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postern doors when the enemy had withdrawn, made up a strange mob as regarded the human element in this establishment. And Dean Browne regularly asserted that five out of six amongst these helpers he himself could swear to as active boys from Vinegar Hill. Trivial enough, meantime, in our eyes, was any little matter of rebellion that they might have upon their consciences. High treason we willingly winked at. But what we could not wink at was the systematic treason which they committed against our comfort, namely, by teaching our horses all imaginable tricks, and training them up in the way along which they should not go, so that when they were old they were very little likely to depart from it. Such a set of restive, hard-mouthed wretches as Lord Westport and I daily had to bestride, no tongue could describe. There was a cousin of Lord Westport's, subsequently created Lord Oranmore, distinguished for his horsemanship, and always splendidly mounted from his father's stables at Castle M'Garret, to whom our stormy contests with ruined tempers and vicious habits yielded a regular comedy of fun; and, in order to improve it, he would sometimes bribe Lord Westport's treacherous groom into misleading us, when floundering amongst bogs, into the interior labyrinths of these morasses. Deep, however, as the morass, was this man's remorse when, on leaving Westport, I gave him the heavy golden perquisite, which my mother (unaware of the tricks he had practised upon me) had by letter instructed me to give. He was a mere savage boy from the central bogs of Connaught, and, to the great amusement of Lord Westport, he persisted in
calling me your majesty" for the rest of that day; and by all other means open to him he expressed his penitence. But the dean insisted that, no matter for his penitence in the matter of the bogs, he had certainly carried a pike at Vinegar Hill; and probably had stolen a pair of boots at Furnes, when he kindly made a call at the Deanery, in passing through that place to the field of battle. It is always a pleasure to see the engineer of mischief" hoist with his own petard; "* and it happened that the horses assigned to draw a post-chariot carrying Lord Westport, myself, and the dean, on our return journey to Dublin, were a pair utterly ruined by a certain underpostilion, named Moran. This particular ruin did Mr. Moran boast to have contributed as his separate contribution to the general ruinations of the stables. And the particular object was, that his horses, and consequently himself, might be left in genial laziness. But, as Nemesis would have it, Mr. Moran was the charioteer specially appointed to this particular service. We were to return by easy journeys of twentyfive miles a day, or even less; since every such interval brought us to the house of some hospitable family, connected by friendship or by blood with Lord Altamont. Fervently had Lord Westport pleaded with his father for an allowance of four horses; not at all with any foolish view to fleeting aristocratic splendor, but simply to the luxury of rapid motion. But Lord Altamont was firm in resisting this petition at that time. The remote consequence was, that by way of redressing the violated
*"Hamlet," but also "Ovid: "-"Lex nec justior ulla est, Quam necis artifices arte perire suâ.”
equilibrium to our feelings, we subscribed throughout Wales to extort six horses from the astonished innkeepers, most of whom declined the requisition, and would furnish only four, on the plea that the leaders would only embarrass the other horses; but one at Bangor, from whom we coolly requested eight, re coiled from our demand as from a sort of miniature treason. How so? Because in this island he had always understood eight horses to be consecrated to royal use. Not at all, we assured him; Pickford, the great carrier, always horsed his wagons with eight. And the law knew of no distinction between wagon and post-chaise, coach-horse or cart-horse. However, we could not compass this point of the eight horses, the double quadriga, in one single instance; but the true reason we surmised to be, not the pretended puritanism of loyalty to the house of Guelph, but the running short of the innkeeper's funds. If he had to meet a daily average call for twenty-four horses, then it might well happen that our draft upon him for eight horses at one pull would bankrupt him for a whole day.
But I am anticipating. Returning to Ireland and Mr. Moran, the vicious driver of vicious horses, the immediate consequence to him of this unexpected limitation to a pair of horses was, that all his knavery in one hour recoiled upon himself. The horses whom he had himself trained to vice and restiveness, in the hope that thus his own services and theirs might be less in request, now became the very curse of his life. Every morning, duly as an attempt was made to put them in motion, they began to back, and no arts, gentle or harsh, would for a
moment avail to coax or to coërce them into the counter direction. Could retrogression by any metaphysics have been translated into progress, we excelled in that; it was our forte; we could have backed to the North Pole. That might be the way to glory, or at least to distinction - sic itur ad astra; unfortunately, it was not the way to Dublin. Consequently, on every day of our journey-and the days. were ten — not once, but always, we had the same deadly conflict to repeat; and this being always unavailing, found its solution uniformly in the following ultimate resource. Two large-boned horses, usually taken from the plough, were harnessed on as leaders. By main force they hauled our wicked wheelers into the right direction, and forced them, by pure physical superiority, into working. We furnished a joyous and comic spectacle to every town and village through which we passed. The whole community, men and children, came out to assist at our departure; and all alike were diverted, but not the less irritated, by the demoniac obstinacy of the brutes, who seemed under the immediate inspiration of the fiend. Everybody was anxious to share in the scourging which was administered to them right and left; and once propelled into a gallop (or such a gallop as our Brobdignagian leaders could accomplish), they were forced into keeping it up. But, without rehearsing all the details of the case, it may be readily conceived that the amount of trouble distributed amongst our whole party was enormous. Once or twice the friends at whose houses we slept were able to assist us. erally they either had no horses, or none of the
commanding power demanded. Often, again, it happened, as our route was very circuitous, that no inns lay in our neighborhood; or, if there were inns, the horses proved to be of too slight a build. At Ballinasloe, and again at Athlone, half the town came out to help us; and, having no suitable horses, thirty or forty men, with shouts of laughter, pulled at ropes fastened to our pole and splinter-bar, and compelled the snorting demons into a flying gallop. But, naturally, a couple of miles saw this resouree exhausted. Then came the necessity of "drawing the covers,' 99 as the dean called it; that is, hunting amongst the adjacent farmers for powerful cattle. This labor (0, Jupiter, thanks be for that!) fell upon Mr. Moran. And sometimes it would happen that the horses, which it had cost him three or four hours to find, could be spared only for four or five miles. Such a journey can rarely have been accomplished. Our zigzag course had prolonged it into from two hundred and thirty to two hundred and fifty miles; and it is literally true that, of this entire distance from Westport House to Sackville-street, Dublin, not one furlong had been performed under the spontaneous impulse of our own horses. Their diabolic resistance continued to the last. And one may venture to hope that the sense of final subjugation to man must have proved penally bitter to the horses. But, meantime, it vexes one that such wretches should be fed with good old hay and oats; as well littered down also in their stalls as a prebendary ; and by many a stranger, ignorant of their true character, should have been patted and caressed. Let us hope that a fate, to which more than once they were