare him the what was called the cool of the pain of dislodging me from his en- evening-the thermometer, which for cumbered loins ; an event which, part of the day had been standing considering my usual and involun- at 94, being then about 83-a walk tary deference to the will or caprice of was proposed. I thanked my stars my quadrupede companion, it would that it was not a ride. After this, be beyond all horse-ean power to the evening was spent in the real avoid. To me, experienced in these French fashion. Every body, old matters, all this was distinctly utter, and young, set to playing at Colin ed. I found it would be useless to Maillard (blind-man’s-buff); then proceed; so, submitting to the ne- Madame Saint V- went to the cessity of the case, I made a start, piano-forte, and accompanied her bent myself double, complained of a daughter, Mademoiselle Alphonsine, violent spasm, and hastily returned in some pretty French romances; then to my chamber. « C'est pour un au.
every body jumped up to play at tre jour,” said Monsieur De V- puss-in-the-corner ; then a game at as he motioned for Hector to be led ccarté was proposed, and while some back to the stable; and the eques. were betting and others playing, a trian honour of England survived duet on the harp and piano-forte was another day.
performed by Mademoiselle Adéle de An hour or two after the departure G- - and her sister Virginie ; then of the cavalry, I found myself sufficie every body got up and danced (my ently recovered to quit my room, and spasms came on with greater violence sallied forth to enjoy the country af, than ever); then every body called ter my own fashion. I sat down for sugar and water ; and then every first under one clump, then another, body retired. strolled about the meadow, the farm- I did not sleep well. I suffered an yard (taking a long turn to avoid the attack of night-mare. In my dreams stable), loitered by the side of a lit, I saw Hector-I was on Brighton tle winding rivulet, betook myself Downs-at Weybridge. Nags'-heads to its rustic bridge, and indulged passed in rapid succession before me freely in the pontial luxuries I have centaurs-grotesque exaggerations before alluded to; next I went to the of the horse form—even wooden kitchen ground, watched the opera- hobby-horses, as if in mockery of tions of the gardener, and from him me, joined the terrific procession. learut the names of various flowers; As soon as day-light broke 1 arose, also to distinguish roots and plants and scarcely was I dressed, when while growing, such as potatoes, as
Monsieur de came into my paragus, turnips, carrots, and others; room: I expected to see Hector walk which I was astonished to find so in after him; but it happened that different from what they appear to be Hector was not the subject of his when served up to table. Several errand. He and the other gentlefruit-trees, too, he taught me to lell men were all going out a shooting, one from another, almost as readily and were only waiting for me. For by their forms and leaves as by the me! Under different circumstances inspection of the fruit they bear; the this would have been a dreadful vilatter mode being so easy and ob- sitation upon me; as it was, I convious as to satisfy none but the ve- sidered it as rather a relief. I had riest cockney. These are the true never pulled a trigger in my life, ex uses and pleasures of a visit to the cept occasionally that of a pistol or country, at least they are all I am, an old musket, for the mere pleasure or desire to be, acquainted with; of firing them off. “ What then," and in the enjoyment of them did I thought I, “it is as easy to shoot at pass the hours till dinner time. an object as to fire in the air ; you
At dinner, many were the expres- have but to point your piece at a
certain mark and pull the trigger, person asked me, whether in England and, that done, the deuce is in it if it was usual to fire among the birds, the shot can't take care of them- as I had done, scarcely allowing them selves." · A flask of improved double time to rise; and another inquired wheproof gunpowder and (spite of my most ther English sportsmen usually fired earnest entreaties to the contrary) a off both barrels at once. To this I caredouble-barrelled Manton, with all lessly replied, that “some did, and his latest patent improvements, were some did not ;” and proceeded to delivered over to me. Ordinary pow. reload my patent, improved, doubleder, or an indifferent gun, would barrelled Manton. Scarcely had I have furnished me with somewhat of done this, when a hare was perceived an excuse in the very possible case of sitting at a very short distance: as a my failure; now, no chance was left matter of politeness it was instantly me of concealing or disguising my pointed out to me.
I levelled my want of skill; for, notwithstanding piece and pulled the triggers: it missmy confidence in the facility of the ope- ed fire. This was, as they all said, ration I was about to perform, I still a malheur; for the hare escaped. thought that the dexterity acquired But even a patent improved Manton by long practice might be of some will not go off, unless certain prepalittle advantage. I requested; I en- rations are made to that end-the treated; I could not think of ap- truth is, I had forgotten to prime it; propriating to myself the best gun add to which another little irrein the collection. It was all in vain : gularity, I had thrust my wadding I was the only Englishman of the into the barrels before I put in the party; the gun had never yet had a powder.-My sight is weak, and of fair trial : I was to show what could very limited span; this, as I am inbe done with it, “and," added Mon- formed, is a disadvantage in the sieur de Vin a whisper, “I field. It is not surprising, therefore, wish to convince some of my incre- that my third slot was directed dulous friends here, that the stories against what I mistook for a living I have related to them of what I creature of some kind or other, but have seen performed by English which urned out to be a bat a sportsmen, are not altogether apo- labourer had suspended on the branch cryphal.”
of a tree. Luckily I did it no injury, Finding my situation to be with- and Monsieur de V-, supposing
out remedy, I loaded my improved, I fired at it merely to create a laugh, patent, double-barrelled Manton; and, and fired wide of it to avoid spoiling determined to keep certain odds in the poor man's property,laughed most my favour, took care to put in plenty heartily, at the same time applauding of shot. « It will be hard,” thought me for my consideration. I willingly I, “if among so many one does not left him in his error, and was protell.” We sallied forth, and presently ceeding to reload, when a servant turned up a whole drove of par- came running up to me with a letter. tridges.* I hastily presented my The letter was from Paris, and três piece, and fired in among them at pressće being written on the outside, random, pulling both triggers at the man thought it might be of sufonce. I killed nothing, but, to my ficient importance to warrant his ingreat surprise and satisfaction, lamed terruption of my sports. It was of three poor devils. This piece of no sort of importance whatever, but, cruelty, however, was unintentional, keeping that to myself, I made it my for so far from aiming at such de- excuse to return to the house in order licate marks as their legs or wings, that I might answer it by that day's I had no intention of striking, in par- post. So delivering my improved, ticular, any one of their bodies. The patent, double-barrelled Manton into effect of this, my first sporting effort, what I knew to be more competent seemed toexcite some astonishment a- hands, I left the field amidst expresmong my brother sportsmen; and wellsions of the deep regret of my comit might, for it astonished me. One panions, at finding my specimens of
Sportsmen do not talk of turning up droves of partridges : they spring coveys. When P.* has occasion to speak of numbers of oxen he may with safety use the word droves.-P.D.
English shooting, like my exhibition ceeded to the billiard-room. “ Did of English horsemanship, deferred I prefer the - Russian or the French till to-morrow. Happy was I when game?" Not knowing one from the I found myself once inore tranquilly other, I left it entirely to the choice leaning over the railing of my dear of Madame, who chose-- I really little bridge, and consoling was the can't say which. In the course of reflection that, as yet, the sporting about ten minutes' play, Madame honour of my country had suffered counted seven, and l-as may be no impeachment at my hands ; since, supposed-had not made a hit. My for any thing my friends knew to complaisance was the theme of genethe contrary, I might, had I but ral approbation. Presently, striking chosen to do so, have knocked down my ball with force, it happened to all the game in the arrondissement. . -strike another, and by its rebound
The next day promised to be to happened to strike a third, and one of me one of pure and unmixed delight. the three happened to roll into a sack What was my joy when, on waking, at the corner of the table. Here I was I heard the rain pouring down in overwhelmed with applause, and halftorrents, with every appearance of stunned with shouts of " C'est admiits being what is called a thorough rable! Oh! que c'est bien joué !". My set-in rainy day. “Well,” thought fair adversary remarked, that hither1, “I shall see nothing of the cursed to I had been complaisant, but that horses and guns to-day.” We all now I was growing méchant. My met at breakfast, and I, by an unu. complaisance, however, soon returned, sual flow of spirits, revived those of and in a few minutes she won the the rest of the party, rather depressed game, without my having again made by what they unjustly stigmatized one ball strike another. Nothing as the unlucky fall of rain. It de- now was heard of but my complairanged all their projects. But their ance.
Madame Saint was regrets were chiefly on my account: charmed at my politesse :, I had al“ How disappointing, how vexatious lowed her to win the game, playing it must be to Monsieur that he can only one coup just to prove what I neither ride nor shoot to-day!” By was capable of doing ; but she begrepeated assurances that I could for ged that next time I would not treat once forego those delights, I suc- her so much like a child, but put ceeded in tranquillizing them. No forth my strength against her, as she sooner was breakfast ended, than was anxious to improve. The result Madame Saint V- challenged of this was the proposal of a match me to a game at billiards. “Ah ça, for the next day between me and prenez garde, Madame," said Monsieur Monsieur 1- (a celebrated de V
“ the English are ex. player), but with a particular stipucellent players.". “ My torments," lation, that I should give him two said I to myself, “ are to know no points at starting. The day now end! Confound billiards ! I never went very rainily and pleasantly on, played a game in my life. Welle and I was tolerably at my ease, exone is not obliged to be an Admirable cept when, every now and then, I was Crichton: : up to this time they take appealed to to decide some sporting me for an able horseman and an ex- question, or settle some dispute conpert shot-surely that is enough, and cerning the breed and management of I may venture to confess that I know horses. However, I contrived to get nothing of billiards.”—I did so: I through tolerably well considering was praised for my modesty. I pro- by saying little and shaking my head tested my ignorance: Madame as- significantly—a method I have seen sured me that she was not de la pre- adopted with success in much graver miere force, and consented to take matters. six points at the onset. I persisted For three or four days after this, that I knew nothing of the game: it rained charmingly. Those showers Madame perceived that my objection were to me more than figuratively to play against her arose from my the “ pitying dews of heaven;" for conscious superiority, and said that to though each morning I was threatmake it agreeable to me, she would ened with the infliction of some new take eight points-nay ten. We pro- party of pleasure on me, either à Vol. VI.