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in any newspaper, nor, indeed, any book except that on Sunday evenings she once had read chapters; and would to the last sleep comfortably in her armchair, for an hour or two, the Bible open on her knees, and, as often as not, wrong side uppermost. She had all her life belonged to “the most strictest sect” of a strait-laced people; yet she never had the slightest doubt but that everybody would behave fairly to her, and that she could and would behave fairly to everybody.
Without learning or travel, she had acquired a bearing so quiet and self-possessed that all men (at any rate, all who had anything good in them) involuntarily put on their best manners when they came into “Old Lady” Bunting's house, or had to make inquiries of her. Foster-parents, husband, and even sons-in-law, all went to their grave blessing the day her fate had been linked with theirs. Is it quite certain that the lives of the class to which her people belonged, i.e., of "forty-shilling freeholders” in the old county registration, were not almost as much of a beneficial educational agency as any of those upon which modern progress prides itself
, e.g., cheap newspapers; or as are religion and philanthropy-effected, as is now the custom, without any burden upon the individuals, per joint stock companies, limited ? We are quite sure that honorary degrees have been conferred for no greater insight into complicated problems than “Old Lady” Bunting displayed ; and the deeds of daring which win the Victoria Cross on the field of battle for the soldier, show no greater heroism than hers!
It is to be feared that this narrative has been protracted as unduly as was the life of its subject. And yet there remains one more thing to tell. When “Old Lady” Bunting was buried, there were (taking locality into account) almost as many and as various a set of followers of her coffin as that which accompanied Mr. John Bright to his final resting-place. One of these, an acquaintance, but hardly a recent one, stayed behind to speak a word, before the crowd dispersed, to Andrews and his wife. Perhaps it was ill-advised, but the remark was made of the little boy in his new black clothes, who was holding his mother's hand: “How nicely your boy has grown, Mrs. Andrews! I should not have known him again.” yes,” she said ; "Willy grows nicely; he will soon be as big as when he met with his accident." "Something in the visitor's look stirred the woman's feeling, and bursting into tears, she
“But he will always bear the scar. Oh, granny, granny, what should we have done without you!” She fondled the child's hair as she spoke, and the visitor also put his hand upon the boy's head, and under the curls could be felt quite distinctly a ring on the scalp, which perpetuated upon the living Willy the outlines of the wound which had caused the death of his elder brother.
Trainers—New and Old.
BY THE HON. FRANCIS LAWLEY. An attempt has just been made by the United States Board of Agriculture to ascertain the approximate number of live stock now existing on the face of the globe, and the conclusion arrived at by the compilers of their report, issued last month, is that the world contains at this moment no less than 60,455,504 head of horses. It would be easy to show that of this vast aggregated mass of “equines," as they are often called in the country from which this report came, there is not a single breed upon the shape, make, constitution, soundness, and endurance of which the vigour and physique of the thoroughbred English horse do not exercise, directly or indirectly, a controlling and paramount influence.
From the ponderous Shire and Clydesdale, down to the Welsh, Highland, and Russian pony, there is no breed with which the noble animal, whose pedigree is recorded in Messrs. Weatherby's “ Stud Book," has not been repeatedly crossed; and Major Whyte-Melville has often been heard to say that the two best hunters that he ever saw perform across country were the son of a Clydesdale mare and the son of a Devonshire pony; the sire in each case being a thoroughbred horse. It is notorious that the swiftest trotters in the United States are sprung from the same source which, thanks to the Turf, has given us in this country the finest race of horses in the world ; and therefore it becomes a matter of vital importance to ascertain, if it be possible, whether the modern system of training thoroughbreds is as conducive to the ultimate creation of that ideal animal—the general utilitarian-as was the system practised during the first half of the century by Robert Robson, James Croft, Tiny Edwards, William Chifney, John Scott, Tom Dawson, John Forth, John Barham Day, Tom Taylor, Henry Wadlow, and the two Kents. Twenty years since Mr. Samuel Sidney wrote: “Fortunately for the many who in every part of the civilised world are interested in the production of sound, useful horses not required for winning races and wagers, it is still possible to select,
out of the many hundreds bred every year for Turf purposes, a considerable number of sires and mares which combine, with the fullest height desirable in any riding horse, strength equal to carrying great weight, symmetry, and beauty, with all the quality, courage, and refined proportions of their diminutive Oriental ancestors.” It is quite possible that Mr. Sidney (who detested short races and the breeding of animals "quick out of the slip,” in order to win them) would not have written thus in 1890, had he seen the last Grand National Steeplechase at Liverpool, in which more than half the starters fell from sheer inability to get the course. Not long since, Joe Tollit, the experienced livery-stable keeper at Oxford, who died last month in his eighty-third year, told an old friend that at present not more than one hunter in a hundred can carry a twelve-stone man through a two hours' run, where fifty in every hundred could accomplish the same feat when he was a young man.
Mr. Tollit was celebrated when in his prime—which was between 1840 and 1860—for the number of thoroughbred hunters and thoroughbred steeplechasers which he kept in his stables, and let out or sold to members of the University, some of whom gained great distinction upon them with Squire Drake's, Jem Morrell's, Lord Redesdale's, and Lord Macclesfield's hounds. The gloomy and discouraging remark made by Mr. Tollit as to the failing stamina of modern hunters is, in my opinion, more applicable to the condition of affairs existing in tħese islands in and about the year 1877 than to the present moment. “What has our boasted English horse come to ?” plaintively asked the Hon. Robert Grimston, in a letter which appeared in the columns of Bell's Life on January 6th, 1877. “Nowadays," continued this famous authority, whose memory is still mourned in the Vale of Aylesbury, and on the cricketground at Harrow and at Lord's," the English horse is a tall, leggy animal, without bone or action, and not fitted to make a hunter, or a carriage-horse, or a riding-horse, up to any weight. The pure-bred Arab is a compact, short-legged animal, from fourteen one to fourteen three in height; and the Darley and Godolphin Arabians, from whom our best thoroughbreds are descended, were but a trifle higher. In the century and a half that has elapsed since their time, the thoroughbred has increased in height at the rate of an inch in every twenty-five years, or about six inches altogether. This increase has been attained by a greater length from knee to fetlock, thereby gaining a longer stride and more speed, but at the sacrifice of power to carry weight. The Meltonian of forty years ago, were he now to visit the best stables in Leicestershire, would look in vain for such hunters as Mr. Maxse's Cognac, Mr. T. Assheton Smith's Jack-o'-Lantern, Mr. Gilmour's Vingt-un, and Mr. Stirling Crawfurd's Black Prince. In like manner, how mean the horses running at Croydon and Sandown Park must appear to those who remember Vivian, Lottery, Gaylad, Vanguard, and the Chandler !
Mr. Robert Grimston ends by bitterly complaining that, as regards horseflesh, England had become in 1877 an importing instead of an exporting country, with the result that 4,000 horses of the heavy "machiner" type could not be found in this country within six months at any price. Happily, things have changed greatly for the better in the twelve or thirteen years since Mr. Grimston wrote, and, among other things, the change is