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Britons defeated, with a total disregard of appearances he ran up to his jockey as he came back to weigh, and horse-whipped him-literally horse-whipped him coram populo!

However great a confidence a gentleman may have in his trainer, it should by no means follow, as it too often does, that the owner's share in the business is confined to paying the piper and having his name made use of; while the management, engagements, forfeits, with other matters of the same kind, in some cases even to matching horses and receiving stakes, are left to the man. This unlimited sway affords many opportunities, and one of the most common tricks that arise from the servants doing just as they please is two or three trainers, who have horses to run for the same stake or plate, agreeing among themselves to save stakes, or the winner to give five or ten pounds each to the losers. At the end of the season, when the accounts come to be settled, and the master casts his eye over the most. agreeable side of the bill, he finds that the Queen's plate at this place is only worth ninety to him, instead of a hundred; and a stake in another quarter, which he is told by the list of winning horses is valued, clear of all deductions, at a hundred and fifty, appears in his trainer's book to be minus that sum by twenty pounds. Then follows the explanation" Paid Sir Simon Somebody and Lord Allright five pounds each, per trainers, out of the Queen's plate at, as by agreement before starting;" and again, "Agreed before starting to save stakes with this and that one.' This extreme caution and great regard for the master's pocket, assisted by a word or two put in at the right time, as "Of course, Sir, I thought it was doing all for the best," and "There is nothing like being on the safe side," naturally raises the faithful servant still higher in his patron's estimation though it certainly is rather annoying to meet with these drawbacks when casting up the grand total of the victories of the year. Another rather singular thing is, that though you are almost invariably on "the safe side" when you win, it is seldom if ever that "my man John" has been lucky enough to receive anything back when your horses are beaten; at least if he did, he forgot to mention it in his little account, and though Sir Simon Somebody and Lord Allright. are five pounds each in pocket from the Queen's plate by the winner's account, I question very much whether they find such to be the case by their own. These kind of understandings between the man and man are not likely to be often put into practice where the owner is really fond of the sport, follows his horses pretty constantly, thinks and judges a little for himself, or has a trainer and establishment "all his own. The last item is what but few at present possess. Many, indeed, who lack not the means, prefer sending to some crack public stable; a man, however, who does so cannot keep too sharp a lookout: and this brings to my recollection a case somewhat in point, which I know, rather to my own cost, to be true enough. A public trainer had a mare, and a good one, in his hands, which was well in a handicap stake not a hundred miles from Bath; another trainer from quite the other side of the country left a horse in for the same stake, and, no doubt thinking the mare his most formidable opponent, sent his nag for a few weeks before running to the stable in


which she was. This, there being other stables nearer the rendezvous, excited some suspicion in the mind of the owner of the mare, and having a lad to look after her that he could trust, he prevented her length being taken; the stranger in fact going through the forms by himself, and at no time mixing with the string of regulars. In due time they started for the scene of action, and on their arrival it so happened that the stranger (as we may call him by way of distinction), the mare, and another companion, shared a three-stalled stable; each trainer having a key, so as to enter and exit when he chose. All went right to the morning of running, when the lad, who had kept as sharp a look-out as possible, went to prepare his mare for the course; the other party were before him, and engaged in plaiting their horse's mane. The boy wanted some water to damp his wisp, and looking round for a bucket which he knew had been filled and left for the other horse (a plater not to run until the third day), missed it, and on enquiring of the other party if they knew anything about it, was told that they had "thrown it away," as one of the boys wanted the bucket to stand on to enable him to reach his horse's head. This was odd, as there were other empty buckets at hand, but this was not all. The mare with nearly even betting on her was not placed, and the stranger won; while the white lather which almost covered the favourite, and the unusual distress she showed on pulling up, said as plain as could be that the answer given as to what was become of the water was not exactly true. It was anything but "thrown away :" that party never did yet, and I fancy never will, throw away a chance.

The only omission in the above is the names of the parties concerned; for the veracity of it I will vouch, as indeed I can for all other anecdotes of the kind I have given. Whether the trainer of

the mare lent a hand in the affair was never exactly cleared up; from his subsequent conduct I should rather think he did, though the trivial reward he might have received as his share could by no means have been adequate to the loss of a master, which, as might be expected, quickly followed. In fact, it was not long before he his business, or perhaps it would be more correct to say his business gave him up.

gave up

"Tricks on the Turf," I know well enough, is anything but a barren subject, and one to which I may return, though I do not just now recollect any apropos of-nothing, upon the truth of which I can rely. Hundreds have I heard bandied about merely on hearsay, seenothing evidence, but which I should consider little better than tricks on my readers were I to dress them up for perusal. Such stories

cannot be received with too much caution, and it would be well for the sport if this were the general opinion; but some men like nothing better than being let into a secret (no matter who from), armed with which they can show what knowing, deep fellows they are, by telling it (strictly as a secret) to every acquaintance they meet. Let me add, in conclusion, that though there may very possibly be something to be said against the Turf, the Chase, or the Ring, there is much more to be said for them; and in my humble opinion it is all for the interest of this country that they should flourish-flores-cant!



It is now nearly a twelvemonth ago-being just after the commencement of last hunting season-since I was on a visit to a friend of mine residing in the county of Durham, where I stayed some time, and first became acquainted with "Old damn it Grist," or rather Charley Grist, but he most commonly went by the name of " Damn't," in consequence of his frequently making use of the expression, "Damn it, sirs." He is the most knowing old fellow in sporting matters that ever it was my luck to meet with. He goes to Newcastle races every year without fail, follows the "Slashing hounds" regularly when they hunt in his neighbourhood, and knows everything about sporting matters generally that takes place in the north of England. He is a miller by trade, and is therefore enabled to keep his horse well, and he keeps a real good one-as many of the gents of the Slashing Hunt will tell you-or as you may happen to learn if ever you follow these hounds; as, although "Damn it" is getting to be an old man, he generally contrives to be in at the death, to the great annoyance of more dare-devil riders and of younger men, who do not like to be beaten by an "old miller." But he has the advantage of knowing the country better than most men, as he told me he had hunted it regularly for the last forty years. Charley does not like men who have no sporting in them, and generally tries what a stranger is made of after a short conversation, by asking him, "How the betting for the Derby or St. Leger stands?" or, if he came from a hunting neighbourhood, "How many foxes they killed last season?" or some such question. If the person questioned is not a lover of field sports, Grist has nothing more to say to him, but grumbles to himself that "the fule dis'nt ken what's good for him.' I was not acquainted with Charley above an half an hour before I was cross-examined upon my knowledge of racing and hunting matters; and having satisfied him that I was fond of field sports in general, but foxhunting in particular, and that I knew a little concerning hunting, shooting, and racing, he and I became the best friends in the world, and he very shortly asked me to go and take a glass of whiskey with him, and have a "crack." I found that in his estimation the "Squire" (meaning thereby his landlord) was the most perfect gentleman in England, and next to him came Mr. Orde, of Nunnykirke, who, Charley says, is the most upright and gentlemanly man on the turf, and that Bee's-wing (meaning Mr. Orde's Bee's-wing, not the writer of this sketch) is the best mare that ever ran. We agreed very well together, as I could not dissent from Charley on these points, as I had not the pleasure of knowing Mr. Orde, but I knew that he was right with regard to Bee's-wing.


After a long conversation relating to the sporting world generally, he informed me that if I wished to see some fun he would tell me where to find it: which he did, as follows, as near as I can recollect, as by this time we had made the whiskey look rather less. "Ye've heerd of Auld Abraham Langlegs, that used to hunt this country twenty years syne; afore he dee'd he sell'd his hunds, as he could'nt afford to keep them. But, damn it, sirs, his son, wha they ca' Abraham Langlegs, te sune cleared off all his faither's debts, and put something into his awn pocket, by cutting down the wood on his land that was of varra little use, but which auld Langlegs could'nt find iv' his heart to de. Why then, sir, when this young chep fund he had sae much money he thowt he wad hev a pack of hunds, an' he tried if our Squire wad join him, but the Squire wad hae nowt te de with him; and then he tried all the gentlemen round about, but he could'nt get ony to join him, and at last, damn it, sirs, he detarmined to hev a pack of his awn; sae he got a few dogs frae a brocken down sugar marchant some way about Newcastle, and a few frae ane pleace, and a few frae another, till at last he meade up what he thowt was a pack; but then, damn it, sirs, he knaws nowt about hunting, man-nowt at a'. Ye niver seed sec a pack-some greet big anes-some little wee anes-some foxhounds, and some harriers. I niver seed sec a set in my lifetime. And then he had a bit lad in his steable, that he gat top buits and a reed coat for, and meade him whipper-in; and he said he wad hunt the hunds his-sel; and sartainly he did hunt them, and in a way I din net like, nor his faither wad'nt like, if he was alive, for he could hunt. But its a disgrace to be i' the field wi' this chap; an' I think I'll niver gau agean. Yit he's a decentish gentleman eneugh his-sel, and its a pity he his'nt mare sense then to git a pack of dogs of his awn, and to be laughed at for a fule, when he could hev joined the Slashing hounds that are close at his elbow, and are as good dogs as ever ran, and have as nice a little fellow at their head as ever was, though he wears spectacles- and that isn't exactly hunting like; besides, he carries his heed raither ower hee, but we'll sune teake him down. Then all the gentlemen in the country, except this Langlegged gentleman, subscribe to the Slashing hounds, and what for should this chep meake his-sel an exception to the rest?" I saw by this time that Charley had forgot all about the fun he was going to let me have, as he got on a subject, as he said afterwards, he could have talked about till his "mill stopped;" by that, I suppose, he meant until his breath failed him. Having at last contrived to let him know what he had forgot to tell me, he said, "Oh, ay, ay, but its about their hunds of Mr. Langlegs'; but I thowt ye wad like to hev a bit history of them. Ye see they're to meet at the Schule-house at the top of my fields the morn, and if ye like to gau, I think I'll draw back my word, as I said I wad niver gau agean, and gau wi ye; and if ye din'net see sec fun as ye niver seed in yer life, say my neames nut Charley. Ye need'nt mind putting on a reed coat, nor riding that horse ye got frae our Squire, as ye'll want him for Friday (with the Slashing hounds), and I wad'nt clash him. Just come on ony auld hack that ye can git, for a "cuddy" wad dee well eneugh, only it is'nt owerly respectable for a gentleman to be seen on ane."

Having bid my friend Charley good night, for his whiskey and his talk had been so good that I did not perceive it had got late until we had finished the bottle, I wormed my way home like a corkscrew; it certainly was not many hundred yards to my domicile, but those few hundred yards I think were multiplied a great many times before I got home, which I did as my friend's family were sitting down to supper. I was with my friend Charley at the time we had appointed in the morning; and having taken another glass of his favourite beverage to set all right, we mounted and set off for the "Schulehouse," as Charley called the residence of a gentleman "who taught the young idea how to shoot." When we got up the hill to the school, it was a good bit past the time appointed for the meet, and we were rather afraid that we were too late; but on enquiry we found that the hounds had not made their appearance. After waiting nearly an hour, cursing Mr. Longlegs in my heart for his tardiness, I told Charley I would be off home, as there was no one but us come to meet the hounds; perhaps he had followed the example of a well-known baronet in the north, and gone somewhere else with his dogs. But Charley said, "Ye need'nt be astonished at nae-body being here, as neane that's been ance with him ever thinks of coming agean." At last we heard a horn blow, and presently the longlooked-for gentleman appeared on the brow of the hill above us, coming sharply down towards the school. He made an apology for being behind time, and then we set off to seek a hare in the adjoining fields.

Mr. Longlegs was a very tall gentleman, and would have done credit to a grenadier regiment, but he was rather too long in the leg for hunting his legs nearly met under the belly of a capital mousecoloured mare, which looked as if she was 66 up to" heavy work with a respectable length of leg on her back. He was dressed in the usual hunting dress, but with such a "shocking bad hat." You may recollect that rather more than a year ago, hats were worn with very broad brims; but the long-legged gentleman's hat boasted of a brim of the very narrowest dimensions imaginable, which gave him a most ludicrous appearance. His whipper-in was mounted on an old horse, which was once well-known in the Lambton Hunt, but getting too old to be considered a "fast coach," he was sold to Mr. Longlegs for his groom or whipper-in (as he was pleased to call him), who was a mere boy. We got into a field where there was a great cover of whins at one end, and having started a hare, which made directly into the cover, the dogs rushed in amongst the whins, when a lot of "Scotch wethers," which had been lying amongst them, started out and scampered off across the field, and some of the dogs seeing them gave mouth, and we soon had the whole pack after them in full cry. Away went the wethers (well-known gentlemen for jumping dykes) over hedges, ditches, and walls, with the dogs close after them; and away went we to beat them off. And when we did overtake them, there was such thrashing and swearing as I never heard in a hunting field before or since. Certainly the dogs got it to their hearts' content; or if they did'nt, it was no fault of Longlegs or his groom.

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