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cured, accompanied by a postilion, the party again pursued their onward course, encouraged to believe they were still in the right scent.
Night had now spread her mantle over the earth : still it was not wholly dark. A few stars were twinkling in the deep, cloudless heavens, and a pearly radiance in the eastern horizon, heralded the rising of the orb of night. A gentle breeze was stirring ; the dews of evening had already fallen ; and the air felt bland and dry. It was just the night one would have chosen for a ride, if one ever rode by choice at such an hour; and to Turpin, whose chief excursions were conducted by night, it appeared little less than heavenly.
Full of ardour and excitement, determined to execute what he had mentally undertaken, Turpin held on his solitary course. Every thing was favourable to his project; the roads were in admirable condition, his mare was in like order ; she was inured to hard work, had rested sufficiently in town to recover from the fatigue of her recent journey, and had never been in more perfect training. “ She has now got her wind in her," said Dick,
“I'll see what she can do - hark away, lass— hark away!
I wish they could see her now,” added he, as he felt her almost fly away with him.
Encouraged by her master's voice and hand, Black Bess started forward at a pace, which few horses could have equalled, and scarcely any have sustained so long. Even Dick, accustomed as he was to her magnificent action, felt electrified at the speed with which he was borne along. “Bravo ! bravo !” shouted he - “ hark away, Bess!”
The deep and solemn woods through which they were rushing, rang with his shouts, and the sharp rattle of Bess's hoofs; and thus he held his way, while, in the words of the ballad,
Fled past, on right and left, how fast,
Each forest, grove, and bower;
Each city, town, and tower.
Dauphin. I will not change my horse with any that treads but on four pasterns. Ca, ha! He bounds from the earth, as if his entrails were hairs; le cheval volant, the Pegasus qui a les narines de feu! When I bestride him I soar. I am a hawk : the earth sings when he touches it: the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes.
SHAKSPEARE.-- Henry V. Act III.
BLACK BEss, being, undoubtedly, the heroine of “ Book Four,” we may, perhaps, be pardoned for expatiating a little in this place, upon her birth, parentage, breeding, appearance, and attractions. And first as to her pedigree; for in the horse, unlike the human species, nature has strongly impressed the noble or ignoble caste.
He is the real aristocrat, an blood that flows in the veins of the gallant steed will infallibly be transmitted, if his mate be suitable, throughout all his line. Bess was no cock tail. She was thorough bred; she boasted blood in every bright and branching vein :
If blood can give nobility,
A noble steed was she;
And all her pedigree.
As to her pedigree. Her sire was a desert Arao, renowned in his day, and brought to this country by a wealthy traveller ; her dam was an English racer, coal black as her child. Bess united all the fire and gentleness, the strength and hardihood, the abstinence, and endurance of fatigue, of the one; with the spirit, and extraordinary fleetness of the other. How Turpin became possessed of her is of little consequence. We never heard that he paid a heavy price for her; though we doubt if any sum would have induced him to part with her. In colour, she was perfectly black, with a skin smooth on the surface as polished jet ; not a single white hair could be detected in her satin coat. In make, she was magnificent. Every point was perfect, beautiful, compact; modelled, in little, for strength and speed. Arched was her neck, as that of the swan; clean and fine were her lower limbs, as those of the gazelle ; round,
and sound as a drum, was her carcass, and as broad as a cloth-yard shaft her width of chest. Hers were the “pulchræ clunes, breve caput, arduaque cervix," of the Roman bard. There was no redundancy of flesh, 't is true ; her flanks might, to please some tastes, have been rounder, and her shoulder fuller ; but look at the nerve and sinew, palpable through the veined limbs! She was built more for strength than beauty, and yet she was beautiful. Look at that elegant little head; those thin tapering ears, closely placed together; that broad snorting nostril which seems to snuff the gale with disdain ; that eye, glowing and large as the diamond of Giamschid !. Is she not beautiful ? Behold her paces ! how gracefully she moves! She is off! no eagle on the wing could skim the air more swiftly. Is she not superb ? As to her temper, the lamb is not more gentle. A child might guide her.
But hark back to Dick Turpin. We left him rattling along in superb style, and in the highest possible glee. He could not, in fact, otherwise than exhilarated ; nothing being so wildly intoxicating as a mad gallop. We seem to start out of ourselves to be endued, for the time, with new energies. Our thoughts take wings rapid as our steed. We feel as if his fleetness and boundless impulses were for the moment our
We laugh ; we exult; we shout for very joy. We cry out with Mephistopheles, but in any thing but a Sardonic mood. “What I enjoy with spirit, is it the less my own on that account? If I can pay for six horses, are not their powers mine? I drive along, and am a proper man, as if I had fourand-twenty legs !” These were Turpin's sentiments precisely. Give him four legs and a wide plain, and he needed no Mephistopheles to bid him ride to perdition, as fast as his nag could carry him. Away! away! — the road is level, the path is clear. Press on, thou gallant steed, no obstacle is in thy way!- and lo! the moon breaks forth! Her silvery light is thrown over the woody landscape. Dark shadows are cast athwart the road ; and the flying figures of thy rider and thyself are traced, like giant phantoms, in the dust!
Away! away! our breath is gone, in keeping up with this tremendous run. Yet Dick Turpin has not lost his wind, for we hear his cheering cry - hark! he sings. The reader will bear in mind that Oliver, means the moon to “ whiddle" is to blab.
“ Egad,” soliloquised Dick, has he concluded his song, looking up at the moon, " old Noll's no bad fellow either. I wouldn't be without his white face to-night, for a trifle. He's as good as a lamp to guide one, and let Bess only hold on as she goes now, and I'll do it with ease. Softly, wench, softly
dost not see it's a hill we're rising. The devil's in the mare, she cares for nothing." And as they ascended the hill, Dick's voice once more awoke the echoes of night.
One night, when mounted on my mare,
With a rustified, fustified, mustified air !
With your rustified, fustified, mustified air !"
With your whistle-me, pistol.me, cut-my-throat air !"
With its rustified, fustified, mustified air!”
“ Poor Will Davies !” sighed Dick; “Bagshot ought never to forget him.”*
With his rustified, fustified, mustified air ! “ Well," mused Turpin, “ I suppose one day it will be with me like all the rest of 'em, and that I shall dance a long lavolta to the music of the four whistling winds, as my betters have done before me; but I trust, whenever the chanter culls, and last-speech scribblers get hold of me, they'll at least put no cursed nonsense into my mouth; but make me speak, as I have ever felt, like a man who never either feared death, or turned his back upon his friend. In the mean time I'll give them something to talk about. This ride of mine shall ring in their ears long after I'm done for - put to bed with a mattock, and tucked up with a spade.
And when I am gone, boys, each huntsman shall say,
None rode like Dick Turpin, so far in a day! “ And thou, too, brave Bess! - thy name shall be linked with mine, and we'll go down to posterity together; and what," added he despondingly, “ if it should be too much for thee? what if but no matter ! Better die now, while I am with thee, then fall into the knacker's hands. Better die with all thy honours upon thy head, than drag out thy old age at the sand-cart. Hark forward, lass - hark forward !”
By what peculiar instinct is it that this noble animal, the horse, will at once perceive the slightest change in his rider's physical temperament, and allow himself so to be influenced by it, that, according as his master's spirits fluctuate, will his own energies rise and fall, wavering
From walk to trot, from canter to full speed ?
* This, we regret to say, is not the case. The memory of Bold Will Davies, the “Golden Farmer" (so named from the circumstance of his always paying his rent in. gold), is fast declining upon his peculiar domain, Bagshot. The inn, which once bore his name, still remains to point out to the traveller the dangers his forefathers had to encounter in crossing this extensive heath. Just beyond this house, the common spreads out for miles on all sides in a most gallop-inviting style; and the passenger, as he gazes from the box of some flying coach, as we have done, upon the gorsecovered waste, may, without much stretch of fancy, imagine he beholds Will Davies careering like the wind over its wild and undulating expanse. We are sorry to add that the “ Golden Farmer" has altered its designation to the “ Jolly Farmer.” This should be amended ; and when next we pass that way, we hope to see the original sign restored. We cannot afford to lose our golden farmers.