« ForrigeFortsett »
be supported by the spirit of the one, as then a larger and stronger breed in the well as by the vigour of the other. more fertile and luxuriant parts of the
No country can bring a parrallel to the island. Those we employ for that purstrength and size of our horses destined pose or for the draught, are an ottspring for the draught; or to the activity and of the German or Flemish breed, meliostrength united of those that form our rated by our soil, and a judicious culture. cavalry.
The English were ever attentive to an In our capital there are instances of exact culture ofthese animals ; and in very single horses that are able to draw on a early times set a high value on their breed. plain, for a small space, the weight of The esteem that our horses were held in ihree tons ; but could with case, and for by foreigners so long ago as the reign of a continuance draw half that weight. Athelstan, may be collected from a law of The pack-horses of Yorkshire, employed that monarch prohibiting their exportain conveying the manufactures of that tion, exceptthey were designed as presents. county to the most remote parts of the These must have been the native kind, or kingdom, usually carry a burden of 420 the prohibition would have been needless, pounds ; and that indifferently over the for our commerce was at that time tvo lihighest bills of the north, as well as the mited to receive improvement from any most level roads ; but the most remark- but the German kind, to which country able proof of the strength of our British their own brưed could be of no value. horses, is to be drawn from that of our But when our intercourse with the other mill-horses ; some of these will carry at parts of Europe was enlargel, we soon one load thirteen measures, which at a jaid hold of the advantages this gave of moderate computation of 70 pounds improving our breed. Roger de Bellesme each, will amount to 910; a weight Earl of Shrewsbury, is the first that is on superior to that which the lesser sort of record : he introduced the Spanish stal. camels will bear: this will appear less lions into his estate in Powisland, from surprising, as these horses are by degrees which that part of Wales was for many accustomed to the weight; and the dis- ages celebrated for a swift and
generous tance they travel no greater than to and race of horscs. Giraldus Cambrensis, from the adjacent hamlets.
who lived in the reign of Ilenry II. takes Our cavalry in the late campaigns notice of it; and Michael Drayton, co(when they had an opportunity) shewed temporary with Shakespeare, sings their over those of our allies, as well as of the excellence in the sixth part of his PolyolFrench, a great superiority both of bion. This kind was probably destined to strength and activity : the enemy was mount our gallant nobility, or courteous broken through by the impetuous charge knights for feats of chivalry, in the geneof our squadrons ; while the German rous contests ofthe tilt-yard. From these horses, from their great weight and inac- sprung, to speak the language of the times, tive make, were unable to second our the Flower of Coursers, whose elegant etforts ; though those troops were actu
form added charms to the rider; and aied by the noblest ardour.
whose activity and managed dexterity The present cavalry of this island only gained him the palm in that seld of supports its ancient glory; it was emi. gallantry and romantic honour. nent in the earliest times : our scythed Notwithstanding my former supposi. chariots, and the activity and good discip- tion, races were known in England in very line of our horses, even struck terror into early times. Fitz-Stephen, who wrote in Cæsar's legions : and the Britons as soon the days of llenry II. mentions the great as they became civilized enough to coin, deliglit that the citizens of London took took care to represent on their money in the diversion. But by his words, it the animal for which they were so cele- appears not to have been designed for the brated. It is now impossible to trace purposes of gaming, but merely to have out this species ; for those which existsprung from a generous emulation of amongthe indigenæ of Great Britain, such shewing a superior skill in horsemanshipas the little horses of Wales and Corn- Races appear to have been in vogue in wall, the hobbies of Ireland, and the the reign of queen Elizabeth, and to have shelties of Scotland, though admiralıly been carried to such excess as to injure well adapted to the uses of those coun. the fortunes of the nobility. The famous tries, could never have been equal to the George Earl of Cumberland is recorded work of war; but probably we had even
to have wasted more of his estate than any
of his ancestors; and chiefly by his ex- was no more than an undisciplined rabtreme love to horse-races, tiltings, and ble, the few that appeared under the other expensive diversions. It is proba- banners of Elizabeth, a corps well formed ble that ihe parsimonious queen did not and such as might be opposed to so forapprove of it; for races are not among midable an enemy as was then expected : the diversions exhibited at Kennelworth but such is their present increase, that in by her favourite Leicester. In the fol- the late war, the number employed was lowing reign, were places allotted for the 13,575; and such is our improvement in sport : Croydon in the South, and Gar. the breed of horses, that most of those terly in Yorkshire, were celebrated which are used in our waggons and carcourscs. Camden also says, that in riages of different kinds, might be applied 1607 there were races near York, and to the same purpose : of those our capi. the prize was a little golden bell. tal alone employs near 22,000.
Not that we deny this diversion to be The learned M. de Buffon has almost known in these kingdoms in carlier times; exhausted the subject of the natural hiswe only assert a different mode of it, gen. tory of the horse, and the other domestic tlemen being then their own jockies, and animals; and left very little for aller riding their own horses. Lord Herbert writers to add. We may observe that this of Cherbury enumerates it among the most noble and useful quadruped, is en. sports that gallant philosopher thought dowed with every quality that can make unworthy of a man of honour. 66 The it subservient to the uses of mankind: “ exercise (says he) I do not approve of, and those qualities appear in a more “ is running of horses, their being much exalted, or in a less degree, in proportion “ cheating in that kind ; neither do I see to our various necessities. 6s why a brave man should delight in a Undaunted courage added to a docie « creature whose chief use is to help him lity half reasoning, is given to some, which 66 to run away.”
tits them for military services. The spirit The increase of our inhabitants, and and emulation so apparent in others, fur. the extent of our manufactures, together nish us with that species, which is admirawith the former neglect of internal navi- bly adapted for the course; or the more gation to convey those manufactures, noble and generous pleasure of the chacc. multiplied the number of our horses, an Patience and perseverance appear excess of wealth, before unknown in these strongly in that most useful kind" des. islands, increased the luxury of carriages, tined to bear the burdens we impose on and added to the necessity of an extra- them ; or that employed in the slavery ordinary culture of these animals: their of the draught. high reputation abroad has also made Though endowed with vast strength them a branch of commerce, and proved and great powers, they very rarely exert another cause of their vast increase. either to their master's prejudice; but on
As no kingdom can boast of parallel the contrary, will endure fatigues even to circumstances, so none can vie with us in death for our benefit. Providence has the number of these noble quadrupeds : it implanted in them a benevolent disposiwould be extremely difficult to guess at tion, and a fear of the human race, togtthe exact amount of them, or to form a ther with a certain consciousness of ile periodical account of their increase : the services we can render them. Most of number seems very fluctuating ; William the hoofed quadrupeds are domestic, be Fitz-Stephen, relates, that in the reign of cause necessity compels them to seek our king Stephen, London alone poured out protection : wild beasts are provided with 20,000 horsemen in the wars of those feet and claws, adapted to the forming times : yet we find that in the beginning dens and retreats from the inclemency oi of queen Elisabeth's reign, the whole the weather ; but the former, destitute kingdum could not supply 2000 horses of these advantages, are obliged to run tu to form our cavalry: and even in the year us for artificial shelter, and harvested 1588, when the nation was in the most provisions: as nature in these climates, imminent danger from the Spanish in- does not throughout the year supply vasion, all the cavalry which the nation them with necessary food. could then furnish amounied only to But still many of our tame animals 3000 ; to account for this difference we must by accident endure the rigour of the must imagine, that the number of horses season : to prevent which inconvenience which took the field in Stephen's reign their feet (for the extremitics sutiu first by cold) are protected by strong even after death, he preserves some anahoofs of a horny substance.
logy with his former employ. The hair The tail too is guarded with long bushy of the mane is of use in making wigs; of hair, that protects it in both extremes of the tail in making the bottoms of chairs, weather; during the summer it serves, by floor-cloths, and cords; and to the angler its pliancy and agility, to brush off the in making lines. swarms of insects which are perpetually
$ 2. The Or. attempting either to sting them, or to deposit their eggs in the rectum; the same The climate of Great Britain is above length of hair contributes to guard them all others productive of the greatest va-from the cold in winter. But we, by the riety and abundance of wholesome vegeabsurd and cruel custom of docking, a tables, which, to crown our happiness, are practice peculiar to our country, deprive almost equally diffused through all its these animals of both advantages: in the parts: this general fertility is owing to last war our cavalry suffered so much on those clouded skies, which foreigners mis. that account, that we now seem sensible takenly urge as a reproach on our counof the error, and if we may judge from try; but let us cheerfully endure a temposome recent orders in respect to that rary gloom, which clothes not only our branch of the service, it will for the fu- meadows but our hills with the richest ver. ture be corrected.
dure. To this we owe the number, variety, Thus is the horse provided against the and excellence of our cattle, the richness two greatest evils he is subject to from of our dairies, and innumerable other adthe seasons: his natural diseases are few : vantages. Cæsar (the earliest writer who but our ill usage, or neglect, or, which is describes this island of Great Britain) very frequent, our over care of him, bring speaks of the number of our cattle, and on a numerous train, which are often fatal. adds that we neglected tillage, but lived Among the distempers he is naturally on milk and flesh. Strabo takes notice of Subject to, are the worms, the bots, and our plenty of milk, but says we were ignothe stone: the species of worms that in- rant of the art of making cheese. Mela fect him are the lumbrici, and ascarides ; informs us, that the wealth of the Britons both these resemble those found in hu- consisted in cattle: and in his account of man bodies, only larger: the bots are the Ireland, reports that such was the richness erucæ, or caterpillars of the oestrus, or of the pastures in that kingdom, that the gadfly: these are found both in the rec- cattle would even burst if they were suftum, and in the stomach, and when in the fered to feed on them long at a time. latter bring on convulsions, that often
This preference of pasturage to tillage terminate in death.
was delivered down from our British anThe stone is a disease the horse is not cestors to much later times; and continufrequently subject to; yet we have seen ed equally prevalent during the whole petwo examples of it; the one in a horse riod of our feodal government; the chief. near High Wycombe, that voided sixteen tain, whose power and safety depended on calculi, each of an inch and a half diame the promptness of his vassals to execute ter; the other was of a stone taken out his commands, found it his interest to enof the bladder of a horse, and deposited courage those employments that favoured in the cabinet of the late Dr. Mead; that disposition; that vassal, who made it weighing eleven ounces. These stones his glory to fly at the first call to the stan. are formed of several crusts, each very dard of his chieftain, was sure to prefer smooth and glossy; their form triangular; that employ, which might be transacted but their edges rounded, as if by collision by his family with equal success during against each other.
his absence. Tillage would require an The all-wise Creator hath finely limited attendance incompatible with the services the several services of domestic animals he owed the baron, while the former octowards the human race; and ordered cupation not only gave leisure for those that the parts of such, which in their lives duties, but furnished the hospitable board have been the most useful, should after of his lord with ample provision, of which death contribute the least to our benefit. the vassal was equal partaker. The reThe chief use that the exuviæ of the horse liques of the larder of the elder Spencer can be applied to, is for collars, traces, are evident proofs of the plenty of cattle and other parts of the harness; and thus, in his days; for after his winter provisions
may have been supposed to have been tanners than those of the tame ; and they mustly consumed, there were found, so would give sixpence per stone more for late as the month of May in salt, the car- them. These cattle were wild asany decr: cases of not fewer than so breves, 600 on being approached would instantly take bacons, and 600 muttons. The accounts to Niglit and gallop away at fullspeed : neof the several great feasts in after times, ver mix with the tame species ; nor come afford amazing instances of the quantity near the house unless constrained by hunof cattle that were consumed in them. ger in very severe weather. When it is This was owing partly to the continued at necessary to kill any they are always shot; tachment of the people to grazing; partly if the keeper only wounds the beast, he to the preference that the English at all must take care to keep behind some tree, times gave to animal food. The quantity or his life would be in danger from the fuof cattle that appear from the latest cal- rious attacks of the animal ; which will neculation to have been consumed in our ver desist till a period is put to its life. metropolis, is a sufficient argument of the Frequent mention is made of our savage vast plenty of these times; particularly cattle by historians. One relates that when we consider the great advancement Robert Bruce was (in chasing these aniof tillage and the numberless variety of mals) preserved from the rage of a wild provisions unknown to past ages, that bull by the intrepidity of one of his courare now introduced into these kingdoms tiers, from which he and his lineage acfrom all parts of the world.
quired the name of Turn-bull. FitzOur breed of horned castle has in gene. Stephen names these animals (Uri Sykesral been so much improved by a foreign tres) among those that harboured in the misture, that it is difficult to point out great forest that in his time lay adjacent the original kind of these islands. Those to London. Another enumerales, among which may be supposed to have been purely the provisions at the great feast of Nevil British, are farinferiorin size to those on the archbishop of York, six wild bulls; and northern part of the European continent; Sibbald assures us, that in his days a wild the cattle of the islands of Scotland are and white species was found in the mounexceeding small and many of them, males 'tains of Scotland, but agreeing in form as well as females, are hornless: the Welsh with the common sort. I believe these to runts are much larger; the black cattle of have been the Bisontes jubati of Pliny, Cornwall are of the same size with the last. found then in Germany, and might have The large species that is now cultivated been common to the continent and our through most parts of Great Britain, are islands ; the loss of tbeir savage vigour by cither entirely of foreign extraction, or our confinement might occasion some change own improved by a cross with the foreign in the external appearance, as is frequent kind. The Lincolnshirekind derive their with wild animals deprived of liberty; and size from the Holstein breed, and the large to that we may ascribe their loss of mane. hornless cattle that are bred in some parts 'The Urus of the lercynian forest de of England, come originally from Poland. scribed by Cæsar, book VI. was of this About two hundred and fifty years ago kind, the same which is called by the mothere was found in Scotland a wild race of dern Germans, Aurochs,i.c. Bos Sylvestris. cattle; which were of a pure white colour The ox is the only horner animal in and had (if we may credit Boethius) manes these islands that will apply his sirength lihe lions. I cannot but give credit to the to the service of mankind. It is now gerelation ; having seen in the woods of nerally allowed that in many cases osea Drumlanrig in North Britain, and in the are more profitable in the draught than park belonging to Chillingham castle in horses; their food, harness, and shoes being Northumberland, herds of cattle probably cheaper, and should they be lamed or gtut derived from the savage breed. They old, an old working beast will be as good have lost their manes ; but retain their meat, and fatten as well as a young ode. colour and fierceness: they were of a unid- There is scarce any part of ibis animal dle size, long legged, and had black muz- without its use. The blood, fat, marrow, zles and ears: their horns fine, and with a hide, hair, horns, hoofs, milk, cream, bosbold and elegant bend. The keeper of those ter, cheese, whey, urine, liver, gall, spleen, at Chillingham said that the weight of the bones, and dung, have each ther particle ox was 38 stones : of the cow 28 : that lar use in manufactures, commerce and their hides were more esteemeed by the medicine.
The skin has been of great use in all in dressing and cleaning harness, and all ages. The ancient Britons, before they trappings belonging to a coach, and the knew a better method, built their boats bones calcinated afford a fit matter for with osiers, and covered them with the tests, for the use of the refiner in the hides of bulls, which served for short smelting trade. coasting voyages.
The blood is used as an excellent ma
nure for fruit-trees; and is the basis of Primum cana salix madefacto vimine parvam
that fine colour, the Prussian blue, Texitur in Puppim, cæsoque induta juvenco, The fat, tallow, and suet, furnish us Victoris patiens, tumidun super cmicat amnem : Sic Venetus stagnante Pado, fusoque Britannus
with light; and are also used to precipiNavigat oceano.
Lucan. lib. iv, 131.
tate the salt that is drawn from briny
springs. The gall, liver, spleen, and urine, The bending willow into barks they twine; have also their place in the materia medica. Then line the work with spoils of slaughter'd kine. The uses of butter, cheese, cream, and Such are the floats Venetian fishers know, Where in dull marshes stands the settling Po;
milk, in domestic æconomy; and the exOu such to neighbouring Gaul aliured by gain, cellence of the latter, in furnishing a paThe bolder Britons cross the swelling main. latable nutriment for most people, whose
organs of digestion are weakened, are
too obvious to be insisted on. Vessels of this kind are still in use on the Irish lakes; and on the Dee and Severn :
§ 3. The SHEEP. in Ireland they are called Curach, in Enga land Coracles, from the British Curugl, It does not appear from any of the eara word signifying a boat of that structure. ly writers, that the breed of this animal
At present, the hide, when tanned and was cultivated for the sake of the wool curried, serves for boots, shoes, and num- among the Britons; the inhabitants of berless other conveniences of life.
the inland parts of this island either went Vellum is made of calves' skin, and entirely naked, or were only cloathed with goldbeaters' skin is made of a thin vellum, skins. Those who lived on the sea-coasts, or a finer part of the ox's guts. The hair and were the most civilized, affected the mixed with lime is a necessary article in manners of the Gauls, and wore like building. Of the horns are made combs, them a sort of garments made of coarse boxes, handles for knives, and drinking wool, called Brachæ. These they probavessels; and when softened by water, bly had from Gaul, there not being the obeying the manufacturer's band, they are least traces of manufactures ainong the formed into pellucid laminæ for the sides Britons, in the histories of those times. of lanthorns. These last conveniences On the coins or money of the Britons we owe to our great king Alfred, who are seen impressed the figures of the first invented them to preserve his candle horse, the bull, and the hog, the marks of time-measurers from the wind; or (as the tributes exacted from them by the other writers will have it) the tapers that conquerors.
The Reverend Mr. Pegge were set up before the reliques in the was so kind as to inform me, that he has miserable tattered churches of that time. seen on the coins of Cunobelin that of a
In medicine, the horns were employed sheep. Since that is the case, it is proas alexipharmics or antidotes against poi- bable that our ancestors were possessed son, the plague, or the small pox; they of the animal, but made no farther use of have been dignified with the title of it than to strip off the skin, and wrap English bezoar; and are said to have themselves in it, and with the wool inbeen found to answer the end of the ori- most obtain a comfortable protection ental kind. The chips of the hoofs, and against the cold of the winter season. paring of the raw hides, serve to make This neglect of manufacture may be carpenters' glue.
easily accounted for in an uncivilized naThe bones are used by mechanics, tion, whose wants are few, and those easiwhere ivory is too expensive; by which ly satisfied: but what is more surprising, the common people are served with many when after a long period we had cultineat conveniences at an easy rate. From vated a breed of sheep, whose fleeces were the tibia and carpus bones is procured superior to those of other countries, we oil much used by coacli-makers and others still neglected to promote a woolen ma