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laid the wager, and who was much more
horsey than honest, brought forward three
horses that all started together; each
horse did thirty miles in three hoursan
achievement by no means remarkable;
and, as our arithmetic books tell us that
three times thirty make ninety, the knave
thought he had done a legal as well as a
smart thing.  Not quite, however; for a
jury refused to recognise it.

Once, now and then, there have been
quadrupedal races planned, in which
animals of a non-racing kind competed. Such
a race is described in Parkes's London
News in the time of George the First.
At Northampton, in a holiday season, two
bulls, five cows, and a calf were started
to run a race: the adult animals being
ridden by men, the calf by a boy. Four
of the jockeys came to misfortune; the
three cows all threw their riders; the calf
tumbled down with his; and one of the
bulls won the race, without at all
appreciating the fame which he gained thereby.
Not many years ago, a race was planned in
Lancashire between an elephant, a pony,
and a man; whether it came off, we do
not know; but it led to a discussion as
to the ability of an elephant to run, in the
usual sense in which running is understood;
it was agreed that he can shuffle
along at the pace of a man at good
running speed, but not for a long time
together. The ostrich is a runner of
amazing swiftness, almost distancing the
greyhound and the fleetest Arabian courser.
And was there not a famous naturalist
who mounted a cayman or alligator in the
swamps of South America? And did not
the alligator feel very much astonished at
having to run or walk with such an
unprecedented burden on his back? And would
we not rather see it done than do it?

Among driving achievements was the
famous one by the Earl of March in 1750.
He undertook to provide a four-wheeled
carriage that would be driven nineteen miles in
one hour by one single team of four horses. It
a four-wheeler, but one of marvellously
light construction. Wire and cords were
used wherever practicable, instead of heavier
materials; the harness was of fine leather
covered with silk; the seat for the driver
(no other "fare") was of leather straps
covered with velvet; every wheel had a
tin box which dripped down oil
uninterruptedly; the breechings for the horses
were of whalebone; the wood-work was
as light as possible, but in all critical parts
strengthened with well-tempered steel. In
short, the whole machine was so light that
one man could carry it, together with the
harness. The earl sat on the hinder part
of the carriage, but four postilions
virtually drove the horses. Many vehicles
were made and abandoned, and many
horses killed, before the real event came
off.  He achieved the task; doing nineteen
miles in ample time for another mile within
the hour.


"You must have had a large, and not, I
should think, a very favourable, experience
of poor human nature," I said one day to
a very worthy acquaintance of mine, with
whom I often interchanged opinions. The
name of my acquaintance was Gomm. He
had a way of spelling his name when he
was angeredwhich, like the rest of us, he
sometimes wasand declaring very
emphatically, "my name is Gomm, G-O double
M:" as if he wanted to convince his
antagonists or opponents, whomsoever they
might be, that there could be no
possible doubt as to his identity. This double
consonant, somehow, seemed to be
emblematic of his decision and sharpness of
character, for he was a man who ruled his
fellows, in a small way, and who seemed
born to rule them. He was the master of
a large workhouse, and had filled the
situation with credit for a quarter of a
century. He was much respected alike
by the magistracy, the ratepayers, and the
poor-law inspector of his district. He was
a strong sturdy man, bordering upon sixty-five,
with stubbly grey hair, a clean shaven
chin, broad open brow, clear grey eyes, and
a firmness of expression not alone about his
mouth and chin and all over his face, but
in his whole build and deportment. He
looked like a double consonant, like a man
who could hold his own against the world,
and would, in common parlance, "stand no
nonsense," from those above, or those below
him, while he walked on the war path of
duty. There was nevertheless a kindly
twinkle in his grey eye at times; and his
firmness was by no means deficient in good

"Yes!" replied Mr. Gomm, in answer
to my observation, " I have seen a good
deal of human nature in my time. I
suppose by poor human nature, you mean the
human nature of the poor."

"No, indeed I do not," I replied.
"Human nature is the same in all of us, with